You know Stiles has had a good life so far. So far being the key word here. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.
So, Stiles’ life has been good. Yes, his physical integrity is being threaten like at least every other week, but thankfully he’s come out of it still standing. His werewolf friends might have something to do with that. Anyway, the point is that he got to graduate almost top of his class –because of course Lydia took the first place and weirdly Stiles wouldn’t have it any other way – and got into a good college. Fast forward five years and now he has his degree in criminal justice and he works in the Sheriff’s department. He has a stable job that works in their favor when it comes to covering the supernatural murders – okay, maybe the fact that his dad’s still the sheriff helps too - he has his own apartment, he is part of a pack that is his family and couldn’t love more and he has a stable relationship with Derek.
Yes, Derek Hale. You know, the beta-turned Alpha-turned beta again? Yeah, that one.
Who would have thought that Stiles would be falling for the person he hated and had been once terrified of? Certainly not Stiles. But it seemed that Derek has a personality to match with that face, a personality Stiles wanted to unravel. They had been together for more than a year and Stiles was in it for the long haul. He was falling for him more and more every single day. And it wasn’t the big things that did it for him. No, it was the small ones. Like how Stiles would start rambling and Derek would roll his eyes at him, but would still follow every single word he said, or how they would cuddle up on the couch in Derek’s apartment, Derek with a book in his hand and Stiles with a case file and ten minutes in Stiles would feel Derek’s eyes on him, and he would look back and Derek’s look… it took his breath away. It was indescribable how that private little smile and those multi-colored eyes made him feel.
It was everything he had been looking for and more and he hoped that Derek felt the same.
Or maybe not.
It was date night tonight.
Stiles opened the door knowing who it is, barely looking at Derek as he looked around the apartment, “I’m almost ready, let me find my shoes first. Damn it, where are those things hiding?!” He said frustrated at nobody in particular. But before he could move any further a hand around his wrist was keeping him in place. Derek’s hand.
“Hey, can we talk?” Derek looking at anywhere but him and avoiding eye contact should have been his first clue that this was serious.
Stiles blinked at him, confused at his boyfriend’s behavior. “Uh, yeah sure,” he said nervously, opening his arms to welcome him inside, “come in.” Derek stepped inside and Stiles closed the door behind him. He watched as Derek moved to the window. The fact that Derek was standing as far away from Stiles as possible should have been his second clue. “So, what’s up?” He asked, doubting he really wanted to know.
Derek didn’t look at him as he said, “I got a job offer.”
Stiles was happy for him. He had been looking for so long. He had started after a conversation between them about the past and the dreams they let slip away, and how they shouldn’t do that anymore. How they should chase them and create their life instead of letting life create them. This had been a huge step for both of them in their relationship and Stiles was ecstatic for the fact. He was about to express that in bubbly words when Derek’s next words stopped him.
Derek looked at him as he continued, “In New York.” He paused for a bit. For dramatic effect, to gather his words, himself, his courage; Stiles didn’t know and he didn’t care. Derek just held eye contact as he went on, “I’m going to take it.”
Stiles found his breath coming up short in the next lungful he inhaled, because that meant… “What? Wait. You’re leaving?” Derek only nodded, “Next week,” he said, and Stiles couldn’t comprehend how his day had started with him getting excited and ready for his date with Derek after not having seen him for a week due to work getting in the way to possibly not seeing him ever again. What did that mean about them? Wait, were they breaking up?!How could they -
As if Derek was reading his mind, he said, “I want you to come with me.”
Stiles was stunned into silence. For the first time in his life he didn’t know what to say. Well, second really. The first one was after Derek asked him out. And now, here he was asking him an entirely different question, one that spoke of commitment Stiles didn’t know if he was ready for. Yes, he wanted to spend the rest of time with Derek. But packing up everything and moving to another city? Leaving everything behind just like that with no warning?! No. Stiles was not prepared for this. He didn’t –he couldn’t find the words. He needed to think about this. He needed time to figure out his answer. Though he didn’t really, did he? He knew the answer. He just didn’t want to find out what that meant for them. But Derek was right there, standing in front of him trying to look nonchalant, but Stiles knew him. He could see right through him. He could see the hope in his eyes and the longer he took to speak up, the more Derek tensed, guarding himself against the rejection that could possibly come his way. Stiles wished he could do something, say something else but the truth was, “I-I can’t,” He hesitated to go on.
