Stiles looked up at the silvery sliver peeking out from behind a cloud, and realized the moon, like everything else in his life, would soon be new. He stepped back from the window, but didn’t take his eyes from the waning crescent that was once such an important part of his life. His old life. But he was in a new city, with a new home, a new life. He felt the familiar tug that never seemed to leave him, the hole in his chest where his heart used to be, and can’t help but feel the ache. His mom, his dad, Scott, the pack, Beacon Hills, Derek, all just a distant memory now, but still as ever present in the back of his mind.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he scoffed. “I know you think that I can’t do this, but I don’t have a choice.” The thought that he must look crazy talking to himself at his window didn’t even cross his mind, until people on the street just stared as they go about their business. I should have moved to a penthouse, he thought to himself.
The spark that had been within him had become an inferno after Deaton had given him the right tools. But his growing magical powers had drawn incredible amounts of attention from the supernatural world, turning his hometown into a never ending cavalcade of things trying to kill him and everything he loved.
He finally decided to leave when Derek almost died because of him. Admittedly, it is nearly impossible to kill a werewolf, but the demon had been able to get really close. Who knew?
Once they had banished the thing, and Derek had recovered enough, Stiles had just picked up and left, without a word. He knew it was the only way he could protect this family, blood and pack. He had sent a letter to his father, on his way across the country, explaining that he was alright, but hadn’t given many more details. He made sure to cover the tracks of his research on where he would be going, well enough that even Danny wouldn’t be able to figure it out.
He had picked Chicago because of the supernatural community that had been established there, a close network of practitioners and supernatural beings who were stealthily protecting the city. He knew of at least one wizard, and a wolf pack, so he was sure that he would feel at home. He made himself a new identity, Lucas Hale, and had gotten a job at a local bookstore, a place where he was sure to stay busy, keeping his ADHD at bay, while being able to hide his magical abilities.
But, every night, Stiles found himself standing in front of his window, explaining himself to that stupid moon that had started this whole thing. He rambled on for hours about how he had made the right decision, trying to convince himself more than anything else. He went on and on and on, knowing that no one was actually listening, but all the same feeling like maybe there was someone out there that was doing the same. He would apologize over and over to his dad, to Scott, Allison, Lydia, Jackson, Danny, Boyd, Erica and especially Isaac, the poor pup, but Derek was always the sorest subject, whenever he broached it, which was pretty much every other sentence, he felt the hitch in his breath and the tears start to well.
He had never meant for anyone to get hurt. He was only trying to make himself a more valuable part of the pack. His spark had started something within him. Once he discovered his abilities and started training, Deaton had told him that the thirst for power and knowledge would be consuming, but never in Stiles’ wildest dreams did he think that his magic would become the bain of his existence. He had put the people he cared about in harms way, gotten them hurt in the process, which was something that Stiles just couldn’t deal with. He had to get away.
He woke up yelling, throat sore from the sheer force of it, covered in sweat and bathed in light from the street lamp. He relived the whole gory scene of the demon attack, the mixing red blood, Derek’s red eyes, the pleas for help, the depletion of his powers, the screams, the darkness. He felt a sudden pang of guilt for leaving, but he quickly pushed it out of his mind as he looked up at the stars out of his bedroom window, searching for something to bring him back to his new reality.
He was relatively happy in Chicago, staying out of the spotlight, and under the supernatural radar, so he went back to his old stand by, talking to the moon. He hadn’t made any friends in his new neighborhood, sticking to his quiet alter ego of Lucas Hale, who was a loner, much like his namesake and quite the opposite of the old Stiles, so at the end of the night, he spent all his pent up energies, moving objects around his room to spend his magical energy, and talking until he was blue in the face to spend his ADHD energy. This alter ego stuff was really taking a lot out of him. He was out of magical practice and he missed home. He missed Derek. Did he really just think that? He certainly didn’t miss getting his back slammed up against doors and walls, but maybe he did miss Derek, so he started talking to him. It made him feel better on one hand, letting Derek in on all the things he couldn’t tell him anymore. He could imagine how Derek’s face would react to each and every phrase, the expressive eyebrows over green eyes, the curl of the corner of his lips whenever he was hiding a smirk. On the other hand, it made him physically hurt. It made his muscles tense and his heart just ache. He ignored the tears streaming down his face and the hiccoughs and the pain. He watched the stars and the outline of the moon, and he just held his knees to his chest, and sobbed. Maybe he missed Derek too much, maybe he had fallen in love with him instead.
