The buzzing of Derek’s phone in his pocket has become a familiar irritation by now. Erica, Boyd, Isaac, Lydia, Jackson, Allison, Scott…Derek’s built up a fragile web of people who need him, whom he’d die rather than admit he cares about. Feels responsible for.
So pulling it out of his pocket is an automatic reflex, glancing down at the phone only to work out just how bad the situation is likely to be, depending on which name shows up. They only phone him when something’s gone wrong; the pack spends half their time around him anyway.
The name on the screen sends his stomach into knots. ‘Stiles’. So deceptively blank, neutral. He stares at it, his thumb hovering over the screen. Answering the phone would be a mistake, and he knows it. Doesn’t mean he’s not tempted. He hesitates, barely breathing. By the time he presses the button and raises the phone to his ear, it’s too late. He’s left it for too long; Stiles has hung up. Growling, Derek turns, and in one smooth move throws his phone against the wall. The sound of plastic shattering is entirely unsatisfying, doing nothing to help the ache in his chest.
‘This is Derek. You know what to do.’ BEEP.
Stiles shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like he actually thought Derek would stop avoiding him. Would pick up the phone. But it still hurts.
“Okay, just so you know? This could’ve been an actual wolf-based emergency. Like my life is every freaking day and who’s fault is that, by the way? Yeah, that’s right. Yours.” Stiles huffs irritably, pacing across his room. “Look, I get it, okay? You’re Derek Hale. Brooding and oozing sex appeal is pretty much all you do.” Stiles doesn’t believe what he’s saying for a second, but it’s not like that matters; Derek can’t hear his heartbeat through the phone, can’t know that he’s lying through his teeth.
“And I’m just some stupid kid who keeps getting in the way. Well you don’t need to worry anymore, because I’m done with this shit. You, your little pack of mini-yous - seriously, I haven’t seen that much leather outside of a very particular kind of porn, and really I didn’t need to know the inner workings of Coach’s perverted mind, let me tell you.” He’s rambling. Damnit. He sounds like an idiot, like he used to when Derek growled and loomed over him, back before he knew it was an act. Before he was more used to that growl being because of Stiles biting at his lip, slender fingers tangling in Derek’s black hair, tugging harder just to coax another sound that rumbled through Stiles’ body like a sympathetic echo. He sighs, jaw muscles working, clenching tightly.
“You can stop avoiding the others. I’m not gonna come to any more meetings. You want help, you can ask Scott. I’m done.” Hanging up with an almost vicious stab at his touchscreen phone, Stiles tosses it onto his desk. And wonders why he doesn’t feel better about cutting off all ties with Derek.