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And Breathe

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In the wake of the Nogitsune, there are times when Stiles struggles to breathe.

So many people died - Allison died - and yet they're all just moving on, Stiles included. There are moments when that feels too wrong to bear. He thinks of the long list of the dead and the hurt, because he researched it all because he's Stiles, and it leaves him speechless and paralysed. The names coalesce in a frenzy in his mind and his chest becomes too tight. There's a solid band of guilt wrapped around him, and he can't inhale.

But most of the time, Stiles is okay. He pretends he's okay. He has Malia, and it helps. As a teenage boy with a rampant libido, Stiles spends 95% of the time rejoicing in Malia's presence in his bed, or he did. He's quite happy to play little spoon and be held, whatever he grumbles to Scott, because Malia's supernatural strength calms his nerves in a way he's scared to admit.

But there's still that other 5% of the time. The 5% when he thinks back again to Allison and how devastated Scott was because of everything Stiles caused - how could anyone do that to their best friend? - and he's certain he should never be happy, never have Malia. He deserves to be punished, and when she walks away from him without a word in the Hale vault, he can only feel he deserves it. He has no perspective on the issue to assess why he deserves it properly - he treats it alongside the whole spectrum of guilt and awfulness that he's been keeping inside all along. He almost wishes the latest assassin had killed him, shot him dead, because it was his hands that did so much wrong.

And yet no one's punishing him. Scott's sympathetic over Malia, biting his tongue on any ‘I-told-you-so’s, but that's because he doesn't really understand. Even without this latest development, Scott's a part of the endless sympathy and understanding for what Stiles went through, and also party to the subsequent assumption that Stiles is fine now, that he's 'back to normal'. Stiles isn't sure he'll ever be normal again, and he knows he deserves so much worse.

The only glimmer of hostility has been from Liam and teenage Derek, neither of which could possibly be traced to Stiles' Nogitsune rampage. It leaves Stiles at a loss, panicking his way into attacks where he can't breathe because he just can't handle it all.

Even adult Derek has been uncharacteristically neutral, and when does that happen? How can Derek not be an asshole?

It all culminates in the need for Stiles to find a way to punish himself when he has these low moments - these moments when the sweet, softness of Malia seems like he's spitting in the eye of those that died. He can't beg her forgiveness when he can't forgive himself, no matter the trite comforts that Scott imparts about how she'll get over it.

Stiles knows what he needs. It leads him from the school to Scott's house, letting himself in and claiming a wad of notes from the bag beneath Scott's bed. This is Peter's share, he tells himself, compensation for the damage to their lives. It's an all too easy logic to apply, as easy as all those times he's betrayed his dad's trust and broken the law. Stiles isn't sure when his moral compass became so turned around, but maybe it's another sign of what a terrible person he's become.

It's only when Stiles is leaving that he realises that Scott will know he's been there, will smell it. Stiles isn't sure that he hasn't done it on purpose subconsciously. He needs Scott to get mad and yell at him. To acknowledge the bad person Stiles really is.

And Stiles has hit rock-bottom as he returns home to his laptop and the internet. As he's told Derek before, the internet only takes minutes and he's soon found exactly the kind of 'discreet' club that he needs. It's a town over from Beacon Hills and the name is ridiculously appropriate: The Wolf's Den. What member of a teen pack could resist that?

It's such a bad idea, so risky, he knows that.

But it's not enough to stop him as Stiles sits there hating himself, wanting to talk to Malia and knowing he can't. Because he doesn't deserve to, and because she'd never understand. He could never justify to her that he deserves punishment when he's told her she needn't punish herself for her family. He can't explain the distinction to her because he's not even sure that he can explain it to himself.

He wants to talk to Scott, too, but he knows that kind, good, true Scott, would never really understand either. Scott learnt control so quickly he scarcely knows what it is to be out of control, much less to love to kill. And no matter how often Stiles tells himself it wasn't him, he still remembers how it felt and how it was done with his hands.

