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I get filthy when that liquor get into me

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To : pryzem.stilinsk@halemag.com
From : scott.mccall@halemag.com

The boss is coming in today! ! ! I'm wearing my best shirt! I showered and brushed my hair too but I don't think he's going to be paying me very much mind right I'm just a nobody on his radar right I don't want him paying me any attention Stiles I'm freaking out what if he thinks i'm a failure what if he fires me what if he mauls me send help

To : scott.mccall@halemag.com
From : pryzem.stilinsk@halemag.com

First of all, congratulations on doing the absolute bare minimum in terms of self-care, Scott. Second of all, I FUCKING KNOW O MG I AHVEB ENE IN TERROR ALL MORNING I'M ON THE TRAIN RIGHT NOW LITERALLY SCREAMING IN TERROR BUT ON THE INSIDE THE WOMAN ACROSS FROM ME KEEPS ASKING ME WHY I'M SWEATING SO MUCH IT'S LIKE!? AS IF SHE DOESN'T NKOW WHAT TODAY IS

What today is – is the day that the California Alpha is going to come in and rip them all a new one, presumably. He's going to sweep in, glare at everyone, bark out orders, make everyone cry, possibly make everyone bleed, lay off as many people as possible, and then go sit in his brand spanking new office that the interns have spent the last two weeks cleaning and setting up to pass judgment on everyone's work.

Stiles and Scott work at Hale Magazine, which is pretty much the highest rated and most read werewolf magazine in the United States; it's run by who other than the Hale family themselves, who just so happen to be the family that's been in charge of California for the past, oh, ever. Every single alpha California has had has been a Hale, because no one's ever managed to take the power from them. Stiles has seen challenges on the news every now and again, and by that, he means he's seen some poor soul being carried out in a body bag while the Hale alpha stands there growling and snarling and covered in blood. It's great stuff. Real quality television.

The newest alpha was instated about a year ago, and he's been probably the most reclusive out of all the ones that have been in power that Stiles can remember. There was Talia, of course, and then she relinquished power to Peter for a couple minutes but then he went crazy and the entire pack ganged up on him and killed him and that was another quality hour of television (literally – Stiles remembers being at Scott's house eating cheetos and trying to decide which Hale pack member is hottest while Peter got mauled to death). After Peter, it was Laura. Who was really, really nice and friendly and did charity work and baked cupcakes and wore really nice dresses everywhere.

She got more challenges than any other Hale alpha, because...well. She looked like an easy take down. Looked like an easy take down.

As it turns out, the cupcakes and the pretty dresses were just a front for a literal psychopath that used her teeth liberally in battle and killed quicker than the other alpha could even get a swipe in. Some more great television.

Laura, however, stepped down early; at the press conference, she cited that she was never really cut out to lead, and that she wanted more time to focus on her philanthropy, and her fucking bakery. Everyone looked at each other like, er, all right Laura, you do that, and then Derek Hale stepped up to the podium, glared at everyone, and said, I'm the alpha now.

Since then, no one's seen much of him. He shows up and does his job, works out territory disputes and goes to the state Capital and works on human/werewolf relations; last time Stiles really heard anything interesting about him is when Derek made a speech for one of Laura's many, many charity events – and this was interesting to Stiles, because it was for domestic violence against omegas and humans. Something he'd know a lot about.

But that was, like, six months ago. He runs Hale Magazine, technically, but most of the time it's Cora Hale that comes in to be Boss of Us, wearing pant suits and joking about is it Friday yet!?, holding onto her mug of coffee like a lifeline and editing everyone's articles over shoulders with friendly but firm suggestions. Stiles likes Ms. Hale. She's, you know. A beta. Easy to deal with.

When the news came out that Derek Hale was taking the reins back at Hale Magazine, that he was going to literally be in the building, that he was going to come in and look at everyone, Stiles nearly fainted. Because while he really didn't know much about Derek, he felt like he knew enough.

For starters, he knew the guy was a god damn alpha. And that alone is cause for peeing his pants and hiding under a rock somewhere. Because there are so few alphas, not even one per state anymore, and don't even ask about how many there are in other places in the world (in Europe there's only two), they kinda have to be about fifty thousand times more ruthless than they would probably need to be in any other situation. Threats and attempts on their lives are part of the norm; unless they prove themselves to be fucking merciless and willing to kill without hesitation.

So, there's that charming part of Derek's personality. The other side of the coin is that Derek is just kind of a fucking asshole, Like, renowned. For being a dickwagon mcfucklamp that sleeps with a new omega every night, treats his staff like garbage, growls at everyone, and in general is just a fuck.

Things do not bode well for the poor, sorry underlings of Hale Magazine.

In the weeks following the news, there was a palpable shift in energy. People started working harder, spending less time dicking around in the breakroom or by the water cooler. There was less chatter all around, and every time the interns came out the elevator with another box of Derek's things or another piece of Derek's furniture, the entire office sat there and stared, wide-eyed, as the scent of an alpha started permeating into the fibers of the carpet and into the fake plants.

Now, today is the day. After weeks of anticipation, the alpha himself is coming in for his first day at work.

When Stiles walks in, it's like someone died. Dead silence.

Nothing except for the tapping of fingers on computer keys, the gurgle of the coffee maker from the break room, the sniffles of people already starting to fucking cry out of fear. Stiles shuffles his way to his cubicle with his head downcast, drops his messenger bag down on the ground and pulls himself up to his computer. Scott pokes his head up over the divide between their squares and drapes his neck over it, peering at Stiles.

“I'm going to piss my pants.”

“Yeah,” Stiles agrees, shakily typing in his password. “Who do you...” he lowers his voice as his screensaver comes up – a picture of he and Scott at the bar – and tries to be discrete, “...think he's going to fire?”

“Me,” Scott says with finality, shaking his head. “Definitely me.”

“I don't think so. Your job is actually, like, valuable and interesting. Whereas mine...”

Scott and Stiles both write what the magazine calls weeklies. Weeklies are the pages and features in the magazine that happen, you know, weekly. No matter what the cover story is, no matter what's going on in the world, the same weeklies get printed into the magazine week after week after week.

Scott writes the Mating Monogamy page; it's one of the most popular things the magazine does, even though Stiles knows for a solid fact that Scott bullshits half of the things he comes up with. It's about, you know, mating, and being with one wolf for the rest of your life; which Stiles thinks is hilarious, actually, seeing as how Scott has yet to have the balls to nail Allison down. But, the point is, he answers weekly questions from readers, drawls on and on about, like, sacrifices and making it work, and it's like taking candy from a baby.

Stiles writes the Omega Lifestyle page. Which is just a fancy way of saying he talks about the latest fashion trends and what foods to eat during heat! His most recent full page spread was called Tattoos – Turn Off!? So, in short, he's really changing the world here; really leaving his mark for generations to come, doing some really important stuff.

If anyone were to be fired, between the two of them, it'd be Stiles. Don't get him wrong; considering that the only part of the magazine that focuses entirely on omegas is Stiles' weekly, he's garnered a small fanbase and has some people who might be kind of upset if he gets canned, but...it's not like he writes anything important. It'd be one thing if he was out here writing about, like, politics or something, or domestic violence, or the stupid fucking Omega Auction that takes place in New York City every year, where all the eligible alphas from the US show up and pick an omega to fuck around with for a little while. That's the kind of shit he should be writing on.

But, alas. He is fashion (snap snap). He has a left ear full of piercings and dresses better than anyone else in the office and is homosexual, so naturally, when he got hired, Cora snapped her fingers at him and said fashion and lifestyle.

Whatever. He gets paid to do virtually nothing. It was never a problem before Alpha Hale decided he wanted to show up and take over. Now, he knows that Derek Hale isn't going to give a single fig about Stiles' often crass and sexually explicit weekly, he knows the man is going to lay people off, and he has a pretty good idea he's going to be one of the first to go.

When Derek Hale comes in, Stiles and Scott are standing at the copier; fighting the copier, might be a more accurate description of what's going on. Scott has one hand jammed up inside it to unclog whatever's clogged, while Stiles starts threatening the thing under his breath, shaking it and rattling it and saying do you want a piece of this, you asshole?

There's a flurry of a commotion at the elevators, a woman literally fleeing in her high heels in the opposite direction, some papers flurrying in the air, and then a group of people are emerging into the foyer of the office.

Dead in the center of it all, is Derek Hale.

Stiles has seen pictures of him, of course, and he's seen the famous I'm the alpha now speech on national television, so he knows what the guy looks like. He has known that he's...hot. Like, burning. Dark hair and hazel eyes and tan skin and huge muscles and...all that.

Seeing it in pictures and on television and seeing it in person...two different things. Two wildly different things. It is a real shame that he had to find out this way that Derek Hale isn't just hot like burning, he is, in fact, hot like the surface of the fucking sun.

“Oh, my – duck!” Stiles wedges himself down behind the copier and pulls on Scott's hand to get him down there with him. “Oh my fucking -”

Scott goes down with him without question, ripping his hand out of the copier and squatting down beside Stiles with a small intake of breath.

“That's him,” Scott says, peering around the copier to glare at Derek Hale. “That's the alpha.” There's a pause, presumably as Scott rakes his eyes and down Derek's face and body. “He looks like he kills people for fun.”

Stiles breathes out a laugh – it's funny, because it's true. “No offense – but he's hot.”

“In a serial killer way, yeah!” Scott comes back around to sit shoulder to shoulder with Stiles behind the copier, while a couple of cubicles down, Lydia Martin is steeping her tea, staring at them, shaking her head in disgust or disbelief. “I think he's going to be a mean boss.”

Stiles can't argue, there. From the five second look he got, he saw a furrowed brow, a tight line of shoulders, and a frown. All signs point to Stereotypical Alpha-Male – aka a raging douchebag who's used to people falling at his feet and doing his bidding. And, oh, how the betas and omegas will fawn and coo and do everything he asks because, hey, there's every chance in the world the alpha will pick them and they'll get to spend an entire two days up in Derek Hale's penthouse getting fucked so great that the guy will ruin any other sexual encounters for them.

And – okay. So that sounds fucking awesome and he gets the beta/omega desire to please alphas. He really does. But, dammit. Does no one have any pride? Does no one have any god damn dignity? This isn't the seventeen hundreds, and they're not all living in mud huts somewhere. This is the year 2015. This is Los Angeles. This is the most respected magazine in the country.

Not a fucking episode of The Bachelor?

“I swear he looks like he's going to snap someone's neck on the first day – hopefully Greenberg, because that guy is-”

“Shhh!” Stiles hisses, finger to his lips, suddenly remembering a very, very important detail about alphas that everyone tends to forget, especially in all the excitement. “They have super, super hearing," as opposed to plain old super hearing from betas. "They can hear, like, every thing.”

“Not every thing.”

Scott and Stiles freeze. Stiles feels Scott's entire body jolt in surprise, horror, terror, unmitigated fear, can smell the anxiety as it pools up between them. Both of them raise their eyes at the same time, from the carpeted floor, to see Derek Hale, the fucking alpha, standing over them with a pinched expression on his face. “But pretty close.”

Stiles squeaks.

This isn't happening. It can't be. This is a nightmare. Like one of the ones he gets about walking into work after having forgotten something really pivotal, like the flashdrive with his powerpoint presentation on it or his...pants. He pinches himself in the arm, as hard as he can, and – nope.

This is real. Derek Hale stays standing over them, raking his eyes up and down Scott, and then switching over to Stiles. It's the most uncomfortable thing in the world, he thinks, as Derek scrapes his eyes from Stiles' face down to the converse sneakers he's not supposed to wear, back up to his face again to glare directly into his eyes.

Derek fucking Hale, the alpha of California, the fucking alpha, just heard Stiles and Scott talking about how he looks like a god damn serial killer. And is hot. And is probably going to snap someone's neck today.

Probably theirs, Stiles thinks, as Derek's eyes narrow the longer Stiles keeps up eye contact and – oh, fuck.

He's not supposed to make eye contact with the alpha. Right.

Stiles drops his eyes as fast as he can to glare down at his feet. “Sir, I'm -” he thinks about standing up, but...maybe that would be a bad idea. Maybe down here, with his head bowed, staying low and below the alpha is a good idea. Like, a display of submissiveness or something. “...it was – um...”

“Sorry,” Scott sputters, and Stiles can feel the heat of embarrassment leaking off of him in waves.

Derek eyeballs Stiles for another couple seconds, and Stiles thinks for sure this is it. This is how he's going to die. Stiles pissed off the alpha not just on the man's first day, but within the first ten minutes, and he's going to bend down, and rip Stiles' head off. That's that. It was nice living, while he could, but the time has come.

Instead of killing him, Derek just puckers his lips and points down at the sneakers on Stiles' feet. “I don't want to see those ratty things again.”

Then, just like that, as mysteriously and horrifyingly as he came, he was gone. He glared at Lydia steeping her tea, and she ducked behind her cubicle – he glared at Allison, and she suddenly became very fascinated in an empty manila folder – and then he growled something under his breath and stalked away.

“I peed,” Scott says beside him, after five full seconds of sitting there in wide-eyed abject terror fueled silence. “I peed on myself.”

“Did you see his eyes?” Stiles asks in a murmur. “I swear I've looked into the pits of Hell and Hell hath stared back.”

Then, from somewhere behind them, “I can still hear you.”

Scott and Stiles scramble up from the ground, on their hands and knees, and pull themselves into a standing position, before literally power walking down the line of cubicles, past where Lydia is snickering to herself, into Scott's tiny square.

They look at each other, mystified, pale faced, panic stricken, but they both silently decide that not saying a single fucking word for the remainder of Derek's work day would probably be best. They gesture to each other wildly for a minute – Scott mimes a noose and Stiles mimes dropping dead on the ground, Scott mimes his fingers into a gun and Stiles mimes a bomb going off around his head.

Things couldn't possibly ever have gotten worse or more embarrassing than that, Stiles thought, and Scott agreed – they had hit a low point. They hit their low point with the alpha early. There was no fucking way they could make bigger asses of themselves than that - but of course, of fucking course, they did.

The next day, Stiles is eating pizza in the break room, all by himself; because if he eats his pizza while anyone else is there, they'll ask him for a bite and by the time everyone gets a damn bite there'll be nothing but crust left.

So there he is. Standing up, shoveling pizza into his face, reading the notes left on the fridge (do not eat my flipping yogurt Greenberg I know it's you stop doing it) (who keeps losing the cap for the whole milk? Stilinski.) (WHO ATE MY TURKEY SANDWICH)

Stiles is snorting, muttering something under his breath about how he most certainly did not lose the cap for the whole milk, when a voice comes from behind him -

“I watched you throw it away with your crusts this morning.”

Stiles leaps out of his skin, screams really, drops his pizza on the front of his blue work shirt, staggers backwards and smacks his head into the fridge.

It was an overreaction. It's just that – people aren't usually sneaking up on him? Most people can't sneak up on werewolves; but then again, omegas and betas can't sneak up on other omegas and betas, but an alpha can probably sneak up on anyone they feel like.

So Derek Hale crept up on him and now Stiles is standing there with a bump on his head from the fridge and a shirt covered in pizza sauce while the slice itself lies on the ground in between their feet. This isn't humiliating at all.

