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Suspect Spells from the Internet, or: How Stiles Found His Soul Mate

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"This is stupid," Stiles said. "This is the kind of bullshit you get in those game machines that strip you of all your money as you get more and more frustrated because the little grabber thing isn't working right, and at the end you get like, a badly-manufactured and probably toxic counterfeit stuffed animal that's probably in the wrong colors, too."

Scott rolled his eyes. "You're just scared it won't be who you want."

"Dude," Stiles said. "My dad could burst in and tell us to mow the lawn like we promised to, and then where would we be? It might be okay for you to be soul mates with my dad, but ewww for me."

"Your dad is at work," Scott said. "There was a car crash downtown – he's going to be busy all afternoon."

"Please tell me nobody hit the little coffee cart by the school because that's the only thing keeping me sane during exam season."

"Priorities, Stiles," Scott reminded him.

Stiles waved him off. Coffee was definitely in the top five on his list of priorities.

Scott held out the bag of herbs. "Are we doing this or what?"

Stiles sighed. "Fine. Let's find our soul mates."

The spell was ridiculously simple. Burn some herbs, smear some holy oil over your heart and chant what basically amounted to "reveal my soul mate by making sure they will be the next person to speak to me" in Latin (the pronunciation of which he and Scott mangled so badly that hearing it would have made Lydia Martin disavow ever knowing them).

"Well?" Stiles asked. "How do we even know it worked?"

Scott shrugged. "The next person to talk to you – present company excluded since we did the spell together – is your soul mate. It's pretty straightforw--"

Scott's cell phone rang and he answered it. A split second later, a shit-eating grin appeared on his face. "It's Allison," he mouthed to Stiles. "She's my soul mate!"

Stiles didn't even have to imagine the heart eyes. Scott's entire face looked cartoonish and entirely too cheerful at the realization that Allison was his soul mate – like there'd been any doubt.

Stiles gave a half-hearted wave as Scott gathered his stuff and left, leaving Stiles to clean up the mess – his dad might be a cool dad, but the sheriff's son burning suspicious herbs in his room? Yeah, great idea, let's leave the evidence lying around out in the open. It wasn't like Stiles' excuse would be any better. It's not pot, Dad, it's magic herbs! Scott and I needed them for the spell to find our soul mates!

Stiles pulled a face and then lugged the vacuum cleaner up the stairs to hoover up the small mountain of burnt herbs. And then, because he was too lazy to drag the vacuum back downstairs, but needed an alibi for why it was upstairs in the first place, Stiles set about making the disaster area known as his room clean. Ish.

An hour later, Stiles looked up and almost didn't recognize his room. He'd picked up the clothes that had been scattered around the room, deeming some of them fit to wear and putting the rest in the hamper. His books were stacked on his desk and the games were back in their cases and in their spot on the shelf. The floor was clean and the dirty dishes that - ugh - really needed to soak in the sink for a week or two to remove the caked on leftover food were in the kitchen, sitting in a bath of warm water and extra strong dish soap. He hadn't changed the sheets or made the bed, but his was the cleanest his room had been in three months. Stiles counted it as a win.

With a satisfied smile on his face, Stiles sat down at his desk and opened his laptop. He'd gone on an inadvertent cleaning spree – that deserved at least three hours of intense online gaming.

Stiles' fingers had just touched the keyboard when his window slid open and Derek poked his head in. He blinked and then gave a low whistle. "Wow, Stiles, I can actually see your floor and--," he demonstratively sniffed the air, "--it doesn't smell like an entire locker room anymore. The only explanation I can come up with is that you did everything your dad ever told you not to do, and this is your apology-slash-punishment."

Stiles rolled his eyes. "Very funny. And this coming from the guy who's squatting in a rat-infested health-and-safety nightmare."

"Supernatural immune system," Derek said. "What's your excuse for the pigsty you usually call a room?"

"Teenage boy," Stiles said. "Is your appearance here for a particular reason or did you simply feel the burning need to trade insults with me?"

"I just wanted to tell you we caught an omega in the woods, but don't let me interrupt your spring cleaning…"

"It's May," Stiles said. "And I wasn't spring cleaning. I had to clean up the herbs from the--" Stiles cut himself off, staring at Derek. Derek Hale, the wolfy bane of his and Scott's existence, the werewolf with the scowliest eyebrows and the stupidest leather jacket, aka the first person to talk to Stiles since the spell, aka his fucking soul mate.

Apparently.

"Stiles?"

Stiles' first reaction was to be completely horrified. Obviously they'd fucked the spell up, big time. His Latin wasn't as good as Lydia's – maybe he'd accidentally asked for his mortal enemy to be revealed instead of soul mate. Except those two words were nowhere similar in Latin. Maybe he'd had a faulty batch of herbs. He sniffed, trying to remember if his herbs had smelled different from Scott's. They hadn't, as far as his human senses had been able to determine. Which meant either it worked and Derek Hale was his freaking soul mate, or it hadn't worked and Allison wasn't Scott's which… yeah. Ridiculous.

"Stiles?!"

Once Stiles had internally accepted that they hadn't fucked up the spell, he was able to think about it a little more rationally, without the cloak of horror and potential embarrassment clouding his reaction.

So. Derek Hale. Soul mate.

He wasn't bad looking for a guy, if one happened to--oh, who did Stiles think he was kidding? Derek Hale was drop-dead gorgeous and Stiles was man enough – and bi enough – to admit it. He was big and strong and an alpha werewolf – big plus when half the town's more, uh, exotic nightlife seemed to have it in for Stiles and his very squishy, very breakable human self. And for all of Derek's manly, good-looking, muscle-man routine, he was far from stupid...

"STILES!"

"Geez, what?!"

Derek was only inches in front of him, his hands on Stiles' upper arms. His eyebrows were drawn down in a frown and he was staring at Stiles.

"What?" Stiles repeated, blinking at the sight of Derek's face within kissing distance. Aw crap... Now he was thinking of kissing Derek – accepting that they might be soul mates was one thing, but to jump straight to kissing? What the hell was wrong with him? Stiles needed an internal subject change, stat.

Except, if Stiles was truly honest with himself, this wasn't the first time he'd thought of kissing Derek. The guy did have the aforementioned drop-dead gorgeous looks and the chiseled body. Even though Stiles was avoiding Derek's eyes he could tell that Derek wasn't currently glaring daggers at Stiles which made having Derek Hale in his personal space bubble, with his strong hands wrapped around his biceps, almost enjoyable.

"You just--" Derek shook his head. "Your heart was racing and you were giving me this weird look and you didn't respond at all when I called you. Is something wrong?"

"I'm fine." Of course, now that he had accepted Derek as his potential soul mate, he really was fine. More than fine. Derek was solid and warm and standing way too close and he was still touching him. Little Stiles was starting to take notice, and that sent Stiles from feeling more than fine into feeling slightly embarrassed and uncomfortable. He stepped back a little.

Stiles needed to think about this. Derek was his soul mate. His soul mate was an alpha werewolf with major trust issues, a deep suspicion of all things magic and/or supernatural and a dysfunctional pack. Obviously he needed a plan, and to start planning, Derek needed to leave. Now. Stiles opened his mouth to make up a lame excuse to get Derek to leave.

But then a video chat window opened with a ping and Scott's face appeared on his laptop. He was struggling with a shirt, and Stiles noted with smug satisfaction that even werewolves had hand-eye coordination problems sometimes.

"Dude," Scott said, muffled through the shirt, "did someone speak to you yet? Did you find out who your soul mate is?"

Stiles froze as Derek's head whipped around. He was still standing close enough that Stiles got a great view of all the different emotions flitting across Derek's face. Disbelief, anger, fear, hope, embarrassment, shame, more anger, and finally panic. Enough panic to make Derek bolt straight out of the window, leaving Stiles alone in his room.

"Yo," Scott said, eyes wide. "Was that Derek in your room?"

Stiles groaned and smacked his forehead, mostly because Scott was too far away to smack and he didn't really need a broken hand from punching the wall on top of everything.

"Wait," Scott said, his face impossibly close to the webcam. "Is Derek your soul mate?!"

#

"You are ridiculous."

Derek hunched in on himself a little more and Stiles winced. Not what he had planned to open with.

"Your hiding place is also ridiculous," Stiles said because now he was committed to keeping it light and easy, despite the fact that he was there to talk about some pretty heavy stuff.

"I'm not hiding," Derek growled. The effect was somewhat ruined by the fact that he almost had to shout so that Stiles' human ears could pick up the words.

"Oh, please," Stiles said. He took his bag out of the jeep and slowly approached the old Hale house. Derek was crouched on top of the porch roof, hiding in the shadows of whatever bits of the second floor were still standing.

Stiles gingerly sat down on the creaking porch steps and opened his bag. "Isaac told me you've been spending a lot of time in the woods this last week, and that you were there again today. I took an educated guess and lookie here, there you are, hiding badly on the roof of a building that's about to collapse."

His only reply was another growl and Stiles winced. Probably shouldn't have mentioned the burnt-down ruin so explicitly, but his mouth had never had a filter, so why install one now? Still, it wasn't a good idea to remind Derek of his dead family right before trying to talk to him about this whole soul mates business.

Mentally berating himself, Stiles started unpacking his bag. Garlic bread (still warm from the oven), sandwiches, some fried chicken, and a large plastic bowl filled to the brim with mac and cheese (the real kind, made with real cheese) and several bottles of ginger ale which, according to Isaac, was something Derek liked but rarely indulged in.

He dug out some napkins and utensils and tried the mac and cheese. Perfect. Gooey, cheesy sauce, firm macaroni, and small bacon bits to satisfy every carnivore. He chewed loudly and made some appreciative noises for good measure.

"What do you want, Stiles?"

"Want?" Stiles asked. "Nothing. I'm just eating my lunch. In the woods. By myself." He looked up at the cloudy sky and shifted a little on the damp wood. "It's such a lovely day that I figured I might spend it outside."

Stiles ate another forkful of mac and cheese, waiting for something to happen. Nothing did, though, so Stiles sighed. "Such a pity. My dad was going to join me but he had to work. I can't possibly eat all of this and I'd hate to throw it out…"

He was just about to give up when Derek, who had been moving closer to the edge of the second floor, pretty much fell from the roof as part of the structure collapsed. He landed on his feet, though, – albeit in the midst of splintered wood and a few half-rotten roof shingles – and immediately glared at Stiles. "You are completely transparent," he said, sneering a little.

Stiles grinned at him. "Worked, though, didn't it?" He held out a fork.

Derek grabbed it and angrily stabbed it into the mac and cheese. He shoved a large bite into his mouth and chewed, his expression mellowing out a tiny bit.

Stiles snagged a piece of fried chicken and then nudged the box towards Derek. "Soooo? Ready to have this conversation yet?"

"Nope," Derek said. He speared up some chicken. "You talk, I eat."

"Okay. Okay, I can do that."

While Derek worked his way through the mac and cheese and chicken, occasionally stopping to tear off a chunk of garlic bread, Stiles told him about the soul mate spell and that he and Scott tried it that afternoon a week ago.

"It was a bit of a stupid idea," Stiles admitted. "You know how Deaton said I was a spark?"

Derek nodded.

"Well, Scott and I figured there had to be more to the whole thing than just being able to manipulate mountain ash. Regular people can make – or break – a mountain ash circle, but they can't make a handful of mountain ash cover thirty feet. We did some research and found this website with a lot of mostly accurate stuff. I think maybe one of the admins is a werewolf, or at least in the know about werewolves because the info is a little too specific to be random, you know?"

"What makes you think it's a werewolf?" Derek asked between bites. "Could be hunters."

Stiles shook his head. "I don't think so. They go on a lot about silver bullets and how werewolves need to be shot through the heart on a new moon when they were at their weakest to kill them – why would a hunter bother to spread false info about killing werewolves when everything else seems to be accurate? More likely it's a werewolf or human pack member because they'd have a reason to keep info on how to kill werewolves a mystery."

Stiles tore off another chunk of garlic bread. "They have a section on magic and druids and stuff. While nobody actually mentions a spark anywhere, they did talk about this gift with manipulating mountain ash and a few other things that made Scott and I think I'm sort of... magic."

Derek scoffed in disbelief and Stiles retaliated by stealing a piece of chicken.

"There wasn't much. Most of it was either pretty vague or the really heavy stuff, like raising the dead, stealing souls and power. No instructions, of course. They'd be pretty stupid to post instructions on how to steal someone's life force, I guess." He shrugged. "The only spell that was on the page, in full and with ingredients and instructions, was this soul mate spell. It's called Reperire Sodales which basically means 'find soul mates'."

Derek dropped his fork into the mac and cheese, uncaring of the fact that it fell straight into the bowl and splattered his stomach with cheese sauce. "So what, you found a random spell online, mixed up some herbs and did it just for shits and giggles? Without knowing anything about the source, the effect it would have or if it even was a real spell? How stupid are you?!"

"I already admitted that it was a stupid idea, but it seemed harmless enough! And I told you, the site is run by a werewolf or something!"

"So what? Like that makes them expert in magic? You don't even know that for sure, Stiles. You can't just do spells you find somewhere – anything could happen!"

The plastic bowl in Derek's hand creaked and Stiles wondered if there would be finger-shaped indents along the bottom once Derek let go again. For a fleeting moment, Stiles found himself getting turned on – casual displays of werewolf strength were a weakness of his, and had created one or two uncomfortable moments between him and Scott – but he pushed aside any thoughts of how sexy Derek looked with stormy eyes and flexing shoulder muscles. Right now, Stiles wanted to hang on to his anger – Derek was arguing with him, but at least he was talking.

"I'm sorry, all right? But you never tell us more that you think we need to know – which, by the way, is what got us into quite a few messes – and Deaton has cryptic coming out of his ears! How are we supposed to figure any of this out if no one tells us anything? Scott doesn't know the first thing about this werewolf stuff--"

"That's his own fault!" Derek snapped, setting the bowl down with a thump. "I've been trying to help Scott from day one. He's the one who thinks he doesn't have to listen to anything I say!"

"Maybe if you tried to have an actual conversation with him instead of ordering him around--"

"Oh, so when there's hunters shooting at us, I should take the time to make sure Scott is comfortable with me telling him to run and hide?"

Stiles could feel his lips moving, but he was too angry to actually speak. "You," he eventually pressed out, "are unbelievable! Don't twist my words around – you know exactly what I mean! It's not like there's hunters waiting to shoot you every moment of every day. You could try talking to Scott when it's not a life or death situation."

Derek glared, but didn't argue back.

