A/N: So I wrote this in my head during a walk out with my dog on Saturday and spent most of Sunday writing it. I'm not really sure what it is, except for blatant Stiles!whump. I know Derek appears out of character – I hope not too much (partly because I'm a terrible Derek writer but also because, just like Stiles in the story – he's changed over the years.) Either way I hope you like it. Inspired by the word 'Spark' for obvious reasons and the songs I know What You Did in The Dark (Fall Out Boy) and Closer (Tegan and Sara).

On a side note – I'm still working on my other fics (TW and Suits on ) which will be up on AO3 in the near-future)

Quotes from Raving and Abomination, general spoilers for S2. The beginning and end of the fic are both set in the future (where Scott is actually dead) and the flashback set til end S2/post S2. I'm not a slash writer, although I do read it, and I was intending for this to gen but reading it back it could be taken as pre-slash. It's fine line between the two.

Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimers apply. No infringement intended.

It Starts With A Spark

xxx

'I'm in the de-details with the devil

So now the world can never get me on my level

I just gotta get you out of the cage

I'm a young lover's rage

Gonna need a spark to ignite'

xxx

'A constellation of tears on your lashes

Burn everything you love, then burn the ashes

In the end everything collides

My childhood spat back out the monster that you see'

xxx

'I'm on fire'

(Extracts from My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) by Fall Out Boy)

xxx

'Here comes the heat before we meet, a little bit closer

Here comes the spark before the dark, come a little closer'

(Closer, Tegan and Sara)

xxx

It's starts with a spark and ends with a bang.

Well, that's what he tells himself, anyway. There was no end so to speak of, nor a continuation, but a new beginning instead. A new journey that took him figuratively and literally to new places both physically and mentally. A new plane. A new mind-set. A new understanding.

He thinks back to when it had all started. Back when Deaton had first given him with that task.

xxx

"This part is for you, Stiles."

"Only you."

"Think of it like gunpowder until a spark ignites it."

"You need to be that spark, Stiles."

xxx

He was different now.

No longer the 147 1b of pale skin and fragile bones.

He'd come a long way from sarcasm as his only defence.

He was stronger.

Once, he hadn't understood the implications of what Deaton had entrusted, nor what opportunities or consequences it would bring along with it.

He does now, of course.

It was second nature.

He was no longer the human amongst the pack or the mere boy who'd run with wolves. Knowing what he does now though begs the question of whether he was either of these in the first place.

Now he was part of the bigger picture.

More central.

More connected, in more ways than one.

Their own little shaman.

He has more focus now.

He was more grounded.

And it was in that focus and grounding, in the simplicity of it all, that Stiles knew it was also his weakness. Once his saviour, Stiles knew it also had the ability to destroy him, just like it could potentially hurt the one who gave him the focus and the grounding in the first place. His anchor, if you will.

He doesn't know why he's thinking about this now, so many years after he, and the others, realised what he could actually do, but it's there, like an annoying irritation of the fear of the unknown. A throw-back from his anxiety, that niggling hyper-vigilance, that never truly left him alone. It lays there, cloaked in magic, but it was still there.

It's the unknowing that feeds it.

I'm stronger now, he tells himself.

I have more control now, he tells himself.

I'm not that sixteen year old kid anymore.

And he's not that kid. That Stiles was gone. This is a new Stiles who had a new beginning in the folds of the old one. There's still parts of the old him there though, reminding him, terrifying him.

He tries to use it within the magic. Within his power. There's nothing stronger than the power of fear and love, after all.

There's a murmur amongst the pack and his eyes drift around the room, momentarily pulled from his own mind, head sluggish.

"Do you remember?" someone is saying. Isaac, Stiles thinks. "That one time in chemistry? Harris thought he'd broken Stiles."

There's a guffaw of laughter around them.

The pack's not as full as they were. They'd lost some on the way. He knew if Scott was still here he'd probably not be laughing. Back then Scott had appeared more freaked out than Stiles.

Across the room Lydia sat, tucked into a small arm-chair, book in her lap. She tutts, rolling her eyes. "Hmm," she says, with an air of disapproval. "Enough said about that particular incident the better."

It's not the first time that one of the pack has said something, in passing or directly, about things that he's been thinking about, especially when he's particularly broody. Some things were said more direct than others. This seemed to be one of those days.

