The first time it happens, Stiles knows it's a mistake.
That is not to say he doesn't go along with it, because he's seventeen, and he's allowed a few stupid decisions in his life. How else will he learn from them? That's going to be important when he's thirty, he knows, to have learned from all his mistakes and be awesome and weathered and stuff.
So he makes his mistake with full working knowledge that it is one, throwing his arms around Derek's neck and kissing him back like it's okay that this is happening, that it's okay Derek has him pushed up against the wall of the boxcar, that he was just threatening Stiles two seconds ago. Because Stiles is seventeen, and even he knows this is not a good start to anything, that he's totally the crying girl on the brochures in the nurse's office about abusive relationships right now.
He's still kissing Derek, even with that thought.
Stiles thinks he might just be going crazy.
It's alright though, when Derek's hands slide from Stiles' waist to his thighs, when he grips Stiles in a way he understands, sort of, enough that it's not a surprise when Derek pushes him up the wall. He hooks his legs around him after only a second, and when Derek moves down to his neck, he just pushes on his head, lets him know that yes, do that, keep doing that. When he says Derek's name, and it's a gasp, he can admit that, it stops being making out and goes straight to something that could probably get Derek arrested, because Stiles is seventeen, and age of consent in California is eighteen, but it's a probably, because he's not sure it's still illegal when they both still have their jeans on.
He still comes in his jeans like he's seventeen, because he is, but when he feels Derek follow, it makes a bit less embarrassing.
And maybe the after should be awkward, should be even more embarrassing than that, but Derek lowers him back down so Stiles' feet are back on the ground, and then he just falls against him, his weight pinning Stiles against the wall. It's not comfortable exactly, and he's breathing hard as he cups Derek's face, lets Derek kiss him again, over and over, his stubble scratchy under Stiles' palms. They keep kissing through the after burn, the adrenaline petering out to nothing but a lazy kind of want for closeness.
“Fuck,” Stiles exhales, because what the fuck did they just do? Against the wall of Derek's den, Jesus, is he really that easy? “Fuck.”
Derek's looking at him, and his eyes are intent on Stiles' mouth, like, yeah, that's what he's thinking too, want to? And Stiles is thinking about it, thinking okay, yeah, let's do that before my common sense catches up with my body, but that's when his phone rings.
It's Isaac. He'd tried calling Derek, he says, but it went straight to voicemail, and.
And then Isaac pauses.
And Stiles remembers werewolf and realizes Isaac can hear two people breathing.
Derek takes the phone, because Derek is Derek, and Isaac would never say a word about what he has to know he just interrupted, because Isaac isn't Scott. God love him, but Scott would never jump to the conclusion Stiles knows Isaac just did.
Stiles isn't a werewolf, so he he doesn't know what Isaac says, doesn't know why Derek makes a face like he can't believe his luck, but when he hangs up, he looks at Stiles with what could be honest regret. “I have to go.” He says, as he slides the phone back in Stiles' pocket. “Take care of something. You should get home, where it's safe.”
Like every visiting supernatural nasty doesn't eventually work out that Stiles is an awesome target.
“Okay.” He wants to go home, actually, really badly. He wants to get in the shower and get the sticky feeling off of him, change his clothes. He wants to zone out with Netflix, wants to forget what he just did, what he just let happen, because god, what the fuck? Where did that come from? “I'll see you later.” Hopefully much later, when his sanity had returned.
“Okay.” Derek kisses him again, one hand on the small of Stiles' back, the other holding his chin, holding him still, and Stiles just lets that happen too, because why not? He just let Derek push him up against the wall, didn't he? What had Derek even been mad about, he can't remember. “Lock your window. I'll text if it's me.”
Stiles wants to say, hey, I have a door, it's meant for people to come in and out of, whereas windows are not for that, thus why mine is on the second story, but that sounds too much like an invitation. He doesn't know that he wants Derek to come in through the front door, because that makes this a little too real, a little too much like acknowledging that he's a little more than allies with Derek.
Also, his dad. Even if Stiles sees him so rarely, they're like ships passing in the night, because Stiles got him fired, didn't he, and it's all better now, but it's still not, he still knows Stiles is lying to him, still doesn't trust his son, and he takes all the doubles he can. And most of them are for shifts when Stiles is home.
