naruto_minamino (naruto_minamino) wrote in burnin_sunshine,
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Every Time That I Return (I’m Learning to Walk Again) – Teen Wolf reincarnation fic
Author: Naruto_Minamino
Word Count: 13,587
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Pairing: Derek/Stiles, mention of one-sided Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Allison, Kate/Derek
Warning: major character death, fragments galore, sappy fluffy shit when it gets to it, smoking, drinking, abuse of history major knowledge, I may or may not have made Stiles a Newsie, Kate Argent, she gets her own warning tag, death notifications, the Hale fire, hahaha I used Cora and I haven’t seen 3a, Derek Hale’s parents aren’t like this but whatever, underage relationship since Stiles is like 16-17 in modern day, Derek complains a lot pre-fire, mentions of gay bashing, I mean considering the time period, lots of modern day Stiles rambling, lots of kind of out of character moments for Derek, annoyingly cute happy ending, cursing, just a little bit, hahaha am I making that a tag, lbr I curse all the time.
Note: Title based off Walk by Foo Fighters and it was listened to a lot while coming up with this, so. Also, werewolves are immortal and if they were to die it’d have to be from a silver bullet to the head or the heart. Also, obviously, fire. Just pretend, okay.
Summary: It feels like Derek spends most of his time waiting for him to show up again. And when he does, it’s like he never left. Stiles may not remember any of his past lives, but every now and then he’ll get a far off look on his face like he’s remembering something and then he’ll look over at Derek and smile at him like he’s seeing him for the first time all over again.
Enjoy


They first meet on the battlefield.

In the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

At least that’s where Derek hears they are. He doesn’t exactly know where he is other than he’s really far from home and he’s really tired of this war.

The war that everyone thought would have been over within a few months. Now it’s been two years, two months, and nineteen days later (give or take a day or two), here’s Derek standing on a battlefield fighting a war against cause he doesn’t believe in. He’s only here because he felt he owed it to society to help.

But it’s not like he can win the war all by himself.

Even with the advantage of living forever. It’s not like their bullets can hurt me, he’d said to his father after he told him he was going to join up. He had been nineteen and big headed, then. Cocky.

Jesus, he sounds like an old man. The war will age you, his father said. He’d fought during the Revolution and the War of 1812 and said he’d had enough after that. And it’ll change you. You’ll be a different man when you come back. This’ll do you some good.

Because watching men, most of them still boys, die around you in gunfire builds character.

Derek doesn’t like to fire his weapon. The wolf inside him would rather have him using his teeth and claws, especially when the smell of blood is so fresh like it constantly is in the battlefield. He doesn’t like to use it, but he keeps it with him at all times. It’s loaded, naturally, but he’s never fired it.

Until the day he meets Stiles the first time.

The battle that had been roaring all around them starts to wane as the sun starts to set. Many men are starting to call out retreat, both sides will quit for the night. Derek starts heading back to wherever Taneytown is, through the trees instead of the open field. He’s taking the long way to avoid the graveyard that the field has become, but he’s also trying to get his wolf under control. The smell of blood and gunpowder has been stuck in his nostrils all day and he can feel the pull of the full moon about to rise. He is about ready to give into his wolf’s demands to go for a run when he hears a frantic heartbeat pick up even more pace behind him and a quiet voice shakily say, “Yankee scum.”

Derek turns to see a young man that would probably barely make it past his nose in height. He’s in a dirty grey uniform and is holding a rifle in shaking hands. The rifle is aimed for one of Derek’s shoulders.

“Don’t move – I’ll shoot you.” He sounds positively terrified, like he’s trying to convince himself that he will, too. Derek feels silly, unless that bullet’s made of silver it won’t do much damage – it’ll still hurt like a bitch, though. He puts his hands up, showing that he’s clearly not up for a fight. The gun in the young man’s hands is shaking so badly from his hands, there’s no way he could actually hit Derek. “I really will. I’ll shoot you dead and you’ll be dead and you’ll hit the ground and be covered in blood and it’ll be my fault. Dead – “

The young man, who looks like he can’t be older than sixteen, catches himself, shakes his rambling off, and goes back to trying to look menacing. He’s failing – his bright, honey brown eyes are giving him away. He looks scared out of his mind – he’s probably in shock.

“What’s your name?” Derek asks calmly. He wants to talk to boy down, wants him to put the gun down, wants to comfort him, to protect him.

“Silence!” He aims the gun he clearly doesn’t know how to use again, this time aiming at Derek’s stomach. Derek notices that he’s been crying – there’s clean tear streaks down his dirty face. It just makes him look even younger, if that’s even possible. Jesus, what were the Confederates telling these people if they joined up? It can’t just be honor, pride, and glory for their home states.

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” Derek tosses his musket. It lands with a clatter on the ground. He kicks it away with the heel of his boot. “What’s your name?”

“S-stiles,” Derek furrows his brows at the funny name. He shakes it off rather quickly, though.

“What’re you doing over here, Stiles? Shouldn’t you be heading back to the Confederate camp?” Which is a fair question, but Derek knows they’re closer to the Confederate camp than they are to the Federal one. He hopes Stiles doesn’t know that.

Stiles squeezes his eyes shut tight and hiccups. “Too-too much screamin’ comin’ from the med’ tent. I couldn’t – I cain’t – “he trails off before he shakes it off again and gets a better grip on his rifle. “I ain’t no deserter.”

So he was going to run. “I never said you were,” Derek says softly, hoping the tone of his voice would calm him down. “But you’re not a killer either.”

“Yes, I am. I’mma kill you to prove it.”

“It’s okay. You don’t have to – “

Stiles lets out a sob, as his finger inches closer to the trigger. “Yes, I do. Because I’mma killer. I’mma soldier. I’m –“

A loud crack, like the firing of a musket, fills the air and Derek waits for the pain to come. Instead, the teenaged boy makes a gaspy noise before he hits the ground and another heartbeat joins them.

“Looks like I saved your ass, Hale,” the third person says with a cocky grin. “The poor bastard didn’t even see me coming.”

“You shot him in the back, Church,” Derek’s gaze goes from Stiles on the ground to Church, who shrugs his shoulders.

“I was sent here to kill traitors, not chat with them. I helped you and this is the thanks I get? Geeze, I won’t ever save you again.”

“I didn’t ask – “ Derek drops it and rolls his eyes, trying to calm his wolf down. For some odd reason, the need to see if the Stiles boy is alright is almost overwhelming. He knows the boy is dead, he can’t hear his heartbeat anymore, but he can smell the blood oozing out of him. His wolf is growing more and more restless with each passing second.

