The surprising part was that he didn’t even have to ask Danny twice.
Stiles had lost count of the hours he had been awake. Two hours in a pool struggling for his life and you think he would pass out the moment he had a chance to actually sit down, but instead he popped some more adderall and had spent the entire night in that in-between state of physically exhausted and mentally alert. It was the kanima, or the look in Derek’s eyes when they had parted ways, or the fact that once again he had almost died. Or maybe all of those things. Stiles needed to sleep, but he couldn’t.
So he had taken even more pills than normal, hoped that his dad wouldn’t notice, and had spent the night trying not to close his eyes. Hours later, the feeling that his limbs were made of lead because of too much time spent treading water finally wore off. He knew he shouldn’t have driven to school, but he did it anyways.
He made it through class even less mentally present than usual, and if his teachers noticed, they were just thankful that he wasn’t causing trouble. With Scott home for the day with the “flu”, Stiles had been able to float through with relative ease, bar a few concerned glances from Allison. He stumbled through suicide runs during practice and afterwards finally got down to the only reason he hadn’t feigned sick like Scott.
“Hey, Danny,” he slid up to the other boy’s locker just as Danny was pulling his shirt on.
“We’ve been over this, just because I’m not into you doesn’t mean gay guys don’t find you attractive,” Danny didn’t even turn to look at him as he spoke, just pulled his bag out his locker and slung it over his shoulder.
“Always good to know, but not actually what I wanted to ask you,” he followed Danny out into the main hallway.
“I’m not hacking into anything.”
“Also not asking, but I do need a favor.”
“What is it, Stiles?” Danny asked with a slight sigh as he finally turned to face him.
“I need you to purchase me some…,” he cast a quick glance around to check that no one was in hearing range. “Some ganja, a little Mary Jane, a bit of loco,” he drew out the last syllable and raised his eyebrows. “If you get my drift.”
“Just call it weed like everybody else,” he shook his head slightly, the corner of his mouth upturned.
“Is that a yes or a no? Because no way is anyone giving me anything because of my dad, but everybody loves you and I will owe you forever but you’re nice so you won’t hold that against me,” Stiles rushed out in all one breath, wishing not for the first time that he had Scott’s natural ability for ridiculous puppy eyes.
Danny looked him up and down once and Stiles held his eyes wide open, unfortunately feeling more like an over-alert owl than an adorable, undeniable doggy.
“Oh come on…wait what? Did you say yes? Huh, this is unexpected. I didn’t even get to go on to my speech about the distinct possibilities of me bettering mankind while in a drug induced Zen state.”
“Be sure to tell me how that turns out.”
“Will do,” they started towards the parking lot. “So, how are we going to do this.”
“We aren’t going to do anything. You are going to go to the mini-mart by the library and I’ll meet you there in half an hour.”
“You really are the best guy, like, ever,” Stiles slapped his hand on Danny’s shoulder and smiled.
“For the record, I’m only doing this because you look like shit right now and it might do you some good.”
An hour later Stiles was making his way through the forest, wallet a bit lighter and a single joint in his pocket. He kept sticking his hand in to make sure that it hadn’t fallen out and rolling it between his fingers, letting the feel of paper reassure him. The sun hadn’t quite gone down yet, but the trees did a good job of making it seem closer to night. He couldn’t do this at home. Even with his dad working late, there was no way his super law enforcement senses wouldn’t be able to tell that there had been drugs in the house.
As it was, Stiles was hoping he was just being paranoid about his dad’s ability to sense the moment Stiles got into trouble. If he didn’t magically appear the moment that Stiles lit up, then maybe he would get out of this okay…Unless he got attacked by a self-hating lizard creature, but he would rather risk a night in the woods with supernatural creatures loose than disappointing his dad (even more than usual).
He came to a stop in a familiar setting. The clearing about a mile from the Hale residence looked the same as always. And if Stiles had a reason for choosing to do this out here then he would swear it was purely subconscious and not an active matter at all. Leaning his back against the closest tree, he allowed himself to slide into a sitting position. Except for a lighter and his keys, he had left everything else in his jeep, parked just far enough off of the road that someone driving by wouldn’t be able to see it.
