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It Ain't Easy

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It Ain’t Easy:

Connor wrapped his arms around Stiles and hooked his chin on the younger man’s shoulder. He looked past Stiles, watched as flames consumed the lizard-like creature they’d just spent the last three days tracking. Stiles kept his arms tightly wrapped around himself, shoulders taunt. Connor tilted his head, took in that Stiles’ mouth was pressed into a tight line. Connor pulled back, started to reached into Stiles’ jacket, but stilled when Stiles wrapped a hand around his wrist. Stiles huffed out a wounded noise and wrapped his arms around himself again. Conner pulled him close again, squeezed Stiles tightly and waited.

Connor waited for the flames to die down. He waited for Stiles to start filling the silence. He waited until he knew it was safe to leave and then he wrestled to pull the keys out of Stiles’ jacket, ignored a small grunt of protest as he wrapped an arm around Stiles’ waist and let him back to the Camaro.

Stiles dug his heels in when he realized that Connor was about to put him into the passenger side.

“Not my car,” Stiles protested.

Connor wanted to snap at him, wanted quick answers to the questions Stiles refused to answer, but he knew that wouldn’t work. Connor drew in a slow breath, trying to ignore the lost look, the tense shoulders and instead pointed out carefully, “I’ve known you four years, hunted with you for three. This is the only car you’ve ever driven.”

“It was Laura’s before it was Derek’s,” Stiles told him, voice distant.

Connor closed the distance between them, dragged them the few steps back towards the Camaro and then leaned against it as he took Stiles’ weight. The facts about Stiles life before he took up hunting were briefly and rarely shared. Connor hadn’t pushed, he had a past too.

Stiles huffed a sigh against Connor’s shoulder and asked, “The master, the one controlling…”

Stiles swallowed his words and clung tighter.

“Turned into the police,” Connor answered, “Though in this case I think the human was worse than the creature.”

“Sometimes they are,” Stiles agreed.

“There’s enough evidence,” Connor reassured, “They’ll be able to convict her.”

Stiles nodded as his hands fisted tightly into Connor’s shirt. Connor cupped Stiles’ face and tilted his head back. He waited until their eyes met and then placed a slow deliberate kiss on Stiles’ forehead before he said, “You’re in no shape to drive, just let me get us to the hotel room?”

Stiles answered with a brief kiss before he nodded. Connor eased him into the passenger seat, buckled him in and carefully shut the door. The drive to the hotel was silent. They didn’t talk as Connor led Stiles back to their room and started a bath.

Connor waited until they were both in the tub, until he had Stiles wrapped up in his arms and they’d just started to clean before he began to talk. Connor talked about Stanford, about the normal family that wasn’t. He talked about the events that led up to losing them. He talked about his father. He talked about the daughter who he’d never be sure was ever really his in any way.

They finished washing and drained the water halfway, warmed it again and then settled back into Connor talking. Connor talked through draining the tub completely, talked through drying each other off and easing into boxers before climbing under the covers. Connor’s words ran dry as Stiles laid his head on his shoulder. There was more to tell, but he’d said enough for one night. Stiles leaned forward, their lips met briefly. Then Stiles wrapped a tight arm around Connor as they settled around each other. Stiles started, “When I was sixteen my best friend was bitten by a werewolf…”