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By A String of Blue Lights

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It starts with faeries.

Fucking psychos.

 

 

The faeries are half crazy, and Stiles doesn't know what to do, knows Derek wants them dead, but Derek is scared of everything and Stiles just isn't. He knows they're half crazy and kind of definitely psychotic and he says, Derek, no, stop, wait , because they are, but they're not dangerous, he thinks. They're just not right, is all, and hey, Stiles gets that, he gets what's it's like to be on the outside, and hell, he's not going to pretend he's not half-tempted when one of the higher-ups asks him to come with them, tips his chin up and calls him lovely, he really is.

But he says no, and says, Derek, stop, Scott, heel, and they both listen, Scott because he loves Stiles, respects him, Derek, because who knows why. Maybe Derek is just tired. In Stiles' deepest thoughts he knows Derek is nothing to be afraid of, that if anything, Derek is more scared than any of them, is just trying so hard and not getting it right because no one taught him how, but between Scott and Derek, of course he chooses Scott, he loves Scott and Derek is just Derek, asshole extraordinaire.

Derek growls, because Derek is all wolfed out and the faerie backs off, smiles, apologizes, but not to Stiles. He apologizes to Derek, and Stiles...just accepts it, even though he shouldn't. What should he do, in this case?

Fuck if he knows.

But the faeries demand a revel, so Derek allows it, and it's almost sickening, the way Erica and Boyd dance, so sweet and perfect and shy, Boyd's hand on the small of her back, hers on his neck, and they both look so happy, and Stiles is so jealous and happy for them at the same time. He doesn't want either of them, but he wants what they've found, and then Derek holds his hand out, says come on,

And.

And his hand settles on the small of Stiles' back, and he intertwines his fingers with the other hand, and Stiles' free hand, it goes to Derek's shoulder, and they dance, they dance, around to the music, just like Erica and Boyd, and by the end of the night, Stiles has his face buried in Derek's shoulder, arm slung around his neck, and he breathes in summer and exhales contentment, and then they kiss and kiss and kiss.

He isn't sure how it happens. Just knows it does, he inclines his head, and Derek leans down and it happens, over and over. They've been drugged, he knows it, fucking faeries, but he wants to kiss Derek, so he keeps on going, and so does Derek.

The faeries are fucking dicks, he learns, as they laugh, drop kisses on his cheek as they twirl by, one or two brave enough to bestow Derek with a few as well. Faeries give kisses like they breathe, have sex like Stiles decides to play a game. They think this is fun.

Sort of confirms the whole 'psychotic' thing, really. Only faeries would think drugging a pack of werewolves with feel-good magic, enough that Derek isn't being an asshole, and Isaac, Jesus, Isaac has disappeared with two faeries who love his curls, Erica and Boyd are sprawled out together far away, and Scott's hypnotized by a faerie with hair like maple leaves in fall as she dances in front of him, she looks nothing like Allison at all, doesn't even look human, really, this shit must be strong, and only they would think this was a fun idea. Holy shit.

Stiles just wants to feel good, and he thinks Derek does too, just this once, thinks Derek wants someone to warm up that frozen heart in his chest, and yeah, Stiles must be warm enough to do the job, because Derek is letting Stiles pull him away, towards the woods, away from the lights and the eyes though the music follows them, strange pipes and drums and a harp and violins, it follows them out under the safety of the dark trees.

Derek stops though, because Derek is a werewolf and strong and he fights off the glamor, says no, no, you don't want this, but Stiles says he does, he does, please, he wants a warm body too, wants someone to hold him and love him and make him feel good, can't he have that, just this once? And they're both faerie-roofied and that's his excuse, that's why they have sex in the forest, on the leaves and dirt, and Derek breathes harsh against his skin and Stiles pleads, don't stop, don't.

He wakes in his bed, and feels sick, his head pounding. Of course faerie drugs give you the hangover from hell, he thinks, face buried in the pillow, skin sticky and dirty, but it's not annoying enough to leave the softness of the bed. He'll get there eventually, he thinks, just not now, not when every movement of his head makes him want to puke, and oh, hey, he lost his virginity last night, cool.

