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Who Knew

Chapter Text

Stiles grinned down at the laptop on his desk. Now that he'd got his results from school, he'd received his official acceptance emails from his University choices. He was going to University! Now he just had to decide which one. His reserve choice had been Beacon County University - obviously. And his first choice had been Yale… but he'd never expected to actually get into an Ivy League school. Especially not with his exceptionally lacking extracurricular activities. Stiles re-read the email again and again in disbelief… surely it had to have been sent by mistake.

He logged into UCAS to find that, nope, his status confirmed what his email had said. He had been accepted into Yale and, holy shit, he hadn't been preparing for that!

Stiles buried his head in his hands, unable to keep the grin off his face. He had a little while yet to confirm which University he was going to attend in September. And so now, he supposed, it was time to do a little research. The eighteen-year-old cracked his knuckles, took some more Adderall, and got to looking up everything there was to know about Yale.

His Dad, who had been there when he'd first checked his email and must have congratulated him and wandered off while Stiles was still in shock, was currently on the phone downstairs and chatting away to someone about Stiles' acceptance emails. He had to assume this person was Melissa considering fifteen minutes later Scott was bursting into his bedroom with a put-upon smile and rather sad eyes.

"So… you're not going to BCU? Congratulations," Scott murmured with false happiness and Stiles shrugged.

"I dunno, man. I mean… it's Yale! How could I not accept the offer" he answered while making a swooping hand gesture to emphasise how big an opportunity this was and Scott nodded, solemnly. "But… if I go to BCU then I get my entire course paid for. If I choose Yale then I have to find half of the money myself. And then there's the expectation for me to join a club and get involved with the Student Union… do I really want to do that? Plus, have you seen the basic living costs in Connecticut? There's no way I could afford that. I'd have to live in halls for my first year because it's cheaper. But then there is all the noise that comes from everybody coming back from clubs at four in the morning! And I'd have to share a room! What if I get stuck with someone I don't like? What if he takes my pillow?! You know I can't sleep without my pillow!"

Stiles realised that he was stressing out and he saw and heard Scott trying to calm him down. But it wasn't getting through to him.

"Who knows how long it would take me to get used to another pillow! I could be awake for days! That would seriously affect my work output. I could die of exhaustion. Literally! You can't go much more than eleven days without sleep! And what if I did survive to the end of the year? Second years aren't allowed to live in halls and there is no way that I could afford an apartment in Connecticut! And, if by some miracle, I'm able to find a place seedy enough for me to afford, there is no way I could keep my car. Oh God! My car… I'd have to -"

"Stiles!" Scott shouted and shook him out of his endless ramblings. Stiles' heart was beating hard and fast in his chest, his breathing nothing more than short gasps. He hadn't been having a panic attack but a little longer and it might have become one. Stiles realised he was standing in the middle of his room and idly wondered when he'd moved from sitting at his desk. Maybe he'd been pacing? He waited for his heart rate to return to normal again before putting on a smile and thanking Scott.

"There also won't be you at Yale… I don't think I'd be able to cope" Stiles said and Scott grinned at him in return - his first real smile since entering the room. Scott let go of the grip he had on Stiles' shoulder and took a step back.

"So… you are going to Beacon County?"

"I don't know. Maybe?" It would be cool if he could go to Yale, but it just didn't really seem plausible.

[] [] []

Luckily his Dad hadn't told anyone else about Stiles being accepted to Yale because, after a few hours of research, Stiles decided for good that BCU was his best option. The campus was about two hours' drive from his house in Beacon Hills and so he still needed to move closer. He briefly reconsidered staying in halls to save some money. But the thought of sharing a room with a stranger wasn't comforting. Plus, he didn't want to take any chances with his sanity that his rommie wouldn't be a vindictive pillow thief… the bastard. It also made more sense to have a place he could stay in for more than a year; where he wouldn't be ushered out, along with all the other second year students, to make room for the freshers.

That's why he currently found himself at half nine on a Saturday morning, with his Dad, wandering from apartment building to apartment building. His Dad was evil and dragged him out of bed - quite literally - at seven o'clock. On at Saturday. And Stiles would have been more than happy to just put a deposit down on the first one they saw so they could make the two-hour long drive back and he could curl back into bed to awaken at a more decent time. But no… his Dad was determined to take a look at every place available within a thirty-minute walk from the University Campus. That was surprisingly a lot of apartment buildings.

And the Sheriff didn't like any of them. They was either a lack of parking, or they were too far away from the high street, or they were too close to the high street. There was graffiti on the opposite building to the apartment or the road was too quaint and so obviously filled with drug dealers… It took longer than it should have for Stiles to realise that his Dad was just freaking out about him leaving home.

The Sheriff pulled into the parking lot of the seventh apartment building. It was now the middle of the day and Stiles was starving, so when he spotted the café next door he forcefully pulled his Dad into it and sat him down at a table.

"You know, it didn't take us much longer than an hour and a half to get here" Stiles began talking after he sat down with his Dad after buying two coffees and two chicken baguettes. "Sure, it's farther away than ideal but there's no reason I can't come back down to visit every few weeks"

The Sheriff looked like he was ready to argue a point when he paused, sighed deeply and took a big bite out of his baguette.

"The house is going to be so quiet without you there"

"Maybe you can finally get some rest" Stiles joked but felt bad about how much of a hassle he had been; he was better lately, had calmed down some, but he still put his Dad through hell and high water on occasion. The Sheriff smiled tightly and took a sip of his coffee as Stiles began to tuck into his own food.

"Damn, this is good coffee" his Dad muttered into the mug – Stiles took a sip and instantly agreed because that was amazing.

After ten minutes they had both finished their food and drinks and made their way towards the apartment building – Hale Apartments. The building was fairly big and, from the amount of mail lockers, had about twenty apartments. Stiles threw himself onto the soft brown leather sofa next to the lockers as his Dad went to find the Landlord. After a few minutes a tall guy wandered into the building and towards the lockers. Stiles' sleep-deprived brain took a few seconds before he recognised the blond curls and shy, angelic smile.

"Hey, Stiles right?" Isaac asked once they made eye contact and Stiles nodded – greeting him with his own 'hey'. "Do you live here too?"

"Not yet. I'm apartment hunting, ready for Uni to start up… but I'm already half sold on this place based on the great café next door" Stiles explained and Isaac laughed as he opened his mail locker.

"Yeah, one of my friends works there so we get a discount" Isaac muttered and laughed at Stiles' jealous-ridden face.

"So, you're going to go to BCU as well?" Stiles asked.

"Yeah, I'm surprised you are though. Weren't your grades one of the highest in the year? I thought you'd go somewhere bigger"

"And you graduated a semester early. Why didn't you go somewhere bigger?" Stiles said because he didn't know what Isaac's grades were, but they had to have been good if he graduated early. There was a change in Isaac's expression now though; it was subtle, a little less relaxed and a little darker. And then he changed the topic.

"Anyway, this place is great. Also, in high demand so if you like it you should act quickly"

"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind" Stiles replied and Isaac smiled before walking away with his mail in hand. Not long later the Sheriff returned. Stiles' Dad ushered him into the hall where the owner of Hale Apartments said he would meet them in a moment. Once Stiles opened the door, however, he realised that the 'hall' was actually a library… and it was amazing. There were several sofas and chairs dotted around the large room with every wall covered, ceiling to floor, with book shelves. And the books ranged from textbooks to fiction; J K Rowling to Kathy Reichs. There was even a couple of shelves filled completely with comic books.

It was heaven.

Stiles' nose was buried inside a Human Anatomy degree level text book when the Landlord arrived moments later. He was too fascinated in what he was reading about the retina of the eye to really pay any attention to the man who had just joined them. Stiles didn't even notice how attractive he was until the Sheriff was pulling the book out of his hands, putting it back on the shelf and guiding him back to the foyer. That's when he really saw the tall muscular man with brown eyes and dark hair who oozed confidence, looked like he could bench press Stiles' truck and was laughing at him because of how he had complained when the book was taken away from him.

Fuck. Stiles suddenly felt like a complete idiot. The man was gorgeous and he'd unintentionally ignored him and acted like a nerd – Stiles might have had the slightest chance with him but now he would never want to date him.

"Stiles this is Johnathon" his Dad said as the man handed over the key to apartment 3D – the only one still available. Stiles muttered a quiet 'nice to meet you' to Johnathon who smiled in amusement at him.

"I assume you can find your way to the apartment?" Johnathon said as they arrived at the elevator and he pressed the 'up' button. The Sheriff nodded, "good. Well I'll be in the office when you're done" he said and turned to walk away. Stiles kind of wished he could watch him go but his Dad was there and he hadn't yet come out to him as Bisexual… he's not even sure why not; it's not like his Dad is homophobic – he wouldn't think any different of Stiles if he knew. But he still just couldn't work up the courage to tell him yet.

They walked through 3D together. It wasn't the biggest apartment he'd seen today but it wasn't the smallest either. He'd have his own kitchen which was great, no one would be able to steal his food. There were three rooms: bedroom, bathroom and living room / kitchen. The living room was probably a little bigger than his bedroom back home so there was plenty of space for have friends around. The bedroom and bathroom were pretty small but that's a price he's willing to pay for access to the amazing library downstairs and the brilliant café next door.

He didn't allow his Dad any time to think up any problems with the place before he was pulling him downstairs to sign a lease and put down a deposit.

Chapter Text

Stiles took a look around his bedroom; it had never been so empty before. Everything was packed up in boxes and ready to go. His nerves were bubbling inside of him and he was stuck between the urge to leave now and start his adult life and the need to unpack his blanket and pillow and stay here forever. Before Stiles could decide which urge was strongest there was a soft knock on the door and the Sheriff walked in. He took a look around at the blank room with a sad smile.

"You ready?" He asked and Stiles nodded. His throat was burning slightly like he needed to cry and Stiles was certain that if he started speaking then tears would start falling – he wasn't good at goodbyes, okay! And even though he was just moving out the apartment, he would be too far away for regular visits back home and his Dad's work hours were too hectic for them to see each other very often. The Sheriff nodded to himself for a moment before picking up the nearest box and taking it downstairs. Stiles followed with a box of his own and they both took them out to the van that his Dad had hired for the day.

Scott arrived then and happily helped them move Stiles' boxes into the van. It didn't take long until everything that Stiles owned – TV included – was inside and ready to go.

"Scott, do you mind waiting here with the van? I need to talk to Stiles for a moment" the Sheriff said and Scott nodded helpfully. Stiles was unsure what his Dad was about to say and his mind suddenly jumped to all the things he'd done over the past few years – worrying that maybe his Dad had found out about one of them. He nervously followed the Sheriff back inside and to the living room where his Dad picked up a small square box and handed it to him. Stiles looked down at the object for a moment before opening it and finding a gold ring inside it. 'Claudia' was engraved delicately on the thick band.

"I wanted you to have something of hers" the Sheriff said, emotions thick in his voice. "It's Russian gold. I don't remember how many karats – it says somewhere on the inside of the band. Your Grandad gave it to her for her twenty-first birthday. It meant a lot to her… and she'd want you to have it." Stiles' eyes blurred as he took the ring out of the box and put it on the little finger of his right hand. He then pulled his Dad into as tight a hug as he could to say thank you.

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Scott and the Sheriff helped Stiles carry the boxes up from the van to his new apartment, they stay a couple of hours and eat some chicken salad that Stiles had prepared and put into old takeaway containers to bring with them (he didn't care how emotional the day had been – he wasn't about to let his Dad get away with eating grease while he was around) but soon enough it began to get late and his Dad needed to leave to get home on time for work. Stiles shared another bone-crushing hug with his Dad and Scott before they left and he was alone. It was disconcerting being in a strange city, hours away from home, all by yourself. Stiles took a moment to just breath and calm down before getting to work on his unpacking. About forty minutes after Scott and his Dad left there was a knock on his door. Stiles' head popped up from where it was behind the TV, setting up his games consoles and cautiously went to answer it.

On the other side stood Isaac with two other people from Beacon Hills High School, Erica and Boyd, and a short blonde girl with vibrant blue dip-dyed hair who Stiles had never met before.

"Hey" Isaac said with a wide smile. "I saw you were moving in earlier and we were just going out for pizza and noticed the van was gone… so, thought you might wanna join us?"

"Yeah, thanks, that'd be great. Seriously, I'm starving" Stiles said with a grin. He moved to grab his jacket and wallet from where he'd dropped them onto his new sofa before turning around and leaving with them.

"I'm Sarah, by the way" the blond girl said. Stiles smiled at her; she was pretty, wearing nude make-up and a baggy Metallica band shirt over mid-thigh, ripped, denim shorts. When she started walking Stiles could hear the clack of heals and he looked down, noticing that she was wearing high-heeled, black and red stiletto calf boots – without heels on she couldn't have been much taller than five foot. Stiles thought that was actually pretty adorable, which was odd considering she looked like she could, and would, kick his ass. Stiles greeted her and the five of them all turned towards the elevator.

"So, are you guys going to BCU as well?" Stiles asked Boyd, Erica and Sarah.

"Yep" Erica replied, popping her 'p'.

"Sarah's actually just about to start her third year" Boyd added and Sarah beamed.

"Yeah, very nearly over"

The pizza place they went to was only a few minutes' walk away and they chatted about the Uni as they walked. The four of them were obviously close friends and it felt nice that they even thought to include Stiles, especially since he'd never really talked to them much before. But in the few times they had talked, they'd all seemed… different. Erica was obviously the biggest change – people at school had said it was new medicine for her epilepsy; it made her feel better, which made her more confident. It was pretty great how just one thing could completely change someone. Isaac seemed less drawn in on himself, happier. Boyd just seemed… comfortable. In a way he never had done before.

"I never knew you guys were friends" Stiles mentioned in a lull in conversation when they were sitting in a booth after ordering their pizzas.

"We weren't. Not until around February, anyway" Isaac replied and Stiles tried not to show his confusion – it was a little odd that they became friends after Isaac had graduated and moved to an apartment two hours' drive away.

"Speaking of, did anyone else get the text from Derek?" Erica asked the group who nodded, "I can't wait for Friday now" she continued with a grin and Stiles was about to ask about it when the waiter showed up. It took a few minutes for everyone to get the right pizza and side orders, then they were asked about sauces and drink refills. By the time everything was sorted out they had all forgot what they'd just been talking about and dug into their food.

[] [] []

The next day Stiles spends unpacking. Just yesterday he was envious of Scott not moving into his room on campus until the day before Fresher's week began, because he had extra time at home with friends and family – but Stiles had an extra week of unpacking and getting ready for Uni that Scott wouldn't have. Scott would have to get everything put away in a rush because he was going to have a roommate and so couldn't leave his boxes lying around for days on end.

It got closer to midday and Stiles was getting hungry – he wanted to break out a ready meal but his Dad had decided to get back at him for all the years he'd spent forcing the Sheriff to eat healthy by buying Stiles' first shopping load. His fridge was filled with nothing but fruit, veg, the odd bit of meat and loads of herbs and spices… he'd have to actually make something.

Stiles frowned as he began peeling potatoes to boil. He found the cookbook that his Dad had, lovingly, bought him and cooked the mincemeat with the spices for cottage pie. Twenty minutes later he put the meat and potatoes into a glass dish and put it in the oven… but the oven was cold.

Stiles looked at the heat setting it was on and then at his watch. It should be hot by now. He decided to leave it another five minutes and check again. And nope, definitely not working. He turned it off before leaving the apartment to go find Johnathon. He knocked on apartment 1A – which he'd been told when he picked up his key, was the landlord's apartment. He still felt embarrassed when Johnathon opened the door and Stiles remembered exactly how stupid he'd acted when they first met in the library.

When Stiles was done explaining about the problem with his oven Johnathon nodded and said he'd send someone to fix it in the next few days.

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Days later and the oven was still broken – no one had even showed up to fix it. Stiles was a little bit annoyed – he'd been eating salad for almost every meal, excluding the times that Isaac and Sarah had showed up (Erica and Boyd still lived in Beacon Hills until Fresher's week – they'd just happened to be visiting Isaac Stiles' first day).

He tried to find Johnathon again but he was never around and/or ignoring Stiles' knocks on his door. Other things had also been breaking and Stiles was getting really stressed. There had been a few times when he thought of calling his Dad to help but he knew that the Sheriff was useless when it came to this kind of stuff. Stiles was no good either. And calling someone else to fix it wasn't down to Stiles because they were broke or breaking when he moved in. So he refused to do that either.

[] [] []

Stiles took one last look at the piece of paper on the notice board before turning to the hall. The paper was informing all residents of the building meeting that was about to begin and Stiles had been looking forward to it for days - finally, a chance to talk to Johnathon and get some of the mess sorted out with his apartment. He stumbled across the foyer and towards the door that lead into the large library referred to as the hall.

The door was open when Stiles got to it and he peered inside. The sofas that normally lined the far walls were moved more to the centre to make a circle with the chairs that were usually dotted around. Several tables were pushed out of the way and stacked up against the bookcase to the left.

One man sat in the room already. He was sitting on the red sofa and Stiles could only half make out his features. Until the man turned to face him and dear sweet Jesus he was hot. Like, uncomfortably attractive. He was wearing a cream coloured henley shirt that hugged his bulging arm muscles and accented his tanned skin tone. The man had a bit of stubble over his face which, paired with his muscles, the leather jacket thrown against the back of the sofa and his slightly spiked hair style gave him an air of danger. His face looked like it had been hand carved by a sculptor to look like a Greek God of sex… okay, Stiles didn't know much – anything – about Greek Gods, but there had to be one for sex, right? And if there was then it was bound to look like the man sitting on the sofa in front of him.

The second the man made eye contact Stiles took a step into the room. He most definitely hadn't seen this man before. He'd remember. So he must be a new resident.

"Are you, er, here for the building meeting?" Stiles asked from where he was still standing just inside the door way. The man nodded and turned his gaze away from Stiles to look at his hands.

"Yeah, I'm just waiting for everyone else to show up" He answered and wow, what a voice. Stiles may have only seen him for all of ten seconds but he was already developing a crush – no, he was an adult now. Adults didn't get 'crushes', he was developing attraction. There. But the mystery man just continued to stare down at his hands - maybe about to get lost back into his own world. That didn't sit right with Stiles. He had to get to know this stranger. Stiles rattled his brain for what he could say next that wouldn't make him sound completely stupid and might even leave a good impression. He decided on the first thing that came to mind. This guy lived in the building too which meant he had to have experienced some problems with it. This could be a bonding experience.

"Well, let me tell you, I've got a few things to say to the landlord when he shows up." Stiles said as he began to pace slightly around the room, not quite feeling comfortable standing still and felt triumphant when the mystery guy lifted his head to once again look in Stiles' direction.

"Oh?" The guy shrugged questioningly, "like what?"

"Well, my water pressure's terrible. My oven's broken. And that's just the start" Stiles said, throwing in a couple of hand gestures to emphasise his point. He felt quite pleased with himself, there was quite a few things wrong with his apartment - nothing too bad, but still annoying. And yet he had resisted ranting so he didn't seem negative and resisted going off topic so he didn't seem crazy. All in all, he was doing okay. "Do you want me to keep going? Because I can. For like an hour." Okay… so maybe he didn't need to add that last part in. But you know… baby steps. The guy was just looking at him and Stiles suddenly had the urge to take everything back. He'd messed up and he had barely even said a thing. "Sorry, I've dumped all of this on you and I don't even know your name." Smooth, Stilinski, smooth.

"It's Derek Hale, actually… I own the building"

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Stiles stared at the guy - Derek Hale, as in Hale Apartments… just… just fuck! - in complete silence. Derek was looking back at him and had a small apologetic smile on his face that simultaneously made Stiles want to recoil (because crap!) and made him want to drool because smiling made Derek even more attractive. How is that even possible?! But it wasn't like anything was going to become of him and this extremely attractive guy now because he couldn't just shut up and act like a normal person. And now he was probably going to get kicked out and his Dad was going to have to come up here to spend another day going through all the other apartment buildings, again… as if that wasn't bad enough the first time.

"Well… okay. Then I'm Isaac Lahey and I live in 3B, wear too many scarves and am in no way affiliated with Stiles Stilinski. Whoever that is" He muttered because, well, seems he can't help himself. And he was frozen in spot from where he'd been previously pacing from side to side. Which was really bad because he just wanted to leave, bury his head in his bed and forget who Derek Hale was.

But… somehow… Derek just smiled at him. And it had amusement in it now and that was… something?

"I've been in South Africa for the past few months visiting my sister and haven't been keeping up with my duties. I asked my brother, Johnathon, to look over the place for me. But, it seems he's done about as good a job as I should have expected," Derek explained and Stiles returned his smile cautiously, hoping that, just maybe, he wouldn't get evicted for bitching out his incredibly hot landlord. "If you give me a list, I'll be more than happy to sort everything out" Derek continued and then waited for Stiles' response. He just nodded and so Derek picked up the notepad that was sitting next to him and a pen from his leather jacket, then handed them both to Stiles. "I'm assuming you're Stiles Stilinski then?"

"Er, yeah… look I'm sorry about – . " He began to apologise but Derek just held up a hand to stop him.

"You don't have to apologise" he said and Stiles nodded before taking the nearest seat – which happened to be a few chairs over from where Derek sat. "If you could write your name and apartment number at the top of the page, that'd be great." Stiles nodded and started listing everything broken. The room was silent for barely a couple of seconds before other tenants began to fill in, greeting Derek with a smile, handshake and a welcome back. Stiles inwardly cursed, why couldn't they have been here a bit earlier to stop him from making a dick of himself? He could just tell today was going to be a moment that he would be cringing about for years to come.

[] [] []

After the meeting was over, Stiles planned to just leave the notepad on the table in front and slip out of the room unnoticed. But Isaac had other ideas. He'd sat next to Derek on the sofa during the meeting and the second it was over he was calling Stiles over to introduce them.

"Derek, this is Stiles." Isaac beamed.

"We've already met" Derek replied as he smiled widely back, with amusement in his eyes. Isaac's face fell.

"Oh God, Stiles. What've you done now?" Which was insulting, okay. Just because they'd met didn't mean that Stiles had fucked up already… which, okay, he totally had. But Isaac shouldn't have been able to jump to that conclusion yet – they'd only really been friends for the past week.

Derek laughed a little bit and, wow, wasn't that attractive. He should always be laughing. Always.

"Have you got the list?" Derek asked instead of answering Isaac's question. Stiles smiled shyly and handed over the notebook and pen. "I'm sorry, again, about all of this" Derek mentioned as his eyes flicked over the list. "The last tenant left the place in a bit of a state. I told Johnathon not to rent it out because I still needed to fix it up but he must have forgotten". Stiles was about to say something along the lines of 'its fine' when Isaac started talking.

"You know, Stiles, we're all going out for dinner with Derek in a bit. Do you want to join us?" Stiles wanted to say yes. He really did. But he'd embarrassed himself enough in front of this particular Greek God for one day. And when he saw the curious look on Derek's face that was directed at Isaac – one eyebrow raised fairly high on his forehead – Stiles decided that it was almost definitely for the best if he refused. And, for once, his mouth listened to reason – maybe he really was getting better.

"I dunno, I think I'll miss this one out."

"Oh, okay… next time?"

"Yeah" Stiles replied, trying desperately not to start blabbering aimlessly. "I should probably go. I'll see you guys later" he smiled tightly, backing up with a thumb thrown other his shoulder towards then exit. And then left.

The second he got back to his apartment he had his phone out and was calling Scott.

"Dude, I screwed up." Stiles said the second Scott answered. "I bitched out my Landlord! Who, by the way, isn't Johnathon; it's his brother, Derek. Derek who is apparently great friends with Isaac and is hotter than… well… everything! And I mean everything; he has this whole bad boy look going on that really… never mind, you don't want to hear that. But I have like zero chance with him now because every time I open my God damn mouth I end up insulting someone!" Stiles took a deep breath and collapsed onto his sofa. "I'm gonna be forever alone," he concluded sadly. There was a moment of silence before he heard a soft chuckle from his, so called, best friend.

"Stiles, calm down. You just met the guy, you're gonna be fine."

"Forever. Alone" Stiles reiterated. Scott just laughed some more. "I'm serious, Scott. How am I ever supposed to get someone to like me when I don't have a filter? I just end up blurting out the first thing that comes to mind! You've got Allison – you don't understand"

"No, I don't. But, look, Fresher's week starts tomorrow. We'll go out after we get our student cards, meet other students, make friends… and pray that someone's judgement is poor enough to date you" Scott replied with a laugh and Stiles frowned.

"Not cool, dude." But after a moment of silence he began laughing too. "So have you looked over any of the fresher's activities yet?" Stiles asked and they spent the next half an hour planning for the following week.

[] [] []

Later that day Stiles was just wondering what take-away he fancied ordering when he received a text.

From:Isaac
Received:5:56pm
Hey. Want come over and watch tv?

From:Isaac
Received:5:57pm
Erica, Boyd and Sarah are here too

Stiles smiled down at his phone, it was odd how well he'd fit into this group of friends. It wasn't like he didn't have friends in school. He'd actually been popular once he made first line. But even before that, when he was still just a bench warmer with Scott, he'd accumulated a big mass of friends. It was the one upside of never being able to shut up – he could talk to anyone, meaning that making friends was a lot easier. But Stiles had still never really hung out with anyone outside of school times who wasn't Scott and Allison.

To:Isaac
Sent:5:57pm
Cool. Give me a few mins and I'll be right over

Stiles quickly jumped in the shower (quickly, not only because he only had a few minutes, but also because if he dared to spend more than a minute in there then the water would drop in temperature almost instantly. And he really didn't fancy hypothermia), towel dried his hair and left to go across the hall.

Erica opened the door before he even knocked on – again.

"I do hope you're using your superpowers for good, Erica" Stiles joked as he stepped closer.

"She's not!" Isaac shouted from inside the apartment and everyone laughed.

"So, what we watchin'?" Boyd asked Sarah who was setting up her laptop that was currently linked to the TV. She grinned wickedly.

"Casualty!"

"Urgh" Erica groaned, "I thought you were finished with that show?"

"Yeah, didn't you send off like a dozen complaint letters?" Isaac mentioned with a grin from where he was leaning against one of the kitchen counters with a glass of water in hand.

"Yeah, and they must have read them, because I saw on Instagram yesterday that Dylan is back!" Sarah said happily. Erica shrugged and went to sit down then – apparently appeased with her friend's response.

"Who's Dylan?" Stiles asked, he'd never heard of Casualty before. Erica was the one to reply.

"He's this sarcastic prick of a Doctor; who, admittedly, makes the show worth watching."

"He's really hilarious. At first you just think he's a giant dick, but once you realise that actually everything he's saying is complete dry sarcasm… you just gotta love him" Sarah replies happily and then proceeds to fill Stiles in on the British medical drama and the dry witted Doctor.

Chapter Text

Stiles woke up early Saturday morning – too excited and nervous about his first day of fresher's to stay asleep. His alarm was set to go off in another half an hour and he knew that he should just get up and start getting ready – but instead he just closed his eyes and sunk deeper into the blankets. Half an hour was a long time after all. Though apparently not long enough because it seemed to pass very quickly. Before he knew it, his alarm was forcing him out of bed.

He jumped in the shower, munched on some cereal bars and grabbed his two pieces of ID and grade certificates. He was ready well before Isaac got there. Stiles grabbed his keys and drove them to the campus where they were meeting the others. Boyd, Scott and Allison had received their student ID cards when they'd moved into halls yesterday and so didn't need to join the growing cue. Boyd and Erica were sitting and waiting for them on a wall. Erica began grinning wildly when they walked up to them. Before Stiles could get too worried she grabbed Boyd and pickpocketed him – chucking his wallet at Isaac.

"You're gonna laugh so hard!" She shouted to them as she held Boyd back, with what must have been a surprising amount of strength, as he attempted to grab back his wallet. Stiles was a little bit confused but Isaac seemed to know exactly what was going on as he flicked through the wallet and pulling out Boyd's ID card. The picture was, well… not good.

"Oh my God" Stiles whispered quietly as Isaac was frozen for a complete two seconds before he slowly convulsed into fits of giggles – getting more and more manic. Boyd shrugged off Erica's grasp and pulled the ID and wallet out of Isaac's hands, scowling at the objects.

"What happened?" Isaac sputtered out in between sobs of laughter, it must have been infectious because Stiles and Erica were laughing now too and even Boyd seemed to only be scowling to stop himself from joining in.

"I sneezed the second after it was taken. The picture was automatically printed onto the card and so if I want a new one I have to pay… come on guys, stop laughing. It's not that bad!"

"It's hilarious!" Erica corrected. Boyd sighed. They all walked away from the car park wall and towards the Jubilee building where face-to-face enrolment was taking place. Stiles spotted Scott and Allison waiting outside the building and pulled them both into a big hug. Allison was laughing when he pulled back.

"You know it's only been a week since we last saw each other, right?" She grinned and Stiles shrugged.

"Fine. Next time I won't include you in the hug. It'll just be me and Scott"

"I'm always here for you, bro" Scott agreed.

"That was so touching, I think I threw up in my mouth a bit" Erica said behind him and Stiles laughed with her.

"You guys remember each other, right?" Stiles said, looking between his five friends. They all smiled and said an affirmative; except Erica who defaulted to making a sarcastic remark. They all joined the cue for ID cards.

"So, dude. How's your roomie?" Stiles asked after a few seconds of silence. Scott pulled a face as he began to talk.

"You are so lucky you don't have to room with someone. The guy smells, doesn't like talking to me and keeps giving me dirty looks. This year is going to be hell!"

"Whoa." Isaac exclaimed, "What've you done to piss him off?"

"I don't know!" Scott complained – though it sounded more like a whine and it caused several of the group to laugh. Allison's roommate was actually an old friend from a school she'd attended before Beacon High, so they got along well. And Boyd, as it turned out, got lucky and was in a building with only single rooms – he hadn't yet talked to any of his flatmates yet though and he didn't seem all that interested in doing so.

"I still don't know why you didn't just take Derek up on his offer" Isaac muttered to Boyd. They were now half way towards the front of the line. It was moving fairly slow.

"Who's Derek?" Allison asked and Stiles internally cringed at remembering his first meet with said Greek God.

"He's a friend" Erica said.

"And he's my landlord." Isaac continued, "He offered us all a… kind of, family and friends discount on rent."

"Why did you say no? Sounds kind of great" Stiles asked and Boyd just rolled his eyes.

"You know," Allison said once the silence began again, "There's a moving in party at the halls tonight. Free pizza. Anyone feel like going?"

"Well, we already made plans for a night out… but who can say no to free pizza?" Stiles said with a grin after casting a look at Scott to see if he was okay with the change of plans – Scott nodded. "You guys gonna come too?" Stiles asked and Erica, Isaac and Boyd all nodded.

By the time that they got to the front of the line and Stiles, Erica and Isaac got their ID cards – none of them as disastrous as Boyd's had been – it was midday. They were all starving so they tried out one of the on-campus food courts. It wasn't the best food they'd ever had, it was also a little over-priced. But all-in-all it was okay. The six of them hung out for a little bit longer before Stiles realised he'd left his Adderall at his apartment. He didn't really want to make a big deal out of it because none of his new friends knew he had ADHD and he was a little embarrassed about them finding out. So he just made an excuse about needing to go home to call his Dad. Erica and Scott both looked at him like they knew he was lying – Scott probably did, they'd been best friends for years after-all. Isaac and Erica decide to stay a little longer and just walk back instead of getting a lift from him.

Stiles still felt fairly clear-headed but he just didn't want to risk it. So when he got back to his apartment, he didn't rush, he just took his time; stopping to get his mail, taking the stairs which he promptly regretted and after getting to the second floor just decided to get the lift for that one last flight of stairs…

He opened the door and went into his apartment to be greeted with the sight of a shirtless Derek Hale, covered in grease and working behind his oven. Stiles had managed to regain his breath from the short walk up the stairs while in the elevator – but he'd just lost it again. His mouth went completely dry as his eyes tracked the movement of those oil-slicked abs. Derek looked up from what he was doing behind the oven and smiled at him. Fucking Derek Hale and his fucking perfect, God-damn face!

"Hey. Sorry I let myself in so I could work on your oven" Derek said. Stiles had to swallow thickly and clear his throat before he could answer.

"Yeah, that's fine… it's good. I mean, thank you" he stammered out and Derek's smile grew into an amused grin. Stiles turned to shut the door. Derek was rooting around in his toolbox when he turned back around. "So, erm. Why didn't you call someone to fix it?" That's what most landlords would do. That's what Stiles was expecting Derek to do. He definitely wasn't expecting to return to his apartment and see his next wet dream; a half-naked, oil covered, Derek Hale was almost too much to handle. It was torture. This had to be his punishment to bitching him out the previous day.

"Well, I have a masters in engineering" Derek said quietly, almost shyly? "So why pay someone else?" He finished with a shrug, never meeting Stiles' eyes before turning back to the oven.

"…Sweet God…" Stiles breathed quietly. How on earth was this possible? How could someone look like that and yet still be smart?! Not fair! Derek chuckled a little bit and Stiles tensed, irrationally thinking that Derek must have heard him. But that wasn't possible. He was all the way across the other side of the room and it'd barely been a whisper.

Stiles remembered what he'd come back to the apartment for and grabbed a glass from his counter. He paused for a second, looking over at Derek before grabbing a second glass.

"Do you want some water? You look a bit warm" Stiles asked, mentally congratulating himself for not saying he looked 'hot'.

"Yes, please" Derek mumbled from somewhere behind the oven. Stiles filled the two glasses with water, handed one to Derek and then took his into his bedroom so he could grab his Adderall off his bedside table. He took two tablets – he didn't necessarily need them yet but he could feel his brain begin to become fuzzy again so it was just a matter of time before he started going off on talks about circumcision. And he could really do without that in front of Derek.

When he went back into the kitchen he saw Derek standing, wiping his hands on a rag and grabbing for the glass of water Stiles had done for him. Derek chugged it down, greedily. When the glass was empty his licked at his lips and placed it down on the counter, meaning that he was then standing only a meter away from Stiles who was daydreaming about running a hand down his well-formed abs and finding out what they tasted like.

"So, you picked up your ID card today?" Derek asked and Stiles nodded.

"Yeah. The cue took forever…" Stiles said and with a grin added on, "you should definitely get someone to show you Boyd's, by the way". Derek raised an eyebrow.

"That bad?"

"That brilliant" Stiles laughed. "And do it soon. He's paying for a new one tomorrow".

"I'll make sure to do that… your oven is fixed. I just need to turn the gas back on and you can use it again".

"Thank you" Stiles said and then Derek left. But not before bending down to get his toolbox and showing Stiles a great view of his magnificent ass in those tight dark grey jeans.

This man would be the end of him.

[] [] []

Stiles walked to and from the party with Erica, Sarah and Isaac. It had been pretty good. There was so much pizza and a lot of new people to meet. Isaac had actually got like five numbers by the end of the night. Stiles had talked to a few hot guys and girls too but he just didn't feel as interested as he should have done.

By the time he collapsed into his bed at 3am he was fairly drunk, a little bit lonely and a lot horny.

"Mmmm" Stiles moaned as he slowly grinded himself against his bed sheets. He was half hard and the friction felt so good. The mental image of Derek shirtless and covered it grease made everything even better. He stuck his hand down his boxers and began to rub purposefully. It didn't take long for him to become achingly hard and his imagination took over.

He thought about how he'd come back to his apartment earlier today to find Derek; he'd been dirty with a slight glistening of sweat caused by the excessive heat. The smile he'd given Stiles had melted something deep inside of him – made him feel hot and heavy.


Stiles had gotten them both a drink of water and Derek chugged his down thirstily, licking at his lips when the glass was empty. He stood up and placed the glass on the counter a mere meter away from where Stiles stood. Stiles reached his hand out and touched Derek's abs, feeling the hard muscle beneath his hand tremble at the contact. He grinned wickedly at his landlord and his other hand joined in. Rubbing at the strong muscle, pushing him up against the opposite counter and kissing him. And, God, was it a kiss. Derek sunk into it as he pulled Stiles closer.


Stiles thumbed the slit to gather his precum as he continued to work himself closer to the edge. And he was close. Too close since he'd only really just started. His fantasy had barely gotten good… so he decided to skip a few steps.


They were naked and Derek was prepped. Stiles couldn't take it anymore, he pushed and pulled until Derek was bending over one of the counters – ass exposed and puckered from where Stiles had been working him open. It was a beautiful sight but he didn't have the time to admire it. His dick was throbbing and heavy and he just needed. So he pushed in. Slowly. Letting Derek adjust. But it felt amazing – better than it had with anyone else. Derek was pushing back onto him, demanding more. Demanding Stiles to move.

Stiles would laugh if he wasn't so damn turned on. He pushed in as far as he could and relished in Derek's groans. Then he slowly pulled back and thrust his hips sharply forward. Derek trembled and called out his name. And it felt good! So damn good!

He thrust in again and again. Derek pushing back onto him. They moved together so well and the moist, warm muscle tensed teasingly around Stiles' shaft as Derek came over the edge. Everything was building inside of Stiles, tightening, he was so close to coming. He picked up his pace and rested his forehead on the nape of Derek's neck as his dick twitched and spurted his come deep inside his lover's ass.


"Derek" Stiles groaned, the name slipping from his tongue as he came. His come spilled over his hand and dirtied his bed sheets.

Chapter Text

Stiles woke up the next morning to crusted come on his dick, stomach, thighs, hand and sheets. He muttered complaints to himself as he pulled himself up and wandered, naked, into his bathroom. He tried to clean as much cum off as possible before he would get in the shower and just as he was getting the last bit of his stomach, there was a knock on the door.

"Shit," Stiles mumbled to himself as he rushed back into his bedroom to pull on some jogging bottoms. He opens the door a few seconds later to see Derek Hale standing there holding two cups of coffee from the café next door.

"Morning," Derek said as he handed one cup to Stiles, he took it with a smile. Derek's nostrils flared suddenly and the relaxed look on his face shifted… Stiles couldn't decipher what it meant but it seemed almost predatory and it definitely made his dick twitch with interest.

Stiles suddenly remembered the vivid fantasy he'd had involving Derek the previous night and took a step back, averting his eyes.

"Thanks for the coffee. I was just about to take a shower."

"Right. Well I won't keep you. I was going to work on the plug socket today and I'll need to cut the electric to the apartment when you're done…"

"Okay… I'll be quick," Stiles said, lowing his drink onto the coffee table. He grabbed some fresh clothes and went to the bathroom. He was done within a couple of minutes; happy that he'd gotten rid of every last crusted stain and freshened himself up from the party last night. He didn't have a hangover – he hadn't drunk nearly enough for that – but he still felt a bit fuzzy headed.

Stiles wasn't sure what to do next, would it be awkward if he stayed? Stiles sipped at his coffee for a little while and just thought 'fuck it'. He grabbed a book at random from his bedroom and flung himself on the sofa to read - while, maybe, every now and then peering over the top of the book to gaze at Derek's ass. After a few minutes of silence Derek turned to look at Stiles who just managed to duck his gaze back down to the book and, hopefully,made it seem like he'd been fully immersed in it.

"That's a good book."

"Hmmm?" Stiles asked as he lifted his head from the page and Derek tilted his head down at the book in Stiles' hands.

"The Hobbit. You ever read it before?"

"Oh, yeah… not for a long time though," he replied as he looked down at the cover in deep thought – he hadn't noticed which book he'd picked up and now his heart was beginning to ache. The Hobbit had been one of his Mum's favourite books, she read it to him a lot when he was younger and after she'd died he couldn't bring himself to open it again. Stiles closed it and carefully placed it down onto the coffee table. "You like reading then?" he asked to shift the subject a bit. Derek raised his eyebrow and Stiles wondered what stupid thing he'd said this time.

"Yeah… did you guess that because of the library down stairs?" Derek muttered sarcastically, but his lips were curved up into a slight smile which was… distracting. But not distracting enough to hide Stiles' embarrassment. He laughed a little out of nerves.

"What's your favourite book?" Stiles asked and Derek shrugged before turning back to the broken socket.

"I don't know. There's too many of them. I really like Terry Pratchett so I suppose my favourite book would be one from the Disc World series." Derek shrugged again and Stiles took a moment to appreciate the movement of those muscular shoulders.

"So, what course are you taking at Uni?" Derek asked.

"Forensic Science. My Dad is a sheriff and so I know a lot about the police. I was actually going to apply to be an officer instead of coming here because you don't actually need a degree for it. But I knew that I really wanted to continue learning and once I got my scholarship I decided I could afford it… so yeah, here I am".

Derek blinked at him and then nodded. "So you're going to go into the police?"

"Probably… why did you decide to do engineering?"

"I enjoyed it," Derek replied simply with another shrug of his shoulders. Stiles nodded and looked down at his watch.

"Shit, I'm gonna be late," he muttered to himself as he scrambled from the sofa to grab his shoes – the Crime Scene Society was having a meet and greet in just twenty minutes and he desperately wanted to try it out. Stiles paused just after he grabbed his wallet and keys as he looked over at his landlord who was still working on the broken socket. Derek seemed to notice and twisted around to give him a light smile.

"I won't be much longer. I'll lock up when I leave."

Stiles nodded at him and beamed before rushing out the door. And, sure enough, when he got back two hours later the electric was back on, the socket working and Derek was gone.

[] [] []

Stiles was woken up by his alarm first thing Monday morning. He groaned to himself as he dug his head into his pillow and stayed there for several moments. But he couldn't go back to sleep now, he had an induction in half an hour.

He pulled himself up out of bed and dragged his feet towards his shower – accidently staying in there a few moments too long and getting hit with a burst of ice cold water. He swore to himself as he leapt out from under the spray and warmed himself up with a towel. Only about a minute or so after he got changed Derek knocked on the door. When Stiles let him in he got rewarded with another delicious coffee – it was strong enough that the smell alone made him more awake. He thanked Derek and took a gulp – moaning as the delicious caffeine flooded into his system.

"What're you doing today?" Derek asked as though he was genuinely interested – but that was probably just Stiles' imagination.

"I have an induction where we'll… I dunno… get a talk from the head of the course? Or something equally as boring and useless," Stiles muttered. He really didn't want to have to go in today. Derek huffed a small laugh which made Stiles grin.

"Don't tell me you've already given up?!" He said with a raised eye brow and Stiles shook his head. He wasn't looking forward to today but he couldn't wait for the lectures to begin.

"No way, dude. This year is gonna be awesome! Plus, Crime Scene Society was so much fun! It was basically a real size game of Cluedo!"

"Crime Scene Society?"

"Yeah! There's this building on campus with a nickname 'Murder House' and once a week the leaders of CSS go in there to stage a crime scene. Then we go in and figure out who the murderer was!" Stiles finished with a beaming grin… "Seriously, it's going to be amazing." Derek looked like he was going to say something in reply when Stiles realised the time; he swore, grabbed his bag and keys and rushed out the door with a shouted 'see you later' to Derek.

The induction was a bust – just as he'd assumed. And it didn't even last a full hour! Such a waste of time… Stiles grumbled to himself as he took the lift back up to his apartment, hating that he'd had to get up so early for a half an hour talk. He unlocked his door and saw Derek's toolbox still lying around, meaning he must still be working on the shower. Stiles decided to go talk to him and wandered towards the open bathroom door – then froze.

Derek was shirtless, wet and fiddling with the dripping shower head. And he was gorgeous. He literally took Stiles' breath away. It shouldn't be possible for someone to look that good!

… Maybe Stiles had fallen asleep during the induction talk and was now dreaming? He quickly discounted that theory though without even needing to count how many fingers were on his hands because if this was a dream, then there would be a lot less clothes involved.

Derek turned to look over his shoulder at Stiles and smiled.

"How was the induction?"

"Boring. How was the… fixing… showers… you know… going?" Stiles ended awkwardly – it wasn't his fault that he was tired and aroused so his thinking was even more muddled than normal. Derek just raised his eye brow in question and laughed it off – he was amazing. Damn it!

"It's going good."

Stiles knew he should probably just nod and excuse himself to watch TV or something but he didn't want to.

"You said you like The Hobbit?" He asked and Derek nodded, "what did you think of the films?"

"Pretty good. I mean, they weren't the worst film adaptions. It was a little bit annoying that they spent almost two hours of the last film on a battle that lasted about 2 sentences in the book though," Derek answered and Stiles smiled as they began talking about different books and their terrible film adaptions. Derek even stuck around for a while after he'd finished fixing the shower. It was just… easy. And that gave Stiles hope that maybe, just maybe, Derek might like him back. Who knew how long they might have continued to stay talking like that because, about an hour after Stiles had got back from the University, Isaac knocked on his door and interrupted them. He'd completely forgotten that he'd agreed to do the treasure hunt activity that BCU was hosting.

Isaac grinned stupidly when he saw Derek in Stiles' apartment and Stiles really hoped that was excitement at seeing them getting along and that he didn't know how stupidly Stiles had fallen for their landlord.

[] [] []

It turned out that the first activity of the treasure hunt was to find the treasure hunt. And it seemed fairly impossible. It definitely wasn't where it said it'd be and not even the Fresher's Week helpers knew where the start point had gotten to.

So after about half an hour Scott, Isaac and Stiles just had to laugh about it, give up and go for food. It was fun. Scott and Isaac had seemed to have a stilted start when they'd first hung out on the previous day but now they'd gotten to know each other a little more and seemed much more relaxed.

It wasn't until Stiles got back to the apartment a few hours later that he realised that tomorrow Derek would be fixing the last thing on his list. He wouldn't have a reason to come around anymore. Stiles acted on impulse and knocked his shelf over and to the ground so Derek had another reason to come back.

Stile regretted it straight away, he felt stupid and immature. He wanted to just pick it up and fix it himself but he'd somehow managed to break the bracket it'd been attached to. He frowned down at the floor and noticed red on his left arm – it was stinging a bit too. Actually, it stung quite a lot now that Stiles was paying attention to it. He'd accidentally cut his arm just below his elbow – probably on the bracket that he'd broke. Great.

[] [] []

The next morning when Derek came over, with coffee, he noticed the shelf and turned a concerned face on Stiles as he asked what had happened.

