akiru_chan (akiru_chan) wrote,
akiru_chan
akiru_chan

[fic] Nobody's Fault But Mine (Chapter One)

Title: Nobody's Fault But Mine
Author: akiru_chan
Rating: Mature
Genre and/or Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Spoilers: Spoilers for most of season two.
Warnings: Angst, Sexual Tension, Knotting, Biting, and all around akwardness.
Word Count: 6,877
Summary: Stiles has always been good at ignoring his problems. Preferring to wait them out until they are nothing but a distant memory. But when a midnight stroll leads to a nasty scratch to his side, courtesy of Derek, Stiles finds that some things just can't be ignored, not that he doesn't try. Better hearing and improved eyesight, that's something he can ignore for now. The sudden urge to touch and smell Derek? Not so much.



Nobody's Fault But Mine

1.
__________

It’s a Wednesday, a school night, and Stiles is still trying to make sense of why he’s in the middle of the woods. It’s November, there is sleet and mud and cold wetness all around. There is nothing Stiles finds more unpleasant than having his feet freeze inside cold soggy socks while trying to regain some feeling back into his hands and face.

The most disconcerting presence, be not the actual cold, but the overhanging moon peering in through the bare branches of trees. It’s full and wide and everything Stiles does not want to be seeing tonight. Beacon Hills isn’t exactly the best place to be enjoying moonlit strolls. Not unless you’re into running for your life with the potential of getting your face bitten off. Probably makes for a good workout, but Stiles prefers less life threatening exercise regimes. He gets enough of the life threatening thing in everyday matters.

A howl cuts through the night pausing his forward march. And that right there, would most likely be the reason why he’s being partially insane and traipsing through the woods. Stiles halts, eyes carefully grazing over the dark recesses and really hoping he doesn’t see something staring back.

Stiles really isn’t sure who it is causing the havoc and sending out the town’s people with their pitchforks and torches. The town’s people specifically, in this case, being the Beacon Hills’ police. Which unfortunately defaults his father’s involvement.

It was closing in around midnight when his dad had knocked on Stiles’ door. There had been a call to the station, something about a wild animal terrorizing the Warren’s chickens and spooking the horses. Stiles hadn’t been too concerned until his dad informed him that Mark Warren seemed pretty convinced that it was a wolf stalking his property.

That had left Stiles to frantically grapple for his phone once he was sure his dad was out the front door and pulling out of the driveway. A text to Scott showed that he was currently being bored and doing rather un-werewolf like stuff; waiting out the full moon via X-box. That crossed Scott off the list, not that Stiles was surprised. Scott hadn’t turned killer wolf in a long while, not since joining Derek’s pack.

Next Stiles had been grudgingly left to text Derek. The response he got was anything but reassuring.

I’m taking care of it.

Yup, things were going to be just peachy tonight; heavy doses of sarcasm included. He wasn’t even sure which of Derek’s dream team was currently playing big bad wolf to the town’s folk. In retrospect it probably didn’t even matter. Stiles could only grab his hoodie and pull on his shoes before bounding down the stairs, into his Jeep, and eventually finding himself in his current predicament.

Another howl, this time closer, came from what could possibly be the north. On the bright side, Stiles could infer that the werewolf in question had moved away from the Warren’s farm and thus away from his father. It was a rather large blessing, and cause for some of the panic to wear away. That still didn’t put Stiles out of the line of fire.

Something was telling him that he probably could have thought things through a little better. When Stiles had ran from his house, his only thoughts had been on keeping his father safe. How he was going to do that really hadn’t come to mind. Even now Stiles isn’t too sure how he’s going to keep himself safe.

In hindsight, this is probably one of those situations better left to Derek. They’re his pack, his responsibility. Not to mention he has the means to take them on. Unlike Stiles. The whole no fangs and claws thing isn’t really a helping point.

“Why can’t things be normal,” he groans with some ounce of irony. If you’d asked Stiles a year ago, he’d been more than happy to write a dissertation on the cons of normality and how it was slowly eating away at the hearts of our youth. Tonight, Stiles can’t help but wish he was currently sitting with a pile of homework in front of him; being the very definition of normal. Where were the good old days when his biggest fear was never getting to play first-line during lacrosse? “Fucking werewolves.” Nothing but life ruiners.

