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we're all together in the same robot (in life)

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"We're running."

Stiles might not have a window but he knows with bone-deep certainty that it's way too early for Derek to be in his room, pulling his blankets off him and demanding things. "Wha-huh?"

"We're run- are those little Jaegers on your boxer shorts?"

"You cannot invade my room and start making judgey faces at my wardrobe choices, especially since this is technically my underwear and therefore not usually available for your scrutiny." Derek makes a weird face at that and Stiles really wishes he'd gotten more of Derek in their drift so he could know what that face meant.

"Get up, get sweats on and hell, clean your teeth. Did something die in your mouth?" Derek complains as Stiles rolls closer to him so he can slap ineffectually at Derek's hands where they are still removing precious blanket from his body.

"Just my dreams of getting a decent night's sleep," Stiles grumbles, levering up and rubbing disconsolately at his eyes. "Look, I think we have a serious problem."

"What?" Derek asks, sounding worried and moving back with a frown.

"Well, you're a morning person. I don't think I can associate with you."

"We need to work on your stamina. Laura and I used to do fifteen laps of the Shatterdome before breakfast every morning."

Stiles stops trying to drag his blankets back onto himself and blinks at Derek. It's the first time Derek's casually mentioned his sister and Derek is looking a little surprised himself, like he didn't expect that to come out of his mouth either.

"It's a good way for you to finally learn the space," Derek presses on quickly, like he can talk past the awkward. "I'm sick of you getting lost and being late to everything."

"I'm not late to everything," Stiles protests, getting up and hitching at his sagging boxers. Derek follows the movement of his hand at his hip, probably still mentally laughing at him for being a dork who wears Jaeger-cute, before he quickly turns away.

"Out in the hall in five minutes," he demands and retreats.

Stiles moves over to the old filing cabinet he's using for a wardrobe and yanks a pair of sweats out. He's got more clothing than he arrived with, but it's all badged with the Jaeger program emblems and he's not sure if that's more pathetic than the boxers. He's seen plenty of people wearing the same so he shrugs, pulls them on and a t-shirt, then an already zipped up hoodie over his head.

He's out in the hallway in three minutes flat but Derek doesn't look suitably impressed, is in fact already down at the end of the hall hopping lightly from foot to foot and looking impatient. He makes a c'mon already wave of his hand and Stiles drags his feet all the way to him, smirking when Derek rolls his eyes and sets off.

"I'll have you know that I usually only run when necessity demands."

"Then call me necessity," Derek says and Stiles shakes his head. Derek starts picking up the pace and Stiles knows that he's not going to be able to keep up for long but he's going to try. He won't look too closely at his sudden need to please Derek because that way lies awkward revelations and possibly a few daddy issues. Derek's older, but not by that much and his dreams are going to take on a really weird twist if he's seeing Derek as a father figure.

The Shatterdome is huge, Stiles knew this in theory, but it's a whole other prospect when he's being expected to lap it. They weave in and out of people who mostly ignore them, down corridors and across fly-overs. Stiles does start to make sense of the lay out to a degree, but he won't be admitting that to Derek anytime soon. Derek's smug enough.

They reach the vast, cavernous space of the Jaeger holding area and Stiles slows a little. Workers are swarming over Triskelion who still looks horribly wounded. Mountain Havoc is in the next bay, looking none the worse for wear from her latest tussle. As they move deeper into the hold, the laces on one of Stiles' sneakers untie and he trips, only saved from falling flat on his face by falling into Derek who sighs good-naturedly as he catches Stiles like he does it every day.

"What do you expect, I'm still half-asleep," Stiles complains as he hunkers down to retie his shoelace. He hears Derek take in a breath and looks up automatically.

"Is that-?"

Everything inside Stiles comes to a crashing halt. They're facing a last Jaeger bay which had been empty when Scott had first brought him down. It's not anymore and standing silently inside is a Jaeger that still to this day has pride of place in Stiles' most frightening nightmares.

"Sheriff," Stiles gets out in a kind of squeaky moan of denial. Derek whips around, grabs Stiles under the arms and hauls him upright and starts tugging him away. Stiles isn't sure what he's doing when he puts up one hand, reaching back towards the silent Jaeger.

Stiles never thought he'd be a fainter, but apparently he is.


"-to just spring this on him?"

Someone is yelling. Someone is yelling very close to his head which aches horribly so he'd like them to stop. Stiles wanted to ask the someone to stop but his mouth feels to dry so instead he raises a hand and pats the air, bumping up against something soft and frowny.

