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Darling It Is No Joke

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The first thing Stiles thinks when he opens the door is that it’s not his birthday, but someone has sent him some kind of cop stripper. The guy is — god, he’s breathtakingly hot, and Stiles is just not this lucky in life. When he moved back to Beacon Hills after college, he had resigned himself to basically not getting laid for the two years he planned to stay.

Fortunately, Stiles just stares with his mouth open like a complete goober instead of voicing any of this.

Then Mr. Cop Stripper actually tips his hat at Stiles and says politely, “Is the Sheriff at home?”

Oh god oh god real cop, of course he’s here to see Stiles’ dad. “Oh, yeah, just — would you like to come in? He’ll be right down.”

The guy looks at the door frame and then frowns at him. “You really shouldn’t invite strangers into your home, you know.”

Stiles bristles at that. “Oh my god, seriously? I’m not a kid, I promise you, but if you’d like to condescend to me some more, feel free to stay on the porch.”

Of course Stiles’ dad chooses that moment to come clattering down the stairs. “Derek! You’re a little early. Stiles, why did you leave him on the porch?”

Stiles makes a face at him that he hopes appropriately conveys that Derek is on the porch because he’s a jerk. A really, really hot jerk. “Well, dad, you always told me not to open the door for people I don’t know,” Stiles says sweetly.

His dad gives him a look. “Derek, come on in. This is my son, Stiles. Stiles, this is Derek Hale, my new deputy.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Derek says, flashing Stiles a smile with too many teeth, and then takes one deliberate step inside.


Deputy Hale is an overnight sensation in Beacon Hills, which Stiles should have predicted. Most of the Hale family moved to a ranch an hour north about fifteen years ago, which means that the new deputy is rattling around the old Hale house in the woods by himself. The Hales have long roots in Beacon Hills, though, so just about everyone is falling all over themselves to make the prodigal son feel right at home again.

Stiles remembers seeing Derek when he was a kid. It seemed like he was always with a bunch of his cousins, roaming around Beacon Hills in a pack — where there was one Hale kid, the others usually weren’t too far behind. Once, when they were seven, Stiles and Scott both sneaked into Mr. Callahan’s garage and took a bow and arrow from the wall and shot it into the woods, which was not the best plan because then they couldn’t find the arrow. Stiles had been sick with anxiety while looking for it, just knowing they were going to be in the worst trouble when their parents found out — and they would, Stiles’ mom always knew when he and Scott did something dumb.

Derek had appeared out of nowhere and held out the missing arrow to Stiles, and told him to put it back where he found it and not to play with arrows anymore. Stiles promptly burst into tears and Derek had looked at him sort of awkwardly, and then walked them back to Mr. Callahan’s to give the bow and arrow back. Stiles got a stern lecture from his dad, no dessert for two weeks, and he had to apologize again to Mr. Callahan, who probably never even would have known that he’d been missing anything in the first place if Derek hadn’t hauled him and Scott to his front door.

Not that Stiles is carrying any grudges from when he was seven years old, or anything.

“Stiles, I thought I’d invite Derek over for dinner on Sunday,” his dad says a few days after Derek showed up on their porch for the first time.

“Have fun with that,” Stiles says, not looking away from the spreadsheet he’s working on.

“Let me rephrase — sons who are living rent-free with their parental units after graduating from college should make dinner,” his dad says dryly.

“You could order something,” Stiles says. “And it’s only for two years, this is not indefinite. This is a very time-sensitive and fiscally responsible arrangement for the paying off of student loans, remember?”

“Derek’s family is all up north, now. He eats Hot Pockets for lunch.”

Stiles twitches.

“And sometimes those burritos from 7-Eleven,” his dad continues relentlessly.

“He’s going to get scurvy,” Stiles moans. “All right, all right, invite him over for dinner, if only because I know you don’t want to find a new deputy next week if this one collapses of malnutrition before then.”

“You’re all heart,” his dad says, and claps him on the shoulder.

“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles says, waving him away, and goes back to the project for his client.


Everywhere Stiles goes for the rest of the week, it’s all, “Have you met Deputy Hale?” It’s asked in varying tones of voice, from appreciative coo to sister-get-a-load-of-that. It’s not like Stiles is disputing the fact that Deputy Hale’s uniform fits him exceptionally well. But well-fitting uniforms do not make up for douchebaggery, a maxim Stiles has tried to live by but maybe kind of fails at eighty percent of the time, although he maintains it’s not his fault that college rugby boys are so sexually flexible.

Deputy Hale has given Mrs. Perkins a warning and two speeding tickets this week alone, and where one lady cougar leads, the rest follow. Stiles hopes Beacon Hills does something worthwhile with the impending windfall.

But soon enough, it’s Sunday, and since his dad is coming off shift just before dinner, and Derek will go on duty shortly afterward, Stiles can make dinner without any editorial comments and maybe dance around the kitchen a little. So of course, when Stiles and the Spice Girls are demanding to know what you want, what you really really want, he turns around to see Derek Hale watching from the doorway to the kitchen like the complete creeper he is.

“Oh my god, learn how to knock,” Stiles says, while he tries to figure out if he can die of mortification and get the casserole out of the oven at the same time.

“I did knock,” Derek says, like he’s being totally reasonable, which he’s not — also, he’s at least twenty minutes early and Stiles wants to smack that smirk right off his stupidly gorgeous face. “You couldn’t hear me over the music.”

Stiles mutes it and pulls the baking dish out of the oven, and whoa, Derek is all right up in his space and sniffing the casserole from over Stiles’ shoulder.

“Smells good,” Derek says, although what does he know, he apparently thinks food that comes in plastic sleeves is perfectly acceptable. Which is not to say that Stiles’ cooking is amazing or anything — he basically taught himself via YouTube after his mom passed away. Still, he’s been feeding himself and his dad for more than a few years, now, and while he’s never going to win any awards for presentation, nobody goes away hungry or regretting it. Tonight is a variant of a Tex-Mex casserole that he’d perfected back when he and Scott were both going through major growth spurts and having almost daily lacrosse practice — which is to say, there should be enough to feed a small army.

As it turns out — small army, yes. Deputy Hale, no.

Stiles offers Derek seconds, and then thirds, and then Derek spends the rest of dinner manfully pretending that he’s not interested in decimating the remainder of the casserole. So Stiles puts the leftovers in a plastic container and shoves it in Derek’s hands when he sees him out the door.

“You didn’t have to,” Derek says eventually, clearly having unearthed manners from somewhere but not really winning any points for persuasive acting.

“Better you than me,” Stiles says. “I’ve got enough junk in my trunk.”

Derek looks at him like he’s an alien.

“You’re going to be late for your shift,” Stiles says, and shoos him in the direction of the patrol car.


When Stiles can’t take staring at the same four walls while he’s doing kickass contract work, he packs it up for the coffee shop, which is of course a national chain and trying way too hard, but whatever, it gets him out of the house and there’s caffeine. And sometimes if he’s stuck, the change of scenery can really work wonders.

It’s one of those times, so Stiles is typing away like a crazy person and mainlining coffee and completely tuning out everything else, so much so that he almost jumps out of his skin when he realizes someone is standing right behind him.

Derek is in uniform — when is he not, it’s like he’s constantly on duty — and leans over to pick up Stiles’ cup. He sniffs it once, swirls the coffee around a bit, and then takes a sip, like that is normal and not completely fucking rude, what the hell.

“I could have the plague, for all you know,” Stiles says, leaning back in his chair to look up at Derek.

“You don’t,” Derek says confidently, and then takes another sip. “This is terrible.”

“Wow, crazy, but guess what — if you don’t like it, don’t drink it, and oh wait! — that’s my coffee, so don’t drink it anyway,” Stiles snipes.

“You really shouldn’t drink any more today. You won’t be able to sleep.”

“I will sleep just fine, because I will have finished this project and made more in six hours than you make in a week,” Stiles says, and stabs viciously at his keyboard.