Stiles shrugs and rolls his head lazily.

His laughter filters to a stop when a pair of piercing eyes stare back at him from across the room. Knowing eyes. Secure eyes. Focused and grounding.

They were there before too.

Back when it happened.

Back when a spark became a bang.

Stiles mastered the control of his heartbeat around the same time he mastered the spark. Stiles knows this pisses the pack off.

He watches the eyes watch him. Trying to read him. They stare at other. They don't need to speak. It's not like they can psychically communicate with each other despite Stiles ability to inadvertently push his thoughts on to others. But they know each other. They can feel each other.

Stiles, at one time, had wondered why it didn't feel the same way with the others.

xxx

He met an aging and blind shaman once, energy fading within him, – he didn't know his true age, but he was sure he was ancient.

"Ah, the spark," he had said without Stiles even saying anything. The old man had touched at his face with gnarled fingers causing him to flinch and Derek to snarl.

"You are the heart," he had told him, hand traveling to rest over Stiles own chest.

"Without you it means nothing."

Someone snarled again and the old blind man ignored it, leaning in close and whispering in his ear "Learn to control it before it controls you."

xxx

He took it as a foreboding omen - remembering the feel of the flick of flames, the screaming in his ears – and disappeared for months on end, telling the pack he needed to 'find himself'. Out of them all, Derek was the only one who hadn't objected.

He found himself, thanks to a connection of Deaton's, in Idaho. It wasn't exactly a Tibetan sanctuary, but it did the job, and Stiles had returned with a new vigour and control he'd never dreamed he'd ever have.

He tore his eyes away from the silent stare, remembering the feel of Scott's breath against his ear as though it was yesterday. He might have the control, he might the strength, he might go into battle and know he has the ability to vaporise their enemies from a deep rumbling within his chest, but he still remembers his sixteen year old self, his fear and the terrifying power that had nearly consumed him that day.

He tries to keep the beats steady. He pushes at the memories and the emotions he associated with them back down, cloaking them again even as he feels the whisper of Scott's voice against his ear.

"Stiles…"

xxx

"Stiles?" Scott is saying. "Hey, are you okay?"

He's been nursing a headache for nearly a week now and Harris is being particularly dickish.

"No," Stiles tells his friend, blinking as his vision swam around him. He swore he could see a layer of shimmery heat across the desks in front of him, but blinking again and it was gone. "Headache."

"You're hot."

Stiles lifts his head and squints at Scott.

"That's… disturbing?" Stiles ends up saying. It hurts his head to think of a retort and manages to process that there was a lack of touch-age. "Dude, you can tell that?"

Scott shrugs, looking at him with concern. "I can feel that you're warmer than usual."

"I'm fine my little canine thermometer," Stiles attempts to reassure him. He rubs at his temple. "It's just a little headache. Probably from listening to you go on about Allison all day long."

Scott raises his eyebrows and puffs out an irritated breath, burying his head back down into his notebook, but Stiles mention of Scott's on-off girlfriend appears to act as a reminder that Allison hadn't been mentioned for a mere five minutes, and Scott was off again whispering about their plans tonight and the intricate details in making sure her father did not find out.

Between Scott's hushed whispering and Harris' droning voice Stiles' headache spikes. With each levelled breath it spikes behind his temples and reminds him of his pathetic human weakness. A particular painful throb had whiteness exploding in front of his eyes and left him seriously considering shoving Scott away, the close proximity of their bodies serving as a nice furnace between them, as well as leaving him more than a little nauseated.

"Fuck," he grouses quietly.

"Dude?" Scott asks, leaning in closer and sniffing.

"Migraine," he mutters. He doesn't have enough energy to shove Scott away, instead dropping his head and arms to rest on the table.

This is the moment Harris zeroes in on them.

"Stilinski, McCall," he says with a voice that was too loud and gloating. Stiles doesn't bother lifting his head. "I know you think your pathetic daily drama is much more titillating then basic chemistry but do you mind getting your heads back in the game or is there another detention with your name on it?"

"Sorry, sir," Scott immediately says and Stiles sighs at how quickly the werewolf folded.

"Stilinski?" Harris asks again, voice now hardening. He can practically hear the snarl to his lips. "I know you must think you're above the law…."

