Derek crosses his arms over his chest and tries to resist the urge to scowl.
It’s his senior year at Beacon University, and he’s supposed to be spending the year with his friends, but that plan went down hill when, three months ago, Boyd and Erica decided that they wanted to try to live together as a couple for the year. This meant that Derek had a rental contract for a three bedroom (and basement) house and not enough for rent. Isaac had promised to take care of it, and Derek, foolishly, had let him.
Isaac, undeterred by Derek’s hostile manner, continues the introductions in the den of their new house. “And, Derek, this is Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinksi. I’ve had a couple of classes with Scott.
Derek looks at the two juniors. He recognizes both of them. Scott’s a bitten werewolf who’s been known to ignore lycanthrope etiquette and social standards across campus. Sometimes Derek respects Scott’s actions, like how he’s a lone omega and proves that he doesn’t need a pack to keep him sane. But when Scott declared that werewolves were too submissive and were blind followers to their alphas, Derek’s claws had popped out. There was still a lot about being a werewolf Scott didn’t understand.
Stiles is Scott’s best friend. Where werewolves tend to show their muscle in bulk, Stiles’ strength is seen in his tight and lean forearms that lead to his broad shoulders. He has a tattoo around both wrists, and when he completes his SPARK (Supernatural Practice And Rational Knowledge) major in two years, his arms will be littered with them. He has the tendency to cause campus-wide chaos when he gets creative with his magic. For three days last year, no one could use or find water anywhere on campus because it would turn into glitter as soon as it was released into the air. He is also known to be a total flirt and bisexual to boot.
Not that it matters to Derek.
Derek glares at Isaac, and he has the decency to flounder a little. “Scott’s a werewolf too, so I thought it would make the living arrangements less awkward.”
Stiles, scoffs, “Don’t pretend like it wasn’t about having the chance to live with me.” He shoots a smirk in Isaac’s direction
Alarm bells start ringing in Derek’s head.
Isaac rolls his eyes, and Stiles directs his attention towards Derek.
The alarm bells get louder, and Derek digs his nails into his arms as he tries to remember how to breathe slowly and calmly.
Stiles flutters his eyelashes, emphasizing his big, warm eyes. “Don’t you agree, big boy?”
Derek gets a whiff of the man as he steps closer. An annoyingly sweet smell of cinnamon with the tang of sweat and an undercurrent of low-key arousal breaches his nostrils. Derek can feel his control slipping and exhales roughly as he tries to keep it together.
The smile slips from Stiles’ face, and he takes a step back. “Ha, ha,” he chuckles weakly. “Don’t get your panties in a twist. Just living in the same house as a bisexual isn’t going to turn you gay.”
“Too late for that,” Isaac mutters.
Derek flashes his eyes at his so-called friend as Stiles and Scott look awkwardly between them.
“Look,” Stiles says, waving his hands wide. “It’s like Isaac says. We don’t care about any of the wolfy stuff you do, and we’ll stay out of your hair. It’ll be great.”
Scott nods eagerly next to him. “Yeah, man. Live and let live!”
Isaac glances at Derek, who responds with a minute nod.
A relieved smile breaks across Isaac’s face. “Great! Now that that’s settled, bedrooms. Derek –“
“I’m taking the basement,” Derek interrupts shortly.
Isaac stops and frowns at him. Derek may have spent the first hour in the house arguing with Isaac that he deserves the master bedroom. It has a windowsill that would be perfect for a reading nook. “But –“
“Basement,” Derek repeats, and starts gathering his belongings to take downstairs. As he unpacks, he mourns the loss of the reading nook, but it’s worth it. The stifling scent of Stiles has remained above his head, and he can barely hear his new house-mate from down below.
When he finishes unpacking, he glances around his room and decides to buy a squishy armchair to make up for the lack of window seat.
Derek walks into the house and sighs heavily as the faint scent of burnt cheese reaches his nose. As he continues down the hallway and further into the house, the smell not only gets stronger but is joined by ripe marinara and ketchup. Instead of heading directly downstairs to his room, he makes a detour to the kitchen. Sure enough, there is a mountain of dirty dishes sitting next to the sink. At least they made it to the kitchen this week. The first few weeks Derek and Isaac were finding dirty dishes littered all over the kitchen, den, and some nasty smelling ones left in the bedrooms.
Derek rubs his hand over his scruff in frustration. He’s not going to be able to concentrate on anything if this stink penetrates the entire house, but he doesn’t want to get stuck doing Scott and Stiles’ dishes
every single week
. He stares down at the pile of dirty dishes and debates his choices before he drops his backpack on the kitchen table and rolls up his sleeves.
The first and last time, Derek tells himself sternly as he turns on the hot water and loads up the sponge with dish soap.
He’ll never admit to anyone, ever, but he actually enjoys cleaning. The hint of lemon in the dish soap reminds him of home, as there were always messes to clean up at the Hale house. Pine Sol was his mother’s best friend. There’s something relaxing about the whole ordeal, and Derek will always take the opportunity to turn his brain off when he can.
He’s halfway through the pile and is completely zoned out. He’s so out of it that he doesn’t even realize that another person has entered the kitchen.
“Yeah, man. You wash those dishes!”
The voice startles Derek so much that he drops the plate he’s cleaning into the sink full of very dirty water and sends the water flying everywhere.
Derek stiffly turns around with water dripping all down the front of him to see Stiles.
“My bad!” Stiles apologizes. He grabs one of the kitchen towels and tries to dry Derek off. Derek tries not to react as he feels Stiles’ warm and large hands wrap around his forearm, but he stiffens up anyways. Derek raises his eyebrows when he feels something cold and sticky slide across his elbow.
“Ah, shit,” Stiles mutters. He pulls the towel away to reveal butter covering a quarter of the towel. “Yeah, just let me –” He pauses to lick his finger. Derek grabs his wrist before said finger gets any closer to his elbow.
