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This Kind of Luxe

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Norland is easily the smallest of all European countries, which, honestly isn’t saying that much anyway. Even though its land mass is a fair amount smaller than Northern Ireland, it has a population of around three million persons and keeps close ties with its nearby islands and the friendly Slavic countries. Of the few things that it can boast, the most notable are its incredible tourism and the greatest royal family in the world. (There’s kind of a competition between them and the British. At least their prince has never had nude photos circulated.)

The royal family, going back thousands and thousands of years, has always been smart, charming, capable, and compassionate. When Parliament was established in the 1400s, the leaders had been understanding and promoted a government that would be at least partially led by the people. The royal head would sit in on meetings, but held very little actual power—as it is today. With or without power, however, the royal family of the twenty-first century has all of the best characteristics of rulers and more. The Hales are the envy of the world.

As they have for almost every US President since the 1910s, the Prime Minister and the royal head pay a visit to the United States after inauguration. Which is why, when President Jonathan Stilinski is elected into office, Queen Talia Hale of Norland plans their trip.

“This is ridiculous,” Cora says, rolling her eyes as they sit around the dinner table. She’s in her hiking boots and a torn up T-shirt, hair piled on top of her head. “Why do we have to—”

“You’re not going,” her father interrupts. “Just your mother, Laura, and Mr. Brady.”

Mr. Daniel Brady is, of course, their Prime Minister. He’s the most moderate politician the country’s ever seen. Derek quite likes him. He tells great jokes at dinner parties.

“It’s tradition,” Talia says. “Besides, you watch TV. You’ve seen him. He’ll make a great leader.”

Cora huffs. “Another middle-aged white guy. Why am I not surprised?”

"That is the level of uninformed contempt that keeps you out of state visits," Laura says as she cuts into her food. "If you had the most basic understanding of what happened outside of this country and your limited Internet searches you'd know that his Vice President is Alan Deaton and his Secretary of State is Melissa McCall and you would know who those people were and why it is relevant to your ridiculous comment if you got your head out of your own—”

"Well," Talia cuts in abruptly, "it is a pleasure to know you will be well-informed when we visit, dear."

"Oh, that reminds me," Laura says as she stabs her steak. “I can't go."

Talia sighs. “Why not?”

“I’ll be in Bolivia, Mom,” Laura says like it’s obvious. “You approved the trip months ago.”

Sam, from across the table, nods. “Actually, dear, you did.”

“Fine,” Talia says, waving her fork. “Derek will accompany me.”

Derek’s eyebrows fly up. “Me? Why not Dad?”

“Because your father doesn’t represent our country, Derek. You and the girls do. You’re the next generation!”

Talia loves to talk about the next generation. It’s been her spiel for the last twenty years of Derek’s life.

“Fine,” he says bitterly.

“Relax, Derek,” Sam says, grinning hugely. “You’ve never been to America. I bet you’ll enjoy it.”

“We won’t really be sightseeing, Samuel.” Talia looks at him with narrowed eyes. “Don’t get the boy’s hopes up. We’re there to wish President Stilinski well and meet his son. That’s it.”

“You’ll get along with the boy at least,” Sam tries to reassure Derek. “He’s not that much younger than you.”

“He’s eighteen,” Cora says, smirking. “And he’s gorgeous. The best looking person to live in the White House since the Kennedys.”

"Lord, but you're shallow," Laura mutters. “When was the last time you did anything with any substance, Cora?"

"What? Like build huts?"

"Mother," Laura says despairingly.

Talia looks at her daughter’s irritated faces and at Derek's panic and sets her cutlery down. "Cora, I want you to take a month with our blue troops. I believe they are about to set off to Bolivia with your sister."

"What? You want me to spend a month walking around supervising—”

"Oh, you won't be supervising anything. Your sister has her projects that she’s responsible for. You are going with the blue troops. You will supervise nothing and you will do as you're told." She looks to Laura. “When you’re not working, you’re going to be looking after your sister and teaching her.”

“Teaching her what?” Laura demands.

“Anything you want,” Talia says. “She’s going to come home with some more knowledge about the world.” She looks to her husband. “Any objections?”

Sam looks positively tickled. “That’s a fantastic idea. Girls, do as your mother says.”

Cora groans, standing from her chair and storming to her room without another word. Derek shares a small smile with Laura.

“And, Derek,” Talia says.

“What? What did I do?”

“We’ve been asked to host this year’s Young Ambassador retreat. It’s not until October, but you should be aware, considering that you’re going to be part of our country’s representation.” She pokes around her plate as she explains. “The school student who wins the opportunity will be your partner, which means you are going to have to study up.”

“It’s not for ten months, Mom.”

“Trust me,” she sing-songs, “you’ll need that time to study.”

"Seriously, Der," Laura says softly as she leans over, "those kids are incredible. They'll make you feel like a complete idiot if you don't read up on the issues."

"They make me feel like a complete idiot sometimes," Talia says with a smile. “Do remind me to let the proper people know we've a change of plans regarding the state visit?"

Sam nods, taking her hand and kissing the back of it. "I will."

Derek looks at the suitcases that have been prepped for him, looks himself over in the mirror, and wonders again if he should shave.

"Don't," Laura says as she comes in and lays her hands on his shoulders. “It makes you look dignified."

He frowns. "It makes me look old.”

"Older is good.” She smiles. “You're going in my stead remember?"

“Don’t remind me,” he groans. “I’m not you. I’m not the oldest. I’m not meant for diplomacy and—”

“You’re not meant for anything else, Derek.” She squeezes his arms. “You’re going to do great, and I really do think you’ll get along with President Stilinski’s son. He seems like a very nice boy. He’s attending a university in the city come fall and I’m sure you both will have lots to talk about.”

“How do you know so much about him?”

“I Google.” She kisses the top of his head. “I’m off, and so are you. Have a fantastic time, and don’t forget to write me when you get home.” She leaves with a smile, and Derek feels warmed to his chest.

The flight is long and boring, but it gives Derek plenty of time to read his history texts. He also watches Netflix, but that’s beside the point. When they touch down in Washington D.C., they’re greeted by men and women in black suits, who escort them to cars with the Norland flags waving from the front and back.

“You’ll meet the President right away, Your Majesty,” their driver says. “Dinner is going to be served with himself and his son, as well as your Prime Minister.”

Derek grins to himself. He can’t wait to see President Stilinski’s face when Mr. Brady cracks one of his jokes.

“It sounds lovely, thank you,” Talia says politely. She looks over, pats Derek’s hand. “You alright?”

He nods. “Yes. I’m fine.”

“Have you ever been to the United States, Your Majesty?”

“I have many times,” Talia informs the man, “but it’s my son’s first trip.”

“Well, Your Highness, I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it. The White House is as close as we get to any palace around here, but the rooms are easily fit for a king. Or, uh, queen in your case, Your Majesty.”

Talia smirks. “I have little doubt.”

There are cameras when they roll past a large gate, the driveway leading them around the estate. They’re met by a whole crowd of professionals in suits and other formal wear, as well as President Stilinski himself and a young man at his side, obviously his son.

Cora wasn’t wrong. He’s handsome.

Derek finds everything curious. Things are formal in an almost military style. He has of course only witnessed such things on visits to other countries because Norland has no military. All of their formalities are grounded in diplomacy and good grace and deference to people of higher station. American formalities seem rather stiff in comparison, but Derek tries to act accordingly.

The President has a firm handshake but his son has a more enthusiastic one. He smiles and it is very difficult for Derek to remember that there are other important people to greet lined up behind the young man.

During dinner, they’re seated next to one another, his mother with the Prime Minister and the President, obviously, at the head of the table. The three adults in the room—Derek still doesn’t consider himself as such, given that he’s only just turned twenty—maintain most of the conversation throughout the evening, while Stiles—a ridiculous but captivating nickname if there ever were such a thing—whispers things to him about the house, tells him about his friend called Scott and the long hallways of the Residence.

Their own conversation is far more casual. Stiles only once tries to refer to him by his title before Derek tells him it’s not necessary, and from then on they share topics with ease, like old friends.

When they all retire to a sitting room for after-dinner drinks, he and Stiles sit in the far corner of the room. Derek is sure that, by now, they’ve exhausted all possible topics of conversation, but that doesn’t stop Stiles. The boy can talk.

“I play lacrosse,” he’s telling Derek. “Or, I did at my old school. When we moved, I started going to some private school—it’s fine, I guess, since Scott is there with me, but everyone is unbelievably stuck-up. You finished high school, I assume.”

Derek nods, small smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “I did.”

“No college?”

“I took two years of university before I decided I was not one for academics.”

Stiles shrugs. “I guess that’s fair. It’s not like you have to get a job or anything.”

“I enjoy writing,” Derek says. “I thought I might be a writer one day.”

"A writer," Stiles says looking amused. “Well everyone would read books written by you wouldn't they?"

Derek ducks his head, blushing. "No one would have to know," he says. “What would be the point if people only read books because the author was famous?"

Stiles laughs at that, genuine and just a bit too loud. "You've got to spend more time in the States.” He leans in a bit closes to Derek, closer than might be advisable in a formal gathering like this one. "You should write fairytales," Stiles says softly. "I think it'd be neat. Fairytales written by a prince."

“I don’t know if I’m that creative,” Derek says softly, eyes falling briefly to Stiles’ mouth. He can’t help himself—they’re inches away from each other and he’s really, really cute.

“What kinds of things do you write?”

“Mysteries. I like starting from the end and crafting a story no one sees coming.”

“And what do you do with them?”

