Stiles, it’s Scott. Look buddy, I know you’re there. Just pick up your phone, okay...? I heard from Isaac that you’re quitting the band, and I’m seriously not going to let you walk away just like that, you know? We’ve been best friends since we were kids, we’ve been dreaming of making it this big since we first saw the Backstreet Boys in 3rd grade. Come on, you know you can’t just walk out-
Stiles pressed a button, causing a loud beep. A mechanic voice proclaimed, Message erased. Starting next message.
Stiles, it’s Isaac. I know you’re probably pissed I told Scott to call, but I knew he would be the only one who could convince you to stay-
“Bullshit,” Stiles muttered before pressing the button again.
Message erased. Starting next message.
Stiles, it’s Derek-
Message erased. There are no new messages.
Howl was the first big boy band to come from America since N’Sync, and there wasn’t a member in it that wasn’t claimed by thousands of fangirls, and of course fanboys. They had everything, the chart climbing singles, the merchandise that flew off the shelf, the concerts filled with screaming fans. Their tour was a hit, their tweets spread like wildfire, every silly picture or behind the scenes video uploaded and circulated millions of times. Magazines begged for the boys to grace their covers.
They’ll Have You Howling for More!
“Not too bad,” Stiles muttered as he leafed through the glossy pages. “If it hadn’t been done millions of times before, that is.”
Boyd scoffed, trying to hide his smile but failing. “That’s not why I gave it to you, Stilinski. It’s the article inside. You remember the Spice Girls?”
“Remember the Spice Girls? What am I, ten? Of course I remember the Spice Girls,” Stiles huffed, flipping the pages to the article. “What does that have to- oh. Oh!” He stood up straighter, a huge smile lighting his face. “Oh yes, there is a god! Holy shit, Derek’s going to pitch a freaking fit!”
“Yeah, towards you,” Isaac muttered between sips of his water bottle, wiping the sweat from his curly locks. No one got off lightly during Erica’s dance practices, and all of them were covered with sweat after the hour long session. “You’re the one who gave him that stupid nickname, and now we all have one.”
Stiles scanned down the article “Oh come on, Angel Wolf,” he purred out, wiggling his eyebrows. “It’s not all bad.”
“Yeah, says Nerdy Wolf,” Isaac shot back, his grin widening as Stiles’ felt his fall.
“Nerdy Wolf!” he muttered, horrified. “Nerdy Wolf? That’s the best they could come up with? God, you tell one Star Wars joke-”
“Or a thousand,” Boyd interrupted, and now he wasn’t even trying to hide his smile.
“Okay, whatever you say, Lone Wolf- aw, man, yours is actually kind of cool.” Stiles huffed as he glanced down. “Of course Jackson is Trendy Wolf, and I’m not sure how our fearless leader will feel being called Puppy Wolf, but with those eyes there’s really no way around it-”
“Of course, you’re forgetting the original,” Derek muttered from the doorway, his face thunderous and his voice low.
Isaac gulped his last bit of water loudly, Boyd rolled his eyes, and Stiles just smiled brighter. “Oh, if it isn’t our ever vigilant Sour Wolf!”
“Stiles,” Derek muttered darkly, looking poised to kill, “I’m going to rip your throat out. With my teeth.”
Stiles laughed hysterically even as he ran for his life, Derek close on his heels, the magazine still clutched in his hand.
Stiles stared at the Chinese food container in his hand, wondering if the lo mein within was still good. He took a delicate whiff, and upon finding no foul stench decided to risk it. He poured it into a bowl and popped it in the microwave, opening the fridge back up to grab a soda.
His phone buzzed and he glanced down at the screen, not really wanting to pick up any calls or answer any messages, but curious to see what it said. It was from Boyd: You’re in deep shit now. Lydia just found out.
“Shit,” Stiles muttered. He had hoped to have at least a few more hours of freedom. On a scale of 1-10, he texted back, how mad is she?
Banshee’s screaming your death throes right now, Boyd replied quickly. I would get out of the country before she gets to your apartment, or we’ll have to dedicate the next album to your memory.
“What’s Sterek?” Stiles asked as he peered down at the list of interview questions before him.
“Perhaps the biggest marketing tool we have at our disposal right now,” answered Lydia as she clicked through her phone, her voice overly cheerful. She looked up with a smug smirk before continuing with, “It’s a mixture of Stiles and Derek, and it’s your ‘ship’ name.”
“Ship? Someone named a ship after us?” Stiles was beyond confused, why was that interview material?
Lydia rolled her eyes. “As in relationship, Stiles, get with the times. They want you to be together.”
“What?” Stiles could feel himself turning pink. “You’re telling me there are fans who want me and Derek to get… together? As in, together together?”
“Yes, quite a few of them.” Lydia brought up her phone screen to show a picture of him and Derek with hearts surrounding them, scrolling downwards to show a drawn picture of Derek kissing his neck. “Quite a few of them are very adamant that you’re in love, and are even now pining for each other. The fact that you nicknamed him didn’t really help quell the tide.”
“And I have to answer questions about that?” Stiles asked, grabbing the phone to scroll through and fidgeting in his seat. “I don’t even know how I should answer.”
