Witches were in town and that had the entire pack holding a meeting at the loft to try and figure out what the next logical move was. Isaac, Scott, and Kira were jammed together on the couch with Malia lounging haphazardly on the chair nearby. Derek had been wandering back and forth in front of the coffee table, too hopped up on the nearness of the full moon to really sit and focus.
The odd man out happened to be Stiles, who had settled himself on the stairs by the door.
The hard rigid line of Stiles’ shoulders was painfully obvious, the hyper-vigilant expression he wore gave his anxiety away, yet the most concerning thing lay in his silence. His lips were pursed; the room lacked the usual sarcastic comments and breathless babbling. Amber eyes were dark with something between worry and fear only to be complemented by creased brows. The thing that put Derek off the most were the dark circles that remained stark on pale skin, as if it was a visible reminder of what kept Stiles up at night.
“…what do you think Derek?”
The call of his name pulled him out of the daze he’d settled in, his head whipping back to the coffee table.
“Huh?” he asked, trying to piece together the conversation he’d so obviously missed.
Malia gave him an irritated look. “About the hex bag plan Kira mentioned?”
Her words meant little to nothing to him, and definitely didn’t help him comprehend the question he was supposed to answer. When it became clear he lacked an answer, Scott sat back on the couch with an awkward arm around Kira; meanwhile, Isaac stood up with an exaggerated stretch before letting the book in his hands fall to the table.
The smack was loud and harsh in a way only a three hundred page book could produce. Stiles sprang to his feet and his heart hammered in his chest. Derek turned on his heel, gaze cast towards the sudden movement. The younger man’s hand was splayed across his chest as if to catch his breath even though he’d just been sitting seconds before.
Nobody moved. Nobody breathed. Yet everybody choked on the tension.
“Uh…I-uh, I have to go cook dinner for my dad. Yeah, so I’m just gonna…,” Stiles trailed off, voice gravelly from disuse.
While everyone expected Scott or even Malia to speak up, it was Isaac who did. The beta walked over to Stiles, obviously not taking into account how jumpy the other teen was at the moment. And before anyone could comprehend the movement, Isaac’s hand clapped Stiles’ shoulder, a noise almost as loud as the book drop from earlier–
Stiles spun around, fist connecting hard with Isaac’s jaw. Derek could clearly hear the bones within Stiles’ hand as they creaked upon impact. An angry red blotch on Isaac’s porcelain skin had already begun to disappear seconds after the punch.
Scott’s face went slack, eyes wide in shock which Kira mimicked. Isaac, though not in any physical pain, tenderly cradled his jaw, while Malia cheered the violence on. Derek remained stoic, not wanting to add to the dramatics.
“I’m….sorry,” Stiles muttered, trembling from the adrenaline pumping through his veins. Nobody uttered a word as he turned to hightail it out of the loft. Even with the sound of him descending the stairs two at a time, the silence left over was deafening. Though Stiles was absent, the potent smell of his negative emotions lingered.
Those left in the loft traded quick glances, unable to process what had just happened. Minutes passed while the teens cleaned up the mess of books and papers, and collected their belongings before leaving Derek alone.
His throat was dry but he felt no motivation to fix it. Instead he found himself seated on the couch, its cushions still warm from the others. The only thing he could focus on was the lie he’d caught Stiles in, the slight uptick in his heart replaying on loop. There was no dinner for his dad; the Sheriff probably wasn’t even home. The thought of Stiles alone tugged at Derek, an empty shell of a man in an equally empty house. Then again, who was he to scrutinize when he did the exact same thing; it’s easy to shut out the world and keep everyone at arm’s length. He did the same when his family died, when Laura died; he took the easy way out and let anger be his anchor.
been working on some character redesigns in my spare time for a few months now & i felt like sharing a wip bc i wanna upload them as a group and that’s probably a long way away yet?? so, here’s a quick screenshot of my children