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The Newlywed Game

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“Alright Resort guests welcome to Majestic’s Caribbean Newlywed Game! I’d like to introduce our first contestants all the way from England…Chelsea, thirty one, and husband Kevin, twenty-five,” The host coughs low and deliberate, “cougar,”  and there’s low whistles and catcalls from the audience as the couple walks across the stage and takes the booth furthest from the hut where the contestants are all gathered.

“Next are forty five and forty six year old Missy and Alexis from Ohio!” He waves the next couple dramatically across the stage, waiting for the applause to die down before,

“Alright, give a warm round of applause for Glenn and Dorothy, eighty-two and seventy-eight from Pennsylvania!” True to word the crowd booms its approval as they cross the stage gripping each other’s hands and waving. Admittedly, stiff competition in a game of knowing the inner workings of your partner’s mind.

“And finally, twenty two year old Stiles…Stiles? Stiles…that’s what it says on the card, and twenty seven year old Derek from California!”

Derek twitches nervously beside Stiles as they watch the host move across the stage in theatrical sweeps. He whips around towards the contestants and the grin on his face is wicked. Stiles smiles awkwardly at the pack gathered in the front row, waving with shit eating grins on their faces.

 “And now, to find out who will be crowned champion and reigning royalty of all things squishy and romantic!”

Oh boy.

--*--*--

The Pack has been saving up for this trip for years, ever since it was the spark of a sudden, half-formed idea, the kind no one will remember who to give credit to (though all will eventually take it). Stiles has had a Post Grad Fun Shit Fund since freshman year of college, anyway, adds to it when he can in spare change and tips from (several) crappy food service jobs. (If it weren't for his personality Stiles would be a great waiter).

It isn't until their sophomore year though the group makes it an 'Official Thing', rubber stamped by Lydia: Pack Overlord, a title uncontested ever since she orchestrated the death of Peter Hale senior of High School.

It should be a testament to the bonds of the group that they book a year in advanced, even with the coupling and uncoupling and recoupling that's been happening since basically Derek Hale strolled into town and the shit hit the proverbial fan.

Like, Scott and Allison and the dating and then not and then dating again, and then Allison and Isaac's thing and then the summer where everyone was pretty sure a polyamorous relationship was happening, before Isaac started dating Cora (after the brief unmentioned stint she had with Stiles--which was before his brief unmentioned time with Lydia, which was all before Jackson showed up to town a week before college started), and all ending with Scott and Allison became Scallison again.

Stiles hates having to admit it but the two year trip to the U.K seems to have smoothed away some of those steely edges Stiles likes to call Jackson's personality, which is to say he's slightly less douchey than Stiles remembers. He also takes comfort in the fact that Lydia isn't one to slip back into old shoes in the face of a former...whatever the fuck you call the love between a banshee and a leveled up shapeshifter. But anyway, Lydia's more the type who buys a whole new shoe collection every six months to ensure positive emotional growth. (And he's seen her use five inch heels to gouge an eye out...).

Stiles had been the ever optimist, believing despite his complete lack of success at relationships he would actually be in one when the year passed and their trip came. The real kicker being the fact that he's a week from making his deadline when he gets unceremoniously dumped. He figures it's no worse than Derek who seems to have sworn off dating and/or fun of any kind since the whole "Dark Druid Incident of 2012".

"You could always go with Stiles," Jackson had suggested, when they'd spread brochure after brochure across Derek and Cora’s coffee table, looking at dates.

"I'll pass," Derek nods, moving to stalk past Stiles, who made a noise of indignation. "But hey, if you're still single in twelve months, I'll take one for the team," and he pat him on the cheek this side of too forceful.

"Yeah, and if you're still single in thirty years maybe I'll take one for the team." He almost regrets it though, when the smirk on Derek's face flattens into something almost bitter.

He thinks it probably says something profound about the state of his life and it's choices that Derek is still the first person he goes to afterwards though.

"Derek!" Stiles shouts, smiling wide, Derek levels a look at him that could wilt flowers.

"What do you want?" He asks, hand gripping the edge of the loft's door like he's prepared to slam it shut should Stiles not have an excuse worthy enough for gracing his doorstep.

"Always nice to see you too," Stiles huffs, ducking beneath Derek's arm and slipping inside. Derek looks like he's considering pinning him against the door frame but pushes the door open instead and steps back.

"Yeah no, come in Stiles," he mutters in a dull drone and Stiles pats him on the chest on his way by.

"It's your lucky day, Derek, I'm here to take you up on your offer!" Stiles nods. Derek's brows flit together in suspicion as he watches Stiles flop against his couch, putting his dirty sneakers up on the beat up coffee table, heel slipping on an open magazine.

"The one to pony up the cash to pay for a one way trip to Titan?" Derek asks with a sardonic smile.

"Cute," Stiles nods.

"So they tell me," he agrees.

"No, asshole," Stiles huffs, kicking the magazine off the table, much to Derek's chagrin. "The one to accompany yours truly on an all-expense paid trip to--"

"No."

"Der-ek!" Stiles whines, slamming his head back against the couch cushions.

"I was kidding when I said that Stiles," Derek argues, crossing his arms over his chest.

"That's what you wanted me to think," Stiles wags an accusatory finger in his direction.

Derek lifts a brow.

"C'mon Derek!" Stiles shouts, voice going high with desperation. "Can I even go to a couple's retreat alone? Seriously! That'd be great, me and myself at a couple's massage, sounds awesome."

"But you and me at a couples' massage sounds better?" Derek asks, slow and disbelieving.

"Yes!" Stiles shouts, manic.

"I thought you'd be taking what's her face? Crystal?" Derek asks.

"Chrissy, which you know, asshole, and no..." Stiles shifts awkwardly on the couch and looks away. "She dumped me, like an hour ago."

"Shit," Derek says, "I'm sorry," he adds awkwardly, looking uncertain, hands twitching by his sides like he's wondering if he's expected to show physical reassurance.

"Don't sprain something," Stiles tells him, rolling his eyes.

"Fuck you," Derek huffs, coming over to collapse on the couch next to him.

"Fuck yourself," Stiles snaps back.

"Already did today," Derek tells him.

"Hey, me too," Stiles grins back. 

"How was it?"

"Pretty good, actually," Stiles nods. They lapse into silence then, Stiles staring up at the dust motes catching in the light shining down from the skylights.

"Don't you have friends you could go with?" Derek asks.

"It hurts me you don't consider me a friend," Stiles says, a touch too dramatic to be sincere.

"I never said that," Derek argues, "I implied you don't think I'm a friend." They're good at this, a skill honed over years and years of being thrust together, sometimes figuratively, most often literally. The Art of Arguing. Arguing with no point or endgame, arguing without conscious effort or control, sometimes arguing for hours until someone else cries in despair "YOU'RE ARGUING THE SAME SIDE."

Stiles thinks about what Derek said and huffs, flaring his nostrils in a way Derek's pointed out numerous times is a huge tell. He can't help it.

"That's not--" Stiles tries, feels them go again, betrayers of all things sincere.

"I know, I was just--" Derek offers, waving a hand.

"I know, me too--" Stiles replies. "It'd just be better with the pack, okay?" Stiles explains, sighing. Derek doesn't say anything for a long moment, and Stiles pines for Chrissy and the unopened box of condoms he has stashed in the side pocket of his suitcase.

Derek sighs next to him, "Fine," he says, not looking at Stiles

"You'll go?" Stiles asks, smirking delightedly.

"Yes, Stiles, I'll go."

"Yeah you will!" Stiles fists pumps, strokes Derek's cheek with his right hand.

"Ugh, Stiles, I know where that hand's been!" Derek huffs, pushing him off.

"Don't worry, Sunny D, I spanked it lefty."

--*--*--

The plane ride to the Caribbean is wholly uneventful. Stiles downs the Ambien and sleeps, sandwiched between Cora and Derek, falling into a restful slumber against one shoulder before being passed to the other and back in a game of reverse tug-of-war between disgruntled Hales.

The resort itself is situated on its own private island; sun and sand and ocean spread out in every direction while rows and rows of suites sit, set back just yards from the edges of the beach. Though it meant squeezing out a little extra, the Pack sprung for an almost private suite, a small building painted bright yellow on the far side of the island, attached by only one side to the rest of the resort's buildings, nothing but fresh air and ocean on their other side.

Each room connects to a veranda that leads right down to the edge of the water and overlooks the ocean on one side and the resort on the other, swings around the edge of the entire building, partly obscured and private, Stiles sighs at the missed opportunities that will undoubtedly have afforded him, he can tell by the grin on the others' faces it hasn't eluded anyone else.

The veranda ends in a two tiered deck and swimming pool, each of the suites leading right off onto it, a private pool in case the other four around the resort just aren't doing it for them (which is a ridiculous assumption as one of them contains an actual bar in the actual swimming pool).

The rooms are a magazine spread come to life, a huge four poster King-sized in the dead center of the largest wall, the plushest bedding Stiles has ever had the pleasure of laying his eyes and the rest of himself on.

"They have drapes, Derek," Stiles whispers, in awe. "The bed has drapes."

"Small minds," Derek rolls his eyes, slips a couple of bills into the hand of the butler who saw them to their room.

"It's actual Egyptian cotton," Stiles comments, eying the bed eagerly. "From Egypt." Stiles throws a look over his shoulder to make sure the resort staff is no longer standing in the open doorway before he wiggles his ass and dives into bed like a hyperactive kitten.

"Jesus Christ," he hears in a mumble of exasperation from somewhere behind him, muffled by the sound of the throw pillows Stiles has his face buried in. He breathes in deeply, "smell that Derek? Smells like high thread count."

“You are unbelievable," Derek offers, Stiles tilts his head up and grins at him. He pushes himself out of the bed and stumbles into the bathroom. It's huge, two double sinks and a big glass shower with a wide stone bench inside and a two person jacuzzi in the opposite corner. Stiles kicks off his flip flops and stands in it, staring up at the wide sky light above him, at the clear blue skies and the fronds of the palm trees blowing softly in the wind.

Everything smells like salt and fruit and clean air, looks like the saturation has been dialed up, everything vibrant and colorful: from the deep turquoise water sparkling in the sun and the red and tans of the sandy shore, the bright red drapes of the cabanas on the beach and the greenery spread across the island lawns.

“Oh man, this would be like, so amazing with someone else,” Stiles sighs, staring in awe through the open French doors to the ocean beyond. Derek huffs behind him and Stiles feels his face heat slightly as he rushes to say, “no I mean…not that you’re…you know just like with someone I might actually get to have sex with you know?” He reasons, grinning lopsided.

“Well, I’m definitely revoking any kind of offering for sexual compensation after that brilliant display of affection,” Derek drawls. Stiles looks at him sharply, grins a little wicked, “why, are you saying it was on the table?”

“Not now it isn’t it,” Derek scoffs, mock attitude as he drops his suitcase on the bench in front of the bed.

"Party pooper."

--*--*--

It doesn't take long for the whole pack to get into the pool. Stiles thinks it really shows his growth as a person that he only gets distracted by Lydia in a two piece for long enough to trip into the deep end. To be fair, he also gets caught staring at Cora when she adjusts her bikini bottoms, side of her suit riding up as she climbs out of the water.

"That's my baby sister Stiles," Derek huffs, and Stiles flushes slightly and glares at him.

"I'm way more terrified of her than I am you, you know," Stiles informs him, "besides it's a nice booty." Cora gives him a small smirk, grinning a little harder at the disgruntled look that settles on Derek's face. Stiles turns to look at him, "It's really impressive," he says, staring.

"What?" Derek asks, suspicious.

"Managing to look that grumpy while straddling a pool noodle." Stiles is gratified when the tips of Derek's ears go a little red, and he smirks satisfactorily. Derek squirts him in the face with water from said noodle, lips pressed to one hole and the other aimed carefully. Stiles can think of at least twelve jokes but he's too busy rubbing chlorinated pool water from his eye.

"Asshole." Derek gives him a wide, innocent smile.

"Children!" Lydia shouts and Stiles jumps, stands at attention, she rolls her eyes. "Jackson and I are going to go look around," she says and she raises a brow in Stiles' direction. "Please don't drown one another."

"No promises," Derek shouts at her retreating back. When they disappear around the corner of the deck Derek turns to Stiles, opens his mouth to say something but Stiles ducks beneath the water before he can, swims over and gooses him with a tight squeeze to his left buttock, Derek's foot catches him in the side as he swims away.

