“Stiles isn’t home yet,” says the sheriff when Derek shows up after school. “Extra practices, you know.”
“Now that he’s first line,” Derek says, and then they share a look of such intense pride that they both get instantly embarrassed over it.
“So.” John coughs, taking his coat off the hook by the door. “I’m on my way out, but you can feel free to wait for him. There’s pizza rolls in the freezer, you know, if you get hungry.”
Derek knows. Last week Stiles put off studying for his history quiz by throwing pizza rolls for Derek to catch in his mouth. He devised a point system and everything. Stiles is amazing at procrastination.
“Thank you, John,” Derek says. He feels jittery using the name, still, but the sheriff looks so pleased that it’s definitely worth it.
It’s been about a month since John caught him and Stiles at the movies together, and Derek can almost be around him now without feeling guilty. He makes Derek feel like he’s allowed to be in this house, with Stiles. Like he’s welcome, even (though not typically after dinnertime without supervision).
“No problem,” John says. “I’ll be home later than usual, tonight. Just be… careful.”
“We’re not… we… yeah,” Derek agrees, his eyes locked on a spot over John’s right shoulder, where the paint is chipping near the doorframe.
John sighs gustily. “Oh boy. All right. See you later, kid.”
No one’s called Derek ‘kid’ in years. But he likes it.
It’s already dark by the time Stiles stumbles through the door, groaning dramatically with every step and dropping his bag where he stands.
“I hate lacrosse, other people, the sun, and my own body for betraying me this way,” he whines, holding out his arms imperiously. “Come on, come on, I feel awful. Don’t make me wait, here.”
Derek smirks and rolls to his feet off the sofa, where he’s been reading The Count of Monte Cristo on Stiles’ kindle. “What do you need? Besides a shower, I mean; that’s pretty obvious already.”
“Fuck you, oh my god. Come here.”
Derek strides over and gathers Stiles in his arms, letting him burrow down into his neck with a deep, long sigh. “There,” he says, squeezing the back of Stiles’ neck. “Better?”
“I’m so tiiiiiiired,” Stiles whines, making fists in Derek’s favorite henley and cuddling in closer. Derek breathes him in deep, trying not to be too obvious about it; Stiles knows he’s dating a werewolf, obviously, but he shouldn’t have to be reminded every five seconds. “Stoppit, I must smell like absolute ass right now,” Stiles protests blearily, proving once again that Derek’s best efforts toward subtlety are wasted on him.
“You smell like you,” Derek corrects, pulling back to nuzzle playfully into his cheek. It makes Stiles smile, huge and bright through his exhaustion, and Derek preens inwardly. “You want to eat? Shower off? Lie down? We could… talk.”
A month in, and Derek still can’t bring himself to straightforwardly request that Stiles come back over to the couch and kiss him for a while. Stiles is the one who does all the talking on that front—and boy, does he. He never stops talking about it. He’ll lean across the table when they’re out to dinner and casually mention that he’s been thinking about sucking Derek’s cock, whether it would be easy and how it would taste and if he’d be any good at it. He shares fantasies, sometimes, vivid scenarios concocted in bed at night or in boring classes. On one memorable occasion, he waited until Derek had a mouthful of beer before he announced that he’d like to try getting fucked.
(Stiles denies it, but Derek is positive he did that one on purpose.)
It’s all pretty wonderful, and exciting, and intimidating, and Derek spends much of his time walking around in a tentatively-happy, sexually-frustrated haze, trying not to think about what will happen when Stiles gets impatient with all the waiting.
Derek knows that Stiles doesn’t like to wait.
“Oh, man,” Stiles groans, pulling back and resting both hands on Derek’s chest. “I’m pretty sure you just invoked your adorably-repressed secret code for ‘let’s make out,’ but I am 100 percent down for the count tonight, I’m so sorry. Mmm just one though? I earned it. Be gentle.”
“You are such a diva,” Derek says, rolling his eyes before leaning in to give Stiles the softest, most careful kiss he knows how to give. Then he brushes his lips against his nose and forehead, too, because Stiles is swaying on his feet and clearly too out of it to make fun of him for being sappy. “Go take your shower. I’ll put the pizza rolls in the oven and we can watch Army of Darkness while you heal, sound good?”
“So good, oh my god, you’re the best.” Stiles falls forward for another kiss, and even though he’s basically dead on his feet he still manages to put enough heat behind it to make Derek’s stomach swoop. “Best boyfriend ever. I’ll be thinking about you when I’m naked, even though I probably won’t be able to do anything about it.”
“Jesus,” Derek says, exaggeratedly annoyed so Stiles won’t hear the way his voice shudders. “Did one of the other players knock the tact right out of you?”
“We’re beyond tact; it’s one of the perks of going steady, sweetheart.” Stiles pulls away with a little pat to Derek’s belly; the habit was originally spawned from an unfunny joke about dogs and belly rubs, but it evolved into an oddly-sweet gesture of affection that Derek refuses to admit he likes. “Go, prepare the pizza rolls. Await my return!”
“I have no idea what I see in you,” Derek lies, pushing him toward the stairs.
After dinner, Derek arranges them on the couch, with Stiles clean, damp, bruised body cradled against his chest. They do this sometimes, find not-quite-sexual ways for their bodies to fit together. Usually Stiles squirms and chatters through it, fidgeting against Derek while he talks about what they’ll do together, in a few months when he’s finally eighteen and it’ll be allowed.
