notes: another tumblr prompt fill. this one got away from me though.
Being a bodyguard for a famous popstar was definitely not in Derek's plans. The idea of looking after an undoubtedly bratty celebrity with too much money was completely unappealing and he could think of about 100 other things he would rather be doing with his time.
Unfortunately the universe wasn't giving him any of those other things and Laura was determined to give him the bodyguard gig. And he needed the money. His life was terrible.
"Stop making that face, you look like someone just kicked a kitten," Laura said, leading him towards one of the biggest houses he had ever seen. His eldest sister had been working in the Hollywood business (mostly as an agent) for the past five years, but it was a scene he usually avoided. Mansions and millionaires were not his style.
"This is how I always look. And if someone kicked a kitten I would punch them in the face."
"Well try to keep that to yourself, your willingness to punch people is not something you want to broadcast on your first day."
"I don't know why I have to live here. I thought I was a bodyguard, not a babysitter."
"You're her personal bodyguard Derek, you're going to be with her all the time."
"So I am her babysitter."
"Oh stop whining."
He didn't get a chance to respond to that as they were now facing the front door which was painted gold and had roses etched into it. Not to mention is was flanked by columns and surrounded by brightly potted flowers. To say it was over the top was an understatement.
Laura rang the bell and the door was almost immediately thrown open by a middle-aged Asian woman, well-dressed and stunning in a blue blazer and skirt.
"Laura!" she greeted, "It's good to see you. And this must be Derek. My name is Noshiko Yukimura, Kira's mother. Please, come in."
She waved them into an open foyer with vaulted ceilings and shining white tile. A grand staircase stood opposite them. Despite his size, Derek felt small.
"Kira!" she hollered up the stairs in a way that reminded Derek briefly (and a little bit painfully) of his own mother. She turned and smiled at them. "She'll be down in a minute, would you like something to drink?"
Laura nodded. "Yes please."
The kitchen was just as big, if not bigger, than the foyer. Everything was new and clean but still had the sense that it was used often. Laura slid onto one of the bar stools around the island in the center of the room and Derek copied her. He felt at a complete loss, nervous and unsteady is such a strange environment.
"What do you want? We have just about everything," Noshiko asked, pulling glasses down from one of the many cabinets and opening the fridge.
"Water is fine, thank you," answered Laura.
"Yeah, same for me, please," Derek said, his voice much smaller than usual. He cleared his throat. He was being ridiculous. It was just a house with regular people in it.
Regular millionaire people with a famous popstar daughter.
Derek drank his water in silence while the two women chattered about what they had been up to since their last meeting. Clearly they were good friends.
Eventually though their attention turned to him. It was inevitable of course, he was the one getting a job. Derek just hated talking about himself.
"So Derek," said Noshiko. "You're sister tells me you got your degree in literature?"
He nodded. "I did, graduated last year."
She was smiling at him and he fought the urge to fidget. School was always a touchy subject for him. Most people thought his major was a waste of time. It certainly hadn't gotten him any jobs so far.
"That sounds fascinating," she said and Derek had no idea what to say to that. It was fascinating, but people didn't usually agree with him.
"Derek's a huge bookworm, always the nerd in the family," Laura supplied, lightly punching him in the arm.
"Kira's a reader, too. I'm sure you'll get along wonderfully. Speaking of, where did that girl get off to? Excuse me." Noshiko left the kitchen in search of her missing daughter and Derek deflated on the stool a little. Meeting people was stressful.
"Would you relax," Laura said. "Stop worrying. The Yukimura's are nice people and Kira's a sweetie I promise."
"I'll believe it when I see it," he mumbled. He had been surprised to hear her mother describe her as a reader, but had had known plenty of fellow lit majors at school who had been assholes, so it's not like it counted for much. She could very well just read trashy magazines.
Maybe he was being a little bit cynical. He didn't know anything about this girl. He'd been so reluctant to take Laura up on the job opportunity, so set against doing it, that he hadn't even bothered to google her. He was starting to regret that decision; he felt grossly unprepared.
He debated quickly pulling out his phone and doing some brief research, Laura and her teasing be damned, but he didn't get the chance because Noshiko was strolling back into the kitchen, a girl in bright leggings practically bouncing in behind her.
