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“You can’t have that,” Stiles yanks away a meatball sub from Derek, puts a turkey wholegrain in front of him, instead.

“I’m sorry,” Derek looks up at him, put out by Stiles interrupting his and Scott’s Fraiser re-run afternoon with tasty sandwiches, and then not letting him eat the one he wants. “Did you make a ruling on what I can and can’t eat, and not run it by me?”

“You know it gives you heartburn, dude,” Stiles flops down on the couch beside him, drapes his legs over Derek’s lap, “I’m doing you a favor.”

Scott takes a huge bite of his own sandwich, “You get heartburn?”

Derek pulls a face at the food on view in Scott’s mouth and then glares at Stiles, “No, that was one time.”

“I thought you were dying,” Stiles points out, “You acted like you were dying.”

“I’d never experienced it before! I had a right to panic.”

“You wouldn’t let go of my hand for like twelve blocks, man,” Stiles points at the turkey sandwich, “Eat that, and you won’t have to hold my hand.”

“Like that’s really such a hardship for him,” Scott mumbles.

Stiles flicks a piece of cucumber at him. Derek turns the television up so Stiles can hear properly.


“Do I look fat in these?”

Derek tosses another handful of skittles back, squirms around to find the green one he’d dropped earlier. “No.”

“You didn’t even look!”

“I thought you weren’t supposed to!”

“That’s the rule for boyfriends, dumbass.”

“Huh,” Derek glances up, eyes Stiles’ new jeans. 

Stiles shifts awkwardly from foot to foot, waves his hands around, “Is it really taking that long to decide if they’re flattering or not?!”

“Sorry,” Derek smirks, “They look fine, I was just thinking about soup.”

Stiles huffs, grabs Derek’s bag of skittles and spills them all over his chest. 


Derek grabs his wrist before Stiles can make for the door, wrestles him onto the couch and shoves half the candy pieces down his shirt. Stiles knees him in the chest, screeching for mercy, and Derek sits up grinning. 

“Changed my mind; if you can’t move enough to even try and put up a good fight, they’re a shit fit.”

“Oh, I’ll put up a fight,” Stiles hisses, digging his fingers into Derek’s ribs. 

“No, Stiles—” Derek rolls away from him, gasping for breath as he fights off Stiles’ advances, laughing at the same time. “Stop!”

They slip to the floor, and Stiles squirms on top of Derek, pins his wrists, “Say you’re my bitch.”


“Say it, say you’re my bitch.”

Scott lets himself into Derek’s apartment, pizza boxes in hand, and stops in the door, considers them. 

“Hi,” Stiles pants out breathlessly. 

“Hey,” Scott looks to Derek, “Are you gonna say it, or leave him hanging?”

Derek rolls his eyes, sticks his nails into Stiles’ side until he jumps away from him, “Dude! Watch it, I’m fragile, you know.”

Snorting, Derek hauls himself to his feet, yanks Stiles along with him, “You’re many things,” he gives Stiles a once over, “But, fragile isn’t one of them.” Then he smacks Stiles on the ass and pads to the kitchen to grab plates. 

Stiles darts over to Scott, rubs his hands together gleefully, “You get a meat lovers?”

“I feel like I should answer with the obvious there,” Scott says faintly, “Which is that you already did.”

Stiles wrinkles up his nose in confusion as he opens up the first pizza box, “What? I didn’t get food, I’ve been fasting all day to fit into these.”

"Fasting,” Derek scoffs from the kitchen. 

“Hey! I heard that, and I’ll have you know I only had two pieces of toast this morning.”

“I know, you stole the last of my bread.”

“Dude, did you stay over again?” Scott follows Stiles to the couch, eyes it warily, “You didn’t… did you?”

Stiles shrugs, “Now your mom’s a permanent visitor at the house, we sort of all get under each other’s feet, ‘s’easier to stay at Derek’s. Besides,” Stiles drops his head back to beam at Derek as he returns with plates and napkins, “Derek gets lonely without me.”

Derek drops the napkins on his face. 

“Oh,” Scott opens his own pizza box, “So, you just… slept?”

“What else would I do?” Stiles slithers down the couch until he can just reach Derek’s thigh with his toes, kicks him, “Derek wouldn’t dance with me.”

“It was two in the morning,” Derek protests with a mouthful of pizza, “You wouldn’t turn Gaga off!”

“You were being, dare I say it, a sour wolf.”

Derek grabs hold of his foot, waves it high in the air until Stiles gives in, tucks his feet under him, muttering about him being a spoilsport. 