“I was just trying to help!” Stiles protests.
Derek looks down to his butter-covered elbow and then to Stiles’ dirty dishes that he was cleaning.
“You want to help?” Derek grits out.
Stiles flails backwards. “Uhhh –“
“Try doing your own dishes.” Derek picks the plate out of the murky water and thrusts it at Stiles’ chest. Water flings off the plate and onto Stiles’ plaid shirt. Stiles hands automatically come up and grasp the dish.
Derek smirks before stepping away. Before he can leave the kitchen, Scott enters, eating a banana.
“Hey, man!” Scott grins.
Derek crosses his arms and looks back to the dirty dish pile. “Don’t know how you can stand the smell.” He grabs his backpack before he heads to his room.
“But it’s only been a week,” Derek can hear Scott say, confused, as he climbs down the stairs.
Derek shudders at the thought of how the dishes would smell in another week. Scott is a werewolf, right?
“Don’t ask me,” Stiles answers. “What do you think if I tried to set up an automatic spell that-“
“You are not using magic to clean the dishes. Do you remember what happened last time?”
Derek tunes them out and is relieved that at least Scott can keep Stiles’ magic impulses in check.
Derek relaxes as well as he can into the stiff and unforgiving futon in Boyd and Erica’s studio apartment. Isaac wrinkles his nose as he sits down next to Derek after refilling his drink. Derek’s pleased to note that Isaac isn’t any more comfortable than he is. Erica and Boyd are both on the floor, their backs to their bed. Wine and beer bottles are littered across the small space on the floor.
“We should call your mom!” Erica says brightly.
Derek’s eyebrows furrow in confusion.
“To thank her for sending us all the werewolf booze!”
“We’re just lab rats,” Derek mutters. And yes, his mother did pay for shipping, but he knows he’ll pay for it tomorrow with an hour-long phone call from Cora demanding a review for every single bottle.
He’s still not sure how Cora managed to convince their parents to invest in her winery and brewery, which has yet to make it off the ground.
“Free alcohol is free alcohol.” Isaac raises his glass into the air and the rest follow suit. They pretend to clink glasses before taking a deep drink.
“How are you two liking the apartment?” Derek asks before Erica does try to drunk dial his mom. He shoots a meaningful glance at Boyd while Erica picks a new beer to drink.
Boyd nods in response as he glances at Erica with a fond smile on his face.
“It’s fucking-fantastic.” Erica is the one to verbally respond. She pops a claw out to use as a bottle opener. “I mean the amount of sex – “
Isaac and Derek both groan theatrically and loudly to cover her up. Erica smirks until a blushing Boyd pulls her back between his legs. She relaxes against his chest and looks like she belongs there.
“It was a good decision for us,” Boyd says quietly over Erica’s head, reassuring Derek.
Erica bobs her head up and down. “Very good.”
Boyd wraps an arm around her waist and pulls her closer. “How’s the house?"
Isaac groans. “Don’t get him started.”
Erica sits up straight. “Oh? Do tell.”
“He hasn’t stopped whining since they moved in.”
Derek glares at his friend. “I do not whine .”
“I’ll give him that,” Boyd admits. Derek goes to thank him, but it’s too soon. “But he does get surly and is short worded.”
“No,” Isaac refutes. He carefully places his wine glass on the ground. “This is whining . It’s Stiles does this and Stiles does that. And how can Scott even pretend to stand it.”
Erica’s nose flares out like she smells blood.
“I just think we could’ve had better luck at roommates,” Derek grumbles.
Isaac rolls his eyes. “They’re not that bad.”
Derek raises his eyebrows. “No? You’re totally cool with the wide range of smells and noise in the apartment.”
“They’re not that –“
Derek barrels right on, determined to prove Isaac wrong. “You mean the smell of rotting food doesn’t bug you or how often they light up pot in the house. Or how Stiles never shuts his trap, and there’s not a damn moment of peace and quiet while he’s home.”
“Okay, so –“
But now, Derek’s on a roll. “Or just the amount of sex in the house. Between the noise and the smell, it’s like the place could be a brothel or something. Stiles either smells like come or arousal constantly . And it doesn’t seem to matter what time it is, it’s always the right time for sex. I don’t know how you can concentrate on anything, the way he moans before he comes or –“
Derek pauses as he takes in everyone’s facial expressions. Boyd’s eyebrows are in his hairline, Isaac’s smirking, and Erica’s grin is positively predatory.
“Or, uh, during Scott’s lunchtime rendezvous,” Derek finishes pathetically.
“So, Stiles, uh?” Erica says, wiggling her eyebrows.
“Stiles as in the pride and horror of the SPARK program?” Boyd asks.
“Yeah, there’s been a few magical mishaps,” Isaac scowls. “My scarves were pink for a week.”
Erica snorts loudly. “I wish I could’ve seen that.”
“He’s a pain in the ass,” Derek grunts out.
“Sounds like you want him to be a pain in your ass,” Erica remarks, lewdly.
Derek crosses his arms. It’s not like that. At all. Stiles is just annoying as shit with sinful lips and long, tantalizing fingers, and fuck . He hopes that they don’t notice his ears turning red.
“You know,” Isaac remarks casually. “From what I’ve heard, Stiles is into casual sex. Maybe he can fuck your irritation out of you.”
Derek hits Isaac on the head with a pathetic looking throw pillow.
Derek relishes the moments when the house is empty. It doesn’t happen a lot, maybe a few times when everyone is coming and going between classes and work. Although the house, even with Stiles’ mindless chatter, is ten times quieter than any of the dorms, it doesn’t hold a candle to the house Derek grew up in. Intended for werewolves, the walls were built with soundproofing material, and the bedrooms were completely soundproof with the doors closed. Derek knows he would be investing in something similar when he eventually gets his own place.
