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A Fool for Fire

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The first time it happens, Stiles is expecting a punch to the face.

They’re arguing again, Stiles mouthing off as if it’s an Olympic sport, while Derek lurks in the corner of his room like the creeper he is. “I have a life, Derek. I know the concept is completely foreign to you, but to some of us that kind of thing is important. Hence, no I won’t do research for you today!”

Stiles can feel himself grow hot already, blood seeping up into his face as he stares Derek down. But screw this; he has schoolwork and a paper to write before tomorrow, and if his grades sink any lower, his dad’ll never let him hear the end of it. It’s barely the beginning of his senior year, and he doesn’t want to start it off horribly behind just because the alpha can’t wait one day. And he always does what Derek and the pack want him to, dammit. He’s not asking for a lot here, so he’s going to scour up the tiny bit of courage he has and stay strong.

“You will,” Derek growls, advancing slowly, “by tonight.”

No. Listen, I can probably look at it tomorrow, but that’s the best I can do.” At this point, Derek is close enough that one more step will bring them chest to chest. Derek’s eyes flash red and Stiles briefly considers just giving in; a few late homework assignments aren’t worth a full-grown alpha going crazy in his room.

A palm slaps against the wall right next to his head and Derek leans close, breath skimming lightly over Stiles’ cheeks. “You’ll do it,” he says, voice low, “by tonight.”

Derek begins to lean back, bringing distance between them once again and Stiles doesn’t know why he does it, doesn’t know what makes him open his stupid mouth before Derek completely moves away. He guesses it has a little to do with how unimportant he’s been feeling lately, with Scott over at his exclusive werewolf pack club all the time. He’s a little hurt, he’s man enough enough to admit it, and a little angry, too.

A tiny part of him, though, argues that maybe he opened his mouth just so he could see Derek for a few more minutes, even if the werewolf spent the time threatening him. It’s hopeless, he knows, this insignificant crush he has. He should have learned his lesson with Lydia, and he did to an extent. For starters, he’d never be stupid enough to show Derek how important the werewolf was to him. But he still couldn’t help himself when he started to admire Derek in a more than friendly  manner, when his quiet and begrudging respect for the werewolf turned into outright appreciation for him, and when his appreciation turned into a crush that was not really a crush.

After all, no one would ever say that Stilinskis did things by halves.

But regardless of how irrational his crush was, Stiles still tried to make these kind of moments last. If even for a little while, because Stiles was the kind of person to hoard things. He hoarded Scott’s attention when he could, he jealously clutched at what little time he spent with his dad, and he grasped tightly around these moments with Derek because these were the only ones he’ll ever have.

So, “Make me,” he breathes out.

A flicker of something crosses Derek’s face, some unidentifiable emotion, and before he knows it, Stiles is being practically thrown across the room unto his bed. Oh shit, Stiles thinks frantically, I’m going to die. He finally crossed the line, finally pushed Derek over the edge, and he was going to die.

Derek grips both of Stiles’ wrists in one hand, with enough strength to bruise, and pushes them close to the headboard above his head. The werewolf straddles Stiles’ hips and leans down, grin feral in the artificial light in the room. “Oh my god, oh my god, I was just kidding, don’t do anything rash here, I’ll do anything you want, Derek!”

Despite his frantic words, though, Stiles stops trying to get away and freezes. Because if Derek doesn’t kill him for back-talking, he will murder Stiles for the huge hard-on he’s trying to bring under control. He can’t help himself, though; Derek’s practically sitting right on top of his cock, one strong arm planted right next to his face. He makes a valiant effort to keep his reaction under control as Derek looms over Stiles, hazel eyes inches from Stiles’ face.

“Shut. Up. Stiles.” The hand not clutching his wrists moves from the pillow, inching slowly from Stiles’ shoulder up to his neck and jaw. The rough words are contradicted by the somewhat-soft touch, and Stiles is left reeling. He tries to calm his breathing and heartbeat but a groan is yanked out of him when Derek suddenly latches onto his neck. At first he’s only sniffing and nuzzling across Stiles‘ neck, but he soon begins to suck harshly, nipping and licking in intervals, while Stiles tries to figure out if he’s dreaming or not.

He feels detached for a moment, and he begins to assume that he’s having another adderall induced hallucination (never mind that he’s never had one before, now is clearly not the time for logic).

His dick, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to give a rat’s patooty if he was hallucinating. Stiles tries to will his erection down, bites his lip so hard it starts bleeding. It all becomes a moot point, however, because then Derek decides to stop giving him the mother of all hickeys to say, “Anything I want, Stiles?”

It takes a few moments for Stiles to get what Derek’s referring to, but when he does, he flushes horribly. He still manages to nod, though, unsure of where things are going, but positive that he wants this, whatever this is. Derek takes his nod as the obvious encouragement it is to lean backward and kiss Stiles.

It’s chaste at first, and Stiles tries to memorize this moment, his first kiss with Derek (with anyone, honestly). He feels chapped lips slowly move against his, and Stiles hesitantly opens his mouth since he’s always wanted to try french kissing. Whatever gentleness there was evaporates and Derek is back to being aggressive and demanding, his tongue licking its way into Stiles’ mouth as if it belonged there. He’s unsure of what exactly to do, not positive about how this kissing thing works, so he lets Derek take lead. The werewolf’s tongue is strong and sure as he licks inside of Stiles’ mouth, passing swiftly over teeth as if to simply taste them, to taste more of Stiles.