“Okay.” Is what he says out loud, and then they're leaving, Stiles to his Jeep, Derek to the Camaro. Derek is gone like a shot while Stiles pretends to fiddle with the radio, and once he's gone, out of sight, he presses his hand to his mouth and screams, because what the fuck.
What the fuck.
The second time, that's on Stiles' ground, in his house, on his couch. Derek's there because why the fuck not, it's not like he has a pack to take care of, or anything. Nope, he has all the time in the world to supposedly swing by to check in on Stiles, because somehow he knows how often his dad works night shifts, knows Stiles is alone in the house without the excuse of a parental figure within hearing distance while a twenty-something Alpha werewolf climbs on top of him on the couch and kisses him until he can't protest the hand undoing the fly of his jeans.
No, he can't protest, even as a part of his brain berates him for his epic stupidity, because what is he doing? He doesn't know how old Derek is, has never asked, never been all that sure of how old he was when the Hale house burned down, when Kate Argent murdered his whole family, but he does know he's too old for him. He's just seventeen, and he's a human, and he's got no excuse for why he thinks it's acceptable to let the literal Big Bad Wolf into his house and gobble him up.
When his head drops back on to the pillow, when he cants his hips up to Derek, half his mind is thinking yes, I like this, keep doing this, and the other half is telling him to stop now, that once can be chalked up to a moment of weakness, a stupid event easily forgotten, but twice is a conscious choice, twice is Stiles being an idiot. Because Derek is everything he should avoid. Derek is Bad News, and if Stiles had any sense left, he would say no, no, stop, we shouldn't do this.
His mouth doesn't get the memo though, because all it says is, “Don't stop, Derek, please,” and Derek, he growls, like Stiles panting for him turns him on, and when he grinds down against Stiles' thigh, he thinks that's a pretty accurate conclusion to draw. He turns Derek on like this, a leg thrown around him, the other hanging off the side of the couch, pushing up off the floor, arms around Derek, his Henley rucked up under his hands.
Derek is really warm, his skin smooth under Stiles' palms. It's weird to consider another person's skin, weird to analyze it like he is right now, but Stiles can't help how his brain works, just like he can't help how he moans when Derek gets it right, makes Stiles keen like he's dying, his blunt nails biting into Derek's skin.
When Derek stops, it's just not fair, but Derek's too heavy, and it's not until he feels Derek's dick against his that he realizes Derek was unbuckling his belt, undoing his own jeans, so that now they're against each other, and this is further than Stiles has ever gone, and he's scared. He wants to stop, and he wants to come, and he wants to be upstairs in his bed, doing his homework and being the son his dad deserves. He doesn't think his first time should be with Derek Hale, on his couch, and at the same time, he honestly doesn't care, because with the way his life is going, he could die tomorrow, and why not? Why not make this choice? It's not like anyone expects any better of him here lately, and it's what he wants, in his deepest darkest thoughts, so who cares. Who cares.
He comes, and the decision is made, because you can't take that kind of thing back, can't take it back when the man who just jerked you off is still breathing hard and hot in your ear as his hips move, until he finally comes with a sound you can't believe he made. You can't take it back when his come is on your stomach, when he's braced above you, kissing you again in the afterglow like he has nowhere else to be.
Stiles kisses him back, because he has Derek's come on him, and he thinks he doesn't have the option of changing his mind now, so what does it matter if he kisses Derek?
Derek leaves, because he can't stay when Stiles knows his dad will be home at three in the morning, and Stiles doesn't want him to anyway. He wants Derek gone so he can breathe and get himself together, and once he is, he scrubs in the shower until he's sure all the evidence is gone, then goes downstairs, back into the living room, and opens all the windows while he takes some fabric cleaner to the couch, When the living room smells like chemicals and not sex, he shuts the house back up and crawls into bed to read, using the Kindle app on his phone.
He doesn't scream this time, and he's damn proud of himself.
The third time is neutral, because it's in the woods, but it's not Hale property, so it's not Derek's. Stiles can appreciate the symmetry, sometime between Derek being a dick over Stiles being out in the woods by himself, followed by Stiles telling him to go kindly fuck himself because he's not the damsel in this equation, and he's allowed to go for a walk if he damn well pleases, and when the snow finally starts, they're making out against a tree, and Stiles can't figure out how it happened.