Stiles leaned back against the stairs, letting his elbows come to rest two steps above the one he was sitting on. He was a little surprised by Derek's reaction. As soon as the yelling started he had expected Derek to be on his feet and in his face, making threats, maybe flashing some fang, and then glaring until Stiles left. Instead, Derek was sitting next to him, a concerned, defensive expression on his face. His body language spoke of someone preparing to defend himself, his shoulders tense and his fingers slowly curling into fists. He looked, Stiles realized with a pang, like someone expecting a blow, like someone waiting to be hurt.

"So," he asked, voice neutral, "do you want to hear the rest of the story?"

"It involves me too, so..." Derek nodded.

"Scott and I had the stupidly brilliant idea to try the spell. The set-up was pretty simple and all the spell was supposed to do was help us find our soul mates. And for the record, I did run the spell through Google translate and it checked out. Well. As much as any translation via Google translate does."

Derek snorted and rolled his eyes, and Stiles noticed some of the earlier tension leaving his body.

" Anyway, the spell was basically a plea to some higher power, like a prayer. It went along the lines of 'I, Stiles Stilinski, am looking for my other half, so please make my soul mate find me'. The explanation on the website said that it creates an urge in the soul mate to contact the spell caster. So Scott and I did the spell – or rather I did it, for both of us – and like three minutes later Allison called Scott, and then you showed up in my room."

"So what, that makes me your soul mate?" Derek asked, shaking his head a little. "How can you be sure?"

Stiles shrugged. "You were the first person to talk to me after we did the spell. So if the spell worked…"

"How do you even know it worked?"

Stiles shrugged again. "I don't have any proof either way. Allison and Scott are scarily besotted with each other now that they‘re in an on-again phase. They see each other at school all day and they still spent an extraordinarily long time on the phone with each other. So maybe it wasn't the spell. Maybe the odds were just stacked in favor of Allison being the first one to talk to Scott. Who knows?"

"But you believe it worked, don't you?" Derek asked, leaning forward a little, his eyes gleaming with the need for an answer. Their earlier argument seemed forgotten, now that Derek had something else to focus on. "You think I'm your soul mate."

Stiles didn't know how to answer that. He'd followed the instructions to the letter. Could he know for sure that it had worked? Perhaps not, but he had a gut feeling about Allison and Scott – and if his own personal history had taught Stiles one thing, it was to trust his gut. According to his gut Allison was definitely Scott's soul mate, which meant that Derek was his. No one had talked to him until Derek showed up, which had induced his mini panic attack, followed by a sort of epiphany.

"Are you my soul mate?" Stiles lifted a shoulder. "Who knows? It's certainly not impossible. I mean, we argue a lot, but we also work together pretty well when we have a common goal. You, uh, you know what it's like to lose someone." Stiles looked away when thoughts of his mom made the collar of his t-shirt feel too tight around his throat. "You agree that sometimes you have to do things you don't like because they're the right thing to do. You're passionate about the things that matter to you, and I like to think that we're both trying to keep as many people caught up in this supernatural shit storm alive as we can."

Derek stared at him for a moment, looking like he didn't know where to start. "So that's a yes then," he said eventually, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Stiles' assessment of their compatibility.

Stiles rolled his eyes. "Well, what about you? Do you think it's possible? Can you imagine that we…" He trailed off, awkwardly waving a hand between them. Was he really asking Derek I-Could-Be-A-Supermodel Hale if he found him attractive enough to fuck? Well, not just that, obviously, but Stiles already knew they were compatible in other ways. They meshed well enough to make a relationship possible, but disagreed enough to keep things interesting.

Derek's gaze shifted until he was glaring into the woods with stony eyes.

Stiles stared at him, trying – and failing – to read Derek's mind or at least his face. But there was nothing to see. Derek wore the same slightly pissed expression he usually wore – the words "resting bitchface" were invented for Derek Hale, no lie. It told Stiles exactly nothing about what Derek was feeling. Except… Stiles eyes narrowed. Were the tips of Derek's ears red?

Yes, Stiles decided. They definitely were. And his hand was locked so tightly around the little plastic fork – Stiles hadn't even noticed that Derek had rescued it from the mac and cheese bowl – that Stiles thought it might burst into pieces at any moment.

"So that's a yes then," he said, taking great delight to thrown Derek's words back at him.

Derek flinched almost imperceptibly and turned to scowl at Stiles. "What does that mean? I'm not interested in sixteen-year-olds, Stiles!"

"Seventeen," Stiles corrected, pointedly not mentioning the fact that his birthday had only been two weeks ago. "And no, maybe not, but you can see yourself being interested in me. You definitely think I'm soul mate potential, you just don't want to believe it."

"That's rid--"

"If you thought it was ridiculous, you would have said so. You called me stupid not even twenty minutes ago, Derek. You've never tried to spare anyone's feelings when we were in mortal danger and I doubt you'd stop yourself to save me from a broken heart."

Derek didn't have anything to say to that, and simply sat in silence, still clutching the plastic fork in an iron grip. He jumped when Stiles covered his hand with his own and gently took the fork from him.

"It doesn't have to--"

"--mean anything?" Derek finished. "Really. Because soul mates are such a common thing, right? So what does it matter if you find yours, right?"

"No!" Stiles dropped the fork into his basket, his fingers itching to strangle Derek. Why did he always have to make everything so complicated? He wanted Stiles, but didn't. He was afraid of being soul mates, but got mad when Stiles offered to pretend the spell didn't work for him.

"Stiles, you're seventeen," Derek said, looking miserable and hopeful and so fucking terrified.

Stiles' anger deflated and he sighed.

"I'm seeing a lot of parallels here that make me very uncomfortable," Derek said, looking down at his hands. "My first real girlfriend was older than me and pretty much out of my league at the time. I thought what we had was special, and then she killed my entire family."

Stiles' first instinct was to loudly declare all of that bullshit. Derek wasn't anything like Kate and Stiles was pretty sure he had zero designs on his dad's life. But telling someone that a horrible thing wasn't their fault rarely worked if they felt guilty about it. So Stiles scooted a tiny bit closer and bumped his shoulder into Derek's.

"I know," he said quietly. "I'm sorry you had such a bad experience and that Kate turned out to be a complete psycho. But you're only looking at the surface parallels. Yes, you're older than me. But the rest? Come on, Derek. You know that's not true."

Derek was silent for a long time before he, almost imperceptibly, leaned towards Stiles a little. "I'm not sure I'm ready for a relationship. With you or anyone else."

"Okay," Stiles said slowly, suppressing the jealous urge to argue that any relationship Derek had should definitely be with him, the potential soul mate, and not some other person (who definitely wasn't Derek's soul mate). "So we acknowledge the potential and start with something easier."

"Like what?"

"Well. I was thinking it might help if we were friends first, before we tried anything else." Stiles held out his hand. "So, what do you say? Friends?"

Derek doesn't look convinced of the genius of Stiles' plan, but it's enough to get him to go along with it. "Friends," he confirms, reaching out to shake Stiles' hand.

They both told themselves that the slight shock they felt when their palms touched was probably just their imagination playing tricks on them.

#

As much as Derek tried not to think about Stiles, he couldn't seem to help himself. Ever since they'd officially become 'friends' nearly four months ago, he'd found his thoughts occupied by Stiles at every turn. It was like the idea of them being soul mates had opened the floodgates in his mind that, up until then, had kept back the urge to see Stiles, talk to Stiles, touch Stiles.

It hadn't been instantaneous. Stiles had done a lot of work to make sure they actually became friends. He'd invited himself over and criticized Derek's… well, everything, really. His place, his clothes, his attitude, his place, his treatment of the pack, his place, his habit of lurking in the shadows wherever he went, his place… Derek had rolled his eyes and taken the hint, moving into an actual apartment with Isaac a few weeks later.

Derek wasn't sure when, but at some point he'd realized that he talked to Stiles at least once a day, usually about something inconsequential (unless something of the supernatural kind was going on). An undercurrent of attraction accompanied every talk and every meeting, but they both pushed it aside and concentrated on being friends, and it worked remarkably well.

Derek eventually broke down under the combined onslaught of Stiles and Isaac and bought a TV for his new place. They watched movies together and discovered that they liked a lot of the same TV shows. Stiles spent several very frustrating afternoons extolling the virtues of video games to Derek – it wasn't that Derek couldn't play the games; he just didn't find it very interesting or enjoyable.

In short: they were friends.

So, naturally, when Derek was on his way into town to pick up some burgers for dinner and saw Stiles stranded at the side of the road, he stopped to help.

Stiles looked up when he heard the car pull up beside him. His relief when he recognized Derek was palpable.

Derek hoped his own face wasn't quite that easy to read. At some point during the afternoon it had started to rain. A slight drizzle at first that later changed to a real downpour, fat drops of rain drenching everything. Including Stiles.

Derek swallowed, trying to ban the image of Stiles in a wet, white, nearly see-through t-shirt from his mind.

It wasn't working.

Stiles' hair was sticking up at lot messier than usual, like he'd run his hands through it in frustration several times already. The wet t-shirt was sticking to Stiles' chest and back, painting a very attractive picture. Stiles' red jeans, almost as wet as everything else, were clinging to Stiles' long legs like a second skin.

Derek felt his face heat up. He joined Stiles at the front of the Jeep and hoped that, between the cold rain and Stiles being distracted by his car trouble, his blush wouldn't be too noticeable.

"I am so glad to see you, Derek," Stiles said. "I don't even know what happened. It was fine earlier today when I went to see Scott. He had that family thing yesterday, remember? I told you about it. Anyway, Scott hates his Aunt Ana with a passion and he always needs some serious gaming to come down after a family get-together." Stiles wiped his forehead with the back of his hand and shook off the water. "My baby started up just fine when I left the McCall place. I stopped by the grocery store to get stuff for dinner and still no problem! And then, just as I was turning around the corner on like the most deserted street in all of Beacon Hills, it sputtered and died. And of course I forgot to charge my cell phone last night so it's out of juice. I was going to wait out the rain and then find a phone, but it's been pouring for twenty minutes and it doesn't look like it's gonna stop any time soon, so I got desperate. I figured I was going to get wet anyway, I might make a last-ditch attempt at fixing my baby."

Stiles made a small sound of frustration and started running his fingers over different parts of the engine.

Derek stared, transfixed, at Stiles. Small drops of rain were scattered over Stiles' face, and a bigger one was gathering at his chin, ready to follow gravity. Several of Stiles' eyelashes were clumped together with wetness, making then look fuller and longer than they already were. His lips were a deep, inviting red – Derek wasn't sure if the color was due to the rain being quite chilly or because he'd been biting his lips.

"Uh, Derek? Are you okay?"

Derek blinked, trying to shake the impulse of kissing Stiles' plump red lips. No matter how enticing they were, it would be a bad idea to follow through on that thought.

"Derek? You're being all… weird and staring. Why are you staring at me?"

Derek opened his mouth to deny the staring, deny everything, but he couldn't find the words.

Stiles reached out to poke him in the chest like he'd done a hundred times before. Derek's hand shot out and caught Stiles' hand in his, stopping him before the tip of Stiles' finger hit his sternum. When their hands touched, the same strange jolt that had run through him when they first shook hands all those months ago shocked him again.

Stiles looked down at their hands, his eyes wide like he'd felt the same shock.

That was the moment when Derek knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the soul mate spell Stiles and Scott performed hadn't failed. Innocent touches sent his heart racing. He felt miserable if he didn't talk to Stiles all day. He loved listening to Stiles ramble on about whatever caught his fancy. Whenever he looked at Stiles he felt his heart seize up with that unnamed emotion that made his breath catch in his throat and his hands twitch like they wanted to reach out and touch. He wanted so much, and all of it was centered on Stiles. He wanted to kiss Stiles and hold Stiles and lie next to him and sleep in the same bed and wake up together and hold his hand and cuddle when they watched movies.

Stiles caught his lower lip between his teeth and that was Derek's undoing.

Without thinking too hard about what he was doing, Derek tugged at Stiles' hand. It was enough to get Stiles to look up, making sure he didn't miss Derek leaning in. His eyes widened when he realized Derek was about to kiss him, and Derek hesitated long enough to give Stiles the chance to pull away, to keep their relationship a friendship for now.

Their eyes locked and Derek found himself mesmerized by Stiles' eyes. The color was simply extraordinary – when the light came at an angle, they almost looked like a beta's eyes, shining amber in the sunlight. Now, in the rain, they looked darker and even more alluring. Derek knew he could spend hours looking at Stiles' eyes and still not get tired of them.

Stiles smiled a little, and then, deliberately, closed his eyes.

With Stiles' rapid heartbeat thundering in his ears, Derek closed the distance between them. Stiles' hand twisted in his until Stiles could wrap his fingers around Derek's. Derek had always known that Stiles wasn't passive in anything and that he wouldn't be passive in his romantic relationships either, but it was nice to experience it firsthand. Especially since he was still concerned about the age difference. Derek squeezed Stiles' hand and smiled against his lips.

Stiles took that as a sign to deepen their kiss. He took a step closer, bringing their chests together, his rain-wet shirt soaking Derek's. Stiles opened his mouth, carefully licking along Derek's lips. He moaned a little when Derek obliged and opened his mouth, letting Stiles in.

Stiles' free arm wound around Derek's neck like he never wanted to release him. Derek was very much in favor of that – he didn't want to let Stiles go unless he had to, and he'd fight anyone to keep it that way.

Suddenly, Derek couldn't get close enough to Stiles. He let go of Stiles' hand so he could bury his fingers into Stiles' sopping wet hair and press his other hand firmly against Stiles' lower back, bringing them close together from head to toe. Stiles made a noise of agreement, muffled by their kiss, and slipped his now free hand under Derek's shirt, his blunt fingernails scraping at Derek's side as their kiss grew more desperate and they poured the pent up feelings from the last few months into the kiss.

Derek didn't know how long they kissed, but by the time they finally pulled apart, his ears were cold and he was just as soaked as Stiles, who was shivering a little despite his close proximity to Derek's body heat. Their breaths came in short pants that were nearly drowned out by the steady drum of the rain hitting the concrete and the hood of the Jeep.

Stiles looked well-kissed. His lips were red and puffed up, he was panting a little and his pupils were widened, making his eyes look darker than they were.

"All right," Stiles said, resting his forehead against Derek's. "Kissing. Which is apparently a thing we do now. I approve, you know. Kissing is good."

Derek hummed in agreement, trying to work up the will to let go of Stiles.

"So, does that make us -- what? Boyfriends?"

"Boyfriends, lovers, soul mates – whatever you want to call it," Derek said. He pulled back reluctantly and shrugged out of his jacket. All this cold rain wasn't good for a human, even if he'd spent most of the time wrapped up safely in a werewolf's arms.

