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Proximity

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proximity

 

“No, no, no” Stiles spins, hands up and out, palms tingling as his spark ignites in his chest, spreading warmth and power down his arms. “Not this time, fuck-face,” he snaps, swinging his arms up and around, bringing them down hard, putting the full force of his torque behind the hit.

His magic wraps around his forearms like an impenetrable golden lining, protecting him from injury and acting like a forcefield as he brings them down hard to collide with the flesh and bone of the hulking, indistinct creature.

His clasped fists land squarely onto the skull–well at least it’s what he thinks is the things skull. He hasn’t been able to figure out what exactly it is that’s attacking them. Just that it’s enormous and reminds him of soggy newspaper.

“Stiles, this way!” Derek calls, and Stiles turns, rushing toward the sound of his voice.  

Behind him, the creature stumbles, groans and collapses face first into the dusty cement of the warehouse.

This was supposed to be a routine scouting mission. Go check out the creepy warehouse that suddenly appeared behind the abandoned movie theater off Route 15; take some notes, maybe a photo or two. Do some basic recon and report back to the rest of the pack. That is decidedly not what happened.

As they stepped beyond the rusty old gate, Stiles felt an almost imperceptible shift in the air around them. Derek, on the other hand, perked up, grabbed Stiles by the back of the neck and hauled him towards the main door. Which–Stiles will remind him repeatedly later on–was the worst possible idea.

As it turns out, the warehouse was stuffed to the brim with magical and historical artifacts and the presence of two unauthorized ‘magical beings’ apparently triggered some kind of shut down protocol. The moment Stiles was dragged across the threshold, his spark freaked out, expanding like an angry porcupine in his chest. Derek grabbed him as Stiles screamed, clutching at his chest, the pain faded just as quickly as it came, but unfortunately, something deep in the bowels of the warehouse echoed his cry back at him.

From that moment on, it’s been a battle for their lives. Something or everything in this building is reacting to Stiles’ unique brand of magic. It’s like he’s been plugged directly into a nuclear power plant.

Magic surges through his veins, sparking hot under his skin like bottled lightning. His spark sits like a molten ball of lead in his chest, a supernova flaring blindingly bright and fueling his power. However, the warehouse seems to be having an adverse effect on Derek. Stiles can’t tell yet, but the Alpha seems to be tiring quickly.

Stiles skids to a halt at Derek’s back, not touching him but still close enough to feel the heat radiating off his skin. His body is warmer than usual, and Stiles glances over his shoulder at the Alpha.

“You good?” he shouts over Derek’s grunts as Derek shoves away another hulking body. They have no idea what’s attacking them. They aren’t human, but they also aren’t like any creature Stiles has ever seen. From his position at Derek’s back, Stiles sees another wave of monsters heading their way. They move slowly and are kind of dumb, so they aren’t the hardest opponent they’ve faced, but there are a lot of them, and they are persistent.

“I…” Derek falters, grunts, gets pushed back into Stiles before he can press forward and rip the head off the golem.

That’s it.

That’s what these are.

“Golems.”

“What?”

“Homunculi!” Stiles grins at Derek’s blank expression. “Whatever, it doesn’t matter, they aren’t really alive. We can’t beat them.”

“What!?”

“Come on, dude, trust me! I’ve got an idea…”

“Yeah, ‘cause that statement never preceded anything good...” Derek grits out, before turning and lurching forward. Stiles stumbles as Derek grabs him by the shoulder and moves him out of the way so he can punch a monster in the face. Its face caves in before slowly puffing back out again.

“Right…” Derek says blankly as the abomination turns vacant eyes on them and groans lowly out of its gaping mouth.

“How am I supposed to fight these things?”

“You’re not. C’mon, I’ve got a plan.” Stiles claps his hands, and when they part, there is a small golden ball floating above his palm. With a grin, he flicks it, and it flattens out into a small arrow pointing deeper into the warehouse. He takes off, Derek on his heels.