But Stiles isn’t fidgeting now. He’s letting his muscles go soft, sighing as Derek’s warmth soaks into the sore angles of his body, and Derek closes his eyes because he loves this, always has. He’s addicted to being like this, close and trusting, and maybe Stiles is anxious to take it to the next level but Derek is barely used to this part, yet—the feel of Stiles as he yields in Derek’s arms, the scent of him when he’s uncomplicated and happy.
“I love this,” Stiles murmurs after the movie starts. He shifts, snuggling down so he’s squished between Derek’s body and the back of the couch, one arm thrown over his stomach. “Mmm. Thought about this all day. Looking forward to it, while Coach was kicking my ass. It’s all that got me through.”
“You thought about… this?” Derek slides his arm under Stiles’ back, hauling him gently back over so he’s lying facedown on top of him. “Just this?”
“Yeah, dude, of course.” Stiles yawns, muffling it against Derek’s shoulder. “You always make me feel… you’re so good at this.”
“At—” Derek tightens his arms around Stiles’ waist, wracking his brain desperately for some clue as to what Stiles expects of him right now. “I thought you said you didn’t, didn’t want—”
“Just cuddle me, jeez,” Stiles says, and Derek can hear his fond smile. “I can feel you freaking out. Weirdo.” He slides his face into the curve of Derek’s neck and sniffs, like a wolf would. “Mmmm. I see why you do that to me all the time. Do you smell that good to everyone, you think? Or just me? You shouldn’t be letting other people smell you, Derek.”
“Are you sure you didn’t get roofied at lacrosse practice?” Derek smiles helplessly up at the ceiling. “What hurts the worst? Your back?”
“Yeah, down low, like—oh my god.”
“Yeah?” Derek digs his fingers in harder, sliding his hands under Stiles’ shirt to work the knots out by touch, and Stiles whimpers and goes happily limp. “Good?”
“Good,” Stiles moans. “Oh my god, I’m gonna cry. Don’t stop.”
“I could probably get a better angle if—”
“No no no, like this, just like this. Perfect. You’re perfect.”
“You’re delirious,” Derek says, even though just for a second he actually believes it.
The next morning, Stiles shows up unannounced at Derek’s new loft (which is still largely unfurnished, because it’s not like he does much entertaining there and his own needs are pretty spartan).
“This is the earliest I’ve ever seen you up on a Saturday,” Derek says as he lets him in. “Is there an emergency? Who’s dying?”
“In anyone else’s life, that question would be a joke.” Stiles grabs Derek’s hand and starts dragging him toward the stairs. “Your bedroom’s up there, right? Do you even have a bed?”
“What’s going on.” Derek’s still holding the frozen cinnamon waffle he just took out of the toaster for breakfast. “Why are you here? Why are you awake?”
“I feel good. Well-rested. Well, okay, I didn’t sleep much exactly, but my muscles feel awesome. Thanks for that.”
“Anytime.” Stiles is taking him up the stairs, and Derek figures he might as well go along with this in case he’s sleepwalking. He’s always heard you’re not supposed to antagonize sleepwalkers. “Why didn’t you sleep?”
“Because I woke up at like 2am and realized I messed up. Like, a lot. Jeez I’m hungry, you got any—hey, thanks,” he says when Derek immediately holds out his waffle. “Mmmph, I love that you buy the sweet ones. I’d’ve pegged you for an Original Flavor kinda guy.”
“I like sweet, too,” Derek says, and it’s an innocent enough comment but Stiles stops short on the stairs and turns around to look at him, his grave expression only a little undercut by the entire waffle he just crammed into his cheeks.
“Mmprrhgprgle,” Stiles says seriously, and then rolls his eyes and swallows frustratedly, like he’s not the one who just tried to take seven bites at once completely of his own volition. “Okay. What I wanted to say was… I don’t want to have sex with you.”
Derek feels his world shift in a familiarly-devastating kind of way, and he grabs the banister for support. “I. All right. We don’t have to… if you don’t want to, anymore—”
“Oh my god, you goober, no! For fuck’s sake, sorry, I said that wrong. It’s too early.” He puts his hand over Derek’s on the rail, stroking gently between his whitened knuckles. “No, I meant, I don’t need to have sex with you. To be happy. With you.”
“Why would…” Derek clears his throat, eyes locked on their hands. “Why would I think that?”
Stiles scoffs. “I really don’t know. But you did. Didn’t you?”
Derek can’t make himself say anything, but he lets his shoulders slump forward, which Stiles seems to interpret as an admission.
“Oh my god, dude, are you brain damaged? I’m seventeen years old! You’re the first person I’ve kissed! Ever. You thought I couldn’t handle a few months of waiting? I waited for Lydia for like seven years!”
“Can we not talk about the love of your life right now,” Derek mutters, and Stiles groans and leans down to push his forehead into Derek’s shoulder.
“Lydia is not the love of my life,” he says with a snort. “And you were wrong. And I’m sorry.”
“For talking about sex like 24/7?” Stiles puts his other hand on Derek’s waist, just resting, like they’re about to break out into some awkward parody of a waltz. “I thought you knew… I’m just talking, okay, and it’s fun to think about—really fun—but it doesn’t mean I need it. It doesn’t even mean I’m ready.”
“I don’t know if I’m ready either,” Derek admits, smiling to himself because there, that wasn’t so hard to admit, after all. “But I like it when you talk.”
“I know,” Stiles says, pulling back a bit to grin at him.
“And I’ll be ready soon. Probably.”
“Oh, me too,” Stiles promises, his eyes going dark. “But in the meantime, you wanna go to your room and… talk?”
“Nah, let’s just make out,” Derek says, and he has to catch Stiles before he falls down the stairs in shock.