Stiles is stoked when he’s chosen for an undercover operation to take down a drug ring.
Straight out of high school, he knew he wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a cop. So while most of his other friends spread out across the country and sold their souls to big name Universities, Stiles stayed in his hometown of Beacon Hills and enrolled in the police academy. Six short months later, Stiles was an official graduate. Two months after that, Stiles was straightening his brand new Deputy uniform, a proud smile on his pop’s face.
Stiles spent two years serving on the Beacon Hills police force alongside his dad, the Sheriff. And he loved every moment of it. But he needed to grow as a person, to expand his horizons he told his dad, and put in for a transfer to the Los Angeles Police Department. He paid his first months rent for a mediocre apartment and packed his belongings into the back of his old Jeep, arriving in Los Angeles on a humid Monday morning as Officer Stiles Stilinski.
Within the first month, he grew to love LA. He made friends with the officers he worked with and he went out like a grown adult living on his own for the first time. It was at a nightclub called The Jungle (two of the cops he worked with practically dragged him here and forced him onto the dancefloor) that he met Derek Hale.
Derek wasn’t like most of the men who Stiles saw at the club. He was tall, mysterious, brooding, and his eyebrows did this incredible thing when he turned down the people who hit on him. And unlike most of the other men who came onto Stiles, Derek didn’t plaster himself to the younger man like a leech. Derek didn’t grope him, he didn’t grab him, he didn’t kiss him. He didn’t suggest they “get out of here.” They just clung together in the crowd as they danced, and then made their way to the bar for a drink. They stayed there for the rest of the night, mostly sober, just talking. Laughing. And when Stiles’ friends found him and said they were leaving, Stiles dejectedly parted ways with Derek with a scribbled phone number on Derek’s palm and a chaste kiss on the lips.
Derek called Stiles. Of course he did. They met up a few days later for coffee. That date ended with more than just a small kiss when they made out in the front seat of Derek’s Camaro when he dropped Stiles off at his apartment. Nothing too hot and heavy, but seatbelts were shed and tongues were introduced.
It moved pretty quickly after that. One date turned into two, into three, into a hundred. Stiles and Derek were inseparable. Stiles learned his favorite everything and his pet peeves and his dreams and his fears, and Derek learned the same. He would sometimes visit Stiles at the station and bring him lunch and they would alternate apartments on the nights Stiles’ had off work. They’d been dating for almost eleven months when Derek not-so-subtly suggested that they move in together. Stiles was more than happy to agree.
It was about six months after they found a small house (a real fucking house and not an apartment) a few miles outside of downtown LA that Stiles got the news; Stiles and his partner Allison were chosen to go undercover to infiltrate a drug ring.
He’s less stoked when he discovers that he’ll be posing as a seventeen year old student at the High School where Derek teaches.
But it’s not like Stiles can just turn down the case. This is huge. It’s a promotion, he’ll earn the title Agent Stilinski , and he’ll even get a fancy new badge that he can flash in people’s faces (he’s always wanted to do that.) He won’t be detained to desk work and patrolling; He’ll actually get to investigate people. Allison would undoubtedly hate him if he screwed this up for them, and he was dying to bust something big, make a name for himself, make his dad proud. So Stiles confronts Derek, asks him his opinion.
“It’ll be awkward,” Derek states. He makes a face. “Like… I’ll be your teacher. And you’ll be my student. But I’ve had my dick in your butt. I don’t wanna be a pedophile.”
Stiles rolls his eyes. “Nobody will know about us, aside from Allison. I won’t take the case if it makes you that uncomfortable, Derek.”
“No,” Derek is shaking his head, reaching out to lay a hand on his boyfriend’s arm. “I can handle it, I think. I mean, we just won’t do anything coupley. Strictly professional.”
Stiles nods, parroting, “Strictly professional. And it will only be a couple of weeks at most, just until Allison and I find the dealers.”
As soon as Stiles gets his new identity and school records, he regrets the entire decision.
“Stuart Twombly?” He asks, disbelieving. He throws the file down dejectedly on the conference table. “You’re kidding, right? How come Allison gets to keep her real first name? And I have to be Stuart ?”