Only it's not. It's not cool at all, because god fucking damn it, that was not consensual, not for either of them, and that was so not how he wanted his first time to be, it's not, okay, no. That wasn't fair, and it wasn't what either of them ever wanted, and where the fuck is Isaac? Did he even make it home? How did he make it home?

He gets a text from Scott around eleven, simple, just you still alive? and Stiles texting back y, and then there's a pause before Can we agree to just NEVER talk about anything that happened last night? and Stiles loves him. He really does. Dude, please. Yeah. Never happened.

He gets three calls from an unknown number. He ignores them all.

Derek comes by around nine that night, after Stiles has changed the sheets and showered and he has marks down his chest that he is so okay not thinking about. Ever. He's okay not thinking about Derek too.

“What?” Stiles isn't in the mood, doesn't know what he should do or say, for Christ's sake, they were drugged, what's the protocol for this? “What do you want?”

And Derek just. Just stands there for a second.

“You said,” he starts, and looks so lost.

“I was high. And so were you.” Stiles reminds him, not looking away from the computer now, because if he does, if he looks at Derek, he's going to crack apart and offer something he doesn't actually want to. Derek needs somebody to hold him together and love him and make him think, and fuck that responsibility, Stiles is already looking after his dad and Scott, he doesn't have time for Derek. Derek's a full-time job and Stiles is only looking for part-time, or, and here's a crazy thought, maybe he wants someone to take care of him for once, maybe he's tired of constantly being everyone's support system.

He always wants to help, be useful, needed, but he sure as hell doesn't need Derek to need him.

“Stiles,”

“Can we just forget it happened? How does that work for you?” It's coming out downright nasty, and he's still pointedly not looking at Derek, not even a little, he just stares at the screen, and he can't make out the words, and fuck, did he take his medicine today? He didn't, damn it, where is it, he always keeps a bottle in his room just in case, there it is, beside the book on faeries that is not research related, hey, Stiles likes a good urban fantasy as much as the next person, and then Derek's hand is around his wrist and it's gentle. It brings back a sense memory, the way Derek had dragged his palms down Stiles' back, under his hoodie, and the leaves had been strange on his skin where it kept getting bared and everything had smelled like autumn and smoke and happy, and Derek had laughed when Stiles complained the leaves were tickling him.

Derek is holding him like he's soft, and he is, in Derek's hands, but he doesn't want to be in Derek's hands. “What if I don't want to forget?”

Stiles blinks.

And pulls his hand away.

And Derek lets him.

“Are you forgetting that we don't actually like each other? In fact, I kind of can't stand you. You're a complete asshole to me on a good day, alright, what makes you think for one second that the drugged sex we had in the woods is suddenly going to make me like you? Do you even like me?” And Derek frowns, seems more confused than ever, and Stiles is just so done with him. “Do you like anyone? Are you capable of that emotion?”

Now he's erased the confusion, and he's lost that gentle Derek he just had, he's back to Derek the jackass, and his back is once again getting acquainted with the wall, well acquainted, might even take the wall to prom. “So what, Stiles, you'd rather have had that fucking psycho faerie have you?”

Stiles shoves at him, but Derek doesn't give an inch, he's not playing anymore, but Stiles still isn't scared. “A, no one is 'having' me, I'm not a thing, jackass, and b, you're one to talk, at least his idea of foreplay wasn't to shove me into the nearest flat surface and threaten me.”

Derek looks at his hands like he doesn't know how they got on Stiles, lets go, backs off.

“Sorry.”

“Yeah, apology not accepted, asshole. We had sex, one time. As in, never happening again. So unless you have something for me about the psychos living in the woods, get the fuck out.” Because he's done, he's so done with Derek and this weird thing and he lost his virginity in the fucking woods with Derek and it wasn't what he wanted and he doesn't know what Derek wanted or if he even cares what Derek wants.

He should, he kind of even does, but Derek's had sex, Derek's been with people, it's not important to him, Stiles' first time wasn't important to him at all, was just something he liked and found convenient and wants to keep having, he doesn't get that Stiles wanted to be with someone he cared about that first time, not Derek.

That Stiles doesn't want casual.

“They're leaving after Halloween.” Derek says. “They promised. But I want to know why, and they won't give me a straight answer.”

Stiles looks at the book on the desk, and thinks, no way.