He hit the jackpot this weekend. Scott and Stiles decided to take a weekend off to go home, and Isaac promised to stay out of his hair. Based on the amount of primping, Derek thinks he’s spending it with a girl.
He figures that while it’s nice and quiet, it’ll be the best time to get some work done. He works steadily through his normal workload before his head starts to pound with an overload of facts and concentration. He lays back on his bed, stretching out his limbs and tries not to think about how his goal was to to start research on his honor’s thesis. He groans and yanks his body pillow over his face. He gives himself a few minutes to hide from his responsibilities before he weighs his options. Sighing, he forces himself to get up and out of bed.
He heads upstairs, wrinkling his nose as an awful stench hits it. Derek wonders what Stiles forgot to wash this time. He spies it as soon as he enters the den, a half-eaten cheeseburger lays on the coffee table. It’s at least a few days old. He carefully wraps it up in its wrapper, grabs other garbage laying around, and then takes the trash to their outside bins.
Stepping back into the house, Derek immediately engages his Bluetooth on his phone and connects to the speakers scattered throughout the house. He doesn’t have to worry about anyone walking in on him, so he can jam out judgment free. He can’t help but break out into a huge grin as the lyrics “I stayed out too late” starts blaring through the speakers.
Derek starts bobbing his head to the beat of T-Swift’s “Shake it Off,” as he goes and gathers all of the cleaning supplies.
Cleaning is going to be the perfect break activity to give his mind a rest and to de-stress a little bit. Derek loves that he can physically see the difference cleaning makes. Messy to organized and clean. Stinky to lemon fresh.
Derek starts with the kitchen and listens to most of 1989 . He lets his body relax and just move to the beat as he dances about, putting dishes away and scrubbing grease stains off the stove.
As Derek goes to grab the swifter duster he switches to Taylor Swift’s more transitional albums. It’s impossible not to think of Stiles (with the mess and scent he left behind) as he cleans, which only brings on feelings . The mix of happy endings, pining, and anguish are just what Derek needs at the moment. He croons along to “Back to December” and bounces along happily to “Love Story.”
He’s almost done cleaning. Everything’s vacuumed; he just has to put everything back where they belong. He switches over to her first album to finish it up. He’s rearranging Stiles’ actions figures on the mantle when “Our Song” comes on. He doesn’t even pretend to continue cleaning, but starts to perform to the song, with feeling and sass.
“I heard every album, listened to the radio. Waited for something to come along that was as good as our song,” Derek belted along. “Our song is –“
Derek freezes as he turns around. Stiles is standing in the entryway to the den with his mouth and eyes wide open.
Derek can’t believe he didn’t hear him come in. Or smell him.
“Holy shit, dude,” Stiles finally breathes out. “You are human.”
Derek can’t help but flash his eyes, proving that he is not.
To Derek’s surprise, Stiles just chuckles. “You know what I mean. Sometimes it seems like you’re a robot. Or have a giant stick up your ass twenty-four-seven.”
Derek growls in annoyance. He doesn’t mean to appear that way, but he has a natural resting bitch face, and Stiles just makes him tense .
“But, here you are! Dancing! Singing! Having fun! And to Taylor Swift. This is the best thing ever.”
Derek quickly realizes that Swift is still jamming, loudly, in the background and pulls his phone out to silence her.
“Wait, what are you doing?” Stiles demands and pulls Derek’s phone away from him. “Did you not hear me? This is awesome .”
Derek just stares at him blankly not sure what to do with this information. Stiles turns the music back on and starts singing loudly and off-key. “C’mon! I’ll even help you finish cleaning.”
It takes a few songs before Derek finally loosens up enough to dance and sing freely, but with Stiles hip-checking him every few minutes and smiling brightly, it’s hard not to feel like this is okay. Good even.
It only a little while later before they finish cleaning, and Derek reluctantly turns down the music.
“I didn’t ask before, but what are you doing back?”
Stiles rolls his eyes and pouts. “Got called in for work tonight. Late shift. How typical is that? The one night, I’m not going to be on campus, they call me to cover.”
Derek nods in sympathy. He’s actually surprised Stiles agreed to take the shift at all. “How’s Scott going to get back?”
Derek wasn’t even sure if Scott could drive. He’s only seen Scott in Stiles’ powdered blue jeep that has seen better days.
“The ‘rents will bring him back tomorrow. We’ll probably all go to dinner or something.”
For the second time that day, Derek’s mind freezes. “’Rents?”
“Uh, yeah. You know, short for parents?” Stiles laughs nervously. “I mean it’s outdated but –“
“I know what it means, Stiles, but I don’t--” Derek stammers over his words for a second. “You mean you’re brothers?”
Stiles breaks out into a real laughter this time. His whole body shakes and his grin becomes infectious. “No, we’re not. Not yet, anyways. Our parents are or should be a thing. Every time I go home I switch back forth between they’re dating or not behind our backs.”
“What kind of parents would lie to their kids?” slips out of Derek’s mouth, and he wishes he could stuff it right back in. Insulting the roommates’ (and crush’s) parents are not on the To-Do list for the day.
Luckily, Stiles just snorts. “The kind that had me and Scott as kids. I mean we were the worst. The best, don’t get me wrong, the total best. But the worst.”
“I don’t think that’s changed,” Derek dares to barb at him.
Stiles narrows his eyes at him, but he’s grinning, so Derek’s not too worried. “I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult.”
Derek shrugs. “Let me know when you figure it out.”
His eye catches the microwave’s clock, and he winces. It was much later than he thought it was. “Look, I still have some stuff I wanted to do tonight, but thanks for your help.” And not making fun of me , he adds silently in his head.
“Yeah, no problem! I – oh, shit! I’m going to be so fucking late.”
Derek watches as Stiles takes off to his bedroom, and comes back out not even five seconds later in a completely new outfit. “Gotta, run. See you later!” Stiles peels out the front door, and Derek can hear the jeep start soon after.