Derek slowly ends the kiss, giving soft nips at Stiles’ bottom red lip as he pulls away. He smirks as he shrugs off his jacket, and his hands are back on Stiles soon after. They’re creeping up under his own shirt, trying to tug it off, while Stiles busies himself with extracting Derek’s still present tee. Derek finally growls and rips the clothes off of him- “Ok, you are not Tarzan, Derek! That shit costs money”- and soon after they’re naked, bodies writhing together on the bed.

It’s then that Stiles sort of realizes the magnitude of what was going on. This guy, this amazingly handsome, smart, and loyal guy was into him, Stiles. Sure, Derek had flaws; two years of knowing him made Stiles very aware of how socially inept and stoic the alpha could be. But he was also someone with strength, both physically and emotionally, who was independent and simply put, extraordinary.

Stiles is a very self-aware individual and despite all of his jokes, he knows that he’s not the most desirable person around. So for this to happen, for Stiles to actually have his feelings reciprocated...

This was a big deal.

Stiles can’t help himself and moans delightfully at the thought, Derek’s hand stuttering along his sides. They’re grinding against one another and it’s not in the least attractive, but Stiles still feels overstimulated and yet unfulfilled. “More,” he groans, fingers pinching into Derek’s hips. “More!”

Derek leans back to stare into his face and whatever he finds pleases him because he then asks, “Lube?”

Stiles, despite his already red face, manages to flush a bit more before leaning over the bed and digging through his drawer. He tosses a condom and the never-before used bottle of gel to Derek, who simply raises an eyebrow before squirting some onto his fingers.

Stiles breathes methodically, hoping to calm himself because holy hell, he’s about to have sex. Real sex with another person, a person he likes even- “Ow!” he yells as a finger intrusively penetrates his walls.

Derek grunts in apology before slowing his finger, stretching him fully. A second finger, then a third, and before Stiles knows it, he’s begging Derek for more again.

It’s painful being penetrated, Stiles learns, but it’s worth it for the small sounds of anguish Derek makes as he tries to hold. “So tight,” the alpha mutters, face buried in Stiles’ neck.

“That’s what happens when you’re fucking a virgin,” Stiles sings with a wince, terribly off key and strained.

Derek’s grip tightens even harder around his hips and he stills momentarily. “First kiss, too?”

Stiles swallows before deciding that the truth was inevitable. “Yes, but I had to bat people off with a stick, got that? I’m a picky guy,” he grumbles, face beet red.

Derek huffs and Stiles can almost convince himself that it was a laugh. He begins to grin before the werewolf start to move, and his expression turns into one of discomfort.

The pace is slow at first, Derek letting Stiles adjust to having him inside him, but soon after it picks up and Derek changes angles experimentally. It gets better and better, until Stiles is left a moaning mess on the bed. He’s all clingy limbs and scratching nails, and Derek doesn’t even have to touch his dick for him to come. Derek, on the other hand, manages to thrust a few more times before also coming, hands bruisingly tight around his waist.

Stiles sighs, contentment entering his body before he yawns. Derek starts to get up, gathering his clothes and heading momentarily for the bathroom.

“So you’ll have the research done tonight.” It’s a statement and Stiles begins to feel unease seep into his insides.

“Um, I really do have a ton of homework-”

Derek won’t even look at him as he throws his shirt back on. “Do it. That’s what I came for, and I won’t be coming back to tell you again.” He finishes getting dressed and steps forward awkwardly to the foot of the bed. “Listen,” he sighs, frustration evident in his expression, “I have to go-”

Stiles swallows and forces on a smile. “No, yeah, I get it. I’ll have your research done by tonight, it’ll be in my mailbox in the morning, ok? No worries.” He tries to laugh awkwardly, embarrassment and sadness gathering low in his stomach. Of course Derek Hale isn’t interested in him; hell, it’s obvious the guy can’t get away fast enough. And Stiles isn’t about to be the poor pathetic person who begged him to stay. If Derek wants him to play it cool, then he was going to be cool.

Derek gives him one last kiss before heading out the window, and Stiles forces himself to wait a solid ten minutes before heading into the bathroom and throwing up.


He takes two showers as a precaution the next morning.

As he drives to school, he worries the entire way if the pack will be able to sense what happened last night. He doesn’t want the entire group to know, especially Scott; Stiles hasn’t exactly come out yet, and while he’s sure that Scott won’t have a problem with it, he doesn’t want him to find out this way. He doesn’t want anyone to find out about him and Derek, because having his friends know he’s someone’s dirty secret is embarrassing, a level of embarrassment that Stiles has never before been privy to. This is personal, and while Stiles would never judge another person for having an unattached sexual relationship, he is ashamed of this.

Mostly, he’s disappointed at how weak he is, how he could fool himself into believing Derek Hale of all people was interested in him. He should have yelled and screamed afterwards; should have done something. He isn’t some damsel who needs saving; he’s strong and smart, he knows this, and he’s never had a problem standing up to people like Jackson, so Derek shouldn’t have been a problem. A smaller part of him, though, a part he tries not to acknowledge, is ashamed at himself. Obviously, Derek is at least bi-curious. If Stiles were at least a little bit more handsome or charismatic or normal...

But he won’t dwell on thoughts like those. He can’t change things, so why think so negatively? Besides, he usually likes himself just fine.

