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Wild and Reckless Breeze

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It starts like this: Stiles kisses Derek.

Wait.

It doesn’t start like that. Not really.

It starts like this: after what happens at the warehouse, everyone kind of splits in different directions. Not on purpose, they don’t mean to. It’s just that after you’ve been through that kind of hell, what is there to say to each other?

Summer hits and everything changes. Allison is taken away by her father for a retreat. Or, as Stiles thinks of it, “a trip to learn how not to kill your friends”. Jackson leaves as well, but Stiles doesn’t know where. Lydia turns up on his doorstep one morning with her eyes rimmed red and her lips set in a firm line. It takes her a long time to get any words out. Jackson left in the middle of the night, he sent her an email from the plane and that was it. Stiles does what he can to comfort her, but he’s not really sure what she wants from him. He doesn’t want to be that guy, the one who hits on a broken-hearted girl, and after seeing her literally save Jackson’s life with the power of love, Stiles can’t ever see her loving him like that. He’s not even sure he loves Lydia like that. They both deserve better.

Scott is at summer school so that he makes it to junior year with the rest of them. Whenever he’s not there, he’s working at Deaton’s. With Isaac. It’s not that Stiles is bitter—well, he kind of is. He hasn’t forgotten Isaac’s homicidal tendencies, and whatever Scott says about healing puppies making Isaac cry, Stiles isn’t a puppy and Isaac still creeps him out. Stiles doesn’t really know what to do without Scott around. It’s not like he’s never had other friends, but they’d all kind of fallen by the wayside even before Scott had been bitten. It’s been the Scott and Stiles show for so long, Stiles isn’t really sure how to make new ones.

So Isaac is always with Scott, Lydia has made her parents take her on vacation, Boyd and Erica are gone and Stiles is all alone. He gets a job at the bookshop to fill his time and his dad looks at him like he’s trying to decide what kind of trouble Stiles is going to get into.

Stiles is on an evening shift when Derek walks in. He does a double take when he sees Stiles re-stocking the shelves and stands still like he doesn’t know what to do. Stiles just nods at him and goes back to shoving copies of the latest badly written erotica on the shelves that the mothers of Beacon Hills seem to lap up. Mrs. McCall bought a copy last week. Stiles had to serve her. It was bad for everyone.

Derek walks over and clears his throat. Stiles sighs and looks up at him, raises his eyebrows in a silent challenge.

“Didn’t know you were working here,” Derek says eventually.

“Why would you? Not like we’re friends.”

Derek frowns. “You’re pack.”

“Yeah, okay,” Stiles grabs another stack of books. “Was there something you wanted? Or did you want a copy of Scarlet Heat?”

“That sounds like a disease.”

Stiles laughs and rubs a hand over his face. “Might as well be, the way people keep buying it.”

“I was just,” Derek waves a hand towards the American Classics section. “Picking up something.”

Catcher In The Rye? On The Road?”

Derek shakes his head and smirks, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, actually.”

“Of course,” Stiles says. “You know, just because you dress like an angsty teenager, doesn’t mean you actually are one.”

Derek’s lips twitch, and for a moment Stiles thinks he might smile—really smile—but he just walks off to find his book. Stiles gets back to work and doesn’t notice when Derek leaves.

-

Three days later, Stiles has the early shift. Marie puts him on the cash register and it’s so slow that Stiles manages to compose a rock opera about his life in his head. He’s just coming up to the big finishing number when Derek walks in and he almost falls off the stool he’s perched on. Stiles grabs the edge of the counter, steadies himself and resolutely ignores the amused look on Derek’s face.

“Come back for a copy of Scarlet Heat?”

“Absolutely not.”

“So, what do you want?” Stiles asks.

“Just browsing.”

“Wouldn’t that work better if you looked at the shelves?”

“Got any suggestions for me?”

Fight Club?”

“Cute,” Derek shakes his head and walks away, heading into the stacks.

Stiles rolls his eyes after him and goes back to tapping his fingers against the counter.

Derek comes back with a copy of Choke and Stiles laughs. He rings it up and hands it over, Derek pauses and stares at Stiles.

“What?”

“Why are you working here instead of hanging out with Scott?”

Stiles shrugs uncomfortably. “Scott’s got summer school, and work.”

“And Isaac.”

“Yeah.”

“Do you—” Derek cuts himself off with a huff. “Do you not like Isaac?”

“Are you going to growl at me if I say no?” Stiles avoids Derek’s eyes. “Look, pretty much every time I’ve been around him since you gave him the big wolfy makeover he’s talked about murder, or been trying to murder someone. Doesn’t exactly give me the warm and fuzzies.”

“Scott trusts him.”

“Scott likes to see the good in people. I’m a realist,” Stiles shrugs. “I’m not saying I won’t ever like Isaac, but it’ll take time, dude.”

Derek’s face screws up when Stiles calls him that and he shakes his head. “What time do you get off?”

“Um,” Stiles glances at the clock. “About fifteen minutes.”

“Lunch?”

Stiles widens his eyes, “Are you asking me to lunch or just noting that it’s the time when people usually eat lunch?”

“The first one.”

“Oh.”

“You don’t have to—”

Stiles waves a hand, “No, no. I want to. I, uh, need to eat, right?”

“Okay. I was heading to Louie’s.”

“Sounds good,” says Stiles, and it does. Louie’s does the best burgers in Beacon Hills and he hasn’t been in ages. “Grab us a table and I’ll meet you there?”

“Sure.”

-

So Stiles has lunch with Derek. They don’t talk a whole lot, but it’s not uncomfortable like Stiles thought it would be. He learns that Derek doesn’t like onion rings and smears ketchup all over his fries, but doesn’t like it on his burger. Derek drinks milkshakes. Stiles is pretty sure his eyes almost bulge out of his head when Derek asks for a strawberry milkshake. He’s still not sure that Derek wasn’t fucking with him.

It’s...nice, for want of a better word. There’s something relaxing about sitting with Derek because he doesn’t have to pretend everything’s okay, that the world is normal. The world he lives in now is fucked up and messes with his head, and Derek knows that. Knows that there are shades of grey, that not everything is black and white. So when Derek asks if Stiles wants to make this a regular thing, Stiles says yes.

It’s not like he has anything else to do.

-

Maybe that’s where it starts.

-

It takes Stiles more time than he’d like to admit to realise that Derek’s replacing his entire book collection. That he’s buying things because he’s stopped running. Derek buys Miss Wyoming on a Thursday and they have lunch on a Friday.

“Why do you buy one book at a time?”

Derek doesn’t look surprised that Stiles has figured out what he’s doing. “It’s something to look forward to,” he says before he takes a sip of his milkshake.

Stiles takes that in. It makes sense. He says as much and Derek smiles. It’s small, and Derek ducks his head almost instantly, but it happens. Stiles bites his lip to stop the grin that threatens to take over his face.

“Have you seen Scott?” Derek asks.

“Not recently.”

“How long?”

“Two weeks,” Stiles says quietly. “It’s not a big deal.”

The look on Derek’s face says differently, but he drops the subject. Starts talking about a loft he saw that he might move into. Stiles informs him that anything is better than an abandoned train yard and laughs when Derek throws a ketchup covered fry at his head.

-

“When’s your day off?” asks Derek as he puts a copy of Invisible Monsters on the counter.

Stiles shrugs, “I can always swap shifts. Is it urgent?”

“Do you want to come and view the loft with me?”

“Uh, yeah, sure,” Stiles rings up the book. “Tuesday?”

“That works.”

-

“Okay, I thought when you said you were looking at a loft that it might be a place you’d be buying as opposed to,” Stiles waves a hand. “This.”

“The structure’s solid, there’s no problem with it.”

“There’s a hole in the wall,” Stiles points out. “Nice staircase, though.”

“I can fix the hole,” says Derek.

“That, right there, not a sentence people normally say when they’re looking for somewhere to move into.”

“Because I’ve always been so concerned with normal.”

Stiles laughs, “Maybe if you were a little more concerned with normal, Marie wouldn’t give you suspicious looks every time you come into the shop.”

“I’m there to buy books, Stiles, not make friends,” Derek sighs. “What do you think of the place?”

“Aside from the gaping hole in the wall?”

Derek rolls his eyes. “Yes, aside from the gaping hole in the wall.”

“It’s decent. Good location. Big enough, and that kitchen is pretty sweet,” Stiles spins on his heel and nods at Derek. “Yeah, I like it.”

-

Scott comes into the shop the next day. Stiles isn’t quite sure what to think, Scott hasn’t even called him in over two weeks. They’ve sent texts, but it’s—it’s strained. Stiles wishes it wasn’t, but there’s a lot of things Stiles wishes that aren't true.

“Hey,” says Scott.

“Hi,” Stiles doesn’t bother standing up. “You looking for something?”

“You.”

“Well, you found me.”

“Stiles—”

“I’m working, buddy, so make it quick or make an effort to see me when I’m free.”

Scott frowns, “I just wanted to see you, catch up.”

“Isaac busy?”

“He’s—that’s not—” Scott breaks off with a frustrated huff.

“Forget it,” Stiles stands up and leans against the bookshelves. “I know you’ve been busy.”

“I’m sorry I haven’t been around.”

“Like I said, I know you’ve been busy.”

Scott nods, “What have you been up to?”

Stiles shrugs. He doesn’t want to tell Scott about how much time he’s been spending with Derek. It’s not that he’s ashamed, or thinks it should be a secret, but Scott—Stiles loves Scott, he does, but he sees things in a certain way. Scott can be rigid in his opinions and Stiles—if he tells Scott about hanging out with Derek, Scott will just see the bad. He won’t realise that Stiles has been lonely, that Derek is the only person who has bothered to make the effort to see him. So it’s not a secret, but he doesn’t want Scott to know.

“Nothing much,” he says, eventually. “Netflix, XBox, the usual.”

“So, should I call you when I’m free?” Scott asks. “We could hang out?”

“Yeah, sure.”

Scott thumps him on the shoulder and leaves with a smile on his face. Stiles watches him go and throws his head back, wincing when it hits the edge of a vicious hardback. He’s pretty sure it shouldn’t be this hard to talk to his best friend.

-

“You’ve seen Scott,” Derek says at lunch the next day.

“He came by the shop, yeah.”

Derek raises an eyebrow and Stiles shrugs before stuffing fries in his mouth.

“You don’t want to talk about it?”

“Not really.”

“You sure?”

