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Wanted and Wounded

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Derek realized after his fifth failed attempt at getting off that this whole inability to perform thing might be more of a problem than he’d originally thought. It took another four days with no luck at-fucking-all for Derek to pinpoint the problem as psychological as well as physical, and another twelve hours after that for his mind to make the connection.

Stiles.

Of course this was all about Stiles. Of course it had to be him , the fidgety, brilliant teen who seemed to feel everything with his whole self.

Still, their weekly pack meeting was not where Derek wanted to be when he put it all together.

Everyone was piled into Derek's loft, binge-eating pizza and arguing about what movie they wanted to watch. It had been Stiles’ suggestion that brought “pack nights” into fruition, and his encouragement that kept the betas coming week after week, despite Derek’s generally sullen and disinterested affect. One of the only non-wolves among them, and Stiles still seemed to understand the importance of pack bonding better than Derek ever had.

They settled on “Iron Man,” after some considerable whining from Stiles and Scott both, and everyone rushed to find a spot on the couches.

By that point, Derek was used to feeling on edge. Nothing he’d tried over the last week had managed to get him off, and he flat out refused to go to Deaton with the problem, or god forbid a doctor. He’d learned to accept the low throb in his stomach, and the way his entire body tingled with unsatisfied need.

And sure, maybe tonight he was a little more hair-trigger than usual. But that could surely be attributed to the heady cocktail of teenage hormones wafting around the loft with all his betas present. He could ignore it. He was the fucking jedi master of ignoring big, embarrassing problems. All he had to do was make it through the movie. Then the pack would head home, and he could maybe take another shot at milking one out.

Derek was already seated at the far end of the main couch when the scuffle began. Scott snagged the spot at the opposite end, with Allison pressed into his side. Lydia managed to grab the ideal seat at the center. Jackson situated himself on the floor, against Lydia’s legs, and Isaac, Erica, and Boyd piled themselves onto the loveseat in a ghastly entanglement of limbs. Peter claimed the recliner with one well-intentioned glare at the others, and Cora flung herself down onto the bean bag in the corner.

Stiles was the last to skid into the makeshift living room. His eyes flicked over the lack of remaining seating options, then settled on the sliver of leather between Derek and Lydia. He beamed, and hopped over the pillows on the ground, stumbling gracelessly in Derek’s direction. With a triumphant grin, Stiles plopped himself down onto the couch, grabbing onto Derek's shoulder for guidance when he began to lose his balance.

That’s when it happened. Stiles’ fingers slipped under the collar of Derek’s henley as he tried to stop himself from smacking into Lydia and Derek both. The moment their skin made contact, hot and pliant and thrumming with energy, Derek was coming, claws digging into his palm, right where he sat. It felt good. So fucking good after days and days of waiting. His toes curled in his shoes and Derek could barely breathe through the pleasure.

He thanked whatever God was listening that Jackson had turned on the movie a few seconds before, or everyone in the fucking loft would have heard the startled, desperate grunt he couldn’t help but let out as he soaked the denim of his jeans. As it was, a quirked eyebrow from Peter was enough to light Derek’s cheeks on fire, and Stiles’ eyes were suddenly burning a hole through his sideburns. Stiles- King of all that is Geeky and Comic-based- was looking away from the television and at Derek. He’d heard. He must have.

Derek was up and flying towards the bathroom before anyone else could react, muttering something about being right back . As if. Any wolf with a half-decent sense of smell would have known exactly what Derek just did. And maybe Scott and the other betas were still young enough that they wouldn’t be able to identify the scent, especially when distracted, but Peter sure as fuck knew.

“You’re going to miss all the important exposition!” Stiles called after him. Derek seriously considered flinging himself out the window.

He could live in the bathroom, Derek decided. He could make camp there, refuse to commiserate with the pack until they were all old enough to have lost the memory of this particular fuck up. While Derek planned for the worst, and while he tried to scrub the come out of his jeans, he thought about Stiles.

Derek knew that what just happened wasn’t about skin-to-skin contact. Peter had surely clapped him on the shoulder a handful of times this week, and when the betas were in training, those of the male proclivity tended to spar shirtless. He’d hugged Cora too, at least once. So it wasn’t the touch that was the cause, it was Stiles himself. And Derek wasn’t too sure what to do about that.

There was something wrong with him, and apparently, Stiles was the only one who could fix it. The underage son of the fucking Sheriff.

Derek locked the door to the bathroom and hid there until the end of the film. Afterwards, he gladly held open the door as the betas filed out into the cool evening air. Stiles was the only one who paused in the doorframe, watching him with a strange expression.

“What happened to you, man? You missed the whole movie.”

Of course Stiles had to say it out loud. The fact that no one else had mentioned his absence wasn’t any hint at all .

“I felt sick,” Derek replied tonelessly, “Maybe from the pizza.”

Stiles cocked an eyebrow at him. Of course he did, when anyone knew that wolves didn’t get sick, and that he’d just told perhaps the worst lie in the entire history of lies. Stiles could call him out on it. Derek expected him to.

“Whatever you say Big Guy,” Stiles said with a shrug, then headed out to his jeep.

Derek slammed the door shut and spun on his heel, already knowing what he would find there.

“Nephew, I think we need to talk.”

“I don’t want to talk, Peter. I want to sleep,” Derek said, shoving past him.

“Oh, I think we definitely need to talk,” Peter crooned. “I mean, your wolf is finally coming of age! This is a big deal.”

Derek stopped, but didn’t turn around. “What?”

“Come. Sit,” Peter said, motioning towards the stools around the kitchen island.

With a sigh, Derek did as requested, hunching over himself against the marble and refusing to meet his uncle’s gaze.

“What do you remember from the birds and the bees talk your parents gave you?” Peter asked him.

“Uh, I remember them telling me to use a condom. After that I tried to block everything out.”

“What about mates?”

Derek mulled on that for a moment. “They said I’d have one, someday. That you never know when you’ll meet them, that they’ll compliment you in every way, that whole thing.”

“But they never told you how to recognize your mate,” Peter said.

“No,” Derek said quietly, “I know they had that talk with Laura because she was going to head off to school. They probably would have done the same with me, but…” but they never had the chance.

“Okay,” Peter replied gently, “Then there are some things you need to know. The first is this: your wolf came of age today. The why is pretty clear to me. A wolf comes of age at the moment when their human side and their were side mutually settle on an acceptable mate.”

Derek finally raised his eyes up out of his lap. “So, you think I found my mate.”

“Yes, and from the look on your face, I’m fairly certain we both know exactly who it is.”

Derek scraped his fingers roughly through his hair. “ Fuck .”

“Said eloquently, yes. You’re going to need to.”

Derek frowned at him, all eyebrows. “What do you mean need ?”

Peter smirked at him. “Would I be right in assuming that you’ve experienced some… er… performance issues recently?”

Derek blanched, but shot him a jerky nod.

“Right, well that happens for a reason. Once you’ve found your mate, they become your body’s primary sexual stimuli.”

“Meaning…”

“Meaning you won’t be able to have an orgasm unless it’s with them,” Peter said. “Most anthropological experts in lycanthropy suspect this was an adaptation that came out to prevent conflict within a pack. No were would ever contest a wolf for their mate; it would be suicide.”

Derek groaned and buried his face in his hands.

“It won’t be like this forever,” Peter tried to assure him, “The first few years are the most intense. The first symptom of it is sexual, as things always seem to be with teenage boys and young wolves. The other instincts will follow.”

“LIke what?” Derek asked. He sat heavily back in his chair, defeated.

“Scenting, marking, all the regular things,” Peter said, “Being apart from him for any length of time could be uncomfortable, but it could also progress into downright painful depending on your connection. You’ll be more attune to his feelings, and if he’s injured in any serious way, you’ll know.”

“But...but he’s not a wolf. He’s not going to be feeling any of this. I’ll just be some psychotic older guy, who's supposed to be his alpha , suddenly obsessed with him and begging him to touch my neck just so I can get off more than once a week. Fuck.

“I wouldn’t jump to conclusions. Your father was human, as you well know, and he had the most solid relationship with my sister I’ve ever seen. He could read her mood from well across the house.”

Derek crossed his arms over his stomach, trying his best to hold himself together.

“They never warned me…” Derek said softly, “They didn’t prepare me for any of this. There’s no way Stiles is going to be alright with being my anything, let alone my mate, and I don’t know what to do.

