"Take a color and describe it without saying its name. "
Red was the faint color appearing on his cheeks when I whispered his name into his ear low and softly, or traced his scars with my fingertips. Orange was the flickering glow of the candlelight surrounding us that reflected onto his porcelain skin so perfectly. Green was my Henley falling off his shoulders, exposing the dark marks I'd left on his collarbones that reminded me this boy was somehow mine. Then blue, the light given off from the dark night sky when I blew out the candles that casted shadows on his features as his eyes fluttered shut. Black. The dark and empty room I woke up in, that empty and heavy feeling overtaking my body when I remembered it wasn't real.
Take a color and describe it, then describe how it feels to loose the one person that added that color to your otherwise dismal world.
Life works in this funny way where you find everything you think you'll ever need in one person then have it stripped from you due to your own foolish decisions. I shouldn't have left, I shouldn't have run away from him. I was a coward and always will be, it's something I've heard my whole life. I put on this facade for so many years as this fearless leader of my own pack, that brooding bad boy in the corner with a witty comeback to any insult.
I had met my match in Stiles and his sarcasm, he unlocked that perpetual trepidation I'd tried to keep hidden for too long.
The rest of them noticed too, how my gaze would go from this irritated glare to a soft look when I faced him. People asked questions but I never answered them. What Stiles and I had was ours and I wanted it to stay that way. When I was with him alone we were in our own universe away from whatever opponent had waltzed into the neighborhood that week. There were words and touches shared between us that no villain could take away. It was personal and intimate.
Bringing back the topic of my fear, we'd never put a label on it. But for some reason that was perfect for what we were. It wasn't some friends with benefits deal but I didn't need to call Stiles my significant other to prove our level of closeness.
I left Beacon Hills after it'd been revealed to not only Stiles, but the whole pack just how in need of repair I was. He tried to get me to stay, begged me with tears rolling down his face that he'd help me. It only broke me inside more how I was affecting the boy but he couldn't help no matter how much I wanted him to.
But now I'd returned in search of that security that used to exist. Cora knew I had to do this alone and she was more than happy with not coming back to Beacon Hills. The town was just full of bad memories for her but for me I'd built myself a new home, I'd gotten emotionally attached.
"Derek," Braeden greeted me at her door when I pulled up. We had tried...something after we left but she wasn't Stiles, and Braeden knew that. She was always supportive of how I felt and fortunately we remained great friends. However, Cora and I had separated from her a month into our leave. It was nice to see her again.
Braeden helped me carry in the few suitcases I had with me into her temporary apartment that was on the brink of falling apart. I recalled her explaining to me how Malia helped her find it as she wasn't staying in Beacon Hills long. I however, had more permanent plans.
I was led into the tiny spare guest room but I was so grateful for it. "Thank you for doing this," I said as she threw my suitcase on the bed. She gave me a small smile and a nod before turning around and leaving.
I sat on the edge of the mattress to catch my breath even though I wasn't tired. Well, I was, but in a different context. I was tired from the reoccurring dreams of Stiles and I that woke me up in the middle of the night, the intimate ones that made this homecoming that more important to me. I was tired of being a coward and tired of when I didn't realize Beacon Hills was where I belonged. But I did now.
Being back felt so surreal. Stiles was what, maybe five miles away? I could feel him as soon as my car crossed over the town lines. I ached to see the boy again, unpacking could wait. I stood up abruptly and grabbed my keys again.
Braeden was watching me walk towards the front door, I could tell, but she didn't say anything, she didn't need to. That's something I appreciate about her, Braeden just knew what I need and when. And right now I needed Stiles.
Seeing BHHS again sent a wave of nostalgia through me. I could hear the bell ring from inside, the loud chatter of high school students changing classes. I knew the front office wouldn't be keen on a 24 year-old guy walking into the building during a school day. So I tried to think of another way to see Stiles without having to wait another five hours.
My mind was so distracted, a knock on my window made me jump out of my seat. With a groan, I rolled down the window only to be met with a familiar face.
"Derek Hale?" Sheriff Stilinski asked with wide eyes. "When did you get back?"
I hadn't seen his face in so long. He had aged a bit, stress I guessed. I gave him a small closed-mouth smile and got out of the car. "This morning," I answered then hung my head. "I, uh, wanted to-"
"See Stiles," the sheriff finished for me and I nodded. He knew, that's good. The man scrunched up his mouth thoughtfully for a second before putting a hand on my shoulder and leading me towards the school.
"Um, sir?" I asked in surprise. The whole situation would seem weird to outsiders. I probably looked like a criminal in my old leather jacket I dug out again.
Sheriff Stilinski stopped with a sigh and turned to face me, staring directly in my eyes. "Let me tell you something Derek," he said. "Stiles was torn when you left, locked himself in his room most of the summer until Scott finally managed to drag him out towards the end. He tells me he's finally over it but I know the truth. The kid loves you just as much as you love him."
"Sir, I-" U trailed off, not really sure how to respond to that. It wasn't like the news of Stiles loving me was new, I always just knew that. Those were unspoken words between us that didn't need to be said. I love him, and hopefully he still loves me. I also knew me leaving would hurt Stiles. So the thing that surprised me was the fact that the person pushing me towards Stiles, the one saying we belong together, is none other than Stiles' father.
"Please, call me John," Stilinski said. "Now I'm going to go in there and call my son out of class. You're going to wait here and not run away again." He gave me a stern stare but I didn't hesitate before nodding. I wasn't going anywhere, not when I was this close.
John walked into the high school, leaving me there alone outside. My heart was racing and my palms were sweating as I walked over to a bench and sat down. A million questions ran through my brain.
What if Stiles hated me for leaving? What if he didn't love me anymore? What if Stiles was in love with someone new?
My ears perked up when there was noise coming from the front lobby. "What's this about Dad?" That voice, that voice that used to whisper sweet nothings into my ear and moan my name in the dark. That dull pain in my chest ever since I arrived grew more when I heard that voice.
"Just trust me Stiles."
"Hey, I'm not complaining. You should pull me out of class randomly more often."
I stood up and braced myself in front of the main entrance. The voices got louder as the father and son got closer. John told Stiles to go outside and that he'd stay inside. I appreciated that; as much as I liked John, I wanted to spend this moment with just Stiles.
The boy opened the double doors and froze when he made eye contact with me. I felt my breath legitimately catch in my throat. He didn't look that different, maybe more tired. Stiles dropped his backpack and threw a hand over his gaping mouth. "No." It was a muffled whisper but I caught it. "You aren't here."
Both of our eyes were watering and I let out a choked laugh. I opened my arms wide and shrugged. "It's really me baby." The pet name came out of me so easily and I would've regretted it if it wasn't for the way Stiles' face lit up. He ran to me.
Stiles jumped into my open arms and wrapped his legs around my waist. He cried into my shoulder as I held him around his torso tightly. I wasn't going to let him escape from me again. This time I was keeping this as long as I could. "I missed you so much," I choked out. The tears were flowing heavier now and all Stiles did was let out a noise of happiness.
As soon as I put the boy down our lips were colliding. Stiles ran his hands up through my hair, something he knew I loved, and I wrapped my arms around Stiles' waist. We lazily made out in front of the school without a care of who saw us. It was messy with both of us smiling and crying, the salty tears getting in our mouths. But neither of us cared because those private moments we shared in the past were rekindling with ease.
Yellow, that was how I felt inside, how the world felt at that moment. My chest was void of that pain and only filled with the love I held for the boy in my arms. Yellow was Stiles' shining smile, the sound of his laugh, our lips moving together like they were made to. My color had been restored, its hands were in my hair, and now my world was bright again.