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“Stiles?!” A familiar voice calls, causing Stiles to whirl around on his heel in an attempt to pair a face to the voice which called his name. His eyes scan and flick over the crowd of people. 

 His eyes finally land on a familiar looking face, framed by long unkempt hair, throwing him for a loop. 

  "Scott?" Stiles asks, stepping closer and abandoning his quest to find whatever he was actually looking for in favor of making sure his sight is serving him right. 

  Scott's lips spread into a smile, letting Stiles know that yes, indeed, that is his old friend. Scott approaches, carrying a few boxes of mac and cheese in his hands. "Wow, that really is you. I thought I was loosing my mind for a second," Scott offers, clearly stunned by seeing Stiles again. 

  "Yep, it's me," Stiles says, the awkward tension taking over, "What are you doing here? I mean, you kinda tanked your GPA last thing I remember." He knows that he shouldn't say that, but he said it before he could stop himself.

  Scott scratches the back of his neck, clearing his throat. "How'd I get into UC Berkeley? Um, Lydia's mom helped me take some classes to get my GPA up, and retake my SATs, but that's not what got me in. Deaton wrote me a letter of recommendation and used my experience working with him to get me into my major. I'm majoring in Genetics and Plant Biology," Scott explains, reverting to his old habit of sharing everything with Stiles. Stiles isn't sure weather or not that is a bad thing. Scott, from what Stiles remembers, was a great friend. 

 His eyes catch on Stiles' hair, but pushes it from his mind in favor of a new topic, "How'd you get in? I mean, after what happened..." 

  Stiles stiffens at the mention, absentmindedly tugging at his hair in discomfort. He clears his throat, shifting slightly. "Um, my GPA was pretty darn great, and so was my SAT, and um, some letters, mostly from my dad, were written to the school to work it out. I'm kinda stuck with confined privileges, but I'm here." 

  Scott nods, rocking his weight back and forth between the balls of his feet and his heels. "What, what even really happened? I know like- the outcome- but... y'know," Scott asks, sort of beating around the bush and keeping his words overly vague.

  Stiles clears his throat again, "I'm, I'm not really allowed to talk about it, at least not on campus. If you’re still interested, I could explain some other time." He scratches the back of his neck, refraining from tugging on his hair too much in front of his old friend. 

  "Stiles?" Scott asks, his tone making Stiles' eyes lift and catch on Scott's face again. 

  "What?" He asks, somehow using a calm and even tone. His tone surprises him. 

 "Why did you just leave? I know you probably didn't want to put that baggage on me, but you should know that I-" Stiles interrupts Scott. 

  "Wait, you think I abandoned you?" Stiles asks, his eyebrows pulling together. 

  Scott nods, "yeah, I heard what happened and then you just... dropped out of the social world. You wouldn't even say hi in the hallway." 

  Stiles looks taken aback, "Your- your mom didn't tell you?" 

  Scott looks confused, "My mom just told me about it and then mentioned that you wouldn't be coming around anymore I just figured-" 

  "Scott, I wasn't allowed to be around you anymore. They were supposed to tell Mel-" Stiles says, dropping off mid thought.

 "What? Really? That's makes more sense now..." Scott say, starting to piece it together. 

  "Yeah, it was part of y'know, everything. My dad..." Stiles trails, softly kicking at the tile flooring. 

  "Have you talked to Lydia recently?" Scott asks, tying to navigate the past two years with these new pieces of insight. 

  Stiles shakes his head sadly, "No, I'm, it was part of it all. I wasn't allowed to spend time with her either, or most of our group." 

  "Senior year was really weird without you, man. It was hard without Allison, but without you too... it was kind of a struggle," Scott says. The two find themselves beginning to wander through the small store. 

  Stiles nods, "yeah, it was really hard for me. My dad contemplated pulling me out and putting me in Eichen House again, but found his better judgment and thought against it. He knew I needed the best attendance and GPA I could manage to have any chance of getting into any colleges. He was just... really easy on me." 