Peter hopped up off the stool and poured himself a glass of whiskey. “I know I’m not an expert on this. And I know you may not want my input. But in this instance, I think the appropriate next step would be to talk to Stiles.”

“I’ll scare him off.”

Peter grinned wistfully. “I’m not sure there’s anything you could do to scare that boy.”

“But that’s the thing. He’s a boy.”

“Seventeen.”

“Which isn’t eighteen.”

“But it’s not adolescence either. With all your pack has been through, especially Stiles, as a human no less, I think he’s earned the right to make decisions like these for himself.”

Derek was quiet for a while, the gurgle of Peter downing his drink the only sound between them.

“What do I say to him?” Derek asked.

“That’s up to you,” Peter said, “But I’d start with an actual hello, for once.”

Derek swallowed against the dry lump in his throat.

********************

“Talk to him,” Derek muttered to himself as he approached Stiles’ house the next night. “Just talk to him. That’s all.”

Stiles’ window was open, so Derek didn’t hesitate to scale the side of the house and hurl himself through it with lupine grace.

From his desk, Stiles vaulted a good three feet in the air and shouted, “What the fuck, Derek? We talked about this! You have my cell phone number now, no need to be a creeperwolf.”

“Sorry,” Derek mumbled, tail already between his legs. “Um...hello, Stiles.”

“Right, hi.” Stiles trailed off, eyeing him incredulously. “Are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“You’re in my pack. Aren’t I allowed to check on you?”

“Well, yeah, if that wasn’t a horribly shitty lie, then sure, you could check on me,” Stiles closed his laptop and swivelled his chair to face the older boy. He crossed one leg over his knee and stretched his arms up over his head, revealing a strip of peachy skin that made Derek’s mouth water. Fucking mating hormones. “You realize you’re a terrible liar, right? Like potentially the world’s worst. Wait- is that what this is about? Whatever the hell you were lying about the other night at the loft?”

With a deep sigh, Derek sat down on the edge of Stiles’ bed. “Sort of.”

“Well, if it’s research you seek, you’ve come to the right guy. Start me off with a six-pack of Red Bull, some curly fries, and a search term, baby.”

“I don’t need you to research anything, Stiles,” Derek said, “Well, at least not yet.”

Stiles scratched at the side of his face in a way that was far too attractive to be legal. “But this is about what happened at the loft.”

“Yes.”

A long silence followed, during which Stiles stared at Derek with an increasingly confused expression, and Derek refused to look up at Stiles at all.

“Seriously? Am I just supposed to guess what the problem is?” Stiles exclaimed, “Jesus, Derek. If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. But don’t waste my time sitting here staring at me like I’m some fucking mind reader-”

“Stiles,” Derek cut him off. Not in his alpha voice, but his human one. If Stiles had to characterize the sound, he might have called it a whine. But no, that couldn’t be right, because big bad wolves didn’t whine when Stiles scolded them. Derek couldn’t bring himself to say it. Not explicitly. So he asked, “Can you just….come here?”

Derek’s voice was small, and Stiles looked downright shocked. Worried, even. He stood up and padded over to Derek, sat down next to him on the bed. “Are you okay, man?”

“Not really, no,” Derek muttered. If he hadn’t been positive before that Stiles was his mate, it was obvious now. The stench of him was overwhelming, like fresh dirt and sunlight and burnt sugar. Derek could feel himself hardening faster than he thought possible, straining against the zipper of his jeans, and he still hadn’t managed to tell Stiles anything .

“What do you need me to do?” Stiles asked, voice quiet and so close to Derek that he shuddered uncontrollably.

“Just-” Derek picked Stiles’ hand up from the bed and brought it to the back of his neck. He still couldn’t look the younger boy in the eye, but Stiles seemed to understand. He gripped him there hard, and Derek’s cock throbbed.

Stiles’ eyes slowly made their way down Derek’s body, to the place that he could no longer hide, and he heard Stiles’ heartbeat hammer against his chest.

“I’m sorry,” Derek said, “I’m sorry. It’s a side effect. Can’t stop it.”

“Did someone poison you?” Stiles asked.

“No.”

“Witches, then? Some kind of spell?”

“No, Stiles. It’s just-” you , Derek couldn’t manage to say. It’s just you, doing this to me. Instead, he brought one hand down to his own crotch. “Just- please. Leave your hand there and...just once...God, I need to….it’s too much...please, Stiles, I…”

“Oh my god, this is really happening,” Stiles said. “Okay. This is okay, you’re going to be fine. Why don’t you, like, give your dick some breathing room? Can you do that? No sense in ruining a good pair of completely skintight jeans.”

Derek could scent the arousal coming off of Stiles now, and it put him at ease. The boy was still anxious and confused, but he wasn’t disgusted. Derek took his advice and shimmied his jeans and boxers down to the middle of his thigh. He watched Stiles’ eyes widen as he took in Derek’s flushed length, long and hard and wet.

“Jesus Christ,” Stiles murmured. “Can I...I mean, do you need me to help? I’ve only ever done it to myself, but the mechanics are the same, right?”

“Only if you want to,” Derek rushed to say, “I don’t need it. I wouldn’t ask you…”

“Nah, of course you wouldn’t,” Stiles said, “You’re the Big Bad Alpha, you don’t ask for anything.” Stiles nodded once, to himself, then wrapped a hand around Derek’s length. When the older boy convulsed under the light touch, groaning through his teeth, Stiles smiled broadly. “Just tell me if I’m doing it wrong.”

Stiles began to stroke him, slow and easy and perfect. The touch to his neck alone had nearly brought Derek to the edge. But now, he was panting. He could feel the wolf looming under the surface, just as invested in this moment as he was, and it was taking everything Derek had to rein himself in.

“I’m close,” Derek moaned, lolling his head towards Stiles’ and shamelessly breathing in his scent. “Stiles, I’m going to…”

“I know you are,” Stiles said, and he was grinning, that fucker. “C’mon, Derek. I want to see it.”

“Fuck,” Derek groaned, “Fuck, Stiles.

With his head thrown back, Derek panted his way through what had to be the most intense orgasm he’d ever had. The smells coming off of Stiles now made it all the better, desire and excitement. Derek wanted to smear their scents together, mark the boy inside and out.

Stiles picked up a discarded t-shirt from the floor and used it to clean Derek and himself. It made Derek bristle with pride, because his mate was so considerate, always so eager to please, and perpetually focused on the needs and wants of those around him. For that reason, Derek brought his palm down to the tented crotch of Stiles’ jeans and squeezed gently, a test.

“Ohmygod,” Stiles groaned, “Derek, you don’t have to. I…”

“Just let me,” Derek said, “Please, Stiles.”

Derek could feel the moment the fight left Stiles’ body. He used the advantage to push the boy back onto his elbows, and jerk open the fly of his pants. Stiles watched, red-faced, as Derek gently pulled him into the open air.

“Holy fuck I’m not gonna last,” Stiles moaned. His hips were canting up into Derek’s fist like he couldn’t help it, and the older boy could feel himself getting hard again. But with the need less insistent this time, he focused all his attention on Stiles.

When Derek pulled his hand away, Stiles whined at the lost. But then Derek held out his palm in front of Stiles face, feeling brave.

“Lick,” Derek demanded.

Those brown eyes Derek couldn’t help but get lost in darkened, pupils blown wide, and Stiles complied with a low moan. He held Derek’s gaze as he slicked up Derek’s hand, and clenched his eyes shut as soon as Derek began to stroke him again, as if he couldn’t bear to watch.

“Oh my god,” Stiles moaned, “Holy shit- that feels- oh my god, Derek, I-”

On his knees beside the bed, Derek pressed his face down closer to where Stiles’ scent was strongest, feeling lightheaded from the overwhelming stench of Stiles’ arousal.

“You smell so fucking good,” Derek said, “It’ll be even better when you come. Do it now, Stiles. Do it.”

Stiles collapsed back onto the bed. His back arched, hands fisted in the blankets.

“Ah, Derek. Derek. Derek, fuck.

Stiles convulsed in Derek’s hand, cock pulsing again and again, longer than Stiles could ever remember coming, until his muscles were shaking. Derek stroked him through it, murmuring low sounds of encouragement. He was painfully hard, now, cock straining up towards his belly. Derek knew it wouldn’t take much, not with Stiles here in front of him, smelling so perfectly sated. But there was one thing he needed to do first. His instincts were demanding it of him.