A twig snaps somewhere in front of Stiles. It’s loud enough that he can cross out it being a harmless rabbit. If he is lucky then maybe in a few short seconds he will see Bambi frolicking out from the mist and trees. Unfortunately Stiles knows he is rarely lucky. He decides then that he’s toying with his fate just a little too much tonight and turns on his heel. The Jeep can’t be more than a few paces back, or more than a few, but who’s really counting?

Stiles speeds up, not because of any possibly bloodthirsty beast being of his tail, no, but because it is probably a good idea that Stiles beats his dad home. Right now Stiles really wishes, hopes, that his dad will be the scariest thing he faces tonight. He ignores everything around him. The twig snapping increasing, growing closer, and was that a growl?

Stopping, which is probably another thing to add to the list of dumb things he’s done tonight, Stiles listens. He doesn’t dare turn around and... Yeah that was a growl.

“Hey there...” Stiles turns, squinting through the murky fog. He can just barely make out the blonde curls of Erica’s hair. “uh... Erica,” he greets as pleasantly as he can while trying not to be too put off by the continuous string of growls coming from her.

The instinct to run is high. Taking a step back and Stiles is contemplating a quick and timely escape. He isn’t so dense as to think he can outrun a werewolf. Scott has proven that point many times in the past and Stiles isn’t about to have it reconsolidated. Not now when his tag partner is less than friendly. This isn’t a harmless schoolyard game.

Another step back and Erica is advancing, or stalking, definitely stalking. Stiles is man enough to admit that Erica scares him on a good day. This though, this was leaving Stiles’ shaking in his soggy wet sneakers. He could not ignore the fact that he’s being hunted. Animal Planet had taught him that; this situation reminding him of the time he watched a tiger stalking after a helpless taper.

Stiles would not be the taper. It’s not within his job description. Tag along, sidekick, the brains, those he can deal with. Werewolf chew toy. Not so much.

With how slowly Erica is advancing, Stiles is able to gain a small sliver of hope that he might be able to work this backward retreat all the way to his Jeep. It’s a stupid, really stupid, hope but it’s all he has at the moment. There is at least a mile or more of forest between himself and his means of escape, and that is only if he’s heading in the right direction.

A glance behind him is out of the question. Never turn your back on a wild animal. Stiles knew that much at least. The tiger comes to mind again, the poor taper jumped from behind. Keeping his eyes locked on Erica seems like a brilliant idea, until halfway past a gnarled oak has Stiles falling back onto the forest floor; his heel having caught on a twisted root.

The trigger is instantaneous. He hears the roar of Erica, the crunch of twigs and leaves as she comes for the attack. Stiles expects a blow to his front, claws in his chest and jaws tearing into his throat. What he gets is something wholly different if not any less painful. The blow comes from his left, sweeping him up and sending him out further into the underbrush of the forest and out of Erica’s path.

Rocks and branches meet his back, and the pain is there. He sees white for only a moment, sight coming back in a quick blessing. What he sees unsettles him just as much as it grants him some form of relief. Erica is pinned and bloodied beneath a black mass of muscle and might. The shining red eyes tells Stiles all he needs to know.

“Derek,” is all Stiles has to whisper before Derek’s massive head is turning and sending a threatening growl towards him. The meaning behind the bellow does not go unheard from Stiles. He shakes off the shock of seeing Derek in full out Alpha-Mode, and darts to his feet.

It’s an ungraceful exit, but Stiles never was good on his feet. He’s too intent on making it back to the safety of his jeep to worry about any pretenses that he knows he does not have. Every jagged branch reaches out to scratch at his face, his arms. The pain is only a dull throb next to the adrenaline coursing through him. It’s what keeps him going, on and on.

The moment he spots the clearing where he has parked his beat up Jeep is the most significant accomplishment in his high school career. Tomorrow he might have to rethink that claim, but for now Stiles cannot be happier. It feels like a tremendous win for himself. He breaths in heavily, relief and fatigue catching up to him as he slides into the driver’s seat.