“How do you feel about it? Are you disgusted? Mad at the fans?”
“No! No, god no, of course not. I’m flattered, frankly. There’s so much stuff about us. Is this a story?” He clicked a link, glancing at the word count. “Someone wrote 20 thousand words about me and Derek boning? Holy shit, this is dedication.”
Lydia rolled her eyes. “Don’t get a big head about it. Everyone is paired up, you two just happen to be the most popular. It’s a demographic that is now very public and very lucrative. Just be polite about it, don’t lead them on with your answers, and move on to the next subject.”
Stiles had decided to preemptively strike and call Lydia himself. She picked up on the sixth ring (Stiles was sure she just wanted to make him sweat) and answered with a clipped, “This had better be an apology for ever making me consider worrying about such a stupid notion.”
“Lyds, come on, it’s not like that,” Stiles told his fiery manager, rubbing his face. “I’m not just pulling some stupid stunt for attention or something.”
“Stiles, it’s bad enough I have Jackson threatening to quit every other week!” Lydia began, and yup, that was her ranting voice. “And he may be full of shit when he says that the band would be nothing without him, but it’s true that each of you now brings in a large portion of fans. And, against all reasonable sense, you bring in the second most of everyone.”
Stiles sighed and plunked down on the couch. He knew that, he had seen the poll results, had seen the fan mail. The only one who outranked him was Derek, and given the fact that the man was the very definition of dark and mysterious, well, outranking his popularity was damn near impossible to imagine.
“Look Lyds, I hate to do this to the band, and I’m not even saying that I am doing it,” Stiles answered after a thoughtful pause. “I just need a break from everything right now. A break to get my head together, you know? Figure shit out.”
Stiles could hear furious texting and knew that Lydia was plugging away at her Blackberry. “Fine, if I change the schedule around I can give you two days. And then you’re going to either have to make this hiatus public or come back, you hear me? I can’t cover your ass for longer than that.”
“Thanks, Lyds,” Stiles said without a smile, ending the call and dropping his arm on the cushion, not even able to feel relief at the news.
“Get your feet away from me,” muttered Derek, refusing to look up from his book but voice full of unleashed violence.
“What?” Stiles asked, batting his eyes even though Derek refused to look at him. “I’m just trying to warm my little toesies-woesies beneath your heated thighs, they were getting cold.”
“Stiles,” warned Derek, this time giving his fellow band member a dark glance.
“Do you want me to get frostbite and have them fall off? And then I wouldn’t be able to dance? Have to quit my life of stardom? Then where would the band be, huh Derek?”
“You’re replaceable,” Derek muttered. Before Stiles had time to give a horrified gasp and clutch his heart, he continued with, “Besides, why don’t you go warm your stinking feet with someone else? I’m not the only one on this tour bus.”
“Isaac,” and Stiles indicated with his game device to the blonde next to him, “has chicken legs that couldn’t warm a pinkie toe if he tried. No offense, Isaac.”
Isaac shrugged. “You’re the first one to complain about ‘em.”
“And Scott and Boyd,” Stiles continued, “are way over there. Jackson doesn’t count because I don’t want my feet to smell like douche. So, thus.” He wiggled his toes for good measure, adding lots of lovely friction.
Derek shifted his eyes, obviously playing out the pros and cons of moving. They were driving through Pennsylvania on their way to New York City for a Christmas concert, and the weather was bitterly cold. Derek, always a forward thinker, had placed himself smack dab in front of the bus’ heater. Don’t move, and Stiles would continue to use Derek’s legs a personal blanket. Move, and he’d zip forward to claim Derek’s spot.
Derek contented himself just to glare darkly before going back to his book, Stiles shitty smile never leaving his shitty face.
Stiles clicked through his email with glazed over eyes. Requests for interviews, tour guide schedules, a diet plan that the whole band was suppose to implement and the whole band ignored. Well, probably not Derek. Derek was cut like a freaking diamond.
He clicked on a message that caught his eye, requesting that he reply via email. Hey, he might as well do something useful given that he refused to leave his apartment. It was from a queer community magazine, and Stiles always liked supporting even the smallest of magazines that dealt with those issues.
Did your PR department want you to hide the fact that you’re bisexual?
Stiles was quick to type out his reply. This was a typical question, but still very important.
Yes, at first. I think Scott was the one to let it slip, truth be told, and suddenly I had all these high up execs telling me to be hush hush about it. At first I was just going to follow the flow, do as I was told, but then my ever awesome manager Lydia Martin started arguing against it. I mean, she may have made the excuse that ‘gay was in’ right now, that it would help boost my image, but I know she did it so that I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable having to hide that part of myself.
Have fans reacted negatively to your bisexuality?
To be honest, I tend to look at the positive. Sure, some people wanted me booted out of the band as soon as they heard I was bi. There were a lot of things that were hard to just roll off my shoulders, you know? But there was this overwhelming support as well. I’ve had tons of people tell me that I’m an inspiration, just for not hiding it. It’s those types of responses that make the hate worth it.
Has your bisexuality caused tension with your bandmates?