Scott watches them both incredulously, “Do you guys—” They both turn to look at him in tandem, and he wipes his mouth slowly, “Have any more napkins?”


Stiles brandishes a bunch of daisies at Derek, “Saw these and thought of you.”

Derek looks down at the gas station flowers, lifts his eyebrows, “Because they’re dried out and a little wilted?”

“Naw, cos they’re hopeful,” Stiles drops down on the bench beside Derek, nods at the yard, “It’s startin’ to look real good, dude.”

“Thanks,” Derek shifts, places the daisies carefully between them and looks across at his newly laid borders. “It’s coming along.”

“I think you should get a swing for that tree.”

Derek shakes his head grinning, twists to eye Stiles, “You twelve?”

“No! It’d be fun for everyone! Come on, you know you’d dig it really, feel the breeze in your hair, try and touch the sky.”

“You’re an idiot,” Derek stands, picks up the daisies, “You staying for dinner?”

“Hell yeah,” Stiles bounds after him into the house. It’s only a small little place, two bedrooms upstairs, a living room, kitchen and study downstairs. Derek’s filled the study with books, and utterly refused Stiles’ attempts to set up the internet. Stiles loudly complains about it, constantly, and waves his crazy high data produced phone bill in Derek’s face every month. Derek tells him to spend less time at the house, Stiles huffs and puffs, and stays where he is. Most often on the couch. It faintly smells of him, even when he’s been at college for a month. Derek enjoys the fact the scent of his pack lingers in the air when they’re gone, can’t explain why he likes Stiles’ favored cushion best to nap on, but has a vague idea he’s been quietly avoiding for over a year. 

Stiles is well aware of why he likes Derek’s couch, and Derek’s kitchen, and sleeping in Derek’s spare room, but it’s dangerous territory considering how he and Derek are actually friends these days. If he’s honest, he spends just as much time with Derek, reading with him, arguing with him, cooking with him, as he does playing video games, debating movies and raiding arcades with Scott. But, he likes having two close friends, and he’s not about to going climbing one of them like a tree just because he looks hot when he’s glaring at Stiles, or licking his thumb as he reads the paper, or— or—

“You need to put those daisies in water,” he says suddenly, gesturing at them. “Can’t have them dying before they’ve had a chance to brighten up your living room.”

“I thought you did that,” Derek teases easily,

“Ha ha,” Stiles grabs a jar from the cupboard of crap Derek likes to hoard, fills it with water. “You fixed the leak?”

“Mhm,” Derek wipes the kitchen table absently, watches Stiles at the sink. “You said you could hear it from upstairs, even though I never could,” he shrugs, “So, I did it this morning.”

“You have been productive,” Stiles turns to smile at him, and the sun streaming through the window behind him casts a soft gold glow around him. 

Derek manages to smile briefly, clears his throat, “I had some time to kill.”

"Derek Hale, handy around the house, who knew?”

“You, now,” Derek flicks the dishrag at him, “And, you can make yourself useful, too, and peel those potatoes. I’m not doing everything for dinner.”

Stiles hums, “Bossy.” But, he turns, rolls up his sleeves and begins peeling the potatoes without further argument. It’s nice, working side by side to prepare the meal, and they eat with daisies in the middle of the table. 


"Just a little further— stretch it—”

Derek huffs, lowers the paint roller, “Are you enjoying yourself?”

Stiles smirks from where he’s lounging on the floor, face and t-shirt covered in dove gray paint, but somehow he hasn’t done any actual painting.

“I’m directing you,” Stiles points at a spot above Derek’s head, “You missed a bit.”

Derek flicks paint at him, steps off the ladder and surveys the bedroom, “I think we’re done.”

Stiles rolls over onto his stomach, begins yanking cushions out of a garbage bag, “Awesome!”

“You can’t put those out, yet,” Derek tries to snatch them away from him, “The paint’s not dry!”

“It’s just the spare room,” Stiles rolls his eyes, “It’s not a big deal.”

“But—” Derek stops and then shrugs, “Okay.”

“What?” Stiles pauses, cushion between them, “What were you gonna say?”

“Nothing,” Derek backs away awkwardly, and curses when he hits the wet paint on the wall. 

Stiles’ lips twitch, and Derek scowls, “Go on, let it out.”

“I’m sorry,” Stiles catches his wrist, turns him around and begins howling with laughter, “Oh man, oh dude, Derek, it’s all over your ass, oh my god.” He begins brushing the paint off of him, and Derek jerks away. 