--*--*--

"You can't be serious right now," Stiles says in awe, staring at Derek incredulously as he drops his towel onto the bench beside him.

"Why do you care?" Derek asks, staring at him, annoyed.

"Because we've been on vacation for less than twenty four hours and you're at the GYM!" Stiles shouts, gesturing wildly around them. A couple of women on treadmills on the other side of the room glance over.

"I didn't ask you to be here," Derek points out.

"It's a couple's retreat, we're supposed to be doing couple's things," Stiles points out.

"Grab a dumbbell, babe," Derek offers, patting Stiles on the shoulder. Stiles’ narrows his eyes, "it's like you don't even know me at all." Derek only grins at him.

"C'mon pookie," Stiles counters, "live a little," and he waves the open bag of reeses' pieces he bought at the vending machine in front of Derek. Derek smacks it away from him, spraying the pristine floor with candy.

"Oh wow, you butthead that was uncalled for," Stiles gripes, "you're such a manchild."

"And you're irritating," Derek reasons, adding more weight to the bar. Stiles throws his hands up and starts to walk away. "You're not going to spot me?" Derek asks, and Stiles narrows his eyes at the grin on his face.

"Derek I've seen you literally bench press a bus, fuck off with that attitude," Stiles huffs turning around.

"I'll see you later!" Derek calls after him, laughing.

--*--*--

They meet up later on the beach outside their rooms, Stiles and Scott running back and forth in a heated game of frisbee.

"If I throw it to you will you catch it in your mouth?" Stiles shouts to Derek.

"I dunno," he shrugs in return, "if you bend over can I shove it up your ass?" Derek asks, hands in the pockets of his swim trunks.

"I don't think I brought enough lube for that kind of stretch," Stiles says, turning the frisbee over in his hands. Derek rolls his eyes and spreads the blanket he had slung over his shoulder out next to Isaac and Cora's.

"My God!" Cora sighs, "you guys don't need a couples' retreat you need couples' therapy."

"Personally, I think Derek just needs to get laid," Stiles stage whispers, tossing the frisbee to Scott, who catches it easily.

"Why? You offering?" Derek asks, laying down, head pillowed on his arms stretched above his head.

"You couldn't handle me," Stiles tells him, wriggling in a decidedly unsexy way. Derek looks at him over the top of his aviators. "You're right, I left my ball gag at home." Stiles balks, frisbee careening into the side of his head.

"You have a ball gag?" He laughs. Derek doesn't say anything, lip turning up in a silent smirk.

"Oh my GOD," Cora wails tugging Isaac up, "please take me far far away," she begs.

They decide to check out the on resort Golf course and Scott and Stiles call for them to wait up before heading back to their room to change. Allison and Lydia stay behind to take advantage of the last of the sun to get in some more tanning. "You coming?" Stiles calls to Derek when he realizes Derek hasn't moved.

"Nope."

"Alright then," Stiles laughs, "you ladies have fun," he calls, pointedly.

"Stiles!" Derek shifts up on his elbow and looks back, "where's your Kindle?" He asks. Stiles looks at him suspiciously before answering, "it's on my bedside table," he tells him, "but good luck with the password," Stiles taunts, walking backward and shooting Derek a grin. Derek jumps up, moves past him swiftly, unconcerned, "the password's 'ScootMcBooty2411'," Derek says.

Stiles' shoulders slump, his face falls as he lopes after Derek, "and put more sunscreen on, your nose is burning," Derek chastises, disappearing into the room.

--*--*--

Later that evening, after the sun has gone out in a fiery blaze of red and gold, the pack meets back together on the edge of their beach to make the short walk around the island to the bar on the East shore; they can hear the music already, carried on the calm breeze. They can smell food and the burning of a good bonfire, hear the sound of the waves crashing softly against the shore and see sparks wafting up into the night sky.

They order enough food to feed a small army, drinks all around because all inclusive is a “challenge not an offer,” Scott declares, patting his and Stiles’ stomachs with a wide grin. Stiles high fives him and pulls more chicken wings towards him. A pack of hungry wolves and a few humans who aren’t shy at the dinner table and the plates clear quickly; even Lydia doesn’t shy away from the awkward smear of sauce or the ease of finger food, not since she won a rib eating contest their freshman year of college when a fratboy had the audacity to make a misogynistic joke at the female constants' expense.

There’s a dance floor on the other side of the bar, lanterns strung up around the high rich wood pergola around it. “C’mon, Jackson,” Lydia rushes, “I want to dance.”

“Have fun,” Jackson laughs, eyebrows raised. Lydia opens her mouth but snaps it shut, red lips turning up in a smile, “I will.” She throws her hair effortlessly over her shoulder and reaches a hand out to Stiles, “Get your cute little ass up, Stiles,” she says, winking, giving him a genuine smile as Stiles laughs and allows himself to be dragged off, Jackson scowling in disbelief behind them.

“Tough luck,” he hears Derek comfort.

It isn’t long before Stiles is being shoved unceremoniously away from where he and Lydia are practically grinding together. She’s whispering Jackson’s reactions in his ear as she does it, Stiles dipping and rolling his hips exaggeratedly as she buries her laughter in his chest.

Eventually, after a spastic move that has half the dance floor clearing away from Stiles, Scott pushes him towards Derek. Derek catches him with a hand to the wrist, and a steadying one to the waist, rolls his eyes when Stiles says, “dip me!” And goes dead weight in his arms, Derek stooping to catch him.

“Christ!” Derek huffs, muscles tensing, “Stiles!” Stiles laughs heartily, looking upside down at the other side of the dance floor, sneakered foot coming up to swing in the air. Derek rights him with a shove, and Stiles laughs, throws his arms over Derek’s shoulder and shimmies. Derek rolls his eyes but moves, in soft, unsure jerky motions of his hips.

“Do it like you mean it,” Stiles chastises, grabbing Derek’s hips in his hands. Derek swats him away, “I don’t mean it.” But it’s half-hearted, uncommitted and Stiles just smiles at him. The song changes then, Stiles stares at the band in disbelief, rapid rhythm and upbeat drums slowing to something soft and romantic, pair bonds all over coming together to stare deeply into each other’s eyes and think about all the ways they’re getting fucked that night. Stiles shuffles awkwardly, and they stare at each other, Stiles can see Derek’s waiting to see if Stiles wants to leave or dance and also that Derek can tell that Stiles is waiting to see if Derek wants to leave or dance, so they awkwardly stare until Derek moves a pace closer, and Stiles moves with him. They bring their hands together, fumbling a bit before Stiles’ hand settles on Derek’s shoulders and Derek’s hands rest against Stiles’ spine.

“You’re a much better slow dancer,” Stiles tells him.

“Wish I could say the same for you,” Derek offers, pulling his head back slightly to look at him. Stiles pouts softly. “You’re just wondering how everyone’s keeping themselves off of all of this,” Stiles says. Derek huffs out a laugh, “more like…wondering how they got such a large ferret into khakis.”

“I’m not a ferret!” Stiles hisses indignantly. Derek only laughs harder and presses them closer, pinning Stiles against him. Stiles tries to squirm away but he can’t and he sighs heavily and stops, “you do realize, I mean I just thought it should be pointed out here that your great offensive move here is a hug, right? Like you realize you’re just hugging me right now,” Stiles tells him. Derek's arms go slack and Stiles pushes away slightly, catches Derek's eye, “you liked it,” Derek teases.

“Yes, but that’s only because I’m a very affectionate person,” Stiles informs him, starting to sway softly again, “nothing to do with you.” Derek doesn't say anything.

--*--*--

It’s nearing midnight when they make their way back to the rooms, all of them tumbling out onto the veranda to play board games Allison had the good sense to pack. (Though she pointedly forgot to bring Castle Risk…"never again. Not since…I don’t want to talk about it").

They end up playing Scattegories instead, which, turns out to be just as bad.

“GOD DAMN IT HALE!” Stiles shouts, tipping his board over. “YOU’RE CHEATING.”

“How the hell would I cheat Stiles?” Derek snaps, throwing his own pencil down. “Besides! If I was going to cheat why would I put the SAME answer down?”

“To bring me down at all costs!” Stiles shouts, manic.

“Yeah, Stiles, you got me. All of this, was an elaborate ruse just to destroy you at Scattegories.”

“Admitting it is the first step,” Stiles hushes, nodding sagely.

“Oh my God!” Derek shouts, throwing his arms in the air.

“Okay, how about a different game?” Allison asks, clapping as Lydia starts collected cards and pencils. Stiles slumps back in his chair with his arms crossed, Derek staring at him over the table mutinously.

They play ‘sorry!’ next, and if the pack thought that putting Stiles and Derek on a team together would alleviate their competition they were sorely mistaken.

“YOU’RE ON THE SAME SIDE!” Scott shouts, after forty five minutes. “STOP FIGHTING!” He wails. Allison and Isaac stare at him in shock. Derek sits back, cowed, and Stiles makes a face at him behind Scott’s back.

“STILES!” Scott thwaps him upside the head and Stiles’ shoulders slump. “I’m going to bed!” Scott huffs, shoves his feet into his flip flops and stalks off the veranda, Allison trailing after him. The others disperse soon after, leaving Stiles and Derek to pick up the game.

“Look what you did,” Derek chastises, scooping up fallen game pieces while Stiles shuffles the stack of cards together.

“Me? This was all you pal,” Stiles says, waving to the empty air.

“Was it?” Derek asks, staring at him hard.

“Haven’t you learned by now? It’s always your fault,” Stiles teases, standing. Derek narrows his eyes, and Stiles tenses. Derek jerks forward, jaws snapping, and Stiles jumps a foot backwards, trips over his own feet and tips towards the pool, arms waving.

Derek’s gasp chokes off in his throat as he darts forward, wraps a fist in Stiles’ t-shirt and hauls him in. “You…BUTT CRACK!” Stiles shouts, punching him, clutching at his racing heart.

“Buttcrack?” Derek asks, smirking.

“Yes, you’re the cleft of a moldy old butt.”

“I see,” Derek says, turning to walk back towards the open door to their room.

“Yes, a smelly one,” Stiles decides, following him. "Probably with some kind of VD or like leprosy."

Stiles keeps up a running commentary of the type of butt Derek Hale would be the crack of, all the way up until they're both ready for bed, teeth brushed and faces washed. Derek shoves the covers down and climbs in, barefoot, in nothing but a pair of dark gray boxer briefs. Stiles pushes his own basketball shorts down, and Derek snorts at the banana patterned boxers he's wearing before Stiles hits him in the face with a pillow, and he climbs in to the other side of the bed.

Stiles leans over and clicks the light off, the room falling into darkness. The moon outside the glass doors overlooking the porch is bright, and Stiles can hear the ocean through the open window. "This bed is huge," Stiles muses. He looks over towards Derek in the dark and squints, stretches a hand out until he's smacking Derek on the face with a broad palm.

"Ouch, Stiles!" Derek shouts, throwing Stiles' arm off, "it's not that big!" Stiles laughs, yanks his arm back, snuffling into the pillows face first.

"Goodnight Grumpy."

"Goodnight Stiles," Derek sighs, turning over onto his side, away from Stiles.

"Hey, Derek?" Stiles whispers, Derek sighs heavily, "what?"

Stiles farts, buries his burst of wild laughter in a pillow as Derek kicks at him with clawed toes.

--*--*--

"You look tired," Cora comments tactfully at breakfast the next morning, staring at Derek across the table as she pours a generous amount of strawberry syrup over her pancakes. Derek gives her a look of perfected annoyance. She nods to Stiles and says, "you don't."

"I slept great!" Stiles smiles, his eyes widening in contrition when he catches Derek's gaze.

"Oh, I noticed," Derek nods, "hard to miss when you sleep diagonally in the bed," Derek grits. Scott snorts, nodding, "I remember that."

"See, look," Stiles says, gesturing to Scott's grin, "fondness."

"Great, he can have you then," Derek agrees and he kicks Stiles' chair towards Scott beside him. Stiles pouts and shuffles back over, chair screeching on the wooden deck.

"Rude."

"Have you tried spooning him? That helps," Scott tells him, laughing. Alison smirks and Stiles smiles innocently over at Derek, who levels him with a hard glare, as though daring him to try it.

"He kicks too," Derek replies.

"Yea well, you snore," Stiles huffs, stabbing at his eggs.

"How would you know, I wasn't asleep long enough to snore!" Derek snaps.

"You were asleep long enough to drool a great lake on the extra pillow," Stiles argues, leaning forward into Derek's space.

"Just balancing out all the water from the hour long shower you took," Derek counters.

