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Seeing Wolves (Where There Are No Wolves)

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"…wherever you are, it's okay. You can come back from it. Whatever happened to you down there, whatever the world looks like now, that's not how it always looks. That's not how it's always going to look. There's more. There's always more."

- Patrick Ness

Song for this chapter is; Oh Lord, by Foxy Shazam

Derek walks into the Stilinski house, wiping his shoes off on the welcome mat before stepping inside. He hangs his jacket and keys by the front door, as he's taken to doing and he breathes in deeply and knows the following immediately; Stiles has been masturbating, the oven is pre-heating, Scott just left, Stiles has been masturbating, the Sheriff is expecting to see Melissa at some point this night because his cologne was definitely used, the frequent raccoon visitor has been in the garbage within the past hour and Stiles has been masturbating.

Derek pinches the bridge of his nose, sighing.

He doesn't even know how much control he requires me to have.

He focuses on his hearing and realizes that the door closing behind him must have disrupted Stiles' private time. He smirks to himself as he listens to Stiles scramble back into his sweatpants and come to the stairs, bat in hand. His arousal is hidden and he's obviously focusing his energy on making it go away.

He grabs his chest when he sees Derek and exclaims, "Jesus, Derek – I thought you were a burglar!"

"I am a burglar. I just finished my shift and I haven't eaten all day. I've come to raid your fridge," Derek tells him as he moves toward the kitchen.

He listens to Stiles rest his bat against the wall and come down the steps to follow behind him.

"Hey – you should wait, if you can. I'm making a baked ziti. It's gonna be bomb."

Derek resists the urge to laugh as he bends to see what's in the refrigerator. He takes out a liter of soda and gestures at Stiles with it, offering to pour for himself and Stiles. Stiles nods and Derek follows through, handing Stiles his glass and going to the living room with him.

"Hey – I never asked," Stiles starts as he moves to sit on the couch, "How did last week's session go? You came home and I was in the middle of studying – it slipped my mind."

You came home.

God, Derek swears to himself, I am home. Even Stiles thinks of this as my home...

"It was fine," Derek answers, "I don't know if I'll be going back."

"Oh?" Stiles asks, worry very thinly veiled, "Why not?"

Derek shakes his head a little, to dismiss Stiles' concern, "I think I just cleared up everything I needed to."

Stiles nods a few times with pinched brows and goes to ask more questions, but Derek stops him by mentioning, "we never actually got to watch Star Trek. You want to?"

Stiles' eyes light up and a grin spreads fast across his face. He starts in excitedly, "are you joking? I am always down for Trekking. I have to ask, dude, are you an Original Series fan? Cause you strike me as an Original Series dude. Or do you like Next Generation? I know there are more, but most Trekkies fall into either school. At least, the ones I've met. Have I told you I've been to Cons? Cause I've been to Cons. I've met Trekkies. Like, real Trekkies. The ones that make their own uniforms and get rubber ear extensions and shave their eyebrows that pointy way. Can you do that Spock thing? Can you do that Spock-eyebrow-thing?"

Once they're seated on the couch, the DVD menu displayed on the television screen, Derek holds Stiles' gaze for a long moment before springing up one eyebrow and muttering, "fascinating."

Stiles bursts out in laughter and tells him, "oh my God, phenomenal! Ten out of ten! I love it!"

"Have you ever watched Galaxy Quest?" Derek asks conversationally, letting his eyes fall into his glass as to avoid staring at Stiles' left hand, the fingers of which, Derek's senses tell him, were just inside him minutes prior.

"Oh my God, please tell me you do an Alan Rickman impersonation."

That's answer enough for Derek, so he makes his grumpiest face and mumbles angrily, "by Grapthar's hammer… what a savings."

Stiles laughs until he's breathless, clutching his abs and Derek chuckles alongside him. Derek admires the red color climbing up Stiles' body, showing up on his collarbone and cheeks. His grin is so white and so broad, it gives Derek chills.

He allows himself to feel the want.

He doesn't punish or scold himself inwardly for it.

