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One Step Ahead Of Me

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“How many times
Did I miss the signs?
My stupid heart
It left me blind”

    Derek watched Stiles limp towards his bed and crash on it. As his head hit the pillow, a groan escaped him and Derek sighed. He shouldn’t have let him go home alone. He knew the teenager had hurt himself but Stiles had disappeared while he was talking to Scott. He was determined to let this one go, to leave the young man alone but he couldn’t help it. Instead of driving back to the loft, he found himself parking in front of the Stilinskis’ place. He could hear Stiles from where he was, the little noises of discomfort, and he could feel his pain and exhaustion. So he didn’t really think, and that was why he was currently opening the window and getting into the room. Stiles jumped in his bed.
- The fuck ? Sourwolf, what the hell are you doing here ?
Derek frowned, crossing his arms, and shrugged.
- I came to check on you. You left before I had the time to ask if you were ok.
Stiles lifted an eyebrow.
- You’re awfully articulate tonight.
He growled and Stiles chuckled.
- That’s more like you. I’m ok…
- You’re in pain.
- I’m not… Sore would be more accurate.
The werewolf growled again and came closer.
-  Stop lying.
Stiles scoffed.
- I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.
Derek crouched before him and gave him an unimpressed look.
- The X-Files ?
Stiles squealed, delighted.
- Oh my God, you’re the best Sourwolf ever !
Derek rolled his eyes and grabbed the teenager’s wrist gently. Stiles watched the werewolf’s veins turn black, fascinated, before shaking his grip off. Derek barked.
- Stop that, I can smell your pain Stiles.
- And you’ve got enough to deal with yours, you don’t need mine. Go home Derek. Thank you for the concern but I’d rather hurt than cause you any more pain.
Derek watched Stiles lay back down on his bed, tugging his comforter to him and closing his eyes. After a little while, Derek opened the window as he heard Stiles whisper.
- Good night Sourwolf.
Derek stopped and huffed « Night Stiles. » before jumping out.

 

“Nobody else would forgive my mistakes
Nobody else would've stayed”

    Stiles was sitting on the McCalls’ couch, watching Scott trying to calm Isaac down. Derek wanted nothing more than to join him and crawl into his lap. He was tired and if werewolves could get a headache, he would definitely have one right now. Isaac was pissed off at him *again* for something that he had done wrong *again* and he wasn’t even sure what this was all about. The shouting got really loud, Scott and Isaac angrier by the second especially since Derek was just waiting silently for them to stop. He wasn’t getting involved. Nope, they could scream all night for what he cared. At some point, Stiles seemed to get fed up and said sharply.
- Ok that’s enough !
Derek raised an eyebrow, surprised by Stiles’ sudden outburst. The two betas stopped talking and looked at him angrily but Stiles stood his ground. He glanced at Scott and Isaac.
- You two are being ridiculous. Isaac, you should be ashamed of yourself, you know Scott will always side with you, even if Derek’s right, which he is in this particular case. You know that going to this party on a full moon night is stupid.
Isaac groaned.
- I can control myself Stiles.
- With Allison around ?
Derek cringed internally. That was opening a whole other can of worms but Stiles didn’t seem against using every mean necessary to get Isaac to back off and for that, he was grateful. Scott gave Isaac a nasty look and just like that, the fight was redirected between them, Derek all forgotten. Stiles smiled and declared.
- My work here is done ! Who else is thirsty ?
Derek watched him disappear into the kitchen and followed him. Stiles was like a magnet, he couldn’t help it, he needed to be close to him. It was getting rather ridiculous, he felt like a puppy sometimes, following his master around. What a big bad Alpha he was ! Stiles had his head in the fridge and Derek came to stand just behind him. Stiles turned around from the fridge, a Coke in hand, and bumped into him.
- Oh my GOD, Sourwolf, I’m going to put a bell on you ! You ok ?
Derek stared at him. Even if they were nearly even in size, when they were standing that close, Stiles had to lift his eyes a little to meet Derek’s. Stiles started to fidget under his scrutiny and Derek could smell the faint scent of arousal coming off him. Derek was going to do something stupid, he knew that, so instead he said the first thing that crossed his mind.
- Why do you keep doing this ?
Stiles frowned.
- Doing what ?
- Defending me…
Stiles swallowed forcefully and Derek watched his Adam’s apple, wanted to nip at it, mark the pale skin of the young man’s neck. Stiles’ lips were a breath away, he just had to bend his head a little and he would be able to kiss him. And Derek really REALLY wanted to do that but he couldn’t. He couldn’t stand the rejection, not from Stiles, it would end him. Stiles sighed and broke the spell when he said :
- Because you deserve someone to fight for you !
Derek was speechless. He felt like Stiles had punched him into the guts with those few words. Stiles thought that he was worth fighting for ? Everything in him was screaming that it was a joke, that Stiles was even more stupid than he had thought or crazier… He could feel the panic rising though, he had to get out of there, quick. So he just nodded, whispered a “thank you” and ran away, leaving behind him a very confused Stiles.  

