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I’m already drowning in you.

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Derek Hale is sitting in the back of a black surveillance van, parked outside the largest club that Sunrise County has to offer. The neighbouring town to Beacon Hills is twice the size of Derek’s hometown. He growls tensely when he hears his ear comms crackle and Stiles’ voice comes through in his ear.

“Der you there? No sign of him yet,” Stiles should be barely audible over the loud dance music, but Derek has no issue hearing him.

“Yeah I’m here,” Derek growls his response to his partner, not liking the separation.

“Good. I’m going to do one more sweep of the dance floor and I’ll head back to the bar,” Stiles sounds cheery as ever.

Derek can’t even bring himself to reply, he is so on edge. If you’d asked him just two years ago where he could see himself in the not so distant future, this little scenario would have been the very last thing on his list.

He would never have dreamed this was a possible life for him, with Stiles at his side. As his pack. As his partner.

Derek and Stiles are fresh out of the FBI academy and on their first proper assignment. It still doesn’t feel quite real.

He feels a pang of worry for Stiles and itches to be inside with him, not stuck here in the van. It’s still quite a new feeling, worrying about someone else. Caring again.

For some reason, a little framed quote that his Mom had in their old kitchen pops into his head...

“The broken will always be able to love harder than most. Once you have been in the dark, you learn to appreciate everything that shines”.

And Stiles... well Stiles shines like a goddamn lighthouse.

——————————

Derek had come back from his Mexico venture a year ago, calmer and more willing to put down roots than he’d felt in a long time. He was tired of running. He’d made peace with the full shift wolf and Beacon Hills was the closest thing to a home for him.

Derek had spent the last year "soul searching" or so he tells himself. He and Braedon had went their separate ways pretty much as soon as they couldn't see the old gang in his headlights anymore. They'd been through something together, but it was unspoken that neither of them wanted a commitment from the other. That's not what they were.

They'd parted ways at a gas station with a hug, Braedon not giving him a choice with keeping the truck, when she stole some poor guys motorbike. Derek still feels a twinge of guilt at that and with a small smile, he realises that's why they never would have worked. She didn’t do guilt and guilt was his bread and butter.

Stiles, Scott and the rest of the pack had still been around that summer when he’d returned, just before they were heading off to respective colleges. They had all hung out a lot, helping Derek demolish the old Hale house and build something new and beautiful on top of the wreckage.

Derek would be lying if he didn’t acknowledge the fact that with every brick, every stone laid, of his new house, a part of him healed, just a little, along with it.

At the end of that summer, when Stiles had told Derek he was going to a recruitment day for the FBI, not to Berkeley and he’d jokingly asked Derek to join him, to both their surprise, Derek had gone along.

After numerous evaluations, physicals and then a year long training programme, he and Stiles were unbelievably through. It had taken a strongly worded reference from the Beacon Hills Sheriff department to ensure Derek wasn’t excluded because of his previous arrest warrant.

By some miracle, Scott’s Dad had also pulled some strings (with a big nudge/threat from Scott) and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. Even if Rafael McCall had done it to earn some grace with his son, Derek was grateful. He hadn’t realised how much he wanted this life, until it became apparent that he could potentially lose it.

Luckily, Derek flew his psychiatric evaluation and when they’d asked about his family, he’d told the truth, sans werewolf facts. He’d let his grief show and they’d actually approved him for service.

He’d overheard the Agent who’d been in charge of the testing telling a colleague on his way out, that usually people who had experienced the levels of loss Derek had in his formative years, make the best agents. Something about being driven by the pain.

Stiles himself of course, had flown every evaluation they had thrown at him. He even managed to get them to rewrite one of the tests, based on his feedback that it was open to people being able to deceive it. He was brilliant and every other recruit either wanted to be him or wanted to beat him.

Derek had sailed through the training programme in terms of tracking, figuring out challenges, profiling, physical combat, undercover work, you name it.

He only ever came second to Stiles in the class rankings and they ended the year tied scores, for top of the class. But Derek had one thing against him, one thing that usually gave Stiles an edge.
Derek had gotten a bit of a reputation for dropping points on exercises if Stiles wasn’t in the room. He’d gotten too used to looking out for him, being aware of him over the years and even now, he tended to prefer him in his line of sight. Or at least be able to smell him.

Stiles never let anything distract him, not even Derek and therefore, occasionally, he one upped Derek on an exercise.

—————————————————

That past year had literally flown by in a blur. Now he and Stiles were a rookie field partnership, a few days into an operation that was starting to get under Derek’s skin. They’d been tracking a serial killer.

The FBI weren’t sure of the killers identity and didn’t have all that much to go on. Stiles and Derek’s unit leader “P” had handed them a case file, the day they’d been approved for field duty and told them to basically get on with it.

There had been only four other people out of the original thirty in their unit, that had passed the training programme, and when they’d passed, they had all been sent off to work on cases alone.

“P” had kept Derek and Stiles together, saying they worked better as a unit. Derek didn’t disagree and Stiles hadn’t looked like he wanted to argue, so they picked up the file when it was handed to them and they went off to discuss how they were going to approach the case.

The brief was simple. Work the case, identify the killer and bring them in.

What they knew about how the victims were being selected wasn’t much. They kind of knew more about what they didn’t have in common, than what they did.

The individual had killed 3 people in the previous 3 weeks. The brief had said that the FBI so far suspected the person was large due to the size of one of the victims. That was all they had.

Stiles and Derek quickly discounted that because the FBI weren’t accounting for supernaturals. Stiles had seen Cora throw a car 10 metres once.

The victims were a mix of different races, gender and age. They didn’t have similar jobs nor similar cars. They were all from Sunrise County.

The thing that linked the murders in the first place and caught the FBIs attention was that all the victims had drowned in various ways, earning the killer a nickname from the press.

They were calling them “The Shark”, due to the fact that after they drowned their victims, they always took a bite out of them. Post-mortem. Just a single, human shaped bite.

Derek had pored over the case files with Stiles for two whole days at Quantico HQ before they had agreed an approach. They’d sat in their new office, which they were being made to share, eating takeout and discussing about how to begin.

The clock was ticking because the killer was averaging a victim per week.

“P” had strolled past their office every few hours and Derek hadn’t been able to take his judgemental stare any longer, toward the end of day two.

“Stiles, I’m exhausted. We’ve slept for two hours in two days. I need my bed. We know what we have to do. We need to get out there, see what’s going on for ourselves,” Derek was propping himself up against a filing cabinet, mainly to stop himself falling asleep on his feet.

“Dude. I’m with you. Im dead on my feet. I’m running on purely caffeine. My whole self is caffeine. I’m caffeine man. The most shitty superhero of them all,” Stiles rubbed his hands over his face repeatedly, staring down at Derek who was sitting on the floor, from their shared desk chair.

Stiles smelt agitated and tired. Derek wanted to fix that but he wasn’t entirely sure how. He could comfort him... no. Derek shook his head at that thought. Instead, he stood up, walked over to where Stiles was sitting and grabbed his wrists to stop him rubbing his face off.

“Err, bad touchy sour-wolf,” Stiles looked up with his sleepy brown eyes and Derek stared down at him, but didn’t let go of his wrists.

“Stiles,” he growled, “Car. Now. I’ll drop you to your dads tonight and we can get started first thing in the morning.”

Derek and Stiles hadn’t been back to Beacon Hills for nearly three months by this point. They’d stayed in training accommodation at Quantico, a pre-requisite for the programme. They would be moving back home to base of out Beacon Hills after their first completed field case.

Stiles couldn’t help thinking that even though they’d passed the programme and were technically fully fledged FBI agents, this was one extra test. They both wanted their first case to be a success, they wanted to get this killer off the streets.

“Dads not there. He went up to Florida with the new receptionist Stacey for the weekend. Which is like ewww and ‘go Dad!’ at the same time,” Stiles was tapping his foot and chewing his lip, wrists still in Derek’s hold.

Derek’s eyes tracked the movement of his tongue involuntarily and Stiles seemed to notice, because his tongue dipped out once again to swipe over his bottom lip. He smelled so good up close. Derek had to release him and take a step back to clear his head.

“Right, do you not want to stay in the big, bad house all alone?” He tried to cover the weird tension with his usual snark and sassy eyebrows.

“Screw you jerk face. I was just letting you know. Drop me off then but I’m taking the files,” Stiles replied, sounding mildly pissy.

“There is absolutely no scenario on this planet I’m leaving the files with your sugared up self. You won’t sleep and then tomorrow, when I pick you up, you will be super annoying and smell like you’re about to sprint off at a moments notice and you’ll jerk your knee all day. The left one. All. Day. In the car.” He must think Derek was stupid.

“Well you’ll have to fight me for them,” Stiles had smirked, pissed no longer.

“You’re actually a 5 year old,” Derek rolled his eyes, “you can stay at my house then. I’ll supervise your file time. Also, I won’t fight you because it’s pointless. You can’t take me.”

“Oh I could take you Hale, that’s what you’re so afraid of,” Stiles smirked at Derek, his nose twitching in amusement,

His grin always threw Derek off a bit. He felt warm all over when that grin was focused on him, to be totally honest.

Stiles seemed to take pity on him.

“Come on then partner, let’s blow this joint,” Stiles gathered the files, his laptop and headed out of the automatic doors toward the car park.

Derek had shrugged on his standard leather jacket, rolled his eyes again for good measure and followed Stiles out to his car. They had passed “P” in his own office and Derek gave him a little three fingered wave.

Fuck that guy. They’re going to solve this.

——————

“Dude, I forgot how incredible this house looks nowadays,” Stiles is sleepily saying from the passenger seat of their FBI issue car. It’s a grey Mustang GT, not a patch on the Camaro in Derek’s’ opinion, but sleek and fast all the same.

They’d stopped at the training accommodation as they’d left Quantico to grab some stuff, as Derek suspected they might be away from there for a few days at least. Their hold all’s were in the roomy car trunk along with some groceries they’d picked up en route.

Derek grunts in response but he has to admit, the place does look awesome. There are thick hedges covering an entrance to the driveway. They’d planted trees right up both sides of the drive to the house and they were getting bigger and bigger every time Derek returned here.

The house was in view now, half the size of the original, but beautiful and still huge all the same. It was painted a deep, deep, grey colour that Stiles had the final say on, declaring it matched Derek’s soul.

Derek had rolled his eyes and quipped back at Stiles in the hardware store that day, if that were the case, they should paint it black and Stiles’ answering grin had been why Derek had let him paint the house any colour he’d wanted.

They park up and Derek takes most of the bags while Stiles locks up the car. Derek unlocks and pushes open the front door, disabling the alarm (because he’s not always there, Stiles had insisted alarms were necessary) and promptly gets shoved out of the way by Stiles and his laptop bag.

“Sorry dude, I need to pee so bad,” Stiles rushes past him and dumps his laptop on the kitchen counter before running up the stairs.

“Make yourself at home,” Derek grumbled after him, putting the rest of the bags down and inhaling deeply.

The house smelt like home, like the whole pack, which made sense considering they’d all built it. There were little touches of everyone everywhere.

There were blue curtains that Lydia had chosen and rainbow mugs that Scott had wanted. A bright red couch that Jackson had wanted and Stiles’ hated.

There were a lot of things Stiles had picked and Derek couldn’t help but smile as he felt his shoulders visibly relax. Home.

Stiles came bounding down the stairs disrupting his peace.

“I totally forgot about the power shower and the giant tub you bought! Shotgun that bad boy after you make me dinner!” He exclaims excitedly arms flailing wildly.

Derek smiles despite himself and thinks how some things never change. How Stiles is a constant. Possibly Derek’s only constant.

“This isn’t a hotel, why don’t you make me dinner?” Derek means to sound grumpy but it comes out light and soft.