Derek shrugs. “Nothing.”

“You’ve never let anyone read them?”

“My sister. But that’s it.”

“I’d like to read them,” Stiles says with a big grin. “I love mysteries. I always figure out the ending. I bet I could figure out yours, too.”

“I’d like to see you try.”

Something sparks in Stiles’ eyes when he says that, and Derek’s heart pounds in his chest.

“Do you wanna get out of here?” Stiles asks, still leaning close. “No one’s in the West Wing. I could show you where all the really important stuff goes on.”

“We’re supposed to get a tour tomorrow,” Derek tries to say, but Stiles is already standing.

“Sorry to interrupt,” he says to the room, “but would it be alright if I showed Prince Derek around?”

Stiles’ father defers to Derek’s mother. She nods, smiling softly. “Have a nice time, boys.”

Derek’s ears burn red as they exit the room.

Everything Stiles shows him has a story Derek can appreciate, but it’s not very old. It doesn't have thousands of years of history. It’s all relatively new and that has a different sort of beauty. Half the time he can't help getting distracted from whatever Stiles is pointing out by the very boy himself. His eyes, Derek decides, are impossibly alive, as if there were other worlds and unknowable thoughts behind them.

"I love Europe, but I've never been to Norland," Stiles says, unprompted. "I hear it's amazing."

“It’s small,” Derek says.

“It’s old and beautiful and has castles.”

“Go to Ireland.”

Stiles laughs. “Not crazy about tourists?”

“I love my country,” Derek says evenly. “But I’m under no illusions. It’s nothing like America. There’s no giant towers or huge industries. There’s no fancy bridges and faces carved into mountains.” He looks to Stiles. “I love my country, but it’s not nearly the most interesting place on Earth.”

“Neither is America, I can assure you.”


Stiles smiles, takes a half step forward. “Derek.”

He blinks, heart lurching. “Yeah.”

“You want me to kiss you, don’t you?”

Derek is stunned silent. Of course the thought has been pushing at every part of his mind all night, but he never thought—he never imagined. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Of course, he'd found people attractive, daydreamed about what it would be like to just follow those instincts the way his sisters so freely and often did. But no one had ever read his mind with a smile on their lips.


Stiles smiles even wider. "You kind of have to say yes. Or no. But hopefully yes."           

He licks his lips. He’s kissed two people his entire life, one when he was fourteen and girls wouldn’t leave him alone, and the other when he was eighteen and he met a boy on the docks who had no idea who he was. But mostly, he keeps to himself, reads, learns. He doesn’t do anything the way that Laura does, doesn’t connect on the Internet like Cora does. He’s solitary and he likes it that way. Except he could do with a little more training in this field, since Stiles has only moved closer since he asked that question.



“Yes,” he breathes, and there’s not a moment’s hesitation between that and Stiles’ mouth covering his own.

Stiles seems to know what he's doing or at the very least he is very excited about doing it. Derek doesn't know what to do with his arms but Stiles takes his hands and places them on his own hips. Then Stiles leans in even closer, lips still pressed to Derek's mouth, and rests his hand on Derek's cheek.

He expects it last only a moment, a breath. But Stiles doesn’t pull away, wraps his arms around Derek’s shoulders and kisses him deeper, pushing their bodies closer together. Derek gasps into his mouth when Stiles scrapes blunt nails down the back of his neck. Stiles hums in response, licking kittenishly inside.

“C’mon,” he says, grabbing Derek’s hand. “Follow me.”

Stiles brings him along corridors and through doors, all the way until they’ve reached a big room with flat stairs and couches.

“A movie theatre?” Derek asks, looking around the room. “You have your own movie theatre—”

His words are halted as he’s shoved onto a couch, Stiles beside him. They’re back to kissing immediately, Stiles guiding him slow and sweet, taking his time. They must be there for hours, but Derek doesn’t mind. He can’t stop kissing Stiles. He never wants to stop kissing Stiles.

A knock comes to the door. Stiles is currently perched in Derek’s lap, their hair unruly, their mouths red and chapped. Stiles groans, standing and peeking out into the hallway.

“Your father wants you to come wish the Queen goodnight,” a man says.

Stiles huffs. “Of course he does. Just a sec.” He turns, looks to Derek. “Ready?”

He is no such thing. He’s half hard in his trousers, mind turned to mush by the heat of Stiles’ mouth, throat thick from groaning every time Stiles kissed his neck or bit his lip. But he’s a royal. He’s dignified. He’s—terrified of Stiles’ father.

He stands, nodding. “Yeah,” he says. “Of course.”

Stiles grins like he's just said the most marvelous thing and leans in, Derek thinks to kiss him once more, but instead Stiles runs his fingers through Derek's hair and nods in approval.

"Perfect. Let's go be good boys."

The President doesn't seem to notice anything amiss and his mother seems distracted by the good company and doesn't notice the blush that must be all over Derek's face.

"We'll see you all at breakfast," the President says, by way of goodnight.

Derek almost has a heart attack when Stiles leans against the desk beside his father and winks at him outright.

A man escorts them upstairs to their guest rooms, after which Talia leans against her doorway and says, “Stiles seems very nice.”

Derek nods, not making eye contact. “Yup.”

“He’s going to show us around tomorrow. We’re getting the Presidential tour—and a little party in the evening. It’s going to be very impressive. We don’t have nearly as many monuments as they do.”

“We haven’t fought nearly as many wars,” Derek points out.

“Oh, hush. Get some sleep, dear. It looks like you could use it.”

His wake-up call comes at eight in the morning and Derek rolls into his pillow and wants to scream. He feels guilty jerking off in the President’s home, so he takes a very, very cold shower, dresses appropriately, and joins his mother in the hall with security, who escorts them down to the hall for breakfast.

A man in a suit is speaking quietly with the President, and he leaves moments after they enter.

“Excuse him,” President Stilinski says. “My chief of staff. He was just making sure we were all up to date on our activities today. Unfortunately I won’t see you again until tonight at our little party, but I’m sure my son and the various tour guides that will be along will be of much more service than I ever could.”

“We’re quite looking forward to seeing what’s in store,” Talia says with a charming smile. “I can’t say I’ve ever had a real tour of the city.”

“I promise to do my best,” Stiles says, looking right at Derek. Derek’s body instantly goes hot, so he turns his face towards his mother, trying not to let Stiles get to him.

Derek is perfectly respectful during the entire tour. They go to monuments and museums, see paintings and sculptures and the Declaration of Independence. He learns about American history and American heroes, and he’s positively exhausted by the end of it.

“There’s a couple of hours between now and the party,” Stiles says when they’re heading back to the White House. “You’re welcome to rest in your rooms. Security will escort you down around 6?”

Talia, it’s obvious, has been positively charmed by Stiles throughout the entire day, and she smiles warmly at him now. “That sounds marvelous. I could use a lie down. Derek?”

“The Prince and I spoke about making use of our theatre to watch a movie or two,” Stiles says before Derek gets a chance to respond.

“Alright,” Talia says. “That sounds like fun.” She looks to her son. “Make sure you’re ready in time. We don’t have to leave our incredibly gracious hosts waiting.”

Derek, for some naïve moments, thinks they're actually going to watch some films. But the moment the door closes behind him Stiles is pressed up against his front, lips hovering over Derek's mouth.

"This is fun isn't it?” Stiles asks once he presses his lips to the corner of Derek's. “Are you enjoying your visit?"

Derek swallows. “It is. Fun, I mean.”

Stiles grins, drags him back to the couch they were on the night before. “We really do have movies, know,” he says, peppering kisses along Derek’s neck. “We can watch whatever.”


Stiles kisses him, deep and slow. “Sorry,” he says when he finally pulls away. “I’ve just been wanting to do that all day, but I thought it probably wouldn’t look great in front of your mom.”

“You don’t have to apologize,” Derek says, sure that his cheeks are flushed with his embarrassment. “It’s—really nice.”

“Nice,” Stiles repeats, eyebrows high.

“Does that word have some different connotation in America?” Derek asks, meaning it entirely as a joke.

“You know we don’t have to do this. If you’re not into me or whatever, it’s fine. I promise I won’t be offended.”

“No,” Derek says hurriedly, frowning. “No, I—shit, I’m doing this all wrong. I don’t—I like this. I like you. I like—kissing you.” He fights past the awkwardness of saying the words out loud. “I like that you lied to my mother because you wanted to make out with me. It was surprisingly charming.”

“Me?” Stiles laughs. “You’re the prince, and I’m the one who’s charming?”

“You know you are.”

Stiles’ grin returns. “Yeah. I know.”

They do end up putting on a movie, but Derek doesn’t watch a minute of it. Instead, his eyes are closed for most of it, since all they do is lie down on the couch and make out, keeping each other steady against the cushions.

It’s remarkably like American teen movies, Derek thinks, and he grins into Stiles’ mouth, pulling him closer. He can feel, against his hip, where Stiles is hard under his trousers, and Derek wants to let him—wants to let him do everything, but when Stiles breaks the kiss to whisper in Derek’s ear, to ask him, all he feels is panicked.

He sits up, nearly knocking Stiles off the couch as he does.

“Sorry,” he says, pulling the boy back up. “Sorry, I just—I can’t.”

Stiles nods, petting Derek’s hair back into place. “That’s fine. There’s no pressure. Do you want to stop?”

Derek licks his lips. “I’ve never done this. I’ve barely even kissed anyone.”

Stiles’ hand hesitates on his scalp, pulls back into his own lap. Derek closes his eyes, feels like running away. Of course he’s the freak. Of course this teenage boy has done everything, and Derek is left feeling like a total loser.