His blood smells different – it’s sweeter smelling. Not saccharine sweet, but closer to a wine than blood’s usual coppery smell.

If that’s significant to anything, the meaning is lost on Derek, who’s more irritated than anything. He bends down to pick up his dropped musket, careful to avoid touching the body before he rights himself and follows Church back to the farm the Federals are based at.

Derek doesn’t like to fire his musket, but he fired it the day he first met Stiles. He arrived back to camp alone, the smell of gunpowder, smoke, and different blood – this blood was the usual metallic smell – in his nose. The poor bastard didn’t even see me coming – Church’s words from before – ringing in his ears.

Later, Derek takes his run through the peach orchards and through the town. He tries to forget the Confederate boy. Tries to forget his frantic heartbeat and his tears, tries to forget his sweet-smelling blood, tries to forget his eyes.

Derek falls asleep and dreams of honey brown.

-

The war ends one year, nine months, and eight days later.

Derek returns home to New York to his family. His parents welcome him with open arms, but he is, indeed, a changed man. It’s been a few months since the war ended when he finally arrives at their house, but the war is over all the same. He still dreams of the Confederate boy he met that day almost two Julys ago – dreams of his sweet blood and of his honey brown eyes. He’s tried getting him out of his head, but vices don’t exactly work for werewolves and each woman he’s tried to pick up (sometimes the other way around, too) – there’s something about them that just seems off.

He’s embarrassed to go to his parents about it. Mostly because he knows once he tells them about it, his sisters will know as well. Then, somehow, the teasing will begin and he really doesn’t have the time or the patience for that. Instead, he starts to withdraw from everyone, trying to deal with things in his own way. He runs a lot; the wood around his parent’s home is extensive and perfect for letting his wolf roam free. He doesn’t have to think about honey colored eyes and sweet smelling blood when he lets his wolf take over. He doesn’t have to think of anything but run.

-

One day, Derek walks out of his house, rolling his sleeves up to the elbows. Once they’re up, he sits on the porch steps and starts to pull his boots on. He hears footsteps coming up behind him and continues to button them up properly.

“Going for another run?” his father asks. Derek finishes pulling his boots on, stands up, and turns.

“Yes,” he says. His father considers this before he takes off his jacket and tie. Derek cocks his head to the side.

“I’m joining you,” his father says, answering Derek’s unasked question before he hangs his coat and tie up and steps out onto the porch, rolling his own sleeves up.

With the tone of his father’s voice, Derek knows better than to argue. He sighs and nods.

“Yes, sir.”

They take off after that.

It’s a fairly easy run, like most runs he has with his father. There’s no need to race, like he does with his sisters. There’s no need to feel like he should keep up, like it is with his mother. He sets the pace, and he and his father run until finally his father calls out to him, “Stop, stop, stop. Let this old wolf catch his breath.”

They stop at an overlook and his father sits down on a rock facing the view. “I’m not as young as I used to be, Derek.” His father sighs and stretches as he rests. Derek is barely winded, but he looks out at the overlook, trying to think of something to say. He can see the smoke from his parent’s house in the distance.

“Are you alright, son?” Derek jerks his head up and turns to look at his father. He has a smile on his face, a knowing smile, and suddenly, Derek feels like he’s a child again. Like his father knows all the answers and all Derek would have to do is crawl into his father’s lap and listen as he reads the newspaper aloud for Derek to understand everything too.

“I’m fine,” Derek lies. He’s convinced himself that he’s fine for so long that his heartbeat doesn’t stutter. Still, his father’s knowing look turns into a look of concern and Derek scoffs. “It’s just. How did you ever get it out of your head?”

His father breaks their eye contact and looks out at the overlook, over towards the smoke coming from the house, lost in thought. Finally, he opens his mouth, “I suppose I never did.” He looks over at Derek, “You fought well, though.” Derek barks a laugh.

“I barely fought. Between the making sure I didn’t get caught or noticed and the trying to keep my wolf in control, I spent most of my time trying to avoid conflict.” Derek’s father laughs and nods.

“That’s how I was the first time. It’s why I tended to stay with the medics than be on the front line during 1812.” He looks at his son out of the corner of his eye. “You grew up while you were down there.”

“You said it’d change me.”

“So I did,” his father’s smile lessens and he’s back to looking concerned. “You’re quieter than you were.”

“I don’t have anything to be loud about.”

“That’s not what I meant. I meant in a more general sense, like you’re grieving.”

Derek looks up at the sky in exasperation. “What do you want me to say? I killed people, dad.”

“I know you did.”

“And I watched people die around me. Innocent, misguided boys with guns and uniforms that weren’t even theirs – “

“I know, son.”

“And I – “

“You were just following orders, son.” Derek shakes his head.

“I killed someone in cold blood without an order to do so.”

It’s out in the open, hovering all around them. His father turns his whole body to face Derek, and he folds his hands in his lap and waits. He doesn’t look angry or upset or disappointed. Instead, he looks worried.

“Sit down, Derek.”

Derek sits down on the grass where he was standing, facing his father. He knows the man won’t press, but he also knows that they’re not leaving the overlook until Derek explains himself. He sighs.

“Take your time, son.”

And then Derek launches into the war and everything that happened in grisly detail. He talks about the frigid winters and the long walks from battle to battle. He talks about the lack of food and the overcrowding. He talks about the carnage from the battlefield. He talks about how as the war went on and on it felt like the opposite side got younger and younger. And then he talks about the boy with the honey colored eyes with the funny name, which then brings up the murder that’s been haunting him for almost two years, both Stiles’ and Church’s.

When he finishes, he finds his father’s handkerchief being offered to him. He hadn’t even realized he’d started crying. He uses it to dry his eyes and to wipe his sweating forehead and then fiddles with it in his lap. He sits waiting for his father to say something. He chances a look up at his father’s face, expecting to see negative emotions, but instead, he looks even more worried.

“Derek, why haven’t you talked about this before?” he asks. Derek shrugs and shakes his head.

“I thought I could handle it alone,” he says. “I guess I thought wrong.” He waits a moment before he asks something that’s been bothering him almost as long as the murder of Church. “Why can’t I get that boy’s smell out of my head?”

“I don’t know,” his father looks upset that he can’t help any further, “He can’t have been the only innocent person you encountered on the battlefield.”

“He wasn’t.”

His father side eyes him again before he reaches out and places a hand on Derek’s shoulder. “I think that question would be better off answered by a born wolf.” Derek groans.