His worries about the pack finding out are for nothing, though, because school goes as normal. He sits with the group at lunch (albeit beside Allison and Danny, with a distance far away enough from the others that he won’t be too close to their freakish noses), spending his time conversing mostly with Lydia about their shared AP classes and teasingly taunting Jackson about his slip up during yesterday’s lacrosse practice.

It was moments like these that Stiles very much enjoyed the fact that he was surrounded by werewolves; it meant he was surrounded by people, and while they didn’t always get along, they were stuck with each other (in his darker moments, he’ll amend this by saying they’re stuck with him, but he tries not to have many of those).

It was like a family, the kind he hasn’t really had since his mother passed away.

Regardless of how well lunch went, Stiles tries to keep his distance from his friends throughout the day. He sits with Danny and Allison during class, which thankfully is not that weird since they kind of stuck together as the “humans” of the group.

At the end of the day, however, Stiles thinks the gig is up. He’s on his way to his car, ready to head home since practice was cancelled, when Jackson swings an arm around him, startling him. Now, Stiles is sort of used to the impromptu touching the pack does, but he’d been hoping that today they’d forget about cuddling him because touching leads to sniffing which leads to-

“Hey, you know, you smell off today,” Jackson says, face scrunched up in confusion or distaste (it was hard to tell with him sometimes).

“Hate to say this, but he’s right,” Scott pipes up from behind, startling Stiles once more. When had they all appeared? “I was wondering what it was all day-” he pauses, face tilted slightly to the side. Stiles stops walking, body squished between Jackson and an old Honda in the parking lot, his body filling with dread and worry.

He’s about to open his mouth- deny deny deny- when all of a sudden Jackson drops his arm and Scott side-steps him easily. “Eh,” Scott says, face turned away from Stiles, “must be our senses kicking into overdrive with the full-moon coming up.”

Stiles sighs, suspiciously content with how easily things went, but still relieved that his lack of judgement last night will continue to remain a secret. Besides, it’s not like Derek will come back again any time soon. Derek made it clear that Stiles was just a convenient body last night, and with the werewolf’s looks, he could get anyone. And also, it’s not like Stiles will give him the time of day either. One moment of weakness is forgivable, sure, but another? Unimaginable.


Derek comes back two nights later. Stiles is quiet, his heartbeat erratic as he sits up in his bed. Derek wastes no time in climbing in, shucking his shoes off gracefully at the foot of the mattress before positioning himself between Stiles’ legs.

He leans forward to scent at Stiles first, licking his neck and nipping at random. Stiles feels his body grow hot, responding eagerly to Derek but- but, there is also an ache, steady and strong, growing within his chest. He breathes shallowly as Derek undresses him, and he is unsure of whether it’s caused by arousal or... something else. He tries to force himself into opening his mouth, into saying no, Derek, you can’t have this, but he finds that he can’t. Instead of doing what he should, he feels himself lean into Derek’s wandering hands, body arching when delicious contact is made.

There is a pause in movement while Derek leans backward to grab lube from his discarded jeans, and Stiles takes this moment to lean back into the bed heavily. He breathes in deeply, taking in the Derek’s scent of earth and cologne. It’s an intoxicating smell so he closes his eyes for a moment, lost in the fact that Derek is here. He opens his eyes when he feels Derek lean over him again, a growl of approval filling the silence.

As fingers probe his entrance, Derek growls and kisses him roughly, something he still doesn’t quite have the hang of. Derek was his first kiss and he obviously hasn’t practiced since their last meeting, so he lets the werewolf take control. As Derek nips at his lips, tongue surging in and licking its way inside of his mouth, Stiles can’t help but think of how stupid he is. How stupid could he be to think that someone like Derek Hale could look at him and see someone attractive and worthwhile? And how little must his own self-esteem be that he lets Derek do this? Nevertheless, he enjoys this, allows himself this and clings to Derek like a drowning person does a lifejacket.

He can’t help the moan that escapes when Derek enters him, shameless and full of shame all at once. Nails scratch at broad shoulders, and Derek seems to like that, likes it a lot if the enthusiastic growl is anything to go by, so Stiles does it again. And right there, as he draws tiny amounts of blood from Derek’s back, he can lie to himself and say that he does it because of passion. He tells himself that his fingers dig in so deep because Derek keeps finding that sweet spot inside of him, because he’s barely a non-virgin and this is too much for him still.

He lies and lies and lies because it’s better than recognizing how bitter he is, how bad of a person he is to actually want to hurt Derek, if only a little, for not wanting him. For not wanting all of him.

The rhythm is steady and fast, Stiles’ legs tightly wound around Derek’s hips as he presses into him. It doesn’t take long for Stiles to come, the pace unforgiving and pleasurable, so when Derek  brings one slicked hand down to trace down his shaft, he comes hard and fast. He clenches instinctively, but Derek only grunts momentarily before continuing his pace.

After a few thrusts, Stiles starts to squirm once more, too much stimulation on his prostrate right after his orgasm making him curl his toes and hold on tightly to Derek’s shoulders. He digs his fingers in, voice breathless as he says, “Come on, fuck, Derek!”

The alpha picks up the pace brutally, the bed rocking loudly back and forth. He growls as he sinks his teeth into Stiles’ shoulder with enough strength to bruise, not bleed. It isn’t until Stiles’ right hand reaches up and pulls at Derek’s hair that the older man comes, a cut off shout wrenched from his throat.

