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the truth is totally out there (dibs!)

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On October 16th, 2011, a Chinese satellite picks up a frequency that they can’t identify. No one really knows what it is, so the government decides to keep it quiet. No reason to give the conspiracy nuts something to cream themselves over, right?

A year and a half later, first contact is made. This time, the world finds out.

The news stations can’t seem to decide what to think. Talk shows discuss all possible outcomes, from invasions to peace treaties. It’s a little bit shit, for awhile. Stiles personally hopes that the aliens haven’t been learning about them through their news, because if they were — and seriously, he’s heard the shitty audio files on the internet, okay, they had to learn earth languages from somewhere — they now know every single thing that humans think about them. Every paranoid murmur. Every creepy obsession. Everything. God, they probably know about the dildos.

The aliens choose to come meet with them anyway, diplomacy at its finest. The government acts like it's some kind of meet and greet, the event preceding peace treaties and trade secrets, but Stiles and every other human being who has ever marathoned hostile alien takeover horror flicks for more than one night in a row can read between the lines.

The alien who is mostly involved in the talks has a thick, foreign accent that’s nothing like any other kind on earth. Her voice — because she does identify as female, they’d already asked that, though the way she’d seemed confused at the question may indicate that she just hadn’t understood their meaning — is thick with snarls and strange, sub vocal whines.

She’s fluent in ten of their languages and despite the accent, speaks English better than some of its native speakers. They’ve yet to see video of her, but she’s undeniably alien, and equally undeniable real.

It's mind-boggling, that she agrees to send three of her pack — her word, possibly lost in translation, probably not — to speak with them. That part of the conversation had been publicized, shoved onto the internet to go viral not three minutes after it was posted. The part after, where they’d discussed possible landing sites, had not been.

All the same, Stiles figures that it’ll probably be one of the bigger cities. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Moscow, or Washington D.C. Maybe London. Maybe Singapore. And if it isn’t one of the bigger cities, he’s betting on the government trying to sneak by and get away with having the meet and greet somewhere like the Sahara or Death Valley.

Where they actually end up, he’s not expecting at all.

.

I’m so excited for our alien overlords, man, he sends to Scott at half past three in the morning. It’s a school night and he’s got an exam in organic chemistry halfway across campus in about five hours, but he figures that if his professor can’t forgive him for being a little sleep deprived the morning that real aliens are due to touch down on earth, well. Stiles doesn’t want to pass a class run by someone like that.

He’s in the middle of the X-Files episode with the creepy ass tapeworm monster that made him terrified of toilets as a kid when Scott texts back.

you just want to fuck them, the text reads. He stares at it for a minute and really considers whether or not he should be offended by that. Sure, he might be a little more gung-ho about the aliens thing than your typical young adult, but he isn’t Fox Mulder. Nor is he one of the creepers buying alien dildos online. He’s just a dude who thinks that aliens are pretty fucking awesome.

That said, he totally wouldn’t turn one down if it offered to bone him. For science.

So, he sends back, and watches three more episodes before he finally falls asleep an hour before his alarm is due to go off.

.

He can’t concentrate worth shit on his exam the next day. After he bombs that, he can’t concentrate in multivariable calculus either. Or during a very late lunch. Or on the bus home.

It’s not his fault, okay. The entire world is chattering away about it. He can’t think about schoolwork when there are real-life aliens hurtling through atmo.

By eight, it’s too much. He can feel himself unraveling, so he calls Scott.

He’s not a running for fun type of guy, usually. Sure, he can run. He can even be fast when he wants, but mostly he sticks to running to and from classes like a flailing jackass, and doesn’t actively seek it out.

But a run through the preserve sounds like a great escape from the anxiety coursing through his body every time he hears someone say something about the aliens that isn’t news about whether they landed okay.

“Sorry, bro,” Scott tells him, sounding vaguely apologetic. “I’ve got a date with Kira in like, t-minus thirty minutes.”

“That’s okay,” Stiles replies, shrugging. Then, because he’s a great friend, “Knock 'em dead, dude.”

All right then.

He’ll go running by himself.

He lives in a middle of nowhere town, how bad could it be?

.

The spaceship is not what he expected. For one, it’s small. Not small-small, but nowhere near the behemoth of a ship that Hollywood has conditioned him to expect. It’s sleek and black, still steaming in the itty bitty crater that it has settled into. Stiles has absolutely no desire to touch burning hot metal, so he keeps his distance, staring at it from ten feet away instead of five.

It’s weird though, he thinks, unease creeping into the back of his mind. If this was actually the scheduled landing site, there would be people swarming everywhere. Government officials, people with biohazard suits — he doesn’t know, okay. There would be something else around, not just a spaceship in a hole in the ground.

He bites his lip and makes a decision, whipping out his phone to check the latest forum posts.

None of it is good news.

Apparently in the two hours since he’d last checked the internet, everyone has collectively lost their shit. The aliens totally hadn’t made their date, so people are terrified. There are words like betrayal being bandied around, and other, worse words, like ‘burned up in atmo.’

Jesus Christ.

