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The Werewolf Around the Corner

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Derek

 

The worst part of it is he had never even thought of Stiles in that way before. In a sexual way. Stiles had always just been Scott’s friend, occasionally useful but mostly a clumsy annoying teenager constantly in motion who babbles incessantly and can’t sit still to save his life. Most of the time Derek is just amazed he’s able to keep himself upright when walking, let alone stay alive through all the supernatural disasters they’ve all weathered together.

Derek eyes Stiles across his loft. The pack is having a meeting about the harpy who has been in town causing trouble. Stiles listens to Scott describe his most recent encounter with it while he chews on the end of his pen. Derek feels a surge in his abdomen when Stiles flicks his tongue absentmindedly over the end of the pen, again cursing his current thoughts, which have him distracted with all the things he’d like to do and have done to him with that red tempting mouth.

Suddenly Stiles’ eyes stray from Scott and find Derek, too quickly for Derek to look away, and he feels a jolt of electric energy. Stiles looks startled and then confused and Derek looks quickly to Scott, feeling the tips of his ears turn pink at being caught staring. Scott is just finishing up telling the pack that the Harpy wants Scott and Derek to pledge their allegiance to her or she’s going to start terrorizing the town of Beacon Hills in 48 hours.

Stiles seems to have recovered enough to ask, “Okay but what does she mean by terrorize? Are we talking scare tactics? Dismemberment? Death? Terrorizing is kind of nonspecific. I mean, a few well-placed clowns around my house and I’m basically terrorized.”

Derek tries not to roll his eyes. It’s easier to deny his attraction to Stiles when he opens his mouth. Scott scoffs then shrugs, “she didn’t really elaborate. I should have asked but I had to get out of there, she smells so...SO terrible.” He makes a pained face as if he can still smell it. He probably can. Perks of being a werewolf.

Derek clears his throat. “Alright, I don’t think we have a choice. Scott, you’ve been trying to talk her down for three days, it’s time to get serious.”

Scott shakes his head. “No, Derek, no killing or maiming or threatening yet. I think there’s a solution here. I think she’s lonely. I feel kind of bad for her.”

This is why he should be dealing with the harpy, not Scott, who’s basically a puppy dog that wags his tail when someone smiles at him and falls in love at the drop of a hat. Easily manipulated. But the harpy only wants to talk to a “true Alpha.”

Stiles pipes up then. “I’m with Scott.” Big surprise there, Derek thinks. “We have 48 hours and I think I’m getting closer to some contacts on the deep web that could help.”

Derek sighs. “You have 24 hours. We’re not pushing this to the last minute this time, I won’t allow it. Again.”

The pack has an interesting dynamic, having two alphas. Scott is a true Alpha, but he mostly defers to Derek because he didn’t really want to be in a pack to begin with and definitely doesn’t want to be solely in charge of one. But they tend to butt heads on the bigger issues when Derek wants to take decisive action and Scott wants to sing kumbaya and make friends with everything that’s not actively trying to kill them.

Scott sighs but nods, and Stiles nervously starts chewing on his pen again. Seriously, his oral fixation is going to be the death of Derek.

No one else seems to have much to add so they decide to meet back here in 24 hours and reevaluate. As everyone disperses Stiles hangs back. “Hey, Derek?”

Ever since that night Derek is uncomfortable being around Stiles. Especially one on one. It makes him snap at the teenager more. “What, Stiles?” he responds, his voice clipped.

“Uh,” Stiles ducks his head nervously and rubs the back of his neck, shifting from foot to foot. “Actually, never mind, forget about it.”

Derek watches Stiles hightail it out the door then sighs and sinks onto the couch. He doesn’t have time for this shit. Or really, he has too much time. Too much time to sit and try not to think about Stiles. Too much time to fail and see in his mind what started all this adolescent pining. He may not be short on time, but he is definitely too old for this shit.

It started last week when he stopped by Stiles’ house one evening to touch base about the Omega who had been spotted in the Preserve. Derek’s had a long history of showing up in Stiles’ room, entering through the window when he needs help or needs to talk to him about the latest issue. Because Stiles really has become the go-to guy for all things supernatural research-related. For quite a while Stiles reacted strongly, either with flailing limbs or high-pitched shouts. Some exclamations about werewolves and their “damn ninja ways.”

But now Stiles seems used to it, almost like he can sense when Derek is coming. He doesn’t startle anymore, just quietly accepts the intrusion. Derek had never felt very weird about it because it had never been about anything other than pack business and information gathering or sharing. Then last Wednesday happened.

He was a little distracted by a car that seemed to be loitering down the block which had turned out to be some stoners getting high and blaring their music at top volume. He blames that for the reason he didn’t hear the noises until it was too late. The sex noises. Because just as he was about to climb through the window he looked into Stiles’ room and saw Stiles having sex. And Derek knew he should look away, but holy shit, was he transfixed by the sight before him. Stiles looked sexy as hell as he fucked deep into his partner, what was his name? David or Danny or something? Yeah, Danny.

Stiles’ eyes were closed in pleasure and his hips bucked against Danny’s ass, who apparently was enjoying it just as much as Stiles if the way he was moaning and swearing was anything to go by. Stiles’ pace and rhythm seemed relentless and well-practiced, and the sounds escaping his mouth had Derek getting hard, especially when he saw the way Stiles was biting his swollen bottom lip every few seconds.

Derek’s hands started to stray towards his fly when he was startled by a car horn down the block and he realized he was about to jack off outside a room where two teenagers were having sex. Outside the sheriff’s house. There’s nothing like the threat of being arrested as a sex offender to get him jumping off the roof as if he had been burned, swearing and promising himself to forget this ever happened, erase from his memory what he saw.

But since then the fantasies and the thoughts and the longing have been…intense. The thing is he hadn’t known Stiles was sexually active. Or for that matter bi or gay or whatever type of sexuality has him fucking Danny. Hell, he’s found men loosely attractive, but he’s never even thought of doing anything with one. But the way his body reacted, it’s clear that he just hadn’t had the right inspiration. (Of course since then he’s watched a lot of gay porn. For research. And he’s had somewhat of an awakening you could say.) And the way Stiles was...performing... well, he must be quite experienced. If he had known.... but no, it’s Stiles. Obnoxious teenager Stiles. He’s told himself a hundred times this week to just get over it, it’s a non-issue because it can’t ever fucking happen. For a multitude of reasons.

 

But try as he might, he can’t get Stiles out of his damn head. Not when he works out, not when he goes running, certainly not when he sleeps. He’s angry all the time because of it. He’s not even sure what he’s angry at: Stiles, himself, or just stupid circumstance. It’s becoming a problem, and he’s deathly afraid of the solution.

: :

Derek was dreaming. Derek was dreaming of long limbs and full lips and moles. Moles scattered across a lithe back that he was having the privilege of licking a trail across. Like a damn connect the dots kids’ activity page. Except warm flushed skin and tight musculature and ...banging?

Derek is pulled from his dream by the sound of someone banging on his loft door. He groans and rolls out of bed and throws a pair of sweatpants on over his half-erection, cursing whoever interrupted such a promising dream.

He stomps to the door, throws it open angrily. Someone better be dying. He may have said this aloud as he stomped to the door. He feels out of sorts. Maybe he’s still dreaming, he sees the same lips, the same moles. “Stiles? Are you okay?”
He asks, unable to think of a reason he would be here unless something were very wrong.

He registers Stiles is staring at him, at his chest, before he’s bursting into the loft, going to the kitchen. Derek follows, confused and still half asleep, feeling slow, trying to put the pieces of this puzzle in place. Stiles starts talking rapidly, and he’s trying to follow it but he’s not catching all of it. But Stiles sounds excited, and is he seriously here at four in the morning to talk about the harpy? This is too much for Derek in his sleep-addled, horny state. He takes in Stiles’ bright eyes and wild hair; he’s obviously been sitting at his computer and yanking at his hair in frustration or excitement and it’s driving Derek to complete distraction.

Derek feels himself leaning in, his wolf somewhat taking over, seeking heat and wanting to take. “You seriously came here, at four in the morning, to talk about the harpy?” His voice is deeper, hoarser than he intended. He takes a step forward, practically without meaning to and suddenly Stiles’ heart rate is skyrocketing. Derek watches his pupils dilate, smells Stiles’ scent turn musky as his breaths escape quickly and shallowly out that sexy mouth. He can feel Stiles make a decision and sees him leaning in for a kiss.

Derek’s warning bells of self-preservation go off and he grabs Stiles’ shoulders, turning him towards the kitchen counter. He can feel Stiles deflate, scents the thick scent of embarrassment, hears Stiles start to mumble an apology, but he presses himself tightly along Stiles’ back, unable to control his urges anymore. “I don’t want to kiss you, Stiles.” And Stiles sighs and his scent turns even more bitter with embarrassment. Derek rolls his hips forward so Stiles can feel how hard Derek is right now, practically throbbing.

He lowers his voice and puts his mouth right next to Stiles’ ear. “I don’t want to kiss you because I want to fuck you.” A tiny growl escapes his mouth as he finally lets go of the desire that’s been winding him tighter than a watch. “I want to fuck you, and I don’t want to be gentle.” Stiles gasps an involuntary breath and his scent is losing that bitterness, returning to musky, aroused. “I want to ride you so hard you feel the reminder of me for the next two days.” He hears Stiles swallow audibly. “We will not kiss, we will not hold hands, we will not date. No one will know. You will not speak. If at any time you want to stop you don’t need a safe word, simply say anything and we will stop. I will stop and we won’t talk about it ever again. Nod if you understand.”

He’s never done this before. There was Kate, who called the shots, Jennifer, which just kind of happened, and other than that it’s just been a string of one-night stands, hot quick encounters outside a club or a bar, meaningless impersonal hook-ups. He wants Stiles. A lot. But it has to be on his own terms, and he knows he can’t handle anything more than fucking right now. And he wants Stiles to be completely aware of that. He’s still too damaged to think of anything truly intimate or meaningful. Just the thought makes his flesh crawl. But he is totally down to fuck.

Stiles nods, heart rate still setting a furious beat, breathing jagged. Derek takes a deep breath, senses only excitement and arousal. “If you agree to everything I just said I need you to say ‘I consent.’”

Derek holds his breath, but it doesn’t take Stiles long to breathe out, “Oh fuck yes, I consent.” At that Derek allows himself to growl a little louder this time, then says “Go to the bed.” Stiles walks on clearly shaky legs to Derek’s bed. Derek follows and comes up behind him to say, “take your clothes off.” Once again Stiles complies, quickly and without hesitation, body thrumming with energy and want.

Once Stiles is naked Derek takes a minute to run his eyes all over Stiles’ backside, takes in the curve of his ass, that perfect combination of tight and soft that only a lazy young man with a high metabolism can achieve. He runs a hand down Stiles’ trim and supple back, feels him shiver in response. Derek gently pushes him towards the bed and Stiles climbs onto it on his hands and knees. “Stay just like that.” Derek says as he grabs lube from the bedside table, then hesitates. “Do you want me to wear a condom? We can’t give each other-“He cuts off as Stiles frantically shakes his head no he doesn’t want one.

 

Derek climbs up behind Stiles and puts his hands on either hip. He still has his sweatpants on, and he presses his cock right between Stiles’ ass cheeks, grinds a few times restlessly, hears Stiles groan in response. Stiles tenses like he’s afraid he made too much noise. “You don’t have to be a mute, just no talking. Please.” Stiles sighs in relief and Derek takes that moment to lube up his fingers, inserting one in Stiles’ hole, feels him tense momentarily before he’s relaxing, and Derek feels comfortable starting to move it. He’s fucking Stiles with his finger and fuck Stiles feels so tight, it’s going to take some time to prep him adequately. Part of him wants to enjoy taking Stiles apart with just his hand but the other part just wants to take.

Within a few minutes Stiles is rocking back to meet Derek with each thrust and Derek inserts a second finger as Stiles groans then makes a high-pitched keening sound that has Derek dripping precome in his pants and making small aborted hip thrusts in anticipation.

By the time Stiles is ready for a third finger Derek is almost cross-eyed with lust and want. Judging by the sounds Stiles is making and his almost concerningly fast heart rate he’s in about the same shape. He spends probably just slightly less time fucking Stiles with three fingers than he should before he can’t take it anymore. He withdraws his fingers. Stiles is panting on the bed as Derek removes his pants and quickly lubes then lines himself up. Then looks up at the back of Stiles’ head. “You’re ready?” He asks even though it nearly kills him.

Stiles shakes his head yes with his whole body and that’s all Derek needs. He places one hand on each side of Stiles’ spine right above his ass and lines himself up. He can feel and smell the thick scent of arousal coming off Stiles and slowly pushes himself in an inch or two, watching black veins scrawl up his arm as he does, hoping he’s taking enough for it to be good for Stiles, who tenses at first but relaxes quite quickly and starts pushing back towards Derek sooner than the alpha had imagined he would. Involuntarily Derek’s eyes close as he pushes himself into the hilt. Stiles is so tight, his scent so thick and musky Derek’s senses are overcome as he struggles to maintain control; his ears are buzzing, his skin tingling. He takes a few ragged breaths before he can focus again, and finds Stiles panting as well, making a light moaning sound that makes Derek want to ratchet things up a notch.

He pulls out and Stiles whimpers, pushes in and Stiles shudders in pleasure. Well it didn’t take long to find his prostate then, Derek thinks. He thrusts slightly in the same way to be sure and the noises Stiles makes are enough to convince him he’s hit a bullseye. Slowly he increases the pace, Stiles groaning and pushing back to meet him with each tempo change.

When he feels a sensation low in his pelvis starting to build, he reaches around to grasp Stiles’ cock. When he makes contact, he feels Stiles shiver and an experimental stroke has him groaning loudly. It takes about 10 strokes while Derek is thrusting in sync and Stiles bites off the loudest moan yet and is coming over Derek’s fingers and onto the bed. The scent is driving Derek insane and it takes three more thrusts before he’s coming deep into Stiles with a barely suppressed loud moan of his own.

They’re both panting and spent, and Derek has to fight the urge to roll onto the bed and pull Stiles right up next to him. But just that two-second urge is enough to have Derek’s stomach clenching, and he quickly withdraws from Stiles, who lets out a sigh and then collapses onto the bed, motionless, eyes closed, breathing still erratic. Derek scrambles backward off the bed and quickly goes to the bathroom, grabs a towel and heads back to the bed.

He stands next to Stiles, who still has his eyes closed and waits for him to acknowledge Derek. When he doesn’t Derek clears his throat pointedly. Stiles blearily opens one eye. Derek looks down at the towel in his hand, “uh, I’m going to shower. You can clean up with this then let yourself out.” Not sure what else to say, he turns and walks back to the bathroom, turns on the shower, then collapses onto the toilet seat with his head in his hands. What the hell did he just do?

Thirty seconds later he hears the bed creak. Stiles must finally be getting moving. He hears a groan, then quiet muttering. “Oh, holy shit, I just had sex with Derek Hale. Derek forever scowling Hale. Derek, I wear nothing but sexy leather jackets and brooding eyebrows, Hale. Derek, hotter than the sun, Hale” He chuckles. “Now, turns out Derek, sex God, Hale. Oh my God nobody’s going to believe me. Stiles, king of awkward, Stilinski, bagged Derek Hale? Bullshit. Oh shit, I can’t tell anyone though. Goddammit, the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me and I can’t say a goddamn word. Fucking figures. Oh, Jesus, am I laying in my own jizz? Oh gross I totally am. Ugh, this is gross. Thanks for the dry towel, Derek, hope you’re having a lovely shower. Asshole.” Derek shakes his head. Stiles should know better; he must think Derek can’t hear him over the shower but he can hear every word.

It’s quiet for a few minutes except for the sound of cloth on skin and the rustling of sheets. “I hope he realizes these sheets need washed...alright well I guess I’ll just be on my way. Letting myself out, like the man said...this is awkward. But how would i say goodbye anyway? Uh, thanks for the mind blowing sex? Maybe we can do it again sometime? Ugh, whatever, yeah this is probably better....” Footsteps tread to the door and his voice raises, “Uh, okay, bye I guess.”

Derek still has his head in his hands, Stiles’ rambling monologue doing nothing to improve the sinking feeling in his gut. ‘Maybe we can do it again sometime?’ Stiles said? Yeah that’s kind of exactly what Derek is afraid of.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

Derek lays in bed for two hours after Stiles drives away, agonizing over what the hell just happened. Try as he might be can’t settle enough to sleep, his stomach twisted in knots over his actions tonight. He ends up texting the pack at the crack of dawn to meet at the loft. He didn’t catch much of what Stiles was saying last night but he knows it relates to the harpy situation they have.