Stiles fingers hesitated before he slowly typed his answer.
All of my bandmates are super supportive, and to be honest don’t care in the slightest. I’m really thankful to have such people in my life. The town I grew up in was very supportive of homosexuality, so I don’t know how I would have handled living with people who weren’t tolerant of who I am. Thankfully that has never been an issue.
Not a word of it was a lie, but it wasn’t the whole truth either.
Derek knew about Sterek too, and he handled it just as professionally as you could expect Derek to handle anything, because the guy was the definition of professional. He was polite with fans, did poses with Stiles during photoshoots, agreed to do interviews together. The one thing he didn’t particularly care for was looking up shit online.
“Stiles was wearing only a thin shirt and boxers, and could feel the warmth radiating from Derek like a space heater through every contact of skin-”
“Stiles,” Derek growled out, “knock it off.”
“Come on dude, we’re getting to the good part!” Stiles protested with a cocky grin. “You just saved me from freezing to death, and I’m pretty sure a big reveal is about to happen-”
“Well then do it silently, like a sane person,” Derek sighed out, reaching for a large pair of noise-cancelling headphones. “I don’t want to hear it.”
“Some random chick- or dude, I’m not judging- decided to write 11 chapters about us and you won’t even let me read it to you? Man, way to respect the fans,” Stiles tutted, clicking his tongue. “You just scowled when I showed you our tumblr tag.”
“Well you just kept laughing your ass off,” Derek shot back. “Is that really showing respect?”
Stiles sniffed at that. “I’m enjoying myself at least.”
“Why anyone would think we would be good together,” Derek muttered as he put on his headphones, closing his eyes to show he was completely done with this conversation.
Stiles rolled his eyes. For all his teasing, the feeling was mutual. They mixed as we as oil and water. Sure, opposites attract and all that, but there really was a freaking limit.
Stiles decided that now was as good a time as any to catch up on some TV. He powered up his big screen (there were perks to stardom of course) and immediately was bombarded with a local commercial for Howl’s next concert, due to be held in a month. They had been working on the their third album lately, and were going to debut the songs in Los Angeles with a start up concert for their third world tour.
Stiles flipped past the channel, guilt gnawing at his insides. He had timed it pretty perfectly. They were still practicing, hadn’t even recorded one song yet. There was still time to cut Stiles’ parts, spread it out among the members. It would be a pain, it may affect the quality, but Stiles couldn’t do this to himself.
He flipped through channels randomly, not really having a program in mind. Which turned out to bite him in the ass as E! popped on with a shot of Derek Hale pictured next to one of the hottest actresses of the moment, Jennifer Blake. Stiles’ fingers hesitated at the sight, even as his throat constricted.
“Is it true?” the host was asking, her blonde hair turning white against her spray tan skin. “Is Hottie Hale finally settling down? Sorry ladies, but it seems our favorite Sour Wolf has his claws sunk deep into Jennifer Blake. Official PR reports have confirmed-”
The TV powered off, forcing Stiles to stare at his own pale reflection. Dark rings were formed around his eyes, and his lips were a thin line. He hadn’t been able to sleep lately.
It was intermission on their first concert since their second album debut, and like the fully grown professional he wasn’t Stiles was currently in the bathroom stall trying to not have a panic attack. It was just- it was just, he could do back up just fine. Vocals. He could sing his lines and even lead a chorus or two. But a solo? Whose idea was it to give him a freaking solo?
Oh, right. Scott. Scott and his ever optimistic encouragement and Lydia’s fucking scheming ways. Why was he being punished for being popular? He wasn’t a solo artist, he was a band member. Scott should get the solos. Hell, Isaac had the best voice out of all of them. The kid had the vocal chords of an angel. Why Stiles?
Jackson was never going to let him live this down.
Just then came a knock on the bathroom stall, and the voice of the absolute last person Stiles wanted to hear right now.
“Stiles, we’re on in twenty,” Derek curtly informed him. “Danielle wants you in makeup.”
Stiles cleared his throat. “I’ll be right there,” he managed to warble out, wincing as he heard the crack in his own voice, staring down at his hands.
There was a pause, but no sound of footsteps. Instead, Derek’s voice once more drifted into the stall. “Are you alright?”
The question was enough to get Stiles to raise his head. Derek, actually showing concern? Did he somehow switch voices with Scott? “Uh, I’m fine. I’ll be out in a minute.”
Still, no footsteps. Yes, those were definitely Derek’s far-too-stylish shoes in front of the stall. And definitely his voice as he said, “Look, I know solos are hard the first time. But we’re all right behind you. We’re doing more than giving you vocal back up.”
Stiles swallowed against the lump in his throat, and decided there was no use denying it. “But what if I fuck up?” he said softly, his voice shaking as he rubbed his hands together. “You guys can’t jump in, it’ll be completely obvious.”
Derek just scoffed. “Then you won’t be the first person to fuck up at a concert, and definitely not the last. The band will rewind a bit, you’ll wink at the fans, and then you’ll keep singing. That’s what you’re good at, right? Faking it with charm.”
Stiles felt his stomach squeeze. “I don’t think I can fake my way out of this one.”