“Do not even front with me, I saw you buy the ingredients for your home made guacamole and you put taco shells in the cart. Taco shells. I can’t make guacamole Derek... You’re an FBI agent, use your training, what do all these clues tell you huh?” Stiles is edging closer to him.

Derek let’s out a huge put upon sigh.

“That I’m making dinner?” He says humouring him.

“Bingo!” Stiles yells making him jump.

“Jesus,” he exclaims, but he knows Stiles is still sugared up.

“Sorry,” Stiles actually looks contrite, “it has been a looooooooonnnng few days.”

He involuntarily steps closer to Stiles, not liking the scent of tiredness and caffeine coming off him. Before he can really consider what he’s doing he envelops Stiles in a hug.

It feels less unprofessional to do this here rather than back at the office when he’d wanted to earlier, because here, they’re friends as well as work partners.

They don’t hug though, as Stiles’ stiff body seems to be suggesting.

Derek goes to step back thinking he’s massively overstepped when Stiles melts into him. He wraps his long arms around Dereks torso and Derek realises they’re the same height now.

Stiles is firm under Derek’s touch and he finds himself really, really wanting to bury his face in Stiles’ neck and inhale him.

Stiles pulls back and the moment from the office is back. The air feels charged and Stiles runs his tongue over his bottom lip again and Derek’s eyes dart down. He curses internally but can’t drag his eyes away.

When he looks back at Stiles his pupils are wide.

“Called it. I knew you were a secret cuddler, big guy,” Stiles’ voice is soft and a little gravelly.

The shrill ring and vibration of Stiles’ phone makes them both spring back.

Stiles runs his hand through his hair. It’s longer now and sticks up in all directions. Derek likes it.

He picks up his cell phone and chats to his Dad for a few minutes and Derek goes to work on the guacamole to distract himself.

When Stiles returns to the kitchen, the moment from before seems to have passed.

They eat dinner in exhausted silence on the uncomfortable couch and they both pass out halfway through watching an old western.

When Derek wakes up, it’s dark and Stiles isn’t next to him. He turns the TV off and he can hear running water so he walks upstairs.

The bathroom door is slightly ajar and Stiles is humming softly to himself.

Derek can smell his lemony bubble bath (Christmas gift from Lydia) and the soft sound of water sloshing indicates Stiles is in the huge tub, in the main bathroom.

Derek pauses outside the door, feeling like a creeper. He can’t help but quickly peek in, just to ensure Stiles is OK (or so he tells himself) and immediately wishes he hadn’t. He can see Stiles’ lean muscled shoulders leaning back against the bath edge, his head tipped back, neck exposed, face turned slightly away from the door.

Derek sucks in a breath. He really should not be seeing him like this. He looks.... well he looks edible. Beautiful. He’s tinged pink from the steam and his upper back and shoulders show the evidence of the vigorous year of training they’ve had.

He didn’t realise Stiles had gotten quite so toned. He can’t see his whole face but he imagines his cute upturned nose and those soft pink lips parted in exhausted pleasure. Derek’s suddenly having trouble with his jeans. He makes a very quiet noise that comes out between a soft growl and a moan when he realises, he’s getting hard.

Stiles shoots forward in the tub and whips his head around but Derek ducks out of sight panting slightly.

“Der?” He sounds and smells a little panicked.

“Yeah it’s me,” Derek grunts, forcing a reply and managing to step back a few metres, hopefully giving the illusion he’d just come up the stairs.

“Ah thank god, you nearly gave me a heart attack creepy-wolf,” Stiles heartbeat instantly stabilises.

“You heading to bed?” He calls out.

“Yeah,” Derek’s still not trusting himself with full sentences, worried the edge in his voice might give away his arousal.

“Cool, I’m gonna take Issac's room,” Stiles calls back. He knows Issac isn’t back from his trip to Paris for at least another week.

“Ok... night then...” Derek manages to bite out and he scoots past the bathroom to his own bedroom. He shuts the door and lets his head thump back on it, leaning his back into it.

He’s fucked, he is so screwed. When did popping boners over Stiles become a thing?

They’ve been fairly inseparable for a while now but having him in his home... it’s doing things to Derek.

He hears Stiles getting out of the bath and plodding across the hall into Issac's room.

Derek’s wolf is itching to come out all of a sudden and Derek shakes his head to help him gain some control. He tastes a tang of copper where a fang has nicked his lower lip.

Well shit. When did Stiles sleeping in Isaacs bed become a really big thing to him?

This is a night of realisations.

He undresses and gets into his own large bed, thumping his pillow down on top of his face, hoping he can smother some of the thoughts he’s having.

It doesn’t work and instead, when he wraps his hand around his hard aching dick and jerks himself fast to the beat of Stiles’ heartbeat until he comes all over himself, it’s Stiles’ flushed neck and wet, pink lips he’s picturing.

He’s so unbelievably screwed.

———————

 

The next morning Derek wakes to the sound of cluttering and pots banging. He rolls leisurely in bed, stretching out and feels his naked dick brush his sheets and he promptly remembers the events of the night before. He groans, sits up and walks across the hallway, stepping straight into the shower. His en-suite doesn’t have one.

He doesn’t even bother putting underwear on to go across the hall as he would hear Stiles coming up the stairs anyway.

He lets the shower wash away the previous day and when he steps out, he feels shiny and new, head a little clearer.

Looking In the mirror he runs his hands through his damp hair and decides his beard scruff will do for another day.

He walks back to his bedroom, fluffy white towel slung low on his waist and he hears Stiles bounding up the stairs. He keeps his back to the door when he hears Stiles knock.

“Dude, like you didn’t hear me coming! I’ve made breakfast. Shake your tail feathers, we need to get a move on this morning,” he’s already a ball of energy.

Derek still doesn’t turn around as he hears Stiles enter his room, he just starts pulling clothes out of his drawers.

“Someone slept well,” he says to Stiles.

“Like you wouldn’t believe, those academy beds have nothing on your spare room. It was heaven,” Stiles sounds like he’s thinking of the bed dreamily and it’s doing things to Dereks wolf again. He smells all content and happy.

Derek wants to bury his head in his neck and just inhale him, the urge really persistent.

Wondering where that thought came from again, Derek shakes his head, like he can somehow physically shake the thoughts right out of it. He turns to face Stiles and wishes he hadn’t.

Stiles is wearing a basketball shirt that belongs Derek. He doesn’t seem to have any shorts on, but the shirt is hitting him upper thigh and Derek’s hands visibly twitch with the need to check if he’s wearing underwear. He sniffs the air, wishing he had more control.

Stiles obviously notices. Stiles also obviously misinterprets Derek’s actions because as much of a genius he is, he’s still Stiles.

“Oh! Sorry man, I meant to say, I’m stealing your shirt. I realised after you went to bed last night that I hadn’t packed anything to sleep in. Which is fine usually, but I was all toasty after my bath! Your basketball jersey was in your ironing pile so I grabbed it. Am I stinking it up? Do you mind? Well it’s a bit late seeing as I’m wearing it... so tough,” he’s smirking again.

Derek does keep his ironing pile in the spare room. How Stiles knew it was an ironing pile is beyond him.

“I don’t mind,” Derek says softly. He doesn’t mind at all. He loves it. He wants to mark Stiles up in all the ways he can think of.

He shifts his bare feet, willing his towel to stay in place to cover his hardening dick.

Stiles looks at him quietly, head slightly cocked, as if he’s trying to figure out what’s going on in Derek’s mind until he takes pity on him. Again.

“I forgot how non-verbal you get in the mornings. Come on down. There’s bacon,” Stiles turns and walks off and Derek studiously watches him walk away.

It says Hale on his back in large, bold letters. Derek snarls softly. He likes that a LOT more than he should.

———————

After they’d demolished two stacks of bacon and pancakes each, Stiles’ phone had started to ring when Derek was doing the dishes. Stiles was in the shower by this point so Derek picked it up to see the caller ID. It said SCPD Deputy Hot.

Derek decides to take a chance and answer it because Sunrise County PD is where they were supposed to be headed today.

He felt a pang of jealously at whoever was calling Stiles. Actually he thinks he may have decided to answer it ‘because’ he’d felt a pang of jealousy.

Why had Stiles saved this persons number like that? He was obviously attracted to them.

“Hey,” he says more gruffly than usual into the phone.

“Hey, err sorry, I was looking for Stiles?” Its a guy. With a surprised high voice. Derek is absolutely unimpressed.

“He’s showering,” Derek decides not to elaborate, let Deputy Hot deduce what he wants from that little titbit of info.

1-0 to Derek. He grins wolfishly.

“Oh. Ok. Well can you tell him David from Sunrise County PD called, I’ve got the info he emailed me about. And can you tell him if he’s free for coffee later, I can give it to him in person rather than him coming to the station?” David squeaks on.

Oh well played Deputy Hot, 1-1...

Derek’s eyebrows practically tickle his upper lip he’s frowning so hard.

“We can meet you later. Together. I’m his partner,” Derek decides he’d better come clean.

“Ohhh! Yeah, I’ve heard all about you from Stiles, I must say, for a minute there I thought he’d had some hot, grumpy hook up,” David’s now laughing and Derek wants to tear his throat out. With his teeth.

2-1 to David... Squeaky smug bastard.

“Nope. Just me. I’ll get Stiles to text you with a time and place,” and Derek hangs up. Fuck you David.

2-2.

—————-

 

They’re in the car driving to Sunrise County after Derek tells Stiles about his call. Stiles hadn’t seemed annoyed that Derek answered his phone, just insisted they get on the road.

“So I asked David to hook me up with the coroners report from an incident that happened a few years before the first “Shark” murder. I was browsing the individual case summary’s in HQ the other day and this one kept coming back to me from something I’d read in Dads files years ago, something he worked on with Sunrise PD. Not from the “Shark” files. I emailed David yesterday and looks like he’s come up trumps. He does owe me mind,” Stiles is chatting away, one arm flailing, one on the wheel, as Derek sulks in the passenger seat.

“So you think there was a murder before the first one we know about?” Derek sits up, intrigued.

“Well... I just want to see the rest of the file. I pulled it up on the database and the summary just said, “Drowning victim discovered” but there was no flag for human bite marks although it did say ‘wound to shoulder’ which seems a bit vague to me. And they thought the person fell in the lake. By accident. So I just want to be sure. You know I don’t believe in coincidence and it was in Sunrise County so...” Stiles sounds like he’s trying to convince Derek so he throws him a bone.

“I trust you. Let’s check it out,” he says, posture loosening a little.

“Cool. We can get coffee with David, I haven’t seen him since our Dad’s both went for the Sheriff job in Beacon Hills. Pops got the job over his Dad obviously, but a few months after that, he was made Sheriff in Sunrise County, so it all worked out ok. I was 15 at the time, he was a bit older and we used to go on these stupid department camping trips. David snuck a bottle of whiskey along once. He spiked the fruit punch and me and two other kids were hammered. Me being me, tripped and took out four tents and the BBQ. I took the fall, said I’d brought the booze. Dad was furious. We were riding back in the car and I remember he said he knew it was David so he wouldn’t ground me. I was grinning ear to ear, probably a little buzzed then he said he was however grounding me for two weeks for lying and I had to do yard chores for drinking the booze. So, like I said, David owes me!” Stiles is smiling at the memory.

Derek is feeling that heat start in his cheeks again and a stab of pain in his chest. It isn’t until they pull up outside a little coffee shop that Derek recognises the feeling as jealously.

——————

They walk into the coffee shop and Derek habitually scans their surroundings, taking in exit routes and generally scoping people out. Stiles spots David pretty much as soon as they get through the door even though he hasn’t seen him for 6 years and the guy stands and waves at them, smiling widely. He’s in his uniform.