Stiles shows up looking sleep rumpled and honestly delicious, but Derek stoically refuses to go there. The last thing he needs is the other werewolves realizing the scent of his arousal happens every time he looks at a certain pack member. Thankfully he can’t smell himself on Stiles. He must have showered when he got home, clever boy that he is. If this ever happened again, he’ll have to make sure to outline that as one of the rules. Derek immediately regrets his line of thought; this is not happening again. Ever. Masturbation and random hookups only for the foreseeable future.

He makes a point to listen as Stiles goes on and on about the deep web but finally gets to the point, which is that the harpy has a price for moving on: stories. That’s it, you literally just have to tell her stories. The more complex or emotional, the faster she leaves. They have plenty of story fodder after everything they’ve been through in the last few years. They decide to send Stiles and Scott, Scott to supervise and Stiles to talk. Hopefully she has anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days because who knows for how long Stiles can bullshit (it’s never been tested). Stiles sends Derek a few lingering glances before he leaves but Derek makes sure he keeps his typical glare on his face. Even if it makes the muscles in his jaw sore.

Things get back to normal for a while. Stiles does indeed spend about 8 hours telling the harpy stories, each one more fantastic than the rest. The harpy then leaves and things are…quiet. Since nothing has been going on in Beacon Hills there hasn’t been any pack activities. Derek hasn’t heard from Stiles, and he hasn’t reached out either. There’s nothing to say. There’s no plan to make this a regular thing. It’s been 7 days (not that Derek is counting them) and obviously he’s back to normal, has gotten Stiles out of his mind. It was clearly a one-time thing, no need to be a teenager about it.

So it’s a surprise when he sees him at the grocery store one day. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and Derek is shopping for a pot roast he plans on making the next day. He’s just turned into the frozen aisle when he sees Stiles, examining the tater tots and frozen pizza like it’s Sophie’s Choice. He looks up and does a double take. “Derek??”

Derek is down the aisle a fair distance but of course he hears Stiles loud and clear. There’s such confusion in his voice Derek can’t help but bristle a little. His eyebrows furrow as he turns to look at Stiles. Stiles’ face is doing strange things and his heart is tripping along unsteadily. Already feeling like he’s going to regret this, Derek takes a deep breath and walked towards Stiles.

“Stiles.” Derek says cautiously.

“Hey, man. I didn’t know you grocery shop.” Derek has no idea what he means. “I mean, obviously I know you eat, look at you. I mean, I just never pictured you...actually…shopping. Sorry. Obviously you must go shopping. But I just...never...pictured…” He tapers off, looking embarrassed. Derek has no idea how to address the fact that Stiles apparently thinks he kills and eats his meals straight from the Preserve. Of course he grocery shops, where else would he get his damn food? He’s saved when the contents of Derek’s cart catch Stiles’ eye-carrots, potatoes, a chuck roast, beef broth. “Holy shit, dude, are you making a pot roast?”

Derek frowns. “Uh, yeah, that’s the plan. Why?”

Stiles flails his arms. “Oh, that’s awesome. That was like my favorite meal back before-...I mean my dad and I never make anything like that. Lots of pizzas and take out on our menu. I would love to make it, but no one ever taught me or whatever. So far, the culinary arts are Not my forte. Basically, I’m just trying to say I never knew you could cook, and I think it’s awesome that you can.”

Derek feels his anger soften a little. “Maybe you can learn someday.”

Stiles nods awkwardly, and his scent tinges with sadness. He rubs the back of his neck nervously. “Yeah, I’ll have to take a class or something.”

Derek needs to deflect some of this sad energy. If cooking is not Stiles’ forte, then emotions are anathema to Derek. He nods at the teen’s cart. “I hope so, you’ll be dead at 40 if you keep up that kind of diet.

Stiles squeezes his eyes shut, and the scent of sadness becomes a flood. This is exactly why Derek doesn’t do emotions or relationships. He simply breaks everything. Like a bull in a proverbial china shop. “Uh...”

When Stiles opens his eyes they’re just a little less bright. One wouldn’t notice unless one was an expert at Stiles’ face. Um. Stiles shrugs and quirks an eyebrow and saves him again. “Gotta do what I can to maintain this boyish figure you know.”

Derek rolls his eyes and feels slightly back on even ground. For about 5 seconds.

“That was fun the other night.” Stiles blurts in a burst of bravery. “Or last week, whenever it was. Uh...I mean, if you ever wanted to do that...again....”

Derek clears his throat and studies the ground intently. He really, really shouldn’t. “Uh, yeah, you can come over tomorrow night?” Goddammit. “If you want.”

Stiles stares at Derek with an open mouth for what feels like an eternity. “Oh cool, yeah, that sounds good. Tomorrow, yep, I’m wide open tomorrow. Um, by wide open I mean I have no plans. And I’m still totally cool with the arrangement. I mean your rules and, you know, whatever.”

 

Derek nods once, curtly. “Okay. See you tomorrow.” He starts to walk away, then glances over his shoulder. “Oh, and Stiles? How about a little earlier than 3 am.”

When Stiles shows up at Derek’s door 24 hours later Derek can hear his heart jackhammering in his chest. From the other side of the door. Several times today Derek picked up the phone to cancel. Several times Derek set the phone back down without texting. Logically he knows he shouldn’t do this, not only because it’s fucking illegal. But ultimately there’s a draw here that’s too much to fight. Oh, sure, Derek could fight it. He’s a master at denying himself. But for some reason he finds himself not wanting to fight it this time. Danger danger Will Robinson.

Derek listens to Stiles’ heart outside his door for a full five minutes before he rolls his eyes and throws the door open. “Stiles. You’ve been out here for five minutes. Are you coming in or not?” Derek walks away and leaves the door open.

Stiles enters slowly, shuts the door behind him and leans against it. Derek is standing with his arms crossed, trying to decide if he should make the first move or wait for Stiles. Last time was spur of the moment. It feels a little different being…premeditated.

“Uh, so straight down to business, or...” Stiles trails off uncertainly.

Derek internally thanks his awkward ass for saving him from having to be the awkward one. He raises an eyebrow and gestures to the bedroom. “That’s fine with me.”

“I could do a striptease down the hallway if you want.” Stiles says and smirks.

“That’s not necessary.”

Stiles pushes off the door. “Okay, straight to fucking. Got it.” As he heads to Derek’s bedroom his stream of consciousness begins. “No one wants to see me do a striptease anyway. Shit, I’d probably trip trying to be all sexy and end up in the hospital. Would definitely put a damper on the…festivities.” He looks back at Derek and wiggles his eyebrows comically.

Derek fights the amusement he feels. “That’s a lot of words, Stiles.” He’s stopped in the doorway, Stiles close to the bed.

Stiles flushes and nods. “Right, sorry. Lips zipping now.” He looks around self-consciously, glances at Derek who hasn’t moved a muscle, waiting to see what Stiles does. Derek watches as Stiles slowly starts to undress. First his three (wtf?) shirts, then his shoes, pants, last is his underwear. Derek feels his body respond more and more as Stiles bares more skin. He’s enjoying just watching and appreciating from afar. When Stiles glances over his shoulder his eyes lock with Derek’s and Derek sees his cock twitch in response. Derek walks to the naked teenager and can’t help the impulse to run one finger ever so slowly down Stiles’ spine. As he does so he can smell an instant increase in Stiles’ arousal.

Derek gently pushes Stiles towards the bed and he goes willingly, climbs onto his hands and knees and waits. Derek opens a drawer next to the bed and removes the lube. The first time was a little bit of a blur, so unexpected it was hard to latch onto every moment. This time he’s dedicating himself to being totally present in each moment. He opens the lube and squirts some on his fingers, rubs them together to warm them up. He rubs a finger around Stiles’ rim before breaching the tight hole. Stiles grunts and Derek stills.

“You know you can tell me anytime if you change your mind.” Derek says and Stiles groans again.

“Dude, I know, full consent to fuck me and all that, just get going already!”

Derek realizes Stiles’ sounds aren’t discomfort or trepidation. He is into it already. From just the first push. Derek is immediately even more turned on, knowing he’s already doing it for Stiles. He starts to finger Stiles in earnest, salivating for how responsive Stiles is, moaning and pushing back on his fingers intermittently. This is definitely better than the first time, every little noise and reaction being burned into his sense memory so he can play it on a loop whenever he wants.

Soon enough Derek is three fingers deep, thrusting into Stiles with frantic purpose and Derek doesn’t know how much longer he can wait. Stiles lets out a particularly lascivious moan and that combined with the heavy scent of precome in the air convinces Derek they’re both ready. Derek realizes he still has his clothes on, shucks them off as fast as he can and immediately presses his cock against Stiles’ entrance. His shaking hands fumble the lube and it ends up landing right on Stiles ass crack. Derek watches in fascination as it runs down his crack toward his own straining cock and he rubs his head around as it hits him, more turned on than he ever has been.

When Derek breaches Stiles’ entrance they both gasp. Derek barely registers Stiles tense a little, his breathing is ragged, hitting the back of Stiles’ neck and he sees goosebumps, feels a little wild. He senses Stiles relaxing and he pushes back, drawing Derek further into his body. Derek starts up a slow grind, hoping to tease him a little. But every time Derek bottoms out in a slow fashion Derek feels Stiles clench tightly around him. Derek can’t repress the “ooph” and a near choking sound the second time he does it, and he gives up on any type of subtlety or drawn out process. Derek picks up the speed and is soon Derek is pounding into him with abandon.

And it’s glorious, this frantic rhythm Derek has found, Jesus Christ, Derek thinks in shock, ‘I don’t’ even know if I can last two minutes.’ But the truly shocking part is a few thrusts later Stiles is coming with a shuddering gasp, untouched, gorgeous. It’s more than enough to send Derek over the edge. He gives a guttural growl and comes himself, snapping into Stiles as he pours himself deep.

Derek either blacks out or has an out of body experience. Thankfully when he comes back to himself Stiles seems to be having just as much difficulty regaining his faculties, he’s gone boneless and seems dazed, panting and whimpering softly in satisfaction. Derek eventually slides out and heads to the bathroom.

When Derek walks back in the room with a towel around his hips and another in his hand Stiles has rolled over onto his back and has an arm thrown over his eyes. “Here.” He puts the towel on Stiles’ arm. “You can let yourself out again.”

Derek is almost back in the bathroom when he remembers. “Take the Tupperware in the fridge with the green lid,” he says before stepping inside and shutting the door.

Over the shower Derek hears Stiles wipe himself off and shuffle into his clothes. His steps move quickly down the hall and the fridge opens. “Oh, praise Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, this pot roast looks amazing. Smells amazing. Holy shit, I can’t wait to eat this. Oh my God I have to get home to a goddamn microwave. What kind of caveman doesn’t have a microwave?”

Derek hears the front door slam and the pitter patter of Stiles’ feet racing down the stairs. He’s never experienced anyone get so excited about pot roast. He chuckles and rolls his eyes. Only Stiles. But speaking of only Stiles. He can’t remember the last time he’s come so hard and been so overwhelmed with the sensation. This boy might be the death of him. But it’s a hell of a way to go out, he thinks as he starts the shower.

A half hour later Derek has 7 texts on his phone, all from Stiles.

8:28 pm: Derek!!!!

8:28 pm: Oh my God Dude, this is the best pot roast I’ve ever had in my life!!!! Why have you been holding out on us??

8:29 pm: You seriously need to start cooking for the pack.

8:29 pm: Oooh yeah, pack bonding nights!!!

8:29 pm: Best idea ever.

8:30 pm: What else can you cook?

8:33 pm: I just came again from this fucking delicious meal.

 

Derek just shakes his head and heads to the kitchen to warm up his own leftovers. He gets out a pan and warms it up on the stove. He doesn’t believe in microwaves, has never owned one, thinks it cheats the body of vital nutrients. Plus he doesn’t have the patience of a 2 year old, he can wait for properly cooked food.

As he’s eating his meal (Stiles is right, it is rather good, maybe he should cook for the pack. It had never really occurred to him) he gets another text from Stiles.

8:55 pm: Realized I never said thank you. Although I think it was heavily implied.

Derek responds :

8:56 pm: YW

Stiles immediately starts typing a response and Derek watches the dots on the screen. They disappear. Then they resume. Then they’re gone again, and this is literally driving Derek crazy. In the end Stiles never sends whatever he was thinking about sending. Which is fine. Derek decides it doesn’t matter to him; he is not anxiously awaiting a reply from Stiles of all people. He definitely doesn’t check his phone every 15 minutes the rest of the night. Therefore, he has no idea that he receives no more incoming texts that night.

Derek calls a pack meeting a few days later. Not too much is going on, but he wants to go over patrols and touch base with everyone. Stiles arrives first and hands him his Tupperware. “I ate that four meals in a row. It was that good. I’m going to start calling you Martha Stewart. I think I shed a tear on the last bite.”

Derek rolls his eyes. It was a fine pot roast but it wasn’t anything groundbreaking. “There wasn’t that much. Didn’t you share with your Dad?”

Stiles looks sheepish for a minute, rubs his hand over his face. “Oh shit, you and your perceptive Alpha questions. Alright fine I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to share so I hid it. I hid pot roast leftovers from my Dad. Oh God, I’m the worst. Although if you think about it, red meat isn’t great for your health. I think we’re still young enough to get away with it, but spring chicken my father is not, so really I’m doing him a favor. I made him a salad. Which is to say I put some croutons on spinach. Am I a terrible son?”

Derek can barely follow Stiles’ thread, but one detail is bothering him. “Where could you possibly hide a pot roast?”

“Uh, I may have used our cooler and refreshed the ice two or three times a day. Okay, I may have been unable to find our cooler, so I bought a new one.” Derek has to tamp down a snort, picturing the lengths Stiles went to for a home cooked meal. Stiles levels a sharp gaze at Derek. “Don’t judge me, you don’t know what it’s like to be me, nothing but pizza and Chinese, pop tarts and sugary cereal.”

Derek holds his hands up in mock surrender, can’t hold back a smirk. “Not judging. Just imagining hiding a cooler with one Tupperware of pot roast. Where did you hide it, Stiles?”

He’s never destined to find out, just then Scott’s barging through the door talking about Allison this and Allison that, and Derek quickly places the Tupperware in the sink and forgets all about it as the rest of the pack wanders in and starts to settle around the room. It’s not until later that he sees the Tupperware in the sink, and he can’t help but laugh to himself, imagining it. If Stiles is that hard up for edible food how can he not cook a meal for him every now and then?

Chapter Text

It’s been a month and a half since Derek and Stiles started…well whatever it is they started. It’s deliberately undefined. They see each other about three times a week. The sex is always great. Better than great, really, in Derek’s book. And it seems to read the same in Stiles’ book; he’s always ready to go, and he comes readily every time. Derek wouldn’t change a thing. Although things actually are slowly changing.

Their hookups started as exactly that, booty call texts, spur of the moment escapades. They’ve become more scheduled. Lately when Stiles leaves Derek’s loft they know when they’ll see each other again. But also, things are just friendlier. In the in-betweens. It started with the leftover meals. First the pot roast, then some meatloaf and mashed potatoes, then lasagna, all packaged up in glass Tupperware containers and doted on by Stiles via text. Then once as Derek was heading to the bathroom, he mentioned there was homemade pizza in the oven and he wouldn’t be able to eat it all. So Stiles waited in the kitchen and they shared a pizza while watching a movie on Stiles’ computer. A week later Derek bought a TV and they watched a movie on that.

And they talk. Not about anything real important or deep. About food and movies and books and school. But they have genuine give and take conversations. And Stiles can actually hold a conversation, contrary to popular (or Derek’s previous) belief. Derek finds he truly looks forward to hearing Stiles’ opinions. And he increasingly thinks of things he wants to share with him when he’s not around.

So, they’re…friends. With benefits. Lots and lots of benefits. But the same benefits. Every time. Which is great for Derek. But he’s starting to get the sense that it’s not great for Stiles. Not that he’s said anything. But there’s a restlessness in Stiles’ eyes at times when they’re about to fuck. A hesitation at times when they’re not about to fuck like Stiles is holding himself back from something. An undercurrent of frustration that’s so subtle he doubts he would recognize it if he weren’t used to being so tuned into other’s emotions and chemical signals.

Pack meetings have gotten more difficult. Sometimes Stiles will look at him with a look in his eyes. And Derek (and of course the rest of the werewolves) senses a sharp spike of arousal. Derek is certain people have put it together that it’s Stiles lusting towards Derek. They’d have to be deaf dumb and blind werewolfily speaking not to. Derek’s pretty sure he’s locked down enough not to indicate anything reciprocated from his end. He’s pretty much perfected the non-reaction. He still speaks to Stiles in front of others with mild derision and condescension. Which is pretty much how he speaks to everyone.

