"If anyone's going to be the one that bites me, it's gonna be Derek."
It's out before he knows it, and he doesn't even really know where it's coming from, but now everyone is staring at him because of Scott. It should be Scott. His best friend. His partner in crime ever since they were little.
And yet somehow Derek's name left his mouth and it's stupid because nobody's biting anybody, alright? There will be no werewolf turning here tonight – or any other night for that matter – and why did he even bring it up anyway?
Derek is staring at him, Stiles can feel his gaze boring into him; and it scares the living hell out of him, that's what it does. And that tiny sliver of excitement creeping up in his stomach, well that's just completely misplaced, because Derek can rip your heart out in a single tear, and who's to say he won't, really?
"Let’s just get the hell out of here, yeah?" Scott says, and Stiles did not just hear disappointment in his voice, dammit.
Derek doesn't say a word, just makes a noise that sounds a lot like a cut-off growl and starts leading the way; out of the abandoned – but soon to be crawling with Argents – warehouse and into safety.
Stiles keeps his mouth shut for the rest of the evening.
"What's going on between you and Derek?" Scott asks the next day, in the locker room as they're putting on their lacrosse outfits for practice.
Stiles pretends not to choke on his own saliva as he asks, "What?"
"You'd want him to be your Alpha?" Scott asks, frowning.
"What are you talking about?" Stiles asks, tugging maybe a little bit too hard on his laces. "Nobody's turning me into a werewolf, thank you very much."
"But hypothetically..." Scott starts.
"No hypothetical turning either," Stile says pointedly.
"That's not what you said yesterday..." Scott mutters, loud enough for a mere human like Stiles to hear.
"I don't even know what I said, okay?" Stiles says, arms flailing. "Fear and adrenaline were eating away at my brain, and there's no way in hell I am becoming a werewolf."
"But why Derek?" Scott asks, and he's just not letting go.
"Oh for fuck's sake.” Stiles grunts as he grabs the rest of his gear and heads out the locker room.
Stiles really shouldn't be surprised to find Derek standing in his bedroom when he closes the door behind him that evening.
"Oh Jesus fuck!" Stiles breathes out, clutching his chest. "You have got to stop doing that."
"I am not turning you," Derek says by way of introduction, his voice low and decided.
"I don't remember asking you to," Stiles counters, shrugging off his jacket and throwing it over the back of his chair.
"Yesterday..." Derek starts, and he's still standing in that same spot next to the door, like he's afraid to move or something, and isn't that just wrong?
"That was not at all what I meant," Stiles says, all but rolling his eyes. "Jeesh, will you people just get over it?"
"You people?" Derek frowns, his gaze still fixed on Stiles.
"You, Scott," Stiles says, bending his fingers into claws, as if to clarify who he means exactly. "I have no ambition to become a werewolf, alright? Like being a regular teenager isn't hard enough? As if I really need to worry about excess body hair and mood swings, and oh hey, look who I am talking to? And besides, why wouldn't you want to turn me? You turned Isaac, Erica, and Boyd fast enough! Why not me? You know, this is actually quite offensive!"
Stiles can see Derek clenching his jaw, balling his hands into fists.
"I am not turning you," Derek repeats simply, and then he's slipping out the open window before Stiles can even process what just happened.
It's not that Stiles is someone that holds a grudge, 'cause he's really not. Unbelievably not, actually. But Derek's rejection doesn't sit well with him, and it's ridiculous because he really doesn't want to be turned. He doesn't. It's the last thing he wants, but he realizes that he actually does want Derek to want to, and it's so screwed up that Stiles thinks that maybe it's best to avoid Derek for a while.
Why wouldn't Derek want him to be one of his pack? He's the Alpha. He's the one with the power. And Stiles would be a good pack member, dammit. He's loyal and wily and he can hold his own. Sometimes. So why not him? Why explicitly not him? And why does it sting so much?
Of course, avoidance is a good plan, except that Scott has this habit of getting into trouble and Stiles cannot ignore that. Neither can Derek, it seems, 'cause here they are, face to face.
Alison's hunched over Scott, whose injuries are already healing, but she’s still cooing over him like it’s their last moment together. Erica is almost bouncing off the walls, crazy with adrenaline after the fight. Boyd is standing off in one corner, keeping an eye on the door in case anyone has the nerve to come back. And Derek is standing in front of Stiles, in some sort if weird stand-off, with Isaac by his side. Isaac's grinning at him, and Stiles is sure he's imagining things ‘cause Isaac surely isn’t sneering because Derek decided to turn him but won't touch Stiles with a ten foot pole.