“Hey,” he calls down into the hole, leaning over it cautiously. It’s pretty shallow, really. Only like three feet deep. Stiles could totally jump down there and check it out, if he wasn’t worried about his flesh getting all bubbly. They could be hurt though — there could be aliens dying inside that metal disco ball while Stiles is out here twiddling his thumbs. He swallows, clearing his throat. “Anybody alive in there?”

He’s not really expecting an answer. He’s been staring at the ship for close to fifteen minutes now and nothing has changed, so why would that change now?

So, he’s surprised when a panel of what had looked like normal siding slides back with a groan and someone stumbles out of the ship, blinking into the moonlight.

Stiles has a sudden, uncontrollable urge to text Scott and tell him that he’d gotten it all wrong — he doesn't want to fuck their alien overlords at all. He wants to make sweet, sweet love to them. He wants to write them poetry and meet mom and dad. He doesn’t just want to bone them — he wants to marry them.

Him.

Stiles wants to marry him, because he’s like a hundred percent sure that the person stumbling out of the ship is a dude. He looks human enough, which is the weird thing. Stiles isn’t gonna lie, he hadn’t really thought that this would go down ala Star Trek, where everyone was mostly anthropomorphic with the exception of weird face tattoos or weirder skin coloring.

He hadn’t thought tentacle monsters either, because that would just be too easy. But he definitely hadn’t thought that the aliens might actually look human.

The alien’s got a head of rumpled black hair and a nose, two eyes that may or may not be glowing, and scruff that’s somewhere between attractive five o’clock shadow and perfectly maintained beard. His bone structure is the kind that you usually only find in old paintings and ancient Grecian sculptures and Stiles is willing to bet that beneath that flight suit, the dude is totally ripped. His thighs are like thick, beautiful tree trunks. Stiles wants to lick them.

“Yo,” he greets awkwardly when the guy just looks around himself in confusion, squinting at the tree branches above him and the leaves on the ground beneath his feet. At his voice, the guy snaps to attention, gaze lasering in on Stiles like a homing beacon. The intensity of the guy’s stupid eyes — which are glowing, actually, a pale blue color that reminds him of chips of ice — sends a bolt of heat down Stiles’ spine. He fidgets, pinned in position, and feeling distinctly prey-like as he bites down on the urge to say something snarky like I come in peace or the truth really is out there. No way is the alien going to get his jokes.

He clears his throat nervously, shifting uneasily on his feet. “Uh,” he starts. It comes out too squeaky, so he tries again. “Everyone’s looking for you guys, y’know. I’m guessing you went off course somewhere?”

The guy, alien, whatever, just keeps staring at him. Stiles fidgets some more, rubbing a hand over the back of his head, and feeling increasingly uncomfortable, and not in a sexy way. Oh god, he thinks in horror. What if this one can’t speak English? What if he only learned like Spanish or Chinese? What if this one is the hired muscle and doesn’t speak any earth languages? What if that’s the case and the other two aliens are dead?

His breathing must pick up or something, because the alien takes half a step closer, frowning in consternation as his hand twitches like he’s fighting down the impulse to check Stiles' pulse.

The alien makes a low, strangely canine sound in response to his elevated heartbeat, and they both freeze when he steps out of the hole easily and brushes the tip of a finger to the sleeve of Stiles’ Captain America t-shirt.

Stiles looks at the alien with wide eyes. He licks his lips, and it’s weird, totally weird, because the alien’s gaze instantly drops down to track the movement with eyes that immediately burn a brighter blue.

“So, okay,” he says. “Are you okay? You didn’t get hurt or anything, did you? That would be pretty shitty if you did, and shit, sorry. I’m Stiles.”

The alien keeps staring at him with his eerie, stupid pretty glow in the dark eyes. One more tally in the doesn’t speak English column, he thinks. It’s that or the guy just isn’t chatty. Maybe he’s got horrible manners. Who the fuck knows.

Luckily, another voice sounds from inside the ship before he can freak out even more about the fact that the alien’s totally got his fingers hooked into his sleeve. He breathes out a sigh of relief and thanks every single deity that he can think of that at least one other alien is alive in there.

The voice has a distinctly feminine cadence to its speech, even though the language its speaking in is unrecognizable. Probably their own language then, judging by the growliness.

His alien stiffens, but doesn’t respond, so Stiles leans around the guy’s shoulder and tries to peer into the shadows cloaking the door. “Hello?” he calls, and his alien makes another weird, kind of whiny sound, stepping even further into Stiles space. His breath hitches when their chests bump together and he’s entirely too close to panicking, but that would be totally improper etiquette for first contact, so he tries to keep a lid on the panic attack threatening to erupt.

There’s more shuffling sounds from inside the spaceship and then another figure emerges from it.

Definitely female. Also totally related to the one that’s still using him as a teddy bear, if the resemblance between the two is anything to go by. She’s got the same dark hair as his alien, the same impossible bone structure. The only real difference seem to be the hint of boobs under her flight suit and her eyes, which are glowing red instead of blue.