“Mr. Hale,” Stiles squeaks, spaztically reaching for a paper towel to wipe his shirt off, “um – I -”

Derek crosses the kitchen to the coffee pot, and Stiles notices that he's holding a dark green mug in his hand. Alpha Hale uses a dark green coffee mug – he brings in his own mug to work and drinks coffee at two o'clock in the afternoon. “You haven't gotten new shoes.”

He's not even looking at Stiles' feet when he says it. His back is turned, and he's pouring his coffee while reaching for a packet of sugar with his other hand. Stiles glances down at his converse, feels his cheeks heat up, and then looks back up to Derek's back. “Well – I...”

Stiles watches as Alpha Hale, literally leader of wolves, the richest man Stiles can think of off the top of his head, rips open three sugar packets and dumps them into his coffee. “Get a new pair of shoes, Mr. Stilinski.”

Then, he throws his discarded sugar packets into the trash and walks out. Just like that. Leaving Stiles standing there in a pizza stained shirt and a throbbing skull, staring after him with huge dumb omega eyes and a dropped jaw.

How the – when the fuck did Derek Hale learn his name?

----

To : pryzem.stilinsk@halemag.com
From : scott.mccall@halemag.com

I walked in on Mr. Hale eating a granola bar – what's next?! He'll express an actual emotion!?

To : scott.mccall@halemag.com
From : pryzem.stilinsk@halemag.com

LMAO. You know he drinks like minimum four cups of coffee per day right? That's twelve sugar packets each day okay the dude is 75% sugar and 25% anger!! He made Kira cry the other day did you hear about that ohhh my god it was in a word – bleak

To : pryzem.stilinsk@halemag.com
From : scott.mccall@halemag.com

Doesn't surprise me. An alpha is an alpha right? What are we but his little servants right? The dude's a dick but whatever he has a right to be I guess

Stiles thinks about that for the rest of the day as he writes up his column – Omega Nipple Piercings; In or Out? (Stiles refuses to get his nipples pierced at any point in time ever period dot that's it, but he's pretty much required to present both sides of the 'debate', so debate he does). He's only met, um...one alpha in his lifetime in any official capacity, and that's Alpha Hale. Even before he met the guy, all he ever heard were stories and rumors about all the omegas he'd take back to his penthouse and fuck and buy room service for, heard the murmuring gossip about how he's a psycho egotistical maniacal asshole who treats everyone as beneath him or like little step stools that he uses to get his way.

Stiles wouldn't go that far. He'd say that Derek Hale is an alpha. He could be barking out orders and beating the shit out of everyone in sight – and getting away with it – but instead he calmly makes his absolutely reasonable demands with minimal growling, attends the office birthday parties and eats cake and makes small talk, and in general has a pretty calm demeanor. The only time Stiles has ever seen him truly lose his cool is the time that Stiles tripped over an internet cable and fell face first into a garbage can.

The alpha came rushing over, peering down at Stiles where the dumbass omega lay, a banana peel draped over his shoulder and ice cold coffee spilled all over his face and clothes, and his eyes flashed red. Stiles had immediately assumed it was because he had just made a gigantic mess, and scrambled to his knees with a litany of I'm sorry sir, Alpha Hale, just another day at the office haha spazzy me haha. Derek growled at him, barked something like back to your desk, Stilinski!

And Stiles had no choice but to scamper away with his tail between his legs, hiding in his cubicle all day reeking of coffee and bananas because he was too chicken to show his face on his way to the bathroom to clean himself up while Derek still lurked the premises.

The point is, he's really not the cartoon character people liked to paint him, and all other alphas, up as. He's honestly just...an angry, sourfaced hot guy who runs a company and takes a lot of lovers. Is that really different than any other CEO of any other company? It's just so inflated because there are so few alphas that everything gets blown out of fucking proportion.

He's just about finished with his column, chewing on a pen as he tries to decide whether he should mention the health hazards of getting a form of wolfsbane shoved through your god damn nipples to make the piercings stay, when Derek Hale appears.

He's just tall enough that he can stand beside the wall of Stiles' cubicle, that his neck and head can both pop out over it, to glare inside at where Stiles is sitting.

Stiles drops his pen out of his mouth and swivels in his chair to face the alpha, lowering his eyes to stare pointedly at a spot on the wall behind him.

“You write the -” Derek breaks off, purses his lips. Like it causes him actual physical pain to say it.

“...the Omega Lifestyle weekly, sir.”

Derek glares at him. Like the entire concept of an Omega Lifestyle is so fucking ridiculous to him, like Stiles wasting even a second of his breathing time to talk about the Omega Lifestyle is a crime or a sin or something. Stiles half expects him to just go right, then, you're fired, have a nice life Stilinski, send him packing with a box of his things and his cactus. Instead, Derek flicks his eyes to Stiles' computer screen, then back to him. “You're working on your piece now.”

“Yeah...” he says slowly, “...sir.”

There's a couple of beats of silence, and then Derek gives him a smug smirk, like he has been waiting for this moment for days and is going to relish every second of it now that it's come. “Then I suppose you're not e-mailing Mr. McCall about how much sugar I take in my coffee.”

Stiles thinks he could honestly go up in flames. His cheeks turn so fucking red with embarrassment that he's sure he should just...become a tomato. Just become a fucking tomato, get ground up and mushed and smushed into a sauce, tossed into a mound of spaghetti, and then served to Derek Hale on a silver platter by an omega servant.

Because, of course. E-mail surveillance. Fucking e-mail surveillance. Typically, bosses only use that for codewords like kill and murder and mutiny – you know. Danger, red flag, 911 stuff. Nothing ever comes of that, because a person would have to be a real fucking idiot to sit around sending threatening e-mails on their work e-mail account. He and everyone else pretty much assumed the scan on the e-mails was conducted once a week like it used to be, using the danger words, and that nothing would ever come of it.

Never in his wildest fucking nightmares did he think that Derek Hale would personally read and review every. Single. E-mail that his underlings send out to each other.

There's not just stuff about Derek Hale in his e-mails with Scott. Oh, no. If Derek wanted to, he could go back far enough and read all about how Stiles lost his virginity to a beta at a club downtown, how Stiles hasn't been in a relationship in, like, years, how Stiles spends most of his nights alone in his apartment watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls while wrapped in a fuzzy blanket and eating banana bread for dinner.

The thought is...horrifying.

“...um...”

Derek taps his knuckles on the top of Stiles' cubicle. “Back to work.” Then, with what sounds like an actual honest to God laugh, the alpha saunters away from Stiles' nook and vanishes down the hallway. Stiles stares after him, jaw dropped, for seconds on end, shame still curling around his ears.

The man literally just came over here to humiliate him. He didn't come over here for any other purpose than to laugh at the omega for being such a dumbass as to send e-mails about his boss to his best friend while at work.

It takes Stiles a very, very long time after that to move.

He swivels his desk chair around slowly, back around to face his work, clears his throat, and vows to never send another fucking e-mail about anything except for, like, work. Serious stuff. Serious stuff like omega nipple piercings. That's it.

When he's hobbling his way out at the end of the day, he passes by the window of Derek Hale's corner office (the one with the amazing view of the Los Angeles cityscape) and deliberately tries his absolute hardest to not glance inside to see the unbelievably attractive alpha sitting there at his desk, mocking him.

But it's like there's a magnet there or something. His eyes just – go. Against his will. One minute he's staring resolutely forward, just starting to pass by the window into Derek's office, and the next, he's glancing inside.

He locks eyes with the alpha, like Derek had been staring at him first, and they maintain the eye contact for the entire time that Stiles is walking past. Stiles doesn't look away, like he should, and Derek raises his eyebrows like he always does whenever Stiles breaks the rules.

Stiles is on his way to the elevators and the eye contact is broken. His fingers are shaking as he presses the down button again and again, looking over his shoulder nervously as if he expects Derek to emerge from his office at any second to – to – well. He isn't sure what he thinks Derek would do to him.

----

“Stiles?” It's Allison, hovering there in the opening to his work space, flicking flirty glances over to where Scott is poking his eyes out at her over the divide. She works up at the receptionist's desk, and that kind of makes her by and large Derek's personal assistant, so it's not a surprise that she's the one who come over here to say, “Mr. Hale wants to see you in his office,” but it is a gigantic surprise that anyone, anywhere, is saying that at all, to him.

Scott flicks his eyes away from Allison to flash golden at Stiles, wide and terrified, and Stiles swallows thickly.

There can only be one reason he'd be getting called down to Alpha Hale's office. All the illegal eye contact he was making, the shitty column he writes, combined with his nefarious e-mails that Derek has been reading probably ever since he first got here...it's time. His time has come. He'll have to get a job at the hot dog stand outside in the street, getting mustard and hot dog juice all over himself day in and day out.

He rises from his chair, straightens his sweater vest and his bowtie, and raises his chin. Allison looks at him with vague amusement, while Scott just looks like he's sending his best friend off to get his head chopped off by a totalitarian dictator – but Stiles is going to take his firing with dignity. With pride, dammit.

As he makes his way down the lane of cubicles, he feels like he's on a death march. He only survived three weeks under Alpha Hale's thumb before he drove the man insane with how much of a huge fucking spazz he is, and now he's the first one to get fired from Hale Magazine by the alpha. At least people will remember his name, he thinks, though what it'll be attached to isn't anything at all to be proud of.

He pauses for only a half a second outside of the Alpha's office door, knowing full well that Derek has probably been listening to him walk his way down here and knows exactly where he is at any given moment, before knocking two fingers on the door and poking his head in.

“You wanted to see me.” He tries to keep his voice dead, emotionless, as he stares in at Derek Hale.

He's just sitting at his desk, brow furrowed, working on his laptop. The sun beams in through the window behind him, casting a pleasant orange glow on the dark blacks and grays of every thing within sight, and as soon as Stiles comes in, he looks up and stares directly into the omega's eyes.

Figuring that now is not the time for insolence, Stiles drops his eyes and stares at the alpha's mouth.

“Yes,” Derek says, beckoning him inside with two fingers. Stiles does as directed and closes the door behind himself, leaving him locked inside a tiny square office with an alpha werewolf, alone, for the first time in his entire life.

He has never, never once, been alone in a room with an alpha. The smell of him, the power thrumming off of his skin...it takes Stiles a second. He has to stand there and get used to it, fingers shaking, breathing deeply in and out; Derek must be used to this kind of a thing, because he just sits and waits patiently for Stiles to get a hold of himself and stop being such an omega spazzoid in his fucking office.

Finally, Stiles jerks forwards before he's really ready, and plants himself into one of the leather chairs in front of Derek's huge desk, pushing himself as far back away from the alpha as he can physically manage. Derek watches this entire thing with a no discernible facial expression, and Stiles tries his absolute hardest to not make eye contact, to not inhale anymore than he absolutely has to.

If Derek notices the way that he's still shaking, he doesn't comment on it.

The alpha leans back in his chair, scrutinizing Stiles for several long seconds. “Can I ask you something, Mr. Stilinski?”

Stiles nods, up and down, eyes firmly planted on Derek's neck.

“You write about fashion. Right?”

More or less, Stiles thinks. Nipple piercings and tattoos and the newest in-style jeans. “Yeah.” A pause. “Yeah, Alpha Hale, I write on fashion. Um. Lifestyle, more accurately.”

Derek's lips quirk up. Like he's amused by something. “Then tell me how you could possibly write about fashion when you're wearing those shoes.”

Stiles is confused for a second. Confused enough that he flicks his eyes up to meet Derek's for the briefest of seconds, met with the perfunctory eyebrow raise, before dropping them down to glare at his own feet.

Oh. Right. It's been three weeks since Derek first asked him to get new shoes, and he's still been showing up to work in his ratty old purple converse. Stiles looks back up in Derek's general direction, smirks, and says, “obviously you haven't heard that grunge is in, Alpha.”

Derek laughs; like, really. It's not the loudest or the most joyous laugh of all time, but it is a genuine laugh, which is something that Stiles had been thinking the guy was physically incapable of making – sarcastic laughs, sure. Laughs at the expense of others, hell yeah. But just a plain old haha, funny! laugh? Unthinkable. “Grunge. Is that what they're calling it now? Homeless Chic?”

Stiles rakes his eyes up and down Derek's body, the dark black button down with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows, the black slacks to go with it with the Italian leather belt holding it all together, and thinks that probably the only place Derek has ever seen anything that wasn't glistening and shiny and immaculate was, indeed, on the homeless. No wonder the sheer thought of Stiles' converse literally has him curling his lip up in disgust every time he sees them.

“I don't care much for fashion, Mr. Stilinski,” and this must be it, Stiles thinks. This is the moment he's going to get fired. Derek is going to go on a long rant about how fashion is useless and how we need to be talking about the real issues, like the date of the Omega Auction for starters, and Stiles disobeyed his alpha by not going out and buying some five hundred dollar pair of shoes, and that's it.

Stiles is bracing himself, thinking about how he's going to tell his father Alpha Hale hates him, when instead of yelling at him, Derek slides three crisp hundred dollar bills across his desk.

“Buy some new shoes, Mr. Stilinski.”

The omega stares down at the bills incredulously, and his mind whirrs. For starters, the fact that he hasn't been fired dawns on him like a wave that kind of overtakes anything else for a couple of seconds. Next, he thinks about how Derek Hale is literally giving him three hundred dollars out of his own fucking pocket probably to go out and buy some fancy new shoes. After that, he thinks that he should decline. He should absolutely and positively decline. He can afford his own shoes. Maybe not as fancy as three hundred dollars could buy, but still. Halfway decent new shoes.

But. He knows he can't. He literally has no place whatsoever to refuse the money. It would be taken as an offense to the alpha – and it's just what alphas do. No matter if they're out in the wild of the forests or sitting in a sleek office building, alphas like providing. It gives them a major fucking hard on to be the one with the power, the one with the money, the one who drops bills down on the counter and says now go buy yourself something nice.

Stiles swallows, and takes the money with two fingers. They feel brand new. Like, freshly printed. He thinks he should look down and see ink all over his hand. “Um...did you have any specific, like, brand in mind?”

“I don't care,” Derek says definitively, watching with fascinated eyes as Stiles shoves the bills into the pocket of his khakis. “If you show up in sneakers, we'll have a problem.”

A problem. Like Derek clawing Stiles across the face, probably. He gulps. “So, Air Jordans are off the table, then?”

Derek purses his lips and raises his eyebrows at Stiles. Not amused.

“Okay,” Stiles stutters, smoothing his hands across his cashmere vest, “um...okay.”

“Why don't you bring your beta along with you,” Derek's voice is low as he says it, like he's suddenly mad, or upset, out of nowhere, “he looks like he knows how to -”

“My?” Stiles cuts him off, somewhat suicidally, and then snaps his mouth shut, expecting for sure that this time he'll get a rebuke. Instead, Derek just sits and waits for him to finish. “...my beta? I don't – I don't have...”

There's only one reason any wolf ever uses that term – my omega, my beta, my alpha – it's a mating thing. Not just dating, and not just fucking around, but specifically mating.

So color Stiles surprised that Derek Hale thought for even half a second that Stiles has been mated to a beta, while Stiles literally hasn't even kissed anyone in, like, a year. “I don't have a beta, Mr. Hale. I'm – who do you think...” he squints out into the sunlight, thinking, before realization dawns on him, and he actually laughs. “Ha! Scott's not my beta! He's just my best friend, he's actually seeing Allison...”