They lay there for a while, Derek still inside of Stiles, breath ragged as they cling to one another. Stiles removes himself first, untangling his arms from around the older male and dropping his legs back down onto the mattress. This prompts Derek, who gives him one last kiss before slipping out of bed to throw the condom away and get ready. Stiles hears the rustle of clothes and quickly after, the opening of his bedroom window.

He leans over the edge of his bed to grab his boxers, only wincing slightly in pain at the movement. He then settles back into bed and wonders at how this is his life.


It becomes routine after that. Almost every day, Derek climbs into his window and fucks him, no preamble or conversation beforehand. Sometimes there are kisses, gentle ones at first but Stiles quickly puts an end to that. He doesn’t need Derek’s pity; that kind of false affection only hurts more.

So they fuck, always on Stiles’ bed and always at night. Except one time.

They have sex once in Derek’s home.

It’s right at the beginning of their... relationship, less than two weeks since the first night. Long after one of the pack meetings, Stiles stays behind to help clean up a bit and ends up with his pants around his knees and a huge body kneeling down in front of him in the kitchen.

Stiles comes quickly, fingers curled around the burnt counter tops in an effort not to bury them in Derek’s hair. Derek laps at his cum, sucking every last drop so desperately that Stiles has no other choice but to slowly get half-hard again.

Quickly, so quickly that he gets slightly dizzy, Stiles is being manhandled up a flight of stairs and ends up being thrown onto a mattress on the floor. He bounces slightly, orienting himself to his surroundings when Derek climbs over him, sans pants and shirt. The older male wastes no time in yanking off Stiles’ clothes, and fingers finding his entrance easily. Derek spends a few moments searching for a bottle of lube underneath the mattress before slicked fingers are pushing against Stiles.

He groans, somewhat used to the act itself but still not accustomed to seeing Derek in these moments. The werewolf’s eyebrows furrowed in concentration, tongue sneaking out occasionally to lick his lips. He looks beautiful, sweat glistening on his body, and Stiles can already see how Derek’s face will look when he comes. Can already see the way he’ll close his eyes and lean on Stiles’ shoulder as if searching for some support, and suddenly Stiles can’t take it. He pushes himself up and over, preferring to lay on his belly to avoid looking at Derek; the werewolf’s face will only serve to haunt him later on.

A large, warm hand pushes at his side with the intent to roll him over again but Stiles says, “I want to try it this way,” and the hands pause briefly before continuing to spread Stiles wide open.

Derek fucks him slowly, keeping the kind of pace that drives Stiles wild with desperation. He usually doesn’t try to hold back in bed, letting out his moans and grunts because self-control was never something he had a lot of. But now- now he screams. The pace is torture and Derek somehow manages to hit his prostate every other thrust, keeping him on the brink of pleasure the entire time.

They fuck for hours, it seems like to Stiles. By this point, Stiles has completely given up on trying to help himself along since whenever he does, Derek just swats his hands away and growls, “When I say so.”

Which, yeah, totally hot. But now, as Stiles dips his head low, unable to even hold himself up anymore, it’s pure torture. Derek’s hands are the only thing keeping his lower half upright, gripping his hips with bruise-worthy strength as he thrusts in and out in a steady rhythm. He finally just lays his head flat against the mattress, arms limp and spread wide, as what little strength he has leaves him. Stiles’ fingers claw weakly at the plain mattress, limbs shaking with pleasure and over-stimulation.

“De- Derek,” Stiles pants. “Please.”

Stiles feels more than hears the growl that Derek releases, and soon after a large hand comes around to grip at his cock. Stiles moans loudly and bucks forward, but Derek’s other hand still has a hard grip on his waist. Derek pumps him as slowly as he fucks him, his thrusts keeping time with his strokes and Stiles’ moans gain momentum once again.

He’s rambling and moaning, twisting this way and that desperately in search of relief. He feels the sweat sliding off of his forehead, his short hair plastered to his face, but his body is on fire. He craves release, and he tries once again push back into Derek to see if he’ll finally listen and go faster, harder.

Derek growls once more and then he bites Stiles, right at the curve on his shoulder where he’s most sensitive. Stiles cries out and comes ridiculously hard, breath stuttering and mind blanking for almost a minute. He clenches his muscles hard, and he figures that was enough for Derek as well since he’s coming deep in Stiles, thrust into him up to the root.

Stiles lays there for a few minutes, simply catching his breath before he finds the strength to roll over. Derek is already gone, the bathroom light on, so Stiles gives himself a few moments to rest before cleaning himself up.

He stares at the ceiling, at the destruction bestowed upon the Hale house. The place was still a dump; it was barely livable and Derek had made only the barest of repairs to the place in the couple of years he’s known him. Stiles knows he has a decent amount of money in the bank- Scott told him that Derek had actually been an Economics student while in college and had made some small investments keeping him afloat while in New York. Also, after Kate Argent was found guilty for the murder of the Hale family, Derek received a hefty amount of insurance money that he had previously been denied.

Stiles didn’t understand why he would have all of that money and not use it for something worthwhile, like fixing up his house. Why would he willingly live in something that practically screamed of the past, instead of working towards making it his own? Stiles understands the difficulty of letting go of the past- he still keeps the book his mother used to read to him right by his bedside table, ready to be pulled out every night he wishes to remember her- but to surround oneself by the constant reminder of how his whole family died?