Derek's face.

"Inside voices," Stiles finally manages to get out as he slowly sits up. He's in the infirmary. He knows that because Isaac is still on the far bed. Derek's in a chair pulled up beside him and Argent is standing at the foot of his bed with his arms crossed and a defensive expression on his face.

"Hey, hi, are you feeling okay?" Derek asks, swivelling his body so he's facing Stiles. There's something careful and gentle in his voice that Stiles doesn't like, as if Derek is expecting Stiles to do something humiliating like faint again.

Right at that moment, he remembers why he fainted and his expression must be truly awful because Derek is grabbing at him again, hauling him in and wrapping arms around him. It’d even be nice if Stiles didn't feel horrible blackness trying to engulf him. It does help, head pressed against Derek's chest, being able to concentrate on his heartbeat and nothing else.

After a few minutes that feel like hours, Derek eases away, still looking wary so Stiles gives him a shaky grin. "I'm good, I promise," Stiles says, offering a feeble thumbs-up when he can untangle one of his arms from Derek's grip. Derek's on his bed, hips mashed together and when he goes to move, Stiles tangles fingers in the bottom of his t-shirt to hold him in place. Derek relaxes again and they both look at Argent.

"I guess when you said you had a Mark Zero, I should have put it together," Stiles says wryly.

"I'm sorry to have surprised you like that," Argent says after a moment and drops his arms. He turns his head to Isaac and jerks his chin at the door. Isaac obeys the silent command, getting up and shuffling out of the room. Stiles can hear voices out in the hallway, Scott's worried huffing and Isaac's reassurances as they move away.

"I hadn't seen her since..." Stiles makes a helpless gesture with his hands. His parents had ended their lives in that Jaeger, his mother physically and his father...

Stiles doesn't know if he can step into those particular boots.

"Sheriff is the only Mark Zero to have survived in a salvageable state. Time was we had money to burn and the world's eyes on us so we weren't as careful with the Zeroes as we should have been when they were decommissioned. When the first generation of Ones were built, most of the Zeroes were mothballed and didn't survive the transition without any upkeep."

"Sheriff's always been resilient," Stiles says. The Jaeger had made it back to the coast using the very limited autopilot's RH sequence. The damage to it had been specific but not fatal from an engineering standpoint. Stiles had watched the blurry footage thousands of times and it had looked to him like the Kaiju that had been Sheriff’s last battle had known just where to concentrate its attack to stop the Jaeger in its tracks, where the brains were so to speak.

"She's had a complete overhaul inside and out, but we can't rebuild the interfaces. We just don't have the time or the funds. She's shielded now and pretty much factory issue condition. She just needs pilots."

"You can't expect him to-"

"I can do it," Stiles interrupts Derek, surprising himself. "If anything, Sheriff is probably the best Mark Zero for me to use."

"Why?" Derek asks, eyebrows furrowed.

"The sim hack. The scenario you keep replaying. It's Sheriff, isn't it?" Argent asks when the silence stretches out. Stiles nods mutely feeling Derek go rigid with sympathetic horror beside him. Derek sags then, probably remembering how he'd demanded to run through that very scenario so flippantly and Stiles squeezes his arm, knowing he's probably beating himself up inside even though there was no way he could know.

"Why would you-?" Derek starts to ask, then seems to bite down on the question, shaking his head. It's getting too close to them discussing the drift, the buried-deep issues they both must carry, having lost so much to the program. "Do you really think we'll be stable enough?" Derek asks Argent instead after a moment. The silent because of how messed up we both are is implied rather than said.

"I think you'll keep each other off the ledge."

"I’m not sure mental stability works that way," Stiles says and Derek barks out an almost hysterical sounding laugh. Argent just looks between them both, like maybe he's revising his assumption that they won't destroy the world together.


"It's a prediction matrix," Lydia says, shrugging like it's nothing. Stiles had made a beeline for Lydia’s lab after he was given the all clear and he’s now gaping at the whiteboard her tiny, neat handwriting sprawls across in the middle of the room. There's a graph drawn on the side with more notations, the horizontal line on a scary upswing.

"Just how smart are you?" Stiles asks, more than a little awed.

"It's valuable to chart the frequency and location of attacks so that we can predict when the next ones will happen. The more data I have, the more accurate my predictions. This wouldn't work at all if they were, as you said before, random but they aren't. The timeline is getting shorter between attacks and the locations follow a pattern. I can start to see a bigger picture and I think within the next three attacks, if they continue, then by the fourth we'll be able to start having Jaegers standing by when the Kaiju surfaces."