"It's nothing… I kinda tripped over and clung to it as I fell…" Stiles lied, feeling like a terrible human being. Derek looked at him with a slightly raised eye brow. Those eye brows were very expressive, though he wasn't too sure he knew what they were saying today. It looked like they were questioning why Stiles was lying but that was probably just his guilt talking. The expression was probably more about wondering how Stiles could be such a klutz…

"Did you hurt yourself?" Derek asked a moment later and Stiles shrugged.

"It's just a cut."

"Let me see."

"No, seriously, it's fine. Barely even hurts." That was a lie to… it had stopped bleeding after around fifteen minutes but Stiles had stretched it the wrong way this morning and now it was bleeding again – he just didn't have the time to deal with it so he wrapped it in a bandage.

"I'm not going anywhere until you let me see it," Derek replied and Stiles was really hoping he wasn't beginning to blush because out of context that could be taken the wrong (right) way and Stiles' dirty mind was always one for taking things out of context.

He eventually just decided to get it over with and removed the plaid shirt he was wearing over the top of his 'The Who' band logo shirt. Derek moved him to sit on the sofa as he got the first aid kit from under the sink. He then began to clean the wound and replace the bandage and suddenly it just… didn't hurt anymore.

"Wow, dude. That feels so much better. What did you use on it?"

"You could say I have a magic touch," Derek replied. And seriously? Again with his mind taking things out of context…

Chapter Text

Wednesday morning, Derek came over with his toolbox to fix the shelf and Stiles felt terrible about breaking it and causing Derek more work. He decided then that he wasn't going to do anything like that again. He needed a better excuse to see Derek. So, as they were both sipping their coffees that Derek bought, Stiles decided to ask him out.

"So, Derek," Stiles said as he finished his drink – wishing he'd maybe put a bit of liquid courage in there while his landlord wasn't looking. "I was wondering" what you're doing Friday night. But the words didn't come out. Stiles was, instead, caught off guard by Derek when they made eye contact – he just looked stunning. He had slight bedhead and was wearing a maroon jumper that perfectly fit his muscular arms but was a little too baggy on his waist. So Stiles' mouth betrayed his intentions and instead said "what your opinion of lacrosse is?" Derek's brow furrowed a little bit and he smiled faintly at Stiles' weirdness. "It's just, I used to play in high school and I got fairly good – made first line when I was sixteen. I saw that there's a club here so I was thinking of joining… but I don't know if it might take up too much time…"

Derek nodded, put his empty coffee cup on the table and grabbed the correct bracket for the shelf as Stiles rambled.

"It sounds like a good idea. If you enjoy it then you should definitely try out. First year doesn't go towards your final grade anyway so if you realise that you can't juggle it with your work then at least you found out now and not in second year," Derek supplied and gave a warm smile which made Stiles' stomach do a flip.

They continued to talk for the next several minutes as Derek screwed on the bracket and fixed the shelf. When Derek had finished, and was packing away his toolbox after making sure the shelf was level with some weird ruler thing with liquid and one bubble in it, Stiles realised that it was now or never. He had to ask him out.

But then the seconds rolled by and the words got stuck in his throat and… that was that. Derek left with a smile and a 'see you around'.

[] [] []

When Thursday morning came around and Stiles had to spend it without his landlord's smiles and coffee he thought that if he could just break one more thing to have a reason to talk to Derek again, then he could ask him out. That, ultimately, was the reasoning that lead to him break his sink disposal unit.

[] [] []

Friday morning, and Stiles was just leaving for some mandatory presentation on group work when he spotted Derek getting his mail in the foyer. He didn't want to tell him about the disposal unit he broke because he was feeling really guilty about making work for Derek again – so he almost backed out of telling him. But then Derek looked his way and smiled at him and God dammit that smile should be illegal! And then Derek was walking his way and Stiles had nothing to do except smile back and hope to the God he didn't believe in that he wouldn't make a fool of himself – because this time Derek didn't actually have to talk to him, he wanted to. And that was just something so small and minor that guaranteed Stiles would be happy all day.

"Hey" Stiles said as Derek got closer.

"Hey, where are you off to so early?"

"Just this group work presentation… sounds a bit pointless if I'm honest though," Stiles muttered, inwardly screaming at Derek to take the hint and tell him to skip it and spend the day with him instead.

Derek didn't get the hint.

"A lot of first year work is… how's everything working in your apartment now?" He asked instead.

"Erm," Stiles muttered, remembering the sink disposal that he had purposefully broke yesterday. He really didn't want to tell Derek about it now. "Yeah, good…"

"You broke something again, didn't you?" Derek said after a pause.

"Yeah..."

Stiles waited then for… something. Derek to roll his eyes, call him an idiot, just walk away and never talk to him again because he'd proven to be too much hassle. He wasn't expecting him to laugh. But that's what he did. And it wasn't a cruel laugh that made Stiles want to shrivel up and die – it was heart-warming and beautiful that stemmed from great amusement and made Stiles grin in return. After a few seconds the laughter died down but the smile stayed and caused havoc with Stiles' lungs. Derek asked what was broken and Stiles told him.

"I have some work to do this morning but I can come around later to fix it if that's alright with you."

"Yeah, yeah that'd be great. Thanks," Stiles replied and left for the University. The presentation didn't last too long and was then followed by everyone being forced into random groups and doing pointless tasks that everyone, bar a few, had known how to do for years. The majority of the day was very annoying but he did end up adding a lot of people on facebook, snapchat and whatsapp. After a couple of hours they had a break for dinner and Stiles ending up finding Isaac and Erica outside the food hall so sat with them plus a few of his new friends.

It was going pretty well until Alina, a Muslim girl from London, put her hand on his arm as she laughed at one of his jokes. Almost instantly he got a whatsapp message from Erica. It read, simply, "I don't like her" followed by several angry faces emojis and one of a devil smiley face.

He frowned down at the message and then rolled his eyes at Erica but he had to admit that he wasn't feeling as happy as he normally would when a beautiful girl flirted with him. He just wasn't feeling it – too caught up with thoughts of Derek. That was when he realised he was well and truly fucked.

[] [] []

After dinner they had a library induction for half an hour before they could leave. Stiles was invited to the student lounge with some of his classmates but he knew that Derek could be at his apartment at any minute and he really didn't want to miss him. So he left.

Derek wasn't in his apartment when he got back and he momentarily worried that he'd already been and gone. But then he tried the disposal and sighed in relief when it was still broken.

Stiles had about ten minutes after he got in before Derek knocked on the door. He let him in and grabbed a book from his bedside table to read on the sofa as Derek worked under the sink. They talked about so much; University, jobs, food, sports. It was peaceful and just nice – even when the conversation turned to family and Stiles chest constricted a little bit thinking about his Mum. Derek seemed to notice that he'd become saddened and asked about it – really seeming to care about what had made Stiles sad. He twisted his Mum's ring that he still wore on his little finger as he spoke about her.

Derek paused what he was doing and gave Stiles his full attention and that just meant so much – he did love talking about how amazing Claudia Stilinski was, even though it made him sad.

Stiles asked more about Derek's family and his many brothers, sisters, cousins… it was amazing how much family Derek had grown up with and Stiles was a bit jealous if he was honest.

"Why do you own a TV?" Derek asked Stiles as he began packing up his toolbox a couple of hours later – Stiles had noticed that he'd finished fixing the sink over half an hour ago but had sat there and talked to him anyway. "I don't think I've ever seen you watching it."

Stiles had to think for a moment before he realised that Derek was right – he never had watched it when Derek was here because he'd always preferred to talk to him instead.

"I think I must have set it up wrong when I first move in," Stiles lied. "I haven't been able to find out how to change it back." Derek just looked at Stiles for a moment – it looked suspiciously like a 'you're ridiculous' face.

"Do you want me to take a look at it? I can come back tomorrow?"

Stiles tried to reduce his grin into a thankful smile but he wasn't sure how successful he was. He walked Derek to the door, thanking him for his help and the second the door was closed he grabbed his remote to reset his box and TV so he could find a way to set them up wrong.

[] [] []

"Derek," Stiles greeted with a nod and a smile as he opened his apartment door midday Saturday.

"Let's have a look at that TV then," Derek replied with a grin and a slight raise of his eyebrows. Five minutes later and Derek was standing there, with the remote in his hand, looking at the dim fuzzy colours being emitted from Stiles' television. "How… how did you even get it this messed up?"

"I don't even know," Stiles replied truthfully – he had messed with it so much that he just hoped he hadn't broken his TV. Thankfully, all it took for Derek to fix it was to reset it and set it back up properly. Unfortunately, that meant that it didn't take long to fix at all.

"Well, I guess that's it – good luck with your Lacrosse try out," Derek said with a smile as he handed Stiles the TV remote.

"Thanks," Stiles muttered in return as he tried and failed to think of a way to make his landlord stay for just a little bit longer.

[] [] []

Stiles groaned at his alarm as it buzzed incessantly Sunday morning. No one should have to be awake at seven am on a Sunday! Maybe it was a test? Put the try-outs at an insanely early time in the morning to deter to weak.

Stiles had to admit it was a good tactic and he almost said 'screw it' and went back to sleep. He would have done just that, in fact, if he hadn't already agreed to meet everyone at the pitch. Scott would be so mad at him if he had got up and trudged down to the pitch to support Stiles, only to find out he couldn't be bothered to get out of bed.

Stiles glared at the time for one last moment before slouching out towards the bathroom for a shower. He had only just got changed into some clean boxers and tracksuit bottoms when there was a knock on the door. Figuring it was just Isaac being early, he opened the door while still towel drying his hair and not wearing a shirt – which he instantly regretted once he saw Derek Hale standing there with two cups of coffee.

His heart gave a little squeeze because Derek had no reason to be there which meant he was there to see Stiles! Then it started to beat out of his chest instead because he was topless in front of Derek freakin' Hale! He was pale and pasty and skinny with barely any muscles. It couldn't possibly be anything but a turn off.

He didn't want to see the look on Derek's face when he saw how ugly his body was, so he instead averted his eyes towards the paper cup. Derek cleared his throat and offered said cup forward. Stiles took gratefully with a smile that he hoped didn't look like a grimace. He could feel his neck getting warm and just hoped his blush wasn't too obvious – he draped the towel he'd been using to dry his hair over his shoulder to attempt to cover it discreetly. That's when he realised how messed up his hair probably looked right then and he wanted to shoot himself! He probably looked a complete mess.

"I was up early and I thought you might need a boost to wake you up for the try-outs," Derek said after a second hesitation.

"Thanks. I don't know whose idea it was to put this so early but, whoever it was, I already hate them." Stiles stepped back to allow Derek into the apartment and took a swig of his coffee – groaning softly into the cup. "I really needed this," he said as he put it onto the coffee table. "Just give me a minute; I'll go put a shirt on."

Derek smiled and nodded so Stiles rushed back into his bedroom and threw on a long sleeved polo shirt. Derek was leaning against the back of the sofa when Stiles came back into the room fifteen seconds later. Stiles picked his coffee back up and drunk greedily from the cup.

"So, what's got you up so early on a Sunday?" Stiles wondered, much more relaxed now that he had a shirt on.

"Family business," Derek replied shortly – but not like he was trying to avoid the topic, more like he just didn't know what to say.

"Let me guess: saving people, hunting things?"

There was a moment pause before Derek furrowed his eyebrows and replied with a very confused "what?"

"I'm gonna take from that that you've never watched Supernatural before?" Stiles asked and Derek just shook his head. Before either of them could say anything else, Isaac was knocking on the door. Isaac looked tired but eager, his gentle smile turning into a smirk when he saw Derek standing inside Stiles' living room. It took Stiles a moment to realise what Isaac was thinking and then blushed considerably – he was on the verge of stuttering out that him and Derek hadn't done anything like that. But thankfully Derek talked first before Stiles could make a fool of himself and probably let slip that it was definitely something he'd been hoping to happen since the second he laid eyes on the Greek God.

"I guess I should get going then. Good luck, you two," he said with a smile as he walked past the both of them and out the door.

"We should, er, get going too," Stiles muttered as he slipped on his trainers and downed the rest of his coffee. When they got to the pitch they were surprised to see all their friends there. Stiles had known that Scott was coming to cheer them on but he somehow managed to talk Allison, Boyd, Sarah and even Erica to come too. Though Erica didn't do much more than growl moodily at them and sip from her thermos.

Afterwards they all made plans to meet up at the student bar later that night.

Chapter Text

Someone knocking on his front door woke Stiles up Monday morning. He groaned and squinted an eye open to look at the time on his phone. There was a few seconds where it was too blurry to see anything but after a moment he realised that his alarm should have gone off almost fifteen minutes ago.

He swore as he scrambled out of bed. He rushed to the front door and opened it to find Derek there with coffee. His landlord's smile grew as he saw Stiles and his, probably ridiculous, bed head. Stiles took the coffee gratefully and let Derek into the apartment.

"I figured you'd need some encouragement to get out of bed this morning since you were out all night," Derek mentioned and Stiles had a second to wonder about how Derek would know that before remembering how close friends he was with Erica, Isaac, Boyd and Sarah who had all been out with him, Allison and Scott. One of them must have told him. "I suppose I was right… did you only just get out of bed?"

"… That is a possibility," Stiles murmured as he set towards making himself some breakfast for probably the first time in months – he'd need all the energy he could get. Derek laughed at him again but it just made Stiles feel warm inside. "There's something wrong with my phone, my alarm didn't go off."

"Maybe…" Derek shrugged as Stiles placed some pop tarts in the toaster. He felt odd just standing there with nothing to do so he grabbed his bag and started to check that everything he needed for his first day of lectures was in there – including the lab coat he'd had to buy a few days ago. He really needed to have a shower and get changed but he could put that off a while longer so Derek didn't leave.

"So, how was Lacrosse try-outs?" Derek inquired and Stiles grinned.

"Well I won't know for sure until tomorrow but I think it went well. You know, there were some fairly good players but I think I have a shot at making first line. Isaac too," Stiles added after a seconds thought.

"That's great," Derek replied and Stiles looked up from his bag to see the slow smile that spread across Derek's face. It was kind of beautiful. He was never going to get over that smile. Stiles straightened up from where he was leaning over his bag and suddenly realised how close they were standing. They hadn't been this close a minute ago – Derek must have moved nearer as they were talking. A warm feeling filled him up. Derek was still smiling and Stiles was beginning to stare in awe as everything just began to feel comfy. There was something in the air that was making Stiles think that maybe he could just close in those last few feet, grab a hold of Derek and never let him go.

The toaster popped and Stiles jumped in surprise.

Derek took a step back and Stiles' stomach dropped a little bit.

"I should go and let you finish getting ready."

"Erm, yeah… thanks." But as Derek took more paces back and started to turn away, Stiles just couldn't leave it like that. "Do you have plans tonight?" Stiles asked on a whim. The second the words left his mouth his stomach began to bubble with unease. "Me, Sarah, Boyd and a couple of friends are going this comedy night at the Student Union bar. You should come," Stiles added in because he just couldn't handle the rejection that would have inevitably followed him asking someone who looked like that on a date… but maybe Derek would be okay with going out with friends, especially if Boyd and Sarah were there too.

"That sounds like fun," Derek replied and Stiles had to bite back his grin. He hadn't actually been planning to go with the others to see the stand up because he figured he wouldn't be able to be quite for that long. But maybe if he took extra Adderall before he left then he could concentrate on the acts for long enough. "Good luck with your first day," Derek said before turning back around and walking out the door.

Stiles only had a few minutes of grinning stupidly to himself and dancing around his apartment before he remembered that he had to leave for his 9am lecture in fifteen minutes and he wasn't ready. The pop tarts were cold by the time he got around to them but the celebration dance had been totally worth it.

[] [] []

His first day was… slow. It was all introductory and a little bit useless. The two lectures were talking about how there were expectations of them now that they were no-longer in school – as if they hadn't spent all fresher's week saying the exact same thing. And the two sessions in the lab were about team work and setting up microscopes. All in all it was a fairly boring day. Stiles probably would have been okay and relieved that his first day was a little chilled, if it wasn't for his nerves and excitement about going to the comedy night with Derek. He was running over all the possible scenarios of how the night could turn out in his head all day; from the good, the bad and the amazing. He kind of wished that the University had just thrown them into the deep end so he could get his mind off of his incredibly hot landlord.

And then, to make matters worse, at dinner he checked his phone to see a message from a number he didn't recognise. It read simply:

From: 07539776620
Received: 11:01am
Hey, this is Derek. I asked Isaac for your number so we could arrange tonight a little better. What time are we meeting?

Stiles immediately added the number to his contacts. He spent the next 10 minutes grinning, and maybe blushing a little too, as he tried to come up with a reply that would make a good impression. And then they were texting each other! The conversation only lasted a further five texts, but it was enough to give him hope that, maybe, he had a chance. After all, Derek could have simply texted Boyd for the details.

Stiles got back to his apartment at 3 and continued to freak out for the next four and a half hours. This wasn't a date. Stiles knew that. He may have originally asked as a date but he covered it up as going out with friends at the last second. Yet still, his mind couldn't calm down. He got dressed and re-dressed several times before coming to the conclusion that he just didn't have any clothes that made him look good – he really needed to stop shopping at cheap outlets like Primark. Why didn't he come to this realisation when he was still living at home and maybe could have persuaded his Dad to lend (give) him some money?

At half seven, Derek knocked on his apartment door and his body went cold with nerves. He took a deep breath to calm himself down some more, grabbed his wallet and keys, and opened the door. Derek was standing there with a little smirk on his face and looking like he belonged on a magazine cover. How did people even look like that in real life?

"Hey, you ready to go?" Derek asked and Stiles smiled in return – a little too nervous to use his voice. But then Derek had to go and be all talkative and shit. "How was your first day?"

"It was… so boring," Stiles finished with a sigh and the Himeros (the Greek God of sexual desire. Stiles googled it) incarnate walking next to him laughed. "I dunno, I guess I just hoped for something more."

"So they didn't dazzle you with their knowledge of blood spatter analysis?"

"If only," Stiles replied. He was starting to feel a little more relaxed now as they left the building and walked steadily towards the campus. He had offered to drive them but Derek said he would prefer to walk.

They get to the student union bar a little before eight and Stiles had hoped that they'd be there before their friends to give them a little more time to talk. Their conversation had flowed and been relaxed for the past twenty minutes and he wanted more. However, waiting just outside the building were Scott, Allison, Boyd and Sarah. He wanted to sigh in disappointment but was able to hold it in. Everyone greeted each other and Stiles did the introductions between Scott, Allison and Derek. Allison gave Stiles a wink of approval which, frankly, made him feel mortified. He seriously hoped that no-one else saw that.

They all sat at a booth in the middle of the room but next to a wall, thankfully just far enough from the stage to not get picked on by the presenter or the first comedian. Still, whenever they seemed to be looking anywhere near their table, Stiles made sure to not make eye contact. Scott and Allison were at one end of the booth, then Boyd and Sarah in the middle and Stiles and Derek at the other end. There was a brief interval after the first act and Stiles went to get another drink, just a coke because he was still only eighteen and wasn't old enough yet for anything stronger. He was standing at the bar, waiting to be served when someone came to stand right next to him and placed an empty glass on the bar.

"You know," Derek said, "if you wanted something with alcohol, I could buy it for you."

"You'd do that?" Stiles asked, something about the offer just made him more comfortable, for all of a few seconds. Then he started to worry because he didn't want Derek focussing on how young he was. Derek shrugged and smiled and Stiles stomach twisted in knots. "Thanks, but, erm, not today. I don't want anything alcoholic tonight," Stiles lied and Derek just kept on smiling.

The girl behind the bar came over to him then and Stiles ordered two cokes. But Derek handed over the money before he could pay and walked back to the table.

"You didn't have to –" Stiles started and Derek smiled at him.

"I know."

The lights started to get dimmer then and the presenter announced the next comedian. The girl was funny, but she was still just a warm up act for the final comedian. Her jokes were a little more risqué than the first guy but Stiles didn't hear half of them over the sound of his heart beating fast in his chest when, about ten minutes into her act, Derek lent back against the booth and stretched his arm across the back of the seat and over Stiles' shoulders. And God, there was a moment when Stiles just knew that Derek was looking at him. He wanted to look back. He pictured what would happen if he did make eye contact with Derek. Their heads would slowly lean in to each other and then they would be kissing – and it would be amazing. Because, let's face it, there was no way that kissing Derek Hale could be anything but amazing. But Stiles chickened out – knowing that he would just be disappointed when the kiss didn't happen and it would probably ruin the rest of the night.

The final act of the night was actually a B-list stand-up comedian. He was definitely the funniest of the lot but Stiles had already heard a lot of his jokes before. So, whenever he recognised one that he loved, he would listen a little closer to Derek and peak at him out of the corner of his eye, waiting to see if Derek would laugh. All in all, Stiles ended up pretty happy with Derek's sense of humour.

At the end of the night the group hung around for about half an hour before dispersing back to their apartments. Derek and Stiles walked back together, talking light-heartedly all the way.

"This was fun," Derek said as they approached the front steps of the Hale Apartments building. "A lot more fun than when you were making things up for me to fix as an excuse for us to spend time together." Stiles froze in his steps and looked at his landlord in horror.

"You knew? Oh my God!"

Derek stopped several steps ahead of him and was looking at Stiles with a grin.

"It was a bit obvious – I didn't even know someone could set up a TV so wrong"

"I was worried that I'd broken it," Stiles admitted.

"You're ridiculous – it's a good thing I like ridiculous."

"Wait, what? Really?" Stiles asked as he took a tentative step forward. Derek just kept smiling at him like Stiles was an idiot which, yeah, he'd received that look a lot in the past. Derek turned to start walking again as Stiles caught up to him and then they were walking through the apartment building doors. Derek seemed to be waiting for Stiles to say something but it was only after a few more seconds had passed that he was able to think again. "Wait… if you knew, and you liked me back, then why didn't you ask me out?"

"It was too funny," Derek admitted with a grin, "I wanted to know what you'd do next."

"Oh my God, I take it all back. I don't like you anymore, you're evil," Stiles ranted. But he was interrupted by the soft press of Derek's lips against his own. The kiss was slow and sweet. Not much more than a caress. It was perfect. Stiles smiled against Derek's lips and leaned into the touch. But then the kiss ended all too quickly.

"Goodnight, Stiles," Derek smiled and backed away.

Chapter Text

Stiles was getting ready on Tuesday morning for his practical session in the lab when Derek knocked on his door. The landlord offered Stiles a cup of coffee and then kissed him lightly on the cheek. Stiles wanted to reach up and pull the older man down for a real kiss – but he just wasn't sure if he was allowed. Was Stiles taking control something that Derek wouldn't like? He just really didn't want to mess this up, whatever this was. So instead, Stiles chose to gulp down the coffee. It was really amazing. He didn't think he'd ever be able to go back to regular home-made coffee again.

Derek left about five minutes before Isaac showed up. The sun was out and was forecast to stay out all week – so instead of driving to the campus, they decided to walk. Let's face it, he's a student, if he can save a little bit of money on petrol by walking instead of driving in good weather? He's going to walk.

Despite the nerves that Stiles had about how to act around Derek, he was still in a good mood all day. To the point that Scott called 'suspicious'. Stiles didn't tell him anything though. He wouldn't know what to tell him. He didn't really know what that kiss had meant and if him and Derek were now dating. He wanted things to be a little clearer before he said anything. And it actually felt kind of good to have a secret – it made whatever they had more… intense in a way.

At lunch Stiles used his phone to sign into his University email and apprehensively clicked on the email that the Lacrosse couch had sent out. He scrolled through the list of names for first line and let out a sigh of relief followed shortly after by a, slightly manic, laugh when he found his and Isaac's names.

His last lecture of the day finished at half one and Stiles decided to just walk back to apartment building instead of waiting around an hour for Isaac. As he walked into the building and past apartment 1A, Stiles paused. He knew he needed to know what was going on between him and Derek, but he felt weird having that talk with him. Stiles realised that he'd been moving into the direction of Derek's apartment and just though 'screw it', so he knocked on the door. Derek opened it a few seconds later with a big smile on his face.

"Hey," the older man said and Stiles was just amazed by how hot he looked in the tight jeans and shirt Derek was wearing that he just decided then and there that he could figure out what Derek wanted from him based on his actions, without having to have the talk. With that decision, a knot untightened in his chest and he felt so much calmer.

"Hey. I was just wanted you to know that me and Isaac both made first line. We're gonna go out and celebrate. You should join us"

"I'd love to."

[] [] []

This time, Erica and Isaac walked with Stiles and Derek to student bar where they met with everyone else. It was the first time that all of them had been together and Stiles really hoped that it would happen a lot more often. When they got inside, Derek offered to order everyone's drinks while they waited a few tables away so that they didn't have to worry about being asked for ID. They all accepted and Derek took everyone's money except from Stiles'.

"Don't worry," Derek said into his ear, "I'll buy yours this round." Stiles was kind of, extremely, turned on by Derek talking right into his ear and so could do nothing but nod dumbly as Derek pulled him, Erica and Sarah away from the rest of the group so they could help him carry the drinks back.

"What if we get asked for ID?" Stiles asked Derek as they waited at the bar.

"Well, we aren't drinking alcohol," Derek replied, nodding his head in the direction of the two girls that were currently ogling a group of guys a few tables over. "If they ask then you're having my red bull and I'm having your vodka and coke… but they won't ask so don't worry."

"Why aren't you drinking?"

"I just don't drink much, never really felt the need for it," Derek laughed quietly to what was probably a private joke or memory. Stiles started to worry then. Stiles smiled at Derek but he was feeling a little worried – he decided not to get drunk either because he could really do without embarrassing himself in front of a sober Derek.

After they got back with everyone's drinks, the group orientate themselves around a large booth - never moving more than a few feet away from it when everyone was up and dancing so that they could leave their bags, drinks and jackets there. A few hours into the night and one of Stiles' favourite songs started playing. He must have murmured about how much he loved it because then Derek was placing his hand on Stiles' and pulling him up to dance.

They hadn't danced just the two of them all night, they'd always been around their friends too. But Derek was pulling him closer and placed his hands on Stiles hips as they swayed together. Stiles grabbed a hold of the shirt covering Derek's chest as they moved together with the beat, not thinking of anything more than the song and Derek. How close they were, how much closer he wanted to be. Before he knew it they were kissing. Really kissing. There was nothing slow or sweet about this kiss. It was a filthy slide of lips and tongue. Derek nipped at Stiles' bottom lip with his teeth and wow that was hot. Stiles may have groaned a bit then but he didn't care that they were in public. He just wanted more. Or, he didn't care for a further five seconds, which was about the time that his dick started to get very interested and Stiles made the connection that what they were doing possibly could no longer be described as dancing and was more like they were just grinding against one another.

Stiles pulled away from Derek's lips and let out a breathy laugh which Derek smiled at. Stiles realised that one of his hands was cupping Derek's ass and he gave it a squeeze that caused Derek to growl in his ear and nip at it lightly. They continued dancing then, still touching but not so much groping anymore. They danced for a few more songs before Derek bought him a beer, he actually accepted Stiles' money for this drink too, and then they went to sit back with their friends. When they sat down everyone stopped what they were talking about and just looked at them. Derek raised his eyebrow at them in return.

"What the hell, dude?" Scott said, the first to talk. "Why didn't you tell me about this? I should have been told earlier… best friend rights!" Scott pleaded and Stiles laughed, partially because he knew that Scott was half serious. Then everyone was talking again and it was fine. In fact, from what Stile could hear from Erica and Isaac's conversation, they had been trying to set him and Derek up since Derek came back from South Africa. Stiles suddenly remembered how excited Isaac was to introduce him to Derek, how worried he looked when he'd figured out Stiles had already messed up their first meeting and how disappointed he got when he didn't go out to dinner with them.

About an hour later, Stiles and a few others of the group were dancing when Allison pulled him away to go to the bar with her. He was happy to go with her, knowing that it would mean she would be less likely to get hit on and made to feel uncomfortable. Though Allison was a badass, she could take care of any jackass who tried to grab her – but she probably just didn't want to get done with assault.

"You should be careful around Derek," She warned him as they were waiting for the bar staff to serve her a diet coke.

"What?" Stiles asked, unsure what brought this on – she had seemed to get along with him well the previous night. They hadn't talked much over the past few hours but she didn't seem to dislike him.

"He seems dangerous, Stiles. I just don't want to see you get hurt."

Stiles wanted to say that she was being ridiculous, no-one was going to hurt him. But Allison seemed so earnest that all he could do was nod and agree to be careful.

[] [] []

The music drifted into silence and lights turned on in the student bar, signalling that it was time to leave. The group all walked outside and Boyd, Scott and Allison all walked further into campus and towards the student housing. Everyone else followed Sarah to the best, closest take-away. And so it was just him and Derek.

"Do you wanna get a taxi or-?"

"I'm okay with walking if you are," Derek replied and Stiles smiled up at him. Stiles had stuck to his rule and the only alcohol he'd drunk all night was that first vodka and coke and a beer so he definitely wasn't drunk and was grateful to go for a walk with Derek, to spend that little extra time with him. So Stiles nodded and smiled and Derek led the way. They didn't talk too much on the way back to their apartments, but it was a comfortable silence. Derek walked Stiles past apartment 1A and to the elevator.

"I enjoyed myself tonight," Stiles said as they walked towards the elevator doors.

"Yeah, me too. We should do something like tonight again," Derek replied with a soft smile and Stiles nodded. He pressed the button for the lift and then leaned a little closer to the older man.

"I'd like that."

"Goodnight, Stiles," Derek said quietly. He grabbed Stiles gently and kissed him. It was back to being sweet again. And this time Stiles wasn't going for it. He opened his mouth to the kiss and licked at Derek's lips. Derek opened his mouth to welcome Stiles' tongue and it was amazing. The kiss started to get filthy and Stiles groaned into it. Derek pushed back then. Pushed Stiles up against the wall and leaning into him, wanting more and taking it. The lift dinged to signal that it was on their floor but Stiles didn't want to let go just yet. So he let the doors open and close again as he kept a hold on Derek's back – making sure he didn't try to move away to let Stiles leave.

Derek got the hint and stayed put, his leg nudging in between Stiles'. One of his hands found their way to Stiles' lower back and Derek pulled him closer and ground down on him with his hips. The sensation made Stiles' dick jump in his pants and he left out a soft gasp.

Derek stopped attacking Stiles' mouth with his tongue and began biting and kissing at his jaw and neck as he continued to grind down purposefully against Stiles. They were both hard now and Stiles just needed him. One hand found Derek's hair, gripping at it and encouraging the neck kisses as the other hand tapped against the wall he was leaning against – trying to find the elevator button. When he found the button the lift dinged once again and the doors opened. Derek raised his head away from ravaging Stiles' neck and Stiles pulled him back into a kiss. He walked away from the wall and pulled Derek along with him until they were backing into the lift and he was hitting the button for the third floor.

Derek stopped the kiss long enough to look into Stiles' eyes, silently asking if he was sure he wanted this. Stiles nodded dumbly and dragged Derek back down for another kiss – unable to voice how much he wanted this and maybe a little bit unwilling too, in case he scared Derek off.

The doors opened on the third floor and Derek picked Stiles up, making him wrap his legs around Derek's waist so that he didn't fall, and carried him towards apartment 3D. He settled him down outside the apartment and Stiles quickly broke the kiss to take his keys out and unlock the door. The second it was open though, he was pulling Derek in with him. They both kick their shoes off as Stiles leads him into his bedroom, just barely remembering to turn the light on – he wanted to see all of what was about to happen.

Derek pushed Stiles back onto the bed and took his own shirt off before kneeling down on top of him. Stiles sat up and ran his hands reverently over Derek's chest – marvelling at his abs. Derek was playing with the hem of Stiles shirt and so Stiles helped him take it off. He was a little self-conscious about his body but anyone would be when faced with Derek. He went back to stroking the muscle definition on Derek's body. Working his way down his torso. Derek twisted a little and leaned forward so that he could nibble at Stiles' neck and ear without interrupting Stiles' exploration. Stiles hands eventually made it to the waist band of Derek's jeans. He looked a little further down and could see the outline of Derek's thick, hard dick straining again the fabric and waiting to be set free.

Stiles reached down and ran his hand over the long, thick bulge and it twitched under his touch, Derek gasped into Stiles' ear and stilled for a second. It was obvious that he was trying not to thrust up towards Stiles' hand. Stiles brushed over Derek's jean-clad dick again and then gripped it with a little more purpose.

"Stiles…" Derek moaned into Stiles ear, he pushed Stiles down so he was lying on his back and began to slowly unzip Stiles' jeans. Then they made eye contact again and kept it as Derek dipped his head slowly and mouthed at Stiles' dick through his boxers.

Stiles whimpered and just managed not to thrust his hips up and into Derek's face. Derek lifted his head up again and took a hold of the waist band of Stiles' clothes. With one swift movement he pulled Stiles' jeans and boxers down to his knees and then stood up to remove them the rest of the way. Stiles lay bare on the bed as Derek stood over him and took in the sight. The appreciative looks made Stile squirm a little until Derek, finally, lowered himself to his knees at the end of the bed. Derek ran his big hands up and down Stiles' thighs softly as he separated them and kissed at the base of Stiles' dick. Stiles was leaning on his elbows to look down at Derek as the older man slowly kissed and licked at his shaft. His mouth was completely dry with lust and he just wanted to be touching Derek again.

But then Derek's mouth wrapped around the head of Stiles' cock and he forgot how to function. Derek took his time exploring Stiles' dick. He licked up the shaft and milked pre-come from the slit. The he took the head back into his mouth and sucked on it, running his tongue just under it. He slowly sank down further onto his dick and Stiles was dying. That wet heat felt amazing. He just wanted to buck his hips into it but he knew he couldn't – he was just barely keeping himself still.

Derek began to rub at Stiles' balls as he bobbed his head up and down on his shaft. Occasionally they'd make eye contact and it was probably the hottest thing that Stiles had ever seen. He was trying, and failing for the most part, to keep his eyes open so he could continue to watch Derek suck on his cock. But then he started to feel the build-up and he really didn't want to come yet. Not until Derek's dick was in his ass. So he gripped onto Derek's hair and tugged on it but he didn't seem to get the message.

"Stop," Stiles breathed out, he was so close but he needed more. "Please, stop…" the second that the words left his mouth Derek was pulling away. Stiles opened his eyes and looked down at Derek, seeing hurt and worry plain on his face. Stiles shook his head and sat up, grabbing Derek's face as he pulled him in for another kiss. He could taste his pre-come on Derek's tongue but he just didn't care. "I want you to fuck me." And with that, the worry had left Derek's face and had been replaced with a smirk.

"That can be arranged," Derek mumbled as he stood up and began to unbutton his jeans. Stiles swiped Derek's hands out of the way though, he wanted to undress Derek himself. Once the jeans were undone, Stiles came head to head with Derek cock. It was big, the biggest he'd ever seen outside of google searches for 'world's biggest dick'. It was thick too and, wow, uncut. He'd always wanted to touch an uncut dick. So he did.

Stiles grasped at the foreskin of Derek's dick and listened to the quiet moan that the older man emitted. He rubbed his hand up and down the shaft, more like teasing touches then a hand job. He just wanted to feel the foreskin move. He pulled the skin back a little and licked up the throbbing vein and around the head.

"Stiles," Derek gasped, "The sex is going to last for a pathetically short time if you keep touching me like that." Stiles grinned and kissed the head of Derek's cock one last time before letting go and leaning back which allowed Derek the room to step out of his jeans and briefs. "Do you have lube?"

"Yeah," Stiles replied, he scrambled off the bed and towards the dresser where he pulled out the tube and a box of condoms. Derek took them from him and placed them on the bed. When he stood back up straight he pushed up against Stiles and kissed him. This kiss was short, they were both aching to come, but it made Stiles' knees weak.

Stiles crawled up the bed and Derek followed him and kissed at his neck as he grabbed for the lube.

"How do you want to do this?" Derek whispered into his ear and Stiles shivered with anticipation.

"I wanna see you," Stiles said simply and Derek nodded. Derek continued to kiss his neck as he unscrewed the cap on the lube and squirted an amount onto his fingers. Stiles lay down and positioned himself in a way that would allow Derek good access to his ass. He opened his legs wide and Derek settled in between them. Stiles was slightly nervous. He hadn't had sex in a long time and he really wanted to be good for Derek. He tried to relax as much as possible as Derek circled his rim with one finger. It felt good – not as amazing as he knew it would be soon… but still nice. Derek slowly pushed the finger inside and Stiles gasped despite himself.

"Shhh, I got you," Derek whispered over and over again to Stiles as he worked the finger in and out of Stiles ass and caused him to whimper. It burned, but it was a good burn. "So, so beautiful," Derek continued to whisper to him and Stiles really wanted to make a remark about how corny that was when Derek introduced a second finger and he forgot everything. What was his name again?

Derek slowly scissored him with his two fingers and was soon able to push a third in. It was very methodological, Derek was focussed entirely on opening him up. Stiles was squirming for more, wanted Derek's fingers to be replaced with his dick. But Derek was so big, three things couldn't open him up enough. He whined as Derek pushed in his last finger and couldn't stop himself any more from moving against them. But then Derek was taking his hand away and Stiles grabbed for the box of condoms lying next to him. Sitting up, he went to rip one open and then paused.

"I don't think that's going to fit," Stiles breathed out, Derek laughed and he joined in.

"I'm clean. I'd be willing to do without if you are," Derek said after a few seconds. And Stiles knew that he should say no. He knew that he should make Derek go down to his apartment and get one that would fit. Using a condom was rule number one and he knew that. But instead he just nodded and threw the condoms aside. He pulled Derek into a kiss to show that he was okay with it. But part of him was still worried.

Derek sighed and pulled away. Stiles made a complaining noise as he watched him get out of bed and Derek just laughed.

"Where are you going?"

"To get condoms from my apartment."

"I'm fine," Stiles lied. "Get back over here." But Derek just shook his head and laughed again. He kissed Stiles on the forehead and then pulled his jeans back on.

"You're obviously not fine. I'm not going to force you into unprotected sex. I'm just going down to my apartment, I'll be right back," Derek said and then he jogged away. Stiles made another complaining noise but actually, he was kind of relieved. He felt ridiculous just sitting on the bed and waiting for Derek to get back. But what else could he do? He kind of wished they'd realised this condom problem sooner so Stiles could have opened himself up as he waited for Derek to get back. But he didn't have to wait for too long. His dick had barely softened and was still, mostly, hard by the time that Derek came rushing back into Stiles' apartment.

Stiles wasted no more time, he grabbed Derek and took the condoms from his hands. He let Derek undress himself this time as he ripped opened the packet and then pushed his lover onto the bed before straddling him. The view alone was enough to make Stiles completely hard and as he slowly rolled the condom onto Derek's dick. Derek leant up on his elbows as he reached for the lube and covered his cock in it. He'd barely put the tube back down before Stiles was lining himself up and guiding Derek's dick into his ass.

They both moaned in unison as Derek's dick slowly filled Stiles up. He was slow at first, letting himself get used to the pure size and thickness, but then he picked up a bit of pace. Stiles lifted his body up and down on Derek's cock, getting faster by the second. Derek's hands were on his waist, helping him move and Stiles' were planted flat against Derek's chest. Derek let him take his time, go slow and stretch himself out, but soon he was jerking his hips up to meet Stiles' down thrusts. They moved together, with nothing but their heavy breathing and breathless murmurs mixing with the sound of flesh slapping against flesh.

Derek's dick was grinding almost constantly against his prostate and it was blowing Stiles' mind. Then Derek reached up and pulled Stiles down for a kiss. He used that to roll them over, flipping their positions until Stiles was on his back and Derek was driving into him.

"Sneaky," Stiles commented and Derek laughed above him, biting lightly at the dip in his shoulder which made Stiles moan loudly – he had a biting kink. Who knew? Then Derek rearranged his position and he was slamming into Stiles. It was fast and amazing; just on the good side of painful, and it was bringing Stiles ever closer to his orgasm. Derek's thrusts were getting more uncontrolled as they both neared their climaxes. Stiles gripped the base of Derek's hair with one hand and the other hand was trying to find purchase on his back before settling for grabbing his ass instead.

"So close," Stiles muttered again. Derek just nodded in agreement. Stiles came in-between them, moaning Derek's name over and over again – saying it like a prayer. Derek was only seconds behind him.

Stiles didn't quite hear what Derek said as he came because he was too high off his own orgasm, but he hoped it was his name. He liked to picture the shape his name would form on Derek's lips as he came.

Stiles and Derek both collapsed into a heap on the bed, floating in their highs. Derek went soft while still buried deep inside Stiles' ass. It felt uncomfortable as he pulled out but was completely worth it. Stiles rolled over and grabbed some tissues from a box on his bedside table. He wiped himself clean and offered the box to Derek as he got up to turn off the light.

"That was amazing," Stiles mumbled and Derek made an agreeing noise, "I'm going to sleep for a week." Derek disposed of the used condom in the bin with the tissues and they curled up together underneath the blankets. Derek wrapped his arm around Stiles waist and kissed lightly at his cheek as they fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Stiles awoke slowly, blissful dreams drifting into wakefulness. He smiled to himself before gradually opening his eyes. He was expecting to see a dozing sex god beside him; but the bed was empty. Stiles frowned and looked over at the clock on the bedside table. It was still pretty early – only past 9am.

Stiles wondered if it had all been a dream: the kissing, the dancing, the mind blowing sex.

He shifted slightly and the deep, warm ache inside him disproved that theory. He'd definitely had sex last night. Meaning, Derek must have left. Stiles took a few seconds to let that sink in. He'd thought that they were something more than just one amazing night, hoped they could be something real. But, Stiles realised, he'd never actually got confirmation that they would be anything. He supposed the knot in his stomach and ache in his chest was his own fault. He should have asked; he shouldn't have just assumed.

Stiles closed his eyes and buried his head in his hands. He was so god damn stupid.

A few more seconds passed before there was a soft click from the bedroom door. Stiles' eyes flew open and he watched a half-naked Derek walk into the room, baring two cups of coffee.

"Morning," Derek said quietly as he offered one of the cups. Stiles accepted it but continued to gape at the man who sat on the edge of the bed. "Is there something wrong?" Derek asked after a few moments and Stiles snapped himself out of it.

"No. No, nothing's wrong. I just thought you'd left," he admitted.

"Do you want me to leave?"

"Not at all. Do you want to leave?" Stiles asked, nervously.

"No, I like spending time with you." Derek replied and Stiles breathed a quick sigh of relief before smiling and sipping at his coffee. Derek seemed more at ease and shifted so he was sitting up against the headboard of the bed, still on top of the covers. All he was wearing were his jeans. He probably wasn't even wearing his briefs. At that thought, Stiles found his eyes drifting down to Derek's crotch and, yep, he was certainly not wearing underwear at that moment – which reminded Stiles, suddenly, that he was very naked underneath the thin sheet.

Stiles shifted a little and he tried to make sure he was completely covered by the bedding – still shy about his body, even after everything they had done the previous night. Who could blame him? Derek's body was perfection, his abs were literally to die for.

"Are we dating?" Stiles blurted out, reminding himself that he would need to take his Adderall as soon as possible, it already seemed to be wearing out.

"Well, we haven't technically been on a date yet…" Derek replied. "But I'd be happy to change that."

Stiles couldn't help but smile as he leant forward and kissed Derek. It was clumsy, Stiles almost spilt his coffee, but it was worth it when Derek reached up and placed his hand on the back of Stiles' neck to deepen the kiss. Derek's hand was so delicate on his skin, making it so soft and intimate. Stiles opened his mouth to the kiss and let Derek's tongue inside. A moment later and Derek moved his hand to take away Stiles' coffee mug. He then reached behind to place both mugs onto the bedside table, before coming back for another kiss. It wasn't as urgent as it had been the previous night; the kisses were more sweet and exploring.

Derek's hands wrapped around Stiles and made him feel comfortable and safe. It was so relaxing to be held by Derek that he forgot that he was naked. He leant as much into his lover as he could, one arm swung around Derek's shoulder and the other pressed flat against his chest – just over the heart. Their tongues danced and brushed against each other with purpose and it was amazing. They kissed for a few minutes more before Derek pulled away. Stiles instinctively chased after his lips, which made Derek chuckle and place one more peck on Stiles' kiss-bitten lips.

"Come on, get dressed. I want to take you out," Derek whispered and Stiles nodded, smiling at Derek.

"Do you want to, er, share a shower?" Stiles asked, a little nervously, and Derek raised his eyebrows.

"That depends, do you have any ulterior motives? Because I really don't think your shower is big enough for anything to happen," Derek said and Stiles blushed a little as he shook his head.

"No motives," he lied and Derek laughed. It was probably pretty obvious that Stiles had wanted something to happen.

"A shower sounds like a good idea," Derek responded after a second pause. Then he kissed Stiles on the cheek and got up to take the two mugs, half-filled with coffee that had gone cold, out to the kitchen. Stiles stared off into the distance with a cheesy smile on his face until Derek went to stand back in the bedroom doorway again. "Are you coming?" He asked and Stiles scattered out of the bed to follow him to the bathroom.

Once he got out of bed, however, he began to feel very self-conscious walking naked around his apartment while Derek was there. He crossed his arms over his chest as he stood in the bathroom and watched Derek turn on the shower. Derek turned back around to face him with a soft smile on his face.

"Are you okay?" He asked and Stiles nodded, silently. Derek moved towards him then and placed his hands on Stiles' waist, leaned in close and kissed him slowly, softly. "You're beautiful," he whispered as he broke the kiss. Then they were kissing again. It was just as slow and mesmerising and perfect. Stiles relaxed to Derek's gentle caress. And followed blindly as he was tugged gently towards the spray of the shower.

Derek broke the kiss and Stiles' eyes shot open – he hadn't even realised he'd closed them. But Derek was just removing his jeans and, yep, Stiles was right. He was most definitely commando under there.

Stiles felt odd just watching Derek get undressed and so he turned around, took a step into the shower and let the water hit him and calm him down. He closed his eyes against the spray and waited. A few seconds later and Derek's hands were brushing against his sides. The older man was standing behind him and holding him loosely. Stiles let out a sigh of content as Derek lowered his head onto Stiles' shoulder and gripped him tighter, hugging him from behind. They stayed like that for a few seconds before Derek placed a kiss just below Stiles' ear and pulled away to grab the shower gel. Stiles turned around just in time to see the older man lavishing suds onto his perfect body. They slid down his chest and ran over his glistening abs.