Derek’s stance was defensive now and Stiles always hated when he did that. He ran a hand through his hair nervously, screwing them up, but it didn’t really matter anymore, did it? He tried to find the words to say this right, to not make this any worse than it should be because Stiles knew what he was saying no to here, but he couldn’t… he couldn’t say yes. Not now. not yet. He looked away for a moment as he said, “You know I- Shit, Derek.” He rubbed his face with his hands frustrating himself at the unfairness of it all, about how Derek sprang this up on him with no time to make up his mind, to make the changes he needed to make so that he could accept that. He threw his hands in the air suddenly mad at Derek as he said, “You can’t just ask that out of the blue and expect me to say yes. My dad’s here, Scott is here. Hell, my whole life is here!”
Derek listened to him. He listened carefully at what he said, but all he could hear was My whole life is here. His whole life was here and Derek wasn’t in that mix. He was stupid to think that he was. Honestly, he couldn’t take Beacon Hills anymore. Fighting for his life everyday… it wore him out. And Stiles had one too many near death experiences and one day Derek may not be there or be too late and – he couldn’t think about that. He had lost everyone. But losing Stiles too… He couldn’t be a witness to that. He couldn’t let that happen. But apparently it was going to happen either way, wasn’t it? Maybe not the way Derek feared but it didn’t stop him from feeling as if his heart was being ripped out of his chest.
He didn’t stand there any longer. He broke eye contact and looked everywhere Stiles wasn’t as he said, “Uh – Of course. I didn’t know what I was thinking. You’re right.” He nodded. He took a breath and said the exact opposite of what he wanted, “You should stay.” This was getting worse by the minute. The pain in his chest wasn’t receding and he couldn’t look Stiles in the eye anymore, because when he did, he saw all that he could never have; a future with him. And he couldn’t stand that. “I guess I‘ll, uh, see you around,” Derek said awkwardly for the first time in a long time where Stiles was involved. He didn’t stay any longer.
Stiles couldn’t let him leave just like that. He didn’t want him to leave at all. So he stopped him with a hand on his arm as he was passing next to him, “Wait! What about us?”
Derek sighed, and still refused to look at him. “What about us, Stiles?”
He sounded… tired, resolved. And Stiles didn’t like that at all. “Aren’t we even going to try?”
“Try what exactly?” Derek looked at him now frowning. Try what? Was there even a point to anything?! Stiles had made it pretty clear who was important in his life and who wasn’t.
“The long distance thing,” Stiles answered, flailing pointlessly to get his meaning across, “visiting each other as much as possible, anything! I don’t know.” Derek looked just… sad now and that scared him. God, did that scare him. This couldn’t be the end, could it? “I just, I don’t want to lose you.”
Derek sighed again and spoke as if the words hurt to come out. They probably did. “Stiles, I’m leaving for New York and I’m not coming back.” He wasn’t. He had already accepted the job offer. Beacon Hills was a hellhole he wanted to get away from. “This job is a great opportunity and you know how hard I’ve been looking. I don’t think it will work.” He didn’t look at him as he said that either. It was for the best. He didn’t want Stiles reaction to be imprinted in his mind. He couldn’t take that kind of torture in the form of memories, missed opportunities and what ifs. He took his arm from Stiles grip and was almost out the door, when Stiles’ question stopped him.
“Can’t we at least try?!”
The frustration and anger and hurt were clear in his voice, a mix that pierced at Derek’s skin like a thousand needles. He didn’t turn back to say, “It won’t change anything.”
“You don’t know that!” Stiles yelled finally. He just wanted to try! For this! For them! For their chance at forever. Wasn’t that worth anything?!