"If you preferred I beat off in bed, Derek, all you had to do was ask," Stiles simpers, staring at Derek hard, both of them glaring into each other's eyes in a tense game of chicken.

"Well this is very homoerotic," Jackson comments, and Derek huffs out a breath through his nose and sits back. Stiles grins a little self-righteously and chomps a piece of bacon in half, sucking the grease from his fingers with a smack.

"Do you have to do that?" Derek snaps, watching him. Stiles grins around his index, slides it past his lips obscenely. Derek glowers at him, grabs his wrist and shoves, Stiles chokes on his own finger.

"Fucking dick!" He snaps, punching Derek on the shoulder. Derek doesn't even blink, sips at his orange juice nonchalantly.

"Such a shame we're all doing our own thing today," Isaac says dryly. Cora smirks and shakes her head in exasperation. Scott nods and the rest stand, pushing away from the table (and Stiles and Derek).

"Good luck," Lydia says, and Stiles and Derek reply, "thanks," at the same time, glaring at one another.

"Yeah..." Lydia sighs," I was more speaking to the rest of Jamaica," she smiles sarcastically before slipping her hand into Jackson's and waving goodbye to Allison.

Stiles sighs whistfully and watches the sway of her hips as she departs, "you know, sometimes I liked her better when she didn't know who I was."

--*--*--

"So, what are we doing today?" Derek asks later, sprawled out on the unmade bed while Stiles brushes his teeth at the sink.

"Day trip," Stiles tells him, "to Negril, it's supposed to be really cool," he says around his tooth brush.

"Cool," Derek mocks, staring up at the ceiling. Stiles grabs at his toes in frustration, Derek kicks half-heartedly, unfazed.

"Could you like not for five seconds here," Stiles sighs, and Derek sits up, stares at him a little guiltily. "Dude we're in the Caribbean, like I know we're not...but you could at least pretend this isn't a prison sentence," Stiles snaps.

"I'm not--" Derek glares at him, "I didn't ask to come Stiles."

"No, I just invited you," Stiles huffs.

"It's not like I was your first option," Derek reasons.

"No, of course not," Stiles throws his arms up in frustration, "because clearly after spending nearly a grand I'd invite just about anyone. Yeah, I was thinking about asking Hilda, you know the 90 year old librarian that works weekends? But apparently she had plans getting her hip replaced. You know, whatever," Stiles sighs, spitting his toothpaste foam out angrily.

Derek starts laughing then, and Stiles flushes, head snapping up to look at him. "What!" Stiles asks, embarrassed.

"You just drooled all down your shirt," Derek snorts. Stiles glances down, swipes at the spit across his t-shirt.

"Shut up," Stiles gripes, but he starts smirking, sticking his hand under the tap to clean himself up. "Now I have to change."

"I can't believe you just did that," Derek laughs, collapsing back against the bed, stomach muscles twitching with laughter.

"Yeah you can," Stiles snaps, "liar," as he yanks his t-shirt over his head.

"Yeah, no you're right, I can."

"C'mon," Stiles sighs, patting Derek on the foot again, "I don't want to miss the shuttle."

--*--*--

"Buy me this," Stiles asks, turning towards Derek with a hoodie in his hand. They're in one of the many shops, the typical boardwalk type in areas with high tourism. The kind with kitschy sort of trinkets to mark an expensive vacation with a cheaply made, overpriced souvenir. Stiles, fortunately or unfortunately, has no more money to spend on the frivolous novelty items.

"I'm not buying you a drug rug, Stiles," Derek huffs, annoyed. Stiles smirks and hangs it back up.

"This?" Stiles asks, holding up a hat emblazoned with a marijuana leaf. Derek looks at him, "the sheriff would love that." Stiles giggles, trying on a pair of sunglasses next while Derek wanders over to the jewelry.

When Stiles joins him a few minute later, Derek is fingering a bracelet with a dolphin charm, Stiles watches him pick it up off the rack, "like dolphins?" Stiles asks, smirking.

"Cora does," Derek says. "She had a dolphin ring when she was a kid, I found it, I don't remember what happened to it," he says, lost for a minute. Stiles smiles softly, fingers brushing against Derek's elbow before Derek clears his throat and shuffles away, Stiles' hand dropping to his side.

--*--*--

At Half Moon Bay they lay out on the sandy shore beneath the hot sun. Derek sprays Stiles with sun tan lotion and when Stiles asks if he's going to rub it in for him, Derek picks up a handful of sand and wipes it against his bare chest.

"Thanks," Stiles nods, "I really appreciate that."

"No problem," Derek nods, "I'm helping you exfoliate," he says.

"That's really nice of you, Derek," Stiles nods, trying to wipe it off.

"I'm a giver," Derek says.

"Well, isn't that lucky," Stiles croons a little, "I'm a receiver." Derek's eyes widen slightly in that way they do when he's not sure if Stiles is kidding or not, he looks at Stiles with a wobbly sort of smirk, like his face doesn't know what emotion it should be having. Stiles laughs at him and pushes himself up off the ground.

"I think that stand had fried clams, you want?" He asks. Derek shrugs before nodding.

 

In line, Stiles gets knocked into by what appears to be a lot of blonde hair in a pink striped bikini.

"Oh whoa," she huffs, forehead grazing Stiles' chest where she slams into him. He spills his soda all over the front of his swim trunks and he jumps in surprise.

"Fuck, I'm wet," he curses. She laughs and rights herself, "don't worry I tend to have that effect on people," a little drunkenly. Stiles chokes on his laughter and grins down at her.

"Fuck you're tiny," Stiles observes, wondering if that was rude, but the girl just smiles and points with an accompanying click of her tongue, "All the better for getting people wet," she winks.

"Have I seen you before?" Stiles asks, staring at her. "Except you know, in my dreams?"

"Ooh, smooth," she replies, "but I'm taken. You staying at Majestic Resort?" Stiles nods, remembering, "yea I saw you with another woman she--"

"Oh yes, you remember my girlfriend," she replies, nodding in understanding, "good choice. She's the hot one--speak of the devil!" The girl shouts, grinning happily and tugging another woman in a sarong and sun hat into her tight embrace.

"What?" The poor woman asks, but she allows herself to be manhandled in a way that makes Stiles certain this a frequent occurrence.

"This is--" The blonde starts, brows drawing together, a look of exaggerated confusion pulling at her face.

"Stiles," he introduces, nodding, hands taken up by spilled soda and fried clam baskets.

"I'm Z!" The blond replies with a grin, "this is Brit--Jesus take the wheel!" She says suddenly, clutching at Brit's arm beside her. Stiles startles slightly, "what?"

"How is that even allowed?" Z asks, eyes narrowing, staring at something over Stiles' shoulder. Stiles turns around, looking, spots Derek coming toward them, turns back around, confused.

"What?"

"What do you mean what?" Z asks, gesturing slightly, "Illegal levels of hot coming this way."

Stiles grins, turns back around, still doesn't see anyone, tries glancing past Derek before he realizes. He sighs heavily and turns back, "oh," he huffs, "him?"

"Him--" Z starts, incredulous, but she stops and grins, "he belongs to you doesn't he?" Stiles opens his mouth to answer when Derek sidles up beside them a little awkwardly.

"Hey," he greets, nodding to Z and Brit. Z grins a little and Derek looks at Stiles for help.

"She thinks you're attractive," Stiles explains. Derek's eyes widen slightly and he tenses for a moment before saying, "oh sorry…I mean--" flushing slightly. Stiles barks out a laugh and shakes his head.

"No, but seriously, I mean I'm grade A gay all the way," Z nods, "but if y'all have some kind of video out? Maybe look into getting an account on xvids, redtube's pretty good too...just fyi, I think you could really make bank," she nods. Brit looks mortified beside her, and Stiles huffs out a laugh, glances to Derek.

"This one's a little camera shy," Stiles says, patting Derek's bare chest, "christ your firm," Stiles hisses, pulling his hand back and staring. Derek gives him a look.

"Sometimes I forget," Stiles shoots toward Z.

"How are you off that long enough to forget?" Z asks. Derek balks, "I'm right here!"

"Sorry, I don't let her out much, she has trouble interacting with people of the human species," Brit explains, trying to tug Z away. Stiles barks out a laugh and Derek hits him.

"I know what you mean, I forgot this one's leash at home," Derek nods towards Stiles. “But it’s really the muzzle that’s the most effective.”

--*--*--

Later in the afternoon, they go swimming in a manmade pool on the inside of a cave, bar top right on the edge of the water. Stiles gets tipsy on margaritas, on a first name basis with tequila. "Did you want another one?" Derek asks, just the hint of a sigh of exasperation. Stiles looks at him, "of course I want another one, my bank account just doesn't want me to have another one," Stiles says, clutching the empty margarita glass to his chest.

Derek rolls his eyes dramatically and wades over to the bar, glass plucked from his hands and plunked down on the countertop, "another, thanks," he says waving the bartender over and gesturing to the dregs of tequila coloring the bottom of the glass.

"You don't have to," Stiles says, a little bashful, splashing over to Derek, elbows on the bartop. Derek shrugs indifferently. "I said it was all expenses paid," Stiles tells him.

'I think you overestimate your own expensiveness," Derek says, smirking at him. Stiles balks, "What?! Are you calling me high maintenance?" Stiles asks, narrowing his eyes, mouth dropping open in an irritated pout.

"If the overpriced shoes fit," Derek says, not looking at him, staring instead at the wine selection behind the bar. Stiles punches him on the arm, "what the hell does that mean!"

"No man needs that many pairs of chuck taylors," Derek explains, eyebrows lifting.

"Hey! I buy my shoes on the clearance rack at Marshalls okay, like fuck you dude, just for that I'm getting a fourth," he waves the bartender over.

"Do you charge for extra olives in your martinis?" Stiles asks, hopeful. The bartender raises a brow and looks at him in confusion, "uh...no?"

"Damn it!" Stiles gruffs, snatching at his finished drink and throwing a scowl at Derek as he goes. Derek drops his gaze to the countertop and laughs, shoulders shaking with it before he pushes away from the bar and swims over to Stiles, splashing at him.

"Don't make me spill my drink," Stiles huffs, irritated, slurping at it.

"Better not, that shit was expensive," Derek chastises, ducking until just his head rises out of the water, ripples lapping at Stiles' torso. "I'm expecting you to put out after this," Derek teases.

"Not with that attitude," Stiles throws back, licking salt off the edge of his glass.

--*--*--

When the sun starts slowly setting, and evening begins approaching from the west, Stiles and Derek and the rest of the Day Trippers pile back into the shuttle for one last scene for the night. Sand Caves overlooks the ocean, cliffs rising up out of the clear blue water. They tumble out of the van and make the short walk to the where the cliff ends in a spectacular drop off to the ocean below.

"Do you wanna head down to the water?" Stiles asks, gesturing towards the stairs cut into the side of the rock. "Or we could eat? Drink?" He suggests, pointing back towards the bar behind them.

"I wanna swim!" Z shouts, looking over the edge, she starts to move towards the stairs and Stiles laughs, watching Derek peering over.

"Or you could jump instead," Stiles teases, "I know how much you hate the stairs."

"Yeah, sure," Derek shrugs, ignoring the jibe. He starts to slip his sandals off as Brit does the same beside him, handing hers to Z. They both head towards the edge of the bluffs, the sound of laughter and splashing in the water below already.

"Wait...you're not serious!" Stiles shouts, twitching towards Derek, voice cracking. Derek stares at him expectantly, "you're just gonna jump off a cliff!?"

"It's completely safe, Stiles," Brit reassures him with a small smile.

"You don't know Derek," Stiles reasons. Derek glares at him, Stiles answers with a sigh of exasperation, hissing, "Derek! Remember the time you tried to change the light bulb in your loft and you electrocuted yourself!" Derek snorts, pushes past Stiles to the edge of the cliff.

"Then there was the time you tried to get on my dad's good side by cleaning his gutters and you fell off the roof," Stiles starts listing on his fingers, Derek swats them down.

"And then the time you had that office job at the station for like a day before you got your tie caught in the shredder--"

"Yeah, and you know the common denominator, Stiles?" Derek snaps, blushing. "You!"

"De--"

"Maybe you should just leave?"

"Oh, ouch," Z whispers, Brit hits her on the arm and tries to pull her away.

"Maybe I will!" Stiles snaps, livid, humiliated. He backs up a step scoffing.

"Fine!" Derek says, voice smooth, cold. Stiles catches Z and Brit sharing a look.

