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Questionable Life Choices

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Being alone was something that had never bothered Derek. He'd learned to use isolation as a weapon. In the burned shell of his childhood home, he'd let bittersweet memories and his own thoughts feed the anger that kept him going and made him stronger. But then he'd formed shaky alliances, gotten his revenge for the massacre and Laura both, and found himself in a position where isolation was no longer a possibility.

An alpha needed a pack, and knowing who to choose was not something that had come easily. His pack would become his family, and that was not something that he'd taken lightly. Or at least, Derek had thought so at the time.

The first question that had sprung to mind was: Who would want the bite? Who would he even want to give the bite to?

His brain had almost immediately supplied a name: Stiles.

Derek had paused at that, truly surprised that Stiles was who his subconscious considered to be an ideal choice. He'd gone over every interaction he'd ever had with the kid to prove to himself that Stiles was not what he wanted in a beta, but everything his memory had dredged up only served to justify the suggestion.

Stiles was an annoying kid but in comparison to the others, he was actually the one who had it the most together. Immature and in need of Ritalin, but not as blindly infatuated and self-absorbed as Scott, as easily led as Allison, or as coldly narcissistic as Jackson. Giving Jackson the bite had been a mistake, that much was clear, but Stiles... Stiles was smart. He was resourceful, intuitive, and was responsible for more than Derek had given him credit for in the past.

Stiles would be useful. Choosing him would save Derek the trouble of having to explain things to someone new, and he could also assist Derek in finding others. The kid had good judgement; Derek had never been able to deny him that. Better judgement than Scott, that was for damn sure.

He was also loyal. To a fault.

And that was why it would never work. Stiles was loyal to Scott, and he would never leave his best friend's side for Derek.

Derek's hands had flexed slightly at that, and he'd tried to ignore the resentment that had tagged on to the thought. Resentment and disappointment that his first choice was not a possibility because of Scott. Scott who'd considered his bite as some kind of disease that needed curing despite using his new abilities to become co-captain of the Lacrosse team like the fucking brat that he was.

Resentment turned to irritation, and Derek had shoved the thoughts aside. No Stiles. He could go on being Scott's sidekick. He could go on being ordinary. Maybe he liked it better that way.

Jackson's body had rejected the bite, and Derek was relieved because he regretted giving the kid what he'd wanted, anyway. And that was when his brain had shifted gears from who would want the bite? to who would need the bite?

When he'd made his choices, Derek had never thought of it as exploitation. It hadn't even crossed his mind until Scott and Stiles had started screaming it in his face. Up until that point, he hadn't seen it as manipulating the weak. He'd seen it all as mutual beneficiality.

The weak, the sick, the isolated, the unhappy-- they could benefit from the power. They could thrive on it. It would help them.

Things hadn't turned out exactly like he'd thought. He'd never expected Isaac and Erica to turn into the most exaggerated, monstrous forms of teenagers that he'd ever encountered. Somehow he'd thought things would be like they had been with Scott but easier. There would be a learning curve but this time with less resistance. He'd never taken into consideration that Isaac and Erica didn't have a Stiles.

They didn't have a friend giving them advice, or doing research, or helping them figure things out. All they had was a short-tempered, misanthrope of an Alpha. Instead of two willing betas, Derek found himself with two obnoxious bullies with no. fucking. concept. of what discretion meant. But at least they didn't mind getting their hands dirty.

That had seemed like a good thing before they'd come running into the warehouse dragging something bloody and limp that looked suspiciously like another teenager.

Derek inhaled slowly, and paused in mid push-up. He stared at them, at Erica's ridiculously low cut shirt and Isaac's belligerent look of defiance, and got to his feet fluidly.

"What's this?"

Isaac let the body tumble to the floor, and Derek stared down at Stiles without blinking for a long moment. The kid was wrecked. His skin was ashen, and blood was smeared across his face and staining his lips. The thin, cotton polo he wore was nearly ripped off and his hands were slack. If it weren't for the fact that Derek could hear his heartbeat, he'd think the kid was dead.

"What. Is. This?" Derek repeated slowly, lifting his eyes to pin his two betas with a lethal glare. "The Kanima?"

"No," Erica said. She crossed her arms over her chest and shrugged. "He mouthed off at us about Scott and Allison. Isaac went ballistic. Stiles never quite figured out when to shut up as a kid."

"I hit him like two times," Isaac drawled, still looking defiant and annoyed. "Not my fault he can't take a punch."

Derek's jaw clenched, and he had Isaac pinned against the side of the train car before he'd made a conscious decision to do so. "And now why does that sound familiar?" he asked coldly. "I wonder where you've heard that before."

Isaac went still, and a hint of discomfort crept into his expression. It didn't take long for him to wrench his gaze away from Derek's glare.

"Don't make me regret turning you."


"Shut your mouth," Derek growled at Erica, not sparing the blonde girl a glance. "I didn't give you the bite so that you could beat the shit out of people who mouth off at you. You're lucky he's alive, or I would end you now."

Isaac swallowed visibly. He gave a curt nod, still not meeting Derek's eyes. "I'm sorry."

Derek released him with a sneer. "Why did you bring him here?"

"He's hurt." Isaac shrugged stiffly. He glanced at Erica before focusing on where Stiles was sprawled on the floor. "I didn't mean to hurt him that bad, okay? Where else was I supposed to take him? I'm not exactly going to go waltzing into the ER."

"At least we didn't leave him there," Erica chimed in. She flipped long tendrils of blonde hair over her shoulder, and frowned down at Stiles. For all that she was going for nonchalance and mean-girl bitchiness, she couldn't take her eyes off the kid.

Derek stared at her for a long moment before shaking his head. "You brought him so you deal with him."


"Deal with it," Derek said. His hazel eyes moved from Isaac to Erica. "You better have him put back together by the time I get back."

He stared hard at Erica and Isaac before allowing his eyes to drop to Stiles again. He was sorry that he had. For all that Stiles was slim and coltish, always claiming he was easily injured and nothing but a fragile human, the kid clearly had fortitude. He looked like he'd just been mauled but his large, brown eyes were half open and they were focused on Derek with obvious clarity.

Derek froze, and was caught by the stare. His first instinct was to assure the kid that no one was going to dump his body, but Isaac and Erica were looking on, and Derek didn't do it. Stiles may have been his first choice for a beta, but Derek wasn't going to condemn Isaac in front of Stiles for a second time.

Isaac was in his pack. Not Stiles.