“But mom will – “

“Your mother can help you more than you think, Derek. That’s why she’s our alpha. She certainly knows more about these things than I do.” He stands and dusts his trousers off. Derek follows suit and hands his father back his handkerchief. He pockets it. “You know once you talk to her, everything will feel better, right?”

“I know,” Derek sighs. “I just don’t want Laura and Cora to find out.”

“You know your mother,” his father laughs. “She can’t really keep the things that matter private.”

-

Derek’s mother is waiting on the porch when they get back. She’s pacing back and forth like a caged animal before she turns and sees the two of them coming out of the trees. She walks down the porch steps, pulling her skirts up so she can walk faster than society thinks a lady should, and marches right up to them.

“Where have you been?” she asks, worried.

“We just went to the overlook, darling,” Derek’s father says with a smile and twinkling eyes. He presses a kiss to her cheek, which she accepts, but doesn’t cool down any.

“You could have told me first. What if the hunters found you?”

“We’re fine, mom.” Derek’s mother turns her gaze on her son and she drops all of her anger in one instant.

“Of course you are, my dear.” She shoots his father a glare before he laughs and walks to the house. She links arms with Derek and they take their time walking back towards the porch.

“Mom – “

“Yes, my dear?”

They hang back, hearing the far off noises of Derek’s father talking to his sisters. Derek sighs. “Dad says I should talk to you about this, since you’re alpha.”

His mother’s eyes flash red at the mention of being alpha and she smiles sweetly. “What is it, darling?”

He gives her an abbreviated version of the story he told his father, focusing mostly on the Stiles boy and why his blood smelled so different. They walk around the perimeter of the house as he speaks, she nods her head as she listens. Finally, when he’s done asking questions, he looks over at her. His father had been right, he does feel better now that he’s told her. Her hand patting his arm has also helped ease the pain he’s been feeling, but he wonders if she’s taken some of his pain away. Finally, she speaks.

“Have your father and I ever told you about the night I turned him?” she asks. He nods, knowing the story well. It’s short, rather anticlimactic. They were married and that night his mother turned him into a wolf because they knew they wanted to be together always. “Have I told you about the first time I met him? When I decided I would give him the bite?”

Derek shakes his head. She smiles and looks up at the house as she speaks.

“There had been an Indian raid. Your grandfather and I went to go and see if the townspeople in one of the smaller towns outside of Jamestown needed help. We were headed there when I found your father, powering through with a bloody shoulder. He had gone to get help, but we knew that there was no help for those people in the town. Your grandfather left me to tend to your father’s wounds and he went off to see if there were any survivors. I patched your father up, but like you with this boy, I later couldn’t get his smell out of my head. Later, after your grandfather and I led your father to our house to rest until we could find somewhere else for him to go, I asked him. He told me, with a happy smile, that I had found my mate.”

Derek’s stomach churns. “My mate is – “

“God has a plan, Derek,” his mother says with a smile as she pulls him in for a hug. “If what I think happened to you has happened, God will send you your mate again. And this next time, you’ll know before there’s any bloodshed.”

“How can you be sure?” She smiles and squeezes his shoulders.

“I just am.”

-

Derek doesn’t meet Stiles again until 1899. It’s been thirty six years since that day on the battlefield, but Derek knows it’s him when he sees him.

He’s visiting New York City with his sisters to join them while they go shopping for new dresses or whatever it is the girls have decided they have to have at the last minute. The city has become a bustling metropolis since the last time Derek saw it. He’s caught up in looking at the sights rather than watching where he’s going with his sisters and he nearly runs someone over in the process.

“Ow!” someone hits the ground. Derek barely moves, just looks down at who he’s bumped into. He can hear his sisters moving on ahead.

“Derek, if you don’t hurry up we’ll leave you behind!”

Derek ignores them and offers a hand to who he’s knocked over. The hand is clapped away and the person stands up on their own.

“I don’t need your help, I got it.” A heavy New Yorker accent fills Derek’s ears and he looks down at the boy he’s accidentally knocked over. “Though, ha, mister. If you buy me last pape’ I can say I’ll forget the whole thing.” He waggles his eyebrows at Derek and offers him the paper. Derek is more caught off guard by the boy than anything else. He’s not necessarily the spitting image of the boy from Gettysburg, but there’s something familiar about him other than the same honey brown eyes sparkling up at him mischievously.

Derek feels like he can’t breathe. Is this really the kid from Gettysburg? No, it can’t be – he died. But they almost look the same.

“Uh. Hey, mister – “ the boy looks uncomfortable, “You keep starin’ at me and it’s really freakin’ creepy. I’ll tell you what. Forget the pape’. I forgive ya for knockin’ me over free of charge.” He tips his hat at Derek and turns to walk
away from Derek, who’s still having a bit of a crisis. As soon as the boy is gone, he shakes it off and chases after him.

“Hey, kid,” he says. The boy turns and doesn’t look happy to see him.

“Hey, kid yourself.”

“Here,” Derek reaches into his pocket and pulls out a nickel and hands it to the boy. The boy stares down at it.

“Pape’s cost a penny.”

“So?”

The boy snickers and pockets the nickel, muttering something under his breath that sounds a lot like sucker. “Well, thanks, mister.”

“Can I have my paper?” The boy looks like he actually forgot he was holding one more paper. He hands it to Derek before he shoves his hands into his trousers’ pockets. Derek takes the paper and folds it under his arm before he asks. “What’s your name?”

“Stiles.”

“Thanks for the paper, Stiles.” Stiles gives him an uneasy smile before he walks off whistling.

-

Derek finds his sisters a few blocks over in a dress shop. Cora is standing on a stool letting the seamstresses hem and alter the dress to fit her better while Laura is sitting on a bench watching.

“Where have you been?” Laura asks as he sits down beside her. She looks down at the paper in his hand and arches a brow at him. The brow arching is something that she’s picked up from their mother. She’s getting really good at it, too. Derek unfolds the paper and starts looking through it. “Anything exciting today?”

“More stuff about the war,” Derek says. He pretends to read for a moment, but nothing catches his eye. He sighs and folds the paper back up and sets it beside him on the bench. “Laura,” he starts slowly. She cocks her head to the side, “Do you believe in fate?”

Laura considers this, nodding encouraging at Cora as she spins around in her new dress to show it off. “Like the way mom says ‘God has a plan’?”

“Sure, if you want to put God into it.”

“I don’t,” she says softly. “But I do believe everything happens for a reason.”

Derek nods and then sighs again. “Do you believe mom when she says we all have soul mates?” Laura nods and stands up.