 

 

His life isn't funny, and now they have to rescue Danny from the goddamn faeries, because they want to make a sacrifice out of him in some super magical ritual that is so not kosher.

He's got a pipe made out of iron, rubbed down with St. John's Wort, and he's currently got it pressed against the throat of the one who wanted him before, all his pretty blonde hair spread out on the leaves as he chokes and tries to move under Stiles, but Stiles' has muscle and height and weight, and the faerie feels brittle under him, like a bird. He can't throw Stiles off, can barely breathe, so Stiles brings the pipe up enough to let him talk, or at least answer his question, “Where is Danny?”

“With the king,” he gasps, coughs, green blood welling in his mouth, Stiles is killing him, he realizes, has already killed him. The iron touches green, swollen skin, he literally can't breathe, Stiles has like, sent him into faerie anaphylactic shock, and he scrambles away, watches him seize and try to breathe and then he just. He just stops. And his body relaxes. And he's still on the dirt, the leaves, and now Stiles can't breathe, can't move, he killed him, oh Christ, he killed him, he killed him, he killed him, and there's a pair of hands cupping his face, a voice reminding him he can't do this right now, he can't.

“Stiles, get up.”

He recognizes Derek now, pushes him off, “Oh, fuck you, Derek, okay, just fuck you,”

And he can breathe.

He picks up the pipe and they keep going, he can hear the others tearing apart the faerie camp, all searching, but Stiles knows now, leads the way, towards the king's area, the great big purple tent with the moss carpet and no leaves, and there's Danny, sleeping in the king's bed, and Stiles might cry.

“Danny,” he shakes him, and as soon as he touches bare skin, Danny opens his eyes, blinks, and just like that, they're hugging, and whoa, Danny is strong.

“I take back everything I ever said about you, Stiles, I mean it,”

Stiles raises an eyebrow. “What have you said about me?” Because what? Danny and him barely talk, when has he had time to say anything about him, and hey, wait, Danny thinks about him?

“Not important. Just get me away from these freaks.”

There's a roar outside the tent, Derek, and Stiles just nods, pulls him up, keeps the pipe firmly in the other hand, and they're sort of holding hands a little, but Stiles isn't going to read too much into that, he's pretty sure Danny genuinely isn't into him at all, which sucks, Danny is nice, but his taste seems to run towards asshole-who-will-break-my-heart.

“So,” Danny says, as they're running, “Faeries?”

“Yep.”

“And they were going to sacrifice me?”

“Yep.”

They dodge a few trees, a few fights, and holy shit, Erica just threw that pixie into a tree, she's really been training hard, and Danny is still talking, as they crouch down behind the Jeep. “Werewolves?”

“Oh.” Stiles should have known Danny would work that one out. “Yeah. Them too.”

“Werewolves good, faeries bad?”

Stiles handles the pipe nervously, bites his lip, “Don't give in to racial profiling, dude. Totally gotta judge the supernatural on a case by case basis, you know, everyone is an individual. These faeries are just fucking psychotic assholes. I'm not going to just assume they're all crazy, date-rape, kidnappers.”

“How easy do you think I am? I didn't sleep with him.”

Stiles swears he hears something creeping around the other side of the Jeep, but he's not sure, best to act normal, “No, no, I didn't mean to imply anything, that's just what they did before, freaks, apparently consent is a relative term to them,” he's rambling bad, shit, did he take his medicine? No, no, he forgot to take his second dose, no wonder he feels half-crazy, or maybe that's the adrenaline and oh, the fact he killed someone, yeah, that might be it.

That's when something evil with sharp teeth and bells on its shoes jumps over the Jeep, and Stiles cracks him straight across the face with the pipe without flinching, then again when he's on the ground, smashes his nasty little face in, and he doesn't hesitate at all, and he kind of feels like throwing up, because that used to be a living thing and now it's not.

“Holy shit,” Danny swears, and Stiles just gives in and throws up.

It's how the others find them, everyone in one piece and what faeries are left getting the hell out of Dodge, and they're all kind of covered in green and blue blood and gore, and they all stink to high heaven, and Stiles is lucky there's nothing left in his stomach or it would be coming up too.

“Oh god,” Erica whines. “There's teeth in my cleavage.”

