inspired by 3x03 and Derek’s resignation in the face of death
“Like anybody’d care,” Derek mumbles, face turned away. Stiles makes a scoffing noise in the back of his throat and Derek glances at him.
“Dude!” He says, voice annoyed and cracking, “do you know how like…fucking…boring it’d be around here if you died!” Stiles huffs, arms gesticulating wildly as he speaks. Derek gives him a look of disbelief, a tight scowl with something like hope burning at the edges.
“Seriously, who the hell would I engage in witty banter with,” he argues. “Peter?” He says it like an insult and the corner of Derek’s mouth quirks. Stiles grins at him, “I mean, don’t get me wrong, the dude’s a worthy opponent but burying someone in a crawl space really puts a bit of a damper on the potential for a future relationship, you know?”
Derek still doesn’t look entirely convinced, but his body turns in Stiles’ direction, who shuffles forward a bit. “You’re kind of the sole reason I was a wanted fugitive for several months,” Derek points out.
“Okay, one…half of that was definitely Scott’s fault—“
“You’ve left me for dead,” Derek reasons.
“I felt bad about it!” Stiles shouts, but Derek is smirking now. “Besides, you slammed my head into a steering wheel!” Stiles reasons.
“You used my body as a form of bribery,” Derek argues.
“Punched me in the hand,” Stiles waves it in front of him, “It’s still bruised, I’ll probably have really bad tendonitis when I’m older, never be the piano player I’ve always dreamed. My hopes for the future have been crushed by your unwieldy wolf powers,” Stiles pouts.
Derek rolls his eyes, but his shoulders are less tense, the lines around his face smoothing out to something less harsh. There’s a long pause, Stiles scuffing the toe of his shoe on the floor beneath him, awkwardly.
“Look,” Stiles says, voice soft, contrite, “I know almost dying is sort of part of the whole,” he gestures between them,” job description, thing, you know?” Derek catches his gaze before Stiles drops his. “But just…just stop making decisions based on some asinine belief that no one cares, okay?”
Derek looks like he’s about to argue, and Stiles shakes his head, shrugs his shoulders. “Because I care, alright? Like…” he sighs heavily and flushes. Derek stares at him in stunned disbelief and Stiles feels his heart rate quicken, thumping loud in his chest.
“I’m not saying I want to be werewedded and raise your pups or anything, dude, just like…that it’s…you know it’s been…I mean it hasn’t sucked having you around or anything, lately.” Stiles’ hands fall listlessly to his sides and he sighs.
“I uh…” Derek clears his throat, stares at Stiles with his eyebrows raised high on his forehead. Stiles blinks at him, rolls his eyes. “You’re…useful,” Derek offers. Stiles raises a brow and stares at him.
“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me,” he clutches at his chest dramatically. Derek huffs out an annoyed breath and turns to walk away. “Dear Diary,” Stiles narrates, trailing after him, “Derek Hale almost made a nice. Tomorrow, I’m going to share my pudding cup with him and see if he expresses emotions.”
“Go home, Stiles,” Derek throws over his shoulder.
“Okay, but I know your physical intimidation tactics are really just your way of expressing your fondness for me,” Stiles shouts after him, “no use denying it.”
“And you like me more than my homicidal undead uncle,” Derek tosses back.
Stiles smirks, waits until he’s nearly out of earshot, “those would make wonderful vows.”
Several yards away, Derek smiles for the first time in weeks.