“How could you live like that?” Stiles mutters, unaware that he even spoke aloud until he hears the sound of something dropping in the bathroom. His heartbeat picks up- and how indicative of this is his life, how his first thought whenever something happens is that his heartbeat changes- and he looks to the bathroom to see Derek standing there, eyes narrowed dangerously.

“I- I didn’t mean it like that, ok?” he starts, frantically hoping to head off the beat-down he sees in his immediate future. “I meant it in a total empathetic manner- empathetic, not-not whatever you’re thinking, please stop growling!- because you know, you live in this house that is slowly falling apart and it’s a bit of a creepy shrine to your family and I was just thinking that maybe it would be better if you rebuilt more because it’s not healthy ok, it’s been more than a decade, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want this for you and, and, and oh my god please don’t kill me!”

Derek’s eyes are red by this point and his canines are slightly elongated, but otherwise he seems controlled. Stiles stays still regardless, blood rushing from his face as he sits in utter mortification of what he’s said. Stiles can see the deep breaths Derek takes, and he starts slightly when Derek talks. “You should go,” he says, voice deep and rough.

Stiles nods quickly, grabs his things and dresses on his way out the door. He berates himself the entire way home, scared out of his wits that whatever he’s done will end things with Derek for good.

The worst part is, he doesn’t know whether that’s a bad thing or not.


Derek comes by that night, and Stiles rushes to apologize because no matter his feelings about this “thing” with Derek, he really did overstep. “Look, about today-”

Derek silences him with a kiss, stubble prickling his skin. “Don’t come by. For a while. Ok?” The question is more a statement because by then Derek proceeds to devour  Stiles thoroughly.

That’s that then.  


Because of Derek’s apparent exiling of Stiles from his home, he’s also banned from all pack meetings now (since they’re held at the Hale residence) and he feels... left out. He can admit that at first, when Scott grudgingly told him that no, Stiles couldn’t tag along and if he could please stop bringing it up, it makes him uncomfortable, he kind of wanted to cry. It was as if, due to his stupid comment to Derek, the whole pack was trying to push him out. And ok, it also sort of bugs him that nobody from the group even stands up for him; no outcries about why suddenly Stiles isn’t welcome at pack meetings; it’s just simply accepted as fact.

He consoles himself with the fact that he still gets to hang out with the group routinely. Given that everyone, with the exception of Danny and Allison, is an only child with very busy (or negligent, Stiles would say in some cases... specifically Jackson or Lydia’s) parents they tend to hang out often at one another’s homes.

They began the tradition grudgingly their junior year, when things were still awkward between everyone and uncomfortableness hung in the atmosphere like air freshener. Derek would force them all to sit through horrendous movies and junk food in the name of “pack bonding”. But now they keep to the routine religiously and meet closer to three or four times a week (aside from pack meetings) instead of only once.

Stiles enjoys the feeling of having more than one friend, even though he can’t always tell if everyone else always likes him. He knows he has a spot in the group, though; he’s the researcher and Scott's best friend, and yeah, maybe not everyone always wants him there but they definitely need him.

He refuses to acknowledge how pathetic that sounds.

So Stiles pretends not to be hurt when his absence isn’t missed at meetings (something he is well-practiced in doing), and hangs out with the group whenever he can. He begins to think maybe he’s pushing his luck with them, that maybe he’s forcing himself on them in some way. He ignores this feeling until... evidence that is too blatant for him not to see appears.

It’s October, about a week before Halloween when Stiles decides to drop by Scott’s house unannounced for a hang out sesh (a travesty of a tradition since the sessions themselves declined drastically after Allison appeared). Before he even begins scaling the side of the house, something he used to do all the time in order to scare Scott, he gets the crap scared out of him by Lydia.

“Geez louise, warn a guy before you sneak up on him!” he yells, arms flailing ridiculously. His back hits the side of the house roughly, Lydia staring back at him unimpressively.

“Stiles, what are you doing here?” Lydia asks exasperatedly. She looks ready to start bearing her teeth, a habit she’d gained after being turned, so he hurries to answer.

“Oh, you know, just coming over for some quality bro-time with Scott... What are you doing here?” He narrows his eyes, wondering when Lydia became best friends with Scott of all people.

She rolls her eyes, her mouth twitching with amusement. As quick as her smile began to form, however, it’s gone to be replaced with a look of seriousness. “Listen. As much as I know Scott would love to see you,” a pointed look of disdain crosses her features, “he’s busy. We’re talking about important things, things that you wouldn’t understand.”

Stiles doesn’t take offense; prolonged exposure to Lydia has taught him the difference between her tones, and when to know she’s really insulting him. Nonetheless, he asks, “So... werewolf stuff?”

Yes,” she says, patience wearing thin. She abruptly turns to the right, heading to the front door without so much as a goodbye.

He shrugs nonchalantly to no one and grabs his keys from his pocket. As he’s walking to his jeep, he catches sight of two smaller cars parked farther along the sidewalk.

If this was only werewolf business and he was obviously not invited because of his humanness... why were Danny and Allison here?


It happens often after that. He tries to talk to Scott about it at first, tries to playfully bring up the subject.

(It usually starts with him asking something along the lines of, “So I heard you guys hung out at the mall/ at Jackson’s/ at Lydia’s/ at Scott’s the other day.”