So Stiles stops thinking and just makes the call. He's in luck because they have availability for exactly what he needs the next day. It's a Sunday; no one will miss him for the several hours he'll need and maybe, just maybe, Stiles will come back feeling that little bit better about who he is.

Maybe he'll even be able to breathe.

#

Derek's still at the hospital when his phone rings, having stepped outside of Braeden's room as she got herself upright and into some fresh clothes. He doubts Melissa will be remotely happy about the idea of her leaving, but he's not sure they're going to get any say in the matter. Derek's beginning to think women only come in one type in Beacon Hills: determinedly independent and stubborn. The difference is that Braeden's also experienced and capable.

If Derek's honest with himself, that's what's refreshing - to deal with someone who's both independent and has the knowhow and capability to take care of themselves without relying on him for wisdom he doesn't possess. He's going to miss her when she heads out again. It's been refreshing to have that sort of equal around.

He doesn't check caller ID as he picks up.

"Mr Hale?"

Derek recognises the voice immediately, glancing toward Braeden's room one last time and moving down the corridor. This isn't a conversation he wants her to overhear. "Speaking."

"We have a new client for you," she tells him. "Asked for the Alpha treatment. Male. Eighteen, paying triple."

Derek raises an eyebrow. "Not eighteen?"

"Paying triple," she repeats.

Derek rolls his eyes. If there's more than a year in the equation, he'll just leave. "When?"

"Tomorrow."

There's something in her voice that compels him to ask for more when he never usually would. "What else?"

"He chose 'Hale' for his safeword."

There's only one person it can be, given the number of teenage males in the local vicinity that know Derek currently comes to two. It won't be Scott.

"Email me the details."

He hangs up before she has chance to reply and dials Scott because he's going to need some background for what the hell can be motivating Stiles to do something so completely out of character. Presumably it's related to the school today, so maybe Derek can swing by after he's dropped Braeden at the loft.

Scott picks up within two rings. "Derek, hi. Everything okay?"

Derek's faintly amused - it's so very Scott to ask if Derek is okay when Scott's the one who's been subjected to the major assassin attack. "I was hoping to catch up about what happened at the school." He glances back toward Braeden's room, leaving his reply vague. He knows Scott will babble into detail about Stiles once he gets him going.

"Oh! Sure," Scott agrees. "I could do with updating you actually - my house?"

"Give me an hour." Derek doesn't make it a question, but he does pause before he hangs up. "Is Stiles with you?"

"Ah, no," Scott sounds a bit pained. "He took off. I think he needs space right now... Had a bit of a double whammy today."

Derek nods to himself. "See you in an hour."

#

When given the opportunity to reflect on his decision at a later date, Stiles will be forced to admit that picking 'Hale' for a safeword was reckless and stupid. Yet it had seemed too appropriate. The word is like a knife in his side, the cause of his latest tribulations, and yet it hangs there like bait on a hook representing everything he wants. Half the beauty of Malia is what and who she is, and that's down to her genes. Her 'Hale' genes. It's enough to leave him feeling cracked with the ridiculousness of everything in his world.

Taking a roundabout route, Stiles reaches the club in a little over an hour on Sunday. He feels strangely calm when he goes inside, none of his usual flailing exuberance. But that's the crux of the problem. Stiles doesn't feel remotely like himself these days - the himself he displays for everyone else is like some sort of disguise.

Getting in progresses almost too smoothly. He shows them his fake ID to confirm he's of age, then pays triple so they don't inspect it too closely. He's not sure he even feels guilty anymore.

They run through a list of warnings and he nods and signs his agreement. He cracks a grin and a few jokes at one point, feeling more like his old self from just the promise of impending punishment. He even earns a smile in return from the girl on the reception desk before she waves him into the room he'll be occupying for the next hour. The Alpha's room.