  "Did you know that Lydia got accepted into Stanford and got on Deans List?" Scott asks, approaching the check out to buy his mac and cheese. 

  "Yeah, actually, I did. I spend a lot of time with Parrish, and he kept me in the loop. He kind of kept us somewhat friends," Stiles explains, finding it easy to talk to Scott again. Easier then he expected it to be. 

  Scott offers a questioning look, "Why did you spend so much time with Parrish?" 

  Stiles sighs, watching Scott pick up his bag from the counter and walks with him towards the doorway. He clears his throat, "I spent a lot of time at the Station, and Parrish was kind of always there. We became pretty good friends. Especially after he and Lydia got close." 

  Scott nods, still trying to fit pieces of the puzzle that was their friendship and the past two years into their rightful places. 

   "How's Kira?" Stiles asks, shifting the subject away from himself. 

 Scott shoves a hand in his pocket, glancing at Stiles. "I wouldn't know. We broke up." 

  "Why, what happened?" Stiles asks, genuinely wondering what happened. He had thought they had made an interesting couple, and Scott really needed Kira in his life after what had happened to his previous girlfriend. Stiles was counting on Kira to be there for him after he had to duck out of their friendship. 

  "She moved away, and dropped me in the process," Scott shrugs. 

  "Man, that really sucks. I'm sorry," Stiles replies. 

 Scott shrug it off, telling him how okay it is and that he is fine, it was quite a while ago. As they walk, Scott comes to a realization of how late it is getting and is utterly aware of his walk back to his dorm. "Hey dude, where do you live? I live over on north campus in Adams," Scott says, looking curious. 

 Stiles looks up at him from his phone to Scott, sucking in a breath. "Um, I live in the apartments over on the edge of south campus." 

 Scott nods, and then something dawns on him. "Stiles, isn't it really sketchy over there?" 

  "Hence why I'm allowed to live over there," Stiles mumbles, the sass leaving his voice subtly. 

 Scott sighs, "Dude, that's not cool. Please tell me you don't have to walk." 

 Stiles sighs, "Um, I'm not allowed a car or bike." 

 Scott sighs again, "just stay safe, okay? You have my number right? It's still the same, call me if you need me." 

 Stiles nods, and the two bro-hug while agreeing to hang out sometime before parting ways. 

 Stiles admits, it really sucks to have to walk, especially in the dark. He must say, he never gained the freshman fifteen and is in the best shape he's been in, even better then when he played lacrosse in high school. His apartment is pretty crappy, decent at best, and this side of campus, and town, is sketchy, but he hasn't had any issues yet. He's grateful for the long walk some days, because it helps calm him and work through his thoughts. Other days, he curses anything and everything that he has to walk. When it rains, he tends to get pissy and curse at everyone who tries to talk to him. Damp denim can do that to a person. 

   Stiles walked in silence, mulling over the events of the past hour and the incident he had been discussing. He's often glad that he isn't allowed to speak about it on campus, because he finally has a valid reason to avoid it at all costs. Very few people know it occurred, even less know what occurred, and Stiles doesn't like to speak of, or think about it. Ever. Whenever someone in the circle of knowledge tries to bring it up, he promptly mutters angrily under his breath and vacates the premises. Or he just tells them to drop it and acts like he doesn't notice the way they act. 

  Stiles angrily closes the door behind him, peeling his soaked jacket off of himself, and muttering about how it was supposed to be a clear, starry night. He sighs, knowing that he’ll have to do laundry now, in order to get his clothes dry enough to wear ever again. He sighs, trudging into his bathroom and closing the door. He puts the water on as warm as he can manage without it getting too hot, and quickly gets into the shower. He lets the warm water warm his chilled bones, having forgotten how cold the rain can get. 

After donning a clean, dry, and warm pair of pajamas, he stuffs his feet into a dry pair of sneakers and grabs a hamper full of clothes, trudging down the hall towards the laundry room. 