"Stiles, lots of people cliff dive, here," Z says, "C'mon, we can watch from the water," she offers, looping her arm through Stiles'.

"People can get crazy protective over their partners, you know?" Stiles can hear Brit say quietly to Derek. "He's your boyfriend--" Stiles glances back over and Derek looks tense and uncertain for a moment before he starts backing up a pace towards the very edge of the cliff. Stiles' heart stops, plunges, as Derek does a spectacular back flip right off the cliff, disappearing over the edge.

His heart beats out a rapid tempo as he darts forward and peers over, he can see Derek land with a great splash, his body shimmering deep beneath the surface before he breeches. Stiles lets out a shaky breath he didn't know he was holding and allows Z to lead him down to the much closer edge, just a short drop to the warm water below.

Derek has a smarmy grin on his face when he swims over to Stiles. There's a loud call then from above and Z whistles up at Brit before she jumps, diving into the water a few yards away.

"I'm not talking to you," Stiles informs Derek, treading water. Derek rolls his eyes, they look jewel bright in the light from the sinking sun.

"Stiles," he sighs, and Stiles shakes his head, swims past him. "Stiles," Derek's voice is softer this time, like he gets that Stiles isn't actually joking.

"What's your problem?" Derek asks, "you had to know that wasn't going to hurt me so why--"

"Why did I have to know that Derek?" Stiles grunts.

"Because it's like two feet Stiles," Derek snaps gesturing to a group of girls taking the plunge.

"Yeah well...it's still! And there's...you know like rocks and fish and..." Stiles huffs. Stiles glances up in time to see a boy no older than ten flinging himself off the cliff face.

"Yeah okay, whatever," Stiles snaps, sinking up to his nostrils in the water.

Derek grins at him, darts forward and spreads a broad, wet palm over the top of Stiles' hair and pushes him under. Stiles ducks out of his reach, tugs his swimming trunks down and pops back up, laughing.

"Very mature, Stiles," Derek rolls his eyes, yanking his shorts back up before chasing after him, catching up to him in the shade of a cavern. There's a couple making out furiously half hidden in a small cove.

Stiles smirks at them, glances back to Derek. "C'mon," Derek whispers, gesturing with a nod, he turns around and Stiles clings to his back, wet hair dripping against Derek's. "I'm sorry," Derek says softly, once they're back beneath the dying sun, Stiles lets his eyes slip closed, smirks as he rubs his head against Derek's, "sorry for projecting my fear of heights," he sighs.

"I didn't know you didn't like heights," Derek admits, and Stiles can hear the surprise and realization in it.

Stiles shrugs against him, "never told you about it, how would you know?" Stiles asks. Derek doesn't answer.

--*--*--

The next morning Stiles wakes blearily, staring at Derek in the brightly lit room. He's still sleeping, so Stiles rolls out of bed, scratches at his hair (and his ass if he's being honest, he doesn't remember the last time he woke up and didn't have his underwear halfway up his ass...well actually it was probably two days ago because Stiles doesn't even wear underwear to bed).

He creeps into the bathroom to tug a wet comb through his hair and to pee, before he slips on a pair of flip flops he's pretty sure must be Derek's because they're just slightly too small but he grins vindictively at them and wears them anyway, attempting to make new foot indentations in them.

"I hope these feel forever awkward now you butt hole," he grumbles to himself, digging his feet into the flip flops as he makes his way down to the breakfast bar.

 

"Where's your better half?" Stiles tilts his head back and catches Z grinning upside down at him. Stiles wipes the toast crumbs from his fingers and laughs. "I left him in bed," he tells her as she and Brit pull out the two seats across from Stiles at the nearly empty table.

"Alone?" Z asks, eyes widening, "is your door unlocked?" She asks mischievously, pretending to back away towards the exit. Brit rolls her eyes and tugs Z into the seat next to her.

"You want him?" Stiles asks, pushing his keycard across the table, "here, all yours."

"You'd miss him," she laughs and Stiles raises his eyebrows, look of disbelief evident.

"He drools," Stiles informs her, "and denies it."

"So does this one," Brit tells him, bumping her shoulder against Z as she breaks a small bite off of her blueberry muffin.

"Yeah...but now I have this," Stiles grins, pulling his phone out and unlocking it. He holds it up to the two to show off his new background: a photo of Derek fast asleep, mouth open, pillow damp beside him. Stiles marvels for a moment at how long Derek's eyelashes look like this, how soft his hair looks without anything in it, messy from sleep, pillow lines across his cheek. He catches Brit staring at him and he clears his throat and starts to say something before the chair next to him scrapes against the deck floor and a shadow falls across the table. 

Stiles jumps in momentary surprise and slips his phone quickly back into his pocket before turning around and smirking, "morning starshine," in greeting. Derek doesn't say anything, just glances over to the coffee longingly before he starts to move.

"Oh, hey! Grab me a cup while you're up!" Stiles shouts grasping for Derek's sleeve before he steps out of reach.

"Get it yourself," Derek yawns, not turning around.

"As you can see, Derek is a gracious morning person," Stiles nods, playing with his empty mug. But when Derek returns he has two steaming cups of coffee in his hands and a bagel in his mouth. "Insert so many jokes here," Stiles smirks and Derek pulls a face.

"Here," Derek huffs, sliding one of the mugs towards Stiles, who accepts eagerly, until he peers at it with a frown.

"Dude, did you milk an entire cow into this mug?" He asks, annoyed.

"Go put more coffee in it then," Derek snaps, raising his own mug to his lips. Stiles stares at him. Derek gives him a look, doesn’t move. Stiles channels his inner Scott, brows tilting, eyes widening, mouth pouting. Derek sighs heavily and  pushes his own mug towards Stiles, whose face splits into a wide, and happy grin; Derek tugs the offensive coffee across the table and takes a sip.

"Oh boy," Z laughs, and Stiles looks up at her in time to catch her slipping a hand into his and lifting it up. Stiles watches in confusion as she bends his fingers into a loose fist, all except his pinkie, which she holds up as though inspecting it.

"What--" Stiles starts.

"Oh, I was just marveling at how amazing it is that such a large man could be wrapped around such a little finger," she smirks, Stiles tugs his hand back and laughs a little awkwardly, avoids Derek's eye.

Instead, Stiles cups his mug in his hands, leans against the table and watches the steam rise. He moves forward and takes a small sip, slurping loudly. He grins up at Z, sees her smiling too, soft and kind of fond, but her gaze is falling somewhere else, and when Stiles traces it he sees Derek. Derek with a similar expression on his own face where he watches Stiles sipping his too hot coffee, eyes darting away quickly towards the bagel in front of him when he gets caught staring..

--*--*--

They meet up with the rest of the pack later in the afternoon, having booked a group tour to discover the wildlife of Jamaica. Which mostly means getting stuck on a boat through the hot and muggy swamp. The highlights include Derek attempting to feed Stiles to a group of angry capuchin monkeys and several large crocodiles swimming perilously close to the boat, agitated, no doubt, by the presence of several werewolves on board.

Stiles doesn't know he has a fear of crocodiles until one is snapping its enormous jaws in his face. He grabs at Derek's shirt involuntarily as it eyes the pack nervously. Derek gives Stiles a little look of surprise, and they both look down to where Stiles' fingers catch at his hem.

Stiles drops his hand, feels his face heat, but Derek's face softens momentarily and he turns to the water, away from where the other tourists are all looking, flashes his eyes red in the direction of the croc who takes off, diving beneath the placid surface. Stiles doesn't say anything, but he smiles a little, at the look of self-satisfaction on Derek's face, and he bumps his shoulder against Derek's softly.

--*--*--

They're pleasant to each other for the rest of the afternoon, right up until Derek slips on the water Stiles drips from his shower and nearly brains himself on the bathroom sink.

"Jesus christ! There's a bathmat for a reason Stiles!" He shouts, stamping out in nothing but a towel pressed to his groin, flapping open on both sides.

"Yeah, I'm not sorry," Stiles shakes his head, staring at the way Derek's ass tenses, Stiles can see the dimples on either side of his hips deepen. "Really not sorry," he tries peering around and Derek backs up into the bathroom and Stiles giggles, “there’s a mirror behind…” before Derek slams the door shut.

 

"Ooh, what is this?" Stiles looks over as Allison picks up what Stiles had mistaken for a drink menu, folded rectangle of glossy paper in the middle of the table. After their harrowing run in with the wildlife of Jamaica, the group headed back down to the beach and the bar from their first night. Stiles pulls out a chair at the large table while the others shuffle around doing the same.

"The Newlywed Game," Allison reads aloud, "How well do you know your lover?" She grins at Scott, leaning into his shoulder as he throws an arm around her. "Whether you're young and in love or have years of wedded bliss beneath your belt, guests are invited to enter to become the crowned Majestic Resort's Most Dedicated Couple--"

"That sounds lame as shit,” Jackson mocks, taking a prim sip of the wine he has in front of him. Stiles isn't convinced Jackson even likes wine, just likes the sound of his own voice when he orders the most expensive bottle.

"We should totally do it," Allison nods, ignoring Jackson in favor of grabbing at Scott's arm. "It'll be really fun," she begs. Stiles sees the slight hesitation on Scott's face, but he waits, trying to suppress his knowing smirk when Allison smiles widely up at him, and Scott's face brightens, eyes soft, posture all gooey and he nods. Allison kisses him happily and Stiles resists the urge to vomit.

"We're doing it," Jackson tells Lydia, she gives him a hard look and rolls her eyes, muttering what sounds suspiciously like, "unbelievable," under her breath as Jackson pulls the advert towards him.

"How about you guys, going to enter?" Isaac asks Stiles, raise of an eyebrow, smirk tugging at the corner of his stupidly attractive face. Stiles narrows his eyes and Cora laughs, "I for one thing you should go for it," she nods, face serious.

Stiles glances over to Derek beside him whose looking at him with an expression of open distaste, Stiles laughs and shakes his head. "Does that answer your question?"

"Yeah, but it says here the winner also gets a prize," Isaac says, enticingly.

"I'm already a prize," Stiles argues, and Derek makes a scoffing noise beside him.

"I'll do it when hell freezes over," Derek argues.

--*--*--

Stiles knows almost immediately Derek would live to bite those words. It isn't a definitive sort of psychic prediction so much as it is just mostly knowing Derek Hale's tendencies to always find his foot shoved in his mouth; seriously it’s good the man is limber.

"What?" Is Stiles' eloquent response, because Stiles hadn't even entered the contest. When Isaac and Cora burst into hysterics beside the dumbfounded couple, Stiles is pretty sure he's found the culprit. He's not sure what's worse really, the fact that he's been roped into participating in a publicized Newlywed Game or the fact that the announcer excitedly shouts, "Stiles and Derek Stilinski!" Over the microphone.

Surprisingly, Derek makes it obvious which he finds most disturbing when he mutters with distaste, "I would never take your last name," with a look of abject horror on his face. Stiles thinks about it for a moment, "Stiles Hale," he shrugs, "I could do that."

"Good, because I wouldn't want to subject our children to the name Stilinski," he argues. Stiles scowls at him, "what's wrong with the name Stilinski?"

"What isn't wrong with the name Stilinski?"

"Wait did you just say our kids?" Stiles asks, and Derek rolls his eyes, turning towards Cora and Isaac.

"I'm disowning you for this, I hope you realize that," he says to her, Cora just laughs, leans forward and kisses him on the temple.

"I can't even decide which of you has been the worst influence," Derek huffs, staring between the three of them. Stiles points to Isaac and Cora to Stiles and Isaac to Cora. Scott and Allison laugh across the table and Jackson looks mutinous.

"Alright, well that was a great joke, now you both can go tell the nice Resort Lady that I'd rather eat a bowl of wolfsbane than actually participate in this stupid contest." Derek grits out, and Stiles nods beside him.

"Oh c'mon, this'll be so fucking funny, you guys have to do it," Cora argues.

"I'm kind of inclined to agree," Lydia adds, smirking at Stiles when he throws her a look of betrayal.

"Are you kidding they'll murder each other on stage within the first five minutes," Scott reasons.

"Accurate," Stiles nods. Derek opens his mouth to retort when the mic makes a high pitched noise and the wolves around the table hiss.

"Ooh, sorry about that!" From the front, raised up on a small platform, the Resort Staffer who made the announcement apologizes with a look of sympathy on her face. "So, now that we have our contestants, the game will take place tomorrow evening on the south side of the island, it will also be broadcast on our local network for those that want to enjoy it from the comfort of their own rooms...and now, I'm sure you're all waiting to hear the prize?" A few people shout in anticipation. Stiles turns with renewed interest, "All of our contestants will receive gift cards to the resort shop, second place will receive a $500 voucher for their trip, and the grand prize winners will have the entirety of their trip reimbursed."

