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All Things Bright and Beautiful

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When Stiles Stilinski first meets Derek Hale, Derek’s like one of those spindly baby birds that’s basically all bone and fluff. And acne. And sullen, stoop-shouldered apathy. An emo kid, but without the emo-ness - Derek doesn’t really show much emotion on a normal day, although Stiles does see occasional outbursts whenever someone jokes about how freaky the Hales are, and how Derek’s entire family is nuts. Then, Derek pulls a Spock and throws down like nobody’s business, but he’s still too weak to take on the jocks. He ends up getting beaten into the floor.

It’s sort of pathetic to watch. Not pathetic for Derek, who’s standing up for his parents, but for the people who just watch, like it’s something funny, like it’s -

When Stiles steps in (because he’s an idiot), he gets his ass kicked right alongside Derek’s. And Derek just glares at him, like it’s Stiles’s fault for trying to help. Like Derek resents the suggestion that he even needs help. Well, too fucking bad. Stiles’s dad didn’t raise him to stand by and watch someone get bullied.

But gradually, Derek stops avoiding Stiles like he avoids everyone else. It feels like a victory. A minor victory, but still. Derek’s the only person in Beacon Hills that’s less popular than Stiles is, even though he does (not that Stiles has noticed, or anything) have better features. Um. Symmetrical features. That counts for something, right? According to that sociological book on the evolution of mating habits?

Derek’s got that whole Heathcliff vibe going on, and maybe if he wasn’t built like a beanpole on the verge of falling over, he might actually be popular with the girls. Derek’s eyebrows are ridiculous, though. Like a pair of cartoon caterpillars pasted on his forehead. When Stiles tells him that, Derek scowls - but it’s a half-hearted scowl, like Stiles is annoying, but not as annoying as the rest of the human race. Stiles just keeps on talking.

Eventually, Derek starts talking back. Monosyllabically, to begin with, and then with complete sentences. (Stiles is sorely tempted to label a notebook ‘Frankenstein’s Diary’ and put in an entry: It speaks!) Derek’s voice is low and growly and sounds like it belongs to someone much bigger, and sometimes, when Stiles pays attention, it kind of feels like Derek is someone much bigger. But that doesn't make any sense. 

After about a month of Derek not murdering Stiles in a bloody gore-fest in the school hallway, Stiles invites Derek over to play computer games. He does this because if Stiles doesn’t start asking friends over, his dad’s going to start setting Stiles up with other people’s kids, and Stiles does not want his dad setting up play-dates for him at the age of fifteen, thanks very much. Death by abject humiliation isn’t how Stiles plans to go.

Still, Dad’s embarrassingly eager in the way he welcomes Derek into their home. Derek appears to be at a loss, but some of that permanent tension around his shoulders eases, and that bad attitude he has around most people transforms into this bizarre super-politeness around Stiles’s dad.

“I’m in his territory,” Derek says, when Stiles asks about it. Which makes no sense at all. But maybe it’s part of some evil conspiracy to steal Stiles’s dad away from him, because Dad thinks Derek’s the bee’s knees. (He even says that. ‘Bee’s knees.’ Who says that? Outside of retirement homes? Jesus.) Dad also tells Stiles that maybe Stiles ought to learn a thing or two from this respectful, considerate young man who offers to do the dishes. Without being asked.

Derek smirks.

Stiles wants to kill him.

So he does, again and again, in the virtual world. Derek’s character lies broken and bleeding where Stiles’s character took him out with these ultra-cool spiky nunchucks, but Derek doesn’t seem to mind, lounging comfortably on Stiles’s bed in a black T-shirt and baggy cargo pants, his leg skinny and warm where it nudges Stiles’s.

Whoa. Stiles has a friend, now. A bonafide bro. Who, once he loosens up and decides to use proper words instead of, like, snarls, is pretty good company.

Not that he ever loosens up around anyone else.

Anyone else.

Which puts Stiles in the unexpected position of being the socially capable one. Yeah, he’s nerdy and flaily, but at least he has the confidence to talk to people. Derek’s just... intensely uncomfortable around strangers, and is shy and broodily silent and militantly obsessed with building muscle, despite his dweeby childhood and his bony figure. He even goes for runs every morning and evening, and tries to lift weights too big for him in gym class, no matter how lame he looks. He’s that determined to bulk up. Which, given Derek’s uniformly muscular family, Stiles can sorta understand. Nobody wants to be the odd one out.