One night Stiles shows up at his loft unannounced, a first. He’s both surprised and not surprised at all. Even through the door he smells nervous. Derek answers the door with his eyebrows raised. “Stiles.”

“Um, hey Derek.”

Derek steps aside and Stiles walks inside and heads for the kitchen, looks at the stove. “Ooh, spaghetti tonight?”

Derek stands in the doorway with his arms crossed, still unsure what Stiles is aiming for. “Looks that way. Why are you here Stiles? I wasn’t expecting you.”

Stiles looks down at his feet. “Uh, yeah, I know....” He fiddles with the zipper of his hoodie, then shrugs somewhat self-deprecatingly. “I guess I just sensed spaghetti dinner and couldn’t help myself. Like a siren.”

Derek can feel himself untense a little at that. “Well you’re welcome to stay and have some. I’m making plenty.”

Stiles nods. “Cool, thanks.” Derek heads back to the stove to tend to his pasta and Stiles leans against the counter. Another nervous spike. “Uh how’s your day?”

Derek raises one eyebrow and looks skeptically at Stiles. “Fine, nothing special. Yours?”

“Oh, okay. Same, I guess, nothing special.”

This is the first time in a long time that there has been awkwardness between them. Derek casts around for something to get them back on familiar ground. “You want to go to the bedroom? We have some time before the spaghetti’s done.”

Stiles hesitates and Derek can feel his stomach drop. He has a bad feeling. Stiles stammers, “Uh, sorry, my head was somewhere else. Sure. I mean, yeah, that sounds good.”

Derek can feel his walls coming up, feels irked that he even cares Stiles is acting off. If Stiles wants to end things, then he ends things. Why should Derek care? Their relationship is purely sexual. Which he can get anywhere. “There’s no pressure, I don’t care either way.”

A spike of annoyance and Stiles sighs. “I’m sure you don’t. Derek”-

Derek tenses as Stiles takes the few steps over to him. He feels detached as Stiles runs his hand down Derek’s bare arm, watches from afar as he brings his hand back up the front of Derek’s shirt, can distantly feel Stiles cupping his jaw. He snaps back to himself when he can taste the last thing Stiles ate in the very small amount of air between them (Cool Ranch Doritos) and realizes how close their mouths are and what Stiles is aiming for. He wants to throw up. He feels himself flinch backward and says “Stiles, stop.”

Derek can see Stiles deflate before turning away and taking a jittery breath. “I’m just gonna go.” He says.

Derek has no idea what to say as he heads for the door, feels adrift without an anchor. He could easily deal with anger or embarrassment, but this just feels like resignation and he’s not really sure what to do with that.

“I’ll, uh, I’ll talk to you later, if you want.” Stiles says when he gets to the door.

Derek looks at his feet and nods. “Sure, Stiles. Later. I’m sorry.”

As soon as he’s gone it’s like Derek can process the world again and he’s hit with a wall of anger, turns around and puts his fist through the drywall. He’s angry at Stiles for pushing, angry at himself for not being able to give at all. Angry at Kate for ever having existed.

The thing that Stiles (or anybody) doesn’t know is that Derek hasn’t allowed any intimate contact with anyone since Kate. Sure, he’s had his share of random hook-ups since. He’s fucked people and given and received blow jobs, but it’s all been very rough, perfunctory. If someone tries to kiss him or touch him gently all he can think of is her and it makes him nauseous and angry and he hasn’t been able to deal with it. He’s never had sex with the same person more than once since her. Until now. Until Stiles.

But he can’t tell Stiles any of this. The thought of that is enough to make him want to run. He can’t handle the fake understanding, the pity. He can’t see that on Stiles’ face. Stiles, who sometimes looks at Derek like he hung the moon. Stiles, who’s wormed his way into Derek’s life, with his warm presence, his random and sometimes bizarre but interesting conversation. With his snark and his wit. To see Stiles realize that Derek is that broken would just break him even more.

There’s no solution, he knows this, so he’ll just keep on keeping on until things taper off or blow up in his face. Probably violently. He apologized before Stiles left but took the cowards way out, knows Stiles couldn’t hear the last two words they were so low.

Derek sighs then inspects the damage that his fist created. Looks like he’s going to the hardware store tomorrow. It’s getting late tonight though, might as well eat his spaghetti while it’s fresh, there’s always tomorrow for manual labor.

He wakes up at 6 am to a text message from Scott to the whole pack.

Has anyone seen Stiles lately? Sheriff got home from the night shift and his bed doesn’t look slept in, not answering his phone.

Derek feels his stomach drop. It’s very unlike Stiles to not answer his phone. He tries to call it and gets voicemail. Sends some ‘where are you, call me back’ type texts to him before he calls Scott.

Scott picks up immediately, sounding relieved. “Hey Derek, thanks for calling. Is he with you?”

It speaks to Derek’s level of concern that he doesn’t question why Scott thinks it’s plausible that Stiles would be with him at 6 in the morning; he just snarls “no, of course not. When was the last time he was seen?”

Scott curses then says he had seen him yesterday after school and when the Sheriff went to work, he was doing homework in his bedroom. His Jeep is at home, but the keys are gone and so is his cellphone and wallet.

Derek tells him he stopped by the loft last night briefly, but he left about 10 pm. It’s not discussed why he was there.

They agree to meet at Stiles’ house to see if they can scent him or anybody else, and Derek makes the 10-minute drive in 5 minutes flat. When he gets there, Scott is holding Stiles’ keys, which he found under the car. They can scent Stiles and a few pack members but no one else in or around the car. By this time Isaac, Erica, and Boyd have shown up. They agree to search the Preserve first and split up to do so. The Sheriff wants to come and help but they convince him to stay home in case there’s news or a phone call, or he shows up.

Derek takes the area near his old house. He can’t seem to stop imagining the worst-case scenarios and his panic level is rising steadily the longer the day goes on. He finds nothing out of the ordinary and wants to punch something, so he destroys his house a little more than it already was. He’s panting from anxiety and the exertion of tearing down a burned-out wall when his phone beeps with a message that Stiles is home.

Thank Fuck, Derek thinks and jumps in his car to head to the Stilinski’s. He won’t be able to relax until he sees Stiles intact and okay with his own eyes. The drive over feels like an eternity and he dashes up to the front door the minute he pulls up. He can hear Stiles’ heartbeat from the porch but doesn’t take a full breath until he opens the door and sees the young man on the couch, sitting between Scott and the Sheriff, looking tired, but otherwise appearing okay.

He can feel Stiles’ eyes on him as he briefly closes his eyes in relief and rests his head against the door. “What the hell happened, where were you?” He growls when his eyes snap open.

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Hi Derek, yeah I’m okay, thanks for checking.” His voice is dripping with sarcasm.

Derek decides not to dignify that with an answer and just stares at the threesome until someone decides to tell him what’s going on. Scott finally breaks the silence and says that Stiles wants to wait until everyone is here before talking about it, doesn’t want to repeat himself multiple times.

Derek growls under his breath in frustration. The sooner he knows what happened the sooner he can make someone pay, and that’s all his wolf wants right now.

Within 5 minutes the pack is all gathered in the Stilinski living room as Stiles tells his story.

“Alright, I got back to the house about 930 or 10-“

Scott interrupts him. “Yeah, from Derek’s right?”

Stiles glances at Derek a little nervously. “Um, yeah, I had left a notebook there at the last pack meeting, and, uh, I needed it, anyway, yeah I got back and I was a little distracted,” another small glance at Derek, who is trying to remain patient but just wants Stiles to get on with it, “and I heard footsteps at the last second but it was too late, they knocked me out and when I woke up I was in a room tied up on a chair. Super nondescript, really nothing indicating where I was. Honestly it wasn’t very exciting, they came in and drew some blood and they fed me a granola bar at one point, gave me some water and juice once. Anytime anyone came in the room no one said anything despite my very humorous and incendiary comments. They wore masks always. Then after what felt like forever they blindfolded me and set me in the back of a van, dropped me off a few blocks from here and took off like a bat out of hell. No license plates, white van with no markings.” He shrugs. “For being kidnapped it really wasn’t so bad. I mean no one wants to be kidnapped but if you are that’s pretty much what you want to happen I think...”

Derek growls lowly, upset Stiles thinks it’s okay he was taken. The rest of the pack erupts into speculation and theories and plans. All Derek knows is he’s not leaving Stiles unattended for one minute until this is figured out and dealt with. The common thought is that if they took his blood it was for a reason and this isn’t over.

They devise a schedule for standing watch over the Stilinski house, as well as divide up territories to search for the building where he might have been held. Stiles said the drive didn’t take longer than 15 minutes so it must have been somewhere within Beacon Hills city limits. Derek takes first watch, won’t hear of anyone else doing so, despite multiple protests from Scott.

Stiles all of a sudden looks exhausted, can’t stop yawning, and heads upstairs while Derek takes up residence on the roof outside Stiles’ window. The day is quiet, thankfully. Stiles sleeps most of the day. When he wakes up, he’s on his computer, probably doing research into his kidnapping. He doesn’t say anything to Derek, and Derek doesn’t initiate either, not sure where they stand with each other. He’s too afraid to find out.

Chapter Text

The next day Derek is puttering around his house when he hears Stiles’ Jeep pull up outside. He is pissed off someone let him out of their sight until he registers Isaac’s heartbeat as well and is somewhat appeased. He listens to angry stomping up the stairs and a furiously staccato heartbeat before Stiles is pounding on the door irately. Isaac is apparently staying in the car, probably smart.

“Stiles? What are you-“ he’s saying as he opens the door.

“Oh don’t worry, they didn’t let me off your little leash, Isaac drove me over here, wouldn’t give me my fucking car keys. And I’d like to know who the hell you think you are that you think you can dictate MY life.”

Derek sighs, pulls his phone out of his pocket while Stiles looks on incredulously. He texts Isaac to go back to Stiles’ and Derek will drive him home after they’re done with their discussion. When he has an affirmative from Isaac and then can hear Isaac driving away, Derek finally crosses his arms over his chest self-righteously and looks at Stiles’ indignant face. “I’m The alpha.”

Stiles stares at him in disbelief for 15 full seconds. “Bzzzzz” He makes a very loud annoying buzzer sound and Derek rolls his eyes. “Wrong answer. One, you’re co-alpha. Sorry to burst your bubble dude but the buck doesn’t stop with you alone. Two, I don’t even have the wolfy instinct to just bend to your every will...”

Derek raises an eyebrow and glances at the bedroom sardonically. “Oh very subtle, I didn’t mean it like that, but since you brought it up, we should talk about the other day. Or us, or whatever. I mean, you know what? I’m tired of being your secret, mute little fuck buddy. You have been dictating every fucking thing and I’m just...well I mean I think I would be good at dirty talk...with you...and I can’t even try because of your shut up while you’re getting fucked rule, and...and it really sucks Derek!” He finishes his rant with a little stomp of his foot and Derek fleetingly thinks of how young Stiles is. Despite everything he’s been through, he’s still seventeen, still passionate, hasn’t had enough life experience to have his illusions and ideals shattered.

Derek clears his throat. “Stiles. I understand you must be going through a lot right now, and I’m not going to apologize for doing my best to keep you safe. As for the rest of it, I’d like to give you a blow job now, but I don’t want to ‘dictate every fucking thing’ so if that doesn’t sound good to you please say no.”

Stiles stares in open-mouthed shock at Derek, who is just looking at Stiles, waiting, a challenge in his eye. “Fuck you, Derek.”

Derek smirks because he can smell the arousal wafting off Stiles and he knows he has him. “Well, no, but you can fuck my mouth if you want to. I don’t mind it rough.”

Stiles squeaks like a mouse and Derek’s wolf is suddenly bristling, straining to get his mouth on his prey. Derek keeps his animal instincts at bay until he sees Stiles nod frantically, and in an instant Derek is undoing his belt buckle, then his fly, taking his pants off in a frenzy. Derek kneels in front of Stiles and hears him mutter “holy shit.” Derek gets Stiles in his hand and then wastes no time swallowing him whole in one fell swoop. Stiles throws his head back against the wall and closes his eyes, clenches his jaw but grits out “holy fucking shiiiiitt.”

Stiles tastes…well he tastes amazing, which is unsurprising, he can usually tell how someone is going to taste to him based on how they smell to him and Stiles smells…good. What’s surprising is how perfectly Stiles’ dick conforms to his mouth, like two puzzle pieces made to fit together. He’s sucked some cocks that are a little too thick or a little too long, but Stiles’ is perfect. He closes his eyes when some precome spurts into his mouth; he could literally do this all day.

He can hear Stiles panting while he bobs up and down his shaft, occasionally taking a minute to run his tongue around the head or down the slit, letting Stiles’ involuntary moans and groans and the way his heart skips when he really likes something dictate his approach. When Stiles legs start to shake Derek braces his forearms under Stiles’ thighs and stands up, not letting Stiles out of his mouth for a millisecond. (Thank fuck for tall ceilings). Stiles lets out a strangled noise as he wraps his legs around Derek’s neck.

Stiles gasps out, “you- asshole- and you’re- fucking- superhuman- strength.”

Derek looks up and meets Stiles’ eyes, pulls off for a brief second to say “I thought I told you to fuck my mouth.”

And Stiles (for once in his life) obeys his Alpha’s orders, starting slowly but gaining in speed and force as he realized Derek has almost no gag reflex, and relishes this part of blow jobs, feeling just slightly used and abused as he’s giving someone so much pleasure.

Derek puts a finger into his mouth with Stiles’ cock, then takes it out and runs it around Stiles’ rim until with a hum deep in his throat he pushes it into Stiles’ hole and suddenly with zero warning Stiles is coming down Derek’s throat. Stiles grabs Derek’s hair to brace himself as he makes the least human noise Derek’s ever heard him make (something akin to a whale’s call) while Derek just swallows it down, tries to actively suck Stiles dry.

When Stiles has been sucked dry and his head is lolling involuntarily back against the wall, Derek slowly lowers him to the ground but keeps him upright when his legs shake and wobble. “Jesus Christ, man. That was…”

Derek can’t quite help himself. “Turns out there’s more than one way to keep Stiles Stilinski quiet.”

Stiles waves his arm at Derek, in a “oh, shut up” manner, but can’t quite make the words out as he catches his breath. Once his panting is somewhat under control Stiles reaches out for Derek’s pants, but Derek stops him.

“That’s not necessary.”

Stiles looks at him and seems disappointed. “But…I mean, I want to, man”

Derek shakes his head, drawing his eyebrows down. “I said no, Stiles.” He turns around and grabs Stiles’ pants, tosses them at him. “Get dressed, I’ll take you home.”

 

The ride home is tense and when he pulls up to Stiles’ house Derek keeps staring straight ahead. He speaks softly. “I’m not going to apologize for trying to keep you safe, Stiles. The pack needs you too much. So you can swear at me and hate me over it but this is how it’s going to be for a while. Whoever took you, whatever they wanted....it just doesn’t feel like it’s over.” He turns to look at Stiles then and makes eye contact. “And I cannot let anything happen to you. I couldn’t....” Derek can’t quite finish the sentence. This is too much vulnerability; he feels too raw.

Stiles looks away for a second, then nods. “Alright, fine.” Derek sighs a little in relief and Stiles raises his index finger. “For now. But there’s got to be a limit.”

Derek nods back, acquiescing. “Okay, how about a week and then we can reevaluate.”

Stiles shrugs. “Sure, I guess. But I still don’t like it. And I need my damn car keys. I’ll allow a freaking chaperone, but I can drive myself, thank you very much.”

Derek lets out a low chuckle. “Fair enough. I’ll make sure your dad gives your keys back to you.”

Stiles’ head falls back against the headrest. “Of course my dad is an accomplice to this overprotective plan of yours,” he mutters. He reaches for the car door. “Alright, I guess I’ll see you when I see you.” He looks back at Derek and they lock eyes. There’s a very charged moment, and Derek can feel himself teetering on the edge of something. He’s almost holding his breath, feels himself being sucked into Stiles’ orbit, into his very being against his will. He thinks, ‘I could let go right now, and fall with him and see where we land’ but then he can only see the fallout and the spell is broken.

“Bye Stiles.” Derek looks away, so he can’t see what’s on Stiles’ face, but he can definitely hear the door slam. And it’s not even a little bit windy.

