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A Supermarket In California

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Insomnia festers under his skin. Its been curled around his rib cage, prying the bones apart and settling in that hollowed out space. It doesn’t help that Stiles is worried about what he’ll see if he closes his eyes. The ceiling has become an all too familiar sight. Sometimes Stiles is glad when a car passes by outside and he gets to watch the light dance across, making that familiar sight alter and become new for a few moments. He’s taken to leaving the curtains slightly open to allow the streetlight outside cast a soft glow over his bed. The dark feels too oppressive.

 

Tonight is no different. Stiles is restless. His body is an incessant hum, a low grade buzzing behind his eyeballs, buried deep within his skull. He runs a hand through his hair, tugging it slightly. It’s early morning. Probably. Stiles is guessing; he doesn’t want to look at his phone and wince at the brightness of the screen.

 

He kicks back the covers, swinging his legs over and out of the bed. He needs to get out of this room. He’s starting to feel closed in.

 

Trapped.

 

So at 2 am on a Saturday morning, dressed in a faded maroon lacrosse hoodie, plaid pajama pants and sneakers, Stiles ends up driving to a twenty-four hour grocery store on the edge of town.

 

The neon sign, (blood red, alpha red) glitters overhead. The doors open with a soft swoosh. Stepping over the threshold is like stepping into the light having lived in a cave for the better part of twenty years. The light is so obnoxiously bright it almost overwhelms him. Music plays over large, rectangular speakers. Stiles can’t name the song.

 

He wanders. The setting feels so strange. The store seems to elongate, the aisles are endless, the music blending from one song to the next seamlessly. Time seems forgotten here. Everything and everyone is bathed in white light. It’s almost cleansing.

 

He finds himself amongst the fruit and vegetables. Packed into wooden boxes on wooden tables, nestled in luminous pink tissue paper. It’s like the saturation has been turned up to full, each colour twice as vibrant. Oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, plums, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, lemons, limes. Riotous, blaring colour. Stiles wonders whether his sleep deprivation is finally getting to him.

 

Maybe he’s dreaming. At least it isn’t a nightmare. Not yet anyway.

 

Stiles reaches for an apple at the same time someone else does. Hands brush, a brief moment of static contact. Stiles looks up, hand already slipping backwards to the safety of his hoodie pocket.

 

Deucalion stares back at him from across the table. Stiles blinks, hoping that perhaps it’s just a man that looks like Deucalion. It’s not.

 

“Evening,” Stiles says. He immediately wishes he could cram the word back into his mouth, swallow it down and never utter it again. It feels foreign on his tongue, clunky in his mouth.

 

“Morning would be more appropriate,” Deucalion replies. He’s holding the apple in his right hand.

 

Stiles doesn’t know what to say so he just nods. He doesn’t quite know how to handle this interaction. Logically he knows that Deucalion came back into town a few days after the Nogitsune was purged from Stiles’ body but he’s just been looming in the background, on Stiles radar in so much as Stiles has everyone suspicious on his radar. He has coffee with Peter on Thursdays. Stiles assumes they take their coffee black and bitter, trading murderous anecdotes and nefarious schemes in between sips.

 

“Well,” Stiles says, “this has been awkward and weird.”

 

He turns on his heel, sneaker squeaking on the overly polished floors.

 

“Until next time Stiles,” Deucalion calls to Stiles retreating back.

 

//

 

School is exhausting, lacrosse even more so. Stiles yanks his jersey off, shoving it into his gym bag with a tired sort of malice. His fingers stumble over the buttons of his blue plaid shirt. He grimaces when he notices the spots of blood on the cuffs. He folds them over, pushing them up to the elbow.

 

“You ok?” Scott asks when they walk to the parking lot. Stiles brushes away the concern, cracks a stupid joke and snorts when Isaac trips on the curb.

 

He drives home and takes a nap, which was so stupid. Because he saw blood on his hands and staining his teeth and now he’s wide-awake, counting the marks on his ceiling (twelve) and unable to go back to sleep. The nap didn’t even help. Stiles is minutes away from tearing his hair out and sobbing because he just wants to sleep through the night. Just one night.

 

He’s not sure what prompts him to go to the grocery store. There was something comforting in its seemingly endless aisles. It was easy to just wander, trail a hand along the edge of a shelf and count the number of different types of cereal. Even his strange interaction with Deucalion hasn’t made it off putting.