Derek, who is obviously a freak, braces himself on the table with his arms on either side of Stiles, and leans down to look at his laptop screen. It puts his nose sort of behind Stiles’ ear, which is definitely not okay because his breath is stirring Stiles’ hair a little, and also when he speaks, it’s directly in Stiles’ ear. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing you would understand,” Stile says, and resolutely keeps typing. “Also, I’m working. Aren’t you supposed to be working, too?”

There’s a huff of air across Stiles’ ear and he can’t help the shiver that runs through him. Stiles has extremely sensitive ears, which is normally fine with him but obviously it’s not so convenient when deputies are breathing all hot and heavy around him. “All right, then,” Derek says, sounding amused.

It takes Stiles about ten minutes to realize that Derek stole his coffee on his way out.


Derek starts coming around the house an awful lot, although this seems to be mostly related to a series of weird accidents where people are getting mauled by an as-yet unidentified animal. Of course, Stiles’ dad and Derek mostly sit at the kitchen table and look through case files without talking about any identifying details in Stiles’ earshot, but come on, he’s not an idiot, and he can put a few things together. One, the accidents seems to be pretty regular, and Stiles really can’t stop himself from multitasking while coding and thus links up the dates in question to the lunar cycle. Two, strange things are afoot at the Circle K, because none of the victims can give a coherent statement about their attack, which suggests some kind of drug. Or maybe a cult. Except he has a hard time thinking Mr. Carson is in a cult, because he’s always writing these impassioned and well-argued letters to the newspaper editor, and if he’s crazy about anything, it’s about sustainability practices and composting.

The attacks started about two months before Derek came to Beacon Hills, and it’s been on the back burner for lack of new evidence, but Derek seems super serious and asks some good questions when Stiles’ dad brings him up to speed. At least, Stiles thinks they’re good questions, because his dad always seems a little surprised that Derek might actually be competent at his job. Then again — the last deputy wasn’t overly blessed with problem-solving skills, or social skills, or any skills, really.

Stiles sees Derek to the door that night, in what is almost becoming a tradition that he doesn’t want to talk about — namely, he keeps cooking for at least five people, and gives the leftovers to Derek on the unspoken condition that neither of them acknowledge it in any way.

“Stiles,” Derek says, his breath curling in the cold air. He’s clutching a tupperware with an egregious amount of leftover lasagna to his chest. “Stay home tonight.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Look, I’m a social butterfly and I can’t be tamed, but there’s really nothing to do around here. I’m going to watch reruns of Mythbusters with my dad.”

“Okay,” Derek says, sounding satisfied. He takes a step backwards, then turns to go.

“It’s because it’s a full moon, right?” Stiles blurts out.

Derek’s head whips around and he stares at Stiles hard.

“You think I’m going to get nibbled on by a coyote?” Stiles says jokingly, except that Derek’s reaction is making him a lot more worried than he was a minute ago.

Derek is back up the porch and in Stiles’ space so, so fast. He ducks his head down to look Stiles in the eyes. “Stay here. Promise me.”

“Why should I promise you anything?” Stiles says, and then licks his lips nervously.

Derek’s not even touching him, but he’s standing so close that it feels like super inappropriate city, population: them. Derek breaks eye contact to lean closer still and growl, “Stiles,” in his ear.

“All right,” Stiles says quickly. “Staying home. This is me promising.”

“Good,” Derek says, and waits for Stiles to shut himself back inside the house and turn the locks before heading back to the patrol car.


The thing is, Derek should seriously know better if he’s talked to Stiles’ dad at all. Stiles promising not to do something is basically like a blood pact that he will. Not always on purpose, either.

In his defense, he’s just going to the store to pick up some eggs, because a dozen seriously isn’t enough for the pre-shift breakfast he is going to have to make tomorrow morning. And probably another package of turkey bacon isn’t a bad idea. He’s expecting to run into a few people he knows, because it’s Beacon Hills and you can’t avoid it.

He’s not expecting the wolf.

At least, he’s pretty sure it’s a wolf, and not a coyote. The coyotes are part of a repopulation project that Stiles finds fascinating, but most of them have radio collars and also really don’t go out of their way to say hi to people.

This thing definitely wants to say hi to Stiles, or so he deduces by the way it approaches him, winding its way across the brush to his jeep. Oh god, he thinks, it probably has rabies, he is going to get bitten by a rabid wolf, and he’s going to die and also it will probably set back wolf conservation efforts a lot.

And then something weird happens. The wolf gets close enough and sniffs the air around Stiles, and half circles Stiles before letting out a mournful whine and trotting away back into the forest. Stiles does not drop his groceries, but he does sit in his jeep for ten minutes while he waits for the adrenaline to subside. He drives home and puts the groceries away, but his dad is conked out on the couch during the Colbert Report and he doesn’t really want to wake him up to tell him about his near impression of Steve Irwin, minus the stingray but plus a wolf.

He hauls himself out of bed when he hears his dad’s alarm go off early the next morning, stumbling down the stairs in an old t-shirt and pajama pants that have his alma mater’s name across the ass. He’s just starting on the turkey bacon when the front door opens — Stiles’ dad had some sort of episode a few weeks ago because he gave Derek a spare set of keys — and Derek wanders into the kitchen, giving Stiles something that might be charitably described as a smile if you sort of squinted and were willing to give credit for minimal effort.

“Morning,” Stiles says, brain still not quite online. He yawns and scratches his belly a little before he pokes the bacon with a spatula.

“Morning,” Derek says, and he looks a little peaky, like maybe he didn’t sleep much, but his uniform is clean and unwrinkled and still fits him obnoxiously well.

Pre-shift breakfast is something that’s happened a few times now, and it feels pretty comfortable and maybe even a little cozy with the dawn light streaming into the kitchen. Which is probably why what happens next is that much more shocking. It seems to happen so fast — one minute, Stiles is taking the bacon off the heat, and thinking about how many eggs to scramble for breakfast burritos, and then Derek is backing him up against the counter and saying roughly, “I told you not to go out last night.”

“How did you—” Stiles begins and then just stops talking when Derek actually rests his head in the crook of Stiles’ shoulder, which is obviously weird but Derek seems to be close to shaking, and that’s so alarming that Stiles finds himself bringing up his hands to grip Derek by the shoulders. “Okay, but I mean, I just went to the store, and there was this wolf but I don’t think it had rabies—”

Derek makes a noise in his throat that sounds really fucking distressed, and Stiles seriously does not know what his deal is, but he’s obviously pretty upset and the last thing Stiles ever wants is to make people worry about him. “I’m okay,” Stiles whispers.

Derek has avoided touching him so far, but he grips Stiles’ nape then, and turns his face more fully into Stiles’ neck, and — no, still seriously weird, but it’s kind of — kind of —

Derek breathes against Stiles’ skin, and Stiles is nearly breathing with him, at least until he realizes that is Derek’s tongue licking up the tendon of his neck, and when Stiles’ breath stutters to a halt, Derek gives him the messiest, meanest hickey Stiles has been the recipient of since basically ever, and all Stiles can do is scrabble at Derek’s shoulders and make a weak noise because it hurts in the best way.

He doesn’t know what would have happened next because Derek is pulling away and then Stiles hears his dad start to come down the stairs, and shit shit shit — he throws a dish towel over his shoulder, hoping it hides the worst of the damage, and Derek is still looking at him like he wants to have a go on the other side of Stiles’ neck, and jesus, the thing is — Stiles would probably let him, and that definitely has to be weird, they haven’t even kissed and Stiles just let a deputy police officer maul him in his kitchen.

Stiles’ dad doesn’t say anything, but to be honest — his investigative powers aren’t the best until his second cup of coffee.


There’s no way Stiles can stay in the house after breakfast — he feels like he’s going to vibrate out of his chair, and if he’s going to get any work done today, it’s not going to be in the same room as the proverbial scene of the crime.