Stiles doesn't even know what the hell Harris means by this and he knows he should be angry but by now the migraine has engulfed him completely, bearing down on him in the same way Harris probably thinks he was doing.

"Stilinski!" Harris demands again, voice loud and penetrating.

"What?!" Stiles snaps, finding a surprise energy within him, head snapping up with it.

Harris goes off on to a lecture, he thinks there might be a detention involved, but he can't actually hear the words with all the blood rushing around his ears. There's explosions of colors in front of his eyes and the shimmering is back again. Layers upon layers. A light flickers above them

"Stiles?" Scott is whispering, voice unsure, concern turning into something else. "What's happening?"

Harris' voice increases an octave. It reverberates through his head.

The flickering light stills and then pulsates with a shower of light, glass shattering over them. Stiles flinches with it, eyes darting between Scott, Harris and the two students – Danny and Jackson – who shake small shards of glass from their hair and shoulders.

He registers someone screaming.

"It's okay," Harris says calmly. Rolling his eyes at the crying girl. "It's just a little glass."

There's the sound of a pop, followed by a sizzle and someone gasps.

Stiles closes his eyes, feeling the pulsations in his head deepen, the light bright against his eyelids. He has no idea what the hell is happening, but he thinks that this might actually be his doing, even if he has no fucking clue what that might be.

"Uh… Mr Harris?" someone says nervously.

There was another pop and sizzle.

"Shit," he hears Scott murmur next to him.

"What the hell is this?" Danny exclaims. "Maybe we should leave?"

"Fuck," Jackson says. He sounds almost mesmerised.

Stiles cracks his eyes open.

Two of the Bunsen burners are now alight.

A third one ignites while he watches. He jumps at the same time as the speed picks up. One alighting after another. It reaches the back of the first row within seconds. The process starts all over again with the next row.

"Stiles! What the fuck?" Scott whispers in horror, voice close, catching on his skin. He feels him grab at his hands and then pull back, hissing in pain. He slowly stares down at his own trembling hands, now bright and glowing. Shit, holy fucking shit on a pogo stick. It is him. Scott tries to grab at his hands again, shoving them away and under the table so that no one could see. He hisses next to him. "Stiles, stop it."

He would if he knew how, but all does know is that there's an intense pain – one that he's never felt before – ravaging throughout him.

"We need to leave. Now," Danny mutters, standing up. Harris is frozen to the spot, his body flinching every time a new flame sparks to life. Danny shakes his head and grabs at a girl sat at an already lit desk, staring into the flame in a shocked stupor, and shakes her. "Run."

It seems to do the trick, there's a sudden explosion of feet, and screams of horror.

The flames are at their row now.

Scott is both begging him to move and to stop whatever the hell was happening, but he does neither, and just stares down the elongated strip of desks in a fascinated horror. It wasn't like he didn't want to move, or for it to stop, it's just he couldn't. Something was physically keeping him rooted to the spot.

"Stiles, please!" Scott is begging next to him, voice nearing hysterics. "You're on fire."

He doesn't look but he can feel it. He can feel the flame's licking around the bottom of his stool and climbing his legs, even as the heat touches his exposed skin, tearing it apart.

It's nearly upon them now, and Stiles knows – Scott too by the intense panic coming off him – that it wouldn't just end there, that it wouldn't just be a simple lit flame on top of its rounded metal tip.

Scott's yelling in his ears and shoving Stiles, ignoring the obvious pain and damage it would cause to himself, just as he feels the heat of the blast upon the first flick of a spark.

And then he's airborne and falling and then nothing except for whiteness and heat.

Stiles is completely unconscious by the time he's even hit the floor.

Scott's left nursing a blistering hand, half covering the downed boy, staring as the flames all flicker and then recede licking their way back until most the of the burners are nothing but smouldering metal.

Stiles is smouldering too, his skin burnt, open blisters across his skin.

By the time anyone even hurries to their sides, though, all evidence of burnt skin have faded away and all that is left is a pale and unconscious sixteen year old boy.

Of course, that's when the seizure has to start.

xxx

When he blinks his eyes open he's not in the chemistry lab anymore. He's not entirely sure he's anywhere. He's surrounded by blackness, within a deep and dark void, except for the flames that ring around him and lick at his skin.