Derek’s still smiling when he goes back to his bedroom. It wasn’t exactly how he pictured his evening going. It was even better.
The house finally starts feeling like a home after that. Derek doesn’t know why, but Stiles and Scott both start picking up their own messes faster than before, and Stiles even learns the definition of quiet. Not silent, but quiet. He hasn’t been having as much sex in the house either, but Derek’s resolutely not thinking about that. The best part is how the ice has now been broken between him and Stiles. It’s no longer only awkward nods and smiles. The conversations Stiles tries to start with him will now continue and quickly evolve from small talk to debates about anything that sparks their interests.
They spent forty-five minutes yesterday arguing if onion rings or curly fries are superior while Isaac and Scott watched, entertained.
Stiles even invited him to watch Unbreakable tonight.
Derek’s never seen or heard of the film, but when eight o’clock rolls around, Derek’s tired of pouring through articles that could be of any use for his thesis and is glad for an excuse to take a break.
Stiles is already draped all over the sofa, and Derek tries not to stare at his long expansive neck or how his t-shirt is obviously old and well-worn, and that Stiles has almost outgrown it. The shirt stretches tightly over his broad shoulders and the sleeves barely cover any of his strong biceps.
Derek swallows. Maybe he should go back to working, make an excuse that he’s way behind. It would be less stressful than trying not to stare at Stiles during the entire film and risk being found out.
Derek starts to silently retreat when Stiles stretches and catches Derek’s eye. “Hey! Didn’t even notice you come in. I was having a quick catnap.”
Derek grinds his teeth together as Stiles rolls his entire body in the most ineffective way to stretch ever.
Stiles doesn’t appear to notice Derek’s distress as he continues chatting. “The movie’s already set up, so you can just plop down right here.” He pats the sofa seat next to him as he arranges his body to take up only two of the three seat cushions.
Derek stiffly walks over to the sofa and sits down awkwardly. He’s only too aware of how close Stiles’ feet are to him or the sweet smell of contentment that he’s emitting.
Stiles reaches over to the other side of the sofa and lifts a large bag of Puffy Cheetos and two cans of Coke. “I know popcorn’s the typical movie snack, and supposedly healthy and whatever, but really the amount of salt, butter, and freaking preservatives they put on that stuff, you can’t call it healthy anymore. And if we weren’t going to be healthy, well,” he shrugs and opens the bag, “why not pick a good unhealthy snack.”
Derek regards Stiles with disgust. “You can’t be serious.”
“You don’t like Cheetos?” Stiles asks dubiously. Derek cringes as the orange specks fly out at him as Stiles speaks.
“Like you said. They’re unhealthy and filled with preservatives.” Derek narrows in on Stiles’ orange-covered fingers. “That’s not even real cheese.”
Stiles blinks at him, and for a split second Derek thought he had done it. He had managed to shock Stiles into not speaking until –
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me! You cannot tell me you’re a fitness fiend.” The Cheetos go flying all over the floor as Stiles scoots over to poke Derek in the chest. “I live with you, remember? You eat more sweets than anyone I know, including myself! That’s saying something.”
Stiles was right there, and Derek could see every striking detail on his face. The endearing birthmark on his cheek, the way his eyelashes have clumped together. Then there’s the scent, so much stronger now and the heady indignation from Derek’s dislike of Cheetos. He wants to bury himself in it, in him.
Stiles’ long finger pokes him roughly on the ribs.
Derek exhales sharply through his mouth and pushes Stiles back. “And none of those sweets contain preservatives or are candy. Unlike some people, I cook things for myself. Everything I eat is made out of whole ingredients and not plopped out of a can or defrosted from the freezer. “
Stiles’ eyebrows are slowly rising along with a grin.
It has Derek worrying about his mental safety.
Laughing, Stiles states, “So you’re saying you’re a health nut with a huge ass sweet tooth.”
Derek frowns and pulls the throw pillow from behind Stiles into his lap. “I’m not a health nut . The chemicals in food just taste funny.”
“Aw, the poor werewolf,” Stiles coos. Then, the behavior abruptly stops, and Stiles sits up straighter. “That’s never bothered Scott. I swear we lived off of the McDonald’s dollar menu last year.”
Derek shrugs. “Can’t account for taste.”
Stiles chews on his lip and doesn’t respond, so Derek grabs the remote and turns on the TV.
He gets to the DVD’s main menu before Stiles starts to speak again.
“But, what if it’s more than that. What if it’s because Scott’s a bitten wolf? All of his senses were probably overwhelmed enough that everything tasted funny. Fast food or not. I wonder if everything still tastes funny to him. Are all born wolves you know like you? They all hate that kinda stuff?”
Derek leans back on the couch, remote still in hand, as he tries to process all the information Stiles has just given him. “Most do. I think, but we all have our exceptions. My younger sister Cora is addicted to peeps, and Boyd can’t live without Kraft Mac & Cheese. But,” Derek trails off thinking about all the werewolves he knows.
“But,” Stiles prompts with a kick of his foot.
“But, a good percentage of werewolves I know are family. We all grew up in the same environment, which could also account for the difference.”
Stiles chews absentmindedly on his lip. “There’s got to be a whole list of factors.”
Derek watched as his nose cutely scrunched up. “Later. Later, later,” Stiles mutters. “Ready for the movie?”
Thankfully, the movie is really good and is able to hold Derek’s attention. The hardest part is when Stiles props his feet onto Derek’s lap during the last third. He should push them off his lap, but he doesn’t think about that. Instead, he resists the urge from grabbing onto his ankles and sinking his fingers into the flesh of Stiles’ feet.
The ending credits start to roll, and Stiles takes the opportunity to stretch – and ends up kicking Derek in the face.
Derek winces more from the sound of his nose cracking than the actual pain. A werewolf always has to make sure noses are positioned correctly before they heal.
