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There’s a lot of things blinking at Stiles this morning - his phone, his coffee machine, and his email. Stiles clicks on the email and instantly regrets it.

laura_editor to me - Your latest piece is a little mechanical. Insert peg A into slot B, ya know? You’re supposed to be writing porn, not a fucking IKEA manual. Re-do.

There’s little to be argued with really, Stiles thinks when looks over the returned document, no passion in the story, no tangible emotion, just...pegs and slots.

The sexploits that Stiles writes about aren’t autobiographical. There’s never been anything overtly salacious about his own sexlife, nothing that was ever going to be screenplayed for a porno, but he still has a very creative imagination to work with. Usually.

Tragically, and frighteningly, his imagination has gone rogue on him. It’s broken, flatlined, missing.

“I have writer’s cock,” he whines at Scott over the phone.

Scott sighs. “I’m choosing to hear that as writer’s block.”

“I’m limp and shrivelled, Scotty,” Stiles continues. “Redundant, useless, impotent. I have lost my porn writing mojo.”

“You’re going through a dry spell,” Scott says, a mixture of sympathy and nonchalance.

Huh. Dry doesn’t even begin to cut the mustard. Try crackers without spread. Try barren. Try drought. Stiles is the fucking Sahara Desert.

“Nothing is doing it for me anymore,” Stiles says, pitchy with dismay. “I’m just so uninspired, and Laura is going to bust a nut if I don’t start writing the good stuff again, and then I’ll be both broke and unhorny.”

“I could get you a job in the pizza parlour,” Scott offers.

“Ugh,” Stiles says. “Then I’d smell like cheese.”

“Well, there ain’t nothing wrong with my sex life,” Scott says cheerfully.

*****

Could be that some of Stiles’ mojo-killing stress is down to the major assignment due at the end of the semester. It shouldn’t be a big deal but his professor is already talking about Stiles developing it into a thesis, and essentially handing him a hall-pass to a post-graduate course. He had also handed Stiles a card that would grant him access to the most exclusive of worlds - the library section accessible to only those in pursuit of a PhD.

Stiles steps off the elevator on the sixth floor feeling like he’s walked through the wall of Platform Nine and Three Quarters. It’s all he can do not to oooh loudly at the plush carpet, the abundance of leather-bound tomes, and the coffee machine. Not a vending machine. But an honest-to-goodness classy looking coffee machine that dispenses more coffees than Stiles recognises. For free.

Stiles would head straight over there, but it looks complicated, and he’s new here.

All of that though fades into the background when Stiles sees Him, and he has a moment where his vision tunnels and angels are playing harps in his ears.

He’s tall. Maybe. He’s sitting down, scowling at a journal, and He’s perfect. A beard that looks like it’s been landscaped (manscaped, Stiles’ brain chirps kindly), pecs that were probably sculpted and arms that are...Stiles’ brain desserts him.

“Made for crushing you,” his dick chimes.

Stiles glowers at it. “Oh, now you show up,” he hisses.

“I’m sorry?” He says, and wow, now He’s looking at Stiles and Stiles’ mouth is so dry that answering is not an option, so he shakes his head apologetically and settles into the seat across the table. He has the perfect view for watching Him chew on the straw of an iced tea for the next two hours.

*****

Stiles churns out 3k words of blow job porn that evening. Three thousand words. About a blow job. And all because of his muse.

He also has to take a quick break from writing to jerk off. He often takes breaks during his writing - to sigh and despair and pull his own hair out. Getting off to his own porn is definitely...new. After, he pets his dick fondly, welcomes it back, tells it how Stiles is going to treat it right from now on, buy it shit and alla that.

He adds another five hundred words of cuddling to his story. No-one is paying Stiles for cuddling, but who wouldn’t want to snuggle in His arms. Maybe stay there.

*****

There are no grumpy mails from Laura the next day, and Stiles' story makes the next edition, minus the bonus cuddling scene, because Laura clearly has no joy in her soul. But there’s eighty dollars in Stiles’ paypal account, which means there’ll be more than leftover pizza donations on the menu this week.