Boyd looks down in interest. “You're such a badass, babe,” and she practically melts, hanging off his arm. It's cute. In a creepy way.

“You have some um,” Stiles pauses. “You just have faerie in your hair.” Because she does.

That's gross.

They go home, get Danny home, safe and sound, and hey, he kisses Stiles on the cheek with a grin, “Heroes always get a kiss.” He says with a wink that makes Stiles' stomach twist, and he hates his life a little, because a kiss on the cheek is Danny clearly spelling out that he's grateful, but not interested, sorry. Maybe he'll have better luck with the next prince he rescues from evil psycho faeries. “Guess you've got your own hero.”

And Stiles says, “What?”

And Danny smirks again, walks inside.

He goes home to an empty house, gets showered, changed, right as someone rings the doorbell, and he still has the pipe in hand, just in case, and he killed two creatures tonight, he did, with this pipe, he killed them.

It's Derek.

It's Derek, and whatever he sees in Stiles' face has him walking in and shutting the door behind him and pressing Stiles against the wall, and kissing him like it's an argument, and Stiles. Stiles said this was never going to happen again. He did. That's why he's grabbing on to Derek by his stupid leather jacket, and kissing back, and Derek's got a thigh between his legs, and they have to get upstairs somehow, right now, he says so, Derek agrees.

They get up the steps, and it's slow-going, Stiles almost slips, but Derek doesn't let him, and yeah, yeah. He knows what he said. He knows.

It's desperate and they have sex like they kiss, like it's an argument they're both trying to win still, not like the first time, what Stiles can remember of it, that languid happy pace they'd had on the forest floor, this is almost painful in how good it feels, all the adrenaline burning off into each other, their bodies fitting like they're supposed to, and once he comes it's like something in him clears, drains away to leave only the raw pain of the fact he killed tonight.

And Derek doesn't leave, Derek stays and holds him, presses kisses down his chest, his hips, his thighs, back up to his neck, touches him like he needs to be held still, and he does, he really does, and he's crying. He's crying. He killed people.

“Yeah,” Derek says to that. “Not a great feeling. I know.”

“I smashed its face in.”

Derek kisses his collarbone. “Sometimes it comes down to protecting your own. It sucks. You're always going to think that maybe you could have just stopped short of killing them. Could have done it differently.” He kisses the space below Stiles' ear.

“When was the first time you killed someone?” He wonders how old he was, why he did it.

“A hunter. When I was sixteen. Right after me and Laura left. Hunters tried to follow us, finish the job. Finish the Hales. I killed two. Ripped their throats out.”

Stiles smirks. “With your teeth?” Derek is nosing at his hairline, still holding him tight.

“Yeah. With my teeth.” There's no humor. It's not funny.

Stiles stops crying after awhile, and it takes a little longer for Derek to leave, put his clothes back on, come back to Stiles. He sits on the bed, raises a hand, caresses his face, gentle. Gentle.

Then he's gone.

It takes a long time to fall asleep.

 

 

Again, calls from that unknown number.

Again, Derek coming in his window, his dad downstairs.

“What now?” He's humiliated about giving in, about crying in front of Derek, he feels the sting of each kiss like a brand, and Derek left marks, on his hips, and right below his ear, the bastard. Erica's smirk had been unbearable all throughout English, Boyd had been downright mocking, and Isaac had scurried away like the awkward weirdo he is, all while Scott sort of hinted around it.

Derek touches him, on the back of his neck, and he flinches away, and Derek just.

“Are you fucking serious.” He's pissed. That's his pissed off voice.

“It was a mistake. Okay. It was a great big fucking mistake and it's never happening again, so don't. Don't touch me, don't come in my house unless you have some kind of issue you need me for, and don't call me unless it's an emergency.” Stiles stands, his chair pushing back, and he walks away, puts distance between them, or as much as he can in his bedroom.

“You didn't...” Derek rolls his shoulders, cracks his neck, creepy little touch there, way to make him feel comfortable. “You didn't say no.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, god, Derek always has to do this shit, push too hard, this is why no one likes him, he's pushy and weird. “It's not like you raped me. I was all for it last night, trust me, but that was just. It was just last night.”