When he flicks his eyes over to Derek's face, he finds that Derek looks surprised. Lips parted, wide-eyed, genuine interest; before he clears his throat and pretends to be fascinated by something on his laptop. “You two reek of each other.”

“Oh, that's just because -” ...because of something he is definitely not going to admit out loud to his boss and alpha.

Just – well – sometimes Stiles and Scott have sleepovers at Scott's house where they talk about their feelings and play video games, and Scott's couch is super uncomfortable so he sleeps with him in his bed instead, and...

There might be cuddling. It's not weird. It is not weird. Scott takes comfort in the scent of an omega, and Stiles takes comfort in the scent of a beta, so. It's all about the scents. There is literally nothing sexual about it whatsoever. It's cuddling between bros. That's all.

“...we're not together. I'm not together. With anyone.”

Derek face twitches, but he keeps his eyes glued to his laptop screen. “I trust you're competent enough to buy shoes without a babysitter.”

Stiles nods up and down, feeling uncomfortable and awkward and shaky, sensing that's his cue to skedaddle and get out of the alpha's hair. As he's rising from his chair on legs that feel like jelly, he says, “thank you, Mr. Hale,” shuffling his way around the front of the desk.

Derek watches him as he leaves, but doesn't offer another word.

When Stiles shows up the next day in 130 dollar black shoes, Derek is standing in the doorway of his office, sipping at his green mug of coffee, watching the omega as he emerges from the elevator in his brand new shoes. He flicks his eyes down to Stiles' feet, nods appreciatively, and then vanishes back inside his office.

Scott had been pleasantly relieved and surprised that Stiles wasn't being put on the chopping block – especially since if, after everything that's gone on these first three weeks, he's not being fired now, then he probably won't be getting fired ever. He raised his eyebrows about the shoes and the money, but then he shrugged and said “sounds about right.”

It does sound about right, for an alpha. That's what alphas do. It's not a particular interest or anything. It's just an alpha being an alpha, nothing more, nothing less. If Scott had shoes that Derek hated as well then Derek would give him money, too.

Stiles knocks on Derek's office door halfway through the day, and pops his head in when Derek calls him in. It's exactly as it was yesterday, of course, with the alpha power emanating off of him like a high pitched whistle that only Stiles can hear. He winces against it, starts shaking, and Derek looks him up and down.

“Everything all right?”

Stiles thinks it's a weird question to ask – why not can I help you with something or what's the problem; both are infinitely more bosslike.

Instead, Derek blinks at him more curiously than annoyed.

“Um -” Stiles begins, eloquently as always, as he closes the gap between himself and the end of Derek's desk, fishing around in his pockets. “I just thought – I brought you the change.” He pulls the crumpled up bills out of his pocket and drops them down in a pile on Derek's desk.

Derek blinks at the bills, and then back up at Stiles. “The change.”

Stiles nods, averting his eyes down to the ground.

It's silent in the office for a second, and then there's the distinct sound of Derek's chair creaking under the weight of him as he shifts in his seat, perhaps leans back to look at Stiles in all his glory. It's only a couple more seconds until Derek is laughing.

Stiles shoots his eyes up and looks at the alpha's face, at the wide grin and the crinkled eyes, and feels...confused.

“The change.” He says it again, incredulous, still laughing, shaking his head; like the fucking monopoly man. Like the concept of change altogether is so ludicrous.

“I just thought -”

“You can have the change, Mr. Stilinski.”

Stiles worries at his bottom lip with his teeth, feeling uncomfortable again. “I don't really need...”

“I'm insisting.”

Right. Because he's the alpha. And he insists.

Stiles chews on his lip for on a second longer before he reaches his fingers out and grabs at the wadded up bills again, shoving them into his pocket and huffing out a sigh. “If you insist, then.”

Derek smiles at him, his full set of teeth on display, and cocks his head to the side. “Have I made you uncomfortable?”

The omega hesitates before answering. This is dangerous ground to tread on with alphas, he's heard – the truth that the alpha might not want to hear, or the lie that he'll hear in his heartbeat anyway; the only difference is that with the lie, he might feel as though Stiles was respecting him enough to not just blurt out his true negative feelings all over the place.

He scratches at the side of his face for a second. “Um...kinda?”

“Because you don't like accepting my money.”

“Not – not particularly. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with your money. Not that there's anything wrong with you or anything or your money or...anything,” Stiles babbles for a moment, cheeks heating up as he avoids eye contact with Alpha Hale.

“You don't like accepting anyone's money.”

Stiles swallows. “I like to earn what I get.”

Derek's lips spread out into another grin, this one a bit more feral than the last, while he leans forward in his seat so that the top half of his body drapes over the desk, hands splayed out in Stiles' general direction. On instinct, Stiles takes a step back, exposing his neck, fingers starting to shake. “Then put the money back.”

With his fumbling fingers, Stiles once again rips the crumpled money up out of his pocket; to put it on Derek's desk, he has to get within a foot of his finger tips. The thought is jarring and scary and has Stiles' natural omega instincts screaming at him to turn around and run.

Instead, he takes two steps forwards and drops the money down mere inches away from Derek's fingers, breathing shallowly through his nose the entire time. Derek watches this with dilated pupils and the grin still in place on his lips. “Is that all?”

Stiles nods, up and down, daring himself a glance in Derek's general direction.

“Go on back to work, then.”

----

Stiles spends a lot of time at the copier.

Even more time than Allison – who's the secretary for fuck's sake. For some reason, for some unknown reason, being one of the only three omegas working at Hale Magazine, and being the one that works closest to where the stupid machine sits, he winds up with the task of running copies for people. Wonder fucking why.

People show up at his desk, dangling a piece of paper in front of his face, and say something along the lines of it would be supperrrr great if you could make copies of this for me, Stiles, pretty please I'll buy you a soda!

Because Stiles is an omega and it's easy to bait him with the prospect of being given something by a beta, right? What a fucking dumbass stereotype, as if Stiles would ever stoop so low to give into his ridiculous instincts of being provided for, as if he needs a beta to buy him a soda or a pumpkin spice latte or a bag of chips from the vending machines, as if!

...well. Maybe he likes it a little bit.

Half the reason he gets asked specifically to work the copier more than he gets asked to do anything else - like make coffee runs for the office with Jackson Whittemore's credit card with the promise of and get whatever you want, too – is because the copier was built in the very deepest pit of Hell, forged in the fucking fires of Mordor, came wheeling out of some unspeakably evil dimension to land itself inside the offices. And Stiles knows, every office building complains about the fucking copier, but he swears this one is the most evil out of all of them.

The thing only works when it feels like it, and apparently it only feels like it when Stiles is operating it. Even then there's a 50/50 chance it'll just sputter and make that disturbing nnnnrnnuuurrrr noise for half an hour before spitting out a copy that's only half visible.

Earlier in the day, Isaac Lahey had shown up, gently pushed a memo for the layout department onto his desk, and said, “want a hot dog?”

Stiles frowned at the memo, then at Isaac, before raising his eyebrows.

“...two hot dogs?”

Stiles slid the paper back towards him and puffed out a breath, turning back to his computer to continue his piece on mating rings – in or out?!

Isaac tapped his index finger on the desk for a few seconds, watching Stiles tip-tap on his keyboard, probably trying for intimidation tactics and failing miserably, before caving in. “What do you want, then? Coffee? Spaghetti?”

“Where are you going to get spaghetti, Isaac?”

“Tell me what you want!”

Stiles smirked at his screen, before turning slowly in his desk chair and pressing the pads of his fingers together like an evil genius in a movie. He raised his eyebrows again, tilted his head to the side, and said, “chocolate.”

The beta subconsciously slid his eyes up and down Stiles' body, sniffed the air for a second, probably just out of old habit, and then smiled. There's only one reason that Stiles would be asking for chocolate, and pretty much everyone in the office knows it.

During Stiles' heat, his number one comfort food on the face of the planet is chocolate. Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of chocolate. In the tiny little fridge he keeps in the basement in his heat room there's six pints of triple chocolate ice cream sitting there waiting for him to eat every single one of them sporadically throughout his three day heat, probably while crying about how sad and lonely he is with a raging hardon.

Not his proudest moments, but he stopped taking pride during his heats a long time ago and just lets himself become a pile of hormones and slick and come and tears. It's – pathetic. But that's the real omega lifestyle, for you. He sincerely doubts Derek Hale would be impressed if he tried turning in an article about How To Finger Yourself During Heat, so the true nature of the single omega has yet to shine through in his work.

Isaac agreed to the chocolate, and now Stiles is standing at the copier punching it in its stupid plastic face, while it just sits there and flashes out of toner – out of toner – out of toner on its little blue digital screen. Even though Stiles just put new toner in it this fucking morning, and he knows there's more than enough toner inside this thing's fat ass.

“Fuck you,” he mutters under his breath to it, bending down to flip open the compartment housing the toner in order to glare inside and make sure someone didn't steal it for whatever reason.

The toner is exactly where it should be, brand new and shiny, and Stiles frowns. This fucking bullshit, he thinks. This fucking absolute pile of horseshit. He has to physically resist the urge to start kicking the shit out of the copier while Alpha Hale probably watches from inside his office; something tells him that the alpha would not appreciate it at all if one of his underlings destroyed the copier he probably partially paid for in some roundabout way.

As if on cue, a shadow casts itself over where Stiles is crouched and fiddling with the toner inside the machine, and then a throat clears.

The omega blinks up to see Mr. Hale hovering with his green coffee mug and a smirk on his face. He doesn't say anything. Not a single fucking word. Just stands there and sips his coffee and watches as Stiles struggles with the fucking copier machine, like this is better than any show he could get on TV or something.

Stiles grits his teeth and slams the compartment door shut with a loud plastic click, before rising up to his full height. Even though he's probably only, at most, two inches shorter than Derek Hale, the man is about six times bigger than him. Which, he's supposed to be, and he gets that, but it's still intimidating to be this close to him, to have someone this huge just staring at him, alpha scent swirling around in the air like a warning signal in Stiles' brain.

“You know,” he hisses, jabbing at the start button again and again in vain, while the screen continues to flash out of toner at him, “you could help.”

Mr. Hale blinks at him, takes another sip of coffee, and nods. “I could.”

Start start start startout of toner out of toner out of toner. “What? Is making copies so beneath the alpha?”

He knows he's being out of line right now. Like, beyond out of line. This is the kind of shit that omegas typically get beheaded for – standing up to an alpha as a piddly little omega with absolutely no survival instincts whatsoever is as good a death sentence as any. The copier is pissing him off and his heat is only four days away and Derek Hale is so fucking annoying and such a god damn asshole, and he's not in the fucking mood so he's...being stupid. It's sort of his trademark thing.

But Alpha Hale just blinks at him some more, raising his eyebrows like he's not entirely surprised, but is trying to dare Stiles to say something else. Step more out of line. Make an even bigger scene.

Stiles, never one to turn down a good dare, goes on. “If you were really that concerned about,” start start, “what goes on around here, you'd buy a new copier.”

“Hmm,” the alpha intones around a mouthful of coffee before swallowing and narrowing his eyes. “Then I'd miss out on the pleasure of watching you fight with an inanimate object for half an hour every day.”

The omega drops his jaw, whirls around, and stares. Just fucking stares in disbelief at his alpha, and his smug face and his stupid caterpillar eyebrows and his ridiculous cheekbones, and fantasizes for a second kissing the smirk clean off his lips – or, you know. Slapping it. Either one at this point.

“It's not inanimate,” he growls back, and his boss nods with faux agreement, his face a complete mask of playful mockery, and it only spurs Stiles on to get madder. “It's fucking alive in there I know it is, it knows exactly what it's doing and I know it does, it – it fucking -” he growls again, and kicks it as hard as he can in the side.

With a ggnrnrnr sound, the copier starts scanning. The out of toner stops blinking at him, and out spills the first of the ten copies Stiles is supposed to be making.

“Are you fucking kidding me,” he hisses, ripping the copy out of the slot and glaring down at it; thinks about ripping it up for a total of two seconds before remembering that Isaac will withhold his chocolate if he doesn't get all the copies he asked for. “You piece of fucking -”

“I came to ask you a question, actually,” the alpha cuts him off, probably before he starts in on an hour long tirade about all the things he'd like to do to that fucking copier, and Stiles blinks at him with a furrowed brow. “I'm having a bit of a get-together at my place. Nothing too much, just all the department heads in a get to know you type of capacity. And you're the head of the omega department – right?”

“Er -” technically? It doesn't necessarily say that on his name card outside his cubicle, and it's not really his title; but seeing as how the only other two omegas have to answer to him and he gets paid a a couple hundred dollars more than them on average, he'd say technically he's the head of the omega department but there's not even really a department? Exactly? “I'm not -”

“It's on Friday.” He takes another sip of his coffee, swallows, blinks at Stiles. Waiting for an answer, Stiles guesses.

“Friday's tomorrow,” Stiles says uselessly, in a small voice.

“It is.”

The omega runs his free hand down the front of his khakis to wipe some of the sweat off of his palm – because out of nowhere he's sweating – and the copier dings to let him know it's done making the last nine copies, and then he's just standing there with Derek Hale staring at him waiting for him to give an answer on whether or not he'll go to a party at the alpha's house.

His fucking penthouse is a more accurate description of where the alpha lives.

This freaks him out for a series of reasons. Number one, though they're all civilized (for the most part – some humans would beg to differ) and live in buildings with walls and floors now, a wolf's house is still their den. It's still completely marked as their territory, and an alpha's territory is just a whole new fucking level that Stiles can't even conceptualize, because again, Alpha Hale is the only alpha he's ever actually met.

Number two, because his heat is only days away. He's not exactly spewing slick all over the place yet and he won't be tomorrow night, but...still. The signs are starting to present themselves, he's annoyed and aggravated and in desperate need of a lay, and -

Going to an alpha's house, with alpha smell, and alpha power, and an alpha giving him food,and alpha everything, probably wouldn't be the best fucking idea.

Stiles swallows, leans forward to collect the rest of his copies with shaking hands. “Um – okay.” Because he doesn't very much feel like having the I'm about to go into heat...conversation with Derek Hale, especially since Derek knows anyway.

He can probably smell it all over the omega right this very second. Which is truly remarkable, Stiles thinks, because the man hasn't let a single hint slip that he has any idea. Not a sniff, not a lingering inappropriate glance, not anything.

Then again, he's probably been around a lot of omegas, Stiles reminds himself. A lot.

The alpha nods his head and takes another sip of coffee – judging by the fact that it's mid afternoon, Stiles would say that's his third mug of the day. “Allison has the details.”

“Okay,” Stiles says again, and he's getting the copies completely drenched in his sweat because the alpha still brings a physical and bodily response out of him even if they've been working together for nearly a month and a half, now.

To interrupt the awkward silence they fall into, Isaac rounds the copier with a toothy grin, waving a stack of four Hershey's bars around in the air. His smile falters slightly when he sees Alpha Hale standing there, his eyes crossing in-between the omega and the alpha in surprise, before he skids to a stop right in front of where Stiles is standing.

Stiles hands him the copies and clears his throat, shooting a nervous glance in the alpha's direction.

“Nice,” Isaac says, and waves the chocolates in the air again in front of Stiles' face. “Want your treat?”

The omega's cheeks heat up; he's been teased like this, harmlessly and innocently, by Isaac and Jackson and all the other betas probably a zillion times before. Usually he responds by rolling his eyes or flicking them on the ear before grabbing his reward in exchange for their copies, but for some reason, Alpha Hale standing there listening to a beta tease him like this has him feeling about ten different colors of embarrassment.