Derek looked at him as he said the next words, “I do. Your life is here.” One last look he said to himself. Just one last time before… “Goodbye, Stiles.”
Apparently, to Derek, no. It wasn’t worth anything.
He hated the aftermath. He hated that Derek left. He hated that Derek didn’t give him time to think. Time to come up with the words that were running around his head right now, desperate to be laid upon the right recipient. But most of all he hated the way he felt. He hated the pain he felt in his chest, the way his stomach was being squeezed by an invisible force, how his head was being pounded with memories he was never going to relive, about the lump in his throat that refused to die down and the water in his eyes that was goddamn falling without his permission. And as he realized all that, another thing hit him too…
Derek was gone. He wasn’t just gone for the night to sleep in the pack house because Stiles was working the night shift and he really didn’t like sleeping in an apartment all alone. No. He was gone gone. Gone out of his life. Gone for good.
And suddenly his stomach really couldn’t bear how that felt.
It took two days for Scott to come looking for him. His phone had died sometime after he called his dad for time off. He didn’t tell him why, but maybe he heard something in his voice because he didn’t hesitate to give him five days off. Five days. That’s how long he had to get his shit together. Well, now three.
Scott didn’t really say anything when he got in using his emergency key Stiles had given him when he first rented the apartment. Maybe he could smell the sadness Stiles was emanating, the pain he was feeling. Whatever it was, Stiles was grateful for it. He was grateful for the comfort. He didn’t know how long they just sat there next to each other, but at some point Scott threw his arm around him and he squeezed. He squeezed and it was as if a tsunami hit him and everything he tried so hard to push back came right back to the surface. The sobs he couldn’t keep in wrecked him. The way Scott held him even stronger at that was like a punch to the stomach as how much he needed contact, comfort, somebody, anybody to hold him. It was a reminder as to how his life was crumbling around him and barely cared enough to pick up the pieces.
He cried and cried and Scott stood there, holding him, knowing how much his best friend needed that even though he probably didn’t know why. And Stiles told him. “Derek left.” His voice sounded hoarse. Was it from the crying, the screaming during nightmares, or from the lack of use? Stiles didn’t know. Probably a mix of all.
“What? When?” Scott asked confused. This was the first he was hearing of this.
Stiles continued as if Scott never spoke, “Or he hasn’t yet. He’s leaving next week. Wait, what day is it? Don’t answer that. Four days. I think.” He didn’t like how small his voices sounded, but he couldn’t bother to change it.
“Where is he going? Did he say why?” Scott’s voice was soft, trying not to trigger Stiles’ pain in any way. All he knew was that Stiles hadn’t answered his phone that past couple of days and even the sheriff was worried enough to call him to check up on him. From what he could understand though, whatever happened between Stiles and Derek wasn’t good. They had fought so many times and Stiles never acted like this. Sure he had cried and dissed Derek, said things he didn’t really mean just to let off steam. But this… this was new. This seemed… final.
“Can we just not do this right now?” Stiles would have whined if he had the strength. But he didn’t. He was exhausted. “I don’t want to talk about it. Not now. Maybe not ever.”
He wanted to forget. Why couldn’t he just forget?
Eventually Stiles told them the truth. Scott was the first he talked about it. He stayed and didn’t say anything. He didn’t pry. But Stiles just couldn’t hold that in any longer, so he told him everything that happened. Well almost everything. He didn’t tell anybody about Derek asking him to move to New York. Next was his father, and he hugged him and reminded him that he was still there, just like he had done many times after his mother was gone. The pack already knew. Derek probably told them. Or Scott warned them first. Whatever. Stiles couldn’t take it how they were treating him like he could break at any moment. He was already broken, couldn’t they see that?! He spent one year with Derek, more than that. He loved Derek, he had been there for him even at first with his commitment issues, even later when trust was too hard for him. He had been there every time he got too close to dying and Stiles got in the way. And Derek yelled at him after for being stupid and reminded him that he couldn’t heal. It took a lot until Stiles realized that Derek wasn’t undermining him. He was scared of losing him. He finally started dreaming of his future with Derek. He wanted a red picket fence, not a white one. He wanted plenty of guest rooms for the pack to stay over. He wanted two kids or more, but not just one.
