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Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

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Life as a teenage werewolf wasn’t exactly what Derek would call exciting. Sure, he could bench press 300 lbs. without breaking a sweat, could run a two-minute mile, and could hold his breath for five minutes without really trying but that didn’t mean he was allowed to. It took him all of middle school, and a lot of begging, for his parents to allow him to even try out for the swim team. Even that was a bit of a stretch for them, considering they hadn’t let Derek’s older sister Laura so much as try out for any school sports at all.

When they were younger, they did gymnastics. No team sports, no close contact to other children. It was to protect not only Derek and Laura, but others as well. Learning one’s strength was difficult at a young age, and it was something that Derek, at age seventeen, was still struggling with, especially surrounding full moons.

Derek took what he could get when it came to his extracurriculars and switched out gymnastics to swim team once he hit high school. He did Habitat For Humanity with his father because bonding time was important and helped in the garden with his mother. They lived outside of town, close to the preserve, down a long winding dirt path that was hidden behind trees. Privacy was everything to the Hales.

Which is why Derek never had friends over to their house, their den. It wasn’t really a problem for him, per se, since to him it made sense. He could go over to friends’ houses, but they couldn’t come over to his, not for sleepovers or for school projects, anything. It was their home, their sanctuary, and it wouldn’t be encroached upon.

Derek’s room was much like his family’s home, but on a more personal level. No one was allowed in his room except for him, just like he wasn’t allowed in Laura’s or Cora’s rooms, either. They each had their own space, with their own scents, their own safe haven. Derek’s room was a dark blue color, painted himself the summer between sophomore year and junior year. He even did an accent wall, which he heard about from one of the television shows his mom always had on about home improvement. His parents were always doing something to the house, so he had wanted to repaint his childhood room which had had his parents’ and his handprints on the walls from when he was six.

His room faced the front of the house, with two windows looking down over the front porch. Another window, which faced north, had a makeshift window seat, made out of an old trunk, so that he could sit and read by it, with bookshelves on either side for him to lean his back against. To him, his room was perfect. He spent all of his time in it, when he could. They did a lot together as a family, such as game night and camping trips, but he liked to think of himself as a normal teen who needed his space, especially near the full moon.

So that’s why straight after Saturday morning swim team practice, Derek was up in his room in front of his computer with his headset on, logged onto Mythical Mayhem, an online MMORPG where he spent countless hours slicing the shit out of werewolves, vampires, orcs, and other ‘made up’ creatures. Derek’s character, a level 38 Sylvan Elf, was a kick-ass archer. His raiding party was small, only him and an online friend with the username ‘RobieLody’ whose character was a werewolf. Derek thought it ironic, really. They always raided together if they were online at the same time. It just so happened that they were almost always on at the same time.

“Okay Robby,” Derek said into his headset. “Got any other plans today?”

“Only kicking some ass and stealing all of the loot, until I have to go at three.” Derek looked at the clock on his bedside table, it was only eleven.

“We got this.”

Derek wasn’t really much of a gamer, and Laura actually bought it for him as a gag gift for Christmas because it had a horrible rendition of a werewolf on the cover. Derek, of course, was hooked on it. He met RobieLody on the first day he signed on. Robby had gotten it for Christmas as well but was a veteran MMORPG player unlike Derek. They played it almost daily, talking to each other the entire time.

After playing for two hours, Derek needed a break.

“Alright, I gotta piss,” Derek said. “And make a sandwich or something.”

“Sounds good, I think I’ll do the same.”

“Be back in ten,” Derek said as he took his headset off. He stretched as he stood up, almost reaching the ceiling. As soon as he walked out of the bathroom not even two minutes later, he ran into Laura.

“How’s the boyfriend?” Laura asked with a wry smile. Derek rolled his eyes at her as he tried to pass her to get to the stairs.

“Not a boyfriend.”

“The amount you two talk, it’s like you are.”

“Pretty sure I’d be getting some if he was,” Derek pointed out, putting a hand on the railing before jumping over it and onto the landing below. He looked up at Laura, quirking an eyebrow, and grinned. “Besides, I don’t even know what he looks like.”

“Weirdo!” Laura called out just before she walked into her room, slamming the door behind her. Derek rolled his eyes as he made his way into the kitchen, foraging the fridge for ingredients for a sandwich. Werewolf metabolism was insane. The amount that a household of their size consumed felt like it should be able to feed an entire army. Derek made himself two sandwiches with ham and turkey piled high with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and banana peppers. He also grabbed a bag of chips and a Coke. Halfway up the stairs, he was stopped by his mother.

“I need your help in the garden,” she said. Derek’s shoulders sagged. Not only was she his mom but his alpha too. It wasn’t a request.

“Mom, I’m talking to Robby,” Derek whined a little. “After I eat?” He asked when he saw the look she gave him.

“After you eat,” she conceded.

Once Derek was back upstairs with his headset on, he heard Robby talking, but not to him.

“Yeah, no bro, I’ll be there at three.” It sounded like he was on the phone, probably with his headset down around his neck by how close it sounded. “Scott, man, I will definitely be your wingman but you gotta calm down. I’m in the middle of something right now -- what? Of course MMORPG’s count as being in the middle of something. I don’t judge your weird ass hobbies. Hey, I gotta go though. Yeah, see you.” Derek cleared his throat before he took a bite. It felt like he had been invading their privacy a bit, but it wasn’t like he’d done it on purpose. There was some shuffling around and then Robby was back online. “You there, man?”

“Hey,” Derek said through a half full mouth. He finished swallowing, then took a gulp of his Coke. “Bad news though, Mom has requested that I go help outside.”

“Ah, balls.”

Derek laughed, the corner of his mouth lifting.

“I can stay on headset until I’m done eating though, if you want. Or we could hang up.” It was weird, now that Laura pointed it out to him. He and Robby talked... a lot. Not just about the game. He knew a lot about him, like how his dad was a cop and worked weird hours, how he was an only child and had a best friend named Scott. Robby, too, knew stuff about Derek that not even his friends at school really knew about him. Like how he had a yearly reading list and usually went through a book every three days or so, that Derek climbed onto the roof on clear nights to look at the stars, and that one time Laura had caught him jacking off in the bathroom.

Robby didn’t know the real details around it, like how usually their family just knew when privacy was needed, but it hadn’t been jacking off. It’d been fingers and lube and awkward poses and a lot of embarrassed screaming. Derek choked a bit when he recalled it. He shook, pushing the bad memories away.

“Sure man, no problem. I’ve got to go soon anyways. I sort of haven’t showered yet and I can’t really go out smelling like I currently do.” Derek snorted, because he could imagine. They’d stayed up late the night before playing, too. Derek didn’t need much sleep, really, so when he got up for swim practice he’d been fine. “I just took a whiff a bit ago when I stretched and you know what they say about being able to smell yourself.”

Derek bit his lip, thinking about what Robby, in fact, did smell like. Derek’s life revolved around smells, scents and aromas. He could scent strong emotions in the air such as fear, anxiety, happiness, even arousal. Everyone had a distinct smell that was theirs and only theirs, and Derek wanted to know what Robby’s was.

“You okay over there?” Robby asked. Derek looked down at his last half-eaten sandwich.

“Yeah, I was just thinking-- about nothing.”

“Sounds trippy,” Robby said with a half hearted laugh. “I’m gonna sign off. I’ll be around later if you are!”

“Sounds good, see you.”

“See you, man.” With that, silence fell over Derek’s room. Sighing to himself, Derek finished off the sandwich and Coke, leaving the chips alone. He brought the bag downstairs, putting it away before he joined his mom outside. His afternoon was spent with his family, getting his hands dirty as they readied the garden for spring. He pulled weeds with his little sister, and only ended up getting in a fight once. After that, he showered, then helped his sister make dinner. Every Saturday the two of them made the meal, together. Their parents were all about bonding activities, about being close to one another.

They decided to make pizza from scratch. The dough was already rising, Laura had made it that morning, so Derek was on vegetable chopping duty.

“I think I’m going to get rid of some books tomorrow,” Laura said. “Take them to the new used bookstore.”

“Hmm,” Derek said as he moved from the tomatoes over to the mushrooms. Laura was going to make her own sauce with the tomatoes he’d just cut.

“Want to come with?” She asked, looking at Derek out of the corner of her eye as she got the tomatoes ready to puree. Derek shrugged. He didn’t have any plans, except for playing his game. “Maybe get rid of some old books and exchange them for new ones.”

“That-- maybe,” Derek said, his brow furrowing. “I’d have to think about it.”

Derek spent an hour after dinner going through his books, making a pile of the ones that he’d be willing to get rid of for new ones, when he heard a ping on his computer. He looked over to see that Robby had instant messaged him via the game.

You on? He asked. Derek sat down, unable to help but smile as he got ready to respond.

I’m here. Wanna play?

A call came up, RobieLody popping up. His user picture was blurry, as was Derek’s, but all Derek could make out was two middle fingers. Derek put his headset on and hit accept as he logged his character on.

“Heyo,” Robby said. “What’s up?”

“Nothing,” Derek said as he watched Robby’s werewolf appear. He wasn’t alone while raiding with Robby, not the only werewolf. He didn’t know any others, besides his family, and even though it was just a game, it mattered to Derek. “Ready to kick some ass.”

“Then let’s do it.”

They played until Derek fell asleep at his computer. He woke up to the sound of silence, Robby had disconnected at some point. Before climbing into bed, Derek sent an instant message for him, whenever he’d sign on next, ‘sorry for snoring’.

The next day, after running five miles around the preserve and showering, Derek, Laura, and Cora headed into town with bags full of old books. The new used bookstore, named 2nd & Charles, coined by the two streets it sat at the corner of, was barely open a month yet was full of books. Derek loved the smell of books, especially older ones. They dropped off their books in order for them to be assessed. Derek browsed the rows and rows of books, stopping in teen fiction. He looked around him, then rolled his eyes at himself. He didn’t care if anyone saw him in the section: he loved teen fantasy. It was the closest thing he had to being normal. He liked stories where the main character was supernatural or had powers thrust upon them.

Laura teased him about it, but he teased her right back because he knew she’d been in the romance section. Laura’s guilty pleasure was bodice rippers, the cheaper the better. Derek lost himself by reading the backs of books he hadn’t heard of and didn’t notice someone trying to get his attention. He took a step back, his nostrils flaring when he saw that it was an employee with messy hair and a pair of glasses that Derek would use the word ‘hipster’ to describe. With a Marvel shirt covered by a long sleeved plaid one, he definitely fit the part of a bookstore clerk.

“What?” Derek asked, after he realized they probably asked him a question.

“Can I help you with anything?” He asked, looking at the stack of books Derek had in his arms, his eyes ghosting over the titles. Defensively, Derek turned his body away from him, which got Derek a smile. “It’s just-- I couldn’t help but notice the trend in what you’ve picked out and that’s basically my genre so--”

“Your genre?” Derek asked. Glasses licked his lips before answering, running his fingers through his hair.

“Yeah, I’ve basically read all the ones you have in that pile.” Derek looked him up and down again. He looked familiar. “We go to the same school, you know.”

“Really?” Derek asked. He looked at the name tag that simply read ‘Stiles’. It didn’t sound familiar. Stiles shrugged, sighing as he pointed at one of the books.

“This one isn’t worth it, the summary sounded awesome, but there was no follow through.” Stiles picked up a book from the shelf, adding it to Derek’s pile. “This one is better. The main character is female, which is awesome because she’s a badass. So, yeah.”

With that, he left, leaving Derek alone in the aisle to read the back of the book that was thrust upon him. He ended up putting the other one back, the one Stiles said wasn’t worth it. He decided to trust his judgement.

Derek ended up getting almost thirty credits for the books he turned in. He only needed to pay five dollars in the end, because he went home with over ten books.

“The point was to get money,” Laura said as they exited. Derek caught the eyes of Stiles, who gave him a thumbs up. Derek lifted his chin in recognition as they walked out the door.

“You get twice as many credits than cash, though,” Derek said as they piled into the car, Cora with her nose already in a book she’d started once she dropped her used books off. “I’d rather have more books.”

“Weirdo.”

Derek stuck his tongue out at her, not caring.

He didn’t so much as turn on his computer until after dinner, when he realized he had a paper to write. As soon as he did, a slew of messages popped up, most of which had been in the last hour, all of them from Robby. Derek grinned as he paged him, hoping he’d pick up. Derek barely had his headset on when they answered, out of breath.

“Hey,” they said. “What’s up?”

“Nothing, you okay?” Derek asked. “You sound like you were running.”

“I mean, I was on my bed, fell off it, and ran to my computer. Does that count?” Derek rolled his eyes but smiled as he leaned back in his swivel chair.

“In bed, huh?” Derek asked. His cheeks reddened because he could hear his heart beating fast, the certain uptick and sound of his voice: fucked out. Derek knew exactly what he’d been doing. They laughed, sighing as if laying back down.

“Yeah,” they said. Silence hung between them, though it wasn’t awkward “So, hey, want to raid?”

“I can’t, actually,” Derek groaned. “I have to write a paper I forgot about.”

“Oh yeah? What about?”

“It’s on Canterbury Tales.”

“Shoot me now, I just had to write a paper about that, too.”

“Huh,” Derek said, biting his lip as he waited for Microsoft Word to open. “Public school.”