   It’s far later than Stiles had hoped when he plops down onto his bed, shoving the clean clothes basket off out of the way haphazardly. He fishes his phone out of his pocket, squinting at the time. 2:30?  Stiles asks himself how it could possibly be that late, burying his face in his pillow. 

  ~~~~

It feels like Stiles has run into a pile of bricks, and he looks up, seeing someone’s back in front of him. That’s when he feels the twinge of heat on his hand and arm, looking down and seeing his coffee had spilled on his hand. 

  “Shit, sorry, dude, I’m so sorry,” Stiles spills, trying to dab away the coffee from his arm while the person turns around. 

  “It’s no big deal. It’s super early, I understand,” a seemingly familiar voice says, causing Stiles to look up at the face in front of him. It takes him a moment t realize why he recognizes him, but he definitely does. 

  “Derek?” Stiles asks, confusion creeping over his face as the familiar guy stands looking at him with a hard expression on his face. 

  The guy’s eyebrow lift, his eyes sweeping over Stiles as he says, “Stiles? Is that you?” 

 Stiles laughs a little, finding it odd to be running into two people from back home in less then twelve hours. He nods, “yeah, it’s me. Can you ease up on the creeper stare?” 

  Derek’s face dissolves back into his usual stoic expression, reminding Stiles that Derek is still just as muscular and brooding as always, seeming pretty the same as last time he saw him. “Oh, sorry,” Derek says, hooking a few fingers into the pockets of the leather jacket Stile swears he’s had since Stiles first met him freshman year of high school. Derek’s mind flits to how long it took him to recognize the boy he’s known for years, and how shocked he is to see him here at Cal. “Since when do you go here?” Derek asks. 

  Stiles mentally swears at himself, trying to figure out how Derek always keeps his expression so smoothed over and withdrawn, answering, “I’ve been going here a year, what the hell are you doing here?” 

  Derek is taken aback by Stiles’ tone, remembering how much of a sassy, sarcastic dork he was, not the slightly assertive boy. “I’m a grad student here,” Derek says plainly, noticing how Stiles is surprised by his sharing. 

  Stiles nods slightly, and then looks at a clock on the building beside them, “Shit,” he mutters under his breath. “I’d love to stay and chat and all,” Stiles begins, the guarded, assertive tone returning to his voice, “but I really need to be somewhere and I’m about to be very fucking late.” 

  Derek watches Stiles stride off, shocked with who he’s become since the last time Derek was him. He notices the way Stiles walks now, not as clumsy and more similar to Derek’s own strut, but with something slightly off. Derek can’t help but wonder what changed his natural gait to the one he has adopted, and why he was so snippy with him. Derek remembers Stiles, and his playful, witty banter and awkward, dorkish demeanor. Derek can’t help but think that he misses the other version of the boy, shoving the thought away and then realizing that he can’t keep thinking of Stiles as a young boy. 

  ~~

   Stiles barely makes it into the office in time, mentally cursing himself when he sees his father already sitting in one of the spinning chairs. 

   “You’re late,” His father says, sitting up straighter so that the light glints off of his sheriffs badge. Stiles sighs, taking a seat beside him. 

   “I actually am exactly on time,” Stiles offers, smirking at his father who knows that he’s right, “and the only reason I’m not early is because some brick wall of a dude decided to make my shoulder his own personal bumper while walking and spilled my coffee all over. I’m pretty sure my hand is going to have a burn on it for the next week, and people are going to wonder what the heck I did to get it.” 

   “Stiles,” his dad says, slightly amused. 

  Stiles looks up from his arm, watching his dad fold his hands on the table. “Yeah?”  he asks nervously. 

  “Please shut up,” his dad says, forcing Stiles to sigh in relief. 

  “God, I thought you were going to lecture me or something. Don’t do that to me, my heart can’t handle it with all the caffeine I pump into it. Jesus,” Stiles says, noticing his dad’s expression and quieting again. “Am I in trouble?” he asks. 

   The Sheriff shakes his head, “no, no. That’s not why I’m here.” 

