akiru_chan (akiru_chan) wrote,
akiru_chan
akiru_chan

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

Title: Nobody's Fault But Mine (3/?)
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.
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.




3.
__________

It’s been an hour, Stiles thinks, and he’s no less accepting of the truth now, sitting in his room, than he was the hour before, an emotional wreck on the forest floor. Derek is there, quiet but comforting in a corner of the room. Stiles doesn’t want him there, but it seems far too hard to voice that now. He has too many questions, and nothing makes sense, not when he adds it all up together. Too many holes in too many theories, leading off to one dark truth.

“I’m not…” Stiles swallows, his tongue feels sluggish and heavy. “How can I be? It was just a scratch.” There hadn’t been a bite. Only an accident of Stiles’ own making. He wants so much to push all the blame onto Derek. It used to be so easy, back when he and Scott were still trying to categorize Derek as the bad guy. If something went wrong, all fingers could be pointed towards Derek. Simple as that.

Now, Stiles can’t bring himself to even try. When he dares to look up, glance half heartedly in Derek’s direction, Stiles can see the guilt there. It’s already too much. Stiles can’t pile anymore on top of what Derek already carries. The hard truth of it is, Stiles has no one to blame but himself.

He shouldn’t have been running through the forest that night. Not with the moon full and knowing what dangers are lurking within the darkness. Like so many other times, he should have put a little bit more trust in Derek. Erica was a part of his pack; she was his responsibility, not Stiles’. There were more ways Stiles could have kept his dad safe if only he had thought to spare a moment to think things through.

It really was nobody’s fault but his own, and he will have to lay in this bed of his own making.

Picking up the pieces of himself, Stiles calms his racing heart and pulls himself back together. This isn’t him, he is stronger than this. It’s about time he proves that, not just to Derek but to himself. He will own up to the consequences, put on a brave face, and tell Derek just what he needs to hear.

“It’s not your fault,” Stiles says. He can hear the erratic tempo of Derek’s heart, smell the bitter smell of anxiety, and it does nothing but further drive the point home; reminding him of just what he’s becoming. Stiles pushes those thoughts aside. “I shouldn’t have been there. You shouldn’t have to rescue me. I’m not some damsel in distress, although it would seem otherwise. We just need to mark this off as a hazard of the job.”

Derek isn’t looking at Stiles. His eyes are downcast, staring down at his hands. The sight is oddly familiar, a deja vu to the last time Derek was in Stiles’ bedroom. Derek flexes his fingers before looking back up, meeting Stiles’ eyes. There in no emotion to be seen there, on either of their faces, both of them trying to remain as closed off as possible.

“I knew I smelled your blood on my hands. Why didn’t you tell me I hurt you?” There is anger entwined with an accusation, and Stiles feels the words like a punch. Derek is mad underneath the guilt. The issue here, or really it’s just another issue to add onto the growing list, is that Stiles had lied. Good intentions in the act be damned, Stiles still had lied to Derek and probably is now rubbing salt into the trust issues Derek already has.

Stiles really can’t take much more of this right now. There’s just too much, and really, he just wants to be alone. Looking at Derek is just further cementing what Stiles is, no, not yet, it’s more what he’s becoming. But there are still things to say, and even more to figure out. He sighs and steels himself over.

“It was just a scratch,” Stiles explains. “I didn’t think it was something to worry about. I’ve had worse and it was… healing.” Which oddly is the problem. “If… If it had been a bite. I would have told you.” It feels important to say this, to reassure Derek that Stiles had no intentions to hide things from him; not important things.

“You should have told me.”

And yeah, Stiles gets that now. He knows he should have said something, not that it really would make a difference. Derek doesn’t need to continue to drill that into his head, Stiles doesn’t need that now. “I get that!” He doesn’t care if it sounds a little too harsh; he feels he’s allowed to be. “What I don’t get is how a fucking scratch is turning me into a werewolf!”

It’s the first time the truth has passed through Stiles lips, and it feels good in a liberating sort of way. The denial is behind him, sort of, and the anger at the situation is just now boiling at the surface. A rumble follows Stiles’ outburst, and it takes him a moment to figure out it’s coming from Derek. It’s low, rough, and has Stiles’ tense muscles smoothing out and the anger mellowing out into a soft hum under his skin.