“Right?” Robby said with a laugh. “Well, I don’t want to keep you--”

“No, I mean-- It’s fine. I could use the company.” The words were out before Derek had time to think about what he said, what it implied. They hadn’t really ever talked outside of playing the game. Sure, they talked for hours but that was because they’d been playing the game for hours, too.

“Oh, yeah, sure. We can stay on, then. I’ve got some calc I need to do.”

“You’re in calculus?” Derek asked, whistling low. “Smart.”

“Yeah, AP. I regret taking it,” he said. “That and AP English and history, I’ve got my plate full.”

“I get you, I’m in AP physics, English, and Spanish. Math is not my forte.”

“Spanish? Hardcore. I’m in basic, but I dropped Spanish for Latin this year since we only really needed three years in one language.” Derek found it interesting that he’d just drop a language like that.

“So you’re a senior too, then?” Derek asked.

“Yeah,” Robby said. They’d never discussed that, Derek had only assumed he was in high school like him.

They fell silent as they worked, Derek typing away as he listened to the sound of Robby breathing. It calmed him. By the time he got to his conclusion, he realized that they hadn’t talked in over an hour. He yawned, checking the time.

“Hey, do you need to go to bed?” Derek asked. It was past midnight.

“Huh?” Robby said after obviously being woken up, judging by the sound of his voice. “Dude, I’ve been in bed.”

“What? Really? Why didn’t you say something, we could have hung up.”

“The sound of you typing was sort of like white noise, you know? I -- I didn’t mind staying on.” Derek’s neck heated up. “You done?”

“Almost. I’ve only got the conclusion to write, which is basically reiterating what I already wrote.”

“And yet it’s so hard to get the words out,” Robby said with a yawn. Derek adjusted himself, realizing that he was getting hard at the thought of being on headset while Robby slept. As his hand grazed over his basketball shorts, he let out a low grunt, then cleared his throat.

“I’m -- I’m gonna let you go.”

“Alright bro, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Yeah.”

Derek was fucked, so fucked. He put his headset down around his neck, then pushed his shorts down just enough that he could palm at his growing erection. Derek moaned as he pulled at it, biting his lip as he got harder, his head showing as he jacked himself off. With ragged breaths, he let his legs fall open as he watched his own hand stroke up and down. He let his head fall against the back of the chair as he thought about how much a voice could get him off. Derek let out a short, choked sob as he pictured Stiles from the bookstore as he came on his own hand. Panting as he rode out his orgasm, Derek let out a sigh, his eyes widening when he saw that he was still connected to their chat.

Derek panicked, immediately hitting end, his hand still covered in come. All he could do was hope that Robby hadn’t heard, that he’d fallen back asleep. Derek decided as he reached for the tissues that he was going to tell himself that yeah, this crush wasn’t anything really. You can’t actually like someone you’ve never met, have never even seen. And they definitely, definitely didn’t hear him jacking off.

Chapter Text

Every morning, Derek ran before school. It kept his head clearer and got out some of the excess energy he felt coursing through his body otherwise. He showered, then headed to school with Cora. Laura was in college -- she commuted home on the weekends to be with family. Derek and Cora shared a car and took turns driving it. It was Cora’s turn, and as they pulled into the parking lot she almost hit a Jeep that had stopped abruptly in front of them.

“Goddammit, Cora be careful!” Derek shouted, his claws out as he held onto the dash in front of him.

“It wasn’t my fault the asshat in front of up stopped,” Cora grumbled, her lip lifting in a silent growl. When they finally parked, it was right by the Jeep. Derek froze, book bag barely on his shoulder, when he saw who it was: Stiles.

“Oh, hey,” Stiles said, giving him a lopsided grin. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“It’s school,” Cora said with a roll of her eyes. “What do you expect?” With that, she left. Derek stood there, unmoving, as he tried to pinpoint why Stiles seemed so familiar to him. He definitely didn’t smell familiar.

“You okay, bro?” Stiles asked, looking concerned as his eyes gazed up and down at Derek. As if snapping back to reality, Derek walked forward, shrugging.

“What’s that word called when you don’t hear or see something ever then suddenly it’s everywhere?”

“Oh, uh, you mean the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?”

“The what and the who now? That sounds made up.”

Stiles laughed as they walked, his hands flailing about as he revved up to explain it to Derek. Derek was entranced by Stiles’ constant movement while each step he took was calculated.

“It’s literally where you hear some rare word or piece of information for the first time and suddenly it’s everywhere; Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.”

“And you know that off the top of your head?” Derek asked, unbelievingly.

“I know a lot of useless information,” Stiles said with a wave of his hand. “But why did you ask about it?”

“Because you’re my Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon,” Derek said, giving Stiles a smile before he headed towards his first period.

At his locker between fourth and lunch, Derek caught Stiles’ scent. He knew it, now, and it grabbed his attention. He looked around until he spotted him halfway down the hall talking animatedly with another senior, one that Derek had only seen in passing.

Derek wouldn’t call himself popular, not really. He didn’t think in those terms because to him, family was everything. Sure, he had friends, he went to parties when invited, he’d even had a girlfriend, but that had ended badly, so he picked himself back up and said he’d concentrate on what mattered: pack. Stiles, though, Derek could tell didn’t care about high school hierarchy. He didn’t care if he was ever going to be prom king or first string for whatever sport.

Stiles and Derek locked eyes from across the busy hallway. Unable to break eye contact, Derek jerked his chin upward as he shut his locker door. The corner of Stiles’ mouth lifted as his friend put an arm around his shoulder, leading him down the hall away from Derek. It was odd, never really noticing Stiles at school and then suddenly he was there, twice.

At lunch, Derek was always surrounded by friends. His table was full and boisterous, everyone laughing and trying to talk over everyone else as he ate. He was quieter than his group of friends but was known for his one liners and quick jabs when need be. His mind was elsewhere, though, as his friends held conversations around him and over him as he ate. He couldn’t stop thinking about the night before, about how he’d still been online, and that Robby hadn’t disconnected. It made Derek’s stomach turn. He discarded his half-eaten sandwich, finding it no longer appetizing.

He found himself in one of the bathrooms, splashing water on his face. Embarrassment wasn’t something he felt often, living in a house full of werewolves, but this was different. He’d jacked off, came even, thinking about someone who was on the end of the line. His life was over.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” Derek said to himself as he gripped the sink, looking at himself in the mirror.

“I wasn’t being dramatic,” a familiar voice said, making Derek’s eyes widen. Stiles walked out of a stall, lifting an eyebrow at Derek as he washed his hands. “I just came here to use the facilities, I honestly feel so attacked right now.”

Derek couldn’t help but laugh. It sounded like something that Robby would say, the inflection and everything.

“Are you stalking me?” Derek asked.

“I should be asking you the same thing, I was in here first,” Stiles retorted as he dried his hands on his own pants; all the paper towels were out. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” Derek scoffed, running his fingers through his hair. “It’s nothing.” Stiles gave him a look, nodding his head slightly.

“Alright, I get it,” he said as he adjusted his glasses. “Too cool to talk to me at school. But I know you, Hale.” Derek’s eyebrows skyrocketed, his jaw dropped. Stiles’ heart beat was smooth, without an uptick. “You’re just as nerdy as I am.”

Derek let out the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding in. There was no way that Stiles would know he was a werewolf, no way.

“You caught me, I’m living a lie,” Derek deadpanned. Stiles grinned at him and Derek could have sworn under his breath at the way it made his stomach flip. “See you around.”

When Derek left, it felt like he was walking through molasses. He’d wanted to stay there with Stiles. He felt drawn to him but he couldn’t pinpoint why.

After school, Derek had swim practice. He did laps in the pool, the feel of water encompassing him relaxed him. To him, swimming wasn’t stressful. The water weighed him down, pushed him to work hard. He was the fastest on the team, even though he held back. He couldn’t ever be himself unless he was at home, surrounded by his family. He liked to compete, and brought recognition to his school’s swim team due to his speed. After finishing his last lap, Derek stopped at the edge of the pool, catching his breath. As soon as he lifted himself up onto the edge of the pool he heard Stiles’ voice echoing off the walls.

He really was everywhere.

Derek looked around, surprised to find Stiles standing with his sister and Erica. Erica was on his team and one of his closest friends. She was dripping wet, a hand on Stiles’ shoulder as she laughed. Derek approached them, not missing the look Stiles gave him as he looked over his body. He was wearing his usual, a pair of tight fitting swimming trunks, but with Stiles’ gaze on him he felt exposed.

“How fast did you go?” Cora asked him. Derek shrugged. He hadn’t had anyone timing him.

“Probably broke his own record again,” Erica said with the roll of her eyes, teasing him as she elbowed his side. Derek feigned being hurt, holding onto his side. Stiles’ gaze never left him. “We’re all going to get coffee after this, you two want in?”

Derek and Cora exchanged glances before answering.

“We better not,” Derek said, dabbing his face with a towel that was handed off to him. He patted down his chest, then his arms.

“Next time though, for sure,” Cora said.

Derek showered, then met up with Cora at their car. With Cora at the wheel, Derek checked his phone all the way home. The full moon was coming, and his body was practically buzzing because of it.

“So you know Stiles?” Derek asked. “I mean, from besides the bookstore?”

“Where have you been?” Cora asked. “Of course I know Stiles. He’s up there with Lydia Martin in the running for valedictorian, only he doesn’t care about it half as much as she does. He used to be in my grade in elementary school but he was bumped up, so he’s just now turning seventeen.”

“Huh,” Derek said, but didn’t add any more to the conversation.

Derek didn’t log onto Mythical Mayhem, he couldn’t face Robby, and didn’t even know what to say to him. He had no excuses for why he did it. They’d been talking for months and nothing like that had ever happened between them. He didn’t log on until two days later, where he found a slew of messages waiting for him.

Hey you around??

What’s up?

Let me know if you want to raid.

Hey you alive over there?

Derek felt bad, because they were all timestamped, with the last being not even ten minutes prior. Derek sighed, hesitating before he began typing.

Sorry, I hadn’t been on. Busy. Even Derek knew it was a lame excuse, but he had nothing to offer, no real reason except that he was avoiding everything. After waiting a few minutes for a response, Robby typed back.

You’re allliiiiiiiveeeeeeee. Derek laughed, relaxing for the first time in what felt like days. Want to chat?

Derek hit call, taking a deep breath beforehand. He didn’t have much time because before he knew it, Robby picked up.

“Heyo, what’s crackalackin’?”

“Uh, not much,” Derek said, clearing his throat. Robby sounded so familiar to him, but he couldn’t place it, it was on the tip of his tongue, just out of reach. If only he could smell him, scent him, he wouldn’t feel as though he were tripping on the last step of a set of stairs. He sat back in his chair, his eyes staring off at his walls. “Sorry I disappeared on you.”

“No problem, man, it’s not like it was a date or anything,” Robby said. They fell silent for a moment. “Hah,” he said a beat too late. “So, what? You want to find some treasure?”

“We could,” Derek said, his voice distant as he bit his lip. “About the other night--” He didn’t know why he was bringing it up, it was dumb to do it, but he had to come clean.

“Yeah, sorry I passed out on you,” he said. Derek’s stomach clenched. Maybe he’d been wrong all along. “I guess that’s what happens when I chat while laying down.”

“No problem,” Derek mumbled, running his hands over his face in relief.

“Everything okay?” Robby asked, his words echoing in Derek’s mind. Flashback to earlier that day in the bathroom, Stiles’ worried expression as he reached out for Derek, but didn’t touch him. Derek groaned. “Guess not.”

“Shit’s complicated, it’s going to be a rough week,” Derek practically growled as he looked at the calendar he had hung in his room, the full moon circled: three days and counting. He was already irritable enough, he didn’t need the moon fucking with him.

“Well I’m here if you ever need to vent, you know that right?”

“Same,” Derek murmured.

“Well, I can’t help you in person, but I can give you this awesome sword I found yesterday while I played alone.”

“You don’t need to give me your sword--”

“Nope, nope, I insist, besides... I know you’ll like it.” Derek grinned to himself when he saw that he had a new item in his inventory. Sometimes having an online friend was awesome.

Derek got offline without embarrassing himself, which he was grateful for. They’d played until he had to start his homework. He jacked off before bed, trying, in vain, not to think about Robby or Stiles. It didn’t work, but at least this time he didn’t have a headset around his neck. It’d been the first time in days, and it didn’t take long. Cleaning himself off with a tissue, Derek stared up at the ceiling until he fell asleep, hoping the week wouldn’t be too hard on him. Dreams weren’t something that Derek remembered. By the time he woke up, and got out of bed they were so distant Derek rarely recalled even the feelings they evoked unless he was wrenched out of sleep with a jolt as if he had been falling. Those were the only ones he ever remembered.

Derek bolted upright, his chest heaving as he looked around his room. Drenched in sweat, he peeled off his shirt, groaning. Derek’s nose scrunched up when he realized that it wasn’t only sweat that covered him.

“Shit,” Derek said, kicking his sheets away from him, sticky and smelling of come. He’d had a wet dream. He hadn’t had one in years, at least one that he hadn’t woke up in time to deal with it himself. Derek walked out into the hallway, checking to see if anyone else was awake. It was barely four in the morning, and the house was completely quiet. Derek washed himself off in the bathroom, then changed his boxers as he grumbled to himself. Stripping his sheets off his bed as he gathered them into a ball.

