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Author: adja999, Original_Cypher on AO3.
Title: Staring into the sun
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing(s), Character(s): Stiles Stilinski/Derek Hale, Allison Argent/Scott McCall, Vernon Boyd/Erica Reyes, Alan Deaton, Peter Hale, Bobby Finstock, Lydia Martin, Isaac Lahey, Jackson Whittemore, Danny Mahealani, Laura Hale, "Hit-Girl" Mindy Macready, Sergeant Greg Parker, mentions of others
Rating: Teen and Up?
Words: 32,265
Summary: X-Men like AU
Our protagonists are attending Beacon Hills Academy, an institution for 'specials'. They've been detected early on, and some of them are showing spectacular abilities already. The Hales are a genetic mystery all together. Stiles, however, despite having being singled out as a kid, is nothing special. And he knows it.
Circumstances and people – read Peter – conspire to put Stiles and Derek together. Changes ensue.
Then all hell breaks loose.
***
There are two characters guest staring from other fandoms. One from KickAss, one from Flashpoint. You do not need to have seen the movie or tv show to understand this fic, and it does not contain spoilers for either of them.
Spoilers for Teen Wolf are very few, since it's an AU. Mostly characters from S2 and relationships.
Spoilers/Warnings: There are two characters guest staring from other fandoms. One from KickAss, one from Flashpoint. You do not need to have seen the movie or tv show to understand this fic, and it does not contain spoilers for either of them.
Spoilers for Teen Wolf are very few, since it's an AU. Mostly characters from S2 and relationships.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I'm just playing. I'll give them back. Maybe. If and when I'm done.

First part | Previous part


5.





If you'd asked Stiles how his week was going ten minutes ago, he would have told you it had been pretty odd so far. It definitely stood out in the time line. Now? It cannot be anything but the strangest week ever in his life.



Are all his dreams coming true with the weird technicality of 'careful what you wish for and how you phrase it'? Because... he always wished Derek would pay attention to him. He never hoped for said attention to be paid with threats and showing against things – well... – and Lydia...



Lydia manages to top Derek. Which is something. Then again, we're talking about Lydia Martin. She has to top everything.



“And that's why they called it the Cold War?” Scott asks, bemused. “I always thought it was because it happened in Russia. You know, in the North.”



Allison smiles at her boyfriend indulgently while Erica and Isaac try not to grin too widely. Stiles rubs his eye a little too hard, hoping the pain will keep him from being a dick and laugh his ass off.



“Hey.” Erica leans over to Stiles and hisses. “Is it true that Greenberg almost blew up the chem lab while watching the Coach through the window?”



Isaac snorts in laughter and Stiles nods frantically. “Oh, you should have seen it!” The blond haired boy says.



“I dunno how he did it. He sort of slimed up as usual-...”



“Which is just... ew, because it's all like... I'm getting my panties wet except it's all over me. Control yourself a little, dude.” Isaac cuts in.



“And I dunno, some must have dropped into the mix or whatever and his experiment blew up! Harris shrieked.”



“So did you.”



“Shut up. I did not. I let out a very manly yelp of terror.” Stiles asserts.



“And you climbed on my lap.” Isaac reminds him.



“You were further away from him, I was trying to make an escape. And possibly use you as a shield.” he says, then huffs a giant sigh. “Fine. I startled like a little girl.” He's surprised at the little amount of mocking he receives. His friends seem busy staring over his shoulder.



He looks over, half expecting to find Harris himself – which would be just his luck. Or any teacher with a disproving look on their face. Or Derek, even, which would totally get that slack jawed look out of Scott.



He doesn't expect Lydia.



“Uh. Hi?” he babbles, after a second.



She levels him with a superior look. “I'm going for a walk. You are joining me,” she informs. He needs to remember that. The statement technique. A polite, unobjectionable way of... basically giving people orders.



“Uhh...” Scott lets out.



“Nope.” Allison places a hand on his thigh. “Just Stiles.”



Stiles looks back at her, catches the look on his friends faces around the table and, further away, Jackson and his Lacrosses buddies watching from a distance. He does not want to know their expressions so he makes a point not to look their way. Allison gives him an eyebrowed 'well?' that has him question whether she spent any time with Derek recently. “Right.” he says, springing up from his seat. “Scott, you, uh... You'll get my stuff back to the room?”



