rubykatewriting: (Teen Wolf: Derek & Stiles Phone)
[personal profile] rubykatewriting
Author: [livejournal.com profile] rubykatewriting
Title: The Strong Scent of Evergreen
Pairing: Derek/Girl!Stiles
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Derek and Stiles start something new. "I am, you know," she whispers against his mouth, and he tilts his head in question. "Yours."
Spoilers/Warnings: Can be found here.
Notes: Title comes from the song "Passenger Seat" by Death Cab for Cutie.
Disclaimer: Not mine. So not mine. No harm intended.



“When are you coming over?” Stiles opens the fridge to access the situation. Once again her father has managed to schedule a double on grocery day. Sometimes her cockiness really doesn’t pay off; it pains her to admit that her father still manages to outsmart her because at this point it can only be planned. There’s coincidence and then there’s her father. She scribbles “milk, half & half, cheese sticks (low fat), eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, carrot sticks, chicken” on the pad hanging on the freezer door.

Lydia muffles a yawn on the other end. “My father” – it never ceases to amaze Stiles how much one word, one syllable, can hold so much disdain within it, can tell anyone just who Mr. Martin is to his daughter – “is taking me out for some buy-my-affection time at Macy’s at one. That should take at least a couple of hours.”

“So three then?” Stiles adds beef jerky to the list. She always keeps a bag or three on hand in her room. Derek usually needs a snack when he gets to her room since he runs to her place more often than not anymore. “I need to go to the grocery store anyway.”

“Father-daughter time, Stilinski style.” There’s a tinge of wistfulness in Lydia’s tone, and Stiles pauses. It’s never been a secret that Lydia has virtually no relationship with her father; she has no qualms about exploiting it. For all her bluffing and joking about it, Lydia always seemed surprisingly okay with it, and yet if there is anything Stiles has learned over the past few months, it’s that Lydia can play it cool with the best of them. She suddenly sees her close relationship with her father through Lydia’s eyes, and then she thinks of Allison. Even with Mr. Argent, who can seem scarier than Derek sometimes, there is no question that Allison is just as much the apple of his eye as Stiles is her father’s. It can’t be easy to be around them sometimes.

“Nope,” Stiles says, and she returns to the task at hand. She opens the freezer because she’s almost positive her father finished off the last of the Chunky Monkey, and she refuses to live in a house without Chunky Monkey on stand-by at all times. “Dad has managed to – once again – schedule a double on shopping day.”

“You know what? My dad can wait another weekend. He’ll think I don’t love him and the loot will be double.” Lydia lets out a huff and there’s the sound of clattering heels on wood floors, as if she’s racing through the downstairs of her mother’s house. “I’ll come with you and we can start discussing the experiment while you shop.”

Stiles shakes her head, still considering the list, and then Lydia’s suggestion filters through. She pulls her cell from her ear and stares at it, mouth a little o. The only kind of shopping Lydia does is of the clothes, lingerie, and makeup variety. Imagining Lydia at the local Safeway almost makes Stiles’ brain short out because it is just that weird.

“Stiles? Are you still there? I’m leaving now.”

“Let me get this straight: you’re passing up a shopping spree with a guilt-ridden father desperate to buy your love (or at least your – your like) to go grocery shopping with me.”

“Yeah, so?”

Stiles can hear Lydia’s front door closing and the jangling of keys. “I’m sorry, I thought I was talking to Lydia Martin. Clearly I’ve gotten the wrong –”

“Stiles, shut up.”

“No.” Stiles takes a final inventory of the pantry, tapping the pen against the grocery list tablet. “You’re acting weird.”

“If I come with you, we’ll get that much more of a jump on our project. You know I do not get anything but A-plusses, Stiles.”

“Uh-huh.” Vaguely, Stiles notes the slam of a car door and then the gentle purr of Lydia’s coupe starting up as she wanders towards the living room. It’s nothing like the jangling rumble of her jeep, and she can’t imagine sitting in a car so quiet. That’s one thing she appreciates about Derek’s vehicular testament to the penis: it may be slick and modern but the growl of its engine cannot be ignored. Frowning in thought, she grabs her satchel, linking the strap over her head and onto her shoulder. Idly, she thinks she should probably go through it; it’s getting so heavy she’s starting to go lopsided.

“Okay, I’m turning onto your street now.”

Stiles hand goes still on the doorknob. “What?”

“I’m almost to your house so get your ass out here, Stilinski.”