“I’m sure I don’t want to share my feelings, Derek. Why? Do you want to share yours?”

Derek snorts, “Not likely.”

“Fixed the large gaping hole in your loft yet?”

“Picked up supplies yesterday, thought I’d get started this weekend.”

“Want some help?”

“From you?” Derek asks, skeptically.

“Hey, I could help. I can point to things. Bring snacks. I could, okay, I probably wouldn’t be that much help, but—”

“Stiles.”

“Yeah?”

“You can come over if you want.”

“Oh,” Stiles takes a sip of his milkshake. “Okay.”

-

Stiles works the late shift that night, by the time he gets home his dad has left for work and he’s barely got enough energy to make a sandwich before he goes to bed. So it only makes sense that when he finally falls into bed he’s suddenly, completely, turned on. Fuck. He stares up at the ceiling and tries to will his erection away before he sighs and gives in. It’s not like he doesn’t enjoy jerking off, he does. A lot. It’s one of his favourite pastimes. If it could be graded, he’d be passing with flying colours. But. He’s tired. Like, really tired. And Derek said to come over early tomorrow.

He’s too lazy to get lube out from under his bed and reaches an arm behind him for the lotion he keeps there. Stiles pumps some onto his hand and kicks his sheets to the end of the bed, shoving his boxers down far enough to expose his cock. Okay, this doesn’t need to be fancy, he just needs to come and go to sleep. He strokes himself lightly, groaning a little as he spreads his legs to reach his balls. Stiles lets his mind roam, lets images float through his head. When he first discovered what his dick was for aside from pissing, he’d almost exclusively thought of Lydia, with her soft skin and full lips, but now it felt kind of weird. There’d been his brief, slightly disturbing phase of imagining hate sex with Jackson. Stiles doesn’t like to remember that, but at least he got over his “huh, guess dick is a thing” phase quickly. Danny, of course, came after that. He’s not sure there’s anyone at Beacon Hills High who hasn’t jerked off thinking about Danny.

Stiles can’t seem to focus on anyone right now and it’s frustrating. He squeezes his cock slightly and glances at his desk. Getting up to look at porn just seems like too much effort. Maybe if he—he closes his eyes and thinks about anonymous body parts, strong hands holding him down, a mouth on his chest—Stiles fists his cock, imagines someone’s tongue trailing down his body. He bends his legs almost unconsciously, thinks about a warm, wet mouth on his cock, a tongue licking, circling the head. Stiles’ mouth falls open, he licks his lips and moves his free hand down between his legs. He presses a finger against his hole and groans, moves the hand around his cock faster until all he can hear is the slick sound of flesh on flesh. Stiles bites his bottom lip, sweat beading on his forehead as he thrusts his hips forward. He gets a flash of dark hair, muscular arms, a tattoo, Stiles flicks his thumb over the head of his cock, once, twice and the third time he’s coming, Derek’s name on his lips.

Fuck.

Stiles straightens his legs, his hand still lazily wrapped around his cock and stares at the ceiling. He can’t believe that happened. He’s not blind, okay, he knows Derek is hot. Derek is also frustratingly grumpy, stubborn and has some very worrying violent tendencies. Stiles sighs and grabs the tissues, cleans himself up as best he can. Derek is all those things, but he’s also—he can keep up with Stiles when it comes to trading barbs, he doesn’t force Stiles to talk about anything, he’s got good taste in books and he understands that sometimes life really fucking sucks.

None of which is really an excuse for why Stiles was thinking about him when he came.

-

Okay, maybe that’s when it starts. Really starts.

-

Stiles wakes up so early, he’s finishing breakfast when his dad gets in from his shift.

“You have been to bed, right?”

“Yes.”

“So you’re up this early voluntarily?”

Stiles shrugs and gulps down some orange juice. “I’ve got plans with a friend.”

“Not Scott.”

“Why would you say that?” Stiles stands and puts his empty glass on the counter.

“Because if it was Scott, you’d just say you had plans with Scott. Who is it?”

Stiles shifts uncomfortably under his dad’s gaze. Lying to his dad comes easily now, even when he doesn’t want to. “Uh, it’s—”

“Derek Hale.”

“What? I mean. Why would you—”

“Sheriff. Delinquent son. The people in this town see you having regular lunch dates with someone like Derek Hale, they tell me.”

“Why didn’t you say something before?”

John shakes his head and sighs, “Because I’m a failure as a father? Hell, I don’t know. Cassie said you were laughing when you were with him and, kid, it’s been a long time since you’ve laughed that much. She said Derek was laughing, and I didn’t even know he could laugh after, well.” John rubs a hand over his face. “I don’t trust him, and you, you know after the last year I’ve had a hard time trusting you—”

“Dad, I.”

“Let me finish. The last year hasn’t been great for either of us, but you’ve been doing good lately, working, not turning up at crime scenes. So I gave you a little leeway when it came to hanging out with an accused murderer.”

“Does it help if I say he’s totally innocent?”

“Stiles,” John says with a warning tone.

“Can I still go and see him today?” asks Stiles.

“Yes. No more lying, and if he does anything to you, you tell me.”

“Sheriff, guns, yes, I know. You’re very scary,” Stiles gives his dad a quick hug. “Thanks, dad.”

“Go, before I regret this.”

-

Scott calls as Stiles is driving over to the loft. Stiles glares at his phone and wonders if he can get away with ignoring it. He groans and pulls over.

“Hi.”

“Hey, dude. You said to call when I was free,” Scott says. “What are you doing today?”

“Uh, I’m not free.”

“Why?”

Stiles takes a breath, “I’ve got plans with Derek.”

“Derek? Why would you have plans with Derek?”

“I don’t know, we—we’re kind of friends, I guess. As much as anyone can be friends with Derek.”

“Friends? Have you forgotten everything he did? You can’t trust him, Stiles.”

“Have you even spoken to him since that night at the warehouse?”

“Why would I do that?”

“He’s not a bad guy, Scott,” Stiles sighs. “Not really. He fucked up, but we all did.”

“Yeah, him more than most,” scoffs Scott.

“What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know.”

Stiles slams his palm against the steering wheel. “Look, I’m already running late. Are we cool?”

“Yeah. Coolest,” Scott says.

“Okay, I’ll see you?”

“Yeah, see you.”

-

When Stiles pulls up to the loft, Derek’s waiting for him outside. He clambers out and waves a hand at him, hurrying over.

“Hey.”

“Thought you’d changed your mind,” Derek says evenly.

“Nope,” Stiles shrugs. “I’m here. Where do you want me?” He tries to ignore the way his cheeks heat up and follows Derek inside. Derek throws him a tape measure and they get to work, Stiles glances at the wall and notices the hole is bigger, a closer look and he realises Derek removed the remainders of the broken pieces. Somehow this is reassuring, like Derek actually knows what he’s doing. He mentions that and Derek’s face goes blank for a moment. Stiles is about to apologise for whatever it is he’s managed to do when Derek says that he built the porch at the Hale house with his dad. They work in silence until Stiles manages to stab himself in the hand with a nail.

“Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, fuck, if I get tetanus.”

“You’re not going to get tetanus, Stiles,” says Derek. “Those nails are new.”

“Thank you, I feel so much better now. Oh wait, my hand is still bleeding.”

“Come here,” Derek grabs Stiles’ hand and a bottle of water. “The water isn’t hooked up yet,” he says as he splashes water on a clean rag. Derek wipes the blood away and examines the wound.

“Do I need to go to hospital?”

“It’s almost stopped bleeding.”

Stiles nods slowly, Derek’s holding his hand gently, checking his injury. Derek grazes a thumb over the wound and looks up at Stiles, a quick smile graces his face before he lets go of Stiles’ hand. Stiles clears his throat, “So, no hospital?”

“No hospital. I don’t have any band aids, though.”

“S’okay,” Stiles shrugs. “It’ll close up.”

“Want to eat?”

“Always.”

Derek digs into a bag, throws a foil wrapped package at Stiles and drags a pallet over to act as a table. Stiles unwraps the package to reveal slightly squashed sandwiches, they’re packed full of meat and his stomach makes a growling noise as he gets one out. Derek laughs and balances some water bottles on the pallet before he takes a sandwich.

“Good?” Derek asks.

Stiles swallows, “Uh huh. Did you make these?”

“Picked them up from the Deli on Main Street.”

“Oh, dude, tell me you got their peanut butter chocolate brownies as well.”

Derek raises an eyebrow, “Really, Stiles?”

“Have you had them?”

“No.”

“Then you don’t get to say a word.”

Derek smirks and puts a paper bag on the pallet. “So you don’t want one then?”

Stiles’ mouth drops open for a second before he smiles widely and reaches for the bag, frowning when Derek holds it out of his reach. “Tease.”

“Finish your sandwich first.”

“I’m sorry, are you my father?”

“No, I’m the one who’ll have to deal with you on a sugar high if all you eat are brownies,” Derek says before he takes a swig of water.

Stiles grumbles under his breath but finishes his, admittedly delicious, sandwich. He reaches out a hand and pouts at Derek, grinning when Derek rolls his eyes and hands over a brownie. Every time Stiles tries to take his time with these brownies, but he always fails and it’s gone so quickly, he debates stealing Derek’s. He watches Derek take a bite and hides a smile when Derek’s face does that thing it does when he’s surprised by something nice.

Derek narrows his eyes at Stiles, “What?”

“Nothing,” Stiles says quickly. “I told my dad about this.”

“What do you mean by ‘this’?” Derek asks.

“Not about werewolves! Just that we’re friends. Though I didn’t have to actually tell him, apparently Cassie at the diner has been spying on us, which is a bit disturbing. Do you think everyone in this town spies on me for my dad?”

“Probably,” Derek says absently. “He doesn’t mind you being here?”

“He, uh,” Stiles plays with the water bottle. “He said he doesn’t trust you, but since I haven’t been getting into trouble lately, he’s willing to let it go? Kind of.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah,” Stiles shrugs. “He also said no more lying, but unless the supernatural forces of the world stop congregating here, that’s not something I’ll be able to do.”

“Do you want to tell him?”

Stiles stands up and walks around the loft, he’s not sure what to say. Yeah, he’d like to stop lying to his dad, but he knows his dad. If he knew what was going on in Beacon Hills, he’d feel responsible, he’d put himself out there and he could—so Stiles just doesn’t know.

“Stiles?”

“I don’t know.”

