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Homo Homini Lupus.

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He heard Lydia’s piercing scream even though he was unconscious. He felt Lydia falling down on him, her body heavy with grief, tears running down her face, wetting his shirt. But he didn’t care. He was unconscious after all. Then something touched his cheek. A soft and gentle touch. Then his shoulder. Someone was shaking him. He opened his eyes, waiting to see Lydia’s soft ginger curls, but all he saw was bright yellow. Scott’s eyes. They were looking at him, his face, his clothes and they were filled with so much hatred it was almost unbearable to gaze into them. Scott opened his mouth and said something but Stiles didn’t hear. He blinked and he was at the graveyard.

Scott and Chris Argent were kneeling in front of Allison’s grave, both with matching grieving faces. Isaac was a few feet behind Scott, trying hard to keep his tears from escaping his eyes. Stiles remembered that he was a couple of feet behind Isaac, but he was in front of him as well. He was behind and in front of everyone.

He blinked again and he was at Scott’s porch, his best friend looking everywhere but him.

‘I just need some time.’ Scott had said and Stiles had nodded with a tight smile.

‘I understand.’ Was his reply. And he did understand. He had killed Allison. Scott’s first love. He knew that Scott didn’t want him around him. He didn’t want to be around himself.

Another blink. His father was sitting in the kitchen. A bottle of Whiskey on the table and big, black bags under his eyes.

Another blink. He was in the graveyard again. This time, he was alone and in front of Allison’s graveyard.

*Nous protégeons ceux qui ne peuvent pas se protéger eux-mêmes* He read.

At least, Allison died an honorable death.

He blinked again.

He was at the forest. Derek was in front of him. His eyes were bright red and he was growling at him.

‘It’s your fault.’ Derek snarled. Stiles wanted to open his mouth and defend himself, but he couldn’t. What could he say? After all, it really was his fault.

‘Everyone’s dead because of you!’ Derek yelled and for the first time Stiles looked around them. They were at the Nemeton.

First, he spotted Scott. His head was turned towards him, his features scrunched in pain. His lifeless eyes staring holes into Stiles’ head. And then he looked down. Scott’s heart was ripped out of his chest, lying next to his dead body, grass and leaves in a pool of blood around him.

Then he saw his father. He was a few feet away from Scott, holding his gun in his right hand. He had his Sherriff uniform on, his badge half-hanging from his shirt. His eyes were cast down and Stiles followed their gaze with his own, letting out a sob at what he saw. His father’s shirt was bloody and torn, the Sheriff's guts hanging out of his abdomen. He wanted to throw up but nothing came up.

Lydia was next. The once beautiful girl was unrecognized. Her hair was wild and greasy, torn and bloodied clothes and her neck obviously broken. He saw Isaac’s head and then his body a few feet away next. Erica and Boyd’s bodies were next. Broken and bloody. He saw Jackson lying dead with several bullet holes decorating his body.

‘I’m dead because of you!’ He had forgotten about Derek. He turned towards the voice but all he saw was Derek lying on top of bloody leaves, purple lines running down his arms and neck. He was still alive and Stiles run to him side.

‘Derek, Derek.’ He shook his shoulders and Derek’s eyes fell open, staring blankly at Stiles. ‘You’re going to be fine.’ He gave him an encouraging smile, despite the tears and snot running down his face. Derek coughed up black blood and opened his mouth to say something.

‘All…your…fault.’ He rasped out, blood coming out of his mouth with every word and just like that he was gone.

Stiles fell back with a chocked up sob. He touched his face to wipe his tears but he realized that they were covered with Derek’s blood.

‘No.’ He looked around at the dead bodies of his friends and father and started crying even louder. ‘No, no! Make it stop! Please. It wasn’t my fault! Please!’ He sobbed and sobbed for what seemed like eternity.

Suddenly he felt something closing around his ankle. He screamed and crawled away but it was still there. He looked down and saw Derek’s hand around his foot.

‘You’re alive, Derek!’ He said and crawled next to his friend. ‘I’m so sorry. I never wanted anything to happen to you, to all of you. I’m so sorry.’ But, Derek wasn’t answering. His eyes were open, staring into Stiles’ and his lips were moving.

Stiles willed his breath to quit down so he could listen to Derek.

‘Stiles. Stiles. Stiles.’ Derek was saying. In a voice that was getting louder, Stiles realized that everyone was saying his name.

Scott, his father, Lydia. They were all saying his name. Then Isaac joined. It was getting louder each time they were saying his name. Then Boyd and Erica started. Jackson was the last to join. By now it was unbearable to listen. Then his father was on top of him, screaming his name in his face, his guts hanging from his abdomen and Stiles cried like he had never cried in his life and suddenly he was in his room, crying in his alive father’s arms, Derek a few feet away from them, looking scared and relieved at the same time.

‘Hey, hey. Stiles, you’re alright.’ John was whispering to his son. He sent a desperate glance at Derek who shook his head. Stiles’ sobs had filled the room and they were the only thing the two men could hear.

‘Is he alive?’ Stiles whispered a few minutes later. Silent tears were still running down his face as he took some deep breaths to calm himself down.

‘What are you talking about, Stiles?’ John asked him gently. Derek was a few steps closer to the bed but Stiles still hadn’t noticed him.

‘Derek. Is Derek alive?’ Stiles asked and immediately Derek moved so Stiles could see him.

‘I’m here Stiles. I’m alive.’ Derek assured him and Stiles let out a sound that was half a sigh, half a sob.

‘What happened, son?’ John asked softly and Stiles took a deep breath before answering.

‘You were all dead.’ He murmured. ‘And then you attacked me.’ He looked at is father, saw the horror and pain in his eyes and looked away.

Derek was listening to his heart-beat. It was slowing down, slowly, but it was and Derek was thankful for it.

‘Do you thing you can go back to sleep?’ Derek asked and Stiles shook his head.

The Sheriff sighed but didn’t say anything. It was already 4 in the morning and he had to be up at 6. He looked at Derek who nodded.

‘I’ll stay with him.’ The werewolf said and John sighed in relief. He kissed Stiles’ forehead and went back to bed, certain that he wouldn’t be able to catch any sleep.

Stiles and Derek were sitting in complete silence. Stiles’ heart was beating at a normal speed; as normal Stiles’ heart could beat.

The silence wasn’t uncomfortable but it wasn’t comfortable either.

Finally, Stiles broke the silence.

‘Why are you here?’ He wondered with a raspy voice.

‘Why wouldn’t I be here?’ Derek asked and Stiles shrugged.

‘Because it’s me.’ He said, like it was the answer to everything in the universe.

‘You are pack.’ Derek corrected and Stiles let out a bitter chuckle and shook his head.

‘What?’ Derek looked at Stiles, really looked at him and saw the dark circled on his eyes, how he had lost some weight over the last couple weeks.

‘I killed Allison, Derek. I don’t deserve to be pack.’ Stiles said and Derek could smell the lone tear before it even run down Stiles’ face.

‘It wasn’t your fault. Nothing was your fault. You were possessed.’ Derek assured him but knew that Stiles didn’t believe him.

‘Why are you here?” Stiles asked again.

‘Why wouldn’t I be here?’ Derek repeated his previous question.

‘Because you hate me.’ Stiles said and Derek’s heart shank.

‘I don’t hate you.’ He murmured and Stiles snorted.

‘I torture all of my friends, that’s how I show love.’ Stiles mocked but there was no humor behind his voice.