“How’d you--” Stiles trails off, seemingly unnerved by his body’s unconscious reaction.

Derek sighs and moves from the corner, making his way to take a seat in Stiles’ desk chair. He rubs his temples and Stiles doesn’t think Derek has any right to be the one getting a headache. If anything, this whole situation warrants Stiles a major pain in the ass headache for the clusterfuck his life is quickly becoming. Derek, well, he doesn’t deserve a headache, he just doesn‘t.

“You’re pack,” Derek says, like that explained everything. Apparently the confuses is written all over Stiles’ face, because Derek continues to speak quickly enough. “You see yourself as pack, whether you consciously acknowledge it or not. And through default, you see me as your Alpha.”

“Because you scratched me--”

“No.” Derek cuts him off. “As a human, you were pack. That’s why…” And he pauses here, looking torn and guilt ridden. Stiles concludes that he hates that look on Derek’s face. “It’s rare, but not impossible, for a scratch to turn a human. If the claws get deep enough, the change can take, but still it’s not likely.”

Okay, So this tells Stiles very little. He nods, but prompts hurriedly with his hand for Derek to continue.

“It’s complicated.” The words come alongside a frown, and Derek looks a little unsure of how to proceed. “Lycanthropy is like a virus, I guess, if you want to label it, that’s transferred through an Alpha’s bite. You know this.” And Derek doesn’t bother to look at Stiles as he nods in confirmation. “It’s in the saliva. Something that attaches itself to human DNA, to blood, and alters the genetic structure. In small doses, say transferred through a lick to an open wound or a kiss,” Derek says and Stiles finds it curious how suddenly Derek is making an obvious effort not to look in his direction; eyes firmly on a very blank and boring spot of the carpeted floor. Stiles’ dirty socks are not that interesting.

“You do know you’re making this sound like some STD or hell, HIV,” Stiles deadpans.

“No, it’s not.” It’s almost funny how insulted Derek sounds. “Don’t make this out be worse than it really is.”

Which is really a matter of prospective that Stiles doesn’t feel like arguing at the moment. Derek was born to this. Not thrown blind into the reality that is werewolves; fucking werewolves! It really makes you rethink what you think you know about the world. A real eye opener. Never mind that Stiles is just being pulled deeper and deeper into this mess that he wishes is not his life.

“A scratch though, if deep enough, can turn a human. I’m not sure why, or if it’s just because it’s really the same concept as the bite, just diluted. It’s rare, like I said, and usually it won’t turn the human unless the body willingly allows the spread of the… infection.” The last part Derek says like he’s not too fond of using the term in relation to himself. Lycanthropy isn’t an infection, not to Derek, and Stiles knows this. If the situation had been different he would have countered the statement, but Stiles just stays silent.

“You are pack. Your body sees itself as part of the pack.” Derek pointedly looks at Stiles; tries to make him understand. “You might not be wolf, but humans still feel the need to belong. It’s instinct, and your body accepted the change, and the solid connection it was given to the pack.”

Stiles wants to challenge that claim. Yell at the top of his lungs that he’s not pack, that he never wanted to be pack. It’s not true, not being pack had always been a sore spot for Stiles, but denial and Stiles are good friends. It’s hard to break ties after so long together.

“That’s all good and awesome, only really it’s not, but last time I checked, it didn’t take any of your pups this long to… change.” Stiles’ fingers trace the half healed marks at his waist. “Scott’s bite was gone over night. I just get these weird bouts of better hearing and having to smell your pungent wolfy ass. You sure this isn’t something else?”

“No, this isn’t something else. A scratch just… Takes a little longer to take, especially this far from the full moon. Lycanthropy takes strength from the moon. You’ll fully turn as the moon cycle plays out. As for the smell…” Derek looks uncomfortable, and it doesn’t make Stiles a bad person to be pleased by this. Not with all things considered. He’s allowed to find joy in the small things in life, especially with this twist in his life. “You’re pack.”

“Yes, I think we’ve cemented that fact by now.” There’s a little flutter of warmth in Stiles chest at the reminder that he belongs in the pack, something he has to grudgingly admit that he’s always wanted, just not in the context of how it’s happening now.

There is silence and Derek is looking more tired than anything else. “Stiles, your pack and I’m your Alpha. You’re drawn to me, to my scent. I turned you, so because of that we have a… connection.”