She’s got a streak of black across her brow, which is either blood or some kind of oil, and has the suggestion of a limp in her step. She squints up at him and her packmate, and goes pale as a sheet.

The eruption of speech that comes out of her mouth is surprising and kind of disorienting, since none of it seems to be in English. She seems to be talking entirely to the guy — her brother? — in a gentle, soothing rumble, taking careful steps towards them as she goes.

When she’s about three feet away, the guy growls, a sound that vibrates deep inside of Stiles’ chest and hunches further around him, pushing Stiles behind him like—

Like he’s protecting him?

“Hey, do you speak English?” he asks, trying to crane his neck so that he can catch another glimpse of the girl. “Because Chatty Cathy over here is giving me nothing, which is maybe more weird than it should be?”

The girl makes a weird, hissing sound low in her throat and then says in perfect, accented English, “Don’t speak.”

Rude.

She’d sounded worried though, so he obligingly goes quiet. It’s tough, because he’s not exactly a quiet kind of a guy, and in the face of something like this? Yeah. Quiet goes against every shouting cell of his body.

She continues making noises at him, crooning quiet words that are foreign and beautiful as she inches closer and closer, until she’s right on top of them, laying a hand on the other aliens shoulder—

His alien immediately stops growling, the tension running out of him like water.

“You can speak now,” the lady alien says after another moment spent petting her brother. Packmate. Whatever. Stiles blinks at her, carefully edging out from behind his alien’s back. She sounds tired, and now that he can actually see her up close, he realizes that yeah, that is blood and a lump on her head to go right along with it.

“What was that?” he asks, tilting his head curiously in their direction. His alien flushes, clenching his fists at his side, but the girl just chuckles.

“I will explain later,” she tells him, a good-natured smile creeping around the edges of her mouth. “For now, my… uncle is injured within our craft. He will heal, but I would much appreciate a safe place to recoup for the night.”

He blinks at her — at the alien asking him for a place to crash for the night. “Is that wise?” he asks warily. “A lot of people are looking for you right now. I think the higher ups are afraid that if you burned up in atmo your pack leader is going to blow up our planet.”

She quirks another smile, this one almost teasing. “My mother has no plans to blow up your planet, I assure you.”

He shrugs. “I wasn’t super worried about it, but uh, a lot of us humans can be super paranoid sometimes.”

“For good reason,” she says, inclining her head. “First contact is easy for no species.”

“Was it easy for yours?” he asks, because he cannot actually help himself. Real aliens!

She laughs. “It was not.”

He shuffles a little closer to her, then stops when his alien lets out a strangely musical grunt. Stiles cocks a head at him, then looks to the lady alien for an answer. In response, she raises an eyebrow at her packmate and pats him easily on the arm. He slaps her off, grumbling something under his breath. Yeah, definitely brother and sister.

“So, what do you say?” she asks him, and Stiles blinks.

He blanches at the idea of taking them back to his dorm room. He doesn’t have a roommate most of the time, since his is over at his girlfriend’s place more often than not, but he doesn’t think that a college dorm room is alien lady’s idea of a safe place.

He chews on his lip as he thinks, shifting back and forth on his heels, and doesn’t even realize he’s doing it until dude alien reaches out to still him. Stiles blinks back to himself, settling. The guy blushes at him. It’s horribly endearing.

“My dad’s place is like half an hour from where I left my car,” he offers at last.

The lady alien nods at him, smiling again as she thanks him.

And that’s how he ends up walking the three mile trail back to his jeep with three aliens following along behind him, one bleeding profusely as the other two support him.

This is probably one of those times that he should call his dad and warn him ahead of time, but for the life of him, he has no idea what he’d say.

.

“What the hell is this,” his dad asks tiredly when he gets back from his patrol only to find his house, and his couch, occupied.

The drive to his childhood home had been just as weird as the rest of it, the lady alien crammed into the backseat with their bleeding, unconscious uncle while Stiles’ surly friend rode shotgun. The only issue they’d had was actually getting into the jeep.

The lady alien, who Stiles is pretty sure is the de facto leader of the three, upon trying to climb into the front seat, had apparently committed some kind of horrible faux pas that her brother didn’t like one bit. Stiles had stood there, awkwardly twiddling his keys as they growled at each other, bickering in their native language until the lady alien had rolled her eyes and given in, crawling into the back seat.

When they’d gotten to the house, Stiles had helped them install their uncle in his old bedroom and only kind of fretted over the blood stains that would probably never come out.

After, they’d migrated back downstairs and exchanged introductions.

His alien — the growly weird one who still lingered in Stiles’ personal space as much as possible — had a name that was aggressively unpronounceable, all harsh edges and grating throaty noises. He tried to say it five times before he’d given up and gone with Derek, because if he listened really hard it was kind of similar.

The lady alien’s name, which while smoother and more of a hum than a growl, was just as unpronounceable, so he went with Laura for her, because it was about as similar to her actual name as Derek’s was to his.

Which was to say, not a whole lot, but Laura had just laughed and said it was fine. Derek’s scowl indicated that it probably wasn’t actually okay, but he’d yet to say anything different, so whatever. He could suck it.