“Don’t be such a baby!” Stiles takes a step towards him, and Derek grabs the roller, waves it at him. 

“I’m deadly serious, I will put this all over your face.”

Stiles picks up the nearest abandoned cushion, holds it over the paint drying in the tin below. “You wanna play hardball? I’ll do it.”

“You wouldn’t, those were forty bucks each!”

“I didn’t buy them.”

“I will hold you up by your ankles and shake the money out of you.”

“Boys!” The Sheriff comes into the room, rolling off his paint overalls and looking between them, “What is this?”

“Uh,” Derek drops the roller like it’s on fire, and Stiles sheepishly hides the cushion behind him. “Sorry, sir,” Derek says quickly. 

“Suck up,” Stiles murmurs. 

Derek shoots him a look, and the Sheriff rolls his eyes, “For god’s sake, I can’t leave the two of you alone for a minute. Derek, is there anywhere else you want help with today?”

“No, thank you,” Derek strides towards him, holds out his hand to shake the Sheriff’s. “I really appreciate your help, sir.”

“I owed you one from the help with the re-tiling last year,” the Sheriff nods at Stiles, “Besides, he spends more time here than at home these days, and it’s not like he did much to help.”

“I gave directions!” Stiles protests.

Both the Sheriff and Derek share an amused look, and Stiles points between them, “Hey, no silently judging me, do it all out loud, at least.”

“Not all of us need to do everything out loud,” Derek teases. 

Stiles darts to pick up the roller, jabs it at Derek’s knee, and they fall into a dirty paint fight where Stiles pulls Derek’s hair, Derek bites Stiles on the wrist, and the Sheriff goes to make himself a cup of tea.

Derek wipes paint from his eye twenty minutes later, breathless with laughter, “Truce?”

Stiles regards him from the other side of the room, the dust sheets wrapped around him like armour, “You mean it?”

“I did actually want this room to look halfway decent, you know,” Derek huffs. 

“But, only I stay in here!”

"Yes, exactly!”

“Oh,” Stiles lowers the tin of paint he’d been brandishing, “Oh.”

Derek rolls his eyes, “It’s not a big deal,” but Stiles’ expression is already going soft and fond, and he’s bouncing across the room to wrap very paint covered arms around Derek. 

“Dude! That’s so nice of you!”

Derek winces, pats him on the back as he tries to casually wipe the paint from his neck, “It’s just a room, dumbass.”

“Yeah, but now it’s like… I dunno,” Stiles turns to inspect it once again, “Like a real home from home.”

“You picked the color,” Derek reminds him, “How did you not realize?”

“Shut up,” Stiles swats him on the chest, “Don’t ruin the moment.”

Derek rests his hands on his hips, glances between Stiles and the wall, “This is a moment?”

“It is,” Stiles insists, beaming at him. Derek shakes his head, ducks it as he grins. 

The Sheriff leans against the door frame, smiles affectionately at them, “Glad to see you made up.”

"We weren’t really fighting, dad,” Stiles claps him on the shoulder as he passes to head for the bathroom, “We never mean it.”

“Mhm,” the Sheriff eyes Derek as Stiles disappears. Derek busies himself clearing up the paint, hopes whatever’s on his face is hiding his blush.


“Now, release the clutch, slowly, pressure on the gas, more—”

Isaac groans as the car stalls, and flops back in the seat, agitated. 

“I’ll never get it.”

“If Stiles can drive, you can, too,” Derek says firmly.

“Heh, was that a compliment?” Stiles asks from the back seat. 

“No, it was an implication that this is a simple task, and Isaac can do it.”

Stiles flicks Derek’s ear, leans forward to pat Isaac on the shoulders, “I believe in you, man, it’s not even that different from a bike.”

"Don’t start confusing him,” Derek cuts in, “It’s hands versus feet for a start.”

“Yeah, but, the concept is basically the same!”

“Have you ever even ridden a motorbike?”

“Have you? When have you ever ridden a motorbike? Actually,” Stiles taps his chin, “That would have been a good use for all the leather you used to own. Where did you put all that shit once you were done being an angry gang leader?”

"I keep it all in my S & M box, now.”

“No. Way. You’re lying!”

"Forget it,” Isaac interrupts, snapping off his seatbelt and opening the door, “I’ll ask Melissa.”

“Dude, no, we can help!”

“Help?!” Isaac gestures at them, “You literally have popcorn, Stiles!”