"Stiles, I meant it. Your shower is way too small for shower sex," Derek murmured and Stiles noticed a slight smirk on his face. That's when he realised his body had been reacting to the fantastic view and he was half-hard. Stiles blushed.

"Yeah, well, it's not like I can help it when you're being all hot and wet and soapy," Stiles stated with an exaggerated hand gesture, accidentally smacking it against the tiled wall beside him. Derek laughed, grabbing for the shampoo and dumping some on Stiles' hair. He reached out and ruffled it in a bit, making Stiles squirm and try to get away. "Okay, okay," Stiles pleaded in between laughing. "Less sex thoughts, more washing. I get it." He tried his best to add in a pout but couldn't handle it without laughing.

Stiles eventually got his dick to calm down and they finished showering with no more reappearance. Stiles handed Derek a towel and began to dry himself, starting with his hair, just so he didn't have to watch Derek rubbing his body with a towel.

"Do you have any plans today?" Derek asked and Stiles looked up to see him putting his jeans back on. Stiles wrapped the towel around his waist before responding.

"Not really. No one is in class on Wednesdays because it's meant to be some sort of competition day. I don't know. You?"

"Well," Derek said as he leaned back against the wall and smiled softly. "I was thinking we could go see a movie, grab some food… what do you think?"

"I think it sounds great," Stiles replied as he led out of the bathroom with a big smile on his face.

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Derek's hands gripped at Stiles' thighs as he continued to lick purposefully into his mouth. Stiles tried his hardest to hold back the whine deep in his throat, but he wasn't sure how successful he was, especially when Derek began to teasingly rub his thumbs in a circling motion on Stiles' inner thigh. There was a loud bang from the screen, which caused Stiles to jump away and bite his own tongue.

"Ow, fuck," he whispered into the near-empty movie theatre. Derek laughed quietly next to him.

"Want me to kiss it better?" The older man whispered with a smirk firmly planted on his face – right where Stiles should be. Stiles huffed a laugh before leaning back in. The stinging from his tongue only lasted a few seconds before Derek's amazing kissing skills thoroughly distracted him and made Stiles forget everything.

They were sitting in the back of a dark theatre while a random action film played in the background. Neither of them knew what was happening though because, moments after it started playing and realising there was only one other couple in the room because it was still midday, Stiles had practically climbed onto Derek's lap. It wasn't in a sexual way, they were just enjoying kissing each other.

The film was half an hour away from finishing when Stiles' stomach growled. Derek, who had been licking and kissing at his neck, laughed quietly against his skin. He nipped gently at Stiles' ear lobe.

"Do you like Chinese? I know of a nice place that does takeaway," Derek whispered to Stiles who nodded enthusiastically.

"God, yes!" He then took Stiles' hand in his and pulled them both up off their seats. He kept a hold of his hand as they walked silently out of the cinema. Stiles smiled. He supposed that later he would cringe, feeling like an idiot for how the simple gesture turned him to goo. But for now he was happy and just let himself enjoy the sensation.

They walked all the way to the restaurant holding each other's hands and they only let go when they had to get their wallets out to pay for the food. Derek leaned against the counter as they waited for their order. He smiled at Stiles and opened his mouth to say something when his phone starting ringing. He sighed and checked who was ringing.

"I'm sorry," he apologised as he looked back up at Stiles, "this could be important." Stiles nodded and Derek kissed his chastely on the cheek. "I'll be back in a moment," he said softly before walking out of the restaurant to talk privately on the phone.

Stiles watched him go and sighed before taking out his own phone to scroll through Tumblr. He smiled as he read the news that was plastered all over his wall: gay marriage had been legalised in all 50 states.

"Finally…" he whispered to himself, reblogging the post. But he couldn't help but wonder if it was a good omen that it happened during his first date with Derek. He shook his head, even as his smile grew bigger. He was being ridiculous. They had barely known each other for more than a week! But he'd always been one to fall fast and fall hard. Stiles turned to look back at the direction Derek had left in and caught sight of him through a window. The older man looked severely unimpressed by whomever he was talking to on the phone. Stiles couldn't help the little snort that came out of his mouth as he tried to hold back his laugh. That was the kind of face that Stiles pulled when Scott called him to talk about Allison. Whatever the call was about, it didn't look serious.

Stiles gazed for another second before turning back around to his phone. He didn't want his lover to catch him staring. Lover? Stiles thought over the word, it just wasn't quite right anymore. Boyfriend? Or was that too soon? He chewed his lip as he thought. It wasn't long after that Derek was walking back into the restaurant. The older man placed his hand on the lower of Stiles' back in greeting.

"Sorry I was gone for so long," Derek said softly, "my sister is… intolerable," he sighed and Stiles laughed.

"What happened?"

"Erica told her about you and she called to bug me for information while pretending that she was just holding the phone for our Mum who needed to talk urgently." Just as Derek finished talking, the man behind the counter returned with a white plastic bag containing their food. Derek took it with a smile and nodded a thank you. Once they were outside, Stiles couldn't hold back any longer.

"What did you tell her?"

"Hmm?"

"Your sister? What did you tell her?" Stiles clarified and Derek huffed a quiet laugh before answering.

"Trust me, Stiles. You do not want to be on Cora's radar. She's a viper." There was a steady growing knot in Stiles' stomach until Derek took his hand and brought it to his lips. "I told her the truth; that I like you. A lot. And if she cared for me at all, she would leave you alone. I don't know how much time it's bought you," Derek shrugged, "but it'll work for now."

Stiles smiled for the entire walk back to the apartment building.

They had agreed to go back to Derek's flat because it was the bigger of the two. So that was how they ended up twenty minutes later, sitting on the floor, wrapped up in blankets on the surprisingly chilly autumn day and eating take-out while watching shitty day time television. Stiles was flicking through the channels and landed on Jeremy Kyle. Derek groaned loudly and reached to take the remote away but Stiles squirmed out of reach. Derek continued to clamber after him and so Stiles jumped up with a quiet squeal that he knew he would regret later.

"Come on, we are not watching this," Derek said grumpily. But the older man wasn't quite able to hide the smile on his face as he got up to reach for the remote again. Stiles ran backwards and Derek followed.

"No, wait," Stiles laughed. "I wanna see…" he continued as he looked over Derek's shoulder to read the headline at the bottom of the TV screen, "if he really did cheat on his wife with her daughter! And give her an STD...? Wow, what a dick," Stiles mumbled quietly.

Derek used Stiles' pause to his own advantage and jumped on him, tackling him to the sofa and taking the remote.

"No!" Stiles squeaked in between gulfs of laughter and attempted to grab the remote back. He accidently managed to knock Derek off his balance and they both toppled to the floor below. Stiles landed with a quiet thud on top of Derek's hard abs and he tensed nervously as he expected Derek to get angry.

But his landlord laughed brightly. It was loud and shook his entire body and it was one of the most beautiful things Stiles had ever seen. He couldn't help the slow, playful grin that spread across his face as he looked down at Derek.

Their eyes met and Stiles blushed deeply as Derek slowly stopped laughing and they continued to just grin at each other.

Derek reached up at the same time Stiles leaned down, their lips meeting in a soft embrace.

[] [] []

Stiles woke to soft fingers stroking through his hair. He opened his eyes slowly and saw Derek looking down at him. A slow smile began to form on his lips, until a thought appeared to him. Then he just closed his eyes and face-palmed instead.

"Oh my God! I can't believe I fell asleep on our first date!" Stiles cried out, and Derek laughed gently. After the make-out session, they had settled down and chosen to watch reruns of Psych while they ate. And somehow he'd woken up with his head on Derek's lap. He just hoped that he hadn't snored. "I am such a terrible date, oh my God! What is wrong with me?" Stiles continued and Derek shushed him.

"Stiles, don't worry, I fell asleep too," the older man laughed and Stiles opened his eyes and slowly sat up.

"Then I guess we're both as bad as each other," Stiles pondered slowly before smiling happily – he hadn't completely fucked this up yet.

"I don't know about that," Derek teased as he stood up to take their empty containers out towards the kitchen area. "At least you didn't wake up with a patch of drool on your lap." Stiles looked down then and, sure enough, there was a small wet patch on Derek's right upper thigh. Stiles just barely managed to hold in his embarrassed squeak as he desperately searched for something to say that would let him recover from this disaster. The pause grew out a couple of seconds and he knew he had to say something. Anything.

"Well…" Say something sexy. "maybe… my subconscious knew how close I was to your dick and it wanted to give you a blow job." Stiles said and then instantly closed his eyes and sucked in his lips. He couldn't believe he'd just said that! That was not at all sexy! It was fucking ridiculous!

Stiles heard a chocked sound come from Derek and opened his eyes again. The older man had been walking into the kitchen area of the apartment and seemed to be frozen there, facing away from Stiles. Slowly, Derek cleared his throat and turned around. Stiles noticed the slight redness to his landlord's cheeks and was almost certain that Derek was suffering second-hand embarrassment from him.

But Derek just smiled and laughed, spluttering out a playful "really?"

And actually, yeah. The previous night he'd had a taste, but he wanted more. He wanted to explore every inch of Derek's body with his tongue – what better place to start than with his dick?

Stiles began to blush furiously and Derek's eyes widened a little. The humour left his expression to be replaced by something deeper. He was still smiling, but it was more like a challenge.

Challenge accepted, Stiles thought to himself as he rose to his feet. He moved towards Derek and kissed him without pause. Derek kissed back and some worry eased in Stiles' chest. How Derek wasn't repulsed by Stiles' inability to shut the fuck up, he didn't know. But he wasn't going to take this moment for granted.

Stiles backed Derek up against the nearest counter and smiled into the kiss as he did so. He hadn't been entirely sure if Derek would let him take control like this. He wondered how submissive Derek could be and his dick became very interested in the image that his brain provided of him fucking Derek senseless over a table. But that was an exploration for another day.

Stiles reached down and cupped Derek's jean-covered dick in his left hand. It was still soft but Stiles could feel it growing at his touch. He rubbed at Derek's cock as he explored the man's mouth with his tongue. The older man let him in; let him take control, and it just made Stiles feel hotter. Derek was strong and powerful, he could push Stiles up against a wall and dominate over him – and, let's face it, Stiles would really enjoy that – but instead he was letting Stiles set the pace.

Stiles licked at every millimetre of Derek's mouth as he palmed at the man's growing bulge. His own dick was fully erect and straining against his jeans, but he ignored it for the moment. Stiles moved his lips on from Derek's mouth and brought them across his jaw line – wow, you could slice bread with that jaw! The stubble scratched at his soft lips in a delicious way. Stiles nipped at his lips lightly and Derek exhaled shakily. Biting kink? Stiles wondered and decided to test it.

He continued to kiss his way across Derek's jaw and to his ear, where he dragged his teeth gently against Derek's ear lobe as he sucked it into his mouth. Derek gripped a little tighter at where his hands hand been resting against Stiles' hips while Stiles tugged lightly on his ear.

Stiles smiled as he released his light bite and moved down to Derek's neck. The older man instantly tilted his head away to allow Stiles better access. Stiles smiled lightly and licked and nipped at Derek's neck. He could feel just how much the older man was enjoying it by the twitching of his cock in Stiles' hand. He knew Derek was getting desperate. He could feel the older man's need to be touched properly. Something more than light cupping and a few bites. But he was holding off, completely under Stiles' control.

Stiles apparently lived to be a tease. He kept his petting to a minimum as he scraped he teeth from just under his ear, all the way down to the base of his neck. Derek whimpered lightly and Stiles huffed a laugh before biting a little bit harder at the joint where Derek's neck met his shoulder.

Derek buried his face into Stiles' neck and groaned loudly. But that bite had finally pushed him over the edge. His breath was laboured and shaking and his hips were grinding up into Stiles' hand. Stiles could see the effort Derek was putting into holding back though, he could see how badly the older man was longing to be touched and heard the soft whimper that escaped his clenched jaw and he finally was able to still his hips again.

"Please," Derek whimpered into the base of Stiles' neck. "Please."

He felt powerful to know that he was able to bring a man with as much bravado as Derek metaphorically to his knees – begging for more of Stiles' touch. But Stiles had had enough of teasing. Derek wanted to come and Stiles wanted to be the one to make him. Stiles released his bite and kissed at the spot, unzipping Derek's jeans. He quickly pushed them down out of the way. Derek hadn't put any briefs on after their shower that morning and so Stiles' looked down at the thick and long dick at his fingertips. He took a firm grasp of it and Derek flung his head back and groaned so loudly Stiles would bet he could have heard it from his apartment on the third floor.

Stiles lowered himself slowly to his knees so he was at eye level with Derek's throbbing cock.

It had been a while since he'd given a blowjob. And he had never had something this big in his mouth and so he was a little nervous that he might fuck it up. But he wanted to do this so badly. He watched his hand as it stroked slowly up the Derek's shaft, squeezing lightly as he reached the apex. And he listened to the heavy panting he could hear from Derek above him. There was just a hint of a moan in his heavy breaths and Stiles couldn't get enough of that glorious sound.

He gave a few more experimental strokes before opening his mouth and licking all the way up the throbbing vein on the underside of Derek's dick. He watched as the muscles in Derek's thighs quivered and Stiles smiled devilishly. He shuffled a little closer and hovered his mouth over the tip of Derek's penis before slowly letting his mouth encompass the head. He sucked on it delicately and Derek's left hand found its way to Stiles' hair where it gripped firm and agreeable.

Stiles licked his tongue out to swipe at more of Derek's dick before lowering further so he was taking more and more of it into his mouth. His right hand was rubbing at the base of Derek's dick and he brought his left hand up to palm at his balls.

Stiles got a couple of more inches in his mouth before he began to bob his head up and down slowly. Sucking lightly every time he moved back up the shaft. His own dick was standing erect and completely attentive inside his pants and he was aching to take a hold of himself. But he wanted to make this completely about Derek and so he settled for being a little rougher in his movements. Sucking a little bit harder each time, rubbing a little bit faster.

He pulled him mouth off of Derek's dick with a wet sounding pop and rested his forehead on the older man's hip as he let his hand do the work for a moment. His dick was straining against the stitches at this point, but he was trying his best to put it out of his mind. He looked up to Derek's face as his hand continued to work him to completion. The older man's head was tilted back and resting against the above-counter cupboard, eyes closed and biting at his lip. The hand that wasn't fisting at Stiles' hair (still just on the right side of painful) was grasping the countertop so hard that his knuckles were white. Stiles came to a decision right then.

He'd learnt how to deep-throat when he was dating Danny a year ago. And the teenager had been no comparison to how big and thick Derek was, but Stiles betted he could still do it. He nodded to himself as he lowered back onto Derek's dick. He licked a few stripes at it again before taking it into his mouth.

He got to the same place he was before and took a few deep breaths in through his nose to help himself relax his gag reflex. And then he continued. He went slowly at first, taking in an inch at a time. But once he felt the head hit the back of his throat and heard Derek whimper his name, he got more excited. He eagerly pushed the rest of the way until the hair at the base of Derek's cock was tickling his nose. The older man was shaking with his effort to hold still and Stiles moaned lightly around the cock in his mouth.

"Fuck," Derek groaned as his dick twitched deep on Stiles' throat as he came. Stiles' felt the hot liquid hit his throat and suddenly he was pushed over the edge he'd been hanging on for the past ten minutes. He came in his pants as he swallowed Derek's come.

Stiles stayed perfectly still for a few seconds as he basked in the afterglow of his orgasm and then carefully pulled off of Derek's dick. The older man slid down the counter until he was sitting on the floor and pulling Stiles onto his lap. That's when it fully hit Stiles that he'd just come in his pants, untouched. He groaned in embarrassment and Derek hugged him closer.

"I am such a terrible date," Stiles mumbled, uncomfortably, as the wet patch in his boxers made him squirm.

"No, you're amazing," Derek mumbled in a soft voice and Stiles almost believed it. But then he just shook his head.

"I just came in my pants. That's not 'amazing'," Stiles said as he tried to squirm away from Derek, who just held him tighter.

"Maybe not. But it's pretty damn hot," Derek said and Stiles laughed. "No, I'm being serious," Derek said forcefully and Stiles' finally looked up, getting rewarded with Derek's bright smile and a chaste kiss. "I can't stop thinking of all the ways that I could make you come for me. And it is very hot… Plus, you know, I was on the verge of coming when I first saw you turn around and got a look at that great ass of yours," Derek continued and to emphasise his point he pushed his hands into the back of Stiles' jeans and squeezed his bare ass.

Stiles squeaked (in a very manly way, thank you very much) and jumped at the sudden contact. But then Derek's lips were on his again. He melted into the kiss and relaxed where he was still sitting on Derek's lap.

The older man nipped at Stiles' bottom lip as he broke the kiss and Stiles sighed. How could he have possibly found a man like Derek freaking Hale? He didn't even think someone like this existed.

"Do you want to stay the night?" Derek whispered in the quiet room and Stiles nodded fervently.

Later that night, after Stiles had washed up and was wearing nothing but a borrowed pair of loose fitting jogging bottoms, Derek walked behind him and wrapped his arms tightly around his waist. Stiles sighed softly and melted into the embrace. They were pressed closely together and Stiles could tell that the man was completely naked behind him. He smiled and wiggled his hips, making his ass rub up against Derek's soft dick.

"I think it's my turn to do the touching," Derek whispered as his hand slipped down the front of Stiles' borrowed clothing to rub playfully at his cock. Stiles just nodded and leant further into his touch. They were going to have a lot of fun.

Chapter Text

This time when Stiles woke up, he was cocooned in Derek's strong, warm arms. He smiled and snuggled backwards and further into Derek's hold. There was a huff of laughter from the older man, which tickled the hair at the nape of Stiles' neck. Stiles liked being the small spoon, but he would deny it until his last breath; there was just something comforting about being held, safe and warm, in someone else's arms.

Derek nuzzled his head softly against the back of Stiles' neck and Stiles lowered his hand to link it with the one Derek had wrapped around his stomach. Everything was cosy and peaceful. So, inevitably, it had to end.

Stiles' phone lit up and blurted out System of a Down telling him to wake up (literally. Those were the first lyrics of the song and it was something that Stiles had thought was very clever when he first set it, and continued to think so for the past few months. Until this moment where he just wanted to chuck his phone out of the window and never leave Derek's embrace).

"Nope," Stiles groaned as he reached out and cancelled his alarm before burying himself back into Derek's arms.

"Aren't you going to get up?" Derek whispered and Stiles shook his head vehemently.

"Never."

Derek laughed for a moment before kissing Stiles' neck delicately.

"But you have class."

"Don't care."

"Hmmm," Derek murmured, his head still tucked into Stiles' neck. "So there is nothing you want to wake up for?"

"Nope," Stiles insisted.

"Nothing could change your mind? Nothing I could do for you… to you?" Derek whispered that last part and emphasised it with another kiss onto Stiles' neck, this one more open and wet.

"I, er… you'll just have to try and find out," Stiles stuttered. All thoughts of sleep had completely cleared from his mind and he was more focussed on the hot mouth trailing its way down the back of his neck. But he kept his eyes closed, partially for the charade so that Derek would continue, but also because he wanted to focus solely on the feeling of Derek's stubble dragging slowly down his neck and towards his shoulder blades. He was breathing heavily, fully turned on by Derek's mouth – the kisses weren't even that dirty.

Derek rolled them both so that he was on top of Stiles and shifted his weight onto his knees and hands so he wasn't crushing the younger man. Derek paused for a moment in his kisses as he pulled back; Stiles opened his eyes and threw a questioning glance over his shoulder. Derek didn't answer at first, he just placed a few delicate kisses at seemingly random places on Stiles' back. Stiles shifted and hummed lightly in response.

"You have a lot of moles on your back," Derek said eventually. "I never really noticed before." Stiles huffed slightly, he wasn't a big fan of his moles and always thought they looked unattractive. He didn't really have time to say anything though before Derek's tongue was on him again, licking and kissing lines onto his back. He groaned and closed his eyes again as he settled back onto his pillow. It was just the right mix of relaxing and erotic. And he knew for a fact that he wasn't the only one getting turned on because Derek's cock was laying against his thigh and he could feel it growing as he himself was becoming hard.

After another moment Stiles' began to recognise the pattern Derek was following with his mouth. It was the same places he had placed the delicate kisses just a moment ago. Stiles frowned and raised his head off the pillow to talk.

"Are you kissing my moles?" He asked accusingly and Derek huffed a laugh at his response.

"You know, there's a lot more interesting places of my body for you to kiss." Stiles tried to make that sound flirty and sexy, but he probably failed.

"Lie down," Derek muttered against his skin and bite down lightly as a reprimand for interfering with his exploration. Stiles moaned and did as he was told. He loved the feel of those wet kisses over his back followed by the scratch of stubble. He just knew his back would be covered in stubble-burn by the end of the hour. Worth it, though.

Derek worked further down onto his lower back. And, when Stiles thought about it, he was sure that he didn't have any moles that low down. But he didn't care because he was half hard and hypnotised in the sensations of Derek's tongue. Derek moved his entire body down as he worked and he was now kneeling over the back of Stiles' knees. He pulled his hands from where they were resting on both sides of Stiles' waist to his ass and began kneading at it. Stiles' breath caught in his throat and he bit and his lip because Derek's thumbs were so close to his hole. They would occasionally ghost over it and his entire body would shiver in anticipation.

Derek reached the very base of Stiles' back and sat up. Finally, Stiles thought, finally, Derek was going to fuck him.

But that wasn't quite was Derek had in mind. Derek spread his cheeks with his fingers and Stiles looked over his shoulder just in time to watch Derek lower his mouth to Stiles hole.

"Holy shit…" Stiles breathed as Derek's rough tongue licked at his rim. He was getting a rim-job. Derek Hale was rimming him. He didn't know that people actually did this outside of porn. But, oh god, it felt so freaking good!

Derek hadn't pushed inside yet, he was still circling Stiles' hole with his tongue and probably enjoying the steady stream of curses flowing from Stiles' mouth.

"You like that?" Derek asked as he lifted his head slightly. Stiles couldn't do much more than nod and moan. Derek smirked and lowered his head once again to Stiles' rim. This time, when he licked, he pushed his tongue inside. Stiles gripped tightly at the bed sheets to give himself the control to not push back against Derek's tongue as it slowly sunk deeper and flicked inside of him. Derek pulled out and licked at Stiles' abused rim again before sinking back in and fucking him with his tongue.

After a few seconds, Derek moved his right hand and one of his fingers joined the action. It pushed into Stiles, nice and slow, and reached the places that Derek's tongue just couldn't. Derek found his prostate almost instantly and rubbed at that sweet spot ruthlessly. Stiles was squirming and panting on the bed, murmuring Derek's name again and again into the pillow he was biting down onto. Then Derek added a second finger to join the attack against Stiles' prostate and the Stiles came with a silent scream.

Derek pulled his tongue and fingers out of Stiles ass gently and kissed once more at his abused rim. Stiles rested for a few seconds in his afterglow before he flipped over to face Derek, who had taken his own erection in his hand and was reaching for his own climax. Because some people didn't come untouched from nothing more than pleasuring their partners and making them come. Dammit. Stiles was never going to forgive himself for that. Stiles sat up and reached his hand out to bat Derek's away. He wanted to be the reason Derek came. He didn't try to draw it out this time though because he could see how close Derek was and how desperate he was to come.

Stiles watched as his hand worked at Derek's cock, sliding up and down his shaft. But he listened too, enjoying each and every moaned word that escaped Derek's lips. After another moment, Derek seemed to be shaking with pleasure and Stiles knew that he was moments away from his climax. And so, he dragged his gaze away from his twitching cock to watch Derek's face as he came. It was beautiful, watching that 'O' form on those kiss-reddened lips. He leaned forward and worked him just a little bit faster. And then Derek was coming all over Stiles' hand. God, he loved making Derek come. It was probably his knew favourite pass-time. That, or letting Derek make him come. That was a great hobby too.

Stiles dived forward to cover Derek's mouth with his own. The kiss was dirty and sloppy and amazing.

"Come on," Derek whispered into Stiles' ear, he sat back and pulled some tissues out of the draw to clean Stiles' hand and stomach with. "Eat breakfast with me before you have to leave." Stiles smiled goofily as he dragged himself off the bed. Derek took Stiles' hand in his own as they walked together into the kitchen. "Do you like bacon omelettes?" Derek asked and Stiles was practically drooling at just the thought of them.

"Hell, yes!" He enthused and Derek laughed. But he couldn't help his excitement, he hadn't had a cooked breakfast since he left home – unless pop tarts counted. He seriously doubted that they did.

"Sit down, I'll make you one," Derek replied as they walked closer to his kitchen table. Derek brought Stiles' hand to his lips and kissed it gently before dropping it and turning around to get the ingredients from the fridge.

"Okay," Stiles tried to say, but it came out very quiet because Derek had taken his breath away, and so, he doubted his lover could hear him. Lover? Stiles mused as he sat down at the wooden table. It seemed even less like of a fit now than it had the previous day. Stiles shook his head to clear his thoughts; it was too early to be having this inner dispute again.

Stiles sighed, crossed his arms on the table and rested his chin on them as he watched Derek make their breakfast. He enjoyed watching those back and shoulder muscles flex and move as Derek cracked and whisked the eggs. And then that ass was phenomenal view as well. Really, he didn't think he could ever get bored at just staring at Derek. Though, he did wonder if it was really a good idea to be cooking naked… but, then again, there was that British cook who was nicknamed the Naked Chef… well, Stiles had never actually seen him cook naked when he'd googled him (which was a shame because Jamie Oliver was hot), but there had to be some reason for the nickname.

It only took Derek another couple of minutes to finish both omelettes and place them on the table. Stiles grinned and thanked him as he smelt that beautiful aroma. He grabbed for the knife and fork and dug in.

"Oh my God," Stiles moaned at his first mouthful. "This is amazing!" Derek smiled slightly as he looked from his own plate to Stiles' beaming face and he blushed.

"I'm glad you like it because it's the only thing I know how to cook". Stiles almost made a quip about how Derek would have to make them for him all the time. But he just managed to bite his tongue. Damn, it was so hard to pretend like he wasn't fully invested in this relationship already when he just liked Derek so god-damn much!

Instead, he took another mouthful and they continued to eat in a relative quiet. That meaning, quiet for Stiles. He talked more to himself when he's alone then he was doing then. But it was comfortable, neither of them felt the need to fill the quiet with meaningless, forced small talk. And that was an experience that Stiles had never felt before.

After they had eaten, Stiles realised he was running later than usual and he needed to leave to have his shower if he was going to get to his class on time. Looked like he was definitely going to have to drive to University today. Stiles rushed to put on his clothes. He picked up his boxers and saw the crusted cum stains on them. He grimaced and picked up his jeans instead because he was not putting those back on, not even for the short two minutes it would take him to get to his apartment and turn on the shower. The slight cum-stains on the inside of his jeans also made Stiles cringe, but there was nothing he could do about that… he didn't exactly feel like walking around the public apartment building bare-ass naked. He sighed as he put the remainder of his clothes on and shoved the dirty boxers into one of his pockets so that he didn't have to carry them.

He turned around to see Derek watching him from the doorway and gaped, blushing furiously. Derek laughed and handed Stiles his keys and wallet that he must have left in the living room the previous night.

"I really enjoyed last night," Derek said and Stiles placed a chaste kiss on his lips.

"Me too. I'll text you later," Stiles replied and Derek nodded, pulling Stiles back in for one last kiss before he had to leave. He rushed out of apartment 1A with a stupid grin on his face. And then, seconds later, he almost literally ran into Sarah. He dodged out of the way, so that he didn't collide head-first with her in her ridiculously high heels, and she had to put her hands out to steady him from falling over.

"Thanks," he muttered with his stupid grin still plastered on his face. Sarah smirked back at him and he could swear that she knew exactly what (who) he had done last night… and the previous night… and again this morning. Which, she probably did. They weren't exactly discreet at the club and everybody now knew that he was dating Derek.

"No problem," she said with her smirk still on place, she stepped back and walked away, explaining that she had to go in early to talk to her professor and she would see him later. Stiles nodded and walked, more carefully this time, up to apartment 3D to take a shower and get changed.

[] [] []

His morning lecture and lab session seemed to fly by, which was strange because he was still only doing intro to scientific practice and the professors were just going over the basics that he already knew. But during his lecture he was texting back and forth with Derek. Nothing particularly special, just a couple of complaints about Doctor Bird's drone voice and a few flirtatious promises to make each other's boring days a lot brighter next time they saw each other. By the end of the hour, Stiles had scored another date with the sex God (whose nickname was now officially well earned) and he was on cloud nine. And even when he was in the lab and not permitted to use his phone, he still thought of Derek every time that he shifted on the uncomfortable metal stool and felt the throbbing twinge from the amazing sex they'd had the last couple of days.

Thursdays were only a half-day for Stiles and so he was done for dinner time. Scott also had a two-hour break before his final class of the day and so they went out for food together. It was only then that Stiles realised they hadn't spent time together as just the two of them since before Stiles moved into his apartment. It had literally been weeks.

"So, how was your date?" Scott asked as they waited in a queue to order burgers. Stiles didn't even know how to answer that properly, but his smile seemed to be good enough for Scott. "Do I have to give him the best friend talk?"

"The best friend talk?"

"Yeah, you know, the 'hurt him and I'll ruin your life' talk," Scott announced proudly and Stiles smiled at his ridiculous best friend.

"And how exactly would you 'ruin his life'?" Stiles enquired with the smile still on place.

"I don't know yet… but I would," Scott replied, deadly serious. Stiles patted him on the back and nodded his thanks. Scott was ridiculous, but he meant well.

After a moment, they placed their orders and grabbed a seat at one of the tables to wait for it. Scott rubbed at his tired eyes; apparently, his roommate hated him even more now because Scott had accidentally woken him up one day when the guy had a hangover. Now said roommate seemed to be making it his life mission to wake Scott up whenever he came back to the room late, which appeared to be most nights. Stiles winced in sympathy for his friend and encouraged him to talk to the monitor for their building – maybe he could get Scott moved to a different room.

They spent another hour catching up before Scott had to leave for the long walk back to campus for his final lecture of the day.

Later that day, Stiles joined Isaac, Erica, Boyd and Sarah in Erica's apartment for a night of TV. They had invited Scott and Allison too but they were going on a date instead. Erica's place was… pinker then he had expected, considering all the black leather, miniskirts and killer heels that she wore. She had a white leather corner sofa with pink and purple cushions and a large soft pink fluffy blanket thrown over the back. Her TV was a fair size and there was pizza sitting in boxes on the floor in front of it and on the coffee table, that was drowning out the scent of lavender and honey from the incense burning in the kitchen. Stiles had barely seen a glimpse of this side of Erica and it was a surprise to see her home filled with warmth and bright colours. Stiles stopped himself from pointing out the glaringly obvious antagonism between Erica and her furniture when something clicked in his mind. He remembered all the bullying that Erica was on the receiving end of when they were in school, right up until she got some new medication for her epilepsy and strutted into the building in leather and exposing her breasts. It was a shield, Stiles realised. Something to make her feel confident. And, if someone teased her, then they were just making fun of her act because they didn't know her true self.

He flung himself on top of the large sofa (and Isaac who was already sitting there) and smiled goofily.

"Love the place," Stiles made sure to say as he pulled down the soft pink blanket and wrapped himself in it. He hoped that Erica got that Stiles would never bully her and she could trust him to see the real her. Isaac sighed and pushed Stiles off him and onto the floor as everyone laughed.

"Whatever," Erica replied, "just don't drop pizza anywhere and I won't have to castrate you." Stiles nodded, giving a small salute before crawling over to the pizza.

"So, is Derek coming over?" Stiles asked as he surveyed the small group of people in the room. Only Boyd was missing, but Stiles knew he was on the way. Isaac gave a small smirk as he reached over and took a slice of pizza from one of the boxes on the coffee table.

"He's busy with work. Why? Missing your boyfriend?" Isaac teased and Erica laughed as she sat down on the floor and leant back against the sofa, pulling the blanket away from Stiles to drape over herself. Stiles put up a little fight for the blanket but eventually conceded and let her take it away. Stiles' mood dampened a little bit as he heard Isaac's mocking and his brain fought over the correct wording for what he and Derek are.

"I don't even know if he is my boyfriend," Stiles mumbled to himself and the light-hearted atmosphere seemed to get sucked out of the room. Stiles looked up from the slice of pizza he was sulking over and saw the stern look on Isaac's face. Erica and Sarah both seemed to be just as unimpressed.

"What does that mean?" Erica said in a controlled and calm voice that he'd never heard from her before – it was fairly terrifying.

"It's not that I don't want to be his boyfriend," Stiles was quick to mention. "It's just that we've only been dating for like a day and we haven't discussed it. And you've seen him, he looks impossible! He could have anyone." There was a moment of stillness in the room that made Stiles want to squirm and run away. Then Isaac was looking at the girls, who both nodded, and all the tension seemed to drain away.

"Oh, honey," Erica said and then shook her head. Isaac rolled his eyes.

"Derek isn't the kind of guy to play around. If you're dating, then you're exclusive," the other boy eventually said. His voice was clear so there was no room for misunderstanding. His tone was friendly but had an undertone of warning in it and Stiles was able to read between the lines. Isaac was telling him that if he wasn't ready to be exclusive then he should leave Derek alone. It was a much more subtle and affective version of Scott's best friend talk. Stiles gaped and nodded and there was a moment more of silence before Sarah spoke.

"Plus, I really don't know how you can't see how utterly gone Derek is for you," she said with a smile and amusement in her voice. Before Stiles could reply to anything, Erica was bouncing up off the floor and flying to the door to let Boyd in. Stiles frowned at her because, seriously, how had she even known he was there?

Everyone eased into a happy argument about what to watch on TV. But Stiles' mind was still reeling over Isaac's veiled threat. Stiles sighed happily and ate his pizza. They had surely overemphasised Derek's feelings for Stiles, he was under no impression that Derek had fallen as deeply for him as he had done for Derek, but their insistence made him feel a little better. He thought of Derek then. Of his smile. Of his eyes and how they changed colour depending on how the light caught them.

"Boyfriend…" Stiles whispered to himself, trying the word out on his tongue underneath Boyd's argument for why they should watch Arrow. It felt right. He smiled stupidly to himself and took another bite of pizza. Stiles had a boyfriend.

Chapter Text

A couple of weeks later brought the first lacrosse game of the term. Stiles and Isaac both started first line with all of their friends there to support them; Scott, Allison, Derek, Boyd, Erica, even Sarah had managed to get the evening off work to cheer them on from the stands. It was nearing the end of the match and the two teams were still tied. The minutes ticked on and suddenly Stiles saw his chance. His teammate, Jake, had just tackled a member of the opposing team and Stiles was able to scoop up the ball and make a run for the goal. He faked a step to the right before side-stepping left around the defender in this way.

Stiles knew he'd only gained a few seconds. The guy was big. All he would have to do was run into Stiles and he'd be down, the ball lost from his reach. So he took a chance and took the shot. Stiles watched with baited breath as the goalie dived to catch the ball... and missed. The ball flew into the back of the net.

Stiles laughed with relief and turned around to face his team. As he ran back to join them, several of his teammates held out their hands for him to high-five and he grinned as he did so. There was still several minutes left on the timer but the opposing team wasn't able to get a goal past them, meaning that Beacon County University won their first match of the season. And Stiles had scored the winning goal!

As the whistle blew to signal the end of the match, Stiles heard the crowded cheering for their victory and turned to face the stands. He instantly made eye contact with Derek and Stiles rushed forward to meet him. Derek stepped away from the rest of the crowd, which thankfully didn't include Stiles' dad who hadn't been able to get the time off work, and enveloped him in a warm hug. Stiles wrapped his arms around Derek's shoulders and grinned into the taller man's collarbone.

"I scored the winning goal," Stiles exclaimed, almost breathlessly but Derek was still able to hear him over the celebrating crowd.

"I saw," he replied simply and placed a soft kiss to the side of Stiles' forehead. "You played really well."

Stiles pulled back slightly and grinned up at his boyfriend.

"You're damn right, I did." Derek laughed and they shared a chaste kiss before the older man looked over Stiles' shoulder and back at the pitch.

"You should be celebrating with your team," Derek muttered.

"But-" Stiles began to protest, he'd much rather be celebrating with Derek. However, the older man cut him off.

"We can celebrate together later... when we're alone." Stiles didn't have to be told twice. He stepped out of Derek's hold and backed away to join his team, keeping eye contact with his boyfriend the first few steps so that Derek knew he'd be kept to his word.

[] [] []

That night Derek did come over. He blew Stiles within an inch of his life and then fucked him nice and slow into the mattress.

"Wow," Stiles whispered as Derek held him in his arms. "That was amazing. I think I might actually sleep for a week."

"Hmmm," Derek murmured and placed a light kiss behind Stiles' ear. "That's a shame. I mean... I was going to invite you to come away with me tomorrow but if you think you're going to be sleeping I suppose I'll have to go alone." Stiles flipped over to stare at Derek as he tried to make sense of his boyfriend's words.

"You're inviting me to go away with you?" Stiles eventually managed to ask and Derek smiled.

"Yeah. My family owns a holiday home a few hours drive from here and we have British neighbours. They celebrate something called bonfire night, I don't know much about it-"

"It's the day that England celebrates Guy Fawkes' arrest and the subsequent failure of the gunpowder plot that was set to kill the King back in the sixteen-hundreds," Stiles interrupted. He couldn't help it, Derek was inviting him to join him at his family's holiday home. His random facts were the only things made sense anymore.

"Right," Derek smiled wider, amusement clear on his face. "Well, its tomorrow and they celebrate it by setting off this big firework display. And I know you only have a half day on Thursdays and so I thought I could drive you down after lunch and we could spend a long weekend there. If you want to that is."

"That's..." amazing, perfect, the best fucking idea you've ever had. Stiles couldn't quite find the words to express just how much he would love to go away with Derek for a weekend. So he kissed him instead. Stiles reached up and wrapped his arms around what he could of Derek's shoulders while they were both still lying down, and he kissed his boyfriend with everything he had. They were both breathless and smiling by the time the kiss came to an end.

"I'll take that as a yes."

"Definitely"

[] [] []

The next day, Stiles wasted no time hanging around after his lab session finished. He grabbed his bags, waved goodbye to his friends and practically ran back to his apartment. Throughout his lecture he had made a list of all the things he'd need to pack for this weekend and so he read it and quickly shoved everything into a duffel bag.

While he was grabbing his favourite bottle of lube out of the bedside drawers, a fairly expensive bottle that he'd bought because he knew it felt particularly amazing to have the good kind of lube and Derek deserved the best, he saw an abandoned box shoved underneath some papers. He stared down at the box for several moments as he contemplated his options. Stiles hadn't topped yet. He wanted to. God how he wanted to. But every time he went to suggest it to Derek, he got distracted or chickened out. He knows the phrase "it's not the size, it's how you use it" but Derek had it all; his dick was huge and he had the skills to go with it. And, let's face it, Stiles didn't. He was just... average. And his amount of sexual experiences before he met Derek was pathetically lacking. He and Danny had rarely done more than hand and blow jobs because it was easier to make sure they wouldn't get caught by the sheriff. He'd only ever topped twice before. What if he wasn't good enough?

There was a soft knock on the door and Stiles froze before making a quick decision and throwing the box of condoms into his duffel bag. He zipped the bag closed and rushed out of the bedroom to open the door and let Derek inside from the hallway.

Derek smiled and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek before reaching down to grab his bag from him. Stiles felt a blush burn his cheeks and he wanted to hit himself; there was literally no God damn reason to be blushing here! His body just didn't seem to get the memo. At least this time it was only a blush and not another inappropriately-timed boner.

"You ready to go?" Derek asked and Stiles smiled.

"Oh, wait, no," Stiles mumbled and he rushed into the kitchen to grab a bottle of coke from the fridge and a few sharing packs of hard-boiled and chewy sweets. "Snacks for the road," he announced with a grin which Derek happily reciprocated. Derek and Stiles walked together towards the car park behind the building. Derek unlocked the Camaro and shoved both of their bags into the boot as Stiles slid into the front passenger seat.

The drive was fun. Stiles and Derek argued light-heartedly over what music to play and they ate a lot of junk-food. It felt like no time at all when Derek was pulling up next to a fucking mansion that he called a holiday home. Okay, maybe Stiles was exaggerating just a little bit… but, seriously, his 'holiday home' was twice the size of Stiles' house.

He knew that Derek and his family had money, but he didn't have any idea of just how much until this moment. Derek showed him around a bit before depositing their bags into the master bedroom. Stiles smiled and pretended like he wasn't freaking out just a little bit. What was Derek even doing dating Stiles? He was smart, funny, beautiful, had a shit tonne of money… he could literally have anyone he wanted. Even straight men would quiver at his feet for a piece of that ass.

They still had about an hour until it was going to get dark and so Stiles retreated to take a shower. He let the warm water wash over him as he took several deep breaths to calm himself down. Stiles had to remind himself that Derek liked him. He was here in this house because Derek had invited him so they could spend a long weekend together. Derek liked him. It took several minutes, but eventually Stiles began to relax again. He wasn't going to spend this weekend worrying, he was going to spend it having sex. Stiles smiled to himself and turned off the shower. He wrapped one of the big, soft towels around his waist and put on some clean clothes from his duffel bag before going downstairs to join Derek.

Stiles followed the soft sound of music into the back garden, where he found his boyfriend. He also found a bench-swing covered with cushions and blankets and several candles lit around the porch. Derek was standing there with a lighter and a soft, shy smile.

"I didn't think you'd be down so soon," Derek admitted as he lit another candle and placed it onto one of the empty, elevated candle holders dotting the grass. Stiles walked over and dragged Derek down for a kiss, who had put on a blue sweater for the cooling afternoon, while Stiles was in the shower, and it was soft and warm to Stiles' touch as he pressed himself up against it.

"I can't believe you did all of this," Stiles whispered as he pulled back from the kiss, "you're such a sap." Derek laughed at that and dove back down for another kiss. Stiles sighed deeply as he let Derek pull away to continue lighting the candles.

"For you, I suppose I am…" Derek said softly and Stiles refused to acknowledge the blush burning bright on his face, nor how his heart gave a little squeeze. After all, he was still trying to pretend that he hadn't already fallen madly in love.

"Are you sure this is safe?" Stiles asked instead of replying and gestured to the many candles now lit on stands in the grass. Derek just shrugged.

"We have sprinklers, if anything happens then I'll just turn them on." Stiles looked around and noticed several of said sprinklers on the lawn, all within reach of the candles.

"Okay… but what if there's a large fire?" He continued.

"Then we'll call the fire department," Derek replied and pulled Stiles into a hug. "Stop worrying, nothing's going to happen." Famous last words, Stiles thought. But he just nodded and looked up at the darkening sky. It was a cloudy evening, meaning that the early November sky was duller than normal. But dark purple slipped through between grey clouds and Stiles occasionally caught sight of the moon, reflecting light back down onto the earth. It was a beautiful night and Stiles was suddenly filled with such happiness that Derek had thought to go through all this trouble.

"Dance with me?" Stiles asked. He didn't recognise the music, it was instrumental… a mixture between jazz and soft rock maybe, but that didn't really matter. He just wanted to stay as close to Derek as possible.

"And who's the sap now…" Derek responded, teasingly.

"Still you, dude." Stiles laughed as Derek moved his hands from around Stiles' back to his hips and led them both to the gentle beat of the music. They weren't so much dancing as they were swaying, but it was nice.

Ten minutes later, when the fireworks started, Stiles and Derek both retreated to snuggle up underneath the blankets on the bench swing. They really were spectacular to watch, bigger and louder than any other display that Stiles had seen before. Stiles normally would have said this aloud, then scoffed and muttered "rich people"… but he figured that was probably distasteful considering his company. Stiles wondered what Derek was thinking and so he turned his head to look at his boyfriend's face, only to find that Derek was already looking at him.

"You're supposed to be watching the fireworks," Stiles whispered because the tension suddenly hit him like a bus and he didn't want to break it.

"So are you," Derek whispered back. They both smirked at each other for several moments before leaning the few inches between them. Their mouths met in a slow and lazy kiss. It was filled with passion and an undertone of lust just managed to creep in. But there was no rush about it, it was no-longer a race to the finish line. They were going to have sex and they both knew it. After all, wasn't that the main point of a romantic weekend away together? Lots and lots of sex. So, they could relax and take their time. And that's what they fully intended to do.

Derek's tongue roamed Stiles' mouth, mapping it again and again long after the fireworks had ended. Stiles had shifted from sitting up against Derek, to lounging with his legs lying across Derek's lap, to straddling his boyfriend's thighs. His hands gripped tightly at Derek's shoulder and waist while both of Derek's hands were firmly grabbing Stiles' ass. Stiles ground his hips slowly down against Derek's. It was playful and teasing, just shy of enough pressure to really get anything going. Derek squeezed his ass a little bit in return.

Stiles' breath hitched and Derek pulled away to nibble on his jaw. Stiles' hands clutched harder at Derek's body as his boyfriend worked at his neck and jawline. A loud buzzing near their crotches made Stiles squeak and they both jumped apart. Stiles' heart was beating out of his chest as the vibrating continued. It took them both a few seconds for their brains to catch up and register that the vibrations were coming from a phone.

Stiles let out a shaky laugh and rested his forehead against Derek's shoulder for a moment as they both grinned idiotically.

"I should probably see who that is," Derek mumbled against Stiles' skin, who nodded and rolled off of him. Derek grabbed his phone and the happy, relaxed expression on his face turned concerned. "I have to get this," he said as he unravelled himself from the blankets and stood up. "My sister's on holiday, she wouldn't be calling me unless it was important."

Derek waited until Stiles nodded before pressing accept and bringing the phone to his ear. Stiles heard Derek call his sister's name as he began to walk back into the house. That's when Stiles' stomach began to growl, reminding him that it was past 7pm and he hadn't eaten more than snacks in six hours.