Schooling his face into cold indifference, Derek narrowed his eyes at Stiles. "Focus more on self preservation and less on defending Scott's honor. You'll live longer."

He didn't know what he'd expected. A glare or a smart ass retort, maybe. But watching Stiles' eyebrows draw together and his mouth curl down into a frown as he gave Derek a confused look of surprise hadn't been it.

Derek was happy when the kid's eyes slid shut again, because what the fuck. What the fuck was that even about?

Storming out before anyone else could piss him off further, Derek tried to outrun the beginning traces of guilt by tearing through the outskirts of town in his Camaro. For all that he warned his fledgling pack about keeping a low profile, it didn't stop him from going fast enough to potentially draw the attention of every cop in the vicinity.

But he was pissed. Pissed at Isaac and Erica for being brainless morons. Pissed at Stiles for being moronically loyal to Scott. Pissed at himself for giving a shit about Stiles and that look of betrayal.

What did Stiles even have to be betrayed about? They were not friends. They were not close to friends. They barely interacted. They barely knew each other.

Fingers flexing against the steering wheel, Derek clenched his jaw in annoyance because he knew that wasn't entirely true. Maybe there hadn't been friendship, but there had been grudging camaraderie and interaction that lacked the awkward strain that Derek usually dealt with around other people. That was why he'd wanted the fucking brat in his pack.

Since coming back to Beacon Hills, he'd interacted with two people on a semi-regular basis: Scott and Stiles. And Stiles had been the one that he'd sought out for help on more than one occasion. Stiles had been the one to save him on more than one occasion.

And Derek had just stepped over that slim, damaged body with carefully crafted indifference to save face for his poorly put together pack. If there was ever a mote of a possibility of Stiles coming over to Derek's side, he'd just dashed that to hell. Going back to crush Isaac's face was starting to seem more and more tempting. Derek stayed away until he'd squelched the urge.

It was after midnight by the time he returned to the warehouse, and his anger had calmed to a simmer. Isaac was nowhere to found, Boyd was wisely keeping away from this clusterfuck, and Erica was standing around looking put out by her task.

"Is he mobile?" Derek asked curtly.

"His mouth sure is," she replied flatly. "But uh, no. Not really. I tried to get him up and he screamed like a girl. I think it's his ribs. He was also more of a space case than usual at first. A few were-punches and he's concussed or something. Aside from that, it looked worse than it was. We've just got ourselves a bleeder."


"Am I free to go now, pack-daddy?"

Derek stared at her, and she held up her hands in submission.

"I don't know why I'm getting your death grills since I'm the one who put the brakes on Isaac's rampage and thought to text the Sheriff with some excuse for his kid going AWOL." Erica raised her eyebrows at him. "But whatever. I'll come back to wake him in a couple of hours."

When he continued to stare silently, she threw her hands up and walked away.

Derek didn't move until the click of her heels faded. His eyes shifted to the train car that had become his home for the past few weeks. There was one lamp that stayed plugged in with a fire warden's nightmare of extension cords, and a twin-sized mattress that lay on the floor. Stiles was undoubtedly stretched across that mattress and something about that made Derek tense.

He stepped into his makeshift bedroom and looked down. Despite the lamplight, there were shadows splayed across the kid's pale skin that emphasized the bruises, and made him look like an extra in a war movie. For all that Erica and Isaac kept harping about 'two hits' or 'a few punches', Isaac had done enough damage to apparently cause a concussion and bruised ribs at the very least.

She'd done a good job at cleaning him up, though. The blood had been wiped away, and there was an icepack sitting precariously on Stiles' bare torso. The sight of him half-naked caught Derek off guard more than the distraction of those full lips slack and unmoving. His body was more defined than Derek had expected, and he found himself momentarily distracted by the trail of dark hair that went down the flat, hard stomach.

Tearing his eyes away with a scoff, Derek grabbed the cell phone from the floor. The attraction wasn't surprising. Beacon Hills was apparently full of ridiculously attractive teenagers. Stiles stood out the least, but he was the one that Derek preferred to the rest.

Scrolling through the phone quickly, Derek verified that Erica had at least covered her and Isaac's asses by texting Sheriff Stilinski. It was a Friday, and she'd claimed that he was staying at Scott's. Derek seriously doubted that they had sleepovers, but some of Stiles' own lies had been decidedly less efficient when dealing with his father and Derek doubted that the man would be surprised. Maybe he'd even think his son was finally getting laid.

Derek's eyes flicked back to Stiles, inevitably drawn to the subtly defined muscles that were always hidden by oversized hoodies and flannel shirts. His gaze slid down to the angle of a sharp hipbone, the long slack fingers, and then back up to Stiles' chest and the elegant stretch of his bare neck.


Meeting the barely-open brown eyes, Derek shoved the phone into his own pocket. "Stop getting involved with things that don't concern you, and you won't find yourself in these situations."

"Scott..." Stiles' eyebrows drew together, and he licked his lips. He shifted on the bed, winced, and then seemed to put real effort into not speaking so sluggishly. "He's my best friend. I know you can't wrap your freakishly antisocial, semi-psychotic brain around that, but that's what friends do. Defend each other no matter what."

Derek crossed his arms over his chest. "So he must always do that for you too."

He could see Stiles' mouth automatically forming a 'yes' but then the kid faltered and settled on glaring. Derek's lips turned up slightly at the corner.

"That's what I thought."

"Oh, screw you, Derek. Your judgement is seriously like, not even something I'm gonna take into consideration when making life choices. You're all like, oh look at me, I'm an alpha, let me be the creepiest alpha ever and Bruce Wayne some random, damaged kids before turning them into leather wearing prostitots!"

Derek's eyes narrowed.

"That's what I thought," Stiles mimicked. He looked very pleased with his own wit despite the fact that he was beaten up and being nursed back to health by the weres that had beaten him.

"Maybe I should have let them dump you somewhere to bleed."

"And maybe I should have let your wolf ass drown."

"Are we really going to start comparing notes on who has saved whom how many times?"

"Uh, we can, 'cause I'm totally sure I'd win that one, baby. And that's why you're an asshole."

Derek exhaled slowly. He flexed his hands, and ignored the fact that the dig struck a nerve. Digs tended to do that when they were true.

"You're not as injured as you seemed. A concussion, bruised ribs-- not life threatening. As soon you can move without screaming in pain, you'll be home," he said flatly.

"What do you care if I can't move without screaming in pain?"

"I don't. But it will be harder for you to explain."