 Stiles sips his coffee and then asks, “Then why are you here?” 

  “I’m here to see how your doing,” his father says, his expression softening as he looks at Stiles. 

  “Oh, don’t give me that look, I’m fine,” Stiles says, but drops his head and scratches the back of his neck before tugging on the hair near where his fingers had just scratched. 

  “Stiles,” his father says in a warning tone, “I saw that, I know you aren’t fine.” 

  Stiles sighs, trying to refrain from tugging on his hair, so he fiddles with is coffee cup. 

  “Stiles, come on. You know you can talk to me about anything,” the sheriff says, looking at his son in concern. 

  “I’m just, things have been really hard lately,” Stiles confesses. 

  “I know, son, I know,” the Sheriff offers, knowing Stiles will continue to talk now that he has opened up a little. 

  “It’s just, I feel like I can never focus, and I have work up to my ears, I’m just swimming in it, and I’m pretty sure I’m wearing a hole in my sneakers because they suddenly really hurt, and I’m just- I feel like my head is going to explode and I- I keep snapping at people when I don’t mean too. I want to be happy and nice, but my words sound like I want to punch them in the face. I’m just- it’s so hard and I don’t know what to do, and I’m so stressed out,” Stiles lets out, tugging on his hair again in an attempt to relive some of the pressure that is building in his head. 

  The Sheriff looks at him in concern, recognizing what’s in front of him. “Stiles, how much sleep have you been getting?”

  Stiles shrugs, “not a lot. There isn’t much time for it between all of my school work, and work work, and trying to keep my apartment from looking like a wasteland, and leaving time to see you.” 

 The Sheriff sighs, “Stiles, I think you should take a few days off and come home.” 

  Stiles lifts his eyes to meet his fathers, firmly shaking his head, “No, no, no way. I can’t do that, dad. I have an attendance record to uphold, I can’t miss class. You know what will happen if I skip.” 

  His father shakes his head, “Stiles, you clearly need a break. I’m worried about you, we can work something out. I know you, you are smart. You are smart enough to make up all of your missed work, I think you need to come home for a while.” 

   “How long is a while?” He asks, not wanting to hear the answer. 

   “Just a couple days,” his dad reassures him. 

  “Just, just let me finish out this week, okay? We have a few days off next week for some teacher event or holiday or something, I promise I’ll come home for that and won’t bring work. I’ll see you Saturday, okay?” Stiles says. 

 The Sheriff sighs, “fine Stiles. You better be telling the truth, especially since Parrish has been nagging me for the past two weeks to get you to come visit him. Between you and Lydia being away at college, the guy is going stir crazy. He came in on his day off to talk to Jones, for christ’s sake.” 

  Stiles nods, laughing, “I promise. But don’t tell Parrish, I want to surprise him.” 

“I’ll be here Saturday to pick you up, but I’m talking to them today about lightening up on you,” The Sheriff states. 

 Stiles looks up at him, “Dad, please, no. Just leave it alone, they’ll go harder on me if they think I’m complaining.” 

 The Sheriff shakes his head, “I’m still the Sheriff, and I’m still the one they negotiate with. I’m talking to them about it.” 

 Stiles doesn’t argue, defeated. He lefts his father walk out before standing up. He feels a bit better, now that the caffeine is starting to work its way through his system and that he talked to his dad about what is going on.  

 Derek is just leaving one of the professors offices when he spots Stiles again. He watches him walk out of the Administrative building, where the dean and all of the important staff like the disciplinary board and the board of admissions meets. Derek shrugs it off, watching Stiles run into someone he knows, and watching Stiles laugh and offer a joke, tugging at the back of Derek’s mind where rude Stiles floated too, making Derek wonder why Stiles would act that way towards him, but not the other people he passes by. 

  Derek happens to cross paths with Stiles, turning and walking alongside him with a “Hey, funny running into you again.” 

  Stiles snorts a little, stifling his own laugh. He sips his coffee again, bring Derek’s eyes to the burn on his arm and hand. Derek fights the urge to reach out, because he hasn’t seen Stiles in such a long time that he isn’t sure he knows him very well anymore. 