As Stiles looked on with hooded eyes, Derek raised his hand to his mouth and lapped Stiles’ come right off his fingers. Derek’s eyelashes fluttered as he took in the taste, everything Stiles was concentrated into a few drops. It flooded his senses, and before he could so much as reach a hand down between his legs, Derek was coming untouched. His head fell forward and he moaned against Stiles’ thigh.

Derek felt Stiles’ fingers dragging through his hair. “Holy shit,” Stiles said, “Did you….again…?”

“Sorry,” Derek muttered, while slowly straightening out his spine.

“Sorry- what do you mean, sorry? Why the hell are you apologizing for the hottest thing that has ever happened to me ? I mean, Jesus Christ, Derek, that was amazing .”

“Yeah?”

Stiles smiled down at him, soft and relaxed. “Yeah.”

Derek nodded. “Good.”

He got to his feet, and was surprised when Stiles let him clean him off, then carefully tuck him into bed without comment. Derek flicked off the lights and crawled into bed beside him, curling up against Stiles’ back with a low purr of contentment.

After several moments of silence, Stiles asked, “So are we not going to talk about the fact that Derek Hale wanting to cuddle me is perhaps the biggest revelation in the history of Beacon Hills?”

“Go to sleep, Stiles.”

“Seriously. You’re all up in my grill. I’m your skinny, almost hairless Teddy Bear.”

“Teddy Bear’s don’t talk.”

“Neither do you, 90% of the time. Hey, maybe that’s your dark, mysterious secret. You’re not a wolf at all. Just a big old Teddy Bear.”

“Stiles,” Derek grit out.

“Fine. But we’re talking about this in the morning,” Stiles conceded. Derek hooked a leg over Stiles’ body, effectively pinning him in place, and that was that.

Chapter Text

They did not, in fact, talk about it in the morning.

Stiles woke up clad only in his boxers. But before he could start to wonder how he’d become considerably more naked in his sleep, Derek’s tongue was tracing the way down his stomach, and Stiles’ vocal chords failed him entirely.

Derek licked every inch of him. Mouthed at him slowly, hot and wet, even as Stiles shuddered through his orgasm, fingers twisted in Derek’s hair.

Stiles hadn’t even come close to finishing off his chorus of “Derek, Derek, ohmygod, Derek” when he felt a second round of warm wetness splatter over his chest. Stiles panted, staring up at Derek with wide eyes, as the older boy smeared it into his skin until he was satisfied.

“I’ll be back tonight,” Derek said from the window. He sprung down onto the grass, leaving Stiles floundering in his wake.

“Well, alright,” Stiles called out, “I guess I’ll just be here, then! Waiting!”

He slammed the window shut and wondered again how all the weirdest shit always managed to happen to him.

********************

Derek breezed into the loft, and was immediately confronted with an even more smug-looking Peter than usual, who scented the air once, then said, “Didn’t I say it would all work out? You just had to talk to him, and I bet he flung himself right at you once he realized you were interested.”

Sidestepping him, Derek bee-lined for the kitchen.

“Unless…” Peter mused from behind. “Oh for fuck’s sake. You didn’t tell him, did you?”

Derek pulled a carton of orange juice from the fridge and tipped it back down his throat.

“It didn’t come up,” Derek said.

“Didn’t come up,” Peter repeated flatly. “You spent all night rolling around in bed together, and you couldn’t find five seconds to say, ‘ By the way Stiles, you’re my mate ’?”

Derek sighed heavily. “I couldn’t tell him. Not after…” he dragged a hand through his hair. “Stiles should have a choice in this. And once I tell him, he doesn’t get a choice anymore. He deserves to have some time where he can decide if he even likes me at all before I start using words like mate and forever .”

“While it’s noble of you to say that, it’s hardly realistic. Stiles is smart. He’ll figure it out eventually. Especially when things become so painful on your end that you can no longer hide it.”

“I can handle it,” Derek said.

“For how long?”

Derek shrugged. How long, indeed?

********************

Scott had been in Stiles’ jeep for twelve seconds tops when he blurted out, “Holy shit you fucked Derek.”

“I did not ,” Stiles hissed. “I mean....I didn’t not do something like that. Or is it didn’t not not- fuck, I always forget with double negatives-”

“Stiles!”

“Alright, alright, jeez. So Derek might have come over last night. And we might have had some horizontal fun together. Except, it wasn’t even fully horizontal. More like casually reclining. And we did not do what you think we did, for the record.”

“He just came over,” Scott said.

“Yeah.”

“And what- kissed you? Oh man I don’t want to imagine you and Derek kissing.”

“Well you don’t have to, because we didn’t,” Stiles said.

“...so he just went straight for your dick?”

Stiles banged his head against the steering wheel. “We are not having this conversation. Please tell me we are not having this conversation.”

“He figured it out then?” Scott asked.

“Figured what out?”

“That you like him.”

Stiles chanced looking away from the road to stare blankly in Scott’s direction for a few purposeful seconds. “You knew?!”

“I’m your best friend, dude. I’ve known since that first night in the woods. And even if I couldn’t tell by the way you always look at him, I could smell it,” Scott said with a grimace.

“You could...oh my god. Oh my fucking god. Does that mean Derek could smell it? Did he know this whole time?”

“Maybe?” Scott said with a shrug. “Probably not, if it took him this long to do something about it. You kinda always smell like sexual frustration, so I’m guessing he didn’t realize it was directed at him.”

“Does everyone else know?”

“Well….I might have mentioned it to Allison, at some point…”

“Scott!”

“And I’m pretty sure Lydia and her have a running bet on when you two will finally bone, which I am not involved in, because I’m a good friend.”

“So everyone knows.”

“Pretty much, yeah.”

“Except me,” Stiles said.

“Yup.”

“And Derek.”

“Apparently, dude.”

Stiles let out a groan of mortification. Everyone knew about Stiles’ embarrassing, undying, fucking obsessive level crush on Derek Hale, except for the man himself. What did that even mean, though? Derek had still come to him last night, when he was going through...whatever the hell he’d been going through. He’d still gotten Stiles off, when he had no real obligation to. He’d stayed the night, fucking cuddled , and then hung around for round two.

“If Derek doesn’t know, then why did last night even happen?” Stiles asked aloud.

“I mean clearly he feels the same way,” Scott replied, “Right? He didn’t run out on you as soon as it happened?”

“No, he stayed the night,” Stiles said quietly. “And then told me he’d be back again today.”

“That doesn’t sound like a one-off.”

“It sounds too good to be true,” Stiles countered.

“I don’t think it is,” Scott said, “But he’s coming over tonight. Talk to him then.”

********************

Stiles was a jittery mess by the time Derek snuck in through his bedroom window.

“We need to talk,” was the first thing out of his mouth, at the same time Derek growled, “You smell wrong.”

He was on Stiles in a heartbeat, pulling his t-shirt over his head, claws out to rip the sweatpants off his body- and hello , Stiles liked those fucking sweatpants.

“Holymotherofgod,” Stiles snapped, “What are you-”

Derek pushed him backwards onto the bed and ripped his own shirt off. Standing over Stiles, Derek faltered.

“Is this okay?” Derek asked, “It’s just....you smell like Scott, and the betas, and people I don’t know, and I just can’t- I have to-”

Stiles released the breath he was holding slowly. “It’s okay,” he said.

Derek took his word for it. He mapped out Stiles’ body with his hands, running his palms up and down Stiles’ chest, over his shoulders and up his neck, down the length of his thin legs. And was it really Stiles’ fault that he got hard midway through? He was just a teenager, afterall. And the fucking Adonis of men was feeling him up. Nope. Wasn’t his fault at all.

“Derek,” Stiles stuttered. “We- we seriously- fuck - we really do need to talk.”

Derek rolled Stiles onto his belly and pressed himself against the length of his body, rubbing his face against the crook of Stiles’ neck, where the scent of him was strongest.

“Then talk,” Derek said.

“It’s kinda hard to talk when you’re touching me,” Stiles bit out in a rush.

Behind him, Derek froze. “Do you not want me to?”

“No!” Stiles said. He shifted around until he was facing Derek. “That’s not what I meant. But...we should probably talk about this, right? I mean...I’ve kinda got some questions.”