There's a rush of noise too. A mixture of his own heartbeat and rushing blood in his ears, the roar of the flames and what he thinks is a cacophony of voices. There's so many that at first he can't decipher who they belong to. It's actually easier to say who he was sure he couldn't hear. His Dad.

He's scared now. Petrified. The flames are all over him. He wants to scream. Shout for help. He tries screaming for his dad. Because, shit-god-damn it, he wants him. Right now. But nothing comes. No sound at all leaves his parted lips.

The noises are loud but appear to smooth out a bit, just enough to realise he can pick out particular familiar voices. He thinks he recognises Scott.

Stiles? Please, Stiles. Come back.

There's another voice there. One he hasn't heard in years. A soft, familiar palm brushes against his cheek, and Stiles whirls with it, spinning to try and locate her. His panic increases because as much as he wants to see her he doesn't want to be dead. 'Cause that's what this meant, right? He'd gone and got himself killed.

No.

No fucking way.

His dad needed him.

He spins again, head whirling back and forth, trying to see something. Anything. The noise increases too until it's nothing but loud static in his ears and he ends up slamming his palms against them, a silent scream against his lips.

And that's when he sees them.

A pair of red eyes within the darkness.

Alpha eyes.

"Stiles. You need to stop it."

The eyes move closer.

He's here.

Derek's here.

He tries crying out, but again nothing comes. He whimpers instead, letting his hands fall to his side.

"It's okay."

Stiles shakes his head vigorously, tears falling and then instantly drying on his heated skin, whimpering again.

"It's okay," he repeats, eyes moving closer, features wavering. "You just need to calm down."

The problem is he doesn't know how to.

The flames are higher now, swirling around him, burning him.

"Yes you do," he's told.

And then Derek's face is there, just beyond the shimmery heat of the flame, features almost transparent, eyes remaining a deep red. "I know you're scared, but we don't belong here."

He tries pushing out his name but all he feels is his own hot air as the flames pushes it back.

As transparent as Derek's face is, the eyes remain strong, his wavering features set and determined but soft and trusting.

Trusting…

Stiles sucks in the breath from before.

xxx

"You don't trust me."

"I don't trust you."

"You need me to survive and that is why you're not letting us go."

xxx

And yet here is.

And everything had changed.

"Trust me, Stiles."

He nods with no hesitation and bunches his hands up into little fists against his pant legs.

"Close your eyes."

He pauses, just for a second, levelling a deep breath, before closing them.

He whimpers again despite the trust.

"It's okay, Stiles," Derek tells him again as he feels calloused hands brace around his face.

A startled breath escapes him but the hands don't let go.

"It's time to go home."

xxx

He comes back to the here and now with a blinding white light behind his eyes and a garbled sound from his own mouth.

Half scream, half strangled breath, his body tries to jack-knife up in an aborted wrench.

"Whoa… hey," Scott exclaims, startled at the sudden move. He pushes back at him with surprisingly minimal effort. Stiles easily flops back down on to the floor. "No, stay down."

He tries to lift his head, eyes darting around him. He can't see Derek. He wants to call for him. Or, you know, at least ask for him but it seems to be at least one syllable too many (and how do you explain asking for someone who you have a fractious relationship with at best) so settles for "Dad?" instead.

It comes out dry and scratchy, parched against his throat.

"Don't worry. He's been called. He's going to meet us at the hospital."

Stiles processes this with a series of blinks. Scott doesn't say anything, instead staring down at him with a worried pinched look to his face.

"No-" he starts to process, realising that this might be bad and also inexplicable, but stops because - whoa - head spin alert.

"Yes," Scott insists, concern evident. He's also giving him a look that usually meant there was a deeper meaning. An emphasis on something not being said. "You hit your head, Stiles. You were thrown from the explosion. You're getting checked out."

Stiles stares at the frowny dance Scott's eyebrows are doing with each word. If he wasn't as exhausted and sore as he was he'd probably be in side-splitting laughter.

Stiles hears foot-steps fading away and the distinct tones of Harris berating someone for taking photos, which was a surprise in itself – Harris had never been a fan of protecting his dignity before.

Stiles sighs and gives himself a second to process again. He feels a bit disorientated, fluffy, but not enough to miss the way his pants feel tacky against his legs.

