It was sometimes hard to remember how it was before, but it was even harder to forget. At the same time, he could remember the echo of the blissful ache of being able to stretch and flex his toes, but couldn’t remember the sensation enough to recreate it with his mind. Sometimes he spent hours just staring at his feet, willing his body to remember the feeling, but he felt nothing, useless feet just hanging like slabs of meat attached to equally useless legs.
Derek closed his eyes in an attempt to escape his inescapably broken body. He was lucky, the doctors said, if the damage to his spine had been even a little different he could have lost even more mobility, lost the ability to control his bodily functions. Derek didn’t know if he would have been strong enough to survive that. He was barely hanging on as it was. If it wasn’t for Laura and Cora he may have given up, not even gone to the seemingly endless physical therapy sessions. He would have just closed himself off and let himself fade away. But they had lost so much already, forcing them to go through losing him on top of it all...well he wouldn’t do that to them.
So he went to physio, he got released from the hospital, moved into a new apartment, pretended that he was still just annoyed with the world instead of showing that he felt constantly teetering on the edge of a breakdown. Derek had always covered his emotions with a mask of general grumpiness, now he positively radiated ‘back off’ vibes. The damedable chair actually helped keep most people at bay. No one knew how to handle a scowling cripple, so most people just gave him space. And that was how he liked it. It kept him from losing it. Kept him in control.
The do-gooders were the worst though. He wished that his leather jacket haddn’t been torn to shreds in the accident...that may have helped scare them off. As it is, he hasn’t yet braved a clothing store. Grocery stores were bad enough in the chair. He didn’t even want to think about navigating those narrow rows of clothes, not being able to see over the racks, feeling boxed in. No thank you.
Mostly he stayed holed up in the apartment that didn’t feel like home. He knew that he couldn’t have kept his old loft, there was no elevator and everything had been to narrow or high for him now. This new place was all done out with accessibility features...but it was so cold and white. Like he was still in the hospital. Laura and Cora had offered to come help him get settled in and stay with him for a bit, but Laura was running the family company and Cora was away in college. He told them he was fine. And he was fine. It wasn’t like he had been particularly happy before. Now it was just more depressing.
He was almost out of food again. That meant another trip to the cursed grocery store. There were always do-gooders at the grocery store. He had even tried going in the middle of the night to try to avoid other people, but that just made him stand out like a beacon in need of assistance. He looked over at the clock on the wall. 9 am. Not a bad time. Most folks were at work, and kids would be in school. Grabbing his wallet, phone and keys he steeled himself for the outdoor world.
Derek was getting to be pretty good at getting groceries. Seven months of practice and he had a system. He grabbed a basket, set it on his lap and aimed for the heavy stuff first. Milk and yogurt, then cereal and pasta, some fruits and veg. He had learned to keep it simple. If he just ate a few basic things he could be in and out and not have to brave the center aisles were most products were out of his reach. Luckily the cheap stuff was normally towards the bottom so he didn’t have to worry about breaking the bank. Toilet paper and deodorant were last. The toilet paper was always big and bulky taking up most of the basket and making it awkward to maneuver, see, and balance the full basket. That was what led to the incident.
As he was backing away from the deodorant shelf he bumped his wheel into a cardboard display of some fancy new condoms that came in boxes shaped more like mini pringles cans than anything else, sending the whole thing careening over onto a tall blond man in his mid-twenties wearing a suit. And of course one of the boxes broke open sending colorful circular packets all over the floor.
“What the hell!” The man shouted rubbing his temple where the display had hit him. He turned on Derek with a slightly impressive glower. He took a step forward till he was looming over Derek, “You better not have caused any lasting damage or I will sue!”
Derek was at a loss as to how to respond. Before he would have just crossed his arms and stared the guy down, but from his low vantage point he actually felt...intimidated. Not that he would let that show, but…
“What’s a cripple like you need rubbers for anyway. Not like anyone is lining up for a ride on your lap.”
“Fuck off, Whitmore!” A voice cut in from behind Derek.
The blonde looked up and straightened, “Stilinski.”
“Go back to whatever rock you climbed out from under,” A man appeared at his side, wiry arms placed on lean hips. He was a similar height to the blonde but held none of the same bulk. Still, he was absolutely gorgeous and he did not seem intimidated in the least.
“Still standing up for the freakshows, eh Stilinski? Some things never change.” the blonde sneered.
“I kicked your ass in high school, douchebag, and I will do it again. I don’t think you will be selling anyone any cars today if you go in with a black eye.”
“I will su…”
The blonde looked torn for a moment, then took a step back, “Whatever, Stilinski.”
And he turned and rounded the aisle.
Derek heard the brunette muttering under his breath about douchey assholes that never learn anything. Then he turned to Derek with a brilliant smile. “Sorry about him, once a giant bag of cow dung, always a giant bag of cow dung.”
Derek grunted and looked down at the ruined display. He would normally have cleaned it up and not left a mess just laying about, but...chair and limited mobility.
“Here I got it. I don’t think that he has enough brain cells to form a sentence that doesn’t have an insult in it.” The brunette continued to ramble even as he righted the display case and quickly piled back up the condoms that weren’t from the busted box.
“I don’t need your help.” Derek didn’t know if he was referring to the blonde or the condoms as he glowered at the smiling man.
“Aww, come on dude, don’t be a dickhead. We all need a hand now and then.” He righted the last box, leaving the spilled one kind of swept out of the way but still on the floor. “I am Stiles, by the way. Now, how many boxes did you want?”
“Um, did you just call me a dickhead?” Should he be offended right now? Amused?
“Maybe…” Stiles said, smile unfaltering, “Do you prefer warming or ribbed. Maybe one of each?”
Derek realized that Stiles was holding out two of the boxes of condoms towards him. That set his mood plummeting back down. “Neither.”
Stiles looked at the containers in his hands with a contemplative air. “Not my usual brand either, but you never know.” And he tossed both tubes into his cart, that was standing abandoned a little way behind Derek.
“It is probably me just getting my hopes up. Nothing like a pretty face to inspire one to branch out.” the man babbled on with a wink.
Derek could feel his ears itch with the urge to redden, but he tramped that down. He wasn’t big on flirting before...now no one ever looked at him like that. Not that it would matter if they had. That part of his life was done, died along with his legs.
“Wanna get a coffee? There is a shop in the front of the store. Their danishes suck, but the coffee is actually decent.”
“Now come on. It doesn’t have to be a date-like coffee, if you got a girlfriend...or boyfriend...waiting for you at home. It can just be two guys chilling out over blessed caffeine. Although, if you don’t have someone waiting in the wings I am totally on board with pursuing that option as well.”
“You may be insane.”
“I will take that as a yes! What do you drink? I will go put our order in while you finish up your shopping.”
Derek was losing this...he had no idea how to counteract this guy’s enthusiasm. “I am done shopping.”
“Oh sweet! Let’s go check out.” He started pushing his cart beside Derek, who started wheeling along, not knowing how to shake the guy. He did have to check out.
“Do you use like a specific check out lane? Oh, duh, I see it right there. It is amazing how a person can walk right by something a thousand times and not see it.” Stiles lined up in the lane next to the wheelchair accessable lane and continued to chat on. “Dude, this feels weird. I just realized that I always use lane 3. I guess I am just a creature of habit. It kind of feels like I am cheating on my lane. Oh but look, this one has peanut butter cups! Score!”
Derek tried to ignore him as he checked out. He got done first, since Stiles had a person ahead of him in the line. He slipped his bags over the handles on the back of his chair. He was about to attempt to slip away without being noticed when Stiles called out.
“Dude, order me a iced mocha frappuccino! I will pay you back once we sit down.” And he went back to loading up his groceries on the conveyer belt.
Derek contemplated just leaving, but somehow ended up in the line and giving his order to the acne plagued barista. Stiles arrived moments later, leaving his cart by the door and pointing to a table for them to meet at.
Stiles got there first and had already removed a chair so that Derek could roll right up to the table. Normally when people did stuff like that they looked at him with the pitying expression, but Stiles just sat down across from him and was already talking again. “So, what kind of coffee you get? Oh, wait let me guess...I am thinking black, extra strong. Or maybe that is just because of the way your shirt hugs your shoulders. Damn! I hope you don’t mind me drooling over here. You never did answer my girlfriend question!”
He looked at Derek expectantly, “Um, no. No girlfriend.”
“Sweet! Oh looks like our order is up. I will get it!”
He was gone and back in record time, “So, I am getting a bit ahead of myself. I know I told you, my name is Stiles. I am a young adult graphic novel designer. I am currently single and broke, although I just sent off my first manuscript...so maybe the broke part will change soon. Nice to meet you…”
“Derek.” Stiles smiles broadly again like he just won some great prize. “You live around here? Or are you just passing through? I will be positively heartbroken if you are just here visiting.”
“No, I live here. Always have.”
“Me too! Although I have been gone for college until last year, I switched majors a few times… Anyway, what do you do?”
Derek’s stomach sank, “I was a mechanic...but…” he trailed off unable to finish.
“Oh, so the Professor X look is kinda new, eh? That sucks, dude. It took me like forever to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with myself. It will probably take awhile to figure out a new fit for you.”
Derek stared into his coffee...it was black. He had be thinking a lot about what he was going to do now. Laura had told him not to worry about it. To take his time and she would cover him as long as he needed. But it was already grating on him that she was supporting him.
“Did you like working as a mechanic or was it just a job?”
“I liked working with my hands, fixing things.”
Stiles nodded, “Yeah I get that. I like getting hands on too, but with people not machines.”
Derek raised an eyebrow.
“I know it is not the same, but I am a Dom, you know like as in BDSM, and I like seeing what makes someone tick, taking someone apart, and then put them back together. I am good at reading people and that makes me a good dom.”
Derek was a bit flabbergasted. He didn't know much about BDSM but Stiles looked nothing like what he would picture a dom as. He pictured lots of muscle and leather and just not Stiles. He was lean, not skinny per say, but didn't have any bulk that you could see. He was in loose jeans and a graphic T and didn't have a single tattoo or piercing in sight.
“I know, I know, I don't look the part.” He said with a puppy dog smile, “but you know the saying, don't judge a book by its cover. Well unless it is my book, because I worked hard on that cover and it is kick-ass! You ever gotten into the scene? Most people would probably peg you as the type, all dark and brooding-y, but I don't think you are. You are really a marshmallow aren't you.”
Derek glowered at him.
Stiles just beamed, “Would you be interested in it? If not I am cool with that too. I know we just met, I just have this vibe that we could have potential. And it is not just because you are gorgeous, I swear.”
“I can't do relationships.”
“Well obviously we would just start by getting to know each other. Become friends. Go on a few dates. Work up to anything physical.” He tosses in with another wink.
Derek was done with this. He placed his half finished coffee down and placed his hands on his wheels ready to roll back and away. “I don't do friends and I can't do physical.”
Stiles cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, “Ok, I will drop the rest, but everyone needs friends, whether we like to admit it or not. Give me your phone.”
“I will follow you home, now give it.”
“You a stalker? I will call the police.”
Stiles shrugged, “My dad is the sheriff. And it wouldn't be stalking, it would be aggravated pestering.”
“That is not a thing.”
“I will make it a thing, give me your phone, or I will just look you up in the police database.”
“That is illegal.”
“You will learn to love my adorably convenient sense of morality.”
Derek doesn't even realize he has pulled out his phone until Stiles places a hand over where he has a death grip around it. Stiles's eyes find his and his smile suddenly feels warmer. “You can trust me, Derek, I don't have any ulterior motives here. I just want to know you.”
“Not much to know.” Derek mutters but releases his phone to Stiles. He doesn't even ask what Stiles is doing as he clicks around for a few moments.
