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Stiles doesn’t even greet anyone when he enters the station. His mood is shit right now, and it’s better for everyone if he just ignores them. The locker room is empty, thank God, so he hangs up his uniform and tosses his bag into his locker then runs his fingers through his hair. Deep breaths help, but he’s had the entire drive from home to town for his emotions to go all over the place. Anger, irritation, frustration, anxiety, concern---it’s all a mixed up ball of crap in his head right now. He hadn’t even gotten dressed before coming to work. Just grabbed his uniform and took off without so much as a goodbye or see you later. Childish, definitely, but it felt good at the time.

Now, it doesn’t feel quite that satisfying.

“Fuck.” Stiles leans his head against the locker next to his and keeps trying to do the breathing exercises he’s learned. He’s so busy concentrating on his breathing that the feeling of a hand against his back startles him. “Wha?” He jumps, hitting his shoulder on his open locker door.

“Everything okay, Stiles?” Jordan looks concerned yet cautious, like he’s expecting Stiles to either have a breakdown or lash out at any moment.

“I’m an idiot,” he says, shrugging as he looks away from Jordan. “Bad morning, but it’ll get better, right?”

“You aren’t an idiot. Foolish and reckless sometimes? Definitely. But not an idiot.” Jordan ruffles his hair, kneading his scalp in a comforting way before moving to sit on the bench. “Need to talk about it?”

“Don’t want to.” Stiles pulls his t-shirt off, stuffing it into his locker then getting out one of the sleeveless undershirts he keeps there for days like this.

“I didn’t ask if you want to. I asked if you need to.” To be a hell hound, Jordan is oddly soothing and supportive. The best big brother a pack member could have, without a doubt. Still, Stiles isn’t sure that talking about it will make it better.

“I dunno.” Stiles pulls on his uniform shirt, not bothering to button it. Instead, he takes off his shoes and shoves his sweats down. “Typical Monday morning, you know?”

“I highly doubt it was typical, considering you’ve got a new roommate who apparently likes marking you.” Jordan waves a hand at Stiles’ body. “You’d definitely better finish getting dressed before anyone else comes in here or they might start asking some nosy questions.”

Stiles rolls his eyes, but he does move a little faster. He gets his pants on then buttons the shirt, tucking it in so he can fasten his pants. Taking his belt out of his locker, he shuts the door and then straddles the bench near Jordan. “So, okay, you know we had to do the search last night, right? I was up north with Cavanaugh, and we were checking a two mile radius in the forest. It was muddy, and my boots were pretty well shot by the time we got done.”

“Okay. Muddy boots. Got it.” Jordan just looks at him, neither smiling nor frowning. It’s so weird, but that’s just Jordan.

“Well, when I got home last night, it was after ten, so I took off the boots and left them in the kitchen by the back door, so I could clean ‘em up today.” Stiles shakes his head. “First thing this morning, Derek’s waking me up with breakfast in bed, and he mentions the boots. Like I deliberately tracked mud in that I didn’t clean up or something. I was exhausted last night, and you know we found that girl’s backpack, right? Probably not a runaway, after all, and here he is lecturing me about keeping my own house clean.”

“Not the wisest choice of breakfast conversational topics,” Jordan admits. “So you and Derek had a fight then?”

“No, not really. I mean, we bicker sometimes, and it’s occasionally foreplay, but whatever. There might have been some heated words and then some, uh, you know.” Stiles waves his hands. Jordan’s ace but he isn’t sex repulsed or anything like that. Still, Stiles tries to respect the sexuality, or lack thereof, by not getting overly graphic around him. It’s a situation that works well for them.

“I know,” Jordan says dryly, lips quirking into a slight smile. “Then what has you angry? I could feel the tension rolling off you when you came in.”

“Oh, it was after that. Because the sex happened, I was running a little late, so I took a quick shower, and I caught him getting my wet towel out of the hamper to hang it up. It bothered me a little. Like he’s thinking I’m this messy slob that can’t even do household chores, and he’s cleaning up after me like he’s fucking Alfred or something. We, uh, might have ended up ripping the towel during the argument we had, and I, um.”

“You um what?” Jordan tilts his head slightly, listening to Stiles in that impassive way that never makes him feel judged.

“I might have told him that I didn’t need a housekeeper, and he could just get the fuck out of my house if all he plans to do is constantly treat me like a messy child.” Stiles ducks his head and hates himself, just a little, when he remembers the stricken look on Derek’s face after that particular comment. “I don’t know, Jordan. I probably said even worse shit by the time I grabbed my stuff and stormed out. Not that he remained quiet, because he can give as good as he can get, but I know it hurt him when I said he could just leave.”