“Because Stiles is quite an obvious name, so it’s either Stuart or Genim,” Chief Deaton replies calmly. “Your choice, of course.” He’s sitting at the head of the table, a few files spread out before him, not even looking up until he’s ready to begin. Stiles sighs and falls into a chair next to Allison. And Deaton looks up. He folds his hands on top of the papers, his gaze flickering between the officers. “You were both chosen for this case because you’ll both pass easily as teenagers. Frankly, it should be a pretty cut and dry case; Find the person or persons responsible for selling the drugs and bring them in.” He opens a folder with Stiles’ photo on the front. Stiles follows his actions, opening his own file. “Agent Stilinski--” Stiles totally doesn’t grin like an idiot hearing his new title said so officially like that. “You are posing as Stuart Twombly. Age seventeen. You’ve been enrolled in advanced placement courses as a way to infiltrate those higher up on the academic chain--”
“The nerds,” Stiles simplifies. “I get to be a nerd.”
“--and the lacrosse team,” Deaton continues as if Stiles hadn’t spoken. “Can I assume you know how to play lacrosse?”
Stiles shakes his head. “No, do not assume that. I cannot play. I don’t even know what the hell lacrosse is.”
Deaton’s lips shift up in what is almost a smile, and is most definitely condescending. “Then I have faith you will learn quickly. And Agent Argent--” Stiles resists the urge to chuckle at the sound of that. “You will become Allison Reed.” He pauses to open the second file. “Age seventeen. You’ve been enrolled in basic courses and extracurricular activities; Yearbook committee, cheerleading, and drama.”
Allison nods in determination, already stoic. She’s absorbed in this, completely ready to take on high school for the second time. Stiles can’t say the same about himself.
“I’d offer you a ride,” Derek says from the doorway. He’s watching Stiles fidget with his backpack, straightening his plaid shirt. “But that would probably ruin your cover.”
Stiles snorts. He abandons the staredown he was having with his reflection and goes to place a kiss on his boyfriend’s lips. “Remember, my name is Stuart,” He says and sighs. “Stuart fucking Twombly. Ugh . And I’m seventeen. So it is very illegal for us to have any inappropriate thoughts about one another. Like fucking on the desk in your classroom while the door is locked. Or sneaking away to make out behind the bleachers. Or--”
Derek presses forward with another kiss, but it doesn’t last long because he’s grinning. “Yeah, okay, thanks. I think I get the idea. Nothing inappropriate, nothing that can get me arrested or blow your cover. From now on, you’re just some random student.”
Stiles nods, stealing one more kiss and then smirking. “Okay. Starting now.”
School is about as horrible as Stiles remembers it being the first time around. He can’t converse with the only two people he knows (i.e; Derek and Allison) and as it turns out, he actually doesn’t remember half of the stuff he learned in high school so all of his AP classes make him look like an idiot. He tries to talk to a couple people (like the gorgeous strawberry blonde girl seated beside him in Physics who grimaced as his presence and pretended he wasn’t even there; Her notebook said Lydia. And there was the cute dimpled guy in Honors Algebra who politely turned Stiles down and said, “I’m not interested, sorry. You’re cute, but not really my type.” when all Stiles had done was introduce himself.) but nobody seemed to want to be his friend. It made him feel young and insecure all over again. He had to internally remind himself a few times that he is a cop and not a real teenager and it doesn’t matter if these kids like him or not. Except that it does matter. He needs them to find out who is selling drugs.
Stiles was on the brink of giving up and hiding in the Jeep before he made his way to the lacrosse field. He had Googled the sport a few days before and it didn’t seem too complicated. In theory, at least. Playing was a different story. He sucks, of course, and the coach is nice enough to point it out in front of everyone. But Stiles doesn’t mind so much because he gets to know everyone around him just a little bit better.
The dimpled kid from his Algebra class is named Danny; He’s a goalie and he’s generally the nicest person Stiles has met so far, aside from completely rejecting Stiles’ non-advances in their previous class. The redheaded girl from his Physics class is there, too, hanging all over some built-bigger-than-Stiles kid whose expression is set in a permanent “I’m better than you” bitch face; His name is Jackson and he makes sure Stiles knows that Lydia is his girlfriend (as if Stiles even wanted her, but Jackson isn’t sharing anyway.)
There’s a shy kid with cute curls and a small smile named Isaac, who gets tackled by Jackson and is benched for the rest of practice. And then there’s Scott, the only person on the field to properly introduce himself; He sucks almost as much as Stiles does, but he earns points for enthusiasm.
