Stiles wakes from their nap with his face smooshed into the warm skin of Derek’s chest. His own skin feels sticky and sweaty (thanks to Derek’s insane body heat), and when he extricates his hand from where it’s curled in Derek’s mussed hair, he discovers there’s sleep crusted in his eyes. Grosser and grosser. Then there’s the coffee deprivation. His mind is all foggy and the only clear thought in his mind is the need to shower. And then possibly make pancakes, because—he raises his head enough to see the window over the back of the couch—it’s getting dark out, which means it’s dinnertime, which means Stiles should make breakfast. Obviously.
He allows himself a moment to smile groggily at Derek’s adorable, open-mouthed sleeping face before he wiggles out from Derek’s octopus embrace to find the bathroom.
And then he thinks, I just let my local librarian give me a blowjob and I don’t even know where anything is in his apartment.
It’s a bit of a discombobulating thought, that he’s now in a serious relationship with this guy (like, holy hell, Stiles is pretty sure they’ve gotten to the brink of the I-love-you stage) and he’s never even been over to his apartment before. They’ve never movie-marathoned or cooked dinner together or gone out for ice cream or sat up late talking. They’ve only kissed, what, three times now? Four? Aside from Lydia’s party, a platonic impromptu coffee date at Jimmy’s, and a not-date at the movies, they’ve never even seen each other outside of the library as far as Stiles can recall.
The newness of it all contrasts oddly in his head with the familiarity of their texting selves, the adoring way Derek kept looking at him, and their spooning this afternoon. And there’s the mental love triangle issue. Stiles can’t help but automatically see Derek as two separate people, still: Grumpy Librarian and Astronomy Guy. One he’s mostly lusting after, and one he’s got a brain crush on. Stiles doesn’t think it’ll take him long to adjust. He just has to spend time getting to know Derek better outside of texting. For now, though, it’s disorienting, like looking at one of those optical illusion portraits, seeing a beautiful young woman one minute and a big-nosed old woman the next. Well, it’s like that except for the fact that Derek is insanely attractive from any perspective.
And now Stiles feels uncomfortably exposed, wandering stark naked around a strange space. Thankfully, the apartment’s not that big, and the first door Stiles tries turns out to be the bathroom.
He locks the door behind him. Then he stares at the doorknob for a minute in his sleepy, coffee-deprived state, thinking sluggishly about why he just did that. He reminds himself there’s nothing in here Derek hasn’t already seen, and he unlocks the door again.
Stiles may be a little weirded out by suddenly being Derek’s boyfriend, but he has no qualms about using some of Derek’s amazing citrus-y shampoo and soap. Derek has invested in some really nice personal hygiene products, a far cry from the cheap stuff Stiles buys from Wal-Mart.
As he’s toweling off, he briefly considers scrounging around in Derek’s room and borrowing some of his new boyfriend’s clothes as well, but he decides pretty quickly that he’d rather don his own clothes (still in little piles on the floor around the area of the kitchen) because rifling through Derek’s bedroom drawers would feel a bit too creepy/invasive/intimate. Somehow more intimate than a blowjob.
Stiles reminds himself that he hasn’t even seen Derek naked.
Good things are in his future.
Derek’s first instinct upon waking is to freak out, because he’s no longer curled around Stiles. The empty strip of couch beside him is cool to the touch and Stiles’ scent there is at least half an hour old.
Derek shoots upright, eyes flashing beta blue, his whole body trembling, and a mantra of, He’s left me, he’s left me, gone, gone, gone . . . drowns out all other thought, all sensation.
And then Stiles’ voice breaks through his panic. “Oh, hey, you’re up. Good timing. I’m making pancakes!”
Derek closes his eyes until he can be sure the electric blue of his irises has bled back to their usual hazel-green. When he opens them, Stiles is standing in front of him, fully clothed, wearing his glasses again, and smelling like Derek’s soap—which helps calm Derek, spreading a warm, possessive feeling through him.