 

He flinches just slightly as the door slams, sighs, and drives away, trying not to examine his feelings too closely. He’s learned the hard way feelings are dangerous, so he never really lets himself feel them. This situation with Stiles has him mixed up and not thinking clearly...feeling too much. He’s scared for Stiles that something else is about to happen. Something about the whole situation feels wrong and menacing. And the thought of something happening to Stiles...well those are definitely feelings he’s ignoring. Or repressing. Whatever, he’s not a therapist, he just knows he can’t go there. Damn humans and their inability to have a strictly sexual relationship.

When he gets home, he group-texts the pack and Stiles’ dad about their new agreement, then decides he’d better get some sleep while he can because he has Stiles watch-duty tonight.

He’s pulling up to the Stilinski house later that night when he sees Stiles walking quickly away from the house. Immediately he knows something is wrong. Stiles isn’t walking like he normally does, as if he’s a ball of nervous energy that could face plant at any moment. His strides are long and confident, his shoulders set far back, and his chin high. When he gets out of the car his scent is wrong too. In place of the warm spicy scent that normally clings to Stiles is a coppery, astringent smell.

Derek tries not to panic as he jogs after Stiles, calling his name. Stiles doesn’t react, just keeps walking away from the house and from Derek. Derek steps in front of Stiles but when he gets a look at Stiles’ face, he takes a step back. His face looks the same except his eyes aren’t looking at anything, and instead of the welcoming honey color that usually peers back at Derek these eyes are hard and black, unfocused, terrifying.

Derek reaches out a hand to touch Stiles, who reacts with a flick of his wrist towards Derek without even glancing at him. And suddenly Derek is four feet away, on his ass in the middle of the street. Derek growls and wolfs out. He doesn’t want to hurt Stiles, but he’s not opposed to using some force to subdue this Creepy Stiles.

He advances on Stiles again, but this time he’s flung back even farther. Derek growls, shifting back to full human and pulls out his phone. He calls Erica who was supposed to be guarding him, but he sees her running out of the house as soon as he’s hit call. “What the hell happened?” He shouts.

She stops in front of Derek and watches Stiles’ retreating figure. “I have no idea, one second I’m on the roof guarding him and the next thing I know I’m in the basement tied to a pole down there. It took me forever to break through all the rope! What’s going on? Where’s he going?”

“I don’t know but I’m going to follow him. Call everyone else and let them know something’s s going on,” Derek instructs. He takes off after Stiles, following the scent that feels so wrong but is wafting off him in gusts. This has to be related to the recent events and abduction, but without knowing who did it or why Derek is at a loss about what to do about it. He wishes he knew how to fix this. Stiles would have an idea but obviously he’s a little bit engaged being... A zombie? Mind-controlled?

Stiles is leading him quite far into the Preserve. It doesn’t seem to bother him that Derek is following as long as he doesn’t engage or interact with him. That’s a small silver lining. They finally reach a clearing where a large cauldron has been set up. Derek inhales deeply but can’t find any scent other than the iron in the pot and this Creepy Stiles. He watches as Stiles slowly but confidently and methodically starts a fire under the cauldron. It glows green for 30 seconds, then the flames burn as if it’s a normal fire untouched by magic. But it doesn’t smell like one.

As he watches, Stiles starts adding things to the cauldron. Some seem to be lying there waiting for him but others he leaves to gather or pick and then comes back and adds them as well. Derek just observes as members of the pack show up, first Scott with his incredulity and concern at new heights, then Isaac, and finally Erica and Boyd. They don’t leave Stiles’ line of sight as they discuss the circumstances, and Stiles still doesn’t seem to care so long as they keep their distance.

Derek explains how every time he got close, Stiles threw him away with apparent magic, but he’s hoping if they all attack at once they can overpower him. Scott, of course, takes exception to the word ‘attack’, but Derek explains they aren’t going to try to hurt him, but they really need to get him under control as soon as possible so they can break whatever this spell is. Scott reluctantly agrees, but warns everyone to only go half strength, because “this is Stiles we’re talking about guys.”

The pack spreads out in a circle around Stiles, who pays them no notice. He bends down to adjust the fire when Derek gives an almost imperceptible signal and they all rush Stiles, who stands up swiftly and with mere flicks of his fingers sends everyone sprawling backwards, into trees, into bushes, into each other. They converge on him time after time, but it appears to have no effect on him. Meanwhile the wolves’ energy is flagging and their hope is cracking.

Scott throws Derek a desperate “what are we going to do” look and Derek wavers because he has no idea.

“STILES!!” Derek roars with everything he has, eyes flaring red. Stiles twitches toward the sound and his eyes bleed amber for the briefest of seconds before the mask is pulled back down, but it gives Derek hope again.

He looks at Scott and communicates with him silently. He mouths a countdown from three to one and together he and Scott alpha-roar Stiles’ name.

Stiles stops moving and stands stock still. His eyes are wavering between his natural color and the soulless black color that has been taking residence. Derek is standing in front of him and watches with fascination as he sees a literal battle going on in front of him. A battle of wills. It’s impossible to tell whose is stronger until after a minute Stiles reaches for his pants and starts to slowly push them down over his butt, fighting for each inch.

Derek has a moment of pure confusion and panic. What is Stiles saying? He wants Derek to fuck this thing out of him, what the hell? Everyone is about to know what’s been going on between them and Derek doesn’t think he can cope with that right now. He glances at the rest of them in panic. Scott is behind Stiles and looks up at Derek in utter confusion. “Why the hell is Stiles mooning us?”

Understanding and relief slam into Derek in an instant, and he can breathe again. “Moon,” He breathes, and he sees the briefest triumphant smirk cross Stiles’ face before the mask comes back and stays. Stiles lost the war but won the battle and now they have a clue. Well more like a deadline. They have until the full moon to figure this out and save him. They have three days.

Chapter Text

Stiles

Stiles is drowning. Okay not literally but he feels like he’s drowning in his own body. He’s struggling to breach the surface, but he can’t ever make it, a Sisyphus in his own mind. He can see the surface, can see what he wants to do and say but he just. Can’t. Get there. That is, until Derek and Scott, his two alphas, roar. It's like all of a sudden, he can take a deep breath. And it takes so much effort, like a Herculean-sized effort. (Apparently when Stiles is trapped in his own head, he only uses mythological references.) But it's worth it. He’s pretty sure Derek understood what he was saying. Because he can’t do anything, but he can hear things and perceive things. From people he can't even see at the current moment. Apparently if he’s still trapped, nay, controlled , like this by the full moon, then it’s permanent. He has no idea how to get himself out. He’s just hoping Derek, or Scott, or anyone really, has a plan. Oh shit, he’s so fucked.

Chapter Text

Derek

Derek has a plan. He thinks it’s a pretty good plan, thinks Stiles would approve. Stiles, the typical plan man. He wishes Stiles were here to either support or poke holes in his plan. He’d rather not be responsible for losing everyone’s favorite pack member. Because, let’s face it, personal problems aside, Stiles is the glue that holds the pack together. Without Stiles there would be no Scott. And certainly no Scott and Derek co-alpha, they’d have torn each other apart by now without Stiles to grease the wheels. He softens Erica and can occasionally make Boyd laugh. Isaac feels safe with him. He’s the one who keeps in touch with Lydia and, through her, Jackson.

Without him they’re pretty much fucked.

The plan is simple but they’re waiting on Lydia and Jackson, who caught the first trans-Atlantic they could book and are currently somewhere over the East Coast. Everyone is just waiting at the Stilinski house except for when they’re trying to get some sleep or when they’re assigned Stiles watch duty. The last thing they need is for him to up and disappear just hours before they’re ready to go.

Stiles, or Creepy Stiles as Erica has taken to calling him currently, has been staying in the same area of the Preserve for the last 2 days. He doesn’t eat or drink or sleep, he just mindlessly tends to whatever he’s making in that damn cauldron. Sometimes he adds ingredients, sometimes he stirs it, most often he’s just standing there staring at it. Derek has to agree with Erica. It’s pretty damn creepy.

The waiting is getting to the pack though. Tensions are running high; even Scott has been snapping at people in frustration and worry. John, who has been filled in and has been taking time off work is pacing and drinking and pacing some more, his scent, which always has a slight trace of sadness, overwhelmed with it, plus a side of anger. Thank God for Melissa McCall, who has been bringing food and meals to the house, the only one who’s been thinking about that kind of thing.

Derek alternates between guilt and anger, so he basically wants to lash out all the time. He wants someone to feel pain over this but unfortunately no one can figure out who’s pulling the strings. They’ve gone out on reconnaissance several times in different pairs and they just can’t find a Goddamn thing. Derek is frustrated. He may have taken his frustration out on a wall of the Stilinski house. He quickly assured John he would fix it. John just fixed him with a stare and said, “I know.”

Derek is still amazed at how easily and gracefully John accepted the supernatural reveal. He probably shouldn’t have been, after all Stiles is John’s son-the apple falling from the tree and all that. When Derek wants to troll Stiles, he starts talking about how lucky they are that they have somebody in the supernatural know in the police force and he watches as Stiles’ face betrays a flood of emotions starting at anger and ending with a bitter acceptance and agreement.

Derek understood Stiles’ reticence to include his only living relative in the insanity of the Beacon Hills supernatural scene, but Jennifer/Julia/the Darach kind of took that out of his hands. And it has been very convenient to have someone in the department to help out with some of the more visible things they’ve dealt with since. Not to mention if this had happened pre-Sherriff Stilinski’s awareness, they’d be telling some huge lies to try to account for the whereabouts of the Sheriff’s son. For 3 days. No thank you, Derek enjoys avoiding gunshot wounds as much as possible. No matter how quickly they heal.

When Lydia and Jackson finally arrive and are briefed on all the details, they have everyone head to the Preserve. The group is silent, anxious on the way to Stiles. Derek feels about as confident as he ever has in a plan he’s come up with but that’s not saying very much, really. The best he can do is hope and pray to any religious deity he can think of and have faith in Stiles’ inherent stubbornness and strong willpower.

They meet up with Isaac who has been on Stiles duty. Isaac gets up to envelope Lydia and Jackson in a hug and shoots Derek a Look. “We’re definitely heading toward something if this doesn’t work. He’s been chanting off and on and he’s getting very restless. Only sits down for a few minutes at a time, otherwise he’s pacing.”

Derek nods and looks around at the pack with a grim but determined look. “Alright, let’s do this.”

As planned, they fan out in a circle around Stiles, who continues to pay them no mind, slowly tearing leaves off a plant and muttering something as he adds it to the cauldron. Derek wonders if the person controlling him can see through his eyes or only sense threats. Derek looks at Scott and nods. They roar together, both alphas trying to help their packmate and friend.

Stiles’ hands falter for a moment. Derek nods at Scott who says, “Mieczyslaw.” And Stiles stops everything and turns towards Scott. His eyes remain black, but Derek can feel something flutter in his chest. It feels like hope.

Scott continues. “Stiles. We know you’re in there. And we’re not giving you up without a fight. You’re my best friend, my brother. You know I’ll always have your back, and I do now but you have to fight for me right now. We’re all here for you. Kick this bastard out of your head so we can go play some Call of Duty, dude. Please, Stiles.” Scott’s voice breaks on the very last word and he steps back.

Derek nods at Lydia. “Mieczyslaw. Stiles.” She sounds like her imperious self but if Derek listens very closely, he can hear a barely perceptible tremor betraying her emotions. “This is a terrible way to get me back to the states. In fact, I’m quite angry with you about this. I had big plans this weekend and I’m very put out. If you made me book a last minute trans-Atlantic flight for no reason, I will haunt you and whoever’s controlling you for the rest of my days. So get this asshole out of your head and come grovel for my forgiveness.” Lydia lowers her voice. “You know there are Very few people I jump on a plane for, no questions asked. Come back to us.”
Lydia steps back and everyone avoids looking at her as she wipes one solitary tear from her cheek.

Jackson steps forward. “Stilinski.” Derek shows Jackson his teeth, who sighs. “Mieczyslaw, ugh, what the hell is that name anyway? Come out of there so I can give you shit about it. Also, Lydia is going to make everyone’s (but mostly my) life miserable if this doesn’t work and I am so not dealing with that. So, don’t take this fucking shit and come roll your eyes at me.”

John steps forward next. “Mieczyslaw.” Derek watches Stiles’ eyes flicker brown to black a few times in quick succession. They end up black again, but he hears everyone’s heart pick up a bit with excitement. “Son, you know we’ve been through a lot. And I know you’ve been through a lot more than I probably even realize. So, I know you’re not going out like this.” He takes a deep, shaky breath, “You can’t leave me alone.” The Sheriff swallows a sob. “I’m sorry to pull the guilt card on you but it’s the biggest trump card I have. You’re all I have left, and I won’t let this steal you from me too. Whoever did this clearly doesn’t know who they’re dealing with, Stilinski’s never give up. I love you, Stiles.”

The rest of the group take their turns one by one, Erica calling him Batman, Isaac calling him Bilinski, hoping to get a rise out of him. Boyd and Allison give short but genuine pleas.

Derek is starting to realize that it’s almost his turn to speak and he has no idea what to say. He doesn’t do genuine very well, and he’s not sure his normal taciturn speech tendencies would serve him well here. His heart rate is elevating. Surely no one is expecting him to give a speech about how he feels. Wait, what is he thinking, how he feels? Stiles is just a packmate. He doesn’t feel anything except annoyance most days. And sure, they have sex every once in a while, but there aren’t any feelings involved, Jesus. He looks at Stiles and inwardly nods. Nope, definitely not feeling any more feelings than he would for any pack member who was in this position.

Derek realizes everyone is looking at him. He takes a deep breath and rolls his shoulders. “Mieczyslaw,” he says as he lets his eyes bleed red. “It’s y- Sourwolf here. You know that I’m not good at using my words so let’s just stop this insanity. You don’t even like soup that much and you’re standing over a big pot of it for three damn days like you’re Betty fucking Crocker. Anyway, you’re too much of a stubborn asshole to let this take hold. And, uh, I- I mean, well the Pack needs you. We all need you.” Derek pauses, feeling for maybe the first time the depth and truth of that statement. He takes a deep breath and watches as Stiles closes his eyes and starts to fidget. “Skinny, defenseless human that you are.” And the fidgeting gets more pronounced.

Derek looks at Scott and nods and they both roar their alpha roars again and there’s an energy building in the clearing, a thrumming in the air, and Stiles is flailing around now like there’s a bee dive bombing him. It would be funny if there weren’t so much riding on this. He can feel the pack collectively holding their breath until suddenly there’s a pop and Stiles’ eyes pop open, back to their normal amber-whiskey color and it’s clear he’s mid-rant, “-ucking defenseless, dammit, all I need are my Goddamn baseball bat and my trusty car, I’m sure you remember that, lizard breath, and I’ll take you all on, especially if you call me Mieczyslaw one more FUCKING time...”

His eyes land on Derek, blazing with anger and passion. Derek has a fleeting thought of how beautiful he looks before Stiles collapses, and everyone rushes forward. Scott and John get there first, and it becomes clear Stiles is okay, still in control of his faculties but utterly exhausted, probably dehydrated too. Derek watches, feeling annoyingly helpless as they help him through the woods to the Sheriff’s cruiser, John stating they need to go to the hospital and Stiles protesting with a weak voice but firmly, nonetheless. “Dad, I swear I’m okay, I just feel like I could sleep for a week. But I don’t need medical attention. Scott, tell him I’m not lying.”

“I think he’s okay, Sheriff. One of us will stay with him and monitor him, and I swear if anything seems worse than what he’s saying, we’ll drag him in kicking and screaming.”

Stiles gives Scott a betrayed look. “Thanks a lot, Scottie.”

Derek watches the scene unfold in front of him, feeling detached. He’s relieved, of course. Stiles is back, and hopefully will stay that way. However, he’s also...anxious. These types of experiences have a way of changing a person, changing dynamics. And they still don’t know what the fuck is going on.

.

Derek has heard Stiles call him a creeperwolf and a stalkerwolf and generally he takes exception to the nicknames. But he can’t help feeling that Stiles may have a point if he thinks too much about his actions in the past 24 hours. He wouldn’t say he’s stalking Stiles, he’s just…keeping watch. He’s not a creep, he’s protective. There is a difference. Of course, no one really knows he’s been staying just within hearing distance of the Stilinski house since Stiles was returned there. His alpha hearing allows him to hear a greater distance than the other ‘wolves, so he’s out of their range. Except Isaac. Somehow, he tracked Derek down under the guise of “taking a walk”. The aloof motherfucker just gave him a shit eating grin and kept walking past. He’s on Derek’s shit list. Once he knows for certain Stiles is in the clear.

