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But Then What...

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But Then What...

 

It was Senior year, and Stiles was almost done with high school. His college and scholarship apps had gone out months before, so everything from this point on felt like a free fall of just waiting for the point where he could finally walk away from BHHS. With the exception of his best friend Scott, there wasn't much to make the school day not totally sucky.

Speaking of making his day sucky, Ms. Kitzmiller had made him promise he'd owe her a favor if she wrote him a glowing review to Stanford, and since she knew people on the admissions board personally and ended up with him getting accepted, it had seemed like a great idea. That is, until she called in that favor.

“Mr. Stilinski,” she'd said earlier that day, smoothing her perfect silver bob, “It's time to pay up.”

Sighing in an exaggerated way, he slumped down in his desk, almost to the point of slipping out of his chair. “Fine,” he groaned. “What is it? Paint your house? Ped-Egg your feet?”

Her face made a moue of disgust at that. “No, what— No, Stiles.” She then grinned, and something in it sent shivers down Stiles' spine. “I want you to save someone's future.”

“W-what?” he asked, sitting up, curious.

“I have a student who is bright but has never believed himself to be. If he doesn't pass my class, he won't qualify for the athletic scholarship he's been offered.”

Stiles fumed inside, tapping his pencil angrily at the edge of his desk. A jock? This was his big favor? Those guys hated him. He was verbally accosted daily, not to mention the times they'd cornered him in hallways to do much more than that. His left knee still twinged from getting shoved down the stairs by Jackson fucking Whittemore a few weeks ago.

“Wait,” he said. “It's not Jackson, is it?” Jackson was in his AP History class, and it would be Christmas-come-early if he was failing.

“No,” she replied, looking over the top of her reading glasses. “It's someone in the regular History class. Derek Hale.”

“Are you—” Stiles tore at his hair and slumped back down in his chair. Derek was... Well, he was infuriating, for one, and secondly, he was stupid hot. And he knew it. A totally smug fucker who walked like he had to swing his legs around his giant dick. Cocky, rude, and totally stalked Stiles' friend Paige after they broke up last year. She got tired of having to sacrifice her extracurriculars for the sake of his, and he apparently couldn't take no for an answer, according to her. Stiles secretly thought it was pretty awesome to have someone so heartbroken over a breakup that they kept trying to repair it, especially since he'd never really dated anyone before, but Paige was a one and done sort of girl. Plus, she met some cellist at Berkeley.

But Derek... Derek was actually friends with Jackson and a cocky, smug jock who dated smart, sarcastic, take-no-shit people.

Which, by the way, perfectly described Stiles. Not that he wanted to date Derek. Because Stiles had learned after lusting over Lydia Martin, Jackson Whittemore's girlfriend, that wanting people who you had no chance in hell getting to want you back was an exercise in futility.

But it wasn't like he wanted Derek to want him. He didn't want Derek. What was to want? With Derek's silky-looking, inky-black hair and flawless jawline, his tall, lean, muscular body from playing every sport the school even offered like a freaking show-off, what was there to want? Fuck. Everything.

He rubbed his hand over his mouth, muffling his “Damn it,” before grabbing his backpack and standing, almost getting tangled up in the legs of his desk while doing so. “What do I have to do?”

“I'm so happy to see how overjoyed you are, Mr. Stilinski,” she said drily. “We have a midterm and a final left this last grading period. Mr. Hale needs to get a minimum of 91 on both in order to bring his grade to eligibility.” She dropped a packet on the corner of her desk and turned her attention to her computer. “You know, my husband and I were planning on bringing Andrew—oh, that's Mr. Diakité to you, head of admissions at Stanford? We're having him over for dinner this week. So good to catch up with old friends, chat about things happening, poke around about potential academic scholarships for children of widowed law enforcement officers...”

He sighed, his chin dropping to his chest. “Fine. But if I turn up dead, I'm leaving a note to have engraved on my headstone that it's your fault.”

The corner of her mouth quirked briefly. “Have a good afternoon, Mr. Stilinski. Mr. Hale should be waiting for you in the library.”

Stiles fumed all the way there. If Hale started in on him... Stiles didn't care about potential scholarships at Stanford. Nothing was worth dealing with school-sanctioned abuse. Okay, that was stupid, because Stanford was expensive and his dad did okay, but maybe not Stanford okay. He pushed through the doors that led into the library with more force than necessary and stood in the entryway, scanning the place for sight of a smirking, tall, dark-haired jackass.

Instead, he found a smirking, slightly shorter, blond-haired jackass, Jackson. Who was sitting on the edge of a table where Derek Hale sat, surrounded by books, with wet hair and his fingers twiddling a pen as Jackson talked about how amazing he found himself to be, most likely. They both looked like they'd just come from the showers, and wow, that was an image he was going to explore later on his own: Derek soaping up his lean, muscled body in a steamy shower. Hate-jerk; that could be a thing. But for now...

Stiles dumped his bag loudly onto the table across from Derek to get their attention. “Your only salvation has arrived.”

“Wait, him?” Jackson said, getting to his feet and pointing—pointing!—at Stiles.

“Try to be more dramatic,” Stiles muttered. “I dare you.”

“Derek,” Jackson said, putting his hand on Derek's shoulder. His broad, strong shoulder. Fuck Stiles' life. “I told you I'd tutor you. Better me than him.”

Him,” Stiles said pointedly, “has the second highest GPA in the school.”

“And you know we never get studying done,” Derek said quietly, ignoring Stiles completely as he shrugged Jackson's hand off his shoulder. Jackson's cheeks went pink. What the fuck? Were they... No. No fucking way. “Look, if I don't get my grade up, I'm not going to USC,” Derek said, his eyes cold steel as he spoke to Jackson. And only Jackson. Because it wasn't like Stiles was still sitting there or anything. “I have to do this, okay?”

“Derek, we can find someone better.”

“Who, Lydia?” Derek said with his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Ms. Kitz-killer says it has to be this way,” he sighed. “So if that means me dorking it out with Bilinski—”

“Are you kidding me?” Stiles huffed.

“—then that's what I have to do. It fucking sucks, but I can't change things.” Derek gave Jackson a chin nod. “It's cool, Jackson. I'll call you later.”

Stiles was watching all of this unfold with his mouth hanging open, gaze darting between Derek, who looked pissed and Jackson, who looked offended and hurt for some strange reason before turning an icy stare Stiles' way. He gave Stiles elevator eyes and sneered. “This fucking deficient testicle...” he muttered, shaking his head in disgust and leaving.

“Oh, this is going to be a sheer delight, let me tell you,” Stiles said, leaning back in his chair.

“Yeah, this isn't fun for me, either,” Derek said, angrily pulling out notebooks and slamming them on the table. “Just... I don't know, do whatever it is you're supposed to do.”

“Shoot, and I forgot my magic wand today. Would have made this whole thing much easier,” Stiles said, shaking his head and pulling out the stack of papers Ms. Kitzmiller had given him. “But whatever. Sorry your boyfriend is mad that he doesn't get to learn you up real good. What two consenting adults get up to isn't my business.”

“It's not—” Derek snapped his mouth shut and leaned forward. “Shut the fuck up, Bilinski.” He waved his hand towards the papers impatiently.

“Stilinski,” he said under his breath. What was the point, anyway? “Whatever, man. Like I give a shit who you're boning.” That was a lie because he totally did. Why the hell would he—would anyone—pick Jackson? To Derek he said, “Let's learn about the Visigoths.”

* * *

“I'm telling you, Scott,” Stiles said into the phone, propping his legs against the wall of his bedroom as he stretched out. “Jackson and Derek are on the down low.”

“No fucking way,” Scott said. Stiles could hear him banging a lacrosse ball against the wall and catching it. “Lydia has Jackson on a short leash. There's no way he'd do anything without her approval.”

Stiles mind shorted out for a moment thinking of Lydia, Jackson and Derek all together. Holy f— No. Nope. “Okay, I'm calling it. From this point on, no more talk about those dickbags. Aiden ripped my Physics notebook in half for who the hell knows why, and I hate that entire group. In two months we won't have to look at them or think about them ever again.”

“That's cool, man,” Scott said. Thump, thump went the lacrosse ball. “You wanna play CoD in an hour?”

