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Talk To Me (I'll Listen)

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It started with an envelope addressed to, “Mieczyslaw Stilinski”.

The letter was from one of the best colleges in the state. One that Stiles hadn’t even considered going to, but had applied to anyway. Maybe a scholarship could happen, but it wasn’t likely. Tuition was expensive, even with his dad saying they’d make it work somehow. His son was smart, he’d said, and he deserved every chance he could get.

Stiles had quietly deleted the admissions page from the computer browsing history.

But the letter, the letter came from the university and it was cheerily telling him that his tuition was paid off and that he needed to register for classes. It didn’t make any sense, Stiles thought as he cleared his throat and rubbed at the back of his neck. Nothing about it made sense and he double-checked with his email as well as called the school.

Fully paid. All four years.

With shaking hands, Stiles flipped the letter over and over, as if he were trying to get answers from the weight of the paper, the flutter of it in the air.

Looked like he had a mystery to solve.

 

~

 

His first stop was the Hale house.

If he happened to have a very rich stalker, Derek might be willing to use his werewolf-powered nose and sniff them out. After an entire lifetime in Beacon Hills and several recent years’ worth of incidents and attacks, Stiles was not going to overlook anything.

Instead of Derek, however, he found Peter.

The house was not the old Hale house – It was the new and improved one, freshly painted and everything. Cora and Derek had decided to rebuild it and it had only recently been declared finished. Smaller than the previous version, still on the land that the old one had been on, Stiles thought it was miles better than Derek living in a tiny apartment or the loft that still made everyone sick to think of the lives nearly lost.

When Stiles pulled up in his Jeep, Peter was sitting in the area of the property that had been turned into a memorial graveyard. Even without the older man turning, Stiles knew his arrival had been noted.

Pausing for a moment, he grabbed his jar of mountain ash from the glove box and tucked it into his pocket before sliding out of the car and walking to the fence that lined the new driveway. “Hey creepy uncle, where is the non-creepy Hale?”

“I am not Derek’s minder,” Peter said without looking back over his shoulder. “What my nephew does with his time is his own business.”

He was sitting at the grave that Stiles knew belonged to his sister. Part of the reason he always greeted Peter the way he did was because the man was somewhat sane now. He was aware of what he had done. Taunting him a little seemed the best way to keep him from going too far into his memories.

“All right,” Stiles leaned on the fence. “Any ideas on where he might be then? Got some questions to ask him and possibly a stalker to worry about, so it’d be nice if I could find him.”

“A stalker?” Peter’s entire body did this sort of shrug-wince-twitch thing. It was kind of awesome to watch the normally so graceful werewolf jerk and stutter around like Stiles did when he was tired. “Why do you have a stalker?”

“What,” Stiles snorted. “You’re saying it’s impossible that someone saw all this and decided to get up on it in the creepiest way possible?”

Peter leveled a flat look at him. “Beacon Hills is not the best place to acquire a stalker, Stiles. Consider the track record of our fair town. Consider how many people have died to stalkers and people in the night and other such things.” He sighed and stood up, brushing off his pants and stretching his arms above his head. “Come on then, may as well come inside if you are going to insist on being annoying in my presence. I do not want to stay out here all day and I know you will simply keep knocking if I lock you out.”

“You are goddamn right about that,” Stiles grinned at him and followed along on the other side of the fence.

“What, may I ask, makes you think you have a stalker?”

“I got a letter,” Stiles shrugged one shoulder as Peter made it around the end of the fence and onto the porch. “From a college I wanted to get in to and didn’t...Financial things. Troubles. Y’know. Anyway,” he swallowed the nerves in his throat as Peter studied him. “Got a letter telling me that not only was I accepted, but all four years were paid in full.”

“Oh,” Peter’s eyebrows rose as he opened the front door and gestured Stiles in. “That is interesting.”

“What?”

“That is a good gift, as well as a good way of catching your attention.” Peter hummed as he closed the screen door behind them, leaving the actual door to the house still open. “If you do actually have a stalker, they know a few things about catching your interest.”

Stiles laughed. “Right?”

Peter wandered over to the kitchen, the floor plan of the new house allowing him and Stiles to still talk without shouting. The kitchen, living room, and the front hallway were all sort of open and connected, able to move from one to the other with ease. Given that they had nearly lost so many people on top of having lost a lot of people before that, it made sense to Stiles.

They wanted to know where the rest of the pack was at all times.