Stiles' lips pressed together into a thin line, and he looked away. "Whatever. I feel more with it than I did a few hours ago. Just get me some ibuprofen and keep up the ice packs, and I'll be out of your fur in a few. I'd rather bite my tongue off trying to stifle my unmanly cries of pain than stay here with you and your psycho cubs."

A low huff of incredulity escaped Derek before he could clamp down on it. "I defended you from Isaac before, you idiot. Do you think I'm going to put you before someone in my pack? You're being iced and drugged. Be happy for that. It's more than Scott is doing for you right now."

For the second time, Stiles seemed surprised into silence. His eyes opened wide and he gaped at Derek before finally saying: "Dude. What is with this random like--- hardon you have for Scott lately? I haven't seen this much resentment since my dad made me watch First Wives Club."

Derek gave him a flat look.

"Seriously. It's creeping my shit out. I thought you wanted him in your pack a few weeks ago, and now you think he sucks? You're the one that killed Uncle Pete and ruined his chances for a cure, bro."

"A cure," Derek scoffed.

"Uh, yeah. Just because you found three willing bitees doesn't mean everyone wants to be the wolfman," Stiles said, and managed to look condescending despite the bruises and lack of mobility. "Case in point: Peter offered me the bite, and I told him no."

Derek blinked. "What did you say?"

Stiles faltered, eyebrows drawing down. "I said-- I said he offered me the bite, and I said no."

This time when he said it, Derek honed in on Stiles' breathing, on his heartbeat, and he knew that the brief falter wasn't just out of confusion. Stiles wasn't as confident about that decision as he wanted to seem.


Stiles scowled. "What?"

Derek shrugged, and began walking backward to the door. "Rest up."

"Dude-- what? You can't just say interesting and then trot off. What kind of care is this, anyway? Leaving me alone in your creepy, subway car. You seriously need to develop better wolf powers. Doesn't dog saliva usually heal wounds or something?"

Stiles flushed red almost as soon as the words were out of his mouth but he just gave Derek a defiant glare instead of looking embarrassed. Derek paused at the door and let his eyes move over Stiles again.

"No. But we could try."

Stiles' mouth dropped open, and Derek shrugged. He turned away to hide the smirk that crept over his face, and left the train car. He walked back to the Camaro and slipped Stiles' phone from his pocket. A quick glance told him that Scott still hadn't texted to inquire about his absent friend.

Shaking his head, Derek got in the car and drove off to get the goddamned ibuprofen.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

The ibuprofen did close to nothing and by the next morning Stiles looked worse. His bruises were more pronounced, and he seemed to be in more pain when he tried to move. Derek kept his distance, and after realizing that Stiles still inhabited the warehouse, Isaac tried to do the same. He arrived with Boyd, who did not look very thrilled with his new pack. Boyd was interesting because he had the ability to look completely disgusted with people and their life choices without being overly judgmental about it.

They had just entered the tiny office that Derek was camped out in when a loud, sharp cry cut through the silence. There was a clatter and a shuffle that likely meant that Stiles was once again attempting to become mobile on his own.

"You did this to him, why don't you go help the guy?" Boyd asked, staring at Isaac with an unimpressed look on his face. "Or are you just going to hide in here until he crawls back home?"

"I maintain that he did this to himself," Isaac retorted.

"And I maintain that that's some freeze dried bullshit," Boyd said dryly. "Seriously, man. I can tell you're feeling guilty. You let the were-rage rile you up too much yesterday. I get it. But don't justify your fuck-up by being more of a dick. Just go help him get to the bathroom or whatever the hell he's trying to do. "

"Yeah, I don't see that--"

"Go," Derek snapped.

Isaac glared at the two of them sullenly before striding out of the office. Derek shook his head, and went back to his examination of the book that lay open in front of him. It was a barely-legible tome about mythical creatures, but so far he hadn't found anything helpful about the Kanima.

"Maybe we should just take him home," Boyd said after a moment of watching Derek read. "He's pretty pissed and I don't blame him. Forcing him to stay around Isaac and Erica isn't going to really lessen the Stilinksi rage which pretty much just means he's going to talk shit until Isaac wolfs out again."

"There'll just be questions if he goes home looking like that."

"...And you think that's gonna improve by tomorrow night?"

Derek slammed the book shut and glared at Boyd. At this point, Boyd was the only member in his pack that didn't make him want to hit things on a regular basis. But Derek was not really in the mood to be questioned. Especially not when the questioning made it obvious that he had ulterior motives for keeping Stiles around.

"If he isn't better by tomorrow, I have another plan."

"What is it?"

Derek could very clearly hear Isaac making condescending comments about Stiles likely wanting him to 'hold it' for him as well, and Stiles referring to Isaac and the rest of the pack as 'Goldilocks and the three douche bags'.

A muscle in Derek's jaw ticked, and he tuned out the peripheral noise in order to focus on Boyd again.

"Don't worry about it. I need you to head out and keep an eye on the Argents. At this point, you're the least conspicuous person here, and Scott and his band of idiots aren't going to cooperate with us anymore."

"Not with us planning to gut Lydia after maiming Stiles."

Derek stared at Boyd, and didn't bother to reply. Boyd held the glare for half a minute before rolling his broad shoulders and inclining his head. He took the unspoken order to get lost with much more grace than Isaac ever did, and ducked out of the office.

Exhaling slowly, Derek picked up the book and began leafing through it to find his page. Figuring out how to defeat something that could paralyze him with one swipe of a claw was not going well. After hours of research, he'd found next to nothing useful about the Kanima. He'd only remembered the name because of an old myth his grandparents had told them; the kind of myth that had been told with the sole purpose of trying to keep young werewolves from biting humans.

"Seriously, Lahey, just back off. Why don't you go find a tree to pee on or a fox to eat sashimi-style or something?"

"You know, I'm usually not the type of guy to kick a skinny little nerd when he's already down, but--"

Derek stood up with a growl and shut the book again. If it was going to go on like this, then Boyd had a goddamn point. He'd been planning to let Stiles cool his heels for longer, but this wasn't going to work. If anything, it was just going to annoy the hell out of him.

He strode out of the office and towards the back of the warehouse, his sneakers noiseless despite his fast pace. When he reached the train graveyard, his nostrils flared and the thin thread of irritation blossomed into full-on impatient, anger.

Isaac was standing over Stiles and looking fully ready to stomp the kid out, while Stiles sat on the floor half-slumped against the train car. He was looking up at Isaac from beneath his long lashes, and his mouth was twisted in a sarcastic smile.