“I wanted to create the home cinema experience as I watched Derek try and remain patient when you stalled nine times in a row.”

“Driving is hard—”

“I’m a patient person—”

“No, you’re not,” both Stiles and Isaac say together. 

Derek huffs and gets out of the car, too. 

Stiles sits back and eats his popcorn, calls them both drama queens, and when they both give up sulking and clamber back into the car, they shoot him equally venomous glares. 

“How about I try teaching you.”

“I called Scott,” Isaac sniffs, “He’s picking me up in a minute.”

“Fine,” Stiles kicks the back of Derek’s chair, “You wanna go the drive in, see some shitty B-list horror movie? I already have popcorn,” he adds in a persuasive sing song voice. 

“Yes, I do,” Derek mutters darkly. “But, you have to promise not to declare every scene your favorite, especially if you haven’t seen it before.”

“I promise to try.”

“I suppose so, then.”

Isaac sighs, gets out of the car again, “Have fun on your date, assholes.”

“Hey, we will!”

“It’s not a date!”

“It’s only a date if you hold my hand,” Stiles informs him, clambering ungracefully into the front seat, and giving Derek an eyeful of his ass he goes. Derek strains to lean back as far as possible, looks out of the window. Stiles flops down, grins at him, “Are you gonna?”

Derek breathes in through his nose, glares as hard as he can. 

“Okay,” Stiles starts the car, “I’ll just do the yawn move halfway through, that cool?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“That’s gonna try and feel your boob Danny Zukko style.”

“I am not Sandy in this situation.”

“I’m so proud you knew that reference.”

“Shut up and drive!”



Stiles is glassy eyed and a little sweaty when he arrives for their weekly pack dinner. Derek can feel heat radiating off him in a much more intense way than usual, and he frowns, presses his hand to Stiles’ forehead. 

“You sick?”

“Naw,” Stiles waves him off gently, steps around him to wave Melissa’s spicy green beans at the table filled with his friends. “Nothin’ too bad.”

“You look a little ripe, dude,” Scott says, leaping up to pull a chair out for him. “Like, third grade flu bad.”

“It’s nothing,” Stiles clatters into his seat, accepts a glass of water from Lydia with a wan smile. “What are we eatin’?”

Derek watches him like a hawk all dinner, Scott vibrating with tension beside him. Stiles rolls his eyes when he catches them staring, stands and heads for the bathroom. 

“You’re being overly dramatic, dudes, I’m fine.”

They sit in silence for several minutes before Scott clears his throat, “I don’t hear peeing.”

“It’s highly disturbing you do that,” Lydia sniffs, although her expression is concerned, too. 

Scott shrugs, “I don’t normally, I mean, I’ve heard it all any way, we live together when we’re both home from college, remember?”

“He’s right,” Derek interrupts, “It’s too quiet,” and then he tosses his napkin down, strides towards the bathroom. “Stiles,” he bashes on the door, “Stiles!” There’s a silence, and then a muffled groan. 

“We’re coming in,” Scott announces, and then glances at Derek, “Right?”

“Yep,” Derek kicks the door in, and his heart leaps in his throat when they find Stiles splayed out across the tiles. “Stiles!”

“So… dramatic,” Stiles manages weakly as Derek grabs his face. 

“What’s going on, what did you take? What happened?”

“Don’t know,” Stiles moans, “Nothing, Scott—”

“Yeah, buddy?”

“I wanna cut my hair, I need— I need a fresh start— can still feel my mom’s fingers in it—”

Scott’s eyes widen, and he looks to Derek, “What the hell’s happening?”

“He’s feverish,” Lydia declares crisply, in a tone Derek recognises as her panicked one, but well hidden unless you know her well. “His temperature must be through the roof.”

“I’m calling an ambulance,” Scott says immediately. 

Derek tugs Stiles into the bath, begins running the shower as cold as possible, the water beating down on their heads. Stiles lolls his own head back, blinks up at Derek sluggishly.

“I dropped my cellphone, ‘m sorry.”

“That’s okay,” he says immediately, “We don’t need it.”

“But, Scott— the kanima—”

“We fixed that,” he promises, runs his hands through Stiles’ hair clumsily, “It’s all over.”

“You drowned.”

“No, you got me, you came back.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Derek—”

Derek looks up at Scott, flicks water out of his eyes, “Is it coming?”

“Yeah, but I don’t know how long it’s gonna be.”

“Stiles,” Derek grabs his face, “Open your eyes.”