“Now it’s a plan… I don’t know why I listen to you…” Derek grunts, ducks and pulls Stiles with him–right up against his sweat-soaked tank top–as a box falls and shatters right where Stiles had been standing. The golems are climbing the racks above them, creeping ever closer to where Stiles and Derek are ducking and weaving, running deeper into the catacomb-like maze of towering shelves and crates.

“Because…” Stiles says, drawing out the word as the little arrow of light he’s holding swivels suddenly to the left. He turns, following it, keeping it held out before him, checking their direction, before cutting a hard right and darting off down another passage. “I’m usually right, and I have a consistent, reliable history of saving your beautiful, perky behind,”

Derek’s only reply is a strained curse as he claws another golem and chases after Stiles’ quick steps.  

“Stiles…”

“Come on, Big Guy, we’re close,” Stiles breathes. The arrow is supposed to be pointing them towards an exit.

Usually, Stiles' wouldn’t rely on a magical compass when surrounded by so many powerful artifacts. The aura interference alone could provoke false readings, but something in his gut tells him to believe. That’s what being a spark is all about, after all. Believing.

He’s so focused on his compass that it takes him a second to notice it twisting abruptly on his palm to point back the way they came. Derek crashes into his back, and they both stumble a few steps before Derek grabs Stiles and yanks him back onto his feet. The manhandling shouldn’t be sexy but it really, really is.

“Thanks,” Stiles pants, looking around while trying to catch his breath.

“Yeah,” Derek frowns, his eyes narrowed for danger. “Why–”

“Here!” Stiles interrupts, childlike elation thrumming through him. “Oh my god. It’s real! I can’t believe I’m seeing this right now.”

“Seeing what?” Derek starts, but something crashes in the distance, and he snarls as his hand lands on Stiles’ upper arm. “We don’t have time for this, Stiles, let’s go!”

“No! No, man, this is it!” Stiles grins, stopping in front of what looks like a battered cedar World War One shipping crate. It’s about six and a half feet tall and about four and a half feet wide; it’s standing vertically, which is perfect because Stiles didn’t think he could get it upright, even with Derek’s help.

With a flick of his wrist, the compass disappears, and Stiles turns his palms to the crate, pressing them flat. He laces his magic into the wood and, with a creaking groan, it peels back like an enormous wooden sheet and falls against him. The moment it separates from rest of the crate, it returns to the wooden lid it was just seconds ago.

“What?”

“Get in!” Stiles shouts, grabbing Derek and pushing him into the box. He resists for a moment, grumbling how he’s not going to fit, but Stiles ignores him, shoving until the Alpha rolls his eyes and steps into the box. He lifts his arms and his eyebrows in what is clearly a now what, expression. Stiles rolls his eyes and, lifting the heavy lid, he steps into the crate in front of Derek, his spark helping to guide the top back into place. “Move back.”

“I can’t.”

“Derek, squish back. I can’t get the cover to seal!”

“Where do you want me to go, exactly?” Derek growls, the sound traveling right through Stiles’ back where it’s pressed flush to Derek’s chest. He’s burning up. Each breath he pants washes over the back of Stiles’ head and tickles his hair. Derek’s hands scrape the wood next to Stiles’ hips, his knuckles brushing against Stiles’ jeans. The wood splinters under his force, and Stiles succumbs to an uncontrollable shiver.

“Okay, shit...” Stiles grunts, pressing back as hard as he can against Derek’s burning chest, holding his breath and turning his face to the side. “It’s going to get real cozy in a second…” Stiles warns before using his spark to slam the lid back on the crate, sealing them in darkness.

It’s a tense moment while Stiles focuses, mumbling incantations to himself before he feels the last nail slide back into place and the magic take hold. Derek is rumbling low under his breath, a subvocal growl that Stiles feels more than hears.