Derek’s fingers grazed back and forth over the space between them. “What do you want to know?”

Stiles licked his lips. “Well...is this going to be a regular thing, you and me?”

“If you want it to be.”

Stiles barked out a laugh. “Are you kidding? Of course I want that. I mean, Jesus, Derek, have you looked in a mirror lately?”

“Regular, then,” Derek said.

“Cool,” Stiles said, smiling, “And just to clarify- last night, there wasn’t something, like, forcing you to come on to me, right?”

“No, Stiles.”

“And it wasn’t a pity thing?”

“No.”

“A practical joke?”

Derek frowned at him. “You really think that little of yourself?”

“Hey, I think I’m totally awesome,” Stiles deflected, “But there aren’t exactly a whole bunch of people lining up to board the Stiles train. And you’re you. I mean, you could have anyone you want.”

“You’re what I want,” Derek said. It was as honest as he’d managed to be so far, so close to the truth he could nearly taste it.

Stiles flushed, eyes darting away from Derek’s. “Oh. Uh...good. Yeah, me too. With the wanting.”

Derek’s wolf preened, and he nosed happily at Stiles’ cheek to hide his smile. He’d only been apart from Stiles for a few hours, but in that time he’d deteriorated from uneasy to practically feral, pacing around the apartment and growling at every noise. But this was good. Stiles wanted him, and Derek wanted him right back. The boy didn’t need to know any more than that, not right now. Derek had it under control.

“Der,” Stiles murmured. His eyes were closed, body slowly acclimating to the feel of Derek’s touch, continuous and soothing. “How come you didn’t kiss me, yesterday?”

Derek pulled back to watch Stiles’ face. “Do you want me to, now?”

In answer, Stiles’ heart began to thunder in his chest. His pupils dilated, his breathing went shallow and quick. And maybe he couldn’t say it aloud, but Derek knew. He leaned in, slow, predictable, and pressed his lips to Stiles’.

It was not what either of them expected. Stiles had always figured Derek would be aggressive; it made sense given the guy’s wolfy tendencies. And Derek had assumed, given his raging hormones these last few weeks, that when he finally got a chance with Stiles the experience would be rushed and passionate. Their kiss wasn’t that at all.

From the get go, it was gentle, sweet even. Derek kissed Stiles slowly, easing him into it, and Stiles melted against him with a low moan of contentment. As far as first kisses went, Stiles would have rated it as top three. Top Five, at the very least.

“You’re really good at that,” Stiles murmured when Derek pulled back.

Derek chuckled, and replied, “You’re not too bad yourself.”

“Yeah, raw talent, that’s me in a nutshell. All I need's a little practice.”

“I can help with that,” Derek said.

“You fucking better,” Stiles replied.

Derek’s wolf let out a howl that echoed against the insides of his skull, and there went the last of his resolve. He threw Stiles back against the bed and jerked his boxers down and off his body. He kicked his own jeans off, noted how Stiles’ pupils dilated with arousal when he saw that Derek was going commando.

“I’m gonna make you come, now,” Derek said.

Stiles cock twitched against his stomach, already red and wet. “Yeah, I believe that.”

“Hard,” Derek said.

Stiles let out a low whimper. “Fuck, I know. Probably wouldn’t even have to touch me at this point. How do you even-” He stopped short when he caught Derek’s gaze, dark as midnight as Stiles’ last statement sunk in.

“I think I’d like to test that,” Derek said.

“No, no, please don’t test it,” Stiles said quickly, eyes wide, “You’ve gotta touch me, okay? I’m going to die if you don’t. Please, Derek…”

The older boy gripped Stiles’ thighs in his hands and hoisted them up and into his lap.

“I bet I can make you come without touching your cock,” Derek said. He raised one eyebrow as far as it would go, daring Stiles to contradict him.

“And what do I get if you can’t do it?”

“I don’t know…” Derek murmured, running his hands up and down Stiles’ splayed legs. “Maybe I’ll give you my mouth.” He pressed a lingering kiss to the inside of Stiles’ knee. “Or maybe I’ll let you fuck me.”

A burst of pre-cum shot out of Stiles’ dick, which Derek quickly leaned down to lap up with his tongue.

“Oh my god,” Stiles said. “Oh my god, you cannot say things like that. You’re going to kill me.”

“Death by orgasm?” Derek chuckled to himself. He palmed the firm globes of Stiles’ ass and squeezed gently. “Do you like it when I touch you?”

“Is that not obvious?” Stiles spat back. It probably would have been a more biting retort if his voice hadn’t cracked midway through.

“I want to hear you say it.” Derek’s eyes were blazing emerald and fixed on him.

Stiles swallowed hard, noticed how Derek’s eyes darted down to track the movement.

“I like it,” Stiles said softly, “I...you’d probably think I was pathetic if you knew how many times I’d thought about this.”

“What if I were touching you here?” Derek said, and grazed a dry finger over Stiles’ hole. It twitched under the touch, and Stiles sucked in a sharp breath. “Would you still like that?”

“Yes,” Stiles breathed. “Anything, Der. I trust you.”

He got low on the mattress, let Stiles’ calves sit snug on the small of his back.

“Anything,” Derek repeated.

And then Stiles was nodding again, like if he didn’t his head might fall off, and Derek leaned forward and swiped his tongue over Stiles’ entrance. Relishing the whimper that bought him, Derek did it again, then again. He dug his tongue into Stiles’ ass, flicked it back and forth, swirled it in circles.

Stiles had his head thrown back, and his chest was heaving. It made Derek’s wolf rumble with pride. His mate looked like that because of him . His mate was moaning and begging for him. One of Stiles’ hands fisted in Derek’s hair. The slight sting had Derek humping the mattress shamelessly.

“Holy shit, Derek,” Stiles groaned, “Don’t stop. Please don’t stop. Oh my god-”

Someone would have had to shoot Derek in the back of the head to get him to stop. He fucked his tongue into Stiles’ writhing body, wolf growling all the while that he’d soon claim Stiles properly. And just when it was becoming too much for the both of them, just when Stiles had become so loose and wet that Derek could slide his tongue deep inside, he pulled back. Derek laved over two thick fingers- unnecessarily, but hey, this was his mate and he was going to be cautious- and thrust them unceremoniously into Stiles’ sweet, tight, heat.

He crooked them, just so, and knew he hit his mark when Stiles screamed his name.

“Derek!”

It started as a scream, but quickly became a sob as Stiles came in shuddering waves. His cock pulsed untouched, wetness soaking his abs, and Derek just kept working him through it. His long fingers stayed hooked inside of him. His big, green eyes remained fixed on Stiles’ face. And when Stiles’ hips finally stopped bucking of their own accord, Derek came up on all fours, dipped his head down, and lapped away the come from Stiles’ belly, while the teen watched and moaned.

“You’re seriously going to kill me,” Stiles gasped. He reached towards Derek, down low, only to have his hand slapped away.

Stiles groaned as Derek wrapped a fist around his cock, so hard now that it had to hurt.

“But I want…” Stiles whined.

“My neck,” Derek panted, stripping his cock frantically. “Fuck, touch my neck.”

And maybe that wouldn’t have been Stiles’ first guess for what the older boy needed, but hey, he aimed to please. He cupped his hand around the back of Derek’s neck, dragged his nails slowly down the firm length of it, and watched with mouth agape as Derek tensed suddenly and came across his chest.

“Holy shit…” Stiles murmured.

Over him, Derek couldn’t stop panting. His cock was still twitching in the aftershocks, heart pounding inside his chest. Derek clenched his eyes shut and pushed further into Stiles’ touch.

“Is that a wolf thing, then?” Stiles asked. He ran the pads of his fingers over Derek’s adam’s apple, light and careful.

Derek could only nod jerkily. His arms were shaking. And when Stiles rubbed over his bicep gently, Derek caved and curled up against his mate’s side.

They were both quiet for a long while before Stiles asked, “Are you going to stay?”

“Your Dad is working tonight,” Derek replied, more evasive than he’d intended.

“He is.”

“So….”

“So, I’m staying.”

Derek’s eyes were closed, but he could feel Stiles watching him.

“Okay,” Stiles said quietly, “Good.”

Chapter Text

It wasn’t that Stiles intended to leave town without saying anything to anyone. But his Uncle Freddie in Portland managed to fall off the roof of his house, and Stiles didn’t really have time to send out any texts before his Dad was whisking him off to the airport so they could get up north and help out.