“Der’k,” Stiles manages to smile faintly, “You’re real, now.”

“I’m always real.”

“My dreams’re diff’r’nt.”

“Have you touched something? Met someone? Has someone done something?”

“No, was feelin’ sick this mornin’, but didn’t wan’ miss dinn’r I didn’t wanna miss you. I need to get up, I hafta vote—”

“He’s delirious,” Scott cries, “Fuck, what do we do?”

“Get ice,” Derek yells, “Get a medical book!” His hands slip to Stiles’ side, and Stiles howls in pain, tries to curl away from him. 

“No! I can’t go to school, they’ll stare, they kept staring, I couldn’t stop it, he was in my head.”

“Fuck,” Derek breathes out, “Is he talking about—”

“He never does,” Scott kneels down beside the bath, “Stiles, can you hear me?”

“Stiles,” Derek ducks to press his forehead to the back of Stiles’ neck, “Stiles, focus on my voice.”

Stiles flails, fingers digging into Derek’s arms, “Dad! Where’s my dad?”

“He’s on the way, Stiles,” Derek catches his fingers, holds them tight, “Listen to me.”

“I can’t—”

“We’re right here, dude,” Scott grabs his leg, “Just hold on till the ambulance gets here.”

“Where are we?”

“Home, you’re at home, and you’re safe,” Derek presses a hand over Stiles’ heart, feels it racing frantically against his palm. “And, you need to breathe, don’t think about what hurts, listen to me.”

“Derek, it hurts—” Stiles throws up all over them just as the ambulance arrives downstairs. 

Derek paces the corridors of the hospital, the Sheriff sitting with a cup of coffee that’s long gone cold behind him. Scott’s talking quietly with his mom, and he hurries over, pats Derek’s shoulder. 

“‘S’appendicitis, dude, could turn into peritonitis.”

Derek balks, “That’s ridiculous, he’s twenty one years old.”

“I know,” Scott bites his lip, “We just gotta wait and see, okay?”

“No,” Derek snaps, “We should help.”

“We can’t,” Scott says softly, “He’s in surgery, come on,” he tugs on Derek’s arm and sits with him. “It’s gonna be fine.”

“We have tickets for the Mets next month,” Derek says blankly.

“Hey, that’s cool,” Scott pats his hand, “Stiles loves the Mets.”

“For his birthday.”

“He’ll love you forever for that, man, he can never get tickets.”

“I have a friend,” he murmurs faintly. “I just thought they’d be nice.”

“Yeah, man, for sure, were you gonna go for the day, or?”

“No, he’s always wanted to do a road trip and I just—” Derek shrugs awkwardly, “Got carried away planning.”

“That sounds awesome!” Scott gives him a positive smile, “You should really tell him how you feel when he wakes up.”

Derek looks at him sharply, tugs at his still damp shirt, “What?”

“You know,” Scott knocks their knees together, “You know.”

Derek blinks at him, and Scott rolls his eyes, “You two are well suited, he had no idea what I was talking about, either.”

“Boys,” Melissa interrupts, “He’s awake.”

They both leap up, and hurry to greet a very sleepy, doped up Stiles, who tells them all he’s excited about the jello, and can Derek wear a nurses outfit?

Scott gives Derek a very pointed look. 


“The great city of New York!” Stiles exclaims, throwing open the balcony doors as Derek begins unpacking his bags. Stiles turns back to the room excitedly, dives at the cabinets, “Dude! A mini bar!” He waves a kitkat at Derek, “I’m eating this.”

“As long as I’m not paying for it,” Derek retorts. 

“Hey, no worries, this one’s on me,” Stiles beams at him, jostles his shoulder as he returns to the balcony. 

After a moment, Derek decides unpacking can wait and joins him. Stiles passes him half the kitkat, and they munch in companiable silence, watching the city below. 

“Hey,” Stiles says softly after a moment, “Thanks for this, man. I know it must have been an effort to get tickets, and to come back here and—”

“Stiles, it’s fine, you don’t need to—”

Stiles claps a hand over his mouth, crinkles the candy bar wrapper in his other one in what Derek assumes is meant to be a threatening manner. “Just say you’re welcome, Stiles.”

Derek huffs, “You’re welcome, Stiles,” he manages through his palm, before licking it, and Stiles yanks his hand away, grimacing. 

“Come on, let’s go check out the Big Apple.”