"Isaac, get lost."

"With pleasure."

Isaac disappeared from the area with inhuman speed, and Derek crossed his arms over his chest as he stared down at Stiles. The sun was streaming in through the filter of grime on the windows, and from the angle that he was sprawled at, everything about Stiles was highlighted in shades of gold. His eyes and hair looked tawny instead of brown, and the position made him look oddly delicate despite the fact that Derek would have never thought to describe the kid as such before. However, between the curved moue of his injured mouth, and the way his lanky body was carelessly slumped... the description was oddly accurate.

Scoffing and moving a step closer, it occurred to Derek that he hadn't had sex for months-- not since his last, frantic, one-night stand in New York. He didn't trust people enough to get that close on a regular basis, but the way his body was reacting to this ridiculous, big-mouthed teenager was making it clear that it had been too long.

"Do you want to be permanently disfigured?"

Stiles shrugged, looking for all the world like he lay battered and bruised in abandoned warehouses every day. "It depends on the context. If it means I'm going to become an Internet sensation, pity-party star and celebrities are going to go to the prom with me, then yes. If it means I'm just going to die alone and unsexed, then no."

Derek stared at some point above Stiles' head until he found the patience to dignify the reply with an answer.

"Stop antagonizing Isaac. Didn't you learn anything from watching Scott try to control himself when he was new? You're supposed to be the smart one, but you're making me rethink that assessment."

"Ohhh, assessment." Stiles pushed himself up on his hands, causing the muscles in his biceps to bunch up even as his collarbone stuck out. "Do you have a little tally card for useful attributes in a human or are you just comparing me to Scott? Because as much as I love him like a bro, we all know he can't date a girl and exist functionally in this realm at the same time on a regular basis."

"Funny. Now get up."

Stiles made a face. "I'm gathering my strength, okay?"

"Gather it faster and get up off the floor. Or are you waiting for me to carry you?"

"Yeah, because I seriously want to be your maiden."

Derek grabbed Stiles by the scruff of his neck and started to haul him up. The teenager released a startled cry of pain, and Derek paused. He looked at the side of Stiles' face and frowned when he saw the agonized expression that twisted it.

Sighing in exasperation, Derek wrapped his arm around Stiles and moved him with as much patience and care as he could manage. Which wasn't a lot. Stiles at least had the decency to bite back the majority of his pained yelps, and Derek had slightly more respect for him by the time they returned to the bed.

"Christ, you're like a bull in a china shop. My delicate skin being the china," Stiles panted as he groped around blindly for the icepack. "How do you know I'm bruised and not... broken? I don't think this amount of pain is natural. Or like. Necessary."

Derek grabbed the icepack and dropped it onto Stiles' chest.

"You'll be fine."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence Dr. Quinn, but this doesn't feel anywhere near to fine." Stiles wet his lips and shifted again, eyebrows drawing together sharply with the motion. "Christ. What am I going to tell my dad? That I fell down the stairs? Jackson mauled me in Lacrosse practice? And I'm probably going to be grounded for a lifetime when I go home. It's bad enough that I have to deal with Lahey being in my face while I suffer, but I'm gonna get in trouble for this too."

"No you won't. Erica texted your father."

"Oh." Stiles frowned as if he couldn't figure out if this made his plight better or more alarming. "What about Scott?"

Derek raised an eyebrow. "He doesn't seem to notice you're gone."

For a fragment of a moment, Derek thought that he had struck a nerve. Stiles stared at him blankly, his expressive face unmoving and gaze steady. But then Stiles shrugged his shoulders briefly, and whatever had crossed his mind was dismissed. "He's probably with Allison."

Incredulous, Derek stared at Stiles, switched his gaze to a less aggravating point beyond the wall, and then looked back. It amazed him how unerringly loyal the kid was to his friend, and Derek couldn't think of a single reason why Scott deserved it. He didn't know how their friendship had been pre-Allison and pre-bite, but Stiles did not seem to be the first on Scott's list of priorities anymore.

"I find it amazing," Derek said in a tone that made it clear how not-amazing he thought it truly was. "That you and Scott fail to see how dangerous this thing will Allison is. She's an Argent and whether you two morons believe it or not, one day she's going to make a choice between her family and him, and you're going to be surprised at the outcome."

"Uh huh."

Derek narrowed his eyes at Stiles gestured towards the direction of the woods. "They're bloodthirsty murderers. Or did you miss that little fact when they strung that Omega up in the woods?"

"Actually, I did miss that. Which I'm pretty pleased about since it saved me from post-traumatic stress inducing nightmares," Stiles retorted. "And if you think I'm unaware of the Argent issue, I'm not. But I trust Scott, and I'm trying to trust Allison too because she's been with us so far. If we went around blaming people for their psycho, nutjob family members, you'd be up shit creek without a paddle too, baby."

Shaking his head, Derek just gave him a narrow-eyed stare.

"What the hell is that face?" Stiles demanded. "Are you seriously giving me a disappointed stare right now? Like, after your band of baby pups tried to eviscerate me for daring to sass them? I mean if we're talking questionable alliances, that's another place you f-f-faaaail at."

"Don't you ever shut the hell up?"

"Yeah, when I'm off licking my wounds in the privacy of my own home." Stiles' voice went an octave higher in the middle of the sentence, and he flushed but finished anyway.

Derek's eyes automatically dropped to the scratches on Stiles' torso, and the cut at the side of his mouth. Speeding up human healing wasn't actually something he could do, but it would have been a lie to say that making the false claim to Stiles hadn't crossed Derek's mind for a moment. Dragging his tongue against smooth, untouched skin was an idea that made Derek warm with something other than anger. It also would have been worth it just to shock the kid into shutting the hell up for a change.

"Uh, why are you looking at me like that?"

"Like what?"

"Like you want to eat my face."

"I'm not going to start giving you a tongue bath, if that's what you're worried about," Derek said flatly.

"Good. 'Cause I don't want you to." Stiles frowned at his own comeback, and shifted on the twin bed again. "Uh. Not that I think you'd want to. Despite your creepy comment last night."

Derek rolled his eyes, and exhaled slowly before crouching by the side of the bed. Stiles continued to give him alarmed looks, which only increased when Derek began to prod at the motley of bruises on his torso. It didn't look good, and Derek wished he actually could do something to speed up human healing, and not just because he had a keen interest in causing those half-gasps and high pitched sounds to pour out of Stiles' mouth for more interesting reasons than pain.

