Derek’s life thus far has been, to put it mildly, pretty shitty.
Sure, he agrees that the majority of it he deserved—cosmic circle of life, karma and all that—but it’s reached a point where it just isn’t fair.
He thought for sure his stupid, childish mistake that resulted in the death of almost his entire family would be the end of it, really. I mean, how much worse could things possibly get?
That’s when the Leak happened.
The Leak, as it was called by basically everyone after some smartass blogger described it once and the term spread like wildfire, referred to the chemical substance that was somehow leaked from the Atlanta CDC and preceded to spread across both North and South America.
There was very little information about the substance in the beginning and most scientists were thinking worst-case scenario zombie-type infection that would wipe out everyone in its reach within days. That, as it turned out, was not exactly the case.
It didn’t take days to spread through all of North America, Canada, and South America (the substance was gaseous, travelled through the air but for still unknown reasons couldn’t travel over large bodies of water). It took one day.
And thus, the next morning people all the way from New York to L.A. woke up with, no, not a disease that animated their corpses and made them hunger for brains—superpowers.
Not everyone was affected, of course. About 40% of the population of the United States suddenly had unique abilities overnight. Not the majority, but enough to cause some serious panic. There were riots in the streets and insanity everywhere you turned. The government did the best they could, but there were casualties. A lot of casualties, actually.
Derek and his sister Laura were living in New York at the time and neither of them felt like the situation was deserving of quite so much panic. But, then again, having been raised as werewolves and already possessing superhuman abilities, just gaining another one wasn’t that exciting. Mostly it was just annoying.
It turned out, after a group of scientists sat down and really studied the chemical that had been leaked, that it triggered something in a person’s DNA that unlocked a special ability they wouldn’t have been able to tap into normally. The reason it didn’t affect everyone was because not everyone had the specific gene that reacted with the chemical and caused the change.
They tried to figure out a pattern at first, whether one race or gender or body-type was affected more than others. But in the end there was no pattern; the only thing that was discovered was that all superhumans—werewolves, vampires, witches, psychics, etc.—possessed the gene and the majority or people who gained abilities could trace back ancestry to other superhumans or at the very least, people with some latent metaphysical ability.
This discovery led to werewolves and all other superhumans coming out of the woodwork. This didn’t actually do much of anything but panic the still-normal humans even more and overall Derek thinks it was a bad idea. Laura disagrees, believing that if there was ever a time to reveal their existence to the world, this was it.
Things got even more crazy after that. So many laws were passed Derek is sure no one can keep track of them all. North and South America were quarantined from the rest of the planet for about two months until everyone realized that the substance dissipated after the first week and could only be transferred through the air anyway. The government worked to appease both the normal people and the people with abilities, but in the end it was the children that made everyone finally draw the line.
Mutant children, it was decided, would be sent “away” to special schools taught by mutant adults with a focus on controlling their newfound powers. It was all very Separate-But-Equal, but everyone pretty much understood the necessity. There were hate-crimes already being committed by both sides within a month of the Leak and in order to create some semblance of normality the special schools were opened and mutant children were asked—not forced—to attend. The president made a lot of speeches in the months following the Leak, asking for understanding and rationality from both sides until things could be better understood. The official story was that the president was not affected by the Leak, but Derek isn’t so sure he’s not hiding an ability for the sake of the majority.
Derek, despite being of age to attend one of the schools, refused to go on the basis that he didn’t think he needed to. Laura didn’t force it at first, though she certainly could have, either with her Alpha authority or her new power to command with direct orders.
Derek didn’t get so lucky with his power, which, really, is the story of his life.
Derek’s new power activated the same night the Leak happened, where most people woke up the next day to learn they could suddenly fly or control water with their minds. He was asleep, having the same nightmare as always—fire, so much fire, always burning hot fire and pink lips—when suddenly in the middle of his dream he started seeing things that were most certainly not from inside his own head.
First there was a rocket ship and an astronaut and aliens and it looked like some children’s cartoon that he’d never seen. Then he saw Laura, except she was at some bar and some guy came up and kissed the back of her head. It was at that point that Derek woke up, glaring into the darkness half wolfed-out and wondering why he suddenly had an intense urge for some cool-ranch doritos and knew the names of all of the upstairs neighbor lady’s cats.
He went into Laura’s room, woke her up from what he knew was a very nice dream and told her to think of a number, a color, and an animal. The next moment he knew that she’d thought of 246 orange llamas.
And so, Derek Hale was gifted the ability to read minds. Which, of course, was exactly the type of superpower he would want the least. Once everything about the Leak was out in the open and Derek’s new power explained, Laura joked that he got it because he “needed all the help he could get understanding other people.”
Derek thinks it’s just another example of life’s shitty ironies.
Oh, sure, give him the ability to reads minds after he sleeps with the girl who has a secret desire to murder his entire family. That’s just great.
In any case, it was about 7 months after the Leak happened, Derek had just turned 18, that Laura suddenly changed her mind about Derek attending a mutant school. Something about getting tired of listening to him complain about not being able to shut out all the voices and images that were constantly and unceasingly pounding inside his head.
He tried to protest but she went all Alpha-eyes on him and shipped him back to Beacon Hills to live with their Uncle Peter and attend Beacon Hills Mutant School as she went off to Washington to fight for Mutant-human rights.
Which is how Derek wound up currently sitting in a senior Economics class next to a hyperactive kid with a buzz cut who won’t stop thinking about dicks.
Class hasn’t even started yet and Derek already wants to strangle someone.
Not just any someone, either, but the kid beside him who’s thoughts are the loudest and clearest Derek has ever heard. Even if he were sitting on the other side of the classroom Derek would still be unable to block out the blaring images emanating from the boy beside him.
Their teacher, Finstock something, is busy arguing with some weird-looking kid at the front of the class and almost everyone else is having side conversations and whispering behind their hands about Derek who is trying to decide whether mind-reading or super-hearing is more annoying in the current situation.
He gets another image of a penis inserted into his mind and the decision is made for him. He growls,
“Can you stop thinking about dicks?”
The kid freezes and turns in his seat to stare at Derek with wide, amber eyes.
“How did you—“
“You’re still thinking about them!”
The images fade and the kid relaxes, smiling easily in a way that gets even more under Derek’s skin than reading the kid’s thoughts had.
“A telepath, huh?”
Derek doesn’t reply, continues glaring flatly at the window past the kid’s left ear. Then he sees a sudden image of the pretty boy vampire from Twilight and can’t help but blurt angrily,
“Seriously? That’s what you think of when you think of mind-reading?”
“Sorry, sorry!” the kid says, and then there’s an image of Professor Xavier from the X-men sent into focus at the front of the kid’s mind. “Better?”
“Barely,” Derek grunts between clenched teeth.
“Sorry, anyway,” the kid says, grinning easily and wondering why he hadn’t noticed the new kid in class (Derek) before now. “About the dicks.”
“Just—“ Derek exhales with more force than necessary. “Just think about something else, okay?”
“Why? Can’t you turn it off or block me out or something?”
“No,” Derek replies through clenched teeth.
“Well, I wasn’t just thinking about dicks, you know. I was thinking about circumcision.”
This time Derek can’t help turn and stare at this kid who’s power, he’s just decided, is probably being totally insane.
“For a project!” The kid adds hastily at Derek’s expression. “For school!”
“What kind of person does a school project about circumcision?”