-

Derek comes in to the shop on Monday evening just to see Stiles. At least, Stiles thinks that’s the reason, because he hasn’t even browsed the shelves. He’s been following Stiles around the shop, but not in a creepy way. Well, less creepy than the way he used to follow people around. Stiles is in the middle of dramatically reading an extract of Scarlet Heat aloud and enjoying the slight blush that’s creeping up Derek’s neck when he hears someone clear their throat. He looks to the side and the smile falls off his face when he sees his dad standing there.

“Uh, hi dad,” says Stiles. He drops the book and straightens up.

“Stiles,” John steps forward and looks at Derek sitting on the floor, his legs stretched out. “Hale.”

“What’re you doing here?” Stiles asks as Derek scrambles awkwardly to his feet.

“I can’t stop by to see my son at work?”

“Yeah, no, of course, just,” Stiles shrugs. “You never have before.”

“Tomorrow’s your day off, right?”

“You know it is,” says Stiles, suspiciously.

“Hale. You doing anything tomorrow?”

Derek’s face goes white. “No, sir.”

“Okay. Lunch, midday. Don’t be late,” he claps a hand on Stiles’ shoulder and leaves.

Stiles stares after him, his jaw dropping as he turns back to Derek, “What? Wha—”

“That wasn’t a request, was it?”

“No, no, that was an order,” Stiles fiddles with his sleeve. “If you don’t want to come I can—”

“It’s fine,” Derek says quickly. “Unless you don’t want me to come.”

Stiles glares at him, “Yeah, because all the time I’ve voluntarily been spending with you has been awful.”

The corners of Derek’s mouth twitch, he sticks his hands in the pocket of his jacket and laughs, a deep chuckle that has Stiles staring. Derek ducks his head when he catches Stiles staring and clears his throat, “I should go. Isaac’s coming over for training.”

“Oh, okay,” Stiles licks his lips. “I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Derek looks up and nods, he brushes past Stiles as he walks out the shop. Stiles blinks up at the ceiling and tries to wrap his mind around what just happened. Lunch. His dad. Derek. What even?

-

Stiles isn’t panicking. He’s not. And he didn’t make his dad roll up his pants so he could check he wasn’t hiding a gun around his ankle.

Maybe he’s panicking a little.

His dad invited Derek Hale to lunch. Derek Hale. As far as Stiles knows, the last time his dad and Derek spent any time together, Derek was being questioned about Laura’s death. So, really, he thinks he should get points for not running around the house screaming. His dad just shakes his head when Stiles tells him this, ignores the fact that he’s responsible for Stiles’ imminent breakdown and continues flicking through the paper. Rude.

The doorbell rings and Stiles races to answer it. He does a double take when he opens the door because Derek’s in a button down shirt. Derek Hale is in a button down shirt. Stiles didn’t even know he owned anything other than t shirts in varying dark colours, some with bloodstains. And, really, why hasn’t he thrown those out?

“Um.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “Are you going to let me in?”

“Are you Derek or a pod person, because in that shirt I can’t be sure.”

“Stop being an idiot, Stiles.”

“Okay,” Stiles steps back to let Derek in. “Obviously not a pod person.” He ushers Derek towards the kitchen and nods at his dad when Derek sits down.

“Hale,” John grunts at Derek.

“You know,” Stiles says, rocking back on his chair. “He does have a first name.”

“Stiles, it’s fine,” says Derek, quietly.

“Except that he’s the one who invited you over,” Stiles points out, glaring at his dad. “You invite someone to lunch, you don’t get to be rude.”

John shakes his head and points a finger at Stiles. “And you don’t get to tell me what to do.”

“Ugh,” Stiles slams the feet of his chair down. “What are we eating, anyway?”

There’s leftover lasagne in the fridge. Stiles heats it up and makes a salad to go with it, pointedly keeping his father away from the sharp objects. He knew that this lunch would be awkward, but he hadn’t realised just how awkward. Derek’s sitting on the edge of his chair like he expects to have to bolt at any moment, and his dad’s ignoring everything in favour of looking through paperwork. Stiles suspects it’s to remind Derek he’s the Sheriff which, subtle dad, really.

“So, Derek. Why do you only hang around with teenagers?” is John’s opening line when Stiles dishes up the lasagne.

“Uh,” Derek mumbles around a mouthful of food.

“Because, usually, when a man in his twenties spends time with teenagers, my teenage son in particular, I tend to get a little suspicious.”

Stiles can feel his cheeks flushing and he stuffs his mouth with lasagne so he won’t say something incriminating. Not that there even is anything incriminating to talk about. Whatever ill-advised mastabatory fantasies Stiles has been having, absolutely nothing has been happening in the real world. As per-fucking-usual in Stiles’ life.

Derek meets John’s eyes and frowns, “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“The truth would be nice.”

“I—I don’t have many friends here. The ones I had in high school are gone, or if they’re still here we.” Derek stops talking and lowers his eyes. “After the fire, my life stopped. I didn’t get to go to college, I didn’t do all the things most people do. I guess—”

“You don’t have much in common with your old friends,” John says.

“Yeah.”

Stiles looks over at Derek, he’s staring at his plate, his jaw tight. It’s not like Stiles didn’t know this about Derek, he’d kind of figured that if he’d had friends, he wouldn’t need to ask Stiles and Scott for help. But, still, asking the guy to spill his guts at lunch is—Stiles risks being yelled at by his dad and places his hand over Derek’s where it’s resting on his thigh. He squeezes a little when Derek doesn’t jerk away and leaves it there. John eyes the changed angle of Stiles’ arm but doesn’t say a word. Stiles really loves his dad.

-

John lets Derek stay for the afternoon while he naps before his shift. Stiles doesn’t question his dad’s sudden change of heart, but he’d bet good money it has to do with the look on Derek’s face after they’d finished eating. His dad might like to pretend to be a hardass, but Stiles still remembers how he looked after the Hale fire, remembers how quiet it was in town for days afterwards because no one could wrap their heads around the sheer amount of loss.

They don’t do much, Derek settles on the couch with a copy of Less Than Zero that belonged to Stiles’ mom. He shrugs and says no when Stiles asks if going on the XBox will disturb him. Scott’s online, Stiles doesn’t mention that Derek’s over and they spend a couple of hours shooting everything that moves. By the time Stiles logs off, Derek’s fully stretched out on the couch, his arm across his eyes. Stiles kneels next to the couch and just watches him for a moment. Derek’s practically sinking into the couch and Stiles is fascinated, he’s never seen Derek so relaxed.

“Stop staring,” Derek mutters.

Stiles pokes him in the ribs. “Pot. Kettle.”

Derek snorts and swings his legs round to sit up. He stretches, muscles rolling, and Stiles’ eyes involuntarily dart to where Derek’s shirt rides up. Derek sits back and runs a hand over his face. “Your dad still asleep?”

“Yeah,” Stiles gets up and sits on the couch with Derek. It’s a big couch, and their legs aren’t touching, but for some reason it feels almost intimate. “He won’t be up for, eh, another two hours maybe.”

“Should I go?”

“Only if you want to,” Stiles shrugs. He glances at Derek, “Do you want to?”

“No.”

“Okay then,” Stiles says. “Look, I’m sorry for my dad’s questions—”

“It’s fine.”

Stiles screws up his face. “It’s kind of not.”

“Stiles,” Derek sighs. “Look at it from his perspective, you’re sixteen, I’m not. All he knows about me is that he arrested me because,” he pauses for a second, his hands digging into his thighs. “Because of Laura. I’m not exactly someone a father wants hanging around with his kid.”

“But he—” Stiles cuts himself off.

“What?”

“He remembers,” Stiles says quietly. “He was a deputy, one of the ones to go through your house after.”

Derek sucks in a breath, “After the fire.”

“Yeah,” Stiles turns to look at Derek. “I know he remembers what that was like, and so he knows what—”

“I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, Stiles.”

“It’s not that, idiot” Stiles says, waving an arm around. “It’s not pity, Derek. It’s, I lost my mom, my dad lost his wife, and that hurt. That broke us, and we’re still not okay. What we—what I feel for you isn’t pity. It’s never been pity.”

“What is it, then?”

“What?”

“You said what you—that it’s not pity. What is it?” Derek eyes him cautiously, like he doesn’t want to hear the answer.

“It’s—I—that’s not,” Stiles picks at the skin around his fingernails and avoids Derek’s eyes. “We’re friends, right? We’ve spent so much time together this summer, if we’re not friends it’s just kind of weird. Friends care about each other.”

“I don’t deserve it,” Derek says bluntly.

Stiles stares at him. “You. You. What,” he shakes his head. “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, and I’m friends with someone who once tried to tell me crayons taste like fruit. Everyone deserves to be cared about, Derek.”

Derek shrugs and fixes his eyes on the wall above the television, his jaw tense. Stiles makes a frustrated noise and smacks Derek’s shoulder, pulling a face at him when Derek shoots a glare in his direction.

“You know,” Stiles says. “You can direct as many glares as you want at me. We’re friends, you deserve friends, deal with it.”

“Fine,” Derek groans. He tips his head back and pinches his nose. “Obviously I got the friend I deserve,” he mutters with a slight smirk.

“Hey,” Stiles exclaims. He attempts to hide a smile as he glares at Derek, but fails miserably when Derek raises an eyebrow at him. Stiles shakes his head and laughs, “So neither of us are exactly prizes. Doesn’t mean we’re meant to live in a cave of solitude our entire lives.”

“Cave of solitude? Really?”

“Shut up.” Stiles nudges Derek with his elbow and slumps back on the couch, their sides pressing together. There’s a tiny smile on Derek’s face and Stiles gives himself a mental high five for putting it there.

-

Derek’s already in the store when Stiles gets in for his late shift on Thursday, he’s browsing in the Young Adult section, which, what? Stiles isn’t under any delusions about his ability to sneak up on Derek, but Derek hardly seems to notice him as he walks over.

“Hey,” Stiles says. “Since when are you interested in Nancy Drew?”

The tips of Derek’s ears go slightly red and Stiles bites his lip to keep from blurting out how cute it is. Derek shrugs, “Laura read them when she was a kid. I was the youngest so...”

“You got the hand me downs,” Stiles nods. “Guess there are some perks to growing up an only child.” Stiles eyes light up, “Hey, did she make you play Princesses? Did you have to wear a tiara? Uh, unless, if you don’t want to talk about it then you don’t—”

“I am never telling you if she made me wear a tiara,” Derek says. “And I don’t mind talking about her. It’s. I should remember her, them.”

