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A Truth Universally Acknowledged

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"Yeah, thanks, Tom. See you soon." The phone beeps as Tyler hangs up.

And Dylan gapes at him. Sideways and upside-down. He looks ridiculous, but that might just be because he's swinging belly-down in the impromptu hammock the crew have strung up for him, arms dangling off the edges like the limbs of a bobcat slung across a tree. He's turned his head aside to gawk at Tyler, his sleepy face gradually sharpening with awareness. It really is like being looked at by some forest-creature, golden-eyed and lazy and loose-limbed.


"Was that - was that the Tom that I think it was?"

"I don't know," Tyler answers, easily, leaning back in his own chair and cradling his beer. He pockets his mobile phone with his free hand. "Who was the Tom you were thinking of?"

"Tom Hanks, dude! The Tom Hanks! The guy who played your dad in The Road to Perdition!"

Tyler quirks a smile. "Yes, it was him."

Dylan gets up so fast, the hammock almost flips over and dumps him on the ground. He only manages to catch himself at the last moment, reaching out to grab Tyler's sleeve. He does that a lot, the sleeve-grabbing. Tyler wonders when it became a thing. "You - you keep in touch with him? Still?"

"Tom's got a soft spot for me, I guess. I mean, I was only a kid when I shot that movie with him. We've got some fond memories."

"Fond - this is awesome. You're friends with Tom Hanks! He's my hero!"

"He is?" That's odd. Tyler hadn't thought - but of course, Dylan has to have actors he admires. Role models. He's young enough for -

"Can I, um. Can I meet him? Please? Or just, uh. Get an autograph? I know this is weird, and - and I don't want you to feel pressured, or anything, and I'm sure you get loads of people asking you to do this all the time, but - "

"I don't." Tyler honestly doesn't get people asking him to do this all the time, because most people don't know how close he and Tom still are. He briefly considers turning Dylan down, but it's only a moment's speculation; he knows he won't be able to turn Dylan down. And not just because he can’t say no to Dylan’s wide, innocent, golden-brown eyes (who can?), but because Dylan's a genuinely sweet guy, and he deserves to meet his hero, if that's what he wants. Plus, Dylan's got amazing potential as an actor, and Tom's always believed in encouraging gifted youngsters. He won't mind seeing Dylan. Not at all. "Sure, I'll introduce you. I'm meeting Tom this Saturday, in Beverly Hills. You can come along."

"I. Really? You just - really?"

"Really, Dylan. It's no big deal. I think he'll enjoy talking to you, anyway."

"Oh, man. Oh, man. You're the best," and suddenly, Dylan's sprawled all over him, jungle-cat body and long arms wrapped around Tyler's head in some kind of bizarre, cuddly version of a WWF move, and Tyler has to laugh into Dylan's T-shirt and pat his back.

Tom and Dylan hit it off.

Seriously hit it off.

All instantaneous affection and a natural flow of humor, just two great guys with big hearts, joking around with each other, getting along.

Just as Tyler had predicted, Tom immediately recognizes Dylan’s talent and offers to mentor him. Promote him. Talk about him to certain studio execs. That kind of thing.

And Dylan's so overwhelmed, he literally stutters, “I - that - uh - I - ”

And then starts gibbering with gratitude, all shiny-eyed and blushy, and -

And Tyler starts getting jealous.

Well, he doesn't figure out that it's jealousy, at first. All he can tell is that he's uncomfortable, in a hot, irritated kind of way.

But he doesn’t know why, except that even when they get back to shooting Teen Wolf, he feels a flare of that same irritation whenever Dylan mentions Tom’s name, or how Tom’s been calling him, as well, isn’t that great? They’re both on Tom’s call-list, now! Tom-buddies!

Tom. Buddies.

When Tyler growls, Dylan startles and laughs, “Dude, you’re really getting into character, aren’t you?”

But no, that’s not what it is.

Tyler is not getting. Into. Fucking. Character.

He’s going out of his mind.

And what he doesn’t understand is, how can he like Tom - love Tom, even, Tom’s like a father-figure to him - and feel like he never wants to hear Tom’s name again?

What’s wrong with him?

Why is he -

Does Dylan have an older type, or something? Is he into daddies -



So that’s what it is.

And Tyler finally realizes why this whole thing has been getting on his nerves, so much. But he doesn’t want to act like a possessive loser, so he doesn’t say anything when Dylan’s actually talking to Tom, or about Tom.

Instead, he waits.

