Derek was lying on his stomach in the middle of the loft early Friday morning, sketching plans for the addition to his building, when his phone pinged with a text notification.
Stiles: In the woods with Scotty at this ungodly hour, have I mentioned how much I hate your stupid patrol schedule?
Derek snorted, smiling softly at his phone.
Derek: Shouldn’t you be focusing on your surroundings? Pay attention Stiles
Stiles: Shouldn’t you be focusing on your brooding? Pay attention Derek
Derek: I was not brooding…
Stiles: HA! That’s a good joke babe
Stiles: Just kidding, what are you actually doing? Isn’t it a little early for creatures of the night to be awake? :)
Derek: Working on the plans for the building, I can show them to you when you come over tonight.
Stiles: Oh fun! I have so many ideas!
Derek: We are not putting in a waterslide Stiles
Derek went to the kitchen to make another cup of coffee and when he made it back to his drawings he checked his phone and was surprised that Stiles hadn’t responded. Stiles has always been the respond immediately type and he never lets anyone else get the last word. A few minutes later his phone chimed and he snatched it up.
Stiles: Maybe you were right about the paying attention thing… ouch
Derek: Are you okay?
Derek hit his speed dial and drummed the fingers of his free hand against his leg.
“Oh hey babe.” Stiles tried for nonchalant but his voice was strangled.
“Stiles, what the hell happened?” Derek dug his claws into his palm and listened to the thundering of his own heart.
“Derek, I’m fine, I may have cracked a rib or two but I’m fine.” He sighed.
“I’m coming to get you, stay put.” Derek snarled, grabbing his jacket and keys as he headed for the door.
“Oh no you don’t, I need to go to school, I have an econ test and chemistry homework that needs to be turned in. Please stop worrying, you can come over right after school, I promise.” Derek hesitated, all of the muscles in his body jumping with the need to see his mate whole and unharmed. Stiles voice softened. “Seriously babe, I’m fine. I just tripped over some roots and fell, I’ll have a few bruises but nothing that requires the hospital or my overprotective-,” Derek growled, low in his throat. “But very wonderful and handsome! Boyfriend.” He spoke in a rush.
“As long as you promise me that you are okay.” Derek spoke through clenched teeth.
“I promise. I’ll see you tonight, you can bring Chinese food, my dad will be thrilled.”
“Okay, I will stay home for now, but if you need me to pick you up all you have to do is call.” Derek’s voice was quiet, a small whine caught in his throat.
“Great, I’ll see you tonight.” They signed off and against his better judgement Derek put his keys on the hook and tried to go back to his building plans but he couldn’t focus. He snatched the keys up and drove out to the preserve to go for a run.
All day Derek fought a tension headache while he tried to keep busy and wait for school to be over. His hands tightened on the steering wheel enough that the leather creaked beneath his palms as the smell of MSG and fryer oil wafted around the Camaro. He barely had the car in park before he ran up to the door with preternatural speed and hit the doorbell. Inside he heard the familiar jump of Stiles’ heartbeat after he rang and the sound of scrambling followed by a thump meaning Stiles fell out of his desk chair trying to get up and it brought a small smile to Derek’s face.
“I got it!” He heard the pounding of feet and then the door was yanked open and Derek got his first glimpse of the younger man, his scent washed through the door all citrus and cinnamon and Stiles. His eyes were molten amber and there was a flush high on his left cheek, the right cheek was completely covered by a dark nasty bruise. The sight of it had Derek stepping through the door and wrapping his left arm snugly around Stiles’ waist, pulling him flush against his body. His cheek rubbed gently against Stiles’ neck, their scents intertwining causing a happy hum to rumble through his chest. He dragged his lips over the smooth column of Stiles’ throat. As Stiles’ rubbed his hands through the short hair at the nape of Derek’s neck, his scent turning more content.
“I’ve been worried sick about you all day, and I see that it was for good reason. Holy hell Stiles what did you fall on? A sledgehammer?” Stiles pulled back gently, cradling Derek’s cheeks between his palms, long slender fingers gentle against the sides of his head.
