Derek is sixteen, and he is angry.
Derek is sixteen, angry, and likes to listen to ironic indie bands that write songs about existentialism and getting high. It doesn’t take long for him to stop hanging around the lacrosse team (he quit almost six months ago, in a fit of unrepentant rage) and start huddling together with the stoners, who have all staked unmarked claim on the grungy back steps of the school.
He doesn’t smoke up with them - not at first. He just doesn’t really fit in anywhere else, unable to handle the stares and whispers, flinching away from girls with sad, pitying looks on their faces - below their empathy he can see hunger in their eyes, and it makes his blood go cold, makes him want to lash out, or run away.
Joey, Liam, and Trev don’t care though. They don’t care that he doesn’t smoke with them, they don’t care that his family died in a fire, and they don’t care that all he does when he slouches up against the back gates with them is stare at the ground and nod every now and then when Liam cracks a joke. It’s almost like he’s not there - but at least he’s not alone.
He’s been hanging around them for about two weeks when Trev smiles at him, really and truly at him, his floppy brown hair tangled around his ears, and holds up two fingers casually, offering him a joint.
“Oh, I don’t really -” Derek says, surprised into speaking, but Trev waves his hand - the hand with joint - at him dismissively.
“It’s cool, I just thought I’d offer, since you’ve never asked.” His smile is bright, quick, and he’s not looking away, and it’s making Derek feel weird, something desperate clawing at his stomach, at his chest, and inching into his throat. He’d do anything to make it go away.
“Alright,” he breathes, reaching out, hesitant. His fingers twitch, and Trev’s smile grows a little wider, handing him the rolled up joint and digging in his too-big jean’s pockets for his lighter.
He instructs Derek to put the blunt between his lips, and then Trev lights it up, laughing as Derek freezes for a minute, almost afraid to breathe before he finally inhales.
“Enjoy,” Trev says, patting him on the shoulder, the most contact Derek has had in what feels like years. He doubts his fights with Laura count.
Drugs don’t really do much for werewolves, and herbs do even less, unless it’s something like wolfsbane, or white mountain ash, something rare and stupid and dangerous. So when he drags off the joint, he knows he can’t get high. The marijuana isn’t going to do anything to him - his metabolism is way too fucked up. But it’s sort of comforting, and he can feel a buzz in his veins, maybe a dulling of his senses - it’s hard to tell. He figures he likes it, and it’s one more thing that Laura will fucking hate.
Laura does fucking hate it.
She blazes into his room (not his room, not any-fucking-thing like his room, this shitty apartment on the opposite side of town, far away from the comfort of the woods and the solitude) like a woman on a war path, eyes flashing red in warning. Derek smirks, flat on his back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.
He’s smoking. Of course he is.
“Derek,” Laura snaps. He can almost taste her irritation, but it’s muted under the the musky taste of green that seems to live inside his mouth these days.
“What,” he drawls back, unaffected.
“I got another call from the school,” she says, her voice icy. “Skipping? Again? Do you want to fail junior year?”
“You are impossible!” Laura snarls, and he blinks, sitting up in time to see her face morph from human to something less than human, ugly and deformed and unnatural. She shifts back soon enough, but it’s a testament to how much he’s needling her, to get her to lose control of her form like that.
He wants to blow smoke in her face, just to see how she’d react, but Laura takes three quick steps across his room and plucks the blunt from his lips, staring at it in disgust.
“You’re going to make yourself sick, idiot,” she murmurs, angry and still growling a little as she digs the lit side into her arm to watch it sizzle out, a tiny burn the size of a dime healing within seconds. She crushes the joint in her palm.
He doesn’t even care enough to be angry. Just flops back down on his bed and stares at the ceiling.
“Why are you doing this?” Laura whispers.
Derek closes his eyes and breathes, remembers what it smelled like, wood charred and burning flesh, the way Laura had sobbed, taking deep, gasping breaths against his shoulders as her eyes went from blue to green to finally settling on red, sirens all around them as the police tried to comfort them, two orphans.
“Why aren’t you?” he asks, and hates the way he sounds so broken.
(Source: hornyhoechlin, via doucheywolf)