 

“How could I
Ever be enough?
Worthy of
Someone else's love?”

   Weeks passed and Derek was getting restless. He hadn’t seen Stiles since that night at Scott’s. No supernatural catastrophe required his intervention so he had no excuse to drop by the school or Stiles’ place, and he missed him. Derek rolled his eyes at himself. What was he thinking ? Missing Stiles ? Annoying, obnoxious Stiles ? Big mouth I-never-shut-the-fuck up Stiles ? Sweet, caring, adorable, gorgeous, funny Stiles ? Yeah ok, he was screwed. So here he was, lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, and thinking of the teenager. He sighed. Even if he could smell Stiles’ interest and arousal when he was around him, Derek couldn’t begin to believe that the young man could like him. He knew that they were sort of friends. They saved each other asses too many times to not be friends. But Derek wanted more. He wanted to snuggle close to him at night and cover him with his scent. He wanted to nuzzle his neck while falling asleep. He wanted to cuddle in front of the TV with Stiles rambling and throwing pop-corn at the screen. Derek fell asleep with a small smile on his lips at the thought. Watching a movie with Stiles was always a funny experience.

    Derek jerked awake at the knocking on the door. He was having a great dream and wasn’t super happy to be awaken by… Wait a minute. Derek frowned. He doubted that his dream was continuing in reality so it had to be Stiles at the door, because he would be able to pick up the scent and the heartbeat of the young man in the hugest crowd. The werewolf jumped into his sweatpants and got to the door. Stiles backed off a little when Derek opened forcefully and the older man lifted an eyebrow. What the hell was the teenager doing here in the middle of the night ? Stiles’ cheeks darkened under his gaze, confusing Derek even more as he said :
- What the hell are you doing here ?
Stiles stuttered.
- I… I’m sorry… Ah fuck…
The teenager scrubbed his hand over his face a little too hard to Derek’s taste. Stiles was obviously upset. Waves of sadness and fear were pouring from him. Derek didn’t know what to do, he had no idea why Stiles was here, it wasn’t like he was the best at comforting people. He decided to ask.
- What are you doing here Stiles ? Is everything alright ?
Stiles nodded.
- There was an incident with my dad earlier but he’s ok now.
Derek frowned.
- An incident ?
- He was shot.
Derek’s eyebrows flew up and he grabbed Stiles by the arm to tug him inside. The sheriff getting hurt was the worst thing that could happen to Stiles and that explained the feels coming from him. Stiles seemed to shake himself off at the sudden movement.
- Sourwolf… I’m sorry I don’t know why I came here. It’s just… I’ve been at the hospital all night with Scott and when I was finally sure that my dad was going to be fine and he was sleeping and the nurse shooed me out and I got into my Jeep and, I don’t know, I just drove here and I’m sorry and it was so stupid and fuck I’m sure I woke you up and really I suck and…
Derek kissed him. It was a spur of the moment thing or maybe an act of self-preservation for his ears, he wasn't sure. He expected Stiles to push him off but the young man just melted into his arms, returning the kiss as best as he could. Derek growled low in his throat. Stiles’ scent was overwhelming and surrounded him in the best way possible. But Derek still couldn’t get why Stiles was here. He gently grabbed Stiles’ face, broke the kiss and stepped back from the teenager. Stiles whimpered softly and whispered without opening his eyes.
- Why d’youstop ? Don’t stop… Keep kissing me Sourwolf.
Derek waited for him to stop talking and said.
- Open your eyes.
The young man obeyed reluctantly. 