*****

He’s there the next time Stiles goes to the library, wearing an indecently tight tee that gets stained when he dribbles pineapple juice down it.

Food porn. 2.5k words of food porn. Featuring mangos, strawberries, peaches, and the Grapefruit Technique. (Only Stiles hates grapefruit, so he uses an half of an orange, threads His cock through it, and jerks Him off with it, until juice runs down His balls and thighs, where Stiles’ tongue is waiting to collect it.)

Another break to jerk off, another sleepy edit and another eighty bucks.

*****

The third time Stiles is at the library he learns His name.

“Derek,” the librarian says quietly. “Stacks have that book you’re looking for. I need to you to sign for it at the front desk.”

Stiles watches Derek’s ass as it sashays - fucking sashays - past his desk and out of sight.

That ass gets worshipped, groped, bitten and fucked on Stiles’s laptop that night. Five thousand words of Stiles’ very best filth, thank you very much.

After his lengthy bathroom break, Stiles flops down and stares at his screen for a few minutes, and then begins to type.

“This is the third time we’ve hooked up and I don’t even know your name,” Derek says, idly running a finger up St -

Not Stiles. Stiles only knows one Stiles, and all the people who know Stiles only know one Stiles, too. His name is a distinguishing as any brand. He can’t even skip class because professors always miss him. "Where’s that guy with the purple mohawk? Where’s that girl with the tattoo on her face? Where’s that guy with the stupid name?"

Steve’s arm.

“Steve. My name is Steve.”

*****

laura_editor to me - Given that you’ve named your characters only at the end of your story, I can only assume the worst and think that this is relevant. Please don’t tell me this is relevant.

you to laura_editor - I was thinking that this might be a series? I’ve basically been describing the same characters for the past three pieces, and my viewing numbers are up. You’ve seen the comments. The people want a little plot with their porn. Gotta give the people what they want, Ed!

Laura doesn’t get back to him for an hour. Just remember that the porn is first, your half-assed story is secondary.

Half assed. Stiles will show her half-assed.

*****

The porn’s easy. Derek gives him just enough by bending over the photocopier, taking a break from his work to obscenely stretch, and scrubbing a tired hand through his hair. It’s all spank-bank material that Stiles makes the most of.

The plot is harder. All Stiles knows is that Derek is gruff, smart and introspective. To say the least.

So far, Steve and Derek have been getting to know each other, glacier slow. Steve’s the narrator, and he’s still feeling his way around Derek staying the night and disappearing in the morning. Stiles is going somewhere with this. He’s not sure just where exactly.

*****

laura_editor to me - Jesus Christ. I knew this was a bad idea. Fucking purple prose much?

Stiles gawps indignantly. Purple prose? Fuck off. There are no thunder clouds rolling over his mountains and nobody was driving through the fog-shrouded streets, always too fast, too awkward. Stiles is a fucking lit major. He reminds Laura of that.

laura_editor to me - That as well may be. But mostly I was referring to Steve, and his devastating charm and sparkling wit and his mensa membership and his job with the CIA and his fucking ten inch cock. Mary Sue much?

Asshole much, Stiles scowls at the screen while fumbling for his phone. “Hey, what are my faults?”

There’s an expected silence before Scott starts speaking, earnest and fierce. “Who’s been saying shit about you now? You have no faults. Who the fuck - ”

“Okay, okay,” Stiles laughs. “Slow your roll there, buddy. I know you love me. But I’m quirky, right? Everyone knows I’m quirky. So, what are my quirks?”

“Quirks,” Scott repeats slowly. “Look, Stiles -”

“It’s this project I’m doing,” Stiles interrupts, because Scott is the ultimate real life Mary Sue. Stiles can’t find one single fault with Scott, and he’ll gladly punch the nose of anyone who can. “Seeing yourself as others see you. It’s a whole...thing. And I already know all the things you think are great about me, and now I need to know what’s a little...off centre.”

“I think your quirks are awesome,” Scott huffs eventually. “Like the way you talk a lot and sometimes I get whiplash trying to follow your train of thought. But that’s just coz you’re so smart. And sometimes you say things without thinking, but that’s just because you’re honest, okay?”