Stiles is also holding out a steaming cup of coffee. “C’mon, sleepyhead, drink up,” he croons teasingly, so Derek takes the mug from him and sips.
“If you wanna get a shower, the pancakes should be all done by the time you get out,” Stiles goes on brightly. “Unless you’re one of those people who take thirty minutes to shampoo their hair. But you’re probably not. I mean, you don’t have thirty minutes’ worth of hair on your head. But that reminds me, your shampoo, man. It’s amazing stuff. Hope you don’t mind, but I borrowed some. Or, not borrowed since it’s down the drain now and I can’t really get it back, but you know what I mean. . . .”
Derek drinks his coffee and listens to the soothing rhythm of Stiles’ voice until his heartbeat has slowed to its normal pace. It surprises him, as a fairly quiet person, how much he really doesn’t mind Stiles’ babbling. How comforting it is. He’s not sure if that’ll always be the case, but even if it does eventually annoy him, he thinks he could overlook it. He could overlook a lot of things about Stiles, if he had to.
“I think I will shower,” Derek finally says, when Stiles pauses to take a breath.
As he stands, he’s aware for the first time that while Stiles is in a T-shirt and jeans, Derek’s still wearing nothing but a pair of briefs. It feels a little awkward, but not as much as he would expect.
He puts his empty coffee mug in the sink, and then, because he can, he cups Stiles’ face in his hands and kisses him slow and sweet, tasting the cream and sugar of Stiles’ own coffee on his tongue. When he pulls back, Stiles looks a little dazed.
“Your pancake’s about to burn,” Derek smirks, and heads off for the shower as Stiles darts over to the stove.
In the shower, Derek has time to think. Of course, his thoughts go immediately to Stiles, whose heartbeat he can hear through the walls, whose scent is now all over his apartment, in his kitchen, on his couch, in this bathroom. It’s taunting Derek, giving him a taste of what it could be like if Stiles stuck around and came here all the time.
There’s no reason to think that won’t happen. Stiles hasn’t rejected him, after all. Just the opposite. But he doesn’t know about the wolf yet, either. He doesn’t know all of what he’s accepted.
Derek was so confident earlier that Stiles wouldn’t mind. He would want to be with Derek no matter what. Now Derek wonders if that was just wishful thinking. Stiles can be hard to predict. And he’s human. His only contact with the supernatural so far has been in video games, books, movies, and comics. Who’s to say he won’t be like all the others when he finds out some of what he’s read about is real? Worse, not only real but also often dangerous?
Most werewolves date other werewolves, and for good reason. Derek remembers vividly what happened to Laura and her last serious relationship. She and Josh were engaged, after dating for two years, by the time she showed him her beta form for the first time and started to explain everything. He lost it. Left that very night and refused to speak to her again, except for a single envelope left on her doorstep, telling her she’d lied to him and he was sorry but he could never love a monster.
Laura hasn’t dated anyone since, hasn’t even seemed interested in anyone else. She’s not broken—she can still boss Derek around and flirt with waiters and look at the world with confidence—but she has a hard time trusting humans, and she’s more cynical and cautious now. And every time something reminds her of Josh, every time she calls Derek at three a.m. to sob into the phone or shows up unannounced at his door with a pile of rom-coms and a tub of ice cream and red-rimmed eyes, Derek finds himself fighting his wolf’s urge to hunt Josh down and tear him to shreds. He would show that piece of shit what a monster really looks like.
He fights that impulse, of course, because logically, he knows it was Josh’s right to make an informed decision. He knows Laura shouldn’t have kept it from him for so long.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that when his sister told the love of her life what she truly was, he looked at her with utter disgust and fear and unhesitatingly cut himself out of her life. Before she told him, he was a doting fiancé. He was excited about every detail of the wedding and would wax poetic about Laura at the drop of a hat. After she told him, he said he never wanted to speak to her again.
Derek tries to imagine Stiles doing that to him and can’t. It’s just too painful. But he got a taste of it a few minutes ago when he thought Stiles was gone. Subconsciously, he’d thought that maybe he’d shifted in his sleep and Stiles had seen and left. He can’t ignore that that’s what he’d thought. That’s what he’d been afraid of. He has to acknowledge the Josh reaction as a possibility.
