Stiles sends in his video to Heart to Heart on a whim. If anyone should ask, he’d say he loves the single life, not having to care about anyone but yourself. Problem is Stiles wants to care about someone else. He loves taking care of others, being there for them and loving them. He might be too young to be having a crisis like this, thinking he’ll be alone forever just because he’s alone now at age twenty-six, but he can’t help it. He wants what his best friend Scott has with his fiancé, he wants to get that dopey-eyed look whenever his lover’s name comes up.
He’s always claimed that the people in reality shows are stupid and just attention-seekers. He’s stupid, sure, but he doesn’t seek attention. Well, not from anyone but Cora Hale, the bachelorette of the coming season’s Heart to Heart. It’s the show’s fourth season and people seem to like watching strangers trying to woo a man or a woman (last season it had been a man) along with trying to get the approval of the bachelor or bachelorette’s family. Last season the bachelor had really liked one of the women but his family had vetoed and she’d been sent home. Others got to stick around a little bit longer because the family liked them. Stiles wonders if he’d be one of those that the bachelorette or her family likes.
He probably won’t make it to the show anyway.
Stiles does make it to the last twenty-five that are going to be living at the mansion along with the Hale family and a ridiculous amount of cameras.
He has no idea how to react to this. Some of the time he’s excited to go to the mansion in the south of California where the show’s being shot, but most of the time he’s freaking out. He’ll make a fool of himself, he knows he will.
His dad looks torn between happiness for his son and face-planting because his son will most likely become a national laughing stock. The Sheriff will support and love his son anyway, but Stiles guesses no one wants their kid to be publicly humiliated.
Scott is ninety percent happy for him. The other ten percent is him wondering how he’ll survive those weeks without Stiles. Stiles tells him it’ll be okay and that he can try to see if he can get access to a computer or a phone – those are banned from the mansion so he most likely won’t.
The day Stiles leaves is a sad day for his dad and Scott. Stiles is a bit sad to leave them too, he hasn’t been away from either of them for longer than two weeks and this is a whole month. He considers not getting on the plane.
The Sheriff finally pries him away from Scott – Stiles doesn’t know who’s holding onto who at that time – and shoves him towards the check in.
Stiles falls asleep on the plane and wakes up groggy and disoriented. When he’s gotten his bag he heads for the pickup point where a chauffeur will be waiting with a sign with his name on. He walks by the driver five times, not even bothering to look at the sign because the man is dressed in a black suit and standing in front of a limousine. He just glances at the sign the driver’s been starting to drop and startles as he sees his own name.
So yeah, he gets to ride a limousine for the first time in his life.
He wishes Scott was here so they could enjoy the experience together. It’s not that much fun riding a limo alone.
He arrives to the mansion in the evening, there are torches lighting up the way and the driver holds open the door for him. Stiles wonders if maybe he should’ve dressed in his suit instead of jeans and a plaid shirt over a graphic t-shirt. He just thought that he’d like to be comfortable on the plane.
A red-haired, beautiful woman stands on the porch, smiling in a practiced way at him when he tumbles out of the car.
“Welcome,” she says and glances down at the cards in her hands. “You must be Ge-” She frowns and Stiles takes pity on her.
“Call me Stiles,” he tells her and tries to take his bag that the driver unloads from the trunk. The driver though refuses to let go. Stiles gives up first, sighs heavily and lets the man carry his bag inside, glaring back at Stiles.
“I’m Lydia,” she says and when Stiles searches his memory he does remember her hosting the previous season as well. Surprisingly – or maybe unsurprisingly as she’s absolutely gorgeous – she was the one ending up marrying the bachelor Perish or something. “Your room is number 213, dinner is at seven thirty and then you’ll get to meet the bachelorette and her family.”
Stiles accepts the key and a freaking map over the mansion and its grounds from Lydia.
“Up the stairs and then to your left,” Lydia tells him.
The limousine Stiles had come in drives off and Stiles sees another coming up the ridiculously long driveway. Stiles walks inside through the huge glass doors that stand open and has just put his foot on the first step on the winding stairs when Lydia calls after him, “and you might want to change into something… clean.”
Stiles might’ve spilled some coffee on his shirt on the plane, so sue him. He scoffs at Lydia and sees her smirk before she turns her face away to watch the arriving limousine that’s only half-way up the driveway – seriously, ridiculously long driveway!
Stiles takes a quick shower – in his room’s huge-ass bathroom with freaking golden taps! – and then changes into the one suit he owns. He feels ridiculous, but an assistant of some kind that comes to get him says he looks nice so he guesses all men are dressed in suits.
The assistant leads him to the dining room – it has probably been a ballroom in its earlier years, judging by the size of the room – and Stiles was right about the others being dressed up as well. There are cameras and camera men everywhere and Stiles knows that from this moment on everything he says and does will be caught on tape.
What the hell has he gotten himself into?
He’s lead to a seat between two men with dark-blond hair – one with curls and the other with hair standing up stylishly. They both have ridiculously high cheekbones. Stiles feels like an abomination sitting between those two gorgeous men.
“I’m Stiles,” he tells his table neighbors. The one with his hair up gives him an unimpressed stare.
“Jackson,” he finally reveals, as it’s physically painful for him to talk to Stiles.
Stiles rolls his eyes so hard he might hurt himself and turns to the curly-haired guy instead.
“I’m Isaac,” he gives a small smile.
“You excited to be here?” Stiles asks, but never gets to hear Isaac’s answer because Lydia walks in followed by four other people; a couple in their early sixties probably, the man’s bald and in a wheel-chair, making Stiles think of Charles Xavier. The other two are a man and a woman, probably in their thirties. They have dark hair, just like the older woman, probably her children. The woman is gorgeous, just like Stiles remembers Cora being in her video, but he remembers Cora’s hair being more of the red-brown color, this woman’s hair is almost black.
“This is Mr and Mrs Hale,” Lydia introduces the parents of the bachelorette. “And Cora’s brother and sister, Derek and Laura.”
Stiles’ eyes flick over to the brother for the first time – and he chokes on nothing. Isaac thumps his back as Stiles continues to stare open-mouthed at Derek. He’s absolutely stunningly hot. Like lava hot. He has dark hair, just like his mother and sister, pale eyes – like his dad, Stiles will find out later – and artful stubble that Stiles wants rubbed all over his body. His eyebrows are thick and dark and Stiles didn’t know he had a thing for eyebrows but he definitely has a thing for Derek’s.
Isaac shoves him none too gently in the side and Stiles startles. He would’ve fallen off the chair if it wasn’t for Jackson who was on his other side.
“Idiot,” Jackson mutters and shoves him away and back into his own seat.
“Sorry,” Stiles mutters, his cheeks heating up as he realizes that everyone’s eyes are on him. He motions for Lydia to continue. Lydia bites her lip to hold back an evil grin and Stiles stares down into his plate.
The Hales take their seats at the end of the table, leaving the seat at the head of the table empty. Derek and Laura sit beside each other and their parents on the other side. Stiles has a few seats between him and the parents, which means that if he looks up and to his left, he sees Derek.
“You’re not only here to win our beautiful bachelorette’s heart, but you will also try to gain the approval of her family members. Tell me, Talia, what kind of life partner do you want for your youngest child?”
Cora’s mother Talia smiles at Lydia before turning to address the men at the table.
“Cora’s a fierce person with a strong personality. I want her to find someone who can not only keep her calm, but who can also keep up with her temper.”
Lydia nods and turns towards the Hale siblings.
