"You animal," she moans, grins down at him, thighs tight around his waist, smell of her heavy in the air. He freezes, can't breathe for a second, then he runs, barefoot and topless, out of her apartment and into the snow. He doesn't come back to himself until the morning, when he wakes up in a fountain. It's...a low point.
"You like that don't you- oh god, right there, you can't help yourself--"
This time he doesn't have pants on, manages to tree himself in Central Park, and Laura tracks him down at noon, sits under the tree with a blanket and a set of clothes and waits patiently until midnight, then curls up with him until he doesn't feel quite as horrible.
"I mean, hickeys. God, they're so tacky."
"I know, and she was just parading them in front of him, like hooking up with some kind of mouthbreathing weirdo was something to be proud of."
He messes up three coffee orders, claws through a big bag of sugar and has to stay behind to clear up.
"I just get all sweaty, sharing a bed. Like, sweaty and homicidal if they get too clingy. I don't get the appeal of spooning; I'd have twin beds if I could and if she doesn’t like it it’s a fucking deal-breaker man. Like, we’ve fucked, why would we need to fucking cuddle after?"
He nods, and takes a sip of his beer. Brad, or whoever the fuck he is, turns back to Mike, or Kevin, or whoever they are and they start talking about a mutual friend from Oregon. Derek's pretty glad they don't expect him to talk much.
Things get better. Actually, they don't. He just gets better at picking people who don't talk. He does just about enough to get himself off, makes sure they come too. He leaves before the morning, goes for a long run afterwards and doesn't end up topless in a fountain. Which is an improvement.
After Laura, he...stops. It's better that way. He doesn't...he shouldn't...what he wants isn't right. It isn't normal. Then, there's Jennifer, and his body betrays his brain and it's all he thought he ever wanted.
She ritually sacrifices people. Of course she does.
It gets better. Really, this time. He comes back to Beacon Hills, gets an apartment where no one's been murdered and starts training as a deputy, goes on a few normal dates with normal people and has dinner every third Tuesday at the Sheriff's, moon permitting. He does odd jobs around the house for Mrs McCall, and has a standing invitation to Bobby Finstock's house to watch ice hockey with him (five werewolves in the top ten teams). So he's getting there, even if Bobby Finstock’s house has a life sized papier mâché horse in the kitchen and a shrine to someone called Greenberg in the downstairs bathroom.
Then Stiles comes back from college, and ruins everything. He comes back for Christmas break on the back of Scott's bike, the day before his Tuesday dinner with the Sheriff. He's just about to bow out of it gracefully when the Sheriff looks up from his paperwork, says "I'll see you tomorrow night, Hale," and Derek nods once, because the Sheriff's got a hell of a stare, and it's Stiles, what could go wrong?
Turns out, plenty. First thing is the V-neck sweater Stiles is wearing. Derek's not blind. He knows Stiles is attractive, and he has been for longer than Derek is fully comfortable with. There's knowing intellectually and seeing, which are two very different things, because Stiles's V-neck sweater shows off the long line of his throat, the tender hollow between his collarbones. The blue makes his skin look like it's glowing and the tang of his scent is just...
He doesn't know how he makes it through the meal alive. He's reduced to short sentence answers, looks down at his plate or at the Sheriff, can't look at Stiles, at his neck or his hands, or fuck, his mouth, his damn mouth. He gets out of there, drives home with clawed hands and frantically jerks off as soon as he's in through the front door to the thought of licking all that beautiful bare skin, nipping at it until Stiles is limp and pliant underneath him, tugging him close and weighing him down until morning and he's so ashamed it claws hot at his throat and behind his eyes, sits heavy in his stomach as his spunk cools on his jeans, on the doorframe.
He cleans up in silence, puts his jeans in the wash, staggers out into the backyard and runs. Just runs, keeps on until there’s nothing of him left, just the wolf and the need to roam, to make the ground disappear beneath his claws. He ends up three towns over, wakes up the next morning wearing only his boxers, with the taste of rabbit in his mouth. At least this time he's deep into the woods. He's still ten minutes late for work, and the Sheriff keeps shooting him speculative looks, not disapproving, more…considering. He keeps himself under tight control. This, at least, he can do. He’s calm at work, maybe a little quieter than usual. He gets through the day, even if it feels like he’s readying himself for another attack, noticing how many of the walls he’s built around himself need repair.
