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For Science!

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art by the amazing tsumi

Stiles absently tapped his fingers against his desk as he watched Professor Fenris walk up and down the rows, handing out papers. Stiles' mind was already back in Beacon Hills for the long Columbus Day weekend. Scott was coming back from Sacramento and they were planning a huge bonfire. He was looking forward to a couple nights of debauchery.

Stiles, already in his third year at college, was bored. Junior year was proving itself no more difficult than the first two. Professor Atkins, who was the head of the Supernatural School, told him a couple of weeks ago that he had a likely future with the government, which was exactly what he wanted; he had long-term plans to join the FBI. Scott told him that he'd be bored out of his mind, that he watched too much X-Files, but Stiles sincerely doubted that; with a degree in Supernatural Studies, how the fuck could life be boring?

Professor Fenris passed by his desk, handing Stiles his paper without a second glance. Stiles gave his grade the most cursory of looks — he hadn't gotten lower than a B+ in any supernatural-related class since ninth grade — then did a double take. C-, the paper said, with Professor Fenris' chicken-scratch below: Your theory is sound, but your lack of hands-on experience shows.

For a moment, all Stiles could do was gape at his paper, all the noise in the room slowly filtering away until all that was left in his head was a dull pounding. A fucking C. A fucking C minus. How fucking dare Fenris? Hands-on experience — fuck that. Scott was a werewolf. Lydia was a banshee. He'd seen all sorts of weird things dragged into the sheriff's station. Hands-on experience his ass.

People filtered out of the classroom around him, but instead of following, Stiles walked to the front of the classroom and stopped in front of Fenris' desk.

"Mr. Stilinski," Professor Fenris said, pulling on his coat. "Can I help you?"

"I want to talk to you about my grade," Stiles said tightly, anger making him curt. "I don't think I — "

"Deserve it?" Fenris quirks an eyebrow at Stiles.

"I worked hard on this paper!" Stiles protested.

"Did you?" Fenris leveled him with a long look. "Tell me, Mr. Stilinski, when you were in high school, how hard did you study before a test?"

"I — " Stiles was caught off guard. "As hard as anyone, I guess."

"And now, when you have papers to write and tests to take, do you spend hours studying in the library?"

"I guess," Stiles said with an angry shrug. "What — "

Fenris blinked calmly at him. "And what was the topic of your paper?"

Stiles ground his teeth together before answering, "Physiological differences between the East and West Atlantic mermaids and the impact that makes on their breeding habits."

"And?" Fenris prompted. Stiles stared at him, unsure what he was looking for. Fenris sighed. "Did it ever occur to you to contact the Marine Biology department and see if they have specimens in their collections? To go to the aquarium and see them breeding yourself? Books can only take you so far in this field, Mr. Stilinski. To be able to talk intelligently about your subject, you must know your subject."

"But — no one ever told me," Stiles protested.

"Then you need to learn to think for yourself," Fenris scolded. Stiles scowled. "The FBI doesn't want scholars. Mr. Stilinski; they want thinkers, doers. I hope this has been helpful," he added, picking up his bag and turning on his heel. Stiles glowered after him, though he quickly wiped the look from his face when Fenris paused in the doorway. "Mr. Stilinski," he added thoughtfully, "we're moving onto bipeds next. You might consider vampires for your next essay topic."

-

When Stiles came through the door to his apartment, he found Erica slumped across the couch in the living room, grinning sharply.

"What?" Stiles asked suspiciously.

"Isaac said you threw a hissy fit about your anatomy essay grade," Erica replied, pretending to pout sympathetically. "Poor baby."

Stiles scowled at her, slinging his backpack onto the floor. "I didn't throw a hissy fit," he retorted, trying to sound dignified. "I talked to Fenris about my grade, that's it."

Erica batted her long lashes at him. "And what did he say? Did you offer to suck his dick for a better grade?"

"Fuck you," Stiles grumbled, heading into the kitchen. "He said I need hands-on experience."

"Ooh," Erica said, brightening. "You could come volunteer at the shelter — "

"I am not working at that weirdo 'animal' shelter," Stiles said, coming back into the living room with a beer. "Last time I went with you, I got bitten by a leprechaun and had boils for a week."

Erica giggled. "That was hilarious."

"Says you," Stiles retorted moodily, picking up the remote and flicking on the television.

"You could study Boyd," Erica offered, still giggling.

Stiles rolled his eyes. "I am not studying your boyfriend, thanks."

"So what are you going to do, then?"

Stiles took a long pull at his beer, tapping his fingers against the glass. "I don't know," he finally replied. "Fenris suggested I do vampires for my next topic, and where the hell am I going to find one of those, huh? It's not like I can go to the zoo."

"No," Erica agreed, sounding thoughtful. Stiles settled himself back into the cushions, feeling out of sorts. He knew, objectively, that he was being a big baby about this, but the conversation with his professor had thrown him. "There is something you can try," Erica added slowly.

Stiles looked over at her, raising his eyebrows. "Yeah?"

"Craigslist."

Stiles' face dropped back into a scowl. "You're joking."

"I'm not!" Erica protested. "You know how there's that whole casual encounters section? Well, there's a section just like that, but for meeting supernatural peeps."

"I'm not going pick a vampire up off Craigslist!" Stiles argued. "I'm not looking for sex — "

"It's not about sex!" Erica said, waving her hands irritably. "It's for what they do. There are really weird people out there, Stiles, people who are into getting their blood sucked by a vampire, or their life-force drained by a succubus!"

"I don't want to die, either!" Stiles snapped.

"You won't die, you big baby," Erica sighed, rolling her eyes. "They just take a little bit."

Stiles narrowed his eyes at her, suddenly suspicious. "Is that where you met Boyd? You tell everyone you met while working at Gap, but seriously — "

"Oh my god," Erica groaned, getting to her feet. "I'm going to go make burritos and pretend I didn't hear that."

"Why, cause it's true and you don't want to admit it?" Stiles shouted after her. "Your creepy secret's safe with me!"

"I'm putting cilantro in half your burrito!" Erica hollered back. "And I'm not telling you which half!"

"Evil," Stiles gasped, sinking in the couch, truly wounded.

-

Despite the fact that it was incredibly weird and he was totally creeped out by the idea, Stiles was also an insatiably curious person, which was why he found himself surfing Craigslist after dinner (a cilantro-free dinner, because Erica might be evil but she wasn't the devil). Stiles found himself simultaneously enjoying himself and horrified — he'd never really gone trawling through the depths of Craigslist, except maybe to laugh over missed connections with Scott a couple of times.

