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Words with Werewolves (rewrite and extended)

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Being back in Beacon Hills is more difficult than Derek ever expected.

Slightly over four years without his true best friend has been nothing short of torture. Now that the Hale family is back, Derek cannot bring himself to come to some sort of resolve about these intense and unfamiliar feelings he has had pent up after all these years. They bring an emptiness in the center of his chest that he has tried to fill but without any success.

He has tried to fit in, he has tried to date, he even tried to have a girlfriend. All of these efforts the past number of years have proven unfruitful. He has tried to do what he could to make the bleak emptiness disappear but with each effort, it became more and more evident that nothing was going to fill that lone spot in his heart.

So here he is now, nervously sitting on the newly finished steps of the oak wrap-around porch. Derek stares out into the cold and damp morning fog just before sunrise and is only slightly relieved about what today will bring.

It is the last day he will be considered a Junior at Beacon Hills High school and he is hoping it will be the beginning of some relief from this pain he has been muddling through.

He takes one last look at his phone screen and then sets it aside. His "Words with Friends" game will have to wait while he takes in the surroundings of the home he missed for so many years. The feeling of "home" is warm and comforting to him and it was only getting stronger the older he became. He was well aware that this feeling was amplified a hundred-fold when he was with his best friend. It was an unexplainable sense of security and love when his best friend was by his side. But that seems like an eternity ago.

The amplified feeling was lost years ago and it has not returned even after moving back.

The entire Hale family has moved back into the now massive and elegant mansion. It had to be rebuilt and is now thrice as large as before.

His parents told the family that If they were actually going to make Beacon Hills, Pennsylvania a central werewolf hub and the official Hale headquarters, the home they needed upon their return would have to be much different than before.

This new home resembles the old one, but over the years his uncles bought even more land to accommodate their lycanothropic needs. It has an extensive two room library and research center, two huge modern kitchens with pantries enough to feed an army, various outside vegetable, fruit and herbal gardens, more guest rooms than a motel and direct access to the huge Preserve lake.

They have other amenities that not many know about such as secret passageways and hidden rooms within the house, extensive underground tunnels spidering out to various significant landmarks throughout the city. They even started up a business that is something that is much needed for the werewolf community but is also serves as a front for generating finances for the family; not that they need it.

Even though it is going on six months since they have been back, Derek feels this pervasive nudging at his consciousness. His inner wolf will not let him settle in and ignore "the call". He can tell his parents and older sister Laura know the changes that are occurring within him. Still, he is just too embarrassed and proud to confront them.

He had been told about "the call" but it is confusing to him nonetheless.

He catches his entire family looking at him at times with empathy and it is almost like they want to tell him something that seems to be alluding him but, they remain steadfastly silent. It is made known to him that he always has an ear with which will listen, a shoulder to cry on or a friend/parent/sister to lean on.

He feels like he should talk to them but he honestly does not even know what he would say or how he would even begin the conversation. He innately feels something he cannot describe. How could he even put this feeling into words. It is beyond frustrating.

He currently has very few mundane worries. He is quite fortunate because when they abruptly moved away four years ago, his family was well off at the time. He never had to worry about material things but he never took it for granted. But not nearly as wealthy and powerful as they are now.

Derek Hale has everything this and any other young man could ever want and he is thankful. But his inner wolf is not interested in anything material right now. The nudging at his consciousness feels like something that, when it is revealed, will make him complete. Like a part of his soul has been vacant for years.

So far, returning to Beacon Hills has just amplified that sense of loss.

While clasping the Triskele necklace made from an arrowhead for him years ago, he sips his smooth yet bitter morning coffee and fondly remembers his life when things seemed more clear and carefree; before they moved. Nothing was 'missing' back then. Everything seemed clear and crisp and it became more sharp if he discussed it with his best friend.

When he had his best friend, he could honestly say now and back then, he did not desire anything. Or anyone else for that matter.

Derek had just turned fourteen with his best friend trailing behind him only by a few months. They were constant companions and did nearly everything together. He keenly remembers his mother pulling him to the side one day and telling him that one day he would find out just how important this relationship would be.

He never was sure exactly what his mother meant by the word "relationship". It seemed like a word only adults talked about, but it always brought the brightest smile to his handsome face.

Back in the day, a family by the last name Farkas, was part of the Hale pack. Tess Farkus was the Emissary for the Hales since the early 1960's. She was pivotal in helping Derek's grandmother, Alpha Marjorie, expand the Hale territory ten fold and made them the largest pack in the Pennsylvania tri-state area.

Alpha Marjorie had three children; Adam, Peter and the youngest, his mom Talia. Her husband was a great father but alas, he was not her mate. Later in life that she actually met her mate shortly after getting married.

Things went well until they didn't. For Alpha Marjorie, the year Talia was born was difficult. Talia was a breach birth which was difficult for the mother and child even in the mid 1970;s

Emissary Tess had to use her spark to keep both alive. This drained Tess's life force, taking years to regain even the slightest semblance of her former power.

Then both women lost their human husbands to a radical hunter faction. The hunters were easily dealt with but then Tess found out that she was pregnant with her only child Claudia. Neither woman was ever the same.

So, from that point on, both children were groomed for specific purposes. Marjorie reared Talia to be the strongest Alpha possible and Tess taught Claudia everything she knew to engage her spark.

Claudia and Talia became close friends not only because the liked each other but also out of necessity.

Marjorie and Tess eventually passed.

Despite Claudia being expected to be the next Emissary after Tess' passing, she declined the position much to everyone;s surprise and disappointment. Reluctantly, Talia accepted her wishes and when Claudia became the assistant to Dr. Deaton who was the new Beacon Hills Veterinarian, neither of them expected him to actually ask to be the Hale Emissary.

The families were close but when Claudia got married and had her only son, she kept him out of the Hale pack for his own safety. This did not keep him from becoming best friends with Talia;s middle child, Derek. They met when they entered elementary school and before you knew it, they were attached at the hip. To these two boys, life seemed grand even till their early teens.

That is until the fire at the mansion changed everything.

It was not unlike many other previous summer weekends; Derek's Uncles Peter and Sam had invited his sister's family up to their humble cottage off the Juniata river. This one weekend already had an unusual feel to it. Like something ominous was hanging over it but the feeling could not be shook.

Derek begged his parents and Claudia to let his best friend come along.

He did not really need to ask because they were all essentially family. When Talia called, Claudia said she was told by her son "how awesome it was going to be to go to the mountains with Derek." and she agreed.

Claudia remarked, "Honestly Talia, if I do not let him go, I do not think that I would hear the end of it. Can you image what it would be like to have him pouting around all weekend long because there was no Derek? No thank you. John and I embrace the little sanity that we have left." Talia and Claudia laughed for almost two minutes.

Unfortunately, this would be the last weekend that Derek and his best friend, Stiles would see each other anytime soon.

*********************************************************************

While wading through the shallow part of the river down from the cottage, Stiles found an unique Indian arrowhead that resembled a Triskele. Knowing the significance of this symbol for the Hales, Stiles crafted a necklace for his best friend.

On their first night at the cottage, as the two were getting ready for bed, Talia and her husband watched from afar. Both were lying in their sleeping bags huddled up next to each other when Stiles presented it to Derek.

Derek's eyes flooded with emotion while a blush spread across his face as he reached for it and put it around his neck.

Derek's parents watched the exchange between the two boys and could only smile at each other knowing that this was probably the beginning of the new aspect of their friendship.

It would be something that was going to be heavily encouraged and both young men would be discovering things together.

Just before sunrise the very next day, Talia knew something was not right. She felt like her family was being watched. It all became clear when her oldest Laura came back from a very early morning run. When she got back, she told her parents and uncles of the distinct smell of wolfsbane and mistletoe on a group of people she had never seen before. Talia's Alpha instincts kicked in and before they knew it, everyone was packed up and they bolted back home. Stiles, Derek and his sisters could see the fear etched on all the adults faces. Talia received a call on her cell from Dr. Deaton and when she hung up, she looked at her husband in pure terror. The gas peddle was pushed closer to the floor.

Talia called Claudia and she was completely frantic. Her worst fears coming true.

Stiles was promptly brought back to the Stilinski residence. Talia received a text from Deaton that a large faction of hunters in the Pittsburgh area who had made their way to the surrounding areas of Beacon Hills.

Claudia burst out onto the front porch door with tears streaming down her face when she heard from her husband, the sheriff. She conveyed the news that the Hale home was ablaze. Claudia hugged Talia tight because she knew what had to be done.

It was already decided that Peter and his spouse Sam would be staying behind to manage "the problem" as much as they could. The Hale family however, would go far away and into seclusion for however long it would take. Laura, Cora and Derek had little time to process what was actually happening.

As the blue Toyota SUV pulled away from the Stilinski residence, Derek began screaming and watched in horror as Stiles ran down the driveway after him with hot tears streaming down his cheeks. All Derek could do was put his hand up to the rear window and gasp as Stiles figure eventually disappeared.

Talia did her best to console Derek as Claudia did with Stiles but despite their intentions, consoling their children was completely unsuccessful.

Of the two children, the young werewolf was hit the hardest especially due to puberty. This was a defining time for a male werewolf and Derek;s early teen years were personally unfulfilling..

Depression and anxiety filled Derek's daily life. Talia knew that Derek being away from Stiles would be torture but there was nothing that could be done. There was to be no contact with the Stilinski's or anyone else in Beacon Hills. That was the final word that came from Derek's parents. It did not take long for Derek to become reclusive and quiet. Sports and weight lifting were the only things he did that minimally relieved the sadness, but the relief was shortlived

Four years later, Peter and Sam eventually convinced Talia and her husband Thomas that it was safe to return. The Hales moved back to Beacon Hills just before Christmas.

Laura just finished college the summer before and moved back as well. Cora and Derek would start mid year in high school. Upon contacting the sheriff, Talia found out that Claudia had passed away two years prior very unexpectedly.

Returning seemed as though it was going to be hard on everyone.

Derek himself had to cope with the guilt and embarrassment of returning and not actively seeking his former best friend out. Stiles felt dejected years ago so he was not going to seek out Derek.

School had been extremely awkward for both of them. It takes a significant amount of effort to make sure you did not run into them.

Stiles stopped over once with his father to welcome them but Derek would not come down from his room and Stiles remained in the sheriff's vehicle. It was uncomfortable to say the least.

Derek did what he could to occupy his mind and body; anything to avoid facing his guilt. Even after returning, he would have intense physically demanding workouts and would run as much as he could. It provided only temporary peace of mind. His depression was worsening and the anxiety and guilt was still causing a lack of sleep his body so badly craved.

His inner wolf was anxious and pacing incessantly in his mind. Now that he was actually physically closer to Stiles, a whirlwind of thoughts still plagued him since their move back. He thought just like the whirlwind he could see in his coffee.

Still on the porch while Derek is in deep thought, Laura steps out and looks at her brother with something akin to empathy. She thinks Derek is constantly lost in his thoughts and is most likely struggling with the reemergence of buried four year old emotions. She shakes her head and turns around going back into the kitchen to get herself a cup of coffee.

He has a firm grip on the fragile mug of Arabica coffee that he has been sipping at for the past 5 minutes? 40 minutes? He does not even know.

All he knows is how lost and empty he feels.

Stirring his coffee is mesmerizing because the swirls of soft brown in his mug remind him of the eyes of someone that he could not look away from so many years ago.

Everywhere he goes and everything that he sees reminds him of that special someone that he had to leave behind without so much as a good bye. They have seen each other and know of each other's existence but Derek feels waves of anxiety and anger roll off of Stiles whenever they see each other. Stiles went so far as to make sure they did not have any classes together.

Any chance at restoring a relationship between him and Stiles seems impossible and destined not to happen.

Derek misses him but seeing him at school has become increasingly unbearable and now, knowing he will not visually see him over the summer after school lets out, just grinds a hole in his guts which makes him physically nauseated.

He pours his coffee into the grass just as Laura comes out with Cora to take them to school for the last day before summer break.

Hopefully, working with Laura for a month or so will take his mind off of things.

=====================================

It is the end of May and the school hallways are bustling with excitement. This is the last day before summer break. In the cafeteria, everyone is starting to clear out because they only have the afternoon classes to go through and then it is pure and utter freedom for the masses. Stiles is not so much excited because his current obsession is making him rather distant from everything going on around him.

"Stiles? ... Stiles?" Scott a bit louder after being selectively ignored. "Yo, Stiles!?", Stiles exhales an exasperated breath as he hears his friends' rubber soles getting louder as he runs up to him.

"Jeez, Scott! Could you yell any louder? I heard you the first time." Stiles looks up a bit peeved from his cellphone. He glances back down as Scott easily slides in beside him while they are walking out of the god forsaken high school cafeteria.

"Scotty, can you not see I am in some serious deep thought? I am trying to come up with words with two or three letters for this damn Words with Friends game. It demands my total concentration." Stiles gawks at him and Scott just raises and eyebrow and shakes his head.

"What? What did I do?"

"Well, don't you think you are just a bit overly preoccupied with that game?" Stiles gapes at him in shock. 'Does Scott even KNOW him?' the thinks. Scott gently nudges Stiles shoulder,

"Come on buddy, lunch is over and we have three more classes till this day is over and summer break begins." with a disgusted look on his face, Scott hastily dispenses his cafeteria tray and tugs at Stiles to follow him. Stiles looks briefly back to his phone.

"Look, if playing Words with friends helps me avoid 'mister eyebrow-death glare', then that is what I'll do between classes." He pulls his phone down and gives Scott his sad puppy eyes, "Dude, I still can't believe that you are abandoning me and leaving your best friend behind for almost an entire summer just so you can go visit your Aunt in Iowa."

Stiles looks down giving his phone a very confused and frowning face because he just got a WWF notification, "What is there to even do in Iowa except for... Ummph!!"

Stiles plows directly into something warm and solid which causes him to lose his balance. Scott turns around but is not fast enough. He stops in mid step as he sees Stiles falling forward. Stiles new cellphone becomes a rocketing projectile and begins to fly through the air. It does not get far as large hands grab it midflight.

Stiles is flailing as he scrunches his eyes and prepares to be one with the cement floor. But there ends up not being a thud or a lot of pain.

The back of his red hoody is grasped tightly and he stops in a horizontal position. He lets out a whine more because the hoody is tight around his neck as to opposed to the pain he did not receive by slamming into the cafeteria floor. He slowly opens his eyes because it is deathly quiet because all this fellow students are watching in shock. Stiles' face is hovering two inches from the red cement floor.

Before he can breath or make anymore sounds, he is forcibly yanked up like a rag doll and is launched through the air where he is eventually pushed comfortably against a brick wall. Stiles is a bit shaky but he is being held firmly in place with a large, masculine hand up against his chest.

His focus finally adjusts and he has two of the most beautiful green-yellow-blue-grey-marine eyes staring at him. He has not been this close to his former best friend since he has been back but he looks the same as he remembers just more 'hot' than Stiles ever remembers.

Stiles gets quivery butterflies in his stomach which are quickly replaced with a nervous flop sweat because 'they' have been actively avoiding each other. I guess up till now.

"You! Do you even watch where you are going?" and 'Oh Shit!', of all people, yes it is Derek Hale.

Stiles just stares in disbelief taking all of Derek it and not uttering a syllable. So, Derek leans closer into his personal space bringing warmth and the addicting essence that is Derek. Stiles thinks back and remembers how physical proximity to his former best friend used to bring him a feeling of safety and comfort.

Stiles faculties are overwhelmed but he remembers that Derek hates him. His mouth goes dry and he can barely breath because, well he might be dead in the next five seconds.

He tries to hold back the shiver that travels down his spine as he looks down at Derek Hales' hands on his chest for almost a minute. 'where did all this muscle and hair come from?'. Derek seems to sense something because he stares at Stiles and even leans further to sniff a couple times as his eyes dance between Stiles neck, eyes and mouth.

The myriad of emotions spreading across his face leave him quiet which is actually quite a feat for someone like him. He quickly turns to Scott who is just standing stock still with huge bug eyes.

Eventually, Stiles starts to formulate some type of coherent thought. Just Derek's proximity seems to intimidate yet comfort Stiles. Does that even make sense?

Derek smirks but edges even closer and pushes his firm warm muscular chest further into Stiles front causing a slight 'meep' from Stiles. Their warm noses graze each others and Derek's cool, minty breath tickles Stiles nostrils. Stiles mind has just officially went offline and he loses any thought he might have had. Derek speaks first in a gravely low voice.

"Since you obviously do not know how to speak or forgot how to, it has become apparent that you cannot see where you are going. I only have one suggestion Stiliniski." Derek slowly leans in and lightly whispers in his ear while his soft lips and a brush of whiskers ghost over Stiles' earlobe, "I would not want anything to happen to you so please, pay attention to where you are going and try to be more careful." and with that, Derek pushes back and releases his grip on Stiles while never taking his eyes off of him.

Stiles is still staring at him because, damn, these are the actual true first words Derek has spoken to him since he moved back to Beacon Hills.

Before Stiles has the chance to straighten himself out, one of those large masculine hands is holding his new cellphone out, (oh thank fuck!) just a few inches from his face. "Here, there is no face planting yourself and your cellphone lives to see another day." (Derek had looks at the screen and smirks.) "Maybe playing Words with Friends is not the best thing to be doing when you are walking around in public.

He briefly continues, "It takes some serious deep thought and total concentration to come up with words." Hey, Stiles just said the exact same thing to Scott. Hmm?

Stiles swallows the huge frog in his throat and reaches out to take his cellphone from Derek.

Derek playfully holds tight onto his phone until Stiles actually uses both hands and gently covers Derek's hand until he releases the phone. In shock and just barely above a whisper, Stiles speaks, "Uhm, yeah, thanks." He swallows again and with a more firm voice he says, "Thanks .... ah dude. I appreciate it. I owe you."

Derek starts to get light headed and a bit jittery because of the warmth of Stiles hands as they course over his hands has his heart racing out of control. The scent coming off of Stiles is slightly sour at first mixed with nervousness and anxiety but when they brush hands, it is like someone had a bottle of Jovan Musk cologne and sprayed it right in his face.

He quickly shakes his head and says, "You do not owe me anything, ever. Get it?".

Derek turns to walk away and as he leaves, he looks over his left shoulder and says, "No problem Stilinski, just ah... watch where you are going next time. We do not want anything to happen to that pretty face.." and then his expression changes like he is getting ready to ask Stiles for a favor. "Oh, and Stiles?"

Stiles is shocked at the compliment?? and gives Derek his undivided attention, "Don't call me dude. I have a name and you know it. Use it." A split second later he has disappeared around the brick corner of the silent cafeteria.

Other students are beginning to make noise, They are mumbling and looking at the exiting Derek as well as looking at Stiles. The attention makes Stiles' skin crawl. He mumbles to himself, "Well, that will hopefully be all the excitement for me today."

Once Derek is out of sight, a shocked bug-eyed Scott gallops towards Stiles a bit worried. "Dude, holy shit are you alright?" Scott looks all over Stiles to make sure he is fine. "You seem okay. I mean, that is Derek Hale. Isn't he the same guy you have been telling me about since Christmas that you used to be friends with?"

A nervous Scott starts to ramble, "Hell, I did not know he even knew who you were." Stiles is still standing stunned trying to grasp onto Scott's sentences. "You know, I might not be fond of that Hale guy but he does have a point. If you do not watch what your doing or where you are going, you are going to get yourself killed." Scott just hastily brushes off invisible dust on Stiles flannel shirt.

Stiles is still standing there mouth agape with a slack jaw and staring into space while trying to comprehend what had just transpired. Was that a compliment from Derek or an underhanded comment?

In a very low detached sort of dreamy voice, Stiles eyes flutter and he drones out a hypnotized response, "Yeah, yeah I know Scott. I will try and be more careful." as he starts to come out of his daze, in a very soft voice, Stiles reveals some insight to his current thoughts.

"Hey Scott? You know that talk we had some months back around the time that the Hales moved back to Beacon Hills? I told you that I thought I might be more into guys than I am into girls?" Stiles can feel his anxiety starting to ramp up. He tries to wipe his embarrassment away but perspiration is running down his face like a waterfall and his heart is erratic and just about to burst of out his chest.

Scott scoots closer because the entire school does not need to know either of their business, "Yeah buddy, I remember."