He just stares and wants and silences the shame, now died down and greyed out.

Stiles eventually calms down and starts the movie, thanking ancient deities for Derek's dry humor. About twenty minutes in, the oven dings and Stiles leaves to move the ziti into it. He comes back, nestling just slightly closer to Derek than he'd been before.

It's calm and it's cozy and it's tense. It's tense because Derek can feel something building in the air.

He knows he's reaching the summit of this - this enormous, unavoidable thing between him and Stiles.

He puts his arm over the back of the couch, behind Stiles' shoulders, experimentally. Stiles doesn't seem to notice outwardly, but his scent gets excited and sweet.

Every time Derek chances moving his eyes to look at Stiles, Stiles is watching the screen closely and he realizes he's paralleled the night they watched Moon together. He had felt Stiles staring at him all that night, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And when it hadn't, he'd fallen asleep against Derek's shoulder.

And now Derek is here, trying to see if Stiles will object to having his arm over him, sneaking sideways glances just to enjoy the beauty of Stiles' unashamed joy. Words are formulating in his head; things he wants to say, things he should say and things he should have said a long time ago. Those cellos and violins are shaking, coming to life inside him.

By the end of the first movie, the ziti is ready and they eat together on the couch as a type of intermission. Stiles asks for Derek's opinions and it's a long discussion about how Derek likes the take on this alternate reality and he would have chosen someone else for Spock, but liked Zachary Quinto's performance all the same.

Stiles gets hearts in his eyes when Derek starts talking about the logistics of running and repairing a damaged ship like the Enterprise and they talk about their likes and dislikes of the battle sequences and Derek brings up his favorite concepts in theoretical astrophysics. He explains relativity with the most eloquence Stiles has ever heard and it dissolves into conversation about Derek's studies in engineering at NYU.

Derek even discloses a story about his first boyfriend, who he met there and how it ended in embarrassment when he'd misread the seriousness (or rather, lack thereof) of the relationship. Stiles shakes his head and provides comfort when he tells Derek that his ex is paying for it now, because he's missing out on how spectacular Derek's five o'clock shadow is.

Once they're done eating, Stiles offers to clean the dishes and leaves Derek on the couch to do that. Derek listens to the water running for a while, nervousness spreading across his chest and making his heart race. His hands keep shaking and he's nearly ticklish with anticipation.




He rises.

Love is the truest compass we'll ever have.

He walks to the entryway of the kitchen, stomach swooping and limbs tingling. His heart is so loud in his own ears, he can't hear Stiles'. He sees Stiles' back, standing in front of the sink, his arms are moving, rustling his red jacket with the sleeves pulled up. Derek swallows thickly.



"I have to tell you something."

Stiles goes to put the dish down and face him, but Derek objects.

"No – don't. Don't turn around," he begs, a hesitant hand in the air to stop Stiles, though Stiles can't see it.

Stiles stares intently down at the suds in the sink, wondering if there's a spider on his back.

Derek's voice is uncharacteristically nervous, almost unfamiliar to Stiles' ears when he says, "I think if you turn around, I'll lose the courage to say this."

Stiles is bolted to the floor at that and now Derek can hear Stiles' heartbeat, loud as his own. He opens his mouth and nothing comes out at first, everything he thought out in his head lost in the anxiety of actually doing this. There's a blinding pulse all over him, his stomach is tight with nerves, his ears are hot with embarrassment. He stares at the line of Stiles' shoulders and wonders when they got so broad.

Derek knows what question he wants to ask himself forever. He knows what version of 'what if,' he wants to ask himself for the rest of his life.

The diverged roads sit before him and in the darkness, he chooses.

"I want you."

He swallows roughly again and tries to will his voice not to give away how jittery he is, but it still shakes when he speaks again.

"I don't mean – I don't mean I want to fuck you. I mean, I do," he amends quickly, "I do, but it's more than that. Believe me, I want to fuck you on every available surface – "

Stiles makes an amazed, choked off noise before Derek continues, " – but I want more than that, Stiles. I want you naked in my bed when I wake up, I want you in your sweatpants on my couch while I make breakfast, I want you in the passenger seat of my car wherever I go…"

He flexes his hands, the words coming out of him feeling detached from him, like he hasn't said them at all. Like this is all a dream.

