“Give me your number,” Derek says—orders, really—as he pulls out his phone and stares at the other. They are in his room, Stiles turning half circles in his chair, first this way, then that; Derek is creeping by the closed bedroom door but really, what else is new.
Stiles blinks a good minute before it registers and makes a face between pain and disgust. “What?! No!”
Derek gives his signature glare, and really, hasn’t he learned that without the claws and teeth to back it up, it’s really not all that frightening any more. Derek must think its working though because he’s barking orders once again. “Give me your number, Stiles.” Far too calm. Dangerously calm. And the words are almost all punctuated with emphasis.
Stiles scoffs. “Can’t anything be my own anymore?” And he’s not really asking. It’s rhetorical and Derek knows it is, but Stiles has to have the last word. Because he’s Stiles. He’s reaching reaching for his phone from his pocket before he’s finished speaking his mind.
Derek waits, impatiently, breathing loudly through his nose—Stiles can hear it and he’s very human. “Stop stalling.”
“Fine, but I’m taking your number and will text you mine,” Stiles grumbles, not sure why that matters (and it really doesn’t), and has the phone out, in his hand, a new contact entry open and waiting with Derek’s first and last name in a matter of seconds. “Hmph. Rude much?”
Derek dictates the number, slowly and clearly, his mouth forming each word. Also his voice is a little too guarded.
Then it clicks. Derek doesn’t want to do this as much as Stiles doesn’t but Scott and the Alpha have brought them together and mutual—and oh boy it is mutual—dislike and distrust or notwithstanding, they were becoming allies.
Stiles makes a face as he read back the number to be sure he got it and presses save at Derek’s almost imperceptible nod. Another realization hits him.
That was hard for him. To give his number. He’s probably not given his number to anyone in years. Stiles has a moment of sympathy but really it is toward the poor empty contact list on Derek’s phone and not toward Derek himself. But he also feels a sudden rush of something he doesn't want to admit is there.
Pride. Pleasure. A sense of accomplishment. And finally a feeling that he am needed. A part of something big. Something huge. Because this is it. The moment he is more than just a number on the sidelines, watching the rest of the team play.
Stiles supposes he could give the sourpuss werewolf his number. Naw, not sourpuss. That is an insult to cats. Sourwolf. Yeah. perfect.
He openes a text to Derek, types ‘Here, Broody McBrooderson’ and actually consideres a smiley face—the one made with a colon and a lowercase ‘p’—but decides against it. That is going a little too far. He sends the message and hears the other’s ring tone go off.
His brows rise up.
He recognizes the melody but can't quite place it. His mind is brought back to his mother—and his father by proxy. They loved Jazz. He recalls sneaking down the stairs for a snack—even though he’d been strictly forbidden another bite of food till morning—and catching them in the living room as he tiptoed past. They were dancing and laughing, their faces so bright. Brighter than he’d ever seen them except perhaps when he’d done something to make them proud. It’s the same, but also different. Theirs is with the love of a married couple. The love of romance. When towards him, it was with the love of a parent. Of family.
He grins despite himself as Derek ducks his head to check his message, and Stiles is sure there is embarrassment there on his face. Then his expression changes as he reads the text. Is that an amused grin on his face? It’s masked far too quickly for Stiles to be sure, but he thinks so.
And then Derek is heading for the window. He looks back once and tells him to keep the phone off silent. Just in case. And to not take calls from unknown numbers.
Stiles is still staring blankly at where he’d just been long after the werewolf left. Finally, he snaps out of it.
What the actual—