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The Sterek Argument

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He’s humming We Can’t Stop under his breath, tapping the bass rhythm against the side of his iced mocha coffee monstrosity that makes him feel every inch the Hollywood douche he isn’t but could be, when he freezes.  He hears him first, all bright, booming laughter, infectious and warm.  Tyler’s head whips around, seeking out the source of it.

Dylan’s standing by the craft service table with one of the P.A.s, Sara something maybe, and he’s wearing that long-sleeved olive shirt that muddies the color of eyes, makes them look almost green.  The one that fits a little too closely to his chest.  The right sleeve is hitched up, stuck on the bulge of his forearm, showing off the veins of his wrist.

The mole on his cheek is pulled off-center by his grin, the genuine one, the one that’s all joy and no self-deprecation and Tyler hadn’t even known he was in L.A.  He walks up, clears his throat, and Dylan turns his head curiously.  His eyes light up when they land on him, that unnatural green undertone to them. 

Tyler likes them golden brown.

“Hey, man.”

Tyler dips his head, not yet trusting his voice, because he could have sworn Dylan was caught up in The Maze Runner’s post-production hoopla all this week.  Something pokes him in the elbow.  The script he’d said he was going to drop by set to get is in the hands of a smirking Sara-something-maybe.  Ian was having his delivered.  They were going to read through it together and then maybe go dirt biking.

Tyler doesn’t even feel bad when he shoots off a text that says he isn’t going to make it because Dylan’s got his own script rolled up and stuffed into his back pocket and this is too promising an opportunity to pass up.

“You, too?” he asks unnecessarily, trying to drive home the point that they’re both doing the same thing in the same place.

Dylan beams at him, licks his full lower lip and Tyler feels his heart kick out a little in response.  “I didn’t at all come to take advantage of the free food,” Dylan says, lowering his voice.

Sara-something-maybe laughs and Tyler’d forgotten she was there.  Though now he pretty much resents her entire existence, which seems a little extreme, he can admit.  Her walkie blares from where it’s clipped on the waistband of her jeans and she glowers, waves to both of them and stalks off.  Which is great, because it means Tyler can stop plotting the unfortunate accident she was about to meet.

He turns back to find Dylan’s still talking, apparently never stopped.  “Nevermind that Posey’s in town basically 24/7 and has opposable thumbs and at least the equivalent of a caveman-brain and can therefore recognize hunger, grocery shopping of any kind is still beyond him.  I mean, if I could go back in time and praise him for getting six packs of Go-Gurt instead of any sort of fruit, I’d do it.  I’d make a monument out of the empty Go-Gurt sleeves.”

“He’d expect that every time though.”

Dylan points at him with tongs, provolone cheese caught in its soft teeth.  “You might have a point there, Mr. Heckles.”

Tyler rolls his eyes because that’s one nickname that he’d been hoping would die an early death and yet it seems bound and determined to live on.  He watches Dylan build his sandwich, the entire purpose of which seems to be to test even the most resilient gag reflex.  His eyes slip to the curve at the heel of Dylan’s palm, the dexterity of his fingers, the bulge of his forearms.  Tyler opens his mouth and says out loud, “I’m beginning to resent this Sterek thing.”

Dylan whirls on him in cartoonish surprise.  He clicks the tongs at him and gasps.  “I am shocked.”  He jabs at the air in front of his face with the instrument in his hand.  “This is the face of my shock.”  He turns the tongs on Tyler.  “You, who are Mr. Supporter of Everything Man, resent something?”  He looks genuinely thoughtful, scratches at his chin with the tongs.  Which is totally unhygienic.  Tyler has the strange urge to lick them where they’ve rubbed against Dylan’s skin.  This crush has gotten officially gross.  “I wasn’t even sure that was an emotion you were capable of.”

Tyler perks an informative eyebrow.  “You know it’s the reason we haven’t had a scene together all season.”

Dylan barely has to think about it.  “Oh fuck, yes, I do,” he decides, full of sudden and righteous indignation.  “I am resenting, too.”  He nearly jabs the tongs into his face this time.  “This is the face of my resentment.”  He taps the script in his back pocket with the tongs and he is really getting too much enjoyment out of those things.  He kind of hits his ass a little and Tyler only realizes he’s still staring – though he was basically invited into that – when Dylan says, “Hey, according to the man who writes our checks, we’re supposed to have one in the finale.”