“Stiles, we’ve talked about this before.” Jordan grips his shoulder and squeezes. “You have a bad habit of saying stuff you don’t mean when you’re upset. A lot of people do that, though, and I’m sure he’s going to understand that you weren’t serious. It’s probably going to be fine.”

“I don’t know. It’s just, I’m stressed about this missing person, and this whole relationship thing because it’s barely been a week, and he’s just so…so God.” Stiles can’t even put it into words. He feels so much already, and it scares him to death. “And he’s all up in my space and my business, you know? Feeding me, washing my hair, doing chores around the house, just being there for me, and it freaks me out. He’s like so damn perfect it’s ridiculous, you know? Like everything anyone could ever want. And I’m a fucked up mess who lashes out over wet towels.”

“You might be a fucked up mess, but it sounds like this Derek guy doesn’t seem to mind too much,” Jordan points out. His expression becomes more serious, his voice softer. “Are you sure aren’t just looking for a reason for things to go wrong? You have a real bad habit of self-sabotage when you find something that might make you happy but also requires change.”

“I do not,” Stiles denies, feeling defensive despite Jordan’s gentle tone. Maybe because of it?

“The puppy five years ago? You loved fostering it, were happy with it, but you deliberately left it out of the crate when you came to work so you’d have a reason to justify giving him up to a family who could take better care of him.”

“It wasn’t deliberate. I’m a busy man, and that little pup deserved a lot more than I could give him.” His jaw is so tense that he’s surprised he isn’t grinding his teeth into sharp points.

“You have a lot to give, Stiles.” Jordan grips the back of his neck. “You deserve to be happy, you know?”

“Yeah, whatever. It’s too early for emotional shit.” Stiles snorts and stands up. “It isn’t self-sabotage, Jordan. It scares me to death, how much I already like him, but I wouldn’t ever knowingly do anything to hurt him. He’s been through enough in his life. I wouldn’t do that to him.”

“What do you plan to do then?” Jordan stands up and opens his locker, getting a package of Twinkies out of it and tossing it at Stiles. He’s the best pack member ever. When Stiles gets stressed, he likes eating sugary food, so the Twinkies are exactly what he needs right now.

“I don’t know.” Stiles rips the package open and inhales the scent of sugary pillows of yumminess. These definitely aren’t on Derek’s approved snack list, he knows, and he can’t believe he’s even having a moment of reservation about eating them. “I need to apologize, I guess. He might have said some shit, too, but it was in reaction to me. Fuck, I hope he doesn’t actually move out. Oh God. What if he does? What if he’s gone when I get home? What if he actually does listen to me? Oh God.”

“Stiles. Calm down.” Allison enters the locker room near the end of Stiles’ horrible realization and drops her bag so she can rush towards him. “What happened? What’s wrong?”

“Derek. He’s going to leave, and I’m going to be alone again, and I should be glad, right? But I’m not because he’s Derek and I don’t believe in this soulmate thing, but maybe there’s something to it since I feel like I’ve known him forever instead of just a little over a week and, fuck, what if it’s some mating magical shit that’s making me feel like this and not actual feelings and can that even happened, damn, I need to stop by to see Marin to find out because that would explain why I’m freaking out right now thinking about him leaving before we have a chance to fall in love and Allison…I don’t know what to do.” He’s starting to hyperventilate now, feeling like a complete fool for working himself up like this, but there’s fear in his gut when he thinks about getting home this afternoon and Derek just being gone. Never seeing him again.

“I’ll get John,” Jordan whispers to Allison, like Stiles isn’t right there and able to hear him. Stiles looks at the mess in his hand, the Twinkies smooshed up and gross from where he squeezed them.

“Stiles, you need to just breathe with me, okay?” Allison urges him back to the bench and sits beside him. “In and out. Deep breath, then let it out. That’s good. Keep breathing. In and out.”

“You are not using Lamaze relaxation techniques on me,” he mutters even as he listens to her.

“Now, that’s better. I don’t know what happened, but Derek isn’t going to leave you.” Allison is rubbing his back soothingly, her chin on his shoulder. “What your feeling isn’t magic or the mate thing, sweetie. It sounds like you’re falling for him.”

“No way.” Stiles shakes his head and his lips press together in a firm frown of denial.

“I know it’s happening fast, that you’re probably scared to death even if you’d never admit it, but sometimes love knocks you over the head as soon as you meet someone,” Allison keeps talking like Stiles isn’t denying the whole L word thing being part of this. “Sometimes it builds gradually, and sometimes it’s a mixture of both those things. I think you don’t need to worry about him going away before there’s a chance. It sounds to me like it’s already starting to happen.”