He avoids Stiles. He isn’t sure how to get around the inconvenient realization that he wants far more than he can ask for from someone reckless enough to give it fully and without reservation, so he just ignores the whole problem, because Stiles will be going back to college soon, and he’ll just be the grumpy werewolf back home who likes standing in corners. He just needs to survive the Christmas break, then everything will be fine.
He lasts a week.
“Derek, we’re having a family dinner tonight. The McCalls, Isaac and Lydia are coming round. You’re invited.”
He looks up from his filing, straightens up slowly. “Sheriff Stilinski, I’m touched, but I can’t. I have a prior engagement.”
“Derek, son. Please,” the Sheriff says, and every polite refusal dies on his lips. He nods, once, can’t quite speak, because the Sheriff rarely asks anything of him. “Thank you,” the Sheriff says, grips Derek’s shoulder and leaves him to the mountain of filing and sense of impending doom.
Stiles keeps looking at him, shy, darting glances. Scott and the Sheriff keep up a reasonably steady flow of conversation that he can’t completely follow, Mrs McCall keeps putting food onto Isaac’s plate when she thinks he isn’t looking, Lydia’s watching Stiles with a dispassionately analytical look and he’s…cutting up his food into geometrically precise shapes because he wants to put his teeth very precisely and delicately onto the back of Stiles’s neck and bite down, just a little.
“So where was it you were working again, Stiles?” Lydia asks suddenly, and Derek looks up from his plate, because she’s been quiet for most of the evening. Stiles looks at her, ducks his head a little, down and to the side and shifts in his seat, his scent fond and relaxed, with a little hint of embarrassment. The light catches his eyes and he spreads his hands out on the table in front of him, and Derek can’t. He stands up abruptly, says something about calling Cora and leaves quickly, remembering to grab his jacket and keys.
Behind his closed eyelids Stiles backs him up against the door and butts his head up under Derek’s chin, nose a little cold and delicate in the hollow of Derek’s throat, and Derek trusts him enough to let him, pulls him close and ruts helplessly against his strong thigh.
Cleaning spunk off his door frame for the second time in ten days is possibly a low point. He cleans it off methodically, has an ice cold shower, nearly googles sex therapist then closes out of the tab, nearly dials Cora’s number but turns it off instead then does pullups until he can’t hold himself up any more.
It’s his day off the next day, and he doesn’t get out of bed. He’s almost wishing for a serial killer, or an omega, hell, even some more hunters. Something life and death related, something that doesn’t involve having space to think. He glares up at the ceiling.
He can hear Scott’s bike half a mile off. He’d run, but he’s not wearing shoes and doesn’t quite have the energy to cover his tracks. He doesn’t want to go against Scott as the Alpha, doesn’t want to force a fight: neither outcome would be acceptable, and werewolves fights don’t have draws, so he gets up, pulls on last night’s jeans and a fresh Henley and waits.
“What the hell’s your problem with Stiles?”
Scott’s admirably direct when it suits him. Derek sits on the couch, keeps his posture open. “I don’t have a problem with Stiles,” he says steadily. Scott cocks his head to one side.
“Almost a lie. A sort of lie.”
He just looks at Scott, waits for him to get to the point. “Derek, I’m on your side,” truth, “but Stiles is my brother, man, and he’s upset and confused and he doesn’t even know what he did wrong, but suddenly you’re back to glaring! I just want us all to be together and happy for Christmas, okay? So whatever your problem is with Stiles and what he’s doing—”
“He’s not doing anything,” he blurts out. Scott looks at him.
“So…this isn’t about his job?”
“I have no idea what his job is.”
“Also true. So…the problem’s with you, not with Stiles?”
“I didn’t say that,” and fuck Scott and his occasional intuitive leaps.
“Derek, please talk to him. I think…whatever you’re afraid of with him? It won’t happen,” Scott says, his tone gentler now, expression open and earnest, power mixed with kindness. He puts his hand out, squeezes Derek’s knee once, then lets himself out of the apartment.
He almost uses the front door to Stiles’s house, changes his mind at the last minute and climbs in through the window instead, because a baseball bat to the head might at least break the ice. No such luck. Stiles looks up from the mound of papers he has on the bed, expression carefully blank. He waits for Derek to speak, doesn’t fill the silence with anything. “Tell me about your job,” Derek says at last, because it’s at least neutral.
