He wasn’t obsessive, he just had a deep rooted love for his flowers. Precious flowers that his own mother had taught him to care for. He still remembers the sunny days filled with laughter and warmth, a pitcher of lemonade sitting on the windowsill while sun flowered printed curtains fluttered against the open window.
Everything replaying like an old cassette player.
That why his garden was so important, he knew it was silly but it was as if he could still feel her presence with him.
The first few months after his mother passed, his farther nor himself were even capable of looking at their backyard without feeling dread pool into their stomach. He would have nightmares of his mother being pulled underground, her fingers clawing at his legs. Long nights followed and his father would always make them hot chocolate while they watched old reruns.
It took months of family therapy but things had gotten better, his father and himself were able to move on, not forgetting her but being able to remember her fondly.
When he moved further out of town, he thought it would sting but he felt relief. Being out of his family home and in his own was new and exciting, he spent the first couple of days just sitting in the empty house not actually believing that he made it. That Stiles Stilinski was actually able to buy himself a house.
Crashing at Kira and Scott’s apartment for weeks after Melissa and his father got hitched, he yearned for his own space and after his own rundown apartment almost caught on fire wasn’t doing it for him anymore.
He wanted a home.
Everyone had tried to pitch in, Jackson even sat down to help him with his finances, it was all very sweet and endearing. Which he told him and almost got his head chewed off.
He held on tight to the scolding hot coffee, his hip resting against the kitchen counter as he stared out of the window and like clockwork there he was again, he took a long sip before walking towards his front door, leaving his mug on the kitchen table.
“Dude, I’m going to have to start charging you, those are my best flowers. At least let me meet the girl or guy, I obviously have to see if they’re pretty enough for this theft” He smiled as he saw a blush appear on the man’s standing on the other side of his fence.
“Good morning Stiles” Derek murmured with a small smile.
“So are you going to let me met this mysterious possibly beautiful person who is receiving free - absolutely breathtaking if I may say so myself – magnolias?” he was met with silence for a few moments, he continued to walk towards the gate “big guy, I’m not a mind reader” he waited as he watched Derek squirm a bit.
Stiles clapped his hands together “It’s a plan than, lets go” as he pushed opened the gate, feeling the slight cold breeze against him “don’t worry I’m not going to be weird about it, stop making that face” he chuckled as he closed the gate behind him, moving to stand beside Derek and tugging him along.
It felt comfortable being beside Derek, ever since he met the man he had noticed how quiet and reserved he was. He had initially thought they wouldn’t get along at all considering how different they were but it wasn’t. The first night after a long altercation with another alpha, he had been the last one to leave helping Derek organize his home after the hurricane that was Derek’s pack.
It became a habit, he would stay till later, in till one night he ended up staying for tea and watching old movies with the man. Their friendship changed bit by bit without really noticing it at first until he ended up inviting Derek for breakfast almost every day because he knew the man would go for runs and only drink coffee afterwards like a complete weirdo.
Somehow they’ve ended up going to the museum, to the park even taking car trips together and gone camping. Everyone in the pack always asks how they haven’t killed each other yet, he honestly doesn’t have an answer yet. They argue and get at each other’s throats when it involves the pack but they made it work, they both knew were each person was coming from.
Stiles kept staring at Derek, seeing him sporting a pensive look, shoulders a bit hunched over “Are you okay? Don’t worry I’m not actually going to stalk you, I’m going to head to the store. You know I would never make you uncomfortable on purpose” He gave him a warm smile as they continued their walk, he liked pushing Derek’s buttons but he knew what the limits were.
Derek shook his head, taking a deep breath as he kept his gaze forward “I- can you still walk with me? I’ll walk with you to the store later” Derek kept a tight grip on the flowers he was holding trying to avoid as much as possible staring at Stiles. How was he going to explain this, Stiles wasn’t dumb he would notice where they were heading soon.
Stiles kept looking at Derek for a few seconds, searching for something he couldn’t quite determine “Ok, I’ll walk with you” he smiled.
“This is…” Stiles said slowly, seeing the open horizon of green pastures, large oak trees swaying in the distance, gravestones and statues resting against the soil. A place he had grown so accustom to visit in the earlier years, at first he had been so afraid of this place but it later became one of his favorite location, even if it seemed a tad morbid.
“I’m sorry, I should’ve told you” Derek closed his eyes as he felt the wind pick up around them, an eerily calming aura enveloping them near the entrance almost calling them to keep walking “I just didn’t want to be by myself today” his voice felt raw and unsteady. The sun felt to harsh against his eyes, he wanted to hide away but he couldn’t, not today.
“No, don’t apologize” Stiles grabbed Derek’s hand, giving him a light squeeze “Tell me about her again, something I haven’t heard yet” he smiled at him trying his best to keep Derek calm.
“She use to love to cook, horrible at it” Derek chuckled as the memories started bleeding through “It never stopped her from trying and forcing us to try everything she made, she would love looking at my mothers reaction every time”
“Let me guess, Talia being the sweetheart that she is, smiled with all that goodness in her heart and told her it was wonderful” Stiles asked
“She genuinely believed it, every time that I tried to listen to her heartbeat It never skipped” Derek smiled, remembering his mothers’ warmth surrounding the entire living room. A week before this date, he would see her more often even in his dreams. “When she was gone, everything felt so hollow” He stopped in his tracks, squeezing Stiles hand even harder “I remember sometimes I would forget she was gone, I would head towards her bedroom and it was empty. I felt….” The back of his eyes burned, he kept blinking but he could feel the tears staining his cheeks.
Stiles lifted his hand, swiping his thumb across Derek’s cheek “It’s okay to cry and next time…you don’t have to come by yourself, if you want I can come with you” he offered up a smile as he cupped Derek’s cheek letting the man lean towards the touch “You’re a wonderful man and your sister would’ve been proud of the man and alpha you’ve become today. I see it, everyone does and we all believe in you” he gave him another warm smile “Now come on, I bet she’ll love the magnolias”
Derek kept staring at him with a soft smile “thank you” he intertwined their fingers “…for being here”
“I’ll always be here”
Derek and himself sat beside each other, he had initially thought the man would want a few moments alone but he had been tugged down to sit down beside him, hands still intertwined, the silence settled between them. He watched as Derek reached forward, tracing the indented lettering “Here lies Laura Hale, wonderful daughter, sister and packmate”
“A badass woman, who could strike you down with just a look” Stiles added with a grin. Laura had been such a force to reckon with, a woman who no one badmouthed or second-guessed. She made everyone feel loved and welcomed, she would ease any tension in a room in a matter of seconds. Laura Hale had made a name for herself, that even till now garners respect. He's certain she still looks over them, over Derek. He had always made fun of how nosey she was, sticking her nose in situations that weren't needed but she always felt like she needed to fix things, make them better for everyone involved. After she was gone, he had never seen so much sorrow and grief permeate so many people. It had been such a long time since a death had moved him to the core and all he had about Laura were mere moments compared to her family, who had known her for decades.
"She was amazing, wasn't she?" Derek placed the flowers against the gravestone.
"She really was" Stiles nodded in agreement, trying to ignore the tear running down his cheek "No one else like her"