“Cool. Go on.”

“You’re a little clumsy, which is hilarious, but only because you are such a passionate person.”

“Ay-yup.”

“Sometimes your persistence can be taken the wrong way, but I know that’s because you give it your all. Like the being in love with Lydia and then Danny for all those years. You were such an amazing friend to both of them. You never quit.”

“Anything else?”

Scott says nothing for a minute. “Well. There is this one other thing, and I feel really bad about saying it, but…”

“But?” Stiles prompts when Scott trails off.

“Aw man, you eat like a pig,” Scott blurts.

There follows ten minutes of epic Stiles validation before hanging up. You are the best fucking person I know, Stiles. Okay? Okay???

Stiles studies the notes he’s been taking. Loud. Confusing. Awkward. Pushy. Doormat. Pig.

Awesome.

It’s not like any of this is truly news to Stiles, and he’s heard worse about himself, but looking at it all written down like that, it’s not hard to see why he doesn’t attract the real life Dereks.

Or Lydias or Dannys.

He gets editing. Steve flails, says too much, walks around with pizza sauce on his chin and works as a high school teacher. But he still has a ten inch cock, and Laura can fucking suck it.

 

*****

Derek talks to Stiles for the first time the following week. What he says is - “What the fuck are you staring at?”

Stiles almost falls off of his chair, knocks over the stack of books that he mistakenly thought were giving him cover and makes some peculiar noises.

But he makes that work for him later on.

“What the fuck are you staring at?” Derek asks, eyebrows arched as if he weren’t lying on Steve’s bed, naked and lazily jacking himself.

“You,” Steve breathes, dumping his backpack and taking a few hesitant steps towards him. “Fuck, Derek.”

Derek smirks, hand speeding up and then stopping abruptly.

“No,” Steve cries. “You stopped. Why did you stop?”

“Steve,” Derek says, sounding bored despite the hard-on slapping his belly. “Get the fuck over here and kiss me.”

Steve is there before Derek has finished speaking, ducking to capture Derek’s mouth, but Derek swerves his head suddenly, nipping quickly on Steve’s earlobe. “Not what I meant,” he purrs into the shell.

When life gives you lemons…

*****

It’s a huge hit - the story. Huge. The server nearly crashes every time it’s updated. Well, it doesn’t. But there are subscribers and comments, and people have started making gifs and fan art, and there are threads speculating on what will happen next. There are even forum discussions after each posting. It seems as though everyone loves Derek’s prickly exterior and are charmed by Steve’s haplessness.

Laura mails him on his latest chapter. Why is Derek such an ass?

you to laura_editor - He’s misunderstood.

laura_editor to you - Yeah, you know what I hear when someone says ‘misunderstood’? I hear ‘asshole’.

Stiles rolls his eyes. Laura doesn’t know Derek, but Stiles has gotten to know him a little over the past couple of weeks. They exchange nods now, and Stiles has even tossed him the odd tentative smile. Derek doesn’t smile back, but he has stopped glaring at Stiles like he wants to make him spontaneously combust. So, progress.

But it’s not just that. Stiles is a good writer because he notices things, small, almost insignificant things - like how Derek looked genuinely stunned when someone interrupted his reading to return his wallet to him, with all of the money still inside it. And the way he’d blinked suspiciously at Stiles when Stiles had passed him a booklet of sticky tabs after Derek had run out. And the way he’d frowned almost comically when the librarian told him that they were going to courier over a book from a neighbouring library because he needed it ASAP.

He has low expectations, Stiles sends back to Laura. That much I know about him.

*****

It’s Friday night, and Stiles is home alone in his single with a bottle of wine he’s drinking through a straw, and he’s just done. Done with being dateless, and being so bored with his life that he’s living it vicariously through a character he’s created, with another character who is never going to be interested in Stiles. Not even fictively. Stiles can’t even write a happy ending for himself.