“Stiles, Jordan said you need me?” His dad comes into the locker room, his eyes immediately sweeping the scene before settling on Stiles sitting on the bench with chunks of Twinkie falling off his fingers and Allison petting him. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing, Dad. I just, uh, there was a little, I don’t know. I almost had a panic attack, I guess, sorta, and Jordan got you before I could tell him not to.” Stiles feels pretty stupid and really dramatic, and not in a fun way. In a terrible telenovela kind of way. All he needs now is evil Miguel swooping in and twirling a moustache to make the scene even worse.

“Son, don’t lie to me.” His dad crouches down in front of him and pats his knee. “You look like shit, and I know there isn’t anything of the SPN variety happening right now, so what is it?”

“Derek and I had a fight this morning, about wet towels. Wet towels! And I told him to move out, and I just realized that he might actually listen? Because he’s so respectful of my limits and is too fucking perfect to not realize that maybe I didn’t mean it.” Stiles spills it all when his dad looks at him with his ‘doing even think of lying to me’ expression.

“Derek? That’s the alpha who is trying to date you?” Dad looks at Allison when Stiles just blinks at him and bites his bottom lip. “Why didn’t I know that some guy I’ve never even met has moved in with my son?”

“It’s complicated?” Allison dimples at him, but Dad totally doesn’t fall for it at all.

“This Derek guy. He’s respectful and perfect, according to my cynical son who doesn’t think anyone’s perfect because perfection is suspicious,” Dad says pointedly. “So uncomplicate things for me, Argent, or I might have to reassign you to downtown parking patrol for the day.”

“Don’t threaten Allison.” Stiles punches his dad with his non-Twinkie covered hand. “And I was wrong, okay? Derek’s perfect, so there’s one person in the world who actually is without it being suspicious and unrealistic.”

“Sir, I’m not exactly sure what Stiles told you,” Allison says, her nails digging a little too deep into Stiles’ back to be comforting. “Derek is his mate, who has agreed to give them the opportunity to fall in love instead of imposing the usual procedure for this type of bond. While the Hale property is being rebuilt, Stiles agreed to let him live with him.”

“Yeah, he actually did tell me that.” Dad nods. “About the soulmate and dating bit. Not the moving in together part, however.”

“Because I knew you’d get weird about me letting someone move in,” Stiles points out. “Otherwise, I was completely honest. Open communication and no lying.”

“Just took you twenty-five years to be able to actually do it,” Dad mutters, fully aware that Stiles still doesn’t tell him the complete truth most the time when it involves supernatural stuff. Stiles just tries for a sweet smile that’s more like a grimace at the moment.

“I was telling Stiles that Derek doesn’t seem the type to give up on him just because of a silly fight,” Allison explains. “I mean, I’ve told Scott similar things, about getting out or never touching me again, and it’s just part of a relationship, I think.”

“Ah.” Dad smiles knowingly. “You’re developing feelings for this young man, aren’t you? Son, you have to realize that couples fight and sometimes they say things they don’t mean in the heat of an argument. It sounds as if you need to do a little damage control this afternoon to make sure Derek understands you didn’t really want him to move out.”

“Flowers might be nice, too?” Allison scratches the back of his head. “Or maybe chocolates? Oh God. That reminds me! He let me have some of that cake he baked for your first date and it might be Peanut’s new favorite thing. I ate the whole thing other than the two slices he took with him, and I might have told Scott that he needs to learn how to bake or I might leave him for Derek.”

“Great, Aly. Now Scott’s going to try to bake, and he’ll probably set your house on fire. You know Scotty and kitchens aren’t a good combination,” Stiles groans, lips twitching slightly. “It was delicious, wasn’t it? I was wondering where the rest of it went. And keep your grubby paws off my…my…Derek.”

Your Derek, huh?” Dad stands up and ruffles Stiles’ hair. “I’d suggest flowers and chocolates for a full groveling apology. However, you’ve got five minutes till briefing, so perhaps a quick verbal apology would set your mind at ease so you aren’t twitchy and distracted all day.”

“Yeah. Might be a good idea.” Stiles ducks his head. “Thanks, Dad. Allison, you’d better get dressed. Sorry for being a drama llama.”

“It’s fine. Anyway, after all the times you’ve talked me out of using Scott for archery practice, it’s only fair that I get to help you now.” Allison places a sloppy kiss on his cheek and laughs when he rubs it off.