And that’s why he has to tell Stiles sooner than later. He can’t go months or years pretending to be human to Stiles and simultaneously wondering if Stiles loves him or just the person he shows himself to be. He has to know from the start that Stiles wants and accepts the real him.
By the time Derek’s finished his shower, he’s made his decision.
Derek bites into one of Stiles’ pancakes and freezes mid-chew.
“That good, huh?” Stiles says nervously.
“Actually . . . I thought these were blueberries, but nope. Chocolate.”
“Ah.” Stiles relaxes, grinning. “Yep. Chocolate it is, mi amigo.”
Derek shoots the pancakes a resentful look. “This is almost worse than that time Laura put cream cheese on cornbread and I bit into it thinking it was vanilla cake with icing.”
Stiles can’t help but laugh. “That’s a clever prank. I’m gonna have to remember that one.”
“I’ll never accept cake from you, ever,” Derek says solemnly.
“Your loss. I make an awesome vanilla cake. Also lots of other kinds of cake, and just food in general. Not to brag or anything. I’m just saying, you won’t regret eating anything I make. Unless it’s like, from my plate. I will stab your hand with my fork if you try to do that couple-y thing where you steal food off my plate. I’m possessive that way.”
Derek snorts and goes back to eating his chocolate chip pancakes with relish. Evidently they’re pretty good now that he knows what to expect.
“Anyway,” Stiles says, “I wish I’d seen your face when you bit into Laura’s fake cake.” He supposes it wouldn’t look much different from Derek’s normal sour expression, but still. He suspects there are lots of variations of the Sour Face. Stiles wants to be able to recognize them all. And that’s a bit of a scary thought—anything long-term is, this early on—so he pushes it to the back of his mind and says lightheartedly, “And just so you know from the start of this relationship, I put chocolate chips in almost everything. Pancakes, banana bread, oatmeal—”
“Ew, you have no taste,” Derek groans, but Stiles can tell he’s teasing. “Chocolate chips in oatmeal, really?”
“Hell yes! Breakfast of champions. Plus sugar.”
Derek’s still looking unimpressed.
Stiles just shrugs. “Dude, how did we go all this time texting each other without you finding that out?”
He didn’t mean it as a complaint, just as another bit of banter, but Derek frowns, metaphorical storm clouds gathering over his head.
“There’s a lot I still don’t know about you,” he says quietly. “But I’d like to know.”
Stiles puts down his fork. “Oh. Uh, same here.”
The mood’s too serious for Stiles’ taste now, so he smiles, leans across the table, and pecks Derek on the cheek with syrup-sticky lips.
“So what’s on the agenda for tonight, O boyfriend of mine?” he asks with a suggestive eyebrow waggle, as Derek makes a face and wipes at the sticky spot on his cheek with the back of his hand. At the words “boyfriend of mine,” though, his whole body goes rigid, and his eyes, oh—for a second Stiles thinks he sees them flash bright blue instead of their normal greenish hue, but he dismisses it as somehow being a trick of the light or, more likely, something Stiles imagined.
“We are boyfriends, right?” he asks, because weird eye flashing or no, Derek definitely tensed at that word.
Derek leans forward and laces his hand with Stiles’. His face has gone all intense, the way Stiles is used to seeing him look when he’s confiscating food in the library.
“Yes. Absolutely yes, we are.” Derek squeezes Stiles’ hand. His gaze is unwavering. And then he says without a trace of exaggeration in his tone, “You’re mine, and if anyone else touches you, I’ll gut them.”
Stiles blinks, instantly taken back to his first conversation with Astronomy Guy. On the phone, thinking Stiles was an ex-girlfriend, he’d said something about breaking into her dorm room. And then, thinking he was texting Laura, something about the ripping out of throats. With teeth. Stiles had thought Derek was joking. Derek had said as much, in Laura’s case. He was joking, right?
