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Derek has just grabbed the last of the boxes out of the Jeep—which he swears must be bigger on the inside, because otherwise he doesn’t know how all the crap from Stiles’s dorm room ever fit—when he hears the crash, followed by the swearing. He leaves the box at the bottom of the stairs and practically sprints up. Things may be quieter in Beacon Hills these days, but old habits die hard.

 

Only when he gets to the top, well. No supernatural creature has ever caught him quite this unawares.

 

“It looks like a sex shop exploded in here,” Derek says before he can help himself.

 

Stiles’s first two years of college have mellowed him, because he doesn’t even blush. There’s sex paraphernalia Derek doesn’t even have names for scattered on the floor, along with a cornucopia of things he does: flavored lube, warming lube, scented lube. Anal beads, condoms, a cock ring that appears to need some kind of battery. And dildos. Seriously a lot of dildos. More dildos than Derek has ever seen at one time in his life.

 

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, since Derek has actually been inside a sex shop before. But still.

 

“It’s broken,” Stiles says—wails, really.

 

And oh God. He’s cradling a familiar hunk of realistic flesh-red plastic like he’s mourning a friend or something. If Derek had known his day was going to come to this, he’d have stayed in bed.

 

“You seem to have plenty of others?” Derek offers. Because he does not trust anything his brain might decide to say about that particular toy. Nope. Not going there.

 

Stiles sighs and runs his finger lovingly down the fissure in the plastic, very nearly giving Derek an aneurysm in the process. “Sure,” he says. “Because those were all stepping stones on the road to the discovery of the perfect dick.” He picks up the shoebox that must have housed the dildos and tucks the broken one carefully inside. “I should give it a proper burial.”

 

Nope, Derek’s brain tells him. Time to go. Turn around. You don’t need to be here for this.

 

What he says is “Do you two need to be left alone?”

 

Stiles shoots him a dirty look. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that,” he says, “because you obviously don’t understand.”

 

But apparently Stiles is prepared to educate him. Oh God, why didn’t Derek let the Argents kill him when he had the chance?

 

This one”—Stiles picks up another toy from the floor and tosses it in the box without looking—“is too short.” He selects another. “And this one’s too soft.” Into the box it goes.

 

“Too thin.”

 

“Too long.”

 

“Not enough curve.”

 

The last one’s glass. “Too hard.” He sighs, then digs through the collection again and brings out the broken one. “But this one? This is the glass slipper of dildos, Derek. This dildo? Was made for my ass. It’s the perfect thickness. The perfect length. Even the curve is just right! And the plastic has just enough give so that it almost feels real, okay?”

 

Derek feels like he’s been hit with a wolfsbane two-by-four. “I get it,” he says, praying Stiles won’t notice how hoarse his voice is. Praying Stiles will shut up about his dildo already.

 

He doesn’t quite get his wish, but at least the next thing out of Stiles’s mouth isn’t how much he likes sucking on it. “I guess I can check out the Internet and find a replacement,” he says hopefully. “Anyway, what did you do with that last box?”

 

Because he’s a good friend, Derek goes back downstairs and gets the box.

 

Because he’s a bad person, he goes home after and jerks off three times thinking about Stiles fucking himself with that dildo.

 

*

 

Everyone thinks Derek’s money comes from the insurance settlement he received when Kate Argent burned his family alive—and it is. Mostly. But Derek only likes to use that money for pack things, like tuition or the renovated Victorian-style house he bought on the other side of the preserve so he’d have room for the pack to come stay when they’re home from school, that sort of thing. His cell phone bill, the lease on the Toyota, all those personal expenses? He has a different source of income for those.

 

Or he did. In New York Laura knew someone who ran a sex toy business. Which meant that Derek knew someone who ran a sex toy business. And when said someone needed a model on which to base one particular toy… let’s just say Derek collected a lot of royalties, and those royalties are still accruing interest.

 

Unfortunately for Stiles, while Derek’s bank balance is quite comfortable, said toy has since been discontinued.

 

A fact which Stiles chooses to lament to Derek at length as they clean up after the latest pack meeting. “I even tried eBay,” Stiles says in disgust. “Even if it’s in the original packaging, there’s no guarantee it’s unused. Do you know how skeevy I feel just looking?”