 

There’s a chilled freshness to the air that tingles in his nose. The music is a little jarring tonight, violins sounding like they’re shrieking, a woman’s voice harmonizing over the top. Stiles sneakers make a soft slapping sound on the tiled floor. The tiles are sparkling white. Stiles thought they were an off yellow before.

 

The aisles are so long. Stiles thinks that they probably aren’t as long as his brain is telling him they are. Sleep deprivation is more than likely making him hallucinate. He ends up in the tea aisle. The perspective is off, like looking down the hallway of a hotel. Stiles stops in the middle, head tilted up to stare at the rows upon rows of tea. Dafang, green, peppermint, gunpowder, Pu-erh, oolong, chai, raspberry, cinnamon, chamomile, honeybush, hibiscus, cloud, moringa, yarrow. Stiles eyes flick over the various typographies, vision blurring slightly at the dazzling, clashing colours of the boxes.

 

“Pass the English breakfast, would you?”

 

Stiles turns. Deucalion is standing beside him, an empty metal basket resting on the crook of his arm. He’s wearing a navy blue V-neck sweater. Stiles thinks it might be cashmere.

 

“The English breakfast,” Deucalion repeats. He gestures just beyond Stiles head. “Right in front of you.”

 

“Right,” Stiles replies, grabbing the lilac box and passing it over. Hands brush again. Deucalion’s hands are soft. That’s weird to Stiles. He expects rough callouses. Expects blood and sharp claws. Deucalion smiles, placing the box carefully into the basket.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Stiles nods. They stand there for a few moments. Still like a photograph. Stiles manages not to snort at that image. Click. Alpha werewolf and gangly teen in a supermarket in California, a rare look into the creatures lurking in the wholesome symbol of American consumerism. Deucalion’s gaze is heavy. Inscrutable. Stiles resists the urge to shift from foot to foot and fidget.

 

“So what is Death, Destroyer Of Worlds doing in a grocery store at 3 am?” Stiles asks. He’s shattered the moment. Taken the photograph and ripped it into pieces.

 

“The same could be asked of you,” Deucalion replies.

 

“I asked first,” Stiles says. Deucalion chuckles. The music changes to neon lights and cigarette smoking pop. I wanna love you in the worst way baby, you gotta kiss me just to taste a little danger.

 

“I needed tea,” Deucalion says. Stiles rolls his eyes. Someone graduated from the Alan Deaton School of cryptic non-answers. “And yourself?”

 

Stiles looks back at the ordered rows of tea.

 

“A distraction.”

 

Stiles can be mysterious and cryptic too.

 

“Hmm,” Deucalion muses. “I hope you find what you’re looking for, though I doubt it will be discovered here.”

 

“Oh you doubt, do you?” Stiles responds, well aware that the sentence he just uttered wasn’t his best comeback. He’s not even sure it made grammatical sense. Deucalion just smiles at him, eerily reminiscent of the wolf tempting little red riding hood to stray from the path. Stiles refuses to be the naïve child easily tempted into picking the flowers.

 

“I’m leaving now,” Stiles announces. Deucalion just continues to grin at him as he walks down the aisle.

 

//

 

A few nights later, Stiles sits on the hood of his jeep in the grocery store parking lot with a cherry lollipop in his mouth, his skin tinged red in the cheap neon lights. He thinks about how he prefers the taste of artificial cherries to the real thing. He thinks about how he’s still managing to keep his grades up despite the jittering feeling in his veins. He thinks about how Scott’s alpha eyes are red like a fire engine and Deucalion’s are red like almost dried blood.

 

“Those sweets will rot your teeth,” Deucalion says. Stiles takes the lollipop out of his mouth. Deucalion is standing a few feet in front of him. His blue eyes are washed in the blazing red glow. A facsimile of the wolf.

 

“I floss,” Stiles, protests. He swings his legs, using the momentum to jump off the bonnet. He lands right in front of Deucalion.

 

“Good to know,” Deucalion replies. He reaches up, cupping Stiles face. Stiles jerks away in shock but Deucalion’s grip is tight. He gently runs his thumb over the bags under Stiles eyes.

 

“You’re not sleeping,” Deucalion murmurs. He lets Stiles move away. Stiles’ cheek is tingling.

 

“Sleeping is for the weak,” Stiles mutters, “Like all the other super cool teens I hang out in grocery store parking lots at ass o’clock in the morning instead.”

 

“It’s almost morning,” Deucalion comments, head tilting up to the sky. “Let’s get breakfast.”