He wouldn’t get to have any of those things though. Derek left and he broke him.
Yes, it sounded pathetic, he knew. Making your whole life about a guy, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, he has heard it all before.
But it didn’t feel pathetic, you know?
So no, he wasn’t going to break any moment now.
“Jesus Christ. He isn’t going to break!” Erica snapped one day when Scott was kissing Allison until he heard Stiles walk in and jumped away. “He’s not made of glass! Just kiss your girlfriend goodbye and let him be.”
Stiles rolled his eyes dramatically and said, “Finally, thank you!”
“You’re welcome, Batman,” she said with a wink.
Thank God Erica understood how he felt. He really couldn’t go on with the whole everyone walking on eggshells around him. He knew what he had let go, and granted he wasn’t fully in terms with it yet, but he was trying okay?
Apparently Stiles hadn’t really realized what he was letting go by saying no when Derek asked him to go with him to New York. It’s been two months since Derek left and Stiles felt… empty. He felt hollow. Like something was missing and the worst thing was that he knew what that something was. He also knew that that something didn’t want him. He hadn’t even called, texted, emailed… nothing. No sign of life. Nothing about how New York was treating him, nothing about if he missed him.
Stiles shook his head. As if Derek was missing him. There were so many people in New York, surely Derek had already found someone to fill the void he felt, if he even felt one at all.
Like the one Stiles was feeling. Like the one that kept him up at night and when sleep took him, it was only for the nightmares to terrorize him. He hadn’t gotten a good night sleep since before Derek left. If he wanted to be more accurate, the last time he slept peacefully was when he and Derek fell asleep on the couch during some movie they were both too tired to watch and Stiles woke up sprawled all over Derek. The couch was not the most comfortable surface for sleeping, but Stiles felt relaxed like he hadn’t before. That was one week before Derek told him he was leaving.
Anyway, all those memories were hurting him now. Everyone in the pack was still paired up. Apparently his relationship was too dysfunctional to survive.
He hated this bitter thinking. Comparing what he and Derek had with something dysfunctional or whatever belittling adjective his mind would come up with was…wrong. Definitely wrong. It twisted at his insides every time he did that. But he was still hurting. It has been two months and it was still just as painful as the day Derek told him he was leaving. Everyone was happy in the pack. Everyone had heard from Derek. Everyone but him.
That shouldn’t sting as much as it did, right? They had broken up. There was nothing they had to say to each other anymore, even though Stiles could come up with a couple of things.
That didn’t matter anymore though. Bottom line was, Derek was gone and Stiles couldn’t stand being around couples and people in love and whatever else made rainbows shine out of their asses.
God, it wasn’t supposed to hurt that much, was it?
It’s been five months now since that happened. Stiles has stopped referring to what actually happened even in his head. He found that it helps, you know, not reminding himself of everything that went wrong. He was getting himself back together. He really was.
At the time, he was looking over a case with Scott, to make sure there were no supernatural ties to it because there were signs, but nothing definite. Stiles was explaining to him what he thought had happened when Scott’s phone ringing stopped him, because he knew that ring tone. It made him uncomfortable every time he heard it which make the owner of the phone uncomfortable as well.
Scott looked from him to the phone and him back again. Stiles kept himself from rolling his eyes at him and motioned for Scott to answer the phone. Even after all this time Scott was always careful when it came to the Derek thing. But Stiles could handle it. Yes, he could. At least that was what he told himself.
He heard a faint, “-can’t really talk right now. Okay. Bye,” and then Scott reappeared from wherever he had gone to talk, shifting on his feet, not really knowing what to say. He eventually settled with “Shit. That was uh,-”
Stiles decided to let him out of his misery and finished for him, “Derek, I gathered. What with the whole can’t talk to you right now.”
“Sorry.” Scott looked sheepish. He knew what Derek’s departure had done to him and he had told him once that he wished he could take away the pain. He knew how it felt since he broke up with Allison a gazillion times until they finally settled with each other.