"Stiles?" Derek called from the decking. Stiles turned around to see him holding the phone angled away from his mouth and looking directly at him. "Do you want to order us some food? Takeout menus are in the drawer next to the kitchen door." Stiles nodded and Derek disappeared back into the house.

Stiles slowly dragged himself up off the bench and wandered back into the house. He heard a door upstairs close and knew that Derek must have gone up for extra privacy. Stiles perused the menus in the drawer for a moment before settling on pizza. He rang up and ordered two large pizzas, 2 large fries and an order of garlic bread. Once he hung up, though, he realised his mistake and smacked his phone onto his forehead before redialling to cancel the garlic bread – no way did he wanted garlic-breath this weekend.

Stiles hung around the kitchen uselessly for a moment before finding his way to the front living room and turning on the TV as he waited for his boyfriend.

Nearly twenty minutes later and Derek still hadn't come back downstairs. Concern bubbled in the pit of Stiles' stomach and he fought the urge to go and check on him; maybe if he knew Laura then he would have done. But all he knew about Derek's older sister was stories. And so Stiles fidgeted but stayed put. Not long later there was a knock on the front door and Stiles went to accept his pizza. He pulled out his wallet to pay and was contemplating whether or not he should go let Derek know that food was there when he heard a noise on the staircase.

"Here, I got that," Derek said with a grin on his face as he handed the delivery guy money for the pizza plus what looked to be a very generous tip.

They walked back into the front living room together and Stiles was about to ask if Laura was okay when Derek kissed him. And the kiss was anything but chaste. Derek's experienced tongue slipped into Stiles' mouth almost instantly. And he took what he wanted which Stiles was all too happy to give, shaping like dough to Derek's whim. And as Derek pulled away, Stiles tried to chase his lips on instinct. Derek huffed a laugh against Stiles' mouth as they made contact again.

"Stiles?" He mumbled into his boyfriend's mouth. Stiles made a sound which he hoped conveyed that he was listening but he really didn't want to move away. "Aren't you hungry?" Derek managed to get out as he pulled away again.

"Yes," Stiles murmured, but he barely even opened his eyes and he leaned back in for more. They kissed again for several minutes before Derek grabbed Stiles' shoulders and gently pushed him away.

"You're ridiculous," he announced with a grin before sitting down on the large, brown, leather sofa.

"I can't help it when you kiss me like that."

Stiles grabbed some curly fries from one of the boxes on the coffee table and joined his boyfriend on the couch, finally admitting that they would have to keep a pause on the making out while they ate.

They ate pressed up against each other as the TV played on in the background. Stiles had just enough presence of mind to realise that his show had finished, but he couldn't say what was playing in its place because all of his attention was focused on Derek. He was smirking non-stop and shifting a little in his seat. It was… distracting. Stiles wanted to know what was going on in his mind but, when he asked, all he got in reply was a shrug as the smirk deepened.

Stiles could never eat as much as Derek (which was quite a feat. Seriously, Stiles didn't know where the guy put all of the food. Maybe it went right into his muscles?). And so he finished eating first and waited, occasionally nibbling at some fries. Once Derek finished off the pizza, Stiles dropped his fries back into the near-empty container and scrambled on top of Derek's lap. Derek made some sort of joke about him being "eager" and so Stiles shushed him with his lips.

Derek's hands held on tightly to Stiles' waist as he began to stand up, lifting him as he did so. Stiles squealed, in a way that even he couldn't pretend was manly, and clung on desperately to Derek's shoulders. After his heart stopped racing from the moment of freight, he registered that Derek was laughing and Stiles squinted at him.

"Who's eager now?" Stiles stated as Derek carried him to the staircase.

"Guilty," Derek replied, his smirk still planted firmly on his smug face.

Stiles held on tightly as Derek ascended the stairs and walked them both right into the master bedroom. They both laughed light-heartedly and Stiles buried his face into the dip of Derek's neck and began to kiss at it, making sure to not get too carried away because he knew that Derek didn't like receiving hickeys… he sure didn't mind giving them though, as evident from the several marks scattering Stiles' torso, hips and thighs.

Derek placed one knee on the bed and used that to steady himself as he lay Stiles on the mattress and crawled on top of him. Stiles loosened his grip around Derek's shoulders but left his legs wrapped tightly around his boyfriend's waist. Derek eased off and grinned wickedly at him before leaning back down and kissing him. And it was filthy and perfect. Stiles wanted more though, he was ready to get this show on the road. His dick was already straining against the fabric of his pants and he canted his hips upwards in search of some friction. Friction that Derek was more than happy to provide and soon they were grinding against one another as they kissed and bit at each other's lips.

Stiles' mind suddenly jumped to the box of condoms in his duffel bag and his body shivered. God, the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to be inside of Derek. To be the one on top. To watch Derek come undone as he fucked him. Derek seemed to notice something had changed because he pulled back just enough to be able to look into Stiles' eyes.

"What is it, Stiles? What do you want?" Derek whispered, accenting both questions with a short kiss. Stiles mentally shook himself. One day he would tell Derek what he wanted… but, today, he just didn't want to ruin the mood of their weekend. What if Derek wasn't okay with being the bottom? What if he was and Stiles wasn't any good?

"I want you to get back down here and fuck me into this mattress."

Derek's eyebrows creased slightly and Stiles couldn't stand it anymore. He grabbed the back of Derek's neck and pulled him back down for a kiss. Derek moulded into him once more but their hips had stilled at some point and, no matter how much he bucked upwards, Derek just wasn't reciprocating. So Stiles moved one of his hand's to Derek's lower back, trying to convince him without words to start moving again. But Derek didn't budge and he instead reached behind him and took hold of Stiles' wrist. He then moved on to mouth at Stiles' neck, talking between sloppy kisses.

"You shouldn't hesitate to ask for what you want, Stiles," Derek mumbled into kiss-bitten skin. He began to guide Stiles' hand down from Derek's lower back to his ass.

"I know, I'm not, I…" Stiles denied. But his hand was guided nearer to Derek's hole then and it brushed against something solid and… "Holy shit!" That was a butt plug. Stiles couldn't speak, his mind was drawing a complete blank. His fingers brushed over the object in Derek's ass several more times and he could feel his boyfriend's smile against his own skin but he just couldn't think anymore.

"Is this what you want?"

"Ye… yes," Stiles managed to stutter out as he nodded his head. He pushed playfully at the plug and it sunk a little deeper inside Derek, making him gasp and, finally, cant his hips downwards again.

"Fuck me, Stiles."

That was what snapped Stiles out of his reverie. He tightened his purchase on his boyfriend and rolled them over, using the momentum of Derek's heavy muscled body to propel him on top. Derek was still grinning up at him and Stiles leant down and kissed him as filthily as possible. He wanted to keep grinding down on Derek's dick but he was worried that, if he did, he would come within moments of being inside him and there would be no coming back from that embarrassment. Instead, he sat back and pulled his own shirt off over his head, which encouraged Derek to do the same and reveal his tightly defined abs. The remainder of their clothes were removed quickly and Stiles soon had a naked and palpable body beneath him.

He lowered his tongue to the base of Derek's dick and licked a nice, long, wet stripe up it, making Derek shiver at the touch.

"Enough foreplay, Stiles," Derek pleaded. "I've had this thing inside me for over half an hour. I want you." Stiles was only happy to oblige. He ran his fingers down Derek's chest and down his abs, the side of his hips and, ultimately, to his ass. He'd never removed a butt plug from someone else before and his fingers struggled to find a grip as they slipped on the lube-covered plastic. But he was eventually able to ease it out. He then covered his fingers in spit before easing them inside Derek's hole one at a time, just to make sure he was still slick and opened up fully. Stiles nodded in conclusion to himself when he was easily able to push three inside.

He looked up from Derek's hole to his face to see his boyfriend watching him with lidded eyes. Stiles placed a kiss on the nearest patch of skin he could find, which happened to be Derek's inner thigh, before sitting back and scrambling off the bed to get his condoms and lube from his bag. He tripped up on the discarded clothes in his hurry to get back to the bed and laughed nervously when Derek sat up suddenly and reached out to catch Stiles before he face-planted (it wasn't the first time that Stiles was thankful for Derek's crazy-fast reflexes).

"Are you okay?" Derek smiled and Stiles nodded while a blush began to cover his body. Derek pulled him back down onto the bed and kissed him. He really did have an awesome boyfriend. Stiles knelt on the bed between Derek's spread legs and rolled a condom onto his dick. Derek was sitting up still as he watched every slide of Stiles' hands apply lube on top of the condom. Stiles took a few discreet breaths to calm his nerves before kissing Derek and pushing him back to lying down.

"You ready?" Stiles asked as he used his right hand to line his dick up to Derek's waiting hole. Derek nodded and made an affirmative sound and so Stiles pushed slowly inside. Derek let out a soft grunt as the head of his cock entered. He was breathing so heavily that Stiles had to pause to ask if he was okay.

"I'm fine. Just, please, keep going," Derek muttered, even while his eyes were still screwed shut. Stiles wasn't convinced but when Derek reiterated his request, Stiles pushed that extra few inches until he was completely buried inside Derek's ass. He waited a few seconds before shakily pulling back and surging forwards again. It felt amazing: tight and wet and just perfect! But he couldn't focus on that because Derek's eyes were still screwed shut and his breathing too fast and both hands were scrunched up in the bed sheets. Something was wrong. Stiles was doing something wrong. He adjusted his angle a few times and went slower, hoping to fix whatever it was, but nothing changed and after a few seconds Stiles just had to stop.

"Derek, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, Stiles. Just… just keep going," Derek insisted, but Stiles couldn't. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead on Derek's shoulder.

"I'm sorry. I've only done this a couple of times before and it was so long ago. I don't… I don't know what I'm doing and-" Stiles' apology was cut off when Derek tilted his chin upwards and kissed him.

"Stop, you're not doing anything wrong."

"Well, I'm definitely not doing anything right," Stiles insisted.

"I just… forgot what this felt like, okay? It's not your fault. You're doing fine." Stiles still didn't believe him. He had known he would fuck this up, how could he possibly be good enough?

"Even if that is true," Stiles' tone of voice managed to convey just how much he doubted it. "It doesn't change the fact that I don't have a clue what I'm doing. We should just… I should just…"

"Don't stop," Derek pleaded again and moved his hips upwards on Stiles' cock, causing Stiles to close his eyes for a moment at the beautiful friction. "I could show you if you really wanted? Just please don't pull out." Stiles wasn't really sure what he was agreeing to but he nodded anyway. Derek took his hand then and guided it to his lubed hole. Stiles was confused but went along with it as Derek guided two of Stiles' fingers along the side of Stiles' cock and slowly into his ass. There was much more resistance this time and Derek was breathing heavier again, but Stiles just let Derek be in control and held his concern back for the time being. Stiles' fingers eventually grazed against a slightly harder spot inside Derek and the older man shivered.

"Right there, okay," Derek whispered and Stiles nodded as he realised Derek had guided him to his prostate. "That's where you should aim for… but, trust me, you were doing just fine as you were." Stiles nodded. He though it was sweet that Derek was trying to make him feel better, but Stiles knew he must have been doing something wrong for Derek to have had such a strong reaction.

Stiles tried to put his doubts out of his mind as Derek let go of his hand and Stiles shifted to try to find an angle where his dick would brush firmly against Derek's prostate. And he found it. God, Derek let out the most lewd groan that Stiles had ever heard. His erection had been dwindling, but that noise brought it fully back to attention. Stiles left his fingers in Derek's ass for a little while longer as he gave a few experimental thrusts to make sure he could still find that sweet spot. When Stiles was happy that he could, he removed his fingers and started again with a newfound confidence.

Stiles drove steadily into Derek's hole and watched the older man quake underneath him. He still started off slow but he picked up pace soon enough and every moan, every muttered word, was like music to Stiles' ears. The headboard began to rock loudly against the wall behind it and Stiles laughed with breathless exuberance. When he felt the slow pool of warmth build up in his groin, Stiles reached down and worked Derek to completion along with his thrusts and they both came with a shout. Stiles tried very hard to not just instantly collapse on top of Derek but, ultimately, he failed.

Derek didn't seem to mind though, he wrapped his arms securely around Stiles' body and buried his face into his neck. Stiles could swear he felt the movement of air around his jugular where Derek was sniffing him. But he didn't blame him, really. They smelt of sex and sweat and in the morning it would be stale and disgusting. But right then? It was amazing. Enticing, even.

"Mmmm," Stiles moaned lightly, his body still aching joyfully from his orgasm. "I really don't want to move right now."

"I don't want you to move either," Derek said with a beautiful, happy laugh.

"Then it's settled. No one's moving," Stiles announced with pretend seriousness and a grin playing at his lips. Derek tilted Stiles' chin and kissed him and Stiles just didn't have any words to describe how happy he was in that moment. They stayed like that for another few minutes but, eventually, they did have to get up to clean the drying come off of their bodies.

Half an hour later, when they were both freshly showered, they settled back downstairs in each other's arms to watch a film and make out. Mainly they just made out. A thought occurred to Stiles and he whispered it into the dim room during a break for air.

"How did you know?"

"Hmm?"

"That I wanted to fuck you? How did you know?" Stiles clarified.

"Your bag was open when I went upstairs. I saw the condoms and we already know they won't fit me… you really shouldn't hesitate to ask for what you want," Derek whispered and Stiles could swear he seemed sad that Stiles had kept his desire to top from him. "We're in a relationship and I really like you. I want to give you whatever you want."

"I really like you too," Stiles replied. It was the first time that they'd said anything like that to each other; though Stiles found himself wishing that Derek had said love. Because, really, that was the only thing that Stiles could think of that could describe how he was feeling. "You can't really blame me though," Stiles said as he tried to add a bit of humour to the situation and stop focusing on how Derek wasn't as stupidly taken with him as he was. "I was terrible."

"You were not terrible," Derek insisted.

"Thanks to you… but, let's face it, I was pretty terrible at the start."

"You weren't."

"So you've had worse?"

"Definitely," Derek answered immediately and Stiles' face brightened.

"Oooh, story time!" He exclaimed and Derek just laughed soundlessly.

"Maybe another time?" Stiles was about to complain but suddenly there was a tongue in his mouth. And, well yeah, another time worked for him too.

Chapter Text

The next two months continued much in the same fashion. Derek would wake Stiles up nearly every morning with coffee - Stiles tried to reimburse him without much success… or any, really. He'd always find the money he'd forced Derek to take on his coffee or bedside table. He really wasn't sure how Derek managed it.

Occasionally on Monday nights, Stiles and Derek would go to comedy night with Scott, Allison, Sarah, her boyfriend and Boyd, who had taken to dragging along one of his new friends. Isaac and Erica both still refused to join them. Most Tuesday nights, everyone would go out to the student clubs a couple of hours after Stiles and Isaac were done with practice.

After a few weeks, Friday nights had eventually turned into movie nights that took place in alternating apartments. All day Saturday was strictly for Stiles, Scott and video games.

But Wednesdays and Sundays were his and Derek's days.

They'd go out for meals, drinks, movies or they'd just spend the day slouching around the apartment. It felt good. Derek would go to every single one of the Lacrosse home games on a Wednesday - and a couple of the away games too. And they'd have lots sex. Thursdays were the only days he spent by himself, unwinding. Everything had fallen into a pattern… they didn't necessarily always stick to it, but it was there and it was comfortable and easy. Stiles was just really happy, even when his January exams were drawing nearer.

Nights spent with friends temporarily became less frequent to allow more time for revision and Derek would stay out of his way more so he was less of a distraction. But, somehow, he always knew when Stiles was getting stressed. He had perfect timing, always showing up and declaring that Stiles needed to take a break before he burnt out. And they would go see a movie or just take a walk in the cool air. And then once they got back to the apartment and Stiles began to worry again, Derek would get down on his knees and give him the best blowjob that Stiles had ever received.

And it just worked. They just worked together.

And when it got to the middle of December and lectures ended for Christmas, everyone began to leave for home. Stiles, on the other hand, didn't. His exams were both in the first week of January (he couldn't decide if that made him lucky or unlucky) meaning he needed the extra week in solitude to revise and research - only broken by Derek occasionally forcing him out the door to calm down and clear his head.

Christmas drew closer and eventually Stiles and Derek were the only ones of their group who weren't back home with their families. Stiles was slowly freaking out and not just because of his exam; he missed his Dad. He hadn't seen him in over a month and that was crazy considering he'd managed to visit every few weeks since the beginning of term. But Stiles knew that his Dad would be taking extra shifts at work so that his deputies could spend more time with their families over the holidays. And it was a sweet idea, considering Stiles was too busy revising to go home for very long, but Stiles worried that he'd he overworking himself.

One night, he mentioned this to Derek, who had laughed and made a "like father, like son" joke, which Stiles had resented and pointed out that he was still a teenager while his Dad was getting old and needed to take it easy occasionally. Derek had apologised but Stiles was angry and told him to leave, which he had done. It had been their first argument and when Stiles woke up the next day and realised how stupid he'd been, he raced down to Derek's apartment, ready to beg for forgiveness. But Derek just hugged him and told him everything was okay. "It's just the stress, I know, I've been there," Derek had said and then told Stiles some of the many times he had snapped at his family over some of the most idiotic things, all because of how much pressure he was under during exam month. They had laughed and gone to the café across the street to order the biggest, most unhealthy, breakfast that they could see. And everything had been fine again.

Two days before Christmas, Stiles and Derek were both set to go home. And so, the night before, they exchanged gifts. They watched Christmas films, listened to Christmas music and had a lot of sex. And he really did mean a lot. They really pushed the limit of their recovery periods during those few hours. Stiles really started to wonder if this was all real and not just an extremely vivid dream… but then he remembered that he had the first of his exams in less than 2 weeks and no dream would be that cruel.

On the 23rd, Stiles kissed Derek goodbye in the morning and they got into their cars to start their respective journeys. Stiles felt bad for Derek, who would have to drive to the airport to get a flight back to his parent's house in Washington; whereas Stiles would be home within 2 hours, Derek would just be boarding a plane and would take an extra five hours until he was with his family. When Stiles parked up outside his house in Beacon Hills, he contemplated calling Derek to see if he'd boarded his flight yet, but he didn't have chance to before his Dad was bounding out of the house and pulling him into a hug. And yeah, he may have cried just a little bit at how happy he was to see his Dad (he was stressed, okay? And stress made him emotional). His Christmas back home was… uneventful. Derek had made him promise to leave his revision notes back at his apartment because he only had five days to spend with his Dad. And Stiles was glad he did because the days went too quickly and, all too soon, Stiles was leaving his Dad and driving back to his apartment with a boot-full of presents and a cooler filled with leftovers.

On New Year's Eve, Stiles experienced sexting for the first time and vowed that it wouldn't be a onetime thing. Granted, it was nowhere near as good as actually having Derek there with him, but there was a quiet thrill to it all that made it naughty and exciting. And if he happened to change Derek's caller ID picture to the one his boyfriend had sent Stiles of his erect dick… well, there was no one around to know.

When his first exam came around a few days later, he woke up to a completely different kind of text that made his heart swell. Derek had sent him an essay of a message to wish him good luck. Stiles grinned wider than he thought was possible as he wrote, deleted and rewrote text after text, trying to find the perfect reply. In the end he stuck with a simple thank you and said that he couldn't wait to see him again.

[] [] []

Stiles practically ran out of the examination hall that Wednesday. He'd just finished his second, and final, exam of the winter and he couldn't be happier; or more tired, actually. It turned out that without Derek around to tell him to take a break, Stiles really did burn himself out. Stiles stared at his jeep longingly but, now that the exam was over, he felt about ready to drop at any second. So he sighed and started on his walk home in the cold winter breeze. The icy air biting at his cheeks was able to keep Stiles awake just long enough to walk back to his apartment and crash on his couch.

His phone woke him up about an hour later.

The constant and grating noise pulled him from his light sleep. He cracked open one eye to try to make sense of the words on the phone screen and grinned when he saw the caller ID. Stiles pressed accept and answered his boyfriend's call with a sleepy "hi".

"Hi to you, too. You sound tired, did I wake you?"

"No," Stiles scoffed, elongating the vowel.

"Are you lying?"

"Maybe." Derek laughed at that and, wow, he missed that laugh.

"How was your exam?"

"It was… evil. But I think I did okay."

"Well, it's over now and you have a full three and a half weeks to relax before the new term."

"Hmm," Stiles grinned as a thought occurred to him. "And maybe we could have a replay of New Year's Eve to celebrate?"

"I can't," Derek replied and Stiles pouted to the empty room. "New Year's Eve was different, I slept over at a friend's place. But now I'm back at my parent's house."

"So? Are you afraid of getting caught?" Stiles teased.

"Yeah!" Derek confirmed in an exaggerated tone and Stiles couldn't help the bubble of laughter that escaped him.

"You know that no one is actually going to find out, right?"

"My sisters will know. Trust me. And they're evil! I've learnt over the years to not do anything to feed their ammunition." Stiles just smiled and accepted it. Was he a little disappointed? Yeah, who wouldn't be? Sexting with Derek had been a definite highlight of the holidays.

"Fine, fine. I suppose I'll just have to wait until you get back."

"Unfortunately. But, hey, it's only a couple more days."

After they finished talking and hung up, Stiles contemplated what he was going to do for the next few days while he made himself some lunch. His first thought was to drive back to Beacon Hills and spend a few more days with his Dad. But it was so last minute that he knew the Sheriff wouldn't be able to book time off work to spend with him. So what was the point? And even if his Dad was free to get time off, Stiles wanted to be back at his apartment when Derek got back in town because he just really missed his boyfriend. But he still hadn't told his Dad that he was bisexual yet and there was literally no excuse he could come up with for why he'd only be able to stay at home for three days… except from the truth…

Stiles wondered how his Dad would take the news that he'd been dating his 25-year-old landlord for the past three months. He honestly couldn't see him having any issue with the bisexually thing… but Stiles had serious concerns that his Dad would pull out a gun to threaten Derek with and accuse him of pressuring and taking advantage of Stiles based on the age gap alone. Throw in that he's also the building's landlord? Yeah, that wouldn't go down well.

So, instead, Stiles resigned himself to three days of sleeping, playing video games and masturbating. The days passed quick enough though and soon he was waking up on Saturday morning being cuddled by his boyfriend, who had made it back early and wanted to surprise him. Stiles didn't want to wake Derek up after the seven hours he'd spent travelling to get back, and so he just sighed in content and buried himself deeper in Derek's arms. He had missed this.

[] [] []

Derek was acting… different when he got back from visiting his family. Not in a bad way, he actually just seemed happier. It seemed like nothing could bring down his mood. Stiles kept catching him smiling dopily off into the distance for basically no reason at all. Even when the water system broke in the apartment building one day, Derek just sighed, reimbursed everyone a quarter of his or her bills for that month and got on with fixing it. Derek hadn't been angry, not even a little bit annoyed. He just seemed a bit disappointed that he had to actually do some work instead of lounging around their apartments and being lazy with Stiles, which is what they had been doing basically every day since he'd got back from Washington.

One day, about a week after Derek had come back from Christmas with his family, they were making out on the sofa while watching one of the X-Men movies, even though they both agreed that the 1990's cartoons had been much better, when Derek's phone started to ring. Stiles paused in his exploration of his boyfriend's mouth but Derek shrugged and muttered, "ignore it". And so they did. The music became background noise as Derek's tongue skilfully made Stiles forget his own name. Stiles bit playfully at Derek's bottom lip and sucked it into his own mouth.

Eventually, the phone stopped ringing. But it only stayed silent for a few seconds before it rung again, this time with a different ringtone. Derek froze instantly upon hearing it. He pulled away with a quick apology to Stiles and grabbed the phone.

"Laura?" Derek asked after a quick check of the caller ID and he stood up off the couch so he could talk to his sister in semi-privacy in the kitchen. But Derek was obviously on edge during this short phone call to Laura; he was pacing, shoulders stiff and filled with tension. It was a little worrying to Stiles. Derek hung up barely a minute after answering and Stiles walked towards him.

"Is everything okay?"

"Erm… no," Derek admitted but didn't elaborate further than "it's a family emergency." Stiles nodded and pretended to understand, hoping Derek would tell him what had happened. But, he didn't. "Look, I, erm… I have to leave. And I probably won't be over tomorrow because I have to go see my sister." Derek walked past Stiles to grab his leather jacket off the back of one of the armchairs.

"I'll talk to you soon?" Stiles asked and Derek nodded.

"Yeah," he said, but he seemed distracted… worried. Derek placed a kiss on Stiles' cheek to say goodbye and walked out of apartment 3D. Stiles stood in the kitchen feeling a bit lost and staring after his boyfriend. He didn't know what Laura could have possibly said to change Derek's demeanour completely, but Stiles was worried. His brain started to put together everything wrong with the situation and he wished it wouldn't because it was going places that Stiles just didn't want to think about.

He thought about how different Derek had been acting since he got back from Washington. Derek was keeping something from him, Stiles concluded, something important by the looks of things, something that had happened over the holidays. Stiles swallowed thickly. He was probably overthinking this. It probably wasn't that bad, he just needed to calm down. But… but what if it was bad? Why didn't Derek trust him enough to let him know what was going on?

Stiles hated not having anyone to talk to when he was freaking out. He grabbed his phone and called Scott to tell him his worries, tell him everything that seemed wrong… which, actually, just saying it out loud made him feel a little better because there wasn't actually that much that seemed off. It was more of a gut feeling than anything else.

"Stiles, calm down," Scott told him through the phone. "Derek's crazy for you. He'll tell you what's wrong in his own time. It's probably not that big of a deal. Maybe he just got lost in his own mind and didn't realise that he was worrying you." Scott said calmly and Stiles nodded to the empty room.

"Yeah, you're probably right."

[] [] []

Of course Scott was right, Stiles thought to himself the next morning as he answered a knock on the door to find Derek standing there with two cups of coffee. Stiles smiled and greeted his boyfriend sleepily as he accepted a cup. It was still fairly early and Derek had actually woken him up by knocking on the door and so Stiles was actually still pretty disorientated. He couldn't even remember going to bed last night. He squinted as he realised that he couldn't remember what he'd done for the rest of the previous afternoon, either. But he put it out of his mind when he stepped aside to let Derek inside.

It didn't matter what time of day it was when Derek needed to talk, nor how zoned-out Stiles felt at the time, he would always be there and he would always listen. Derek was still acting strange as he stood just inside the apartment by the door, not making eye contact. Stiles was dying to know what was wrong, but he just stood back and gave Derek the time he needed to come up with the right words. Stiles was worrying like crazy as the seconds ticked on and he had to take a swig of his coffee to keep himself from asking questions. As he lifted the cup to his lips though, there was a strange ache and twinge all up his side, he inhaled a sharp breath of air at the slight pain and that was when Derek started talking, the words tumbling quickly out of his mouth.

"I met someone else," Derek said and Stiles froze. "While I was in Washington," he clarified finally meeting Stiles' eyes. "I've been in love with her for… so long. And I just found out that she wants to be with me too. I'm sorry, Stiles. I really do like you, but I have to go for it with her…" Stiles struggled to swallow the lump in his throat, he felt like he was going to be sick. But he put on a fake smile even as he felt his eyes burn.

"Its fine," he said as his heart broke, he was only just managing to hold himself together and act calm. "I mean, it's not like we're in love, or anything," Stiles lied. Or maybe he wasn't lying? Because no matter how much he loved Derek, Derek wasn't in love with him. "And if you think that you have a chance at that, then you should go for it… right?"

"Yeah," Derek confirmed. And that was it, the last shred of hope that Stiles realised he had been holding on to disappeared. "Thank you for understanding," Derek said calmly before he turned around and left. He felt the finality of their breakup the second that the door clicked close behind Derek, Stiles' legs couldn't hold him anymore and he just dropped to the floor. The coffee he was holding splashed to the ground next to him, thankfully far enough away that it didn't scold his body. Stiles hugged his knees as he broke down, the tears he'd been holding back freely streamed from his eyes and he shook with misery as a sob raked through his body. Stiles tried to stop, tried to pull himself back together, as his breathing became harder. He loved Derek, more than he probably should after only three months together. But had Derek even cared about him? Or had it all just been nothing more than a bit of fun to pass the time?

Stiles suddenly hated himself. He hated that he had let himself fall in love with Derek. Hated himself for not being good enough for Derek to fall in love with him too. And he hated himself for just letting the man he loved walk away without a fight.

Chapter Text

Stiles sat on the hardwood floor completely cried out for a long time. Long enough for the spilt coffee to go cold. Long enough for his body to go numb. Stiles continued to sit and stare into space as his eyes stung and his head pounded in pain. He was eventually able to drag himself to his feet, wincing at the shooting pain along his side as he moved and twisted the muscle. Stiles frowned and walked towards the bathroom for a shower.

Once he was in front of the mirror, Stiles removed his shirt and stared at his reflection to figure out why his side was hurting so much. Stiles' frown increased as he saw the large dark bruises scattered across the left side of his abdomen and chest. He didn't know where the bruises could have come from and he thought back over the previous day's events. When nothing immediately sprung to mind, though, he just gave up. He was too tired to care where they'd come from. And his migraine, which had formed from dehydrating himself with all his crying wasn't helping him either. He just wanted to have a shower and go back to sleep; he could deal with his bruises later.

The water in his shower was nearing scalding temperatures, making his skin go reddish-pink. But it did the job and took some of his numbness away from his limbs. He felt more in control of himself when he shut off the spray several minutes later and, fruitlessly, attempted to not think about the time he'd come back to his apartment and found a wet and shirtless Derek fixing his showerhead.

Stiles didn't want to go back to bed, and so he dragged his duvet out of his room and onto the sofa and continued to fall in and out of sleep while watching Lost. And that was pretty much how Stiles spent the next several days. He didn't really talk to anyone, except from the odd call he received from Scott who was freaking out about his exams. He didn't leave his apartment; not even to get his mail from the mailboxes on the ground floor, that were situated directly opposite apartment 1A. Stiles didn't know if he could handle seeing Derek right then and he knew that he wouldn't be able to handle it if he saw Derek's new girlfriend. So he stayed in his apartment. It was safe there.

Scott called him again on the day before his final exam. He was freaking out and feeling completely unprepared. Stiles went through the motions of a supportive friend and tried to make Scott feel better about himself. But Scott was a little more perceptive than Stiles had given him credit for.

"Are you okay, dude?" Scott asked him after a momentary pause, concern filling his voice. Stiles had decided against telling anyone about the break-up until after they'd had their exams. It hurt to keep it from his best friend, but he didn't want Scott to come over and try to cheer him up instead of spending his time revising. Stiles would not be the reason his friend failed his exam!

"Yeah, no, I'm fine. A little tired, to be honest. I just woke up," Stiles lied.

"Dude! It's almost 5pm!" Scott replied in what Stiles could only assume was jealousy.

"One more day and you can be as lazy as I am."

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The next day, Stiles opened the door to a smiling Scott.

"You look happy," Stiles stated as he stepped aside to let Scott into his apartment.

"Well, yeah. I'm finally free!" Scott exclaimed, his smile growing into a large grin. "And I don't want to jinx anything… but I think that last exam went really well." Stiles tried to return Scott's smile and enthusiasm but he knew he wasn't being very convincing as Scott's smile began to drop. "What's wrong?" He asked softly and Stiles took a deep breath, biting at his bottom lip.

"Something happened. I mean, between Derek and I," Stiles said slowly and Scott waited. "We broke up. Well… he broke up with me, technically."

"Stiles…" Scott said softly. He walked forward and placed his hand soothingly on Stiles' shoulder. "What happened?"

"He found someone else," Stiles shrugged, trying to act nonchalant and like he was completely okay. Scott stared at him for several seconds before shaking his head angrily. He dodged around Stiles and quickly tried to exit the apartment. "Scott?" Stiles called after him. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to go beat up Derek Hale," Scott replied, as if it was obvious. Stiles' eyes widened as Scott began to open his apartment door and Stiles dove forward to push against it.

"No, nuh-uh, not going to happen!"

"Get out of my way." Scott looked angrier than Stiles had ever seen him but, still, he didn't move.

"Scott… just leave it," Stiles pleaded. "For me?" No matter how angry Scott looked, there was no way he could win against Derek in a fight. The guy was buff! And Scott was still a semi-scrawny teenager with asthma. Stiles didn't exactly want to watch his best friend get pummelled. Just the thought of Derek finding out how much he had really cared set Stiles' stomach on edge and made him feel like he was going to be sick. "Please, Scott… just forget it." Scott deflated.

"When did you guys break up?"

"A few days ago," Stiles answered sadly, following Scott as they walked further into the apartment and towards the sofa. Scott froze, a look of hurt on his face.

"Days? Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Stiles shrugged and took a seat as he avoided his friend's gaze. He didn't think he could handle the puppy-dog eyes just yet.

"You had exams… I didn't want to interrupt your revision and make you fail." Scott smiled sadly in response and the silence began to stretch on. Stiles cleared his throat awkwardly. "So… exams? They went well?" Scott recognised the abrupt subject change for what it was and thankfully played along. Stiles started to feel better after that, after he had someone to talk to and he wasn't just moping around his apartment by himself. Scott kept him company and they spent their days playing video games and binging on takeout.

Eventually, everyone else's exams finished and they joined Stiles and Scott. Stiles was a little surprised when Isaac, Boyd, Erica and Sarah showed up. He hadn't really known what they would do and was worried that they might just ignore Stiles now that he wasn't dating Derek anymore. He hadn't ever been happier to be proven wrong.

Erica was, surprisingly, the most comforting of all of his friends; she and Sarah seemed to be able to see through his façade the best. They were the ones who first noticed Stiles' aversion to leaving his apartment when he lied about not being able to go out bowling. Erica stayed in with him and convinced the others to go without them. She taught him how to make his own ice cream, threatening him with his life if he ever told anyone that she had the recipe (along with several other recipes for cakes and brownies) memorised by heart.

They were sitting down and eating their homemade butterscotch ice cream when she brought up Stiles' insecurities about leaving the apartment.

"You can't just stay locked up in here forever, you know?" Erica said with a sad smile and Stiles nodded. "I know that it has to be difficult to live in the same building… but you're going to have to see him eventually."

"I know," Stiles said slowly. He made himself a promise to go out the next time anyone offered… he didn't know if he'd stick to it but for now he meant it, which was good enough. It was only another few minutes before their friends were back and knocking on the door. Stiles let them in and everyone sat around watching reruns of Dragon Ball Z while eating the last of the ice cream.

Everyone started to fall asleep after a few hours. Scott and Allison were the first to go, both stretched out on the floor. Then it was Erica, her head lying in Boyd's lap as he ran his fingers automatically through her long blond hair. Stiles looked over at her for a moment and wondered briefly if they were a couple now. Erica had broken up with her boyfriend a few weeks before Christmas and Stiles had never seen Boyd remotely interested in anyone. Erica seemed to be the only person he was truly comfortable around.

Stiles smiled at them, but it only lasted for a moment before his mind inevitably jumped to Derek and the bet that they'd had about when Erica and Boyd would finally cut the shit and get together.

Stiles picked at a loose thread on his jeans for a moment as he tried to not think about his ex-boyfriend. It was a fruitless attempt though and soon Stiles felt his chest tighten.

"Who is she?" He whispered through his constricted throat, just loud enough to be heard over the noise of the TV. "The women who Derek's dating," he clarified as he saw three sets of eyes turn his way. "Who is she? Have you met her?" Stiles wasn't entirely sure why he was asking, but he just had to know. Everyone stayed quiet and so Stiles stopped staring blankly at the TV screen to look at their faces instead. Erica, it turned out, wasn't quite as asleep as she'd seemed to be and her eyes stared back at him before glancing at everyone else. Obviously no one really knew how to answer Stiles' question, probably not wanting to upset him. Eventually, though, Boyd nodded.

"We've met her," he confirmed and Stiles nodded minutely in response. He'd assumed as much; they were Derek's best friends, after all.

"What's she like?"

Stiles knew that he was probably just torturing himself, but he had to know. It was just his nature to be inquisitive. If he didn't know something then he felt unprepared.

"Her name's Jennifer," Sarah said slowly and everyone, who was still awake, in the room turned quickly to look at her. Stiles figured that his friends didn't think it was a good idea to talk to Stiles about Derek's girlfriend, Jennifer, and he knew they were probably right. Just knowing her name made his chest tighten uneasily. He felt warm and just suddenly had the overpowering urge to get some fresh air. He knew that when he felt like this that it was just easier to go along with it. He didn't want to get a panic attack and so he quickly excused himself from the room and rushed into the bathroom. Once he was there he opened the window as wide as it would go and gasped in the cold air, letting it cool him.

When he got back out of the bathroom, everyone all seemed to collectively agree to not answer anymore of his questions about Jennifer. It made him a little angry at first but he supposed that he understood why.

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With the support of his friends, he began to feel better again. He even managed to leave the apartment with them. It was one week and three days post break-up Everyone had gone out to get pizza before the new episode of supernatural was on and Stiles was extremely thankful that he didn't run into Derek in the short half a minute that he was passing through the corridor on the ground floor; he hadn't seen him since they broke up and he just wasn't ready to see him looking happy and rested and gorgeous… not yet. Not while Stiles still looked, and felt, like a potato.

It was during one of the ad-breaks that Stiles accidentally knocked over some books from his side table and got a paper-cut on his palm while clearing everything up.

Stiles hissed in pain and looked down at the pink mark on his hand as the blood began to leak out of the scratch. Stiles had every intention of going into the kitchen and running his hand briefly under the tap before wrapping it up, but instead he froze.

He stared at the blood dripping from his cut and his mind went fuzzy. He suddenly had a weird flash where reality blurred and Stiles watched the skin on his hand knit back together, healing rapidly.

But then he blinked and the cut was still very much there and bleeding. Stiles blinked repeatedly and shook his head at the weirdness of it all. But for some reason he felt scared; a small itching of fear and anxiety bubbled in his chest.

Stiles looked up from the cut, realising he'd just been staring at it for several moments, and saw that Sarah and Erica were both looking at him. Erica gave a fake smile and Stiles ducked his head again, heading for the kitchen to rinse his bleeding hand.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since the paper-cut, and the weird memory-like feelings of skin healing kept popping up. After the initial freak out, Stiles had decided that the flash he'd seen of skin knitting back together must have been a memory from something he'd watched on TV. There wasn't really any other explanation, was there?

Stiles, however, couldn't seem to get rid of the feeling that he was forgetting something. Something important. And now the mysterious, almost-healed, bruises on his left side were starting to bug him. He'd felt too upset to really care when he'd first seen them and then he'd just assumed he'd gotten them in his sleep or maybe he'd fallen over… but that just didn't sit right.

There were other things too. One day Stiles was sitting down on his chair by the window and realised there was something wrong about the table next to him. He frowned at the object for several seconds, trying to figure out what was different without much luck. It wasn't until it started to get dark and he was straining his eyes to read the words on the textbook he was holding, that Stiles reached out to turn the lamp on… and realised it was missing. Stiles sat up suddenly and stared at the gap on the table.

The lamp had only been small; it was just a reading light, really, but how had Stiles not noticed it was gone? He cast a look around the rest of the living room and his stomach clenched when he wasn't able to spot the lamp anywhere. He couldn't even remember the last time that he'd seen it… had he moved it and just forgotten? Just like he'd forgotten about the bruises?

Also, when did his door start sticking? And something about his lock looked… new? Stiles started to fear he was losing his mind. His stomach twisted into knots. Was he having blackouts? Was there something seriously wrong with him?

Stiles thought back to his Mum. Frontotemporal dementia, that's what she died of. It had been one of the first things that Stiles had ever researched, back when he was eleven. He still remembered the majority of the symptoms… blackouts were rare, but not unheard of. Stiles suddenly couldn't keep still; he got up and began to vigorously clean his apartment, blasting music as loud as he could to drown out all thoughts of death, dementia and missing memories.

And it worked… for a little while, at least.

But anytime he saw the spot where the lamp should sit on the table, or felt the pull at his side form the fading bruises, he would feel genuinely sick to his stomach. It was probably nothing. It had to be nothing. He was just overreacting... but what if he wasn't?

And then, on top of everything else, his friends began to act weird around him. They seemed to be watching him closely, staring at him when they thought he wasn't paying attention. When they spoke to him it was stilted, liking they were hiding something. Paranoia, Stiles thought, another symptom. He attempted to reason with himself that, if they were acting weird, it was probably just because he'd worried them by the way he had stared at the blood building on the palm of his hand for several seconds without reacting. Yeah, that had to be it…

Stiles was staring off into space where his lamp used to be, some days later, while pretending that he didn't notice Isaac's eyes on him.

"Do any of you know where I moved my lamp?" He asked suddenly into the relaxed room of teenagers eating pizza. He didn't move his eyes away from the table to see anyone's reactions, but he assumed they were all looking at him. Stiles was getting desperate to find a way to prove that his stressed-out mind was just jumping to conclusions; maybe if someone says they saw him move it then it might jog his memory? No-one does.

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The next day, almost two weeks post break-up, there was a knock on Stiles' front door. He dragged himself up off the sofa and waddled over to open it, revealing Derek Hale. Stiles' eyes widened and his heart quickened as he looked over his ex-boyfriend. Derek looked… amazing. His hair was damp and spiking up at odd angles, his jeans hung low on his waist and his muscles bulged inside his, probably too-tight, shirt. Thirteen days, Stiles thought, it had been thirteen days since he'd last seen Derek… and Derek must have spent a lot of those days working out because Stiles could have sworn that top had fitted him before.

Stiles' mind automatically went to scenarios where Derek was coming crawling back to ask for his forgiveness, to tell Stiles that he loved him and wanted to be together again. But Stiles knew that those were just dreams; he'd known from the beginning that Derek could have anyone he wanted and Stiles just wasn't good enough for him. He wasn't before and he definitely wasn't now, in his sweats and odd socks and unwashed hair. Stiles was a fucking mess. Derek looked at him with a sad smile and an absence of coffee cups in his hands… and Stiles knew that Derek wasn't there to get Stiles back. He would never be there to get Stiles back.

"Hey," Stiles said softly and Derek nodded at him, smile intact.

"Hey." They stared at each other for a few more seconds before Stiles had to avert his eyes, it just hurt too much to see Derek right then. He didn't think he was ready to deal with Derek just yet. "I, er, I can't find one of my books," Derek said quietly and Stiles looked over his shoulders, unable to meet his gaze again. "I was reading it not long ago and I thought I might have left it here?" Stiles looked back into his apartment; he couldn't remember seeing any of Derek's books. "Do you mind if I take a look? I'll only be a second." Stiles couldn't find a good reason to say no, so he just shrugged and let Derek into his apartment. At least his place was in a better state than Stiles was in, so it didn't look like he'd completely broken down without Derek.

Derek entered the room and began to look around, but he seemed to be watching Stiles more than he was searching for a book. Stiles felt his heart pull in sadness; he was reading too much into this. Stiles was starting to convince himself that Derek's search was half-hearted at best and that, maybe, just maybe he was actually there to see Stiles and not for a book.

Stiles lifted his eyes to meet Derek's for the first time since Derek had entered his apartment. He was about to start babbling but, suddenly, he wasn't seeing his Derek anymore. He was seeing something else. The face was twisted and monstrous, eyes glowing blue, teeth elongated and sharp… too sharp. There was a twisted snarl on the creature's face Stiles gasped minutely and took a step back, but then he was just seeing Derek again. Stiles' mind felt heavy, his head spun, dizzyingly, and his heart was beating rapidly in his chest. It had just been another flash of an image, like the healing skin. It wasn't real but it felt real and Stiles was suddenly terrified for no reason.

Derek was looking at him with a worried expression on his face. His completely human face. He'd stiffened and he looked suddenly alert. Stiles averted his eyes back down to the floor, whatever he'd planned on saying long since forgotten, and he back away as he mumbled about needing a drink. He turned his back on Derek and went to the kitchen to fill a glass with tap water and chugged it.

"Are you okay?" Derek asked a second later, standing behind Stiles who was leaning over the kitchen sink as he drank. Stiles nodded his head but didn't speak until he'd completely emptied his glass. He set it on the side a little too heavily and then he grabbed the countertop to stop his hands from shaking.

"I'm fine. Did you find your book?" Stiles asked without turning back around. There was a momentary pause from Derek.

"No, I, er, I can't find it… I should probably just leave." Stiles nodded again and didn't turn around until he heard Derek's footsteps retreating on the linoleum floor. He saw Derek look over his shoulder at Stiles, sending him another small and saddened smile, as he opened the front door and disappeared through it.

Stiles turned back to the sink and splashed cold water on his face. He rubbed at his, now tired, eyes and ran his fingers though his short hair. Stiles tried to tell himself that it must have been one hell of a fucked up film that he'd watched… but he didn't quite believe it. How could he have watched something that messed up that it was interfering and warping his reality but not remember it?

Chapter Text

A couple days passed and Stiles had started to become completely paranoid. He felt under scrutiny by his friends, so much so that he pulled away from them and started spending more time by himself, telling them that he was feeling ill and not up to it. He hoped that they bought it but he wouldn't know, having told them all over text. But it wasn't just Erica, Sarah, Isaac and Boyd who were acting suspicious, and making him feel wary, anymore; it was Derek too.

In the two weeks and two days since they'd broken up, Stiles had seen Derek three times. How had he gone from not seeing him at all to seeing him three times in three days? But whenever Stiles came out of his apartment and down to the bottom floor, there was Derek. They nodded politely at each other if they were within talking distance, but mainly Stiles just tried to block his ex-boyfriend out and Derek looked to be doing the same. Except… whenever Stiles had his back turned, he could swear that he felt Derek watching him.

And Stiles just couldn't take it anymore.

Scott had gone back to Beacon Hills for his Mum's birthday but Allison was still on campus, and so he rang her up and practically begged her to come over. She didn't need much convincing though and so the next morning Stiles paced around his apartment as he waited for his friend to show up. He needed to get some fresh air but he refused to leave his room until Allison was there with him.

There was a soft tap on his door and Stiles released a relieved breath, letting his tension seep away.

"Hey," Allison greeted once he answered the door and Stiles allowed a gracious smile to cross his face.