Stiles stares down the hallway were Derek went, "Well, I think it has just been confirmed that I definitely like guys much more and I mean MUCH MORE than girls!" After he realizes what just slipped out of his mouth, "OH shit, does that make me gay?"

Scott cannot answer that questions for Stiles so they both turn and mindlessly walk through the hallway in the same direction that Derek went. "Dude, I have been wondering if my sexual awakening has been all in my head and I thought I was just making things up in my head." He gets a wide grin and laughs out loud and speaks quite confidently.

"Well, let me tell you Mr. McCall, my inclination to lean toward the male persuasion of the species has been definitely confirmed thanks to Mr. Derek Hale. Fuck he is so hot and he used to be my best friend. What the hell is my life?"

An astonished Scott slaps him on the back of the head and forcibly drags a protesting flailing Stiles by his overstuffed back pack into the Men's bathroom. "Dude, what the hell are you talking about?"

Stiles is pushed towards the corner of the room. His back pack is heavy and all but falls off his shoulders and he finally tries to regroup while leaning on the white cold bathroom sink.

Scott continues to embark on his lecture but Stiles needs to splash cold water on his face so he can pay attention to Scott. He also hopes this will help with trying to calm down his racing heart. Stiles peaks at Scott with bewilderment in the mirror's reflections.

Scott raises an eyebrow in disbelieve because apparently Stiles is suddenly looking at him clueless. "What the hell did you just say back there? Am I missing something?"

He steps closer to the mirror staring more intently at Stiles reflection, "Because one of the most awkward, frightening and moody people I have ever met just slammed you up against a brick wall after preventing you from pancaking on the floor."

Scott moves forward and looks at Stiles from the side mirror. "Even if he used to be a close friend in the past, what does him being hot have to do with the fact that he man handled you?"

Stiles occupies his time as he wipes his face down with a scratchy paper towel. "Okay Scotty, I get your concern and I thank you for it."

"Yes, you are right. Derek Hale looks like he is angry at the world and pissed off all the time.

"Yes, Derek's default facial expression is to deliver a murderous stare and ..." he sputters to a stop mid sentence.

Stiles stops to carefully listen. It is awfully quiet in the bathroom and something feels... off. A chill runs down his spine. He only gets this way when Derek approaches him. It started when they were children and it became habit to feel when Derek was close or near.

But damn, he forgot to check the toilet stalls to see if anyone else was hiding out or hanging in the bathroom. They both stand stock still and listen to the distant echoes out in the hallway. This chill runs down Stiles spine again giving him a tickly but foreboding feeling. Stiles waits a good ten seconds and doesn't hear anything. Before he can even continue, Scott beats him to the punch.

"Dude, I do not care what you say because that guy Derek, is a bit off. So, his entire family up and moves without so much as a good bye to you or your family and then out of the blue, they move back to Beacon Hills six months ago?" Stiles just shrugs because what really can he say about that.

Scott is not impressed, "You know, since he has been here he hasn't spoken to anyone in this entire school except his sisters, his teachers and his odd ball group of three friends. He is always moping and skulking around the hallways. And I have caught him many times just lurking in the shadows of the classrooms in a supremely bizarre fashion."

"And if you have not noticed, when he sees you in particular, he get all weird. He either abruptly changes direction away from you or gets immediately angry and frowns while staring holes into you. What the hell is up with that?"

Scott twists Stiles by the shoulders to look at him face to face. "Listen to me Stiles, I don't care about your little personal sexual revelation. Fine, you like guys more than girls. Big whoop. Yay, let's have a parade. You know I never care about that stuff. I love you and our friendship because you are you."

"All I am saying buddy is be careful because that guy totally freaks me the fuck out." Scott starts to grasp his bookbag as the first warning bell rings.

"You really need to start paying more attention to things and your surroundings when playing those games on your fucking phone." Scott places a hand on Stiles shoulder in sympathy, "Like Derek for one. He may be hot according to you but it is clearly evident that he is in no way interested in you and I think he would much rather strangle you and put you in a dumpster. Plus, well, it's creepy."

The truth that Scott just spilled hits Stiles unexpectedly. Stiles frowns and nods to Scott like he understands exactly what Scott is saying. "Yeah, Okay man, I get it. Thanks for the info and for caring buddy."

Stiles feels bad about this opinion that Scott seems to have about Derek. But he is right! Who is he kidding? He does not have a clue who Derek is these days.

Stiles knows he is still getting through his awkward stage of puberty but it appears that Derek just bypassed that and looks like a male model with muscles as well as the other extra masculine amenities.

Stiles sees the way that all the girls look at Derek. They just ooze lust and want and it's like they don't even see who the person that Derek is.

The thought that they could be friends again let alone maybe something more is completely ridiculous. What in the hell was he even thinking?

Still, there is this feeling inside of Stiles that he innately needs to protect, defend and support Derek because of their past friendship. Things cannot all be bad behind those beautiful green eyes.

"Look, Scott. Yeah, Derek looks like a disgruntled bad ass a majority of the time but who knows what is going on in his life."
"Oh and yes, thank you so very fucking much for reminding me that someone else who is burning hot and popular wouldn't take a second look at me. Look at me, puberty has not been the nicest to me and thank goodness it is coming close to an end."

"So, yes I know he is way out of my league and Derek would ever find someone like me even remotely attractive or interesting. Way to pump me up with positive thoughts and bolster my ego there Scotty."

Stiles gives him a sad look that has Scott hanging his head in shame. But there is no real heat to his remarks. Stiles knows this is his lot in life and he has accepted it.

Stiles confesses, "Yeah, maybe Derek hates me now. Who knows? Even if he doesn't smile or talk and refuses to interact with the rest of the planet. That is on him. That is his decision."

Damn how did this conversation get to be so shitty. Stiles decides to bond with Scott because he does actually make some very valid points.

"Maybe Derek hates the world. It is a shame those good looks got attached to a shitty demeanor. And, I do have to agree with you, Derek is socially inept to a degree but..."

Before Stiles can finish his sentence, there is a very loud guttural cough that almost sounds like a growl. Both boys eyes are now the size of oranges and they are staring in that direction. It appears to be coming from the fifth stall in the bathroom. The one that is plugged up with shit.

They both jump back in fright a few inches as the graffitied metal door slowly creaks open on it's hinges. Scott and Stiles turn ghostly pale and stare at the stall with their mouths open to catch flies. There is nothing for at least five seconds.

In a blinding whirlwind, the next thing Stiles knows is that his scrawny little ass is leaning up against the bathroom sink and his back is plastered up against the mirror. Scott just scoots back and watches in silence at the interaction unfolds.

Derek is there, angry, flushed and breathing into Stiles face and all Stiles can do is attempt to swallow and he does that rather unsuccessfully.

They are both looking at each other very intensely and the expression on Derek's face is not one of appreciation. Even thought Stiles is pinned for the second time in one day, the look on Derek's face is almost ...sad? Stiles fumbles to get his shoes back on the floor as he starts to speak.

"Uh, hey there Derek. Yeah, Derek dude, the man. We uh, ... we were just talking about you and..." Stile wipes the pouring sweat from his brow and continues.

"How about that, eh?"

Stiles gently pats Derek's forearm as if he were a puppy. Slowly, as the pressure against his chest start to hurt, "Uhm, Scott and I thought ...that ..."

Derek leans in much closer than expected which is beginning to terrify Stiles. 'How the hell did he not know that Derek hated him?' Derek's nostrils flare as he pushes his fist up underneath Stiles chin when grabbing his collar but with much less force because he must have noticed he might be hurting him.

He is so close that the radiant heat from Derek face paints the exposed flesh of Stiles exposed neck. By some instinct, Stiles turns his head and exposes his neck even more while closely eyeing what Derek is going to do next.

Then he feels a huff of hot air run down his neck into his open buttoned shirt. He can swear that he feels Derek's nose brush against his neck ever so slightly. Oh yup, there are his lips and tongue too.

Derek took a second and inhaled deeply with his eyes closed like he was savoring Stiles scent. Really? The thought of Derek this close with his body pressed firmly to his front and smelling Stiles, well it sends odd sensations, pulsations and flickers of electricity surging throughout his body. Most of them concentrated in his groin area.

His dick is raging hard and is jerking up and down the whole time while precum abundantly leaks in his boxers due to Derek's proximity.

Derek smiles and steps back minutely to look down between them. Pressure from Derek's pelvis is right there with his. It is an oddly uncomfortable yet satisfying sensation that is creating full blown hard engorgement of his unit. It is causing pant fabric tightness that is restricting everything in the crotch area of his jeans.

Oh fuck, it seems Derek noticed and this is so fucking embarrassing.

Derek did notice the heady arousal but he is still distraught from what he heard. Suddenly, there is a burst of pungent, strong pheromones as Stiles musky scent seeps between the two of them.

It confuses Derek so much that his own arousal was spiked. Hell, every time he sees Stiles he gets aroused and pops a semi. Derek wants this to go right and he can't let these chemo signals get in the way.

So, he waits while looking back and forth between Stiles eyes as though he was searching for something but didn't know what it was.

It hits him then and he has to shake his head because now he feels something more concerning. He never meant to be the source of the anxiety and stress that is rolling off of Stiles in overwhelming amounts.

Derek quickly glances at Scott ever so closely but then he plants his stare right back on Stiles. After about half a minute and the second warning bell for the next class rings, he relents.

"I have two you know." He swallows back his own fear because he knows that he must get these words out, "I heard everything fucked up thing you said and now I know exactly what you and Scott think."

Then he ducks his head and whispers really only loud enough for Stiles to hear, "I know, ... I know what you think of me." Stiles locked into this moment with Derek so intensely that his vision gets blurry. He could swear he saw the beginning of tears welling up in Derek's eyes.

Stiles can feel something breaking inside of his chest and his breath hitches because he feels like he cannot breath. He wants to apologize because what he and Scott said was really downright shitty.

"No, no... Wait! Derek, that is not what..." he tries to explain.

Stiles is drowned out because Derek firmly speaks over him with gut wrenching hurt in his scratchy broken voice.

"No! ...no... DUDE !!! You get to listen to me now." He looks at Scott again to make sure that he knows he is speaking to both of them. When he gets confirmation that Scott is listening by his eyes bugging out of his slowly shaking head, he continues.

"No one asked you to like me. I sure as hell didn't. If you don't like me, that is fine and dandy. You know why, because... Screw you!" Derek then has had enough and doesn't want this to really go any further, so he abruptly releases Stiles.

Stiles slumps down into a standing position in front of the sink still face to face with Derek. An blush of embarrassment rushes up from his shirt, advancing to his neck and blossoming in red splotches all over his face.

"I tell you what Stilinski and this goes for you too, McCall, jJust... just keep your inane observations and harsh criticism about me to yourselves. I do not need to or want to hear how people like the two of you all hate me." his voice actually cracks at the end.

"Hell, just talk about me behind my back like everyone else does. As long as I do not have to hear it." Derek takes a slow calculated step back away from Stiles.

He speaks in a normal sincere voice and with his total attention directed at Stiles, "You should know all of this Stiles. I haven't changed since we moved away. You know better than anyone that I don't bother or hurt anyone, ever intentionally."

"I do my absolute best to respect everyone and anyone who deserves it. I mind my own damn business. And if that is not good enough for you then... then..."

Derek scuttles around and gives up. He snatches his calculus book lying on the mirror shelf and quickly leaves the bathroom. All Stiles and Scott can do is stare in disbelief as he disappears like he was never even there.

"Holy shit dude. That is the second time today that that psycho slammed you up against something and read into you. What a piece of shit. What is his major malfunction. Honestly when think about it, I think he has like plans to kill you or something."

Scott is being over the top dramatic. Which is typically not something Scott does because that is almost always Stiles department.

"Oh jiminey christmas Scotty, will you give it a fucking rest already." Stiles doesn't say anymore because what Derek said aloud to him and Scott breaks his heart even more. Derek thinks he hates him. Stiles doesn't hate anyone.

If anything, after that display of personal self preservation, Stiles finds that he far from hates Derek Hale.

In the end, Stiles drags Scott to their fifth period class and before they knows it, the final period bell rings and kids are cheering and rushing out of the school excited that summer break has finally begun.

Stiles and Scott separate because Kira showed up and they are headed over to her house for dinner with her parents.

After they ride off on his motorbike, Stiles takes out his cellphone and put his head down while playing Words with Friends as he makes his way slowly across the hot black tar parking lot to his jeep. Stiles can't think too well now because both interactions he had with Derek earlier today have sort of short circuited and melted his brain.

He throws his back pack in then climbs into his swelteringly hot jeep and just sits. He puts his phone down and takes a long breath in and as he breathes out, he rests his weary head against the scalding hot steering wheel.

He turns over the engine and the radio is blaring loud. "Is it too late to say I'm sorry.." are the lyrics being whined over his ancient speakers by the Beiber.

He turns it down as fast a possible because no one must know that he listens to that artist. So, he just regroups until he hears a loud engine revving up from across the parking lot. He instantly recognizes the black Camaro with tinted windows that is parked about twenty five feet away from his jeep.

He can't see who is inside but he is pretty sure he knows who it is. They flash their headlights at Stiles and then it pulls out of the parking lot while driving extra slow as it passes by the light blue jeep.

"What in the ...?"

Stiles shakes his head and just thinks that this has been one of the weirdest days he has had in a long time. One good thing is, he is going to start his temporary job at the Wolf Shelter and Preserve tomorrow.

This is good because it is something that he has really been looking forward to since last summer.

Also because it is very unlikely he would run into any of his classmates. Especially Derek who will probably start entertaining all the girls that have been flirting with him throughout the school year.

Being the hot muscle bound stud in high school and also being Mr. Popularity and jock extraordinaire, Derek surely has much better things or people to do than work for the summer. The thought sends a pang of resentment through Stiles every time he thinks of something like that.

It does provide some relief and a tiny bit of peace of mind knowing he won't see Derek again until the Fall when school starts.

It oddly makes him forlorn and sad but jealous and sort of possessive at the same time. Just how screwed up can this teenager get.

Chapter Text

"What in the hell? No way. I do not believe it" Stiles peers down at his phone in confusion because there is no way that what his friend just entered on Word with Friends is an actual word. He is mumbling to himself now. He looks at the letters that he has available to him and just gasps. "Why in the hell am I being dealt all these consonants. I can't make words with this crap and this dude is kicking my ass."

The Sheriff is driving both of them to their destinations. Him to the police station and Stiles to the Wolf Preserve out by the edge of the forest on Hale Property. The Preserve is now approximately 850 acres of land which is just slightly larger than Central park in New York City. The Sheriff peers over and notices his son all wrapped up in his phone.

"Son, are you ever going to stop playing with that phone of yours? What are you going to do when you won't have access to it during the day?" The sheriff looks over at Stiles who is casting a frown down at the boxes and letters on his screen. He lifts his head and finally looks over to his father.

"Dad, come on. I am playing this Words with Friends game and I keep getting my butt kicked. This player keeps coming up with these words that I never even heard of." Stiles closes his screen and puts his phone in his jacket pocket. "It is beyond frustrating." Frustrated, Stiles shakes his head as he starts to stare out the front windshield; it is still pitch black out since they both woke up so early for work. So much for sleeping in during summer break.

"You know dad, thanks for helping me get this job and all but it is going to kind of be a bummer without Scott around." Stiles leans a bit further back into the cruisers passenger seat and then rests his head barely able to keep his eyes open. His dad hums in agreement. Stiles perks up, "Oh and dad, the coffee pods you bout for the Keurig do not help much! Maybe we need to look into a different brand of pods."

"Well son, you hit the nail on the head. I thinking the same thing." the drive is nice and quiet. John eventually says, "You know, I don't think I have ever known you to be awake before ten a.m. on any of your previous summer vacations. Getting up early is good for the soul." He reaches over and runs his hands through Stiles hair and ruffles it up. "Don't worry. I know you are a bit nervous about this job but I spoke to Laura Hale who is now the director of the sanctuary and she is just extremely excited to have you starting today. I told her to take it easy on you the first day so, we'll see." The sheriff turns onto a dirt road at the preserve entrance and begins to make his way down and finds a spot to park temporarily.

Stiles slowly angles his head toward his dad. "Wait a minute, you didn't tell me Laura is the director of this place. So what is the scoop there?" Stiles peers at his father questioningly.

"No scoop. Why does that even surprise you? She reminds me a lot of you son, what with that snarky personality of yours." His dad parks with his headlights beaming directly at the "Hale Wolf Preserve and Sanctuary" sign.

Stiles sits up abruptly when he sees the sign. Panic starts to overcome him a bit and sweat starts to bead on his forehead. "So what, the Hales bought up this place too? Cripes, what don't they own in this county?" He stares gobsmaked at the sign. "So, why is Laura so excited to have me working at this place?"

The sheriff had put the cruiser in park and turns toward his son since Stiles is already looking at him waiting for some answers. His dad gets out of the car and asks Stiles to get out of the car. They need apparently a man to man talk. "Stiles, will you please quit worrying about things. I see Laura fairly regularly during the week because we help patrol this preserve for her since poachers tried hunting on the land shortly after the family moved back to Beacon Hills." Stiles eyes are inquisitive and his eyebrows meet the bridge of his nose like he is seeking some further explanation.

"Okay, well I may have bragged about you to her. She has not really seen you over the past four years. I told her what a fine young man you have turned into and, ummm, ... I also told her that you might have an interest in biology and ecological research." He stops and looks at his son to see if that was something he was permitted mention.

"Oh, I see. That is nice actually. Thanks pops. Well, then,..." He grabs his back pack with his lunch from the front seat of the cruiser. "lets get this day started I guess."

"That's the spirit son. It is going to be just fine, you'll see." Stiles begins to close the door but stops and leans toward his dad when his dad blurps out the very last sentence which leaves him standing in total and utter shock. John tucks in fast to give his son a hug for extra support and before he can open his mouth in protest.

"She brags about Derek too. You know, you two were the best of friends years ago. I couldn't pull you two apart if I tried. She and myself wonder why you two have not reestablished your previous friendship. It seems like such a waste." He has a snide smirk on his face like he knows something that he isn't telling Stiles. Stiles looks like he has been hit by a bus... twice. He rushes around the cruiser to get to work.

Stiles is still standing with the passenger door open all flummoxed. "Son, close the door. I need to get to work. I will talk to you later. Text me if you need anything. Love you." Stiles closes the door and within five seconds the cruisers tail lights are out of sight.

Stiles stands in front of the sign hoping that this will go better than his dad thinks. Well, just because his dad has heard about Derek doesn't mean that Derek will be working at this place. The family is so rich that he is sure that Derek is off to some fabulous summer camp or off on some exotic trip or maybe even on a cruise ship for a month or so. He opens the door to the sanctuary less worried than he was because he hopes these days, Derek would not be caught dead in place like this. Plus, the all new angry and frustrated Derek could not handle being around animals. Hell, he would probably scare the wolves.

It is empty in the front area where the desk is and the lighting is painfully attacking his optic nerves.

"Hello, Laura? Is anyone here?" He dings the little bell and slowly moves over to a uneven plastic chair and puts his bag down. No response! "Hello?..."

There is rattling in the back area and a female voice yells out, "I'll be right there. Give me one second." There is audible whispering now and some more rattling in the back. Then Laura pops out from one of the metal doors. She is absolutely more beautiful than he remembers and distinctly reminds him of Derek in an odd sort of way.

"OH, Hi there. I am so glad you are here. I was expecting you." She fumbles around and greets him with a nice firm hug and kiss on his cheek. She has her long brown hair fulled back through the opening of her baseball cap and is dressed in earth tone fatigues.

"Hi, welcome back. Thank you so much for this opportunity to work for you." He steps back reeling from the tight hug she gave him.

"Oh darn, did I miss your father? He must be really busy if he had to take off so soon. If he stops by he usually has a quick cup of coffee with me." She takes all of Stiles in and just smiles because she is just so happy he is here. "Well, no matter. Lets see about getting you situated." They both hear some skirting around and some more rattling in the back and then it goes dead quiet. She lifts her eyebrow up in concern but she can't worry about her dork of a brother in the back.

She grabs ahold of Stiles hand and then tilts her head toward the metal door, "Uhm, there is a new employee out here who needs orientation. You should recognize his name, It is Stiles."

