smart stiles

poeedamerons  asked:

I was reading a fix where Lydia tells Stiles that Derek is a nuclear engineer major and Stiles was very attracted to that and another that Derek was a video game designer and Stiles was also very into that, what I am asking is: can you guys rec me some fics Stiles is totally attracted to Derek but also his nerdy/brainiac profession/major? Since I am here do you guys know any Jurassic Park or Jurassic World sterek au?

I did the dinosaur one here. Roooooaaaar. And here’s smart!Derek and Stiles digging it. - Anastasia

Originally posted by hoechlin-alpha

Derek is Smart by Kateomega97

(1/1 I 474 I Not Rated)

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Stacking Up by bravelittlesoldier

(1/1 I 8,286 I Mature)

Stiles is working in the basement of the Library of Congress and is feeling his social skills quickly deteriorate. Then along comes a new librarian working at Circulation who is most definitely a male model. Maybe its time to start re-socializing.

Better With You by fatale

(3/? I 10,465 I Teen)

Derek is the runt of the litter - a lowly freshman twerp in a family of gorgeous Amazons. He likes to read, has a gift for languages, and a nervous apprehension of everything that high school has to offer. When smug, sarcastic sophomore Stiles Stilinski (say that three times fast) nearly runs him down on the first day of school, it is just the spark of enmity that will affect the rest of their high school years together.

Put Down in Words by paintedrecs

(9/31 I 36,301 I Mature)

“Oh,” Stiles said, his voice coming out low and breathy, “fuck me.”

“I don’t think that’s on the syllabus, but we can check to see if there’s a spot open in any of his classes,” Scott said, grinning.

“This isn’t an actual professor, though,” Stiles insisted, unable to resist brushing his thumb over the sharp line of the man’s bearded jaw. He was laughing at something off-camera, the shot taken in three-quarters view, his coat collar casually rumpled and opened to reveal a sliver of a simple grey t-shirt. The whole thing was deliberately calculated to lend him a more accessible feel, and god help him, Stiles was falling for it.

*

When Stiles signed up for Dr. Hale’s intro to history class, he had two goals: knock out the credits his advisor was bugging him to complete before he graduated, and spend a few hours a week daydreaming about his sexy professor’s salt and pepper beard.

Derek, a few months away from turning forty and not sure when his life had started feeling so damn lonely, had never encountered someone like Stiles before. Bright-eyed, sharp-tongued, determined to throw Derek’s carefully cultivated world into disarray…and absolutely the last person Derek should be falling in love with.

Who Knew by SourWolfie (pieprincess_andthe_fallenangel)

(26/26 I 88,161 I Explicit)

Stiles finally scraped together enough money to get his own apartment and he’s really fucking proud of it, okay? He just wishes shit would stop breaking. He also wishes he hadn’t just bitched out his incredibly hot landlord, but that ship has sailed right along with his dignity.

Some Strings Attached

Ugh so there was a post going around that I’ve now long since misplaced but it was like “I just saw you go upstairs with someone else and I know we’re only fuck buddies but I’m gonna go punch them in the face” and I was HERE FOR IT. If somebody remembers the post, link me. In the meantime, have some Sterek getting together fluff.

“Just tell Derek you want to date him,” Scott says, as if it’s the simplest thing in the world.

Stiles bugs his eyes and flails his hands in wordless frustration, because the correct response to this patently ludicrous advice eludes him. He had come for sympathy, not pie-in-the-sky delusions. “Scott. Bro,” he finally gasps. “How could you even suggest that in good faith? No way! Bad plan!” He slashes his arms in a demonstrative X. “The only reason we’re even hooking up is that I made it super clear I was down to fuck, no strings attached! I’m not ruining a good thing by announcing to Derek Hale that I’m 85% in love with him.”

“Why?” Scott genuinely seems confused, the sweet summer child. After falling into a happy triad with Allison and Isaac after their first semester at UCLA, he doesn’t really understand the definition of “unrequited.”

Stiles turns his attention to a hanging thread on his t-shirt, sourly tugging it loose. “He’s out of my league. I mean, with the baseball, and the smarts, and the sarcasm, and those eyes…” he breaks off with a sigh. The last thing he needs to do is remind himself of how gone he is on Derek. “Just, he’s popular. Dictionary definition of too cool for school. And the three people he actually deigns to hang out with here are all just as cool and good looking as he is. Do I need to remind you I’m not? I’m a gawky, nerdy Sophomore. I’m lucky to even be his fuck-buddy.”

Scott makes a face, incredulous. “I dunno, he must like you well enough if he’s still sleeping with you after all this time. What’s it been, six months? And you guys hang out, too, you’re always telling me about how easy it is to chat with him after you bone. So it’s not just sex.”

Stiles grimaces. “Yeah, but it’s not…”


“… a real relationship,” Derek says into the phone, hearing full well the heavy dejection in his voice. So sue him; the admission is more than a little depressing. “He just wants to be fuck buddies.”

“How do you know?” Laura asks reasonably. “Maybe this Stiles person would be interested in dating you, too. No offence, but you’re not great at reading people. I mean, he’s interested in chilling with you even after you hook up, and clearly he enjoys the physical aspect. Did he actually ever say he wasn’t looking for more?”

Derek heaves a sigh, rolling his eyes even though she can’t see over the phone. “Yep. About two minutes after the first time we slept together he said, ‘no strings attached, obviously.’ So, you know, pretty safe bet that it’s no strings attached.”

“Oh,” Laura says. For once she doesn’t have a snappy comeback.

“Oh,” Derek agrees. Dejectedly.

She gives him a sympathetic little hum, and then asks, “and he’ll definitely be at the sorority barbecue?”

“Yeah.” Stiles and his broad shoulders and his long fingers are definitely going to be at the party.

“Maybe you shouldn’t go,” his sister says softly. “If you really like him, and he’s just looking to get laid…”

Derek groans. Not go, and give up a chance to hook up with Stiles? Smart, maybe, but not something he’s capable of doing.

The problem is, he’s liked Stiles forever. Or at least since he first saw him, laughing uproariously and running around with his friends with an actually broom between his legs, playing “Quidditch.” Derek would have been way too embarrassed to do something like that on the front lawn, but Stiles made it seem like the most effortlessly awesome thing a person could get up to.

No, compared to Stiles, Derek is practically a social recluse, an awkward jock with only about three people who he gets along with at all. Stiles definitely doesn’t want to get saddled with a boyfriend like him. He’s lucky they’re even hooking up after all this time.

“Derek, I mean it,” Laura says. “Look out for yourself for once.”

“I know, I know,” Derek grumbles. “But it’s not my fault he’s…”

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Teen Wolf can’t end if I refuse to watch the last episode.

swipe right [smut]

A;N: Things and people you meet are not always what they seem. 