Derek hates him on sight. The guy is short, with buzz cut blond hair and his eyes are a tiny bit too close together. Derek bristles when Stiles walks up to him and gives him a hug. It’s a one armed manly kind of hug, but still.

“Hey David, good to see you. This is Derek, my partner,” Stiles gestures between them as if trying to make Derek come closer with the sheer force of his hands.

This is confirmed when Derek hears Stiles mutter, “Accio Derek” too low for David to hear. Derek rolls his eyes and settles for sticking his hand out for David to shake.

“Wow, you are an intimidating looking fella aren’t you,” David smiles at him while shaking his hand.

His voice seems even higher without the phone as a barrier. Derek fights the urge to wince.

Derek can’t be sure, but it feels like David’s trying to squeeze hard as they shake. But werewolf strength and whatnot, the moment’s over before Derek can be sure and then they’re making their way to sit down.

David calls over the counter for two more Cappuccinos on his way to the empty seating. Stiles pulls a face. Derek doesn’t like that one bit.

“Actually I’ll take a double shot caramel latte and an Iced Mocha Chocco, extra whip,” Derek says to the barista and hands her a ten dollar bill. “You can put the change in the charity pot.”

David raises his eyebrows.

Stiles takes a space on a little couch and when David gets up as if to move to sit next to him. Derek promptly moves in front of him and sits down next to Stiles, spreading his knees wide and leaning back when he does so. If his hand comes to rest behind Stiles’ head on the chair, that’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just the way his hand fell.

The gesture is primal and childish and Derek knows it. Stiles and David knows it. Anyone who looked at them would know it.

David narrows his eyes at him but recovers well, sitting back down in the little chair the opposite side of the table.

The barista pops their drinks on the table and Stiles makes grabby hands at his until Derek rolls his eyes and hands it to him. Stiles practically inhales the straw and Derek forces himself not to watch his mouth.

Stiles gives Derek a side eye and without even looking at him, Derek knows he’s trying to convey that he wants him to play nice.

“Thanks for doing this David, I really appreciate the help,” Stiles breaks the silence.

“Stiles, seriously, you don’t need to thank me. It’s for a good purpose and I always said didn’t I, anything you need, I’ll be there,” David leans on his elbows, tilting towards Stiles.

When Stiles gets a little whip on his lip and sucks his thumb into his mouth to clean it off, David leans forward even more.

Derek doesn’t imagine it when Stiles leans back into the couch a bit, almost imperceptible, but not to him.

“Well we appreciate it, don’t we Der,” he nudges Derek with his elbow.

“Yeah, thanks.” Derek is as monotonous as he usually is with strangers.

Stiles looks like he’s fighting another eye roll and David just gapes at him, seemingly struck dumb by his lack of personality.

“So why do you want this file Stiles? You said it had something to do with the “Shark” case. Care to share? It’s got Dad all in a spin, being on his turf and all. He’s retiring this year you know, this is all causing a bit of a blemish on his solved case record,” David tuts, like somehow this is a huge inconvenience to his Dad.

“Well yeah, just a lead we’re looking at, obviously we will share with the department if we get anything concrete,” Stiles lies smoothly, his heart tripping and Derek makes a note to ask him about that later, “I’m sure between your Dad and us we will get this sorted”.

“Hmm well I haven’t got much faith in Bureau, no offence,” David all but snarls.

“Interesting”, Derek thinks.

“No? Well they didn’t have me and Derek before!” Stiles tempo never changes and he just carries on.

Luckily, David seems to be attempting to draw Stiles in with conversation about their little camping holidays and Derek just looks at his watch uninterested. He makes it a whole 10 minutes before he starts tapping his empty mug with his fingernail.

Stiles takes the hint and wraps up, much to David’s dismay.

He goes in for another hug with Stiles, but Stiles grabs his shoulder, gives it a squeeze and turns his back. Stiles misses David’s angry look.

“Call me anytime Stiles, even if it’s just for a coffee. Would be great to catch up properly and not bore Derek to death,” David gives a pointed look to Derek who seems to be enjoying this a little too much.

“Oh we’re going to be super busy with this for a while, but sure, maybe, when it’s done. Derek can come, he always looks like this, he isn’t bored. Right Der,” Stiles elbows him once again.

“Yep. I love coffee.” Derek delivers with the personality of a rock.

Just like that the meeting comes to a natural end.

They exchange the files outside and Derek and Stiles walk back to the jeep, much to Derek’s relief.

“Well, That was probably the most awkward 15 minutes of my life and I’m including losing my virginity in that scenario,” Stiles blurts when they’re back in the car.

Derek snorts a laugh, not meaning to, but Stiles catching him off guard. He thought he’d be chewing him out worse than this already.

“I didn’t like him,” Derek offers.

“Yeah I gathered. He gathered. I think the entire coffee shop gathered. You practically growled at him when he went to sit next to me,” Stiles is looking at him quizzically.

Derek should have known he wasn’t getting away with his bad behaviour that easily.

“He gave me the creeps,” Derek offers more.

“He’s not on my top ten list of people I want to cuddle with exactly Der, but we needed those files,” Stiles sounds exasperated now.

“So do you think he’s hot then?” And fuck Derek’s stupid mouth. When it comes to Stiles he seems to have zero filter.

Maybe this blurting whatever you’re thinking, it’s contagious and the way Stiles just blurts shit out is rubbing off on him.

“Pardon? Errr no. Why would I think he was hot?” He can smell Stiles blush and sense his confusion but he doesn’t hear a lie. Which pleases him much more than it should.

“No reason. Just wondering. Because he’s not. Hot.” Derek states, like he’s talking about the weather.

“Well I know... but why would you feel the need to ask me if I think he’s hot?” Stiles is going to be like a dog with a bone with this one, Derek’s already mentally cursing himself and his big mouth. He may as well quit now.

“You saved him as Deputy Hot in your phone. It was a fair assumption,” he states.

Stiles is quiet for about five seconds, then he starts laughing and snorting so hard Derek actually jumps.

He doesn’t stop for nearly a minute, clutching his sides and wheezing.

“Oh man you are brilliant,” he says to Derek, wiping tears from his face.

“What.” Derek’s not sure what the joke is but he feels like the butt.

“Nothing Poirot. Just... David Hotter,” he manages to wheeze out, tears streaming down his face, “His. name. is. David Hotter. My phone must have not had space for the whole thing.”

And wow doesn’t Derek feel like an ass. He’s beetroot red.

“Also, stalker much, going through my phone,” Stiles doesn’t sound too mad though and bashes Derek on the arm.

“I answered it remember, you were in the shower?” Derek’s getting annoyed now.

“Okie dokie. Whatever you say Miss. Marple,” Stiles sounds almost back to normal.

After a few blissful minutes of quiet Stiles breaks the silence, as they’re pulling back up the drive to the house.

“Hey Der?” He says, “did you mean you didn’t think he was hot objectively as someone with eyes or.... like as someone who can appreciate the male form, you know.... all sexy like?” he smells nervous.

Derek hides his smirk.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” he says, just for the pleasure of Stiles choking.

He doesn’t know if he’s meant to hear Stiles’ barely audible, “Absolutely, I fucking would,” as he gets out of the car and slams the door behind him.

————————

That afternoon, they head over to Beacon hills PD because there is a fundraiser going on. “P” had called them personally and asked them to attend, even though they were meant to be working the case because there would be a few of the victims family members there (the event was to raise money to help funeral costs) and he wanted to show an FBI presence. Even though they’d been killed in Sunrise County, Sheriff Stillinski had offered to host the event to show support.

Sheriff Stillinski is still out of town but Parrish seems to be handling things just fine. In the dog training field behind the station, there are various stands set up by the locals.

There are hot dog stands, coconut shys, brick a brac stalls, duck fishing. Stiles runs round looking at everything, stopping quickly to catch up with everyone he knows and Derek takes the opportunity to catch up with Parrish. He keeps an eye on where Stiles is though.

He can see him currently gesturing wildly at old Mrs. Lewis from the local book store and he’s got a used book under one arm and he’s shoving a whole cupcake into his mouth that he’d just bought from Tom James’ little daughters stand a moment ago. Mrs. Lewis looks equal parts fascinated and grossed out by him and Derek sniggers when he can see cupcake bits fly everywhere.

 

“So what do you think about the demon sheep being the culprits then?” Parrish says loudly at him and he realises he’s missed the entire conversation.

“Erm... it’s possible?” Derek hedges his bets...

Parrish throws his head back and laughs and Derek knows he’s been had.

“There are no sheep are there...” he glares at Parrish.

“Only you my friend,” Parrish grabs him happily by the shoulder and walks him over to the edge of the BHPD training course.

Derek spares a last glance in Stiles direction.

He’s stopped talking to Mrs. Lewis. In fact he’s openly staring at Derek and Parrish and he looks grumpy.

Derek decides not to give Parrish any more ammo and gives him his full attention.

“We’re letting everyone have a go through the assault course for a dollar. There’s a leader board for best time, winner gets one of the farm hampers. Why don’t you have a go? I’m leading currently, bet even with your wolf powers you can’t beat me. We could have a little supernatural competition if you’re game?” Parish says to Derek.

Parrish is easy to talk to and he jokingly flexes his arm muscle, showing off his guns in Derek’s direction.

Derek rolls his eyes. Parrish twitches his eyebrows at him and raises his bicep again.

“Come on Derek, you know you want to kick my ass, although you won’t,” he jokes.

“I know I want to kick your ass Parish,” Stiles has managed to creep up on them and inserts himself at Derek’s side. He sounds more growly than usual although he plays it off as a joke.

“Hey Stiles! Me and Derek were going to go head to head to see if we can beat each other, no holds barred,” Parrish doesn’t miss a beat.

“You can’t do that out in open air dumbass, what if someone sees you?” Stiles says and Derek knows he’s right.

Parrish would also know this usually. Derek thinks he’s up to something.

“Oh yeah I suppose you’re right... I’ve already got my ‘human’ time up there though. What if you both give it a run through and see if you can beat it?” Parish is smiling looking between Derek and Stiles.

Stiles seems to brighten at this.

“Oh it’s on. Come on Slow-wolf,” he shoves Derek toward the course entrance.

Derek’s wearing his blue Levi’s and sneakers but he has on a plain dark grey Henley and his gun is tucked in a holster at his hip.

Stiles is dressed similarly but instead of jeans, he’d opted for his black skinny cords today and considering it was meant to be a casual afternoon he’d opted for style over durability. He’s got a deep, green t shirt on and it fits him like a glove. He won’t have much room to move about on this course.

They line up, Parrish gets his stopwatch out and a little crowd gathers. Stiles remembers the course. He helped design it. He’s not about to tell Derek that though.

They’ll go into the woods, climb a wooden wall of about 5 metres high with hand holds on it. They’ll then enter a pit with beams, where if you fall off, you have to start again. Then onto monkey bars, same start again principle, ending with a netted crawl of about 15metres. The very last bit is like a hurdles situation, leading on to a rope swing over a little river looping back round to the course start. BHPD requires you to do the course in 4 minutes to pass your fitness exam. Stiles has managed it in 3.5 before but that was years ago, right after they’d constructed it.

Derek giving him a gentle elbow to the ribs brings him back to himself. They’re both standing on the start line and Derek’s handing Parrish his gun and wallet.

They both crouch down and the crowd start cheering.

Melissa yells,

“I’ve got ten bucks on Derek,” and Stiles looks around with his mouth open in shock.

“What!?! What kind of loyalty is that?” He yells back and he can hear people laughing.

“No wolfy powers remember,” he whispers right into Derek’s ear and Derek turns his head so they are literally inches from each other’s mouths.

“Bet you’re regretting that cupcake,” Derek smirks at him and pokes him in the tummy.

Stiles drops his mouth open in shock.

“You were watching me you shithead,” he says, not moving back.