Which is too bad, because Stiles actually really likes working at the kitchen table. But he packs it up for the coffee shop, and thanks all available weather deities that it’s well past cold enough to wear a scarf without looking like a douche. He actually gets some work accomplished, after meandering around Wikipedia and reading about wolves in a bid to let his brain wrestle with a thorny bit of coding and come up with a solution. It works, and thus Stiles has both triumphed over a project roadblock and learned more about wolves in his neck of the woods. None of it really explains a wolf trotting up to see him, and Stiles is even more convinced that it wasn’t rabid. And it really doesn’t explain Derek’s weirdness, or how he knew that Stiles went out when he said he wouldn’t — although, in his defense, he didn’t really think he was going to encounter any wild animals at the grocery store. Probably Derek drove by and saw his jeep in the parking lot, or maybe somebody mentioned seeing him. Stiles knows from experience that there’s a metric ton of gossiping that goes on at the station under the guise of keeping an eye on things in town.

It’s still light out when Stiles leaves for home. He can’t deny it — he’s a little spooked. Everything in him says he should get home before it gets dark. So of course his jeep, being the ancient, recalcitrant beast that it is, dies on the side of the road. It’s getting darker every second, and when he calls his dad, he gets his voicemail — and shit, his dad has that county board thing tonight.

Stiles pops the hood and looks at the engine in a desultory fashion, still wrestling with the sudden, strange realization that he can’t call any of his old friends to pick him up, that nobody’s here in Beacon Hills anymore, when a police cruiser pulls up and Stiles heaves a sigh of relief.

And then just as quickly feels his heart start to race, because of course it’s Derek.

“Uh, hey,” Stiles says, rocking back on his heels

“Battery die?” Derek asks, maglite firm in his grip, and now is really not the time to be thinking about how comfortable Derek looks with his hand wrapped around a stick.

Stiles sighs heavily and scowls at the innards of the jeep. “It’s probably something far more fatal than that. I was really hoping to get through the next two years with this, but I’d probably have to put more work into it than it’s worth.” He shivers a little, because it was chilly before the sun started to go down, and now it’s downright cold, and his hipster scarf isn’t really cutting it.

“You can call a tow in the morning,” Derek says. He shines a light on the engine and his brow, already perpetually furrowed, furrows further. “I can take a look at it if you want.”

“You know stuff about cars?” Stiles says skeptically.

Derek’s mouth twitches. “My family’s ranch up north is pretty isolated. We do a lot of things ourselves, if we can — and I’ve lost track of how many junk heaps my sister Laura has brought home to fix up.”

Stiles can’t hide a smile, because it’s not like cool, collected Deputy Hale is overly forthcoming with the heartwarming family stories, or any personal information at all, really. It’s almost charming.

Derek shuts the jeep’s hood, then, and doesn’t so much lead Stiles back to the cruiser as actively herd him toward it. He also turns the heat way up, for which Stiles is more than a little thankful. He finds himself loosening his scarf after a few minutes, though.

Derek pulls the cruiser into Stiles’ driveway and puts the car in park. “You should have called me when your car died,” Derek says, looking straight ahead at Stiles’ front door.

Stiles does not rub the hickey that has to be perfectly visible to Derek right now, even though it seems to be throbbing slightly. “Look,” Stiles says awkwardly. “Just because you’re my dad’s deputy doesn’t mean I can just call you when you’re on duty to bail me out of trouble.”

Derek’s hands clench around the steering wheel, and he turns to look at Stiles. “I want you to call me,” he says.

Stiles licks his lips. “Yeah, okay, next time my jeep dies, you’re on my speed-dial. Although I expect it to be dead-dead and not in the process of dying again for the next however many weeks, so it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.”

Derek actually makes a noise in his throat that Stiles might classify as a growl, and his eyes — man, were they always that blue? The light’s got to be reflecting off them weird or something. “I’ll walk you to the door,” Derek says, and kills the engine.

It’s less than ten feet to the porch, but Stiles has grown up around cops, and has long since stopped objecting when they escort him places. A good portion of his childhood involved being hauled around by the scruff by various officers, but what can Stiles say, he was a curious child and if you will leave said child to occupy himself while in a police station, you probably shouldn’t be too surprised when he decides to go exploring and ends up halfway to the morgue or talking to the that one guy who’s always eating Cheetos.

Stiles digs his keys out of his pocket and pauses with his hand on the screen door. “Listen,” he says, because Derek probably thinks it’s part of his job, but that doesn’t change that it nice of him to do. “Thanks for the ride.”

Derek doesn’t say anything, or even give him some sort of bro nod. What he does do is lean forward a little and breathe in through his nose, and Stiles has half a moment of wondering if he smells like the scones they were baking in the coffee shop, before Derek presses him up against the door and is nosing along his jawline before breathing warm air over the monster hickey on Stiles’ neck.

“Um,” Stiles manages to say, because this is sort of hot and extremely weird all at once, and it’s probably not normal to get hard over a guy sniffing you, what is that, even. He’s going to google this when Derek isn’t busy holding Stiles’ hips and oh god, moving his face to the other side of Stiles’ neck, and what the hell, they haven’t even kissed yet, and Stiles can put one hickey down to some kind of weird sleep-deprived, adrenaline-fueled freak out, but two is definitely, definitely—

Stiles makes a terribly unmanly mewling noise when Derek scrapes his teeth over Stiles’ neck, and Derek must like that sound — he must like it a lot, because that growl is back and he puts one leg between Stiles’ thighs, and oh god, there’s no hiding the evidence that Stiles is turned on now, not that Derek seems to object because he is rocking his thigh up and licking Stiles’ skin, and it’s only when Stiles puts together that he has his fingers fisted in the embroidered Beacon Hills PD badge on Derek’s shirt that he realizes what they are doing on the sheriff’s porch. “Derek,” he whimpers. “Come on, you’re going to have to arrest yourself for — for something, lewd behavior, is this lewd behavior?”

Derek doesn’t step back immediately, but he does stop molesting Stiles’ neck and removes his leg so that Stiles is no longer riding his thigh. His breathing evens out, and then he pulls back enough to look at Stiles’ face. He looks — well, he looks sort of uncomfortable, like he can’t quite believe he just did that, but to be fair, Stiles can’t quite believe he just did that, either.

Oh god, please let Stiles not be Derek’s first turn around the rainbow maypole, he was over that during his first semester in college and has no desire to revisit it. Stiles figures this is his cue to get inside and let the extreme awkwardness commence, or continue, really. He unlocks the door and steps inside, and Derek says, “I mean it. I want you to call me.”

“Yeah,” Stiles says, and swallows. “Sure thing. Night, Derek.”

Derek stares at him for a minute, and then leaves without another word.


Google is not helpful. At first Stiles takes some heart in the fact that he’s not the first person to pose the query, “What does it mean when a guy sniffs you?” But the answers are all terrible and mostly about shampoo, with a side order of Stiles really didn’t want to know that ever, thanks.

In the middle of the night, Stiles is jerked out of sleep, and it takes him a minute to realize that his dad didn’t leave the television on — that’s a dog howling outside. Stiles rubs his eyes and goes to his bedroom window to look. The moon is still new, but there’s enough light pollution that Stiles can make out a shape at the edge of their property.

That’s no dog, and no coyote, either. It’s a wolf, and it’s baying at the night sky and it looks like it’s staring straight at Stiles’ window.

His heart is hammering, and he’s fumbling for his phone on his nightstand, only to wonder what he thinks he’s going to do. Call animal control? The old veterinarian he knows?

His thumb hovers over Derek’s name in his contacts list. It’s listed under “Deputy Hale” — it’s probably his work cell phone number, and it’s the middle of the night, and so what — so what if there’s a wolf outside. It can’t get to him. There’s no reason to freak out. Just because his dad’s working an overnight and he’s alone in the house, there’s absolutely no reason to panic.

In the end, he goes back to bed, hand clutching his phone, and stares at the ceiling until he falls asleep.


He calls a tow when he wakes up the next morning, and wonders whether he should have them put it in the garage or leave it on the side of the driveway. It’s going to be in his dad’s way in either case, so he has half an idea to see how mushy the ground is and if he could just have them leave it in the side yard.

But when he opens the front door, there’s a dead body on the steps up to the porch.

He makes a strangled noise, slams the door shut and locks it, and takes his phone with shaking fingers and he doesn’t say hello, he just babbles out, “Oh my god, Derek, there’s a dead person on my porch, okay like half a dead person, I don’t think there are any legs, Derek—”

“Stiles,” Derek says, his voice the kind of controlled and calm that Stiles knows they train into police officers. “Are you inside the house?”