Stiles makes him play tour guide as they amble through the city, tries to find Central Perk, and drags Derek onto one of the ferries. He leans over Derek’s shoulder and murmurs, “One day, none of this will be ours,” in a joking voice, and Derek presses back against the warmth of his chest, smiles any way. He takes a hundred photographs, mostly of a blurry, unimpressed Derek, and even one where he squashes their faces together, cheeks pink from the wind and his fingers lingering on the back of Derek’s neck. They have lunch in Central Park, hot dogs from a nearby stand. Stiles marvels at a woman walking six dogs, tells Derek he wants one. 

Derek scoffs, “You’re walking it every day.”

“No, man, you have to keep me company, it’s the law of broship.”

Derek tips his head back to arch an eyebrow at him, “Broship?”

“Yeah,” Stiles looks determinedly at the grass in front of them for a moment, and then clears his throat, glances up at the sky. “I could use a nap before dinner, you know.”

Conscious that this is Stiles’ first big trip since his surgery, Derek nods immediately, helps him to his feet. 

When he wakes, it’s dusk, and Stiles is looking at him from the other bed. 

Derek rubs his face, rolls to stare at the ceiling, “You couldn’t sleep?”

“Nah, woke up about ten minutes ago.”

“So, what, you just been lying there, watching me sleep? Sounds like something you’d complain about me doing.”

Stiles snorts quietly, “You’re more of a sit in the corner kind of guy.” He reaches out to trace a line along Derek’s arm and along his chest. “Where’d’you wanna get dinner?”

Derek turns to consider him, “There’s a great diner not far from here. Do you anything you want.”



“Like, a deep fried mars bar?”

“If you so desired.”

“Corn on the cob with refried beans?”

Derek scrunches up his nose, catches Stiles’ fingers with his own and lets Stiles lace them together, rests them on his chest. 

“Maybe I’ll have a meatball sub,” he muses. 

“Not on your life, dude.”

“You’re already holding my hand; I presume you’ll do it later if I really need it.”

“Well, if you really need it,” Stiles says lightly. 

Derek hums, “You wanna shower first?”

“Yeah,” Stiles clambers out of bed, keeps their hands tangled as he walks past Derek, “I better, or else you’ll use all the hot water.”

“This is a hotel, Stiles, they have plenty!”

Stiles begins laughing, lets Derek yank on his hand until he’s falling onto Derek’s bed, tries to protect his face as Derek bats him with a pillow. 

“It’s okay, I understand, it takes you a long time to get beautiful!”

“Shut up,” Derek huffs, rolling them and straddling Stiles. 

Stiles lets out a surprised grunt, and Derek hisses, pulls away immediately, “Shit, your side, sorry—”

“’S’fine,” Stiles cuts him off, tugs up his shirt to let Derek see the fresh scar, still healing but intact. “All good.”

Derek traces over the skin gently with his finger, watches as Stiles covers his hand with his own. 


Derek nods wordlessly, leans up and hovers over Stiles. He watches Stiles’ eyelashes flutter, his tongue poke out to wet his lips, hears him swallow, and his heartbeat steady above the flow of traffic from outside the room. 

“Stiles.” It’s not a question, but it’s loaded with a hundred, anyway.

“Yeah,” Stiles clears his throat, answers him easily, “Yeah, Derek.”

Derek ducks down to kiss him carefully, and Stiles responds immediately, pushing up and threading his hands through Derek’s hair. Derek chokes back a whine, presses into him everywhere he can as gently as possible. He drapes one arm over Stiles’ head, boxing them in, drowning out the rest of the world, kissing Stiles again and again. It’s cautious pressure to begin with, exploration, Stiles’ body timidly pushing into his. Then Stiles frees one of his hands to drag it down Derek’s back, and Derek feels something primal loosen in his chest, this is real, he can feel the pads of Stiles’ fingers against his skin, feels them against his fucking soul and he rolls into him, deepens the kiss. Stiles huffs out a content noise, pushes Derek until he’s falling onto his back, hands settling on Stiles’ hips as he lays out over him, brushes their noses together. 

“You’re so,” Stiles stops, exhales hard and touches his fingers to Derek’s lips, “I love you, dude.”

Derek’s torn between the desire to roll his eyes, and the feeling in his chest that’s threatening to burst out of him. It’s like laughter and bright, at once like air and heavy, settling, content. 

“I love you, too,” he murmurs, rubs a thumb over Stiles’ eyebrow, “Dumbass.”

Stiles grins, and the world is full of good for Derek, full of light. 


Stiles still doesn’t let him get a meatball sub, though.