Stiles coughed, trying to appear nonchalant as he asked, “How- How is he?” This was the first time he asked this question. It’s been eating at him for so long but he’s always been afraid of the answer. He thought he was in a good place right now to deal with whatever answer came his way without crying.
“He’s good,” Scott said, surprised at the question and kind of hesitant. “He’s settled now. He just called to tell me he installed a landline if I ever wanna call, you know,” he shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal.
But for Stiles it was. He never got a landline when he was staying here. That meant he was settling in New York. He found his home. He wasn’t coming back. “Good. That’s great,” Stiles said awkwardly and Scott didn’t know what to say. An uncomfortable silence settled between them that Stiles really wanted to break.
There was one thing he had kept from Scott. One thing he hadn’t been ready to talk about then, but maybe now… “He asked me to go with him. When he told me he was… when he told me about New York. I just. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to give up everything and follow him wherever. I wasn’t ready to give up the life it took me so long to build. But now..” Now Stiles wanted everything. He had been ready the moment he realized he couldn’t live without him. The moment he realized he didn’t want to live without him. He wanted his dreams back, he wanted him back… He wanted his life back, who he used to be, who they used to be.
“Now what?” Scott prodded.
Stiles shook his head, though, because, “Nothing. It doesn’t matter anymore.”
He couldn’t keep going like this.
Couple of days later, he was walking into the pack house, when he heard a conversation he didn’t think he was supposed to hear. They were supposed to have a movie night, but Stiles had gotten off work early and he thought it a better option to be with other people than alone right now after the other day. He heard Erica’s soft voice and stopped in his tracks at her tone.
“I’m worried, you know.”
“About what?” That was Boyd, which meant it was a private conversation and he should probably skedaddle because nobody liked a mad Erica. He was about to do so, when Erica’s answer made him freeze.
Why was Erica worried about Derek? Was there anything to be worried about? Was there anything Scott has failed to mention? He couldn’t help it. He still cared. So he didn’t move an inch.
“Erica, we’ve talked about this.”
“I know, but he’s miserable up there!” Erica sounded angry, frustrated. And hadn’t Scott said he’s fine? “He’s all alone and he hasn’t even made one friend, you know that?!”
What? What the hell has he being doing up there all this time then? He started walking towards them to ask just that.
“You’ve mentioned it only a million times.” Stiles could hear the eye roll even if he wasn’t a witness to it.
“And he’s too fucking stubborn to come back!” Erica didn’t stop talking. He was standing at the entrance of the living room, but she hadn’t noticed. She was too far into her rant and letting out her frustration. But Boyd noticed him. “He still thinks that he’s not important enough to Stiles even though I’ve told him a hundred times he full of sh-”
“Erica.” Boyd stopped her finally. He had tried to do it with a look, but Erica didn’t look at him enough to decipher. But that was when she took in her surroundings and heard Stiles’ heartbeat, frantic almost stepping into panic territory. She turned around fast, her eyes wide, the apology hanging from her lips, “Stiles, I-” but Stiles didn’t want to hear it.
“No,” he stopped her because Derek… “it’s, uh, it’s okay.” It really wasn’t. Derek thought… He thought that… but how could he? What on earth gave him that impression?
Stiles needed to be alone. He needed to think, because everything changed. Derek left, he was hurting and he thought he wasn’t important enough to think. If he were here, Stiles would have punched him. He really would have.
As it was, Derek wasn’t here and Stiles let himself rethink everything. He didn’t stay there. He was sure the others would understand.
It was the first time Stiles let himself hope that maybe not everything was over.
Stiles thought about it. He thought about it for days again and again. He replayed their conversation that day, and for the life of him he couldn’t figure out what could make Derek think that Stiles didn’t care enough for him. Was it that he said no? There was no warning! He hadn’t been ready for that! There was no time… The point is, there were reasons behind his decision, okay? Was that the only reason Derek left? Did that mean that after different circumstances things could, like, change? Because the circumstances were definitely different for Stiles and if there was a chance to…
He would do anything to get Derek back. The only problem was he didn’t know if that anything would be appreciated or if it would make things worse. But how worse could it get, right? Derek was in New York, Stiles in Beacon Hills. They were not on speaking terms. The only thing they had in common anymore was mutual friends.
