Disclaimer: Not mine...Haven't I established this already?

Derek's thought about Chloe and his Changes. The quotes, in bold, are from The Summoning and The Awakening, respectively.


That Moment

Moments of weakness were rare for Derek. In fact, he could barley recall the last one that he'd had, they were so few. It was just a facet of his character--strength. Not just the physical kind, but strength of the mind, the heart, anything. He was strong. Possibly it was the wolf in him, possibly it was just him in general, but that's what he was. Strong.

Always, he'd been so sure of his strength. So sure of himself, his abilities, his convictions, his beliefs. He knew who he was, who he would never be, how others perceived him, how he saw others.

The only uncertainty came when it regarded the wolf counterpart to him. He'd only known the other werewolves that grew up in the institution with him. And look where they were now--dead. Then he'd been taken in by his dad, who was a sorcerer. Derek knew next to nothing about his own supernatural species, and that was where his strength fell short.

However, he liked to think that when the time came for his first Change, he'd figure out what to do. He was an intelligent young man. He knew how to improvise. He would have found a way to deal with it when the time arrived.

Only he hadn't. He hadn't a clue. With the fever and the muscle spasms and his overall restlessness, he'd known what was happening. But nothing could prepare him for how completely unprepared he was for the situation. No miraculous plan, no light bulb in the brain to alert 'Hey, do this!' His first instinct had been to get away from Simon, from those in Lyle House, away from people he could hurt. After that, everything had overwhelmed him and he had had no idea what would happen next.

At that time, that moment, he had not been strong. Consumed by worry, pain, absolute and total fear, he'd felt the exact opposite of strong. Weak. And there'd been nothing anyone could do. He had to deal with it like he did nearly everything else. Alone.

Then, there she was. Beside him, next to him. Not running away. Not leaving, despite how many times he told her to. In that moment, he was not alone. In that moment, with the pain and the fear, he did not want to be alone.

"Don't go."

Those words. Spoken in his moment of weakness. They were out there and in the open, and there was no way he could take them back. She knew. Knew how afraid he had been, knew his uncertainty. She knew and she had stayed with him for the duration of the Change.

As she was doing once more. Kneeling beside him, rubbing reassurance through her hand into his back. Speaking nonsense words that meant nothing and everything to him. At that moment, she should be driving away on the bus, with Simon, creating that comic and just enjoying herself. Instead, she was sitting next to him, waiting anxiously for him to become the monster that he was, not knowing what was going to happen. Basically, she was placing herself in danger. She knew that, but she wouldn't let him be alone for that moment. He was afraid to find that he didn't want to be.

She'd seen him at his most vulnerable. He usually was careful not to let anyone close enough to see him like that. Not even Simon, his brother and closest friend. But she'd stumbled upon him in that first moment, and he had shared that awful experience with her. Now she wanted to be there for new Change, any moment in which she could be there for him.

He hated that she saw him like that. Hated that she refused to leave. Hated that he didn't exactly want her to, and that he appreciated her being there. Especially he hated how she didn't know how much he appreciated her being there. Because every time he tried to convey his gratitude, it was either he got mad at her and began his yelling rants, or his lips just couldn't form the right words. 'Thank you' hardly encompassed all he was feeling at that moment.

But what he hated the most was how much he needed her there. As of that moment, that first Change, she had witnessed his weakness. The failure, the one and only shortcoming of his strength. If she hadn't been there, he could have learned to deal with it on his own like he was used to. He wouldn't have come to rely on her so much. Would have just walked right off that bus into the forest, without stopping to tell her what was happening. Deep down, he knew she'd follow him off the bus, and that was why he had told her. Because she would follow and he wouldn't be alone.

Now he needed her there to tell him her comforting nonsense words. To kneel next to him in the mud and watch over him. To just be there and share his fear, his uncertainty. To show her that he wasn't as strong as he let on. To see him as he was in that moment and not abandon him.

Some day, she'd get sick of watching over him while he was in that state. It couldn't be easy for her to see that horror, to be aware that at any second, he could seriously hurt her. That anything could go wrong. Hell, he wasn't okay with letting her be a bystander to his Change. Each time she was there, for that moment, he felt himself drawn closer and closer to her. Let her so close that he didn't know how he'd react when she finally listened to him and left.

So, he had to give her that option, before she managed to get even closer. The option of being able to leave whenever she wanted. He would not keep her tied to him, no matter how much he might need her.

"If it gets too bad, go. I'll understand."

Except those words were whispering in his head, always lurking in his thoughts at that moment.

Don't go. Don't go. Don't go.

"I won't."

Authoress's Notes: Sorry I've taken awhile...I actually started another fic several weeks ago during my midterms. It was a kind-of prequel to Simon Says but then I decided I didn't like it, so I'm gonna work on that a lot more before deciding whether or not I want to post it up here. Anyways, I have a couple more plans for some other one-shots. This one was actually unplanned, and very spur of the moment. I love ones like that. I'm almost done with chapter 1 of the new multi-chap I'm starting. I want to get it out soon, hopefully by the end of this week. But I don't want to talk about it too much and get all my lovely readers' hopes up, in case I don't go through with it.

I've realized, except for Gut Feeling and Simon Says, my stories are basically just Derek's pov for a bunch of scenes in the books. Not that I mind writing those because it's fun to write from Derek's pov.

Hope you liked this!