Sometimes Derek just doesn't feel right in his human skin. After Mexico with Cora and Peter, after the Nogitsune, after Kate, he needs a way to get back to himself. He doesn’t feel right in his skin and, if he’s being honest with himself, he hasn’t feel right since he came back to Beacon Hills.
Things have been getting better. Scott has happily accepted him into his pack without a fuss. Stiles invites him over to research and eat pizza while Scott does his homework on Stiles’ bed. They’re…They’re friends now and he feels like he finally has a place again. A home.
He’s doing better. He just wants to keep healing. He wants to keep getting better and find a way to get past the discomfort he feels in his own skin.
He finds a way with Lydia’s help.
After Allison’s death, Lydia threw herself headfirst into research. She’s determined to bring her best friend back from the dead and she won’t give up until she’s done it. Derek already knew that she could communicate with his mother through her claws and so he asks for a favor.
He’s never been able to manage a full shift. His mom could do it. Laura could do it. Peter couldn’t when he was an alpha and he can’t do it now and Derek wonders if he won’t be able to either. He and his uncle do have something in common. He knows that the color of his eyes don’t affect who he is as a person. His mother told him, Scott told him; he knows that they’re both right. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s still afraid that his past mistakes are going to haunt him forever. He still has nightmares about Paige. About Kate.
He’s hoping that they’ll stop soon. That he’ll be able to heal enough that they won’t weigh on his mind every time he closes his eyes.
Thankfully, Lydia tells him that his eye color isn’t what’s holding him back. She passes on Talia’s guidance and the words sound so familiar and so comforting even if they aren’t coming from his mother directly.
The next month when the full moon rolls around, he does it. He takes Talia’s advice and he focuses entirely on the wolf he can feel buried deep inside him. Control has been such an integral part of him that losing it for even a moment is terrifying. Lydia told him that his mom said it’s necessary. He has to loosen his control and draw the wolf to the surface. He has to embrace it.
And he does.
He’s always felt comfortable in his shifted form. He’s never resented being born a werewolf – it’s all he’s ever known and he wouldn’t change a thing about it. But he’s grown up knowing that he has to hide what he is. That there are people out there who can and will kill him for who and what he is. So hiding, pushing down the more wolf-like qualities he possesses, has become second nature.
It feels so great to just…let go. The change comes so easily, more easily than he would have thought, and before he knows it he’s racing around the forest on four legs instead of two.
After that first time, he starts doing it when there isn’t a full moon. If he wakes up and doesn’t have anything to do or anyone to see or if he just feels like being a human is too much, he’ll strip out of his boxers and let the shift take him over. Changing in his bed means he has to vacuum more often but the comfort of stretching across his sheets and smelling nothing but flowery fabric softener and himself is worth it.
Scott finds out about it first.
Derek should really lock his door when he decides to have a wolf day but he’s so used to letting Scott and Stiles walk into his loft whenever they want to that it doesn’t even occur to him.
He’s dozing, stretched out in the middle of the room in a wide patch of sun, when Scott comes inside and utters a quiet, “Oh.” He knows that he’s recognized, otherwise Scott would be a lot more concerned about the giant wolf in his friend’s loft.
Derek cracks open one eye as Scott moves closer and when he sits down beside him, Derek doesn’t even think before lifting his head and dropping it into Scott’s lap. Scott’s face lights up and he starts running his fingers through Derek’s fur, passing his hands over his head and down his chest to scratch over his belly.
“I came over to check on you,” Scott says, fingers still scratching. “Stiles texted you about video games and pizza at my place last night but you never answered. We were worried, but I guess you were doing this, huh?” Derek’s tail thumps once against the floor and Scott laughs. “This is really cool, Derek. D’you think you could show me sometime?”
Derek’s tail wags again and he licks Scott’s forearm. Scott beams and leans over him, scratching down his belly with both hands until Derek rolls onto his back and squirms under the attention. “Thanks, Derek.” Scott’s palms cup either side of his head and their eyes meet before Scott drops a kiss between his eyes.
When Scott leaves later than evening, Derek shifts back into his human form and stares at himself in the mirror. Scott’s been gone for hours (three total, but who’s counting?) but Derek swears he can still feel the press of his lips on his forehead. He rubs over the spot as he walks back to his bed and crawls inside. He falls asleep that night with a smile on his face and doesn’t dream about anything but warm lips on his face.