But most people don’t understand. Most people stay the hell away from Derek and Derek’s SRS BZNS eyebrows, and his frowns that look more like they belong on the mug-shot of some high school serial killer than on the face of just another dork with intimacy issues. Most people haven’t seen Derek’s smile (uh, twitch? It’s more like a twitch at the corner of Derek’s mouth) when Stiles lets himself be defeated in Tekken VIII and Derek deludes himself into thinking he won fair and square.

Stiles is strangely happy with no one knowing about this side of Derek. He doesn’t ask himself why. Psychoanalysis is for wimps. Self-understanding? Is for even wimpier wimps.

They discuss the merits of zit-popping together. Get embarrassed over porn together. Jerk off in the same room together. Which is, uh, slightly awkward at the beginning, but it’s - it’s something friends do, right? They’ve just graduated from loner-bros to boner-bros. Happens all the time. Jacking off in company isn’t that uncommon. It’s not like they’re giving hand-jobs to each other, or -

They end up giving hand-jobs to each other.

Stiles isn’t even sure how it happens, but one minute, he’s got a hand down his boxers with Jenna Jameson doing her thang on-screen (Stiles likes the classics), and the next, Derek’s hand is clamping around his wrist, and Derek’s breathing heavily and with flared nostrils, like he’s smelling Stiles, and -

And Stiles comes barely a split second after Derek’s fingers brush his dick.

Derek doesn’t act like it’s a big deal, though, so they go right back to playing video-games afterward. It’s surreal but also awesome - orgasms and video-games, with zero complications! - so Stiles decides not to look that gift-horse in the mouth. It’s not like he and Derek are kissing, or dating, or - and technically, they’re both still virgins. Technically. Someone just randomly grabbing your dick and yanking it once doesn’t mean anything. Other than an orgasm. An amazing orgasm.

Okay, more than one amazing orgasm. Because it slowly becomes a thing they do, a part of their friendship, and it’s nothing complicated or fraught. It just feels right. Not that they do it all that often, but it’s often enough that Stiles isn’t startled, anymore, whenever Derek glances furtively at him and reaches for Stiles’s pants. They still use porn to rev themselves up, or maybe to make what they’re doing less… whatever, but it’s not like either of them is capable of concentrating on tits jiggling on a screen when they’ve got their fists wrapped around each other’s dicks, breathing hotly into each other’s faces.

Derek’s expression when he comes is hilarious, especially since he’s sprouting stubble, these days. Stubble. What fifteen-year-old has stubble? Seriously.

Months pass. Derek’s sixteenth birthday comes and goes, as does Stiles’s. They don’t give each other presents - that would be weird. Um, weirder. Than the hand-jobs. That they don’t talk about. So.

They carry on. There are one-on-one gaming tournaments. And trading cards. And cookies, that Stiles’s dad surreptitiously leaves on Stiles’s desk while the boys are wrestling non-metaphorical joysticks out of each other’s hands. (In a totally non-sexual way; it’s all about competitive gaming, honest.) Thankfully, Dad’s the sheriff, so he usually drops by the police station every night, to wrap things up, which means Derek and Stiles are left unsupervised to enjoy their cookies. And their cocks.

Meanwhile, Derek continues his insane training regimen that Stiles refuses to join him for. (Stiles isn’t a masochist, even though he does enjoy that type of porn, specifically, porn in which petite, strawberry-blond women wear high-heeled leather boots and press their feet delicately-but-threateningly down on the penises of bound, helpless, mewling guys.) Miracle of miracles, Derek starts filling out, becoming stronger and broader, because if there’s one thing Derek has in spades, it’s willpower. (And Stiles. Wait, that makes two things. How do you math?)

Then, there’s the summer break.

The very, very empty summer break.

During which Derek and Stiles don’t see each other, not even once, because Derek and his parents have gone to visit Derek’s sister, Laura, in New York. Where she’s apparently studying military history at NYU while also running a martial arts school. (The Hales? Are something else.) Stiles picks up his mobile phone and puts it down about a million times, but calling Derek as if to check up on him seems like it might be - too much? Somehow? Not that Stiles has got anything to check up on. He must be going mad.

Of course, Derek doesn’t call him. Why would he? Derek’s off in New York, getting drilled into the practice mats by his sister’s no doubt gorgeous ninja friends.