He had to do them now, in the middle of the night. In the laundry room with the door shut, Derek sat on top of the washer as it ran, his head in his hands. Derek’s life was an embarrassment. A knock on the door startled him, the sound of the washer drowning out footsteps on the hardwood floor.

“Derek?”

It was his mother. She opened the door with look of concern across her face as Derek hunched over. She gave him a knowing look as she pat his arm, then ran her fingers through his hair.

“I heard you puttering around out here,” she said with a warm smile. “Everything okay?”

“Besides pure embarrassment? Yeah,” Derek mumbled. “I was just going to stay up, no sense in going back to sleep when I have to be up in an hour.”

“Come on, let’s get new sheets on your bed,” she said, grabbing a new set from the linen closet. Together, they made Derek’s bed. She sat down on it, patting the mattress beside her, indicating for Derek to join her. He did, leaning against his mom as he put his head on her shoulder. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”

“The moon,” Derek admitted. He looked down at his hands, flexing his fingers. “This month is going to be hard.”

“Are you at war with yourself over something?” She asked him as she scratched his back idly. “Full moons are harder when we have too much on our minds.” Derek thought about Robby, about Stiles, about school work and acceptance letters from colleges and the upcoming swim meet.

“Not too much different than last month, only now--” Derek sighed. “Now I like two people? But I don’t know. Like is a strong word. I feel drawn to one, who sort of appeared in my life.”

“Well,” she said with a small smile. “You are a catch, and worth the time of anyone you see fit.” Derek rolled his eyes, but grinned nonetheless. “Just be careful.”

“I will, I am, now,” Derek murmured as he thought about Paige, about what happened. Derek sighed, looking his mother in the eye. “What happened before, it won’t happen again.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself,” Talia said as she stood up. “Paige was a nice girl. Her death, it had nothing to do with you. You couldn’t have prevented it.”

“I just feel like I could have done something, anything,” Derek said as he pulled his legs up to his chest, hugging them close. “I miss her.”

“First loves never truly leave us,” she said. “But you’ll find it again.” Derek nodded, but didn’t say anything else. “Get some rest before your alarm goes off. I’ll switch the laundry out.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Derek said as he lay back against the mattress. She shut the door behind him, leaving him alone with his thoughts. All he could think about, though, was Stiles.

The days leading up to the full moon went by in a blur full of morning runs, last minute homework attempts, late night gaming sessions, and avoiding Stiles like the plague. He was seemingly everywhere, around corners and at lunch. Derek couldn’t walk the halls without scenting him. It drove Derek mad, so much so that on the day of the full moon, Derek hid out in the bathroom until the bell rang. As the teacher wrote him a tardy slip, he sat down at his seat, sighing with relief. Bullet dodged.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like Stiles, or disliked him. It wasn’t about that. Derek’s instincts were what was the problem. What he really wanted was to ram him up against the lockers and shove his face against Stiles’ neck, but he wasn’t going to allow himself the opportunity. He’d had to clean his sheets every single night leading up to the moon and Derek was at his wits end.

He didn’t get a detention for his tardiness, but he might as well have because it would have been preferable, because Stiles was there, at swim practice, talking with Erica again. He was surrounded by girls, in fact, from their grade: Kira Yukimura, Allison Argent, along with Erica. Derek broke out in a cold sweat as he walked by them in his tight fitting swim trunks. They felt smaller all of the sudden, constricting. As Derek dove into the water, he swam out his frustrations. His blood pumped through his veins as if it were on fire. When he came up for air, Stiles and the coach were squatting down where his hands held onto the edge of the pool.

“Are you alright, Hale?” Coach asked.

“Yeah coach, why?” Derek asked as he wiped dripping water from his face. He looked to Stiles, who had a look of shock across his face.

“Well, you just did a full lap without taking a breath,” Coach pointed out with a look of awe. Derek sunk down into the water to his nose. He hadn’t been paying attention. Stiles’ gaze on him coursed through his veins. Derek felt his fangs elongating, so he dunked himself down into the water. When he emerged, he felt better.

“Sorry, I don’t know how that happened,” Derek said, making sure he looked solely at Coach Finstock.

“Just be careful, we need you this weekend.”

“Sure thing,” Derek said, his eyes flicking to Stiles one last time before he pushed away from the edge. It hadn’t even been a week since Stiles had been on his radar but something about him got under Derek’s skin.

By the time he got out of the pool and showered, Cora was beyond ready to go home. She had issues dealing with the full moon too, but in different ways than Derek.

“It took you long enough,” she snapped as they walked towards the car.

“Don’t,” Derek said through gritted teeth. “My patience is just about done for today.”

“Yeah well mine flew out the window in fourth period when whatsherface’s phone kept going off during our quiz and then at lunch they didn’t have steak fries they only had curly fries--” Derek laughed, his shoulders shaking as he unlocked the car door. Cora pinned him against the door, grabbing hold of his jacket as she growled. “You--”

“Guys?” It was Stiles, because of course it was. Cora let go of Derek, her hands clenched at her sides to hide her claws. “Everything alright?”

“Yeah,” Cora said, her lips hiding a hint of fang as they retracted. She was lucky she hadn’t shifted, or that her eyes weren’t glowing. They needed to get home. Stiles looked apprehensive, jangling his car keys in his hand; his Jeep was nearby. Derek could smell anxiety on him, along with arousal. Derek closed his eyes, willing himself to calm down.

“We’re fine,” Derek said, delayed. “See you tomorrow.”

Stiles gave a half-hearted wave, looking over his shoulder before he got into his Jeep. Derek and Cora waited until he’d driven off before they made a move. Cora punched Derek in the arm with more force than necessary.
“What was that for?” Derek asked, shoving at her. Cora pointed her finger at his face and snarled.

“Don’t touch him.”

“What do you mean by that?” Derek asked, his voice cracking as Cora took the car keys from him. “I’m not touching anyone but myself.” Cora scoffed at him.

“Oh, don’t I know it. My room is next to yours.”

“Fuck off,” Derek said, the back of his neck turning red as he got into the passenger side. They rode home in silence, Derek with his arms crossed and his leg bouncing in its place. He wanted to be free from the confines of the car, of society. He needed to get out and run; he needed to howl.

There were four hours until the moon would rise.

Chapter Text

Every full moon, weather permitting, the Hale family ate under the stars. They walked deep into the woods well after sunset and ate together as they waited for the moon to rise. When it did, Talia normally kept her unruly children in line as they ran together. Derek hadn’t needed to be locked up or chained in over a year, but as they trudged through the woods, he could feel the moon’s pull. It tugged at his skin, made his jaw ache as he opened it, adjusting it as his fangs extended.

“Fangs away!” Talia called out. She didn’t even need to look back at him. Derek sulked, fingers on his jaw, a chill going down his spine. Laura walked beside him, her eyebrow quirked.

“What?” Derek murmured petulantly.

“Nothing, you’re just a little strung out tonight,” Laura said. Derek rolled his eyes, his nostrils flaring as something in the distance caught his attention: a twig snapping. Voices echoed through the woods, making the hair on the back of Derek’s neck stand on end. No one should be out this far. Derek jerked to the side, ready to take off when his father’s hand on his shoulder grounded him.

“I’ll go scout,” he said before he took off.

By the time they made it to the nemeton, a massive tree in the middle of the woods that they met under during the full moons, the moon was about to rise. Derek’s father, William, appeared empty-handed as Derek stood uneasily by the tree.

“Teenagers,” he said with the shake of his head. “Told them they were on private property and sent them home.”

“Should I--”

Derek indicated to his wrists, asking to be shackled. He could tell he was going to have a rough night already, and didn’t want to take any chances. His mother cupped his face with her hands as she shook her head.

“You won’t grow unless you give yourself the space to, or the belief. You’re a strong wolf, and an even stronger man. You don’t need shackles.”

Derek wanted to believe her, since she had so much faith in him, but he couldn’t. He knew his limits, and being at war with himself over Robby and Stiles, he knew the mixture would be disastrous during a full moon.

“I’ll be here with you.”

He nodded his head, accepting that his alpha would be able to stop him if he couldn’t handle it. The moment the moon rose, Derek felt it all the way down to his bones. He screamed, as did Cora, their cries echoing through the preserve. Falling to his knees, Derek clawed at the ground as he shifted. With his senses heightened even more than normal, he could smell Stiles on his father. Derek pressed his face against his father’s neck, breathing in his scent. Stiles had been in the woods, had been one of the teens his father made leave. Objectively, Derek knew he had to calm down. His father’s words were drowned out by his own beating heart and the instinct to run.

With his chest heaving, Derek dug his claws into his own hands in order to get control. For a moment, he saw clearly. Derek thought about Robby and ran, fast. Normally, he ran with his sisters, his mother, but not tonight. Tonight, he went on pure instinct. When not fully shifted, he could run a mile in three minutes, but now, without holding back, he barely broke two. Before he knew it, he surpassed the preserve and headed towards town.

He didn’t even break a sweat, or if he did he couldn’t tell because the only thing that mattered was the fact that he was standing in front of what he assumed to be Stiles’ house. He could hear Stiles inside, talking as he walked around. Derek climbed a tree, hopped onto a bit of roof by Stiles’ window and had his hand on the sill before he managed to get ahold of himself. Derek stood there, wide-eyed, as he looked into the window.

Stiles was on the phone with his back turned towards Derek, completely unaware of his presence. Derek growled so low that he felt it in his chest, his claws leaving marks on the window sill as he watched Stiles with glowing eyes. Derek wanted to be inside, where the scent would be stronger.

Stiles’ laughter pulled Derek back to the present as it rang out, Stiles’ head thrown back as he held onto his side, falling onto the bed, bouncing as he situated himself. Stiles sat with his legs crossed and the phone cradled between his cheek and shoulder.

Derek placed his hand on the glass, then his forehead as he listened, his heart rate slowing down, his eyes closing as he listened to the beat of Stiles’ heart, to his voice as it carried. Stiles sounded like home.

“Home,” Derek said to himself as he slid down the wall, sitting beneath Stiles’ window, hugging his legs close to his chest, looking up at the moon as it coursed through his veins. Derek bit down on his lower lip hard enough that it bled, his claws digging into his shins as he fought back the urge to claim Stiles.

He didn’t have the right to; Stiles wasn’t his. Derek let out a whine, looking through the window one last time before hopping down onto the ground and making his way back towards the preserve, his blood lust curved as the moon began its descent.

When Derek returned, he was tackled to the ground by his mother, pinned in place by clawed hands as she scented him, checking him over.

“I didn’t do anything,” Derek admitted, his eyes flashing as he submitted to her, exposing his neck.

“I know you didn’t,” she said, letting up on the pressure but her hand remaining to show strength. Derek let out a groan when she finally let him go. “Don’t go into town again.”

“I couldn’t help-- Yes ma’am,” Derek said when he saw the look he got from his parents. He hadn’t meant to, it wasn’t like he’d done it on purpose. Cora had blood all over her, along with cuts and scrapes that were in the middle of healing. “What happened?”

“I tried to run after you, you’re faster than me.”

Derek smirked; that he was.

By the time Derek made it to bed, it was almost time for his alarm to go off. The day after full moons was rough, like a hangover, or so he was told. He’d never be drunk, but others would never be a werewolf, so. Derek dragged himself out of bed, showering off the dirt and grime of the forest, as well as jacking off down the drain, before getting dressed.

Cora was silent on the way to school until they were about a mile out.

“So,” she said, giving Derek a look. “Where’d you go?”

“What?” Derek asked, glaring at her as he drove.

“Where. Did. You. Go?” Cora said, accentuating each word with a jab to his shoulder.

“Nowhere--”

“Bullshit. You’re a bullshit liar you know that? For a werewolf, you suck--”

“Stiles’ house!” Derek said, gripping tight to the steering wheel, his eyes flashing as he glared at her. “I went to Stiles’ house.”

“Did you hurt him?” She asked, concerned. Derek shook his head as he wrung the steering wheel, gritting his teeth.

“No, I didn’t-- I wouldn’t hurt him,” Derek confessed. “But that’s where I was.”

“Doing what?”

“I sat.”

“You... sat...”

“Yeah, I fucking sat outside his window.”

“Did you jack off?” Cora asked, making a face as she flailed her arms, feigning disgust.

“What? No!” Derek shouted as he pulled into the parking lot. “No, I just... listened.”

“Was he jacking off?” Cora asked, grimacing.

“No! What’s with you today?” Derek asked as he got out of the car, slamming the door shut. Cora rolled her eyes dramatically as she followed Derek towards the school, keeping her voice down.

“I know you, okay, you gotta claim your territory.”

“Oh, okay,” Derek said, stopping dead in his tracks, crossing his arms. Cora crossed hers as well, snarling a little, her lip lifting. “Like I’m an animal.”

“Well, so am I,” she pointed out. “And unlike some of us, I don’t feel the need to piss on what I want.”

“That was one time!” Derek said, his voice raising. “And I was twelve.”

“It was my doll.”

“I apologized, didn’t I? And it wasn’t a doll, it was a Rogue action figure.”

“A doll,” Cora said, her clawed finger jabbing him in the chest.

“What’s up, guys?” Stiles said, his eyes wide. Derek hadn’t even noticed he’d walked up, he and Cora got so riled. Cora retracted her claws and Derek made sure his eyes weren’t glowing. If Stiles said anything, Derek could play off of the sun’s reflection. Plausible deniability, the mind would take the unexplainable and fill in the most logical explanation without pause. “You look like you’re about to attack each other.”