The kid, much to Derek’s displeasure, looks like he’s about to launch into a long-winded explanation, but by some stroke of luck the teacher interrupts him and class begins. Derek spends the first minute trying in vain to clear his mind of all the thoughts clouding it and just focus on the teacher, not the teacher’s thoughts but the teacher himself. He’s almost managed to push everyone else’s thoughts to the back of his mind—there’s no getting rid of them completely but it’s better than nothing—when a loud voice pushes into his head with enough force that he has no way of ignoring it.
My name is Stiles, by the way.
Derek glances, frowning, at the kid sitting beside him. The kid smiles again, waving slightly and Derek hears him loud and clear though he hasn’t even opened his mouth,
Nice to meet you. I’ll stop talking, uh, thinking now. Sorry..
Derek groans silently and sinks his head to the desk, hoping that maybe someone at this stupid school will be able to teach him how to tune people out for good. Being able to read people’s minds is way overrated—especially when you don’t like people.
As soon as class ends Derek bolts out the door to escape from “Stiles” who had flashed the thought of talking to Derek again once class was over through his mind as soon as the bell rang. Derek was halfway down the hall and turned to look behind him just in case Stiles was planning on following him. When he didn’t see any buzzed hair running behind he slowed and turned around, nearly crashing into Stiles who had just skidded to a halt in front of him.
“How did you get ahead of me?” He asks, annoyed and a little bitter about being outrun.
“You never asked what my power is! I’m a Burst.”
Derek feels slightly better about being outrun now that he knew being fast was this kid’s power. It made sense anyway; he talked fast so it figured he would move fast too.
“You can run fast. Big deal,” he says, walking around the kid and wondering if he just ignored him if he might go away.
“Uh, not exactly. According to the scientists, they say my atoms can just move faster through the air. In little bursts, you know, I jump—“ he moves and in a second, faster than Derek’s eyes can see, is on the opposite side of the hallway. “—and bam! Short distances, really fast. So you’re new, right, but you seem familiar. Are you from around here?”
“No,” Derek replies brusquely, trying not to be impressed with Stiles’ power even though it was actually a lot cooler than just being able to run fast.
“Are you sure, because—“ Derek had been trying to ignore Stiles’ loud thoughts, and it had seemed like the kid had been trying to keep them focused but for one second they slip and Derek sees flashes of a building on fire and newspapers with his name and his family’s faces on it, until Stiles controls his thoughts again and all Derek can see are images from comic books.
Derek glares at Stiles who seems to realize his mistake right away and stares at the ground looking sheepish.
“If you already knew who I was then what’s the point of pretending you didn’t? Mind reader, remember?”
“I was hoping you might, I dunno, introduce yourself? That’s what normal people do.” He pauses and then, like an afterthought, adds, “Derek.”
Derek huffs and starts walking away again, hoping Stiles will take the hint.
“Okay so I was thinking about it—“
“And I really wish you would stop doing that.”
“—and I can’t have been the only one in that class who was thinking about dicks, right? Was it because I was closest to you? How does the mind-reading thing even work? I’ve never met a telepath before.”
“Some thoughts are louder,” Derek growled. “Why do you even care?”
“Oh, I’m classifying types of powers. I want to study and categorize them when I graduate.”
“It is. So you’re saying my thoughts are loud? Sorry about that, I guess? You should probably learn to tune that stuff out.”
“Geez, are you always this rude?”
Derek turns to glare at Stiles and the kid gives him a weird look that makes Derek realize he’d thought that instead of said it out loud. With one last annoyed huff he pushes past Stiles and slouches down the hallway, calling back over his shoulder,
“I’ve got somewhere to be.”
See you tomorrow he hears loud and clear from back down the hall and faintly wonders if he can go home early on his first day.
“Derek, good to see you again.”
Derek has learned that it’s best not to speak at all if you can’t return the sentiment so he just stares at Dr. Deaton silently as he takes his seat across from the older man’s desk. Dr. Deaton doesn’t seem fazed and smiles pleasantly while shuffling through a few papers. His mind is serene, thoughts floating by lazy and slow unlike the fast bullets of memories and ideas the rest of the population think like. Derek suspects that is more for his benefit than it is Dr. Deaton’s natural state.
“Your sister contacted me as soon as she sent you here and asked if I might help you control your newfound telepathy a bit better before school lets out. It is your last year, yes?”
Derek nods, pointedly ignoring the memories of Laura when she was little that float to the front of Deaton’s mind.
“Good. Now, I would have helped you try and control your powers even if she had not asked, because that it what I’ve been hired to do. But, as you know, I have been assisting the Hale family for quite a long time and am invested in helping you anyway I can. Now, tell me how much control you have been able to master thus far.”
Derek glances away to reply, “Not much. I still hear almost everyone but usually I can push them to the back of my head.” He hesitates, thinking about Stiles’ thoughts from earlier and how loud they were, even from plenty of feet away. “Some are harder to ignore than others.”
“I see,” Deaton says thoughtfully. “The other telepath’s I have come across have suffered from horrible headaches due to the lack of control over the thoughts they hear. It’s too many voices at once and many of them chose to escape to places with little to no human interaction instead of learning to control it. I believe your extra abilities have made it so you don’t get the headaches, but I can imagine you still have plenty of reason to want to control this power.”
Derek snorts and rolls his eyes. Deaton’s expression softens slightly and he smiles.
“When my power first activated it was too much for me to control either. The ability to speak to animals sounds fun in theory but the truth is, animals don’t have all that much to say. It’s all about food and mating and frankly it got old fast. Luckily, because of the skills and knowledge I had before the Leak I was able to gain control fairly quickly and learn to turn it off when needed. Now I only use it when I’m treating the animals down at the clinic—it’s so much easier when your patient can tell you where it hurts.”
“So you can help me shut it off?”
“Oh, yes. I believe so. It will take time—and effort on your part as well.”
“I don’t care. I’ll do anything.”
“Very well,” Deaton smiles. “Now, how are your other abilities? Not having any trouble controlling them, yes?”
“They’re fine,” Derek growls, suddenly angry. He’s been a werewolf his entire life and he doesn’t have any problems controlling that side of him; it is these stupid telepathic abilities that have him stumped.
“Alright, alright, I believe you, Derek. No need to flash the fangs at me. Just remember that I’m always here to help, with whatever. We’ll set up a time for private sessions to work on your control—on top of the Control class you should be taking with Ms. Morrell, which, if I remember correctly, is the class you should be heading to right about now.”
Derek glances at the clock and realizes that Deaton is right; he’s supposed to be heading to the one class that makes this school seem like an actual school for mutant children.
“Let’s meet next week at this same time, Derek. How does that sound?”
Derek just nods, stands from his chair and walks towards the door. That didn’t go nearly as bad as he had imagined it would.
Derek doesn’t see Stiles first—he’s wandering down an empty hallway trying to find the classroom he’s supposed to have his Control class in—he hears him.
It’s the jumbled, flash-and-burst kinds of thoughts that people always have when they’re talking; not as coherent as the thoughts people have when they actively understand that they’re thinking. He sees his face. Multiple times. And the faces of the people he’s sure Stiles is talking about him to.
Derek has half his own mind to turn around and forget all about his control class, which is, of course, exactly where Stiles’ blaring bullhorn-loud thoughts are coming from. Instead he thinks about what Deaton said about practice, about why Laura shipped him off here in the first place, about the idea of being able to tune people out when he wants to (AKA, all the time), and steps inside the class. He barely has time to look around before he hears his name twice at the same time.
Stiles is surrounded by a group of people half seated and half standing by the far windows. Derek closes his eyes for half a second to try and shove the multitude of thoughts that just appeared when he entered the room to the back of his mind.
Don’t be a sourpsychic and pretend to ignore me. Come here.