“Shit, shit, shit!” Derek vaguely hears. He’s trying to stop the blood from leaking onto his favorite sweater. “I’m so sorry!” The next thing Derek knows, he has a Stiles straddling his lap. Stiles hands come up to tilt Derek’s face up and tries to remove Derek’s hands away from his nose.
“Blood,” Derek warns.
Stiles grimaces but nods and grabs his flannel shirt that’s tossed over the arm of the sofa before removing Derek’s hands. His face loses color as soon as the blood drips down and onto his flannel.
“You okay?” Stiles asks.
“I’ll be fine,” Derek says around the fabric in front of his face. “You broke my nose.”
“I’ll be fine,” Derek reiterates. “Just need to set it properly.”
Stiles nods and cleans up most of the blood before he tosses his shirt to the side. Carefully, he reaches up and adjusts Derek’s nose.
Stiles winces more than Derek does from jostling the broken bones. “Gross. Utterly disgusting,” he mutters until he gets his nose exactly where it should be.
“There,” Derek gasps out as he starts to feel the bones start to mend back together.
Stiles leans back immediately. “I’m so sorry. Honest. I didn’t mean –“
“I know. It’s fine, Stiles.”
“You sure? I can bake apology cake or something.”
Derek snorts. “I don’t want you baking anything for me.”
Stiles makes a face but doesn’t disagree.
“How’d you know what to do with my nose?”
Stiles shrugs and starts to clean up the mess around them. “Technically, I didn’t, but Scott’s mom’s a nurse and the two of us got into a lot of messes when we were little, so I kinda just did what she would.”
Derek snorts. “How many times have you broken your nose?”
Derek rolls his eyes. Only. “What about Scott?”
Stiles freezes for a second. “Ten. Give or take a few, I think.”
“Ten?” Derek gawks. Stiles doesn’t answer but turns his back to Derek as he cleans. Derek narrows his eyes. “How many times were you the one that broke it?”
Stiles turns around with an indignant look on his face. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“How dare you –“
“How many, Stiles?”
Stiles shoulders collapse in defeat. “Half."
Derek can’t help but to start laughing.
“It’s not funny,”
“Scott was probably thankful to be turned into a werewolf.”
Stiles sputters, but when Derek looks up at him, he’s smiling.
“It might have been better for their insurance,” he admits.
“You’re a menace.”
Stiles smirks. “You have no idea.”
The air seems to vanish from Derek’s lungs, and he feels like choking instead of laughing.
Stiles waggles his eyebrows before disappearing to the bathroom.
Derek tries to remember how to breathe again.
As soon as Derek slams the front door shut, he lets go of the thin thread of control he had left.
Claws and fangs pop out, eyes glow, and joints rearrange.
Derek breathes harshly as he lets his emotions overwhelm him. The problem is that he doesn’t know how he feels or wants to feel.
There’s anger. How could his advisor turn down his thesis proposal?
Hurt and disappointment. Why wasn’t what he did good enough?
Frustration. He had put a fuck lot of time into that proposal, all for nothing.
Derek growls as anger and frustration wins out.
“Woah, who was that?” Derek can hear Stiles ask across the house and then his footsteps rushing along the floorboards.
Stiles appears in front of him. His hair and clothes ruffled as always, but the normal brightness of his eyes is gone. Instead, they’re shadowed in worry.
Almost like he’s afraid of him , Derek thinks. Derek growls again, even more frustrated that his friend doesn’t trust him.
“Hey, man,” Stiles approaches cautiously. “Why don’t we –“
Derek shoulders past him roughly and heads straight for his room. He doesn’t need to deal with the extra shit.
“Derek!” is the last thing he hears before he slams the basement door behind him.
He trudges down the stairs and digs into his closet to find an ill-used punching bag. A staple graduation gift for everyone in his family, Derek has never felt a need for it before.
Now, he destroys it. Punches and kicks are only so good. Ripping it open with his claws is much more rewarding.
It’s only when the stuffing is spilled all over his feet and the punching bag is destroyed does he stop. The conversation between him and his advisor plays over and over in his head.
Tears stream down his face as hurt replaces anger and disappointment replaces frustration.
The more he thinks about it, the reality of the situation starts to seep in. It doesn’t matter how he feels about it; he’s screwed no matter what.
Derek hurries over to his desk. He curses his claws as he tries to get all the material he had shown his advisor out of his bag without damaging anything. He tries to shift back, but he soon realizes he’s in too frantic of a mood to calm down enough to do so. Thinking of his family, his anchor, only makes him panic more. He sees a future where he’s fucked up so badly, fails out of college, and dishonors them all.
He gets all of his notes in order and carefully logs into his laptop. He spends the next hour pouring over everything, trying to figure out the best way to get out of this mess.
Dates of supernatural equality, moon phases, and ocean tides become a blur to his overworked eyes.
After staring at one graph for more than ten minutes straight, he finally calls it, and steps away from his desk. He’s not going to accomplish anything tonight, which, his brain reminds him, is terrifying and that means he’s even more screwed.
Derek’s hands tighten into fists, and his claws puncture into the flesh of his palm and blood slowly starts to trickle out. He exhales sharply as he carefully opens his hands.
He forces himself to shift back – but he can’t. All he can think of is his stupid thesis and all the upcoming due dates that seem so much closer than they did last night.
Not knowing what else to do, Derek trudges back up the stairs.
Stiles sees him as soon as he exits the basement.
“Hey,” he says softly. “How you doing?”
“What do you think?”
Stiles doesn’t even startle at Derek’s harsh tone.
Derek eyes Stiles carefully, noting that he’s turned the crappy, broken recliner from facing the TV to facing Derek’s door. “Were you waiting for me?”
Stiles gestures down at the chair. “What do you think?”
Derek huffs. Humor is a commodity he doesn’t have time for.
“Tough crowd,” Stiles mutters. “Want to talk about it?”
Derek doesn’t dignify that with an answer. When does anyone want to talk about it?