Because Derek had been angry with him, and he'd thought, okay, now we're going to go back to how we are, to what's normal, but then Derek had gone all weird and “Please stop making me worry about you, I can't follow you around all day” and Stiles had quipped “That's creepy, just so you know,” and then.
And then there was kissing, against a tree, and the bark is digging into Stiles' back, even through his hoodie, but he doesn't care, because they're kissing, and it feels good. He wants to kiss Derek, this stupid twenty-something Alpha who can't communicate to save his fucking life, because Stiles is a fucking idiot.
Derek kisses Stiles like he wants him, like Stiles is the best thing he's ever kissed, like Stiles is the only thing that can turn him on, and Stiles thinks that's blatantly unfair. Derek could be in porn, he's so damn good-looking and built, and Stiles is just himself, just a gawky teenager who talks too much. Derek shouldn't look twice at him, much less kiss him like this. And Stiles, he shouldn't be making out with Derek, because he's smart, he knows it, even if no one else does, and he knows Derek is just heartbreak waiting to happen. Derek could take him and shatter him if he so pleased, so Stiles shouldn't be giving him ammunition, shouldn't be letting Derek under his skin like this.
When the snow finally starts, Stiles thinks this is what most people dream of. A kiss in the fresh snow, with someone who looks like Derek, fuck, this is the stuff romance movies are made of. So why is it happening to Stiles, and why does part of him want to be curled up on the couch in the afghan, scrolling through titles while he eats popcorn?
Why is Derek saying “Stop doing this to me, Stiles, Christ,”? What is he doing?
He's making out with Derek Hale, the Alpha, against a tree. What does it look like?
The fourth time, it's Derek pressing him into the sheets of the nest he calls a bed in the boxcar. He tugs his own shirt over his head, and he swears, he will swear on every religious text that has ever existed, he just came to give Derek the information he'd gathered on the weird pack of selkies moving through. That was all.
But it's Derek pressing into him, kissing him, saying, “Come to bed with me,” and Stiles going, “Yeah,” and it's this, and that voice in his head going no, no, no, what are you doing, stop. And it's Stiles, ignoring that voice, or rather, acknowledging that the voice has a valid point, but shut up now, okay, because his dad is still barely speaking to him, and he doesn't know what's going on with Scott anymore, and he hasn't thought about Lydia in months now. All he thinks about is Derek and his aftershave and his hands and his bad attitude, and he comes with barely any effort every time.
He doesn't have to fantasize now, can just go, “Here, here, yeah,” moving Derek's hand, and say, “I want you,” and Derek puts his mouth around Stiles' dick, and blows him. And it's like, okay, I get why people like this, because this is awesome, but then he worries Derek wants it back, and he does, he so clearly does, but he won't ask. Stiles has to wonder if Derek knows that Stiles has no idea what he's doing, but then he's too anxious about being himself to even falter as he makes his way down Derek's fucking photoshopped body to get to his dick. He doesn't want to be a spaz, doesn't want to be what everyone thinks he is, so he sucks on Derek's dick like he's every blow pop Stiles ever accidentally deep-throated when he was just a kid who couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. And sometimes, Stiles thinks Derek doesn't know that he's the first one Stiles has ever done a damn thing with, because he keeps acting like Stiles is supposed to be used to hands all over him, like Stiles is supposed to know what to do with a man going “Yeah, Stiles,” above him while his nails dig into Stiles' head.
And he doesn't, so he wings it and hopes for the best.
Derek comes, and Stiles would count it as a victory, except that he's coughing, because Derek just came in his mouth, and it turns out that it tastes bad. Even when he spits it out, the taste lingers in his mouth, enough that he wants some Listerine, or at least a Coke.
He has some gum in his pocket. He makes do with that.
Derek is smiling at him, not laughing at him, just kind of chuckling while he cups the back of Stiles' head and kisses him, and goes, “Why can't you buy normal gum? What is that?”
And Stiles says, “It's watermelon, you Philistine, and it's awesome.”
He stops counting after the seventh time, because that's when he's ready, so that's when he lets Derek fuck him, and not intercrural. He already gave Derek that, let him come between Stiles' thighs in Stiles' bed, had dug his nails into Derek's broad back while he did it, while he thought it felt good, better than he had expected, and oh god, he's going to like it when he finally lets Derek fuck him, he's going to like being held down and taken apart.
That's another identity crisis he didn't need.
