Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize.

A/N: Beta'd by the ever lovely prettypaintedlady, with the title taken from Jenny Owen Youngs' Fuck Was I.

The first time he lays eyes on Kate Argent, Derek is thirteen and feels like a stranger in his own body in the wake of his first major growth spurt. She is beautiful, brown hair in a braid that goes down to the small of her back and the smell of leather lingering wherever she's been. She's in Laura's English class and, since they were partnered up for a project, Kate is over every other day. Because he has an embarrassingly huge crush on her, Derek keeps coming up with ways to get near them.

"Okay," Laura says one day, slamming down her copy of Catcher in the Rye, "I know you don't need help with algebra. You've been getting A's in math ever since we taught you how to count."

Derek flushes from where he's hovering near the table, a worksheet and calculator clutched to his chest like a shield. He's been caught, and Kate must think he's a total dweeb because she's laughing so hard that she throws her head back and Derek can make out the sound of the pulse in her jugular, which makes him only blush harder.

"C'mon, Laura, we both know that polynomials are a pain," Kate finally says, clearing a space at the table, "We won't flunk the project if we help your little brother for a minute."

His sister glares at him across the table, and he could've solved the problem in half the time it took Kate to explain it, but that doesn't matter to Derek because whenever she leans in to write on his paper, Kate's arm brushes his.

Laura is a senior when Derek is a freshman and, somehow, that means she drags him to the homecoming dance, claiming that he needs to "socialize like a normal person". Never mind the fact that Derek has zero interest in anything but playing soccer. He could be on the Varsity team with enough practice, but instead he's sitting at a table in the gym and scowling as Laura dances with some guy.

"Why the long face?" Kate says, appearing out of nowhere and sitting down next to him.

Derek flushes a little because her dress is cut low and he looks away when he answers. "Laura dragged me here and ditched me. Dances are lame if you don't have a date."

"You don't have to tell me that. This is from my dad."

She thrusts the corsage in his face, and underneath the smell of gladiolus, he can make out the scent of Kate's blood as it races underneath the delicate skin of her wrist. Derek is wondering if it would be weird to kiss her hand, but then Kate is slipping her fingers between his, pulling him out of his seat with a surprising amount of strength. When they're on the dance floor, she tucks her body against his, smiling in a way that's not quite shy.

"It's cheesy, but I love this song," Kate says, swaying a little against him, then sings, "This I promise you.."

Not really sure of the procedure for slow dancing, Derek awkwardly wraps his arms around Kate's waist, swaying with her as she sings along under her breath. When the song is over, he's wondering if they're going to keep dancing, but then Kate is pressing her mouth against his. The kiss is so quick that Derek barely has time to process what's happening before she's backing up, apologizing quickly before leaving him alone in the sea of couples.

The next time he sees Kate Argent, Derek is working as a busboy at a greasy diner in town, busing tables for a little bit of Christmas money. She comes in with snow sticking to her coat and eyelashes and, when she spots him, hurries across the room to give him a tight hug. She smells different than he remembers and her hair is cut so it only goes to her chin, but the rhythm of her heartbeat is familiar.

"Look at you, all grown up!" She exclaims, touching his shoulder lightly, "How's Laura doing?"

Derek's lip curls automatically at that, because of course she wants to know about Laura. Everyone does, because Laura is the oldest and in her final year at UCLA on a huge scholarship and the next in line to become the Alpha. He can't say any of that though, especially not the last part, so instead Derek forces a smile and says, "She starts her break tomorrow. My family drove down state to get her."

"Yeah, I just got in from Washington State," she replies, then lets out a laugh, "I'm sorry, I just can't believe how grown up you look. I had a huge crush on you a couple years ago and...wow."

Derek's heart begins to pound against his ribcage, because the girl he spent a year and a half pining over actually liked him back. Crushes are childish and he shouldn't even care, but he can't help the slight breathlessness in his voice when he asks, "Really?"

"Yes, really. We should hang out while I'm on break."

And then she's writing a phone number into the palm of his hand, giving him a little wink before leaving. It doesn't occur to Derek until much later that Kate hadn't bothered to order before coming up to him.

Derek has sex for the first time two days after Christmas, crammed into a twin-sized bed with his pants shoved around his ankles and Kate positioning herself carefully on top of him, her nails like blunt knives as they trace patterns down his chest. His hips stutter in a way that's just so and she digs her nails in hard enough that would draw blood if Derek's skin wasn't already healing itself.

"You can be loud, babe," she says, voice low and sultry, "No one will hear you but little old me."

And then Kate does something with her hips that Derek wouldn't have guessed was possible, let alone enjoyable. Still, he tosses his head back in order to groan and then Kate is twisting to get to his neck, biting and lapping wherever she can reach. He finishes with her teeth clamped down near his collarbone, letting out a ragged sound before going boneless.