Lucky bastard.

In the meantime, Stiles is stuck in his room, replaying old computer games that suddenly aren’t half as entertaining as they were, before. Even Jenna Jameson’s starting to look worn out. Summer break? More like bummer break.

Nevertheless, Stiles is not waiting for school to start, because that would be certifiable, right there. Another day of this, and Stiles is gonna check himself into a mental institution before he winds up hating fast food and volunteering at the local library, or something.

To his own surprise, he survives the holiday without committing himself or volunteering at the library, and finds himself bouncing up and down on his toes at the school’s entrance. He’s not excited or smoothing his T-shirt down nervously. He’s not. He -

He almost doesn’t recognize Derek when he sees him.


That’s not Derek. It can’t be. With the - and the -

Pectorals. Biceps. Biceps visible through a leather jacket.

A leather jacket.

Holy shit. What the hell has Derek’s sister been feeding him, mutant nutrient shakes made from the livers of dead sharks? Were there arcane rituals and sacrificial goats involved? Pentagrams? Pigeon-feathers? What?

Whoever that is, it isn’t Derek. It isn’t -

Stiles doesn’t know what to do with that. With… all of that. That isn’t a guy that belongs in Stiles’s dinky, smelly bedroom, hunched over a gaming console. That is a guy with a lumberjack’s body, who should be out there chopping trees, or maybe a guy with a quarterback’s body, who should be out there scoring goals. Or chicks. God, the chicks that body could score.

Has probably scored.

In New York.

No wonder Derek was too busy to call him.

Stiles ducks out of sight, before Derek can spot him, and hurries to class.

It’s - it’s not like he’s afraid of Derek’s new He-Man persona, although, yeah, Derek isn’t gonna need Stiles’s help with those jocks, anymore. Heck, this Derek will just twist Jackson Whittemore up like a pretzel until Whittemore’s eating his own $300 shoes.

It’s not like he’s in shock, either. Uh, not that much in shock.

It’s just that Stiles doesn’t wanna hear Derek brag, doesn’t wanna hear about how sweet New York pussy is, how Jemma Jameson doesn’t hold a candle to that incredibly flexible roommate of Laura’s, with the black-belt in karate and the flawless double-Ds.

(All right, so maybe Stiles’s imagination is running away with him. He has a vivid imagination, okay? It’s an asset. Nothing like Derek’s new ‘assets’, but - )

Given the fact that he continues to give Derek the slip, Derek does an impressive job of tracking Stiles down, unerringly, like he’s using a homing beacon or a satellite. It’s almost supernatural. But whenever Derek opens his mouth to speak, Stiles mysteriously finds somewhere else to be, or Derek’s impromptu fan-club crowds around Derek and conveniently keeps them apart.

Yep. Derek has a fan-club, now.

A posse.

A harem.

Stiles tries not to feel bitterly jealous when Derek becomes this overnight GQMF sensation and all these girls start fawning over him, but after the third week of watching Trixie the cheerleader cling to Derek like the world’s most boobalicious limpet, it strikes Stiles that it’s not Derek he’s jealous of - it’s the girls.

The realization hits him like a ton of bricks.

And, as is natural after one gets hit by a ton of bricks, Stiles goes down.

He goes down and stays down, depressed and telling himself he’s not, because hey, isn’t this great? At least one of them is making it in the real world, rather than in the 2D world of eroge that Stiles had tried to get Derek interested in. So that they could then jack each other off. In 3D.

It’s - oh god. Stiles has been in love with Derek all along. How is he such a moron? Fuck. Fuck.

So Stiles evades Derek with every evasive maneuver he’s ever learned from Star Trek. He hangs out with Scott the stoner, instead - at least Scott packs weed, and right now, Stiles needs that weed - but what Stiles doesn’t count on is the fact that Derek keeps trying to corner Stiles at school, with his rippling muscles, and keeps snarling when the girls touch him, like maybe he doesn’t want them to touch him.

Yeah, right. Derek has likely already had sex with most of them and is bored out of his mind. Clumsy hand-jobs with Stiles ejaculating prematurely all over his Batman boxers must not even rate a negative 100 on Derek’s ever-growing scale of sexual experience.

Stiles even tells Derek that, when Derek inevitably succeeds in getting him alone, after school - tells Derek to stop fucking stalking Stiles, so Stiles can go hang out with Scott.