He reaches forwards and grabs the chocolates out of Isaac's hands, as fast as possible, cradling them against his chest like he's afraid of having them taken away or something.

When he chances a glance in the alpha's direction, he doesn't like what he finds there, at all. The man is standing there, hand gripped so tightly around the handle of his coffee mug his knuckles are turning white and any second it's about to crack into a million pieces, frowning between Isaac and Stiles like they're doing something wrong. And the stink of anger is rolling off of him in waves, upon waves, upon waves.

Stiles holds more tightly onto his chocolate, and Isaac takes a step away from the omega, carefully, averting his eyes down onto the ground; and Stiles doesn't understand what's going on. Why it would bother Derek at all if Isaac gives him chocolate or if Stiles makes copies for him, why he's mad out of nowhere when two seconds ago he was in a perfectly fine mood.

Alpha mood swings, Stiles thinks, unsure whether he should walk away or if Derek has more to say to him or not.

The question is answered for him when he barks back to work, Lahey and Isaac goes skittering off to the opposite end of the office like a bat out of Hell, copies clutched tightly in his hand. For a couple of seconds it's just Alpha Hale and Stiles and the chocolate bars, and the alpha staring at the chocolate bars like they've personally wronged him somehow, and Stiles deliberately trying not to look at the alpha out of fear of getting yelled at like Isaac.

Then, he flicks his eyes away from the chocolates and looks directly into Stiles' face while Stiles keeps his eyes firmly and resolutely planted on a spot behind him. “You, too, Mr. Stilinski.”

Like Stiles needs to be told twice. He scurries past the alpha and retreats into the safety of his cubicle, where Scott is waiting for him over the divide, blinking at him with his head cocked to the side. “Did I hear you get invited to the party, too?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says back, and his voice is embarrassingly shaky and nervous. He feels all kinds of twisted up inside his head from the rollercoaster of emotions he went through while talking to the alpha – and a rollercoaster of emotions this close to his heat (and during) isn't really that surprising of a thing or something he's not used to, but something about the alpha himself...

Just makes every thing feel amplified. Like someone's reached in and turned up a hormonal dial inside his brain, amped it up to the highest setting. Like he's going to go into heat early or something which would be horrible and annoying because he hasn't even submitted his notice to Derek yet because he's been putting that horror off.

He's turned in his heat notice to Cora Hale a million times, including last month's because he blessedly got lucky with Derek not having been there on that particular day; but no such luck has come around this time. Derek's been here every. Single. Day. With his green mug and his ten million sugar packets and his alpha-ness driving Stiles in-fucking-sane.

He really doesn't want to have to walk into Alpha Hale's office with his stupid little blue form and his stupid little sweater-vest and ask for the alpha to sign off on his absence for his heat. He really does not want to have to say the word heat to an alpha. He does not want to fucking do that.

Unfortunately, he has to do that.

“I wish I could go,” Scott moans, frowning from over the divide. “I bet his place is super ritzy, right? He'll probably have, like, hand towels in the bathrooms.”

Hand towels. The height of elegance to Scott McCall. Seeing as how Scott uses toilet paper to blow his nose, clean up messes, and dry his hands, Stiles can understand why.

“You could go for me,” Stiles mutters under his breath, “I'm not looking forward to it.”

“Why not?” Scott demands. “Good food, wolfsbane alcohol, and you get to see what the alpha's place is like!”

Stiles narrows his eyes at his best friend, turns his lips down into the best frown he can muster, and then goes back to his work without another word. Scott wouldn't understand in a million years why Stiles, an omega, wouldn't want to go to the alpha's penthouse.

At the end of the day, when the elevator dings open with Stiles waiting in front of it with his messenger bag and bowtie undone and hanging around his neck, two IT guys come out with a brand new copier wheeling in front of them.

Stiles blinks at it. It looks about fifty thousand times nicer than the old one did, all state of the art and new with some bubble wrap still taped around it, as if they just took it out of the box ten minutes ago.

He watches them as they wheel it past, and then flicks his eyes over to the alpha's office. Inside, Derek is sitting at his desk, watching the copier at first, and then turning to look directly into Stiles' face like he always does. Stiles keeps his eye contact, furrows his brow, and suddenly he understands why he got so mad about the chocolate bars earlier in the day.

Stiles is a lot of things. Oblivious just isn't one of them.

He has absolutely no misguided notions that the alpha purchased that copier just because they needed a new one, doesn't think at all that he did it because of the half dozen complaints Stiles knows that the man has gotten about it since he started up here, and he really doesn't think he did it just for himself, either.

No. That copier is ten thousand percent for Stiles. Just like the three hundred dollars was. This is the alpha's dumbass way of winning the gauntlet that he thinks in his tiny little meathead peabrain was being thrown by Isaac and whoever else has ever given Stiles anything in the office. Isaac gave him chocolates that cost him at most five dollars, and the alpha went onto the internet and special ordered a most likely four thousand dollar piece of machinery on a whim so he could put in a higher bid.

Right. A bid. Because, like everyone knows, omegas have a natural instinct to want alphas and betas to, like, fight over them, to prove who's the better provider, who's the stronger one, who's better at this and who's better at that and who has more money and who has a nicer place and on and on and on – like all omegas are so fucking superficial like that?

And, yeah. Stiles likes it when people give him stuff (doesn't everyone?) and maybe there is some carnal part of him that just wants to know bank statements and how much someone can bench press, because it's instinctual. The sheer thought of Derek having four thousand dollars to just blow without even a second thought does something to him, on a base level, makes him think about protection and security.

But Stiles isn't impressed by the idea of being treated like he can be bought or won or something? Like a prize at the county fair. Especially not since Derek Hale is notorious for pretty much just having a harem of omegas he caters to and dotes on – and why not? He's the alpha. He can do whatever he wants.

Stiles isn't particularly interested.

So, he doesn't do much else aside from blink, unimpressed, in Derek's direction for a couple of seconds, before spinning on his heel and stepping inside the elevator, letting the doors close on Derek's smug grin.

----

When Stiles shows up at Alpha Hale's penthouse, he's really not surprised.

It's all monochrome with huge windows overlooking Los Angeles in its entirety, the city lights casting long glows of orange on the hardwood floors, a skylight, a winding spiral staircase, expensive looking kitchen, and on and on and on. Rich guy place.

Stiles stands over by the snacks, shoveling fancy appetizers like miniature quiches into his mouth, and tries not to think about how much a place like this would cost.

Isaac is there, and Jackson, and Lydia, and Stiles feels out of place. Even though he's been working with all of these people for two years, now, it's hard not to feel out of place being the only omega in a sea of betas. Like they all look at him differently and treat him differently and offer to get drinks for him and sniff surreptitiously at him whenever they think he's not looking to get a good huff of his pre-heat scent.

He tries his hardest to blend into the food and to make as little movements as possible so it's like he's hardly there at all, but of course that doesn't fucking work. Everyone notices him because, and he says this with as little vanity as possible, it's kind of impossible not to notice him. Just being an omega sends out a flare signal to everyone within a mile radius that he exists at all, especially since his heat is so fucking close.

I should've stayed home he thinks to himself as he mercilessly chews at what would in any other situation be called a tater tot but in Alpha Hale's penthouse apartment is called a deep fried potato wedge. For fuck's sake. It's so fancy.

Derek himself is just standing there casually, in a pair of olive green pants with one hand shoved into a pocket while the other holds a cocktail, talking about baseball with the group at large. Like this isn't a big deal at all. He flicks his eyes to Stiles off to the side every now and again, watches as the omega gorges himself on the food he provided, and probably gets a hard-on just from that scene. It makes Stiles simultaneously pissed off and aroused himself.

A very odd emotion. But with Derek, it just feels natural. As if there can't be one without the other, no anger without a pinch of desire and no desire without undercurrents of annoyance.

Stiles thinks about not eating the food anymore, throwing his drink into the trash and saying something like well this place is a real shitpile, alpha just to deflate the guy's ego. Just to be a little shit and throw Derek's entire game plan into the dirt and stomp on it a few times. But, the food is fucking good and the alcohol is the only thing making him not leap onto the man's couch to get some sniffing action at the pillows where the alpha's scent is lingering and the place isn't a shit pile.

It's completely unfair. It is so unfair that Stiles wants to cry. And that's probably just another side effect of his stupid. Heat.

Instead of crying, at least publicly, he places his drink gently down onto a coaster on the snack table and makes his way out of the main room towards where Derek pointed at the start of the night as being the hall where the bathroom is.

He feels eyes on him as he goes, doesn't check to see whose they belong to.

Doesn't need to, either way, because right as he's about to turn the corner and walk into the bathroom, Derek Hale throws his arm out in front of Stiles and stops him.

The omega glares at him, frowning, and says, “alpha.”

Derek doesn't greet him. He just sweeps his eyes down Stiles' body, right down to his shoes, and says, “I told you I never wanted to see those again.”

It's hard to hold off the smirk, so Stiles just lets it cross his face without hesitation as he looks at the ratty purple converse on his feet. He knew exactly what he was doing when he put them on at home, knew exactly how pissed it would make the alpha, decided to try his hand at playing with fire just to see how far he can push the envelope before Derek snaps. “This is, like, a casual event, I thought.”

“You're playing with me,” he says this very matter-of-factly, like there's no room whatsoever for argument, and Stiles has to give it to him, there. Since he's the alpha, there really isn't any room for argument.

Stiles puts his best innocent face on, all bambi-eyes and pouting lips, and says, “what do you mean, Mr. Hale?”

“Call me Derek,” the alpha's eyes lock with his, “and take those fucking shoes off.”

It's not an alpha command. Not yet, at least; give him another five seconds and he'll be chewing out orders like nobody's business, but for now, it looks like he's going to let Stiles off the hook. Stiles knows that it's because, like all alphas, Derek probably gets off on the chase of an omega, how far he can press before the pull is too much, and -

“My shoes?” Stiles glances down to them, and then flicks his eyes back up to Derek's, smiling and tilting his head to the side. “I'm not going to take my shoes off, alpha.”

Call me Derek,” he hisses through his teeth and takes a step closer to Stiles, so that the smell of him, the power of him, the sight of him is the only thing any of his senses can pick up, and it sends Stiles' brain into overdrive. Omega overdrive; which isn't a very safe place to be inside of his head with an alpha this close. “You have five seconds to take those ridiculous shoes off before I take them off myself.”

“Oooh,” Stiles mocks, rolling his eyes to the ceiling like he's so above it all – when his hands are shaking and he can hardly breathe, “I like my shoes. I like them a lot, as a matter of fact! Just because you're so like, rich and all, that you throw out shoes the second they get one scuffmark doesn't mean the rest of us have the – hey!”

Derek pushes Stiles against the wall and holds him there with one hand, barely putting any effort into it whatsoever, before leaning down and grabbing at Stiles' feet. Stiles kicks wildly in the air, spewing curses and threats out of his mouth, but it only helps Derek out, in the end.

He grabs one of Stiles' feet right out of the air, and rips the shoe off of his foot to reveal Stiles' white ankle sock to the open air. The other one comes off just as easily, and then the alpha is standing up with Stiles' shoes dangling by the laces in his hand, glowering so intensely at the omega as if Stiles is the one being a fucking psychopath right now.

“Give me my shoes back!” Stiles starts reaching his hands out, trying to grab them out of the air, but Derek holds them just out of reach – keeping his hand pressed firmly on Stiles' chest to hold him back.

“I'm your alpha,” he warns, low, “if I don't like the shoes, then the shoes go.”

“This is ridiculous!”

Derek raises his eyebrows, like oh, is it now?, and drops his hand off of Stiles' chest. For a second the omega thinks freedom and victory, reaching his hand out to grab at the shoes dangling in Derek's hands. But, too quickly for Stiles to even get a chance to get the shoes, Derek is ripping them apart. Like, literally.

The nutjob is ripping shoes apart with his bare hands, growling under his breath the entire time, throwing them down into a destroyed heap on the floor. Stiles watches this with tiny noises of surprise coming form the back of his throat, hand still dangling in mid-air from when he thought he still had a chance of getting his shoes back.

As soon as the shoes are once and for all destroyed, the alpha meets Stiles' eyes with that same raise of his eyebrows, challenging him like he fucking always is, and Stiles attacks.

Alpha!” He chastises, shoving against Derek's chest with his hands, uselessly of course, and narrowing his eyes. “Those were mine!”

“I'll buy you new ones,” he says dismissively, grabbing Stiles' wrists in one hand and pushing the omega away as easily as swatting a fly. “What size are you? Ten?”

Stiles rips his wrists out of the alpha's grip and staggers backwards until he smacks against the wall with a bang. He wonders how much the betas in the main room have heard of this little altercation; judging from the fact that Stiles can still hear them talking and laughing like nothing whatsoever is wrong, he'd say they're not paying very much attention to this at all.

He points one long finger at Derek, gives him the best dirty look he can put onto his face, and says, “enough with this.”

“With what?”

“You know what!” He stomps his foot, and since he's not wearing shoes, it's not very dramatic or even very loud at all – Derek blinks down at his socked foot and then back to his face with little to no expression. “You think you can just waltz in here like Mr. Moneybags and, like, buy me off or something!”

The alpha scrunches his face up like he doesn't get the big deal, but Stiles just keeps talking.

“The copier! The money! The fucking shoes, now! Stop! I hate it!”

“You hate it.” Like he doesn't believe that for two seconds, he repeats the words back to Stiles with a narrowed set to his eyes.

Stiles pulls down on his dress shirt and huffs. “I don't appreciate it. I'm not impressed by your money, alpha.”

Derek Hale sweeps his eyes up and down Stiles' body, and for a few seconds, he looks a little put off. Like Stiles just blew his fucking mind wide open or something, and now he's checking to make sure he's actually talking to an omega and not some heartless, senseless robot or something. Then, his face breaks out into a shit eating grin, and he says, “okay.”

Stiles has kinda been prepared for, like...an argument. He had been prepared to try and punch Derek directly in the nose only to have him dodge out of the way expertly, expected Derek to yell at him about being a piss-poor omega for not wanting to suck every last dime out of the alpha, or just something along those lines.

Not this. Not Derek blinking at him and shrugging and saying okay.

The omega opens his mouth, closes it, squints out past Derek's head at the wall behind him, and then opens his mouth again. “Okay?”

“Yeah. Fine. You don't want me buying you things? Fine,” a huge hand comes out to rest on the wall right beside Stiles' head, and Derek leans in close, too close, way too close, and says, “what would you like instead?”

Stiles tries not to inhale. He tries to just stare back into the alpha's face like this doesn't affect him whatsoever, like being this close to him, feeling his breath fan across the skin on his face, his hand this close to touching his hair, isn't doing anything to him at all. He tries to force his hands to stop shaking, tries to keep his eyes from wandering anywhere else but Derek's mouth, tries to keep his breathing regulated, and, most importantly of all, doesn't touch him.

Touching him would be bad. Very, very bad. Direct skin to skin contact right now is not a good idea.

“What – what do you -”

“I'm saying, I'll give you anything you want,” he presses his face even closer to Stiles', if that were at all possible, “so what do you want?”