Stiles waits until he’s almost on the point of leaving again before he answers. “I work in a sex shop that caters to both human and otherwise clients,” and it’s so unexpected Derek can’t quite control his face, which makes Stiles’s entire demeanor defensive, closed off, makes him angry and hurt. “I didn’t think you’d have a problem with that, it’s an awesome job and I love doing it, so fuck you Derek,” and he doesn’t know what to say so he takes a hasty step into the room, puts his hands up as if they’ll stop the flow of words.
“I don’t care about that—no, I mean, I don’t have a problem with it.”
“So why haven’t you looked at me for more than a few seconds since you came in through that window?” Because he’s on a bed. Because he’s sleepy, but not quite ready to sleep yet, and the room smells of him and his spunk, his fresh sweat and the animal warmth of him strong and comforting. Because his lips are perfect and his eyes are even more so. “Derek, please. Whatever it is. Just tell me.”
“I want,” he starts, can’t get the rest of the words out. Stiles hooks his desk chair with one long leg, pushes it towards Derek. He sits, and idly runs Stiles’s comforter through his fingers.
“I could tell you about some of the people I’ve had in to the store. It’s a pretty cool place; I’ve collected plenty of anecdotes that don’t end in gory death, which is a plus, even if they’re not quite ones I could tell at a dinner party. Who am I kidding; I’d totally tell them at a dinner party, which is why I don’t get invited to them.”
Derek smiles down at the pattern on the fabric. “You’re too young for dinner parties. I’m too young for dinner parties.”
“Yeah, good point.”
“So…your otherwise clients? Who are they?”
Stiles shifts some of his papers into a neater pile, comes and sits directly opposite Derek. He can see the tips of his toes, the worn fabric stretched tight over his knees. “The store’s run by a succubus,” he starts, and Derek’s head jerks up, alarmed before he’s even finished saying the word. “It’s fine, she’s ethical. Consenting partners only,” and something about the way he says it makes Derek wonder if he’s ever consented.
“Free range and organic?”
Stiles grins. “Yeah. So aside from being terrifyingly attractive, one of the advantages of being a succubus is she gets sexuality of, like, all kinds. So the otherwise clients may be a species she’s never heard of, or have a kink she’s maybe never considered, but she’s still able to grasp what they might need. She’s…kind of terrifyingly good at it. You should come visit the store.” Because Stiles has at some point learned tact, he doesn't mention Derek's sudden tension. "We've got a few clients whose mother or father was otherwise, so there's a whole sort of conflict between human and otherwise sexual needs. Like, I ended up commissioning a turned sycamore fleshlight for a part dryad dude who literally got wood. He had his appearance under control mainly, but during sex, he'd get all...twiggy. Then there was the part frost giant- we ended up modifying a wine cooler for him. A siren was having trouble with her orgasms with a male partner until we realised she kind of needed to be singing at some stage in their courtship, even if it was for a one night stand, so she picks guys up at karaoke bars now. I love it. I love problem solving, and I love how everyone has a thing, something that makes them tick."
His heart stays steady. Derek looks at him, extends his senses so he's fully focused on every action, twitch and reaction Stiles makes. "I...things make me tick. I don't feel like they should."
Stiles reaches out, puts his hand scant inches from Derek's. "Why don't you, uh, tell me? And in the interests of full disclosure, I do have a bit of a talking thing- that's one of my ticks. So if I make you uncomfortable, please let me know."
It can't be that easy. It shouldn't be, but Stiles's heart is steady and he doesn't seem to be scared or anxious. "I want to lick your neck," he says in a rush, forces himself to stay still and wait for Stiles to react. "I'm sorry, I— it's a werewolf thing maybe, but I just— necks."
"So necks in general and mine specifically?"
He can smell Stiles beginning to get aroused. He must have trouble working if he gets turned on whenever anyone talks about their kinks. "Yeah. Both. I want to get my nose right close to where your scent is the strongest, then see how you taste, how you feel when my teeth bite down a little. Then— then— the nape. You'd go pliant. Surrender. But I want you to put your teeth gently on my throat too, because I trust you, and I wanna show you that. Then— after— I'd make you stay. I'd pull you close and hook my leg over yours so you were there all night, my hand on your belly and your back at mine. I- I shouldn't, I'm so sorry if I'm making you uncomfortable but I want. I just—"
He trails off. Stiles swallows. His heart rate’s up, and god, he can see how hard he is, how blown his pupils are. "So are we still, uh, general?" he asks, his voice hoarse, cracking a little at the start of the question.