“There,” he says, handing the phone back.
The screen is showing a phone call in progress and then Derek hears the Star Wars theme start up from Stiles’s pocket. Stiles pulls out his own phone and hits accept, holding it up to his ear.
“Hello, is anyone there?”
Derek sighs and raises his phone to his ear, “This is ridiculous.”
“That is practically my middle name. Now onto important matters. When are we going to see the new Avengers movie?” Still talking into the phone.
“I haven't seen the last one.”
“What?!” Stiles screeched flailing in his seat and nearly tipping over, “Unacceptable!”
“I was in the hospital.”
“Excuses, excuses!” Stiles says dismissively, not thrown at all by Derek’s admission, “I hope you know that this means that we are having a movie marathon. What are you doing Friday?”
“That is tomorrow.”
“So? What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow it is then. I don't have anything going on until I get some feedback from my editor, and I happen to have it on good authority that you are between jobs at the moment, so I will be over at 4 with movies and pizza.”
“You don't even know where I live.”
“Yes I do! I shared your contact details with myself. Also, super convenient we are totally walking distance between our apartments...or rolling distance in your case...so if we ever get plastered at each others places we don't need to call an Uber.”
Derek didn't know if he should be offended by the rolling comment or not. He didn't feel offended...it was just how Stiles was, it seemed.
“So as much as I love chatting, we really ought to get going. We both have cold groceries that need to be saved from spoiling. I will call you later!” He hung up the phone and leaned over giving Derek a peck on the cheek, and disappearing out the door of the coffee shop.
‘What the hell had just happened?’ Derek thought to himself as he awkwardly rolled one handed to the trashcan to throw away what was left of his coffee.
He was just rolling in the door of his apartment when his phone started ringing. At first he thought it would be Stiles again, but the caller ID said Laura. He was a little shocked that he felt a pang of disappointment.
He clicked on speakerphone as he rolled through the kitchen putting away the groceries.
“Huh.” He grunted as a form of greeting.
“Soooo,” she sing-songed and Derek got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, “I hear someone has a date tomorrow.”
“It's not a date. And how on earth did you hear about that? Are you having me followed?”
Laura sounded absolutely gleeful, “Nothing so devious as all that. Stiles called me, he sounds cute by the way.”
“He called you? How!?”
“He says that he stole mine and Cora’s contact info when he commandeered your phone. He said he noticed that we were your only recent calls and shared your last name so he wanted to check in. He is odd, but I like him. He just wanted to assure me of his intentions and invite me to interrogate him at any time if I ever feel the need.”
“What intentions? Aren't you even the least concerned that he has no sense of personal boundaries, or the legalities associated with them!” Derek really wanted someone to tell him that he should be creeped out...even if he wasn't, not really. He should be, but he wasn't.
“Oh don't get your knickers in a twist. He said he just wanted to start as friends, but he said he felt a spark when he saw you. Isn't that romantic? He said he would be happy to let it grow into something more. What do you think?”
“I think he's absolutely insane.” Derek bit out, “And he doesn't know how to shut up."
"Yeah, he is a bit of a talker isn't he?” Laura laughed, but then her voice changed and got more serious, “Derek, this could be so good for you.”
“Laura, I am broken. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't be with him how he would want.”
“Don't assume to know what other people want, Derek. It sounds to me that he knows himself rather well, and can read you too, which is some kind of miracle. Just give it a chance, and don't overthink everything.”
Derek just groaned.
“Call me on Saturday, if he is gone. I want to know everything.”
“Why do you hate me?”
“Love you too. Have some fun, seriously.”
Derek just huffed at her, “Bye.”
He hung up and maneuvered himself onto the sofa flinging an arm dramatically over his eyes. Somehow this day has already been exhausting and it wasn't even noon. Just as he thought that he might dose off his phone rang again. He didn't even look at the caller ID this time and just answered hauling it to his ear. “What?”
Cora's voice came through bright and cheery, “So tell me about Stiles.”
Derek contemplated not answering the door when it started to ring at promptly 4 o'clock the next day. He had a feeling though if he didn't Stiles would just find another way in. And so he opened the door to a madly grinning Stiles. Derek refused to admit to himself that his stomach did a little flip-flop at the sight of him.
“Hi Derek! How was your night? Did your sisters let you know that I called them? I know, I know, personal boundaries blah, blah.” He walked right in setting down a backpack next to the couch as he plopped himself down. “If I totally freak you out with something though, just let me know!”
Derek was so caught up in Stiles’s endless flow of words he almost forgot to close the door as he reentered the living room. “I thought you said you were bringing pizza.”
“I thought we could order together, that way I know what you like.”
“There is a difference between not being picky and getting what you want. What is your favorite toppings? I am your traditional meat lovers all the way! Surprise, surprise since I am such a big fan of a good sausage.” He said with a wink.
Derek chose to take the moral high ground and ignore the terrible innuendo, “Pineapple and onion.”
“Together?” Stiles asks pulling a face.
Derek crosses his arms belligerently, “You asked.”
“Touché.” He grinned opening his bag and pulling out a huge stack of dvds. “You want to order now or later?”
“Later is fine.”
“Great, I wasn't hungry yet either. Although I did bring popcorn. You can't have a movie marathon without popcorn!”
Stiles dug down further in his backpack producing four bags of microwaveable popcorn and a giant bag of Twizzlers. “You pick out where to start, I have them in chronological order here, but if you want we can go by character if you like. While you get it all set up I will go and fix the popcorn.”
And just like that Stiles had made himself at home in Derek’s kitchen and Derek was faced with an entire coffee table full of superhero movies. He decided that chronological order was the way to go, since he had seen a few of the movies over the years, but never in any particular order, and was probably missing some major overarching themes.
Stiles came back in with a bowl of popcorn (obviously he had no qualms about shifting through Derek’s cupboards to locate things). Derek had already loaded up the DVD and had the remote in hand and had his first bout of insecurity. Should he stay in his chair or maneuver next to Stiles on the couch. He didn't like to move in and out of the chair in front of other people. It was never graceful no matter how much he worked out. When on his own he spent a good bit of time moving about the house without the chair, he found it felt good to use his upper body in so many ways. But that was by himself, not with Stiles right there. He knew it was a part of life he would have to accept and adjust to, but this was all still new to him and awkward.
“Dude, get your ass over here so I can get some snuggles...platonic snuggles!” He corrected at Derek’s look.
Derek was glad to have the decision made for him and moved to the sofa just as the movie intro started. Stiles did end up encroaching on Derek’s side of the sofa pretty quickly. He talked almost constantly about what was happening in the movie, about the actors, about how the comics were different. It wasn't long before he was plastered against Derek’s side and grabbing popcorn from the bowl now located in Derek's lap. Derek felt pleasantly relaxed and more at ease with Stiles the longer the man rambled.
Even before the accident Derek had not been a people person. He could probably have gone a whole week without uttering a complete sentence and no one would have noticed. Now though, he found himself actually talking with Stiles, sharing his own thoughts on the movie voluntarily. It was surprisingly comfortable.
The first movie ended and they ordered their pizzas to be delivered while they dove into the next film. The doorbell rang right at the most climactic part, causing Stiles to actually growl under his breath at the door. Derek snorted a laugh and Stiles blinked at him in surprise before a blinding grin appeared. Derek felt himself being drawn into that smile as his stomach decided to flip again. The doorbell blared for a second time, breaking the tension that had filled the moment. Stiles sighed and got to his feet, practically tripping over the coffee table in the process of reaching the door.
Stiles reappeared with a pack of sodas and two pizzas balanced in his arms. “You want to eat here or at the table? I am totally good with either, but I will give you ample warning for your couches protection, I have a tendency to spill things when I get distracted...which is a lot…”
“Here is fine. The couch can take it. Besides, we need to see how Iron Man gets himself out of this mess.”
Stiles sent him that stomach-twisting smile and started setting out the food. Derek noticed that Stiles naturally put all the items for Derek within easy reach on the side table. He seemed to take Derek’s needs into account without drawing attention to it, or ignoring it obviously. He just acted like Derek thought he normally would with anyone. Even his sisters, as much as he loved them, acted different. Always on edge, ready to jump up and do everything for him, or trying so hard to act like it wasn’t a thing that everything was stilted and unnatural feeling.
This though, this just felt nice. Derek could practically feel Stiles squirming his way under his skin. It was going to be next to impossible to make himself forget how good this feels once Stiles left. Because once Stiles realizes that Derek is so broken, there is no way he will stay.
The current movie finishes and Stiles cleans up their mess from dinner as Derek puts in the next film. Stiles makes his way back in just as Derek is sliding back onto the couch. It is dark out by now, and it feels more intimate as Stiles curls up next to him. Derek can feel his blood pumping through his veins, making his fingertips and ears tingle. He wants to put his arm around Stiles, but that would be stupid. That would be leading Stiles on. Making him think that Derek could ever be what he wants.
As the movie starts so does Stiles’s mouth. They have both seen this one, so neither needs to pay close attention, so when Stiles starts to drift from movie related topics to anything else that pops into his head. He is just wrapping up a tirade on people’s lack of concern for climate change and deforestation, when he sits up and reaches out for Derek’s hand.
“So, I have really been having a good time tonight.”
“Um, yeah. It’s good. Surprising.” Derek was having trouble focusing on anything other than where the skin of Stiles’s fingers was trailing against his own.
“I will not take offense to that. So I wanted to talk about friendship, dating, and sex.”
Derek tenses up, and it must be blatantly obvious because Stiles gives his hand a squeeze.
“I know, I know, I said I could do platonic and give us time to get to know each other. And I can and will if that is what you need. But I want to be upfront, if it hasn’t already be completely obvious, that I am interested in more.” He paused for a breath before plowing on, “I know that it is complicated. That you are a private guy. That you are paralyzed. That I am annoying as fuck most of the time. But I really think we could have something and I want to know if you would be willing to head in that direction with me.”
Derek stared at Stiles. God, Derek wished he wasn’t so messed up. Stiles was so funny and open and gorgeous and confidant. Stiles deserved someone as awesome as him. Even before, Derek had had issues with relationships. And now it wasn’t even an option.
“Stiles, I can’t.”
“You keep saying can’t. Why not?” He didn’t sound angry or hurt, but genuinely curious.
“I am...I am...broken. I can’t...” Derek hated words.
Stiles squeezed his hand again, “Is this about a physical problem, or an emotional one?”
How could he sound so calm about this? Derek felt like he was about to pass out. “Mostly physical.”
“Stemming from your injury, the paralysis.” It was more of a statement than a question, but Derek nodded anyway. “Ok, so you are freaking out more about the idea of sex than the idea of a relationship, am I right?”
Derek thought about that for a moment. Willing his brain past the panic and to actually think. “What is the difference in the end?”
“First and foremost I would like a relationship with you, eventually. Cheesy dating, dinners out, movies, strolls in the park, I demand at least one carnival a year, that sort of thing. I want to be with you, get to know you, just bask in your aura. Now sex can enter into that picture or not…”
“I can’t,” Derek interrupted, but Stiles continued.
“There are so many ways to be intimate. Traditional sex is not all there is out there. You can find release and intimacy without sex. If we want to explore any of those things we will have to talk in depth about your comfort level with various activities, about your injury and physical limitations.”
“How are you so calm about this?”
“I think it is my experience as a dom. Whenever I have been with a sub, long-term or casually, I start with kink negotiation and setting limits. It feels normal for me to talk openly about what I am comfortable with and find out what that is for my partner. Not to do so would be irresponsible.” Stiles had, at some point, moved a hand to stroke the back of Derek’s neck and into his hair. It was helping him pull himself back together.
“I have never done anything like that. I have only been in two relationships and neither...ended well.”