Stiles grinned when he slipped on Derek's jacket. "…lovers?"

Derek raised an eyebrow. "Sure," he said, his answering grin slipping into a smirk. "Once you turn eighteen."

Stiles rolled his eyes. "Spoilsport," he said, trying for disgruntled, but the smile on his face was still too pronounced to make it believable.

"Come on," Derek said, "I'll drive you home and you can have this piece of junk towed to a mechanic tomorrow."

Stiles looked at his Jeep and sighed. "Don't listen to him, baby," he said to it. "You're beautiful as you are. Derek just doesn't know cars. I mean, he traded his super cool chick magnet for the soccer mom mobile. We're not taking his advice on cars, are we? Nope, we aren't. I'll be back for you tomorrow with some more duct tape and a 'car repairs for dummies' guide."

Derek got into his car and rolled down the passenger side window. "Do you want to stand in the rain all day? As attractive as it is right now, it won't be quite as sexy tomorrow when you've got a cold and there's snot everywhere."

Stiles tilted his head back towards the heavens and sighed dramatically. "Alas, the romance is gone already!"

But he was smiling when he finally got in the car, and Derek found himself smiling back.

#

"Can you pass the hot sauce?"

Stiles made a face, but obediently grabbed the small red bottle. "Why do you always buy this one?" he griped. "The one with the three little chili things is better." He held up the bottle, displaying the five small chilies printed on the label. "The one with five little chili things is too hot."

His dad rolled his eyes and poured some extra hot sauce on his taco. "You don't have to eat it if you're too weak to handle it."

"Weak? Please! This has nothing to do with weakness. This stuff burns out your taste buds until you can't distinguish a nice, juicy taco like this one from a piece of stuffed cardboard."

"Well, I like it."

Stiles scrunched up his nose as his dad slurped a little to catch all of the sauce, but his own plate of tacos was calling.

"All right," his dad said after they'd both polished off their tacos. "Tell me about--"

His dad didn't get to finish the sentence. Before he could get the next word out, the kitchen window over the sink exploded into shards of glass. At the same time, the back door burst inwards. Two black blurs entered the kitchen, moving too fast for Stiles' human eyes to track properly.

Stiles didn't even have time for a heart-felt 'aw crap' before everything went to shit.

His dad didn't have his gun on him – and why would he, in his own home on a Saturday evening? – but he was up as soon as the window got smashed, Stiles hot on his heels. While the sheriff flung his plate at one of the blurs, Stiles grabbed the first thing he could reach – the still open bottle of hot sauce – and threw it at the black blur speeding towards him. He must have caught it right in the eyes because it reared back and let out an unearthly screech, somewhere between a banshee scream and an eagle's shriek.

Stiles flinched back from the sound, but he'd been in enough life-threatening supernatural crises to know that hanging around and waiting for them to attack again was a bad idea. He grabbed his dad's elbow and tugged.

"Come on, Dad! We need to get away from here!"

They made it as far as the front door before two of the blurs descended on his dad and another grabbed Stiles from behind. A fourth blur – Stiles hadn't even noticed a fourth until then – joined the two on his dad, who was quickly subdued. Stiles stopped struggling against the one holding him when he saw the claws at his dad's neck.

It was then that Stiles got his first good look at the things attacking them. They all appeared to be female. Their faces were human enough, except their teeth seemed sharper and pointier than regular human teeth and all their noses were big and hooked, looking a little out of place. Instead of hair, the creatures had black feathers covering them from head to toe. Or rather head to claw. Their hands had looked normal at first glance, but as Stiles watched, they shifted, like a werewolf's, from human-shaped into leathery yellow claws, like a bird of prey's, with large, sharp-looking talons on the end. Stiles couldn't see if the bird theme continued on to include wings, but if his theory about their attackers proved to be true he wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Stiles and his dad were frog marched through the house and out the back where Stiles suspicions was confirmed. They did have wings – large ones that were easily strong enough to carry twice their weight. The one who still had him in her grip let out a quiet screech and jumped. Instead of coming back down, her wings unfolded and Stiles had the unenviable experience of being the involuntary passenger on what had to be the most uncomfortable flight ever. Although perhaps that dubious honor went to his dad, who might have had a rougher time, since he was a little heavier than Stiles and required two of the creatures to share the burden. One held his wrists while the other had her claws in his pants legs. Just looking at it made Stiles sick – the flight was uneven and shaky as it was, but to be jerked back and forth between two shaky bird monsters? Not his idea of a good time.

By the time they arrived at their destination – the out of use water tower on the outskirts of town – Stiles had a pretty good idea what was going on. Judging by the feathers and the screeching and general bird similarities, he had to assume he and his dad were prisoners of a clutch of harpies.

Harpies, like the ones who had appeared in the woods three weeks ago – not that anyone had let Stiles get in a good look; he'd been relegated to research duty for pretty much all of the encounter. They hadn't been well pleased to hear that Beacon Hills was occupied territory. Nor had they been very happy to cede their new-found roosting places to the resident alpha. They didn't seem to be very keen on werewolves in general, or Derek in particular.

The three harpies the pack had dealt with had, according to Derek, fluffed up their feathers and postured for a while, but eventually they'd left the woods without a fight – to get reinforcements, as it turned out.

Hindsight and all that, Stiles thought with a sigh as the harpy that was carrying him dropped him without much care through a hole in the roof of the water tower. He landed awkwardly, but the sting in his foot receded after only a few moments, giving Stiles hope that his ankle wasn't twisted after all. Far more annoying than the brief pain in his foot was the fact that she'd dropped him in a puddle of water.

Sighing, Stiles stood up and brushed off the dirt as well as he could. The water tower was still pretty sturdy, so at least he didn't have to worry about it crumbling apart under his weight. It was an old concrete construction, standing on top of a rusting metal frame. Stiles didn't know how many feet off the ground, with a hole in one corner of the roof. A single, bare light bulb hung on the opposite wall, high up near the ceiling. Stiles wasn't sure if it was a new addition to give the hostages some light, or if it was left over from recent construction work on the tower. He didn't care much either way – one single light bulb and whatever moonlight filtered in through the hole wasn't much to see by.

Stiles could hear wings flapping and cautiously moved closer to the hole. Seconds later, his dad fell through it and landed in a heap.

"Dad! Are you okay?!"

Stiles rushed forward to help his dad up, wincing in sympathy at the scratches on his dad's face and arms. One of the scratches was more of a gash, a deep slice that had split the skin of his forearm at least half an inch deep and several inches in length.

"I think I'll live," his dad said, gently batting Stiles' hands away. "Let's get out of this water, if we can."

Stiles nodded. "It's dry over there," he said. The ground inside the water tower was uneven, and rainwater had gathered in stale puddles in the dips in the concrete. Several spots remained dry, however, and Stiles settled down on one, shivering a little on the cold ground. His wet jeans weren't helping the situation.

"Okay," his dad said, sitting down across from him. "My brain is saying impossible, but my eyes are convinced. My eyes also noticed your utter lack of a reaction to the fact that we were just kidnapped by bird women."

"Harpies," Stiles corrected. "And my lack of a reaction would be because my life has been werewolves and druids and freaking harpies for a while now."

His dad narrowed his eyes at him, and Stiles felt his stomach clench. He'd worked so hard to avoid this, to keep his dad in the dark about all the weird stuff going on in town. To keep him safe from it all. And now here he was, casually mentioning werewolves and harpies like it was no big deal. But he had to keep his cool, had to stay in control until they were rescued. Which, yeah, time to work on that.

Stiles dug his cell phone out of his pocket, barely keeping back the condescending laugh. Harpies were clearly not the smartest kidnappers, if they let their victims keep their phones. Their GPS-capable phones.

Unless… maybe that was the plan. Why else take Stiles if not as bait? He certainly was easier to kidnap than any of the wolves.

Shrugging, Stiles sent off a quick mass text to the pack. Trap or not, Derek and the pack would show up either way. But this way, maybe it'd be sooner. Maybe they'd have the moment of surprise. At the very least it would save Stiles a few hours of sitting around in wet jeans.

"A while, huh?" his dad said. "Like… since Derek Hale showed up in town?"

He gave Stiles' cell phone a pointed look and Stiles guiltily put his phone away, aware that his dad could probably read it all off his face anyway. At least he wasn't insisting on calling 911.

"Kind of," Stiles admitted. "It's not Derek's fault. Really, Dad, it's not. He's a werewolf, yes, but he's always been one. His parents were werewolves, too. And his sisters, and his uncle. His brother was human, though, and his aunt and his cousin. The Hales have been the resident pack for decades if not centuries, until--"

"The fire?"

Stiles nodded silently.

"As far as I know," his dad continued, "the Hales were always upstanding members of society who gave a lot to this community. I'm not gonna pretend I understand this werewolf thing – it's a lot to wrap your head around, especially when you're sitting in an old water tower, held prisoner by harpies – but if the Hales were killed just because of that--"

The knowing, angry look in his dad's eyes made Stiles swallow. He nodded again, glad he didn't have to explain how fucked up some people were, that they would killing werewolves because of what they were instead of anything they'd done.

"Anyway," Stiles said after a moment of silence. "Werewolves. Derek is one, and so is Scott. Isaac, too."

"Scott?" His dad blinked, then sent a glare Stiles' way. "We will talk about Scott later. And just so you know which direction that conversation is going to go, you might have mentioned this life-changing event happening in Scott's, if not to me then hopefully to Melissa. Just like I would expect to be informed of life-changing events happening in your own life. You're not a werewolf, are you?"

"No!" Stiles shook his head vehemently. "100% human, Dad, I swear!"

"All right. That's good." He sighed in relief. "Um, not that it would make me love you less if you were," he added quickly. "You know that, right? You're my kid, Stiles, and I love you no matter what."

"I know, Dad. I love you, too."

"Good, good." He frowned. "Okay, what about that Whittemore kid? I'm assuming you had a supernatural reason to kidnap him and lock him in a police van?"

Stiles nodded, doing some fast thinking. The whole kanima story could probably wait until after they were back home, so he simply confirmed that Jackson was also a werewolf, but that his parents had attributed the changes in him to drugs or whatever and sent him to Europe.

While his dad digested this latest news, Stiles turned his thoughts back to their harpy problem. For all of the research Stiles had done weeks ago, none of his books were terribly accurate. It was hard to find credible sources on the supernatural – the internet was a double-edged sword that way. A flood of information on any topic he wished was literally at his fingertips, but without a way to cross-reference the information he could be relying on some teenybopper's vivid imagination instead of actual facts. Usually, Stiles supposed, the Hale pack would have their own sources – allied packs, family heirlooms and books and notes passed down from generation to generation. Of course, all of that was gone. All they had was Deaton's cryptic 'help' and whatever bits Derek could remember. However, considering Derek had been a cocky fifteen-year-old at the time of the fire, and hadn't been very interested in the info his parents had tried to drill into his head, it wasn't much.

His info on harpies was therefore relatively sparse. They were bird-women with human faces and humanoid bodies covered in feathers. Different clutches had different colored feathers – this clutch's feathers were a shiny, uniform black – but Stiles didn't have a handy guide that listed feather colors and names of clutch members. And, more importantly, he didn't know how well they could hear.

Stiles dug his phone out again and showed his dad the text he'd sent to the pack, holding his finger to his lips. His dad nodded and kept quiet, but Stiles could read a million questions in his eyes that he had no way of answering right away.

They sat in silence until Stiles realized his dad was still bleeding from the gash in his arm.

"Crap," he cursed quietly. "Why didn't you say anything?"

His dad shrugged. "What for? I doubt you carry a med kit around in your pocket."

"No, but we could at least put something on it to stop the bleeding."

"It's not life-threatening," his dad argued. "And the blood is probably washing away anything that could sit in there and make the wound get infected."

"Blood loss adds up," Stiles countered. "And you can bathe it in disinfectant later."

Without waiting for a reply, Stiles took off his plaid shirt and folded it so that the wound was covered by a patch of it that looked dirt-free before he secured it around his dad's arm. It was a horrible bandage, but it was still better than nothing.

"Thanks, kiddo."

"Anytime, Dad." He paused. "Except, let's not do this again. Ever."

His dad grinned. "Agreed."

A commotion from outside the water tower drew their attention.

"Cavalry's here," Stiles said. He stood and headed towards the hole in the roof, thinking that maybe he could climb up the wall and find a way to get an eyeful of what was happening when one of the harpies came barreling through the hole and pounced on him.

His dad let out an outraged "hey!" and charged at the harpy, trying to get her off of Stiles, but the harpy batted him away. Out of the corner of his eye, Stiles saw his dad fly into the nearest wall and crumble to the floor.

"Dad!"

Enraged, Stiles struggled against the harpy's hold. He could feel her talons digging into his shoulder, but paid it no mind. He stilled when she put her other hand on his throat, the tips of her talons pushing down just enough to draw a few drops of blood.

"Keep silent, and keep still, or I'll slit your throat," she hissed into his ear. It sounded strangely musical despite the harshness of the threat.

Stiles let her drag him to the opening and didn't struggle when she jumped up to the hole in the ceiling, even though her tight grip on him meant that Stiles was lifted up as well. Her wings unfolded due to the extra weight she was carrying and Stiles could feel them brush his legs.

The harpy took them to the edge of the hole, balancing on the steep incline of the roof. Two feet ahead was the drop down to the bottom and Stiles could see his pack fighting the harpies. There were eight harpies against four werewolves, but the pack easily had the upper hand.

One of the harpies lay motionless at Derek's feet, another was dangling from his claws, trying to get close enough to scratch him. Isaac and Scott had teamed up. Two of the harpies they were fighting were down, and they were in the process of taking out another while the forth one tried to stop them. Peter was bouncing between two harpies, and occasionally got a hit in on Derek's or Isaac and Scott's harpy.

With a vicious twist of her hand, the harpy holding Stiles drove her talons deeper into his shoulder. At Stiles' cry, the pack stopped and looked up, Derek's eyes flaring red in the moonlight.

The harpy tore her talons out of Stiles' shoulder and made a victorious trilling sound, flicking Stiles' blood down in a gesture that was threatening and mocking at the same time. The meaning was clear: stop, or he dies.

Below, the three uninjured harpies banded together and rounded on Derek. Scott held back a growling Isaac while Peter glared at them with his electric blue eyes.

Stiles' mind was racing. The water tower was maybe a hundred feet off the ground. A fall might not kill him, but it would definitely injure him. And possibly kill him. But if he fell and was caught by a werewolf? He'd probably live.

Okay, that could be plan B. It wasn't perfect. It left the harpy on the water tower – where his dad was – and it wouldn't stop her from coming down after him.