Keys jingle as Stiles’ hands shake. It takes a good minute before he has the ignition going and another before he feels composed enough to tackle driving. There is a moment when he thinks about waiting; letting his body calm and come down from the high, but it’s late. If Stiles wants to save himself from a lecture from his father, then it would be in his best favor to leave now. It’s probably already too late, but no harm, no foul.

When the tires bump off the dirt and gravel and up onto the smooth asphalt of the main road, Stiles breathes just a little easier. His heart beats a continuous thump-thump-thump in his chest, but the tightness there eases. It’s late, the clouds in the sky covering the light of the moon making everything just a little darker.

There is an even buzz in Stiles’ side pocket as his phone vibrates, announcing a text. Taking his eyes off the road for only a moment, not that he would ever admit to actually checking a text while driving, he fishes the phone from his pocket and fiddles with the screen.

It’s from his father. A simple ‘Heading to the station to write the report. Won’t be home till early morning.’ is written on the screen. Well that seemed to put Stiles’ mad dash home on a lower level of urgency. Speeding was one less law he’d have to worry about breaking tonight.

The drive home is quicker than Stiles would have thought. He might have spaced out somewhere between the movie theater and the grocery store, but that is all speculation on his part. Right now he can’t help but stare at his house. Every light is off, giving the air of a family long since having went to bed.

Stiles sighs, cutting the engine and slipping from the Jeep. A pained hiss is held back between clenched teeth and he knows he will be feeling this in the morning. With the adrenaline seeping from every last pore, Stiles can feel the scraps on his back, his face, and arms. Everything hurts, but the sudden burning in his side pulls Stiles’ immediate concern.

Biting down on his lip, he makes his way towards the door. It’s already unlocked, Stiles not having paused to bother to lock it in his haste to leave. It doesn’t really matter, no one would be stupid enough to break into the Sheriff's home.

Stumbling through the door, Stiles doesn’t bother turning on the lights. He knows his house by heart; a little dark not being the greatest hindrance in the world at the moment. Everything is quiet, save for his labored breathing. The stairs are a nuisance with Stiles’ legs already sore and shaking from the running and walking he had been doing all night. He trips once, or maybe twice, although he’s reluctant to admit to either slips having happened.

It never felt so good to be back in his room. It’s cool and calming and for the first time Stiles is able to let the entirety of himself relax and unwind. His hoodie is pulled off and thrown over his desk, shoes being kicked off next between stumbled steps to his bed. The mattress is soft and feels so fucking good. It’s almost tempting to fall asleep right then and there.

Temptation being apparently too much to resist at the moment, Stiles yawns and curls into himself. Muscles ache, stretches of skin burn, but it’s all too much and not exactly enough at the same time. A confusing medley of feelings that can only bleed way to and exhausted sleep, haunted only by the hope that everything will be better in the morning.

And so Stiles sleeps.

----------

The morning comes, quick and bright as if it had never left. Stiles moans into his pillow, mouth sickly dry, head and body pounding. Harsh beeping completes the horrid experience, and Stiles doesn’t seem inclined to move just yet to set off his alarm. Just moving a finger seems like too big of an effort.

“Shut up... please,” he pleads to the alarm, as if that would work at all. Stiles manages a glare, but not much more than that. Heaving a huff that turns into a groan, he stretches out his body. There is a crack that he’s sure is his backbone, coupled with a few million other discomforts.

Out of all the days he could be waking up to post werewolf attack issues, it had to be a school day. Seriously, Stiles was going to implement a weekend only rule. It doesn’t help that his shirt is clinging to him in the most unsightly way and he’s pretty sure there is a bruise the size of Texas blooming on his side.

The alarm is finally turned off, only to make room for the buzz of Stiles phone. Checking the device, there is a small army of missed texts. The majority of them are from Scott. No real surprise there. A few of the newer ones even question Stiles’ adventures last night. Apparently Scott had been informed of Erica’s little midnight romp.

Aside from Scott’s, there is one from his Dad, and almost surprisingly one from Derek. Stiles clicks on it curiously. It’s short, blunt, and to the point. Nothing surprising there.

Are you hurt?