“Yes, why the sudden interest?” He shakes his head and watches as Cora steps down from the stool and walks off behind a room partition to change out of the new dress. Laura follows her, but stops because she still hasn’t gotten an answer from Derek.

“No reason,” he says.

-

Derek doesn’t see Stiles of any variation again until 1963, sixty four years later; a hundred years after their first meeting.

The past sixty-seven years, Derek has been off on his own avoiding three wars and now a fourth. He’s spent a majority of his time alone, wanting to see the world for himself without his family around. Which is probably for the best because hunters have started to catch onto them; his family has to leave every few years rather than every few decades. People are becoming more and more observant.

His family moves to California, to some little town called Beacon Hills. It’s a rather quaint town – nothing exciting ever happens in it. Small Town, USA. His family buys a plot of land out in the middle of the woods – they call it the Preserve – and build a house onto it. He, of course, hears everything from Laura, who calls him once they are all settled in the new house. Derek then decides to take a bus from New York and meet his family in California a week later.

He’s settling in his new room when his father walks in and leans against the doorframe. “The girls want to have a party.”

“A party?” Derek doesn’t like the sound of this party. “What kind of party?” His father shakes his head and laughs.

“I doubt it’ll be too bad. It’s not like two girls can get into a lot of trouble in such a small town as this.” Derek considers this and sighs.

“Dad, you can usually tell how much trouble they’re going to get in by how much alcohol they’ve purchased.” His father winces.

“It’s a good thing your mother and I won’t be home tonight, isn’t it?” Derek nods. His parents are going to meet with another pack that’s close by, to introduce themselves and possibly make peace with coming in on their neighboring territory.

“Probably for the best, but don’t leave me in charge of them either.”

“Oh Derek,” Laura sticks her head into the room, “at least try to have fun.”

“I won’t know any of these people,” Derek complains. Cora sticks her head into the room too, only she’s got a towel on her head.

“It’s a party, Derek. You’re not supposed to know anyone. Make new friends!”

“You know alcohol doesn’t affect us, right?”

“Unfortunately,” Cora sighs dramatically. She and Laura walk away from Derek’s room and down the hallway to finish getting ready.

“Girls, don’t burn the house down. She’s new,” their father calls after them. The girls chorus back ‘We won’t!’

-

Derek leaves the house and comes back a few hours later to find the party in full swing. He groans, gets out of his car, and makes his way into the house.

There’s music blaring in one room, the record player cranked up as loud as it’ll go. There’s people everywhere and everyone’s drinking or already drunk. It smells like a bar. Derek wrinkles his nose at the smell. Most of the people are half-naked, too. He rolls his eyes and heads up the stairs to his bedroom.

A good five minutes of distant thudding through the floor passes by before his bedroom door opens and Cora’s standing in his room, Drink in hand, in a shirt that practically only covers her bra and she arches a brow at him.

“There’s a party going on, literally, all around you, and you want to be alone?”

“Go away, Cora,” she sets her drink on his bookshelf next to the door and puts her hands on her hips.

“Dammit, Derek, at least try to be normal!”

“But we’re not,” his eyes flash blue, “normal.”

Her own eyes flash golden. “You could at least try.”
“What’s going on?” Laura steps into the room.

“Derek is ruining the party by being boring,” Cora whines. Laura looks at her sister before looking at Derek.

“You okay, Derek?” she asks. Derek shrugs.

“I guess.”

“Laura – “ Cora whines, “Kick him out or something.”

“I didn’t do anything!” Derek retorts. Cora whines, groans, grabs her drink from the bookshelf and storms out of the room. Laura rolls her eyes.

“I’ll go talk to her. At least try to have fun, okay?” she leaves the room and shuts the door behind her.

Have fun? Right. Derek can hear every whine and complaint Cora lets out through the walks and the cranked music. He grumbles and decides to leave the house.

He goes outside to the backyard and decides he’s going to go for a run when he hears the back door of the house open and then shut. Now he’s not alone in the yard. Then, there’s the strike of a match and the orange glow of a cigarette being lit and, with Derek’s clear night vision, he can see that there’s a teenaged boy in the backyard with him.

The teenager takes a drag off his cigarette before he turns to see Derek and nearly jumps out of his skin. “Jesus Christ, man!” A hand claps over his heart. “You’re killing me.”

“Sorry. I didn’t know I needed to alert you of my presence. I only live here,” Derek says sarcastically. He doesn’t care if he’s being rude. The teenager laughs and takes another drag.

“You live here?” he jerks his head towards the house. Derek nods. “Cool house. Welcome to the neighborhood. It sucks.”

“You know, those’ll probably kill you,” Derek says, motioning to the cigarette the other is holding between his fingers. He looks down at it accusingly and then slowly brings it to his lips again to take another drag.

“Yeah, well, it’s not like it could hurt. At this point I’d kill for some lung cancer or something.”

“Morbid,” Derek says. The kid sighs.

“Yeah, sorry,” he scratches the back of his head. “I’m – I. I got drafted.”

“That sucks,” Derek says awkwardly. “When do you ship out?” God, he’s terrible at small talk. Luckily, the other guy hasn’t noticed, or if he has he hasn’t said anything.

“Day after tomorrow?” the kid flicks ash from his cigarette. “I can’t keep track anymore, really. My folks feel bad too, ‘cause they think I’m gonna die over there – and the fact that I’m not going to college doesn’t help because if I was, then I wouldn’t be in this mess.

“Why aren’t you?”

“Couldn’t – can’t afford it. My dad’s a teacher at Beacon Hills High and my mom’s got my brother and my sister to look after. Older brother got away because he’s got a kid – “ the kid stops. “What am I doing? You don’t care about all of this.”

“You just want someone to talk to. It’s okay,” Derek smiles. “Why don’t I get us some beer and we can talk some more.”

“Are you sure? Why?”

“’Cause I can’t get drafted and I feel bad that you did,” Derek starts towards the house. He enters, dodges partiers, and grabs a six pack of beer before he heads back out. The kid’s stubbed out his cigarette and he’s looking up at the stars he can kind of see through the trees.

“Sweet! Thanks!” he says happily when Derek hands him a beer. Derek nods. They walk over to the deck and sit down in deck chairs. “I’m Stiles, by the way.” Derek freezes.

“Interesting name,” he says with a grin. He tries to get his heart to calm down. Stiles pops his beer open and shrugs.

“It’s better than Richard. I had to choose between being Dick or being Stiles. So, Stiles it is.”

“I’m Derek.”

“Thanks for the beer, Derek,” Stiles lifts the can in a toast.

“So, you got drafted.”