“Derek, as an older brother, do you even want anyone to date your sister?”
Laura snorts beside her brother and their parents smile. Derek looks like he bit into a lemon.
“I want my sister to be happy,” he says, his voice is softer and higher than Stiles imagined. Stiles thinks that’s all he’s going to say, but then he continues, “If anyone’s trying to hurt her, I’d hurt them.”
He glares at the men at the table and Stiles’ throat goes dry when Derek’s eyes lands on him for just a second before moving on to Isaac. Isaac gulps and fidgets.
“Stop scaring them, Derek,” Laura chides her brother, laughing and seemingly unaffected by the glare. “I say that if someone’s brave enough to stay even through Derek’s scare tactics, then he’s good enough for my baby sister.”
The mood lightens somewhat at that, someone even chuckles nervously. Derek glares at his sister and Stiles might have a bit of a boner for the bachelorette’s brother. Hopefully it’ll go away when Cora comes in.
“And here’s the bachelorette, whose heart you will compete for in the following weeks,” Lydia announces. Cora walks in with an air of confidence, dressed in a green evening gown and everyone in the room is looking at her.
Well, everyone but Stiles who’s too busy staring at her brother. Derek had been hot when he was all angry and threatening, when his sister walks in he smiles at her and Stiles might stop breathing for a moment or two. It’s just a small, secretive smile, but it’s absolutely beautiful. Like sunshine on a rainy day and-
The dinner is interrupted by a man called Finstock who’s producer of the whole thing or something. He’s either excited or angry, Stiles can’t really tell. Finstock yells at them about their contracts and how the cameras will follow them everywhere and that they shouldn’t try to sneak off. He swears because of someone called Greenberg in the middle of a rant, but none of the assistants seem to be this Greenberg. Finstock doesn’t seem to care but instead goes on about how this is the day their lives begin.
Everyone is looking at each other, wondering what’s going on. Before they’ve really figured this Finstock guy out, he’s gone.
“That was Finstock,” Lydia says. “You’ll hopefully not see much of him. He only comes out if you mess up.”
Stiles really hopes he won’t mess up.
He glances across the table at Derek smiling at his father.
Who is he kidding? Stiles will most likely mess up.
He’s so screwed.
The next day the Hales take them all to a picnic. Stiles sticks close to Isaac as they sit down on blankets in the grass.
All the competitors are allowed to talk alone with Cora once and when Isaac leaves Stiles to talk to her, Stiles doesn’t really know what to do. He’s eaten his sandwich and looks around, feeling uneasy. Most of the others have found their own comrades among the competitors, just like Stiles has found Isaac. He doesn’t feel like interrupting anyone. He tugs at his hair and wishes he had his phone so he could send an SOS text to Scott, asking how to socialize like a normal human being.
He looks around and sees Laura motions for someone to come over. At first he thinks she means someone else, but when he looks around everyone else is busy. He points at himself, silently asking Laura if she means him. She nods and shouts, “yes, you, come over here.”
She pats the blanket beside her and Stiles hurries over to her.
“I’m Cora’s sister, Laura,” she smiles.
“Tell me, why did you decide to send in your video? Had you planned for it or did you feel that Cora was the one?”
Stiles suddenly gets a camera almost shoved into his face and even though he and Scott have been filming themselves and each other doing stupid things for years, he feels quite self-conscious, this is after all going to air on national television and not just get a hundred views on youtube (most of the views are from Stiles and Scott themselves).
Laura glares at the camera man so he backs off slightly, but he films Stiles’ answer as he tells Laura that he doesn’t want to be alone in his life anymore. The answer seems to please her. Derek comes over and plops down beside Laura. His tight t-shirt rides up and Stiles doesn’t manage to force himself to look away from the tanned skin that’s covered in dark hair on his exposed stomach. Derek’s got really nice muscles and under that shirt he probably has abs. Stiles would really like to lick said abs.
“Some moron went on and on about stock marking,” Derek complains and glares through his aviators at one of the competitors.
“You do look like someone who would enjoy discussing stocks,” Stiles smirks and Laura laughs. Derek looks at Stiles above his glasses and Stiles’ face flushes at being under such close scrutiny by such a gorgeous person. “Relax, dude, it was a joke.”
Derek stares at him some more and Stiles winks at him. Derek looks… well, he looks like he has no idea how to react to Stiles.
Laura snorts and pushes her shoulder against her brother’s.
“Right,” Derek seems to collect himself. “I’m Derek.”
“I know,” Stiles smirks and then, when Laura shoves her shoulder against his, he adds, “I’m Stiles.”
“I know,” Derek says and Stiles’ mouth falls open at that. Derek smirks smugly (and gorgeously) at him and Stiles can’t find any words at all.
Laura clears her throat, loudly and exaggeratedly, and Stiles flushes and turns away from Derek’s piercing stare.
“Shouldn’t you go try to woo my sister?” she asks and Stiles nods, his eyes darting to Derek, and then he gets up. He can feel someone staring at him as he walks over to where Cora is sitting.
He and Cora walk around the field. The conversation is stilted and awkward, not at all as easy as it had been with Laura and Derek. All Stiles can think of is Cora’s brother.
He thinks he might be one of the five to be sent home that evening. He finds himself really wanting to stay though.
On the way back to the mansion Stiles ends up walking with Cora’s parents. The first thing he blurts out to Cora’s dad is, of course: “You really remind me of Professor X.”
Stiles can hear the camera man drawing in a scandalized gasp at his rudeness and winces.
“Oh, my god- I’m sorry, I didn’t- fuck- no, I mean-”
Stiles’ terrified and embarrassed ramblings are cut off by Cora’s dad’s loud laughter.
“Relax, son,” he says. “It’s not every day someone says I remind them of a superhero. Well, not since Cora realized I wasn’t the coolest person on earth, anyway.”
Stiles laughs, slightly awkward.
“I didn’t mean no offence,” he tells Cora’s dad.
“I know you didn’t,” he smiles. “You’re Stiles, right?”
Stiles nods and accepts Cora’s dad’s hand.
“Oh, my god!” Stiles gasps before he can help himself and then they’re laughing again.
He doesn’t even realize that they’ve stopped and that it’s just them and the slightly confused camera man with his huge camera pointed at them.
“If you want to, you can call me Charles,” Mr. Hale says conspiratorially and that sends Stiles into another fit of laughter.
“Nah, Charlie is good,” he says when he finally can talk again.
They make their way back to the mansion, talking about comic books and Stiles finds himself telling Charlie of the time he and Scott tried to jump between Scott’s house and his neighbor’s. Stiles had ended up with a broken leg and Scott’s mom had heard the thump from Stiles landing on the ground so she stopped Scott before he jumped as well.
They were fifteen at that time.
Charlie tells him that he lost his legs in Iraq in a bombing and Stiles has a hard time grasping the fact that the man next to him has seen things Stiles can’t even imagine. He tells Charlie this and Charlie nods somberly.
“My family helped me a lot when I got back. Not just physically with getting around the house, but emotionally.”
“They seem great,” Stiles says, his eyes lingering on Derek’s muscled back.
Charlie smiles at him, “they are.”
Stiles isn’t one of the first five to go. He thinks this might say more about the others than about him. The stock marketing guy is one of the five and Derek smirks at him. Stiles bites his lip not to laugh.
The next day Cora takes five of her favorite candidates out. Stiles isn’t one of them, but he’s happy to see that Isaac is. Isaac seems to really like Cora. Jackson is also one of those five. Stiles doesn’t know if he should be happy that Jackson is gone from the house or sad because that means Jackson might stick around longer. But then again, Stiles might not be allowed to stick around much longer either.