And Stiles wanted that to change, he really, really did. But maybe he could start with something small? Like a phone call maybe?
The thing was Stiles knew for certain that Derek had changed his number. He drunk-dialed him one too many times during the first month of his departure only to listen that the number he was calling wasn’t working anymore.
So this is what he did. During the next pack movie night, he scrolled down Scott’s phone while he was busy sucking face with Allison and quickly sent Derek’s contact to his phone. Scott, as clueless as he is at times, didn’t understand a thing. He was going to stay over tonight, like he usually did after pack night, and he couldn’t really call him now with everyone listening, could he? He had no reason to leave either. It’s okay. He could do it tomorrow. He had his day off the next day and most of the pack would be working or sleeping. He could call tomorrow.
Tomorrow came too early and not early enough at the same time. Stiles was alone in the kitchen getting breakfast even though it was like 12.30 after noon. He was holding his phone moving it around, restless and nervous about making the call. If he kept at this pace, the others would be here before he found the courage to call. He threw it on the table once, but then, “Screw it.” He picked it back up and pressed ‘call’. He waited and waited. Derek didn’t pick up. After three rings it went to voicemail. Stiles didn’t know what to say after the beep. This was the first time he attempted to speak to Derek after too many months, and he didn’t know what to say. He just let his mouth take over like he usually did in those situations, “Hey. Hi. Uh – I just called to – Are you okay? How is New York? Call me back to let me know you’re okay.”
Ugh. He couldn’t believe how awkward he sounded. He didn’t even say who he was! Derek would still remember his voice, right?
He couldn’t believe his life. He hit his head repeatedly on the table wishing that maybe he could forget he just did that, but no. It didn’t happen. He needed a drink. Yes, there was still light out, but he needed it. Or else he would stay right here overthinking this and probably make it worse for everyone involved, mainly himself. Drinking would help.
However, you see, one drink turned into two which turned into three and the bottle was right there mocking him and he couldn’t let it win. So he didn’t. And it was an insanely bad idea, really, really bad because now he was missing Derek even more. He missed his voice, his eyes, his eyebrows….God, his everything! But you know what?! There was a way to make it better! There was a way to listen to his voice and make him feel better and he was going to do that, okay? Because he could and he should.
So, he picked up the phone, quickly dialed Derek’s number and waited. When Derek didn’t seem to be answering he pouted disappointed until he realized he could leave a message. Which he did. “Heeeeyyyyyy Derek. Hello from the other side!” He giggled as he realized that, “I totally sound like Adele right now.” Adele had been his company on many drunken nights too. Suddenly, Scott appeared in front of him frowning. When did he get back? He hadn’t even heard him come in! “Hey, Scotty!” he said cheerfully, throwing his hand in the air for no reason at all. “Do you like Adele’s new song? It’s freaking brilliant! Which reminds me. Derek! I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. You just fucking caught me off guard, man.” He suddenly felt a lot worse and he just wanted to fix this. He wanted him to know everything, “I didn’t have time to think. I didn’t –You – I just wasn’t fucking ready, okay? And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for-” He didn’t see Scott running towards him and didn’t expect his phone to be taken right out of his hands.
“Damn it, Stiles.”
“Hey, no, give it back!” Stiles whined making grabby hands at him, but Scott had already hung up. “Why did you do that Scotty?! He needs to know – I need to tell him!”
“Where did you even find his number?” Scott said, shaking his head at the state of his best friend.
Stiles giggled as he remember how he sneaked into Scott phone, and you know what? Scotty doesn’t know! “I took your phone,” Well he didn’t until now.