Three days later, Scott and Stiles come over together, fingers laced and laughing as they walk into the loft. Derek’s stomach gives a jolt at seeing the two of them together so happy and in love. He’s known that they were together since they started spending more time with him and he wouldn’t say he’s jealous. Not really. He doesn’t know what they all are, because more often than not they’re kissing each other and then kissing him.
He likes to be included and he preens when they drop kisses on his head before they leave a room. Or when Stiles smacks him on the ass when they meet up to get food or see a movie. Or when Scott holds his hand while he’s doing homework and plays with his fingers while he thinks.
He doesn’t know when Scott and Stiles turned into Scott and Stiles and Derek, but he’s not complaining. He knows that they have sex with each other and they have yet to have sex with him, but that’s okay. He’s not sure if he’s ready for that yet and just being with them, just being close to them, is enough for him. For now.
They’re not here to kiss today so he doesn’t need to be thinking about that. Scott is going to learn the full shift and Derek is going to teach him. At least, that’s what he thinks. Scott and Stiles bounce toward him as soon as they’re inside and press a kiss to either of his cheeks.
“You ready?” Stiles asks. “This kid needs a Yoda and since I can’t turn into a bigass wolf, you are Yoda for the day. Just for the day, dude. You can’t take my Yoda mojo.”
Derek stares at Stiles for a second, brows raised as Stiles stares right back at him and, beside him, Scott rolls his eyes so hard it looks like it hurts. “I don’t want your Yoda mojo,” he finally says.
Stiles shrugs. “Great! That’s good, ‘cause you can’t have it.”
Scott groans and pushes Stiles with both hands toward Derek’s bed. “Just go sit down, Stiles.”
“You’d be agreeing with me if you’d ever watch Star Wars!”
Stiles does sit down on the bed, finally, and kicks his shoes off despite the look Scott is giving him that makes it clear he would rather they stayed on. Scott looks up to him next and rocks back and forth on his heels. “So? How do we do this?”
“You have to focus on your wolf. Remember when I had you use your other senses? This is like that, but deeper. You have to find your wolf inside of you and bring it to the surface.” Scott nods his head and closes his eyes, immediately focusing on doing just that. “But, wait,” Derek adds, reaching out for Scott’s shoulder. “You’ll probably want to take your clothes off first.”
“Ow ow!” Stiles crows, pumping one fist in the air. Both Scott and Derek turn to glare at him but he just grins and leans back onto his elbows, smug.
Scott shakes his head, amusement clear in the curve of his mouth, and shrugs out of his jacket. “’Cause I’ll tear them if I don’t, right?”
“Yeah,” Derek clarifies, trying not to watch too closely as Scott unbuttons his jeans and slides them off. He’s sure Scott and Stiles are used to getting naked in front of each other but he’s not used to seeing so much of Scott’s skin all at once. His cheeks heat when he sees the look Scott’s giving him before he nods toward Derek’s clothes.
“You too. We’re doing this together, right?”
Right, Derek thinks. They’re doing this together. “Right.” He starts shedding his clothes and Stiles whistles low and winks when he looks over at him, surprised.
“What? You’re both super hot, okay, I will not be ashamed for ogling.”
Scott chuckles softly and squeezes Derek’s shoulder. “Ignore him; he’s horny 98% of the time.”
“What is he the other 2%?” Derek asks, glancing at Stiles again as he sheds his underwear.
“Hungry,” Stiles and Scott answer in unison. They look at each other and burst out laughing and Derek can’t help but smile along.
Finally, Scott gets himself under control and clears his throat. “Okay, I’m ready.” He takes a deep breath and looks up at Derek, their gazes locked and focused on nothing but each other. Derek won’t shift until Scott does, so he waits and he watches as Scott’s eyes bleed red and fur sprouts from his cheeks.
He can hear Stiles’ quiet, “Whoa,” but he doesn’t take his eyes off of Scott as the beta shift turns into something more. Scott cries out just once as something cracks and he doubles over. Stiles is up in an instant, but Derek holds out a hand toward him and he freezes.
“He’s fine,” he says softly, spreading his fingers for Stiles’ to lace through. “He’s perfect.” Scott whines softly and then it’s over. A huge gray wolf in standing where Scott used to be and if Derek had to put a name to the expression on his face the only thing that would fit is ‘astonished’. Stiles is looking about the same, only with more obvious open mouthed surprise.
Derek crouches down and holds out his hand to Scott, smiling at him when he takes a step forward and presses his muzzle into his palm. “That was great,” he praises quietly, and Scott’s tail wags back and forth like crazy before he licks a wet stripe over Derek’s face.