Derek wanted to ask if it was a Supernatural quote but he couldn’t find his voice.

‘I never hated you.’ He finally said. ‘You are annoying and you get on my nerves but I don’t hate you.’

‘You said it was my fault.’ Stiles said, cutting him off.

‘What?’ Derek asked confused.

‘In my dream, nightmare, whatever. It could be the future for all I know. You were dying and you said it was my fault. Then you died and I couldn’t do a thing. It was awful Derek.’ Stiles said, his voice close to a whisper and Derek was horrified. He sat down next to Stiles on the bed.

‘I don’t hate you and it wasn’t your fault. And I’ll do anything I can to make you believe it.’ Derek said and Stiles gave him a small smile.

He didn’t believe it yet, but it was a good start.

‘Thanks.’ Stiles said in a small voice.

‘We have a pack meeting tomorrow. I’d like it if you come.’ Derek told him.

‘I’ll think about it.’ Stiles said with a yawn.

‘If I stay here, will you go back to sleep?’ Derek asked and Stiles shrugged with another yawn.

‘I can sure try.’ He said and fell back on his bed.

Derek sat on the desk chair, his gaze still on the teenage boy.

‘Night.’ Stiles whispered, his heart-beat slowing down, meaning he fell asleep.

‘Goodnight Stiles.’ Derek said back and the room was silent.

The next day came and Stiles woke up in an empty room. He didn’t know if he was happy that Derek wasn’t here to see him wake up or sad that Derek wasn’t here to watch him wake up. The only thing he was sure about was that he was feeling something and right now, feeling something wasn’t a welcome feeling.

As he woke up farther he noticed a note lying on his bedside table and saw Derek’s nice handwriting.

*We have a pack meeting at 5. I hope you come. Derek. *

He felt a smile grow on his face as he folded the note and put in on his drawer.

Stiles was alone at home. His father was at work, Derek was doing whatever and Scott was avoiding him. It was already 11 in the morning so he had a few hours to kill till 5. He took a long shower, made some food for himself and put the leftovers in the fridge for his father. Then, he sat on his desk and spent his remaining hours researching about every supernatural being that came into is mind.

He climbed out of his jeep at 5.15. He had battled with himself about going or not going and the selfish part of him won. He wanted to prove something, he wasn’t sure what but he knew that the need was there. As he entered the now renovated Hale house he was met with silence. Surely the werewolves had heard his jeep, could hear his heart-beat, and could smell the anxiety roll off him in waves.

Firstly, he saw Isaac who was at the kitchen drinking a glass of water. The beta saw him and gave him a small nod. Stiles managed to give one of his own but they stopped at that. He entered the living room where every member of the pack was. Lydia gave him a small smile and he gave her a small wave in return. Jackson was looking at him but he didn’t do anything and Scott was like he wasn’t even there. Boyd was silent as usual. The only person who seemed happy to see him was Erica. She gave him a big smile and patted the space to her right on the couch. He sat down next to her and she hugged him.

‘How are you?’ She asked him gently and he sighed.

He hated when people asked him if he was okay. If he said no, then they would say they were sorry. What did sorry mean? Were they sorry for him not being okay or sorry for them that they couldn’t do anything to make him feel alright?

If he said yes, then they could hear his lie because he truly wasn’t okay.

Stiles shrugged. He wasn’t okay but he was better.

‘Where’s Derek?’ He asked, having not seen the Alpha upon his entrance.

‘He went out to get food.’ She answered and then glanced at the door. ‘Actually, he’s here.’ She smiled and Stiles let out a sigh of relief.

Derek walked in and put the many bags of chips and the many packages of biscuits on the table in front of the pack.

He then smiled at Stiles. ‘Glad you could come.’ He said with a small smile and Stiles gave one back.

‘Why are we having a pack meeting?’ Isaac asked, sitting down to Boyd’s side.

‘A couple of days ago I was running some errands and I caught the smell of something. I thought it was nothing but I caught the same smell yesterday afternoon as well.’ Derek explained. ‘It was stronger, like it was coming closer.’

‘What did it smell like?’ Lydia wondered.

‘It smelled like death, something foul and dark. I’ve smelled it before but I don’t remember where.’ The Alpha said.

‘It smelled like death, so like a dead body?’ Erica asked and Derek shook his head.

‘If it was a dead body I would have find it.’

‘So, what is it?’ Jackson asked annoyed and Derek wanted to flash his red eyes at him.

‘It could be a witch or a wendigo. Witches usually run in groups, a coven if you will. They were humans that sold their souls to the earth spirits making them hard to kill but not impossible.’ Stiles said in a small voice like he didn’t know if he was allowed to talk.

They all looked at him and he ducked his head missing the smile Derek sent his way.

‘What about wendigos?’ The Alpha asked and Stiles looked at him.

‘They used to be humans but circumstances made them eat human flesh. As they continued eating they started to change. They seem like your casual human, but when they want they can draw pointed teeth and claws filled with a toxin that can paralyze a common human but thankfully, only slow a werewolf.’ Stiles explained.

‘How do you know all that?’ Erica asked him in awe and he shrugged.

‘Research.’ He answered like it was no big deal.

‘How do you kill it?’ Derek asked and Stiles stiffened.

‘You don’t.’ He said.

‘What do you mean you don’t?’ Jackson asked annoyed and Stiles felt a wave of anger wash over him.

‘I mean you don’t. You don’t kill a wendigo. If you kill a wendigo, then its spirit will be free to run around. It will kill people searching for a body.’ He explained and they all fell silent as they let the news sink in.

‘How do we get rid of it?’ Erica asked.

‘They are people. In order for the spirit to stay trapped is for the person to kill themselves.’ Stiles said and Isaac gave a small whimper.

‘I’m really hoping for witches right now.’ The beta werewolf commented, trying to light up the atmosphere but he didn’t accomplish it.

They were all silent, waiting for Derek to make a plan.

Finally, the Alpha cleared his throat.

‘Until we find if it is a witch or a wendigo, no one goes anywhere alone, especially the humans.’ Derek sent a pointed look at Stiles and Lydia who scoffed back.

‘I’m a Banshee.’ Lydia pointed out.

‘But you don’t have werewolf healing.’ The Alpha snapped and Lydia fell silent.

‘If you find a witch or a wendigo, you don’t attack. If they attack you, you defend yourself but if it’s a wendigo you don’t kill it.’ Derek said and they all agreed.

‘I’m going to get a glass of water.’ Stiles announced and got up. As he was putting the glass down in the sink, he heard steps and turned around and saw Scott.

The beta werewolf looked like a kicked puppy and Stiles took a deep breath and sat on a chair.

Scott sat beside him. They were silent for several minutes and Stiles was sure that the rest of the pack was holding their breath trying to listen to them.

‘I’m sorry.’ Scott said suddenly. Stiles opened his mouth to speak but Scott didn’t give him the chance.

‘When Alisson died, I wanted desperately to blame someone. I blamed you for a while, but I know that it wasn’t your fault. I blamed me for a while too. I kept thinking about all the ifs. What if I had gone faster? What if we were never together? Would she be alive right now?’ Scott let out a bitter chuckle. Stiles didn’t press him. He knew Scott. He would say what he wanted in his own pace.

‘I kept thinking about all the ifs.’ Scott repeated. ‘And it drove me crazy. It’s a dangerous road.’ He turned to Stiles and looked him in the eyes. ‘I’ve been an awful friend to you. I’ve been away when you needed me the most and I was too busy self-pitying. I miss you and I want to be your friend again.’ Scott concluded, making Stiles smile.