Turns out there isn’t much to creep on though. Stiles sleeps for 16 hours. He hears Scott (who, along with the Sheriff are keeping an in-house vigil) answer his phone and reassure people several time that Stiles is fine, just sleeping like he’s in a coma. He hears Melissa make several house calls. She tries to wake him in vain, but announces that his pupils are fine, blood pressure is on the low side of normal, and even though she feels a small tremor in his hands, she thinks he should be fine when he wakes up.

When Derek does hear Stiles wake up, he’s gasping and Derek can hear his heart beating fast, but he quickly quiets. “Oh shit, Scott, I feel like I slept for days. How long was I out?”

Derek imagines Scott grimacing. “Like 16 hours, dude. That was an intense sleep marathon. Everyone kept calling me to see how you were doing and all I could tell them was that you were sleeping like you were in a coma but seemed to be fine. Do you have to pee, man?”

Derek hears a frantic rustle, and a couple loud thunks. “Thanks Scotty, gotta potty. Ha, that rhymes. Oh man, I am sore. Why did whoever took over my body insist on having me crouch next to that damn cauldron like 18 hours a day? Couldn’t they tell I do NOT have the muscle definition for that kind of position, you’d have to be a fricking Russian folk knee-dancer to not be sore after such a crouching marathon.” Stiles delivers his stream of consciousness rant on the way to the bathroom then cuts off with a relived “ahh” as he relieves his very full bladder. His diarrhea of the mouth is so normal Derek feels relieved. Seems like the same old Stiles.

After a minute and the sound of Stiles washing his hands Scott says, “Just texted everyone you’re awake and back to your usual talkative self!” He says cheerily. “You want visitors yet?”

Stiles groans. “Maybe one at a time. I’m still running on fumes, man. Wake me when someone’s here, Scott.” He mumbles.

Scott says, “Wait, Stiles, you need food and water.” He must have both on standby because Derek hears the sound of Stiles eating and drinking (repulsively loud, like always, it’s reassuring in its obnoxiousness). Within a few minutes it’s clear Stiles is asleep again.

Derek decides the danger is over. He heads back to his loft to shower, eat, and sleep a little. He gets updates texted throughout the day as people visit with Stiles and declare him back to normal. He swings by with the intent to stop in, but he hears Stiles talking with Lydia, discussing how he could hear things but not see them, and then talking about how he could perceive things about whoever did this to him. And about the whole situation. The most important thing he hears is Stiles saying that somehow he could just tell that this was their only shot. That now that it’s over, it’s definitely over. She presses him for how he can tell and tries to suss out if he could be mistaken. But he’s adamant. And Stiles is rarely wrong about these things. Derek feels a weight lift off his shoulder he didn’t know had settled there since this whole thing started. He feels a little shaky and decides it isn’t the best time to visit, so he heads back to the loft. It’s not long before he’s crashing into bed again, exhausted from the events of the last four days.

He’s awoken by the sound of someone (Stiles, he identifies practically subconsciously) pounding on his door. He shuffles out of bed, throws some pants on, and throws the door open. He saw the clock on the way to the door reading 3 in the morning, and Stiles better have a damn good reason for being here.

“Stiles. What the hell are you doing here?”

Stiles crosses his arms over his chest. “You’re the only one who hasn’t come to visit me.”

Derek glances at the clock in the kitchen pointedly. “And this needed to be brought to my attention at 3:00 in the morning?”

“Honestly Derek this needs to be brought to your attention whenever I damn well please.”

Derek can see Stiles practically vibrating with a mess of emotions as they flit over his face. Annoyance, anger, lust. Feels himself mirroring each emotion, but ultimately is landing on anger. “Stiles. Go home.”

He can see Stiles’ metaphorical hackles raise, and Stiles takes a step into Derek’s personal space. “No. Why haven’t you come to see me? I understand you went to a great deal of effort to plan and assemble my rescue or whatever you want to call it. Why do that and then just...hide?”

Derek narrows his eyes. “I said go home. I’m not talking about this at three in the morning.”

Stiles scoffs. “No, you won’t talk about this ever. And you want me to let it go tonight so I can cool off and not push so hard but that’s not happening. Not after the last few days. So just fucking tell me.”

There’s a dangerous edge to Stiles’ voice and Derek is trying to keep his cool, but it’s proving surprisingly difficult. “There’s nothing to tell, Stiles. A pack member was in trouble, I’m the Alpha, it’s my job to see everyone through it. I didn’t come to see you because I had other things to do and I can tell from everyone else visiting you that you’re fine. There’s literally no reason for me to come visit you.”

“No reason? Are you fucking kidding me?” Stiles briefly looks at his feet, then takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders. “I can’t do this anymore, Derek. Not like this. I want...I need...”

Derek’s spine stiffens, he knows where this is heading. (If he’s honest with himself he’s been expecting this blow for a while now) He knows what Stiles wants, and he can’t do it. He tenses as Stiles takes a step forward, and reaches a hand up towards his face. Derek grabs his forearm roughly.

“Please…Derek.” He’s never heard Stiles’ voice sounds so ragged and needy.
He’s all of a sudden furious as he spins away and drops Stiles’ arm. “Goddammit, Stiles. I CAN’T.”

Stiles swallows. “Can’t? Or won’t, Derek?”

Derek’s voice is flinty steel. “I warned you about this. This is NOT a relationship.”

Stiles turns away. He’s still, though Derek can still sense turmoil under his uncharacteristically calm demeanor. “Fuck you, Derek.”

Derek feels a mass of contradictions. He wants Stiles to leave and wants him to stay. He wants nothing and he wants everything. He’s pissed off and he can feel his resolve softening as he thinks about the last few days from Stiles’ shoes, the loss of agency, the loss of control. He’s been there, and he knows how it feels. He can think of one way to hand control over to Stiles. Without endangering himself in the process. He trusts Stiles in this regard, at least. “Okay, yeah, if you want to.”

Stiles stills, shocked into silence. Derek watches, face impenetrable as he waits while Stiles considers. His heart rate is elevated, and the scent of arousal is getting heady.

“But normal rules?” Stiles asks. Derek nods, uncertain if that will seal the deal or seal his fate. Stiles nods once, “Fine. But I want you bent over the kitchen table.”

Derek feels his eyebrows raise involuntarily. He’s surprised, but finds the idea more than palatable, as he imagines it. He’s gone from a half chub to full mast in 3 seconds flat, and he nods.

Neither of them are in the mood to waste any time as they shed their clothes. Derek is vaguely aware that Stiles seems a little zoned out, grabbing the coconut oil almost absentmindedly as Derek rests his chest on the table. Stiles is gentle but quick as he opens Derek up, which is surprising, but okay. He’s only done this once before. It isn’t his favorite sexual dynamic, but he is willing to do it for Stiles in this instance, knows he needs it.

When Stiles enters Derek, Derek feels like he’s letting go of something. Something big and intangible. Probably the same control that Stiles needs to regain. But it doesn’t feel as scary as he thought it would. He hears Stiles’ breath hitch and a low, repressed moan before Stiles is fucking him in earnest, one hand on Derek’s hip, and the other splayed over his low back. Derek feels consumed, heat racing up his spine, able to ignore the discomfort from his thighs banging into the table with each thrust. There’s no warning before Stiles is coming, it’s quick, and Derek finds himself with a seemingly totally spent Stiles draped over his back on his kitchen table. He’s still achingly hard.

Still, he gives Stiles a minute or two to come down, he’s still making the softest moaning noises, doesn’t seem completely aware of himself or Derek. As soon as he feels Stiles start to come back to himself and stir a bit he cranes his neck a little to glance at Stiles. He hesitates for a second because for a flash there’s a brief look of alarm crossing Stiles’ face, but it’s gone after a second. “Can I, uh, fuck you now?” He asks, panting in between words.

Stiles glances around in mild disorientation. “Um, yeah, sure, uh, right here, or-“ Derek cuts him off as he stands and Stiles slips out of him, then grabs him and throws him over his shoulder in a fireman carry as he climbs the stairs.

Derek feels frenzied as he preps Stiles. If he hadn’t done it so much he’s not sure he would have been able to, is relying on sense memory, with everything feeling strangely heightened tonight. When Stiles is ready Derek enters him like normal, except it doesn’t really feel normal. He chokes, stutters. It feels like coming home, fuck the fact that he sounds like he’s reading out of a bad romance novel. They’ve done this a few dozen times and he’s never felt like he couldn’t get close enough, like he does now.

He’s gently pushing Stiles down off his hands and knees, feels Stiles’ surprise but he goes easily, prone and panting. Derek follows Stiles down, feels heat in every point of contact, chest to back, hip to ass, leg to leg. It’s still not enough. Derek reaches up, sliding his fingers to interlock with Stiles and buries his face in the back of Stiles’ neck. He starts up a slow grind, breathless with how good it feels. Within a few deep thrusts, he can feel his claws elongating between Stiles’ fingers, can feel his fangs resting against the taut tendon of Stiles’ neck. He can hear moaning and words bitten off, but he can’t quite differentiate between the noises he’s making and the ones Stiles is making.

Stiles moans, “Jesus, please…Derek,” before he’s coming on the sheets below him. The scent hits Derek like a freight train and pushes his right over the edge, he buries his face in the crook of Stiles’ neck as he comes deep inside him, shaking and honest to God growling.

There’s a few seconds of bliss, Derek having had without a doubt the best orgasm of his entire life, before he hears the door downstairs open and Isaac’s voice. “Derek?”

Chapter Text

It’s Isaac walking into the loft. Fucking fuck, Goddammit. He immediately pulls out and starts throwing his clothes on. “What.” He snaps at the interloper, knowing Isaac will hear him. He’s panicking, and knowing what was about to come out of his mouth if Isaac hadn’t interrupted, he can’t even look at Stiles as he dresses.

From downstairs Isaac calls, “It’s Stiles. He’s missing again. Lydia woke up and he was gone, and he isn’t answering his phone and you weren’t either so I came to tell you...” Isaac takes a breath and then deliberately scents the air. “Oh, he’s here..”

Derek leaves the bedroom without a thought and jumps the 15 feet down the stairs. Isaac is looking from Derek to the kitchen table to the bedroom back and forth in dawning comprehension. “Oh.” He repeats as undoubtedly the heavy scent of sex sinks in. “Oh.”

Derek has Isaac up against the wall in a half a second, manages to keep his claws retracted, though ice is running through his veins. “If you tell anyone, I will fucking kill you. I made you, but I will have Zero problems taking you out. Do you understand?” Isaac is staring at Derek with wide frightened eyes.

“Y-yes.” He stammers. “I swear I won’t tell anyone. I-I wouldn’t anyway.” His Heart is thundering but it’s steady.

Derek scowls for another moment before he drops him and turns away, rubbing a palm over his face. “Fuck.” He mutters. He can’t believe he let this happen. Why didn’t he lock the damn door? Why did he tell the pack they can walk in if the door is unlocked?

Suddenly another rabbiting heart rate is joining Isaac’s as Stiles scurries down the steps. He has a towel around his waist, and he hurries past Derek and Isaac into the kitchen where his clothes are.

“Stiles-“ Derek starts, even though he has no idea what he’s about to say, but he’s silenced with an outstretched palm and a low “Don’t.”

Derek watches with his stomach churning while Stiles hastily pulls his pants on then grabs his shirt and heads for the door. “Can you give me a ride, Isaac?”

Isaac looks lost as he glances between Stiles and Derek, unsure how to navigate this potential mine field. Derek nods at Isaac in permission. He clearly needs to talk to Stiles, but the teenager is giving all kinds of ‘do not go there’ vibes and Derek is at a loss as to what he wants to say anyway. He feels like he’s floundering, not sure if he wants to be carried away by the tide or if he should grab onto his old lifeline and hold on for dear life.

He watches as Stiles walks out the door without a glance. “Make sure he gets home.” Derek says as Isaac leaves with a nod.

As soon as he hears the car drive away, he collapses on the couch, left alone with his thoughts and self-doubt. Not his favorite combination.

By the break of dawn, he knows what he wants to say to Stiles. Regardless of what he’s tried to tell himself, clearly the teenager has gotten under his skin. Last night had been incredible, and he knows he felt things he hasn’t felt in a long time. Maybe ever, since the first time is horribly tainted. Stiles wants more and while Derek is not There yet he’s starting to feel like maybe he could get There. If Stiles can find the patience. Which come to think of it is not exactly his strong suit. But maybe if they both give a little, they can catch up to each other.

Derek procrastinates. By the time he steels his nerves it’s evening. Which is better, he tells himself. This doesn’t feel like a lunchtime conversation. The cover of darkness makes him feel braver.

He arrives, and there’s a strange car in the driveway. Shit, this may throw a wrench in his plan if the Stilinskis have guests. He’ll check it out and reformulate a plan if needed. He swings up to the tree to see if Stiles is in there and freezes. He’s in bed but he’s not alone. It’s the same guy he saw him with that first time. His blood turns to ice. They appear to be just watching a movie right now but they’re shirtless and the kid, Danny, is running his fingers absentmindedly up and down Stiles’ arm which belies an intimacy that is painful to watch.

He feels like he wants to run away forever but also, he can’t move. He doesn’t realize he’s growling until he hears Danny ask Stiles if he hears something. Stiles pauses the movie to listen and his heart rate immediately ratchets up.

“Oh shitfuck. It’s, uh, you have to go. Um, it’s just that there’s been this mountain lion in the neighborhood and my dad said to call him the next time I hear him. And uh, yeah that’s it, that’s a mountain lion. A big one. Real nasty thing. So, uh yeah sorry, can you leave? I mean, I just, shit-“

Danny interjects. “Relax, Stiles, it’s fine. But, uh, is it safe to go to my car? I’d rather not be eaten by a mountain lion.”

“Oh, yeah, it’s crazy, it always sounds a lot closer than it is, you’ll be totally fine.” Stiles is full of nervous energy as he waits for Danny to pull his shirt on and walk downstairs, he can’t stop running his hands through his hair, pulling at it unconsciously, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth.

As soon as Danny is in his car, Stiles bolts upstairs and throws open his window. “Derek? Hey. What, uh, I mean I wasn’t expecting you. Um, shit, I’m sorry, nothing was happening, really, I mean we made out a little and it could have gone farther but I stopped it. I mean it’s not like we’ve ever had the exclusive talk, but it still felt wrong, you know? Um, Derek?”

All this has been spoken while Derek has made his way into Stiles’ room where he stops in front of the bed but Derek can’t hear anything. All he can do is smell and see.

He takes a deep breath and all he can smell is Stiles’ scent mixing with someone else’s scent, which is laced very strongly of arousal and fondness. It’s too much, especially knowing he was coming here to lay it all on the line. He can’t breathe, but he can’t stop breathing it in. He feels a hand on his shoulder, and then something snaps.

.

Derek blacked out. That’s the only explanation for what he’s looking at right now. Stiles’ bed is in front of him, but it’s shredded. Decimated, even, the springs exposed and twisted at wrong angles. He looks down and sees his claws out, and his stomach sinks. What did he do?

All of a sudden, he registers what pulled him out of his near psychotic break. Stiles’ voice. But also, not Stiles’ voice. He hears the click of a gun hammer and slowly turns around. Stiles has a gun pointed right at his chest and he appears to be calm. But furiously calm. His eyes are his normal eyes but there’s a timbre to his voice and a stillness to his body that is not his norm. And there’s a slightly palpable energy to the room. When he speaks next, it’s in a strong voice, perfectly level and firmly in command.

“Get the fuck out of my house, Derek.” The gun doesn’t move.

Derek feels a panicky feeling in his chest. Jesus, how could he fuck up this badly? “Stiles I’m sor-“

“I DON’T want to hear it!” Stiles yells and all the electronics in his room flicker and some of the books on his desk levitate for a second but he doesn’t seem to notice. The air smells charged. Similar to the sulfur scent when Stiles was being controlled but much less severe and he can still smell Stiles under it. And his eyes are totally normal, though intense. “You need to leave right fucking now and don’t come back. Whatever this is, it’s over.”

Derek holds his hands out in front of him (thankfully declawed at this point) in a placating (read: pleading) gesture. “Please, Stiles, just let me-“

Stiles fires a warning shot into his decimated mattress. Derek can smell the scent of wolfsbane and all of a sudden, his mouth is dry, his heart rate elevated. Contrarily, Stiles’ heart rate is even, his voice controlled and scarily subdued when he says “Don’t fucking test me Derek. I want you out of my house, now. Use the stairs. Don’t. Come. Back. Don’t call or text me unless it’s pack related. We’re. Done.”

Derek nods and turns towards the door. Stiles follows him down the stairs and it kills Derek that he never once stops aiming the gun at his back the whole way. He reaches the front door and puts a hand on the doorknob but pauses. He opens his mouth to say something but Stiles snaps, “I don’t want to hear it, Derek. Just leave. Please.”

