“You’re staring at him,” Erica whispered dramatically, nudging Derek’s side.
Derek could only glare at her because she was right.
Erica, Boyd, and Isaac were finally back for the summer after finishing their first year of college, and Derek was both proud of their studies and glad to have his pack with him again. Stiles wasn’t “officially” pack but he was still considered a friend, plus Scott was somewhere in South America for a summer exchange program and Lydia and Jackson were on some luxurious summer cruise in the Bahamas with their families.
Basically, it would’ve been rude not to invite Stiles to at least hang out.
But what Derek wasn’t expecting was for Stiles to come back and look like he went through puberty a second time. Gone were the loose-fitting plaids, flailing limbs, and general awkwardness. He had filled out in all the right places and was confident and easygoing and…
“He’s pretty hot,” Erica continued, her voice at speaking level this time. “Like, everyone knows I used to have a crush on him, but that was high school and I was in a bad place. But now he’s like, objectively very hot.”
Stiles’ head popped out from the kitchen. “You guys say something about me?”
Derek panicked, his words tumbling out in a rush, “What? Well. I mean. We were just—”
“You’re hot now, Stilinski,” Erica drawled, giving him an obvious once-over. “What’s up with that?”
Derek gave a resigned sigh, covering his mouth with a hand while Stiles froze in place, his eyes widening comically.
“I. Uh. Thanks, I guess?” Stiles said in confusion as he walked into the living room, bringing a hand up to rub at the back of his neck, showing off a toned arm. Not that Derek was paying attention or anything.
Stiles looked at Boyd and Isaac questioningly, but Boyd was nodding his head thoughtfully at Erica’s comment from their spot on the couch while Isaac briefly glanced up at Stiles from his phone and asked, “You been working out, man?”
Stiles gave a huff, sitting down with an indulgent grin. “Don’t get me wrong, running from monsters every week during high school was great for cardio, but I never seemed to hold my own ground, you know? And then once I started college I suddenly had, like, a lot more time so I thought I’d work out and…” He gave a shrug.
Erica reached over and ran a hand up and down his bicep appreciatively. “Well, it looks like it worked in more ways than one. Good job, Stiles,” she said, giving him a wink. She quickly stood up. “Boys, come help me in the kitchen.”
Boyd followed suit while Isaac looked up again in confusion. “What? Why? It’s just burgers and fries we got to-go, we can—”
“We’ll get the food ready while you two catch up,” Erica said, ignoring Isaac and eyes shifting knowingly between Derek and Stiles.
As the three betas made their way to the kitchen, she looked back at Derek with raised eyebrows and motioned her head suggestively towards Stiles.
Get on that, she mouthed.
He had half a mind to glare at her again and roll his eyes, but Stiles was already looking at him expectantly so he cleared his throat nervously instead. “So, uh, are you gonna be here the whole summer?”
“Yup,” Stiles replied, popping the ‘p.’ “As crazy as Beacon Hills is, I actually really missed it. Berkeley’s great and all, but it’s just not as exciting. Not that many supernatural creatures up there, at least from what I’ve encountered.”
Derek’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “But you still encountered them?”
Stiles’s eyes lit up and he leaned forward excitedly, resting his elbows on his knees. Derek couldn’t help but notice how the action made his biceps bulge slightly.
Stop staring, dammit, Derek thought.
“Dude, during my first semester I found out that my super creepy physics professor was a djinn. He was slowly feeding off of his students’ life forces and got away with it for so long because everyone assumed they were just sleep-deprived.” Stiles snorted. “Not that that class was riveting, but then people started randomly slipping into comas.”
“Wow,” Derek said. “And you killed him?”
Stiles nodded. “Long story short, yeah.”
Derek’s eyebrows drew together. “By yourself?”
Stiles smirked, tapping a finger on his forehead. “It’s all about strategy. Well,” he cocked his head to the side in thought, “that and knowing how to handle a sword,” he amended, his smirk curving into something slightly wicked as he fixed his eyes on Derek.
Derek felt his face heat at the suggestive phrasing. Hearing Erica’s stifled laughter and Isaac’s snort from the kitchen wasn’t helping either. He averted his eyes, clearing his throat again. “Maybe you could… give us a hand while you’re here then.”
He inwardly cringed at his own unfortunate choice of words.
Stiles nodded, simply keeping his smile on his face as leaned back on the couch, making his fitted shirt stretch across his broad chest. “Maybe I will.”
God, it was going to be a long summer.
“You fucking werewolves need to learn your place,” hissed the vampire, his left hand pinning Derek to a tree by his throat while the other held a fistful of wolfbane which was slowly on its way to being shoved down Derek’s throat.