Pairing: StilesxReader

Author: thelittlestkitsune

Warnings: Smut. 18+ Explicit Content.

Word count: .9,612

Listen to me.

Originally posted by stilinskisvoid

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2

and when you feel the world wrapping ‘round your neck
» - d o n ’ t . s u c c u m b - ›

chamomiletealove  asked:

(2/2) story like that? Where Stiles and/or Derek are smart, with science major? Like engineering, architecture, computer science, etc? I'm sorry if my ask is too long :( tysm for your hardwork! Love, love your blog!

Here you go. All Sterek. - Anastasia

Originally posted by fourteenisaac

Open It and Follow by dancinbutterfly

(1/1 I 3,611 I Explicit)

Fraternity Brother Derek may be an Omega but he’s no one’s bitch. Still he heats up whenever he has the chance to get at a knot - he just doesn’t usually care about the knothead attached. Problem is this Alpha Stiles seems special. He’s not quite sure how to deal with that.

Hale Yes: A Story of Stiles’ Ruined Life (That Got So Much Better) by StonyAvengerGirl16 (CharmedBritannia)

(6/6 I 6,896 I Teen)

Stiles is a somewhat awkward college freshman who wants to major in Forensic Science. Sure, he grew into his gangly limbs, and sure, he’s pretty smart, but his insistent rambling and ADHD tendencies require a special brand of person to handle. Derek is the campus’ most famous English major, and one of the extremely sexy yet extremely intimidating Hale siblings. So when their paths cross, all of a sudden Stile’s life turns out much harder than it was supposed to be.

Who Knew by SourWolfie (pieprincess_andthe_fallenangel)

(26/26 I 88,161 I Explicit)

Stiles finally scraped together enough money to get his own apartment and he’s really fucking proud of it, okay? He just wishes shit would stop breaking. He also wishes he hadn’t just bitched out his incredibly hot landlord, but that ship has sailed right along with his dignity.

Put Down in Words by paintedrecs

(31/31 I 203,777 I Mature)

“Oh,” Stiles said, his voice coming out low and breathy, “fuck me.”

“I don’t think that’s on the syllabus, but we can check to see if there’s a spot open in any of his classes,” Scott said, grinning.

“This isn’t an actual professor, though,” Stiles insisted, unable to resist brushing his thumb over the sharp line of the man’s bearded jaw. He was laughing at something off-camera, the shot taken in three-quarters view, his coat collar casually rumpled and opened to reveal a sliver of a simple grey t-shirt. The whole thing was deliberately calculated to lend him a more accessible feel, and god help him, Stiles was falling for it.

*

When Stiles signed up for Dr. Hale’s intro to history class, he had two goals: knock out the credits his advisor was bugging him to complete before he graduated, and spend a few hours a week daydreaming about his sexy professor’s salt and pepper beard.

Derek, a few months away from turning forty and not sure when his life had started feeling so damn lonely, had never encountered someone like Stiles before. Bright-eyed, sharp-tongued, determined to throw Derek’s carefully cultivated world into disarray…and absolutely the last person Derek should be falling in love with.

sleep

Derek hasn’t slept for more than an hour or two at a time since Laura died. He’s running on anger alone, and he thinks that it’s probably enough. He shifts into his beta form when the weariness gets too bad to function—when he stumbles, when he sways, when he reaches for something and misses—and uses the wolf’s energy to supplement the weaker human’s. It’s not sustainable, probably, but what the hell does Derek care about that? Because the alternative…

The alternative is stopping, and taking a breath, and facing up to the fact that he’s alone, that his entire pack is dead, and everything that happened is his fault.

So, no.

No stopping. No thinking. No resting.

The first time it happens, Derek has gone to Stiles’s house to talk to him about Scott. Scott is a werewolf now, but he’s resisting everything that means including Derek—especially Derek—and Derek knows the only way to get him to see reason is to get Stiles on side. And Stiles seems smart, and practical, even if he is more than a little weird and twitchy.

So Derek goes to his house.

The sheriff’s cruiser is in the drive, so Derek climbs in Stiles’s bedroom window. Which, by the way, is becoming a habit he should probably break sooner rather than later. Stiles’s bedroom door is shut, but the room is empty.

Derek can hear him babbling away to the sheriff downstairs. The sheriff doesn’t sound like he’s contributing too much. Just the occasional affirming noise that encourages Stiles to keep going.

Derek huffs, and glares around Stiles’s bedroom.

He taps the trackpad on Stiles’s laptop, and the screen opens. It’s password protected. Derek types “I TALK TOO MUCH”, but that’s not the password, apparently. Then he types “LYDIA” and isn’t too surprised when it doesn’t work. Stiles might be obsessed with the girl, but everyone knows it, and who’d be stupid enough to pick such an obvious password as the girl he’s crushing on?

There’s a half empty can of Coke on Stiles’s desk. Derek drinks it.

He sits down on Stiles’s bed and stares at the posters on the wall.

The bed is comfortable. The mattress is firm, but not too hard. Derek can’t remember the last time he lay on a mattress, so he lies down and stretches out. Takes a deep breath and fills his lungs with the scent of Stiles—grotty teenage boy, and stale sweat with an undertone of Bengay, but also something clean and earthy like petrichor—and promptly passes out.

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All the broken hearts in the world still beat

Summary: Stiles totally needs to make Lydia Martin jealous. Yeah. And his best chance is to convince star lacrosse player Derek Hale to (fake) date him.

Notes: Just a silly high school AU! (On AO3)


Even though he was expecting the answer, it still hurts. He guesses that somewhere, deep down, he was still holding on to hope. But it hadn’t even been Lydia’s zero-hesitation no that had really been painful. It was what she’d said next.

“You’re just not desirable at all. If you can’t get anybody else in this school, what makes you think you can get me?” she’d said, flipping her hair over her shoulder. “And I have a boyfriend, anyway.”

Then she’d walked away, leaving Stiles staring after her, feeling like he’d been stepped on. But little did she know: adversity just made him more determined. He was going to prove her wrong.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi there don't know if there is an tag for this but I always see fics where it's common that Derek isn't tech savvy but I wanted to know if there were any fics with Derek being really good at research and he just pretends to suck at it as an excuse to be around stiles. Also you guys are awesome and I'm really thankful for all that you do here 🙏🏽

I couldn’t find any where he dumbs himself down but here’s smart!Derek. - Anastasia

Originally posted by fragileheartxxx

Derek is Smart by Kateomega97

(1/1 I 474 I Not Rated)

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Because I Do by orphan_account

(1/1 I 3,065 I General)

“Right, sorry.” Stiles says, “nothing happened right after Gage’s accident. Other than him walking away from it, literally walking away from it–oh my god–oh Jesus; fuck me. What if Gage was a werewolf?

