Derek ran through the forest on all fours, skimming across the top of the dead, brown leaves, moving at much less than top speed, and even still he was moving so fast he was just a breeze through the trees. He did this a lot, not having much else to do, especially before he met Scott and Stiles and his pack. He enjoyed running and working out, trying to make himself better in any way. It gave him a rush, and it took his mind off its troubling thoughts.

As he ran, he knew exactly where he was going. And he knew exactly why. He'd known for a while. But he wasn't ready to admit it to himself yet.

When he reached Stiles' house, he stopped outside Stiles' window, knocking on it. Stiles had been using his laptop on his bed when he heard a sudden knocking on his window, and from outside, Derek could hear a shocked noise and a series of other noises, followed by a loud thud. Derek rolled his eyes, knowing Stiles had fallen off his bed. He definitely did not share Scott's and Derek's grace of style.

A moment later, Stiles suddenly appeared at the window, looking ruffled. He pulled it open and stared at Derek. "Don't you know how to use a front door? I mean, I know wolves don't have opposable thumbs, but I think you know how to use a doorknob," he went on sarcastically. Derek tilted his head, giving Stiles that look that made him uncomfortable. "Just come in," he said, stepping aside. Derek stepped inside simply, standing in the middle of Stiles' room as Stiles closed the window back. "So, what's up?" he asked, looking at Derek. It had taken a while, but Stiles and Derek had slowly become good friends in the past few months, though he usually didn't come over unless he needed something.

Derek shrugged. "Are you busy?" Stiles shook his head, "Well not unless you count..." He glanced over to his laptop, sitting open on his bed, "Uh, never mind." He hastily closed his laptop shut. Derek raised an eyebrow, giving Stiles a look, but then he simply shook his head and sat down backwards on a chair in the corner of Stiles' room, crossing his arms across the top of it. Stiles wondered how he always looked so cool, no matter what he did. He sat back down on the edge of his bed and they were both silent for a moment. "So… I've always wondered what you do all day by yourself… With Erica, Isaac, and Boyd at school, and with you kind of being an outcast in this city…"

Derek shrugged, "I keep myself busy somehow… I have some books I've collected over the years. And I don't always stay at home. I may not have any friends, but I go into town now and then…" Stiles nodded, "Well you know, I'm sure Scott and I wouldn't mind keeping you company if you ever need it…" Somehow, he knew that had always just been assumed, but he realized they'd never really established a friendship. Derek nodded in response. "Yeah… thanks," he said, "Somehow, I don't see hanging out with me being Scott's favorite pass-time though." Stiles smiled, "He could suck it up if I made him," he commented simply. Derek raised an eyebrow, "Oh can he? Is that a challenge, or do you know from experience?" he asked quietly, a slightly joking undertone to his voice, one that Stiles had never really heard before.

Stiles laughed, a little surprised at Derek's response, but glad to see that he was opening up—and that there was more to him; there was a nice, normal young man underneath the tortured soul.

Suddenly, Stiles felt something on his leg, and he looked down to see Derek's knee touching his. Derek didn't notice him looking down, or he'd have moved. He didn't realize he'd scooted closer and was now touching Stiles. Stiles ignored it, looking back up, "Hey, you wanna go check out my car?" Stiles asked suddenly, not sure of what else to do. Derek lifted his eyebrows, "Sure." He knew Derek liked cars, as it was one thing that he had spent a lot of time doing in his solitude, and he wanted to hang out with Derek, but couldn't imagine them doing normal activities like going to a movie or a party.

As they walked out of his room to the garage, Derek had his hands in his pockets, walking close to Stiles, though Stiles didn't notice until Derek's shoulder and arm suddenly brushed against his. It seemed Derek almost didn't notice for a few seconds, as they continued walking, their sides touching, until Derek finally murmured, "Sorry," and stepped away a few inches.

Stiles opened the garage door and showed Derek all the ins and outs of his new sports car, Derek nodding here and there. Stiles watched as Derek lifted the hood and poked around, smiling a little from behind him. Just as he was finishing, he saw his dad's patrol car coming down the street. "Oh shit, you should probably go," Stiles said suddenly, and Derek nodded, and before Stiles realized it, he was gone.

Stiles went back up to his room, sitting down at his desk and bringing up the internet to play some games. As they were loading, he began thinking. He had never noticed before… but now that he thought about it, it occurred to him that Derek had been lingering around Stiles a lot lately… not just hanging out with him more, but seeming all around closer, literally, to him… He closed the game, and went to a search engine.

His fingers lingered over the keys, the way they would before someone who had never looked up porn would hesitate the first time. "This is crazy…" he muttered under his breath, but then he typed into the search bar, "wolf courtship". He clicked the first link, and read the words hastily.

"… When the two are about to mate, they bond, sleeping close and touching each other more and more. They will approach each other making quiet whining sounds, mouth each others' muzzles, touch noses, and bump their bodies together. There may be mutual grooming and nibbling of each other's coats and the two may walk pressed close together..."

Stiles closed the window, and leaned back in his chair, running his hand through his hair with a deep sigh. There could be some other explanation… But deep down, Stiles could feel a sudden warmth and burst of excitement—in hopes that he was right. His blood pumped faster as he came to terms with the possibility…