 

“What?”

 

“Breakfast,” Deucalion says dryly, “A meal eaten in the morning, the first of the day.”

 

It sounds more cutting in Deucalion’s smooth English accent. Stiles resists the urge to roll his eyes.

 

“I don’t have any cash on me,” Stiles says, “Also it’s like half four in the morning on a Sunday and I don’t trust you.”

 

“I’ll pay, there’s a diner open a block over and I didn’t ask you to trust me,” Deucalion says. He puts an arm around Stiles’ shoulder, pulling him in close and smiling crookedly. “Although haven’t you heard, I’m reformed.”

 

Stiles snorts. Deucalion grin widens.

 

//

 

Surprising Deucalion is right. There is a diner open a block over and it isn’t a Denny’s or an IHOP. The interior is bubblegum pink with turquoise booths and silver tables. Classic movie posters line the walls. Coffee cups hand from the ceiling, light bulbs flickering inside them. A counter runs along the left wall with the kitchen behind it, a few truckers sitting on the faded leather stools. There’s a fake petrol pump in the one corner, a jukebox playing 50’s pop in the other. The air smells like syrup and coffee.

 

Stiles slides into a booth, grabbing a laminated menu. He’s not that hungry but if Deucalion is offering to pay then Stiles isn’t going to say no. He orders a Strawberry Whip. Deucalion orders black coffee and a fruit salad.

 

“So,” Stiles says, leaning back in the booth, “What do you and Peter talk about when you get coffee together? Do you scheme? I have a feeling you compare Machiavellian notes and practice evil laughter.”

 

“We’re not Bond villains,” Deucalion says. Stiles remembers Peter saying something similar in relation to the Alpha pack when Derek and Scott went to save Boyd. There’s a small part of him that wishes they were Bond villains; ridiculous megalomaniac plots and cheesy one-liners. Not blood and screaming and scars.

 

“Avoiding the question,” Stiles points out as his milkshake is placed in front of him. He’s quite glad he didn’t order anything else. The milk is baby pink, in a tall glass with crystalized fuchsia sugar around the rim. The whipped cream is covered in frozen strawberry pieces and the straw has a strawberry lace bow tied around it. Deucalion raises an eyebrow in mild disgust. Stiles wraps his lips around the straw and sucks. It tastes like unicorns and glitter. And strawberries.

 

“We talk about a lot of things,” Deucalion says, watching Stiles mutilate the straw. Stiles can see a tiny flicker of red in Deucalion’s eyes. Stiles stops sucking on the straw and starts undoing the strawberry lace bow.

 

“You’re being deliberately obtuse,” Stiles says. Deucalion spears a piece of melon from his salad.

 

“We talk about books, art, music,” Deucalion says. He eats his melon. “Politics. You occasionally.”

 

Stiles chokes on a mouthful of milkshake. Deucalion’s mouth curls into a soft smirk.

 

“What?”

 

“You have so much…” Deucalion pauses, giving Stiles a once over. “Potential. Peter and I are in agreement, you’re simply wasted here.”

 

“What the actual fuck?”

 

“Relax Stiles,” Deucalion says, stabbing a red grape. “We’re simply having conversations. Not all of them are about you.”

 

“Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better,” Stiles, replies. Deucalion shrugs before leaning over to swipe his finger through the whipped cream. Stiles makes an indignant noise but Deucalion just winks at him, licking the cream off obscenely.

 

“Don’t do that again,” Stiles says, right hand curling around his milkshake protectively.

 

“No promises,” Deucalion says.

 

//

 

“I hear you’ve been spending nights with Deucalion,” Peter says, handing Stiles an ancient dusty tome. Stiles looks up from the Sumerian text already in his hand, frowning slightly.

 

“I asked you whether you knew the best way to kill a Wendigo,” Stiles says, “how is that the appropriate response?”

 

Peter pushes the text into Stiles hand, grinning that grin that always makes Stiles feel slightly on edge.

 

“I’ve not been spending nights with him,” Stiles continues, “we end up in the same grocery store and he bought me a milkshake once.”

 

Peter raises an eyebrow.

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Stiles snaps, moving to the other end of the table.

 

“I didn’t say anything.”

 

Stiles throws a pencil at Peter’s head and the fucker doesn’t even have the decency to let it bounce off his forehead.

//

 

“Why haven’t you been sleeping?” Deucalion asks.