“Stuart!” It takes a few moments before Stiles realizes that someone is calling his name. In his defense, he didn’t really remember it was his name. He whips around, searching for the source of the voice, to find Scott. The kid laughs. “Dude, you were totally zoned out.” He follows Stiles’ line of sight toward the bleachers, where he honestly hadn’t recalled looking. He sees Allison there, her hair up in a ponytail, pom-poms in each hand. She’s smiling at a boy he doesn’t recognize. “She’s new, too,” Scott explains. “Allison something. She’s pretty. And intimidating. I feel like she could kick my ass if I looked at her wrong.”
Stiles snorts. “You have no idea,” He grumbles.
“So, my Mom is working a late shift at the hospital tonight,” Scott says. Practice is over, so he leads the way to the locker room. Stiles is silently grateful. He probably wouldn’t have remembered where it was otherwise. “Maybe you’d want to come hang out? I’ve got the new GTA game.”
Stiles frowns. He was supposed to meet up with Allison after school to go over notes on the first day and he was looking forward to curling up with Derek on the couch and watching some mindless television. But this is his job, he reminds himself. He needs to get closer to these kids, figure out who has access to drugs and where they get them from. Scott doesn’t seem like the drug-taking type at first glance, but he can’t pass over on a lead.
“Yeah, totally,” Stiles grins. “That sounds awesome. I just gotta text my parents and let them know I’ll be late getting home.”
On the way to the Jeep (“Dude, you have a car?” Scott had asked in wonder. “That’s so awesome. I walk to school.”) Stiles pulls out his phone and composes two outgoing messages. The first, to Allison, reads; I made a friend. Maybe he has info. I’ll follow up with you tomorrow.
Then to Derek; Working late. I love you.
Much to Stiles’ surprise, he realizes that he actually likes Scott. He’s funny, in a way where he doesn’t even realize he’s being humorous. He’s talkative, just like Stiles, but there are comfortable silences that neither of them feel the need to fill. It’s after they order pizza and Stiles kicks Scott’s ass in a few video games that they sit down in front of a movie and Stiles starts his interrogation.
He lets his head fall back on the couch and looks toward Scott. “Dude, you mind if I smoke?”
Scott looks absolutely stunned. And kind of concerned. “Smoke?”
Stiles chuckles. “Yeah. Cigarettes?” He leans over and digs a pack out of his bookbag. Stiles doesn’t actually smoke (and totally not just because his dad would beat him upside the head if he ever found Stiles smoking) but he figures that if people are doing drugs, they usually start with a simpler addiction, like smoking. If he wants to play up the part as someone looking for drugs, he needs to fit in. He holds up the pack of cigarettes so Scott can see.
“Oh,” Scott’s eyes go wide and Stiles can’t help but compare him to a puppy. He shakes his head fervently. “Oh no. I mean, I don’t care. If you do. I just… Asthma. My lungs are bad enough. Can you go outside?”
So Scott’s not a smoker. Stiles slips the pack back into his bookbag and shakes his head. “No, it’s cool. I can wait.” He leans back on the couch. “So you’ve never smoked? Not even tried it once?” Scott shoots an uncertain look in Stiles’ direction, who holds up his hands in surrender. “Not pressuring you, I swear. I was just curious. I mean, my dad smokes like a chimney, so I picked it up from him.”
Scott shakes his head. “No. My mom never smoked, so I guess I wasn’t really around the influence.” He shrugs. “My dad smoked, I think. He was arrested when I was little though, so I don’t really remember a whole lot.”
“Arrested?” This piques Stiles’ attention.
“Drugs,” He explains. “Possession, dealing, abuse, you name it.” He sighs softly. “Maybe that’s why I never smoked. Because I wouldn’t want to disappoint my mom. I’m all she’s got left.”
Scott isn’t the dealer. With a history like his, he might fit the profile, but Stiles is sure Scott is not their guy.
The following week is a stressful one. It tests Stiles’ patience, nerve, and control. Jackson has apparently targeted him as a victim to petty teenage bullying, so on top of his cop work, his school work (yeah, he actually has to do his homework) and trying to make time for his boyfriend outside of school, Stiles has to deal with being shoved in the hall and having wadded up pieces of paper thrown at his head. Jackson, however, makes this mistake in the wrong class.
Stiles is in the middle of copying History notes when he feels the first paper his his head. He ignores it. But then a second paper comes flying. He sighs heavily, and ignores that one too. Just as the third paper hits his head, Derek turns around and his narrowed eyes land near the back of the room. “Jackson, perhaps you can think about recycling your papers in a different fashion in detention. After school.”