Derek glares at him the entire time he’s stalking over to the group, forcefully ignoring the thoughts and stares of the rest of his classmates and not even sparing a thought about where their teacher might be.
“This is who I was telling you about, the psychic,” Stiles says, barely holding back his excitement. Derek imagines he might suddenly burst across the room if he doesn’t relax soon. He takes a deep breath and finally glances around at Stiles’ friends. There are four guys and three girls.
“This is my best friend, Scott,” Stiles says, gesturing to a dark-haired guy with a crooked jaw and an easy smile. “He’s Immortal.”
Derek is familiar with that power; it’s the same one his uncle was gifted with that allowed him to come out of the coma he’d been in since the fire. The power isn’t really immortality, though, because his uncle still ages. It’s just become even harder for him to die than before; not even wolfsbane works and Derek is pretty sure that if you cut off his head it would still be able to talk. He sees faint images, from Stiles’ mind again, of the Scott kid using an inhaler and figures his immortality probably did him some favors as well.
“And Isaac, a Healer.” Isaac is thinking so hard about the secret crush he has on the Scott kid that Derek is instantly aware that he’s got something to hide; it’s a trick Laura tried to use on him frequently—the easiest way to hide something is to think really hard about something else you would rather keep hidden less. Derek doesn’t care enough to try and dig deeper to find out the kids’ secret; besides, Isaac smells of fear, and Derek could guess pretty easily why without having to see it in the kid’s mind.
“Erica, Strongwoman,” Stiles continues, nodding to the busty blonde that Derek would have thought was a seductress by the way she was eye (and mind) fucking him. He focused extra hard to push her thoughts away and turned quickly to the tall, dark-skinned boy beside her.
“Boyd, who has the super-cool power of Gravity Breaker.”
Derek doesn’t even have to ask what that is before Stiles’ mind supplies just enough memory for an answer. He gets flashes of Stiles’ falling from a rock-climbing wall without a harness and then slowing his fall unnaturally, as though gravity suddenly decided to affect him less. Another memory flashes of all five of them facing down the largest boy on a soccer field; they all seem to be struggling to move towards him, barely able to lift their legs except for Erica who is walking forward as though in water. Derek will admit; Gravity Breaker is a pretty cool power.
“This is Jackson,” Stiles says cheerfully, nodding towards the stuck-up looking guy with the redheaded girl lying back against him. “Power: being an epic douchebag.”
“Better than being an epic dweeb,” the guy counters with a sneer. Jackson’s brain provides his real powers by showing Derek images of him touching people and then being surprised as they fall over, unable to move.
“Paralysis,” Derek grunts. Jackson seems shocked and stares Derek down like he’s some kind of freak.
“How did you—oh, yeah. Fuckin’ psychics,” he grumbles. Derek wonders if he already learned how to control his power if he’s now able to touch the girl who’s leaning against him without paralyzing her. Stiles gives him an easy answer.
“And Lydia, who’s power is being amazing at everything and a total genius and gorgeous all at the same time,” he says, and Derek thinks he’s about to see images and feelings from Stiles of affection and lust when thinking of this girl he just spoke such in such high regards towards, but instead he just gets friendly camaraderie and an appreciation for her that is pure admiration and not adoration.
“Also powers don’t affect her, so there’s that,” he adds offhandedly and Derek is taken aback because he had never heard of a power like that existing and hadn’t even noticed before then that he couldn’t hear her thoughts at all. He focused in on her mind, struggling to breech it but got nothing but interference from all the other minds swarming around. This girl had an interesting power; Derek would have to keep an eye on her.
Stiles had already moved on to the last person, a girl with long dark hair and a sharp jaw.
“Allison, who can’t miss a target.”
Derek is so shocked when he realizes who she is that he barely sees the memories Stiles is sending him of her tossing pencils absentmindedly and having them always land on their point or shooting an arrow the opposite direction of the target and having it spin midair to fly to the bulls eye. Allison Argent, like his uncle said, there were Argent’s living in Beacon Hills. He hadn’t thought he’d see one at school though; he can feel his wolf growling in his chest but he calms it with the clear thought that this girl isn’t her. She may be an Argent, but ever since the Leak his Uncle has been trying to track down the Argent responsible for the fire and thus far hasn’t had any luck. Derek faintly wonders if she got any powers. He hopes he’ll never have to find out.
This younger Argent girl doesn’t seem to know anything about him, based on the abstract thoughts that flit to the forefront of her mind. Derek figures it’s for the best if it stays that way.
Stiles seems as if he’s about to launch into a story or description of something and Derek isn’t sure he can handle that right now; he’s already having a difficult time pushing all of these new thoughts to the back of his mind. Stiles’ mind is as loud as ever and this Scott kid’s is a bit of a dull roar on it’s own without all the other’s adding in. Luckily, any thought gets cut off when the teacher, Ms. Morrell, enters the classroom and asks everyone to have a seat.
Mr. Hale, she thinks, glancing at him in passing as he slides into a seat near the front left. Deaton told me about you. I hope to be able to help you control this little gift of yours by the end of the semester. Welcome back to Beacon Hills.
Derek nods in her direction, scowling. Welcome back to Beacon Hills isn’t so much a polite gesture as a cruel taunt in his eyes. Still, if she can help him block out the voices he’s willing to let it slide.
“Okay class, as usually we’re going to start off with a moment of meditation,” Ms. Morrell says and Derek looks around to instantly see the rest of the class close their eyes, with the exception of the girl he met before who wasn’t affected by powers. She took out her nail file and started on her ring finger; Ms. Morrell didn’t seem to mind. Derek takes the hint and closes his eyes as well, which feels like a bad idea the moment he does it because without any visual triggers to distract him it is that much harder to tune out the rest of the class.
Then, one moment he is fighting back someone’s appreciative thought of curly blonde hair and the next his mind is blank, black, and silent. He sucks in a sharp breath of air and lets his mind just be his for one glorious moment. Ms. Morrell speaks to him then.
I’ve cleared your mind, Derek. I thought it might help you relax before we start to really work on your control.
When he hears the word “relax” Derek realizes that he really does feel relaxed, and he isn’t sure it’s entirely because of his silent mind. Everything feels relaxed; his body and the bodies of everyone else. He rightfully assumes that Ms. Morrell’s power can affect mood as well as mind.
Obviously I cannot be around to clear your mind all the time, so you will have to learn how for yourself. I’m going to let the thoughts back in now. Try to keep them submerged if you can.
And just like that they flood back—and Stiles is thinking about dicks again. Derek heaves a great sigh, forcefully shoves Stiles’ thoughts to the back of his mind again where everyone else’s thoughts are easily stored. Stiles’ are still the loudest though, and no matter how Derek tries his were the ones that continued to push their way to the front of his mind as Ms. Morrell goes on to guide the class in some relaxing meditation.
“Today we’re going to think about our powers as a part of our bodies,” she says. It’s an odd thing to say, and Derek isn’t sure what she’s getting at, but Stiles’ thoughts provide an explanation that he can do nothing to ignore.
What his thoughts say, basically, is that every day Ms. Morrell has them think of their powers in terms of a different simple objectification. One day she had them think of their powers as colors. Stiles provides a memory of thinking of a bright, bright red, an artificial red so shockingly bright that it couldn’t even be real. Another day she had them think of their powers as an animal. Stiles thought of his Bursting as a hummingbird. Today they were supposed to think of their powers as body parts. Inside Stiles’ head Derek sees him think this through tediously, pausing on feet and hands, thinking about a skeleton and then wondering if one atom of his body counted as a body part before brushing that off as being too abstract, even if it was accurate. In the end Derek sees him settle on skin, images of smooth, pale skin float through his mind, blemished skin, dipped and speckled with moles and light brown hair. Derek has to agree that Stiles chose wisely. Not everyone else chose as he thought they would, or as he would agree with. The Healer chose his hands when Derek would have chosen his heart. The boy who could bend gravity chose his spine, thought Derek isn’t quite sure why; the boy’s thoughts are quiet and minimal, but intelligent.