 

“I’m afraid of nightmares,” Stiles admits. “Also stress probably.”

 

Stiles has opened up the back of the jeep and they’re sat there, looking up at the sky in the grocery store parking lot. Stiles doesn’t even know why they’re both here but they are and if Stiles is honest with himself, he’s enjoying the company.

 

“When was the last time you slept through the night?” Deucalion’s voice has a soft timbre to it, it’s calming and sometimes settles that incessant hum that’s taken up residence in the marrow of his bones. It’s almost addictive, driving to this parking lot to find Deucalion there.

 

“I don’t know,” Stiles says, running a hand through his hair.

 

“That’s not healthy,” Deucalion comments. Stiles laughs. A full, throw your head back type of laugh. It’s not even funny, that comment wasn’t close to being funny but there are tears in Stiles eyes and he’s clutching his stomach.

 

“No it’s not fucking healthy,” Stiles says, wiping a tear away. “You’re awake with me though.”

 

“Yes,” Deucalion says, “As long as you need me to be.”

 

Stiles tries not to read too much into that statement.

 

//

 

A week later it rains heavily. Deucalion curls up in the passenger seat. He passes Stiles hot tea in a red thermos. Stiles takes a sip, moaning softly as the warmth spreads from his tongue all the way down and through his body. He passes the thermos back. Fingers skim each other.

 

They watch the rain. Stiles likes the muted patter on the roof and windshield, a strong soothing rhythm. Stiles fiddles with the radio till he finds an AM station playing soft jazz.

 

“Do you know how I went blind?” Deucalion asks. He’s looking forward, watching a nurse just getting off the night shift running from her car into the grocery store.

 

“I’ve heard other people’s accounts,” Stiles answers, undoing his sneakers so he can tuck his feet under his legs. “Managed to work out a timeline through bits and pieces.”

 

“It was Gerard Argent,” Deucalion says. Red flickers in his eyes.

 

“Yeah I figured,” Stiles mutters, “Bastard fucks up everything.”

 

Deucalion turns his head to look at Stiles. Stiles shrugs, making grabby hands for the thermos.

 

“He’s given me a few scars,” Stiles says after he takes another gulp of tea. “Seeing him writhing on the floor vomiting up black blood was extremely satisfying.”

 

“I wish I could have seen that.”

 

Stiles grins, running his tongue along the edge of his teeth.

 

“It was beautiful,” Stiles confirms.

 

They sit in confortable silence for a little while. The music rises to a crescendo, notes rising and rising until it falls; a swift tumble and cymbal crash finish.

 

“I was a man of peace and co-operation before Gerard took my sight,” Deucalion says. “Not so much after.”

 

“Is this an apology?”

 

Deucalion tilts his head.

 

“More of an explanation, for what it’s worth.”

 

Stiles turns the radio off, turns his body so that he’d facing Deucalion completely.

 

“It might be worth something.”

 

//

 

“I hate harpies,” Stiles growls, swinging his baseball bat and smacking one straight in the face. It makes an indignant cawing sound as it lands on the ground, blood trickling from above the eye socket. Stiles brings down the bat a few more times until it stops twitching.

 

Resetting the supernatural beacon has turned their fair city into a hellmouth for all things that go bump in the night and Stiles has had enough. Witches, pixies, selkies, ghouls and now fucking harpies. After this, Stiles is taking a long vacation, preferably somewhere with a beach and fancy cocktails. He deserves alcohol in a fun glass with a tiny umbrella.

 

He’s got blood on his face; he can feel it dripping down his cheek. He spits on the ground to avoid swallowing what’s managed to trickle into his mouth. He’s going to have to burn these clothes.

 

“STILES!” Scott shouts from across the clearing. Stiles turns but he’s not fast enough. The harpy is on him, dragging him to the ground. Stiles uses the bat to keep some space between them but he can’t push it off. Claws are inches from his face, thick blood that looks black congealed on the tips.

 

“Would someone hurry the fuck up and get this off me!” Stiles yells, grimacing when a large glob of harpy spit lands directly between his eyes.

 

The harpy is pulled from him, screeching and hissing. Stiles sits up, panting and wiping at his face. Deucalion rips the harpy’s head off, a movement so swift and clean that the crunching of bones and tearing of sinew only lasts for a few seconds.