Stiles wasn’t one to see concern where it wasn’t, but it pleases him that Derek is seemingly taking responsibility for what had happened last night. He smiles and tosses the phone to the side to give himself room to fully look over the state of his body. Yeah, he was hurt, but the extent of which was still unknown.

There are minor scratches on his arms, nothing to worry about. It’s when he turns to address the burn at his side, that Stiles feels his stomach twist. The dark stain against the purple of his tee is unmistakable. He had dealt with blood enough to recognize it in any state.

With ginger touches, Stiles peals of the shirt. It sticks to the wound and he winces as it’s pulled away; some of the cut reopening. He can feel fresh blood rolling down his skin and soaking into his jeans and boxers. Too much blood it feels like, and it gives Stiles a disquieting feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Taking a deep breath Stiles glances down to eye the bloody mess that is now his waist and hip. The scratch is distinct, deep and clearly infected. The skin is puckered an angry purple-red. It needs to be cleaned and covered, a task Stiles is reluctant to undertake. He had seen injuries of this caliber, but with knowing that this was inflicted upon his own body sends a twisting nausea to his gut.

Stiles takes deep breaths and hardens himself to the task at hand. He isn’t about to faint from a little scratch. A scratch from a werewolf, he reminds himself. From Derek. He glances quickly to his abandoned phone, remembering the text he had received sometime during the night or early morning.

Are you hurt? It brings a grim smile to Stiles lips but he quickly picks up his phone and types a hasty reply.

I’m excellent. Got home in one piece.

He’s not sure why he lies, but with everything going on, Stiles figures that Derek could use one less thing to feel guilty about. A similar message is sent to Scott and the phone is tossed once more on the bed, being ignored in favor of tending to the scratch. Or Gash, but scratch sounds slightly less urgent.

Wryly Stiles thinks that it’s good that it was a scratch instead of a bite. He’s not too sure if he’s ready to join the hairy mutts. The thought doesn’t seem to settle well and Stiles is forced to think of more pressing matters; like not bleeding all over the carpet.

So instead he moves and proceeds to bleed all over the bathroom and counter. By the time he is finished cleaning and covering the gashing scratch, he has ruined two towels and left a suspicious stain of the far right edge of the shower curtain. One can only hope that his dad doesn’t question it.

His side still burns, but it’s growing into a dull throb that eases as Stiles busies himself in getting ready and getting to school. It’s still another normal, or abnormal, day. Nothing can be quite normal when your best friend is a werewolf.

Yet with every randomly timed throb of his side, Stiles can’t ignore the sinking feeling in his stomach. It’s like a foreboding, a tickle of wrongness in the very back of his mind. He heads out the door none the less, pushing the feelings to the side and promptly ignoring them. After all, it’s what he does best.

----------

“You smell like blood.” Of course that would be the first thing out of Scott’s mouth when Stiles meets him in front of the school that morning. He almost berates himself for not thinking about the fact that werewolves have the whole epic sense of smell thing going for them. Not to mention the fact that his best friend happens to be a werewolf, so of course he’d be able to smell Stiles blood from a mile away. Of fucking course.

There isn’t much to do on the issue, shrug it off and try to avert Scott’s attention seems like the best bet. But Stiles just smirks and tries laughing it off. “Got a few scrapes running for my life through the woods,” he says. “Same old, same old.”

The tension in Scott’s shoulders seems to relax and Stiles releases a breath. No need to get anyone worked up over a silly little scratch, deep or not. It isn’t like Stiles needs people looking at him like some fragile little girl. Sure he’s human. He gets beat up, knocked around, broken, but he can take it. Sort of comes with the job description of being best friends with a werewolf. It’s not something he can’t handle, and he doesn’t need anyone thinking as much.

“What happened anyway?” They make it to their lockers, well Scott’s at least. Stiles doesn’t bother much with lockers; not when he can fit just about everything he needs in his backpack, and borrow anything else from Scott. “I just get a text from Derek asking if I‘ve heard from you, and then nothing from you till this morning”

Once upon a time Stiles would have been thrilled that Scott and Derek were actually talking to one another in a civil manner. Ecstatic in fact, and he has been since Scott joined the pack. Up till this point Stiles hadn’t had an issue, at least not until he became one of those things Derek seemed to be talking to Scott about.