“Mr. Hale,” Jackson argues. “I have lacrosse practice. I can’t miss it.”
Derek looks unamused and Stiles berates himself because he finds that glare to be awfully sexy right now. “You should have thought about that before throwing your trash at Stuart.” He turns back to the board and Stiles pretends he’s not totally checking out how wonderful Derek’s ass looks in those khakis.
Stiles talks to Derek about his list of suspects before he meets with Allison. After all, Derek has known all of them longer, he might notice things neither officer has. So Stiles and Derek sit on opposite ends of the sofa, their feet tangled in the middle, as Stiles shuffles through his file.
“I don’t like Jackson Whittemore,” He begins. “And not just because he’s an asshole. He’s competitive, it’s like he’s metaphorically pissing on everything; Lacrosse, his girlfriend-- They’re all his and he wants everyone to know it.”
“You really think that makes him a drug dealer though?” Derek wonders. “Sure, he’s possessive, but I don’t think that means much in this case.” He shifts in his seat, frowning. “He was adopted by some big name lawyer when he was just a kid. He’s not the brightest, but he’s set for a lacrosse scholarship without a doubt to whatever college he wants. I don’t think he would want to ruin that just to make a quick buck selling drugs.”
He’s got a point, so Stiles moves on. “Scott McCall. I’ve already ruled him out on my own, but I think we should keep an eye on him just in case. He seems pretty outcasted, so he might be targeted to buy the drugs even if he isn’t selling them.”
“He’s a good kid,” Derek says. “He’s smart, but he doesn’t push himself to actually try. He loves lacrosse but he got benched all last season because of his asthma. His mom is a nurse at the hospital, single parent.”
“What about Isaac Lahey?” Stiles flips to the next page. “I couldn’t actually find much on him. His entire Sophomore year was missing and his Junior year was filled with failed and unfinished assignments, and unexplained absences.” He looks up to find Derek frowning again.
“Isaac Lahey,” He repeats. He shakes his head. “He’s troubled. He’s seen the guidance counsellor more times than I can count. He was homeschooled Sophomore year, off the records apparently because no file was ever found. His Junior year he spent in and out of hospitals. There was an anonymous tip about screams coming from his house and when police went to check it out--”
“He was locked in the freezer.” Stiles feels himself pale. He remembers that, a few months after he had transferred to the department. He wasn’t on the case himself, but Boyd was. He remembers Boyd coming back to the office, furious about some domestic call where the kid had been abused. The dad got arrested and the kid got put into the system. “Shit, I remember that. That was him?”
Derek nods solemnly. “Yeah. He shouldn’t have passed his Junior year, but the teachers helped him out with extra credit. He made a few friends, even tried out for the lacrosse team.”
As it turns out, Allison’s list of suspects was about as big as Stiles’.
“Matt Daehler,” She says. She slides the open file toward Stiles so he can see. He recognizes the picture as the kid who Allison had been laughing with on their first day. “He’s friendly; He started talking to me on our first day. It’s not like he offered me drugs after introducing himself, but there’s something off about that kid. He gives me the creeps. He’s always carrying around this camera, he said he was on yearbook committee-- which he is-- but some of the pictures on his drive don’t look like yearbook photos. There were some that looked far off, distant, blurry, of the same girls over and over--”
“Stalker?” Stiles guesses. “Well, if he isn’t our drug dealer, at least we can pin something on him.”
“Erica Reyes is head cheerleader,” Allison continues, showing him the file of a pretty blonde. “She’s got her nose in everything. You want gossip, she is your girl.”
“And if we want drugs…?” Stiles prompts.
Allison smiles, tapping the girl’s photo. “If she doesn’t sell them, she at least knows where to get them.”
Stiles isn’t sure how to confront Erica after school. She’s intimidating, with her blood red lipstick and constant smirk, as she leans against an expensive looking car. As it turns out, he doesn’t actually have to confront her because she looks up, meeting his gaze. Her smile twists and before he can even think, Erica is heading his way.
“You’re Stuart, right?” She doesn’t wait for an answer, but leans closer. “I’m Erica. You’re new here. You new to LA, too, or just the school?”
And Stiles sees his opportunity. “New to Los Angeles,” He nods, shifting his backpack on his shoulder. “It’s a big city. Easy to get lost in.”