"Yes," he says, then, as Stiles's whole body seems to hunch in on himself, he makes himself keep talking, "but also no. I've always wanted these things, but it's...you, Stiles. I...want these things with you. Can I—" he breaks off as Stiles launches himself at him, wraps his arms and legs around him and presses his face right into Derek’s neck. He feels oddly helpless. "I thought it was just the talking thing. You were- you wanted, you were aroused, but I thought it was, you know, in general.”
Stiles laughs, damp against his neck. "Derek, it is so incredibly a specifically you thing, you have no idea. I'm pretty ridiculous about you. I might never live it down."
Derek groans as Stiles licks a stripe down the side of his neck, presses his nose in and sniffs.
"I won't judge you," he murmurs, curls his fingers around the nape of Stiles's neck. "Stiles, are you humping me?" he asks, feeling oddly lightheaded. Stiles doesn't halt the movements of his hips; Derek can feel the undulations all the way up his spine as he pants and writhes.
"It's possible I am. You can prove nothing," he says, nips gently at Derek's neck. Derek's nearly on the point of coming in his pants. He thrusts up so they're grinding together, breathes in the scent of their combined arousal and helplessly jerks his hips until the friction's nearly painful. Stiles shudders, bites down hard as he comes, the bright burst of pain sending Derek over the edge, and he comes too with a whine and a shudder, hips coming up with enough force to knock them both off the chair and onto the floor with a thud, where they lie there, panting, sprawled in a tangle of legs.
“Stiles, are you—oh, Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph. I don’t know whether to get drunk or bake a cake.”
Stiles tries to get himself completely underneath Derek, wriggling around in a way that’s doing incredibly strange things to Derek’s sensitive dick, as if he’ll miraculously become invisible to the Sheriff if he’s behind something. “Sheriff,” Derek says, trying not to sound like he’s just come in his pants rutting against his boss’s teenage son.
“Hale. I’ll, uh. See you tomorrow. Use protection. Stiles, I still love you very much. I’m gonna go drink a cake.”
Stiles is shaking underneath him, laughter and shame threading through his scent as he tries to muffle the sound against Derek’s shoulder. The Sheriff closes the door very quietly. Derek eases them apart, wincing as come sticks his dick to his boxers, lies back and stares at the ceiling. “So, uh, there goes that afterglow,” Stiles says once he’s calmed down a bit.
“I’m not up a tree, so…I’ve had worse,” he says, philosophical as his spunk cools down and their scents hang pungent in the air. He wants to bury his face in Stiles’s crotch, see if it tastes like his. Stiles is right there, and Derek wants. “Can I…your jeans. I want to take them off, and smell your spunk, then I’d like to taste it.”
Stiles’s groan sounds like it’s been punched out of him, sudden sharp arousal heady in the air. “I think at some point you’re gonna talk me into an orgasm. It’s a hell of a skill. Be my guest, though. Mi crotch es su crotch,” he says with a lazy hand gesture, then he stretches out his whole body, puts his hands behind his head and waits, belly bared. “One condition, though,” he adds, his tone suddenly serious. Derek pauses, meets his eyes. “We’re spooning after this. I should warn you, I’m a cuddler.”
Derek ducks down and presses his lips to Stiles’s, just a short, chaste kiss, presses his nose briefly to the side of his neck, just under his ear. “I’ll manage somehow,” he says.
“Attawolf. Now, do your thing. I need to work out if I need to find a tree to avoid tomorrow morning’s breakfast conversation.”
“I’ll let you share my tree,” he murmurs, then undoes Stiles’s jeans, tugs them down and noses at Stiles’s crotch, rubs his cheek along the damp, tacky fabric and listens, disbelieving, to Stiles’s pulse quicken, watches his dick getting hard again in his boxers, mouths around the outline, breathing hotly on it, sucking on the cotton with his tongue pressed to the fabric.
“Jesus that’s filthy. Your mouth—fuck, you’re fucking perfect. I’m—oh, right there—a great fan of your work, Mr Hale. Please—god, you’re not real, man, I’m never letting you out of this bed—well, this floor. I haven’t even got my dick out and I’m close to a second coming—huh, like Jesus. Yeah. Man, sorry. I’m kind of weird in bed. Ignore me—”
The Sheriff does bake a cake. He brings it in with him the next day. It has ‘about damn time’ written on top of it in blue icing.
Derek realizes that Stiles was being completely honest when he said that he was a cuddler. He’s also an aggressively equal opportunities spooner, which is great, because so is Derek.
It takes them three tries, but they do end up making it to the bed.
Derek doesn’t climb any trees. Or end up in any fountains. It’s a high point.