Stiles didn’t mean to cry; at the start of the day he’d promised himself he’d be strong. He told his father that everything would be fine, it was just another day, and that he wouldn’t break down. But as he was sat in his room, the living room clock downstairs sounding throughout the house that it was now 6, he couldn’t help the weighted feeling of loneliness pressing down on him. There was no use in fighting the tears; there was no one else in the house to see him cry.
Stiles definitely did not mean to pick up the phone and ring Derek, not really anyway. He just needed a friendly voice, he needed his voice. Just to hear it would calm him down, even just slightly. Enough to help him through the night, so he was then able to go to bed and actually get some sleep. Derek’s voice was soothing to him in that way.
He was getting impatient as it rung, Derek usually picked up after at the most 3 rings when it was Stiles on the phone, he knew how irritable Stiles could get and the lecture Derek would no doubt receive about the possibility of him ringing for an important reason, like he had fallen down the stairs or something. Not that Stiles ever did ring him for a real important reason. Although to Stiles, every conversation he had with Derek was an important one.
When Derek finally did pick up after 8 rings, he sounded annoyed. Incredibly annoyed. And Stiles could hear people talking loudly in the background. The hello wasn’t the usual hello that Stiles would receive, it was sharp, as if Derek was trying to get off the phone as quickly as possible, and get this conversation over and done with. As if it were some kind of chore to talk to Stiles at that moment in time.
“Are you busy?” Stiles asked, wiping his eyes with his sleeve. Despite Derek’s rather aggressive hello, his voice did still calm down Stiles a little.
“What do you want Stiles?” Derek sighed, and Stiles could tell he was pinching the bridge of his nose, it was something he always did when he was annoyed.
“I just- I need to see you.” The younger boy told him, he could feel his eyes welling up with previously unshed tears, and there was a slight hiccup in his voice at the end. No, he needed to be strong. He couldn’t break down now.
“I came over last night.” Stiles knew he shouldn’t get into the habit of expecting Derek to come over whenever Stiles wanted him to, but he needed him. There wasn’t anyone else that he wanted there at that moment, just Derek. It almost scared Stiles slightly, to think that just last year Derek would be the last person Stiles would have ever even dreamed of asking to come over. Derek was the last person Stiles would have even talked to.
“I know,” Stiles took a deep breath, he didn’t want to sound weak on the phone. The noise in the background was getting louder, “It’s just it’s my mom’s-” the voices in the background were louder than before, and a female voice cut him off when he was about to explain to Derek his need for him.
“Der, do you want sweet or salted popcorn?” she sounded pretty. God dammit she sounded really pretty. And Stiles couldn’t hold the tears in anymore, because dammit Derek didn’t want him. He had pretty popcorn girl.
“Oh, you’re on a date.” He tried to sound strong, he really did, but it’s hard to sound strong when you’re crying, “Doesn’t matter. Have fun.” Short and sharp, he needed Derek to realise he didn’t care. They hadn’t agreed anything, Derek could do as he liked, do who he liked, and clearly he was. What they had wasn’t official. They hadn’t talked it through. There were no real feelings involved.
Or at least that’s what Stiles reminded himself of after every time they were together. He had to force himself to break the connection that his mind thought that they had. The thought that they were in love, despite the fact that those words were never spoken. The thought that they were official, despite the fact Derek was on a date with popcorn girl.
“No it’s not a date St-” Stiles had disconnected the call before Derek had a chance to explain what he was actually doing, before he threw his phone against the wall beside him - damn thing was a piece of crap anyway - and curled himself back up in his duvet. Clearly his whole ‘phone Derek to stop the day being so rubbish’ plan had not work like he had originally hoped it would.
“Shit!” Derek swore, immediately trying to ring Stiles back again, “Shit. Shit. Shit. What’s the date?” he asked as he reached Stiles answer phone. He wasn’t in the mood to stand and hear the younger boys quirky answer phone message, which on a good day would make him chuckle despite how many times he’d heard it now. So he hung up, and tried again. And again.
“Who was that?” the brunette beside him asked, she had decided the popcorn flavour for the two of them, considering Derek wasn’t paying any attention at all to her. He would just have to put up with salted popcorn she had been craving all week, and she knew Derek preferred sweet, but if asked she would totally deny that it was done on purpose because she was being ignored.
“What’s the damn date?” Derek shouted, trying Stiles again, reaching answerphone again.
“October 6th, why?” the brunette looked confused, “Was that Stiles?”
“Yes that was Stiles! I have to go.”
“And leave me all alone?” the older girl pouted at him, her piercing blue eyes wide.
“I think you’re old enough to look after yourself, don’t you?”
“Is he your boyfriend?” She teased, following him out of the cinema, practically bouncing with joy.
“No.” Derek kept walking towards his car, ignoring the girl and her teasing remarks.
“Do you love him?”
“What does that have to do with you?” Derek snapped, turning around to glare at her.
“You do! You so do. Can I meet him?” she was using her eyes against him, giving him those puppy dog eyes that he just couldn’t resist, never had been able to.
