Because the thing is, if you see something often enough in the mirror, you can’t deny its existence elsewhere, you know? and stiles- stiles has been pining after scott for literal years, has reached the point where devotion and habit have crossed numerous times, and he can’t quite keep track of what is what.
so when stiles catches derek’s eye, see the look of interest aimed his way- stiles isn’t dumb or unaware, not in the slightest. he knows when someone is considering, admiring, interested.
stiles can’t handle that weight of responsibility, doesn’t quite know what to do with change (never been good at it, never learned how to manage it, not since he held his mother’s hand in a pale white hospital when he was ten), so he does the safe thing and looks Scott’s way, like he always has.
but with that kiss, and with derek’s new… hobby of looking his way, stiles just knows there’s something too-good-to-be-true about this entire scenario
so he pulls him aside, away from the imploring eyes of the pack, into one of the closets. the one good thing about the hale property?
sound proof /everything/
so stiles takes a deep breath and tries to ignore the sly look on scott’s face, the fingers trailing and down his lower arm, and he starts, “look, man, you can’t keep doing this.”
and scott, bless his heart, looks confused and hurt. stiles rushes to clarify, trying to ease the conversation just a bit. “i mean, you know- you’re in a rut, ok, and you can’t-“
He chokes. He wants to get the words out but he chokes. He’s the worst person, the worst. Can’t bring himself into putting a stop to this even though he knows he’s just an accessory to what’s going on. Just a symptom, the fever to some other virus he doesn’t have anything to do with.
He probably doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on with Derek, come to think about it. There’s the—
(He has to breath. Steady. Count to ten. In through nose, out through mouth.)
—the distinct possiblity that whatever’s going on with Derek, whatever this frizzling tension overloaded with /what ifs/, has everything to do with Scott. Everything to do with getting an upper hand, everything to with pissing contests and settling pack disputes and power. Power plays.
It’s probably— there’s—
Such a lonely teen and such a loser and pathetically human and maybe Derek’s angle is not even getting something over Scott. Maybe that’s not even it. Maybe he does not even rank as that kind of prize. Maybe this is pity. Or maybe this is a strategy to get to Scott through him, through making nice with him, the sad sidekick who nobody gets why Scott still hangs out with.
Wouldn’t be the first time.
Scott’s brown worried eyes are running all over his face, dropping down to where his hand is trembling, clutching at his hoodie right over his heart.
Stiles knows Scott can hear how fast it’s beating how fast and loud and inconsistent and painful and his throat is tight, tight and he feel the beats there too.
"What?" He exhales, shakily.
"Are you okay?" Scott asks, concern bleeding all over his words, his own hand going for Stiles’ shoulder.
"What? I, yes? Yes!" He gets out, too fast and not at all convincent and thinks ‘come on, Stiles, you can bullshit your way out of this one’ and thinks ‘you’re freaking out over nothing, Scott probably doesn’t even care about the kiss. It’s probably nothing and you’re making a joke out of your self for taking all this so seriously.’
"you can’t go around kissing people with dry, chapped lips, dude." He says, punching Scott in the arm lightly, wagging his eyebrows.
And it makes no sense and Scott knows but he /can’t/.
So he laughs at his own ridiculousness and flees. Doesn’t wait for an answer, doesn’t say goodbye to the pack.
The thing is, Scott’s feelings are real. They may be dark and misshapen and untimely but they are so fucking real. And he may not know exactly what’s going through Stiles’ head but this sure felt like rejection.
And it stings.
And makes him bitter.
which is not the best thing to be when trying to reach a truce with the person you perceive is the enemy
"no," scott states, firm and unbending as he glares at derek. "i’ll deal with the Okoro pack."
isaac nudges him with his elbow, a subtle “what the hell, man”, but scott pointedly ignores this.
just like he ignores the fact that stiles isn’t here, either.
derek sighs, clenches his fists for a second, before saying, “look. the pack is traditional, and with all the conflicts we’ve had here in the last few years, an old name like Hale will ease the way for talks-“
"i don’t care," scott grinds out. he narrows his eyes, taking in the larger built, the handsome face, the holier-than-thou attitude- is this what stiles is interested in?
"scott-" boyd tries, but cora cuts him off, stepping forward with angry steps.
"we don’t have to listen to this you," she spits out, and scott definitely sees the family resemblance here. "we still haven’t figured out how you became an alpha in the first place"
scott holds his tongue, because angry he might be- but there is nothing derek takes more personally and fatally offensive than a slight to his sister.
"and how are you going to take care of this," derek says, voice low and mocking, "when you don’t even have your own pack?"
"i have stiles, lydia, and allison," he snaps. "that’s more than enough"
"really?" derek opens his arms wide, gesturing to the room. "and where are they now?"
scott only growls.