“Make it two,” Stiles said. “I have to finish up a paper, then I'll be free to kick your ass.”

“You wish!” Scott said, making Stiles laugh.

“Okay, later, man.”

They hung up, and Stiles stayed where he was on his bed, his legs up on the wall and feet going slightly numb. The afternoon had been a disaster. Derek had been defensive and churlish, resisting any help Stiles had offered.

After an hour, they'd called it a stalemate. Stiles was furious with his time being wasted on someone who clearly couldn't stand him. At one point Stiles had reached towards Derek's book to point out a map when Derek had reared back. Like Stiles had literal cooties. It was fucking ridiculous, was what it was.

They'd made plans to meet in the library every day after school when Derek's off-season practice was over, and Stiles could tell it was grating for Derek to have to give up his free time. Stiles snorted. It certainly wasn't fun for him, either.

* * *

Leaning his chair back on two legs, Stiles—his trusty red pen's cap in his mouth—ticked through Derek's practice test. “Why do you get these two mixed up every time? Christ...”

Derek kicked the leg of Stiles chair in a fit of pique, arms crossed tightly in front of him. Stiles flailed, his pen flying across the library as he tried to stay upright.

“Pick it up,” he said, glowering at Derek.

“Make me,” Derek said, folding his hands behind his head and staring up at the ceiling. It was so unfair, Stiles thought. Derek was just sitting there, just being a dude in stupid nylon basketball shorts that barely grazed his knees, and even his knees were hot. “That's for being a dick about me getting something wrong.”

Stiles fumed, his fingers tapping angrily on his leg. The past two weeks had been torture, sheer torture. Derek was rude, argumentative, prone to taking calls in the middle of Stiles' lesson—and always responded “Nothing, what are you doing?” like an asshole—and always came fresh from the shower, smelling clean and sort of spicy with his hair damp, and when it dried it was soft looking, curling over his nape and behind his ears, and Stiles wanted to bury his hands in it and choke Derek Hale on his dick.

To shut him up, of course.

He pushed himself to his feet, glaring at Derek and maintaining eye contact as he stomped across the library, grabbed his pen, and stomped back. “Will you just listen to me?”

“I've been listening,” Derek bit out.

“No, you've been texting,” Stiles countered. “Just... Look.” Stiles hastily sketched a map of North Africa. “Many African Tourists Like Elephants,” he said. Then he wrote the names to their respective countries left to right on the drawing as he said them out loud. “Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.”

He turned to look at Derek, who sat scowling. “Seriously, dude? That couldn't be easier to remember.”

Derek sighed, his lips pressed in a tight line. “Fine. Whatever. Next.”

“You're a real piece of work, Hale,” Stiles scoffed, raking his hand through his hair as he turned away to sit back down.

“Your mom's a piece of work,” Derek muttered.

Stiles was on him in a flash, Derek's t-shirt wadded up tight in Stiles' grip, their noses practically touching. He was vibrating with anger, his free hand balling into a fist, practically snorting like a bull right up in Derek's face and totally not caring that if he did throw a punch, he would likely break his hand on Derek's chiseled jaw. Making fun of him was one thing, but no one—no one—said a fucking thing about his mother. “Don't you ever say a god damn word about my mother.”

“Whoa, dude, chill,” Derek said, leaning back with his hands out like he was trying to placate Stiles.

Stiles shoved at him, but because Derek was made of nothing but muscle, he hardly moved. “We're done here. Good luck passing, asshole.” Stiles grabbed all of his supplies, not even bothering to load it up in his bag. He was shaking he was so angry. Why did he think helping a guy who was friends with the douchiest bullies in the entire school would end in anything but a fight?

“What the hell crawled up your ass?” Derek said, shoving his things into a pile, his eyes wide and shocked-looking, his tone irritated. Because yeah, he had the right. Dick.

“She's dead. Fuck you,” Stiles said and stormed towards the door, not looking back.

He went straight to Scott's, needing to spend a few hours with a decent human being and blow some shit up in a game. Scott was always good about knowing when Stiles didn't want to talk; neither Stiles nor his father had done well with Claudia Stilinski's death. That was a hurt that never went away.

When bro hugs, trash talk and an hour of CoD where Stiles named every target “Derek Hale” did nothing to curb his jittery anger, Scott pulled out his free weights and hung his chin-up bar in his bedroom's doorway.

“Go crazy, bro,” Scott said. “You know it works for me. I mean,” he smiled, “I can't do tons, but whatever.”

The exercise equipment had been a part of Scott's attempt to make his senior year better, maybe make first line on the lacrosse team, maybe get a girl's attention, maybe help keep his asthma under control. In a show of solidarity, Stiles had joined him, even though he hated every minute of it. That's what best friends did.

Stiles stripped out of his button up and started pulling himself up over and over until his biceps and shoulders were straining. Maybe if he got stronger, he could punch Derek in the face and not break something.

* * *

The next morning, Stiles slammed his locker shut and almost fell backwards. Derek was standing right there, like, way too close to be socially acceptable.

“Jesus, dude,” he said, moving in a wide circle around and away Derek.

“Wait,” Derek said, checking the hallway. Well, that wasn't suspicious. Stiles whipped his head around looking for Jackson with an ax or Aiden with a bucket of pig's blood.

“Just... Would you stand still?” Derek asked.

“Nope,” Stiles said, continuing to search out threats. “First rule of survival: serpentine.”

“God, you're so fucking weird,” Derek sighed. “Look, I just wanted to say I'm sorry about yesterday. I didn't know.”

Stiles became very still. He stared at Derek, waiting for the hook or uppercut, for the “wanna join her?” or something equally awful. Nothing happened. He narrowed his eyes and stepped close. “You know, it shouldn't matter. Knowing.” He hitched his backpack higher on his shoulder. “Decent people don't act like you and your douchebag teammates do.”

“Oh, because you've never been a douche?” Derek said, stepping closer. Stiles had to fight his instinct to back down. “You've been a smart-assed know-it-all who's made fun of me and my friends for not being as fucking intelligent as you since middle school, so don't act like—” Derek rubbed a hand down his face. “You're not perfect. I'm not either. I just wanted to say I'm sorry. Fuck, you make everything so hard.”

You make everything hard,” Stiles said petulantly. Derek's gaze flicked from Stiles' eyes to his crotch and smirked.

“I know.”

“Fuck you very much,” Stiles said, spinning on his heel to hide his blush—his angry flush, he was not blushing—and getting out of that situation as soon as humanly possible.

“You didn't deny it,” Derek called out, laughing.

Stiles shot the bird in the air, not turning around. Just fuck his life, seriously.

* * *

“Are you going?” Scott asked, leaning back against the lockers as Stiles rummaged through his books.

“He's such an ass,” Stiles said, slamming his Calculus book inside and swapping out his dog eared copy of Middlesex. He was almost finished with his paper and needed the notes he'd scribbled inside. “It's like, why is he getting all the benefit out of this? What the hell am I getting?”

Scott laughed. “A possible scholarship to one of the best schools around?”

“Probably not,” Stiles sighed, zipping up his bag and hoisting it over his shoulder. “She's just dangling a carrot.”

“Well, then how about because you can actually help someone, and it's the nice thing to do?”

Bless Scott's tender heart. He balanced out all of Stiles' viciousness. Well, that was reserved for people who weren't his dad, Scott, or Scott's mom. So, most people. “When have I ever done the nice thing?” Stiles asked.

Scott flashed his kind, crooked grin. “You do nice things for me all the time, bro!”

Stiles dropped both hands on Scott's shoulders and squeezed. “You are different. Derek is... He's...”

“You're totally into him, huh?”

Stiles sputtered. “What? No?”

Scott raised an eyebrow.

“Shut up.”

Scott turned Stiles around and gave him a gentle shove down the hallway. The hallway that ended at the library. “Think of it as you doing reconnaissance on the enemy, then.”

Stiles sighed, his shoulders slumped. Scott's niceness had a way of rubbing off on people.

“And because you think he's hot.”

“Scott—”

“Dude,” Scott said, laughing. “I don't care if you do, you know. He's kind of a guy-version of Lydia. I get it.”

“Quit being smart,” Stiles said, turning to face Scott while walking backwards down the hall. “That's my job.”