All around their pitch black confines, the golems groan and search, their clawed hands scraping the cement floor. Stiles shifts, turning slowly. He elbows Derek in the ribs and steps on his foot more than once until he manages to turn enough to face the other man. Saying they are packed into the crate snugly is an understatement. He honestly can’t remember the last time he’s been this close to anyone, let alone Derek. There is a lot of skin on skin contact right now.

“Okay… so,”

“No, shut up,” Derek whispers as something above them creaks and splinters.

They both look up, not that it does either of them any good in the darkness. Stiles’ hands jolt upwards, fingers spread, a spell tingling down his arm. He misjudges the trajectory entirely, and instead of his palm landing flush against the crate above their heads, he punches Derek in the chest. His hand bounces back off the firm muscle, and his fingers smack solidly across his face.

Derek chuckles, the bastard.

“You didn’t see that,” Stiles grumbles, rubbing his nose. He knows Derek couldn’t have seen him because, even with his low light vision, wolves can’t see in the dark.

“No,” Derek agrees with a low, warm rumble, his shoulders shifting with quiet laughter. “But I heard it, and I know what happened.”

“You know nothing,” Stiles grumbles, extending his arms over Derek’s shoulders and sliding his palms up the rough wood of their temporary sanctuary. Derek’s hair tickles the inside of his elbows, and it’s distracting. “Now, shut up. I need to focus.”

“Stiles, what the hell is this thing, and why are hiding in it?” Derek hisses.

“Shhh,” Stiles scolds, “I just told you to be quiet, I’m not sure how much time I’ve got and I need to focus.”

Derek growls and Stiles licks his lips as the sound resonates in his chest, vibrating his ribcage. Thankfully though Derek falls silent and Stiles turns his attention back to the darkened crate.

He needs to keep his head in the game. Outside, something heavy and soggy, like wet clay, smacks to the ground. Stiles bites his lip. They’re protected in here for now, but he’s not sure how long that will last.

There should be an indentation somewhere, and he needs to find it if this plan is going to work. Derek shifts, his body pressing back and away from Stiles’ seeking limbs. The box around them groans as he tries and fails to stay out of Stiles’ reach.

“Stop. What are you…”

“Hush,” Stiles says, leaning forward and resting his chin on Derek’s shoulder as he strains to feel the seam behind Derek’s head. “Lean to the right, I need to…” Stiles grunts and Derek jerks, hissing through his teeth.

“Can you not?” Derek snaps roughly, and Stiles’ freezes. “Just, be still for one second.”

“Yeah, my bad, sorry…” Stiles clears his throat and leans back against the wood behind him. They're pressed together, a small gap between their chests and feet all the room to spare. The tension between them slowly increases as they huff the same humid air, so close Stiles can practically taste the hazelnut coffee Derek drank this morning on his breath. Derek grits his teeth hard, and Stiles is sure that he can hear his molars creaking.

It’s strange and alluring to feel the shift and twitch of every single one of Derek’s well-developed muscles as he breathes. Stiles is well aware that Derek is attractive. A blind person would notice how handsome Derek is. During times like this, Stiles has to focus on their friendship, on all the trials they’ve been through together. Even a straight person would react to having Derek Hale pressed bodily up against them, and it’s been years since Stiles thought of himself as straight. He is decidedly not straight. In times like this, he can’t be sure he ever was, really… straight to begin with.

And this is so much worse for Stiles. He’s not being dramatic, it really is. He and Derek haven’t been pressed together like this in years. Not since Stiles threw himself into his spark training and Derek supported him, pulling him out of combat drills. Stiles is really out of practice with this sort of skin-on-skin, confined space, sweaty muscles, heaving breaths, life or horrible, horrible dismemberment death scenario with Derek.

It’s great, but it’s also torture because Derek is every single thing Stiles loves about men, plucked out and compiled into one perfect human. Well, werewolf.  Like some evil genius or a very unhelpful godmother made Derek just for Stiles. It’s unfair really; from his adorable bunny-teeth to his brooding but friendly eyes, Derek is precisely what Stiles likes, and his dry sarcasm and sharp humor only make him that much more appealing.  