Stiles nods solemnly, “Relationships are hard, and messy, and can hurt. But they are also what makes all the other bullshit life throws at you worth it. What do you think? Do you want to try? With me?”
Derek swallows. The answer is yes, he does, he has felt more in the last two days than he has in years. It is just terrifying. He has so little control left in his life, is he willing to give that up? Take a chance? “Yes.”
Stiles eyes go wide, “Really?”
“Yeah, yes. I want to try.”
“Oh my God! Really? This is amazing, you are amazing. I swear, I will take things at your pace, and I will try not to invade your privacy too much. Can I kiss you? Just a bit, please? I am just so happy!”
Derek felt the corners of his mouth fighting to lift as Stiles practically vibrated out of his skin, “Yes.”
It seemed to take Stiles a moment to process Derek's answer, then he lunged forward. Despite his speed of approach the kis was actually quite soft. Just a chaste press of lips on his, but Derek swore his bones started to melt. Stiles backed off after just a few moments and just stared at Derek, a grin spreading over his face. “You are amazing,” he repeated, then he tucked himself back into Derek’s side, under his arm this time, their fingers intertwined.
Derek didn’t know how he was supposed to concentrate any more of the movies. Every ounce of his concentration was taken up by Stiles. Every point of contact, every sound he made, every thought that he had about him. He still couldn’t quite believe that Stiles would want to be with him, he still thought it would probably end horribly, but his life was so empty right now...what did he have to lose?
Stiles left after the next movie. They were both dosing in and out, and after Stiles woke up drooling against Derek’s shoulder for the third time they decided to call it a night. He gave Derek a peck on the cheek and clambered off the couch.
“Mind if I leave all the movies here? We can finish them another night.” He said around a yawn.
“That works.” Derek scooted into his chair and followed Stiles to the door.
“Cool. I will call you tomorrow.” Stiles gave him a sleepy grin and bent down to kiss him one more time. It took a moment for them to get the angle right, with Derek being so low, but it was just soft and warm and sleepy and left Derek with soothing shivers tingling along his spine.
“‘Night.” Derek said, but he couldn’t hide his smile and he could tell Stiles had seen it by the way his perked up even more around the corners.
“I think we are dating.”
“WHAT!?! Oh my god, he must have magic powers. Are you smiling...I can hear it, you are smiling!” Laura was screaming and laughing...and possibly crying by the thick sound of her voice. “Tell me all about him.”
“He talks a lot.”
“Well that much was obvious. What else?” She was calming down a bit.
“He has brown hair.”
She snorted, “I Facebook friended him, I have seen his picture. He is adorable.”
“Oh, I should probably do that. I need to get my laptop out.”
“My god you are like an old man. Just use the app on your phone.”
“I don’t have the app on my phone.”
“I give up.”
“Want to go to the drive in? They are playing a monster movie marathon tonight!” Stiles’s voice sounded as soon as the call connected.
“I think you have a problem with movie marathons. We may need to have an intervention.”
“Oh my god you made a joke! Do you have a fever? Do I need to come over there? I am coming over. You obviously are dying.”
Derek couldn’t contain the chuckle that escaped his throat without his consent.
“Oh fuck, that may just be the sexiest sound I have ever heard. You should give voice lessons on how to make a guy pop a boner in public. I wasn’t kidding by the way, I am totally coming over. Have you had lunch?”
“No, it’s only ten.”
“Perfect. I need you to meet Scott, my best friend. I was going on about you this morning, and he forbade me from saying another word till he met you. Obviously I have a problem about shutting up, so we will need you to meet him today. We are going to meet him at the diner downtown.”
“You are so agreeable, I love it. Do you drive, or do you want to take my car?”
“I am not agreeable.” Derek grumbled, “And I can drive, but we can take your car.”
“Cool, see you in a few! I will come up, since Scott doesn’t have his lunch break ‘till eleven.”
Derek glowered at the phone.
Stiles was talking before Derek even had the door open all the way. “So I realized that my car may pose a problem. It is a lifted jeep. We haven’t yet gotten a chance to talk about what you are comfortable with me helping you with, but you may need a boost getting up.”
Derek paused, waiting for the annoyance and irritation that he normally felt when someone mentioned his disability. But Stiles was so forthright about it that it wasn’t grating.
“I may need help depending on where I can find hand holds. I definitely will need you to put my chair up after.” It wasn’t even that bad to talk about. Huh.
“No problem.” Stiles leaned over and pressed a smacking kiss to Derek’s cheek, “Good morning, by the way.”
Derek felt a traitorous corner of his mouth curl up, “‘Morning.”
Stiles beamed. “So the drive in? It will go late, it doesn’t start till 7:30 and it is a triple feature.”
“Sounds good.” Derek then adds quickly, “But I am driving.”
“You haven’t even seen me drive yet, I may be a great driver for all you know!”
“But I have seen you past midnight, and you were barely coherent.”
Stiles pauses as if to argue more then shrugs, “Fair point.”
They had moved into the living room at this point and Stiles sprawled out on the couch like he belonged there. It felt like he belonged there. Maybe Stiles felt that too. Maybe he would actually stay around for a while.
“What is that look?” Stiles asks.
“Your eyes got all soft and gooey for a minute there.”
Derek could feel his neck heating up, “It’s nothing.”
Stiles raised an eyebrow.
“You just look comfortable...here… It is nice.”
Stiles grins at him and hold up his arms, “Awww, come here and give me a cuddle, big guy. We have at least thirty minutes to kill.”
Derek tentatively rolls towards the couch then hesitates. Stiles is laying out with his head against the armrest, and his lean body stretched out. He obviously wants Derek to lay with him. Derek isn’t against the idea per say...
Stiles, like always, picks up on his discomfort before Derek has even processed it. “You are uncomfortable about your legs.”
Derek is relieved that it is just out there. “I just don’t know what to do with them sometimes…”
“Do you mind if I help you maneuver them when we are like this?” God, how was he so straightforward about something that was so embarrassing!
“Not really, I mean, isn’t it wierd?”
“Not at all. Come on, slide on up.” Stiles moved one of his legs down to the floor and patted the cushion between his knees.
Derek rolled his chair over and hoisted himself so he was sitting with his back against one of Stiles knees. Stiles tugged at his shoulders, and Derek obediently leaned sideways towards Stiles’s chest. Stiles smoothly lifted his leg from the floor, stealthily lifting and positioning Derek’s legs with it, so he ended up laying out in between Stiles’s legs with Derek’s head pillowed on his chest.
“Mmmmm,” Stiles hummed wrapping his arms around Derek. At the vibration beneath his ear the tension that was coiled in Derek relaxed and his muscles just melted into Stiles.
“Perfect.” Stiles sighed and he started to run fingers through Derek’s hair and scratched along his scalp. It was possibly the best this Derek had ever felt.
“Thank you,” he said, feeling oddly emotional.
“For what?” Stiles asked, not halting the movement of his magical fingers.
“For just getting it.”
“I can’t promise I will always figure out what you need, but I will always try. And if I ever don’t get it, just let me know, ok? I don’t ever want you to feel like you can tell me something. Can you do that for me? Talk to me when you need to, even if you don’t want to?”
Derek was silent for a while, “I will try.”
“You are amazing, sweet boy.” It should have sounded silly, Stiles was at least a few years younger than him, and Derek was broader than him in the chest and arms, but the endearment caused a shiver of contentment run down his back. Derek was sure if his toes could, they would be curling.
The next twenty minutes were surprisingly quiet and peaceful for Stiles. He just hummed and played with Derek’s hair. It was wonderful. Derek was actually starting to fall asleep when Stiles started to slide up from beneath him. “Time for us to get moving, big guy.”
“M’kay,” Derek says sitting up and sliding back into his chair. “Let me use the bathroom real quick.”
“No hurry!” Stiles said and he pulled out his phone.
Derek hated using the bathroom since the accident. While he maintained control of his bladder, having to sit down and hold his ever flaccid cock down was just an unneeded reminder that he would never be a real man again. How could Stiles even be considering a relationship with him? By the time he was done in the bathroom all the glowing good feelings from the cuddle time on the couch and evaporated. He pushed his way to the door, calling out, “Ready.”
Stiles looked up from his phone and a small frown puckered the skin between his eyebrows. He made his way over and crouched down in front of Derek. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, can we go?”
“Hey now, we just talked about this, we need to talk to each other when we are feeling insecure about something. Now what is eating away at your brain?”
Derek looked away stubbornly, and had to force his jaw to unclench before he could answer, “You know I can’t get it up, right?”
Stiles put a hand on his cheek and turned his head to face him with a gentle, but firm pressure. “Derek, you have made it perfectly clear that sex between us will not be typical. What it will look like, neither of us knows yet. We will figure that out when we are ready. We will explore each other together and figure out what we can do to make one another feel good. Ok? You don’t need to stress out about this.”
Derek could feel his eyes prickling with the threat of tears and he couldn’t help how vulnerable his voice sounded as he looked into Stiles’s warm brown eyes. “Really?”
Stiles kissed him softly, “Really. Now do you want me to call Scott and tell him to reschedule or do you still feel like an outing?”
Derek heaved a deep breath, “No, let’s go.”
Stiles beamed at him kissing him one more time before standing up and leading the way to a rusty-beat up jeep. “Here’s my baby!” Stiles said, rubbing the hood fondly.
Derek eyed it dubiously, “You sure it will make it downtown?”
Stiles gasped, “Baby, don’t listen, he doesn’t know what he is talking about.”
Derek just wheeled over to the passenger side and surveyed his options. Styles didn’t have the doors or top on the jeep, so it was actually fairly simple to scope out where he could reach to pull himself up. He reached up to the bar by the door frame and lifted as he swung his other arm up to the roll top bar and pulled himself over, adjusting his legs once he was settled in the seat. He was reaching for the seatbelt he caught sight of stiles staring at him with a slightly dazed expression.
Stiles seemed to snap out of it, and reached for his chair, “Your arms are possibly the sexiest thing I have ever seen. I am not even exaggerating a little bit. They could have a porn channel dedicated just to them. I would pay for subscription service.”
He folded the chair up easily and plopped it in the back, before clambering in gracelessly beside him. Leaned in for a quick his, like he couldn’t even help himself, before buckling himself in.
Scott was already seated at a booth when they entered the diner, and immediately waved frantically at Stiles. Stiles rushed over and Scott stood for a bro-hug. Stiles pulled away smiling at Derek, “Scott this is Derek. Derek, this is Scott.”
Scott held out his hand and pumped Derek’s enthusiastically, “Dude, Stiles has not shut up about you. He hasn’t been this bad about not being able to shut up about something since he discovered jerking off when we were twelve.”
“Dude!” Stiles said, giving Scott a shove with his shoulder.
“Truth!” Scott just said raising his hands defensively, yet still chuckling.
They all sat down and Derek didn’t know if it was just luck, or insight, that Scott had picked the last booth, closest to the wall, so there was room for Derek to slide out of his chair and tuck it away behind them.
Derek liked that Scott and Stiles were off a mile a minute, but didn't act that it was odd when he only chimed in every now and then. He learned a lot about Scott’s work as an intern veterinarian. He was done with his degree and just doing his practicum before he took his final exams. He got a bit more insight into Stiles work as an author as well. Scott and Stiles talked about the characters in his book as if they were real people. Derek wondered if Stiles would let him read it.
“So are you guys going to be all BDSM-y or just regular?”
Stiles face palmed, “Scott has never grasped all the lessons I have tried to give him on alternative lifestyles. Scott there is no ‘regular’, sexuality is a spectrum that is different for everyone and every couple.”
Scott stuck out his tongue at Stiles, “Oh, come on, I get that it is not all whips and chains and shit. I just am curious!”