Another pause, and when Derek replied his voice was softer, a little less rough around the edges. “Fuck Stiles, you know I didn’t mean it that way. You’re a hell of a singer, all right? I wouldn’t be in this band if you weren’t. You’ve got plenty of talent. Hell, you wrote the lyrics yourself, right? The rest of us can’t say that.”
Stiles felt his hands calm. It’s true that he did write the lyrics to Spark himself. In fact, it was that very fact that lead Scott to suggest he solo it. Still, he couldn’t help but argue, “Danny wrote the music, though.”
“Yeah, but you wrote the lyrics. And some people may think our songs are shit, but this is one hell of a ballad. Even I got chills when you first sang it.” Derek words were heavy with sincerity, and he didn’t hesitate, not even once, the way you do when you’re making up shit on the spot.
Stiles licked his lips. “You really got chills, dude?”
Derek sighed. “I didn’t want you to get a big head about it, but yeah, I did.”
For the first time that night, Stiles smiled. Not the plastic curve of lips he did for the fans, or the half grin he had stuck on his face for the crew, but a genuine, patented Stilinski grin.
His father was the first one to pop into his head, but what did the Sheriff know about romantic advice? The man hadn’t been on a date in years, and obviously asking him how to get over someone was going to be a bit of a slap in the face. Lydia was too personally connected, and Scott would get weird about it. Which, really, only left one other person.
“How did you know it was right to break up with Scott?” Stiles asked as soon as she picked up.
“Well, hello Stiles,” Allison answered slowly. “It’s nice to hear from you too. I’m guessing this is about why you’re thinking of quitting the band?”
Shit. “Did Isaac or Lydia tell you?” he asked as he started to pace.
“Both, but Isaac first,” Allison admitted easily. “He wanted the brownie points. Lydia only texted when she get fed up and needed someone to rant to.”
Stiles rubbed his head frantically as he continued to pace. “Look, I just- I could really use advice right now.”
“And you think your best friend’s ex is the person to get that from?” Allison sounded more amused than anything.
Stiles chuckled, though there wasn’t much humor in the noise. “Do you think I’d be asking you if I had anyone else to go to?”
“Fair point.” There was a pause, and then a somber, “I didn’t.”
Stiles blinked. “Care to expand on that sentence, or…?”
She huffed. “I didn’t know that it was right to break up with Scott. I had no idea if it was the right thing to do. I just knew that we weren’t working anymore, and I didn’t think we could fix it. There, does that help?”
Stiles sank down into his couch with a heavy sigh. “No, not really.”
It all started because Scott was the biggest romantic on the face of the earth, which given his current occupation was actually a great asset. He had just started dating Allison a few weeks back, and when faced with the prospect of even pretending to love another girl, much less kiss her, he had gone straight into panic mode.
It had only taken one panicked look for Stiles to jump in and suggest he kiss the girl instead. The music video director had pursed her lips but Lydia had argued for it, and with just a little bit of reworking it was Stiles who was the romantic plot point. Scott had been grateful, Boyd Isaac, and Jackson had cracked a few jokes about Stiles finally getting laid, and Derek had just rolled his eyes and remained as silent as always about the whole affair.
There were running bets on what he would fuck up worst: the lyrics, the dance moves, or the kiss. No one expected the pretty blonde to look quite so ecstatic when she was introduced to Stiles, or to flirt with him viciously, or to kiss him with just a bit more enthusiasm than perhaps the acting called for.
And Stiles, well, Stiles was just getting use to girls even knowing his name. He was just getting use to getting fan mail about how cute his moles are, and for teenagers to have them hanging on their walls and pictured on their desktops. So the attention was perhaps some of the first true flirting he had been met with. Perhaps it was the stylish clothes or the new haircut or the sudden fame, but there was someone who was actually interested in him.
He jaunted up to Derek with a punch-drunk smile on his face. Everyone else was still getting retouches, and it had just so happened that they were done first.
“Do you think I should ask her out?” he asked, feeling a bit giddy, the question bubbling out of him despite the fact that he and Derek weren’t even that close. He hadn’t had much time to socialize with anyone but the band in months, and this first real flirtation felt good.
Derek shrugged as he took a sip of his water bottle, his face neutral. “If you really want to. I’m sure she’ll say yes. You’re popular enough, after all.”
“Dude, do you have to put it like that?” Stiles scowled. “You make it sound like I’m a dog breed or something.”
“Sure, you’re the prize find,” Derek continued, continuing to look away. “What girl wouldn’t want the bragging rights of dating a pop star? I mean, she may be a bit demanding, but she’ll probably screw you right off the bat.”
“Fuck you,” Stiles shot back, stalking off the snack table. Heather seemed really nice, and she could have flirted with any of them and she decided to flirt with him. Was it that hard to believe that she genuinely liked him? God, and just as he thought that him and Derek were becoming friends.
“You never really told me about you guys breaking up,” Stiles said as he blew on his lo mein and took a bite. Yeah, tasted perfectly good to him. “I mean, Scott wouldn’t shut up about it for weeks, but I never heard your side of the story.”