Because I Said So by ksalterego

(2/3 I 12,055 I Explicit)

There is Derek, knowing for over two years that Stiles is his mate. There is Stiles, knowing for over two years that he has the hots for Derek; he also has known for over a year that he actually has feelings for Derek.

And then there is magical pollen. Or is it pollenized magic?

Well, whatever. Things ensue.

Help Wanted (But Not Really) by reillyblack

(7/7 I 20,497 I Mature)

“Stiles, I’ll clear up your confusion about the position. Derek here needs someone to live with him. He’s a difficult person to live with, so I won’t sugarcoat that. But his responsibilities at the company right now make it impossible for him to actually take care of himself and his home. That would be your job,” Laura explained.

Both Stiles and Derek objected at the same time.

Who Knew by SourWolfie (pieprincess_andthe_fallenangel)

(26/26 I 88,161 I Explicit)

Stiles finally scraped together enough money to get his own apartment and he’s really fucking proud of it, okay? He just wishes shit would stop breaking. He also wishes he hadn’t just bitched out his incredibly hot landlord, but that ship has sailed right along with his dignity.

Apparently, some people actually think that Stiles and Derek had no development.

I thought they were just joking, but some of the ones I’ve encountered honestly believe that.

I’m not talking about in terms of romance, because not everyone ships Sterek, so that can slide. These people who’ve said it think that they had no development whatsoever, no development into friends or even allies, as in they remained the same since season 1.

Now, people say a lot of things about Sterek, but that has got to be the funniest one yet.

I’d just like to explain why those people are wrong.

Season 1

Stiles and Derek hated each other in the beginning, obviously, right from the get go. Stiles even suggested letting Derek die in the beginning, and Derek threatened his life twice in one episode, a couple more times throughout the season and slammed his head into a steering wheel (or was that season 2?)

Most of the times they were brought together was because of Scott. For example, 1x04.

In this episode, Stiles and Derek were forced to spend an entire day together while Scott went about in search of a wolfsbane bullet to save Derek.

In this episode Derek said he rip Stiles’ throat out with his teeth, yanked Stiles forward, there was also a lot of bickering, especially on Stiles’ part.

And even after all of that, Stiles still made an effort to wake Derek up when he suspected that Derek was dead.

I do suspect that this did have a lot to do with a person dying in Stiles’ presence, the guilt or the memory of it that would follow that worried him, but at the same time, Stiles probably was worried about Derek somewhere deep down inside.

We all know this episode as well.

In this scene, Stiles was shoved up against a wall by Derek who proceeded to try and demand things of him until eventually Stiles reminded him of who’s home they were in.

And for all the people who said that Stiles has never done anything wrong to Derek, well, in this episode he used Derek’s body to get Danny to do what he needed him to do. It wasn’t physical, so people saw it as harmless, but it could be seen by many as objectification. Obviously, very problematic.

And let’s completely dismiss the fact that by this time Derek trusted Stiles enough (and knew Stiles was smart enough) for him to come to Stiles for help. Moving on now.

Obviously season one wasn’t their best season, but we do see clear signs that they didn’t hate each other as much as they had claimed like when Derek protected Stiles from Peter in the hospital and when Stiles got in Argent’s face about what Kate did to Derek and his family. No development yet, but there was something.

Season 2

This, for me, is the season where things really started to change between the two. They paired up a lot that season, such as in 2x02.

The car scene was incredibly enjoyable, but the most notable part of this episode was when Derek roared Isaac into submission when he tried to hurt Stiles and became Derek “I’m the Alpha now” Hale.

It’s really in 2x04, Abomination, where Derek’s whole view on Stiles changed.

There was yet again, a lot of bickering in that episode, no surprise. But the fact is that Stiles held Derek’s paralyzed body in the water for hours and refused to let him drown.

Guys, this is the same Stiles that was pleading with his best friend to just let Derek die in season 1.

But that was not even the best part of that, it is viewed as the best part by many, but in terms of their development, the most important part of 2x04 was…

Even without context,  this gif displays just how real that scene was. The intense yet soft eye contact they made was enough, especially coming from Derek.

Before this scene, Derek’s never broadcasted that much appreciation and affection towards anyone whilst on the show.

It was hard to understand at first, but there was a post I read about a year ago that explained this scene perfectly.

When Stiles finished off Derek’s sentence, labeling the kanima as an abomination, it registered to Derek that Stiles didn’t view him as an abomination. An abomination, something he’s been viewed as for years, something that got his entire family killed because that’s what werewolves were seen as by hunters. It meant more to Derek than maybe even Stiles understood, hearing that and it shows on his face.

And we all know this episode due to a specific “title” and quote given by a specific someone.

Yes, 2x10, Fury.

Another one of those episodes where Stiles and Derek were thrown together, quite literally this time too since Stiles was literally thrown on top of Derek.

Later on in this episode, when Scott came to the rescue, Derek had urged him to just take Stiles, think of Stiles’ to safety first as he did on the same night of the pool scene where he told Stiles to leave before things got dangerous.

It honesty says a lot that Stiles, who Derek found highly annoying, was still someone he cared enough about to think of his safety.

Season 3

That season seemed to secure their friendship.

Yes, there was that one scene where Derek punched Stiles’ hand.

It is quite clear that this scene was there for nothing other than comedic relief. No, I’m not trying to justify the action since it was still harmful, I’m simply stating that it wasn’t meant to be seen as something serious.

And other than that scene, it seems like Derek and Stiles mostly just looked out for each other that season.

The moment after Boyd’s death cannot not be in this.

Let’s remember that the season before that. when Stiles laid a hand on Derek’s shoulder, Derek gave him a look that suggested it would be best for him if he took it off.

Yet, in this scene, 3x07, Derek easily accepted it despite being in a more vulnerable place than he was in 2x02. He allowed Stiles’ comfort without a single word.

Let me also acknowledge the fact that Stiles cared enough to do it, knew Derek needed something, a little support, and he was there for him.

And in 3x10, the fact that it took only one look from Stiles for Derek to believe Stiles over Jennifer.

Also in 3x10, the fact that Stiles reached out for Derek, who was possibly about to do something risky, almost as if it were an instinct by that time after the many times he’s protected Derek.

Surely, this does contrast from season 1 and 2 where touching Derek was never really an option unless it was necessary.

There was also the elevator scene, the scene that paralleled 1x04.

Going back to what I said before about why Stiles acted the way he did the first time, how his fear of someone dying in front of him probably overrode the fact that it was Derek who was that person. In this scene, it was obvious that Derek was his only focus. He was worried about Derek’s state at that moment, which was clear from the look on his face and the panic in his voice.

And let’s also not forget the fact that Derek was questioning whether they should take the Nogitsune, obviously a danger down because it was in Stiles’ body.