Tyler blinks, pulls his gaze away from Dylan’s excellent ass with effort and stops imagining how it would feel to smooth his palm over the curve of it.  Mostly.  It takes him a second to figure out what’s just been said to him but then: “Yeah, like we were supposed to have one last week that took all of twenty minutes to shoot.”  He’s not bitter about it.  He’s not.  He just sounds bitter because… he’s an actor.  It’s hard to turn off.

Dylan leans into him slightly, grinning.  “You miss me,” he accuses, popping his mouth a little.  Tyler can’t even fumble out a denial before Dylan is leaning back and deciding, “It’s adorable.”  He pokes Tyler in the side with the butt-end of the tongs and Tyler doesn’t even think he’s really using them anymore.  He’s simply conducting his own symphony of obnoxiousness with them.  “I’m feeling loved so turn your Hale frown upside down into a Hoechlin mega-watt smile.”

Tyler makes a show of grinning in slightly deranged fashion.  It kind of reminds him of filming the crazy Derek scene a few episodes ago.  Not that Dylan had been around for that.  Because they’re never on set at the same time.  Because Jeff hates all happy-making things, like puppies and flowers and confetti and Dylan’s smile when he’s in the same room with Tyler.

Dylan’s clicking the tongs at the layout of sandwich ingredients, even though his is now piled precariously high.  It sounds like he’s humming ‘catch a tiger by the toe’ under his breath.  Tyler snorts and Dylan shoots him a death glare.

“I guess it’s done.”  He sighs sadly, placing the tongs on the table carefully and smashing his sandwich down into something more manageable.

“Easy with that,” Tyler says, pointing at it and eating Sun chips from an open bag.  They’re a little stale.  “I’m about seventy-seven percent sure this is how the zombie apocalypse begins.”

Dylan gives an exaggerated laugh and takes a bite.  About half the sandwich falls out the other end onto his paper plate.  Dylan doesn’t look fazed.

“As a person who has an actual coffee table in his trailer, and not a space large enough to fit two DDR mats, I propose we go there, you sit in front of it, and make your gigantic mess in a more controlled environment.”  It’s certainly not to get Dylan to hang out in his trailer.  Tyler hadn’t even had that thought; it’s all innocent coincidence.  He shakes his script.  “We can see what hell is lying in wait for us, too.  Laying?” he wonders to himself. 

Dylan grins around his mouthful and forcibly swallows it down.  He clears his throat and bats his eyelashes, they’re long and there’s a deep curve to them and Tyler never, ever thinks about how they would feel fluttering against his stomach.  Because that would be wildly inappropriate.  He and Dylan work together, except they basically don’t because of Jeff and his previously stated hatred of all happy-making things.  Not that that’s an excuse to moon over Dylan’s eyelashes.  Because it isn’t.  “You’re so impressive with your grown-up furniture and dedicated work ethic,” he says in a teasingly breathy tone.

Tyler reiterates the teasing bit to whatever is happily squirming around in his guts.  He opens his mouth, can’t think of anything better to say than a not-teasing-enough, ‘it’s all for you, babe,’ and closes it again.  Dylan gets fed up waiting for his rejoinder and takes off towards Tyler’s trailer after grabbing up a handful of Sun chips and dropping them onto his plate with his plague-causing sandwich.

Tyler scrambles after him. 

Dylan’s already half-settled under his coffee table and leaning back against the foot of his couch.  He’s got mustard smeared across the corner of his lips and Tyler’s knees feel a bit weak looking at him.  They wobble even more when Dylan shoots him a closed-mouth grin as soon as Tyler closes the door behind him.

Dylan’s script is spread out under his plate and he’s got it pushed up on the opposite page of the one he’s reading.

Tyler settles on the couch next to him, his thigh pressed up against Dylan’s bicep despite there being more than enough space on the other end of his sofa.  Neither one of them point that out.

It doesn’t take long for Dylan to drop a huge dollop of mustard and mayonnaise on one of the pages.  He scoops it off with a finger, which he then promptly sucks into his, goddamn always open, mouth.

Tyler whimpers a little, turns it into a tickle and coughs.  Dylan looks up at him with a grin.  “S’good so far, right?” 

