Sorry for the delay! I'm starting my senior year next week so I've been crazy busy.

But I wanted to publish this before the TW Finale tonight. I hope you all enjoy this story and don't die too hard on the finale!

My writing tumblr is ACRwritings!

Disclaimed: I do not own Teen Wolf or its characters herp derp

The first meeting in the woods wasn't actually Dereks first time meeting Stiles.

Derek was sixteen and his house had just been burned to the ground by Kate Argent. He had been in the hospital all night with Laura waiting to see if their uncle Peter would stabilize at all. Laura had been on the phone making arrangement to move themselves and what they had left of their stuff to New York and live with their fathers side of the family, the ones that weren't wolves. Derek had been sitting there hating himself. He and Laura had been out that night, she was teaching him how to hunt. And he should have been in that fire, he should have died in it.

A doctor had come out to talk to Derek all of once, to tell him that the burns were severe but they were trying hard to revive Peter. Derek had been dozing off in the chair in the lobby, and it had to be five a.m. There was a couple sitting together on the other side of the room, and a little boy sitting alone near him, with a shaved head, and he couldn't have been more than ten years old. A nurse with dark curly black hair kept coming out to talk to the little boy in hushed voices before she would leave him alone again. He had big eyes and looked scared.

The little boy started shaking, and Derek stiffened. When the kid pulled into himself and started breathing like he was having some sort of attack, Derek stood up and closed the distance between them. He knelt down and touched the kids knee.

"Are you okay?" He asked. It was a really stupid question. He wouldn't want anyone asking HIM that question.

The kid looked at him with tears in his eyes, "Yes." It was so laced with sarcasm Derek actually laughed. His first real laugh since the fire destroyed his life.

"Okay, cool. Just checking." Derek said with just about as much sarcasm. But he was smiling, and so the little kid started smiling too. Derek sat next to him and they were quiet. He finally looked over at the kid again, "What's wrong?"

The kid rubbed his eyes, "They say my mom has cancer. I don't know what that is."

Dereks stomach dropped. It was hard to not know what cancer was at that point. And know it didn't usually… Well, end well, "It's hard to explain."

"Does it kill people?" The little boy was looking up at him, and Derek suddenly didn't want to lie.

"Not always, but, usually."

The kid nodded, but there were the tears again. Derek watched, but they didn't fall. Derek suddenly saw something really… strong, there. In a ten year old. Derek as a ten year old would be throwing a temper tantrum if someone had told him his mom had cancer. And now his mom was dead. But at least his last memory of her was her grinning and telling him to eat his dinner or she'd beat him up again. She was the alpha, so Derek generally didn't take her threats lightly. This kid would have to watch his mom slowly deteriorate… And Derek was suddenly a little grateful that at least he didn't have that.

"I'm Stiles, by the way," the kid said.

"Who the hell would name their kid Stiles?" Derek asked, since humor was something Stiles obviously responded to. Sure enough, he laughed.

"Well, that's not my real name. But I don't like my real name anymore. My mom named me that."

Derek considered that, and decided he understood. Sometimes you had to banish the things that reminded you and run from them. Maybe his name was that. Like Derek was pretty sure he could never go back to that house…

"I'm Derek." He said simply, "Tell me about your mom, Stiles."

And he did. Derek kept smiling to himself because damn, that kid could talk. And it was easier for them both, he thought. Derek listened to Stiles talk about the way his mom used to garden, about the way she would read him the Lord of the Rings books before bed, and about the way she made faces at him while his dad was giving him a serious talk. And Derek listened, and laughed when he was supposed to, and remembered his own mom. The way she used to show him lame werewolf movies and they'd laugh, and the way she yelled at him when really she was just hurt. At some point Stiles was crying happy tears and laughing. Derek felt the anger at himself and at Kate and everything just draining away as he stopped thinking so hard about it. An emptiness crept up inside of him instead, and that was scary. But he watched Stiles slowly come to terms with his mother dying, and Derek thought maybe if a ten year old could do it, Derek could accept his parents deaths one day. By the time Derek saw Laura talking to the doctors, the sun was rising higher into the sky.

She approached them, her black hair and blue eyes looking more tired than anything. She glanced oddly at Stiles for a few seconds before turning to Derek.

"The doctor said Peter is stabile, and we have a plane to New York in two hours. So we should go."

He nodded and stood up. Stiles looked a little torn at his leaving. Derek smiled down at him as much as he could.

