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bed


Derek and Stiles were back in the house, sitting across  from each other at the kitchen table.  Derek really wasn't good with words as Stiles had learned, but when you had Derek's story to tell, it did make sense.

"It was eight years ago.  My sixteenth birthday.  Didn't care about a party.  Didn't care about presents.  Nothing mattered as much as passing my driving test, you know."

Stiles nodded.  It had meant independence, but more importantly for Stiles, it meant he could do more to help his mom.

"My dad was supposed to take me, but at the last minute something came up at work.  Well, that's not true, but that's what he told me.  He was putting the finishing touches on his Camaro.  It was my present.  I worshipped that car as a little boy.  It was just, it was my dad, you know.  So anyway, he and my mom were planning this huge celebration slash surprise party.  Aunts, uncles, cousins.  Peter volunteered to take me and Laura just tagged along.  They were supposed to keep me out until everything was ready at home, coordinate things.  Let them know how the test went just in case.   I passed.  Couldn't wait to get home and show off."

Derek's smile didn't come close to his eyes.

"Laura went on about how great it was going to be having a chauffeur.    Hell, I was so full of myself, I thought it was the best idea I ever heard.  Peter called home, but nobody answered.  He didn't think anything of it at first.  Lots of people, lots of noise, just couldn't get to the phone in time, whatever.  We drove – I drove – around for a while.  Peter kept calling and still didn't get an answer and he was starting to get worried and he made me let him drive.  I didn't want to, but he insisted.  Laura had already picked up on how worried Peter was, but I just wanted to show off."

Derek stopped talking.  Stiles just waited.  He'd met Laura and Peter, but hadn't heard of any other Hales.  He had gotten the impression there weren't any others, but there could be lots of reasons for that.

Derek took a deep breath and exhaled.  Stiles wondered if he had ever told anyone this story before.  He didn't think so.

"There were fire trucks and ambulances and people.  God, there were so many people just walking around.  It didn't make any sense.  I didn't understand.  Laura started screaming and I saw smoke, steam, rising form the walls of my house, but the walls weren't there anymore.  Not completely.   Apparently it was a combination of old wiring going bad and a slow gas leak.  To be honest, I still don't understand.  I just know my family's gone, except for Laura and Peter."

Stiles felt for the guy.  He really did, but he didn't see why that had to keep him from looking for Michael.  But even he understood he couldn't just flat out say that.  What did he say though?  He knew better than anyone how useless words could be.

"I'm sorry, man.  That's rough."

"Thanks."

Silence stretched out between them while they looked anywhere but at each other.

"I still need to look for Michael.  I'm sorry it's your house, but I still need to go out there.  I'll be respectful.  You don't have to come with."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why do you have to find Michael?  Why can't you just let Sheriff Argent do his job?"

"Did you miss the whole werewolf part of the story?  He can't go to jail like a normal person."

"But why do you have to be the one to hunt him down?  You've already been shot."

"That had nothing to do with Michael."

"You don't think Michael had anything to do with it.  You really don't know that it was Kate."

"Yes, I do."

"Cause you're psychic in addition to being a werewolf."

"You don't have to be psychic when you know your history.  I know mine."

Stiles had to get out of there.  He'd wasted too much time already.  Why was Michael hiding anyway?  Chris couldn't do anything to him legally.  Of course, Chris wasn't just the sheriff and there was a lot  a hunter could do to a wolf who'd killed.  Okay.  So that was why, but why had never been as important as where.  He headed toward the door again.

"Where are you going now?"

"Just outside.  You do have a backyard, don't you.  Cause it looks like there's one out there.  I just want some fresh air," said Stiles tiredly.

"That's not all you want."

"No, it's not, but that's all I'm getting right now, isn't it."

Derek nodded and they headed outside.  Stiles inhaled deeply and lifted his face to drink in the sunshine.

After a few minutes, in silent agreement they sat down on the top step of the deck stairs leading down to the backyard itself.  They sat close enough that they were almost touching.  That had happened several times yesterday.  The silence, the almost touching.  Stiles had noticed.  He appreciated it.  Any other time, he'd do something about it.  Now it would just be a distraction and he didn't need that.

"If you wait till after the service tomorrow, I'll go with you to the house."

Derek was still looking straight ahead.  Stiles looked over at him.  A profile gives nothing away, but he could see the tension in Derek's jaw and neck.  Even without that he knew this wasn't something that Derek wanted to do.  So why offer?  Maybe he just wanted to make sure the house was still abandoned and safe from insane werewolves.  Maybe he didn't want Stiles to have to do this on his own, which would be really nice.  Maybe Stiles should just ask him.

Nah.  Wild speculation was way more fun than stark truth/reality.

"You sure?  That's really not necessary."

"Yeah, I am and it is."

Derek turned to face Stiles and Stiles added another option to the list.  Maybe it wasn't just the house that Derek wanted to keep safe.