Peter pulled two cups down from the cabinet with a questioning eyebrow, angling one towards Stiles. “I can hear the rasp of your throat,” was all he said in explanation. “Drink something before I tell Scott’s mother that you are dehydrating yourself.”

“Oh,” Stiles blinked a couple of times. “Yeah.”

Peter poured some kind of juice into both cups, sliding one to the end of the breakfast bar before picking up the other and taking a sip from it. Stiles picked up the other and plopped into one of the stools, holding it between his hands while he worried at his lip. “Do you really think it is a stalker?” Peter questioned after a few minutes of somewhat awkward silence.

“I mean,” Stiles hurriedly took a sip when Peter managed to make the tap of his nail against his own glass into a threatening sound. “I don’t know what else it could be?”

A few more minutes passed, both of them drinking their juice.

From what Stiles could tell, it was kiwi-strawberry, it was as naturally-flavored as it could be, and Peter was trying to make him uncomfortable or questioning of something.

“Did you ever stop to think,” Peter said quietly. “About the night you first met me?”

“Yeah? What about it, uncle creepy?” Stiles raised an eyebrow. “You tried to kill me, tried to kill Derek, tried to destroy everyone, you were burned and scary and we did not like each other.”

“I had burn scars and a broken mind,” Peter waved his insulting nickname away. “But what did I say to you?” he prodded Stiles’ shoulder. “What was the first thing I remarked upon meeting you, just you, not Scott. And trust me,” he spoke before Stiles could, drowning out whatever the younger man would have said. “It is very important.” He leaned over the breakfast bar, towards Stiles. Stiles pulled the mountain ash jar out in response.

“I am really not getting what you’re trying to hint at,” Stiles made a face and held up the jar in his hands. “So make your point fast or your werewolf ass will be landed in the ER from how much mountain ash I shoot into you.”

Peter sighed, pinching at the bridge of his nose for a second. If Stiles looked closely, he could see the wolf rolling his eyes. “I said, ‘You must be Stiles’ because I recognized you.” He looked up at Stiles and, for a moment, the bright blue eyes that he shared with so many dead people Stiles had only seen in photos glowed. “Think about it for a moment, Stiles. Why did I know who you were? I had only just come out of a coma, I was still insane and off-kilter.”

“…That,” Stiles balked a little, leaning back as far as the stool would allow. “Were you spying on me somehow?”

“And you are somehow competing with our dear miss Lydia,” Peter scoffed. “Stiles, my nephew visited me in the hospital. My nephew who, coincidentally, has access to the insurance payouts and other such things, as well as a handsome sum of money his mother meant for him to use to go to school himself.”

Stiles felt his mouth go dry.

“Wait,” he said after a moment, managing to make Peter stop in the slow turn he was making to walk away. “You’re telling me that Derek talked about me? To you, while you were in your…Weird coma bullshit?”

“Often,” Peter nodded, leaning back against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest. “Described you. Said something about idiot teenagers, at first. Scott was mentioned a couple of times, but Derek always came back to talking about you.” He flicked a finger towards Stiles. “Talked about how stupid you were, how insane, how brash and bullheaded and finally, after so long, so many days and weeks,” he chuckled. “He talked about how brave you were. Not insipid or anything, but kind in a way that many people lose.”

“…But why would Derek talk about me?” Stiles slipped the jar back into the pocket of his jacket, frowning.

“I think a better question, preferably directed at my nephew,” Peter smirked when Stiles looked up at him again. “Would be why Derek paid your tuition.”

“Wait, so you fucking knew?”

Peter laughed, his entire body shaking with it. “The moment you mentioned it, I knew. He had been muttering to himself about some big financial decision. Hard to keep a secret in a house of werewolves, Stiles.”

“Man,” Stiles threw his hands into the air. “I hate you, so much, sometimes.”

He tossed back the rest of his juice and stomped out of the house to the sound of Peter still laughing at him.

 

~

 

“Scott?”

“Yeah man?” Scott barely looked up from their game. Which, rude. “Everything okay?”

Stiles scoffed. “As if things could ever be okay when it comes to living in Beacon Hills. Anyway,” he tapped a couple of buttons and knocked Scott’s character off the edge of the platform. “Have you figured out what you’re doing for college?”

“Deaton’s given me a letter of recommendation,” Scott recovered his character and started trying to push Stiles’ off the edge. “I’m going to veterinary school. I’ve got a way with dogs,” he gave the dimple-smile and Stiles nudged his knee. “You’ve been pretty quiet on the whole college front, though.”

“See, about that,” Stiles began.