Stiles isn’t getting choked up at the look on Derek’s face, he’s totally not. “Yeah. Yeah, you should,” Stiles clears his throat. “Okay, I’m going to go, uh, start work. Let me know if you need help, or anything.”

Derek nods absentmindedly as he runs a hand over the spines of the books. Stiles smiles to himself as he walks away.

-

Scott turns up at his door that night. Stiles isn’t quite sure what to do. He’s pretty sure the couch still stinks of Derek, but then maybe Scott finding out Derek’s been here, with permission, might make Scott accept that—and, okay, Scott is giving him a really weird look now. Stiles steps back and ushers Scott in. There’s a slight pang in his chest when Stiles notices Scott’s standing around awkwardly like he’s never, ever done before.

Stiles claps a hand on Scott’s shoulder. “So, buddy. What’s up?”

“Nothing much. We haven’t seen each other in a really long time,” Scott says as he follows Stiles into the living room. Stiles watches as Scott perches on the edge of the couch, like he’s not sure he’s welcome.

“Uh, yeah,” Stiles shakes his head and joins Scott on the sofa. “Yeah. Work, you know.”

“And Derek,” Scott says evenly.

Stiles sighs, “Can you not?”

“I didn’t say anything. I just don’t see why you have to hang out with him all the time.”

“It’s not all the time, you do realise I have a job, right? And Derek, he’s not what you think he is.”

“A butthole who ruined my life, you mean?”

“Technically, Peter ruined your life, if you want to consider it ruined.”

“What?”

“Just saying, you seem to enjoy your wolfy bonding with Isaac lately,” Stiles picks at a thread on his pants, not looking at Scott. “And it’s not like your wolf powers exactly hurt you when it came to lacrosse.”

“That’s not—I’m not saying it’s all bad,” Scott slumps back on the couch. “But Derek took away any chance I had to be normal when he killed Peter.”

“It was a folk tale, Scott. I’ve looked it up, gone through so much lore it would make your head spin, and nothing says you would’ve been cured. Nothing. In everything I’ve read, there’s nothing there. You would’ve become an Alpha, Scott, and you can’t tell me you think that would’ve ended well.”

Scott kicks a leg out and frowns. “Seriously?”

“Seriously. Look, it sucks to have your life changed by something you have no control over, I get that. But,” Stiles takes a breath. “Derek knows that as well. He lost everyone, Scott, and then he had to kill the one remaining member of his family. Can you just think about how that felt?”

“I don’t trust him.”

“Yeah, well, he doesn’t trust you. By the by, using him like that against Gerard? Not cool, dude. Like, epically not cool.”

“What was I meant to do, Stiles? Gerard threatened my mom.”

“You could’ve told someone. Could’ve told me.”

“I didn’t—”

Stiles shrugs. “Considering you’re my best friend, it kind of sucks you didn’t trust me with that.”

“It wasn’t. I thought it would put you in danger.”

“As opposed to what? The danger I was in when Jackson was running around paralysing people? The danger I was in when I had to hold Derek up in a pool for two hours? How about Gerard kidnapping me and beating me up in his freaking basement? How about that for danger?”

The blood drains from Scott’s face. “It was Gerard?”

“Yeah, Scott, it was Gerard.”

“I didn’t know.”

“You didn’t ask.”

“I’m sorry.”

Stiles nods and punches Scott on the arm lightly, Scott grins and takes the blow. It’s not perfect, Stiles is still pretty mad, but he thinks that maybe Scott is willing to try.

Scott glances at Stiles. “So, Derek.”

“What about him?”

“What have you been doing with him?”

“Hanging out. Working on the loft.”

“What loft?”

“Oh crap,” Stiles runs a hand over his head. “I probably wasn’t meant to tell you. He’s found a new place to live, we’re fixing it up.”

Scott raises his eyebrows, “You’re fixing up where Derek’s going to live?”

“Why are you saying it like that? It’s just something to do. He needs some help, I’m helping him out.”

“You’re building a home with Derek.”

“Shut up,” Stiles says, his cheeks flushing. “It’s not like that.”

Scott narrows his eyes and examines Stiles’ face. “Do you want it to be?”

“What? No. I. No.”

“Uh huh.”

“Ugh, I hate you,” Stiles flops back on the couch dramatically. “It’s been, I don’t know, cool hanging out with him. Easy. He came for lunch today.”

“Here?”

Stiles nods. “Yeah. Dad invited him.”

“Your dad. Invited Derek Hale for lunch.”

“Yep.”

“Are you sure you’re not dating him?”

“Scott!”

-

Stiles is on an early shift on Thursday, Derek meets him outside the store afterwards and they walk down the street in an easy silence. When they reach the turn for the diner, Derek stops, Stiles turns to face him and makes a face. “What?”

“Can we go somewhere else?”

“Yeah, sure, if you want. Scared Cassie will report each interaction to my dad?” Stiles teases.

Derek smirks and nods his head. “That’s exactly it.”

Stiles laughs, “So where do you want to go?”

“Movies?”

“Um, okay,” Stiles nods and turns in the direction of the movie theatre. Derek walks next to him and Stiles tries to ignore the way their hands brush against each other. There’s not much on at at the theatre, it’s the middle of the day and most people go to the multiplex at the mall, but there’s an old Jason Statham movie showing. The bored looking dude selling tickets gives Derek a once over and lets them in. Stiles chokes back a laugh when he realises he’s only been let in because the guy thought Derek was, what? A responsible adult? It’s weird to think about, technically—legally—Derek is an adult, but emotionally? Hell no.

Derek’s standing in front of the slim selection of candy with a furrowed brow when Stiles snaps himself out of his train of thought.

“What do you want?” Derek asks.

Stiles shrugs. “Red Vines? Are we going to eat afterwards?”

“You want to?”

“I thought we established that we’re friends, Derek. Friends eat together after social activities.”

Derek shoves his shoulder into Stiles’ lightly and smirks, picks up a packet of Red Vines and smacks them on the concession stand. He orders popcorn and pays before Stiles can say anything.

They’re the only ones in the theatre so they take the opportunity to spread themselves across more seats than would be considered polite. Halfway through the movie, Stiles throws a handful of kernels at Derek and groans when Derek catches half of them in his mouth without effort. Stiles kicks at Derek’s ankle. “That’s not fair.”

Derek shrugs. “You threw them at me.”

“To annoy you, not to make you show off your wolfy powers.”

“If it helps, you annoyed me as well.”

“I’ll take it. Hey, look, explosions.”

Five minutes pass before Derek reaches a hand into the popcorn bucket and throws a handful at Stiles.

Stiles absolutely does not flail so much he falls out of his seat. He doesn’t.

-

They go to Luke’s for pizza after the movie and split a meat lovers. Stiles is starting to suspect that Scott’s wolf appetite excuse is a total lie because Derek doesn’t eat like Scott does. Of course, maybe he hunts down deer and fills up on that. Stiles suppresses a snort at the mental image of Derek chasing after deer in the preserve.

“Do you hunt deer when you get all growly?” Stiles says before he can rethink it.

Derek’s face does this thing where he tries to understand what has come out of Stiles’ mouth and fails. “I don’t even know where your brain goes sometimes.”

“That’s not an answer,” Stiles takes a bite of pizza. “You do, don’t you?”

“Stiles, chew your food.”

“Still not answering. How can you eat Bambi, dude?”

“I don’t hunt deer—”

“Oh thank God.”

“All the time,” Derek finishes, sheepishly.

Stiles stares at Derek for a moment before grabbing his drink and taking a long gulp. “Well,” he says. “I like to mix peanut butter M&Ms and Cheetos in a bowl and eat them by the handful, so you could be weirder.” Stiles gives himself 5 points for the way Derek smiles in response.

-

John is waiting for Stiles when he walks in the door. “Uh. Hi?” says Stiles as he drops his backpack in the hall.

“Where’ve you been?”

“With Derek,” Stiles heads through to the living room. “That’s okay, right?”

John sits in his recliner and shoots a look at Stiles as he perches on the edge of the sofa. Stiles frowns a little as his dad stays silent. He hasn’t done anything wrong, so he’s really not sure why his dad is acting like this. Stiles chews on his bottom lip and waits for his dad to speak.

“You were with Derek. Where? Cassie said she didn’t see you today.”

“We went to the movies, and then we went for pizza at Luke’s.”

“Are you dating Derek Hale?”

“What?” Stiles splutters. “No, no, I’m not, we’re friends. Why does everyone think I’m dating Derek?”

“Everyone?” John says, his eyebrows raising.

“You, Scott.”

“Scott thinks you’re dating Derek?”

“No, he. You invited Derek for lunch, Scott thought that meant something because he’s a moron.”

“Right. So you’re not dating Derek.”

“No! How many ways do I have to say it?” Stiles exclaims. “We talked about this, dad. He doesn’t have any friends here anymore. We’ve—he gets what it’s like to lose someone, okay? He can keep up with me when I’m being me.”

“Lord knows that’s a hard job,” John mutters with a small smile.

Stiles shrugs, “Look, I know you’re not happy with me being friends with him, and I get that, I do. But I’m not going to stop.”

-

“I got the power and water running at the loft,” Derek says as he flicks through a copy of The Godfather.

“Good for you,” Stiles says absentmindedly as he tidies up the shelves where people have put books in the wrong places.

“I thought I could make dinner.”

Stiles drops a copy of The Dirt on his foot. “Motherfu—what?” He leans against the bookshelves and holds his foot. “Dinner?”

“Yes, Stiles, dinner. The meal you eat in the evening.”

“You want to make one? For me?”

“No, for Chris Argent,” Derek snipes.

“Okay, jeez, sorry. It’s not exactly like people offer to make me dinner all the time.”

“Do you want me to cook or not?”

“Yeah, yes,” Stiles lets go of his foot and gets back to reshelving. “When did you want to do it?”

“You need to tell your dad, right?”

Stiles screws up his face. “Yeah. I should.”

“Then, Wednesday?”

“Wednesday works.”

-

Stiles catches his dad just before he leaves for the station. He’s not proud of himself. Okay, he’s a little proud of himself, but he doesn’t want to give his dad a chance to say no in any real way. So, sneakiness is needed.

“Derek invited me to dinner on Wednesday night, so that’s okay, right? Great, have a good night at work and don’t eat those cookies in the break room I know Suzy brought in. Bye.”