He's been told to strip and kneel in the middle of the room, head bowed, but he takes the opportunity to glance around the room, drink in the bed, the shelves and cabinets, the racks. He spots the cupboard for him and strips down, putting his clothing away. There's something curiously freeing about the anonymity of being in another town.

Stiles doesn't kneel right away when he's undressed though, drifting around the room to examine its contents. It leaves him increasingly relaxed as he explores, tugging on drawers and cupboards to no avail. He touches the bed, testing the pressure before bouncing on it a bit. He laughs to himself, because it doesn't quite seem real, what he's paid for and what's going to happen. Not in that moment, as he bounces on the bed childishly.

And then a buzzer sounds to signal the start of the hour and Stiles finds himself skidding to kneel in the centre of the room so quickly he risks carpet burn in all the wrong places. His heart is hammering in his chest, equal parts nerves and excitement. This is it - this is what will help giving him some manner of closure, let him breathe.

"All fours."

It's an order, tone clipped and almost a growl.

Something knots in Stiles' belly because it's familiar. He wants to look up so badly he's almost surprised with himself for resisting and simply obeying. The voice is already too annoyed for him to push it further.

"Brace."

Stiles barely comprehends the command before the first strike against the backs of his thighs, stinging pain exploding where the blow lands. He nearly sprawls across the floor.

"Brace."

Stiles scrambles to right himself, comprehending as he braces his hands against the floor more firmly. This time he stays in place, only swaying with the blow. The pain makes his eyes water, but it's exactly what he was hoping for. It sends a hot flash along his spine and the weight on his chest lifts.

"Count ten." The swish of the cane again. "Three. Say it."

Stiles is sure he recognises the voice; somehow that's an even bigger turn on. "Th-three."

"Good boy." It's almost a purr and Stiles isn't prepared for the way it shivers down his spine. He came here looking for punishment for being a bad boy, didn't he?

Thwack.

"F-four," Stiles gasps, almost ashamed of the reaction his body is having. He wanted to be punished and humiliated to achieve some sort of peace with himself, but he didn't expect the wash of potent arousal.

The cane trails over his skin, raising goose bumps as the man - the Alpha - circles him. Then the cane comes again, sharp against his flesh.

"Five." Stiles licks his lips, then bites down when fingers replace the cane in stroking the curve of his ass. It's a gentle caress against the sensitive skin, yet proprietary in such a way as to fuel his arousal.

"Such a pretty red." The tone is pleased, like an owner with a particularly delightful belonging, and Stiles is torn between revelling in that feeling and dull horror as he realises who it sounds like.

Stiles almost ends up sprawling from the strike that follows. Fuck.

"Six." Stiles can barely gasp between the next ones. He wasn't really prepared for the intensity, but saying his safeword never even crosses his mind. This is so much better than he'd imagined. "S-seven, eight."

"Nearly there."

"Nine." Stiles is almost trembling, his ass feeling like it's on fire from the blows. He's sucking in deep, greedy breaths as he struggles to cope with his arousal.

"One more."

"T-ten." Stiles almost sobs in relief.

"Those were for failing to be in position, ready for me." The man comes to a stop in front of Stiles, leather boots the only thing visible from Stiles' angle, but Stiles recognises them and swallows roughly. He was right, and it's almost enough to make him come.

There's a creak of leather as the man crouches, and then a firm grip on Stiles' chin as his face is tilted to meet Derek's gaze. There's no question as Derek states, "This isn't just about Malia and the Chemist."

Stiles shakes his head slightly in Derek's grip, somewhat bewildered at Derek knowing anything about recent events in his life. But then it doesn't really matter as he takes in Derek's attire, dressed in leather pants and a sleeveless leather top, partially fastened. Stiles catches a glimpse of bandage, too, but now isn't the time.

"You aren't an Alpha," Stiles says dumbly, as if he was ever expecting a real werewolf in this shady little club.

Derek strokes his cheek, almost tender, and it feels like he's looking into Stiles' soul. "I'm what you need right now." Even his tone is softer: that side of Derek that, however incongruous it seems, genuinely cares. "I know what you've asked for."