- Why are you here Stiles ? What do you want ?
Stiles scoffed.
- You mean besides kissing you ?
Derek smirked.
- Yes, besides that.
Stiles sighed and tried to get closer but the werewolf didn’t let him. Stiles whined.
- Derrreekkkkkkkkk.
- Stiles.
- Fiiiiiine. You’re the only one I want when things get bad or good for that matter. I want you all the time but when things suck, you’re the only one I want to run to. And tonight, while I was waiting with Scott to know more about my dad, I nearly called you a hundred times…
- Why didn’t you ?
Stiles shrugged.
- Because… I know you being all cold and grumpy is a way to protect yourself but sometimes, I wonder if it isn’t just because I get on your nerves. And I couldn’t deal with being dismissed tonight. I just couldn’t.
- Then why did you drive here ?
- I don’t know.
Derek could smell Stiles’ anxiety and that’s when he got it. The teenager was as scared as him about the possibility of them. He was just a lot better at hiding it than him. Stiles took a deep breath before speaking.
- Derek… I love you. I’m in love with you. I’ve been in love with you since the first time you pushed me into a wall. I nearly lost my dad tonight, even if you kick me out, I had to tell you. I couldn't go another minute without you knowing that I’m so fucking in love with you it hurts.
Derek expected anything but that and, ok now he was freaking out, lost for words, staring at Stiles like he just grew another head. The teenager misinterpreted his silence and started to move towards the door.
- Ok so I’m gonna get going and die of mortification. Sorry to have bothered you Sourwolf, I’ll see you ar…
Derek grabbed Stiles by the back of the neck and crushed their mouths together. Stiles whimpered and sagged back against him. Derek kissed him hard and fast, leaving both of them breathless. When he stopped, he looked at Stiles and smiled. Stiles snorted.
- Sourwolf, I think it’s the first time I see you smile a real smile. Do it more often, you’re even more gorgeous like that.
Derek rolled his eyes.
- Why do you always feel the need to talk ?
- Because we’re complementary. I talk, you kick ass.
- True enough.
Stiles was biting his lower lip nervously and it was driving Derek nuts. He reached out and stroke gently the teenager's cheek. Stiles whispered.
- So I didn't mess everything up then ? I mean, between us ?
Derek smirked.
- I don't think so.
- Good... Wow...
Derek grabbed Stiles before he could fall flat on his ass.
- You're exhausted.
The young man mumbled something into Derek's chest and the werewolf laughed.
- Come on, let's get you to bed.
Stiles looked at him, surprised.
- You mean I can stay ?
Derek rolled his eyes.
- Yes, you can stay.
- Forever ?
- Let's start with tonight and we'll see how things go from here ok ?
Stiles nodded and let himself being dragged towards Derek's bedroom. Once there, Derek pushed him on the bed and helped him disrobe. The fact that Stiles didn't even try to make dirty jokes told everything that Derek needed to know. He took off the bed's comforter and Stiles slid under with a content sigh, snuggling into Derek's pillow. The werewolf cursed internally. He was going to smell Stiles on his bed linens for a while : talk about jerk off material for months ! He looked at him for a little while and started to leave when a hand darted from under the cover and grabbed his wrist.
- Don't go. Please don't leave me.
Stiles' small and tired voice broke Derek's resolve in a second. He got under the cover next to Stiles and let the young man cuddle him close. He squeezed him as tight as he dared to and fell asleep listening to his heartbeat.

 

"One step ahead of me
You saw what we could be
How did you know
Down in your bones
That I'd come around?"

