Does anyone ever think about the fact that after everything with Kate, maybe Derek goes to New York with the decision to never to be hurt that way by anyone again. Not the losing his family part, because how could he ever lose so much again, right? (Right? I’m not crying at all!) So he gets a part-time job as a grocery bagger or something, because he is young and most places won’t hire him halfway through the year. And he works after school to bring in a few bucks so that Laura’s eyes won’t be quite so pinched now that she has gotten her GED and began working to make ends meet for them in a very expensive city. After work, she then spends sometimes hours on the phone and emailing lawyers who are still trying to get all of the paperwork straight. So yeah, Derek works to help Laura.
But then some lady at the store gives him that look. Like Kate. Her eyes are interested, and her grin is predatory, and he just knows she wants him. So he thinks to himself if he initiates it, maybe it won’t leave him feeling so wrong. So he does. And it becomes a thing. He flirts with anyone who shows him interest as he bags their groceries and “helps them to their car” even though they never need help.
From there maybe it just becomes a way of survival. As he gets older, it seems like more women want to sleep with him. He’s filling out, thanks to all of the runs he’s going on after work and thanks to the workouts he’s pushing his body through every morning. Because he has to be strong enough. He has to be bigger. He doesn’t want anyone to think they can hold him down or force him.
He learns how to play the game. One day he mentions something about that to a coworker (now working at a bar mixing drinks because someone had once told him he would make great money in tips) but his coworker didn’t think of sex as a game. Derek knew better. Maybe it wasn’t for some people, but he would never be able to trust someone in that way again, so he had to strike first before an opponent could.
One day a man at the bar looks at him just right, and Derek just thinks Oh. He’s never focused on men before, but he’s noticed them in passing. So he goes to the guy’s apartment after his shift and they sleep together. Derek pretends he’s done this before, even though he’s mostly relying on his sense of smell and hearing to tell if the guy is into different things he tries. And after that, Derek flirts with anyone he feels he has to.
So fast forward to Stiles. Stiles who is home from college after his second year has finished to make room for summer break. Stiles who means so much and is so good even when he’s an asshole. Stiles who leans in one day after a pack dinner, when he and Derek have finished cleaning up after everyone else has gone home. Stiles kisses him gently, at first, almost hesitantly. But when Derek doesn’t push him away, he presses in more firmly and suddenly Derek realizes where this is going to go. And it kind of makes him sad.
He lets Stiles slip his shirt off and push him back onto his bed. Stiles crawls on top of him and Derek begins pulling their hips together in a slow and sinuous way. But Stiles doesn’t react like any man Derek’s been with before–which really shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it is. Yes, Stiles lets out a little moan, but it doesn’t break Stiles away from Derek’s mouth, where his tongue is doing things to Derek that he can’t explain. And his hands after trapping Derek’s face, but not like he’s trying to contain Derek, more like he’s holding something precious. His thumbs keep swiping across Derek’s eyebrows, like he’s memorizing their shape.