“If it makes you feel any better,” Stiles says softly, “I only did it once. And the girl was just really into my dad. It was incredibly creepy.”

Derek cracks a smile, blinks his eyes open. “Really?”

Stiles nods. “It was super weird. She said his name when she came. It was incredibly gross.”

“That’s disturbing.”

“Supremely fucked up.”

Derek’s heart grows warm with affection.

“Do you want to go somewhere else?” Stiles asks. “We can take a walk.”

“No,” Derek says softly. “I want to stay. If you want to.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I want to.”

“Good,” Derek mutters, and pulls him back in to kiss.

They pose for photos together at the party. Stiles introduces him to dozens and dozens of people, stays close without clinging to his arm, and Derek knows that if he were a girl—or if Stiles were—then they could be as close as they like without anything raising an eyebrow. Even with America’s slowly progressive attitude, Derek is sure Stiles doesn’t want it out that he’s not straight. He doesn’t even know if Stiles’ dad knows.

“Stop looking so paranoid,” Stiles says cheerily. “It’s a party. C’mon, what are you so afraid of?”

Derek licks his lips. “My sister is in the papers a lot. She has this blog, and she likes to say different things that are, uh, not really in our best interest. She also is on a different date with a new boy every weekend. She’s sixteen, so I guess that’s her right. And then my older sister—well she was engaged a handful of years ago, broke it off, but not before her phone was stolen and it was published that she had all of these naked photos of her fiancé on it.”

“I remember reading about that,” Stiles says with a sly smirk. “Her fiancé, a duke from England.”

Derek nods. “And she’s a good person; she spends most of her free time behaving like Princess Diana, but everyone in my family is a magnet for drama—except for me. I’ve never done anything noteworthy at all. People write articles about how boring I am. I never got up to anything at school. I never said nasty things about anybody or even pulled a face. I’ve never raced cars or smoked marijuana or—” He breaks off, exhaling heavily. “This is what they’re expecting. I finally understand what they’re expecting of me and it’s—this.” He gestures between them. “Getting caught with the President’s son.”

“We’re not doing anything, Derek.” He lays his hand on Derek’s elbow, squeezes. “It’s fine, relax. There’s no photographers here. And even if there were, I wouldn’t let them anywhere near you.”

Derek is filled with the urge to kiss him, but he stamps it down the same way he’s stamped down every similar urge in the past twenty-four hours.

“I like you,” Derek tells him.

Stiles smiles. “I like you too.”

“We’re never gonna see each other again.”

“I wouldn’t say never. Rarely, maybe.”

“You have any trips planned to Norland?”

Stiles hums. “I guess we’ll just have to see.”

They send emails for the first few weeks. When Derek gets on the plane there’s already one waiting for him, and he sends one back immediately. Through March, they keep their correspondence going, but Stiles becomes overwhelmed at school and Derek is studying every day for the ridiculous Young Ambassadors meeting, and it just falls by the wayside.

Derek thinks about him, can’t not think about the President’s son and his soft voice, his eager touches. He gets off thinking about Stiles more times than he can possibly count. It practically becomes a hobby.

In late summer, he receives a message out of the blue.


Derek –

Dad finally told me about the Young Ambassadors meeting and I’m freaking out. Apparently I have to partner with this incredibly smart girl from California who won the competition to go to Norland. Can you believe the fate of it being held in your country? I’m honestly shocked.

Anyway, the girl’s name is Lydia Martin, and she’s a bona fide genius. She’s totally gonna kick ass during the meeting, and I get to sit by her and watch her do it! I definitely have to study, or else she’s gonna think I’m completely inept, but hundreds of years of history (most of which is just wars and other bad stuff) is super boring. I guess I shouldn’t talk. Whoever’s going for your country has to go back to practically the beginning of time.

The point is that in a few short months I’ll be in Norland and I assume, since you guys are hosting the summit, you’ll be around. I’d love to see you and catch up. Just thinking about it is making the days feel slower. I can’t wait to see your country.

Tell me everything I need to know before I show up.

Super affectionately,


P.S. Scott told me to put that ending because that’s how he signs all of his love letters to his secret girlfriend.

P.P.S. Not that this is a love letter. I mean, it could be? Do you think it is? Whatever, write me back!


Derek stares at the ceiling for a long time, wondering what he should do. He’s going to be there, of course. He and Stiles are going to see each other. They’ll be in the same room again.

Derek’s stomach twists. He sits up and leaves his room, heading down the hall to Laura without even thinking about it. She’s been back for like three days and they’ve barely spoken, and she’s lying on her bed, reading a book when Derek walks in.

“Hey,” she says, sitting up. “What’s up?”

“You can’t tell anyone.”

Her eyebrows fly up. “What did you do? Holy shit, Derek, we cannot be the trifecta of scandalous children, okay? Mom and Dad need a winner.”

“The President’s son. The American President’s son.”

“What about him?”

“We made out. A lot. Like, a lot.”

She blinks. “Okay. But you didn’t have sex.”


“Okay,” she says slowly. “And so what’s the problem?”

“The problem,” he hisses, “is that I’m totally nuts about him and he’s coming here for the Young Ambassadors thing!”

She tilts her head. “Shouldn’t that be a good thing?”

"No, of course it's not a good thing," he says. "He's young and American—”

"Well, that is a bit of a crime," Laura says mockingly.

"It is! I mean, it used to be, I mean. They're very traditional in America."

"Oh, they are not," Laura laughs, "and the Stilinskis are Democrats."

"That's irrelevant," Derek sighs. “And it doesn't matter anyway because I'm sure he—has found other people to fill his time."

Laura blinks at him. “Ah,” she says.

Ah what?”

“Nothing, just that I’ve found the real reason you’re scared of him.”


“If he’s found someone else,” Laura says, chin high in the air, “then you’re better off without him. But something tells me that if the experience was memorable for you, it probably was for him too. Don’t be so worried. Just—ask him. When he shows up.”

Derek feels like punching something. “What if he does? Have someone else?”

“That’s up to you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you have two choices.” She scoots forward, one eyebrow perfectly arched in a devious expression. “One, you let him go and forget all about him. Or two.” She grabs his chin, looks him right in the eye. “You win him back.”

As host country, Norland is allowed their winner and ambassador and, for a bit of extra help, two runner-ups, so Derek has been not only pouring over information about clean energy and the details of his nation’s current electric circuitry with Vernon Boyd IV, but also going over health reform and domestic violence statistics with the others.

It’s a long few months between August and October, especially since Derek never writes Stiles back, never tells him whether or not he’s going to be there. He’s too nervous, too anxious, doesn’t know what he would say.

The Lydia Martin girl is apparently America’s sweetheart at the moment, and Cora informs him that she and the President’s son are very good friends. Derek scowls into his breakfast and hopes that’s all they are.

There’s a welcoming ceremony. Everyone arrives within the same few hours and are escorted to the nation’s finest hotel. It’s entirely packed with ambassadors and representatives from every participating nation, and will be for the next three days. The evening of the arrival, there’s a party in the palace, and Derek has to be introduced with his family.

Everyone is dressed in their best, and the royal family has to sit while the Prime Minister gives his speech. Thankfully, it doesn’t last long, because Derek spots Stiles with ease. He’s wearing a maroon suit, tucked into a back corner with a drink in his hand and a strawberry-blonde on his arm. She’s beautiful. Derek hates her instantly.

When he approaches, Stiles smiles, bright and huge. It makes Derek's heart swell. But the girl is sitting to close to Stiles and something in her eyes is predatory and he doesn't know what to think.

"Lydia, this is my friend Prince Derek of Norland. Derek, this is my nation's gem, Lydia Martin. Mathematical genius."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Martin," he says remembering to be polite before all else.

"It's an honor, Your Highness," she answers, but something about the way she says it implies that the honor is his.

"Derek, I had no idea you had so many titles," Stiles says, still grinning. "It's impressive."

Derek knows he’s referring to his family’s introduction. He waves the boy off, feeling stupid. “It’s nothing. Formalities. It doesn’t really mean anything.”

“I think it’s fantastic,” Stiles argues. “It’s all very—regal.”

Lydia smiles, taking a sip of her drink. “Stiles, dear, I believe I’m going to have to ask our Prince Derek if he would join me for a dance.”

It’s nothing like American music. It’s all European pieces, favored Norland composers—classics. It’s slow dancing, and although there are plenty of people participating, Derek isn’t sure if he’s inclined to really do so.

“You dance, Miss Martin?” he asks carefully. He’s been trained throughout his entire life. He’s a good, skilled dancer, and he doesn’t want to awkwardly sway back and forth with a girl who may be beautiful and intelligent but has two left feet.

Stiles snorts. “Lydia is an amazing dancer. I’m worried about how you’ll keep up.”

Lydia does turn out to be an amazing dancer, which Derek hates even more than the alternative. She is graceful and well-learned in steps and follows Derek lead only as a courtesy, he's sure.

She’s silent for the first few minutes of their dance, only performing and not speaking at all. Derek runs through a million things in his mind he could say to start up a conversation, but he doesn’t think that asking her if she’s screwing the President’s son would go over very well.

“So,” she says a moment later, breaking him from his thoughts. “Stiles.”

“We met several months ago.”

“He told me,” she says in a tone which makes it seem like he told her everything.

Derek sucks in a breath. “We’re good friends.”

“I have little doubt. He’s a good person. And, I think, so are you.”

Derek refrains from frowning, choosing instead to nod cautiously. “Thank you,” he says gruffly, and pulls away when the song is over to applaud the orchestra.