Stiles' breathing is still shuddering, his ass aches, and he's beyond aroused. His voice has never sounded so small, but he can't keep the hope from his words when he realises, "You're really going to help me."

"You're pack." It's not really an answer, except for the way it answers everything. And then the moment is over. Derek slides his fingers into Stiles' hair, his grip no longer gentle. His words are a demand, a test. "Here, I am Sir. Tell me your safeword. It won't count."

"H-Hale," Stiles bites out, struggling to rise with Derek's grip. It hurts in the best way. He thinks he should be scared, but he can only manage excitement.

"Hale, what?" Derek asks, eyes narrowed as he twists one of Stiles' nipples sharply.

"Nngh." Stiles bites his lip hard, staring at Derek and trying to reconcile this with their life. Except the point is that he can't. He knows what Derek is here; Derek's what he paid for, and hell if Stiles isn't going to go all out, full throttle the way he does everything. "S-sir."

"Good boy," Derek purrs, leaning in and nosing at Stiles' throat as he shifts his weight onto his knees. Stiles wonders what he smells - the arousal, the excitement? But Stiles doesn't feel any fear, as irrational as that is with a werewolf at his throat.

In that moment, it's like something releases in Stiles. He's utterly vulnerable, any control completely surrendered, with no need to take any responsibility for anything that follows. He can't help the strangled moan that escapes him.

Derek licks a stripe up Stiles' throat before biting gently, dull human teeth still pricking just enough and coupling delightfully with the pull of Derek's hand against his hair.

Stiles bites his lower lip, heart hammering as he stares up at the ceiling and just feels. He thinks, dangerously, he'd agree to anything Derek asks right then. "Pl-please."

"Shh," Derek soothes him, pulling back as he strokes Stiles' jaw with his free hand. He keeps Stiles anchored in place, tracing the outline of his mouth before pushing his thumb between Stiles' lips. "Suck."

Stiles' eyes are back on Derek as he obeys, suckling and tasting the salty tang of Derek's skin. It's potent, seeing his own arousal mirrored in Derek's gaze. He knows Derek's going to take care of him, give him everything he needs, even if he's no longer sure what that is. He closes his eyes and sucks harder with a low moan.

Derek's fist tightens in his hair and it goes straight to Stiles' cock. He rubs his tongue against Derek's thumb.

"That mouth." Derek withdraws his thumb, holding Stiles' gaze as he slides it between his own lips. And that's all kinds of hot that Stiles never thought he'd experience with Derek Hale.

Stiles is transfixed as Derek slowly slides his thumb free again then smirks, so smug.

"Undo my pants," Derek orders him, spreading his thighs. "Take my cock out."

Stiles' gaze drops to Derek's lap where he can see the hard outline of Derek's dick beneath the leather. He finds himself dragged forward by Derek's hand cupping the back of his head and fumbles to obey, clumsy fingers worse than usual on the fastenings of Derek's fly.

Derek isn't wearing any underwear. Because of course Derek wouldn't. He probably never does, even when he's not being paid. And that's a thought Stiles' didn't expect.

"We won't use a condom since you know I can't catch or carry anything," Derek tells him as Stiles eases his cock out, careful of the zipper. "I'm going to fuck that mouth."

He's hot and hard in Stiles' hand, and Stiles is already close enough that the smell of Derek's sex floods his nose. He meets Derek's eyes as Derek guides him closer still. It triggers something inside Stiles, his old smart alec falling over itself to come to the fore for a moment. "Aren't I paying you to do this to me?"

Derek raises an eyebrow and Stiles has scarcely a second to regret his words before Derek literally slaps Stiles' face with his cock. It leaves a splash of precome and Stiles is stunned - it was far from hard, but the stab of arousal that goes through him is so much more than Stiles ever imagined. And he has quite the imagination.

"You're paying for exactly this," Derek agrees, enjoyment clear. He applies gentle guiding pressure to Stiles' head again. "Suck it."