When he didn’t show up for school, Scott sent him a text that said ‘ where are you, dude???’ with about ten emojis behind it.

Family emergency in Portland. Back next week, ’ Stiles replied, and that was that.

Well, that was that for Stiles .

Derek circled round towards Stiles’ house early that evening, well aware that practice had been cut short due to the oncoming storm. He got to the front steps, and froze. The house was silent, not a single heartbeat to be heard. Stiles’ Jeep was sitting in the driveway, cold to the touch, but Stiles wasn't there. Derek, along with every other lucid member of Beacon Hills, knew that Stiles never went anywhere without that stupid Jeep. His baby . But baby had been shoved into a corner and Stiles wasn’t here and Derek didn’t know where he could be and-

He’d never had a panic attack before. Not after Paige, or the fire, or Laura. With every loss he’d just gone numb, an empty vessel set on auto-pilot, continuing to live simply because it was habit. But even though Derek had never experienced a panic attack, he could recognize it when it happened.

The shortness of breath, the pain in his chest like it was caving in, the nausea, the fear . God, he hadn’t been afraid like this...ever. He needed Stiles. Oh God, he needed Stiles . It hurt, it fucking hurt, and where was his mate when he needed his fucking mate .

Derek broke the window to Stiles’ bedroom. He’d put a tarp over it later, he reasoned with himself. Slide some money to Stiles under the radar to get it fixed. But if he couldn’t have Stiles right now, then his bed was the next best thing. Sheets saturated in his smell, and the smell of the two of them mixed together. He burrowed under the covers, shaking. And he fell asleep like that. Clutching Stiles’ pillow desperately, terrified, insides writhing unnaturally, heart hammering against his chest.

He’ll come back , Derek kept telling himself, the cruiser is gone. He’s with his Dad. They’ll be back soon. He’s going to come back.

***********************

When Derek woke up, hazy morning sunlight was streaming through the cracked window. The house was empty, and Derek could feel his heart splitting in two.

He couldn’t call Stiles. Not when this was still so new, when he’d hardly given the kid a chance to get used to him, let alone enough time to put the whole “mate thing” together on his own. Derek got out his phone, and dialed Scott’s number.

“H’llo?” Scott answered. Shit, it was still pretty early. But the fucker had caller ID and Derek couldn’t really back out now.

“I need to know where Stiles is.”

“....uh….”

Now, Scott. It’s an emergency.”

“What kind of emergency?”

Scott.

“Jesus, fine, uh...he’s in Portland. Texted me and said it was a family emergency, so I’m guessing something with his uncle. He lives up there, I’m pretty sure.”

“When’s he coming back?” Derek asked, and it did not come out as a whine, no it did fucking not.

“Next week? S’what he said. Just call him, Derek. I mean, seriously-”

Derek hung up the phone. His mate had left the goddamn state. Without saying one singular word to him, and, and….

His eyes flashed red, and when Derek walked through the door to the loft, he couldn’t remember much of how he’d gotten there. There was blood smeared across his mouth. Animal, from the taste. More metallic than anything human. His clothing was in shreds, and he was shaking worse than before.

From the back of the loft, Peter called out, “Don’t you dare track mud in here.”

Derek couldn’t even muster up a grunt. He bee-lined for the bathroom, and had just hurled a palmful of water onto his face when he felt Peter’s presence behind him.

“Well, this doesn’t bode well,” Peter said.

“Go away,” Derek groaned. At least he thought he’d managed to use real words. What came out was a growl, that left him more surprised than anyone.

Peter appraised him. “Weren’t you with him last night?”

“He’s gone,” Derek grit out from between his teeth. “Portland. Something with his Uncle. Back next week.”

“And you can’t seem to put together any full sentences. That’s probably not a good sign.”

Derek spun around to glare at him, growling under his breath.

“Try to calm down, okay? What I meant is- it’s early for you to have such a strong attachment to him. For your wolf to act this way in his absence. Clearly, you don’t want to hear this, but it might be time-”

“Not telling him,” Derek said. “Can’t. Too young. Needs a choice. I can’t.”

“And what about what you need, nephew? Do you think having a feral Alpha on the loose will do this town any favors?”

“Can take it.”

“You’re already hurting…”

“I can take it!” Derek thundered.

Peter crossed his hands over his chest, one eyebrow raised. It was a look he’d seen his mother give him countless times, and suddenly, Derek could remember a time when he and Peter had been close. When he’d trusted him, loved him even.

“Telling yourself that won’t put off the inevitable,” Peter said. “Get him back here. Lie, say whatever you have to. Because we both know you’re not stable enough to make the trip.”

Derek shook his head. When he spoke, Peter could see the effort it was taking him to form each word. “It’s just a few days. I can make it that long. And then…”

“Then, you’ll tell him,” Peter prompted.

Derek let out a sigh. “Maybe.”

**************************

Thirty-six hours after Stiles disappeared from Beacon Hills, Derek burst out of the loft late in the afternoon and never came back.

Peter was not entirely thrilled with this development. For days, he’d watched Derek crumble in the absence of his mate. Howling in the dead of night, constantly shaking. He’d smelt the fear and pain wafting off of his nephew in sickening waves. Unfortunately, it was the type of pain that couldn’t be sucked away by another wolf. It was also the type of pain that built upon itself until it was unbearable.

And it finally became unbearable on Pack Night, when all the supernatural teens of Beacon Hills showed up at the loft only for Derek to roar at them to leave and leave now . The doors were still shaking in their frames when there was a crash from upstairs. Peter and Scott made it up first, only to find Derek’s bedroom empty. The ceiling-high windows were shattered. The stench of pain was unignorable.

The pack stood and stared.

“So....are you planning to tell us what the hell is wrong with Derek?” Scott asked.

Peter let out a long-suffering sigh. “I’d prefer not to. And for once, I think Derek would actually agree with me.”

“Well he doesn’t get a whole lot of say at the moment considering he just went all Alpha on us and jumped out the window ,” Jackson quipped.

“Is he dying?” Cora asked, and all eyes turned to her, while her gazed remained fixed on Peter. “I could smell the pain...for days now, and every time I tried to ask him about it he’d run off. Wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Uncle Peter, what’s happening to him?”

“He’s not dying,” Peter said. He took a step towards Cora and put a hand on her shoulder. “But he’s in a lot of pain, and will probably continue to be...well, indefinitely.”

“Indefinitely? Why?”

“Because he’s an idiot,” Peter huffed. “But it won’t kill him. Might slowly drive him mad...but hey, it practically runs in the family at this point.”

“And there’s nothing we can do to help?” Isaac asked. “I don’t like him smelling like that. It makes me want to crawl out of my skin.”

“Well, you’re pack,” Peter said, “And you’re connected to him. His distress is bound to rub off on you.”

“But what exactly is he distressed about?” Lydia asked.

Peter remained as silent as ever.

“You’re not going to tell us,” Scott accused.

“I know for a fact that Derek wouldn’t want me to,” Peter said. “But I can...promise...that if it gets any worse than this, I’ll intervene.”

“And tell us what’s going on,” Cora said.

“Tell you more than you currently know.”

“Which is nothing,” Isaac reminded him.

“True,” Peter said, “But a little mystery never killed anyone.”

**************************

The next day, Peter trekked out into the woods. He took Derek’s Camaro, because fuck him, he was the whole reason for this mess anyways, and left it on the side of the road once he caught Derek’s scent. Peter shifted, and hiked up a steep ridge towards the center of the Preserve. He spotted Derek easily. Largely because at that very moment, Derek had four enormous paws, blazing red eyes, a muzzle of sharp teeth, and a black fur coat. He was also roughly the size of Stiles’ jeep.

Also, snarling. Currently in Peter’s face.

“Alright, nephew,” Peter said, “Let’s all just remain calm, here, yes?”

Derek lunged for his neck, and Peter was off like a racehorse, sprinting towards the car then speeding away. It seemed Derek wasn’t all too interested in eating him. He’d turned back towards the woods as soon as Peter made a break for it. But more worrying than his imminent demise was the fact that Derek clearly hadn’t recognized him.

This, Peter figured, certainly qualified as worse . He drove to Scott’s house.

“I need you to call Stiles and tell him to come back to Beacon Hills immediately,” Peter said as soon as Scott stepped foot out the door.