Stiles goes to the sink and washes Twinkie off his hand before going back to his locker. He rolls his eyes when he sees how badly his hand is shaking, but he still manages to press Derek’s number. He gets voicemail, which makes his stomach twist because either Derek’s busy without his phone or he’s screening calls or he’s busy packing up so his phone isn’t there with him. Two of the three are all horrible options. When he hears the beep, he says, “Der, it’s me. I’m an ass. Don’t leave, alright? I didn’t mean it. I…I don’t want you to go. Fuck, I have to get to work, but we’ll talk when I get home. Okay?”

He ends the call and switches his phone to vibrate. Allison hands him his gun after he puts his phone in his pocket. She straightens her belt and nods. “Ready to get to work?”

“You betcha, partner.” Stiles follows her outside, and they lean against their desks during briefing.

Most of it is the routine stuff. There’s only one case they’re currently dealing with that seems like it’s going to head south, and that’s the missing girl. The backpack found yesterday didn’t have any blood on it, which is good news, but one of the search teams found a muddy sneaker that’s now been identified as the missing girl’s. Dad’s somber as he basically tells them that there’s a good chance this isn’t a runaway situation since her wallet and shoe have both been located, and he’s assigning a second team to help out in the investigation. Since Aly’s already been working with Hardy on it since last week, Stiles and Jordan are joining them. That means one of two things: Dad suspects there’s some kind of SPN involvement, or he thinks they’re going to find a body with a non-accidental manner of death. Either option isn’t good.

After briefing, he and Jordan go to Hardy’s desk with Aly. They get filled in on everything, and Stiles takes the case files to study thoroughly. There hasn’t been anything he’s heard so far that makes him think this is SPN related, and he’s likely to know if they’ve got something dangerous in town taking teenage girls. Still, he decides to spend the day at his desk reviewing everything in detail and making some calls. Any missing persons is a tough thing, but it’s especially difficult when it’s a fifteen year old girl.

The girl’s name is Deidre, and she’s got dirty blonde hair and a pretty smile. She didn’t come home from school Wednesday night, and her parents reported her missing on Thursday morning when they realized she hadn’t slept over with her best friend like they’d assumed. There are witness statements, and Hardy’s done a great job on movements and background. It’s just like Deidre disappeared. Allison studies the files with him, making calls to a long list of contacts who were provided by the parents as Deidre’s friends. Hardy takes Jordan to the high school so they can try tracing her possible route. Jordan’s doggy senses will help in that respect, hopefully, not that Hardy knows about that.

Stiles works the paper trail for a few hours, going to the computer and doing everything legally possible to start obtaining any video surveillance footage of the last known whereabouts of Deidre. He’s so busy that he only checks his phone about a dozen times throughout the morning. There’s no response from Derek. Not even a text telling him to fuck off. He can’t let himself think about that right now, not when there’s a missing girl out there, so he just focuses on working to get camera footage sent to him for review.

“Stilinksi!” Tara interrupts his comparison of witness statements by shrieking his name. “You got a delivery. Get that cute ass over here and sign for it or I’ll take it home with me.”

“Yeah, yeah,” he mutters, rubbing the bridge of his nose but keeping his reading glasses on as he takes the report he’s studying with him to sign for what he assumes is the video footage from the Handy Mart that Betty said she’d send over via their delivery driver this afternoon. “What do you need for me to sign, Wally?”

“Um, who’s Wally?”

Stiles looks up and blinks when he sees Derek standing at the reception desk. Tara is outright ogling him, which makes Stiles smack her butt with his file. “Stop drooling on him,” he mutters, looking over to see Derek staring at him. The tops of his ears are turning pink as Stiles watches. “Uh, hey. Wally’s the delivery driver slash husband of the woman who owns the Handy Mart. He’s bringing me their surveillance tapes from last week for a case.”

“Oh.” Derek licks his lips and keeps staring. “I didn’t realize you wore glasses.”

“Huh?” He reaches up and touches the black frames. “Right. Yeah, I do at work sometimes when I’m studying case files or using the computer a lot. Little type can make my eyes hurt, and the glasses help.”

“I feel like I should make some popcorn,” Tara murmurs, smiling smugly when Stiles glares at her. “Don’t give me that look, pookie. Remember when I first started dating Ryan? Payback time, baby.”

“Come on,” Stiles says, taking Derek’s arm across the desk and leading him around it so he can enter the back. He glances down at Derek’s hands when he sees him in full view. “What’s that?”

“I brought you lunch?” Derek ducks his head and shrugs. “You left so fast this morning that I couldn’t pack you anything, and I, uh, got your call.” He looks up at Stiles then. “For the record, we both said some hurtful things that we didn’t really mean. Anyway, I thought I’d make something and bring you lunch.”