This, though — this was hardcore. Stiles had never been aware that there were so many people in the world so eager to dance with nymphs and bear the demon children of cults and get knotted by werewolves. He spent nearly an hour clicking link after link, utterly entranced by the new facet of supernatural culture shining before him. He stared at a set of dick pics posted by an incubus — it was possibly the nicest dick he'd ever seen — for way too long before clicking out of the posting. Erica hadn't been entirely right; not all the listings were about sex, only the vast majority. Some of the writing in them was so explicit it made Stiles' ears burn.

Erica came into his room as Stiles sat at his desk, flipping through a couple of ads from vampires he'd tabbed. "You give into your desires?" she teased, flopping down onto his bed.

Stiles shot her a dirty look over his shoulder and retorted, "Just picking through your sloppy seconds." Erica threw a pillow at him and he ducked, laughing.

"You know," Erica said abruptly, giving him a sly look. "I've heard stories about people being bitten. If it's not forced, you get a feeling of euphoria that's so strong some people have died of ecstasy."

Stiles rolled his eyes. "You don't die of happiness, Erica, you die of blood loss."

Erica ignored him and continued happily, banging her heels against the mattress, “I’ve heard that some people orgasm when they get bitten, and some of them come so hard they have brain aneurysms.”

“You sound way too happy about that,” Stiles replied. “Are you trying to get rid of me? Just say the word and I’ll move out; you don’t have to kill me.”

Erica cackled, but didn’t respond, which was a little worrying.

Stiles drummed his fingers against his desk, staring at the screen. He had three ads still pulled up; they were the only ones with proper grammar that didn’t sound like serial killers (although being vampires, how could you tell, really?). And he was thinking about contacting them, honestly considering it.

“Is this legal?” he asked abruptly, an image of his father, small-town sheriff coming into his head. His dad would kill him if he got caught soliciting a — well, it wasn’t like he was buying a prostitute, but still.

“I think so,” Erica replied. “From what I hear, the police don’t care as long as no one dies and no money gets exchanged.”

“Good,” Stiles said. “I’m broke.”

She smirked at him. “Too poor to even leave a tip?”

Stiles dragged his hands across his face. “Are you supposed to tip? Jesus, I don’t know anything about this.”

“Relax,” Erica sang, rolling onto her stomach. “Just contact someone. Odds are they’ve done this before and can answer any and all of your questions.”

“You’re the one who told me about this stupid thing,” Stiles grumbled, copying the email address posted in one of the listings into a new email draft. “Look, if I end up a dried-out husk because some vampire got a little overzealous, it’s your fault.”

“Just be sure to write out your will before you go,” Erica replied solemnly. “Make sure you leave me all your books.”

Stiles smirked at her. “No can do, already promised them to Lydia.” He paused, staring at the screen, cursor blinking in the empty email.

“Are you going to do it?” Erica asked quietly.

“I…think so,” Stiles said, though he still wasn’t certain. But hey, an email wasn’t binding. He could talk to a vampire, get some more info — it couldn’t hurt. He could always change his mind. He took a deep breath. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m gonna do it.”

“Better start loading up on spinach,” Erica cackled. “Those bloodsuckers need their iron too.”

-

A little more than a week later found Stiles pacing back and forth outside of a crappy motel out on the edge of the city near the airport. He’d sent emails to three different vampires, then immediately left for Beacon Hills, determinedly not checking his email the entire time he’d been home (the weekend had been excellent, even if Scott had spend half the time checking his phone and bemoaning the fact that Lydia hadn’t come home. Stiles had had to remind him that cross-country plane tickets weren’t cheap and since Lydia’s parents had cut her off after spending ten thousand dollars at the New York Fashion Week, she had to count her pennies).

When he’d gotten back into the city, Stiles had checked his email to find that only one of the vampires had replied — a man by the not-at-all-suspicious name of John Smith. Despite the obvious pseudonym — which didn’t really calm Stiles’ worries about the questionable legality of the whole thing —

 the whole thing was simple enough; they’d meet in the hotel, John would suck a little bit of blood from anywhere Stiles chose, and that was it. John would leave and Stiles thought he’d stay and watch some HBO or something. This was probably the kind of place where you paid by the hour, but he’d rather be out of the house tonight because it was the full moon, which meant Boyd was coming over and Stiles did not want to hear the sounds coming out of Erica’s room he’d heard on the last full moon. Shitty hotel sheets and Boardwalk Empire reruns were well worth avoiding more mental scarring.

“Okay,” Stiles said, gathering up his nerves. He sent a text to Erica that said, In case I don’t come back, followed by the address of the motel, and stepped into the lobby. It was nicer than it looked from the outside, which relaxed him a little, and he walked up to the desk, where a bored-looking woman sat in front of a computer.

She gave him the most cursory of glances before looking back at her screen. “You got a reservation or do you need a room?”

“Uh,” Stiles said, remembering the instructions from the email. “Um. There’s a reservation. Under John Smith.”

Her long acrylic nails clattered against the keyboard for a moment before she looked up at him, raising one drawn-on eyebrow. “There are three reservations under that name.”

“Oh,” Stiles said blankly. “Uh.” He didn’t have any other information — not even a phone number. God, why did the dude go with John Smith? Why not have fun with his fake name? Even Dr. Acula would have been better. “Uh, I don’t know. Choose one.”

The woman gave him another long look, but clearly didn’t care enough because her nails clacked against the keyboard once more, then she slid a keycard through a scanner and passed it to him. “Checkout’s at eleven,” she announced vaguely, eyes already slipping back to the computer screen. Stiles glanced into the mirror behind the front desk. He could see she was looking at recipes on Pinterest.

“Thanks,” Stiles told the top of her head and headed for the elevators.

The hotel room was small, just a queen-sized bed, a bureau, and a television, and it smelled faintly of mold, but the mattress was comfortable enough, and there were free peanuts. Stiles ripped the bag open and popped one after another into his mouth to distract himself from his growing anxiety, flipping through the channels on the TV. He wondered where he should have the vampire bite him — he’d been relieved to find out that it didn’t have to be his neck, because that would have been an awkward thing to explain at school on Monday.

Stiles had just decided on his ribs when there came the sound of a card being swiped through the reader on the door. He sat up quickly, all his nerves swelling with tension as the door swung open. “Hi,” he said, talking quickly to cover his anxiety. “I ate all the peanuts, sorry. I figured I’d need the extra energy — “

Stiles stopped talking as John Smith stepped into the room. From his textbooks, Stiles had gotten the impression that vampires had a weird, stretched out look to them — slightly too-long limbs and pale skin. This guy, though, he looked human, broad-shouldered and clearly muscular even under a loose sweatshirt. He wasn’t pale at all, his skin lightly tanned, hair dark, eyes pale. They narrowed at Stiles and Stiles froze as the man looked him up and down, clearly judging him. He must have passed the test, though, because John kind of shrugged and said, “Take off your clothes.”