Scott makes a pained noise behind him and Cora and Isaac's smarmy grins fade, Stiles grabs Derek's shoulder in a tight fist.

"Oh, we're so in."

"Over my dead body," Derek informs him.

"That can be arranged."

--*--*--

“Dude, I want my whole vacation paid for,” Stiles argues, the next night, an hour before they have to leave for the beach, waving at the informational poster in his hand.

“I’ll pay for the damn trip,” Derek argues, snatching the paper away from him. Stiles huffs in annoyance. “What part of this sounds like a good plan Stiles?” Derek asks, incredulous. “There’s no way in hell we could ever actually win!”

“Then what’s there to lose!” Stiles shouts. “It’s not like it could hurt to try!”

“I’m pretty sure that’s just a serious lack of imagination on your part,” Derek reasons.

“C’mon you’ve nearly died like eight times, this isn’t even a thing that registers on the Derek Hale scale ‘o man pain,” Stiles snaps.

“I don’t know,” Derek grumbles, “pretending to be in a relationship with you seems a decent form of torture,” he sighs. Stiles’ face crumples into an angry pout and he crosses his arms over his chest.

“You are a sizeable jackass, and when we win the reimbursement I’m sharing none of it with you. I’m spending it all on Reese’s and porn subscriptions,” Stiles hisses, pushing a laughing Derek out of the way in his attempt to get to the bathroom to get ready. 

--*--*--

“You’re not wearing that are you?” Stiles asks, stopping suddenly. Derek looks down at his shirt and scowls up at Stiles in confusion.

“What’s wrong with this?” He asks, huffing.

“Nothing…”Stiles says, waving nonchalantly, “except everything.”

“Stiles you bought me this shirt,” Derek reasons, staring at Stiles in alarm.

“Okay yeah, and it’s a nice shirt but, Derek, this is the biggest event they have here, like everyone on the resort is going to be there.”

“What’s your point?” Derek asks, sighing in frustration, clearly afraid to ask.

“My point is the black one in the closet shows off your arms better, if there are going to be hundreds of people convinced that I’m actually tapping that, that better be looking as fine as it can, okay?”

“Oh, right yea,” Derek nods, humoring him, standing. “I hadn’t thought about it like that,” he says. Stiles stares at him suspiciously as he moves towards the closet and proceeds to rifle around.

"What are you doing?" Stiles asks cautiously.

“Do we have any paper bags?” Derek asks.

“What?” Stiles questions, “I don’t-why?”

“For your face.”

“Oh, fuck you."

--*--*--

"Some stiff competition," Derek whispers to Stiles moments before they're to be led out onto the stage. Stiles grins at the couple beside them, in a heated argument. On their opposite side is a couple in at least their mid to late seventies, clasping each other's hands and smiling excitedly, their third is a lesbian couple, who Stiles thinks, might be taking this a little too seriously, in matching outfits and headbands.

"You changed your shirt," Stiles notes, casually. Derek's face pinks slightly and he shrugs, sleeves stretching. Stiles stares openly at the flex of muscle and Derek clearly tries to hide the small smirk. It doesn't work.

Stiles sees his shoulders tense as they're led out onto the stage after the brief introductions from the host. The ocean stretches out behind them as they take their seats on the makeshift gameshow set. large LCD screens are erected behind each couple's seat, Stiles supposes is the hi tech update for big poster board cards.

As promised, there are a lot of people, many sitting in tables in front of the stage, being served heaps of seafood and wine, some milling about on the beach, watching casually as they soak their feet in the ocean. Stiles tries not to let the nerves settle in where they threaten as they take their seats.

--*--*--

“This question doesn’t even make sense,” Derek argues. The host of the show gives him a pointed look, smile faltering only slightly. It's only their first question. Stiles would have figured it'd have taken at least two or three before Derek looked ready to get the claws out. Stiles is just happy Derek's irritation is, for once, not aimed at him. “Favorite fish as in to eat or like…to visit in an aquarium?” Derek asks.

“Does it matter?” The host asks.

“It’s a pretty big distinction…” Derek says.

“Just pick one!”

“Which one?” Derek asks.

“Either of them!”

“I don’t know, he doesn’t eat most seafood and he has a weird obsession with angler fish!” Stiles catches Scott's dumbfounded expression in the audience and Derek looks over to Stiles beside him, but his expression is unreadable.

“Alright, well let’s see what Stiles put?” The host asks, ignoring Derek’s outburst.

“Uh…” Stiles manages, and they turn to see the screen behind them revealing Stiles’ neat scrawl, the question ‘For taste or emotional attachment?’ and beneath that ‘latter angler fish’ and ‘former ew’.

The host pinches the bridge of his nose and awards them full points.

 

"Alright, ladies and gent," the host nods towards Stiles. "Every kid growing up has a favorite stuffed animal. What was your partner's? And what did he, or she," the host says with another nod, "name it?"

Derek looks momentarily confused, lost in thought. Stiles shoots a glance to Cora in the audience who's grinning a little and Stiles writes quickly down on his screen.

"So, Derek," the host asks, a few minutes later, coming to stand in front of them. "What was your favorite stuffed animal growing up?"

"Uh...I don't even remember..." he huffs, and Stiles gives him a look that says plainly, you better think harder.

"What?" Derek asks, waspishly. Stiles glares. "I don't--I think I had like this stuffed sheep or something?" Derek shrugs. "I don't remember its name...like...Mort? Morty...Mortimer?" Derek shrugs, sighing in annoyance.

"Alright, Stiles what'd you put?" Stiles grins happily and snaps his fingers and points in the direction of the screen flashing "Mortimer the stuffed Sheep" for the audience to clap at.

"How the hell did you even know that?" Derek asks, staring at Stiles suspiciously. Stiles shrugs, "Sometimes I snoop when you poop."

"Oh my god, Stiles, seriously," Derek sighs.

"Hey, you're in there for like an hour what else am I supposed to do?" Stiles asks with a huff. The audience laughs and Stiles smirks at Derek, "there was also that time I cleaned out the refrigerator while you were in there, I don't remember hearing complaints about that," Stiles says.

"Yeah, because half the molding food in there is yours," Derek snaps.

"I don't let food get moldy," Stiles shakes his head.

"No, you're right," Derek nods, agreeing, "you just eat everything. That isn't yours."

"Okay! Moving on!" The host interrupts.

 

"If we put a parrot in your bedroom for a week what expression would it most likely pick up?"

"I dunno, is masturbatory noises an expression?" Derek asks with a grin. Stiles makes an exaggerated 'har har' noise beside him.

 

"What will your partner say when you wake up in the morning are you in their side or are they on yours?"

"He'll definitely say I'm on his side, but really I consider all the sides my side," Stiles nods.

"I'm not your side," Derek grumbles.

"Hey, it's not my fault you're built like a wall, maybe if you weren't so big and warm I'd stay on my side."

"You are a big guy," the host agrees.

"Don't I know it," Stiles says with a grin, pretending to wince with a small squirm in his seat. Derek buries his face in his hands and Isaac and Cora can be heard guffawing in the front row.

 

"What would your partner say is his specialty in bed?"

"Well...," Derek sighs, thinking, all the tension that was once settled on his shoulders at the beginning of the game lifted. "He'd definitely say he's good with his hands, but I'd say his narcoleptic fits post coitus are pretty special."

Stiles glares at him. "That's untrue, and you know it," he gripes. "The second part is untrue, first part all right," Stiles nods with a wicked grin as his answer is broadcast. "Magic fingers," he says, waggling them for the audience's approval. Derek rolls his eyes, threads his own through Stiles' and pushes them down.

Stiles squeezes his hand softly before pulling away, and Derek smirks.

 

"If your partner is playing his favorite sport, what would he say he has in his hand?"

There's no hesitation in his voice when Stiles says, "my dick," and Derek laughs openly as "his erection" is thrown up on the screen to a catcalling audience. Their friends are cringing in the front row, but Stiles puts up his hand and Derek slaps it five without taking his eyes off the host. Stiles catches Lydia’s face in the crowd, she’s rolling her eyes but her smile is the private kind he’s only ever seen a few times, even Jackson is shaking his head, expression something Stiles might call fond.

 

“Alright, it comes down to the lightening round. Glenn and Dorothy are tied in first with Stiles and Derek,” the host’s tone is overly dramatic, but both Stiles and Derek are poised on the edge of their seat. Stiles grips at Derek’s arm and squeezes, gives him a hard look, “we got this, dude,” he nods. Beside them, Glenn and Dorothy are giving them the stare down.

“We’ll keep asking questions, the first couple to miss a question, loses,” the host explains, nodding towards the couples to register their understanding.

“You’re goin’ down old man,” Stiles hisses and Dorothy gives him a dirty look.

“First question, for Stiles and Dorothy…what is the strangest place you and your partner have ever made love?” Stiles thinks about the question for a long moment, stares hard at Derek before writing his answer down.

“Glenn?”

“It was 1972,” he starts, “the summer, I believe--”

“Speed it up, Gramps,” Stiles snaps.

“Church.” Stiles’ eyes widen and the audience laughs as Dorothy claps excitedly and throws her arms around her husband.

“Oh wow,” the host says, impressed. “Derek?”

Derek stares at Stiles, as though trying to read his thoughts. Stiles raises his eyebrows in silent communication. Derek scowls a bit.

“The vet’s office.”

“F YEA!” Stiles shouts and Derek laughs, lets Stiles pull him in for a one armed hug.

 

“Okay, ten questions in and no signs of slowing down,” there’s a hint of desperation in the host’s voice. Several more resort goers get up from their tables and wander off.

“Ah, okay good question. Tough question, hopefully…” Derek leans forward intently. “There’s a vast array of mythological creatures out there, which one would you say most describes your partner? This goes to…Stiles and Dorothy.”

Stiles and Derek stare at each other with triumphant smiles, growing wider when Glenn answers “Angel” to Dorothy’s “Ogre”

“Alright, Stiles and Derek, you have to get this right to—

“Werewolf!” Derek shouts

“Yeah bitch!” Stiles loses his head completely, tips his head back and howls. Derek laughs, shaking his head as the pack in the audience stands, whooping and hollering excitedly.

--*--*--

They’re undoubtedly loud and raucous back at the suite. Stiles does a cannonball into the pool to take off the edge of the fizzling energy bubbling beneath his skin. “Holy shit, can you even fucking believe we just won that!” He coughs, wiping water from his face.

Derek shrugs and smiles, “we beat an old married couple.”

“Literally we know each other better than an old married couple,” Stiles says in awe.

“Yeah, how does that work exactly?” Isaac questions.

“It’s because they share one brain,” Cora explains. “Who…has it today?” She asks, pointing between the two of them. Derek picks her up, threatens to toss her in the pool as she clutches at him, apologizing. Stiles shrugs, stares at Derek who looks pointedly away.

--*--*--

Derek wakes the next morning with Stiles' arm draped across his neck where he lays sprawled on his back across the bed. Derek picks his arm up indelicately and throws it at Stiles, it lands with a smack on his chest, startles him away.

"Wassat?" He asks, eyes widening, body twitching.

"You're in my space. Again." Derek throws the covers off himself, cracks his knuckles and his back in a long stretch.

"Crepitus old man," Stiles yawns sleepily at him, snuffling out a high pitched noise of contentment before burrowing back into the sheets. He shuffles over to Derek's side of the bed and pokes him in the tailbone with his toes until Derek swats them and stands up from the bed.

"I'm going to take a shower," Derek tells him, slinging his towel over his shoulder from where it was draped across the chair in the corner. Stiles doesn't answer him, Derek assumes he goes back to sleep, but when he emerges from the bathroom a half an hour later, the bed and the room are empty.

He ducks out onto the porch, scopes the beach front out but it's empty so Derek assumes he went to meet the rest of the pack at breakfast. His suspicions are confirmed when he sees the note, scrawled on hotel stationery, on top of his sneakers.

Stuffing my face, wolfbutt

Love, Your Way Better Half

Derek rolls his eyes but finds himself shoving the note into his back pocket anyway. Derek still hasn't fully wrapped his head around the night before, isn't sure it's even possible, really, the look of stunned disbelief on his friends' faces is enough to confirm his suspicions that something supernatural must be afoot.

Stiles and Derek can't be that close.