“Yeah, I keep thinking – well, it’s been on my mind the past week and a half anyways – I can still make it to Canada if I book it.” Derek laughs.

“Why haven’t you?”

“I think my parent’s’d kill me. As much as they feel bad for me going, I think they’re kind of relieved I’m going too.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I get in a lot of trouble, a lot of trouble that my parents would rather look the other way about.” He sighs. Derek doesn’t press. Stiles sighs again. “Let’s just say that I’m surprised the army took me since they tend to frown upon the whole ‘queer’ thing. I even tried to tell them at the physical.”

“I can imagine that went well.”

“My parents told me to be discreet about it – we have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy at my house. But I don’t think there’s any way to be discreet about wanting to look the physician in the face and exclaiming, ‘I like to suck cock!’ just to get out of having to go over there.”

Derek finds himself laughing really hard. Stiles is laughing too. It’s a nice sound, Derek notices. He realizes this is the longest conversation he’s ever had with anyone named Stiles. He gulps.

“So, what brings you here?” he asks. Stiles takes a swig of his beer.

“A couple of friends of mine heard about this party and decided I deserved a last night out. As soon as we got here they ditched me for a few girls. So I wandered around and came out here. Some send off, huh?”

“Some friends more like it.”

“Eh, they meant well. So, where’re you from?”

-

Three and a half beers for Stiles later, he’s drunkish. He’s leaning into Derek, their shoulders are touching, and they’re both laughing a lot, and gosh, Derek doesn’t think he’s laughed this much ever in his whole entire life. He can’t stop smiling. Neither can Stiles, who’s cheeks are warm and flushed from drinking and his hand has been on Derek’s thigh for a solid fifteen minutes and he hasn’t done anything about it. Derek doesn’t mind.

“You’re really warm,” Stiles semi-slurs. He leans into Derek. “Like, fever warm. Aren’t you hot?”

“No, I’m fine,” Derek says, amused. “I also think you’ve had enough.”

“Mean,” Stiles says, but hands him half a beer. “I’m not that drunk.”

“If you say so,” Derek says before, without thinking, he takes a sip from the beer he just took away from Stiles.

“You just drank my beer.”

“It’s mine now.”

“No, I mean, you drank after me. Aside from having terrible hygiene, you and I practically just kissed.” He’s tipsy, but he’s also got a shit-eating grin on his face. “Derek, if you wanted to kiss me, all you had to do was ask.” Derek hesitates, debating.

He’s tipsy, so it’s kind of taking advantage, but he’s the one who offered – so now what?

While Derek argues with himself, the back door opens and light sprays across the deck. “Stiles!” some male voice calls out, “Stiles! Let’s go home! Stiles!!”

Stiles hides behind Derek, who’s mostly concealed. “No, I don’t wanna go with them,” Stiles whispers, his breath hot on Derek’s cheek. Derek turns and whispers for Stiles to ssh. The light from the house helps Derek see what Stiles actually looks like. Night vision only does so much.

His dark hair is short in a buzz cut and he’s got a slightly different face – the nose is wrong, but the honey brown eyes are the same. Derek finds himself staring.

The door shuts and the guy looking for Stiles leaves. As soon as the door shuts, they’re on each other. Stiles tastes like beer and Derek can still kind of taste a hint of cigarette smoke from earlier. He doesn’t care, though, because this is actually happening. Stiles is kissing him – he’s got him in his arms – and suddenly everything clicks into place somehow. Meant to be crosses Derek’s mind for a brief moment before he blocks it out in favor of focusing on kissing Stiles.

They pull apart and Stiles rests his forehead against Derek’s shoulder. “I have been wanting to do that all night,” he confesses. Derek kisses the top of Stiles’ head. “Would it be too sudden if I told you that I think you and I should run away to Canada together?” he asks. Derek laughs.

“We can’t do that.”

“Derek, I don’t exactly have any time for this. I leave in two days.”

“That’s two days. This is now,” Stiles lifts his head and looks at Derek. “Besides, you’ll get arrested if you get caught.” Derek can barely make out the color of Stiles’ eyes in the limited light.

“I could die tomorrow, two weeks, two months, two years, or two hundred years from now,” Stiles says. “And if I were to, I wouldn’t want to without having fucked you,” He doesn’t look embarrassed about being so honest. “Well, actually, you’d be fucking me.”

“Dear god,” Derek groans out. Stiles grins and kisses Derek again. “Do you want to go upstairs?”

“Otherwise we’re going to be very acquainted with your parent’s deck.” Derek snorts a laugh and kisses Stiles again. “Lead the way.”

Derek takes Stiles’ hand and leads him towards the house.

-

Derek wakes up to honey brown.

There’s sun coming in from behind the curtains in his room. Stiles is awake on the pillow next to him, watching him sleep.

“This isn’t weird or anything, right? I mean, I just so happened to wake up before you two minutes ago or so, I wasn’t like, actively watching you sleep or anything I just – “ Derek shuts him up with a kiss.

“It’s okay,” he smiles. Stiles blushes and snuggles closer to Derek under the blankets.

“I hate that I have to leave,” Stiles says absentmindedly. Derek grumbles and brushes their noses together. “Why couldn’t you have been here before?”

“I’ll be here when you get back.”

The unspoken if hangs in the air and Derek can hear the lie in it. Well, it’s practically not a lie. He will be. He always is. Stiles reaches out and touches Derek’s face, brushing his thumb over Derek’s cheek.

“I know it sounds crazy, but I swear to God, I feel like I’ve seen you before. There’s something familiar about you, but I can’t put my finger on it.” Derek kisses his palm. “I wish I could remember. Knowing my luck, I’ll remember it as soon as my dad starts driving me to the base tomorrow.”

“You’re gonna come back,” Derek says, kissing Stiles’ jaw. “You’ll come back and I’ll be here and we’ll pick up where we left off.” Stiles’ face brightens.

“Good,” he pauses. “One more round to hold me over ‘til then?” Derek grins. Stiles grins back before he leans in and kisses him.

-

Derek drives him home later in the day, which turns into around twilight. When he parks in front of Stiles’ house, the teenager leans across the seat and steals a kiss. “I don’t want to say goodbye,” he whines. Derek reaches out and gives his shoulder a squeeze.

“Then don’t.” Stiles smiles sadly and gets out of the car. He bends to look through the rolled down window once he’s out on the sidewalk.

“I’ll see you later, then,” he says with a small wave. Derek nods.

“Yeah.”

Stiles walks into his house, looking over his shoulder every few steps and waving at Derek. He turns and looks back at him until the door is shut. Then Derek pulls away from the curb and drives home.