“What's mine, then?” Scott called out, hooking his thumbs in his backpack's straps.

“You're the hot one!” Stiles said, laughing at Scott's pleased grin.

He pushed through the library doors and spied Derek sitting at their usual table, facing the entrance. Stiles expected to see a knowing smirk on Derek's face.

The relieved smile and chin nod threw Stiles off his game. He didn't know how to deal with a non-threatening, non-douchey Derek Hale. And apparently that was what he was getting that afternoon.

Huh.

* * *

“Hey, I brought extra,” Derek said, not looking up from his practice test, but pushing a candy bar with his pencil towards Stiles on the other side of their table.

“Uh, thanks?” Stiles picked up the chocolate and eyed it suspiciously. Derek could have dropped it in the toilet or something.

Derek looked up. “Don't you like chocolate?”

“Yeah?” Stiles said, like duh, who didn't? “Did you wipe your ass with this before bringing it to me?”

“Are you...” Derek sighed, picked it back up, and ran his tongue all over the packaging, and that should probably stop happening because Stiles was trying to be indignant, not turned on. “Are you five? Why the hell would I waste food?”

Stiles looked him over. Yeah, Derek didn't look like the sort of person who missed meals. “I don't know! Your bros have conditioned me, okay? Sorry. Jeez. I'll eat the thing, gimmie.” He held his hand out impatiently, but Derek kept ahold of it, opening one end of the packaging and breaking off a piece. “Awesome. Thank you so much,” Stiles sighed.

Derek popped the broken bit into his mouth and slid the rest of it over towards Stiles. “Do you need to see if it's a slow acting poison before you eat it?”

“I don't know,” Stiles said, narrowing his eyes. “Have you spent years building up a resistance to Iocane powder?”

Derek laughed, a slow, rolling thing that made his shoulders heave with the force of it and his head drop back. Stiles swallowed at the long line of Derek's throat's, how broad his shoulders were, how fucking pretty the guy was.

“You're funny,” Derek said, eyes sparkling and making a whole fleet of butterflies take flight in Stiles' belly.

“That's my name, don't wear it out,” he replied, internally wincing at how lame that was. He was better than that, god.

Derek, still smiling, bent back to his test, leaving Stiles free to ogle, er, watch him. Food sharing? Laughing at Stiles' jokes? Who was this pod person, and what did they do with Jackson Whittemore's best friend?

“Seriously though,” Derek said, pausing again and looking in the middle distance near Stiles' shoulder. “That wasn't cool of me yesterday. Sorry.”

Stiles blinked, his mouth open in shock before he shook himself and grabbed a pencil to have something to do with his hands. “Yeah. Thanks. No problem.”

Derek nodded. He looked up at Stiles, actually made eye contact and smiled with one side of his mouth. “You know, when you're not trying to prove to me that you're smarter than I am, you're not such a jackass,” and bent his head back to his test.

Was that a joke? Teasing? Like, that was the kind of trash talk he did with Scott. That was what you did with a friend. With one hand rubbing the back of his neck, Stiles watched him fill out his answers. He didn't think anyone in Derek's group was even capable of making apologies. Fuck, this meant he'd have to reevaluate things. He hated having to do that.

He slumped back in his chair, chewing on his lip and thinking about how it was so much easier when he could just flat-out hate Derek Hale. If this kept up, it would mean the end to Stiles' late night hate-jerk sessions. Crap. Those were his favorite.

* * *

Stiles wouldn't go so far as to say that he and Derek had become friends after the apology—Derek still mostly ignored Stiles in the hall between classes, and Jackson was still a bag of dicks, a bag made of dicks and filled with dicks—but their study sessions were much less antagonistic. Derek still got frustrated, but Stiles was beginning to learn that it was Derek being frustrated with himself, not with Stiles.

It helped him back off a little, to stop goading Derek like he'd been doing all along. It was only fun (and fair, he thought) to give back what you were getting. The problem was that he wasn't getting shit from Derek anymore. To be an asshole at this point made Stiles the bad guy. He was not going to be the bad guy here.

Stiles and Scott were hanging in E Hall, waiting for the bell to ring so they could slip into Ms. McCollough's class at the last minute when a voice called out, “Stilinski!” He whipped his head to the side, looking for who'd called his name.

Derek was standing on his tip toes to be seen over the crowd—not that he really needed to, the guy was six feet—and pointing at Stiles.

“Yeah?” Stiles called back, head tilted in curiosity.

“Meet me outside the gym instead of the library. Change of scenery today.”

“Uh, okay?” Stiles said, rubbing the back of his head in confusion.

“Cool. Later,” Derek said, giving him a chin nod and loping off towards some of the other guys on the basketball team.

Scott turned his head in a dramatic way, one eyebrow raised, just waiting.

“I don't know, dude!” Stiles said, fidgeting with the straps to his backpack.

Scott began to waggle his eyebrows, smiling. “Change of scenery? Like instead of you looking at books he shows you his hairy balls and flopping dangle?”

“Shut the hell up,” Stiles said, smothering a laugh and pushing Scott into the classroom. “I'm the crude one.”

“Right,” Scott answered. In a saccharine tone, he said while flapping his eyelashes, “He wants you to see his tender, low-hanging fruits.”

“I regret so many things right now,” Stiles said, “like letting you watch anything on BBC. Gross, dude.”

“Whatever,” Scott said, pulling out his notebook. “You'd totally be all up on those fruits.”

“Can we—” Stiles huffed and snapped his mouth shut, fixing Scott with a pointed look. “Stop calling them fruits.” He was spared any further embarrassment by Ms. McCollough starting class after pushing away from the white board with dry erase remains smeared onto her shirt front. Every day, man, every day. Her dry-cleaning bill had to be ridiculous.

* * *

Stiles nodded at Scott as they parted after school before making his way down J Hall towards the gym and locker rooms. There were double doors at the end that led outside, where he presumed Derek wanted to meet. He found a patch of shade near the single door outside and settled in with a book to wait. As the off-season athletes began pouring out in ones and twos, he tried to blend in with the scenery to keep them from seeing him and getting any ideas. Like pounding his face in.

Eventually, Jackson and Derek came out together, because of course they did. Jackson had his hand on Derek's shoulder, talking a mile a minute, and Derek looked...irritated. Well, that was sort of a default for Derek, but Stiles was getting good at reading Derek's sub-expressions, as he referred to them. Derek caught sight of Stiles and for a 'blink and you'd miss it' moment, gave him an actual grin.

Stiles' first instinct was that something horrible was about to happen to him; that was a wolfish grin if ever he'd seen one. Which he hadn't. But he'd read about them. Seen them in movies. When Derek shook off Jackson's hand and barely turned his head to say, “Later,” and did it again, a quirk of the corner of his mouth, just the barest hint of teeth and then it was gone, Stiles shivered.

What the hell was going on? Jackson seemed to be confused, too, because he pointed at Stiles—again with the pointing!—and said, “What the hell is he doing here? I thought you were taking a day off?”

“Nah, just didn't want to sit my ass on those chairs for a few hours when I could study at home,” Derek said walking past Stiles and jerking his chin away from the school. “You drive?”

“Yeah,” Stiles said, walking quickly to catch up.

“Cool. Follow me. We're going to hang at my house. I drive a—”

“Black sports car, yeah, we all know, dude,” Stiles said, twisting around to see Jackson standing on the sidewalk, fuming after them.

Derek asked, “Where are you?”

Stiles turned and pointed a few rows over to his baby blue Jeep.

“Sweet. We'll have to go off-roading sometime.”

Stiles shook his head in disbelief. Derek was already walking off to his car, so Stiles turned back and jogged to his. Derek just basically said they were going to hang in a non-school oriented way. Was up actually down? What the hell was going on? Part of him couldn't help but think that this was some type of long-con with Derek and Jackson, disarming him for the big reveal of how they were going to ruin his life or just murder him. He really hoped that wasn't what was happening, and not for the obvious 'not wanting to die' reasons. He couldn't even think about what he actually wanted to happen, not without things getting awkward. Probably that was just a thing dudes said to each other, not Derek actually saying he wanted to do something with Stiles in a social sort of way.