Yeah, Stiles gets that. He wants to ask what all this connection entails, but he gets it. More times than he can count, he’s seen the way Derek’s betas interact with him. He’s seen Isaac taking comfort from Derek’s presence, Stiles has first hand experience there as well, and he’s seen Erica curl into submission when face to face with Derek’s threatening growls. He understands it, but that doesn’t make it any less surreal, or any less unwanted.

Nothing more is said for a hand full of minutes. The quiet is unbearable, and Stiles wants to break it out of habit. He’s usually the talkative one, and it would be humorous in any other situation to see Derek as the chatty one for once. Stiles swallows thickly and looks down at his hands fisted tightly in his lap.

Tension begins to build within the silence. Everything weighs heavily down, and Stiles can feel it pushing down on him, crushing him. Derek’s words replay in his head and he thinks about just what all this means.

“Fuck,” Stiles curses. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

He childishly wishes that this is all just a bad dream. The worst of horrible nightmares. And then Derek is there, sitting on the bed next to him and allowing his sent to calm Stiles’ nerves; the bastard.

They’re not touching, but they might as well be for all that Stiles’ body is aware of the warmth of Derek next to him. He shifts closer, their shoulders brushing. “This is really happening?” Stiles asks even if he really doesn’t want to hear the answer.

Stiles can hear the rise in Derek’s heart beat, and the bob of his adam’s apple as he swallows. That will be something to get used to; all the pointless little sounds. “It shouldn’t be,” Derek says, and Stiles scoffs at hearing that.

No, it really shouldn’t be happening, but it is. It’s real and it’s Stiles life. “I’m turning into a werewolf.” There is a disbelieving wonder in Stiles’ voice. It’ll never be easy to stomach that truth. “Don’t suppose there is something we can do to change that?” That is said seeped in bitter self loathing, and it only takes Stiles a moment to realize just what he’s said, what he’s alluding to.

“Nothing I would agree with.” Stiles sputters, and tries to apologize, but Derek is looking at him with good humor despite the circumstances.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. I haven’t wanted to kill you in months.” Somehow Stiles manages a smile.

“Just months?”

They both shake their heads, feeling a little lighter. It lets Stiles breathe a little easier. Against his better judgment, he thinks that maybe things might be alright. This might not be the end of the world. He turns to Derek, and bumps their shoulders together. It’s almost playful, but the tension is still there. “You know I don’t blame you?” It seems important to say it again. To make sure Derek is very much aware of this.

“I should have been more careful.”

Stiles snorts. “Still, not your fault. I’d take this over being dead.” Which was true. He likes life, likes living. It is amazing, and he is a little attached to it. Now Stiles will just have to figure out where to go from here. So he asks, “What’s next.” Because that’s probably something they should talk about. It seems important.

“Does anyone else know?” There is a question there beneath the actual question; Stiles is certain of it. An unsaid ‘Did you just keep this from me?’ being asked.

“God, no.” Suddenly Stiles really doesn’t want to think about this. Scott comes to mind and that is not going to be a conversation he’ll be looking forward to. “I don’t suppose we can just not tell anyone?”

Derek shakes his head. “You don’t have to tell anyone yet, not when you still smell human. But once your scent changes, they’ll know, and they’ll be upset you kept it from them.”

“I know,” Stiles says. “I just need time, and then… Then I’ll tell them.”

It’s early morning now, Stiles can see the sun beginning to light the scenery outside his bedroom window. He doesn’t realize just how tired and exhausted he is until Derek is standing. “I better go,” Derek says, but he doesn’t move closer to the window.

Stiles’ dad will be home soon, give or take an hour or so. He’s not too sure on the exact time, but it’s has to be creeping onto five or so in the morning. It’s Monday, and there is school too. Great, just great. Stiles groans and falls back on his bed.

“Leave me to my sleep. I only have three hours, if that, left.” Stiles hears Derek leave, and it’s unnerving just how long he can listen to Derek’s trek down the roof and across the lawn. Then there is silence and Stiles’ thoughts. Both of which he could do without at the moment.

But there is also Derek’s scent, strong and fresh in Stiles’ room. He no longer tries to fight the comfort it gives him. It’s the smell of Derek and of belonging. It’s calming and Stiles settles back into bed. The comforter is pulled up and rearranged, his nose burying deep within a patch of blanket where Derek’s scent is the strongest.