Scott hit pause and ignored Stiles’ totally warranted whine of irritation. “Stiles, please tell me you’re actually going to college.”

“No, see, I am, I totally am,” Stiles held up his hands in surrender. “But there’s a thing. A thing.

“What thing?”

“A thing where Derek paid for all four years of me going to my number one school,” Stiles frowned. “Without telling me that he did. I had to ask Peter about it and Peter does not like giving straight answers, Scott. The man fuckin’ loops around them like a professional ice-skater or something.”

“Derek paid for you tuition.” Scott blinked a couple of times, then made a head gesture that Stiles knew meant, ‘Oh, okay’.

“Dude, why the hell would Derek Hale pay for my college of all things?” Stiles leaned back in his seat and covered his face with both his hands.

“You told me once,” Scott hesitated. “That he turned and pushed you away from the kanima. Even when he was supposed to still be hating you. I…I didn’t even do that for Allison. I just told her to run,” he paused. “Without turning to look at her. I just growled for her to run and she did and I never looked away from the kanima to try and protect her. Derek turned and put himself in danger to keep you safe from it.”

Scott was still feeling guilty about that, years later. Didn’t matter that he and Allison weren’t together anymore, did not matter that Allison had left town already to live in an apartment with Lydia that was closer to their colleges, did not matter that Allison and Lydia liked each other in a way that had terrified Stiles when he first found out – The two of them, talking fashion, judging people, and running the world together?

Lydia would be dictator and Allison would be her bodyguard. The world would fall under their rule within a year, if Lydia wanted it to.

“So…What, you’re saying it’s a guilt thing?”

“No!” Scott’s cheeks turned bright red and Stiles knew he was hiding something.

“C’mon man,” Stiles practically threw himself against Scott’s side and wrapped both of his arms around one of Scott’s. “Tell me. You’re keeping something from me. Tell me what it is.” He prodded a finger into Scott’s cheek. “Tell. Me.”

Scott shoved at him, playfully. It was still strong enough to throw Stiles back and he let his body follow the momentum, dropping across the couch and tossing his legs into Scott’s lap. “Okay!” Scott sighed. “Look, so…Derek smells weird when he’s around you.” He was still keeping something to himself and Stiles knew it. “He smells happy. Like how my mom is around your dad, these days.”

Oh.

“Oh,” Stiles blinked a couple of times, then pushed himself back up. “Oh.

“Yeah, ‘Oh’,” Scott snorted. “To be fair, though, you’ve smelled that way around him since we were seventeen.”

“You are the best werewolf ever,” Stiles stood up and practically dove for his shoes, yanking them on. “Any idea where Derek is right now? I need to go talk to him.”

“He should be at my house right now, helping my mom with something. But what about the game?”

“We can play when I get back,” Stiles looked up at him. “Not like the game is going anywhere.”

Scott shifted awkwardly.

Heaving a huge sigh and rolling his eyes, Stiles shook his head. “Fine. But if Isaac ruins any of my scores, I am going to put sneezing powder into every single drawer of his dresser for the next three months.”

“You’re the best,” Scott beamed at him like the ball of sunshine he had always been.

Stiles just tossed a hurried goodbye over his shoulder as he ran out the door. He had a werewolf to find.

 

Derek was, in fact, at the McCall house.

It threw Stiles for a little bit of a loop, actually, seeing the man wearing paint-stained clothing. He looked oddly soft and it almost made Stiles want to laugh. Happiness was a good look on Derek. He should always look happy, Stiles decided.

If he was right, maybe Derek would look happier more often after this.

“Hey Derek,” Stiles called as he got out of the Jeep.

“…I thought Scott was at your place,” Derek frowned and looked around. “Did you need to talk to his mom?”

“No,” Stiles huffed out a small laugh and shoved his hands into his pockets. “I was actually looking for you. Some things have been happening and today has been the weirdest day of the last couple of months, considering the Kelpie mess last March. I can’t really say it’s the weirdest day of my life, we’ve been through a lot of shit, but yeah.” He swallowed, suddenly nervous. “Yeah.”

One of Derek’s eyebrows rose.

Anyway,” Stiles just hoped he was right. Otherwise, Scott’s mom was just lusting after his father and that would make things a little weird. “I have been talking with Scott about college.”

Immediately, Derek shrank back a fraction and his face went forcibly smoothed over. If Stiles hadn’t been around werewolves since he was fifteen, he might have missed the change in his expression. “Oh? Have you decided yet?”