Stiles lets Derek walk away from him. He decides to try to make a grilled cheese, maybe if he pretends everything’s normal, it will be.
When his claw gets stuck behind the dial for the burner, he gives up. He didn’t even manage to turn the damn stove on.
“How come you’re still shifted?” Stiles voice asks from the kitchen’s entryway.
Derek gives him his best eyes glowing glare.
Stiles rolls his eyes. “I don’t care . You can be wolfy as often and much as you like. You just don’t do it often, and it seems like you might be having some trouble.” He eyes the frying pan Derek had pushed across the stove.
Derek grabs the frying pan and puts it away. “Decided I wasn’t hungry.”
“You didn’t even try to answer my question.”
Derek wonders if ignoring him will make him go away. He heads back to the den and situates himself on the sofa. Maybe some mindless TV will help. He doesn’t even get to turn it on, when Stiles sits down right beside him.
“I know I-“ Stiles starts off before spitting his hoodie’s strings out of his mouth. “If you don’t want to talk to me fine. Not fine, but fine. Talk to Isaac then or Boyd or Erica – and yes I know about them. I know I like to have fun, but I am capable of having serious conversations. I won’t make fun of you.”
Derek lets out a large breath. “Ican’tshiftback.”
Stiles blinks. “What?”
Derek glares at him, angry that he couldn’t just be smart enough to figure it out. “I. Can’t. Shift. Back.”
“What do you mean you can’t shift back?”
Derek looks pointedly down at his claws.
“What – so you’re stuck?”
Derek crosses his arms. Obviously.
“Okay, okay. I can totally help with this!” Derek shoots him an extremely dubious look. “No, really! So who was it? Amanda? Nate? Did they use some sort of powder – “
“Stiles, what the fuck are you talking about?” That came out slightly angrier than Derek had intended.
“Trying to figure out how to undo the magic that got you stuck. Unless you don’t want my help, then I’ll just leave.” Stiles starts to get up, but Derek grabs the end of his t-shirt.
“It’s not magic.”
“It’s not? Then how,” Stiles trails off, getting that thinking look in his eye.
“I had some – bad news, and –“
“That’s why you lost control?”
“And now you can’t shift back?”
Derek nods again.
“The bad news. What –“
“I had my thesis meeting with my advisor.”
“He didn’t approve it?”
Derek’s lips turned upwards slightly.
“When do you need to have it approved?”
“Basically.” Derek wonders if Isaac has any wolfsbane beer in the fridge. It might not help , but he might feel a little better. Or worse. It’s always a fifty/fifty chance with alcohol.
“You stay right here. I have an idea.”
Before Derek can protest, Stiles disappears into the hallway. He returns carrying two boxes. One, Derek can tell, is made out of mountain ash. Stiles takes another step, and Derek can smell the pungent smell of the weed.
Derek shakes his head. “Stiles –“
“No, Derek. No.” Stiles interrupts him eagerly. He slides back into his place on the sofa. “I know you don’t smoke, but you need to chill .”
“I’m not –“
“I’m willing to bet that you can’t shift back because of stress.” Stiles opens the non-mountain ash box and starts to prepare the bowl. “And maybe you should learn how to do yoga or something. You should definitely learn how to do yoga. I would watch the shit out of that.”
Derek is so glad that Stiles can’t see his blush underneath all the additional hair on his face.
“But that takes time, effort, concentration, and someone else to teach you. This will basically do all the work for you. You just have to trust me.”
Derek becomes aware that he has just been watching Stiles’ hands as they worked, but they have suddenly stopped. He jerks his head up to meet Stiles’ eyes.
“You can say no,” Stiles whispers.
Derek feels his claws scratch along his jeans, looks down at the weed, and then back to Stiles. “Okay.”
Stiles gives him a small, sincere smile. “Okay.”
Derek waits patiently as Stiles finishes preparing the bowl, which he hands over only after starting to give enough tips that it starts to make Derek nervous.
Determined, Derek immediately inhales, coughing only slightly.
Stiles squeezes his shoulder. “Take it easy, and I’ll catch up to you.”
He opens the mountain ash box with what looks like to be the same equipment as the first box. He starts to prepare another bowl.
“Can’t we just share?” Derek asks, perplexed.
“Nah, man. Your stuff, which is technically Scott’s by the way so let me be the one to tell him, is infused with some wolfsbane. My stuff is wolfsbane free and in the human agreeable box. Sadly, that also means no shotgunning, but I think we’ll survive.”
Derek chokes again for an entirely different reason. He’s not sure if he’d survive shotgunning with Stiles.
Stiles joins him in smoking after Derek’s taken a couple more hits. It doesn’t take long after that before it begins to take hold. His vision’s a little fuzzy on the edges, but Stiles looks clearer than ever.
Derek’s still shifted, but Stiles has started to relax. His limbs are spread out everywhere, and his body looks like it’s becoming one with the sofa cushions.
Stiles shoots a smirk and a wink. “Feeling good?”
“Hmm. You look comfy.”
“That’s because I am. You should join me. Be comfy.”
Stiles gently pulls Derek down towards him, and Derek goes willingly. His body ends up smushed between the back of the sofa and Stiles. Stiles readjusts so he’s half on top of him and half on the sofa.
Stiles is warm against him. Derek had been so freaked out earlier that he had ignored a lot of his surroundings, but now he can’t escape Stiles’ scent. It’s a perfect mixture of sweet and musk and Derek just wants to drown in it.
Stiles starts talking, and Derek can feel the vibration of Stiles’ body when he talks, and how his chest rises as he breathes.
Derek rests his head against Stiles’ shoulder and his hand on top of Stiles’ heart, feeling it beat beneath his fingertips. He inhales deeply, breathing Stiles in, and then watches Stiles’ hands move as he tells a story.
The last thing he remembers before he falls asleep, is Stiles’ hand covering his.
