rubykatewriting: (Teen Wolf: Derek & Stiles RUN)
[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.



This being her life, the bubble bursts pretty quickly. She had all but forgotten about the photograph with everything else going haywire. After the attempted attack by the renegade pack, the idea of telling Derek about Dr. Fenris, about finding him, and then going to see him again lost quite a bit of its sentimental luster. It was also pretty easy to forget about her latest excursion into stupidity when faced with the responsibility of telling her father about her new life. She finds it again one night when he’s gone for the full moon, stuck amongst old drafts of a school paper, and it never stops jarring her whenever she looks at this other version of Derek. It reminds her of photos she sees of herself from before her mother’s death, how in some of the darker moments after the accident, she wanted to reach in and shake that other her, rail at her for not doing this or that, for not saying goodbye that morning, for the shame of not being all she could be while her mother was still alive. Stiles wishes she could go back to that girl who just lost her mother and whisper into her ear all the things that awaited her if she would just hold on a little bit longer.

Before she can even begin thinking of a way to give it to him without revealing too many details regarding its origins, he stumbles across it. One minute he’s plopping her down on her desk, pulling away just long enough to yank her t-shirt over her head, and then her hip sends a stack of paper flying to the floor. She laughs and they both watch them fall. When she feels Derek go still, she looks at him, sees his grin turn into a stunned grimace. It’s young him that peeks out from under an old draft of her report on The Great Gatsby. He squats and moves the papers away until he and his mother are revealed.

“Where did you get this?”

Stiles has never heard his voice sound like that, and it steals her voice. She opens her mouth to explain but nothing comes out. He doesn’t move; he stays there on his haunches. She slides off her desk and moves carefully around him. When she reaches out to grab the photo, his hand snaps out and grips her wrist so hard she flinches.

“Stiles, I need you to explain this photo.”

“I got it from the doctor who treated your mother in Michigan,” she lets out, and she thinks her wrist is going to break at any moment.

His eyes flash red as he looks at her. “What?”

“He believes in werewolves. Your mother – He tried to find her, but he could never track any of you down. He found the photo after the fire. It was the one printed with one of the stories about the fire in the newspaper.”

“He’s here in California?”

“He practices at Mercy over in Mount Shasta.”

“How did you find him?”

“After Scott was first bitten, I was looking for a cure. He was the closest thing I found to an answer.” She swallows and licks her lips, trying to ease the panic coursing through her. Her fingers are starting to tingle. “Derek –”

He looks down at her wrist, at the way her hand has purpled, and eases his hold but doesn’t let go.

“We followed him home one night –” She glosses over the unintended assault, their breaking in, and the whole gun thing because this is bad enough as it is and she’s just now starting to get feeling back in her hand. “He wasn’t much help. He told us about your mom, about trying to find her after, and then he showed us the picture. He’s broken, Derek. He believed so hard and it turned him into a laughingstock. I went back and asked for the picture –“

“So now he knows about your involvement with me?”

She shakes her head, and when did she start crying? “I lied to him, Derek. I told him that picture was the only one left of you. I told him you died last summer. That we were together, and there was a car accident.” She wipes at her eyes and nose and hates herself for the hiccupping breaths that shake her whole body. “Do you think I would risk you, Derek? Jesus, I’m not that fucking stupid. I just wanted you to have one photo of your mom. It was the one thing I could give you back.”

“God dammit, Stiles!” She’s right back to where she was before the bullet, before she realized he needed them just as much as they needed him. Fear curdles in her belly, and she tugs at her arm, trying to break the connection. “How could you be this stupid? After that beta came after you, you risked yourself and the pack over something fucking sentimental.” The way he lets go of her is more like he’s tossing her away, and if it’s possible the ache at being discarded is more painful than her wrist. “Jesus Christ, if he’s as desperate as you say he is, he’s dangerous. He could be willing to do anything to prove his theories.”

She pushes back onto her heels, using the desk for leverage, and stands up. It’s like all the tiny bits that made up her and Derek have floated away somewhere she can’t reach them. She wants to, wants to grab them back even as the pain in her wrist and her heart make her see him so differently now. God, she’s too tired for this. She doesn’t even have the energy to explain she went back to see him before the beta showed up. “Get out.”

Derek stops and stares at her.

“Do you know what I thought when I heard about the fire? I was ten and my mom had just died. They were talking about the house, how it was destroyed, nothing left, and I was so grateful that I still had my mom’s stuff. If I couldn’t have her, I could at least have something – photographs, the little antique perfume bottles she had collected since she was a little girl – things, yes, but things that mattered to her when she was here.” Rage is a fire in her belly, a soothing balm that dries the tears, and she has never felt so calm in her life. This is what scares her the most. “So forgive me for thinking that for once in six fucking years, it would be nice if you had some token of your mother, of your life before everything went to shit.”

She walks to the door, pausing long enough to tell him: “Now leave my house.”

-

Her dad comes into the bathroom after an hour. “Honey, Allison and Lydia are here.”