Derek wasn’t even looking for trouble. Sure, he was twenty-seven and capable of living an unnaturally long life but he was already getting too old for this shit, thank you very much. He was just out on his morning run in the woods when this fanatical vampire decided to jump him out of nowhere.
“Glorified dogs, every last one of you,” the vampire snarled, spittle foaming from his mouth as he tightened his grip more, although Derek only heard his voice as a muffle.
Derek’s lungs were screaming for oxygen and whatever air he could manage to breathe in was rank with wolfsbane, causing him to choke even more. Everything started to blur, making the vampire’s fang-filled mouth stretch into a gaping void while his hellishly red, glowing eyes filled his vision.
“You’ll finally be put down the way you deser—”
The grip around Derek’s neck faltered as the vampire looked down in shock at the wooden stake that had gone through his heart. When he managed to look back up at Derek, his head was neatly sliced off in a spray of blood, landing with a soft thud in the surrounding foliage.
Derek fell to his knees, his fingers digging into the ground in front of him. When he finally managed to get a full breath of air, his senses suddenly snapped back into clarity, his heaving gasps loud in his ears and the sneakers that had stepped into his line of sight sprinkled with dirt and blood. When he looked up at his rescuer, he was met with Stiles’ eyes filled with worry. Seeing that Derek was okay, he gave a sigh of relief.
“You’re so lucky I have the best timing, man,” Stiles said as he stretched a hand out to Derek.
At a loss for words, Derek could only accept the offer and found that Stiles’ strong grip easily heaved him up on his feet. Derek noted that he and Stiles were around the same height now and wow, his eyes were a beautiful shade of amber.
“Thanks,” Derek wheezed—from both overwhelming attraction towards Stiles and the hand that was just wrapped around his throat—before he bent over and started coughing. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a blood-soaked machete slung over one of Stiles’ shoulders and what looked like a tool belt snapped around his slim waist that was filled with various weapons. He saw knives and daggers of different sizes, a couple guns, a baton, a small whip, and… nunchucks?
When Derek managed to straighten up he asked hoarsely, “What… were you doing?”
“Oh. Just some morning exercise,” Stiles said.
Derek motioned at his gear incredulously. “With those?”
“Today was weapons training,” Stiles stated matter-of-factly.
Derek could barely process what he was saying because one, Stiles was apparently proficient with all sorts of weapons now and two, he looked good all sweaty and dirt-smudged. Then his eyes caught on the decapitated body a few feet from them. “Wait. You were training all the way out here?”
“It wasn’t what I was planning on, but I guess that’s what happened,” Stiles said, following Derek’s line of vision and grimacing at his handiwork. “I was at my house and saw this guy creeping through the woods. I started tracking him and it led me right to you.” He paused. “What was his deal, anyway?”
“I’m not sure,” Derek muttered, rubbing his neck. It was already healed but Derek could still feel how the vampire’s fingers were dead set on crushing his throat. “I think he was some kind of rogue vampire that decided to take a personal vendetta out on all werewolves.”
When he looked up he saw Stiles’ eyes quickly look away from where he was touching his neck.
Stiles cleared his throat. “Yeah, he didn’t seem like someone that could be reasoned with.”
Derek nodded in agreement. “Thanks,” he repeated. “I was… I could’ve died and you saved my life.”
Stiles ducked his head and patted Derek on the back. “Well, you can thank me by treating me to breakfast,” he said brightly, then he took note of the blood on Derek’s face and on both of their clothes, making a face. “We’ll do that after we both get cleaned up though. Last thing we want is to look like a pair of serial killers.”
Derek didn’t dare call it a date, but he liked to think that it kind of was.
Barely a week later, the pack encountered an honest-to-goodness wicked witch who summoned a swarm of black widows to attack them. It was bad enough that black widows are the deadliest spiders out there, but the witch was evil enough to make them two feet big.
It was one of the most horrifying things Derek has ever had to deal with and it fucking sucked. The four of them were standing back-to-back, desperately alternating between stomping on the spiders that crawled close enough and slashing with their claws at the ones that were jumping at their faces, Jesus Christ.
But then Stiles ran over the witch with his trusty jeep. The engine roared and tires squealed as he did doughnuts around the pack, whooping loudly while wielding a magically-enhanced flame thrower that effectively burned the spiders to a complete crisp.
When the jeep slammed to a stop, Stiles hopped out with the flame thrower perched on his hip. He surveyed the smoking remnants of the swarm and gave a low whistle.
“I feel bad that you guys had to be up close and personal with,” he waved a hand over the whole area filled with spider corpses, “all that, but it was kinda fun to burn those fuckers.”