Scott also usually sputters for a moment before saying, “It was super last minute. Allison just needed to grab something/ needed to do homework/ werewolf stuff, you know how it is, um, hey, how excited are you for Amazing Spider-Man/ Dark Knight Rises/ Avengers?”

Stiles lets Scott change the subject each time.)

He learns to stop asking. And to stop assuming he’s invited.


The interesting thing is that despite how angry Derek is at his comments about his house, he still comes every night. Stiles takes some comfort in this; he could’ve been permanently out of the pack and then where would he be? No friends (except maybe Scott) and no Derek, a miserable existence if he’d ever heard of one.

It’s fascinating to Stiles, though. The way that Derek behaves sometimes, it’s almost as if he forgets that they’re only fuck-buddies. At times, when Stiles is so strung out that he can’t get up, Derek will clean him gently and thoroughly. Sometimes there are soft kisses on his back, fingers tracing patterns on his body Stiles can’t quite follow.

Stiles enjoys these moments but he can’t help but be tense during them as well. He’s always waiting for the punch line, for Derek to suddenly snap back and tell him that no, of course he’s not interested in Stiles, why would anyone even think that?

There’s not a lot of kissing, either. Sex always comes first, and Stiles doesn’t let himself be fucked unless his back is to Derek so kissing during the act is rare. Occasionally, Derek’ll pull his hair back and tongue his way inside his mouth but Stiles considers these acts of passion and doesn’t put much thought into it.

It’s the kisses after the sex that throw him off. Every time, like clockwork, Derek will kiss him sweetly after they fuck; he’ll usually grip Stiles’ neck with his hand, thumb padding softly at his jawline. It’s always chaste but not quick; a kiss between lovers, he’d imagine, and he always dreads these kisses like they were sending him to his deathbed. He stopped trying to avoid them, though, because Derek was relentless; the first time he’d tried to shift his head away, there were bruises on the underside of his jaw from where Derek’s fingers pressed in tightly to keep him in place.

He hates those kisses; they belied the fact that their relationship was purely physical, and dammit if Stiles didn’t hate how much he craved for those kisses to mean something.

Eventually, though, despite the soft and gentle touches, Derek leaves silently afterwards. He’ll dress quickly, not even sparing him a glance as he makes his way over to the window and jumps out into the night.

Stiles always has trouble sleeping after Derek leaves.


By the end of November, months into this whole “Stiles cannot enter into Hale territory” thing, Stiles finally gets fed up. It’s a Saturday, everyone else it at Derek’s and given that finals are literally next week and Scott is his lab partner in Physics, he decides that screw it, he’s heading over there to at least get Scott to study with him a little.

Besides, he figures that considering it’s been months and neither Derek or the group have officially come out and told him that he’s not in the pack, he’s good to go. It’s been quite a while since he last tried to sneak into Derek’s place, so the alpha’s anger has most likely subsided by now. In addition to all of that, though, Stiles is Stiles; he’s the kind of guy who’ll go looking for a dead body in the woods with a killer still loose, so a few werewolves won’t scare him off easily.

He grabs his backpack and drives over to the woods, excitement bubbling lowly in his stomach. Pack meetings are the only time that everyone’s schedules coincide completely and he’s looking forward to seeing everyone together. Hell, he’ll still be happy even if they force him to play hide-and-go-seek for the werewolves (he refuses to wear that stupid red sweatshirt Lydia always brings for him, though. That stopped being funny the first time).

He’s driving in the woods, music blasting, when a figure steps out into the path. He’s far back enough that he doesn’t panic, simply brakes harshly. He kills the music and leans out of the window, able to make out Scott’s figure. “Dude, I don’t care Superman-esque you are, normal people do not jump out in front of moving vehicles. Basic survival 101.”

“What are you doing here, Stiles?” Scott asks. He sounds irritated and concerned, a unique blend that’s almost custom when talking to Stiles.

That tone doesn’t sit well with him, not now. “We’re partners in physics,” he snaps. “And I don’t care how much of a pushover you think I am, I’m not doing all the work again.”

Stiles, I promise I’ll do my half of the work! Hell, I’ll do all of it, just leave, ok? You need to leave.” Scott’s voice is pleading as he comes closer and closer to the jeep, walking so carefully it almost looks like he’s approaching a skittish animal. Stiles glances up into the woods, spotting a couple of more figures among the tress. Lydia and Jackson were listening in then.

Stiles is about to rant and rave, literally has his mouth open to demand to know what the ever-loving hell is going on, because he is pissed now. He played their game already, he let Scott and the others avoid him, he let Derek ban him from meetings, but he is not going to stand back and let them treat him like some sort of pariah.

He has pride, ok, he has dignity and screw them if they think he’s going to take this. They don’t want him in the group anymore? Fine. That’s all fine, he doesn’t care anymore, but he’s gonna give them hell because Stiles is Stiles. And he’s tired of holding back what he thinks because obviously, these people aren’t his friends so why should he care about their feelings?

This is, of course, the moment when Derek chooses to make his appearance. Stiles stops, mouth open and ready to spout angry nonsense, when he spots the alpha. And that’s when all the anger just leaves him. He can’t even seethe correctly because just looking at Derek, Stiles already knows it’s a lost cause. And he’s proven correct when Derek, in all his wolfy glory, glares him down and says, “I told you to stay away.”