He takes out all of his frustration and self-pity on his keyboard, and sends it to Laura, knowing that his elated triumph will sour to regret when he sobers up.

laura_editor to me - What the hell is this? Are you drunk? Why is Steve being so hostile and pissy with Derek? And why won’t he let Derek meet any of his friends? None of this is really making any sense.

you to laura_editor - Yes, yes I am drunk. And you noticed that Steve was pissy. I’m so glad. See, I think that maybe Steve is entitled to be pissy. Did you ever stop to think that Steve might be getting fed up with being let down? Did you ever stop to think that Steve might like some answers? Yeah, so Derek has a past. But Steve has one too. He’s not nearly as sure about this as he keeps projecting. Maybe Steve has been hurt before. Maybe he met someone when he started college, and maybe that someone wasn’t that nice to him, and other people tried to warn him, but Stiles just wouldn’t listen. Maybe Stiles was just so caught up in his first relationship that he didn’t realise that it wasn’t a relationship. And maybe one night Stiles brought this asshole - let’s call him Ben, because that’s his name - to meet all of his friends. You’re going to love my boyfriend, he’d been saying non-stop for the past month. My boyfriend is amazing. My boyfriend this, my boyfriend that...and yeah, it was a bit much, but cut him a bit of fucking slack, this was the first time he’d been able to add a prefix to ‘friend’ romantically. It was a big fucking deal, a rite of passage, and he was so fucking excited. And you know what I think happened? I think that one of Stiles’ friends asked Ben how long they had been dating for, and Ben said that they weren’t really dating, it was just a hooking-up thing. And Stiles was fucking beyond humiliated. Wanted to slink away on his belly and die somewhere. Then maybe one of Stiles’ friends, the dickhead one - let’s call him Jackson, because that’s his name - said, so hey, Stiles, I thought you said we were meeting your boyfriend tonight. Yeah. Maybe that happened. And maybe Jackson still sends Stiles texts asking about Mr. Snuffleupagus. You familiar with Sesame Street, Laura???

In a just world Stiles would have passed out before he hit send.

It’s not a just world. Stiles wakes up in yesterday’s clothes, with a pounding headache and a message blinking on his still running laptop.

laura_editor to me - Who the fuck is Stiles?

Oh Jesus. Stiles drags his eyes over the last mail he sent, cringing that not only did he write this pity party, he fucking sent it to Laura.

you to laura_editor - Typo. Typos. Sorry, so sorry. Too much wine. Please ignore EVERYTHING. I’ll re-write.

Laura gets back to him just as Stiles is crawling into to bed. To hopefully die for real this time. You swear a lot when you are drunk. And your not-boyfriend sounds like a fucking asshat.

Ah, jeez, Stiles thinks, pulling the duvet over his head. Why did the first time Laura was nice to him have to be down to her feeling sorry for him. How much pathetic can one person be.

*****

Stiles drags himself to the library for academic reasons only, determined to ignore Derek and managing it until Derek knocks a cup of hot coffee all over his own lap.

“Ow,” Derek says blandly, but his hands are frantically grappling at his jeans.

“Hey,” Stiles says, moving quickly to crouch down on his knees before Derek, because even if he weren’t a decent human, he’s a cop’s kid, and he can’t ignore people in pain. Stiles’ dad always made sure that he was up to date on his immunisations, homework, and First Aid certs. “Can I have some ice?” he calls out loudly.

While they’re waiting on that, Stiles plucks at the wet spot on Derek’s jeans, making a seam to hold the cloth from Derek’s flesh.

“You’d be better off taking these off in the bathroom, and putting the ice-pack directly onto your skin.”

“It’s fine,” Derek mutters.

*****

“You’d be better off taking these off and putting the ice-pack directly onto your skin,” Steve tells Derek, falling to his knees, and tugging the denim from Derek’s scalded flesh.

“It’s fine,” Derek mumbles, but Steve bats his protesting hands away and tugs the jeans down Derek’s legs. The flesh is bruised red but there are no blisters, and Steve kisses around the wound because he knows his lips are hot, keeps kissing until Derek’s dick presses warmth into his cheek.

*****

The next time Stiles sees Derek at the library Derek smiles grimly at him, and then pulls a spherical lollipop from his pocket and all but fellates it for the next hour.