Derek buries his face further into his warm pillow as his body tries to wake him up. He doesn’t want to wake up. He’s warm, comfortable, and Stiles smells amaz-
Derek opens his eyes in horror to find himself cuddling Stiles on the sofa. He carefully sits up; making sure Stiles doesn’t fall on the floor. It’s only after he’s recounted last night that he realizes he’s shifted back into his human skin.
Derek tries to bite down on his smile, but he almost feels like laughing from pure relief. There was a point last night that he thought he’d stay shifted forever.
Derek didn’t know if he had the drug or Stiles to thank for that. Maybe he should just thank Stiles for the drug, which he would do by making him breakfast.
After Derek finally got his thesis proposal approved, Derek and Stiles have smoked a couple of joints a week. What usually happens is that Stiles thinks Derek’s stressing out too much over his thesis and enforces a mandatory break. And, Derek lets him. Derek isn’t sure if it’s the weed that he enjoys or that rules and normal social etiquette that go out the window, so he can get super close and cuddly with Stiles without feeling like such a creeper.
Except that comfort level has started bleeding into non-smoking hours. Derek has been finding himself leaning into Stiles or sitting as close to him as possible without a second thought. He’s caught himself staring far too often and yet, still struggles to look away.
It doesn’t help that sometimes Stiles stares back. Sometimes Stiles doesn’t look away. Those are the moments that take Derek’s breath away. Just the possibility that Stiles might have feelings for him are overwhelming in the best way.
Of course every time Derek works up the courage to say something, do something, anything, someone interrupts. Like now.
They’re both in the den. Derek’s taking up the one pathetic recliner, and Stiles is across from him on the sofa. Derek locked eyes with Stiles a few minutes ago and finally works up the courage to say something. “Stiles –“
“Paper is done!” Isaac exclaims as he enters the room. He throws his messenger bag to the corner of the room and plops down next to Stiles.
Derek averts his eyes and grinds his teeth in frustration. Interrupted, once again. When Derek looks back up, Stiles is rolling his eyes. He and Isaac don’t exactly get along.
“Whoop-de-doo. Would you like a gold star for completing what every other student at this university has to do?”
Isaac scoffs. “Don’t pretend like you didn’t sleep for 12 hours straight after you finished your midterm exam.”
Stiles glares. “You know my SPARK practicums force us to drain all the energy we have to show our best progress, right?”
“Is that why you pig out and eat an entire pizza by yourself?”
“Why the fuck does it matter to you?”
“Because, I, unlike you are –“
“I was trying to work on my thesis,” Derek gestures to his books littered all over the coffee table.
Isaac raises his eyebrow. “How’s that going? Didn’t you get into a tuft with your advisor?”
Stiles squawks. “Seriously? That was like a month ago!”
Derek looks up to the heavens for help with these two before slowly explaining. “I may have freaked out so much over the refusal that I didn’t pay attention to what the problem was. He was worried that my focal point was too large for how in-depth I was hoping to go. I narrowed my original topic from shape shifters and climate parallels to lycanthropic history and how it corresponds to the moon and earth.”
Isaac nods. “So you’re approved.”
“Yes. I’ve been moving forward. I need an outline done in a few weeks.”
Isaac smirks, and that’s never a good sign. “Congratulations on the approval. Maybe you should partake in some celebratory sex.”
Isaac turns to Stiles. “Don’t you think, Stiles?”
Derek wants to melt into the floor in horror, but instead he can’t help but look at Stiles for his response.
Stiles looks surprisingly uncomfortable with the question. Red appears high in his cheeks, and his eyes are opened wide in surprise. “Uh.” He blinks and looks at Derek before quickly looking away. “Yeah. I guess. If there’s someone he wanted to, uh, celebrate with.”
“You should celebrate tomorrow,” Isaac informs Derek. “Scott and I will be out. We’re going on a. . . double date.”
“I don’t think that word means what you think it means,” Stiles mutters.
This time it’s Isaac that starts to blush.
Derek looks back and forth between the two of them before reluctantly closing his laptop. His work will have to wait. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
When Isaac doesn’t respond, Stiles pipes up. “Traditionally, a double date involves four people. This one has three.”
Derek’s eyebrows furrow. “You have a third wheel?”
“Not exactly,” Isaac mumbles.
“What exactly does it mean?”
Isaac shifts uncomfortably on the couch. “Scott and I are going on a date together. And with another girl.”
“All three of you, together?”
Derek wonders how he completely missed Isaac’s attraction to Scott. And vice versa. Or if that was the real reason they ended up rooming with the Beacon Hills duo.
Isaac smiles a little, although the blush doesn’t come down. “Thanks. I think I’m going to head out.”
Stiles and Derek nod. In the next couple minutes of silence, Derek manages to sink back into his research.
“Are you going to invite anyone over tomorrow?”
Derek looks up to see Stiles resolutely not looking at him. “No. There’s no one that I’d want to invite that isn’t already here.”
He looks down before he can see Stiles’ reaction. Too scared to face it.
The next day, sex doesn’t come up, but smoking does. Stiles produces both boxes and announces it to be the best form of celebration.
Derek agrees, and they both sink into a lazy, blissful afternoon. Derek’s thoughts are overcome with contemplations of Stiles. Stiles’ shirt has ridden up past his belly button. His bare skin and dark treasure trail have been tantalizing Derek. He just wants to nose at the hair laying there. Slowly kiss his way down it and to the essence of pure Stiles.
Derek breathes heavily, and he can feel his pants getting tighter.
Stiles catches his eye and grins. “I know what would make this day even better.”
Sex , Derek thinks. A naked you writhing on the sheets.
Derek doesn’t even feel guilty for objectifying his friend as his eyes automatically drop to Stiles’ ass when he gets up and messes with the speakers they have.
“It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes” blasts through the speakers.
Derek laughs as he thinks of the first night they actually became friends.