Let me rewind back to the beginning of season 1 where Derek wanted just about nothing to do with Stiles, meaning he probably wouldn’t have cared if Stiles were to die. Let’s also remember who we’re talking about, Derek Hale, the man who jumps for the kill at the slightest signs of danger. The Nogitsune, clearly not good news, and he hinted that he would feel remorse putting the fox down, the only reason being that Stiles was still there somewhere.

We also have the fact that Stiles was Derek’s anchor, Stiles who he hated somehow became Derek’s anchor.

This alone is enough to justify just how highly Derek began to think of Stiles, Stiles who, again, he hated.

Oh, and let’s also not forget that this was the season Stiles obviously became completely comfortable with Derek who he said himself he was scared of in season 1. Yet, in season 3, he was constantly pushing Derek’s buttons, knowing he was safe and that Derek wouldn’t harm him in any way. He lost that fear and in came fondness.

Season 4

Though they barely had scenes in this season, it definitely did show just how close they got.

There was the fact that Stiles worried for Derek’s safety when he went missing.

There was the face Stiles got when Derek’s name came up on that list of people who were being targeted to get killed.

There was the look on Stiles’ face when Derek was dying.

Oh, and the fact that Stiles looked back, reluctant to leave Derek even while leaving meant saving his best friend who was in danger at the time.

Bringing up again that Stiles wanted Derek dead in the beginning, but in season four, he found himself worrying about Derek’s safety and life in general more than once.

Season 5 (Bonus)

That wonderful moment where Stiles found himself smiling at Derek’s initials, a reminder of Derek.

This can easily be seen as Stiles missing Derek, Derek who he hated and learned to appreciate and care for.

Stiles and Derek’s development process goes far beyond what was in this post. There was so much more that I could’ve added but did not, these were just a few of the more significant events in their growth.

Many fail to have noticed their development because they’ve still carried a few factors of how they started with them throughout all the seasons, such as their constant bickering, and even with that bit, their development is clear.

Whether you ship Sterek romantically or not, there is no denying how much they’ve grown. Stiles and Derek had that slow build, the slowest build ever on Teen Wolf and one of the greatest, if not the greatest, developments on that show.

It was a long journey for them and they really did come a long way.

3

So, Stiles: great kid, zero ability to focus, super-smart, never takes advantage of his talents…

shadystarr  asked:

Hi! Is the HighSchoolAu ready for an update? If not then what about jock Derek Thanks you always kill it!😁

nope high school is def ready

Just Pretend by dragon_temeraire (1/1 | 1,845 | PG13)

Stiles tells his dad he has a boyfriend. The problem is, he doesn’t actually have one.

All I Wanted was You by dobrien (1/1 | 2,035 | G)

High School AU based on this tumblr post in which Stiles is a nerd and Derek is a jock with a little crush. (The blog the post is on has automatically playing music.)

Beacon Hills High School by Almaie (1/1 | 21,568 | NC17)

Derek Hale and Stiles Stilinski come from two different worlds: Derek the Basketball God and Stiles the Smart, Stunning Geek. When they meet at New Year’s Eve they instantly click. When they meet each other again at Beacon Hills High School, they accidentally audition for their high school’s musical. The social cliques they belong to don’t approve of this new friendship and try to separate them. At the same time, drama queen Kate Argent and her sister Allison, the co-captains of the Drama department, try in every way to prevent Derek and Stiles from winning over them in the callbacks. Can Derek and Stiles lead their friends to a more open-mind thinking and acceptance of one another? Or will their friends win?

It Was An Amazing Date, Stiles. by brandileeder (1/1 | 2,002 | G)

Derek smiles at him warmly, like he doesn’t mind one bit that Stiles is sitting across from him and Stiles brain melts a little so instead of his grand date proposal he just says, “Date. Us?”

And okay, wow.

WOW.

But Derek for his part just sort of sits there, eyes wide and he stares, mouth hanging open a little so Stiles can see his two front teeth, just the slightest bit longer than the rest, “Huh?” Stiles just groans, goes to bang his head on the table only to hit the soft warmth of Derek’s palm where he placed his hand so Stiles would hit it instead, “Did you just ask me out?”

Stiles just shrugs, forehead still pressed to Derek’s palm. He doesn’t look up until another hand starts running through his hair, but then it’s only to open one eye and peer up at Derek, “Are you sure?”

And that startles Stiles enough to sit up, “What?”

“Are you sure? That you, uh, want to date me?” Derek says the last two words in a whisper, like it’s a secret between the two and Stiles just furrows his brows a little and frowns.

“Uhm, for the last eleven months, yeah.” Stiles admits.

We Got Together Thanks to the Dunk Tank by gremlins-came-and-got-me (Scared_Beings_in_the_Dark) (1/1 | 2,564 | G)

During the high school’s annual sports fair (when the sports teams, especially the lacrosse team, raises funds for the next school year), Derek decides to actually do something brave his junior year (not that he doesn’t have the support of his best friend Boyd and his older sister Laura, stop laughing) and ask out his longtime crush Stiles Stilinski.
.
.
.
It could have gone better.

five times derek is protective of stiles and one time it’s the other way around by skylarisafail (1/1 | 2,353 | PG13)

Yeah, okay, so maybe Derek was a tad too protective of Stiles. So what? Sue him for worrying about his best friend, whom he totally does not have a raging crush on.

Okay, so maybe he does.

Shut up.

It’s not that he doesn’t love Lydia. Of course he loves Lydia. He’s always loved her; been infatuated with her; fascinated with the idea of her. That never really went away. It just changed; grew deeper and more complex with everything that they had experienced.

It’s just that after she drives him to college and leaves him with a lingering kiss and a promise that she’d see him soon, things feel different.

So much has happened since that night he dragged Scott into the woods to look for the body of Laura Hale. So much has happened that he doesn’t really feel like he fits into his own life. He tries to ignore it; to pretend that everything is okay; but after the Ghost Riders, he realises he can’t pretend anymore.

It might be the fact that he was stuck waiting in the train station with Peter Hale but he’s been thinking about Derek. He’s been thinking about Derek a lot, thinking that if anyone understands what it’s like to feel like you don’t fit into your own life, it would be Derek.

One night, after a few too many beers, he texts Derek. He doesn’t expect a response, sure that Derek has changed his number many, many times since he left Beacon Hills without so much as a goodbye. Hell, who knows if Derek even has a phone anymore? It’s not like he was good at texting even when he had some semblance of a pack, of people that maybe, sort of cared about him.

I don’t feel like I’m me anymore. Feels like I’m trying really hard to be the same but it just seems hollow.

He doesn’t get a response but it doesn’t really bother him. He wasn’t expecting one anyway. He’s stopped expecting things from people. He’s stopped expecting a lot of things. That voice in the back of his head tells him that he stopped expecting things from Derek when he left without saying goodbye, like hours in a pool meant absolutely nothing, like Stiles meant absolutely nothing.