It has taken Stiles years upon years to get his arousal, his attraction to Derek under control. He’s done well, too, as they’ve grown closer. His lust cooling into admiration and respect.

Hell, he loves Derek; as a friend, as his Alpha, and as anything more... if that was an option. Unfortunately, he’s not willing to put the relationship they do have on the line to find out. And Derek is… well, Derek . So it’s not like he’s going to make the first move, even if he wanted to.

Stillness and Stiles don’t mix well, and when something screams–deep and inhuman–outside their small sanctuary, it makes them both jump, and Stiles redoubles his efforts to find the symbol he’s looking for. He wiggles, reaching down past Derek’s thigh. The Alpha growls in warning, but Stiles just scoffs, clicking his tongue and slapping at Derek’s hip before straightening again and pushing on Derek’s sweaty arms to force him to shift and wiggle with Stiles.

“What are you doing?” Derek hisses, jerking back from Stiles’ wandering hands and snapping his teeth when he elbows the side of the crate.

“I need to find the trigger… er... button thing, or we’re going to be stuck here for a very long time.”

“Stiles, stop!” Derek barks, “Tell me what’s going on right now. What is this thing, and why haven’t those things found us yet?”

Stiles twists so he can bend and run his fingers over the wall on his right. “This is sorta like...” Stiles huffs, standing up again and looking where he thinks Derek’s eyes should be “...you read Harry Potter, right?”

“Yeah,” Derek agrees, dragging out the word, both to relay his suspicion and to convey a very clear: obviously.

“Okay, well, this is kinda like a vanishing cabinet,” Stiles says with a grunt as he twists at the hips to check the seam over his head. “Except different. It works, well, differently.”

“Differently?” Derek repeats unimpressed.

“Yeah, this one needs a power source. It needs a battery, or it’s just a dumb empty shipping crate that is totally scent-proof, soundproof, and magic-proof.”

“So, the things hunting us can’t hear us, smell us, or find us with magic as long as we’re in here?” Derek asks, and Stiles can picture the disapproving tilt to his eyebrows.

“Yeah. Great plan, I know. You can thank me later.”

“But,” Derek goes on. Stiles feels when Derek tenses his hands, that’s how closely they’re pressed together. “The rest of the pack also can’t smell us, hear us, or use magic to find us.”

“Yeah…” Stiles winces “That’s about the long and short of it.”

“This was your brilliant idea?” Derek sounds resigned.

“Yep. Now, everything will be fine once I locate the insignia. So, please, make yourself useful and help me find it.”

He shifts as much as he can and leans forward, his arms stretched over Derek’s shoulders, sliding down the rough wood behind Derek. He feels something. The edge of a groove brushes his thumb, and Stiles turns his head, not that he can see anything, but it’s second nature to try and look at what he’s doing. Derek stiffens as their jaws rub together. His stubble scrapes along the smooth skin of Stiles’ cheek.

With a twist of his arms and a firm chest bump, Derek successfully pins Stiles back on his side of the crate in one of the most awkward positions he’s ever been in. Not that it’s hard. Stiles is really good at putting himself in increasingly awkward situations, especially now that he’s got full command of his spark. His body just… does stuff, sometimes. Like right now.

“I need you to stop jerking around.”

“That is literally not going to happen.”

“Stiles,” Derek bites out, his teeth clicking. His hands contract where they are wrapped around Stiles’ wrist and shoulder. Derek’s grip is sure and steady, and Stiles bites the inside of his cheek. He holds his breath, staring petulantly into the darkness until he can get the sudden molten flash of arousal under control.

“Fine!” he snaps, shaking Derek’s hands off, “I’ll try another way, jeez.”

Stiles sighs, rolling his shoulders and slumping back against the wall. His eyes slip closed, and he slowly relaxes, feeling with his spark for any magical traces. He should be able to find the insignia this way or at least build a mental image of their confines by mapping it with his spark.