“Yes,” Stiles says, voice still wobbly, because that was a lot of blood, and cold dead eyes, and oh god, has it been on his porch all night?

“Stiles, I want you to lock the door and stay put,” he says. “I’ll be right there.”

“Oh my god,” Stiles says, scrubbing weakly at his face. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

“I need you to take some deep breaths,” Derek says. “I’m on my way, okay? I’m putting you on speaker, and you’re going to talk to me until I get there.”

“Talk to you,” Stiles repeats blankly. He sinks to the floor, his back to the front door like that will help keep it closed, like it will change the part where there is half a corpse less than ten feet from him and somebody must have put it there, was it dismembered before they left it on his porch, or —

“Stiles, I said talk, not hyperventilate,” Derek says.

“I can’t think of anything!” Stiles protests miserably. “I know, I know, usually I don’t shut up but usually there aren’t dead people on my porch.”

Derek is quiet for a moment, and then says, “Tell me about lacrosse.”

Stiles boggles at his phone. “What?”

“Lacrosse. You played it in high school, right?”

“Huh? Yeah, I mean, I guess. I wasn’t great. Still better than my best friend Scott, though, not that that’s saying much since he had real bad asthma. I was a little klutzy in high school, not so good with the coordinated physical activity thing.”

“But you liked it,” Derek prompts.

“Um, yeah? I mean, it sort of helped burn off some energy, I don’t know if you know this, but my ADD was like six billion times worse in high school, and running around helped me focus a little. Well, that and a lot of Adderall.”

He hears Derek make a huffing noise at that. “There’s a picture of you in your uniform in the hallway. You look like you’re having fun.”

Stiles looks up, and he can just see the picture of him from where he’s sitting. His hair was buzzed short back then, and he’s grinning madly at the camera. His dad took the picture the night Stiles played first string for the very first time. They’d still been so broken back then, a gaping mom-shaped hole in their lives, and that picture represented one of the few bright spots, a moment that Stiles could point to and say that at that moment, he’d been pretty happy.

But thinking of his mom brings him back to his very current problem on the porch. “Tell me you’re almost here,” Stiles says plaintively.

“I’m turning on to your street. There’s another officer behind me. Stay right where you are, Stiles.”

“Okay,” Stiles says, clutching the phone even tighter. “Okay.”

The next minutes are full of sirens and flashing lights, and Derek saying through the door, “Come on, Stiles, I need you to move back so I can open the door, okay?”

Stiles somehow hoists himself up on his feet, undoes the lock, and then Derek is gently pushing the door open and blocking Stiles’ view of the porch, and he’s wrapping his arms around Stiles and guiding his Stiles’ face into his shoulder, and whispering, “You’re all right. You’re okay.”

Stiles just hides his face against Derek’s uniform and they stand there in the entryway, Derek holding him tight, and Stiles doesn’t know why he’s shaking but he is. He doesn’t know how long they stand there, just that it’s until Stiles can hear his dad’s panicked voice calling his name.


He’s still trembling a little when Derek leads him out the back door and puts him in the police cruiser. On his dad’s instructions, Derek is taking him down to the station to get his statement, even though Stiles knows it’s really to get him out of the house so they can secure the scene.

Derek’s desk is crazy immaculate for a cop’s desk — by comparison, the Sheriff’s desk always looks like a paperwork hurricane hit it. Which isn’t to say that Derek doesn’t have files and papers, but they seem to be neatly organized, and the “Deputy Hale” of his nameplate is unobscured by dust and dirt.

Derek gently pushes Stiles down into the chair next to his desk, and says, “Can I get you something to drink?”

“I — what?” Stiles blinks up at him.

“Water, not coffee,” Derek says decisively, and returns with a cup that he presses into Stiles’ hands. “Drink that.”

“I need coffee,” Stiles says, but drinks the water anyway. “I didn’t sleep well last night.”

“Why’s that?” Derek says, and it takes Stiles a second to realize that yeah, his neck is bare and Derek is staring at it. Derek meets his eyes, then, and he looks a little — well, a little guilty.

“Not because of that!” Stiles hastens to say. “I mean, not because of that thing where you — you. I got woken up in the middle of the night. I thought it was a dog howling? But I’m pretty sure it was a wolf.”

What,” Derek says flatly.

“I don’t know if it was the same one from the other night — but maybe, I don’t know, how big is the wolf population of Beacon Hills, anyway?” Stiles says, well aware that he’s babbling but unable to rein it in.

“Not that big,” Derek says darkly, and he looks pissed. “Why didn’t you call me?”

“Seriously?” Stiles says. “The wolf was outside, what were you going to do about it? Also it was at least two a.m., weren’t you sleeping or something?”

“I would have answered, no matter when you called,” Derek says, looking really, really serious.

Stiles knows his mouth is open, and he really should shut it, but that’s — that’s something guys usually don’t say, especially not to Stiles. “Because you’re an officer of the law?” Stiles hazards.

Derek stares at him. “No,” he says slowly. “Because it’s you.”

Stiles takes a long minute to process that, and to cut himself some slack, he’s had a long, eventful morning already. “Oh my god,” Stiles says, jaw dropping. “Oh my god, are we like — are we dating?”

Derek makes a low noise of complete, utter frustration.

“You haven’t even kissed me!” Stiles protests in an urgent whisper.

Derek closes his eyes for a moment, and then says, “I’m going to take your statement, now. And when we’re not in my place of employment, I’m going to fix that.”

“Really?” Stiles marvels.

“I’m going to fix it a lot,” Derek promises him, and the look Derek pins him with makes him swallow. “Now, start from the beginning.”


By early afternoon, Stiles is almost swaying from exhaustion, due both to a terrible night’s sleep and the events of the morning.

“You can’t go home yet,” Derek says, sounding almost apologetic. “I can take you back to my place.”

Stiles raises both eyebrows.

“To sleep,” Derek clarifies stiffly. “You could use some rest.”

Stiles is still feeling mystified by Derek’s conception of dating, and is almost tempted to ask if the Hale ranch is in fact a cover for some sort of weird cult, but his curiosity at seeing Derek’s old family home, not to mention his basic investment in getting laid with Derek at some point, wins out. He keeps his mouth shut and nods obediently.

The Hale house is set back in the woods on quite a bit of land, and the house itself is way bigger than Stiles had imagined. When Derek unlocks the door, Stiles is pleasantly surprised by how bright and open it is, considering its age.

“This way,” Derek says, and leads him down the hallway. “I’m actually only occupying the first floor — I’ve still got the upstairs and the basement closed off. Not really worth it to heat the whole house just for me.”

“I’m getting that,” Stiles says. They pass a door to a cavernous family room on his left before Derek halts outside a more modest bedroom that he’s clearly been sleeping in, if the uniforms in the open wardrobe are any indication.

Derek goes to the dresser and fishes out a shirt and throws it to Stiles. It’s worn and soft and bears the name of the county police academy. “I thought you’d like to change into something different to sleep in,” Derek says after a moment, like he’s expecting Stiles to refuse.

“Thanks,” Stiles says, then swiftly strips out of his shirt — which is admittedly a little rank after Stiles basically fear-sweated through it — and pulls Derek’s on.

Derek’s bed is a nest of quilts, some serious old-fashioned hand-sewn business, the kind that get passed down in families. There’s one on the back of the Stilinksi couch that’s ratty and coming apart and Stiles will never get rid of it, because it’s warm and he has a whole childhood worth of memories attached to it. Stiles feels a little awkward, climbing into Derek’s bed without Derek, but the sheets are soft and his exhaustion seems to really hit him as soon as he’s wiggled into a comfortable position. “You going to tuck me in?” he asks Derek.

He thinks Derek is going to give him a look, but instead Derek sits down on the edge of the bed, and adjusts the quilts around his shoulders. It’s — unexpected, and nice, and something else that just makes Stiles feel warm inside. And then Derek bends further down, and kisses him. It’s slow, and heartbreakingly sweet, like Derek just wants to take all the time in the world to kiss Stiles, just for the sake of kissing him. And when he breaks the kiss, he nuzzles gently at Stiles’ throat, over one of his massive love bites. “Go to sleep,” Derek murmurs.