Stiles hesitated, watching John unzip his hoodie. Getting naked hadn’t been mentioned in any of their earlier communications, but maybe it was a way of getting them comfortable around each other. Which — okay. It was weird, but Stiles was new to this whole world. Maybe it was standard. He could hear Dr. Fenris’s voice in his head, lecturing him about experience. He couldn’t assume anything here.

So he slipped off his shirt and undid his belt, shimmying out of his pants. He hesitated again over his underwear, but John didn’t, pushing down his own dark boxer-briefs. Stiles swallowed at the sight of John’s cock, half-hard between his legs. It hadn’t really occurred to Stiles before, but how did vampires get erections if they didn’t have a pulse — no blood to rush to the penis? Maybe John would be willing to stick around for a Q & A afterward, though maybe not — he looked like the impatient type. Suck ‘em and run, or whatever.

John looked at Stiles, raising an irritated eyebrow, and Stiles hurriedly shoved down his underwear, kicking them to the floor. Oh, fuck, his dick was stirring too. This wasn’t supposed to be sexual, but John was really fucking hot — way hotter than any guy Stiles had ever slept with — and he hadn’t been planning on sex but hell, he was only human. He’d slept with strangers before; he’d gone through a period in sophomore year where he’d gone home with someone new almost every weekend — but he’d usually had at least half an hour of conversation or a couple of drinks first. He wished, now, that he’d at least had a beer to soothe his nerves, but John had been explicit about no alcohol — it thinned the blood too much or something and Stiles wasn’t keen on dying tonight.

“On your knees,” John said, taking a step toward the bed. Stiles’ eyes flickered down to his dick before he turned, nervously licking his lips as he braced himself on his hands and knees.

“Hey, uh, can I just ask?” Stiles said hesitantly, feeling the bed dip as John knelt behind him. “What’s your name? Because John’s my dad’s name and I feel really weird about — ”

“Derek.”

“Okay,” Stiles said. “Thanks.” God, he was fucking hard, his dick pulsing, jumping with every nervous breath. He hoped it wasn’t like, an insult or something. Stiles thought about what Erica had said, about the possibility of orgasming at the bite. He was pretty sure it was going to happen, and probably sooner rather than later.

Behind him, the mattress sunk lower as John — no — Derek moved in. Stiles could feel the heat of his body and that was weird for a vampire, right? Stiles couldn’t help but jolting a little at the touch of Derek’s hands on his thighs, warm fingers brushing against his hipbones. “You’re not ready,” Derek said, sounding irritated.

“Huh?” Stiles replied. “I did n — oh.” The only warning he got was a hot sigh of air against his skin and then fuck, fuck, fuck, that was Derek’s mouth on his ass. Those were Derek’s big hands spreading Stiles’ ass-cheeks open, his tongue licking wet lines across his skin. This was so far from anything Stiles had expected — he hadn’t even showered since this morning — that for a long moment all he could do was try to connect the dots in his brain. A difficult fight, it turned out, because Derek possessed a fucking talented tongue and white-hot sparks of pleasure kept skipping up Stiles’ spine, making his toes curl, unconsciously pushing back, seeking more.

He was getting a rimjob from a vampire. A fucking vampire. He — Stiles lifted his head abruptly, mouth slackening in realization even as Derek pressed a finger inside him, punching a moan from his loose lips. Stiles was almost one hundred percent sure he’d gotten the wrong John Smith. There’d been nothing, nothing, about sex in the email exchange and from the way Derek had jumped right in, this had to have been planned. Jesus, and here was Stiles, trusting, idiotic Stiles, who’d been happy to strip naked without questioning it and now he had a man-shaped creature of undetermined supernatural nature with two fingers inside him. Stiles panted out a rough laugh. Just wait until Erica heard about this.

Erica, he thought, his eyes slipping sideways to the window. Boyd. Stiles hadn’t closed the curtains and he could see the moon hanging full and silver in the sky outside. Oh. Oh. There had been a lot of werewolves putting up ads for the full moon. Apparently getting knotted was something that a lot of people were into. Stiles hadn’t given it much thought.

Despite the fact that his best friend was a werewolf, Stiles didn’t actually know that much about them. Scott had been bitten back in high school and he’d dug in his heels when the local pack had offered him space amongst their ranks. He didn’t follow any sort of werewolf behavioral norms so as far as Stiles knew, all his knowledge of werewolves was atypical. Stiles had never talked to him about his sexual behaviors — partly because he didn’t want Scott to feel like a science experiment and partly because he just really didn’t need to know those sort of intimate details about his best friend. What he did know was mostly rumors, because they’d only just started the unit on werewolves and hadn’t reached anything on reproductive behavior yet.

Stiles was in over his head. He knew that. What he didn’t know was how the heat affected Derek — how in control of himself he was. Stiles had to say something.

“Derek,” he tried — gasped. His mouth felt like a desert. “I — “ Derek rumbled low behind him; Stiles could feel his tongue working around his fingers and the noise vibrated through him, rolling up his spine. “Fuck, I — ” But he couldn’t get it out. Some treacherous part of his brain assured him that no, this was going to be good, really, and maybe he was desperate, or maybe he was just stupid, but what he managed to say was, “I’m Stiles.”

Derek made another low noise, one which Stiles had no idea how to interpret. Stiles felt the bed shift as Derek sat back on his heels, his hand falling away, and Stiles felt the loss of him intimately, his hips hitching back almost unconsciously in an attempt to reconnect. But Derek leaned away from him and over the side of the bed to pull a packet of lube out of his jeans and Stiles took the opportunity to bend his head and look at Derek’s face, at the grim, irritable set of his mouth and his flushed cheeks. Stiles wondered if he was embarrassed, or angry, or — was it possible that this was Derek’s first time doing this and he was floundering just as badly as Stiles?

It didn’t seem likely, considering the confident way he’d come into the room and told Stiles to strip, but then another possibility occurred to Stiles and his stomach dropped with nerves and anticipation. Heat. They hadn’t covered it in class yet, but it was one of the biological imperatives that even Scott couldn’t ignore — an hours-long — or even days long — burning need to procreate.

Stiles took a deep breath to keep himself from panicking, twisting his head away as Derek leaned toward him. There came the touch of Derek’s fingers at Stiles’ entrance, slick and cool, and Stiles jolted in shock, his hips jerking forward. This is happening, he thought wildly, a little frantically. He could stop this, he was sure, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to. The longer he stayed, the more Derek touched him, the better he felt, a golden haze creeping in at the corners of his mind. He was adaptable.

