Kate Argent taught Derek two things. Never trust anyone outside his own species. Sex is power.
The first blow job Derek gave was to the tutor Laura hired to help him with his G.E.D. She was insistent he do well so he did what he could to make sure he would. He didn't have the focus for school after the fire and he didn't give a shit about learning. His tutor, on the other hand, knew a guy who knew a guy who could rig Derek's results.
Derek knew he was wanted and he put it to use, dropping to his knees and putting his mouth on his tutor's cock. He was surprised when he didn't hate it but he supposed he shouldn't be – sex was a transaction, wasn't it? How could you hate a transaction?
The tutor put his hands in Derek's hair and guided him; fucked into his mouth with snaps of his hips, came over his face while Derek watched with disinterest. Derek was still illegal and he used that against the tutor, got what he wanted from him. He didn't kiss him.
Laura's nose twitched when she got back from the waitressing job she'd picked up (she didn't want to touch the money) but she tried to hold in her disappointment.
Derek fucked his way into his first job, pressing the bar manager up against the alley wall and settling himself deep within her. She wanted it fast and hard and Derek obliged. Her make-up was too thick and she smelled of desperation and Derek didn't kiss her, couldn't kiss her.
She made him a barman despite him being three years too young to even drink. He'd bulked up since the fire so it wasn't like he looked that young. He spent hours working out – building a body that no-one else could use, just him – and it showed. He'd been a lanky sixteen and now he was a broad eighteen and everyone looked at him.
His boss was happy and his back pockets were stuffed with tips and the lines eased around Laura's eyes. She thought he was clearing tables and he let her believe that. It was better than the truth – that every second night he was on his knees for someone, learning new ways to use himself for when he needed it.
He got fired when his boss caught him with two fingers in one of the barmaids, his teeth pressing slightly against her throat. Apparently she thought they had something.
Derek laughed in her face.
The first time Derek let someone fuck him was the first month they weren't going to make rent. Laura had taken to pausing in front of the bank whenever they passed it and he knew that meant she was thinking about the money. He didn't want her to have to touch it – the zeroes that equalled their family – and so he made his way to the basement apartment and let their landlord fuck him.
The man was sweaty and over-weight and had the sort of power in his hands that meant he'd spent his youth punching things. If Derek had been human his hips would've been bruised and his skin scratched to hell. He closed his eyes and felt nothing when the man came inside him, bare, and didn't even try to get off too.
They were clear for the month and when Laura asked where Derek got the money from he lied and said he managed to get a job hauling shit at a construction site for a day. She used to know when he was lying just by the colour of his cheeks but Derek learned that from Kate too – how to hold himself steady and make Laura believe what he wanted her to believe.
He couldn't jerk off for a week afterward, no matter how hard his morning wood was, because he kept remembering the feel of the landlord's hands on his hips.
They brought back ghosts.
In New York City Derek fucked a guy for the first time. He did it because he needed to know how – had seen the way his new boss looked speculatively at his crotch when he was spread-legged on a chair in the break room – and he turned out pretty good at it. He could probably get a raise if he fucked his boss good enough, used his tongue and hands and cock, and that would leave the money in the bank that little bit longer.
New York City was also where Laura found out what Derek was doing with his body, the way he was using himself. She cried and he hated it and he told her everything – told her why he could never touch the money – and she cried some more. They slept curled together on the couch and when they woke up Laura told him 'no' and 'never again' and 'please, Derek, for me'.
He held in the urge to tell her he did it all for her; so she wouldn't look at him the way she was looking at him, so that he didn't have to smell the hurt and unhappiness.
Laura went to work and Derek went and fucked someone to feel it instead of because had to. It was fine, he got off, but her hands weren't right and she was too noisy and it just – wasn't what he wanted.
It was a surprise to find he did want something.
“I have to do this,” Laura had said, holding him close. “I have to find the truth. I have to fix it, what happened – what she did to you.”
She didn't do anything to me. Derek wanted to say it. He couldn't believe that Kate didn't just bring out something that was already there inside him. Laura saw it in his face anyway.