It takes a lot of energy to saturate a space with his light, and Stiles’ body goes limp as it leaves him. The magic tingles over his skin, seeping out slowly and filling the box with a soft golden glow. His hips cock forward as he sags, and his thighs press into Derek’s. The werewolf shifts, taking the brunt of his weight as Stiles turns his attention to his power.

His back arches, shoulders pressed hard against the wood behind him, Derek’s warm, welcoming body supporting him. His magic buzzes under his skin in a way Stiles has never felt before. It’s easy to get swept away under the current. He hums softly, encouragingly, as Derek’s hands come to rest on his hips, slowly sliding up and around until the tips of his fingers rest in the valley of Stiles’ spine.

Warm air ghosts along the exposed arch of Stiles’ neck. Lost in the swelling feelings of power, he presses his hands against the wood to either side of Derek’s shoulders. Light leaks out of him, spreading like soft strands of spider silk from his fingertips.

“Stiles,” Derek whispers, voice low, his body shuddering, curling around Stiles’.

Arms contracting, his muscles bulging in the small space, Derek pulls their bodies incrementally closer, and the barely-there feeling of Derek’s open mouth skittering feather soft up the exposed column of Stiles’ throat threatens to drag him out of his trance.

“Your scent…”

Derek slips one thick thigh between Stiles’ and presses forward in a sinuous roll. Stiles flows with him arching up and grinding down. His magic surges and brightness flares behind his eyelids as Derek’s teeth scrape the bolt of his jaw.

“Stiles,” Derek breathes again, his voice strained. He nips at the lobe of Stiles’ ear, and Stiles sighs out in pleasure, his hands sliding up Derek’s chest to grip his shoulders. He needs to hold on, he’s almost there. The image of the crate is virtually complete in his mind, a sparkling gold wireframe of their confines that glitters in the otherwise dark world of his mind. Derek licks at the shell of his ear and the image flickers. Stiles gasps, unable to rectify what is happening to his physical body while he focuses on his magic. He’s so close.

“Close,” Stiles moans, his head rolling gently against the wall behind him. “M’close, almost…”

His spark fills their sanctuary, lapping around their ankles like warm water and rising up around them. Derek’s hands slide down his back, curling over the rise of his ass and he squeezes. Stiles tips up onto his toes, pressing his hips forward, and Derek groans into the bend of Stiles’ neck.

“Stiles, please...”

Those strong hands slow and guide the undulation of Stiles’ hips. His body is moving, the sensation something he wasn’t even aware of until Derek takes over. The deliberate press and roll of their bodies. The soft growls and whimpers Derek makes into the skin of Stiles’ neck, his jaw. The gasping, open mouth kisses Derek places to Stiles’ temple, his chin. Like Stiles is a treasure; Derek’s lips gentle but insistent, as if he’s worried that if he pushes too hard, whatever spell they’re under will break, and all of this will go away. The stifling heat of their confinement, the salty scent of their sweat, and the bitter tang of their arousal is all lost on Stiles as he stretches, his magic expanding, swelling.

“Derek,” he gasps, hands contracting on those broad Alpha shoulders. Derek shivers, biting at Stiles’ neck, worrying the skin ever so gently between his blunt, human teeth.

Stiles arches, pleasure pours over his skin, and in his mind's eye the structure fully forms. At the very top, right above their heads, the insignia burns bright, searing itself into the wood and his mind.

“Yes,” Stiles groans, his voice reverberating around them, lifting over the deep rumble of Derek’s matching moan. With the insignia located, his magic makes an abrupt change of direction and floods back to him all at once. Stiles gasps, sucking air like he’s surfacing from some deep, dark water. He snaps back into himself, grinding down hard on Derek’s thigh, his erection straining under his jeans, pulsing with each pound of his heart.