He walks into his house and finds the evidence from the party is gone. His mother is on the couch watching television.

“Have fun last night?” she asks with a smile. Derek knows she can smell everything. Instead of reacting negatively, Derek nods.

“Yeah, I did.”

“Do I get to meet him, or is this a one-off as your sisters have told me is popular nowadays?” He looks down at his lap.

“He’s going off to fight in the war.”

“Do you think he’ll be back?”

“Not likely.”

“Derek,” his mother reaches out to place a hand on his shoulder. He flinches back without thinking. “Does this have anything to do with that conversation you and I had back in New York?”

Derek turns to look at her with glassy eyes. “I think so. Their eyes were the same.”

She pulls him to her chest and hugs him tight. If she notices her shirt getting wet, she doesn’t say anything.

-

Six and a half months later, Derek answers the door to find a young man standing on the porch with a child next to him. The child hides behind the man’s legs when he opens the door. “It’s okay, Johnny, it’s okay.” He runs a hand through the child’s hair before he looks back at Derek. “I’m sorry. Is – does Derek Hale live here?” Derek freezes.

“Yes, I’m him.”

“Derek, your heart – “ his mom comes into the foyer. Derek can feel his heartbeat skyrocket. He turns and looks at his mother.

“I got it mom, it’s okay.” Derek smiles at her before he looks back at the guy expectantly.

“I’m Donny Stilinski. Can we talk?”

Derek hears his family gathering in the living room. He steps out onto the porch. “Yeah,” he shuts the front door behind him.

-

Donny and Derek sit down on the chairs on the porch and look out at Johnny, who’s playing in the yard. Derek can see the family resemblance that Stiles, Johnny, and Donny all have. The little boy is laughing and perfect content laughing and playing alone.

“When’d the notice come in?” Derek asks breaking the silence. He feels completely numb, though he doesn’t understand why. He knew this was coming.

“Am I that obvious?” Donny asks.

“It’s the only reason a Stilinski would come and find me,” Derek says. “So, when?”

Donny sighs. “Yesterday. My mother refuses to leave her room and my father has decided to drink himself into a stupor. Everyone in the family has just kind of shut down, you know?”

Yeah, Derek thinks. He knows.

“But, I figured I owed it to you to come and tell you. Me and Johnny,” he gestures to the little boy in the yard. The boy waves at his father calling out a ‘Hi, daddy’ and then goes back to his game. “His mother is making sure my sister and my parents are okay. I could slip away if I needed to, and I felt this was important.”

“So, did Stiles mention me?”

“Ritchie didn’t really talk about certain things with me. Guess he couldn’t say anything to my face. But he wrote to me right before he left to go over there and he told me that in case he didn’t make it – “ he trails off. Derek looks over at Donny and notices his glassy eyes. He pretends not to notice.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Derek finally says. And he is. He really, really is. “Your brother was – was a good man.”

“Yeah,” Donny grins. “He was a loud-mouth pain in the ass, but he was my baby brother, you know? I should’ve gone over, not him. He should’ve gone off to college and made something of himself.” He shakes his head and looks at his lap. “He should have stayed here to be with you.”

Derek is kind of taken aback. “Really?”

“Like I said, Ritchie didn’t talk about certain things with me. I mean, I knew the rumors and stuff, heard crap from my parents and what people around town said about him and called him, but I don’t care about that stuff. So, my little brother likes guys, big deal. It’s not like he’s still not the goofy kid that was always trying to steal my comic books when we were younger. Nothing changes knowing his biggest secret – and when he wrote about you, he I could tell he really cared about you. His handwriting was different, like he was hesitant. And he said once that he couldn’t wait to get home to you. I’m sorry he died.”

Derek smiles sadly. Donny returns the smile. “I’m sorry, too.”

They both then look out at the yard to watch little Johnny play with a stick.

-
Derek walks back into the house and his family is hovering in the living room, waiting. He’s about to head up the stairs, to be alone, when Laura steps forward and pulls him into her arms for a hug. He rests his head on her shoulder for a brief moment. Cora joins the hug a moment later. She’s sniffling, like she’s crying, and clings to his back.

When his sisters pull away, his parents take their place. His mother takes Laura’s place and his father takes Cora’s place behind him, only he places a gentle hand on his back rather than hugging him. “You’ll see him again,” his mother whispers to him. “I know you will. When the time is right, you’ll see him again.”

Derek knows she’s right. All he can do is hug her tight and believe her.

-

Forty-two years pass by and Derek’s starting to give up on waiting on Stiles.

Well, to be honest, he’s tired of waiting for him. It’s not like he’s been pining or forcing himself to meet someone new or anything. No, it’s more of a coincidence that he meets her at all.

At least Derek thinks it’s a coincidence.
He meets her at the high school. He’s picking Cora up from class – she’s decided to go to school to avoid suspicion from the townspeople. The woman walks out of the building with Cora and they’re talking animatedly about something. Derek gets out of the car to help Cora with her stuff.

“You must be Derek,” she says. She’s tall, blonde, tan, and really pretty. She’s got a nice smile, too. “Cora’s told me things about you. All good things, I swear.”

“I’d hope so,” Derek finds himself smiling back. What’s with smiles being contagious?

“I’m Kate Argent. I’m subbing for Ms. Blankenship. She’s having a baby, I think.”

“You think?”

“Well, I didn’t listen to the whole voicemail. I just paid attention to the ‘You got a job!’ part.”

Derek finds himself laughing. Why? It wasn’t that funny.

“Well, congratulations on your job, Kate. No matter how temporary, a job is a job.” She nods in agreement.

“Well, hey, here’s a crazy idea. I’m new in town and feel like celebrating. Would you be interested in joining me?” She’s all but biting her lip in anticipation for his answer. In hindsight, he should’ve seen through her act – he’s got two sisters for god’s sake.

“Sure, I’d love to,” Derek says, finding himself feeling giddy and excited when her face lights up with glee.

“Oh great! Here, let me give you my number.” She digs into her purse for a pen and a scrap of paper. “Give me a call later tonight?” She asks as she hands him her number.

“Sure.” He takes the slip of paper and puts it in his pocket.

He calls her that night. They meet up for drinks and for the first time in a while, Derek didn’t dream of honey brown.

-

Two weeks later, Derek comes home to a charred shell of a house and the fire department and sheriff’s department on his lawn.

He gets out of the car and starts running towards the house, only to be stopped by Laura, who nearly tackles him in a hug. She’s crying. Derek can’t understand what’s happened – his mind can’t wrap around it. What just happened?