“I’m fine.” He smiled warmly and pulled Derek forward kissing him lightly. Stiles dropped his hands, lacing his right fingers through Derek’s left and pulling him toward the kitchen. The sheriff was sitting at the dining room table openly observing them, his scent slightly off, but Derek chalked it up to the work laid out in front of him on the table. He tugged Stiles to a stop and handed the Chinese food over so he could extend his hand to the Sheriff.
“How are you, sir?” He allowed his happiness at seeing Stiles whole and relatively unharmed bleed through him, a light smile on his face.
“Derek, how many times do I have to tell you to call me John?” He asked, quirking a brow. “But I’m fine son, how’ve you been?”
“I’m good, I brought dinner if you’re hungry.” Stiles’ insistent pulling had Derek moving into the kitchen.
“Come on Derek, I need so much help on my history paper.” Stiles set the food down on the counter pulling containers out and pointing them at Derek. “Do you honestly think that the Comanche were the stepping stone for the American Intervention in Mexico? Or do you think the blame really falls to Spain?” Stiles grabbed a few forks, spoons, and a couple pairs of chopsticks, swinging them wildly in exclamation. “Or! Do you think that Polk orchestrated everything? Possibly the government using Polk as their pawn?” Stiles trailed off, seemingly lost in thought and Derek felt the smile on his face growing wider. Stiles reached up for the plates and let out a pained gasp, his heartbeat spiked sharply, and he reached his left hand up to his right ribs.
Red bled into Derek’s vision and he felt anger running through his veins at the sight of his mate… his Stiles, in pain. He pulled his wolf back tightly, attempting to calm himself as much as possible.
“Stiles?” He couldn’t convince his jaw to unclench. He took a deep breath in an attempt to relax. “May I speak with you alone?” He wasn’t asking and he knew that Stiles would hear that in his voice. He set a gentle hand on Stiles’ shoulder and walked him to the bedroom.
“Take your shirt off.” Derek crossed his arms over his chest, his tone brooking no argument.
“Derek-.” Stiles sighed.
“I said. Take. It. Off.” Derek growled, his fangs dropping, garbling his voice.
“You know that sentence should be a hell of a lot sexier, it’s wasted on this moment.” Stiles huffed but started gently removing his shirt.
Derek sucked in a breath as his eyes roamed over the dark purple bruising on Stiles’ ribcage. He stepped forward smoothing his hands over the exposed points of the other man’s hips, his hands soft and soothing even though his claws were extended. Stiles waited, knowing what would come next. Derek laid his hand over the injury, fanning out his fingers wide, his touch feather light, then he drew on Stiles’ pain. The black veins started moving up his arms and he grit his teeth slightly realizing in that moment just how much Stiles had been hurting.
Stiles let his eyes slip shut, warmth spreading through his chest as Derek continued to pull more and more. He started to feel the familiar head rush of endorphins as his brain continued to dull an ache that was no longer there. Tears started to run down his cheeks, and he lost the ability to speak. Derek anticipated this, softly wiping the tears with his free hand, running his thumb reverently over Stiles’ cheek. Taking the time to appreciate the soft upturn of his nose, the moles that made constellations on his cheeks and throat, the whiskey colored orbs beneath heavy lids that were misty with all the same emotions Derek was feeling.
God he loved Stiles, and if he could just convince his stupid voice to work he would tell him. But the words always caught in his throat so he did his best to show the words rather than say them. He stopped taking pain, but still smoothed his hands over Stiles’ torso very gently, he placed soft kisses on his cheeks, eyes, forehead. His nose ran along Stiles’ hairline and he drew in a long breath letting the scent of his boyfriend fill his lungs and settle his wolf.
At some point Stiles hands had buried themselves in Derek’s shirt, the slender, clever digits tugged gently and Derek went willingly, holding Stiles close and pressing their foreheads together. He waited Stiles out until his tears dried and his breathing returned to normal. His face was still a little blotchier than Derek would like but he didn’t want to be rude to the Sheriff by making him wait for dinner.