Huffing, he falls back against the lockers with a metallic rumble. Might as well give the skinny, he thinks. What could it really hurt at this point? If Scott didn‘t hear it from Stiles, then he‘d surely hear it from Derek, if not Erica. “Dad got a call last night. People really should learn to contain their emergencies to daylight hours. Or evil just needs to learn to sleep. There was some disturbance, a wolf…” he trails off here, looking to Scott who seems rather interested, which is something Stiles supposes. “Well, Dad leaves and I sort of panic. Full moon and all. Couldn’t believe it was an actual wolf. Can’t be that lucky. That’s why I texted you. You haven’t wolfed out during the full moon since you joined the pack, so I wasn’t too worried about it being you. Had to make sure though.”

“It’s fine,” Scott says, like he needs to accept some unsaid apology.

“I texted Derek next,” Stiles continues, as if never having been interrupted. “Bastard just tells me he’s taking care of it. Like that settles my nerves at all. Next thing I know, I’m out the door and driving. I’ll admit, not my most ingenious moment, but I’d rather I be the one to run into a werewolf than my dad who has no clue they’re lurking out there. And of course I get just what I ask for. Man, Erica scared me before, but seeing her all fangs and claws? Not what I want to run into in a dark forest. She stalked me for a bit, and then Derek comes swooping in, knocking me on my ass. He better not be expecting a thank you. I’m going to be sore for a week.”

Scott is laughing and shaking his head by the end of it. “You’re lucky that scratches and bruises are all you have. Erica’s a bitch when it comes to getting her claws in you. I hate it when Derek puts me up against her during training.”

That’s an understatement. Stiles has seen some of the scratches Erica has left on Scott, the few times Stiles bothered to tag along for ‘training’ sessions. Even if Scott healed quickly enough, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

“It’s fine. I came out of it just peachy; like a cat. Nine lives and all.” Perhaps cat isn’t the best thing to compare himself with when dealing with werewolves, but what the hell. Stiles can roll with it.

For a moment Scott looks almost skeptical but in a blink of an eye it’s gone, replaced with a small smile that Stiles knows far too well. Thank god for small favors, for around the corner he sees Allison walking toe to toe with Lydia. Stiles can breath easily knowing the conversation is over, Scott pushing it out of his mind in favor of happy hormonal Allison thoughts. It’s puppy love in the most literal sense. Stiles can’t even laugh about it.

“Boys,” Lydia says as they pass. It’s almost sad how Allison makes it a point to ignore them, sparing Stiles a small smile that he knows would have been targeted towards Scott if only she could.

Stiles grins, big and bright. “Hey Lydia, Allison.”

They continue down the hall, falling into the throng of student’s bodies. Scott is now wilting beside him and when did everything begin falling apart? Life was so fucked up. The having a werewolf as a best friend thing was the least of Stiles problems at the moment. And when did that even happen? Now Stiles is up to his neck with kanima, psycho hunters, and realizing his hometown is a monster magnet.

“Come on, buck up. We’ve got practice, and you’ll see her tonight.” Stiles slaps Scott on the back, the only reassurance he can give, short of pulling out the hug card. It seems to do the trick at the very least. One of them has to be in high spirits. Not when Stiles knows the world of hurt he’s going to be in during practice.

By the end of today, he has a feeling he’s going to need Scott returning the favor.

----------

Practice is hell. Stiles spends more time with his back on the field and looking up to the clouds than actually doing the drills. It’s a pretty day, and he’s pretty sure there’s a bunny shaped cloud that turned into a dolphin. Informing Coach Finstock of this earns him the bench and Stiles isn’t too displeased with this.

As far as miracles go, his side isn’t half bad. He’ll have to rewrap and clean the wound after his shower and before going home. Preferably after Scott has left. During lunch Stiles had snuck into the nurses office and borrowed some gauze and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. They would do the trick.

“Long night?”

And here it goes again. Isaac sits next to him, devilish grin and all in place. Stiles wonders if this is going to be the topic of choice for everyone he talks to today.