‘I miss you too.’ Stiles said and Scott took a shaky breath.

‘So, friends again?’ The beta werewolf asked hopyful.

‘Friends.’ Stiles agreed and they heard the rest of the pack make happy noses. Erica even screamed finally.
Scott and Stiles stood up and the first looked shyly at his friend.

‘Should we hug?’ He asked and Stiles tried to contain his snort.

‘You should never aks me for a hug, dude.’ Stiles said and Scott hugged him with the force of an exited puppy.

~•~•~•~•~
It was half past nine in the evening and Stiles and Scott were at the first’s home, playing Halo and eating pizza. They heard the door open and close but since Scott didn’t do anything. Stiles knew that it was his dad.

The Sheriff stood in the entrance of the living room, looking at the two teenagers with a relieved smile on his face.

‘Finally.’ Was all the man said and Stiles huffed. Scott smiled and went back to his game. Stiles was sure that if he was a werewolf he could smell the contentness coming off in waves of Scott.

‘There is vegan pizza for you in the oven.’ Stiles told his father and smiled when he heard him groan.

‘He is healthy, you know. If I smelled something I would tell you.’ Scott said, making Stiles snort.

‘He is healthy because I take care of him.’ He said and Scott rolled his eyes.

~•~•~•~•~•~
Stiles kept turning on is bed. Even though today was a good day, he just couldn’t catch any sleep. There was an itching feeling on his skin, an itch that he couldn’t scratch however he tried.

He sat up with a groan and searched for his phone to check the time.

3.50. There was no chance he could sleep now. He tried calling Scott, but the werewolf didn’t answer. Neither did Isaac or the rest of the pack. Finally, Derek was the one who answered his phone.

‘Derek, something’s wrong.’ He said the same time Derek said ‘It’s a wendigo. We’re coming to you.’

Stiles’ breath caught but agreed. Derek hang up and Stiles went to wake up his dad.

‘Dad, we have a situation.’ He said and the Sheriff got up immediately.

‘What’s going on?’ He asked fully awake.

‘The pack’s coming here as we speak. Derek will explain then.’ Stiles explained and John nodded. He looked at his watch and sighed when he saw that it was five minutes to four.

‘I’m going to make some coffee. I don’t suppose we’ll be done fast.’ He said with a tired smile and Stiles gave a small one back.

He went downstairs and waited for the pack to come. Moments later he heard a soft knock on the door and he hurried to open it. At the other side he found Derek holding a clearly wounded Isaac while Boyd was carrying an unconscious Erica. Scott and Jackson were hurt as well but could walk. Boyd had some visible scratches but was fine and Derek had some blood on him but Stiles didn’t know if it was his own.

‘Did you kill it?’ He asked.

‘You told us not to.’ Isaac said and groaned. Stiles winced and let them enter the house.

‘Just making sure.’ He said and Lydia gave him a small smile.

Boyd put Erica gently on the couch and Isaac sat gingerly next to her.
The Sheriff came into the living room, opening the lights as he did. The werewolves winced at the sudden brightness but didn’t say anything.

‘What happened?’ He asked alarmed as he took in the scene before him.

‘Wendigo.’ Scott answered.

‘They are real?!’ John yelped and Isaac whimpered, holding his head.

The Sheriff turned to Derek who looked fine but you can never be sure with him.

‘Tell me everything.’ He told the Alpha who nodded.

‘We got attacked by a wendigo.’ Derek answered. They heard a groan and they all looked at the sofa where Erica was moving around. Stiles was by her side in a second while Boyd took her hand to take any pain she was feeling.

‘Do I have to cover another body?’ The Sheriff asked but Derek shook his head.

‘You can’t kill a wendigo.’ Stiles said, making his father sigh.

‘How many are there?’ John asked as he went to the kitchen to get some mugs and coffee. ‘Stiles, come help me.’ Stiles stood up and went to help his father. A few minutes later, every werewolf and human had a hot mug of coffee in their hands.

‘There were two that attacked us. But there could be more.’ Scott answered the Sheriff’s earlier question.

‘Should I inform the deputies to be careful and keep an eye out?’

‘Tell them to keep an eye out for new people and random kidnappings. Let the rest to us.’ Derek said and the Sheriff nodded.

Derek turned to his two wounded Betas.

‘Are you alright?’ He asked Erica and Isaac who nodded. He let out a small sigh in relief.

A lot have changed the last couple months. Allison’s death was at the end of Junior year. In a week it will be the start of Senior year for the entire pack except him. The pack mourned the loss of a pack mate and now that Scott and Stiles were good, the pack will be stronger.

Derek knew from his mother that a tight pack is a stronger pack. That was never a problem with is old pack. They were family, relatives by blood. This pack was different. Each member came from different worlds.

Jackson and Lydia came from rich families. Erica was sick, Boyd was bullied and alone, Isaac was abused. Scott had asthma.
Now that Derek thought about it, Stiles hadn’t really change that much. He was still the same nerdy kid who researched and researched until he found what he wanted.

But now, after the Nogitsune, his smell was different. It still had that spicy smell mixed with lemon and cinnamon. Now though, it was like the lemon had gone bad and the spices were on fire. The cinnamon was barely there anymore, replaced by guilt and the saltiness of tears.

Derek shook his head. Stiles was pack and pack tries to make its pack mate feel better. They weren’t related by blood but family don’t end with blood.

He let out a small smile at the quote. Stupid Isaac making him watch all the seasons of Supernatural.

He looked at his pack. Erica was now sitting, albeit on Boyd’s lap. Isaac was laughing at something Scott had said. He noticed that they were sitting a lot closer than normal friends but he would talk about it with Isaac later. Jackson and Lydia were cuddling on the other couch while the Sheriff was drinking coffee with a thinking expression on. His eyes fell on Stiles and he let out a frown. He saw the black bags under his eyes, smelled the exhaustion rolling off from the boy in waves.

‘You should sleep.’ He said and Stiles looked at him with a scoff.

‘I’m fine, sour wolf.’ The teen said. Derek ignored the nickname and glared.

‘I can smell how tired you are.’ He said and just like that Stiles got up with a groan. Derek got up as well and the human shot him a glare.

‘What? You’re going to tuck me in as well?’ Stiles snapped but Derek ignored him once again. He looked at the Sheriff who gave him a tired smile and a nod.

Once they were at Stiles’ room, Derek sat on the computer chair and looked at Stiles.

‘Dude, I need to change. Give me some space.’ Stiles said and with a scoff, Derek turned around.

‘Why are you annoyed?’ Derek asked him when he finished changing.

‘I’m not annoyed.’ Stiles murmured and laid on his bed.

‘I can smell it on you.’ He said and Stiles sighed.

‘Fuck your werewolf senses.’ He sat up, his covers around his shoulders. ‘Why are you here?’ He asked, starring at the Alpha.

Derek sighed. The rest of the pack had already left and the Sheriff had left for work. Albeit early, it was almost 5 in the morning, Derek was tired and a questioning Stiles wasn’t ideal right now.

‘Why shouldn’t I be here?’ Derek asked and Stiles snorted.

‘I know how this ends. I’m part of the pack, I know. That doesn’t answer my question. Why are YOU here? Scott is my best friend. He could be here instead of you.’ Stiles said.

Derek let out a growl.

‘I’m the Alpha. I take care of the pack.’ Derek answered. ‘If a member of the pack is hurt I take care of them.’