“Of course you did,” he muttered to himself. He couldn’t believe his best friend was drunk in the middle of the day! He had done that many times, but not for months! What the heck happened this time? He’d keep the questions for later, because now Stiles needed to sleep and stop drinking or else he’d regret it in the morning. Well, if he woke up in the morning. “Come on, up, up, buddy.” He walked towards him and Stiles didn’t really register what he told him. He rolled his eyes at him and picked him up to get him to bed. This hangover was going to be a bitch.
When Stiles woke up there was no light, which he was grateful for because his head felt as if someone was hitting him with a hammer. Repeatedly. He really could have gone on with his life without ever knowing what that felt like. He tried to move, but oh no. Wrong move. Shouldn’t have moved. Whatever contents his stomach didn’t have since all he had eaten was breakfast were threatening to spill out and he really hated vomiting. Wait… breakfast. Why only breakfast? And then, as if he got struck by lightning, he remember everything. Every. Single. Thing.
Damn Scott. Couldn’t he have gotten in earlier?! Couldn’t he not have left at all?! He couldn’t really blame him though. He hadn’t been aware of Stiles’ plans.
Whatever. He really needed to get up, his bladder was ready to burst. Once he finished in the bathroom, barely opening his eyes, he found his way downstairs and found the whole pack gathered in the living room watching something he really wished he couldn’t hear. Sound hurt his head. He plopped on Scott’s side and buried his face against his arm, mumbling “I hate you.”
“I know buddy.”
“Why did you let me call Derek?” he complained, just because he could and also because this hangover was the worst.
“I didn’t,” Scott said right at the time Erica jumped in.
“You called Derek?”
That was when Stiles fully woke up and froze as everyone’s eyes were on him. It had skipped his mind that not everybody knew what happened earlier this day. “Uh, kind of,” he said not really in the mood for this conversation.
“Why?” Isaac asked and everybody was waiting for an answer, even Scott.
There was something that the pack didn’t know, that only Scott did, and he hesitated to tell them. Honestly he didn’t want their judgement. He looked at Scott in a wordless question, but he only shrugged, as if he was saying it’s your choice. It was probably time they know the whole truth anyway. He took a breath first and said, “Because Derek asked me to go with him.” There were a couple audible gasps but Stiles didn’t stop to find out who it came from. “When he told me he was leaving, he told me to go with him. But I couldn’t go. Not then. I wasn’t ready. I had my job, I had my Dad, I had you. I couldn’t just pack my things and leave.” He couldn’t look at them as he finished. Instead he looked at his fingers on his lap and waited for the others to speak.
They all noticed the past tense and Allison was the one who voiced what they all wanted to know, “And now?”
Stiles sighed, “Now I’m ready. Honestly, I just want to be with him. I can call my dad every day and even come back once a month, you can visit us and we can skype and we can go on vacation together and stuff. And well, I, I’ve been thinking. I mean, I could put in a transfer for New York? I mean there’s plenty police departments there I could work for and maybe, I could, uh, I could move?” He phrased it as a question, not really sure about their opinion on this.
“What are you waiting for then?” Boyd was the one who surprised them all.
Stiles’ gaze snapped up at him and he starred gaping like a fish. “You mean you’d be okay with that?” He looked around him, trying to wrap his head around the fact that no one was judging him or cursing at him. They were all looking at him smiling and encouragingly and he had forgotten how awesome his friends are.
“You’re both idiots, you know that?” Lydia huffed.
Coming from her it was probably true. It was also all he needed to form a plan in his head and set it in motion as soon as possible.
First thing Saturday morning Stiles put in a transfer for New York. Strangely, his father didn’t look so surprised. He also congratulated him on his decision, with a “Go get him.”
A week later everything was finalized and he was currently boxing everything up from his small apartment to the one he had rented in New York. He had asked from the pack to not tell Derek anything about it. The pack agreed, because after al it wasn’t their story to tell. He had asked them also to find out his address. Isaac had done that under pretense that he wanted to send Derek something. He had everything he needed.
He took a couple of days to settle in his new apartment, to try to plan this thing exactly to the letter. He planned to apologize, explain to Derek why he refused and then ask if the offer still stands.
That was not the way things went though.