   Derek was making coffee, wearing only his night pants, not bothered by the chilly air of early morning. He checked Stiles’ heartbeats upstairs. They were low enough, the young man was still asleep. Derek loved these moments, quiet time to himself before all the agitation that will inevitably come with an awake Stiles and the rest of the pack. He loved Stiles more than life itself but boy, the guy could be so loud sometimes it made his ears cringe. He poured himself a cup and leaned against the counter. Stiles made some unintelligible noises in his sleep, making Derek smile. He had trouble to wrap his mind around all what happened these past few months. Things have been tensed, with the Alpha Pack and the Darach, and he knew that Stiles had trouble sleeping since the ritual they had to do to find the parental units. It was only last week, Derek wasn’t too worried. He kept a close eye on him though. Stiles wormed his way into Derek’s heart, no way he was going to let him go now… He was lost in his thoughts but he still heard the teenager making his way downstairs. Stiles greeted him with a sleepy smile.
- Eh Sourwolf…
Derek smiled back, turning to grab another mug and fill it up with coffee, dosing it with three sugars. His nose wrinkle a little at the thought of the sugary/Aderal mix that Stiles will be on all day. Stiles put his arms around his waist and laid his cheek on Derek’s back. Derek put his hand on Stiles’ and squeezed.
- Eh, you slept ok.
He felt Stiles shrugged against him.
- I guess… I didn’t wake up screaming my head off like the past few nights, I count it as a win.
Derek huffed.
- It’ll get better, you went through a lot.
He turned around and handed the mug to Stiles, who sipped the coffee and sighed happily.
- Mmmm, perfect, as usual. Thanks Sourwolf.
He rose on his toes to kiss Derek gently. Derek grinned.
- You’re welcome. What are you doing today ?
Stiles went to sit on the couch and turned the TV on.
- Don’t know. I’m still beat, I think I’m going to keep it a slow one. You ?
Derek crossed his arms on his chest and watched him flick through the channels before answering.
- I don’t know. Your plan sounds good.
Stiles lifted an eyebrow.
- You’re volunteering to help me in my day of luxury ?
Derek smiled.
- Yes. Why not start with some sport though ?
Stiles frowned.
- Sport ?
Derek nodded, coming to sit next to Stiles, taking his mug and putting it on the table.
- Yes. Sport.
He gently pushed Stiles, making him lay down on the couch, and stretched to kiss him, careful not to put all his weight on him. Stiles whined low in his throat, sending shivers of anticipation down Derek’s spine.
- Oh you’re talking about that kind of sport ?
Derek was too busy sucking a mark on the teenager’s clavicle to answer with words so he growled, making Stiles laugh.
- Awesome !

   An hour later, they were still lying on the couch, sweaty and sated. Stiles was cuddled against Derek’s chest, his nose buried against his skin, and Derek was stroking his hair slowly. Stiles was very loud during sex, but after, he was always quiet. It was always the moment where Derek felt the most comfortable talking about things that were bothering him. Today was no exception.
- How did you know ?
Stiles made a small questioning noise. He was nearly asleep and Derek suddenly felt bad for speaking, so he kept his mouth shut. Maybe Stiles would fall asleep for good. But Stiles looked up at him, kissing the underside of his jaw.
- Der ?
Derek sighed. It was too late to back off now, so he asked again.
- How did you know… that we would work ?
Stiles took his time before answering. He was nuzzling Derek’s skin, dropping small kisses everywhere he could reach without having to move too much. Derek was getting restless. Maybe he had spoken too much. He was being ridiculous for sure and maybe Stiles was upset. But never had Stiles brushed off his insecurities. He had always taken great care of making sure that Derek was ok all along, knowing instinctively that the werewolf wasn’t comfortable getting into a relationship even if he desperately wanted to be with Stiles. Stiles dropped a last kiss and answered.
- Because you’re you.
Derek frowned.
- That’s it ?
Stiles chuckled.
- Yes, Sourwolf, that’s it. Because you threw me into walls and I would get a boner every fucking time. Because you were so infuriating I wanted to strangle you half the time or smother you with kisses the other. But I knew, I just knew that you were worth it. And you know what ?
Derek’s throat was a little closed off with emotion so he growled more that he spoke.
- No… What ?
- I was so fucking right ! I know that you’re scared out of your mind most of the time but you shouldn’t. I’ve never been happier in my life. You make me so warm and fuzzy, you protect me, and now, when you push me into walls, it’s even better because I know you’ll take care of the boner you’ve created.
Derek giggled at that, actually fucking giggled. He didn’t even know he could giggle. He had never giggled before…