  “What’d you do?”  Derek asks, motioning to the burn in concern. 

  Stiles looks up from whatever he had been looking at, to glance at Derek, clearing his throat, “Ran into you and spilled a bunch of searing coffee on my arm.” 

   Derek nods, knowing that Stiles has always been a bit of a klutz. “Does it hurt?” He asks, running his eyes over the burned skin once again. 

 Stiles shrugs, “You know that I’ve dealt with much worse, this is pretty much nothing.” 

   Derek nods, walking beside Stiles in silence. 

  “Why are you still walking with me?” Stiles asks, having thrown away his now empty coffee and noticed just how fidgety he is. 

  Derek shrugs, “My apartment is this way, and my professors canceled class today.” 

   Stiles snorts, both surprised that Derek voluntarily shared information, and knowing that he didn’t share the important, real reason he’s walking with him. “Why are you really walking with me, Derek? I haven’t seen you in three years after you dropped off the face of the earth, and now that I’ve used your back as a collision pad, you suddenly want to spend time with me?” 

  Derek shrugs, “For starters, I have nothing else happening today and thought it’d be nice to talk to you after making an imprint of my shoulder blade in your face. Second, I heard how you ditched out on Scott and Lydia, and the rest of your friends. What happened? You and Scott were literally best friends, I don’t understand.” 

  “So now you are here to pick my brain and analyze me, no thanks. If that’s what you are here for, you can leave right now,” Stiles says, finding himself snapping once again. He sighs, closing his eyes for a moment. He knows Derek, he knows that Derek isn’t like that. 

  Derek clears his throat, “Stiles, you of all people should know that I actually care, and am not just trying to pry into your personal life or analyze you.” 

  Stiles tugs at his hair when he thinks Derek isn’t looking, but Derek notices anyway. Stiles sighs, “I did it because I had to. Scott knows that.”

  “Why would you have to? And since when?” Derek asks, focusing on Stiles face. 

   Stiles stops walking and looks at him, “Since when were you interested in interrogating normal people who haven’t done something to you?” 

  Derek sighs, “Stiles, why are you being so difficult now?” 

  “Because I have to be,” Stiles offers, “And I ran into Scott last night and we talked it out. He understands. I still don’t know why you are so offended that I’d not be his friend, because I don’t know why you’d care about him that much.” 

  Stiles and Derek continue walking, and Derek explains that he just wanted to catch up with Stiles, so, they do just that. Walk and catch up. Stiles listens to Derek tell him about how he’s going for his Masters in History and Folklore, unsurprising to Stiles. Stiles laughs a little, “I’m double majoring in History and Mythology, after switching from Computer Science and Physics, and planned on doing something with Folklore once I hit grad-school.”  Stiles was slightly shocked that Derek hasn’t asked him how he managed to get into Berekely, but remembers Derek’s lack of information towards Stiles’ past few years.

   Derek blinks at him, “Stiles, why the hell did you switch from one double major to another and how the hell could you give up Computer Science and Physics for that?” 

  Stiles clears his throat, “The school is requiring that I take higher level courses to even fucking be here, and weren’t happy that I was dropping my old double major, because at the time I just couldn’t choose which I preferred, and required that if I were to drop them that I had to double major, but after spending all of high school with Scott, Lydia, you, Kira, Malia, and Argent, I learned that I had a knack for mythology and Folklore. I missed it once I wasn’t spending all my time researching it and living it, so I decided to reemerse myself in it. Also, my Study of French Folklore class is basically just a review of everything I already knew, so I used it to do other work while listening to a lecture about my favorite stuff.” 

  Derek looks at Stiles with a confused look, “Why is the school forcing you to take a double major?” Derek finally sees how stressed and tired Stiles is, by looking deep into his eyes. “Shit, when’s the last time you’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep? How many credit hours are you taking?” 