"Hey. So I was thinking we could go out and get some food?" Stiles asked and Allison quickly agreed. "Great, I just need to stop and get my mail from downstairs." Stiles grabbed his wallet and keys, locking up as he left apartment 3D. "Scott says you got through to the finales of an archery competition?" He asked once they were in the elevator and Allison blushed, a shy smile on her face.

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I was going to tell you, I swear!" She was quick to say. "I've just never done archery competitively before and so I was nervous and then after you and Derek… I just didn't know how to bring it up –"

"Alli," Stiles interjected, "It's okay, I promise I am not holding any grudges against you," he laughed and she smiled at him as the elevator doors opened and they exited onto the ground floor entrance.

Derek was there again, Stiles realised, four times in four days… how lucky. Stiles squared his shoulders and tried not to look in the direction of the front desk, hoping to avoid any kind of communication.

"You know," Allison started slowly and Stiles noticed she was looking over Stiles' shoulder and in Derek's direction, a scowl lining her previously happy features. "We should go out sometime."

"I thought that's what we were about to do?" Stiles remarked dryly and Allison hit his shoulder lightly.

"No, I mean out. You know, parties, clubs, the student bar... somewhere where you can get wasted and meet someone new… maybe meet many new people," Allison teased and Stiles knew what she was doing but he also knew that it wasn't going to work. Allison seemed to assume that Derek still had romantic feelings for him, which he had come to terms with wasn't true. He'd been nothing more than a little bit of fun for Derek; someone to fuck when he was bored. Allison was trying to make Derek jealous but Stiles knew that it just wouldn't work. He put on a fake smiled, anyway, as he pretended to be considering it.

Stiles opened his mailbox and was saddened to see his new PlayStation game hadn't arrived yet. He sighed and grabbed the contents of his locker; the majority of it was junk mail and Stiles scrunched it up in his hands, ready to throw away. There was only one letter remaining and Stiles folded it neatly into his jeans before he and Allison turned away to leave the building.

Stiles' eyes darted, unconsciously, to the front desk as he turned around. He was moderately surprised to see that Derek was no longer sitting there.

Allison walked Stiles into town, heading for her favourite diner and chatting light-heartedly. Stiles smiled and started to relax in the company of one of his best friends. His eyes automatically glanced into the shop windows as they walked past them; it was a habit of his. Stiles noticed that they were about to walk past a costume shop and his feet slowed without his permission as he looked over the items in the window. He stopped completely and stared at one item in particular, a werewolf mask. It was the 'old movie' kind of werewolves: long shaggy hair, thick eyebrows and a, rather comical, snarl of rubber teeth.

Stiles wasn't sure what it was about the mask that drew his attention so completely that he didn't even hear Allison talking beside him. Eventually, he was able to drag his eyes away from the mask. Allison was looking at him with concern written all over her face but she put on a sweet smiled when he looked her way.

"It's January, Stiles. Halloween is a while away," she joked and Stiles smiled at her as they began walking again.

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After lunch, Allison and Stiles had spent a good proportion of the afternoon shopping in the January sales. He had bought a few new books to read and some clothes that he normally wouldn't have been able to afford. Stiles really did miss when his Dad used to fork out for his new clothes…

When he got back to his apartment and dropped his few shopping bags onto his bed, Stiles got a Facebook notification. He pulled out his phone and unlocked it to see that some of the people he'd added since he'd started his course were attending a party in an hour. Stiles stared down at his screen and remembered that Alina, a girl from his Human Anatomy class, had invited him to the party that one of the fraternities and their sister sorority were throwing. It was meant to be a 'last time to get drunk before the new term starts' thing and Stiles hadn't felt up to it when he'd first been invited. But now… maybe Allison was right? Maybe he should go out and get drunk and have some fun…

Stiles nodded to himself and messaged Alina that he would be at the party, then he ducked into the shower and began getting ready to leave. He threw on his new clothes and applied a small bit of gel in his hair to calm down the fluffiness that the blow dryer left. Once he was ready, Stiles walked the twenty minutes from his apartment to the University campus and strolled up the steps to the fraternity house. He was greeted instantly by, a slightly drunk, Alina who had been waiting for him on the porch.

"Stiles," she shouted over the music and hugged him close. Stiles smiled awkwardly and patted her on the back.

"Hey, er, how was your holiday?"

"Awful," she joked and scrunched up her face when she pulled back from the hug and had to readjust her hijab. "Let's get drunk."

"That's why I'm here," Stiles laughed and let himself be led inside. It wasn't long before they were, in fact, wasted. Stiles' didn't think he'd ever been as drunk as he was right then. The room was spinning a little too quickly, his head felt completely light and he was making out with Alina. He wasn't too sure about how he started making out with her... all he knew was that she was pretty and he was lonely. It was the wrong reason to start picking up girls at parties, but he willingly allowed Alina to pull him up the staircase and to somewhere more private.

They were laughing and searching for an unoccupied room when someone grabbed Stiles' shoulder and pulled him back and away from Alina.

"Hey!" He protested and stumbled backwards, catching himself on a windowsill so that he didn't fall over. The room was spinning and making him dizzy and so he looked down at the ground, hoping it would make him feel less nauseous. It took him a moment for his eyes to focus but when he did he noticed the killer high-heeled, black leather, boots that the woman in front of him was wearing. His frown shifted into a wide grin as he recognised those shoes and looked up to see a Sarah staring back at him. "Hey," he said again, this time a lot happier. He tried to lean in to hug his friend but she just placed her hand flat on his chest and pushed him back away from her. And wow, she was stronger than her five-foot-nothing body made her appear. That or Stiles was just very, very drunk; which he was, so…

Stiles was about to comment on that when he noticed her disapproving glower.

"What's going on?" Alina asked and Stiles smiled at her.

"Nothing," he said at the same time Sarah said, "Stiles is going home now."

"What? Why am I?" He asked, offended. Alina stared at him and then at Sarah and back to Stiles again.

"It's okay…" she said slowly, intimidated by Sarah. "I'll talk to you later, Stiles." And then Alina scurried away.

"What did you do that for?" Stiles demanded.

"I'm looking out for you," Sarah replied and Stiles scoffed, affronted.

"No… if you were looking out for me then you would have let me have sex with the pretty girl." Sarah looked even angrier at Stiles, crossing her arms and standing extremely close.

"What about Derek?"

"You mean my ex-boyfriend? Emphasis on 'ex'… because, if you don't remember, he broke up with me!" Sarah just rolled her eyes and grabbed Stiles' arm tightly with her well-manicured hand, pulling him away from the wall and leading him down the stairs. Stiles didn't put up much of a fight to stay; he was too tired to care anymore and so he let Sarah drag him out of the fraternity house and into her car at the nearby car park. "What were you doing there, anyway?" Stiles asked after Sarah shoved him into the passenger seat.

"It's my sorority," she replied after an eye roll and slammed the door on Stiles' gaping face.

"You're part of a sorority?" Stiles asked, shocked, when she climbed into the driver's seat.

"Yeah, so?" Sarah challenged, still angry with him.

"It's just that you don't look… pink enough." He'd always assumed sorority girls were the preppy cheerleader type… and even though Sarah didn't share Erica's 'black leather and intimidating mini skirts' look, she had a definite taste for loud music and classic rock, metal band shirts over ripped denim and heals that you could use to stab someone with. Sarah didn't respond, though, she just started driving Stiles back to the apartment building as the silence in the car stretched on.

"What's Jennifer like?" Stiles asked after a few minutes of the chilly atmosphere, recalling the name that Sarah had given him for Derek's new girlfriend. He'd tried asking them about her many times before but everyone just shut up and refused to answer any more of his questions. It had been weeks since he'd asked. Sarah sighed and parked up, Stiles looked out the window to see that they were already back at Hale Apartments. He reached down to unbuckle his seat belt and leave when Sarah finally started talking again.

"None of us like her, to be honest. We're all just waiting for you two to get back together," she admitted and Stiles stared at her with wide eyes.

"You think we will?" He asked quietly.

"He's not as happy without you… he'll come around and realise he's being an idiot soon enough. I'm sure of it." Stiles stayed quiet for a long moment as he tried to process what Sarah had just told him. "We're all routing for you, Stiles."

"Thanks," he replied, very softly. He opened the car door and crawled out, staggering back towards the building. Sarah waited until he'd gone inside before driving away and back to the party. Stiles thought over everything that Sarah had said as he waited for the lift to get down to the ground floor and for the first time in over two weeks, he let himself remember the moments he'd shared with Derek. Like the first time they'd had sex: they'd made-out for a long time in the exact same place that Stiles was standing right now. And then Stiles had dragged Derek into the elevator with him to go back up to the third floor.

It hurt to think about the time when he was dating Derek; but if what Sarah said was true, and she was one of Derek's best friends and so it was possible, then maybe it wouldn't hurt for much longer. Maybe it was just a matter of waiting for Derek? The soft smile stayed on Stiles' face as he wandered back to his apartment and got ready for bed. Stiles stripped down, pulled the covers over his body and closed his eyes.

But there was something niggling at his mind. He couldn't place what it was… but Stiles felt suddenly uneasy. He didn't want to go to sleep. He was exhausted after a long day and a lot of emotions. But he had an irrational fear that when he wakes up tomorrow everything will be different… and not necessarily in a good way. Stiles pulled himself out of bed and went to take a shower to wake himself up. But it seemed to do the opposite; the warm water relaxed his tense muscles and Stiles felt like rubber when he got out.

He sat back down on the sofa and grabbed a book, but it wasn't long before his eyes were shutting of their own accord. And the second they did, the tautness in his chest intensified. He splashed some cold water on his face and turned all the lights on in his living room and kitchen. Then he found some cans of Red Bull at the back of his fridge, left over from his revision. He chugged one quickly, refusing to let himself fall asleep.

3 am approached and Stiles gulped down his final can of Red Bull. He couldn't let himself fall asleep. He couldn't. But, obviously, he did. And he remembered. God, how had he ever forgotten?

Chapter Text

Stiles felt the definite absence of coffee when he woke up. He considered waiting to see if Derek showed up despite the fact he'd told Stiles last night that he wouldn't. But after 20 minutes and no coffee and no boyfriend, Stiles pulled on his old grey converse and a thick red hoodie and made his way out of his apartment. The sky was dark and the wind was cold as he crossed the road to get to the café on opposite side.

Sarah smiled at him from behind the counter as soon as he entered the shop, despite it being completely full with caffeine dependent customers. When Stiles got to the front of the queue, Sarah gave him the friends and family discount but frowned when he ordered only one drink.

"No Derek?" She asked and Stiles shrugged, trying to not let his worries show.

"He had a family emergency."

Sarah nodded her understanding and slid over his to-go cup, which he immediately wrapped his chilly hands around and embraced the heat seeping out.

Stiles trudged back to his apartment and shut the door, preparing to spend the entire day wrapped in blankets and watching TV. Stiles must have fallen asleep at some point, because he woke up to a harsh knocking on his apartment door. Stiles kicked his blankets aside and rushed to answer it; a part of him knew it wouldn't be Derek, since he was supposed to be out with his sister all day, but another part of him hoped.

When he opened the door, Stiles was met with disappointment and a tall, older guy. He was standing up straight wearing black denim jeans and a burgundy v-neck shirt with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows. He was slightly stubbled and had grey-blue eyes with styled hair.

"Um, hello?" Stiles said to the stranger who smiled wickedly.

"Stiles?" The man asked to which Stiles nodded, "I'm Peter. Derek's uncle"

"Oh. Um, do you wanna come in?" Stiles muttered nervously and stepped aside to let Peter into his apartment. His curiosity was decidedly peaked. Derek had only really talked about his sisters and brother; he'd barely mentioned the rest of his family. After Peter walked in, Stiles slightly turned his back to him to close the door. When he tuned around to his guest again, Peter was looking around with interest. "So, it's, uh, good to meet some of Derek's family. He never really talks much about you," Stiles stammered out and instantly felt bad - that's not what someone wanted to hear… God, was this how Stiles was going to meet all of the Hale family? By insulting them. But Peter just turned around with a twisted smile on his face and replied coolly.

"Yes, with good reason," Peter said and Stiles frowned, there was a meaning behind his words that wasn't comforting - quite the opposite actually. Stiles wondered again what exactly Derek was keeping from him. But before he could ask one of the many questions that were running around his head, Peter was talking again. "I suppose you want to know why I'm here," he said and waited for Stiles to nod before continuing. "Well you see, Stiles, me and my sister, Derek's mother, have a bit of a disagreement on how to lead the family. She's stubborn and set in her ways and I worry that it's going to get someone very hurt."

Stiles nodded along despite the fact he was completely lost and confused. Peter made him feel uneasy and he knew that he probably shouldn't be listening to anything private that concerned Derek's family… it felt like he was intruding on someone else's business. He bit his tongue from saying any of this out loud, not wanting to be rude to Derek's uncle.

"I have to get away… but the thing is, I need your help," Peter said slowly, taking a step closer to Stiles and making him feel entirely awkward. And then his eyes…

They were…

Peter's eyes flickered and then glowed a steady, intense red.

Stiles took a step back instinctively and stared in fearful amazement.

"What's… what's wrong with your eyes?" He stammered out and Peter looked at him in disappointment.

"Wrong?!… There's nothing wrong with them, Stiles. People would kill for these eyes… literally." Peter finished with a snide grin that made Stiles' stomach flip uneasily. He took another step back, heading for the door - overwhelmed with the unmistakable feeling that he was faced with a predator. But there was a blur and, suddenly, Peter was standing at the door and sliding the deadlock into place. "Now, now… you haven't even heard me out," Peter slurred as he took a step forward, his gaze predatory, forcing Stiles backwards and further into his apartment. His mind was running, and failing, to think of his way out and away from Peter - Derek's uncle! "My sister, Talia, she was making us weak with her rules and adoration for you humans." Peter practically spat the word like it was poison on his tongue and kept slowly moving towards Stiles, whose heart was rabbiting so loud in his chest that he was finding it hard to concentrate. "I've been putting up with it for years. And then I hear of a new Alpha, most of his pack killed by hunters. And new Alphas are always the easiest to corrupt or kill - weak from grief and not fully understanding their new power. And then my nephew visits with word of his new mate…"

Peter was looking at him pointedly and Stiles knew that Peter was talking about him. That couldn't be anything but bad news. He took one more step away and his back collided with the far wall. Stiles looked longingly at the window but he knew two things. One; it was locked and there was no way he could open it in time. And two; even if he could somehow get it open before Peter got to him, he was on the third floor and would probably break all of the bones in his body trying to dive out. Peter continued talking slowly.

"Derek's strong, smart, curious mate… and well, it was all falling into place - meant to be. After all, what is an Alpha without a pack? Weak. I need loyal Betas and nothing is more loyal than family. If I have you, then I have Derek. And there is no way that Talia would come after me if I had her son and his mate." Peter concluded. He was close now; uncomfortably close for a normal conversation, never mind one where Stiles was fairly certain he was going to die. For the first time in his life, he couldn't talk. He was too scared. He didn't know what was happening and he needed information; his knowledge was his biggest asset and so now he had nothing.

Then Peter's face twisted on itself. Shifted. It turned monstrous. Peter began to look like a reject vampire from Buffy… but much more real and much more terrifying. The skin on his face turned coarse and leather-like and hair began to sprout from it rapidly. His teeth grew sharp and long, barely contained in his mouth and somehow the smirk made them appear even more menacing and dangerous. Claws extended from his hands, yellowed and looking like they could cut into Stiles and rip him open without any effort. Stiles was just able to dodge out of the way as Peter made to lunge for him. He knocked a table over in his haste to get away and it banged to the hard-wood floor, the lamp that was set on it shattered. He knew the noise should have been loud but he could barely hear it over the sound of his own blood pumping in his veins. The monster that Peter had turned into roared and that

That, Stiles heard.

It was terrifyingly loud and Stiles scrambled to get away but Peter was on him, pulling him to the floor and snarling in his face. Stiles screamed and whimpered. And then there was a bang off to his right as the door was kicked in and another… thing… rushed into his apartment. There was a moment of utter stillness as the monster, eyes glowing a vibrant blue, took in the scene. Then it roared in fury and pain and everything was moving again.

Peter was ripped off of Stiles who clambered backwards on the floor until he hit the wall. He needed to think of something to get him out of here but his mind was a mush. He could only watch as the two things - werewolves, his mind supplied - tore each other apart. He could barely recognise which one was which and they moved so fast that he wasn't sure which was winning until one was on the ground and he saw the creature with blue eyes still standing. Stiles tried to make himself as small as possible in hope that the werewolf would forget about him and leave; he was mentally kicking himself for not being capable of making his escape while they were both fighting and distracted. Now he was going to die.

The werewolf's blue eyes connected with Stiles and he attempted to pull himself in further as it raced towards him. Something about that face looked… familiar. Stiles cursed his curiosity that wouldn't allow him to close his eyes; he could really do with not seeing what was about to happen next. Stiles flinched as the monster knelt next to him and the werewolf drew back from him instantly, making a hurt sound in the back of its throat. Then it shifted and it was… it was…

Stiles blinked his eyes multiple times as he watched the werewolf turn into Derek, who was holding his hands up in a passive gesture while he whispered something to Stiles about how it was okay, he wasn't going to hurt him… but Stiles' mind refused to process the information. He was trying to push himself further back but there was no place to go and Derek was looking rejected. But Stiles just shook his head over and over again, refusing to believe.

But everything was falling into place now.

Everything odd about Derek, everything Peter had said. It was making sense now. This was what he'd been trying to hide. And Stiles was crying. He wanted to scream and shout and run away because Derek, his Derek, was a werewolf.

He saw the way that Derek pushed back to give Stiles some space, how he looked devastated but in no way surprised. And then he heard Peter's laughter and Derek turned a scowl on his uncle. Stiles turned to look as well and saw that Peter looked almost human again too. Human with glowing red eyes, covered in blood, his shirt was shredded and there were gashes running across his chest and abdomen which were… which were fucking healing! The skin was slowly knitting itself back together.

Peter stopped laughing long enough to mutter the words "I warned you that he wouldn't accept you". That was the last thing that Stiles noticed before his body just couldn't take it anymore and he passed out.

Chapter Text

Derek sat silently in his building's library as he waited for his tenants to show up. Part of him hoped that none of them would. If no one showed up then it meant that nothing had gone wrong in the time he'd been away. It was selfish of him, really, to go away to South Africa for so long… but what was he supposed to do when Laura had invited him to come help out with her volunteering project for a few months? She had been gone for almost six months and he missed his big sister. He knew that she wouldn't be back in America until late December and so he had jumped at the opportunity to spend some time with her.

Still, he'd felt bad leaving the pack. His Mum was the alpha, but he still felt responsible for Isaac, Boyd, Erica and Sarah. He was the one who had brought them into the pack after all. That's why he had made sure he was back in Beacon County before their classes started up.

Derek got lost in his own thoughts, thinking about his pack and friends, and he didn't even hear the footsteps of someone approaching until the man was standing at the entrance to the library. Derek quickly turned to look at the new arrival and made eye contact with the boy. He looked young, probably about the same age as Isaac and the others, with honey-coloured eyes and soft looking brown hair. His pale skin was dotted with freckles and moles and he was tall. The boy was slightly gangly but he looked as though he had almost grown out of it, his features were defined and he had no baby fat lingering on his face. He was cute, Derek decided.

"Are you, er, here for the building meeting?" The boy asked, taking a step into the room. His scent flowed in with him; it was sweet and warm, tinged with the sharp taste of arousal. Derek nodded and ducked his head back down almost instantly to stare at his hands. It had been about a year and a half since 'the incident', as he had taken to calling it, and he still felt nervous whenever he was attracted to someone new. He wasn't sure if he would ever go back to normal, not after what had happened.

"Yeah, I'm just waiting for everyone else to show up," Derek answered slowly. They were silent for a moment, as Derek pretended to be suddenly interested in the back of his hand, until the boy took a tentative step forward and cleared his throat.

"Well, let me tell you, I've got a few things to say to the landlord when he shows up," the boy stated, his voice clear with annoyance.

"Oh?" Derek asked and lifted his gaze to meet the boy's again, feeling his neck heat up as he gave a questioning shrug. "Like what?"

"Well, my water pressure's terrible," the boy muttered slowly, lifting his hands for emphasis. "My oven's broken," he continued and swung his arms around a little more; Derek's eyes were drawn to them and he had to bite back a smile that was threatening to show. "And that's just the start… Do you want me to keep going? Because I can. For like an hour." Derek suddenly felt bad again. He knew that leaving Jonathon in charge would be a bad idea! He stayed silent as he tried to think of something to say. 'Sorry,' maybe? Before he could say anything, though, the boy was talking again. "Sorry, I've dumped all of this on you and I don't even know your name."

"It's Derek Hale, actually… I own the building," he muttered in reply, letting an apologetic smile appear onto his face. They stayed in awkward silence for several seconds as a look of horror slipped onto the boy's face and the tang of embarrassment seeped from his skin.

"Well… okay. Then I'm Isaac Lahey and I live in 3B, wear too many scarves and am in no way affiliated with Stiles Stilinski. Whoever that is," the words tumbled effortlessly out of the boy's, Stiles', mouth and Derek's smile grew in amusement. Derek took his time to apologise and explain where he'd been for the past three months, then he gave Stiles a pen and paper and asked him to write a list of all the things wrong with his apartment. He wasn't surprised when he looked over and saw that Stiles was living in apartment 3D. He'd told Jonathon not to rent it out to anyone because the last tenant had left it in a state of destruction and most of it still needed fixing. But apparently his brother had forgotten… typical.

It wasn't long before more of his tenants started to join them and Derek heard Stiles let out a small sigh of relief. He'd only met the boy a few minutes ago but it was obvious he wasn't comfortable with silence. Isaac slipped into the meeting half way through and silently sat next to Derek; they exchanged small smiles but Derek was too busy talking to the aging woman who lived in apartment 5C and was having problems with her Internet connection. Derek realised pretty quickly that the signal booster box in her apartment had stopped working. It shouldn't take too long to fix. Or he could just save himself the hassle and buy a new one.

Derek was happy to find that nothing major had really gone wrong in his building since he'd left and the meeting was fairly short. He stood up and shrugged his jacket on. Isaac stood up too and Derek was about to start talking when Isaac smiled and turned away. He waved over Derek's newest tenant and Stiles froze, a slight tang of nerves began to build up in the air around the boy as he slowly made his way over to them.

"Derek, this is Stiles," Isaac said. Derek wondered what his friend was up to as he smiled back and nodded.

"We've already met." Isaac's face fell.

"Oh God, Stiles. What've you done now?" Isaac exclaimed and Derek couldn't help but laugh at the look of incredulity that crossed Stiles' face. He watched Stiles' eyes as they landed on Derek's lips and watched him laugh. Derek was hit with another round of lust seeping from the boy's skin and he was taken aback by how swiftly Stiles' emotions changed, as if his mind couldn't keep focus and was rapidly jumping from one thought to the next.

"Have you got the list?" Derek asked in hope that Isaac would drop the subject and Stiles wouldn't go back to feeling embarrassed or stressed. Thankfully, he did.

"You know, Stiles, we're all going out for dinner with Derek in a bit," Isaac said happily. "Do you want to join us?" That confused Derek even more; they were supposed to be going out as a pack. It wasn't like Derek would object to Stiles coming along too; he was just shocked that Isaac would suggest it. Isaac wasn't a werewolf and so maybe he just didn't feel the pull to be alone with his pack for a while after being separated from one of it's members for so long? But werewolf or not, Isaac had always been very in tune with the pack before.

Unless, maybe… maybe Isaac wanted Stiles to join them because he was starting to think of him as pack?

Derek watched Stiles curiously as he declined the offer and nervously excused himself. Derek turned his gaze back to Isaac who smiled at him innocently.

"Glad you're back, dude," Isaac said honestly, which warmed Derek up a little bit but he had questions and he wasn't going to let his friend off that easily. Isaac seemed to realise this, he looked down at his watch. "Oh look at that," he said quickly before Derek could speak out. "We gotta get going if we want to be on time." Isaac hurriedly backed away and Derek let him. He was going to make him answer his questions but it could wait until after lunch.

Derek grabbed the rest of his things and followed Isaac, who had already escaped the room. Out in the foyer, Isaac had joined Erica and Sarah as they chatted next to the mail lockers. Derek was surprised when both girls greeted him with a bear hug, but he returned it happily. He really had missed them all. Erica joined Derek in the Camaro and Isaac accompanied Sarah in her Ford KA as they drove to pick Boyd up from the University campus before heading to get some food. The second that Derek sat down in his beloved car, Erica turned to face him with a devilish smile.

"So, have you met Stiles yet?" She asked in her innocent voice and Derek's eyebrows creased together in confusion as he cast a look in her direction before settling his eyes back on the road as he drove.

"What are you and Isaac up to?" He asked suspiciously.

"Nothing!" Erica insisted, just a little too strongly. He sighed in annoyance as he realised what was going on.

"I thought I'd told you to stop setting me up with people, Erica!"

"You did. But I am not listening to you." If Derek wasn't driving he would be closing his eyes and rubbing his hand over them to fight back his annoyance; as it was, he had to settle for repeatedly clenching and unclenching his jaw. "We're just trying to look out for you," Erica admitted quietly and Derek forced himself to let it go; he didn't like it when they interfered with his love life but he hadn't seen any of them in three months. He'd missed them too much to get into any kind of argument just yet. Erica must have sensed the tension leave him because a second later she was sitting up straight again and sounded less sad when she continued. "Anyway, it's not just me this time. Sarah and Boyd are staying out of it but they both agree you'd be good together."

Derek raised his eyebrow as he cast a glance over to her. He found it hard to believe that Boyd would get wrapped into any of this but he didn't hear a lie in her heartbeat. Granted, he'd taught them all how to keep their heartbeat steady – it was just common decency for everyone in the pack to know how to lie; things sure did get awkward when you weren't capable of even the smallest lie around your friends and family.

"I'm telling the truth!" Erica insisted. "Just… spend some time with him. You'll understand what we're getting at soon enough." Derek thought it over as he drove closer to the campus and followed Erica's directions towards the parking lot nearest to Boyd's building. He remembered the list of items wrong with Stiles' apartment, which was currently tucked into his jacket pocket, and decided that he wouldn't mind seeing Stiles again.

That's how he found himself fixing Stiles' oven the next day instead of simply calling in a repairman.

After a lot of consideration, Derek decided to let himself in to Stiles' apartment. He was the Landlord and, as so, it was his duty to make sure everything wrong with his tenant's apartment was fixed as soon as possible. And maybe he could have waited until Stiles was back from his induction… but nobody had to know that and if anyone asked he would simply deny it… because Derek had chickened out. It had become plainly obvious over dinner with his pack that, even if Erica was lying about Boyd and Sarah's agreement in trying to set him up, they all cared about Stiles greatly. The young teenager was becoming a new member of their pack and Derek needed to get to know him. But even if it didn't turn out like Erica and Isaac planned and they didn't fall madly in love, Derek desperately didn't want to mess anything up. It was awkward for everyone when two pack members didn't get along.

Derek felt nervous as he let himself into the apartment and started to work on the first thing on Stiles' list: his oven. He refused to give in to his curiosity and soon was absorbed in the job at hand without ever snooping around. An hour passed fairly quickly and he was just finishing up when he registered the turning of a key in the lock and Derek froze. Stiles walked into his apartment and Derek could do nothing but stare at him, lost for words and suddenly worrying that Stiles might get angry that he'd just let himself in without permission. What if Derek had already messed this up before he'd even got chance?

Stiles' heartrate sped up noticeably when he spotted Derek, but it wasn't in anger like Derek had expected. He made eye contact and forced himself to smile as Stiles pretended he wasn't ogling Derek's abs.

"Hey. Sorry, I let myself in so I could work on your oven," Derek announced and suddenly felt stupid; talk about stating the obvious…

"Yeah, that's fine… it's good. I mean, thank you," Stiles stammered and Derek's smile turned genuine. He got back to work and let himself relax into the meaningless small talk that passed between them. When Stiles offered him a glass of water he was all too happy to accept. He drank it quickly and practically sighed with relief as he felt the cool liquid travel down inside his overheated body.

Suddenly it felt like a switch had been turned on inside of Stiles. Lust began to seep out of the young human's pores and filled up Derek's lungs. He looked up and realised that they were standing fairly close to each other now, the size of the kitchen reduced significantly by the oven being pulled into the middle of the floor, and Stiles was staring at him with a half-dazed look in his eyes. Derek shifted around a bit and Stiles' eyes shot back up to his face from where they had drifted to his abs. Derek looked away at the last minute so that Stiles wouldn't realise he'd been caught staring again. It felt odd but Derek got a weird thrill out of knowing that Stiles had been fantasising about him.

Maybe his pack was right? Maybe he had been single for too long…. And maybe Stiles would be good for him…?

But Derek didn't want to jump into anything. He had always been one to jump head first into a relationship and it never worked out. He knew that he had to get out of that habit, take things slow… especially after what had happened with Jennifer.

Derek had already finished working on the oven and so he left fairly quickly after that. He spent the rest of that night trying to make a decision about whether or not he should pursue Stiles. The pack was right; Derek had a type and the young teenager fit nicely into it.

In the end he realised that he couldn't make the decision based off of only two meetings. He wasn't going to ask Stiles out. He was going to wait and spend time with him as a friend until he could decide if they would be good together. He was going to act like an adult and he was not, under any circumstances, going to let his heart lead him down the wrong path again. Derek came up with a plan to get to know Stiles and sent his friends a text to ask how the boy liked his coffee.

He was expecting the influx of texts he received from Erica: mocking and teasing him and generally suggesting that he was planning to have sex with Stiles and would need to know what to feed him the next morning. Derek rolled his eyes and replied to those the only way he knew how, with sarcasm. Sarah, Isaac and Boyd, however, gave similar answers to his question and so Derek was fairly confident for the first stage of his plan.

The next morning Derek woke up early, as usual, and waited until he heard Stiles moving around in his apartment before he left to grab two cups of coffee from the café across the street before he chickened out again. Surprisingly, there was no queue and it didn't take him very long until he was knocking on Stiles' front door. He heard muttered cursing from inside and worried that he'd come too early. Maybe he should have waited half an hour before heading up? The door swung open before him and Derek plastered on a smile before he could let his doubts grow any further.

"Morning," Derek greeted, holding out the spare cup of coffee for Stiles, who took it without question. Derek let out a deep breath in relief that this part of his plan, at least, was going smoothly; and when he breathed back in he froze. The scent of sex clung to Stiles' skin; smelling sweet and heavy and warm. Like most things, sex smelt different on everyone, with only the base scent remaining unchanged. Derek was happy to smell only one scent of release in Stiles' apartment. He hadn't been with anyone when he'd come, he had been-

Derek attempted to stop that track of thought but couldn't help picturing Stiles slouched against the wall with his dick in his hand and working himself to his climax. Maybe he would bite his lip to keep quiet. Perhaps his head would be thrown back in ecstasy, neck exposed, as he edged closer to his release.

Stiles averted his eyes quickly from Derek and he felt suddenly ashamed for fantasising about him. He wasn't doing a very good job of not letting his heart rule his mind…

"Thanks for the coffee. I was just about to take a shower," Stiles said quietly and Derek nodded.

"Right. Well, I won't keep you," Derek was quick to reply. "I was going to work on the plug socket today and I'll need to cut the electric to the apartment when you're done…"

"Okay… I'll be quick," Stiles said, lowering his drink onto the coffee table. Derek entered the apartment and paid special attention to closing the door behind him instead of watching Stiles' ass in the jogging bottoms he was wearing.

[] [] []

Derek was getting to know Stiles fairly well as the days passed and everything new he found out made Derek like him just a little more. Even when he went up to apartment 3D and found the shelf broken and Stiles' arm bleeding. He knew that Stiles was lying when he told Derek that he had fallen and knocked it over but, despite his suspicions, Derek didn't really care that much. It was just another one of Stiles' personality quirks that made him so interesting.

"You should be more careful," Derek said as he finished drawing the pain from Stiles' arm and wrapped a new bandage around it.

"I'll try," Stiles insisted and Derek pretended to not notice the boy's flushed cheeks. He stared into Stiles' eyes for a second longer than was normal for two friends; he was hesitant to let go but he didn't think Stiles noticed because he was ducking his head in embarrassment. Derek was overcome with the urge to touch his fingers to Stiles' jaw and lift his chin just enough to create the perfect angle to kiss him at. He let go of Stiles' arm then and backed away a step, smiling to hide his inner turmoil.

[] [] []

Derek had become quite accustomed to spending his mornings with Stiles. He still woke up early and instead of starting his day immediately, like he used to, he taught himself a couple of simple breakfast recipes and sat down to eat breakfast for the first time in probably ten years. He mainly tried different ways of making eggs, though he did make a semi-successful three oat porridge one day but he found it too sweet to eat first thing in the morning; and then he stumbled across an omelette recipe and he hadn't tried anything new since. He was quietly proud of this one recipe and vowed to make it more in the future, though he doubted he would stick to that. He was a creature of habit and he'd spent too much of his life living off of takeaways and leftovers that his Mum cooked and froze for him when she visited.

After he finished his breakfast, Derek read one of his books for a while as he waited. It wouldn't be too much longer, though, before he heard the shrill sound of Stiles' alarm on the third floor. Normally, alarms and furniture being knocked and people talking in his building would fade into the background, especially when Derek was reading. But it was like he was becoming hyperaware of Stiles. And when Derek heard the alarm going off he would get up and leave the building to buy them both a cup of coffee, making sure to finish the page he was reading first so that he could give Stiles enough time to take a shower.

Today was different though; he had finished all the work in Stiles' apartment and he had no reason to go back there. Yesterday he had managed to use Stiles' lacrosse try-outs as an excuse to see him so he could wish the boy good luck. Now though…? Derek thought for a moment, he supposed he could go up to ask how Stiles had got on…

Derek paused in his musings when he realised he hadn't heard any movement from Stiles' apartment since the alarm went off. He listened closer but still heard nothing. Derek realised that the alarm must have only half woken Stiles up and now he'd fallen right back asleep. He bit his lip as he contemplated his options; he didn't have a good enough excuse to visit Stiles this morning… but if he didn't then the boy was going to be late.

He sighed heavily and put his book down before heading out the door to get coffee. He was still trying to come up with a passable reason when he was knocking on Stiles' apartment door. But once the boy opened the door, Derek was able to smell all the alcohol covering Stiles' scent.

"I figured you'd need some encouragement to get out of bed this morning since you were out all night," Derek announced, as he came up with the new idea. It still wasn't a good enough reason to visit Stiles… but maybe the boy was too hung over to notice that? "I suppose I was right… did you only just get out of bed?"

"… That is a possibility," Stiles murmured and Derek let himself relax into their normal conversations. Derek really enjoyed spending time with Stiles and he knew that Stiles felt the same way, if the fact that he kept breaking things so they could spend more time together was anything to go by…. And so when Stiles asked him out, even though he'd tried to cover it up as just a night out with friends, Derek decided to just let go of the rest of his reserves and say yes. He just had to hope that he wasn't making the wrong choice.

[] [] []

Stiles was his mate.

It took Derek almost 2 weeks to come to terms with this fact. Because it was a fact; werewolves only had one mate and Stiles was his. It took most werewolves anywhere from one week to one month after meeting their mate to realise it. Derek had always secretly hoped he'd be a part of the minority that would see their mate for the first time and just instantly know that they were the one. Instead, it took him two weeks. It took him until the first time he saw Stiles staggering out of his bedroom and into the kitchen while pulling on one of Derek's shirts because his own was dirty. Then Derek just knew; he got that gut feeling that told him that Stiles was his.

It was so obvious to him right in that moment that he had to wonder how he hadn't figured it out sooner. Even his friends had noticed how perfect he and Stiles were together. He put the memory of Jennifer, which was still tainting his life, out of his head and he just let himself be happy. Stiles turned around then and noticed Derek staring at him.

"What?" Stiles asked as eloquently as he could with half a donut in his mouth and Derek just laughed at him.

"Nothing," he muttered quietly as he walked over to his mate and embraced him tightly.

"Do you-" Stiles started but it came out slurred with a mouthful of donut and so he waited until he was finished chewing. "Do you get turned on by me wearing your clothes?" Stiles asked, half serious. Derek had his head buried inside the crook of Stiles' neck and just hummed at him in response. He couldn't care what kink Stiles thought he had, he just wanted to be close to him right then. It didn't take long before Stiles was completely on board with where this was going. They barely even made it back into the bedroom before Derek was fucking him from behind, completely engrossed in the sensation of Stiles' tight hole taking in Derek's dick with ease. He didn't think sex could get any better than it did in that moment, he'd surely reached his pinnacle.

After they both came, they wrapped up under the blankets and made out slowly as if they had all the time in the world. Stiles' lips roamed over Derek's skin and he sighed in content. He shivered when he felt his mate's teeth graze over a sensitive part of his neck and Derek smiled; he was about to stretch his neck in the other directions to allow more room for Stiles, because if he couldn't submit to his mate then who could he submit to? But then he realised what Stiles was attempting to do and he froze. Stiles noticed Derek's hesitation and pulled away slowly, blinking down at him with big, confused, doe eyes.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Derek said too quickly. "It's just… I don't like getting hickeys…"

"Oh…" Stiles muttered quietly and Derek felt the awkwardness build around them.

"I don't bruise easily," Derek lied. The problem wasn't how easily he bruised, it was how quickly he healed. "And so it's just a lot of work for no result." At least that part was honest, he thought. Derek dragged Stiles back down for another kiss and the boy went happily. But Derek didn't feel as good anymore; he'd hated lying to Stiles before but now that he knew he was his mate it made him feel even worse. He wished, for the first time in his life, that he could just be normal.

Chapter Text

When Derek went home for Christmas, he was nervous. He hadn't told any of his family about Stiles yet because he was worried about their reaction. After everything that had happened with Jennifer… Derek wouldn't blame them for being hesitant to accept Stiles as his mate. The flight to Washington was long and gave him plenty of time to worry. But once the plane had landed he checked his phone to see a few texts from Stiles that made him smile and relax.

From: Stiles
Received: 3:23pm
I miss you already

From: Stiles
Received: 3 :23pm
Wait, no, that's corny as fuck. Don't read that last text!

From: Stiles
Received: 3 :55pm
My Dad's asking if there's any girls I'm interested in at school. Isn't he in for a shocker when I tell him about you ;)

Derek started texting out a reply as he walked towards the exit with his luggage, but he was stopped by the sound of his Mother calling his name. Derek spun around, automatically locking his phone as he did so, and caught sight of his family rushing towards him. He let himself get pulled into several hugs and his smile was genuine when he greeted them.

"Why didn't you tell me you were going to pick me up?" Derek asked; he'd been under the impression he was going to be catching a taxi home.

"We wanted to surprise you," his Mother answered softly.

"Who were you texting? Is it your boyfriend" Cora asked before Derek could reply. "Were you sending him soppy love letters?" She teased and dove for his phone. Derek let her take it, there was no way she would guess his password. He rolled his eyes at his little sister but when he looked back at his Mum, he could see her calculating stare and he knew he was in trouble.

"You were awfully wrapped up in your phone… you didn't even smell that we were here," Talia noted. "Who is this new boyfriend?" Derek looked between his parents and sister as he rubbed at the back of his neck.

"His name's Stiles; he's… he's my mate." Derek waited for some sort of negative response but his family just smiled, except from Cora who had stopped paying attention and was failing at hacking into his phone.

"I'm happy for you," his Dad said and clapped him on the shoulder.

"You'll have to tell me all about him on the ride home," his Mother confirmed.

Cora only grunted and handed back his phone after no success. His Dad took his suitcase from him and led them out to where he'd parked the car as Talia began asking questions about Stiles. Derek relaxed again, relieved that his family trusted his word without even thinking about his past mistakes.

"He's eighteen," Cora piped up and Derek suddenly wanted to bang his head against a brick wall, of course his sister would bring up the age difference… he'd been hoping to avoid mentioning that for a few days. His plan was to talk about Stiles constantly until his parents had no choice but to be taken with him, and then he'd slip in the six-and-a-half year age difference. Derek's Dad turned his head to look back at his son with a sly smile on his face.

"Got yourself a boy-toy, have you?" He joked and Derek slammed his palm, the only readily available alternative he had to a wall, onto his head; out of the corner of his eye, Derek saw Talia slap the back of her husband's head in reprimand.

"So, other than his age, what is this boy like?" Talia asked and Derek smiled warmly at her.

"He's…" loyal, beautiful, strong, smart, funny, sarcastic, curious… "He's great, Mum," Derek settled for and cast his eyes towards his sister. He refused to believe that she wasn't paying him any attention, despite the fact she seemed immersed in her phone, and he didn't want to give her any more ammunition to tease him with. He would elaborate to his Mum later… he'd talk about Stiles so much that she wished she'd never asked. Once they got in the car, Derek shifted the topic of conversation to Cora and how her second year at University was doing. She scowled at him but was forced to answer when their parents began questioning her.

In complete honesty, though, Derek was concerned about his little sister. She had come out as asexual almost five months ago and he knew how idiotic teenage boys could be. Logically, Derek knew his sister could handle herself… but he still sometimes worried about her being harassed by a group of bonehead boys with a combined IQ less than that of a bag of meat.

Derek enjoyed the short ride home as he listened to his family, his pack. And then he smiled as they drove up to his family home. His Dad parked the car in the garage and Derek followed as everyone climbed out. The smells of his pack surrounded him, filling the small area completely. He did miss living close to home, Derek admitted silently to himself. If he was being completely honest, he wasn't sure what kept calling him back to Beacon County… he just felt like that was where he needed to be. Maybe it was Stiles. Maybe it was fate interfering and bringing him closer to his mate.

Derek couldn't help picturing his future, right then. If his constant need to stay in Beacon County actually was because of Stiles… then would he be able to move back here if Stiles came with him? Derek imaged Stiles' scent mingling with the rest of his family's in the pack home and the idea made him so happy that it was almost overwhelming.
Stiles was pack to him and he was pack to Boyd, Isaac, Erica and Sarah… but Derek longed for it to be official. He grabbed his suitcase from the boot of the car and carried it with him to his old room; he heard other pack members in the house but he didn't run into any of them as he went and he was thankful for that; he just needed a few minutes alone to collect his thoughts. Derek flung the door open and dropped his suitcase onto the soft carpet, before he took a nose-dive onto the bed. He no longer had any possessions in this house; he took everything he needed to his apartment and binned everything that remained the day that he moved out; even the bed was new. But it didn't matter because nothing could ever make this house feel like anything less than his family home.

Derek closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of his pack that surrounded him, calming himself down. He eventually pushed himself back up into a sitting position and slowly made his way downstairs to greet the rest of his pack. He was on the landing when he ran into his uncle Peter, who smiled at him oddly.

"So, I heard you have a mate," Peter said and Derek silently cursed his Dad who could never keep his mouth shut. "Are you sure this time?" Peter laughed and Derek bit back his tongue; he'd known that someone would bring up Jennifer eventually but his parent's had lulled him into a false sense of security. He just wished that everyone would forget about his past mistakes… maybe next year they would?

"Yeah, I'm sure," Derek said, trying his best to hide the bitterness in his voice.

"Well in that case, congratulations," Peter said with a smile, surprising Derek with his sincerity. "Are you going to offer him the bite?" Peter asked before Derek could offer up his thanks and his uncle's bluntness floored Derek. He stared at Peter for a moment but the older werewolf just waited for his answer.

"I haven't thought much about it," Derek settled on, which was mostly true; he didn't like thinking about the huge secret he was keeping from his boyfriend, it made him feel slimy, but it had crossed his mind a few times.

"Well, would he make a good werewolf?" Peter continued, refusing to drop the topic.

"Yes," Derek answered without having to put any thought into his response at all. There was no doubt in his mind that Stiles would be a good werewolf; he might have a little bit of trouble with his control at first because of his ADHD, but it wouldn't be that much more than the normal control-issues that bitten werewolves had.

"Well, it seems pretty obvious to me," Peter said, his smile still on place.

"Yeah, I suppose," Derek agreed, still not entirely sure why his uncle was so interested. They stared at each other for a moment, but before either could say anything else, Talia's voice was ringing out from downstairs, shouting Derek's name. Derek supposed it was to come and talk to some relative he had ignored when he walked right to his room. "Coming!" He shouted back and made to move around Peter, but his uncle stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.

"Just be careful about it," Peter whispered so that no prying werewolves could hear. "You need to remember that he's human. If he doesn't already know about the supernatural then he's not going to take it very well," Peter warned and Derek frowned at him. He took a step back and shook his head because Stiles wasn't like that. It would come as a shock, of course, but Derek knew that Stiles wouldn't care that he's a werewolf. He told Peter this, who just put on a sad smile. "You might think that way now… but I'm telling you that it would be much easier to change him rather than tell him."

"You want me to force the bite on Stiles?!" Derek asked, shocked. Peter dropped his hand from Derek's shoulder but he didn't say anything else. "You talked me into doing that with Paige and look how well that turned out," Derek muttered before turning around and walking away. He couldn't believe his uncle, in that moment. Derek wasn't sure where Peter had got this deep mistrust of humans from but he wasn't going to listen to it any longer.

"You'll wish you'd have paid attention to me!" Peter shouted at Derek's retreating form and the younger werewolf just kept on going, walking down the stairs to find his Mother, who was standing next to Isaac in the kitchen.

Part of what Peter had said, however, refused to leave him and Derek found himself lying in bed that night and staring at the texts he'd been sharing with his boyfriend. He wondered if Stiles would accept the bite if his Mother offered it. Would he be able to evolve and shift into a full wolf, like Derek, Laura and his Mother all could? Would he be content as a beta or push boundaries like an alpha? Would Derek be able to help him with his control like he did with Erica and Sarah? What would his anchor be? His Father? The memory of his Mother?

… Would Derek be Stiles' anchor?

Derek let the questions wash over him as he stared down at his phone, the screen long since turned black. He took a deep breath and unlocked the phone.

To: Stiles
Sent: 11:43pm
What do you think of werewolves?

From: Stiles
Received: 11:44pm
Werewolves?

From: Stiles
Received: 11:44pm
Not my favourite monster movies but still classics

From: Stiles
Received: 11:45pm
… That is, unless you're talking about twilight

From: Stiles
Received: 11:45pm
Please don't be talking about twilight

To: Stiles
Sent: 11:45pm
I'm not talking about twilight.