Stiles would swear Derek does it on purpose.

*****

Derek is ruining him. “You’re ruining me,” Steve groans, sweaty palms seeking out some purchase on Derek’s hair.

Derek sucks harder on Steve’s cock, takes him deeper, until his nose is pressing just below Steve’s navel.

“Gonna come,” Steve grits. The sparks shooting throughout his body are turning him inside out. “God, I really am, and…”

“Not yet,” Derek rasps, licking along Steve’s cock with long, purposeful, fat swipes of his tongue. “Think I might take my time with you.”

Derek takes what feels like an hour, and Steve loses his goddamn mind.

*****

“Huh,” Derek says the following Tuesday when Stiles sits across from him.

“Sorry?” Stiles shrugs. Derek is titled back on his chair, head cocked to the side, looking at Stiles contemplatively.

“Nothing,” he says, drumming his fingers on the table and humming Fly Me To The Moon.

*****

“I didn’t know you liked the Rat Pack,” Steve says, leaning against the doorframe and smiling at Derek’s hips swaying rhythmically.

Derek looks up from the stove, startled. “There’s a lot you don’t know about me,” he says cryptically, turning his attention back to the pan. He’s cooking what smells like curry.

True. Steve knows that Derek is maybe a couple of years older than him, that he’s right handed, he’s neat, he drives an intimidating car, he has an interest in Native American history, and he sucks dick like a god. But he doesn’t know how many siblings Derek has or where he’s from or whether he likes the rain.

“That’s because you’re not good at sharing,” Steve says, heart suddenly too big for his chest, because he wants to know. He wants to know all of it. If Derek secretly cries at soppy movies or if he shares Steve’s inability to wear odd socks. If he’d ever want this to be any more than hooking-up.

“Bullshit,” Derek says, snapping at the radio and rudely cutting Frank Sinatra off. “I’m about to share this curry with you. And after, you can even have some of my dick.”

Stiles smiles, but it’s an effort.

*****

laura_editor to me - You Stilesed again.

Stiles winces. Yes, yes he did.

*****

“Okay, baby,” Stiles mutters. “It’s time you and I got to know each other.”

The coffee machine doesn’t answer, doesn’t even let out a hiss or rumble when Stiles caresses it.

“Ready?” Stiles says, and presses the espresso button. Nothing happens, not even when Stiles presses again. “Aw, shit. I’ve broken you.”

“You need a pod,” Derek says from behind him, and Stiles tries to take an alarmed step backwards. Tries because Derek is almost flush with his back. “That’s where the actual coffee comes from.” His breath tickles Stiles’ ear, and Stiles tries not to shudder because Derek’s going to feel that.

“I didn’t know that,” he says, swallowing air.

“Then you should ask,” Derek says, reaching for one of the pods while still caging Stiles in. “If you want to know things, you should always ask. Hazelnut?”

Stiles nods and watches Derek’s capable hands slide the coffee into the machine.

“One of my sisters likes hazelnut. The other one hates all coffee,” Derek continues blithely. “I have two sisters.”

“Okay?” Stiles says uncertainly.

“Okay,” Derek says, standing back and smiling so genuinely that Stiles’ heart trips hard. “Enjoy. I have to take off before the rain comes down. Man, the rain sucks.”

“Hey,” Stiles calls when Derek is almost at the door, and then holds his hands up in apology when the librarian at the desk glares at him. “Thanks,” he mouths.

“You’re welcome,” Derek mouths back, biting his lip on a smile.

*****

So that happened. That actually happened.

*****

Stiles takes to the message boards that night instead of writing, scrolls down the pages and pages of reviews since he last updated.

OH MY GOD. FEEEEEEEEELINGS. I AM DYING. DYING I SAY. ALL THESE FEELINGS ARE KILLING ME. I HAVE BEEN WAITING ON THE FEELINGS!!!!!

It’s pretty much the same squee all the way through.

THE FEELINGS WERE ALWAYS THERE. IT WAS TIME SOMEONE ACKNOWLEDGED THEM.