“Stiles? Why?”

“Derek has gotten worse.”

“What exactly is worse? Do we need Chris Argent? Should I get the pack together? What-?”

“Scott,” Peter cut him off. “What you need to do is call Stiles and tell him to get his ass back here.”

“But...why?”

“If he doesn’t, we’re going to lose Derek to the wolf.”

Scott gaped at him. “And….and Stiles can keep that from happening?”

“In a word: yes.”

“Because they’re dating?”

Peter’s eyebrows shot up. “Sure. Because they’re dating.”

“What do I tell him?” Scott asked.

“Tell him Derek is hurting and a serious danger to himself and everyone around him. I suspect that alone will have him running back, but if it doesn’t, you might be inclined to add that yes, in fact, Stiles is the only person who can save him at this point.”

Scott took out his phone. Nine minutes later, Stiles was on his way to the airport in Portland.

**************************

“I’m going to the Preserve,” Stiles said as soon as he got out of the cab. Scott and Peter were waiting for him in front of his house, looking supremely uncomfortable with the proximity.

“Dude, you can’t just walk up to a crazy Alpha and ask him to come quietly,” Scott said.

“He won’t hurt me,” Stiles said, already unlocking his Jeep.

“He’s not even going to recognize you!” Scott said.

“Of course he will,” Stiles replied. “His wolf knows me just as well as his human side does. He’ll know me. Know my scent. And I can use it. If I can’t get him to shift back….then, I’ll lead him back to the loft. He’ll be safe there, at least. And it’ll give us more time to figure this out.”

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“That’s fine, because you’re not coming with, Scotty.”

“But-!”

“You neither,” Stiles said, turning to Peter. “You get why.”

Peter nodded. “It could confuse him. Set him off. He’ll take another wolf as a threat.”

“Exactly. But I need you at the loft. If I have to lead him there, I’ll probably need help getting him inside. And you,” Stiles said, eyes going to Scott, “You need to keep everyone away. I mean everyone . And keep your opinions to yourself, because I’m right. I know I’m right. Peter knows I’m right- and Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I just said that- so leave it, Scott. Just trust me.”

Scott faltered, looking bashful, at the very least.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt, dude.”

“I won’t,” Stiles sighed. “Derek won’t hurt me. I don’t think he could. His wolf’s just as invested in my wellbeing as his human side.”

Peter arched an eyebrow, watching Stiles closely.

“Alright,” Scott finally conceded, “I’ll keep them away. But be careful.”

“I always am,” Stiles said with a smirk.

“And I’ll be waiting at the loft. Try to take him a route without too many witnesses,” Peter said.

Stiles slid into his Jeep. The nausea and uneasiness he’d felt from the moment he got on the plane to Portland was still present, but it had eased once he made the decision to find Derek himself. He drove towards the Preserve, and with every mile, the pain lessened. Stiles let the wane and flux of his pain draw him towards Derek like a beacon.

Eventually, he abandoned the Jeep and walked alone into the woods.

“Derek?” Stiles called out. Hey, it worked with dogs, and Derek wasn’t exactly thinking like a human right now. “Derek, c’mon! Time to go home!”

There was a snap of wood from behind him. Stiles spun on his heels, and saw two red, burning globes fixed on him. He couldn’t tell from how far; the woods were too dark at this time of night.

Branches snapped as Derek crept closer. He reached the clearing where Stiles stood, and the wolf scented the air, then let out a howl that made Stiles jump.

“Hey, Derek,” Stiles said, voice high, and he hoped disarming. “Hey, buddy. I hear you’ve been having some wolfy troubles. Thought I’d come help out.”

Derek whined and padded closer to him.

“Yeah, I know it sucks,” Stiles said. “But I’m gonna bring you home, okay? I promise. If you slip on your human suit, we can ride in the Jeep together. No big deal.”

Derek continued to stare at him, whining from deep in his chest. He didn’t move.

“Maybe you can’t understand me,” Stiles said, “That’s okay. We can work around that. Just follow me, and -”

Stiles turned to walk back towards the Jeep. And Derek roared . Stiles couldn’t be sure if it was because Derek thought Stiles might leave him. Or if showing his back was enough of a sign of weakness that the wolf took it as his chance to strike. But suddenly, Derek was charging at him, and there was no way Stiles was going to stand there and wait to be mauled.

He took off towards the Jeep, sprinting with Derek on his tail.

“I know this isn’t you right now, but you’re kind of being an asshole!” Stiles shouted over his shoulder.

You’re not supposed to run from a predator. Stiles’ Dad had told him that before, when he was a kid. When you ran, it triggered the instinct to chase. That’s how predators were wired. Not that the knowledge did Stiles a whole lot of good with an Alpha werewolf after his scrawny ass.

“Seriously not cool dude!” Stiles screamed as Derek gained on him. He reached the Jeep and flung himself inside, slamming the door shut and revving the engine in a single motion.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Stiles muttered to himself as the Jeep lurched forward. “Fuck my life. Fuck my life. Fuck my fucking life.”

Stiles leaned heavily on the gas pedal, and hoped to God his Dad wasn’t on traffic duty tonight. He wasn’t stopping for anything. Stiles fumbled his phone out of his pocket; Peter picked up on the first ring.

“Dude, do not come outside,” Stiles rushed to say.

“I’m guessing it didn’t go as well as expected?” Peter replied.

“To put it lightly. I have a very angry Alpha chasing my Jeep right now and I’m pretty sure that if you’re outside waiting for him when I stop at the loft he’ll rip your head off.”

“That sounds unpleasant.”

“Big time. Just leave the doors open and make sure there aren’t any people around. I’ll do the rest.”

“If he is both angry and chasing you, how exactly do you plan to corral him inside?”

“With my charm and dashing good looks?”

“You realize allowing him to kill you is not exactly in Derek’s best interest.”

“Or mine!” Stiles said. “What about my interests?”

“They were implied,” Peter said.

“Gee, thanks, dude.”

Stiles .”

“It’s fine! I’ll get him there, okay? I know what I’m doing. Mostly.”

“For all our sake’s I hope you’re right,” Peter said. He hung up- which, rude, okay- but it didn’t matter much to Stiles because he’d reached the parking lot behind the loft and his options were rapidly dwindling.

Stiles stopped the car. Derek stopped too, just behind him. The wolf paced in circles around the Jeep. Stiles knew he needed to get Derek inside before someone saw him, or even worse, called the police. But getting Derek inside would undoubtedly mean leaving the relative safety of his car. Stiles’ heart raced mockingbird-fast in his chest.

“Please don’t eat me,” Stiles said as he slowly opened the driver’s side door. “Please don’t eat me. I won’t taste good. I barely have any meat on my bones. Not satisfying at all.”

Except, Derek wasn’t trying to eat him. Or attack him. The enormous wolf trotted up to Stiles, shoved his face against the boy’s neck, and then, stopped. Sniffed him, a little violently, but made no further move to tear him apart.

“O-o-okay.” Stiles released a shuddering breath. “Okay, this is good. Not eating Stiles. I’m not food. Wolfy catnip, apparently, but not food.”

The wolf huffed and pressed its nose to Stiles’ collarbone. It stuck out its tongue and lapped at the spot.

“Dude,” Stiles gasped, somewhere between affronted and aroused. “Dude. Derek. We really need to go inside.”

Derek whined at him and lapped at the teen’s neck, pressing in closer, encumbered by his bulk.

“I know, buddy, I missed you too. But we really need to go inside before someone sees you.”

Stiles began to back away from Derek and towards the doors to the loft. He moved slowly, kept his eyes on the wolf. To his relief, Derek followed him. Whining, growling lowly whenever Stiles’ eyes drifted away from him, but he followed.

If anyone were to ask him how he got an Alpha werewolf up five flights of stairs and through a regularly-sized door frame, Stiles wouldn’t have an answer for them. But he did it. And when he finally slammed the loft door shut, he slumped against it with a deep sigh.

Derek was on him in the blink of an eye, rubbing his muzzle up and down Stiles’ body and nosing eagerly at his neck. Still whining, whimpering almost. And now that Stiles could take a moment to properly look at him, he could see that even covered in fur, Derek was shaking. He led the wolf over to the couch and sat down, allowed the Alpha to overpower him, pin him down the way he wanted and rip away his clothing with gentle nips from sharp teeth.