“Yeah,” Pushing down the nervousness, Stiles stared Derek in the eyes and nodded. “Got a letter yesterday. Told me that I had been accepted to my first-choice school and that my tuition was all paid up. Full and completely.” Stiles grinned, enjoying the small twists in Derek’s expression. “Which is nice.”

“It sounds like it.” Derek turned back to the house. “Melissa needs the rest of the house painted.”

“So you’re just standing around in the front yard?”

Derek grunted. “Heard the Jeep.”

“Oh, yeah,” Stiles glanced at his Jeep and grinned. “And our flavor of emergency tends to be, ‘Monsters attacking, people dying, insanity all around’. Thanks for responding like that, good to know you’re still invested in keeping us all safe.” He circled around to Derek’s front again. “So I talked to Peter, this morning.”

Stiles had not, before that moment, seen someone both freeze in place and tense up while also looking so murderous.

“Derek,” Stiles crossed his arms over his chest. “I need to know. Why did you pay for my tuition?”

Looking like he’d rather pull out all of his own teeth with a pair of rusty pliers, Derek pinched his mouth together. “Just looking out for the pack,” he muttered, staring at the plaid on Stiles’ shoulder like it had done him great personal harm.

Bullshit.” Stiles shook his head. “See, I…Scott is a werewolf and can use his nose, y’know?” he gestured at the house and just barely saw Mrs. McCall slipping back around the corner. Like she had seen them and decided not to get involved. “And he says that you smell like his mom when she’s around my dad. And, see, I could have sworn that you hated me, but Scott and Peter both reminded me of something.”

“What?” Derek practically barked the word out. “What?”

“That you talked about me so much to an unconscious-not-unconscious Peter that he knew me immediately when we first met,” Stiles met Derek’s eyes. “And Scott reminded me that I told him about how you put your undefended back to the kanima to save my ass.”

Derek’s eyes closed and he looked ready for a hit. Like he expected Stiles to attack him or something.

“Which, I mean,” Stiles cleared his throat. “If…If I’m right about things, I’d be okay with this.”

Watching Derek react to that was amazing. His eyes were bright and he looked like he didn’t trust what he was hearing. Before the hope Stiles could see brewing could grow too big, however, Derek shut down again. “You’re seven years younger than me.”

Stiles snorted, rolling his eyes and falling into a full-bodied shrug. “So? Seven years isn’t that bad, I’ve seen some couples-“ he stopped, looking at Derek. Really looking at him, at the incline of his head and the way he was curling into himself. His hands were clenched at his sides, his eyes pinned on the wall somewhere behind Stiles. “…If you’d tried to press it, you would have felt like you were being her. So you settled your grumpy ass on making sure I got to college and out of Beacon Hills.”

“Safe,” Derek’s voice was quiet. “You always need to be safe. I didn’t…”

“Derek?” Stiles held up a hand, keeping him from speaking. “Come here.”

Silence, a reproachful look, narrowed eyes.

“C’mon, Derek,” Stiles waved him over, holding out his hands. “I’m nineteen and up for this. Kind of enthusiastically. If you are, in your weird, werewolfy way. Get over here.”

“Stiles-”

C’mon,” he said again, a little more urgently. “You and your bunny teeth and strong arms – And those are some good arms, Derek, trust me – have been part of my dreams since we first met. Your ridiculous bunny teeth and the bullshitty green smoothies you drink when you think no one is watching and the way you get up at pack gatherings and make sure everyone has a blanket.”

“I’m not,” Derek sighed, his hands clenching together this time, his body broadcasting his wanting and his fear of wanting. “Stiles, I can’t…Her.”

Stiles growled quietly. “She can go to hell, for all I care. She tried to mess you up. I think she succeeded a bit, but I’m going to make sure she doesn’t anymore. Derek,” he lowered his voice, soothing and comforting. “Nothing you do is ever going to make me run or regret this, Derek. Here,” he offered one of his hands, his fingers loose. Waited.

Derek’s green eyes practically glowed for a moment and he shuffled forward, lacing their fingers together. “I’m not…”

“We’ll work on it,” Stiles whispered. “Whatever you’re afraid of, whatever you’re worried about. We’ll work on it. Together. You’re the big, brave one normally and I’m just going to step up and be that one this time. I mean, I’m scrawny and I bleed easy, but you aren’t the only one able to decide what you want. And even so, you kind of sound like you decided to try not to want me.”

“I met you when you were fifteen,” Derek muttered, looking away. “You were eighteen when I realized I wasn’t just…Okay with having you around.”