And yes, Stiles is pissed, God dammit. So he simply turns away from Derek, not warranting him another glance, and turns to Scott, who's scrambling to his feet.
"You ready to go?" Stiles asks, curt. Alison and Scott both look at Derek, like they're sensing the tension in the room – which they probably can, since it's pretty palpable.
"Yeah..." Scott answers, warily.
Stiles pointedly ignores Derek as he steps out of the room. He's sure Scott and Alison will follow.
"Right, so this thing between you and Derek is weird," Scott says, sitting on the floor of Stiles' bedroom, head tilted back against the bed.
"What thing?" Stiles asks, busying himself on his computer.
"Come on, man." Scott sighs.
"There is no thing between me and Derek, alright?" Stiles stresses, twirling his chair towards Scott. "No thing. Nothing between us. Nothing but animosity and loathing, apparently."
"Except that he saved your ass how many times now?" Scott asks.
“Hey, I saved his ass plenty of times,” Stiles counters, almost offended.
“My point exactly,” Scott says pointedly.
What Stiles really wants to say is ‘shut up’ and drop this entire conversation, but instead he says, “Well, he’s your pack, isn’t he?”
“Maybe he’s a little bit your pack too?” Scott tries carefully, obviously sensing Stiles’ foul mood.
“Nope,” Stiles says, and he’s not being petulant, dammit. “I don’t have a pack. No werewolf pack for me, as Derek made it very clear the other night. Apparently I’m not good enough to be in your dandy little group.”
“What are you talking about?” Scott frowns, leaning forward.
“Derek was very clear on the matter,” Stiles says, shrugging – going for nonchalant. “He will not be turning me. Never mind the fact that everyone seems to forget that I never asked to be turned, you know.”
“He told you that?” Scott asks, and he’s genuinely surprised.
“He waited out in my bedroom like a freaking stalker to tell me that,” Stiles clarifies. “I mean, seriously. What is wrong with this guy? Must he make such a point of telling me he doesn’t want me?”
Scott suppresses a snort, but only half-succeeds.
“Doesn’t want me as werewolf ,” Stiles says, “Get your mind out of the gutter.”
“Maybe that’s it though,” Scott says, his face getting serious like he’s finally onto something and no . Just no. Stiles does not need to explore those thoughts any further ‘cause the thought of Derek being into him is just ridiculous and he doesn’t need to get this stuck in his head. He doesn’t need to explore this any further than he already has, even though he will strictly deny any such thing if asked.
“Don’t even go there,” Stiles warns, turning back towards his computer.
“He’s oddly fascinated by you though,” Scott says, leaning back against the bed.
“Maybe I’m just a fascinating person?” Stiles mumbles, instead of asking Scott what he means by that.
“That, you are,” Scott nods, grabbing a magazine from Stiles’ bedroom floor.
Stiles clenches his jaw and resists the urge to continue the conversation.
The thing is, Derek is hot. Even blind people can see that, alright? Derek is the living embodiment of the word gorgeous, and yeah, Stiles would be lying if he hadn’t thought of Derek in a sexual situation. Situations. Okay, Derek is pretty much Stiles’ go-to fantasy, alright? And yeah, even though he really hates Derek’s guts, he has to admit that maybe… maybe he just kind of likes Derek anyway. And he knows it doesn’t make sense, but Stiles has long ago given up on trying to sort out his teenage hormones, because he’s doing just fine until he starts thinking about Derek and then he’s just really in need of some alone time.
So not asking Scott what he meant by ‘Derek is oddly fascinated by you’ is not as easy as it seems.
So he spends his day at school trying hard not to cave and blush and ask Scott, and when he’s not busy doing that, he’s subtly trying to eavesdrop on Isaac, Erica, and Boyd, and discovering that you really can’t eavesdrop on a pack of werewolves without being found out.
“If you have something to ask us, it might be easier to just come out and ask,” Isaac says, leaning against the row of lockers in the hallway, Erica all but draped over his shoulder. “’cause you’re really not being stealthy, you know?”