Stiles starts dancing and singly loudly at the top of his lungs. “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical, oh yeaaaah.”
Derek gets up and joins him. “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.”
They laugh as they sing along together. There’s enough going on that Derek’s attention is focused solely on how languidly Stiles’ body moves when he dancing. Or how the muscles shift. Instead, Derek shakes his booty and feels like he’s floating on air.
Derek’s voice is hoarse from singing, but he doesn’t care. They’ve been at it for hours now, shuffling through Taylor Swift’s discography. They’re laying in separate directions on the sofa with their heads laying next to one another in the middle and their legs swung over the armrests.
“You Belong with Me” comes on after “Mean,” and Derek can’t help but glance at Stiles throughout the song. He may not be in the stands and his competition might not be cheerleaders, but he wants more than a one nightstand with this man.
Stiles turns to him during the last chorus, and there’s an intensity in his eyes that makes Derek fall silent.
“Standing by and waiting at your back door. All this time how could you not know, baby you belong with me. You belong with me,” Stiles sings softly.
Derek breathes hitches, and Stiles doesn’t look away.
Stiles speaks instead of sings the last few lines. “You belong with me. Have you ever thought just maybe you belong with me. You belong with me.”
The song fades out and another one starts up, but Derek can’t hear it over the blood pounding in his ears.
He’s not sure how it happens. He doesn’t have any conscious memory of moving or even noticing Stiles moving. One moment he’s looking into Stiles eyes and feeling like he can’t breathe, and the next there’s pair of warm lips on his, and he can’t breathe for an entirely different reason.
It’s an unfamiliar angle, and Derek readjusts before he dips his tongue into Stiles mouth. The moan he gets in response is the single most beautiful thing he’s ever heard.
When Stiles sits up, he pulls Derek up with him, awkwardly trying to continue kissing him in the process. Derek doesn’t mind. He wants him as close as he can get him.
Stiles pushes him against the sofa and straddles his lap. Derek leans forward, but Stiles leans back. Derek stops, unsure what went wrong.
“I meant it,” Stiles whispers. “I want this. You.”
“I do, too,” Derek assures him. He goes for the kiss again, but Stiles leans back again.
“I don’t –“ Stiles groans. “I haven’t done relationships in a long time, but I want to. With you.”
Derek hasn’t really processed what is happening. Kissing, one night stand, or dating. He had been lost in the feel of Stiles’ skin against his, but this. This is better than Derek could’ve hoped for. A full-blown smile forms. “Yeah?”
Stiles relaxes and smiles softly. “Yeah.”
“Good. I want you around all the time.”
Stiles chuckles. “I’m going to hold you to that.”
This time Stiles doesn’t pull back but meets him eagerly. Stiles’ fingers slide into Derek’s hair before pulling tightly. Derek groans, and his hands grab onto Stiles’ ass and pull him even closer.
Stiles tugs on Derek’s bottom lip before trailing kisses down his neck.
“I thought that was supposed to be my kink?” Derek asks in a strangled voice.
“Are you complaining?”
Derek lets out a moan as Stiles bites down beneath his collarbone.
“I’ll take that as a no.”
Derek retaliates by pulling Stiles’ shirt off. He can’t help but stare, not sure what all he wants to touch first. Stiles doesn’t give him time to think as he grinds down on Derek’s lap. “Fuck.”
He looks down to clearly see Stiles’ hardening cock through his sweatpants. Derek reaches out and rubs him through the fabric.
Stiles hisses. “Fucker.”
This time it’s Derek’s turn to smirk.
It turns into a competition after that. Derek discovers Stiles’ sensitive nipples and enjoys nipping at them. Stiles finds that a bite or two and scratches down Derek’s back will have him opening his legs even wider. It soon dissolves into them frantically grinding as they breathe heavily into each other’s mouths.
Derek is seconds away from coming when Stiles pulls away. “Wait, wait. I want to,” he gasps as he opens Derek’s pants and frees his cock. Without any warning, he swallows Derek’s cock down in one go, and Derek jerks in surprise before he’s coming straight down Stiles’ throat.
Stiles milks him until Derek can’t help but whine at all the attention on his oversensitive cock. Stiles pulls of with a grin, and some come dribbles out the corner of his mouth. Derek wipes it off with his thumb and licks it off himself.
Stiles’ eyes get even darker, so Derek pulls him back up onto his lap as he kisses him, taking notice of how his come mixed with the taste of Stiles. He snakes his hand beneath Stiles’ waistband and cups his balls. Stiles’ hands tighten on the sleeves of Derek’s shirt. Derek slides the leaking precum over Stiles’ dick. It only takes a handful of quick pulls and his thumb sliding over the head before Stiles comes.
Derek pulls out his come-covered hand and offers it to Stiles. He doesn’t even blink before sucking a finger into his mouth and cleaning it with his tongue. Derek’s dick valiantly tries to get hard again.
He’s cleaning off the last digit when Isaac and Scott get home.
“Is it just me or does it smell like sex more than usual?” Derek can hear Isaac ask right before they walk into the den.
Stiles pops off Derek’s finger, and everyone just stops.
“On the couch, Stiles?” Scott groans.
“They actually did it,” Isaac says in disbelief. He turns to Scott. “Do you think that means I don’t have to listen to Derek talk about him anymore?”
Scott snorts. “Not how that works. Trust me.” He points a finger at Stiles and Derek. “We are going to leave. You two are not going to bone on this couch again, got it?"
Derek and Stiles nod. Derek waits until he can hear the front door close before he collapses his head on Stiles’ shoulder.
“So what do you think of christening the rest of the apartment. I mean we already did the sofa, so Scott’s right. There’s no reason to do it again, here ,” Stiles remarks.
Derek smiles. “I think we can make something work.”
Stiles leans up and kisses him.
They christen the kitchen, their bedrooms, and both bathrooms before Scott and Isaac return. As Stiles would say, many different times in many different positions.