"Dr. Lundy asked me what my life would look like, if everything were perfect. If my greatest wish were granted in my sleep and I woke up to find that, what would it be and all I could think of was feeling you curled up against me, happy and warm and I haven't gotten that image out of my head since. You're loyal to a fault and you're sharp as a tack and easy to be with. You make living easy and I've – I haven't had that in so long."

Derek can't hear the noises from Stiles' body over his own anymore, but he can see the back of Stiles' neck turning red. His stare turns hard, he squares his shoulders, his hands curl into fists by his sides; he steels himself.

"I could wax poetic about you forever, Stiles. You're my best friend."

He hears Stiles intake sharply at that and Derek pushes forward, heat prickling behind his eyes.

"You are. I trust you and I…"

He breathes in deep and continues bravely, "and I love you. I love you. I love you and it takes up everything in me. Every fiber of my being is entirely and completely dedicated to being totally in love with you. I don't want to fuck this up, though. I don't want to fuck up our friendship, I don't want to fuck up the pack, I love you and I want you to be happy. I don't know what you want and this might be too much to say – this might be scary to hear, but I want forever. I want forever with you."

Without Derek's conscious consent, a tear falls from either of his eyes and Stiles knows he's crying; Derek can somehow feel how Stiles feels it. He hears something happen to Stiles' heart when his voice comes out watery, "don't worry. I – it's good. Don't worry. This is good, my love is good; it feels good," Derek insists, "And it's not going away. It's never going to go away. I don't want you to feel like you have to stay because of it, or leave because of it, or even… or even feel anything back. I needed you to know it, though. I…I'm fucking crazy about you and I've got dreams about you moving in and me never having to be without you. And it's okay if those dreams don't come to fruition. It's okay. I just… don't want to lose you. That's the most important part for me. I want however much of you you're willing to give. I'll take it and I'll run with it, Stiles, no matter what you ever offer."

Stiles' shoulders have gotten wired and tense. Derek lets the tears from either of his eyes run down his face and drip off his jaw, because he hasn't felt tears in so long. He hasn't cried in so many years, hasn't felt nearly safe enough to let it happen - not since before the fire, not even in therapy and it's cathartic. He's grounded by it. The tears feel like a natural progression, like a good omen. Like a part of himself he needs to share.

"I'm going to love you forever," Derek vows, "Wherever you go, however long you're there, whatever you do or say. And I'm going to stay here, right beside you until you send me away, and even then, I'll fight to stay. I want you. All of you and everything you make me."

Silence falls like a skyscraper has collapsed and the dust is settling, falling from midair.

The silence extends and Derek still can't hear anything from Stiles over the booming of his own heart and the rushing of his blood and the crescendo of his inner orchestra. When Stiles remains quiet and doubt crawls up inside him, Derek concedes. He nods to himself and says, "I… I should probably go."

Just like that, he turns away from the threshold of the kitchen and takes his jacket and keys by the door.

He knows he'll back. He knows he'll still watch movies with Scott and Stiles on the Stilinski's couch, that the pack will still come over to the loft after school, when he's off-duty. He knows Scott will hear about this and try to comfort him, he knows Lydia will be dying for details, even if they're sad. He imagines what it will feel like, when his body hits his bed to go to sleep. He wonders when he'll start to feel the aftermath of his confession and what it will be like when he does.

He's not made it ten feet down the driveway before he hears the front door swing open.

He turns and Stiles is standing there, heart pounding wildly.

"Derek," Stiles says and it sounds ripped from him.

A touch alarmed, Derek stills as Stiles rushes down the porch and over to him.

"I want you too," he confesses desperately and Derek's heart skips, "I want you too – I do, I want you – rugged heart, ridiculous eyebrows, leather jacket, bad puns, gold heart. All of it. Forever, Derek."