There’s a finality to the please that Derek can’t ignore, and he slumps his shoulders in defeat as he leaves the house and makes his way to his car. He stops by the car door and listens as he can hear Stiles slide down the front door to sit on the ground, click the safety back into place and set the gun on the floor. He hears a deep ragged inhale then the sound of a few sobs before he can’t listen anymore and has to leave. He’s broken Stiles, like he knew he would. He always breaks the ones he-. Ugh. He’s disgusted with himself.

The urge to run is strong. Not run in the physical sense (though that sounds good too) but more of a running away from one’s problems sense. He would love nothing more than to hit the road and just leave Beacon Hills behind. Nothing good ever happens here, at least to Derek. It’s just pain and mistakes. And Stiles would be better off. But deep in the bottom of the pit of his stomach, Derek knows he can’t leave everyone else, can’t walk away from the rag tag pack they’ve created, flawed as it is.

Instead he ends up going for that physical run after all. He heads to the Preserve, sheds his shirt and just runs. He pushes out the images that try to take form in his mind’s eye-of Stiles in bed with Danny, of his claws in front of Stiles’ ruined bed, of Stiles staring down the barrel of a loaded gun at him, unflinching, ready to pull the trigger.

He’s been running for quite some distance when his brain latches onto a safer image. It’s a puzzle instead of a painful memory: the lights flickering and books floating. He slows to a walk and then stops as he considers the fact that Stiles clearly still has some power. Is it residual from what happened to him? Has it always been there but unknown and unrealized? More than the slight spark that can just handle mountain ash? How can he find out? He wishes, not for the first time, that they still had an Emissary. He could use Deaton’s help about now.

Actually, all of a sudden, he’s surprised he never thought to call Deaton when Stiles was being controlled. Sure, he had recently moved across the country, but certainly he could at least help speculate or offer a few words of wisdom. He heads back to the loft to make the call. He’ll examine his actions, or rather reactions, later. There are things to figure out. Thank Christ for distractions

.

Once he’s spoken with Deaton the next day, he feels better and worse. There’s a clear course of action that needs to be taken. But Stiles isn’t going to be happy. He’s presumably still pissed at Derek, but it’s about to get worse. But there’s no getting around it. Derek’s going to have to take his lumps. He just hopes he can do so gracefully.

He texts the pack for a meeting that evening, then stews in the loft all day. Waiting is such a bitch.

The teenagers start to trickle in. Recently Stiles has been first to arrive and last to leave. Unsurprisingly, today, Stiles is last to arrive. Will probably be first to leave. He ducks in the door, avoiding eye contact and sits tucked between Scott and Lydia, who will be in town for a few more days.

Derek raises his eyebrows and lets out a low growl to get everyone’s attention. When he’s got it he looks at Stiles and their eyes meet. Stiles stares with a clear ‘fuck you’ attitude. Derek can’t maintain the eye contact, feels awful about what happened in Stiles’ room and also about the news he’s about to deliver.

“Alright.” Derek presses his lips together. He’s had all day to prepare but he still isn’t sure how to proceed. Probably just rip the bandage off. “Alright.”

Erica grins and rubs her palms together then repeats “Alright, Alright, Alright” but puts a very McConaughey spin on it and is awarded with a few giggles. Until Derek flashes his Alpha red eyes in warning and everyone quiets.

“I spoke with Deaton.” Derek declares. “He said the people who took Stiles wont be back.”

Derek sees some tension bleed out of Stiles’ shoulders, wishes he could stop there.

“He said now that Stiles has tapped into his magic, he can’t be controlled like that again. It’s a group of vampires looking to use blood magic to awaken an untapped...magical person. He’d heard about some of their previous attempts, but it didn’t occur to him to warn us because he didn’t think Stiles had more than a Spark.”

Stiles’ jaw is hanging loosely, eyes wide. Derek wishes he could stop talking.

“But he does,” Derek’s eyes flit to Stiles quick as a hummingbird before averting his eyes again, unable to watch Stiles as he delivers the final news. He crosses his arms. “So, Deaton and some of his friends are going to train you in magic. In New York. You’ll have to leave soon, he wants you there as soon as possible, says you’re unstable and the sooner he can get started the better.”

There’s complete silence in the loft for a minute and then the murmuring starts. Murmurs about magic and Stiles and Deaton and training. Derek chances a glance at Stiles, then can’t look away. Stiles is clearly processing everything Derek just said, his face is bewildered, slightly vulnerable, until he shakes his head once and sets his jaw and his shoulders. Here it comes.

Stiles clears his throat. “Uh, yeah, that’s not going to happen. I’m not magic, it was those assholes controlling me.”

Derek shakes his head. “Deaton says that’s not how it works.”

“Deaton can fuck off.”

“Stiles.” Derek’s voice is warning, but Stiles doesn’t seem to give two shits.

“Derek.” He repeats in exactly the same tone of voice.

Derek wishes he could backpedal, hates he has to draw a hard line after recent events. But if he bends, something will break. He growls lightly, “You. Are. Going. It’s not a request.”

Derek is aware of people throwing questioning glances around. They’re not used to such vicious tones between Derek and Stiles, especially recently. Stiles only has eyes for Derek, though, and Derek fully understands the phrase ‘if looks could kill’.

“Oh, it’s not a request? It’s a fucking command? Guess what, I’m not one of your little Wolfies, I don’t give a goddamn shit about your orders.” They’re both shooting daggers at each other at this point.

Scott speaks up quite tentatively. “Uh, Stiles-“ But Derek cuts him off.

“You do have magic, I saw it last night...when we were… discussing things...” Danger, danger, change the subject. “And you need to go. You’re not in control.” His arms fold over his chest and he widens his stance subconsciously, body readying for a fight.

“Who’s Not in control, Derek? Fuck you, Not in control. You’re not in control of me anymore and all of a sudden, you’re sending me packing across the country? Things get a little messy with the helpless human and bye bye Stiles? Real convenient, you arrogant douchebag.”

“Uh, Stiles-“ Scott begins again, always wanting to keep the peace.

“No, Scott. I am goddamn sick and tired of his fucking posturing like he knows everything when he knows jack shit. This pack is one bad Derek decision away from total destruction. Seriously, who put this asshole in charge around here? He fucking did. And how has that worked out so far? Jackson became a kanima, his creepy-ass Uncle Peter came back from the dead and attacked Lydia. We scraped by with the alpha pack with a bit of luck, but it wasn’t anything Derek did or didn’t do. He was about to give up his alpha status before I figured out a way to help Cora. I can’t imagine that would have gone well. Speaking of which, even his goddamn sister realizes he’s not fit to be an alpha. She’d rather be thousands of miles away than be in a pack with this emotionally stunted, impulsive dictator. He can’t lead a pack to save his life, and you all are about three steps away from yelling Heil fucking Hale whenever he gives an order. Well I’m fucking done.”

Derek manages not to flinch, but only just. As it is, he feels like his impassive face is set in glass. One chip and it shatters. Stiles looks straight through Derek, and Derek can feel the power and energy humming off him. It’s clearly tied to his emotions at this point. He can’t believe he couldn’t tell something going on, even that night Isaac interrupted them, looking back Derek can see Stiles was like this, full of magical energy, unable to regulate himself.

“I am out. Don’t fucking come near me. If you do, i will find a way to end you if it’s the last thing I do. And if anyone else thinks they’re going to force me to leave Beacon Hills you can fuck right off to hell with your precious alpha.” Stiles’ tone is deadly low. He strides to the door and seemingly doesn’t even notice it opens without him touching it. He walks through and it slams behind him, making a sound of a sledge hammer. There’s a beat of silence where Derek can almost seethe energy in the air, then the sound of glass cracking.

“Take cover!” Derek yells before literally every piece of glass, be it window, tv screen, or lightbulb, shatters, sending shards streaming all around them. The wolves spring into action, ducking themselves over the few humans left in the room.

When the glass is done raining down on them, everyone uncovers their head and looks around warily. “What the fuck.” Boyd mutters, shaking tiny pieces of glass out of his clothing, looking at the tiny cuts sprinkling his hands, already healing.

Derek looks towards Lydia and Allison, covered by Jackson and Scott respectively. “Is anyone hurt?”

Round eyes meet his and shake their heads slowly. Scott locks eyes with Derek. “Stiles…”

“Has magic, yes. He needs to go to New York. Unless you know of someone who lives here who can train him to not almost kill people with glass the next time he gets pissed,” Derek scowls while shaking glass from his leather jacket. He looks around at the loft and wonders if it would be worth it to just get an apartment. Fuck this clean-up.

Scott ducks his head. “Maybe I can talk to him…”

Derek waves him away as he looks around. “I’m sure he’ll listen to you. I should have just had you tell him, this was stupid.” The second he realizes what he said he glances at Scott who looks shocked at Derek’s candor. Whatever, he just wants to sleep for three days, is officially over this whole month, can’t wait until the teenagers go back to school in a week.

Scott ducks out to follow Stiles and everyone else looks around the loft, overwhelmed. He decides to let them off the hook. “Everyone clear out. I’ll text if I need help.”

“Are you sure?” Allison asks, “We don’t mind.”

Derek shakes his head, “Just go.” Allison shrugs at Lydia. “Please.” He adds, drained of the energy to be less than genuine.

Everyone filters out slowly. Isaac is the last to linger, pauses at the door. “You didn’t deserve that, Derek.” He says lowly. “What he said was-“

Derek closes his eyes. “It doesn’t matter. I’m fine.” Isaac still hesitates, the most compassionate beta. Derek manages a half smile that might be more of a wince but is hopefully enough to convince him. “Seriously. I’ll see you later.”

Isaac nods and closes the door behind him. The glass-covered bed is calling him. He tears the glass-covered linen off it, lays down face first on the bare mattress and is dozing almost immediately. He tries not to think about the look on Stiles’ face as he delivered his diatribe or about the words themselves, but he knows it’s futile, it will all stay with him for a long time.

Chapter Text

When Derek wakes up, Stiles is still on his mind, even without Scott’s texts saying he talked to Stiles and convinced him he needs to go see Deaton in New York. Also, that he contacted Deaton and will coordinate with him and Stiles.

Derek mostly just feels empty. Unlike the others who had witnessed the outburst, he doesn’t think Stiles was overreacting or too harsh. He knows he pushed Stiles to that point, blames himself entirely. He turned compassionate, loyal Stiles into a cruel vindictive person, and he has to own that. He hopes that the words came out of deep anger and hurt, maybe even fear, and Stiles didn’t truly mean all of them. But even if he did, Derek can’t hold it against him.

Once again, he curses his past relationships for creating the emotionally damaged man he is now. Mostly Kate, who is clearly still affecting his life so many years later. He has a fleeting thought that maybe he should make some changes in his life, in himself. But it’s very brief, his defensive angry walls come back up almost immediately and he rejects any self-reflecting ideas.

The look Stiles had given him right before he drove away had an air of finality, like he was closing the door on him, on them, forever. It takes Derek’s breath away for a few seconds, and he has to remind himself to breathe. He tries to remind himself that Stiles is seventeen, and at that age rage burns hot and everything feels like the end of the world.

.

Scott keeps him updated regarding Stiles’ plans to go train with Deaton. Thankfully the Sheriff has been convinced it’s necessary, and it’s happening quite quickly. He doesn’t hear from Stiles and he doesn’t expect to. He certainly doesn’t have anything Pack related to discuss with him and can’t deal with Stiles rejecting any attempts at an apology again.

The day before Stiles leaves, they have a going away party for him. Derek makes flimsy excuses about his absence, but no one calls him on it. No one seems very surprised either. He does swing by Stiles’ house the night before his departure, long after the party is over, and the house has gone dark and quiet. He sits outside his bedroom window, memorizing the sound of his sleep-breathing, the occasional mumble or grunt as he moves around in bed. Even asleep he flails more than anyone he’s ever met.

He sits there until he’s afraid the Sheriff is going to wake up and confront him. He must know that something has changed, maybe he knows everything. Although the fact that he’s not in handcuffs right now probably rules that out. God knows how Stiles explained the bed.

And then Stiles is gone. For who knows how long. Out of watching and protecting distance, placed in the (hopefully) capable hands of Deaton and his group of friends and colleagues.

Scott keeps him updated on how Stiles is doing. Scott and Stiles Skype and call and text often, as best friends do. Derek doesn’t ask for these updates, but thinks Scott realizes he appreciates receiving them. He does ask Scott not to bring Derek up to Stiles, though he says if Stiles were to ask, he has permission to tell him whatever he wants to know. But he’s pretty sure he knows Stiles’ stubborn streak well enough to know he’s not going to ask about Derek.

Life continues as it used to, with one less person around to help if the Nemeton pulls in any malicious or mischievous supernatural threat. Every once in a while, Scott reaches out to Stiles to do a little long-distance research if they’re totally stumped but it’s pretty seldom, they try to leave him alone to focus on his own stuff when they can.

It’s a few weeks into Stiles’ absence when Derek first thinks he sees Stiles. He’s at the grocery store when he catches a glimpse of someone lanky and dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt darting past the end of the aisle and his heart nearly stops. Is Stiles back? Why didn’t anyone tell him? How could he be done with Deaton by now? Something must be wrong. He abandons his cart to run after Stiles and catches up to him in the next aisle over. It doesn’t register that this person is looking at organic seaweed snacks (definitely not a Stiles Snack), and he grabs roughly at his arm, “Stiles?”

The man turns toward Derek and pulls his arm away, “What the hell?”

Derek internally curses himself for his mistake. This person is not Stiles. There are no moles, his nose is large and flat, not upturned and rather precious and what in the world is he even thinking right now. “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else.”

The guy shoots him a dubious look and walks away, leaving Derek feeling unsettled. For those 30 seconds he had been so sure it was Stiles and had felt panicked. Knew that if he were back then something was wrong. And if he didn’t know about it then was intentionally left out of knowing. That he would be powerless to protect him.

The second time is worse. He drives by a car accident and sees the driver sitting on the ground with blood on his forehead. No. It’s Stiles on the ground with blood on his forehead. His stomach plummets and his heart nearly stops as he wrenches his car to the side of the road and scrambles out of his car. He’s yelling Stiles’ name as he runs towards him, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Does he have a concussion? What is he doing home?

He’s almost to him when a woman opens the car door next to the man on the ground and wraps him in a hug. Wondering who this woman could be is enough to give Derek pause enough to notice the man is about 15 years too old to be Stiles. Also, other than his build he looks nothing like him. Derek takes a deep breath and turns to slowly walk back to his car.

As he drives away, he notices his hands are shaking on the steering wheel. He was so sure it was Stiles but seeing that it wasn’t is almost worse. For all Derek knows Stiles has been in a car accident. On the other side of the country. Or abducted again. Or just in the wrong place at the wrong time when some punk kid decides to mug someone for some drug money. Literally any terrible thing could happen to Stiles, and Derek wouldn’t know and couldn’t help.

Two minutes after he drives away, he pulls over again because his chest hurts and he can’t breathe. His lungs feel like they’re full of cement, he can’t get a breath in to save his life. His vision starts to go spotty as he clutches his chest and wills himself to calm down. He knows logically this isn’t a heart attack or anything, werewolves can’t have those. But logic has no place in panic, and he is firmly locked in panic mode.

Ultimately, he doesn’t die, though he had kind of wanted to: anything to stop the sensation of slowly dying on the side of the road. Incrementally his breathing improves until he feels mostly normal, if a little (okay, a lot) shaken. His brain provides the helpful term panic attack and he practices slow deep breaths like he once saw Scott do with Stiles when he was having one. At the time it looked like Stiles could be exaggerating. How could someone look like death when there was nothing physically wrong?

He gets home and lies down on his bed and replays the events in his head. He’s realizing he might... have a problem. A very Stiles-shaped hole in his life type of problem. Jesus, this is so typical of his life, every fucking relationship he’s ever had up until now has been a complete shit show. Which leaves him about as emotionally available as a filing cabinet. Then when he literally has nothing left to give, he finally finds someone who he could be good with.

The fact is he misses Stiles. But the worst part is he doesn’t just miss the sex; that he could work with. But no, he misses watching movies with Stiles on his couch and listening to his endless commentary. He misses Stiles’ inane chatter and unsolicited advice. For fucks sake, he misses cooking for the little asshole. And it’s his big fat fucking fault that he doesn’t have that anymore. And probably never will again because Derek breaks everything he touches.