He's still telling himself this, like maybe if he says it over and over it'll be more true than it was all last night when he stared at Stiles' sleeping face mashed into the side of his pillow, all content and warm and it's gross is what it is. There were...feelings or something, not actual feelings more like a complete absence of negative ones.

It's like when you have the hiccups and you only notice you've stopped having the hiccups a few minutes after and then you keep trying to hiccup but can't. It's like Derek wants to want to punch Stiles in his perfectly shaped mouth, but mostly he just wants to stare at it a bit and maybe watch it talk about Star Wars.

He makes it to the French doors leading into the dining room when he can hear the rapid thump of Stiles' heart. Derek always wondered at it, the rhythm of it, always a little faster than most people's. It took some getting used to, in the beginning, to differentiate the normal speed from the one that meant Stiles was lying, or scared, or...

Derek clears the thought from his head and starts to step through when he catches a snippet of the conversation that he's having. The rest of the pack aren't there, he notes almost immediately, but Derek can hear Z's laughter, so he stops and slows, listening.

"We've been together for like...I dunno," Stiles laughs, stalling. God, he's such a shit liar, Derek thinks, rolling his eyes. "Like a year, maybe."

"That's all?" Z asks.

"We were friends first, or, I dunno," Stiles laughs, "we've known each other since my sophomore year of High School."

"Brit and I met in High School, too."

"We kind of hated each other back then though," Stiles admits and Derek hesitates on the threshold. "Well, I mean, it's complicated."

"I hear ya, Brit and I didn't get along that well when we first met."

"It's not even that--it's like, I think we were both just jealous of each other, vying for the attention of Scott, the one I introduced you to yesterday?"

"The cutie with the dimples?"

"That's him," Stiles laughs. Derek can hear the sound of metal clinking against ceramic, a soft sip.

"And then you realized all of that animosity was just raw sexual tension," Z says, overly exaggerated. Stiles chokes on his coffee, or Derek assumes Stiles chokes on his coffee if the hissing and spluttering sound is anything to go by.

"Ah...yeah," he laughs, "something like that.

Derek starts to move into the room then, when Z asks another question and he stops, slips back out into the entry. "So, when did you then? Know that you liked him? Or...you know didn't hate him?"

"Oh," Stiles starts in surprise, the sound of shifting in his chair, and Derek can picture it in his head, the flush, the uncomfortable squirming thing Stiles does when he's not sure how to get out of a situation.

"I don't know."

"C'mon," Z wheedles. Stiles huffs out a nervous laugh.

"Ah, I guess, I mean I don't know exactly there were a few--" he pauses for a long moment, Derek listens to the sound of his heart, beating in a steady rhythm.

"Oh," he says, with sudden dawning comprehension. "Okay, yea...I guess, one time I remember thinking about him differently? Like, I don't know if I knew then or if it was just like, wow he's actually a person after all, right? I found this, the thing is he doesn't have a lot of stuff from when he was a kid because of a house fire but he has some family photos he keeps in this scrapbook. I don't know if anyone else even knows about it but. I found it by accident, but he has things in it from like, group stuff. Movie ticket stubs, and maps from a couple of amusement parks we've been to," Stiles voice is soft, and it sounds...fond. Derek wishes he could see his face, something stirring in his chest. "Maybe it's because we always seem to end up together because--well before, when we weren't together..." Stiles corrects hastily, "but he had a lot of, a lot of stuff from me." There's a long pause, and Derek peers around the edge of the door, catches Stiles across the room shrugging his shoulders, ducking his head.

"That's so fucking cute I'm gonna die!" Z wails, punching him on the arm.

It's a couple of minutes before Derek's able to make it out.

--*--*--

"No, no way," Derek's grip slackens on Stiles' wrist as he shakes his head, arms waving in firm refusal.

"Why would you book a swim with dolphins tour if you're not planning on swimming with them?" Jackson asks, Derek hates to admit it but he does have a decent point.

"Because everyone else was!" Stiles shouts, manic. He crosses his arms defensively over his chest.

"Are you afraid of dolphins?" Derek asks with a slick grin.

"What?" Stiles balks, "no." Derek gives him a look of disbelief, "it's everything else I'm afraid of," Stiles amends.

Derek laughs, snatches at Stiles' wrists again and tugs his arms away from his chest. Stiles resists only slightly, allowing himself to be pulled to the edge of the boat where Scott and Allison are already getting into the water. Porpoises laughing happily at them.

"Do you actually know what's in the deep ocean?" Stiles asks, Derek opens his mouth to retort when Stiles cuts him off "--that's right you don't! Why? Because it's so fucking deep."

"Stiles--" Derek tries.

"And sharks, dude, actual HUGE bus sized creatures waiting to eat everyone."

"You're serious?" Derek asks, staring at Stiles now with slight suspicion, wondering if he's being wound up. Stiles flushes, pink tingeing the curve of his cheeks and spreading across his chest.

"Stiles," Derek sighs, he lets his arms drop away from Stiles' wrists, down across his hands, thumbs wrapping themselves loose around the tip of Stiles' fingers. "I've lost count of how many times I've had to save your bony ass, you think I'd let it become shark bait?" Stiles' eyes widen, eyebrows arching and mouth opening on a silent unspoken thought. His face softens and he smiles a little, fingers tightening around Derek's thumbs for a second before dropping them, heaving a deep breath and nodding, "okay."

Stiles slips into the water cautiously, like he's waiting for the dorsal of a great white to appear amongst the diving dolphins'. "Derek!" Stiles lets out a strangled shout when he can't see him, and Derek laughs openly at him as he comes up on Stiles' side, letting Stiles grab at his bicep.

Derek wonders if the dolphins can sense Stiles' nerves, whether they think some rigorous aversion therapy is the best course, or maybe they're just dicks, or maybe it's the fact that Stiles is, unbeknownst to the rest of the pack, the ancestor of a weredolphin. Either way, as soon as Derek parts from him for more than a second, every dolphin within a hundred yards is vying for Stiles' attention.

"Oh wow, this is new," Stiles laughs, fears clearly subsiding as he's being jostled and entertained.

"I think they're flirting with you," Allison laughs, swimming over, and Derek grins at her.

"They're amazing judges of character," Stiles offers, stroking two at a time as they squeak happily, offering up tummies before diving back beneath the water.

Derek watches Stiles' face contort with delight, his grin wide and uninhibited, the way it hardly ever used to be, laughter peeling out loud and unruly. Stiles catches him watching, waves a little before another dolphin pushes its head into his open palm. Derek fights the instinct to look away, to set his face in an indifferent sort of glaze, instead he smiles back. One of the dolphins slips past Stiles and greets him, swimming circles around him before allowing itself to be stroked on the nose.

--*--*--

"No, not again, not ever again," Lydia's voice is the sharp edge of a razor. She's barefoot on the deck in a pale green sundress. She's a foot and a half shorter than Stiles and he's cowering beneath her gaze.

"We've been really good today, though," he complains. Lydia gives him a considering sort of stare, pink lips pursed in thought. She looks over at Allison who shrugs.

"Fine," she decides, and Stiles fist pumps happily and grins over at Derek, who returns it with a roll of his eyes, "get the scrabble board."

 

"This is BULLshit," Jackson snaps.

"Did you seriously just make thirty points with word 'dildo'?" Scott asks, torn between annoyance and admiration. Derek laughs with a shake of his head as Stiles dances happily in the seat beside him.

"Oh yea," he sings, "suck it!" He raises his hand for a high five and Derek puts his own up a little halfheartedly, allowing himself to be smacked hard in the palm.

"I defer all awards to Stiles for that one," he says. Stiles offers him a cheeky grin and bumps their shoulders together. Derek reaches over and grabs at the tile bag, pulls a few more out and lines them on the holder, Stiles rushing to shift them around.

 

By the end of the game, they've smoked them at scrabble. They play another team game of Scattegories which nearly ends in tears of frustration.

"How does it feel to be so thoroughly dominated?" Stiles croons at the others.

"Yea, you need a little aloe for that burn?" Derek asks and Cora groans in embarrassment, covers her face with her hand and Isaac laughs openly.

"Maybe leave the trash talk to me, boo," Stiles offers, patting Derek on the thigh. Derek shoves his hand off.

"I'm so good at trash talk," Derek grumps.

"I'm sure you're great at it," Stiles offers, "circa 1993."

"I'll pwn you," Derek tells him, just to hear the burst of laughter, the grin that fits so big on his face that Stiles feels like he needs to cover it. Derek smiles at him, feels his face heat, something stirring in his stomach that feels suspiciously like butterflies.

"Fuck, I wish you two had figured your shit out in high school," Scott sighs.

"Figured what shit out?" Stiles asks.

"That you work together really well when you're not being dicks to one another?" Scott offers, "it would have come in really handy."

"Maybe you bring out the worst in us," Derek says. Scott makes a face.

"Maybe it's all that sexual tension," Cora adds with a sly smirk, Derek feels his face heat, watches Stiles' do the same. He doesn't say anything and Derek can only think to throw his scorecard at her, it's a lame gesture, and he avoids Stiles' eye.

 

--*--*--

In the late afternoon, they play chicken. "No," Derek shakes his head and Stiles pouts at him with his hands set loose on his hips.

"C'mon!" Stiles snaps, "you have super human strength."

"Yeah, and you had like 70 chicken wings at lunch, and bacon for breakfast."

"Yeah, and I pooped like an hour ago, that helped lighten the load," Stiles offers, patting his stomach.

"Jesus Christ," Derek shakes his head.

"Please!"

Derek huffs out a sigh of defeat, but before he can agree Stiles is already clapping, making grabby hands towards Derek. He wades over to the side of the pool and allows Stiles to climb gracelessly atop his shoulders. Stiles sways one way and then the other as Derek tries to steady him, hands gripping Stiles' knees. "Geez, Stiles, you unwieldy fucker!" Derek complains as Stiles gets a death grip on his head.

He squirms a bit, laughing, "my knees are ticklish!" He says, squeezing Derek's head between them. "Seriously?" Derek asks, in disbelief.

"I'm quirky!" Stiles shouts.

"Yeah, that's one word for it." Derek deadpans.

"Admit it, you like having your head between my legs," Stiles drawls. Derek tips him backwards, letting him drop with a loud splash into the water. He resurfaces with a grin, dripping water from the tip of his nose and lashes.

--*--*--

The pack breaks up by early evening, ready to spend their final night with their significant others. "What are we doing tonight?" Derek asks of Stiles, who's laid out on a hammock in the sun.

"We have dinner reservations on the beach," Stiles says, pulling himself up into a sitting position. "If you wanna go?" He asks. Derek can see the way his fingers twitch against his bare legs, a nervous habit of his Derek has witnessed on numerous occasions.

"Yeah," Derek nods. "Why wouldn't I?" Stiles still looks uncertain, but the answer to that question becomes apparent when they arrive an hour later.

Derek wasn't sure what he was expecting when Stiles said "on the beach" but when they arrive down the narrow cobbled path that leads to dinner, they're met with a beautifully carved and elaborately draped and very private cabana. The candlelit table is set with fine china for two, a bottle of champagne already chilling, a personal wait staff awaiting their arrival.

Derek sits awkwardly as his seat is pulled out for him, Stiles looking just as uncomfortable across from him. "I booked when I thought--" Stiles explains. Derek waves him off, "of course," he says.

"Is this okay?" Stiles asks as the champagne is popped and poured.

"Hey, full reimbursement right?" Derek smiles, holding his glass up to toast. Stiles relaxes visibly and does the same. After that it's easier, nerves fizzling away, pulled out with the tide, splashing quietly against shore.

There's music playing on the other side of the island and the sun has already started to set. Derek can see stars struggling through, he feels...calm in a way he hasn't for a long time. He feels Stiles' foot pressing soft, but deliberate, against his and he looks over, catches his gaze. "You okay?" He asks, and Derek smiles at him and nods. "Yeah, yeah I am." Stiles' faces splits and he nods once, fingers playing with the silverware on the table, "me too," he nods.

 

"Wow, this looks really good," Stiles sighs when the food arrives.

"It smells really good," Derek adds, shifting in his seat and nodding to the wait staff in thanks.

"You want some?" Stiles offers, gesturing towards his own plate.

"I haven’t even taken a bite of my own," Derek reasons, Stiles shrugs.

"Thought I'd offer, since I fully intend on trying yours," Stiles replies.

"What if I don't plan on sharing?" Derek asks. Stiles scoffs at him.

"Hey, all is fair in love and war," Stiles tells him. Derek quirks a brow and stares at him across the table.