“He will.” Erica assures him, cutting whatever Scott was about to say.



Stiles is too aware of his body has he walks alongside Lydia out of the library. He feels completely unnatural and awkward in all his steps, which are, he's pretty sure, his usual way of walking. But he's never been conscious of his legs or how he holds his back as he does so before. “Jackson is going to murder me.”



“He is not.” Lydia says somewhat reassuringly. “He's too chicken shit. He knows I'd hurt him if he did.”



“He knows-...” Stiles starts to yelp out and quiets himself immediately. He hisses. “He knows....? About... whatever?”



Lydia casts him a look as they step outside. She's right, he admits inwardly, stuffing his hands in his jacket pockets. It's a bright day for a walk. The days are getting warmer and he takes a second to close his eyes and turn his face towards the sun to soak in some vitamin D. “So.... what's going on, exactly?” he asks.



He jumps slightly,looks down as her hand snakes around his elbow and stirs him along the path. -This is me, acknowledging this. Us.- She says in his head. -You're my friend, Stiles. I'm sorry I made you doubt that.- She gives him an honest, not so confident smile when he looks over, and he melts on the spot. -Fine. Why are we talking that way?-




-I still want to practice? Is that okay?-



He shrugs. -Sure. That's fine. I'm just not sure, now that you're actually here to talk to, how my body will adjust to me running my mouth without, you know... running my mouth.-



Lydia makes an actual sound at that. It's between a 'hm' and a cute noise. -Although, from what I heard, you may be putting your mouth to better uses these days.-



He frowns. -Like what?-



-Oh, I don't know. I heard someone was seen coming back to the dorms very, very soon after one Derek Hale the other night. Looking all kinds of flustered. No wonder you ditched the party.-



Stiles whips around. “Seriously?!”



She beams at him and has the nerve to look innocent. -What?-



If Derek wasn't going to kill him before, he certainly is now. Oh my god. What should he do? Go tell him he didn't say anything and the rumors started without his knowledge? But what if no one had told anything to Derek? Because the only person Derek spent any time with willingly was Boyd and Boyd flies way, way over gossip. -No, but seriously, Lyds. People are saying that?-



She flips her hair in response. -I may have inferred. You were seen. Jeremiah and Loyd were talking about it. Like they can talk, they only saw you because they snuck back in the dorms early to try and fuck in the boy's common room.-



-What? Ew. I do stuff there. I nap there!- Stiles tries to shake the horrible mental picture out of his consciousness.



-So. Derek?-



-We were just working. No big, I swear. I was just reeling because... that's the most interaction I'd had with him in like, my entire life.-



-You guys do stare at each other a lot. Which is nothing new, on your part. It wasn't so much jumping to conclusions as connecting one more dot.-



-He does not stare. He looks. And now... I'm not sure I want him to.- She gives him the sternest look. -No, I mean, hear me out. It took him two seconds flat to figure us out. You and me. He knows. He worked it out-... -




-I saw that, we weren't exactly subtle.-



-Seriously? That's exactly what he-... - Stiles shakes his head. -The point is... if he can read this so easily by paying attention to me one second. What else is he gonna notice?-




-Oh, you mean that he's the Prince Charming to your Knight Rider-




-Yes! Wait... No. He's the one with the hot car. But thanks for calling me Knight.-



She beams, a new spring in her step. -I smell romance!-



-Please, don't get my hopes up. Trying not to die of envy is bad enough now.- He huffs. -You're such a fag hag.-



Lydia laughs. A bright, full blow, happy laugh that has people looking at them from across the park. He smiles and ducks his head. He can't help but fearing the turn of the tide, but right now... right now life feels pretty good.












@@@









“Hey, so, I was thinking...” Stiles interrupts for the tenth time. Derek stops typing and looks up. Stiles gives him huge props for not having gagged him or threatened him into silence yet. “I know it's not my place, and please don't kill me but-...”



“Why do you always say things like that?” Derek cuts in. “I'm not gonna hurt you.” He looks a bit wary. “Do I look like I'd hurt people?”



“... yes? You look ready for a fight. A lot. Like all the time.” Stiles babbles, unable to keep the words in.



Derek stares at him for a moment, face unreadable. It's long enough for Stiles to see his life pass before his eyes. He decides two things. A, he needs a life. And B, he needs to get laid if he's going to get murdered in a school library like a blonde chesty idiot in a horror flick.