   “I’m not allowed to talk about it on or near campus, I don’t remember, and 21 because fuck life,” Stiles mutters, rattling it off like a robot. He can tell Derek is concerned, and doesn’t even think about refraining from a good yank on his hair. 

  “Is that why you left your hair so long, to tug at it?” Derek asks, motioning to his hand, “Why the hell wouldn’t you be able to talk about it, and that’s a fucking lot of hours. The hell?” 

 Stiles sighs, “If your going to walk with me, can you at least not give me the fifth degree right now? I need to be sane by the time my Chemistry class rolls around, and you are currently syphoning my sanity away.” 

  Derek nods, walking along side Stiles without speaking. Stiles is far too aware with how much he fiddles with his shirt buttons, or the thread on his shirt, and how clusters of people that pass by glance at the pair. It’s a pretty well known that Derek is the quiet, brooding type who tends to only spend time with a few people. Stiles is pretty sure that other students are catching onto his mood swings and guarded side, and it makes him even more paranoid. 

  “So, how’s school going for you so far?” Derek asks, breaking the silence. Stiles lets out a small laugh. 

   “Just peachy,” Stiles mutters, shoving his hands into his pockets to avoid from fidgeting anymore. 

  “That sounds like it’s anything but peachy, but I’ll take it,” Derek offers. After a few more moments of silence he mutters, “Wow, I feel like I know nothing about you now…” 

  Stiles laughs, “I feel like I don’t know anything about myself.” 

   Stiles hopes Derek takes it as more of a joke than anything, and even if Derek doesn’t see it as a joke, he doesn’t say anything. 

  Chemistry drags on for Stiles, and he can’t wait to walk home. Thankfully, a few of his professors cancelled class today because of reasons such as family issues or illness, and Stiles is just thankful that he had a free day after Chemistry. He hated it, and had to do everything he could to not yank his hair out or loose his mind while sitting through it. He’s pretty sure most of the reason he hates it is because of the professor, but he just knows that it’s like pulling teeth. He tends to end up doodling most days, to keep his hands occupied. He finds that he tends to memorize things better when he does so, not that he had any trouble with his memory before hand. 

  After grabbing another cup of coffee, and stopping at the library for a while to do some reading and write a paper he knows he wouldn’t otherwise finish, he begins his walk home. He aimlessly wanders for to kill time, knowing that sitting around in is apartment isn’t going to do much for him. 

   Stiles has been walking for hours, when he walks around a corner and collides into something, his arm stinging from the impact and he hears a pop in his nose. 

   He looks up, seeing Derek in front of him, gracefully regaining his balance. 

  “Jesus, we really need to stop meeting like this,” Stiles mutters, brushing his arm off from where it hit the wall. 

  “Stiles,” Derek says, his voice oddly soft for himself, “you look like shit.” 

  “Thanks, total mood booster. My self esteem totally needed that,” Stiles says sarcastically. 

  “Stiles, your face and arm are both bleeding. You look like you just got attacked,” Derek explains, causing Stiles to reach his non-burned hand up to swipe his fingers under his nose, finding blood. He glances at his burned arm, seeing blood from the wall’s friction over the injured skin. 

 Stiles shrugs, “walls don’t bode well with fragile skin, and your shoulder blade is like getting smacked in the face by a brick at a pretty damn high velocity, so… What the hell are you doing out this way anyways?” 

   Derek can’t take his glance away from how beat up Stiles looks, and how much pain he seems to be in. “Jesus, are you okay? And I could ask you the same.” 

 Stiles shrugs, suddenly far too aware of the pain he’s in. “I’m fine,” Stiles says, trying to sound normal while avoiding the question. He’s not ready for Derek to know where he resides. 

  Derek reaches his hand out, and that’s when Stiles notices his eye color. Derek's eyes are a bloody red, shining slightly in the fading sunlight. They have been since the collision, Stiles realizes. 