And that's how Stiles finds himself with Derek Hales' dick in his mouth, and he loves it. Derek gives him concise direction, acknowledging Stiles' lack of experience, but mostly he just uses Stiles the way Stiles needs so badly. Derek's cock fills his mouth over and over, and it's all Stiles can do to manage not to choke and to remember to suck sometimes, because Derek is just holding his head in place and thrusting over his tongue. He struggles to swallow around Derek as the saliva collects in his mouth, but Derek really seems to like that, too.

Stiles moans, half a beat from rutting against the floor, carpet burn be damned. He holds onto Derek's thighs for support, but it's Derek's hand in his hair that really keeps him steady.

"Good boy," Derek praises, husky as he traces the outline of his cock where Stiles' cheek bulges. "You love this, don't you?"

Stiles sucks harder in agreement, swallowing around Derek again as he struggles to take him deeper. The smell, the taste, the feel; it all combines to drive him crazy. Derek has to drag him off when the time comes, Stiles releasing Derek's cock with a filthy pop.

When he glances up, Derek's eyes are darker than Stiles has ever seen them.

"Watch," Derek orders, keeping Stiles close as he starts jerking himself off mere inches from Stiles' face. His hand moves smoothly, cock slick with Stiles' spit, and Stiles can tell it won't take much. It's a handful of strokes before Derek peaks, come spattering Stiles' skin.

Stiles holds Derek's gaze but for the instinctive flinch when the come hits. It even gets in his eyelashes, and he feels utterly debased, debauched. Utterly liberated.

His voice is thin, throat hoarse from use when he speaks. "Thank you."

"Thank you, what?" There's no real edge to Derek's voice this time, satisfied as he wipes his cock against Stiles' chin.

"Sir," Stiles replies, gaze flicking up to Derek. He almost feels in awe of what Derek's given him, no matter how ridiculous that might seem later. He flicks his tongue against the sensitive head of Derek's dick, hearing Derek swear under his breath as Stiles savours the taste of his come. "Thank you, Sir."

Derek finally releases his hold, stroking over Stiles' nape as he tucks himself away. He catches Stiles' eyes again, intense and serious as he asks, "Do you trust me to vary your requirements? No changes to your limits and your safeword stands."

Stiles' eyes flutter closed, and he takes stock. His cock aches, but his mind feels curiously free of overwhelming guilt for the first time in months. He understands what Derek's asking, knows he would never change the limits mid scene, but that Stiles had outlined very limited requirements. It's the actions Derek wants to do something about, and given how well Derek's taken care of him so far, it's easy to nod. It's easy to say words he'd have found impossible only a year ago. "I trust you."

"Come here," Derek urges him, taking Stiles' hand this time, drawing him like an invitation instead of the forceful push of before.

Stiles follows his guidance, finding himself drawn into Derek's lap, straddling his thighs. He braces his hands on Derek's shoulders, Derek's arm a warm band around his back, his free hand cupping Stiles' cheek. His thumb smears through his come, brushing Stiles' lower lip. "We'll start with a kiss."

"A kiss?" Stiles echoes, eyes drawn to Derek's mouth. He licks his lower lip, inadvertently tasting the tang of Derek's come again. He'd said no kissing as a preference because it hadn't been about getting off when he signed up yesterday. Looking at Derek's mouth now, that thought seems absurd. Maybe this isn't like he'd originally thought, but letting Derek use him as his own personal whore feels right, and so if Derek wants to kiss him, Stiles is pretty sure Derek should get want he wants.

Maybe those thoughts show in his expression.

"You might have paid for this, but I'm not sure if you realise it isn't all about punishment." Derek's gaze is intense, studying Stiles. "It's not. It's about you giving up control to me. If you're bad, then yes I punish you, like the caning, but that's not the point. The point is that you're in my power and you obey because you're my responsibility and you trust me. You're mine. It's why you feel free right now. And it means that as well as punishing you when you're bad, I reward you when you're good."