Stiles threw his hands up, his covers falling on the floor in the process.

‘I’m not hurt! Isaac was hurt! Erica was unconscious for fuck’s sake!’ He yelled and Derek winced at the volume. He replayed Stiles’ words in his head and grew angrier every second.

‘You want to know why I’m here?’ He asked and saw Stiles nod. He stood up and paced for a few seconds, trying to find the right words. But his mind to mouth filter wasn’t working right now.

‘Well, so do I because right now I don’t see a reason not to rip your throat out with my teeth!’ He said, voice growing louder with every word and eyes glowing red. He started pacing again.

‘You drive me crazy but I don’t do anything because you are pack. As much as it annoys me you are family and I can’t do anything about that.’ He ran his fingers through his hair, willing his breathing to slow down.

‘I’m not your family.’ Stiles whispered and Derek only heard him because he was a werewolf.

‘Family don’t end with blood.’ Derek answered but Stiles didn’t smile.

‘I don’t need your help.’ Stiles said and Derek growled.

‘Why? Are you so strong a person you don’t need someone to help you? You are human! You are so painfully human! You can’t heal, you can’t run fast enough. That’s why the Nogitsune picked you. It was either you or Allison. But Allison was a hunter. She knew how to take care of herself. You didn’t. You still don’t.’ Derek breathed deeply. He caught the smell of tears and his gaze fell on Stiles’ face where silent tears were running down his face, wild and unstoppable.

‘So, you’re saying that being possessed by the Nogitsune was my fault.’ Stiles nodded and let out a bitter smile.

‘No.’ Derek shook his head, voice raspy from yelling.

‘Then what are you saying, Derek!?’ Stiles screamed. ‘What should I have done? Yes, I am human. I’m a human that runs with wolves. Do you have any idea how difficult that is!?’ He asked and Derek didn’t. He stayed silent.

‘Do you?’ He asked again, voice breaking at the end and Derek shook his head.

‘I’m just doing the research. I can’t come with you on fights because even a push can kill me. I always stay behind but I don’t complain because I don’t deserve to complain. I’m just an ordinary thing surrounded by wonders.’ He said, breaths coming out irregular as he was breathing in hungrily. His heart beat had skyrocketed and Derek moved closer to the bed.

‘I c-can’t b-breath.’ Stiles stuttered and immediately Derek was on Alpha mode.

‘Is this a panic attack?’ He asked, voice calm and reassuring. Stiles gave a small nod. Derek moved in front of him, taking one of his hands and putting it on his chest, right on top of his heart.

‘Just copy my breathing, Stiles. It’s going to be alright.’ Derek said, breathing long, deep breaths.

‘I-I c-can’t.’ Wheezed Stiles, fresh tears running down his face. Derek growled.

‘Yes, you can! It’s not hard. Come on Stiles. In through your nose, out through your mouth.’ Derek instructed.

They continued doing it for what felt like hours, but were only minutes. Finally, Stiles’ heart was beating at a normal speed and his breathing was close to regular. Derek removed their hands from his chest, but he kept on holding on Stiles’ hand.

‘Are you alright?’ He asked.

Stiles nodded. ‘Thanks.’ He said, voice in a whisper and Derek felt his throat close.

‘I’m sorry.’ Said Derek, but Stiles shook his head.

‘It’s not your fault. I was an idiot.’ He said and ran his hand down his face, wiping away his tears.

Derek let go of his hand, ignoring the sudden coldness on his palm and shifted away from the teen. As he was ready to stand up, he felt a hand on the sleeve of his shirt.

He looked at Stiles who was looking everywhere but him.

‘Can you stay with me?’ The teen asked and blood rushed to his face. ‘I usually get nightmares after panic attacks and the last time you stayed over I slept like a log, so yeah.’ He hurried to add and Derek fought to hide his smile.

‘Alright.’ Derek answered and Stiles sighed in relief. With a nod, he let go of the sleeve and gestured towards some drawers.

‘You can borrow some sweats and a shirt if you want. There are some that are big for me so, they’ll might be your size.’ He said and Derek nodded once again.

He found a pair of sweats and a T-shirt that Stiles would be swimming in if he wore them and went to the bathroom to change.

When he returned, Stiles was under the now retrieved covers. He let out a small smile and went to sit on the chair.

‘You can sleep here, you know.’ His eyes fell on Stiles who was looking at him. ‘Sleeping on a chair can’t be comfortable.’ He said and Derek shrugged.

‘I had worse.’ He murmured.

‘Still.’ Stiles patted the space beside him and Derek stood up with a sigh.

He carefully laid next to the teen, leaving as big as a space he could master between them and finally allowed his eyes to close.

‘Goodnight.’ He heard Stiles whisper.

‘Goodnight, Stiles.’ He said back, but Stiles was already asleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Derek woke up, for the first time in months, in a good mood. He was warm and he soon realized that was because he was spooning Stiles.

He had his right arm around Stiles’ abdomen while the younger boy was using his shoulder as a pillow. His left foot was between Stiles’ feet and his face was nested on the boy’s neck.

Derek stayed lying there, panicking at the situating and then scowling at himself for panicking. They didn’t do anything bad. Pack cuddles all the time. It’s what a tight pack does. Stiles wasn’t someone different. Stiles wasn’t someone special. Maybe if he kept saying that it could become true.

Derek stayed lying there for a few more minutes until Stiles started waking up himself. He stirred for a few seconds and then stilled completely.

‘Derek?’ He asked in a whisper and the air filled with the bitter smell of fear. Derek tightened his grip on Stiles’ abdomen.

‘I’m here.’ Derek assured him, but Stiles didn’t relax.

‘Am I dreaming?’ He asked again and Derek understood.

‘Count my fingers, Stiles.’ It wasn’t an order, but Stiles followed it as if it was one.

Derek felt Stile’s fingertips on his own, heard the faint whispers of the numbers as Stiles was counting his fingers and finally, finally, Stiles relaxed.

The air filled with the sweet smell of relief and Derek withdrew his arm. He immediately felt cold but ignored it when Stiles quickly sat up.

‘What day is it?’ Derek searched for the answer in his mind.

‘Monday.’ He answered and Stiles swore.

‘What time is it?’ Stiles asked, already dressing up.

‘It’s 5 to 10.’ Derek answered and Stiles swore again.

‘Come on.’ Stiles picked is phone up and pressed it to his ear, pacing his room.

Derek heard the Sheriff’s voice in the phone a few seconds later.

‘Stiles, I’m busy, - ‘Stiles cut his father.

‘Dad, my examination is in half an hour and you are not here.’ Stiles almost screamed and Derek sat up.

The Sheriff swore and sighed.

‘Stiles, I can’t come. There was a robbery downtown earlier tonight and there was a casualty.’ Stiles made a chocked up noise. ‘I’m sorry son, I really am.’ Derek could hear how sorry John was, but that clearly wasn’t enough for Stiles.’ The boy whipped at his eyes and nodded.

‘Okay, dad.’ He said, but clearly it wasn’t okay.

‘I love you, Stiles.’ The Sheriff said and Stiles sighed.

‘Love you too, dad.’ Stiles said and hanged up. The boy sighed again and let out a soft swear. He let his phone fall on his desk as he sat on the chair.

‘What’s wrong?’ Derek asked and Stiles looked at him with clouded eyes.

‘Dad’s not going to make it to my examination.’ Stiles murmured.