“If you are curious, you and Allison should check out The Den with Erica and Boyd some time.” Scott flushed and muttered something about ‘not that interested.’
“You guys know Boyd and Erica?”
“Yeah, Erica was in our year at school and is good friends with Scott’s fiancé.”
“Boyd and I worked together. Hung out after work some nights at McNally's.”
“Seriously?! We go there all the time together! I can’t believe we never bumped into each other.”
Derek scowled down at his legs, “I haven't been in over a year.”
“Oh, and before that we would have still been away at college...well turns out we were always supposed to meet anyway! It is total karma!”
That made the corner of Derek’s mouth quirk up, “I think you mean destiny.”
“Nope. I have been putting in a lot of good vibes out into the universe, I earned you.”
Derek tried to scowl down his blush, “I don't think that is how it works.”
“You guys are too cute!” Scott squealed.
Derek took back every nice thought he had had about the man.
Lunch didn't last long after that. They finished eating and Scott had to run back to work.
“Want to drive around for a bit? Maybe get an ice cream and drive out to the lake.”
Stiles drove them out to the woods through the back roads to an old boat launch. To Derek’s surprise he drove right out into the water until the water lapped just below the bottom of the car frame. Stiles put the car in park and and reached for his dish of chocolate-vanilla twist with rainbow sprinkles. Derek’s dish contained a few scoops of pink and blue cotton candy flavored ice cream, his all time favorite, which had thrown Stiles into a fit of giggles.
“I have always liked this spot.” Stiles said, in between bites.
“It is nice. Quiet.”
They sat in the silence for a while, finishing their treats. “Can I ask how it happened?”
Derek wasn't surprised by the question. It was bound to be lingering in Stiles's mind, and with how forthright he was it was bound to come up sooner rather than later.
“It was stupid really.” He sighed, “A car was pulled over on the side of the road. I stopped to see if I could help. One of their drive belts had gone out and there was nothing to do but wait for the tow truck. It was a single mom and her kid so I was waiting with them, you know, it was getting late. The tow truck arrived and the driver was pretty old, so I helped him get the car hooked up to the winch. But something caused the car to get stuck about halfway up. I was just glancing under to see if it was still hooked up, and suddenly the winch gave out and the car fell. I tried to dive forward but the wheel came down on top of me.”
He realized that at some point Stiles had grabbed his hand and Derek now held it in a death grip. He forced himself to lessen the pressure, but still held on. “The doctors say I am lucky. My spinal cord was damaged low down and incompletely, so I have feeling and control in my entire upper half. I even have some feeling in my legs. They say some nerve signals get through, so even though I can't move them I have some sensation. Mostly pressure...like when you get novocaine at the dentist and you bite your cheek and can feel the pressure from your teeth but not the actual feeling of you teeth on the skin. It isn't exactly like that, but it is hard to describe.”
Stiles nods in understanding, “Thanks for telling me.”
Derek shrugged, “If we are really going to do this you need to know. And you are right, I need to tell you stuff even though it is hard.”
“It goes both ways. If you need or want to know anything about me, just ask.”
“How many subs have you had?” Derek didn't even realize he had been dying to know until the question was out of his mouth.
Stiles blinks in surprise, probably at the speed of the question, the squeezes his hand with a smile, “That depends on you definition of ‘had’. Been in long term relationships with? One. Had casual sex with? Three. Had scenes with that didn't involve sex? Two. And other, by Scott's definition, more “normal” relationships? Also two.”
“What kind of ‘scenes’ did you do that didn't involve sex?”
“Quite a variety, actually. Kinbaku, which is a type of bondage, that can involve sex, but some people just enjoy the process. Well I guess all of these can involve sex, but it is not a requirement for both parties to feel enjoyment. Pet play, although that one wasn't quite for me I found out. Impact play, what most people think of when you say BDSM, although my tastes are not to heavy in that area. I like things like spanking, paddles and occasionally riding crops, but nothing more intense than that. Omotashi, which is a type of watersports, but that is more about bladder control than degradation. Those are the only ones that are coming to mind right now, but there could be more. Being in a dominant-submissive relationship is more of a mind set than about specific kinks or the sex.”
Derek remained quiet as he digested what Stiles had said. He didn’t quite know how to approach any of it in terms of himself, even the things that may have sent a tickle of interest down his spine.
Stiles let him ponder a while before asking, “What are you thinking?”
“How could someone like me be submissive? And I don't mean physically, for once. I mean...I have always dated women and been on top...you know before.”
“Being ‘a top’ and being ‘dominant’ do not always mean the same thing. Just because someone is doing the fucking doesn't mean that they are the one in the most control. Think back to your past relationships, who made most of the decisions, either in or out of bed. If my hunches are right, you have normally strived to please, follow suggestion, been frustrated when your partner isn't clear about what they want.”
That struck a chord in Derek. Now that he thought about it, he did often look to other to decide things, just going with the flow. How had he never realized it before?
“I think...I think you may be right.”
Stiles squeezed his hand again, “It isn't a bad thing. It is just a natural inclination, just as it is for a more dominant person to take care of others, but want control in doing so. In a healthy dom-sub relationship control and trust are equally given. The sub has to trust that their dom is going to care for them, and the dom must trust the sub to tell them what they need.”
“You make it sound easy.”
“Relationships are never easy. We are people after all, and people make mistakes, have disagreements, and change over time. But as long as we put each other as our priority, it is all worth it.”
Derek snorted, “You sound like a philosopher.”
“I may have minored in gender studies and psychology for a while. Like I mentioned, it took me a bit to figure out what I wanted to do and get through school.”
Derek laughed, “Your essays must have been very interesting.”
“My poor professors.” He was quiet for another minute, “You know that it is not a requirement that we go down that road. I just want to be with you, however you want us to be.”
“No, no,” Derek rubbed his free hand through his hair, “I...I am..interested. I just...I mean just yesterday I didn't think any type of relationship was in my future, much less one that could involve some sort of...sex. I think my brain keeps getting stuck there...that I won't be able to give you what you want.”
“I want to make you happy. Trust me, everything else is secondary. Although if sex ever gets taken off the table completely I want a video of you doing pull ups so I can have some special alone time. I want that anyway, come to think of it.”
Derek burst out laughing again, “You are ridiculous.”
“You will learn to love me anyway.”
Derek looked him over, with his bright smile, and messy hair. He didn't say anything, but thought, ‘Yeah, I probably will.’
They got home with only just enough time for Stiles to run home and get a sweatshirt for the drive in. Derek used the time to go to the bathroom again, and then grab them some snacks. He was just stowing a small cooler of soda in his trunk when Stiles pulled back into the parking lot.
“Dude, this is you car?!”
“Yup, I restored it myself a few years back.”
“It is beautiful.”
“Very funny!” Stiles actually stuck his tongue out at him, “Do you want a hand with your chair?”
“Nope, I got it.” Derek said easily, surprisingly easily. He didn't feel even a little defensive. He just swung himself in then leaned his seat forward
So he could slip the chair into the back seat. It was actually lucky that he had a two door car with the extra long doors. It gave him ample room for maneuvering it in and out.
The drive in was decently busy, but not packed. It was easy to find a good spot, and Stiles ran off to get them burgers from the concession stand, while Derek got the cooler and snacks set up on the bench seat between them.
Stiles climbed back ladened down with burgers and fries.
They ate as the cheesy 1950’s introductory cartoon welcomed them to the drive in and encouraged them to get more snacks with dancing food and beverages.
“How did people ever find that appealing?” Derek muttered.
“It is kinda cute.” Stiles defended.
“It makes me feel like a cannibal for eating this burger. Anthropomorphic food should not be a thing.”
“I did regret watching that adult movie about the hot dog and the bun.”
“See I am right.”
“Shut up and finish you burger so we can make out.”
“Or at least cuddle. Look at this seat, it was like made for drive in shenanigans!” Stiles said caressing the large leather seat.
Derek felt a little overly warm as the first film started. He tried to pay attention to the movie, but the cheesy effects paled in comparison to catching glimpses of Stiles from the corner of his eye. They made it through the whole first movie before Stiles decided that they were too far apart and rearranged the food and drinks so that they were in the floorboard instead.
The sight of Stiles crawling across the seat toward him made a shiver of interest course down Derek’s spine. Despite that all they did was cuddle, with Stiles tucked under his arm and their hands intertwined. Derek was almost able to follow the movie.
It wasn't until the last movie started up that Stiles turned to him, “It is a bit early for this talk, by usual standards, but I think it could be helpful for both of us.”
“I know what a safe-word is but I don't know what that has to do with anything right now.”
“I have been thinking that having a safe word system could allow us both to relax about moving forward, which I have gathered you are interested in doing?”
“Good me too. Now, obviously you are nervous, and, in truth, so am I.”
“What are you worried about?” Derek asked, confused.
“Pushing you too fast, or too far. I need to know when you are feeling good about something, when you are nervous about something but still want to keep going, and when something is too much and we need to stop.”
That actually made a lot of sense.
“You also need a way to tell me you are good, we need to slow down, or we need to stop.”
“Good. Now we can make a set of words just for us, but honestly I would prefer the green, yellow, red system.”
“I am guessing that works exactly how it sounds.”
“Precisely. Green means good. Yellow means ok but your not 100% comfortable, it is my job take stock of where we are at that point. Now depending on how I read what is going on with you I may slow down, or I may push you further, but I will communicate with you about what I am doing. And red means stop, immediately. Saying red is not a bad thing, and I encourage you to do it if you ever feel the need. I will sometimes ask you for your color to monitor where you are, but you can also say any color at any time.”
Derek liked the sound of all of that. He could relax and let Stiles lead, but know that they had a safety net if he got uncomfortable. “Yeah, I like that. Does this mean I am your sub?”
“It looks like we are headed in that direction, and as long as you feel ok with everything we can keep moving forward.”
“Oh fuck, Sweet Boy, your instincts are impeccable.” And then they were kissing. Not the chaste soft kisses of last night. This was Stiles taking control and showing Derek just what they could be. And evidently they could be like nuclear fusion, since that is what Derek felt was happening in his veins. He didn't know that a body could feel arousal without...well working bits.
“Color?” Stiles asked without even bringing their lips fully apart.
“Green.” Derek panted, “Definitely green.”
Stiles dove back in and Derek groaned as that clever mouth traveled away from his lips and down his neck. He barely even noticed when Stiles grabbed his legs and rearranged him so he was more splayed across the seat with Stiles kneeling above him. It was the best place he had ever been.
“Color?” Stiles asked again.
It took Derek a moment to realize what he was referring to and then realized that Stiles hands were gripping his thighs with his long fingers. Derek focused on the area and realized he could feel the grip, just a faint pressure in the general nothingness that was most everything below his pelvis.
Stiles needed his hands while his lips went back to work at Derek's neck. Derek pushed into the feeling, and Stiles must have squeezed harder because he felt more pressure in his legs. That felt good too. Everything felt so good.
A hand moved to his waist, and after the subtle pressure on his thigh the intensity of the contact, even through his shirt, was like an electric shock. Derek expected Stiles to move it, maybe up under his shirt, but it just stayed a steady heat on his side as Stiles’s mouth moved to nibble at his ear before migrating back to his lips. Things were slowing down and smoothing out. Derek felt less like he was about to combust and more like a smoldering burn glowing within him.
Stiles pulled back, and Derek did not whine.
“Ok, so wow. Like really wow.”
“Yeah,” Derek agreed. It feels like all his bones have melted.
“I think karma knows what it is doing.”
“Aww you big romantic.”
“That’s not what I…fuck it, nevermind. Destiny, sure.”
Stiles settled down and nestled into his chest. They were both obviously nodding off, but he could feel the smile lingering on Stiles’s face.