Stiles clears his throat and asks apprehensively, “Can we just clarify that you’re not, like, secretly a serial killer or crazy-possessive stalker?”
He is not going to freak out about this. He is not going to let his mind run wild, pointing out how much stronger Derek is than Stiles and how they’re alone in the privacy of his apartment and how really, there’s no reason Stiles should trust this guy because of some adorable nerd texts about Star Wars. He is not going to panic. He’s not.
Okay, maybe he is, a little.
But before he can really register what’s happening, Derek’s crossed to his side of the table and is scooping Stiles up into his lap like he weighs nothing. Normally Stiles would find being cradled in another man’s lap emasculating, but right now all Stiles can feel is the controlled power of Derek’s body surrounding him, keeping him safe, and being painfully gentle and careful with him. That, more than any words, is reassuring, but panic’s not like flipping a light switch on or off. Stiles can’t just logic himself into instantly calming down. The panic is still there, swelling inside him, fizzing darkly on the edges of his vision.
“Breathe, Stiles,” Derek orders, and then, more softly, “Breathe. Come on, calm down. It’s okay.” He’s speaking into Stiles’ hair now. “It’s all right. I’m sorry. I—I promise I don’t go around killing people. I’m a librarian, remember? It’s, like, the least violent profession on the planet. And you have to know I’d never hurt you.” He hugs Stiles fiercely. “Never. Because I love you.”
Aaaaand there we go. I-love-you stage reached. Bridge crossed. Also, still Day 1 of their relationship. Somehow all of this is not helping Stiles relax.
“Can we just finish our pancakes and not talk about feelings right now?” Stiles gets out in a rush, after who knows how long of clutching at Derek’s shirt and forcing himself to breathe in, breathe out. His words come out a bit muffled because he’s speaking into Derek’s shoulder, but Derek understands, because he strokes one large hand down Stiles’ back comfortingly and lets him go.
Derek slumps back into his own chair. “Do you want to stay tonight?” he offers, almost shyly. “There’s, ah, something I still need to tell you.”
“Yeah. Pretty important.”
“Like, relationship-altering important? I mean, I know there’s not much of a relationship to alter yet seeing as we’ve been together just a few hours, and we were asleep for most of it anyway, my point being that I don’t think we’ve really set a precedent yet for how this relationship works, but—”
“Yes, possibly relationship-altering,” Derek cuts in.
He looks so insecure all of a sudden. Stiles can’t stand it. “I do want to stay,” he decides. “Lemme just text Scott”—Derek narrows his eyes at the name—“and let him know I won’t be home till tomorrow. He’ll be up all night otherwise, worrying about me.”
“Good,” Derek says gruffly, and abruptly gets up to take their plates to the sink.
Stiles is halfway through composing the text when he gets it. Scott. Scott and Derek.
He leaves his phone on the table and goes to stand at Derek’s side. Derek’s mouth is a thin line and he’s pointedly looking away. Stiles rests his cheek tentatively on Derek’s shoulder and twines his left arm through Derek’s right.
“I know what he told you about me,” he says gently. “About how I felt about you. He says he’s sorry about that. He just—didn’t get it. And I mean, it’s kinda my fault because I wasn’t entirely open with him about the clusterfuck of things I feel about you. I should’ve mentioned it earlier, but . . . I’m glad you told me how you felt about me, despite what he said. I’m glad you didn’t give up on me.”
“He said you loved someone else,” Derek whispers. “He said you said that. And I know you told me you’re in love with me now, but still. Scott said . . . and it was just a week or so ago. . . . I guess that’s enough time to get over someone else—”
“Dude, no. Stop. I am in love with you.” Stiles means it, too. “And I told Scott that. It’s just, it was before I knew you were the same person I’d been texting so much. I was in love with that guy, and kind of in love with you in person, too, and—it all gets messed up in my head, but trust me, there wasn’t anyone else.”
The tension goes out of Derek’s shoulders then, and he turns and buries his face in Stiles’ neck. Sniffing him?