...It had definitely been too long since he'd had sex.


"...Derek," Stiles said, still looking at the older man as if he was a serial killer.

"Believe it or not, I don't think you're a moron."

Light brown eyes blinked at Derek for a moment before Stiles gave a short nod. "Well, okay. That's.... something."

Making a face, Derek flattened his palm against Stiles' ribcage. "You've helped me, and you're useful. I'd trust you more if you weren't so blindly loyal to Scott. But Isaac is pack. Wise up, and don't let this happen again."

"Uh, okay."

Releasing a frustrated growl, Derek pressed down until Stiles hissed softly in pain. "Do you get what I'm saying to you?"

"Man, I don't..." Stiles trailed off and shrugged, squirming under Derek's hand. Nevertheless, he held Derek's intense gaze for a long moment, and after awhile he slowly nodded. "Fine. You're not just being an asshole, but since me and Scott are the ones drawing lines in the sand, you gotta stick with your own over us. Gotcha."


"I get it. I'm a little surprised that you bothered to explain it, but I get it." Stiles squirmed again, and glanced down at Derek's hand. "Oh, and FYI? Isaac isn't the best beta I've ever seen... Not that I've seen many. But aside from being a bastard to me, he doesn't seem too keen on the whole... unquestioning loyalty thing."


The desire to smash Isaac through a wall returned, but Derek didn't let it show in his face. Instead, he flicked his eyes over Stiles. "Not everyone is as devoted as you."

"What, like that's bad?"

"No." Derek's mouth pursed. "Not at all."

Stiles tilted his head to the side slightly as he watched Derek. His brows went from furrowed to arched, and his lips parted slightly. He looked taken aback, and Derek wondered if the kid was ever going to get it. But if Stiles did, he didn't let on, and instead he just looked down at Derek's hand again.

"Dude, why are you touching me?"

"I was holding you in place."

"Yeah,why?" Stiles shifted again, and wet his lips nervously. Derek's mouth twisted into something that wasn't quite a smirk, and Stiles gave him a baleful glare. "Man, you better not be sniffing me out. I know you guys can do that, and let me tell you this right now, it's creepier than you lurking in the locker room."

Derek scoffed and watched as the rosy flush spread on Stiles' pale skin. "I don't regularly sniff people, you idiot. There are more obvious clues about the fact you're horny." He glanced deliberately at the tightening fabric around the crotch of Stiles' pants.

Stiles rolled his eyes upward, and released an embarrassed groan. "Look, I'm a teenage boy, okay? A curious, bisexual, teenage boy, who typically jerks off two times a day. Things get me riled up. And since I'm a key player in this violent, supernatural new version of reality, apparently that now includes werewolf sociopaths with an affinity for skin tight t-shirts. Deal with it."

"Noted. But that's not why I'm touching you."

"Then why are you? Jesus, you're like the most frustrating person to have a conversation with ever."

Derek didn't bother to respond, and instead closed his eyes. He could hear Stiles' heart pounding faster, and his breath coming harder, but Derek ignored that and focused. There were aborted words forming on Stiles' mouth that dropped off the moment that the first wave of heat flooded up Derek's forearm. The half-words turned into a quiet inhale of breath, and Derek opened his eyes once the fiery sensation became continuous.

The veins in his forearm bulged out obscenely, and they'd become an unnatural, inky color as Derek absorbed the inflammation and pain from Stiles' torso. Looking away from the sight, Derek instead focused on Stiles. His eyes were wide but as the scorching feeling became more intense for Derek, Stiles released a ragged sigh and tilted his head back. His lips were damp and parted, and Derek watched as Stiles adam's apple bobbed in his throat.

All of the random thoughts about licking and the idle observations of the kid's body came together in that moment, and Derek's dick hardened as he stared Stiles' mouth. He wondered if this was how Stiles looked when he got off: head thrown back, and mouth slack, wet and bruised-- but from biting down on that full lower lip instead of a werewolf's punch. It got worse when the kid released a shudder, and Derek's gut tightened as a vicious desire to shove his leaking cock into that lush mouth nearly made him lose it.

Derek didn't bother to rip his eyes away, even when he finally moved his hand and the flood of fire ceased.

"Fuck," Stiles breathed. "What was that?"

"You're not healed," Derek said shortly. His voice was pitched lower than it had been before, and it must have caught Stiles' attention because he looked up. "But the pain will be bearable until you see a doctor."

Nodding dumbly, Stiles splayed his own hand against his ribcage. He didn't look away from Derek, but when that pink tongue darted out to wet Stiles' lips yet again, Derek broke the stare. If it hadn't been for the kid's condition, there was absolutely zero doubt that Derek would have climbed over that lanky body and ground against it until Stiles begged for more.

"Thanks," Stiles said, sounding slightly strained.

Derek stood up.

"I guess you don't owe me for the pool anymore."

"I still do," Derek said. "But now I don't owe you for Isaac."

There was a creak as Stiles got up from the bed. He still inhaled sharply when he moved, but it wasn't near the caliber of pained cries that he'd been releasing earlier.

"Thanks anyway, dude. You didn't have to do that. I've never even seen Scott do that so like, I guess it must be for special circumst--"

"Go home, Stiles."

"Fine. Jesus. Way to be a total killjoy."

There was an explosion of a sigh behind Derek. Stiles was close enough that his breath tickled the skin on the back of Derek's neck. He curled his hands into fists, and glared at the wall, and was thankful for self-control.

"Do you want a ride back?"

"Nah, coming up with an excuse for these awesome new battle scars will just be harder if I come cruising up with Mr. Tall, Dark and Studly. I'll just walk back to my jeep."

Derek frowned, and finally allowed himself to turn. Stiles was hovering nearby and looking slightly awkward, as if he didn't know what to do now that Derek had been nice to him. Somewhat nice.

"Don't forget that it's not only Scott and my pack that are targets for the hunters now. They know you're with us. With him."

Stiles grinned, all self-assured brashness and ridiculous charm. "Thanks for the concern, dude, but I'll be cool. They haven't messed with me so far. And if anything happens, I'll call Scott."

"And if he doesn't pick up?"

There was a pause; another one of those moments where Stiles' face went blank before he shrugged. "Well, then I guess I'll pray that all of those moves that I learned on Ninja Warrior finally pay out, or that the Argents are too stupid to look up trees?"

"Moron." Derek tapped the pocket where Stiles' Droid was tucked. "I put my number in your phone. Use it. Sparingly."