A self-satisfied smile had found its way onto his face when he looked over at them. “You guys okay? None of them bite you or anything?”
Erica was stunned into silence at the sheer impressiveness of his insane feat.
Boyd stared at Stiles with eyes the size of dinner plates. “Yeah, we… You just… I don’t…”
Isaac, who was the most freaked out by the spiders, was incredibly grateful but also asked, “Stiles, where the fuck did you get a flame thrower?”
Derek was in complete awe. He was also confused. And slightly aroused.
It continued like that for the next month or so. The pack would find themselves in a bind with the Monster of the Week™ and Stiles would somehow save the day with a skill he picked up or practiced while he was away.
Derek appreciated Stiles’ help. If he was being honest, he probably appreciated it a bit too much. Stiles was still sarcastic and cunning. He was still restless and fidgety and ran his mouth at every opportunity and didn’t know when to shut up. But he was also strong with all sort of skills under his belt and was just… incredibly badass.
If he was being honest, Derek was kind of head over heels for Stiles and he didn’t know how to fucking handle it, so he opted for intensely admiring him from a distance.
Derek was enjoying his cornflakes and morning paper when he was startled by Erica’s hands slamming on the table.
“Why the fuck haven’t you made a move on Stiles, Derek?” she demanded. “I specifically told you to ‘get on that’ and you have not gotten on that.”
“I—Well, he—I just,” he stammered.
He turned to Boyd for help but Boyd simply shook his head in disappointment and continued munching on his cereal.
“You’re on your own,” Isaac drawled off-handedly from the couch where he was watching something on Netflix.
“Yeah, you are,” Erica agreed. She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes at Derek. “Do you not like him?”
“N-no, I do! Like him. I do like Stiles. More than like,” Derek said defensively, vaguely wondering if other alphas had to deal with their betas like this.
Erica threw her hands up in exasperation. “Then why the hang-up? He’s been here for weeks! He’s saved our asses multiple times already!”
And when Derek thought about it, that’s exactly why he was hesitating. In the past, he’s always noticed Stiles’ intelligence and enthusiasm, but Derek also got so used to protecting Stiles. And now Stiles could also protect him, effortlessly defeating monsters left and right and looking good while doing it. Like, really good.
Now, Stiles is just so capable and competent.
It’s not that Derek felt threatened by the reversal, or equilibrium, or whatever you wanted to call it. In fact, it was the complete opposite. He really dug it. He just didn’t know what to do or how to approach the situation.
“Does he even need me?” he asked aloud.
Erica sighed, grabbing hold of Derek’s shoulders and looking him in the eye. “Derek, this is not about need. You basically just said that you want Stiles, and trust me, he definitely wants you too.”
She paused, trying to phrase her thoughts. “Look, if you’re our pack dad,” she leans in close, “then Stiles is our pack mom. I just know it.”
She motioned between her, Boyd, and Isaac for emphasis, “We know it.”
Derek looked at Boyd, who simply nodded his head.
Isaac shrugged, his eyes still on the screen. “The mom thing’s kinda weird, but, whatever. You got it bad for him, man.”
Derek turned back to Erica in confusion. “But… He’s the same age as you guys.”
Erica shook his shoulders in frustration. “You know what I mean!” she yelled. “Just ask him to dinner or we’ll ask him for you.”
“Okay, fine. Fine. I’ll ask him today, all right?” Derek said, putting his hands up in placation.
Erica finally backed off and placed her hands on her hips while nodding decisively. “Okay, good. This is good, Derek. It’ll be great. We’re all rooting for you.”
Derek sighed, rubbing his temples. “Yeah. Thanks.”
Now he’ll have to go over to Stiles’ house. To ask him out. On a date. Fuck.
When Derek knocked on the door, Sheriff Stilinski was the one to answer it.
“Oh, Derek,” he said, a grin lighting up his face as they shook hands. “It’s good to see you.”
The two of them were able to bond while the betas and Stiles were at college. They’d go out for a meal every now and then and update each other on what their respective “kids” were up to.
Sometimes they’d dwell on their losses. Sometimes Derek would ask questions about being an adult and the sheriff would offer fatherly advice. It was always nice and Derek was glad for the company. He knew Stilinski felt the same way.
“It’s good to see you too, Sheriff,” Derek responded with a smile of his own. “Is Stiles around?”
“He’s not in trouble, is he?” the sheriff asked before shaking his head with a soft chuckle. “Even if he was, he’d be able to handle it, huh? Kid’s out there doing his own thing, but at least it’s a good thing.”
“It’s more like he’s the one getting us out of trouble, actually,” Derek commented. “I’m just here to… ask him something.”
The Sheriff raised an eyebrow but let him inside. “He’s in the garage getting some work done.”