"Thanks," was all he said before following his sister out of the hospital.

Nearly six year later he came back to Beacon Hills when Laura never came home after a trip to visit Peter in the hospital. Derek had told her to stop going back there, to move on with her life, but she couldn't. Peter was catatonic but he was the last survivor of the fire and she took it upon herself to make sure he was getting the correct care he needed. Derek never planned to go back, not ever. But when Laura didn't come home he couldn't help himself.

And finding her dead was the worst thing that could have possibly happened. It didn't hit him as hard as it could have, though. They had been growing so far apart over the years, mostly because she blamed him for the fire. And he blamed himself. He never realized that the reason Laura kept going back to Beacon hills was because she considered Peter her last family, she didn't consider Derek her brother anymore. Derek didn't realize that until Peter really was the last family HE had anymore.

Seeing that same little kid in the forest after that crushing blow was the last thing he expected. Except the kid was all grown up, the only reason Derek recognized him was the stupid shaved head and the huge brown eyes. He suddenly remembered the little talk and the way he smiled with tears in his eyes and Derek felt… calmer.

It took a few more meetings with Stiles to realize that his mom really was dead. He wasn't that surprised, and honestly hadn't given it a second thought until he saw him. But Stiles smelled… different. He smelled like leather and trees and sometimes like cologne. But he didn't smell like a mom, he didn't smell like someone with a full family and full affection. None of them smelled like that, actually. Allison did, but it faded away when her mother died. It was the smell of family and it was a dying thing.

Derek doubted that Stiles remembered the hospital, so he never asked. In fact, Derek tried to pretend the hospital thing never happened at all when it came to Stiles. Because Stiles was so annoying Derek wanted to rip his freaking head off half the damn time. He was the most stubborn person in the world. No matter how many times Derek told him to stay put, he would get himself into trouble anyway. He was noisy and stood up to Derek even when Derek didn't know if he could control his wolf enough to NOT kill Stiles.

But it mattered. It mattered that Stiles was still the sarcastic and extremely strong little kid from the hospital six years ago. It mattered that sometimes in his weakest moments, Derek would keen under Stiles' touch and submit, let Stiles take the alpha burden. There was never meant to be one alpha. Derek had memories of his sharp-tongued and violent mother calming down under his father's touch. It was gentle and it was love and when Derek realized he was doing that with Stiles, it scared the crap out of him. He also knew there wasn't much a point in fighting it. He was supposed to let it happen.

And he thought it was going okay. So maybe Derek wasn't the confess-your-love-to-everyone type of person. But he smelled it on Stiles, maybe certain affection for Derek that could be something else. So Derek was content with taking things slow and letting them progress on their own. If they only ever progressed as friends, Derek would accept that. Because really, why would Stiles ever want him?

He was doing pushups and thinking about the next full moon when his phone buzzed with a picture of Stiles kissing (licking? drunk.) another guy. And he saw the photos on the internet. And he decided to ignore it before he found Stiles smelling like someone had been all over him. And anger and jealousy was boiling inside of him like he might explode.

And then he talked to Scott and realized he couldn't just SIT here. It was time to take charge of the situation.

He was sitting down and watched Erica single-handedly wrestle both Isaac and Boyd to the floor, and he might have been grinning. He felt some pride in his Betas, really, but in his more sad times he thought if he died he'd have to pass the Alpha gauntlet on to Erica. She was really good at this. Females usually were.

He smelled Lydia come into the room before he saw her. He would smell her pungent shampoo mixed with the pathetic smell of teenage heartbreak from a mile away. He turned to see pouty lips and bouncing curls coming his way, and nearly groaned in annoyance.

Overall, she was behind all of this. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know she was the one sending him the pictures. She was also always present lately with everything happening between Stiles and this… Danny guy. She was up to something even now, walking towards him.

"Gonna have to ask you to leave," He grunted as she stopped, leaning against the wall next to him, "This is a wolf-only area."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever." She brushed it off. He growled at her and she shot him a dirty look, "Oh, stop with the big scary wolf thing. I am so over it."

"It's not a 'thing'. You realize I could kill you, right?"

"Fully aware. Obnoxiously aware. In fact no one lets me forget it."

Derek tried not to feel bad about that and failed. He glanced back at his betas, "Did you want something?"

She took a moment and a deep breath before speaking, "Stiles is going to the dance on Friday with Danny."