At first glance she already wasn't what he had been expecting. She had long black hair that shone in the light and there was genuine excitement in her dark eyes. She didn't even look that much younger than Derek himself, despite the Iron Man hoodie she was wearing.
She liked superheroes and, he had to be honest with himself, was gorgeous. And now all her attention seemed to be on Derek. He needed to leave immediately, there was no way he could handle this.
"Hey," she greeted warmly, sticking a hand out to him. "I'm Kira, it's so nice to meet you."
God she sounded so sincere. She was supposed to be a spoiled brat he could bitch to Laura about on the phone at night. Not nice. Popstars weren't supposed to be nice.
"Derek," he replied, taking her proffered hand. Somehow her smile got brighter and he wasn't aware it was physically possible for someone to look that happy.
"Mom says you studied literature in school," she said, hopping onto a stool opposite him, eyes never leaving him. He had to fight not to look down at his hands which were clasped tightly around his glass of water. He nodded.
"That's so cool," she continued. "I was thinking of studying literature, too, once I make up my mind on where I want to go of course. Where did you go?"
A popstar who wanted to go to college and study literature. This was a dream surely, an alternate universe.
"UCLA," he said after a long moment when he realized he hadn't actually answered her question. She then launched into a series of questions about the campus and the department that Derek tried to answer as best as possible, his head spinning. At some point Laura and Noshiko had left the kitchen, leaving them alone.
By the time she had exhausted her questions Derek had finished his water and had discovered that she hadn't planned to be a singer, but she'd been in a musical in high school and things had just spiraled from there. She actually wanted to study literature and writing and publish some of her own original work.
"So why are you a bodyguard is you went to school for lit? I mean, not that I'm complaining, you seem super cool and I'm glad my mom hired you, but the two don't exactly line up."
He shrugged. "It's not easy to find work in the field. I want to teach at a college level, but I need to go back to school for that and I needed something in the mean time."
It was probably the most he'd said during their entire conversation and she looked delighted by his response.
"That's so cool! I bet you'd be an excellent professor. I'd take anything you taught."
He'd be lying if he said the whole teacher-student fantasy didn't jump immediately to mind but he shoved it away. That was not something he needed to be thinking about.
"Thanks," he said awkwardly, carding his fingers through his hair. Where had his sister gone off to?
Kira seemed to sense his thoughts and hopped off her stool. "Come on, my mom and Laura are probably in the office. I think you have some papers to sign?"
He followed her out of the kitchen and back across the foyer to the opposite side of the house. Everything they passed seemed to be polished until it was shining and there were gold frames around all the pictures on the wall.
The office was also huge, a row of windows taking up most of one wall and a large wood desk sitting in it's center. Noshiko and Laura were sitting across from each other at it, papers spread out between them.
"Oh good Derek, you're here," Laura said waving him over. "There's a few things for you to sign and then you're good to go!"
"What about my stuff?" he asked taking the pen she offered. He scrawled his name across the lines she indicated, vaguely aware of Kira hovering by the door.
"I sent someone over to collect it. Your sister said it was already packed up. Is that okay?" Noshiko replied.
"Yeah, that's fine, thank you," he said with a nod, pushing the papers back to his sister who gathered them up in a neat stack and handed them to the other woman.
"Excellent! Welcome to the job Derek, I have a feeling you'll be great."
Getting used to the mansion he was now calling home was the hardest part of his job. He had gotten used to his studio apartment, his bed squished behind the couch and his books lining the walls.
The room he had now was bigger than his entire apartment, fully furnished with a king size bed, two dressers, a large closet, two of the comfiest arm chairs his butt had ever graced, and anything and everything he could have wanted. He had his own bathroom, and even a small balcony that looked over the massive backyard, and because he was on the third floor he always felt like he was practically floating when he went out there.
It was surreal. In comparison the actual guarding of a famous popstar made him feel more grounded.
And while accompanying Kira on her shopping trips wasn't exactly one of Derek's favourite tasks as personal bodyguard but it wasn't as terrible as he thought it would be. She made it a point to talk to him about other stuff the entire time, buying him coffee and asking him about books he liked and what he thought of various movies. She hated listening to her own music in the car and preferred to jam out to pop punk while he drove them to their destination for the day.