He kind of hated himself for how much he wanted it to be Derek actually liking him and his company.

As he settled into the Jeep, he could hear Derek revving the engine, then peeling out a little and leaving short black tracks in the parking lot as Stiles pulled up behind him to follow.

What a show off. For some reason, it made Stiles smile instead of being irritated.

Huh.

* * *

Derek kicked his shoes off in the entryway and headed further inside. Stiles felt like he shouldn't touch anything. The house was massive, but strangely cozy. It was clearly a house that family lived in. A really well-off family given the well-appointed decor.

“Want a drink?” Derek called out.

Stiles followed where Derek had gone and found himself in a large, open and spotless kitchen. “Yeah, uh, whatever you're having.”

Derek said, “Head's up,” and tossed a can to Stiles, who fumbled it and barely saved it from falling to the floor.

“You know, normal people hand drinks to their guests,” Stiles said, setting the can on the counter and tapping his fingers on the top to keep it from spraying everywhere. In his mouth was fine; on the marble floors of the Hale house was another thing entirely.

“God,” Derek muttered, shaking his head and laughing to himself. “It's like you're from another planet.”

“Remind me why I'm helping you again?” Stiles asked, getting angry. He felt trapped in a way, in Derek's house, no one else seemed to be home, and maybe this was the big payoff for Derek and his gang? Maybe he'd been wrong about Derek not being as big of a jerk as he'd always imagined. For hoping just minutes before that they were actually becoming friends.

Derek looked up at him, his face sober, and he said, “You're right. Sorry. Come on, let's go.” He grabbed a bag of chips from the counter and both sodas, disappearing around the corner where a staircase was hidden. Placated somewhat, Stiles heaved a deep breath and followed.

The stairs led into a small hallway opening up into a wider living space ringed with bedrooms. “That's me,” Derek said, nodding towards one on the left.

Holy shit, they were going into his bedroom?

Derek unloaded their snacks and his backpack. “Catch the door.”

“Uh, right. Yeah.” Stiles pushed the door shut and took in Derek's room. A huge bed—bigger than Stiles' at any rate—was on the far wall. The room was messy, but not dirty. Just lived in. Clothes here and there, books and stuff laying around, a nice TV and gaming system in the corner, posters of LeBron mid-slam dunk and bands hanging on the wall, normal stuff.

Derek flopped onto his back in the middle of the bed with a groan. “Fuck, that feels good.”

Okay, the last thing Stiles needed right now was for Derek to groan about things feeling good while writhing on his bed. Stretching. Whatever. After a paralyzing moment of not knowing what was expected of him here (and the staring he couldn't help at the nicely-furred patch of skin above Derek's waistband exposed by his stretching), Stiles fell into Derek's desk chair, almost knocking a pen cup over.

“All right, professor,” Derek said, scratching his stomach and adjusting himself in his shorts shamelessly. “What're we learning about today?”

Stiles gaped at Derek, at the considerable bulge Derek couldn't seem to stop messing with, when he realized what he was doing and spun around to the desk, pulling his backpack into his lap and willing his face to stop blushing. “Uh... Let's see...” He rifled through his things until he found the dog-eared worksheets from Mrs. Kitzmiller. “Oh, we finally get to change continents. Mesoamerica,” he said, turning to smile at Derek, who had shoved a pillow under his head and had his eyes closed.

“Hey. Dude,” Stiles said sharply. “If we're going to study here, we have to actually study. You don't get to fall asleep.”

“I'm not falling asleep,” Derek said, totally looking like he was falling asleep. “I'm just listening. Go ahead,” he said, cracking one eye open and smiling. “Teach.”

“You'll forgive my lack of confidence in your ability to stay awake while lying down,” Stiles snorted.

“You wanna lie down, too?”

“Um.” Stiles was frozen with the packet in his hand, looking at Derek, who face was unhelpfully blank. Was he serious? Was this why he and Jackson never got any studying done? Was this...flirting? No. No way Derek Hale was flirting with him. It was just a question. Stiles was pretty sure it was just a question. Mostly sure. “I'm...good?”

“Okay,” Derek said, shrugging. “So tell me why I should care about Mesoamerica.” He went back to closing his eyes.

“Well, because they had a game that was like a cross between soccer and basketball, but had a heavy rubber ball, you couldn't use your hands, sometimes people died when they got hit in the face with it, and it ended in ritual sacrifice, for starters.”

“No shit?” Derek asked, finally looking interested and sitting up on his elbows.

“No shit. Now sit up and pay attention. I'm not doing this for my health, buddy.”

An hour later found Stiles checking over a study test Derek had taken, with Derek sitting on the edge of his bed, bouncing one leg in apparent nervousness.

“Well,” Stiles sighed. “You...didn't miss any.”

“I didn't...” Derek looked up in shock. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Stiles replied, grinning.

Returning Stiles' ear to ear grin, Derek pushed to standing and clapped Stiles on the shoulder, giving it a squeeze. “Awesome. Thanks, man.” He walked to the door, calling over his shoulder, “Let's celebrate with some food. I'm starving.”

Stiles clattered down the stairs behind him, hopping up on the counter per Derek's instructions as a mass of sandwich ingredients were pulled out of the giant fridge and set out.

“Okay, I don't want to brag,” Derek said, eyes cast to the side all coquettishly, “but I'm kind of known for making the best sandwiches ever.”

“Easy there, Hoss. No one trumps the Stilinki-Dagwood,” Stiles replied, looking over everything Derek had pulled out. Whoa, those were like name brand condiments, not the generic “Yellow Mustard” and stuff he and his dad bought. This might not be such a slam dunk.

Derek narrowed his eyes. “You make mine, I'll make yours and we vote?”

“No joke ingredients?”

Derek looked at him like Stiles had asked if he was going to eat a baby. “Why would I waste a sandwich just to be a dick?”

“Fair point.”

As they started whipping up a snack—Stiles went for the triple stack of bread, seeing as that was an option, not to mention the four kinds of sandwich cheese slices available—he realized that this felt like hanging with Scott. The early animosity, the grudging acceptance of this punishment from their teacher seemed to be gone. Derek was even laughing at Stiles' jokes now. Derek was feeding him. Hanging with him. On purpose.

It was... Stiles liked it. A lot.

* * *

They made it a habit, Stiles following Derek back to the empty Hale house to go over the day's lesson and prepare for the upcoming midterm. Derek's sisters had after-school activities, his parents typically worked late, so the house was all theirs. Stiles almost asked why they didn't just camp out in the kitchen or dining room to study when he realized that he would be cock-blocking himself. Well, there weren't any cocks to be blocked or unblocked, so it was mostly just the potential for cocks. Which was highly unlikely, but whatever. The more they hung out together, the more he liked having this time with Derek. Stiles realized that Derek wasn't a jerk—anyone who could make a sandwich like Derek could clearly wasn't a jerk, not to mention that he started making them for Stiles every day after school. Derek was just friends by association with the jerks of the school. Big difference.

Derek sent Stiles up to his room while Derek grabbed some drinks and snacks; once there, Stiles kicked his shoes off, settling in at the desk chair pulled over by the bed where he knew Derek would sprawl out. Derek came in, set their stuff down, reached behind his head and tugged his shirt off before collapsing on his belly on the bed, face buried in his arms.

“'Kay, what's today?” he asked Stiles, his voice muffled.

Blinking rapidly, Stiles took in the long, smooth line of Derek's back, dipping down and curving up obscenely into a perfect ass. Derek had on his usual nylon basketball shorts, and they were so thin and silky that Stiles could see the indentations on the side of Derek's glutes. Stiles felt Derek shake his ankle where it was propped on the edge of the mattress, snapping his gaze away to find Derek's face turned towards him, one eye open.

“Sorry, spaced out there for a minute.”

Derek grunted, but said nothing else, eventually pulling his hand away. Stiles' ankle felt weirdly cold at its loss.

“Uh.” Stiles shook his head to clear it, tugged on his t-shirt's neckline and pulled out their study packet. “Oh. Midterm is tomorrow morning, so let's just review stuff? We can tackle new things later.”

“You hot?”

Stiles turned back to look at Derek, still looking at him with one eye. “What?”

Derek pushed up to his elbow and nodded at Stiles. “You always wear so many damn layers. Aren't you hot? Because you look like you're hot.”