From: Stiles
Received: 11:45pm
Good

From: Stiles
Received: 11:46pm
Then what are you talking about?

Derek sighed deeply, suddenly regretting ever bringing werewolves up in the first place. He frowned off into space as he tried to come up with a way to either end the conversation or a good answer to why he was talking about supposedly mythical monsters in the first place.

To: Stiles
Sent: 11:55pm
I was watching the old horror movies earlier and starting thinking it'd be cool to be a werewolf

From: Stiles
Received: 11:55pm
Yeah! It'd be awesome

Derek stared at his phone for a moment before typing out a reply.

To: Stiles
Sent: 11:55pm
Even with the whole full moon bloodlust thing?

From: Stiles
Received: 11:56pm
I suppose youd just have to tie me up ;)

To: Stiles
Sent: 11:56pm
Well… we wouldn't want you hurting anyone now, would we?

Derek smiled down at his phone and continued to flirt with Stiles through text, his serious mood long forgotten.

[] [] []

Peter continued to ask about Stiles whenever he and Derek were alone, but the younger werewolf didn't take any of his uncle's 'advice' seriously and he didn't think about anything Peter had said again after he left to go back to Beacon County. Soon he would tell his boyfriend the truth about werewolves and he knew that Stiles would be fine with it, so what was the point in overthinking it and worrying himself?

Derek and Stiles were lying, cuddled up, together on the couch and watching X-Men 2 as Derek began to ponder when the right time to bring up werewolves would be. Had they been dating long enough? Should he wait until after he told him he loved him? Or should he tell him before? Derek looked down at where Stiles was snuggled against his chest and couldn't help the smile that formed on his face. Stiles looked up at him and smiled back and Derek wondered why he hadn't told him he loved him yet. Because he did love him.

"What?" Stiles asked him when Derek just continued to smile in his direction. Derek shook his head very slightly.

"Nothing," he whispered. He hooked his hand around Stiles' jaw and drew him down for a kiss.

"Okay," Stiles mumbled against Derek's lips and pushed himself up slightly so he could get a better angle at his boyfriend's lips. Derek's other hand ran down Stiles back and squeezed his ass gently before repeating the motion. Stiles bit and licked at Derek's lips as they moaned in unison. Derek had just buried his fingers in Stiles' hair when his phone began to ring.

"Ignore it," he mumbled and he felt Stiles' head tip and up and down slightly in a nod of agreement. Derek held on tightly to Stiles' body and shifted so that he was grinding his semi-hard dick against Stiles' thigh. Stiles was breathless as he pulled away for a second to breathe and ran his fingers underneath Derek's shirt, playing with the taut muscle of his abs and making the werewolf shiver. Derek licked at Stiles' neck until the boy had regained enough of his breath to pull Derek's head to the side and delve his tongue back in between Derek's lips.

Derek didn't register when his phone stopped ringing. But he noticed when it started again. Derek froze as he recognised the tune he'd set for his pack's emergency phones. He wasted only a second before he pulled away from Stiles completely; everyone in the pack had an emergency phone because occasionally werewolves had to deal with some serious life or death situations that needed urgent responses to. He whispered an apology and Stiles moved away to give Derek the room to sit up and grab his phone from the table.

Derek's eyes flickered over the caller ID and his heart gave a painful squeeze as he read Laura's name. He didn't know how he would be able to cope if his sister's life was in danger… what if there were hunters after her? Derek would be the first person she'd call for help because he lived the closest. He took a deep breath and stood up, moving to stand in the kitchen for a little bit of extra privacy.

"Laura?" He asked as he did so and he heard his distressed sister's voice from the other side of the line.

"Has Peter contacted you?" She asked and Derek frowned.

"No, he hasn't. What's wrong?" Is he missing? Derek thought but couldn't ask while he was still in Stiles' apartment.

"He killed someone, Derek," she whispered and Derek froze. "He was just here, at my house, and bragging that he killed an alpha!"

"Are you okay?" Derek asked, fearing the worst. The short break of silence at Laura's end was all the answer he needed. He began to pace then, back and forth as he waited for Laura to talk again.

"I'm healing," she responded and Derek had to hide his hands so that Stiles' couldn't see the claws that were growing from them. "He tried to get me to leave Mum and join his pack; he was insane, ranting about humans and hunters… I've never seen him like that before. When I told him I wouldn't leave our pack he went crazy." Derek waited in silence for her to elaborate. "He pushed me through a window. But he left and I'm okay. I'm just worried that he'll go to you next."

"I'll keep an eye out for him," Derek said shortly, trying to not let his anger filter into his voice so that he didn't worry either Laura or Stiles.

"Look, I'm just gonna clean up and then I'll head right over to yours. We need to talk properly," Laura announced, leaving no room for argument. Not like Derek was going to disagree, anyway. They hung up a few seconds later and Derek heard Stiles slowly approach him

"Is everything okay?"

"Erm… no," Derek admitted but didn't elaborate further than "it's a family emergency." He wanted to tell Stiles the truth, or at least part of it, but he didn't know how… not yet, anyway. So he left instead. He couldn't just pretend that everything was fine and Laura would only be an hour or two, depending on how injured she was and how long it took her to clean up. He grabbed his leather jacket from the back of the chair and kissed Stiles softly on the cheek before rushing out the door.

[] [] []

Laura slept in Derek's spare room that night. They stayed up until the early hours of the morning discussing what their options were for handling Peter after sitting down to have a long phone call with their Mum. Derek ended up sleeping in until almost 12pm but Laura wasn't there when he finally woke up. He worried for a moment before he checked his phone and found a message.

From: Laura
Received: 11 :23am
You're fridge is disgustingly empty. Do you just live off of takeout?
I'm going to get some food, be back soon sleepyhead

Derek was just contemplating pulling himself out of bed and taking a shower when he heard a crash from upstairs. He almost ignored it as only someone being clumsy, but then he heard the light scratching of feet scrambling against floor as if someone was trying to run away and Derek was already out of bed and heading out of his apartment door before he really registered it. He wouldn't let anyone get hurt in his building; he wanted to make sure that everyone was safe. That's when he heard Peter's roar.

Derek acted on instinct and started running. He sprinted through the lobby and took the stairs two at a time as he hurried to the third floor and to Stiles' apartment to make sure his mate was safe. He wasn't even certain that Stiles was in danger, Peter could just as easily be at Isaac's, Sarah's or Erica's apartments, but he didn't think about making himself stop to scent out his Uncle. He just kept on running.

Stiles was screaming then and that made Derek run faster. He was wolfed out and kicking the apartment door down only seconds later.

The fight was a blur to Derek, he didn't think about any of it he just acted, and by the time that it was over and his adrenaline has run back down he wouldn't have been able to recall anything specific about it. The moment that Peter was on the floor, Derek was turning to look at Stiles. He rushed towards his mate to check that he wasn't injured and Stiles pulled away.

"Stiles. It's okay. Don't freak out. I'm here. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm here," Derek whispered again and again as he shifted back to his human form and watched Stiles try to push himself further and further away. Derek tried to reach out and comfort his boyfriend but the younger boy just kept whispering 'no' as he shook his head, tears slipping from his big brown eyes. He slid away from his boyfriend slowly, giving him the space that he so obviously wanted. He tried to not let the fear in Stiles' eyes affect him but Derek felt like he was going to be sick.

"I warned you that he wouldn't accept you," Peter gloated from where he lay wounded on the kitchen floor and Derek just didn't know what to do anymore. He caught Stiles as he fainted, stopping him from banging his head on the hard floor. He didn't pay much attention to what was going on around him after that. He was vaguely aware of Laura appearing in the doorway, half shifted and snarling at Peter as she flashed her fangs and bright yellow eyes. And he saw Isaac trap the still-healing Peter in a ring of mountain ash. And then Derek scooped his boyfriend up in his arms and carried him to his bed. He lay him inside of the blankets and silently watched over him as he slept.

"Is he injured?" Laura asked as she came to sit by his side and Derek shook his head slowly.

"A bit bruised. But otherwise fine," he said as light-heartedly as he could.

"Then what's wrong?"

"He was scared of me," Derek admitted out loud. He wanted to keep talking, but he couldn't find the words to tell his sister how it felt to be rejected by his mate. Laura didn't need them, though. She placed her hand on his knee and leant her head against his shoulder, comforting him and silently letting him know she would always be there for him.

Talia had already been on a plane to Beacon County to protect her children from Peter. So it was barely half an hour after the attack that she arrived. Laura greeted her downstairs and let her into Derek's apartment, where they had moved Peter to, and she must have explained everything that had happened because it was only a few minutes later when Talia was pushing open the broken door to Stiles' apartment. Derek, who hadn't left Stiles' side, finally got up to talk to her in the living room.

"How is he?" She asked softly and Derek shrugged, eyes glazed.

"I keep taking his pain so he won't wake up so quickly. I don't know what to say to him when he does," Derek admitted and his Mother nodded in understanding. "What are you going to do?" He whispered. Talia sighed sadly.

"That's not up to me," she whispered, laying her hand on his upper arm. "The decision is yours, Derek,"

"But what if I make the wrong one?" He asked quietly. There were only two choices that he could think of; he could wait for Stiles to wake up normally and explain everything to him, hoping that he would understand… or he could take his memory.

Right in that moment, Derek didn't want to do either.

"There's no certainty in life, Love," Talia whispered sadly. "We just have to do what we think is right and hope for the best." Derek nodded briefly to his Mother before moving away to collapse on the sofa, burring his face in his hands. He knew what he should do. He just didn't want to accept it. Peter had attacked Stiles because he was Derek's mate. Derek had been the one to put the man he loved in danger. There wasn't any safety in a werewolf pack, not really. Not with all the hunters and rogue werewolves… and darachs. He had an emergency phone, for God's sake. What kind of messed up life required an emergency phone?

Derek could have got Stiles killed today.

Stiles deserved more than this life. More than Derek was able to give him. Derek felt his eyes sting with unshed tears as he came to his decision. He wasn't going to put Stiles in danger any longer. He looked up to his Mother and she must have read his choice on his face because her soft eyes turned sad and understanding.

"You want me to take his memory?" She asked, though she already knew the answer. Derek just nodded and she put a sad smile onto her face. "Are you sure?"

"I've never been less sure about anything in my life," he admitted. But he nodded a moment later; his mind was made up. He was going to do this and Stiles would never have to worry about the supernatural again. Derek stood beside his Mother as she sunk her claws slowly into Stiles' neck. He'd only seen her take someone's memory once before; it had been a young child who had watched her Mother get torn apart in front of her and Talia just couldn't stand to allow a five year old to remember such a traumatic event.

Stiles shifted ever so slightly on the bed in discomfort. But it was over in seconds. Talia looked up at her son and Derek didn't need her to tell him it had worked, he could read it all over her face. He hadn't realised until that moment how much he'd been hoping his decision would be made moot and Stiles would turn out to be part of the population that the werewolf memory tricks wouldn't work on.

"He'll be asleep for quite a while. It should give us plenty of time to fix his apartment," Talia said before leaving to give her son a moment alone. He heard her pause at the door to the apartment, but she eventually kept on going and Derek fell to his knees. It felt like someone was sitting on his chest and preventing his breathing. For the moment he let the tears fall from his eyes, he'd have to be strong again soon but for now he just needed to cry.

It could have been five or thirty minutes later when he finally managed to pull himself together. He splashed water on his face and watched in the bathroom mirror as the broken blood vessels in his face that caused it to look red and blotchy healed and his skin returned to normal, leaving no evidence that he'd ever let a single tear fall.

He went downstairs and found Laura sitting alone in his apartment. She smiled sadly when he walked through the door.

"Mum took Peter away a few minutes ago and I told all the others to get back to their revision… I figured we could fix up Stiles' apartment alone without providing them with a distraction." Derek nodded. He walked into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of milk from the fridge; he unscrewed the cap and chugged it greedily as Laura stared at him.

"You don't need to keep looking at me like that, you know," Derek muttered and he saw Laura shrug and jump to her feet, putting on her normal energetic personality so that Derek wouldn't feel too weird around her. Laura made Derek a bacon sandwich and once he'd eaten they went upstairs together to fix Stiles' place. It didn't take too long; the trickiest part was buying a new lock that looked exactly like the old one that was now beyond repair. Everything else was just a matter of sweeping up and putting the upturned furniture back to how it had originally been laid out. Stiles was still sleeping when they had finished and so Derek switched out his old key with the new one and locked up behind, with the spare, as he left.

Neither Derek nor Laura felt much like talking when they had finished and so Derek collapsed onto his bed for the night as his sister stayed up watching the TV for a little longer before retiring to his spare bedroom. Derek didn't fall asleep though. He stayed awake, staring at the ceiling, and wishing that he could have done something different, that he could have been born human.

He felt like shit the next morning as he trudged out of bed and walked across the street to get coffee. The shower had just been turned on when he left and so he bought a third cup this time, stopping back at his apartment and leaving it on the kitchen table for Laura. He waited outside Stiles' flat for several minutes as he tried to build up the courage to knock on the door. When he finally did and Stiles let him inside, he still found it difficult to get the words out. He stared sadly over Stiles' shoulder, who waited quietly for Derek to start speaking. He didn't think he'd be able to get the words out… but then Stiles lifted his coffee to his lips and grimaced in pain when it stretched one of the bruises that Peter had left behind.

"I met someone else," Derek said, the words tumbling out of his mouth at the reminder of the pain he'd helped to inflict on his boyfriend. "While I was in Washington," he clarified finally meeting Stiles' eyes. "I've been in love with her for… so long. And I just found out that she wants to be with me too. I'm sorry, Stiles. I really do like you, but I have to go for it with her…" he lied swiftly and easily. He didn't want to, it killed him to be treating Stiles this way. But he needed to keep the boy safe the only way he knew how.

"Its fine, I mean, it's not like we're in love, or anything." Derek felt his stomach tighten into knots as he heard the blip in Stiles' heartbeat and knew that the boy loved him. They hadn't broached the subject before and Derek had figured that Stiles felt similar to the way he did. But it made this so much harder to know his hunch was right. He swallowed thickly and put on the most convincing smile he had. "And if you think that you have a chance at that, then you should go for it… right?"

"Yeah." Derek realised he had to get out of there right away, he owed Stiles a proper talk but he just couldn't do it. He managed to keep his calm as he left the apartment. However, the second the door closed behind him, he heard Stiles break down behind the wall and he just couldn't help but do the same. He leant against the wall and slowly slumped down it, listening to Stiles cry on the other side and letting his own tears fall from his eyes. He didn't know how long he stayed there, torturing himself, before Laura showed up.

Her hair was still damp but Derek could smell the coffee he'd bought her still on her skin, so she must have already drunk it. She crouched down next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.

"Come on, Derek," she whispered and he made eye contact with her. "You've been here for a long time," she confirmed for him, "you should come back down stairs." He just stared at her, trying to bring himself to find a suitable response but failing. "I'll buy you some ice-cream and we can watch rom-coms as you cry on my shoulder," she joked, but Derek knew that she would do just that if that were what he needed. He was shocked when she was able to bring a genuine smile to his lips. Laura helped him to stand up and he stared at Stiles' door in remorse before he and his sister walked down the stairs. She wrapped her arm around his waist and hugged him awkwardly as they went.

[] [] []

His friends came to visit him a few hours later. He wasn't sure whose idea it was… maybe Laura had called them… maybe they had just come by to check on him. Regardless, they let themselves into the apartment about half an hour after Laura had left to pick up some paperwork from her office out of town, with a promise to be back soon since she had insisted on staying with him for the time being.

Derek wasn't sure why they had come by and he wasn't sure what they had planned to say; but the second Sarah saw him curled up on the sofa, and eating the dreadful pop tarts that he'd bought in for whenever Stiles stayed over, her face hardened and she squared her shoulders.

"Listen here, Derek Hale," Sarah said as she marched towards his sulking form. "Don't you dare blame yourself for what your uncle did!" Derek was shocked to see one of his friends standing up to him; they had never done that before. Any other time he would have been happy to know that they were maturing and becoming their own individuals… but there was no room for argument in this situation. "I'm not going to let you throw away everything that you and Stiles have together!"

"This isn't your decision, Sarah," Derek growled at her and she appeared to deflate. He could still see her urge to fight this but she was just too tired. "And anyway, it's too late to change my mind. My Mother took away Stiles' memory and I broke up with him this morning."

"It's never too late," Erica whispered and Derek stared at her over Sarah's shoulder. "You could tell him the truth… he would understand." Derek heard the conviction in his friends' voices as they all agreed, enthusiastically, with Erica and he wanted to believe them. But he heard the rejection in Stiles' voice louder as the memory continued to play inside his head. It really was too late for them now.

"This isn't up for discussion," he muttered and then he left his apartment with his friends still inside, running away from his problems yet again. Derek didn't think he would ever stop running.

[] [] []

Derek couldn't help but remember Stiles' fear, rejection and hurt whenever he was alone. It had been two and a half weeks since Peter had attacked Stiles and caused the break up, and Derek knew that his heartbreak wouldn't go away any time soon. It had been several days since he last saw his mate, since he'd overheard Stiles flirting with the idea to go out and date new people… he couldn't help but feel sick with jealousy and anxiety whenever he thought about Stiles dating anyone else, but that was just something he would need to get over.

He'd asked his friends to give him constant updates on how Stiles was doing, disguising it as concern about how much Stiles would be questioning his missing memories. And he was worried about that… but he was mainly just missing his mate. They didn't give him updates nearly as often as he would like, but it was enough to appease him. However, something had changed over the past week. Before, their main worry was that Allison would shoot them full of arrows, given that she came from a family of famous hunters (she had already proven that when he and Stiles first started dating and she'd come by to threaten to shoot him in the ass with a wolfsbane covered arrow if he ever hurt Stiles… he was still waiting for her to make good on her promise, actually). She had been asking the pack for the real story about why Derek broke up with Stiles ever since she found out… but lately her questions had become more frequent and demanding. Isaac admitted that he found Allison scary and everyone knew he would probably end up telling her the truth if she ever got him on his own.

But Derek had stopped being worried about her when Sarah informed him that Stiles was remembering. Derek didn't believe her at first, there was no way he could get back his memories without some serious magical intervention! But Erica agreed and Boyd and Isaac also mentioned something was 'off' about him… so, Derek amused their idea and visited Stiles under the pretence of finding a book he had lost. It didn't take long before he could hear Stiles' heartbeat rising in fear and confusion. Derek left soon after that. He was worried now though, more than ever. He talked to his Mother but even she didn't know what could be happening. Laura found out from one of his friends and offered to take some more time off work and stay at his some more; Derek wanted to accept because being around his sister always made him calmer, but she had only just a few days ago gone back home and he didn't want to force her back to sleeping in his guest room for no reason.

So Derek tried not to feel uneasy until he knew for sure what was happening with Stiles. It was harder than he thought it would be, though. For the most part he was fine, he wasn't about to become catatonic for months like that girl in those vampire movies that Stiles had once forced him to watch, pretending like they were his favourite just to see how much Derek would take. He had sat through five films for no reason that day… needless to say, he had suckered Stiles into giving him a blowjob as an apology. Though whenever he was alone he did feel the urge to just sit around and do nothing while reminiscing about some of the times he had spent with Stiles. He felt the desire to do that right then, actually, and so he buried himself into a book instead. There was a soft knock on the door after only a few minutes, though, and Derek opened it to find Boyd standing there awkwardly.

"What's wrong?" He asked as he allowed the boy into his apartment.

"You should talk to Stiles," Boyd stated clearly and Derek glared at him, it wasn't like Boyd to get involved like this in Derek's personal life… if other people were expressing an opinion then he might offer his agreement or disagreement. But he never went out of his way to tell Derek what to do. "He's been a bit shut off lately and now he's shut us out completely. It's been a few days since any of us have talked to him without him making an excuse to leave… I think there's something wrong." Derek stared at his friend for a long moment.

"I'll think about it," he said eventually and he saw Boyd's face harden. He shook his head and walked out angrily without another word. Derek knew that Boyd only wanted what was best for him and Stiles, but Derek showing up would probably do more bad than good. Derek considered going up to see Stiles regardless, but he shook his head to clear it before settling back on the sofa with his book. He couldn't concentrate though and the throw on the back of the sofa still smelt vaguely of Stiles, so he abandoned his book a pulled the blanket under his head before closing his eyes. He was moping, but he would deny it to anyone who asked.

Chapter Text

Stiles stared at his laptop screen for a long time as he pretended to be okay. He hadn't spent this much time scrolling through google images since he was thirteen and tried googling porn for the first time. But it wasn't porn he was looking at this time, no it was werewolves. He'd scrolled through thousands of pictures over the past few days, and he wasn't entirely sure why… it's not as though he'd forgotten what they looked like. Not anymore, anyway. He still had no idea how he'd forgot in the first place and he'd wasted several hours pursuing that question before he finally admitted to himself that the easiest way to find out was to ask Derek…

But that would involve leaving his room, which he hadn't done for several days. The first day after he'd remembered werewolves were real, he didn't talk to anyone out of fear. The second day he had calmed down greatly, but he still couldn't bring himself to spend time with any of Derek's friends. When they texted he would quickly tell them he was too ill to hang out. It was a lie, but one he hoped they didn't pick up on because he still wanted to be their friend. He just didn't know where they stood yet. All he knew was they were all very close to Derek; did that mean that they knew about werewolves? Were they werewolves themselves? Before Stiles knew it, several days had passed, lectures had started back up, and he was still in his apartment - no closer to getting answers to any of his questions.

Scott and Allison were the only ones that Stiles was talking to, though he still wasn't spending any time with them in case any of the others found out and caught on to his lie. Both of them were concerned for him, worrying that he had gotten into an argument with Derek and that's what had caused his current inattentiveness. He obviously denied it but in a way it did feel like they were having an argument and Stiles knew that he wanted to put an end to it.

Finding out that Derek was a werewolf was a shock to say the least, but it didn't make Stiles love him any less. Stiles started to wonder if he would have reacted as badly to finding out if Derek had just told him and hadn't waited until he was about to be killed by his psychotic uncle. He liked to think there would have been much less screaming and crying in that scenario.

As soon as Stiles made up his mind that Derek being a werewolf wasn't going to change his feelings, he had a shower, got dressed and managed to carry himself downstairs before he could change his mind. He took a deep breath and started to knock on Derek's door. It wasn't until the man opened his it that Stiles realised he probably should have brought coffee like Derek had done for him every morning they were together (which, let's face it, was most mornings). He also realised that he probably should have thought of something to say because Derek was standing there shirtless and wearing only a pair of low-hanging jogging bottoms and it was very distracting. Stiles tried not to stare and he cleared his throat before speaking.

"Hey," he whispered, his voice a little scratchy from being unused.

"Stiles," Derek greeted, looking a little confused about Stiles' sudden visit and standing in the doorway instead of giving any sign of inviting Stiles in. About to just bite the bullet and ask to come inside to talk, Stiles asked something else instead.

"Do you love me?" He blurted out and it occurred to him that he probably should have taken some Adderall before this conversation. There was a slight pause before Derek began to talk.

"Stiles…" he murmured with pity, a tone that set Stiles' stomach into knots. "I thought you understood. I love someone else,"

"But she's not real!" Stiles insisted, not whined, definitely not.

"Why would you think she wasn't real?" Derek deflected and Stiles couldn't look into his eyes anymore, he instead started staring over his ex-boyfriend's shoulder.

"You broke up with me over what happened with Peter," Stiles noticed tension build suddenly in Derek's shoulders. "It had to be because of that! It's the only thing that makes sense…" Derek didn't reply and so Stiles continued. "It's too much of a coincidence for you to get a new girlfriend and me to find out about werewolves in the same day!" Stiles barely had time to breath before Derek was wrapping his hand around his forearm and yanking him inside the apartment. The werewolf quickly closed the door behind them and turned his big, scared, eyes on Stiles. If Stiles had had any kind of self-preservation then he would be terrified. But he wasn't. "I love you," he whispered gently and Derek stared at him with his mouth hanging open just a little bit, in disbelief.

"You shouldn't. I'm not human."

"I kind of figured that out already, thanks," Stiles muttered; he was a little bit bitter that Derek hadn't just told him the truth in the first place.

"I'm sorry," Derek whispered quietly and Stiles waved it away, that's not what he came here for. He came here for answers… answers that he still hadn't got.

"You didn't answer my question." Derek just continued to stare and so Stiles continued. "Do you love me?"

"Yes," he answered without pause and Stiles felt the air leave him suddenly. He had hoped to get that answer but he'd still had his doubts. Peter had said something about them being mates… but he was very possibly insane and so Stiles hadn't known how much he could trust his word. Stiles took a deep breath as he stared into Derek's eyes; they were a soft green/brown today, warm and comforting. Stiles strode towards Derek confidently, reaching out to wrap his arms around his shoulders and pull the werewolf down for a kiss.

He didn't really know where the kiss had come from, he'd planned on not acting until he'd got all the information… but Derek just looked so good and it had been so long since they were last together. And not just together as in having sex, but together as in holding a conversation with each other for more than an awkward couple of minutes.

However, Stiles' lips had barely brushed Derek's before the older man pulled away, leaving him standing there hurt and embarrassed. He watched as Derek paced away from him and further into his apartment; this didn't bode well, Stiles realised, Derek never paced.

"Derek…" Stiles muttered sadly, but he didn't know how to finish that sentence.

"It's not safe for you to be with me," Derek eventually said, facing away from Stiles completely. Stiles shook his head vigorously and stepped forward.

"You saved me," he insisted and Derek spun back around.

"From my uncle! You shouldn't have to worry about being attacked by your boyfriend's family!"

"That wasn't your fault! You can't punish yourself over what someone else did. I won't let you just throw away what we have away like that!" Stiles slowly walked up to Derek, his sudden burst of anger draining, as he continued, now quieter. "I love you. And you love me. We have a chance at being something great together… so I have to go for it," he concluded, paraphrasing what he'd told Derek when they had broken up. Derek must have remembered because he suddenly looked pained. Stiles stopped a foot away from him, he would let Derek make the next move.

"You're ridiculous," he said fondly after a second and Stiles smiled up at him.

"But you love me."

"I do." Derek wrapped his palm gently around Stiles' jaw and leant in slowly so he could kiss him but still give Stiles plenty of time to pull away. Stiles pushed forward, instead, so their lips collided much faster. It knocked Derek momentarily off balance before he wrapped his big arms around Stiles, pulling him as close as he could get. "God, it killed me to break up with you," Derek muttered against Stiles' cracked lips.

"Shh," Stiles whispered. "We can talk later." He knew he shouldn't, he knew that he should pull away and get the answers that he needed, but Stiles continued to attack Derek's mouth anyway. He'd missed him so god damn much and he trusted him. Stiles pulled against Derek's low-hanging jogging bottoms, tugging the taller man closer. He felt his hand brush against Derek's hardening dick and realised suddenly that he wasn't wearing anything underneath his bottoms. Stiles shouldn't have been surprised, after months of dating he knew that Derek didn't care much for underwear if he wasn't leaving his apartment, but he was suddenly turned on.

He was filled with the sudden urge to drop to his knees and take all of Derek's dick into his mouth, relearning his taste. He was getting hard, himself, but just before he made his mind up between rutting against Derek's leg or dropping to his knees and giving his ex-boyfriend the best blowjob he'd ever received, Derek gasped into his mouth two little words that made Stiles shiver.

"Fuck me," Derek pleaded, he sounded as completely wrecked as Stiles felt. Stiles wrapped his arms tighter around Derek's shoulders and nodded his head as vigorously as he could without breaking the kiss. His boyfriend relaxed into his hold, as if he had been worried that Stiles would say no and deny his needs. Stiles took his time licking into Derek's mouth and re-mapping it with his tongue, happy to find that he remembered it well. One of his hands drifted down from his boyfriend's shoulders and resituated itself back on the waistband of Derek's jogging bottoms, gliding over taut, warm muscles as it went. He played with the elastic material for a few seconds before slowly slipping his hand down underneath and against Derek's hot skin.

Derek shivered against Stiles' touch, bucking his hips in anticipation as the tips of his fingers inched closer to Derek's semi-hard cock. He finally wrapped his hand around the thick length of Derek's dick and the older man groaned lewdly into Stiles' ear.

"I missed this, I missed you," Stiles admitted as he gave a few experimental tugs, nothing more than a twist of the wrist because of how close they were still standing. "There's so much I want to do to you and I don't know where to start…" he continued and before Derek could say anything in reply he jumped forward and smashed his lips against Derek's once more, albeit a little clumsily. He couldn't get enough of him. Of his smell, his skin, his taste and the sounds that escaped him as Stiles continued to tease him with his tongue and hand. Stiles indulged in every millisecond of contact and every whimper until his own dick was fully hard and straining for attention.

Stiles finally released Derek's cock and fumbled to shove down his bottoms. Derek pulled back to stare into his eyes with a smile on his face as Stiles finally gave up and unwrapped his other arm from around Derek's shoulders to assist in the job at hand. By the time that the jogging bottoms had finally dropped to the floor, Derek's smile had turned into a grin that made his eyes shine brightly.

"Oh, shut up," Stiles muttered playfully as a blush spread across his skin, heating more than just his face and travelling down his neck too.

"I didn't say anything," Derek defended himself as seriously as he could with a grin plastered on his face. He placed his hand purposefully against the neck-line of Stiles' t-shirt, his fingers brushed delicately against Stiles' skin and his heart began to race. Derek, however, only tugged against the grey shirt, raising an eyebrow. "But… I really don't think I should be the only one without any clothes."

Stiles immediately pushed Derek's hand away and pulled his t-shirt off over his head. When the offending garment released his head from its trap, Stiles noticed that Derek was smirking at him and he just knew that his hair had decided to take on a mad-scientist look as Stiles had struggled to take his t-shirt off as fast as possible. However, he knew that Derek had seen him looking much worse and still wanted to have sex with him, so he didn't bother to faff with it and instead dropped his eyes to his belt so that he could unbuckle it quickly. Stiles felt Derek's hand brush against his hair and he couldn't tell if he was trying to smooth it down or make it worse, but when he looked up to Derek's face the older man used his hand on Stiles' head to pull him forwards and capture his lips in a warm kiss.

The distraction meant that it took Stiles a little longer than normal to unfasten his belt buckle, but soon enough he was struggling to push his jeans down his thighs. Derek smiled into their kiss and pulled away; he made eye contact with Stiles for a second before he dropped down to his knees, yanking Stiles' jeans and briefs down with him, and in one smooth motion he took Stiles' cock into his hand and sucked it into his mouth.

"Oh God!" Stiles shouted in surprise and his dick jumped in Derek's mouth. He sucked gently at the same time his rough tongue made circles against the throbbing vein on the underside of Stiles' dick. "Derek," Stiles whined, bunching his boyfriend's hair in his hands.

Derek only teased him for a few more moments before slowly pulling his head back and letting Stiles' cock fall free from the wet warmth. The sudden attack of cold air against his damp dick made it twitch again and Derek laughed freely, placing a chaste kiss against the head; when he pulled away there was a splattering of pre-come against his bottom lip. But soon Derek was smearing it against Stiles' skin as he kissed his pale hips.

"So, so beautiful," Derek muttered in between kisses. Stiles dropped to his knees then, scrambling around a bit to pull his clothes off from around his ankles, and he pushed Derek onto his back on the carpeted floor. Stiles pulled himself on top and hovered happily over Derek's naked body, letting his eyes take in every inch.

Stiles lowered himself purposefully and aligned his dick with Derek's before slowly grinding down. They both gasped in unison and rutted against each other momentarily before Derek hooked his leg around Stiles' waist and flipped them around, so that he was on top. Stiles' hands shot out automatically to grab at Derek's hips as the werewolf took his own fingers into his mouth before slipping them behind and out of Stiles' view to open himself up. Stiles watched Derek's face in awe and rubbed his thumbs soothingly against the skin of his hips as he whispered encouragements.

Stiles slipped one of his hands between their hips and palmed Derek's dick with his soft, teasing touch. Derek groaned and muttered something incoherent as he slammed his eyes shut and seemed to be working himself open a little harder.

"Fuck," Stiles muttered as he realised that he hadn't yet got a condom out of his pocket and his jeans had been flung across the floor. They weren't that far away… maybe he could reached them if he just stretched… Stiles squirmed underneath Derek in an attempt to reach his jeans and the werewolf froze above him, confusion plastered over his face. Stiles realised that it probably looked like he was trying to get away and he shook his head forcefully. "I just… condom," Stiles explained, pointing to his clothes and Derek's face relaxed.

"You brought condoms with you…" Derek said quietly and Stiles saw his arm muscles twitch as he resumed opening himself up. "A little presumptive," Derek laughed lightly.

"Yeah, well, I would have made a good boy scout. Always prepared and what not…" Stiles stared at his boyfriend for a second before casting a look back up to his jeans, they really were out of reach.

"We don't actually… need condoms," Derek muttered quietly and Stiles' eyes shot back up to his face, he was blushing very lightly. "It's a werewolf thing; I can't catch anything or pass anything on to you. So, really, their use is a bit… void in this situation."

"But, Derek," Stiles fake-gasped, "what if you get pregnant?" Derek rolled his eyes and didn't deign to respond, which Stiles had been expecting. He looked from Derek's face to his jeans once more before nodding. "Okay, yeah, no condom," he said slowly. Derek watched his face carefully for a moment and then Stiles saw him slip his hand out from where he'd been working himself open.

"If you want to wear one I won't object…" Derek began to say but Stiles shook his head firmly.

"No, I trust you," he said more confidently. "No condom." Derek lowered his lips down to meet Stiles' and the younger man used that opportunity to flip them again so Derek was once again on his back and staring up at Stiles.

He kissed Derek roughly but his hands were gentler as he arranged his boyfriend's body how he wanted him and slid in between his thighs. Derek shifted into a more comfortable position as Stiles aligned his dick to meet his prepped hole.

"You ready?" He whispered.

"Definitely."

Stiles guided his dick in slowly. Derek was tight and warm and perfect and he made the most amazing sounds as Stiles filled him up. Stiles watched his boyfriend's mouth drop open and his eyes flutter closed momentarily as Stiles pushed further and further inside him. He wanted to go slow, to relearn Derek's body, but he already felt like he was on the verge of coming. He remained gentle, though, as he began to drive his dick in and out. He lowered himself so their bodies were almost flush, then he gripped Derek's hips with his long fingers on one hand and put all of his weight onto his other elbow that was resting on the floor next to Derek's head.

He kissed reverently at Derek's neck and jaw as he continued to fuck in and out of his hole. Derek turned his head to the other side to allow Stiles as much access to his skin as he wanted and he groaned loudly as Stiles licked and kissed his body.

Derek's hips were bucking wildly into Stiles' thrusts and Stiles could feel his release building slowly in the pit of his stomach; he rested his forehead on Derek's shoulder and started to fuck a little harder, a little deeper. Derek's back curved in pleasure as a litany of curse words spewed from his mouth. Stiles had missed this; Derek wasn't the most talkative person… but get him in bed and he wouldn't shut up, muttering praises and expletives over and over; it turned Stiles on like nothing else.

His dick was throbbing and he knew he wouldn't last much longer; he began to tug at Derek's cock in rhythm to his thrusts and Derek was soon writhing on the floor. Stiles heard a scratching sound and managed to look away from where he'd been adoring Derek's face and noticed his boyfriend's claws had elongated and were dug into the carpet beneath them, tearing it ever so slightly and scratching against the wood panelling beneath.

Stiles' rhythm stuttered for a moment before he regained his composure… this kind of thing was something he was just going to have to get used to, being in love with a werewolf and all…

Stiles gave a few more hard thrusts and then he was coming, spilling his seed deep into Derek's ass. He rocked his hips a couple more times to milk himself dry but kept tugging against his boyfriend's cock as fast as he could, pulling him over the edge until he was also coming with a cry of Stiles' name.

Stiles felt Derek tighten around his cock and moaned happily. He was soft again and so he sat back up and sluggishly pulled out of Derek's hole, watching as a little bit of his come escaped with him. He was suddenly exhausted so he rolled off of his boyfriend and collapsed on to the floor next to him. Derek turned on his side to curl up next to him. He was still breathing heavily and Stiles' could feel it against his skin as the werewolf buried his face into his neck and… huh, his neck kink suddenly made a lot more sense. Derek sighed deeply in content as they gradually came down from their sex high. Stiles loved knowing that he was the reason Derek acted like this; all cuddly and tired, loving and warm… Stiles grinned. And that had probably been some of the best sex they'd ever had, man, make-up sex was awesome. He started to think back to all the previous times he'd been the top and this time won out by far.

"I've improved a lot since that first time I topped, huh?" Stiles laughed and Derek lifted his head back up to face him, breathlessly.

"Stiles," he mumbled. "You were as amazing then as you are now." Stiles shook his head, Derek always insisted this but Stiles knew that it just couldn't be true. He still grimaced to himself sometimes, usually late at night before he drifted into sleep, at the memory of the pained look on Derek's face as he fumbled around not having a clue what he was doing.

"You don't need to feed my ego; I've accepted it and you don't need to hide the truth from me."

"You're right, I don't. Not anymore," Derek mumbled significantly, Stiles turned his head to stare into Derek's deep eyes. "The truth is that I was struggling to control my shift. I forgot what it felt like to be fucked and it was a little overwhelming. Plus, it was close to the full moon and I'd only figured out you were my mate a couple of days earlier and so it was all a little too intense. But I wasn't in pain, Stiles. I was just trying to stop myself from shifting while we were having sex…" There was a faint blush spreading across Derek's cheeks, which made Stiles realise that he was telling the truth. Stiles smiled up at him and pressed a warm kiss onto his nose, Derek scrunched up his face momentarily and his eyes sparkled with happiness.

"I love you," Stiles grinned and Derek smiled back at him.

"I love you too."

Chapter Text

Stiles and Derek remained wrapped in each other's arms for most of the evening, though they had moved from the floor to the more comfortable couch to watch TV before Derek carried Stiles to the bed and fucked him from behind… and then missionary style… and then they blew each other. Stiles felt as horny as he was when they'd first started dating; they just couldn't keep their hands off each other. It wasn't until his stomach began to grumble some time later that Stiles realised how long they had laid together. He also realised they still had so much to talk about. Derek heard his stomach growling and laughed breathily into the skin on the back of his neck.

"I've got some left over pizza in the fridge if you want some?" He offered and Stiles nodded as enthusiastically as he could without head-butting Derek who was currently playing the part of big spoon in their cuddle-athon. The werewolf placed a soft kiss to the back of his neck and released him from the bear hug before climbing out of bed in all his naked glory. Stiles let out a sigh of content, watching Derek's ass as he walked away.

Glorious.

He followed not long after and watched Derek bend down to pull the pizza box out of the fridge. Stiles attempted an innocent face by the time that Derek turned back around; but by the smirk on his lips, Derek knew that Stiles had been checking him out.

"You don't want to heat it up?" Derek asked as Stiles made grabby hands for the pizza.

"Too hungry," Stiles complained. "Your fault," he grumbled as Derek rolled his eyes and handed over the box. "Don't you know it's polite to offer food before marathon sex? An energy bar would have been nice." Derek nodded seriously.

"I'll make sure to buy plenty of energy bars, then," he said and Stiles dug into the pizza, moaning at its cheesy-goodness. Derek grabbed a slice as Stiles reached for his second and soon the box was empty and there were no more excuses for putting off their conversation.

"How did I forget?" He asked and Derek tensed up.

"It's hard to explain…" Derek fell silent but Stiles knew he was just gathering his thoughts and so, hard as it may be, he remained quiet and (relatively) still as he waited. "Werewolves can share memories using claws… and Alphas can take away memories too." Derek turned away to take the box to the recycling bin in his kitchen and flatten it, obviously feeling uncomfortable but still explaining as he went. "My Mum is our Alpha; Peter had attacked Laura the night before he attacked you, and so she was already on a plane on her way here… she arrived before you had the chance to wake up… I didn't know what to do! So I asked her to take your memories." Derek shoved the flattened pizza box in the bin and turned around to face Stiles again. "I'm sorry. It was the wrong decision! I should have waited for you to wake up, I should have talked to you… I'm sorry."

"Yeah, you should have," Stiles muttered, not meeting Derek's gaze. It bothered him that Derek had made that call about his life, his memories. Derek shouldn't have been able to choose what Stiles did and did not remember. But he'd already figured out, before he'd left his apartment, that Derek must have had something to do with his missing memories… he'd spent several days internally debating whether or not to forgive him if it turned out to be true. "But I did freak out on you… if our places were reversed then I probably would have made the same call that you did," Stiles admitted.

He was still annoyed with his boyfriend, but he wasn't angry. He understood why Derek had done what he had and he also knew he could forgive him. The silence in the room was palpable and made Stiles squirm uncomfortably.

"Okay, so magic memory wiping powers… that answers one question." Well, Stiles thought, it partially answered it. He still didn't know the specifics but he supposed he could go into more detail when it wasn't so fresh. Stiles lifted his head; Derek was standing in the same exact position as he had been a minute ago. "What about everyone else? Isaac, Erica, Boyd, Sarah? Are they werewolves too?"

"Erica and Sarah are," Derek confirmed. "Boyd and Isaac are human."

"So they're not a part of your pack…" Derek shook his head.

"Humans can be pack too."

"How did you meet? How did they become pack?" Stiles asked.

"That's a long story. Do you think we could… I don't know, put some clothes on before we get into all this?" Stiles agreed and they changed quietly and quickly and soon they were sitting in Derek's living room. "I'm sure Isaac already told you that his Dad was… abusive," Derek said and Stiles nodded. "He moved out of his house the day he turned eighteen and came here. He'd been working a job at some cemetery for a few years so that he could earn enough money for rent and he'd pushed himself to raise enough credit to graduate school early so he could move far enough away from his Dad to be safe… but he wasn't safe… not really. His Dad found him eventually. He showed up one day and started beating him.

"I was down here at the time and I heard the sounds of a fight upstairs. So I ran up and I threw him off of Isaac. I lost my control over my shift though, and Isaac saw me wolfed out… I introduced him to my Mum, she's a lawyer and so she got a restraining order pushed through pretty quickly. His Dad showed up a couple of times after that but we called the police and got them to handle him. He thankfully gave up after a few months. My Mum offered Isaac the bite but he turned it down because he didn't need to constantly defend himself anymore," Derek paused and Stiles nodded for him to continue as he took all of that information in. "A couple of months after I met him, he asked me to help Erica. She had been his friend in high school and she had epilepsy. She had just had a serious seizure and almost died when she fell in front of a car."

Stiles remembered that attack, it had been right outside the school. She hadn't shown up for classes for like two weeks afterwards and then next time she came back she had changed. Erica had told everyone she was on new medicine after she strutted into the school in tight leather and looking like she owned the place. Now though, Stiles realised it had less to do with new meds and more to do with being turned into a werewolf.

"I took her to my mother who offered her the bite, then I helped to teach her how to control the shift. She would go up to our pack house during the full moons so she had additional help… but the rest of the time it was just me because of how far away we live from the majority of the pack. Then we found Sarah. She was in her second year at BCU, just bitten by a rogue alpha and struggling for control. We helped and offered her a place." Derek smiled down at his hands, as he got lost in thought.

"And Boyd?" Stiles prodded.

"I was a bit overwhelmed by suddenly having to look after three teenagers," Derek laughed, "my life got so busy that sometimes I needed a break, so I would go for these really long runs. One day I was so stressed that I somehow ran all the way to Beacon Hills without really noticing. I ended up near the school and smelt just so much loneliness and sadness. It was coming from Boyd; he was just sitting by himself waiting for a late bus that had broken down. I went over to talk to him and kept him company for the hour until the bus was running again; we became friends. I invited him to meet the others and they became really close too.

"Then, one day, Erica let slip that she was a werewolf. He barely even freaked out, just asked me for the truth and so I told him everything. I told him that he was pack now too even though he's still human; just like Isaac is and… and, just like you are," Derek admitted quietly without looking up from his hands.

"I'm pack?" Stiles whispered, shocked.

"Yeah, you have been for a long time… that is, if you want to be." Stiles was shocked by how delicate and hopeful Derek sounded; he placed his hand on top of his boyfriend's and smiled when he looked up into Stiles' eyes.

"Of course I want to be." Derek smiled back at him and placed a small kiss on Stiles' lips resting their foreheads together momentarily.

"Stop feeling guilty," Derek growled after a few seconds and Stiles bit his lower lip. He was filled with guilt; he couldn't help it! After hearing how Boyd hadn't freaked out after finding out about werewolves… Stiles just couldn't help but wish he had been the same. It would have spared them both a lot of heartache if he hadn't been so panicked.

"I'm not feeling guilty," Stiles denied and Derek pulled back to stare at him with his intimidating eyebrows.

"I can smell your emotions… and hear when you lie too, by the way."

"That… actually makes a lot of sense. How good is your hearing?"

"Let's just say that I used your alarm as an indicator of when to go out and get coffee every morning." Derek smiled as Stiles squinted his eyes at him.

"Show off," he muttered and Derek rolled his eyes before placing another soft kiss on his lips.

[] [] []

Stiles woke up Thursday morning to the smell of coffee and groaned delightedly. He opened his eyes and blinked away the sleep from them to see the steaming take-out cup sitting on Derek's bedside table, Stiles' name was scribbled across it in handwriting that he immediately recognised as Sarah's. He wondered how long it would take the news that they were back together to travel among their friend group… he realised he should probably text Scott to let him know before he learnt it from someone else and got mad at Stiles for not telling him sooner.

Then Stiles started to think about the other secret that Scott didn't know. Was he really supposed to keep the fact that half of their friends were freaking werewolves away from his best friend?! Stiles thought it over for a long time as he sipped from his coffee cup; it was a hell of a big secret to keep… but it wasn't his to tell.

He wasn't about to disrespect his relationship with Derek by spilling his secret to Scott. It was Derek's, Erica's and Sarah's lives and he could wait until they felt comfortable enough to tell Scott themselves. And if they never did feel comfortable telling him… well, Stiles would just have to learn to live with that.

