"If wolves mate for life, does that mean you're a virgin?"
Most people wouldn't have noticed the small hitch in Derek's shoulders, but most people weren't Stiles. Between the Adderall and the coffee, he was a guided missile, and he was finally going to get to the bottom of this mystery. Once he'd thought it, he couldn't get the idea out of his head; he turned it over and over, poking it and worrying at the edges.
Mr. Badass I'm-Going-To-Tear-Your-Throat-Out-With-My-Teeth Derek Hale was more innocent than the average teenager on the ABC Family channel.
Stiles rubbed his hands together, his head bouncing up and down as he watched Derek do pull ups with a bar in the basement. His dad was out for the evening, long enough for them to get out of Stiles' stuffy room, and of course Derek wanted the chance to work out. Not that Stiles minded spending an hour watching the sweat roll down Derek's naked chest. The basement was cool and dark, musty, but a pleasant change from running for their lives.
"I mean, that's got to suck, right?" he continued, watching Derek's muscles bulge and that tendon in Derek's jaw twitch as he got angry. "You can't even fool around because the second you do, you might be stuck with them the rest of your life. I think I'd kill myself if I had to marry my first kiss. Sarah turned out to be a little too into feet for my tastes."
Derek's pull-ups slowed, but he increased the range of height, as if concentrating on every motion. He crossed his ankles and lifted his knees up, working his lower abs simultaneously. Stiles swallowed hard, thinking quickly about the weird fungus growing between Danny's toes so he wouldn't tip Derek off about his ultimate interest.
It wasn't like he was blind. Derek was the hottest piece of manflesh Stiles had ever seen, and he didn't even snore. Sure, he had a disturbing tendency toward physical violence, but he also looked so vulnerable that Stiles couldn't help wanting to fix it. Derek was one of those 3D puzzles, just when Stiles though he had the foundation figured out, something shifted and the pieces fell down again.
"So, is it a physical thing, or a mental thing?" Stiles asked, thinking back over his research though most of it had been highly inconclusive. "Can you do anything? Have you ever kissed anybody? I figured there must be something wrong when that waitress at IHOP was practically begging to have your puppies and you ran away."
"Lay off, Stiles. I'm asking you. Once," Derek said, dropping to his feet and wiping his shirt under his pits. He kept his back to Stiles, ignoring him as he stretched slowly and cooled down.
Stiles, now that he had his bone firmly in his grasp, couldn't help asking, "What about porn? If you jerked off would you like, be in love with the actress? Or the actor? Or, hey, what about your computer?"
"I don't know!" Derek roared, turning on a dime and slamming Stiles into one of the support beams. His eyes flared blue like the high beams on an electric car. "My parents died before I was old enough to ask questions about mating. I don't know how it works, I don't know why. I don't know what sets it off. That's why I'm alone. I'll always be alone."
Derek curled his hands into Stiles' sweatshirt, growling, and ducking his head. Seconds ticked by as his anger dropped like icicles in a spring thraw, leaving him looking sad and lonely. Stiles put his hand on Derek's shoulder, squeezing slightly. Derek dropped him and disappeared upstairs, slamming the kitchen door behind him.
Okay, now Stiles felt like a jerk.
Apparently being dumped in front of the whole school made Lydia even more bitchy than normal. Stiles would feel sorry for her except that she immediately ignored his ready and willing shoulder to cry on and plunked herself down on Derek's lap. They'd been staking out another lead, and trying to keep a low profile while loitering in a park on the outskirts of town. It was just bad luck Lydia had spotted them.
"Hello, Mr. Gorgeous," Lydia said, brushing her hands through Derek's hair. Her skirt rode high up her thighs and her makeup was different somehow. Stiles wasn't an expert or anything, but it was less 'High School Queen' and more 'Tramp of the Night'. "Let's go have some fun. I'll show my mother what 'acting out' really means."
If Derek's eyes got any bigger, they were going to pop right out of his head. His knuckles were white from clutching the bench boards underneath him, and if he leaned any further away they were both going to topple off the other side. Which would probably just lead to more badness and a werewolf scarred for life.
Stiles moved before he consciously decided to, grabbing Lydia's elbows and hauling her up beside him. "Maybe you could to act out somewhere else?" he asked, trying to give her a push in the right direction. For a tiny girl, she had some strength in her and her heels just dug into the soft earth. "I think I saw a motorcycle club in town, I'm sure your mom would love to see you on the back of one of those. Bye-bye now."
He made sure to keep his body between her and Derek, thankful that Danny had given him some goalie tips in case she decided to make a break for it. The last thing they needed was for Derek to bond with someone like Lydia while they were still on the run from the hunters and the alpha. Lydia didn't do low profile.
"Stiles, is it? I almost didn't recognize you without that loser Scott attached to your hip," Lydia flipped her hair and leaned around him to lift her eyebrow at Derek. "Who died and made you the boss of him? He looks able to make his own decision."
"We're busy, together. Busy being together, actually," Stiles' tongue tripped over itself as he backpedaled into Derek's chest. He grabbed Derek's arm and hit himself in the stomach with it, jerking until Derek finally curled his hand around Stiles' side. "We're totally together."
"Figures," Lydia said, and rolled her eyes as she flounced back to her car, peeling out on the asphalt in her hurry to get back to throwing herself at any man with a heartbeat.