“You’re still hurting,” Stiles said softly. He reached out tentatively and thread his fingers into the soft fur at Derek’s neck. Large, crimson eyes stared at him with an expression akin to confusion. “I thought it would have gone away, by now. It did for me. Got better the closer I was to finding you, and then stopped hurting entirely the moment I spotted you in the woods.”

Derek huffed and nosed at Stiles’ hand, as if to say, please explain, so Stiles continued, “You really thought I wouldn’t feel it too? Of course you thought that. It never would have occurred to you that I’d want you just as much...but the second I got on the plane to Portland, I felt sick to my stomach. It hurt . And I hadn't felt anything like it before, didn’t know what was happening.”

Whining louder, Derek licked along the length of Stiles’ neck. Stiles figured Derek could smell the memory of the pain, the fear.

“Shh, I’m fine now, dude. Stop worrying,” Stiles murmured. “It felt like my heart was ripping itself apart, you know? I guess you do know. But then I stopped, and I thought about you, and it wasn’t so bad. It still hurt, but it wasn’t as sharp as before. And that meant something. It had to mean something. So I did some research…”

Stiles bit at his lower lip and pulled back to look the wolf in the eye. “You never would have told me, huh? Never would have told me that I’m your mate.”

Derek’s whining abruptly stopped. The heavy sound of Stiles’ nervous breathing filled the room, as Derek’s body rippled, bones cracking and rearranging in sickening snaps and squelches. Until finally, a very naked Derek had replaced the Alpha werewolf half-strewn across Stiles’ lap.

“Say it again,” were the first words out of Derek’s mouth. His voice was rough, as if he’d spent every second of his mate’s absence screaming continuously.

“You changed back,” Stiles breathed, a gentle smile on his face, “I knew you could. I knew you’d do it for me.”

“Stiles,” Derek said, voice just shy of broken, “Say it again.”

For anyone else, Stiles would have played the fool. He would have pushed harder, asked for a clarification just for the rush of power.

But for Derek, Stiles said, “I’m your mate.”

With a sigh so deep it seemed he must have been holding his breath for days, Derek slumped forward against Stiles, leaning his forehead to the younger boy’s shoulder.

“Does it still hurt?” Stiles whispered. He cupped his hand around the back of Derek’s neck, squeezed gently.

“No,” Derek said. And when he managed to keep his voice steady, “Not anymore.”

He pulled back just far enough to watch Stiles’ eyes, but kept them in as close contact as possible.

“Would you have told me?” Stiles asked him. Not angry, just curious.

“I don’t know,” Derek answered honestly. “I wanted you to have a choice. You’re just...you’re so fucking good Stiles. Always going out of your way to save everyone. Even people you hate, Jackson…” He sucked in a sharp breath. “If I’d told you, I knew you would have given up everything to be with me. So I didn’t. Because… you deserved a choice. You still do. You could say no, Stiles. You could-”

“Screw that. You’re not getting rid of me,” Stiles cut him off. “What you feel? I feel it too. Not as intensely, I guess. It’s different with the whole werewolf thing. But I feel it. I’m choosing this, Derek. I’ve already chosen.”

Stiles smiled at him again and ran his fingers over Derek’s neck. The older boy shivered violently, claws digging into the palms of his hands. Pressed so close to him, Stiles didn’t need to look at Derek’s body to feel how hard he was already.

Derek winced, and tried to pull back. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Stiles rushed to say, pulling himself closer still. “You never have to be sorry about that. The fact that you get hard for me is kind of a fucking miracle. But I’m curious about something… there was some lore I found when I was figuring all this out. Wasn’t sure if it was true. It said that once a werewolf has found its mate, they can’t come with anyone else, or even by themselves.” He reached between them, grazed his warm knuckles over Derek’s length. “Was it true, Derek?”

Derek’s hips bucked of their own accord, and he groaned from deep in his chest. “Yes.”

“So you haven’t come since the last time you saw me,” Stiles said. His whiskey-colored eyes had gone dark as the woods where he’d found Derek earlier.

It wasn’t a question, but Derek answered anyways. “No. Haven’t. Not since…”

“That’s so fucking hot,” Stiles breathed. “The idea that no one else can have you. That the only time you get to feel that good is with me.... fuck, Derek.”

“Please…”

“We should take the edge off,” Stiles murmured. He wrapped his hand around Derek’s cock and stroked him slowly. Derek writhed against the couch, watching his mate and moaning. It was already too much. Stiles seemed to know Derek’s body better than he did, touching him exactly right, rushing him towards release.

“I mean, if you’re gonna fuck me tonight, we can’t have you coming as soon as you get inside me,” Stiles added and Derek groaned, throwing his head back with a thump. He couldn’t. Not with Stiles talking to him like that, fucking dirty when he wanted to be.

“Stiles!” Derek gasped, cock throbbing in the teen’s grip as his orgasm overtook him. He dragged Stiles’ lips down to his and rutted into the boy’s hand, frantically releasing between them in shuddering waves.

“I’m never gonna get tired of doing that to you,” Stiles said. “Better now? Thinking a little bit clearer?”

Derek nodded, a little jerkily. “Stiles, did you really mean…”

“Of course I meant it,” Stiles said.

“But, it’s more than just sex,” Derek tried to explain. “If we go that far, that’s it, we’ll-”

“Be mates?” Stiles asked him. “Be bound together? Belong to each other? Good. That’s what I want .”

Derek swallowed around the lump in his throat. He wanted to tell Stiles that he was too young, that he didn’t know what he was getting into. But if anything that had happened to them over the last year was to go by, then that wasn’t true at all. Stiles knew exactly what he was asking for.

“You’re sure?” Derek asked instead.

“I’m sure,” Stiles said. “So fucking sure.”

Derek leaned over him, dragged his fingers down the inside of Stiles’ thighs. “It won’t be regular sex,” Derek said. “I’ve got- I’ve got a…”

“A knot?” Stiles prompted, grinning mischievously. “I know. Did the research.”

Nodding again, a little lost for words, Derek pressed down on Stiles’ hips to keep him from squirming on the couch.

“And you’re okay with that?”

“So okay with it,” Stiles said. He was rocking up into nothing, body writhing underneath Derek’s soft touches like he couldn’t help it. “I think...fuck, I think I’m wet .”

Derek gaped at him. He slid a finger down over Stiles’ entrance and rubbed gently, gasped when the tip of his finger slipped easily inside. Stiles was wet. Hot and tight and pulsing and wet .

“Is that supposed to happen?” Derek asked.

Stiles nodded and bore down on Derek’s finger, trying to get more inside.

“For mates,” Stiles groaned, as Derek gave him what he wanted, one finger slipping in to the last knuckle. “What- what will it feel like, for you? When you knot me?”

Derek couldn’t stop staring at the place where his finger disappeared into Stiles’ heat. He added a second, watched the teen’s cock twitch and leak against his stomach.

“I don’t know,” Derek answered, “I’ve never done it before.”

Stiles grinned at him. “First time for both of us, then, right?”

A third finger, and Sterek flung his head back, shuddering when Derek’s teeth latched onto his bare neck.

“Oh God, Derek, please ,” Stiles moaned, “I can’t wait anymore. Don’t make me wait. I need you.”

Stiles made a pained, wanting noise when Derek withdrew his fingers and sat back on his haunches.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Derek said. He didn’t meet Stiles’ gaze.

“You won’t hurt me.”

“I might. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Derek said. “Not with this. When… when you left, Stiles, it hurt so much. But one second it was pain, and then the next, I lost myself. So I don’t know what’s about to happen. I could hurt you.”

“No, you couldn’t,” Stiles said softly. “I’m your mate. You’d never let anything hurt me.”

In a rush of motion, Derek crushed his lips to Stiles in a deep, lengthy kiss.

“Say it again,” Derek whispered when they broke apart.

Stiles’ eyes locked with his. “Mate. My mate.” He reached up to stroke Derek’s cheek. “Now, make me yours.”

It was as much of a green light as Derek was ever going to get, and with his wolf clawing at the inside of his skull, he couldn’t exactly ignore it. He sunk into Stiles painfully slowly, blunt fingernails digging into the boy's’ hips until his thighs met Stiles’ ass.