Eventually, Derek's eyebrows twit closer for a second and he breaks eye contact. “So... you were going to say something.”



“Ahh...” Stiles gapes, mind blank, until Derek glances back at him. “Oh. Right! Finstock.”



“I'm gonna need some context.” Derek prompts, when nothing else comes.



“I, um... never mind.”



Stiles.” Derek grinds out, waving at his computer. “You're going to blurt it out in two minutes anyway. Just come out with it already.”



Stiles tries not to grit his teeth at what else he could come out with right now. “It's about... your shifting. The full on wolf out. Is it okay, wolf?” He gets a shrug in response. “So if you don't want to talk about it....” Derek takes a deep breath, and sighs. “Okay, okay. I thought you should try to bring it up with Finstock. Maybe you have, I don't know. But... Erica, she... she had control issues – which you don't have! – and he helped her a lot with them. He's odd and all, but he can really be a great help sometimes. I think he could help with a blockage.” Truthfully, Stiles knew for a fact that he could, he had been the first one to get Stiles to practice.



Derek blinks. “I'll think about it.”



“I know you can do it, Derek. I mean, I've seen you in class, you're like... a monster of zen and self control. And you-... I just... I'm sure you can handle it just fine. And maybe what's holding you back is that, if you manage to do it, to show yourself, then... you got nothing else to hide. You're just like everyone else. And maybe... maybe you want to be, but in a way you don't.” Stiles blinks. When did it start being about him? Damn Peter and his mind tricks. Derek opens his mouth, not even looking surprised when Stiles interrupts again. “I know. You'll think about it.”



Derek snorts. “I was going to say: This should go in the essay. That's actually good insight. Something that might be true. In some cases.”



Stiles reels for a second. “Oh, that's right! Yeah. It's called cognitive dissonance.”



Derek eyes him. “Seriously? You just... know that?”



“Um...” Stiles ducks his head. “Okay. I guess it's fair. My time to share some family drama? Unless you don't-...”



“Please.”



Stiles swallows. He knows it's not a Scott-like 'please, open up to me', but a polite 'please, do', but he can't help being touched a little. “I-... My dad. He had a, uh... Has? I don't know. He had a drinking problem. He's a Sheriff, and he has a hard job. And my mom's d-...” Stiles trips on the word. “When she passed, he took it really hard. At first he didn't see what he was doing to himself, I think he just wanted to forget. To drown it out.” Stiles clears his throat over the rawness of his voice. Derek keeps looking at him. It makes him wants to run. Run from the watchful stare, from the story. But it also makes him want to hide his face in the crook of Derek's neck and cry. And it's not just because Stiles has thought of snuggling up to Derek's chest as he drifted of to sleep countless times – yes, he's a closet romantic. He just suddenly feels like he could really use a hug. “Anyway, when he... when we talked about it. Fought about it, I should say... I tried to explain. When you do something you know you shouldn't. Like... smoke a cigarette, or eat more cake or whatever it is... You want it, but you don't want to want it. You do it because you want to, but you hate yourself because you do. And that makes you feel bad. You don't even know that it goes beyond the conflict of emotions. It fucks with your general mood and self esteem.” He presses his lips in a fine line and gives Derek a shrug. “Look at us. Stilinski Senior having self esteem issues. Who would have thought, knowing his uber popular son.”



“... You nailed that one on the head. You having self esteem issues.”



Stiles squints at him. “And? I'm not old and wise, like you.” He ducks as Derek takes a mock swat at his arm. “What am I gonna do to pass the time?”



Derek shakes his head and tsks. “Alright, well... I think you should write that part. About the dissonance. You already know the concept.”



“Okay. So... that should go... part three, second- no, third bullet point?” Stiles leans over to read on Derek's screen.



“Mhm. Sounds good to me.” The way Derek's speaks so close to the back of his neck – which is entirely Stiles' doing – makes the hair on Stiles shoulders and arms stand on end.



“For the record,” Derek says later, as they're about to part at the junction of their respective dorms. “It's not because one dickhead dislikes you that you're not popular. Or unpopular, for that matter. You have friends. Steady ones. They trust you. That's all that should matter.”