“That’s…you’re…” Stiles just gapes at him a moment because seriously? He’s made lunch and brought it to the station after everything Stiles did this morning?

“Kiss him,” Allison mock whispers, giggling when Stiles flips her off without looking away from Derek’s flushed face.

“That’s a good idea,” Derek admits quietly, looking at Stiles’ mouth before raising his gaze. “Kissing me, I mean.”

“I’m at work,” Stiles whispers, leaning in slightly and brushing their lips together in a brief kiss. No tongue. If there’s tongue, they might get arrested for indecent exposure.

“Son, I truly hope that’s Derek Hale you’re attacking with your mouth and not some random stranger,” Dad drawls from behind him, sound far too pleased with himself for catching Stiles unaware.

“Sheriff Stilinski, I’m Derek Hale, Sir.” Derek moves forward and shakes Dad’s hand. “I apologize for disrupting Stiles’ work day. He left home today without lunch, so I wanted to bring something for him before he used it as an excuse to buy greasy fast food.”

“Oh really?” Dad shakes Derek’s hand and his smile widens. “You don’t like him eating fast food, huh?”

“It’s not the healthiest option. I’ve been trying to convince him that you can still eat well even when it’s nutritious and good for you.” Derek has no idea what he’s just done. Now Stiles is never going to have another double bacon cheeseburger from Rudy’s without his dad telling Derek. Not when Stiles only ever lets Dad have salads or grilled chicken.

“Thanks a lot, babe,” Stiles says, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. “Don’t be so smug, Dad. I still get desserts.”

“I actually brought enough for you, Allison, and your father,” Derek tells him, holding up the hamper he’s carrying. “I knew you’d mentioned Allison being back today and that your dad was also working.”

“I think your young man is very considerate, Stiles.” Dad is still smirking. “Why don’t you and Allison come to my office? We can eat whatever wonderful healthy choice Derek has brought while I interrogate him.”

“No interrogations, Dad.” Stiles wags a finger at him but they do follow him into the sheriff’s office. “Please tell me there’s something besides salad.”

“I’m not a vegetarian wolf,” Derek mutters. “You can eat good stuff that’s healthier than some of the alternatives. I’m not saying you shouldn’t still eat things you enjoy, you know?”

“What’ve you got? If there’s dessert, Peanut and I are totally down with just eating that,” Allison confides, rubbing her baby bump.

“Scotty’s going to kill you if he hears you calling him Peanut,” Stiles teases her, smirking a bit because he’s rather proud of managing to get the nickname to stick.

“I’ll just blame my work husband, so he’ll target you instead.” Allison dimples at him before leaning forward when Derek opens the hamper.

“Eh, I can handle Scotty.” Stiles looks up at Derek and sees him smiling slightly. “What?”

“You.” Derek shrugs, pulling out a basket of holy shit!

“Those are curly fries!” Stiles reaches for them and grabs one, staring at it. “It even goes boing.”

“Sweet potato curly fries baked instead of fried. A healthier option,” Derek says, his eyebrows conveying how important ‘healthier’ is about that sentence. “Also, bison burgers. Leaner and better for you than ground beef. It makes a good alternative to greasy burgers. Real cheese, not those processed slices that they call cheese. Wheat buns.”

Stiles takes a bite of the fry and chews it carefully. “Fuck. It’s great,” he says, shaking his head. “Don’t get all cocky, though. Even I know burgers and fries aren’t like health food.”

“It’s not just sprouts and hummus.” Derek sits down, his chair close enough that their legs bump. “I’ve told you before that I just meant less processed food, leaner meats, more fish and chicken. You’re already lanky and lithe, you don’t need to lose weight or anything. You just need to be more aware of the nutritional value of what you eat.”

“This is delicious, Derek.” Dad is already halfway done with his burger. “I guess my boy’s going to eat well while you’re staying with him.”

“It really is good.” Allison is happily eating her food, staring at Derek like he’s awesome. Which he totally is, but Aly shouldn’t be fangirling him like that. It’s disturbing. Stiles kicks her and sticks his tongue out at her.

“Thank you. I enjoy cooking, and it’s nice having someone to cook for.” Derek smiles, the crinkly eyed smile that makes Stiles’ heart do really bad things. “Even someone griping about every ingredient the entire time.”

“That sounds like Stiles. He’s been forcing green stuff on me since he was fourteen, so I’m glad to hear he’s learning that good food can still have taste and flavor while being healthy,” Dad says with a pointed look at Stiles.