He shakes his head, like he's unsure if his words will be enough. He reaches out and his hand comes down over Derek's heart and his scents spike at the feel of Derek's heart racing.

"I thought this was a crush and – maybe it was. Maybe it used to be, but then it didn't go away. It grew and like, matured? It's evolved – it's not going away either. I'm in love with you. I've been – I have been. Longer than I really want to admit. I… you're everything to me, Derek," his eyes move across Derek's face, sparkling with leagues of feelings he's let remain unspoken, "I've loved you – before you were this healthy, before you were this happy and I want to keep you this way. I want you to be happy; I want to make you happy. You hang the moon, Derek…I-I want the forever. I want the big forever. I want – I think I want what you want. So, don't go."

Stiles' fingers curl in Derek's jacket and he takes a step closer to Derek. He studies the streaks on Derek's cheekbones closely, like fine art, admires the tears for the miraculous thing they are. He looks at Derek's lips and licks his own unconsciously. He meets Derek's eyes again and admits, "I want you to stay. I love you, Derek."

Derek tries to fight the smile curling on his face and the elated disbelief on Derek's face makes Stiles smile.

Stiles' eyes are shining and brimmed and his scents are nervous and loving and happy. He smells blissful to Derek.

Stiles laughs a little deliriously and repeats, "I love you. I love you."

Derek nods, trying so hard to comprehend what Stiles is saying and Stiles can see what's happening in Derek's eyes. So he beams excitedly still and takes Derek's face in both his hands.

"I love you, Derek. I am madly fucking in love with you."

Stiles says it in that unique way he can, like it's a prayer or a spell he's casting and it effects Derek's entire body and soul. He grabs onto Stiles' wrists and feeling raw and open, he says, "I'm going to kiss you."

"Thank God," Stiles breathes sincerely before his mouth his pressed against Derek's.

Every nerve alights, that crescendo in Derek's spirit climaxes with cymbals, trumpets and drums when his lips finally meet Stiles'. Stiles' grip moves to either side of his neck and it's rough, it's anchoring and it's so good, it's everything Derek needs - could ever need. Stiles' mouth opens to him, pliant and willing and eager.

Stiles' mouth is hot like a fever, lips full, just moist enough and velvety soft. Derek moans gratefully against Stiles and Stiles makes a hungry, pleased noise back, fingers curling around the base of his hairline. They kiss with dragging lips and sweet bites, starved for the contact until Stiles breaks away for air. The moment he does pull away, Derek mutters gruffly, "I should go."

Stiles' brows pinch worriedly, "w-what? Why?"

Derek's eyes open, glowing electric blue. Stiles' heart picks up a pace that Derek is familiar with; Stiles is feeling that thrill he gets and loves when he's straddling the line between stupid and brave, dangerous and daring.

Derek confesses, "I don't know how much control I can have."

"So lose control," Stiles dares him, nearly unable to believe he can have such an effect on Derek.

Stiles' relishes in how wide Derek's pupils get.

"Don't say that," Derek warns.

"I want you to," Stiles tells him before gripping onto Derek's hair with his left hand and tugging.

The noise Derek makes lets him know he's reading the cues right and when Derek's eyes flutter open again, still glowing and blown, he asks, "you're sure?"

"I'm sure."

"You'll tell me to stop, if you're not okay with it," Derek requests, though it's delivered as an order.

Stiles nods, letting his hands fall, "we should get inside."

Before he's even finished the suggestion, Derek has hauled him up against his body. Stiles' legs wrap around his waist and his arms around Derek's neck.

When Derek smiles at him, he's got fangs showing and Stiles shivers with excitement.

Derek carries him into the house, shutting the door behind him and he climbs up the stairs while Stiles kisses him, rakes his fingers through his hair and bites on his bottom lip. Stiles eventually falls onto his bed with a dull thud, the blankets and pillows bouncing with his descent. He looks up at Derek from under his lashes, toes curling and smile turning like the Cheshire cat.