Rolling his eyes, Stiles leaned forward and wiggled his fingers into the pocket of Derek's jeans. Derek stiffened and nearly took a step back. The kid was either fucking oblivious to the fact that he was two seconds away from being pounded in a warehouse, or he liked being a tease now that Derek had made everything nice and obvious.

"Yeah, 'cause without that warning I'd have been calling to gab about boys and Lydia on Friday nights. When did you even discover technology, and Jesus, how tight are these jeans?"

Derek shoved Stiles back, extracted the phone, and tossed it at his bare chest. He looked at the teenager skeptically for a moment, and then reached down to grab one of his t-shirts from the back of a chair. "Go home, Stiles."

Stiles put the phone in his own pocket, and snatched the t-shirt. He dragged it over his head, and scoffed when it hung loosely on his lanky frame. "This better be clean."

"Go. Home. Stiles. Isn't that what you wanted to do?"

"Yes. Obviously."

"So then get out."

"...And just when I think your wolf ass might be getting cuddlier."

Derek shook his head and looked down at the state of his bed. It was wrinkled, bloodstained in spots, and smelled like Stiles. He was contemplating tormenting himself with the kid's scent all night or procuring a new set when Stiles' slightly limping gait paused by the entrance of the train car.

"Seriously, though. I'm a pain in the ass and I like to bust your balls a lot, but me getting my ass kicked by Isaac had nothing to do with you, so... thanks again. For real. You didn't have to do that."

Glancing up just as Stiles flashed one of his faint, crooked smiles, Derek hesitated before nodding shortly. There was probably something better he could have said at that moment. Something to prove that he wasn't just an antisocial, semi-sociopathic, misanthrope of an Alpha with an affinity for tight t-shirts and smart-mouthed teenage boys. But all Derek said was:

"I know."

Stiles scoffed and for the first time he didn't bother trying to hide the thorough once over that he gave Derek before waving half-assedly and disappearing out the door.

Chapter Text

"Is it true?"

Derek ignored Boyd at first, and focused on listening to what was going on inside of the McCall residence. He could clearly hear Lydia, Jackson, Allison and Stiles, but no Scott. Crossing his arms over his chest and wondering if Scott's absence was part of some kind of grand Stilinski plan, Derek finally looked over at his newest beta.


Boyd frowned, and glanced at Isaac and Erica briefly before going on. "Is it true that you bit Jackson, hoping that he'd die from it?"

"Who cares?" Erica was practically bouncing on the balls of her feet in anticipation, already spoiling for the looming fight. "Jackson's a piece of shit. Is there one of us that he didn't treat like complete garbage, or am I missing something?"

"You don't just kill someone because they're an asshole," Boyd practically growled. His disapproving stare moved from Erica to Isaac. "I thought we already learned that lesson."

"I seriously hope you're not comparing Jackson's level of asshole to Stiles," Erica said, eyebrows rising.

"Both of you shut up." Derek gave them a narrow-eyed glare. His phone vibrated in his pocket, but he ignored it. "Why don't you try focusing on the homicidal shifter that's in that house instead of questioning me based on something Scott said."

Boyd's frown didn't fade but he did at least turn his attention back to the house.

The sun had all but set, and there was still no sign of Scott. Derek had no idea what kind of plan could have led to Scott thinking that it was a good idea to leave Stiles alone with the Kanima and four werewolves, but it wasn't surprising. The kid never thought things through fully, although it was surprising that Stiles hadn't come up with something better.

Removing his phone from his pocket, Derek walked away from his betas a few paces and looked down. He had three text messages, all from Stiles.

are you really doing this?

dude, can you please re-think this? You're going to kill A TEENAGE GIRL and you don't even have PROOF???

just when I think you're slightly fucking okay, you go sociopathic killer again

Derek's jaw clenched and he flicked another glance at the house. He honed in on Stiles' voice easily enough inside of the residence. He was talking to Allison, who then proceeded to call Scott. It was amazing. The younger werewolf really had left his friend alone with five supernatural creatures, all of which were presently a potential threat to him in some way.

Shaking his head, Derek thumbed out a text in return.

Be smart, and leave. That teenage girl is the killer. I'm not going to ignore that because you have wet dreams about her.

"So are we doing this or what?" Isaac asked impatiently. "We've been loitering out here forever already."

Inside the house, Derek could hear Stiles advising Allison to shoot him in the head with a crossbow. Apparently he hadn't appreciated the text.

Rolling his eyes, Derek gestured at Isaac sharply. "Go. And do it clean. No games. And do not unnecessarily go after Stiles."

Isaac nodded and disappeared into the darkness, but Erica looked at her Alpha with a knowing smirk. "Getting protective?"

"Preventing an unnecessary bloodbath," he retorted. "This is about the Kanima, not people's personal relationships. The sooner all of you idiots get that, the better."

In the end, the warnings didn't matter. He'd sent Erica and Isaac in to handle the situation, something that Boyd had immediately questioned. The curt conversation had started with the suggestion that Derek didn't want to get his hands dirty himself, but somehow it ended with Boyd instead accusing Derek of not really wanting to have to hurt Lydia at all. He claimed that it was the only realistic explanation as to why Derek had sent his two less capable betas, knowing they would be beaten easily if Scott showed up.

Which is exactly what happened.

Having very little interest in Boyd's opinion, Derek ignored him. But he couldn't deny that he'd been stalling. Slivers of doubt had replaced his certainty about who the Kanima was, and the doubt had proved to be justified when Jackson wound up revealing himself as the abomination.

Unsurprisingly, Boyd had correctly called the outcome of Erica and Isaac possibly facing off with Scott. To the guy's credit, he didn't throw it in Derek's face when Scott tossed the two blond betas off of his porch effortlessly. Boyd just shook his head and looked mildly embarrassed to be associated with all of them.

The twin realizations that Scott had been right about Jackson all along as well as the fact that he was the alpha of his own primarily human pack, made Derek want to smash something. Or maybe just get the smug, 'I-Told-You-So' look off Stiles' face. Possibly by brutally fucking his mouth.

The rest of the night was a wash, and didn't do much to help Derek's mood. As usual nothing turned out right. Not only had Argents miraculously shown up, but the Kanima had survived a torn out throat and being shot multiple times. Although Derek supposed that at least he hadn't wound up paralyzed this time so that was something.

After spending the rest of that night and the majority of the next day searching for Jackson and then completely failing at researching the Kanima, Derek was frustrated enough to find himself driving back to the center of Beacon Hills. It was far from the first time he found himself seeking out Stiles, but doing it now that he knew Stiles belonged to Scott nearly made Derek turn the hell around more than once.