She did, however, always ask him what he thought about everything she tried on. He pretended to hate it, grumbling out his responses, but in reality didn't mind it and she seemed to know as much.
Actually guarding her was the more difficult part. She wore sunglasses most of the time, and a variety of wide brimmed hats that helped to hide her identity, but there were always fans that managed to recognize her anyways. They weren't all crazy, most of them just wanting a picture or an autograph, which Kira gave with a enthusiasm. But every now and then he had to fight off a true nutjob who was determined to take a thousand pictures of her or thought that she was their girlfriend or a variety of other creepy things.
Usually she hid behind him, practically disappearing behind all his muscle. It was his bulk that had gotten him the job after all, although Kira told him he had an excellent grumpy face that was also effective in scary people off. He would have been offended if it had come from anyone but her. But she had just smiled and bumped her shoulder with his and it had been fine.
More than fine. Great. Everything was great.
And horrible. Because Derek had fallen head over heels for this girl and it was about a thousand levels of not okay. He was her bodyguard. He worked for her.
He drove her to the studio, attended all her interviews, stuck by her side almost every time she left the house at all. And the more time he spent with her the more he felt the ache in his chest grow. It wasn't supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be a job babysitting a bratty celebrity so he could save money for grad school. Which of course he only had to do because his uncle was holding his inheritance hostage. It was an ongoing legal battle that Laura was fighting, but so far they hadn't gotten anywhere.
Kira had no idea of course, at least he didn't think she did. He was very careful around her, concealing his feelings and keeping a professional distance. If she found out he would definitely be fired, and while that might have been better for his sanity, he still needed the job.
The universe really hated him.
He couldn't even try to squash is crush by telling himself she was just another generic popstar singing cliche love songs. She wasn't.
Kira Yukimura was an insanely talented singer and she wrote all of her own lyrics. She only had one album out (she'd had three hit singles last year) and she was in and out of the studio working on another one. Derek heard her sometimes in the house, singing random lines and then muttering to herself as she fiddled with the wording.
"You know you're really talented," he told her one day in the car.
The smile she flashed him was blindingly bright. "You think so?"
"You were at the top of the charts last year weren't you?"
She shrugged. "That doesn't matter, lots of people manage that."
"Then what does matter?" he asked, looking over at her as they stopped for a red light.
"Just being happy with my work, which I am. And I'm glad you like it."
Derek couldn't tell if she was blushing or if it was wishful thinking on his part.
Derek groaned and turned to see what brand of crazy fan was coming at them now. It had been a particularly trying day. Paparazzi had been waiting for them on the way to the studio and their lunch had been interrupted by several people waving napkins around and practically demanding autographs. Kira smiled through most of it but it was obvious that she was uncomfortable.
And now there was a guy pushing through people on the sidewalk to get to him, a huge grin on his face and a bag swinging off his arm. Derek immediately took a defensive stance, shielding Kira from the guy.
He stopped in front of them frowning a bit. "Kira?"
Derek opened his mouth to say something but Kira stepped out from behind him before he could.
"It's okay Derek," she said, "this crazy fanboy I know." She was smiling widely at the newcomer who then proceeded to wrap her up in a huge hug. Derek eyed him warily.
"Derek this is Scott," she said, pulling away from the hug, her arms still tangled with his. "Scott, Derek."
Derek gave a nod and tried not to glare at the point of contact between the two of them. Jealousy had reared it's ugly head and he stomped it down as hard as he could. He had no right to be jealous.
"I haven't seen you in ages," Kira was saying when he tuned back in. "What have you been up to?"
Scott shrugged. "Just working on some stuff with the band. Stiles is teaching me how to drum."
She turned to Derek and pulled him closer so that he had no choice but to be a part of their conversation.
"Scott's in a local punk band," she said to him. "They're really good."
"How did you guys meet?" Derek asked, curious despite himself.
"She showed up at one of our gigs and danced around like a loon," Scott said affectionately.
"How did you pull that off?" Derek asked her. "I mean, you're a famous singer, if it escaped your notice."