Derek flattens his tongue and licks Stiles from collarbone to earlobe, sucking his lobe into his warm mouth and causing Stiles to buck up, whimpering under the swell of sensation his magic was buffering him from. Derek presses forward, his cock, hard and heavy behind his jeans, digs into the curve of Stiles’ hip, and yes.

Yes.

“There you are,” Derek’s voice cracks and for the first time, Stiles realizes he can see the shimmer of Derek’s eyes because his skin is glowing soft and golden. He's illuminating their confines with an ethereal light. Stiles can’t imagine what he must have looked like mid-trance, his body never reacting this severely before.

“S–sorry,” Stiles manages, his hands slipping on Derek’s drenched shoulders Sweat drips freely down his own neck and back. His armpits are sodden, and his shirt clings to him like he spent the last three hours in a sauna. “I… I’m sorry.”

“Stiles…” Derek whispers, his voice broken and so low Stiles has to strain to hear it over the pounding of his own heart. “I’m sorry.”

Derek stiffens under Stiles’ hands. He feels every microscopic inch the Alpha tries to take back, to pull away from Stiles’ body.

“Don’t….”

“I couldn’t fight it, not this time.” Derek’s voice wavers, and he presses forward, pinning Stiles back against the wood. “I... tried… ” He leans in, runs his nose along Stiles’ jaw and shudders out a warm breath. “Didn’t want to… hurt you. Didn’t want to take from you…”

“Jesus, fuck.” Stiles hands slide up Derek’s neck, grip his hair and pull his head out from where he’s hiding against Stiles’ shoulder. The glow of Stiles’ skin is fading, but in the dying light, he meets Derek’s lost but, oh-so-hopeful eyes.

Derek licks his lips, “Your magic amplifies your scent, twists it into something I’ve never experienced before. Usually, I can handle it; how excited you get, how your body responds to your spark. Fuck, the way you smell. But here, pressed up against you... Finally feeling how perfectly you fit against me. How long...” — Derek falters with a soft whine — “...how badly I want you... want to touch, to taste.” Derek snaps his mouth closed with a click of teeth. He looks away, anger written into the cant of his eyebrows and the downward turn of his kiss-swollen lips. Like he’s said too much. Like he never meant to say anything at all.

This is it. This is the moment Stiles’ been waiting for since he met Derek, and he hasn’t even been fully present for most of it. His spark flutters in his chest, tugging him towards the Alpha. His skin tingles warmly and the light returns, glowing faintly over his flesh.

Derek’s pupil's contract and then expand. His eyes bleed red as they meet Stiles’ and he knows his heart must be going crazy. His dick throbs and Derek’s nostrils flare, his lip pulls back flashing the sharp point of a tooth, and Stiles shivers. Derek leans in quickly before halting, an almost pleased sounding rumble dying in his chest.

“Look,” Stiles starts his fingers stroking in the sweat-sodden hair at Derek’s neck, “we can go into incredible detail about this later, really, and I promise you can be as emotionally constipated and stilted about it as you want, but let me just say that... it’s been you, since the moment we met, Derek. Fuck, I’m sorry my magic brought you to the brink, and now you’re having thoughts…"

“I’m not having…” Derek tries to cut in, but Stiles just glares at him until he falls silent again.

“But,” he goes on, “I can fucking promise you that I want this, and you and all the fucking emotional baggage you come with. So please, for the love of everything. Do. Not. Stop.”

“Stiles,” Derek huffs, and it’s not a good huff. It’s an ‘I’m the Alpha, and I know best, and this is not what’s best’ huff.

“Derek,” Stiles grits, he pushes back, lifts one leg as much as he can and presses forward, rolling their cocks together and making them both suck a breath. “If you stop now I will kill you. I swea–”

Stiles chokes in surprise as Derek surges forward and kisses him. The crate rocks with how hard Derek pushes into Stiles space. His hands dip down and curve under Stiles’ thighs, Derek lifts Stiles’ leg just a little bit more and fully slots them together. The wet, hot friction is just enough to have Stiles teetering on the edge of orgasm.