“Yeah well, you were watching me too,” Derek states and cocks an eyebrow at him, challenging.

Stiles seems to debate his response when Parrish yells.

“On your marks!” Derek faces ahead and goes down on one hand.

Stiles mirrors him.

“Get set,”

Parrish barks.

“Go!”

Both boys kick up dirt as they run full pelt at the woods. They’re out of sight of the crowd in the first 30 seconds, the only sounds being Stiles and Derek’s feet pounding the ground and their harsh panting.

They hit the wall at exactly the same moment and fling themselves onto it. Neither of them are holding back, as competitive against each other in this as they are in everything.

A constant push pull that somehow creates a perfect partnership balance.

Derek reaches the top of the wall a head in front and glances down at Stiles, a cocky little grin on his face. This motivates Stiles the extra bit over the wall and Derek’s using the rope to swing down, being true to his word and acting like a good human should. Stiles takes a risk he knows that will work, because he did this last time and he jumps, sailing straight past a shocked Derek and landing in a crouch. He’s off running almost immediately.

“Hey!” Derek yells,”you said no wolfy powers!”

“Not. A wolf.” Stiles huffs behind him.

“Oh that’s it,” Derek sounds furious and Stiles can hear him gaining on him.

Stiles hits the pit and takes the set of beams to the left and skates across them easily. Derek’s hot on his heels behind him though, he can hear the footsteps getting louder and louder.

The monkey bars is where Derek starts to come out on top. He runs past Stiles to jump up first and Stiles almost stands still at the sight of Derek’s arm muscles straining. His henley has ridden up slightly and his jeans are slung low on his hips and Stiles can see the muscles on his lower back and top of his ass and Stiles feels himself want. Almost wants as much as he wants to win. Almost.

He runs at the monkey bars and Derek has jumped down the other end and turned to presumably check on Stiles’ progress.

When Derek turns around to see where Stiles is on the bars, he can’t move for a second. Stiles’ t shirt has ridden up, revealing a dark smattering of hair from his belly button, leading down into his pants and Derek gets a front on look at just how ripped the FBI training has made Stiles. He can see his muscles straining through his t-shirt and he wants to stick his face on all that bare vulnerable skin and lick right into...

“Why have you stopped dumbass, don’t let me win, I’m gonna beat you anyway!” Stiles sounds furious and it spurs Derek into action and he turns to run again just as Stiles comes down off the bars.

Derek thinks it’s very uncomfortable to run with a boner.

They go into the netted crawl and Derek groans at the state his jeans are going to be in when he feels a grab on his ankle.

He thinks it’s the net but when he looks back Stiles has got hold of him.

“You’re right, the cupcake is getting to me, you better wait for a minute,” he’s panting and grinning.

Derek kicks lightly at him

“Get off, I can’t lose so publicly to you, it will be too embarrassing,” Derek jokes and pulls forward.

Next thing he knows, Stiles is crawling literally over him. He oofs face first down into the dirt, surprised by the sudden weight.

Stiles is over him and out of the crawl net before he can really process what just happened.

“You cheating little shit,” he shouts and they both fly through the hurdles at a startling pace.

Stiles did suggest that part be downhill after all. They both spot the rope swing by the river at the same time and there is only one.

Derek knows whoever gets there first will surely win, the sprint out of the woods being the final part on the other side of the river.

Stiles seems to sense it too because he puts on a burst of speed that Derek finds himself pumping his arms to match, while controlling his wolf powers.

He realises they’ve fucked up at about the same time Stiles does. They both reach out to grab the rope but bang into each other instead and Stiles goes flying off the side of the river bank, backwards, arms flailing.

Derek knows the river is shallow here and Stiles will hit his head at that angle. He’s following him over the edge instinctually and before Stiles hits the water, he’s managed to get a hand behind his head. They both go under and down and the back of Derek’s hand smashes against the river bed, Stiles head still cradled in it and he thanks god he made the decision he did.

He pulls them both above the water, standing up, both of them spluttering and panting loudly.

Stiles clings to him, coughing head pressed against his chest, still in Derek’s large hand.

“Jesus Christ,” Stiles chokes.

“Are you ok?” Derek’s still got his hand on his head, rubbing lightly and they’re both too close but he can’t bring himself to step back. Stiles arms are clinging to his waist.

“Yeah, shit. Thanks man, I’m really sorry,” Stiles is mumbling.

“Me too, we were going way too fast,” Derek’s hand has independently started rubbing small circles on the back of Stiles’ neck now and he watches Stiles’ mouth drop open.

Derek stares at the water droplets on his eyelashes.

“You got me though,” Stiles says quietly staring into his eyes.

Stiles licks his lips like he always does when he’s nervous. Derek sniffs unable to control his instinct to taste the air, to see what’s going on with Stiles and man does he smell good. Derek’s eyes drop to those pink lips again.

“Yeah, always,” Derek agrees, not liking how breathy his voice sounds.

The moment is charged and they both jump apart when they hear a whistle in the distance signalling the 3 minute marker.

Derek can’t catch a break.

Stiles climbs out the other side of the river and goes to offer Derek a hand up the bank.

When Derek takes it Stiles lets go and drops him on his ass back in the river and runs off shouting,

“Suckerrrr!”

Derek growls and throws himself after him and he’s across the finish line about 3 seconds after Stiles who is doing a rocky style celebration in front of the crowd who are cheering him on.

Derek scowls and stalks past everyone, Jeans squelching, into the sheriffs station to see if there are some spare sweats and a towel.

The first time Derek speaks to him again that evening is when Stiles is padding barefoot across his landing, Derek already in bed when he hears Stiles shout,

“Night sour-loser.”

“That doesn’t work in front of every insult,” he yells back, unwilling to let Stiles go to bed thinking he’s mad at him.

His Mom used to say you should never go to sleep on an argument with a loved one.

He doesn’t know why that popped into his head. Or maybe he does.

“Ok... night... plain old loser,” Stiles yells.

Derek shoves his pillow on his face again and thinks this is becoming a theme.

———————

The next morning comes with more clattering pans and Derek making breakfast for Stiles this time. He’s been for a run already and Stiles comes into the kitchen hair mussed and with the imprint of a pillow on his cheek. His sweatpants are slung low on his tips and his T-shirt clings in all the right places.

Derek frowns. Or wrong ones depending on how you look at it.

“Morning man, you forgiven me yet?” Stiles scratches his tummy and yawns stretching his arm up the air. Derek’s fascinated by that trail of dark hair, contrasting his pale skin and he licks his lips.

Not for the first time this week, he realises he’s zoned out. What is wrong with him?

“Der? Earth to Derek.” Stiles is waving a hand in his direction and Derek’s eyes snap to his face.

“Sorry?” Derek says and realises he doesn’t mean it and judging by the pretty blush working it’s way up Stiles’ neck and onto his cheeks, he didn’t sound like he meant it either.

“No worries,” Stiles licks his lips and Derek tracks the movement, but manages to start laying out some fruit and cereal in front of Stiles.

He fills a cup of hot coffee for him and slides it across the counter. Stiles grabs the mug before even glancing at the food and sips.

“Mmmmmm, thank the coffee creators, thank you Mr. Maxwell, Captain Kenco, Nancy Nescafé and all the brilliant men and women who risked their lives to first pick the coffee beans from all the trees in the all rainforests,” Stiles rambles.

Derek smiles softly at him. It’s startling at how much he looks and smells like he belongs here.

“For an intelligent person, you’re such a dumbass,” Derek tells Stiles.

“Hey you think I’m intelligent?” Stiles grin is mega watt.

Derek means to poke fun of him, he really does.

“I think you’re absolutely brilliant,” is what comes out, ever so softly and the genuine tone unmistakeable.

Stiles mouth hangs open prettily.

“Oh,” he says.

Derek clears his throat and rescues them both.

“Speaking of brilliant, I had an idea to try to move the case along a bit today. I was going through the files again last night, I couldn’t sleep. I checked out the file from the drowning that Deputy Hotter gave us,” Derek tells Stiles, who has shoved an entire bagel in his mouth as Dereks been speaking.

“Mmhhhmm,” is his reply.

“I think you’re right. There’s some really weird similarities but I was expecting a picture of the wound. It’s not in there,” Derek continues while Stiles washes down his bagel with a swig of coffee.

“Yeah, I noticed that too. Sunrise coroners office have made a giant balls up there, there should be a picture of the wound,” Stiles nods along.

“I was thinking we head down today and take a trip to the ME office. There’s no other leads and “P” sent me about a hundred emails to see how we’re getting along,” Derek says swallowing some of his own coffee.

“Good plan man, I’ll just get dressed and we can head on down there. I’m driving today though!” Stiles grabs another bagel and shoves it between his teeth to carry upstairs, piece of bacon on one hand and coffee in the other.

Derek knows he’s totally screwed because he’s actually impressed instead of being grossed out.

—————

An hour later sees them parked up and walking into Sunrise county’s coroners offices. They flash their badges and the receptionist takes them through to see the ME, who turns out to be a well mannered, well dressed lady in her 20’s. She has on a white lab coat, dark hair tied neatly into a bun with a pair of blue chopsticks pushed through it.

Derek feels bad about stereotyping but he wouldn’t have guessed her profession if he met her in the street. Apart from the overwhelming dead body smell. She’s as tall as him and she’s chatty and helpful.

Stiles has been talking to her for a few minutes. She seems relaxed and cheery and Derek doesn’t detect any change in her heartbeat when she answers his questions.

“Dr. Bramble... So you’re saying you’ve seen photos of that first drowning, including the wounds?” Stiles says to her.

“Mr. Stillinski, I run a tight ship. We even have a spare file if you would like it? And Dr. Bramble was my Aunt. She was the ME before me. She died a few weeks ago, old age, but I’ve been working alongside her for years. You can call me Louise,” She replies smiling.

“Yes thanks, that would be great. I’m very sorry to hear that,” Stiles is all smiles too. Derek is mesmerised by his natural easy way with people sometimes.

“She had a long life. Can I ask, is it because you’re finally considering that old case to be linked with the Shark murders?” Stiles isn’t expecting the question, Derek can tell, but he recovers well.

“Well, we’re not sure. We just want to check a few things out,” he maintains his easy demeanour.

“Well I’m glad. I’ve been making enough noise for the past month down at the police station about how they should have included the poor guy in the first place,” Louise doesn’t change her tone.

Stiles and Derek are more than surprised.

“What? You’ve been telling Sunrise PD you thought they were linked?” Derek asks.

“Damn straight boys. I mean, the report got processed as a ‘wound’ because the body had been in the water a while and it wasn’t obvious enough that Auntie could specify what kind of wound. But I’d swear my 5 years training as an ME that it was a bite mark and I’m not talking from some freshwater trout,” she sounds so sure.

Derek and Stiles just share a look and she takes it as her cue to get the file, leaving them alone.

Stiles for once doesn’t rush to speak and nor does Derek.

When Louise returns, she has the file in her hands and a frown on her face.

“This is so strange. I leant the PD this file last week after the last murder, when I was trying to raise my concerns about it being the same MO and it had the photo inside and now it’s gone... I’m so sorry, maybe you’ll have to pop and see the boys in blue?” Louise looks genuinely upset.

Derek and Stiles wait until they get back into the car with the copy of the ME report and Stiles begins,

“I feel like we’re really missing something here Der,” he says.

“Yeah I know. I think Sunrise PD are hiding something, she didn’t sound like she was lying. Her heartbeat was the same right through,” Derek offers.

“I think our next trip is going to be visiting them,” Stiles grits his teeth. None of the small town departments love the FBI as David has demonstrated yesterday. They didn’t like them interfering, always preferring to handle things locally.

That’s why he’d sidestepped and asked for a favour from a David instead of going through the main sheriffs department.