Once they’d settled on the couch, for lack of anything better to do, Stiles had started up an episode of the X-Files. He didn’t give two shits that it was probably just as much of a cultural fuck up as not being able to actually say their names, he was totally allowed to enjoy an awesome show with actual aliens.

Laura, at least, had seemed amused by it. Derek, whose expression had gone absolutely horrified when the first actual alien had shown up, not so much.

He’d said something to Laura, tongue curling around foreign words and she’d laughed, high and delighted, then turned to Stiles. “He wants to know if that’s what everyone is expecting us to look like,” she’d asked, grinning widely.

He’d grinned back, let out a bark of laughter, and shrugged. “Probably. Don’t worry though, I’ve yet to show you two the wonders of Star Trek and Star Wars.”

When that episode had ended, Derek had elbowed Laura and growled noises at her until she’d finally rolled her eyes and told Stiles, “He wants to watch one of those other shows you were talking about.”

They’re still huddled around the television watching an episode of Next Generation — it’s kind of cute, Derek’s in love with Data and Laura’s equally head over heels for Captain Picard; they make adorable faces when they bicker about it — Laura on one side of the couch and Stiles on the other, with Derek sandwiched between them when Stiles’ dad gets home.

“I thought you were at school,” his dad says after blinking at the three of them for a minute. “You could have told me if you wanted to have friends over.”

Good. Or bad. He thinks they’re human, which means that he hasn’t seen their eyes yet—

Only, when Stiles turns back to look, their eyes are perfectly normal. Laura’s are the same shade of green-blue-brown as Derek’s, and without the glowing eyes, they look perfectly human. His breath stutters on the next exhale and he frowns, cocking a head at Laura, trying to mind meld enough to ask if she wants him to tell his dad or not.

She gives him an encouraging smile, which he takes as a yes. “Well, see, that’s kind of a funny story,” he starts, faltering when his dad gives him this flat look that screams ‘what have you done now?’

He jumps a little when Derek rubs his shoulder gently, encouragingly — with his hand this time, thankfully; Stiles isn’t sure if he’d survive one of the weird nuzzle things he’s done twice already in front of his dad — but recovers quickly.

“You know those aliens that everyone has been losing their shit over?”

.

“Only you,” Stiles’ dad tells him after Laura’s introduced herself and Derek, first with their real names, then with the ones that Stiles had given them. “Only you.”

Stiles wrings his hands in his lap, and refuses to be discomfited when Derek easily reaches over to still the motion. He still doesn’t know what that’s all about and refuses to ask in front of his dad. It can wait.

“I guess this is a bad time to tell you that their uncle is sleeping off some pretty killer injuries upstair in my bedroom, huh?”

His dad pours himself a finger of whiskey. Stiles doesn’t even chide him about it.

.

He asks Laura about the Derek thing after his dad’s gone to bed. Derek himself is seemingly glued to the television, intently watching another episode of Next Generation. The fact that he doesn’t understand the language doesn’t seem to bother him.

The resulting explanation is stilted and awkward, Laura shifting uneasily as she explains some pretty heavy shit. She doesn’t seem to know much about the science part of it, which is disappointing, but he gets the gist of it.

He’d watched dozens of rom-coms with Lydia after her and Jackson broke up for the final time. They’d been friends by then, so it wasn’t weird when she cried into his chest or made him eat two tubs of pistachio ice cream with her. He was a good friend and he knew it, because if he wasn’t, there’s no way he would have watched the Notebook that many times.  

So he knows all about soul mates, though he doubts Hollywood is a very good basis for knowledge on that front.

Apparently, their species have mates. Like, the forever kind. And apparently, Stiles is Derek’s. No pressure or anything.

“So, what exactly does this mean?” Stiles asks, wetting his lips nervously as he watches Derek pretend to watch the television. He’d started paying attention about thirty seconds after the word mate came up, but hadn’t pulled his eyes away from the television once. “For me? I mean, are you guys gonna kidnap me and take me back to your homeworld? This isn’t gonna cause like a war, right? Because I’m pretty sure your mom is a pretty high-ranking member of your species and isn’t this kind of like a prince falling in love with a peasant kind of situation? What if the peace talks go bad and you guys have to leave? Will it hurt him? What—”

“Stiles,” someone says, and it takes him a moment to realize that it’s Derek who said his name. “Breathe.”

He breathes.

He also doesn’t have a panic attack, which he’s kind of proud of. Coming back to himself, he blinks first at Laura, then at Derek.

“We aren’t going to kidnap you,” Laura tells him. “This isn’t going to start a war. Hell, if you accept the bond, it’ll probably do great things for diplomacy. And if the peace talks go bad—” she cuts herself off, biting her lip. “—If the talks go bad, yes, it will probably hurt him.”

Accept the bond. Which means he could totally reject it if he wanted. But if just distance could hurt Derek, he doesn’t want to know what rejecting the bond would do to him.

“I can think about it, right?” he asks, looking at them, apologetically.