But he stops counting, he has to, because he can't keep them all straight anymore, and how scary is that, that he's had sex with Derek enough times that he's lost count of them all? It's terrifying, and it drives home that he needs to stop, that he's got to say no the next time Derek presses against his back, buries his face in the back of Stiles' neck, got to push off, say no, I don't want this, and pray he can mostly make it sound like the truth because it's such a fucking lie.
The first time isn't actually that good for him. The stretch hurts more than it feels good, and Derek slips at some point, his claws coming out and biting into Stiles' skin, leaving marks on his hips that bleed and sting every time the denim of his jeans move. He bites too, but Stiles knows he does that, he always does, only this time it's on the nape of his neck, and there's no way no one, not even Scott, doesn't know exactly what happened.
Stiles discovers he's not ready for this to stop being a secret the minute it stops being one. Not that it really ever was one, because he smells like Derek all the damn time now, because Derek thinks it's okay to come over anytime he damn well pleases, anytime Stiles' dad isn't home, and sit with him on the couch, wrap an arm around him, or make out with him while something inane plays on the TV. And it's better than being alone, and Derek isn't bad company anymore, but sometimes he just wants him to leave him the fuck alone because it's too much. Go find another friend for the night, let Stiles pretend he's still got some sense in his head, stop making him feel like he's the worst son in existence, stop making him feel like Stiles' couch is where he wants to be.
He lost his dad his job, took away the thing that gave him purpose all for Derek and his stupid shit. And now he's got Derek, a twenty-something murder suspect that his dad can't stand, in his dad's house, on his couch, and he's letting this man do all these things he does to him. And he doesn't even get that excuse when it's him initiating, crawling into Derek's lap, because Derek's not doing anything, and what else is he here for, what else is Stiles worth? Stiles just wants to get it over with so that he'll leave and he can get the smell out before his dad gets home, can pretend he was a good son who sat and did his homework and watched DC Nation on Cartoon Network.
And he did do that, but Derek was beside him, and Derek was saying he still liked Aqualad best, and the new Robin was a mouthy little brat, all while Stiles picked his brain on The Grapes of Wrath.
“I hated this fucking book,” he says resentfully, and it's a reminder of how old he is, that's he's too old for Stiles and he needs to stop letting Derek in. He needs to say no the next time Derek comes in without asking, tell him no, I don't want you here, needs to find the strength to turn Derek away. “I never got what the turtle is supposed to symbolize.”
“Which leaves me with Spark Notes. Big help you are.” Stiles is still sore, a little bit, and his hips still hurt every time he shifts, and the stupid bite mark on the back of his neck is itching as it heals and the way Scott had looked at him today had made him feel sick. “Why do I keep you around?” And it's a joke, it's just a joke, because Stiles isn't keeping Derek, has no plans for that kind of future, because he is going to end this. He is. He's going to tell Derek they can't screw around anymore, that he wants to actually go to prom with someone, someone like Danny, wants to be happy and normal, and he doesn't want Derek taking up all his time when he could actually be with someone who isn't Bad News.
Only now with this stupid hickey on the back of his neck, everyone thinks Stiles is already screwing around with someone, isn't on the market, and he is.
Derek's hand slides up his back lazily, like it's okay he's doing this, that he's touching Stiles like Stiles is his for touching, and that's when he gives up and straddles him on the couch, even though he's sore. He can just blow him this time, because Derek likes that a lot, and the sooner Stiles gives him what he came for, the sooner he'll go, and he can just do his damn homework in peace.
When he comes out of the bathroom, the sting of Scope still on his tongue, Derek is still sitting there, leafing through the stupid book.
“My dad gets home at two.” He says, instead of what he wants to say, which is get out, why are you still here, I'm not doing anything else for you tonight.
Derek just flicks his eyes up to the cable box, where the time is displayed, and goes, “We've got a few hours. Boyd is good at this shit, you know. You want to call him?”
“I guess.” He says, a little leery, because what the fuck is Derek doing, why is he calling Boyd for him? Why is he staying? He got off like he wanted, what else does he want Stiles to do?