Stiles sighs, suddenly tired and exhausted beyond words. “Yeah, yeah. Not allowed, I get it. I just-” he stutters, hands rubbing fatigue from his face, “I just needed to talk to Scott about some school stuff.”

That only makes Derek glare harder, the knit in his eyebrows more pronounced. “Take care of it on your own time. The pack is occupied and your presence isn’t required.” Derek turns then, stride purposeful as he heads back to his home. The others follow, one by one, Scott being the last to vacate the area.

Stiles refuses to look at him. He simply puts his jeep into reverse and tears out of the woods. He can’t even find it in himself to be shocked; he knew on some level that he wasn’t part of the pack anymore, but to hear it put so bluntly...

He drives, mind eerily calm as he considers what just happened.


Derek still comes over that night. Stiles sits straight up in bed as Derek slides into the room, and he is literally frozen in shock at how little Derek thinks of him. How dare he still come back here after throwing him out of the group, after basically announcing that his presence isn’t wanted.

As if sensing his fury, Derek lumbers over awkwardly, his movements much more tense than usual. Stiles scoots back, wanting as much space between them as possible, and he leans back into the headboard. “I didn’t think you’d come,” he says, because what else can he say? I thought you were done with me sounds too needy and he’s anything but.

Derek pauses in his trek to the bed, eyes narrowed as if Stiles were some complicated puzzle that he can’t quite make out. “Why wouldn’t I?” he replies, voice low as it always is in these moments.

“The woods-”

Derek snorts. “Pack business is separate from this. You just need to listen next time.” He then begins to shuck his shirt and pants, secure once more in the knowledge that Stiles won’t say no. With dawning realization comes sick comprehension.

Stiles isn’t good enough for pack but he is good for a quick fuck.

And the pathetic thing is, Stiles should have known that this was where he’d end up. Allison had her place as Scot’s mate and Danny was going to get the bite, everyone knew that. Stiles though- he’s dead weight, and it’s clear that Derek views him as no more than that.

So instead of getting angry, he nods to himself and turns over. He lets Derek fuck him one last time because hell, he’s about to close a chapter of his life and what’s another fuck thrown in there?

He spends the night memorizing every piece of skin he can reach, every dimple and freckle on Derek’s body he can find. He pulls at Derek’s hair, tries to leave a hickey or two (something he’d never done before), and Derek is enthusiastically receptive. Stiles kisses him, too; a lot more than average, and he revels in the intimate act as much as he can.

He does all of this and more, because come tomorrow he won’t let himself have this anymore.


He takes to avoiding the pack as much as he can; it’s not difficult considering they were avoiding him, so all he does is aid them in their efforts. During lunch, he always has a convenient piece of homework left to do in the library. He doesn’t skip lacrosse practice or anything drastic, but he does have study groups for all of his classes that start immediately after practice.

Scott sometimes sends him texts, asking him where he’s been and why he hasn’t sat with them at lunch. Even tries to interrogate him in the halls after school one day.

“Where have you been, man? Feels like I haven’t seen you at all lately,” Scott had asked, face twisted in concern.

Stiles laughed and reminded himself to stick with half-truths. “Been busy, you know, finals in two weeks. Got to keep my grades up if I want to get into those UCs, you saw how bad my dad wants me to go.”

Scott looked unsure but eventually gave in because hey, technically Stiles wasn’t lying. He doesn’t let it bother him that he’s essentially avoiding his best friend; he needs some space from Scott but he knows that eventually they’ll go back to being pals (if distant ones). After all, it wasn’t Scott’s call to make to let Stiles stay in the pack, and a beta had no control over an alpha.

But for now, he wants to avoid them. So he studies like crazy so he doesn’t lie to his friend when he questions him and he takes to invading the police department like he used to do when he was a kid.

It’s against the rules and nobody else’s kid ever does it, but when Stiles’ mom died he was too young to stay home by himself and he tended to drive babysitters crazy. So he stayed in the police department, made friends with officers and played intern when they asked him to. He went right back to doing this, as if he’d never stopped, and if he spent a couple of nights there in order to avoid Derek, who had to know?

The only times he didn’t stay at the police station were the times his dad didn’t have the night shift, so they went home together. Stiles’ windows were now locked shut and laced with mountain ash, and Derek hadn’t yet approached him, so he figured he got the message to stay away. Stiles still took to sleeping downstairs, though. With the Sheriff upstairs and no windows downstairs, Stiles was confident that Derek wouldn’t attempt to come in the house.

He keeps this up for two weeks, up until finals, but he finds it a lot harder to avoid Scott and the others when he can’t use school as an excuse.


As a last resort in his plan to avoid the pack as much as possible, Stiles hits the library a town over the second after finals are done. It’s a good twenty-five minutes away from Beacon Hills by freeway, but he knows it’s worth the time and gas the minute he steps inside.

The building itself is relatively small, a one-story building that’s sectioned off at the entrance between the children’s area and the rest of the library. What he enjoys immensely, however, is how empty the place is. It was a Saturday, sure, but the Beacon Hills Public Library was usually full of the community and state college kids at all times (since it was relatively close to both campuses) and he couldn’t even chance his high school library because it’d be way too easy for anyone from the pack to find him there.

Content, he adjusts his backpack and heads away from the children’s section in search of a secluded corner to do his schoolwork. The library is relatively new, he notes, with modern bookcases and nice furniture. Even the chairs had padding, adding to his already good mood.

“Hi!” a voice said, startling Stiles out of his appreciation for comfy furniture. “Is there anything you need help with?”