Stiles’ eyes are already sliding shut. “You’ll be around, right? You’re not going to leave?” he says.

“I’ll be right here. Go to sleep.”

And Stiles does.


He wakes up to the smell of eggs frying, and rubs his nose in the pillow under his cheek, and when he breathes in, it smells like Derek.

His eyes fly open, and he remembers that it smells like Derek because he’s in Derek’s bed, wearing Derek’s shirt, and wow, the sun has already gone down. He must have slept the afternoon away. When he pads out to the kitchen, Derek is wearing his uniform pants and an undershirt and poking at a frying pan with a spatula.

“Um, hi,” Stiles says, and he’s not sure what the rules are here — he’s never really done the morning after thing when nothing happened. And even when he does do the morning after thing, he’s only once woken up to the dude in question actually using the stove to make anything at all.

Derek appears to be narrowly avoiding burning said eggs entirely, which means the yolk is going to be way more done that Stiles prefers, but he’ll live. There’s also a suspicious, lone piece of toast on a plate on the counter. Stiles wonders morbidly if this represents the sum total of the contents of Derek’s fridge, which — considering Derek’s appetite when Stiles cooks, probably.

“Your dad called while you were asleep,” Derek says, divvying up the eggs between an empty plate and plate-with-solitary-toast before pushing the latter in Stiles’ direction. “I have to go back to the station for a bit. Want to ride along?”

Stiles’ heart flutters a little in his chest, which is not a feeling he would have predicted he’d experience over getting what is likely the last piece of bread in Derek’s cupboards. Too bad he can’t soak it in egg yolk — Derek really did fry the hell out of the eggs. “Sure,” he says, and crams in a mouthful. It’s not the worst.

At the station, Stiles’ dad is about a seven on a scale of one to looking like hell. “Stiles,” he says, and puts down the files he’s holding and pulls Stiles close, and hugs him tight before releasing him. “Listen, the coroner ruled this an animal attack, but we can’t go back to the house tonight. I have to stay here and coordinate with the sheriff down in Culver Point. Can you stay with someone tonight?”

Stiles frowns. “I could ask Mrs. McCall, maybe,” he says. He hasn’t seen her much since high school, although back then, she would have had a good case for claiming Stiles as a dependent for tax purposes.

Stiles’ dad looks at Derek. “I know it’s a lot to ask, but could Stiles stay with you tonight?”

Derek has what is undoubtedly the best poker expression in the universe — seriously, Stiles could take that to Vegas and clean up. “I don’t mind. I’ve got the room.”

His dad looks really relieved, which he probably wouldn’t be if he could see Stiles’ neck under his scarf and borrowed hoodie and knew who was responsible.

Stiles more or less railroads Derek into stopping at the grocery store on the way back, so that he can buy real food to stock Derek’s probably-empty fridge.

“Are you making meatballs?” Derek asks at checkout, with a kind of hopefulness that is almost pathetic to behold.

Am I,” Stiles says, and doesn’t even fight Derek that hard when he gently shoves Stiles out of the way to pay.

Derek eats a pile of pasta and a really astonishing number of meatballs — which, not to blow his own whistle, but they are pretty delicious — and then they sack out in front of Derek’s old television, one that was probably state of the art fifteen years ago, but is now just a huge behemoth that doesn’t get HD.

“You can barely see the puck,” Stiles complains as they watch the mesmerizing patterns of hockey players moving up and down the ice.

Derek has him tucked against his side, and seriously, he’s like a furnace. “Maybe not with your eyes,” he says, his voice a low, soothing rumble.

“Are you calling my eyes deficient, is that what you’re doing?” Stiles huffs.

“I like your eyes,” Derek says, and from anyone else, that would be such a line, but Derek just holds him and continues to watch the game.

At the end of the first period, Stiles finally musters up the nerve to say, “You made me a promise earlier, you know.”

Derek tenses next to him, and Stiles thinks he’s misstepped, that he’s broken whatever this is between them by mentioning it, but Derek just turns his face into Stiles’ hair and inhales sharply.

Maybe he’s been conditioned into this response, but Stiles feels his face heat, and when Derek brushes his mouth over the curve of Stiles’ ear, not even really kissing, just dragging his lips along until he gets to Stiles’ earlobe, Stiles can hear the catch in his own breathing as he waits for Derek to do something, anything, his skin feeling agonizingly sensitized and when Derek slowly tongues the skin under Stiles’ ear and then sucks the lobe in between his teeth, Stiles make a high, desperate noise and tilts his head to give Derek access to anything he wants.

He wants to point out that this is still not kissing, still not what Derek promised, but he can’t think when Derek starts in on the hickeys on his neck again, unzipping the hoodie Stiles borrowed enough to pull the impeding fabric out of the way so Derek can lick his skin, and again with the sniffing, but Stiles doesn’t even care anymore, he just grabs Derek’s shoulder with one hand and pulls him down, pulls him on top of Stiles, and Derek is obviously with that plan, he’s with it a lot, he rearranges them so that Stiles’ thighs are cradling Derek’s hips, and wow, his eyes are looking a little extra blue again in the light from the TV, and Stiles opens his mouth to say something —

Derek finally kisses him, and Stiles’ eyes slide shut, because this, this needs his complete and entire attention, and thank god ADD is not biting him in the ass right now, because for once, his brain is in total agreement — the only thing Stiles needs to focus on is the warm press of Derek’s lips against his, the swipe of Derek’s tongue in his mouth, the little subvocal groans Derek is making, like there’s nothing better than this, nothing more that Derek wants, and oh god, Stiles might be tempted to agree except that Derek is also rolling his hips just slightly against Stiles, and oh.

Stiles has just worked a hand up under the back of Derek’s shirt when Derek ends the kiss abruptly and presses his face into Stiles’ shoulder again, which, okay, probably Derek’s neck-fixation is a full-blown fetish, but whatever, it’s harmless and it’s not like Stiles doesn’t enjoy it. “You can,” Stiles says, panting a little for breath, and then decides more encouragement is in order. “I like it. I want you to.”

He can feel Derek shudder against him at that, but Derek doesn’t take him up on it, just lies there quietly until their breathing has slowed to something approaching normal. And then Derek sits up, looks down at Stiles with a strange expression on his face, before he manhandles Stiles into lying down with him on the couch, Derek behind him and both of them facing the television.

Okay. Maybe Derek is just really, really into hockey and didn’t want to miss the second period.

Stiles starts to doze off during overtime, and Derek relocates them to his bedroom — and before Stiles can feel any guilt about taking Derek’s bed, Derek slides right in next to him. Stiles thinks that finally, finally he understands where this is going, but he’s wrong again, because Derek just spoons him, knees warm where they’re tucked behind Stiles’ and Derek’s arm draped over his waist. Stiles thinks he’ll never be able to fall asleep, not with the long nap he had that afternoon, and especially not with Derek all wrapped around him, but he’s wrong about that, too.


Stiles’ dad and Derek both pointedly refuse to talk about the case with Stiles at all, even when he points out that as the person who found half a body on the porch, he might be the best person to talk to.

“Which is why Derek took your statement,” Stiles’ dad says with a put-upon sigh. “Leave the police work to the actual police, Stiles.”

Still, for all that they aren’t talking about the case, Stiles notices a distinct synchronicity of scheduling that’s pretty unusual for Beacon Hills PD — namely, that his dad and Derek are never on duty at the same time, and Derek seems to be spending all his off-duty hours with Stiles. Hours that include a whole lot of start-and-stop making out but zero orgasms, which is really making Stiles reconsider whether the Hales are a weirdo cult, after all.

“I’m going to work on your jeep today,” Derek says against Stiles’ lips.

“Oh god, please tell me that’s a euphemism,” Stiles says, and clutches more tightly at Derek’s shoulders.

He feels Derek smile against his lips before kissing him some more, and it’s getting pretty heated before Derek breaks it off, and catches his breath with his forehead resting against Stiles’ neck.

