Disclaimer: The Summoning/The Awakening belong specifically to Kelley Armstrong, not me. I just bought the books....did not write them...And all words in bold are sentences taken from The Awakening, so those don't belong to me, either.

So, this is set during The Awakening. If you haven't read it, then there are some spoilers in here. If you don't care about spoilers, then...read if you want to! It's not a true Derek/Chloe where they realize their feelings for each other, confess, and live happily ever after. It's just Derek and his excuses--or, rather, his logical explanations--about how he treats Chloe in this one scene in The Awakening. Overall, it's meant to be Derek/Chloe. Hmm...it's really tedious to say Derek/Chloe over and over again. We should all come up with a joined name for them, one of those cool shipping names that other fandoms are always creating. How about Chlerek? Except that sounds kind of like a disease....A good disease! The Derek/Chloe-obsessing disease! Oh, yes, I am a victim of that disease...

Personal Interest

He felt guilty. And that wasn't some lame excuse he thought up to rationalize his actions. It was a logical explanation. There were many things for him to be guilty about, such as getting her mixed up in the escape in the first place. If he hadn't wanted her to leave Lyle House with Simon, she'd probably be sleeping in a bed right now and not on a smelly old tarp in the back of some stranger's vehicle. But no. He had been so determined to get Simon away, to send him on the wild goose chase for their father. And look at where that had got them. Separated, with Simon and Tori on their way to Andrew's, and Chloe and him hiding in the back of a truck.

But it couldn't stop there, with the escape. Everything he did just worsened the situation for Chloe. The crappy way he had been treating at her, the mess-up with the hair dye, the Changing...If it hadn't been for his stupid werewolf genes, they wouldn't be hitchhiking. They'd still be on the bus, with Chloe sitting happily by Simon, the place she no doubt wanted to really be at that moment.

So, that's why he had been treating her so nicely. Not because he wanted to or anything. He just...felt guilty. And if by caring for--no, treating her nicely--eased his conscience, then so be it. It wasn't as if by treating her nicely, he was trying to impress her. He wasn't trying to show how he could be as good as Simon. Although Simon could make her laugh and smile along with her, and Derek just didn't believe he was able to do either of those things, not when it came to Chloe. Or any girl for that manner. He wasn't the type to flirt and tease or any of those other methods Simon always used. So what if Simon was more capable of handling girls than him? It's not like he wanted Chloe to think of him like she thought of Simon. He just wanted her to know that he wasn't just some moody, foul-tempered, ugly monster.

You need sleep.

He wasn't trying to go out his way, either. She hadn't had much time to rest since escaping the Edison Group. It was logical that she get some shut eye before they were on their merry way again. He didn't want her to lag behind because then he'd have to help her. He was always helping her. And she never even noticed. Or thanked him, for that matter. Then again, when had he ever thanked her for anything? She had seen him almost Change--twice. That took a tremendous amount of guts, just to be there for him. And he was sure it hadn't been easy. Just going through the Change had been tough for him; he didn't think it was any easier to sit and watch it happen. Twice.

You'll sleep better if your stomach isn't growling. And don't say it isn't. I can hear it.

Maybe it was the wolf part of himself, but he sympathized with her rumbling stomach. They hadn't eaten much for breakfast, on account of the small budget. He was starving, but he could endure it. All that mattered was that she was at peace, for the moment. Because his guilty conscience wouldn't be able to take it if he had just let her stay hungry. After all that he had put her through, giving up a measly half of an energy bar was nothing.

Animals naturally liked to provide for females. Chloe was a female. And, well, he was part animal, wasn't he? And wolves, they provided food for their pack, right? Not that Chloe was part of his pack, or that he even had a pack to begin with. But the concept was the same thing. Although, his dad might've said that might have had something to do with different kinds of mating rituals that various animals practiced, not that he had really paid much attention. Simon was the ladies man, and Derek was...not. There really had been no point in listening to a lecture about something that didn't even pertain to him.

But that wasn't it at all. He was not, most definitely was not, caring for her like she was something...special to him. He was just guilty.

And take this. Again, it might not smell great, but it's warm.

He looked down at her sleeping form, underneath his sweatshirt. Who said that taking care of a female was animalistic intention for mating, anyway? Couldn't a guy lend a girl a sweatshirt and that was just that? There was no special meaning in anything like that. That just meant it was cold, and the guy was thoughtful. It didn't mean he liked the girl.

So he wanted her to be comfortbale. It the least he could do, after all he crap he'd caused. And she really did need someone to look after her. In just the past week, she'd cut her arm and had almost been stabbed with the very knife she now kept in her possession. And yeah, he had told her he was tired of looking after her, tired of being the one to always rescue her. He thought he could leave all that up to Simon. But Simon wasn't available, now was he?

So, he'd watch over her. For the time being. It would help smooth down that guilt. The guilt that was making him look over at her once again and fix the sweater where it had slipped off her arm. Or the guilt that was brushing back the piece of hideous-looking black hair that was ticking her nose while she slept. The guilt that made him take a personal interest in her well-being. That's all it was. And all it would ever be.

I'm here. Go to sleep.

Authoress's Notes: So, I just bought The Awakening the day after it came out at about 4 in the afternoon, and I finished it at about 11 the very same night. So, it took about 6 or 7 hours, give or take a couple of minutes here and there, for me to read it. And I loved it. Loved it so much, in fact, that I am rereading it again and again and again. The same parts, every night. Mostly all Derek/Chloe moments, and there were quite a bit. Gah!!! I loved it!!! So, after rereading the same parts over and over, I decided to write a fanfic!! Because I also checked and realized there are not a lot of Darkest Powers fanfics...

I had in mind another fanfic...but I forgot it...I'll probably remember it sometime tomorrow...in math class. Because I always think about writing in my math class. Anywho, now that I've written this, I'm starting to think up of other ideas for the Darkest Powers. Mostly Derek/Chloe stuff. So, hopefully, I'll start writing more of those. They'll probably just be the characters reflecting on moments from Summoning or Awakening, with a bunch of my thoughts on what those moments mean thrown in for added flavor.

Anyway, hope you liked reading this. I enjoyed writing it. It might not be as well-written as it could be, on account it was late when I wrote this. I kinda just wanted to write a piece on how I think Derek is in denial about his feelings for Chloe, so, since he is a smart, logical type of guy, he has to make up all these reasons to justify why he feels the need to care for Chloe. Because if you read The Awakening, you notice a bunch of small stuff that he does for her and she doesn't even really notice any of it. I think he's subconsciously trying to impress her with all he can do for her to show her that he's a better choice than Simon. Because he so obviously is better than Simon.

Maybe next time, I'll do it from a first person perspective and try to get in the characters' heads a little bit. But for now, I like the third person point of view. I'm always afraid of making characters OOC when I write first person, so there's a very small chance I'd actually write in first person.

Thanks for reading!