"So, What is this?" Derek asks, "Love or war?"

"Is there a difference?" Stiles asks with a sardonic sort of scoff.

"Not the way I do it," Derek lets out a self-deprecating laugh that Stiles returns.

"Me too," Stiles shrugs, "lately anyway." Derek takes a bite of his meal, chews it in thought, and waits to see if Stiles will change the subject. When he doesn't, Derek pushes his vegetables around on his plate some and says, "What did happen with Chrissy?"

Stiles doesn't answer for a minute and Derek wonders if he overstepped but Stiles shrugs. "I'm clingy," Stiles offers, "apparently."

"Oh."

"Yeah. Apparently an expensive vacation two weeks after we started dating was "weird"," Stiles air quotes. "And when I told her I booked it like 11 months before we met she just got irritated." Derek smirks softly. "Like, make up your mind."

"I would have thought you went through them too fast to get clingy," Derek says. He means for it to come out like a joke, but he thinks it doesn't. Stiles laughs anyway and shakes his head, "I am good at that," he admits. "You know me, two settings...'Wham bam thank you Ma'am' or 'how do you like the name 'Grady' for our first born?'" Derek laughs down at his plate and Stiles smiles shyly at him in return.

--*--*--

It's a little after ten by the time they make it back to the room. If Stiles notices the way they're walking a little too close, fingertips brushing accidentally every time either of them dodges a particularly far reaching branch...he doesn't say anything.

The sound of happy shouting and laughter is carried in on the cool breeze, and after taking in the empty deck, Stiles leads the way down to the beach. Derek watches Scott and Isaac trying to drag a screaming Allison into the water. They make it to the stretch of wet sand, water splashing gently ashore before they let her go and she jumps on Scott's retreating back in retaliation. Scott looks victorious anyway as he hefts her up and runs back to the gathering of lawn chairs and blankets.

After that, it's not long before one of them produces a couple of joints, the group lighting up right there on the beach, at ease in a way that they never really are in Beacon Hills (for very obvious reasons..."are you kidding me? If my dad so much as catches a whiff of pot within ten feet of me he will have drug sniffing dogs in my room. Again.")

Lydia refuses the joint when it's offered by Cora, waggling her eyebrows in temptation. "Mmm, no," Lydia shakes her head and Cora blows a raspberry at her before taking another hit. "Prude," she teases with a cough.

Lydia narrows her eyes. "I will only take a hit if I shotgun with someone," she concedes.

"Hey, Stiles, it's your lucky day," Isaac teases, punching him on the shoulder.

"Yeah, I can't shotgun without kissing, like ever, especially not when I'm already high as a fucking kite," he waves his hand in the air in a poor pantomime. "Don't really feel like being punched in the face by Jackson."

Jackson gives him a satisfactory sort of smirk, throws a possessive arm over Lydia which she throws back off. "Not that I wouldn't love to kiss you," Stiles offers, "again." Jackson starts to scoff before Stiles' words sink in and his face collapses in on itself.

"What do you mean again?" Jackson asks. Derek tries not to share in his feelings on the subject but he feels something hot twist itself inside him at the thought.

Stiles just offers a shit eating grin and doesn't say anything. Cora snorts and shrugs, and Derek watches as she takes another hit, holds it in as she drops down on the edge of Lydia's chair and crowds into her space.

"Oh my God," Derek can hear the ratchet in several heartbeats, Isaac and Stiles' simultaneous outbursts. Lydia shifts forward and Cora cups her chin delicately as she presses her lips to Lydia's full red ones.

Cora exhales and Lydia inhales, smoke billowing out from the millimeters between their mouths. Then Cora surges forward and Derek makes a noise of pain and snaps his eyes shut. Even Allison cheers so Derek figures it must have been good but God it's his baby sister.

When he dares open his eyes Cora is sitting back next to Isaac and Stiles has the joint held between his lips, face flushed, mouth grinning as he tries to inhale.

--*--*--

Derek is high by the time the suggestion is made. Alcohol metabolizes in the blood too quickly to be effective, but marijuana, though maybe not as potent as it is to humans, still does the trick. Derek feels light, loose limbed and calm. He feels like the ocean and the rhythm of the waves have seeped into him, tethering him there.

"Umm," stiles responds first.

"C'mon punks, let's do it," Cora shouts. "Let's go skinny dipping!"

"I'm in," Allison stands up, moving beside Cora in solidarity. Scott and Isaac glance at each other with a shrug and stand, looking towards Lydia and Jackson.

"I'll watch," Lydia nods, rising with the others. "But less than half of you have seen me naked and I'd like to keep it that way."

"What? Half? Why would you say it like that?" Jackson asks, tripping over his own chair to stand hastily. Derek watches him follow the rest of the group down to the edge of the water.

"Are you?" Stiles asks, uncertain. Derek shrugs, but stands anyway. He notices his clothes then, hyper aware of the tightness of them, his boxers against his waist and thighs, his t-shirt collar clinging to his neck.

He tugs it off by way of an answer and Stiles smiles and jumps to his feet, tugging his own shirt off. "Pass the joint, I need one more hit for this," he says and Derek does so. After, Stiles nods in steely determination before running towards the ocean, screaming into the night, shredding clothes as he goes. The others are already in the water.

Derek can hear Lydia catcalling as Stiles runs past them, nude, flinging himself into the ocean. Derek doesn't have any particular body hangs ups. He used to feel awkward in the locker rooms at school when he'd discovered, surprisingly, he was the only one of his classmates who was uncut.

You don't really forget a bunch of thirteen year olds obsessed with your foreskin.

Now though? He strips easily, weed making everything feel oddly surreal. He wants to climb into the ocean and float away until he can feel the earth curving beneath him. He makes it to the edge of the water and wades slowly forward, waves cool against his too hot skin. He always feels better nude, somehow, less claustrophobic. He thinks Stiles would laugh if he told him this. He thinks Stiles would still get it. Always does.

He would try to anyway, like he always does. Derek's never been more grateful for that; he thinks maybe he should tell him, sometime. Stiles looks...picturesque now. The light of the moon reflecting off his pale skin, throwing him in sharp relief, all angles and long planes of smooth unblemished skin.

Water drips down his spine and catches in the hollowed points just above the curve of his bare ass. Derek expected more moles, realizes he's never really looked before, has seen Stiles shirtless countless times. He has two dotted on either one of his shoulder blades, like the point of wings, and another by his tail bone, a fourth on his right cheek, where ass meets thigh.

His shoulders look impossibly broad like this and his hips narrow. Derek doesn't stop staring, not even when Stiles looks at him over his shoulder and gives him a knowing sort of smirk before he dives beneath the water and disappears.

--*--*--

It isn't long before he and Stiles are slowly abandoned by the rest of the pack. A half an hour of splashing half naked in the Caribbean ocean seems to do it for everyone in the foreplay department. Lydia and Jackson go first, Cora and Isaac, Scott and Allison bombing towards the hotel later screaming, grabbing discarded clothing as they go. Derek can't really blame them. He thinks about giving the hotel a very wide berth for the rest of the night. Stiles is sunk up to his nose in the water, staring at him with a look like he's trying to decide something.

He stays this way for a long time, before he stands suddenly, popping up out of the water, dripping wet. His mouth is parted on a gasp and Derek stares at it, his lips look obscenely pink in the light, droplets of water catching on his cupid's bow.

"I want to go swimming," he says, apropos of nothing. Derek stares at him, "you are swimming," he informs him.

"No like, in the pool. I want to go swimming in the pool," he says, like it should be obvious. Maybe it is, Derek wonders, his brain feels slow. Derek stands too, the water just lapping over where his cock rests, flaccid, submerged beneath the surface. He catches Stiles' gaze where he watches, unabashed, before he moves past Derek and out of the water altogether.

They make their way back to the hotel in silence, clutching their clothes against them, Stiles shivers beside him, and Derek sees goosebumps breaking out along his skin.

Stiles makes a noise of contentment when they make it up onto the veranda and he has a chance to dive into the pool, water warming his air chilled skin. Derek steps in carefully, imagining what he'd hear if he tuned in towards the building behind them. He very deliberately does not.

Stiles pops up out of the water and shakes his hair like an over excited puppy, grinning at Derek from the other side of the pool. "I love this place. I can't believe we have to leave tomorrow," Stiles sighs, floating on his back. The motion thrusts his hips up out of the water, and Derek catches sight for the first time his cock, nestled in the short hairs at his groin. He's half hard beneath the moon.

Derek turns over and mimics him, letting his limbs rise up, the water holding him up like millions of microscopic hands pushing at him. Derek tilts his head back, and the world tilts suddenly on its axis, the dark night sky and thousands of stars cascading around him, bleeding right into the ocean over the vanishing edge.  The marijuana making his skin tingle and his head rush...It's the most incredible feeling of freedom Derek's ever felt (including actual Post-Kidnapping Experiences).

He's aware then that Stiles has said something, but he doesn't register it, tilts himself back upright and asks, "what?" lazy and slow. Stiles grins at him, "I said, there's another hit left on this joint, if you want it." Derek sees then the roll in his hand, tiny stub of a thing.

"We could share it," Derek finds himself saying. Stiles looks at him in confusion.

"That'd be a worthless hit," he says, staring at it in his fingers.

"Not if we shotgun," Derek explains, emboldened by the darkness around them, the moonlight catching in the droplets of water in Stiles' hair, the underwater pool lights making his face look blue and green.

"I..." Stiles starts, "didn't you hear what I said earlier about me and shotgunning?" He asks with a grin. Derek swallows past the uncertainty in his throat and nods, "yeah."

"Oh," Stiles says, and then after a moment's thought, "Oh."

Derek doesn't say anything, doesn't even move. He supposes this is the safest route, easy enough to pass up, they could pretend like it wasn't ever there, blame it on the Caribbean Night and the THC. But Stiles is moving towards him and Derek isn't moving away.

"Do you...or should I?" Stiles asks, gesturing to the last of the joint. Derek shrugs his shoulders, but when Stiles raises his eyebrows in question he says, "You," definitively and Stiles looks more at ease with the confirmation. He puts the joint back to his lips, wet fingers fumbling with the lighter as he lights the last of it, the embers sparking orange in the low light, he inhales, the paper burning at the edges.

He drops the lighter and the roach on the pool's concrete edge and moves towards Derek, grasping at his jaw softly. His fingers feel pruned against his stubble and Derek huffs out a nervous laugh.

Stiles leans in and Derek joins him, mouth opening slightly as Stiles exhales against his lips and nose, and Derek twitches beneath Stiles' fingers and inhales slowly. Everything moving at a glacial pace, from the drip of water leaking beneath Stiles' fingertips to the way his eyes keep fluttering open and closed.

Derek exhales after a moment, smoke dissipating between them. His lips tingle when he feels Stiles' brush against them, the barest hint of contact, an accidental touch from where their bodies sway softly on every exhale.

There's the briefest hesitation before Stiles closes the distance with determination, their lips catching in a soft but unmistakable kiss. Their lips make a smack when Stiles pulls back and it sends arousal straight down, making Derek's dick fill with blood beneath the calm surface of the water.

Stiles spares him only a single glance before he backs Derek up against the edge of the pool, presses forward again to drag his nose against Derek's lips and up against his cheek, his lips parted, breathing heavy against Derek's open mouth in a move Derek can't determine whether is meant to stall or tease. It's cruel either way with how bad Derek wants Stiles' mouth back against his.

It's like an itch he can't scratch, a word on the tip of the tongue, elusive and mocking. Derek presses up, finds Stiles' mouth with his own, silences his noise of surprise with a groan of his own as Stiles' hands fall to Derek's bare hips.

Derek opens his mouth and Stiles accepts the invitation gratefully, slips his tongue inside, pulling back just a hair's breadth, impossibly hot with only Stiles' gyrating tongue against him, in him. He kisses Stiles again in rapid presses of his lips before he licks at his plump bottom lip and drags it between his teeth.

Stiles' moan makes Derek’s cock swell and his hips shift until they seek out Stiles' of their own accord. He feels Stiles' hand slip from his waist, and then its wrapping tight around him. Derek pulls back to moan, his own hands brushing at Stiles' shoulders. Wet fingers slide against slick skin while Stiles jerks him in slow, even strokes, unhurried.

Then his hand is gone and Derek gropes at his shoulder in wordless disappointment before Stiles' hands settle once more on his hips and he's being lifted up, dropped with surprising strength against the edge of the pool.