So yeah, he wasn’t expecting a reply. He just wanted to say the words.




After that, it kind of becomes a thing.

It doesn’t happen all the time. During the day, Stiles manages just fine. He has classes and assignments and even a couple of tentative friends who he’ll grab a coffee with every now and then.

It’s a different story at night though. He tosses and turns for hours, terrified that if he falls asleep, he’ll disappear again and that no one will bring him back. Those endless days in the train station plague his thoughts and he just can’t seem to escape them. It feels like he’s running through those tunnels again, only to end up exactly where he started.

So he tells Derek everything. He pours out the whole story, explains the terror he felt when he knew that he would be taken; when people looked him dead in the eye and had no idea who he was. He explains the frustration he felt when Peter was the only one he could rely on; the bitter disappointment when Peter left and he was all alone. He tells Derek everything and it feels like he’s standing on the edge of a cliff, just screaming into the empty nothingness. The words are out there and even if Derek never replies, it’s better to have written them than to have done nothing. It’s ever so slightly relieved the feeling of slowly choking on the terror.

He ends his text message like this: sometimes I think I’ll disappear again and no one will come looking.

And then his phone beeps.

I would.

That’s it. Two words and Stiles feels like he can breathe again. Someone would come looking for him.

It’s not like those two words opened a floodgate of communication but Derek does occasionally reply.

When I do sleep, I see Allison dying. I wonder if Scott blames me. I blame me.

If I had been a better Alpha, Erica and Boyd would have stayed. No one blamed me for that, just like no one blames you for Allison.

Do you think I’ll ever stop blaming myself?

I’m not the right person to ask about blame.

 



Found handcuffs in my roommate’s closet. Think he uses them for community safety on full moons or he’s just really into 50 Shades of Grey?

Stiles, it’s far more likely that your roommate is an aspiring Mr. Grey than a werewolf. Put them back where you found them. It’s rude to snoop.

Omfg I can’t believe you know what 50 Shades of Grey is!

Everyone knows what 50 Shades of Grey is.

You aren’t everyone though! I didn’t know that you read books. Or watched movies. Or had any knowledge of pop culture.

Derek doesn’t text back. Instead, he gets sent a photo of a bookshelf. It’s so full that Stiles is genuinely impressed; it doesn’t look like even one more title could be added to that collection. He doesn’t know why but he finds himself feeling kind of sad that he didn’t know this about Derek whilst he was living in Beacon Hills. Stiles tries not to dwell on the feeling but he knows himself well enough to know that he’s feeling guilty.

He knows what it’s like to wonder if anyone would care enough to come looking if he disappeared. He imagines that’s how Derek felt after his family died and Stiles didn’t do anything to make him think otherwise.  

He doesn’t text back.



It’s the night of the full moon and Stiles feels strange, like something is missing. He was invited to a party or two but declined, pretending that he had an assignment he really needed to finish. He’s weeks ahead of his course work but he doesn’t want to go out tonight. He knows his friends back in Beacon Hills are going to be okay without him; knows that it’s a good thing that he hasn’t heard from them; but it stings a little.

He doesn’t like feeling so replaceable.

He sends Lydia a text message, asking how everything is going. He doesn’t want them to be in danger; doesn’t want them to struggle without him; but it would be nice if they noticed his absence. He’s hoping that Lydia will tell him that they’re okay but that they miss him.

She doesn’t reply straight away and he doesn’t know what to do with himself.

He can see the moon out of his dorm room window. He snaps a picture and sends it to Derek without thinking. Never thought I’d miss chaining Scott to a radiator, he captions the photo. He thinks he means for it to be a joke but even to his own eyes, the words seem flat on his screen. He sends them anyway. It’s not like he’s been censoring himself recently, not around Derek anyway.

On my first full moon alone, I howled at the moon, hoping that someone would answer. It’s lonely without pack.

I’m not really pack though, he responds. It’s easier than acknowledging the fact that Derek’s family burned to death in their family home; that crazy Uncle Peter tore his sister into pieces; that his only remaining family are either certifiably insane or residing with a pack in South America.

It’s okay to miss being needed.

I don’t know if they ever really needed me.

Derek texts back a photo of a pool.

A quick internet search confirms that it’s just a stock photo from Google but his heart races anyway. He remembers diving into the pool and holding Derek afloat; how terrified he had been that they would both drown; that his dad would find his body and drink himself into an early grave.

He hadn’t cared about Derek then, not really, not the way he cared about him now. He had held Derek afloat because it was the right thing to do and because he was selfish. He knew that if he and his friends had any chance of surviving this, they would need Derek.

Near death experiences don’t count as being needed.

This time Derek is the one who doesn’t reply. It’s fair enough, really. Stiles wouldn’t really know what to say to that either.



When he wakes up in the morning, he has three unread messages.

Lydia tells him that all is well in Beacon Hills and tells him to check his email because she’s edited his latest essay. He tells Lydia thanks and tries to ignore the flicker of disappointment in his chest.

It counts as being needed. You weren’t just kept around because you were better than nothing. You’re an asset, Stiles. You’re smart, yet somehow stupid enough to throw yourself into danger without thinking twice. Underneath that unrelenting sarcasm and attitude, you care a hell of a lot. If it wasn’t for Scott, his attitude towards me and some of his questionable decisions, I’d have asked you to join my pack.

A second message, sent about an hour later, reads tell anyone and I’ll rip your throat out with my teeth.

He can’t help but laugh.



Lydia asks Stiles if he’s coming back to Beacon Hills for break. It had always been his plan to spend break at home, to fall back into things like he had never really left. He goes to reply, to tell Lydia that he’ll leave after his last classon Thursday, but he finds himself lying.

Sorry Lydia, totally broke. Can’t afford flights and I don’t think the Jeep would survive the drive. Maybe you could come here instead?

I can’t. It’s all hands on deck here.

She doesn’t elaborate. More noticeably, she doesn’t offer any financial assistance. Whilst he would turn it down, the Martins are one of the richest families in Beacon Hills and Lydia is generous with her money. If she cares about someone, she shows it with material gestures. He hasn’t seen Lydia in months; since she drove up to college with him. Shouldn’t she want to see him? Shouldn’t he be moving mountains to see her? This is Lydia, after all. He’s been in love with her for as long as he can remember.

All he knows is that something doesn’t feel right here. There’s a gentle hum of disappointment under his skin but when he examines it, he finds that it seems to be related to the fact that he didn’t know Beacon Hills was facing another threat. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the fact that he’s not going to be seeing Lydia this break. He doesn’t know much about relationships but he knows that she’s supposed to offer and he’s supposed to care.