“Yeah, well,” Cora said with a shrug and a smile. “I’ll catch you two losers later.” She left Derek standing there, with Stiles, alone. Derek’s nostrils flared because Stiles didn’t only smell like himself, but he smelled distinctly of sex, too, but of no one else. Stiles had jacked off before school.

Derek had too, but he’d showered. Stiles didn’t know that he could be scented, though, that it was so distinct and pungent, that Derek covered his mouth, hiding a cough as he tried to compose himself. Worst full moon hangover ever. It took all of his willpower to start walking instead of burying his face underneath Stiles’ arm, or in his groin where odors were strongest.

“You okay? You guys always seem to be at each others throats.”

“You have no idea,” Derek said as they walked into a crowd, dispersing Stiles’ scent. Derek breathed easier, though they bumped shoulders as they walked. He kept his eyes ahead in hopes of keeping in control. Despite there being no moon, Derek still felt volatile. “See you,” Derek said without another word, slipping into the crowd, leaving Stiles behind.

He was so screwed.

That night, while playing Mystical Mayhem, Robby was quieter than normal. Derek tried to ignore it, but he couldn’t shake it off.

“Something up?” Derek asked as he took a sip of his Coke. Robby let out an audible sigh.

“A lot, actually. But it’s real life stuff, non game related.”

“No shit,” Derek laughed. “Everything is real life fuckery.”

“Point,” Robby said, silence falling between them. “Listen, I, uh. Shit. This is going to be awkward no matter how I say it.” Derek’s stomach dropped as dread overcame him. Robby was going to end their semi-nightly rendezvous, for lack of a better term. “You know that night, uh, last week when I told you I fell asleep?”

“Oh,” Derek said. Yep, he was done for. The game was paused, Robby’s doing, which made Derek all the more anxious.

“Yeah, ‘oh.’ I meant to bring it up sooner, you know, but--”

“You don’t need to explain,” Derek offered. “I was out of line.”

“What? No-- I’m telling you that I like you.”

“What?” Derek asked, sitting up in his seat.

“I heard you, and uh, I want you to know that, you know, I’m right there with you.” Derek sat there in shock, his eyes wide as all of the blood in his body seemingly flowed south. Robby let out another sigh, this time of relief. “There, I said it.”

“You like me?” Derek asked.

“Pretty much.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah,” Robby said. Derek could tell he was grinning, which made him smile as he ran his fingers through his hair. “So, uh, yeah.”

“Yeah.”

Derek didn’t know what to say, it was a relief, in a way, knowing that Robby felt the same way as he did. Only now, there was a silence.

“Well now that that’s out of the way, how about we find some gold and kill some bad guys?”

“Sounds stellar,” Derek said, unable to stop grinning. Two hours later, he found himself yawning, though he wanted to stay up. Within the last hour, Robby started dropping horrible sexual innuendos and puns whenever he could. Not only did they make Derek laugh, but what he really wanted was to get off.

“Don’t tell me you’re leaving me, I was just getting to the good puns,” Robby complained.

“Well, what if we moved this to, say, a bed.”

“I’m listening.”

Derek felt his cheeks redden as he twirled his seat around, walking towards his bed.

“I’ve, uh, never really--”

“Lies, we’ve already done this you just didn’t know it,” Robby pointed out. Derek smirked as he thumbed at the elastic around his boxers, shoving them down his thighs, getting ready to step out of them.

“Well,” Derek said with a sigh. “I just took my boxers off.”

“Love the sexy talk, it’s great,” Robby laughed. “I’m naked, too.” Derek gulped, thinking about it. He imagined Stiles, his entire body reacting to the image. It wasn’t right, thinking of someone else, but that’s who he saw, since he didn’t know what Robby looked like. Derek cleared his throat, worried for a minute that Robby was some older guy.

“You aren’t like, forty are you?”

“Do I sound forty?”

“No,” Derek stumbled. “I just--”

“What’s your number?”

“Like my phone number?” Derek asked, fumbling with his shirt as he tried to take it off without catching it on his headset.

“Yeah, exactly like a phone number.” Derek spouted it off as he climbed into bed, lying back with a leg propped up and leaning outward as he palmed at himself. They were actually doing this, they were going to jack off together.

Beside him, Derek’s phone pinged. With bated breath, Derek checked it, his jaw dropping when he saw a picture of a dick, erect and curved, with long fingers wrapped around it, a thumb against the head.

“You get it?”

“Yeah,” Derek said, his voice cracking. That got him hard. “I’m gonna send you one.”

“You better,” Robby joked, his breath catching. Derek closed his eyes as he stroked himself a few times, letting his cock fill out before he snapped a photo. He hit send, then put his hand with his phone against his forehead as he bit his lip. He’d just sent a fucking nude photo to someone, shit.

“Fuck, alright,” Robby said with a grunt as if resituating himself. Derek did the same as he played with his foreskin before stroking downward, revealing his head. He could hear the sound of lotion being pumped, and smirked. One good thing about being a werewolf, no circumcision, no need for lotion. But now, Derek could hear the sound of Robby jacking off, along with his quieted moans. Derek let out a moan, timing his strokes to Robby’s, the pace quicker than he normally jacked off. He lost himself in the sound of Robby’s breathing, short bursts of breath as the slick cadence of his hand over his cock filled Derek’s ears.

“Fuck, this is hot,” Derek said as his free hand roamed over his chest and stomach, tweaking a nipple as he felt his orgasm build. “Shit.”

“Fuck me,” Robby said, half laughing as he moaned, coming. Derek’s pace quickened even more as he imagined Stiles kneeling in front of him, come on his cheek and lips. Derek came, his body jerking as he stroked through his orgasm.

Derek panted, his mind reeling at the fact that he’d had phone sex. He reached for tissues, cleaning his hand and stomach before tossing it into the trash.

“That, that is something we should do again.”

“I concur,” Derek mused, way too come drunk to move or say anything else. Robby hummed, patting his stomach, or something similar. Derek yawned again.

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow?” Robby asked.

“Yeah,” Derek said. “It’s a date.”

-

The next few weeks passed by in a blur. With Derek’s swim meet behind him, where he came in first in all his events, he had time to concentrate on other things like Robby, and spending more time playing Mythical Mayhem with him. He’d barely gotten it booted up when his mother called him downstairs.

His father was waiting at the kitchen table as his mom stood behind him with her arms crossed. Derek looked between them as he sat down across from them. Somewhere in the house, Cora was eavesdropping. It would be hard not to.

“Derek, we’re concerned,” his father said, his hands folded out in front of him on the table. Derek looked to his mom, who nodded her head.

“About what?” Derek asked. “I’ve got good grades, I go to every swim practice--”

“It’s not that,” Talia said, her voice stern.

“You’re spending too much time in your room, playing that game.”

“It isn’t just a game,” Derek implored, his face contorting. “I-- I’m being social on it.”

“You don’t hang out with friends.”

“I am, though,” Derek said, looking between them. “I’ve got, he’s-- I’m--”

He didn’t know how to explain himself, how to tell them that he found someone, only they were online and not right in front of them. Derek’s jaw clenched as he stood up, his face set in a frown.

“It isn’t like we can have people over, or invite them to dinner. No one is allowed in, it’s better this way, isn’t it? To keep people away? Well I’m keeping him safe, he won’t get hurt if he’s online but telling me that our friendship, our relationship isn’t anything real because physical contact hasn’t been made is just--”

“Derek, calm down,” his mother said, her eyes flashing red. Derek lowered his head to the side, exposing his neck to her. “We were only concerned. We want you to make an effort, to go out.”

“I thought the point was to remain hidden.”

“It’s not about that,” William said, looking to Talia. “We want you to have friends, to go out. We don’t want what happened with Paige to keep you locked up in your room.”

“I’m not locked up in my room,” Derek said. “I’m having fun, I’m being social. I’m not some recluse.”

“Less time on the computer, please,” his mother said, her decision final. Derek narrowed his eyes, but knew better than to backtalk. He got up from his seat, and walked out the back door. He needed to go for a walk.

Once he was out of earshot of the house, Derek took out his phone, pulling up Robby’s number. They hadn’t really used the phone since that night, so Derek hadn’t really registered it before, but Robby’s area code was the same as his. Derek looked around the forest, looking for proof of some sort of cosmic joke that was being played on him. Robby was from Beacon County.

Derek hesitated before calling him, but ended up hitting send as he put the phone up to his ear, shoving the other into his back pocket as he looked down at the ground, kicking at rocks idly. It rang three times, four, five, before going over to voicemail.

“Hey there,” Robby’s voice said, with a certain snark that Derek rarely heard from him. “I’m obviously not available right now, but I’ll call you back.... when I get to it.”

Derek paced as he thought about if he should leave a message or not. Before he knew it, the voicemail beeped and he panicked.

“Hey, this is Derek, uh, I was just calling because I was out and I thought we could chat instead of raid... I’ll talk to you later.”

Derek hung up, his eyes widening when he realized that, not once, had he ever told Robby his name. Robby would know who he was by his voice, and it wasn’t like they hadn’t jacked off together so it wasn’t really a big deal; it just felt like one.

He stayed out until dinner time, waiting for Robby to call back. He ended up watching a movie with his parents and sister, and didn’t go online at all. He waited, and waited, going to bed without hearing from Robby. Derek tried not to think too hard about it.

Chapter Text

Derek groaned when he opened his locker to find a flyer tucked in it. There was one slipped into every locker, reminding the student body to buy tickets to the spring masquerade. Derek wasn’t interested in going in the slightest. He crumpled it up, tossing it into the recycling bin as he passed it.

“Nice shot,” Stiles said, appearing by Derek’s side with a wry grin plastered on his face. Derek wasn’t in the mood. He hadn’t slept at all, not hearing back from Robby the night before.

“Thanks,” Derek said, avoiding Stiles’ gaze. Stiles wasn’t so easily deterred, it seemed, and started rambling.

“--didn’t go last year, what with the whole Lydia debacle--”

“Lydia debacle?” Derek asked, his brow furrowed. Stiles stopped walking in the middle of the hallway once he realized Derek had as well, a few steps back. Students walked around them as they stood right in the center, in everyone’s way

“Yeah,” Stiles said, shrugging his shoulders as his head jerked to the side, obviously feigning
nonchalance. “You know, me asking her during lunch, in front of people, her saying no. It was kind of the worst day of my life.”

“Oh,” Derek said, frowning. He hadn’t known that had been Stiles. Sure, he knew someone had asked Lydia, that people laughed, but he didn’t see why they would have laughed at Stiles. Stiles was awesome. “I didn’t go either.”

“I know,” Stiles said, biting his lip. “I’m sorry about what happened-- I mean, fuck. I didn’t mean to bring it up.”

Derek stood there for a second, not realizing what Stiles meant. He kept forgetting that the whole school knew about the car crash, that he came out unscathed but Paige hadn’t; that she died in his arms. With his eyes closed, Derek concentrated on breathing. Stiles’ scent filled his nostrils, enveloping him. Derek wasn’t so sure that helped matters.

“It’s okay,” Derek found himself saying. “It’s no one’s fault but the drunk driver.”

“My dad, uh--” Stiles scratched the back of his head as he cleared his throat. “He was the first there.”

“Yeah,” Derek said, his voice distant.

“Anyways, so about this dance--”

“I’m not going,” Derek said. “But I hope you find a date,” he mumbled as he pushed past the crowd, leaving Stiles behind.

After school, Derek sat in his room on his bed with his legs crossed and his phone in his lap. He stared down at it as if willing it to ring. When it did, he jumped. At first he thought it would be Robby, but instead it was Boyd, one of his closest friends at school.

“Hey man, a bunch of us are going bowling tonight, you in?” Boyd asked. Derek looked to his computer, and thought about how he had been moping.

“Yeah, I’m in,” Derek said. If Robby wasn’t going to call him, he wasn’t going to wait around for him.

Cora ended up tagging along, and when they got there it seemed like a large group was there, splitting them off into two lanes. Derek shouldn’t have been surprised to see Stiles there with Scott, but he was. Stiles had a drink in his hand, with his back turned towards Derek but Derek would know that back anywhere. The sound of Stiles’ heartbeat also carried through the noise of the bowling alley as if it were Derek’s own heart beating.

Derek grabbed his shoes and a ball before heading over to their designated lanes. He sat down on a seat in the lane opposite of Stiles’. It seemed safer that way. On Derek’s team was Boyd, Erica, Allison Argent and Isaac Lahey while Stiles was on Scott’s, Cora’s, Lydia, and Kira Yukimura’s. Derek had blinders on for four years apparently because Stiles was friends with all of his friends.

“Oh, it’s going down,” Stiles said, pointing at Derek. Cora put her arm around Stiles’ shoulder as she narrowed her eyes at Derek and Boyd, two fingers going from her own eyes to pointing at Derek.

“You’re on,” Derek said with a smirk. He could do this. He could pretend to be okay. Being a smart ass was easy, it kept a defensive wall up between him and Stiles. Sarcasm was exactly that, a defense that kept others at arm’s length.

Stiles grinned, his eyes narrowing before he cracked his knuckles, looking to Cora.

“What do you say, Cora, a little wager?”