Is Derek giving him a pep talk? “O-okay.” What else could he say? Oh, right? Something that sounds completely insensitive like “And you? Why don't you have friends?” Stiles mentally kicks himself. In the face. “There are a lot of people that would like to hang with you more.” He amends. Boyd, for example, seems to like Derek a lot. Stiles knows the dark-skinned boy feels like he found a kindred spirit.



“Because I don't trust anyone.” Derek says matter-of-factly. Stiles wonders what is sadder. The sentence, or the way he said it: not wary. Resigned.



You trusted me, Stiles thinks. But it doesn't count, Peter made it happen. “Why?”



“Because I don't trust me.” Okay, that is just heartbreaking. Because Stiles knows why, and it makes him want to kick and scream. And he wants to hug Derek again. Dammit. He's lucky Lydia isn't here to try and pick up on his surface thoughts.



“Maybe you should.” he says instead.



Derek looks at him for a while. “Yeah. Yeah, maybe.”












@@@










-How are you supposed to take it when he guy pulls away from making out with you to yawn?-



Stiles almost snorts his coke – decaf, it's 10pm, he's not that insane – out of his nose. -You're supposed to deduce that... Jackson is tired. And that he cared enough to actually pull away?-



Lydia snorts in his head. -I'm worried about him.-



Stiles puts down his pen and leaves his Robin sketch alone. -And you're telling me because Jax and I are such good buddies.-



-I'm telling you because you're my best friend.- Lydia says cooly.




-I am?-



-You're an idiot.- Stiles makes a face. He feels lucky he apparently is her best friend, or else what would she call him? -Alli's my other best friend but we... I can talk to you about stuff I don't feel comfortable sharing with her.-



Great. He was the sassy gay friend. -Like boys.-




-No! Well, yes, but-... Do you play dumb on purpose? I mean feelings. Family drama. Worries about the future.-




-You don't talk about that with Allison?-




-Not really. It's not like I don't trust her, it's just... I don't know, we never really went there.-



Stiles feels a little stumped, he picks up his pen again and darkens his shadows. -Okay, so... Why exactly are you worried about Jackson? You said that like you're worried about him, not about you and him.-



There's a beat. -He's been freaking out over finals. You know him, he gets good grades, but he wants... He always wants to be the best.- Stiles nods, even though she can't see him. -He's been putting a lot of pressure on himself. He's... He doesn't finish his plates anymore.- Stiles stops working on Robin's hair. He isn't really fond of Jackson, but the idea of anyone under such stress that they can't eat is unpleasant. And he hates the worry in his friend's voice. -I'm afraid this meant he doesn't sleep well either.-



“Shit.” Stiles rubs his forehead. -I wish I knew what to do, Lyds.- It takes him a second to register the nickname that slipped out. -Maybe you should talk to him about it? I know, we guys, we hate showing weaknesses, but-... trust me. When we open the floodgates, we become... -




-Winchesters?-



Stiles lets out a laugh. -Yeah. That can happen. But seriously, he may not know why he's like this, if you're right. And maybe you telling him will make him feel better, you know, because he's not alone.-



Lydia makes an agreeing sound. -Thanks, Stiles. You're a good friend.-




-You too.-




-I like Lyds, by the way. –



Stiles grins.








6.





Stiles is about to close his laptop when he sits back down, reopens his tabs and checks, once again, the 'submission registered' message on his intranet page. He knows he's being neurotic. And he knows he'll keep checking for the two days they still have until the deadline. On the edge of his field of vision, Derek walks between the rows of shelves and places various books they used back where they belong.



Stiles sighs, finally packs his things and stands up again. He watches as Derek reaches high to place the last volume in its place. Derek's sweater and shirt ride up and Stiles gets stuck on one detail. One stupid, random detail. That kicks of a rapid fire train of thought that quickly leaves Stiles with a blank mind.



Derek is wearing a belt. Simple as that.



Why is he so affected then? He wasn't even checking out Derek's ass.



Which, huh, it's true. He hadn't been. Which is both weird – it's Derek's ass – and not so much – Stiles has found early on that his weak spot is shoulders. – Large, muscular shoulders with muscles rolling under the skin with every movement. Shoulders you want to bite. –



Simply, it's made Stiles think back to that time in the locker room he saw Derek pull his pants under- “Do you always go commando?”



Derek's eyes snap to him.