It’s really not a euphemism, but if Stiles had realized that Derek working on his jeep would net him Derek in jeans and tank top, he might have taken Derek up on his offer sooner. It’s so, so dangerous, because he already wants to climb Derek like a tree all the time, and now he has a first class view of Derek’s ass as he bends over while checking out the engine, and he can see the swirling lines of a tattoo between Derek’s shoulder blades, and —

Derek is looking at him expectantly, with a little quirk at the corner of his mouth.

“Did you say something?” Stiles says, dazed.

“Could you pass me the socket wrench?” Derek says, obviously repeating.

“Which one?”

“The one in your hand, Stiles,” Derek says patiently, and yeah, he’s definitely amused. Stiles just stews in sexual frustration while Derek does some mysterious things with the innards of his jeep, but when Derek tells him to start the jeep, it obediently purrs to life.

“My hero,” Stiles says, eyebrows going up in surprise.

Derek has a few dark smears of oil on his skin, and his shirt isn’t much better, but he’s grinning and looking so pleased with himself that Stiles can only smile back helplessly in return.


Scott’s apparently back in town for the weekend, or so Stiles deduces from the text message he gets, demanding his presence with the requisite glove and stick for a friendly pick-up game of lacrosse. Stiles thinks it’s a little cold to be doing this for fun, but whatever — he’ll layer, they’ll run around, it’ll be fine.

He’s a little nervous about them meeting after dark, but it’s not like the field isn’t pretty well lit. Just the same, though, he texts Derek to let him know where Stiles is going to be. It’s not like they have actual plans, but he doesn’t want Derek to come by the house only to find that Stiles isn’t home.

“Dude!” Scott says when he gets to the field, and gives him a good bro hug. “Are you okay? My mom said something freaky happened at your place, why didn’t you tell me?”

Stiles shrugs, then, feeling uncomfortable in a way he usually doesn’t with Scott. “Not the kind of thing you text, you know?” he says.

“Yeah, I guess,” Scott says, and drops it easily. Stiles is trying to figure out if that bothers him, but he doesn’t have time as everyone gets ready to play.

It’s actually a pretty fun game — they’re not going all out, but they’re having a good time and Stiles is pleased that this feels comfortable, and maybe he should have looked into doing something like this before now. He can see that he was a little lonely when he moved back in his dad, before he met Derek, like Beacon Hills was this place he didn’t fit into anymore — well, he fit less than he ever did before.

He looks up halfway through, for no particular reason, and sees that Derek is sitting off to the side, watching the game. He gives Stiles a little wave when their eyes meet, but then Stiles nearly gets clobbered by a weedy high school junior and decides that he’d better pay attention.

“Isn’t that Deputy Hale?” says another one of the juniors after the game, less weedy and more tragically short. He sounds distinctly nervous.

“Yeah, so don’t crack open whatever bottom-shelf rum you have in your bag,” Stiles says, rolling his eyes.

The junior goes even more wide-eyed. “How did you know?”

Stiles isn’t sure, but he thinks he just saw Derek crack up at something. Must be something funny on his phone.

He picks up the hoodie he took off about ten minutes into the game, and trots over to where Derek is waiting, hands in his pockets. He’s still in uniform, with his official PD jacket on. “Here to keep an eye on the hooligans?” Stiles asks.

Derek’s mouth quirks into a smile, and he reaches out to brush a finger along the side of Stiles’ neck, where the sweat has already cooled. “Somebody has to. Where are you parked?”

Stiles leads him down the field to the side of the road he parked on, knowing that Derek is going to insist on seeing Stiles into the inside of his jeep and following him home. But the closer they get to Stiles’ jeep, the stranger Derek seems to be — he’s sticking close, sort of bumping Stiles along, and seems awfully jumpy.

“Are you okay?” Stiles whispers, and Derek actually growls at him. Stiles’ mouth snaps shut.

And then, just like that, the wolf is back, but the difference is, Stiles isn’t alone this time — he’s with Derek, and at least Derek has a gun in case the wolf is rabid after all. “Oh my god, okay, that’s the same wolf,” Stiles says in an urgent murmur.

“I know he is,” Derek says — snarls, really. “Let me be absolutely clear — you’re trespassing.”

The wolf paces back and forth a little, still looking at them, and — “Derek, are you talking to a wild animal?” Stiles says carefully. When he dares to take his eyes off the wolf for a second to look at Derek, all the air is sucked out of his lungs.

Derek looks a little like the vampires from Buffy, only not so bumpy but jesus christ, seriously with the bright blue glowing eyes and the really sharp set of teeth, oh my god oh my god oh my god. “You’re in Hale pack territory, and you wore out your welcome the first time you harmed a human,” Derek says, all steely authority. “You’ll leave tonight, or I’ll give you up to the Hunters. Your choice.”

The wolf sits back on its haunches and howls, and it sounds like a taunt, of all things.

“Or we can go with option three, which is me tearing out your throat with my teeth,” Derek says. “I’d prefer not to, but the longer you stay, the more likely that’s looking.”

Stiles just holds his breath, waiting, and that’s when shit gets uncomfortably real, because Derek is taking off his clothes, what the ever living fuck, just stripping down right there, and then —

Stiles is looking at a large, black wolf, and thinking very seriously about hyperventilating.


Because his dad instilled in him a certain measure of self-preservation, Stiles gets the hell out of the way when Derek mixes it up with the other wolf, because there is a lot of growling and claws and biting and blood, oh god, but the other wolf’s coat is paler, and it looks like the blood is his. Before he knows it, the other wolf is rolling over, and okay, Stiles is actually a little worried that Derek’s going to follow through on his threat, even though apparently Mr. Pale Wolf savaged a couple of people and also dismembered a jogger who had been killed in a hit and run, and therefore Stiles maybe shouldn’t be sympathetic, but come on, it’s still an animal, and Stiles really can’t stand to see animals hurt.

But the pale wolf whines, and then Derek steps back, and allows him to limp away. Derek turns then to face Stiles, before trotting over to his pile of clothes and all of a sudden, between one eye blink and the next, Derek is a wolf no longer, just an ordinary-looking human pulling a police uniform back on.

“I really, really didn’t ask google the right questions,” Stiles says finally. It’s annoying, honestly — you think your research skills are top notch, pride yourself on your ability to analyze things, but then totally miss that your hot cop boyfriend is a werewolf.

Derek tilts his head to the side a little, a gesture extremely reminiscent of himself in wolf form. “Why did you stay? Anybody else would have gotten in their car and driven off.”

Stiles snorts. “I think we’ve established that I’m not anybody else.”

Derek narrows his eyes. “Your heartbeat is fairly steady. I expected you to—”

“You can hear my heartbeat from here?” Stiles says. “Wow, okay, interesting. Wait, why are you a cop in Beacon Hills, you could be an amazing crime-fighting detective, seriously, you’re totally wasted here.”

It’s Derek’s turn to snort. “The point is to stay under the radar, Stiles. Which is the opposite of what that jackass was doing.”

“Huh,” Stiles says. “All right. Wait, okay, what, were you trying to be stealthy? Because the marks I’ve got from your teeth — opposite of stealth, right there. Seriously, you need to make them under my collar or I’m going to be doomed to douchey hipster scarf forever, and I really don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of image change.”

Derek looks — wow, Stiles thinks he looks honestly embarrassed, and he’s inching closer to Stiles, like he thinks Stiles is going to bolt at any second. “I wasn’t prepared,” Derek says, his voice low. “I didn’t know that I was going to feel like that. Around you.”

He’s close now, and Stiles has to look up to meet his eyes. “Like what?”

“You make me crazy,” Derek says, nearly a moan, and he rests his face against the side of Stiles’ head, lips not far from the marks on his neck, and okay, maybe other people might have some second thoughts after watching a guy grow a set of fangs, but to Stiles, this feels comfortingly familiar. “You just — at first, you just smelled good.”

Stiles actually cracks a smile at that. “Uh, thanks. I mean, not so bad yourself.”

“No,” Derek says. “I mean, you smelled like — like a home. Like you could be my home. Like you could be mine.”