‘What examination?’ Stiles didn’t smell sick, he wasn’t hurt. Derek was confused and suddenly afraid.

‘My annual check-up. They have to take some blood and such.’ Stiles answered and Derek sighed in relief.

‘What’s so bad about them taking some blood?’ Derek wondered and Stiles looked down. ‘You’re not afraid of needles, are you?’ Derek joked but Stiles didn’t smile or laugh.

‘You are, aren’t you?’ Derek asked and Stiles shrugged.

‘I usually get panic attacks but my dad is always there to calm me down.’ Stiles said and Derek wanted to ask; why are you getting panic attacks over a needle? but Stiles was done talking.

‘I can come with you.’ Derek offered with a shrug and Stiles looked at him shocked.

‘Really?’ Stiles didn’t object or said that he didn’t need any help. Derek felt his throat close at the hope in Stiles eyes.

He managed to give a nod.

Stiles relaxed and stood up. He picked his phone, checked the time and then put it inside his pocket.

‘My appointment is at 10:30. It’s already 10:15. The doctor’s office is a ten-minute walk, eight if we walk fast.’ He looked at Derek and groaned.

‘You are still wearing sweats.’ Derek looked down at himself and shrugged.

‘I’m okay.’ Derek assured him and Stiles nodded.

‘Okay. Good. Can we leave now?’ Derek stood up and put on his shoes.

‘Let’s go.’ Stiles said and they left.

They got at the doctor’s office five minutes before the appointment. Stiles was out of breath and panting, but Derek was his usual self, but different.

Stiles looked at him, really looked at him for a second. He was like a different person without his black jeans and black leather jacket. Now, he was dressed with grey sweats and a dark red shirt. It was so out of the ordinary and Stiles likes it.

‘Stiles!’ Stiles turned around and gave a small, tight smile at a nurse. ‘Where’s your father?’ She asked, looking around, her bid smile never leaving her face.

‘He couldn’t come. Sheriff stuff.’ Stiles answered and she winced like she knew, which, Derek thought, she probably did.

‘And who’s this handsome man young man with you.’ She turned to Derek and Stiles closed his eyes waiting for the explosion.
Derek scoffed at that, but smiled at the lady.

‘I’m Derek Hale. I’m here with Stiles since his father couldn’t come.’ He introduced himself and the nurse’s smile fell, if only a little.

‘I’m sorry to hear about your sister, dear.’ She said and Derek wanted the floor to crack and make her disappear. Or make himself disappear. He wasn’t picky.

‘A tragic event, really.’ She added. Derek felt a hand on his elbow and remembered why he was here in the first place.

‘It was really tragic, yes.’ Stiles agreed. ‘I would like to stay and chat, but I have an appointment to get to.’ He gave her a tight smile and she snapped out of it.

‘Oh yes!’ She clapped her hands, more excited that necessary and pointed to a room behind here. ‘Go in there and the doctor will be with you in about 15 minutes.’ She smiled at them once again and left.

Stiles and Derek went into the room the nurse pointed to, Derek scrunching his nose at the smell of blood mixed with medicine and sickness. Stiles sat on the bed and Derek stood by his side.

In these few seconds, Stiles’ heart beat had managed to become uneven, while the boy was fidgeting.

‘What does your father do to calm you down?’ Derek asked and Stiles took a deep breath before answering.

‘He usually talks about things.’ He said. ‘He asks questions excepting me to answer.’

‘So, you talk.’ Derek nodded. ‘That doesn’t surprise me at all.’ Stiles gave a small smile.

Derek thought for a few seconds. He wasn’t really a talkative person. That was always Stiles. He was the one to nod to show his agreement and the one to growl to show his disagreement. But now, he had to talk because one of his pack, a member of his family needed him to.

‘I like music.’ He suddenly said and winced at the lack of his statement.

Stiles nodded but didn’t say anything, his mind elsewhere.

Derek sighed. ‘What music do you like?’ He asked awkwardly. Stiles gave him a shrug but Derek pressed on.

‘Come on, Stiles. You need to answer.’ Derek touched his wrist and let his hand stay there when he felt Stiles calming down.

‘Anything. If I like the lyrics, then I will listen to it.’ Stiles answered and Derek nodded, pleased.

‘So, everything except pop.’ Derek joked and Stiles chuckled.

‘Pretty much.’ Stiles agreed.
‘Favorite bands?’ Derek asked next and Stiles thought about it and shrugged.

‘Too many.’ He said. ‘You probably haven’t heard half of them.’

‘Try me.’ Derek shrugged, making Stiles smile.

‘My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, Our Last Night.’ Stiles listed and by the time he was done he had listed over ten bands.

‘I only know My Chemical Romance.’ Derek admitted and Stiles faked gasped.

‘Travesty!’ He yelped, his earlier panic now forgotten. ‘I should educate you in the wonder that is All Time Low music like right now.’ Stiles said and Derek felt his lips inch up.

‘Maybe later.’ He said and Stiles beamed at him.

Was he flirting? Was he really flirting with a member of his pack? With Stiles? Had Stiles noticed? Was he bothered? Derek shook his head as the doctor walked in. Instead, he focused on Stiles who had started panicking again.

‘Hello Stiles.’ The doctor said and shook the boy’s hand. ‘Your father’s at work?’ He asked.

Stiles nodded and Derek took over.

‘I’m filling in for the Sheriff.’ Derek shook the doctor’s hand. ‘Derek Hale.’ He introduced himself. He saw that the doctor opened his mouth to say something but chose against it. Derek was thankful for it.

Derek took Stiles’ hand and the boy gave him a thankful, if not embarrassed smile. The doctor took the syringe and by now Stiles’ breaths were coming out uneven and too loud for it to be considered normal.

‘Tell me about your favorite All Time Low song.’ Derek said. He winced at the way he said it, making it sound more of an order than an offer, but Stiles nodded.

‘It’s probably Therapy.’ Stiles muttered and Derek squeezed his hand for him to keep going. ‘It’s about how sometimes when you’re feeling depressed you don’t need therapy. You only need a hug from your family and friends.’ Derek knew there was a deeper meaning there but now wasn’t the time. He saw the doctor come their way and heard Stiles’ breath skyrocketing.

‘Look at me, Stiles.’ He took a few seconds but he did as he was told.

Derek then found himself doing something he never thought he would do around Stiles. He started talking about himself.

‘My favorite band is Breaking Benjamin.’ He said a little awkwardly, but Stiles was looking at him and the doctor was coming closer and he couldn’t stop now.

‘They are a rock band but they are different.’ From the corner of his eye he saw the doctor injecting the needle into Stiles’ vein and he kept talking. ‘I used to sing their songs to Laura when we were in New York. Our favorite song was Dear Agony. Probably because of our past.’ He let out a bitter chuckle.

‘We’re done.’ The doctor said and wrote something on his notebook. ‘The results will be ready this Wednesday.’ He told Derek who nodded.

Stiles was still looking at him and Derek shifted on his feet.

‘What?’ He asked and Stiles shook his head, snapping out of it.

‘It’s the most I’ve heard you talk since last night.’ He said with a small smile and looked down.

Derek found himself smiling and nudged Stiles to stand up.

‘We should go.’ He said and the boy nodded. As they got outside, Derek noticed that Stiles was fidgeting and was smelling nervous once again.

‘What’s wrong?’ Derek asked him, but Stiles shrugged.

‘It’s no big deal.’ He said and Derek let it go.