Well now Stiles just felt weird and oddly exposed and positive he was blushing. “I guess it's a bit warm in here?”

Derek flopped back down onto his arms, shifting his body distractingly as he settled back in. “Get comfortable. Mi casa es su casa.”

He had already taken his shoes off, so what was the big deal? He looked over at Derek, his arms folded under his forehead, biceps bulging and shoulders round and strong-looking. The big deal was that he was going to look like a ninety-eight pound weakling in comparison, that's what. Then again, it wasn't like Derek was checking him out like Stiles was checking him out. Which he should probably stop doing before he got his ass tossed to the street. He pulled his over-shirt off and tossed it onto his shoes by the door.

Derek rolled over on his back and started scratching idly at his belly as he looked Stiles over, then pulled his pillow over his face so everything but his mouth and chin were covered. “Can you just quiz me like this?”

Stiles thought of a lot of things he could do to Derek like that, but tamped that down quickly. Just because he couldn't get his hormones under control in sight of a super hot-looking, shirtless dude didn't mean he had to inflict himself on Derek.

“Uh, yeah, man. Sure. Question one...” He fell into a rhythm of reading out the test question and watching Derek touch himself as he answered. Derek couldn't seem to keep his hands off his own body, his fingers dragging through the hair below his navel, cupping his pecs, scratching lightly at the skin just under his waistband, and for one heart-stopping moment, slipping his hand under his short's waistband to adjust himself.

Stiles sort of drifted off mid-sentence when Derek did that, painfully hard at the thought of Derek's dick being right there, Derek touching his dick with his bare hand, and how Derek's legs were sort of spread open on the bed, wide enough that Stiles could maybe crawl over there, kneel between them and get his hands all over Derek's body, too.

“Is what?”

Stiles was startled out of his thoughts by Derek's voice. He looked up to see Derek holding the pillow off his face to ask Stiles a question.

“Is what what?” Stiles answered, feeling slow and embarrassed over how incredibly turned on he was by something as simple as Derek scratching his nuts. Which he was still doing. Slowly. Almost like he was just touching himself because it felt good, like it didn't matter that there was another dude in the room with him, it felt so good. Fuck, it probably did. Probably felt fucking great.

“Stiles.”

Biting his bottom lip, Stiles looked back up at Derek's face, hard to read what Derek could have been thinking from the shadow cast by the pillow. Derek was looking at Stiles' mouth, though. Stiles felt his own hand flex in his lap, trying to control the urge to adjust his growing hard on. He didn't want to draw attention to it, didn't want Derek to know how fucking hot he made Stiles. Derek didn't need any more power over him, that was for sure.

“You got distracted,” Derek said, his voice quiet, his hand relentless and thorough in its steady stroking. That was like, not even kind of how a dude took care of dry, itchy ball skin. That was full on stroking yourself because it felt amazing. He was just doing that, right in front of Stiles. Like... like he wanted Stiles to watch.

“Jeez, dude,” Stiles said, cringing internally at how breathless he sounded, “You need some help over there? Christ.” He meant it to sound mocking, to make Derek embarrassed and stop, if only to spare Stiles the shame of coming in his pants from watching some dude idly rub himself off in thin shorts.

Instead, Derek went still, pushed the pillow off his face, and with a small smirk, said, “You offering?”

Stiles' entire body felt hot and flushed, his heart beating in triple time. He didn't mean it, Stiles knew he didn't mean it. It was more of that hazing, jock-shit all those guys did to one another. This was like, a test. He sniffed and smirked back, dropping low in his chair and spreading his legs to give his dick some breathing room and said, “Pfft, you'd know if I was offering.”

Stiles could have sworn he heard Derek softly ask, “Would I?” but chose to ignore it to get back to the practice test.

“Come on,” Stiles said, focusing intently on the paper in his hand instead of Derek's hand in his shorts. “Quetzalcoatl. How is he usually described?”

Derek didn't answer for a minute. Stiles looked up and found Derek looking at him, his gaze unreadable. Heaving a deep sigh, Derek pulled his hand out, slipping it behind his head—which wasn't much better, since it just accented his defined lats and biceps, how his waist tapered thin, hip flexors making a V over his hipbones and disappearing under the silky maroon fabric—and answered, “Feathered serpent.”

“Awesome. Four for you, Glenn Coco.”

Derek laughed softly and said, “She doesn't even go here.”

Stiles stared at him.

Derek cocked an eyebrow and said, “I have sisters. Also, that movie is funny as shit. Next question.”

“Yeah, yeah, you're a pop culture genius.” He couldn't help but grin at the cheeky smirk on Derek's face. “Okay, what year saw the rise of metallurgy...”

As he went through the rest of the test questions—and Derek was sure to get an A on the test, Stiles was happy to see—he realized that the torture he'd prepared himself for in working one on one with Derek wasn't because of Derek's jock-bro douchiness, but because he wasn't that at all. He was someone Stiles could really like. Did really like. Like, a lot. Which was torture.

It sucked that someone like Derek Hale would never be interested in someone like Stiles. With that reminder, he cleared his mind of all sexual distractions—well, enough to function like a normal person because he was eighteen and mostly a virgin, barring some heavy petting at random marching band parties, and there was no such thing as clearing his mind of all sexual distractions—and got back to the business of helping Derek pass and earn his scholarship.

He found that he wanted to help for his own sake, for Derek's sake, really. He hadn't thought about his potential in with scholarships at Stanford for some time, now.

* * *

Two days later, Stiles was headed to the cafeteria to meet up with Scott when he heard Derek call his name out. They'd advanced to public chin nods but rare was the hallway conversation, especially since Derek was usually surrounded by his posse and Stiles had a severe allergy to jerkwads. Today, however, it was just Derek, jogging towards Stiles and leaving a disgruntled Jackson at the end of the hallway.

“'Sup, man?” Stiles said, shoving his hands in his pockets and trying not to look so pleased to have been sought out. It probably wasn't true, but it felt like everyone in the hallway was staring at him, maybe even were jealous. Well, he was allowed his private little fantasies.

“This,” Derek said, shoving a narrow, rectangular piece of paper at Stiles.

Stiles turned it over and saw a red ninety-four drawn in the upper right corner, and in Ms. Kitzmiller's familiar handwriting, “Nice work, you two.”

“You got a ninety-four?” Stiles said, eying the Scantron for the questions missed so he could check them against his test copy and make sure to add those to their next session. “Derek, that's awesome!”

“Yeah, it's all right,” Derek said, but he was grinning hugely.

It almost took the breath out of Stiles' lungs when Derek smiled so genuinely. He almost didn't realize that Derek had his hand up, waiting for Stiles to clap it. Derek pulled him in for a bro-hug—hands clasped, chest bump, back pat that turned into a sort of rub—that went on longer than expected and yet not long enough. Stiles felt flustered in the best of ways.

“I mean, it's no ninety-five—” Stiles ducked, laughing, as Derek tried to cuff the back of Stiles' head. “No, man, that's great! I'm so freaking proud of you.”

Derek chuckled to himself, looking down at his shoes. He looked up at Stiles from under his lashes, smiling softly, and said, “Yeah?” and it was like a punch to the chest how much Stiles wanted him in that moment. It just... This wasn't how Derek was with other people, Stiles was sure of it. This soft, kind of secret smile, this shyness, this physical affection... That was just for him, right? God, he really wanted it to be.

He forced himself to swallow, his tongue darting out to wet his bottom lip as he fought to keep his face from spilling his emotions everywhere. “Yeah. Proud of you, man.”

Derek swung an arm over Stiles' shoulder, pulling his head into Derek's chest and giving him a teasing noogie. Stiles was laughing hard enough that he had to hold Derek's sides to keep from falling into him, and fuck, Derek's entire torso was tight as a drum and warm, and he smelled amazing. Stiles didn't fight too hard to get away. Or at all.

With another clap to the back, Derek let him go and started walking backwards. He pointed both fingers at Stiles and said, “My house later? We'll order pizza. Celebrate a little?”

“Yeah! Sure.” Stiles tried to pull his clothes back to rights, one hand straying to the crown of his head to smooth his wild hair. “See you later.”