 

‘Thanks,” Stiles says. Deucalion nods, extending a bloody hand to help Stiles to his feet. Scott is bounding over, yanking Stiles away from Deucalion to pull him into a tight hug. Stiles grips the back of Scott’s hoodie, only slightly concerned that he’s getting blood on it. Deucalion watches them with a neutral expression, head tilting slightly when Peter leans over to whisper in his ear.

 

//

 

Sunday night, Deucalion climbs into the passenger seat and tells Stiles to drive.

 

“Where are we going?”

 

“I’ll guide you,” Deucalion replies.

 

“Ah, cryptic,” Stiles mutters, “if I end up in the middle of the woods and then you murder me, I’m gonna be so mad.”

 

“I don’t want to kill you Stiles, I’m rather fond of you” Deucalion says, "turn left here.”

 

Stiles flicks the indicator and turns. Deucalion guides him through the deserted streets, out of town and past the preserve. Deucalion gestures to a small dirt road next to a huge field, telling Stiles to park there. Stiles does, head tilting in curiosity.

 

Deucalion takes him by the hand, a strong comforting weight. He’s pulled a little way into the field, to a tartan blanket laid out on the grass. There are silk pillows scattered upon it, fake tea light candles flickering at the edges. Stiles stops, mouth parting slightly. He’s quite glad that he’s not about to be murdered, although for some reason he doesn’t think Deucalion will actually kill him. It’s weird how comfortable he actually feels with Deucalion now. How easy it is just to talk about anything and everything and not feel judged. It’s been two months of meeting up in odd morning moments, bathed in neon glow and speaking secrets in between sips of cherry cola.

 

Stiles lets himself be pulled down, nestled amongst silky fabric and fleece. Deucalion stokes Stiles’ head. It’s such a tender touch and something in Stiles unravels a little. He can’t remember if anyone has ever touched him with such care, like he’s something beautiful and fragile. He closes his eyes, sighing softly.

 

“Why did you do this?” Stiles asks.

 

“Maybe a change of pace will help you sleep darling,” Deucalion says. Stiles turns onto his side, pressing close. Deucalion’s hands don’t stop touching, it’s like he’s pulling every single worry and anxious thought from Stiles body. He finds himself falling asleep, weeks of tiredness catching up with him and finally knocking him flat. Stiles feels the ghost of a kiss on his forehead but he doesn’t know if that happened or whether it’s wishful thinking.

 

//

 

Stiles pulls into the driveway. He parks the jeep, yanking the key out of the ignition and thumping his head against the seat. Tears prick at the corner of his eyes but he refuses to let any liquid fall. He’s so fucking tired of pitying looks and distrustful glances. He’s given a wide berth in the corridors, the mostly ignorant student body whispering about him and trading concerned looks. Even if they don’t know all the gory details, there’s enough gossip spread around for them to get an idea.

 

Scott treating him like glass is the most insulting of all. He doesn’t really give a shit about the average student body, he’s never cared but Scott getting upset about it is putting Stiles on edge. He’s another querying whisper away from putting his fist through a fucking wall.

 

He gets out, his anger making him tired more than anything else. For the first time in a while he thinks he might actually be exhausted enough to sleep through the night. Well apart from that night in the field. Stiles can feel himself turning red at the thought. He fumbles with his keys, letting out an exasperated sigh before shoving the right one in the lock.

 

Stiles trudges upstairs, rubbing at his eyes. He pushes the door to his bedroom open, backpack sliding down his shoulders.

 

Deucalion is sitting on his bed. He’s reading a beat up copy of Allen Ginsberg poems, an old paperback that was Stiles’ mom’s. Stiles used to stumble over the words in the hospital, never sure of the meaning, always blushing at the profanity. Claudia used to chuckle, promised to explain it to him when he was older. He’s never bothered to pick it up, knowing full well that it would cause an ache to develop in his chest when he saw his mother’s cramped handwriting in the margins.

 

“I’m tired of meeting in grocery store parking lots,” Deucalion declares, licking his finger to turn the page.

 

“Right,” Stiles says. He looks at the closed window. “How the hell did you get in?”

 

Deucalion smiles.

 

“Ask me no questions.”

 

Stiles rolls his eyes. He lets his backpack fall to the floor, kicks off his sneakers, marches over to the bed and pushes on Deucalion’s shoulder.

 

“Move over.”

 

“Manners, darling,” Deucalion teases, moving backwards. Stiles settles beside him, moving Deucalion’s hands out of the way so he can rest his head against his thigh. Deucalion brings a hand down to play with Stiles hair.