When he returns to the table, Stiles is waving his phone around.

"I took a picture. Do you think your press people mind? The people do love my Instagram."

Derek blinks. "I don't have any. Press people that is. We have a family press secretary but—I don't think she'll mind?"

"She'll absolutely thank you," Lydia says as she looks at the picture. “We look fantastic, Your Highness."

Derek nods silently.

“I’ll get drinks,” Lydia tells them. “I’m sure you two have plenty to talk about.” She wanders off, nowhere near the bar, and Derek falls into the seat next to Stiles, feeling like a complete idiot.

“She’s beautiful,” Derek says.

Stiles nods. “Yeah.”

“Do you—” He huffs out a breath. “Not that it’s any of my business, but you two aren’t—you haven’t—”

Stiles turns to face him with an expression of mock scandal. “Moi? With our future Field's Medal winner? No. It'd be very non-kosher. Which hasn't kept the press from assuming."

"Are you or are you not?" Derek says, finding he can't keep the harshness from his voice.

"I'm not," he says, looking too pleased, "but I thank you kindly for the concern." He leans forward, eyes sparked with interest. “What about you? What have you been up to for the past seven months?”

Derek’s heart pounds. “Nothing. Studying. Making appearances.”

“No pretty girls? No handsome boys?”

“Nothing and no one.” He feels stupid, having to say it, and he’s about to launch into a heated speech about—well, he doesn’t really remember what it was going to be about because Stiles slips his hand onto Derek’s thigh under the table.

Derek swallows.

“Me neither,” Stiles says. "So, look. I'm staying—”

"I know," Derek says quietly. "I was part of the arrangements."

Stiles smirks. "And here I thought our hotel was closest to the palace because of our countries good relationship."

"It is," Derek says as he blushes. “In a way."

Stiles looks away out onto the dance floor with a wide grin. "Good."

"After this is over," Derek whispers, "I could meet you in the gardens?"

Stiles nods, still looking out to the crowd. "I'll make sure the boys get Lydia safely to the hotel."

“There’s a tree,” Derek tells him. “It’s right in the middle of the garden—huge, you can’t miss it. There’s a bench there. That’s where I’ll be.”

“And so will I.”

The second the party disperses—the meeting begins bright and early the following morning over breakfast—Derek is out the door, heading into the large expanse of the gardens. He knows his way straight to the tree, stands in front of it humbly, gazing up into its branches.

“Okay,” he says to himself. “You can do this. You can—”

“I’m not that intimidating, am I?” Stiles asks, and Derek spins, glad that it’s dark enough to hide his blush.

Derek is going to respond, but glances over Stiles’ shoulder and sees two men in suits, watching them from several paces away. “Your Secret Service.”

“Kind of part of the gig, can’t really get away from them.” Stiles takes a step closer. “But they know how to keep my secrets.”


“I’m gonna kiss you now,” Stiles tells him. “You okay with that?”

Derek feels self conscious with the men in suits and wires hanging from their ears standing just a bit away, but Stiles crowds into his space.

"Just forget they're there," Stiles whispers. “It's easy, look."

He leans in until his lips are hovering just a half inch away from Derek's, so he takes a breath and meets Stiles the rest of the way, curling his hand around Stiles' head and pulling him even closer.

It familiar and exciting at the same time. It’s a good kiss, easy and eager, Stiles’ arms around his middle, pressing them close together. Everything feels right when they’re kissing, like the entire world has dissolved around them and left them in their own private universe, just for them.

“I can’t stay,” Stiles says softly. “Lydia’s strict and with everything starting tomorrow, I shouldn’t stay out long.”

Derek nods, stroking his thumb down Stiles’ cheek. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.” Stiles kisses him again, deeper this time. “Tomorrow,” he says. “Tomorrow, let’s go for drinks in the bar of my hotel. I’m legal in your country.”

Derek cracks a smile.

“We’ll have a drink and then we can go…play video games in my room.”

“I’d like that,” Derek decides.

Derek puts a lot of work into staying focused. Boyd is dominating his group discussion with his quiet and barely patient manner and Derek is very proud of him. He excuses himself in between proposal drafts to spend some time at the Global Health table with one of his runner-ups, Erica Reyes. She is the daughter of Spanish immigrants and a brilliant biology student who is passionate about chronic diseases in children. 

"I don't see Isaac," he whispers quietly to Erica as the group pauses for refreshments. 

Erica smiles. "He's charmed everyone in the Brazilian delegation, Your Highness. They're not used to young men in the domestic violence conference and they've taken to him."

"That's wonderful but I should keep an eye on him," he says softly. “You're all my responsibility." 

"The delegate from America seems to feel the same way," Erica says with a shy smile before coughing a bit. “Excuse me, Your Highness, that was out of place."

Derek blushes and shakes his head, consciously avoiding looking at the area of the room where he knows Stiles is. 

He clears his throat. He doesn't really know Erica. She is young, and seems kind but she could easily ruin his life. But Derek, he doesn't leave the palace for much more than functions since he left school. He doesn't have much in the way of friends and he thinks maybe he should take a risk. "He's looking?"

Erica smiles a bit mischievously. "He hasn't stopped."   

Derek breathes steadily, nodding to himself. In the garden last night, he'd made a decision. Tonight, in Stiles' hotel room, they were going to have sex, and Derek wasn't going to regret it.

"He seems nice," Erica continues. "You two met last night?"

"I met him in America at the beginning of the year."

Erica hums. "Well, Your Highness, he's in your territory now."

He and Vernon Boyd IV ("Call me Boyd.") are to open the meeting by laying out the rules. One person or team may speak at a time, and there will be rounds with topics to cover. Boyd lays out the subjects and Derek discusses the schedule, and when everyone has been seated, they begin by going around the room and identifying themselves and their nations. 

For the rest of the day he and the other delegates are supposed to step back and let the winning ambassadors run the show. For him, in particular, it is important to show that the Crown serves the people and not the other way around. He tries his best to be helpful and inconspicuous and to assist Boyd (and Erica and Isaac) without taking up the attention of everyone else. He thinks he is doing a good job, making the small unofficial statements he is allowed to make and occasionally dropping in hypothetical ideas. Of course, he could never know his mother's mind and he will never be king, so hypothetical is all they are. 

From time to time he looks over to where Stiles is with Lydia. Their paths don't cross much as Lydia converses with physicists and astronomers, but Stiles seems to be doing a terrible job at hanging back and not taking up attention. Every so often, whichever table or group that Stiles is at bursts into laughter before it focuses all of its attention on Lydia's words again.

They break for lunch, and Derek wants to run to his sisters and ask what it is he's supposed to do, but he can't. He can't leave the ballroom, has to remain, and so he eats with Boyd, Erica, and Isaac and doesn't look at Stiles.

The last portion of the day is meant to be a summary of what they've discussed. There's a large group discussion that takes nearly two hours, and then there's a photo op out in the palace grounds. After a two hour break, dinner will be served, and they'll retire for specific activities, laid out in their itineraries.

Stiles corners him at dinner, sits down right beside him, Lydia following, and Derek feels like swooning.

"Hey," Stiles says, smiling.

"Hello," Derek says softly. "I—did you have a good day?"

"It was wonderful," Stiles answers.

Lydia tilts her head and Derek remembers himself. "And you Miss Martin?"

"It was fascinating. I can't thank you enough for hosting such a magnificent event."

"My mother takes a lot of pride in all things concerning youth," Derek answers from memory. "I'd be happy to introduce you to her after dinner."

"Personally?" Lydia looks surprised and intimidated for the first time since he has met her. Princes and geniuses don't affect Lydia Martin, but Queens apparently do.

"Of course," he says, slightly pleased as he sits back and takes a sip of water. “She'll be delighted to meet you. Won't she, Stiles?"

"Her Majesty is very interested in the edification of young women," Stiles says as he turns towards Lydia. “She'll adore you."

She looks flustered for all of five seconds longer before she straightens her expression and nods politely. “I think I’d enjoy that. Thank you very much, Your Highness.”

They chat casually about the event and Derek introduces Stiles to the rest of the Norland representatives a beat too late. Erica looks incredibly pleased; Boyd is cordial; Isaac looks bored.

There are a handful of activities for everyone to engage in, including a ferry trip around part of the island. Erica and others, not being tourists, decide to go back to their hotel and rest for the evening, but the others split off into groups and carry on about their time. Stiles stays by Derek’s side, unmoving until Derek does.

“You’ve only seen the Grand Ballroom,” Derek says, finally standing. “Why don’t I show you some other parts of the palace.”

Lydia, in her pencil skirt and her five-inch heels, is on her feet before Stiles is. “I’d love that,” she says, and pulls Stiles up beside her. “Come, Stiles. We’re going to meet a Queen.”

Derek curses himself for his earlier promise and tries to keep himself calm and polite as he shows them both about the palace. He checks in with Julia, his mother's personal aide, and finds that his mother is available for a short moment before she retires for the evening.

Lydia looks nervous and Derek knows that it is very unseemly of him to be pleased.

"I'm afraid I don't know the protocol," Lydia says under her breath as they wait outside his mother's study.

"It's alright," Stiles says, digging his hands into his pockets and leaning in. “She's not going to ask for your head."

“You bow and shake her hand,” Derek tells her. “She might ask you a question or two, but we’ll keep it brief.”

Lydia leans heavily into Stiles, who puts his arm around her. Derek fumes.

“It’s fine, Lyds,” Stiles laughs. “She’s just a person.”