Stiles doesn’t bother to over think his actions because his body is lax and already falling into the hands of sleep. It’s nice, and he’s done more than enough thinking for one night, he can save the rest for later, or maybe for tomorrow.

So Stiles sleeps, and, for once, he doesn’t worry.

----------

Stiles feels far more rested than he should when he wakes. It throws him off, waking on his own apposed to his father forcefully shoving him to get ready for school. After all, it’s what Stiles expects. He knows full well his internal clock isn’t going to bother waking him so early, not with only a few hours of sleep under his belt.

Something sets Stiles on alert, and he does not spare a moment to wonder if it’s his new werewolf senses further developing, or something distinctly human. There is a wrongness in the air that has Stiles up and on his feet in a heart beat. Trust his life never to be easy. One bomb always drops soon after the other, it seems this will be no different. It’s been like this since Scott was bitten. Stiles bitterly does not see why it would change now.

It’s moving on past one in the afternoon, says the clock on Stiles’ desk. The time is the first real, tangible, proof to Stiles that something in not quite right. He should be in school for one thing, not that he really wants to be. Even more importantly, his father should have been here many hours before to wake him.

“Give me a break,” Stiles whines, but a small part is secretly grateful. This is something new to focus of. Something not tied to the revelations of last night, and so Stiles will not have to think on them just yet. For one day more, if only that, it seems like Stiles might have luxury of being himself, his human self. It’s unnerving that he even has to make the distinction now.

Stiles hurriedly shifts through his clothes trying to find something clean. He doesn’t need to shove them up under his nose to sniff if they are dirty, the stench reaches him from their places on the floor. So maybe that’s sort of cool. Makes things a little quicker in the mornings, but Stiles still isn’t willing to see the perks. Not quite yet, at least.

He finds a clean pair of pants and a slightly cleaner than the rest shirt. The boxers he grabs are questionable, but there might be more important matters than hygiene at hand here. Stiles is dressed in minutes and groping around for his phone which in dead on the shelves of his bed’s headboard. Which is typical.

“Dammit! Cut me some slack here!” The charger is downstairs, and Stiles wastes no time in charging down the stairs, three at a time.

The phone takes a little too long to boot once it’s plugged in, and maybe he should complain at bad manufacturing. Well he would, if Stiles ever had the time to be normal, and do normal things. Like being a disgruntled customer. He does a little cheer when his phone dings and then Stiles deflates at the bucketful of text and missed call alerts popping up left and right.

Stiles huffs and resigns himself to what is surely bad news. “This is not going to be good. It never is. Always bad, and then it just gets worse.” The first text message is from his father, and seems to be the precursor to the ones that follow.

“New case came up. Will be home as soon as I can. Don‘t be late for school,” Stiles reads out aloud. “What the hell does that mean?” And vaguely he wonders how much trouble he’s going to be get in when the school calls to inform of his absence.

The next messages are from Scott, Allison, and Isaac. They vary in length and urgency, but all hold the same basic story: Matt is dead and Jackson is MIA.

“Well shit.” There is so much wrong with this that Stiles doesn’t even know where to start. It’s not like he actually liked Matt, but no one really deserves to die. Well, Stiles reserves the right to exclude Peter Hale and Gerard Argent from that statement. Those two just give Stiles the creeps. It’s too bad he still has to deal with one of them.

Matt dying, though, was an issue in itself. Stiles obviously doesn’t know the details, but with Jackson missing, he doesn’t need to be a genius to put two and two together. He’d bet good money that the Kanima is behind this. Which means Matt is the piece to break the pattern. The one who doesn’t belong, and that sends Stiles’ mind racing.

Okay, so Matt was in Mr. Harris’ class, but the age doesn’t fit. It doesn’t make sense, and it irritates Stiles that they have another misplaced piece of the puzzle. It brings all of this back down to square one. They know nothing and have no clues to help point fingers towards the Kanima’s master.

“Shit, shit, shit.” Stiles goes through the last of the texts; the last urging Stiles to call Scott as soon as possible. Which he does, pressing the phone to his ear as soon as it begins to ring. It goes straight to voicemail and that’s not too surprising given the time. Scott is probably in class, and…

Stiles thought process is cut off as the phone rings, the screen flashing a picture of Scott from a New Years Eve party they attended last year. He answers, hearing Scotts hurried breaths and hurried steps on titled floors.