"Dude," he says quietly, the words tight in his throat as though his oesophagus was burnt too. There was the unmistakable taste of coppery blood against his lips and he grimaces against it. "Did I piss my pants?"

"Uh… yeah," Scott winces back, face a mixture of apologetic embarrassment. "You kinda had a seizure."

Stiles blinks back again in silence and Scott frowns again, concern deepening. Yeah, Stiles knows he's freaking him out – he's never been this quiet around him in… well, forever, really.

"Probably from hitting your head," and Scott's back to his coded speak despite that it's obvious what he's doing. Stiles is just glad that Harris has left the room, shouting at someone to get the EMT's before 'the sheriff's kid dies on him.' Of course, he should have known… there's no dignity involved, it was just Harris being, typically, afraid of what his father might do, or more specifically, look into.

Okay, so he gets Scott now… this is the coded speak for their 'official' explanation and not the 'Stiles went Carrie on everyone's asses' type of explanation.

"Deaton…" Stiles whispers, tugging Scott closer to him.

"I can't, Stiles," Scott says, whispering back. "You freaking had a seizure. You were unconscious. In front of everyone. I can't exactly carry you out of here."

"No carrying necessary," Stiles protests. He weakly tries to shift himself up again.

"Right," Scott snorts, pushing him easily back down.

He blinks his eyes again, feeling tears prick at them, the suddenness taking him by surprise.

"I'm scared, Scott," he admits, voice hardly there as his throat starts to tighten up. He bunches his hands into fists again.

"You'll be okay," Scott tells him, squeezing his shoulder. His eyes might not be red like Derek's but they're just as determined. Just as trusting. "We'll figure it out."

Scott suddenly stiffens and sniffs. He nudges at Stiles arm.

"Show time. They're here."

Stiles closes his eye and levels a breath again. Hears the sound of feet approaching, Harris voice reaching him first.

"Stilinski? You still alive?"

xxx

The official story was a power surge.

It was hardly realistic but then neither was the insane amount of animal attacks that was usually explained for unexplained attacks and deaths.

The doctor's decide to keep him in for observations but all other tests give him a clean bill of health. They put the seizure down to the supposed hit to the head – it helps that there is a neat and sore hematoma to the back of the head – and he stops listening once the doctor tells him he can't drive for at least six months despite it being a one-off seizure.

It was Deaton he needed answers from anyway.

He fakes sleep while the doctor continues talking to his dad.

The doctor says that they also discovered Stiles has a low grade fever - the burn to Scott's hand says otherwise which, although faded, was still surprisingly there (and in fact remained stubbornly for several days afterwards) but did not appear linked or be any concern to them.

"Stiles?" his dad asks, sitting on the edge of the bed. He places his hand on his head, fingers running through his slightly grown out hair.

Stiles blinks his eyes open and stares back.

"Hmm."

"You feel okay, kid?"

Stiles shrugs and closes his eyes again.

"Headache?" his dad asks, worry evident in his tone.

Stiles nods, too exhausted to speak, breathing in the scent of his father and relishing the soothing feel of the fingers rubbing at his scalp.

"You want me to get someone?"

"No, just…" Stiles pauses and open his eyes, smiling tiredly at his dad. "Stay. This is good enough."

His dad smiles back and they stay just as they are until Stiles falls into a genuine deep sleep.

He doesn't wake during the night at all. Instead he dreams of a pair of red eyes. Alpha eyes. Staring at him from the darkness.

xxx

"Hey."

He looks up to see Derek standing against the beam of the wooden porch. Stiles is sat on the steps of the old Hale House.

"Hey," Stiles greets him back with a lopsided grin.

"You think too loud," Derek tells him, stepping down to join him. He drops a can of beer into his lap, taking a mouthful from his own that he held in his other hand.

"Did I do it again?" he asks sheepishly.

He already knows the answer.

"Do I seriously have to answer that?"

Stiles shakes his head and rolls the cool, perspiring can between his hands.

"Do you think they know?"

Derek considers this for a few seconds before shaking his head. "Lydia maybe. She's kinda more in-tuned to these type of things. But not the others. At least I don't think so."

"Did you get it…" Stiles stumbles over his words, unsure how to phrase it (their lives were seriously messed up). "Like the others?"