Stiles clambered out of the kingsize bed and went scouting through Derek's drawers in search of some clothes to wear that would fit him, settling on some black jeans and a burgundy thumbhole sweater. He registered the sound of running water as he opened the bedroom door and realised that Derek must have been having a shower. He frowned to himself momentarily, wondering why he'd need another shower since they both shared one last night before going to sleep.

He shrugged and poured himself a bowl of cereal as he attempted to arrange his thoughts; he still had a lot of questions to ask and he didn't know where to start. Soon the water switched off and Derek appeared in the kitchen wearing only a pair of navy blue briefs.

"Morning," Derek smiled, walking over to Stiles and kissing him briefly. "Did I ever tell you how much I love seeing you in my clothes?" Derek commented, his gaze drifting over Stiles' attire.

"I always thought you'd prefer to see me out of clothes but whatever floats your boat," Stiles shrugged with a smirk. "You took another shower," Stiles mentioned and Derek hummed in response as he grabbed a carton of milk from the fridge.

"Yeah. I started working out more to clear my head while we were broken up," Derek said and gestured to the living room, Stiles leaned back so he could look and noticed a pull-up bar attached to the doorway and some weights in the middle of the room which had obviously been put away last night. Stiles remembered thinking that Derek had looked more buff the past week than he had done before but he hadn't allowed himself a proper look. He looked now and confirmed to himself that his boyfriend had definitely bulked up during the time that they'd been apart.

"Do werewolves gain muscle quicker than humans?" Stiles pondered aloud and Derek nodded.

"Yeah. We heal fast meaning we can tear and rebuild the muscle faster." Derek put the milk back after making his own bowl of cereal and sat down next to Stiles at the table. "What else do you wanna know? You haven't asked many questions yet so you must be dying." Stiles wanted to huff at him, but it was kind of true.

"What happened to Peter?" He asked and he saw Derek tense a little.

"Werewolf jail," Derek said simply and Stiles pulled a face at him, he'd normally appreciate the joke but it was a bit of a sore topic for him.

"Derek, seriously. I need to know!"

"I'm telling you the truth," Derek insisted and Stiles frowned at him. "In every state there's facilities that are used to hold supernatural creatures that can't be held in a regular jail or trailed by law." Stiles' jaw dropped as he realised that Derek wasn't joking. "In California that place is a mental facility in Beacon Hills."

"You mean Eichen?!" Stiles asked and Derek nodded. "Holy shit, no wonder that place gave me the creeps…" They continued to eat their breakfast for a minute before Stiles began to chew at the inside of his lip. "Are you sure Eichen House can hold him?" He asked quietly. "I mean, my Dad still lives in Beacon Hills…"

"Don't worry, Stiles. It's very secure. And Peter isn't staying there for long; my Mum's making arrangements to move him to Washington."

"Why?"

"So she can keep an eye on him," Derek muttered with a shrug. They had both finished eating and so Derek took their bowls to the sink and rinsed them. Stiles took another couple of minutes to think over his list of questions.

"What's with the eyes?"

"Hmm?"

"Your eyes were blue… Peter's were red. What's up with that?" He elaborated and Derek reached for a dishcloth to dry his hands after placing the bowls onto a drying rack. Derek took a moment to explain about eye colours and the difference between Alpha's eyes and Beta's eyes. Stiles nodded along as a thought bloomed in his mind. "Can you… show me your eyes again?" He asked quietly and Derek nodded. He closed his eyes and opened them a second later. The warm hazel colour was now being overpowered and a brilliant blue shone from them.

Stiles moved closer to his boyfriend, his heart beating just a little faster in excitement. He walked slowly and didn't take his eyes off the bright blue eyes in front of him.

"Do they hurt?" He asked as he approached and Derek shrugged.

"A little. But only when they're changing." Stiles reached up and cupped Derek's face carefully, staring into his blue eyes as if they held the secrets of the universe in them… maybe they did.

"They're beautiful," he whispered almost breathlessly. Suddenly Derek was blinking his eyes and they changed back brown; he turned his head away to avoid Stiles' questioning gaze.

"You wouldn't say that if you knew what they meant," he muttered and Stiles dropped his hand.

"Then tell me." Derek paused as he gathered the words, still not looking Stiles in the eyes which must have been a great difficulty considering how close they were standing.

"When I was fifteen I fell for this girl; she was human and she got attacked by an Alpha. Like you did. But, unlike with you, I didn't get there in time to save her. She was bitten.

"But the bite isn't a sure thing, it doesn't take with everyone. Paige's body was rejecting it." Derek seemed lost in a painful memory and so Stiles reached down and took his hand in his own, showing him support as best as he could. "She was dying painfully and there was no way to stop it… she begged me to put her out of her misery… and I did." Derek seemed to be waiting for Stiles to pull his hand away and call him a monster, instead he rubbed his thumb in soothing circles against Derek's skin. "That's what these eyes mean. They mean I took an innocent life."

"Paige's death wasn't your fault," Stiles whispered after a few seconds. "And your eyes are beautiful." To emphasise his point he leant up and kissed Derek sweetly on his cheek. "Is that why you left Beacon Hills?" Stiles asked after a few moments passed and Derek nodded.

"My Mum got a job offer in Washington and so she said that was the reason we left, but I know that the real reason she uprooted us was because of what happened to Paige." Derek pulled himself out of his thoughts and took a deep sigh. He turned back around and wiped the sink down now that the water had drained fully from it. "My parents still owned multiple businesses here in Beacon County, though. I felt a pull back here and so after I finished my Masters I came back and took over," Derek finished explaining.

"Well, I'm very glad that you did." Stiles took a step back to give Derek some room again as he tidied up; he looked around briefly before disappearing further into the apartment to use the bathroom. When he returned, the dishes were away and the weights moved back to the side of the living room. Derek was texting on his phone on the sofa.

"What would you like to do today?" Derek asked and Stiles threw him a suggestive glance.

"You," he answered suggestively and laughed as Derek rolled his eyes. "We could have a movie day?" He offered a second later and Derek nodded.

"I got rid of my Netflix, though," he mentioned and Stiles' jaw dropped.

"Why?!"

"I didn't use it after we broke up. You're the only person I watch movies with…" Derek admitted with a slow shrug.

"Well, I have a bunch of DVDs in my room that we could watch," Stiles offered, feeling bad that he had apparently strong-armed Derek into getting Netflix without even realising; Stiles honestly thought it was something he used all the time. Derek nodded and got changed. They held hands as they walked from Derek's apartment to Stiles' and then they settled on the couch to watch Disney films. Derek had rolled his eyes very dramatically when Stiles had suggested it, but he'd ended up singing along to Be Our Guest just as enthusiastically as Stiles did. They ordered Indian take-out and stuffed their faces before falling asleep cuddled up together in the middle of Frozen.

At about half five they woke up to a banging on the apartment door. Stiles groaned and buried his face into Derek's neck.

"It's Scott and Allison," Derek muttered and Stiles tensed; he'd meant to text them but he'd completely forgot.

"Shit."

Stiles pulled himself up and looked down at Derek who sat up and reached for the remote to turn off the TV which was currently playing the DVD menu over and over again. Stiles took a deep breath to gather his courage and opened his door to let his friends inside. To say they were unhappy that Stiles didn't tell them that he was back with Derek was an understatement. Stiles managed to placate Scott with a hug and leftover curry but Allison just continued to glare in Derek's direction. Stiles pulled Derek into the kitchen under the guise of helping him to sort out the leftovers and pulled him close, whispering questions to him.

"Does Allison know?" He asked meaningfully, hoping that Derek understood he was talking about the supernatural. Derek nodded.

"Her family hunts werewolves," he whispered back and Stiles stared at him with wide eyes. "Or, at least they used to. I've been assured that she isn't a hunter anymore."

"Okay…" Stiles swallowed thickly. "We're going to be talking about that later." Before Derek could respond there was another knock on the door. Stiles turned questioning eyes Derek's way. "Is that your pack?" He asked and Derek nodded but made one correction.

"Our pack," Derek stated and Stiles smiled stupidly at his boyfriend. He twisted towards the door and shouted at them to come in before turning back to face Derek and planting a big kiss on his lips.

"Finally," Erica muttered as she pushed open the apartment door and noticed Stiles and Derek making out in the kitchen area. They both gave her the middle finger as they continued to kiss, making Stiles laugh against Derek's grinning lips. The rest of the pack came in and settled around the TV, talking happily. Stiles and Derek eventually separated to join them. It was almost perfect, but Allison seemed to be very angry with Derek still and so when she got up to fetch a drink not long later, Stiles followed her.

"Hey," Stiles said as she filled a glass with water. She smiled at him but there was something in her eyes, like she wanted to tell him something but didn't know how. He stepped close to her and began to whisper. "I know about werewolves now," he said and watched the surprise on her face. "And about hunters… sort of. And I just wanna say… please don't shoot my boyfriend in the ass with an arrow." Both Erica and Sarah let out a snort of laughter back in the living area and Stiles rolled his eyes.

"How'd you know that I'd aim for the ass?" Allison asked with a small smile and Stiles shrugged.

"Because I know you."

"Okay, I won't shoot Derek," she conceded. "But I just… what happened between you two? Why did you break up? Did he hurt you?" She questioned and Stiles shook his head vigorously.

"No, no. He never could. He's a big puppy really." More laughter from the living room and Stiles turned around just in time to see Derek throw a cushion in Erica's direction, hitting her on the head. "I'll explain everything later. It's a long story," he said as he turned back to Allison and she nodded, accepting his answer now that she knew Derek hadn't hurt him. Stiles walked back to the living room and sat on the floor with Derek, in between his legs. Derek leant forward just enough to wrap his arms around Stiles' waist. He placed a small kiss on the side of his neck and then rested his chin on Stiles' shoulder for the time being.

Stiles covered Derek's hands with his own and he finally felt like everything was going to work out.

Chapter Text

Stiles went back to classes the next day and things were finally starting to fall back into a pattern again. In some ways, it almost felt like he and Derek had never broken up but then he'd see something small, like the Breakup Songs CD that Allison had bought him or the new books in Derek's living room, that made Stiles remember how much pain he'd been in the past few weeks and he'd start to get angry again.

He tried to stay away from Derek during these times so they wouldn't get in an argument because he understood why Derek had taken his memories away, he really did, and he wanted so badly to just move past it. But they were his memories and it wasn't up to Derek to decide what he should and shouldn't remember.

On Friday, only a couple of days after they had gotten back together, Stiles finally lost it and started yelling at Derek for what he'd done. And Derek had just sunk back into the couch and took it, which annoyed Stiles even more at the time but after he'd stormed out back to his own apartment and took some time to cool off it made him feel terrible.

Stiles leant back in his chair and flung his arm over his eyes, wallowing in self-pity, until he was forced to get up to answer the knock on his apartment door. Derek stood there holding a box of chocolates and a card. He handed them both to Stiles wordlessly and Stiles tore open the envelope of the card to find a home-printed 'I'm sorry I took your memories without your permission' card with a cartoon drawing of a sad wolf on the cover. Stiles huffed a small laugh and Derek seemed to relax.

"I really am sorry, Stiles," he said slowly and Stiles nodded, backing up to let him into his apartment.

"I know. And I'm sorry that I yelled at you. You only did what you thought was right," Stiles said as he put the card down and started pulling at the tape on the box of chocolates.

"Let me," Derek said as Stiles struggled to peel the tape and Stiles passed him the box. Derek quickly elongated the nail on his index finger until it became a claw and he easily sliced through the tape on all four sides of the box.

"Yeah, I'm never going to get used to this," Stiles laughed and took the box back before taking a random chocolate and shoving it in his mouth. He nodded after a second. "They're good," he said through the chocolate in his mouth and Derek rolled his eyes. They settled together on the sofa for a little while after that before heading over to Isaac's to have movie night with their friends. They slid back into their old routine easily and Stiles woke up to a blowjob the next morning in Derek's bed.

He felt as light as air as he showered and when he went into the kitchen he saw Derek smiling to himself as he cooked them breakfast.

"What's a mate?" Stiles asked suddenly as he sat down at the table and stared at the muscles in Derek's back. "I mean I get the general idea. And Peter told me that I'm yours; but the way he was talking about it… it sounded important and I just feel like I'm missing something…" Stiles rambled a little bit until Derek turned around and placed the bacon he'd been frying onto a plate. He still didn't make eye contact, like he was worried how Stiles would react.

"Werewolves can recognise their soulmates," Derek said and Stiles let that sink in for a moment.

"Soulmate… as in fairy tales, love at first sight…?" Stiles mumbled and Derek huffed a small laugh. He plated the rest of the food and walked the plates over to the table, setting one in front of Stiles and sitting down in the opposite seat. He continued looking down at his food.

"Sometimes. But most of the time it takes longer: somewhere between a week and a month. In rare cases it takes up to three months. But eventually you just get hit with this feeling… it's impossible to describe but you just know that they're the one." Derek finally looked up from his plate and met Stiles' eyes. "I know this is a lot to take in, but you're it for me, Stiles," he said and then he picked up his fork and started to eat, not expecting an answer, which was good because Stiles had no idea what to say to that.

The tension in the air evaporated slowly as Stiles pulled his plate closer to himself and started eating too.

After breakfast, he kissed Derek goodbye and went up to his own apartment to change his clothes from yesterday for some fresh ones before heading over to Scott's apartment on campus. Thankfully, Scott's roommate had already left to meet up with friends so they had the entire room to themselves and could play video games uninterrupted for as long as they wanted.

During one of their pizza breaks, Scott turned to Stiles with a very serious face and asked him how everything was going with Derek since they got back together. He smiled and told him that everything was great, which was true: their argument yesterday had cleared up the last of the resentment that Stiles had felt at Derek for taking his memories. Derek had vowed to be completely honest with Stiles from now on and he seemed to honestly regret his decision so, as long as everything stayed the way that it was right now, Stiles saw no reason to not move past this.

However, he couldn't help but feel a bit of a hypocrite: he was keeping the werewolf secret from Scott just like Derek had been keeping it from him. Scott was now the only one in their friend group that didn't know that werewolves were real and every second that passed where Stiles didn't tell Scott the truth felt like a lie. But, still, he knew that it wasn't his decision to make and so he stayed quiet about it.

The dark winter afternoon approached pretty quickly and, after having spent several hours playing video games and helping Scott put together a mix CD for Allison, Stiles decided to head home. He reached into the pizza box one last time before grabbing his thick winter coat but was disappointed to find it empty, not really that surprised though with the way that he and Scott ate.

Stiles said goodbye to his best friend and drove back to his apartment while he considered what to eat for dinner. He knew he should probably make something but just the thought of cooking made him feel tired. Stiles yawned as he left the elevator in his apartment building and slowly made his way to apartment 3D.

He opened the door and was surprised to see Derek in his kitchen, the scent of a home-cooked meal filling his nose and suddenly he was wide-awake.

"Hey, I let myself in," Derek said. "I hope you don't mind but I thought you might be hungry." Stiles grinned.

"You made me food, how could I mind that?" He muttered as he closed his apartment door behind him, shrugged off his thick winter coat, and made his way towards his boyfriend to place a kiss on his cheek. "So, what're we having?" He asked, as he couldn't quite distinguish what was cooking in the oven from scent alone… whatever it was, it smelt amazing.

"Lasagne."

"I love you." Derek smiled in reply and kissed Stiles on his nose and then his lips. Stiles moved out of the way to let Derek finish up in the kitchen and when he turned around he noticed that the dining table that Stiles generally used as a desk was now cleared of all his books and two place mats were set opposite each other. "We're eating at the table?" He questioned, surprised.

"I just thought it'd be nice… we don't have to if you don't want to," Derek replied and Stiles shook his head.

"No, it's fine. I mean, it's nice. I want to," he muttered. Something about the cooked meal, and the dinner at the table instead of on their laps as they watch TV… it felt more intimate. Stiles liked intimate. He was definitely okay with intimate.

Stiles decided to finish setting the table as Derek pulled the lasagne out of the oven and checked that it was ready. He got them both glasses of water and put them at the table and when he turned around Derek had already plated out the food and was picking the plates up to take to the table.

Stiles sat at the table and his stomach growled as he looked at the large chunk of food sitting in front of him.

"It's smells great," he said, smiling up at Derek before taking his fork and digging in. The herbs melded together perfectly on Stiles' tongue and he moaned around his first bite of the pasta. "That's amazing," he said around his second mouthful and looked up to see Derek grinning at him.

Stiles slowed his chewing a little as he realised how romantic Derek was trying to be and Stiles probably was bringing down the mood by shovelling food into his mouth.

"I'm glad you like it," Derek said and Stiles took a sip of his water.

"I love it! I can't believe we've been dating all this time and I've never forced you to make me lasagne before," Stiles joked and Derek chuckled a little bit before turning to look at his plate, seeming a little shy as he replied.

"This is the first time I've made it, actually," he said and Stiles narrowed his eyes at him. How was it possible for anyone to look like that, be stupidly rich, amazingly smart, and naturally good at cooking?

Stiles hated Derek and his perfection.

"I'm just happy that it tastes right. I've never had it before so I couldn't tell."

"You've never had lasagne?" Stiles asked, entirely surprised, and Derek shrugged.

"Laura doesn't like pasta so it was just wasn't something that we ever had growing up. But I remember you saying how much you loved it so I thought I'd give it a try."

Okay, Stiles didn't hate Derek anymore. He couldn't believe that his boyfriend had remembered him saying that and then gone out of his way to make a meal for Stiles that he didn't even know if he would like himself. Stiles felt his heart flutter and was a little embarrassed as he realised that Derek had probably heard it too.

This really was romantic, Stiles thought. He felt bad that he hadn't contributed in any way to the night so he bit his lip as he tried to think of a way to make it even better. He thought back to all the rom-coms he'd watched over the years…

Candles. Romantic meals like this always had candles.

Stiles didn't own any candles.

… Alcohol?

"You know, Alli bought me a few bottles of wine last week. I think I still have one unopened in the fridge. I know you're not really a fan of getting drunk or anything but we don't have to go crazy, we could just open it and have a few glasses…" Stiles slowly faded into silence as he realised his rambling was making the moment less romantic not more.

"I can't get drunk. It's a werewolf thing," Derek said simply. "But we can open the wine if you want."

"You can't get…? Wow. Do you wish you could?" He asked seriously and Derek smiled into his glass of water.

"When I was in high school, yes. But when I went to college and was forced to watch everyone falling over air and generally making a fool out of themselves… not so much." Derek laughed and Stiles realised he was going red. He'd been drunk around Derek before… "Not you though," Derek said, after he took a sip of his drink and placed it back on the table, as though reading his mind. "You're a cute drunk."

"I'm not cute," Stiles said, affronted. "I'm sexy." He waggled his eyebrows at Derek and the older man grinned at him.

"That too."

So no to the wine then… Stiles was out of ideas. He really needed to work on his romancing…

They finished eating and Stiles reached to clear the table but Derek insisted on taking the plates instead. Stiles stood up from the table and turned to follow Derek into the kitchen. He watched his boyfriend turn on the water and clean up all the dirty pots and plates – except from the oven dish which still had half a lasagne in so Stiles wrapped the top in cling film and put it into the fridge.

Stiles was busy admiring the flex of Derek's muscle as he scrubbed a frying pan when Derek suddenly dropped it into the sink, turned around, and pulled Stiles towards him. Stiles made a squeak of surprise as Derek's lips met with his own in a fierce kiss but soon he melted into Derek's hold.

"Do you know how difficult you make things?" Derek muttered against Stiles' skin before breaking the kiss. "Standing there, looking so perfect, and smelling like that. Like lust," Derek elaborated and turning back to the dishes, leaving Stiles completely stunned and flushed. He saw Derek smirking down at the frying pan covered in suds and Stiles' huffed, throwing a tea towel at his head.

Derek's hand blurred as his reflexes kicked in and he caught the towel before it hit him, however he ended up soaking himself with soapy water in the process. Stiles barked a laugh and Derek frowned at him, which just made Stiles laugh harder. Eventually Derek's grumpy face cracked and his lips twitched with a smile.

Derek put the frying pan on the draining board and pulled the plug to let the water out of the sink before drying his hands.

"I want something sweet," Stiles thought out loud and moved to the fridge in hopes of finding something, despite knowing that he was low on food and really needed to go to a supermarket soon. Derek's phone buzzed in his pocket and the older man answered as Stiles perused his pathetically empty shelves.

"Hey, mum," he said nonchalantly into the phone and Stiles froze. He slowly straightened his back and turned to look at Derek who was now frowning at him as he hummed in reply to whatever his mother was telling him. "Okay, thanks for letting me know. I'll talk to you soon. Love you," he ended and then hung up, shoving the phone into his pocket and taking a step closer to Stiles. Derek rested his hand on Stiles' shoulder in a comforting gesture as he spoke to him. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." Stiles shook his head and closed the fridge but averted his eyes to the floor so he didn't have to look into Derek's face. "I don't have any food."

"Stiles, talk to me."

"Okay, it's just… the last time you got an unplanned call from your family it was because Peter was trying to get you out of the way so he could attack me," Stiles ended in a rush and Derek quickly pulled him into a hug, one arm firmly wrapped around his waist as the other ran up his back and settling against his shoulder blades. Stiles melted into the hug instantly and let himself be comforted.

"It's not like that this time," Derek promised in a soft, slow voice. "My mum only wanted to let me know that Peter just got transported back to DC. I'm not going to let anything like that happen ever again." Stiles nodded his head slightly where it was rested against Derek's shoulder and after a couple of seconds he pulled away.

His chest felt heavy and he rubbed at his stinging eyes, but there were no tears. He took a deep breath as he tried to forget about the sudden emotional episode he'd just had and find a way to put the date back on track. Stiles cringed as he realised he'd just freaked out over something as small as a phone call; but hell, he was allowed a freak out every now and then, right? This was the first time he'd really thought about the attack since he got his memories back and so he hadn't yet started healing… Derek could forgive him for this minor incident… right?

Stiles shook those thoughts away. Of course Derek didn't think any worse of him for this: Derek loved him... Stiles was his mate!

"Sorry, I just…" Stiles started to say but wasn't entirely sure how to finish that sentence. Derek nodded anyway.

"I know."

"Okay." Stiles laughed a little nervously and tried to recover the date. He took another deep breath and looked in his cupboards for something sweet to eat. He came across a bag of chocolate chips that he'd forgotten about. He checked the date on them and they were still good to eat so he smiled and looked for more ingredients. "Hey, do you have any bicarbonate of soda?" Stiles asked with his head still in the cupboard.

"Yeah, I should have some downstairs. Why?" Derek asked and Stiles shrugged as he turned around holding a bag of plain flour.

"What about brown sugar? I mean, we could substitute it for caster sugar but I think they'll lose some of their flavour and won't be as soft if we do…"

"What won't be as soft?" Derek asked and Stiles grinned.

"The cookies we're about to make," Stiles said as though it was obvious and, hello, what other reason would he be holding a bag of chocolate chips for? "I'm also missing vanilla extract," Stiles said after a second and Derek just smiled as though he was humouring Stiles.

"Sure, I've got those," he said and Stiles grinned even wider.

"Great, go get them," he ordered and turned back to the cupboards to find his scales. "And don't forget the bicarbonate of soda!" He shouted after his boyfriend as he heard the door to his apartment open; he imagined Derek rolling his eyes at him and it made his heart feel a little bit lighter.

Stiles knew the recipe off by heart since he used to bake it with his mother when he was a child. He continued to bake the cookies long after she'd passed away but he hadn't done so in a while because ingredients were too expensive for a student budget. Stiles set the oven to the right temperature and had all the ingredients measured out by the time Derek was back.

"You don't have a recipe," Derek mentioned as he walked closer with the three ingredients and Stiles tipped the flour off the scales and into a bowl ready to be added to the mixture when it was time.

"Nope," Stiles said and grabbed the light brown sugar from Derek, kissing him on the cheek as a thank you. "I memorised it a long time ago."

"Huh," Derek said. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" He jokingly questioned.

"Hush, you," Stiles muttered, grabbing a small handful of flour from the open bag and flicking it at Derek.

Derek was quiet and Stiles turned to face him, noticing the flour had got into his hair and spattered across his face. As Derek blinked some flour fluttered down from his eyelashes. Stiles sucked his lips in at Derek's surprised expression, trying not to laugh. Derek blinked a couple more times and then narrowed his eyes.

"Oh, it is on," Derek muttered and grabbed the bag of flour from the counter.

"No!" Stiles squeaked as he attempted to run away but Derek wrapped his arm around Stiles' waist and up-ended the bag over his head, covering Stiles in the white powder. Stiles squealed a little as he laughed and reached for the counter to grab something to retaliate with. He knocked the sugar over as Derek, who was also laughing, dragged him away. Stiles was forced to grab an egg from the side as it was the only thing he could reach.

He spun around and cracked it, in one fluid motion, on top of Derek's head. Derek laughed louder and pulled Stiles in close to him, kissing him roughly. It was an odd clash of teeth and tongue, but it was perfect and Stiles couldn't remember a time when he'd felt happier.

Soon his back was pressed up against the fridge and Derek was pressing against him, all muscular and hard. Derek lifted him up and Stiles wrapped his legs around his boyfriend's hips. He ran his hand up into Derek's hair and pulled a face when he realised it was all slimy from the egg.

He pulled back from the kiss just enough to say "that's disgusting" and Derek nipped his bottom lip.

"And whose fault is that?" Derek pointed out and kissed him again.

[] [] []

The next morning, Stiles woke up very early to a ringing phone. Derek grumbled something from where he was lying next to Stiles and threw a pillow at him, as though it was Stiles' fault that some idiot was ringing him this early. And it really did have to be early if Derek was still asleep.

Stiles groan of annoyance was muffled by the bedding but eventually the ringing stopped and Stiles relaxed. But when his phone began to ring again he knew that it had to be important so he, begrudgingly and without opening his eyes, grabbed his phone off the bedside table and answered it with an annoyed "what?"

"Stiles," Scott said through the phone, his voice a whisper but quite obviously breathy. It was the way he sounded when he needed his inhaler and Stiles was suddenly wide awake.

"Scott, what's wrong?" He asked urgently as he sat up suddenly and pried his eyes open despite how they stung from lack of sleep. He felt, more than saw, Derek sit up too.

"It's the CD, I lost it!" Scott replied.

"What?" Stiles must have misheard him.

"The mix CD that I made for Allison. It's gone!" Stiles closed his eyes and his shoulders, which had previously been tense and alert, slumped. Derek groaned and dropped back onto the bed, pulling the blanket with him. "I need your laptop so I can make a new one."

"You need my… Scott, what time is it?"

"Erm… almost 4am," he said all too perkily and that explained the pounding in Stiles' head.

"Go back to sleep, Scott," Stiles muttered around a yawn.

"Sleep? No, Stiles, I wanted to give her that CD as a present after she wins the archery competition today. You know that! And the CD drive in my laptop is broken; it won't burn anything so I need to borrow yours. Please, Stiles. You know how much this means to me!" Stiles could picture Scott's puppy dog eyes through the phone and he felt himself giving in so he whimpered at the back of his throat: half crying, half sleep deprived laughter.

"I hate you," he muttered into the phone and then yawned making it impossible to hear Scott's whispered reply of gratitude. "I'll be right over." Derek grumbled that he was an idiot but Stiles just slipped on his shoes, grabbed his laptop and the cables, and headed out. It was only a short drive to the campus and the streets were completely clear and a little eerie in the complete blackness of the early morning sky.

Scott met him at the car park and took the laptop from him, giving him a hug in return and a big thank you.

"You owe me so much for this," Stiles mumbled. "I'm talking pizza and Chinese." Scott agreed and hugged him one last time before rushing inside and away from the cold winter air. Stiles pulled away from the curb and was back outside Hale Apartments soon enough.

He switched off the engines and allowed himself a few seconds more of hot air from his car heater before opening the door and heading out into the cold morning. He knew it was only a couple of seconds walk from his car to the building but he really wished that he had remembered to grab his winter coat before heading out.

"Excuse me," said a feminine voice and Stiles jumped out of his skin as he saw movement only a few feet from where he was standing. The street light above them was out and so he hadn't seen anyone standing there until they had spoken.

The woman walked up very close to where Stiles was standing and after a second he was able to distinguish her features. He realised very quickly that the woman was beautiful. She was wearing all black and what looked to be light layers, but unlike Stiles she didn't seem to be effected by the cold wind and looked completely comfortable.

She took another step forward and Stiles started to feel on edge. He subtly took a small step back to give himself a little more personal space but she leaned closer. He was getting a bad vibe from her and could swear that her dark hair and clothes merged with the shadows so that only her pale skin was tangible. She appeared to loom over Stiles, despite being about the same height as him, and he felt ready to run for his life. But then she smiled widely, kindly, and asked for directions.

"Oh," Stiles muttered and he blinked at her. Suddenly she wasn't actually that scary, after all. Now Stiles saw the slight differences in the shade of black she was wearing and the brightness in her eyes.

He shook his head to clear his thoughts, not all strangers were a threat. He couldn't let what happened with Peter keep him terrified for the rest of his life. Yeah, this woman's personal space issue was something that made Stiles uncomfortable but she had a kind face and big, definitely not red, eyes.

"Yeah, just go down this street until you get to a bridge and take a left and you're there," Stiles said, indicating with his hand the direction that she should go in to get to the train station.

"Thank you," the woman said, looking like it was the happiest news she ever been given. She placed her hand on Stiles' shoulder in gratitude and Stiles' smile faltered a little as her fingers brushed against his neck. But then the woman was turning around and leaving. Stiles quickly rushed inside; partly because he was freezing and wearing only his pyjamas, and partly because the woman had started to creep him out again so he wanted to be as far away from her and the unnerving darkness as possible.

He tried to shake the feeling as he went into the elevator and made his way back up to his apartment: the girl was probably just drunk. She had been wearing very high heels and all-black clothes that someone could quite happily wear for a night out. And drunk people seem to forget about the concept of personal space… that would also explain why she hadn't been cold despite her bare arms and the winter wind.

Stiles managed to get his heart rate down by the time he got back into his bedroom. He slipped off his shoes and stared longingly at his warm bed and Derek's strong, firm, arms. He scrambled under the sheets and tried to wrap his arms around his boyfriend but Derek was suddenly sitting up in the bed, his eyes wide and glowing blue. Stiles could see that his nose was scrunched up and he looked at first shocked and then angry.

"Derek?" Stiles asked softly, a little worried.

"Stiles, this is important. Whom else, besides Scott, did you talk to tonight?" Derek asked gravely and Stiles shook his head.

"Just this woman on the street. She asked for directions," Stiles said and explained quickly about the odd encounter.

"She was outside the building?" Derek asked and Stiles nodded his head. Derek threw the covers off of himself and rushed out of the room.

"Derek? What's going on?" Stiles shouted, probably a little too loudly in an apartment building at 4am, and followed him but Derek was going much faster.

"Just stay here," he called out as he left the apartment. Stiles froze in the doorway and stared after him for a second before shaking his head. He pushed his shoes on and this time grabbed his coat before following his boyfriend. He realised that Derek had probably taken the stairs but he pushed the button for the elevator instead.

He wandered out into the dark morning and looked around in hopes of finding his boyfriend, but there was no one in sight so he called out his name instead.

"I thought I told you to stay inside," Derek said gruffly as he appeared beside him.

"And I thought you were going to be open with me," Stiles muttered in reply. "What the hell is going on? What are you doing out here?"

"I'm trying to track her but she covered up her scent too well. I can only smell her on you; and she did that on purpose. She knew I'd smell her on you. She knew I'd get the message," Derek was on the verge of rambling and that couldn't be good; Derek never rambled.

"What message? Who is she?"

"Jennifer… she's my ex-girlfriend," Derek admitted slowly and pulled Stiles back inside. "She's psychotic, Stiles, and very dangerous. She thinks that I belong with her and I hoped she'd given up on that but apparently not. Her touching your neck, it was a threat. She's letting me know that if I don't break up with you then she'll find a much more permanent way of making sure you're out of the picture."

"That's insane."

"That's Jennifer," Derek snarked humourlessly. He walked Stiles back up to his apartment. "Stay in here, I'll be back soon." Derek gave Stiles a push inside and closed the door after himself. Stiles stared at it for a moment and then started pacing.

"Psychotic uncles, psychotic ex-girlfriends… is there anything else you'd like to tell me about?" He muttered and tried to prepare himself for the shit-fest that he was sure was coming his way.

Chapter Text

Stiles eventually stopped pacing and he slumped on his sofa with a blanket instead. He hoped that he might be able to get some sleep but that turned out to be fruitless, he was too wired now after what that Derek had told him… which actually wasn't all that much. He really deserved better than two sentences and a vague warning of her being 'dangerous'. Like what did that even mean? How dangerous? Was she a werewolf too or did Stiles have a chance at taking her on?

Really… he needed some answers.

He waited as patiently as he could, which wasn't very patiently at all, and at 5am Derek came back. Stiles relaxed his tense shoulders as he saw his boyfriend walk through the door. He sat up a little straighter and checked him over to make sure that he wasn't hurt. That's when he realised that Derek had been out there for almost an hour in only his jogging bottoms: no shirt, no jacket, not even a pair of shoes.

"Jesus Christ," Stiles muttered. "You must be freezing." Derek shook his head.

"Werewolves run hot," he said, which… yeah, that actually explained a couple of things.

"Okay, well, do they also run without shoes?" Derek looked down at his feet and shrugged.

"Sometimes."

"Don't be cute." Stiles stood up and dropped the blanket to the floor. "I'm guessing you didn't find her?" He asked and Derek shook his head. "Okay. Well, I'm going to have a shower and get ready."

"Get ready?" Derek asked and stepped in his way.

"For Allison's competition," Stiles reminded him and Derek shook his head.

"You're not going." Stiles took a step back and frowned at Derek, who was looking entirely serious.

"Excuse me?"

"Stiles, you don't understand-" Derek started and Stiles cut him off.

"Then make me understand!" Stiles snapped and Derek tensed his jaw. After a second, his expression softened a little bit, his eyes widening slightly and his eyebrows making his face appear less angry and more sad.

"She's a murderer and a Darach," Derek said, eventually.

"A Darach? What is that?" Stiles asked when Derek seemed unsure how to continue.

"It's a… dark druid. Someone with magic and someone who uses it in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. For Jennifer, that reason was revenge on the pack of alpha werewolves that tried to kill her. She sacrificed countless people so that she could get powerful enough to kill them." Derek's eyes flicked down from Stiles' face to the floor. "I met her about two years ago and she used her magic to manipulate me. For some convoluted reason, she thought we were meant to be together and so tricked me into thinking that she was my mate.

"But once I found out that she was killing people I tried to stop her. She got away. But, Stiles, you need to understand that she is unstable and very powerful," Derek summed up what was quite obviously a very complicated and difficult story. Stiles bit his lip and thought for a moment but soon he shook his head.

"I do understand. But, I'm still going," Stiles insisted and stepped around Derek to get to the bathroom.

"Stiles…"

"No, Derek, you can't talk me out of this. This is just how my life is now: it's dangerous and insane and that isn't going to change any time soon so I'm not going to hide away and let some psycho bitch stop me from living my life. Now you can stay here and look for Jennifer some more or you can come with me. It's up to you," Stiles said and he walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind him and starting the shower.

Truthfully, he was much less confident than he was pretending to be but he knew he was doing the right thing. He couldn't let what had happened to him in the past effect how he was going to live his life now; and he couldn't just hide away in his apartment for the rest of his life in fear of what could happen in the future.

Derek was sitting on the sofa when Stiles got out of the shower, looking a little bit conflicted. Stiles noticed that he was holding two phones and frowned because he always thought that Derek had only one phone, like most normal people do… though Derek wasn't exactly normal.

"You have two phones?" Stiles asked and Derek nodded.

"Yeah, this one is a pack phone," he said lifting up an old nokia. "We all have one in case of an emergency," Derek explained and then stood up. He handed the nokia to Stiles. "I've already told the pack what's happening, and they're on their way, so you should take mine today."

"You're not coming with?" Stiles asked as he looked down at the phone. He hadn't realised how disappointed he'd be if Derek decided to stay here.

"No, I am. But I'll meet you there; I'm going to get there early so that I can scout out the stadium. I want to know about any place that Jennifer could attack from." Stiles nodded his understanding and Derek started to leave, pausing in the doorway. "Just… call me if anything happens."

"I will."

[] [] []

At 6am Stiles left his apartment and drove to the campus to pick Allison up. He was originally going to be picking Scott up to but apparently on the drive to the semi-finales Scott had not shut up about how awesome Alli was and how she had it in the bag for the entire drive, making her much more nervous than she already was. So Scott was not allowed in the car this time.

Stiles kind of felt bad for him because he knew how much Scott loved Allison and he must have felt horrible once he realised that his attempts to relax her had only ended up piling on more pressure. But he was also excited to talk to Allison; he hadn't yet been alone with her since he got back with Derek and found out that werewolves existed. So a couple of hours drive to the stadium was the perfect time for him to find out more.

Stiles managed to wait until they'd been in the car for ten minutes before finally asking: "so… hunters, huh?" And Allison laughed loudly in reply.

"I was wondering how long you would last until you brought that up," she said softly. "You did better than I expected. I thought you were going to burst with questions the second I opened the car door."

"I almost did," Stiles agreed with a wide grin.

"Okay, so what do you want to know?" She asked and Stiles thought for a second before picking from his long list of questions.

"How did your family become hunters?"

"I'm not too sure, actually. I didn't really get the family history lesson," she admitted. "I just know that we've always been hunters; it's a family thing. Some families raise their kids to be doctors or lawyers, the Argent family raises theirs to be hunters," she remarked and Stiles stored that information away.

"So, how did you find out about werewolves? How old were you? Or was it just something you always knew existed?"

"Actually, no." Allison took a deep breath and a moment to compose the rest of her answer. "When I was twelve my Aunt Kate died and that's when my mum told me that werewolves existed and they had murdered her," she said slowly and Stiles flicked his eyes from the road to Allison's face. "Turns out that wasn't true: she had been trying to wipe-out a pack and they had killed her in self-defence. And then my grandad when he tried to kill them for revenge."

"Wow… I'm sorry," Stiles said pathetically. He hated when people who didn't know his mum told him they were sorry when they found out she was dead. It was just so… false. But he didn't have anything better to say. On one hand, from the small information Alli had just told him, it sounded like neither of them deserved his sympathies; but on the other hand, Alli did. She was his friend; he loved her and he didn't like to see her in pain, no matter how fucked up her family sounded. "Were you close?"

"With Kate, yes. But I hadn't ever met my grandad… and it's okay: It turns out that they were horrible people and, yeah, I loved my Aunt but she was a murderer. I miss the person that I thought she was but I don't actually miss her," Allison said strongly, but it sounded like she was trying to convince herself of that as much as she was trying to convince Stiles. "Anyway, after my grandad died my dad decided that he didn't want to be a hunter anymore and so that's why he and my mum broke up and why I came to Beacon Hills." Allison looked a little lost in her thoughts for a moment but she gave a small smile. "I have to admit, it feels good to tell you this. I didn't think I'd ever be able to tell anyone the truth."

"Really? Not even Scott?" Stiles asked, surprised that Allison was willing to keep such a big part of her life a secret.

"I don't know," she admitted. "I've thought about telling him but it's complicated, you know. Plus, up until I met Derek I had never actually seen a werewolf so how could I possibly prove that they existed?"

"You never saw a werewolf?" Stiles questioned.

"Nope. I was too young to be a hunter when I first found out about them and then a few years ago my mum got back in touch with me and tried to get me to join her, but I said no."

"Huh," Stiles said and bit his lip lightly. "But, then, how did you know Derek was one?" He asked and saw Allison shrug out of the corner of his eye.

"You know how protective my dad is. The only way that I could convince him to not follow me to Beacon County was if I ring him for at least 10 minutes a day to talk." Allison had told Stiles and Scott this before and so it wasn't new information, but the reason behind Chris' protectiveness was a lot clearer to him now. "So, I told him when I met Derek and he recognised the Hale name. Apparently, he's part of a pretty powerful and prestigious pack," Allison finished.

"Huh…" Stiles mumbled. Derek hadn't told him that.

"I have to ask…" Allison said when Stiles didn't immediately follow up with another question, "how are you two? I still don't know the truth about why you broke up."

Stiles paused for a moment before answering her. He knew he couldn't lie to her after how open she'd just been about her past and he didn't want to lie either, not really. But Stiles was a little concerned with how Allison would take the news. Stiles took a deep breath and told her everything: that he was Derek's mate, about how Peter attacked him and Derek saved him, how Derek took his memories… everything except from Jennifer showing up this morning.

He'd decided he wasn't going to tell Alli about that until after the competition because he didn't want to psych her out and be the reason for her potentially loosing. After Stiles had finished explaining everything, Allison took a minute to think before replying.

"Are you sure you want to get involved in his life?" She asked and Stiles nodded.

"It's a little crazy but… yeah, I am."

"Okay then."

"You think it's a bad idea?" He asked quietly.

"Maybe. But you two obviously love each other… and I think if I was in your place I would probably make the same choice," she answered quietly and then they moved onto lighter topics.

[] [] []

Stiles and Allison met Derek at the car park and they waited around for her as she signed in. Eventually Sarah showed up with Isaac, Erica, Boyd and Scott in her car and they all watched Allison wipe the floor with the other archers. Well, all but one. It was a close call in the end between Allison and Stark, a guy from the University of Pennsylvania. But eventually Allison won.

They all congratulated her after she received her trophy and Scott went with her and her dad to celebrate. It was getting late by then though, and the sky was already darkening, so the rest of the pack decided to just head back to Beacon County. Derek pulled Erica aside and handed her the keys to his Camaro.

"If you scratch it I will kill you," he warned, his eyebrows being very expressive, before choosing to ride back home with Stiles in the Jeep. Derek ended up spending the rest of the Sunday with Stiles, which Stiles would have normally loved but he was less keen on it when he realised how on-edge Derek still was. He didn't manage to relax all night and barely got any sleep.

Derek didn't let Stiles out of his sight until Monday morning came around and Isaac and Erica knocked on his door for a lift to the campus. Stiles gave Derek a kiss goodbye and didn't expect to see him again until he got back to his apartment after his half a day of classes. But given how protective Derek had been, Stiles probably shouldn't have been surprised when he showed up outside the theatre after Stiles' final lecture of the day.

Stiles didn't like Derek acting like his bodyguard instead of his boyfriend but he grit his teeth and didn't bring it up. He knew that Derek had good reasons to be so worried and that he just wanted to keep Stiles safe and so Stiles could put up with this a little bit longer.

Derek stayed with Stiles for a few hours more until Erica and Sarah were finished with their classes for the day and showed up.

"Guys, really, I'm fine. I don't need more werewolf babysitters," Stiles mumbled but he might as well have been talking to himself by the way that the three werewolves in the room ignored him. The two girls both settled on the sofa as Derek motioned for Stiles to talk to him in the kitchen area, giving them the illusion of the privacy which Stiles craved but now knew he would probably never have again being surrounded by people with super-hearing as he was.

"My family is here," Derek said and Stiles looked at him with wide eyes.

"Derek, what did I just say?! No more werewolves." Stiles said anxiously with a slightly higher-than-normal tone. He wasn't sure which he found more terrifying, Jennifer or meeting the parents. His lack of a brain to mouth filter didn't help him much when it came to interacting with family members… he could still remembered the horrified look on Danny's parents' faces when Stiles had seen their wedding picture on the mantle and asked them: "Is this a picture of you two? You guys used to be really attractive!"

"They're not here to meet you," Derek reassured him. "They're here to help me track down Jennifer."

"Oh…" well at least that gave Stiles a little time to prepare himself: make sure he took his Adderall, maybe dress in some nicer clothes?

"I'll be back soon," Derek said before placing a kiss on Stiles' cheek. "I love you."

"Love you too," he mumbled and watched Derek leave. Okay, so maybe there were worst things than having your boyfriend act like your bodyguard… like, maybe, watching him leave to go run around in the pitch black afternoon in an attempt to find a psychotic murderer who was apparently obsessed with him? Because, yeah, that one felt pretty bad.

"So, what are we watching?" Erica asked with fake-cheeriness and Stiles tried to distract himself by watching the TV, but that only worked for so long before he found himself watching the clock tick the seconds away. Music helped to lower his nerves a little bit but that too wasn't a very good distraction. Eventually even listening to Erica and Sarah gossiping stopped working.

Stiles turned on his laptop and started researching Darachs, hoping that he could find something to help.

[] [] []

Derek shifted from his wolf form back to his human form and pulled on the clothes that he had hidden. He'd been out with his pack searching for Jennifer for a few hours now without much luck. They had picked up her scent momentarily but it was much too weak and they'd lost it after only a couple of minutes. He zipped up his tight jeans and pulled the green Henley back over his torso before digging into his picket to get his phone.

He called Stiles' number so that he could check up on him, but after every unanswered ring Derek became tenser. Eventually his voicemail picked up, asking him to leave a message. Derek tried again and paced a little as he did so, but still Stiles didn't answer. When he tried Erica's phone and she didn't pick up either, he stopped pretending like everything could be okay and he just started running.

"Derek?" His mum shouted after him as she saw him running away but he just kept on going without stopping to explain. He wasn't that far from Hale Apartments and so he got there and up to Stiles' room within four minutes. A lot could happen in four minutes, his mind reminded him and he felt physically sick. He heard his mum running only a few feet behind him as he charged up the stairs and flung open Stiles' apartment door.

He found Erica and Sarah both lying unconscious on the floor with flecks of purple powder, wolfsbane, scattered across their faces. Stiles was gone.

Chapter Text

Derek wasn't doing so well. He'd never had a panic attack before but he imagined that this is what it felt like: his heart was racing, he felt like he was going to throw up, he couldn't breathe properly and every intake of air that he did manage to get tasted like acid on his tongue as the scent of Stiles' fear filtered through his senses.

Once he finally managed to get control over it he started pacing back and forth across Stiles' living room. His pack had managed to wake Sarah up but Erica must have been hit with more wolfsbane because she was still unconscious; now lying on the sofa.

Derek looked around the room and scowled. He didn't understand how everyone could just sit here and doing nothing while Stiles was missing. This wasn't right. He shouldn't be here, he should be out there and searching for his boyfriend.