A huge crash is heard in the back of the office with what sounds like at least a thousand cans falling, sounds of a cat screeching a meow and a lone tire hubcap rolling around until is finally stops. Laura turns her head and holds up one finger. "Stiles, could you excuse me for one moment please?" She takes off to the back and it is relatively quiet except for the very loud whispering again. Stiles stands stupefied because he has no idea what is going on.

Laura comes from the back and is staring at Stiles with a huge shitty smile on her face. "Stiles, my brother will be out shortly and he is going to show you around and help you get your work uniform. I have to step out for a bit but I will be back in about 45 mintues." Stiles eyes bug out of his head and he prays to heaven above that Laura has another brother beside Derek but he knows otherwise. Stiles starts to fluster but she reassures him it will all be fine. "Just give him a couple minutes and he will be right out."

Stiles feet are frozen in place as he hears Laura leave in a jeep that was parked outside. There is no way that Derek would be here. None! It is just unfathomable that he would be here... just, forget about it.

He takes his nervous tired ass over to the chair to wait on her brother and he takes his phone out to check his Words with Friends game. He decides he has all the letters to actually form the word "UNFATHOMABLE". He has been trying to use the letters he has for almost 12 hours. Hot damn, 87 points. "Who in the hell would even use that word in a sentence?" He exhales out and mumbles to his adversary, opponent... well, his unknown friend on Words with Friend. "Take that dude. See if you can top that word."

Stiles is playing with others so he moves onto the next game and not two minutes later, Laura's brother comes out looking down at his phone as he mumbles, "What the hell kind of word is that?". This will be his first real interaction with his former best friend since he has been back and he will just keep things calm, cool and collective. If he can.

He looks up with his standard determined scowl to face the "new employee". He looks at Stiles and can tell he doesn't look very happy about all of this. His brows are a crunched up narrow bundle on his forehead and his lips are tight. He puts his hands on his hips and stares right into Stiles eyes. As he shakes his head, he resigns himself to set out to do what he was told to do. Thanks Laura.

He doesn't know how to act so he very loudly announces, "Mr. Stiliniski. My name is Mr. Hale, please follow me to get your locker and uniform." His tone is very direct, unemotional and very matter of fact. Derek aka Mr. Hale then proceeds to go toward another door in the front and then stops in his tracks. Stiles staring at him in disbelief and still has not gotten up from his chair.

"Ahem, Mr. Stiliniski, did you come to sit here or do you actually want to work?" Derek turns away from him as he puts his own phone in his pocket.

An angry Stiles jumps up and scurries after Derek. He doesn't know what to do. His heart is pounding, sweat is forming on his forehead and his hands are actually beginning to shake. "Oh my god Derek. Don't treat me like you don't know me and what the hell are you doing here anyway?". Derek continues on his way not giving Stiles a bit of his attention.

Insistent, Stiles runs faster towards Derek. "Hey dude! Why are you even speaking to me? After your display in the boys bathroom, I was sure you would be pissed." Derek stops abruptly and Stiles slams right into the his warm muscled back and lets out a little whimper over how short the time was that he had his hands on Derek's back.

"Mr. Stilinski, who says I am not pissed? I am just doing what needs to be done so you can get out of my way and out of my sight" It hurts to say this. He looks over his shoulder with a look of nonchalance. "I never figured you to be one who actually was interested in something like wolf preservation." He fully turns to face Stiles. Derek is all firm shoulders and stance.

Stiles sports his aggravation easily because Derek must thinks he is a no good dipshit. "Really...really Derek?" Derek rolls his eyes and turns away to continue down the corridor and Stiles haphazardly trails behind him. "Oh, excuse me. I am sorry, MISTER HALE. You know what, screw you. I am not following you any-fucking-where. I am not dealing with you being a total asshole to me so you can fucking forget it." Stiles turns around and moves back towards the waiting area.

Derek's nostrils are flaring because apparently Stiles remembers just how to push his buttons. He decides to let Stiles do what the hell he wants to do. What the hell does he care? He doesn't have time for this shit nor Stiles verbal negativity.

As he angrily marches away to leave Stiles on his own, Derek yells down the hallway to Stiles just before he goes outside. "You know Mr. Stilinski, I am not the one being an asshole here. No one asked you to come work here." Derek is frustrated and feels like his head is about to explode because his work is not happy. And every step further away from Stiles twists this knife further into his gut.

"You know what, this entire situation is beyond comprehensible. Actually, it's UNFATHOMABLE." He quickly exits after saying his peace and slams the door.

He misses how Stiles flails and trips on his own feet and knocks his head upside a door when he hears the word "unfathomable."

Chapter Text

What the hell was she thinking? Laura took what she thought would be an easy task for Derek and stood by as he flubbered that up. To her surprise, Derek growled at her saying he did not want to be anywhere near where Stiles was on the preserve. In shock, Laura found Stiles and handled it herself.

She can't understand why here brother is having an issue Stiles. Stiles is like the LAST person she would expect Derek to have issue with. She became so alarmed, she actually called to speak with her father briefly and he appeared more worried and upset than Laura. She knows her dad will tell mom. All she can do, is pay a bit more attention to what is exactly going on between these two. Maybe she can decipher why her brother gets this anxious, irritated but sorrowful scent to him any time that Stiles is near or even mentioned in conversation.

Something strange is going on and she will get to the bottom of it despite her dad saying to leave it alone.

Derek already has a planned out daily routine for taking care of the wolves. Laura has never seen her younger brother so pushed out of shape by Stiles. It was never that way before they had to move. Laura corners him in the back feeding room with the cages and simply asks her brother what is up. After some evasive looking around and silence, Derek relents a bit.

"Laura, he infuriates the hell out of me. That's all you need to know. Now, just... please, keep him away from me. I will work with him only if it is a last resort." Derek said this but Laura noticed there wasn't a lot of force or determination behind those words.

She introduced Stiles to a few of the other employees. Stiles was on his best behavior as usual and was very friendly and accommodating. Laura left Stiles alone to acclimate. Over the next several days, Stiles rarely ever saw Derek. Laura knew Derek was close and watching Stiles every move just making this situation even more bizarre. She had a creeper for a brother.

When Stiles did see Derek, he ended up catching only a glimpse of him. He was either rushing in the opposite direction away from Stiles or he seemed preoccupied with his cellphone. The fact that Derek really was going out of his way to ignore Stiles, well, it stung a little bit more than he would like but Stiles was not going to let it bother him. That first week he got to witness several female workers and even a couple male workers flaunt and flirt with Derek. Derek was stoic as usual but the one time it happened and he caught Stiles observing, Derek flirted right back with smiles, laughter and a physical proximity that made Stiles actually nauseated.

The Derek he knew was gone forever. This particular Derek was a prick; plain and simple. In order for Stiles to ignore why seeing Derek flirt with others made him nauseated, he decided to concentrate on his duties and reminded himself why he was here. He just wanted to do what needed to be done and to make the best the situation throughout the summer. If his father caught him sobbing sometimes at night after work, he'd never admit to it.

--------------------------- several weeks later --------------------------

Summer wouldn't be complete without blistering heat and humidity. Staying cool became one of Stiles first priorities. That and making sure he had enough power in his cellphone to make it through the day. On his breaks, it starts out with him playing Words With Friends with "TRISK". Eventually they both got to know each other rather quickly with the instant messaging app that is connected with WWF.

Sometimes TRISK will start up a new WWF game just so they can continue their banter back an forth. Trisk finds that messaging with a particular opponent named KurlyFrY, provides a sense of calmness for him and his wolf. They eventually get pretty familiar with each other over a short period of time.

It's several weeks since he had his run in with Stiles at school and he has let up some on keeping a good distance away from Stiles. Stiles will still catch Derek frowning and staring at him on occasion. Derek seems to look away the moment that Stiles catches him paying attention. Stiles mumbles to himself that "he probably is looking for something he can complain about. He just wants to see me fuck up or do something wrong."

One time Stiles catches him angrily gazing in his direction and Stiles overtly shoots him the bird. Derek ears look pink and he seems to huff in response but other than that, he doesn't actually get any type of verbal response. He just stares even more angrily (if that is even possible) and then eventually shakes his head and forcefully storms away for awhile. Well, at least he knows how to get Derek the fuck away from him.

Today, Stiles hasn't seen the first sign of Derek. He takes his mid morning break and while sipping some Java, he takes his phone out and continues a game of WWF. This in effect starts up another conversations with TRISK.

If you were to ask Stiles/KurlyFrY about TRISK, he would say that Trisk appears to be awesome. He is not sure if Trisk is a male or a female but he really doesn't care. TRISK takes the time and listens to him with all his ranting on IM and comes back with some actually insightful responses. TRISK also likes many of the things that Stiles likes. Which is kind of odd. They discuss everything under the sun and then some. Today's instant messaging is no different.

"So, you never did tell me what it is you are doing for the summer. Anything of interest?" :: KurlyFrY

"Not really, kind of working for my family this summer. There is a lot less hassle and the position I have lets me be in charge of myself. I don't have to worry about interacting with a lot of people. I am not a big people person." :: TRISK

"What, you not a big people person, really? I never would have guessed." (Stiles knows TRISK pretty much keeps to themselves from a previous conversation that they had). "Well, that sounds nice working with your family. My summer job is actually pretty cool. I get to work with animals. I do have to interact with others but everyone is really nice here. Well, there is one uptight dickhead." :: KurlyFrY

"Oh really. You don't get along with someone? I find that hard to believe. I may not like some people but I can always try to be civil. There is this one guy I work with that ... whatever. He has decided that he despises me." :: TRISK

"Ah, great, found a spot for these letters. "DESPISE". Yes, 28 points." :: TRISK

"Damn, my turn already? So, tell me more about this guy that you think hates you. What the heck did you do to piss him off? :: KurlyFrY

"That is just it, it was something that happened long ago that I thought he might forget but no. I am trying to get up the nerve to talk to him without it turning into a fight. It's just, when I am around him I get all weird inside and end up stumbling over my words and even on a good day, I am not very good with words." :: TRISK. (Derek isn't sure if he should tell KurlyFrY that he has been pining over this person for awhile now. He decides to keep it to himself for the time being.)

Derek/TRISK does offer a bit more information though, "Before school let out, things got awkward and I found out that he has a distinctly negative opinion of me. I mean, he really, really, REALLY doesn't like me." :: TRISK. (He thinks to himself, 'Wow, now if that isn't depressing.')

So, TRISK finally adds, "I decided that it is best to let them think what they want. It won't matter what I say. I cannot change anyone's mind about what they think about me. But it really hurts deep down. People have these preconceived notions of me which are far from truth. and this person, who actually used to be one of my best friends, should know me better than that. At least I thought they would." :: TRISK

After reading those last texts, Stiles just looks down at his phone. Something about this sounds very familiar. So, he does a little fishing, "So, if you had the chance to talk, what would you say?" :: KurlyFrY

Stiles adds some more to the texting before Trisk/Derek can even reply, "I think it would be a brave gesture on your part if you tried some type of interaction. What are they going to do? Turn into a werewolf and rip your throat out with their teeth?" :: KurlyFrY

After reading that response, TRISK/Derek stares at it in astonishment because the fact that KurlyFry actually chose a werewolf as an example just blows his mind. 'Who would have even thought in a million years of such a comparison? Apparently his new WWF opponent KurlyFrY. (This actually warms and tickles Derek's chest a bit and undirected affection blooms from within. 'Why can't Stiles talk to him like this?'

Derek knows that he has serious issues with interacting socially with others and he envies how some people can seem to do it so easily and without fear. ie, Stiles. The more he thinks of it, he really wishes he had the balls to walk up to Stiles and try and make things right between them. Maybe he should try to not feel so guilty and maybe cut down on the growly and angry looks.

He doesn't want Stiles, Scott or anyone else from school thinking he is just a brute who is quiet and frowns all the time. His mother has told him over and over again to "Stop it with the sour puss Derek. Smile honey, you have the most beautiful smile." Well, up till now, his scowl is all that the general public and his school mates have ever actually seen.

'Fuck, why does he have to be so screwed up? How the hell did he get this way?' Then his phone pings.

"Aww, Trisk. come on. don't be that way. You ought to give this person a second chance. What have you got to lose?", KurlyFry finishes with a more profound and serious statement, "You know, people don't really know what is going on in other peoples lives. Sometimes we just misread situations and actions. It sounds like you are actually pining after the guy. Do you like him? :: KurlyFrY

There is not a response for a good 5 minutes but Stiles sees that the green light is on showing an online status. After about 15 minutes, Stiles finally gets a response. His phone vibrates and pings.

"Sorry, I actually had to think about what you were saying for a bit. Even though you are insane, you might be onto something." TRISK/Derek hesitates but gives his opponent a bit more information, "When I saw him from a distance, he is just so ... magnetic. He is tall, funny, he has a great voice and is laughing all the time. Everything about him is incredibly attractive." He adds, "Plus he has the most gorgeous smile with eyes that are incredible." :: TRISK

Stiles takes this in. He now assumes that TRISK is female. She is pining just as bad as he is. This doesn't upset him in the least, he is attracted to both sexes and WHY is he even thinking about this? This is someone online he is playing a word game with. He needs to get his heads out of the clouds. So what if he was hoping this TRISK was a cute guy. He quickly tells TRISK that he was glad he could help "her". He uses the feminine pronoun and signs off the game before he gets any type of response.

Break is over and it has actually been over for 15 minutes. Damn, he is late. While he is running to preserve entrance, he thinks that maybe he should try "talking" with the almighty Mr. Derek Hale this afternoon. Hell, it's worth a shot. He sees Derek standing at the entrance gate and is waiting for him with his phone in his hand. He has a less disgusted look on his face.

"Stiles, I have been standing here for the past 15 minutes waiting for you. Where the hell have you been?" Derek yelps with only a slight scowl across his face; Okay it is a work in progress.

"Yeah, well Derek, I am sorry, Mr. Hale. I was just finishing...up on something. I apologize for being late." He doesn't even get a chance to finish his sentence before he is only lightly reprimanded.

"I don't care what you were finishing, Stiles. You. Are. Late." Dereks tries to be a bit more amiable, "And uh, please don't call me Mr. Hale. We actually used to be friends Stiles. You can call me Derek like you used to." Stiles is surprised and his face is open to possibilities but Derek has to at least maintain some semblance of being a dick, "Well, whatever you were doing, just don't let it happen again. If Laura finds out she will rip you to shreds. Come on. Grab your stuff and follow me. I want to show you something really cool." Derek is smiling and starts taking longs strides to the gate and Stiles is counting this interaction as a possible 'win' as he fumbles and runs just to catch up.

With a look of utter fascination that Derek can't see, Stiles thinks to himself, 'Well, maybe Derek isn't that big of a dick bag."

Chapter Text

Stiles reluctantly goes with Derek for a ride in one of the rickety golf carts. The Preserve is even more vast than Stiles had realized. He tells himself 'This is going to be a long fucking day.'

To his dismay, Laura called his name at the last minute before starting off in the cart. After witnessing her brother's asinine interactions with the Stiles, she decided to go along with the two of them. She tells Derek that Erica will be able to take care of the main office until she gets back. "It's just tons of boring paperwork, expense reports and return phone calls.", Laura hasn't been outdoors in the field amongst wildlife for over a week.

The golf cart that has seen better days is able to handle the terrain as they mover furrther into the wooded acres of the Preserve. Derek was quickly taken out of driving duty. Laura is at the helm and she is keeping a very keen eye on her brother. The large rear view mirror helps. She insists that Derek sit in the back seat next to Stiles. When sitting this close to Derek, Stiles becomes rigid, sweating and is hyperventilating. He clasps onto the roll bars and is clinging tightly onto his side of the cart in every effort to stay as physically far away from Derek as he can.

As for Derek, even though the furrowed eyebrows and frown make him appear disgusted, Laura knows better. She catches the scents of ... tranquility... calmness and.... OMFG..., (sniff).... AFFECTION? !!! She notices Derek glancing over at Stiles fairly frequently. He gets busted three times within the first five minutes as Laura gives him a questioning raised eyebrow. Stiles can't interpret 'eyebrow', so he just rolls his eyes with the faces each of them are making back and forth to each other.

"Stiles, how are you doing back there? It's only a few more minutes till we get to the main den used by the wolves." She peers back to look at him and is trying to give the smoothest ride she possibly can but these back trails make it difficult. The fact that the tires are not balanced and one on the rear end seems to be ready to lose it's wheel completely couldn't have anything to do with the rough ride.

"Oh, uh...hey, yeah. I am ... doing... fine." He gives a tentative look over to Derek who looks like he is clasping onto something underneath his sweaty shirt and who only returns a blank stare at him for a second then looks off into the distance. "I guess no problems back here." Stiles is so far away from Derek that his legs are practically dangling off the side of the golf cart. The heat this early in the morning is a bit unexpected and it creeps up on them fast. Sweat is pouring from Stiles as it runs down his sinewy arms and his hairy legs. Derek takes notice.

Derek thinks Laura is basking in her own glory a bit too much, "How about you Der Bear? You doing ok?" She looks at him with a wink and a smirk. She gives him the all-knowing eye as they continue to communicate back and forth with each other. Her eyes say, 'Hey, you can't hide it from me. I can smell the affection you have for Stiles dripping off of you.' She is beginning to understand a bit why Derek has been the way he has. It appears he went to being a former best friend to someone with whom he is pulling pigtails.

Derek knows from that look of hers that she knows or is figuring out the scoop. In all fairness, they both seem to be reaching the same conclusions about the same time. Derek is a bit slow with feelings-thing. He does answer her though, "Doing fine thank you."

Derek stops looking at her and takes a sip of his dripping water bottle and then offers the ice cold bottle of water in Stiles direction. "Hey Stiles, do you want a sip? You have to stay hydrated out here. I don't want... we don't want anyone getting heat stroke or anything." Believe it or not, Stiles is stunned because Derek used his name and is actually smiling as he continues to talk, "It's quite humid out. I have several bottles of water if you want one. I actually got you... I mean, I brought a couple cans of ginger ale." His muscular arm has a deep sheen from his tan and it's dripping sweat as he holds out two bottles for him to choose.

Stiles scans his arm while wiping his forehead which is just dripping in sweat and then looks directly at Derek. "Uh, yeah. Like no thanks dude. I'm sure you spit or pissed in it so, ... I think I will pass." Stiles looks away in disgust because he is just fucking over the flip flopping of Derek's shitty attitude. Stiles pushes away from Derek further as he grapples even harder to his side of the cart and glances briefly at Laura who is watching their interaction. He just huffs to himself then looks off into the distance at the terrain that they are passing by.

Derek feels the sharp sting of hurt and is very ashamed after that pointedly curt response from Stiles. He has just been giving Stiles pure hell the entire time he has been here and he has not relented in the least. What makes him think he is going to get any other type of response from Stiles when all he has been doing is verbally torturing him and giving him attitude. He is going to have to make more of an effort if he wants this wall of hostility between the two of them to dissipate. He promises himself while clasping tighter to his necklace.

Derek tries again and holds a bottle in his other hand and then reaches out to lightly grab Stiles right forearm that is speckled with a few moles and a nice sheen of thick blonde arm hair that is mixing with his sweat. "Hey Stiles." and Stiles actually turns toward him with an emotionally tired look. To his surprise, he does not jerk away or jump anxiously.

"Stiles, look, I am sorry about earlier. I didn't need to be raising my voice toward you and I certainly don't need to keep making you feel uncomfortable. That was completely not fair to you. I will work on being better."

Stiles looks at Derek with concern because, 'who in the hell has possessed Derek Hale's body?'. After that sort of apology, Derek chuckles saying, "So, No, I did not urinate or spit in the water or the ginger ale." He dangles the drinks in front of Stiles. "And hey, if you don't trust me, the ice cold ginger ale is in a sealed can.... here, take it and lets keep you hydrated and protect you from the heat." Stiles takes the can from Derek and says nothing. He opens it and guzzles back a refreshing gulp. He just nods his head in thanks to Derek and slowly turns away from him again. Derek can do nothing but accept the response and try and enjoy the rest of the ride.

Laura watches it all and just shakes her head over how much her brother, who hates drama, can stir so much shit up thus causing said drama. It is like a fucking soap opera.