"That would definitely help," Stiles says. They're able to track a rift breach, but they still need to scramble pretty hard to get a Jaeger out to where the Kaiju are. The Shatterdomes are placed to decrease response times, but a Jaeger isn't exactly something easy to transport.

"Are you ready to talk about your sim hack yet?" Lydia asks, turning on him. Stiles knows her curiosity isn't anything malicious, but he still flinches a little at the question.

"Nope," he says.

"We're friends now though, right?" Lydia turns back to her work while Danny, off to the side, raises an eyebrow at him and offers a what can you do shrug of the shoulders.

"That doesn't mean you automatically get access to all my secrets. I'm already going to have one person in my head, I don't need another." When Stiles mentions Derek, Lydia's head snaps up and her eyes gleam. Stiles narrows his own eyes at her, giving her his best stern expression. "No asking Derek either. We made a deal not to discuss anything about the drift."

"That's a disaster waiting to happen," Danny murmurs from his place, quietly enough that Stiles isn't sure he was supposed to hear it. Stiles turns on him anyway. Danny jerks a little guiltily, caught out, before he seems to gird himself for a conversation he obviously didn't mean to initiate. "Seriously, stuff's going to fester."

"It'll be easier."

"For who?" Danny scoffs. "You both have some pretty messed up stuff in your past. To have extra piled on with no outlet? That's messed up."

"How would you know anyway?" Stiles dismisses, feels like a complete ass about it immediately but Danny doesn't give him a chance to apologize.

"I was drift compatible with Derek's sister, Cora. We were training together. Before she got called up to fill in, we were slated to pilot Mountain Havoc."

"You never told me that," Lydia says.

"Like Stiles said, you're not entitled to all my secrets."

"Does Derek know?"

"I've been ducking him."

"Now who's messed up?" Stiles sighs. "I think maybe you should listen to your own advice, talk to the guy."

"I don't have anything to offer him, except more pain. It's weird because I never actually met him in person, but I have all these memories of him. Believe me when I say that you need to discuss things like that."

"You just-"

"I have someone to talk to."

"Who?" Lydia demands.

"Obviously someone discreet because you don't know."

Lydia makes a frustrated noise and Stiles just looks at Danny, at this whole other dimension opened up about the guy he'd just been thinking of just as Lydia's assistant.

"You didn't want to pilot after what happened?" Stiles asks.

"I didn't not want to, just..." Danny sets his tools aside, stands and grasps Stiles' shoulder. "I've heard of pilots who've changed drift partners but it's rare and only by choice, not when one of the pilots is taken out of the equation by force. That's too hard to come back from."


"Calm, blue ocean," Stiles breathes out and Derek quirks an eyebrow at him.

"Is that some kind of relaxation mantra?"

"No, I'm just saying that we're going to drown in a calm, blue ocean."

"You're funny."

"You know it's weird that you say that instead of just laughing, right?"

"Are you guys going to be like this the entire time, because if so I'm going to have to be medicated," Boyd's voice breaks into their banter and Stiles does not jump. Okay, maybe the tiniest bit. It's easy to think you're alone inside the cockpit, just you and your co-pilot.

"Just working out the jitters," Stiles says, tone breezy and none of his inner turmoil showing. He knows in about two minutes Derek is going to get a front row seat to his issues and Stiles offers him an apologetic grimace, even though he's not sure it translates properly through the helmets.

"You're just stretching your legs," Boyd says and Stiles figures he got the gig he did because of his deep, reassuring voice. "Not a Kaiju in sight."

"We'll see if we get to the stretching bit," Stiles huffs. He's having visions of them falling flat over on their giant, metal face without even taking so much as a step. Generally pilots work up to actual live-time slowly but with Triskelion still out of commission and one of the Russian Jaegers also having taken bad damage in the last week, not to mention China still not having their own three-person program online, slowly is not an option for them.

"We can do this," Derek says and he sounds so infuriatingly sure that he almost has Stiles believing it.

"No arming weapons in the Shatterdome," Boyd adds. "First time Jackson got into Mountain Havoc he blasted a hole in the roof."

"Are you serious?" Stiles laughs, immediately feeling better. Jackson and Lydia are one of the best pilot teams to have come out of the program in the last few years and to hear that Jackson's start was less than auspicious makes Stiles relax in a way that no amount of reassuring words or platitudes could have done.