Derek raised an eyebrow back. “Work?”
The Sheriff shrugged. “Hell if I know. As long as he’s in the house where I can see or hear him, I’m not too worried. Go on in.”
Derek nodded his thanks and made his way to the back. As he neared the door leading to the garage, he heard loud music covering up the sounds of grunting and swift successions of punches. When he opened the door, the smell of sweat and adrenaline with a hint of cinnamon filled his nostrils. Derek had become very familiar with this particular mix of Stiles’ sweat over the summer, but at this point it was intoxicating.
Then he saw Stiles who was topless and wearing a pair of form-fitting shorts that showed off his ass as he faced off with a punching bag, his muscles flexing and rippling with every move.
Derek didn’t even know how long he was standing in the doorway staring dumbly before Stiles looked up and noticed him.
“Hey, Derek!” Stiles yelled in greeting, walking over to where his open laptop was and pausing the music. He quickly dried off with a towel and put on a baggy t-shirt as he walked towards where Derek was standing. “What’s up?”
“I, uh… Sorry, did I interrupt you?”
“Oh, no it’s fine. I was just researching some faerie lore.”
Derek looked down at Stiles’ wrapped hands and then at the punching bag. “Some research.”
Stiles rolled his eyes with a smirk, walking back to his laptop as Derek followed him. “It’s called productive time management, dude. I was waiting on some info so I thought I’d get some boxing in. A strong mind needs a strong body and vice versa and all that.”
When Derek peered down at Stiles’ laptop he saw multiple windows open with what looked like ancient Latin and Gaelic texts, along with various illustrations. Derek would ask why he’s doing this amount of heavy research, but any other time he’s asked, Stiles just shrugged and said, “Why not? It’s good to be prepared.”
“Did you need something?” Stiles asked, his voice laced with curiosity.
Derek straightened, suddenly nervous and brought a hand up to rub the back of his neck. “No. I mean. Yes, uh,” he began, then paused and took a deep breath. “I was, uh, wondering if you wanted to have… dinner?”
Stiles drew his eyebrows together and pursed his lips. “Oh, like pack dinner?”
“No, I-I mean like dinner dinner. With just us. On a date.”
Stiles’ eyes widened. “Oh, you’re asking me out.”
“Yeah,” Derek said lamely.
There was a deafening pause where Stiles just stared at Derek, his face completely blank.
Before Derek could ask if something was wrong, Stiles’ face split into a grin and he bent over and started laughing.
“Oh my God, you’re asking me out,” he said between giggles.
Derek, feeling confused and embarrassed, began backing away slowly. “Oh, do you not… I can just…”
Realizing that his reaction could be taken as rejection, Stiles quickly looked up in panic. “Wait, Derek. Fuck.”
He reached out and grabbed one of Derek’s wrist, still fighting back his laughter. “Of course I’ll go out with you, you dumb wolf. God. Sorry, I just. I was just surprised, is all.”
Derek looked at where Stiles was touching him, unsure of what to do. “Surprised?”
“Yeah, I mean,” Stiles straightened up but still kept his hold on Derek. “I thought it was pretty clear that I wanted more when we first saw each other again. But then you didn’t do anything so I thought you weren’t interested and decided to back off.”
“Oh,” Derek said guiltily, thinking back on the past few weeks where he was intensely admiring Stiles from a distance. He realized that to anyone else it looked like he was… avoiding Stiles. Whoops.
He ducked his head, not wanting to meet Stiles’ gaze. “No, I was—I am interested. You’re just… You’re really great and… I wasn’t sure how to talk to you. Or ask you.”
“Hey, hey it’s okay,” Stiles said, wrapping his arms around Derek’s neck. “You didn’t have to worry about that. I’m still me, you know?”
When Derek looked up, he saw a mixture of warmth and amusement in Stiles’ eyes and let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding, lightly resting his hands on Stiles’ hips. “I know.”
“So. You, me. Dinner, and maybe even… dessert?” Stiles said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Derek rolled his eyes and gave a huff of laughter. “Maybe.”
Stiles grinned, drawing them closer together. “Then it’s settled. So can I fucking kiss you now?”
“Please,” Derek breathed out desperately.
They both moaned as their lips met, clutching and scrabbling at each other as the kiss quickly turned hot and wet and perfect.
When they managed to break apart, Stiles was breathing heavily, his pupils dilated. He grabbed a handful of Derek’s shirt and quickly tread towards the door, easily dragging Derek behind him. “You, me. Upstairs. Now. We have a lot of lost time to make up for.”
Derek went along with him in a daze and couldn’t help but agree.
God, this was going to be a great summer.