Laura looks surprised. “Of course you can,” she says gently.

He nods, then something occurs to him. “So is there like a distance thing? Am I gonna have to go with you guys to the peace talks and everything, cause uh, just saying, I will probably spill coffee on the president. Or some foreign ambassador or something. I just. Yeah.”

She snorts loudly. So does Derek. “You’ve done fine with us,” she points out, which yeah, okay, true enough. “But yes, more or less. You don’t have to go into the rooms with us, but I’m not so sure it would be a good idea to separate the two of you so early on. I doubt that Derek would want to leave without you.”

Derek says something that sounds vehement in their native tongue and Laura flicks him between the eyes, uncaring when he makes them flash blue at her and growls.

He takes the floor that night, wedged in the space between the couch and the coffee table as the two of them cuddle it up above him. Sometime in the night, Derek’s hand drops onto his shoulder as they’re both sleeping.

.

Over the next few days, he learns some things.

Number one: Uncle Peter is a creepy motherfucker when he’s awake.

Number two: humanity does not like being kept in the dark about a trio of missing aliens for a day and a half.

Number three: Derek has a huge, adorable man-crush on Malcolm Reynolds. Stiles approves of this.

Number four: the president has a surprisingly naughty sense of humor.

Number five: Most of the other world leaders that he meets do not actually enjoy his jokes.

Hell had not frozen over when he told his dad. Instead, his dad had downed some more whiskey and given the very serious-looking alien sitting at his dining room table the shotgun talk. Then he’d made sure that Stiles knew not to feel pressured into anything and told him not to spill coffee on the president.

It’s a weird week. Weirder when he’s sitting in a hotel room next to Laura in Shanghai and realizes that though his face is probably all over the news right now, he hasn’t actually called Scott since he asked him to go running the night he’d found the spaceship.

He squints at his phone, which has been turned off since they left the United States, and then turns to Laura and asks, “Do you think they’ll let me call my friend Scott?”

She gives him a weird look. Fair enough. They’re aliens, they can totally do what they want.

Scott picks up on the second ring with a cautious “hello?”

“Scotty-boy!” Stiles says, grinning into the receiver. From across the room, Derek’s giving him that aggrieved look that means he’s being too loud again. “How’s my best bro?”

Scott hangs up on him.

Stiles calls him back.

“I’m pissed at you,” Scott greets him on the first ring. Stiles winces.

“Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been busy.”

Scott snorts, his voice tinny and far away. “That’s an understatement. Your face is on like every fucking channel, dude. No one has any idea what to make of you.”

Stiles grimaces. He’d figured. Hell, he’s already had some pretty uncomfortable questions thrown his way by some equally uncomfortably intimidating people. If Laura and her magical fear-inducing eyes weren’t there, he doesn’t know what he’d do. He does know that Laura’s wanted to keep the whole mate thing under the radar for now, which means… yeah. He doesn’t even want to check the gossip rags right now.

He throws a glance her way, but she seems pretty distracted right now, chattering away with Derek in the corner. Stiles doesn’t know where Peter is. He doesn’t really want to know where Peter is right now. He’s sassy and intelligent, but there’s just something about the way his eyes follow Stiles every move that wigs him out.

“Yeah, it’s been a wild ride.”

There’s quiet for like, maybe five seconds, before Scott bursts out with, “So what even happened? Aliens?”

Stiles laughs, rummaging around in the drawer beside the bed and coming up with the hacky-sack he’d stowed there earlier. “Not much to say,” he tells Scott, tossing the sack up and catching it. Rinse, repeat. “I went for a run and found a spaceship.”

“But they were missing for a whole day and a half,” Scott protests, static creeping across the line when he presumably shifts the phone to his other ear. “What happened?”

Stiles hesitates, throwing another glance towards the corner. Laura’s not looking at him, but Derek is. As Stiles watches, he raises a single brow. Stiles snorts a huff of laughter. “Peter got hurt during the crash. I provided a place for them to recoup. That simple.”

“That is so not even close to simple, Stiles.”

He sighs. “Trust me, bro. You don’t gotta tell me that.”

.

The talks seem to go well. Relatively. Laura’s exhausted all the time and they’re moving around so much that Stiles is well and truly sick of flying before the week is up. Doesn’t matter how cool private jets are. But she tells him that nobody is being an asshole — or at least, that’s what he gets from it — and even though everyone’s tired, they’re in high spirits. Even Derek is looking less grumpy.

They’re on another private plane, this time with London as their destination, when all three aliens tense up around him. He freezes, book dropping into his lap when Laura shifts uncomfortably in the seat across from him, fingers going white around the armrests.

“Laura?” he asks warily, glancing over to see Derek and Peter in the same boat. “What’s wrong?”

“How much longer have we got to go?” she asks through gritted teeth. If Stiles isn’t mistaken, her nails are suddenly sharper than they were five seconds ago.

“I don’t know, like an hour?” he says, glancing out the window. Night has fallen sometime between fucking around with Pokemon Black and digging out his copy of House of Hades — shut up, he was prepubescent when the first series came out and he got invested — and the moon hangs fat and heavy on the horizon. Their final descent should be coming up soon, but he hasn’t been paying too much attention.