“Yes, well, we can’t all be supernatural creatures, now can we,” Stiles says, head held high.
“Not if the Alpha won’t turn you, no.” Erica grins, and ouch , that was uncalled for.
“You know what?” Stiles says, resisting the urge to hit his hand on the lockers. “Next time your little pack is in trouble, again , don’t be surprised if I’m not there to put my ass on the line trying to help you, alright?”
“However will we survive?” Erica dramatically rolls her eyes, but Isaac shoots her a glance, a warning, and she just smacks her lips together and shuts up.
“Derek is grateful for your help,” Boyd says, taking a step forward.
“He has a funny way of showing it,” Stiles says, clenching his jaw.
“Don’t you know Derek by now?” Isaac asks.
“You know, I’m not sure I even want to,” Stiles says, curt, and turns to walk away.
“Wow,” he hears Isaac mutter. “You’re both so fucking deep in denial…”
The next time he sees Derek, there’s no emergency. No hunters, no supernatural disaster going on. It seems almost silly, the way they simply bump into each other by the bleachers after lacrosse practice.
“Isaac and Boyd are in the locker room,” Stiles simply says, assuming that’s why Derek is even here.
“I know,” Derek answers, but he doesn’t move an inch.
“Of course you do,” Stiles mumbles. “Gotta keep track of your minions.”
“They’re not my minions,” Derek says, and he’s still just standing there, staring at Stiles until it makes him uncomfortable.
“Minions, pack, whatever,” Stiles says, picking up his lacrosse stick and making to move past Derek.
“You’re angry,” Derek states simply, and it makes Stiles stop in his track.
“For the last time, I do not want to be turned into a werewolf!” Stiles all but cries out, dropping his stick on the ground again as he throws his arms up. “Why can’t you people get this through your thick heads?”
“Then why are you angry?” Derek asks, and the way he remains calm while being yelled at is just unsettling.
“I’m not, alright?” Stiles says, purposefully avoiding Derek’s gaze. “But one could wonder what on earth is so wrong with them that the thought of having to turn them is just appalling, apparently.”
“They’re not my minions,” Derek says again, “But I am the Alpha and that does entail certain things. It implies a certain… difference in rank, so to speak.”
“So, what?” Stiles asks, posture stiff. “You don’t think I could be subordinate?”
“No,” Derek says, finally moving from his spot. “I don’t think I want you to be.”
And then Derek is walking away from him, across the lacrosse field.
“So, theoretically…” Stiles starts, then snaps his mouth shut, because he has no idea how to even finish this sentence.
Scott shoots him a look, like he’s waiting for him to go on.
“Never mind,” Stiles shakes his head, concentrating on the road.
“Theoretically?” Scott asks when he sees Stiles isn’t continuing.
“Yeah, no, I don’t think I’m ready for a conversation quite this embarrassing,” Stiles says, gripping his fingers tighter around the steering wheel.
“Ah,” Scott says, sinking a little deeper into the passenger seat. “This is about Derek then.”
“What?” Stiles lets out, his voice high-pitched, as he swerves the car a tiny bit to the middle of the road.
“Whoa!” Scott calls out, a steadying hand on the dashboard in front of him as Stiles tugs the steering wheel, righting the car.
“Sorry,” Stiles mutters, a glance at Scott.
Scott lets out a deep breath, relaxing against the seat again.
“Why would you assume this is about Derek?” Stiles can’t stop himself from asking.
“Because everything is about Derek lately!” Scott says. “Because you think you’re being subtle but you’re really not!”
“I am too!” Stiles says defensively.
“Yeah, well, you’re forgetting I can hear your heartbeat when we’re around him,” Scott says.
“We’re always near death when we’re around him!” Stiles calls out.
“And that I can smell pheromones,” Scott deadpans.
“Oh,” Stiles’ mouth falls open, and it’s a good thing they’ve reached Scott’s house, because he can’t say he’s got his mind on the road anymore.
“Look,” Scott says as Stiles turns off the engine. “For what it’s worth, it doesn’t weird me out.”
“It doesn’t?” Stiles says surprised.
Scott just smiles reassuringly at him.
“But it’s Derek ,” Stiles says, like it’s the worst thing that could ever have happened to him.
“Okay, so maybe a little bit weird,” Scott says, scrunching up his face, before they both burst out in laughter.