And then Boyd comes over, and Isaac too of course, because Isaac is co-dependent, and Erica is trailing, popping her gum, only they brought pizza and Coke and a package of Donettes that Isaac has already opened and Boyd snatches away with a frown. They sit and Boyd explains the stupid turtle somewhat, while Erica perches on the sofa with the Donettes, and Isaac sits mesmerized by the cartoons until Derek shoves him in the back of his head and reminds him that he's in the same English class so he needs to pay attention damn it. And Erica giggles and throws a donut at his head, and Isaac whines that she's being mean, and Boyd just makes a face like, yes, this is his life, and when Derek breaks them up, Stiles meets Boyd's eyes, and there's a moment of commiseration between them, because god, their friends are idiots.
Only Stiles can't commiserate with Boyd about Erica and Isaac and their psuedo-sibling rivalry, even as Derek is growling at them to both knock it the fuck off, Erica, stop teasing him, Isaac, stop being such a baby. Because this isn't Stiles' life, the pack isn't his life.
But he ends up settled against Derek's chest while they all watch Captain America, and Derek's hands stay above the waist, one wide palm settled on his stomach, the other across the couch, and he doesn't do a thing, doesn't ask for anything but the way Stiles lays on him, and Isaac wonders aloud how someone could be nicknamed 'Bucky' and when it gets to be one-thirty and they all go home, and Derek kisses him good-bye, he only misses them a little.
The second time he lets Derek fuck him is because Derek wants to, he really obviously does, and Stiles just doesn't have the energy to put him off, doesn't know how to say you hurt me without inflicting a massive amount of damage on Derek, so he lets him do it to get it over with. It doesn't sting as much this time though, actually feels kind of great now that he knows what to expect, and when he comes, it's the kind of orgasm that makes his brain crack and splinter into a thousand pieces. And he thinks, oh, that's what I wanted too, no wonder people like doing this. There's no claws, no teeth, and if Stiles didn't know better, he would think the Big Bad Wolf knew that it hurt to put on jeans for three days after the last time, and the way he kisses Stiles' hipbones kind of makes him think that yeah, yeah, Derek might know after all and he might be sorry and he might be trying to say he'll be careful with Stiles, that he remembers Stiles is soft and human and needs care.
So he's still lying there, and he thinks that's alright, while Derek moves around the den he calls a bedroom, even if there's no bed. It's blankets and those big floor cushions and random pillows, and it's kind of weird and it smells like Derek's aftershave and sleep and the incense Isaac burns down here in the boxcars and sex. He wonders if this is a werewolf thing, because he's started to notice Scott doing the same thing in his bed, twisting the blankets up until his mom makes him fix it, and Isaac does it too, and the one time he was in Boyd's room, his bed had been making some good headway into looking like this. He's never seen Erica's room, and he's scared to, because girls' bedrooms are sacred, scary places and he doesn't want to get eviscerated when he inevitably breaks something. He's never, ever seen Peter's room, rarely seen Peter, and he thinks Derek prefers it that way, and so does Stiles, thank you kindly, because he's had enough of Pedowolf to last him a life time.
Derek doesn't make him get out, and that's good, he's being really considerate, because Stiles doesn't think he can move right now anyway, not comfortably, even though half his brain is desperate to get the fuck out. He wants to be clean and safe in his own bed, alone. But the other half, the half that is sore and blank and tired and content, thinks he can lie here for just a little while, can be comfortable in Derek's bed with Derek for awhile, can enjoy the way it feels to lie beside someone you just had sex with, the way it feels to be touched in the after, when Derek is sweet and nice and happy.
It's probably a mistake, but screw that, he's seventeen, it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to pick the Big Bad Wolf over the safe crush.
Derek crawls in with him, and fucking wraps himself around Stiles like he's a damn stuffed animal, which he's not, and he squirms, because it's not comfortable. Derek holds him too tight, and he keeps kissing him, but it's too hot with both of them pressed together like this. Derek's stupid fucking werewolf libido probably thinks he's going to get another chance to come, he just has to keep Stiles still during his ridiculously short refractory period, but Stiles isn't having it. He's going to get his brain back together and clean up and make Derek take him home, so he can make dinner for his dad, take it to him at the station, make sure he's eating right, even if he still sighs when he sees Stiles, doesn't invite him to sit and eat. He squirms though, and Derek gets it, loosens his arms, kisses Stiles' shoulder like, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I forgot.