They were almost at Stiles’ house when Derek had had enough. All this time, Stiles’ fidgeting had gone worse and he would look at Derek, open his mouth and quickly close it to look down again.

Derek fought back a growl but he couldn’t stop himself from snapping at the teenager.

‘Okay, what’s wrong!? You keep sending me looks but you don’t say anything!’ He said, making Stiles wince.

‘It’s nothing.’ Stiles said, but Derek was a werewolf and could hear Stiles lying.

‘Bullshit, Stiles.’ Derek said and Stiles stopped walking.

‘It’s just that,’ Stiles scratched the back of his neck. ‘whenever I have an appointment, dad and I go for ice-cream afterwards.’

Derek visibly relaxed. ‘That’s all? I thought it was something serious.’ He sighed and Stiles scoffed.

‘Well, excuse you, but it’s been a tradition for years.’ He said and started walking again.

Derek smiled, knowing that Stiles wasn’t really angry with him.

‘I can take you for ice-cream.’ Derek said and Stiles looked at him. He had an expression on Derek couldn’t really deter, but it looked good on him.

‘You don’t have to.’ Stiles said but the werewolf shrugged.

‘It’s been forever since I’ve had ice-cream.’ Derek said and Stiles looked down, a small and private smile decorating his face.

‘There’s a part with an ice-cream stand two blocks down.’ Derek said a few seconds later and the teenager nodded.

They walked in silence till they reached the park. They weren’t the only people there but there weren’t many people there, either. Moms with their children, people with their dogs and old couples having their daily walks. They walked towards the ice-cream stand, Derek taking his wallet out in the process.

‘You really don’t have to, you know.’ Stiles tried once again.

‘It’s really not a big deal.’ He continued, but all Derek did was turn to the man in front of him.

‘Two scoops of vanilla and one chocolate.’ He made his order and then turned to Stiles.

‘One chocolate, Bueno and vanilla.’ He said with a defeated sigh. Derek smirked.

‘7 dollars.’ Said the man. Derek gave him a ten and told him to keep the money. He gave the ice-cream to Stiles who took his own and walked away, silent, his smirk never leaving his face.

‘What did you get?’ Stiles asked awkwardly.

Derek showed him his already half eaten ice-cream.

‘I’ve never thought you’d be one for the simple things.’ Stiles hummed.

Derek scoffed but didn’t comment. They walked in silence for a while until they found a bench to sit.

Stiles finished his ice-cream and placed the container by his side.

‘You can ask you know.’ Stiles said, trying to play it cool but he didn’t really succeed. Derek could smell his nervousness.

‘It’s none of my business.’ Derek shrugged and Stiles fell silent. As nice as it was, Derek knew that Stiles would talk soon.

‘It’s because of my mother.’ Stiles started and Derek turned to him. Stiles wasn’t looking at him, but he wasn’t looking down either. His gaze was far away, empty. His eyes were clouded, whiskey brown just visible enough to see. It was like before. After Stiles was freed from the Nogitsune. It was familiar. But it was a scary familiar.

‘When my mother was in the hospital, there were tubes and needles coming out from every visible inch of her body.’ His voice broke at the last word.

Derek put his hand on his shoulder.

Stiles didn’t smile.

‘I was small when she died. Nine years old. I was with her when it happened. She turned her head towards me and smiled. But I didn’t see her smile. All I saw was the needles and tubes cleaning her blood, giving her vitamins…’ He shook his head, snapping out of it.
‘There you have it.’ He said in a raspy voice and Derek patted his shoulder before taking his hand away.

They stayed silent after that. Occasionally, Stiles would let out a small sniff, but other than that he was fine.

Derek was fighting with himself. Stiles shared a pretty part of himself. Should he share something as well? He let out a sigh and cleared his throat.

‘After the fire.’ He started and Stiles looked at him shocked. Derek closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

‘After the fire.’ He started again. ‘I had this fear of fire. I couldn’t even go near a candle.’ He let out a bitter chuckle. ‘Laura used to laugh at me, but I knew she was scared as well. But she was an Alpha. Alpha’s aren’t supposed to be scared. They’re supposed to be strong for themselves and the members of their packs.’ Derek said and now it was Stiles’ turn to put his hand on the Alpha’s shoulder.

‘You’re not invincible you know. You are allowed to feel like crap or to be hurt.’ He said and Derek looked down trying to hide his smile.

‘Are you done?’ Derek asked a few minutes later. By now, the park was full of people and it was driving is wolf crazy. All those new smells and noises were hard to keep track to and he had to focus on Stiles and will his already growing headache to go away.

‘Your wolf’s getting annoyed?’

‘How do you know?’

‘After Scott was bitten, we couldn’t stay in crowded places for long. I gathered it was his wolf getting annoyed by the noise.’ Stiles shrugged.

‘And the smell.’ Derek added.

‘Can you smell everything?’ Stiles asked with the wonder of a kid who was promised the whole universe.

‘I can smell enough.’ Derek answered and looked around, sniffing. ‘I know that this guy had tacos for breakfast,’ Stiles scrunched up his nose in disgust. ‘and I can smell how this couple had a very nice wake up.’ He said and Stiles laughed.

‘Oh man.’ His shoulders shook with silent giggles. ‘Living with Erica and Boyd must be a torture.’ Derek shrugged.

‘You get used to it after the seventh time.’ Stiles chuckled.

‘I never want to be a werewolf.’

Suddenly all the joking and fun were gone and seriousness took their place.

‘I’ll never turn you into a werewolf if you don’t want me to.’ It wasn’t just a statement. It was a promise.

Stiles hummed in return but soon stopped. He turned to his Alpha with an air of seriousness Derek couldn’t really place and he wasn’t really sure he liked.

‘If I was dying,’ He started and Derek’s wolf growled at the thought. ‘would you turn me in order to live?’

‘I would try to find another way. I would only bite you if it was the only thing left to do.’

Stiles nodded. ‘Thanks.’ He said sincerely.

Derek nodded but didn’t say anything back.

‘Let’s go back to your house.’ Derek said a few seconds later. They were silent as they walked and minutes later they were outside Stiles’ home.

The boy shifted on his feet awkwardly before looking at Derek. It was weird. He was looking at him, but he wasn’t really looking either.

‘What?’ Derek asked.

Stiles rubbed the back of his neck. ‘It’s almost time for lunch.’ He started and blushed at Derek’s confused face. ‘Would you like to stay for lunch?’ He rushed out, embarrassed.

Derek smiled at the teenager but then winced.

‘I promised Isaac we would have lunch today.’ He said, his voice apologetic.

Stiles gave a nod, just a slight tilt of his head and Derek knew that it was okay.

Then Stiles smiled. It was a big smile, showing teeth and the sun was falling into Stiles’ eyes making them that light brown, like liquid gold.

‘You’re a good Alpha.’ Stiles commented and Derek should really control his wolf better because right now it was barking and panting happily inside his head.

‘It’s movie night tomorrow.’

‘I’ll be there.’ Stiles said and with a last smile he entered his house leaving his Alpha outside. The wolf was whining and barking, making Derek frown.

‘Get it together.’ He scowled and went into the woods. He needed to run. He needed to let is wolf out, to let his frustration out.
He transformed, stepping out of his now useless clothes and shoes. He placed his clothes beside a tree, hidden for people and other animals. He would come back for them later.

Then, he ran. He savored the feeling of the earth on his paws. He savored the scent of leaves and plants, the way he knew were to bend or when to turn or when to jump. That was where he belonged, where he felt at home, one with his wolf.