Beacon Hills is small. Nowhere is more than a ten-minute drive from any other place in town. The older neighborhoods, filled with the simple wood, A-frames like the house in which Stiles and Scott grew up, aren’t more than five minutes from the sprawling brick houses where Lydia and Jackson spent their formative years. It’s the new subdivisions that have been cropping up in recent years, like the one where Allison now calls home, that breaks from the original town plan. They sit on the outer edges of the town proper, closer to the high school.

Still, Stiles can’t believe Lydia has managed to get here so quickly. A prickly sensation starts in her belly, and her mind immediately goes to the other night, to the werewolves who tried to attack her, Allison, and Lydia. If there is anything she knows about Derek, it’s that he has an overly developed sense of responsibility when it comes to the people he loves, and he has no qualms about using anything – or anyone – at his disposal. Even if he hasn’t really changed any of his habits, which really how would Stiles even notice? He’s at her house nearly every night regardless of her father.

“Stilinski.”

She hears the sharp bleat of Lydia’s car horn, but she stays put. Her heart is starting to pick up speed and it’s an echo of her mind, racing from one point to the next until she feels like she’s missed her last ten doses of Adderall. “Are you doing this because of the other night, Lydia?”

There’s a long exhalation on the other end, and she can all but see Lydia weighing her options. “Yes.”

“They attacked you and Allison too.”

“We were there, Stiles. That was it. They were after you; you’re the Alpha’s mate.”

Stiles can’t move, heat gathering somewhere behind her ears and moving forward, her cheeks flaming. This isn’t just a matter of her safety now. Her father’s face swims into her vision, all slanted brow, eyes crinkled, and he’s giving her that smile of his, the guilty one because he probably got burgers and fries with the deputies for lunch that day. Daddy. They haven’t hurt him because he’s sheriff, because it would be too noticeable. It was the one thing protecting him throughout all of this, and now she’s put a super-sized target on his back without so much as a second thought.

“Fuck groceries. And fuck Chemistry. We’re going to the Hale house.” Stiles steps out on her porch, yanking the door shut with a snap. Somehow she remembers to lock the deadbolt before she strides down the front steps, and then she’s glaring at Lydia in her car. “We’re taking my jeep,” she says at last into her cell before jabbing the end call button and shoving it into her pocket.

For once, Lydia doesn’t argue. In what seems like seconds, she is climbing into the jeep without a comment, save for a yelp as Stiles jerks the transmission into reverse before she’s even gotten her door all the way closed.

-

On a list of things Stiles was expecting to find at Derek’s house, her father’s patrol car is not one of them. In fact, it would always be last on things she would never expect to see, except in the event of the world ending. Lydia is clearly just as shocked because her eyebrows all but hit her hairline and her mouth makes a silent o, as Stiles jerks to a stop behind Derek’s Camaro.

Stiles barely remembers to cut the engine before she’s hopping down out of the truck, leaving the door wide open. Old, wet leaves cover the unyielding ground so her footsteps are muffled but it’s not like she thinks she’ll surprise them. She is dealing with a werewolf; her scent will have given her away for at least the last mile, especially as upset as she is.

The front door opens when she’s still making her way up the front steps, and she almost trips in her haste to stop. Her father just gives her a look as he crosses the threshold. Another surprise is the very lack of surprise in his eyes. She has to tamp down on her usual tendencies; she keeps her mouth shut and her arms at her sides.

“Ginevra,” he says plainly, and oh fuck. He never calls her by her first name, hasn’t since she put her foot down in fourth grade and insisted on being called Stiles. “I’ll see you at six for dinner? After your, uh…meeting?”

Stiles glances quickly through the door where she can just make out Jackson and Scott huddled by the recently re-stained banister in the dim afternoon light. Derek is standing at the door, holding it like a lifeline, and she can’t quite meet his eyes before swerving her gaze back to her father’s. What does he know? Has he known this all along? Were his suspicions more than what he sometimes let on to Stiles all this time?

Her father doesn’t say anything as he passes Lydia, who seems rooted to the spot at the bottom of the front steps, and when she tries to pull her winning smile it falters halfway in a mumbled, “Sheriff.”

If it was physically possible, Stiles is sure her heart would pop clear out of her chest and flop uselessly on the old boards of the porch. She can hear a loud rushing in her ears, and is this what a heart attack feels like for a girl? She knows heart attacks present differently in women, and she tries to wrack her brain for the signs because that’s better than looking at her dad again. The disappointment that seems to roll off him in waves mixes with her fear for him, and both work better than anything has ever in her life to keep her mouth closed.