He curls his arms around Derek’s neck, moaning each time their lips part and come back together again. He’s wanted this for so long. If only he’d realized sooner that Derek was on board, he’d have locked them together years ago.

Derek grinds against him with an intensity that has Stiles clenching around nothing and whimpering at the loss. He tries to match the rhythm. Derek’s hands on his ass flex and tense, guiding him as they both pant in the humid air.

There’s something building inside of him, something wild and frightening. It wraps around Stiles, tightening like a golden rope. Squeezing his insides until he’s crying out, his fingers knotting in Derek’s hair, pulling on the strands until the Alpha snarls. A deep rumbling sound that sends Stiles over the edge, his orgasm taking him as that something erupts from the pit of his stomach and bursts forth, filling the crate with blinding luminous shimmers.

The shipping crate creeks and wobbles. Derek growls, his body tensing, frantically chasing his own orgasm as Stiles desperately tries to reel in his magic. There’s no stopping it. It rushes out of his every pore, the symbol over their head ignites, and the subtle scent of burning cedar is lost under the overwhelming fragrance of Derek’s orgasm. It soaks through his jeans and smears against Stiles’ saturated shirt where he’s grinding his still furiously hard cock.

It throbs, thick and long, and Stiles can’t even picture what it looks like rising flush and hard from Derek’s hips. He wants to see it, hold it, taste it, his mouth waters at the thought. Vowing to get his hands on it soon, Stiles rolls his hips to give Derek more skin to press against. The Alpha whines low and long, shuddering as more wetness spreads over Stiles’ stomach.

“Again?” Stiles breathes, his fingers stroking through the sweat gathered along the back of Derek’s neck.

Derek doesn’t answer. He pulls Stiles tighter against him and sucks softly at his pulse point. He presses kiss and after kiss to the same spot, sucking and biting, while Stiles clings to him. The crate around them shudders, vibrates under their feet, and the movement goes completely unnoticed by them.

“More,” Derek breathes, lifting his face and seeking out Stiles’ lips. His voice is so low, so needy and demanding that Stiles’ dick starts to fill again. “That’s it, baby. Get hard for me again.”

“Derek,” Stiles soft laugh melts into a moan as Derek sucks at that warmly bruised spot on Stiles’ neck again. “YesssAAHHH!”

Derek reacts like he usually does, lightning fast but without thought, so as the lid to the crate gets yanked away, and they both go tumbling backward, he cradles Stiles' head but flattens himself, and his considerable weight, over Stiles’ body.

The air explodes out of his lungs, and he gasps, wheezing and blinking the stars out of his vision. It takes a good couple of minutes before the scene around him becomes clear. It worked, the crate, his magic, it all worked. He did it, he saved them, they’ve left the warehouse completely behind.

“Oh my god. The smell…”

“Stiles?”

“Boyd owes me fifty bucks,”

“I’m not paying you fifty bucks, Isaac.”

“How?” Derek leans up onto his elbows, looking up at the pack gathered around them.

It’s now that Stiles can finally see their surroundings. “It worked!” he shouts, arms flailing, and when Derek glances down at him, he surges up and kisses him.

“Okay, now I’ll pay you fifty bucks…”

“What… worked?” Derek blinks glancing around.

“The crate! It worked!” Stiles cranes his neck and finds Scott, who is looking anywhere but at the pile of Derek and Stiles on the ground. “But how did you guys get here?”

“We’ve been tracking your GPS,” Lydia says, crossing her arms.

“We lost it for a few hours,” Scott says, his nose wrinkled and his hands shoved into his pockets.

“Aww, did you puppies panic?” Stiles grins from his spot on the ground. Catching Derek’s eye, he says, “I bet they panicked.”

“Stiles, shut up,” Derek whispers, shifting minutely, his cock is still hard, still pulsing warmly with each breath he takes. There’s a dark flush on his cheeks, and Stiles suspects it's more from being caught than from arousal.