Derek pushes them all away determinedly, focusing on his own power and which body part he thinks it might represent. He toys with the mind, the brain—but no, that’s too simple, too literal. The minds in the room bombard him again and he wonders darkly if voices could count as a body part. In the end he settles on eyes, because they’re the window to the mind or some bullshit like that. He figures it’ll be good enough.
After a few more moments of thinking on the parts of some of the other students, Ms. Morrell tells them to open their eyes. Derek assumes she’s going to ask them to share, but she doesn’t. Instead, she pulls out a newspaper and reads aloud an article about a child who had been lost since the Leak because her invisibility power activated and she’d had no way of controlling it. Afraid her parents would shun her she ran away and finally gained enough control to become visible for long enough for someone to see her and find a way to help.
After that they have a class discussion about the girl’s power, how frightening it must have been not to be able to be seen, how hard it would be to learn control on her own. It was actually rather fascinating, but Derek wondered what the hell it had to do with him learning how to control his power.
When the discussion is finished Ms. Morrell splits them up into groups of three with the instructions that they should explain, in detail, their powers to the group as best they can. Derek winds up in a group with the redhead and a tall, friendly-looking guy who smiles but won’t introduce himself.
“This is Danny,” Lydia says, sounding bored. “He can’t talk because he hasn’t really managed to control his power yet, and you’re super attractive.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Derek asks, and receives the answer through the Danny kid’s mind.
Danny’s power manifests through sound waves, but he’s basically an Incubus. Depending on his attraction to another person his voice hits a pitch that can manipulate the other person’s mind. Usually it’s harmless, and Derek sees that Danny can talk to girls fine; all that really happens is they instantly like him. But because Danny is gay, if he talks to men he finds attractive his voice can make the other person go insane with lust and fake love. The incidents where this happened do not look fun from what Derek sees in Danny’s memories.
“Are you reading his mind?” Lydia asks, vaguely curious, staring at Derek with sharp eyes. It’s almost a shame Derek can’t read her thoughts; he imagines they would be fairly interesting.
“Yeah,” Derek replies gruffly. “He showed me his power.”
“Well, since he can’t really talk to you I guess he can explain his power to you in his head too. Then you can go, then I’ll do whatever,” Lydia says, flicking her hair over her shoulder. Danny glances at Derek and shrugs. Derek nods and Danny begins to describe his power and the blockages he feels when it comes to controlling it. He says that Derek would be a good person to practice his control on, but they save control practice for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“Then what do you usually do on other days?”
Same as this, Danny explains. Sometimes we get one-on-one time with Ms. Morrell, but she really focuses on us understanding our powers. She says we have the best chance of controlling something we understand well.
It almost makes sense to Derek, but it also sounds like a waste of fucking time.
When it’s his turn to describe his power he doesn’t bother trying to be creative—creativity isn’t really his thing—he just wants to explain it as simply as possible.
“I can read people’s minds,” he says. Both Lydia and Danny stare at him a bit blankly.
“Professor Xavier or Edward Cullen?” Lydia asks flatly. When Derek glares at her she shrugs and replies,
“What? It’s a reasonable question. Xavier was, like, super powerful. He could read people’s minds and talk to them with his mind and sense other mutants. Edward could just read minds. So which are you?”
“I can only read minds,” Derek grumbles, unhappily starting to realize the similarities between his power and that stupid sparkly vampire. In the movies Laura made him watch it didn’t seem like that guy could turn it off either. Also the whole werewolf thing. Another reason to hate his power; it’s turned him into a teen romance cliché.
“I can hear and see thoughts, and memories. Sometimes people will just talk inside their heads, and that I usually just hear. Other times people think in images, then I get flashes of pictures or scenes.”
Any difference between memories and made up scenes in people’s minds? Danny asks through his thoughts.
“No,” Derek replies, then pauses and thinks it’s over. “Yes. Memories are clearer. Thoughts and ideas that people make up are… fuzzy. They change easily. Hard to follow.”
“How far can you go into someone’s mind?”
“What?” Derek asks, because he never really thought about that before. He pushes Stiles’ loud, amused thoughts away as Lydia explains.
“Do you just hear what a person is thinking in the moment or can you search through their memories?”
“I’ve never tried,” he answers honestly. He spent so much time trying to tune everything out that he never thought to use the power to read more into someone’s thoughts.
“Ms. Morrell’s going to make you,” Lydia tells him and Danny nods in agreement. “She likes to make you push your limits. She says it’s easier to control something you know the full extent of.”
Derek supposes it makes sense. He wonders who she’ll make him try it on; he imagines it might be a pretty intrusive thing to do to someone. He knows he sure as hell wouldn’t like anyone looking into his mind.
“Stiles! Seriously?” Derek turns his head along with the rest of his group towards Erica, who’s glaring outside the window of the classroom. Stiles is standing on the other side of the glass looking frustrated and Derek is pretty sure he was inside the classroom just a moment before. He concentrates and the next minute he’s back inside, all the way over by the door.
“Sorry!” He says, bursting again and landing on Erica’s right side. She jumps, surprised, and he bursts again to appear by Ms. Morrell’s desk. “You know I have a hard time controlling it!”
“Did you take your Adderall today?” Scott asks, sitting at a desk beside the Argent girl.
“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles waves at him, looking down at himself and tensing his entire body in what must be an attempt to keep it from moving without his control.
“Relax your mind, Stiles,” Ms. Morrell says cheerfully, and in the next moment it looks as thought he does relax. Derek bets that Ms. Morrell’s power helped more than a little bit. He can even feel the calm coming from Stiles’ mind as he takes a seat across from Erica again, who crosses her arms and gives him an impatient look.
Derek turns back to Lydia and Danny solemnly realizing that he isn’t the only one who has issues controlling his power.
“How was school?” Derek’s uncle asks when he returns to their old home; it’s still mostly burnt out but Peter is working on rebuilding. At least Derek’s room has a ceiling.
“Loud,” Derek replies gruffly and Peter laughs. Derek doesn’t even bother glaring, just carefully makes his way up the front stairs and into his bedroom. The second he sits down on the bed his phone rings. He fishes it out of his pocket and answers.
“Laura,” he says, sounding tired to even his own ears.
“Hi Derek. How was school?”
“Why is everyone asking me that? It was school. It was shitty, how do you think it was?”
“You know Derek you should really treat me nicer. I am your one sister and I might not always be around.”
She meant it jokingly but it stung a bit; he probably should have been nicer to the rest of his family, too, before they were all gone. Then again, this was Laura.
“When you’re gone do I get your car?”
“If you were here right now I’d tell you to go stand on your head for an hour.”
Derek hated that punishment but it was Laura’s favorite ever since she got her power. She’d laugh at him as his face turned red and he tried fighting her command. He was really glad her power didn’t work over the phone.
“How’s Uncle Peter?” she asks and Derek shrugs before realizing that she can’t see it.
“Fine. Fixing the house.”
“Can you hear his thoughts too?”
“Of course,” he rolls his eyes.
“What does he even think about?”
Derek allows his uncle’s thoughts to come to the front of his mind for a second and sighs.
“Some nurse from the hospital.”
“Think he has a crush?” Laura giggles and Derek has too much pride to even reply. His sister sighs and he imagines her shaking her head at him.