“Dude, did you just skip class to take my call? I feel so loved.”

Scott huffs, and Stiles swears he can hear him smiling. There is silence for a moment, then the sound of a door opening and closing. Most likely Scott just took refuge in the bathroom.

“Where the hell are you?” Scott says, not wasting any time now that he’s hidden away.

“Home, in the kitchen…” And Stiles is, but he feels like Scott is hoping for more than the mundane answer given.

There’s a pause, and then Scott’s pushing forward. “Why are you at home? Are you sick?”

Well now, Stiles could take so many different routes with that question. Unfortunately none of them he’s feeling too generous with sharing. Now isn’t the time to explain how he’s slowly joining the furry group of idiots he calls friends, and really, Stiles is still not thinking about it.

“I slept in,” Stiles finally says, but that isn’t the issue. He hasn’t taken his meds today, and he’s not going to allow Scott to get him off track. “But forget that! That’s not important, really not important. What is really freaking important is what the hell happened?”

Stiles doesn’t need to be more specific than that. He knows Scott will get it. There is only one big thing on the table after all. It’s when Scott sighs, that Stiles knows he’s about to get to the juicy details.

“We don’t know much. It was a fluke that Boyd over heard your dad talking to Gerard. They found Matt early this morning drowned in the creek. No one knows anything, and Gerard doesn’t want the gossip going around the school so he’s not letting the cops come in and question the students yet,” Scott says in what seems to be one breath.

It peculiar, Stiles will give it that. The whole drowning thing is odd in itself, and doesn’t yell out ‘supernatural murder’. It especially doesn’t scream Kanima, but this wouldn’t be the first time the master himself took a hand in the killings. Although this did put a slight kink in Stiles over all theory.

“So Matt wasn’t controlling the Kanima?” Stiles asks, just because he’s a masochist and needs the point driven home.

Scott is a horrible person and just laughs. It lacks any real humor given the situation, but the sentiment is still there.

“Shut up. He was still evil.” There’s a pout on Stiles lips, but it’s not like anyone can see. “So Matt’s dead, and you think it was the Kanima because Jackson’s missing?” It’s not hard to deduce that much from what Scott has given so far.

“Apparently even his parents are in the dark on where he is. Talked to Lydia during lunch and she said they’d called her asking if he’d stayed the night at her place. She’s worried, and I think she suspects we all know something. It hasn’t been pretty.”

No, Stiles can’t imagine it being pleasant. Lydia is a tornado of wrath when she wants to be. She is going to milk them for information one way or another, and Stiles is sure it will be a painful experience. He sighs and really tries not to think about it.

“So we pretty much have nothing to go on. For all we know none of this is connected, and Matt just had an unfortunate accident that ended with him taking a life ending swim.”

“I don‘t think he was going swimming.”

Stiles loved Scott, but sometimes it was just too much. “No, that’s not what I meant… But never mind. We’ll figure this out. I’ll see what I can find, and I’ll call Derek. We can all meet at the warehouse after school.”

“Since when are you willingly going straight to Derek?”

There is a moment where Stiles is speechless. Well isn’t that a loaded question. Seems like he was already regarding Derek as his Alpha. Fuck that. That doesn’t have anything to do with it. Stiles just knew they needed Derek to get this thing solved. It’s nothing more than that.

“Just shut up and be there.” Stiles is hanging up the phone in the next heartbeat.

He breathes in deep and relaxes. Shit really did seem to be hitting the fan this week, and it was only Monday. “Wonder how that’ll bode for the rest of the week.” It’s not a calming thought but Stiles finds himself relaxing. This was normal, and this was what his life had been for the past few months. This is the normal that was his very human life, and when had his life become so fucked up that murders and scary beast came as being part of the norm?

Scott is going to owe him lots of therapy in the future. That much is for sure.

With that thought in mind, Stiles gets ready for the tasks at hand. This is what he excels at, putting together the information and smoothing out the details. He can do this, it’s what he does best. Well second best, he does have the whole denial thing down pat.