When Julia leads them into the study, Talia is standing, smiling warmly. She’s dressed down, glasses on instead of her contacts, and Derek loves his mother, but for the first time in his life, he wishes she were a bit more threatening.

“You must be Miss Martin,” Talia says, coming forward to shake her hand. Lydia shakes primly, dropping into a curtsey.

“It’s so nice to meet you, Your Majesty. You’re so gracious for hosting us this year.”

"It's always a pleasure to see the youth of the world gathered. Especially when you are all so bright and ready to change the world."

"Thank you, Ma'am," Lydia says, still holding back that frightening personality of hers in the presence of his mother.

"Stiles, it's so nice to see you again, and you've brought such a lovely ambassador. You make sure to tell your father that you're both a credit to your country."

Stiles bows his head. "I'm sure he'll be glad to hear we're behaving abroad, Your Majesty."

Derek dreads to think of the implications of Stiles and Lydia misbehaving while away from home. He huffs out an impatient breath and steps forward.

"We shouldn't keep you long, Mother, and I'm sure our guests are tired and impatient to go to bed. I mean back to their hotel. I mean—”

"I'm sure you're right,” his mother breaks in, saving him further embarrassment. "It has been a long day. I do hope to see you both again before the end of the event."

“It would be an honor, Your Majesty,” Lydia says, thanking her again before they’re escorted out of the room and back into the corridor.

“Derek,” his mother calls, “just a moment.” Julia closes the door, leaving Stiles and Lydia on the other side of it, Derek trapped. “Derek.”

He forces himself to stay calm. He’s a twenty-year-old man, soon to be twenty-one. He can do as he pleases, and that includes having sex with the guy he likes. Even without her knowing exact details, Derek can tell that his mother has suspicions that something is going on, so he keeps his head high.

“I want you to have a nice time tonight,” Talia says.

Derek blinks. “Sorry—what?”

“Forgive me for saying so, dear, but you don’t exactly have very many friends. And you seem to get along well with Stiles, and I hear great things from your sister about our representatives. I want you to go out with them, have a nice time.”


“Go,” she says, smiling. “Be adventurous.”

They return to the hotel for drinks and find the bar absolutely taken over by delegates. Eighteen is the drinking age in Norland, but there are plenty of representatives who are younger. Security and hotel staff have turned a blind eye.

“I’ll get drinks,” Stiles says. “You two go find seats somewhere.”

There’s a small circle of plush chairs that are being vacated and Derek grabs for them, putting his coat on the seat they’ll save for Stiles.

Lydia leans over the arm of her chair and says, “He’s handsome.”

Derek blinks. “What?”

She nods across the room to Stiles. Nobody is paying attention to them, all of them wrapped up in their own conversations, their own stories. “He’s handsome. And the President’s son. And you’re handsome. And a prince.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“What happens in Norland,” Lyda informs him, giving him a look, “stays in Norland.”

“That’s not a saying,” Derek says.

“It could be.”

"I live here," Derek says, which he realizes is implicating enough.

She shrugs. "You're a prince. You were born into this and your parents were too. Even if it were an indiscretion, it's not like your family will lose an election for it. And it isn't, is it? It shouldn't be anyway. Indiscreet." He stares and she smiles. "Your Highness," she adds, as if she'd forgotten.

Stiles returns with the drinks and Derek pulls him immediately away, not bothering to look back. Stiles grins at him, handing him his glass of champagne as they wait for the elevator. “I thought we should toast a successful first day.”

“I’ll have a whole bottle brought to your room,” Derek says, itching to kiss him. The hallway is empty, and he’s about to just go for it when the two men from the night before appear behind Stiles.

“Mr. Stilinski,” one of them says.

“We’re going to hang out in my room, Josh,” Stiles says, not looking away from Derek. “Our foreign prince doesn’t know anything about video games, so I’m about to educate him.”

The man nods, enters the elevator with them when the doors open, but stay facing the door. Stiles grabs Derek’s hand, smiling at him.

“Don’t worry,” Stiles says. “I’ll teach you how to play.”

Inside Stiles’ room, there’s all of three seconds of silence before Stiles is kissing him, pulling him close right in the middle of the room. Derek knows the security can’t be nearly that stupid, so he has to ask.

“They won’t tell?” Derek asks, unbuttoning Stiles’ shirt.

“God, no,” Stiles laughs. “They want to keep their jobs. Hey.” He grabs Derek’s wrists. “We can just make out for a little while, watch something. I don’t care.”

Derek’s heart is in his throat at this point. “I want to have sex,” he says pointedly, and continues kissing Stiles until his shirt is completely off and thrown across the room.

“What kind of sex?” Stiles asks, kicking off his shoes. “Blowjobs? Handjobs?” He starts to work on Derek’s shirt while Derek feels his way across Stiles’ arms, his chest. He’s thin but fit, well-toned, and Derek wants to tear him apart. “Anal?”

Derek grabs Stiles by the belt loops, pulls him in. “I’ve been practicing, you know,” he says, kissing along Stiles’ jaw. “Fingering myself, thinking of you.”

“Yeah?” Stiles asks. “Me—fuck, me too. What should we do?”

“Everything,” Derek exhales. “All of it.”

“You’re sure?”

Derek nods eagerly. “Besides, I’ll tell you if I’m not.”

“Good. Please do. I mean it. Even if we’re in the middle of—anything. Just tell me.” Stiles cups his face, kisses him softly. “You’re gonna fuck me first. You okay with that?”

Derek, voice broken, can only nod.

“Der, I’m gonna need you to say yes.”

He groans, tilting his forehead against Stiles’. “Yes,” he croaks. “God, yes.”

“Okay. Take off your pants.”

Stiles hurries over to the bed, kicking his trousers and underwear off as he goes. All the lights in the room are still on, giving Derek ample opportunity to just blatantly stare at Stiles’ ass, his legs, the long line of his neck that leads into his mole-spotted back. He’s gorgeous, and Derek can feel himself falling in love with him.

“C’mon, Romeo,” Stiles says, kneeling in the middle of the bed. He has a tube of lube in one hand and a condom in the other. “There’s lots to do.”

Derek lowers the lights halfway before he pulls off his shirt and trousers. He eases Stiles onto his back, kneeling between his legs, and kisses him slow and sweet, like he’s seen in movies, like he’s read in novels.

“You wanna prep me?” Stiles asks, rolling his hips up into Derek’s, his cock a red line between their stomachs.

Derek nods, mouth watering. “Yeah,” he says weakly, and he accepts the lube from Stiles when it’s offered. He’s not—he’s never done this to anyone else, as Stiles well knows, but he really wants to try. It can’t be that different, he figures, than doing it to himself, and he just has to be—slow. Romantic. He has to follow Stiles’ cues and read him.

He ducks between Stiles’ thighs, trailing his mouth up the soft skin there. Stiles lets out a half laugh, half moan, spreading his knees wider. There’s a pillow propped under his hips, letting Derek see his opening, soft pink and dusted with hair. He feels entirely overwhelmed, and so he distracts himself by nibbling on the skin behind Stiles’ knee while he wets his fingers with lube.

“Derek,” Stiles says, one finger in. It’s less of a call for attention and more of a statement, a soft, breathy sigh.

Two fingers in, and Derek licks a stripe up Stiles’ cock, resulting in a low, guttural sound that Derek can’t quite name. He discovers the taste isn’t nearly as strange as he thought it would be—skin, sweat, Stiles—and takes another moment to bring Stiles into his mouth, bobbing his head lazily.

“You must think I have much better self control than I really do,” Stiles informs him, hands brushing through Derek’s hair.

Three fingers, and Stiles is quiet, head tilted back, moving with the rhythm of Derek’s hand. Derek doesn’t let up on his cock, sucking ardently, wanting Stiles to feel like he’s falling apart.

When Derek eases his pinky inside, Stiles moans with all kinds of pent-up frustration, and demands Derek get up there immediately. So he does, fumbling with the condom. It doesn’t help his concentration that Stiles immediately grabs his neck to kiss him, pushing his tongue into Derek’s mouth for a taste.

“So fucking hot,” Stiles says wistfully. “Your dick’s not even out yet.” He reaches inside the boxer briefs, wraps his hand around Derek, and Derek feels like he’s left his body.

“Stiles,” he nearly growls.

“Right, sorry.” Stiles takes his hand away, pulling at his waistband. “Take them off and let’s get this show on the road.”

He nearly trips getting them off, but when he rejoins Stiles on the bed, the lights are far dimmer than before and Stiles is kissing him, hands around his neck, kissing him fierce and eager, excitement pouring out of him in waves.

The first push inside feels like nothing Derek’s ever known. If it weren’t for Stiles’ hands on his body, keeping him grounded, he doesn’t know what he would do.

“You okay?” Stiles asks, pushing the fingers of one hand through Derek’s hair.

“I feel like I should be the one asking you that question.”

Stiles laughs softly. “I’m more than okay. You feel—incredible.”

Derek drops his forehead onto Stiles’ collarbone. “You’re the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me,” he says softly, and he pulls out just to thrust in again, following the sensations his body is earning for.

Stiles kisses him the whole time, his mouth, his jaw, his throat. He makes soft, desperate noises and squirms like he’s dying. He tells Derek how good he feels, how good it all is, and Derek was never going to last very long to begin with, but this is torture. Stiles’ voice in his ear, detailing all the ridiculous things going through his head, is enough to make Derek groan brokenly, thrusts hurrying.

“I can’t—”

Stiles hums, hand around his own cock. He doesn’t say anything back. Derek doesn’t know that he would understand it if he did.