“Stiles. Stop. Explain.”

“Derek invited me to to dinner?”

“That’s not a question, is it?”

“Nope,” Stiles says. “He’s almost totally moved into his new place and he wants to cook. We both know it’s no fun to cook for one person, so really, I’m helping him out.”

“Uh huh. You can go. But you come home, okay? No sleepovers.”

“Dad, how many times do I have to say it? I’m not dating Derek. I mean, okay, flattering that you all seem to think I could get a guy like Derek but—totally not the point, I’ll come home right after I’ve digested, I swear.”

-

“Leaving the door unlocked, Derek?” Stiles says as he steps into the loft. “It’s like you’re trying to get killed.”

“Heard your crappy jeep halfway down the block.”

“Excuse you, that ‘crappy jeep’ has saved your wolfy ass more times than I can count,” says Stiles. He walks over to where Derek is hovering over a pot on the stove and hooks his chin over Derek’s shoulder. Stiles smiles to himself when Derek doesn’t tense up. “Whatcha making?”

“Chili,” Derek says. He lifts the spoon up and holds it to Stiles’ mouth. “Taste.”

“Okay,” Stiles opens his mouth and lets Derek feed him. He swallows and nods. “S’good.”

“Yeah?”

“No, I’m lying because I want to be nice to you,” Stiles says as he steps back from Derek and grabs a soda from the fridge. He jumps onto the counter and watches Derek as he moves around the kitchen, adding spices, stirring the pot. “So, you can cook?”

“I did invite you for dinner, Stiles.”

“Yeah, but, you can actually cook. Not just grill meat or heat up frozen pizza. It’s impressive, dude.”

Derek shrugs. “My dad taught me how, it’s not a big deal.”

“Oh,” Stiles swings his legs back and forth. “When you were a kid?”

“Before I was old enough to go on runs with everyone, my dad would stay behind and make food for the pack and keep an eye on me, my cousins,” Derek says. “There was a stool in the kitchen he’d let me stand on and watch. I picked a few things up.”

“My mom, every Christmas, she’d make these cinnamon, sugary cookies that were amazing. She let me do the sugar and cinnamon mix in a really big bowl and the whole house smelled like that until January.”

Derek quirks a small smile at Stiles. “Get the bowls out?”

Stiles reaches behind him and pulls down two bowls before jumping off the counter. He passes them to Derek and tries to ignore the softness and warmth of Derek’s fingers as they brush against his. Derek dishes up the chili and carries the bowls to the table, Stiles following him clutching spoons and drinks in his hands.

As they eat, Stiles watches Derek. It’s not like he means to, but Derek is kind of fascinating, once you get past the teeth and claws anyway. If he’s honest, even with the teeth and claws Stiles finds him fascinating. Derek’s complicated, but in a good way, in a way Stiles likes. He wants to get under Derek’s skin, find out what makes him tick and find a way to make him happy all the time. Fuck. Stiles ducks his head and stuffs a spoonful of chili in his mouth because he really can’t be sure that his mouth won’t take over his brain and blurt out something inappropriate.

“You’ve seen Scott?”

Stiles nods and swallows before he answers. “Yeah.”

“And?”

“And we’ll be okay, eventually,” Stiles shrugs. “He did some stupid stuff, things that I am absolutely not okay with, but we’re friends. I just—”

“What?”

“I don’t know if we’re going to be like we were before all this,” Stiles fiddles with the tab on his soda can. “Friendships evolve, right? Nothing stays the same.”

Derek looks down at his bowl. “I’m not the best person to ask.”

“Hey,” Stiles reaches his foot under the table to nudge Derek’s. “Don’t do that.”

“It’s the truth.”

“Ugh,” Stiles says frustratedly, waving a hand between Derek and himself. “Look at us, we evolved! Last year you were threatening to rip my throat out and now you’re making me dinner. I’d say that’s friendship evolution.”

The corners of Derek’s mouth twitch as he nods. Stiles huffs in triumph and finishes his chili. He takes his bowl into the kitchen and washes up, ignoring Derek’s half hearted protests about Stiles being a guest.

Stiles kicks his sneakers off and flops onto the couch. Hiding a smile, he picks up the copy of Fight Club resting on the floor. He idly flicks through it while Derek finishes eating and makes a big production about moving when Derek comes to join him. Stiles leans against the arm of the couch and pulls his legs underneath him, watching Derek over the top of the book. Derek sinks into the couch and pulls a paperback copy of Choke from between the cushions. He removes the bookmark and starts to read. Stiles tries not to stare, really he does, but Derek’s face is so soft as he reads that it’s almost impossible.

“You’re staring at me,” Derek says quietly.

“Am not.” Stiles stretches a leg out and pokes Derek’s thigh with his toes. He yelps when Derek grabs it and spends time futilely attempting to wrench it out of Derek’s grip. “Derek,” he whines. “Let go.”

“Nope,” says Derek, not taking his eyes off the page.

“Asshole.” Stiles tilts his head back and stares at the ceiling. “So is this what you do now? Sit around and read?”

“When I’m not corralling idiot teenagers.”

“Thanks.”

“Not you.”

“Oh.”

“Stiles,” Derek saves the place in his book and looks at Stiles. “I willingly go to lunch with you, I sat through a meal with your father and we went to the movies yesterday. If I thought you were only an idiot teenager, would I do those things?”

“Well, you are kind of a masochist.”

“Stiles.”

“Sorry, sorry,” Stiles holds his hands up. “So you accept that we’re friends now, do you?” he says with a grin.

“Yes, Stiles, we’re friends,” Derek squeezes Stiles’ foot before letting it go. “You—”

“What?”

Derek stares at his hands, clenching and unclenching them for a moment before he answers, “You’ve helped me remember what it’s like to feel human.”

“Oh,” Stiles says. “I didn’t. Is that good? Stupid question, don’t answer that.”

“It’s not a big thing.”

“Dude, it’s totally a big thing. I made you feel something in your wolfy soul.” Stiles clambers over to Derek and pats the side of his cheek. “It’s like you’re a real boy.”

Derek rolls his eyes at Stiles and turns his head to look at him. Stiles is suddenly incredibly aware of how close they are, that he still hasn’t removed his hand from Derek’s cheek. Derek’s stubble is softer than he thought it would be, like it’s been growing for a few days. Stiles rubs his thumb against Derek’s cheekbone and catalogues the sharp intake of breath Derek takes, the way his pupils dilate. Oh. His heart is hammering against his ribcage and he feels like he’s going to throw up, but Stiles’ brain is going a thousand miles a second and he just wants. He wants so badly. Stiles notices Derek’s eyes widen as he leans in, but Derek doesn’t back away and that gives Stiles the last boost of confidence he needs to press his lips against Derek’s.

Derek isn’t the first person Stiles has kissed, but he’s the first person Stiles has ever done this with. Stiles is pretty sure his lips are dry, chapped, and if he’d thought this through, he would’ve licked them or something, but Derek’s lips are ridiculously soft and he can’t bring himself to pull back. Derek hasn’t moved, his mouth is a firm pressure against Stiles’, but his hands haven’t gone anywhere, he hasn’t pushed against Stiles.

Stiles sits back on his heels and bites his lip, staring at Derek. He’s suddenly not so sure that was a good idea, his skin heats up and he knows that his cheeks are flushed.

“I—I should go,” he stammers. He grabs his sneakers and pulls them on, not looking at Derek. Stiles stands up and is about to walk away when Derek grabs his hand lightly. He turns around to see Derek staring at the floor. “Derek?”

“I’m not mad,” Derek says. “We should talk.” He looks up at Stiles. “Later?”

Stiles nods, unsure of the right thing to say. Derek squeezes his hand once before he lets go and lets Stiles leave the loft.

-

Okay, that's when it starts.

-

“Stiles?” Scott knocks on Stiles’ bedroom door. “What’s going on?”

Stiles doesn’t lift his head from the pillow. “I kissed Derek.”

“What?”

“Ugh,” Stiles turns his head to face Scott. “I kissed Derek.”

Scott’s eyes look as if they’re about to pop out of his head, his jaw drops and he blinks rapidly. “I. You. What?”

“I’m not saying it again,” Stiles mutters.

“Okay,” Scott sits on the floor and crosses his legs. “Did you want to kiss him?”

“Yes? I did at the time.”

“But you don’t now?”

“No, I—I do,” Stiles closes his eyes. “I did, I do, I just didn’t know until I did it and now he wants to talk later.”

“Is that good?”

“I don’t know,” Stiles whines. He looks at Scott and seeing how uncomfortable Scott is almost makes what Stiles is going through worth it. Scott is coming through big time in the BFF department. “Derek never talks to anyone.”

“Well,” Scott says hesitantly. “That’s not true.”

“What?”

“He talks to you, Stiles. He’s been talking to you more than he’s been talking to Isaac.”

“That’s not the same thing.”

“So you’re telling me that Derek hasn’t told you things no one else knows?”

“I—”

“Or that you’re the only one who has even set foot in the loft?”

“That’s—”

“Not to mention the fact that he actually came over for lunch with your dad,” Scott runs a hand through his hair and laughs. “Come on, Stiles. You’re, like, Derek’s best friend.”

“I’m your best friend, assmunch.”

“You’re allowed more than one best friend, it’s not third grade. Dick.”

Stiles grins and throws his pillow at Scott’s head. He rolls over and stares at the ceiling, twisting his fingers in the sheets. “Yeah, but being friends with him doesn’t mean that he wants, y’know, anything more.”

“Do you want more?”

“Huh,” Stiles says. “I. Yeah, I think I do.”

“Then you’re going to have to talk to him.”

“Yeah,” Stiles sighs. He sits up and looks at Scott. “Want to shoot some dudes for a while?”

“Black Ops?”

Stiles nods in response and races Scott down the stairs.

-

After Scott leaves, Stiles goes back upstairs. He half expects Derek to be there waiting for him, but he’s not. Stiles can’t decide if that’s a relief or not. The longer he has to wait for Derek to come over, the more worked up he’s going to get. He looks around his room for something to distract him, dismisses the idea of jerking off because if Derek comes over while he’s in the middle of that, the conversation will be over before it begins. Probably not in a good way.

Stiles stares at his bookcase and frowns when he sees a copy of Fight Club there. He’s got no idea where it came from, maybe a present? Stiles grabs the book and walks over to his bed, stretching his legs out as he lies down and starts to read. He gets so caught up in the book, he barely notices when there’s a tap at his window.