Stiles watches Derek take off his shoes, socks, jacket and his pulse gets faster with every article that pools on the floor. His eyes widen when Derek's hands come to the hem of his shirt and lift, exposing his chest. Stiles pushes up from his elbows and lets his hands land on Derek's sides. He's running his fingers over the smooth skin of Derek's pecs, admiring the ripple of Derek's muscles and the trail of dark hair that starts above his bellybutton when he's distracted by Derek's hands coming under his to grab at his belt.

Stiles takes his hands off and backs away enough to view Derek standing shirtless before him, unbuckling his belt.

I want this image engraved on my tombstone, Stiles swears to himself.

Derek unbuckles his belt slowly, like he knows what it's doing to Stiles and –

God, he probably does.

Stiles swallows loudly, his Adam's apple bobbing.

Derek's eyes have flickered back to their natural green-gold-blue-grey, though his pupils are still wide and dark and his fangs are still descended. Derek's belt slides out and off, clicking against Stiles' bedroom floor. The sound brings such reality to what's happening, Stiles starts asking himself unknowable questions, like;

How did I get here?

How did he capture Derek Hale's attention? How did he manage to be someone Derek wants? What did he do to make Derek fall in love with him? How is this real and happening? Before anxiety can ruin his mood, Derek's jeans pool on the floor and Stiles can fully appreciate the beautiful, lean lines of Derek's body. Derek's tall legs are strong, dark-haired and Stiles wants them around him.

The outline of Derek's hard-on is pressed against his waist, head pressed beneath the waistband of his dark grey boxer briefs. Stiles' mouth waters, staring at him. Too shocked and fascinated to move, Stiles sits still while Derek moves into his space. He steps directly in front of Stiles, brings his hands around Stiles' face to tilt his head up.

When Stiles' meets his eyes, he combs a hand through the short hair Stiles has managed to grow back and asks, "is this okay, Stiles?"

Stiles nods, mouth slack and tells him, "it's way more than okay."

To make Derek absolutely certain of his intentions, he all but tears his own shirt and jacket off. He pushes himself back on his bed to welcome Derek and Derek follows.

The only light coming in the room is from the streetlamp right outside and the waning Gibbous moon. The moonbeams coat Derek's entire figure and create a daunting, hypnotizing image when Derek moves above him. His shoulder and back muscles stretch and shift so gently and so exactly under the light, over Stiles. His hands come up to the rounds of Derek's upper arms once Derek is entirely on top of him.

He leans down and kisses Stiles gently, sighing like it's the sweetest dream come true. Stiles' fingers curl against Derek's skin as Derek's hands sweep beneath him, taking hold of Stiles' back and pulling him in closer. Stiles smiles into the kisses, feeling overwhelmingly happy, wholly protected and he feels Derek smile back. When he pulls away from kissing Stiles, his incandescent eyes casting blue light on Stiles' face, he whispers, "you're beautiful."

Stiles rolls his eyes and opens his mouth, but Derek stops him by dragging his lips over Stiles' and mumbling closely, "I'm taken with you, Stiles."

Stiles' heart bumps and his hands slide over Derek's chest, glide over his collarbone, eventually cupping either side of his neck. He mutters back, "I'm taken with you."

Derek's smile isn't just visible in the semi-dark, it's breathtaking to Stiles. Devious, lusting, glad and amorous; poetry in motion.

He moves his hips against Derek's, eliciting a phenomenal moan from Derek. He bites lovingly on Derek's bottom lip and tells him, "don't stop. Don't stop."

Derek nods, kisses him again, a little harder and then moves along Stiles' face, his cheek, his jawline, his neck and he stays there, in the hallow of Stiles' neck, for a few long moments, sucking and biting and marking. Stiles gasps under him when he bites, his hands having moved into Derek's hair to grip excitedly.

He keeps his hips moving, even as Derek's hips become unaligned with his while he moves down Stiles' body.

Derek kisses the beauty marks spanning Stiles' upper chest, licking at his collarbone and simultaneously running his thumbs over Stiles' nipples. The first time he does, Stiles takes back one of his hands to cover his mouth with it. Derek picks up his head to see that he's okay and Stiles laughs a little, breathless and he admits, "I've never – I didn't know that would feel like that."