Plan A would have to be to take the harpy down with him.

It was a horrible, terrible plan. It depended on him throwing himself off a tower, but it was the only plan Stiles could come up with. If he didn't do something, the harpies would kill Derek, and probably the rest of the pack, while the one at his back kept his life dangling over the pack's heads. Derek would try to fight back, but he was down on the ground and the harpy was up here.

Plan A it was. Bring the harpy down to earth.

"Derek!"

The harpy clucked and flexed her talons against his neck. Stiles ignored it.

"Fight them, Derek! Kill them all! Scott, Isaac, help Derek! Peter – you wait for it!"

The harpy behind Stiles let out an angry shriek and brought her other arm down, aiming at his injured shoulder.

Stiles was ready for it. He grabbed the hand at his neck and twisted the first finger he could grasp away from his neck. It broke with a sharp crack. At the same time, he ducked the swing of her other and side-stepped her, effectively changing positions with the harpy. With a pained grunt, Stiles forced his injured shoulder to move as he brought up both of his arms to grab the harpy's nearest wing. He grabbed it near the joint and yanked as hard as he could.

The harpy's screech of anger turned into a yell of pain as something in the wing joint gave under Stiles hands. She lashed out at him, making Stiles stumble on the steep roof.

Stiles could feel it the exact moment he lost his balance, feeling himself tip over backwards. He managed to gab the edge of the harpy's injured wing as he fell, making her come tumbling down with him.

As the world rushed past, Stiles' heart nearly stopped and he almost forgot to yell for Peter. It wasn't the best feeling in the world, having to trust that Peter had listened and waited for instructions instead of getting involved in the fighting. If he hadn't… well, the landing would be a lot more uncomfortable.

Luckily for Stiles, Peter had listened. A few feet above the ground, his fall was abruptly stopped by the werewolf practically tackling him mid-air. They fell to the ground and rolled over several times, Peter doing his best to shield Stiles' head from knocking into the ground. Even so it was a rough landing that knocked the air out of him and left his whole body sore and aching.

Stiles lay still for a few moments, half-lying on Peter, and simply breathed. His ribs seemed to be okay, even if his entire back was one sore spot. One less thing to worry about – broken ribs had been high on his list of Things That Could Go Wrong With This Plan.

Peter finally sat up, carefully helping Stiles into a sitting position. Leaves and small twigs were sticking out of Peter's hair and his face, arms and clothes were smudged with dirt and grass stains.

"Let's not do this again, yeah?" he said, rolling his shoulders.

Stiles would have had more sympathy with him if he didn't know that Peter would be fully recovered from the tumble by the time they got home.

"Stiles!"

Stiles had two seconds to prepare, then Scott and Isaac were on him. Scott wrapped his arms around him while Isaac hovered uncertainly and finally decided to awkwardly pat his uninjured shoulder. They weren't hugging buddies, but Stiles' friendship and later relationship with Derek had lead to them spending more time together. Stiles had tacitly agreed to forget about the leather-jacket bad-boy attitude Isaac had after being turned while Isaac silently promised not to bring it back any time soon. They got on okay, and they were pack, even if they weren't exactly buddies.

"My dad," Stiles managed to say once Scott let up a little on the werewolf-strength hug. "He's still up there. Get him out, please?"

"Yeah, sure, anything you want," Scott said, giving him another quick hug. "I'm glad you're okay." He stood up and turned to the tower. Then he froze and turned back, his eyes wide. "Dude. How can I save your dad? He'll know!"

Stiles stared at Scott for a few moments, mouth open and expression screaming 'are you fucking kidding me, Scott?!' Sometimes, for such a smart cookie, Scott was pretty dumb.

"They were kidnapped by harpies, Scott," Peter said, rolling his eyes. "I'm pretty sure the werewolf is already out of the bag."

Stiles gave him an exaggerated nod. "Well, I think between being attacked by bird women and then flown to their secret lair, it might have occurred to him that some weird shit is going down in this town."

"Oh, right," Scott said sheepishly. "Come on, Isaac, let's see if we can get the sheriff down."

Stiles let Peter help him to his feet, keeping an eye on Scott and Isaac as they scaled the rusted metal rungs welded to one of the tower's legs. It was too dark to see once they disappeared in the shadow of the tower, but Stiles assumed there was a trapdoor or another access point for maintenance somewhere that they'd be able to open with their werewolf strength.

Turning, Stiles took stock of the groundside battle. A few of the harpies lay scattered on the ground, but the majority of them were in one big pile. In the center of it stood Derek, fangs bared and eyes shining red. The last of the harpies was dangling off Derek's arm, scratching at him as he crushed her neck. He tossed her down with the others and threw his head back.

The roar made all the hair on Stiles' body stand up and it sent a shiver down his spine, even knowing that Derek would never hurt him. Next to him, Peter's eyes flashed blue in response to the roar, and Stiles knew Isaac and Scott would have a similar reaction. He just hoped it wouldn't freak his dad out too much.

With Peter's help, Stiles made his way towards Derek. Derek met him halfway, wrapping his arms around Stiles in a crushing hug. Instead of hurting, the hug soothed his aches as Derek drew out the worst of the pain and cocooned Stiles in warmth.

"I knew you'd come," Stiles mumbled into Derek's chest.

"Always," Derek vowed. He drew back a little and cupped Stiles' face in his hands, both as an excuse to check him over for more scratches and to touch him some more.

"I'm fine," Stiles said. His shoulder was pulsing in time with his heartbeat, he had quite the collection of cuts and bruises, his left wrist twinged painfully when he turned it and he'd probably twisted his ankle, but he'd had far worse. "Sore as hell, and my shoulder might need some stitches and a few weeks to recover, but I'm okay."

"Okay." Derek let out a deep breath. "Don't get kidnapped by harpies again, please."

"I'll do my best," Stiles promised.

Stiles could practically feel Derek relax in his arms, the tension flowing out of his posture as he accepted that Stiles was okay. Smiling, Stiles leaned some more of his weight against Derek and tilted his head up for a kiss.

Derek obliged, kissing him slowly and deeply until Stiles could hardly feel the throbbing pain in his shoulder.

His dad clearing his throat not three feet away from them brought Stiles back to reality. He pulled away from Derek and gave his dad a guilty look. Derek didn't fare much better; he was blushing slightly and fidgeting a little, like he couldn't decide whether he wanted to step in front of Stiles to protect him from his dad, or hide behind him in the face of the sheriff's scowl.

"Son," his dad said, disappointment and quiet resignation mingling in his voice.

Stiles flinched, both glad that Derek hadn't let go of him yet and apprehensive because his dad surely wouldn't appreciate it.

"I thought we'd covered the highlights of all this," he said, gesturing around the area, "up in that tower. You know, harpies and werewolves. Life-changing events, Stiles."

"To be fair, I--" Stiles sighed, his shoulders slumped. "I don't really have a good excuse."

His dad echoed his sigh. "Let's go home. We need to clean up and get some bandages on all of these wounds." He looked at the nearest dead harpy. "What do we do about the--"

"Isaac and Peter will take care of them," Derek said.

Isaac nodded. Peter made a face, but joined Isaac who'd started dragging the few scattered harpies onto the pile. Stiles was sure they'd take them to the vet clinic to make use of the handy incinerator for animal carcasses in the back.

Scott, who'd been hovering in the background behind the sheriff, stepped forward. "Do I help them or…?"

"You can get your mom," Derek said. "She'd know best what Stiles or his dad need, and if we need to take either one of them to the hospital."

Scott nodded and ran off, leaving Stiles with his dad and Derek and the ensuing long, silent car ride back to the Stilinski home.

"I knew you were interested in someone new," his dad said once they got home. "You stopped talking about Lydia like she hung the moon and instead started talking about her like she was a friend."

"She is," Stiles said. "Sort of. She's friend-like. Not quite a friend, but someone who'd give me her AP history notes with minimal bitching and who'd help me kill a vampire. An acquaintance, but better. A friend-quaintance."

"I can honestly say, though, that I was not expecting Derek Hale to replace her."

Derek, who was hovering near the door to be able make a quick exit if needed, flinched.

"Wow. Okay, no. Derek is not a replacement. Not for Lydia or anyone else," Stiles said, his anger overcoming whatever guilt he felt for lying to his dad. Derek's life was shitty enough without his dad pouring more shit on top. "Don't make it sound like Derek is a stepping stone on my way to someone better. He's not. He's… you know." Stiles made a vague gesture with his good arm, trying to think of a way to phrase his epic love declaration in as un-sappy a way as possible.

Stiles caught Derek's eye across the room and he forgot all about speaking to his dad. Everything about Derek was drawn tight, like he was trying to protect himself. Like he still couldn't believe that Stiles loved him. Like he might intellectually agree that they were soul mates, but still doubted that Stiles actually felt it.

"Derek is so much more than Lydia ever could be. Sure, Lydia is awesome, but Derek… he's everything. He just has to look at me and smile and I feel like I'm on top of the world. He doesn't really smile that much, but when he does, it's like the world suddenly looks brighter. And some days, when he's feeling down…" When he's remembering the fire, Stiles didn't say. "I just want to wrap him up in my arms and never let go. In fact, I never want to let him go, no matter what day it is. No matter where I go or what I do, I want Derek there with me. I want him so much that I can't breathe sometimes and I am incredibly lucky that he wants me back. I love Derek with all I've got."

Derek's eyes were shimmering, little bursts of red exploding along the iris with contained emotion. His hands twitched like he wanted to reach out. Stiles knew the feeling. He could hardly ignore the urge to be near Derek, to make his hands and his lips confirm his words.

Neither of them moved, however, and instead waited for Stiles' dad to react.

His dad looked a little stunned, his gaze bouncing back and forth between Stiles and Derek.

Stiles gave him a pleading look, letting his eyes longingly swoop towards Derek.

His dad sighed, but gave him a curt not.

Stiles didn't hesitate. He was up and across the room in moments, wrapping his arms around Derek in a tight embrace. "I love you," he whispered into Derek's ear, adding a small kiss to his neck for good measure.

"Me too," Derek said, holding on so tightly that his fingers dug into Stiles' back almost painfully. "Stiles--"

"I know, I know," Stiles said. "Shh, it's okay."

They held on for a few minutes and Stiles sighed when Derek sucked out his pain again, only reluctantly drawing apart when Scott and Ms. McCall walked in.

While Ms. McCall got out her med kit and started preparing a small treatment area, Stiles sat down next to his dad.

"We are going to talk about this, and soon," his dad warned him, "but I need to deal with werewolves and who knows what else first. That's gonna be a hard enough pill to swallow without adding my seventeen-year-old son dating a grown werewolf."

Stiles nodded, caught between relief and dread. "We're not--I mean--everything we do is legal, Dad. I promise."

His dad groaned, raising a hand to block Stiles' face from view. "Not talking about this. Werewolves first, Stiles."

Stiles allowed himself a small grin. "But Dad! I promise! No underage hanky panky going on between Derek and I. We keep it strictly above the belt and fully clothed. Sure, it's pretty frustrating, but nobody's getting arrested – again – on my watch. Besides, the wait is just going to make it more awesome." Stiles paused for a moment, but he wouldn't be himself if he started censoring himself now. "PS: no surprise parties on my birthday. I'm planning my own very private party of two." He waggled his eyebrows at Derek who sighed deeply and turned a pleading gaze heavenward.

"Dude," Scott said in the slightly awkward silence that followed, lightly punching Stiles uninjured shoulder. "Stop talking about your non-existent sex life. I get enough of that as it is."

Stiles would have mentioned the TMI regarding Allison that Scott had shared over the years, but Scott was already blushing. Instead, Stiles grinned up at him, enjoying his friend's discomfort at having said "sex" in front of his mother.

Melissa gave both of them an exasperated look. "All right, everyone. Anyone who's bleeding or otherwise injured, with me. Werewolves – you can sit still, watch and fetch and carry for me when I ask. Everyone clear?"

Stiles snapped out a mock salute and pushed his dad to walk across the room to Ms. McCall's med station. As she cleaned out his dad’s arm wound, Scott and Derek helped peel Stiles out of his t-shirt. Derek pulled him close to leech off some of the pain while Stiles waited his turn. Stiles smiled and let himself relax, his gut telling him everything would be all right.

#

"Make a hole!" Stiles yelled, brandishing the casserole dish like a bomb. "Hot food, coming through!"

Scott jumped back, only his werewolf reflexes saving him from crashing into the sideboard when he stumbled.

"NOISE LEVEL, STILES," his dad yelled from the kitchen, and Stiles rolled his eyes at the irony.

"Okay," he said to himself, casting a critical eye over the table. It was sparsely decorated with a white tablecloth, a few scattered leaves, and the ol' Stilinski turkey-shaped candle holders on either side of the central platter that would hold the giant turkey Stiles had bought. He turned to Scott. "What's the food situation like?"

"Your dad is taking care of the turkey," Scott said. "My mom is bringing the salad and the vegetables. Isaac said he'd bring potatoes, and Derek," he added, his eyebrows rising up in doubt, "is bringing dessert."

"Don't look so skeptical, Scotty," Stiles said, flicking Scott's nose. "Derek actually knows how to bake. Five bucks says you'll love his pumpkin pie."

The doorbell rang. Stiles could tell from the slight wrinkle in Scott's nose that it was Derek – the two still weren't friends, but Stiles stayed hopeful. After all, Derek actually liked Scott and wanted to get to know him better. So far, Scott tolerated Derek for Stiles' sake – much like Isaac and Stiles tolerated each other for Scott's sake – but Stiles was confident that Scott would let go of his dislike sooner or later and give a friendship with Derek another chance.

Stiles opened the door for Derek, sniffing the air at the delicious mix of Derek and baked goods.

Derek laughed. "I'd be flattered, but I'm aware you love the pie more than me."

"Don't be mad," Stiles said, brushing a kiss over Derek's lips. "Cherry pie is my kryptonite."

"I'm your kryptonite," Derek said. "My cherry pie is just really good."

Stiles pursed his lips. "Compromise: you're both my kryptonite, but I secretly love you more." He put his finger over his lips and whispered, "Shh, don't tell the pie."

"Derek! Glad to see you could make it!" John exclaimed as they walked into the kitchen.

"I wouldn't have missed it," Derek said, helping John stow the pies away for after dinner. "Anything I can do?"

"Help the boys set the table," John instructed.

Stiles took Derek's hand and towed him into the dining room, grinning when Derek abruptly stopped once they were alone and caused Stiles to stumble and crash into his chest.

"Hi," he said, silently asking for a kiss.