Erica chuckles. “You just need to know the right people,” She informs him. “Maybe I can be your own personal tour guide, show you the best spots around.”
Stiles grins. “That’d be great.”
The afternoon is filled with awkward silences (mostly from Stiles) and even more awkward flirting (all from Erica.) Stiles tries to flirt casually at first, but he gives up when he realizes this is a waste of time and he should just outright ask her where he can get drugs from. They’re in the car, driving down the road, when Erica’s hand lands softly on Stiles’ knee. It’s pretty innocent for the most part, so he says nothing. But then her hand travels upward and Stiles fidgets away, releasing a squeak of panic. He wasn’t trained for this. What the hell should he do?
Erica stops the car on a side street and her hand is lifted. Stiles breathes a sigh of relief, but it’s cut off instantly when Erica leans across seat and presses her lips to Stiles’. He flails, tries to flee, and ends up hitting his head on the window. Erica pulls away, her eyebrows furrowed.
“I have a boyfriend!” Stiles blurts out, because he doesn’t know what the hell else to do. He bites down roughly on his lip and readies himself for the chaos that is sure to ensue; He’s just blown his cover, he’s ruined this entire investigation.
But Erica simply sighs, a longing sound, and frowns. “I figured. It’s always the cute ones that are gay.” She starts the car again without another word. They drive for a few minutes silently, allowing Stiles time to collect himself, calm his jumping nerves. And then Erica casts him a look from the corner of her eye. “So you weren’t flirting with me,” She clarifies.
Stiles shakes his head slowly. “Sorry,” He says, and it’s true. He feels guilty for sort of leading her on. He sighs heavily and figures that the truth is the only way he’s getting out of this. “I heard around school that you know where to get… stuff.”
One of Erica’s eyebrows goes up, curious. “Stuff?” She repeats. “What kind of stuff would you be looking for?”
Stiles shrugs, feigning indifference. “Painkillers. X. Anything really.”
A laugh from Erica’s seat startles Stiles. “You heard I had any connection to those lowlifes? Oh please. I resent that, Stuart.”
“So you don’t know where I can find any?” Stiles is resigned to going home and taking a long hot shower, preferably with Derek, and then sleeping for a decade. This isn’t getting him anywhere.
But then Erica hums softly. “I’ve heard rumors,” She admits thoughtfully. “Nothing definitive. But I think I could point you in the right direction.”
She doesn’t give him a name, but she gives him a phone number. He talks to some girl named Heather, who gives him another number for a guy named Mason. From Mason, he gets pointed toward Liam, and then on to Kate, and by the time Stiles hangs up, he’s pretty sure he’s talked to half the school. It’s not going to get him anywhere, he decides. But the next morning, there’s an unread message from a blocked number blinking on his screen.
north wing library @ 3 for hookup.
Stiles gets set up with a wire, a gun, and his badge before setting off for school. The wire keeps scratching his back and the holster around his ankle with the gun is too tight, but Stiles is nearly vibrating with excitement. Derek shoots him a concerned look after History class, but Stiles just smiles. The less Derek knows, the better. Allison is already set up in the van outside, listening in to whatever conversations Stiles’ wires pick up.
Just a few minutes before three, Stiles makes his way to the library. A few kids are already set up at various tables and he finds a vacant chair near the fantasy section that gives him a clear view of the entrance. Stiles sits, pulls out a textbook to make it look like he’s doing something, and skims the room. Lydia, Erica, and Jackson are seated at one table; Jackson looks bored as he types away on his phone, and the girls are whispering in low voices. Near the wall, Scott is frowning at a battered copy of Hamlet. And across the room, Isaac is hunched over a textbook next to…
Stiles’ heart stops.
Derek . His boyfriend is explaining something to the younger boy, gesturing to the textbook and then making motions with his hands to emphasize the point.
Stiles is about to stomp across the room and demand that Derek leave, but before he can move, another person storms into the library, slamming the door shut behind him. Stiles looks up to meet Matt Daehler’s frantic expression. Everyone startles, Derek and Stiles jump to their feet, and Matt pulls a gun from the waistband of his jeans. He swings it around wildly. “Sit the fuck down!” He yells. He points the gun first at Derek, and then Stiles. “Sit down, or I swear to God I’ll start shooting.”