But what Stiles doesn’t expect is for Derek to go all militant on him, which has never happened before; Derek only ever goes militant on exercise regimes, and Stiles is about as far removed from an exercise regime as it is possible to be, what with his diet of Dr. Pepper and curly fries and B-grade horror movies.

Stiles yelps when Derek slams him against a wall, looms over him, and growls, “What, he treating you better, is that it? You like how he touches you? Has he made you come, yet? Has he fucked you? When I haven’t - ”

And all Stiles can do is stare up at the face of the kid that had once been his gaming-buddy-with-benefits but is now just a buff (and admittedly hot) stranger, and try to figure out what the heck Derek is talking about. “What’re you talking about?” he demands, and then, Derek -

Shows him what he’s talking about.

With his mouth.

And his hands.

And his.

His dick.

It’s a good thing they’re in a deserted locker-room (although Stiles can’t quite recall how they got there), because Stiles ends up making a lot of noise.

Turns out, Derek 2.0 has stamina. Mind-boggling amounts of stamina. Enough stamina to pack up in trucks and ship to Mexico, and still have enough left over to plug every hole in the United States nine times over. Stiles doesn’t even know how many times he gets plugged, until the soreness melts right out of him and settles, like honey, in his bones.

However many orgasms later, they slump over a bench so slick with their jizz that any further rounds of sex on it will only lead to them slipping off and cracking their skulls open on the tiles.

For a long moment, neither of them moves.

“You’re into me,” Stiles pants, accusingly, or as accusingly as he can while panting. Without pants. God, where are his pants? Oh, there. Thank bejeezus. He is not gonna walk home dressed in nothing but come-crusty pubic hair. “You’ve been into me from the start.”

Derek rolls his eyes and smacks Stiles upside the head.

“Ow! What the hell was that for?”

“You know what that was for.”

“Graciously withdrawing from the social battlefield and leaving you to pick up girls with your newfound godlike physique?”

No. I never - what’re you - ”

“Oh, come on. At least Trixie, right? Trixie was ready to blow you at the drop of a hat. She was literally sticking lollipops in her mouth while ogling your crotch.”

“I - ” Derek blinks. “First of all, I have no idea who that is - ”

“Trixie! The blond!”

But Derek only looks confused. “Which blond?”

“Ohmygod, Derek, which blond? How many of ’em have you slept with?”

And finally, Derek snaps, and pins Stiles firmly to the bench. “I. Didn’t. Sleep. With anyone.” After a thoughtful pause: “Except you.”

“You’ve gotta be kidding.”

“I’m not kidding.”

“I popped your cherry? Me?”

Derek’s eyes narrow. “Why? Did Scott pop yours?”

“Aaaand you look like you’re gonna pop him. Like gangsters pop bullets in people’s heads. Or like we popped zits. Hey, remember when we popped zits together? So sexy.”


“I did not sleep with Scott, are you shitting me? The guy’s so high most of the time, I’m not even sure it’d be informed consent. Not that I’d sleep with him even if it was. Um. Informed. Consent.” Stiles swallows. “So maybe you could stop looking less like a violent felon, here?”

Derek lets him go. But not before kissing him.

“Okay, okay. You’re officially smitten with me, then. Besotted. Enchanted. Overwhel - ”

Derek kisses him again. “Shut up. And get dressed. Your dad’ll be home, soon, and I’ve got practice.”

“Jesus Christ, you wanna build more muscle? You’ll be the Incredible Hulk, man! Not that he isn’t attractive in a disturbingly bestial sort of way, but - ”

And Derek keeps kissing him.

This is a fun theme. Stiles wonders how often he can get Derek to kiss him, just by blabbering nonstop, given that a) he now knows that Derek does want to kiss him, and b) Stiles always blabbers nonstop. Always.

Well, unless his mouth is stopped with a kiss.

Way to be mentally bastardizing Shakespeare. He is so going to ace that English test.

“What’re you thinking about?” Derek asks, when he pulls away, lowering his so-massive-they-might-as-well-be-industrial-cranes-on-the-construction-site-of-his-face eyebrows.

“Shakespeare,” Stiles grins, and hops off the bench.

Derek’s right. They’ve gotta go home. Stiles has to go home, so he can wash his underwear and spend every waking second until Derek’s next visit converting his messy bedroom into a boudoir of potential debauchery, with condoms and lube hidden behind every fixture and night-lamp.