Stiles' own widen as he takes in his words and the way Derek is rooted on his spot in surprise. This kind of random thoughts, about anyone, is not that unusual for him. But he's spoken out loud, for Pete's sak-... No, not Pete, with Old Hale that's become creepy now. “I... Wow. Forget I even said that." He flushes hard, looks away and ruffles at his hair in utter embarrassment. "What is wrong with me?!" he hisses to himself. "Are all my filters down?”



There's a beat, during which Stiles wishes for something to happen and distract his focus from his burning cheeks. Then Derek takes a few steps forward. “You talk like a geek,” he comments.



That has the effect of making Stiles look up, he squints. “Is that an insult? Cause it's a bit weak compared to what I usually get. So I'm not ever sure-...”



“It wasn't an insult." Derek cuts, shrugging. "It was a statement.” He throws casually as he starts walking out;



Stiles follows, trying to ignore his wildly beating heart. “A remark.” He says, matter of fact.



“Yes.”



“Because we're.... talking." Stiles says, hoping he doesn't sound as off as he feels he does. "You and me, we're talking buddies.” He can't help but think that there is no reason for them to spend any time together anymore.



Derek glances sideways at him, a small curl to his lips and an eyebrow raised. “You're the one who asked me what I was wearing.”



Stiles mouth drops open as he stills. He feels the heat that had barely receded flood back to his face with a vengeance. Unable to think of what else to do, he hurries off.



Behind him, he can hear a huff of breath that sounds a lot like a laugh.












@@@









“So what's up with you being a people magnet?” Isaac gasps out, jogging alongside Stiles. They're running along the track today, because Stiles and the Hales seem to be the only ones who like the woods.



“Wha'd you mean?” Stiles knows what he means. He wishes he didn't have to explain, because he can't.



“Lydia. Derek.”



“Lydia and I-...” he pants. “We've been buds for a while. It's nothing new. We're just... putting me in Jackson's cross-hairs, that's all.”



“You've been friends with Jax's girl behind his back? That's ballsy.”



“It's not like she gave me a choice. You know her.” Isaac laughs. “And yeah. I'm your token gay guy, dude. Jackson may be jealous cause she's venting about him to someone, but he can't possibly feel threatened by me.”



“He is.” The blond counters. “Because she trusts you, she cares what you think. And he knows he's been a dick to you. Since like... days started ending in y.”



Stiles stumbles slightly. “That's why it's stopped?”



Isaac smirks. “She threatened with a sex strike.”



“Ouch.” Stiles is a virgin, and still, he can sympathize. He will, in fact, sympathize with anybody at Lydia Martin's mercy.



“And Derek?”



Stiles grasps at straws. “I don't think he's on a sex strike.”



Isaac shoots him a look he doesn't want to read. “I mean, what's you with you and Derek?”



“Old Hale's essay. It's actually kicked our butt pretty hard.” Stiles huffs out. "Thank fuck it's finished." He may have checked on the submission status three times since this morning.



“Oh. That's all?”



“Yeah. Why?”



“I dunno.” Stiles thinks Isaac might have shrugged, but with the running and the sweat in his eyes – he should have worn that damn wristband, dammit – he's not sure. “I heard things. I saw you two, yesterday.”



Oh, yeah. Stiles had been trying to repress that epic moment of social awkwardness.



“You know he only talks to two people at school, right?”



“Why? You've tried talking to him? Maybe he'd talk to you.” Isaac looks doubtful. “He's... Dude, he's nice. Which is... so weird, because I've spent so much time thinking he wanted to murder me.”



“And imagining him in the shower, late at night....” Isaac muses.



Stiles glares. “You're not helping.” And with that, he sprints ahead.



“Holy shit!” Isaac pants when he catches up with him in the locker rooms. “Are you sure you're not becoming like Scott?” he jokes.



“Nah, man. I run a lot, that's all.” He shrugs. “Keeps me grounded. Plus, we never know how long we may have to go on foot later, you know. In the Squadrons.”












@@@









Status: Document submitted.



-Are you still checking that?-



“I know. Just... shut up.”



“I wasn't-...”



-In here, too, smartass.-



Making Lydia Martin giggles feels like a personal achievement.












@@@









Stiles is pretty sure Derek can heart his heartbeat picking up suddenly and getting erratic as the older boy gets up from his seat, uncertainty on his face but resolve in the steady rise until he's standing.