But Stiles was good at making connections, at seeing how the abstracts fit into the bigger picture, and that was what Derek needed. He needed to understand the pattern of the Kanima's attacks; the triggers that caused Jackson to transform. So he shoved away the resentment at Scott being an alpha, of Stiles' being his damn beta, and parked at the end of the street.

Derek shut the car off and stared at the Stilinski house for several moments before rallying himself enough to shove the door open. However, just as he started to get out, he saw Stiles jogging out of the house and heading towards his jeep. Derek waited twenty seconds before following.

It didn't take much effort to follow a human, so Derek parked and switched to foot as soon as he realized that Stiles was heading to an area that was deserted enough to make inconspicuous following impossible. Several minutes later, he watched as Stiles parked his jeep and began picking his way through the woods at the Beacon Hills Nature Preserve.

Derek followed for five minutes before Stiles' complete lack of stealth began to irritate him.

"What are you doing?"


Stiles ducked his head and spun around with his hands held out from him, as if he was preparing to shove away any attackers. Derek raised an eyebrow.


"Jesus, what the hell-- are you trying to give me a heart attack with your stupid werewolf... silent stalking?"

Derek stared at him, and didn't bother pointing out that he hadn't even been going out of his way to be completely silent.

"I'm-- Allison and Scott are meeting here so her parents don't spazz out," Stiles said, frowning at Derek. "Now why the hell are you following me?"

"I want to know what you know," Derek replied bluntly as he moved closer. He stopped when they were only a hand's length away from each other.

Stiles arched an eyebrow and released a half-scoff, half-mocking laugh. "Dude. Why should I tell you anything? We tried to share info before and you still came charging over with your biker puppies all in a lather about killing Lydia."

"That was then. This is now."

Stiles scrunched up his face, and pointed at Derek. "Thanks, Captain Obvious. But you're such a hardcore failure at working together that it seems pointless. Like, you didn't want to even consider that it was Jackson. I don't get it. Were you having some kind of denial, guilt crisis because you're the one who made the Kanima?"

Derek's eyes narrowed into slits, and his hands balled up. Somehow Stiles always managed to get straight to the goddamn heart of the matter. He always managed to make a dig that actually hurt. "Why should I feel guilt over that?" he asked stiffly.

"Gee, I dunno, because if you'd never decided to start collecting puppies, Jackson would have never turned into a were-lizard who murders people! When it comes down to it, you're just as much to blame as he is, Derek."

The words stated so bluntly actually made Derek recoil. He tried to force himself to mask it, and to swallow the guilt that instantly compacted onto his shoulders with those words. He grit his teeth and for a moment said nothing at all. But somehow Stiles saw through it, and his smart ass, incredulous expression gave way to uncertainty.

Derek shook his head in disgust. "Forget it. We can just keep operating separately."

"Dude, wait--" Stiles took a step forward and sighed. He looked around them for a moment as if searching for more words now that he'd blurted out the first two. "Look, I'm not trying to be a dick. But you're frustrating as hell. And it is true that you just want to kill everyone without even trying... any other options. Not gonna lie, I suggested maybe killing Jackson would be the easiest option too, but you can't deny that you're the one who changed him."

"I didn't change him just because I was bored and wanted puppies," Derek grit out darkly. "When you become an alpha, something happens to you. You get this compulsion to change people-- to create a pack for yourself. That's why Peter bit Scott, and that was why I gave Jackson what he wanted. Don't talk about things that you don't understand, Stiles."

"How am I supposed to understand it when you don't tell anyone anything!" Stiles cried, throwing his arms up in frustration. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe we'd be interested in knowing that little tidbit so we didn't just think you'd suddenly gone bite-happy?"

Derek released a short bark of laughter at that. "Since when do you ever wait for actual facts before jumping to conclusions about me?" he demanded. "You both assumed I bit Scott, you assumed I killed my own sister, and you really believe I want to kill people just because I enjoy killing. Do I look like an Argent to you?"

"Well you sure as hell seem to like going after my friends," Stiles said with a shrug.


"Yeah, friend--"

Not bothering to wait for end of that sentence, Derek closed the space between them and fisted his hands in Stiles' jacket. He slammed Stiles against one of the trees that loomed around them, and leaned in close. Derek could see him automatically wanting to pull away, and he could hear the kid's heart pounding faster but instead of fighting, Stiles just stared at him.

"You really are fucking naive, aren't you? Friends? Are you kidding?" Derek pulled Stiles forward before shoving him backwards again. "I get your thing for Scott--"

"Wait, wha--"

"Shut. Up."

Stiles' mouth shut with an audible click of teeth when Derek released the low growl.

"You've known him since childhood, you trust him, you think he's good-- that's why you let it slide when he ignores you during a fucking crisis to make out with an Argent, or leaves you alone with supernatural monsters. But the others?" Derek scoffed, a dark, low sound that he put every ounce of his bitter disgust into.

"Does Allison even interact with you unless there's a Scott problem? And are you that desperate to be loved by someone other than your father that you'd refer to a girl who barely deigns to speak to you and a boy who only ridicules you, as your friends?"

This time it was one of Derek's digs that seemed to have struck deep. Stiles blinked and his eyebrows drew together slightly. His mouth parted as if he was going to say something, but no sound came out. The motion just drew Derek's attention to Stiles' lips. Even furious with the kid, all Derek could do was stare at that full, pink mouth.

The first time that he'd really interacted with Stiles had been from the back of a police car, and even then Derek had been distracted by those lips. Soft, damp, lush, needing to be touched. Derek found himself listing forward slightly and he didn't catch himself until Stiles swallowed, and leaned back.

"You think I'm just some pathetic tagalong?"

Derek forced his gaze to move up to Stiles' eyes. "I think you're the smartest one of them all. I count on you being the smartest one of them all. That's why I get annoyed when you act so fucking stupid."

Stiles flushed and reached up to dig his hands into Derek's arms, but he didn't bother trying to escape. After all of the times that Derek had shoved him against walls and doors, making it look like intimidation when he really just wanted an excuse to touch and get close, Stiles had to know that fighting was pointless when it was a werewolf pinning him down.

"What difference does it make to you, anyway? If I want to be a retarded kid, I can be a retarded kid who is--"

"It matters because I wanted you in my pack," Derek snarled, finally saying it outloud. "But instead you're in a pack with people who don't give a damn about you, and you're too much of an idiot to see it."

