The poster appeared on the wall of what -- despite Derek’s protests -- was known by all the pack as “The Den”. In reality, it was a loft on the outskirts of the town, in the same building that Derek owned since the pack was still in high school. Not the same one that he used to live in; he turned that one into a workout studio when he came back to Beacon Hills.
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.
He had to admit that the motto was a good one, but he wasn’t going to admit it out loud. Especially since he didn’t know who was behind the poster being there. It was generic enough that he wondered if it was made by one of the pack, or if it was something they came across and thought it suitable. The moon in the picture on the poster was bright and full, and the silhouette of a person underneath the text was subtle enough that Derek didn’t even notice it the first few times.
Days later, he was still pondering who the culprit was behind the new addition to the otherwise bare walls, when Lydia pointed out that it would be a good exercise for the pack to follow the motto.
“So what,” Scott piped up from the beanbag he’d claimed the moment they unpacked it, “we pick things we’re scared of and do them?”
“Duh,” Stiles answered him, barely looking up from his laptop.
“We could do an accountability meeting, where everyone says what they’re going to do, and then another one to check in if we did,” Lydia said, the book she was reading earlier now set aside on the table next to her spot on the couch.
“So, like, if one of us is afraid of spiders…” Scott said hesitantly, and cringed when he was met with matching glares from Stiles and Lydia.
“It should be something bigger,” Stiles said. “Well, unless it’s a genuine phobia, which no one in this pack seems to have, seeing as you love to commune with a forest filled with creepy-crawlies.”
“I was thinking something that you think you can’t do,” Lydia countered. “Something that you really believe you can’t reach. Stretch yourself to get to something you really want.”
Stiles nodded in agreement, and they looked around the room.
“Like managing a full moon without shifting?” Erica asked.
It’s been years, and while she had a solid anchor in Boyd, full moons when she didn’t succumb to the draw of the moon and didn’t end up shifting were still more accidental than deliberate.
“That’s a good one, yeah,” Stiles nodded. “We all know you can do it, it’s time you believed it too, Catwoman,” he told her with a soft smile.
After that, everyone started talking about possible goals, things they wanted to do but didn’t have the courage for until then. Derek tuned them out, and instead got lost in his own thoughts, all of which had a common denominator. It was only when silence fell over the loft that he startled out of the haze and looked up to find the place almost empty. The only person in the room -- other than himself -- was the same one who occupied Derek’s thoughts up until that moment.
“So, I was thinking,” Stiles said from across the suddenly overwhelming space.
“As usual,” Derek replied with the same words he usually said to Stiles’ statement.
“Well, at least it’s not surprising,” Stiles said, trying to sound nonplussed, but seeming a little nervous. “But, about the motto, and Lydia’s suggestion…”
Derek narrowed his eyes, and he could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He wondered if Stiles’ goal would be asking to be turned into a werewolf. It was something Derek himself thought of for years, wondered why Stiles never asked, never seemed keen on looking for the bite.
“There is one thing I wanted to ask for some time… for a long time, actually,” Stiles paused then, and Derek noticed how his fists clenched.
For a few beats, Derek felt a flash of hope that Stiles’ goal was the same as his own, that it wasn’t about being a werewolf but about Derek . He didn’t let the hope grow and squashed it down immediately, even though his own scary thing to try was just that: Stiles. Being with Stiles. Dating. Admitting he was…
“The thing I’m scared of… it’s you,” Stiles said, interrupting Derek’s thoughts.
“What?” Derek asked dumbly, not understanding what Stiles was trying to say.
“Well, not you , like, werewolf you. Or person you. Not since you stopped being all lurky and creepy and threatening to rip my face off with your teeth ,” Stiles said and chuckled a little at that. “I mean, I haven’t been scared of you that way in a while. I’ve been scared of something else. Of you not being there. Here. With me. Because that’s what I want.”
“Me?” Derek asked, again feeling a little stupid.
It still didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem real. Not when Stiles seemed to be asking for exactly the same thing that Derek was terrified to ask for.
“Yes you,” Stiles huffed with obvious frustration.
“I…” Derek started, but the words got stuck in his throat.
Instead, he stood up and walked towards Stiles, and didn’t stop until they were barely an inch apart. Stiles’ heart was beating loudly, perfectly clear to Derek’s ears, and his eyes were open wide, a mixture of hope and terror in them.
“You’re terrifying. You’re the one thing I didn’t dare to try and get, to ask for. You’re the scariest person I know, because I was afraid if I asked, I’d lose you completely.”
“Oh my god we’re both idiots,” Stiles said with a tone a million miles lighter than he sounded moments earlier.
The next moment his lips were on Derek’s, and Derek couldn’t do anything other than return the kiss.