His fingers hover uncertainly over his phone, not quite sure what to say. He can’t actually remember the last time he properly spoke to Lydia. They text a few times a week, when he has time between class and she’s not busy with pack business. He scrolls back through the conversation and he’s struck by how superficial it seems. He can’t even remember the last time that they spoke on the phone. They agreed to have weekly Face Time calls but after their plans fell through three times in a row, they stopped making arrangements.

In the end, he sends back a simple good luck. He needs more time to analyse before he says anything more.



He manages to fall asleep before 3am, which is no small feat these days. He dreams of his mum, of her body on the kitchen floor and his tears marking her face as he cries down the phone, begging for an ambulance. He dreams of her body on a cool metal table in the morgue, of his father having to identify the body because his mum was sick and Stiles couldn’t get the ambulance quick enough to save her.

He dreams of Peter offering him the bite but this time he accepts it, sick and tired of being the weak, defenseless human. He can feel the pain, can feel fire coursing through his veins, and he knows that the bite isn’t taking. He isn’t strong enough to survive the bite so he’s going to die, all alone on the cold, hard concrete.

He dreams of the pool, of Derek growing heavier and heavier. “It’s okay”, Derek whispers, as Stiles has no choice but to let go. He watches Derek’s paralysed body sinking to the bottom of the pool, his lungs burning as they fill with water, and he cannot do anything.

He sees Erica standing on his front porch, smiling at him. He relaxes. Maybe this is a nice dream. Erica is alive and happy, which is how things should be. He tentatively smiles back, lifts a hand in greeting. Her smile grows wider, showing bloody teeth, and he reels back. Blood keeps dripping, gushing out of her mouth, until she keels over on his welcome mat. He doubles over and vomits on his front lawn.

He dreams of Gerard. He manages to get free, trips as he tries to run up the stairs and escape the basement. Gerald just laughs as he slowly walks up the stairs and takes hold of his leg. He screams as Gerard drags him back down the stairs, knowing exactly what fate awaits him there.

He dreams of motel car parks and road flares, of Scott going up in flames because Stiles isn’t enough to save him; because Stiles has never been enough. He says all the right words but Scott just scoffs and tells him that he wishes he had never met him, that his life would have been so much better without Stiles, that it was Stiles’ fault they were in the woods that night. Scott tells him that everything has always been his fault, then drops the road flare and the whole car park burns a fierce red.

He dreams of the Nogitsune, of the darkness. He pushes the blade into Allison’s stomach, hears Lydia’s screams reverberating off the tunnel walls. He wants to take it back, to do something, to save the girl his best friend loved; to save the girl he once considered a friend. He can’t do anything though; he’s not strong enough to fight the darkness.

He dreams of the Ghost Riders, of endless days and nights waiting for someone to remember him, of thinking that maybe it would be better for everyone if he didn’t come back. Easier, maybe. He dreams that he comes back and his dad’s face contorts into something unrecognisable, twisted by anger and grief; the regret of choosing to remember his son at the cost of losing his wife all over again.

He awakes suddenly, covered in sweat and gasping for air. He doesn’t think, just grabs his phone and dials the only person he thinks will understand.


It doesn’t matter that it’s nearly 4am. Derek answers the phone after the second ring and god, Stiles has missed his voice. He didn’t realise just how much until he hears it again.

“Stiles?”

Months ago, Derek texted I would and Stiles felt like he could breathe again. Now, Derek has said his name and he feels grounded again, like his feet are back on the ground.

“Bad dream”, he answers. “Sorry for waking you”. He knows Derek wasn’t asleep but it’s the polite thing to say.

Derek doesn’t say anything. Years ago, back when they first met, Stiles interpreted the silence as frustration, like Derek was purposely not fulfilling his role in the conversation so that Stiles would get the hint and shut up. After a while, Stiles started to think that Derek was silent because he was socially awkward and just didn’t really know how to participate in a conversation. After all, he had been alone for a long time.

Derek’s silence seems different now, though, like he’s giving Stiles a chance to process his thoughts and decide where he needs to begin.

“Why did you leave without saying goodbye?” he asks, acknowledging for the first time that he was bothered by it.

“I didn’t think anyone would really care”, Derek says, like it’s that simple. In Derek’s eyes, it probably was that simple.

“I did”. He pauses and the silence stretches between them for a few more seconds as Derek allows Stiles to collect his thoughts. “I was the one who realised you were gone. I went to the loft after school and the place was empty. I don’t have werewolf senses so I couldn’t just track you down… I drove around for hours looking for you. I was fucking terrified that you had been taken by someone or something but then I found Peter at that stupid abandoned train cart you used to live in. He told me that you had gone and that you didn’t want to be found. That fucking stung, by the way. You said goodbye to Peter but not to me”.

“He’s family”. Again, his words are spoken like it’s just that simple.

“Blood isn’t always thicker than water, Derek! Peter is a fucking lunatic, alright? He killed Laura! That’s unforgivable! I know I’m just some stupid, spastic teenager and that you’d happily rip my throat out with your teeth if it wouldn’t stain your upholstery but I deserved a fucking goodbye”.

It’s not until he says the words aloud that he realises how angry he is. He cares about Derek. He has done for a long time now. He trusts Derek in a way that he doesn’t trust anyone else and that’s not a recent thing. The reason he feels comfortable enough texting Derek all his deepest, darkest thoughts isn’t just because he thinks Derek will understand. It’s because he trusts Derek. Quiet, angry, hurting Derek who proved himself time and time again; who proved that despite all his faults, he would show up when it counted; would save and protect Stiles no matter what. He thought that maybe, just maybe, Derek trusted him too; that maybe Derek cared just a little bit; but then he left without so much as a goodbye or a forwarding address.

Stiles doesn’t know what else to say so he hangs up.

I should have said goodbye.

I wanted to but I wasn’t sure you would care.

Actually, that’s a lie. I think I knew that you, out of all people, would understand why I was leaving. I think I was just trying to avoid an honest conversation that I wasn’t ready for.

I’m sorry.

Thank you.



He doesn’t text Derek for about a week. He tells himself that it’s because he needs to invest more time into his studies and into his relationship with Lydia but he knows that’s a lie borne out of self-preservation.

In all honesty, he’s scared.

He hasn’t been scared of Derek for a long time. He’s been scared for Derek and whilst around Derek, both of which are common feelings considering Derek seems to have an annoyingly persistent habit of getting into life threatening danger.

He’s scared now though because Derek can be awfully perceptive when he wants to be. Derek also happens to understand him more than most other people these days, which is why Stiles has been messaging him in the first place. If Derek was really listening – and Stiles thinks that he was – then he’s revealed just a little bit too much about his feelings.