Stiles feels his eyes go wide, because that’s a hell of a lot more than someone complimenting your moisturizer.

“You make me crazy,” Derek says again, words rumbling against the sensitive skin under Stiles’ ear. “I kept telling myself that we couldn’t do anything until you knew about me.”

“Wait a second,” Stiles says, his brain jumping track as it’s wont to do. “Does my dad know? Is this like — is this some kind of outreach?”

“What?” Derek says, pulling back to look at Stiles. “Are you asking me if I’m a — werewolf affirmative action hire?”

“What?” Stiles says defensively. “Also, oh my god, your family home up north is like a ranch of werewolves, isn’t it. That’s better than what I was thinking, I thought you were some kind of cult that didn’t approve of two people of the masculine persuasion getting it on.”

Derek stares at him. “No, your father doesn’t know,” he says finally. “And I can’t believe you thought my family was a cult.”

“It seemed like a better explanation than the other ones available to me,” Stiles says, wincing a little. “Which didn’t include secret werewolf, just in case you were curious. I thought maybe you just — felt bad about it, or just didn’t want that much with me. Even though I really — really wanted it with you.”

“I wanted everything with you,” Derek says, looking pained. “I still do.”

Stiles stares at him, because — he doesn’t know what to do with that, he really doesn’t, but he can’t stand to see Derek looking like that, still braced for Stiles to say thanks but no thanks, I liked you fine until I found about about your monthly problem. So Stiles gets a fistful of Derek’s jacket and pulls him into a kiss. The noise that Derek makes against his mouth is small and vulnerable, and the kiss goes from sweet to desperate and if Stiles makes Derek crazy, the feeling is mutual.

“Can we go home, now?” Stiles says after he breaks the kiss. “Because I’m starving. And I need a shower. At minimum.”

“Yeah,” Derek says, smiling softly. “We can go home.”


Stiles drives to Derek’s place, Derek following behind, and it isn’t until much later that Stiles realizes they never discussed whose home they were going to, but then again — that is probably some sort of sign. It starts to rain on the drive over, cold and steady and inevitably challenging Stiles’ ability to keep his windshield from fogging up.

“When I said I needed a shower, I didn’t mean this!” Stiles grumbles to Derek as they make a break for the front door. It’s too late, though — it’s coming down hard, and they’re both soaked by the time they get there. Derek unlocks the door and goes in first, and Stiles is wiping uselessly at his hair as he follows.

Derek shuts the door behind them, and pushes Stiles up against it.

“I seriously reek,” Stiles informs him. “Don’t you have some sort of super werewolf nose? I should be like, extra offending you right now.”

Derek tucks his nose under Stiles’ ear and sniffs him, and wow, he must have been seriously trying to restrain himself before, because with the werewolf out of the proverbial bag, Derek is sniffing and licking down his neck, his tongue catching rainwater as he goes.

“Unless you super get off on it, oh my god, you do, don’t you,” Stiles says, and he thinks he means for that to sound accusatory, but it just sounds breathless and hopelessly turned on, and Derek growls and manhandles him into the kitchen. Stiles wonders for a second if Derek actually intends to break up the festivities by feeding Stiles as planned, only not so much, as it turns out — because their wet clothes are hitting the tiled floor, and Derek backs him up against the counter, pulls down Stiles’ boxer briefs and gets on his knees. He fights off a giggle when Derek dips his tongue in his navel, and then he’s definitely not laughing when Derek sniffs and licks his way down Stiles’ stomach, and then he doesn’t even have time to have any reservations about sharp teeth before Derek sucks him in.

It’s not like he hasn’t had a blow job before, but it’s clear that, unlike drunken rugby hookups, Derek knows what he’s doing, and he’s really into it. Like, that level of enthusiasm is not something Stiles has a lot of experience with, and in combination with Derek holding his gaze while swallowing him down, it’s no wonder his thighs are trembling under Derek’s hands.

“Oh my god,” Stiles says brokenly, because Derek’s tongue is wrecking him, and it’s all he can do to clutch the counter edge to keep himself upright. The noises he’s making echo in the kitchen, and if it sounds loud to him, then Derek has to hear every gasp as a shout, every choked moan as a wail, but if it bothers him, he doesn’t show it — and when Stiles tries to warn him that he’s going to come, Derek just grabs his ass with both hands and takes Stiles down his throat, virtually wresting his orgasm from him, demanding that Stiles give it up to him with the flex of his fingers against Stiles’ ass and the slide of his lips around Stiles’ cock.

“Oh my god,” Stiles says again, but more weakly. Derek lets him slide down to sit on the floor, and Stiles is about to beg for a minute or two grace period before returning the favor, but Derek just straddles him, unzips his uniform pants, takes out his cock and starts to jerk himself off roughly. “I can — let me—” Stiles starts to say, reaching for Derek.

He doesn’t get far, because Derek takes both of his wrists in one hand and pins them over his head, still staring at Stiles, hips rocking a little with his strokes, and okay, message received, but Stiles never takes a straight up no for an answer. “You sure?” Stiles asks. “You don’t want my mouth, maybe? Not to brag, but plenty of people like this mouth.”

Derek actually snarls at that, and his eyes go dangerously blue, and Stiles can see a bit of fang when Derek’s mouth drops open as he comes messily all over Stiles’ chest.

If Stiles was filthy before, he’s beyond filthy now — and jesus, that was before Derek started rubbing his come into his skin, what. “I need a shower for sure, now,” Stiles says, watching the proceedings with an equal amount of disbelief and sure knowledge that it would turn him on if Derek hadn’t just blown him to within an inch of his life.

“Let’s eat, first,” Derek says.

“Really?” Stiles says, feeling dazed. “You want me to eat when I’m all covered in — no, what am I thinking, of course you do.”

“I have leftover pizza,” Derek informs him, looking extremely serious.

“Amazing,” Stiles says, although mostly what surprises him is the idea that any leftovers lasted the night in Derek’s fridge.


Insofar as actually getting clean is concerned, their shower is sort of two steps forward, one step back and a one lengthy side trip into Derek pushing him up against the tile and rimming him with a great deal of enthusiasm, then getting him filthy again by jerking off onto Stiles’ back. Clearly, this is going to be a thing.

When they are both clean again, and furthermore challenging an old water heater’s will to live, Stiles pulls Derek back across the chilly hallway into the warmth of his bedroom, walking backward until he hits Derek’s bed and sprawls back into the blankets. He’s waiting for Derek to pounce, but Derek is just looking down at him, and really not making with the further demonstrations on how lycanthropy can be fun for everyone.

“It was harder than I ever would have imagined,” Derek says finally, his voice a gravelly husk. “Smelling your scent all wrapped up in mine, here in my bed, and sleeping without you. I wanted so many crazy things, I barely recognized myself.”

“I’m here now,” Stiles says, and offers an anxious half-smile, a little uncomfortable with the intensity of Derek’s regard.

“Do you want to be?” Derek asks.

Stiles raises his eyebrows, and takes one look down as if to assure himself, yep, still hard, still waiting in Derek’s bed with nothing doing. “Can’t you tell? I’d think you’d be able to smell me if nothing else.”

“Yes,” Derek says, and oh, that sounds satisfied, before he frowns again. “But it doesn’t tell me if you want to stay.”

Stiles’ throat tightens a little. “What, for the night?” he says, aiming for casual but missing by a mile with the wobble in his voice.

“Not just for the night,” Derek says, with such certainty that Stiles stares at him wide-eyed, disbelieving, but Derek doesn’t make it into a joke, doesn’t take it back, just keeps his eyes locked on Stiles’.

“You want me to stay?” he asks, voice small, because no one’s ever asked him that before. “You really want me to stay?”

“I never want you to leave,” Derek says, and then looks chagrined. “Wait, I know that sounds crazy. Of course you can leave, it’s not house arrest, I just meant—”

“I want to be with you all the time,” Stiles interrupts.

“Yes, that’s what I meant,” Derek says, looking relieved.

“No, Derek, I meant — I want to be with you all the time.” It’s strange how easy it feels to say that, but it’s true, and it’s been true for a while. None of tonight’s revelations have changed that.