Derek flashed him another of those heart-stopping smiles before turning back to Jackson and looping an arm over Jackson's shoulder, too, making the smile on Stiles' face freeze, turning into something pained. They both walked off together and around the corner, leaving him standing in the hallway with his chest aching.

Suddenly Stiles didn't feel so special anymore.

It wouldn't do him any good to forget that Derek just treated him like any other friend. That's all they were. And that was more than Stiles had ever expected, so.

It was cold comfort.

* * *

Stiles dropped his bag next to Derek's desk, holding onto it to kick his shoes off as Derek spoke on his phone in the hallway. Derek popped his head in and asked, “Meat?”

“All the meat,” Stiles said, telling himself to stop stressing and worrying and just pull off his plaid shirt. It was warm in Derek's room, and he didn't want to smell like armpit. He dropped in the chair, one foot on Derek's bed to spin the chair idly from side to side as he dug through his backpack.

Derek came in, tossed his phone on his bed and pulled his shirt off, balling it up and tossing it in his hamper in the far corner. Of course it went in.

Stiles, trying to cover for staring-open mouthed at the play of muscle across Derek's back and shoulders, gave Derek a golf clap. “Captain of the team, ladies and gents.”

“Hey, I'm going to take a quick shower. I'll be out before the pizza comes, don't worry,” Derek said, pulling his socks off and tossing them into his hamper as well. “Coach kept us long, and I didn't want to make you wait around for me.”

Stiles was literally going to be mere feet away from a naked Derek Hale. His mouth went dry at the thought. “Oh. Uh, yeah. Sure. Go ahead. Thanks, um, for not making me hang around the parking lot.”

Derek smiled, shrugging one shoulder, and fuck. It was so sweet and such a nice thing, and no one but Scott did nice things for him, and holy shit, Derek was walking towards his en suite bathroom door and was pulling his shorts down, and Stiles was going to die. Literally die right there because Derek Hale wore a jockstrap under his basketball shorts. And nothing else. And he had a spectacular ass. Flawless. Carved from marble. God damn.

Derek looked over his shoulder, and Stiles had to push the heel of his hand into his crotch to control his dick.

“Set up a game, would you? I'll be right out,” Derek said, and left the door open as he turned on the shower.

“Fuck me,” Stiles muttered to himself. Locker room rules, this was just like being in the locker room. Those guys got naked and showered with each other—near each other, there was a distinct difference—all the time. Derek was just used to that sort of casual nudity. That's all this was.

It was sort of hard to remember that when he listened to the sound of the water change as Derek got inside the shower, just all naked and slick and fucking beautiful and a really nice guy deep down and smart when he fucking believed in himself and totally was not into Stiles.

Fuck his life, seriously.

He heard the water cut off and realized he'd been grinding his hand over his dick, zoned out on the thought of his friend taking a shower. God, he was the worst. He raced over to the TV and started setting it up. Derek came out with a towel slung low on his hips because of course he did. Of course. It was a freaking miracle of engineering that anything could manage to wrap around that impossibly small waist and still cover up that impossibly round ass, so why wouldn't Derek show off that he'd done it?

“Pick anything yet?”

“Uh...” Stiles looked back at the games he'd grabbed blindly. “Haven't decided.”

The doorbell rang.

“Shit.” Derek dropped his towel, grabbed a pair of boxer briefs out of his drawer and pulled them on, the muscles in his ass and thighs flexing with the movement, before grabbing the towel and slinging it around his neck as he raced downstairs. Stiles could barely hear the conversation at the door as Derek paid for the pizza. Everything was sort of white noise as he processed what had just happened.

He had never—never—taken a shower with Scott hanging around in the room, not with the door open. And he and Scott were practically life partners. And if they had to change, there was always the unspoken “under the towel” rule, because that was normal.

Wasn't it?

Did dudes who showered together—near, they showered near one another—just have absolutely no qualms about nudity? Then...why the hell did Stiles get his head banged into the locker in tenth grade for catching sight of Jackson walking around the locker room in his birthday suit?

After a moment, he heard Derek come back, a giant pizza box in his hands with a few cold sodas propped on top. He kicked the door shut and dropped the pizza on the foot of the bed, handing a soda over. He tossed the damp towel on the other corner and sat back against his headboard on one side of the bed. Plenty of room for Stiles to sit next to him. Was that what he wanted?

Derek nodded at the game box in Stiles' hand as he cracked open his soda. “Sweet, Left 4 Dead is awesome. Hit the lights and toss me the other controller, would you?”

No big deal, he was just going to hang out with a mostly-naked Derek in a dark room eating pizza and playing a scary game. Like dudes did. Evidently.

They both used the damp towel to wipe off their greasy hands after inhaling a few slices while the game's spooky intro music and main menu loaded on screen in the background. Stiles was sure it was his imagination, but after Derek leaned across the bed to drop the pizza box on the floor and toss the towel into his hamper, he sat back a lot closer to Stiles' side than he'd been before. The heat from his body soaked through Stiles' shirt, and if he tried, he could pick up the spicy scent of Derek's deodorant. Or maybe that was just how he smelled naturally.

“You ever played this before?” Derek asked, scrolling through the menu to get them set up.

“No, that I have not,” Stiles said, catching Derek's sharp profile from his periphery, trying not to notice how plump Derek's lips were. “If I'm not playing Call of Duty or Halo, it's Katamari Damacy.”

“Um.” Derek put his controller in his lap and turned to Stiles, putting his hand gently on Stiles' forearm. “You don't scare easy, do you?”

“Me?” Stiles made a scoffing 'are you kidding me?' face. “No way. I'm totally—what the fuck is that?!” he shrieked, rearing back against the bed as something screamed like a freaking banshee and jumped out to attack their players in the game.

Derek laughed, nudging Stiles' shoulder with his own and not pulling back. “I'm outlined in green. Just look for me and shoot at anything that looks shifty.”

“So... everything,” Stiles said, grabbing his controller back and trying to get the hang of it. Derek used his whole body when they were under attack, his leg coming up, or his body twisting left or right (mostly right, and Stiles was aware of that because he was to Derek's right), and Stiles didn't have one single complaint about being pressed up against Derek, shirtless and yet still warm, his bare leg sometimes sliding over Stiles' in his zeal to attack.

They were on a mission in a dark hallway and Stiles' character's flashlight kept flickering out. It popped back on and there was some...creature with jowls and bloody drool and freakiness right the fuck there all of a sudden, and it wasn't lame that he screamed, because that shit was scary, okay? It maybe was a little lame that he tucked his head into Derek's shoulder—that's what he would have done if it had been Scott, after all—but then Derek started laughing and cupped his free hand around Stiles' head, rubbing and petting Stiles' hair as he held him there.

“There, I killed it for you,” Derek said. “All better.”

Stiles sat up, rubbed his hand down his face and laughed at himself. “Aww, thanks, boo. Seriously, they sell this game to children?”

Derek dropped his head back against his headboard and laughed. “Oh my god, Stilinski.”

“This game is insane,” Stiles muttered, getting his character back on track.

After a few more more minutes, Derek said softly, “It's about to get really crazy. Here.” He reached across with his left hand and tugged Stiles back against his chest and arm. His bare chest where his skin was hot and soft, stretched tight over muscle. He dropped his hand away to use both on his controller again, and Stiles didn't know what to do. Should he sit back up? Did Derek just want him out of the way for this fight? His stomach was in knots, compounded by the fact that his face—his mouth—was pressed up against Derek's nipple and they were in the dark in a quiet house all by themselves and he could feel the muscles in Derek's bare arm where it was trapped against Stiles' chest and he just felt awkward and wanting, completely unsure as how to proceed.

After a moment, he had a cramp in his neck from leaning over in an uncomfortable position, so he sat back up. Derek shifted to keep their shoulders touching, though, even bending his knee so it sort of draped over Stiles' leg. Okay, this was definitely not bro-stuff. This was like, date-stuff. He assumed. He'd never really gone on a date; his entire quasi-sexual profile consisted of Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle games at parties, so he just couldn't be sure what to think. He knew what he wanted to do—had spent many nights and gone through a lot of lotion plotting out very specific scenarios—but didn't know if he could do any of that.