 

“One step ahead always
Guiding me through my haze
Was too scared to see
What this could mean
But I see it now
I see it now”

   Derek was watching Stiles sleep. It was a rare thing nowadays, after the Nogitsune and Allison’s death, the young man spent countless sleepless nights, reading or watching TV, while the werewolf tried not to panic. He had nearly lost him. He was sure that the Nogitsune would win and consume Stiles. Thankfully, it didn’t happen, Scott and Lydia managed to bring Stiles back. Derek was busy with the Oni, he sometimes wished he could have been the one bringing Stiles home, but it didn’t happen this way, and the most important was for Stiles to be back with them, not who did it.
The fight had been rough, the Oni were no easy opponents. But the worst was the Nogitsune because, each time Derek’s fist connected with the Fox’s face, it made him nearly physically ill. It was Stiles he was hitting, not the Fox inside of him. So Derek had a lot of trouble getting back into their relationship. Things were tensed between them. Stiles was trying to comfort him. He found this kinda sad if he was totally honest. He should be the one being there for Stiles, not the other way around. He wasn’t the one whose body had been used by an evil fox spirit. He wasn’t the one who had tortured his friends, causing more pain than any other monster they’d came across. Yet, Stiles was so brave. He tried to keep going, no matter what. He was taking things one day at a time. He knew Stiles felt guilty, that he had the impression he betrayed his friends. Still, he got up every morning, put a brave face on and kept going. Derek admired him for that. He couldn’t do half the things Stiles did, the guilt would have eaten him alive.
- Sourwolf ?
Stiles’ sleepy and panicky voice took Derek out of his musings. He quickly got back on the bed, lying next to the young man and cradled him.
- I’m here.
Stiles sighed, snuggling against him.
- I thought you were gone. I dreamt the Fox killed you, I saw you die Derek… I had your blood in my mouth, on my hands, everywhere…
Stiles was shaking in his arms. Derek stroked his hair, letting him talk. He whispered :
- It was just a bad dream Stiles, you didn’t hurt me.
- I’m sorry.
- No need… Everything’s ok now.
Derek could feel the tears soaking his tshirt and he sighed.
- Stiles… Look at me.
The teenager shook his head but Derek gently forced him to lift his chin up. He held Stiles’ eyes, trying to make him see what he wanted to say. Frustrated, Stiles groaned.
- What ? You know I can’t read minds Derek… What ?
Derek took a deep breath and said.
- You remember when I asked you how you’d knew that we would be good together ?
Stiles nodded.
- I do.
- Well, I didn’t understand back then. Even after you talked to me… It was so unconceivable, that you could love me… But I understand now, Stiles. I get it. Because no matter what happened, I love you. I will always love you. I’ll always have your back as I know you’ll always have mine.
- Except when I’m possessed by a murderous fox spirit you mean ?
Derek sighed.
- My point is… No matter what happens, I’ll love you. And I know you’ll love me.
- Why am I under the impression you’re going to burst into song any minute now ?
Derek rolled his eyes. Well at least he managed to make Stiles stop crying. He pushed the young man on his back and laid on him.
- Can’t you be serious for even a minute ?
Stiles shook his head but he smiled at Derek.
- Nope. But I know what you mean Der… I feel the same. You and I, we’re a team. We’re in this together, possession and murdering intents included. I love you.
Derek felt the corner of his mouth twitch into a small smile and Stiles kissed him breathless.