Derek’s face is shuttered, and Stiles bites at the skin around his fingernails as he watches Derek climb in through the window. He really hopes that Derek’s face isn’t a sign about how this talk is going to go. Stiles doesn’t want to think about how he could’ve fucked this up, how he might’ve betrayed Derek’s burgeoning trust in him and—nope, not going there. Stiles perches on the edge of his bed and waves a hand at Derek in an attempt to tell him to sit wherever he wants. He tries to calm his heart rate when Derek joins him on the bed, but judging by the look Derek shoots him, he’s not very successful.

They sit in silence for as long as Stiles can take it before he sighs and shakes his head. “So are you going to talk, or?”

“I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“Tell me I didn’t fuck up our friendship.”

Derek shakes his head. “No, Stiles, no. I—”

“You said you weren’t mad that I did it, right? And you didn’t push me away,” Stiles bites his lip.

“I really didn’t,” Derek says, a small smile on his face. “Stiles, I’m not a good choice for this.”

Stiles puts his hand over Derek’s mouth. “Nope. Don’t say that. You think I don’t know who you are? What you’re like? Dude, I’ve spent more time with you this break than I have with anyone else,” he shakes his head and removes his hand. “You can give me whatever reason you want for not wanting this, but not that one, okay? Not that one.”

“You’re sixteen.”

“Almost seventeen,” Stiles says flippantly. “And if you think I’ve made it through this last year without aging 10 years, you’re stupid.”

“It matters, Stiles. It’s. I shouldn’t be the one to take this from you.”

“Derek,” Stiles reaches over and takes Derek’s hand, laces their fingers together. “Okay, this is weird, but I’m not letting go, so deal with it. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, obviously it matters, but you’re not making me do this. It’s my choice. All I’m asking is if you want to do this with me.”

Derek doesn’t answer, but he doesn’t let go of Stiles’ hand, so maybe this is going to be okay. Stiles glances at their hands resting on the bed for a moment before his gaze travels to Derek’s face. It’s not shuttered anymore, he’s just staring at the wall, his brow furrowed like he’s thinking things through. Stiles doesn’t want to say anything, for fear of making Derek run, but he’s never been great with silence.

“Why?” Derek says, finally.

“Why what?”

“Why do you want this?”

Derek doesn’t say ‘with me’, but it hangs in the air anyway because Derek believes he doesn’t deserve nice things. Stiles sighs heavily and takes the metaphorical leap. “You listen to me, which seems like a little thing, but I talk a lot and no one really listens to everything I say. You do. You act like you don’t, but you do, I know you do. I’m a sarcastic little shit and you keep up, you’re the same and I like that. You’ve saved my life literally tens of times for no reason, and well, that’s always good. I—”

“What?” Derek says in a hoarse voice.

Stiles frowns. “You’ve had a hell of a lot of bad shit happen to you, but you keep going. The first time we spent any time together you were actually dying and it would’ve been easy for you to give in, say fuck it all and give up, but you didn’t. I—that’s something I understand, sort of,” Stiles blinks when Derek turns to face him. “Do you need more?”

A dry laugh that sounds more like a choke escapes from Derek’s mouth, Stiles squeezes Derek’s hand and waits for Derek to find his words.

“You’re insane,” Derek says, shaking his head.

“Um, okay?”

“I don’t get you, Stiles. You’re smart, you have a future if you want it and you still want to be mixed up in this.”

“I want to be mixed up with you. You come with all this,” he shoves Derek with his shoulder. “Everyone has baggage, Derek. Yours just happens to come in, like, those really big travel cases you could live in.”

“Thanks.”

“Look, my best friend is a werewolf, I’m pretty sure the BFF code means I’m in this supernatural shit show for life. You help make that not suck,” Stiles smirks.

“There’s still things you don’t know. I’m not good at this, at talking.”

“You’ve done pretty well so far. Do you even realise how many stories you’ve told me about your family?”

“That’s not. That’s different. That’s not about me.”

“Okay. Just answer me one thing?”

“What?”

“Do you want this?”

Derek twists round and brings a hand up to cup Stiles’ face. His thumb is a light pressure against Stiles’ cheek as he leans in and lightly brushes his lips against Stiles’. “I want this,” he says quietly before he presses their mouths together.

Stiles’ free hand grips at Derek’s thigh, the firm muscle grounding him as he opens his mouth, lets Derek control the kiss. Derek’s hand has made it’s way into Stiles’ hair, he tugs at it lightly where it’s started to grow out and Stiles moans a little, deepens the kiss. He’s starting to think that if he could crawl inside Derek, he would. The thought scares him a little and he pulls back from Derek.

Derek’s hand stays in Stiles’ hair and he raises an eyebrow at Stiles. “You okay?”

Their faces are so close, Stiles can feel Derek’s warm breath on his skin. “Yeah, yeah. I just—human. Need to breathe.”

“Oh,” Derek twists a bit of Stiles’ hair between his fingers and smiles when Stiles shivers before he lets go. “You going to keep it grown out?”

“Keep doing shit like that and I might.” Stiles’ hand is still entwined with Derek’s, he squeezes once and lets go, sitting back a little. Derek gracefully maneuvers around Stiles and stretches out on the bed. Stiles watches the fabric of Derek’s henley slide across his body and bites his lip to keep from shoving it up and putting his mouth on Derek’s stomach. He sits at the top of his bed and shoves a pillow behind his back, stretches his legs out and rests a hand on Derek’s head. Stiles taps his fingertips across Derek’s forehead and laughs when Derek frowns up at him.

“What are you doing?”

Stiles shrugs. “I can touch, right?” Derek nods. “Then I wanna touch.”

“You’re such a freak,” Derek says fondly.

“Says the werewolf.”

Derek makes a grumpy noise and closes his eyes. “Can I stay?” he asks softly.

Stiles slumps down and manages to kiss Derek’s forehead. “Yes,” he says, resting his face against Derek’s hair. Stiles curls himself around Derek and smiles when Derek moves without opening his eyes to make it easier.

-

That’s it. That’s when it starts.

-

One quiet day when Derek visits the store, Stiles volunteers to unpack new deliveries. Marie eyes him suspiciously, and with good reason; Stiles makes Derek unpack the stock with his werewolf strength and they spend the rest of the afternoon making out on the dusty floor in the back room. He’d feel bad, but the summer is almost over, so it’s not like he’s going to get fired.

When Stiles tells Scott, he simultaneously grimaces and offers his fist for Stiles to bump. Stiles laughs and takes the gesture in the spirit it’s offered. Later, while they’re eating pizza and flicking through Netflix, Scott turns to Stiles, “Don’t hit me, but it’s not. He’s not using you, right? For sex?”

“That’s not who he is, Scott. Which you’d know if you hung out with him.”

“So you are having sex?”

“How is that what you got from my answer? No, we’re not having sex. I’m not even seventeen for months, let alone eighteen, and Derek,” Stiles sighs. “Derek has things to work through.”

“Oh,” Scott fiddles with the laces on his sneakers. “Are you mad about that?”

“What? No. Do I want to have sex with Derek? Yeah, eventually. Look it’s not actually your business because it’s Derek’s business, but I’m not going to make him do anything he isn’t comfortable with.”

“When did you turn into an adult?”

Stiles laughs and throws his pizza crust at Scott. “Shut up dickface.”

-

“Are you going to tell your dad?” Derek asks one day when they’re picking up paint for the loft.

“Uh,” Stiles squints at two seemingly identical paint samples. “I don’t know. Do you want me to?”

Derek shrugs. “He’s your dad.”

“Yeah, and this involves you, hence my asking.”

“He doesn’t like me.”

“He, okay, you’re not his favourite person in the world, but he probably wouldn’t shoot you.”

“Probably wouldn’t shoot me?”

Stiles glances at Derek. “There are no guarantees in life, Derek. Hey, how about this yellow for the kitchen?”

“I’m painting the kitchen green, Stiles.”

“Because what you need is more forest in your life,” Stiles smirks.

Derek throws a paint sample at Stiles. “This one, doofus.”

Stiles laughs delightedly and picks the sample up from the floor. It’s a light green, almost mint, and he can see how it’ll work well in the kitchen. “S’nice.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says as he sidles up next to Derek and presses his chest against Derek’s arm. “What colours do you want for the rest of the place?”

Derek leans into Stiles and points to a deep red. “That for the wall with the windows.”

“Not all of the room?”

“Too dark.”

Stiles nods and runs his fingers down a page of blue shades, “How about you put the red on the opposite wall as well and use this one for the other walls?” He’s tapping against a mid-blue, not too light and not too dark. It reminds him of the skies when he and his mom would spend Sunday mornings lying in the yard naming cloud shapes.

“I like that,” Derek says with a smile on his face. He glances around and, when he doesn’t see anyone looking at them, he turns his head and presses a kiss to Stiles’ temple.

Stiles feels his skin flush. Derek isn’t good with PDA, and both of them worry about someone saying something to Stiles’ dad, so Derek doing something like this leaves Stiles feeling stupidly touched. He laughs when Derek sniffs at his neck and touches Derek’s arm lightly, “So that’s the kitchen and main room. What’s next?”

“I ordered tiles for the bathroom already. We could use the yellow you picked in there?”

“Um. Okay.”

Derek frowns. “Do you not want me to?”

“No, just. You said we.”

“Does it freak you out?”

“It freaks me out that it doesn’t freak me out,” Stiles says. He runs his fingers over the back of Derek’s hand. “Use the yellow for the bathroom.”

-

“Where are you going?”

Stiles stops at the sound of his dad’s voice and turns on his heel. “Dad, hey.”

“Hey. Where are you going? And what are you wearing?”

“Clothes, clothes to paint in.”

“Uh huh, and who are you painting with?” John folds his arms over his chest and stares at Stiles.

“Scott, Isaac and, um, Derek.”

“And this painting is taking place?”

“At Derek’s loft,” Stiles mumbles, not meeting his dad’s eyes. “I was going to tell you, I didn’t know you were home yet.”

“Stiles,” John sighs. “What’s going on? Mark said he saw you and Derek buying paint last week, Christine said she saw you arguing about bedding. You’re sixteen, you are aware of that, right?”

“Yes, I’m aware, I’m painfully aware of the fact that I’m sixteen. It’s not—”

“Don’t lie to me, Stiles. Are you dating Derek Hale?”