As he pulls out and slides his eyes shut, Derek is torn on whether he wants to sleep or go for round two. Kate makes that decision for him, scooting higher up on the bed and grabbing a fistful of hair so she can drag Derek until his chin is resting on her knee. He'd be lying if he tried to pretend that the rough treatment didn't make something hot stir in the pit of his belly, but then Kate is pulling him even closer, spreading her legs.

"I got you off," she says in a voice that leaves room for no arguments, "Now it's time for you to repay the favor. Get comfortable, because you're going to be licking until I tell you to stop."

And, well, Derek never wants it said that he's anything less than obedient.

They manage it somehow for Kate's last semester away, meeting up when she comes back to Beacon Hills for breaks and weekend visits to fuck and drink and be young. She grows out her hair because Derek mentioned he liked the way it felt and he tries to make sure Kate comes first every time, because she mentioned that she liked the way that felt.

It's her spring break right now and it's a school night for Derek, but he could really care less. They camp out in Kate's pick up truck in a little meadow near his house, blankets piled in the truck bed and a bottle of wine passing between them. The fact that she can legally buy booze is definitely on Derek's mental list of reasons it's awesome to be dating someone who's older. That, and she totally understands how much it sucks to be seventeen but treated like a child.

"It's like no one cares," Derek slurs, tongue feeling clumsy in his mouth, "All 'Laura this' and 'Laura that'."

Kate makes a sympathetic sound, pressing the bottle to his hand so he can drain the last dregs of wine. Then, she peels off her tee shirt and leads Derek's unsteady hands until their on her breasts, leaning in to kiss him with a promise of, "I'll make it so Laura is the least of your worries."

"I love you," Derek replies, all dopey smile and warm voice.

It had been more of a sigh than anything, but Kate still freezes up a little. She probably wasn't expecting him to say it, but neither was Derek. The thought has been swimming around in his head for weeks and now that it's finally out, he feels happy and light. Finally, Kate smiles and leans in to kiss him, heart pounding wildly. "Love you too, babe."

As if it wasn't bad enough that Kate drops him off at school the next morning with a hangover, Derek gets called down to the office during first period. Wondering if the school nurse will believe him if he pretends to have the stomach flu, Derek stops at his locker to ditch his books.

There's an envelope with his name written on it in Kate's neat handwriting and a little note: 'Just in case you want/need it. XO.' Tucked inside is a little pill, too big to be an aspirin. Except when Derek goes to pick it up, it burns in a familiar way that makes his stomach drop.

As he throws the wolf's bane laced whatever across the hall, the office pages him down again and Derek hurries down with an uncomfortable prickling spreading from the base of his spine throughout his whole body. In the main office, Laura is waiting for him with red-rimmed eyes and a police officer at her side. She wraps him in a hug that reeks of burnt wood and mountain ash and Derek has never been more afraid in his life as something inside of him recognizes that something is different in his sister.

"There was a fire," she says, voice hoarse, "They didn't find you at the house and I was so worried, Derek. You can't worry me like that again."

The tone of her voice that makes so every fiber of Derek's being is thrumming, because even if Laura didn't mean it that way, it's an order and Derek knows he can't attempting going against it. And, suddenly, he realizes that Laura isn't just his sister anymore, she's his Alpha and that means-

He doesn't even finish the thought, just lets out a broken sound that's almost a howl before burying his face in his sister's neck, trying to find some solace in her familiar scent.

The last time he sees Kate Argent, Derek isn't even sure that it's actually her. It's been weeks since the fire and he's still got the spare set of keys to her truck tucked into the pocket of his jeans, using the 'K' shaped key chain as a worry stone. By now, the once intricate engravings have been worn smooth and, as she slams the trunk of the car closed, Laura asks what he's fiddling with.

It's a reasonable question, because all that was salvageable after the fire is crammed into Laura's Camaro, eight members three generations of the Hale pack reduced to nothing but two knapsacks and a cardboard box. Nausea begins to twist around Derek's stomach as he realizes that, despite all logic, he's going to miss Kate after they leave Beacon Hills today. And it's just when he allows himself to think of her that she appears, a blur at the edge of his peripheral vision as Laura settles into the driver's seat and checks her mirrors.

Derek turns to see if Kate is actually there, but he ends up looking across the empty parking lot of the Beacon Hills Hospital. Even though she blares on the horn, Laura's voice is gentle when she tells him to get in the car, because the idea that she could make Derek submit if she wanted to is still foreign and frightening to them both.

Taking a deep breath, Derek smells a hint of gladiolus on the wind and it's enough to make him gag. He drops the key chain onto the pavement, because his sister insisted that leaving town would be their fresh start. As Laura guns the engine and cranks up the radio to mask the silence that has settled between them, Derek fights to urge to turn around and say goodbye. As they pull out of the lot, he gives in and notices that the silver 'K' is no longer glittering where he left it.