Stiles has always found Derek attractive. Even when Derek was threatening to rip his throat out or pushing his head into a steering wheel, he’s been very aware that Derek is more attractive than most people in Beacon Hills combined. Stiles has eyes after all. He’s sure that Derek is aware of it; that he’s smelt the arousal that seems to follow Stiles everywhere he goes, particularly where Derek is involved. Derek, to his credit, has politely ignored the attraction rather than acknowledging it and causing never ending humiliation.

Somewhere along the way, things shifted. The more time Stiles spent around Derek, the more he realised that Derek wasn’t just a pretty face. He had been through hell and somehow still survived but it was more than that. Weaker men would have crumbled if they had gone through half as much pain as Derek but he came through it all and somehow, he still cared about people. He turned Isaac, Erica and Boyd because he was lonely but also because he thought he was giving them a better life. He showed up, time and time again, even when he didn’t have to. Even though he said that he didn’t, he knew that Derek trusted him. Derek’s actions spoke far louder than his words and somewhere along the way, Stiles had proven himself to Derek. The threats and the violence had been replaced with an understanding that they had each other’s backs.

When he went to Derek’s apartment and found it empty, he had realised. Things had just clicked into place and he knew that his physical attraction to Derek had grown into something deeper and stronger. It was a secret that Stiles had intended to take to his grave. He had shoved it into the far corners of his mind and pretended that he wasn’t bothered by Derek’s absence; he had dated Malia and then Lydia and acted like everything was fine.

He had never talked about it so when those words tumbled out of his mouth, the anger and the frustration and the hurt feelings were still so fresh. Derek is smart enough to put the pieces together and realise that there’s something more there, at least on Stiles’ end.

So yeah, he’s scared. He’s not scared that Derek won’t reciprocate his feelings because he already knows that Derek doesn’t feel the same. He’s terrified that he’ll lose Derek completely and he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to handle it.

It’s pathetic but he’s felt more human over the last few months than he has since Derek left. He isn’t ready to lose that.





He and Lydia break up during the week that he’s ignoring Derek.

They manage to have a Face Time conversation and about three minutes in, she tells him he looks like complete crap. He tells her that he’s struggling with the distance, that after everything, he just isn’t ready to come back to Beacon Hills and she’s far too valuable to travel to him and leave the town unprotected.

Lydia doesn’t even look surprised and she’s polite enough not to call him on his bullshit.

“It’s better that we end it now. I’ve received an early acceptance to the University of Cambridge so in the near future, we’ll be on different continents”, she says in agreement.

There’s a lot left unsaid. They’re both aware that Stiles is no longer the same person he was in third grade, when he decided that he was going to be in love with Lydia Martin forever. They’ve both lost people and gone through more trauma than most people see in a lifetime. Rather than growing together, they grew apart. Stiles knows that a lot of the responsibility for that rests on his shoulders; that he should have worked through his issues with Lydia, that he should have trusted her with the burden he was carrying.

He was just so in love with the idea of Lydia; so desperate to have the perfect relationship that he had been dreaming of for years that he refused to share his darkness out of fear that it would taint everything.

He ignores the voice telling him that Derek Hale has already seen him at his worst and seems to tolerate him regardless.




For someone who once thought that Lydia Martin shined brighter than the sun, he’s remarkably okay with their breakup.

Scott texts him for the first time in weeks, a simple

heard the news. Hope you’re okay.

He replies with a smiley face. He doesn’t think there’s much else to say. He and Scott will always be brothers but they’re living different lives now.

After a particularly sleepless night, he texts Derek. He figures that if Derek was going to make a scene over Stiles’ little crush, he would have done it already.

Would your arm have grown back?

Do you think about that a lot?

I’ve done a lot of research and can’t seem to find the answer.                       

We aren’t related to starfish. I’m 99% sure I’d have ended up with a stump.



He gets to know Derek a lot better over text.

Breaking Bad or Walking Dead?

Is that even a question, bitch?

Summer or winter?

Winter. I remember learning how to snowboard when I was younger. My family had a lodge.

Favourite Harry Potter character?

George Weasley or Sirius Black. Ten minutes later, his iPhone indicates that Derek is still typing a message. It’s worth the wait when Derek practically sends an essay about why he likes each character. That leads to a three hour phone call about why Severus Snape is a bad person. Stiles falls asleep while Derek is ranting about the scene in the movie where Severus steps over James Potter’s dead body to see Lily.

The fact that Derek’s a secret Harry Potter fanatic makes him way happier than he should be.



Late at night, their text messages grow more serious.

Worst relationship?

I don’t think I’ve had any truly terrible relationships. I haven’t really been heartbroken or betrayed. I think I’ve been a bad boyfriend though. Both Lydia and Malia deserve better.

You weren’t heartbroken over Lydia?

Not really. I was more in love with the idea of her.

That’s how I feel about Kate.

He doesn’t reply; chooses to call Derek instead. It’s 2am and for the first time ever, Derek tells another person what happened with Kate Argent. Stiles had put most of the pieces together a long time ago but hearing Derek tell the story is the most horrific thing Stiles has ever heard. The police reports had noted that Derek, Laura and Peter were the only survivors; that Derek’s mother and father, his grandmother, three younger siblings, and four cousins of various ages had all perished in the fire.

Derek’s voice doesn’t waver as he tells Stiles that Kate had seduced him; that he had told Kate all about his family; that he had mentioned a family gathering that he wanted her to attend. He tells Stiles that he came home from lacrosse practice to see his family home burning to the ground.

Stiles only utters four words that night but repeats them like a mantra until Derek’s breathing evens out and he drifts off to sleep.

It wasn’t your fault.



Did you love Jennifer?

No. I think I could have in time but we both know how that ended.

Why did you believe me when I told you she was evil?

Because it’s you. You’re one of the only people that hasn’t lied to me. That earned you a little bit of faith.

Did you love Brayden?

No. I think I wanted to show the world that I had survived Kate and Jennifer and didn’t have any emotional wounds. I think most people would call that a rebound relationship.

Do you think you could fall in love again?

Stiles waits for an excruciating seven minutes before Derek replies.

Yes.

 



I tried to tell my dad that I was bisexual once. I think he thought I was joking.

I never got to tell any of my family that I’m bisexual. After the fire, Laura and I moved to New York. I wanted to tell her but I couldn’t find the words. I couldn’t find the words about Kate either. I like to think that she knew anyway and loved me regardless.

I’m sorry I accused you of her murder. That was really fucked up.


I was never really going to rip out your throat with my teeth.

I know.

It was easier to just be angrier all the time. Anger is easier to manage than grief.

Was easier? Are you not angry anymore?

I’m still angry but it’s not the only thing I feel anymore. These messages help. So does therapy.

Derek Hale in therapy? I never thought I’d see the day! In all seriousness, I’ve thought about therapy a lot. I went after my mum died and it helped a little bit. I just don’t know where I’d find a therapist who knows about the supernatural.