“Oh, what do you have in mind?” She asked, lifting an eyebrow as she put her head on his shoulder, intrigued. Derek gritted his teeth as Cora winked at him, riling him up.

“I don’t know, how about if we win, Derek goes to the masque,” Stiles wagered. Derek scoffed, waving a hand at them as Scott and Boyd both took their time plugging in their names.

“And if I win?” Derek asked, cocky. He knew he could win.

“If your team wins, then Stiles and I will...” Derek waited for Cora to think of something, anything, that would benefit him. She wouldn’t do his chores, and Stiles wasn’t allowed over.

“If you win, then you get your car washed every weekend by yours truly,” Stiles said. Derek looked him over again, then at their team. He didn’t really want to go to the masquerade, and didn’t care about washing the car when he could just get it done himself, but the way that Cora smirked at him, he knew he’d accept.

“Deal,” Derek said, holding out his hand. Stiles shook it readily, for a couple seconds too long.

“Stiles, you’re up!” Scott said, patting Stiles on the back.

Stiles bowled a spare for his first round. Derek was impressed, but not as impressed as he was by Lydia’s strike. Stiles scowled at him as he ran his fingers through his hair. Scott had a gutter ball, which had Stiles flailing around.

“Scotty, you’re killin’ me here!”

Derek laughed his way to the lane, ball in hand. He and Cora were up together, but he let her go first. On his turn, he got a strike, sending the ball straight down the middle. It would be hard for him not to, but he’d have to allow some imperfection in his game.

Between him and Lydia, Derek thought they had it in the bag, considering Scott’s failed attempts at knocking pins over.

In the end, it came down to him and Cora. If Cora got a strike, their team would win. She’d been pretty consistent, and he’d just split his down the middle and he’d never gotten the hang of curving it right.

Derek wasn’t a spoil sport, not really, but as Cora jumped into the air and into Stiles’ arms, he wanted to punch something.

“Come on, Derek,” Stiles said, laughing. “Don’t look like a kicked puppy, it’ll be fun.” Stiles pulled Derek into their celebrations, his hand clenched around Derek’s jacket as their team jumped up and down signing ‘we won, we won’ over and over. Of Derek’s team, Lydia looked the most disappointed.

Derek couldn’t help but smile with Stiles so close to him. With a look to Stiles’ lips, Derek licked his own. It would be so easy to kiss him like this, but Derek restrained himself. Stiles looked into Derek’s eyes, his grin wide as if knowing what Derek had been thinking.

“See you at the masque,” he whispered. Derek’s cheeks reddened as the celebrations dispersed.

After Derek put his bowling ball back and handed off his shoes, he checked his phone, hoping from a response from Robby. There wasn’t one. He was silent on the way home, only half listening to Cora as she talked about her ideas for the masquerade.

As soon as Derek got home, he ran up the stairs two steps at a time, going straight into his room. He’d had enough of not being online, of not talking to Robby. When he signed on, he wasn’t surprised to find no messages waiting for him, though it hurt a little bit. Robby was online, as indicated by a little green dot by his name. Derek clicked it, calling him as he put his headset on.

It took longer than normal for the call to be answered, but as soon as it was, relief flooded him.

“He--hey, Derek,” Robby said, his voice unsure.

“Hey,” Derek said. “I haven’t-- I hadn’t heard from you.”

“Uh-- right. Sorry? I just got home, I was out, bowling.” Derek stilled. Had Robby been at the bowling alley and he hadn’t even realized it? What if they’d passed by each other and didn’t know it. Derek’s mind was reeling at the fact, since there was only one bowling alley in Beacon County, the options were limited.

“Huh,” Derek said. “Well, I meant the other day, I called.”

“Oh,” Robby said, hesitating. “Right.” The conversation was stilted, awkward. Derek wanted to bury his head in a hole in the ground. “Sorry. I’ve been... thinking.” Derek’s stomach clenched: Robby didn’t want to have anything to do with him. This was the end. He let his imagination take over his mind, thinking about all the reasons Robby wanted to stop talking to him, so he completely missed part of the conversation. “-- so what do you think?”

“What?” Derek asked, panicking over missing Robby’s question. Damn his vivid imagination and paranoia.

“Uh, do you want to go to the masque with me?”

“Masque-- like Beacon Hills’ masque?”

“Yeah, do you want to meet me there? I think we should... meet.” Derek coughed, holding back as he laughed. Robby went to his school. He could be in one of Derek’s classes for all he knew, even his English class. It hadn’t been a coincidence that they both had to write a paper about the same book.

“I-- yeah,” Derek said, taking a calming breath. “That would be great. So you go to Beacon Hills?”

“Yeah,” Robby said. “I do.”

Things went back to normal after that, well, sort of. The masquerade was only a few days away and Derek didn’t have a clue as to what he could wear. Cora was going all out with her outfit: Harley Quinn.

“You should go as the Phantom of the Opera,” Cora said as she held needles in her mouth. She was seated cross-legged in the den where Derek was watching a movie. Derek rolled his eyes.

“Try again.”

“Zorro.”

“No.”

“Go in one of those lame ass skeleton one pieces, then,” Cora grumbled as Laura came in the door, bearing groceries for the dinner she was making.

“You need help?” Derek asked as he got off the couch, itching to get away from talk about the masquerade. He hadn’t told anyone he was meeting Robby, and he was getting nervous about it.

“You can cut the veggies, I’m making fajitas,” Laura said, doing a dance that looked something like a salsa, sort of. Derek made a face, but didn’t comment. He wasn’t much of a dancer, either.

“So,” Laura said as she got a pan down to cook the chicken in. “Cora tells me you’re going to a dance.” Derek rolled his eyes. He couldn’t escape it. “That, and you are only going because you lost a bet.”

“I lost a bet, yeah, but I’m going for other reasons too,” Derek mumbled, chopping onion and green peppers with more fervor than necessary.

“Do tell,” Laura said, giving him a smile. She always knew how to get information from him, he caved so easily.

“I have a date-- I’m meeting someone there.”

“What?!” Cora said from the den. Derek could hear her scrambling to get up, running down the hall. She appeared, sliding in on the wood floor. “You have a date? Who?”

Derek’s eyes narrowed. The look on Cora’s face was that of shock.

“I can get dates, you know.”

“Oh, I know. I just want to know who it is.”

“None of your business,” Derek said, putting the knife down. Cora stuck her tongue out at him and lunged forward.

“Children!” Laura said, putting her hands between them as Derek made to meet her hand to hand. “Simmer. Derek, who are you going with?”

“His name is Robby,” Derek said, watching Cora’s reaction. She looked to the ground, her shoulders sagging. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing, it doesn’t matter. Who’s Robby?”

“I was-- he goes to our school. He’s in our grade.” Cora gave him a look. Derek knew he didn’t know everyone in their grade, but he was sure that Cora did. They were only nine months apart, with Cora just reaching the deadline before she would have had to be a year behind him.

“Like, Robert Weise?” Cora asked. “That’s the only Rob in our class.”

“Probably,” Derek said with a shrug. He didn’t know them. Cora looked skeptical. “What does it matter who?”

“Because-- because I know of someone else who wanted to go with you.”

“What?” Derek asked, confused. He didn’t realize anyone liked him. He had girls come onto him at parties, but drunken hookups weren’t his thing, especially since he couldn’t even get tipsy. That, and consent. “Who?”

“Doesn’t really matter now, does it?” Cora asked as she took one last look at Derek before she went back to her costume. Derek didn’t know what to say to that.

At school, Derek tried to find Robert Weise. He didn’t know what he was going to say, but he wanted to get it out in the open who he was, and he was definitely interested in seeing what Robby looked like.

He couldn’t ask Cora, because she’d make a spectacle out of it at lunch. So before she sat down, Derek asked Stiles, who was already sitting down.

“Do you know Robert Weise?” Derek asked him. Stiles stopped mid bite, his fork in front of his mouth.

“What?”

“Do you know him?”

“Yeah, why?” Stiles asked, his brow furrowed in confusion.

“He’s the only Robert in our grade, right?”

“Yeah...” Stiles tapped his fingers against the table, eyeing Derek. “He’s not in our lunch, why, what’s up?” Stiles pried. Derek thought about not telling him, considering he wanted to be immersed in Stiles’ scent. Emotions were complicated.

“Just wondering,” Derek said as he opened his can of Coke. Next time he looked up, he realized he hadn’t noticed when Stiles started sitting with them at lunch. When Stiles tried to steal one of his apple slices, Derek grabbed his wrist, his thumb grazing Stiles’ pulse point. Stiles’ heartbeat elevated. Derek let go of his wrist, turning his attention towards Erica who talked about her traditional masquerade mask she’d been working on.

“I’m not telling you guys what I’m going as,” Stiles said, sitting up straighter. “It’s a surprise.”

“Let me guess,” Erica said, leaning over the table towards Stiles, pinching his cheek. “You’re going to be Spider-Man.” Stiles swatted her hand away.

“No, that’s too easy to guess.”

“Batman,” Derek suggested. Stiles grinned at him, but shook his head.

“Nope,” Stiles said, stealing another apple slice. Derek couldn’t help but smile. “What are you going as?”

“Oh, you’re not gonna tell, but I’m supposed to?”

“Come on,” Stiles said. “How else am I supposed to tell you even came.” Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles, kicking at him under the table. Stiles kicked back. It felt right, messing around with him. It made Derek realize that he wished Robby was Stiles, that he was going with Stiles. Derek’s face fell as he concentrated on his sandwich.

That night on the phone with Robby, Derek brought up how he didn’t know who he was.

“You know me, though, right?”

“Derek Hale? Everyone knows you,” Robby laughed. Derek smiled where he lay out on his bed, feet hanging over the edge. He was shirtless, hanging out in only his boxers, a hand on his stomach as he stared up at the ceiling. “You’ll know my face when you see me.”

“That is so fucking vague,” Derek laughed, but he couldn’t help but be excited. “Whatever. Just tell me what you’re going to be so I can find you.”

“I’m going to be Deadpool,” Robby said. “It’s going to be badass.”

“Sounds like it, I’ll keep an eye out.”

“You better, so what are you going as?” Derek sighed, thinking about keeping it from him. “Come on, I told you. I haven’t told anyone else, not even my best friend.”

“Wow, I’m honored,” Derek said, sarcasm dripping from his voice. Robby groaned. “Okay, okay, I’m going as Scarecrow.”

“Like, Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz or--”

“What? No!” Derek laughed, rolling onto his stomach. “No, like from Batman Begins.”

“Freaky, I like it.”

“I thought you would.”

“So I guess I’ll see you there.”

“Definitely,” Derek said. “I can’t wait.”

-

Derek paced around his room, checking the time over and over. He and Cora weren’t leaving for a while yet. He’d checked, and Robby wasn’t online so he couldn’t even go on a quest to bide his time. His costume was ready, on his bed, and all he had to do was put it on. He was going stir crazy waiting. A ping on his phone indicating a text, brought him back to reality. He welcomed the diversion. It was a group text.

Drinking at Boyd’s after the dance? It asked. It was from Erica. Derek responded to all.

Maybe, he said. He wasn’t sure how things with Robby would go. Derek tossed his phone aside groaning. An onslaught of texts came in, everyone giving their answers. He scanned over them, his eyes widening when he saw Robby’s name amongst his friends.

“What?” Derek asked his phone. Since when was Robert Weise friends with his friends? He really needed to pay more attention. Robby, like Derek, said he wasn’t sure.

At least there was that.

Once Cora was ready, since her makeup took a while, Derek got dressed. His mask was hot, stuffy, and a little bit itchy, so he didn’t put it on until he went downstairs. His parents, of course, took pictures of them together. Derek’s favorite pose was when they both had hands around each other’s throats, faking strangling the other. Such a Kodak moment.

Derek was nervous, and Cora could tell as he strummed on the steering wheel as he drove.

“You’re freaking me out,” Cora said as she watched him. “Stop it.”

“Stop what?” Derek said, defensive. “I’m not doing anything.”

“You reek of anxiety, get away.”

“I can’t help it!” Derek shouted as she poked at him. “Don’t touch me when I’m driving.”

“You’re fine, keep your eyes on the road,” Cora jabbed. Derek groaned. Sometimes Cora got under his skin, and she wasn’t helping. “Any ideas what Stiles is going to be?”

“No, he wasn’t telling anyone,” Derek said. Cora bit her lip, holding back a smile. “What?”

“You think you can hide it? From me?

“Hide what?” Derek asked. Cora rolled her eyes dramatically as she played with her pigtails.

“Whatever, fine. Don’t fess up.”

“Fess up to what?!” Derek asked. He’d had enough of Cora’s bullshit evasive tactics. “I don’t have anything to fess up to.”

“I know you like Stiles, so who’s this Robby?”

“See,” Derek said, hitting the steering wheel. “This, this is why I don’t tell you anything. And nothing is going on between Stiles and I.”

“No, you just went to his house on the full moon for shits and giggles.”

“That’s-- that isn’t fair.”

“But it’s the truth. You know he likes you, right? The whole point of the bet was because he wanted to see you here. Now, you’re not even single.”

Derek’s mouth went dry as he stared ahead. He felt like he was having an out of body experience as he drove on autopilot to the school. His mind was completely blank.

“And now I’m the asshole who told, so thanks for making me the asshole,” Cora added.

“You’re not an asshole,” Derek said, clenching his jaw. “I am.”

“Pretty much. Just don’t rub it in his face.”