“Yeah, yeah. I heard. It still means no Oreos.” Stiles smiles at Derek. “They’re right, though. This is almost good as Ruby’s.”

“Almost?” Derek puts his hand over his heart and feigns hurt. “That’s such a cruel thing to say. This is way better than greasy diner food.”

“Almost,” Stiles tells him with a smirk. “I love that greasy diner food.”

“Just give up,” Allison says. “Even if he thinks this is better, he won’t admit it because he hates being wrong.”

“Takes after his mom in that. I learned right after I met her that it was better to just nod my head and let her be right even if she wasn’t,” Dad admits, his smile wistful before he leans forward slightly. “Now, Derek, Stiles tells me that you’ve chosen him as your mate, but he’s playing hard to get. Apparently there’s some kind of courtship happening even though you’re living with him?”

“It isn’t exactly a choice.” Derek shifts in his chair and looks tense, like he’s scared of Dad or something. “We’re true mates. It’s…it’s something rare and special in my culture. I completely respect Stiles’ choice to want love to be a foundation of the bond, of the marriage between us, and I support his compromise to date for three and a half months to give us the chance to fall in love.”

Dad chokes, reaching for his water and gulping down a few mouthfuls. He narrows his gaze on Stiles. “Did he say marriage?”

“Uh, wow. These fries are great!” Stiles puts a handful into his mouth and chews.

“It’s not marriage in a traditional sense,” Derek explains, having no idea that he’s just digging the hole even deeper. “It’s, uh, well, Stiles called it werewolf married, which is good enough, I suppose. If he chooses not to acknowledge our mating bond, I do plan to accept that choice.”

“Married.” Dad looks at Derek then, gaze still narrowed. “You’ll accept his choice, but what does it mean for you if he refuses?”

“He’s my mate.” Derek looks at his plate and shrugs. “That won’t change regardless of anything. I’d rather be alone than force him to do something he doesn’t want to do.” Derek looks at his dad. “He’s had enough of that in his life.”

“Damn it. You two deserve each other,” Dad announces, shaking his head. “Bunch of stubborn self-sacrificing ass---“

“Sheriff, are you going to eat the rest of your fries?” Allison interrupts sweetly.

Dad wags a finger at her but lets her steal the rest of his fries. “I’m taking a walk. Do not use my office for any fooling around.”

Allison waits until Dad’s gone before she playfully leers at them. “I won’t tell if you do want to fool around so long as I can watch.”

“Thanks, but I think we can control ourselves.” Stiles’ tone is dry as he makes a face at her. He looks at Derek then, who is just watching him. “What?”

“You can, uh, add glasses to your list.” Derek smiles mischievously, lip curling even more when Stiles just stares and thinks then suddenly gets it.

“Oh! Wow. Really? Me too.” Stiles grins, munching on another bite of his extremely delicious burger.

“Is there dessert?” Allison asks, fluttering her eyelashes. “Don’t give me that look, Stiles. I’m eating for two, one of whom is your godson.”

“I made chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.” Derek pulls out a cupcake and gives it Allison. “In exchange for a little privacy?”

“Fine. I want two if I forego my chaperoning duties,” she negotiates as she gets up, taking the second cupcake with a grin. “I like your house husband, Stiles. He can stay.”

“Go away, Aly.” Stiles huffs a laugh and looks at Derek when she closes the door behind her. “She, uh, she’s the work wife and all that, you know? I’m always teasing about Scotty being her house husband. She’s just getting me back.”

“You were a dick this morning,” Derek says bluntly. Well, it’s going to be a serious talk then. Great. “I don’t mean in your usual charming sarcastic kind of asshole way, either. You aren’t the only adjusting, Stiles. I haven’t lived with another person who wasn’t family, wasn’t pack, ever, and I’m trying so hard, but I’m not going to be the only one trying.”

“I’m a selfish jackass.” Stiles nods slowly, knowing Derek’s right even if he hates to admit it even to himself. “And I’ll probably fuck up again. Multiple times. I can try anyone’s patience, and I’m difficult. I, uh, if you, um. Fuck.” He drags his fingers through his hair. “If you can’t deal with me, I get it. Alright? No one has ever been able to, so it wouldn’t really be all that surprising.”

Derek reaches over and grips his chin, forcing him to raise his head and look him in the eyes. “You aren’t going to scare me away because you’re a cruel dick sometimes. If it becomes deliberate, if you ever did it on purpose, then, yes, I’m not putting up with that kind of abuse. But there’s something there, Stiles. I can feel it, I know it’s there, and I think you feel it, too. And that’s what has you so scared.”