Apparently he wasn’t as ready as he thought he was to see Derek again, because Wednesday morning when he knocked on his door and Derek answered in only a tank-top and sweatpants… yeah. His mind went blank. It always happened when he saw Derek in sweatpants. It was nothing new. But it was something he hadn’t accounted for. Derek stood there, frozen, one hand on the door as if he was trying to make himself close the door and Stiles decided to speak before he actually managed to do that.
However the first thing that came to mind was, “You’re an idiot.”
Which made Derek scowl, “what?”
That ‘what’ made Stiles’ blood boil. He didn’t know if it was in anger or lust. Maybe a mix of both. But whatever it was it made him push his way inside leaving Derek gaping at him. “You heard me. You’re an idiot. In fact, I think you’re the biggest idiot on the planet.”
Derek crossed his arm in front of him and tried not to look away as he said “Are you here to insult me?” It had been too long since the last time he saw Stiles. He had missed him, yearned for him for too freaking long. It fucking hurt for him to stand in front of him and not being able to touch him.
“How dare you think I don’t care about you?!” Stiles was trying to keep his voice from rising, though he didn’t know how successful he was. He stepped closer to Derek, pointing a finger at him, “how dare you think you’re not important to me?!”
“I never said that.” Technically he hadn’t. He knew he was important to Stiles, just like he knew it wasn’t enough.
“Don’t bullshit me Derek! How could you think even for a second that I wouldn’t drop everything for you in a heartbeat?!”
“Because you didn’t!” Derek yelled back, mad at being accused for things that weren’t his fault.
Okay. He deserved that. But… “I wasn’t fucking ready, okay?! If you had given me time… but you didn’t! You didn’t even want to try to salvage whatever the fuck was left and you ran away! You ran away and you never even called. You never called me back,” he finished in a small voice. It was the only piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit and made him doubt if he was doing the right thing.
Derek looked away guiltily. It hurt to hear Stiles’ voice on the phone. It really did. And he had started a new life here. One without monsters of the week, without a pack and without a Stiles. That’s why he didn’t call. Because he knew if Stiles asked him, he would have gone back to him in a second and he didn’t know if he could survive that. “What do you want, Stiles?” he said, cutting to the point.
“What do I-? Seriously?!” He looked at him and when Derek gave no answer he punched him, like he once said he would, but not on the face. He knew that would hurt too much. On the chest would get his message across. “I want you, dumbass! I want the red picket fence and the big suburban house and a little girl running around who looks just like you! I want it all Derek. With you!”
“Stiles, what are you talking about?” He hated how hopeful he sounded. He hated that he wanted the exact same things. He hated that after all this time he still wanted him. He still thought Stiles was it for him.
“I’m saying that I want to stay with you here!” Stiles said. When Derek stood frozen in front of him he tried to backpedal, saying fast, “if your offer still stands. I mean, I did put in a transfer and I’m working here now, but if you never want to see me again, I’m sure New York is a big enough city to fit the both of us. Or maybe I could, uh, go back or something. I mean I’ll figure it-”
“Stiles, shut up.” When Stiles did, audibly, Derek stepped in front of him uncertainly. He really wanted him. He really wanted to spend the rest of his days with him, but he couldn’t take it if Stiles realized one day that this wasn’t what he was looking for and left him to go back to Beacon Hills. Because Derek wasn’t going back to Beacon Hills. He couldn’t. And he couldn’t relive this again, the pain, the longing, the anger, the regret… all of it. So, “Do you – Are you sure? Because I can’t-”
Stiles knew what he was talking about. “Yes. Yes, I’m sure.” Derek’s smile was blinding. It wasn’t full of teeth. No, it was soft. But the intensity of it, the emotion behind his eyes, the way his posture relaxed the way it hadn’t for a long time… It hit him then that Derek had hurt just as much as Stiles had. They both have felt the same pain and neither of them wanted to relive it again. If things went Stiles’ way, they wouldn’t have to. He wrapped his arms around Derek’s neck and breathed in the little space left between them, “Now kiss me, you idiot.”
Derek did. And he swore he wouldn’t ever stop.