“I’m sure you already know the answer to that,” he says, pulling off his gloves and placing them and his lacrosse stick between himself and Isaac. There is a message in the action, one that Stiles prays to get across, but there isn’t much hope in it. Isaac just continues to lean across the space, looking inclined to talk this out.

After a moment Isaac pulls back, shrugs his shoulders and pops his neck. “Erica’s sorry you know.” There is a flippancy there, like he doesn’t really care about it one way or another, but feels the need to speak it none the less. “Derek roughed her up quite a bit when he caught up with her. I don’t think he was too happy with situation either. She’s still healing.”

That would explain why Stiles hadn’t seen her in any of the classes they usually shared. “She actually said sorry?”

Isaac actually looks a little sheepish then. “Not in so many words, but the meaning was there.” Which sounded about right.

“Well tell her to rest easy. No grudge has been held today. I still have all my limbs and control over my bladder functions. No harm done,” he says, sharing a laugh between himself and Isaac before Coach seems to catch wind of possible fun times happening off the field and calls them back.

Stiles whines but somehow gets through five more drills, and six laps around the field before finding salvation in the locker room showers. He’s the last to get in, the throb in his side slowing him down and keeping him on the field while the rest of the team had disappeared. It’s the way he wants it. Scott is rushing to tug a shirt over his wet head of hair, muttering a quick good-bye as he does so. A group project in Chem. means he’s being forced to have interactions with Allison. Or so that’s what is being told to the Argents. It’s a date as far as Stiles is concerned, but he’ll keep that to himself.

The showers are thankfully vacant, although probably long since running out of hot water. Stiles doesn’t mind, preferring cool water to wash over his damaged side than anything too scorching. He pulls off his pads and gear, placing them on a bench and then starting on his shirt and under-armor. Fresh air feels good on his heated skin, goosebumps trailing up his back and down his arms. He shivers, looking down at the white plain of gauze taped to his waist.

With careful hands, he peels away at the medical tape. It’s just like ripping off a band-aid. Just more of it, he thinks sardonically. The bandaging is crinkled up into a messy ball and promptly tossed away. Stiles doesn’t want to see just how much blood, because there is no way there isn’t, has seeped into the layers of white padding.

It’s a nerve-wracking process. He breathes in deep and looks down to his side, hoping this morning was a deluded dream on his behalf. And what he sees is pleasantly not what he had expected. The scratch is there, all claw marks, but it has since receded in its swelling. The cuts are clean, and a healthy color; no longer red and angry. They are scabbed, but not disconcertingly so. Stiles is not a doctor, but even he can surmise that this is a good sign.

He is healing, and probably has little worry of infection. Scarring even seems implausible at this point. It’s enough to put a smile on his lips, and he finds a little bounce in his steps as he makes it into the shower. There is still need to clean and cover the scratch, but just knowing it is healing is enough for Stiles at the moment.

The water is cold, more so than he had originally planned, but it works. He’s in and out in record time, but somehow feels even more refreshed for it. Toweling off, Stiles snags some sports tape from Finstock’s office, it’s not like he’ll notice a few inches missing, and begins working on recovering his side. The alcohol and gauze are pulled from his backpack, and splayed out on the bench.

Stiles grits his teeth as the alcohol nips at the few areas of the scratch that are still slightly open. It’s not as bad as this morning, but it still stings. Quickly, he dabs the surrounding area dry and places the squared pieces of gauze of the wound. The blue sports tape is adhered, and that is that. All done, and looking good. If Stiles can say so himself.

Everything is quickly packed up, excess gauze thrown and the alcohol capped and back in his bag. Stiles looks around once more, before slipping on a pair of boxers, his jeans, and a plain green t-shirt. He feels good, relaxed and rejuvenated. There is barely an ache in his side, and his muscles are feeling well used but not painfully so. Amazing what a good workout, plus shower, can do.

There is a little prickle of something in the back of his mind, a precognition to something foul, but nothing that Stiles can put his finger on. He shrugs it off, and slings his backpack over his shoulder. Why ruin the mood by dwelling. Things are good, so he does not worry. He doesn’t see the need.