“And I think we’re both glad that the timeline of that worked out like that,” Stiles knocked his head gently against Derek’s to get him to look at him again. “Eighteen was when I actually figured out the whole bi thing. Seriously, walking down the street, realized both guys and women were hot. Actually, everyone is hot, so jury’s still out on the whole sexuality thing. But,” he hurried to add when Derek looked like he was going to try to run away. “Definitely includes you.”

“What, you think I’m hot?” Derek tried to make it sound like he was making fun of Stiles, but Stiles knew better. He was the master of understanding subtle werewolf tones at this point.

“Oh yeah,” Stiles grinned. “You’re totally the hot girl.”

If Derek was going to be a sarcastic shit, Stiles was going to do the same. They were going to be awesome together.

 

~

 

“So now that you and Derek are a thing,” Erica leaned over the back of the couch.

It was impressive, considering that Stiles was currently in his dad’s house. “What?” he reached over without really looking up from the book he was reading, nudging her claws out of the fabric. Sixteenth century, ways to deal with various demons, incubi, and succubi. Riveting stuff, really.

“Are you part of the pack?”

Stiles looked up at her, raising both eyebrows. “Derek and I are still deciding exactly what kind of thing we are. Going slow.”

Erica leaned down on her elbows, her hands under her chin. She wasn’t grinning evilly, which was a relief. The relief only lasted for a few seconds because she opened her mouth and asked, “How long have you been in love with him?”

“Ah,” Stiles clapped his book shut and stood up, dropping it down onto the cushions of the couch. “See, that is the kind of thing that would require a loosening of inhibitions for me to tell you. I’m not really in the habit of letting my guard down among werewolves, even the ones I know, so you’re just going to have to deal with it.”

“C’mon Stiles,” Erica trailed after him as he headed to the kitchen. Before he could, she grabbed two mugs down from the cabinet and then grabbed the tea he had been about to grab.

“Oh, the indignity of being made a drink in my own house,” Stiles deadpanned at her. “Whatever will I do with this compelling notion to tell things to the people who can hear when I lie.”

“Then don’t lie,” Erica clicked down the switch on the electric teapot thing.

Stiles sighed, covering his face.

“Look, all I’m asking is how long you’ve loved the guy,” Erica looked up from the teapot for a moment, putting her hands together on the counter. “I know at least how long some of the god-you’re-hot thing has been going on. All I’m asking for is how long you’ve had to watch him go off with people who weren’t you and how long you’ve hated it.”

Freezing, Stiles looked at her, his hands dropping from his face. “…Since I was seventeen,” Stiles said after a few beats. “Didn’t want to admit it to myself for a long time, made peace with it at eighteen.”

Erica nodded and poured hot water into both mugs when the click sounded. “I had a crush on Boyd when we weren’t werewolves yet.”

Stiles blinked a couple of times, then nodded. “Alright.”

“Just saying, Batman,” Erica grinned and blew steam off of her tea. “You never know how well things will go until you actually say something.”

“…I think I’ve got him a little bit convinced that I’m not just here for kicks,” Stiles shrugged, picking at the edge of the counter a little bit. “I hope I do, at least. He doesn’t panic about me being seven years younger than him anymore, not in front of me. Does he do that at home?”

Tilting her head, Erica held out the second mug of tea. “Sometimes. I’ve got one of the rooms closer to his. I can hear him muttering about it, on days when he goes quiet and hides away in there. He and Peter are getting better about being around people, though.” She takes a sip of tea and smiles, her eyes slipping half-closed and a contented sigh coming from deep in her chest. “Just keep working at it.”

“Thanks,” Stiles took the mug from her and let his breath out slowly. “For…Y’know.”

Erica only smiled at him over the rim of her mug.

 

~

 

The next time he sees the pack, it is facing off against an enemy-of-the-week: Trolls.

Trolls, Stiles decided, sucked so much.

They were dumb and nasty and they used giant clubs to attack people. Especially magic-using people. The bruises on Stiles’ back made it look like he had decided to throw himself against several trees and also possibly try to salsa dance with them or something.

Fuck, he was tired.

Derek, on the other hand, had made it out of the fight with a few rips to his clothes and a single bruised spot on his right side. They had decided to ride together on the way out of the woods, back towards the center of town. In the end, Stiles’ house had been an easier location to get to.

It did, however, make it a little awkward.

They hadn’t really had a talk about what they were to each other.

Derek hovered at the doorway of the living room, watching Stiles. Stiles could feel his eyes, could tell that the werewolf was watching every single move that he made. “I…I should go,” Derek says after a few minutes.