Stiles could almost be proud with how long he ignored what was happening to his body, and the changes taking place. Even now, he was doing a damn good job of putting that new little fact of life to the back of his mind.

Only really he wasn’t. Not when it was suddenly all he could think about at that moment. The phantom grip of cold fear pools into his stomach and Stiles has to force himself to focus on the task at hand. He needs to call Derek, get all his little ducks in a row and figure out once and for all how to stop this mess from getting even worse.

“First I need to eat.” He looks around the kitchen and decides food and probably his meds are a must have at the moment. Stiles settles on a breakfast burrito, popping it into the microwave and then turning his attention back to his phone.

Stiles scrolls through the long list of names, finding Derek’s and hitting send. It rings three times before Derek is answering, sounding gruff and annoyed as ever.

“Good Morning Sleeping Beauty, did I wake you?” Stiles chirps, and he sounds about ten times cheerier than he feels.

There is no reply for a moment, and Stiles almost begins to wonder if he’s been hung up on. Then Derek is speaking, or more like complaining, but Stiles will take what he can get at the moment. “It’s not morning, and shouldn’t you be at school?” Derek says, and Stiles swears he can hear the crinkling of Derek’s brow as he frowns.

“It’s definitely morning for me. Just woke up and feeling energized, no thanks to you. Maybe next time you can keep your little social experiments to yourself, or at least to daylight hours.” It’s a legitimate claim, and Stiles is sticking by it. Derek really needs to learn that some people sleep at night, and don’t need to be unwillingly called out into the woods during the dead of night. Especially when said guy had been very adamant on Stiles not doing exactly that. Talk about a change of opinions.

“What do you want Stiles?” And if there is a little bit of guilt laced into Derek’s words, Stiles chooses to ignore it. “I have better things to do than chit chat.”

Stiles really wants to comment on that, but he feels like being the bigger person here and gets to the heart of the matter. That and his burrito is done, and he’s very intent on eating it before it gets cold.

“Anyways, Scott called,” Stiles starts out with. “A body was found drowned in the creek. It was a guy we went to school with, Matt, and apparently Boyd over heard my dad talking to Gerard about it. Which I’m hoping he didn’t let slip that I wasn’t in class today. Or maybe the principle isn’t too informed on that. Then again Gerard probably makes a habit of making our lives his business; know thy enemy and all.”

“Stiles.”

“Right, right, getting off task. So apparently Jackson hasn’t shown up for school either and even his parents are looking for him. I’m not sure if drowning and the Kanima are connected, which I’m doubting with the whole fear of water thing, but it seems to be at least worth looking into. I told everyone to meet over at your lair.” Stiles can’t help but chuckle there, and Derek distinctly growls. “Thought we could put our heads together and come up with some reasonable theories.”

Stiles feels sort of proud of himself for getting all of this together, including Derek, and setting them all up for a successful night. Or until Derek shoots it down, and very heartlessly if Stiles might add. “No,” Derek deadpans, blunt as ever. “There’s no use jumping into this without first having all the info we can. I don’t want everyone over imagining the situation before we even know if it’s an actual situation. Do you think you can get anything out of your dad?”

“If I have to. Not sure how much he’ll be willing to spill, and he’s a little more cautious about getting drunk around me. So might have to use some unsavory methods, but I’ll see what I can’t do.” Stiles really wasn’t looking forward to this.

“Good. I’ll see what I can find myself, and we’ll wait to see if anything else turns up. Until then, we wait.”

“You know I hate waiting,” Stiles whines.

“We’re waiting Stiles.”

Yeah, Stiles is getting that. No need to rub it in. “Well then you can deal with telling everyone else that. I’m not going to break their hearts. They were so excited too.” It’s a lie, but no one needs to know that.

“Goodbye, Stiles.”

The line goes dead, and Stiles is smiling. It’s the first time he’s ever gotten a goodbye, and he thinks that maybe this is progress. Maybe Derek doesn’t dislike him as much as Stiles thinks. Or maybe it’s the guilt, and that has the smile melting just as fast as it had come.

Stiles doesn’t want to think about it. There are more important things on his plate, primarily the burrito cooling in the microwave. Priorities, Stiles has them! They just might be a little different than other people’s. He throws the phone back down of the counter to finish charging, and tries not to think about Derek.

It’s hard, but the burrito makes it a little easier in the end.


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