And he doesn't know what Derek wants here. Does he want Stiles to just magically fall in love with him? What the fuck is with him, why can't he express thoughts like a normal person?

“Yeah.” He says.

“Yeah.” Stiles replies, because he's lame. “Yeah.”

Derek heads back to the window, but he pauses halfway out, turns back. “Say stop. Next time.”

“Not going to be a next time, so no problem.”

Derek rolls his eyes, says, “Trust me. There's going to be a next time.”

And then he's gone. Drama queen. Always has to have the last word.

 

 

“So tell me what part of 'I'm going to go take on the big scary coven of witches all by myself, even though I know nothing about magic' seemed like a good plan, because really, not seeing it, you moron,” Stiles is desperately trying to saw through the ropes binding Derek down with just a Swiss Army Knife, and it's slow-going, like, oh, they're going to come back and kill us kind of slow, and Stiles? Stiles wants to make it to graduation, if that's not too much to ask from the universe.

Derek says nothing.

Because Derek is stuck in the shape of a wolf.

He does manage a truly impressive glare, considering he's kind of adorable. Because he is. Stiles is a dog person. “Yeah, that's a little less scary when you look like Balto, you know?” Because he does. Look like Balto. Derek bares his teeth and growls, low in his throat, and yeah, still not all that impressed, so Stiles just makes a face at him. “Yeah, you're the Big Bad Wolf, I gotcha, but see, I'm the weak, pathetic human, and I'm currently saving your ass, so save it.”

He manages to get through the one holding Derek's chest now, and his teeth get through the ropes a hell of a lot faster, thank god, only he's not turning back. “What the fuck, are you stuck like that?”

Derek tips his head to the side, panting, and Stiles resists the urge to bang his head into something. “We are so fucked. Why is it that every time I'm around you, horrible things happen to me?” Because they do, far too often. Roofied by faeries, traumatized, hell, do they need to revisit the kanima? And Peter? Stiles is still not cool with snakes, just for the record.

Derek butts his furry head against Stiles' hip, and he's a really big wolf, he doesn't think they're normally this big, or maybe they are, what does he know, he feels like he doesn't know anything, and he's on the ground with his arms around Derek's neck and his face buried in the fur and he's not crying, but he's shaking so hard he feels like he's about to fall apart.

“Shit,” he swears, and barely recognizes his own voice. “They were going to sacrifice you to the moon, Derek. It was a trap. It was a trap, and you fell for it, because you never ask for help, you stupid dick, you're going to get killed, do you realize that? Scott is screwed without you around to save his ass, you know it, and what about the others, they need you, shit.” Derek smells like dog, like dirt. “I need you, you dumbass.”

He doesn't know why he says it. It's true. But it doesn't sound like it should, makes him think of the forest floor, of being happy and warm and safe, up until he woke up hungover and ashamed.

“Stop trying to die.” He orders.

Then they've got to run, get the fuck out of here before what's left of the coven comes back to finish the job.

They find the rest of the pack eventually, Erica miserable and covered in, ugh, Stiles doesn't even want to know, while Boyd and Isaac try to help her untangle her hair from some kind of thorny thing that's caught in it. Scott is okay too, thank god, but he's probably more mud than person at this point.

“Dude, I'd hug you, but,” Stiles gestures at him, and Scott nods.

“Yeah, not blaming you.”

Erica sniffs. “I liked Charmed. I had the DVD sets.” Boyd kisses her temple, blood and all. “Why is Derek still a wolf?”

“I think it needs time to wear off.” Stiles hopes he's right. “The spell called for a moon child. I think they thought he'd be a better sacrifice as a full wolf.” He crouches down beside him, scratches his neck. Derek likes that in human form, when Stiles digs his nails in at the nape of his neck. He likes it in wolf form too. “I think he'll be okay once the moon sets.” Their magic will weaken enough Derek can shift back on his own, Stiles thinks, or mostly believes and hopes, but it's hard when you're speed reading a spell as you're trying to find someone in the middle of the woods, in the dark, with just your stupid human senses, and thank god the coven burned incense like it was going out of style, or he never would have found the site.

“He kind of looks like Balto.” Isaac says, tipping his head to the side. “Wait, can he understand me? Is this like when you look at the interpreter instead of the person you're actually talking to?”