It was quiet and even though he was exhausted the situation made him feel more alert than he had all day. He felt almost giddy with the hope that this would relax him enough that he could stumble back to the jeep and actually sleep. The cheap lighter he’d picked up was smooth in his hands. He flicked it a couple of times, letting it burn until the thumbwheel got hot beneath his finger.
The corner of Stiles’ mouth itched and he ran the hand that had been in his pocket against it. His skin now had the vague scent of grapes, and the sweet smell wasn’t what he had been expecting. But it was definitely preferable to the gross skunk smell that usually popped into mind when someone talked about pot. He absentmindedly flicked the lighter again, too soon, and cursed as it burned his thumb. It fell from his hand and into the grass below. Stiles just glared at it for a moment, its shiny blue form obviously mocking him. It caught the one beam of sunlight peeking through the trees and shined extra bright as if it knew what he was thinking.
“You’re lucky I need you,” he told it as he picked it back up. He took its silence as a victory.
With no reason to put it off, he took the joint out and lit it up. It took a moment, but then it caught and as the tiny trail of smoke raised so does the same grape smell that was on his hand. His first try was a failure. He sucked the smoke into his mouth, but didn’t actually work up the nerve to inhale and the taste of it was bitter on his tongue until he pushed it out of his mouth.
Stiles gave himself an A anyways, for effort.
The next time around he took a deeper breath and made sure to inhale. It was too much, his throat burned as the smoke went down and he tried to cough it up. Instead of coming out his mouth it made its way out of his nose. He opened his mouth and gulped in fresh air, tried to ignore the way it scratched down his throat, the way his nose hurt like he’d been outside in the cold all day and it had dried out. He coughed a few times to try and clear his throat but it only made it worse and he wished he’d had the foresight to grab a bottle of water.
“It could always be worse,” he muttered to himself under his breath, watching the tiny trickle or smoke move from the object in his hand.
“It’s about to be,” a very familiar voice barked at him from a few feet away. “What the hell are you doing out here, Stiles?”
“Writing my memoir, I’m thinking of co-opting the name ‘Dances With Wolves.’ It has the benefit of drawing in crowds while being mostly accurate.”
“It’s almost night and you’re in the forest alone after we spent two hours last night under attack,” Derek spelled it out like he was trying to understand what the hell Stiles could be thinking. “You may be even more of an idiot than I originally thought.”
“At least my eyebrows don’t arrange bi-weekly play dates.” Stiles winced before the words were even completely out of his mouth. He needed to have another sit-down with his mouth about how it needed to consult with his brain before it actually said anything.
Derek clearly wasn’t impressed with his highly cultured insults (neither were his eyebrows if the way they were pointing downwards said anything). Derek could glare all he want, Stiles would just stare straight back. He wasn’t scared, hard to be scared of someone you had held for two hours, and he was too tired to fight.
“You need to go home.”
“Nope,” he replied with a cheeky smile.
“I’m not playing around Stiles. The kanima has already found you twice; you really want to be out in the open for a third time?”
“Well good thing you’re here to protect me then,” the batting of the eyelashes was probably going overboard, but Stiles was enjoying his new state of not giving a fuck. He watched as Derek’s nose scrunched briefly, before he closed his eyes and took in the smells around him.
“Are you high?”
“Working on it.”
“Alone, at night, in the forest, with inhibited senses,” Derek listed each point, eyes getting a little more dark with each one. “Are you trying to get killed?”
“I’m trying to sleep,” he shot back. Normally he wouldn’t be so open, but what was the point in trying to lie to a werewolf. And a certain amount of near death experiences together probably afforded some sort of honesty anyway.
Derek didn’t exactly soften, but Stiles knew he had won. ‘Note to self, unexpected confessions hold swaying power.’ He tries not to think too deeply into the fact that there probably wasn’t anyone who willingly told Derek anything personal, and that’s why it was a shock for him. Stiles felt bad enough without the sudden arrival of sympathy.