“Not yet, not tonight. Tonight I have a feeling he won’t be very happy with me.”
“Why? What have you done?”
“Nothing, I’ll talk to you tomorrow or something.” Derek told her, putting that big fake smile on his face that he was so good at, and giving her a kiss on the cheek before getting in his car and driving off.
“Stiles?” Derek asked, stepping through the window into the pitch black bedroom. Derek had been getting a lot of practice climbing into Stiles’ bedroom recently. He had mastered the art of climbing the big tree outside of the Stilinski’s house, and was thankful that this was not the night that Stiles had decided he would lock the bedroom window that he constantly kept open.
“Go away.” He heard mumbled from the bed, where he knew Stiles would be burying his head into the pillow and cocooned in the duvet.
“Stiles I’m sorry.” Derek sighed as he made his way across the bedroom, arms flailing out in front of him so he didn’t knock into the clutter that was bound to be littering Stiles’ bedroom. No matter how many times Derek came in and cleaned it for him, hours later it was a mess again. Last month he had told Stiles he refused to clean it anymore, if his work was undone less than a day later. Stiles had just pouted and told him how sexy he looked when he was cleaning without a shirt – Derek didn’t stick to his refusal.
“I didn’t mean to ruin your date.” Stiles huffed as he pulled the cover from over his head and sat up in the bed. He couldn’t see Derek until the bedside lamp was turned on, and there he was - flushed red face, probably from the tree climbing and getting through the window, and he had on that leather jacket that Stiles just adored.
“It wasn’t a date. It was Laura my-” Derek tried to explain again. Of course he wasn’t surprised when Stiles interrupted him, Derek never did get to finish any of his conversations when Stiles was around.
“She sounds pretty.”
“She is pretty.” Derek smiled, he couldn’t disagree with Stiles on that one, because Laura was pretty. More than pretty, she was gorgeous, and she was very fully aware of that fact.
“Then why are you here? Why aren’t you with her?”
“Because she’s my sister Stiles, not my date.” Derek chuckled, as he sat down on the bottom of Stiles’ bed, kicking off his shoes and shrugging off his jacket.
“Scott doesn’t have a sister...” Stiles mumbled in confusion. Derek was Scott’s step-brother, his mother having married Derek’s father about 5 years ago now, and other than Derek, Scott was an only child.
“No, my sister. Not Scott’s. She’s my older sister.”
“Oh. Well this is awkward…” Stiles trailed off, looking everywhere else in the room except for Derek. He should have let Derek explain, then he wouldn’t be feeling like such a fool.
“Were you jealous?” the older boy asked with a chuckle, he did find Stiles’ jealousy incredibly amusing.
“Pssh, no.” Stiles muttered, narrowing his eyes at Derek – of course he was jealous, she sounded so pretty, and Derek was there with her, and not with Stiles, “You know yesterday Scott gave me another lecture about the crush I have on you.” Stiles told him, moving the conversation away from Stiles’ humiliation.
“Really?” Derek asked, “He gave me one too about staying away from you.”
“Do you think he knows?” Stiles asked, eyes wide as he sat up on the bed to face Derek, “Oh god he knows. He knows! How can he know?” Stiles rambled, as Derek just continued to smile at the younger boy.
“Scott is too engrossed in Allison to notice anything else other than her, so trust me he doesn’t know.” Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles, had he not been paying attention to Scott recently? The only thing Scott ever, ever talked about was Allison – her smile that lights up the room, and remember her first day when I lent her a pen? I knew right then that we’d be together. She’s my soul mate.
“But what if he does?” Stiles asked wide eyed. They had been so careful about keeping what was going on hidden. Stiles tried to rack his brain for any indication that they had become careless about hiding what they were doing. Had Stiles left one of Derek’s texts open with Scott around? Had Stiles mentioned what happened on a night with Derek, forgetting it was meant to be a secret? Had he talked about him in his sleep?
“Does it matter if he does?” Derek asked, raising an eyebrow at Stiles. He didn’t mind Scott knowing what was going on between the two of them, in fact he had been the one who wanted to tell Scott when they had first begun whatever it was that they had between them, not wanting to keep something hidden from his younger brother.
“He’ll kill you!” Stiles exclaimed, throwing his arms up in the air. It was that, that set Stiles off crying again. The thought of losing Derek as well as his mother, and the change in relationship with his father – it was all too much.
In a normal situation, Derek would have made a sarcastic comment about what Stiles had said, maybe questioned Stiles on why he believed that Scott would be able to harm Derek in any way, when Derek was twice the size of him. But this was not a normal situation, Stiles was clearly distressed, and this was not a time for Derek’s usual sarcastic comments.
“Stiles, come out from under the covers.” Derek sighed, for the third time, poking at the Stiles shaped mound under the duvet cover.
“No.” Stiles grumbled, his voice muffled by the duvet, which he was clutching tighter towards himself.
“Because I look ugly when I cry.”