About a month after Stiles leaves Derek is cruising Netflix (Stiles must have forgotten he signed in to his account at Derek’s house, otherwise he’s sure he would have changed the password and locked him out, but he’s taking advantage because it pathetically makes him feel closer to Stiles; who is Derek becoming?), when he scrolls past Good Will Hunting. He scrolls back and leaves it resting on the movie. It was one of his mom’s favorite movies, something he’d forgotten about. She sat each of her kids down and watched it with them when they turned 15. He scrolls on, not wanting to watch something quite that intense or memory filled.

But thoughts of the movie won’t leave him alone. It creates an itch in the back of his head that just won’t stop. He doesn’t’ want to watch it, but he also can’t stop thinking about it. One day he opens his phone and searches for local therapists. He sees a list of names and immediately closes the browser, leaves his phone on his kitchen table, and proceeds to go for a two-hour run.

When he comes back the phone is mocking him. He rolls his eyes at himself, then searches again for therapists two towns over. He picks the one with the friendliest sounding name (Jane Moore) and calls before he starts actually thinking about what he’s doing. He makes an appointment.
.

Derek shows up to his first appointment an hour early. He drives into and out of the parking lot four times before he parks. He circles the building on foot three times then traverses the four floors of the interior, scouting the strengths and weaknesses. Her office is in a building that houses a lot of other medical offices, lots of different types of doctors (he may have passed by most of their doors). No one smells suspicious, mostly anxious or sick or sad. Except in front of the ob-gyn office. Most of the people there smell excited. It’s his favorite office to walk past.

He paces in front of the office door. Several times. He lost count. Around 55. He’s gotten a lot of strange looks. He’s not sure what his face is doing, but he must look a little suspicious, he hasn’t taken his leather jacket or sunglasses off, and he probably looks uncomfortable. Possibly homicidal.

He takes a deep breath and pushes open the door with five minutes to spare. The anteroom is small and quiet but well-appointed. It’s classy without being showy and is unintimidating. There’s a young woman seated behind the desk who looks well put together but bored. She looks up and straightens up a little in her chair. “Can I help you?”

He removes his sunglasses then stuffs his hands in his pocket, jingles his key chain a little to have something to do with his hands. “Derek Hale. I have an appointment.”

Her reaction is slightly delayed but then she is all business, “Of course, Mr. Hale. I have some paperwork for you to fill out. New client paperwork, that’s all, if you wouldn’t mind.”

Derek’s actually glad to have something to take his mind off why he’s here. He diligently fills out the paperwork, standard forms about vital statistics and medical history. Of course, he doesn’t have any, and since he can’t check an ‘I’m a werewolf and therefore have no need for medical care’ box, he has to place a check mark in the no column of every human disease known to man. But it passes the time and right as he is finishing a woman opens the door he didn’t come in through.

Jane Moore looks completely average-brunette and middle-aged, functional glasses, pants and an averagely-nice shirt, hair in a modest bun-and Derek feels something somewhere in his chest unclench. He hadn’t realized how much a first impression could put him at ease, had subconsciously been hoping she wouldn’t remind him of any of his past demons.

“Derek?” She asks with a kindly smile.

Derek stands and hands the clipboard to her. She nods. “Very good, you can follow me to my office when you’re ready. No rush at all.” And he appreciates the sentiment but he’s paying cash for these sessions so he’s not very keen to waste it, and he follows her into her office as she turns around.

Her office is quite like her anteroom, nice and unassuming. There isn’t even a therapist’s couch, just a desk and two comfortable-looking overstuffed chairs. At the side there’s a small table with a carafe of water and a Keurig. She sees him looking, “Feel free to help yourself anytime, water, tea, coffee. People bring in smoothies or sodas or whatever they want really.”

Derek isn’t thirsty, just shakes his head and stands uncomfortably with his hands in his pockets, unsure how to proceed.

“Well, feel free to have a seat in a chair. Wherever you’re most comfortable. I even have folding chairs in the closet if you’d prefer that.”

He shrugs, “This is fine,” he mutters as he sits in one of the cushy chairs.

“Great,” she smiles as she sits in the other one and glances at his paperwork before she sets it on the floor, pulls her legs up to sit cross-legged and turns her full attention to Derek. The basest instinct in him wants to flee but he tries to let his higher brain function have control.

“Well I usually start by asking new clients if they’ve ever received therapy in the past,” she says kindly.

Derek shakes his head, then figures he should say something. “Um, no…ma’am.”

She smiles at him. “I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself properly. I’m Jane Moore; I like to keep my sessions open and informal, so you are quite welcome to just call me Jane. But of course, you can also call me whatever makes you feel most comfortable. I had one patient who called me Dr. Jane Moore every time she addressed me; truly, it’s at your discretion. I work with one patient who calls me Janey. Likewise, I will address you in whatever way you would like.”

She waits for a beat, but Derek doesn’t know what to say. Should he call her Jane now?

“May I call you Derek? Or would you prefer something more formal?”

He mentally kicks himself. “Um, yes, Derek. Derek is fine.”

“Great, Derek it is.” She regards him for a moment then uncrosses her legs and leans forward a bit. “Well, Derek, I’m going to start our session in a way that is rather abnormal. And I hope I don’t make you uncomfortable, but I would feel remiss if I didn’t tell you that I knew your family, your mother specifically.” Derek feels his hands clench into fists in his pockets, heart rate elevating. Jane holds up her hands in a placating manner. “I wanted to reach out to you and Laura, after, and I tried, but the two of you did quite a good job of falling off the radar. But I do want to say to you now how sorry I am for your loss. Both old and more recent.”

She looks at him cautiously as he tries to calm his frantic brain. He should leave, right now, and never come back. She must know what he is. Suddenly, he realizes what he should have noticed right away. She’s sitting in front of him, but he can’t sense her. He can hear a heartbeat, sure, but when he focuses, he gets almost no scent except the scent of laundry and the smells around the room. She smells human but she can’t be.

“Are you…” he trails off.
She flashes her eyes at him, beta gold. At least she’s not an alpha. “I am. I’m going to remove the amulet around my neck. It dampens my output, which I think you’re trying to sense right now.” She does remove a chain with a small stone on the end of it, which had been obscured under her shirt. He’s hit with the scent of werewolf; there’s maybe a touch of anxiety, but mostly he can sense a vague concern. “I wear this mostly for some of my patients who are sensitive to auras. I’m not sure you know that a werewolf’s aura can read threatening to even low-level empaths, even if we don’t mean to be. I also wear it so any other packs traveling through who might mean harm can’t sense me and cause trouble for any of my clients. I travel to work from a few towns over and don’t want to be able to be tracked here or tracked home, and this helps ensure that. I hope you don’t feel like I was trying to trick you.”

Everything she’s saying makes sense, but he still feels tense and keyed up, is still fighting the instinct to cut and run. But he hears no falter in her heartbeat, can detect no deception. How in the world could he be such a fuck-up that he managed to accidentally find the only werewolf therapist in Beacon Hills’ surrounding counties? And not only that but one who knew his mother, who already probably has preconceived notions about him and his experiences. Does she know about the Argents? About Kate? No, this is fucked up, he can’t stay here. He’s just about to stand up when she speaks again.

“Derek, I can tell that you’re uncomfortable. Obviously, you’re free to leave at any time, and you never have to hear from me again. I can recommend someone who is most definitely not a werewolf, and someone who has no idea who you are. But I urge you to at least try this one session with me. After that, if you don’t want to come back, there is absolutely no pressure to do so.” She sighs. “I wouldn’t say I knew your mother well, but we were familiar enough acquaintances that I felt like I failed her when I couldn’t help her children after she passed. And it would mean so much to me if I could help one of them now. What you’ve gone through, and I only know the barest of details, must have been so very difficult. It’s so encouraging that you’re seeking help to deal with it. I think I can help you; I’d certainly like to try.”

Everything about her is reading sincere, but he’s been wrong before. He’s looking down at his leg which is shaking just slightly. He knows he’s at a crossroads here. He can duck out now, continue down the path he’s been going; he’s survived this long, he can survive longer on his own. Or he can take a chance and try something new. He’s been surviving but maybe he owes it to his family to try living.

He looks up at Jane, who is waiting patiently, looking at him hopefully. “Okay,” he says, “Where do we start?”

She smiles brightly at him. “Thank you, Derek. I truly don’t think you’re going to regret this.”

He sure hopes not. There’s a little voice inside him that thinks maybe things are going to be okay. It calls him sourwolf.

Chapter Text

Stiles

 

Stiles feels like nothing is ever going to be okay again. He’s in New York. Alone. And it’s almost Christmas. Not only that but he has to deal with Deaton on the reg and that is...well, it’s not exactly putting him in the good old Christmas spirit. But it’s not just Deaton, it’s this Goddamn magic-spark-wizard-whatever you want to call it training that is going absolutely nowhere.

Stiles is not arrogant (he’s not, shut up) but he does like to think of himself as a fairly quick learner. Put him in front of Wikipedia and he’s a virtual sponge, he sops up information like it’s his job. Teach him a new complicated board game and he’s got it on lock faster than you can say “Settlers of Catan”. But this magic bullshit is for the birds. He wants to throw the towel in but Deaton (and company, more on that later) has him convinced that he will “succumb to his emotions” and cause some sort of cataclysmic Event in Beacon Hills. Like that would be a huge loss.

Stop, Stiles. All the people you love in the world are there, pull yourself together.

Okay, he needs to backtrack. When he had arrived in New York he was optimistic, eager...ugh, naive. It felt like he was getting on a plane at platform 9 & 3/4 and disembarking at Hogwarts.

(Spoiler alert: Hogwarts, it is not)

He’s had Deaton and his “associates”, Esmerelda, Trinity, and (Wait for it...) Chuck trying to teach him the ways of the Jedi and he’s turning out to be a Squib.

(Please note the current level of Stiles’ distress to be mixing pop culture references.)

After he had finally accepted that he was a danger to his friends unless he figured this thing out he had assumed it would take a few weeks to a month maximum to get his training and be back in BH. This has not been the case. Turns out accidentally causing mayhem when his emotions are out of control is a lot easier than sitting calmly (which Deaton says is the key to unlocking his potential) and trying to make magic shit happen. Sitting calmly is pretty much anathema to Stiles. He has it on good authority that even when he’s sleeping, he’s in motion (hence the reason Scott chooses to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag when they have a bro sleepover).

He’s been trying to “channel his inner peace,” as Esmerelda likes to say, for months now, and he just can’t get peaceful enough. Deaton says there’s a marching band blasting through his brain and he needs to turn it into a symphony. Trinity, who studied botany before she realized the reason she could grow anything anywhere had less to do with science and more to do with a mystical affinity with plants, usually compares Stiles to some obscure flower that is difficult to tame without great precision. Chuck thinks animals are the key and has brought a ridiculous number of creatures to try to appeal to Stiles’ inner soul animal. Chuck clearly read The Golden Compass at a very formative time in his life and has been on a quest for a daemon ever since. Which, respect.

But nothing works. Even though they each say they can sense a large amount of power in Stiles, no one can seem to unlock it. And Stiles is getting fed the fuck up.

Especially since Deaton just broke the news to Stiles that he can’t go home for Christmas because he’s too unstable to be on a plane for six hours. Deaton is convinced Stiles is close to a breakthrough. He’s been “close to a breakthrough” for the last five weeks though, so he’s not holding his breath.

So, yeah, life sucks right now. He’s making no progress with his remedial magic classes, he still has to keep up with his normal school workload with a tutor who comes in the morning before remedial magic, he has no friends he can hang out with (in person, thank God for Skype), and he has to spend Christmas alone or with the inscrutable Druid who appears to ask some sort of deity for patience at least every five minutes when he’s with Stiles. So, Stiles will be alone.

Not to mention the Sahara Desert that is his sex life right now. He should be killing it in New York. It’s not like he hasn’t tried. He’s had some dates, but nothing ever really felt right. There’s too much supernatural shit in his life right now to have a normal relationship. How can he make a connection with someone when he can’t tell them the most important parts of his life? He tried Tinder. And Grindr for that matter, but it never felt right, he couldn’t bring himself to actually do the deed with anyone he met up with.

He’s in a pretty foul mood when he Skypes with Scott that night. Scott, with his inability to be anything but genuine, briefly looks crushed when Stiles breaks the Christmas news. Stiles must look pretty upset too, because Stiles can see Scott steel himself and try to look on the bright side. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you get to spend Christmas in the greatest city in the world. It’s going to be so festive.” Stiles rolls his eyes and Scott pushes on. “Oh, you know what will be fun? Opening presents on Skype. I’ve never done that. That sounds really…great.”

Stiles sighs. “I appreciate the optimism, dude, but it’s going to be awful and lonely. I can fight it or I can accept it. Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of bitching about it, but I just have to deal with it. God, I don’t even want to tell my dad.” He rubs his forehead tiredly. “Okay, distract me, what’s going on back there?”

Scott brightens a little. “Oh, well the pack is going ice skating tomorrow. I can’t wait to see Derek on ice skates-“ Scott stops speaking abruptly and makes wide eyes at Stiles. It’s the first time in a few months he’s heard Derek’s name out loud. The few times Deaton brought him up at the beginning, objects started to shake and/or float. Deaton quickly learned to avoid talking about the alpha.

Stiles has been aware that Scott, (or actually everyone he talks to) has been quite obviously avoiding talking about him around Stiles. And that has been perfectly fine with him. It’s not like Stiles is still pissed at him. Or at least not as pissed as he was when ‘Mattressgate’ happened. He doesn’t even think about it anymore. Or about him. Truly, he never crosses Stiles’ mind, not even when he sees someone with dark hair and a leather jacket from afar on the streets of New York; Especially not when he watches a movie and a character slams another person up against a wall...or treads water...or never stops scowling and brooding. He is immune to thoughts of Derek (anyone who doubts this are hereby labeled a liar and are no friend of Stiles).

Well, he had been immune.

Scott stammers. “I mean, uh...shit. I’m sorry. I was wanting to cheer you up and I wasn’t even thinking.”

Stiles shrugs, maintaining a strict nonchalance. “Scotty, no worries man, what’s the big deal? You can talk about Derek. I don’t care either way.” This is not 100% the truth, but he’s gotta sell it here. “How is the big bad Alpha?”

Scott is hesitant, he regards Stiles warily. “Uh, you know, actually it was Boyd I was thinking about. He’s going to be hilarious on the ice.”

Stiles quirks an eyebrow. “Boyd used to work at the ice rink.”

Scott’s face is the definition of rueful. “Oh yeah, actually I was thinking of-“

Stiles claps his hands. “Okay, Scott. What is going on?”

Scott sighs. “I just didn’t think you wanted to hear about him.”

Stiles barks out a laugh. “What makes you think that?”

“Uh, well the last time you talked to him you basically called him Hitler, dude.”

Point to Scott but Stiles needs to just sweep this under the rug. Stiles rolls his eyes in an exaggerated manner. “Okay, yes, before I left Beacon Hills I wasn’t especially kind.” This is an understatement, Scott doesn’t even know about the whole pointing of a gun at Derek’s chest. “But, look, I was pissed, and I was feeling weird because of the whole I’m actually Harry Potter thing, even though I didn’t know about it at the time, and I got a little carried away. It’s bizarre, though, I never ever get carried away. So out of character.” (A little self deprecation always helps convince people, Stiles has found.) “But I’m an adult, I’m over it. I hadn’t really noticed you’d been avoiding talking about him,” (Lie!) “But now I’m curious. How’s he doing? What’s this about ice skating?”

Scott regards him critically for a minute, but then he shrugs and Stiles knows it’s Scott’s blind trust and acceptance face. “He’s actually doing really well. He started these pack bonding days, that’s why we’re going ice skating, come to think of it that was Boyd’s idea this time, that makes a lot of sense now. Huh. Well, yeah anyway we rotate who picks what we’re doing.”

“Pack bonding, huh?” Okay, Stiles is feeling a little pissed. “Whose idea was that?”

Scott, bless him, doesn’t pick up on it. “Oh! Derek came up with it. Well it started out with him cooking for us. Oh! Yeah! You don’t know yet, turns out Derek can totally cook. Like really cook, not just mac and cheese and bagel bites. Bizarre, right?”

“Super bizarre. Oh, hey, Scotty, I just remembered I have to call Trinity about a book she was going to get me. I have to call her before it gets too late.” It’s 6 pm, but Stiles needs to get off the phone. “I’ll talk to you later, yeah?”

Scott nods. “Sure, yeah, later dude. Well maybe tomorrow? I’m getting dinner with Allison.”

“Sure, sure, bye!” He signs off and puts his head in his hands, taking deep breaths. He’s angry and he can feel his power responding. It feels like a buzzing under his skin. Like something wants out. But he knows if he lets it out now it will be destructive. Inner monologue pep talk time. Okay, Stiles, you can do this, channel your inner peace, play your most soothing violin concerto, be the rhododendron, let your cat daemon laze around in the sun.