"Hi," Derek replied, brushing his lips over Stiles'.

Stiles hummed and slid his arms around Derek's middle, reveling in the fact that he could do this, right here in his house, while his dad was in the next room. Technically, he could do it in the same room as his dad, but that made Derek and his dad uneasy. Stiles had a longstanding history of making his dad uncomfortable, but he did try and accommodate Derek's need for modesty.

"Ugh," Scott groaned as he walked into the room and found them kissing. "Stop that."

In response, Stiles tightened his arms around Derek to stop him from pulling away and deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue over Derek's lips until he let him in.

"I hate you so much," Scott huffed, sitting down with his back towards them.

Stiles pulled away from Derek with a smack. "No, you don't. You love me, bro."

"I love you less now that I have to watch you make out with Derek all the time," Scott said.

"You're getting off easy," Stiles said, eyebrows wagging. "Just image what's going to happen once Derek and I start having sex."

"I don't want to imagine it ever," Scott said, "but I have a feeling I'll be getting a first-hand account anyway." His glare only lasted until Stiles stuck his tongue out at him.

"Can we stop talking about this now?" Derek asked, sending a low-level glare at Stiles.

"Seconded," Scott quickly said. "Change of topic in three, two, one--"

"Your mom and Isaac are late," Stiles said on cue.

"Thank you," Scott said. "And they're not late; mom is picking Isaac up after her shift because he doesn't have a car. They'll be here in ten."

Melissa and Isaac did indeed show up ten minutes later, bringing in a basket full of food that Melissa took into the kitchen straight away to heat it up.

Dinner was a loud, fun affair. Isaac was a little quiet at first, but some careful baiting on Stiles' part made him speak up a little. Melissa entertained everyone with her 'ten most stupid people to make it into the ER this month' story and his dad contributed some 'most stupid criminals' tales of his own. Derek looked in equal parts right at home and melancholic, making Stiles wonder if he was remembering Thanksgiving feasts with his own family.

Derek's mixed mood was part of the reason why Stiles followed Derek into the kitchen when he volunteered to clean up after dinner.

They worked in companionable silence as Stiles filled boxes with leftovers and Derek tackled the mountain of dirty dishes.

"Are you okay?" Stiles asked once he'd moved from leftover duty to filling up the dishwasher.

"I am." Derek, in soapy water up to his elbows, nodded slowly. "This was the first Thanksgiving without my family. Laura--" He swallowed hard, and Stiles moved a little closer. "Laura and I never celebrated any holidays after the fire. Not Thanksgiving, not Christmas, not our birthdays. But this was – fun. It was okay, Stiles. I'm okay."

"Good," Stiles said, leaning his head on Derek's shoulder. "I want you to be okay."

"Kate is dead. Peter is... well, you know how he is. He has his good days and his bad days," Derek said. He pressed a kiss to the top of Stiles' head. "I have you, and the pack. I think I can move on now."

"That's good to hear," Stiles said. "I don't want you to come to all these family things with me if you don't feel comfortable here. Yes, I want you here, always, but I don't want you to hurt yourself to please me. You don't have to hang out with my family all the time."

"I'm fine, Stiles," Derek said. "And besides, I was hoping to be part of your family. Even if Scott still doesn't like me."

Stiles laughed. "Scott is my bro, but he's clinging to his instant dislike of you without bothering to take a second look. Sorry, but you're not getting rid of Scott's disapproving looks unless you get rid of me."

"I have no plans to do that, so I guess I'll have to suffer Scott's disapproval until he finally grows up."

"Ha ha, you know you secretly love being the bigger man." Stiles waggled his eyebrows. He shuffled them around until he could wrap Derek up in a real hug. "You are part of my family, okay? I love you."

"Love you, too." Derek rested his arms on Stiles' shoulders so he could keep Stiles in place while they kissed. "Hmm, do you love me more than Scott?" Derek asked when they parted.

"Oh, unfair," Stiles cried. "Now get off me; you're dripping sudsy water all over my back." He stepped back, but darted back in for a quick kiss to Derek's cheek. "Don't tell Scott, but yeah, I love you more than him," he whispered. "Maybe. A little."

John appeared in the doorway, carrying the tray they used to bring snacks into the living room. "Hey, you two, everyone's ready for pie. Wrap it up in here, okay?"

"Sure," Stiles said. "I'll get the whipped cream."

While Stiles rooted through the pantry for the three cans of whipped cream he knew were stashed in there (low-fat, low-sugar, in case his dad got any ideas), John and Derek finished the washing up and got the pies out of the oven where they'd been warming up.

"Hmm, smells amazing," Stiles said, tripping over his own feet to get closer to the oven and the fantastic-smelling pies. One of the cans of whipped cream clattered to the floor, but Stiles was too busy admiring the cherry pie. "I hope I've made it clear enough that I get at least three slices of this one."

John rolled his eyes. "Why don't you go ahead and make sure Scott and Isaac know? Derek and I can handle the rest."

"Scott wouldn't pick cherry over pumpkin, but Isaac probably needs a reminder," Stiles said. "Well, come on! Don't dawdle! It's pie time!"

John and Derek exchanged a look, then Derek picked up the tray and John grabbed the whipped cream that Stiles had dropped in his excitement about the pie.

"Stiles is right, you know. They do smell amazing." John patted Derek's shoulder with his free hand. "Good job on the pies, son."

John pretended not to notice the slight trip in Derek's step, and when Derek seemed to be fused to Stiles' side for the rest of the evening, well… who could blame him?

#

Three weeks after Thanksgiving, Stiles was still riding the high of that very successful family gathering. Thanksgiving had been a big hit. Scott was almost friend-like with Derek now that he had experienced Derek's awesome baking powers in person, and Stiles and Isaac could hold a conversation for longer than five minutes without sniping at each other.

It was only one more week until Christmas, and Derek had already accepted his dad's invitation to spend it with the Stilinskis. Stiles had graciously offered to include Isaac, but he was spending Christmas with the McCalls. Allison and her dad were finally back in town, so Ms McCall would have a full house at Christmas.

The doorbell rang.

"It's open," Stiles called out. He was perched on top of the ladder, a box of decorations in one hand, trying to find the perfect place for each ornament.

"I could have been an axe murderer," Derek said, frowning a little. "What would you have done?"

"Dropped the box of ornaments on your head and done a Kevin alone-at-home." Stiles looked over at Derek. "Hi."

"Hi." Derek threw his jacket onto the sofa and clapped his hands. "What can I do to help?"

"Take a step back and tell me if there are any holes left to be filled in on the tree," Stiles said, holding up a sparking angel ornament.

They spent the twenty minutes decorating the tree, putting lights around the windows and placing a few other decorations around the living room.

"Good?" Stiles asked, making a sweeping gesture around the room.

Derek opened his mouth to reply, but then wrinkled his nose. "Do I smell something burning?"

Stiles gasped. "My cookies!"

Derek followed him into the kitchen, helping him clear a space for the baking sheet.

"Oh, thank god for your super smeller because I forgot to set the alarm," Stiles said, inspecting the cookies as he took the baking sheet out of the oven. "They're just a tiny bit crispy, but not burnt."

"Smells good." Derek snatched a cookie off the sheet and popped half into his mouth.

"Careful," Stiles admonished when Derek hissed. "You literally just saw them come out of the oven."

"That's when they're best." Derek stubbornly shoved the rest of the cookie into his mouth. "My mom used to make cookies like these and Laura and I would fight over who got the first cookie."

"Let me guess: Laura always won."

Derek gave him a dark look, and Stiles laughed.

"Actually, we shared. Well, Mom made us share." Derek shrugged. "Cora--that was my younger sister--she always cried because she couldn't keep up with us, and Mom always gave her a whole cookie once she got to the kitchen."

"Unfair," Stiles commiserated. "How did your eight-year-old ego handle that?"

"Not well," Derek admitted. "Laura and I once managed to destroy an entire batch of cookies in our fight, and by the time Mom had baked a replacement batch, Cora got the first cookie."

Stiles smiled and took a cookie himself. "Well, not to sound too corny, but you can always have the first cookie from me."

#

Unlike the others before it, Stiles' eighteenth birthday did not start with his dad mangling the birthday song at his bedside, but with a phone call from Derek. Stiles wasn't even mad that it was fifteen minutes before he usually had to get up, because the things Derek said had him wide awake.

Perhaps a little too awake, Stiles mused, ruefully looking down at his tented boxers. Instead of deflating like it usually did when he wasn't paying immediate attention to it, his morning erection showed no signs of abating.

"You do realize that I'm going to hold you to all of these things, right?" Stiles asked.

Derek's laugh, even filtered through the phone line, sent a shiver down Stiles' spine and he arched his back a little, enjoying the way his erection rubbed against the fabric of his boxers.

"Oh, I plan on it. Your dad's not expecting you for dinner, right?"

"Don't talk about my dad right now," Stiles complained. "I'm in my fantasy space where you're right beside me, ready to take care of this morning wood for me. Fathers are not appropriate right now." He sighed. "But yes, I told him. He doesn't expect to see me at all this weekend. I told him that I could be back home on Saturday, but he said he didn't want to see me until school on Monday had had a chance of wiping the stupid grin off my face." Stiles smiled. "We have all weekend."

"Good," Derek said, "because you'll need to rest after some of the things I've got planned."

Stiles laughed. "Oh, and what about the things I've got planned?"

"We have time. We can do everything."

"Hmm, everything. I like the sound of that."

"How about the sound of always? Do you like that?"

"More than you could ever guess," Stiles said, not even slightly embarrassed by how mushy they were. He rolled over and wrapped his arms around his pillow. Tomorrow, he told himself. You can wake up with Derek tomorrow.

Decisively, Stiles sat up. "Okay. I have to go. I've got things to do. Like, jerk off in the shower while imagining all the filthy things you just promised you'd do to me this weekend, have my annual birthday breakfast with dad and then school. You're picking me up today, right?"

"I'll be there at three. I can't wait to see you," Derek said. "Have fun with your shower."

"Heh. I will – see you later, Sexy Wolf!"

"Don't call m--"

Stiles hung up, grinning at the thought of Derek protesting against the nickname into the unforgiving silence of an ended call. Derek would get his revenge later, of that Stiles had no doubt, but that sort of thing usually worked out in his favor.

Stiles' shower was as enjoyable as he'd planned it would be, and his dad's special birthday breakfast was as delectable as every year. He packed some of it up for lunch because he couldn't possibly eat any more bacon, but he also couldn't waste delicious bacon. So bacon sandwiches for lunch, with cold pancakes as dessert. Scott would wrinkle his nose in disgust, but he just didn't know what was good. Stiles was confronted with that sad truth about his best friend every time he made that ugh no face at anything to do with Derek or Derek-and-Stiles. Derek was just about the best thing that had ever happened to Stiles, and if Scott was too blind to see it or – more likely – too stubborn to let go of his irrational dislike of Derek – then that was his problem. Not that Stiles went easy on him with regards to sharing any Derek-related news, but that was his good right as Scott's best friend. So what if he'd been singing the "I'm gonna get laid" song for the past week and a half? He was entitled.

Humming, Stiles watched the scenery pass by on the way to school. His dad was giving him a ride and for once Stiles didn't even mind to be dropped off in a squad car. It wasn't like people didn't know his dad was the sheriff. But until the whole werewolf thing had happened and become a little more important than his place in the school's social hierarchy, he'd loathed it when his dad dropped him off and thus reminded anyone who might potentially invite him to anything that he was the sheriff's kid and thus a danger to any real party.

"Well," his dad noted, "you're certainly in a good mood."

Stiles' grin widened and his dad flinched a little, like he suddenly remembered why Stiles was in a good mood. It was also possible, Stiles thought, that he was recalling verse one of Stiles' "I'm gonna get laid" song which he had unfortunately overheard a couple of days ago.

"I don't need to say it, do I?"

Stiles' grin softened into a smile and he shook his head. "I'm with the program: sane, safe and consensual. Derek isn't going to hurt me, Dad, you know that. And it's not like we're rushing this."

His dad took a deep breath. "Right," he said. "And I am very, very grateful that the two of you didn't break any laws where I could see it, or know about it."

Stiles rolled his eyes. "Dad, we didn't break any laws at all! Why do you think I'm so hyped up?"

"I'm trying not to think about it," his dad muttered. And then, like it physically hurt him to say it, he added: "Have fun."

Stiles beamed at him. "Thanks for being an awesome dad."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," his dad grumbled, but Stiles wasn't fooled. He could see the pleased gleam in his eyes as his dad clapped him on the shoulder.

"See you on Monday!"

Stiles hopped out of the car and made a beeline straight for Scott, who was bouncing on the balls of his feet as he waited.

"Happy birthday!" Scott cried, wrapping him up in a bear hug as soon as Stiles was in grabbing range.

"Oof!" Stiles got the breath knocked out of him, but didn't let it stop him from returning the hug. "Thank you. Now where's my present?"

Scott laughed and held out an envelope.

"No wrapping paper?"

"It's in an envelope, Stiles. It's its own wrapping paper."

Stiles pouted a little, but eagerly tore open the envelope. "Yes!" Waving the two badges to Comic Con in the air, he jumped around a little, grinning.

"You're taking me to Comic Con, right?" Scott said, plucking one of the badges out of his hands. "This one's got my name on it. Like, it literally has my name on it. You have to give names when you register."

"Ha!" Stiles said. "I knew it! You only bought these because you wanted to go!"

"Are you saying you don't want to go?"

Stiles hugged his ticket to his chest. "Are you kidding me? You'll have to pry this ticket from my cold, dead hands if you want it back. If someone killed me now, I'd just come back and haunt Comic Con forever." He pressed a kiss to the ticket. "Thanks, Scotty."

"Not to interrupt the love fest," Lydia said from behind them, "but first period is about to start and we haven't congratulated Stiles yet."

Scott stepped back and before Stiles could blink he was wrapped up in a three-way embrace with Allison and Lydia. They both pressed a kiss to his cheek and then towed him inside.

Allison made them stop at her locker and pulled out a brightly wrapped package. It was soft and squishy, making Stiles think clothing before he'd even unwrapped the first corner. It turned out to be a Captain America hoodie, with the shield boldly printed across the back.

"Awesome," Stiles said. He quickly put it on and gave Allison a hug. "Thank you!"

"I figured it would help you blend in at Comic Con," Allison said. "Not that you need it!"

Lydia gave them all a superior look. "Well, knowing that Stiles' gifts would be 99% Comic Con related, I figured I'd join the herd and spring for the hotel room."

She handed Stiles an envelope that contained a printed receipt for a hotel room reservation in one of the better hotels in San Diego. Certainly much better than anything Stiles could afford. He smiled and gave Lydia a hug.