Kira just laughed. "I ditched my last bodyguard to go. No one even recognized me."
"Hey hey hey!" Scott said, holding up his hands. "I take offense to that."
"Well, Scott recognized me, he's a secret fanboy."
"It's not a secret at all," he said, looking at Derek who was having a hard time disliking someone who smiled so much. He was like a puppy.
"Scott's my number one fan," Kira informed him. "He got a shirt made and everything."
"Dedication," Derek said with a nod.
"Always dedicated to this cutie," Scott said, leaning forward to give Kira a peck on the cheek. Derek dug his fingernails into the palm of his hands.
Kira just rolled her eyes and pushed at him lightly. "You're such a dork."
"I know," Scott replied, still smiling. Always smiling. "I got to go though, I'm just out picking up some stuff for my mom."
"Tell Isaac and Stiles I say hi," she replied, hugging him again. He assured her he would and then was off as quickly as he had appeared.
"He seems nice," Derek said evenly, careful not to let any emotion come through his words. He was fiercely jealous of Scott and he hated it.
Kira gave him a funny look before linking her arm in his. "Yep," she agreed, steering them back towards where the car was parked. "I'm tired though, let's go home."
Derek tried harder after that to pull away, keep his distance, but Kira wasn't having any of it. If anything she seemed to cling to him more, seeking him out even on his days off, asking him questions and chattering away. Suddenly she needed to see every movie that came out and someone to escort her to get coffee almost everyday.
He got the sense that he was being pitied somehow but he couldn't pin down why. Laura told him he was being melodramatic.
"You're brooding, stop that."
He sighed and looked at the laptop screen where his sister's face was staring back at him, a critical look on her face.
"I'm not brooding."
"Derek you are my brother and I can tell when you are wallowing around in your stupid man pain and that is exactly what you are doing."
"I'm not wallowing either," he said, but it was too defensive and Laura just grinned at him. She had won and she knew it.
"So what's the big issue baby bro? Someone kick a kitten?"
"Why do you always think kittens are being harmed when I'm upset?"
"So you are upset?"
"That is not… I didn't… goddammit."
Laura laughed. "Come on, spill it, what's the deal? I thought you liked your job."
He sighed. "I do, it's a great job, surprisingly. I just miss being in school."
"Wrong!" she declared, rolling her eyes for good measure. "This is not your 'I miss school' brooding face. This is your 'I'm emotionally constipated' face."
"I don't know why I talk to you at all."
"Because I'm your sister and you love me. Now tell me, are you in love with Kira?"
If he had been drinking the water sitting next to him he probably would have choked on it. "Laura!" he hissed, glaring at the screen. "Could you not just say that?"
"Oh my god you totally are, I was just guessing. I mean, I'm not surprised, she's totally adorable-"
"Stop," he said. "Stop talking. It doesn't matter how I feel. I work for her."
Laura rolled her eyes again. It was a Hale family trait. "Don't be so dense. Does she like you?"
He rubbed a hand over his face, suddenly exhausted. "As a friend I guess."
"How am I supposed to know, it' not like I can ask her. I think she just feels bad for me actually."
"Oh don't be so melodramatic."
"I'm going to bed."
"Hey, Derek, come on, don't be like that. I just want to help."
"I know, but there's not much I can do about it. I'm just going to be her bodyguard until I save up enough for school. And then I won't have to worry about being her creepy bodyguard with a stupid crush."
Laura gave him a pitying look. "I still think you're being melodramatic."
"Good night Laura." He shut the laptop closed on her before she got a chance to respond.
It was his day off when he ran into Scott again, both of them waiting in line at Starbucks. Derek had never really drank the stuff before, preferring a coffee shop near his old apartment, but ever since he started his job with Kira he found himself addicted to the lattes.
He would have avoided Scott if he had seen him but unfortunately the universe was still not on his side and he walked right into the guy.
"Derek! Hey man, what's up?" he asked enthusiastically.
Derek gripped his cup a little tighter but conceded to the fact that he would have to at least make some small talk before he could safely extract himself from the situation.
"Hey Scott, not much, you?" he asked as politely as he could manage without sounding too interested.