“Baby bro,” she said, running her hands through his hair. “This isn't the way you're supposed to be. When I get back we'll figure this out together – find our way back to who you should be.”
She kissed him on the forehead and left him in their apartment. She'd started using the money after she confronted him – bought a car and an apartment and told him he didn't have to get a job until he knew there was something he wanted to do. She liked her work, PA for some lawyer or something, and she wanted Derek to like what he was doing.
Two weeks later she was dead and Derek was burying her torso in his old garden.
Stiles scared the hell out of him. He didn't notice it at first, too consumed with fury over Laura's death and terror over Kate's return, but he saw it in the clinic – the bloom of lust and confusion in Stiles' eyes. It was there again at the school, Stiles' eyes lingering when Scott wasn't looking, and it was palpable in Stiles' room.
Derek was used to people wanting him, used to that scent of arousal that followed him, but Stiles looked at him like it was more than that. Stiles wanted to figure him out – wanted to take him apart and see all the pieces – and Derek didn't know what the hell he was supposed to do with that sort of want.
If it had just been sex he might have fucked Stiles in his room that day – messed up his sheets and left the room stinking of sex by the time Stiles' friend showed up – but it wasn't just that. Stiles wasn't afraid of him any more. He was angry at him sometimes, and other times he was just confused, but he still wanted Derek.
That meant something that Derek just didn't have the ability to understand. He wished Laura was there, she would help him know how to feel – that's what she'd promised, even if she hadn't realised it, she'd promised to teach him how to feel again.
Derek ignored it instead and ripped his Uncle's throat out and changed everything.
Alpha was power. It reminded him of how it had felt to control people with the display of his body. He used his strength to recruit Isaac, his body to recruit Erica and some combination of both to recruit Boyd. Erica looked at him after, the shyness gone from her face, and it was a look Derek was familiar with.
It was the beginning of him fucking up, sliding into old habits, and biting teenagers – exposing himself to the relentless assault of their hormones – had him two towns over and fucking his way through bar after bar to settle some of it out of him. There was a guy who fucked him so well he actually came untouched, a woman who sucked him off with one hand on herself and one on him, a guy who let Derek bite at him with human teeth until he was marked up and bruising. None of it was enough.
There was still Stiles. In the pool. In the station. His scent as heavily impressed in Derek's memory as Laura's and wasn't that perfect? Stiles with the edges he never let anyone see, with the vicious insides and the ability to do things Derek couldn't begin to understand. And at the forefront was what he was doing to Derek.
Derek wanted and Derek hadn't wanted in a long time.
“I'm probably not as angry at Scott as you are,” Stiles began without preamble, invading Derek's space as if it was his right. “But I'm pretty pissed he left me out of the loop. I got the shit kicked out of me for him.”
The bruises were from Gerard, then, and Derek felt his fingers curl with anger.
“I'll forgive him because he's my best friend,” Stiles said, continuing despite Derek's glare. “And you'll forgive him because of your 'brotherhood' or whatever and he won't learn that using someone's body against their will isn't right no matter how much of a dick you think they are.”
Derek flinched and Stiles' eyes narrowed in on him – that stare like he was picking him apart again – and Derek looked away, grinding his teeth. One of Stiles' hands touched Derek's elbow and Derek shuddered.
“We all fucked this up,” Stiles said, fingers digging into Derek's flesh. “You going bite happy and Scott's eternal optimism getting half of the Sheriff's department killed and me -”
“You didn't do anything,” Derek said, staring at the ground.
“Exactly,” Stiles said. “And I have to make peace with that. So. Maybe cut yourself a break, okay? Nobody comes out of this clean.”
Stiles left before Derek could make himself look at him again. The words were heavy in his mind.
Beacon Hills had two packs when the Alpha Pack descended. Derek gave up on Scott – there was too much bad blood between them to fix it – and therefore was surprised when Scott was the one who suggested alliance. Between them they didn't even form half of one normal sized pack but the alphas weren't prepared for Scott's optimism and Stiles and Lydia putting their brains together. Derek was the muscle and he was okay with that. He was good at that.
