Title: Bound Memories

Summary: Stiles doesn't want to let go even though it kills him.

Genre: Angst/Romance

Thanks to VCCV for being my beta. The song used is "My Immortal" by Evanescence.

"I've been alone all along."

Stiles gave out an exasperated sigh, and sat up in bed. Two years. It had been two years, and he still couldn't sleep alone. He'd always had a hard time sleeping, but ever since Derek Hale, insomnia was like an old friend.

"Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams."

Derek was the best thing that happened to him. He came along when Stiles needed him most. Stiles refused to admit that he was also the worst. He left just when Stiles was getting used to not doubting himself. The attraction between them was like an invisible rope, tethering them to each other, slowly strangling the life from Stiles.

"I'm so tired of being here, suppressed by all my childish fears."

Stiles wasn't a sixteen year-old boy anymore; he was a twenty year-old man, but he still hadn't moved on. Stiles had the chance to start anew, more than once, but he was terrified. He was scared that if he let himself get close to anyone else, he'd lose the last piece he had of Derek. The memories were the only thing Stiles had left.

"And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave."

Two years, and Stiles still couldn't figure out why Derek left. The attraction had still been there; Derek never once made Stiles feel unloved. It was so sudden, Derek's departure. Stiles was positive that Derek didn't even know why he was leaving himself. It was like something was calling him away from the life they'd so carefully made together. And so he left, leaving Stiles with a million unanswered questions and an emptiness in his life that was physically painful. They'd spent two amazing years together, and two miserable years apart.

"Cuz' your presence still lingers here and it won't leave me alone."

Stiles looked longingly back at the empty side of the bed then slowly moved out of the bedroom and down the hallway. Pictures of Derek and him hung on the walls. He had been surprised that Derek posed for pictures with him, and that his wolf allowed him to show his face. But, Derek had insisted, laughing and saying he wanted Stiles to have something to remember him by. At the time, it was hilarious because there was no way they'd ever not be together. It wasn't so funny now.

Stiles made it to the kitchen; he leaned against the counter and to the floor, resting his arms on his knees and his head on the counter behind him. He stared at the ceiling, hating the quest aloneness he felt in the house. From time to time, that feeling abated. Stiles could have swore Derek was there, watching him from the shadows. But when he searched, there was no signs to be found. And then the aloneness set back in and he realized that feeling was just a memory. That's all it would ever be anymore, a memory.

"When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears."

Tears stung Stiles' eyes. He didn't understand, then or now. Why? Why would Derek leave like that? After everything they went through, after facing werewolf issues and emotional brick wall issues and finally coming out the other side, he just walks out, no reason given at all. Stiles was there for Derek when he got shot, when he became Alpha, when the Argents and the Kanima were all he could ever think of. Stiles was there when Derek tried to drink himself to sleep, trying to hide from memories and new responsibilities he just wasn't ready for. Stiles was there when Derek was at his worst, and he stayed even when he wasn't wanted. He stayed until he was wanted; until he was needed; until the nightmares went away and the first hints of a smile could be seen. But it hadn't been enough.

"And I held your hand through all of these years."

Stiles gave out a loud sob. Where had he gone wrong? Was it something he did or said that drove the man he loved away? He knew he'd been an annoyin kid, and he'd matured in many ways, but even to this day he was still damn annoying. Did it finally become too much? Did Derek think he was too irritating? Stiles didn't know. Anything could have driven Derek away.

"These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real."

"But you still have all of me."

Stiles had tried so hard to move on; he really did, but he couldn't quite get past it. Nothing could fill the void inside of him. It felt like, when Derek left, he ripped Stiles' heart in half and took the piece with him. That emptiness wouldn't allow him to move on. He didn't have that part of him anymore to share with someone else. So, Stiles held on. There was always the glimmer of hope that Derek might come back, but each passing year only brought more loneliness. But Stiles clung to the memories, even though they killed him. Remembering Derek's touch, his kiss, his embrace, was agony, but they were the only things that kept Stiles alive. Those painful memories kept him from giving up all together.

"There's just too much that time cannot erase."

Stiles hoped that Derek held onto the memories, too; and that one day, those memories would bring him back. Make his life whole again. He knew it was wrong to wish Derek was in as much pain as he was. But he couldn't help it. If Derek felt a fraction of the grief and loss that Stiles felt, he'd come back one day. He had to. He had to make them both whole again. But two years was a pretty good indicator that Derek wasn't quite as devastated.

"I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone."

He couldn't count the times he'd told himself to just move on. Derek was never coming back. Sometimes, when the hurt became too much, Stiles pretended Derek had never left in the first place. As miserable as he knew it would make him later, if he closed his eyes and just sank into himself, he could see Derek was right there, just in arm's reach. Derek's scent lingered in the air. His hands ghosted over his skin gently. It was so very little, but it was enough to keep the memories alive; to keep the hope. So, Stiles lived with what he had left, and tried to pretend it wasn't all he had left to live for.

"Now I'm bound by the life you left behind."