“So, um.” Stiles decides not to point out the awkward sniffing. At least he’s freshly showered. “Is it just me, or does it feel like it’s time to have that relationship-altering discussion, while we’re being all serious?”
Derek leans back and fixes Stiles with a grave stare. “Yes. Now’s good.”
He reaches up and slowly runs the pad of his thumb over Stiles’ cheekbone. When he kisses Stiles, chaste and lingering, it feels sad. It’s like he’s saying goodbye in a touch.
Stiles won’t have any of that. “You’re scaring me here, Derek. No sad faces allowed, not when I’m not breaking up with you. I think we can make this relationship last two days at least. So. What’s up?”
“I’m a.” Derek stops. Starts over. “I.” He scowls. “I should show you first. If I just say it, you’ll laugh at me.”
“I’m not going to laugh at you,” Stiles assures him.
“But you won’t believe me.”
“Oh-kay,” Stiles says, drawing the syllables out. He’s not a gullible person, but he does trust Derek. He’s pretty sure he’s going to believe whatever Derek’s big, relationship-altering secret is. But whatever. They’ll do this Derek’s way. “Show and tell it is, then.”
There’s no mistaking it this time. Derek’s irises change color, the gorgeous green and hazel gradually brightening and intensifying into an unnatural blue.
“Derek, your eyes! That’s so beauti—” Stiles starts to say, and stops. Because Derek’s eyes aren’t all that change.
“Those are fangs. Derek, why do you have fangs? And weird flashy eyes, but mainly fangs. Dude, fangs. Oh. And claws, apparently,” he adds as Derek raises one hand, splaying his fingers.
Derek’s eyes fade back to normal, and he lets his fangs and claws retract, before he speaks. “I’m a werewolf.” His flat tone says, Go on, get it over with, tell me you’re going to break up with me over this. I’m bracing myself for it.
But that’s not the train of thought Stiles is going down at all. “So that’s why you think Wolverine is better than Batman! You both have retractable badass claws!”
“Really, Stiles? That’s the first thing that comes to mind?” Derek’s words are exasperated, but he doesn’t look exasperated. He looks relieved.
“Do you have super healing, too? And super strength and stamina? And heightened senses?”
“Yes to all of the above.” Derek continues to sound exasperated, but he’s even less convincing now.
“Ooh, and can you tell when someone’s lying by their heartbeat?”
“Almost always.” Derek shrugs modestly. “Wolverine’s actually a good comparison. Except that my skeleton isn’t reinforced with adamantium.”
Stiles knows he’s got a dreamy look on his face, but he can’t help it. “I can’t believe I’m dating a real-life Wolverine,” he sighs. “This is nerd heaven.”
"Oh," Derek adds a little too casually, "and I don't need to use condoms. No chance of STDs."
"Good to know," Stiles replies, nodding sagely. He can fake casual, too. "So . . . One more question. Are you really into astronomy?"
"What?" Derek wrinkles his nose, confused. It's adorable.
"You're the guy I've been texting, so you're also the guy who called me in the library by accident to chat about the full moon with your ex. Ringing any bells?"
Derek blushes. "Yeah. About that. Erica's not really my ex. She's the newest member of our pack."
"Yeah. My mom's the leader, the Alpha. My whole family's in the pack: my sisters, Laura and Cora, and my dad, and Uncle Peter and his family. Plus a few others we've taken in. Erica, for one. And Isaac."
As if this day couldn't get any weirder. "Angelic librarian Isaac who knows your coffee order to a tee? That Isaac? Is a werewolf?"
"Wow. I'm trying to imagine him with fangs, outside of a sexy Halloween costume, and it's just not happening." Stiles is going to have to see it to believe it. "So . . . Anyone else I know moonlighting as a supernatural creature?"
"I don't think so, no, but I haven't met all your friends yet."
"Yet," Stiles echoes. Right. He's going to have to tell his friends he's dating Derek. His friends who all think Derek is a jerk who hates Stiles. That's going to be a fun conversation.