Laura wriggles and scrunches up her nose because she is being aromatically assaulted. Since Derek touched Stiles forearm, the scent of his affection has increased ten fold.

But she also recognized an underlying scent that is slowly building up and accumulating. Desire, want and sexual attraction are bubbling up to the surface. Laura does have to admit one thing. The scent that these two boys are make together is one of the most comforting yet erotic scents she has smelled in a very long time. It's almost as good as the scent between her and her mate, Mark which... OMG.

Things are nicely slotting into place in Laura's head and she may just have this figured out. Looks like a big sister to little brother talk is in order. Maybe she should speak with their parents first.

With that in mind, they have reached their destination. The trip out was for lack of a better term, theatrical. Derek was extra kind to Stiles who was still extremely apprehensive around Derek. They all three spent a few hours with the wolves in the den and they eventually made their way back to the office. Derek couldn't take his eyes off of Stiles with the way the young man gently treated the wolf pups. It is late and almost six in the afternoon and when Stiles gets back, he thanks Laura with a hug and anxiously shuffles out the door past Derek without a look or even saying good bye. The sting in his sternum gets a bit more intense.

Derek perches at a window seal behind the shades so he can't be seen. He watches a very sweat drenched Stiles catch a ride back home with his father. The sweaty hair against his forehead, the way his shirt clings to his body, the smell of his manliness and the sight of his shapely muscular legs have Derek standing in awe and drooling. He stands there and sulks for about five minutes rocking back and forth on his feet; his wolf is very unsettled. He eventually pulls out his phone and plays a game or two of Words with Friends with his buddy KurlyFry.

Chapter Text

In retrospect, the past few weeks were not really that bad. Work is intense. The weather was hot. His coworkers are fun. The wolves are amazing and Derek? ...well, Derek was acting differently.

Derek is making his best effort to not be such a dick. Stiles is still having a bit of difficulty wrapping his mind around it. What changed?

As for Stiles, his pining has become almost second nature. It is not getting easier to ignore or at least temporarily put thoughts of Derek out of his mind. There is nothing worse than pining over someone who won't return your affections in a million years. Unrequited feelings wreak havoc on your self-esteem and it can eventually chip away at your morale. Stiles knows better than to get heavily invested emotionally in anyone. Liking Lydia taught him the woes of pining. Cripes when did he develop these feelings for Derek? If he answers it honestly, it was way before Derek moved away. Maybe that is why reconnecting has been so difficult.

Derek has a lot going on. He's a jock who actually is very good at the whole athletic thing. He is always seen with the In-Crowd but it appears they hang around him just so they can say they hung out with Derek Hale. Despite sports involvement, he really keeps to himself. The majority of the eager girls in school made some type of attempt at flirting with Derek. It is easy to see why every girl in school throws themselves at him. He heard some blatantly had the nerve to even ask Derek out on a date. He let one girl, Paige, into his inner circle and they did become friends. Apparently things got a bit rough when Paige wanted to take their friendship to another level but Derek rebuffed her advances. Their little friendship did not last more than 6 weeks because she moved away to the West Coast with her parents. This is all just gossip from the other high school he went before moving back to Beacon Hills, so who knows the truth.

Stiles wonders if maybe Derek doesn't hate him but is just seems to tolerate him. And maybe that will just have to be enough. So, he just does his best to keep his distance. Plus, there are some new employees that maybe he can get to know.

As the hot summer trudges along and he works with Derek more closely, Derek begins acting like the Derek that left Stiles behind. This just causes the feelings he has been pushing away to become agitated as they try to break through to the surface.

It is not a bad thing. It's just confusing. It is blatantly evident to Stiles that there is no way that Derek would ever see him as remotely interesting. (He was told so by the all-knowing Scott). He is almost positive that Derek barely thinks of him as a coworker or an acquaintance for that matter. He certainly does not think enough of Stiles to be a friend let alone someone who might be of some romantic interest. Since Stiles is wearing his feelings on his shoulder, he has to deal with them the best way he can.

But he can think back on some of their odd interactions the past 6 months. The most that Derek has ever done is grab Stiles by the neck and give up his place in the cafeteria line a couple times. Actually when he thinks back, Derek also shut down and escalating argument between him and Jackson. Derek stood right in front of him and told Jackson to back off or else. Jackson left and has not been an issue in the least. Derek had looked at Stiles with a sad expression, a frown and shaking his head as he walked away.

Yeah, Derek thinks Stiles is a pathetic excuse for a human being. He thinks that if he can just be a companionable coworker or even become friends again, that would be enough. So, maybe Stiles should be less of a dick towards Derek. He'll try but sarcasm is in his genetic makeup.

Just today for instance, Stiles was in one of those 'situations' with Derek. They were stocking supplies and driving over to the wolves den again. Derek specifically asked Stiles if he would join him. Out of everyone in the supply warehouse, all 12 employees, he pointed right at Stiles and asked if he would help him with the delivery. Stiles was shocked but did not say 'no'.

Things were going well until Derek got visibly upset and irritated when Laura insisted she come along for the ride. It was almost like he wanted to do this task, just the two of them. Stiles swears that he heard a low rumbling growl come from someone.

Laura decided to drive like a mad woman. The rugged, dusty Preserve trails don't make for the easiest of rides. The cart is bouncing around and in the back, Derek and Stiles are doing everything they can just to hang on. Derek is pretty steadfast but Stiles is doing everything he can not to fly off the cart. Laura keeps winking at Stiles in the rearview mirror. (he just wishes she would pay more attention to her driving.)

After a ten minute ride, she slams on the brakes and brings the golf cart to an abrupt stop. At the last second, Stiles lost his grip on the side of the cart and Derek was there with his strong warm arms to catch him and make sure he didn't injure himself. An embarrassed and flushed Stiles nervously thanked him. Derek looks angry but not at him, "What the hell Laura, are you trying to kill the both of us back here?"

After the dust settles, Stiles notices that he ended up practically lying on Derek's lap and is looking up at Derek. As they lock eyes, Derek simply smiles down at him. Stiles can only breath out a small whimper.

And of course, Derek is wearing tight light brown cargo shorts which seem to be restricting something rather large in the crotch area. It shows off his tan hairy legs that are just perfect in their musculature. His sweaty, half buttoned-up Preserve work shirt exposes every furl of his hairy chest that is glistening from the sun. Stiles tries not to look directly at Derek but damn, it is hard not to.

Laura jumped out and ran into the den real quick saying she would be right back. Stiles coughs and slumps onto the ground in a flurry trying to put distance between him and Derek. Derek jumps out of the cart and offers both of his large steady hands to help Stiles get up. Stiles just continues to stare directly into Derek's eyes and soak up the warm smile Derek is giving him.

Derek looks flawless in the direct sunlight. The sun and Derek are blinding to Stiles. Derek waits but offers again, "Hey Stiles, here, let me help you up of the ground." Stiles can't stop his heart from fluttering nor can he get the butterflies in his stomach to settle. Because, there is Derek in all his handsome glory.

Stiles is not answering or even moving for that matter. Derek moves even closer to stiles and sits on his heels while placing a hand on Stiles shoulder, "Come one. Just take my hands. Watch your step when stand because the gravel is really loose and it is easy to lose your balance." Stiles is looking at Derek and he has no idea what is going on behind those gorgeous hazel green eyes.

Stiles snaps out of it because in order to protect himself, he needs to remain obstinate, "Yeah...You know what Derek? How about 'Thank you but no thank you.' I think I'm adult enough to be able to stand on my own without the help of others. I am not some weak nerdy invalid." A sad and hurt look dances across Derek's face but it is quickly shadowed over by a stone-cold blank mask.

Stiles notices the change and Derek's expression just edges him further, "So as much as your offer for assistance is appreciated." He awkwardly stands and dusts himself off, "It is not needed. Thank you so fucking very much." Stiles manages to sit for a few minutes in the lopsided cart while Derek looks everywhere but at Stiles.

Stiles shakes his head and starts to make his way out of the cart when a disappointed Derek still steps forward slightly with his hands held out. His muscular rippling arm reaches out to stabilize the cart for Stiles.

Derek has made a decision even though Stiles is being a jerk, to project confidence. The cart isn't stable as Stiles frustratingly begins to stand, "Derek, I told you I do not need any... Oooomph...", Stiles' sneaker squeaks and slides on a sweaty wet spot on the floor of the cart. He becomes an animated human projectile as he is launched forward.

But, Derek is right there.

Stiles is gently caught and Derek maneuvers himself so he takes the brunt of the fall with Stiles lying directly on top of him. Their sweaty skin slides against each others. They are an inch away from each others face. While catching their breath they both look around at each others face like they are searching for something. Maybe they are both looking for the person they once knew.

Derek's one hand firmly and possessively rests on Stiles warm and sweaty lower back while the other hand is resting on his left shoulder. Stiles arms are folded up against Derek while his fingers are resting on the open skin of his hairy chest. Stiles cannot help notice the warm, smooth and silky feeling that is feathered with dark curly chest hair. His best friend years ago has changed dramatically and has become a man. The concept is difficult to wrap his brain around.

Neither one says anything but are both looking over each others face like they are remembering what the other one used to look like. Derek grabs tighter to Stiles lower back and grasps his shoulder with intent as his breath ghosts across Stiles face while Stiles eyes flutter. They both start to say something but are interrupted before any words spill out.

Tapping her foot with her arms crossed, with a shitty grin Laura interrupts, "Ahem, ... uhm, are you two alright down there?" Laura watched this spectacle which lasted almost 15 seconds. They both look embarrassed and lost as they look up at Laura, "You know, if you two are done flirting with each other and pining for each other, you can get up off the ground because we like, got things to do." She lifts an inquisitive eyebrow and eyes Derek who has decided to turn many different shades of red.

Stiles abruptly flounders off of Derek when the words sink in and he thanks him. Stiles runs behind Laura while averting their eyes. Derek hops up in a split second and follows right behind the two of them. Stiles wonders what the hell was going on between the two of them. He makes a point the rest of the afternoon to keep a good physical distance between the two of them much too Derek's dismay. Derek intentionally did his best to make that nearly impossible.

After work, with his emotions and thoughts all over the place, Stiles just wants to get the hell out of there. He would usually spend time with Scott to get his mind off of things but he realizes that Scott is in Iowa. So, he went home and busied himself with making dinner as he waited for his father. They enjoyed a healthy dinner but the Sheriff could tell that Stiles was preoccupied with a barrage of thoughts about Derek all throughout dinner. He was more quiet than usual. His dad does not push for information. If something is up, Stiles will tell him when he is ready.

Exhausted, Stiles makes his way up to his disheveled bedroom after cleaning up the kitchen. He tells his dad he has a bit of a headache which isn't really too far from the truth. He thinks a game of Words with Friends is in order.

As he opens up the app on his phone, he sincerely hopes that 'Trisk' is online. Conversations and games with 'Trisk' always make him feel better.

Chapter Text

For Derek things seem ... for lack of a better word... OFF.

Upon waking after a restless sleep, his day seems rather choppy and erratic. He isn't sure if he worked himself into an emotional frenzy over the realization of his pent up feelings for Stiles or not.

The emotional and physical connection he feels when he is with Stiles, is that real or not? Why does he seem to be forgetting time? Why is he vaguely aware of his surroundings?

He feels kind of detached from reality and he cannot explain it. Yet, there are certain things that feel so intense and crystal clear.

Today starts out just like any other day. He is going through his usual daily early a.m. routine but he knows that each moment is building up to a final ending that he doesn't even want to think about. He feels dread underneath his skin.

He actually knows how this day is going to end and it scares the living shit out of him. But he cannot think for the life of him remember what the final event will be. He just knows it will be awful.

It starts off pretty strange with deep feelings of something inevitable making it's way toward him. The hollow cavern in his chest where his heart should be appears to be opening up wider as the day progresses.

It is like his wolf is trying to communicate with him but for once, he can't interpret what it is saying. The angst inside of him is steadily edging it's way to the surface. Fear and uncertainty seems to be lurking around every corner and his inner wolf is of no help to him. It seems to be just as scared as his human side.

This knowledge ramps up his nerves ten fold.

Today blends the next and the next thing he knows is that he is hitting his alarm and jumping out of the tangled mess of covers on his bed.

Soaked, thoroughly soaked and he is breathing like he just ran a marathon. He perceives a buzzing undercurrent of excitement in him.

Why? He just remembered. He knows he is working next to Stiles today.

The anticipation has been building up the past several days?....weeks, months?... whatever. This simple thought of Stiles is racing through his head which is causing him to be very upbeat if not giddy on his drive to the Preserve.

It is completely disheartening when Stiles doesn't show up for work that morning. He had been interacting with him at work religiously every day and there seemed to be a trust building between the two of them.

Hell, Stiles even made a joke or two and Derek, well, he actually smiled back and laughed.

There is little tension between them anymore. They both catch each other looking at the other and usually end up just smiling back like idiots.

They have actually even had lunch many times together which was amiable and not uncomfortable in the least. What was said back on the last day of school is never brought up and Derek is fine with that. Stiles seems to have accepted his apology and that was enough.

Without asking, they help each other out with Preserve duties. Everyone notices the bond they are forming. Derek doesn't mind getting up in Stiles personal space to help him as long as he gets to brush up against him and take in his scent. Stiles has certainly had no objections.

They are getting closer and things are slowly getting more... intimate. Yet, Derek is not sure where any of this is leading. He has wrestled with his feelings for a while now and he thinks he has liked Stiles as more-than-friends, long before they moved years ago.

But, he questions Stiles potential affections for him.

He had heard about Stiles pining after that Lydia girl a couple years back but now they just seem to be good friends.

Hell, he doesn't even know if Stiles has any inclination towards guys. Even if he did, why would he even look Derek's way after not speaking to him in years and then being the asshole he has been since his move back.

Derek has done everything he could to push his feelings away and it created a cavernous distance between the two.

His parents have asked him many times over why he is not bringing Stiles around. Even Laura and Cora ask him and they aren't even teasing him.

He never gives an answer because he is just too embarrassed.

The day progresses with Stiles absence and Derek tries not to think anything about it.

'Maybe he has a cold or had a doctor's appointment?' He numbingly fills his day with work thinking of what he might want to say to Stiles next time they see each other.

'How can he make Stiles laugh?'; 'How can he get Stiles to broadcast that beautiful smile and show him his gorgeous eyes?'

He has some ideas but he will just have to wait for the following day when Stiles comes back to work.

Next thing he knows, he is outside Laura's office listening in on a conversation. She had a phone call directly from the Sheriffs office but he isn't sure exactly what the conversation was about. He strained to hear but his enhanced werewolf hearing failed him and that never happens.

Throughout the day, Laura doesn't mention anything about it and she seems to be purposely avoiding him.

Just as unexpectedly, Laura is plucked from her duties at the Preserve rather abruptly. She doesn't even say goodbye to Derek which is very unusual.

While playing Words with Friends, she does send him a text saying that she has to drive to Pittsburgh. She doesn't offer more than that.

She also doesn't mention anything about Stiles. He decided he isn't going to ask. She has enough to deal with. He will just see Stiles tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes and so does the rest of the week.

No Stiles.

No Sheriff. No texts from Stiles or KurlyFry. No contact from Laura. Come to think of it, he hasn't seen his parents as of late either.

This get even more bizarre as chunks of time blend together and he starts to become unsure when and where he is. He had been back home but the entire mansion is deserted and a small note is left on the fridge.

"The more you push him away, the more you push us all away."

What the hell does that mean? But it is odd because the mansion echoes emptiness. There is like no sign of life.

He walks through and then the walls and floor begin to twist and change.

Pictures of his family and some of the expensive artwork his father has collected suddenly seem to catch fire and burn into ashes within seconds. As he continues to walk, floorboards are missing and the wall are looking discolored and sooty. It smells like a campfire that has just been put out with a bucket of river water.

He begins to open one door and is just falls off it's hinges onto the floor in slow motion. What it exposes is what remains of his old bedroom. Most of the floor is burnt through and the only thing he can make out is his triskele necklace lying on his burnt warped bedside table.

He immediately grasps at his chest and realizes that he doesn't have the necklace on himself. He never takes it off.

This is what Stiles gave him years ago and this is the only thing he had to hold onto for years when they were apart. He is about to scream at the top of his lungs and then he realizes he is back at work, performing his regular duties.

Still without Stiles.

He cannot suppress his emotions down or deal with them in any fashion. So, he just moves along and that entire week is but a blur. It moves at a snails pace but is also is over before he realizes it. Time jumps and skips.

One moment he is frantically texting on his cellphone not getting any response from anyone and the next, he is trying to load a golf cart with supplies.

Derek roams around mindlessly and without purpose. He feels despondent and lost. Things are happening around him and he is an outsider looking in. He can't feel his inner wolf.

His mood noticeably plummets without Stiles.

What he thinks is the second week, starts and Stiles is no where. Laura nor his family has returned. He has not been back to the charred mess of a mansion. There is a distinct lack of volunteers/workers. Not a soul is in sight. There isn't a wolf in sight on the grounds and the skies lack the sun and are filled with gloom.

He eventually runs across what he thinks are employees but they are faceless bodies. Nothing seems remotely familiar and the entire warehouse has become a huge manufacturing facility. It is pumping out one product on the conveyor belts.

Endless copies of his triskele necklace. Just tons of them and all of them are out of his reach. He can't get his hand on a single one of them.

He looks around helplessly but not a soul seems concerned about the changes at work. He has shaken a few people he has found and asked questions. He asks about Stiles, the lack of coworkers and of wolves.

No one mentions anything at all because each face he looks into gives him dead sunken eyes and it is like there are leg hose or a second thin skin over their mouths.

He can see them moving their mouths but no sound is audible.

Despite all of this, Derek just continues to be working. He ignores the confusion around him.

Don't get me wrong, Derek's nerves are shredded. Each increasingly bizarre day that Stiles is out, he becomes more despondent.

Time flashes by in the blink of an eye but each day seems like forever. Derek cannot even remember eating or sleeping in the past? ... how many days? He lost track. Hell, he can't remember now when the last time he has seen one of those faceless bodies.

So, meals are a thing of the past and his desire to eat let alone have an appetite is nonexistent. What he thought could give him some reprieve, to shift into full wolf form and run for hours on 32nd, is a lost cause. He hasn't felt his wolf in forever and he has lost his ability to shift.

This is not good by any stretch of the imagination.

Even the thought of Stiles or his family makes him experience a dull aching pull in the middle of his chest that makes him realize that something that he recently found, is missing. Sometimes the depressing pull is so strong, he doesn't know what to do but go back to work and he increasingly feels helpless.

Last time he went outside, he had to ask himself, "Why are all the trees burnt? Why is everything he can see gray and black? Why are the streams empty and filled with rock, mud and bones?"

The sun has been absent for quite some time.

Derek feels like he has lost all hope as he drives to work in his blue Toyota SUV. Tears are streaming down his face because he dreads the thought of getting to work and not seeing Stiles. Stiles is foremost in his thoughts.

The rugged dirt road is pitch black and the typical entrance lights are not on but he knows his way.

The path down is lined with overly green trees and bushes that eventually start to lose their color the closer he gets.

Red and blue police lights start to illuminate the inside of his vehicle. He sees red flashers and road flares lit up ahead.

He slows down because something isn't right. That fear he has been dreading seems right around the corner. He can't help but move forward.

Ahead, he finally sees it and his heart just stops and he loses his next few breathes.

The sheriff's flashing SUV is erratically parked right in front of the main building with it's high beams on and the emergency flashers blinking. The lights seem to disorient him but he proceeds and the closer he gets, the more dread and fear crawl up his spine.

He feels like he isn't going to be able to breath and his vision because hazy. He finds himself pulling up behind the police SUV in no time and shifts his gear into park.

The vehicle looks like it was dropped from fifty feet in the air and is almost on its side. Dents and long slashes through the metal are all over the outside of the SUV.

No other cars are parked outside. In the entire dirt lot, only the police SUV is there and it appears to be abandoned.

His cellphone pings in his pocket.

He doesn't even need to swipe the face of the phone because the Words with Friends Game is already displayed and it says that KurlyFry is online and left him a message. "Oh fuck, finally."

However, his relief is short lived.

Before he can look at the text, he notices the passenger side door of the Sheriffs SUV is open and it is barely hanging on by it's hinges. The interior is shredded like a feral werewolf was inside and ripped it's way out of the police vehicle.