“How is the control class going? Did you meet with Deaton?”
“Fine and yes.”
“Did you make any friends?”
Derek huffs impatiently, thinks about the kid with the weird name and loud thoughts, Stiles, and how hard he’d clearly been trying to become friends with Derek and growls,
Beacon Hills Mutant High has no formal sports teams. For obvious reasons the students can’t play against the non-powered kids at Beacon Hills High or any other surrounding school. The closest mutant school is three and a half hours away and even if enough people were interested in setting up some kind of mutant sports league it would get too complicated too fast—so the kids who attend Beacon Hills Mutant High have to play their own games.
Derek sees Stiles and a few of his friends on the old lacrosse field with after school one day and even though Derek has spent the past few weeks trying his hardest to ignore every part of Stiles, the kid won’t give up and invites Derek to play with them with another of his loud thoughts. Derek isn’t sure what makes him go over. Maybe it’s nostalgia; he used to love lacrosse.
“We need another player,” Scott tells him when he gets close enough. “How good are you?”
Derek glances at Erica who seems perfectly prepared to play the game though she’s wearing a pair of heels. He smirks at her.
“Throw the ball,” he says. She raises an eyebrow, smirks back at him and grabs the ball from Scott’s hand. She waits until he’s halfway across the field before she lobs it; with her super strength it looks like it could keep going forever. He runs to catch it, feels himself shifting as he leaps to the top of the fence, reaching out to grab the ball with one hand before dropping back to the ground.
“A mind-reader and a werewolf? That’s totally not fair!” Stiles yells back at him as he tosses the ball up and down in his left hand. After that, they start the game.
Derek is amazed at how difficult—and fun—it is. He winds up playing on Isaac, Erica, and Boyd’s team. Danny, Stiles, Scott and Jackson play against them. Their plan is to keep Stiles from getting the ball because once he has it he just has to burst across the field to score. The other team’s plan is the exact opposite—distract them so that Stiles can get the ball. Isaac takes Jackson because his healing powers negate Jackson’s paralysis. Scott goes after Erica because she has the least chance of hurting him. Danny makes Boyd focus his energy on him, which leaves Derek as free as he can be to try and stop Stiles. It’s madness at first; Derek sees Erica toss Scott halfway across the field and Isaac and Jackson look like their having a staring contest to see where the other will try and move first. Danny’s got the ball but Boyd is slowing him down, Derek runs to take the ball from him but Stiles gets there first. He grins at Derek and then bursts a few feet to his left. Derek follows and Erica rushes to intercept Stiles. He bursts around her towards the goal. Jackson finally gets around Isaac to try and defend Stiles from Derek who’s catching up quickly but then Boyd slows him down.
Derek manages to get in front of Stiles, blocking him, ready to turn and grab him if he tries to burst around. Stiles bursts a bit to the left and Derek follows. He bursts back to the right and Derek’s right there, almost ready to spring.
Left, left, LEFT, LEFT! he hears Stiles shout inside his head. He steps left and Stiles smirks before bursting to the right and then again so he’s past Derek and close enough to the goal to throw it in and score.
They keep playing like that, using Jackson as a shield so Stiles can score again, but Derek always there, ready. Stiles uses his thoughts to try and distract Derek every time, but Derek doesn’t fall for it so easily after the first time.
Right, LEFT, RIGHT, RIGHT, LEFT Stiles shouts in his head, and Derek growls, lunging at him and surprising Stiles enough that he can’t burst before Derek is on him, grabbing the ball from his hand and tossing it to Erica who throws it hard enough from center field that it makes it into the goal.
It keeps going on and on for a while, nearly everyone scores at one point and then Stiles winds up with the ball again, facing down Derek and trying to decide which way to go. He’s thinking directions but Derek won’t be fooled again. He sees Scott inching towards the goal behind him in Stiles’ mind and calls for Boyd and Erica to keep him away from the goal in case Stiles tries to throw it his way. Stiles curses inside his head and Derek smirks at him.
“You gonna make a move?” he calls, and Stiles bursts up close to him, surprising him before bursting back away again before Derek could catch him. Even he looks surprised that he’d gotten that close. He doesn’t try to get around Derek again, still thinking directions and hoping Derek will give him an opening. Then, suddenly, Derek’s mind is filled with a blaring huge image of a dick, distracting him long enough to allow Stiles to burst past him once, twice, three times before he shoots and scores and ends the game.
“That was dirty,” Derek accuses lightly, grinning in Stile’s direction. “In more ways than one.”
“Maybe you should learn some better control,” Stiles tells him. Derek throws the ball at him and it hits him in the side of his head.
For a few weeks, when they have practice days in Control class, Ms. Morrell doesn’t have Derek do anything but concentrate on sitting still and silent and blocking out all the minds around him for the entire 55 minutes of class. Practice classes take place out on the field, so the more physical-powered people have space they can use and (in Erica’s case) destroy. She had Derek sit on the sideline and close his eyes, picturing a blank, empty space in his mind as the rest of the class practiced controlling their powers on others or by themselves. Derek doesn’t feel as though he is improving in the least and when she tells him that at the next lesson they would be mixing it up he is more than grateful.
“I’m looking for a volunteer to help Derek with his control,” she says the next day after they’d all gathered on the grass. “Think carefully before you volunteer because what I’m asking may not be easy. I would like Derek to use his power to read deeper into one of your memories. This may not be easy because if he succeeds you may not be happy with what he finds. Having said that, I do still need a volunteer, so is there anyone here who wouldn’t mind Derek poking around in their head a little?”
“I’ll do it,” Stiles raises his hand. Derek nods; ever since the game he’d stopped trying so hard to ignore Stiles. The kid wasn’t really that bad once you got to know him. He wasn’t so sure how much he trusted himself with Stiles’ mind, but he would have to do something like this sometime if he ever wanted to gain the control he needed.
Ms. Morrell divides the rest of the class up for their own practice and Stiles comes over to sit in front of Derek on the grass, grinning.
“So, uh, fair warning. You’re probably gonna have to go past a lot of porn before you get to anything actually important in here,” he says, touching the side of his head with the tip of his finger. Derek rolls his eyes then closes them, taking a deep breath and tuning out the rest of their class to focus solely on Stiles’ mind; it isn’t very hard to do.
At first all he sees is the usual parade of fret and worry and random idea, but intensified. Stiles is thinking about his homework last night, the new game he wants to buy as soon as it comes out, his father who has no powers and never eats healthy enough, a good deal of porn, Scott’s near obsession with Allison that Stiles is always having to deal with, and on and on. Derek isn’t entirely sure how he’s supposed to go past all this, further into Stiles’ memories.
He tries focusing, pushing the extent of his power; but all that happens is things get clearer. He sees a memory from what he assumes is the night before, when Stiles had been diligently working on the powerpoint for his project on circumcisions. Derek already feels like giving up. He’s not getting anywhere anyway.
Then he notices a train of thought flit in and out of focus in Stiles’ mind, there and gone so quickly Derek barely manages to see it. He chases after it before Stiles’ lets it slip away again and manages to get a bit better feel for it. It’s him. The thought is about him.
He latches onto it and it takes him where he’s been trying to go—deeper into Stiles’ mind, into his memories. Derek sees Stiles young, playing in the woods near the Hale house. The images and feelings are blurred, he can’t get a decent grip on them, but he did it, he managed to go further into someone’s mind than he’d been able to before. He tries to focus, to make the images come in more clearly.