They were the last to leave the drive in. The blare of a car horn starting them both awake.
“You ok to drive?” Stiles asked groggily as the untangled themselves. Derek didn't even think to be bothered about Stiles helping him move his legs back under the wheel.
“Yeah, it’s not far anyway.”
Stiles nodded sleepily, but didn't close his eyes. “I am spending the day tomorrow with my dad. You know fishing, burgers, and manly bonding. So I have a job for you to do while I am busy.”
“Okay…” Derek didn't know where this was headed.
“I want you to call Boyd and hang out. I already texted him to see if he was busy, and he is not. I didn't mention why I was calling or anything, but I asked him to keep his afternoon free.”
“...Why?” Derek hadn't seen Boyd in months. He and Erica had visited a few times when Derek was in the hospital, but after Derek had told them straight to their faces to go and just leave him the fuck alone, they didn't return. True Derek hadn't been in the best place at the time. But still he felt bad about pushing them away. He just couldn't handle the sadness or pity or whatever that look that lingered in their eyes at every visit was. Really everyone had that look, but the only other two that visited were his sisters and he couldn't push them away any more than he had.
“There are so many reasons. First, Laura said you had trouble with people...Not that we were talking about you behind you back or anything! She just threw that out there...and really it isn't hard to see you need at least a few more people in your life...and I think reconnecting with your friends would be good for you. Also I want you to ask Boyd about being a sub. You need someone to help you learn about the lifestyle that isn't a dom who is interested in you.”
Derek was about to argue the need of more people in his life when he processed the information coming out of Stiles’s mouth, “Wait, Boyd is a sub?”
Stiles chuckled, “The subbiest. Although, in truth, I think you may have him beat there, sweet boy.”
Derek shivered at the endearment, trying to focus on the road, “You can't call me that when I am driving.”
Stiles grinned, “Noted.”
“Is it normal.”
“Is what normal, big guy?”
“Liking being called stuff like that?”
“I guess it depends, on the sub, on the dom, on the intent behind the words. For some nicknames are a power play, or used for humiliation, that is what some subs need and crave. But other times they are used to comfort, reassure, and make you feel special. And you deserve to feel special.”
Derek squirmed in his seat, as much as he could, glad that his apartment complex was in sight. “What about Boyd?”
Stiles purses his lips in thought, “Boyd and Erica have a different dynamic than where I think we are headed. So the language they use will be different than us. I will let Boyd explain more, feel free to share anything about what we have discussed with him. Make sure you have all the information you need. If you still have more questions after you talk with Boyd, just let me know. I will give you some websites to look at. I don't want you to just google search this, most of the stuff on the internet is complete rubbish.”
They were parked at this point. “Okay.”
“Do you want me to call Boyd, let him know you will be calling and why?”
That offer made a weight lift from Derek’s shoulders, “Please.”
“Anything for my sweet boy.” Stiles said unbuckling and leaning over to give him a peck on the temple. That fluttery warmth settled in Derek’s stomach
“It is late.”
“Yeah, I prolly should hit the hay. Fishing at dawn, blech.” Stiles said with a yawn, starting to gather up their bag of trash and the cooler from the floorboard.
Derek gulped, “You want to sleep here?”
Stiles paused in his cleaning and looked at Derek consideringly, “I don't think we are ready for that. I want to, but in many ways we need to be careful. It would be very easy for us to become too codependent. I need to make sure that we can both still function normally without each other.”
Derek felt as if his chest was being squeezed, and went he spoke he kind of felt close to tears. What the hell! “What if I wasn't functioning well before?”
Stiles grabbed his hands and forced him to look up, “Derek, I am going to make sure we do whatever is best for you, to help you see how amazing you are. But I am not not staying because of you, it is because of me. I am getting really attached to you really fast. I need to make sure that I am making time to think and assess. It would be easy for me to wrap you in bubble wrap and just pamper you. But in a real relationship we help each other to grow, and heal when needed. So that means I need to make sure I have time to process things and that I give you time to do the same.”
That sounded like it made sense, but it didn't make Derek feel much better about it. Why was he being such a sap?
“Let’s get you settled in for the night, eh?”
“Ok.” His voice sounded tiny.
Stiles actually got his wheelchair out of the back and set it up for him, even though Derek was perfectly capable, but Derek appreciated the gesture for once. Stiles kept a comforting hand on his shoulder as they made their way into the apartment.
“You can head home.” Derek said sullenly. He couldn't seem to shake the rock that seemed to have taken up residence in his gut. He was having trouble looking up from the floor, too. AND that horrible pricking sensation was back at the corners of his eyes. He growled pushing his palms against his eyes hard, “What is fucking wrong with me?!”
“Hey, sweet boy,” Stiles was suddenly kneeling on the hallway floor between Derek's legs. He pulling away Derek's hands and held his face in his own. “I think you were right, and maybe I should stay.”
“I swear I am not normally like this.” Derek said in horror as he felt a trail of wetness roll down his cheek, just to be wiped away by Stiles’s warm thumb.
“These have been some very intense days and you are voluntarily opening yourself up to a whole new world. Even though we haven't done any official scenes we have been pushing boundaries and you have probably been getting doses of endorphins and oxytocin, that make you feel good. But as those chemicals flush from your system it can be a shock. It is called drop, and both subs and doms can experience it, although sub drop is more...popularized. I think some doms see it as some sort of weakness...which is absolutely ridiculous and hypocritical.”
Derek actually gave a snort of shaky laughter, but was glad that Stiles didn't remove his hands.
“I think you are experiencing it more acutely because we don't have trust established yet.” Stiles kissed his forehead.
“How do you make it stop?”
“You relax and let me take care of you for a bit. Why don't you go get in bed and I am going to make you a warm drink. Do you have tea or coco?”
“...I don't know.”
“I will figure something out. You go brush your teeth, get in your pajamas, and I will be right there.”
Derek didn't feel any better as he went through the motions of getting ready for bed. He debated trying to find some pajama pants, but he normally just slept in his boxers. He decided an undershirt counted as pajamas. And slipped under the covers, propping his back up against the headboard.
Stiles came in a few minutes later carrying two mugs, “I don't know if it counts as hot coco since it is just warm milk with hershey’s syrup, but I tried it and it doesn't suck.”
Stiles handed him a mug and then settled in beside him nursing his own mug and reaching out to rake his fingers along Derek's scalp again. After a few minutes, and a few mouthfuls of soothing ‘coco’, that indeed did not suck, Derek was actually starting to feel more himself. He let out a deep sigh and actually felt his shoulders and arms relax.
“That's it, big guy.” Stiles said in a warm, soft voice. Those fingers were slowly drawing more and more of those bad feelings out, but Derek could still feel them lingering around the edges.
“What is it, sweet boy?” Stiles asked with a kiss to his temple.
Derek felt like an idiot for even opening his mouth,
“No, it is stupid.”
He tried gulping down the rest of his drink as a distraction, but Stiles was not dissuaded. He just plucked away Derek’s empty mug setting both on the bedside table, “None of that. What did you want to ask for? It is ok, good actually, to ask for what you need.”
“I feel fucking pathetic...Ok, fine. Do you think you could just talk to me for a bit? I don't care what about.”
“That is only my favorite pastime,” Stiles said with a grin, “Let’s get comfy.”
Stiles had them scooching down, rolling them so Derek’s broad back was spooned against his front, his legs slung over Derek's, “How is this? Comfortable?”
“Yeah,” and it was. He felt bundled up. He could even feel the tingling pressure of Stiles's leg where it overlapped his, at it was a reassuring feeling.
“Good. I am proud of you for asking for what you needed, sweet boy.” Would those words ever not cause a tingle of warmth to go through him? Stiles hand started scratching up and down his back through his shirt. It was almost as nice as when he scratched his scalp. “I think I will tell you about some of Scott’s and my high school shenanigans. Oh I know, the time we ended up stealing a police van. Now I know it is hard to believe, but in high school I was a bit of a nerd…”
Derek smiled to himself and let Stiles's words wash over him. He was warm, and felt...content. It was nice. He never did get to the part where Stiles stole the car, he was asleep in minutes.
The blare of the Darth Vader theme dragged Derek out of a deep sleep. He felt shuffling around behind him then Stiles's voice, “Hey Pops. Am I late?”
Derek opened his eyes to see that it was still mostly dark out, just the faintest lightening of the sky around the edges.
“I resent that! In fact I am already dressed.” Derek turned to look at Stiles...he was dressed, because he had slept in his clothes. Stiles gave him a wink. He leaned in and give Derek a chased morning kiss and whispered, “Are you ok if I head out?”
Derek gave him a nod. He was embarrassed about his actions the night before, but he felt infinitely better this morning.
“I will be there in 10. Put extra sugar in my coffee! And extra milk! And do you have any Baileys?...I was kidding...mostly. See you in a few.” Stiles hung up the phone then turned to Derek and folded him into a tight hug. “I want you to go back to sleep for a few hours and take it easy today, ok? I will call Boyd and give him a heads up that you will be calling and why. Call before lunch time, ok?”
If felt good to have a plan laid out for him, “Ok.”
Stiles beamed at him and gave him another soft kiss, but lingered this time, like he couldn't quite bring himself to pull away. “You are positively addictive, sweet boy.” He mumbled against his lips. One last kiss and he was off the bed and heading to the master bathroom. For a moment Derek was horrified that Stiles would see all the special hand rails and seats and stuff that made his bathroom more accessible for him. But then he forced himself to relax. Stiles had made it very apparent that Derek's needs did not freak him out. And indeed when he came out he didn't look like he even noticed anything. “Next time we do this I am bringing a toothbrush and new underwear at least.”
Next time. The words were like pure sunshine.
“I will call you this evening, ok? Dad has a general ‘no texting rule’ on father-son bonding days. But you will be an exception. If you feel like you need to talk to me at any time just call or text, don't hesitate, ok?”
“Thank you, sweet boy. I will miss you.” He leaned in for another kiss.
“You are going to be late.” Derek pointed out.
“You are more important than fish.” But he did leave then, giving one last wave as he disappeared down the hall. A few minute later Derek's phone beeped from the bedside table.
Derek smiled and curled into the space Stiles had slept in, breathing in his scent and lingering warmth.
Derek put off the phone call to Boyd as long as he could. He did an extra long workout and stretching session, but eventually ran out of excuses. He scrolled to Boyd’s name in his contacts and clicked call before he could think any better of it.
“Hey.” Boyd answered.
Shit, what was he supposed to say! ‘So wanna come over and give me kinky sex tips so I can then not have sex with my hot as fuck maybe boyfriend?’ Somehow that didn't sound so good.
“Said you wanted to meet up and talk.”
“Be there in an hour. I will bring subs. Sill like Italian with cheddar?”
“Ok.” There was a short pause, “And Derek?”
“We missed you, man.”
“Me too.” Derek felt a little teary again as he ended the call. He was turning into such an emotional wreck!
Boyd arrived and they ate, talked about how this were at the garage, how he and Erica were now engaged. It was nice, like how things had been before. They didn't talk about the accident, or Derek kicking them out of his hospital room, or the almost year they hadn't talked.
“So, you and Stiles, huh?”
“Yeah,” Derek could feel his ears itching to redden.
“He isn't pushing you too hard, right?” Derek looked up, surprised. He had expected Boyd to tell him to tell him to trust Stiles and listen to him.
“No, I don't think so. I mean it has been very fast. We only met three days ago, and I already...it's intense. But good.”
Boyd nodded, “Stiles is a good guy, and a really good dom, but he wanted me to check in with you to make sure he wasn't pressuring you unintentionally. I got to tell you that I have never seen him like this. He is really gone over you.”