He’s been standing outside the train depot for ten minutes, and he knows that if Derek – or one of the others – is inside, they already know he’s there, and yet he can’t seem to bring himself to enter.
And yet turning back isn’t an option either, so he bites the bullet and takes a deep breath before walking in.
He finds Derek sitting on top of one of the wagons, legs swinging off the side, and at least he has the decency to pretend he doesn’t know how long Stiles has been there, but he doesn’t act particularly surprised either.
He jumps off the wagon, landing on his feet like it’s easy , and steps a little closer to Stiles.
“Okay, so if anyone is going to bite me, I don’t want it to be you,” Stiles says eventually, because small talk seems about as difficult as getting straight to the point with Derek anyway.
Derek nods, like he’s contemplating this and then says, “Except I won’t let anyone else bite you either.”
“Of course,” Stiles rolls his eyes, but he can’t say he’s not a little bit pleased either. “You have control issues,” he says after a little while, and Derek just looks at him. “Of course,” Stiles goes on, “You have issues, period.”
“Sounds like you’d need to stay away from me,” Derek says, walking around Stiles in a half-circle, eyes fixed on Stiles.
“Yeah, that does sound like the smart thing to do, right?” Stiles says, swallowing hard as he can’t seem to want to shake off Derek’s gaze.
“You’re a smart kid,” Derek says simply.
“Apparently not.” Stiles shrugs, “’cause here I am.”
Derek nods, like he’s not entirely opposed to the idea of having Stiles here, in his space, in his life.
“And I’m not really planning on going anywhere,” Stiles continues, and he knows he’s being painfully obvious here, but somehow he can’t seem to bring himself to care.
“That’s a big statement to make,” Derek says, coming to halt in front of Stiles – mere inches away.
“Well…” Stiles starts, trying hard not to let the lack of distance between them throw him off his game. “I’m not saying I’m never leaving, of course. I mean, for one, my Dad’s expecting me for dinner tonight, and I don’t really want him to worry about me even more, you know? And, there’s school, and lacrosse, and I don’t think it’s healthy to spend every waking hou…”
“Stiles,” Derek grumbles, and how did he manage to get even closer without Stiles noticing?
“I’m just saying…” Stiles trails off.
“Yeah, I get it,” Derek says, managing to sound only mildly annoyed by Stiles’ rambling.
“So the reason you don’t want to turn me…?” Stiles says, failing in keeping his heart rate and breathing under control.
“I don’t want to be anything but equals with you,” Derek answers, without missing a beat, and Stiles thinks it might be the most honest and personal thing he’s ever heard come out of Derek’s mouth.
His heart is beating so loudly even he can hear it, and every time Derek exhales, he can feel warm breath ghosting over his face.
“That’s… good,” Stiles forces out, and yet he doesn’t quite feel as confident and in control as Derek looks right now.
Derek’s lips brush up against his then, and suddenly, Stiles can move again. His hands find their way to Derek’s face, and it’s only a little bit scary when he tangles them in Derek’s hair. Derek seems to approve though, big palms wrapping around Stiles’ waist, making little grunting sounds as Stiles opens up his lips underneath him.
The kiss is nothing like Stiles thought it would be – yes, he has thought about this moment happening, many times now. It’s calm and slow, and almost too lazy to be Derek, but it’s better than Stiles could ever have hoped for.
Derek’s hands slide over his waist, caressing back and forth, as Stiles pushes up on his toes, deepening the kiss. He can hear a low rumble in the back of Derek’s throat, and it’s so exhilarating that it makes Stiles fall flat against Derek’s chest. But Derek holds him steady, holds them both up as his tongue explores every inch of Stiles’ mouth. When Derek finally breaks the kiss, raspy stubble against Stiles’ neck makes Stiles chuckle and Derek pulls back.
“What?” he asks, his pupils blown wide, his hair messed up by Stiles’ hands.
“Happiness,” Stiles simply smiles. “I know this might be a foreign concept to you, but when good shit like this happens, it makes me smile.”
“Yeah…” Derek says, his lips finally curling into a tentative smile too.
“There you go,” Stiles says, his arms still firmly wrapped around Derek’s neck.
“Maybe I could learn to get used to it?” Derek says, the smile still ghosting over his face.
“Maybe I’ll teach you,” Stiles grins, before crushing his lips against Derek’s again.
Derek doesn’t protest.