Derek was glad Lydia wasn't a werewolf, so she couldn't hear the way his heart nearly stopped in his chest for a split second. He cleared his throat, "Okay. Not my business."

"You're so full of shit," She sighed, flipping her hair as she turned to look at him, "I know you care. I'm not a total idiot."

"Obviously," Derek snapped, "Since you keep sending me stupid fucking pictures."

She was silent for a second, "I just wanted you to see it firsthand."

Derek relaxed when he saw the concern in her eyes and turned to the Betas. They all has stopped wrestling and were talking on the other side of the room. The way Isaac was standing revealed that they were actually listening in on the conversation. Derek turned and started walking, flinching his shoulder to signal Lydia to follow him. She sighed and did.

"It's not my business what Stiles does." Derek finally said after they were out of earshot of the betas and outside in the cool afternoon air. Lydia scoffed.

"No, but you want it to be your business."

"Lydia-" Derek started growling.

"Listen to me, sour wolf." She glared at him, "I may be just human, but I can tell you like Stiles so DO something about it and stop just standing there like an idiot. He likes you too. But no one can wait around forever, and if Stiles moves on because you can't even bother to try, then I don't blame him."

Derek opened his mouth to say something snarky and then decided against it. He sputtered a bit and then closed his mouth, eying her. She was very serious looking, but perhaps a bit of fear there, like she thought he might kill her. In theory, he could if he WANTED to. But he couldn't for that reason, he could never harm anyone in his pack. And he didn't want her to be afraid.

"Why does it matter so much to you?" He asked quietly.

She relaxed and shrugged, "Stiles is a good person. He deserves to be happy where all of the rest of us are falling apart at the seams."

Derek laughed bitterly, "So, what am I supposed to do about it? Stiles seems pretty intent on whatever with Danny."

"You could start by telling him."


"Fine," She groaned. Then her face lit up and she smiled, "Well, theres something I know of that works pretty well."


"Jealousy," She eyed him, "Make him jealous. He's been making you jealous, so why not get him back?"

Derek considered that. He shifted on his feet, "What do you have in mind?"

Her grin was possibly the biggest he'd ever seen, and he was already regretting this completely.

Going to a dance at a high school with Lydia Martin was not on the list of things Derek wanted to do, ever, under any circumstances. But against his better judgment and some weird urge to make Stiles fucking Stilinski jealous, that's exactly how he was spending his Saturday night. Luckily it wasn't a formal dance or anything, so literally all Derek had to do was hunt down a grey tank top and the only shorts he owned. None of it would be that bad if Lydia wasn't clinging to his arm like her life depended on it.

"Why are we doing this?" Derek groaned. He stared into the crowd of stupid teenagers and had to actually breathe through his mouth because they all smelled like hormones and horny. Lydia paid the teacher at a table set up outside and he stamped their hands, eying Derek suspiciously. Yeah he totally was a fucking twenty three year old at a High School dance. Christ.

"You know exactly why. It's all about JEALOUSLY. Nothing is more powerful."

He glared down at her and she squeezed his arm, "But-"

"Don't think so hard about it," She said quickly, "Oh look! There's Scott and Allison. Let's go say hi."

"God," Derek groaned and tried not to think about the levels of humiliating this was. They approached the couple, who were leaning against one of the walls by the school. Scott had heart eyes focused on Allison until they approached, to which Scott glared fiercely at him. Ouch.

"Allison," Lydia said loudly, finally letting go of Dereks arm. He stretched it out and tried to get the blood flowing again.

"Lydia," Allison smiled, "Want to come to the bathroom and help me fix my eyeliner?"

"Sure," Lydia said. Derek didn't need to be female to know that was code for 'we need to talk'. The two practically bounced away and Derek turned towards Scott.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Scott spat.

"Uh, standing?" Derek said. He knew what Scott meant but he didn't feel like listening to him whine without at least being sarcastic.

"No. I mean, what are you doing here?"

Derek surveyed the crown of teenagers dancing to some really crappy pop music, "I'm here to piss off Stiles, apparently. Keep in mind that this really, really isn't my plan."

"Oh," Scotts face softens a little bit, "So… you're accepting this now?"

Derek growled in reply and Scott threw up his arms.

"God I was just asking." He muttered. Just then he jolted and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He glanced at it and then held it out for Derek to see casually, looking away like he was ignoring some crime. Derek frowned and looked down at the opened text.

To: Scott
From: Stiles

Dude! I just saw Derek with Lydia! What the fuck?