Boyd puts a hand on the top of his head. “Quit talking while you're ahead.”

They go home, all of them, to showers and clean clothes and combs, and Stiles comes home with Derek trotting beside him.

It's somehow easier, with Derek like this. He jumps up on the bed, and lies down beside Stiles, over the covers. “You smell like wet dog.”

Derek makes a dog-noise, or he guesses a wolf noise, and noses at him.

“What, you do.” Stiles grumbles. “I kind of like this though. I always wanted a dog. Do you play fetch? No, I guess not. I mean, you're still you, just on four legs, right? Still grumpy and weird. Wait, is this what you mean when you say you like to hunt? Oh, dude, no way, you're such a freak.” He's rambling, but Derek just keeps blinking at him, his ears moving a little, like he's listening.

He scratches Derek's back.

“We should probably stop doing stuff like this. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm still not sure how much I like you. You can be such a dick sometimes, and I get you're frustrated and shit, but dude, you can't act like that. It's not cool. It's why Scott won't join you, he thinks you're an ass, and you kind of are a lot of the time.” Derek's ears move. “I get you mean well, dude, and so does Scott, even if he acts like a jackass to you, which you deserve sometimes, don't even, but you and him just keep pissing each other off.”

Derek shifts into Stiles' hand, so that he's scratching the middle of his back.

“It's got to be you, man. You've got to try harder with him, and I mean like, really try, not boss him around and act like a dick, okay?”

He turns, tongue lolling, and Stiles scratches under his chin.

“You've got blue eyes. Like a husky. I didn't know wolves could get them.”

Derek blinks.

“So I guess I do like you.” He admits. “If you didn't work that out from me breaking down and hugging you. You're still a dick though.” Derek's fur is really coarse. He wonders if that's a wolf thing. “I think you kind of like me too though. So I guess it's alright.”

Derek is gone in the morning. His bed smells like wet dog.

There's a note taped to his computer.

I do not look like Balto.

And he smiles.

 

 

Mermaids.

Stiles would like to state, for the record, he doesn't like fucking mermaids. At all. They eat people, for one, okay, The Little Mermaid has great big gnashing shark teeth and swims as fast as a shark and eats people, pulls them down and drowns them and eats them, fucking Disney is full of lying liars who lie. First the faeries, now the mermaids, what's next? Gargoyles who don't sing? Dragons without attitude problems and snarky commentary?

Jesus, what the fuck is up with the supernatural? Are any of them normal?

“Mermaids are more animalistic than you.” Derek says. “They're more like me in full wolf. They have a sense of self, but they're just...they don't care. You're prey.”

Stiles sighs over the maps, pinches the bridge of his nose. “Great. Fucking awesome. Smart, hungry mermaids. Yeah. This is my life.”

Derek smirks. “Yeah. This is your life.”

“I would like to lodge a complaint.” Stiles says, very formally, formally enough Derek knows he's joking, and he's just so tired, he is. Damn mermaids. Mermaids sing and comb their hair with forks, okay, they don't eat people, oh god. He throws himself down on the ratty couch beside Derek, and when he does, he can't help but think of sex with Derek, think of not-thinking, but he won't. He said so.

“Trust me, you're way behind me in that line.” Derek replies, settled back, arms on the back of the couch, except one is dropping down to rest on Stiles' shoulders, and oh god, say stop, say stop, right now. Say stop.

“What are we going to do?” He asks, and yeah, he might be snuggling into Derek on the couch. He just might be. But he's scared and tired and Derek is here, Derek is right here, and his arm is around Stiles, and they're so close, they're too close. And he said, he said, he said. He says a lot of things he doesn't mean. “Seriously, we're so fucked.”

“Probably.” Trust Derek to never sugar-coat a thing, but he's smiling, it's that fuck-my-life smile that Stiles knows so well, and as he leans closer, he says,

“This is not a good idea,”

And Derek says, “So tell me to stop,”

But Stiles just closes the distance, because fuck it all. He doesn't even care. He just wants the one thing that makes sense right now, and that's that Derek is something he understands, broken, lost Derek, who thinks mermaids are the weirdest thing to happen to him, just like they are with Stiles, and he laughs, because. Because. Because their lives, they make no sense. There's no beginning, middle, or end, it's just life and it makes no sense.