A man approaches them. Derek recognizes his uniform – he’s the sheriff. The man looks incredibly uncomfortable to be walking up to them, but he also looks really apologetic. “Derek Hale?” he asks. Derek nods. He’s numb again. “I’m very sorry you had to find out about this this way, son.”

“Were there any - ?” Derek can’t force himself to say survivors. He holds tight to Laura. The sheriff shakes his head.

“So far, no. We’ve found several sets of remains, but that’s for another time. Why don’t the two of you come down to the station with me and we’ll get your information. You don’t need to see this next part.”

“Are we suspects?” Derek asks, worried. The sheriff shakes his head again.

“No, of course not, son. As far as we can rule right now, this was an accident,” Derek snorts at this. It’s doubtful that it was an accident – his family was so careful. “We just need to get a list of who’s missing.”

Laura’s sobs have quieted, but she’s still holding on to Derek tight. The sheriff reaches out and places a hand on Derek’s shoulder. Derek can’t pull his eyes from the house, can’t move his feet.

“Come on, son. You’ve seen enough.”

No, Derek thinks, I haven’t seen anything yet. But he allows himself and Laura to be led away to the police cruiser a few feet away from them. He puts them into the back of it and then drives them off towards the police station.

When they walk in, the sheriff gets Laura a blanket because she couldn’t stop shaking the entire ride over. He wraps it around her shoulders and she huddles into it. Derek’s got his arm around her, trying to rub soothing circles on her back but it seems rather pointless. There’s no way he can soothe her – not yet.

They walk to the sheriff’s office and he shuts the door behind them. “Have a seat,” he says, walking around his desk and sitting behind it. He pulls a legal pad from his desk and grabs a pen and starts to fiddle with the pen in his hands. “I don’t even know where to start – these sorts of things don’t happen here.”

Derek sits down, as does Laura, who just huddles into her blanket further. She won’t look at Derek or the sheriff; she’s looking at the floor. Derek doesn’t want to look at the sheriff, so he chooses to look at the man’s desk.

He’s got pictures of his family, a wife and son and then one picture of them alone each. His desk is rather cluttered with little knick knacks, but other than that it is completely normal looking. The name plate on it stares back at Derek as his eyes find it. John Stilinski.

Wait a minute.

“Stilinski?” he finds himself asking aloud. The sheriff nods.

“Yes.”

“As in related to Donny Stilinski?” The sheriff nods again. And Stiles?

“I know that our families had a history, which is why I decided to take personal interest in this,” he explains. “Do you want to make a list of who is missing or a list of possible suspects?”

Derek blinks. “I thought you said this was an accident.”

“I can’t rule anything out right now, but so far, yes, it is considered an accident.”

“Mom and dad were inside,” Laura speaks up. “So was Cora, Uncle Peter, Cooper, Andrea, and Alex. I was,” she pauses, “I was out on a run when I came home to find it on fire and – “ Laura trails off. “I can’t get their screams out of my head.” She hiccups. Derek looks over at her and says nothing to her. He then looks over at the sheriff to see him writing the names down. Then he looks up at the two of them.

“This next list I need is just a first reaction list. Who do you think could do this, assuming it was arson?”

Laura and Derek look at each other. It’s not like their family had any real enemies. Sure, hunters were after them, but they wouldn’t do something like this – they’re much more militant, if not traditional. They’d much rather use silver bullets than fire.

“I don’t understand who would constitute as an enemy,” Laura says. “No one would do this – our family was well liked, everyone loves them.”

“Someone with a grudge. An ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, disgruntled employee – people like that,” the sheriff explains.

“I haven’t dated anyone since Jimmy and that was a few years ago. He ended it,” Laura says. “If anything, I would be the one who was upset.”

“I can’t think of anyone,” Derek says, “and as far as I can tell, my girlfriend is happy with me.”

Derek finds out later how wrong he was. Kate skipped town as soon as word spread about the fire. Derek keeps trying to get ahold of her, but her cellphone number is turned off after the fourth try. She couldn’t do something like this, right? She would never. They were happy together, right?

Four days after the fire, Derek receives a phone call from a blocked number. He answers it and Kate’s on the other end. She sounds like she’s in a car. She sounds happy, wherever she is. When Derek asks her where she is, she laughs and tells him that she’s not coming back.
You’re not supposed to return to the scene of a crime, right, sweetie? She then laughs at his silence and hangs up the phone.

Now Derek knows who killed his family, he had his suspicions before, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

He and Laura head back to New York to regroup.

-

Six years after the fire, Derek meets Stiles again.

Only this time, Derek isn’t happy to see him.

He’s younger than he was the last time Derek saw him. He’s out wandering around in the woods with some other boy. Derek can smell New Wolf all over him. Must be that rogue alpha’s doing. Laura would never bite someone against their will. She’d learnt to control the alpha powers – was actually getting used to them when she went missing.

Beacon Hills is obviously cursed, Derek thinks. Every time he’s been here, someone important to him dies. He needs to find Laura and get the hell out of dodge quick.

Not even newly-incarnated Stiles could make him stay.

But an arrest charge could. Derek finds himself face to face with Sheriff Stilinski a few days later when he’s being arrested and accused of murdering his own sister. It seems that the humans don’t realize that’s who the other half of the body they found on the property is. But Derek can recognize her smell anywhere.

Derek leans back against the uncomfortable backseat of the police cruiser. He’s actually, officially alone now. Fuck.

All of the time he spent alone throughout the years when his family had been alive – he wouldn’t have done that if he knew they’d all be taken away from him. He sighs and looks out the window.

The front passenger side door opens and Derek finds himself face to face with new-Stiles. The boy leans against the cage partition and looks at him with wide honey brown eyes. Derek wants to avert his gaze, but can’t and he doesn’t – he stares back at him, biting back a smile he knows he wants to show and an ‘I missed you’ he knows he wants to say. Especially since he knows this Stiles is the one who put him in cuffs.

“Okay, just so you know, I’m not afraid of you.”

It’s a lie. The teenager’s heart is pounding and he reeks of fear. Derek arches a brow.

“Okay, maybe I am. Doesn’t matter. I just wanna know something. The girl you killed? She was a werewolf. But, she was a different kind, wasn’t she? I mean, she could turn herself into an actual wolf and I know Scott can’t do that. Is that why you killed her?”

Derek is appalled that these people think he killed his own sister. Instead, he leans forward a little. “Why are you so worried about me when it’s your friend who’s the problem?”

Stiles opens his mouth to say something else when the cruiser door opens and Stiles is yanked out of the car. The door gets shut behind him and Derek rolls his eyes as he listens to Stiles attempt to lie to his father.