Boyd really knows what he's doing.

"Okay," Stiles says, nodding.

"Neural link initialising," Boyd says and runs through their checklist.

Stiles breathes deeply and right before he tips over the cliff he's got his toes on, over the sound of Boyd’s initialised and holding steady, he hears Derek say, "Follow me, not the rabbit."

Stiles is hit with the wash of memories, both his own and Derek's. There's too many to sort through, a jumble that feels like it doesn't have an end. Right when he thinks he's going to be lost though, he sees Derek up ahead standing in the middle of a forest of dark, leafy green, broad shouldered and familiar and Stiles does exactly that.

He follows.

His feet lift and drop, brain telling him that he's walking even though it feels like it's through mud. The movement translates through the Jaeger and it steps forward, sure and steady. Out of the corner of his eye, Stiles sees Derek moving at the same time, face set in concentration. He lets go of everything except the movement and the feeling of Derek, all encompassing and warmer than anything he's ever felt. He raises one arm, fist up, triumphant and Derek does the same, Sheriff mirrors the movement and he hears Boyd huff in a fondly exasperated way.

"No theatrics. Stick to the script," he warns.

"Can I say it?" Stiles asks.

"Can I stop you?" Derek groans.

"Absolutely not!" Stiles chortles in glee, then they're raising Sheriff's other arm, punching at the sky as they leave the Shatterdome and Stiles yells, "There's a new Sheriff in town!"

His joy is short-lived as Stiles hears alarms through his headset. "What's that?" Derek demands before Stiles has a chance to.

"Rift breach," Boyd says. "Category Two... crap,"

"What?" Derek barks again.

"You're close-" Boyd starts to say but then his comms are cut and Argent is on the line.

"Don't even think about it. Mountain Havoc is prepping now. You about face and head back."

"We're already out here," Stiles protests.

"You're not ready-"

"Seriously, were we really going to be ready the first time you had to send us out? Put our damn controller back on the line and give us some coordinates." Stiles looks across at Derek to confirm that they're in agreement on this and Derek nods.

"Distraction only, keep it from making landfall. Don’t engage," Argent relents. He thinks it's a bad idea, his voice is full of that, but he doesn't have much of a choice.

"Code name Iron Jaw," Boyd says as they turn Sheriff around and head for the coordinates flashing on their HUD.

Stiles, like most people living on a coastline, has seen a few Kaiju in person, but never up close. As they draw nearer, the monster breaks the surface of the water in front of them and for a moment it's too much for him to comprehend. Stuff like this shouldn't exist, shouldn't be real. He's looking at a B-Movie monster, an ugly, twisted monstrosity that should have stayed well and truly in the nightmares it was obviously born in.

The Kaiju is reptilian, with a beaked face and a heavy brow ridge over glowing eyes. It roars as it spots them, advancing. The noise is filtered through the Jaeger but it still vibrates through Stiles' rib cage. He and Derek aren't as in tune as an experienced crew, but they both know that evasion is their best chance, that they're only supposed to be buying Mountain Havoc the time she needs to arrive. All Jaeger crews are trained in combat and it comes in handy now, Stiles relying mostly on the boxing lessons Derek is perpetually dragging him along to instead of the fancier martial arts as they duck and weave, trying to lead the Kaiju out into deeper water.

Derek's right, Stiles' stamina isn't where it should be. If they survive this, he’ll apologize and get up extra early to go running and won't bitch about it as much. His muscles burn and he knows he's getting a little sluggish, their movements not as fluid as he and Derek fall slightly out of synch physically if not mentally.

"Where was our invitation to this party?" Lydia's voice over comms is heaven-sent and Stiles lets out a gusty sigh of relief. Mountain Havoc drops into the water on their flank and moves forward, purposeful.

"We got this," Jackson says and Stiles is surprised not to hear a shred of smugness in his voice. Jackson is all business when it counts.

"Stick around, learn from the masters." It seems Lydia has enough smug for the both of them and Stiles can't help but smile helplessly as they fall back and Mountain Havoc goes to work.


"You didn't die."

"You sound surprised."

"I am." Argent looks between them, his gaze settling on Stiles. "I've decided this is your fault."

"What?" Stiles splutters as Derek hides a grin behind his hand.

"Kitchen duty for two weeks, and don't think that gets you out of any other training."

"Are you seriously punishing me for-?"

"Yes." Argent has obviously dismissed them, is already back to the paperwork on his desk. Stiles fumes silently for a moment, but knows arguing will only get him three weeks instead of two. They leave Argent's office without another word and Stiles shoves Derek as soon as they're outside and Derek's able to let free the laugh he was holding onto.