“You ready to get back out there?” Derek dropped a gentle kiss on Stiles’ lips, making one more pass with his thumbs to dry Stiles’ cheeks.
“Yeah, let’s go have dinner.” He pulled his shirt back on, wiping his nose with his sleeve, and pressed a more insistent kiss to Derek’s mouth. “Thank you.”
“You never have to thank me.” Derek gave a soft smile and opened the door, snagging Stiles for one more kiss. “Taking care of you is part of the deal.”
They had dinner with the Sheriff and then worked on Stiles’ history paper for a couple hours until he had made enough headway to leave it alone and not have to worry about homework while they spent the weekend together. The Sheriff was a little off again as they left but Derek didn’t think much of it, too wrapped up in scenting Stiles, kneading the back of his neck gently with his fingers. They both got in the Camaro for the ride over to the loft. After a few minutes Stiles’ turned down the radio.
“You know I never got around to asking you, why do you play the music in your car so loud?” Stiles gazed at Derek’s profile with curiosity. “Doesn’t it upset your delicate werewolf hearing?” His tone was light but he could see the stiffness in Derek’s shoulders that always meant he was fighting with his feelings.
“I grew up in a house full of people, it was infuriating as a young teenager, there was no privacy, no quiet place to do my homework, no possible way to hide from my sisters.” Derek took a measured breath. “After the fire, nothing reminded me of their absence more than the silence. I grew up wishing for a quiet house and now I can’t stand to sit in silence. When Laura and I lived in New York we would constantly get the cops called on us for noise complaints.” A soft smile lit up his face. “We knew every beat cop in Hell’s Kitchen by name within six months of moving in.”
“You never really talk about New York.” Stiles kept his voice gentle, worried he would spook Derek into clamming up.
“It can be hard to talk about for a multitude of reasons. When we moved in, it was the hardest time of my life; but the time we spent there were some of the greatest years I’ve ever had. Losing Laura has tarnished those memories, made them painful in a way they never were before. Parts of me want to go back so badly I feel like I can’t breathe sometimes. But the other parts of me are terrified of going back without her.” A singular tear rolled down Derek’s cheek and Stiles reached up to brush it away. Derek pulled the Camaro into his parking spot of the old industrial building.
“If you ever decide that you want to take a trip back to New York, I will support you wholeheartedly. And if you need me to, I can go with you. You just have to say the words.” His voice was so sincere it made Derek turn to frame Stiles’ face in his hands, placing a heart wrenchingly delicate kiss on his lips.
“Thank you.” Derek whispered.
“You never have to thank me.” Stiles winked. “This thing goes both ways; it’s my job to take care of you too.” Stiles smiled softly. “Now come on, those shows on your Netflix queue aren’t going to binge watch themselves.”
They made it through a few episodes of a new show before Stiles’ day caught up with him. He fell asleep draped awkwardly over Derek who just smiled fondly at the rosy cheeks and parted lips of the younger man laying before him. He gently adjusted them both so that he was on his back with Stiles on his chest, head tucked under Derek’s chin. It wasn’t long before the easy rhythm of Stiles’ heart lulled Derek to sleep.
The next morning saw Derek and Stiles pouring over the plans for the addition to the building while they drank coffee and ate muffins Derek bought from the bakery down the street. When Derek took up his usual place sprawled out on his stomach with the plans on the floor, Stiles simply draped himself on Derek’s back to look over his shoulder. It was all so quiet and domestic it had Derek’s wolf practically purring with contentment.
This was right, this is where his mate should always be; but Stiles wouldn’t be eighteen until April and even then he wouldn’t be graduating for a few months. The sheriff was already as lenient as Derek could hope and even though he bristled at the thought of taking Stiles back home the next night he knew in a few months they would be living together and he could have this kind of happiness every morning.