"Singing, playing, band stuff," he replied with a shrug. "How is Kira?"
Derek furrowed his brow. "You haven't talked to her?"
"She's a busy lady," said Scott. "I was going to invite her over for a band party last Saturday but she had family stuff I guess? Anyways, she's good right? Not working herself too hard?:
Derek had no idea what to make of that information as he was 100% sure that last Saturday Kira had dragged him to see the last Captain America movie for the third time.
"Yeah, she's good," he said finally. "Like you said, busy."
Scott nodded. "Yeah, the exciting life of a sensational pop icon I guess. I gotta go though dude, boyfriends are waiting for me. But it was nice to see you! Give Kira my best."
Derek nodded and barely got out a "bye" before Scott disappeared out the door of the coffee shop and jumped into a beat up Jeep where two other boys were waiting for him. Derek stared after him, latte forgotten as he tried to process everything that had just happened.
Kira was handsy with him. He'd never noticed it before, or rather, wasn't aware when it had happened, but she was always touching him. Pulling him around the city, bumping his shoulder with hers, looping their arms together, play-punching him in the arm… it was maddening once he noticed it. Because she wasn't like that with any of her friends -not Lydia who came over on weekends for brunch and drinks, not Allison who went jogging with her, and not even any of her family.
And she had skipped out on a party at Scott's to drag him to a move they had already seen twice.
He had no idea what to make of any of it and mostly he just tried not to think about it, terrified to make more of the gestures than they were.
So when she fell asleep, head resting on his shoulder, while they sat in the house's living room with Parks and Rec marathoning in the background, he tried really hard not to think about how close they were.
He failed epically, overly aware of every point of contact between them. Her breathing was soft and steady, eyelashes fanning out across her cheeks. He found himself stroking her hair, pushing it behind her ears. It was soft between his fingers and made something in his chest tighten. He was so focused on the sensation that he didn't even notice her eyes flutter open, a small smile playing on her lips.
"Sorry I fell asleep," she said, half mumbling. "You make a good pillow though. So warm."
Derek knew he should pull away from her but she'd fisted a hand in his t-shirt and he was practically paralyzed under her gaze anyways.
Instead he smiled back down at her. "No big deal. You should go to bed though, you have early appointments tomorrow."
She yawned and nodded. "That's probably a good idea."
She stretched her legs out and pushed herself off the couch and Derek felt her sudden absence keenly, the side of him she'd been laying on suddenly cold.
They said their goodnights and she left him, sluggishly dragging herself towards her bedroom. Derek sighed and shut off the TV. He was in too deep.
The phone call came the next morning while waiting for Kira to get out of an interview with some magazine. He was sitting on some ridiculously plush red couch, cell phone pressed to his ear and jaw hanging open. Laura had finally pushed her case through. The inheritance money that rightly belonged to them was no longer under his uncle's control.
He had enough money to go to grad school in the fall. Next month.
Suddenly his future had opened up to him again -he could go to school, work on his degree, and eventually start looking for work as a hadn't realized quite how much he had missed being in school. He talked about literature with Kira all the time but it wasn't quite the same.
He didn't need to work as Kira's bodyguard anymore. Between the money he'd already made and his freed up inheritance he had more than enough to float for awhile. And it was what he had wanted anyways, to get away before his feelings spilled over and he got fired. Either way he left, but he wanted to save himself as much embarrassment as possible.
There was so much he had to do. He had to let Noshiko know he would be leaving. He'd have to talk to Kira about it. And call UCLA about his classes. And pack. And find another apartment. How was he going to find an apartment on such short notice in LA?
In the back of his head he heard Laura's voice telling him to relax and breathe. "Take a chill pill," she'd say. "Stop stressing so much, you're going to give yourself an ulcer."
He glanced at the clock on the wall across from him. Kira was supposed to be done soon and then they were going to lunch before heading back to the house. She was the first person he had to tell, today, and then Noshiko. They'd have to find another bodyguard.
The image of someone else trailing behind Kira, taking her everywhere, scaring off crazy fans, made him clench his fist. She'd hang off the them, looping their arms together, teasing them about stuff like coffee preferences and favourite movies.