“Whaddaya think of chocolate?”

“Huh?” Derek asks him, as they finish dressing after a bare (heh, ‘bare’) minimum of mutual groping and sloppy kissing that leaves both their mouths looking swollen and bee-stung. Again. So much for the we’re-not-fucking-no-really look Stiles had been going for.

“As a flavor. As opposed to strawberry or mango or pineapple or - ”

Derek squints dubiously. “You don’t mean dessert, do you?”

Stiles smirks. “Depends on your definition of ‘dessert’.”

Derek huffs. “I don’t have an opinion. Also, you’re crazy.”

“Yes, I’m crazy - no disputing that - but how could you not have an opinion? That’s unnatural! No one doesn’t have an opinion on chocolate! Or pineapple! And, as an aside, people who don’t like chocolate? Haters to the left, is all I’m sayin’.”

Derek switches to walking on Stiles’s right.


Clearly, they will never have communication problems. Ever.

“What happened to you, by the way? With the…” Stiles gestures at Derek’s arms, that had felt rock-hard and hot and sweaty and perfect wrapped around him, earlier. “Damn, man. Those aren’t just biceps, they’re mountain ranges. One day, I’m gonna take a permanent marker and draw the many faces of Mount Rushmore on ’em.”

Derek’s jaw works in an interesting way. “Nothing happened.”

“Nothing? You weren’t recruited for a secret government program in which you were injected with a dangerous serum and then turned into a super-soldier?”

Derek snorts. “I’m not Captain America.”

“Fine. You weren’t recruited for a secret government program in which your skeleton was replaced with adamantium and you were turned into an X-man?”

“I’m not Wolverine, either.” Derek shrugs. There's a subtle catch in Dereks voice when he says that. Not a fan of Wolverine? Sacrilege!

“Uh-huh. So this is all the by-product of an absolutely normal adolescence.”

Derek looks down at his feet. “I just… grew up.”

“Grew up? Grew up? You grew up, all right, like Jack’s magic beanstalk grew up. I’m tellin’ you, that shit ain’t natural.”

“It is,” Derek says, still not looking at Stiles. “For my family.”

Hm. Derek might have a point, there. Every adult Hale that Stiles has ever seen has been, uh, intimidating. Herculean, even. “Dude, you’ve got the best genes, you know that?”

Derek’s eyes snap up to his, wide and full and - and something. Stiles can’t fathom what emotion that is, only that there’s lots of it. “So do you,” Derek says, in a rush, and his ears go red.

Wow. He really is into Stiles. And the Stilinski hug is definitely a national treasure, no lie, so it’s nice to have a frie - uh, boyfriend? - who acknowledges that.

Which, speaking of -

He has a boyfriend.

He. Stiles Stilinski. Is dating someone.

Dating Derek.

This is, like, the best thing ever. There are choirs of angels singing in Stiles’s head. What’re those baby angels called? Cherubs? Cherubs. He has cherubs in his head. Tiny ones. With wings. And trumpets. There’s even a harp or two, in there. A miniature orchestra. And his heart is beating in tune with it, so loudly that surely anyone can hear.

They’re out of the school grounds, now, and Derek has to go in a different direction, toward his creepy house in the creepy woods where he lives with his surprisingly non-creepy family (Stiles has been over to visit, a few times, and yeah, they’re intimidating, but also kind of nice), so Stiles tugs on Derek’s little finger with his little finger, feeling stupid and a bit like he’s twelve, but unable to resist doing it, anyway.

“See ya,” he says, in lieu of kissing Derek goodbye, like he wants to. Not that this is a goodbye. He’ll be seeing Derek soon, and then they’ll be getting it on in Stiles’s bedroom after an hour of playing footsie while also playing Grand Theft Auto, and then playing footsie while also trying not to make their mutual boners too obvious for Stiles’s dad to ignore during dinner, and then playing footsie as they fall asleep. In the same bed.

“See ya,” echoes Derek, quietly, and stands there staring at him for a long time before tugging on Stiles’s little finger, smiling that familiar, is-it-a-smile-or-is-it-a-twitch smile, and walking away.

“Oh, I’ve got it bad,” Stiles says to himself, as he watches Derek and Derek’s newly-sculpted ass recede into the distance. “By which I mean, I’ve got it so, so good.”