Truth, Stiles thinks.

IKR??? WHEN STEVE SAW DEREK COOKING AND REALISED THAT THIS WAS MORE THAN JUST SEX I ALL BUT CHOKED ON MY OWN FIST. I HAVE BEEN WAITING ON THIS MOMENT FOREVER. AND THE EMOTIONAL SEX AFTERWARDS WHEN THEY LOOKED INTO EACH OTHER’S EYES.

Stiles has to urban dictionary IKR, but yes, he’s pleased that was noticed. He had Steve fuck Derek face to face, made Derek grip Steve’s arms even as he pushed his head back into the pillows, had Derek call out his name when he came.

He had Stilesed then, too.

CURRY FLAVOUR KISSES. DEAD. *THUD*

The general consensus is that they’re all excited.

So is Stiles.

*****

There’s a coffee waiting for Stiles on his and Derek’s table the following day. Derek doesn’t look up from his book when Stiles sits down.

“You got me a coffee,” Stiles says quietly.

“Didn’t want you breaking the machine,” Derek says, eyes still on the page, but he’s smiling. Stiles can almost see it, can definitely hear it. “Here,” Derek says, sliding something across the desk. “I got you a cookie, too. Eat it quietly.”

It’s a rocky-road cookie, the ones with real marshmallow chunks in them, and they’re only Stiles’ favourite things in the whole world. He had made them Steve’s favourite cookies.

“Thanks,” he mumbles inadequately, but he really has no idea what else to say.

Derek just keeps reading so Stiles breaks off a piece of cookie and pops it into his mouth.

“Mmmmm,” he moans, and then again, because, Jesus, orgasm bites. “Mmmmmmmmm.”

“Nnng,” Derek says, and when Stiles looks up Derek is staring at him, mouth agape and eyes slightly unfocused.

“Hi,” Stiles smiles.

“Hi,” Derek beams.

“So - ” Stiles is cut off by the sound of Derek’s phone vibrating on the table. Derek frowns, picks it up, and then frowns some more.

“I have to go,” he whispers, beginning to gather up his stuff. “But I’ll be back tomorrow. Will you be here?”

“Sure,” Stiles nods.

“Okay,” Derek says, smiling again. “I’ll see you then.”

“It’s a date,” Stiles says boldly, casually, like the loudest thing in this room isn't his heartbeat.

“Maybe,” Derek grins.

*****

Steve presses call before he can over think this anymore. He’s going to ask Derek for a date. There’s been a shift in this thing they’re doing, heading in the general direction of relationship. Derek’s been different of late, softer, more open, and Steve is picking up on all that Derek’s been throwing down.

“Derek here. Or not here. Leave a message.”

“Hey, Derek,” Steve says, and laughs a little. “Voicemail. Typical. Anyways, I wanted to talk to you. To ask you something, and well, maybe tell you something you something, too. Call me back before I chicken out.”

The rest of this story depends on how tomorrow plays out.

*****

“I can’t wear this shirt,” Stiles declares for the umpteenth time, flinging it over his head to join the others littered around the floor. “You’ll have to give me something. You have nice stuff, right? Give me some of your nice stuff, Scott.”

“You own most of my nice stuff,” Scott says vaguely. “So you’re actually going out with the guy from your book.”

“Online Novella,” Stiles corrects.

“Yeah, but, dude, you wrote your own love story. That’s fucking awesome.”

Stiles stops tearing through his room. “I did, didn’t I?” he laughs. “Hey, I like that shirt you’re wearing. It would look good on me. Is it clean?”

You know why Scott McCall is the best person Stiles has ever met? Because he pulls the shirt right over his head without any hesitation.

*****

Stiles paces the steps of the library, biting his thumbs and counting to five before he looks over at the pavement again. He’s most of the way through a nail when Derek comes into view. Stiles lifts a hand to wave, and then drops it.

How could he have been so stupid.

*****

Stiles doesn’t even have it in him to get drunk right now, but he needs to finish this. Needs to be done with this, so that he can be done with this.