Stiles should know the answer to this as well. For as long as he can remember – well, since that day in their own fiery darkness – Derek had never responded like the other pack members, never asked him random questions that were intricately linked to whatever Stiles had been thinking about at that time, but had always known what he was thinking.

"I felt it," Derek reminds him, just like always. He studies him for a second before nudging him with his shoulder. "What are you scared of?"

"I thought you knew," Stiles laughs at him, popping the can open.

"I can feel you, Stiles. I can't read your thoughts."

Stiles sighs, shoulders sagging. He shrugs and takes a sip of his own beer, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand.

"I keep thinking about that day," Stiles says slowly, eyes drifting off to look at a tree in the distance. "Back in the chem lab."

"I guessed so. What's bothering you?"

"I know things are different now. I know that," Stiles says quietly before pushing a breath out, pushing a hardened fear and insecurity out from beneath the layers. "But if I can lose control of my thoughts, of my feelings, and push them onto others without even knowing it, what's to stop me from losing control of myself. What's to stop me from losing control again? I could hurt people with the amount of magic that's in here."

"First of all, I don't think, even for a second that this has anything to do with you losing control," Derek tells him firmly. Stiles glances up to see that there isn't even an inch of uncertainty to the older man's face. "I think this is more to do with what you are and your connection to the pack."

"Next you'll be saying 'I'm the heart'," Stiles says with a roll of the eyes.

"It's the truth," Derek says quietly. There's a look of pain, a flash of anger rolling off him, at Stiles for suddenly questioning his status amongst the pack so many years down the line.

"I thought you didn't like the old man?" Stiles notes.

"He was creepy," Derek says. Stiles raises questionable eyebrows. Derek Hale, broody and creepy stalker – nephew of an even creepier Hale – saying that brought the words pot, kettle and black to mind. "But what he said made sense. You have more control, more focus. You're different now."

"But what If I'm not?" Stiles asks. He sounds smaller now. Less him now and more him then. "I might not always have this control or focus."

"You're grounded, Stiles. I promised your dad I'd look after you. Nothing's going to change."

Stiles gave him a watery grin and shook his head.

"I don't need looking after. That's not what this is about."

"I know," Derek nods, nudging him again. "But I'm just reminding you that you're not on your own. You have us. You have me."

"We might not always have each other though," Stiles tries to reason, voice and throat tightening, reminding him. "None of us are invincible."

God, he misses Scott.

"Stiles…"

"I don't think I want to be," Stiles admits suddenly with enough clarity to cause Derek to turn suddenly with worry. Stiles laughs anyway. "I'm not about to kill myself, Derek. I wouldn't do that to you guys."

"Then why say it?"

"I'm not that sixteen your old kid anymore."

"I know. You're more…"

"Controlled, focused. I know," Stiles finishes for him with a shrug. "But I'm also colder. Hardened. Half of my magic is being controlled by that, by the anger, by the fear. I've just learnt to use it in a positive way. I don't think I like who I've become."

"Stiles, you've become someone important," Derek says, shaking his head. His eyes were not fully red – Derek appeared not to have to go full-on Alpha with him like he did with some of the betas – but they were tinged with it. "You're not just pack. You're family."

"Derek," Stiles says. He doesn't want to cry because he's an adult now, at least not in front of Derek on the porch steps of the old Hale House. "I'm not questioning that. My dad and the pack are the most important things in my life right now. That's never gonna change. It's just…" he ends up shaking his head, burying it into his hands, feeling frustrated tears threatening to fall.

"It was eight years ago. You were just a kid. You said it yourself," Derek tells him. He feels a hand rest against his back. Derek's more tactile now, especially with him. And Stiles didn't mind. He kind of enjoyed it. "And yes, you've changed. You had to because you had to grow up. Hell, you're only twenty-four now. You're still a kid."

Stiles snorts into hands.

"Did you think that back then about yourself?"

"I'm pretty sure your dad did."

Stiles laughs again because he knows it's true.

"My point is: change happened. Life changed. You changed. Because that's what happens. Of course you're not that kid anymore, but you're still you, Stiles. And I'm pretty sure that in another eight years you'll be different again. Things will happen. Some good. Some bad. And you'll roll with the punches, but you'll still be you."