“Oh my God,” Stiles groaned. He wriggled in Derek’s firm grasp, testing the feel of another person inside him. For all the worry in Derek’s expression, there was no pain. Stiles felt full, stretched like he’d never been before, but in a way that left him warm and tingling with need. “Fuck. Fuck, Derek. Move, please.”

Trembling with the effort it took not to pound into him uncontrollably, Derek drew his hips back then surged forward again, moaning when Stiles keened in response. With a deep breath, Derek began to move in slow, unhurried strokes.

“Please,” Stiles whispered, pushing back against him.

“Shhh,” Derek rumbled against Stiles’ neck. With barely any effort at all, they were both teetering at the edge.

Derek could feel the mating bond flaring inside of him, his wolf howling as he finally claimed his mate fully, made Stiles his .

“My mate,” Derek groaned. “My perfect mate. Stiles. Stiles, ah …”

Stiles panted into the crook of his arm, eyes hooded as he watched Derek thrust into him again and again. Derek dragged his fingers- almost claws, but not quite- down Stiles’ chest, leaving red marks that faded in their wake. His fangs were dropping before he knew it, eyes glowing crimson at the sight of his mate taking his cock so well. He dropped forward, pressing himself along the length of the lean body underneath him and rutting into him harder.

The base of his cock was swelling, slowly. Derek groaned at the new sensation, pleasure that ran so deep it left him boneless and gasping. He could feel Stiles trembling around him, hear his heart hammering in his chest, smell how close he was to coming.

“Stiles,” Derek moaned, “I want to- I- I have to-”

Derek worried, for a brief moment, that Stiles wouldn’t understand. But as it was in every time before, the boy had done his research. He watched Stiles’ eyes hone in on Derek’s mouth, saw him swallow thickly.

“It won’t turn me, right?”

“No,” Derek assured, “Just complete the bond. Part of it.”

“Then do it,” Stiles panted. He bucked against Derek’s hold, bared his neck in a show of such complete submission that Derek couldn’t help but growl. “Do it. Please do it. Derek- “

“Yes, yes ,” Derek moaned. He slammed into Stiles, once, twice, felt his knot catch on the rim. And just when he couldn’t take anymore, when it was almost too late, Derek sunk as deep into his mate as he could and bit down hard on the crook of Stiles’ neck. His knot swelled and swelled, until they were tied together.

Distantly, Derek recognized that Stiles was screaming his name, knew on some level that the boy was coming around his knot. But it was hard to hear beyond the ringing in his ears as he began to come, pumping his seed into Stiles with jerky thrusts, gasping in air as if he were drowning.

Derek didn’t know much about mating sex. He had a fleeting memory of his mother using phrases like “longer than a typical orgasm” and “more intimate than anything you’ll ever experience” before he’d dutifully shut off his brain and blocked out the memory entirely.

Nothing they’d told him had prepared Derek for this.

It started like any other orgasm, albeit more powerful. But then it just didn’t stop . The pleasure held tight, tensed every muscle at once until he was gritting his teeth with the force of it. It tore through him in shuddering waves, a cycle of bliss he couldn’t escape. And Stiles held him through it, legs hooked behind Derek’s thighs. He carded his fingers through Derek’s hair, shushed him gently with every spasm that left the Alpha trembling.

Stiles flexed around Derek’s knot, and Derek could only groan, too out of control of his own body to grit out the litany of too much, too much that was running through his mind. Another deep pulse hit him, and Derek arched forwards, slamming his forehead into Stiles’ collarbone. The sweet clench had him whining from the back of his throat, and Stiles wrapped his arms around him, fingers tight around the nape of his neck.

“Oh my God,” Stiles was babbling, “You’re still coming. How is that even possible? That’s so fucking hot. You’re incredible. You’re fucking incredible. Oh my God, Derek. I think- I think I’m gonna come again. Don’t stop, don’t fucking stop, you’re so good -”

It kept building, pleasure so blinding it bordered on pain, and Derek was half-sure this would end with him shattering to pieces. He felt helpless, vulnerable in a way he hadn’t allowed himself to be since his parents died. But where the panic should have been, sharp in his gut, was only warmth and trust. Stiles would get him through it. His mate would make it okay.

A deep jolt hit him, took hold of Derek’s body and didn’t let go.

“Derek,” Stiles groaned, “Oh my God, Derek .”

His mate was coming again, painting the space between them. The last- God, please let it be the last, but, please never end- overwhelming wave surged through Derek’s body, every muscle going tense until he sobbed with it. Stiles’ hand was on the back of Derek’s neck, holding him close. And there were soft words from his mate’s lips- you’re so good and almost there, it’s okay . Derek clenched his eyes shut and finally let himself shatter. He cried out against Stiles’ shoulder, body trembling so hard he felt exhausted from it, until finally, blissfully, he collapsed.

Stiles’ fingers were in his hair, gently stroking his neck. Derek couldn’t seem to catch his breath. His eyes were wet, not from free-flowing tears, but from a few sparse drops that had shook free in the midst of everything. When Derek was sure he had control over his limbs, he carefully maneuvered Stiles onto his lap, a more comfortable position while they waited out the knot.

“I…” Derek’s voice cracked, but for once, he didn’t wince at the display of weakness. Not with Stiles. “I didn’t hurt you?”

“Not even a little,” Stiles murmured. He took Derek's hand and placed it at the crook of his neck, where Derek had bitten him. “See? It’s already healed.”

And it was, but it hadn’t healed clean. No, where there had once been smooth, pale skin, there was now the angry crescent mark of an Alpha’s mate. Derek found himself smiling, looked up at Stiles’ face, and grinned wider when he saw it was mutual.

“Yeah, I figured you’d like that,” Stiles said. “Now everyone will know I’m yours.”

Derek growled and nipped at the mark, then pressed a chaste kiss to the same spot in apology. He still felt shaky and unhinged, and Stiles seemed to understand that. His hand had never left the back of Derek’s neck.

“Didn’t know it’d be that intense,” Derek admitted softly.

“Good intense, though.”

“Yeah. Definitely good,” Derek agreed.

“Do you think it’ll be like that every time?”

“I don’t know. We could ask Peter, I guess. He’s the only person I know whose been through this.”

“And lost it,” Stiles mused. He was quiet for a moment. “That kinda gives me new perspective on his whole bout of craziness. We’ve only just gotten together, and I already can’t imagine losing this.”

“You won’t,” Derek growled. “Never.”

Stiles sighed contentedly and dropped his head to Derek’s shoulder. “When your knot goes down, you better believe you’re taking me out on a real date. With dinner and a movie and- oh my God- the world’s most awkward conversation with my Dad.”

“You mean the part where werewolves exist or the part where I’m mated to his underage son?”

“Not that underage.”

“You’re seventeen, Stiles.”

“And a half! That’s practically eighteen. I like to round up.”

“I doubt the Sheriff is going to buy into your whole ‘rounding’ philosophy,” Derek said.

“Jesus. You’ve got your dick up my ass, and yet you’re still such a Sourwolf.”

“I told you to stop calling me that,” Derek griped. He snatched a blanket up off the back of the couch and draped it over them.

“Sourwolf,” Stiles said. His chin was propped up on Derek’s shoulder, but the Alpha could feel him grinning.

“I’ll kick you out,” Derek growled. He even thought it sounded threatening. Maybe.

“No you won’t.”

“Will too.”

“You won’t ,” Stiles laughed. “I’m your mate! You’re stuck with me now.”

“You’re also a pain in my ass,” Derek groaned.

“Psh. You love it.”

“Stiles, shut up.”

“Admit it!”

“Sleeping. We’re sleeping now. I feel like I just ran a fucking marathon as a human, and I need sleep,” Derek grumbled.

Stiles managed to remain quiet for an entire seventeen seconds. And he was proud of that. It was about sixteen seconds longer than either of them had expected.

“You love it,” Stiles sung under his breath, hiding his smile against Derek’s chest.

To the teen’s surprise, Derek didn’t growl out any response. Stiles picked up his head, confused, only to let out a soft grunt when his mate’s lips careened into his own. Derek kissed him slowly, thoroughly, until Stiles was breathless and flushed.

“I do love it,” Derek said softly, holding Stiles’ gaze. The tension hung between them, until Derek gripped Stiles by the back of the neck and forced his head back down. “Now go to sleep, before I rip your throat out.”

“With your teeth?” Stiles asked.

“With my teeth,” Derek replied.