Steve watches in numb disbelief as Derek opens his arms for the beautiful girl to throw herself into, swinging her up off of her feet and twirling her around to a soundtrack of laughter.

Steve is just feet away, but he needn’t worry about being seen; Derek is looking at nothing but her.

 

“I’m going away,” he says when Derek calls him back that evening. “That’s what I wanted to tell you. School’s out for summer, and I want to travel for a bit.

Derek doesn’t say anything for a minute, and Steve wonders if he knows that he’s been let off the hook, if he’s relieved, or even a little sad that their fling is over.

“You said you wanted to ask me something,” Derek says, toneless.

“Yeah. Can you clear your stuff out of mine?”

“I guess. Can I ask you something?”

“You can ask,” Steve says mildly.

“Where are you going?”

“I…” Steve flounders. He hasn’t really thought that far ahead. “I’m going on a journey.”

Stiles is getting off the bus.

*****

The hammering on his door starts midway through Independence Day, and keeps going right through fire in the tunnel scene. It could be Scott, laden with sympathy and ice-cream, although maybe not. That’s some furious knocking going on right now.

Stiles heaves himself up off the sofa and towards the door, adjusting his boxers on the way. “Coming,” he snaps, and opens the door with an angry flourish. “Wha…”

“Are you serious?” Derek shouts at him. “That’s the ending to your story? You’re going on a fucking journey? What sort of bullshit is that. And it doesn’t even make fucking sense. When you left that voicemail on my phone, it was snowing. I called you back that night and it was summer?”

Stiles opens and closes his mouth a few times, but nothing comes out. Maybe he fell asleep. He has this thing he does when he’s having a nightmare, he makes his eyes open real wide, and he’s awake again.

“Stop that,” Derek snaps, pushing past him and into Stiles’ room. “You’ll hurt yourself.”

Stiles closes the door with his back, leans against it and pants. “You read my story? You’ve been reading my story?" he stutters and then sags under the weight of a new horror. "You know it was me that wrote it. How long have you known? Oh god.” Because now Stiles is threading frantic thoughts together and, “You know Jackson, don’t you? He put you up to this.”

“Jackson?” Derek frowns. “Do you mean Mr. Snuffleupagus Jackson?”

“Oh my god,” Stiles says, incredulous, slapping his hands on the door behind him. “You’ve been reading my emails?”

“Yes,” Derek grits. “I have been reading your emails because I’ve also been editing your story.”

The hits just keep coming. “You’re Laura?” Stiles screeches.

“Yes,” Derek says, and then rolls his eyes at himself. “Well, no. Laura was the fiction editor before me and I took over when she left. I just never got around to changing the email. She’s also my sister and the woman that you saw me hugging outside the library today. She’s been away for a year, and so…”

Stiles stares at him. “I need a beer,” he decides. “Do you want a beer?”

“No, I don’t want any of your shitty beer,” Derek snaps, like he’s just remembered his pissed again. “What sort do you have?”

“The beer sort,” Stiles says, fishing two bottles out of the fridge and handing one to Derek. “So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to drink these beers and not say anything at all for a minute, because I have some compartmentalising to do. Okay? Okay?”

“Fine,” Derek huffs, twisting the cap from his own bottle.

Stiles sips and thinks, and gets his racing thoughts in order. Man, of course that was Derek's sister outside the library. Of course it was. The biggest misunderstanding is always the sister. “How long have you known I was Stiles?” he says, most of the way through his drink. “As in the guy at the library was the same one that was writing the story?”

“Since I spilled the coffee on myself and then read about it later that night.”

Stiles nods. Makes sense.

“But I wasn’t fully sure because maybe it was someone else who had been there,” Derek continues.

“So you staged the rest, with the lollipop and the humming?”

Derek nods, picking absently on the label of his beer. “That’s when I knew for sure.”

“And what?” Stiles says miserably. “Were you mocking me? Having fun watching me make a fool of myself?”

“Mocking you. You,” Derek almost shouts. “You are kidding me. How much fun do you think it was for me having you objectify me like I’m some fodder for porn and nothing else? Do you know you once spent almost an hour just staring at my groin. Just fucking staring at it, as if the rest of me was irrelevant.”