“Come on, let’s play volley ball in the pool!” Laura grabs Stiles’ arm and barely even lets him go long enough to get his swim trunks.
He steps outside in his Captain America swim trunks, prepared to seeing Laura in a bikini. She does not disappoint, long, tanned legs and flat stomach. What Stiles wasn’t prepared for though was the fact that Derek would be there. In swim trunks. In the water. Wet. With abs. Wet abs.
“Stilinski, you’re drooling,” someone says to his left and Stiles wipes his chin (he wasn’t really drooling) and turns to his side. Lydia is lying on a sunlounger in a cute bikini, but really, she has nothing on a wet Derek.
“Well, have you seen him?” Stiles hisses at her and she smirks at him.
“Yeah. Now quit blocking the sun.”
Stiles grumbles and makes his way to the pool where wet, half-naked Derek with abs is. God, Stiles wants to lick those abs. He imagines following the water droplets with his tongue up over Derek’s nipple or maybe down to the dark hair that leads down in his trunks.
“Stilinski, quit stalling!” Laura calls and throws the volleyball at him. He barely manages to catch it and gets into the water.
Laura quickly divides them into teams, Stiles, Derek and a guy name Ben against Laura and two guys Stiles can’t remember the name of because he’s too busy watching Derek drag his wet hands through his hair.
Stiles might have a bit of a problem. He’s glad the swim trunks are large enough and that he’s in the water, at least.
Laura and Derek are vicious players. Laura almost makes one of her teammates cry because he missed a ball. Derek barely even lets Stiles and Ben touch the ball – it might be just as good. Derek’s back looks great in the sunlight with water droplets following the lines of his muscles.
When they stop playing after three games – because neither Laura nor Derek wanted to be on the losing team – Derek is scowling because Laura’s team won the last game.
“I’m sorry,” Stiles says as they head to sit down on the patio in the sunloungers next to Lydia.
“It’s not your fault,” Derek glares at Laura – it was clearly her fault that they lost, “she cheated.” Okay, according to Derek it obviously was.
“Did not!” Laura calls at him and he flips her off.
“You played good,” Derek says and stretches out on the lounger, his trunks riding down slightly, showing off paler skin. Stiles hopes he doesn’t whimper out loud.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yeah, you did,” Derek smiles slightly at him.
“Thanks,” Stiles manages to say because Derek’s pale eyes are directed at him, Derek’s smile is directed at him, and if Stiles hadn’t been sitting he’d might fall over because his knees feel a bit weak.
“Have you played before?” Derek asks and Stiles shakes his head.
“Not in water. I’m more of a lacrosse guy.”
“Lacrosse? It’s not really a real sport.”
“Sure is! I was bench warmer throughout high school.”
“Totally important job, dude. What if someone else got ill? Then I had to step up.”
Derek laughs at that and Stiles scoffs at him, but can’t help the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“Did you ever get to play?” Derek asks.
“A few games,” Stiles admits, rather sullenly.
“I’d let you play on my team,” Derek says and Stiles doesn’t know how to interpret that. Does that mean Derek wants him on his team or just that he thought Stiles was probably a good enough lacrosse player.
“Yeah, well, it was the captain and coach who decided who should play and they didn’t like me. Apparently I talked too much.”
“Wonder how they got that idea,” Derek snorts.
“I was captain of the basketball team,” Derek admits and Stiles makes huge eyes at him.
“In high school?”
Derek can’t hide the smug smirk even if he tries.
“Ass,” Stiles grumbles but can’t help smiling – which seems to be a reoccurring theme.
“Brat,” Derek retorts without missing a beat.
Stiles bites his lips and he might imagine it, but he thinks Derek’s eyes watches his lips for just a second before Derek turns his head away.
Stiles is planning on how to get Derek into his bed – or himself into Derek’s bed, he’s not really picky – when Cora and her favorites come out. Stiles’ heart sinks. He had totally forgotten about Cora and that she’s the one he should be pining after, not her brother. Derek seems to stiffen at his sister’s arrival and he leaves without another word. Isaac takes Derek’s place and chatters on what they’d been doing for the day before Cora calls him into the pool to join the volleyball game. Stiles doesn’t really feel up to it so he gets up and leaves to take a shower.
The next few days are uneventful. Stiles isn’t one of the three to go home the next time either. He guesses he’s been pleasant enough towards Cora, though there’s no chemistry between them. He’s starting to dread the one-on-one dates they’ll soon start having. Isaac talks about Cora whenever he and Stiles are alone in a room – or sometimes just if Cora’s not there, his infatuation with her is no secret to anyone with eyes. Stiles is glad to see that Cora seems to seek Isaac out whenever the whole group is doing something as well.
What Stiles isn’t so happy about is the fact that Derek seems to be avoiding him. Sometimes he talks to Stiles and jokes, but then sometimes he seems to catch himself and soon leaves the conversation. Stiles has no idea what he’s done. He thinks of asking Derek, but he doesn’t want to hear that Derek’s just not that much into him.
And he understands Derek, he does. Stiles is lanky and pale and he’s the only one who actually thinks he’s funny, everyone else just rolls their eyes at him. He’s not nice, he’s sarcastic and a bit of an ass. So yeah, he understands Derek.
Understanding doesn’t make it hurt any less though.
Stiles is still there a few days later, he’s not really sure how or why. He hasn’t been rude towards anyone (except Jackson) but he hasn’t really bonded with Cora either. The only one he has really bonded with is Derek but Derek barely even looks at him most of the time. Stiles hates that he can’t talk to anyone, had he been home he’d called Scott the moment he laid eyes on Derek and Scott would’ve been just as keen on being updated. Here the only one who even knows that Stiles might look more at the male part of the Hale siblings than the female is Lydia and he can’t even imagine himself talking to Lydia about his love problems. Which aren’t so much love problems as just problems. Or problem, singular, spelled Derek.
Cora orders them all to play basketball in wheelchairs (Stiles has no idea where they got all the wheelchairs from). Unsurprisingly, Charlie is the best player, closely followed by Derek, Laura and Cora. Sadly, Jackson isn’t half-bad.
Stiles though, Stiles sucks. Isaac isn’t much better – key word being much because he is better. Everyone is better than Stiles.
“Watch out,” Jackson says and rams straight into the side of Stiles’ wheelchair. Stiles thought that the tilted wheels would keep the chair from tipping. Apparently, it’s a Jackson barreling right into the chair, that’s not the case.
“Ow!” Stiles groans. His hand took most of the hit, being stuck between the ground and the wheel. He can’t move due to the belt that keeps him in the chair. “Fucking shit.”
“Stiles, are you okay?”
Someone tilts the chair upright and Stiles pulls his hand against his chest. It hurts even more. He tries to blink away the tears in his eyes. A camera is pressed into his face and he doesn’t want to cry on national television.
“Hey, let me see.”
Derek carefully takes Stiles’ injured hand – his right, if it’s broken he’s going to kill Jackson – in his warm, large hands.
“Careful,” Stiles manfully winces.
“Let’s get some ice on it,” Derek says and helps unbuckle Stiles from the wheelchair and leads him inside to the kitchen with a hand on Stiles’ back. Derek produces a packet of frozen peas for Stiles’ hand and they settle on the couch in the den watching TV.
“You can go back to play with the others,” Stiles tells Derek, who just shakes his head.
“I’ll stay with you.”
Stiles does not swoon. He doesn’t. (He does.)