“I don't know why. I don't know what I am doing most of the time. And you know…” Derek waved in the general direction of his legs. He was getting better talking about it with Stiles, but it seemed worse with other people.
“Well that is what I am here for. To give you information. Want me to start with the very basics and work out way up? You can see if this is really what you are interested in.”
“Probably for the best. Stiles has started explaining some stuff as it has popped up, but I still feel out of my depth.”
They talked for hours. It had to be some record for the both of them. Boyd was incredibly open about what sort of relationship he and Erica had in and out of the bedroom. He explained that some people limited play to set scenes, but otherwise operated normally as a couple. Others had various levels of control always at play. He didn't go much into specific kinks or types of play. Derek started to realize what you were doing was secondary to how you were feeling and the level of control you needed to give up.
“It is all an illusion of control really. The sub has the power to end things at any time. Good doms will know when their subs need to be pushed and when they need to slow down, but the sub always has the final say. Stiles is particularly skilled in reading a sub’s limits.”
Derek had a horrible thought, “Have you ever…?”
“With Stiles, god no. Erica and I are thoroughly monogamous and exclusive, but Stiles has done public Scenes with some subs at The Den that I have seen.”
“Oh…” Derek couldn't even begin to imagine wanting to do anything in public. “Do you think he will want…”
“Stiles is going to want to do what is best for you and what is going to make you happy. If you decide to let him be your dom you will get to decide what you want your relationship will look like together. Yeah, Stiles is an experienced dom, but that is actually a good thing from a sub perspective. Erica and I went through some really rough patches because we were both new to the lifestyle, took things past our limits, didn't communicate well, allowed our preconceived notions to influence what we were doing. Stiles will protect you from a lot of that, but he is still human too, so you also have to be aware of your limits and be willing to speak up when you are pushed too far.”
Derek sat for a while processing everything. Everything sounded pretty ok, different from anything he had done, but in a good way.
“Thank you.” Derek said finally, “And I am sorry for pushing you away after the accident.”
Boyd nodded and clasped a hand on Derek’s shoulder, “I am not going to say it is ok, because it's not and you shouldn't do it again. But I get why you did it and forgive you. I should have pushed back harder and made sure to keep in touch, too. As for explaining all this, it is not a problem, and if you ever want to talk about it again just let me know.”
Derek sagged in relief, “I will.”
“How did the talk go?” Stiles voice was a warm balm in his ear. Even though his talk with Boyd had gone well, he found that in the down time alone in his apartment his insecurities seemed to get worse. The idea of sex, or intimacy as Stiles referred to it, still weighed heavily on his mind.
“Good. I learned a lot.”
“Are you freaking out about anything?”
“Still worried about the sex?”
“Is that bad?” Derek bit his lip and wished Stiles was actually here and not just on the phone.
“No, sweetie, it is normal to be nervous about that, but I want you to be excited about it too.”
“It is hard to get excited about it when I don't know what it will be like. I can't even form a picture in my head of anything we will do since I don't know what we will do!”
“Humm,” Stiles hummed, “I can see how that would be frustrating and increases your anxiety. How about this, I have a meeting in LA tomorrow with my editor, Lydia, but I will be back the next day. I want to make you to a nice dinner at your place and then I want to spend some time letting each other explore our bodies. Nothing crazy. Just seeing what feels good, where we like touching and being touched. Now if that is too soon it is ok, but I think it would relieve some of your worries if we get passed that.”
“Ok. Yeah, that would be good.”
“Excellent,” Stiles paused, “Now I need to ask you something.”
“Can we be Facebook official boyfriends? I mean you haven't even accepted my friend request. And your privacy settings are crazy high so I couldn't even show my dad any pictures of you.” Derek thought he could hear a small pout in Stiles's voice and snorted a laugh.
“I have met your dad, although he may not remember me.”
Derek swallowed, he hadn't realized it until he had heard Stiles's dad’s voice though the phone that morning when they were talking, “He was the first officer on the scene of my accident. I never saw him, but he talked to me the whole time as we had to wait for more emergency personnel. He...he was amazing. It was...it was so terrifying under there. I was all alone and there was nothing but pain. Him talking me through it helped a lot.”
There was a sniffle through the phone, “Wow.”
“Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you.”
“No, no, I just am so glad he was there for you. He is the greatest really. I can't wait to get you guys together!” Stiles blubbered.
Derek smiled, “I want you to meet Laura and Cora too. They can be a bit overbearing, but they are all I have left of my family.”
“I am sorry to hear that. I lost my mom when I was young so I know what it is like to cling to those you have left.”
“Yes, boyfriends, I would like that. I guess I need to dig out my laptop.”
“You know you can use your phone…”
“Don't you start too!” Derek groaned.
As Stiles's urging Derek downloaded the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat Apps. And yes of course you need all of them! Stiles then had to come over and show him how to use them. And then they needed to take a selfie together for each of their Profile pictures. Laura was having a field day on snapchat and Cora was liking everything on Facebook just seconds after posting the pic and changing his relationship status. That led to a group video chat with both girls squealing when Stiles gave Derek a kiss on the cheek as he got up to get them some water, Derek was sure Laura was crying again.
They set up plans to all get together as soon as Cora’s school let out for summer break. Stiles and Cora also organized times to call for him to help her review to her exams and to proofread her upcoming essays. I am brilliant Derek, don't give me that look.
Boyd had actually mentioned that Stiles was an actual certified genius, just another reason Derek wondered why he was settling for someone like Derek. Derek forcibly pushes that thought away. If Stiles was a genius and chose Derek, there had to be valid reasons for it. They ended their call with the girls and put on the next superhero movie. After the movie Derek made them spaghetti while Stiles returned some emails from his editor and publicist from his phone.
Derek regretted not have more options to work with for dinner. He only bothered with simple, easy meals since the grocery store was so intimidating. Stiles wasn't complaining though as he dug into dinner telling Derek all about his day out with his dad.
After dinner they found themselves back on the couch. Stiles pulled him up for a long, deep kiss. Derek found himself clinging onto Stiles's shoulders as his Stiles's knees came up and squeezed him tight, giving his lower half just enough support to make shifting and maneuvering easier. Derek made a mental note to ask if Stiles did stuff like that intentionally or if it was just instinct, right now he was way too busy getting lost in what they were doing.
Stiles was in constant motion this time. Every time the had kissed previously he had been holding most of his body back from too much contact. Now, however they were pressed together and Stiles hands carded through Derek's hair, down his back, stroking and scratching. They were both panting by the time Stiles's hands slipped his hands up to frame Derek's face. “Enough of that until Tuesday.” He said giving Derek's nose a kiss.
Derek did not pout.
Stiles helped ease them both into sitting positions and for the first time Derek noticed that Stiles was hard and tenting his pants obscenely. Derek stared and had an odd moment where he actually felt his world shift.
This whole time he had been so distracted worrying about how he would be a disappointment to Stiles, that he hadn't really realized that he would actually be with Stiles. Like get to touch him, get to to lick him, feel his skin against his. How had that never really sunk in? And oh fuck, Stiles was a man. Sure, Derek had always had an eye for guys, but he had never gotten a chance to act on it! He was suddenly so overcome with want he didn't quite know what to do with himself.
“Are you ok? You look a bit out of it. Was that too much?”
“No, no. I just...I am just really ready for Tuesday.”
Stiles grinned, “Me too. Believe me it is all I am going to be thinking about tomorrow. Poor Lydia is going to kick my ass for being so distracted at our meeting.” Stiles snuggled back into the sofa, unselfconscious of his blatant arousal still standing proud in his sweats.
“Now I think we both need a distraction, what's your guilty TV pleasure?”
“You know, the show you secretly put on to make yourself feel better when you have a bad day. For me it is Gilmore Girls, although it is not really a secret...thank Scott for that, the traitor.”
Derek flushed, he knew exactly what his was, he even bought the DVD set off Amazon because it wasn’t on TV anymore, “No, it is ridiculous.”
“Aww, come on, what is it? I promise, I will be able to name at least one hundred things I have done, or that I like, that is more embarrassing than that. I mean I am wearing Captain Planet underwear right now!”
Derek snorted a laugh even as he he had to cover his eyes in embarrassment, “Fine, fine, I will get it.”
He pulled himself into his chair and wheeled over to the storage unit and opened the lowest, least conspicuous drawer. He didn’t want his sisters accidentally stumbling on this. They knew it had been his favorite show for way longer than was socially acceptable, but if they knew he still would pour himself a bowl of Lucky Charms and watch still...he would have to move away...and change his name.
He turned, his lap full of DVD cases and Stiles’s eyes got wide, “Oh my god is that...!”
Derek couldn’t look up his face bright red. He should have lied, said Jeopardy of something.
“Oh, sweet boy! Don’t look like that!” Stiles was across the room in a flash on his knees with his arms around Derek, “It is the perfect choice. I love The Smurfs.”
“Really?” Why did his voice sound so small?
“Really, really.” Stiles bundled Derek back up on the couch and put in the first season. As the dvd loaded Stiles asked, “Want some popcorn or something for a before bed snack?”
“Can...can I have Lucky Charms? I always have Lucky Charms when I watch this.” He tried to sound like he didn’t feel so vulnerable, but didn’t think he succeeded.
“Of course, sweet boy. As long as we have some. I will go get it while you get started, ok?”
Derek nodded as Stiles pressed play. He decided not to worry about being embarrassed. Stiles would never make fun of him. Stiles made him feel happy and safe and cared for. With a new sense of calm, Derek settled into watch.
Three episodes and a bowl of Lucky Charms later they were both warm, snuggled under a blanket.
“Derek, I had a question and it is totally ok if you say no.”
“Ok. Is this a BDSM question? Because I am kind of an expert now.”
Stiles laughed so hard tears formed at the corner of his eyes and it made Derek think making attempts at humor was so worth it. “That was excellent, but no it is more of a request, really, but like I said you can totally say no.”
“Could I talk to your doctor, the one for your back?”
“I want to know exactly what I need to be careful of and things I need to look out for. I have obviously done some research, and you will be able to answer some of my questions, but I want some specific medical answers that I doubt they cover at discharge.”
“Well I am sure they cover flexibility and range of motion with you. But I want to know what to look for if I strain or overwork you, both in your torso and legs. I want more detailed information on the extent of your internal injuries and information on yours and general paraplegic bladder and prostate function, and about a hundred other questions in that vein.”
Derek thought about it. It was not a request he had been expecting but it made sense, “I can call him and let him know he is authorized to talk with you about everything, I don't mind. In the meantime I can tell you whatever I can.”
Stiles looked relieved, “That would be amazing.”
“Where do we start?”
“First I want to thank you for opening up about this. Remember you don't have to answer anything that makes you uncomfortable.”
“Ok. Don't worry. It actually makes me feel better that you are taking the time to know all this.”
Stiles pecked him on the lips and started in, “Ok, I don't want to do any touching tonight. Tonight is for information only.”
Stiles took a deep breath, and Derek realized he was nervous too. He needed to know this stuff to keep Derek safe, but he didn't want to intrude or scare him off. It made Derek all the more eager to give him all the information he needed. “How about I start.”
Stiles looked surprised but nodded.
“I have an incomplete injury in the L2 nerves in my lower back. About here.” He leaned forward and pointed, “I have practically full feeling and function above that point. I have no movement in my hips and legs and no feeling below my knees. I have varying levels of feeling from knees to hips, like I described before, it is more a feeling of pressure than actual sensation.”
“And last night, could you feel that at all?”
“Yes,” Derek said remembering the intensity of everything last night, “Only a bit.”
“And that was ok?”
“Yeah, it was good. The firmer pressure was better and…”
“And it felt really nice with your leg over me when we slept.” Derek blushed.
“Good to know.”