Finstock only looks half surprised at his volunteering but says nothing. He usually has to coax Derek and call him out to get him to the obstacles course. This time, everybody seems to pick up that it's special, although Stiles is pretty sure only he, the coach and Derek know why. The student walks slowly and resolutely to the end of the course, far away from them. He partially disappears behind the first obstacle.



Scott tenses and looks back at Stiles, hesitating over the edge of understanding when Derek not only drops his eternal leather armor, but, after a slight pause, reaches behind his head to pull off his shirt. Whispers start to course through the assembly as he ducks and disappears out of sight. Stiles realizes he must be removing his shoes and stripping.



Holy gods. He's actually doing it. He's... He's following Stiles' advice.



Scott glances back when he hears Stiles' hiccuped intake of breath. He almost grins and mocks Stiles for having such a reaction to Derek stripping but he seems to catch something on his best friend's expression and doesn't.



Stiles can't tear his eyes away when Derek reappears and works his shoulders backwards, lifting his heels a couple of times, steeling himself for-...




Oh my god.



The person on Stiles' right shoots him a look and he thinks he must have spoken aloud, but he can't say anything about it, can't react properly, because Derek starts shifting.



From a distance, they can't make out his features properly but they can perceive the ripples, the contortions of his face and upper body that aren't quite natural. Stiles knows he's on the edge of his seat, physically reacting, mouth agape and staring like a fanboy, but it's huge. When Derek's skin changes color, he actually stops breathing all together.



It's an abrupt change from the near hyperventilation from an instant before, and his vision swims, watching ribs pop and human figure becoming... beast. There are a few gasps. A number of students have seen Peter completely shifted, but it's something else coming from a student. Peter's wolf has redish brown furr and is pretty thin. Next to it, Derek's is a monster. And it's completely black, safe for startling blue eyes.



It must have taken twenty seconds at most and Derek has become utterly unrecognizable. Stiles thinks maybe he imagines him huffing out like a bull before he launches himself on the obstacle race. Finstock is lucky the timer is laser operated, because he seems just as stunned as everybody else.



Derek flies over the obstacles. Despite his wolfish features, his spring reminding Stiles of a cross between a primate folding and unfolding as he vaults from obstacle to obstacle, and an untamed feline, all power and weight and precision.



The closer he gets, the closer things come in perspective. It was obvious he'd become larger in the distance, but as he races closer, Stiles comes to realize how freaking massive Derek is.



Stiles felt impressed and naturally inferior before, but now it's like he and Derek don't even exist on the same playing field anymore.



During this little enlightenment, Derek has reached the finish line and the class and pads towards the coach quietly – freaking stealthily – on clawed feet and Stiles feels like he's just been beamed in Rise of the Lycans. Derek is gigantic, he looks... stunning.



Stiles is suddenly struck with the memory that, yes, they might be witnessing this for the first time but Derek is used to this and all his perfect run comes from practice. Hidden, secretive – Stiles can relate – honing of his skills.



A random thought pops into his mind. In French, the world 'fantastique' means both the artistic genre of supernatural and, well, 'fantastic'...



Finstock stares back at Derek for a couple seconds until he blinks. "Oh, uh... Good run, son. Very nice."



The slight nod he gets feels so out of place on this head it's almost comical. Then Derek starts to shift back. It's quicker. From the distortion of facial features into a wince, it must be painful.



Derek is huffing and puffing through it, staring at the floor then squeezing his eyes shut and frowning against the pain. Stiles stares, stares harder. He can see everything: he muscles twisting, knotting and receding under the blackened skin ; the skeleton popping in on itself in increments ; the patches of hair disappearing back into the skin miraculously.



Derek reaches his 'usual' halfway stage and his eyes snap open, lifting and seeking out Stiles'. Something hard and painful pangs in Stiles chest. His breath catching again. Pride. Admiration. Awe.



Neither of them breaks the hold while Derek shifts back to human. From a distance, they seem unnaturally blue. They're too bright, and they dull progressively to his usual shade. Stiles doesn't even compute the fact that Derek is standing there in simple boxer shorts that must have been nastily abused by the shift. He's mesmerized. What just happened runs on a loop through his mind. Superposed with the gaze Derek has fixed on him, he can see him flying through the air, looking something out of his comic books. Only real. Only more awesome.



He knows how he must look, lips parted in an awed almost smile, eyes wide and locked on Derek's. He knows and he knows that people are now staring at him. At them.