He'd said he needed Stiles to go over the process of the wards they were using around the den they all lived in now, and seriously, didn't Boyd still have a family? Weren't they missing him? How had Isaac not been snapped up by the state? Weren't Erica's parents worried about why her teenage daughter was hanging around a bunch of guys all the time? But they were all living there like they were forgetting how to be people, like they were trying to be wolves, and they needed protection, and lucky them, Stiles was a natural at everything Deaton wanted to teach.
So Derek showed up, asked Stiles to come check on things, and Isaac had coughed and Boyd and Erica had smirked, and he's just glad Scott wasn't there, to glare and sulk and be unhappy at Stiles. Because Stiles smells like Derek, and Scott knows why, and Scott can go put them all in danger by getting involved with a family of hunters, but when Stiles screws around with Derek, he's a traitor to their friendship. He's not sure if it's because Scott is simpler than Stiles, because Scott sees Allison and Stiles as good, and Derek as bad, so never the two shall meet, or if Scott just knows what Stiles knows, and that's that Stiles shouldn't be sleeping with the twenty-something Alpha who doesn't just have issues, he has fucking subscriptions.
And Stiles had checked the wards, and gone over it with Derek again. Derek had listened pretty seriously, and Stiles had thought, oh, he's for real, he wants to make sure he's got this down, because he gets the feeling Derek might not have even graduated from high school, and maybe the shit Stiles thinks is child's play is a little harder for Derek.
Derek's not letting him go, and he really is fucking tired. He slept five hours, went to school, went to lacrosse, went over the wards, and now they've had sex, and his body is like, no, I'm done, we're not moving, best be accepting that. Just stay, just stay and let him hold you, it's okay for now.
“Why don't you work?” His mouth isn't tired though. It never is. “You always have money, but you don't work. The insurance on the damned Camaro alone, I don't even want to think about that, seriously, my Jeep is like two hundred a month, and that's not including gas. What's up with that?”
“Life insurance. Insurance on the house. And my parents, my aunts and uncles, they had had a lot of money set aside. Me and Laura got everything when we turned eighteen. Laura invested most of it, don't really get how. She was better at that kind of thing. She was really smart. Valedictorian.” Derek's chest is rumbling against his back as he speaks. “I couldn't even manage fucking high school. I have a GED, and I only got that because Laura wouldn't get off my ass about it.” He stretches out behind Stiles, and the whole length of his body is hot, because fucking werewolves, but now Stiles is getting cold, and the throw blankets are under him or down by his feet, so he's just got Derek. “She was always like that. It was weird. We weren't even close before it happened. Laura just wanted to get out of here, go to college, and she did. After it happened though, she was always trying to take care of me. Be like Mom. It got on my nerves, because she wasn't. She was my sister. She buried my baseball gear in the woods once and made me a treasure map to find it again after I told Mom she'd snuck out to go meet her boyfriend.” He sounds annoyed and fond, and it makes Stiles think of the way he tells stories about Scott and the stupid shit they've done over the years, like the time he fell off his roof because Scott is a moron and he broke his arm and Scott was the first to sign the cast and even offered to buzz Stiles' head for him, which was well-intentioned but his dad's health insurance only covered so much. “She could always kick my ass. It used to really piss me off.”
Stiles' heart beats too fast when Derek talks, because this isn't them, this isn't what they do, Stiles doesn't want to know this shit about Derek, doesn't want to let Derek be intimate with him, because that means things he doesn't understand. He wants Derek to shut up and let Stiles leave, take him home so he can shower, because he feels sticky and gross and the only reason he's not bothered by it is because he's so fucking tired and warm. He doesn't want Derek to say these things, because that means Derek is going to want something back, and he can't.
“When did your mom die?”
Stiles can't. He can't. No. This is not something he'll let Derek just take like he takes everything else. Stiles' mom is none of his business, isn't his to know and examine and see, like if he knows her, then he knows too much, and no. No. Stiles won't. Derek can't do this to him. Stiles can't share her.
So he pulls away, and Derek lets him, but he's looking at Stiles like he doesn't get what just happened, and god, he's such an asshole, why does he think he can just do this? “I thought you said your dad wasn't going to be home til morning?” He's not, his dad isn't going to roll in until ten in the morning, working a double through the night to cover the hours of the deputies they lost, the ones Matt made Jackson kill, and if Stiles isn't there, he'd probably be a little relieved, just like he will if Stiles skips bringing him dinner. But it's still home, and Stiles still wants to be there with him, even if he doesn't want Stiles anymore, and his dad loves him, he knows that. He does.