“Stiles I’m worried this could go deeper... there could be a reason we’re missing this person all the time and they’re always just out of reach... maybe they’ve had some help with that?... from say... a police department?” Derek suggests quietly.

“Der, just because David gave you the heeby jeebies...” Stiles begins.

“It’s not just that, I swear...” Derek says.

“Maybe we should go back to the house and think about what we’re going to do?...” Stiles replies.

Stiles fires off a text to Deputy Hotter telling him they might want to visit him at work tomorrow. He doesn’t get a reply.

And the drive back to Beacon hills is the quietest Derek’s ever seen Stiles.

——————

 

Later that night they resume their routine and Derek begins cooking while Stiles sets himself up in the tub.

Despite the case pressing on his nerves, Derek’s feeling more relaxed that he has for months. He’s home. Like, really home and having Stiles in his space has been.... Well it’s been amazing.

It’s caught him a little off guard but he likes it a lot, likes smelling Stiles, likes waking up to him here. Likes him making himself at home, wearing Derek’s things.

Derek shouts up to Stiles that he has five minutes until dinners done.

“Alright Derek Ramsey, calm your fucking tits, I’m just getting nice and pruned and I’ll get out,” he shouts down the stairs in a shocking imitation of a British accent.

Derek knows he’s got the bathroom door slightly open because if he listens really hard he can hear him splashing gently. Derek tries not to think about it, not to think about how easy it would be to fit into his giant tub alongside him. Run his hands up his strong thighs....

Derek growls and puts on some music to distract himself before the situation in his pants becomes inappropriate and busies himself with blending some fruit smoothies for later, while the steak and potatoes cook.

They’re going to be up late with this case tonight and Derek knows Stiles will snack on junk if he doesn’t have a healthy alternative.

He stops the first blend after a minute and hears a soft thud and some generous splashing. Stiles must be finally getting out of the bath.

“Towels on the radiator,” Derek yells and he hears another soft thump.

Derek blends the second smoothy and it’s about 10 seconds in when all the hairs on his arms stand up and his wolf is literally clawing to be let out.

He stops the blender and stands alert, listening.

He can’t hear footsteps.
He can’t hear splashing.

Then he hears an almighty thump and a clang of porcelain.

Stiles. He just knows with his entire being that something is wrong. He takes the steps five at a time and he’s into the bathroom without even considering he’s made a mistake. He feels enraged and like his heart is exploding in panic all at the same time at the sight he sees.

Stiles is kneeling on the floor, naked and dripping wet next to the tub, hands clutching at his throat and he’s panting. His eyes are bloodshot and he’s coughing water all over the floor and gesturing wildly to the open window, leading out onto the roof.

He has a faint bruising of hand marks already coming out around his collarbone.

Derek is torn, he wants to go but he needs to make sure Stiles is safe. His breathing is all over the place, he sounds like he’s about to have a panic attack.

He bends down beside him, grabbing a towel as he goes and covering Stiles’ shaking form. He clutches him close to him, squeezing him impossibly tight and Stiles just lets him.

Derek stares at the open window and howls loud and violent, putting as much threat into the noise as he can.

He doesn’t care who knows it, he wants the killer to know. He is coming for them. He’ll find them. Derek was intent on stopping them before.

By marking Stiles, now he won’t rest until he brings them in. Or rips their throat out. With his teeth.

——————

“Aw man, you called my Dad,” Stiles rasps from where he’s sitting up in the hospital bed, when he sees the Sheriff barrel through the doors to his room.

Derek stands up from the chair he’s been inhabiting, waiting for Melissa to finish checking Stiles over properly, making sure he hadn’t got water on his lungs.

“Of course he called me you idiot,” his Dad sounds near to tears and strides up to the bed.

Stiles puts his arms out but his Dad bypasses him entirely and embraces Derek who is rigid and his eyebrows end up on the ceiling.

“Hey! Wounded here!” Stiles says but the sheriff pays him no attention.

“Thank you son. For saving him... if he’d been with anyone else, someone who couldn’t hear him or at the house on his own...” The sheriff whispers to Derek.

“Sir, please don’t think about that. I’m trying not to,” Derek answers honestly and quietly and pats the mans back.

The sheriff releases him and then hugs Stiles.

“The other nurse just gave me a run down in the hall,” the Sheriff tells him, “she says you inhaled some water and have a bit of bruising on the neck but you’ll be ok. What happened?” He says, eyes shiny.

“I’ve given Parish my statement,” Stiles begins.

“Well tell me again,” His Dad sits in the spare chair the other side of the bed.

Derek sits back down and reaches across to take Stiles’ hand. Seemingly realising what he was about to do, he pulls his hand back slightly. Stiles looks at him and down at Derek’s hand resting limply on the bed. He frowns and grabs it, ignoring the Sheriffs raised eyebrows.

“Right. So Derek was cooking dinner. I went up to have a bath because he has this amazing tub in the main bathroom. I like a lot of bubbles and Derek always puts my towel on the radiator so I’m toasty warm and...”

“Stiles the relevant bits,” Sheriff Stillinski is smirking a little now though, appreciating that his sons brush with death hasn’t changed his personality.

“Oh yeah sorry. So, I was in the tub and laying back like I usually do and next thing, I feel someone grab me from behind. I don’t shut the door because sometimes Derek likes to yell things at me. But these hands just grabbed me and shoved me under. I was so surprised I took a mouthful of water and started panicking and they had their hands round my neck. Derek was blending some stuff and I kept thinking I had to get his attention and I banged on the bath a few times. Ow, Der, my hand,” Stiles says.

Derek hadn’t realised but he’d been squeezing harder and harder, the longer Stiles has been speaking. He goes to release him but Stiles keeps a hold of him, just a bit looser.

“So anyway. It felt like they were so strong and quite big too. I managed to get above the water for a second but they had this weird mask on Dad. Like you would wear to a old ball or something. It was like a dog sort of deformed looking. They... they felt familiar Dad, I think I know them. I just can’t think how. So I got a punch in to the side of their head and they slipped, I think they fell on the side of the bath because they grunted and it made a hell of a bang. I clambered to sit up when they came at me again but i could hear the blender stop and I knew Derek would hear and come,” Stiles looks at Derek and smiles at him like he hung the moon.

Derek’s eyes fill and he has to look away because he doesn’t deserve that look. He nearly got Stiles killed, all for a stupid smoothy.

“I think they knew it too because they ran for the window. I threw myself out of the bath, I think I thought I was going to chase them but I didn’t realise how much water I’d sank. I sort of just went down and next thing I know, Derek’s got me wrapped up in a towel and is howling his rage the moon,” Stiles is still smiling softly. His thumb has started stroking the back of Derek’s hand.

The Sheriff is watching them quietly.

“Ok... well... ok. Not much to go on looks wise, but you’re going to be the best lead anyone’s had on this guys. Derek did you smell the person, would you know them again if you smelled them?”

Derek looks at the sheriff and sets his teeth.

They’re a little pointy when he growls

“Absolutely.”

————————

It’s another full day before they let Stiles go home. A wasted case day according to Stiles. Derek doesn’t leave the chair beside his bed unless the Sheriff stays with Stiles and only then does he leave long enough to go home and shower. Derek does escape for a few hours when Scott and Lydia visit him at the hospital, the afternoon he gets let out. He may have asked them to stay for a few hours to occupy Stiles, he needed to do something.

Stiles’ Dad had gladly agreed when Derek offered for Stiles to stay with him at the Hale house, considering the Sheriff was putting in a lot of time, already working this case too.

On the drive back from the hospital Derek had worried maybe Stiles wouldn’t want to stay there.

“I can take you to your Dads house and stay there with you?” He’d offered,

“What? No! Why? I’m not letting them drive me out of our... your house. I like it there.” Stiles had replied and that had been the end of it.

When Stiles walks back into the house and goes immediately to check out the crime scene, the tub is gone.

A trendy, new, absolutely massive glass shower takes up the majority of the room now. It smells like fresh paint.

Derek’s right behind him, his shadow.

“Aw man, I loved that tub,” Stiles grumbles to hide his happiness at Derek’s thoughtfulness.

“Guess you’ll have to use the one in my ensuite then,” Derek says quietly from behind him.

“You are kidding yeah?” Stiles sounds ecstatic at this news.

No one gets to use Derek’s ensuite. Issac went in there once to borrow a bottle of bubble bath and Derek actually made him cry he chewed him out so badly, afterwards. Something about it being the only room that is his and his alone.

Stiles suspects he takes a bath as a full wolf in there and just goes all out slobbery-wolf and doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

“There’s no window in there, you have to go through my bedroom to get in there and the tub is facing the door,” Derek just shrugs like it makes sense.

“Man that’s because it’s not a tub, it’s like a jacuzzi. I think I love you. Err you know...” Stiles smells content and Derek’s glad he isn’t holding it against him that he didn’t protect him.

He takes a step toward him before he realises what he’s doing and Stiles blushes pink. It’s so pretty. Derek wants to see how far over his body it goes.

His body betrays him all the time when it comes to Stiles.

Like now, when just inches from Stiles he audibly sniffs the air, scenting him.

Stiles swallows and licks his lips again and Derek’s eyes draw down, helpless.

“I’m sorry,” Derek whispers

“I know. But it’s not your fault. I wouldn’t have died anyway, I was fighting my way out. I’m thoroughly glad you were there with the rescue mind you,” Stiles is still smiling softly and Derek relaxes when he doesn’t hear a lie.

Stiles doesn’t blame him.

“I am however, very disappointed that you had to see me naked for the first time when I was cold and scared. I feel like it was a bad first impression,” Stiles is wincing but he doesn’t look as embarrassed as he’s making out.

Plus, from where Derek was standing, Stiles wouldn’t have much to embarrassed about.

“For the first time?” Derek cocks an eyebrow.

“Oh! You know... I err,” Stiles stammers and Derek thinks he wants to keep him forever.

“I’ve seen you naked before,” Derek grins and Stiles will never get used to it. It’s blinding.

“Lies,” Stiles hisses.

“It’s true. I was there when you and Scott did your graduation streak,” Derek grins again.

“No. No fucking way...” Stiles actually looks horrified.

He’d been drunk off his ass and he and Scott had decided to run through the lacrosse field in the buff, in the middle of the end season game. Finstock had nearly broken his leg chasing them. They’d kept their helmets on and that was it.

Derek’s full bodied laughing now and it feels good. It feels like he’s letting out a lot of emotion and tension after nearly losing Stiles.

“I would never had done that if I’d known you were there,” Stiles grumbles

“Why?” Derek’s still chuckling

“Because I wanted to impress you, not flail my pale white ass at you.” Stiles looks so grumpy,

Derek steers him to the couch still chuckling softly where he’s laid all the case files out on the coffee table.

Maybe one day he will tell Stiles that was the first night he’d jerked off thinking of Stiles and that his pale ass was a major factor in that.

Stiles rubs his eyes, looking somber and they get to work.

——————

Two hours laters there are post it notes literally everywhere. One’s even stuck on the left eye of Derek’s glasses.

He peers over at Stiles and takes them off rubbing his eyes sleepily.

Stiles looks like he’s barely awake. Derek pokes him in the side.

“Let’s go to bed,” he says to Stiles.

“Ooh put the glasses back on and say that to me Clark Kent,” Stiles quips sleepily.

Derek rolls his eyes, used to Stiles meaningless flirting. He knows Stiles doesn’t really see him that way, so he takes their friendship, takes what he can get from him.

“We can’t keep going tonight. We’ve been through it a hundred times. Victim one, Tina Marshall, 18. Red hair, 5ft 3ins, drowned with pool water in her parents yard. Bite mark, post mortem, left thigh. Victim two. Jack Long, 20 years of age, brown hair, 6ft, drowned in a fishing pond at his cousins cabin. Bite mark, post mortem, right arm. Victim 3, Alice Poehler, 17 years of age, 5ft 2ins brown hair, drowned face down in a full kitchen sink, bite mark, post mortem, back of neck.” Derek’s monotonously relaying the facts.