“Babe can you reach my coffee?” Stiles spoke into Derek’s neck, causing a small shiver as Derek reached for the chipped blue mug that Stiles insisted was the best in the house. It was the mug his mother used to drink from every morning, and one of the few things that survived the fire, though Laura had caused the superficial chip to the rim while living in New York when she tapped her spoon against the rim too hard after stirring her coffee. Stiles didn’t know that the mug was Talia’s favorite but Derek loved seeing it in Stiles’ hand, a small piece of his mother held by the boy who changed his life.
Stiles accepted the cup with a soft kiss on Derek’s cheek, then he took a sip as he turned a page with his other hand, both of his feet rubbing against Derek’s legs in opposite directions. He was always in motion, every single limb seemed to have its own purpose, which is probably what made him so damn clumsy, none of his body parts could cooperate with each other.
Derek waited for Stiles to set his mug back down before gently rolling over so Stiles settled into the cradle of his hips and wrapped both arms around Stiles’ slim waist, slotting their mouths together with a hum. Stiles let himself be swept away in the kiss, groaning softly and burying his fingers in Derek’s hair. Their tongues tangled gently, Stiles tasted of heavily sugared coffee and lemon muffins, Derek lifted his head from the floor to chase the sweetness. Stiles rolled his hips down against Derek’s and moaned, one of Stiles’ hands untangled from Derek’s hair to slide under his shirt and grope the hard planes of muscle across his abdomen.
“Okay, easy.” Derek pulled back with a smile. “Let’s not get carried away.” Stiles dropped his forehead to Derek’s shoulder with a whine.
“You started it.” He huffed petulantly.
“Sometimes I just can’t help it with you.” Derek turned his head to nip at the hinge of Stiles’ jaw, inhaling the unique spicy and sour smell of him. Derek could also smell himself all over Stiles and it had his grip tightening with a possessive growl. “God, you smell so good.” Derek allowed himself a few more moments of holding Stiles tight and breathing in his scent before letting him go and rolling to put a little space between them.
“No come back and let me touch you.” Stiles made grabby hands across the floor toward Derek, who sighed and scrubbed a hand through his stubble.
“I know this hasn’t been easy for either of us,” He spoke with one hand covering his eyes, the inability to see Stiles made it a little easier to talk about his feelings. “But I’m just not ready yet.” Stiles sighed and let one hand trail gently down Derek’s arm.
“I know, I know.” Stiles tugged the arm away from Derek’s eyes so they could see each other. “You’re not her and neither am I.” His voice was a small whisper. “You’ll be ready when you’re ready, and I’ll be right here.” He tugged Derek back into his space for a sweet, gentle kiss.
Derek still had lingering trauma from Kate all those years ago. Logically he knew Stiles would never use sex to manipulate him, and he knew Stiles’ feelings for him were real. And yet, there are still moments when Stiles instigates more physical intimacy that Derek’s palms start sweating, his breath picks up speed, and his heart starts to race painfully.
“I don’t want you to have to wait for me, you don’t have to do this.” Derek’s voice was shaking as he spoke, his wolf howling inside his chest, not wanting to let go of his mate. Stiles slid closer and gathered Derek in his arms.
“I know I don’t have to be with you, and I don’t have to wait for you.” Stiles kissed the crown of Derek’s head. “But I want to be with you, and I want to wait for you to be ready for more.” Stiles’ hands wandered up and down Derek’s back in a soothing pattern. “Why don’t we go down to the preserve for a run? Burn off some of my energy so my idle hands don’t start wandering.” He reached down to squeeze Derek’s butt playfully then scrambled to his feet, jogging backward, enticing Derek to chase him.
The weekend was quiet and comfortable, they spent a lot of time watching movies and working on the plans for the building extension. They also spent a lot of time cuddling and having long talks in hushed tones across the pillows when they settled down in bed… Well, Stiles had long talks and Derek stared at him with a besotted look on his face as he listened to every word.
When Sunday evening came Derek had Stiles pinned against the wall upstairs in the loft, trailing kisses up and down the column of his throat as Stiles shuddered beneath him.