Stiles breathed a sigh of relief and let go of Derek's arm, expecting him to spring away at the first chance. He felt Derek breathing, pushing his chest into Stiles' back. Instead, Derek held him for several seconds before letting him go with mumbled thanks.
"Are you all right?" Stiles turned, watching Derek roll his shoulders in agitation. He felt his heart jam itself in his throat. As much as he fantasized about being the one to show Derek exactly what he was missing, he wasn't a complete jackass. "I didn't set it off did I? Did I mate-rape you?"
Derek shook his head, almost like a dog trying to keep the flies out of his ears. "Shut up," he growled, flushing red, probably with embarrassment. He could stand up to monsters and monster hunters, but a sixteen-year-old girl could make him shake in his boots. "It's fine."
Whatever it was, that feeling deep in the pit of Stiles stomach wasn't rejection and it definitely wasn't longing.
"Derek! Derek, he's gone. We have to get out of here!"
Stiles heard the words bounce through his head, reverberating and losing all meaning as he filtered them through layers of pain and confusion. He felt tied to the moon, weightless but bound, stuck somewhere he didn't belong listening to mission control through tinny speakers that crackled in his ears. There was something wrong with his shoulder, shards of ice splintered into bone. He was so tired.
"He is not gone. He's alive, and I'm not leaving without him. Either help me, or get the fuck away from me."
Something that wasn't him groaned and the world shifted around him, showering him with dust and debris. A tiny bit of light sparked to life.
Light, explosions, the sound his body made when it slammed into the concrete floor. Slowly he started to remember. The hunters grabbed Derek and hauled him back to the Hale house. Kate was teasing him as if he were a strung up animal waiting for slaughter.
"I've decided. I'm going to lick you and then kill you," Kate said, rubbing her body against Derek as she palmed his groin. For a minute, it looked almost friendly, and then she squeezed until Derek couldn't help letting a pained grunt escape through his teeth. "I heard a rumor you creatures mate for life. Any truth to that? It might be worth keeping you around as a neutered lap dog."
Stiles couldn't wait for Scott anymore, not if he wanted to save Derek before it was too late. Okay, so really, he couldn't stand to watch that bitch put her hands all over his werewolf anymore. Unfortunately, the element of surprise only helped him for a moment before she swatted him off. She followed him, chasing from room to room in the house that was more like a crypt.
Predictably, that was when the Alpha sprung his trap and the whole thing fell in on their heads.
"Stiles! Say something! Say anything!"
Coughing hurt, but breathing turned out to be a necessity. Something tickled his face, he pulled it off and held it against the light. Kate's hair, attached to Kate's head, where Kate's dead eyes stared at him.
"Please, Stiles. Please. I'm going to find you, and if you don't say something right now, when I get my hands on you, I'm going to beat you stupid."
Something above him shifted again, and Stiles had to swallow a new mouthful of grit before he could choke out a yell. "I think it's a little too late for that," he croaked, mostly to himself. What other idiot would fall in love with the only person in the world who couldn't even give him a one night stand. At least Kate was dead, he wouldn't have to watch Derek bend over for her.
The sheetrock on top of him shifted off, freeing his legs that he hadn't realized were pinned. Blood rushed into his abused limbs, adding another layer of agony, but nothing seemed to be broken. Derek smiled down at him, and even covered in blood and dust, Stiles had never seen anything as stupidly awesome.
Derek smiled, wiping away the grime pooling against the corner of Stiles' eye, and said, "I'd never bend over for her, and I'm going to give you a lot more than a one night stand."
There was a more than even chance that Stiles was either dead or highly concussed. Derek picked him up surprisingly gently and carried him over the smoking ruins of the house. His shoulder jarred when Derek jumped off the wreckage on to solid ground, and he whimpered, turning his head into Derek's neck.
"Shhh," Derek shushed him, holding him tightly and shifting him into a more comfortable position. "It's going to be okay now. I'll take care of you."
That wasn't right. Stiles had lots of people taking care of him, but Derek didn't have anyone. Derek with his big hands and long fingers, that awesome smell like a fresh night in the forest, and his werewolf stamina. Someone had to make sure that no one took advantage of that tight ass and mouth made for sucking cock.
"Stiles, you do realize you're talking out loud, right?"
"Are you sure about this?" Stiles asked again, for probably the bajillionth time. The butterflies in his stomach felt more like bats beating their wings against his ribs. He was so much smoother in his fantasies, but he didn't want to mess this up.
Derek raised himself up on his elbows looking pissed and horny and nervous all at once. "It's you, Stiles," he said, his naked chest heaving more than Derek's breath would account for. He spread his knees, stretching the shiny material of his borrowed shorts. "It's always been you."
"Okay. I got this," Stiles climbed up from the end of the bed, cautiously setting his hands and knees so he wouldn't slip and put an immediate end to their fun. He felt Derek's knees brush the bruises still livid on his sides, and smiled at the reminder that even if it hurt, they were both alive and safe for the moment. "One deflowered werewolf coming up."
"One more joke, and I'm taking it all back," Derek narrowed his eyes, resisting at first as Stiles pushed him flat on his back. Then he settled into the pillow, and relaxed, ghosting his fingertips over Stiles' cheek.
Stiles grinned and leaned in to kiss Derek, letting it draw out as Derek slid their tongues together. When he pulled away, Derek was already flushed and biting his bottom lip. "I have it on good authority that werewolves mate for life," he said, bending again to press kisses on Derek's collarbone and down his chest. "Which I think means that you're stuck with me."