It’s not really a surprise, working out that Hale is a Werewolf. It’s not an easy thing to hide. Between the ‘mystery illnesses’ every full moon and the tendency towards reclusivity and growling. Which, honestly, was just sloppy. No, the surprise came when he worked out that Derek liked him.
It was confusing at first, and scary. Stiles never thought he would be in the same league as a guy like Derek Hale, after a while though, once he got used to the idea, it was fun. Even though some people thought they were freaks, wizards weren’t known for being progressive, and more than a few Slytherins chose Stiles as a hexing bag, they quickly learnt he was not to be meddled with and their friends stuck by them. They were good, life was good.
And then Stiles found out Derek’s family was going to die.
And things went down hill from there.
“Don’t” He shuffles down the bench, putting space between them. They used to sit so close Stiles could feel the warmth in his bones.
“Derek” it’s almost a sob. He’s so strung out, tired from the visions, tired from pushing himself to find something else, something more, anything. Anything at all to save Derek from this.
“Please” It’s a whisper but Stiles still hears it. Hears the desperation. He knows Derek doesn't mean to push him away, knows he doesn't really blame Stiles, is just so, so very lost. He knows that what he’s really saying is “tell me it isn't true” Stiles desperately wishes it was an ill conceived joke, wishes for the first time in his life that he is wrong, that it isn't true, the universe got it wrong.
He gets up to leave, every fibre in his body feels like it will split in two; and something shakes loose in him as he walks away, settles into the hollow of his chest with steady determination.
If Derek had known it would be the last time he saw Stiles he would have said something, wouldn't have said what he did. He spends days in his chambers. Neither the students nor the teachers disturb him, they seem to understand that his grief cannot be consoled.
He’s losing his family, and now he’s lost Stiles too.
The pain is physical, a cut so deep it cannot heal.
Professor McGonagall comes to make sure he takes his potion the day of the full moon. She is the first person to interact with him since Stiles left, she knocks smartly on the door and plonks the draught down on his bedside table.
“Mr Hale” She addresses him. “I understand your circumstances, but it does you no good to let it fester into such interminable solitude.” At the door frame she turns. “Perhaps, if you cannot conceive to come out for your own sake, you will do it for your friends’.”
That is what it takes to shake Derek from his dogged punishment.
Erica hugs him tightly, tears running onto his robes. Even Scott firmly clasps his shoulder, and Derek realizes he has been a fool; a selfish fool.
Life gets a little better after that. The date Stiles gave drawing ever nearer, but nobody knows where he is. It’s like he walked away form Derek at the bench and disappeared.
Derek thinks its more likely he Disapperated. Wouldn't be in the least surprised to find he did, school rules never really seemed to apply to Stiles.
He wishes he were here though, wishes he hadn't pushed so hard, wishes he had tried to understand instead of lashing out.
His family has requested that he stay at the school. He understands why but its a terrible burden to know the future and be unable to do anything about it. They send him letters every day, telling him nothing and everything. Trying to say all the things they need to say. He spends hours composing replies. His mother tells him about his family heritage, gives him what she can to help him once she’s gone. Derek desperately tries to learn it all without thinking on why. Little Cora sends him a drawing of their house though, and he almost breaks down in the great hall. Boyd hugs him hard when he finds him in the third floor bathrooms.
Professor Longbottom gives him the day off. Derek spends it curled on the floor of his room, trying to forget, wishing he could forget.
He falls asleep there, in a pool of tears.
Stiles shakes his shoulder gently. The crescent moon is setting over the horizon, flooding the room with silver and cutting sharp lines across his face.
He stares blearily up at him. “Stiles? Am I dreaming?”
“No, no… I- I did it Derek, I fixed it. They’re alive.” his face twists anxiously.
“wh-what?” He’s starting to wake up now, Stiles can see his brain processing.
“I didn't know if I could, but I did, I stopped it all from happening... They’re alive!”
Derek recoils slightly and Stiles’ face falls, shock he thinks, its just shock.
He clears his throat, eyes glazed. “They’re… okay…”
It’s not really a question but Stiles nods.
Derek looks up at him. “Stiles” He breathes it out like a dedication and Stiles holds on tight.