Stiles nods and stares at the floor. He can hear his heart pounding in his ears and he’s absolutely terrified about what his dad is going to say. Stiles looks up and twists his fingers together. “Dad?”

“Stiles—” John cuts himself off and rubs his eyes with his hands. “I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all.”

“Okay.”

John raises a hand and Stiles involuntarily flinches, takes a step back and looks at his dad, his eyes wide. It, he didn’t think his dad was going to hit him, not really, but Stiles couldn’t help the slight flashback to Gerard and—no. John drops his hand quickly and shakes his head, “I wasn’t going to. Son.”

Stiles swallows and forces a smile on his face. “I know, dad. I know. It’s fine.”

“Not if you’re reacting like that.”

“I said it’s fine.”

“Stiles, come here. Come here.”

Stiles shuffles forward and lets his dad hug him. He closes his eyes and grips the back of his dad’s shirt tightly. “I’m sorry,” he says into his dad’s shoulder. John lets go and Stiles straightens up. He tugs at the bottom of his old Vans t shirt. “Can I still go and help paint?”

“He’s twenty two, Stiles.”

“I know.”

“You’re sixteen.”

Stiles nods. “He—he’s not twenty two, though. I mean, he is, but he’s not. He told you, his life stopped when he was my age.”

“That doesn’t make this right, Stiles.”

“I get that. We’re not. It’s not what you’re thinking, dad, I swear. If you want him to come for dinner, he’ll do it. I know that you’re not going to approve, and I know you don’t trust me, but,” Stiles meets his dad’s eyes. “I’m not going to stop seeing him.” He clenches his jaw and hopes he hasn’t made a choice that will see his dad finally give up on him.

“Kid,” John looks up to the ceiling for a moment before looking back at Stiles. “You’ve got my stubbornness and your mother’s heart.”

Stiles blinks furiously and tries to ignore the lump in his throat.

“I don’t like him and I don’t like this. He will come for dinner and we will have a talk,” John sighs. “You can go to the loft today. He comes for dinner tomorrow.”

“Dad, I—thank you.”

“Wait until after dinner tomorrow to thank me.”

-

Stiles finds Derek in the kitchen, paint splattered in his hair. He stands there for a moment, just watching Derek stretch to reach a corner.

“I know you’re there, Stiles.”

“Can you guess what I’m wearing?” Stiles says as he walks up to Derek and places his hands on Derek’s hips. He leans forward and kisses Derek’s cheek. Derek puts the paintbrush down and turns around to face Stiles, who settles his palms against the small of Derek’s back. “So, uhhh, we have a tiny problem.”

“Stiles.”

“You know how we talked about telling my dad?” Stiles frowns when he feels Derek’s back stiffen underneath his hands. “He kind of found out.”

“But you’re here.”

“Yep. You have to come to to dinner tomorrow. He’s not happy, at all, but he let me come here today, so that’s something, right?”

Derek nods and nuzzles against Stiles’ jaw, presses his mouth against Stiles’ neck and places a soft kiss there. Stiles runs a hand up Derek’s body and plays with his paint covered hair. They stand like that until Scott comes bursting in.

“Hey, sorry, I’m la—woah,” Scott skids to a stop and coughs. “Um, hi guys.”

Stiles bites his lip to stop from laughing and taps Derek on the head. “Gotta let me go, dude.”

Derek lifts his head and shoots a glare at Scott. “You’re late,” he says, letting go of Stiles.

“Hey buddy,” Stiles says as he turns around.

“Hey, where’s Isaac?”

“Bathroom,” says Derek.

“I guess I’ll join him?”

“No,” Derek says. “He can handle it by himself, I’m doing in here, you and Stiles are starting in the main room. I’ve laid the sheets out already; Stiles you know what paint to use.”

“The red?” Stiles asks.

“Yeah, the wall with the windows first.”

Stiles nods and kisses Derek quickly before walking out into the main room with Scott.

“So,” Scott says as Stiles flips open the paint lids. “This is a real thing, then?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Okay then,” Scott picks up a paintbrush. “Where are we starting?”

“The wall with the win—were you listening to Derek at all?”

-

Derek sneaks in through his window that night.

“You know,” Stiles says. “If you’re hoping for my dad not to shoot you, sneaking in through the window isn’t the way to go about it.”

“Paint fumes,” Derek says with an irritated look on his face. “Making my head hurt, I can’t.”

“Oh,” Stiles sits up and hugs his knees to his chest. “You want to stay?”

“I can stay at the warehouse,” Derek starts to say.

“What? No, fuck that, you’re staying here.”

“Sure?”

“Yes,” Stiles says emphatically. “I want you to stay. Just, keep an ear out for my dad, okay?”

“I’ll be gone before he wakes up,” Derek says, sitting on the bed.

Stiles shuffles down the bed, links his fingers with Derek’s and rests his chin on Derek’s shoulder. “Hey, you okay?”

Derek nods and squeezes Stiles’ hand. “Yeah.”

“You sure?”

“I—” Derek breaks off with a huff. “It’s stupid, don’t worry about it.”

“Derek, you know that this is,” Stiles waves his free hand in the air. “I’ve never done this before, and neither have you, I guess. So I’m kind of flying by my pants here, which, nothing new I know, but if there’s something wrong, then tell me?”

A soft smile appears on Derek’s face. “You’re back at school soon.”

“Yep.”

“And I’ve got, there’s things happening—”

“What things?” Stiles interrupts.

“I don’t want to. I want to tell you, but not now.”

“Am I in danger?” Stiles asks carefully, knowing it’s a stupid question. He’s always in danger, goes with being a squishy human running around with werewolves.

“Not yet?”

Stiles huffs. “Okay. Okay, it can wait.”

“There’s going to be a lot going on. It’s not going to be like it has been this summer.”

“I know that. Did you think I didn’t?” Stiles feels Derek shrug and sighs. “Remember what I said about evolving? This will as well. Doesn’t mean it’ll be bad. Am I going to miss being able to spend all my time with you? Duh. But we’ll make it work.”

Derek sighs heavily and nods. Stiles kisses Derek’s cheek and clambers off the bed, tugging Derek up to a standing position. “What are you doing?”

“You want to stay, right?” Stiles says, shrugging. “You can’t sleep in your clothes.”

“You want me to strip?” Derek says with smirk as he slips out of his jacket.

“Shut up.”

Derek raises an eyebrow and pulls his t shirt off. He sits on the edge of the bed, kicks his boots off and unbuckles his belt. Stiles knows this isn’t meant to be sexy, knows it’s just for sleep, but—fuck if Derek isn’t ridiculously hot. He’s allowed to look, he’s dating Derek, of course he’s allowed to look and crap, Stiles really needs to get changed.

Stiles turns his back just as Derek starts to take off his jeans and grabs a t shirt out of his drawer. He quickly strips down to his boxers and tugs the shirt over his head. When he turns around Derek is already in bed, lying on his side, not looking at anything in particular. Stiles takes a deep breath and climbs in next to him.

“Relax,” Derek says, when Stiles turns on his side to face him.

“Yeah, right.”

“Stiles, I’m not. You don’t have to worry about anything here.”

“Worried? I’m not worried,” Stiles says, frowning when Derek raises an eyebrow at him. “Okay, fine, but it’s not like I’ve shared a bed with anyone since Scott and I got too old for sleepovers, and we were never—this.”

“Breathe.” Derek runs his fingers along Stiles’ forearm and tugs him forward a little. Stiles goes with it and sighs when he ends up half sprawled across Derek, his head tucked against Derek’s shoulder.

“We’re gonna be okay,” he mumbles against Derek’s skin as he closes his eyes.

Derek wakes Stiles up before he leaves. They lay on the bed together exchanging lazy kisses until Derek hears Stiles’ dad start to wake up. He whispers goodbye and heads out the window.

-

“Derek.”

“Hello, sir.”

Stiles looks back and forth between his father and his—Derek, and sighs. He starts unpacking the takeout and tries to ignore the tension in the room. “Okay, dinner is up.”

They eat quietly, John shooting glares at Derek between every bite. It would put Stiles off his food, but it’s been too long since they’ve had Chinese and okay, maybe he’s bribing his dad a little. If it leads to no shotguns at the dinner table, he can deal with the guilt.

“So,” John says once they've finished eating. “You’re dating my son.”

“Yes, sir,” Derek says quietly.

“And you’re twenty two.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And my son is sixteen.”

“I know.”

Stiles finishes putting the leftovers in the fridge and sits back down between his dad and Derek. He shoots a look at his dad. “Are you just going to keep asking questions you know the answer too?”

“You, shut up.”

Stiles sits back in his chair and mimes zipping his lips. Derek’s hands are twisting together and he wants so badly to just grab one of them and ground Derek, reassure Derek, but he knows it’ll make things worse. He settles for resting his foot against Derek’s ankle.

“Explain to me why you think I should let you keep dating my son.”

“I care about him,” Derek says with a frown on his face. “He. I’m not great with people and I didn’t know how to deal with everything when I came back. Laura and—my Uncle. Stiles helped with that.”

“He accused you of murder.”

“Dad.”

“No,” John says. “You, hush.”

Derek looks at the table. “I know he did. But,” he glances at Stiles. “He was always around after that.”

“So he’s convenient?”

“Stiles? No, he’s not convenient at all.”

Stiles screws up his face and kicks Derek’s ankle. “Hey.”

“Sorry,” Derek says, smiling at Stiles a little before he looks at John. “I know I’m not the person you want dating Stiles. I—I don’t know what I can do to change that.”

“You say you care about Stiles. You’re aware of the trouble he’s gotten himself into over the past few months? Were you involved?”

“I knew about it.”

“Dad, it wasn’t Derek’s—”

“Stiles,” John says, exasperated. “If you can’t keep quiet you can go upstairs and I’ll talk to Derek alone.” He turns back to Derek and folds his arms over his chest. “So you were involved.”

“I didn’t want to be involved. I got pulled into what was going on because of what happened to my, to Laura. Stiles. I didn’t want him involved, he just. He’s really stubborn,” Derek says helplessly.

“That he is.”

Silence descends over the room, and Stiles is just about to tip his chair back in an attempt to break the mood when his dad clears his throat. Stiles bites his lip and tries to read his dad’s face.

“Okay,” John rubs his face with his hands and blinks. “I know Stiles well enough to know that whatever I say, he won’t stop seeing you. Both of you understand that I do not like this, at all, and hear me when I say you need to understand the meaning of discretion when in public because I do not want to have to arrest Derek. Again.”