Tyler’s on the second sentence of page one.  He blinks at it, zeroes in on the words: ‘SCOTT ENTERS.’  “Yep, strong start.”  He buries himself in the pages and vows to stop creepily watching Dylan.

He finishes first as Dylan is distracted with dangling red onions in his mouth more than half the time as his Ebola-carrying sandwich had all but exploded an half hour or so back.

Tyler’s disgustedly thrown his script down on the cushion next to him and has been glaring at it, and Dylan, and that damn sandwich for about ten minutes when Dylan finally flips his own script closed.  Tyler flicks the pages and nearly gives himself a paper cut in the process.  “This is, like, what?”  He harrumphs.  “Two seconds of dialogue,” he answers himself.

Dylan shrugs, scoops up the last spilled guts of his sandwich in a crane claw formation with his fingers and drops it into his waiting mouth.  He wipes his hand off on the side of his jeans and he’s disgusting and Tyler wants to put his mouth on him.  “Come on, man,” he reasons, “you can’t have expected more than that.  We’ve only got, like, forty/forty-three minutes,” he figures.  “I’m not out of the woods until about,” he decides, “thirty-eight and then we’ve got Scott and Stiles’ dad who need tearful reunions with him, plus we’ve got to bring it back to Allison, like, over and over and over again so the fans don’t feel like we’re being insensitive.”  He shrugs again.  “There’s no time for two people who aren’t friends to have a moment.”

And if Tyler had wanted to listen to logic, he wouldn’t be talking to Dylan.  He slumps back against the couch cushions grumpily and points out, “Okay, except in Derek Hale’s land of misery and man-pain, you’re pretty much his best friend.”

Dylan does an odd giggle-snort thing and knocks a fist into Tyler’s knee.  It makes his skin tingle.  “You are buying what the fandom is selling you and that shit is cut with battery acid, dude.”

Tyler glares at him, because Dylan should be as upset and out of touch with reality as Tyler is.  Whatever it takes to get them together at the same time on the same set for more than six seconds is worth whatever leaps of illogic are required.  He will make this point if it kills him.  “Seriously, who would you say Derek was closest to on the show?”

Dylan screws up his face, actually thinking about it.  “Right now,” he taps his chin.  It’s got the start of stubble prickling there and Tyler is resolutely not wondering what it would feel like against the insides of his thighs, “maybe Chris Argent.”  His eyes widen.  “Ooo God, or Peter.”

Tyler shakes his head, argumentative and jaw clenching.  “He’s trying to believe everyone isn’t out to get him so he’s attempting something with Chris but, that’s not—” he huffs, annoyed, “that’s more about working with a hunter with a code than Chris yet.  And Peter?  Come on, really?  He is not close to Peter.”

“Okay, Scott then,” Dylan challenges because now that he’s noticed he’s poking a sensitive spot, he can’t help but keep at it.

Tyler shakes his head again.  “I think Derek’s finally given up on trying to make Scott do anything Scott doesn’t want to do.  He’s kind of letting Scott set the boundaries for them.  Who’s the one person he hasn’t been working at trying to have a relationship with though, even before the whole nogitsune drama?”  He raises his brows and Dylan rolls his eyes, unconvinced.  Tyler says it anyway.  “Stiles.  Because he likes his relationship with Stiles.  It’s the only one that doesn’t need fixing.”

Dylan gives him a bug-eyed look, reaches into his jeans’ pocket and draws his hand back out, thumb and pinky finger held out.  He holds it up to the side of his face and pantomimes listening for a half-second.  “Hmm, what was that?  Oh, reaching.  Why, yes, I think Tyler is very familiar with you.”

Tyler knocks him in the shin with the toe of his shoe.  “Shut up,” he says, hoping he doesn’t sound as fond as he feels.  “I’m just saying, it wouldn’t kill them to acknowledge that Derek’s been going around this entire season trying to save the one person he considers important and he doesn’t even get any sort of reward for it.” 

Dylan snorts.  “Heroes don’t do it for the reward, Mr. Heckles.”

Tyler’s mouth tightens.  “I don’t think there are too many people who would call Derek a hero.”

“Yeah, but you would,” Dylan points out smugly.

Tyler’s lips curl, tugging up at the ends, because, yes, he would and Dylan knows that about him. 