He comes harder than he ever has in his life, burying his moans in the pillow under Stiles’ head, feeling his legs turn to noodles and his arms shake as he tries to keep himself up. Stiles grabs his head, kisses him deep and dirty, and comes, crying out into his mouth.


Derek huffs out a breath, keeping his eyes closed.



“How was your nap?”

“Short,” Derek says.

“I gave you an hour. Very generous of me.”

Derek, from where he’s lying on his stomach with his arms under his head, can feel it as Stiles straddles his back, still naked. He strokes his hands up and down Derek’s back, massaging the muscles there.

“Your tattoo is incredibly hot.”

“It’s part of our family crest. I got it when I was eighteen.”

“It’s beautiful.”

Derek’s chest warms. “Thank you,” he says softly.

“It’s only midnight, you now. We have plenty of time to—do anything else you want.”

Even at the suggestion, Derek’s cock twitches. He wants a lot of things. He rolls slowly, letting Stiles move his knees so he isn’t tossed off of Derek’s back. He ends up sitting on Derek’s stomach, smiling down at him.

“No pressure,” Stiles says.

“You want to fuck me.”

“More than you could possibly know, dude.”

Derek smiles. “What did you do while I was sleeping?”

“I read a book.”

“How incredibly studious.”

“You have no idea.”

Derek grips Stiles’ thighs. “Okay,” he says, stroking his thumbs across Stiles’ skin.

“Your family won’t be upset that you’ll be back so late?”

“I got my mom to let me stay out.”

“What a clever planner you are.”

Derek hums. “More than you could possibly know.”

It’s different, this way. It’s different because while he was doing a fair amount of work last time, pretty much all he has to do is lie there. He tries to help, tries to do something, but Stiles keeps slapping his hands away, sucking marks onto his thighs and pushing against his prostate.

He’s a mess against the sheets, clinging to them and trying not to arch, trying not to move so that Stiles can do what he wants—but it’s so fucking hard.

“Good?” Stiles says, three fingers inside of him, pulsing and stretching.

Derek can only nod, breath gone. He feels like he’s coming on the inside, like his entire body is having one big orgasm, and everything is so bright, so big, so beautiful.

It only gets better when Stiles is inside of him, long and so fucking skilled. Derek can’t imagine that he’s only done this once. He’s—unbelievably romantic, looking into Derek’s eyes, kissing him patiently, thoroughly. He’s careful, planting his knees properly and rolling his hips gently, slowly, asking Derek how it feels. He’s perfect and Derek never wants to leave this bed, never wants to leave Stiles’ arms.

Derek’s in love, and he’s absolutely blissful about it.

On the second day of the conference the ambassadors help one another draft proposals. Some of countries that don’t cooperate very well write them for presentation at the UN. Others, like Lydia Martin, create their proposals to be presented to their own governments. Derek is startled to find her at his table, extending her hand to Erica.

Erica blushes and takes Lydia's hand and then Lydia begins her intimidating introduction.

"I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to take this truly once in a lifetime opportunity to enact some actual change in my country. My field of expertise isn't really…given to that. But I read your summary report and I think the way your country handles some of the more rare chronic childhood diseases is remarkable. Would you like to help me draft something to present when I return home? I have Mr. Stilinski's word that he'll present it personally to his father."

Erica and Lydia get along like fast friends, whispering across the table as they work. Boyd and Isaac are busy with other representatives, working on other proposals, and since Lydia really knows how to lead a conversation, Derek and Stiles sit back, watching.

“Hi,” Stiles says maybe fifteen minutes after they’ve sat down.

“Hey,” Derek responds.

“How are you?”

Derek smiles. “Fine. Yourself?”

“Fantastic. I had a great night. I’m thinking I should follow the exact same schedule tonight actually, since it left me feeling so good today.”

“That stands to reason,” Derek says.

"I wish it were something I could do at home," he says as he sighs, "but things are different there."

"Are they?"

"Yes," Stiles says through a sneaky smile, "except when there are guests."

"Your Highness, Mr. Stilinski," Lydia says pointing between them with her pen without so much as looking up, "could this beautiful bout of diplomacy happen elsewhere?"

It’s entirely inappropriate to sneak out of the meeting. It’s awful, and terrible, and Derek feels guilty just thinking about it, but then he’s showing Stiles his bedroom, watching as Stiles sits on his bed, hands on the covers, and gazes around at the pictures, the posters, and everything else around his domain. And then they’re kissing, finally, and Derek doesn’t feel guilty at all.

“We shouldn’t have left them,” Stiles says, even as he presses their lips together.

“We’ll be back in a minute,” Derek protests. “I just wanted to kiss you good morning.”

“Yeah?” Stiles asks.

“I miss kissing you every moment that I’m not.”

“God, you’re such a prince,” Stiles laughs, kissing him deeper. “You’ve never had anyone in here.”

“No one.”

“Amazing.” He scoots back onto the mattress. “Why don’t we take more than a few minutes to ourselves.”


“C’mon. Roll around with me. I’ll jerk you off. It’ll be great.”

But it's not as quick and dirty as Stiles makes it sound. He unbuttons Derek's pants while talking and kisses him, distracting him so Stiles can get on top of him, squirming against him. He crawls down and takes Derek into his mouth without warning and refuses to pull away until Derek is writhing and pulling at his hair.

"Let me." Stiles grins. “We can't afford to ruin your shirt can we?"

“Jesus Christ, Stiles—”

“You’ll be more relaxed. It’s in everyone’s best interest.”

Derek just groans, trying to keep still while Stiles drives him absolutely crazy.

Twenty minutes later, they’re both back in the ballroom, sat back at their table. Stiles brushed his teeth with Derek’s toothbrush and Derek had to re-gel his hair into place after Stiles destroyed it while they were making out afterwards.

Erica looks up, eyes wide. “Hey there,” she says.

“Ignore them,” Lydia insists. “They’re boring.”

"Right," Erica says, because apparently Erica has decided she wants to be Lydia Martin when she grows up.

“I have a feeling they’re going to be very dangerous together,” Stiles says.

“You have no idea.”

When all is said and done, Derek ends up back in Stiles’ bed, lights low, both of them naked and unfairly exhausted, curled up together at the end of the night.

“You’re leaving tomorrow,” Derek says into the back of Stiles’ neck.

Stiles huffs. “Don’t remind me.” He turns, looking at Derek. “When are you coming to the States next?”

“I don’t know. I might be able to talk my mom into a trip in the summer. It’s miserable here then.”

Stiles squirms closer. “What do you all do for Christmas?”

“Tree. Presents. Food.”

“I mean—it’ll be my dad’s first official holiday as President, and he wants to go to Hawaii. It’s the only state he’s never visited.”

“Oh,” Derek says.

“But,” Stiles adds, “I bet I could convince him to split the time between here and Hawaii. This is—an island. Not as warm as Hawaii, but it’ll snow, which he thinks is great. And—”

“I’ll have my mom issue a formal invitation,” Derek says immediately. “It’s a great idea—”

Stiles silences him with an excited kiss. “We could spend Christmas together.”

Derek chews idly on the inside of his mouth, sliding his arm around Stiles’ waist. “Does he know? Your dad? That you’re—”

“Of course he does. I tell him everything.”


“Well, I haven’t told him about this,” Stiles says, smiling. “I kind of want to wait. We don’t really know what we’re doing. Do we?”

“God, no.”

“Okay. So, let’s wait. And we can talk about it at Christmas.”

“At Christmas.”

Saying goodbye is made more difficult by the excessive amount of cameras, by the eyes of Derek's family and the world. He holds his hand just a second too long, just enough to look him in the eye and try to convey everything they can't speak out loud in such a public space.

"I hope to see you soon," Derek says quietly.

"I literally cannot wait," Stiles says, as loudly as he dares.

The days after Stiles leaves are miserable and he throws his first tantrum in 6 years by locking himself in his rooms, politely turning away invitations to dinner from the staff, and actually shouting Cora away when she wouldn't stop knocking at his door.

He eats when everyone is sleeping, sneaking into the kitchens and giving the few staff members conspiratory smiles.

"This might help, your highness," says a young woman with a short haircut who hands him a pint of some complicated ice cream.

"Thank you," he says, plucking a spoon and adding it to the tower of nonsense he's carrying back to his room.

He can’t help but miss Stiles, can’t help but sigh wistfully at his emails and go through all of his pictures on Facebook. Derek is so gone for him, and he hates it. He hates it because Stiles isn’t even there.

His mother says yes to inviting the Stilinskis for Christmas. Derek can’t believe it, honestly, wasn’t expecting it, but she smiles demurely at him and says, “I’m glad you’ve made a friend, Derek.”

Stiles emails him an American Internet gossip article about President Stilinski’s first official vacation. It mentions him, and even has a picture of Derek and Stiles shaking hands after the Young Ambassadors meeting. Derek is practically salivating to see him again.

“What are you going to say to him?” Laura asks one night when the two of them are reading in the study.

“About what?”

“About what you guys are doing.”

Derek shrugs. “I haven’t thought about it.”

“Liar,” Laura laughs. “You’re in love with him. You’ve thought about it.”

"Alright, I have," Derek admits. “But it's nothing that could really happen. He lives in America and—”

"And you're the Prince of Norland, Duke of Olms, second in line for the throne. You can do anything you like. Be anywhere you like. You're the luckiest idiot in this family. Well, you and Cora."

"What so you're saying is I should just—”

"I'm saying you should be happy," Laura says. “He's young yet and maybe it's all madness, but you should try."