His eyes bled red when he saw the pack’s house. He could hear Isaac’s heart beat and smell the earthy with a touch of rain, smell of his first Beta.

He scratched at the door and let out a bark and seconds later Isaac opened the door. He saw his Alpha with his tongue out and rolled his eyes before stepping back to let the wolf get in.

Derek transformed back into his human self, shaking his head with a fond smile when Isaac yelped and covered his eyes.

‘Boundaries, Derek!’ The Beta yelled, his eyes still covered. ‘There are some things I don’t need to know about you.’ He said, his voice close to a whine.

Derek rolled his eyes. ‘You’ll get used to it.’ He went into is room and out on clean clothes before going back into the living room.

‘Are you ready to go?’ He asked Isaac who nodded.

They headed out and took the Camaro to go to a small dinner near the school. They have been there so many times as a pack but as individuals as well that the owners knew their orders by heart.

Derek and Isaac entered and the restaurant and went straight to the usual table, back into the room, by the windows.

Seconds later a waitress by the name of Jenna was there, filling their glasses with water and taking out a notebook and a pen.

‘Hello.’ She smiles at them. ‘The usual?’

They nodded and she left.

‘How are you?’ Derek asked his Beta. It was still kind of awkward for him to make small talk but he was getting better at it.
Isaac shrugged. He wasn’t used on talking about his feelings but he was getting better at it. ‘I’m good.’

‘You had a nightmare a couple of nights ago.’ It wasn’t a question. It was an observation. An observation Isaac neither denied nor confirmed.

Derek let out a sigh. ‘What was it about?’

‘The usual.’

They had a system. The usual meant his father. Nothing meant Allison’s death and many variations having several pack members in her place. A shrug meant abandonment.

Derek had learnt how to deal with all three. He still wasn’t perfect but he was trying and he was getting better at it.

They food came and they focused on consuming it.

‘I’ve noticed you and Scott spend a lot of time together later.’ Derek said after swallowing a bite of his burger. Stiles had insisted on coming here when the pack was out for dinner or lunch because; “It has the best curly fries, sourwolf! It would be a crime not to go there!”

Isaac took a moment to answer.

‘We’re friends.’

Derek hummed around a mouthful of curly fries and put his hands up in surrender when Isaac glared at him.

His Beta suddenly smiled and Derek knew by experience from running with teenagers, that was never good.

‘You didn’t come home last night.’ Isaac said and took a bite of his burger.

‘I didn’t.’

‘Where were you last night?’

‘I slept at Stiles.’ Derek said and Isaac grinned. Derek felt himself blush and Isaac’s grin became bigger.

‘So, tell me about Scott.’ Derek returned the favor and Isaac almost chocked on his fries.

‘There’s nothing to say.’ He said with a cough and Derek didn’t press.

‘I won’t ask you about it only if you don’t ask about Stiles again.’

‘But that’s no fun!’ Isaac whined.

Derek shrugged. ‘I don’t care. But really, if you want to be a blushing teenager whenever I mention Scott, then be my guest.’ He winked and Isaac gaped at him.

‘You are evil.’ He glared and Derek smirked.

They finished their lunch in silence, except from the occasional joke from Isaac and the small snort of Derek.

‘Have you seen anything weird?’ Derek asked his Beta when they entered the Camaro to go back to the house.

Isaac shook his head. ‘It’s been normal.’

‘Almost too normal.’ Muttered Derek. Isaac gave his Alpha a gentle smile in return.

‘We’re going to be fine.’ Isaac said with such conviction in his voice, Derek almost believed him. ‘What’s a few wendigos against an Alpha pack, anyway?’

Derek chuckled but he didn’t really mean it.

___________________.____________________________.___________________
Senior year was officially here. There was no turning back now. One more year and they will be off to college. Hopefully, they’ll be back.
The pack, minus Derek, stood before the high school gates. They had a sleepover last night where Derek had given them a talk. He was Isaac, Erica and Boyd’s legal guardian after all.

‘It will be different without Alisson this year.’ Scott commented and Isaac patted him on the shoulder.

Stiles sighed. He wanted to say ‘sorry’ but what would a ‘sorry’ accomplish? Scott and the rest of the pack ad made it clear that it wasn’t his fault.

The first bell rang and they rushed inside. First rule by Derek; Don’t be late.

Stiles had first period with Scott and Boyd. It was Chemistry, which was cruel. Thankfully, Harris wasn’t the teacher anymore since he was dead.

Stiles wasn’t sure if that made him a bad person, but he couldn’t bring himself to feel bad about it. He had asked Derek about it and the Alpha had said that it was normal.

It was normal.

It was human to feel relieved when someone that made your life a living hell was no longer in the picture.

The first period passes fast enough that Stiles didn’t have any time to whine about it.

‘Something’s wrong.’ Scott frowned and a few seconds later and angry Erica came their way, followed by a slightly less angry Lydia and a silent Isaac.

‘What happened?’ Scott asked concerned.

Erica growled and for a second her eyes flashed yellow. Boyd was at her side in a second, trying to calm her down.

‘There’s a new student.’ Lydia started with a roll of her eyes, but it was clear that she was annoyed.

Isaac was still silent.

‘He’s an asshole.’ Erica snarled.

Lydia nodded. ‘Can’t argue with that.’

‘What did he do?’ Asked Stiles and for a second, Isaac’s shoulder’s tensed up.

‘He was making these comments about us. I couldn’t hear what they were since I’m not a wolf, but from what Erica told me, his main focus was goldy locks here.’ Lydia pointed at Isaac who for the first time in those minutes, looked at them.

‘Well, I have English with goldy locks now, so I’ll tell you if this guy’s still talking crap about you.’ Stiles said and Isaac looked at him thankful.

The bell rang.

Stiles and Isaac rushed to their class which was at the other side of the school.

‘But you won’t hear him!’ Scott yelled at him.

‘I’ll find a way!’ He yelled back.

They entered the class and Stiles sighed in relief when he saw two desks side by side. They sat down and he leaned towards Isaac.
‘Is he here?’

Isaac nodded towards the back of the room and Stiles, as subtle as he could, which wasn’t enough, looked back at a guy he had never seen before. He was a good-looking guy with an aura of innocence around him.

‘Is he a wolf?’

Isaac shook his head. ‘He doesn’t smell like one.’

‘Clearly, he knows about you guys or else he wouldn’t whisper.’ Stiles said.

‘Should we tell Derek?’ Stiles gaped at the Beta.

‘Of course we’ll tell Derek!’ He yelled and winced.

He smiled sheepishly at the teacher and leaned towards Isaac again.

‘Of course we’ll tell Derek.’ He hissed. ‘He’s our Alpha. He should know this stuff.’

Isaac let out a sigh and nodded.

Stiles gave him a small smile. ‘Just let me know if he makes any more comments.’

‘Yes, mom.’ Isaac rolled his eyes and Stiles punched his shoulder.

The period passed without any incident, but Stiles was still wary. He could feel someone watching every move he made and he was sure it was the new kid.

Ten minutes before the bell rang, Isaac tensed up. Stiles sent him a concerned look, but the Beta didn’t meet his eyes.

‘What is he saying now?’ Stiles asked him, but Isaac shook his head.

‘Isaac.’ He pressed, making the boy sigh.

‘He’s talking about you.’

‘What the fuck does he know about me? I’m not a wolf.’

‘He knows about the Nogitsune.’

