Stiles was exhausted. Between dealing with all the Kanima madness and trying to keep his GPA up, he was ready to crawl in to bed and sleep forever. But here he was, propped up at his desk in first period AP history, barely able to keep his eyelids open. The ticking of the wall clock was lulling Stiles to sleep so he gave in and let his head nod a little to the side, only to be startled out of his seat moments later by the bell.
He looked around quickly to see if anyone noticed his jumpiness but as usual no one was paying him any attention. Even as first line he was still just Stiles when he wasn't out on the field. He paused for a moment, absentmindedly staring out of the window, half-standing, half-crouched over his chair.
"Stiles, what are you doing?"
Stiles froze. He knew that voice, even feared it on occasion. He turned his head away from the window slowly and gaped at the man standing at the front of the class. He could feel his palms begin to sweat. Derek.
"Shut your mouth and sit down, Stiles," Derek said, the corners of his mouth showing no twitch of humor. Stiles sat, though his mouth remained slightly open.
"To the rest of you, let me introduce myself. I'm Derek Hale and I'll be your substitute teacher for the next few weeks. Now turn to page 205 of your books and we'll begin."
Stiles looked around at his classmates, who didn't seem to be affected by the news one bit. Though Derek was getting a lot of stares, mostly from the girls. He let his gaze return to Derek only to let out a little laugh. How had he not noticed before? Derek Hale was wearing a suit! A perfectly tailored one, at that, black with a gray shirt underneath and a black tie. He'd even shaved. Stiles covered his mouth quickly, knowing that Derek had heard him laugh even without his damn wolf talents.
"Is something funny, Stiles?" Derek asked, glaring at him from under his brow.
"Nope, not a thing, carry on Mr. Hale!" Stiles squeaked, grinning. Derek stared at Stiles a moment longer, then turned to write on the chalkboard.
The rest of the period went by quickly, though Stiles was having a hard time concentrating. It was killing him wondering why Derek was even there at all. He didn't know much about Derek's past so perhaps he was qualified to be teaching but, still...it didn't seem like teaching teenagers very well suited the wolf. Something was definitely going on.
The bell rang and everyone filed out of the room, though Stiles waited behind until everyone had left. Derek had taken a seat at his desk, seemingly engrossed in whatever he was now reading but looked up when Stiles' shadow was cast across his page.
"What the hell are you doing here, Derek?" Stiles asked.
"I'm working," was the gruff response.
"Oh, come on, I know you well enough by now to know that can't be the only reason you're here. There's something else, isn't there?"
"It's none of your concern."
"So there is something going on! What is it? I swear, I never get a break. Is it something with Peter? Oh shit, did Gerard actually turn? I thought he was dead! Wait, how did you even get a job here? They must just take anyone..."
"Shut up, Stiles. Now go, you'll be late for your next class," Derek said, curling his lip slightly as he cut Stiles off.
"Can't you just give me a hint? Please?" Stiles asked, fluttering his eyelashes and grinning.
"Go now, or I'll..."
"I know, I know, rip my throat out..with your teeth." Stiles laughed. "How many times have I heard that already?"
Derek's eyes glowed red and a low growl escaped his throat as he began to rise from his seat.
"Okay!" Stiles said, flinching back a bit. "Leaving now! This is me leaving! Great talk!" he shouted as he ran out the door, the next bell ringing loudly in the hall. He needed to find Scott.
"Yeah, I know," Scott said, shrugging his backpack on to the locker room bench.
"Wait, you do? Why didn't you tell me?!"
"I just forgot, I'm sorry. All this stuff with Allison and Jackson, and now Peter coming back...I just can't keep everything straight in my head." Scott sighed, sitting down next to his backpack, rubbing his eyes. Stiles sat down next to him.
"It's okay, I get it, I'm tired too. I guess I'm just flustered. Seeing Derek teaching this morning freaked me out a little. I don't want something else bad to happen again, especially not so soon, but I keep getting this feeling that something isn't right. I just want to be prepared. I hate not knowing what's going on around me." Stiles crossed his arms over his chest, holding his biceps as if he were cold.
"Well, don't worry about it. Derek just said he needed some money and this was a convenient way to do that. Just don't try to cheat on a test or anything," Scott said, suddenly grinning at Stiles.
"Oh god," Stiles groaned. "I can see it now: some poor kid is going to whisper some snide remark under his breath and Derek is just going to go berserk. Great, there is definitely nothing to worry about."
Surprisingly, the class actually liked Derek who, after only a few days, seemed to warm up to being around people. Maybe all he had really needed was to be a bit more social and not all alone, stuck in his own gloomy mind. Stiles thought about that every time he saw Derek now, actually curious if there was a completely different person under his cold, solid, distant exterior.
Still, Stiles didn't let his guard down with Derek. He'd seen him charm people with that perfect, white smile of his and wasn't about to get lulled in to a false sense of security. There was still a feeling in Stiles' gut that said danger was coming and he had the sick notion that it had something to do with himself.
It had been a week since Derek started teaching and every day Stiles pestered him after class about why he'd suddenly decided to teach at Beacon Hills High. He still got the same response, however, which drove Stiles crazy. There was no easy way to make Derek talk. Stiles was going to have to find information on his own.
Scott, being the ever supportive friend that he was said that Stiles was just being paranoid. And the rest of Derek's pack didn't have a thing to say either. There was still one person left who might know something but Stiles wasn't sure he wanted to chance a meeting with Peter.
"Fuck it," Stiles mumbled under his breath, heading back to his Jeep now that classes were done for the day. He'd go find Peter and hopefully coax an answer out of him without getting himself killed. At least Peter wasn't quite as secretive as Derek.
Lost in his own thoughts, Stiles didn't notice there were people standing in front of his car until he was practically stepping on their toes. Stiles' heart skipped as he looked up in to the gleaming red eyes of three growling alphas.