He gets to recite the accident in front of the camera later. They have to do a retake because apparently Stiles’ explanation isn’t dramatic enough. Finstock comes out of his lair from where he’s watching everything that’s being filmed (and isn’t that creepy?) and yells at Stiles to be a bit more sad about his injury.
“It doesn’t even hurt unless I move it,” Stiles explains to the producer or whatever he is. Finstock grabs his wrist and squeezes hard. So hard it brings tears to Stiles’ eyes.
“Film him now!” he screams and then leaves.
Almost-crying, Stiles recites the accident.
Things change between Stiles and Derek after the accident. Again.
Stiles doesn’t think he imagines the lingering looks between him and Derek. He wonders how much the camera crew has caught on. He wonders if they’ll play sappy music in the background as they films Derek smiling at Stiles in slow motion. Stiles would if he had the chance.
The camera men and the whole crew are much more interested in the recent drama that has occurred in the mansion. Apparently one of the competitors – Luke something – had a girlfriend and she found out that he wasn’t on a business trip but in a mansion trying to get his fifteen minutes of fame (he most likely will). The girlfriend and Cora both had to be held back as they tried to rip the guy’s throat out. Needless to say, he was sent home without any girlfriend. His girlfriend stayed for dinner and according to rumors Cora gave her her e-mail address.
Sadly Stiles missed all the action due to napping, but after dinner he, Isaac, Jackson and the Hale sisters take to the hot tub on the roof and Laura explains it all in great detail with appropriate fighting sound effects.
“You should’ve seen the guy’s face,” she says, delighted, “he looked as if he was gonna shit his pants.”
“I think he did shit his pants,” Jackson remarks and they all laugh.
The door to the roof opens and Derek steps out.
“No room,” Jackson says because he’s a dick and hasn’t understood that he’s supposed to be nice to Cora and her family if he wants to stay.
“Shut it, Jackass,” Stiles glares and splashes some water in Jackson’s face across the circular tub.
“He can sit in your lap then, Stilinski,” Jackson retorts, “I’d bet you’d love that, wouldn’t you?”
Stiles tries to come up with a reply, but doesn’t quite manage.
“Behave, Jackson,” Cora chides but doesn’t really seem angry, more amused, “my fingers look like an old lady’s, I’m gonna head up. You can take my spot, Der.”
Cora steps out of the tub and Stiles moves towards Isaac and away from the free space that’s been created beside him. Derek’s much larger than his sister so his (bare, muscled) shoulder is right against Stiles’ (bare) shoulder. Stiles hopes that the others think his red face is because of the heat of the water.
Laura tells the others about Cora as a kid and throws in a few stories of Derek as well. Stiles is charmed by the stories of little Derek that wanted to be a wolf when he grew up. Derek is less pleased, he huffs and glares at his sister.
“You’d make an awesome wolf, I’m sure,” Stiles says and pats his leg, which was kind of a stupid idea because Derek’s leg is mostly bare and now Stiles’ hand is resting against Derek’s knee. It stays there for way longer than appropriate and Derek watches him with wide eyes, as if he’s awed by Stiles. Stiles laughs with the others when they laugh but has no idea what actually had been said. Derek averts his eyes, but Stiles’ body is still thrumming with it. He wants to get Derek alone, to touch his leg again, with intent this time.
He soon get caught up in a discussion about dumb things they did as teenagers – let’s just say that Stiles has done a lot of dumb shit in his teenage years – and Derek’s laughing, his eyes bright, and Stiles barely notices how the others leave, one by one. He tells Derek how he and Scott – his constant partner in crime – went to a gay club when they were seventeen. This particular day though, there was a raid and it happened just when a bunch of drag queens was teaching them how to deep throat on bananas.
“Scott is totally straight though so I have no idea what he’s doing with those skills. He was a natural.”
Derek laughs, his eyes twinkling and Stiles leans a bit closer as if to reveal a secret. Which he kind of is, it’s quite embarrassing.
“I choked on the banana when my dad – the sheriff – suddenly stood right in front of me. No, seriously, all music was suddenly gone and the lights were turned on and I had a freaking banana down my throat because Raven told me to relax my throat, but I couldn’t really relax my throat when my dad stood there. So I choked. Raven had to perform Heimlich on me. I think I threw up some banana on her dress.”
Derek rarely laughs and Stiles is delighted to see that his story amuses Derek this much.
“I’ve gotten much better at deep throating now,” Stiles says and all the laughter in Derek’s face has been replaced by something else, something wild and hot. Stiles can feel his cock stirring in his swim trunks.
Derek moves closer without a word, taking Stiles’ head in both his hands, his eyes flickering between Stiles’ eyes and lips, as if asking if it’s okay. Stiles is more than okay with whatever’s going to happen, at least if it means that Derek will touch him anywhere. He might be the one that closes the last distance between them, but he doesn’t care. Derek’s lips are warm and soft and his mouth warmer and wet. They kiss slowly, languidly, and Stiles shudders with want. Derek’s fingers play with the hair at the nape of his neck and then Derek’s lips abandons his to kiss down his throat. Stiles leans his head back against the edge of the tub and Derek sucks softly on his skin, hopefully not hard enough to leave a bruise.
“Fuck,” Stiles groans and his fingers tangle in Derek’s hair to pull their lips together again. Derek hums against his lips, pushing his broad body up against Stiles’ front and one of Stiles’ hands grabs the edge to keep him from slipping sideways. Their knees knock together a few times until Derek slips his hands down under the water and with a hand on the underside of each of Stiles’ thighs he guides Stiles’ legs around his waist.
“Yeah, fuck,” Stiles moans, hot and panting as Derek mouths as his neck and rolls their hips together. Their swim trunks don’t hide much.
“Fuck, get the clothes off,” Stiles grumbles and with combined efforts they’re soon naked. Stiles hugs Derek close to him and lets Derek press him up against the wall of the tub again once they’re naked, their cocks sliding together. It’s not enough.
Stiles gets a hand in between them and grabs their cocks in one hand. Derek’s cock feels amazing in his hand, long and thick.
“Fuck,” Derek groans against his neck, grabbing the edge of the tub with both hands as he thrusts into Stiles’ hand, creating amazing friction against Stiles’ own cock.
“Yeah, dude,” Stiles groans and he has a hard time moving his hips but his hand works and the feeling of Derek’s cock against his works too. Derek mouths at his collarbone, bites and licks and sucks and Stiles thinks he might leave a mark but he’s too gone to care.
“Fuck, you’re so hot,” he pants up towards the starlit sky as Derek sucks a nipple into his mouth.
“You’re hot,” Derek retorts and pushes harder against Stiles. “Fuck, I’m close.”
“Yeah, come on,” Stiles groans, feeling his balls tighten as his release hits him almost surprisingly fast. His hand falters in its movements and Derek groans.
“Please, don’t stop. Stiles- fuck.”
Stiles lets go off his own dick and jerks Derek’s quickly. It only takes a dozen strokes before Derek moans against his neck and comes. Stiles can’t feel the come in the hot water, but he wishes he could.
“Dude, we’ve soiled the water,” he mumbles as Derek leans his face against his neck. Stiles feels warm and relaxed.
“Fuck,” Derek says and the weight of him is suddenly gone. “This shouldn’t- this never happend,” he says and Stiles barely has time to register his words before Derek has taken his towel and left.
Stiles is alone in the water and it doesn’t feel hot, just gross and sad. He gets up and wraps himself in a towel. He meets one of the maids of the mansion on his way down to his room and, while furiously blushing and not meeting her eye, tells her that there was an accident in the hot tub and that they should have it cleaned. She’s blushing just as much as him as he leaves her.