“We’re missing something...” Stiles mutters. “Give me the facts from the first one, the one we think could be connected...”

“We’ve done this already,” Derek begins.

“Again,” Stiles snaps... “sorry... sorry. I just... again... please?”

“Alexander Lao. Age 24. Black hair, height 5ft 6ins. Drowned in a lake. Wound to shoulder. Verdict suicide,” Derek repeats.

Stiles stares and stares at the picture of Alexander Lao.

“Der what are we missing...? Give me my laptop again...” Stiles takes it and types all the victims names one by one as he’d done already, at least three times.

Derek flumps back onto the couch and pulls a throw (thanks Lydia) over his head groaning.

Three hours later and it’s 3am. Derek’s snoozing and Stiles is flicking through old Facebook pictures of Alexander Lao. He looks so young and happy. There’s pictures of his prom, his family and pictures of him swimming in that lake with a young girl and a boy. They look oddly familiar. Then the photos stop around his 17th birthday, the date he died. Stiles flicks through them again. He goes to log out.

Wait.

Wait, wait.

“You have 1 mutual friend with Alex Lao...” Stiles mutters.

“Wassat?” Derek comes out of his blanket sanctuary looking sleep rumpled.

“Oh you shitting little shit bucket,” Stiles says loudly.

“What?!” Derek’s alert now.

Stiles just points at the screen where it says in big bold letters ...

Mutual friends with Stiles Stillinski and Alexander Lao- David Hotter.

“If you say I told you so, I’m going to punch you,” Stiles warns.

Derek just pulls the blanket back over his head.

 

—————————

The next evening at 9pm, Stiles and Derek are sitting in the black surveillance van, scoping out Deputy Hotters house. They’re both wired from too much coffee but have had a lovely afternoon full of refreshing sleep, thanks to the Sheriff putting Parish on daytime surveillance. Stiles had woken his Dad that morning with their new lead and he’d agreed to help, considering they couldn’t go to Sunrise County PD with the information they had.

Derek and Stiles are pointedly not mentioning their afternoon of snoozing was spent cuddled up in Derek’s bed.

Stiles had been reading on the bed waiting for Derek to come out of the en-suite just to discuss how they were going to approach the surveillance situation, when he’d given into exhaustion and just fallen asleep right there.

He’d woken up 3 hours later with an armful of warm, shirtless werewolf, his face pressed into the back of Derek’s neck and one leg slung over Derek’s. It was the best sleep he’s ever had.

He’d even managed to slip off the bed, hiding his erection before Derek sprang up awake, bed head like you wouldn’t believe. They’d both nodded at each other smiling softly, a silent agreement they weren’t quite going to talk about the new napping arrangement.

When Stiles and Derek had shown up to take over the surveillance, Parish had given a little knowing smirk at them, glancing between them.

He was still smirking when he walked off.

“David. I just don’t get it...” Stiles says from the back of the van.

“He’s a creep.” Derek offers,

“Well, he’s creepy, but that’s different. What’s the motive? We need to get something more solid on him or this is going to be like throwing globules of lube onto a wet Elephant. It just ain’t gonna stick,” Stiles shrugs.

“You have such a way with words,” Derek deadpans.

“I just want to be sure. Can you get close enough to sniff him again?” Stiles asks.

“The coffee shop scents were too strong for me to nail down his scent before, all I was getting off him was... er... a bit of arousal... and the coffee. Whoever it was I smelled that attacked you... if I smelled them again, I might get it...” Derek’s annoyed he can’t be more precise.

“Arousal?! You didn’t tell me that. Of course though, he’s obviously going to want a piece of all that,” Stiles waves his hand around Derek’s general torso and crotch area looking annoyed.

“Excuse me!?” Derek says, indignant.

“Yeah you know. You can’t blame the poor guy though,” Stiles coughs and puts his binoculars back to his eyes.

“He wasn’t aroused by me!” Derek says.

“Well who then?” Stiles says exasperatedly.

“You are unbelievably dense sometimes,” Derek offers,

“Thank you. He’s come out,” Stiles says slouching down in his seat.

“Showtime.” Whispers Derek as Deputy David Hotter gets in his car.

 

———————

 

So that’s how Derek Hale ends up sitting in the back of the black surveillance van outside the club “Beats” in Sunrise County, listening out for Stiles.

“Der you there? No sign of him yet,” Stiles should be barely audible over the loud dance music, but Derek has no issue hearing him.

“Yeah I’m here,” Derek growls his response to his partner, not liking the separation.

“Good. I’m going to do one more sweep of the dance floor and I’ll head back to the bar,” Stiles sounds cheery as ever.

“Stiles, I really, really don’t like this. Can you just come back out, Parish is en route with your Dad, you’re not going to catch him like this,” he tries reasoning with his partner who had practically thrown himself out of the van when they’d seen David heading into the club.

At least he’d shoved an ear comm in.

Stiles was dressed all in black tonight anyway, dressed for surveillance, tight black jeans and even tighter black t-shirt. He’d blend in fine at any club, except Derek thinks he probably wouldn’t. He can pick Stiles body out from a crowded room the second he walks in and it’s not just scent.

He’d know those whisky brown eyes absolutely anywhere. He doesn’t blend as well as he thinks he does.

“Der, I can see him. He’s on the dance floor, it’s packed in here, I’m going for a closer...” and then Derek’s heart stops because the comms crackle out.

Before Derek can think it through he’s throwing himself out of the van and showing his badge to the doorman, ignoring the shouts and moans of the waiting line, everyone thinking he’s skipping the queue.

When he walks into the throbbing club, his senses are assaulted immediately. He walks in onto a large balcony, looking down onto a huge dance floor, which is jam packed with writhing bodies. It smells like sweat, sex and alcohol and the strobe lights are playing hell with Derek’s eyes.

He jams himself into a corner where there isn’t so many people and tries to get his bearings.

He leans on the barrier looking over the dance floor and scans the crowd and catches a scent...

One he’d know anywhere, it’s 100% the person from his bathroom that night, the one who’d tried to drown Stiles. It’s then he sees Stiles waving his arms around on the dance floor, face to face with Deputy Hotter who has Stiles’ headset in his hand and is pointing at Stiles furiously.

Derek is running down the steps and he’s about ten metres away from Stiles and their eyes lock through the pulsing bodies. Derek feels a momentary relief the minute Stiles looks up and sees him and begins to walk toward him, winding through people but Derek can’t see David Hotter anymore.

He gets a feeling of dread the second before he gets a nose full of that familiar scent and he feels a needle sink deep into his neck, being pushed out of a fire exit, Stiles yelling and then everything goes black.

———————

Derek wakes up chained to the floor in what appears at first glance, to be a small boat. He smells fresh, salty water and notices a trap door for fishing in the middle of the floor. He’s rocking slowly back and forth. He comes around slowly enough to know he’s been tranquillised with Wolfsbane.

Derek tries to blink himself into full consciousness and sits up. He’s got chains around his ankles and wrists.

There is a figure sitting a few metres away, on a stool. It has a mask on. It smells exactly like the person that tried to drown Stiles, mixed with something else, some other unrelated scent but equally familiar.

Derek decides he is not going to speak first and give them the upper hand. He looks around the room trying to appear unworried but when he sees Stiles unconscious on the floor by the doorway, his plan goes to hell.

He’s enraged. He can hear his heartbeat, weak but constant.

“I was going to bring you in for laying hands on him before. Now you’re dead,” he snarls around fangs, knowing his eyes have gone red and not caring.

“Goody. I’m going to get to play with the wolf,” the figure says.

In that second Derek realises with surprise it’s not David. He knows that voice though.

They take off the mask and Derek can’t hide his surprise when he realises it’s Dr. Louise Bramble, the Sunrise County ME.

Derek realises that the second smell, mixed with the scent, is formaldehyde. He should have realised, it had been so strong at the MEs office that day, he hadn’t catalogued Louise’s own scent at all.

“Stupid boys...” she tuts and leans near the floor where Derek is tied up. He snarls brutally, straining against the chains.

“Won’t do any good darling,” she smiles, “they’re coated in wolfsbane.”

“Why?” Derek growls as she walks toward Stiles. He needs to keep her attention on him.

“You don’t really want to know all that do you?” She drawls, “isn’t it a little boring when the bad guy gives the whole plot away at the end? Wouldn’t it just be easier to kill you and Stiles here?”

“We worked the case for a while. Give us some closure before you end it. We were obviously so blind and stupid. Or your plan must have been very good,” Derek tries a different tact and slumps against his chains, hoping flattery will get him everywhere.

Insanely it works. He can see it in the way she preens. Serial killers and their egos. “P” would be so proud he’d remembered some training, considering they’d fucked everything else up quite spectacularly.

“Hmm ok... fine, no harm in telling you, I’m in no rush to drown you and your pretty little boy toy here anyway,” Derek closes his eyes to stop her seeing the flash of red when she mentions Stiles again.

He doesn’t want to show her that she’s getting to him.

“Little Agent Stiles here actually would have had me caught if it hadn’t been for Deputy Dumbass Hotter. See, Stiles was right about a few things. I was outside your house that night after he got out of hospital, waiting to try again to kill him. When I get a person in my sights, I only want them and them only, see. Stiles knew Alex was the key. Me, Alex and David went to school together in Sunrise County. We were friends. I was tormented in high school before I knew them. Ugly little Louise. I was beaten, bullied. Always the little geeky kid. My parents died when I was young, I lived with my Aunt, so I was poor too. Auntie was cold as ice, she wasn’t good with feelings. Probably too much time spent with dead bodies. I was lonely and defenceless. But when I was 16, David found me bleeding and beaten yet again at the end of a school day and he brought me to sit with him and Alex the next day at lunch. We became best friends, inseparable the three of us. Well, we were until Alex got bit by a werewolf later that year. David knew, but he wanted nothing to do with Alex, he pretended he had no idea what we were talking about. So it was just me and Alex. I begged him to turn me, make me like him, I begged and begged but he wouldn’t. He dropped out of school, couldn’t manage his anger and David wasn’t speaking to me and so the bullying began again. He said I didn’t understand, it wasn’t as fun as it looked. But I knew the truth. He just didn’t want to be stuck with me. I was always bookish, loved to study. A bit like little Stiles here. In one of my books, I found my salvation. I discovered a woman who could spell objects, a witch. I practiced and practiced and I used her spells to help me bend his will, giving him presents to influence him, but he found out what I was doing. I just wanted the bite and he fought me every step of the way. In the end, the witch, she gave me something better. She gave me strength,” and Louise pulls the two blue chopsticks from her bun, letting her hair tumble wildly.

She rubs them together muttering something in a language that Derek doesn’t understand and they glow brightly. Louise visibly grows in size and form, muscles ripple and her body turns into something just... bigger... stronger.

She puts them back in her hair, tucked neatly once again.

Her face doesn’t change, her eyes just glow bright blue.

“I went to Alex that night after I created this gift, to tell him I could run with him now, I could keep up and we could rampage together, we could build a pack, together and have more friends. Take revenge on those who had wronged me. But he told me he didn’t like the way I smelled now. He said I wasn’t natural, I wasn’t a wolf. He told me I looked like a monster. He didn’t want to hurt people... and I... well I did. I wanted to watch the world burn for what it did to me.” She actually looks a little sad now.

Derek sees Stiles’ leg twitch behind Louise. She hasn’t tied him up. People always underestimate him. More fool her.

Derek forces himself to keep his eyes on her.