Stiles lifts his head again.

"I guess this deserves a serious Stiles Stilinski thank you because you're" Stiles says with an impish grin and small flail of the arms "being very serious. I'm actually kinda proud. You've come a long way from being the emotionally constipated Derek Hale that I first met. Or was that actual constipation? Because if it was then you had a serious gastronomical problem. I can see how…"

A hand finds its way over his mouth.

"See? The same Stiles Stilinski," Derek mutters.

"… you've changed," Stiles manages to finish, voice muffled behind Derek's hand.

A small fleeting grin passes over Derek's face, mouth lifting at the edges, before disappearing.

"You're wrong by the way," Derek tells him, wiping the drool from Stiles mouth on his own pants. "About what's inside you."

Stiles quirks his head at him with a frown.

"It's not just the anger, the fear, the coldness that keeps you controlled," Derek tells him. "Half of it – no, most of it, is your inner strength. You're own inner control. You're loyalty. You're love for others.

"Wow," Stiles says, with mock surprise (seriously, though, he can't remember ever hearing Derek say the L-word before. "You've seriously emotionally developed."

"Stiles, stop kidding around. I'm being serious here."

Stiles made a great show of gesturing to his lips and zip-locking it.

Derek rolls his eyes and shoves at him. Rough but playful.

"Hey," Stiles protests. "Watch the merchandise."

"Deaton was right when he said you had a spark," Derek continues, ignoring Stiles inability to keep his mouth shut (because despite their earlier conversations it seems some things never change). "What you have is innate. It's you. But it really comes down to one thing. Choice. And what you do with it."

Stiles stills now, considering Derek's words and wondering where he was going with it.

"I know you Stiles. I know you because I can feel you. And I know that there's not a bad bone in your body. You won't lose control because you won't let it happen. Neither will I," Derek pauses, drains the rest of his beer and sets the can beside them. "And you've not just got me. You've got your dad. You've got the pack too. They'll always be there for you."

"Thanks Derek," is the only response Stiles can give. It's enough though, truth-felt and from the heart, and just falling short from a full-out hug, which would just be plain weird, because this is Derek Hale they're talking about.

"Just make sure you talk to us when it gets too much," Derek mutters, ignoring the thanks completely, which Stiles was grateful for. "I'm not going to be your own Clear Rivers."

"Oh god," Stiles exclaims as he waved his hands happily. "You're quoting movies at me. And also so apt. Thanks for the analogy. I wish I'd thought of it."

It takes another second for Stiles to give Derek a nudge with a shit-eating grin to go along with it. "You know that makes you the girl, right?"

"Whatever," Derek mutters again but with the tell-tell signs of a small grin forming again he proceeds to crush the can between his fingers.

"That's strangely homoerotic," Stiles observes with a dead-pan face.

Stiles knows he could probably crush it with the simple power of his mind, melt the frame and watch it disintegrate.

He can already feel the familiar sense of energy bubbling within him – always more heightened when he's emotional – and can feel it itching against his skin.

Back when Scott died – Stiles had taken out his anger and rising energy out on a bunch of trees on Derek's property. He'd sent several fiery orbs at them. When Derek had finally arrived it was only to find a small stretch of trees along the perimeter of the Hale property completely gone, nothing but smoky ashes left. That really hadn't been a good day.

He feels it itch again and knows he has to release it somehow but he'd grown a lot since then, no longer needing to throw bundles of anger filled energy balls at random objects (as controlled as it was).

"I'm going to go for a run," Stiles says, draining the last of his beer and offering his can to Derek to crush. "Wanna come?"

"Sure," Derek says, settling the newly crushed can down with the first one.

And they run.

Stiles matches Derek stride for Stride. He knows Derek could probably cover three times as much as they are now but he stays there, stretch for stretch, helping to pace him and Stiles knows that when they get back, the pack and his control, would still be there.

xxx

'The lights are off and the sun is finally setting

The night sky is changing overhead'

(Closer, Tegan and Sara)

xxx

A/N2: If you didn't recognise who Derek was referencing – it was actually the female lead from Final Destination, played by Ali Larter, who didn't see what the main character saw in his visions but 'felt' it. Or along those lines. I didn't see the resemblance until I was nearly finished and I couldn't rightly ignore it.