Derek takes Stiles' hand away from his mouth, mimicking something Stiles once did to him and he says, "I want to hear it."

Stiles whines, more turned on than he thinks he's ever been before, feeling Derek's broad, rough, warm palms splaying across his skin and reverently touching every inch of exposed flesh.

Derek takes one of Stiles' nipples into his mouth while the thumb of his right hand rubs over the opposite and Stiles writhes under him. His hips cant up and his hands grab at Derek's hair and neck; blood is fast leaving his skull, making him unbearably harder and when Derek gives a tender bite followed by the sweeping of his tongue, Stiles' moaning breaks off into a wanton cry.

"Oh my God, oh my God, Derek – Derek," he moans, "I want you to fuck me."

"I can do that," Derek offers with a smirk in a deep and sure voice that gives Stiles chills.

Derek gives a last flick of his tongue and thumb on Stiles' chest, watching in fascinated awe, Stiles' stomach muscles twitching and spasm-ing. He runs his hand down Stiles' torso, running the tip of his index finger through the dark hair trailing from the bottom of Stiles' bellybutton to below his waistline. When he reaches it, he curls his fingers around the waistband of Stiles' sweatpants and, knowing he's naked beneath, looks up to Stiles again, silently asking for permission.

Stiles nods vigorously and gasps out, "please."

Derek pulls Stiles' sweatpants down gradually and Stiles' notices that when his full, throbbing cock is brushed with the cool air of the room, Derek's tongue runs over his lips hungrily. When Stiles' pants are off and on the ground, Derek falls back over him. Stiles feels exposed, sensitive and the most intoxicating kind of elated nervousness crackles like electricity in his veins. His body moves when Derek's does, syncing with him unknowingly.

Derek's eyes cast their dangerous light down Stiles' body and back up to his eyes; Stiles bites his bottom lip nervously, searching Derek's eyes for approval. Derek growls and Stiles' brows spring up, unaware of how good that sound would be to his body. Derek's tongue runs over his fangs, extracting a breathy, short noise from Stiles' chest. He leans in closer, one arm propping himself up above Stiles and his other running down Stiles' body from his chest to the incline of his hip.

Stiles shivers and leans more into the touch, begging quietly, "Derek."

His human fingers rake through Stiles' pubic hair, wrist turning so that he can grip Stiles' shaft. As soon as he grips Stiles' cock, it throbs and Stiles moans high in his throat, throwing his head back.

"Derek," he pleads.

Derek falls back down his body and runs his tongue up the length of Stiles' erection, pressing the tip of his tongue against the beautiful veins on the underside. Stiles' gasps and groans fill the room, his shaking hands fisting the sheets on either side of him. While Derek's tongue caresses the head, swirling up and around, so careful in avoiding his fangs, his hands hold both sides of Stiles' hips to keep him from thrusting, further frustrating the boy.

His right hand slides down from Stiles' hipbone, down his thigh, squeezing gently as he maneuvers his hand between Stiles' thighs and beneath him. He sucks on his finger before pushing it between Stiles' cheeks and against his hole that spreads for him so willingly. Derek moans, his forehead falling against Stiles' lower abdomen as he pushes his finger inside him. Stiles groans in time and somehow finds the ability to speak, "C-Christ, Derek – this is going to be over so fast. I want you to –"

"I know. I will," Derek promises, voice torn and growling and restrained, "I'm going to."

He hears Stiles' hand fumble along his bedside table and when he finds his bottle of lube, he puts it down on the bed, within reach of Derek's free hand. Stiles lets out a relieved sigh when Derek pushes a slick, second finger inside him and eventually a third. He confesses, "I was doing this – before you got here."

"I know," Derek tells him cravingly, licking a wide, wet stripe up Stiles' length, "I always know."

"Derek," Stiles prays, "Derek, please."

Derek nods, pulling his body away enough to slip out of his briefs. He leans back on his calves, his knees forward; before he can slick himself, though, Stiles' mouth is on him.