 

What thoughts I have of you tonight Walt Whitman,” Deucalion reads aloud, “for I walked down the side-streets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.”

 

//

 

“You’ve stopped sneaking out at night,” John comments when Stiles brings dinner to the station.

 

“Yeah, I um…” Stiles scratches the back of his head. “I went to the grocery store a few times and met Deucalion there by coincidence and then we um, started hanging out.”

 

After the Darach debacle, Stiles promised to be honest with his father. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t lie by omission or bend the truth to suit his needs but he doesn’t lie anymore.

 

“Right,” John says, opening the box and eyeing the quinoa. “Is this a good thing?”

 

“The nightmares are still bad,” Stiles says, “sometimes Deucalion distracts me enough so I can sleep.”

 

John nods, sticking a fork into a slice of carrot. He considers it for a moment before eating it.

 

“If it stops being a good thing,” John warns. Stiles slides over a box with a lean lamb steak in it, smiling softly at his dad’s joyful grin.

 

“I know dad,” Stiles replies. “Trust me I know.”

 

//

 

Blood on his hands and in his mouth. Screaming and void and riddles and he wasn’t strong enough, he wasn’t smart enough and it’s all his fault, he’s sorry, he’s sorry; he’s so goddamn sorry.

 

Stiles jerks awake, sheets tangled around his legs, sweat on his brow and an apology ready to tumble from his lips. Deucalion is there, pulling him close, murmuring in his ear in a soothing tone. He pulls the sheet back over them, cocooning them in softness and safety.

 

“It’s alright love,” Deucalion whispers, nuzzling at Stiles’ cheek. “You’re safe, you’re ok.”

 

“I was weak,” Stiles sobs, all that anguish and grief and guilt bubbling over. He’s spilling out like a knocked over soda can. “It’s all my fault.”

 

“It wasn’t your fault,” Deucalion says. Deucalion rubs circles on Stiles’ back and kisses Stiles’ forehead. Stiles turns, pressing himself into Deucalion’s chest. They stay like that until the sun rises.

 

//

 

Deucalion stays over most nights. Either he’s already there, lounging on Stiles bed with a book and a glass of wine, or he walks in during the night, gently shifting Stiles over so he can slip in.

 

“Did you replace my sheets with silk ones?” Stiles asks, running his fingertips over the fabric. Deucalion looks over the top of the latest book, Villette by Charlotte Bronté.

 

“Are you complaining?”

 

Stiles shrugs. His fingertips dance along for a few moments more, enjoying the sensation before he goes to his desk to finish some homework. He doesn’t think about how he can sit with Deucalion, both of them doing separate activities yet enjoying each other’s company. He doesn’t think about how silk sheets will feel tonight, how Deucalion will pull him close and nuzzle at his neck. Doesn’t think about morning forehead kisses, about tender touches after nightmares, about soft reassurances whispered in his ear. Stiles just thinks about calculus.

 

//

 

“You smell like Deucalion,” Isaac growls, slamming his hand against Stiles locker.

 

“You smell like Cheetos and repressed sexual desire,” Stiles replies, pushing Isaac’s hand aside. “But some of us are nice enough to not to mention it.”

 

Isaac snarls, a fang dropping beneath the lip. Stiles grabs his books, frowning when a Nutter Butter wrapper flutters out of his chemistry textbook onto the floor.

 

“Put your teeth away, cheekbones,” Stiles says.

 

“He killed Erica and Boyd,” Isaac spits.

 

“I’m well aware,” Stiles snaps, “and I’m not defending him but he’s not the only one with blood on his hands.”

 

Isaac’s face falls and he stutters, clearly searching for way to argue his point without making Stiles feel guilty for the Nogitsune. Stiles sighs, pushing past Isaac and almost running down the corridor.

 

//

 

It’s been a while since Stiles got kidnapped. The handcuffs chafe against his wrists, delicate skin rubbed red raw. Somewhere in the warehouse a pipe is dripping a steady rhythm onto concrete. The air smells like gunpowder and mildew, a distinctly industrial scent. A single light bulb hangs over Stiles head; he can hear the faint buzzing of faulty wires. The hair Stiles’ arms stand on end, a momentary chill over his body, gone as soon as it arrives.

 

The hunter uses the barrel of his gun to push Stiles’ chin up, smirking at the black eye blooming like a calla lily. Whiskey tainted breath washes over Stiles face and he forces himself not to gag.