As he walks closer, the overwhelming scent he is smelling is very familiar but it isn't calming to him like it usually is. In fact it is coated with fear and anxiety.

It is undeniably Stiles scent but it is acrid beyond description.

He tries to focus but It is hard to see because of all the flashing lights. Everything is now illuminated in bursts of red and blue. The offensive smell gets stronger and more pungent the closer he gets.

"What the fuck happened here?"

Finally, he stops in his tracks and can't even move.

Blood is EVERYWHERE. Smeared, smashed and dripping. He knows instantly whose blood it is.

Stiles blood is painted all over the interior of the Sheriff's SUV and on the passenger door that is barely attached to the side of the SUV. It is in no small amount either.

There is a huge maroon puddle outside the vehicle. A trail of thick blood leads to the inside of the building. It looks like someone was dragged inside.

Time then seems to be shifting again. It slows down and he is now looking down at a large accumulation of blood in the middle of the waiting area where Stiles book bag seems to have been torn to pieces.

It is completely drenched. So much so that the only color he sees is red. Tears rush down his face as he falls to his knees. The tears are burning down the side of his face as it courses though his beard.

When a tear falls into the puddle of blood, small sparks burst out of the pool of liquid. He covers his mouth in disbelief while he is shaking his head.

His cellphone pings again.

Maybe someone has answers so he decides to look at it. Words with Friends is still on his display but the message from KurlyFry still begs to be read. He clicks on his screen finally and reads the message through glassy eyes.

"STOP THE TORTURE. YOU ARE WASTING PRECIOUS TIME BY IGNORING YOUR MATE."

He is wiping tears from his eyes because his heart decided to pound against his rib cage mercilessly because he has never experienced anxiety this bad before.

A hollow, oppressive feeling drapes over him and the ceiling florescent lights begin to throw sparks and flicker in the waiting room. They eventually go out leaving it black.

The only light he can see is coming from his cell phone. It is dead quiet. He flicks back to KurlyFry's message.

THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. WITH YOUR INACTION YOU HAVE LOST YOUR TRUE MATE, STILES. FOREVER!

He screams out "NO!" with a thunderous growl.

His hand get burned as white and blue sparks fly out of his cellphone and he drops it and watches is sink into the puddle of blood. Now everything is pitch black. All Derek can do is continue to scream Stiles name.

He screams until he can't anymore and then he himself joins the darkness that eventually swallows him up!

Chapter Text

Derek flails around fiercely grasping at his straining neck and he can feel his own razor sharp claws scratching at his skin as the tissue heals immediately. Ripping open his purple and pink pajama top doesn't help with the feeling of not having enough oxygen to breathe or being able to catch his breath. The high pitched ringing in his ears is so loud, that it's hard to open his tear soaked eyes.

When he does open his eyes, his vision clears and he is in his bedroom but it is still pitch black. The pangs of fear course deeper into his skin.

He realizes that the reason he might be out of breath is because he is screaming at the top of his lungs as well as growling uncontrollably.

Then he senses an all encompassing powerful presence. He looks up into red intense eyes that are staring down at him and firmly telling him to "STOP!"

Instantly, he collapses back onto his torn, shredded and sweat soaked duvet. He returns to his human form and he can finally breath without struggling.

His mother Talia is sitting on his bed next to him and is calming her son down by gently pushing his sweaty hair away from his forehead. "Honey, please. calm down. It's okay Derek. I am here. It is all going to be okay. You just had a bad dream."

Derek gazes at his mother and realizes the emotions he had in the dream are still very real presently. He takes one look at his mother and he begins to weep quietly with his body shaking while lying in his mother's arms.

She covers him and rocks him gently as mothers do. This lasts almost twenty minutes and when he sits up on the edge of his bed, he realizes that his father has been in the room this entire time observing the spectacle.

Talia has her arm around her son's shoulders as he regains his composure. His father Tom makes his way across the room from the doorway. He stands in front of his son and then scoots down to sit on the heels of his feet. He reassuringly places both of his hands on Derek's thighs.

When Derek meets his father's eyes, Tom sees the young boy that he loves so much. That is still a problem because his young son has actually turned into a full blown man at the age of eighteen.

Derek looks up into his father's crystal blue eyes like he is searching for something as silent tears stream uncontrollably down his cheek into his facial scruff.

His father rubs on his thighs trying to provide some type of comfort. Talia kisses him gently on his temple and just holds onto her son just a little tighter.

His father finally speaks up after looking quickly at Talia who gives him a quick nod and smile.

"Derek, son. I think it is time that your mother and I had a talk with you. These nightmares are becoming more frequent and this is the worst one yet. I mean, just look at your bed." He tries for a bit of levity. Then, he makes sure that he has Derek's undivided attention before he continues.

He stammers a bit, "You, ... well, you seem to be going through some changes .. and I think your mother and I thought that maybe you would find your way through this,... this phase of your life on your own. But, not all wolves or humans for that matter, are the same."

"The discussion we want to have with you is nothing to be embarrassed about but your mother and I think it is time we have the conversation. And apparently, the sooner the better. For all parties involved."

"Yes, I am speaking of Stiles." He pauses.

He grips Derek firmer because he wants him to know that there is really no shame in what he is about to tell him, "Some of us need help with understanding the changes that we are going through in life. Some even need a gentle push in the right direction to get them started."

"Moving away when we did and moving back when we did was probably not ideal for you while you were experiencing these growing pains. And for that, your mother and I are very sorry." Derek wipes away salty tears and nods like he is beginning to understand what his father is trying to convey.

His father gives him a reassuring pat and smiles saying, "So, why don't you join your mother and I for a cup of coffee in the kitchen so we can have a conversation about a few things that we have noticed about you as of late. We also want you to talk to us. We are concerned and we would like you to tell us what you yourself are experiencing. We love you very much and we just want to help you if we can. Does that sound okay with you?" His father is earnestly looking up at Derek.

Derek is quiet, sits up but he instantly nods his head in agreement. "Yeah, yeah dad. That sounds good to me. I feel lost and confused and these dreams are becoming more disturbing." HIs father grunts as he stands up and his mother follows him as they make their way downstairs to the kitchen.

Derek takes about ten minutes to regroup and get a handle on his emotions. The nightmare he just had about Stiles is just eating away at him but it is lessening a bit. It has profoundly affected him.

Maybe his parents have some answers as to why Stiles seems to be so prominent in his nightmares. He also wonders if they know how he actually feels about Stiles.

He slowly walks into the kitchen where his parents are seated at the table with already brewed coffee poured for all three of them. An entire pot is sitting next to the sugar and cream. It looks like this is going to be a long talk.

For once, he is looking forward to a long talk with his parents.

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Wow, information overload! That is what Derek is currently suffering from. The impromptu discussion in the kitchen he had with his parents over coffee was enlightening in many ways.

The biggest light bulb that was lit was that it cleared up so many things that have been bouncing around in Derek's head. That aside, he did have to deal with sibling embarrassment.

Laura helped herself to a cup of Eight O'clock coffee and offered her insight despite their parents asking her to butt out. She said his pining was blatantly evident to her. Derek felt even more embarrassed about it being that oblivious.

Derek's father was playfully slapped by Talia as he snickered when Laura had told him of the arousal and chemo signals just flooding the air anytime he got close to Stiles.

Overall, the conversation with his parents helped in two ways. It made them less worried about Derek. It also was the catalyst that infused him with courage and determination to do something about the situation with Stiles.

Derek's father said a lot of this reminded him of when he was smaller and his own younger brother Peter, had to go through something quite similar in his late teens.

Derek's Uncle Peter had been in total denial of his feelings for someone. Everyone in the family knew but they could not get Peter to spill the beans about who it was.

This someone turned out to be, Sam, who was aalso a werewolf. He happened to live in the town next to Beacon Hills and his family was actually part of the Hale pack.

Sam and Peter met while they were in high school. Peter was a little slow with his emotional thought processes. He was so caught up in the fear of the whole gay thing that he missed his opportunity in his senior year at high school to reach out to his true mate.

He pined over Sam for months.

Peter and Sam were about the same age and they knew each other rather indirectly. Even though they were all pack, most of pack interactions were between the parents and other adults.

Sam was on the Beacon Height's wrestling team which was one of the rivalry high schools of Beacon Hills. Normally it wouldn't be that bad for a regular human or teenager with the hormonal urges but, it took Peter only one time when he had a match with Sam, and that was the end of it.

The rest of his senior year, Peter walked around like one big hormone with a more than obvious straining bulge in his pants to prove it.

Peter thought of nothing and no one else. Even while his own body was telling him what was going on with him, he still refused to accept what it could mean about him.

Homosexuality was not shunned on in the least in the werewolf community or even in the Hale household. It was what other people in the human public thought that worried him.

Eventually, after that first match, they found out who was the object of his pining. His younger brother Thomas found out because he happened to walk into them doing nothing but scenting each other and kissing frantically around the corner from the bus. When the wrestling match was over, later that night it became Hale family knowledge just exactly who Sam was.

And, Peter was a challenge and then some. Getting a stubborn, hormonal teenager to understand his situation almost put Derek's grandparents in the grave. They repeated to him what has always been told to members of the pack if the inclination toward the same sex presented itself. Being gay or bisexual was not an issue for any of them. They actually encouraged it because it meant you were even more of a rarity and that meant that the place in the pack was special.

However, Peter at the time could not get past the possible harassment, ridicule and hatred that could potentially come from the human population. It scared the living shit out of him.

It eventually came to a head towards the end of his senior year just before graduation when he saw and heard about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. This act of terror frightened Peter. But not his wolf.

Peter did not want to even remotely think that a lifestyle like that might possibly put his family in danger of some kind. Peter adamantly refused to listen to his inner wolf or his own true feelings.

Denial was his course of action. Peter did the best he could to get Sam out of his thoughts. He trampled them down and doused any possible thought of pursuing such a life. The entire Hale family had enough just trying to deal with werewolf hunters and supernatural happenings. Peter thought he was being selfless. It the end of his senior year and the summer after he graduated pure hell. He was despondent on his good days.

Well, Derek's grandparents were not the type of parents to sit down and watch their child curl up and wither away because of some fucked up thinking. They took matters into their own hands. They opened up Peter's eyes in his freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh.

Now, the University of Pittsburgh has a huge spread out campus and even if you knew a friend who was attending it the same time you were, the possibility of actually running into them was pretty remote. It wasn't until wrestling season came. Peter joined Pitt's wrestling team and that is where he met Sam again.

His parents may have given Sam an anonymous nonrepayable grant to attend Pitt. His parents were alumni and new everyone on the board so it wasn't difficult to make such a thing happen.

Even then, Peter being Peter, it took some other type of intervention to come into play. Peter almost lost it when he found out that Sam was attending Pitt. It was time for the Denial to stop and the Acceptance to start.

Derek's dad said he remembered how odd Peter was acting and how Derek reminded him so much of Peter as of late because he was acting exactly the same way.

Derek's father assumed that having a known gay werewolf brother that Derek would come to realize that whom you love does not matter. As long as you are happy and that you love and respect each other. They could care less about gender.

As expected, Derek gets along with his uncle's famously. He knows his uncles are happy and the entire family treats them no differently than any other couple in the family. The last time Derek saw both of his uncles was about 2 weeks ago and they had just bought a new riverside home along the Monongahela river. This one was pretty secluded and significantly larger than the cabin they had before. Derek was invited to come up for a couple weeks during summer break to hang out and go hiking, fishing, do some grilling and whatever else came to mind. His dad spoke to Peter recently who inquired as to whether Derek or any of his siblings were coming up to visit.

As far as Derek is concerned, all this information about werewolves and a homosexual lifestyle was not even a remote concern to his parents. Derek was just too oblivious to see the truth. His mother Talia thinks that Derek's wolf intentionally made his night mare so vivid just so he could get a clue about Stiles importance in his life. Both his parents told him that they and the Stliniski's noticed something very unique between the two boys at a very early age. Derek himself never believed that the mating pull could be so strong but apparently, it can.

His parents had told him stories of the Native American Indians. When one of the men or women in their tribe had tendencies to the same sex, they were actually treated like they were bestowed gifts to the tribe. They were given great respect within the tribe. The tribe knew that these individuals saw things from a fresh and sometimes unusual perspective. They were able to provide knowledge and guidance to fellow tribesman which made the tribe itself much stronger and more cohesive.

Not unlike a werewolf pack.

Derek likes the thought of being considered special in that way. Derek was also special with regard to the fact that he was also an Alpha. (Neither Peter nor Sam are Alphas) So, this makes Derek's position even that much more unique.

Since they moved here in his childhood, Derek had always felt an odd type of pull when he attended school. He didn't know what it was first until he literally ran right into Stiles one day. The pull and scent from Stiles was so strong Derek did not know what to think. When he really thinks about it, he has always been drawn to Stiles.

Not having a clue what was going on when he was so young, he decided that he would appear upset or angry whenever he saw Stiles. If Stiles inadvertently got too close to Derek, he would end up scowling or abruptly walking off without saying a word. Derek just didn't know what to call what he was experiencing let alone if he should do something. But Stiles saw right straight threw it. His parents told him that they had something special and it was best to be friends with Stiles, and so they became the best of friends quite easily. Stiles came from a very affectionate family so it did not bother him that Derek and his family were affectionate toward him. He was affectionate right back.

Now the same thing is happening since they moved back but it is ridiculous on Derek's part. The attraction to Stiles. The memory of their friendship and companionship that he missed so much. The raw new erotic scent that was Stiles. If Derek was going to be close this time, he would have to do it the Derek-way. SO, Derek did what he could to be near Stiles. Derek started purposely walking into Stiles just to get some type of physical contact with the young man. He would always make excuses to be in a tight and confined space or hallway where he had to rub or squeeze by Stiles to get near. Stiles would call him a dick for pushing him into a wall, door or his locker. He didn't care what name he was called as long as he was able to go home and bask in Stiles scent that was on his clothing. It would last a maximum of three days before he had to "accidentally" pummel into Stiles again.

He knew exactly where all of Stiles classes were and he was always around before and after class even if it was just to see Stiles. He would get to school early and wait for Stiles to pull up in his beat up Jeep and he would always wait in his car for when Stiles left school. He never parked very far from Stiles in the school parking lot. He actually felt bad for getting all up in Stiles business but it was the only way he seemed to be able to tackle this problem. All of this was of course, with a scowl so Stiles thought he hated him anyways.

========================================

After speaking with his parents and with this new knowledge, Derek was determined to slowly show his affection and interest toward Stiles.

He was a bit late to work the next day because he was up late last night playing Words with Friends and Instant messaging KurlyFry. He pulled in at almost eight a.m. and most of the employees were already working and many had gone out into the field.

He thought he probably missed Stiles and was thinking he would be eager to catch up with him a bit later. He was beaming today. He had a new found courage and determination that was oozing from his pores. Nothing was going to stop him now. But he was going to do it slowly.

As he put his belongings in a locker, he pulled out his phone and was trying to see if KurlyFry was online just so he could say hello but he wasn't online. It was a bit of a bummer but he put his phone on Airplane mode and then proceeded to the back area to see if there was a golf cart left for him to take out into the field. If not, he would make the best of it and get some exercise, which he didn't mind.

Then it hit him like a ton of bricks.

Stiles scent permeated the garage where the golf carts were parked. But something wasn't right. Something in the air smelled of arousal but mixed with hatred and anger. He smelled trepidation and fear mixing with Stiles base scent.

He perked up immediately and stealthily made his way to the shed area. No one else was around so he stayed back in the shadows and watched once he located Stiles.

Someone he could not make out had cornered Stiles. Stiles was doing his best with some self defense moves but this other character knew more. Whoever this guy was, he was doing his best to get his hands on every single part of Stiles that they could.

At first Derek waited because he wanted to make sure he wasn't interrupting special and private between two people. Who knows, maybe Stiles liked this guy. He was very cautious and made no noise as he watched for thirty seconds or so.

He stayed back while Stiles tried to push the guy off of him but then he was cornered in such a way that he couldn't seem to get out of the situation. But his wolf was getting protective and jealous and he let out a small whimper of sadness and defeat. Stiles turned his head to look directly into Derek's eyes. The look on Stiles face showed was sheer terror.

Stiles watched as Derek instantly transformed into werewolf Beta form. The look in his eyes, Derek heard exactly what Stiles was saying to him without hearing a single word. Stiles face was twisted and he had heavy tears rolling down his face. They looked at each other for a split second but Derek couldn't take anymore.

He let out a fierce growl that echoed against the walls making the equipment hanging in the rafters clatter against each other. His eyes turned crimson. Stiles eyes were now the size of oranges and he was staring in what seemed like total disbelief. It wasn't long before the man all over Stiles was flung an easy thirty feet away from Stiles landing in a large pile of hay just outside the garage.

Stiles wiped away his tears as he slowly began to walk toward Derek with an outreached quivering hand. Then, before he could let out a word, Derek ran past him out into the woods after he found out Stiles was okay.

All Stiles could say was, "Holy shit." which is what Derek heard. What Derek did not hear was, "Derek don't, please. Please come back."

Chapter Text

"What?" Derek asked with hurt and outrage as the door slammed behind him. "What do you mean Stiles quit?"

"Just like I said Derek. Stiles quit." Laura was pushing papers around on her desk trying to not make this news be a big deal for her brother but she knew that it was.

She just got off the phone with their mom. She was shocked just like her son was and an intervention was already being planned. Laura knew it must be breaking his heart to come to some vague type of personal clarity about someone and then have that person abandon you.

Now he was the one abandon by Stiles without so much as a good bye.

"I am so sorry Derek." She held out a nutty breakfast bar to him but he declined. She starts talking while chewing,

"Stiles father called me early this morning to tell me that Stile won't be coming back to work at the preserve. He told me that the reason was a little more complicated than he would like to discuss over the phone so I respected that. I honestly don't know why he decided to quit." she stopped chewing and looked at him.

"Did you do something Derek? Do you have any idea why he quit?".

He quickly shook his head and then the shock of the news finally hit him. It was like air being let out of tire, his face deflated and his expression fell further and further towards the floor.

Derek doesn't say anything and he turns and walks through Laura's office door and makes his way out to the Pine covered parking area where he has his SUV parked. He needs some alone time because he can't believe how he actually fucked this all up so bad.

He actually was thinking about further extending his friendship by asking if Stiles might want to go out to his uncle's riverfront home.

You know, just as friends and see if he can spend time with him. Maybe Stiles would see the real Derek and he would start to maybe even like him.

He wanted to work on their friendship which he thought was really starting to blossom. Then he was going to try, in no uncertain terms, to express and show Stiles just how he felt about him.

It was risky but he thinks he could handle the rejection if it came his way. He is almost sure he could give off romantic overtones to see if Stiles would catch on. It can't be that hard.

Derek felt the heavy oppressive weight of guilt being thrust on his shoulders. As his frustration builds, his thoughts spiral out of control until he is mentally beating himself up.

He thinks, 'He is the one who did this.'

'He is the sole reason that Stiles decided to quit the job.'

'Stiles couldn't stand being around him.'

'Stiles freaked out when he saw Derek turn into a wolf and run away.'

'Stiles finally got tired of walking on egg shells around Derek.'

'Stiles ultimately got frustrated with how shitty Derek treated him at the Preserve. Stiles just got fed up.'

'Who in their right mind wouldn't quit? He would!'

But now, all of his hopes for Stiles are in the can. His inability to keep his human form when he was angry and around Stiles proved to be the final nail in the coffin.

Signed, sealed and delivered notification to Derek that he royally fucked up and any possible chance that he had with Stiles was officially gone.

He is reclining back on the leather seat in the SUV and despite it being parked in the shade, it heats up quickly and he turns over the engine to start the AC.

He looks down to where his cellphone is charging and he notices a light blinking telling him it is his move now on the Words with Friends game.

He doesn't even want to think about playing a game on his phone. Then a pixie dust notification sounds and the Instant message option shows that KurlyFry is online.

He has been sent a text.

"Hey, what are you doing today? I am bored. Talk to me." :: KurlyFry

Derek decides to respond. At least KurlyFry seems to like him. However, he would say that all bets were off if KurlyFry ever decided to meet him.