And Derek wouldn't have any of that.
The door to the press room opened and Kira joined him, smiling and beautiful in her floral sundress. His heart hammered loudly in his chest and despite all logic he was briefly terrified that she could hear it -hear the way she affected him.
She couldn't though, of course, so he just smiled back and pushed off the couch, holding out his arm to her like he usually did.
"Ready for lunch?" he asked, keeping his voice as light as possible.
"Please!" she said, taking his arm and leaning against him. "I'm so hungry I could eat a cow."
There are no cows involved in their lunch, just a plate of sushi and endless tea. Kira claimed it was the best sushi in LA other than the stuff her dad made. Derek had never actually met her father (he was always on business) but he trusted her judgement. He'd never had much sushi before working for the Yukimura's anyways.
"You seem distracted," Kira said mid-chatter. Derek looked up from where he was poking his food with one of his chopsticks, not sure how long he had been doing it.
"I'm sorry, what were you saying?"
"That I gave birth to a singing pterodactyl."
He raised a brow. "Oh? How did that go?"
"It was messy and it only sang show tunes. Now tell me what's up."
The sushi suffered a few more jabs from his chopsticks before he finally just set them down on the plate. Kira was giving him a slightly worried look. He might as well just go for it then.
"My inheritance came through. I have enough money to start grad school this fall."
He watched as her face lit up. "That's fantastic! I'm so happy to hear it, I know how much you've been looking forward to going."
Her genuine happiness for him wasn't necessarily surprising, but it did make the rest of what he had to say difficult. Because while he was glad to finally go get his degree, he was going to miss her fiercely, and it terrified him that she might not not miss him at all. He knew that he couldn't have her, but he clung to the hope that she still considered him a friend, even if he was paid to follow her around everywhere.
"I have been, I'm excited about it. But it means I won't be your bodyguard anymore, I'll have to focus all my attention on my classes."
He watched her face fall a little at that news. "Oh I guess that makes sense," she said. "Have you told my mom yet?"
"I wanted you to be the first person to know."
She bit her lip and nodded. "Thanks, I appreciate that. I- you've been a pretty awesome bodyguard Derek."
The words leave a heavy feeling his gut, a mix of sadness and longing, but he buries it. It feels like all he ever did was bury his feelings, covered them up with a smile. It had kept him close to her so far, but now it was dragging him away.
When he tells Noshiko about his plans she's very understanding about it. She even let him keep his room until he could find a new apartment in the city. The first day after he had officially "left the job" was weird because he was doing almost the same thing he did everyday only he wasn't required to follow Kira anywhere and he wasn't getting paid.
She got a new bodyguard very quickly; a beautiful blonde girl named Erica who looked like she'd rip your throat out if you so much as looked at the popstar the wrong way. Derek was jealous of her, but he trusted her to keep Kira safe.
Living in the same house meant that they still saw each other all the time. He resisted the urge to offer his company whenever she left, but sometimes she brought him coffee or asked him to play Mario Kart with her. Friend things.
And while she was out Derek spent his time sorting out his class schedule and apartment hunting. He wasn't being super picky about where he moved to, another studio would be fine by him -he had never really gotten used to all the space he had to himself at the Yukimura's.
Laura was thrilled for him but also said he was being an idiot.
"If you like the girl you should tell her. It's not like you work for her anymore," his sister said, lounging across his bed. She'd stopped by for tea with Noshiko and to help him get a head start on packing. He was down to two apartment options and he anticipated moving within the next week or so.
"It's not that easy," he said, spinning in his desk chair. "I can't just tell her that. She'll know I've had feelings for her the whole time."
"So what if she thinks it's weird?"
"If she thinks it's weird then you deserve 100 times better. Honestly Derek, what are you so afraid of?"
"Rejection for a start."
Laura was giving him that look that clearly said he was being an obtuse moron. It was a look he was more familiar with than he thought was warranted.
"If she rejects you then it's her loss. And it's not like you ever have to see her again if she does."
Derek spun himself in the chair again. "Except she's literally everywhere. The radio, billboards, sides of buses."
"Oh please, all you do is sit around in the library and read with headphones jammed in your ears. Your exposure to the outside world is minimal once you go into school mode."
