Beacon Hills – End of August 2014
Waiting. Right. Waiting.
Waiting for test results. Waiting for test results requires patience.
Patience, Stiles. Patience.
Stiles is horrible at waiting. He has no patience. None at all. But! he can meditate.
He’s good at meditating. Even though meditating is doing nothing. Well, it’s actively doing nothing. Working at doing nothing, even. Physically nothing, lots of potential for mental something.
Like inside his skull, not outside of it. No sensing. No outreach of emotional tentacles. All on the inside.
Fuck. Deep breaths. Maybe a little meditating? He can reinforce his shields and still be mentally available when the doctor returns.
A throat being cleared in his immediate area draws his attention. Stiles’s eyes find a pair of black boots. Black boots lead to jean-covered legs and up to a surprisingly sexy black v-neck. Finally Stiles finds the prettiest eyes he has ever seen.
The sentinel – because this, wow, this has to be a sentinel – is looking at him with a blank but expectant face.
“Uh, hi.” Good job, Stiles.
“You’re the Sheriff’s son? Right?”
“Yup, Stiles. Stilinski. That’s me!”
“And you’re?” Hottypants glances at the door Stiles recently exited. It only goes one place. The testing room. The one for blood tests, not the one for sensory tests.
“Getting tested! Yup! Chemical confirmation that I am, in fact, a guide.” Stiles nods.
“You’re not 18.”
It’s a statement, not a question but, “Right, 17.”
“Where’s your dad?” The sentinel crosses his arms, drawing Stiles attention to the fuzzy red band on his right wrist. Not the usual black leather soul-cover of an on-duty sentinel or guide. Not the light or bright blue of a searching sentinel. Red. A non-standard color that casually denotes a bonded status.
…But the guy in front of him doesn’t feel that different from Scott, who firmly resides in the ‘not bonded’ category of sentinel-hood.
Stiles rolls his eyes at himself.
“Not here. No, don’t give me that tone of eye! It is completely legal for anyone, regardless of age, to be tested for Sentinel/Guide genes as long as they have probable cause that leads them to believe that they are either a sentinel or a guide. Which I do.” Stiles waves his uncovered right wrist complete with soulmark at the guy. “In fact, in cases of medical emergency, the test subject does not even have to provide consent for testing if they show signs of empathic or other sensory distress! In many countries other than the United States, -it has been a standard part of Emergency Room triage for like 5 years now!”
“Your dad’s not going to like you being tested.”
That sounds more like a question with maybe a touch of accusation. Stiles deflates. “No. My mom didn’t want me tested and he’s been standing by her choice. But it wasn’t really her choice. And she knew. They knew. Know. My parents know. That I am a guide. I just want formal training before-” He cuts himself off. He’s rambling. Why is he rambling? He’s rambling because Mr. Drool-Worthy-of-the-Year is listening and not looking completely bored.
Droolworthy had even laughed! Well, okay, smirked and suppressed it but it felt like a laugh.
“Before you’re 18? Before you bond?”
“Yeah. I just. I feel like my bondmate is out there. Waiting. I think he needs me and I want to be ready, you know?”
Hotness nods. “Good luck.” And walks back down the hallway to the bombshell babe waiting for him.
More than likely bonded.
Fuck his life!
But Stiles continues to see Hottypants McDroolworthy around town. Often. Multiple times a day. Sometimes just driving around. Sometimes at Track and Field practice in the morning. Sometimes at Lacrosse practice in the afternoon. In the parking lot after school.
Like, a lot.
End of November 2014
Derek couldn’t get that ‘little dork from the S-n-G Center,’ as Kate calls Stiles, out of his head. His completely dumbfounded, slack jawed face the first time he set his eyes on Derek. That full body nod when he admitted to being tested. The flail of arm that is probably an active danger to any passersby when he got excited. The changes in vocal pitch as he talked faster or slower. The way his eyes flashed when he challenged Derek. His scent – hope, tension, cinnamon and orange, with a bit of leather and gun oil somewhere in the background.
His bare right wrist.
Derek had been a little embarrassed for the younger male. It was almost indecent, showing his soulmark to god and everybody like that. Derek hadn’t realized until later it was a statement. Purposely showing irrevocable proof that Stiles belonged at the Center. That he had every right to be there and no one else could say differently.
At first glance, Stiles’s soulmark looked like a child’s drawing of a cat complete with fat, round body, too small head and little stick legs laying in impossible directions but made out of flesh and freckles rather than marker or crayon. Something about it had tickled the back of Derek’s mind and he couldn’t help but stare.
Soon it became evident that the soulmark was a big cat. Slowly, it became a jaguar. Then, long past socially acceptable boundaries for staring, it was Derek’s grumpy ass spirit guide staring him down from the end of the hall, complete with the cat’s standard “What the fuck is wrong with you?” face. From that moment, Derek couldn’t leave the hallway without talking to Stiles.
Without getting a good look, a sniff and a vocal sample of the younger man.
He should have given Stiles his number.
But Stiles isn’t trained. Stiles hasn’t found his feet yet. It would have been inappropriate. Right?
Because this stalking thing is so much better.
God, even his internal monologue sounds like Stiles now. Derek can’t remember what it sounded like before.
Stiles is laughing at something Mophead has said as they meander in from the lacrosse field. His head is thrown back, his eyes wide and a little wild.
Fine, he’ll do it. Give Stiles his number. They could text or something. And he could stop this, this this!
Mophead – Scott, his name is Scott. McCall. Scott McCall. Derek really has no reason to mess up the other sentinel’s name. Not even in his head. He knows Scott. He works with Scott. He is training Scott.
Scott grabs the handle of the door that Derek is leaning next to and pauses, looking at Stiles expectantly.
Stiles for his part hesitates for a moment before straightening up and addressing Derek. “You know, I never did catch your name.”
“Derek. Derek Hale.” Stiles smells shocked. Mophead’s face and posture are shouting ‘I told you so!’ so loudly Derek could swear his ears are ringing.
“Did you need something?”
“To get to know you.”
“As like part of the Pride? Or something? ‘Cause I’m part of the Pride. Well, not yet. Not until I’m all trained and certified. But soon, really soon. And we should do Pride things. Because we’re Pride. Soon.”
Derek just holds out the scrap of paper with his number on it and walks away after Stiles takes it. He resolutely refuses to listen to Scott and Stiles as they make their way to the locker room.
He refuses to follow them with his vision.
He does allow himself a moment of Stiles’s scent profile. Happiness. Relief. Curiosity.
He texts Kate as soon as he was in the Camaro. ‘We need to talk.’