The words I want you to get the fuck away from me get stuck in his throat, and he can't force himself to say them. He even more can't force himself to fucking mean them, at all. Right now, the only thing Stiles can think about is getting closer, closer, until they're chest to chest, until Stiles can wrap around Derek like a starfish and Derek can pick him up and they'll -

“Nothing,” he manages to squeak out around the tightness in his throat. “Nothing. I don't – want anything.”

“You haven't turned in a notice,” Derek says in a low voice, tracing Stiles' face with his eyes again and again. “And I can smell your heat already, Stiles.”

It's the first time that Derek has said Stiles' actual name instead of just Mr. Stilinski, and hearing the alpha's voice say his name like that so close to his face makes him almost reach his hand out to run his fingers up Derek's chest. Almost.

“I didn't want to see you,” Stiles says back honestly, because he had put it off unnecessarily and had considered just sending an e-mail like an obnoxious teenage boy, knowing he'd be able to get away with it just because his boss apparently has a soft spot for him. “I was mad.”

“About the copier?” Derek laughs in his face, his teeth pearly and white. “You're so bizarre.”

“I don't like being trivialized,” Stiles snaps back, finally raising his eyes to look directly into the alpha's, tugging in a few deep breaths. He knows he has to say what he's going to say next, he knows that if he doesn't things will start going downhill really, really fast, too fast for Stiles to catch up with it, and he'll wind up shoving Derek onto the ground and dry humping him mindlessly. And that – that would be bad.

Right? Very, very bad. Bad Stiles. Not a good thing. Hate Derek. He's the worst. He takes another deep breath, steels himself, and says, “if you don't get off of me I'm going to go into heat.”

Derek smiles even wider, like he likes the sound of that. “I wouldn't mind.” A beat. “Would you?”

Stiles pants harder, closes his mouth to stop embarrassing himself and swallows around his dry mouth and throat. “I – I want to go home.”

Immediately, Derek pulls away from Stiles' body, still smiling, and backs away towards the opposite wall, pressing his own back against it and eyeing the omega with scrutiny. “Anything you want.”

Stiles runs his hand through his hair. He casts his eyes down onto the ripped up pile of shoes down on the ground. He listens to the laughing and talking down the hall. Tries not to think about the blood rushing through his body and the way he can still feel Derek's breath on him and Derek's alpha all over him.

“Sorry,” he, bizarrely, says, tripping over himself in the direction of the main room, where the exit is waiting for him. “I -”

“It's not a problem,” Derek assures him with another smile. “Need help out?”

“No,” he snaps as he takes another few steps away from the alpha, “I'm – fine!”

“Okay,” Derek laughs again, the way he always does when he's lowkey making fun of Stiles, and watches as the omega shakily carries himself down the hall with no shoes on. “You know where to find me,” he calls, and Stiles has to resist the urge to turn around, run right back towards him, and jump on top of him.

This is so, so fucked up, he thinks, as all the betas turn and give him wary glances.

“Where the hell are your shoes, Stiles?” Lydia demands, eyeing him up and down.

Stiles bypasses her, and the rest of the group, charging for the door that holds the elevator on the other side, getting the Hell out of here before he dissolves completely into a pile of heat-stink mess.

----

The thing about heat for Stiles is that it's essentially like being drunk. It's not really the panting, sweating, dear god fuck me now hot mess that it's portrayed as in a lot of television shows – it's more of an emphasis on mess wherein hot has nothing to do with it, where Stiles is concerned. It's a lot more like Stiles doesn't have his wits about him entirely. He's too emotional, he's not thinking clearly, and as a result, he sometimes acts differently than he would otherwise.

Like having his inhibitions down. His self-awareness is completely and totally shot, the same way that alcohol makes him feel; like, saying anything without worrying about the consequences, being a little too friendly, making piss-poor decisions, that sort of a thing.

Typically he locks himself in his basement and masturbates his life away for three days straight while crying over Lifetime movies and wondering why he's so lonely and sad all the time and why he can't find a man. Kinda like a thirty-five year old drunken single aunt's every single Saturday night after stumbling home from the club by herself in a sequin mini dress, pretty much.

It's not so bad, actually, in Stiles' opinion. He gets three days off of work just to cry out all his feelings every single month – it's exactly what every other human person and werewolf should get, honestly. Probably a lot more people would be mentally stable if they had omega heats like Stiles does.

This time, things go a bit wonky. In the worst possible way.

Or the best possible way, depending on how you look at it.

Stiles goes home from Derek's house and, first of all, falls down the stairs on the way to the basement. He spins down the steps, lands on his back on the cold concrete floor and stares up at the ceiling, panting out heavy breaths.

It's just another heat, he reminds himself while he tries to get himself righted again – it's just another heat. Stiles has been through close to a hundred heats before since he turned fifteen. He's only not been alone for eighteen of them, and that was, like, nothing. A blip on the radar screen in comparison to the mammoth amount he's spent all by himself with nothing but his hand and a vibrator. He can do this again, he's done it before. He's fucking done this before.

He climbs up onto his knees and starts crawling off towards his bed as the first, strong wave of heat hits him like freight train, nearly sends him sprawling back onto his ass with a groan. And he's done this before. This is nothing new.

Except he can still smell alpha all over his clothes. He can smell Derek all over his fucking skin can taste the alpha inside his fucking mouth as if some particles of his skin somehow got onto Stiles' tongue, or he inhaled some of the dust floating around in the air in the penthouse that would only be visible in the sunlight, and now it's just stuck in there.

It's driving him, literally, insane.

He throws himself onto his back, and tries to think clearly for just a fraction of a fucking second. Just clear his head, remember that he is a twenty-two year old with dignity and a job and a car and a house and a fucking 401k, for god's sake. His heat doesn't change any of that. He should just crawl over to the fridge and shove some freezing ice cream into his mouth to cool him down and get his mind right again. That's exactly what he should do. That's what a fucking smart person would do.

Instead, he tears his dress shirt off of his body and starts sniffing it. As if he's a fucking wild animal in the woods he starts inhaling at the exact spot where Derek put his hand a few hours earlier, where Derek had his fingers and his skin on the fabric of it. He can smell him as clear as day, all over it. The scent of an alpha has heat-Stiles rolling his eyes back into his head and subconsciously bucking his hips forward into the dead air of his cold basement.

Chocolate, he reminds himself. Chocolate and Lifetime movies. Comfort. His own fucking hand.

Or...

Derek. Derek and Derek's penthouse and Derek's bed and Derek on top of him, and holy shit, it's been way too long since he's had someone to spend his heat with and it's been so fucking long since he's felt full during his heat and all he wants is -

He just wants to get fucked. Like, really really fucked. Doesn't he deserve a good fuck and a nice lay? Hasn't he been working really hard lately, and putting up with how annoying Alpha Hale is, and hasn't he, like, earned this? Not just his own lubed up hand. God, and it hardly fucking works, honestly. Nothing he tries ever really fucking works, which is why he winds up crying his eyes out every single month over nothing.

Yeah. Yeah! He deserves a real heat. Heat-Stiles thinks this is a fucking amazing idea, his wolf nodding up and down inside his head like um, hell yeah, love that idea. Lucid-Stiles says okay, but, we hate Derek and heat-Stiles says we don't hate his dick and lucid-Stiles says very, very, true...also I'm having a conversation with myself in my own head and I should probably stop doing that before I absolutely literally lose my fucking mind.

Too late. Way too late. His mind has been lost, gone in a flurry of heat and want and alpha, as he staggers upwards to his feet. He's doing a lot better, now that he actually has the prospect of getting relief somewhere off in the near future. His wolf focuses, tries to see through the haze, can't remember how long he's been on the floor for, and he stumbles over to his fridge and starts piling his ice cream pints into a knapsack alongside a couple dozen chocolate bars, a bag of ruffles, and a couple of bottles of water.

Derek will have water at his place, right? Totally. Totally. He's alive, after all. You can't live without water. Right? Totally.

With a knapsack full of snacks and a couple of DVD's on his back, he climbs up his steps on all fours and spills out into his foyer with a cackle of a laugh, shaking his head back and forth like oh man, I am...gone.

He adjusts his hard-on in his pants, ignores the slick leaking out of his ass because there's really nothing he can do about it, and pulls his cell phone out of his pocket to call a cab to go back to Derek's place. Because, heat-drunk as he may fucking be, he's smart enough to know better than to try walking alone at night while on his heat, and also not stupid enough to try and fucking drive.

When the cab arrives, the beta cabbie gives him a sour look and puffs out a breath. “Are you kidding me with this?”

“Shhh,” Stiles hisses, dangling a twenty dollar bill over the seat and flashing it teasingly. The beta follows it with his eyes, frowning and sighing some more. “And there's more where that came from, big boy.” Except that there isn't, because Stiles forgot to grab his wallet. And, apparently, his dignity, as well.

The ride to Derek's building mostly consists of the cabbie blasting the radio at top volume while Stiles tries to masturbate in the backseat. And he uses the word tries because the asshole up front keeps turning around to fucking mist him with a spray bottle he apparently keeps up front for moments just like this, and Stiles wonders exactly how many heat-drunk omegas he's driven around before.

Every time there's a stoplight, he whips around and starts squirting Stiles again and again shouting THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH I CAN TAKE at the top of his lungs while Stiles curses him out and spits water out of his mouth.

By the time he spills out onto the sidewalk outside of Derek's building, he's soaking wet, the front of his jeans are covered in come, and he doesn't have enough money to pay the cab driver.

He pulls himself into a sitting position on his knees on the sidewalk, calls for a pen from the doorman who's kind enough to hover in his general vicinity, looking over his shoulder like he's making sure no one's coming to see an omega in this fucking phase of heat out in the open. With the pen and an old receipt from the bottom of his knapsack he writes Derek Hale owes u fifteen dollars and shoves the sodden receipt in the cabbie's direction.

When the beta sees the name Derek Hale written, his eyes nearly bulge out of his skull – he looks like he just realized that he might've spent the last twenty minutes spraying Alpha Hale's omega bedmate with water and is about to lose his fucking head.

He nearly breaks his leg running back to his car and speeding off.

The doorman pulls Stiles into a standing position and keeps his hands on the omega's shoulders as he guides him inside.

“You smell like fancy leather,” Stiles tells him, leaning in closer to him like he's going to try and rut up against him.

Like a gentleman, the man just angles his body out of the way and pats Stiles on the back. “To the penthouse, sir?”

Yesss,” Stiles nearly moans just at the sheer word – penthouse. Like the fucking porn magazine, right? There's a porn magazine called Penthouse and Derek Hale lives in a penthouse and, they should totally make a porno. That's exactly what he should convince Derek to do while he's here. He probably has super fancy video equipment, right?

The doorman wrangles him inside the elevator, presses the P button and waves at him as the doors slide shut. The ride up the elevator, short as it is, is comprised of Stiles staring at himself in the reflection of the metallic siding of the walls. He looks like a fucking mess, honestly, but his heat-mind can only come up with sex-tousled proudly as he stares at the erratic mop of hair on top of his head, the white undershirt he has on, his unbuttoned pants stained with come.

This is going to be a good night, he thinks, when the elevator doors ding open and Derek Hale is already standing there waiting for him like he could smell the omega from a couple miles away – and, in all honesty, he probably could.

Stiles reaches out for him instantly, grabbing at the alpha's ankles, sprawling his entire long body out on the floor like a fucking fish out of water; flopping and humping into the ground as the smell of alpha and Derek permeates every thing all around him. It fucking seeps into the very pores of his skin, it fucking just completely takes him over, and all he can think about is fucking.

“Okay,” Derek's voice comes from above him, and then there's hands on him, touching his burning hot skin and Stiles jerks and moans in pleasure even though nothing is happening. “Okay, come on, you're all right.”

Before he knows it he's being swooped up into Derek's arms effortlessly, being cradled up against the man's chest and carried bridal style into the penthouse at large. At first.

Then, Stiles flips himself around until his long legs are wrapped around Derek's waist, his arms curling around his neck, and he runs his tongue down the length of Derek's fucking throat and oh, dear fucking lord, he tastes as good as he looks and smells – he tastes like...sex. That's the only way Stiles can think to describe it. Alpha, and mate, and sex.

“Okay,” the alpha says, again, walking along with a Stiles barnacled to his front, sucking and licking along his neck like this is something that happens all the time. “Please tell me you didn't walk here, Stiles.”

Stiles pants into Derek's neck and ruts into him, finding the bare minimum amount of friction between his pants and Derek's skin and it's not fucking enough and any second he's just going to fucking die and this is all going to be Derek's fault and he'll have to think of someway to dispose of the body, and -

Derek peels him off of his front, and deposits him in a stool at the island in the kitchen. Then, he takes two huge steps back, and says, using his alpha voice and flashing his red eyes at Stiles for the first time since they've met, “don't move.”

The omega whines, reaching his hand out in Derek's direction before pulling it back with a scowl, narrowing his eyes and growling under his breath about not fair. Although, it's much, much easier to think straight about something other than how wet his ass is or how hard his dick is when he's not actively putting his hands on Derek, though the smell is enough to make him want to hump the chair he's sitting in.

From a few feet away, the alpha asks the question again. “Did you walk here, Stiles?”

“No,” Stiles says in a groan, dropping his elbows down onto the marble countertop of the kitchen island. All signs from the party earlier have been cleaned up, all the food gone, none of the betas left, which Stiles thinks is a good thing. It would've been pretty embarrassing otherwise. “I took a cab. By the way, do you have fifteen dollars?”

“Fifteen dollars.” Derek repeats this in an incredulous tone of voice while Stiles starts taking his knapsack off his back.

“To pay the cab man.” Stiles dumps the contents of his bag out onto the counter and says, “can you put my ice creams in your freezer, please?”

The alpha runs his hand down his face, looks up at Stiles, then at the chocolates and ice creams and ruffles scattered across the counter, and then sighs before reaching out and gathering the pints into his hands. “You should've stayed at my place if you were -”

“Blah blah blah,” Stiles intones, mimicking Derek's mouth with a crab hand in the air a few times while the alpha piles the pints into his fancy freezer. “I don't wanna talk. You think I came here in come-stained pants-”

“Jesus fucking-”

“-to talk?” The omega rips his white undershirt over his head and tosses it somewhere off to the side, and then starts in on trying to shove his already undone pants down his hips. He's failing miserably at it; absolutely fucking miserably. He just winds up kicking his legs frantically like a flailing rag doll, the slipper socks he put on his feet in a mockery of shoes sliding all over the granite and marble and whatever surface they keep smacking into.

Finally, though, down to the floor the pants go, followed by his boxers, and then he's ass naked in Derek Hale's kitchen, leaning over the island with his knees on the stool – because he still can't just get up and jump on top of Derek, not with the alpha command of don't move still hovering above his head.

Derek turns around, sees this, and takes two huge steps back, running both hands down his face again and again. “Stiles,” he groans, and even in his haze Stiles can tell that he's shaking. With the exertion of not climbing on top of Stiles, most likely. Though, Stiles doesn't get why he's exerting anything into that when Stiles has no fucking problems with it whatsoever, and neither did Derek a few hours earlier at the party. “You're going to fucking kill me.”

You're going to fuck me.”

Derek jerks. His entire body just jerks at the sound of the word fuck, and Stiles watches it with wide eyes and a feral grin on his face. He strokes his eyes up and down Derek's body, the white tank top he's wearing and the boxer shorts, like he was just about to go to bed when he started smelling Stiles and his heat stink coming from a mile away. “You're heat-drunk.”