He doesn’t let himself think of the fact that Derek had kissed him, had let Stiles jerk him off, and then just left with words of regret. Stiles doesn’t regret anything about it.
Well, he does regret not kissing Derek more, not getting to look at those abs and lick them and grab his ass and… He regrets a lot of things that didn’t happen, but none of those that actually did.
He wants to talk to Scott so bad right now.
Stiles tries to talk to Derek the next day, but Derek just glares and leaves the room, as if it’s physically hurts him to be in the same space as Stiles. Which he really didn’t seem to think last night. Stiles pulls at his hair, wondering if he could lure Derek into a room and lock the door, just so he could talk to him, clear up what actually happened last night.
Stiles wants desperately for Derek’s rejection to be about Derek, like Derek having a boyfriend outside of the mansion, or Derek not being ready or hell, even that he was Derek’s first gay experience and then either Derek decided he wasn’t gay at all or that he was gayer than he’d thought and that freaked him out. Stiles could live with being rejected because of a boyfriend, even though it’d hurt. And he could live with being Derek’s dirty secret, if Derek still wanted him. But he didn’t think he could handle Derek rejecting him just because he figured out he didn’t really want Stiles, he didn’t want to be rejected because of something he had done.
“Are you nervous about your date with Cora?” Isaac asks and Stiles turns a confused face towards him. “This afternoon, you and Cora are going away alone. My date isn’t until tomorrow and I’m freaking out.”
“You’ll do great, she likes you,” Stiles tells Isaac absentmindedly.
He’d totally forgotten about the date. He considers asking Cora about Derek, if he may have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or something (subtly, of course).
He and Cora leave the mansion in a limousine and the whole ride is awkward and silent. They go sky-diving and Stiles should really be enjoying himself – and he is, to some extent, he just kind of wishes that it was a different Hale that was there with him.
They’re sitting on picnic blanket, enjoying wine and a sandwich each. They talk about their friends and family, quite a lot about the other Hales in general and Derek in particular.
“So does Derek have a girlfriend or boyfriend or something? I know Laura’s single but-”
“Turn off the camera,” Cora interrupts Stiles, turning towards the camera man, who looks just as flabbergasted as Stiles feels. They’ve all signed contracts that the camera crew are allowed to film whatever they want, except in showers and such.
“Turn it off!” Cora shouts at him and the red lamp goes out. “Now leave.”
The camera man turns to Stiles, who shrugs and motions for him to do as Cora says. He huffs as he gets up and leaves them alone. The camera is still on the ground. Cora turns towards Stiles, who cowers slightly under her angry gaze.
“Did you just apply to this as some sort of joke?” she inquires angrily. “Was it some sort of ‘catch them all’ but with people?”
“What? No, I-”
“Then why the hell did you join in a competition where the prize was me but you can’t stop ogling my brother? Was it just for the fame?”
Stiles feels himself deflate. He was quite sure no one but Lydia had noticed him looking at Derek. Isaac hadn’t said anything and he and Stiles hang out almost all the time when Isaac’s not running after Cora.
“I- I’m sorry, Cora.”
Cora glares at him, not seeming anywhere close to forgive him without an explanation.
“I- You’re really great,” Stiles begins. Cora snorts, but motions for him to go on. “Like I said in my video, I want someone to take care of. You seemed- well, good enough, I guess, when I saw your video and I thought why not give it a shot, you know?”
Cora doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t glare as fiercely anymore – she’s still glaring though, not just the death level of glaring.
“I like you, you’re great and all-”
“But?” Cora inquires, looking slightly off balance.
“I think I’ve fallen in love with Derek,” Stiles admits and fuck, who was talking about love? He just wanted to bone the guy! And then make him dinner and breakfast and take long walks and…
“Fuck,” he whispers and Cora snaps her fingers at him.
“Bisexual,” Stiles snaps, because that’s really not the issue here is it?
“So you participated because of me, but fell in love with my brother?”
Stiles winces, but nods. To his surprise Cora starts laughing. He glares at her and after a while she calms down, wiping tears from her face.
“That’s hilarious, you know,” she tells him and Stiles can’t really see the hilariousness in it. “Does Derek know?”
“I don’t know,” Stiles shrugs, “I guess. He- I- We kissed.”
“What?” Cora shrieks and Stiles winces at the volume. He can see the camera man in the distance, watching them curiously. Maybe he’s surprised Stiles still has his head attached.
“Last night, in the hot tub after the rest left we- uh- we kissed.”
“Oh, my god!” Cora looks scandalized. “It was you and Derek?!”
She covers her face with a hand.
“I did not need to know that about my brother’s sex life.”
“Sorry, what?” Stiles just said they kissed. Oh, my god, does this mean Cora heard them last night? If Cora did, then maybe someone else did and-
“I heard the maids talking about cleaning the tub because someone- you know.”
If Stiles hadn’t been one of the persons apparent for the you know he wouldn’t know what she was talking about. His red face seems to tell her enough though.
“Oh, my god!” Cora says again.
It takes them both a few moments to recover after that embarrassing reveal. Stiles has no idea what to say.
“So, Derek,” he says at last when he can’t handle the silence, “single, yes or no?”
Cora laughs and shoves him but it’s all good-naturedly.
“Single. So very single. He doesn’t date.”
Stiles feels his face fall and Cora hurries to reassure him, “He doesn’t hook up either. He’d had a few relationships, otherwise I’d think he wasn’t interested in anything, you know? His last relationship screwed him up pretty badly. He hasn’t dated anyone since.”
Cora frowns at him suddenly, narrowing her eyes.
“You’re not going to hurt him, are you?”
“Not if I can help it,” Stiles shakes his head fiercely.
“Good,” Cora says. “He does seem to like you.”
Stiles shakes his head morosely.
“Not enough. After we- you know,” Cora makes a disgusted face, “he left. Said it never happened.”
Cora sighs heavily.
“Fucking Derek. Look, because of his last relationship Derek has trust issues, okay? I’m not going to go into detail of what happened, Derek should be the one to tell you. When he’s ready.” She gives Stiles a glare, as if Stiles is the kind of person to press a matter when it should be left alone.
Stiles is so that person.
But for Derek he thinks he could wait with knowing (even if it’s kind of killing him not knowing).
“Just talk to him, okay?”
Stiles nods and Cora motions for the camera man to come back.
“Finstock is furious with you,” the camera man informs them.
Cora pats Stiles’ leg consolingly.
“I’ll come up with a cover story for him, just keep your mouth shut, okay?”
She looks a bit as if she would skin him alive if he didn’t.
When they get back to the mansion Cora shoves Stiles in the direction of Derek’s room and then goes to find Finstock to explain why she ordered the camera to be shut off. Stiles doesn’t really care what she says, he’s more nervous about talking to Derek. Cora said Derek liked him and Stiles knows Derek likes him enough to kiss him, but he also left and that hurt.
He meets Laura just outside Derek’s door.
“He’s in a grumpy place,” she says with an eye-roll. “And people call me dramatic.”
Stiles wonders if it’s weird that Laura doesn’t even question why he’s going to Derek’s room when he just got back from his date with Cora. He knocks on the door and hears someone stomping angrily on the other side.
“For fuck’s sake, Laura, I don’t want to talk about-”
Derek stops mid-sentence, staring at Stiles.
“Uh, hi?” Stiles shuffles his feet. Derek stares at him. “Can I come in?”