Derek sinks back down into his seat, casting a glance in Stiles’ direction. Stiles tries to convey with his eyes to just listen to whatever Matt says, don’t try to be the hero. Stiles has got this covered. But Matt swings the gun in Derek’s direction again. “You,” He states. His voice is rugged and rough and he looks like he’s on the verge of a mental breakdown. “You and you--” Now he’s pointing at Jackson. “Move these desks here in front of the door.”
Derek and Jackson move slowly, terrified of what might happen if they go too fast, and do as they’re told. Together they shove one of the big wooden desks in front of the door, successfully barricading them in.
“Now everybody move,” Matt demands. “I want you at one desk. All of you, go!”
Figures scurry. Lydia yelps when the gun is swung in her direction and Scott’s breathing is ragged and uneven, but they all end up seated on the same side of a large table. Lydia is crying into Jackson’s shoulder and Derek is trying to help Scott slow his breathing down. Stiles watches as Isaac stands up, moving toward Matt. He wants to stop him, warn him, but to his surprise Matt doesn’t shoot.
“What’s going on?” Isaac asks.
Matt shakes his head and then rubs his hands across his face. “There were cops snooping around my house this morning. They’re onto us. I don’t know how, but they are.”
Us . Isaac’s face twists and he looks like he might cry. He was in on this. Isaac and Matt. They’re the dealers. And suddenly it all makes sense. All his visits to the hospital, Isaac picked up a variety of pain meds. When his dad was arrested, he found a friend in Matt, who somehow convinced him to start selling the medication.
“I was supposed to do a deal this afternoon,” Matt continues. “But then I started thinking, what if our client is the one who ratted us out to the Narcs?” Matt’s gaze drifts over every person at the table in turn. “So which one of you fuckheads is the informant, huh? Is it you, Scotty?” Matt points the gun at Scott, whose breathing hitches and stutters again. “You were always such a goody-goody. Or what about Mr. Hale?” The gun goes to Derek and Stiles fights the urge to dive in front of it. “You’re the teacher, after all. The adult here. The mature one.” The gun slides to Stiles. “Or maybe it’s the new kid. Stuart, right? Maybe you’re the rat who sold us out to the cops.” As soon as the gun slides to Jackson, Stiles can feel the pressure of Derek’s hand in his, squeezing under the table. “Or Whittemore. Maybe you wanted a cut, huh? Maybe you wanted to be a part of the deal, so you tried to scare me into letting you in.”
“Matt,” Stiles says. The gun flashes back to him. It makes his heart race, but he knows he needs to keep the focus on himself. He can’t let these kids get hurt, even if it is Jackson he’s protecting.
Matt glowers. “You got something to say, new kid?”
“You need to think about this,” Stiles says calmly. “Think about what you’re doing right now. You’re holding six people hostage in a school library, for what? Because you think some cops are onto you for selling drugs? Think about this, Matt. You’re a smart kid. Let’s say you get caught for dealing; You’re seventeen, you’ve got a clean record. You’ll get two, three years max. But if you start shooting people, dude… That’s twenty-five to life.”
Matt’s face contorts, and the sound of the gun cocking is deafening in the silence. “It’s you,” He realizes. “You’re the rat.”
“I’m not a rat,” Stiles states and stands up, swiftly retrieving the gun tucked away near his ankle, swinging it up to level it with Matt’s. “I’m a cop.”
A lot happens at once then. Lydia screams. Matt’s finger twitches on the trigger and before Stiles can shoot, Derek is moving. He throws himself forward, in front of Stiles, and they both tumble toward the ground as the shot rings out. His stomach feels sick when he sees blood, and for a second Stiles thinks he’s been shot. But nothing hurts. And then it occurs to him. “Derek!”
Derek groans, a pained noise, and Stiles’ heart stutters. This can’t be happening.
He shoves the table forward until it’s propped up like a wall between himself and Matt. He needs to make sure Derek is okay, but he can’t take his eyes off the kid, pulling the trigger and only barely missing as the he ducks behind a bookshelf. Stiles kneels. Building tears blur his vision and his hands shake. “Derek, please,” Stiles whimpers. “Derek, look at me.”
Derek blinks up at Stiles, grimacing. “I’m fine,” He promises.
“You’re not fine, dumbass,” Stiles rolls his eyes. With one hand, he presses down on the wound. “You have a bullet in your shoulder.”
“I’ll live,” Derek states.
“I know you will,” Stiles nods. “Because there is no way in hell I’m letting you die before I even make you my husband.”
Derek actually has the nerve to smirk. “Stiles, did you just propose to me?”