“Mmm,” Stiles agrees in a long moan, nodding his head up and down. “Drunken minds speak sober hearts, Mr. Hale.”

“I've asked you,” Derek finally pulls his hands off his face to glare at Stiles, pointedly keeping his eyes trained on the omega's face instead of wandering anywhere else, “to call me Derek.”

“Derek,” Stiles says with a slow grin spreading across his face, “fuck me.”

“I can't -”

“I want you to fuck me-”

“I asked you when you were fucking lucid if you wanted to, and you-”

“I remember you also saying,” Stiles waves a finger in the air, and it zig zags awkwardly with no clear direction, “that you'd give me anything I want.”

The alpha sets his jaw so hard Stiles thinks his teeth should fucking break right there inside of his mouth, shatter into a million pieces and scatter across the ground. He nods, once. Tersely.

Stiles leans his entire front over the island, resting all of his weight on his elbows, sticking his ass as far up in the air as he can with his knees still on the stool, and says, “then give it to me.”

It happens very, very quickly. One second Derek is leaning back against the opposite side of the kitchen looking like a fucking martyr, shaking his head and rubbing his hands down his face.

The next, he's literally jumping over the entire island like a wild animal, ripping the stool out from underneath Stiles' knees just to send it flying off somewhere behind them with a loud clatter that Stiles can barely register over the sounds of his own pants and Derek's heartbeat in his ear. The alpha grabs Stiles' hips hard enough to bruise, and the touch on his skin makes Stiles cry out helplessly into the quiet of the apartment.

And then Derek is inside of him. The slick does its job, and Derek slides in without a problem – Stiles flops down hard onto the surface of the counter and starts making what could easily be defined as the single most pornographic noises he or anyone else has ever made in their lives. Derek's not being fucking gentle, not the first thrust or the second, not for even a moment, not by any stretch of the imagination; this is a fucking, plain and simple.

It's all fingers digging into his skin, and his hips slamming up against the edge of the counter with every hard pound of Derek's body into his, while Derek fists Stiles' hair in his fingers and jerks the omega's neck back to expose the length of his throat.

“Like this?” Derek asks, and it sounds more like a demand the way he snarls it right into the shell of Stiles' ear, teething at the piercings in Stiles' ear.

Stiles nods up and down mindlessly as much as he can with Derek's hand in his hair, accompanied by the sound of his pitiful little moans and squeals. This is, without a doubt, the hardest he's ever been fucked in his entire life. This is the hardest anyone's ever been fucked at any point in time ever, period. This is the hardest fucking of all time. This is the Rosetta Stone of fucking, the Stonehenge, the god damn – what's that thing called? With the faces in the rock. Stiles can't fucking think about, like, school shit right now.

All too soon, he's coming all over himself and the ground and the front of the island, crying out and dropping his weak body down onto the hard surface. Derek fucks him straight on through and brings himself off with a grunt; he doesn't pull out right away. He stays planted inside of Stiles like he can't bear to leave, just yet, using the fist of hair to tilt Stiles' head more to the side.

He kisses Stiles' neck, laves at it a bit with his tongue.

“Your doorman is really nice,” Stiles says to him, bucking back onto Derek's dick inside of him like he's trying to get him hard again, but all that really happens is Derek jerking with a pained noise from the over stimulation. “Also, that fifteen dollars...”

“You can have a million dollars if you want it, Stiles,” the alpha grinds out into his neck as he runs his nose up and along Stiles' jawline. “Anything you want.”

He sounds like he means it, too. Even with the veil of heat thrown over his eyes, Stiles can tell that Derek isn't just talking out his ass or thinking with his dick about this. He really, truly and genuinely means that he'd give Stiles one million fucking dollars if he asked for it, and Derek is just lucky that Stiles isn't a bonafide gold digger who would whip around and say what about twenty million?

Other omegas are like that. Stiles would prefer being treated nicely to getting nice things any day, though.

“Fuck me again,” Stiles pants; and he's already rock hard. Two minutes after coming his brains out all over Derek's kitchen and he's rock hard all over again. That's one thing that never gets unsurprising or unshitty about his heats. Everyone's heat can kind of be a little bit different, and the symptoms can manifest themselves in a billion different shapes and forms. Stiles has talked to other omegas who say that heat isn't anything like being drunk for them, that it's like being knocked out or blacking out and they can't remember anything after all's said and done. Or, that it's like once an hour they get horny and work themselves off and then they're fine for another hour.

For Stiles, it's just constant for the first day. No fucking breaks.

He shoves himself back onto Derek's dick again and whines.

“Hold on,” the alpha grunts, pushing his hand in between Stiles' shoulder blades so his front is draped over the ice cold counter again, like he's trying to wake Stiles up or something. Cold can work, sometimes - but only sometimes. “Just – fuck, stop doing that!”

That meaning fucking himself on Derek's poor overstimulated dick. Since that's unlikely to happen anytime soon, Derek finally wises up and holds Stiles down to pull himself clean out of the omega with the single most disgusting squelch noise of all time.

He staggers backwards and removes both his hands from Stiles' body and Stiles hates how cold he feels, and alone, and empty.

The omega is just about to chase Derek around the kitchen to try and jump on top of him again, but he flashes his red eyes and says, “stay.”

“That's not fair,” Stiles hisses, but plants his ass down onto the stool (the other one, because the one he was on before is in pieces somewhere across the room) and crosses his arms over his chest.

Derek walks over to his fridge, keeping his eyes on Stiles the entire time like he suspects the omega will try to break free of the alpha command and go jump out a window or something, and pulls out a bottle of water. Stiles watches him crack the top open, and right as he's taking a good long gulp, Stiles' dumbass heat-drunk self says, “are you into BDSM?”

Derek chokes, sputtering and coughing as some of the water that was in his mouth goes dribbling down his chin onto the floor.

“It's a fair question,” Stiles supplies in a slur, leaning over the counter and ignoring his painfully hard dick in favor of staring at Derek's bare chest. Somewhere along the line he ripped his clothes off, which makes sense. “I was just thinking – like – I don't know. You seem like -”

“I am not,” Derek finally chokes out, running the back of his hand across his mouth. “What the hell sort of -”

“You seem like the type!”

“Not all alphas are into domination, Stiles.”

“It's not about you being an alpha. It's about you looking at me like you want to, like, spank me all the -”

“Oh, my God.”

“So you're saying you don't want to sp-”

“No!” Derek looks at Stiles like he has about fifteen heads sprouting out of the pores on his nose for a few seconds, and then makes a second face that's crossed somewhere between shock and disgruntlement. “Are you – are you asking me to -”

“Ha!” Stiles chortles and cuts him off, throwing his head back with a laugh of pure mirth. “Yeah, right! I couldn't do stuff like that. I'm a total wimp about, like...I don't know. That sort of stuff. But I was just going to say if you're into that kind of thing that I don't want you taking me to your, like, dungeon or whatever, because -”

“There's! No! Dungeon!” With every word, Derek accentuates it with a clap of his hands, and then picks the water back up from the counter with a glare in Stiles' direction. “Is your filter completely and totally shot, right now?”

Stiles trails his eyes up and down Derek's body, at his now half-hard dick, the long expanse of his chest shining with sweat, the way his hair is all ruffled and out of control on top of his head. He smirks, hugely, and nods his head. “Can I move to the couch?”

With a sigh, Derek jerks his head in the direction of the plush couches lining the living room and Stiles scatters off the stool and leaps for them. He goes rolling over the back of the first one he sees before spilling into a mountain of soft pillows – and then he starts trying to jerk himself off.

He starts jerking himself off on Alpha Hale's fancy, probably ten thousand dollar couch with a cashmere blanket wedged somewhere underneath his ass. If he had half a mind right now, half of even any presence of mind, if he even recognized himself at all, he would be stopping. This is the sort of humiliating, embarrassing moment that isn't even funny enough to tell your friends; this is, like, Seventeen Magazine material. Anonymous submission to the embarrassing moments section.

Male – twenty-two : lmao one time I jerked off on Alpha Hale's couch during my heat and consequently he had to get the entire thing reupholstered – also I owe him a new cashmere blanket that I can't afford

So, that's what he's doing. Legs splayed out in front of him with his feet perched on the coffee table, completely and totally spread fucking eagled, fisting his dick with such fervor he thinks that if this were some sort of olympic dick-jerking competition he would be winning by a landslide. He imagines bringing home a gold medal with Expert Dick-Jerker molded into the front, showing it off to his father, and the thought is so ludicrous that he starts laughing around his cacophony of whining and moaning.

This cannot be a pretty picture. Stiles has known for a very long time that while his heat in and of itself is enticing to alphas and betas and pretty much anyone who isn't asexual, he's kind of a spazz about his. Again, it's like being drunk, for him, so he does...things that drunk people do. Like laugh in the middle of jerking off because of a fake scenario he's made up in his head.

All the same, it's only another ten seconds before Derek is rounding the front of the couch and looming over Stiles with his lips set in a tight line. For a second they just stare at each other, the way that they always do; eyes locked when it's against the rules, Derek's face a blank slate, Stiles' mouth dropped open and spewing incomprehensible moans every millisecond.

Stiles tosses his head back, exposing his neck, and Derek snaps.

He winds up bent over the arm of the couch, half-screaming in ecstasy and relief as an alpha dick rams in and out of him in a steady, merciless rhythm. It's probably hard to get the proper amount of leverage on a couch this soft, with cushions that dip so low with all the stuffing inside of them, but Derek doesn't seem to be having much of a problem as he drapes himself along Stiles' back and drops his chin onto the omega's shoulder.

Just like the first time, he fixates on Stiles' neck with his mouth and breathes his panting breaths into his ear. “Stiles,” he hisses in a staccato, and underneath him Stiles shivers. He dips his big hand down low and palms roughly at Stiles' balls, slides his thick fingers around what is probably a way smaller dick than what's inside of Stiles right now, and it only takes a few good pumps before Stiles does, indeed, give Derek a good reason to reupholster his couch.

“Thirsty,” he groans while his body slams against the couch arm through Derek's pounding orgasm. “Thirsty, parched, dehydrated, agog.”

It's a couple seconds before Derek answers, still coming down from his own release. “Agog?” A hand runs down his back. “I don't think that means what you think it does.”

“Sorry, Mr. Webster, I didn't mean to offend-” the top of a water bottle is shoved into his mouth, effectively cutting him off which was probably Derek's whole mission, with that. The bit about actually satiating Stiles' thirst was just an afterthought, most likely.

Stiles sucks long and hard at the water, until the plastic is running empty and crackling against the pressure of it. He tosses the empty bottle away, pants out a series of deep breaths, and flops his front down onto the couch, into the pillows, slipping underneath Derek's legs.

“Are you hungry?” Derek asks, dragging his fingers up and down Stiles' back slowly, probably trying to soothe him enough that he won't start rutting into the couch or something like that.

“Hungry,” Stiles agrees, “horny. Sleepy.”

“I can -”

“Shhh,” Stiles puts a finger to his lips with his eyes closed, smirking deep into the pillow he's resting his cheek on. “Sleep now.”

----

When he wakes up, he falls off the couch.

As soon as he's on the ground he's pulling himself to his hands and knees, crawling across the rug until he lands on the hardwood. His sweaty, hot palms stick to the floor as he goes, and in the back of his mind he registers that it's still pitch dark outside the huge windows around the city lights; which puts the time probably somewhere around two or three in the morning.

“Alpha,” Stiles calls out in a rasp; if he were half cognizant he could find Derek himself, just from hearing or sniffing him out. As it is, he can hardly focus hard enough to see straight, let alone find anyone or anything in this gigantic fucking apartment. His knees are shaking, he feels like he's about to flop to the floor like a dead animal at any second, and he's literally soaking wet. In all ways. There's sweat pooling around his forehead, dripping down the side of his face, soaking his hair, and don't even fucking get him started and what's going on with his slick.

And, holy fuck, Stiles hates that word. Slick. Like he's a car or something that needs a tune up – well. Lube he guesses is like that, too, but at least lube doesn't just spurt out of him at random intervals for three days out of the month and -

“Hey,” Derek is squatting down next to him – all Stiles can see from this angle is his bare chest. He puts one hand on Stiles' shoulder and the omega literally jumps and moans, eyes rolling back into his head, before he – orgasms.

It's not the type of orgasm where he's like ahhh, yes, I feel so much better now, it's not a fucking release – he doesn't even fucking come anything out. It's a fucking heat orgasm. Just a stutter of his hips, a long drawn out moan as he flops down onto the ground and starts to cry. It hurts. It feels like he's half way there, this close, so fucking close, and someone's teasing him and pulling away every two seconds right as he's about to -

“Jesus Christ,” Derek says from somewhere above him – Stiles isn't sure where – and the hand moves to his neck, in-between his shoulder blades, down his back up and down in what Stiles guesses is supposed to be soothing or placating. “You're so much worse than earlier.”

“Yeah,” Stiles spits out in a voice that doesn't even sound remotely close to what his voice normally does, “worse. Bad. Please.” On shaking hands, stuttering elbows about to give out at any second, he rises back to his hands and knees. He's a fucking quaking, crying, shivering, sweaty mess.

He angles himself back in what he thinks Derek's general direction is with a whine and a constant stream of please, please, please, please...

Derek chuffs out something that sounds like fucking god...before wrapping his fingers around Stiles' hips and slowly, very slowly, sliding inside of Stiles for the third time (that Stiles can remember – things are turning yellow and hazy around the edges.)

The alpha doesn't move for a full minute. Just sits inside of him and holds his hips steadily, with a litany of “I'm here, I've got you, shhh, it's okay,” while Stiles keeps right on crying and whining, dropping his face all the way down onto the hardwood floor pathetically.

When he starts moving, it's long. In, all the way all the way all the motherfucking way as slow as anything Stiles has ever felt before, and then out, close enough that Derek almost pops out every time. And then it starts over again – in as slow as humanly possible, out in a long drag – so fucking slow and deliberate and careful that Stiles can feel every fucking second of it. Every minute movement Derek makes, every twitch, every readjustment of his fingers on Stiles' hips, every thing.

It goes on for what feels like hours. Slow, and steady.

Until Derek picks up the pace just enough that he can actually come without it taking five hours, until Stiles shakes his orgasm out hard enough that it's pain and pleasure at the same time, until Derek slides out of him and says another expletive of fucking hell or Jesus Christ...or god fucking dammit – something along those lines. It's all the same.

“I've never seen someone in so fucking deep,” Derek mutters under his breath, flipping Stiles over in his arms so the omega is blinking half-lidded eyes up at him. “Fuck. Stiles?”

Stiles nods, once, a barely there drop of his chin, and Derek frowns – which he gets. This is not a very good time. Stiles can admit that much.

He's already reaching his hand out to grab at Derek's spent dick, pawing around Derek's chest uselessly like he's suddenly not sure where a penis is on a member of the male sex, and the alpha sighs. “C'mon,” he huffs out as he rises to a standing position. Stiles' useless, heat-addled body is just along for the ride, tiny noises of desperation spilling out of his mouth.

The ceiling is yellow. Which is a weird color for a ceiling.

The lights in the kitchen are bright, too bright, so Stiles squints against them and groans out something like hate and Derek ignores him in favor of sitting Stiles down on the edge of a hard, ice cold counter. He hisses at the cold sensation against his burning hot skin, but for a second, he gets some clarity – he thinks about how Derek has a tattoo in between his shoulder blades and it looks pretty good but is just a swirling mass of black and Stiles isn't sure if he's hallucinating or not – and then he starts crying again.