Stiles swallows roughly, because Derek's words ring true at the basest level. It's something he's already halfway realised himself - this is so much beyond punishment. And then Derek's words catch up with him. He looks back at him sharply. "I was good?"

"You were perfect," Derek replies, a smile on his mouth. It makes something turn in Stiles' stomach and he realises he wants to see that smile more. And then Derek's drawing him into a kiss, heedless of the mess on Stiles' face.

Stiles melts into it, surrendering to Derek and the glow Derek's words have left him with. The kiss starts out tender, but soon it's hungrier, possessive. Stiles has never been kissed that way before, utterly breathless. He winds his arms around Derek's neck, pressing closer as Derek moves his hand from Stiles' back to slide between them and wrap around Stiles' cock.

"Don't come until I say," Derek murmurs against his mouth, biting at Stiles' lower lip. It's another kink Stiles didn't know he had.

Derek's strokes are slow and sure, his hand hotter than Stiles' ever could be, but Stiles knows he isn't going to need much because he's been on edge from the moment Derek walked in. He breaks the kiss with a gasp, forehead pressed to Derek's as he stares at the determined glint in Derek's eyes. He knows he needs permission and his grasp on control is tenuous at best. "Please."

"Not yet," Derek replies, nudging his nose against Stiles' as he strokes him.

"Please." Stiles tightens his hold on Derek, fingers digging into Derek's shoulders as he squirms in his lap. He's really not sure he can hold on after everything.

"Good boy," Derek praises again. He twists his wrist as he strokes, driving Stiles more than a little crazy until he orders, "Come for me."

And Stiles obeys, because that's what he's there for. He's Derek's, and he just wants to please him. He comes so hard he blacks out.

#

Stiles feels good as he drives home later. It hadn't been what he'd thought he'd been looking for, but it was better.

He'd woken in the bed, hours after he should have left, but Derek was still there in the bed beside him. He'd lost the leather by then, bandages visible but Stiles didn't dare ask about them. That was real life, and this was something else, something special.

It had been novel, biting his tongue.

Derek had been stroking his cheek when he'd woken; it had probably been the cause. And there'd been another kiss before Stiles had said a word, a kiss that hadn't really required Derek to say anything after, but he had: "You're still mine."

"Maybe you should be paying me then," Stiles had replied, unable to resist.

Derek looked faintly amused but had ignored the comment, tracing Stiles' mouth again. "You don't come back here. You come to me. Understand?"

Stiles swallowed roughly, which was horribly undermining as far as the blasé attitude he'd been going for went. "Sure, big guy."

"Try again," Derek had replied, his smile carrying an edge of warning.

It did things to him, and Stiles hated that Derek knew it without Stiles having to say anything.

Derek raised an eyebrow, stroking Stiles' chin as he waited.

"Yes, Sir," Stiles corrected himself, staring down at the covers.

"Stiles," Derek said softly, cautious. "Remember your safeword."

It was then that it had sunk in what Derek was offering. Stiles met his eyes again, licking his lips and holding his gaze as he said, "No, I want it. Yes, Sir, big guy. I'll come find you if I need it."

The reward was one of Derek's smiles and another kiss that stole Stiles' breath from him. "Good boy."

"That really shouldn't be so hot," Stiles muttered. "I mean, it's all kinds of creepy, man."

Derek smirked, pulling back. "Says the guy who paid for sex."

Stiles sputtered. "You enjoyed it!"

"Didn't say I didn't," Derek replied, but finally rolled clear of the bed.

Stiles had been disappointed when Derek had left after that, but it hadn't killed his glow from the parting words.

He knows the bad moments will come again. He knows things won't be easy, not with Malia or anybody. But he also knows he'll be okay. He has somewhere to go and someone who knows exactly what he needs. He doesn't know how it's all going to fit together yet, but he'll make it work.

It has to work, because this way Stiles can breathe again.