Derek tried not to smile. Lydia really is a fairly smart person sometimes, he made a mental note to give her more credit.

"Are you going to talk to him?" Scott asked, pocketing his phone instead of texting Stiles back. Derek sighed and wondered why he trusted telling Scott things despite his head telling him not to.

"I don't really know what to say."

"You could tell him how you feel?"

Derek rolled his eyes, "Yeah, that would require knowing how I feel."

Scott actually nodded like he totally understood. It was annoying, "Look, just don't hurt him okay? I don't want to be forced to kill you."

Derek laughed, "Right."

"I'm serious." Scott glared at him, "He's my best friend. He's been my best friend since forever. Trust me when I say I'd kill for him."

Derek blinked in surprise. Scott looked like a dog protecting its master, and it was a reaction Derek expected of him with Allison but not Stiles.

"Okay," Derek said flatly, "I won't hurt him. I don't think I am capable of doing that. At least not trying to."

Scott nodded, "Okay, yeah. I know that."

Allison and Lydia bounced back over to them and Lydia touched his shoulder, "Let's make a scene."

"Do we have to?" Derek grumbled, nodding his goodbyes to Allison and Scott as he followed Lydia towards the crowd of moving teens. The last of the sun was sinking beyond the horizon, and the neon lights were beginning to pulse with the beat of the heavy music. This wasn't Dereks scene. It wasn't even the type of music he liked. He like… Old bands. The Beatles and Kansas and the Clash. What the hell were kids listening to these days?

The crowd was thick, but Derek swore the younger kids actually flinched and parted a little bit when they walked through. Derek almost thought it was him (because honestly he's had similar reactions before), and then he realized it was Lydia. They all gave her nervous looks and glanced up at Derek. He was slightly curious about why they had this reaction to her. She didn't seem to notice, or if she did, she didn't care.

She stopped and looked around, apparently deeming this a good place to stand. She turned to him and pressed closer into his personal space. It wasn't awkward; the pack had a certain closeness that they shared and he was no stranger to having Lydia or Scott or Jackson in his personal space, scenting together as a "pack". It was actually pretty comforting, because when she was close to him the scent masked all the strange smells a little better. Her arm rested on his shoulder and her hand touched the nape of his neck a bit. He placed his hands on her tiny hips, far enough up to be acceptable, and then they started swaying quickly to the beat. She wasn't looking at him, instead choosing to glance into the crowd like she was searching.

"Why do people shy away from you?" Derek looked around at the people and couples grinding a little too much to be school-acceptable. The ones closest to them were looking at them and muttering and laughing, or trying to be as far away as they could be without being obvious. It made something in his stomach hurt. It reminded of him of the way people in New York stayed away from him when they knew about the fire.

"They don't want to be near me," She said nonchalantly, "I'm a class A freak these days. The girl who wandered around naked in the woods after a mental breakdown. The girl who was attacked and survived. It's not just me, either. No one talks to Jackson unless they have to. They call Allison a freak behind her back. They avoid Scott and Stiles."

Derek winced at her words. He never meant for that to happen, and couldn't help but feel a little responsible, "What about Isaac and Erica and Boyd?"

Lydia laughed and finally met his eyes, "No one really talked to them in the first place. But, yeah. It's more now. People are afraid of us."

"They're human, and they don't know anything."

"But they're not stupid," Lydia muttered, "Even before I knew, I knew. There's something strange going on in Beacon Hills. There's something not quite right with those kids in school."

Derek grunted in acknowledgement, "I didn't mean for that to happen to you guys."

She shrugged, "I don't even think the others notice it, really. I'm surprised you do. I don't mind, of course. With everything that happens, my social status isn't a priority anymore."

"You've grown up. You all have." He hummed. He felt Lydias hand on his waist dropping dangerously low. He grabbed her wrist and forced her hand back up with a warning growl.

"Prude." She laughed.

He sighed and looked over her head, "So tell me, is bringing me here really for my benefit or yours?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, how much of this is an attempt to make Jackson jealous too?"

She tensed visibly below him and the song changed to something slower. "Why does everyone assume that I have selfish motives? Is it that hard to believe that I could be doing this for you guys?"

Derek laughed and offered her a smile that she just glared at, "That's not what I'm saying at all. But can't you benefit too?"

She sighed and the lights flashed over her face. She looked so worn and sad at that moment that Derek felt a little tug at his heart. He cared way too fucking much about the well-being of this pack and its members, and he was such a softy for heartbroken kids.