“I’ve seen you cry before Stiles.” Derek rolled his eyes, despite the fact that Stiles couldn’t see him, “Come on, Stiles. I can’t cuddle you if you’re under the cover.” Derek smiled when Stiles pulled himself out the duvet cacoon, and wiped his eyes with a tiny smile edging at the corner of his lips. There wasn’t anything that a cuddle from Derek wouldn’t fix for Stiles – not that either of the two guys would ever mention that to anyone outside of that bedroom.
“You were right, you do look ugly when you cry.” Derek chuckled, earning himself a slap on the arm, and a hard one, “I was kidding!”
Stiles didn’t need to reply, before Derek had his arms around him and they were both lying down on the bed, a mess of entangled arms and legs.
“Where’s your dad?” Derek whispered against Stiles’ neck. It hadn’t escaped him that the Sheriffs car wasn’t parked outside like it usually was, the lights in the house were all off, and he hadn’t heard Stiles’ father fumbling with case files downstairs in the kitchen. However, he had had enough close encounters, where the Sheriff had almost caught him in bed with Stiles - and totally not decent - to know that it was definitely best to ask Stiles if his father was in or not. He didn’t particularly fancy any more bruises on his ribs, which he couldn’t explain to Scott, from Stiles pushing him furiously off the bed.
“At my grandparents.” Stiles mumbled, tracing patterns on the palm of Derek’s hand with his index finger.
“Why didn’t you go?”
“I can’t face them.” Stiles froze, he hoped Derek took his silent plea not to ask about why. He didn’t want to get into that conversation. Not yet, anyway.
“Do you want me to stay the night?” Derek asked, placing light kisses on Stiles’ neck, making his way across to his cheek, before he paused at the younger boys lips – hovering just above them, waiting for an answer.
Derek was fully aware of exactly what Stiles had wanted when the younger boy had called him over that evening. He knew that Stiles didn’t want to talk about what day it was, how he was feeling, or really want Derek to cuddle him and comfort him. No, Stiles didn’t want what day it was to be mentioned at all, because then he’d get upset, and Derek had seen him cry enough times by now, he didn’t need another one adding to that list.
So Derek was definitely not surprised when Stiles was straddling him and his lips were smothered with the younger boys in a matter of seconds. He was even less surprised that Stiles’ right hand was pulling at his shirt, clawing at the bottom of it to hitch it up so that he could feel those abs that were concealed beneath, and his left hand was clutched in his hair, keeping Derek’s lips firmly against his as his head was forced to stay in that position.
It was quick, fast and messy. Which was exactly what Stiles had wanted at that exact moment, exactly what he had needed.
Then when in complete silence, Stiles broke down. Completely broke down to Derek and cried into the naked chest he had been lying against. Derek didn’t say anything, he didn’t need to. He just wrapped an arm around Stiles’ fragile frame, and tugged him a little closer, pulling the duvet that was covering their lower halves up further up over Stiles who was beginning to shiver.
He cried for an hour before he began to mumble to Derek about how much he missed her, describing her - her perfect long blonde hair, her deep brown eyes, her voice that haunted his dreams.
Then the conversation moved away from Stiles remembering the good times – telling Derek about the time that his father found some old records in the attic and his mother thought him the Waltz, spinning him around until he was dizzy – and moved on to the thoughts that occupied his mind when he was alone in his room at night; that he was the reason his mother was no longer here. He was the reason that she had died, and everyone knew it. That was why he hadn’t gone to his grandparents, because they couldn’t even to speak to him, never mind allow him into their house again - where they would actually have to interact with him face-to-face - after he had caused the death of their only daughter, their only child.
He didn’t need to tell Derek how she had died, because everyone knew. It had been the talk of the town, on the front page of every newspaper what had happened, so Stiles just knew that Derek was aware of what had happened that night, and Derek didn’t argue with anything that was being said. He just allowed Stiles to speak, to let all his feelings out that he had been bottling up for so long now that they were consuming him, and he had just burst.
Stiles had never trusted anyone with the things he was telling Derek, not even Scott, his best friend who had been like a brother to him since they were toddlers. Or his father who since the accident had tried to keep Stiles as close as possible, from fear of losing him as well, but Stiles could feel the distance that it had caused between them. The relationship with his father had changed dramatically since his mother died, and Stiles knew it was all his own fault.
Derek didn’t move until he was sure that Stiles was finished talking, he just allowed Stiles to sob into his bare chest. When Stiles was done, he manoeuvred them into a better position, one that that were able to fall asleep in and wouldn’t wake in the morning with aches and pains in their muscles from an awkward sleeping position.
When they were finally comfortable; Stiles’ head resting upon Derek’s shoulder and the duvet pulled up over the both of them, Derek’s hand running through Stiles’ short hair, occasionally kissing him on the forehead to remind that he was there, Stiles was calm and content, and he knew he was happy.
“Thank you Derek,” Stiles closed his eyes, completely exhausted, “I love you.” The younger boy whispered just loud enough for Derek to hear.
“I know.” Derek smiled as he kissed Stiles’ forehead again, he didn’t need to say it back to him, Stiles had known for a long time that Derek loved him more than the older boy would ever willingly admit. And it was only now that he realised that.