“Is that it?” Stiles asks, cautiously optimistic.

“No. You have a curfew. You will stick to it. If you don’t; no Derek, no Jeep, except to get to and from school, and no friends. If your schoolwork suffers at all, there will be consequences,” John looks up to the ceiling. “Stiles. I want you to be happy, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Derek’s not going to hurt me,” Stiles says quietly. “I trust him.”

John nods slowly and stares at Derek. “You hurt my son, I hurt you.”

“Yes sir.”

-

Derek comes over to the house more often after that. Uses the door and everything. There’s a week of summer break left and Derek’s over almost every day. When Stiles’ dad isn’t around, Derek fills Stiles in on the Alpha pack, Boyd & Erica, talks about obliquely about what he imagines is coming. It’s not pretty, not anything Stiles wants to think about while he’s trying to get through the remainder of his summer reading. Sometimes Stiles sits on the floor in front of the couch between Derek’s legs and reads, resting his head against Derek’s knee, an arm wrapped around Derek’s leg.

Scott and Isaac end up at the Stilinski house for dinner one night. Derek barely flinches at the twin judging looks from Scott and Stiles’ dad. The fact that they make it through without anyone wolfing out makes Stiles chalk it up as a success. Derek laughs and shakes his head when Stiles tells him that, cuts off Stiles’ incoming protest by kissing him. Stiles smiles into the kiss and trails his hands through Derek’s hair. It’s easy, and Stiles knows it’s not going to last. The new school year is approaching fast and Derek’s anxious, his mind elsewhere, his body constantly tense.

Saturday night Derek crashes out in Stiles’ bed, clad in sweatpants and an old t shirt. Stiles spends the evening trying to sooth him, holds him and runs his hands underneath Derek’s t shirt, knowing that skin on skin contact calms Derek. Derek’s on his side, sinking into the mattress and Stiles is behind him, his hand resting against Derek’s stomach. Stiles lines up his body with Derek’s and rubs his nose against the nape of Derek’s neck, smiling when Derek shivers slightly. He traces circles on Derek’s abs with his fingers, listening for the slight hitch in Derek’s breath.

“Okay?” Stiles asks, his lips brushing against Derek’s neck.

“Uh huh.”

“Can I?” Stiles slips the very tips of his fingers into the waistband of Derek’s sweatpants. “Is this?”

“Yeah,” Derek says in a rough voice. “Yeah.”

Stiles swallows and pushes his hand further into Derek’s sweatpants, his fingers trailing through the coarse hair before he reaches Derek’s cock. Derek whines and buries his face in his arm when Stiles strokes a finger across his hardening length. “Okay, okay just—” Stiles removes his hand and spits on his palm before shoving it back inside Derek’s sweats. He shifts up onto his elbow and kisses Derek’s exposed neck. “Tell me if you want me to stop.” Derek nods, his face still against his arm. Stiles can hear his breath coming in small pants, ragged as Stiles runs his fingers along Derek’s cock, not wanting to push Derek into something he’s not ready for.

He’s lightly circling his fingers around Derek’s cock when “Stiles, please,” spills out of Derek’s mouth in a gorgeous, broken sound that makes Stiles want to give Derek everything he ever wants. Stiles has never done this to another person but the position makes it easier, slightly more familiar. He works Derek carefully, paying attention to every subtle movement, every tiny noise. Derek gives so little away, Stiles has had to learn how to read him, and he thinks he’s been doing okay so far. He places light kisses against Derek’s neck, watching how Derek keeps his face nestled in his outstretched arm. Derek’s cock is heavy in his hand and Stiles licks his lips as he tightens his grip slightly, working Derek just a little bit faster.

Derek shifts slightly, his ass pressing back into Stiles’ crotch and Stiles bites his lip, tries not to shove his hips forward. As much as he wants to get off, this is about Derek, he wants Derek to take pleasure from something in his life, wants to be the one to give Derek moments like these, where he doesn’t have to think about anyone else. Derek’s holding himself so tightly that Stiles can’t help but lick his neck, telling him to relax, whispering that he can let go, that it’s okay. Stiles smiles against Derek’s skin when Derek lets out a strangled groan, when he feels the pulse of Derek’s cock as he comes.

He kisses Derek’s neck, removes his hand and clambers over Derek until he can kiss Derek’s jaw, until Derek shifts onto his back, until Stiles can see Derek’s face. They kiss softly, Derek resting a hand on the back of Stiles’ neck.

“Okay?” Stiles says quietly.

“Yeah,” Derek smiles, kissing Stiles chastely. “More than.”

Stiles tucks his head underneath Derek’s chin, resting it against his chest. He wipes his hand against the sheets and seeks out Derek’s fingers, linking them with his own. Derek’s other hand rests against the nape of Stiles neck, his fingers playing with Stiles’ newly grown out hair.

“Do you want?”

Stiles shakes his head, rubbing his face against Derek’s t shirt. “I’m good. I—it’s kind of nice just being, y’know, like this. With you.”

“Sure?”

“Uh huh. For now, anyway. I reserve the right to ask you to get me off later.”

Derek laughs and squeezes Stiles’ hand. “That’s classy, Stiles.”

“That’s me,” Stiles smirks. “Totally classy.”

-

On the morning school starts again, Stiles stuffs waffles in his mouth and slaps his dad’s hand away when he reaches for the chocolate sauce. “No,” he says around a mouthful. “I cut you up fruit, see? You can have honey if you want something sweet.”

John grumbles as he reaches for the bowl of chopped up bananas and strawberries. He layers them across his waffles and drowns it all in honey, smirking at the look on Stiles’ face. “Looking forward to school?”

Stiles scrunches up his face. “Is school something you look forward to? Or is it something you survive?”

“Just try and make sure I don’t get called in because of you.”

“I will try,” Stiles says in a sincere voice. He sips at his OJ and glances at his dad. “Will you be here when I get back?”

“Sorry kid,” John sighs. “We’re still looking for new hires. Won’t be back ‘til late.”

“Can I go to Derek’s after school? I’ll make it back in time for curfew.”

John’s mouth is a thin line, but he nods. “You can go. You going to eat dinner there?”

“Yeah, probably,” he says, glancing at the clock. “Oh crap, I’ve got to pick Scott up.” Stiles downs his OJ and stuffs the last quarter of a waffle in his mouth. He grabs his backpack and throws it over his shoulder, checking his pocket for his keys. Ducking down, he catches his dad in a one armed hug before racing out the door.

-

“Want to hang after school?” Scott asks as Stiles parks the Jeep in the school lot.

“Uh,” Stiles runs his fingers through his hair. “I’m going to Derek’s. I mean, Isaac will probably be there, you can come if you want?”

Scott shrugs before climbing out of the Jeep. “Are you sure Isaac will be there? Because I don’t really want to play third wheel to you and Derek.”

“Yeah, I mean, what else would he be doing?” Stiles says, locking the Jeep.

They walk towards the doors, Scott waves at Isaac as he comes over to join them.

“Hey,” Isaac says. “Derek said to tell you guys to come over after school, he’s got news.”

“About Boyd and Erica?” Stiles asks.

Isaac shakes his head. “No, the Alpha pack.”

“Oh, excellent, as if school starting back up wasn’t horrifying enough,” Stiles says. “You need to drive over with us after?”

“Is that okay?”

Stiles claps a hand on Isaac’s back. “Yeah, sure, why not.” Isaac offers him a tentative smile and Stiles grins back. With everything Derek’s told him, Stiles is pretty sure the only way any of them are going to survive is if they work together. He follows Scott and Isaac into the building and breaks off to throw some books in his locker. When he closes the door and turns round, Lydia’s standing there, hand on her hip, an expectant look on her face.

“Hi?” Stiles says, shrinking back against his locker.

“Not going to cut it, Stilinski. I want explanations, I want to know what is going on. Like, where have the other two leather triplets gone? And why is Derek Hale involved?”

“Uh. Okay, I have answers, I do. But not here. Come with us to Derek’s loft after school.”

Lydia looks him up and down and nods before walking off. Stiles rubs his face with his hands and shakes his head, blinking before he heads to homeroom. His phone goes off and he pulls it out of his pocket.

From: D.

You coming over later?

.

To: D.

y. lydia as well. wants answers.

.

From: D.

She deserves them. Call me at lunch.

Stiles smiles to himself and taps out a reply before he tucks his phone away. Scott kicks his chair when Stiles sits down.

“What’re you smiling about?”

“You sure you want to know?” Stiles says, raising his eyebrows.

“Oh, ew, Derek stuff? Don’t want to know. Ever. Happy for you bro, but just. No.”

Stiles laughs at the look on Scott’s face, tipping back on his chair. They’re in the middle of planning a Psych marathon when two new kids walk in the room. Scott frowns and looks up. “Shit,” he says under his breath.

“What?”

“Pretty sure they’re like me.”

“Shit,” Stiles says, looking at the twins. “Guess summer’s really over, huh?”

“Yeah,” Scott answers. “Still, you got a boyfriend out of it.”

Stiles’ cheeks flush and he flicks his pen at Scott. “Shut up.” Scott laughs for a moment before his mouth thins out as he looks over Stiles’ shoulder. “What?” Stiles asks, twisting around to look. One of the twins is slipping into the seat next to Danny, a look on his face that Stiles recognises because he’s pretty sure he used to give those looks to Derek. “Oh crap,” he says with feeling.

“Yep.”

“What’s the likelihood of that not being what it looks like?”

“With our lives?”

“Double crap.”

“Yeah,” Scott says. “Derek is not going to be happy about this. You can tell him.”

“What? Why me?”

“Because he can’t get annoyed at you.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Seriously? You think that because we’re dating that means Derek can’t get annoyed at me? He glared at me for eating onion rings last week.”

“What?”

“He doesn’t like onion rings. Or onions in general and we were—”

“Okay, alright, jeez,” Scott wrinkles his nose. “You’re still telling him, though.”

“Ugh, fine. So, topics for tonight; explaining everything to Lydia, whatever Derek has to tell us, and whoever those two are. Junior year is off to an exhilarating start.”

“You always said Beacon Hills was boring.”

“All the near death experiences I’ve had have made me change my mind. I long for the days when the scariest thing in Beacon Hills was crazy old Mr. Lake.”

“Liar.”

Stiles smirks, Scott’s right, he is a liar. Stiles presses two fingers against the hickey Derek left on his collarbone last night and hides a smile. Best summer ever.