“Oh, you know how it is,” Allison answered, and Stiles could almost imagine her waving her hand flippantly. “Two singers meet and fall in love and the media just eats it up. And we never did it for PR, we always dated for ourselves.” She gave a dry laugh. “In fact, Gerard was livid when I told him we broke it off. Said it was a wasted opportunity. Said I could have least have gone through with a wedding.” Her words were steel tipped as she repeated her grandfather’s, and record label president’s, words.
“I mean, I know it was hard on Scott when you weren’t around,” Stiles said around his lo mein, “but you two texted so much and Skyped all the time, and I thought it was going okay?”
“Well you know how it is, I would have to cancel because of last minute rehearsal, and then he couldn’t text because he had a recording session…” She hesitated here, her words obviously pained. “And then, well, we finally met up one day and he looked so happy... So incredibly happy and I just knew how bad it must hurt him when we were apart. And god, I couldn’t do that to him, you know? We both had careers to make for ourselves. I couldn’t make him lose his focus.”
Stiles nodded, and then realizing she couldn’t see him muttered, “Yeah, I get you.”
“It would have been different if we had met somehow else,” she continued, her voice firmer now as she got ahold of herself. “Like we were high school sweethearts or something. But Scott really does need a more stable relationship if he’s going to be with someone.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m so happy he-” Oh fuck. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.
Allison didn’t let the omission slip through, and somberly said, “He’s seeing someone else, isn’t he?” It wasn’t really a question.
“Yeah,” Stiles admitted softly. “Fuck, I wasn’t suppose to tell you, he wanted to be the one to… But yeah, they just became semi-official. It’s one of our new stylists, Kira. She just joined the crew and they went on a few dates.”
“A stylist?” Allison asked, her voice still soft but teasing. “Well, maybe she’ll dress him up a bit better when he goes out in public.”
Stiles set the lo mein down with a thump, wondering if he really should say anything more. But damn, Allison was one of the best things that happened to Scott. She deserved to have some closure. “They’re really happy together. And she’s going on tour with us, so unless things go sour…”
“She’s giving him what I couldn’t,” Allison agreed. “I’m happy for him… This may be hard to understand, but when you really love someone that’s all you really want. For them to be happy, even if it’s not with you. But oh gosh, what am I even saying. Didn’t you want help with something?”
“Actually… I think you already said exactly what I needed to hear.”
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
Stiles stumbled through the moves, repeating step after step with a frown, licking his lips in concentration. Erica had been even more of a slave driver than usual that day, giving the boys more complex steps than usual with even less time to practice. And Stiles, well Stiles knew he was the worst dancer, but it had still be a low blow when Erica had commanded he stay behind and go over the routine by himself.
Well, sorry Miss. Reyes, they couldn’t all be Boyd’s of the group. God, no wonder the guy was dating their choreographer. He probably seduced her with his dance moves.
Five, six, seven, eight. Five, six, seven, eight.
Why was Stiles popular again? Scott was the over romantic leader, Isaac was the snarky one with the best voice, Boyd was tall, dark, and mysterious with the best dance moves, Jackson was the stylish-yet-oh-so douchey one, and Derek was just the hot one, which in Howl was saying a lot. What was Stiles? Apparently there was suddenly an influx of love for the ‘funny, quirky one’ because that was the only reason Stiles would keep winning poll votes.
One, two, three, four. One, two- Oh fuck it!
Stiles crumpled to the ground, covered in sweat and panting loudly. He wasn’t all sculpted muscles like the rest of his bandmates, he had a limit. He was mere human. He was officially done with everything. Maybe he should just quit. He could always go into song writing. He had the connections, at least a little bit of the skills. Song writing may not pay as well, but hell, there was no dancing involved.
“Need help up?”
Stiles opened his eyes to Derek above him, the overhead lights making his outline glow. Stiles simply groaned. “No, just leave me here. Leave my sorry, single ass here to just die.”
Derek stuffed his hands in his pocket with a small grin. “Well someone’s not taking their breakup well.”
“Well someone’s not taking their breakup well,” Stiles mimicked with a glower as he sat up. “No, what gave you the first clue?”
Right on cue, Derek gave his trademark shrug and looked away. “Because I remember I danced like shit for weeks when me and my sisters split up our group.”
Stiles couldn’t help his raised brows. The fact that Derek was a child star was well known, him and his sisters Laura and Cora forming an indie band that mixed alternative rock and celtic music. Triskelion was a nuanced hit, but soon their sound faded away to obscurity. Laura had gone into producing, and was in fact one of Stiles’ many bosses, and Cora had found her way into an all girl rock group that was still struggling to find a place on the charts.
“I never knew you were that cut up about it,” Stiles replied somberly as he stood up.
Derek never talked much about his past, even though everyone knew of the Hale tragedy. Their Beverly Hills mansion had burned down in what was supposedly arson from a crazed, scorned fan, and the number of talents that had been produced in that family line was unmeasurable. Talia Hale in particular had been a singing sensation to rival Madonna, and many had mourned her loss. Artists were still dedicating albums to her and citing her as a huge inspiration.
“It was time to move on,” Derek said, his voice reasonable even though his eyes looked tired. “One day we’ll have to move on from Howl too.”