“I’d never hurt you deliberately,” Stiles whispers, knowing there’s no lie at all in his words. “You said some mean shit, too, but I provoked it. I admit it, alright? I push buttons and keep pushing until people either go away or they accept me like I am. My pack accepts me, but none of them are living with me or fucking me. And, yeah, okay, it’s scary, but whatever.”

“Damn right they’re not.” Derek strokes his thumb across Stiles’ cheek. “You’re not the only one who is scared, either. True mates is something I understand. I’ve grown up hearing about the legends and the stories. I never knew what it would be like to feel that connection and urge to claim, but it was nothing compared to the rest of it. To how it feels when you smile at me, the one that almost gives you dimples and makes your eyes practically shine. To how it feels when you touch me, when you’re desperate for me, almost begging but never saying the words because you’re so stubborn. To how it feels when you look at me, when you say some ridiculous nonsense about me being perfect or complimenting me so honestly that it almost hurts to think you actually feel that way about me.”

“I’m sorry for being a dick,” Stiles murmurs, leaning towards Derek. He can’t think of anything else to say, not when Derek’s being almost poetic when talking about his feelings and shit. Stiles can’t even think about his feelings right now without getting confused and shit, so he’s pretty envious. “Does this bond…does it make things easier? I mean, is it the reason feelings are getting involved so fast?”

“I don’t think so.” Derek’s adorable bunny teeth are visible through his parted lips. “There isn’t anything making me feel like I’m forced to want to be with you or compelling me to be around you, at least. Maybe it’s helping make me less reserved and more open than I normally would be around someone I just met, but that’s all I can feel that’s different.”

“Good.” Stiles is relieved to hear that Derek’s not being forced to put up with his shit or that this bond is making them feel things for each other. It makes sense that maybe it’s just helped remove some of the obstacles they’d have put up if they’d met and decided to date without the whole soulmate thing. He certainly wouldn’t let some stranger move in with him, for instance, and he wouldn’t let some guy he’s just casually dating interact with his pack. “Are you going to kiss me before I have to get back to work?”

“I don’t know. You were such an ass this morning that I’m tempted to withhold kisses as punishment,” Derek teases, lips curled just enough for Stiles to know he isn’t being serious.

“Maybe you should spank me, Mr. Hale,” he drawls, looking up from beneath lowered lashes as Derek’s face flushes. “I’ve been such a bad boy, after all.”

“Stiles, not here,” Derek hisses, looking at the closed door as if Stiles’ dad is going to just storm in and catch them talking.

“Naughty boys need punished, Mr. Hale.” Stiles shifts in his chair, stroking his hand up Derek’s thigh. “They need spanked so hard that their ass is pink and warm from all the blood rushing to the surface. Since I’ve been such a bad boy, you could even spank my hole, could finger it with these thick fingers,” Stiles is speaking very low because Jordan might be back, and he isn’t going to risk them being overheard by his pack. “I bet I’d come just from your fingers, Mr. Hale.”

“You wouldn’t be allowed, Stiles.” Derek rubs his scruffy cheek across Stiles’ jaw. “Bad boys don’t get to come. I’d spank until you were leaking and desperate, then I’d use my fingers, my tongue, to open up your tight hole. I’d get you so close, so many times, but I’d never give you permission. I’d jerk off over your ass, spilling my come all over your clenching hole and rosy cheeks. Then maybe I’d finally let you come.”

“Fuck.” Stiles kisses him and crawls onto his lap, grinding down against Derek’s dick. Large hands grip his ass as Derek returns the filthy, desperate kisses. They lick at each other, sucking and lapping, wet and messy kisses as they roll their hips. Derek is thrusting up, rubbing so perfectly against Stiles’ erection, the friction making him gasp into the kisses.

“Ahem!” The door slams loudly, and Stiles raises his head, blinking dazedly at his dad, who is standing by the door with his hand over his eyes. “If there is naked ass on my chairs, I am going to demand one of those cupcakes that Allison is moaning about at her desk.”

“Uh, there’s no naked anything.” Stiles gives Derek a wry smile, rather embarrassed that they got so carried away they almost had sex in one of his dad’s chairs. “We, uh, were just, um, making up. From our fight earlier.”

“Riiight.” Dad lowers his hand and glares. “Stiles, you like you’ve just been molested, and Derek doesn’t look a lot better. You couldn’t have waited until you got home this afternoon to ‘make up’?”

“It was a pretty bad fight, Dad.” Stiles grins as he slides off Derek once he feels his dick soften enough to not be embarrassing. “You’re the one who told me there might need to be groveling.”