“What's that got to do with anything?” Because it's got fuck all to do with this, fuck all to do with Derek, and Stiles' mistake of a life. “Look, if you don't want to get up, I'll ask Boyd or Isaac.” He'd heard them come in sometime between before Derek was in him and when Stiles stopped thinking. “They're probably hungry anyway,” because werewolves are always hungry, “we'll stop for dinner.” He's not sure he can stand a whole truck ride with them, with the way they act like Stiles is supposed to be with them, because he's not. He's supposed to spend his nights with Scott, or his dad.
“No.” Derek closes his eyes, stretches, groans a little when he cracks his back, and then he's up, grabbing his jeans. “You hungry?”
He is, of course he is, he hasn't eaten since lunch, so he nods while he puts his first layer on, long-sleeved that pops over his head without getting caught on an ear for once. His second shirt is inside out, and how did that happen? He flips it back, and yanks that one over next, and he's putting his shoes on, sitting in the nest, and Derek's behind him, and-
What's around his neck?
“I'm sorry,” Derek says, against his ear, and seriously, what did he just put on Stiles? “I shouldn't have asked.” It's a necklace, a fucking pendant, on a real chain, and it feels slippery under his fingers. “Sometimes, when I'm out, there'll be someone wearing the same perfume my mom wore. And I just. I can't deal with it. I still can't. People would always tell us that it would stop, but it never does. It never stops hurting, because they're not there. And they'll never be there again.” Stiles can see it now, the pendant, it's a triskele, the same one on Derek's back, and it's not silver, because Derek doesn't like silver, says it doesn't burn or anything like the legends say, but it does give him a weird kind of allergic reaction, because he's born, not bitten, but it looks like it, and.
And Stiles can't breathe.
“She would have liked you though. Laura would have been a bitch about you, but she was bitchy to everyone I liked. She would have told you every embarrassing thing I ever did as a kid though. And my parents would have liked you.” He exhales against Stiles' skin. “I know it.”
It's awkward and awful as the silence goes on and on and Stiles still can't breathe right, because there's something around his neck, and Derek put it there, and Derek is talking about his family, and Stiles can't handle this.
And then he says, “Let's go,” and they do, and they get something to eat on the way to Stiles' house, and Derek walks him to the door, makes sure his house is empty, like he cares about Stiles being safe. And when he kisses him in the hallway, kisses him good-bye, he says, “I love you.”
Stiles manages to lock the door before he quietly panics, because the Alpha is Derek Hale, and Derek Hale is twenty-something, and fucked up and kind of mean sometimes and he used to push Stiles into walls and he ripped out Peter Hale's throat for killing Laura, and he spit on Kate Argent's dead body right in front of her brother and niece and looked at them like he was daring them to fucking say something. Derek is Bad News and Stiles is seventeen and he's human and he can't seem to say no to Derek and he can't take the stupid necklace off because Derek gave it to him and told him about his family while he did it.
No one gives Stiles anything anymore, no one gives him any space, any leeway, because he's used it all up. His dad can't forgive him no matter what he says, and Scott just doesn't get it, and all he has is Derek's pack treating him like they want him around and they want him to help them cook dinner and help them do their homework and sit on the tailgate of Boyd's pick-up truck and drink Sprite and watch Boyd try to teach Isaac how to make paper airplanes that actually go somewhere while Erica and him argue about which Green Lantern is the best, because John Stewart obviously is, but Erica is fucking delusional and insists it's Guy Gardner. And he has Derek keeping him company at night because he actually kind of hates being alone, and trying to help him with his homework even though he sucks at it and arguing with him about Marvel versus DC, because Derek fucking loves DC like the secret dork he is and Stiles thinks he's totally writing off the wealth that Marvel has to offer and that always ends with Stiles calling him stupid and maybe they watch The Dark Knight Rises illegally on Stiles' laptop. And maybe they talk about how JGL stole the show, and maybe it would have been better without Batman, and wouldn't it have been cool to see Nightwing's costume, and then Derek looks at him and says “Shut up, Stiles,” but it's fond, it's so fond, and how did he miss that?
And the Alpha loves him.
And maybe Stiles has been sort of missing the point this whole time.