"I'm not a fucking idiot!" Stiles shouted. He slid his hands up and then braced them against Derek's chest as if trying to put space between their bodies. By then, they were nearly flush against each other. "And you don't even like me, dude. You try to say you think I'm useful, but it's so obvious you just think I'm some loser human kid."

When Stiles was angry, he changed in a way that made Derek want to push buttons until more of that seldom-seen side came out. He liked seeing that lanky body tense up, and that expressive face lock into hard, angry lines as his Stiles' jaw clenched and his throat worked. Most of all, Derek liked hearing the way Stiles' voice pitched lower and deeper when he got mad. He liked the brash way Stiles responded with his quick witted retorts despite being out-matched, because when he lost his temper he didn't give a fuck anymore and self-preservation didn't kick in until moments later.

Derek didn't know when this kid had become so distracting to him, but it was done and it was clearly not going to go away just by ignoring it. Even standing there in the middle of the Preserve with the Kanima on the loose and the Argents plotting against them, Derek could only rage about this stupid, asinine shit because it involved Stiles, and he wanted the kid in a way that was completely goddamn obscene.

"Why the hell are you looking at me like that?" Stiles demanded, voice strained as Derek crushed him against the tree.

"Why do you think?"

"Because you're a creep," Stiles snarled, tipping his head back. He stared at Derek through heavy-lidded eyes as his breath guttered out faster. "A creep who has a jones for lacrosse players."

"Not all of them."

Derek closed the space between them but Stiles turned his face before their mouths could touch. Undeterred, Derek dragged his lips down the side of Stiles' face and relished in the shudder that went through his body.

"Stop," Stiles said, but his voice was hoarse, and his fingers just dug into Derek's jacket harder.

Ignoring the word, Derek trailed open-mouth kisses to Stiles's jaw and then down to his neck. A low moan ripped out of Stiles' when Derek swept his tongue across a patch of smooth, unblemished skin. It only prompted him to suck a bruise into the same spot.

"Oh God." Stiles was tense but he didn't pull away. His breath hissed out when Derek's teeth grazed his neck. "Oh fuck. Stop. Just-- stop, please stop."

It was all ragged panting and slurred, moaning words. None of it even made Derek consider stopping. It didn't even make him pause. Stiles sounding wrecked and raw, voice thick with lust even as he tried to refuse... It just turned Derek on more. His dick was hard enough to drive him to act out every thought he'd ever had about this stupid, frustrating teenager. And when Stiles shoved at his shoulders even as he simultaneously ground his hips forward, Derek let the want take over completely.

He sucked another bruise into the base of Stiles' throat, nipped at his adam's apple, licked over his chin, and finally tasted the inside of that mouth. By then Stiles was a mess; trembling and groaning as he dropped pretenses and slammed his hips into Derek's. He braced his shoulders and back against the tree for leverage and engaged Derek in the kind of filthy rutting session that only a teenager could manage.

Stiles was going to come from grinding alone, that much was obvious. His face was flushed, and his breath was coming out in harsh, sobbing bursts that mixed with high-pitched, incoherent sounds that were going straight to Derek's dick. But he wanted more.

Derek backed off just enough to get his hands between them, and began ripping at Stiles' jeans. His needed to feel more, to make Stiles get louder, and it was making Derek's movements sharp and violent; he was using too much strength unnecessarily.

Belt loops tore, and the button on Stiles' jeans ripped off, but he didn't seem to notice the state of his clothes anymore. The sound he made when fingers grazed his dick through the thin cotton of his boxers pulled an answering groan out of Derek.

The intention had been to lick into that mouth and taste it, to touch Stiles, get him off, and leave him wanting more. But Derek found himself rucking down his own jeans and underwear as the kiss turned into nothing more than a desperate press of tongues. He began jerking them both off without ever having planned it that way, and he almost lost his mind when Stiles began to talk.

"Fuck," Stiles moaned against his lips. "Oh, oh God-- Oh fuck yes."

"Still want me to stop?" Derek grit out, voice rough and low. His gut tightened as his hand slid over their cocks, doing it rough and fast like he liked it. Like he'd seen Stiles do to himself before.

"No, just-- just--" Stiles broke off with an obscene moan, and fucked Derek's hand shamelessly. His eyes had shut at some point and he dropped his face to press into the crook of Derek's neck. "Oh my fucking God, make me come."

It didn't take long. The keening noises that were dripping from Stiles' mouth got louder, more frequent, and then he was coming with a shout. Watching Stiles lose it nearly pushed Derek over the edge. The kid came hard; spurt after spurt as he wailed and arched against the tree, eyes shut and mouth ajar as the shouts turned into low moans.

A low, frustrated sound escaped Derek that he wasn't even aware of making. Even crushing Stiles against the tree and sliding his hand over his cock with the kid's come covering it, it wasn't enough. He wanted more than his own hand. He needed it.

Tilting his forehead forward to press against Stiles', Derek stared into those wide, brown eyes. It didn't take long for Stiles to get the hint. He complied with barely any hesitation. He also went above and beyond expectation.

There was a moment of confusion when Stiles pulled away but the confusion evaporated when Stiles dropped to his knees and took the head of Derek's dick into his mouth. It was clumsy and definitely unpracticed, but watching his dick go in and out of that mouth had Derek bucking forward wildly. He gripped the back of Stiles' head with roughly no consideration, and fucked the kid's mouth as those lips got sticky with saliva and precome.

He was aware of himself moaning, he was aware of Stiles' name leaving his own mouth, and he was definitely aware of the way Stiles reached up to cup his balls. And it couldn't last. It didn't last. Derek came hard, and his vision nearly whited out when he did. Stiles swallowed some before pulling back with a strained cough, but he still reached out to pump Derek's cock until the ejaculation subsided.

Derek finally wrenched his eyes open to look down as Stiles slowly got to his feet. They stared at each other, neither of them speaking, and Stiles began adjusting his clothes. He was still flushed red, still wild-eyed and looking very obviously like he was on the heels of an intense orgasm, but he didn't say anything. Not at first.

There were probably a lot of things Derek could have said, but nothing brilliant came to mind. He fixed his own jeans and wiped his hands on the thighs, his eyes still fixated on Stiles. On that mouth. Those long fingers that were sticky from come.

"I gotta go," Stiles said finally.

Derek nodded curtly. "Keep this to yourself."

"No shit, Sherlock."

They stared at each other for a moment longer, and then Stiles turned and resumed trudging into the woods.