He hears someone calling for Stiles, a woman, and Stiles runs to her smiling, and the entire scene has a bright tint to it, the feeling of happiness; Derek can even smell it in the memory. Then everything goes black, dark, smells of chemicals and death and panic, panic, panic. Inside his mind Stiles shouts something and then before Derek realizes what happened he’s back in the sunlight of the field and everyone else’s thoughts come flooding back to him.
Stiles thoughts feel cold.
“Your mom,” Derek croaks, opening his eyes but avoiding looking in Stiles’ direction.
The boy in front of him says nothing, but gives a noise of confirmation softly in his mind. Derek wonders what it says that even when Stiles’ thoughts are as quiet as he’s ever heard them he’s still the loudest one in Derek’s head.
“Sorry,” he grunts, unable to take the press of emotions rolling from Stiles like smoke any longer as he stands, leaving the other boy on the grass and makes his way to the bleachers where he sits until the class is over.
The next day two very big things happen.
One: Stiles finally presents his project on the history of circumcision.
Two: Kate Argent comes back to Beacon Hills.
“Oh, Derek,” she says with a flourish of her wrist, sending him flying into the rear wall. His spine cracks against the cement and he groans, long and deep. God, he doesn’t want to look into her mind. He knows what he’ll find and he can’t do it—but he’s too weak to block her out either. It’s just twisted glee, burning, smells of smoke and sounds of laughter above the screams.
She’s remembering them, together. Derek wishes it were something she made up, but it isn’t. It’s clear as day, as clear as if he’s remembering it himself.
“I’ve got to say,” she grins, focusing in on him and pressing him harder back into the wall. He can’t move, can’t do anything but sit and listen to her and wait until she kills him. “I don’t hate these powers.”
His sister will probably miss him. He can’t think of anyone else who will though.
Randomly, out of nowhere, he thinks of Stiles and his loud thoughts and his Bursting halfway across the room if he gets too worked up and his love for his dead mother. Derek thinks Stiles might miss him, for whatever weird reason.
“The only thing I don’t like about the Leak is that all you little monsters got to come out of the woodwork. It’s so much harder to kill you now, you know?”
Derek struggles against her telepathic hold on him; he doesn’t know why. He was already certain of his impending death a moment ago. Now all of the sudden he wants to live.
“Aw, look at you, acting like you can get away.”
He growls at her, claws extending, and then part of him wonders if she has any deep, dark secrets hidden away in the recesses of her mind.
He lets her thoughts fills his, doesn’t fight them but pulls them close, no matter how much every cell in his body is trying to tell him not to. Every thought she has is terrible, even the ones that aren’t. The manicure she had last week that’s starting to chip is terrible to see just because it’s her, her thinking it in this terrible way that she thinks that reminds him terribly of how she kisses.
“You’re like my little puppet,” She says, pulling him from the wall, suspending him in midair as she uses her hands, fingers dancing to lift and pull his body through the room. “Just like old times, hm?”
And that’s it, that’s the memory he needed to latch onto, and even though it’s horrible, the worst thing he’s ever done he follows it deeper, viewing again the day they met, then farther back, when she’s younger and younger, searching desperately for something he can use.
Finally he feels it, like black, rancid air—fear. He finds the memory, a memory as old as they come, and she’s small and blonde and frightened, facing down an omega that’s clearly lost her mind. Young Kate Argent is so afraid that it almost infects Derek, too, but he stays, he pulls at the memory, he brings it up, up into the forefront of her mind and in a moment he drops to the ground, free. But only for a moment.
“What did you do?” She screeches, slamming him back against the wall and advancing towards with him a mix of murderous anger and fear. He almost blacks out with the force his head crashes against the wall with.
So much for that plan.
Don’t give up, asshole! a voice says, loud, insistent. Derek swallows thickly; she’s advancing on him, hands raised in a very real threat.
And then Stiles comes bursting into the room, says “shit” and then starts bursting so quickly that Derek can barely see him, just bits of colors blurring around. He rams into Kate, hard enough for Derek to slip, toes just touching the floor. She’s distracted by Stiles when the others come flying into the room, his Uncle Peter trailing behind a group of teenagers with a murderous, rather frightening look in his eye.
Derek doesn’t see what happens after that because Stiles bursts up right beside him, grabs tightly to his arm and then for a fraction of a second Derek feels nothing, like he doesn’t even exist and then he’s outside, leaning up against a tree with Stiles breathing heavily beside him.
“You’re getting better,” he says mildly. Stiles grins at him, straightening up.
“I always knew I was born to be a superhero.”
Derek just huffs out a half-laugh and feels like falling asleep, though he knows he probably shouldn’t.
“Good thing I didn’t leave like, half your arm back there,” Stiles mumbles like it’s no big deal, even though Derek can hear his heartbeat spike up, telling him that it was a very real possibility.
“I trust you,” Derek mumbles backs, and even he’s surprised at how true that really is.
“So, how are you feeling about the incident with Kate Argent, Derek?” Deacon asks the next time they have a session. This is why Derek doesn’t like coming to Deacon; Kate doesn’t have anything to do with controlling his stupid power which is why he came to this stupid school in the first place.
“Fine,” he glares, crossing him arms across his chest.
“That’s it? Fine? You don’t feel… relieved that she’s finally—“
“Dead?” Derek supplies helpfully. “I’m glad she is, if that’s what you’re trying to say.”
Deaton sighs; Derek clenches his fists and crosses his arms tighter.
“How is your control coming along?” the elder asks to change the subject.
“It’s not,” Derek answers honestly, and it’s true. He doesn’t feel as though he’s made any progress at all, aside from being able to go further into someone’s mind if he really needs to. He still can’t block thoughts at all, which is why he’s still listening to Deaton fret quietly inside his mind about Derek’s repressed guilt about his family.
“You’ve made no progress? None at all? You haven’t even gotten better at reading minds from a farther distance, even? I know Ms. Morrell has you practicing that in some of your classes.”
Derek hesitates, looking past Deaton and out the window.
“I may be improving a little,” he mutters slowly. He fails to mention that he’s only improving at reading one person’s thoughts at great distances. If he tries hard enough he can hear Stiles from a whole building away—even if Stiles doesn’t want him to, which seems to be more and more frequently lately. Sometimes he’ll start concentrating really hard on meaningless thoughts when Derek’s around; it makes Derek suspect he’s trying to hide something, but ever since Derek found the memories of his mother he’s been careful not to see more of Stiles’ mind than he has to, at least for Stiles’ sake.
“I see,” Deaton scowls thoughtfully. “Before I think you said that some people’s thoughts are louder than others. Who, specifically?”
Derek doesn’t really want to tell him, but somehow he feels like he should.
“Stiles,” he mumbles, glancing the other way; though not enough to miss the way Deaton’s eyebrows shoot up across his forehead.
“The Burst? He’s a junior, yes?”
“He’s in my Econ class, and my Control class.”
“And his thoughts are very loud, you say?”
“Interesting… Well, I suppose we should start our own practice session. Today I would like you to concentrate on one singular thought, one thing and nothing else. I think this might be the key to helping you block out everything else.”
“Today I would like you to think of an island,” Ms. Morrell instructs gently. Instantly, every mind in the room pictures a small sandy island with one to three palm trees; everyone except Stiles.
Stiles thinks of a rock, large and imposing and jutting out of the water like a skyscraper. He pictures himself sitting on top. Derek doesn’t bother thinking of an island, just lets Stiles do the thinking for him.
“Picture yourself there, alone,” she says, and everyone does as they are told—but Derek barely sees them. He concentrates on Stiles and the rest of the class’s thoughts float easily at the back of his mind.