As the game play settled back down from another creepy firefight, Derek dropped his hand high on Stiles' thigh and gave it a squeeze, leaning in and saying softly in Stiles' ear, “Is this too much?”

“Too-too much?” Stiles asked, staring at Derek's hand, how Derek's fingers were sort of twitching—stroking, if he was being an optimist, and he really believed in the power of positive thinking—along the inseam of Stiles' jeans.

“The game?” Derek asked, and Stiles could feel the rough, slightly chapped edges of Derek's lips on the sensitive skin behind his ear and couldn't hold back a shiver. Even softer, Derek whispered, “This?” and it felt like he was millimeters away from pressing his open mouth to Stiles' neck.

Stiles felt Derek's hand spasm on his leg, gripping him tighter, and he couldn't help it, he clutched at Derek's forearm to hold it there and breathed out, “Fuck, Derek.”

When he felt Derek's tongue touch his skin, any pretense for not being fully into what was happening went out the window. He pulled Derek's arm away, shifted onto his knees and crowded up against Derek's chest, almost having a goddamn heart attack at the sight of bare-chested Derek Hale, pupils blown, mouth parted and a smile on his face as Stiles leaned in to kiss him.

Derek's hands immediately went low on Stiles' hips, pulling their bodies closer as their mouths worked together, slightly chaste open-mouthed sort of kisses at first until Derek cupped Stiles' jaw and pulled down with his thumb, opening Stiles' mouth enough for him to slip his tongue in, and Christ Derek had game. And for some reason, wanted to let Stiles in on it.

Derek broke away for one heart-stopping moment where Stiles thought maybe Derek realized what he was doing and with who, but Derek just grabbed the controller trapped between their bodies and dropped it on the floor, turning back and cupping Stiles' face with his hands and bringing their mouths together again.

“Seriously?” Stiles asked, barely moving his mouth back to speak.

Derek rucked up the back of Stiles' shirt, his palm wide and warm on Stiles' bare skin as it slid along Stiles' spine, and began mouthing at the cord of muscle on Stiles' neck. “Seriously what?”

Stiles' whole body trembled when Derek bit down lightly, sucking over the skin. “Me?”

“Why not you?” Derek answered, and God, okay, the guy was smooth, not even breaking his stride with neither his mouth nor his hand, his hand now falling to Stiles' side, holding Stiles in place as he continued his out-fucking-standing assault on Stiles' neck.

“I...would rather not answer that.”

“Then don't,” Derek replied, leaning forward and pushing on Stiles until Stiles was mostly on his back. “Is this okay?”

So okay,” Stiles answered, slipping his hands around Derek's waist and pulling him down, moaning softly at the warm heat, the solid weight of Derek's body pressing him down into the bed.

“God, you have any idea how hard it's been to sit next to you all this time and not be doing this?”

“Yeah?” Stiles asked, pushing Derek up and off slightly just to see if this was real, to see Derek's face and have proof that this was actually happening.

Derek grinned, dropping down to run the tip of his nose along Stiles' jawline. He took one of Stiles' hands and pushed it onto his dick, hot, hard, and huge, Jesus Christ. “Yeah.” He let out a breathy sort of noise as Stiles cupped him through his underwear, squeezing a little just to feel it.

Stiles... Yeah, like that, do that,” Derek said, renewing his attack to Stiles' neck as Stiles began palming him over the soft cotton. It wasn't easy, Stiles' wrist didn't like the angle, but never let it be said that he was a quitter. Not when it came to dicks, at least.

Derek dropped his forehead onto Stiles' chest, breathing heavy and fucking shallowly into Stiles' hand, the cotton fabric beginning to grow damp. “Shit. That feels... God, Stiles. Yeah, just like that.”

Stiles sort of wanted to get his pants off, get in on the whole dick touching thing that was going on, but this was the first dick that didn't belong to him that he'd ever touched. And this was the Captain of all the teams, Homecoming and Winter Ball King: Derek Hale's dick. This was a moment. Fortunately, it appeared to be a moment that Derek was super into, as well, given the breathy gasps he was making as he ground his hips down into Stiles' hand.

“Hey,” Stiles said, pushing up on Derek with both hands, smiling at the low whine Derek made when Stiles moved his hand away. “I wanna see. Can I?”

Derek's mouth hung open for a moment, before he seemed to snap out of it and nodded his head. “Yeah, that's— Yeah.” He got on his knees and tugged his boxer briefs down, the light of the TV bright enough in the dark room to allow Stiles to see that Derek's large bulge was not a lie. He was fully hard, curving up to his belly and—

“Oh God, you're not cut?”

Derek looked up, stricken, so Stiles leaned forward and kissed him again, using a lot of tongue and hot breath to convey that he was totally cool with that. “I am so into that, you don't even know,” he said for good measure.

“Yeah?”

“Fuck, dude, just...” Stiles scooted back against the headboard, sitting up with his legs spread and motioned for Derek to come close. “Come here,” he said quietly, “lemme see you,” and turned Derek so his back was against Stiles' front, shifted just slightly to the side to give his arm plenty of working space, and it felt so fucking dirty, Derek sprawled across his lap and completely naked while Stiles was still dressed, and somehow that made it all hotter, made it seem real, that Derek was totally into him, into Stiles and wanted Stiles to touch him.

“Wanna see you come,” he said, biting softly on Derek's earlobe as he finally got a hand on Derek's bare dick.

Derek sighed, leaning all of his weight back against Stiles and reaching up to tangle his hand in Stiles' hair. Stiles hooked his chin over Derek's shoulder, and this felt better, this felt more natural, his right hand wrapped around the thick root of Derek's cock, thumb stretching up and pressing just under the head, and his left hand lightly holding and tugging on Derek's balls as he started slowly stroking him off, focusing on the slick slide of Derek's foreskin, at how much give it had compared to Stiles' dick.

He was a curious guy, okay? He'd always wanted to feel what an uncut dick was like, and Derek seemed to be all on board the exploration train, so he pushed the foreskin up over the head of Derek's cock and ran the tip of his finger along the edge, working it gently under the rim, watching it stretch to accommodate him as he circled the pad of his finger along the petal-soft head of Derek's dick, his foreskin snug around the outside of Stiles' finger, circling it around and around, Derek writhing under him, barely able to gasp out more than the start of Stiles' name.

It was heady, undeniably thrilling to have one of the most popular guys in school, one of the hottest dudes Stiles had ever seen anywhere—and the more Stiles got to know Derek the more he just liked him for his own sake—trembling and shaking in his arms as Stiles learned how to touch him.

Never in his fucking wildest dreams did he actually believe he'd ever be here doing any of this.

Derek began mouthing urgently at Stiles' cheek and ear, humping up into his hand, so Stiles stopped teasing and wrapped his hand back around Derek, giving him a few long, teasing strokes that grew tighter and more focused.

After a minute, Derek hissed and pulled Stiles' hand off and began licking it, holy fucking shit, and put it back, turning his head and pressing his open mouth back to Stiles' temple, breathing in gasps and pants as Stiles started jacking him again.

“Like that?” Stiles says, not even sure where the breath to speak was coming from because he couldn't look away from the sight of Derek's dick squelching through his fist, could barely process Derek rocking back and forth in his arms, clutching at any part of Stiles he could grip, his heels digging into the mattress to help him fuck up into Stiles' grip, and Stiles could see everything, Derek's abs flexing, his thighs tensing, could feel Derek's balls tighten in his hand, and he didn't want to miss a thing, so he nuzzled up under Derek's ear, watching his hand, and said softly, “You gonna come?”

Fuck, Stiles. I— Yeah,” Derek whined before clutching at Stiles' legs, grabbing his jeans mostly, as he thrust up and up and up, gasping, and Stiles could feel it, and it was weird because when he jerked himself off, he knew when he was going to come because it was him.

But this... He felt Derek's balls tighten up just as Derek pressed his forehead into Stiles' cheek, whimpering, and then his dick sort of throbbed in Stiles' grip, and then there was warmth and wetness, and Derek started shaking apart in his arms, and it was like the heavens opened up and shone a light down on what Stiles was into, because he was fucking into this, okay, he wanted this all the time, wanted Derek in his arms, wanted the shameless grinding and grunting Derek couldn't seem to help, wanted Derek's come on his fucking hands, wanted the sweet little breathy gasps of his name coming from Derek's mouth, Stiles wanted him.