 

“I wonder when those mongrels will turn up,” the hunter ponders, moving the gun along the edge of Stiles’ jaw. He taps Stiles’ cheek with it. Hard. It leaves a pale pink mark. Stiles remains silent. He hasn’t said a word since he woke up, tied to a wooden chair in a circle of mountain ash.

 

The light bulb goes out.

 

“What the fuck?” the hunter’s stocky pallid companion says. There’s a quiet click and a small flame burns into being.

 

“Wolves,” the hunter snarls, clicking off the safety.

 

“Good luck,” Stiles murmurs, a feral grin spreading across his face.

 

The stocky hunter is left in charge of Stiles. He paces in front of the circle, facing away from Stiles. Stiles can see sweat breaking out on his neck, wetting the grimy collar of his shirt. Stocky has his finger on the trigger, tapping it repeatedly. He jumps at the sound of gunshots.

 

“Is this your first rodeo?” Stiles asks. He feels along the back of the chair until he finds the loose nail.

 

“Shut up,” Stocky snaps.

 

“My pack isn’t going to be very pleased with you,” Stiles continues, carefully rotating the nail with his forefinger and thumb. “I mean, the kidnapping was never going to win you any favors but the beating, well, that’s certainly going to be reciprocated several times over.”

 

“Shut your damn mouth,” Stocky growls, “I don’t need to listen to a little bitch who spreads his legs for mongrels.”

 

“You might want to think of something more pithy to say when you’re being mauled,” Stiles replies, “you’re not very witty and you want your last words to be memorable at least, since you have nothing else memorable about you.”

 

“You stupid little,” Stocky grunts, turning around to point the gun at Stiles face. Stiles raises an eyebrow. Stocky has a vein on his temple that’s throbbing violently.

 

“Shut. Your. Goddamn. Mouth.”

 

His neck is snapped cleanly and quickly. Stocky slumps to the floor, the gun clattering away. Deucalion’s eyes are bright in the semi-darkness, the red blazing like the flames of a forest fire. Stiles lets the handcuffs slip to the ground, standing up and walking across the ash barrier. His joints are a little stiff from sitting in one position for so long. His stomach rumbles.

 

“I could really go for a Strawberry Whip,” Stiles says, rubbing at his wrists. “I want a goddamn milkshake.”

 

Deucalion grabs Stiles, yanking him close. Stiles stumbles a little, mouth open to protest but then. Then they’re kissing. It’s tender but so possessive, Deucalion greedily licking into Stiles mouth and Stiles letting him. Stiles grabs Deucalion’s shirt, fingers twisting in the dark fabric. Deucalion kisses like he wants to devour Stiles and yet is so grateful he’s alive.

 

“You are mine,” Deucalion growls when he pulls back, “no one else is allowed to touch you.”

 

“Alright, Demon wolf,” Stiles says, letting go of Deucalions’ shirt. “I still want a milkshake.”

 

//

 

“Stay still, darling,” Deucalion says, pressing his mouth to the smooth skin of Stiles’ neck. Stiles whines and Deucalion bites. It feels so good, liquid pleasure has been coiling in Stiles gut for the better part of an hour but Deucalion is taking his time. Savoring every part of Stiles like he’s a rare delicacy.

 

His hand is on Stiles hip, hot and heavy like a brand. Deucalion slides it across to Stiles’ crotch, wraps the hand around his dick, thumb sliding over the head. Stiles has been steadily leaking since Deucalion pushed him onto the bed.

 

“You’re doing so well,” Deucalion murmurs, nipping playfully at Stiles’ear, “so beautiful like this.”

 

Deucalion moves in a smooth, sensuous motion so that he’s settled between Stiles’ legs. Stiles moves them so they’re spread a little wider. Deucalion grins, hands coming to grip Stiles’ hips. Holding him in place. Deucalion takes the head of Stiles dick into his mouth, suckling gently. Stiles whimpers, hips desperately trying to thrust up but Deucalion’s grip is too strong.

 

“Please,” Stiles whines. Deucalion looks up at him, licks the head before moving away completely.

 

“You’ll take what you’re given love,” Deucalion says. Stiles glares at him but the expression quickly melts when Deucalion sucks him all the way down. Deucalion bobs up and down, hands keeping Stiles perfectly still. Stiles grips Deucalion with his legs, wrapping one around and dragging it up Deucalion’s back. His hands go to Deucalion’s hair, tugging it gently but mostly looking for something to hold onto.