When he looks back, Laura’s got a mouthful of fangs and is kind of shuddering in her seat, squirming uncomfortably.

“Dude,” Stiles says, staring. “Is this a weird alien thing? With the claws and the fangs? Because I like you guys, but if I’m in danger of evisceration, I need to know like yesterday so I can bribe the pilot into letting me hide up front with him.”

She’s breathing sharply through her mouth, eyes glowing red again. He chances a glance over his shoulder, and yup, Derek and Peter have both made with the glowing eyes and the claws. Derek is actually whining a little bit, panting quietly as his body contorts.

“We won’t hurt you,” Laura gets out. “I didn’t expect your moon to affect us—”

Stiles stares at her, trying to remember everything that he knows about their planet. Two suns, fourteen moons, so there was one in their sky at all times. He knows that the planets atmosphere is similar, since they have no problems breathing on earth, but what does the moon have to do with it?

Peter lets out a sudden growl, slumping out of his seat and into a crouch on the floor. His back bows, bones making crunching sounds—

Something clicks in Stiles’ brain. Everything makes sense; the growling, the touchy-feely thing that Derek’s got going on, the glowing eyes.

“Oh my god, you guys are werewolves,” he gasps, and Laura just ripples all over and changes.

He blinks at her, horrified, then over at Derek and Peter.

They aren’t wolves, not really. Their bone structure is all wrong for your stereotypical wolf, but they are distinctly canine in nature, even if they are all the size of fucking horses.

“Jesus,” he wheezes, shifting his sneakers away from a paw the size of his head. “I am so fucking glad that we sprung for the bigger plane.”

Laura snorts at him, padding across to where Derek is still panting on the floor. He’s smaller than her and so is Peter for that matter, less bulky in the shoulders. He wonders if that’s a thing, if all the females of their species are bigger than the males, or if its an alpha thing. As he watches, still shocked stupid, Laura noses at her brother, then makes a high distressed noise when he whimpers.

The next thing he knows, Peter is at his elbow, looking haughty and put together for a fucking alien wolf creature. Stiles stares at him when Peter nudges at him with a wet nose. He doesn’t move, so Peter just nudges harder, jerking his muzzle in the direction of Laura and Derek who are…. cuddling on the other side of the plane.

“You want me to go over there?” Stiles asks, disbelieving. Peter—Peter rolls his eyes at him and nods sharply.

“Okay, okay, I’m going,” he yelps when Peter hooks some pretty terrifying looking teeth in the sleeve of his sweater.

Laura and Derek are curled together, Derek still whimpering under her bulk. Stiles blinks at them, going to his knees in front of them, hesitating when Laura turns red eyes on him. This time, she’s the one who hooks her teeth into his sleeve, dragging him closer until he’s forced to either cuddle up into Derek or faceplant onto both of them.

They’re warm. Fuck, they aren’t warm, they’re fucking infernos like this, and their fur is silky soft — more like human hair than actual wolf fur. It’s a strange sensation, so he strokes the place between Derek’s shoulders gently, picking at a piece of black fabric that was probably his shirt at one point. At his touch, Derek sighs, the tension going out of him all at once, and he crawls forward, until his huge head is settled across Stiles’ lap.

Stiles stares down at him, blushing when Derek nuzzles up against his knee, pushing into it like a cat. He looks at Laura, who’s got her own huge head tucked against Derek’s back, her nose buried into his fur. He tenses a little bit when Peter pads closer, but he just snorts hot breath against the back of Stiles’ neck and settles on the other side of Derek, farthest away from him.

“I’m gonna have to get up to warn the pilot at some point,” he warns them, not at all feeling bad that he’s scratching Derek’s head like he’s an overgrown dog. Part of him wants to start cooing about belly rubs and treats. Fortunately, the part of him that’s got some self-preservation keeps his mouth shut. “Just saying, people come in here right now, they aren’t gonna react as well as I did.”

Derek snorts and Stiles doesn’t even think about it before he whacks him gently between the ears, chiding, “Hey, don’t make fun of me. I’m totally gonna be the one running interference so my stupid, paranoid species don’t declare it hunting season because the friendly neighborhood aliens suddenly got a lot more threatening.”

All three of them make this weird clicky sound, like the horrid love child of a chirp, a growl, and a whine. “Sorry,” he apologizes, petting Laura’s head too when she nudges her face into his hand. “I just— I have a bad feeling that if this gets out like this, shits gonna go all District 9 and I like you guys, you totally shouldnt be forced into slums and not just because I have a feeling that your mom would totally lose her shit and War of the Worlds the entire planet.”

Stiles stops talking when Derek locks his jaws gently around his wrist and draws in a deep, shaky breath. “Sorry,” he says again. “I’m kind of terrified right now, not of you—” he adds when Derek flinches. “—I just. Hollywood’s kind of got me conditioned to expect the worst case scenarios when it comes to humans dealing with aliens and I’m really not looking forward to getting between you and the leaders of the free world. Don’t suppose any of you know how long this’ll last?”