“Jewelry? With flannel? Are you kidding me?” Lydia asks, raising an eyebrow at it.
Now Scott notices and he's seen Derek's back, and even he can't not make the connection, and he knows, he knows what's been going on, but now he can't pretend it's not, can't look at Stiles and not see Derek and his pack.
“Derek gave it to me.” He says, and Lydia shrugs, and says something about how at least Derek has good taste, but maybe he just had the store clerk pick it out, lots of guys do that. And Stiles thinks she could be right, maybe Derek just told the counter clerk what he wanted and let them find the right one, because Derek is Derek, but Stiles doesn't mind. The intent was there, and that's what the point is.
He doesn't mind when Scott meets his eyes across the table and says, “So that's it, huh?” Like an accusation, because it is, it's a wall between them that's never been there before, a line drawn in the sand. Scott is asking him first, but he doesn't doubt Derek will too. It's in their nature, they can't help themselves. They can't share him evenly. One needs more of him.
“Yeah.” He says, and finishes his sandwich.
He sits with Erica, Isaac and Boyd the next day, Friday, end of the week, because he wants to and he doesn't want to hear all the plans people are making without him. He doesn't even hesitate, and they don't either, just draw him in, and Isaac is insisting that he doesn't want to watch Don't Be Afraid of the Dark tonight, because Isaac hates scary movies, and what if those things are real, what if they come after them one day, and Erica is calling for a vote, because "You're such a big baby, there's no such thing as evil tooth fairies," and Boyd asks if Stiles needs them to bring something, and that's when he realizes he has plans for tonight after all.
Derek isn't even trying to help, but Stiles doesn't mind. The Grapes of Wrath sits on the table, open and marked up, because whatever, it's eight bucks, the school will get over it and if Stiles doesn't mark what he's thinking right then, he'll lose it, and he might hit on something good while he browses the Internet, searching for someone who likes the stupid thing. So far, he's got half an essay and the worksheet is three-quarters done, and they're watching Fringe on Netflix, because Derek really likes it and so does Stiles.
He's chewing on the chain of the triskele, and seriously, does anyone like this book, how the fuck is it a classic when no one likes it, and he says it, because it suddenly doesn't hurt like it always does to even think about her, “My mom really hated classic books.”
And Derek goes, “Really?”
“Yeah. She thought they were boring. When I was in seventh grade, I had to read The Yearling. I was already on my Adderall, but it's not magic, you know, and I couldn't concentrate on it. Dad had to read it out loud to me. Mom couldn't do it. She kept getting distracted. Asked my dad if we could just watch the movie instead.” And they had, but that had been dull too. “She liked the Harry Potter books.”
It hurts, right in his chest, because they would sit and debate about Snape's true motives, and whether Dumbledore was a manipulative bastard or not and they'd both cried when Sirius died. It hurts like nothing else has ever hurt him, because she's gone, and she's never coming back, and he wants her back, he wants her to get to read the seventh book and see that she was right, that Snape was a good guy the whole time, but she can't. She can't.
There's a pause, like Derek is respecting his pain, and he probably is, because who would know better than Derek how much it all hurts and never stops fucking hurting? How it's like there's a great big gap in his heart and it'll never close again, just hurts even more when he thinks about shit like his high school graduation, and how his dad is going to be sitting alone in the seats, how everyone else will be getting two, three, four tickets, for their parents and step-parents and whatever, and Stiles will just get one.
And Derek doesn't say it's alright, he doesn't lie like everyone always does. Instead, he says, “Laura liked the Twilight books.”
The strangled feeling loosens, as he laughs in disbelief, “Really? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Derek just frowns, like he's in pain. “She had a Team Jacob shirt.”
And Stiles is really laughing, and Derek chuckles, and kisses him, soft and simple, and Stiles says, “I love you,” and it's okay, it's okay. Derek is the Big Bad Wolf, but he's Stiles' Big Bad Wolf, and maybe he's losing Scott, but that'll be okay, because he has Boyd's origami and Erica putting Isaac in a chokehold, and maybe his dad hasn't come around to who Stiles is now, maybe he's going to be angry for a long time and he deserves to be, and maybe he's going to hate this thing with Derek because Derek is twenty-something and he's been arrested, by Stiles' dad, but that's okay too, because they still love each other and Stiles can wait him out.
Until then, he thinks it'll be okay.