After he’s licked across Derek’s face half a dozen times, Scott bounds over to Stiles and tackles him onto the floor. “Ah! Jeez, Scotty, you’re heavy.” Scott just yips in his face and licks him all over before trotting back to Derek and smacking a paw onto his thigh.
“I think he’s saying it’s your turn, dude. Which, yeah. Scott told me about the other day but I haven’t seen big ol’ wolf Derek and that needs to change. Hop to it, mister.” Stiles grins and sits up to bury his fingers through Scott’s fur when he comes back over and sits down beside him. They’re both watching Derek expectantly and he feels a little bit awkward under both their gazes.
Eyes closing, he takes a deep breath and focuses on his mom’s words. He uses her to bring his wolf to the surface and he uses Scott and Stiles to bring himself back. They don’t know that. He’s not sure if he’ll tell them.
It doesn’t take as long for him and by the time Stiles is finishing his breathless, “Oh my God,” he’s done.
He pads forward and sits at Stiles’ feet, head cocked slightly until Stiles laughs and reaches out to scratch behind his ear. “Oh my God,” he repeats, scratching under Derek’s chin. “This is awesome. I have two boyfriends and two dogs at the same time.” Scott makes a low noise and Stiles glances at him and grimaces. “Shit. Derek, I… We were gonna kinda broach the topic while we were here but not until you two were done doing the werewolf thing.”
Derek cocks his head in confusion but his heart is beating out of control. He knows Scott can hear it and he tries to calm himself down as Stiles continues.
“See, Scott and I both really like you. Like, really really. And I know that’s probably weird, ‘cause three people and not two, but…” Stiles shrugs. “It’s just how it is. We know you like being a part of this. With the kissing sometimes and the hand holding, so… You don’t have to be with us, if you don’t want to. We just…” He glances at Scott. “We have to ask.”
Derek’s quiet for so long that Stiles starts talking again. “Probably I should have asked you while you, y’know, had a mouth to talk with, but I kinda screwed up, so. Look, it’s totally fine if you don’t want this. No hard feelings, all that jazz –“ He cuts off when Derek hurls his entire body at him and sends him crashing back onto the floor.
Derek’s tail is moving a mile a minute and he’s licking and rubbing all over Stiles, pushing his scent into his skin and sniffing at the places he smells most like himself; like boy sweat and sugar and freshly cut grass.
“Shit,” Stiles laughs as Scott shoulders Derek to the side and starts doing the same thing. “I guess that’s a yes?” He grins as Scott and Derek lick over his face and then closes his mouth and makes a face. “Ew, wolf slobber. You’re both gross, ugh.”
Scott and Derek exchange a look and, even with wolf faces, Stiles knows they’re plotting something. “Whatever you’re doing, don’t,” he warns, sitting up slowly as they crawl off of him. “I mean it. Scott… Scotty – Derek!”
They pounce at the same time, knocking Stiles back and covering him with wet kisses and gentle nips on his chin and fingers when he tries to push them away. He’s laughing and he fists handfuls of their fur, hiding in the scruff of Scott’s neck as Derek nibbles over his hair.
“Okay, okay,” he finally laughs, twisting under them. “Change back so I can kiss you both.”
Scott looks at Derek and he noses under his chin, rumbling softly against Scott’s fur before licking the side of his head. “Aw,” Stiles coos. “How precious. I mean it, though. You’re both heavy and I wanna kiss.”
They shift back together and find themselves in a naked heap on top of Stiles, legs tangled together, warm bare skin on warm bare skin on rough jeans. Stiles beams up at them both and runs his hands through twin sets of soft dark hair. “Welcome back,” he says, tugging Scott into a warm kiss. Derek watches silently, one of his hands resting in the small of Scott’s back while the other plays idly with the string on Stiles’ hoodie. He never thought he's have one of them. Now it looks like he has them both.
When Scott and Stiles part for breath they both turn and look at him. Scott leans in first and when their lips touch he tastes like Stiles and, oddly enough, cherries. Scott’s hand curls around the back of his head and they share soft, damp kisses until Stiles gets impatient and tugs him away.
“Sorry Stiles sprang that on you like that,” Scott says apologetically as Stiles licks into Derek’s mouth. “We had it all planned out.”
Stiles pulls away from Derek with a grin, mouth pink and swollen. “I’d say it all worked out for the best, eh, Scotty?”
Derek turns slightly and smiles at Scott, eyes bright with something he might one day call love. Scott smiles back and brushes his thumb over Derek’s cheek. “Yeah. I’d say it did.”