Derek hesitates and then moves away from the door to let Stiles in. Stiles walks into the middle of the room – it’s slightly bigger than his own, with a large bed with ruffled, white sheets – and turns around to face Derek. His hair is less styled than it normally is, he’s in a tank top and basketball shorts. He looks a bit if he’s been in his bed for most of the day.
“I just got back from my date with Cora,” Stiles says when the silence gets too much. Derek’s scowl deepens. “She said-”
“Look, I don’t know what you’re playing at, but I’ll tell Cora about- yesterday and you’ll get sent home.”
“I already told Cora about yesterday,” Stiles interrupts Derek and then takes a deep breath, steeling himself for the truth. “So I’ll probably be sent home because it seems stupid to keep me when I’m crushing on her brother, right?”
Derek blinks at him, his face is quite blank but his eyes flicker in surprise of Stiles’ face, as if trying to figure out if Stiles is telling the truth or not. Neither of them say anything.
“So yeah, I’m going home, but if you want to- I don’t know catch up or something when this is all over, feel free to call me.”
Derek keeps staring at him.
“And when I say catch up, I mean date. Because I want to date you. And possibly marry you because, dude, you’re perfect. You’re funny and witty and nice and just awesome and it really sucks that I’m going home, but yeah, call me when this is over? If you want to, of course. And please, say something before I die of embarrassment, will you?”
That earns him an amused twitch of Derek’s lips at least.
“So you’re not just playing us against each other? Me and Cora?”
Stiles shakes his head.
“Or trying to get famous?”
“Dude, I’d get like two minutes screen time for banging the bachelorette’s brother. Tops. If I wanted to cause a scandal I’d try to bang everyone in the house, that’d be scandalous.”
Derek’s lips quirk some more and he takes a step closer to Stiles.
“So you’re just…”
Derek looks self-conscious and unsure, which is weird to see on someone so handsome as Derek – handsome people usually have too much self-confidence.
“I’m just really into you,” Stiles nods even if he’s not sure if that’s what Derek was asking about.
It seems to be the right answer to because Derek takes the last steps between them and kisses Stiles. It’s warm and passionate and so, so good. Stiles might whimper as he clutches at Derek’s shoulders.
“Fuck, I want to-” Stiles gasps as Derek hums and trails kisses down Stiles’ throat.
“If you’re leaving we’d better make the best of it,” Derek says and Stiles nods and manages to pull them both down onto the bed.
It’s quite uncoordinated as they pull of their own and each other’s clothes, but it’s hot and fun and Stiles is so hard when Derek pulls the last article of clothing off his body. He covers Stiles’ body with his own, rutting against him, his cock rubbing over Stiles’ own cock and balls and Stiles wants Derek inside him desperately.
“Fuck,” he moans, “I want you to fuck me.”
“I don’t have any lube,” Derek groans and he sounds so sad about this.
“Shit,” Stiles swears. “We can with-”
“Not without lube,” Derek says and Stiles sighs heavily when he realizes that Derek’s right. “Hey, it’s not the end of the world, okay? We’ll meet again outside. With lube. And now we can- I can blow you?”
Stiles nods, but feels remorse for his ass that’s not getting fucked tonight.
“I’ll make it good,” Derek promises and kisses Stiles’ cheeks, his ears and his neck.
He caresses Stiles’ sides, his chest, twists his nipples and then follows with his mouth. He scrapes his fingers up Stiles’ thighs and to his groin but he doesn’t touch Stiles’ balls or cock – to Stiles’ great dismay.
By the time Derek’s mouth finally closes over the tip of his cock he’s all but forgotten about anything else and who needs a dick in their ass when they can have a mouth on their dick, right? Derek bobs his head, licking and sucking as he fondles Stiles’ balls. He then dips his head lower, mouthing at Stiles’ balls and then below.
“F-fuck, Derek,” Stiles gasps and grips the covers as Derek’s tongue caresses his hole. His stubble feels great against the inside of his thighs and against his balls and- Stiles makes an unintelligent sound when Derek laps at him and then shoves a finger inside. He might sob as Derek licks around his finger.
“Fuck, yeah,” Stiles moans as Derek hits his prostate right on. Derek’s skilled finger keeps massaging his prostate as Derek’s mouth returns to sucking his cock.
“Der- I’mma- fuck- I’m so close. Yeah-”
The orgasm is approaching quickly and Stiles’ back arches as his eyes clamp shut and his body convulses in pleasure. Derek doesn’t stop sucking or stop thrusting his finger into Stiles’ ass until Stiles is too sensitive, first then he scrambles up the bed to kiss Stiles’ cheek and lips.
“You’re gorgeous,” Derek pants into his ear and Stiles hears the sound of flesh slapping against flesh.
“No, stop, don’t come yet,” Stiles manages. He kisses Derek before turning around onto his front. He presses his legs together and Derek quickly, catches on, presses his cock in between Stiles’ thighs. Derek’s weight and warmth on top of him is amazing and it gets even better when Derek starts thrusting between his thighs. Derek pants into his neck, leaves a few nips and kisses there and on his shoulders. Stiles grabs one of Derek’s hands that are just next to his head and entangles their fingers, reveling in the shuddering gasp Derek lets out.
“Come on,” he mumbles and tries to thrust back against Derek.
“Yeah,” Derek mumbles into his neck, his whole body going stiff as he moans and Stiles can feel sticky come slowly sipping down between his legs as Derek’s cock pulses between his thighs.
Derek drops down by his side and Stiles turns his head towards him.
“Hey,” Derek mumbles, blinking slowly at him.
“Hey,” Stiles repeats and shuffles closer so he can press their lips together. “You’re pretty awesome.”
“You are,” Derek mumbles against his lips.
They stay like that for too long, smiling goofily at each other.
“I’m gonna miss you when I’m gone,” Stiles admits, it might be too soon for such words, but he’s already in for it all.
Derek smiles softly at him.
“I’ll miss you too. We’ll see each other again.”
Stiles swallows and nods, pressing their lips together again.
Derek, having more decency than Stiles could ever hope, gets them out of bed and into the shower before the come between Stiles’ thighs has glued them together completely.
They arrive a bit late to the dinner because after the shower they seem unable to keep their hands to themselves. Stiles’ clothes may be in a bit of a ruffled state but he finds he doesn’t care when he meets Derek’s gaze across the table and Derek gives him a small, secretive smile.
After the dinner they line up and Cora holds the roses that she’ll give to those who get to stay. Today there are ten roses. Stiles is quite sure he’s not one of the people who’ll get a rose and he can’t even smile at Isaac when Isaac gets the first rose, because he’s going to leave Derek for three whole weeks. He knows it’s silly, that they’ve barely even gotten to know each other, but this thing between them is new and vulnerable and Stiles doesn’t want to ruin it by not seeing Derek for three weeks. Derek keeps glancing at him, offering small, sad smiles and Stiles tries to smile back. He probably just looks constipated.
Jackson receives a rose from Cora and then Cora calls out another name. Stiles’ gaze drifts over to Derek who inclines his head slightly towards Cora. Stiles looks at Cora, only to see her staring back at him with raised eyebrows.
“Stiles?” she says. Again, Stiles realizes, because apparently she wants to give Stiles a rose so he can stay.
“What? Really?” he exclaims and Cora laughs.
“Just take the goddamn rose,” she says, but she’s smiling. Stiles feels like skipping up to her as she hands him a rose and a hug.
Stiles gets back in the line and Derek smiles at him, no longer looking sad. Stiles bites his lips to keep from smiling too broadly.