He wanted to argue with her but she had a point.
"Just do something," she said, chucking a pillow at him. He caught it and tossed it back, pleased with the fact that he managed to hit her in the head. She was probably right, which was annoying, but at least he'd messed up her hair.
The day he left was hard. Most of his stuff had already been moved out and all that was left was a last suitcase of clothes and a few stray books. Kira stood by the door and watched him pack it all into the car.
"So this is it," she said when he shut the trunk and walked back over to her.
"You have my number," he said, resisting the urge to pull her up against him. "You can text me whenever you want, or call, or you know, whatever."
She nodded. "Yeah, totally. Let me know how your classes go, tell me if you read anything good. I could use a few good recommendations."
"I gave you a whole list of books to read last month."
"I finished most of them."
He smiled at that. "I don't know where you manage to find the time."
She just shrugged. "You make time for the things you love. Now go, I know you still need to unpack and it's getting late. I'll text you okay?"
She gave him a quick hug and he wanted to hold her forever. She was soft and warm in his arms and smelled like the lavender soap she always used.
When he got to his new apartment (a two room, one bath space with lots of windows) it felt empty and a little bit cold. Most of his stuff was still on boxes and the bed frame was still in pieces, waiting to be reassembled, his mattress on the floor of his bedroom with a ball of blankets on top. He didn't want to deal with any of it. He wanted to collapse and brood about how unfair love was and maybe order take out.
He was contemplating whether he wanted greasy pizza from the place down the street or if he wanted to eat his weight in crab rangoons and rice when there was a knock on his door. The idea of being social was terrible but it was most likely Laura and if he ignored her she was just going to get annoying about it.
It wasn't Laura though. When he opened the door he found Kira standing on the other side of it, Erica hovering behind her.
"Kira," he said, jaw dropping a bit. "You're… I just left. What are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to you. Can I come in?"
"Yeah of course," he said, opening the door wider.
She motioned for Erica to wait for her and although the blonde didn't look pleased with it she didn't argue and Derek shut the door.
Kira was standing in his kitchen/living room surrounded by boxes and looking nervous.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"No. Yes. Maybe?" She scrunched up her face like she was confusing herself as well as him.
"Look, I know you left because of school, and I'm really happy for you, I am. I want you to do what makes you happy, and I know the bodyguard thing wasn't your ideal job choice, but you were awesome at it. And I don't want you to be my bodyguard forever obviously but I'm just terrified that I'm never going to see you or talk to you and that would just really suck."
The last part of her mini-speech came out so rushed that he barely caught any of it. And she was watching him intently and he tried to process what she'd said and he was just so lost.
"I… I told you to text me. Call me. I don't want to lose touch," he said, floundering for words. Words seemed so inadequate. He wanted to sweep her up in his arms and tell her he wanted her apart of his life always.
Her face was screwed up again, like she was trying to say something but couldn't figure out how. It was a face Derek knew he made often.
"Okay, Derek, I'm sorry of this comes off weird, but i just have to say it. You were the best bodyguard ever. I already said that, but it's true. And I like spending time with you and talking to you about things. I liked having you along for all my errands and keeping me company in the car. And I just like you. A lot. Like, a lot, a lot. More than you're supposed to like your bodyguard. And I know that's probably kind of weird so if you want me to leave-"
He held up his hand to stop her, knowing very well that she would just keep going and going until she couldn't breathe from all the rambling. But he'd heard what she was saying and he felt like his heart was going to slam out of his chest it was beating so hard.
"Can I kiss you?" he asked.
She let out a sigh of relief. "God yes, please."
He reached out and pulled her forward so that she was pressed up against the line of his body. Part of him wanted to smash his lips against hers and squeeze her tight, but the other part of him knew he didn't the first time kissing her to be like that.
Instead he cupped her face and leaned down, lightly brushing his lips against hers until she opened up for him. It was slow and sweet and it made him feel tingly from the inside out, and he never wanted it to end. Kissing her wasn't like kissing anyone else. With other people kissing had been nice, enjoyable, but kissing her felt like home.
"Can we do that all the time?" she asked when they finally parted, looking up at him. He nodded.