Because of that thunderstorm that’ll hit tomorrow and the earthquake in LA earlier today, Stiles needs more magic than anticipated to recharge the wards around the Beacon Hills territory. They sigh in vexation when they feel their magic rushing out of them faster, eager to help. The wards don’t need that much magic, and what’s left rushes back into the Emissary.
As they gather up their things, Stiles can feel the magic working on their body. When it’s done, they change their shoes for flip flops for the walk back to the car. They don't really mind the sudden boobs and disappearance of their penis. It’s really fucking weird, but in a way that they can set aside to deal with later. Their feet going down a size, however, is really annoying; walking through the woods in flip flops is no fun. Although, it’s better than walking in shoes that feel like they’re about to fly off their feet with every step.
The first time this happened they, very justly, freaked out, and called Deaton in a panic. The vet calmly explained that things like that happened sometimes. Magic wants to be used, and sometimes it gets a little overexcited, like a puppy, and doesn’t know when to stop. It’ll turn inward, and try to help the user. But, like a puppy, magic isn't very good at understanding humans, and that help can be an inconvenience. Deaton told them his magic used to let him talk to animals, but stopped him from being able to talk to humans. As the user gets better at control and the magic understands them better, it usually stops, though that could take several years. If it doesn't stop, with some focus and effort, it can be redirected into something the user does actually want. The best news Deaton told them was that it’s easily reversible. Running water, preferably from a natural source but a shower will do, washes the magic off.
Stiles trudges through the woods in their flip flops to where they parked their car, picking leaves, twigs and little rocks from between their toes. One day their magic will finally understand the finer points of gender identity and that genitals don’t have anything to do with gender. Well, that or they’ll be able to focus enough to redirect the magic and get themself a set of wings. Either would work, but they prefer the wings.
They’re on the path to the parking lot when their eye catches a water gun in the middle of the path. There’s a note on it that says “pick me up”. Stiles grins. So that’s how Derek wants to play it.
This is another benefit from outside magic in summer: water fights with their boyfriend. No quick dips in the river a mile over, or a long shower at home, continually checking if the magic’s all gone. In summer it’s water balloons, water guns, and a bucket or two, all filled with water from the river.
Stiles drops their sneakers, kicks off the flip flops, then darts forward to grab the water gun, rolling behind a bush in one movements. It’s not as graceful as they’d planned, but it does the trick; a water balloon hits the ground where they were standing a second ago. Okay, avoiding the water might seem to defeat the purpose. But what’s the fun in just standing still and letting Derek throw a bucket over their head?
Stiles peeks through the leaves of the bush. Derek’s probably hiding behind the Jeep, a stack of water balloons within reach. Stiles checks their gun. It’s a big one, with a pump and two reservoirs, but they’re still at a big disadvantage from Derek. They’re gonna have to be careful and try not to waste too much water.
Stiles sneaks from tree, to tree, trying their hardest not to make a sound. It’s almost impossible. That ridiculous moment in movies and shows when one little twig gives away someone’s position is complete bullshit. There are twigs everywhere, all happy to snap the moment Stiles’ foot nudges it. They manage to circumvent the parking lot without another attack from their boyfriend, but now Stiles is wondering where their boyfriend actually is. They’d assumed Derek was on the other side of the Jeep, but there’s no one there, nothing, not even a stray water balloon.
Stiles whirls around. Their eyes travel up the tree he’s hiding behind. Fuck. They don’t escape the water balloon this time. The water hits their skin, and they can feel the magic retreating, just a little. That first moment of the magic moving back is strange, almost ticklish, and they need a moment to get used to it. Which gives Derek a chance to hit them with another water balloon.
‘You fucker!’ Stiles shouts. They run from the tree and hide behind the Jeep. They glance over the hood. They don’t have a clear shot at Derek from here. In fact, the only place that has a clear shot is right under the tree, which gives Derek just as clear a shot at them.
Nothing for it.
They pump the water gun, increasing the pressure. Screaming, they run for the tree, working really hard to ignore the way their breasts tug on their chest. They’re not big, but it’s annoying enough that Stiles wishes they were wearing a bra, or just a tighter shirt. They point their gun up without really aiming, and pull the trigger. There’s a yelp, telling them they hit their target, but before they can run away again and celebrate the hit, they’re drenched in freezing water. Stiles gasps. Fuck, that’s cold. The magic scrambles to keep its hold on them, but it’s not match for the second bucket of water.
‘I hate you!’ they splutter.
There’s a soft thud behind them, then warm lips press against the back of their neck.
‘No you don’t,’ Derek whispers.
Stiles turns to shoot Derek in the face, but Derek is already gone. With the magic still flowing off their body, Stiles chases Derek around the parking lot. Their gun is soon empty, and it now becomes essential to catch every water balloon Derek throws at them, and throw them right back.
When the water balloons are gone, and they’re both soaked, Stiles a little more than Derek, they both collapse against the side of the Jeep.
‘I won,’ Stiles says.
‘No you didn’t.’
‘Yes, I did.’
‘How, exactly did you win?’ Derek asks, gesturing at Stiles’ dripping form.
‘Because I forgot a spare shirt, which means I need to borrow yours,’ Stiles grins. The magic is mostly washed off, and it’ll most likely be gone before they get home, but they’ve been wrong about that before. ‘Which means you get to be shirtless the entire ride home.’
‘You “forgot”, did you?’ Derek snorts, shaking his head.
After towelling off, putting on dry clothes, and clearing up their mess, they slide into the Jeep. Stiles leans back in the passenger seat and closes their eyes. Being an Emissary is tiring work. Derek squeezes their leg, and Stiles hums, letting Derek know they’re still more or less awake.
‘You wanna stop for milkshakes or go straight home?’ Derek asks.
‘Milkshakes,’ Stiles sighs. ‘We deserve milkshakes.’
Derek starts the car. Stiles opens their eyes, not to watch the trees pass by as they drive out of the reserve, but to watch their boyfriend. Yeah, they totally won.