awwww Rachel now I need a pining FIC taking place in 3b/s4 in Derek's POV about the mess that was St**ia and then reasoning why Stiles actually stayed in that relationship,a nd then more people focussing on Stiles little jab "I give people the benefit of the doubt, I've given a lot of benefit to a lot of people" then Scott saying "Like Derek," and then Stiles just gave him a look and continued on in the start of S5...Like I want that explored SO SO much more because that screams a lover scorned!
There is honestly so much material for a classic pining and misunderstandings fic stretched across season four. The two just slightly missing each other over and over, grabbing hold of other people because they think they can’t have the ones they really want, because they’re not even completely sure what they do want, and they can’t let themselves think about what they’re feeling, what they’re sure they’ll never really have.
Stiles falls into a relationship while he’s still piecing himself back together, broken up by guilt and grief about the Nogitsune, and here’s this person who needs him, who he feels like he can legitimately help because the things she needs help on are pretty straightforward (like how to eat with a fork and remembering to put on clothes in public, simple things). It’s a task he can focus on, and he feels good about seeing her improve, every small victory hitting him deep.
And, yeah, hearing that he’s important and she likes him is an ego boost, when his ego, confidence, self-worth, is close to completely shattered.
…And maybe also the person he tried to reach out to, the person he thought might be able to help him with this whole guilt and grief thing, never returned his calls or texts, didn’t even bother to check in on Stiles after everything went down and… Stiles is not going to let that bother him, not going to let that break him apart because he has this new girl –– a girlfriend –– who actually wants to be around him so much she sneaks into his bedroom in the middle of the night… while he’s sleeping… and crawls into bed with him. (But that’s good, right? They’re both lonely, both need comfort and it’s not like he should object to some hot girl crawling into bed with him, right? What normal guy would object to that?)
And then of course Stiles realizes why Derek hadn’t been answering his texts, after Scott tries to text him and actually follows through by checking his loft, unlike Stiles who had just taken it as a rejection… and after that it becomes an obsession for him. Find out where Derek went. Bring Derek back. Bring Derek back alive and safe and––
And that’s just because that’s what they do, alright? They save each other’s asses, that’s their thing. And because maybe he feels guilty about not having gone to check on Derek, himself (and he has enough guilt already for a lifetime). That’s the only reason. That’s why he can’t relax or sleep or focus on his awesome new (strange, sometimes disturbing) girlfriend. But that’s fine. Once he gets Derek home, everything will be fine.
…Except then they get Derek home and it’s not fine, because Derek’s not Derek. He’s younger and more open and his jokes don’t have the same harsh edge to them and Stiles has to keep doubletaking for reasons he can’t quite make sense of, wanting to spend time with him and get to know him and… it’s just because it’s so weird, that’s why. Like, not one bit of the insane supernatural shit they’ve been through for the past year had even begun to prepare him for living out some kind of crazy kid!fic in real life with his surly sort-of-ally. And this kid’s Derek and it’s also not Derek, and it’s like seeing all these fresh new angles of him that Stiles has only gotten glimpses of before, or never expected (like holy shit, Derek’s fluent in Spanish?) and that’s why he still can’t focus on his amazing, out of his league hot (awkward and honestly sort of uncomfortable) girlfriend.
But she needs him, and he’s the only one she trusts, and she is his girlfriend, and that’s awesome, right? And once Derek’s back to being Derek again, Stiles has no real reason to keep focusing on him. It’s not like they’re close. Not like they’re friends. And if Stiles’ thoughts go back to Derek from time to time, if he ends up pinning Derek’s picture to a board in a fit of frustration with a red string on it, unsolved, it’s just because of all the weirdness about his capture and Kate’s plans for him.
Derek, meanwhile, had barely held himself together after his capture by Kate, clinging to vague and hazy (and sometimes shockingly tangible) images of Stiles all the way to Mexico. And he’d known that he cared about Stiles before that, known it since South America, honestly. It’s the reason he came back to Beacon Hills despite Cora, his last real family, having to stay away. After all the pain, the betrayals and the losses… there should have been nothing for him back in Beacon Hills.
Except there was.