“Tell them to go away,” she says through chattering teeth. Her nails are blue, skin splotchy, but she can’t uncurl herself. As soon as she moves, she will be living in a world where Derek hates her, and no matter that he deserved everything she said, she wants to go back. She wants so badly to go back to that day in Mount Shasta; only this time, she never gets out of the jeep.

“Sweets, I know something’s happened between you and that Derek Hale, but you’re going to give yourself pneumonia if you stay in there much longer.”

It’s a toss-up as to what starts the sobs back up: her dad calling her sweets in that tone that takes her back to eight when anything troubling her could be resolved with a bowl of ice cream and a chat with her daddy; or that he knows about Derek, that he has known for as long as it’s been going on but her lying to him over dinner that night confirmed his suspicions. She will always be his little girl; he will always know exactly what she’s up to but never pry.

“Daddy –!” The sob all but cracks her in half and the shower curtain is pushed to the side with a loud metal scrape. He’s leaning over her with a towel and helping her stand. He runs his hands up and down her arms to warm her; she tries not to flinch when he makes contact with her wrist. He hasn’t noticed, and she feels like one of those girls for hoping that he doesn’t.

“Stay put.” She shivers, numb fingers holding onto the towel, as he leaves the bathroom only to return seconds later with his thick, flannel winter robe. He helps her put her arms into the sleeves, tying it tight at her waist. He hugs her then, squeezing her close, and it makes her heart ache to love him so much.

“I love you, Dad.”

“I love you, too, sweetheart.” He says it like a promise, his voice gruff. “Come on, let’s get you warmed up.”

-

Neither Allison nor Lydia tell her why they come over, but she knows it’s because of Derek. That even as he left, he was calling Scott, who he knew would then call Allison, and she wouldn’t be alone tonight. They stay the night, and her father checks in on them as he leaves for his overnight. There is no discussion beyond what to watch, which ice cream to start with, and if Stiles wants extra pepperoni on her pizza.

When she starts sobbing at the scene where the scientist gives the sister a shot to make her sleep in Night of the Comet, Allison and Lydia pause the movie, and each takes one of her hands. It’s beyond embarrassing, but she can’t help but love them for it. Girlfriends were put on the earth for a reason, and when she starts to imagine Scott in this moment, floundering, she bursts out laughing. They take that in stride too.

-

She wakes up that night when a howl fills the air, and she knows it’s Derek. She feels the ache in her bones, in the pit of her belly, the mark on her shoulder on fire, but she stays there in her bed, letting Allison and Lydia’s soft breathing lull her back to sleep.

-

Derek leaves her alone for a week, or rather, gives her space, because she spots him whenever she’s out: both trips to the grocery store and each morning as she walks towards the side entrance of the school. He makes no effort to hide it, and when she looks right at him, he gives her that look she knows so well, one eyebrow kicked up, mouth flat. She holds his gaze every time but never for long, and then she always turns her back. Every night she wakes up in a dazed sweat and for a second she doesn’t know why; then she hears the lone, mournful howl. It always takes her forever to get back to sleep.

The longer it goes on, the antsier Scott gets and the shorter Jackson’s temper gets. She has no sympathy for them. They may feel Derek’s agitation, feel skittish at the sudden break in the ranks, but she feels his want, feels his call, and it’s all mixed up with her need to be with him too. She can’t sleep, can barely stomach much beyond a bowl of cereal, and as manic as she’s felt lately, she’s surprised her dad hasn’t dragged her in to see Dr. Yin to get her Adderall dose adjusted. The guilt of having to hide the blue-purple bruise circling her right wrist from her father would be enough without the pressure of Derek’s absence like a living, breathing thing inside her.

By Friday, she’s successfully managed to avoid everyone, which is near impossible considering how small their school is and the multiple classes together, but a little skipping, careful seat consideration, and she’s in the process of a nice round of self-congratulation when she turns the corner and finds Derek leaning against her locker, looking for all to see like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Once more, the lackadaisical, slap-dash security in this school utterly fails her. Fucking hell, sometimes she hates her life.

She stops outside of his reaching distance and looks pointedly at him. “I need to get into my locker.”

He gives her his best blank stare and doesn’t move. Asshole. Asshole. ASSHOLE.

“Derek,” and her voice comes out louder and sharper than she intended.

She flushes as the people around them stop in the midst of their usual Friday afternoon mad dash. Nope, she is not going to give the gossip assmonkeys any more fodder. Her life is full of enough actual drama, actual real-life, she-could-die drama. She turns on her heel and walks back down the hall. It’s the long way to the parking lot, but she’ll be damned if she’ll give him the opportunity to get hands on her as she walks past. One touch and she’s a goner.

-

He calls her that night. He doesn’t say anything, and it would be easier to hang up on his voice, on his inadequate words. Maybe he knows because he just stays on the line, breathing, and she can feel herself softening. It’s as effective as his howls at night, and she curls up with the phone still to her ear. She falls asleep to him and memory and love.

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