His hand comes down onto Stiles' shoulder for support, unprepared for Stiles' sinful mouth to wrap around him and swallow him down so readily. His body tightens up familiarly; he pets the back of Stiles' head and whispers, "Stiles – Stiles, you have to stop. I'm gonna come."

Stiles makes an agreeable moan that vibrates through Derek's entire body and he moans in return, letting his head loll back. He closes his eyes, lets himself melt into the feel of Stiles' dexterous hands groping at his hipbones and thighs, tongue swirling around him eagerly. Then he curses and pushes back on Stiles' shoulder until Stiles' pulls away, keeping Derek in his mouth until it's entirely impossible to; a string of saliva links Stiles' glistening, kiss-swollen lips to the head of Derek's cock and it makes both their cocks bob.

When Stiles falls back against the bed, Derek spreads his legs and lifts him by the small of his back. He lets out a quiet, surprised noise before Derek's hot tongue finds the rim of his hole. Stiles bucks his hips against the flat press of Derek's tongue, his toes curl and his legs spread further apart without much intentional thought to do so. There's slaver wetting the corners of his mouth, his tongue feels thick and he can still taste the flavor of Derek's skin and he wants more.

His mind is going numb with carnal pleasure, he hardly hears himself making the urgent, shameless noises that are spilling from him.

Stiles' is only vaguely aware of the transition from that to being pressed against his blankets, legs pushed back towards his chest. He sees his calves framing Derek's shoulders, admires the glorious, firm, muscled form of Derek's body curling over him and then he feels the press of Derek against him, thick and hot. Derek's eyes are mostly their natural kaleidoscope colors, but they are flecked with electric turquoise, still fighting for control. He realizes that Derek is looking to him for consent and he nods again, unable to speak.

Derek's eyes, half-lidded, flit over Stiles' face and he asks, "can I kiss you?"

"Yes," Stiles smiles, "Yeah, you can."

Derek bends further down and takes Stiles' bottom lip between his. To Stiles, everything tastes dully of skin, sweat and a natural, aroused flavor that coincides with the male, musty scent that comes from all their erogenous zones. For Derek, his nostrils and mouth are full of that, but more than that, Stiles' natural scents that drive him to that sharp edge of desire he's sliding over now.

When he breaks their kiss, he keeps his face close to Stiles', nose touching his and he slides inside.

He moves in at an agonizingly gradual pace, vying for control over his instincts and wanting to be gentle. The clench and burning heat of Stiles' body tests his discipline, but once he bottoms out, Stiles' voice comes scratchy and lewd like a fantasy Derek has had, "Derek, fuck me, please."

"Stiles," Derek murmurs, sweat misting his back and neck.

He makes his thrusts a little deeper, a little harder and the sounds Stiles makes are music to him. He moves his hands to Stiles' hips and adjusts him just a little, angles him just so and it extracts a loud "ah!" from Stiles' parted lips. Derek keeps at that angle, rolling his hips and focusing the last vestiges of his control on not coming immediately at the sounds Stiles is erupting with.

Stiles' sweating palms hold fast onto Derek's upper arms and he suddenly begins to stutter, "oh, God, oh, God, fu—w-wait, wait."

Derek stops all his movement, hips flush against Stiles' ass and he looks to Stiles' eyes fluttering open. There's a tear rolling from the corner of his right eye, but before Derek can worry, Stiles' asks, h-how are you doing that?"

Derek looks confused at the posed question and Stiles shows his throat, tilting his head back and moaning, "God, I've never… I've never felt something like this."

Derek's rough voice comes sweetly, "good, though?"

"So good, Derek," Stiles practically weeps, "So good."

After a few beats of steadying breath, Stiles tells him he can move again and he does, harder and faster than before until Stiles chants, "Christ, gonna – Derek, I'm gonna come, don't stop – don't stop."

Like Derek could.

When Stiles comes, untouched, the scent striping Stiles' abs and chest washes Derek over with a primal need and while Stiles is in the throes of his orgasm, he barely has the ability to ask, "can I come in you?"