Derek texts him a phone number for a counsellor about fifteen minutes off campus. He doesn’t ask Derek how he knew what college he was at.



Peter offered me the bite once.

I didn’t know. I’m glad you didn’t take it?

Because I’d be a terrible werewolf?

Because no one should be connected to Peter in that way. I think you’d make an excellent werewolf. Far better than Scott.

 



Have you seen the latest episode of Game of Thrones?

He calls Derek and they talk for hours. He almost hangs up the phone when Derek tells him that he doesn’t understand the appeal of Jon Snow but he likes the sound of Derek’s voice far too much.



On April 8th, he gets sent a photo of a cheesy card wishing him many happy returns.

Happy 18th birthday, Stiles.

He sends Derek a photo of his face with his widest grin. He didn’t even know that Derek knew his birthday.

When’s your birthday?

11th July.

And how old are you going to be? I vaguely remember starting at Beacon Hills high as you were getting to graduate but then when we saw you in the woods, you looked like you were 80.

I’m only four years older than you, Stiles. I’ll be turning 22 but I haven’t celebrated in years.

But if someone wanted to hypothetically post you a card and a present, where would they send it?

Derek sends him an address in New York City. Stiles doesn’t need to ask; he instinctively knows that this is the apartment that Derek and Laura lived in before her death.



Do you think you’ll ever go back to Beacon Hills?

Not unless it’s an emergency. I was supposed to go back with Laura when we heard about the killings in our territory but I told her that I wasn’t ready. I made her go alone.

It wasn’t your fault.



Stiles can’t sleep. He Face Times Derek and pesters him until he finally agrees to start watching Parks and Recreation.

Stiles has the same episode playing on his laptop but he finds himself paying more attention to Derek’s face than the episode. He’s never seen Derek laugh before and the sight of him chuckling is mesmerizing.

It becomes a regular thing. Derek watches something on Netflix; Stiles watches Derek.



I hope you fall in love with someone who loves you as much as I do.

Stiles should not be allowed access to his phone while under the influence of alcohol. He texts Derek that exact sentiment the next morning but Derek doesn’t respond.



He doesn’t hear from Derek again.



I’m really sorry, Derek.

I shouldn’t have made things awkward between us.

Your friendship is more than enough, I swear. I’m not going to push for something that you don’t want.

 



None of his messages elicit a reply and god, it hurts like a fucking bitch. He thinks he finally knows what it’s like to have a broken heart.


He receives a text from Lydia.

A little bird told me that Derek Hale is currently moping in New York City.

Peter?

Cora.

I didn’t realise you were in contact with Cora. Hell, I didn’t realise that Cora was in contact with Derek.

Of course I’m in contact with Cora. She’s a useful contact. As for her contact with Derek, that’s only a recent development. Their pack bond still exists in some form; she reached out when she realised that something didn’t feel right.

What am I supposed to do about Derek moping? It’s kind of his thing.

Check your email.

There’s an email from Lydia. It’s a forward from a travel agent, confirming that a flight for a Mr. M. Stilinski has been booked for this Saturday.

He doesn’t know what to say. It turns out he was right about Lydia Martin – when she cares about someone, she shows it in materialistic gestures. This might be the greatest gesture that she’s ever done.



Stiles can barely sit still during the flight to New York City. He’s terrified that Derek will slam the door in his face but he knows that if he doesn’t try, he’ll regret it.

The cab ride to Derek’s apartment takes an eternity. He almost forgets to grab his bag in his rush to get out of the cab and forces himself to take a deep breath; to slow down just a little.

He mentions to get into the building without buzzing, darting through an open door as one of the tenants leave the building. Before he got on the flight, Lydia had texted him the apartment number, and his hands shake as he knocks on the door.

“Stiles?” Derek’s voice sounds even better in person. “What are you doing here?”

“You didn’t reply to my texts”, he says like it’s just that simple. In his eyes, it is.

It seems like it might be just that simple to Derek too because he grabs him and pulls him close. Before Stiles can protest about being manhandled, Derek’s lips are against his and the words die on his tongue.



“Why didn’t you reply?” he asks a few hours later. He and Derek had eventually made it to the bedroom and it was everything Stiles had imagined and more. It was worth forgoing the conversation but Stiles couldn’t ignore the obvious for much longer.

“I panicked. Over text, it was easy. I could say whatever I wanted and not worry about the repercussions. The thought of it becoming something more was terrifying, Stiles. You know my relationship history”.

“And you know that I’m not like any of them”.

Derek nods in agreement. “You’re not like them. You’re more than them. You already mean more. I wanted to be in a better place before giving this a chance”.

“That’s why you’re in therapy?”

“Yeah. I’ve been considering it for a long time but that night when you yelled at me for leaving without goodbye was the final push I needed”, Derek explains. “I’m still not completely there. There are still things we need to talk about and things that will require a lot more therapy but I’m in a place to give this a chance, if you still want to”.

“If I hadn’t have shown up on your doorstep, what would have happened?”

Wordlessly, Derek passed Stiles his phone. The draft messages are illuminated on the screen and Stiles scrolls through them. There’s countless messages, dating back at least two weeks, and they’re all different versions of an apology; of an explanation. Even if Stiles hadn’t shown up on his doorstep; Derek was trying. Derek has proven himself time and time again; Stiles knows that he would eventually have sent a message explaining everything.

“I still love you and I’m all in”.



Stiles calls the university the next morning and defers his enrolment.

University can wait. Right now, he and Derek have a lot to work through, both individually and together. Stiles hopes that if things go well, he can transfer his studies to a university in the city. Based on the course catalogues he finds in Derek’s study, he thinks that they’re on the same page.




He has seven missed calls from Scott and twelve text messages, all urging him to come back to Beacon Hills.

There are three messages from Malia, stating that he needs to get his ass into gear and help them out.

There’s even a text from Lydia, saying that she wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t serious.

He looks over at Derek, who looks more relaxed and happy than he has in a long time. “Shit’s going down in Beacon Hills. They need me to save their asses”. He wants Derek to come with him but doesn’t want to ask; doesn’t want to be responsible for Derek’s shoulders growing tense as he heads back to the town that took everything from him. “I shouldn’t be gone for more than a week”, he says as he’s packing a duffel bag and throwing it into the back of Derek’s Camaro.  

“That’s what Laura said”.

There is no other explanation; nothing else that needs to be said. A second duffel bag is tossed into the back of the Camaro and Derek gets into the passenger seat like he belongs there.

Turns out he didn’t need to ask. Maybe Derek needs him just as much as he needs Derek. After all this time, it’s a nice thought. It helps keep the darkness at bay; helps Stiles feel just a little more grounded than he has done in a long time.




“You didn’t think you were doing this without me?”

“Without us?”

Yeah, it feels pretty damn good that they’re an ‘us’ now.