“I also sometimes get muscle spasms, most of the time I don't even notice or feel them, but occasionally they hurt like a son of a bitch.”
“Does anything help them?”
“Pressure, firm massage. I don't get them often because I do flexibility training everyday, along with cardio and weight training. There is a physical therapist that comes a few days a week as well since some exercises require two people. My legs can get pretty stiff and the joints fixed if I don't manually move them periodically.”
“Would you be willing to let me attend a session of your physical therapy? It would be helpful for me to see.”
Derek shrugged, “That’s fine.”
Stiles snuggled into Derek, giving him a kiss and intertwining their fingers. “What about internally?”
“Um, I don't actually know much about that. Um, I don't need...I mean I have control of bladder mostly. I sometimes...sometimes have a hard time...getting started. But I so far don't need a catheter or anything. Not since the first few weeks in the hospital.”
“That is rare, right? From what I have read the vast majority of people have little to no control in that area.”
“Yes, especially for men. As far as spinal cord injuries go I am on the more minor end of the spectrum. I hear ‘lucky’ a lot, and even though I realize it could have been exponentially worse, it is hard to feel lucky.”
“I just want you to know, although I am glad you have control of your ‘facilities’,” yes, Stiles made air quotes, “that wouldn’t have been a deal breaker for me or anything. It makes some things easier now, but we would have found ways to work around anything.”
Derek was not tearing up, “Ok.”
“Anything else I should be aware of?”
“Umm, I do,” Fuck, why was this part the most embarrassing, “I do need to flush out my bowels manually. I mean I can feel when I need to go. I feel the same pressure and urge as I did before, but I don’t have the muscles to push. There is a hose attachment in the bathroom made for that. And I think that is most of the big stuff.”
Stiles kisses him again, “You did so well sharing, sweet boy.”
Derek leaned into the touch and sighed in pleasure at pleasing Stiles.
“If you don’t mind I have one more element of this I want to talk about.”
“Ok.” Derek said, after all of that it couldn’t be that bad.
“You said before that you were unable to get an erection. Were you referring to any hardness or just reaching the level that you had pre-injury?”
Ok, this may be worse than the enema confession. Derek gulped and forced himself to answer, “The only time I got even a little hard was at the removal of the catheter when I was in the hospital. I was still on a lot of medication at the time, but I remember thinking that it was a good sign. But so far it hasn’t happened again...and I have tried…” Oh, crap there tears coming now.
“I can imagine you tried, sweetie, it is ok.” Stiles tugged Derek so he was cradled between his legs and his face was pressed into Stiles’s neck.
Now that Derek was talking about it though the words didn’t seem to want to stop, “It is just that...with my level of injury...and the level of control I have...the doctors said I would probably be able to have some form of erection...even if it is not full. But...nothing.”
“Shhh, it doesn’t matter. It is ok.”
“How can it not matter?! How Stiles?”
“You can still feel good other ways. You can still make me feel good hundreds of other ways.”
“How can you know?”
“I know. And we will find out more on Tuesday, ok? I don’t want to try anything tonight when I fly to LA in the morning.”
“Are you staying the night again? Tonight, I mean.”
“Do you want me to? I have asked you to open up a lot for me tonight, the whole last few days really, so if you need time alone to think, to relax, to process, I want you to take it.”
“I am alone a lot. I don't need more of it.” Stiles squeezed him a bit tighter at that admission. “Also, I seem able to relax more when I am with you than I ever have in my life. Just so you know.”
Stiles beeped at him, “Such a sweet boy.”
“Can I have a turn to ask some questions? BDSM questions.”
“You have free reign to ask anything you want at any time.”
“Boyd explained that he and Erica were in a Mistress-Slave relationship that is pretty much contained to their scenes. You said you thought we were headed in a different direction. Can I ask what you think the difference are?”
“Well, I still can't know the details or anything, but I will let you know what I have picked up on from you and how I naturally respond to it, and a few of the ways I could see that fulfilling both our needs. How does that sound?”
“Yeah, that sounds like what I am looking for. Insight that I don't have the knowledge base to form yet.”
Stiles laughed, “That sounds like something I would say. Ok, let's get started. Firstly there is a major fundamental difference between you and Boyd. Boyd wants his control ripped away forcibly and to be constantly reminded that of that fact. Of course he really has the power to stop the play any time, but that is what he needs and craves. You, sweetie, are different. You want to give someone control and let them take care of you. You have a praise kink a mile wide and, from what I can tell, thrive for positive attention.
“Where Boyd and Erica compartmentalize their everyday life and play, I also feel that our situation will be different. We seem to naturally be falling into a dom-sub rhythm almost constantly. I don't know if you have noticed, but you often look to me for direction on even little things like where to sit, what to eat, when to do things. And I have been responding in kind, by asking specific things of you that are probably more detailed and invasive than a ‘conventional’ relationship. This seems, correct me if I am wrong, to make you feel fulfilled and content.”
Derek thought through their interactions. “Yeah, I can see that.”
“Now where this goes has many options, the first is mostly keeping things as they are now and just adding a few more layers of intimacy.”
“That wouldn't be disappointing for you?”
Stiles frowned, “Derek, I don't think you realize just how happy you have made me the last few days. If we spent the rest of our lives just doing what we have so far I would be content. Do I think we will have more? Yes, but that is because I feel that that will just make us both more happy in the end.”
Man, Stiles was wonderful, and Derek could fee more tears forming in his eyes, “Yeah, it has been great...even though I keep blubbering for no reason!”
“Baby, these relationships give us just as many emotional releases as physical ones, more even. And since we have kind of sidestepped the physical for now, I think the emotional side may be amped up a bit.”
“So I am not just having some weird kind of break down?”
“Not at all. And that leads us to the area that this could evolve into if we both are so inclined. It is interesting because it is not an area of the lifestyle that I ever really...appealed is not the word
I am looking for...never fit for me before.”
That intrigued Derek, who had kind of thought of Stiles as having done everything, even though that was a silly assumption, “What is it?”
“Have you ever heard of Daddy-Doms?”
Derek blushed, “Kind of...I mean I have seen porn where the girl called the guy ‘Daddy’.”
“Not really the same, but a good connection. Daddy-doms take the dominant role, but are a bit...gentler in a way. Normally they are drawn to what are refer to as Littles. Now some Littles just like to role play as a different age, one where they can let go of the inhibitions of adulthood and have the freedom to act out fantasies, this is what is called Age-Play. Other Littles actually crave the comfort and protection of an authority figure and although they may act out their childlike wishes, they are not playing a role, but behaving on their true inclinations. Now some of these ‘natural littles’ that still age-play scenes as if there were a specific age, but many are more fluid and just know they like being cared for and trust their Daddy to take care of the rest. Play can be sexual or not. Some go all the way back to babydom, which is specifically called Infantilism, but that seems too young for your mindset.”
“You think I have a Little mindset?”
“The potential is there, but only if you want to explore it later. In general, Daddy-Little relationships are more...how to describe it...fluffy? caring? soft?...although no less intense. It also doesn't limit the other kinks you may want to throw in. For example you can be in a Daddy-Little relationship and still practice impact play, although it would probably not go beyond spanking. Did all of that make sense?”
Derek felt a little flushed and...squirmy from all the talk. “You think you would like something like that, with me?”
“I know I would. I can practically see the potential for it between us.”
“Why then haven't you done it before?” Derek did not want Stiles doing something like that just for Derek if he had no interest in it.
“Well, firstly, just as I am not your typical dom type, I definitely don't look like what most people looking for a daddy are looking for. Not to say that aesthetics are everything, but a daddy has to make their little feel little. And it can help ease the little into the correct mindset if their daddy looks like an actual daddy and not an overgrown weed.”
“You do not look like a weed.”
“Thank you for that. Anyway, I have also never clicked with a little before, so there was no chance to see if I would like being a daddy.”
“What if that isn't what I want?”
There was no hesitation from Stiles, “Then we don't do that. Just because the potential is there doesn't mean we have to do anything about it. Besides it is nothing we need bother with now. We have more to explore before we get to those kind of decisions anyway.”
“Ok.” Derek yawned, “Oh Stiles?”
“Yes, sweet boy?”
“Could...you you send me some sites on it? The Little stuff. I want to read more about it.”
“Sure, that is no problem. Anything else you are curious about?”
“Tons, but nothing else specific. But you know how we talked last night about how being nervous is ok, but I should be excited too? I am getting excited. I want...I actually want to do things. Try things.” Derek leaned up and gave Stiles a shy smile that had Stiles positively glowing.
“Ok, big guy, I think it is bedtime.” Stiles said with a yawn, “My flight isn’t until 10 o’clock, but I was up late last night.”
“Are you leaving?” Derek was still struggling to sound like he wasn’t whining. He had lived alone since he was 18, he should NOT be struggling with the concept of Stiles going home.
“Only of you want me to. After last night I realized that I am powerless to deny that I want to be here, so if you want company again, I am happy to stay.”
“Please. Please stay.”
“Happy to, sweetie. I even brought a bag just in case. It is down in the car, because I didn’t want to seem...presumptuous.”
“You are always welcome here. You are my boyfriend after all. Facebook official and everything.”
Stiles positively beamed before he ran out to his car.
Once Stiles returned they brushed their teeth together then alternated using the bathroom and getting undressed in the bedroom. Derek decided on boxers and an undershirt again, where as Stiles was in long flannel pants and a graphic T. They ended up in the same position as the night before, Derek driffinging of in the safe warm cocoon of Stiles's arms and legs.
Derek's alarm clock blared on at 7:00, causing Stiles to mutter grumpily before shoving his head under a pillow making Derek laugh as he pulled himself into a sitting position. Stiles groaned at him and threw the pillow at Derek’s face. Derek reached over and switched off his alarm.
“Dude, you actually use a real alarm clock?” Stiles asked, “What are you, like 80? You do know everyone uses their phones now, right?”
Derek just glowered at him.
“Well, old man, you have anything on your schedule today?” Stiles says with a yawn and stretch.
Derek shrugged, “Not too much. I have to do my stretches and eat before my physical therapist comes at 9. She comes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Other than that...not much.”
Stiles looked embarrassed for a moment, which was odd, because Stiles talked about things that would make other people squirm without blinking an eye. “You want a rough copy of my book to keep you busy? I mean, I know it is more for teens and it is sci-fi and probably not at all what you are into, but if you are bored…”
“That sounds good. I have been curious about it.”
“Well, let me know what you think, okay? It is still going through the editing and revision process, which is taking forever! Also since it is just the first in a series, as long as things go well, I need to get approval on the whole overarching storyline by the publisher, rather than just this one segment.”
“I bet it is great.”
“I have a copy in my car I can give you one we are dressed and ready for the day. It is not a real binding yet, just a sample printing on regular paper. Can I take a shower here? I have my suitcase in the car so I don't need to stop at home if I don't want to.”
“Sure. The hallway bathroom is probably best. There should be some shampoo and stuff under the sink. Don't blame me if it is all girly, it something Cora left.”
“Sure thing! Let me know if you need a hand with anything before I have to leave.” Stiles gave him a peck and was off to the shower, his backpack with clothes in hand.
Derek looked after him before pulling back the covers and rubbing the stiffness out of his muscles, and slowly working his joints loose. He only did a rudimentary stretch since Kira would be putting him through his paces later this morning. There was also no point in showering until after his workout.
It was odd going through the morning routine, knowing Stiles was also puttering around. They both wound up getting to the kitchen at about the same time, Stiles's hair a bit wild even damp. Derek had half expected him to be dressed differently since he was going to a business meeting that he had to fly to, but then again it was hard to imagine Stiles in anything other than jeans and a t-shirt.