“I know,” Derek says soothingly, running fingers along the omega's chest. Stiles has no clue what's going on, what Derek's doing, what his surroundings really are – all he knows is Derek is touching him and there's a distant sound of something sizzling. “Christ. Fucking Christ, Stiles.”

It's bad. He might be completely and totally far gone, but even he knows that he's fucked up. It literally is exactly like when he has too much wolfsbane alcohol and has that moment of realization (usually when he tries dancing to One Direction and winds up scattered on the floor laughing hysterically) that he's too messed up and should probably stop.

The main difference here is that he can't stop. He cannot fucking stop. It's only going to get worse from here, because he has no control over how many hormones his body produces, how much he's sweating, how hard he gets, how much slick he's dribbling all over the counter.

And, distantly, like in some tiny miniscule part of his brain that's actually operating on a frequency somewhere in the realm of sanity, he knows it's because it's his first heat with an alpha.

“Okay, here's what we're gonna do,” Derek pats Stiles' tear-stained face with his fingers a few times, gently, like rousing the omega from sleep. Stiles lifts his eyes and meets Derek's, blinks hazily at him. “You're going to eat something,” suddenly there's a fork with food on it hovering in the air in Stiles' line of sight, “and then we're having a cold shower.”

“No,” Stiles says definitively. No fucking way. Having a cold shower and eating food isn't having sex, and that's all that fucking matters to Stiles at the moment, is more sex, right as this very moment, now.

“Yes,” Derek pinches Stiles' cheeks with his fingers to open his mouth up, and shovels the fork inside.

The natural bodily reaction to having something warm and tasty inside his mouth is to start chewing, so that's what he does. He chews, slowly, up and down, and then swallows. Another forkful comes up and Stiles tries to resist this one, as well, but Derek shoves the food inside his mouth. Stiles hardly tastes it – rice? Spicy rice?

This goes on for at least five minutes, Derek feeding Stiles' drunk ass while Stiles paws at Derek's body and spreads his legs and tries humping against him. Derek allows this, mostly because absolutely nothing can come out of it and Stiles is too weak to make anything real happen.

Stiles smacks the next forkful out of the air after he's had just about enough of this, and the alpha rolls his eyes and sighs as the omega finally remembers where penises go, and wraps his fingers around Derek's with conviction. Strong, and hard, and fast, he starts jerking Derek off, pressing his face close to the alpha's, panting his spicy breath all over his mouth and nose and eyes.

“God,” Derek mutters, and Stiles wonders how many more times he can get the alpha to take the lord's damn name in vain. “Fuck – just -”

“I want you in me,” Stiles growls, his first full sentence in what feels like days, and Derek nods his head up and down, giving into the omega's demands.

The angle is weird. Stiles is high up enough on the counter that all Derek really has to do is pull him off the counter just enough, and hold him up, to fuck upwards inside of him but it's still – awkward. Counter sex isn't actually as great as the movies have made it seem.

Stiles drops his hand down somewhere next to him halfway through the whole thing, and stumbles his fingers over one of his Hershey's bars. He makes a noise of delight, picks the chocolate up, and starts unwrapping it with shaking fingers. Derek watches this with a panting smile, flicking his eyes up from the chocolate to Stiles' face again and again like he honestly cannot believe he's watching this. Like Stiles eating chocolate while the alpha's dick is jamming in and out of him as hard as physically possible is one of the most incredible things he's ever been witness to.

Stiles breaks off a piece of chocolate, moans, and shoves it into his mouth. Then, he breaks another piece off, holds it in the air in between he and Derek – there's not much space in between them but just enough – and says, “want?”

Without saying anything, the alpha leans his head down and licks the chocolate right out of Stiles' fingers.

Stiles breaks off another piece, holds it in the air, and Derek licks that one up, as well.

----

The next thing Stiles is actually fully alert and aware of is being dumped entirely into a tub full of ice cold water.

He splashes for a few seconds, gurgling around a mouthful of water, before shooting up with a gasp. “What the fuck!”

“You have no idea what I've been through,” Alpha Hale is there, hovering over him, hands on his hips, glaring. “You have no idea what you've been -”

“Fuck off!” Stiles snarls, puts his hands on the edge of the tub to try and pull himself up – but the alpha just shoves his hands away and sends him tumbling back into the water with a splash. “Alpha!” He shivers in the water and glowers. “It's – cold!”

“You need this. Believe me.”

Stiles rubs water out of his eyes and smooths his hair back, flattening it out against his head. He tries to think about what Derek is referring to; last he remembers they were having amazing kitchen sex and eating chocolate together. So excuse the fuck out of him if he doesn't see the problem with any of that. He's about to open his mouth to chatter through his teeth as such, when he remembers.

There was Stiles reaching his entire hand into a pan of rice, shoveling it into his mouth, while Derek shouted in the background about get a fucking fork! There was also Stiles actually trying to climb up Derek's curtains, also Stiles crying in the middle of the floor with one of his ice cream pints about you're just so good looking – you are just so fucking hot – I want to make cookies with you, also Stiles trying to start a conversation about how much he wants a cat in the middle of getting a blowjob.

It all comes back in flashbacks, and for a second, he's just shivering in the ice cold water while staring blankly off in the distance as the memories come slowly back to him. “Oh,” he squeaks.

“You are a fucking mess,” Derek chastises, before sliding his hands underneath Stiles' arms to lift him up out of the water. Absently, Stiles notes that the floors in the bathroom are heated when his bare feet touch the tile, and that the towel Derek wraps around his shivering body is warm like it was just rolling around in the dryer. “I have never seen someone so fucking gone before.”

The moment of clarity is fading, and fading fast. Cold water typically only works in extreme cases, which Stiles apparently is lord fucking help him, and even then only for five minutes at a time. Then it's right back into it, and this time, Stiles is worried. Really, really worried. Horrified at what embarrassing thing he'll do next. He's about to open his mouth to say don't let me do anything else that crazy, Derek, so help me god - when he takes note of what the alpha is wearing.

Stiles takes a step back, holding the towel tightly around his body, and frowns. "Um."

Derek blinks at him. "What?"

The omega gestures to Derek's - choice of attire - and shakes his head. "What. The fuck. Are you wearing."

Like this is the most confusing thing that's ever happened, Derek scrunches his eyebrows together before glancing down at himself. "Pants?"

"Those," Stiles pulls one hand out from the towel and covers his mouth with his fingers, as if in disgust, horror, shock, "...are not pants."

They're really, really not. They're the single most horrifyingly shocking thing he's ever seen a rich person put on their body before - this is something he would expect to see in the heroin addict section of downtown LA. Not in fucking Alpha Hale's apartment? On Alpha Hale's body? The man's net worth is somewhere near four hundred million, and he's standing there in - in... "those are jorts, alpha."

"That's not a thing," Derek rolls his eyes and steps forward like he's going to try and help Stiles dry off, but Stiles side steps him and his disgustingly awful cut offs.

"Don't come near me while you're wearing those. I cannot believe - and you - you had the gall...the fucking - you -" Stiles breaks off, makes a gagging noise, shaking his head.

"They're comfortable," he argues somewhat sullenly, glancing at the faded, below-knee length things on his body. "I'm not at the fucking opera, Stiles, I'm trying to -"

"Take those off or I'm not talking to you. I cannot speak to you, I cannot look at you while you're wearing -"

"Jesus fucking Christ," he throws his hands in the air before reaching them down to unbutton the jorts and slide them down to the ground - he's not wearing boxers, which starts setting Stiles' heat mind off again. He glances at the jorts lying in a pile on the ground and he thinks his penis should just automatically retract into his body in horror at the sheer fucking sight. "Happy?"

Stiles smirks at him as the alpha comes closer, grabs the edges of the towel and helps the omega dry off. A few seconds pass in silence, and slowly but surely, the effects of the cold water and the shock of the hideous shorts start wearing off.

“What day is it?” He decides to ask as his last semi-lucid question. Derek raises his eyes away from rubbing the towel around Stiles' body to dry him off.

“It's Saturday afternoon.”

Holy. Fuck. He's been at Derek's since at least ten o'clock the night before, and everything is just a god damn blur. Has that much happened? How many times have they had sex? How many times has Derek said jesus fucking christ? It's all beginning to blur into one in Stiles' mind, and it's never really been like that for him before.

“This is bad,” Stiles decides.

Derek smiles at him, before cracking out a short laugh. “First alpha experiences usually are.”

Apparently, the heat is back on in full swing. Because Stiles starts crying again. His mood goes from zero to a hundred in under a millisecond. If he were at home, this would be around the time he'd turn on The Notebook and masturbate during the rain scene - this is not exactly his proudest admission. If he weren't heat-drunk he'd never had said this, he'd never have admitted to trying to jerk off while crying hysterically over a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Moving on.

“Christ,” Derek rolls his eyes to the ceiling, but he's still laughing. Stiles wonders how many times he's just out of nowhere started crying since getting to Derek's apartment, if the alpha's reaction is just to roll his eyes and laugh like again, with this?

“You're gonna fire me,” Stiles moans, pulling the edge of the huge fluffy towel up to his face to cry into it. “Because – because – because -”

“What?” From over the top of the towel, Stiles can see Derek pull his eyebrows together in confusion. “Why – what possessed you to even think like that right now?”

“Because!” Stiles sniffs, nastily, but doesn't offer any more elaboration than that. Probably because he can't offer anything more, can't fucking think of anything more with his head in this much of a haze.

“I'm not going to fire you,” Derek tilts his head to the side and appraises the fluff that is Stiles at the moment, his lips curving downwards into a frown. “I thought I made my intentions pretty clear, Stiles.”

Yeah. Stiles guesses that the alpha made his intentions of bedding the only single omega at Hale Magazine pretty clear, from the three hundred dollars to the copier to even ripping his shoes apart. Stiles got the hint, and he acted on it – well. Heat-Stiles acted on it.

“I don't know why you think having an omega in heat in my apartment would be a bad thing,” the alpha raises his eyebrows and pulls the towel off of Stiles' body, rakes his eyes up and down the pale expanse of the omega's skin, “especially one who's never had an alpha before.”

Stiles swallows thickly, and he doesn't feel any desire whatsoever to cover himself up even if the alpha's gaze is a little too intense on his body. “Is it – that obvious?”

“Stiles,” and it sounds like an amused chastisement, “there were moments earlier when you could hardly move.”

Yeah. Yeah. It's fucking obvious. It is glaringly obvious that Stiles is an alpha-virgin and can't handle it and turns into a sobbing, coming mess at the first touch of an alpha when he's in heat. For Christ's sake, Derek had to carry him inside when he first got here because he was such a mess – on some level, this is all incredibly humiliating. Like, never leave the house again bad.

On another level, way closer to the forefront of his nasty little omega-heat mind, this is the single greatest thing that's ever happened to anyone at any point in time and fuck it. Just fuck it.

“So,” Derek puts the pads of his fingers in the center of Stiles' chest and tilts his head to the side, watching as a shudder ripples through Stiles' bones from his toes all the way to his lips. “You want to go back in?”

What Derek is asking is, does Stiles want to spiral right back down into the same level of heat he was in earlier? Does he want Derek to fuck him right back into it, cover him in alpha scent, turn him into that desperate sobbing mess that eats chocolate and cries and comes all over everything?

Stiles blinks three times, at least, before he nods his head, slowly. Maybe it's a shit decision. But it's as good of a decision as he's going to make the way he is right now.

The alpha moves his fingers up to rest on the side of Stiles' face, instead, and he smiles down at him with his full set of teeth. “You know I don't mind taking care of you.”

“Yeah,” Stiles thinks he's kind of cussed out that Derek likes taking care of omegas. Though Stiles has a strong suspicion that he's more annoying than any other omegas he's ever had before.

Derek steps forwards, and Stiles steps back; and then another step forward, and another step back, and again, and again, until Stiles winds up with his lower back pressed against the cool porcelain of the sink, with a huge alpha werewolf boxing him in.

His heat surges, starts making his skin swelter again, burns through his bones and pushes his hips in a stuttering motion towards Derek's.

“In here?” Derek asks, raising his eyebrows like he's all shocked and appalled or something.

That Stiles can remember, they've had sex in the kitchen (like, four times or something like that – it's all a fucking blur), they've had sex on the floor in the living room, on the couch in the living room, and now Derek is going to be all surprised that Stiles would willingly have sex with Derek in a bathroom.

“I don't fucking care,” Stiles says back, tilting his chin in the air and narrowing his eyes just slightly. “Why? Your other omegas like fancy stuff like beds?”

The alpha roughly grabs a fistful of Stiles' hair, pushes his head to the side and licks up the side of his neck. Stiles rolls his eyes into the back of his head and jerks his hips forward again, thinks about saying something like just fuck me already but can't find his voice. “What other omegas?”

Stiles doesn't get a chance to try and answer that before he's flipped over and pinned down over the sink, Derek sliding inside of him for the umpteenth time since late the night before.

His fingers scrabble for purchase along the smooth surface, spread out as his arms quake underneath his weight and the push and pull that Derek's putting into him. Once they settle, as much as they can, Derek's hands slide down his arms and his own fingers fit into the spaces between Stiles', until the omega gets the hint and lets him interlock their fingers together.

“There are no other omegas,” Derek growls, licking around a gold hoop around Stiles' upper-ear, keeping the pace up without even a stutter out of rhythm, “you understand?”

Stiles has no clue what he does or doesn't understand, but he nods up and down anyway. “Yeah.”

“There's only you,” a kiss to Stiles' temple, “only you, you're so good, Stiles, so good for me,” and Stiles nods along like hell yeah I am, not really considering the full weight of what's being said, here. All he knows is that he's drifting, drifting, floating off into the land of great, endless sex, and that's really all that matters, at the moment.

When he's sprawled out on the tiled floor in the bathroom, shaking and sweating and writhing all over the place, Derek just hovers over him for a second with a frown on his face. Obviously and clearly he didn't think that it would be as bad a second time around, but apparently, Stiles is a fucking lightweight when it comes to alpha sex and can't handle his shit.

“C'mon,” he lifts Stiles off the ground and the entire world starts spinning around and around, and around and around, until he winds up dropped down onto something and squishy – a bed.

After that, it's all just a blur.

----

When he wakes up, like, for real this time, he nearly has a heart attack.

His eyes blink open to see Alpha Hale reclining into a pile of pillows, munching on one of Stiles' Hershey's bars, and reading a book. The alpha knows the second he wakes up, of course, so he turns his head, cocks it to the side, and smiles at Stiles; behind him, in the windows, it's dark.

It's fucking horrible. It's the single worst thing that's ever happened.

Stiles jumps up into a sitting position and scatters off of the bed to the floor in a heap while behind him, Derek Hale says “calm down.” Calm down. Calm. Down.

Calm!?!? Down?!?!?

He pulls himself up to his feet and takes stock of his surroundings; the sheet that's now a pile at his feet was apparently the only thing on the bed – the only thing left on the bed – aside from the pillows. He spots the comforter, ripped into two pieces with feathers scattered around it, on the opposite side of the room, and a throw pillow with teeth holes.

“Stiles.”