"Thanks, Lydia. Comic Con is going to be the second best weekend ever! And it's the second best present, too!"

Allison frowned. "Second best?"

"Yeah. I know, Comic Con is awesome, but it can't top Derek's present," Stiles said, keeping his tone even.

"What did he get you?"

Stiles grinned, ignoring Scott's loud groan. "His dick. Derek's present to me is his dick, Allison."

Allison rolled her eyes, a slight blush appearing on her cheeks. "I meant his actual present, Stiles, not that."

"That is his actual present," Stiles said. "You have no idea how much I've been wishing for it…"

"Yes, we do," Scott bemoaned, his voice close to a whine. "It's all you talk about."

"And I remember something about agreeing not to enable him," Lydia said, throwing Allison a dirty look. "In order for all of us to retain our mental health."

Allison smiled contritely. "Sorry! I thought he was talking about an actual present. Stiles, please don't start singing that song again."

"What song?" Stiles asked innocently, but he could see no one would fall for it and ask, knowing it would likely end with having to listen to the whole thing again. Stiles didn't see the problem – the tune was really catchy. "Anyway, like I said, that is my actual present, and I can't wait to unwrap it."

While Lydia got her books out of her locker, Stiles entertained himself with the image of Derek's dick, wrapped up like a present, with a nice bow on top.

"Whatever you're thinking about, please stop," Scott pleaded. "For the sake of my sanity if nothing else."

Taking pity on his friends, Stiles steered them towards his own locker to get his chemistry books. Not even Harris could turn his mood sour today.

Isaac was waiting for them at Stiles' locker. They still weren't friends, exactly, but they were pack. Their hug was considerably shorter than any of the others Stiles 'd had that morning, but Isaac's present – an Iron Man t-shirt – was just as thoughtful as the others.

"All right, let me just get my--ARGH!" Stiles reared back as his locker flew open once he'd unlocked it, spewing out a shower of multi-colored confetti and glitter. Three balloons were squeaking against each other, bumping into the ceiling of the locker. One had a pink '18' on it, another a cartoon werewolf, and the last had a rainbow colored 'happy birthday'. A simple white card, sticking out from between his books, had 'three o'clock" written on it in Derek's block letters.

"Well," Lydia said. "This is… nice."

Stiles started laughing. It was absolutely priceless. Derek had everyone convinced that he was this permanently angry, serious hardass. No one believed Stiles when he said Derek was really just a giant fluffball with a stupid sense of humor.

"It's a joke," Stiles said once he'd calmed down a little.

"Er…" Allison gave him an uncertain look."What?"

"No, literally," Stiles explained. "It's an actual joke. I told Derek about how frantic Scott was to get everything ready for your birthday last year and how he was paranoid the balloons would get popped when he closed the door, or during the night, or when you opened the door. I thought it was hilarious to watch him obsess over it for like, four days. Derek thought it was funny, too, hence the balloons." He shook his head, sending confetti and glitter flying. "Asshole didn't have to add the glitter, though, it's going to be impossible to get it off."

Later, during English class, Stiles took out his cell phone and texted Derek.

'Glitter sucks. I'll spend the day sparkling like the vampire I'm not. Not cool.'

'Too good an opportunity to pass up,' Derek texted back. 'Besides, I'll help you get it off later.'

Stiles used the mental picture to tide him over until lunch, where his friends distracted him from his near overwhelming need to find Derek and ravage him. There was cake – that helped to keep Stiles occupied.

"Did you make this yourself?" Scott asked, spewing crumbs.

Lydia raised an eyebrow at him. "Well. I bought it myself; does that count?"

Stiles shoveled another forkful into his mouth. "It has a raspberry filling and is MCU-themed, it counts."

Throughout lunch, people stopped to wish him a good birthday (the cake and the balloons that Isaac had helpfully tied to Stiles' backpack made it very obvious).

The afternoon classes dragged on and on. AP History had to be stuck in a time dilation field because it was simply impossible for time to move that slowly. Lydia just shook her head at him when he whispered his theory to her, but it was just not natural that the clock hands hadn't moved from two thirty-two for at least ten minutes now.

Stiles was so caught up in staring at the clock that he actually missed the bell. It was only when Seth, who sat in the seat in front of him, stood up and blocked his view of the clock that Stiles realized class was over.

Lydia handed him his backpack and gave him another peck on the cheek. "Have fun! Use lots of lube!"

Stiles just grinned and pushed his way through the throng of people trying to escape school on a Friday afternoon. He dumped anything he didn't need for his homework into his locker and sprinted to the exit, waving at Scott and Allison as he ran past them.

Derek was waiting for him, his stupid SUV taking up two parking spaces in the back of the lot. Derek was leaning against the front bumper, one leg casually slung over the other, arms crossed. It would have been cooler if Derek still had the Camaro but ultimately the car was unimportant. Derek could have shown up on a tricycle and Stiles wouldn't have cared. (Well, maybe a little, but only because it would have taken forever to get to the loft on a tricycle.)

Stiles flew into Derek's arms, confident that Derek wouldn't drop him.

Derek caught him with a laugh, holding on to Stiles' thighs when Stiles wrapped his legs around his middle and hugged him. Stiles pulled back a few moments later and captured Derek's lips in a kiss. For a moment, they forgot that they were in the school's parking lot and that the majority of students (who'd had no idea that weird Stiles Stilinski was dating anyone, let alone Derek Hot-As-A-Fire Hale) were staring at them.

"I loved the balloons," Stiles said when they broke for air. "Everyone was trying to reassure me because they were so awful, but I just kept laughing. I carried them around all day."

"I can see that." Derek eyed the balloons that were bopping in the wind above their heads. "They suit you."

"Thanks. Oh, by the way--"

Stiles leaned forward a little and ruffled his own hair, making specks of glitter rain down on Derek.

Derek scrunched up his face and threatened to drop him, but Stiles only laughed. "Dad said to use condoms. Lydia said to use lots of lube. Scott whined about not wanting to hear about it, ever. Can we go home now?"

"Whatever you want, Stiles," Derek said, giving him a tender look.

Stiles smiled at the sincere tone in Derek's voice. He gently picked up a small piece of glitter that had settled on Derek's forehead. "Whatever we want, Derek."

Derek hummed in agreement and tilted his head up. Stiles ducked his head to kiss Derek again, forgetting all about his earlier excitement. Sure, having hot monkey sex with Derek all weekend was on his bucket list, but he didn't have to cross it off today. If they spent the weekend making out and watching Star Wars, he'd probably be a lot less disappointed than his behavior over the last week would indicate.

The shrill, jarring sound of Coach's whistle pierced the air too close for comfort. Stiles flailed back and would have crashed to the ground if not for Derek's quick reflexes.

"Stilinski!" Coach barked. He was standing a few feet away, glaring out into the parking lot where people hurried to their cars, pretending they hadn't just been staring.

"Coach!" Stiles said brightly as Derek set him down.

Coach gave Stiles a look. "Take this porno on the road before someone sets up shop and starts charging people for the show."

Stiles rolled his eyes. They'd been kissing, nothing else. No roaming hands, no moaning, no humping. He'd seen worse in the cafeteria. But Derek was tugging on his hand and Stiles did have plans for the day, plans that didn't involve an impromptu after school detention, so he saluted Coach.

"Sure thing, Coach, Sir," he said. "Taking it somewhere else right now, Coach."

Coach gave him a grumpy look and strode off, twisting the string of his whistle in his hands like he was looking for someone to strangle. Stiles was just glad it wouldn't be him.

#

"So," Derek said as he picked the shortest route to the loft, "how much do you remember of your lessons today?"

"Nothing, except that Harris is still an ass and that room 403 is stuck in a time dilation field."

"Huh?"

"I swear to you the last lesson took longer than all the others combined."

Derek smirked at him. "Eager?"

"Super eager," he confirmed. "But you know I meant it, right? It's whatever we want, not just what I want."

"Stiles--"

"No, Derek. Consent works both ways. Just because I'm all gung-ho about this doesn't mean anything has to happen this weekend," Stiles said seriously, turning in his seat so he could look at Derek. "I know I might have been a little… exuberant and kind of explicit in my desires, but that's just--I can tone it down."

Derek pursed his lips and took his time to get across the next intersection before he answered. "You don't have to tone it down, Stiles. Your weekend plans are definitely the same as mine. I'm not shouting it from the rooftops every five minutes, but I want you. I'm just not as explicit about it as you."

Stiles settled back in his seat, feeling something inside of him calm down. He knew he could come on too strong sometimes and that Derek didn't exactly have the best track record where relationships were concerned. They'd agreed on complete honesty from the start, and Stiles trusted Derek to say it if he wasn't on board with the 'fuck all weekend' plan, even if it might disappoint Stiles. But it looked like his fears were unfounded.

Stiles grinned. "Oh, I don't know. You were plenty explicit on the phone this morning. I seem to recall something about your tongue in my ass, which I'm very eager to try out."

Derek laughed. "We'll get to that, I promise."

"This is already the best birthday ever and it's not even over." Stiles sighed happily.

They got to the loft in record time. Stiles bounced ahead of Derek and pushed through the glass doors, his finger impatiently pressing down on the elevator call button. When the elevator doors didn't open immediately, he did an impromptu dance as he waited. Behind him, Derek walked into the glass door with a thud. He quickly opened it and stepped through, clearly pretending that nothing had happened.

Grinning, Stiles turned around. "Super senses failing you, Sourwolf?"

"Shut up," Derek mumbled, and Stiles did him the favor of pretending he didn't notice the blush settling over Derek's face. He did, however, turn back around and finish his elevator dance – with a few more butt wiggles, since Derek seemed to like them so much.

Derek stepped up behind him and wrapped his arms around Stiles' torso, trapping his arms and stopping his most outrageous flailing dance moves. "You're a terrible, terrible person," he said into Stiles' ear.

"Shut up, you love me," Stiles retorted, snuggling into Derek's arms.

"And every day I wonder why," Derek deadpanned. He pressed a kiss to Stiles' cheek and released him as the elevator arrived.

Stiles hit the button for the loft before Derek was even inside the elevator. The ride up to the top floor was long enough that Stiles started to fidget, tightening and loosening the straps on his backpack.

The loft was, at the same time, familiar and completely uncharted territory. When the door slammed shut behind them, Stiles turned around to face Derek and suddenly felt like the world's most awkward turtle. Sure he'd been brimming with excitement all day, the occasional twinges of nerves and fear being few and far between, but what was he even doing?

Stiles had no idea how to do this. Not even the copious amounts of internet porn and secondhand info (mostly from Scott, and – horrifyingly – that one afternoon with Lydia who went into terrifying detail about all the fun that could be had with foreskin that Stiles’ research into circumcision had in no way prepared him for) could be enough to make this an awesome experience for all involved. He didn't want to be that guy, the one who received great orgasms but was a complete shitbag about returning the favor.

He wanted Derek to like this.

Correction: he wanted Derek to love it and never get enough of it.

"Stiles?" Derek had hung up his jacket and kicked off his shoes and was now looking at him with concerned eyes. "Are you okay?"

Stiles blinked. "I don't know. I just--now that we're here, I--"

"It's all right, Stiles." Derek's eyes were gentle and sincere. He caught Stiles' hands in his and pulled him close. "We don't have to do anything."

"No! I want to! Really, I do. I just… I've never done this before. What if I completely suck at this and you have to endure my horrible attempts at sexiness all weekend? You'll hate my by Monday morning and we'll never talk again and I--"

Derek cut him off with a kiss until Stiles stopped trying to talk and started kissing him back, his heartbeat slowing down to a still fast but less erratic pace.

"Okay, first of all, your attempts at sexiness are not horrible." Derek paused, head slightly tilted. "Well. There was that time with the whipped cream."

Stiles chuckled weakly. "It wasn't my fault Dad came home early."

"No, but you should have just kept your mouth shut instead of trying to convince him we were having a food fight. I don't even know why you thought that might work – you were wearing nothing but a whipped cream bikini."

"Shut up," Stiles said, letting his forehead butt against Derek's collarbone. "He might have believed it. That wasn't even the weirdest thing he's seen me do."

"Maybe if I'd been wearing a whipped cream bikini as well, but the way it was your dad pretty much knew you'd been trying to seduce me again."

"You might have been trying to have your wicked way with me," Stiles argued. "What makes you think my dad thought I was at fault?"

"Because he knows you." Derek arched an eyebrow. "And he knows I'm respectful of his gun license and his ability to arrest me."

Stiles snorted. "Respectful. That's one way to put it."

"Anyway," Derek said, nosing along Stiles' hairline, "not all of your attempts at sexiness are horrible. Besides, I pretty much think you're sexy all the time."

"Even when I'm laughing so much it turns into that weird elephant snort?"

Derek sighed. "Unfortunately, yes. Even then."

"Awesome," Stiles whispered. "For the record, you're pretty fucking sexy yourself, if you couldn't tell from all the boners I get around you. Like, at some point I realized you had muscles in places I didn't even know people could have muscles. Your eyebrows are adorable yet sexy. The way you sit when you read is so sexy I almost jumped you like four times in the last week."

"The way I sit?"

"Yeah," Stiles confirmed. "You stretch out your legs – which are another sexy thing about you – and usually you're not wearing shoes, so I can see you wriggle your toes. It's ridiculous yet sexy." Stiles sighed. "And you cradle books like they're something precious, kinda like you touch me. I love watching you turn the pages – your hands are awesome, by the way. You get so focused on the book that you forget the rest of the world. Sometimes I have to call you three or four times before you look up, and you always look so betrayed that I'm pulling you away from whatever book you're reading."

Derek looked surprised but definitely pleased that Stiles would be turned on by him sitting and reading. It made a little trill dance in Stiles' stomach and he let that feeling push out all the nervousness and lingering fear.

"Nakedness," Stiles blurted out. "I feel like there should be more naked people in the loft. Not, you know, random naked people, just two really specific naked people."

"Let me guess," Derek said, an amused smile on his lips. "One of them is me."

Stiles valiantly ignored the blush he could feel creeping up his neck. "I'd say that's a fair bet."

Derek had to take a moment to get his laughter under control. "And the other one… could that possibly be you?"

Stiles narrowed his eyes at Derek even though he was inwardly melting at the sight of this happy, smiley Derek emerging without much coaxing. It had taken months until Derek had laughed freely and loudly, and even longer before he'd let his guard down around anyone other than Stiles. Derek's smile was gorgeous and Derek smiling at him had always done funny things to his insides, but if Derek's smile was gorgeous, one of his full-belly laughs was even more amazing.