“I won’t,” Derek said as he pulled into a parking space. Before he got out of the car, he put his mask on, which was good, because now he could avoid eye contact with everyone. He had been excited to meet Robby, finally, but now it left a sour taste in his mouth, knowing that Stiles liked him.

Once inside, he and Cora split up. He was on a mission, and that mission was to find Deadpool. He got complimented on his mask, which he just nodded at as he continued around the gym, searching. His heart beat fast as time passed. He wished he knew what Robby smelled like, because this was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Derek smelled Stiles before he saw him. He walked towards him before he realized what he was doing, following his scent. It felt like some sort of 80’s movie, how the crowd parted for him, but that probably had more to do with the fact that he was kinda scary dressed as Scarecrow more than the fact that he was finally meeting the guy he’d been talking to for months.

He stopped when he realized when he’d just thought, just as Deadpool came into view. Derek grinned, stepping forward. He closed his eyes, breathing him in. Deadpool was Stiles, Stiles was Robby, and Derek couldn’t be happier.

Chapter Text

“Hey,” Derek said.

“Hey,” Stiles said, though Derek was sure that Stiles didn’t know that Derek knew, yet, because Stiles didn’t know that Derek was a werewolf. No, he wasn’t even sure Stiles knew that he was Derek. Derek panicked for a moment, until he remembered what Cora said: Stiles liked him. “Fancy seeing you here.” Derek laughed as he reached out for Stiles, hesitating at the last second.

Derek couldn’t believe that Robby was Stiles.

“Can I?”

“Yeah,” Stiles said, nodding his head. He’d be hard to hear, if Derek wasn’t a werewolf. Luckily for him, he was, because he could also hear how fast Stiles’ heart was beating, how anxious he was. Derek put his hand on Stiles’ shoulder, sliding it up to his neck as he stepped closer. It was funny, because he couldn’t see Stiles’ face, nor Stiles his because of the masks. Around them, everyone else was in their own world, not realizing how monumental this moment was for Derek.

“So, hey.”

“We already did that,” Stiles pointed out, his hands on Derek’s jacket. They were the same height, would be eye to eye if he could see them. He could hear it now, how similar Stiles’ voice was to Robby’s, since they were one and the same, but how different it sounded in person than over headset. Derek took a moment to breathe Stiles in, since he could, what with the mask on. He smelled so good, intoxicating, as Derek leaned in.

“Want to get out of here?”

“Really?” Stiles asked.

“Like, the hallway.”

“Oh,” Stiles said, laughing, taking Derek’s hand in his. “Come on, then.” Stiles led Derek out of the gym and into the hallway. Once there, Stiles backed Derek against a set of lockers, his hands on Derek’s neck and waist. Derek groaned. “So do we want to get this over with?”

“What over with?” Derek asked, already half hard in his pants from the way Stiles touched him.

“The big reveal.”

“Oh, yeah,” Derek said. “Want to... want me to--” He indicated to taking Stiles’ off. Stiles nodded as he took hold of Derek’s, lifting it at the same time that Derek lifted Stiles’.

Stiles’ face, flushed and hair tousled, stared up at him, unsure. Derek ran a thumb over Stiles’ lips, smiling.

“I knew it was you,” Derek said as he leaned forward, capturing Stiles’ lips with his own. Stiles moaned into the kiss, pressing Derek harder against the lockers, his hands cupping Derek’s face. “I knew it.”

“You asshole,” Stiles said as he hovered over Derek’s mouth for a second before kissing him again. “You knew?”

“Not until tonight, but it makes sense,” Derek said, his nose dragging over Stiles’ cheek. He could get drunk off of the scent of him mingling with Derek’s own. “Did you?”

“Did I what?” Stiles asked, his eyelids heavy as he leaned in for another kiss.

“Know.”

“Oh,” Stiles said, stilling. He licked his lips as he let out a shaky breath. “Yeah.” Derek’s gaze traveled across Stiles’ face.

“Where are your glasses?” Derek asked.

“What? Oh, uh, contacts. I hate them, actually, they make my eyes itch,” Stiles said, rubbing at them. “I wish I brought my glasses.”

“Ah,” Derek said, still crowded against the locker. “So, how long have you known?”

“Not long,” Stiles confessed. “Not until the voicemail, when you said your name was Derek.”

“That’s why you didn’t call me back.”

Stiles looked guilty, though Derek wanted to kiss him all the more for it.

“Yeah, I just-- I liked you from school, you know? And to find out you were the same person I’d been talking to for months-- it was a lot to take in. A lot. And I knew that I wanted to come to the dance with you, you know, for reasons, and when I realized the easiest way was to just ask you online... I don’t know.”

“It made sense,” Derek said, giving Stiles a reassuring smile. “I’m here.”

Stiles grinned at him, kissing him again.

“I have a question, though,” Derek said.

“What?” Stiles asked, giving Derek a little more breathing room.

“Robby? Your name isn’t Robby.” Stiles snorted, covering his face with his hands as he took a step back, laughing. “What’s so funny?”

“I couldn’t correct you,” Stiles wheezed. “Ever. It was too good.”

“What was?” Derek asked, desperate to be in on the joke.

“My screenname? RobieLody? It’s Polish.”

“Okay?” Derek said, still in the dark.

“I speak Polish, well, half-assed, because my family is from there and, anyways,” Stiles flailed, “Robielody literally means ‘I make ice cream’.” Derek narrowed his eyes at Stiles, who was still laughing. “It’s a colloquialism for ‘I suck cock’.”

Derek’s eyes widened, his cheeks reddening.

“Oh my god.”

“Yeah,” Stiles said, trying to hold back a laugh. “So you’ve been calling me that, and it’s made my day every time.”

“You could have said!” Derek said, laughing despite his embarrassment. “‘I suck cock’, really?”

“It’s funny! Oh god, it’s even better now I know it was you calling me that. Ice cream. Cock. Oh, man. The best.”

“You have a twisted mind,” Derek said as he shook his head. “And to think, I was trying to find Robert Weise.”

“I almost lost it, dude,” Stiles said, holding his stomach because he’d been laughing so hard. “Literally, I almost busted out laughing.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t.”

“Well, to be fair, I was afraid what you’d think when you found out it was me.”

“What do you mean?” Derek asked, frowning.

“You know, I was invisible to you up until a little over a month ago. There was no way that you’d-- think of me.”

“Well, I was a little trapped in my own mind, if I’m being honest. I don’t know how I didn’t notice you because I wasn’t lying when I said I’m glad it was you. This entire time I thought I’d liked two separate people and I couldn’t-- I couldn’t choose.”

Stiles smiled, stepping forward again and kissing Derek. This time the kiss was chaste, and lingered longer than the others had. Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles, pulling him close. It felt so good to have Stiles in his arms, finally. It felt right. As the kiss deepened, Derek felt himself slipping, his heart rate rising as Stiles’ tongue slid into Derek’s mouth. His grip on Stiles tightened as he resituated them, pressing Stiles against the lockers. Stiles let out a groan, probably from the latches sticking out, as Derek kissed him back. He could feel himself losing control as Stiles’ hands roamed his body. Inhaling deeply, Derek rolled his hips against Stiles, giving in to the feeling. Stiles moaned, his hands finding Derek’s ass as they both rutted against each other, panting.

“Wait, wait,” Stiles said, his lips swollen, pupils blown. Derek didn’t want to, though, he wanted more, needed to feel more. Stiles put his hands on Derek’s chest, keeping him back. Stiles swallowed as he caught his breath, licking his lips. “We could get caught.”

“We are out in the open,” Derek pointed out. Stiles nodded his head, his gaze no leaving Derek’s lips. “Locker room?”

“Yeah, yeah, we can do that,” Stiles said, untangling himself from Derek. He grabbed Derek’s hand, leading him once more down the hallway, their footsteps echoing off the walls. As they walked into the boys’ locker room, Derek tried to get ahold of himself. Stiles, with a grin, beckoned Derek to one of the benches, where he sat Derek down by pressing his hands down on Derek’s shoulders. Derek could have stayed upright, but Stiles manhandling him turned him on more than he thought it would. Stiles straddled Derek’s lap, rubbing up against Derek as his open mouth hovered over Derek’s. “This is better.”

Derek grabbed onto Stiles’ ass, which earned him a loud, guttural groan as he captured Stiles’ lips with his. Stiles moved against him, practically bouncing in his lap as he wrapped his arms around Derek. Their kisses were frantic, as Derek moved his mouth from Stiles’, mouthing down his neck, sucking at his skin. Stiles bit his lip, his head thrown back as he slid against Derek’s erection. Derek could feel his claws coming out as he buried his face against Stiles’ neck as Stiles slowed his movements.

“Too much?” Stiles asked, panting. Derek nodded his head, fists clenched behind Stiles’ back to hide the evidence of Derek’s lack of control. He couldn’t look at Stiles, in case his eyes were glowing. “That’s okay,” Stiles said, pressing his head against Derek’s as he put a hand to the back of Derek’s neck. “I don’t really want to get jizz in this costume.” Derek couldn’t help but laugh as he hugged Stiles, the tension leaving him. “Seriously though, I was about to come. It would have been embarrassing.”

“Not if I came, too,” Derek said, pressing his nose against Stiles neck, breathing him in. Stiles was Derek’s personal version of catnip, it seemed.

“That-- that’s actually pretty romantic of you to say,” Stiles joked. “I appreciate that.” Derek shrugged, smiling as Stiles cupped his face, bringing their lips together once more. They were disrupted by the door opening and a flashlight shining on them.

“Alright, out,” Coach said, pointing to the door. “No sex in the locker room, it’s disgusting in here.”

Stiles scrambled off of Derek, almost tripping on himself, but Derek saved him by grabbing onto his arm, hoisting him back upright.

“We weren’t gonna--”

“Don’t give me that. I just found you in a compromising position that even bleach won’t help me with. If I catch you two again, it’ll be detention! Now out!”

Coach chaperoned them all the way back to the dance, eyeing them as they made their way back into the crowd. They ran into Cora first, of course, whose face scrunched up when she smelled them.

“What?” Cora asked, looking between the two of them. “What happened?” She asked. “And where are your masks?”

“Oh,” Stiles said, rubbing the back of his neck. “We dropped them.”

“You dropped them?”

“Yeah, in the hallway,” Derek added. “We should go get them.”

“Yeah--”

“Hold up,” Cora said, grabbing onto Derek’s arm before he could get too far, her grip bone breaking. “Explain.”

“Uh,” Derek said, not so eloquently.

“We were sort of online dating but then realized we knew each other from here and so we made out, ta-da?” Stiles rambled. Cora’s face went through at least four expressions in five seconds as she dropped Derek’s hand.

“You’re the one he’s been talking to every night?”

“Yep,” Stiles said, popping the ‘p’. “That’s me.”

“Your name isn’t Robby,” Cora pointed out. Derek and Stiles both burst into a fit of giggles, holding onto each other to keep from falling over. “What’s so funny?”

“Inside joke,” Stiles wheezed, taking Derek’s hand in his. “We’re gonna go get our masks.”

Once they retrieved them and put them back on, they joined the dance and their friends, dancing like maniacs together, dressed like Deadpool and Scarecrow. As the dance was winding down, the post-dance party was brought up again.

“Party’s at Lydia’s,” Scott said as they all walked out. “You in?” He asked Stiles. Stiles looked to Derek, who shrugged. He wasn’t big on parties, but he was interested in spending more time with Stiles.

“I’m in,” Stiles said. “But I’m riding with Derek.”

“Ugh,” Cora said, folding her arms. “I’m catching a ride with you guys,” she said to Erica and Boyd.

“What? Why?” Scott asked. Cora pat his cheek as she walked by him.

“Oh, my sweet summer child.”

“No, but what?” Scott called out as Derek and Stiles headed to his car.

“Later, Scott!” Stiles shouted. For the first time since he got his car, Derek wished it was an automatic instead of a manual. Manuals weren’t conducive to hand holding.

“So,” Stiles said, his leg bouncing up and down as he looked out the window, his thumb close to his mouth as if he were about to start biting it. His mask was in his lap, as was Derek’s, his other hand clenched tight around them.

“So,” Derek said, letting himself smile a little as he looked at Stiles. Stiles turned his head, looking back at him. “You’re the one who gave me an awesome sword.”

“That sword was a wooing sword, okay,” Stiles pointed out. “I liked that sword.”

“It’s a good sword,” Derek admitted. “I use it all the time!”

“I know you do!” Stiles laughed, then fell silent. “This isn’t weird, is it? I mean. We’ve, you know--”

“Had phone sex?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, well, don’t think of it as weird,” Derek suggested. “Do you want to start over?” Derek asked.

“Like, hi, my name is Przemysław Stilinski, nice to meet you?”

“Your name is who and what now?” Derek asked, his eyebrows skyrocketing towards his hairline. “I can’t even say that.”

“Try it.”

“Primiswaf?” Derek asked. “How do you even spell that?”

“That wasn’t bad,” Stiles admitted. “Now you know why I go by ‘Stiles’.”

“Definitely,” Derek said. “I don’t think I’ll be calling you that anytime soon.”

“Good,” Stiles said with a wry grin as he slouched down in the seat. “I’d have to retaliate.”

“Oh, really?” Derek asked, amused. “But back to the subject, I mean like, we aren’t physically where we are mentally... if that makes sense.”