He takes a series of long deep breaths, running his fingers through his hair as he does so, tries to keep his mind blank. Gradually the buzzing starts to subside, one angry bee at a time, until suddenly he’s calm. Hey, he did it! Stiles hasn’t gotten truly angry in a while, hasn’t had to try to use his super master Zen skills. He can’t wait to tell Deaton something is getting through to him. But then he’ll have to tell him why he got mad. So maybe he’ll just celebrate his victory privately.

So, okay, deep down he knows this isn’t the biggest deal. Derek gets Stiles’ credit, boo hoo, buck up Stiles. He may still be angrier with Derek than he thought.

Although. To Stiles’ credit this is truly irksome. If you’ve been paying attention at all it’s clear that the whole pack bonding thing was Stiles’ idea. Particularly the cooking! (Derek’s glorious glorious cooking, goddammit Stiles misses his cooking). But now Stiles is stuck wallowing in New York with everyone thinking he’s a dumb angry asshole who showers his friends with shards of glass, while Derek is getting showered with praise for being this great Alpha with great ideas. Except it was Stiles’ great idea, the cocksucker.

Okay, Stiles needs to keep the cool that he just regained. So, Derek sucks. Not exactly news. Life can go on as it has been, one frustrating day at a time and he can just forget all about the Alpha shaped thorn in his side again. No problem.

.

It is a problem. Because it’s not three days later that Scott is Skyping with exciting (but also sad, of course) news that a relative died, and wonder of wonders, they’re getting some money that his mom has decided would be best spent flying Scott, Mrs. McCall, and his dad out to New York for Christmas!

Unfortunately for Scott, Stiles knows all his “I’m lying” tells, and he also knows all his extended relatives. (That’s a perfectly normal thing for a best friend to know, right? Right.) And Scott is lying. Which means someone told him to lie. But Stiles plays along, feigning cluelessness. He doesn’t have to feign excitement because this is literally the best thing to happen to him in months. But it also sucks. Because the mysterious benefactor can only be one person, and it would naturally be the one person Stiles doesn’t want it to be. Derek.

.

Scott and the parents arrive just ahead of a snowstorm two days before Christmas. There’s excited hugging and smiles and claps on the back, naturally. Stiles goes with them to the hotel that the money from Scott’s recently (or not so recently) deceased great aunt Matilda also paid for. Because fuck his life. Of course, it’s a high rise in Manhattan, the perfect distance from Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square, somehow. Stiles has been in New York long enough to know how exorbitant all this is, and it makes him by turns angry, anxious, and secretly a little giddy. But mostly annoyed. Luckily, it’s only a few nights; his dad and Melissa can only stay through the 27th, when Scott will return to Brooklyn with Stiles and live in Deaton’s spare bedroom through the New Year like the paupers they are.

Like the tourists they are, they do all the stuff they’re supposed to do: ice skate in Rockefeller Center, see a Broadway show, walk through Central Park in the snow, eat amazing food, shop. It’s a dream. It occasionally makes Stiles nauseous. Mostly it’s wonderful. He obviously knew how much he missed all his people, but he didn’t really know how much he missed them until he’s living in a perfect Manhattan snow globe away from all the normal stressors of life. They literally have nothing to do except enjoy each other’s company and have fun. It’s beautiful torture, loving this time and knowing it’s finite.

Christmas Day is lovely, they exchange presents, mostly small things since everyone has to travel to get them to other locations. Stiles gets very excited about a prepaid Metro card from his dad. Life is weird. They eat a lovely buffet at the hotel and sit by the fire in their hotel room (yeah, it’s swanky as hell, goddammit) drinking hot cocoa and reminiscing.

Eventually they turn in, excited to spend one more day in New York together before the parents have to leave. Stiles makes sure his dad is sleeping and assumes Scott is next door (he can sleep anywhere and New York is exhausting) before he tiptoes out of their bedroom and heads to the outdoor patio attached to the lobby.

It’s freezing but he wants to be fully alert for this. He paces. Then he paces with his phone in his hand. Then he pulls up the contact and paces some more. Eventually he presses the button to call. And then he paces.

“Stiles? What’s wrong? Where’s Scott? Your dad? What’s going on?” Derek’s panicked voice sings through the telephone. It’s been a while. Stiles stops pacing. His mouth is open, but he can’t speak yet, he’s lost his words.

“Stiles? Where are you? I can be on a plane in...two hours I think. Is it the Carlson pack? I didn’t think Scott would ping for them, they mostly stay in Queens.”

Stiles can hear Derek rustling around, no doubt throwing a bag together. He finally gets his wits about him. “Derek, stop.”

Derek pauses his rambling (and what a role reversal, damn) and breathes into the phone.

Stiles chuckles. “Dude, everything is fine, take a chill pill.”

He can imagine the turning down of Derek’s eyebrows this very instant. “Oh. I hadn’t...you never...um. Why...why are you calling if everything’s okay?”

Stiles sighs, imagines he sounds petulant but can’t help it when he says, “To thank you.”

Derek’s eyebrows get even sterner. (He can just tell they do, okay?) “For what, Stiles?”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Oh, please. Here’s a tip, Derek. If you ever want Scott to lie for you? You need to explicitly tell him what to say. And rehearse it. For days. Until some part of him actually believes what he’s saying. I know you’re behind all this.”

Derek is silent for just a beat too long. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Scott’s great aunt Matilda-“

“Died, yes I know. I know because I remember when she died, which was roughly four years ago. What fantastic timing for her inheritance to come through just now of all times. Talk about a Christmas miracle. Or a crock of shit.”

Derek sighs. “Fucking Boy Scout Scott.”

Stiles can’t help but snort. “Gotta love ‘im though.”

Derek snorts right back, which is weird. “True.”

There’s an awkward silence. “Look, I... I haven’t forgiven you. And honestly this pisses me off too. I seriously thought about refusing to let them come. I don’t want to owe you, Derek. If it were only affecting me, I would have. But it would have been disappointing to Scott and Melissa and my dad too, so I had to let it happen. Grudgingly. So, I’m calling to say thank you, but don’t think this magically fixes anything.”

A short silence. “Okay.”

“And I will pay you back eventually, so keep your fucking receipts.”

“Stiles, you don’t have to pay-“

Stiles cuts him off. “I’m. Paying. You. Back.”

Derek huffs. “It’s meant to be a Christmas gift, but whatever, that’s fine.”

“Good.”

“Great.”

There’s another awkward silence. Stiles is on the verge of saying goodbye and hanging up when Derek stammers out, “so how is it?”

“How is what?” Stiles asks in confusion.

“Christmas in New York.”

Stiles looks around at the snow, then realizes he’s been standing still, and his toes are starting to numb. Also, he’s not about to be drawn into some long let’s pretend we’re still friends conversation. He called to say thank you, he did, that’s it. “It’s fucking freezing.”

“Oh.” There’s a mountain of disappointment in that one word.

Fuck. He buckles. “It’s also pretty goddamn magical.”

“It is?” Derek sounds hopeful.

“Sure. I mean it looks like a postcard; it snowed the perfect amount for Christmas. How can skating in Rockefeller Center while snow flurries float down on you not be amazing? Scott’s been beside himself with excitement and Christmas cheer. And it’s stupidly contagious. He might as well be Buddy the Elf.” He pauses, drops his voice a little. “Truly, Derek, even though I’m not sure what your motive was, it’s been...really nice to have them here. If you hadn’t done it...” he trails off, not sure he can put into words how miserable he’d have been.

Derek’s voice is low too, and a little rough. “Christmas isn’t really Christmas without family.”

Somehow a simple thank you phone call has turned into emotional honesty hour and that is so far from what Stiles is comfortable with. Change the tone now, Stiles. “Well. It’s freezing as balls here and I’m outside, so. “

Derek interjects quickly before he can stammer out a goodbye and hang up. “How’s it going with Deaton?”

Stiles rolls his eyes and starts pacing again to warm up. “Ugh, pretty much awful.” He’s been sugar coating things for his Dad and Scott so it feels good to just let it out. “You know how he is, when he talks, I feel like I’m trying to decipher a puzzle that’s like a backwards upside-down mirror image. The other teachers are alright, I guess. Out there, for sure, but at least they don’t look at me like I’m the biggest disappointment to ever disappoint. I don’t know, I think I’m probably just not cut out for this. I’m way too much of a spaz to sit there calmly and let my magic course through me. I’m starting to wonder if one of them can just put a spell on me or something to dampen my whatever so I can just go home and go back to normal life. I’m just exhausted at this point, from trying every damn day and failing. Every. Damn. Day.”

Derek is quiet on the other end of the phone and Stiles starts mentally reviewing what he just said. He probably sounds whiny as hell. “Sorry, dude, I didn’t mean to unload on you. I’m fine, it’s fine, I’m sure I’ll get there. Eventually.”

Derek takes a breath. “Stiles, you’re the smartest person I know. Lydia excluded, but she doesn’t count. I know you can do this. If what they’re telling you isn’t working, then you just have to find your own way. Like you always do. I wouldn’t have let you go if I didn’t believe in y- your ability. So just fucking get it done. And come home.”

Stiles has almost no response. “Um, yeah. Uh, okay. Well, I do have to go now. It’s uh, I mean, I hope you had an okay Christmas. And uh, Happy New Year, and, uh, thanks again. I mean I said that already but thanks. Okay, I’ll talk to you later, I mean, I’m not going to call you again, but I guess I’ll see you when I’m home, which at the rate I’m going will be two years from now, but yeah. I’ll, um, see you when I see you.”

Well, no coherent response anyway.

He hangs up on a low chuckle coming through the phone, bustles back into the building and sits down in a chair in the lobby, jamming his hands under his legs to warm them up and regain some feeling in them.

What the fuck was that? Not his verbal diarrhea, that’s a twice daily occurrence, nothing out of the ordinary. But Derek’s blind faith pep talk? Super fucking weird. The whole conversation was pretty weird. Derek bringing up his family, however indirectly, in itself is enough to floor Stiles. But then at the end…Scott said he was doing better.

He hasn’t thought about that night in a while. Actually, he actively avoids thinking about it. But now he can’t help but think about it as he contrasts that Derek with the Derek he just spoke to on the phone.

That whole chaotic few days feels like it was forever ago and just yesterday. It doesn’t take much to let his mind wander back to a few months prior.

After the whole vampires snatching his body and using him for his power thing he was on the edge. Not that he knew it at the time, but when he went to see Derek that night, he remembers his body was practically vibrating with energy. At the time he likened it to some sort of extreme anxiety after what happened, but hindsight is 20/20 and it’s clear now it was his magic looking for release.

If he’s being honest, Derek letting him top was sort of a blur. In his memory it’s choppy and blurry, like he wasn’t totally present. Probably he wasn’t. After he came and released the energy that was building up he’s a lot clearer.

It felt amazing like always. Except maybe not like always. Derek’s touch seemed a little different: a little gentler and more sensual. Or was it his imagination comparing the haze of 5 minutes prior? That must be it. Derek had been quite clear before this all started. He remembers telling himself it was just sex, nothing more.

Except when Derek entered him it felt like he had come home. Stiles couldn’t process more than it had been different from the norm. When Derek had started to push Stiles down towards the bed, he almost panicked. Because Derek had never deviated from hands and knees. But Derek was gentle in his pressure and was simultaneously rubbing absentmindedly at Stiles’ hip so Stiles acquiesced. And having Derek’s impossibly warm chiseled chest against his back, his strong legs against his own had felt like heaven, amazing to have that many points of contact between them.

It’s a little embarrassing to remember the pornographic noises he was making except he knows Derek had been making very similar noises. When Derek slid his hands up Stiles’ arms and interlocked their fingers before he just let him have it, each thrust had Stiles seeing beautiful stars and the friction of the bed had Stiles teetering on the brink. Suddenly Stiles had realized there were claws in between his fingers digging into Derek’s mattress. And there were sharp teeth right at the spot where jaw meets neck-not painful or digging in, but there. And this speaks to Stiles’ lack of self-preservation but Derek’s out-of-control control sent him over the edge. It was maybe ten more seconds before he was spilling all over Derek’s sheets, and almost immediately with an actual honest to God growl Derek was coming deep inside him.

Stiles had had just enough time to process the fact that he had just had the best sex of his life when the door opened, and Isaac had called for Derek.

Who freaked the fuck out.

Stiles had felt like the sex was transformative, like a dam breaking. He had thought they might be on the verge of a breakthrough. But after Isaac showed up Derek had totally shut down. He threatened to murder Isaac because he was so ashamed to be caught with him, and Derek couldn’t even look at him. And it felt like the final blow of their ‘relationship’ or whatever you want to call it. He felt…empty.

The next day he had started to text Derek about a hundred times, knowing they had to talk, finally end things between them, because he couldn’t do it anymore. He needed more than Derek could give. But after the last few tumultuous days he hadn’t been able to face it just then.

So, he had texted Danny to come watch a movie. He knew it was stupid, but he was just craving touch and affection. And he told himself that Derek wouldn’t care, they had made it clear they weren’t dating, which means they weren’t exclusive or anything.

Stiles and Danny had made out. And it was kind of nice, but it felt wrong. They weren’t the lips he wanted on his own. And they weren’t the hands he wanted around his waist, trailing under his shirt, caressing. There was no stubble, not enough muscle.

Danny had picked up on his feeling fairly quickly and Stiles had reluctantly explained his reticence. Danny was totally cool and offered to just snuggle and actually watch a movie instead. It should have been a fine night. When Danny pointed out the growling Stiles knew immediately who was growling, why he was doing it, and that he had fucked up. He got Danny out in record time and started rambling an explanation to Derek, but Derek didn’t seem to be hearing him.

The werewolf was staring at the bed when Stiles trailed off and Stiles tentatively reached to put a hand on his shoulder. Which was when Derek freaked the fuck out. Again. But way worse. He let out a vicious roar and before Stiles knew it Derek had claws out and was shredding into Stiles bed.

 

And okay Stiles knows that his response had been extreme, loading one of his dad’s guns with wolfsbane bullets and threatening to shoot Derek.

Except.

Except for fuck’s sake Derek’s response had been extreme. Completely out of proportion to the stimulus. Stiles hadn’t felt truly scared of Derek since he figured out he didn’t murder his own sister. And shortly after that he realized that Derek’s bark was much worse than his bite.

But right then Stiles felt fear. He was paralyzed with it for a minute. He felt vulnerable and betrayed because he never thought Derek would make him feel this way, powerless and afraid.

He had been on the verge of a panic attack, dizzy and breathless, chest burning. But suddenly had had an eerie calm feeling settle over him as he felt that buzzing start again under his skin. He suddenly knew what he had to do, a way to get Derek’s attention. It’s a testament to how gone Derek was that Stiles had time to slip out of his room and get his dad’s gun from the safe in his office, load it with the emergency only (and this fucking qualifies) wolfsbane bullets, and go back to his room, and Derek hadn’t even slowed down, was still mindlessly tearing through padding and bedsprings alike. Then he had taken a deep breath and felt something rising within him. Turns out it was magic power, but at the time it just felt like confidence. Confidence in himself, he supposes. He hasn’t felt that in a long time, now, probably since he found out he could have seriously injured his friends with just his anger.

All this remembering has Stiles breathing heavily as he lays in bed trying to get to sleep. He remembers feeling so frightened and powerless. And he realizes he has every right to still be angry. Derek mistreated him, and he doesn’t care how sorry Derek is or how magically changed he is. Derek damaged more than Stiles’ bed that night; he damaged their friendship, and he damaged Stiles’ implicit trust in Derek. And that’s really fucking hard to fix.

.

The next day a post-Christmas miracle happens. His dad and Scott, who have been loosely hinting they’d like to see Stiles do some magic, finally downright ask him. He doesn’t want to un-sugarcoat how he’s been doing. He may have been embellishing what he’s been able to do in his studies, which is almost nothing. He decides to try to light a candle. Fake it till you make it, he tells himself, giving them a self-assured smile.

He looks around at these people who probably love him most in this world. And he loves them more than anyone else. They look back at him like they know he can do this. Like they really believe in him. He feels a warmth building in his chest that he hasn’t felt before. There’s that telltale buzzing too but much subtler, not borne of anger or anxiety but of ability (hopefully). All of a sudden he has his own magic metaphor, and it’s not plants or music or animals or any of that bullshit. It’s gaming. And right now he’s playing a goddamn Atari. He’s playing pong, and he just needs to ping that flame onto this little candle. He imagines the flame coming towards him and positions his paddle just right.

The flame bounces.

The candle lights.