----------

It’s well after four, pressing five, when Stiles makes it home. The driveway is empty, his dad on duty, and Stiles doesn’t have the heart to wonder just what case probably has his dad running around in circles. There is too much guilt there, knowing that every answer his dad is looking for is tucked away with his son. Stiles can see what all his lies are doing to his father, and that’s all he needs to feel that cold twist in his gut. Things would be so much easier if he could just come clean, but there was more than just himself to worry about. It wasn’t just his secret.

The house feels empty when he makes his way inside, but it isn’t something he’s so unaccustomed to. He’s quick to fall into a routine; shoes off by the door, backpack dropped on the first step of stairs, and Stiles makes a quick line to the kitchen. As is customary, during that odd time between lunch and dinner, Stiles finds himself hungry. He’ll always blame it on practice, and also on the fact that he’s a growing boy. Probably the reason why he’s now forced to do most of the grocery shopping. You empty the pantry, you fill the pantry.

Pilfering through the refrigerator and pantry, Stiles unearths a jar of peanut butter, the chunky kind, and some strawberry jelly. Nothing like a good old PB and J sandwich. The bread is already on the counter, and Stiles slides it along to collide with a muffled thump against his gathered ingredients as he grabs a clean plate from the dishwasher.

Stiles gets to work, his stomach seemingly not able to wait. It growls, sounding eerily close to that of the werewolves he calls friends, albeit some reluctantly. A laugh escapes him as he pulls four slices of bread, plus the neglected heal, from the bag, placing them on his plate and slathering them up. He ends up with two sandwiches plus a half; the heal folded over upon itself. It’s a PB and J taco, and no one will ever be able to tell Stiles otherwise.

The PB and J taco won’t last the trek up the stairs. It’s already half eaten by the time Stiles shoves the remainder of it into his mouth to free up his hand and snatch his backpack. Taking two stairs at a time, he pushes through his bedroom door; backpack thrown to the side of his desk and plate more gently place beside his Macbook.

He’s got homework, but nothing that needs his immediate attention. It allows him some time to unwind and relax. Maybe he can do some research of the supernatural kind, or just actually do something normal for once and get caught up on one of his online games. Unfortunately the latter seems out of the question. A quick plop then spin in his desk chair has him coming face to face with Derek.

A heart attack wasn’t something Stiles had down on his to-do list, but seeing Derek Hale wasn’t penciled in either. Stiles manages a frown, focusing on that opposed to his racing heart. The man has a natural talent as a creeper, like in the future Olympic gold medalist sort of way. He’s pretty sure Derek’s the type of man mother’s hide their children from.

“One of these days I’m going to actually lock my window. I’m determined to break you of this one way or another, mainly for the sake of my physical and mental health. It’s all repetition, repetition; you’ll learn eventually.” Derek doesn’t even humor him with a glare, his face stays all serious and stiff. It buffers Stiles’ mood and he instantly deflates, looking a little more resigned than he’d like. “Seriously. There is a thing called a door, or better yet, a phone. Doesn’t take much to send a text… anything to give me a heads up that you’re going to be playing Creepy McCreeper in my room.”

That earns Stiles a small snort and the shake of Derek’s head. It’s enough and it pleases Stiles a little more than it should. He covers the smile he feels growing by taking a quick bite of a slice of his sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches always seem to hit the spot. Now they also seem to serve as a means to ignore grumpy werewolves.

Unfortunately, Derek didn’t seem to like being ignored in favor of peanut butter and jelly goodness. The plate is quickly snatched out from beneath Stiles’ nose and is halfway across the room before he could holler a protest. Instead Stiles can only settle a glare on Derek as he sits far too comfortably on Stiles’ bed and examines the after school snack for himself.

“You can’t go stealing a man’s PB and J!” Stiles squawks indigently.

Derek can only send him a rather unimpressed look and leaves it at that. He seems far too interested in the sandwiches, and Stiles almost yells when Derek begins finishing off what’s left on the plate.

The plate is polished off, not even a piece of crust surviving the onslaught. Let it never be said that werewolves weren’t little pigs when it came to food. Scott could probably devour a whole cow if given half the chance. It almost scared Stiles at times. What if he ever came on the menu? And the punch line there, was that just last night it had really been the case.