“That was for research,” Stiles mumbles, feeling like an absolute prick.

“Well doesn’t that just make me feel a whole lot better,” Derek sneers.

“I’m sorry,” Stiles says, holding his hands out. “I never thought of it like that. But duly noted. All people have feelings, even the stupidly hot and broody. And hey, it’s not like you didn’t get your own back.”

“Get my own back,” Derek echoes. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you flirting with me, letting me think I had a chance, reeling me in and then hugging…”

“My sister?”

“Oh,” Stiles says, feeling a little sick. “Did you set that up? You meant me to see it, and think the worst? Not that I didn’t totally deserve it, but man, for real.”

Derek’s looking at him like he’s an absolute moron. “You’re an absolute moron,” he says. “There really is no way that you can be this stupid. You were the one who brought feelings into it. I thought that all I was was this two dimensional asshole that you were slumming it with in bed, but then you did the curry bit, and you wanted to know more about me, you thought there was more to me, and then we fucked all face to face. And I thought...I thought maybe...you liked me.”

“God,” Stiles whispers, stunned. “The rest was you telling me you liked me too. Jesus, you were showing me that there was more to you.”

“Yeah,” Derek says to his hands quietly, his head jerking up quickly when Stiles starts to move towards him. “What are you doing? Hey, no, I’m still really pissed at you - ”

“No way,” Stiles says firmly. “This is the most romantic thing that has ever happened to me, and I’m not letting you spoil it by trading my stupidity for yours.” He wraps his arms around Derek’s neck, not at all put off when Derek backs away suspiciously. Stiles’ fingers are locked, so Derek has to take him with him anyway.

“I’m not falling for any more of your guff,” he says.

“Yes, you fucking are,” Stiles insists. “You wanna know why Steve didn’t have feelings for Derek in the beginning? Because he didn’t dare to. Because beautiful, amazing, funny, smart, talented people like you don’t fall for guys like him. Why do you think that I was bigging him up with the mensa and the CIA. Steve was just trying to deserve you, Derek.”

“Hey,” Derek says again, his breath brushing Stiles’ lips, his hands closing around Stiles’ waist. “Don’t talk about Steve like that. I have it on very good authority that Derek is utterly charmed by him.”

"Well," Stiles shrugs playfully. "Who wouldn't be? He is awesome in bed."

"If not a little terrifying," Derek nods, his lips twitching.

"And hot," Stiles continues, grinning.

"No argument here," Derek agrees.

Stiles has to kiss him then. Has to. Has to drag their lips together, twine their tongues, and taste what he's keeping.

“So,” he gasps when Derek bites down his neck. “My bed is just over there.”

“Great,” Derek grins against Stiles’ skin. “I can’t wait to see your ten inch cock.”

Stiles goes very still. “Oh jeez.”

*****

Derek’s not disappointed, not at all. He seems to be perfectly happy with Stiles’ dick. Seems to actually love it, if the way he’s worshipping it is anything to go by.

Stiles moans at the ceiling while Derek sucks all coherency from him, ducking to lave at Stiles’ balls before snuffling into the crease of his thigh.

“It’s as if you know exactly what I like,” Stiles gasps.

“How 'bout that,” Derek drawls before taking Stiles back in again.

*****

Later, when Stiles still has the taste of Derek on his own tongue, they lie on their sides, sharing breath.

“So what now?” Stiles asks. “How does the rest of this story go?”

“Well,” Derek smiles, threading his fingers through Stiles still damp hair. “Derek goes out to meet Stiles’ friends, gets introduced as the boyfriend. Probably punches Jackson in the face.”

“Very creative,” Stiles smiles back, cupping his fingers around Derek’s wrist. “And then?”

“And then they live happily ever after.”

“That’s the end, huh?”

“No, Steve," Derek snorts. "This just the beginning.”

Stiles squalks. “You did not just say that. Where’s my laptop? I need to write this down. The purplist of all purple prose. Seriously, I have to…eeeek.”

Derek tickles him into submission and then gives Stiles another reason to stay right where he is.