On cue, Laura points her muzzle up at the window, where the moon is still hanging bloated in the sky. He nods. “Til morning, that makes sense. At least werewolf lore got the full moon thing right.”

The speakers overhead crackle a moment later, and the pilot cheerfully informs that they will soon be making their descent.

Stiles groans, hand knotting in Laura’s fur. He drops his head onto Derek’s and tries not to cry.

.

Convincing the pilots that the aliens are feeling a bit under the weather and need to be left alone would have been a lot more difficult if Laura didn’t have a dozen world leaders on speed dial. Even then, trying to tell them that it was totally okay, they were going to camp in the plane for the night and that no one should even think about bothering them until morning was a bitch.

He manages it though, and when he slumps back into the room with the pack, Derek waits approximately two seconds before butting up against his knees and sending him tumbling back down into the puppy pile.

“It’s done,” he cries, wriggling into a more uncomfortable position. “You are safe for the night! No need to thank me or anything, I just had ten years of my life chiseled away. Do you know how terrifying it was to convince the president to let three aliens sleep in a jet? And then I had to call the prime minister and just, I never want to do that again.”

Laura makes a whining sound and licks at his fingers.

“Yeah, okay,” he says, then turns to rummage around in his duffel bag.

He reads to them for a couple hours — Harry Potter, because he’s got his copy of Prisoner of Azkaban and it is stupidly relevant right now —  until his voice starts to go hoarse and both Laura and Peter’s breathing have eased off into sleep.

When he marks the page, Derek nudges his armpit sleepily, making a whuffing noise in the back of his throat that makes Stiles smile stupidly and rub between his ears.

“My life is so weird,” he mutters, squirming around until he’s got an arm around Derek’s chest, face buried in his fur. Derek makes another noise, this one approving, and cranes his neck to drag his tongue over Stiles’ cheek. “So weird,” he murmurs again, drifting off.

.

When he wakes up in the morning, there’s naked skin everywhere. Everywhere. It’s kind of traumatic, especially because his nose is like five inches away from Laura’s nipples.

The aliens are all slow to wake, which means that Stiles just kind of stews in his panic, trying not to move in case he brushes up against parts until he’s all cramped up from the tension in his muscles. To make matters worse, when they do wake up, they all stretch languorously, huge yawns cracking their jaws.

“Sorry,” Laura says when she notices the horrified face Stiles makes when her boob brushes against his collarbone. She doesn’t sound very sorry though. Neither does Peter, when he gets his dangly bits entirely too close to Stiles’ face. Stiles wants to punch the stupid smirk right off of his face. Instead, Derek stretches out with a growl and bites the douche. It’s kind of awesome.

They make their meetings on time and Laura makes up something that sounds believable about the night before. To Stiles, she explains that usually the shift isn’t forced on them — that the fourteen moons orbiting their planet ensures that they usually have impeccable control and only shift when they feel like it. Apparently earth has like, a super moon, which she wasn’t expecting.

It’s weird, but whatever. Alien werewolves.

Derek sticks close to him throughout the rest of the peace talks, his stupid face doing this affectionate twist whenever he meets Stiles’ eyes. It’s kind of adorable. Stiles totally wishes that he could talk to him.

Two weeks pass before they’re headed back to California — two weeks of boring peace talks and watching every sci-fi show he can think of with Derek. They read together sometimes and Derek still isn’t that bothered by the fact that he can’t exactly understand what Stiles is saying. On one memorable occasion, him and Derek break down and don sunglasses, hats, and nondescript clothing and sneak out to go climb the Eiffel Tower.

They eat crepes at a nearby creperia and when Stiles gets chocolate sauce all over himself, Derek laughs, and slowly, languishly sucks it off of Stiles fingers. It’s incredibly hot and his chest gets all tight even as little Stiles decides that yeah, that’s the hottest thing that’s ever happened to him.

It’s kind of a date and totally worth the way that Laura chews them both out later.

It’s a good two weeks. By the end of it, Stiles feels like he’s known these three dumb aliens forever.

Laura makes plans with a bunch of important people to stick around for awhile, under the guise of getting to know their new trade partners. Derek is incredibly pleased that night and spends the majority of it cuddled up next to Stiles on his bed, watching shitty B-list horror movies on his laptop. It’s nice. Very nice. There are possibly awkward boners involved that are not acknowledged whatsoever.

The flight back to Beacon Hills takes forever and the first thing he does when he gets back is introduce his alien buddies to his human buddy.

Scott and Derek do not get along whatsoever at first, spending most of the time glaring at each other, but sometime when Stiles isn’t looking they must bond, because the next time he sets eyes on them, they’re laughing.

He’d talked to his advisors before leaving, so he’s got exams to make up. He does so online, because according to his professors, coming back to campus at the moment wouldn’t be wise.

Apparently he’s a celebrity. Who knew.