Derek must see it, must believe it, because now he chooses to pounce, bracketing Stiles’ head with his forearms and leaning down to kiss Stiles like he’d do it forever, and Stiles just reaches up and grabs a handful of Derek’s hair to keep him there.

Eventually Derek does move his mouth elsewhere, largely because Stiles is whining, “Derek, come on, you’re killing me, not all of us got off in the shower, some of us just got our brains turned inside out and were left hanging, Derek—”

Derek flips Stiles over onto his stomach, mouth nipping a stinging kiss at his nape before his tongue slides down Stiles’ spine, and Derek parts his cheeks and licks into him again, like he didn’t just nearly make Stiles come from only doing this, and Stiles sobs out, “I can’t, no more, you have to fuck me, please, oh please—”

He hears the click of a cap, and then Derek is pressing one slick finger into him, being so, so gentle, even though it’s not like it’s the first time Stiles has done this, but he knows better than to say so. Derek’s apparently a little territorial, and Stiles really would rather he didn’t go all werewolf-y in the middle of sex. Well. Maybe just a little, the growling is kind of hot. Derek leans down so that he’s mostly covering Stiles with his body, steadily fucking Stiles with three fingers now, nosing around Stiles’ neck and making pleased noises every time Stiles moans and writhes back onto his fingers.

“I’ve wanted to do this so bad, I wanted everyone to know you were mine,” Derek says in his ear, and yeah, that growl is back.

“You can, come on,” Stiles says, and shoves his hips back once before deciding to adopt a different tack, because Derek is showing no signs of getting with the program. “You think it was good before, just rubbing it into my skin? You’re going to fuck me, come inside me, mark me—”

Derek freezes. “You’d let me do that?”

Stiles regains enough brain cell usage to say, “Can we skip the part where I might have peeked at your medical records and just go with no condoms necessary, feel free to go to town?”

Stiles,” Derek says, and finally, finally pulls his fingers out and tugs Stiles’ hips up, one hand bracing his shoulder while Derek slowly pushes his cock inside.

Stiles is propped up on his forearms, head hanging down as he tries to get used to it, and it goes from a little uncomfortable to really, really good in almost no time, and he’s about to wonder what he’ll have to say to get Derek to cut loose, but apparently, he doesn’t need to beg at all, because Derek just pushes Stiles’ shoulders down, leaving his ass angled up, and begins to fuck him in earnest.

“Oh god,” Stiles moans, because he’s going to come any second, he’s sure, no one could withstand Derek’s tongue twice and his cock and not have an earth-shaking orgasm, he’ll barely have to touch himself to—

No,” Derek snarls, and pulls his wrist away. “Like this,” he says, and grinds in, moving his hips until Stiles whimpers, because of course Derek has great observational skills and is totally committed to deducing the best angle and then nailing it.

It doesn’t take much more than that before Stiles takes in one shaking, desperate breath and then comes hard, all over the sheets beneath him, eyes squeezed shut as Derek slows down, then groans in Stiles’ ear as his hips stutter against Stiles’ ass. They stay like that until Derek eases him to lie down flat, Derek still inside him but not letting Stiles take all his weight.

“Wow,” Stiles says finally.

“Mmm,” Derek says, by way of agreement. He seems disinclined to roll off, even though it’s got to be getting uncomfortable to prop himself up like that. Stiles can hold a plank with the best of them, which is to say about fifteen seconds, but this is ridiculous.

“Come on, off,” Stiles says. “Zero snowballing can commence until you pull out.”

Derek goes extremely still behind him.

“What, seriously? You know you’re going to do it. I want you to,” Stiles cajoles.

“Unbelievable,” Derek mutters, but of course, as it turns out, Stiles is totally right about everything.


Stiles doesn’t have to be up, but Derek does, so he stays in Derek’s wreck of a bed while Derek jumps in the shower.

Derek still has damp hair and is only in his boxer briefs when his phone rings. He frowns at the display, then hits the screen. “This is Hale.” A beat. “Yes, sir. He’s right here.” Stiles gives him an unfriendly look, but takes the phone.

“Yo, dad,” he says.

“Yo, son,” his dad says dryly. “Now, I know we had this big talk before you moved back in, about how you’re an adult and your own person, but I reserve the right to be concerned when Scott calls looking for you and says you’re not answering your phone. And then you don’t answer your phone when I call you.”

“Uh,” Stiles says, and leans over the side of the bed to find his phone. The battery is seriously gone, and probably has been for a few hours. “Sorry about that, need to recharge it.”

“I suppose I should be glad you’re with Derek,” his dad sighs. “Although, again, I reserve the right to be extremely suspicious about Derek being able to immediately lay hands on you at seven in the morning.”

“Yeah, about that,” Stiles says, because this isn’t some flash in the pan, and Derek’s not a rugby boy, and if his dad’s going to freak out about Stiles having something cooking with his deputy, well, a.) he shouldn’t have hired someone that attractive, b.) he’d rather just get this out in the open and over with. He looks up at Derek, who has been shamelessly eavesdropping, he’s sure, and waggles his eyebrows in an attempt to communicate, hey, you want me to put this all on the table?

Derek gives him a minute nod, and Stiles says, “So, about Derek.”

“No details, ever, and he keeps coming to Sunday dinner,” his dad says immediately.

“What, no threats? What if he breaks my heart? Come on, I’m worth at least one good warning about how you have a gun, right?”

“Give the phone back to Derek,” his dad says.

Derek takes it and cradles it against his shoulder while he wanders out into the hallway, and Stiles can hear the wood floor creak as he walks down the hall. Stiles is just starting to do a vague cost-benefit analysis on dragging himself out of bed for breakfast, when Derek comes back into the bedroom, uniform on and everything in place.

Stiles looks him up and down, because he can, and because damn. “I know you have to go in to the station, but I really wish I could take those pants off with my teeth.”

Derek pinches the bridge of his nose. “Don’t say things like that when I have to leave the house,” he says, but he sounds more affectionate than scolding. He leans down to give Stiles a kiss, warm and tender and too brief, as far as Stiles is concerned. He pauses in the doorway on his way out and says, “Oh, and Stiles.”


The corner of Derek’s mouth turns up. “Your dad says he has a gun, and if I ever break your heart, the county coroner won’t be able to identify my remains.”

“Awesome,” Stiles says sincerely, and Derek snorts.


A year later, Derek is giving the pile of Stiles’ stuff in his dad’s garage a critical eye. “It’s not that much. We can move it ourselves.”

“Your sister says she can come down with the truck,” Stiles says, rocking back on his heels.

“Completely unnecessary, in all ways. And why are you talking to Laura?”

“Look, if you track coyote movement on this thing called a computer, chances are, you spend a significant amount of time on said computer, which means you might be bored in the middle of the day and end up chatting with people who are online, namely me,” Stiles says. “Also, we are bros.”

Derek makes a face.

“And your mom says she wants us to come up to the ranch for New Year’s,” Stiles continues.

“Why are you talking to my mom,” Derek says, in something that he would deny is a whine but it totally is.

“Because she calls me and she’s nice,” Stiles says. “And I have blackmail material forever, believe me — your mom is really forthcoming. I thought the story about your ice-skating adventure when you were seven and accompanying ice vomit was particularly touching.”

Derek grumbles, “I am reconsidering all of my life choices.”

“You are not,” Stiles says, and wraps one arm around Derek’s waist. “I mean, you’re not, right? You still want me to move in?”

Derek wraps an arm around his shoulder and pulls him closer still. “I want you to move in,” he says against Stiles’ hair.

Whatever tension he was holding melts away. “Good,” Stiles says. “I’m just saying, if your sister is going to help us move, then we don’t have to do this today. Also my dad is at the station. My point is, we could be giving my bed a fond farewell right now.”

He can feel Derek’s suddenly interested inhale.

It’s not that he needs to sweeten the deal, but variety is the spice of life, etcetera. “Chase me,” Stiles says, and Derek lets him wiggle away and run through the house and up the stairs, only to gently tackle him on the bed, abused springs creaking and Stiles’ laughter filling the air.