 

Derek has a pretty good idea of how skeevy, yes. Derek and skeevy are on very intimate terms this week.

 

“Why are you telling me this?” Maybe Derek kicked puppies in another lifetime. He certainly kicked his pack around enough when he first became alpha. Maybe this is just karmic payback, a couple years too late.

 

“I have to tell somebody,” Stiles says reasonably—probably true; he never could keep his mouth shut—“and Scott banned me from any self-love talk back when we were like, twelve, so.”

 

Lucky me, Derek thinks slightly hysterically. “I think I can take it from here,” he says helplessly, and prays Stiles can take a hint for once in his goddamn life.

 

“You sure?” he asks, surveying the damage. Because the kitchen is still a disaster, of course. “It’s not like I have any pressing plans. If I leave now, I’m just going to go home and—”

 

Derek actually whines.

 

“—watch Stargate reruns. Are you okay?”

 

Derek looks down at the dishtowel he’s just lacerated and sighs. “I’m fine. Go home, Stiles.”

 

He considers it a mark of his restraint that he only jerks off twice.

 

*

 

Sadly for Derek, the hits just keep coming. Now that Stiles has warmed to his topic, he seems to mention it every time they see each other. Which, now that he’s home from college for summer break to work an internship at the sheriff’s office, is often. Derek doesn’t know what else to do to make it stop, so he drives three towns over, just to be safe, and purchases the things he needs to make a replacement.

 

He should’ve known it wouldn’t be that easy.

 

He barely has the door open before Stiles flings himself into Derek’s arms for an exuberant hug. “Where did you find it?”

 

Derek allows himself only the shallowest of sniffs. Anything deeper would be invasive, and he tells himself firmly he really doesn’t need to know if Stiles used his present before he came over.

 

He finds out anyway. Fuck.

 

“A shop a couple towns over. I was in the neighborhood.” One partial truth, one blatant lie.

 

Only Stiles isn’t having any of it. He pulls away and gives Derek the stinkeye. “Nice try, dude, but if that was true, they’d have sold it to me when I called, and believe me when I say I called every adult novelty shop within two hours’ drive. Also, it would’ve been in the package. So. Did you just happen to have your own Dear Husband lying around you were willing to part with?”

 

Derek pauses with his mouth open. Finally he manages, “My own what?”

 

“Dear Husband,” Stiles says like he’s an idiot. “You know. The toy. DH? That’s what the letters stand for, right?”

 

Oh fuck, Derek forgot about its stupid name. His ears burn. “Right,” he says.

 

Only nope, too late, he is caught.

 

“That’s not what the letters stand for,” Stiles says, realization dawning.

 

Derek would like to be done with this conversation now.

 

“Derek,” Stiles says carefully, “are you telling me that for the past two years, I’ve been fucking myself with a replica of your dick?”

 

Fuck. “I—”

 

“And when the toy went out of production, you made me another copy.”

 

Swallowing, Derek wills himself to break Stiles’s gaze. He can’t.

 

“Which leads me to believe,” Stiles continues, “that I have been fucking myself with a copy of your dick when I could have had the real thing.”

 

Okay, maybe Stiles hasn’t used the dildo yet, because now that he’s this close, he smells like he’s still—

 

Stiles must read something in the way Derek’s hands have clenched into fists, because his posture softens some and his voice turns from incredulous to sheepish, cautious. “I’m not—imagining that, right? I really don’t want to be imagining that. Because let me tell you how many times over the years I’ve thought the only way that toy could be more perfect is if it were attached to the grumpy werewolf I’ve been pining for since high school.”

 

Derek’s heart pounds so hard even Stiles must be able to hear it. He takes an abortive step closer. “I—you’re not imagining it.” Because he can’t say what he wants to say. Not yet.

 

“Okay,” Stiles says. Suddenly he’s standing very close. “That’s. Good.”

 

Derek licks his lips. “In the interests of full disclosure,” he says, his hands itching to reach out, to touch, “the real thing has a couple features they left out of the production model.”

 

“You can read me the owner’s manual later,” Stiles says hoarsely, hooking his fingers into Derek’s belt loops. “Right now I want a practical demonstration.”

 

Derek’s a good friend, but he’s a better lover. He can definitely deliver.