“Six, Stiles. On the dot.”

She jerks at the sound of his voice, and he makes sure to get eye contact again before he slides into the driver’s seat of his patrol car. Then he’s slowly backing down the hard-packed driveway until he reaches a clearing in the trees big enough for him to make a u-turn. She maybe doesn’t breathe again until his taillights flash as he turns around the last blind bend.

“He knows?” she lets out, and Derek nods. “How does he know?”

“He’s suspected for awhile now. You know that. It’s just a matter of what exactly we are, I think, that’s tripping him up.” Derek trails behind as she walks into the house and she all but flops onto the old sofa Jackson “liberated” from his parents’ storage. She’s fucking exhausted. “When he came by to chat and found these two here, it was a bit more confirmation than he needed.”

“So he knows something is going on with you and Scott and Jackson, but not that you’re werewolves.” Lydia seems slightly more herself as she takes a careful seat beside Stiles. She looks around at the werewolves in the room. “Is this a bad thing?”

“Of course it’s a bad thing,” Scott says, and his voice is pinched and worn. “He’s a cop.” He sinks to the floor near the double doors leading into the living room. “No offense,” he offers belatedly to Stiles to which everyone rolls their eyes and Stiles would laugh if it were any other time. Another plus to their pair expanding to group: other people are there to enjoy Scott’s utter lack of tact.

The front door closes with a weary snap, and then Jackson moves soundlessly through the living room, barefoot now that the floors are mostly done, and plops down by Lydia’s feet. Her hand immediately goes out, her fingers at his neck, massaging. Stiles watches, ever more confused by whatever it is these two are at the moment, and for once it’s less an annoyance (the eventual blowups before the inevitable reunions stopped being fun after round two) and more a lovely distraction. Especially when the alternative is the current implosion of her carefully constructed world. She has about five hours before she has to face her father over what may go down as the most awkward and painful dinner of her life.

She turns to Derek, who is perched on the arm of the couch closest to her. “Did someone see what happened the other night?”

“A nice old lady was walking her dog at the time,” Jackson offers, and his tone is for once without a trace of mocking; he just sounds tired. “Apparently the sheriff’s daughter ‘canoodling’ with ‘that Derek Hale’ seemed noteworthy enough for her to call the station the next morning.”

Scott says something about Lydia’s neighbor seeing the aftermath, not the other three werewolves, but Stiles really needs to be anywhere but in this room right now. She rises unsteadily to her feet, smacking her hip into Derek’s knee, and heads for the door. He tries to stop her, gently grabbing her wrist, and part of her wants to curl up inside his arms right now. The rest craves air and it ultimately wins out. He lets her shake him off and she can feel his eyes on her back as she goes.

Outside on what passes for the front yard, she leans forward, hands on her knees and takes gulping mouthfuls of air until she’s probably doing more harm than good, if the black dots are any indication. Oh my god oh my god ohmygod OHMYGOD. Then she realizes what she’s staring at and whirls back towards the house, covering her mouth with her fist. Sometime after the cops released the house and the surrounding area as crime scene, Derek bought a rake and covered the charred earth with piles of dead leaves. It felt like a marker for Peter’s real grave, but his body is buried in the cemetery on the other side of town, away from the Hales and especially Laura.

That was the turning point for her, when the lies she told her father became something more; there had always been self-interest at play but now the lies kept her butt out of – if not jail – at least a really awkward few conversations down at the sheriff’s office. She had participated in the killing of a man. Peter had been a homicidal psycho and a werewolf, dangerous and unhinged, but that didn’t change her role in his death. Then she helped cover it up and pin it on someone else.

There are things she knows to be true because she is not an idiot, could never be an idiot. Things would be infinitely easier if she could go back, if she hadn’t convinced Scott to come with her to the woods that night, and yet she wouldn’t change a thing. As much as she may wish for normalcy, for ordinary, she has chosen this every step of the way. The responsibility of accepting that decision doesn’t lesson its burdens, but she realizes you can get used to just about anything. At this point, it’s become almost normal, a sort of secondary hum hovering above the baseline of her life.

Death doesn’t scare her. She can accept it as part of the process of being human. It’s being the one left behind that scares her shitless; the echo of the loss of her mother still reverberates through her entire body; she can see the way it still holds her father slightly apart.