"Jackson doesn't want me anymore." She said softly.


"It doesn't matter. He really hurt me. I didn't… I didn't trust anyone before Jackson. I didn't even like myself before Jackson. And he broke my heart." She removed her hand from his waist and pulled it up to her face, wiping carefully under one of her eyes in a way that could have been nothing if he didn't know better.

Derek smiled a bit and pulled her closer. Derek didn't hug anyone usually, not anymore. But Lydia reminded him a lot of Laura in the little ways she acted, and reminded him even more of his mom. He couldn't NOT try to comfort her. His arms wrapped around her lower back and she wrapped hers around his neck. They just stood like that for a few moments, Derek breathing in and relaxing.

When he opened his eyes, he saw Stiles a few feet away. It was like everyone had cleared and it was just them. The red and violet lights washed over Stiles pale face and at first, he looked so breathtakingly beautiful that Derek almost shivered. And then he met Stiles eyes, and saw the pure pain and anguish there that his heart nearly stopped in his chest. And before he could even nail down what was happening, Stiles turned and ran off out of the crowd.

"Stiles!" Derek shouted, pulling away from Lydia. She looked dazed, "Fuck." Derek mumbled.

"Go after him," She blinked. He didn't need much more permission than that. He shot off through the crowd the way Stiles had gone, pushing people out of the way and ignoring their protests. Eventually he broke out of the crowd and glanced around. It was dark now, there were people everywhere and he was once again surrounded by a haze of unwanted smells. He shook his head to clear it and looked around furiously.

"Stiles!" He yelled out again. There was no shaved head in sight. But there was someone he recognized… He bounded over and grabbed Dannys shoulder, turning him around.

"Hey!" Danny said at the intrusion, then he met Dereks eyes and his face paled, "Oh."

"Where's Stiles?" Derek asked, trying to ignore the fact Danny smelled like fear.

"Uh, I don't know. He went off to find Scott… Do you want me to call him?"

"Yes," Derek said. Danny pulled out his phone and started looking for Stiles number. Derek glanced around for him again but had about as much luck as the last time.

"Stiles?" Danny said into the phone. Dereks eyes shot over him, "Where are you? Derek is looking for you."

"Jesus Christ," Derek groaned. Stiles definitely wasn't going to tell him now… Wait.

"He says to fuck off," Danny said to Derek, looking fearful and amused.

"Keep talking to him." Derek said, closing his eyes and focusing his wolf hearing. It wasn't something he should do, especially not in public. But he tuned out the music anyway, shifting through peoples voices while also half-listening to Danny.

"What's up?... Yeah I kind of got that…." Danny laughed nervously, "Uh-huh…. Maybe you should just come here…. We can leave if you want to…. No he's not paying attention… I thought you… Yeah… I didn't know..."

"He's here with Lydia, Danny! How did you not know about this!?" It was Stiles, clear in Dereks head. He stopped listening to anything else and locked onto that. Stiles wasn't far. Derek took off running, listening to the echoes of Stiles voice in his head. He sniffed at the air as he made his way around the group of people. He headed towards the wall of the building and slowed down, trailing his fingers over the bricks. He listened again and heard a shallow breathing, smelled a familiar scent. He turned the corner of the high school where it was dark and vast and spacious. He came to a slow walk and listened. He heard a sniff.

"Stiles?" Derek hissed loudly.

"What the fuck!" Stiles stood up from where he had been sitting in the dark behind a pillar. He was glaring at Derek pretty obviously. Just then, the moon peaked out from where it had been hiding behind some clouds, shedding them with more light. And that is when Derek saw the tears in Stiles' eyes.

"Fuck," He whispered, taking a step forward. Stiles shot backwards and put a hand up. Derek stopped in his tracks.

"Go away, Derek." Stiles said, looking away.


Stiles rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, "Fine, whatever."

Derek just stared at Stiles. This was it, some sort of… make it or break it moment. And suddenly his mouth was dry and he didn't even know what to say…

"I guess that's why she's been being so nice to me." Stiles said. He wasn't looking at Derek, looking anywhere but at him.


"Lydia," Stiles muttered, "She was trying to find a nice to way to break it to me."

"Break what to you, Stiles?" Derek grumbled, annoyed for no reason. He didn't want this obscure bullshit.

"That you two are… a thing now. Or whatever."