"Stop making fun of me and get naked, Derek."

Derek grinned and grabbed the hem of his shirt, pulling it off in one smooth move. Stiles tried the same, but he forgot he was still wearing the plaid shirt over his tee, so his elbow got caught in his sleeve and his t-shirt got hopelessly tangled in his plaid shirt somehow.

"Don't even, Derek," Stiles threatened, forcing himself to hold still while Derek untwisted the fabric and freed him from his prison. When Stiles caught sight of Derek's face, he rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure, laugh it up."

"I read that it's important for successful relationships to be able to laugh with each other," Derek said, dropping the bundle of shirts at their feet.

"With each other, sure," Stiles grumbled. "Okay, show's over. One Stilinski special is all I can manage today."

"That's okay. I still like you." Derek dropped his eyes to Stiles' chest, his gaze taking in every exposed inch of him. The humor slowly faded from his expression and he swallowed. "Yeah, definitely still like you."

They'd avoided extended periods of nakedness in the past, despite Stiles' frequent attempts at seducing Derek, most of which included 'accidental' nudity. They had seen each other shirtless countless of times, and even naked a handful of times, but never in such a sexually charged situation.

Stiles could feel Derek's gaze like a hot trail across his skin, and he moaned when Derek followed it up with an actual touch, his hands running along Stiles' neck before skimming over his shoulders and down his arms. Derek briefly squeezed Stiles' hands and then reached for Stiles' chest, thumbs brushing across Stiles' nipples before he slid his hands around and to Stiles' back, pulling him close.

Stiles wrapped his arms around the back of Derek's neck, holding on tightly. It felt good – really good – to be touching skin to skin.

"I could probably spend all day touching you," Derek said roughly. "Just looking at you makes me want to stay in here forever, locked away from the rest of the world."

Derek's hands slid down Stiles' back to his jean-covered ass, cupping both cheeks with a firm grasp.

Stiles' dick, which had been at half-mast for most of the day, was immediately on board with that plan, hardening until Stiles couldn't help but rub himself against Derek.

Derek's grip changed. He lifted Stiles up effortlessly, waiting until Stiles had wrapped his legs around Derek's middle before he walked them across the open space of the loft towards his bed.

Stiles ended up in a patch of afternoon sunlight, Derek's bed sheets warm against his back.

Derek looked down at him with dark eyes and licked his lips, smirking a little when Stiles shivered in anticipation at the predatory look on his face. He slowly climbed onto the bed, moving forward on all fours until he hovered over Stiles.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" Stiles asked, reaching out and impatiently tugging on a lock of Derek's hair. "Get down here!"

Derek complied, causing Stiles to let out an "oomph" sound when Derek landed on top of him, but he definitely enjoyed the feeling of being covered with Derek's body from head to toe. Derek's weight kept him from opening his legs, so he wriggled until Derek raised himself up a little and helpfully pushed his knee between Stiles' thighs. Stiles spread his legs, moaning when Derek lowered himself down and pushed their groins together.

Derek huffed out a breath and caught Stiles' earlobe between his teeth. Stiles froze, his fingers wrapped around Derek's biceps. To Stiles' eternal embarrassment, Derek had previously discovered that Stiles' earlobes were even more sensitive than his nipples and, if he was turned on enough, could make him come in his pants.

"Oh God," Stiles breathed. "I want you to stop but I really don't want you to stop. Coming in my pants is so last month."

Derek hummed and licked along the outer rim of Stiles' ear before turning his attention back to the lobe, sucking it into his mouth.

"Fuck!" Stiles' hips bucked up and he moaned helplessly, lost in sensation.

Derek ground his own hips down in response, letting Stiles' earlobe slip from his lips to scrape his teeth down Stiles' neck. He shifted his weight until he was supporting himself with one hand so he could sneak the tips of his fingers under the waistband of Stiles' jeans with the other.

"Too much," Stiles gasped as sparks of fire shot down his spine at Derek's touch. "Gonna--aah--"

"Shh, it's okay," Derek murmured against his neck. "It's fucking hot, Stiles. The noises you make, all those pretty moans--" Derek broke off with a moan of his own, rutting against Stiles' leg.

The snarky retort on the tip of Stiles' tongue flew out of his mind as he trembled and came in his pants, heat racing through his veins. He gasped, trying to regain control over his own breathing while entranced by the sight of Derek so hazy and lost in seeking his own pleasure. As Derek's movements began to become more hurried and less coordinated, Stiles remembered.

He had plans.

"No." Stiles prodded Derek's side. "Come on, roll over."

Derek froze and stared at him like his brain had trouble processing what Stiles was saying. A moment later he pushed away from Stiles and rolled onto his back, panting slightly. He gave Stiles an alarmed look. "Sorr--"

"Oh my god, you big doofus." Stiles rolled his eyes. "I didn't mean no no. I just--I want to get my mouth all over you and the Derek-blanket was seriously cramping my style, so stop with the sad eyes and get naked!" He dropped a quick kiss on Derek's lips and let his fingers trail downwards until they hit denim. He started undoing the button on Derek's jeans while Derek, somewhat uncoordinatedly, tried to unzip the fly. Stiles batted Derek's hands away and did it himself.

Derek lifted his hips a little to help Stiles pull his jeans off.

Stiles licked his lips at having Derek's groin right in his face. Oh yeah, Plan Sexytimes was going full steam ahead.

He left Derek's boxer briefs on for now because there was something he wanted to do before getting more intimate with Derek's dick. He really did want to get his mouth all over Derek, starting with his neck.

Rolling onto his side until he was lying half on the bed and half on Derek, Stiles zeroed in on his intended target. His tongue darted out to wet a patch of skin on Derek's neck before he closed his mouth around the spot and sucked until he could almost taste the blood rising to the surface. Stiles pulled back to admire the hickey, only to watch the bruise fade away in front of his eyes. The initial dark red color of the mark gave way to a blue-ish purple that then rapidly faded into the green-yellow color of a bruise that was several days old. Another blink of an eye, and the mark was gone completely.

Stiles touched his fingertips to the spot and made a dismayed sound.

Derek rolled onto his side and slid his hand to the back of Stiles' neck, fingers splayed against his spine. "Do it again," he said, watching Stiles through hooded eyes.

When Stiles simply stared at him instead of moving, Derek tilted his head back invitingly and lightly dug his fingertips into Stiles' skin.

Stiles rolled forward in a daze, bumping into Derek's chest. The sight of Derek literally baring his throat to him sent in a rush of blood to Stiles' groin that made him light-headed and his dick half-hard again.

Stiles found the same spot on Derek's neck, still wet from his mouth, and re-created the mark. This time, Stiles used his teeth a little more – nibbling and nipping at the other man's skin until Derek's grip on him became uncomfortable.

Stiles pulled back, preparing himself to watch his mark fade into oblivion, but nothing happened. The hickey, glistening in the sunlight, stayed right there on Derek's neck, looking almost obscene against the backdrop of Derek's pale skin.

"You can stop it," Stiles whispered in awe. "You can stop the healing."

Derek nodded. "It takes some effort, so I might not be able to keep it under control until we're done." He let go of Stiles and pressed his fingertips against own his neck. "If I lose control and heal… Well, you'll just have to mark me again."

Stiles cupped the back of Derek's head and leaned down to kiss him, firm and warm.

"The caveman part of my brain approves," Stiles joked when they parted. He pushed Derek back onto his back and climbed on top of him, kissing his way down Derek's body and touching every part of Derek that his mouth left untouched.

His chin bumped against the waistband of Derek's boxer briefs and he grinned, hooking his fingers into the elastic.

"Okay?" he asked.

"Yesssss," Derek hissed, raising his hips to give Stiles an easier time sliding his underwear off.

"Sorry if this is more amateur than porn star level," Stiles apologized. "There's only so much you can get out of practicing with a banana. No feedback, you know."

Derek's laugh turned into a shuddering moan halfway through when Stiles ran his fingertips over the length of Derek's erection. Stiles had seen a lot of dicks in his life – some in the locker room, but most of them online – but Derek's was definitely the most alluring. Mostly straight with only a slight curve to the left, dark pink with a reddish head, exposed by his pulled back foreskin.

With an evil smile, Stiles bent his head down and gently used his lips to guide Derek’s foreskin down a little more before gently blowing on the wet exposed head.

"Stiles, please," Derek moaned.

"Shh," Stiles said. "I'm appreciating the view."

Derek shivered as Stiles' breath ghosted over his erection. "Appreciate faster."

Stiles would have argued more, but suddenly he couldn't wait to get a taste of Derek. He licked his lips, dimly recalling some of Lydia's scarily technical advice, and sucked the tip of Derek's dick into his mouth. Using one hand to steady himself, Stiles wrapped the other around the base, stroking lazily.

As far as blow jobs went, his first was probably terrible. Derek's dick felt a lot bigger than it had looked, and unlike the banana, Derek definitely did mind the scrape of teeth against his skin. It took Stiles a few minutes to find a good rhythm that didn't cause him to choke, and kept his teeth from any sensitive parts. He definitely needed practice; somehow Stiles didn't think Derek would mind.

Stiles startled a little when Derek's hand landed on his head, but he relaxed quickly when Derek didn't push or pull at him. Derek's fingers slid through his hair, dropping down to caress the shell of his ear on occasion.

When Derek's hips grew restless, Stiles pulled off and dipped his head lower. He had his eye on the prize: Derek's balls, hanging full and heavy between his legs.

Stiles wet his lips again and cradled one of Derek's balls in his hand while he sucked the other one into his mouth.

Derek's gasp of surprise turned into a low moan when Stiles rolled the ball in his mouth. The sound went straight to Stiles' dick and he closed his eyes, blindly reaching for Derek. He really wanted Derek to come in his mouth, but Stiles afraid of accidentally biting Derek if he lost control and thrust too hard or far during climax. So, instead, Stiles continued cradling Derek’s sac inside his mouth while he worked the shaft with his hand.

 

"Stiles. More, please."

Derek sounded absolutely wrecked, and Stiles felt his dick pulse, growing almost impossibly hard. At this rate, they might not make it to fucking before they passed out in a sticky, blissed out heap of exhaustion.

Stiles felt Derek's toes flexed against his calf and then Derek's hand was on his, their fingers slotting together around his dick. Stiles let Derek control the speed of their hands and spread his knees a little for better balance. Stiles lifted his other hand to rub across the tip of Derek's dick as he continued to lave Derek's bally with his tongue.

Derek yelled, his hips lifting up from the bed.

Stiles pulled back, afraid he might accidentally hurt Derek, and found himself transfixed by the sight of Derek, spurting come all over his chest and hand. Stiles reached out and drew his thumb through one of the sticky ropes on Derek's stomach, popping it in his mouth before he could think about it. It was mostly tasteless, with a hint of saltiness.

"Fuck, Stiles," Derek breathed. He sat up and pulled Stiles close, licking into his mouth like he was chasing after every last taste of himself.

Stiles moaned into Derek's mouth and shamelessly rubbed himself against Derek's leg, keening a little when Derek wormed his hand into Stiles' pants and cupped his erection.

"Please touch me," Stiles begged. He let his head drop, his forehead resting against Derek's collarbone. "Please--oh god--I've been waiting for you to touch me for ages, Derek. Need your hands, your mouth, anything. Just please, touch me."

"All right, all right," Derek murmured, running a soothing hand through Stiles' hair."I'll get you off," he said, twisting his hand around until his fingers were curled around Stiles' dick. "Do you want it slow and easy or fast an--"

"Fast, definitely fast," Stiles interrupted. "The fastest, before I explode."

Derek chuckled. "I can do that."

He set a brisk pace, with short strokes, hindered by the jeans Stiles was still wearing. Stiles didn't mind – getting undressed further would mean Derek had to let go of his dick, and that was something he really didn't want. Besides, the short, fast strokes were working just fine.

Stiles gasped and came, pushing his hips into Derek's hand. He slumped against Derek, breathing hard.

Derek ran a soothing hand up and down Stiles' back until his breathing evened out.

"Happy birthday, Stiles." Derek pressed a gentle kiss to Stiles' forehead. "Feel better?"

"Awesome," Stiles replied. His arm bumped into Derek's chest and he felt cooling come catch in the hairs. "But eugh. We need a shower."

"And some food," Derek agreed. "Maybe a nap."

"All in favor say 'aye'," Stiles mumbled into Derek's chest. He waited a beat. "Aye."

"Aye," Derek echoed him. "Can you stand up or should I carry you, my princess?"

"Just for that," Stiles said, poking his finger into Derek's ribs, "you can definitely carry me."

Derek laughed, but obligingly carried Stiles to the bathroom.

#

When Stiles woke up from his nap, it was dark outside. The only light in the loft was a pale mix of distant street lights and moonlight coming in through the big windows. Derek was lying on his side, curled up around one of Stiles' arms. His nose was squished against Stiles' bare shoulder, snuffling quietly every few breaths.

Stiles snuggled back into his pillow and felt a goofy grin spread over his face. Stiles No-Longer-A-Virgin Stilinski. Oh yeah. He didn't feel all that different though. He felt happy, relaxed and completely centered, which had been his default around Derek for a while, sex or no sex.

Still, even if they didn't have time to do everything tonight, there was one thing he really wanted to cross off his list. Smiling a little, Stiles trailed his fingertips over Derek's thigh, across his chest, and up to his face. He followed it with his lips, tracing the line of his fingers with small butterfly kisses.

Derek woke up while Stiles was pressing kisses into his stomach. Stiles jumped a little when Derek's hands came up to rest on his shoulders, sliding down to his hips when Stiles moved his kisses up to Derek's face. He hummed, sleepy and content, as Stiles kissed his eyelids.

"Are you awake?"

Derek smiled and, with what could only be werewolf speed, rolled around and pinned Stiles beneath him in a tight hug. "I don't know, am I?" he asked, nose buried in the hair at Stiles' temple. "I woke up and you were in my bed – that's a dream I've had a few times."

Stiles wanted to be mad – being wolf-handled could be pretty jarring – but hearing that Derek had dreamed about this was just too sweet.

"Awake, then," he decided. "Which is good, because we've got stuff to do."

"We do? What if I'm still sleepy?"

Stiles twisted his hips a little, bringing his half-hard dick in contact with Derek's own. "I don't know, are you?"

"I guess I could be persuaded to stay awake," Derek conceded, ducking his head to lick along Stiles' neck and up to his ear.

Stiles moaned and shivered when Derek sucked on his earlobe. All the sensations went straight to his dick and he rubbed it against Derek's hip for some much needed friction.