"I don't know why you're so amused. You're going to be scrubbing pots right by my side like a good little co-pilot," Stiles says, peeved.

"In your dreams," Derek snorts through chuckles.

Stiles goes to shove him again when Derek doesn't stop laughing but Derek catches his wrists before he can. He tugs and Stiles goes stumbling into Derek and before he can complain about Derek being a klutz and infecting him with it, Derek's kissing him and everything else just falls away.

Stiles forgets to care that they're in a hallway outside Argent's office and that there are people squeezing by them, either ignoring their antics or flat out staring at them. He doesn't know what to do with his arms for a moment, holds them awkwardly out to his sides before it occurs to him that since they're kissing, Derek won't be too horribly offended if Stiles takes the opportunity to touch him.

Stiles winds arms around Derek's neck and it's good, perfect in fact so it's a surprise when Derek jerks away from him, blushing furiously and looking horrified. "God, sorry! I don't know what I was-"

"It's... okay?" Stiles says, confused beyond belief. He wants to go back to the part where they were laughing and kissing but Derek's expression is closing down and he's hugging his arms around himself, stricken.

"No, it's not. When we... there's bleed through from the drift. Not just memories but emotions and... and sometimes desires."

Stiles gets it suddenly, in neon flashing lights. He's infected Derek with his hopeless little crush and Derek had acted on it unthinkingly before he stopped himself. Stiles feels horrible because it's obviously not something Derek actually wants. "Oh wow, no, I get it," Stiles says, hoping that Derek doesn't hear how small, hurt and disappointed his voice is.

Derek seems a little too wrapped up in his own misery to acknowledge it, just nods stiffly and stalks away.

"Of course," Stiles sighs, lowering himself to the floor right there in the hallway and not really caring much when people have to step over him to get by when he stretches out his legs dejectedly.

It's been that kind of day.


"I don't think that's the way it works," Scott says, frowning when Stiles makes it to Scott's room and throws himself on Isaac's bed, a little more carefully than normal because Isaac's actually in it this time and still a little sore. Isaac pets him and makes soothing noises and Stiles doesn't know why it took him so long to realize that Isaac is the best, apart from Scott.

"You didn't see his face. It was like he suddenly realized he'd been making out with an onion or something," Stiles laments.

"You're cuter than an onion," Isaac says with a smile and Stiles rolls over so he can see Scott.

"Did you give him a double dose of his pain meds again?" Stiles accuses and Scott shuffles his feet.

"He was having trouble sleeping."

"He's high, Scott. Cut it out."

"Your hair is really soft," Isaac says dreamily, petting him and Stiles gives Scott a see what I mean look.

"Fine," Scott grumbles, then drops onto his own bed and gives Stiles a level look. "I still don't think you can really infect someone in the drift with your feelings."

"I did though," Stiles argues. "Derek Hale, man. As if he would want to get all up in this." Stiles waves a hand, indicating the whole of his person and the fact that in his very educated opinion, it's sorely lacking in what could attract someone like Derek.

"There's really nothing wrong with what you’re pointing at," Scott says loyally. "Why wouldn't Derek want to mack on you?"

"Many and varied reasons," Stiles says, smacking at Isaac's hands when they wander into more private territory.

There's a knock at the door and Danny pokes his head in, smiles when he sees Stiles. "There you are."

"I'm not really that hard to find," Stiles says, because people keep looking surprised to have tracked him down.

"Lydia's about to explode if we don't pry Derek out of your simulator. She says she can't concentrate with him klunking around."

"Just disconnect him."

"She said something about possible brain damage which I don't think we want to do to him, do we?"

Stiles rolls his eyes and levers himself off Isaac and his bed, padding after Danny. He learns an interesting shortcut between Scott's room and Lydia's lab that he'll have to try later on the way and then they're in the lab. Lydia is standing in the middle with her arms crossed, foot tapping and glare directed at Derek in the simulator.

"He's been going for about two hours," Lydia says like it's Stiles' fault which, possibly it is. Derek's wearing a grey t-shirt and it's completely soaked through with sweat. Stiles crosses to the simulator, hits a few keys on the terminal and then frowns. "Wait, who loaded this scenario?"

"He asked me if I could load the Cat Three sim for him. I... was I not supposed to?" Danny asks.