Stiles paled.

‘What.’ He whispered.

Thankfully, the bell rang a few seconds later. Stiles stood up silently, packing his things with Isaac standing by his side, watching him, concerned.

‘Are you alright?’

‘Hmm?’

‘Stiles.’ Isaac said. ‘Are you alright?’

‘I’m fine.’ Stiles knew that Isaac could hear his lie, but he didn’t care.

They walked to their lockers. Stiles had Econ now with Scott and Jackson and then he was done for the day. The joy of having top grades in his Junior year.

Stiles opened his locker and a not fell out. He quickly picked it up and stuffed it inside his bag. He, somehow, knew from who it was and he didn’t want to deal with it now.

With a sigh, he took his Econ book and notebook and went to find the rest of the pack. He found them all gathered at Erica’s locker and they all looked angry, even Jackson.

He suddenly felt sad. Lydia had Jackson. Boyd had Erica. Hell, there was something going on with Scott and Isaac. Who did he have?

He walked towards his friends, Scott smiling at him and putting his arm around his shoulders.

‘Hey.’ Scott looked so much like a puppy, his heart ached.

He nodded and let out a small hey himself.

‘Are you alright?’ Lydia asked him, concern evident in her voice and he hated it.

He hated all of this concern aimed at him. All of this concern he wasn’t sure he deserved.

He put on a fake smile. ‘I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be? It’s senior year and I have one more class and I’m done for the day.’

They all sent him concerned looks, even Jackson(!), but he ignored them.

The bell rang before they could say anything.

He walked to Econ, Scott and Jackson trailing behind him, no doubt smelling him and listening to his heart-beat.

Coach was already inside and let out a groan when he saw Stiles.

‘Great. Bilinski’s with us once again.’

‘Always a pleasure, coach.’ He nodded and sat down. Immediately, Scott and Jackson were sitting at his sides, the later not looking very happy about it.

‘I’m going to Derek after school.’ He said and Scott let out a sigh of relief.

‘Good. I’ll go there when I finish with school as well.’ Stiles nodded and focused on what the coach was saying.

He knew that Scott was talking about him with Jackson, if the random huffs the Beta was letting out were anything to go by, but it was too quiet for him human ears to make out what the two werewolves were saying
.
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Stiles parked outside Derek’s house, probably more excited than he should. He fell out of his car because, apparently, running with wolves didn’t help his uncoordinated feet.

He entered the house, using his key, because, apparently, being in a pack meant having the key to the pack house.

He found Derek in the living room, watching TV. The Alpha was clearly waiting for him to get in and wasn’t paying attention to the program on the TV, if the cooking show that was on was anything to go by.

‘Hi.’

‘Why aren’t you in school?’

Stiles rolled his eyes. ‘Hi, to you too, Stiles. It’s good to see you.’ Derek’s glare made him stop. ‘I only had three periods today. The perks of having the credits to graduate early, I guess.’ He shrugged, somewhat shy.

Derek relaxed and patted the space beside him. Stiles smiled and sat down next to his Alpha.

‘How was your first day?’ Derek asked awkwardly and Stiles smiled.

‘It was good, boring. New students, new teachers. Same old, same old.’ He said with a sigh. Derek nodded and fell silent.

It wasn’t an uncomfortable silent and Stiles was happy to just watch TV with the Alpha. Some guy, he had never heard of before, was cooking steak and was doing everything wrong.

‘Can you please change the channel? This guy’s making me want to puke.’ Stiles complained and Derek closed the TV a little too eagerly, instead.

‘Thank God.’ The Alpha sighed in relief. ‘He was making wolfsbane consumption seem like a better thing than eating that steak of his.’
Stiles was shocked for a few seconds but then he started laughing so hard he choked on his spit.

‘That was amazing.’ He wheezed and even Derek gave a small smile.

‘It wasn’t that funny.’

Stiles smiled at him. ‘It really wasn’t.’ He agreed and Derek raised an eyebrow.

‘You almost choked.’ He deadpanned, making Stiles blush.

‘It was the first time I’ve heard you joke!’ Stiles defended. ‘I wasn’t prepared.’

Derek looked down, his ears a faint pink.

Stiles smiled and cleared his throat.

‘How about I introduce you to the wonders that is All Time Low music?’

Derek shrugged. ‘Sure.’ Stiles beamed at him.

Derek tried to hide his smile as he moved to get his laptop, but Stiles caught it.

Stiles took the offered laptop with a smile. ‘So, Therapy is my favorite song of theirs.’ He said and shoved the laptop to Derek as the music started playing.

Derek grew engrossed to the song as the singer started singing.

Stiles’ eyes were focused on Derek’s face, seeing the emotion in his eyes as every lyric traveled around him.

When the song ended, Derek let out a sigh and shook his head. He didn’t give the laptop back to Stiles, but the boy didn’t care.

‘Good?’

Derek hummed in agreement.

‘Another one?’ Derek asked and he was shy and Stiles grinned. He took the laptop and gave it back a few seconds later.

A song started, but it was a video clip this time.

‘That’s them?’

Stiles nodded.

‘Zombies.’ Derek deadpanned a minute later.

Stiles shrugged. ‘Why not.’

‘It was good.’ Derek commented. ‘Not like the previous one.’ He added.

The next two hours passed like that. Stiles introduced Derek to all his favorite songs and surprisingly, Derek liked most of them.

He didn’t exactly say that he liked them, but Stiles was sure.

‘Scott and Isaac are here.’ Derek suddenly said and Stiles stood up.

‘I just remembered I have to go home.’ He said.

‘Is everything alright?’

‘Everything’s fine. I just have homework for tomorrow and I’d like to get it done.’ He said, making Derek frown at the obvious lie.

Usually, Stiles was a good liar. His heart would never skip a beat and he wouldn’t have the smell of nervousness. That smell of wet wood mixed with bad cheese that made Derek’s eyes water when he smelled too much of it.

He nodded.

Stiles picked up his bag just as Scott and Isaac entered the house. He pushed past them, muttering a quick hello and goodbye, leaving the two werewolves confused.

‘Is something wrong?’ Scott asked, but all Derek did was shrug.

‘He said that he had homework.’

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Hours later, Stiles was getting ready for bed when he heard his bedroom window opening.

He let out a sigh. He had gone way past the time when he used to be startled or even scared. Now, it was an everyday thing.

‘You can use the front door you know. My dad won’t shoot you.’ He could feel Derek’s glare and he sighed again before turning to see his Alpha.

‘What?’ He asked, suddenly tired.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

Stiles shrugged. ‘It wasn’t my place to tell.’

Derek growled. ‘Really? Because Isaac told me that there were comments about you as well.’

‘It didn’t bother me.’ Derek snored and Stiles’ eyes hardened.

‘I’ve been through hell. A small comment about the Nogitsune won’t kill me.’ Derek ignored him and picked the folded not up.

‘What’s this?’

‘Nothing.’ Stiles said, trying to take the note, but Derek was a werewolf and an Alpha, nonetheless, so the only thing he succeeded was to fall on his bed with a pained huff.

Derek gave the note a brief read before putting it inside his pocket.

‘Hey, that’s mi- ‘

‘Have you read it?’ Derek cut him.

Stiles frowned.’ Well, no.’ Derek opened the window, his left foot already outside. ‘But I was going to!’ He yelled, but Derek had already disappeared.

‘Freaking werewolves.’ He said before letting the sweet angel of sleep embrace him.