Stiles sets his backpack on the table before turning to the stranger. “Nah, thanks. Just gonna sit and do some homework for a while.” He grins and shrugs lightly in a nonchalant manner.

“Oh, sure. Don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s anything you need, though. I’m Jaime,” the librarian states with an awkward smile and an even more awkward hand wave.

Jaime is tall, but gangly. Brown hair, brown eyes, a not-unpleasant face and pretty young from what Stiles can tell. Definitely not Derek Hale, but also charming in his own way. His body language, on the other hand, screams of an awkwardness that Stiles can relate to intimately. The taller man barely makes eye-contact as he shuffles away to his desk on the far side of the library, a few books clutched in his arms like treasures.

Stiles is curious, but regardless he turns his attention to his schoolwork and sits down. He manages a good hour of dedicated work, managing some decent headway on his Econ semester project. He decides it’s time for a break, though, and heads over to the help desk.

Jaime hears him approaching and looks up from the book he’s reading. Thick, black glasses that he wasn’t wearing before adorn his face, and Stiles can’t help himself. “Those are impressively nerdy glasses, man. Or were you going for more of the hipster look? ‘Cuz I think you may have over-done it a bit.”

He grins widely like he always does when he amuses himself, but realizes a second too late that maybe the librarian won’t enjoy his sense of humor. He’d hate to be kicked out of his new favorite hangout within an hour of finding it. Before he can apologize, though, Jaime snorts rather unattractively and grins back. “Considering you’re wearing a plaid scarf with skinny jeans, I think maybe you should look in the mirror before calling someone else hipster.”

Stiles laughs, perhaps even a bit too hard, but he can’t help it. “Hey, it’s December. I grab whatever provides warmth; scarves and tight jeans fit that description pretty nicely.” Jaime smirks amicably, putting his now-closed book on the table. “Anyway, I was wondering if you had any books on, um, werewolves?” he asks awkwardly, expecting the weird look he always gets at other libraries when he requests books on lycanthropy.

Jaime, on the other hand, simply quirks an eyebrow and asks, “Like Twilight?”

Stiles snorts, relaxing a bit more. “One, that guy is a shapeshifter. Huge difference. Second, just no. Sparkly vampires do not do it for me, dude.”

Jaime’s smirk morphs into a laugh and Stiles smiles back, always happy when his humor is appreciated.

Jaime shows him some books, most of which Stiles has already read, but the older boy doesn’t even comment on his apparent fixation with werewolves. He does, however, find a couple of promising pieces of literature and he decides to check them out.

The conversation is light as they head back to the help desk to check the books out. When Stiles pulls out his wallet to grab his Beacon Hills library card, however, Jaime coughs lightly. “I... like your wallet.”

Stiles looks at his Reverse Flash wallet that Scott got him for his birthday a few years back. “Yeah, I’m a bit of comic book nerd. Well, a bit of a nerd in general really,” he answers with a self-depreciating laugh.

“Hm,” Jaime replies with a smile, “Marvel or DC?”

Stiles grins. “If I had to choose? DC.” He waves the wallet as proof. “Huge Batman fanboy, too. You?”

“Marvel. Was obsessed with X-Men as a kid for... pretty obvious reasons.” A look of awkward nervousness flits across Jaime’s face, and Stiles can’t help but like the guy a little more. He knew well the feeling of being an outcast, too.

So he leans across the desk as invasively as possible and asks, “Star Wars or Star Trek? And beware, my opinion of you will forever be decided by your answer to this one question.”


They end up sitting there talking for hours. Jaime is actually a college student, a freshman, going to the state college in town. He’s studying biology and wants to go to medical school, and Stiles is momentarily struck with a bit of a nerd crush right then and there. The way Jaime talks about school betrays the love he has for learning, something Stiles has never witnessed before. He’s all flailing hands and awkward head bobbing, and Stiles kind of wants to pinch his cheek the entire time.

Jaime turns out to be Stiles’ brain twin or something, too, because they share a ridiculous amount of love for the same things. From movies to TV shows to science fiction, they like all of the same things. Sure, Jaime’s way more of a book nerd than Stiles ever was, but that’s also something that Stiles appreciates about him. It’s a novel experience, to be around someone who knew more about things than he did (and Lydia didn’t count because she still hid her smarts more than half the time. And either way, she still tended to spend her time mocking him, so intellectual conversations tended to happen, like, never).

This was also different from Scott; their friendship was mostly centered around mutual loneliness and social leprosy, so Stiles never really had anyone to geek out over things with who knew what he was talking about. Sure, Scott humored him when it came to watching re-runs of Doctor Who, but his best friend never really understood the amount of enjoyment Stiles derived from it.

Jaime, though, was essentially perfect. Oh, clearly he wasn’t perfect in the normal sense; prolonged conversation with him showed Stiles how truly socially awkward Jaime was at points, and he couldn’t help but recognize the signs of loneliness he knew all too well in the other’s posture and habits. But he was perfect for Stiles in a way that no one had ever really been.

Beacon Hills was small as it is, and with things so complicated with the pack lately, Stiles can’t help but latch onto Jaime full speed ahead. The library also provides a very convenient hiding spot from a certain alpha, so he grabs Jaime’s number with a bright smile and promises to email him some comic scans later in the night.

As Stiles heads out the door, he already knows he’ll be back tomorrow.