Disclaimer: Not mine. But you all know that already.

This takes place during the Awakening. It's right at the end of the book, when they're all driving safely away from Andrew's house. And Simon is holding Chloe's hand.



It was only a matter of time.

When Simon liked a girl, Derek knew it. He had grown up with Simon, as brothers, so he had figured out that there were certain signs. After seeing the same signs after so many years, he knew that he didn't have to have supernatural werewolf senses to see them. There was an almost pattern that Simon liked to follow. The teasing, not-so-subtle flirting, those looks when she wasn't paying attention--and sometimes when she was paying attention--, the obvious hints, the semmingly innocent hand-holding.

He tried not to notice, to blatantly ignore the way Simon's fingers curled just so with Chloe's. Tried not to turn around in his seat and stare, to avert his gaze from the rear view mirror. Tried not to see them at all. There was no reason to keep glancing back at those hands like he had been doing ever since Andrew started driving towards their destination. And yet, he couldn't entirely stop himself from looking.

They had all just escaped the Edison Group for the...well, it had happened so much in the past several days that he had lost count of the number of times that they had escaped. They were stressed, tired, beaten. Simon was just comforting Chloe. She'd said she'd seen her aunt. Derek hadn't seen Lauren Fellows, and Chloe was afraid of her aunt's fate. She had reason to be distressed. She needed the comfort. Simon was just supplying it for her.

Another peek over his shoulder. Hands still together. Entwined.

Who the hell was he kidding?

Simon always got the girl. His brother was good-looking, funny, charming, athletic. It all sounded so superficial, but Derek knew that was what girls wanted. Simon knew the rights things to say, the right things to do, how to comfort a girl so obviously upset. He was everything girls wanted in guy. Basically, everything Derek was not.

He was so foolish. To think for a second that Chloe might...that she would...He couldn't even bring himself to think about it, the idea was so ridiculous. Foolish. Sure, they bonded while they were separated from Simon and Tori. They ahd become friends, of a sort. But that wasn't even to make her feel something so ludicrous as that for him. It wasn't like Disney. The beauty did not fall for the beast.

But that time, in the bathroom of the coffee shop. He remembered the sight of her, of the blood splattered all over her. Remembered the feeling of worry, his frantic actions to rid her of the blood. It might have turned her into a werewolf. A monster. Like him. He wouldn't wish that on anyone, let alone on Chloe. Especially not on her. That moment, he had wanted to protect her. From the werewolves, the blood, the Edison Group, from anything and everything that wanted to cause her harm.

Something had changed then. He knew, looking into her eyes, that something was different between them. There had been other times, too, like when he had almost Changed. But that moment, that was the moment where he had let himself hope.

That hope was gone now, had been gone since they arrived at Andrew's house. When he had returned her to Simon. It had been Chloe and him for a bit there, but having Simon out of the picture for a while had disillusioned him. Now Simon was back. And currently holding Chloe's hand. Those days where it had just been them, just Chloe and Derek, those were over. Those days had just stalled time.

Because sooner or later, Chloe would choose Simon. It was just a matter of time. It was inevitable. Simon always got the girl. Always. Derek knew that. And he hadn't really cared before. Until now. Until Chloe.

But he didn't have a chance. Not with Simon around. Girls overlooked Derek with Simon around. Hell. Girls overlooked Derek when Simon wasn't around. Either way, there wasn't much of a point in trying. But that was okay. Really. Simon was good for her. He wouldn't yell, wouldn't criticize, wouldn't get angry at her when she did stupid things. Like Derek. Simon would comfort and shelter and love her. Make her laugh and cheer her up. He was good at those things. Unlike Derek. Simon couldn't hurt her with just one touch of a finger. Simon wasn't a monster.

So, Simon would have Chloe. And Derek wouldn't interfere. No matter how much he wanted to, no matter how much his inner wolf coveted Chloe for himself, he would do nothing. It was inevitable, them together. It would be futile to try and stop it form happening. Because it would happen. Sooner or later.

One more look. Hands still joined.

It was only a matter of time.

Sooner or later.

A part of him wished it was never.

Authoress's Notes:Yeah...this took a while to write. But it's done now. Sorry for those of you who waited patiently for this. I would have had it up sooner but school got in the way. I had a big english presentation to work on, plus French stuff and all my other classes. Because it's the end of the year and that's when teachers love to pile a ton of important projects on us students. Evil, evil teachers. And then, when I had time and was in the mood to write this, my internet wasn't working. I know, I could have written it but I didn't...want to.

I finally wrote this whole thing up in French today. My French teacher's mom died on Tuesday and she had to fly out to France. It was very sad. On the plus side, I had three whole days of French class where I did absolutely NOTHING because we had a substitute teacher. So I wrote this up today in French. And then I came home and typed it all up and now it's done. Luckily, I got out of school early today and came home and I typed this up. So now I don't have to wait until I get home from work to get this thing out. Yayness!!!

I also planned out the first few chapters of a multi-fic that I might post on here. Yes. You heard me. A MULTI-FIC!!! Not a one-shot. A real, true multi-fic. It will be an AU fic, but it will be a Chlerek thing. Of course. I'd tell you more about it but I'm still a little tentative about it. I want to plan out more of the plot before I really start working on it because I have a habit of writing and then getting stuck with writer's block because I have no more plot.

So, until I think of more for this fic, I will continue with the one-shots. Lord knows I have enough ideas. I hoped you liked this one. A little more of Derek angsting over Chloe. I think I enjoy writing an angsty Derek. It's just fun. Does he sound a little bitter or more resigned? I wanted it to sound bitter, but resigned, as well. If that makes any sense. It just seems to me that Derek would be a little jealous of Simon and his easy friendship/relationship with Chloe. But at the same time, he would never put his own personal wants over Simon's because they're so close.