“Aw man, don’t say that,” Stiles said with a tight smile. “Maybe we’ll take a break, but hey, we might come back. If the Backstreet Boys can do it, why not us?”
Derek’s returning smile was softer than usual. “Well, I didn’t come here to talk about that. I wanted to know if you needed help going over the dance moves.”
Stiles raised a brow, and a warm feeling started to radiate in his chest. “Aren’t you going to go out drinking with Scott and them?”
Derek shrugged. “Do you want help or not?”
And there, standing in that room covered in sweat and fighting exhaustion, there was the place and time that Stiles finally realized that he may be falling a little in love with Derek Hale.
God, he was screwed.
Stiles flipped through his Facebook requests as he rested on the couch. He had set his account to as private as could be, but somehow he still got random people requesting to be his friend. He was tempted to just delete the damn thing, but he had too many family members and old friends to really consider it.
He responded to a few posts, commented on some statuses. He really didn’t get in touch with people enough, he always was so busy. After the initial depression, he had completely accepted why Heather had broken up with him. He really didn’t have time for a relationship right now. Well, actually, maybe soon he would have all the time in the world…
A message popped up on his screen.
Caitlin: Hey Stiles, you haven’t been on in awhile. How’ve you been?
Stiles finger’s hesitated from their typing. Caitlin was a one night fling he had met at a blacklight party who had turned out to be a halfway decent friend. She had also been going through a bad breakup with her ex-girlfriend, and they had bonded over their mutual depression and bisexuality. Stiles had sent her a friend request but they didn’t have each others phone number.
Stiles: Oh, hey, nothing much. What’s up with you?
They messaged each other sometimes, had little inside jokes. Not lately though, not with the new album coming up, but Stiles had never gotten bad vibes from her or that she wanted to be anything more than friends.
Caitlin: I’m back in town, and I was just wondering if you wanted to meet up?
Stiles: Uh, I don’t know. When were you thinking?
Caitlin: When aren’t you busy?
Caitlin: Actually, stupid question, you’re always busy.
Caitlin: How about you just screw everything and meet up with me tonight? ;)
Whoa, that winky face. Did she literally mean screw everything? Including her?
Stiles flexed his fingers as his eyes bore into the screen. Maybe this was how he got over Derek. Find someone else, even if it was only for tonight, only for right now. He would learn to love again, right? No need to mess up his own career. But still, the thought of being someone who wasn’t Derek, kissing someone who wasn’t Derek, sleeping with someone who wasn’t Derek…
Stiles: Sorry, Cait, no can do. Management is riding my ass tonight. Maybe some other time?
Caitlin: Oh, yeah, definitely. Sorry, didn’t mean to push it. Message me when you get a break, okay? I’ll be in town for a few weeks.
Stiles: Yeah, okay, definitely.
Stiles: Shit, I gotta go, someone is banging on my door. It’s probably my manager. I’ll message you soon! Cya!
Caitlin: Bye Stiles! Good luck with work!
Feeling only a little guilty about blowing her off, Stiles stumbled to his front door. It was probably Lydia, or even Scott. God, just what he needed, another pep talk. But when he opened his door he found out that there was another individual who he, more than anyone, didn’t want to see that night.
Derek Hale was in the hallway.
For a few weeks Stiles thought he had a chance. He had never talked to Derek about his sexuality, but the man had never given a straight (heh) answer when asked in an interview. Maybe Derek was bisexual, but just more private about it? Stiles knew there was that whole fiasco with Kate Argent a few years back, but dating a woman didn’t mean Derek might not be interested in dating a man.
Besides, wouldn’t the fans eat it up? They were the biggest ‘ship’ in the band after all. And true, it might be awkward if they broke up, but it wasn’t like the band was going to last forever. Besides, really, who had to know? They could keep it secret maybe, something just between them.
Stiles was so lost in his delusional daydreams that it felt like a slap in the face when he saw the magazine cover.
“Sickening how paparazzi are these days, isn’t it?” Lydia asked as she filed her nails. “Can’t even have a one night stand without someone taking a picture of it. You’re lucky that no one could identify that one girl with pink hair.” She inspected her thumb. “Not that I thought Derek would be the one to give us that trouble, out of all of you.”
“Jennifer Blake?” Isaac asked, looking down into the magazine still clutched in Stiles’ hands. “She’s that new romantic comedy actress, right?”
“If you asked me, he would have learned not to go after starlets after the last time,” Lydia told them, though no one indeed had asked her, or was thinking to. “Still, if it gets him a bit looser I’m all for it. He rarely smiles as is, but lately he’s taking the name Sour Wolf to a whole new level.”
Dennifer? The New Power Couple of Hollywood? was the headliner. See these pictures of Derek leaving the actress’ apartment just yesterday morning!
Stiles thought he was going to be sick. His grip was too tight, and his throat constricted, hot tears threatening to escape. He flung the magazine down and headed to the bathroom. Oh god, he couldn’t do this. He couldn’t be around Derek when… Talk to him when Derek was… God, why did he get his hopes up?