“I’m going to be late.” Stiles panted as Derek tugged at the delicate skin of his collarbone with blunt human teeth. Stiles fingers buried themselves in Derek’s hair and gave a sharp tug, Derek froze, his eyes shifting to red and a low moan vibrating through his chest. Derek pressed Stiles harder into the wall with his hips, moving his mouth up to nip at the skin behind Stiles’ ear. “Oh god.” Stiles keened and canted his hips toward Derek’s, seeking some sort of friction to relieve the tension building inside him. “Seriously Derek, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if I don’t leave in the next twenty minutes I’ll miss my curfew and you won’t be allowed to come over after school this week.” Derek’s fingers tightened painfully on Stiles’ hips, as he let out a possessive growl that made Stiles’ knees weak. “See, we don’t want- oh.” He broke off with a whine when Derek’s tongue traced the shell of his ear.
“Okay.” The word was whispered directly into his ear, the puff of air from Derek’s lips caused goosebumps to break out over his arms. “Let’s go.” And suddenly everything stopped. Derek moved back a few inches, giving Stiles room to head downstairs. He pushed himself away from the wall on wobbly legs and started backing toward the staircase, his pupils blown wide and his lower lip firmly clamped between his teeth.
It took Derek a moment too long to realize Stiles was backing himself right off the landing and when he stepped into the empty air Derek lunged forward and grabbed the arms closest to him to haul Stiles back toward him. “Jesus Stiles, pay attention to where you’re going.” Derek started turning him so he could walk down the stairs forward when small swells of blood caught his eye. “Oh god, I scratched you.” Derek yanked the sleeve of his shirt up and turned his arm to get a closer look.
“Derek, I’m fine, it’s just a little scratch.” Stiles tried to pull away but Derek’s grip was too tight.
“I hurt you.” His voice was a hoarse whisper. Stiles felt the head rush of Derek taking his pain and tried to pull back again. “I’m so sorry. I hurt you.”
“No Derek, you caught me so I didn’t fall down the stairs and break my damn neck.” Stiles laid a hand on Derek’s arm. “Please let it go, I don’t need you to take my pain for this.” Derek looked incredibly conflicted. “It’s okay babe.” Stiles squeezed his arm reassuringly. “I promise.” Derek very slowly let go and Stiles didn’t wait around for him to change his mind.
He went down the stairs to gather the last of his belongings, But before he could make it to the coffee table, and the notebook that was sitting on it, Derek crowded him against the wall again and rubbed his cheek against Stiles neck, blanketing Stiles with his body. “I thought we talked about this.” Stiles huffed. “I’m fine, Derek.” Derek took more pain and Stiles went almost completely boneless. “Whoa, too much.” He slurred and Derek just wrapped both arms around his middle to keep him standing.
“Maybe you can convince your dad to let you stay one more night.” Derek’s voice sounded young and small.
“I somehow doubt that would go over too well, and I still have the final touches to put on my history paper and a load of laundry I need to do so I don’t go to school smelling like one big gym sock tomorrow.” Stiles was hoping for a laugh but Derek just buried his face in Stiles’ neck with a low whine. “Come on big guy, I’m totally fine.” He rubbed a hand gently up and down Derek’s back. After another few minutes Derek finally released him and they made their way down to the Camaro.
Derek gave Stiles a long lingering kiss and a gruff “Goodnight Stiles.” Before watching him disappear into the Stilinski house. He was just pulling into his parking spot at the loft when his phone lit up with a call from Stiles.
“What did you forget?” A fond smile crossed Derek’s face.
“Hey babe, you’re never going to guess what my dad just said.” The light joyful tone made Derek sure Stiles was up to no good and he was proven right when Stiles relayed the conversation with John in which Derek was accused of domestic abuse.
Even though Stiles made it very clear that everything was a misunderstanding and all was well now between the three men, Derek still made a mental note to pick up coffee and pastries for everyone at the Sheriff’s station the next day, including an extra-large bear claw with caramel chips for John.