  Stiles aggressively grabs Derek’s wrist before he can place his hand anywhere on him. “Why are you using your eyes?” 

  “Um, because I’m not blind,” Derek says simply. 

   “You know what I mean, your other eyes,” Stiles hisses, his aggressive side reappearing. 

   Derek is internally taken aback by Stiles’ gripping of his wrist, strength, and his aggression and confidence. “I think it’s time to go,” Derek replies, keeping his tone calm and even. Stiles knows something is up, though, because he can feel the slight spike in Derek’s pulse under his fingers. 

    “Why, what’s going on?” Stiles asks, looking dead in Derek’s red eyes. 

 Derek shakes his head, gripping Stiles bicep with his freehand to counter the tingling in his wrist and get Stiles to let go. 

 Stiles drops his hand as he looks at Derek’s other one, seeing the black veins showing as Derek takes some of Stiles’ pain. 

  Stiles watches as Derek goes from bearing a slight pain, to clenching his jaw. 

    “Holy shit, Stiles. How much pain are you in?” Derek asks between gritted teeth. 

   “Emotional, or physical?” Stiles asks, watching Derek’s arm go back to normal and Stiles pain returns. Derek is slightly shocked when Stiles’ expression doesn’t change. 

  Derek keeps his hand tight on Stiles’ arm, towing him away from where they had stood. Stiles is utterly confused, and frustrated that he’d have to take the long way home. 

  “Derek, can you please let me go? I need to get home and-,” Stiles says angrily. 

  “Stiles, shut up,” Derek says, nearing a growl, picking up the pace. 

   Stiles follows Derek’s gaze to behind them, seeing the figure coming after them. Derek begins to run, surprised with how well Stiles keeps up with him, but once he tries to sprint, not even nearing his wolf speed, Stiles ends up being dragged along and slowing him down. The figure picks up, coming closer. 

  Stiles bites his lip as a sharp pain in his lower bicep, ignoring it in favor of running. It pinches more and feels deeper, and he looks down, seeing Derek’s claws digging into his arm from right above his elbow to a dew inches below his shoulder. He lets out a pained sound as Derek comes to a halt, yanking him behind a wall. 

  Derek looks at Stiles, “Your heart rate is way higher than it was when we were running.” 

   “Derek, could you maybe take your claws out of my bicep please? I kinda need that to do just about everything,” Stiles sasses, and Derek realizes what his claws are doing. He yanks them out, earning a pained sound from Stiles in response and ignoring the pang it gives his heart. “And who the hell was that and why are they chasing you?” 

  Derek turns Stiles’ arm over, inspecting the very bloody fresh wound. Stiles feels very woozy, lurching a bit. “Shit Stiles, this is bad,” Derek says. 

  “I can tell,” Stiles says, trying to be sassy, but ends up lurching again and feeling awful. Derek catches him with a steady hand, realizing how bad of shape Stiles is really in, and how his blood just keeps coming from the wound, not knowing why it’s so bad. 

  “Shit, Stiles,” Derek mutters. 

   “My dad is going to kill me if I ruin this shirt,” Stiles mutters, starting to slur. 

Derek helps Stiles walk, ignoring Stiles’ slurs about needing to get back to his apartment, and starts to walk him across campus towards his own.  The rest is pretty blurry for Stiles, only remembering Derek’s hand on his hip, and being brought from Derek’s doorway to his bathroom, the feeling of Derek’s fingers sliding over his arm as he wraps gauze on it, and gripping Derek’s shoulder to steady himself as he stands. He vaguely remembers Derek making him drink water, and Derek’s swears as he continues bleeding, and somehow making his way out of Derek’s apartment with his number newly in his phone just in case anything bad happens. 

   The cool night air, and the water he drank, make Stiles feel a little less woozy, but he’s pretty sure he still looks like he’s drunk when he walks. 

  “Whoa, Stiles, you okay?” Scott asks, making Stiles look at him. Stiles stumbles a little, and Scott steadies him by putting his hands on his shoulders. “Let me drive you home, okay? Where is your apartment.” 

   Stiles relays the needed information, letting his old friend guide him to a car. They talk a bit on the short walk, and on the car ride to his apartment. Stiles thanks Scott, and they agree to spend more time together and hang out.