Writing has always been something Derek has felt drawn to. Even in grade school he enjoyed writing things out. It helped him wrap his mind around things. As he got older, it shifted. Writing became a way for him to say the things he felt like he couldn’t say out loud.
He often wrote letters to his parents after the fire. He never told anyone about them, not even Laura. It was his own thing. It helped him process how he was feeling about everything. It didn’t relieve the guilt. He never thought it would. But it was something that made him feel close to them.
It’s still something he does, sometimes without even thinking about it. He’ll have something on his mind, and he’ll sit down to write, letting the words he can’t speak flow out onto the pages. He doesn’t use a computer. He doesn’t want to risk someone logging on and finding what he’s written. He sticks to paper that he can easily hide away.
He’s had a long day of work, and comes home just wanting to destress. Even without the added supernatural element, the streets of Beacon Hills can be chaos. Especially in the summer when all the kids are out of school and people are hot and restless.
He’d spent a lot of the day patrolling the streets with Theo. He doesn’t mind that. Theo’s someone he knows he can trust to have his back, weird as that may sound to anyone else. They’ve come a long way these past five years, and Theo is a stable part of Derek’s life. He’s his best friend. And unfortunately for Derek, someone he’s fallen in love with.
It’s unfortunate because despite how close they are, he can’t tell how Theo feels. Sometimes he’s catch him looking, his expression soft and fond. But then it’ll be gone, and he’ll close off and pull away. It’s confusing as hell.
And today they’d had to stop some kids from messing with a fire hydrant and Theo had wound up soaked. He’d stood next to their cruiser, glaring at the teens, as he stripped out of his shirt, and wrung them out.
“At least the water cooled you off,” Derek had said, more as a way to distract himself from the sight of Theo shirtless in front of him than anything else.
“And now everything is sticking to me,” Theo complained. “I’m two seconds away from taking these damn pants off and riding back in my boxers.
“No!” Derek said, a little too quickly. Theo raises an eyebrow, and Derek clears his throat. “I mean, if you do that I might have to arrest you for public indecency.”
Theo had smirked, “I’ll show you indecent.”
Derek had tossed a towel at him, “Just get dried off as best as you can. We can go by the house and grab you a change of clothes.”
Theo’s upstairs right now, taking a shower, and getting rid of the days grime. Derek tries not to think about it too much. It’s hard enough sharing a shower with him, and having to be surrounded by his scent.
Derek sighs and grabs a pen and some paper. He starts writing, trying to get his thoughts down as best as he can. He’s still writing when Theo comes down the stairs, and steps into the room, toweling off his hair.
“Shower’s yours if you want it,” Theo tells him.
Derek nods. He puts his pen down, and turns to Theo. His eyes widen when he realizes Theo is standing shirtless in their living room, in nothing but a pair of tight boxer briefs. Jesus. He’s trying to kill him.
Derek can’t do this. If he doesn’t leave now he’s going to do or say something foolish. He stands quickly, clenching his fists at his sides, and all but runs towards the stairs. He grabs a change of clothes from his room, and then hurries into the bathroom.
It’s still steamy from Theo’s shower, and his scent is clinging to everything. Derek groans and rests his head on the door.
“Get ahold of yourself Derek,” he mutters.
He takes a longer shower than he’d planned, but he needed the time to get himself under control. When he’s done, he heads back downstairs. He finds Theo standing next to the couch, a piece of paper held tightly in his hands.
“I didn’t mean to,” Theo says. “I saw my name on the page, and it looked like a note for me. But it’s… what is this?”
“A letter,” Derek says, his tone flat.
Derek catches sight of the words on the page and feels his pulse speed up. Theo starts reading from the letter, and Derek tries not to watch his face. He doesn’t need to see the rejection or pity there.
I can’t stop thinking about you. I try, but no matter what I do, nothing works. You’re the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing on my mind before I fall asleep. Seeing how far you’ve come, and how hard you’ve worked, makes me so proud. I always knew you could do it.
I guess I’ve just been keeping things to myself because I don’t want to ruin them. You’re in a good place, and you’re my best friend. I don’t want to ruin that.
But I love you, Theo. I’m in love with you. I only wish you...
Theo trails off, just like the letter did. Derek chances a glance at him, and once again can’t tell what he’s thinking.
“What do you wish?” Theo asks him.
“You said you only wish I… what Derek?”
Derek knows there’s no point in denying it. The letter has laid him bare. He takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders. “I only wish that you loved me back.”
“Why would you think that I don’t?” Theo asks.
“Sometimes I think you might, but then you’ll pull away and act like you’re not interested. I never wanted to get my hopes up.”
Theo laughs, and runs a hand through his hair. “I always thought you deserved better than me. You have your life on track, and sometimes I feel like I’m still stumbling through. But god Derek, I love you. I’ve just been trying to push it down. I care about you too much to let my feelings get in the way.”
Derek’s lips lift into a small smile, “So we’ve both been idiots about this whole thing, and could have been together for years if we’d just opened our eyes.”
Theo takes a step closer, then another. “Possibly. But I think the Theo and Derek we are now are probably in a better place to really love each other, don’t you?.”
Derek smiles, and steps into Theo’s space. “I do.” Derek takes the letter from Theo’s hand and places it on the desk. He moves his hands to Theo’s hips, and looks into his eyes. “I’d be upset about you finding the letter, but I did leave it out there. And it seems to have helped us.”
“I should have stopped once I realized what it was,” Theo says. “But once I knew you might...”
Derek kisses him. Just a firm press of his lips against Theo’s. He pulls back, his eyes meeting Theo’s, searching. Theo’s hand moves to the back of Derek’s neck, and he pulls him back in. The kiss is slow and deep, and Derek loses himself in it.
Theo steps back, and grabs Derek’s hands, backing towards the stairs. Derek laughs, and follows him.
As he lays in bed that night, with Theo sleeping soundly in his arms, he thinks about how he can’t wait to write to his parents and Laura, letting them know all about the man he’s fallen in love with.