He waits until their usual post-shoot dinner in Dylan's trailer, for which Posey is also there, because Posey’s always there, damn him -

(No, wait, Tyler likes him, too, what is going on -

Have Dylan and Posey ever -


Tyler waits, like a good boy, until Posey sleepily mumbles something about smoking joints with the camera crew and leaves, and then -


Tyler walks up to Dylan, where Dylan’s putting their plastic plates in a bag to throw away, and Tyler says, point-blank:

“Are you single?”

And Dylan jumps, and drops the bag, and goes, “Huh?”

“Are you seeing anyone?” Tyler repeats, low and intent, and Dylan -

Dylan chuckles weakly, and -

Before he can turn this into another joke, Tyler quickly says, “Romantically. Are you seeing anyone romantically?”

Dylan swallows. “Wh-why? I - I mean, no, I'm - not, I don’t think - ”

“You don’t think?”

“Uh, clearly, not a mastermind at thinking, here, I'm more the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of guy - no, wait, that sounded way too much like a pun, given the context - ”

“Dylan. Are you. Or are you not. Dating someone.”

“By the seat of my pants?” Dylan squeaks, and Tyler huffs and steps closer, and Dylan -

Dylan shivers, and his eyes drop to Tyler’s mouth.

And, yeah, Tyler’s got this, he knows that look, plenty of people have given it to him, plenty of people have -

But none of them have been Dylan.

And so, Tyler asks, like a gentleman (he’s trying to be one, anyway), “Are you?”

And Dylan whispers, voice shaky and breath hot against Tyler’s lips (when did Tyler get that close?), “No,” and Tyler…

Tyler presses him back against the wall and kisses him. Just like that.

Slick and slightly-awkward and sweet, sweet and infuriating, because he wants -

More, he wants -

Dylan moans, and all of a sudden Tyler is fucking his mouth, hard, tongue vicious and hungry, and his hands are probably leaving bruises on Dylan’s hips -

And when he pulls away (why does he pull away? Oh, right, the belt, his hands are unbuckling Dylan’s belt), Dylan just breathes raggedly and stares at him, and says, “I guess I am, now, huh?”

“What?” Why won’t the belt come off? What's wrong with his fingers?

“Dating someone.”

And Tyler freezes, utterly stunned, and drops his hands (they’re shaking, that’s what’s wrong with them), and steps away. “I'm sorry,” he rasps, unable to believe what he’s just done. “I meant to - to do this properly, not - ”

“Nah, that’s - you’ve been doing it properly. For months. Man, I really should’ve listened to Tom.”

Tyler jerks at the sound of that name, and blurts, “What? What did he - ”

“He said you were into me. Like, really into me. I thought he was just kidding, or maybe he didn’t know you that well - but of course he did, he’s known you for years, I should’ve listened - ”

“That’s what he talks to you about?”

“Yeah, I mean, about acting methodology and stuff, and about how I'm doing generally and how you’re doing generally, but also about that, yeah. Um. A lot of that.”

“Tom's been telling you about this. All along.”

“He didn’t tell you?” Dylan blinks. “Wait, why do you need to be told about your own feelings? Oh, crap, are you pulling a Derek Hale? Is that’s what’s happening, here? You’re channeling him, and that’s why - ”

“Shut up,” Tyler says.

And Dylan flaps his hands, babbling, “See! That! You’re definitely - ”

“Shut. Up, Dylan,” Tyler murmurs, hushed and gentle (careful, careful), and leans in to place a soft kiss on Dylan’s neck.

“Oh,” says Dylan, just as softly. “That - I guess that wouldn’t really be Derek’s style. Or Derek’s Stiles, heh. When Jeff finally gets around to it, like he keeps saying.”

“No,” Tyler replies, and wraps his arms around Dylan’s waist. Normal. This is normal. This is okay. He's taking it slow. “It wouldn’t be.”

It’s difficult enough to keep himself in control, now. He can’t imagine a werewolf being able to take it easy. Everything must be ten times as powerful - enhanced taste, enhanced sound, enhanced touch - and the pure, animal, boiling need to be closer -

“So, uh, are we gonna make out, again? Or something?”

- or not. Tyler should’ve known Dylan wouldn’t leave him the least bit of control, the least bit of sanity, the pretense at being a man.

At this point, which one’s the role? Tyler Hoechlin, everyone’s jovial fur-faced friend, or Derek Hale, the carnivorous beast?

“Or something,” Tyler rumbles, voice coming from somewhere deep and tangled inside of him, and he shifts his mouth to the corner of Dylan’s jaw, and bites.