“Are you sticking around,” he tried to question nonchalantly as he took another light puff on the joint. Like the first time he didn’t inhale, this was mostly for show. Not that he was trying to look cool in front of Derek, because that would be ridiculous.
“You’ve never done this before, have you?” Derek crossed the space between them and sat next to him. This close, Stiles could see he wasn’t the only one who hadn’t been able to sleep. Really though, it wasn’t fair how much better Derek could pull off ‘tired and scruffy’ than him. Guy was already a powerful werewolf, why should he get the looks too.
Of course what he really said was, “I’ve got experience. I’m very experienced. I’ve experienced things like this before.”
They both knew it wasn’t true, but why ruin the pattern of Stiles telling pointless not-so-true things when it worked so well for them in the past.
“Give that to me,” Derek didn’t wait, just pulled the joint from Stiles hand and brought it to his own mouth.
“Can you even get high? I mean Scott can’t even get drunk, and you’ve got way more wolfy-powers going on than he does.”
“Be quiet for a minute.” Being told to shut up was not a surprise.
The lips on the other hand were a surprise, but there they are pressed against his. It was not rough or gentle because it wasn’t really a kiss. It was just pressure, and then those lips were prying his open and there was smoke in his mouth and he had to breathe. He couldn’t focus on the fact that he was mouth to mouth with Derek Hale when there was smoke that tasted like bitter kool-aid filling his lungs.
It still burned, but he had inhaled so quick this time around that there was less of a chance to sputter. Derek pulled away, joint still burning softly between his fingers. Stiles closed his eyes and took in another deep breath through his nose before slowly releasing the smoke from his lungs. It was easier this way, to accept a little from Derek as opposed to attempting to suck too much down on his own when he’d never so much as tried a cigarette.
Derek quirked an eyebrow at him and he nodded in return, knowing he was being asked if it was okay. And this was another notch to be added to the ‘extremely weird life experiences’ list Stiles had going, but he was almost grateful because in the end Derek was helping him out, making the intake easier. He wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth and focus on why.
The next time Derek leaned in Stiles was ready. Derek kept his eyes open like a challenge and Stiles tried to ignore the fact even underneath Derek’s constant glare all he could see was the reflection of the word ‘abomination’ in them, and shit those two hours had kind of fucked up his view of Derek Hale forever. He pushed those thoughts away and focused on the smoke, managing to get even more this time and let it sit until the dull pressure in his lungs built up to something almost painful.
They sat together in silence, as the minutes ticked by slowly. Derek took another hit, but didn’t share it. It was probably a waste, but Stiles couldn’t fault him for wanting the same kind of escape that he did.
The initial takeover of adderall in Stiles’ system by the weed was slow, but once it hit, it was full force. His limbs felt light. He rubbed his hand experimentally on the grass beneath him and marveled at how soft it was, how he could feel the tip of every blade brushing against his palm. He could swear he hadn’t moved but somehow he found himself falling against Derek’s shoulder. The contact brought back the feeling of cold liquid. He was surrounded; he could feel the water seeping into his skin, filling his mouth as it forced its way into his lungs.
A hand gripped his arm tightly and he had forgotten about Derek, he had to hold Derek up. He had to get them through this.
"Stiles," the hand on his arm gave a harsh yank. "You need to calm down, you're fine. You’re safe."
The sound of the water splashing around him rushed away at Derek’s words, and he was back in the field. The tightness in his chest wasn't from water, it was from hyperventilating. He was okay...well okay as he could be after having a possibly drug-induced beginning of a panic attack.
"Let's just pretend that didn't happen. I mean I saved your life I think that could be a fair exchange."
Derek didn't say anything, just lifted the joint to his mouth and inhaled deeply. Stiles watched the smoke curl out from his nose as he let out a controlled breath. This time he didn't wait. He grabbed the joint from Derek's hand and then he was on his knees and leaning over to grab Derek's face and press their mouths together. This might have been a kiss, but Stiles let his once again relaxed brain file it away as mutual sharing of strangely grape tasting less than legal substances.