Stiles laughs. “I guess I did, huh?”
Derek tries to reach out and touch Stiles, but his arm throbs in pain and he’s brought back to the harsh reality. “You have to get them out of here before they get hurt.”
Stiles forces himself to focus. “Erica,” He commands. The blonde girl looks up at him with wide, scared eyes. “Hey, I need you to help me, okay? You’ve got this. I need you to watch the others. Calm Lydia down, alright? Find Scott’s inhaler, he needs it.” Erica nods, a jerky motion, and scrambles on her hands and knees to rummage through Scott’s backpack. “Jackson,” Stiles turns to the boy next. He looks terrified, but his features are determined. “Come here.” Jackson shuffles closer. “I need you to put pressure on Derek’s shoulder, can you do that? Slow the bleeding.” Jackson nods and Stiles removes his hands.
Derek whimpers when Jackson presses down, grabbing Stiles’ wrist. “I love you,” He says and it sounds too much like a goodbye for Stiles’ liking. “You better be careful, and just maybe I’ll take you up on that husband offer.”
Stiles smiles, running a few fingers through Derek’s hair. “Deal.”
Another shot is fired in their direction and Lydia’s crying starts all over again.
Stiles stands, aims, and manages to land a shot to Matt’s leg. It’s not enough to stop him from shooting at them, but it will slow him down. Stiles takes the opportunity to dodge out from behind the table and toward the bookshelves. He pulls free his cell and presses a few buttons. Allison answers on the second ring. “What the hell is going on in there?!”
Stiles tries to keep his breathing even. “I need backup now. The door is blocked and we’re trapped in, but we need paramedics ASAP, two injured.”
“And Daehler?” Allison wonders. “Is he down?”
Another shot is fired. “I’d say no,” Stiles grumbles. He hangs up and spins around the corner, taking aim again. Isaac and Matt are nowhere in sight, but there’s a trail of blood leading behind a bookshelf a few feet away. Stiles slinks closer and moves toward the blood. When he whirls around the corner, Matt is leaning against the non-fiction section, his jeans stained with red. Isaac is standing next to him, the gun now clasped in his shaky grip. His lip quivers.
Stiles levels his own weapon at Isaac’s chest. “Put it down, Isaac,” He commands. “You don’t want to do this. Just put the gun down and we can walk out of here together, alright?”
Isaac sniffles, shaking his head. “I can’t.”
“Yes you can,” Stiles insists. “Look at me; Just put the gun down.”
“You don’t get it!” Isaac shouts, and then whimpers, “You don’t fucking get it. I can’t go to jail. Not with… Not with my dad there. I can’t go through that again.”
“Look, we can work out a deal,” Stiles offers. “You haven’t shot anyone yet, we can work something out. We can make sure you stay safe, alright? Far away from that sadistic bastard. I promise you, Isaac, I can make sure he never hurts you again.”
A small smile plays around the corners of his lips and for a second, Stiles thinks he’s gotten through to the kid. But then Isaac says, “Yeah. So can I,” and he raises the gun again, finger moving on the trigger. So Stiles reacts.
His bullet lands in Isaac’s chest and he watches in horror as the kid goes down. The gun skitters out of his grasp and Matt clambers forward too slowly. Stiles kicks the weapon out of reach and levels his gun with Matt. “Don’t even fucking think about it.”
There’s the sound of windows shattering and then the scraping as a large desk is shoved away from the door. A moment later, Allison is at his side. She doesn’t say anything, but puts a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. Then she moves forward to pull Matt to his feet, shoving him against the books and reading his rights as he’s handcuffed.
Stiles stands there for a second longer, and then he slips his gun into the waistband of his jeans and goes to find the others. Lydia isn’t crying anymore, but she’s shaking silently, her face buried in Jackson’s chest. Jackson meets Stiles’ eyes momentarily and he doesn’t say anything, but he offers a stoic nod. Gratitude, he supposes. Erica is sitting next to Scott on the floor, talking to a paramedic. “You should come with us,” The EMT tells Scott. “Just to make sure everything’s alright.” Scott just nods dumbly.
Stiles looks around the room again before his eyes land on a stretcher. On said stretcher was a familiar man, arguing with the medics trying to keep him lying down. “I said I’m fine,” Derek says. “It’s just a scratch.”
“The bullet is still inside of you,” One of the medics states. “We’ve got to take you to the hospital to have it removed.”