Deucalion decapitated and Scott's eyes flashing red and Stiles meeting Derek's eyes with something that was so much more than lust and confusion. Derek stepped back as if physically struck and Stiles looked away like that was an answer to a question he couldn't ask.
The worst of all possible ideas was showing up at Stiles' house hours later but Derek needed to know – he needed to understand what was building inside him, cascading in his heart – and he needed to see if it was the same thing that Stiles kept showing him.
“Oh,” Stiles said when he got a look at Derek's eyes. “Fuck. You're just as lost as I am.”
And he kissed Derek and Derek - Derek didn't think about Kate, didn't think about all the kisses he'd ducked, he didn't think at all. Stiles' mouth was hot and firm against his, unyielding, and when Stiles pushed him back against the wall Derek let him. He would've thought it would be desperate – he could almost smell Stiles' inexperience – but it wasn't. It wasn't.
It was Stiles' hands gentle on his body, Stiles' mouth touching every place his fingers did, his eyes sweeping up and down Derek like he could hold him still forever with just a look. Derek thought maybe Stiles could if he tried hard enough. Derek could stay still for Stiles.
Stiles was unselfconscious and delighted and when Derek touched him back he was so responsive and so pleased and Derek wondered if that was what being drunk felt like, his eyes heavy and his body buzzing.
“We probably shouldn't -” Stiles said, hand tight around Derek's cock. “My Dad's the Sheriff. This is so, so illegal. I just – I want you and I tried to stop but I can't.”
“You're the first person I've wanted,” Derek said. He didn't have to say since because he could see it in Stiles' eyes and the way they widened and darkened.
Stiles bucked against him and came and it startled Derek – someone coming just because he told them how he felt – and he came too, Stiles' grip just the side of too tight and perfect.
“Well, no stopping now,” Stiles said against Derek's hair. “Hope you realise that.”
“I don't want to stop,” Derek said, mouth pressing against Stiles' throat. “Hope you realise that.”
“I think I can deal with that,” Stiles said, tugging Derek up and kissing him just because he wanted to.
“Is this -” Stiles stopped Derek with a hand against his mouth.
“Don't overthink it,” Stiles said, even as his heart beat out a rhythm that told Derek it was exactly what he thought it was. “We'll figure it out.”
Stiles didn't know he was echoing Laura's words of nearly a year ago but they still made something twist and unfurl inside Derek. Derek breathed in like he hadn't been breathing since the fire.
“Together,” Derek said, letting Stiles pull him in and down and close.
“Yeah, well, you're stuck with me now,” Stiles said, rolling them over. “I'm stubborn as fuck over feelings.”
“It's okay,” Derek said, framing Stiles' face with his hands because he could. “You're stuck with me too.”
“We are so fucked up,” Stiles said, rolling his hips down. “Also I really want to fuck you.”
“You can,” Derek said, watching Stiles' eyes. “You can have whatever you want.”
“Don't say that,” Stiles said, reaching to a bedside drawer. “I'll take everything.”
Derek kissed him, moving his tongue against Stiles', tried to tell him that everything he should be was Stiles' already. If Stiles wanted.
“Point taken,” Stiles said against his lips, circling a lubed finger around Derek's hole.
He went quiet then and his hands were right and this was what Derek wanted all along and he couldn't wait to show Stiles what he knew, turn it into something they had together and forget about why he knew it in the first place.
Stiles fucked him slow and gentle. Fucked him until he was ready again and then got him off at almost the same time as he came buried deep inside Derek.
“There he is,” Stiles said after, smoothing a hand over Derek's forehead.
“Who?” Derek asked, raising his head to meet Stiles' eyes.
“The guy I knew was under all that leather and growling,” Stiles said, ducking his head and kissing Derek. A brief press of lips that lit him up from inside. “I like that guy.”
“I'll try to be better,” Derek said, chasing Stiles' mouth for another kiss. Stiles' mouth on his said me too and Derek sank into his embrace.
Stiles Stilinski taught Derek two things. Trust can be earned. Sex can have meaning.