Derek lets his legs fall open, cock bobbing hard as Stiles steps between them. His hands break goose bumps in their wake as they drag up Derek's thighs. It seems impossibly surreal, a vivid hallucination, even if it feels like nothing was ever meant to be, more than this. It terrifies and excites Derek, makes him want to run, even as he's spreading his legs more, watching Stiles duck his head.

"Mm," Derek nods, unable to take his eyes away from where Stiles licks at the tip of his leaking cock, hands closing around the base. His fingers look long, makes his dick look thick where he has them wrapped around it. "This is so weird," Stiles breathes suddenly; Derek makes a noise of disapproval.

"Oh...not your penis though," Stiles amends quickly, "it's actually a really nice penis," stiles says, giving it a few encouraging strokes, one hand still softly pressed against Derek's thigh. Derek moans, "And I'd know, I've seen a lot of--"

"I get it Stiles," Derek huffs, thrusting up into Stiles' hand. Stiles nods sheepishly and ducks his head once more, sucking Derek into the hot, wet hollow of his mouth.

--*--*--

They're back in the room before Derek really registers moving, toweling each other off in careless, hurried strokes of fabric, uncaring if its towel or t-shirt or sheets as they tumble into bed. Derek finally getting to touch Stiles, laid out naked beneath him.

It lacks any and all finesse, but both of them are too aroused and stoned to care, neither of them needing any more than this. The writhing of their bodies on top of one another, cocks hard and leaking where they rub together pressed between them, hands roaming and breathing heavy into each other's open mouths when they're not kissing in frenzied hard presses and thrusts of their tongues.

Derek watches Stiles' eyes roll back in his head when he comes, spurting between them, gripping Derek's biceps tight, like he's afraid of falling; despite the fact that Derek is the one hovering over him.

He gets it though, when he comes a moment later, feels the world tilt and like the whole of the universe is rushing past him, pushing him over the edge. It feels like he moans forever, comes even longer, jerking and twitching against Stiles, who strokes his hair and holds him until he feels like he can breathe again.

--*--*--

Derek kind of expects it to be awkward afterwards in the post orgasm period, their highs starting to fade slightly with it. But Stiles just smiles up at him like he's seen the Second Coming, eyes falling shut as he starts humming happily.

Derek isn't surprised, he thinks Stiles was a dolphin in another life, and tells him. "Mmm, I can live with that," Stiles nods, and he pulls Derek in close, kisses his temple sloppily.

They're salty and sandy, sweat slicked and feeling the crust of drying come sticking them together where they lay curled around one another.

They make it to the shower where they rinse in tepid water, Stiles slowing the process considerably as he pushes Derek against the stall wall and kisses him messily. They climb into the Jacuzzi together after, flip the lights off and sit staring up at the stars and the moon climbing higher in the sky.

After, Stiles dresses in a pair of soft boxer briefs and one of Derek's t-shirts, tugs him out the open door when Derek does the same. They curl up together on the hammock outside their room, beneath the blanket draped over the edge of their bed. They stay that way, dozing softly and talking, until the sun has fully risen, and Derek can hear the sounds of people moving about the resort.

He pulls Stiles back into the room and they crash beneath the slightly damp covers of their bed, Derek spooned against Stiles' chest, his arms curled around Derek's until they have to wake in time for check out, and to pack hastily before they catch their flight home.

--*--*--

The next day is hectic in the way post-vacations always are. There's mad scrambling to repack, check out and make it to the airport in time to catch their flight. Derek hardly has time to see Stiles after they pull themselves groggily from bed at the insistent knock on their door from Cora.

Stiles is again sat between the two of them on the plane, and short of dragging Stiles off to the bathroom (which, for the record he's not even really oppose to at all except for the lack of subtlety) they don't have a chance to talk.

Derek intends on having that conversation but then they're being picked up at LAX and crammed into the back of a car and being summarily dropped off at his apartment with a hug, an awkward goodbye, and a pointed promise to see each other later.

But later is that nonspecific kind of time that makes Derek's skin itch all over and feel too tight. Later could be anytime, it sits in the space between soon and whenever. Later doesn't end up being that day, or the next, and Derek starts to wonder if everything that happened between then was a hazy hallucination.

He goes to bed each night missing the heartbeat in the bed beside his, missing the scent of Stiles' deodorant leaving traces on his skin. He wakes that first morning with a panic settled in his heart, bleary and confused when there's no one beside him, no toes pressing against his under the cover or limbs askew against his face or neck or chest.

He misses the sound of Stiles stretching like a kitten beside him, the soft snuffling noises he makes when he settles in, and the random fits of giggles when Stiles has good dreams in the middle of the night.

"Fuck," Derek says, staring at the ceiling a few days later.

 

Derek can count the number of dates he's been on, over the age of fifteen, on one hand. What he had with Kate wasn't exactly the wine and dine kind of relationship as much as it was about dirty sex and takeout, and Jennifer…

Derek doesn't talk about Jennifer.

Maybe two years ago now, he went on a date with a woman Cora set him up with. She was different than the women he usually fell for, which is what he supposed was Cora's point. She was a grad student at UCLA studying anthropology, and she...was nice. Nice in a way that made Derek think of commitment and futures and she had a brother who was bitten when he was a teenager and so she got it, it was perfect.

Which is why he supposes it was never going to work.

There was also Jacob, the guy he picked up at the grocery store two towns over because it was the closest place that sold the sweet and salty chocolates Cora favored on her period and Derek would have driven to Massachusetts if it meant never having to feel the wrath of an angry hormonal little sister (never mind the whole werewolf bit).

Derek knew he wasn't going to last long; it wasn't exactly an offer for the long term when he asked Jacob out. There was a decent meal and a mediocre movie and some good sex, another itch he needed to scratch. "Itch" mostly being a euphemism for needing to get fucked on something that wasn't an awkwardly angled dildo when his sister was in class.

To say that Derek Hale didn't do relationships is an overwhelming understatement. It's why he never bothered to save up for the trip (not that financially it had been a particular concern). He does however, squirrel away a bit of cash he pretends is just fiscal responsibility, even though he knows that's a lie.

Because Derek Hale doesn't do optimism any more than he does romance, which is to say not at all. He'd join a Werewolf Monastery if he could find one. Stiles makes a joke once about Abstinent Alphas, Derek doesn't think he realizes it's an accurate summary of his love life (or serious lack thereof).

 

Derek hasn't talked to Stiles in three days, but he finds himself standing outside his house on the fourth morning, dawn just blazing across the horizon. He's on a run, not even sure if it's an excuse at this point or not, he's run past this house every day since they got home and failed to make the short walk up those back steps the to the kitchen every single time.

He's debating whether four is a pattern or whatever when the floodlight comes on, Derek trips backwards in a graceless move and falls into the hydrangeas by the back porch. The door opens, and to add insult to injury it's the Sheriff in a pair of flannel pajama bottoms and an old BHPD t-shirt.

"Hale," he says, with absolutely zero hint of surprise in his voice. Derek pulls himself to his feet, humiliated, staring at the Sheriff uncertainly before the other man rolls his eyes and waves him inside. "I was just making coffee," and he leads Derek into the house.

"If you actually expect Stiles to be awake anytime in the near future the Newlywed prize was poorly awarded," John says, grabbing an extra mug from the cabinet above the percolating pot.

He offers Derek a seat at the kitchen table and Derek takes it with a small nod of thanks. Neither of them says anything for a few excruciating minutes while the coffee pot gurgles before making a whining kind of groan and beeping. The Sheriff fixes two cups and sets one in front of Derek before taking a seat, sipping on his coffee for a long minute before he sighs heavily and says,

"So you have intentions with my son."

Derek chokes on his own coffee, coughs loudly and stares at the Sheriff with a look of shock and probably what amounts to a whole lot of guilt.

"You two are probably the least subtle people on the planet," the Sheriff sighs, "I'm seriously concerned with myself for not having figured all this out sooner," he gestures towards Derek, "the werewolf thing, not the, well both actually."

Derek isn't sure what to say so he opts for taking another sip of coffee, the scorching hotness of it a pleasant feeling to the conversation at hand.

"He's been pacing around his room for days striking up a conversation with the stuffed chimp his mom got him when he was a kid. It's really sad actually," John replies with a small grimace. Derek can't help the smile that crosses his face at the image, tries to hide it in his coffee mug but it seems to soften something in the Sheriff, who's staring at him like...a cop, or like a concerned father with his only son's boyfriend.

Derek mulls that word over in his head, isn't sure how it tastes in his mouth.

"Crap," the Sheriff sighs, placing his mug back down on the table. "What are you planning on saying to him?" He asks, like he's torn between concerned father to Stiles Stilinski, and Surrogate Father to...nearly everyone in the pack at this point.

Derek shrugs, "mostly? I was contemplating hiding in the hydrangeas again," Derek sighs. John smirks and shakes his head softly.

"Look, kid," he says, and Derek doesn't point out the fact that he's twenty seven, it wouldn't help. "I love my son, but he can be...well too put it bluntly, a dick." Derek snorts and the Sheriff offers him a sharp grin, "no idea where he gets it." Derek wouldn't touch that one with a ten foot pole.

"Ever since his mom died, Stiles..." John sighs and Derek listens carefully. "He has no use for people he doesn't care about. It's just the way it is. But when he falls? He gives it his all."

"He just seems to do it a lot," Derek admits, and he flushes softly and wonders again if that was indelicate. The Sheriff doesn't look like it's news to him.

"Sometimes Stiles tries too hard when he thinks he knows what he wants."

"You mean who he wants?" Derek asks, the Sheriff gives him a hard look but doesn't say anything.

"Do you love him?" The Sheriff asks, and it's all father this time. Derek stares at him in surprise, unsure of what to say.

"I'd die for him," he decides, knows it's true. The Sheriff shakes his head, "but would you live for him?"

--*--*--

When Stiles wakes that morning, he rolls over to try to find Derek's body next to him, falls off the bed. Again. It's been four days, he has a bruised ass and nothing to show for it but a monkey in a cop uniform sitting with an eerie grin on the end of his bed.

He pees when wakes up, washes his hands at the sink and splashes water in his face to try and wake himself up. He shuffles down the steps barefoot in a pair of loose fitting batman boxers and the t-shirt he never returned to Derek that last morning in Jamaica.

He walks into the kitchen yawning loudly to find Derek at the oven. "What?" Stiles articulates, and his father turns and waves with a spatula in his hand, flinging pancake batter over the floor.

"What...why are you making pancakes with Derek Hale?" Stiles asks the obvious question.

"We wanted pancakes," Derek answers. Stiles narrows his eyes suspiciously.

"I had a dream like this once," Stiles says. "Except you weren't there dad, no offense," he offers and his father shrugs, "and you weren't wearing anything under your apron," he tells Derek crossing his arms over his chest. His father sighs heavily and flips a couple of finished pancakes onto a plate.

"I'm going to eat these in the living room, with the news on, loudly," he informs them before saluting them farewell and disappearing. Stiles watches him go before he turns back, mouth open, completely intent on asking what in the hell. Derek shoves a piece of bacon into his mouth before he has a chance.

"I need to tell you something," Derek says, he looks determined. Stiles chokes a bit on the bacon and pulls it out of his mouth, chewing quickly and shaking his head. "No, I need to..." Derek says, and Stiles stops, nods once.

"I like it," Derek says suddenly, face flushed, eyes wide. Stiles stares into them, confused, shakes his head, but before he has a chance to ask, Derek moves forward, says softly into the space between them, "the name Grady. I like it."

Stiles gapes at him, uncertain. "And, I like you, and if you want I'd like for us to be together," Derek tells him. "Exclusively and indefinitely." There’s a long pause while Stiles decides how serious Derek is.

"Thank God," Stiles sighs, finally, and Derek looks surprised. Stiles grins and pulls him into a tight hug, bacon still clutched in a greasy fist. Derek drops his head against Stiles' shoulder and wraps his arms around him, holding on. They stay like that for a long moment, Derek turning his head to lay soft, affectionate kisses against the skin of Stiles’ neck.

“I do have to admit something though, on the interest of full disclosure,” Stiles says suddenly, and Derek pulls back.

“What?” He asks, and Stiles can see he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“I lied before,” Stiles tells him, tries to suppress the smirk, winding Derek up. He’s good at that, too. “I’m less a receiver and more of a giver…if that’s okay,” Stiles says. Derek’s face splits into a relieved grin and he nods.

“That’s okay,” Derek laughs, “I lied too.” Stiles waits a moment, “I was cheating at Scattegories.”