“Like, I wooed you with a sword online, but now I need to buy you coffee or something in real life?”

“Something like that, but I meant more like, phone sex versus full contact.”

“Oh,” Stiles said, covered his face with his hands. “Duh.”

“But coffee sounds nice.”

“It’s a date, then.”

When they got to the party it was in full swing. They had to park two blocks down the street and had to walk the distance to the house. Everyone was still in their costumes, most of them sans their masks. Derek and Stiles left theirs in the car. As they walked towards the house, they bumped shoulders, grinning at one another. Once inside, it was loud. It didn’t bother Derek, since he concentrated on the sound of Stiles’ breathing and his heartbeat.

“Want to go out back?” Derek asked.

“What?” Stiles asked, leaning in towards Derek, his hand on Derek’s arm. Derek pressed his lips practically against Stiles’ ear.

“Want to go out back where it’s quieter?” Derek asked, his fingers linking with Stiles’ free hand. Stiles nodded his head, following Derek outside. It was cooler out, the sky clear, and not as many people outside due to the keg being in the kitchen.

“Want something to drink?” Stiles asked.

“No, I don’t drink,” Derek said, knowing he sounded lame. No high schooler at a party said no to alcohol. He didn’t care for the taste, and he didn’t see a point since he couldn’t get drunk.

“Oh,” Stiles said, rubbing the back of his neck, avoiding Derek’s gaze.

“You can, though, go get a drink. I’ll wait here.”

Stiles gave him a quick smile before he disappeared inside. It gave Derek time to think about the situation, about how Stiles was Robby, and Robby was Stiles. They were one and the same. He’d spent hours talking to Stiles. Stiles knew him, except for one fact, the fact. It made Derek’s heart ache that he couldn’t tell him. He wouldn’t tell him. Not after what happened with Paige. That would never happen again.

Stiles returned a short time later holding two cups in his hand, one half finished.

“Sorry, there was a line.”

“That’s fine,” Derek said, stuffing his hands in his pockets. Stiles now smelled of alcohol, which was slightly less pleasant, but his true scent still lingered. Derek frowned as he thought about how attracted he’d been to Stiles’ scent before, and if his instincts knew Stiles was Robby before he did or not. Sometimes being a werewolf was confusing, like how he wanted to ram Stiles up against the wall and kiss him, but he knew it wasn’t the time or the place for it.

Stiles watched Derek with a keen eye as he downed the first beer.

“I don’t know how to drink without the intention of getting hammered,” Stiles confessed.

“Maybe slowing down would be a good thing, then,” Derek said as he watched Stiles gulp down half of the second. “No judgement, though.”

“You’re right, I mean, maybe if you were drinking,” Stiles said with a shrug. “I didn’t know you didn’t drink.”

“My secret’s out,” Derek teased. “I’m no longer going to be cool.” Stiles shoved at him playfully, which Derek dodged easily. He ended up wrapping his arms around Stiles, who began to squirm, to twist his way around so that he was facing Derek, the two of them staring at each other’s lips.

“Want to go find a quiet room?” Stiles asked. There were people around them talking, having their own conversations but Derek drowned them out so that he could only hear Stiles, feel his heartbeat jack rabbiting against his chest. Instead of kissing him, Derek buried his nose against Stiles’ neck. “You really like necks, huh.”

“Yes,” Derek confessed, pulling Stiles closer.

“Yes to necks, or yes to a room?”

“Both,” Derek supplied. Stiles laughed as he took Derek’s hand, leading him back inside. Without so much as a look at anyone else, they made their way upstairs. Somewhere in the house, Cora was probably within earshot. Derek hoped she wasn’t paying attention. Stiles found them an empty room, surprisingly, at the end of the hall. He locked the door behind them, putting his back against it as he bit his lip.

“So,” Stiles said in an exhale. “Here we are.” Derek couldn’t help but be amused as his brow furrowed. Stiles was nervous.

“Yeah,” Derek said as he leaned forward, kissing Stiles. Stiles moaned into it, his eyes closing a moment before Derek’s as Derek pressed himself against Stiles. It wasn’t until they started kissing, when Stiles opened his mouth for Derek, that Stiles pushed Derek, edging him towards the bed. They fell onto it haphazardly, limbs tangling awkwardly as they laughed against each other’s lips. Stiles sat straddling Derek, bent over so they could continue to kiss. Derek’s legs hung over the side of the bed, dangling off of it, his feet brushing the ground as Stiles’ hands slipped beneath the fabric of Derek’s shirt. Derek shrugged his jacket off, then pulled his shirt over his head, giving Stiles access. Stiles’ hands on him sent blood surging towards his groin, moaning as Stiles mouthed at his neck, thumbs grazing over his nipples.

“Yours--” Derek said, tugging at Stiles’ costume.

“Mine,” Stiles laughed. “Zips in the back.”

“Annoying,” Derek grunted as he attempted to sit up. Stiles held him down, though Derek could easily overpower him. He wouldn’t, though.

“I didn’t think it through,” Stiles said, looking down at Derek, his lips swollen and red from kissing. “But that’s okay,” he said as he sighed, carding his fingers through his hair. “Can I-- I mean, I want to blow you.”

All the air rushed out of Derek as he nodded his head. He couldn’t believe, didn’t want to believe, that this was happening. He watched as Stiles shimmied off of him, tugging at Derek’s belt, his hand brushing across Derek’s obvious erection. Derek decided he couldn’t, in fact, watch, so he looked up at the ceiling as Stiles wrapped a hand around him, stroking him a few times.

“You’re bigger than the picture you sent.”

Derek snorted, but bit back a moan as he felt Stiles’ tongue on him. Derek clenched his fists around the comforter he was laying on, the feel of fangs apparent, as well as the taste of blood as he panted. He looked at Stiles take him completely into his mouth, his eyes closed as if savoring it. When his mouth popped off, he looked up at Derek. Derek, unable to keep control, closed his eyes in case they flashed blue.

“Derek?” Stiles asked, his voice broken. “Are you okay?” Derek nodded his head. his mouth hanging open.

“Yeah,” Derek said, finally able to open his eyes without the fear of them being blue. “Yeah, just, intense,” he said, which was true. He never felt this intensely when it had been he and Paige. She didn’t make him feel like his insides were burning, like he was about to shift at any given moment.

Derek pushed himself up by his elbows, watching as Stiles knelt by the bed, his tongue lapping at Derek’s exposed head as his hand wrapped around Derek’s length. Derek felt himself losing it once more, and counteracted it by pulling Stiles up onto the bed, towards him, so they could kiss. Stiles didn’t seem too put out as Derek rolled Stiles onto his back, pinning him to the bed, Derek rutting against him.

“Fuck,” Stiles panted, matching Derek’s movements. “I’m really gonna come in my costume.”

“Ngh,” was all Derek could manage to say before he sucked at Stiles’ neck, marking him. His hands were on either side of Stiles’ head as they dug into the comforter. He heard the fabric rip at the same time Stiles let out a low whine: Derek had nipped his skin too hard.

Derek was off off him in a second, his hand covering his mouth in shock. Stiles sat up, holding onto his neck, his face unreadable as Derek shook his head, grabbing his discarded shirt and jacket. It had been a horrible idea, getting close to him. Robby had been safe, Robby had been unreachable.

Stiles was so undeniably human that it made Derek ache. He’d hurt him, and that was unacceptable.

“Derek--”

“I’m sorry,” Derek said, not even bothering to slip his jacket on. “I can’t.”

Derek made his way to the door, watching Stiles stand out of the corner of his eye. He didn’t look back as he took the stairs two at a time, leaving the party within the blink of an eye. He couldn’t handle hurting Stiles, that he couldn’t control his impulses. It was too much.

Chapter Text

Derek was definitely a moper. He moped around the house all weekend while helping his mom in the garden. He moped when he joined his father for Habitat for Humanity and he definitely moped through swim practice.

He didn’t even have a way to unwind, because before that would have been with Robby and now Robby didn’t even exist. Derek, for all intents and purposes, was a wreck. He’d ruined everything before it barely started, and it was all because he couldn’t control his instincts. He wanted Stiles, badly, but had no impulse control. The look in Stiles’ eyes had said it all, and Derek didn’t need to stick around to hear about it.

He had the ghost of Paige’s reaction to play over and over again in his mind. At least this time there was no car wreck after the big reveal, no death. At least Stiles was alive.

Derek curled up on his bed with his back towards the door, his memories haunting him like a broken record, repeating over and over again her screams, her last breath. She’d been scared of him, even at the end as he held her in his arms.

Derek skipped dinner.

Sometime later, there was a knock at his door. Derek didn’t answer, but it opened anyways. It was Cora.

“Can I come in?” She asked, because they didn’t go into each other’s rooms. Derek didn’t move, but sighed deeply when he heard her footsteps enter, along with the door closing. “You could try talking to him.”

“No,” Derek said, his voice catching in his throat. He couldn’t face her. “He’s safer this way.”

“Horseshit,” Cora said, nudging him. Derek growled, sneering at the jab. He wasn’t in the mood. “He deserves something better than silence for putting up with you.”

“I bit him.”

“Not on purpose,” Cora chided.

“It doesn’t matter,” Derek said, turning around to face her. “I hurt him.”

“It didn’t hurt him when you nipped at him, it hurt him that you left without explanation.”

“How do you know?” Derek hissed.

“Because he’s my friend, asshole. He isn’t just yours. I told you not to touch him, and look where we are.”

“You’re not helping,” Derek grumbled, pressing his face into his pillow. “Go away.”

“No, you need to talk to him.”

“No, I need to stay away from him. The full moon is tomorrow.”

“No, you need to apologize before tomorrow night.”

“Fuck off,” Derek snarled.

Cora left in a huff. Derek skipped school the next day; moon sickness. It wasn’t uncommon, especially in his younger years when he was less controlled. The full moon had been untamable for him when he first hit puberty, and now he could feel its effects more so than normal. He felt like his body was on fire, like he needed Stiles.

Derek put himself in the basement, his hands shaking as he clasped shackles around his own wrists as he dripped with sweat.

“Derek,” Talia said as she knelt before him, putting them on right. “You haven’t needed these in years.” Derek wanted to cry, weak before his mother, his alpha. He told her what happened. Of course, she was understanding, just as she had been with Paige.

“You wouldn’t hurt him,” she said, cupping his face. Derek cringed, because though she might believe he wouldn’t, he wasn’t so sure himself. Stiles was human, fragile compared to himself.

“I need to be locked up tonight,” Derek said through clenched teeth. “I just need to.”

“Alright,” she said, carding her fingers through his hair before she left him, shutting the door to the basement behind her. Derek listened to her footsteps fading as he knelt on the hard-packed dirt floor. In his pocket, his phone rang. He’d forgotten to leave it upstairs in his haste to be cuffed and secured. He thought about tossing it away, out of reach, but he answered it before thinking.

“Hello?” Derek asked, his voice shot.

“Derek,” Stiles said, relieved. “I didn’t think you’d answer.” Derek shouldn’t have answered, because he doubled over, grimacing at his stupidity. “Are you okay-- you sound--”

“I’m fine, Stiles. I should go--”

“Please, don’t-- I’m sorry.”

Derek stilled, his breathing heavy as he tried to figure out what was going on.

“Sorry for what?” Derek asked.

“For forcing you, okay? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have--”

“Stiles, you didn’t force me, I-- I bit you.”

“You got aggressive because I basically gave you a blowjob against your will.”

“That’s not what happened,” Derek practically growled. “It wasn’t you, it’s me. I’m the problem. Stay away from me, okay?”

“No, Derek, listen--”

Derek hung up the phone, tossing it away from himself so hard that it broke into pieces. Derek screamed as he allowed himself to shift. He tugged against the chains, claws out as he howled for Stiles. He wanted to be near him so badly, and the night would only get worse.

As time passed by, Derek watched the sky darken. His family would be leaving for the preserve soon, and he wouldn’t be with them. He whined for his pack, about his personal isolation that he did to himself. Derek wanted contact, wanted to be touched. He needed Stiles.

Derek’s head lifted as he heard a car approach, the brakes squeaking when it came to a stop in their driveway. Derek tugged at the chains, practically keening as Stiles’ scent washed over him, and then panic.

Stiles just drove into a wolf den without invitation, and on a full moon.

Derek howled, yanking at the chains until he bled. The doorbell rang and he couldn’t do anything as he listened to his father answer the door.

“Is Derek home?” Stiles asked, his voice muted, being so far away, but Derek would know his voice from any hearable distance. Derek snarled as he tried to rip the shackles off of the wall.

“I’m sorry, but he’s not,” his father said, his voice clipped.

“Hi, Stiles, I’m Talia,” his mother said, her voice commanding yet welcoming. Derek whimpered, wishing he were upstairs.

Only then did he remember why he was downstairs in the first place: Stiles’ safety. This was torture, Stiles being so close and he being unable to break free.

“We’ve heard so much about you.”

“You have? Oh, well. I wanted to stop by because Derek wasn’t in school.”

“He’s not doing very well,” Talia admitted, though she omitted the reason.

“I tried calling him, but I wanted to come over.”

“Why don’t you wait here in the den, I’ll go see if he’s up for visitors.”

“Okay, thanks,” Stiles said. Derek panted, shaking his head as he heard his mother tell his father to take Cora and Laura into the preserve without her. He couldn’t see Stiles like this, he’d hurt him. The door to the basement opened, his mother appearing in front of him.