Stiles steps up and rests a hand on Derek’s uninjured arm. “Would you stop fighting them, please? They’re trying to help you.”
“I’m sorry, who are you?” The medic looks at Stiles, who still probably looks like another student to anyone who didn’t just see him shoot two guys.
Stiles pulls his badge free from his pocket and flashes it in the medic’s face (he’s always wanted to do that!) and says, “Agent Stilinski, LAPD.”
The medic doesn’t argue after that, allowing Stiles to ride in the ambulance with Derek and follow him into the ER. They stop him when they take Derek into the back to actually remove the bullet. Stiles falls into a chair in the waiting room, suddenly exhausted. He doesn’t want to be alone right now, he wants to be able to curl his own body around Derek’s and feel his warmth and know he’s safe. But right now, Stiles feels nothing but cold.
He killed a kid today. He shot another. This is his job, he knows that. It’s not the first time he’s shot someone. But a fucking kid . He sighs, letting his eyes close. He wants to forget everything, he wants to forget that he’s the reason Derek is having a bullet removed from his shoulder right now. Part of him wishes he had never even taken this fucking case.
He doesn’t move right away when he feels someone sit down next to him. He already knows who it is and he’s not sure he’s ready for another face off right at this moment. But eventually the silence gets too heavy and Scott sighs. “So you’re a cop.”
Stiles just nods slowly.
“I’m assuming you’re not actually seventeen,” Scott clarifies.
Stiles breathes out slowly. “Twenty-two.”
“I guess your real name isn’t Stuart either, huh?”
“Stiles,” He offers. “My real name is Stiles Stilinski.”
There’s a moment of silence and then Scott is laughing. “Dude,” He gasps between giggles. “Stiles Stilinski? That’s worse than Stuart Twombly.”
Stiles lets himself chuckle as well, because Scott isn’t exactly wrong. The laughter dies down and silence falls once more. “I’m sorry I lied to you,” Stiles finds himself saying. “I like you, Scott. I really do. And I’m glad we could be friends, even if it was only for a short time.”
“You know, I’m bad at making friends,” Scott states. “Like, I’m so socially inept it’s not even funny. So maybe, since we’re already kind of friends, we could… stay that way?”
Stiles glances over, but Scott isn’t looking at him. “Yeah,” He nods. “I’d like that.” When Scott looks up, his smile is blinding.
“So what are you doing here?” He wonders. “You’re not getting checked out. Are you waiting on someone?”
Stiles’ throat feel dry again. “Derek. I’m waiting on Derek.”
Scott looks confused for a second and then recognition lights up his features. “Mr. Hale? Is he gonna be okay? It all happened really fast. He got shot though. He’s gonna live, right?”
Stiles nods, looking down once again as guilt washes over him. This is his fault, it’s his fault that Derek was shot. “Yeah, he’s going to be okay, I think.”
Just at that moment, the door opens and Derek emerges from the back room. His shirt is torn and bloody and his arm is in a sling, but he smiles softly. Stiles is up and across the room in an instant, his arms wrapped around Derek’s waist, his nose buried in Derek’s neck. “I’m so fucking sorry,” Stiles mutters. “This is all my fault and I’m sorry.”
Derek twists away, pulling back enough to cup Stiles’ jaw in his hand and meet his teary gaze. “I’m the dumbass who jumped in front of a bullet for you,” He smirks. “This isn’t you fault.” Stiles feels like he wants to cry and he leans in to press his lips to Derek’s. “Did you mean what you said?” Derek wonders.
Stiles ponders that a moment. “Which part?”
Derek chews on his lip. “The part about making me your husband.”
Stiles grins, tightening his grip on Derek’s sides. “I love you,” He says. “And I don’t want a life without you. So I don’t actually have a ring or anything yet, but--” Stiles pauses and digs through his pockets for a second. He retrieves a small rectangular object. “All I have right now is a piece of a gum. But I can make this work.” He takes a step back and lowers himself to one knee, the gum held up between his fingers. “Derek Hale, you are the love of my life. Will you accept this stick of cherry flavored Fruit Stripes bubblegum and make me the happiest dude in the world by becoming my husband?”
Derek contemplates the offer, eyeing the stick of gum. “Is it the kind with the zebra tattoos inside?”
Stiles nods. “Fuck yes it is.”
Derek grins. “Then I accept,” He says, and pulls Stiles up to kiss him again.