“Groveling at your house. Not in my office.” Dad shakes his head and walks around the desk to his chair. He looks at Derek seriously. “I want a cupcake because I deserve it after putting up with that kid for twenty-five years.”

“Yes, Sir.” Derek sits up and gets one of the cupcakes out of the hamper, handing it to Dad without even lecturing about sugar and bad habits. “I apologize, Sir. I allowed him to provoke me, again, and things got out of hand.”

Dad bites into the cupcake and makes an appreciative noise. “Son, if you try apologizing every time my boy provokes you or gets you into mischief, you’ll never have time to do anything else. I’d suggest that you walk your boyfriend to his car, Stiles, then get your ass back to work.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Stiles mutters, snagging two of the cupcakes for himself before Derek can shut the hamper.

“I’m certainly going to call him your werewolf husband, so you’d best be glad I settled on boyfriend,” Dad snaps at him. “Derek, good luck. I hope you know what you’re in for, son.”

“I’ve got a pretty good idea,” Derek says with a charming smile that wins over the hearts of all who see it. Damn, there should be flying birds and singing mice around when he flashes that smile.

Dad, however, merely arches a brow and snorts. “Sure you do. Thanks for lunch. Feel free to drop by with food anytime you want. Just save the sexual dessert for your own home. Got it?”

“Got it, Sir.” Derek follows Stiles out of the office, giving him an annoyed look as he whispers. “I told you we shouldn’t have done that in there.”

“Please. You were enjoying it, a lot, before Dad interrupted.” Stiles stops by his desk and locks his cupcakes in his drawer because Allison is a thieving thief who thieves. “I’m walking Derek out. Be back in five.”

“Sure sure.” Allison looks up and dimples. “Thank you for lunch, Derek. Oh, Stiles, Wally dropped off the tapes from Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I put them in number three for you.”

“Thanks. You’re a doll, wifey.” Stiles winks at her before following Derek outside. When they reach the Camaro, he steps closer and kisses him, keeping it totally PG since they’re outside. Okay, maybe PG13 because he does get a little ass squeeze in when Derek returns the kiss and pushes him against the car.

“What time will you be home today?” Derek asks when he pulls back from the kiss.

“I’m off around half past three, but I need to stop by Lydia’s to discuss anniversary gifts for our parents, and I promised Liam I’d help him with his Calculus homework. It took him a few years to even go back to school, so I don’t want him getting discouraged and dropping out because of math.” Stiles smiles. “I’ll probably be home by six, six-thirty. That good?”

“Sure. I’m planning to go look at a few different rental properties for my pack this afternoon. Laura also texted me several listings to view so she doesn’t waste time looking at places that wouldn’t suit them when she comes down this week.” Derek shrugs. “My pack’s really antsy about coming down, and their standards aren’t quite as difficult to please as Laura’s, so they’ll be easier to temporarily house.”

“What day is Laura visiting?” Stiles is both excited yet nervous to meet the infamous Laura. He isn’t sure if he’d rather her visit while he’s working or on a day off. God, what if she hates him or doesn’t think he’s good enough for Derek? That would just make things shitty.

“Probably Thursday. I told her you were off Thursday and Friday this week, so she said she’d be here Thursday then since she wants to meet you.” Derek arches a brow. “Your heart is beating faster.”

“Just wondering if she’ll like me.” Stiles shrugs. “She sounds formidable.”

“She’ll love you. If anything, she’ll probably try to steal you away for that whole world domination thing I’ve mentioned before,” Derek tells him. “Don’t worry.”

“Okay.” Stiles leans up for a kiss. “I’d better get back to work. We’ve got a missing teenager that I’ve been assigned to help find, and I think my dad’s gut is telling him she’s not going to be found alive. I’m not getting any SPN kind of read on it, fortunately, so I think it could just be a normal human bad guy.”

“SPN?” Derek frowns. “I hope you can find her, but I also hope it’s just a bad human instead of anything else.”

“Supernatural. Dad uses that for work talk.” Stiles nods. “I’ve reached out and there’s nothing new around town that might target humans or teenagers. It’s pretty calm these days, so it’s usually the human monsters we have to deal with now.”

“Just don’t work too hard.” Derek kisses him again and then slaps his ass, flashing a cheeky smile as he gets in his car. “Those pants look real good on you, Office. Think they’ll look even better on the floor, though.”

“Why, Mr. Hale! You’re going to make my blush.” Stiles fans himself and laughs as Derek pulls out of the parking lot and drives off. Finally, he shakes his head and goes back inside. There’s work to do, and he’ll be able to concentrate even better now that he knows things with Derek are alright.