It's like Derek knows Stiles is plunging into anxiety territory again (is mindreading a werewolf power, too?), because he hastily changes the subject. "You’re still staying the night?” His smile is affectionate, like he knows Stiles will say yes. This smile doesn’t have quite the radiance of his adoring look from earlier. No, this is a new smile, more subdued but also somehow more focused, like he’s looking deep into Stiles’ soul and liking what he sees. Stiles decides he likes this smile. It’s one of his favorites.
. . . And then he wonders when he became a hopeless romantic who moons over his boyfriend’s every facial twitch.
Not that Derek seems to be any better.
“Staying forever,” Stiles corrects without thinking. But before he can talk his way out of having said that (seriously, did he just propose marriage to Derek? Is that what that was? Talk about breezing through the stages of a relationship . . .), Derek is kissing him in earnest and backing him up against the kitchen counter.
“Well,” Stiles breathes when Derek moves on to kissing Stiles’ neck and licking at the sizeable hickey he left there earlier. “I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely getting a feeling of déjà vu here.”
Derek huffs out a laugh. “I can fix that. How about no couch this time?”
Without further ado, he takes Stiles’ hand and starts to lead him away—towards his bedroom, Stiles supposes. He still hasn’t seen it yet, but he’s about to.
He grins wickedly and pulls his hand away. Derek only has a moment to be confused before Stiles is jumping on him, encircling Derek’s neck with his arms and wrapping his legs around Derek’s torso. Derek doesn’t stagger back, not even a little, even though Stiles is Derek’s height and weighs at least 170 pounds and has momentum on his side. No, Derek just brings his hands up to grope Stiles’ ass, supporting his weight with ease. Supernatural boyfriends are officially awesome.
“I should totally start calling you Logan now! Also, congrats, you just won our longest standing argument. Wolverine is better than Batman.”
Derek pulls his head back to look Stiles in the eye, incredulous. “Really?”
“No. You’re so gullible.” Stiles giggles into Derek’s neck. Literally giggles. He feels a little like he’s high right now. “But I’ve decided it’s a tie, so we can both be happy.” Stiles digs his heels into the small of Derek’s back impatiently. “Now, I never thought I’d say this, but enough about Batman. We’ve got some fucking to do.”
“I’m not the one who brought up superheroes.”
Stiles pouts even though Derek can’t see. “You aren’t going to say anything about part where I said we should be fucking?”
Derek throws Stiles down on the bed and smirks when Stiles squeaks.
“I have no complaints about that plan,” he quotes, as his smirk widens into something decidedly more predatory. “Absolutely no complaints. Zero complaints—”
“Nil, nada, gotcha,” Stiles finishes, making grabby hands. “Just get down here and kiss me already.”
Derek doesn't need to be told twice. He straddles him and mumbles happily into his mouth, "Mine, you're mine."
"And you're mine," Stiles agrees as they rut together. "You're mine, I'm yours. Which is why you should fuck me into the mattress right now."
Derek sets a more languid pace than that, though, stripping them slowly and teasing him with little kisses and nips and licks on his face and neck and chest until Stiles can't stand it anymore. He takes Derek's hand and presses it between his legs. "Lube?" he prompts.
Derek rolls off him just long enough to grope around in the top drawer of his nightstand.
They take it slow because Derek's never done this before. Stiles opens himself on his fingers and guides Derek, easing him in. They pause a lot just to kiss and murmur meaningless little phrases and stroke their hands down bare skin, familiarizing themselves with each other's bodies. And when Derek finally starts thrusting, it's over too soon, both of them too overwhelmed with sensation to last. It's good, though, so good. Stiles wasn't lying when he told Derek anything they did would be amazing because it's Derek doing it.
Afterwards, Derek licks him clean, and for some reason Stiles doesn't find that gross. He also manages not to make a dog joke about it. They burrow down under the covers, kissing lazily, and Stiles falls asleep loose-limbed and sated, with his legs tangled in Derek's and his nose pressed into Derek's shoulder. If this is just Day 1 of their relationship, he can't wait for Day 2.