Derek wasn’t expecting words of encouragement. Laura’s has young men from the entire world wanting to be by her side, and he would expect her to tell him to date other people, to learn other bodies and other cultures and more about himself. But she’s smiling at him softly, looking like she’s happy for him, and Derek is touched.

So Derek spends a couple of days thinking, pondering, creating plans. He has two different ideas, which ultimately results in one plan. Only one plan that could possibly work, and he has no idea if Stiles is going to be interested in it. Maybe—maybe this is all just a fling, and once Stiles meets more people at his school he’ll want other things. Other people.

He shakes the thought, telling himself that no matter what, he’ll get by. Even if they break up—as plenty of young couples do—Derek has had the experience. And that’s all that matters.

Christmas can’t come fast enough.

At Christmas there are many traditions in Norland and fitting in a visit from another world leader drives the house staff a little bit insane. But among the garland placing and the tree lighting, they make time to receive the Stilinskis with all their due honors.

It's all Derek can do not to rush to Stiles and kiss him and it becomes all the more difficult when Stiles steps out of the car, his head a bit too long and his face somehow more handsome than he remembers. Derek wonders if he looks different as well even in such a short time.

The second Stiles sees him, his face blooms a big smile, one to match Derek’s. There aren’t any cameras, but Derek keeps himself still anyway, not wanting to give his mother any reason to keep him and Stiles apart later during the trip.

Stiles bows quickly to Derek’s parents, kisses Laura’s hand charmingly—it’s their first time officially meeting, Derek recalls—and shakes Cora’s politely. Cora looks like she couldn’t give a rat’s ass who it was standing before her, but Derek knows she’s going to write all about it later on her blog. He doesn’t maintain any formality for Derek, hugging him fiercely, and Derek hugs back, pushing his face into Stiles’ neck.

The guest rooms that Talia has chosen are meant for visiting noblemen, but Derek supposes they’re about as close as an American can get, so he doesn’t mention it.

“We’ll leave you to settle in,” Sam says, showing them to the staff who will take them to their rooms. “I’m sure Derek would love to escort you both to dinner tonight.”

Derek nods. “Of course.”

Stiles beams at him.

"Well," the President says, "if neither of you mind, which by the way my son's leg was bouncing for the better part of the journey I think you won't, I'm going to take a small nap."

"Of course," Derek says with a stiff nod. "I'll just help Stiles get settled."

"Right," the man says, his expression a bit tight. “Have fun." He hesitates. “Not too much fun.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Dad.”

“I’m just saying. Don’t run around and destroy anything in this hundreds-of-years-old palace, Stiles.”

“I promise to keep him away from the artifacts, Mr. President,” Derek says dutifully. “I thought I would show him the library and indoor pools.”

“Pools?” Stiles says, eyebrows high. “As in more than one? Yeah, bye, Dad—we’re gonna go swimming.”

He takes Stiles into the guest room first, shows him the connecting bathroom and the towels, the outlets for his laptop and phone chargers, and how to work the television. He’s flipping channels when Stiles sits down beside him and begins kissing his neck.

“I can’t believe I’m here,” he says softly.

Derek turns, smiling into a kiss, their first kiss in months. “Me neither.”

“I missed you so much, dude, you have no idea. Scott got so upset with how I literally never shut up about you.”

Derek remembers Scott, one of Stiles’ close friends from the campaign trail, who now lives in Washington with him. “You told him?” he asks, hand twisting in Stiles’ shirt. “About us?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says. “He won’t tell anyone. You’re okay with that, right?”

Derek nods. “I told my older sister.”

“Have you been hanging out with Erica or Boyd or Isaac?” Stiles asks, straddling him lazily, undoing the tie his mother made him put on to welcome their guests.

“Not really. I saw Boyd a few times.”

“You should spend time with them. They like you. They could be your friends.”

Derek hums. He doesn’t want to say it outright, that—if Stiles accepts his plan—he won’t really need to be making friends in Norland. So, instead, he runs his hands up Stiles’ shirt and says, “I thought you wanted to go swimming?”

"I could swim in your eyes, baby," he says in his most exaggerated cheesy tone. Derek laughs. He laughs until Stiles kisses him quiet. They kiss for what must be an hour, not really as desperate and frantic as he had imagined, but slow and constant instead. Like they could go on forever.

They lie back on Stiles’ bed, on their sides, just kissing for the longest time. It’s a nice break, Derek thinks, from fast, eager fucking, always having to have their hands down each other’s pants. But then again, they haven’t seen each other in months, and Derek is hard now, just holding him, kissing him.

“Tonight,” Stiles says, mouthing at his jaw. “I’ll get you off as many times as you want, but only after they’re all asleep.” He sits up. “Alright. Let’s take that swim.”

There are two pools and a hot tub inside of a long hall, on the very southern part of the grounds. One of the pools is kept heated at all times, and Stiles dives right into it the second Derek tells him that.

“Holy shiiiiiiiiiiit,” he sighs, floating on his back, pushing against the water. “This is so awesome. It’s nearly snowing outside and it feels like summer in here. C’mon, dude. Jump in and make out with me.”

Derek swallows. “There’s security cameras.” He points.

Stiles straightens in the water, shrugs. “Is that a problem? It’s not like your parents are watching them.”

Derek’s heart lurches with affection for the stupid boy treading water in front of him.

“Are you nineteen yet?” Derek has to ask. He must be, since he was eighteen when they met in January and it’s December now.

“In April,” Stiles says. “You twenty-one yet?”

“Last month.”

“You should’ve said,” Stiles tells him, frowning.

“I didn’t want to make it a thing. You didn’t tell me about your birthday either.”

“Well.” Stiles swims to the edge of the pool, looking up at him. “I’ll be sure to give you at least twenty-one orgasms before I leave as your present.”

“That’s a lot more than you think it is.”

“I’m here for ten days. That’s super doable. Now get in here. I’m lonely.”

For seven long days, everything is perfect. They go to bed together every night, sleep curled up around each other, and spend each day doing whatever they want. They take a day trip around the island on a boat, accompanied by the President and Laura. Laura keeps the man sufficiently distracted so they can hold hands, make eyes at each other as much as they want.

Derek walks out of the shower one night with a towel around his waist. Stiles, sitting at the edge of the bed, looking at his phone, immediately takes a picture.

Derek grins.

“I want some things to remember you by,” Stiles says, snapping another. “Take it off.”

“You don’t store things to the Cloud, right?”

Stiles snorts. “Yeah, right. I don’t even put my photos on my laptop. Trust me, I will be so fucking careful.”

Unsurprisingly, they end up fucking, quiet because it’s still early enough for everyone to be awake. Derek is a mess when it’s over, feeling like his entire body is one big, wet noodle, and he collapses into the middle of the bed on his stomach, hugging his pillow as he falls asleep. It’s peaceful, those post-orgasm naps, and he always wakes with a smile on his face, so crazy in love with Stiles that he doesn’t know what else to do. There shouldn’t be anything different about this, about the way he wakes up, except that Stiles is pacing around the room, looking the world’s about to end.

“Hey,” Derek says, sitting up.

Stiles turns panicked eyes to him. “You’re gonna hate me.”

“What?” Derek laughs. “Why would I hate you?”

“I was texting a picture to my email, and the send bar autofilled and I wasn’t paying attention and I—I—oh, God, Derek.” He looks like he’s about to dissolve into tears so Derek scoots hurriedly to the edge of the bed, grabbing for Stiles’ hands.

“Stiles,” he says softly. “Whatever it is—”

“This is just so stupid,” he says fiercely, “because I promised you I would be careful and then I just fucking wasn’t—I’m literally the biggest idiot in the world—”

Fear strikes through Derek like a bolt of lightning. “Stiles,” he says again.

“It wasn’t a dick pic or anything,” Stiles says, blushing. “I was—you were asleep, and I took this picture of your back, and your face twisted to the side on the pillow, because you looked so beautiful and I wanted to make it my desktop background, so I was going to email it to myself—”

“Where did it send, Stiles?” Derek demands.

Stiles swallows. “Twitter. It went to Twitter. But I deleted it! Immediately!”

Derek closes his eyes. He feels cold all over. "You know that doesn't make a difference, Stiles."

"I know."

"How is no one knocking at the door yet?"

"I don't know."

Derek takes a deep breath and opens his eyes. "What do we do?"

"What do you want to do? I mean, I—God, maybe we should go out there and let them know or maybe I can just say it was some big elaborate hack or—”

“A hack that you immediately caught?” Derek asks. “That you took down within seconds?”

Stiles licks his lips. “We have to tell them.”

“Yeah,” Derek agrees. “We do.”

They get dressed in silence, Derek wavering between terrified and angry. He knows he and Stiles need to stand together in this, need to not blame each other, but it’s pretty difficult when it is Stiles’ fault.

“I let you take pictures,” Derek says when they’re in the hall, when Stiles’ face looks so depressing. He grabs Stiles’ hand, pulls him close. “I let you and so it’s my fault too.”

“That’s nice of you say but we both know it’s not true.”

Derek sighs, kisses him softly. “C’mon. Let’s get everyone.”

The President and Derek’s parents are already sitting in the living room, staring at a fire and conversing. It’s a happy sight, Derek thinks. Like family.

“Hey, boys,” President Stilinski says, sitting up in his seat. “You’re still up?”

“Kids their age never sleep,” Sam grumbles.

Talia blinks at them, can instantly see that something is wrong. “Derek,” she says.

“We made a mistake,” Derek says.

“I made a mistake,” Stiles argues.