After the ceremony Stiles hurries down a corridor, confident that Derek follows him. He turns around when they’re alone and Derek crowds him up against the wall, kissing him.
“I’m so glad Cora let me stay,” he mumbles and Derek hums in agreement.
“Seriously, you guys need to be careful,” someone suddenly hisses and they spring apart.
“It’s not what it looks like!” Stiles exclaims and both Derek and Cora give him the best ‘are you kidding me?’-look Stiles has ever seen. They then exchange a look between themselves.
“You really want this doofus?” Cora asks her brother and Derek snorts and something in his eyes soften when he looks at Stiles.
“Yeah,” he says, “yeah, for some reason I do.”
“Hey!” Stiles exclaims, but can’t really keep the grin off his face. Derek wants him. Derek wants him.
“I’m happy for you, bro,” Cora says and pulls Derek into a quick, one-armed hug. “Seriously, though, you guys need to be careful. If Finstock finds out Stiles will be gone before- well, quickly.”
“Yeah, we’re just-” Stiles begins and then trails off, uncertain how to voice their previous concern.
“You thought I’d sent you home? Just because you don’t want me? Seriously, Stilinksi, I have fifteen other men bending over backwards trying to please me. I can afford not having you bending to my will.”
“Thanks,” Derek says and Cora smiles at her brother.
“But if you ever do the naughty in the hot tub again I swear to god, I’ll castrate you both. Are we clear?”
Cora levers most of her glare at Stiles, probably because Derek isn’t as intimidated by her as they’ve known each other their whole lives.
“Crystal clear,” he salutes her.
She smirks and pats his cheek condescendingly before leaving them alone again.
Stiles crowds in on Derek again and Derek lets him.
“Should we take this some place more private?”
“Yeah,” Derek mumbles against his lips. “Come to my room in a few minutes? Your room is too close to the others.”
Stiles nods and Derek presses a kiss against his lips before he leaves. Stiles watches his ass until Derek turns a corner and is gone.
He leans against the wall and sighs, can’t keep the smile off his face even if he tried. He’s giddy with the turn of events. He and Derek will have another few weeks together, if Cora keeps her word and doesn’t send him out. Something in the way Cora had talked about Derek earlier in the day and the way she smiled just now makes Stiles thinks she really is happy for the two of them and will make anything for them to be able to be together a bit longer.
He’s almost skipping as he makes his way to brush his teeth and change clothes. He doesn’t plan on leaving Derek’s room until tomorrow for breakfast.
Sneaking off to see Derek gets trickier the fewer competitors are left. They’re expected to be hang out more with each other and with Cora and people are starting to question why Stiles is mostly absent from whatever group activity the others come up with. While there are activities planned a few hours every day, they have a lot of hours at the mansion and Stiles would prefer to spend those hours in bed with Derek getting to know him and his body a lot better.
Stiles can’t even spend every night with Derek because Isaac starts questioning why Stiles suddenly is up before him but never in the dining room eating breakfast. They talk about telling Isaac about them, but even though he seems nice Derek says they can’t really trust him with it, so Stiles keeps quiet.
When there are five competitors left – Jackson is still among them, neither Stiles nor Derek understands what Cora sees in him – each Hale take one of the competitor out for something. As fate (Cora) would have it, Stiles ends up in a limousine with Derek. Sadly, there’s also a camera man there so they can’t do anything other but talking. When they arrive at the harbor where a boat is supposed to take them snorkeling, Derek pulls Stiles close to whisper in his ear.
“Fake being really scared of the ocean, can you? Pretend you’re really anxious about going onto the boat.”
Before Stiles has time to barely register what Derek said, Derek has left his side and hopped onto the boat to talk to the personnel there. Stiles turns to the camera man and tries looking scared.
“I- uh- I can’t swim,” he lies. “So the thought of going onto a boat is- well, it’s scary.”
The camera man looks as if Christmas has come early – those bastards always want to film someone else’s misery.
Stiles makes up some story about almost drowning when he was a kid and is almost out of things to talk about when Derek comes back to his side.
“You could just step onto the boat,” Derek says. “Just get a feel of it.”
Stiles nods, playing along, even though he doesn’t really know what’s going on. Derek places a hand on his back and leads him towards the boat. Stiles tries to look scared at the thought of stepping onto a floating thing instead of giddy about Derek’s hand on his back.
“Maybe you can stay here for a while?” Derek asks the camera man, but the glare tells the camera man it’s more an order than a request.
They step onto the boat and Stiles is surprised when it starts the moment they’re on and suddenly they’re off. Derek mock-salutes the camera man that is still standing on the pier with his camera by his side, looking scandalized.
“Oh, man, that was awesome!” Stiles exclaims and Derek smiles at him. “How did you manage that?”
“I just doubled these guys’ payment.”
He looks exceptionally smug. It looks quite good on him. The boat jolts with a wave and Stiles almost face-plants into Derek’s chest. Derek rolls his eyes at him and steers him to the large seat in the back of the yacht.
“Finstock will be mad, you know,” Stiles says when he curls up by Derek’s side.
“It’ll be worth it,” Derek says and nuzzles Stiles’ cheek.
Swimming around under water, watching all the beautiful fish is an amazing experience. Thought, it feels almost more amazing to curl up against Derek’s side afterwards as the other two men on the boat serve them food and champagne.
“To you,” Stiles holds up his glass and Derek rolls his eyes, but they’re sparkling and Stiles can tell he’s just as happy as Stiles is.
“To you,” he retorts and kisses Stiles.
They make out for a long time lying down beside each other in the broad seats. The two other men on the boat doesn’t seem to care about them, but eat their own food (not as fancy as what Stiles and Derek are eating) and keep to the front of the boat so not to disturb them. Even if it is a large boat, they’re still within earshot and Derek’s morals keep their make out session from getting too heated.
There’s still some heavy frotting and Stiles is very close to coming in his pants when Derek backs off and kisses him softly.
“We shouldn’t,” he murmurs, “not here.”
“I don’t care.”
Stiles sighs and tries to will his erection away. It doesn’t really work, especially not when Derek’s pressing feather light kisses to his shoulder.
It’s too soon when the captain announces that they’re going to head back. He says that he’s gotten a call from an angry man – most likely Finstock – and that Derek has to answer to him when they get back.
“We can tell him,” Stiles offers, but Derek shakes his head.
“No, then you’ll be sent home. We’ll say it was just a prank. They won’t send me home.”
Derek doesn’t answer and Stiles’ stomach is in knots by the time they get back to the pier. The camera man and a limousine is waiting for them. The camera man looks less than pleased.
Finstock is, unsurprisingly, also not pleased with their behavior. He yells at them for what feels like hours and then congratulates them on succeeding in getting rid of the camera man before he shoves them out of his room. Stiles exchanges a look with Derek and Derek shrugs, telling Stiles he doesn’t have a clue what just happened either.
Cora is delighted to hear that they got to spend the whole day alone.
Another competitor gets sent home that evening. Stiles smiles at Derek and then tries to trip Jackson, who’s still there. Seriously, are they going to end up being brothers-in-law, or what?
When Jackson gets sent home, only Stiles and Isaac are left. Stiles can tell that Isaac is really nervous and a bit miffed that Stiles is still there. Isaac knows Stiles has never been that interested in Cora and he probably wonders why Cora hasn’t seen it yet.
“We should tell him,” Stiles says to Derek when they’re in bed later. “He’s really nervous about tomorrow.”