Derek actually laughed, and it was loud and bitter sounding. Stiles looked like Derek had physically hit him at the sound, so Derek closed his mouth. He sighed. "Stiles, I am not WITH Lydia. That's fucking retarded."

Stiles looked flustered, "But you're at a dance with her. And you can say what you want, but you were really, really close to her about ten minutes ago!"

"I was comforting her. She was upset about Jackson," There was literally no point in lying now.

Stiles laughed and it made Derek uncomfortable because it was so dry and not like Stiles at all, "That's so much crap."

"I am allowed to comfort my pack. In fact, it's my job," Derek felt hurt and anger bubbling up inside of him now, "Besides, aren't you being a little hypocritical? Aren't you here with DANNY?"

Stiles blushed visibly, "Yeah. As friends."

"And me and Lydia are here. As friends."

"I wasn't dancing up close with Lydia!"

"Yeah, you're right. You were busy grinding with Danny at a gay club!" Derek was yelling now and not even trying to contain his anger. Stiles jaw dropped and Derek felt his claws lengthening and if his eyes weren't red, they would be soon.

"I… Don't know what to say." Stiles said. It was a whisper now. He closed his eyes and tear streamed down his flushed cheeks. They sat in silence and then Stiles laughed bitterly, "This is so stupid. We're acting like we cheated on each other. But you can't cheat when there's nothing there."

Derek sighed and let the anger fade away. Stiles was right, he had no room to get mad at him for anything he wanted to do, with Danny or anyone else. It wasn't his place. He took a cautious step, but when Stiles didn't reject it, he came closer. He stopped within a foots distance of him and reached out, touching his arm barely with the tips of his fingers.

"I thought there was something there," Derek said. He was surprised at how worn he sounded.

Stiles blinked away the tears in his eyes and looked up at him, "What?"

"Between us," God, he really hated how he couldn't actually talk very well, "I mean, I thought there was something."

"I…" Stiles shut his mouth and looked like he was processing, "I did too."

He did, but that doesn't mean he does. Derek felt something tugging at his insides, an overwhelming sadness. He wanted to wolf out and run so far away and never come back.

"I wanted," He cleared his throat, "Something. It's selfish to ask of you, to want anything from you. But I wanted it anyway."

Stiles was looking at him but Derek was looking past him. He couldn't take this.

"What did you want?" Stiles asked in something akin to a whimper.

"I…" Derek growled and ran his ran his fingers through his hair. His eyes were definitely red now, but not from anger. "I wanted you. I wanted you to put up with my mood swings, and to stop me from making horrible mistakes. And I wanted you to watch my favorite movies with me, like the original Frankenstein and Rocky Horror Picture Show. And then I wanted you to make fun of me because all I watch are old horror movies. And I wanted you to show me some current horror movies, maybe, like you talk about. I wanted that from you. And a hundred other things."

Stiles eyes were wide and he looked speechless. Derek closed his eyes and turned away, walking the other direction. He needed to go, right now. He felt so stupid about even opening his mouth. He should have just spared the embarrassment. Now it was time to run off and do something really stupid, like die.

"Derek." Stiles said, "Stop."

He obeyed, even though his mind was screaming to just go. His heart wanted to keep trying. Scotts words to just try rang in his ears and he sighed, turning around. Stiles was rubbing his eyes, and then he approached.

"Do you remember that time in the hospital?" He asked. Dereks stomach dropped.

"After my house burned down. Yeah."

Stiles ran his hand over his shaved head and met his eyes, "You saved me that day. I had no one, I didn't even have my dad. You fixed that for me."

Derek stared at him. He didn't say what he was thinking, that Stiles had saved him that day too, in a way. Stiles kept talking.

"And you were so stupid. Just this stupid kid who talked to me when everyone else was avoiding me like the plague, but it meant something. And it made me who I was. And it felt like fate, that day, because I didn't know how you could affect me later. By helping Scott or… any of this." Stiles closed his mouth quietly, clearly done talking. Derek didn't know what to say.

"Uh, okay."

"You're still so stupid." Stiles grabbed his wrist and took a small step closer, "The stupidest."

Derek rolled his eyes, "I get it, Stiles."

He laughed, a pure little laugh. And then he leaned into Derek, forehead pressed into Dereks collarbone, hand still gripping his wrist like he would lose him if he let go.

"Please don't leave."