 

Deucalion pulls away, sitting up a little and wraps a hand around Stiles again. His palm is hot and rough and he allows Stiles to push up into his fist.

 

“So gorgeous, darling,” Deucalion says, his other hand coming to cup Stiles’ cheek. He presses a quick kiss to the corner of Stiles’ mouth. “I’m going to get you nice and wet and open for me and then give you what you’ve been begging me for.”

 

He lets go, hand coming up to push its way into Stiles’ mouth. Stiles suckles on the fingers, tongue swirling around the pads, getting a taste of himself. Deucalion smiles fondly.

 

Deucalion settles himself between Stiles’ thighs once more. Presses biting kisses into the sensitive flesh. He flicks his tongue over Stiles hole, quick and teasing. Stiles bites back a moan, squirming slightly. Deucalion does it again and Stiles lets his mouth drop open.

 

“Don’t hold anything back love,” Deucalion says, drizzling lube onto his finger. Stiles isn’t sure how he didn’t notice Deucalion snagging it from his bedside drawer. “I want to hear you.”

 

Deucalion presses one finger inside, nuzzling his cheek along Stiles thigh. It’s a slow movement, a careful exploration and god Stiles just wants more. He wiggles his hips invitingly and gets a second finger for his trouble. Deucalion works the two fingers in and out, a smooth stroke that has Stiles whining and shifting his hips when Deucalion curls them inside.

 

Deucalion bends over to kiss Stiles. It’s so tender, a stark contrast to the third finger working its way inside. Stiles doesn’t know whether to press down onto the fingers or up to rub himself against Deucalions’ chest. Deucalion nuzzles him, presses a sweet kiss to the tip of his nose.

 

“Just one more finger, love,” Deucalion murmurs, “just take one more and then you’re ready.”

 

“I’m ready now,” Stiles pants, “please Deuc, come on please.”

 

Deucalion pulls his fingers out, ruts up against Stiles, dragging his cock over the edges of Stiles hole but not putting it in, teasing them both. Stiles squirms, pulling Deucalion back down for another kiss. Deucalion complies, plundering Stiles mouth whilst he eases himself inside. Once he’s seated fully, Deucalion moves away. Stiles mouth is slack. He feels so full.

 

“You are mine,” Deucalion says. He blinks. Eyes that transition from electric blue to alpha red. “Mine to protect. Mine to hold and sooth and satisfy. Mine to fuck.”

 

“Yours,” Stiles agrees, “totally yours, please fucking move.”

 

Deucalion barely manages to muffles Stiles’ moans, they slip out around the messy, passionate kissing. Fingers make bruises on Stiles' hips as he drives inside him, the kisses stopping so that Deucalion can growl. He moves fast and hard, as Stiles writhes beneath him; Deucalion's name lost in a slur of vowels as Stiles’ back bows. Deucalion seems to have an uncanny knack for hitting Stiles’ prostate dead on and Stiles sobs as his body vibrates with pleasure. Deucalion drags his claws down the side of Stiles’ thighs.

 

“I’m close,” Stiles says, “please Deuc, let me come.”

 

Deucalion spreads Stiles thighs even wider, tilting him up and changing the angle before thrusting again. He slows his pace. Makes it lazy and torturous and Stiles sobs because it feels so good but he wants to come so bad.

 

“You can come anytime you want darling,” Deucalion says, “but only like this, only with me filling you up.”

 

Deucalion punctuates his words with sharp hip thrusts. Stiles moans, long and low and loud. He didn't know sex could feel like this, didn't know pleasure could tingle through his whole body. One more thrust and he unravels, clenching down tight as he comes with a gush over his stomach. Deucalion smiles, increasing the speed of his thrusts once more. Pushes himself inside until he’s balls deep, buries his face in Stiles neck and comes deep into him.

 

Stiles pets at Deucalion’s head, mouth pressing sweet kisses to the temple. Deucalion turns his head so that they can kiss properly, tired and messy as Deucalion pulls out.

 

“That was good,” Stiles mumbles. He’s sticky and sweaty but sated. Deucalion wipes them off with an old t-shirt, throws it in a general direction before slumping down beside Stiles, face pressed against his neck.

 

“You smell wonderful,” Deucalion says, kissing the curve of Stiles’ jaw. Stiles lets his eyes flutter close, safe in Deucalion’s arms. For the first time in a while, he sleeps uninterrupted through the night.