Derek moved quickly, his gestures abrupt and impatient though he still worked Stiles open with some care, one hand on his hip holding Stiles in place, the other stretching him wide. If Stiles looked between his legs he could see Derek’s thighs, taut and muscular, and his cock between, thick and flushed red. His own dick was hard and leaking, tapping against his stomach every time Derek made him jump.

Stiles’ thighs were shaking, his mind heavy and blurred with need. His body felt as though it were on fire; he sobbed when Derek pulled away, mouth opening to beg, “Please, c’mon, fuck me.”

Derek made a low noise, hungry and impatient, and he shifted behind Stiles, rising onto his knees. Stiles shuddered as Derek settled in, his hands at Stiles’ hips, pressing inside him with one push. Stiles cried out at the feel of him, his fingers curling in the sheets, back bowing. Derek exhaled, the force of his breath ruffling Stiles’ hair, but he didn’t wait before he began to move, starting with a short roll of his hips that had Stiles gasping, dropping onto his elbows so he could press back. Derek seemed to like that — he growled, anyway, and Stiles chose to take that as approval. He gripped harder at Stiles’ hips, fingers digging in so deep Stiles knew he’d be waking up with bruises.

“You feel so fucking good,” Stiles muttered, forehead pressed to the comforter. He wasn’t usually much of a talker in bed, especially not with strangers, but there was that haze in his head and everything felt right. More than right, really — great. Derek felt great and he deserved to know it.

Derek seemed to like that too; he shifted forward, pressing his chest to Stiles’ spine, bringing one hand forward to brace himself next to Stiles’ head. Stiles stared dazedly at the corded muscle on his forearm, breath hitching with every thrust of Derek’s hips, moaning sharply when Derek licked at his neck, teeth just grazing his skin before his mouth migrated toward Stiles’ shoulder.

It was good, so fucking good — Stiles’ head was fogged with pleasure. It made him heavy-limbed and golden-tongued, lavishing Derek with praise and soft, hitching moans with every thrust. He’d never felt so good, his entire body alight and singing with electricity. He wanted Derek to lose control, really fuck him, and maybe he said that out loud because Derek snarled and shifted backward, settling onto his heels.

He pulled Stiles with him, one arm looped over his chest, the other gripping his hip, holding him upright effortlessly. Stiles moaned at the new position; Derek struck deeper inside him now, giving him barely a moment to adjust before he was moving again, faster this time, jolting Stiles with every thrust — and it felt fucking amazing. Just knowing how strong Derek was — Stiles had no doubt that he could break every one of Stiles' bones without breaking a sweat — and fuck, there was nothing stopping him. Stiles didn’t know if Derek was even in control or not.

"Fuck," Derek growled, driving up into him relentlessly. Stiles could feel him starting to swell, his knot growing as he neared orgasm. It was a strange sensation, the knot catching at Stiles' rim with every thrust of Derek's hips. Stiles moaned, fighting the urge to clench down against the intrusion. "Relax," Derek panted, brushing his lips against Stiles' ear. Stiles made a soft noise at Derek's touch, turning his head for better access, and Derek took the invitation, biting down at the junction of Stiles’ neck and shoulder. Stiles let out a low cry of shock because it hurt and he could feel wetness on his neck — saliva? Blood? — and fuck fuck fuck he didn’t even know if Derek was an alpha or not.

Derek didn’t even slow down, his thrusts verging on the edge of painful as his knot grew, pain zipping up his spine to fizzle into an odd blurred sense of pleasure. Stiles, tears burning in the corners of his eyes, reached back with one hand, blindly gripping at Derek’s hair and Derek's movements stuttered for just a moment at Stiles’ touch before he thrust again — once, twice more before his knot grew too large to slip back out and they were locked together.

"Oh my god," Stiles mumbled, chest heaving. He'd never felt so full before, flooded with golden warmth. He hurt all over yet he needed more, needed — "Fuck, can you — I need — "

"Demanding," Derek remarked, sounding a little punch-drunk, but he obligingly let go of Stiles’ hip and wrapped a hand around Stiles’ dick, flushed angry and red and weeping precome. Stiles groaned, open-mouthed, fighting for traction so he could thrust into Derek's hand, but Derek remained in control, the arm around his chest solid and unmoving as an iron bar, his fingers tense against the base of Stiles’ throat. Derek’s chest slipped against Stiles' sweat-slicked back as he began rolling his hips again, shallow thrusts that had his cock hitting Stiles' prostate with every movement.

"Fuck," Stiles murmured, heating pooling in his groin, toes going numb as his orgasm hit. "Fuck, fuck!" Derek fucked him through it, Stiles open-mouthed and almost sobbing as he came, spine bowing. Derek kept his hand on Stiles until Stiles was shuddering, over-stimulated and flooded with heat, before he shifted again, pressing Stiles back down into the mattress and fuck, if Derek had been rough before he was relentless now, pounding into Stiles without grace or rhythm as he sought his own release. It hurt in the best way possible, pain jangling up Stiles’ spine, blending with his pleasure in a way that made him desperately wish he hadn’t already come.

Derek bent over him, one hand gripping at the headboard, the other clutching so hard at Stiles’ hip he knew he’d bruise, snarling wordlessly as he fucked into Stiles. Stiles went very still, still open-mouthed and gasping, because there was pain at his hip, sharp pinpricks, and above his head there was a splintering sound — Derek had fucking shredded the wooden headboard. He lifted his head very carefully and saw the deep lines scored into the woods and the way the tips of Derek’s fingers had gone wickedly pointed and he breathed in sharply.

But even as he watched, Derek’s claws melted back into blunt fingernails and his hand pulled away from the headboard, dropping down to brush against Stiles’ cheek. From the way Derek’s breathing was slowing, Stiles realized he must have finished and he relaxed a little. Derek lowered himself down carefully, his body burning with heat and slick with sweat and for a while they were both quiet, catching their breaths.

"Roll with me," Derek said after a long moment, his voice hoarse, and he hooked an arm under Stiles' chest, carefully turning them so they were on their sides. This should be weird, Stiles thought dazedly, breathing in deeply. He should, by all rights, be freaking out; he had a complete stranger's dick stuck in his ass. He felt weirdly content, though, waves of pleasure still lapping over him.

Derek’s fingers caressed Stiles’ hipbone before slipping lower, trailing through the come on Stiles’ stomach. Stiles shuddered, still sensitive and a little over-stimulated from his orgasm. Derek lifted his hand, wet with Stiles’ come, and Stiles watched, a little startled, as Derek brought his hand to Stiles’ mouth. Stiles wouldn’t have, normally, but right now he was feeling punch-drunk and obliging, so he opened his mouth and sucked his come off Derek’s fingers.