Dereks let out a shuddering breath and lifted the hand not being held and pressed it to the small of Stiles back. He listened to the music in the background, and realized he knew the song. He pressed a smile to Stiles' hair and started mouthing the words.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad. Take a sad song, and make it better…

"Are you mouthing the lyrics to a Beatles song?" Stiles murmured against him.

"They're my favorite band."

Stiles groaned, "You are so cliché."

Derek breathed out a laugh, "I know."

"Mmm…" Stiles practically purred into Derek and he was so curious about why he liked that. He was also confused, but he figured the cuddling was a good sign.

"I won't, you know." Derek said. Stiles made a noise like a question and Derek sighed, "Leave."

Stiles pulled back a little bit and stood on his toes, pressing chapped lips to Dereks jaw and cheek. He shuddered under the feeling of it. It was foreign, yeah. But not unwanted.

"So, do you still think there's something between us?" Stiles whispered in his ear.

"Figuratively or literally?" Derek mumbled, "Because that's important to my answer."

Stiles laughed, "When did you get a sense of humor? It's horrible."

Derek shrugged, "To answer your question, I don't know. So you tell me."

"Derek," Stiles pulled back down and looked at him. Derek tried to focus on the feeling of Stiles slowly letting go of his wrist, "I think I like… love you. And shit."

Derek gulped, "Oh."

"I'm not asking for you to love me. But all that stuff you said… About watching horror movies, I want that. I want to try if you want to."

Derek pulled his hand away from Stiles and pressed it to his face instead, stroking a thumb over his cheeks that were still wet with tears. His other hand found a similar position on the other cheek and gripped his face between his palms. He leaned down, licking his lips, and pressed them down into Stiles'. He kissed back immediately, friction and heat and heavy breathing. Stiles eased his tongue forward and Derek accepting it, sucking slightly to get a tiny whimper out of Stiles. He sighed and pulled back. Stiles leaned forward for more and looked so adorable that Derek laughed. Stiles glared at him, but Derek just let his hands fall down his chest, and then around his waist, pulling him closer.

"I like you." Derek said.

"God I'd hope so, otherwise this is super awkward."

Derek nuzzled the top of his head, "I mean it. I don't like anyone. Not even Scott."

Stiles laughed, loud and clear, "For the record, no one likes Scott."

Eventually, they made their way back to the dance. Almost everyone was gone, save for a few dozen kids who seemed intent on staying until the DJ left. A slow and emotional song was playing when Derek and Stiles went to stand with the pack. Scott was sitting down against the wall, Isaac on one side of him looking like he was about to pass out, and Allison was on the otherside leaning on him and looking already asleep. Danny was leaning against the wall nearby and he and Scott were smiling into the crowd.

Derek and Stiles both followed their eyes and saw Lydia and Jackson dancing near the edge of the crowd. Their bodies were pressed together and their foreheads together, looking so sweetly intimate that Derek actually had to look away. It felt like an intrusion.

"I didn't even know Jackson was here," Stiles said, glancing at Scott.

Danny grinned, "He wasn't. I might have texted him and told that she was here with Derek. Lydia is right; jealousy really is a helpful motivator."

Derek met Dannys eyes at that and nodded. He understood now. He was grateful.

"Jackson always loved Lydia," Scott said, pulling his knees up a bit and eying Derek, "He just needed to realize it."

Derek rolled his eyes and reached out, grabbing Stiles' hand. He tried to ignore the way that it made his stomach feel, to be open like that. Scott and Dannys eyes widened a bit, so Derek ignored them to pull Stiles into the crowd.

"What are you doing?" Stiles sputtered.

"Dancing with you, properly." Derek hummed. He stopped and pulled Stiles closer to his chest and ignored how bright red Stiles cheeks were.

"Ah, this is like, so lame," Stiles said, embarrassed. Derek smirked.

"Yeah. But I guess everything turned out okay." He nodded towards Jackson and Lydia, now locked in a passionate kiss. But he was also talking about him and Stiles, too, in an offhanded way.

"Yeah," Stiles sighed, "I feel bad though. I wish Danny could have someone, and be happy."

Derek snorted, "He won't have any problems there."

"What's THAT supposed to mean?"

"He's pretty hot, man. Like, I'd do him." Stiles frowned and kicked him hard in the shins. Derek flinched and pretended to be wounded. He grinned down. "Hey, maybe Lydia and Jackson will let him into a three-way."

Stiles looked haunted, "Oh god. That's just like my dream."

Derek rolled his eyes, "I really don't want to know."