He didn’t end up going to the bathroom. Instead he got in his car and drove to his apartment, sending Scott one text message before turning off his phone.
I think I’m going to quit the band.
“Did you quit the band because of me?” Derek asked from his seat.
The mug clanked against the tabletop as Stiles set it heavily down, surprise making his arm go slack. He barely noticed the coffee splashing against his arm he was so numb with shock.
“Oh god,” Stiles muttered, eyes wide, “how did you find out?”
There was no use denying it. Stiles must have been too stupidly obvious with his crush. Stupid, stupid! How could he let Derek find out? He was hoping to come out of this as unscathed as possible. He had been hoping that, in the end, they could still be friends. There was little hope of that now.
Derek rubbed his face with a shaky hand. “Lydia tipped me off. She kept going on about you leaving, and she just kept looking at me like this was all my fault.” He pinched his eyes. “God, Stiles, don’t leave because of me. I’ll quit. Laura can easily get me a job-”
“No!” Stiles nearly upturned the mug with his flailing. “No, absolutely not, you can’t quit for something like this. This is all my fault. I would hate myself if you left because of me.”
“Enough,” Derek ground out, his eyes tired as he looked at Stiles. “It was already hard enough having to work with you before you found out.”
Stiles felt his stomach drop. It had really been that hard? Working with Stiles, knowing that Stiles liked him? He didn’t expect Derek to be in love with him, but god, he still thought they were friends…
His face shot up as he realized something. “What do you mean before I found out?”
Derek looked away. “Do I have to spell it out for you? I knew we never really got along, but to think this is how you would react to finding out I liked you… I never thought you would quit the band if you found out.”
“You?” Stiles pointed to Derek. “Like me?” He pressed the finger to his chest. “But… but you’re dating Jennifer Blake.”
“What? The thing with Jennifer?” Derek furrowed his brows. “That was just a fling. We didn’t mean to get caught, but when we did our publicists insisted on playing it up like we were dating. We were going to fake it for a few weeks and then announce a break up.”
“You’re… you’re not dating Jennifer Blake… And you like me?”
“Yes,” Derek answered, his voice firm. “Isn’t that the reason you quit the band?”
“No, I quit the band because… well…” Stiles could hardly believe this was happening. It felt like his thoughts were swimming through syrup. “Because I like you.”
“Oh,” was Derek’s only response.
“Yeah,” Stiles agreed, slowly standing up and walking over to Derek. The man looked shell shocked as Stiles took a deep breath and leaned down, placing a soft kiss on slack lips, and breathed out, “Oh.”
Your Hollywood’s power couple right now! Can you believe the fan response to getting together?
(Stiles:) To be honest, it’s not all that shocking to me. Our fans were always more than just supportive- hell, they pretty much demanded it. Not that either of us thought it made any sense when we first found out about it!
Well when did your feelings start to develop?
(Stiles:) Gradually, very gradually. He just kept always being there for me, you know? Like when I had my first solo and almost had a panic attack, he talked me down in the bathroom.
(Derek:) You remember that?
(Stiles:) Remember that? Dude, that’s when I probably first started crushing on you, even if I didn’t realize it!
What about you, Derek. When did your feelings develop?
(Derek:) Like Stiles said, gradually.
Oh come on, give us a little more than that!
(Derek:) *Getting flustered* Okay, well… maybe the first time I heard him sing? Or… or the first time he said something that made me laugh. Or… well, I think the time I realized it was during a music video where he had to kiss a girl.
(Stiles:) *Laughs* What? Are you serious?
(Derek:) *Scowling* Yes, of course I am. I didn’t like how she was flirting with you. And then I said something stupid and you got pissed…
(Stiles:) Yeah, I remember that… Though it’s kind of cute, now that I know you were jealous!
How did your pack respond?
(Stiles:) Everyone just said, “Finally!” when we told them. Like everyone else knew something we didn’t! Scott was surprised though, but really happy. He clapped Derek on the back and told him he better take care of me, like I’m his little brother or something!
(Derek:) My sisters just laughed in my face. Said they were shocked that I even confessed, and said maybe it would get me to smile more…
(Stiles:) Your sisters are hilarious!
(Derek:) Of course you would say that, they like you.
Okay, okay, settle down boys! How has dating your bandmate been so far?
(Stiles:) Well everyone knows that the worst part of a relationship when you’re in a band is traveling so much. So the fact that we get to travel together is a huge bonus. They had to give us a separate bus though… *Blushing!*
(Derek:) *Smiles and puts arm around Stiles* For obvious reasons.
My, my, my! Several of your fans will be VERY excited to hear that… Okay, one less question before you go. Where do you see your relationship going from here?
(Stiles:) I don’t really know, it’s only been a few months! I’m just hoping it lasts.
(Derek:) I see it lasting. Hell, I can already imagine spending the rest of my life with you.
(Stiles:) *Shocked!* Do you really mean that?
(Derek:) Yeah… After all the bulls**t I went through to get you? I don’t think i’m letting you go anytime soon.
(Stiles:) *Leaning into Derek* Yeah, me too.
For more exclusive interviews, check us out online!