“We’ll tell him tomorrow,” Derek says and follows an invisible pattern on Stiles’ back with his fingers. “We’ll tell them all tomorrow. It’s the last day.”
“Yeah,” Stiles mumbles. “We’ll see each other then, right? When this is over?”
“You do know that we live in the same city, right?”
Stiles nods and smiles.
“We’ll see each other,” Derek promises. “Every day and night, I hope.”
Stiles nods. That sounds good to him.
The last day in the mansion Stiles and Isaac are both allowed some alone time with Cora. Stiles and Cora mostly talk about the future.
“You want kids?” Cora asks and Stiles shrugs.
“Sure, in a few years.” Cora smiles a bit secretive, as if that was the right answer.
“I don’t really want kids,” Cora reveals. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to spoil my nephews and nieces, but I don’t want any of my own.”
Stiles can’t keep from grinning, Cora basically said she’d love to spoil his and Derek’s kids. If they would have any.
“When you entered your name, what did you think about the prospect of maybe getting engaged in the end?”
Stiles knows one of the earlier couples ended up engaged in the finale and when he entered he thought that if he’d found someone he really wanted to be with the idea of engagement wasn’t that scary. They’d taken measurements for a potential ring the very first day.
“Theoretically, you could see yourself getting engaged without living with someone? After known them for barely a month?”
Stiles can’t really tell what Cora thinks of this, if she thinks he’s crazy or if she’s the same.
“I’m one of those people that fall hard when I fall,” he says and waving his hands around a bit. “I don’t fall that easily, but when I do, yeah.”
He shrugs and Cora smiles.
“What about you?” he asks and Cora smirks.
“I can’t really reveal that now, can I?”
“Oh, come on!” Stiles exclaims and Cora laughs at him.
After dinner for the last ceremony Stiles feels slightly nervous. Not about the ceremony because he knows Cora will choose Isaac, for an engagement or just for more dating he’s not sure though. Stiles is nervous about the reveal to Derek’s family and the crew. He’s a bit scared that Finstock will sue him or something. Stiles couldn’t afford a lawsuit.
Everyone is dressed up to the nines; all the men in tuxedos and Cora and the rest of the women in beautiful evening gowns. Stiles can barely keep his eyes off Derek. He looks absolutely stunning. Derek seems nervous and keeps tugging at his sleeves. Stiles wants to walk up to him, ask what’s wrong and take his mind off whatever’s bothering him. But he can’t. Not yet.
He and Isaac line up as the Hales – except Cora – sit to the side behind Cora. Cora stands straight before them, smiling at them both in turn. She’s holding something in her hand – something other than a rose. Stiles thinks it might be a jewelry box.
“Isaac,” she says and Isaac steps up right in front of her, as they’ve been told to do, “I’ve had a wonderful time with you. You’re a great man and I’d love to have spent more time with you. This though, isn’t for you. I’m sorry.”
Isaac’s whole body slumps as he backs down next to Stiles, who’s quite confused and steps up in front of Cora. Maybe she won’t pick anyone of them? He was quite sure she liked Isaac.
“Stiles, I love spending time with you. You’re funny and goofy. My family really likes you.”
Stiles looks quickly at Derek who’s staring down in his lap. Stiles frowns and wonders what’s wrong with him.
“I really look forward getting to know you better in the years to come and I hope you will let me,” Cora continues and fondles the box in her hand – the box Stiles is quite sure is a jewelry box, but it makes him quite confused, is Cora about to propose? She’s not proposing to Stiles, is she? Is this some kind of plan he’s not yet to understand?
Cora reaches out a hand to her side and Derek steps up and takes her hand, kisses her cheek and then Derek’s the one who’s standing in front of Stiles. Derek takes Stiles’ hand in both of his and swallows nervously. His hands are warm and clammy. Stiles feels as if he’s going into shock, he can’t really grasp what’s going on.
“I know we haven’t known each other for very long, but I- You make me happier than I’ve ever been and I want to make you happy. I’d be the happiest man alive if you would let me spend the rest of my life making you happy.”
Stiles stares as Derek gets down on one knee in front of him and opens the box in which there are one golden band – an engagement ring.
“Stiles, will you marry me?”
“Oh, my god!” Stiles exhales and stares between Derek and the ring. Derek’s eyes are huge and scared and Stiles just stares at him. Derek swallows, nods, and gets up again. His movement makes Stiles react.
“No!” he screams and grabs Derek’s arms. Derek winces and his eyes are shiny. “I mean, yes! I’ll marry you! Fuck!”
Stiles grabs Derek’s shoulder and hauls him in for the most uncoordinated kiss they’ve ever shared. Derek doesn’t seem to mind though because he’s smiling against Stiles’ lips.
“What the fuck is going on?” someone suddenly screams and they break apart, but Derek keeps his arm around Stiles’ waist and pushing Stiles slightly behind him, as if to protect Stiles from, well, Finstock. He looks red in the face and stares angrily between them.
“This is about finding love and you two go and pull this prank. I can honestly not-”
Finstock goes on about the honorable thing about the show and how love conquers all (he’s kind of lost Stiles here). Cora and her family step up and they all argue against Finstock, who keeps ranting at them.
“It’s not a ploy!” Cora finally screams into Finstock’s face, just as loudly and angrily as he has screamed. “Can’t you see? They love each other!”
She points at Stiles and Derek for emphasis and Stiles has no idea how to look like he’s in love – even though he is, he’s just not sure he looks the part.
“Look at their loving faces,” Cora grimaces. Stiles grimaces back at her because she was the one trying to find love in a reality show and she rolls her eyes. Pot, kettle, she mouths, before turning to Finstock.
Finstock frowns at them.
“Fuck me,” he swears. “You’re right.”
He clears his throat and waves his hands at the room in general.
“If this is true love, then I won’t stop you. Carry on.”
He leaves and Stiles and Derek look at each other and can’t manage to not laugh.
“Well, put it on!” Cora interrupts them and Derek pulls away from Stiles to do as she says. The ring fits perfectly on his finger. He smiles giddily as Derek kisses him again.
“I love you,” he whispers to Stiles and Stiles swallows back the tears.
“I love you too, oh my god,” he mumbles against Derek’s lips and he might be crying and laughing at the same time.
“I love you both!” Laura wails and hugs them both. She’s crying the most. “I’m so happy for you. When Derek told me-”
“You told her? Why couldn’t I get to tell Isaac then?”
“She’s my sister! She’d hardly-”
“Look, they’re already fighting,” Cora says, amused.
Stiles turns to make a face at her, but can’t really manage to do anything else but smile. Cora smiles right back, her arm around Isaac’s waist and Isaac looks a lot less sad now. He comes up to them and gives Stiles a long hug.
“I’m happy for you, man,” he says and then shakes Derek’s hand.
“So what’s happening between you two?” Stiles asks and motions at him and Cora.
“We’re going to try dating,” Isaac says and smiles at Cora.
“I’m so happy all of my kids have found someone,” Talia says and pulls Stiles and Derek both into a hug.
“And what am I?” Laura questions, “Next door neighbor?”
It’s quite chaotic for another few minutes before Lydia manages to get the commotion to settle down and then smiles into the camera.
“So here we have the two that had a real heart to heart here in the mansion. This competitor had no idea what he signed up for when he entered.”
She winks at the camera and then all the cameras are shut off. Lydia smiles and gives Stiles and Derek a hug and a cheek kiss each. Stiles doesn’t think he’s ever been hugged and kissed by so many beautiful women on the same day and yet he finds himself not caring one bit about them, only having eyes for the handsome man by his side.