He whirls around, still butt naked, and gives Derek Hale what he thinks is his best agitated look, but is definitely and certainly coming off more wide-eyed nervous. Because...he just fucked his boss.

And not just once. O-ho, no. He fucked his boss probably at least thirty times in a zillion different positions all over this apartment. He's come in so many different places, onto so many orifices, that he's essentially covered the entire place in his stupid scent. He can smell his sex like a fucking cloud, like Derek's got a Stiles Stilinski Spunk scentsy wax square melting somewhere.

“Clothes,” he spits out, first thing.

The alpha puts his book down and sits forward, eying Stiles up and down. “You ripped them up.”

Oh, God...

“I'll buy you new ones.”

Oh. Fucking. God.

“What size are you? Like a -”

“Don't do that,” Stiles hisses at him, “do not guess my fucking size again!” He paces across the hardwood floor, with the intent to vanish out the door, and then whirls back around. “And don't fucking buy me any clothes!”

Derek blinks at him. “Are you going to leave naked?”

He has a point there. Stiles glances down at himself, and then back to Derek with a narrowed eye. “Are you going to -”

“I'm not going to fire you,” Derek rolls his eyes and stands up from the bed, holding his hands out in front of himself in a placating gesture. “I'm not mad. This wasn't a mistake.” And he says this like he's said the same thing a zillion times already, though Stiles can't remember a second of it.

Stiles hardly remembers much of anything. He remembers - bits and pieces. He remembers, and probably will for the rest of his life in waking nightmares, the fashion disaster of the jorts, and he remembers eating ice cream on the floor, and he remembers having lots and lots of orgasms and thinking Derek was the greatest thing ever, but...

Other than that, it's just gone. Holy shit, it's just - gone.

Stiles takes a step backwards as Derek advances. “I'm not, like, gonna join your omega harem or whatever, so if that was your whole -”

Omega harem?” Derek looks like he wants to walk right over and slap Stiles across the face. “What the fuck are you talking about? Do you seriously think I just have a group of omegas I sleep with on rotation?”

The omega takes another step back, until he knocks into the wall with a smack. “I – I did. Right about until – this moment. Right now.”

“There's no fucking harem. I haven't been with anyone in months, Stiles.”

Stiles swallows nervously, and then makes some gross snorting sound to go along with it; it's probably supposed to sound something like an incredulous laugh, but comes across more like he's got a cold. “Months? I've gone years before without a heat partner, so...beat that!”

The alpha scrunches his eyebrows together like he's not impressed, and Stiles feels uncomfortable under his gaze – like he very nearly always does. Or, at least he does when he's not in the throes of passion with the guy.

“I'm gonna -” Stiles sidesteps towards the bedroom door, and Derek watches him with blinking eyes.

“I'd like you to stay.”

“I really -”

“Stiles. Stay.” It's not an alpha command. No red eyes, no powerful voice. It's phrased like a question, like a proposition – put out there like an option for Stiles to either choose or turn down. Coming from an alpha, it's strange to hear. “You don't have any clothes.”

He runs a hand down his bare stomach, and says, “could I possibly borrow?” As if anything that Derek Hale owns would fit him; he imagines himself swimming in a pair of the guy's fancy dress pants and scrunches his nose up.

The alpha sighs, long and loud, and then waves a hand in the air as he walks over to his walk-in closet. “Whatever you want.”

Stiles watches him disappear into the closet, watches the light flick on to cast a yellow glow out onto the floor, with his arms crossed over his chest. He stands there and jiggles his legs. Thinks about how he can still smell their combined spunk fluttering around in the air, can still feel Derek's hands all over him, still smells like Derek's skin and Derek's tongue and Derek's everything.

He doesn't necessarily regret fucking Derek, or showing up heat-drunk at his apartment. Not really in the slightest bit. And he'd like to say that it's all about how he finally got to have an experience with an alpha, which is, honestly, what every single omega secretly fantasizes about, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with who the alpha in question actually is. It's got nothing to do with Derek in particular.

Nothing whatsoever.

Derek re-emerges with a plain white t-shirt and a pair of soft gray sweatpants. He holds them out to Stiles like it's a peace offering, and the omega pulls them out of his hands with a thank you.

It doesn't feel weird to have him stand there watching while he pulls clothes on. After all, he's very well acquainted with the inside of Stiles' ass, so he figures it's a bit of a moot point.

Like the silence is too much for him to stand, Alpha Hale clears his throat. “Are you leaving?”

“I really, really, should,” he walks over to the bedside table and peers over it, frowning, “you didn't happen to see if I brought my phone along, did you?”

“It's in the kitchen,” Derek says, pointing out the bedroom door. Stiles nods at him and treks his way out there – and Derek follows.

Their footsteps echo together in the hallway, and when Stiles spills out into the main room, he really, really wishes Derek had fucking warned him.

“Oh. My. God.”

It's a fucking disaster area. The smell is so overwhelming it almost knocks Stiles over, nearly sends him into a second heat right then and there – it's just pure, unfiltered, unadulterated sex. Everywhere.

The curtains are ripped, because Stiles remembers now that he thought it would be hilarious to try and climb up them like a cat and Derek had either been too aggravated or too amused (the former is more likely) to really try and stop him. There's melted ice cream spilling out onto the coffee table from a sodden pint cup of Ben and Jerry's. All of the pillow from the couches are scattered all over the place, underneath the table, sitting on the stove in the kitchen beside a half eaten pot of spaghetti, sitting in front of the door to the elevator.

Stiles turns around to stare at Derek, wide-eyed, and the alpha just shrugs. “Got carried away.”

“Why did you – how could you -,” he turns back to the scene in front of him, spots a square of hershey's chocolate melting into the rug beside the couch, “...why did you not control me?”

“Have you ever tried to control you, Stiles? It's not easy.” Derek smirks at him and passes by to strut into the kitchen; he picks up Stiles' green phone from the island with two fingers. It drips. When Stiles gapes at him, the alpha clarifies. “You tried to flush it down the toilet.” A beat. “I'll buy you a new one.”

Stiles gapes at him. He really just – gapes.

This man cannot be real. There is no person on planet earth who can be this calm when stepping out into their completely trashed apartment while holding onto a cell phone that's been inside of a toilet bowl.

And he has the fucking gall – the fucking balls – to stand there and offer to buy Stiles something, for the ten millionth time, when if there's anyone who should be offering to buy someone something, it's Stiles. And Stiles should be offering to but Derek a new apartment.

“You -” Stiles takes a step farther into the living room, mouth hanging open. “...what is this, Derek?”

“What's what?”

“This!” He thrusts his hands out towards the scene, and Derek blinks around himself like he doesn't get it. “If any other person came in here and did this to your apartment, no matter whether you were getting sex out of the deal or not...would you stand there in your five hundred dollar gray t-shirt,” the alpha glances down at himself, and then looks back up, “offering to buy them something?”

There's no pause. Not even a second spent deliberating. “If anyone else did this, I'd probably kill them.”

He means it, too. Not just a euphemism for I'd be really mad or I'd kick them out or any number of reasonable, normal people things. But he literally means that he'd claw them to death. It's what alphas do, after all; it's a territory thing. Everyone knows better than to waltz into an alpha's place just to fucking trash it, everyone knows better than to even leave one thing out of place.

Everyone, apparently, except for heat-Stiles.

“How come you're not killing me, right now?”

“I made this clear to you a thousand times already,” Derek rolls his eyes and drops the toilet phone down onto the counter again, “and you seemed to understand it when you were in heat, but maybe I have to say it again to drive it through your stubborn fucking skull.”

“I -”

“Why do you think I didn't fire you, Stiles?”

Stiles bites his lip and looks away. “Because I'm such a good article writer...?”

“Be that as it may,” Derek waves his hand dismissively like it's true but not the point, “you directly disobeyed me. More times than I could easily count on one hand – you're disrespectful, a know-it-all, and disobedient, and anyone else would've been fired in a heartbeat.”

All Stiles can think is, true. “Okay...but -”

“Do you think I walk around giving omegas hundreds of dollars for no good reason other than I feel like it?”

“Well, I -”

“Do you think I'd buy a brand new copier if anyone else except you had complained about it?”

“We really needed a new one, so I just -”

“I kept waiting for you to catch on, but you were too thickheaded to get what was going on right in front of your eyes!”

Stiles figured that Derek was attracted to him. In a kind of really simplistic way; like, Derek alpha, Stiles omega, Derek wants to buy Stiles things and fuck him. That kind of a thing. And, yeah, Stiles genuinely believed that Derek had a harem of omegas that he kept around for sex and other stuff. Which...suddenly sounds absolutely ridiculous and something the tabloids would just make up to sell copies of their shitty magazines.

“I don't get your point,” Stiles says slowly.

Derek growls under his breath and stalks towards where Stiles is standing – on instinct at having an alpha come towards him like that, Stiles backs away with his hand out in front of him, like he could really stop him if he tried. “You're not just anyone, Stiles.”

Stiles braces his other hand against the wall behind him, swallows as Derek comes within five feet of him.

“You're not even just any omega. You're -” he flicks his eyes away and sets his jaw, like he's searching for the right words, “...I'd like you to be my mate.”

Stiles' heart sinks. Deep down into the pit of his chest, like that feeling you get on a rollercoaster right before the big drop. Down, down, down, it goes, and he's not even sure that it's beating for a couple seconds; he's definitely not fucking breathing.

“...you.”

“Yeah. I didn't want to ask while you were -” he clears his throat, waves his hand in the air – he does that a lot, Stiles realizes. “...I know it's a big decision.”

It is a big decision. It's a huge decision. It's like asking someone to marry the fucking President, pretty much. If Stiles were to be Alpha Hale's mate, he'd be inducted into the Hale pack, he'd become a celebrity, he'd become – he'd become! And he'd have to sit there on the sidelines during all of Derek's challenges, he'd be on national television probably eating peanuts and cracker jacks while his mate literally kills another alpha, and he'd probably get blood on his clothes and shrug it off like no big deal, because at a certain point watching an alpha kill another one kind of has to lose its shine, right!?

A lot of thoughts are streaming through Stiles' head at the moment. A lot.

“That's not just something you – you just ask, Alpha.”

“I know. You asked me why, I told you.” He shrugs. “I'm not asking you to sign the papers and take the bite right this very second or anything -” the mating papers and the claiming bite, good fucking god, “-I just wanted to make my intentions crystal clear. Since you apparently need a fucking map to be able to understand what it is I think about you.”

The omega keeps his hand braced back against the wall, and breathes shallowly through his nose as he blinks his wide eyes at Derek Hale. “And – what is it, exactly, that you think of me?”

Derek tilts his head to the side, smiles, and says, “find out at dinner tomorrow night.”

“Are you -”

“Yes, Stiles. I am asking you out.” He crosses his own arms over his chest and blinks at the omega with a smile. "Then you can decide what you want for yourself."

For a couple of seconds, all Stiles can do is lean farther back into the wall so he can give Derek a proper and complete once over, mouth hanging open. Because, last time he checked, alpha werewolves do not just go out on dates. They don't fucking ask either. “You're not just gonna force me to sign the papers, and -”

“You know,” Derek cuts him off with a frown, “your stereotypes about alphas are really misguided and, frankly, insulting.”

Stiles shrinks back against the wall and nods his head – that much he knows to be true. Everything that he knows about alphas comes from the tabloids and the news and so on and so forth. Derek is his first real alpha experience in every single sense of the word, so in a way, he can't really be faulted for thinking the way he does. In another way, he abso-fucking-lutely can and Derek is right to call him out on it. “Sorry,” he says, averting his eyes down to the ground for a millisecond before flicking them back up to Derek's face. Because he thinks that after being fucked by the guy three dozen times and getting asked out on a date he can look him in the eyes, alpha or not. “And – yeah.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. To the – date. Or whatever.”

“Or whatever.”

“Or whatever. Then I'll - like - decide.” Stiles rolls his eyes and finally pushes away from the wall, taking a step forward so the gap in-between their bodies is less than a foot of space. “You realize we're going in reverse with all this.”

“Why do you say that like you're accusing me?” Derek raises his eyebrows and smirks. “When you're the one who -”

“Don't say it,” Stiles warns in a low voice, “do not remind me. It's humiliating.”

“I don't think so.”

Stiles makes eye contact with him, blinking. He tries to convey the entire message in his eyes, like, are you fucking kidding me? I destroyed your entire apartment.

“One time an omega came to my apartment covered in whipped cream and chocolate holding a hundred pack of condoms. So compared to her...”

“That,” Stiles begins, smiling, “bizarrely makes me feel better.” At least Stiles decided to go to Derek when he was in pre-heat; at least he was in the safety of a cab, regardless of whether he tried to jack off (and did jack off) in the backseat.

“Which reminds me,” Derek snaps his fingers and walks over to the front of the apartment, while the omega crosses his arms over his chest and slowly follows him at a distance, stopping right beside the pillow-less couch.

The alpha picks a suspiciously familiar looking black box up off an end table sitting next to his front door, and when he turns around to hold it out in Stiles' direction, the omega has to hold himself back from walking over and knocking the thing out of his hands.

“That better not be what I think it is.”

“Don't be mad,” Derek laughs at him, all bunny teeth and twinkling eyes, like he thinks it's funny that he never listens when Stiles says do not fucking buy me things. “I owe you these. I destroyed something that belonged to you – even if they were disgusting...”

“I told you-”

“If you don't take these I'll just throw them away.”

Stiles knows for a solid fact that they don't have the purple high-tops he had before on the online website – he bought them years ago, and they've since stopped selling them. Which means that Derek special ordered his ridiculous purple shoes for close to a hundred dollars; and maybe that's just pennies to Derek, but to Stiles, he can't justify throwing that much money out the window for anything.

So, he purses his lips, and closes the distance between them to rip the black box out of Derek's hands. “When did you have time to do this?” He demands, pulling open the top to peer inside at the brand new shoes.

“You knocked yourself out about seven times, Stiles. I had a lot more free time than you think I did.”

“Yet you couldn't clean your apartment?”

“Stacy comes on Wednesdays.” Stacy meaning his fucking maid, most likely. “It's only Monday night.”

“We missed work?” Stiles flicks his eyes up and frowns, thinking about how Scott probably thinks he's lying dead in a ditch somewhere; not only is his phone currently out of commission, but now he hasn't shown up for work. He's probably freaking the fuck out.

“Not a big deal,” Derek says dismissively, before pointing to the shoes with a jab of his index finger, “I never, ever want to see those things again.”

He lets a mischievous smile spread across his face, figuring that the alpha would say something like that. “I'm going to wear them on our date.”

“Stiles.”

“And I'm picking the place,” he starts towards the front door, spinning around so he can slowly walk backwards, keep his eyes on Derek so he can watch as his eyes bulge out of his skull as he realizes that the prospect of forcing Stiles into some ten star, upscale LA restaurant flies out the window. “Do you like nachos?”

“You're not being funny.”

“I'm not trying to be,” he turns the knob on the door and lets it swing open wide enough for him to squeeze through; the elevator is there, waiting for him, probably still reeking of his heat-stink, honestly. “Also, milkshakes. And cinnabons.”

Derek purses his lips together, but doesn't try to protest. “Fine.”

“Anything I want, right?”

With a sigh, like he's suddenly realizing that he's made the hugest mistake of his life in ever having said anything of that nature to Stiles the Uncultured Omega, he nods slowly. “Anything you want. And I'm wearing the jorts."