He takes his exams in bed, Derek napping next to him. Laura’s out somewhere with Peter and his dad — they’d mentioned something about getting back to their ship and contacting the home world; Stiles hadn’t pressed — so when he’s done, there’s no one but Derek in the house with him.

It should feel strange, he thinks, carding a hand through Derek’s hair. They don’t even speak the same language, but already, Derek is something precious to him. He likes him, he really does, and not just because he’s hot like burning. It’s not even the knowledge that he is actually Stiles’ soul mate.

It’s the way that his teeth flash when he laughs, the way his nose wrinkles whenever he’s confused. It’s his stupid obsession with X-Files and his total man-crush on Malcolm Reynolds. It’s the way he stretches in the morning and the soppy, besotted look that he gives Stiles whenever he does something dumb.

And yeah, a little bit of it is that Stiles wants to ride him like Space Mountain, but that’s not the important part.

The important part is that Stiles is pretty sure that given some time, the warm affection and intense attraction he feels for Derek is going to turn into something more. He’s never believed in love at first sight, but he does believe in chemistry at first sight, and he knows that they’ve got that in spades.

He watches Derek’s face as the sun’s position shifts across the sky, sending more and more shadows crawling over Stiles’ bed. With a shaking finger, he traces the lines of Derek’s face, smiling dumbly when Derek presses a kiss to Stiles’ thumb as it brushes over his lips.

By the time Derek blinks awake, Stiles whole body feels sloppy with emotion, his chest full to the brim with it.

“I’m gonna try something, okay,” Stiles whispers, licking his lips nervously. “So don’t kill me or anything.”

Derek blinks again, eyelashes dragging against his cheeks, which Stiles figures is all the permission he’s gonna get, so he ducks down and presses his lips against Derek’s, quick and easy, like ripping off a bandaid.

In the last couple weeks, he’s had ideas about this. Ideas ranging from awkward pecks and bumped noses to sexy, sloppy kisses that quickly devolve into something else entirely. He’s thought about pretty much everything, including broken teeth, so he’s pleased when it turns out better than he ever could have expected.

It’s a fireworks kind of kiss — the kind they write goddamn songs about — warm and deep and packed full of so much tender emotion that it could probably kill someone with insulin issues. Derek’s lips are warm and a little bit chapped, but his tongue is soft and wet like crushed velvet — the texture just different enough from a humans to surprise him.

“Stiles,” Derek murmurs when he pulls away, lashes fluttering.

“So a success, huh?” Stiles says breathlessly, grinning at him. Derek smiles back and purrs, “Definitely a success.” He’s sporting a semi already and most of his brain is still stuck on the feel of Derek’s lips, so it takes Stiles a second to get what’s wrong with this picture.

“Wait, you speak English?” he sputters, pulling back a little.

Derek raises an eyebrow at him. “Yes?” he says, his accent even thicker than Laura’s. “I’ve spoken it before.”

“Yeah,” Stiles says, waving a hand around. “But I thought that was just a fluke! I mean, you knew my name from Laura, but for all I knew the one word you knew was ‘breathe’!”

Derek blushes a little bit and admits, “I’m not very good at speaking our language, much less yours.”

Stiles stares. “You’re shy,” he breathes, like a revelation.

The tips of Derek’s ears are turning red, but he nods anyway, sharply. “How did you think I was paying any attention to those shows?” he asks, cocking a head in Stiles direction.

Stiles shrugs. “I just thought you were really good at reading body language or something.”

Derek snorts and they lapse into silence again, legs still partially twined together. Derek is rubbing his toes against the knob of Stiles’ left ankle. It’s nice.

“So, this mate thing,” Stiles finally says, because he’s been dying to ask Derek about this. He’s sure that Laura hasn’t given him any false information, but it hasn’t felt right, not getting Derek’s opinion on it. “I mean, you want it, right? It’s not just some kind of weird instinct that’s forcing you to want me?”

The motion of Derek’s foot stroking his stops.

His eyes are wide and disbelieving, and he’s pulled back far enough that Stiles is already missing his warmth.

“No,” he barks quickly, still sounding horrified. Stiles flinches, but doesn’t have time to recover before Derek continues. “It’s not like that. I want it. It’s— it’s not a choice, but it’s—” he groans in frustration, obviously not finding the word he’s looking for.

Stiles takes pity on him, sliding closer and winding his arms around Derek’s waist. Stiles plants his ear right up against Derek’s ribcage, listening to the ever so slightly different cadence of his heart. “But you want it,” he says, because that’s the important part, the part that’s been bugging him since he started feeling a little compromised himself.

“Yes,” Derek whispers, sounding absolutely gutted.

Stiles kisses him again. He puts everything he has into it — all his uncertainties about the future, the fledgling, brand new feelings running through him, everything. He makes it count.

They kiss until their lips are kiss-swollen and numb, and then Stiles pulls Derek into him and cuddles the hell out of him, because as much as they’ve been building up to this, he is so not putting out on the first date.

They’re both drifting a little, floating on a high of endorphins, when Stiles grins and starts humming the X-Files theme.

Derek shoves him out of bed.

That’s okay though, because he totally joins him on the floor afterwards.