Derek sighs again and tries to get his wolf under control so he doesn’t keep freaking out about the fact that he’s found him again.

-

After the fiasco with the wolfsbane bullet, seeing Kate back in town, and on top of all of that, Stiles being back around all the time, Derek is convinced the world hates him. To make matters worse, apparently his vegetative-state Uncle Peter is actually the rogue alpha that bit Scott and killed Laura. Surprise! You’re entire family isn’t dead! But it is their fault that your sister died. Derek barely has time to register the whole ‘Uncle Peter-is-actually-evil-thing’ before everything comes to a head with Stiles being held hostage by said evil Uncle and then Kate is back and she’s ready to finish off the last of Derek’s family. When Peter kills her, Derek feels more relieved than anything. He knew he couldn’t do it himself – it’s been a long time since Gettysburg – and he didn’t need another Argent upset with him.

But then the matter of Peter-killing-Laura comes back and Derek knows what he has to do.

With the ever-present group of teenagers’ help, he kills Peter and takes his rightful place as alpha as being the last known member of the Hale pack. He then tells everyone to go home, since the police and the hunters are coming soon. He disappears with his uncle’s body and buries it out on the Preserve. Then he goes for a run.

When Derek comes back, he finds Jackson standing in the yard. He waits for him to come into the house, knowing exactly what the teenaged boy wants. He could smell it on him when they were taking care of Peter earlier – the poor boy’s power-hungry. He gladly obliges when Jackson demands to become a wolf – good. An alpha needs a pack. Even if it is small and consists of just Jackson and Scott, right now. It’s better than nothing.

Once Jackson gets his bite and leaves, acting like Derek didn’t just do him a favor, Derek considers going for another run. He’s got so much pent-up energy from becoming alpha that he doesn’t know what to do with. He’s heading down the stairs, about to open the door when he hears crunch of leaves and can smell the familiar smell of fear and whatever gummy candies Stiles usually keeps in his car. He opens the front door to find Stiles standing on the porch, hand raised to knock.

“Hi,” he says. Derek doesn’t say anything. Stiles pushes past him and walks into the house. “Cheery place you got here.” He looks into the living room and sees the police tape and the blood stain on the floor. “Oh, dude, is this where Allison’s aunt died?”

“What’re you doing here, Stiles?”

Stiles stops trying to look into the crime scene and looks up at Derek. There’s limited light, like there was the night back in 1963, and Derek tries to get that night out of his head. That can’t happen again. This Stiles is different. This Stiles is in love with the red-head-Martin girl.

“I, uh. I guess I just wanted to come and see if you were okay and stuff.” He looks nervous. “I mean, your uncle just died, your ex-girlfriend just died, and you just became an alpha werewolf, so you’ve had a pretty big day.”

“I’m fine,” Derek says. “Are you okay?”

“Aside from probably not sleeping for a solid two years because of the fact that I just assisted with murdering someone, I think I’m good.” Stiles nods to himself. He grows quiet and then asks hesitantly. “How do you handle it?”

“Handle what?”

“Killing someone. How do you handle it?”

“You assume just because I’m a werewolf I’ve killed someone before?”

“No! That’s not – I mean – uh,” Stiles backpedals. “Do you think we’ll ever be okay?”

“We?”

“Yeah, the whole group. Me, you, Scott, Jackson, Allison – do you think we’ll ever be okay?”

“I didn’t realize there was a group.”

“Well, yeah! I mean, the people you commit a group murder with are the people you want to be friends with for life!” Stiles jokes. Derek rolls his eyes. “I mean it, dude. If you need to talk or something, I may not be a licensed therapist, but my best friend is a werewolf and he doesn’t have a filter about anything. I might be able to help you work through some stuff.”

“Scott’s been a werewolf for two months.”

“I mean it. No filter whatsoever, man.” Stiles nods gravely. Derek rolls his eyes.

“Is this the only reason why you’re here or did you want something else from me?” Derek asks. “I am alpha now. I can bite you, if you want.”

“What? No thanks. What is with you alphas asking me if I want to be bitten? Do I have it tattooed on my face or something? Is there some secret werewolf scent of ‘wants the bite’ or something?”

“Just checking. If you don’t have anything else for me, I suggest you get out.”

“Why? I thought we were bros.”

“Hardly. Besides, brand new alpha, remember? It’s probably not a good idea for you to be around me for a while.”

“Why? You seemed perfectly fine earlier. Are you having issues controlling your blood lust or something? Like, right now? Do I need to go right now? Oh god, please don’t chase after me if you see me running to my car.”

“No, it’s not just right now. It’s just in general. You’re distracting.”

“I’m distracting?” Stiles looks confused. “What, do I smell good or something?”

Yes, Derek thinks. He says nothing. Stiles grins.

“If I didn’t know any better, Derek, I’d say you have a bit of a crush on me.” He’s grinning ear-to-ear at the thought of it. Derek grumbles and stays silent.

He doesn’t deny it.

Stiles’ eyes widen and his mouth falls open. “Oh my god.”

“Stiles.”

“Oh my god you didn’t deny it. I’m - oh my god.” He looks like he’s torn between grinning and staring with his mouth agape. “Someone actually finds me attractive for once and it’s you, of all people.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“I mean, look at me!” Stiles gestures to himself. “I am clearly not even in the same league as you. You’re so far out of my league you might as well be in a completely different solar system, okay. I am a small, pathetic, awkward, still-growing-into-my-everything human and you, a big, powerful werewolf - ‘scuse me, alpha, like me?”

“You’re right, there’s something wrong with me.” Derek says dully. Stiles is blushing and still completely blown away.

“I mean, I know my crush on you is understandable with your everything but you look at my everything and you want it?”

Derek arches a brow. “What happened to the stupid confidence you usually have about yourself?”

“It’s all bravado. I mean, really?” Stiles steps closer to Derek and his heartbeat is going wild and he smells kind of like curiosity, fear, and a hint of arousal all into one. “You want to do stuff with me?“Derek, if you wanted to kiss me, all you had to do was ask.” Stiles’ voice from all of those years ago floats through his mind.

This time, Derek doesn’t hesitate. Instead, he grabs Stiles by the shoulders, pushes him up against an exposed beam, and kisses him. Stiles makes a surprised noise before he wraps his arms around Derek’s neck and kisses him back.

Derek feels the click of everything falling into place again and this time he knows he’s not going to let go.

Epilogue
Tags: character: derek hale, character: stiles stilinski, fandom: teen wolf, fic: au, fic: oneshot, pairing: stiles/derek
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