“Oh god, nothing gets me more fired up than a concert,” Stiles sighed as Derek continued to finger him, slick and hot and just the right side of pain, like an aching muscle getting stretched. “They were chanting our ship name at the end? Did you hear that?"
Derek let off from kissing Stiles’ neck and sighed, giving his boyfriend an annoyed look. “Do you always have to be so unfocused when we’re about to have sex?”
“Do you always have to be so quiet?” Stiles snapped back, licking his lips. “You know I’m always keyed up when we do it right after-”
“Yeah, I know,” Derek sighed, as if it was true suffering to be forced to sex up Stiles. His fingers continued moving though. “If I didn’t like your moans so much I would just gag you,” he murmured in Stiles’ ears, just as his fingers brushed against the young man’s prostate.
Stiles bit off a whine at that, his eyes squeezed shut. God, that was one way to shut him up quick. Throw on some dirty talk.
“You’re taking my fingers so well,” Derek continued to murmur, his other hand reaching to stroke Stiles’ cock. “You’re so beautiful like this, Stiles. All flushed and embarrassed. You didn’t say a word the first night I fucked you.” Derek’s teeth scraped his lover’s ear in unhurried motions.
God, just remember that night was blush inducing. Stiles first time with a man, and it was Derek on top of that… He just remembered muttering how he was completely clueless on what to do, and Derek just shushing him and saying it was fine, saying he would take the lead.
And damn did he ever.
“Are you ready for me, Stiles?” Derek asked softly, teasingly, rubbing his thumb against Stiles’ slit. “Ready to release all that energy you got?”
A nod was all Stiles could give in response.
“Okay then, tonight I think we’ll do something a little different…” Derek grinned as he flipped them over, forcing Stiles to straddle his lap as he laid his head back on the pillows. “Tonight I think I’ll let you be on top.”
Heat rushed across Stiles’ skin like a brushfire, setting his nerves aflame with shame and excitement. They’d been together for a few months, done plenty of things, but this was the first time Derek had asked… Shit, what was he, a blushing virgin? So, with a few deep breaths to calm his nerves, Stiles grabbed hold of Derek’s long, hard cock and slowly lined it up with his hole, the tip catching his rim as he slowly sank down.
Derek hissed, pressing bruising fingers against Stiles’ hips. Damn, he hoped the photographer didn’t have anything too revealing in mind tomorrow. Those were definitely going to show, but fuck did Stiles love the feeling of Derek gripping him too tight, anchoring himself into Stiles’ skin. He moaned as he felt Derek’s dick slowly slide into him, the man’s entire length filling him as he bottomed out, his thighs settling against Derek’s pelvis.
“Fuck Stiles, you’re so gorgeous like this,” Derek told him reverently, his hands skimming up and down Stiles’ torso. “So perfect for me.”
Stiles panted softly as he began to bob up and down, for once thankful for the hours of dance practice Erica put him through. Lean muscle seemed just what he needed to get Derek’s dick to thrust into him, slowly but surely filling him. Stiles’ hips rocked unsteadily, his rhythm slow and fractured as he worked against succumbing to his own pleasure. He usually ended up boneless when Derek fucked him, but the feeling of working towards his own pleasure, using Derek like this, it filled him with an unknown arousal of power… He settled his hands on Derek’s shoulders, flexing his fingers.
Derek’s hands settled back down on Stiles’ hips, gripping tight. He thrust up once into his lover’s tight heat, causing Stiles to cry out with the sudden feeling. The noise Stiles made only spurred Derek on further, surging upwards and pressing their torsos close as he continued to thrust, his hands moving Stiles’ up and down as he began to whisper in Stiles’ ear.
“You’re doing so good, Stiles, you’re being so good for me. Can you last a little longer?” Derek’s words were heavy and breathless as they stumbled from his mouth. “Just a little longer, I’m almost there.”
“Derek...” Stiles kept saying, shaking his head as he clung tight, pressing his face against the man’s shoulder. “Derek, Derek, I’m almost there, right there, right there!”
“Shh, I got you, I got you.” Derek’s thrust became erratic, forceful, shoving up into Stiles with a manic heat. “God, you feel so good.” He grabbed Stiles’ cock with a sweaty palm, rubbing up and down the length with sloppy motions.
“Fuck! Fuck, Derek, I’m-” He cried out as he came, his nerves tightening as if electrified, his toes curling as Derek thrust inside him, cum shooting across their stomachs and chests. He tightened on reflex, and with a groan Derek came inside his tight heat with one great thrust upwards.
They collapsed onto the bed, pliant and spent, panting heavily. Stiles couldn’t stop grinning, but then again, neither could Derek. They were sweaty and pliant, in each others arms as the moon glowed through the hotel window. Nothing could be more perfect right now than this Valentine’s night.
“You know,” Stiles mumbled sleepily into the crook of Derek’s shoulder, “when we first met I thought you hated me. You always glared at me and and made fun of me.” He huffed in amusement. “Who thought we’d end up like this?”
“Didn’t you know, Stiles?” Derek wiped sweaty locks from Stiles’ forehead so he could give his lover a kiss. “I’ve always been the type who teases the person he likes.”