Derek groaned quietly and Stiles bit back a noise because he could feel Derek’s dick pulse and god, fuck, he’d discovered so many new kinks this evening. Derek exhaled against his neck, tensing slightly when he asked, “Was this…okay?”

Stiles almost laughed because Derek had gone from fucking him into the mattress to shy. He didn't laugh, though, settling back against Derek's chest, folding his arm over Derek's. "Way more than okay," he confirmed. Derek sighed softly, sounding a little relieved, and seemed to relax, their bodies molding to each other's shapes. Maybe it was just the post-orgasmic haze talking, but Stiles was prepared to swear he'd never felt so comfortable lying in bed with someone. He fell asleep with Derek curled around him, nosing gently at Stiles' neck. He felt safe.

-

Stiles woke some time later as the bed dipped behind him and Derek's warmth, momentarily missing, returned to his side. The room was dark, the curtains closed so he could no longer see the moon — Derek's doing, Stiles realized drowsily. He shifted sleepily and made a disgusted face; he could feel the stiffness in his muscles, the stickiness between his thighs. Derek must have slipped out of him a while ago because there was dried come there too, itchy and flaking. He looked over his shoulder to see Derek sitting up next to him, watching Stiles silently. "Hey."

Derek made a noise that could possibly be interpreted as a greeting and pushed at Stiles' side. "On your stomach," he said, and Stiles felt a moment of deja vu.

"Round two?" he asked.

Derek tilted his head to one side. "Do you want to?"

"Always," Stiles said immediately, then amended regretfully, "but I don't think my ass would appreciate it."

"I won't, then," Derek said with a slight shrug. Still, he nudged at Stiles' side until he got the hint and rolled onto his stomach, sighing into the pillow. Derek leaned forward and Stiles jumped at the cool touch of a damp washcloth on his skin. Derek carefully cleaned the mess from between his legs, then tapped him on the ass. "Flip over." Stiles turned onto his back and watched Derek clean his stomach. There was just enough light in the room for him to make out Derek's features, sharp with shadows, pale eyes hidden beneath long lashes. Stiles wanted to ask him a million questions — what rank of werewolf was he, how long did his heat last, how often did he get it, could he get Derek’s number — but he kept his mouth shut. Right now wasn't a moment to ruin with chatter.

Derek set the cloth aside but kept his hand on Stiles' stomach, touch light. He met Stiles' eyes, face smooth, expression neutral. Stiles swallowed at the intensity in his gaze, holding his breath as Derek leaned forward, pressing their mouths together. He tasted like toothpaste — either he'd had the foresight to bring his own, or there'd been some in the bathroom. It was their first kiss, Stiles realized, the first time all night that they'd been face to face. He was glad for the connection, the ability to see Derek's face and react to him.

Stiles made a quiet noise, lifting his arms to fold around Derek's shoulders, one of his hands settling at the back of his neck. There was no rush in the way Derek moved, no hurry to get off this round. He shifted without breaking the kiss, swinging a leg over Stiles' hip and settling down on top of him. Stiles liked the weight of him, heavy but not crushing. Comforting, in a way, like a security blanket.

Derek tilted his head, pressing his nose to the underside of Stiles' jaw, inhaling deeply. "I like how you smell," he admitted quietly.

"Thanks," Stiles murmured, tilting his head back to give Derek better access. He sighed softly, fingers tangling in Derek's soft hair as Derek coaxed a bruise into existence under the hinge of Stiles' jaw, then made his way down his neck. Heat began to build inside Stiles once more, quiet noises slipping from his lips. Derek lifted his head to look at Stiles, his eyes heavy and dark in the quiet of the room. Stiles could feel how hard Derek was already, a frisson running through him every time Derek's cock brushed against his.

Derek seemed in no rush, though, when he asked, "Can I blow you?"

Stiles blinked. "You, uh — yeah. Yeah, definitely."

"I want to," Derek told him. "I want to know if you taste as good as you smell."

Stiles stared at him, his cheeks flushing. "I — go ahead?"

Derek smiled faintly, his white teeth gleaming in the gloom of the room as he slid backward, pulling the sheets with him. He settled between Stiles' legs, rubbing his stubbly cheek against the inside of Stiles' thigh, giving Stiles’ cock a few lazy tugs. Stiles didn't need much encouragement; his dick was totally on board, thickening fast in Derek's grip. Derek’s eyes settled half-shut as he leaned forward, dragging his lips up the length of Stiles’ shaft before his lips parted and his tongue came out, slipping slowly across the head of Stiles’ cock. Stiles hissed, twisting his fingers in the sheets as Derek took him in his mouth, his head bobbing up and down torturously slow.

It was so different from earlier that night. Derek’s body was still hot to the touch — Stiles knew the heat couldn’t have faded that fast, unless he’d already been at the tail end of it — but his movements were so delicate now, slow and unhurried, completely devoid of the frenetic animal energy he’d had when he was digging his claws into the headboard. Stiles’ dick pulsed at the memory and Derek growled quietly, his tongue dragging across the slit to catch the precome beading there.

Stiles reached out hesitantly, then more boldly when Derek didn’t move away, trailing his hands over Derek’s cheeks and along his jaw. Derek lifted his head for a moment, nosing into Stiles’ palm before sinking his mouth back onto Stiles’ cock. Stiles breathed quietly, lips parted as he watched Derek, his lashes dark against his hollowed cheeks. He threaded his hands through Derek’s hair — surprisingly soft — and Derek made a low noise of approval, the sound vibrating up Stiles’ spine, making his breath hitch. Derek looked up at Stiles, dragging his tongue over the head of Stiles’ dick, and Stiles shuddered at the way Derek’s eyes flared red.

Fuck, somehow he’d landed himself an alpha. The bite on the back of his neck throbbed, reminding him that Derek could have turned him if he’d bitten deep enough — only alphas had the power to make new betas. But he couldn’t even bring himself to worry about it in that moment because Derek hadn’t broken eye contact with him, the corners of his mouth curving up as he took Stiles back into his mouth, swallowing him down so deep Stiles felt himself hit the back of Derek’s throat.

“Oh my god,” Stiles murmured, his hips trying to jolt upwards under Derek’s heavy arm. “Oh my god.” He could feel himself getting close, golden heat fuzzing his brain and pooling in his groin. He was so fucking deep in Derek’s mouth he could see the bulge of his cock in Derek’s throat, and Derek was so fucking gorgeous, his eyes burning crimson in the darkness of the room, his chin slick with spit and precome. “Fuck,” he groaned. “I’m — ”

Derek lifted his head, pulling off him with a slick noise, and Stiles whined at the loss, Derek holding him down as Stiles tried to follow his mouth with his hips. “You want to come?” Derek asked him, his voice dropping low. “You have to work.”