"Bored, how can you be bored? It is early morning and you are at work. You aren't online till around lunch. Everything okay?" :: Trisk

"oh, yeah. I had to quit my summer job. Had a bad experience. After speaking with my dad he promptly told me that my days as an employee there were over." :: KurlyFry.

"oh shit! Sorry. It sounded like you were enjoying your job. So, was it that guy whom you said hated you? Is he the reason you left? Did he do something?" :: Trisk

"No, no. It is rather personal and beyond embarrassing. I kinda don't want to talk about it now.' (a few minutes tick by then) 'So, I am just battling zombies on my Xbox. How is your job going?" :: KurlyFry.

"Oh yeah. Well, remember I told you that I liked someone I worked with? I finally got the nerve to try and get to know him better. Today I found out that he also decided to quit his job.

Just like you." :: Trisk

Now, KurlyFry already assumes that Trisk is actually a female. The only person he can easily speak with that isn't a girl, is Scott!

He decides to pick her, or his, brain. Maybe it will take his mind off of some of the shit storm that is going on in his pathetic life.

"Wow. Girl, So sorry to hear that. What the hell happened? I need details woman!" :: KurlyFry

Trisk is taken aback. 'Why the hell did he just call me a girl and a woman?' He finds it kind of odd but then he thinks about it.

They never really discussed their genders before so maybe KurlyFry thinks that HE is a SHE.

Well, after not answering KurlyFry's text for over ten minutes, he decides to be brave. He wants to know how it feels to be proud of the fact that he accepts himself for who he is.'

He rapidly taps the keyboard on the face of his phone, "Hey, just to clear things up. I am not a girl or a woman. I know we never talked about it but I am a guy. I got a dick and everything."

He lets that new little revelation settle in.

He finally adds, "So YES, I am gay and I like guys. Just getting a grip on that revelation as of late." There is no response for over five minutes so he just has to ask.

"What? Does me being gay bother you?":: Trisk.

Stiles is still stunned and gawks at his phone. 'Wow, this is a twist. WTF?'

"No not in the least. This is really weird. I just assumed you were a girl. That is my bad." Stiles kicks off his sneakers and lies back further on his bed.

"Actually I am a guy also if you didn't know. Plus, funny enough, I like guys too." :: KurlyFry.

Nothing further is said about it and they both play Words with Friends until Derek's mid morning break is over.

Chapter Text

"IT" fucking HURTS at first.

Derek thought it would get better but "IT" really isn't that much better now. In fact, "IT" isn't better at all. If anything, "IT" is worse.

Derek has done everything he could possibly think of to try and get "IT" out of his thoughts.

"IT" essentially is the feelings Derek has for Stiles. It is also knowing that he totally fucked everything up.

Derek has always had excellent control over his wolf but now he has had to grapple with the fact that, right in front of Stiles, reigning back his feelings of rage and the need to protect Stiles weren't possible. He underwent a beta shift then into a full-on transformation into a menacing, huge, black-as-coal wolf.

He needs to come up with more ways to try and suppress his feelings. Ignoring his feelings he has developed for Stiles is the only thing that he thinks he can do at the present time.

So, when KurlyFry, his instant message pal on Words with Friends, provides him with healthy and helpful suggestions about how to occupy his time.

This provides him with some semblance of normalcy for which he is appreciative.

Derek in return listens to KurlyFry talk about how much he is pining after someone who he thinks is "totally out of my league."

Apparently KurlyFry's romantic aspirations are directed at some guy who is drop-dead, model gorgeous. If he is being honest, he sounds like a bit of an asshole with his described bizarre interactions with KurlyFry.

There was apparently some type of communication that they had but that had stopped recently. KurlyFry is filled with his own self-doubts and has some self-esteem issues.

Trisk tries to help him out with that because, he wished he had a real person friend like KurlyFry.

So, he takes his KurlyFry's advice. Derek was only going to be working at the preserve for a month this summer and he was going to try and extend that but since Stiles doesn't work at the Preserve anymore, he decided against that. But, while he was there, he could still work extra long hours thus helping out Laura since she was down two employees. 

Shortly after Stiles quit, Laura told him that the Sheriff had been by and they discussed one of their employees, Matt.

Derek thought that is was Matt that he threw off of Stiles that morning. He was one of the new employees and had not really interacted with him so he was trusting his wolf nose.

Matt is also the one who Laura terminated recently.

Derek had eventually told Laura about Matt and that he believed Matt was the asshole who cornered Stiles in the garage and began to physically force himself on him.

She and the Sheriff patiently waited until later that week before they approached the young man. Stiles' father showed his badge but took it off and put it aside to speak with Matt. He was going to talk to him as a parent.

He in no uncertain terms conveyed to the young man that if he ever tried anything inappropriate like that again, whether it be his son or someone else, he knew many creative ways to dispose of a human body.

Matt ran out after the Sheriff was done with his talk and has since that time been seen recently working at the Seven-Eleven on the midnight shift.

Later that week, Derek just happened to be passing by the front office when he noticed the sheriff's vehicle. His heart stopped for just a second but then he slowly made his way inside.

He didn't interrupt his sister and the Sheriff talking but as soon as he saw Derek, the Sheriff had a huge smile plastered on his face.

The Sheriff jumped over to Derek and gave him a warm, strong hug and thanked him for watching out for his son Stiles on that particular morning of the almost-crime.

He looked between his sister and the sheriff in embarrassment on his job well done.

He could smell Stiles scent on the sheriff and it comforted Derek beyond description.

He didn't go into specifics but Derek was sure Stiles had told him about his uncontrolled werewolf transformation. But, John Stilinski didn't act any different or say anything to that affect.

What Derek does not know is that his parents told the Stiliniski's long time ago about werewolves. Actually Claudia already knew.

But he remembers overhearing Claudia telling his mother that they were going to wait to tell Stiles until he was a teenager sometime; they wanted the time to be right.

As per usual, the quick and observant Stiles figured it out when he was only seven years old.

"For goodness sake mom, it is not like they are hiding it very well. Even Ray Charles could see that the entire Hale family are werewolves.", His mother laughed, "That is not true honey. They go out of there way to make sure this little secret in the Hale family is kept just that, a secret."

"So, why don't we just keep this to ourselves and don't say another word about it or even mention it. Especially to Derek or any of his siblings. Okay pookey?"

"Yes mom..."

After the hug, the Sheriff did apologize for putting Derek and his sister in a difficult position where they would have to work a bit harder being short staffed.

But Laura reassured him the new people she just hired took up the slack easily. But she said that she did miss having Stiles around.

The Sheriff looks towards Derek and grabs his shoulders and gives it a small squeeze. "Derek, Stiles talks about you all the time. I think he really misses working with you."

" The way he talks about you sometimes makes me believe that you two found each other and reconnected as friends but Laura tells me that you were both just getting to know each other again through your summer jobs."

He looks at Derek like he is trying to get some confirmation but since Derek forgot how to communicate, he adds, "Stiles was talking about how well you do at school, both academically and on the La Crosse team. Honestly, besides Scott and maybe Lydia occasionally, he gushes about you daily. I know he really would like to be friends with you again. That much I am sure of"

Derek is several different shades of crimson and is embarrassed because, ...

"Excuse me but, what ?!"

He thinks the sheriff must be delusional or has lost all sense of reality.

Stiles father tries not to blush also because it just sounded like he told Derek that Stiles has a full blown crush on him. Even though that is basically what he was trying to convey.

So, the sheriff discretely invites Derek to come over to the Stilinski residence sometime and visit if he ever had the chance. He was sure Stiles wouldn't mind seeing his old best friend again.

The sheriff gets a solemn look on his face and gets quiet but serious, "Derek, if you could keep this between us, you would be doing me a an immense favor." he gets a little choked up but continues while Laura and Derek listen intensely.

"See, Stiles has been pretty down since that incident were you helped him out from that Matt character. He told me that he felt completely helpless until you came and he feels a bit embarrassed that you needed to help him."

"He must have some mild form of PTSD because he just couldn't see himself returning back to his job at the Preserve."

"I asked him what he missed the most and not in so many words made a strong point of mentioning your name Derek." Derek just gawks at the Sheriff in disbelief but is stirring up hope in Derek's chest.

Derek turns to his sister as she raises an questioning eyebrow and then he starts to look intensely at the floor because , 'shucks!'.

He can't look up at the man speaking to him and, 'Damn, that is the coolest design they have on the floor. Who even makes tile like that these days?'.

Derek eventually mumbles out a shy response, "Nah sheriff, Stiles doesn't particularly care for me. He has made that known to me several times. I do think he really enjoyed working with the wolves."

Derek lets out a depressing huff and Laura just looks at the Sheriff and rolls her eyes. He rolls his eyes back at her because this young man is just being stupid now.

Derek comments, "He and I barely get along Sheriff. We always seem to be fighting about something.

" It never used to be that way. When we were younger, we would always playfully bicker about nothing and tease and pick at each other constantly. That was fun and it is one of the things I miss most about him" Derek smiles at the floor, kicks his one foot out and laughs to himself because he really misses his best friend.

But, reality check.

While still self flagellating, Derek says, "So, you see, I am pretty sure that Stiles would prefer not to see me. But, thank you for the offer sir, I do appreciate it."

The Sheriff gives Derek a puzzled look. Then he suddenly gets this look on his face like things are falling into place and he is finally starting to understand what is going on. He looks over to Laura and they exchange some type of understanding.

"Well you know Derek, Stiles and I bicker constantly. Claudia and I bickered constantly too. For whatever reason, it is second nature to Stiles. That is just his way. You just have to know how to take him." He squeezed his shoulders tighter till Derek looks up at the Sheriff.

"To the people he cares about, he never says anything to be overtly hurtful or mean. If he does, then he is really upset about something that must be very important to him."

The sheriff giggles to himself, "Trust me, Stiles is very selective about people he wants to associate with or be friends with so, if you were someone he could care less about, he would keep his mouth shut or never mention you."

The sheriff winks at Derek, "But Derek, Stiles mentions you almost daily. Son, I know when my son cares for someone deeply and he tells me indirectly that he cares about you every single day"

The Sheriff looks directly into Derek's eyes, "So, I am just saying... you know,.. that... maybe... if you want... you could visit him if you ever have time on your hands. No pressure though, Okay?"

Derek just nods, bids farewell and eventually makes he way out to his assigned golf cart he has parked. Before he knows it, he is riding out to the one of the farthest locations in the Preserve.

So, Derek takes the conversation that he had with the Sheriff for what it is. Just people talking and getting their guilty feelings off their chest. He later talks to KurlyFry and sort of generalizes the situation and doesn't go into detail but he just offers the same advice he had before.

"Occupy your time with things you like to do."

So, despite being hounded by Laura almost daily, he doesn't visit the Stilinski's. He concentrates on other activities such as helping his parents with a large vegetable garden they are planting behind the Hale mansion.

In the evenings and sometimes into the early morning hours, he delves into a wide variety of literature. He didn't realize how much he would enjoy science fiction books.

He plays with KurlyFry for hours at a time on Words with Friends both of them instant messaging each other with a variety of topics.

On weekends he plays basketball in the blistering heat on the high school courts by himself for hours on end and sometimes taking up a game if others came to play. Boyd and Isaac were always up for playing hoops.

The week before the full moon, he ran for untold hours in the damp and shaded wilderness behind the Hale mansion in his full wolf form.

Leaping over dead tree stumps, chasing playfully with resident wildlife, plowing through muddy leafs and he would end up dousing himself clean in the bass occupied stream that runs through the Hale property.

He would run and explore until his paws ached and his tongue was dragging on the ground.

s was the closest he could get to happiness but it still wasn't enough.

ADerek was kind enough to watch his niece and nephew while Mark and Laura finally had some time for a date night.

Since he took up a new hobby of cooking, he offered to experiment on his family once in awhile and test out some recipes.

Everything he made, his family raved about because, "Jees Der, I had no idea you could cook. This is fantastic! You should invite Stiles over for dinner sometime". Cora especially loved the six cheese lasagna made with venison but she skipped quickly out of the kitchen before Derek could pick his jaw up from the floor.

So he nerves never did calm down. He did everything he could to occupy his mind to shut out his thoughts and feelings for Stiles.

It was no use.

Weeks evaporated into thin air and it didn't matter what he did, there were always these lingering thoughts of the young man he used to call his best friend."

It was the one he knew as Stiles.

Chapter Text

It's been several weeks since the sheriff asked a favor of Derek to hopefully, maybe visit his son Stiles. Since that time, Derek has been increasing running into the distinct glorious scent of Stiles. It is becoming a bit of an issue for Derek. He finds himself searching it out sometimes.

From a distance and on several occasions, Derek has noticed that Sheriff Stiliniski has been increasingly present around his family. He found his parents speaking with the sheriff one day over lunch in the local greasy spoon. Laura had asked him to drop something off for their mother and Derek uncomfortably walked up to the table. But, the sheriff didn't treat him any differently but he also didn't give much attention to Derek. (he is probably pissed because he hadn't visited Stiles)

He has seen him repeatedly talking with Laura but Derek assumes that their working relationship was well established before he started working at the preserve this summer. He asked about one meeting because the sheriff was walking away with a large cardboard box and placed it in his police SUV and left. It appears that Stiles has actually found abandoned pups about a mile behind their home on the cul de sac. Sheriff new immediately they were not canine pups and brought them to the preserve. They were coyote pups but Laura did not turn them away. Derek has been helping rear them since they arrived.

One time he caught his Uncle Peter and Uncle Sam with the sheriff at a BP gas station. He didn't stay long because he noticed Stiles arm hanging outside of the SUV passenger door and all four of them were in some type of discussion. Derek is beginning to think there is some type of "Stiles Only Conspiracy" going on and it is starting to make him a bit pissed off. What the hell is going on that he doesn't know about and why is everyone evasive about him asking specifically. He makes a point of telling himself the next time he smells Stiles scent, he will confront the person. Well, that just so happens to be none other than both of his sisters.

"Really?" Laura looks at Derek like he is being an idiot. "Why in the world were you with Stiles? I can smell him on you."

It starts out with Derek being bombarded by the scent of Stiles from places he expects in the least. Then he is catching his lingering scent, oddly enough, on other people. It seems to be permeating all the spaces that he seems to occupy. And now, its fucking Laura. And, NO, no he is not the least bit jealous.

Cora is hiked up on the gray metal desk facing Laura who has her hip tilted on the desk sorting through wolf GPS/ID tags when Derek confronts them. Cora sharply turns around frowning at her brother. Cora hops down and tells them both that she is leaving because she doesn't feel like hearing Derek prove her right that he is a 'huge douchebag'. She shows him her middle finger and then saunters through the loading deck back door as Derek flashes his eyes and lets out a slight mumbling growl.

Laura rolls her eyes so hard she almost loses her balance and falls backwards. Eventually, she turns her head toward her brother and she can smell the thick, sharp stench of jealousy. (Really? She's married for gods sake!). Damn it if that doesn't make her pissed off. What in the hell does he have to be jealous of?

She blinks once and is looking acutely at him through her long eyelashes. Then she is giving him an irritated look along with a heated response. When Laura gets in one of 'these' moods where she is providing someone with a 'heated response', she usually ends up dropping the 'F BOMB' frequently. For instance, "Fuck you Derek. That is absolutely none of your fucking business." Derek just narrows his eyes and gives her a more pissy look. Looks like she is going to have to explain herself.

"Believe it or not Derek, Stiles and I are friends. Since he had that experience here, I have been trying to help him find another part time summer job." she elaborates even more, "It really isn't any of your fucking business but if you must know, I am also trying to help him out with some things with which he is dealing. He has been very receptive and grateful. Unlike some other assholes, who will remain unnamed, that can't even give him the fucking time of day." Derek gets an uncomfortable jab and twist in his gut. He really didn't like that remark. She decides to blast him.

"Don't stand there looking all innocent and stupefied like that. You, dear brother, are the one being ridiculous by denying yourself any type of .... relationship with Stiles. It isn't my fault you are a fucking moron who can't see something special even when it slaps him in the face." She seems to be getting more irritated because there are 'F Bombs' everywhere.

She is sadly aware of how Derek is occupying his time and being helpful to others just to bury his feelings for Stiles. His withheld affections are obvious to everyone in his family. Hell, even the sheriff figured it out. But denying his wolf and himself from going to and accepting Stiles has taken its toll though, he has become extremely moody. For lack of a better word, Laura would say he's incredibly bitchy at times. You can easily tell something is going on just from his worsening abrasive daily demeanor. It always seems he is on the verge of some type of emotional breakdown.

She feels bad for her brother but he just won't listen to reason. Their parents are frustrated but all is not lost. There is a secret plan in place to try and get these two together. That doesn't mean she can't make him feel like a little shit in the meantime. Maybe something will sink in.

"Look Der, John told you in confidence that Stiles was having difficulty with that incident that occurred with Matt. He is eternally grateful for what you did and how you stood up and protected his son. We both think that right now, Stiles needs a friend. Maybe someone his age that might be able to help him through some of his feelings." She puts both of her hands down on the table and clicks her long red manicured nails while leaning forward and looking him directly in his green eyes.

"Then he did what I did not think he or any father would do. He came here. He knows his son to the core Derek. He knows his son was shaken up but he also knows Stiles has a crush on someone and he didn't want that incident with Matt to leave a sour taste in his mouth. He came here to ask my advice about the situation. Now THAT is an incredibly loving father and it says a lot about the sheriff."

Her voice cracked but became firm. She was making absolutely sure Derek heard what she was saying and hopefully the implications that came with it. "So, the sheriff and I encouraged you to visit an emotionally hurting Stiles. Fuck, he just short of begged you to go visit Stiles. Begged Derek! Can you not grasp the love this man has for his son? He will do everything in his power to make things right if he can."

Laura pushes back from the desk and when she does, the table pushes away from her slightly and moves toward Derek. Derek jumps back slightly and everything Laura has said finally registers and shame courses through his body. Laura bites out, "Jees, all he fucking wanted Derek is for you to visit his son. So one, Stiles could thank you and two, maybe there would be the possibility of you both becoming... friends." she turns her head away and whispers but Derek catches it, "or whatever....".

Laura's voice starts to raise because she is just so sick of her brother's shit because really, he is just being a stupid prick, "But no, you have to hold onto this stupid bullshit you have floating around in your head that no one understands. Mom and dad are freaked out because despite having a very in depth conversation with you, you still aren't letting the pieces between you and Stiles fall into place. Please, wake the fuck up little brother and get your head screwed on right... before it is too late."

Derek is staring at something interesting on the floor and tear begin running down his cheeks, "I know you have seen the look on the sheriff's face Derek. He asked something so simple of you. What are you doing?" she waits for a response but Derek has clammed completely shut. No words can be found for him to even try to respond to Laura. Again, he beats himself up internally because he is just not good with his words. His communication skills suck.

Laura is at an advantage. She doesn't have that problem. She is excellent with her being able to formulate an idea into a conversation and it being conveyed ever so clearly. "So, what are you hiding, like you always do? Running away from the slightest sign of a conflict. Let life pass you by while never addressing any of your problems while living in denial. Seriously, what the living fuck is wrong with you? Are you even a Hale? Because the people I know in my family don't keep pulling shit like this."

Derek face is a dark cloud with a torrent of emotions ready to burst through. He has a firm frown on his face when he looks up to Laura and his nostrils are flaring. His eyes are a blinding blue and his extended claws are driving into his palms and he clenches his fists. Blood trickles down and runs off his work boots onto the pale concrete floor. Turning, he rapidly walks away from Laura without saying a word. Everyone has left for the day and when he goes out the double doors, he violently slams one so hard that it flies twenty feet out into the parking lot shattering into frayed wooden splinters and broken tempered glass.

Laura crosses her arms over her chest while watching her fool of a brother storm away. She whispers to him because she knows he can hear her, "That's it Derek. Run away like you always do. Hide yourself from life." She shakes her head looking at the entrance. "And you are having the repair of these doors taken out of your last paycheck." His SUV and peeling out of the parking lot at lightening speed.

The oppressive guilt that is weighing on him feels unbearable and he has to get away. He doesn't realize it till it is too late. He has let his wolf and his human soul take over. Before he knows it, he is standing idly before someone who has a concerned and puzzled look on his face.

