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The paint’s supposed to go where?

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“I’m sorry, what was this for again?” Stiles asked while he allowed Derek to manhandle him around however he pleased. Not that the manhandling was anything new, given Derek had always manhandled him around in the past, and did so in the bedroom now all the time. But this was a different kind of manhandling, and Stiles didn’t know what to make of it. 

It wasn’t the aggressive ‘I hate you’ manhandling of their youth. It wasn’t the ‘get the fuck out of here’ manhandling he was used to receiving whenever their lives were in danger. It wasn’t the ‘I’m going to eat you up and make you moan until you forget your own name’ manhandling that Derek always brought out in the bedroom. 

No, this was more... positioning. Derek manhandling him in a specific way to get him how he wanted him. Not to protect him, or get him away, or even to make him lose his mind with pleasure. It was just... positioning. It was weird. 

Stiles didn’t mind, it was just weird. 

“My final project,” Derek said, shifting Stiles again about a literal centimetre to the left. It had barely changed anything, why was Derek being so picky?! 

And he’d fixed Stiles’ hair at least eight times. Which would normally be fine, but it had been eight times in eight fucking minutes

Oh, nine times. Nine now, because Derek’s hands were in his hair again. 

“You know, if we weren’t already dating, I’d have started to wonder if this wasn’t a ruse to get me naked in your loft with your hands all over me,” Stiles informed him.

Because that was what he was. Naked in the loft. Literally bare as the day he’d been born. He hadn’t exactly been expecting this when his boyfriend had asked for help with his final project, but as long as his goods stayed hidden, he could deal. 

“If we weren’t already dating, you’d have jumped at the chance to be naked in front of me,” Derek breathed in his ear from behind, biting at the shell. 

Goosebumps broke out across Stiles’ skin and he scowled and shrugged Derek off. “Do you want me to get hard while you’re trying to finish this? Stop that.” 

Derek’s chuckle was dark, and sinful, and positively evil, but he did thankfully pull away and go back to whatever it was he was doing. Stiles honestly didn’t know, he’d just walked in to a huge wall of splattered paint, more paint cans and brushes by the dining table, and an order to strip. 

Honestly, Stiles was glad. Not about the being naked thing in the living room of the loft for Derek to use him for a project, but about Derek having a project. For school

He’d dropped out a few years back when everything had happened with Laura and Peter and all that. After things had mostly settled down, he had his own pack to deal with, plus all the dangers that had come to town. It had been years since the thought of university had crossed his mind, but once the Betas all graduated and headed off in their own directions for school, Derek had been left to think about his future. 

They were all back now, having always intended to come home to their Alpha once they’d graduated, but Stiles and Derek had spoken a lot while they’d been apart, which was how they’d started dating. And also how Derek had confessed he wished he’d gone to university. 

As soon as Stiles was back in town, he’d immediately gotten to work helping Derek choose a school and a major, even though the Alpha dragged his feet the entire time. Stiles knew it was because he was worried he would fail, like he’d failed everything else in his life, but Stiles was stubborn. He wasn’t going to let Derek talk himself out of something he very clearly wanted, so he pushed and pushed and finally got him moving. 

He joined the university just an hour out from Beacon Hills, mostly taking online classes, though one a semester was physically on campus. He stuck to his major for the most part, but when he hit his final year, he decided he wanted to do one course just for fun. 

So he’d taken an art course.

Cue Stiles standing naked in Derek’s living room. He was glad Derek liked it so much. 

Actually, Derek was surprisingly good at art. A shocking revelation, considering the state of his loft, but ever since he’d started, he’d been using his walls and other various bland surfaces—including the fridge—as a canvas, and the place looked really cool. Derek’s professor had actually bought two of his pieces, and there had been a lot of talk about him continuing with his art once he graduated. 

Stiles didn’t really get the whole contemporary art thing, he didn’t have the eye for it, but he could appreciate that Derek’s pieces were nice. He always had a really good balance of colour, and his themes were interesting. 

Apparently this one was about desire, so Stiles was pretty happy to be included, considering. 

“Okay,” Derek said, coming up beside him and holding out the can of blue paint. “Dip your palms in this.” 

“Why?” Stiles asked, even as he stuck his right hand into the can and coated it in the blue substance. “Also, why are you making me move when it means you’re going to have to reposition me just right all over again?” 

