I'm getting so much feels right bow about a badass Stiles saving Derek one more time, kinda putting himself in the line of fire again and Derek being awed about it. Like finally understanding that this boy (whom he sees like a man now) is so important to him and why he has Stiles as an anchor
Derek never told him.
It was stupid, he knew, to not share knowledge of something this important, but…he just didn’t tell him. And then he left.
The communication was enough. Derek watched him graduate through photos on social media, secretly followed his twitter feed and chuckled at how surprisingly horrible he was about censoring the supernatural.
Derek didn’t stoop low enough to make his lock screen his face, or something so obvious as that. But photos that he took, of his campus, of the cake he’d baked for Scott’s eighteenth, of his jeep. Those were saved or screengrabbed, and kept in an album just for him, when he needed a reminder.
A person is so much easier of an anchor than an emotion, Derek realized as soon as he recognized the switch. It was like he could breathe easy again. He still had tough times when his heart seized in his chest, and he had to shout at himself in his head. But now he allowed himself to rely on someone else for something. He allowed himself to ask for help, even if they didn’t know they were helping. And it took a chunk out of the boulder on his shoulders.
He didn’t know, but Derek could remember vividly the day he figured it out and suddenly everything started to make sense.