“Alex and I, all those years ago, we got in a fight by the lake and it was the first time I’d used my sticks. I couldn’t control it then, not really and I didn’t want to. I held him under the water with my new strength and watched his breath run out. When I pulled him up he was washed clean, I could see I’d given him peace. I wanted to be wolf so badly, it only seemed natural as I sank my teeth into him and then I let him float away. I felt satisfied in a way I never had. I didn’t need him. I didn’t need anyone. I was strong on my own.” Her body starts rippling and Derek knows she’s feeling that bloodlust again.

“David?” Derek asks. He can’t have been so wrong.

“Ha stupid little David. He knew from his fathers files at the time that something unnatural had happened that night. He asked me about it, but I said that Alex had tried to hurt me and he just... he let it go. He convinced his Dad that Alex had been talking about drowning himself in the lake because I’d broken up with him and it was easy to steal the photo from Aunties report, showing the bite mark. I think she suspected I had something to do with it, but when Deputy Hotter’s father came to see us, she supported his suicide theory. I made a pact to keep my head down and try to be a good girl after that.” Louise flourishes her arms manically, obviously quite pleased with herself.

“I tried to put you and Stiles onto him as a suspect actually, but Stiles wasn’t going for that was he? You were quite ready to believe me though... I tracked you both to the club tonight and when I saw him arguing with David, I knew it would only be a matter of time before that tiny little sad sack told Stiles what he knew. All because he wanted to stick his dick in him, ” she continues ignoring Derek’s growl, “Maybe you just wanted him to be the bad guy, hmm Derek? I knew you were a wolf the day I met you in the coroners office. You kept sniffing the air like the formaldehyde was giving you a headache. Alex used to do that when we went to the lake after he was turned. He didn’t like the smell of the fish and it used to be our favourite place.” She sighs but her sad look doesn’t quite meet her eyes.

“What about the others though? The more recent murders?” Derek tries to keep her talking frantically, tries to keep the horror out of his voice, as he sees Stiles move his whole leg.

“Ah... well Tina Marshall was on her cell phone in her yard, that first night, three weeks ago. I was walking past on my way home from Aunties funeral... I was a bit sad anyway but then I overheard her bragging about how her and her friend were going to “ruin” a girls life at school the next day. And what can I say, old habits die hard. Jacky boy, well he was more right place right time. I was so angry that day, when I found out that the local newspaper had given me a nickname. ‘The Shark’ of all things, a floppy giant fish. When I was a wolf at heart. So I had to show them what I really was and Jack was just there, nice and isolated up at that cabin, ready for me. Same with Pretty little Alice. I let myself into her house and really showed them with her didn’t I? A bite to the back of the neck. To show I’m the wolf in charge.” She’s so happy to be telling him this. She looks insane.

Derek feels positively sick. Stiles is trying to sit up quietly now, making wide eyes at Derek, having caught the end of Louise’s ranting. Derek gives an imperceptible shake of his head and Stiles lies back down, still.

Louise whips her head round to look at Stiles’ prone form and walks over toward him, ignoring Derek’s menacing growl.

She kicks him in the ribs. Derek roars and his chains creak. To Stiles’ credit, he doesn’t even react. Derek has no idea how.

“Story time is over then boys. Time to say nighty, night to Stiles. I think I’ll ring an anonymous tip through to Sheriff Stillinski and he can find you both here on the boat. Stiles dead and you still chained up. Two for the price of one. I’m sure lots of people will be interested in me after tonight. Can you make sure they change my nickname to “The wolf” dear Derek?”

And then she picks Stiles up by his t-shirt.

Derek goes absolutely berserk and the chains holding him creak ominously, wolfsbane burning into his wrists and ankles, holding back the shift.

Stiles is going to die. And he’s going to have to watch.

Louise drags Stiles to the fishing door.

Derek is panicking, he can’t watch Stiles die. He’s watched as his whole life has burnt to the ground around him and he won’t watch someone else he loves die, he won’t.

Stiles is being dragged limply behind Louise but Derek sees him open his eyes and blow into his palm.

A cloud of dust travels across the room and lands on the chains where they’re tethered to the floor and walls. The wolfsbane glows faintly green and then exactly like that time when Derek crushed wolfsbane into his own bullet wound, the chains sizzle and then go dull.

Stiles has burned the wolfsbane out of them. With mountain ash.

Derek strains against the chains again, this time letting the change overflow him, Mountain Ash be damned. He can’t fight through wolfsbane but Mountain Ash... that’s a different story.

It’s still absolute agony, the wolf wanting to pull inside, retreat from the Ash but he drags it to the surface and it feels like every pore is bleeding but he feels the point when he stops resisting the change.

He lets the full wolf take control and wash over him and the chains drop away neatly, not fitting huge black paws the same as his human hands.

Louise looks around in shock. Clearly there’s one thing that she hasn’t been able to read up on and that’s the full change in the wolves. She actually looks surprised for a second and she drops Stiles to the floor, where he thuds just in front of the open fishing hatch.

Derek growls menacing and loud and crouches on his massive front legs, ready to spring and tear this woman from limb to limb for hurting Stiles.

She screams in pure rage at him, crouching herself and then she drops to the floor like a rag doll.

Derek cocks his head in shock.

Standing behind her, clutching his side in pain is Stiles. There are two glowing chopsticks protruding out from the side of her neck and her eyes are lifeless.

“Surprise bitch,” Stiles manages, before collapsing, holding his side.

———————

Stiles is in hospital again, for the second time that week. That’s how he wakes up.

Derek’s in the chair by his bedside again, mouth relaxed and eyes closed.

Derek’s not asleep although he doesn’t move. He feels Stiles rise to consciousness as his heartbeat quickens.

Derek opens his eyes and his face is very blank.

Stiles used to think that face was disinterest. He knows better now. It’s the face Derek uses when he’s trying not to freak out, when he’s trying to hold himself together. When he’s trying to control himself.

Stiles holds his hand out, needing some physical reassurance and Derek looks at it for a second before sighing and taking it.

“So...” Stiles was clearly going to be the one to break first, never let it be said that silence is his strength.

“So.” Derek says, not giving him anything,

Stiles roles his eyes and this gets a small smile out of Derek. He’s definitely picked that habit up from him.

“Let me guess.... you’re blaming yourself for this somehow?” Stiles hedges.

“I’m in love with you. I. I nearly lost you. Again. I don’t think I’d survive it. Im in love with you.” Is what Derek replies quietly with, surprising them both,

Stiles’ mouth hangs open. He was expecting at least an hour of convincing Derek that not every tragedy happens because of him and Stiles’ choices are his own. He was not expecting that.

Derek actually looks like he wasn’t expecting to say that either.

Stiles heartbeat is going through the roof and it’s the quietest Derek’s ever seen him.

As the silence goes on, Derek goes to pull his hand back, of course Stiles doesn’t feel the same. He just needed him to know.

At the same time, Sheriff Stillinksi pushes his way through the doors to the hospital room.

“Son, you are going to be the absolute death of me.” He points at Stiles, “I am going to stress eat at least 12 donuts because of you.”

“That is not an excuse Dad!” Stiles tears his eyes from Derek and addresses him.

Stiles turns back quickly and gives Derek a hard look, one that says this isn’t over and then they have to explain the events of the evening to his Dad. Including how they managed to crash a boat into the harbour.

Well neither of them knew how to drive it and they needed to bring Louise Brambles body back.

His Dad texts Parish to bring in Deputy Hotter when Derek finishes telling him about that part.

“This is going to be a shit storm,” his dad says, “But good job both. I’m proud of you both.”

As soon as they’re done with the third degree, Derek gets up.

“I’ll come and see you in a day or so, give you some space,” Derek mutters to Stiles, not even looking at him.

“Oh for Christ’s... Derek, wait,” Stiles can’t deal with his man pain right now, he’s injured for gods sake, but Derek’s already gone.

His Dad watches Derek’s retreating form, looks at the door closing and then back to Stiles and narrows his eyebrows.

“What did you do?” He asks his son.

“Dad! Nothing. It’s Derek’s inability to process that anyone might feel about him, the way he feels about them,” Stiles’ humphs back into the pillow.

“Can you blame him kid? Look at the track record he’s got... Paige...Kate, Jennifer Blake... Breadon.... you can’t exactly call his love life stable...” The Sheriff points out.

Stiles winces guiltily.

He knows this better than anyone.

He’s the one who gets out of bed in the night when he hears Derek whining, in their shared academy bunk room and strokes Derek’s arms until he goes back to sleep.

He’s the one who sticks up for Derek when Scott calls him “Grumpy ass” over Skype and he knows Derek can hear them.

He’s the one who put together an hour long presentation without Derek knowing about it and delivered it to “P” on why they should be kept together in the field, when they finished training.

Stiles Dad is still staring at him.

“Do you want me go to get him?” He says knowingly.

“Nah. Text him for me, my phone bit the dust at the club. Tell him to come to the house tonight when I discharge myself,” he says knowing he needs to do this in person, it’s far too important and Derek needs to hear his heartbeat, for what he wants to say.

————————

Derek doesn’t come to the house.

He doesn’t pick up his phone either.

It’s two days later when Stiles is finally healed up enough to drive to the Hale house. By this time he’s a twitchy mess and he’s furious to boot.

He lets himself in, knowing Derek would have heard him coming a mile away anyway, but the house is quiet. There’s no sign Derek’s even been there.

He calls out to him and still hears nothing.

He walks up the stairs and into Derek’s bedroom and sees the door to the ensuite slightly ajar.

When he pokes his head in, Derek’s sitting fully clothed in the empty tub with a towel over his head.

“Oh wow, this is very mature I must say,” Stiles anger melts.

Derek just grunts in reply.

Stiles pulls the towel off and steps into the empty tub as well, sitting down opposite Derek who brings his knees up a bit, to make room.

“Can we talk?” Stiles asks. He knows he is going to have to tread carefully here because Derek, at the end of the day is a bit broken when it comes to feelings.

“Can I...? Can I just say something first... I’m sorry that I said that at the hospital. I don’t want to lose you. It’s been the most amazing year doing this with you and I’ll take anything I can get. I just... I know it’s awkward but I’ll be normal, I promise,” he says resigned, head down.

Stiles heart is breaking.

“Der... look at me for Christ sake. If you’d picked up your damn phone, we wouldn’t be here,” he growls.

“It broke when I changed, it was in my pocket and I crushed it,” Derek shrugs.

So Derek wasn’t intentionally ignoring him. He was giving him space. Like he said. That’s good.

“Oh. Right. Well ok... that’s probably for the best because I yelled on your voicemail. A lot. Thank god for your giant wolf booty destroying the phone,” Stiles says.

Derek winces and Stiles makes a mental note to get to the point.

“Can you listen to my heart beat for this bit please?” He asks Derek, who gives a minute nod.

“You’re perfect to me Der. I know you don’t see yourself like others do, but you are. I can’t believe you don’t know I don’t feel the same way about you, so I’m going to tell you. Every day. Also, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me sooner! Of course I’m in love with you, you huge ass. You’re brave and funny. You’re sensitive and protective. You’re hot like burning! What I want to know, is why you’re in love with me?!” Derek’s staring at him now, a glimmer of hope in his eyes, still not quite believing he could be this lucky. Not believing that he might get to have this.

“Stiles, you... you could have anyone. The way girls and guys look at you, you don’t even see them, but they do, you could have your pick. I’m not... I’m not good,” he says.

“Der, I don’t see them because all I’ve been able to see, since the day I first laid eyes on you in the woods, when you had Scott’s inhaler that day, is you...” Stiles is smiling.

“Oh.” Derek says,

“Yeah oh.” Stiles says.

“Oh?” Derek says and he’s starting to smile too now.

“Can we get out of the tub, my ass is going numb?” Stiles says.