"That's not the plan," Stiles complained when Derek started moving on top of him, sliding against him in a slow, easy rhythm. He turned his head and put his lips right next to Derek's ear. "The plan is for you to fuck me now."

Derek's hips stuttered and he groaned, his forehead dropping down onto Stiles' shoulder. "Are you sure that you want to go all the way tonight? We have time, Stiles."

"Yeah, yeah, shut up. I've waited for this for eight months." Impatiently, Stiles grabbed Derek's face and pulled him into a kiss: a wet, dirty, hot kiss. By the end of it, Derek looked a little dazed and very, very turned on.

"Do you have lube and condoms?" Stiles asked. "It's fine if you don't – I have like half a pharmacy in my bag. My dad made me go in and buy condoms and lube while he was waiting outside in the car – talk about mortifying; at least he didn't come inside with me – and this kid at the register gave me this disbelieving 'are you for real' look like he couldn't believe anyone found me hot enough to sleep with, so we definitely, definitely have to get your dick in my ass. I need to be able to go back there and buy more condoms so that kid knows how my boyfriend can't keep it in his pants around me..."

Derek sighed. "I was more on board with that plan before you told me the reason for it. I'm not fucking you because some kid looked at you funny."

"What?" Stiles scoffed. "No, Derek. I want your hot man-meat to spear me up because I want it, okay? That I get bragging rights is just a bonus."

"Hot man-meat?"

Stiles shrugged. "I got the Gay Sex 101 from a bunch of drag queens, so sue me. Just be glad I'm not quoting them directly. I spent most of that talk stuck to my seat in horrified fascination because once they were done with the technical stuff it descended into anecdotes and 'remember that guy I was dating with the hair? He did this thing…' Thank god I was blushing so much there was no blood left to give me an inappropriate erection."

Derek gave him a skeptical look. "You got sex advice from drag queens?"

"And Lydia," Stiles admitted. He shrugged. "They are classy ladies, Derek. They'd congratulate you on your ability to resist my cute ass until it was legal, but they'd condemn you for not fucking it once it was legal. Which, hi, it's my birthday today! Please don't say no to fucking me." Stiles paused and frowned. "Wait, no, don't listen to me. If you don't want to fuc--"

"God, Stiles, the answer is yes," Derek interrupted him impatiently. His hand, gentle and soft, settled on Stiles' cheek, the tip of his index finger brushing slowly over Stiles' mouth. "The answer has always been yes, which is why I had to say no until now."

Looking straight into Derek's eyes, Stiles opened his lips and flicked his tongue out, wetting Derek's finger. He turned his head a little until Derek's finger slipped into his mouth, never breaking eye contact.

Derek's lips parted in a silent sigh when Stiles started sucking on his finger. His hips moved in small circles against Stiles. "I want to be in you," Derek said, his voice rough.

Stiles released Derek's finger, breathing a little harder than usual. "Good, because I want that, too."

Derek rolled off him to grab supplies from the bedside table.

Stiles took the chance to reach for the bedside lamp.

"Hey, how do you want to do this? From the back? Or face to face? On my side? I kinda stopped listening to the ladies when they started talking more acrobatic positions because--"

"On your stomach. It's easier at first. Until you get used to it."

"Awesome." Stiles wriggled a little, enjoying the way his dick rubbed on the bed sheets. A quiet groan oming from behind him indicated that Derek probably enjoyed the sight, so Stiles raised himself up to his knees so he could wriggle a little more effectively.

"Stop that," Derek said, slapping his ass lightly.

Stiles froze, trying to determine if he might like getting spanked. He was still contemplating it when Derek's hands settled on his ass to pull his cheeks apart.

"Oooh," Stiles moaned when Derek ran his thumb over his hole. It felt good in a weird way – more sensitive than when he touched himself.

"Oh my god," he gasped when Derek replaced the thumb with his tongue, flicking it over the hole until it was wet with spit.

"Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck," Stiles chanted. "Derek, please, you need to get in me."

Derek obliged, pushing his tongue against the tight ring and then inside, fucking Stiles with his tongue.

Stiles let out a strangled sob, his hands clenched in the sheets. "Derek, please, your dick. I need your-- "

Derek pulled back and something cold hit Stiles' crack, making him clench up and gasp in surprise.

"Shh, sorry," Derek said, pressing careful kisses to the small of Stiles' back. "Relax, Stiles. It'll warm up in a second. Let me in."

Stiles took a few gasping breaths and tried to relax his muscles. It got easier as the lube warmed up and Derek massaged the skin around his hole with his fingers, eventually slipping one, and then two, inside to stretch him. Stiles soon became impatient, wriggling his ass and encouraging Derek to go just a little faster, maybe add another finger, maybe finger-fuck him a little deeper.

"Oh, come on, Derek," Stiles whined when Derek refused to speed up his thrusts, "I've had bigger toys up my ass. You're not gonna break me, so stop teasing. Jesus, I need you in me. Now."

"All right, all right," Derek said, sounding a little impatient himself.

Stiles heard the sound of a condom wrapper being opened and turned his head to watch Derek run his hand over his dick once, twice, three times, before rolling on the condom. Then he caught sight of Stiles watching him, and his mouth curved into a smile. He returned the favor, letting his gaze caress Stiles' naked body.

"Like what you see?" Stiles asked, but instead of the intended joking tone, it came out a little breathy and desperate.

Derek's eyes flared red for a split-second and he ran a possessive hand over the curve of Stiles' ass. "Very much." His voice was low and dark. "Do you have any idea how you look, Stiles? All spread out for me, begging me to take you."

"Come on, Derek," Stiles whined. "Please!"

Stiles gasped when Derek entered him and the same jolt he'd felt a few times before ran through him. When he turned his head to look at Derek, Stiles could read in his eyes that he had felt it, too.

"Stiles," Derek whispered, his eyes wide, his mouth open. "God, Stiles, you feel amazing."

Stiles opened his mouth to reply, but all he managed was a drawn-out moan as Derek shifted a little. He pushed back against Derek, trying to get him to move, but Derek held his hips steady, taking in a few ragged breaths.

"Please, Derek, move," Stiles begged. His arms suddenly felt too weak to hold him, so he let his forehead drop down onto the pillow. "It doesn't hurt, I promise. That spark between us just made it feel more amazing and I really, really need you to move, okay?"

Derek pushed forward, just a tiny bit, but it was enough to make his dick bump against something inside of Stiles that made him see fireworks and sent a coil of heat up his spine.

Stiles groaned. "Mooore, please, Derek. Oh my god, this is so good. You have no idea. I mean it's a little weird at first but it gets awesome pretty quickly and I heard it'll just get better with more practice and please can you--"

"Stiles," Derek said through gritted teeth, "shut. up. And stop moving!"

Stiles blinked. That was Derek's terse, angry 'I'm pissed off voice', or perhaps his 'I need help but I'm not going to admit to it' voice. He raised himself back up on his arms so he could look at Derek, but a glance at Derek's scowly face didn't really help – he made his angry face in a lot of situations where he wasn't actually angry but had no idea how to express himself beyond anger. In this situation, his angry face was almost sexy.

Oh, who was he kidding? The angry face was always sexy.

"What do you mean, shut u--oh my god. Is this your 'I'm two seconds from coming' face? You do know you look kinda angry right now, don't you?"

"Seriously, Stiles, stop talking," Derek grunted, the words coming out raspy and strained.

"Wow." Stiles grinned a little. "This is really doing it for you, isn't it? I mean, it feels great from my end, but you're not even really moving yet and you're already at the edge?"

"Stiles!"

Stiles' smile widened. "Does that mean I could talk you into coming? Just sort of say sexy stuff until you can't hold it in anymore? Like tell you how much I'd really love it if you were to thrust hard and deep--" Stiles cut himself off by giggling, but recovered when Derek, quite evilly, pulled out a bit and then pushed deeply back into him in.

"Sorry, sorry," Stiles gasped, giving Derek an apologetic look. Derek's eyes were shining in the low lamp of the bedside table. Stiles thought he could detect a hint of red around the edges. Derek's hair was disheveled and sticking up in a cowlick at the back. His bare chest looked glorious in the low lighting, making Stiles regret the fact that they were back-to-front. He really wanted to get his hands on that chest.

"I blame the fact that I'm a teenage boy and anything sexy and/or gross is automatically hilarious. I'm definitely not laughing at you, Derek. You know that, right?" Stiles asked, his hand finding Derek's at his hip. "You're awesome. Your dick is awesome. The rest of you is awesome, too. I love the beard. It's really sexy and manly and it does things to me, Derek. So many sexy things. I want to rub my dick in it and maybe my come if that's not too gross. I just keep picturing it, those damp little curls all around your mouth and along your jaw, my hard dick sliding through it until I come and maybe some of my come lands on your ear or behind you, but most of it goes straight in the beard and I keep sliding my dick in it until it's smeared over every inch of that glorious face of yo--"

Derek made a choked off noise and leaned down over Stiles' back. He grabbed Stiles' chin, keeping him still so he could crush his mouth to Stiles', cutting off his monologue.

Stiles arched his back and moaned into Derek's mouth, words forgotten as Derek finally started pumping his hips, sending sparks of pleasure through Stiles' body with every thrust.

"No coordination," Stiles gasped out between moans, "but I need a hand on my dick, pronto."

"You say such sweet things," Derek purred into Stiles' ear, his hot breath ghosting along Stiles' skin. "But I feel like there should be some payback allowed."

"Ugh." Stiles pushed his hips back, uncontrolled and fast, and moaned when it had the desired effect of forcing Derek's dick to hit his prostate. Suddenly it was like their earlier positions were reversed: Derek was back in control of himself while Stiles felt like he was having an out of body experience. He couldn't think through the haze of pleasure.

"Please," Stiles begged, breath harsh and quick, "please, Derek, please, please, please."

"Shh." Derek pressed a kiss to the nape of Stiles' neck.

"Faster, please." Stiles pushed his hips back harder to meet Derek's thrusts. "I want you to fuck me forever, but I also want to come."

"I can do that," Derek said.

"Which one?"

"Either." Derek straightened up, his hand coming to rest on Stiles' back. "Whichever one you want, Stiles."

"I want to come," Stiles decided. "And I definitely want to feel you come. And then I want a nap and do it all over again."

Derek laughed, low and happy, and the sound of it went straight to Stiles' dick. Derek slid his hand over Stiles' hip and around to his front. Stiles moaned with relief and pleasure when Derek circled his dick with a tight grip, letting their movement drive it into his fist over and over again.

"I'm really close, Stiles," Derek said, his breath huffing against the skin at Stiles' nape. "You feel so good; won't take long."

"Forget what I said earlier about the beard; your voice is like sex personified. I'm not sure about talking you into coming, but your voice definitely gets to me," Stiles said, using one hand to cap Derek's, giving himself some extra stimulation.

"Then do it. Come for me, Stiles," Derek whispered into Stiles' ear, following it up with a quick suck on Stiles' earlobe.

Stiles cried out, overcome by pleasure. He wanted to thrust into Derek's fist and push back to take Derek's dick even deeper, but in the end he did neither, instead hanging limply in Derek's grip as he spilled out over their hands and the bed sheet, his fingers stroking over Derek's.

"So close, Stiles," Derek murmured. His hand slipped from Stiles' dick and settled on Stiles' lower abdomen, smearing some of Stiles' juices around on his skin. Stiles found it unaccountably hot and it shook him out of his post-orgasm lethargy.

"Derek." Stiles turned his head until he could catch Derek's eye. "Derek, I want you to come. I want you to fuck me as hard and as deeply as you want. I'm so relaxed and boneless right now that you could bend me in half, so we're definitely doing this face to face next time. Every time your dick goes in you brush against tha--ahhh--that spot; it's like electricity racing up my spine. Maybe I've been doing it wrong, but none of my toys feel as good as you, so hot and hard and gorgeous."

With one last jerk of his hips, Derek groaned and shuddered, his thrusts easing off as the condom filled. After a while, they stilled, the only movement on the bed coming from their laboring chests and Stiles' fingers, still stroking softly over Derek's.

The cooling come on his skin made Stiles grimace and he slowly took his hand off Derek's.

"Shower?" Derek asked, easing himself off Stiles. "Or do you just want to wipe off and sleep?"

"Wipe off and sleep." Stiles turned onto his back. "I'd probably pass out on you in the shower."

"You're not the only one," Derek said, yawning a little.

Stiles prodded him in the side. "No sleeping yet. We still need to change the sheets. Unless you want to volunteer for the wet spot."

"You go wash up," Derek said. "I'll make the bed and then join you."

Stiles nodded and stood, wiping his hand on the sheet before he used it to pull Derek's head towards him. He pressed a sweet, gentle kiss to Derek's lips, smiling when Derek kept the kiss slow and easy instead of deepening it.

"I love you," he said when they parted.

"I love you, too," Derek replied.

Stiles could feel Derek's eyes on him all the way to the bathroom.

#

"Okay," Stiles said when they were both clean and curled up together on Derek's bed. "That was… intense, earlier." Stiles hesitated for a moment. "Is it always gonna be like that?"

"I don't know, Stiles." Derek shrugged. "Until you, I've never truly loved anyone I've been with." He smiled. "And I've never been with my soul mate before either."

"Do you think we'd ever have gotten together if Scott and I hadn't done that spell?"

"Perhaps." Derek nudged Stiles' chin, tilting his face up so he could look Stiles in the eye. "Look, Stiles, the spell didn't make us do anything. All it did was tell us that we're compatible. It was up to us to do the rest. We could have ignored it – we weren't even friends back then. But we decided to give it a try. We became friends, got to know each other better, fell in love. And isn't that how it usually goes?" He brushed a soft kiss against Stiles' forehead. "So forget the spell. The spell is unimportant. What's important is how we feel."

"Hmm, when did you get so smart?" Stiles nuzzled against Derek's chest. "Smart is sexy."

Derek laughed. "Yeah, well, Sexy is pretty tired and definitely not getting it up again today."

"It's after midnight," Stiles pointed out. "So it's technically tomorrow."

"So we should probably sleep."

"Party pooper."

"And proud of it," Derek replied unrepentantly. He tugged the blanket up and curled around Stiles. "Go to sleep, Stiles."

"Yeah, yeah," Stiles said. "Good night, party pooper."

"Good night, hyperactive sex fiend."

Stiles laughed despite himself and then rolled his eyes when Derek kissed his nose. He was counting on Derek's werewolf-y eyesight to pick up on it despite the darkness. But when Derek didn't respond, he snuggled into Derek's arms and closed his eyes. He didn't know if he and Derek were really soul mates, but they both felt a spark of something between them. Whatever they were, they had a connection – and a whole lifetime to figure it out.