Stiles bent down so they could share a deeper good morning kiss now that both of their teeth were brushed. They both sat down with bowls of cereal in front of them, Derek really needed to buy a larger variety of food, and ate to the general buzz of Stiles's chatter. It was nice.
“Just so you know, I totally blame you for the insomnia I know I will have tonight!”
Derek raised an eyebrow at Stiles.
“Don't give me that, you have totally addicted me to sleeping with you. Do you know I normally get up at least once a night and have to write, or run, or watch like two hours of infomercials before I can fall back asleep. But you are like the most soothing teddy bear ever, because I just snooze away all night.” That make Derek feel all warm and bubbly. An alarm beeped on Stiles's phone and he groaned, “I have to get running.”
Derek felt a sinking in his stomach, but nothing like how bad it had been a few nights before. Still he couldn't help but pout a little. “Ok.”
“Now, none of that face, Mr. Sour Smurf.” Stiles said rounding the table and giving Derek a deep kiss that left them boats grinning, “Now, what present do you want from LA?”
“It is an like hour flight away.”
“I am traveling, so I get to bring you a present. What do you want?”
“I don't need anything.”
“Fine! I will pick out something myself.” He gave Derek another peck before running down to the car to retrieve a copy of his book. He handed over a large black binder, “Obviously if it gets published it will be shrunken down to book page size. The actual pages I use to draw out are actually like 4 time bigger than even this. Let me know what you think! I will see you tomorrow. Be good while I am gone, sweet boy.”
And with one last kiss he was gone. Derek looked after him, feeling a little lost, not voicing the two words that popped into his mind out of nowhere, Byebye, Daddy.
Kira, his physical therapist was particularly cheerful as she put Derek through his rehab. It wasn't until she had his foot up on her shoulder and was pressing down to stretch his glutes which brought them into a fairly close position, that she grinned wolfishly and said, “I couldn't help but notice that your bed is less tidy as usual.”
“Huh, I must have had a restless night.”
She switched to his other leg, “And you have two cereal bowls in your drying rack.”
“I was hungry.”
“And you have a hickey on your neck.”
“I have a boyfriend now.”
“And you didn't tell me!” She shrieked, slapping his thigh lightly, but still noticeable, she was an expert on what his body could take after all.
“It is new.”
“Well it is obviously going well.”
“Yeah, it is.” Derek refused to grin like an idiot.
Kira started working on loosening up his calf muscles, “Well tell me about him!”
Kira was about as close a thing as Derek has had to a friend over the last year, he definitely saw her more than anyone else. And Derek totally blames the sappy smile that he could feel pulling us the corners of his normally stoic mouth, “He is pretty great.”
“Well he better be or else I will kick his butt.”
“He umm, he wants to come to one of our sessions sometime.”
“Oh, why is that? He isn't some controlling jealous asshole right?”
“No, no, nothing like that. He wants to see how he can help with,” Derek waved at his legs, “you know. He wants to know my limitations and stuff. He wants to talk with Dr. Deton too.”
Kira looked surprised but pleased, “That is really responsible of him.”
“Yeah,” Derek was feeling all glowy inside again, “Stiles is great.”
Derek should have realized that there was a good chance Kira knew Stiles. They were about the same age and Beacon Hills wasn't a very large town. “Uh, yeah. You know him?”
Kira looked torn, “Yeah, he is a regular at my grandmother's place.”
“Your grandmother’s place?”
Kira was looking really uncomfortable now, “I don't know if Stiles has told you about that part of his life yet...I don't want to...you know out him. Not that it is bad or anything! It is just some people are bothered by that sort of stuff. And if this is new between you he just might not have mentioned it...”
“Is this about the whole BDSM thing?”
“Oh thank god,” Kira relaxed, “My grandma owns a club, The Den, that caters to the BDSM crowd. I help at the bar sometimes and have seen Stiles there a lot. He is practically an employee. He has kind of taken it upon himself to watch out for the subs wellbeing and helping train new doms. My grandmother has offered to pay him, but he turned her down. The number of times I have seen him intervene when things either got too intense or one of the parties were starting to drop after a scene.”
“So you know about all the BDSM stuff?”
“Most of it. I am not actually into the scene myself, but lots of my family members are into it pretty heavily, my parents included.”
“My dad always called my mom Kitten, I just didn't learn she sometimes was one until I was a teenager. It wasn't shocking or anything though, it was just how they were.” Kira shrugged, “Are you into that lifestyle?”
“I don't know, I mean I wasn't before but...some of it sounds intriguing. Stiles said that we can try if I want, and...yeah.”
“Well if you need an outside ear, you can always call me up. I would have been more worried about you if it was anyone but Stiles. He takes the role of dom very seriously.”
“Yeah, he has taken a lot of time to talk me through everything, in detail.”
“I can only imagine.” Kira got to her feet, “Alright, ready to sweat? Let's get your workout on!”
Derek did not pout.
You still want those sites on Daddy-Little relationships?
Ok, I just emailed them to you. Remember to let me know if you have any questions.
You know my Physical Therapist, by the way.
I know her!
That is what I just said.
I think her Grandma wants to adopt me. She owns The Den
Are we going to go there?
Up to you. I have held training sessions in the past, for people new to BDSM, as well as done various public demonstrations. If that is ever something you want we can, but I want to keep you to myself for a while, let us both learn what we are to each other.
Will you go even if I am not ready to go myself?
Never. We haven't talked about exclusivity, but that is what I do. If I am with you I wouldn't be with other people. Not sex, not scenes, not dates, not kissing. You are it for me.
I actually meant you going just to teach the newbies. You are really good at explaining all this stuff. I think you are a good teacher. I feel like you probably help a lot of people doing it.
I already know that you would never do anything with anyone else.
Awwws, sweet boy. You have such a big heart. I can't believe I am lucky enough to have you.
I think you have that backwards.
No, I know I got it right.
It was Tuesday. Stiles flight came in at noon, and Stiles said he needed a few hours to get everything ready. And Derek was a nervous wreck.
Derek knew that Stiles had scheduled to talk with Dr. Deaton that morning, so Derek knew that Stiles would know how to approach everything safely, which was a big relief. But Derek was still alternatively freaking out that his body would betray him, or that he would have no idea how to please a man in bed. At the same time he could not wait until Stiles arrived and kept finding himself watching the clock instead of re-reading Stiles's book, which he had open in his lap. He had already read it through yesterday and stayed up way too late, unable to sleep until he knew what happened. But now nothing, it seemed, could distract him from watching time slowly crawl by.
It was only just after one o’clock when his phone rang, jarring Derek out of the hypnotic spinning of the seconds hand of his clock. He looked down and was surprised to see Deaton’s caller ID.
“Good afternoon Mr. Hale. I just wanted to let you know I talked with your partner this morning and you can consider him fully informed about your condition.”
“You have found yourself a very interesting young man, Mr. Hale.”
“Yeah, Stiles is unique.”
“From the sound of it, you are in very competent hands.”
“Oh and Derek?”
“I am glad to see you are starting to move forward.”
“Yeah, me too.”
Derek was literally bouncing in anticipation as he waited by the door. Stiles had called and said he was only a few minutes away. Derek had said to come on in when he got there and had not been able to pull himself away since. When the door finally swung open Derek could barely breathe.
Stiles was outlined by the late afternoon sun. He was wearing his standard jeans and t-shirt, but he had the addition of a sports jacket. It made his shoulders look a bit more broad and imposing. Everything in Derek yearned for him. My Daddy. He was so sure of it now. He had read all the links he had been sent, like a good boy, but deep down he had already known. He had known since Stiles had first brought it up.
“There is my boy!” Stiles crowed, and then was joining Derek in his chair, kneeling above him, legs on either side of Derek's, and kissing the breath out of both of them.
When Stiles started to pull back Derek whined in the back of his throats and gave a weak tug on the lapels of Stiles's jacket, where they had found purchase. Stiles chuckled, but conceded to a bit more kissing. Stiles pulled back again a few moments later, giving Derek a quick tap on the nose. “I have groceries in the car I need to go get before the sun bakes them.”
“Can I help?”
“Of course, baby. I could use the extra hands…I think I went a little overboard at the grocery store.”
A ‘little overboard’ evidently meant the Stiles had filled his entire back seat with grocery bags. “What did you do? Buy the whole store?”
“Well I decided that dinner should include dessert, and pancakes tomorrow morning, and you can't have pancakes without eggs and bacon. And then we may want to spend the day in bed, so we needed power snacks...and lunch fixings, just in case.”
Derek laughed and loaded up his lap with the bags Stiles handed him. It still took them two loads, and a third for Stiles to grab his suitcase. Once everything was stowed, Stiles looked at the clock and said they had 30 minutes to chill before he needed to get cooking. They ended up lip-locked on the couch, and luckily Stiles set an alarm on his phone or they may have just stayed there all night and wasted away from starvation.
“I want to give you your present before I start cooking. Hold on.” He ran to the bedroom, where his suitcase had need stowed, and returned with a box wrapped in blue and yellow tie-dye paper, “Now it is actually kind of a present for both of us. Something that I thought that you could work on, but I could help sometimes too. And we could expand later.”
He handed Derek the box and Derek realized that it wasn’t wrapped in paper at all, but cloth. He unwrapped the box to reveal that the cloth was actually a t-shirt that said “I ❤ Los Angeles” and was also huge, like XXXLT huge. It would fit like a tent and probably almost reach his knees if he could stand. He was so distracted by the neon tent-shirt that he almost missed the box that had been wrapped in side. It was a Ghostbusters Firehouse Lego set. Derek hadn’t ever really gotten the opportunity to pay legos much as a kid. ‘Girl’ toys had dominated their house, but they had always looked wicked fun.
“I have never done one of the boxed sets,” Stiles said, “I had like a giant bucket full of assorted pieces that Scott and I would just dump all over the floor. Actually I think it is still in my dad’s attic somewhere, I should go look for it! Anyway, this one is like over 4,000 pieces, so I thought it would be fun!”
“Can I play with it now?”
Stiles grinned, “So you like it?”
Derek nodded, eager to get going.
“Where do you want to get it set up? It should probably be someplace out of the way, since the pieces are small and we don't want to lose any.”
“Ok...how about the dining table and we just eat in the kitchen until we are done!” Derek’s fingers were practically itching to open the box.
“That will work for now,” Stiles agreed, “But if we make a habit of this we should set up a space specifically for Lego Architecture.”
“Yes Da-” Derek froze, and Stiles froze. They stared at each other for a long moment before Stiles just smiled widely at him.
“Good, now do you need some help getting started?”
Derek bit his lip, he had really goofed up. He had almost called Stiles Daddy without talking about it first. And Stiles like to talk about everything, a lot. But he hadn't said anything about it so maybe it was ok? “I will be ok. Maybe we can play more after dinner?”
“That sounds perfect, sweet boy.”
Derek relaxed. Stiles had called him his sweet boy. That meant he couldn't be mad at him.
Stiles did help him open the box, because it had so much tape the needed to cut it open with a knife. Then he went into the kitchen to start cooking. Derek was glad his apartment was so open, he could look up and see where Stiles was prepping vegetables whenever he wanted.
“Ok, sweetie, dinner is ready.”
“Awww!” Derek whined, he had just gotten all the pieces sorted by shape and color. He had read the directions through twice and was just about to put the first two pieces together!
Stiles came over and gave him a deep kiss, thumbs stroking over his cheeks, “Come talk with me over dinner and we can get started on the firehouse together after.”
“Alright, Da-” fucking mouth!
“It is ok, you can say it, baby boy.”
“Alright, Daddy” A shiver the size of Texas when's down Derek's spine, and his ears and fingers tingled.
Stiles beamed as if Derek has just handed him the moon, “How did it feel?”