He wasn’t sure how long he was asleep but the moon was still high and bright, inhaling the sweet stale smell of the rotten earth below him, stretching his palms outward above his head, feeling the rough touch of leather beneath his out stretched fing ... ers .... wait.
“Oh my GOD,” he practically shouted, eyes flicking wide, scrambling up and away from the pair of feet standing just above his head. His gut was wrenched in terror. He should fucking know better than to fall asleep in the woods with crazy shit running around like, like kanimas and ghouls and werecreatures and Derek Hales and ...
“Derek Hale,” came the pathetic croak of his voice, wrenched around that tight knot of his gut. “Derek,” he reaffirmed when he got his big boy voice back and managed to swallow the shiver starting deep in his shoulders. It wasn’t anything out to kill him, but the look on the man’s tired face said he could be persuaded if he said the wrong thing.
“Stiles,” Derek acknowledged, raising one of the books he revealed in his hand as if he needed the moonlight to read the title. “What are you doing?” he spoke again after a moment, brow raising.
Stiles fluttered, wringing his hands together before throwing his arms open with a nervous laugh, finally pulling himself away from Derek and his minor flight of terror, picking up a book to mimic the werewolf across from him.
“Reading. In the woods. At ...”
“Right. Midnight, and anyway--“ he started, tossing the book into the depths of the book jail carved deep into the dirt. “Midnight?” he finally spat, frowning deep across at Derek who stood with his eyes locked on the gaze of Stiles’.
“My dad is going to kill me, I was supposed to tell him when I got back to Scott’s and I--“
“What are you doing?” Derek spoke quietly but sharply, restating his question with a rather affirmative and very alpha tone, though the color that flashed briefly was a bitter, chilly blue.
Stiles considered lying but knew he was like an open book to the weird as hell werewolf senses. He sighed in defeat and tossed the book into the pile below the earth, shrugging his shoulders as he pulled his gaze from Derek’s.
“Burying this shit. I don’t ... really want to see it anymore, you know? I’m going to college. I don’t want to think about wolfsbane or whatever, so I’m ditching them.”
“College?” came the voice behind him, gruff and tired and so unbearably broken. He didn’t sound like the same Derek underneath all that fatigue. “You got in?”
Stiles spun to look at him again, tracing the high ridges of his brow, to his nose, to his mouth ... pulling his gaze sharply back up as he paused.
“Yeah, Santa Barbara. I uh, almost a full ride.” He smiled slightly but immediately wiped it when he met Derek’s eyes again, fumbling to turn away and reach for another book. “I leave next week. Fixing some shit on the Jeep before making the drive. Helping my dad learn to cook so he can take care of himself when I leave, you know, the...