Derek and Stiles were walking through the woods, supposedly tracking Scott to help with his “werewolf training”. The alpha pack had been taken care of last month, but there had been a few situations that were won with luck rather than skill, so the betas decided to train. Scott, especially, still thought too much like a human and not enough like a wolf.
They had been hiking for almost an hour, talking little, until Stiles tripped and let out a heavy sigh. He stopped and dropped his hands to his knees.
“So, how were you in school?” Stiles asked, twisting his neck to look up at Derek.
Derek blinked and looked over at Stiles, “Should I even ask where that came from?”
“I just realized I have a test tomorrow. I’d rather not think about it, so distract me,” this was accompanied by another groaning sigh as he straightened up.
Derek saw a calculating look on Stiles’ face and gave in. He knew that expression by now. Stiles was bored and looking for a way to pass the time. If he didn’t answer this question, there would just be more.
Begrudgingly, Stiles and Derek had started trying to get to know one another. After all, they had saved each other countless times. Since there was a bond whether they chose to acknowledge it or not, they had both worked at communicating. Conversations were slow and strained at first, but Derek was starting to genuinely enjoy their talks. To be honest, he was starting to enjoy just being around Stiles. He had been careful not to follow that line of thinking farther though, afraid of where it might lead.
“I did fine. Not spectacular, not horrible,” he said with a shrug, “I remember, during first grade, I sucked at reading. I had trouble distinguishing letters. You know, ‘B’ and ‘D’ or ‘C’ and ‘K’,” Derek said with a shrug.
Stiles quirked an eyebrow at him, “Wait, you didn’t give them all personalities? No wonder you had trouble remembering what sounds they all made! Like, okay, take ‘A’! She’s obviously a Miss A, and she runs her class with no sass. She accepts apples but not attitude. Get it? And B! She is curvy and loves flaunting it. She’s bold, beautiful, and never blushes!” At this point Stiles was just waving his arms around, trying to emphasize every word beginning with a specific letter.
“Seriously, I had these all the way to ‘Y’ and ‘Z’. Y was always split right down the middle about everything, which, coincidentally, is why he’s bisexual. I didn’t know ‘bisexual’ was spelt with an ‘I’ at the time, making that even better. He’s a bit of a yellow-belly, but he’s young and just yearns to belong.” Stiles said with a sympathetic look, before leaning forward like he was telling a secret, “That’s why he can never decide whether he agrees with Z’s ‘rebel without a care’ take on life. Z is totally one of those zesty, hot, rocker types with a fetish for zippers. They’ve been dating forever though, so Y obviously approves and just doesn’t know it. The only relationship stronger than theirs is Q and U’s.” Stiles said with a knowing nod, “Oh! Then there’s I, who ironically isn’t self-interested. He’s imaginative, but is irreversibly inept, so he often feels incompetent.”
Here, Stiles started walking again, apparently having forgotten about his test. Leaves crunching with every step, he began to list every letter with their corresponding personality. Stiles had his arms spread like wings, and his laughter came out in little white puffs on the air. His eyes were alight with excitement even in the murky gloom of the forest. As Derek watched him, he felt a smile on his lips, and here, with this wonderfully impossible boy, he let it grow into a grin.
He might not be ready to acknowledge what the feeling in his stomach means, but he would be someday. When they finally find Scott, Stiles shoots him a grin that makes his breath catch.