“Stiles,” Derek warns, when they part, and Stiles swings his legs over Derek's lap, and Derek grabs at them with one hand, crowds Stiles against the arm of the couch, and yeah, yeah. They're making out, that's what this is, and Stiles is half-hard, and so is Derek, and they're going to have sex. He knows that. He should say stop, knows Derek will the second he says it.

Instead, he says, “We're so screwed.”

And Derek chuckles as his hand slides up Stiles' shirt, says, “Probably,”

And they have sex on the ugly couch, and it's the third time, and it's not as scary. Still scary, still weird, but fun too, almost, because they're both kind of in awe at the bullshit that they have to deal with it. They really are. And all that matters is the two of them right now, the two of them wondering what they're doing, why they're here, why they're so into each other, because they are. They are. Stiles might be kind of into Derek, and he doesn't know why, because Derek is an asshole a lot of the time, and Derek is kind of into him, even though he's obnoxious and annoying, and maybe it's adrenaline. Might just be that. Might not, anymore. Maybe they just kind of like each other. And maybe Derek's not as broken as Stiles thought, maybe he can take care of Stiles a little like he did that night after the faeries, and maybe Stiles can take care of him a little, like when he was stuck as a wolf, and maybe. Maybe.

“We can't keep doing this.” Stiles says, after, pulling his jeans up.

Derek sighs, looks sad. “Then tell me to stop.”

Stiles bites his lip, fumbles with the buttons of his shirt.

“Stiles.” He looks at him. “I'm trying here.”

 

 

And he hates mermaids, he thinks, as he smacks one with a Star of David, and she screams and screams and gasps, before falling down dead in the water, her body splashing.

Derek is having better luck, in that half-and-half mode, as he slices open one's belly, spilling entrails into the water, and the pack is imitating him, except Boyd, they've piled up on him, and no, no, Stiles won't watch Boyd drown, he won't, so he dives after them. He was always a good swimmer, always took well to this place where he couldn't hear anything or think about anything but air. He dives down, until he finds them, and he presses his pendants, all religious symbols, a crucifix with Jesus dying on it, a pentacle with the phases of the moon, a hamsa, he presses them in to their skin until they release him, and Boyd grabs him, because he's weak now, tired, lacking oxygen. Boyd pulls him up, up into the air, where he takes in great lungfuls, and throws up again, into the water, throws up the water he swallowed and the Starbucks he had before, and it comes through his nose too, ugh, that's so gross.

Boyd pulls him to shore either way, out of their range, only there's no range, they're mostly dying, and Scott is dragging himself up, he's hurt and they ripped out some of Erica's hair, and Isaac looks half-drowned and Derek just looks tired, like he did in the warehouse that night, like his life, he can't believe it.

And when the time comes, he says, “It's cool, Derek can take me home,”

And they don't have sex.

Derek gets him in the shower, gets them both cleaned up, and Derek borrows his toothbrush and then they crawl in bed and sleep for ten hours.

“Shit,” Stiles says, when they both wake up. “Dude, you can't sleep here, wolf-you was one thing, if my dad sees you, you'll be back in handcuffs before you can say statutory rape, you have to go,” and he shoves Derek, and Derek groans, cracks his neck, gets up, puts on his jeans and his dirty shirt, leans over, kisses Stiles good-bye.

And he kisses back.

“I'll text you later.” He says.

“Derek, come on,” Stiles protests, because Stiles never knows when to quit.

But Derek says, “No more games.” And then he's gone and Stiles doesn't know what's going on anymore, but he just goes back to sleep, because he nearly died and he's tired.

He'll deal with him and Derek later.

 

 

Derek takes him to a movie.

It's the new James Bond.

It's good.

Stiles pretends he doesn't know what's going on, right until Derek parks the Camaro in the park, and they're making out, they are really fucking making out, and then Derek pushes back the driver's seat, lifts Stiles up by the hips, drops him in his lap, and yeah. It's fun. It's making out after a movie, and he kind of laughs too much when Derek finds this spot on his neck that's ticklish, and Derek smiles against his skin, laughs.