After another moment of silence, Derek finally opens his mouth, and Stiles thinks that perhaps they are finally on their way to getting to the point. One step closer to getting Derek back out the window and out of Stiles’ house. “You don’t strike me as a crunchy peanut butter person.” And that really wasn’t what Stiles was expecting and what is he even supposed to say to that?

“Is that a problem?”

Derek just shrugs and places the empty plate next to him on the bed. “No.” There’s a pause, and Stiles thinks that’s all he’s getting. “I like it better myself.”

Stiles never does know what to do during these rare moments when Derek lets slip that he not actually a violent creeper werewolf all the time. It’s almost hard to see him having normal aspects of his life, like having a preference in peanut butter, liking Dr. Pepper over Coke, or even which breakfast cereal he prefers. It’s enough to remind Stiles that Derek is human in many aspects, and that right there gives him pause.

“Why are you here?” Stiles sobers quickly, wanting to get to the heart of the matter before his mind goes gallivanting off to god knows where again. “Besides to eat my sandwiches.” That Stiles can’t help but pointedly add.

Silence stretches on, and Stiles watches closely. Derek looks unconcerned, face blank. There is a faint thump-thump that Stiles vaguely registers. It’s even, but growing more frequent, and he wonders if it’s his heart. There is something unsettling about the sound, but before Stiles can focus fully on it, Derek is opening his mouth and speaking.

“I needed you to look into something for me. Figured you could get me the information quicker than having Isaac or Boyd.” Derek says.

The thump-thump stutters, almost unnoticeable, but it startles Stiles and suddenly the spell breaks and the world at large comes swimming back to him. It’s almost like coming out of a dream and he shakes his head. Everything seems wrong, in that way where his skin feels almost too tight, and Stiles can only stare with furrowed brows at Derek.

With a sureness that leaves him reeling, Stiles accuses Derek with wide eyes. “You’re lying!” He doesn’t know how he knows, just that it is so.

The out burst seems to startle Derek. He looks a little off kilter, mouth opening before closing with a sharp click. He’s frowning, a look Stiles sees far too often now. That look that seems to be trying to piece together the enigma that is Stiles. Truth be told, Stiles doesn’t like the look, especially when it’s laced with suspicion like it is now.

All false pretenses seem to melt from Derek, and he’s standing now, looking serious and all business. “Did you get hurt last night.” There is something more to those words. Something that Derek isn’t saying.

Stiles just looks up annoyed. “I’m fine. Nothing to worry about.” He’s extremely glad for cleaning the scratch before coming home. With how it’s scabbed over, there is little worry of Derek smelling blood outside of the smell of soap and disinfectant. “Really, I’m fine.” And thank god that isn’t a lie.

Derek’s still looking at him skeptically. He shifts his gaze from Stiles and then to his own hands, flexing them under his scrutiny. It’s an odd action, almost thoughtful, but Stiles disregards it as just another weird Derek thing.

“Next full moon,” Derek begins after a moment. “Stay inside.”

Stiles can only scoff at that. “Maybe next time, don’t let your pups out for midnight strolls to scare the townsfolk.”

Of course Stiles doesn’t get a reply to that, just a simple nod and another order to hold himself up in his room next month. It’s pointless, Derek must know this. Stiles isn’t going to listen to him if it’s a matter of life or death. But Stiles lets Derek leave thinking that he might be smart for once and listen to reason.

As Derek slips through the window, slipping it shut behind him, Stiles can only sit and watch. For a moment he contemplates going through with his threat and actually locking his window for once. Seconds pass in silent debate. He almost gets up, and is half a minute away from hurrying over and following through. It’s then that the sinking feeling in his gut settles in and he leans back further, putting more space between him and the possibility of locking the window. Locking it and keeping Derek out. With a twirl of his chair, and without a second thought, Stiles puts his back to the window and sets his sights on his computer; he has homework to do. Preferably before his dad gets home.

Behind him, he allows the window to remain unlocked, giving Derek a means of entrance, and Stiles doesn’t spare the time to wonder why.

__________

|Chapter Two|




Tags: sterek, teen wolf
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