Harder to accept is that she may be putting her father in even more danger by telling him the truth. The only solace she found with every lie was the belief that it would ultimately protect him. Fear bubbles up in her throat and the tears finally come.

Derek slowly descends the front steps, his eyes roaming over her face, and whatever he finds there is answer enough. He pulls her close and his warmth is absolute. His fingers skim over the skin of her back, up, up, and her heart starts to slow. It helps, but she isn’t completely soothed like normal. There is too much riding on this, not just for her and her father, but for Derek and the pack as well.

“What do I tell him?”

“The truth.”

She leans back in his embrace, needing to see his eyes. Derek uses the hem of his t-shirt to wipe her face, and she flattens her hands against his belly. For him, this is major vote of confidence in her father, and it’s a weight she didn’t even realize she was carrying lifting away.

-

“Werewolves.” She has seen her father’s incredulous face. This is it but times a million. He sits back, spaghetti forgotten, and he seems at a loss as to where to look. “Werewolves.”

“Trust me, no matter how many times you say it –” She stops at his raised eyebrow, and she wonders if she needs to pull out the bourbon for the rest of this conversation. This time she will definitely sneak some into her milk glass.

“Well.” He taps his fingers on the table. “Well.”

She cringes and is it too late to find the quickest way to the border? Canada is crazy cold but she could learn to deal. She could. There are heavier coats. Plus, she’s always wanted to get her hands on some Poutin and there’s that whole free healthcare thing. That could come in handy. She could totally learn to say “about” like that.

“Huh.” She looks up at his tone – and is he smiling? “Well that certainly explains the photos outside the video store.”

She knows they’re in the clear when he hunkers down over his plate. That went entirely too well, but she is not going to look this gift horse in the mouth. She’s the brains, she knows this, and still she doubted. She really didn’t expect him to accept that a mythical creature mostly found in fairytales and those cheesy horror movies they still rent on the rare Saturday nights he’s home, the ones her mother loved, was, in fact, real. Not this easily anyway.

“So we’re good?” She loads up her fork with enough spaghetti that it won’t properly spool, but she is so famished she doesn’t care she’s going to have sauce all over her face.

“How do the Argents figure into this again?”

She swallows, closing her eyes because sometimes her life really does sound strange spoken aloud. “They’re werewolf hunters.”

His eyes go wide and he just shakes his head. “Jesus, kid.”

“My head, like –” She makes the motions like her head is exploding, and he laughs. “– all the time.”

For a few minutes, it’s kind of nice now that all – er, most – of her cards are finally on the table. Allison and Lydia are great to discuss “As the Werewolf Turns,” but the shorthand she shares with her father is so comforting. Looking at him across the table, she is so grateful to have him.

Then he says the one thing that has that last bite begging to come back up.

“Is there anything else you want to tell me? About Derek?” her father prods.

“What makes you think there is anything else about Derek? Him being a werewolf isn’t enough?” The smile feels as awkward as she knows it looks, and she returns her attention to her plate. That alone would give her away, she knows it will, but it’s like her stomach is trying to wring itself out like a towel. She forces herself to take another bite – chew, chew, chew, chew and swallooow – and god she hates food right now.

“Just something Mrs. Davis mentioned,” he says, and really that nosy old lady just needs to go. Somewhere that isn’t here.

“Scott and Jackson were training with him that night, and when Allison called Scott, he got worried so they all came.” Her eyes only manage to get somewhere around his chin. “I’m sure she’s just confused. It was pretty late.”

“You’re probably right.”

For once, her father lets it drop. It doesn’t help, but somehow she survives the meal. After they do the few dishes, and if she thought the tension was bad, making it last through hand dishes is enough to make her promise herself to look up the lyrics to “Oh, Canada” when she gets upstairs.

“I’m on the early shift tomorrow so I’ll see you around three,” her dad says as he drapes the extremely damp dishcloth over the edge of the sink. He pulls her close and presses a warm kiss to her temple. “Don’t stay up too late.”

She watches him head toward the back stairs, a lump in her throat. “D-dad?”

He pauses, turning back to look at her.

“You’re okay about all this, right?”

The lines around his mouth ease a bit, his lips quirking into a half-smile, and maybe she isn’t just asking about the werewolf thing. Maybe she wants him to be okay with her still keeping some secrets for the first time ever. “I’ll get there.”

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