“Because I was only doing that to drive you crazy,” Derek insisted with a sassy smirk. Damn that sassy bastard! “We’re both going to be moving for this.” 

“Okay,” Stiles said uncertainly, his left hand now coated in paint. “Why?” 

“Because I’m using this as inspiration for the piece I’m going to do.” Derek’s eyebrows rose as he set the can back down out of the way and started stripping himself. “You honestly think I was going to let anyone see you naked? Wolves are territorial, I don’t even like it when you go swimming, because people ogle you.” 

“People don’t ogle me.” Stiles rolled his eyes, holding his paint-covered hands out awkwardly. Then he paused, and said, “Wait, do people ogle me?” 

Derek didn’t deem that worthy of a response. He just pulled off his boxer-briefs, then moved quickly towards the tripod he’d set up with his astronomically expensive camera perched on top. Stiles had looked up the cost of it, and he was not exaggerating when he said it cost more than his Jeep. 

Sure, his Jeep was almost forty years old, but that wasn’t the point! 

Derek had set up some plastic over the back part where all the buttons were, and Stiles didn’t understand until his boyfriend bent down to dip his own hands into red paint. 

“Uh, you gonna tell me what we’re doing?” 

“These shots are about desire, so I guess put your hands on me everywhere you like touching. My first touch is going to be right on your ass.” 

Derek straightened, hands dripping paint, and carefully pressed on a button on his camera, the shutter clicking once, then pausing for a second before clicking again as Derek hurried over to him.

Stiles just stared at him, mouth hanging open. 

“On my—wait, I’m sorry, one second. The paint’s supposed to go where?” 

“You’re wasting time, the paint’s gonna dry.” 

Before Stiles could say anything else, Derek had moved in front of him, wrapped his arms around him and, true to his word, grabbed two handfuls of ass, smirking cheekily. Stiles spluttered at the feel of paint that action left behind and immediately slapped his own hands on Derek’s pecs, palms smack dab against his nipples. 

“You touch my dick with that paint, I’ll kill you, paint’s a bitch to get out of pubes,” Stiles said. 

“Are you speaking from experience?” Derek asked, eyebrows raised, even as his hands travelled up his spine and one of them grabbed the back of his neck. 

“Shut up, none of your business,” Stiles insisted, letting his hands drag down along Derek’s skin and around to his waist. 

Actually, once the weirdness of the paint had worn off, it was kind of fun. Stiles’ hands dragged across Derek’s skin, and every now and then, Derek would go back to stop the camera, get them both new paint colours, and then start it up again. 

Eventually, hands were dragging through hair, and they’d started making out at one point, and Stiles almost fell over which would’ve sucked because they would’ve ended up out of frame though it probably would’ve also led to sex so, kind of a loss. 

It felt like the project took hours, but in a good way. They were both covered in various different colours of paint by the time Derek called it a day. Stiles wrapped himself up in the tarp Derek had laid out on the floor because he was cold and then sat with him while they scrolled through all the pictures on the camera. 

They actually looked amazing, and Stiles felt like he could understand why Derek wanted to do this for inspiration. He did notice that he’d kept Stiles’ back to the camera the whole time, like he wanted to be sure that no matter what, the most anyone got from Stiles was a view of his paint covered butt. 

And Derek had really gone to town with that one, virtually every different colour he’d dipped his hands into present on some part of Stiles’ ass. That and his neck. Derek’s two favourite places to touch him. 

“So what now?” Stiles asked. 

“Now I get it from picture to canvas,” Derek said, leaning over to kiss Stiles’ temple. “And we go shower before this paint never comes off.” 

“Yeah, way to go for the hair,” Stiles muttered. 

“At least I avoided the pubes, though I am very interested to know how you got paint there.” 

“Yeah, I’m taking that one to the grave,” Stiles informed him, getting to his feet and dropping the tarp. “Race you to the hot water.” 

“I’m getting that story out of you!” Derek insisted, even as he ran after Stiles towards the bathroom. 

Stiles felt like Derek was going to have to tolerate paint everywhere, because there was no way they were going to clean off in the shower and not make a mess. 

He couldn’t wait to see what the final product Derek came up with looked like, even if he secretly thought nothing would look better than the pictures. 

He’d have to find a way to steal them off his camera.