He loosened his grip—he got sensitive like, right after and figured Derek might, too—and turned to press soft, grateful kisses anywhere he could reach, Derek's forehead, his temple, his nose, finally his mouth. Derek reached up to hold their faces together, kissing him so sweetly that it was like an ache in Stiles' whole body, he wanted. He just fucking wanted.

Eventually Derek settled back a touch and laughed gently, nudging Stiles' nose with his. “That was fucking great,” he said.

“Yeah?” Stiles said, feeling come-dumb and giddy, and like his heart was too big for his ribcage at the sight of Derek slumped in his arms with messy hair, half-lidded eyes, kiss-swollen lips, and the most relaxed smile Stiles had ever seen.

He realized he was sort of holding his hand out to the side to keep the come from dripping down on to the bed, so without thinking he brought it up to his mouth and licked at it—he's a curious guy, okay?—and Derek's mouth dropped open.

“You are so fucking hot, Stilinski.”

Stiles froze in place, his tongue between his fingers—eh, it didn't taste like much, sort of bleachy and nothing-like—and looked back at Derek. “Yeah?”

Nodding, Derek grinned and pulled Stiles back for another kiss, hand fumbling at Stiles' waistband, and this was going to happen, he was going to get off with another person, and it was with Derek, Derek who thought he was hot, so he thought later that he could be forgiven for the whine he made as Derek worked his zipper down.

“Jesus, dude, I had, like, no idea you were even into dudes,” Stiles said, dropping his forehead onto Derek's shoulder, sort of curving away to give Derek room to work. He had a weird flash of thought about Jackson, wondering if this was why they never got any studying done, but shut that down fast, because the last thing he ever wanted to think of when his dick was out was Jackson.

“Just specific dudes,” Derek whispered in Stiles' ear, slipping his hand into Stiles' open fly, dragging his fingertips roughly over the front of Stiles' boxers.

A door shut hard downstairs. “Derek? You home?”

“Fuck. Fuck, fuck,” Derek said, flying off the bed and grabbing shorts out of his hamper.

Stiles was on his knees, his pants down and dick pushing through the opening of his boxers, feeling like he missed a step.

“Dude! Your pants!” Derek hissed, running into his bathroom and shutting the door.

Right. Pants. Those were things. Stiles could hear heels on the hardwood floors and snapped back to the land of the thinking, so he did his pants up as fast as he could, pulled his shirt down to cover his boner and fumbled around on the floor for the game controller, trying to look normal. He pushed X to resume game play and immediately let out a shout when some horrible undead creature launched itself at his player.

The door flew open, and a beautifully put together woman turned the light on and asked, “Oh my god, honey, are you okay?” Stiles fumbled with the controller until he could stop the game again, and the woman seemed to realize that he wasn't her son. “Oh. Hello, I don't think we've met.”

Stiles stuck his hand out to shake, remembered he had a load of come on it, and immediately sat on it and smiled. “Hi. I'm Stiles. I'm a big chicken.”

She laughed, shaking her head, and said, “Well, it's nice to meet you. I'm Derek's mother. Is...?” With her head, she motioned towards the bathroom where the sound of the sink running could be heard.

“Yeah. Uh, cleaning up after some pizza. Big mess. Messy eater, that Derek. Grease everywhere.” He was panicking. He didn't do well with parentals; Melissa McCall was used to his awkwardness, so he was totally out of practice.

“Oh. Well. I'll just leave him to it, then.” She turned to close the door, and before Stiles could flop onto his back and die right then and there, she turned to him and said, “Oh! Stiles! You're the boy who's been helping Derek in History, aren't you?”

“Yep,” he said, plastering a grin on his face. “That's me.”

“Well, we're all very grateful to you, sweetie. I hope Derek is treating you well?” She did the eyebrow thing Derek did, which almost made him laugh. He was feeling a little hysterical. At least he didn't have to worry about being caught with an erection; that was well and truly gone in the face of Derek's mother.

He nodded and she seemed appeased by that. She called out, “Derek, dinner is in a half hour,” and smiled at Stiles once more. “Nice meeting you, Stiles,” she said, leaving. And didn't shut the door.

“You, too!” he called out, finally giving in and falling back on the bed, draping an arm over his face as he allowed himself a freak out.

The bathroom door opened and Stiles felt the mattress dip down when Derek sat next to him.

“You suck,” Stiles said. “You so totally suck for leaving me to deal with being caught, oh my god.”

“Hey, at least you were dressed!” Derek whispered fiercely. After a moment, Derek said, “Sorry. But, you know... thanks? I guess I lost track of time.”

Stiles moved his arm and looked at Derek, who was grinning sheepishly. “Wait. What time is it?”

“Seven?”

“Shit.” He scrambled to his feet, shoving his feet into his shoes and grabbing up his backpack. “My dad's going to be home in a few minutes, and he expects me to be there by now.”

He raced to the door when he felt a hand grab his shirt. “Well, hang on!” He turned and caught his breath as Derek slipped his arm around Stiles' waist and gave him a soft kiss. “There. Now. See you later.”

“Yeah,” Stiles said, not moving. “'Bye.” He could totally blame being late on his car. Studying? Sasquatch? What was he supposed to be doing again?

Derek laughed and kissed him again, just something short and perfunctory. “Dude. I'll make it up to you later.”

He shook his head to clear it and stepped out of Derek's room. “Right. Okay. Later.” He clattered down the stairs, head still reeling, and waved to Mrs. Hale as she called out a goodbye.

When he pulled his Jeep onto the main road, he realized that “I'll make it up to you later,” probably meant it was his turn for an orgasm. He stomped on the brake, and when his Jeep started to fishtail, he remembered that he was driving and needed to get home in one piece. Was this a thing they did now? Oh god, please let it be a thing they did now. This wasn't just, what? A thank you for a good grade? Shit, it could be. Derek had said that he wanted to celebrate his test score back at the school.

Maybe this was what Derek did? It wasn't like Stiles had ever heard even a hint about Derek being into guys, or ever hooking up with another dude. Something about the way Jackson was with Derek still felt kind of hinky to him. Maybe Derek and his friends, friends like Jackson, messed around in private like Derek and Stiles had, and it didn't mean anything? God, that wasn't... Okay, Stiles could admit that he was pretty much a horny guy twenty-four/seven, but he wasn't actually the kind of person who wanted anonymous sex or random hook ups. He was a long-term sort of guy. He wanted one person to have all sorts of sexual practice with, one person to have a great relationship with. Like how he was with Scott. He didn't want lots of friends, he wanted the one.

Derek'd had a few girlfriends over the years, Stiles knew that much. But he'd never known Derek to hook up or even date a guy before. He remembered back when all of this started, him tutoring Derek, and telling Scott that Derek and Jackson were on the down low.

Fuck. He finally gets to a point in his life where he can have actual sexy times with another person, and they might want him to hide that they were? Yeah, Stiles Stilinski wasn't really into the idea of being someone's dirty secret.

The whole euphoria of the afternoon—of being wanted, of being wanted back by someone he was really into—began to evaporate with his frustration and shame that this was all just a way for Derek to pass the time or something. God dammit.

His phone vibrated, but he was a Sheriff's kid and no way was he going to look while driving. After a few minutes, he pulled into his driveway, shut off the car and checked his phone.

Derek: Had fun. Sorry you didn't? Let me fix that tomorrow. ;)

His brain was going to atrophy from bouncing around from one idea to the next, that was what. Either that or he was going to have an actual heart attack from all the shocks. Okay, so this wasn't a one-time thing? That didn't mean that this was a thing-thing, this situation between Derek and him. He really wanted it to be, but didn't fucking know how to make it a thing-thing. Just ask? Was that something people did? Or would that ruin it?

At least he'd done something right and made Derek want to keep having sex with him? If he could keep that up, he might be able to convince Derek to make them a thing. A relationship sort of thing. It would have been easier if Stiles had, like, any experience in how people who weren't Scott and him worked. He'd never minded being a quasi-anti-social nerd until now.

He dropped his forehead on his steering wheel, banging it softly, because fuck his life, seriously.