“Anyway,” Lydia interrupts “When we were able to pick the signal back up again, your location was fifty miles from where we lost you. Mind you, it was back in the other direction.”

“Really!” Stiles says wiggling, trying and pull himself out from under Derek. “Fifty-ugh-miles?”

Derek growls, his eyes flashing red, and he presses down with his weight, pinning Stiles down to the grass.

“You.. can’t” Gritting his teeth, Derek huffs a sigh out of his nose. His fingers curl into the ground by Stiles’ shoulders. “You can’t. I’m sorry.”

“Hey, no worries, Big Guy,” Stiles says softly glancing at their pack mates. “We’ll get this all sorted, we’re safe now.”

“I know,” Derek grits, but still he doesn’t move. “Just...”

“Alright… How about you guys give us a second and we will meet you inside in a few.”

“Great idea,” Scott says, turning on his heel and darting off towards the house.

“Fine, but I expect a thorough explanation of this thing.” Lydia points at the old shipping crate.

“Go!” Derek growls, his biceps jumping as he sinks his fingers deeper into the grass.

They’re gone just as quickly as they came. Stiles waits until Derek’s growl stops, and then he relaxes. He lets his knees fall open so Derek can settle more fully against him, and he tips his chin back, offering the vulnerable column of his throat.

Derek melts into him. He pulls his hands from the grass and wraps Stiles up in his arms, scenting along his neck and jaw until he finds Stiles’ mouth and kisses him. He licks at Stiles’ lips until they part and they both groan. The kiss lasts indefinitely and is altogether too short, and when they finally part, Derek looks calmer.

“Where are we?” he asks, glancing around the clearing. He draws a scenting breath, and his head snaps up and to the left, his body tenses for a moment. “How did we get here?”

“I… wanted to go home?” Stiles says, feeling shy for the first time.

They’re lying in the clearing just north of the refurbished Hale house. They’re certainly fifty miles from where the warehouse appeared, but Stiles isn’t sure exactly how the magic in the crate worked. To say he’s pleased he got so close to where he was hoping for is an understatement. He’s gearing up to explain the intricacies of the magic when Derek lets out a soft whine.

“Home?” he asks. “You view the pack, the house, as your home?”

Stiles shrugs. It’s not so much the house as the people, that he was focusing his intent, his magic on. He needed to get them safe, bring them home. Stiles wasn’t sure exactly where they were going to end up as his intent wasn't overly clear, even to himself.

They could have just as easily ended up in the holding cell at the sheriff station, or Stiles’ childhood bedroom. Landing in the clearing outside the Hale house was more than ideal; he guesses that deep down… yes, in a lot of small, and large, ways, this house that he and the pack share with Derek has been his home a lot longer than he’d like to admit.

He thinks of his room, where Derek often takes his afternoon naps and their years old argument when Derek says it’s ‘ because the sun hits your bed just right, Stiles’ to which he always responds ‘ what are you, a wolf or a cat’, to his well-worn spot on the couch in the den. Or his favorite coffee cup sitting on the second shelf in the kitchen. Every time Derek buys fruity pebbles for Stiles, even though he complains about the sugar content.

“Yeah,” Stiles says, his voice cracking. He clears his throat and tries again, nerves making him stiff “Yeah, this place, the pack, you! You’re my home, my family.”

“I’m in love with you,” Derek says abruptly, his eyes wide with shock at his own announcement.

“Thank fuck,” Stiles deflates, and Derek makes a pitiful noise in his throat. “Oh my god, I am so in love with you.” Stiles is quick to clarify, “For like, years, dude.”

“Don't…”

“Call you dude, yeah, yeah.”

They are quiet for a heartbeat, then Derek snorts, and they both dissolve into laughter. “You’re an idiot.”

“Yes, but now I’m officially your idiot…. I… am your idiot, right?”

“Unfortunately,”

“Hey!”

Derek kisses him, and Stiles can’t keep the smile off his face.