“Fucker,” Stiles muttered, avoiding his scarlet gaze.

Derek snorted, giving Stiles’ dick a few rough strokes before getting his mouth back on it. He moved slower than before, drawing out every movement — to Stiles’ frustration. He brought Stiles to the edge twice more and Stiles was swearing with every breath by the time he found release, sweat building along his spine and the bend of his knees. Derek looked up at him, a satisfied smile curving the corners of his mouth and that was it — Stiles came with a rough cry, his spine arching as come splattered across his stomach and Derek’s cheek.

“F fuck,” Stiles breathed, his chest rising and falling rapidly as he tried to get his breath back. Derek watched him patiently, licking his lips clean of Stiles’ come. “Oh man,” Stiles said, flushing. “I got some in your hair, dude, sorry — ”

“Don’t worry about it,” Derek said, rising up and settling onto his knees. He swiped his thumb across his cheek and licked it clean, his eyes never leaving Stiles’ face. “Told you I like how you smell.”

Stiles swallowed, his eyes dropping to Derek’s dick, flushed and leaking against his thigh, before darting back up to Derek’s face. “And do I taste as good as I smell?”

“Mm,” Derek said, his eyelids lowering. “Even better.” He leaned forward, one hand on Stiles’ knee, the other wrapped around his own cock. Derek jerked himself off slowly, shaking his head when Stiles reached out to help. He sighed softly when he came, pushing his hand through the mess on Stiles’ stomach with a satisfied noise.

“You’re, uh, into that, huh?” Stiles said sleepily, watching Derek lick his hand clean.

“Mm,” Derek said ambiguously, sinking down on top of Stiles. Derek kissed him lazily, teeth nipping at his lips, and Stiles could taste them both, heavy and bitter on Derek’s tongue.

Stiles wanted to say something to him, something about how he’d never felt so comfortable with someone he’d just met, maybe, or something about how that had been maybe the best sex he’d ever had — but he thought about his tendency to be impulsive. Better sleep on it, he thought — probably wisely — and instead murmured sleepily, "Thanks."

"You're welcome," Derek replied quietly, dragging his nose against Stiles’ cheek, breathing softly.

As he drifted back to sleep, Stiles wondered who Derek was when he wasn't fucking strangers on full moons — where he lived, what he did for work. He wondered why Derek was even here. He was, objectively, one of the hottest people Stiles had ever seen; surely he didn't need to resort to Craigslist to find an easy fuck. He wasn’t young enough for this to be his first heat, but maybe he’d recently got out of a relationship and needed someone quick. Stiles wasn't complaining, though; for all that the night had started off confusing, he was pleased with where they'd ended up.

-

When Stiles woke for the second time, the room was soft with early morning light and he was alone. Stiles' heart sank as he realized Derek was gone — the space beside him cold, the bathroom dark and empty. Stiles sat up slowly, running a hand through his hair. A touch of that golden haze still clung to his bones, but it dissipated quickly with the realization that he hadn't even been able to ask Derek any questions — and Derek hadn't left any kind of note. He wouldn't have, Stiles supposed unhappily, pushing the sheets back. It was just a hookup.

Stiles winced as he got to his feet, legs and ass aching in protest when he straightened and tottered toward the bathroom, flicking on the light. He paused when he caught sight of himself in the mirror, his breath catching in his throat. Bruises ringed his throat, dotted his collarbones and chest. If he twisted, he could see more on the back of his neck and shoulders, including a particularly vivid one in the shape of a perfect bite mark where his neck met his shoulder. He ran his fingers over it, wincing slightly at the brief flare of pain. Derek had left claw marks on his hips and stomach, needle-thin lines not deep enough to bleed but deep enough to mark. He rang his fingers over them as well, feeling their raised edges, a shudder running through him as he remembered how they'd gotten there, Derek's heavy weight on his back, the sound of his claws scoring the headboard. His dick gave an interested twitch against his leg and he glared down at it.

"Don't even," he hissed, turning away from the mirror and stepping into the shower. It was a useless battle, though; every mark he touched sent pain and pleasure shooting through his body, head flooding with the memories of last night. Stiles sighed very softly when he wrapped a hand around himself and it was almost embarrassing, really, how little it took to get him off. He only had to think about Derek fucking into him, about how good it had felt to be pressed down into the mattress, the way it felt when Derek knotted him, and he came messily over his knuckles.

There was a cold, heavy feeling in his chest as he pulled the previous day’s clothes back on. It'd been so long since he'd hooked up with anyone that he'd forgotten why he'd stopped. It'd been good for a time, when he'd first started college, when he'd still been trying to figure out who he was and what he wanted, but after a while they'd started feeling empty. He hated waking up to an empty space next to him almost as much as he hated waking up next to an almost stranger, and what made it worse was how good he'd felt last night. He kept thinking about the way his body had fit against Derek's and it made his heart sink further. He wished he'd said something. He wished he'd at least asked Derek for his number.

Stiles left the key to the room on the nightstand and drove home in silence. The apartment was empty when he got in and he was glad for it; he needed more time to process the previous night before he could stand Erica's questions. He crawled into bed because it was only eight in the morning and he'd had a long night, and slept right through the ten o'clock lab for his Supernatural Pharmacology class. When he finally dragged himself out of his room sometime around noon, Erica was sitting in the living room watching Judge Judy. She gave him a very judging look and said, "You look like shit."

"Thanks a lot," Stiles mumbled, staggering into the kitchen to brew some coffee. Fuck, his ass hurt worse than before, so while the coffee was brewing he rifled through the cupboards until he scrounged up a bottle of Advil.

"I don't see any bite marks," Erica said from the doorway. She added wickedly, "Not from a vampire, anyway."

"Fuck off," Stiles muttered.

"Hey," Erica said, her voice softer. "Are you okay?"

Stiles sighed. He might as well be upfront about it because Erica was going to get it out of him sooner or later. "There was no vampire," he told her. "I got the wrong room. There was a werewolf in heat and we had some really great sex and now..." He trailed off with a shrug.

"You're crashing?" Erica offered.

"I'm crashing," he agreed, scrubbing a hand over his face.

Erica stepped forward and gave him a one-armed hug — unusual for her, but not unwelcome. "What are you going to do?"

Stiles sighed again. "Well, I've got a paper to write."

Erica made an impatient noise. "No, I meant about this werewolf. A dude?" Stiles nodded slowly and she said. "Well? Are you going to try to find him again?