Derek looked out on to the pond behind his old family home, out in the woods and far from the beaten path. He focused on the missing piece of himself, of his pack. He had checked in on each other member, ensuring that he would have some time to himself, they were all spending the night at Lydia’s to watch a movie, so he would have some room to let himself go. He felt his stone like facade giving way, and he allowed himself to finally feel the loss he had been keeping bottled up since Stiles had taken it upon himself to leave Beacon Hills, the pack, and him. He had been able to keep it all at bay, like he did when he lost his family, but it all came flowing up to the surface and he fell to his knees with a howl. He knew that the rest of the pack would be able to feel his anger, his pain, his sorrow but he knew he was far enough from them that he would have a good half hour to work himself through it before they would be able to find him, to hold him, to beg him to stop and to go back to his new house with them. So he let himself cry, uncontrollable sobs wracking his body, as he lay on the forest floor, looking up at the stars and the small piece of moon casting slight shadows all around him. How could he just leave? Without a goodbye, a hug, a see you soon, nothing. He let himself start rambling, the kind of rambling that he found so annoying but strangely endearing when Stiles had done it, and it felt so cathartic. He told Stiles everything, how much he meant to him, how he had become a part of his own beating heart, how he would never leave his thoughts, not even for a second.
He heard the pack approaching, and even though he still had a few minutes, he started to gather himself back together. He said a quick, “Talk to you soon,” to Stiles, where ever he was, and wiped his nose and cheeks on his sleeve, putting the pieces of his normal exterior back together around him.
He was standing when Isaac got to him, tears staining his cheeks and snot running from his nose as he barreled into him and wrapped his arms around his waist. Erica was 5 steps behind, and she quickly took up the space above him, hair a mess from their run though the woods. Scott was next, but he just sat when he reached the clearing next to the pond, and shuddered, the collar of his shirt darker than the rest of it from the tears. Boyd and Jackson stuck to the line of trees around the clearing, but he could see from their faces that they were distraught too. He knew they would all understand, he knew they felt the same way he did, about the missing piece of their pack, but he knew they could never understand the true depth of what he felt, because he didn’t really understand it either. He hated Stiles, not really hated as grudgingly tolerated, but the feelings he had started to feel towards the end were so far removed from anything that he was used to that he couldn’t even begin to wrap his mind around it. He had never felt anything like it before, and he didn’t even think that it was possible for him. He was in love with Stiles, and his wolf had latched on to the nerdy, chatty, twitchy kid as his mate.
They didn’t speak, but all started walking back to Derek’s house in a tangled mess of feelings and touching.
The pack gained strength from being together, comfort from the touch of fellow pack mates, but they all felt the absence of the one thing that had always held them the closest together. Stiles, his clumsy lack of a filter between his brain and mouth, his incredible ability to sift through mounds of research, and his unending selflessness had always been their glue. They all missed him, but more importantly no one blamed him. Beacon Hills was better because he had been there, not worse. Sure, crazy things kept happening, but they were able to come together and face everything head on, and always came out on the other side stronger, more bonded, happier. The town, his father and the pack needed him, but more importantly Derek needed him. He needed to be able to see Stiles speechless the first time when he told him he loved him. He needed to be able to smell his hair, his skin, to feel his breath on his neck, his skin under his touch. He needed Stiles back.
Lydia, Danny and Allison were all waiting at the Hale house when they stepped out of the woods. As he walked up the porch steps, he looked up at the moon and whispered, “Goodnight, Stiles.”
They spent the rest of the night in silence, holding on to one another on the couch watching all of Stiles’ favorites. They would have plenty to talk about tomorrow when they continued their search.