"Yes, God, yes, Derek," Stiles moans.

Derek hardly lasts another thrust before he's coming, feeling Stiles' muscles spasm around him.

Stiles feels Derek shudder as he comes down from his orgasm and hears him sigh with gratification.

They stay intertwined like that until their hearts slow down to a normal rate.

When Derek does pull out of Stiles, he watches Stiles' face for any sign of discomfort before leaving him to bring back a wet towel. He cleans himself off and wipes between Stiles' cheeks and over his torso where Stiles' cum landed. He tosses the towel aside when he's done and falls beside Stiles with a peaceful exhale.

He's still somehow unprepared for Stiles to curl his body against his, still surprised to hear Stiles sigh sleepily against his chest. He lets his arm come around Stiles' back and he gazes lovingly at the blush still coloring Stiles' cheeks and ears. He turns his face to kiss Stiles' forehead and Stiles opens his eyes to look up at him. He smiles, looking sweet and satisfied.

"I love you," Derek tells him, calmly and now, like they have all the time in the world to say those words again and again.

Stiles kisses his cheek and replies, "I love you back."

Derek has the best sleep of his life (thus far), beside Stiles like that. He's awake before the Sheriff is home; Derek makes sure the two of them are decent before Stiles' father stumbles his way into the house, exhausted.

It's three days after that when Derek asks for formal permission to date Stiles and the Sheriff grants it gladly.

Scott gives his blessings with a friendly pat on the back and Lydia is highly disappointed when Derek refuses to disclose every detail of their first sexual encounter.

The pack rejoices in them being together and it brings Derek a special kind of pride he's never felt before.

He holds Stiles' hand in public, Stiles wears his jacket to school some days and dark marks on Stiles' neck become a regular decoration.

Derek takes him on dates every Friday night and when Derek's on-duty, Stiles will leave the pack waiting on the sidewalk to lean in through the driver's window of the cruiser and kiss him. He cooks in Derek's kitchen, even watches hours of HGTV beside him on the couch in the loft, despite his arguments that it's dorky and its target audience is menopausal women.

The same day Scott tells the pack he's staying in Beacon Hills, Stiles tells Derek he's staying for his A.A. also.

Rather than fighting him on it, trying to force Stiles to make a decision he might deem wiser or safer, Derek tells Stiles he has faith in Stiles to make the best decisions for himself and that he'll support him all the way, no matter what he decides.

Stiles marches away from him, making Derek think he's mad, but then he turns around, runs and jumps onto Derek to tackle him in an uncomfortably tight hug.

Isaac and Malia stay, though Lydia joins Jackson at a renowned university in the UK and she promises Derek she'll visit often and eventually come back.

He doesn't feel alone, though and while Stiles is applying online for classes in the upcoming semester at B.H.C.C, sitting at Derek's kitchen table and biting his lip, Scott mentions from the living room couch, "it's still so weird to see you so Zen, Derek. I'm really proud of you."

Derek smiles to himself, turns away and accidentally meets Stiles' loving gaze. Stiles winks and Derek feels like he's finally made it home.

He doesn't see the burnt husk of his childhood home anymore, but a graveyard that he used to live in. He doesn't cringe when he thinks of Laura anymore, but he smiles and speaks of her whenever she comes to mind. He doesn't have visions of Paige dying in his arms anymore, but he does occasionally share a story or two about what trouble they'd get up to together. He doesn't hoard the memories of his family like a dark secret anymore, but bestows his parents' wisdom unto Scott whenever they have a heart-to-heart.

His loft gradually takes on the mixed scents of his pack members (most notably, Stiles'), his work as a deputy earns him a much better reputation in the community and his car's glove compartment ends up full of mixes Stiles makes him.

And sure, there are monsters still and darkness and confusion and things aren't always perfect, but they come pretty damn close. Derek supposes it's a matter of perception.

Because Derek doesn't see wolves again where they do not exist – flowers bloom where there was once barren land and while the light is dim and the path is narrow, he can read his compass clearly.

He knows where he's going.