Dylan claps his hands together, wiping them down the front of his shirt.  The one that’s already too tight across his chest and Tyler’s staring at his nipples before he even realizes it.  “Okay, well,” he says seriously, “what would you even want to have happen?  It’s not like Stiles is going to fall into Derek’s arms, bat his eyelashes and plant one on him.  That’s the usual hero route.”  He must see something in Tyler’s face because he jumps up and stares at him, mouth open wide.  “You do not want that,” he accuses, clearly implying the opposite.  “You are utterly corrupted.”

Tyler glances away uneasily.  “No, not… that,” he lies.  “But acknowledgement of that relationship would be nice.  You know we’re not going to pick up anywhere near here when next season starts so it would be nice to have like a, I don’t know, a bit of—”

He’s having trouble finding the words, which turns out to be a non-issue because Dylan wouldn’t have let him finish anyway.  “You want them to kiss.  You totally, totally want them to kiss,” he sing-songs.  “You are a Sterek shipper.  You are the worst Sterek shipper.”

Tyler can definitely defend against that because, woo-boy, he’s not even close to the worst.  “Not the worst,” he says out loud.

Dylan won’t be moved now and he points a shaking finger at Tyler and says happily, “J’accuse!”

Tyler rolls his eyes, trying not to grin at Dylan’s antics because that will only encourage him.  “Shut up, Dylan,” he grumbles, diligently biting down on his smile.

Dylan shakes his head wildly and he’s kind of… bouncing now.  “Nope, shan’t,” he says joyously, dancing his dance of obnoxiousness, “you want Stiles and Derek to get all up in each other’s grills with mouths and lips and tongues and—” Tyler grabs him by the backs of his knees when he gets close enough and pulls and they give out just like they’re supposed to.  Only Tyler had kind of pulled him in and instead of tumbling down onto the floor, he tumbles down onto the couch so that he’s straddling Tyler’s lap and this is every bit a rom-com cliché except for the part where Tyler’s half-hard and mortified.  Dylan is either pretending not to notice or hasn’t noticed yet and his cheeks are rosy and Tyler’s never seen him blush in such committed fashion.  It flushes down his entire neck and up his ears.  He clears his throat awkwardly and kind of squeaks out, “Hi.”

And he’s not meeting Tyler’s eyes and his hands have found Tyler’s shoulders and his fingers are squeezing in a little like he’s afraid he’s not going to ever get to touch him like this again and he licks his lower lip nervously and, holy fucking crap, Dylan is into him.  Dylan is so ridiculously, obviously into him and he’s still blushing and swallowing convulsively and he hasn’t moved an inch and this is the best freaking epiphany Tyler’s ever had.

He feels almost giddy when he croaks back, “Hi.”  He lets his hands settle on Dylan’s hips and, Jesus, has he ever thought about that.  Thought about, daydreamed about, fantasized about.  His thumbs brush back and forth under the hem of the shirt that occasionally makes Tyler’s life a living hell.  Dylan’s skin is smooth and warm and there’s a mole on one of his hipbones that Tyler wants to feel with his tongue.

Dylan does that high squeaking thing again and starts a little.  “What are you doing?”  His voice shakes and he winces.

His throat has that light smattering of stubble, too, and Tyler wants to feel the prickle of it under his lips, wants to suck a mark into his skin.  He leans in and Dylan’s whole body shudders when he brushes his closed mouth just under his chin.  “Rehearsing,” he says, letting the gust of air bank against Dylan’s neck.

Dylan shivers, groans, and his hips shift forward slightly.  Tyler grinds up into him, lets him know he’s not alone in this, and Dylan whimpers and Tyler can feel the want in it.  His hands flex on Tyler’s shoulders.  “We don’t have a scene like this,” he points out, breathy and uneven and they’ve barely done anything.  Dylan just wants it – maybe as much as Tyler, maybe not, but he’s in the same place and it makes Tyler’s heart do a funny hop-skip thing.

His grip tightens on Dylan’s hips, pulls him in closer.  “Don’t we?” he asks, and he parts his mouth on Dylan’s neck, bites down with the lightest of pressure.

A gasp gets caught in Dylan’s throat and he whines.  “If not, we should,” he demands breathlessly.

Point a-fucking made, ladies and gentlemen.

Tyler pulls back and smirks up at him, waggling his brows.  “Told you so.”