Stiles snatches the headset from the terminal and yanks it on his head. When immersed, it's the only way to contact the pilot who can shut down from the inside. There's an emergency stop but the old simulators didn't have the same safety protocols as the more recent ones and considering Stiles patched together the simulator using some very non-standard parts, he doesn't want to risk it, even if he is furious.

"Derek, disengage right now," Stiles growls. He's surprised when Derek does, the low waning hum that indicates a shut down the only warning Stiles receives before Derek is falling out of the simulator and practically on top of him.

"Holy crap," Derek groans when Stiles unceremoniously dumps him on the floor. Derek reaches up, but he's exhausted so he doesn’t connect when Stiles moves away from him.

"What do you think you were doing?" Stiles demands. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Danny tug Lydia out of the lab, against her will by the way she's dragging her feet and protesting about it.

"You were trying to figure out a way to save them, I get it," Derek says, flopping over onto his back, apparently having given up on the notion of being upright until he recovers.

"You get nothing," Stiles hisses. "Wasn't it you that didn't want to share? I can't even begin to describe how much of an invasion this is."

"I was just trying to understand," Derek says, sounding tired. "The stuff I saw in your head... I couldn't just..."

"You said-!"

"I was wrong, okay? I talked to Danny-"

"You talked to Danny?"

"Not about you. Just, about bottling this stuff up. He was Cora's partner and... he told me some stuff that helped and I thought maybe I could help you."

"I don't need anyone's help," Stiles spits. He's almost to the doors of the lab when Derek calls him back.

"Stiles! I don't think there was any way it could've gone down differently. There was no way that both of them would have survived."

"I wasn't trying to save them both!" he yells.


"Just one, okay? I wanted to see if there was a way that just one of them... I lost both my parents that day. My dad was connected to my mother when she died and I... his body came back but he..."

Stiles isn't aware he's crying until he has Derek brushing big palms down his cheeks, smearing the wetness away. He's not sure when Derek not only managed to push himself up onto his feet, but also crossed to him, put arms around. He tries to push away but Derek doesn't let him go, not even when Stiles balls his hands into fists and hits at any part of Derek he can reach. He exhausts himself quickly, slumps down and feels Derek curl around him on the floor.

"I'm sorry, I should have talked to you. I shouldn't have done this," Derek says gently. "After what happened earlier, I wasn't really thinking."

"I'm sorry about that," Stiles says, retrieving a hand so he can wipe at his own soggy face.

"Why are you apologizing?" Derek asks, sounding confused.

"Well, I was the one who... I'm the one with the crush on you. I didn't mean to... infect you I guess?"

"What are you talking about?" Derek says, pulling back enough so that he can see Stiles. "I've been mooning over you for weeks. Allison and Lydia have been laughing their asses off at me, telling me to man up and do something about it."

"We're idiots," Stiles groans, dropping his face into Derek's shoulder.

"You mean we-?"

"Both, yes, apparently," Stiles says, tilts his face up to let Derek wipe over it with a shirt sleeve because he's still a little damp.

"Good to know," Derek decides amiably with a grin while tucking Stiles in closer to himself.

"So, new deal? We talk about stuff."


"I would never have picked you for a cuddler, you know?"

"Shut up. This is me comforting you. Totally different."

"P'shaw. You're totally a closet cuddler."

"Do you want to see how much of a puncher I am?"

"I prefer this if I get to choose," Stiles says with a grin that he hides in Derek's throat.


"I went to your room." Derek looks surprised to find Stiles already in the gym the next morning.

"Considering it's only across the hall, it wasn't exactly out of your way," Stiles says when he figures out Derek's annoyed that he wasn't there. "Might I also point out that you could have already been in my room but you declined?"

"I didn't want to... I was being gallant," Derek huffs.

"Ugh, you can't just say stuff like that," Stiles says, shaking his head as he jogs over to wrap arms around Derek's waist. "Just makes me want to snuggle you to death, seriously."

"I think I can live with that," Derek says, just as the alarms go off. Isaac appears in the gym's entryway a few seconds after that.

"You guys are on," he says, eyes wide and a mixture of excited and terrified.

"What? Why?" Stiles splutters.

"Double event! I'm totally going to kill Lydia!"

“You ready for this?” Derek asks, linking hands with Stiles as Isaac disappears .

“Would it be horribly sappy to say that I am if you’re by my side?”

Derek brings Stiles’ hand up to his mouth, kisses across his knuckles and then says, “Yes, totally. I’m going to make fun of you forever and ever.”

“Ugh, you’re the worst.”