“You can leave the island anytime you like,” he hears, her voice sounding as though it’s very far away. Louder than her voice and louder than the thoughts of everyone else is the sound of water slapping against the rock that Stiles created. Derek imagines that he’s there too, just beside Stiles. The Stiles standing on the rock island turns to stare at him standing there beside him, like he’s wondering why Derek is moving in on his island, but he doesn’t say anything and eventually turns back to the water.
“You can leave any way you like. Flying, sailing, swimming, or just vanishing. Your power cannot leave with you,” she says calmly. “It has to stay on the island.”
Stiles walks to the edge of the rock, looks down, and jumps. Derek follows and the moment he hits the water everything goes quiet.
Derek, Stiles voice whispers through the water. You can still hear me.
That’s okay, Derek thinks, and opens his eyes.
The minds of the rest of the class come back to him instantly, but they’re softer, and if Derek concentrates he thinks he can probably block them out for good, one by one. He catches Stiles’ eye across the room and is surprised to find that the boy looks nervous. He turns away and when Derek focuses on his thoughts all he can see is the island, empty.
“So if you’re a werewolf,” Stiles asks as he and Derek are studying for their next Econ test at the younger’s house (Derek’s near failing the class and Stiles offered to help), “don’t you need a pack or something?”
“Yeah,” Derek grunts. “My sister’s alpha. And there’s Peter.”
“Your creepy uncle?”
Stiles hums softly and returns to his work. He’s repeating a Maroon 5 song that Derek heard once on the radio over and over inside his head. He’s been doing that a lot recently, though Derek isn’t really sure why. It’s quiet (aside from the song) for a while, and then Derek can’t help but ask,
“The other day in class,” he can feel Stiles tense up and the singing gets louder, “could you see me… inside your head?”
“No,” Stiles replies. He’s lying. “Why?”
“Thought I saw you look at me.”
“Whatever,” Derek shrugs, sliding his jacket off his shoulders. It’s been warming up lately, evidence of the oncoming summer.
Like a burst of a hot spice on the tongue Derek feels arousal pour from Stiles’ mind. He sees the quickest flash of skin on skin and then it’s gone and the song is louder than ever. He glances over to see Stiles’ face grow red as he stares intently down at his paper. Derek smirks.
“How much porn were you watching before I came over here?”
Stiles looks up at him with wide eyes.
“Wha—? What? None!”
Strangely, it isn’t a lie. Derek raises an eyebrow. Stiles is flustered and Derek is curious. He concentrates, trying to push below the music in Stiles head and his thoughts about the history test to see what Stiles is so determined to try and hide.
“Stop!” Stiles shouts, standing up and breathing heavily. He fixes Derek with an angry and somehow fragile glare.
“Don’t—shit—don’t just go looking around whenever you like in my head, alright?”
“Maybe you should make your thoughts a little bit quieter then,” Derek bites back sharply. Stiles only glares, repeating the song in his head until he can’t even distinguish the lyrics anymore and it’s just a distracting tune. Derek stands and leaves.
Derek starts dreaming. About Stiles. Specifically: about fucking Stiles.
It’s weird and hot and embarrassing and Derek doesn’t know what to do about it so the next day at school he avoids Stiles like the plague. Which isn’t very hard to do because apparently Stiles is avoiding him as well.
The dreams don’t stop, sometimes he even gets flashes of them during the day. Stiles doesn’t talk to him for days and he stops hanging out with everyone else if Derek is there. As if on cue, Laura calls.
“Why are you always so grumpy when you answer the phone? Oh, that’s right. You’re always grumpy,” she says cheerfully, as if that does anything but make him even more grumpy. “I thought you might be a little happier now that you can kind of control the mind reading thing. That’s why you went there, remember?”
“I came here because you sent me. With a direct order, remember?” he explains sharply.
“Oh, whatever. You do sound more angry than usual, though. Something up?”
“Ooooh, come on. Tell me. Tell me your feelings!”
“It’s a sex thing.”
“Um, now I wanna know even more. Also, if it’s a sex thing why would that make you angry?”
Derek should have expected that. She was always trying to set him up with random friends of hers when they were in New York. It’s a good thing she still doesn’t know the real truth about Kate.
“Because it’s a sex thing with a guy.”
There is a pause on the other line and Derek is actually mildly curious what passes through Laura’s mind in that moment.
“Huh… Is that new?”
Derek makes a vague grunt that could probably be either a yes or a no, but Laura seems to take it as a yes.
“Did you… have sex with a guy?”
“But you want to?”
“Unfortunately,” Derek glares at absolutely nothing on the wall, picking at a hole in his jeans he accidentally made with his claws a few weeks ago. He’ll probably need new ones soon.
“Why is it unfortunate?” Laura asks sounding amused.
“You don’t know the guy,” Derek inhales and holds his breath because thinking about Stiles is enough to make him remember some of his dreams, and how they keep blending horribly in with reality. Like the other day when Stiles had been chewing absentmindedly on the end of his pencil Derek had thought of the dream he’d had where Stiles’ lips were brushing just above the line of his pants, pressing kisses to the trail of hair leading down and down and down. Derek can’t look at Stiles’ lips anymore without thinking about that stupid dream and he hates it.
He hates that Stiles’ is in his head and he hates that Stiles is in his head! Really in his head, in every way, because the more his thinks about it the more he’s convinced that Stiles could hear him that day in class. When he jumped off of Stiles’ island and into the water behind him something happened that Derek can’t explain and he hates it.
“He’s just so loud!” he complains in a burst to Laura, throwing his hands up and then falling backwards onto his pillow.
“Yeah. All the time. He never shuts up, he’s incapable of being quiet.”
“You’re talking about his mind, aren’t you?” Laura asks smartly.
“His mind and his mouth. He can’t keep either one quiet, and I don’t fucking know why but I started dreaming about sleeping with him and now it’s all I can think about.”
“Wow. No wonder you’re so grumpy. You’re not even getting laid.”
“That’s—that’s very helpful, Laura.”
“Just saying,” she replies like she hasn’t got a care in the world. Doesn’t matter to her if Derek’s having a slight sexuality crisis and maybe almost popping boners in the middle of class if he catches a whiff of Stiles’ scent from across the room (or hall… sometimes the entire school). It’s awful, really, because Stiles shouldn’t even smell good. He smells like Adderall and constant motion and the right kind of burn, like the sweet hot of curry—and Derek has never even liked curry.
“Aren’t you supposed to have some sisterly advice or something?”
“Uh…” comes his sister’s helpful reply on the other line.
“Fucking forget it,” he says and promptly hangs up.
Contrary to popular belief, Derek isn’t actually all that stupid. Laura would not only disagree with that statement, but if she ever happened to hear someone say it she would most likely devolve into a fit of laughter as Derek himself watched on with the same amount of amusement he expressed when Peter used to ruffle his hair and call him “champ.” Save to say, not a whole lot of amusement.
The point is, Derek is not an idiot and he knows when something not right is going on—and the fact that he tune out every single mind he focuses on except for Stiles’ is just not fucking right.
“Why can’t I tune you out?” Derek corners Stiles a day and a half after his useless phone conversation with his sister. They’re just outside the main entrance of the school, in plain view of anyone who might feel the need to step in if Derek winds up looking more menacing than he thinks he looks; but no one seems to pay them any mind. It’s easy for Derek to feel taller than Stiles—like he’s looming over him in his frustration—even though he knows he and Stiles are relatively the same height. Stiles either hunches in and down, crowding against himself, or he’s all limbs, flying any and every where. His body language reflects his mood more than other peoples’ seems to, and Derek doesn’t know why in the world he would bother noticing something like that.
“Dude, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Stiles replies defensively, already eyeing the space between Derek and the wall and wondering if he can burst through it and run away without Derek catching him.