Stiles stared at her. "I — no? It was just a hookup, Erica. If he wanted to do it again, he would have stuck around or at least left me his number." He shrugged again, glum. "He probably woke up and realized that I wasn't the person who was supposed to be there and — well, waking up alone sends a pretty clear message, don't you think?"

"Maybe he freaked out," Erica said fairly. "Maybe it was his first time doing the Craigslist thing too."

Stiles shrugged, pouring coffee into a thermos. "Whatever. I'm going to go to school."

"Okay," Erica hollered after him, "but if you're not going to be proactive then don't expect any more sympathy from me!"

"Noted!" he yelled back, pulling on a hoodie and snatching up his bag as he headed out the door.

Stiles spent the afternoon in the library, way in the back where the back issues of all the academic journals were kept so he didn't run the chance of meeting anyone he knew. Even with his hood up, he knew the bruises around his neck were obvious and he also knew they didn't look right — he looked like he'd been hurt, not fucked, and he didn't want to have to defend himself. He worked on class work for a while, getting everything pressing out of the way before he allowed himself to give in and switch his attention to the paper he needed to write for Dr. Fenris's class. It wasn't due for another week, but he wanted to get to it while his experience with Derek was still fresh in his head.

Werewolves had almost an entire row to themselves in the library, and Stiles walked up and down it for a few minutes, staring up at the shelves before pulling down a couple likely-looking volumes on physiology and behavior. He retreated back to his little corner of the library and spent some time flipping through one of the texts until he found the chapter on heats and mating. Most of what he read only confirmed what he'd already had a vague knowledge of; the heat werewolves experienced occurred multiple times a year — for omegas, it occurred as little as twice a year, while betas averaged five. Alphas experienced heat as frequently as once a month. Stiles couldn't contain the faint shudder that wracked his shoulders when he remembered the way Derek's eyes had flared red. Fuck, maybe Erica was right. Maybe, if he kept his eye on Craigslist, he'd be able to find Derek again.

The next section made him pause. Apparently there was this thing that happened sometimes called a heat bond, a chemical reaction in the body of the werewolf's partner that closely mimicked symptoms of heat; it dulled pain and increased pleasure, making the overall experience of being tied together more enjoyable. It didn't happen to every werewolf, and even with the werewolves that experienced it, it didn't occur every time. Stiles stared down at the page, his heart sinking. He was pretty sure — almost certain — that he'd experienced a heat bond. He remembered the golden haze that had wrapped around his body, infused his brain — he'd never felt like that during sex before; it had to have been. Swallowing unhappily, Stiles pulled out his phone and dialed Erica's number.

"What's up?" she asked, picking up almost immediately. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Stiles sighed. "Look, can I ask you something?"

"Shoot."

Stiles took a deep breath. This was way more than he ever wanted to know about Boyd and Erica's sex life, but — "Have you ever experienced a heat bond with Boyd?"

"Uh, no?" Erica replied, sounding a little confused. "I thought those were just an old wives' tale."

"They’re not," Stiles said glumly. It didn't really surprise him that Boyd didn't elicit heat bonds in Erica; according to the book in front of him, they were almost exclusively experienced by born wolves, and Boyd had been bitten.

"Oh, sweetie," Erica said sympathetically. "You got one, didn't you?"

"Think so," Stiles sighed. He wasn't sure why he was so bummed out about it; he hadn't even expected to get laid last night. He should be happy that he did, and that it felt so great, but...maybe part of him had been hoping for more than that, like the chemistry between he and Derek had been, well, not chemical. No wonder Derek had peaced out without a word that morning; he'd probably given Stiles one look and wondered what the hell he'd been thinking.

Still, he wished that Derek had mentioned something about it, so he could have prepared himself. He probably had, Stiles realized, in the exchange he’d had with whoever was really supposed to be there last night. God, he was fucking stupid sometimes.

"You poor thing," Erica said, half laughing. "You've got a heat hangover."

Stiles had to laugh, because that was exactly how he was feeling. "Right."

"Here's what you're going to do," Erica instructed. "Go get yourself something greasy to eat, and then tonight Boyd and I will take you dancing."

Stiles choked back a laugh as a librarian passed by the stacks, giving him a dark look. "I thought Boyd hated dancing," he whispered.

"Oh, he does," Erica replied cheerfully, and Stiles could hear the wicked grin in her voice. "But he loves me, so he'll do it."

After he'd hung up, Stiles returned to his work feeling a lot better. He was already formulating the thesis for his paper in his head — why alphas experience more heats annually than betas and omegas, and its effect on the werewolf population as a whole — but really, he thought guiltily, his eyes sliding toward his laptop. Maybe he could find Derek again, or maybe… He shrugged, flipping his laptop open. It wasn't like there was much scientific accuracy in a sample pool of one.

-

This werewolf’s name was Deucalion. He was older than Stiles, probably not much younger than Stiles’ dad, which wasn’t his thing at all, but this was for science and he had an English accent Stiles would privately admit he found kind of sexy. And anyway, he’d been the only werewolf Stiles had been able to find on Craigslist who was willing to admit that he usually heat-bonded with his partners. And he was an alpha, too. It was important to replicate all factors in an experiment. Not that Derek had been an experiment, but, well, if Stiles couldn’t replicate his results with Derek, he’d have to replicate them with the next best thing.

The next best thing had invited Stiles over to his apartment — which was nice; penthouse suite of the fanciest apartment building Stiles had ever been in — and now Stiles was on Deucalion’s couch getting blown by him and it was — it wasn’t bad, but it was weird. With Derek, it hadn’t been like he’d gone out looking for sex — though one could convincingly argue that seeking out a vampire was weird enough — but walking into a total stranger’s apartment knowing he was there to have sex had been fucking strange. It would have been even weirder, but Stiles had been sure to pregame this time, and he’d had three shots sitting in the passenger’s seat of Erica’s car — her idea — and by the time she’d dropped him off and he’d reached the top floor, he’d had a nice buzz and things didn’t seem so so weird.

(“Looks like you’ve already had some fun with someone,” Deucalion had said when Stiles took his hoodie off. The bruises were four days old now, purple turning to green, and they were mostly faded, except for the livid bite mark on the back of his neck, which still hurt to touch. “You a gaper?”

“Excuse me?” Stiles had blinked.

Deucalion had shrugged. “There are a lot of people — humans,” he explained, “who only have sex with werewolves in heat. We call them gapers because of — ”

“I get it,” Stiles had said. Because the werewolf’s knot would leave them stretched out, gaping. Classy. “I’m not one of them.”

“All right,” Deucalion had agreed. Stiles didn’t care if Deucalion believed him or not; it wasn’t like he had any plans to come back.)