Derek wants to groan in frustration but he stops himself, clenches his jaw. “Mom, Dad—Mr. President. Stiles and I have been seeing each other since the Young Ambassadors meeting. We didn’t want to tell you before we had a plan beyond the holiday, but now everything’s changed.”

Stiles’ father’s phone starts to ring. Stiles flinches. The man checks it, turns it off and pockets it. “It’s just my chief of staff. He knows I’m on vacation; he shouldn’t be calling.”

“He’s about to tell you what we are,” Stiles says, sound like he’s ill. “Dad, I messed up. Really, really bad.”

Derek is steeling himself to just come out with it when a door upstairs is slammed, followed by heavy footsteps running down the stairs and Cora bolting into the room, phone in hand. She looks at Derek, looks between him and Stiles, and says, “Oh my God. It’s real.”

Derek feels sick.

“What’s real?” the President says, sitting up. He’s no longer smiling.

“Derek,” Sam says. “What’s going on?”

Talia puts a hand on her husband’s arm. “I think they’re about to tell us, Samuel.”

“I took a picture of Derek,” Stiles says hurriedly. “There’s no—it’s not—”

“I was asleep,” Derek says, “and we had been taking pictures earlier. And there’s a photo of me. Stiles accidentally posted it online and took it down immediately, but. It’s the Internet.”

“What kind of picture?” Stiles’ father demands, mouth set firmly.

Cora clears her throat. “Um.”

“No,” Talia says to her.

“Unfortunately,” President Stilinski says, “it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see it, to understand what we’re up against.”

“There’s nothing gross,” Stiles says, chuckling nervously. “It’s just—suggestive.”

Cora hands her phone to her mother and Derek feels dizzy. He watches as President Stilinski gives it a brief glance and hands it over to Derek, not looking him in the eye. He looks too, since he hasn’t seen it yet, and even while he’s standing there, horrified and anxious, his heart surges with affection.

He can see the edges of Stiles’ knees in the photo, see the line of the sheet very low on his own back, all the way up to his tattoo, his face smushed against the pillow, asleep. He looks peaceful. He looks—good. It’s flattering, and all kinds of romantic, but it could be explained away by plenty of things, if it weren’t for Stiles’ hand gently cupping Derek’s ribs, thumb pressed into his back.

It’s obvious, from the photo, that they’re lovers, and Derek hands the phone back to Cora a second too late, feeling his face heat.

Queen Talia reaches for the cup of tea she had been drinking, takes a sip and sighs. "Well it could have been a disaster. I don't foresee it being much more than an item of interest on some gossip shows or magazines.”

The President, on the other hand, looks tense as he pinches the bridge of his nose. "Yeah, we're going to have a bit of a harder time with this at home."

"Dad, I—”

"No.” The man shakes his head. "I told you that it wasn't your responsibility to make any sort of public announcement about yourself, and I meant it. But this is going to bring questions and I can't answer them for you."

Stiles nods. "I understand."

“There will be interview requests—you’re allowed to say yes or no, but if you agree, you to have to go over everything with the staff, make sure you do it the right way.” He rubs the back of his neck. “I’ll call home, tell them that we’re still on vacation and we won’t have anything to say on the matter until we get back.” He stands, nods to Talia and Sam. “If you’ll excuse me.”

He wanders out of the room and Derek looks at his parents, silently begging them not to hate him.

“Don’t look so worried, dear,” Talia says. “Honestly, I was expecting much worse after everything we’ve gone through with the girls—”

“Hey,” Cora protests.

“—but this is remarkably normal. Very low impact. It’s actually very romantic.” She leans back in her seat. “So, since the Young Ambassadors meeting. No wonder you hated the Martin girl.”


“Don’t argue, dear, I could see it in your eyes. You absolutely despised her. I understand. I felt the same way about your father’s girlfriend when we were first met.”

“Lydia and I are just friends,” Stiles says with a soft, embarrassed smile. “Your Majesties, I care very much for Derek and I swear I would never do anything to hurt or embarrass him or your family.”

Talia smiles. “I know, darling. Go back up to bed. You’re still on vacation. Don’t let what’s happening half a world away ruin your fun.” She looks to her daughter. “And you. Do not put that on your blog.”

“But, Mom!”

She waves them all away. “Go on. I’ll see you all in the morning.”

Stiles wakes up about an hour after Derek the next morning. Derek is sitting in a chair on the other side of the room, reading. He sets the book down as soon as Stiles sits up, rubbing his eyes.

“Hey,” Derek says. “I went down and brought some things up for breakfast.” He has plates with coverings sitting on the table next to the TV, resting on a tray. “Eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes, some pastries…”

Stiles doesn’t say anything and so Derek brings the tray over, sitting cross legged at the end of the bed, putting the tray between them.

“If you want, I can go get something else.”

“How do you not hate me?”

Derek frowns. “Stiles.”

“I was up half the night, wondering how you’re ever supposed to look at me again.”

“It wasn’t that bad. You heard my mom—”

“There are already dozens of articles about you in the States, Derek,” Stiles huffs. “I spent most of the night reading them.”

“I don’t care,” Derek says. “I was angry at first, but—but my parents like you. They trust you. They understand that it was an accident. And that’s all I wanted. That’s all that I was scared of.” He reaches forward, cupping Stiles’ cheek. “Are you worried about going back? What they’re saying about you?”

“Nobody is saying anything bad about me,” Stiles mutters. “The nation voted a liberal Democrat into office and his son turns out to be dating an incredibly handsome foreign prince. They’re fucking proud of me.”

Derek smiles. “See? So it worked out.”

“I want you to come back with me,” Stiles says, looking down at their breakfast. “I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to ask you this whole time. I want you to—to come back to the States with me. We can get an apartment near my school. We can spend our holidays travelling all around the country. We can sleep in the same bed every night. Every night.”

Derek feels like jumping. He feels like jumping on the bed, pinning Stiles down to it and kissing him forever. He can’t stop the smile that’s growing his face.

“I had a plan,” Derek says, taking Stiles’ hand. “I was going to tell you. Ask you, I mean. And my parents.” He waits until Stiles looks up at him. “I’ve applied to a few schools in Washington. I want to go back to university, Stiles. I want to be a student again. And I want to be with you while I do it.”

Stiles pushes the tray aside, climbs into Derek’s lap and kisses him fiercely, smiling hugely. “Yeah?” he asks.

“Yeah,” he affirms.

“Let’s fucking do it.”

It’s all over the country in August, that First Son Stiles Stilinski has moved in with his boyfriend—the rich, handsome Prince of Norland—and they are both attending universities in Washington D.C. Derek has a bodyguard now, someone that his mother arranged for, who follows him to classes and doesn’t really say much for the first week they’re together. When Derek gets home in the evenings, to the condo he shares with Stiles, his bodyguard goes home, since there’s two Secret Service agents living in their basement.

They live together, do homework together, fall asleep together. They go to parties together, take dozens and dozens of obnoxious selfies. Derek becomes one of the nation’s most famous celebrities without even doing anything, and after three years together, when Jonathan Stilinski is reelected to the Office of the President of the United States of America, Derek groans into Stiles’ throat and says, “When will we ever have peace?”

“Never,” Stiles informs him. “You’re famous.”

“The novelty will wear off.”

“Wait until we start a family,” Stiles laughs. “They’ll never leave us alone. You’re like Kate Middleton and Prince William in one package. Everybody loves it.”

Derek smiles, leaning in to kiss him. “I stopped listening after you said family.”

“What a sap.”

“I love you.”

Stiles leans into him again. “I know.”

They frame the picture—the picture—in the hallway of their condo. Derek turns their spare room into an office, figures that one day, when they eventually need it, they can move to a bigger house, with a nursery and everything. He spends his days at a desk, writing books, while Stiles attends law school. When Stiles comes home in the evenings, buried under a mountain of studying to do, Derek rubs his shoulders and helps him memorize everything.

When Stiles needs to move to New York for a job, they go. They pack up everything and buy a loft in the city, two bedrooms, an office, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen. Derek never lets Stiles see the sticker price for the thing.

“How rich are you exactly?” Stiles asks in bed that first night.

Derek shrugs. “We’re going to have to get a joint bank account soon, I assume. We can figure out exact numbers then.”

“Was that your way of proposing, because that was so lame, dude. Not even the slightest bit romantic.”

“No,” Derek says. “That was me assuming you knew we were gonna end up getting married. You’ll know when I ask.”

“Maybe I wanna ask.”

Derek smiles into his pillow. “Okay, dear.”

“God, you sound like your mother.”

They have a pillow fight.

While unpacking, Stiles grabs the framed photo of Derek’s back, grins at him as he hands it over. “Where should it go?”

Derek hums. “Probably not in a hallway. Our bedroom, I guess.”

“Awesome, I’ll put it on my nightstand.”

Derek laughs as he follows him into the bedroom.

Derek proposes on a Tuesday. Stiles is pouring over case notes. He’s a human rights lawyer, often has to fly overseas to take cases, and he’s currently reading the summary for something that might take them to Australia to represent a group of aboriginal people. Derek is holding his chin over Stiles’ shoulder, paying more attention to the TV in front of them than anything else.

He presses his lips up under Stiles’ ear, strokes his arm. “Hey,” he says softly.

“Yeah,” Stiles says distantly.

“Marry me.”

Stiles smiles, exhaling through his nose. “You know I will.”

“I mean it, Stiles. Let’s get married. Soon. Let’s get married.”

There’s more press at his wedding than he would’ve wanted, but Derek decides it’s worth it, because in the end, when they kiss, it feels like they’re the only people in the entire world.