And he takes Stiles home, kisses him good-night, and it isn't until he's in bed that he acknowledges he just had his first real date.

With Derek.

And Derek is through playing this game where they pretend like the only reason they want to have sex is because faeries made them, and Derek has been nothing but nice and sweet and gentle for awhile now, and Stiles realizes Derek is still apologizing, still saying he's sorry for being a dick so much, but he can be nice, he can, he'll prove it.

And Stiles' texts that unknown number, the one he won't give a name, he texts, So are we a thing now?

And he gets back, Go to sleep. It's past midnight. You have school tomorrow.

He hits, save number.

And labels it Derek.

Closes his eyes.

Falls asleep.

 

 

A unicorn.

A unicorn.

“What.” Stiles says. Because no.

Just no.

“That's real?” He asks, and it's directed toward Derek, and Derek shrugs, looks as confused as Stiles, and Peter and Deaton both sigh the sigh of those surrounded by idiots. “No, seriously. That's real. Unicorns are real.” Because unicorns are rhinos, everyone knows that. Everyone.

Only the kind with goat legs and a lion's tail and a horse body, they exist too, apparently. Stiles just can't. He can't. And Derek is laughing too, in that, oh god sort of way, and he cups the back of Stiles' neck, says, “We're going to die.”

And Stiles' nods, says, “Shit, are you fucking kidding me, we are so dead.”

And Deaton makes a face Stiles doesn't understand at the two of them, but he says nothing, says nothing at all. Peter waggles his eyebrows suggestively, Pedowolf that he is, but he doesn't say anything either, not that he really cares what Pedowolf has to say, he really doesn't. Not one little bit.

He cares what Scott thinks though. “I thought you said the thing with Derek was a one-off?” He doesn't sound mad, just kind of confused, and that's enough to untwist Stiles' stomach, enough to make him shrug.

“I don't know.” And that's the truth. “Just kind of keeps happening.” He jams his hands in his pockets, rocks back and forth, waits, and waits, and then asks, “Okay?”

And Scott is his best friend. So all he says is, “Okay.”

 

 

And the unicorn talks.

And even Deaton is surprised by that, that the unicorn can talk, because it can. It can talk and reason and it turns out it doesn't want to gore any virgins (or anyone except Boyd, because he hit it, and it hadn't liked that), it's just...it's just sad.

“I'm alone.” It says, and it's so profoundly sad, and Stiles gets that, he does, as he steps forward, and places his hand on its nose, scratches its neck. “I'm alone.” It repeats, and it rests its head on Stiles' shoulder, like a pony would.

“Derek,” he pleads, because it's sad, it's a sad unicorn, and Stiles can't deal with that.

"As long as no bodies turn up,” Derek says, and there's a hand on the small of Stiles' back. “You can stay on Hale territory.”

And the unicorn is really like a pony, as it nuzzles the two of them before taking off into the trees, and Derek just steers Stiles towards the Camaro, away from Deaton and Peter, and he takes him home. Follows him in. Undresses with him. Kisses him.

Stiles asks, “Why are you letting it stay?”

“I'm not a complete dick, you know.” And he's kissing Stiles' neck.

“Yeah.” Stiles agrees. “Yeah, I know. You're like, part-time.” Derek just sighs, picks him up and drops him on the bed, crawls on top of him, and yeah, that's kind of funny, he's such a caveman sometimes, so Stiles laughs, and Derek braces himself up on his arms, looks down at him, waiting for the joke. “You have a renter, you realize. And it's a unicorn. You have a unicorn tenant.”

“You're an idiot.”

“Are you going to like, bond with it, running through the woods together? You two can chase down squirrels together.” He coos, and he's laughing, even as Derek rolls off him, throws an arm over his face.

Stiles straddles him.

“Hey.” He tugs on the arm, pulls it away. “I still think this is probably a bad idea.”

“Yeah.” Derek agrees. “You're not seeing it from my angle. Underage son of the town sheriff. I've gotten you drugged, half-drowned,”

“Poisoned.”

“Poisoned,” Derek nods. “Pretty sure this is a bad idea.”

Stiles nods.

Then he leans over, cups Derek's face, and says, “You do so look like Balto, dude, don't even,”

And Derek laughs.