The sex was good. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t unenjoyable either. The heat bond hit Stiles just as his buzz began weakening, that familiar golden glow wrapping around his bones. Things went hazy after that and he let himself enjoy it because — why not? He fucking could, so he did, but after they’d both finished and Stiles lay with his chest pressed to the mattress, Deucalion breathing slowly on top of him, he had to admit to himself that it had been nothing like so good as it had been with Derek.

Derek — there’d been something about him that had been a little wild, a little out of control, like the heat had turned off some part of him that made him human. Deucalion, though…he was good at what he did, there was no denying that, but he was good in a way that was practiced. Stiles knew by the way he’d talked about meeting people that this was something he did all the time, and he had no trouble controlling his heat. It wasn’t interesting. It wasn’t that dangerous excitement that had gotten Stiles off four days ago.

When Deucalion’s knot shrank an hour later, Stiles wriggled out from under him and left without him ever waking up. He walked home, the October air cool and crisp on his skin. It wasn’t even midnight when he got back; Erica and Boyd were still awake, watching a movie on Comedy Central. Stiles waved at them as he came in, ignored the way Boyd’s nose wrinkled. He took a long shower, thinking the whole time. He felt empty again, but it was a different kind of emptiness from the way Derek had left him — this was simple dissatisfaction. Maybe he and Derek had had more than the heat bond — he’d enjoyed lying next to Derek. So maybe they hadn’t had anything by way of a real conversation, but if Derek had been there when he woke up and asked if he wanted to go get breakfast or coffee or something, Stiles would have said yes like a shot.

Stiles thought about the blowjob Derek had given him, the careful way he’d touched Stiles’ skin, the way the room had been quiet and easy. There was something there, he was sure of it. Stiles absently ran his fingers over the bite mark on the back of his neck. He wanted Derek, not a substitute. He wanted the real thing.

-

“Details, Stilinski,”Lydia said fiercely.

Stiles winced, cradling his phone between his shoulder and his ear as he stirred halfheartedly at a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough, which he intended to eat raw. It was three days after he’d hooked up with Deucalion and a week since Derek and though he’d spent two hours that morning going through the past month’s posts in the supernatural section of Craigslist in hopes he might be able to find Derek’s original post, he’d had absolutely no luck. “No.”

“Details,” Lydia repeated angrily. “Don’t make me scream.”

“You know, that’s getting old,” Stiles complained, dumping half a bag of chocolate chips into the bowl and then, upon further reflection, poured the rest of the bag in. “Banshee threatening to scream? You need something more original.”

Lydia took a deep breath and Stiles help the phone away from his ear, but all she said was, “C’mon, sweetheart, I’m bored over here.”

“You don’t need to hear the details of my sex life!” Stiles protested. “You have a boyfriend!”

“Yes, and he’s adorably vanilla,” Lydia sighed, which was kind of a relief to hear; Stiles didn’t need to know anything about Scott’s sex life, thanks. “You tried to hire a vampire to suck your blood and ended up being knotted by a werewolf. I’m living vicariously through you. Now talk.”

Stiles sighed; just like Erica, he could never keep anything from Lydia for very long (“We Stilinski men have a long tradition of being intimidated by strong women,” his dad had sighed once, rubbing his fingers over his wedding ring). So, between spoonfuls of raw dough, Stiles told her the whole story, up to and including his fruitless Craigslist search from that morning. Lydia was quiet on the other end of the line; he could hear her tapping her fingernails against something.

Finally, she said, “So? What’s your plan?”

Stiles groaned halfheartedly, stretching out on the couch. “There’s nothing to do,” he replied morosely.

“What, and that’s it?” Lydia retorted. “I know you better than that.”

Stiles shrugged, then remembered she couldn’t see him. “What can I do?” he asked. “All I know is that his first name’s Derek, and he’s an alpha.”

“And likely a born wolf, judging by the heat bonds,” Lydia pointed out. “You should start asking around. There aren’t very many established packs in your area.”

“Yeah?” Stiles snorted. “And say what? ‘Hey, I accidentally had really wild heat sex with this dude — do you know him?’”

He could almost hear Lydia roll her eyes. “I wouldn’t put it exactly like that,” she said, sounding exasperated. “But yes, something along those lines.”

“No way,” Stiles replied. “There’s a hundred thousand people living in this city, Lydia, and who knows if he even lives in the city? He could have traveled here.”

“If you’re not going to be proactive about it, don’t expect any sympathy from me,” Lydia sniffed, echoing Erica’s words from earlier in the week almost exactly.

“I’m just trying to be realistic!” Stiles exclaimed. He sighed heavily. “Look, it would be awesome if I could find him again, but I’m not going to go crazy looking for him. I’ve got more important things to worry about — Fenris is on my ass. I’ve got a paper to write.”

“And instead you’ve having a cookie dough pity party on the couch,” Lydia said scornfully. “And you wonder why you got a C- on your last paper.”

“Thanks for the support,” Stiles retorted sarcastically.

“Well,” Lydia said dismissively, “I guess I should leave you to it, but let me know if you have any more freaky hookups.”

“I’m done with Craigslist,” Stiles said moodily. “Hey, uh, don’t tell Scott about this, all right?”

Lydia laughed. “Oh, sweetheart,” she said sympathetically, “there is no way I’m not telling him about this.”

“Figured as much,” Stiles mumbled.

“Stiles,” Lydia said, in the patient tone she only used on him once in a blue moon. “You deserve better than someone who left without waking you up. You’ll find someone.”

“Thanks,” Stiles said quietly. “I’ll talk to you later, alright?”

“I know you’ll do great on your paper,” Lydia said firmly.

After he’d hung up, Stiles sighed and set aside his bowl of cookie dough. He figured he had roughly half an hour before Lydia told Scott everything and Scott began bombarding him with curious texts — might as well get started on his paper.

-

Three weeks after his accidental one-night stand with Derek, Stiles’ second paper of the semester was handed back to him. He turned it over before Professor Fenris got even two steps away, groaning when he saw the C+ on his cover page. He flipped through to the back page, where Fenris had scrawled a brief note.

Mr. Stilinski,

While I applaud your effort to get ‘hands on’ with your subject, as we discussed, I would encourage you not to forget that the preferences of one do not make the preferences of many, and as such, cannot be claimed as scientific fact - there is where the research of others will come in handy. That is to say: your werewolf partner appears to have his own ‘kinks’ not shared by the rest of the werewolf community. Balancing academic research with your own personal experience is a delicate process you will learn in time.

“Now he tells me to go back to the books,” Stiles grumbled, shoving the paper in his bag. He just can’t win.