“You won’t make it,” Derek informs him, nodding towards the pathway Stiles’ was planning on taking. Stiles huffs and rolls his eyes, muttering something under his breath that he probably thinks Derek can’t hear.
“You and your stupid mind-reading…”
“Says the guy who was so fucking interested in it when I first got here.”
“That was before—“ Stiles closes his mouth with an audible snap and his eyes go wide. Barely half a second passes and then Stiles is repeating the lyrics to some song Derek’s never heard before inside his head.
“Why do you keep doing that?” he asks, annoyed enough to feel a little more wolfy than he would normally.
“Doing what?” And the song only gets louder.
“Singing in your head when you know I can hear you!” Derek growls louder than he means to. “Not letting yourself think about anything else! What are you trying to hide? Does it have to do with why I can’t shut you out?”
“I don’t know! Why would I know?” Stiles exclaims, trying and failing to focus on the song he’s belting inside his head. It’s going in and out, like a bad radio station; a beat here, a chorus there, and underneath it all Derek can see panic and arousal.
He inhales sharply and instantly regrets it, because it makes him realize just how close he is, invading Stiles’ personal space and crowding him against the wall. His brain clouds over and he remembers a dream, one where he’d pushed Stiles up against a wall and marked every patch of skin on his neck as his as Stiles bucked against him and called his name.
He feels flushed and has a moment to be eternally grateful that Stiles’ can’t read his mind when he looks down at Stiles’ face and watches as his expression turns from confusion to shocked breathlessness.
The thought comes at him like lightning, faster than he can be prepared for and it’s so clear and intense that it feels real. Stiles is kissing him, locking his arms around Derek’s neck in one swift move and pressing his lips to Derek’s, knocking their noses together as he goes to tilt his head and deepen the kiss. Derek’s never seen a thought like this one before; it’s almost like he can feel Stiles’ lips against his, and it’s so distracting that he doesn’t even stop to consider that this is probably what Stiles has been trying so hard to hide from him for all this time.
Then, just as the thought reaches it’s peak it breaks, like Derek just dove headfirst into artic waters; because suddenly there is nothing—nothing but Stiles real lips pressing against his as his hands fist tight into Derek’s shirt and pull him close.
Derek has a hard time believing it’s real at first, until he can feel Stiles start to pull away and realizes that he didn’t even bother kissing back. Instantly he grabs a hold of Stiles’ waist and neck, holding him still as he presses intent kisses to the other boy’s surprised and parted lips. Stiles makes a nonsense sound against Derek’s mouth, corners of his lips turning up in a smile. Derek presses in closer, inhaling Stiles’ stupid sweet-hot scent and licking a line above his chin. He can feel Stiles swallow and trails his hand up the side of his long neck, tilting Stiles’ chin up to get a better angle to pry open his mouth and lick along the gums behind Stiles’ teeth. Stiles lets out a nervous giggle; Derek can feel the tingling building under his skin so he pulls away just enough to let Stiles’ calm down.
“Tell me that wasn’t all in my head,” Stiles pleads through gentle panting.
“It wasn’t all in your head,” Derek replies, resting his forehead against Stiles as the younger leans back against the wall, letting Derek lean with him. It’s then that Derek notices.
“I can’t hear you,” he says. It’s strange and a bit weird, and any other time he might be curious about it—but now the only thing he’s curious about is what the skin of Stiles’ earlobe might taste like.
“Can’t hear you either,” Stiles sighs, then arches into Derek’s lips when he kisses him again, fast and messy before pulling away so Stiles can breathe and mutter dizzily,
“So I was thinking—“
“Yeah,” Derek cuts him off, grinning, “I was thinking the same thing.”
And kisses him again.
“Glad you could make it today, Derek. I know the semester is almost over and you’re probably making plans for your future, but I spent some time researching something you mentioned a little while ago and I think I may have come up with an answer.”
Derek is trying to pay attention to Dr. Deaton, he really is.
It’s just that it’s unfairly difficult to pay attention to anything when Stiles is in the library next door sending him every dirty thought he has ever had in his entire sexually existent life. And, yes, he could tune Stiles out, since he’s learned how now; but he just can’t bring himself to do it, even as Stiles sends a clear picture of himself leaning against a bookshelf and rubbing at the bulge in his jeans.
Jesus, Stiles, Derek curses, trying not to let his sudden arousal show on his face, though Deaton is already looking at him a little strangely.
Stiles hears him, and Derek can feel his cheeky pride leak through from the other room.
I’m not even touching myself, you know, Stiles tells him. I’m only thinking about touching myself. It’s, like, better. God, I wanna touch myself though. I want you to touch me.
Stiles, I swear, I’m in the fucking councilors office.
I know! It’s hot right?
Derek growls, and the moment after he does it realizes that he growled aloud and Deaton has an eyebrow raised his way curiously.
“Derek?” He asks, and Derek tries to focus, to push Stiles to the back of his mind like he used to. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he says, and swallows because Stiles has started replaying the previous night in his head; it had been the night after the full moon and Derek was particularly vicious—which, of course, Stiles loved.
“Right,” Deaton continues, still looking skeptical. “As I was saying, I did some research into something you mentioned a while back. It was Stiles Stilinski, the Burst, that you mentioned you were having difficulty tuning out?”
Derek can only nod, because in his mind he’s just bitten a mark at the base of Stiles’ throat and the younger let out the most terrible, horrible sound that makes something in the base of Derek’s stomach turn over with lust.
“My research turned up a few interesting theories, almost all of which are based on your werewolf genetics. I spoke to another mind-reader in Washington who said…”
It was hopeless. Derek was lost in Stiles’ mind, lost in the fantasized feel of his skin beneath his fingers and his tongue in his mouth.
Oh, god, Stiles moaned, catching a glimpse of Derek’s eyes as the former undid the button of his pants. Your eyes are glowing, dude. That’s not even, that’s just, I don’t—I don’t have anything to say to that, shit just kiss me again and take your stupid shirt off.
“…So, as you can see, it could be one of two things. Either it’s a fluke of Mr. Stilinski’s brain, as the specialist in Baltimore suspected, or it has something to do with a bond between yourself and Mr. Stilinski. Is there any special relationship between the two of you that you can think of, Derek?”
“Huh?” Derek asks, breathless and flushed, with the feel of Stiles bucking against his hips still in the front of his mind.
I want you to fuck me, Stiles cried, fingers like claws digging into Derek’s shoulders. And then it was Stiles really pleading with him, every thought he’s sending makes Derek want to get to him right away. I need you to, Derek, come get me now. I can’t fucking take this when I know you’re just on the other side of the wall. I know you can hear me, Derek. Please—
“I was saying you might want to look into the possibility that you and Mr. Stilinski may be mates—“
“I’ve got to go,” Derek says, standing, not having heard a word Dr. Deaton said in the last five minutes. Deaton looks reasonably shocked, but before Derek can even be bothered to feel bad about it he’s bolted from the office, slinging his backpack over his shoulder as he races to get to the library door and rush inside, much to the dismay of their librarian.
Stiles is nestled in the corner of the library with the magazines and comics and as soon as he sees Derek heading for him sucks in a sharp gasp of air. Derek reaches him just in time to taste that air getting sucked from his own mouth and pull a low moan along with it.
“You are the worst,” Derek tells him when he pulls back. Stiles grins at him, not denying a thing.
“What did the councilor even want from you?”
“I couldn’t really tell,” Derek grumbles playfully. “I was being distracted.”
“You might want to learn to control that mind-reading thing, dude.”
I’ll work on it.