“Dude,” Stiles gestured at the couch next to him. “We came here to heal up before we head back to your place and discuss how to prevent this shit from happening again. The purpose of that is, surprisingly, to sit still and take some time out from the fight. Sit your werewolfy ass down before I sit you down myself.”

With a grunt and a roll of his eyes, Derek sits next to him. There is a careful gap of a few feet, which Stiles wants to talk about.

He knows how to time things better than that, though.

“You got hurt,” Derek says quietly.

“I do that, sometimes,” Stiles sort-of-shrugs, which involves mostly his head tilting to one side and his eyes closing for a moment. “I’m the sparkly distraction. It’s awesome.

“You should be safe,” Derek looks away. “Away from Beacon Hills.”

Stiles can just about hear the silent, ‘Away from me’. He has Derek figured out a little better now – the man paid for his tuition so that Stiles could get out and be, supposedly, safer there than he is at home. Now, however, it’s just going to mean that they have to make it work long-distance.

Derek is stubborn.

Stiles is worse.

“Derek,” Stiles gave him a look, “You still want all up in this?” he gestured to himself, encompassing as much of his body as he could.

“…When you put it like that, I start wondering why,” Derek blinked a couple of times. “But yes. Stiles, I- I’ve…”

“Okay.” Stiles nodded, then surged forward and gently pushed Derek onto his back, crawling into his lap once the older man was laying down completely. “Knees apart, just a little?” he guided his body into a different position. “Nothing is happening tonight, especially not when you’re still all weird in the head and I feel like I just had a herd of horses stampede on my back. However,” he nudged Derek’s head back down again and gently flopped onto his chest, the top of his own head pressed against the underside of Derek’s chin. “Cuddling is a great way of spending time together and neither of us is probably up for much right now.”

“Stiles?”

“Hmm?” Stiles scooted so that he could look up and see Derek.

“…Thank you,” Derek met his eyes, a sort of wonder in his own as he looked at Stiles. He leaned down just enough to kiss the top of Stiles’ head before letting himself relax and hold onto the younger man. “We need to talk about this. I annoy you, you annoy me. Those both happen a lot.”

“And we also make a great team,” Stiles let his eyes drift closed. “Scott keeps reminding me about dealing with the kanima and how you actually sacrificed yourself to keep my dumb ass alive and moving. I treaded water to keep your ass alive in return. Yeah, we annoy each other sometimes, but I personally see it as a sort of…Get you to talk to me and react to me and just generally acknowledge my existence kind of thing.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh.” Stiles snorted. “Derek, if you had even slightly made a move on me from the time I was seventeen onward, I would have been good to go,” he opened his eyes and looked at him again, continuing before Derek could say anything. “And the fact that you didn’t has me liking you even more, especially since I know your reasoning. And my dad…”

“What about your dad?”

“Well, he kind of…” Stiles shrugged his good shoulder, turning so that his nose was squished against Derek’s shoulder for a moment. “Knew about the weirdly huge crush I had on you as a dumb teenager. So, again, you had good reasons on your own, I respect and understand those, we’ll talk about them and keep everyone informed as far as consent goes…But my dad is a cop and I think he would have actually shot you.”

Derek snorted, then paused, then broke down into laughter. “Probably,” he wheezed the word out.

“Alright Laugh-y the Werewolf, I think we both need naps.” Stiles leaned up and kissed the tip of Derek’s chin before he settled back in and tugged the blanket off the back of the couch. “We’ll have to actually talk still, but I think we’re good enough for naptime and cuddling.”

He positioned himself so that his ear was over Derek’s heart, wrapping himself around the werewolf as much as he could.

One of Derek’s hands came up and landed on his back, carefully touching over the bruising. Stiles was just about to ask why. The pain draining out of him answered the question and he turned his head to watch the lines of black ripple down Derek’s arm. “Thanks,” he rubbed his cheek into Derek’s chest, sighing in contentment. “Oh, that feels so much better.”

Underneath him, he could practically feel Derek vibrating in place. “C’mon big guy, rearrange us however your instincts want to rearrange us,” Stiles nudged up under his jaw.

For a second, he thought that Derek wasn’t going to do anything. Derek, moving slowly, got himself out from underneath Stiles and nudged him towards the back of the couch. Stiles let it happen, smiling a little. Eventually, Derek rejoined him on the couch, curling both arms around him and tucking Stiles’ head back under his chin.

This, Stiles thought, was something he could get used to. From the way that Derek was almost purring, he thought that maybe he was thinking the same thing.