“It’s not kissing. It’s like mouth-to-mouth. But with drugs.” Stiles justified the action as he pulled away, and if he was giggly it was because he was funny as hell, and really more people should take notice of that.
It was cool out, but he felt warm. The exhaustion had given way to a different kind of feeling. His movements were still sluggish but everything was hazy. It felt a bit like having a fever, with the added benefit of not feeling like shit. Sitting was suddenly a burden and he laid down wondering why he had been sitting this whole time when horizontal was the best position to be in. Stiles was close enough to Derek that his shoulder was pressed against the other man’s thigh, but neither of them moved.
The joint was half burned through, getting closer to his fingers, though most of it had been wasted. He swiped his tongue along his bottom lip as he thought about pushing back up to share more, but moving was too much of an effort.
“I think you’re done with that,” Derek took it from his hand even as Stiles opened his mouth in protest. He watched with dismay as Derek snubbed it between his fingers, barely wincing at the slight burn, before pocketing what was left.
“That is just mean. I don’t think I can forgive you. Unless you have fries, fries sound really good right now. Or sleep…not that a person can have sleep. But you could let me sleep. Sleep would be greatly appreciated and is an acceptable apology gift.”
“You can’t sleep here, Stiles,” Derek’s voice was soft and Stiles knew that had to be the pot working on his brain, because Derek didn’t have the patience to put up with his babbling and speak to him in anything except for short and angry sentences.
“Rude,” Stiles turned and tried to head-butt Derek’s thigh in retaliation, but his head was soft and Derek’s thigh muscle was the hardest thing that Stiles had ever felt. How did you even build up your thigh muscles that much, he did not know. He poked at it a few times in hope of answers, but it was not forthcoming. “So rude.”
“How are you getting home?” Derek pushed the finger poking him away.
“Driving,” Stiles lifted his arms and mimed a dramatic steering motion for a total of two seconds before his arms fell down. “Jelly arms, may need duct tape.”
“Yeah, that’s not happening,” and then there was a hand shoving its way into Stiles pocket and really if Derek want to get feelsy he could have just asked because like not-kissing his brain could totally make it not weird right now. But the hand was gone just as quick as it had appeared, taking his keys with it. Derek stood even as Stiles told himself he wasn’t disappointed about not being probably felt up at all.
“Standing is hard,” was Stiles only reply. He didn’t even try to get up. Nothing had ever sounded more difficult.
There were some muttered words about him being a three year old, but Stiles was going to give Derek the benefit of the doubt and say it was the wind.
“Come on, up,” Derek gripped Stiles upper arm and lifted him like he weighed nothing. Werewolf genes were getting in the way of Stiles desire to be horizontal, he had never hated werewolves so much in his life as he did in that moment.
The sun was set by now and Stiles had been smart enough to forget a flashlight. Derek just held onto his arm the entire time and led the way back to the jeep. The trudge took hours or minutes and may or may not have been slowed down by the fact that Stiles literally dragged his feet the entire time.
He could have sworn he had just sat down in the passenger seat, but the next thing Stiles knew, he was being carried up the stairs of his house. He still felt relaxed, his eyelids were heavy and all he wanted to do was go back to sleep. And Derek Hale was carrying him to his bed.
“Will you still respect me in the morning?”
“That implies that I respected you in the first place,” Derek slid back just as easily.
But Derek didn’t drop him now that he was awake, and when they were in Stiles room he didn’t just toss him on the bed. Instead he set him down almost gently and placed the keys to the jeep on the nightstand. Stiles thought back to the night before. To two hours in a pool and almost dying for the umpteenth time this past year and the words that had come out of Derek’s mouth.
And as Derek was leaving out the window, without so much of a goodbye at that, Stiles opened his mouth.
“I do trust you,” Stiles said slow and deliberate. “Not in like a ‘if my jeep breaks down I can totally count on you to pick me up’ or a ‘let me tell you about my crush on Susie-Q because I know you won’t tell anyone kind of way. But I know that if it comes down to it you aren’t going to let anything bad happen to me.”
Derek stilled, halfway outside.
“Also, we should totally try that mouth thing again sometime.”