At the mention of Stiles’ ass, Derek’s eyes flash red and if that doesn’t go straight to Stiles’ dick, he doesn’t know what will. Derek sniffs the air and Stiles blushes all the way up his neck.

Derek gets up abruptly and offers him a hand and tugs him hurriedly into the bedroom, Derek stroking small circles into his skin.

He backs Stiles up into the wall and presses in close to him, hands on his hips.

Stiles smells like want, and like Derek, but best of all, he smells like home, like safety and love. He gives in to the instincts that have been screaming at him for weeks and he buries his face into Stiles neck and takes a long, deep, shuddering breath.

Stiles shakes and brings his hands to Derek’s hips, just letting him set the pace.

The pace that Derek wants to set, turns out to be desperate and fast. He starts rubbing his stubble into Stiles skin on his neck and cheek. It makes Stiles throw his head back and moan loudly.

Stiles pulls Derek by the hips so his body is flush against him and as their dicks rub together Derek growls deep. Derek gets his hands under Stiles’ thighs and lifts him up, wrapping his leg around him, pushing him back into the wall.

Derek finally kisses Stiles and it’s everything Stiles has ever fantasied it would be like, and better. He runs his hands through Derek’s hair and Derek palms his ass.

They fit each other perfectly, Derek’s demanding, nothing hesitant about him as he licks into Stiles mouth.

He runs his hand down Stiles dick through his jeans earning him a bit lip from Stiles, who pulls his head back panting.

Stiles will be coming in his jeans if they keep this up and no sir, that will not be happening.

He pushes on Derek’s shoulders until he gets the message and puts Stiles down. Stiles pushes him gently until the backs of his legs reach the bed and he drops to his knees, looking up at Derek through long lashes.

He licks his lips and Derek swallows and threads his hands in his hair.

Stiles unbuckles Derek’s belt almost torturously slow and peels his jeans down his strong thighs.

When they’re at Derek’s ankles, he takes a second to stare at Derek’s boxer clad dick and it makes his mouth water.

“Stiles...” Derek moans out breathlessly, still stroking his head.

Stiles rips the boxers down his legs and runs his hands over his hairy thighs licking his lips.

“Fuck, Stiles, please...” Derek’s not even sure what he’s begging for really, but the sight of Stiles on his knees is killing him.

Stiles is still staring at his dick. It’s thick and long, uncut and Stiles wants it inside him yesterday.

A little bead of precome pools at the tip and Stiles darts his tongue out to lick it up.

Derek punches out a wounded sounding moan and Stiles proceeds to fit as much of Derek’s dick in his mouth as possible. He has to really, really try.

Derek’s knees wobble after about a minute of merciless sucking and licking and Stiles encourages him to sit down on the edge of the bed. Still in-between Dereks knees, Stiles manages to coax Derek’s legs over his shoulders (which Derek notices again, are strong and now he won’t ever stop noticing) and he pushes on Derek’s torso so his back is on the bed and he’s laying flat.

This time when Stiles brings his mouth back to him, it’s lower and he’s sucking Derek’s balls into his mouth before taking a long swipe of his tongue over Derek’s tight asshole.

Derek bucks his hips but Stiles has one strong hand around his leg and he’s going to town.

He alternates fucking him with his tongue and inserting a wet finger. When he gets two fingers deep, fucking steadily into him and licks around them, Derek comes all over himself suddenly, without even having a hand on his dick.

Stiles puts his legs down and crawls up his body, looking every inch like he’s the predator, licking up Dereks come from his own chest.

His lips are swollen pink and he takes his t-shirt off as he goes, revealing that perfect toned torso and dark happy trail, that’s been Derek’s jerk off material for the last few nights.

Derek’s brain is barely online.

“Jesus Stiles,” he pants, “come here.”

Stiles is grinning and smells so pleased with himself.

“That was insanely hot, do you always come untouched? Have you ever come just from that?” He asks, sitting on top of Derek, his own cock straining in his jeans.

“I wouldn’t know,” Derek murmurs, not shy, just quiet.

“What?” Stiles sits up straight and holds Derek’s hands still where he’d been stroking Stiles’ thighs.

“I wouldn’t know. I’ve never... never been with a guy,” Derek shrugs like it’s no big deal.

Stiles mouth hangs slightly open again.

Derek wants to put his dick in it again, which gives a twitch, valiantly trying to rejoin the party.

“Seriously? How are you real?” Stiles mumbles, running his hands down Derek’s torso, skating over his nipples. Derek bucks up into his ass and he groans.

“How am I real? How are you real? You just made me come so hard it hit my chin,” Derek snarks.

He’s also apparently had enough of Stiles taking the reins. Just because he has zero experience with guys doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what to do with a dick.

He flips them over and wrestles Stiles jeans off his legs, leaving him spread out and naked on his back on his bed. Derek sits up on his knees and looks at him.

His dick is long and cut and curves neatly to his belly. It’s dripping steadily into the little trail of hair Derek’s become so obsessed with.

He can’t take anymore and leans over Stiles, between his legs and licks from his belly button right to the base of his dick.

“Oh my fuck, I’m going to die,” Stiles whines.

Derek decides he’s all in and deep throats him in one go. Stiles hands grab into his hair hard and the tiny pain gets his dick all the way hard again and he grinds it down into his bed.

Stiles helps him along by fucking gently into his mouth but pulls back every time Derek gags. Derek doesn't want that. He wants to choke on Stiles dick, he wants Stiles to own him as much as he wants to own Stiles, so he licks off the tip and says,

“Fuck my mouth Stiles. I’ll stop you if I need to,” and shoves his dick back in his mouth all the way to the base.

“Oh god, you’re a secret porn star,” Stiles wails but plants his feet on the bed, knees bracketing Derek’s head and he thrusts up hard.

Derek whines in pleasure this time and Stiles doesn’t stop. He hollows his cheeks and opens his throat as best he can and when he ghosts a finger over Stiles’ hole, he bucks up hard and shoots straight down Derek’s throat.

Derek looks up at him to gauge whether it was good for him and is rewarded with Stiles flushed and shaking.

“You are amazing. How did I get this lucky? Are you just fantastic at everything?” He moans throwing an arm over his face.

Derek is so pleased, he kisses his way up Stiles body again, to his mouth. They kiss and stroke each other for a few minutes, until Derek’s hard dick is becoming a problem.

“I want to fuck you,” he whispers to stiles like it’s a confession and Stiles is all the way back to full hardness at that.

“Er yes please, yes, yes, we are go for that,” he says and rolls onto his front pulling his knee up slightly, giving Derek an unrestricted view of his tight pink hole.

Derek wets his lips.

He gets lube from the drawer next to the bed and hesitates. He doesn’t have condoms, he hasn’t had sex in years but he wants Stiles to be comfortable. He wants to make him feel so good.

Stiles, observant as ever looks up at him.

“No condoms?” He says.

“I er... I can’t catch anything or give you anything. If you don’t want it to be messy I can go get some?” Derek shrugs.

Stiles pupils dilate.

“I’ve never ever had sex without a condom. I want to with you though. I want you to mark me up. I want everyone to know I’m yours,” he rolls his hips into the sheets and Derek’s throat goes dry.

He knows exactly what he’s doing, appealing to the wolf. Derek’s eyes go red and Stiles grins triumphantly, dangerously.

“You like that alpha? You want to fuck me with your big hard dick? Want everyone to smell your come dripping out of me so they know I’m off limits huh?” He continues in a voice that Derek has never heard from him, but wants to hear every day for the rest of his life.

He continues his tirade as Derek slicks up a few fingers with lube and doesn’t waste time with one, he slowly pushes two fingers into him.

Stiles’ hole opens prettily around him, tight and clenching and Derek grunts.

“Keep talking,” he manages around slightly sharp teeth. He won’t lose control, but Stiles is pushing the wolf and he knows it.

“Mmm,” Stiles whines, spreading his legs wider.

“I want you to fuck me on every surface in this house. Then,” he grunts again when Derek starts fucking into him with three fingers now, twisting and pushing deep, obsessed with the sight of Stiles’ hole squeezing around his hand.

“Then?” Derek growls.

“Then I’m going to fuck you,” Stiles growls out, “I’m going to push you down over that stupid red couch and I’m going to eat you out until you’re begging me to fuck you and I’m not going to touch your dick once. Then, just before I’m going to explode in my jeans, I’m going to fuck you exactly like that, bent over, hard, until you come all over that fucking couch.”

Derek’s mouth is dry. He hasn’t even thought about Stiles fucking him, barely allowed himself to think about him fucking Stiles. Butnow he’s painted such a vivid picture he wants, god does he want. He feels his dick twitch and his hole clenches at the thought.

He flips Stiles back over and he sits down against the headboard of his bed and coaxes him to straddle him. They both groan loud when Derek’s dick brush’s Stiles’ wet asshole.

“Ah I see, this is how it’s going to be, me doing all the work,” Stiles grins, pushing himself against Derek’s cock, bracing his hands on Derek’s shoulders.

“Want to see you,” Derek moans kissing him again.

Derek can’t take anymore and grabs Stiles’ ass, holding him wide and exposed while he pushes up into him deep, all at once.

Stiles throws his head back and bites his lip.

Derek’s going to come in five seconds flat.

“Der, I’m going to come fast, please don’t judge me,” Stiles whines, pushing his forehead against Derek’s.

Derek laughs low and private, just for Stiles. He’s never, ever had sex where it’s fun. He’s never had sex where it’s pure pleasure. But then he hasn’t ever had sex where he trusted someone. He’s never had sex with someone he loves. It’s addictive. Derek’s never going to give this up.

Sex with Stiles must make his mouth run because Stiles is replying to all those things that Derek didn’t realise he was saying out loud.

“Me either Der, I love you, Christ do I love you, fuck me please, own me,” he’s panting.

And Derek is helpless but to comply. Despite Stiles’ complaints about doing all the work, it turns out strong werewolf thighs means that he can pound relentlessly into Stiles’ ass while holding him up and dropping him down onto him, over and over.

Stiles grabs his own dick and and Derek smacks his hand away and jerks him hard.

“Oh fuck, I’m done Der,” Stiles shouts and slumps into him as he comes between them both, ass like a vice on Derek’s hard dick. Derek thrusts up again deep and with a grunt he comes as Stiles’ clenching hole drags his come from him.

They both hold onto each other for a few minutes, Derek making no move at all to pull out.

When Stiles’ does come around, he pulls back a little, still in his lap and strokes Derek’s face.

Stiles has never seen Derek’s face look so open and young.

“Can I keep you?” Stiles says to him as he grinds down onto Derek’s gradually hardening dick. Werewolf stamina for the win.

Derek flips them, still inside Stiles, dick getting full hard again. Stiles is on his back on the bed. He grinds into him once more, hard and then pulls out standing up.

Stiles makes a noise of dismay and grabby hands in his dicks direction.

He rummages under his pillow, looking for something.

“Come on,” he says, voice rough, standing up with a garment of clothing in his hands.

“What? Bring back the penis,” Stiles moans, flopping over onto his stomach.

Derek leans right over him and swipes a tongue over Stiles’ hole, tasting his own come dripping out of Stiles ass. He holds him open for a second just to watch and who knew someone’s ass could blush.

He watches the red make it’s way over Stiles’ skin and he wants to put his mouth all over him again. Later, he thinks.

“Nope. I think you said something about ruining a couch?” Derek drops the garment on Stiles’ head, covering his indignant face.

And Derek walks away, gloriously toned and naked, chuckling as Stiles pulls Derek’s worn basketball shirt off his face, realising what it is.

“I knew it!” Stiles exclaims.

He runs after Derek, tripping his way down the stairs. He stops midway down them, mouth open at the sight of naked Derek, bent over the couch, two fingers deep in his own ass, flushed and panting.

Stiles shoves the jersey on, running the rest of the way.

—————