“He’s here,” she said.

“I can’t,” Derek said, unable to look her in the eye. “The moon is about to rise.”

“You have time before it does, you should talk to him.”

“I--” Derek began to panic as his mother began unlocking his shackles, his heart rate skyrocketing.

“Breathe, Derek. You have to trust yourself, trust your instincts.”

Derek tried breathing in through his nose, out through his mouth as Talia freed him.

“I hurt him.”

“Are you sure?” Talia asked, taking Derek’s chin and lifting his head so that they could see eye to eye. “He doesn’t have any bruising, or marks. Humans heal slower than us.”

“I know, but--”

Talk to him.”

Derek ascended the stairs slowly, picking up Stiles’ heartbeat as he entered the house. His nostrils flared as Stiles’ scent mixed with his home. Stiles is the first person not in their pack to step foot inside their house. When Stiles came into view, Derek held his breath.

“Hey,” Stiles said, his hands wringing together nervously.

“Hey,” Derek whispered as he hung back. He wanted to touch, to taste as his body throbbed, the moon calling to him in a constant reminder that Stiles wasn’t safe. Stiles cleared his throat when it became apparent that Derek wasn’t going to instigate conversation.

“So, about the other night--”

“I’m sorry I hurt you,” Derek blurted out. Instinctively, Stiles put his hand to his neck, rubbing at it as he gave Derek a small smile.

“It’s fine, I just-- that isn’t why you left is it? You just surprised me.” Derek looked away from him, his hands clenched into fists in case he couldn’t control his shift.

Derek gave a stilted nod as Stiles stepped forward.

“That’s-- that’s not, okay. I mean, I thought I was the one that pushed you away.”

“You didn’t,” Derek said, still avoiding his gaze as Stiles ducked to one side, trying to get into Derek’s view.

“So that’s settled, then. Have you been sick? Why weren’t you at school, Cora didn’t say.” At the mention of his sister, Derek couldn’t help but sneer.

“Something like that.”

“Well, I mean, will you be there tomorrow?”

“Yes,” Derek said, finally looking at Stiles. Again, the conversation fell flat. “You shouldn’t be here,” Derek said after an awkward silence. “It’s not safe.” Stiles’ face twisted in confusion as he looked around the family living room.

“Not safe? The road was fine, I mean, gravel is rocky but I drive a Jeep. No big.” Derek rolled his eyes, Stiles didn’t get it, that he wasn’t safe in the room with Derek. Only, Derek didn’t feel like maiming or tearing his throat out. He felt calm, calmer than he had been down in the basement. “What do you mean ‘not safe’?”

“Nevermind,” Derek said. “How did you know where I lived?”

“Well, my dad’s the Sheriff,” Stiles said, lifting an eyebrow. The corner of Derek’s mouth lifted upwards in amusement before it fell back to a stoic expression, void of emotion. “I-- I’m getting mixed signals here, dude,” Stiles confessed. “I thought you liked me.”

“I do,” Derek said, taking a step forward. “A lot.” Stiles visibly relaxed, but crossed his arms.

“Then why the cold shoulder? What did I do, if you didn’t have a problem with the-- you know,” Stiles said, making a jerk off hand gesture. Derek was grateful for that, considering his mother was probably within earshot. Derek groaned, rubbing his hands over his face. He couldn’t tell Stiles, he wouldn’t do it. “You’re acting weird.”

“Am I?” Derek asked. “Do you actually know enough about me to know when I’m being weird?”

“Uh, I think so,” Stiles said. “I know you more than you think.”

“Oh, yeah?” Derek asked, taking a step closer, his chest rising and falling rapidly as he let himself get worked up. Stiles nodded as they stood face to face, mere inches from each other. Derek could say so much, he could goad Stiles on, he could pick a fight. He wanted to, wanted a reason to lash out, but he refrained. Instead, he kissed him, cupping Stiles’ face and closing his eyes. Stiles let out a moan as he desperately clung to Derek, yanking at his shirt.

And then Stiles pushed Derek away.

“No, no, we aren’t kissing until we talk. No thinking with our dicks, alright? I want to know why you bolted on me the other night.”

“Because,” Derek said, his heart beating out of his chest as he stared at Stiles wet lips, the sound of his own heart just as fast as Derek’s. “I was afraid.”

“Of what?” Stiles asked, making a face. “We were-- were we going too fast?”

Derek nodded his head, because in a way, it was true. He couldn’t keep himself under control, because he wanted Stiles too much. Stiles’ cheeks reddened.

“Don’t laugh,” Derek whispered, his own embarrassment at the situation making him flush as well. Stiles smiled, but it wasn’t out of amusement at Derek’s expense.

“I won’t,” Stiles said. “But just-- don’t walk out on me, alright? We can go slow. It’s not like I have much experience anyways.”

“What do you mean?” Derek asked. “Haven’t you--”

“Done stuff? With girls, yeah, I mean, I’ve given a hand job-- TMI,” Stiles rambled. Derek couldn’t help but laugh. “Hey now, don’t laugh,” Stiles said, though he was laughing along with Derek. Despite the moon being out, Derek felt relaxed, as if he’d found an anchor, something he’d been searching for all his life.

Derek stilled as Stiles linked his fingers with Derek’s. Derek looked down between their hands, squeezing his hand slightly. Stiles squeezed back, watching Derek intently.

“So, going slow,” Stiles said. Derek nodded his head, biting his lower lip. It was the best course of action that enabled him to still see Stiles, be close to him. “I can deal with that.”

“Good,” Derek said. Stiles kissed Derek on the lips, chastely. It felt amazing, perfect even. “Let me walk you out.”

“Alright,” Stiles said.

As Derek took Stiles out to his car, they bumped shoulders multiple times, their fingers still intertwined. He didn’t want to let go as Stiles climbed into the Jeep. He got another kiss before Stiles turned the engine over, his Jeep coming to life.

“So, tomorrow, after school,” Stiles said loudly over the sound of his Jeep. “You, me, coffee?”

“It’s a date,” Derek said, loud enough for Stiles to hear.

Derek waited until Stiles’ Jeep was out of sight before he took off towards the preserve to join his family, unable to keep from grinning as he ran through the woods, elated that he found control, an anchor. It was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

School passed by slowly, with the seconds ticking by as the clock mocked his excitement about his date. A real date, one with intent and purpose that wasn’t making out in the back row of the movie theatre or sneaking off to make out point. No, he would be in the public eye with Stiles, talking and getting to know him better. Well, if time hadn’t slowed down to a snail’s pace, he’d get to go on his date. By the time the final bell rang, Derek was ready to bolt for the parking lot where he was meeting Stiles.

He was the first to make it to the Jeep, a little too eager and too fast compared to everyone around him. Derek leaned against it, waiting for Stiles to appear. What Derek didn’t expect was for Stiles to show up with Scott in tow, the two of them ambling towards the Jeep at a leisurely pace. Derek’s jaw clenched as they neared, wondering if it was no longer a date if Scott was invited, but then Scott veered off, waving bye to Stiles, who held his own hand up in a farewell before he spotted Derek and broke into a run the rest of the way to the Jeep.

“You got out here fast,” Stiles said, jingling his keys in his hand nervously. “You ready to go?” He asked. Derek nodded his head, hesitating as he leaned forward, unsure if he was allowed to kiss him. Stiles met him halfway, their lips touching in a chaste kiss that lingered.

The coffee shop was littered with classmates and underclassmen since school just let out, with the line already out the door when they arrived. Derek groaned as he leaned against the brick building, his head resting against it. Stiles stood mirroring him, looking at Derek with some sort of fondness that Derek couldn’t describe. He imagined that he probably was looking at Stiles in the same way, so he didn’t really have any ground to stand on when he came down to it. As the line inched forward, Stiles pulled on Derek’s jacket, urging him to move up.

After they got their coffees, they walked around Beacon Hills’ small downtown area, which was merely a four- or five-block strip. Derek only got a small coffee, whereas Stiles got a large, so it took him longer to finish his off. Despite being in public, Derek found himself drawn to Stiles, wishing to be closer as they walked side by side, talking about English, how they needed to do a raid together later that night, and about how Scott finally hooked up with Kira after the dance.

By the time they got back to Stiles’ Jeep, Derek found himself not wanting for their date to end. Things were comfortable between them as they lingered by the Jeep, both of them refusing to get inside.

“What about the comic book store?” Stiles suggested.

“Okay,” Derek said, following Stiles as he took him down one of the side roads where there was a hole in the wall comic book shop that Derek didn’t even know existed. He wasn’t really that big into comics, though he enjoyed the Marvel movies, but he knew Stiles was into them. He watched Stiles search through boxes and boxes of comics, showing Derek certain ones as he explained character arcs and plotlines. Stiles went on a fifteen minute tirade about the new X-Men movie, which Derek thought was good, but Stiles couldn’t handle how it was supposed to be about Bishop but he was barely even in it.

“It’s bullshit,” Stiles said, exasperated. “It was his power what the movie was about, and he got shafted.”

Derek didn’t know what to say to that, so he kissed Stiles instead. Right there, in the middle of the comic book store.

“Uh,” Stiles said, unsure before he kissed Derek back then took his hand, leading him out the door. Once outside, Stiles kissed Derek again, pressing him up against the side of the building. With Stiles’ hands on him, Derek no longer cared about PDA or their words of caution about taking things slow.

“Jeep?” Derek asked. Stiles nodded his head and before they knew it, they were inside the Jeep and Stiles was driving towards the preserve. At first, Derek thought they were headed to his house, but then Stiles made a turn off towards make out point.

“This is okay, right?” Stiles asked him before parking the Jeep.

“Yeah,” Derek said, letting out a breath of air. “Yeah,” he said again as he cupped Stiles’ face with his hands, pulling Stiles onto his lap. Stiles moved awkwardly, the Jeep not really conducive to make outs. With Stiles straddling him and his hands on Stiles’ ass, which was Stiles’ doing, Derek was hard in his jeans and panting into Stiles’ open mouth as they kissed. He thought about Stiles being his anchor, about how he was fine on the full moon with him, that he could control his urges.

He was fine until Stiles’ hand brushed against his crotch. Derek buried his face against Stiles’ neck, slowing their kissing down to a full stop.

“Sorry,” Stiles said, his hands moving up and down Derek’s arms, then carding through Derek’s hair. “I got carried away.”

“You’re fine,” Derek said, his eyes closed as he moved his hips, seeking friction. He wanted to get off, but he wasn’t sure he could without showing fang. “You just-- drive me mad.”

“Really?” Stiles asked, somehow sounding surprised. Derek nodded his head as Stiles cupped his face, forcing Derek to look him in the eye. “Hey, look at me.” Stiles said. Derek opened his eyes, wincing as Stiles let out a gasp. “Your eyes look... so different like this.”

“Like what?” Derek asked, knowing full well what Stiles was seeing.

“Blue, glowing.”

“You don’t-- you’re not scared?” Derek asked. Stiles shook his head, kissing Derek on the lips slowly, his tongue brushing against a sharp tooth. Derek jerked away, wondering how Stiles knew.

“I’m not scared,” Stiles admitted.

“Why?”

“Because,” Stiles said, shrugging. “I’ve known you, of you, basically all of high school and you’ve never hurt anyone. Why would you hurt me?”

“You don’t think I’m a monster?” Derek asked, perplexed. Paige had screamed, even cried, and here was Stiles, calm and collected while straddling him.

“No,” Stiles said, his hands still cupping Derek’s face. “I mean, when I figured it out, I was like ‘what the fuck, werewolves can’t be real’ and yet here you are, and Cora, I mean the way you two fought, all snarling and shit,” Stiles said, making claw gestures. “It’s kinda obvious if you know what you’re looking for.”

“I didn’t-- I thought we were subtle.”

“Oh, sure,” Stiles said, rolling his eyes. “But that’s why at the party, I didn’t know how to bring it up, you know? ‘Hey by the way, I know you have fangs and shit’.”

“‘And shit’,” Derek mumbled. Everything he had been worrying about, about telling Stiles, was unnecessary. Derek laughed, his hand resting on Stiles’ hip, toying at the hem of his shirt as he stared up at him. Derek gulped as he thought about it. “You came to our house on the full moon.”

Stiles blushed, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.

“Yeah, about that... that wasn’t my greatest plan but hey, it worked, right?”

“You know, you are the first human--” Derek licked his lips, stalling for a moment before he gave too much away, but the freedom to be able to talk about it, talk about himself, with someone he cared about was too big of a temptation. “The first human to come into our house.”

“Really?” Stiles asked. “Ever?”

“Yeah,” Derek said, barely audible.

“So, what does that mean, then?” Stiles asked. “It means something, right?”

“It means you should probably come to dinner,” Derek said. “If, you know, you want to.”

“Yeah,” Stiles said, leaning over. “If that’s what you want.”

“I do,” Derek admitted, capturing Stiles’ lips with his own. This time as the kiss deepened, Derek let himself go, let his instincts take over. As he did, he found himself melting against Stiles. He didn’t shift, he didn’t hurt him. In the end, it had been his anxiety that held him back and fear that he wouldn’t be able to control himself that caused his instincts to react badly. Now that Stiles knew, that he knew the real Derek, he was no longer bound by those fears.

Derek finally trusted himself with Stiles, and he now knew that he could never truly harm him.