Derek's silent communication says 'See? I did it.'. Stiles' says 'why?' and 'fucking a!'. Everybody' else's says 'wtf?'. They don't know Derek couldn't or wouldn't shift before. They just know he never has.



The older boy blinks and he's not even done before he's turned halfway back towards the coach. Stiles slides back int his seat, whistling through his teeth, his hand running through his hair. He avoids Scott's bewildered and no doubt inquisitive look while Derek jogs back to his clothes. Instead he gazes around... right into Isaac's 'you're so full of shit' expression.



“What the hell was that about?” Scott hisses at him as soon as they're out the door.



“What was what?” Stiles attempts, knowing full well it isn't gonna work.



“Derek! He shifted completely.”



Sometimes, Scott is awesome and indulges Stiles when he silently begs him to drop a subject. “Oh yeah, that was pretty impressive, wasn't it? I didn't know he got that... big.”



“He looked at you.” Or not.



“He did?” Obvious, thy name is Stiles Stilinski.



“Oh, come on. I'm not an idiot. There's something going on you're not telling me.” Scott holds up a hand as soon as Stiles stops in his tracks and sighs. "I'm not asking you too, man," he halts Stiles' protests. "I'm just telling you I know. And you don't have to lie to me about it. I'm your best friend. I'm not pushing. Just sayin'...”



This is why Stiles loves Scott. Because Scott is awesome. He may not be the sharpest tool in the box because he just doesn't pay attention to shit – usually –, but he's got the biggest heart Stiles' ever known.












@@@









"Hey, buddy! That looks all right." Stiles gives Scott a bright smile after checking the exercise. "Looks like you got it."



"No. I don't." Scott looks miserable. "I'm just doing what you said. I don't understand what it is I'm doing."



Stiles' heart sinks a little. "It's a first step. You did it right. You don't know it yet but that's a good first step. Let's try a new one. Try and work out on your own what formula you should apply."



Scott looks like he's ready to throw himself out the window in desperation, but he merely picks up his pen again, flips over his sheet and reads over the next question.



Stiles knows the study session is nearing its end when he sees Allison and Lydia walk into the room, and the brunette's eyes light up at their sight.



Scott perks up and makes grabby hands for his girlfriend as soon as he sees them. Lydia walks around the table and ruffles Stiles' hair. He is aware of Jackson's friends that are watching them from a distance. “You're gonna get me killed.” He remarks as Lydia settles next to him. To his surprise, Allison coaxes Scott back to his struggles and pulls out her own homework.



“Pssh... You got your two Hale boyfriends to protect you. And that is, even if you couldn't take Jackson.” She says, flipping her hair disdainfully.



Stiles blinks. “You think I can take Jackson?”



“You have.”



“That was one t-....” He squints. “Did you just say boyfriends?”



Lydia examines her perfectly manicured nails with a smirk.



“What boyfriends?” Scott asks.



Allison shakes her head and touches his arm. “One, I think Professor Hale's attitude towards Stiles is... disturbing.”



“I'll say!” Stiles pipes up.



“And...” she tilts her head at him and smiles, cute dimples and all, and he wants to hate her but he can't. “Yeah, what was that with Derek earlier? You guys... what? You're friends now?”



“I dunno.” He shrugs, looking much calmer than he feels. “Doubt it. We just... remember that essay we gotta do for Old Hale – who is not my boyfriend! Yikes. –?” He glares at Lydia in passing, she gives him an unimpressed look. “It kind of hit a sore subject and we... talked. It was...” Nice? Sad? Confusing? Still really really hot? Even the part when Derek manhandled Stiles into a wall even though Stiles doesn't want it to be? “...weird.”



“I know. He never talks.” Scott says, completely oblivious to Stiles' unease. God bless him.



“So, what's he like? What did you guys talk about?”



Stiles remembers the look in Derek's eye when he let him go after opening up. Distrust and fear and shame and self loathing. “Nothing. I mean, homework. You know, essay stuff? No big deal.” Way big deal. His secret big deal to keep.



It hits Stiles that he finds himself keeping people's secrets. Scott's crush on Allison – until he outed himself like an idiot by talking about it in her presence. Lydia's powers. Their... somewhat friendship? And now Derek's darkest secret.



Or he assumes it's Derek's darkest secret.



“I dunno. I guess we're talking now.”



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