He didn't realize he had been crying so hard; his head hurt, his nose was running and he could barely see who was standing in the doorway of the house where he ended up. The scent was unmistakeable though.

"Uh, hey." Stiles looks past Derek and no one else is standing on the screened-in front porch. "Uh, are you okay Derek? I mean, what are you even doing here?" Stiles is confused and clueless what to think about the situation.

Since Derek seems stunned and despondent, he just reaches out and gently tugs the front of Derek's white V-neck T-shirt. Stiles gets pushed back a bit as he starts to close the front door. Derek basically lets himself fall into Stiles arm. He gets a strong hug and rests his tear-glistened face into the crook of Stiles neck. Stiles rests his head against Derek's and simply sighs and whispers... "My God, Derek. What is wrong?"

Derek just stills. He feels at peace. It is completely quiet except for the chirping of a few cicadas in the yard and the squeaking sound of the door slowly closing and clicking shut.

Derek and Stiles break apart immediately putting a good number of feet between the two of them. Both of them looking all around to make sure it did not look like they were too close. Because, there are high heels clicking on the floor that have come to stop and there is a strawberry blonde named Lydia standing in the kitchen entrance.

Derek freezes and looks to Stiles who can only stumble over words which actually make no sense at all. Lydia gets there attention by finally speaking up in the kindest sweet voice either of them had ever heard come from her mouth.

"Stiles, you didn't tell me that Derek Hale was coming over." She brushes off her above knee green skirt and continues, "Derek, you are just in time. Maybe you can help me grease this stuff up some." without explanation she turns on her heels back into the kitchen.

Stiles just looks at Derek and says, "uhm, yeah. like... come on in dude and like, you know, help us do some greasing."

All Derek can say is, "What?"

TO BE CONTINUED in CHAPTER 11

Chapter Text

As the front door swiftly but gently closes, Stiles with flour in his hair and standing dumbstruck outside of his kitchen, wonders what in the hell just happened the past twenty minutes.

Derek first arrived, he looked relieved that Stiles was home but shortly after Lydia came up behind Stiles from the kitchen, he became moody, curt, quiet and irritable.

He mumbles to himself, "So, I guess that is your normal Derek, then." Lydia just sighed in a way that she knew what this was all about but wasn't going to mention anything.

But Stiles remembers looking directly into his pleading eyes when he opened the door. It seemed like something had changed in Derek. He had this look. He just couldn't put his finger on it. And the warmth and sincerity of that full on hug of Derek's was... Well, let's just say it was something he had not felt from Derek in over four years.

Up until they moved away, both boys were very close in every way. Physical contact and invading personal space was a given and a non issue. It even continued when Derek became a teenager.

Stiles remembers that last night at Peter and Sam's cottage just before the Hale family moved. It was there second night there and Derek constantly was staring and holding his triskele necklace Stiles had made him. They were still talking to all hours of the early morning. They would both sit in there sleeping bags and would gaze out the screened window just appreciating the beauty of the waterfall in the middle of the night.

They laid in their sleeping bags on the floor right up next to each other. Another aged wooden glass window was cracked open letting piney, fresh mountain air just silently roll over them. The air felt pure and magical

Being teenagers, they couldn't help but eventually talk about things of an intimate nature. You know, to compare notes.

Like, who do you think is cute? Do you want to get a girlfriend? If so, who would it be? Did you ever think about kissing anyone? What do you think a kiss feels like? Do you know of anyone who has a crush on you? Do you have a crush on someone?

As the both gave vague and reflective answers, they both slowly got drawn closer and closer to each other.

Stiles finally flat out asks if Derek had ever been kissed. Derek shakes his head with a "No," and then Stiles asked if he could kiss someone, then who would it be?

Derek looked stunned by Stiles tenacity with these particular questions. He looked away immediately and shifted away from Stiles to hide his embarrassmment. Before he could get too far, Stiles bravely grabbed his shoulders forcing Derek to look at him.

He whispered, "Dude, stop being such a dork. That is nothing to be ashamed of." he looked at him coyly, "If you actually kissed someone, I would be the first person to know. We are best friends. You wouldn't keep something that big from me."

"Tell you what, let me lay my embarrassment on you. I have not even come close to kissing anyone yet. My crush on Lydia fizzled in fourth grade when creepy Jackson transferred to our school."

Stiles looks at him innocently but completely open which calms Derek, "So,, we are both goobers who haven't kissed someone yet, big deal." Derek smiled but did not respond.

Letting go of the subject, Stiles turned his head toward the wooden framed window and peered at the large bright moon. The outside of the cottage and surrounding woods were illuminated with every possible shade of blue that existed.

While looking at Stiles, Derek has always thought his best friend was attractive in, Ooh so many ways. Not only was he incredibly smart, unrelentingly witty, fiercely loyal, super intelligent and extraordinarily funny, he was most of all affectionate and compassionate towards all others. Plus, he always gave special care and attention to Derek.

As of late, Derek noticed something different in how Stiles was towards him. He was even more attentive. He always caught Stiles looking at him. His whole perception of Stiles was tilting on its axis. All he could do now was quietly looks in awe at Stiles.

Stiles sat up just a bit to get a better view of the midnight sky. A cool breeze just spread over their bodies. It made Stiles soft auburn tufts of hair dance across his face. He fluttered his moon lit eyes and became hypnotized by the celestial body.

His silhouette was black outlined with a sea blue fringe. The moon's light sculpted the rest of his face as bright reflections were cast off of his eyes. Derek could not just see the lunar brightness but be was able to see an array of stars in his eyes. It was breathtaking. No other way to describe it.

Derek is positive he has never, nor ever will see anything as beautiful as his best friend who is just inches away from him. Something inside his chest seems to twist; he is light headed and his eyes are stinging trying to hold back tears.

This, this is something new and it is completely unexpected. And yet it is not. This feeling has been building since he met Stiles.

Then, he is abruptly broken from his daze.

"Dude? Dude! What is wrong? Why are tears running down your cheeks? Did I do or say something wrong? I am sorry, I didn't mean to pry."

Derek just stares at him because he doesn't know what to say.

He is upset with himself because of his inability to release the words he wants to say. It is so frustrating he could scream. But, Stiles knows how to speak 'Derek'.

Stiles leans back down on his left arm and scoots a little closer to Derek. Derek stopped trying to speak because now he cannot breathe. He feels hot and clammy all over. His fingers tingle and there is this pressure; something is swelling uncontrollably in his boxers.

Stiles leans in close and puts his right hand up to Derek's face. Their eyes are locked and he can hear Stiles heartbeat racing out of control. They both are searching for something in each other's face. Stiles ever so gently rubs away two tears that broke free onto Derek's cheek.

Derek gets nervous, "Stiles?.. Uhm, Stiles... Can I ask what it is that are you doing?" They both look at Stiles hand.

"I was just, ... just looking,... and touching.", he ducks his head down briefly but then looks back with a wide genuine smile, "Oh my god, Mr. Hale. How in the world do you even have a five o'clock shadow? You just turned thirteen."

Derek gains courage because if Stiles can be brave, so can he. This is his absolute best friend. He deserves to know how he feels. Derek raises his hand up to Stiles face as he runs his thumb over his chin and up to play with his lower lip. He is rewarded with an excited gasp that comes from Stiles.

A few minutes go by where all they do is look, touch and learn each other's face. They have looked at each other before but this time, they are actually seeing the other one. Stiles leans just a bit closer.

He moves to Derek's ear and breaths on it as it sends chills down both their spines. While his soft lips touch the shell of his ear, he whispers, "Derek, if you asked me, I would tell you who it is that I would like to kiss."

Derek raises an eyebrow and responds teasingly, "Oh really? Is that right Mr. Stilinski? Now who might that be? Is it anyone I might know?"

Stiles blows softly against his ear, "Yup, I am pretty sure you do. In fact, I think your entire family knows this person."

He pulls back and they lock eyes again and Derek, Derek wants this so, so bad. "Stiles I do believe I know exactly who you are talking about. I think. That is if I am reading you right."

Stiles grabs onto Derek's hand that is still touching his chin. "Derek, I think you are reading me quite well. So, I dare you to tell me who it is."

Derek firmly grasps his hand but also drags his chin bringing Stiles face almost to kissing distance. He is slowly faling into Stiles. "Stiles, if you are going to stop me", their lips gently brush each other's, he whispers, "Then you had better....

All of the sudden Cora is screaming at the top of her lungs in her room and they jump back from each other. Derek jumps up and takes off to her room in a split second. All the lights go on in the cottage and everyone is in Cora and Laura's room. She thought she saw a bear outside her window.

When Peter and Sam rush to her window and look out, they see a small deer running off. Needles to say, Cora demands that she sleep in her big brothers room cause Laura can't fight bears off like Derek can. She sets up camp right between both young men.

After everything simmers down, neither of them mention what was about to happen. They turned away from each other and both went to bed frustrated. It was just hours later when Talia was waking everyone up for their quick departure from Beacon Hills.

If only things could have gone different.

Stiles gets lightly hit on the head with a baking pan by Lydia to bring him out of his daze. "Stiles are you going to help me or not?", she looks at the door Stiles was gazing at lost in thought.

"You know Stiles, I thought that was very nice of the Hale boy to come over and visit. He didn't stay very long and he could learn some conversation skills but, but that was a kind gesture. I wonder if he wanted to talk to you about something."

She has that mischievous glint in her eye as she turns walking toward the kitchen, "Yah Lydia, I am sure he just ran over here to tell me something and then decided to leave without so much as three sentences. No, the Derek Hale who used to be my best friend doesn't want to have anything to do with me. That is for damn sure."

Lydia rolls her eyes as she licks off some coconut chocolate mix from the ladle. She offers a taste and hands the ladle to Stiles, "Well, making the effort to come here doesn't sound to me like he doesn't want to have anything to do with you. For goodness same, he wrote his cell number down for you. He must at least want to te91st or talk. Now cheer up and don't be a downer. Try to look at this positively.

There is a buzz and then she is smiling, "Ooh, the oven timers says that cookies are ready."

Stiles enters Derek's number in his cellphone and follows Lydia into the kitchen. "I am as confused as hell about Derek. I don't even know how to act around him anymore. Let's eat some damn cookies."

Lydia hears him, "No need to be frustrated Stilinski. You'll both figure it out soon enough. Now get over here for the taste testing."

He does and neither of them discuss the enigma known as Derek Hale anymore.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Derek had spent very little time at the Stilinski household. He finally got up the courage to confront Stiles and speak to him and what do you know, his old, or maybe new, crush was there. Both just casually at Stiles home baking cookies.

It also happened to be Derek's favorite that Claudia made for them as children. It was Stiles mother's recipes for almond joy cookies.

Lydia said they are making them for the kids who will be attending the movie in the park tomorrow. In the summer on Saturdays, practically the entire town comes to the center of the city park and they have a free movie for the kids. No charge.

But that is entirely beside the point. What the hell was Lydia doing over at Stiles house? The thought bothered Derek and got under his skin.

When he got there, it appeared Stiles was happy to see him; if his smile and warm hug were any indication. Stiles was also more than willing to include him with the baking.

'Why does this always happen? Something always seems to pop up and interfere with his plans.'

He made some sorry excuse to Lydia and Stiles about needing to get something done. They both looked at each other and knew he was lying but they said nothing about it.

Stiles tried to walk him to the door while Lydia slowly trailed behind observing their interactions. When Derek was leaving he already had a scowl pasted on his face. He knew he was upsetting Stiles becausel he could sense his nervousness and disappointment.

So, he hurriedly scribbled him cellphone number down on a spare piece of paper lying on the living room coffee table and shoved it into Stiles hand. He heard Stiles mumble goodbye and then whisper thank you but by that time, Derek was already at the end of the driveway.

He ran home with his thoughts and emotions just bouncing around in his head and before he knew it he was walking into the living room where his parents were discussing something. He stopped and Talia turned around and asked, "Oh honey, there you are." she got up, meeting him in the foyer. "Oh, look at you sweetie, you are completely soaked with sweats What's wrong? Have you been running? Derek nods.

"Well, your father and I wanted to ask you a quick question if you do not mind. Would that be alright?" she searches for approval. He shakes his head as his dad has scuttled over to stand right next to his mother with his arm around her lower back.

"Well son, we just wanted to know,..." both parents briefly look at each other before turning their attention back to Derek, "how your evening went." Derek just shruggs not giving an answer. His mom ushers him into the den and they all sit down. His parents look guilty about something.

His dad takes the lead, "First of all, we, Laura and the Sheriff want to apologize to you for trying to intervene with Stiles." Derek looks at them confused.

Talia speaks up, "Uhm, you know, with your relationship or dating situation."

Derek stares at them dumbfounded, "Dating situation? What dating situation?"

Now his parents are uncomfortable, "Honey, let me ask you something." Talks is scrunching up the bottom of her apron, "We wanted to know how you visit with Stiles went this evening." Derek is quiet with his head hanging.

She softly runs her hand down Derek's face, "I am sure everything went wonderfully bunny. Hey, wait a minute." She looks down at her wrist watch and sees that it is early evening and she thought that they would be visiting longer.

"Bunny, why are you home so early? Did something happen? Did you get to speak with Stiles about any of the stuff that you are going through?" She leans closer as does his father because Tom can see a tear rolling down the side of Derek's cheek.

"Son, what..." Tom wipes the tear away with his thumb. "What happened tonight that has you so melancholy? We set everything up so Stiles would be by himself at home. The Sheriff said Stiles had nothing to do this evening and he would be at home probably bored out of his mind. I just don't understand. What did..." before his dad could finish, Derek speaks up with sadness and a bit of anger lining the tone of his voice.

"What, you set this up? Well, there was no discussion. And there will not be a discussion." Derek looks down laughing and shaking his head, "Remember that crush Stiles had long time ago on that little girl with red hair, Lydia? Well, it looks like that crush has turned into something more than a crush."

Shocked, Talia speaks up a bit confused, "What? What do you mean? Was Lydia at Stiles house when you went over there?" she tries to put her hand on his shoulder gently but he jerks away immediately.

Derek stand and actually stomps off as he heads toward the wooden staircase, he looks back and says, "Stiles is already with someone. He seemed very cozy and comfortable with Lydia tonight when I stopped by. They make a good couple and they deserve each other. Now, I am going to my room and I would prefer to just be left alone." Next sound they hear is Derek's bedroom door slamming.

It slammed so hard that both of his parents jumped a bit by how loud it was and Tom says, "Well, that just happened.". But for a few minutes they sit there completely not knowing what in the hell went on.

"Tom, I am going to call John at the Police station and see why Lydia Martin, of all people in the world, had to be the one visiting Stiles tonight. While I am talking to him, why don't you fill in Laura about the new set of circumstances".

His phone rings twice. "Hello, this is Sheriff Stilinski. How can I be of service to you and what is the nature of your call?" John always being the consumate professional.

"John, hello, this is Talia. Do you have a minute to talk? I need to ask you a question because we are dealing with an overly emotional teenage boy." she clicked her nails along the rim of the speaker piece.

"Oh hi Talia. Yeah, I have a couple minutes. I just assumed everything was going well with the intervention we set up. Why would you have an overly emotional teenage boy at your home?" John waits for an answer.

She puts him on speaker phone and decides she needs to relax for this conversation. "First off, I just want to be clear about something. There is a special kind of balance that is needed for a wolf to be in sync with both his human and animal side. And that is what Claudia and I thought that Stiles could do for Derek. It is important that their relationship remains intact. And yes, I know it was not ideal being away for four years, and I take full responsibility for that. But it was for both Stiles and Derek's safety." She exhales.

"That being said, imagine my surprise that despite all our planning and making sure everything would be perfect for those two. Of all people to be visiting Stiles tonight, a fellow schoolmate and former crush was apparently being cozy with Stiles. Is there something between the two of them we don't know?" she quips.

The Sheriff face palms and lies his hand and head on his office desk. "Oh for heaven's sake. Please do not tell me that Lydia Martin was at hour house when Derek showed up."

Talia just confirms it, "Yes, the strawberry blonde crush from Stiles childhood just happened to be at the house. Why was she there?"

"Leave it to Stiles to make things more confusing and more difficult than it has to be. That kid I am telling you... and No, he and Lydia are just friends. Close friends but there is no romantic involvement." he slurps some cold coffee and lets out a small cough.

"This just sucks total donkey dick!, Oh shit Talia, I am so sorry. Please forgive my language." he flinches waiting for an adult reprimand.

"No Sheriff, those are exactly my sentiments."

Chapter Text

Derek finished up his work stint helping out Laura at the preserve. He has time on his hands and will do just about anything to not think of the fool he made of himself in front of Stiles and his girlfriend. Of course, Word with Friends is clearly on top of his list of avoidance tactics. Plus, he found a real friend on the game, KurlyFry. While playing the game, their instant messages are fun and filled with humor. Both of which seem to be sorely lacking during his summer break.

Talia, Tom, Laura and the Sheriff finally decided to just let things play out between the two young men. No more meddling. Derek was speaking to them again after the week long silent treatment. Apparently Stiles asked Talia if Derek could call him by giving her his cellphone number on a piece of paper. Derek got the paper but firmly told himself he would not call no matter how bad he wanted to. He kept it and figured he needed to do even more to occupy his free time. He actually decided to bother his younger sister.

He hung out a lot with Cora. They actually visited their uncles new cottage for a day and drove back home. Peter and Sam extended an invitation for the entire family to visit on the upcoming July 4th weekend.

Stiles decided that maybe it was best not to contact Derek on his cell. Mrs. Hale said Derek got his number but apparently he did not feel like speaking to Stiles. He is still confused and a bit upset about the odd visit from Derek that night. As much as he would like to have his old friend back, he thinks that despite the ever increasing "other" feelings he has for him, for now it seems best to lie low. The Sheriff came clean to Stiles and apologized for his and the Hales meddling.

Stiles has been hanging with Lydia a lot because Jackson went to some summer camp for three weeks. She is a great friend who will listen to him if he brings up the subject of Derek but she never initiates it. He loves her for that. Plus, he too has been playing a lot of WWF and is talking to Triskele frequently. He feels this odd attraction toward Triskele, which he thinks is just plain weird.

After everything that happened, he thanked Laura for her help but he decided not to get a job for the rest of the summer. His dad agreed and thought he should just enjoy summer break.

About a week or so after the incident at the Stilinski home, Stiles just dropped Lydia off at her home after a day of shopping and having dinner at the local diner. Stiles sits with his dad for awhile when he gets home and they talk about his day but the Sheriff has the night duty and left shortly after Stiles got home. He showered and got ready for bed when he heard his phone pinging. It was TT: Triskele asking if he wanted to play Words with Friends. He pushes his favorite pillow against the headboard and slouches down till he is comfortable and he accepts the invite and they begin a game. It is not long after the game starts that TT: Triskele seems to have something on his mind so they talk start with some instant messages.

TT: Triskele: Hey, how have you been doing? Did you ever get another summer job?

KF: KurleyFry: Oh, hey. No, decided to just try and enjoy my summer. My dad is behind me so I don't feel too bad. What about you?

TT: I finished my gig to help my sister out at her workplace. She has enough summer staff so I only need to go in to help whenever someone gets sick but for the most part, I am pretty free. I guess I am trying to enjoy the rest of the summer.

KF: Why do you say try? You make it sound like it is a hardship or something. It should be easy to enjoy time off. I am actually looking forward to being a Junior in high school.

TT: No, not so much a hardship but I am just trying to get past some drama that happened recently and it is a bit difficult to clear my head. As for school, senior year is going to be great because then I don't have to deal with all the idiots. Idiots include my fellow students as well as the teachers. ;-)

KF: That's right, you are a senior. So, what was the deal with family drama? I mean, if you want to talk about it or not. Either way, I am here to listen.

TT: Well, my parents and my older sister are enough to drive anyone crazy. So, do you remember the guy I told you that I liked?

KF: Yeah, whatever happened with all that?

TT: Well, my parents and this guy's father put together some sort of plan to get us together to start dating or something. It was quite bizarre to have them meddling but I got over it. Especially when I found out the guy I like has a girlfriend. I made a fool of myself when I went over to see him only to find him and his red headed girlfriend playing house in his kitchen. I held it together for about 20 minutes before I had to make an exit. I was so uncomfortable and pretty devastated too.

KF: SAY WHAT?...

TT: Yeah, I know right, he has a girlfriend. It just all seems to suck the big one.

KF: OH damn, meddling parents. Well, you don't have to tell me about that. My dad did something like that recently but I am not sure what was all involved but he did apologize. I have no idea what it is with him.
Sorry to hear that your crush has a girlfriend. That pretty much sucks but at least you know where you stand and now you are free to do whatever you want.

TT: I guess. Still it is really upsetting because I have liked this guy for so long. I guess I just waited to long to let him know how I felt about him. It's beyond embarrassing though, you know?

KF: Well, don't be embarrassed. You and I can flirt in between these games we play. It is ashame you probably live in Michigan or something. It would be nice to have a friend like you around where I live. I feel safe and comfortable when I speak with you.

TT: Yeah, I feel the same way about you. It is great to talk to another gay or bi person who can understand some of the extra added drama that happens when it involves these types of relationships. Plus, I don't know where you live either. Beacon Hills, Pennsylvania isn't in Michigan but I thought they linked players up with people that were in your general vicinity.

KF: SAY WHAT?...can,.. Can you repeat that?

TT: What? What did I say? Please tell me you are not offended by my use of the terms gay or bi. Everyone is so damn sensitive these days about labels. Cripes.

KF: No, you said you were from Beacon Hills, PA? Is that right?

TT: Yeah. Podunk little town but I really love it here. Why? If you aren't in Michigan then where are you?

KF: Dude, you aren't going to believe this but I live in Beacon Hills, PA also. That is just supremely bizarre. Don't you think?

TT: Quit fucking with me! You are not... Wait, are you serious? Shit, all this time we have been talking and I had no idea you lived in the same town as I do. And you know, Beacon Hills isn't huge. maybe a population of eight thousand. I can't believe you live in the same city as I do.

KF: Me either. That is just kind of freaking me out a little bit. Maybe I know you?

TT: HIghly doubt that, it is a pretty large county and we actually live on the outskirts of Beacon Hills. So, what happened to the guy that you were crushing on?

KF: oh, that. It probably is just not the right time for anything to happen. It's hard though because he was one of my very best friends when we were children. I've had these feelings for so long and now that I can actually identify them, he just avoids e completely or we have awkward encounters.

TT: Oh shit that sucks. It is rough being in love with your best friend especially when you are fairly certain they, One, don't want to be friends anymore, Two, they seem to hate you with every fiber of their being and Three, they now have some beautiful red-head girlfriend. I almost put myself out there. At least I didn't make my intentions known and make a fool out of myself. Misreading the situation and the rejection still hurts.

KF: SAY WHAT?...

TT: Why do you keep doing that, SAY WHAT? I said the rejection hurts. Hurts more than I ever thought it would.

KF: Did you say beautiful red headed girlfriend?

TT: Yeah, she is quite beautiful to be honest. He is very lucky. You know, when all that meddling happened, I even gave him my phone number to see if he would call because maybe there was a chance he would still want to be friends. I mean we were best friends all through life.

KF: SAY WHAT?...

TT: Stop THAT!! What are you doing, you are driving me crazy with that SAY WHAT?... I said we were best friends. And I mean the best. We did everything together. I actually thought he liked me back romantically because things seemed to be heading in that direction towards the end.

KF: SAY WHAT?... Sorry, I mean, go on. What ended up happening?

TT: Oh, back then, years ago, there was a family emergency at the time. I mean, we were both teenagers at the time and I wasn't really paying much mind but I guess I should have. My entire family had to move from Beacon Hills and we were gone for about four years. I never really got to say good bye to him and I have no idea where our friendship was heading.

KF: SAY WHAT? Keep going...

TT: Well, we moved to a place where we actually had to lie pretty low. At the time I did not know but our entire family was in danger which is what forced us to move. We didn't even have time to go home and pack because when we found out we were in danger, we also found out our house was burned down. We lost almost everything.

KF: SAY WHAT? You were in danger? Your entire family?

TT: Yes. All I can tell you is that we were being targeted by some group. That has all pretty much been taken care of and we eventually moved back about six or seven months ago back into our old home. I thought I could be friends again with my best friend but I was so afraid of what had happened over the four years we were gone. Plus, I was not allowed to contact him during that time which just tore me up inside. I can honestly say I was heartbroken. I guess if I say that, that also means I was probably in love with him. My parents understood how I felt because it was a difficult time for me but with the promise of going home someday, it was all I had to hang onto.

KF: So, wait. let me get this right okay. And bare with me because I am kind of freaking out right now.

TT: What is there to freak out about? I thought you said you were able to listen when I explained things to you. What is it you want to clear up?

KF: First of all, fuck this Words with Friends game. Before I ask you some really personal stuff, I just want to make sure I have all of what you told me straight.

TT: Sure, go ahead.

KF: So, you had a best best friend growing up and you were both developing deeper feelings for each other? and I mean by that, you were getting emotionally invested in this person?

TT: Yup, and then some. Go on.

KF: You were forced to move away for, what did you say, four years and then you eventually returned to your original home about six months ago?

TT: Yeah, giver or take a month or two.

KF: And this guy, you both are having problems connecting with each other and you think he hates you now?

TT: Yup, your nailing it all on the head.

KF: And you gave him your cellphone number recently but he has not called you because he had a red-headed girlfriend now?

TT: Bingo. At least your memory is intact. ;-)

5 LONG MINUTES GO BY...

KF: So, you think I am dating Lydia? Is that what you are telling me?

Derek is stunned and can't move a muscle as he stares at his phone screen: Because what the hell?

TT: SAY WHAT?...

KF: I said, this red-heads name is Lydia, isn't it?

TT: SAY WHAT?... How the hell do you know that? Are you fucking with me now?

KF: Well, I wouldn't fuck with you unless you asked me to fuck with you. ;-)

TT: Wait a minute. Did the job you have earlier happen to involve working with wolves on a Preserve?

KF: As a matter of fact, yes. My boss was a woman named Laura. Laura Hale.

TT: But, that can't be. Laura Hale is my sister. How did you even get a job there? When did you work there?

KF: Your sister? Holy shit. I can't believe this. Okay, let me get a grip for a second. I actually have one really important question for you.

TT: Oh no, please, please please. Tell me this isn't true. What is your question?

KF: Years ago, before you moved, did your best friend make a necklace for you from an unusual indian arrow head? Looks exactly like a Triskele. OMG, that is your instant message name...

TT: Holy sheep shit Batman. Yes, uhm... yes he did.

KF: SAY WHAT?...

TT: I said STOP that! You are driving me nuts. So, what does all this mean? Cause I am getting some really odd vibes.

Stiles/KurlyFry does not answer because there is no possible way in the world that his little WWF crush is the same as his real life crush. So, he decides to bit the bullet and ask.

KF: Your name wouldn't happen to be ... Derek would it?

TT: OMG, Stiles, is this you?

KF: Yes. I can't believe that we have been...(cut off)

Derek/Triskele's blood pressure just bottomed out and he is about to pass out because all these months he has been speaking with Stiles on the instant message. He is so fucking embarrassed that before he can even get a response back from Stiles, Derek has completely shut his phone down. Turned it off and just passed out on his bed. His mind is racing and he is not just sure how he feels right now.

Stiles notices that Triskele goes offline. So, he has the courage to actually use Derek's cellphone number and calls. Each time there is no answer but this just sends Stiles into a rage. They were actually communicating and getting somewhere and Derek goes and hangs up and chickens out on him. Stiles leaves a message saying just about that but then he is so angry for being ignored, he calls back again, goes to voicemail and he leaves one more message.

"You know what, fuck you Derek Hale. Fuck you."

Chapter Text

Even through the anger, … No scratch that; the "irritability" that resulted from the texting with Derek, Stiles knows he just cannot force someone to talk with him. He has felt lost the past couple weeks since the text exchange with his Words with Friends buddy. The buddy who ended up being Derek. Surely it isn't a coincidence that they found each other randomly through that phone game application? There was no way it could be due to sheer chance. Stiles was sure that it meant something else.

Stiles decided that if Derek does not want to talk to him, then he will do whatever he can to try and forget him and see if he can continue the rest of his summer which seems to be wrapping up here soon. The beginning of school is just 2 weeks away and junior year will be a bitch, he just knows it.

So, part of his daily routine is going to the seven eleven down the street for his daily sugar intake. Recently he has been getting this odd feeling that somehow he was being watched when he was around or in the convenience store. He isn't sure if he is being paranoid or if he is just jittery because he has so much time on his hands.

Today was not any different. It was about ten in the morning and the a.m. rush for coffee and donuts for the working populace had died down. He decided to grab a small carrying basket because his dad requested a gallon of fresh milk and a dozen eggs. As soon as he places the milk in his basket he hears the ding of the entrance door bell announcing that a new customer was there. Stiles did not look because he was preoccupied reading the side of an Almond milk container and just, yuck.

Then, as it usually happens, he felt this very low humming feeling just underneath his skin that was accompanied with that heightened sense that someone was observing him. Both of those feelings were pretty intense today though. They felt very strong like whomever it was drew closer to him.

Slight panic ensued where he grabbed the dozen of eggs he had eyed and decided it was time to make his way out of the store and back to his jeep. The sooner he leaves this place, the better he usually feels. He really should start thinking about going to another convenience store if this one bugs him out so much.

He moves his Reeses around so it isn't crushed and makes room for the eggs in the basket when he slams into someone who is just a black fortified wall. The basket tips and in a vailant attempt, Stiles tries his best to save the eggs but he just is not fast enough. Right before they are about to hit the ground, a huge male hand reaches quickly saving all the eggs from being smashed on the floor. He managed to keep the rest of the baskets contents intact.
"Oh my god, I am so sorry. I had my head down and I was not even looking..." Stile stammers and then shuts his mouth conveniently when he is staring at Derek Hale who seems to have a smirk on his face.
"What the hell dude?" Stiles if flustered and embarrased and can not even look at Derek in the face at the moment. "Give me those damn eggs. Thanks for catching them. Sorry I bumped into you. Have a nice day." Stile rushes past Derek and moves up to the checkout counter. Derek just looks befuddled.

Money is thrown on the counter rather abruptly while the guy checking him out just watches the flustering young man. "Uhm, will that be all?" he gawks at Stiles questioningly. Stiles looks over his shoulder and does not see the guy in black that put him in this state. He turns around with sweat dripping down the side of his face, "Ah, I need twenty bucks on pump 3 also." the clerk shakes his head and rings him up.

The clerk still looks at Stiles bewildered, "Uhm, sir, Are you okay? you seem a bit shaken,", Stiles looks up, "No, not really. I just,... I just ran into someone quit unexpectedly. I was not prepared for it. It is silly really. I mean the guy hates my guts. I do not know why he would even bother coming up to me... in a convenience store no less." He pulls out some change that will make a clean transaction.

The clerk starts to bag up his items and hands him the receipt with a little smile on his face. He asks, "Do you mean the new guy who is dressed all in black today? (he gets a nod from Stiles.) "Oh, Mr. Hale started working here a couple weeks ago. He is great at his job. So far, I have not even had to threaten to fire him, The others before him, all those Beacon Heights teenagers are a worthless bunch."

"Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that Derek works here?"

"Yes. So, you must know him if you call him by his first name. He is a rather quiet kind of guy but he slowly opening up to me. He has some great ideas for this store that we started. He actually will go out to the gas stations and ask customers if they need their windows cleaned and if they found everything they need if they have been in the store, He is such a handsome young man, he has all the female customers stuttering and oogling him while he helps them. They all keep coming back which is good for business so I am not complaining."

"Hmm. Yeah, I bet he has a following. I am sure they are just throwing themselves at him." Stiles gets red in the face as a streak of jealousy seers through him. "He probably loves all the attention and gets girls phone numbers left and right. It must be a huge burden to be that good looking." Stiles grabs his bag as the customer behind him makes a impatient cough. "Okay, I am going already. Keep your pants on."
As Stiles is exiting, the clerk tries to speak to him one last time, "Oh, no young man. It is not like that …" but Stiles does not hear him as he makes a B-line to his jeep.
His mind is all over the place as he stands at the pump. He attempts to calm down and not be so bothered by the information he just got.

The wind gently blows sending with it flowery perfume and the sound of a few girls giggling. He turns and sees Derek leaned over the engine of a car as two girls in the car stare at his ass and pinch each other as they share glances and sniggling.

Stiles wants to wretch.

He talks to his gas pump to hurry up... faster, faster. He has to get out of here.

He hears the hood slam on the girls car as he finishes pumping. Rushing around the jeep and flinging himself in the seat , he starts the engine,

"Hey, Stiles? Stiles, wait a minute." Derek is jogging over to the jeep and panic clenches his chest as he puts the jeep in gear.

He mumbles to himself, :Nope, no way am I going to be stuck here." as Derek makes his way closer. In a fit of anxiety, he lets the clutch go too fast and the jeep lurches forward and it stalls. Derek walks around to the drivers side and Stiles refuses to look at him. "Stiles, hey are you okay?"

Staring at the dashboard, "Yes, Yes I am fucking okay." Derek just looks at him and he can sense the friction in the air. After a minute or so when the uncomfortableness cannot be taken any further, he screams, "What Derek? What is it that you fucking want? Spit it out."

"Why are you upset? Why won't you look at me?"

"Derek, I am not playing your little games anymore." He restarts the jeep putting it in gear, "Why don't you just get back to your fan club and let me just go about my day? Okay? Enough is enough. It is all pretty clear now and I am stupid for not seeing it earlier."

Derek grabs the jeep door, "What in the hell are you talking about? I came over here because I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to apologize and see if we could maybe get our stories straight because I think there is some confusion on both our parts. And what do you mean by 'my fan club'?"

"Oh, really Derek. Isn't that just peachy. Wait, did you say confusion? That is just a bit of a tiny under-fucking-statement. So what, you hitting up on girls playing Words with Friends wasn't enough for you. You had to come get a job so this fan club of horny girls could throw themselves at your feet? I am sure when you found out who I was when we were playing and texting back and forth, you freaked out. I have not seen you online to play in almost two weeks. I guess you figured why not get paid to flirt with all the girls. Boy, was I completely wrong about you. I almost..." He stops himself by biting his tongue.

"What are you talking about? I am not flirting… well, I mean I was but..." He just shakes his head, "Why do you always have to be so difficult?"

Stiles eyes almost eject from their sockets, "Me? I am the one being difficult?" Stiles rubs his eyes to make sure they are still in his head and turns a disgruntled head towards the guy that he thought might have actually liked him. Now, he has a job with entourages of adoring fans just trying to see who can probably get in his pants first. It embarrasses Stiles to know how mistaken he was to let himself develop emotions for Derek. Emotions that he did not feel he could keep bound up. His dad, the Hales, Derek's uncles and Laura all but said that Derek might feel the same way.

Wow, how could he and all the others be so wrong about Derek. If he had spoken to Derek since the instant messaging incident, he would have revealed how much he was pining for him. Which, after finding out he was who he was on Words with Friends, Stiles was almost positive there might be something there. Luckily he kept his mouth shut till now. There is nothing great about thinking one thing and being completely wrong about a situation. The rejection would have hurt but he would also be laughing stalk to everyone around him. School in the Fall would have been a nightmare.

"Look, I have to go. I can't take much more of this. Please just back away from the jeep so I can leave." warm tears he tried to hold back stream down his face. He is totally pathetic.

then a warm strong hand is gently wiping away fallen tears from his face. In a low, thread broken whisper, Derek is pleading. "Sti..Stiles please don't go. I really think we need..."

Stiles slaps Derek's hand away and steps on the gas where the only things left are tire treads, dust and the smell of exhaust to signify that Stiles was actually there talking to him just a minute ago, Derek wipes tears from his eyes and plasters on his distant cold face and makes his way inside the store. It has got to be close to lunch. That little episode drained him but also confused him.
He kicks some dirt while walking and the two girls are still sitting in their car with stunned and sad faces. One jumps out of the car and cautiously intercepts him, "oh ah, hey. I just wanted to thank you for checking the engine but I also wanted to say that both of us are so sorry if we were the cause of the fight between you and your boyfriend. We didn't really mean to cause any trouble."

Derek is in shock, does everyone know how he feels about Stiles, "Uh, thanks. I appreciate that but you did not do anything wrong and that guy was definitely not my boyfriend."

She smiles and before she returns to her car she says "Gee, now that is a shame. The intensity and raw emotion that you two display to each other? That is really surprising. I can even see how much he cares about you. You would both make a really cute couple."

Now Derek thinks, "That did just not happen?" He takes a look around and no customers getting gas at the present time so he is going to tell the boss he is going to take his lunch. One of the frequent customers, Miss Hoffstetter just skirts past him and says something that makes him wonder, "Don't worry there deary, it's all going to work out. I can feel it." Before she drives away she blows him a small kiss.

He finally gets inside where there is air conditioning and his boss stops him before he goes to the back room to devour his lunch, "Oh, Mr. Hale. That was quite a performance you had going on out there. That could have been a scene in that Pride And Prejudice movie. Almost brought me to tears." he has a stupid yet sincere look on his face as he straightens up some lighters on the counter in front of him." Derek just stares at him and grunts.

"What are you talking about? You were in here when I was talking outside. You couldn't have heard anything. Plus you are making more out of it than there is. That man hates my guts. It is pretty damn obvious."

Boss takes a rubber ball key chain and hurtles it at Derek's head gaining his attention again. 'oh, now listen here buster. We have security cameras and mics everywhere. Miss Hoffstetter and myself watched the whole thing in stunning High Def."

"We both know you have a, what do you call it?... 'preference'. And don't tell me you don't because you may have been nice to all our customers; even all those swooning girls and not once have you given anyone the time of day when it comes to things of that nature. What I witnessed on that camera is definitely a revelation. So, I need you to open your eyes... and maybe even your heart." His voice has become more soft as he continues.

Derek is paralyzed by his boss's words because they are hitting home and his 'situation" between he and Stiles is becoming blatantly clear, he just didn't know so many others could see what was going on.

"Derek, listen to me. That episode outside may have seemed like someone has some pent up anger mixed with a healthy dose of jealousy but that young man you were speaking with... I hate to be the one to tell you this but he..."Derek is overly eager to hear what his boss has to say but a customer comes in and interrupts him. The customer gives Derek a thoughtful glance and say hi and then she leaves the store.

Derek steps up to the counter and looks his boss head on. "What Marty? "But he" what? Spit it out, I can take the truth." Derek has tears overflowing the rims of his lower eyelids while he answers his own question, "He hates me doesn't he. He can't stand the sight of me and all I do is make his life difficult and tiresome." Dereek agressively wipes away tears with the sleeve of his T-shirt, "Go on... say it."

His boss Marty comes around the counter and faces Derek directly and shakes his head softly. Warm tears are readily flowing down Derek's cheeks and he starts hiccuping while he inhales. He is sad and torn up about the truth of Stiles hatred toward him and not only that, he is having a breakdown in front of Marty, his boss.

Marty holds out his arms and Derek resists at first but eventually gives into the gift that Marty is offering him. A warm hug and a firm shoulder to cry on. The hug is able to help stablize Derek's outpouring of emotions.Marty hugs Derek tightly and lets him soak in the warmth of someone who seems to care about him. Someone Derek did not expect.

"Oh Goodness No my dear boy. No, No, No..." Marty pushes him back while grasping his arms, "No my son, not at all." Marty searches out Derek's swollen red eyes for some type of sign that maybe Derek understands but there are no signs.

"Oh my lord. You really don't know do you?" and Derek whispers "No, I don't."
"Well, let me tell you then. That young man you had a conversation with has a significant emotional investment in you. It's as plain as the nose on my face, but you don't seem to realize it. I think you have some serious soul searching to do." Marty pats him on his shoulders, "Now go take your lunch and when you are done, take over the register while I run to the Post Office." and Marty is getting ready for another customer who just so happens to be Miss Hoffstetter who seems to have forgot something,

Derek needs to know. He is a bit slow on the uptake and obviously must have things spelled out for him, "What type of emotional investment are you talkin g about Marty?"

Miss Hoffstetter intervenes with a bit of an irritated look on her face.

"Oh for goodness sake Derek, that young man is in LOVE with you!" she starts to turn to Marty, "I have cataracts and I can see that shit a mile away! I need a pack of smokes Marty, the usual."