"I'm going back out," Derek muttered and turned to leave but his mother spoke up.

"No, Derek, there are people already out there looking for him; you need to rest."

"Rest? How can I rest when she has my mate?!" He snapped back.

"Because you have to," Talia replied calmly. "We've been out there for hours searching and found nothing. She can cover her scent and she can apparently cover Stiles' too. We have no way to track her so we need a plan. We can't have you burning yourself out."

"I can't just sit here and do nothing!"

"Derek, calm down," his mother tried again.

"I'll calm down when I know that Stiles is alive."

"No, you'll calm down now!" Talia replied forcefully, flashing her red eyes. She didn't shout but her voice had the power of an alpha behind it and he saw Sarah flinch out of the corner of his eye. Derek didn't submit to her but he stopped yelling; he took a deep breath and nodded.

He sat in Stiles' apartment and waited for his mother to come up with a plan. She went out of the room to ring someone but Derek didn't listen into the conversation as he was too busy picturing Stiles dead in a ditch somewhere.

Erica woke up not long later and Talia questioned her but, like Sarah, the details of what happened directly before she was knocked out were fuzzy. Jennifer had most likely taken them both completely by surprise… being able to surprise two werewolves was a difficult thing, Derek thought, realising that Jennifer must have gained a lot of power since he had last seen her.

He got lost in his own thoughts after that, worrying about Stiles and picturing all of the terrible things that Jennifer could have done to him… Laura and a few others had gone downstairs to sleep in his apartment and Erica and Sarah were both asleep in Stiles' bed, resting away the migraine that the wolfsbane had given them. But Talia stayed awake with him and was sitting next to him and rubbing her hand up and down his shoulder in a soothing motion to comfort him. They stayed like that for an hour and he only snapped out of his own mind when his mother suddenly got up and opened Stiles' apartment door.

Derek stood up to see the man in the doorway better. He looked to be in his forties, he had a shaved head and black skin and he looked somewhat familiar. His mother hugged the man as though she knew him well and welcomed him into the apartment.

"Alan, this is my oldest son, Derek. Derek this is Alan Deaton, he used to be our pack emissary when we still lived in Beacon Hills." Talia introduced them and Derek nodded his hello.

"Derek, your mother filled me in on what happened," Deaton said sympathetically.

"Is there a way to track him? Magically, I mean?" Derek asked, figuring that it was the only reason that his mother would ring a druid emissary.

"Possibly. There are a couple of techniques we can try that uses your bond as mates to allow you to track him. Unfortunately, you have only known each other for a few months which means your bond is still very weak and so this may not work," informed Deaton.

"But there's a chance that it will?"

"A small chance, yes." Deaton nodded and Derek agreed to try. The former emissary gave Derek a flask to drink from, it tasted sweet but had a foul aftertaste, and then told him to relax on the sofa. He coached Derek through a simple breathing technique and told him to think of Stiles and to block everything else out. So that's what Derek did.

He thought about their first kiss: Derek had just told Stiles that he knew he was breaking things in his apartment so they could spend time together and Stiles had been rambling on about how evil Derek was choosing to let Stiles continue instead of either asking him out or putting him out of his misery.

And in that moment Stiles had looked an odd mix of angry and happy that Derek didn't think any other person would be able to achieve. He'd been waving around his hands, long fingers extending from them, and his lower lip jutted out just slightly. He'd looked completely beautiful and so Derek had leaned in and kissed him.

He'd kept it chaste: nothing more than a simple brush of his lips against Stiles'. He'd opened his mouth just a little bit, but not enough to invite Stiles' tongue. Not that that had mattered because Stiles had been too shocked at first to react. Derek remembered clearly the moment that Stiles had leant closer and began to kiss him back. He could practically hear Stiles' heart beat fast and steady in the memory.

Except… that wasn't right. Stiles' heartbeat had been erratic: reacting to nerves and excitement and surprise. But what he could hear now… it was more like his sleeping heartrate, but faster as though he was having a bad dream. He focussed on the heartbeat and it became less faint, less like it was part of his memory and more concrete. But it was definitely Stiles'… he just knew that it was. Eventually the sound faded and instead became more of a feeling, as though Stiles' heart was beating along his own in his chest.

Derek opened his eyes quickly and the phantom feeling was still there. Talia took a step forward as he turned wide eyes her way.

"Derek, what do you feel?" Deaton questioned before either of the Hales had said anything.

"It's… his heartbeat. I can feel his heartbeat." Derek replied and Talia turned to look at Deaton for answers. The older man was smiling very faintly.

"Good, that's good. It means it's working," Deaton replied. "Focus on his heartbeat, Derek. Do you feel which direction it's coming from?" Derek focussed as hard as he could. He closed his eyes and willed it to lead him to its owner.

But it was fruitless. The heartbeat remained a faint feeling in his chest and nothing more. Derek refused to give up. He curled over himself, his head resting in his hands which rested on his lap, and willed something to happen. After another minute had passed, Talia rested her hand on Derek's shoulder in what he supposed was meant to be a comforting gesture.

"You can feel his heartbeat, and that means something," Talia said softly. "It means he's alive. It means we have time. We will find him, Derek."

[] [] []

Stiles woke up slowly, his head pounding. It took him a moment to gather his thoughts and remember what had happened to him. The ground was wet and cold underneath him and the wind whipped across his skin furiously. Stiles shivered against the ground, which he could now tell was long, uncut, grass. He slowly opened his eyes and the dull green tones filled his vision.

He was lying on his side, his shoulder feeling a bit numb, with his hands behind his back. Stiles tried to move his hands to sit up and felt a resistance against his wrists, something sharp digging into them. His heartrate picked up just slightly and he forced himself into a sitting position. He tried his best to look over his shoulder and down at his hands which were tied behind his back, but it was so dark that he wouldn't have been able to see anything even if it was possible from this position.

There was a sharp laughter to his right and Stiles jumped, spinning his entire body and flailing a little bit as he fell back into a lying position on the grass and attempted to get back up. Stiles couldn't see much more than shapes; he saw the outlines of trees that rustled in the harsh wind and not much else. Stiles' eyes frantically scanned the area as he searched for the origin of that bone-chilling laughter. And then there was movement in his line of sight and his eyes focussed on it as Jennifer emerged from the shadows.

"Stop struggling, you look like you're having a seizure," she snapped at Stiles. He could feel his heart racing as he slowly remembered what had happened earlier that night: He was getting antsy. Derek had been gone for almost three hours now and he hadn't heard a single word from him. Stiles had moved from the sofa to the table, to his bed, back to the sofa again, and now was lying across the floor with two pillows beneath his head and only seconds away from switching back to lying on his stomach.

He was still on his laptop; still frantically researching Darachs and hoping to find something, anything, that could help Derek defeat Jennifer. Stiles pushed his laptop off his stomach and sat up to switch positions again when one of his windows suddenly flew open with a bang. Stiles jumped so hard that he almost cracked his head on his coffee table and both Erica and Sarah were suddenly on their feet. Stiles watched as Sarah scanned the room and Erica slowly moved towards the open window.

Erica's eyes had changed to a luminous gold and her face shifted. So far Stiles had only seen Derek and Peter in werewolf form and so he was momentarily distracted and fascinated as he stared wide-eyed at his friend.

Sarah finished scanning the room and apparently decided there was no threat in the apartment because she had walked to Erica's side and joined her as they both searched the street below.

"I can't see anything," Erica muttered and Sarah shook her head.

"Me neither… do you think it was the wind?" Stiles wanted to say no, it couldn't be the wind. He kept all of his windows fully latched at all times… but what if he was wrong? Maybe he'd been distracted last time that window had been opened and he didn't latch it properly? Stiles didn't want to worry his friends over nothing. So when they turned to look at Stiles, he kept quiet. He couldn't be sure that he had latched that window and so he just shrugged and told them that he didn't know.

Both Erica and Sarah remained tense and vigilant, but Sarah took one last look out of the window and then moved back into the apartment and towards the kitchen area to get a glass of water. Erica watched for another few seconds before she let her face shift back to her human form and her eyes drained of their ominous glow. She closed the window and latched it firmly before turning around.

But Erica barely made it two steps away from the wall before the window flung open again. Erica turned and snarled but collapsed barely a second later as a purple powder hit her. By the time Stiles had scrambled to his feet and taken a surprised step away from the floating powder, it had already reached Sarah and she too ended up falling unconscious in Stiles' living room.

The purple powder fell to the floor and Stiles spun around as he heard his front door open. Jennifer was smiling down at him wearing a red crop top, black low-rise skinny jeans, a black leather jacket and heels that matched Sarah's in the 'looking so sharp they could be used as a weapon' department.

Stiles looked for something to use as a weapon and ended up diving for his lacrosse stick that rested at the corner of the room, not the strongest weapon ever but at least it was made out of metal and he might be able to do some damage while he maintained a safe-ish distance. But before his fingers could even brush the cool metal of the stick, something hit him in the head from behind and he fell to the floor unconscious.

Stiles' breathing stuttered as he blinked away the memory and scurried back as far as he could go while Jennifer continued to advance on him. Eventually he hit a large tree and could go no further. Jennifer smiled and crouched down next to him.

"How's that head feel?" She purred, her voice falsely sweet. She reached out and grasped Stiles' chin tightly, pushing it up and to the side so that she could have a better look. Stiles shivered in disgust as she ran her fingers through his hair until she brushed against the welt and Stiles flinched away with a loud hiss.

She pushed him so that he was lying back down and stood up, grinning.

"No blood. Perfect. That means he won't be able to sniff you out."

"Why are you doing this?" Stiles muttered, his voice raw. Jennifer dropped all of her fake-niceness and glared down at Stiles, looking at him as though he repulsed her.

"Because you stole my boyfriend!" She ground each word out very slowly through her clenched jaw.

"You're crazy."

"Maybe," she said and turned to walk away. "But Derek is mine and he always will be. He just needs a little push to remember it."

"And how exactly are you going to give him that 'push'?" Stiles questioned, remembering what his dad had once told him: if you're ever kidnapped then you keep them talking. It will buy you some time and let them remember that you are a real human being. Form a bond and it will make it harder for them to hurt you.

Stiles' wasn't sure if that advice would really work on Jennifer, though. She was very unstable and had, according to Derek, killed countless people already… but it didn't matter anyway because she refused to talk to answer his questions anymore.

She reached into a large bag that she had rested against a nearby tree and took out a roll of duct tape. She tore a section off and Stiles squirmed some more as she approached him. But she grabbed his head in her surprisingly strong hand and covered his mouth with the tape, patting it down firmly.

Afterwards, Jennifer stared down at Stiles and smiled happily. She walked back to her bag and dropped the tape back inside it before choosing to sit down next to it. Stiles kept watching her for a long time but she appeared content to just sit and wait. Whatever it was she was waiting for, thought, Stiles wasn't sure. But it made him terrified as he thought about what could be in store for him.

Stiles shifted until his back was fully against the tree and he could sit up straight, not missing the fact that Jennifer's eyes were on him the entire time and didn't turn away again until he had settled back against the tree. Stiles swallowed anxiously. As quietly and subtly as he could, Stiles slowly… very, very slowly so that Jennifer didn't notice him moving, leaned forward until he was no longer sitting back against the tree and had a bit of room behind him to manoeuvre.

He ran his fingers along the material that was binding his wrists and confirmed for himself that it was a zip tie which was keeping his hands restrained. That was good. Well, not exactly the best because Stiles was much better at breaking out of handcuffs than he was at breaking out of zip ties… but he could still do it.

His dad had worked a particularly gruesome case at work last year and so he'd taught Stiles several tricks for breaking out of a many number of restraints. The zip tie was hardest because it involved swinging his arms rather drastically which would definitely get Jennifer's attention… but maybe he might get lucky and she'll be distracted at some point?

But breaking free was the easy part. Getting away from Jennifer was a completely different challenge… and even if he could manage that, Stiles realised, he didn't have a clue where he was and so getting to safety could potentially prove impossible.

But he would just have to deal with that bridge when, if, he came to it. Stiles grabbed the end of the plastic and attempted to pull on it to tighten the zip ties: the tighter they were, the easier they'd be to break out of. Jennifer moved at the corner of Stiles' vision and he froze, thinking that he'd been caught out and she knew what he was trying to do. But Jennifer wasn't looking his way.

His captor opened the large bag next to her and looked inside it for a moment before pulling out a chocolate bar. She unwrapped it slowly and then looked his way, seemingly misunderstanding his wide-eyed stare as a plea to be fed because she laughed at him.

"I don't make a habit of feeding my sacrifices," Jennifer muttered, before taking a bite of the candy bar, and what? She wasn't really planning on sacrificing him, was she? Stiles' heart picked back up in fear.

He recalled a little bit of information he'd read earlier that night while researching Darachs and he suddenly found it hard to breathe. Human sacrifices made Darachs stronger, but to get the most magic from their chosen sacrifice they had to do it at a specific time of night: the moment when witching hour turned to devils hour; when the vails surrounding magic and separating this world from the afterlife would both be at their thinnest. 3am.

Stiles looked around frantically as he tried to find a clue to what time it was. But there was nothing but dark woods surrounding him. After a few seconds, Stiles remembered it had been almost midnight when he'd been kidnapped… but he had no clue how long he'd been unconscious for. He had no way of knowing how much time he had left.

Chapter Text

Derek felt it when Stiles woke up. He felt his heartrate increase just that little bit that meant he was slowly becoming conscious, and then he felt his heartrate pick up drastically as he realised that he'd been kidnapped. Derek started pacing again and Talia watched his restlessness.

"Derek, come sit down," she said softly but he just shook his head. He refused to stay sitting here for any longer, he had to move, he had to find his mate! He told Talia so and she sighed. "Half of the pack is already out there searching for Stiles," she reminded him. "We're not going to stop searching for him until we find him. But, Derek, you are emotionally and mentally exhausted. Don't tell me that you're not because I know you. You can't spread yourself much thinner, you need to rest. I'm just asking for a couple of hours sleep, here. Do that, and then you can go back out there."

"There are a lot of things you can stop me from doing," Derek snapped. "But not this. Not anymore." He turned on his heels and headed for the door but his mother grabbed his arm to stop him. Her eyes were beaming red and her face was stern. But she didn't say anything. And after a few seconds her face took to an understanding expression and the red faded from her eyes.

"Take your pack phone," she reminded him, instead, and then dropped his arm. He was going to simply nod and leave, but he knew that he had to be honest with her.

"I don't have it anymore," he admitted and instantly felt scolded at her disapproving look. "I gave it to Stiles." Talia looked like she was about to chide him over that but then stopped and thought.

"Is it still here, in his apartment?" She questioned and Derek frowned as he looked quickly around the room. Stiles' phone was on the table but Derek wasn't sure where Stiles had put the pack phone.

"It was in his jacket," Sarah said as she and Erica entered the room from where they had been resting away their wolfsbane headaches in Stiles' bedroom. "He was nervous so he kept taking it out and fiddling with it and then putting it back away."

"Which jacket?" Talia questioned and Derek felt his heart speeding up with the slightest bit of hope.

"The one he was wearing," Sarah answered and Derek looked from his friend to his alpha. Talia quickly took out her own phone and rang a number on her contacts, Derek waited as she was put through to her network company.

"Hello, I have a contract with you and I lost my phone. I was wondering if you could turn the GPS on for me?" She said into the phone and Derek tried to temper down the hope he felt: it was possible that Jennifer had found the phone and destroyed it. It was possible that all of this was for nothing.

But it was also possible that Jennifer had seen Stiles' phone on the table and didn't think of checking him for a second one… it was possible that all they needed to find Stiles was track the location of the pack phone.

Talia gave her name and the last four digits of her social security number over the phone.

"I'm sorry, I'm not getting a location," the answer came from the other end of the call. "The phone must be turned off." Derek felt all the hope in his chest grow heavy and drop into his stomach. He felt like he was going to throw up. He turned around and was already out of Stiles' apartment before his mum had finished thanking the man for his time.

He hadn't even made it to the stairs before Isaac, Boyd, Sarah and Erica were stepping in front of him.

"Move out of my way," he ordered them angrily. No one was going to stop him from finding Stiles.

"Sure thing, just let us come with you," Erica replied, lifting her head high. "Stiles is pack… we want to help"

"And we may be human," Boyd said, and when did he even get here? Why wasn't he at his dorm room back on campus? "But we're not weak. We can still fight"

"Plus, you might need us if your psycho ex pulls any more tricks with wolfsbane," Isaac finished and Derek looked at all of them in turn before nodding.

[] [] []

After Stiles had succeeded in getting the bonds around his wrists as tight as possible he moved the tie lock so that it was positioned between his wrists, this step was a little difficult with how tight he'd made the cuffs but he remembered his father telling him how vital it was: the tie lock was the weakest part of the zip tie, so if he wanted to succeed in breaking the bonds then he needed his power to be centred at the lock.

Now he just had to wait until Jennifer seemed distracted so that he could get away. He knew that he had to do it soon though, because the plastic of the tie was now digging into his skin and cutting off some of his circulation. He could feel the blood pressure building in his hands and they were slowly starting to go numb.

Stiles scooted, very slowly and discreetly, away from the tree to give himself just that little bit of extra room behind him. He waited until he saw Jennifer relax back against her tree, rolling her shoulders and scratching at the back of her neck. It wasn't the best distraction Stiles could have asked for, but she didn't seem prepared enough to stop him if he was to suddenly run away and he was afraid that this might be the only moment he was going to get.

So Stiles slowly raised his hands as high as they could go behind his back and prepared himself so that he would be ready to jump onto his heels and run away – he even picked which direction would be best to head into so that he didn't have to run past Jennifer and could give himself an extra few seconds to get away.

Stiles took a deep breath and hit his hands down against his lower back, opening his elbows further on impact so that it would put more pressure on the tie. He allowed his hands to bounce back up after impact instead of keeping them pressed against his back and he immediately felt the pressure around his wrists release. Stiles didn't allow Jennifer to figure out that he'd broken free; he was clambering up onto his feet and running away before she had even turned to look for the source of the thumping sound.

As quickly as possible, Stiles pulled the tape from his mouth and threw it to the ground so that he could breathe better as he ran. He didn't know Beacon County very well and so he had no clue where he was and looking up to follow the north star proved fruitless too because clouds covered most of the sky. He didn't know where he was or where he was going but he kept running anyway, in as much of a straight line as possible.

As Stiles ran he could hear a snapping and groaning sound getting closer and closer, but he wasn't sure what direction is was coming from and he didn't have time to stop and think about it so he just kept running.

Then there was one final, very loud, crack directly ahead of him. Stiles skidded to a stop, falling over as he did so, just in time as a large tree toppled over and fell to the ground only a few feet in front of him. He stared at it for a second before scrambling to his feet, slipping around slightly in the mud. His eyes glanced momentarily back to where he'd been running from and he saw Jennifer materialise from the darkness. Her eyes were glowing a menacing white and Stiles took off running again in a slightly different direction.

However, he didn't get very far this time and only a couple of strides later he saw Jennifer, out of the corner of his eye, raise her hand in his direction before he was hit by a wall of power that was so strong that it flew Stiles sideways and into the closest tree. Crippling pain shot across Stiles' shoulder and down his arm as it make contact with the dark wood of the tree. Stiles' body dropped uselessly to the ground and he couldn't do anything to catch himself before his shoulder once again made forcible contact with an immovable surface – this time of the hard ground.

Stiles hissed in pain and rolled over so he was lying on his back, his face scrunched up in agony. He took several fast and deep breaths through the pain and he heard the crunching of leaves and twigs on the ground being stepped on as Jennifer approached him. Stiles grit his teeth and tried to sit up, but the pain was too much. Eventually he forced his eyes open and looked across at his right shoulder. He couldn't see much while he was still wearing his jacket, but there didn't seem to be any blood there… so that was good, right?

He slowly lifted his left, uninjured, hand to gently touch his shoulder but he ended up wincing in pain and pulling his hand back right away. Jennifer walked up to him and stared down at Stiles with a hard face.

"You think you're so smart, don't you?" She snarled and Stiles looked up at her pitifully as he lay, unmoving, on the muddy ground. "Why couldn't you have just stayed away after Peter attacked you? Any normal person would have. And then none of this would be happening," Jennifer continued and Stiles frowned as her words distracted his mind from the pain shooting along his shoulder.

"How do you know what happened with Peter? How long have you been watching me?" He managed to stammer out.

"Watching you?" Jennifer scoffed. "Don't flatter yourself. I've been keeping an eye on Derek. I love him, I couldn't just let him leave. He needs me to protect him; I can't let him get hurt." Her eyes softened ever so slightly as she spoke. "He would have forgiven me, he would have come back to me. He just needed a little longer," Jennifer muttered, sounding sad but confident in her words. She paused for a second and her eyes turned hard again. She glared down at Stiles as though he was a bug that she was desperate to squash. "But then you showed up. I tried to be good. For Derek! I tried to be the better person who he wanted me to be and let things run their course.

"But the longer I waited, the more infatuated he became with you! You had him wrapped around your little finger and I've lost so much already, I couldn't lose him too! Not after losing my pack. After losing Kali. And so I tricked Peter into attacking you; I know Derek better than he knows himself, I knew how he would react. I knew he would blame himself, and I felt bad about that… but as long as you were out of the way it didn't matter.

"And I left reminders of myself for him, like planting my name in his friend's heads so that he would remember that he didn't have to be alone. But then you had to come back to him. Why couldn't you have just let him be?" Jennifer all but shouted to end and she emphasised her point by lifting her foot and pushing it down again on Stiles' injured shoulder. Stiles screamed in pain and tried to squirm away but Jennifer wouldn't let him move. "I tried to play this his way. I really did.

"But if killing you is the only way to keep you away from him, then that's what I have to do. Derek will forgive me… it'll take a bit longer, but he'll forget about you eventually. Our lives are bound to each other, his and mine. Forever. Eventually he'll come to see that too."

Jennifer pushed her foot just a little harder against Stiles' shoulder for a further second longer before letting up entirely. He whimpered as the pain receded slightly.

"The only thing your miniscule life is good for is giving me power. And Derek will know that soon enough. Though, honestly, I don't even know if whatever pathetic amount of magic I would get from sacrificing you is worth putting up with you for another hour."

"You could always let me go," Stiles muttered through his hoarse throat, ignoring the tears that were spilling from his eyes as he stared up at her. He made eye contact and tried to make what he was about to say as convincing and sympathetic as possible. "I mean, I obviously didn't know about you and Derek. But now I do; so you don't have to worry about me anymore," Stiles pleaded. He took a deep breath and used his left, uninjured, arm to push him up into a sitting position. "I'll stay out of your way." Jennifer screwed her eyebrows together momentarily as she stared down at him, her face going a little softer and her mouth twisting up in the corners to form a small smile. She raised her hand out to him and Stiles was pushed to his feet by her magic.

"You must be an idiot if you honestly thought that was going to work."

[] [] []

Derek didn't know where to start. Normally he would just run until he picked up a scent trail, but with two humans with him that wasn't really an option. His four friends had all climbed into his car and he stared at the wheel as though it would just magically take him to where he needed to be. After a few seconds, he decided that the abandoned pub a couple of miles away was as good of a place to start as any. So he turned on the car and started driving.

They didn't find any scent or trail of either Jennifer or Stiles there and so they got back in the car and tried somewhere else, and then somewhere else, and then another place. And then on their way to their next destination, a former maternity building for the Beacon County General Hospital that had closed down last month when a new wing was added to the main building instead, Stiles' heartbeat became suddenly strong and distressed.

Derek felt himself pale suddenly and his limbs become weak. He pulled the car over and climbed out so that he could stand in the fresh air and just breathe. He could hear his friends asking him if he was okay but he ignored them as he attempted to stay off his nausea. At least he's still alive, Derek thought over and over again to try to calm down. It didn't work all that well, though, because Stiles was alive but he was stuck somewhere with a psychopath and in need of Derek's help.

Eventually, Derek managed to force the fear of losing Stiles out of his mind and he turned back to his car. He opened the door and made to get back into his seat. But then he realised that Stiles' heartbeat was stronger now! He straightened up again and his eyes went wide. It wasn't just stronger because it was more frantic, it was stronger in the way that Derek could feel it. At first it had felt like only a wisp of a sensation fluttering against Derek's chest. But now… now it felt more as though it was an extension of his own heart. It felt like it was truly inside of his chest.

Derek moved back from his car and closed his eyes to concentrate on Stiles' heartbeat. At first he felt nothing, but after a few seconds ticked by he began to feel a pull in a certain direction. He opened his eyes wide and the odd pull remained. Derek looked from his car to the road in front of him before he slammed the door closed and just started running.

He heard his friends calling out his name behind him but the only thing that was important right then was getting to Stiles in time. He knew that they would follow him anyway and, just like he thought, it was only a couple of seconds later that he heard his car engine rev behind him as one of his friends hopped into the driver's seat. Derek followed the pull of Stiles' heart for another five minutes and ended up stopping right outside of a nature reserve.

The Camaro pulled up to the side of the road right behind Derek and he heard the engine shut off as all of the doors opened and his friends climbed out.

"What the hell was that?" Erica asked behind him after she locked his car and pocketed the keys. Derek wasn't sure how to explain his earlier encounter with Deaton to his friends and how it had just suddenly kicked in and Derek had, all of a sudden, known where to find Stiles.

"Can't you smell him?" He said instead. Because Stiles' scent was being carried by the wind here, meaning that he had to be nearby. He could explain everything else to his friends later; right now he had to find Stiles. They went in together at a fast human pace, though Derek would have much rather preferred to run in at full speed but he had to accommodate for the humans in his pack. When he started to hear Stiles' heartbeat instead of only feeling it, he picked up the pace to a jog and then a run.

Soon they caught up to Jennifer and saw her carrying an unconscious, but alive, Stiles over her shoulder. She must have heard them because she turned around as they approached and waved her hand. Within a second, all of them were knocked back onto the ground. Derek was momentarily disoriented. He looked back at his pack and checked that no one appeared to be hurt before pulling himself up to his feet.

"Stay here," he told Isaac and Boyd sternly, they were human and he didn't want them getting hurt. He turned back to Jennifer and strode forward confidently, trying to work out how best to get Stiles away from her without him getting hurt.

"Wait," she called to him, taking a step back. Jennifer shifted Stiles on her shoulder and Derek paused for a moment as he watched her slowly lower the boy to the ground. He looked filthy, Derek realised, as though he'd slipped in mud trying to get away from her, which… sounded like something Stiles would do.

Derek cast a look over his shoulder at his pack who were currently helping each other up off the ground. He hoped they understood from his glance that if they got an opportunity to take Stiles and run then they should. But even if they did understand him, Derek wasn't confident that they would actually leave him behind. He turned his full attention back to Jennifer as he saw her take a step forward. Her face was open and soft as she continued to slowly walk towards him, and Derek let her: the further away she was from Stiles the better.

"I've missed you, Derek," she said so softly that she almost sounded on the verge of tears. She really was a great actress, Derek thought. But he wasn't going to fall for her act ever again. "Haven't you missed me?"

"No," he replied bluntly. Maybe he might be able to divert her anger his way instead of towards Stiles. His rapid healing would be able to take whatever it was she would throw at him much better than Stiles would.

"Don't lie. We're bound together, you and I. Your sacrifice was the only reason I could survive." Paige. He remembered the first time Jennifer had told him this almost two years ago… she didn't sound any less crazy now than she did back then. "I forgive you for being with him," Jennifer gestured to where Stiles lay on the ground behind her and Derek frowned at her but she continued to slowly step forward… just two or three more steps and she would be within arm's length. "You were lonely, it's understandable."

That's it: one more step.

Derek elongated his claws on his right hand only and he waited for Jennifer to come just that little bit closer. But then her eyes flicked down to his hand and widened. Derek stepped forward and swiped at her but she hand already jumped back and raised her hands. It felt like being hit by a train. Derek was pushed back with so much forced that he flung into the tree several feet behind him and the bark cracked and split beneath him, breaking the tree in half from the impact of his body.

Derek slumped on the floor and the sound of his pack running to him vibrated on the ground beneath his ear, but Derek could barely hear them over the sound of Stiles crying out his name. He manged to force his eyes open. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion: Stiles was trying to pull himself up, putting his weight on one elbow. A golden glow started emitting from Stiles' hands and soon the warm light was flowing around Stiles' entire body.

By the time that Stiles had finished shouting Derek's name, Jennifer had dropped to her knees on the floor as her body was suddenly covered in fire. She screamed and cried out as she forced herself to her feet. Derek and the pack watched as Jennifer tried to put the fire out, unsuccessfully, and ran away.

Derek's eyes remained on Jennifer for only a second before they found Stiles again. He looked ethereal as the warm glow continued to flow from his body. Derek had never seen anything like it before. The golden energy that was floating around Stiles quickly ebbed away once Jennifer was out of their sight, and soon the woods were bathed in darkness once more.

Chapter Text

Derek stared at his boyfriend with wide eyes as Stiles remained completely still on the ground. The woods were quiet and dark again and Derek pushed his pack's hands away from him as he slowly stood up. He could feel tendons and small bones knitting back together but it was a slow process due to how hard he'd been thrown back against the tree.

Stiles was still lying on his side but now his eyes remain trained entirely on his hands and he didn't even seem to notice Derek slowly approaching him. With much effort Derek was able to get to Stiles' side and sit down on the floor next to him. He wrapped his arms around Stiles and started helping him up into a sitting position. But once Derek touched Stiles' right shoulder the younger man hissed loudly and flinched away.

Derek frowned and he quickly tore Stiles' jacket so that he could get a look at his shoulder. The shape was… off. It looked almost square. Being a werewolf, Derek didn't know much about injuries but he knew what a dislocated shoulder looked like. He gritted his teeth, angry that Jennifer had hurt his boyfriend, but didn't say anything.

Now that he knew about Stiles' shoulder he brushed his fingertips against his boyfriend's clavicle and pulled away his pain before helping him to sit up. Derek had a million questions spinning around inside his head but he couldn't bring himself to ask any of them. Stiles looked so incredibly pale, his skin was so cold and he was covered in damp, muddy, clothes. Derek just wanted to hold him and never let him go.

Stiles continued to stare off into space, not meeting Derek's eyes or responding to his touches now that the pain was gone, and Derek started to worry that he was going into shock: but whether it was due to hypothermia or the trauma he'd just been through, Derek wasn't sure. Possibly both?

He very carefully removed what remained of Stiles' damp, mud-soaked, jacket before taking his own off and draping it carefully around Stiles' shoulders. Stiles burrowed into Derek's arms and shivered against him. Derek held Stiles' uninjured hand and wrapped his other arm around his waist, ready to help him up to his feet so that they could get back to the car.

But as his skin made contact with Stiles' ice cold hand, he remembered how they had been glowing with a golden energy only minutes earlier and he couldn't stop himself from speaking up.

"Stiles… what are you?" He whispered gently and waited for an explanation but Stiles just shook his head.

"I thought I was human," he eventually replied in a quiet and broken voice. Derek's chest felt heavy for his boyfriend and he vaguely noticed that, now he'd found Stiles, he could no longer feel his mate's heartbeat in his chest. Very cautiously, so as not to hurt Stiles, he helped the younger boy stand up and turned them so they could walk back to where his car was parked. He paused as he approached his friends.

"Jennifer won't have gotten very far," he told them. "Erica, Sarah, I need you both to stay here. Call my mother and let her know what happened. She'll come right over and help you track her."

"Okay, one problem with that," Erica said. "I don't even know what happened." Erica and Sarah looked from Derek's face to where Stiles was shivering and unresponsive under his arm.

"Just… tell her that she got set on fire and ran away," he said quickly and the girls nodded. "And make sure that Laura stays in my apartment." Laura was the doctor in the family and Derek wanted to get Stiles checked over as soon as possible. Derek got the keys from Erica and motioned for the boys to follow him as he walked back to the Camaro, it was almost 2:30am and they had classes tomorrow. Being human, they needed much more sleep than the werewolves and so he would take them home and make sure that they got it.

Derek dropped Boyd back at the campus on the way back to Hale Apartments and Isaac sat in the back with Stiles, talking to him about lacrosse the entire drive because they didn't want him to fall asleep just yet. Derek pulled up in the carpark next to the apartment building and moved quickly to open Stiles' door.

He unbuckled him and pulled him out of the seat, carefully, before walking him inside. Isaac trailed behind them, looking uncertain about what he should do, and so Derek told him to go upstairs and get some sleep. Isaac looked from Derek to Stiles and back again before nodding and heading towards the elevator.

"Hey, you're not falling asleep on me, are you?" He asked Stiles, whose heartrate had slowed down considerably. Stiles made a murmuring noise and so Derek was happy enough that he was at least still half-awake. He moved to his apartment door and Laura must have been waiting for him because she opened it before he even had chance to lift his hand towards the door handle.

"Everyone else left with Mum," she said, explaining why the other werewolves who had been sleeping in Derek's apartment were no-longer there. Derek took Stiles into his bedroom and Stiles made a whimpering sound as Laura removed Derek's jacket from the boy's shoulders before Derek lay him down on the bed.

"Stiles, I'm Laura," she introduced herself as she assessed him quickly and carefully. She ran her fingers along Stiles' wrist and it drew Derek's eye. He realised that there were dark bruises there from where Stiles must have been restrained. "Other than your shoulder, is there anywhere that hurts?" She asked and Stiles' eyes flicked over to her from where they'd been staring up at the ceiling. But he didn't say anything. "Stiles, where are you in pain?" She insisted and eventually he shook his head.

"My arm," he responded and Laura smiled, looking a little less worried.

"And that's it?" She asked and waited for him to nod. "That's good, Stiles. You're very cold right now so I'm going to get Derek to get you some clean dry clothes to change into, does that sound good?" Laura looked from Stiles hands to Derek pointedly. He nodded and moved to pull some of Stiles' clothes out of the drawer he'd given him last week as Laura continued to ask his mate questions: which changed from being medical related to being about Stiles' favourite colour, what day it was, his parent's names, if he'd ever had any pets, etc.

Derek realised that Laura was trying to assess the state of his mind as she searched for other injuries. It didn't take long before she was signalling Derek over to help her get Stiles to sit up.

"Okay, Stiles. I'm going to pop your shoulder back into the socket now. And then I'll leave Derek to get you all cleaned up and dry. How does that sound?" She asked and Stiles smiled, seeming much more coherent now that he'd warmed up a little bit.

"Nurse Derek," he muttered happily and Derek rolled his eyes at him but smiled. Laura looked at them as though she wanted to make a role-playing kink joke, but then she switched back into doctor mode.

"Now, Stiles, this will hurt a bit but I'll take as much of the pain away as is safe," she explained and Stiles' eyes landed back on her, he still looked a little bit glazed-over but it was much better than when he had first entered the apartment. "All I'm going to do is rotate your arm around the shoulder joint a few times to get it to pop back into place. Are you ready?" She asked. Stiles swallowed visibly but nodded, wincing as she lifted him arm.

Laura did exactly as she said and stretched Stiles arm out, gently rotating the join back into the socket and Derek saw the small black veins going up her arm as she took some of Stiles' pain away. Eventually Stiles' shoulder was put back into place, and Stiles grunted in pain as it did, then Laura allowed Stiles to lie back down on the bed.

She left the room and returned with a bowl of warm soapy water and a soft towel for Derek to use to clean Stiles with. And then she left again, shutting the door this time as she went.

"How do you feel?" Derek questioned as he removed Stiles from his clothes and went about wetting the towel and using it to clean him up.

"Odd," Stiles answered simply after a moment of thought and Derek nodded.

"You really don't know what happened out there?" He asked and Stiles shook his head, looking up at Derek with big, wet, eyes. "It's okay, we'll figure it out together," Derek told Stiles and watched as his mate relaxed slightly as though he was worried that Derek would look down on him after what had happened in the woods.

Derek helped Stiles get dressed into the clean clothes and then he climbed into bed with him, wrapping his mate up in his arms and pulling the blanket over their bodies. He buried his nose into Stiles' neck and inhaled deeply.

"I was so scared that I'd lost you," he admitted in a broken voice and Stiles' body shook as he sobbed quietly. "Don't go disappearing on me like that again, okay?"

"Okay," Stiles answered in a broken laugh. Derek held on to Stiles for a little longer and listened to his heartbeat: it wasn't as slow as it had been earlier when Stiles had been going into hypothermic shock and Derek revelled in knowing that Stiles was getting better. He was going to be fine. They both lingered on the edge of sleep and Stiles snuggled closer to Derek's warm body. "Thank you for saving me," he said softly and Derek could smell the salt of tears in the air; he didn't know how to respond so he simply hugged Stiles tighter.

It was a minute later when he heard his apartment door open and someone enter. Derek tensed and was suddenly completely awake. It took him a second to recognise the soft voice conversing with his sister in the other room.

"What is it?" Stiles asked, his heart beating a little faster again and Derek felt bad for waking him up.

"False alarm; it's just my mother," Derek replied softly. "I should go talk to her," he added after a second. But when he started to get up, Stiles' hand shot out and grabbed on to his wrist. Derek looked down at Stiles' worried expression and then wrapped his fingers in between Stiles'. He lifted Stiles' hand to his mouth and kissed him gently. "You're safe here. I won't leave the apartment, I swear," he said but didn't make to move away again until Stiles slowly nodded and pulled his hand away first.

"Don't be long," Stiles insisted and Derek nodded, placing a kiss onto Stiles' forehead before leaving the warmth on the duvet completely. He cast another look at Stiles before leaving the room: he looked so small and tired, but he had some colour back in his skin again now.

Derek closed the door behind him and felt his chest ache as he did so, but he fought past the feeling of dread and kept moving further into the room. Talia pulled him into a hug when he got to her.

"It's over now. She's dead," his mother said softly and Derek relaxed massively. "She was too injured to go very far so we caught up to her pretty quickly."

"No one else was hurt?" He asked as he pulled away from the hug and she shook her head, a gentle smile in place.

"No, her magic was too weak," she replied and it was like a weight had been lifted from Derek's shoulders. After a moment Talia's eyes flickered to his bedroom door where Stiles was resting, his heartbeat still too high to be asleep. Derek considered excusing himself from the conversation so he could tell Stiles that Jennifer couldn't hurt him anymore, but Talia was talking again before he had the chance to. "Erica and Sarah told me what happened," she said and Laura, who had been pretending to mind her own business on the sofa, lifted her head to look their way at Talia's serious tone and alluring words.

"What happened?" Laura asked and Talia looked over to her daughter and then back up to her son, imploring him to explain. He realised then that his mother might not know what Stiles was any more than Derek did.

"Stiles has magic," he said simply after a long pause. "He used it against Jennifer to protect me." Laura put down the book she had been pretending to read and walked closer to them.

"Magic? He's a druid?" She asked and Derek shook his head: he'd seen druids use magic before and it had looked nothing like this. Plus, druids had to study magic to learn to use it but Stiles had been shocked to find out he could do anything like that – it was natural to him, not learnt.

"It didn't seem that way," Derek replied and Laura's eyes skipped to the bedroom door and back again.

"Well, did you ask him about it? What did he say?" She asked.

"That he doesn't know how it happened… it just did."

"That's impossible," Laura argued with a frown on her face and Talia decided to interrupt.

"Not necessarily," she said and they turned to look at their alpha. "There are a few magical beings whose powers lie dormant to them until they're needed. Sometimes they can remain inactive for all of their life, passed down from generation to generation without anyone even realising."

"Why have I never heard of this?" Laura asked, confused.

"They're rare. Or, at least, it's believed that they're rare. There's no true way of saying how many of them are out there." Talia turned her gaze from Laura to Derek. "Deaton knows much more about this than I do; he went back home but I'm sure that he could make time for you and Stiles tomorrow if you went to Beacon Hills. Do you think Stiles would be willing to talk to him?" She asked and Derek nodded.

"I'll have to ask him… but I think so, yes," he said. Stiles was naturally curious and if there was a way of finding more information about wherever this magic had come from, then Derek was sure that Stiles would jump at the chance. Talia nodded and Derek realised she meant for him to talk to Stiles right then, so he backed away and returned to his bedroom.

"Wait," Laura called before Derek had opened the door. She dove back over the sofa to retrieve a scrap of material that was resting on Derek's coffee table. "I made a sling for Stiles' arm." Laura strode back around the sofa and handed the material to Derek with a shrug. "He can swap it for a real one once he gets chance, but he'll need to keep it in a sling for about two weeks as the soft tissues heal. And no contact sports for a least six weeks," she explained seriously and Derek nodded. He back away, opened his bedroom door, and peered inside.

The room was no longer dark as Stiles had turned on the lamp and was sitting up in bed, waiting for Derek to come back. He seemed to relax considerably as he entered the room and Derek gave him a warm smile.

"How are you feeling?" He asked and went to sit on the bed next to Stiles.

"A bit sore," Stiles admitted and winced as he gave a shrug. "I probably shouldn't have done that," Stiles laughed and Derek smiled at him. He reached over and ran his fingertips lightly over Stiles' injured shoulder.

"No, you probably shouldn't have," Derek agreed and Stiles hummed contently as Derek's touch drew away his pain. Derek repeated to Stiles what Laura had said about keeping his arm in a sling for a few weeks and how long it would take for him to heal properly; then he used the home-made sling, that Laura seemed to have made out of one of his towels, to wrap up Stiles' arm and keep it at a right angle.

"I guess that means no more lacrosse," Stiles pouted, glaring down at the innocent material as though it had ruined his life. "So what did your mum say?" He enquired, entwining the fingers of his free hand with Derek's.

"That Jennifer's dead," Derek said. He expected the last of the tension in Stiles' shoulders to melt away and so he was surprised when he seemed to tense even more. "Stiles?" He questioned but Stiles just shook his head.

"Did… did I…?" He stammered out and Derek felt understanding sweep across him. Derek shook his head and pulled Stiles gently into a hug.

"No, Stiles, you didn't kill her," Derek whispered into his hair and Stiles seemed to deflate under his touch.

"Oh, thank God," he breathed. "I mean; I know she wasn't a good person, but still…" Derek nodded his head in understanding. Taking a life was no small thing. Memories of Paige flooded Derek's mind and he remembered how empty he'd felt after he'd killed her. As a werewolf he had been taught by his alpha at a young age how painful it was to take someone else's life, even when it was in self-defence… even when killing them would save countless others. But no amount of lessons had ever prepared him for how it would feel to end someone's life and he was glad that Stiles' didn't have to experience that particular agony.

"There's more," Derek started after Stiles had calmed down in his arms. Stiles pulled back so that he could look Derek in his eyes. "My mum knows someone who knows a lot about magic. He might be able to help us figure out what happened today." Stiles stared at Derek for a moment and then his gaze fell to the floor and he got lost in thought. He nodded a moment later.

"I want to meet him," Stiles agreed. "I need to know what I am."

Chapter Text

Stiles woke up only a few hours later in Derek's arms with his boyfriend gazing down at him.

"Hey," he muttered around a yawn and Derek smiled at him, kissing him on the forehead.

"How do you feel?" Derek asked and Stiles thought about the question for a little while. His arm ached but it was more of a dull throb than a searing shooting pain now. It also felt a bit restless from being in a sling all night while he'd slept and Stiles felt the urge to stretch it out and feel his wrist click… but he resisted, knowing that it would do him no good and likely just cause him pain.

"Better," he replied. The memory of what had happened in the woods last night left a sour taste in his mouth and he tried to pass it off as only a bad dream. But no matter how surreal it had been to see that gold energy shooting out of his hands, the feeling it had left in his body was just too real. Stiles had felt alive. It was like he'd been given a huge dose of adrenaline, only without the inevitable memory loss because he remembered every second of it with vivid detail.

Jennifer had knocked him unconscious but he'd woken up just in time to see her send Derek flying back into a tree. With a blink of an eye his world exploded, like the universe had woken up around him: he could feel the energy of the trees and the dirt, the bugs and the clouds, everything. He drew it into himself on instinct and it became tangible. He hadn't meant to set Jennifer on fire, but all he could think of was protecting Derek from her and it had just… happened.

Slowly the energy had drained from his body, sinking into his hands before finally returning back to the ground. When it had left him the world had seemed deafly quiet. The energy had been warm and welcoming and so when it was gone Stiles was cold, outside and in, like his bones were made of ice. He instantly craved for the energy again and that scared him more than Jennifer did.

He felt more like himself again now, though.

"Laura's still here," Derek whispered. "Is that okay?" Stiles nodded and Derek pulled him up to get some breakfast.

"Good morning!" Laura sang as they left the bedroom and entered the kitchen. Stiles had been pretty zoned out for most of last night and he felt his stomach tighten at the realisation that that would forever be Laura's first impression of him. "I'm making some eggs, do you guys want some?" She asked and Derek's eyebrows drew together in a frown.

"You mean, do I want some of my eggs from my cupboard in my apartment? Yes, Laura, I'd love some," Derek muttered as they walked towards the table.

"Oh, don't be grumpy. It's not like you can do anything with eggs other than make an omelette. I, however, can make them anyway you'd like." She beamed. "So, what will it be?"

"An omelette," Derek deadpanned.

"How predictable," Laura scoffed, rolling her eyes playfully. Stiles sat at the table and Derek kissed his cheek before moving to the fridge. "How about you, Stiles?" She asked, turning a bright smile his way.

"Nothing for me, thanks," he replied quietly.

"You're not hungry?" She asked and Stiles shook his head, his stomach was in knots thinking about going to see Talia's 'expert' and finding out what kind of magical being he was.

It was odd to think about: when he was a kid he would have loved to have powers. Hell, last week he would have loved to have powers. But after being attacked by a werewolf, kidnapped by a druid, and accidentally setting someone on fire… he was a bit nervous.

"Where's Mum?" Derek asked his sister as she handed him a jug with two cracked eggs inside.

"In DC. She left after you fell asleep. But she told me to tell you that, when you come home for your birthday in a couple of weeks, that you have to bring Stiles with you. She wants to meet you properly," Laura said turning to face Stiles. "But she thought it might be a bit too overwhelming right now after everything that just happened."

Stiles smiled. He was thankful, at least, that he still had a few weeks left to prepare before he met the rest of Derek's family. Stiles watched Derek and Laura make their breakfasts and he stood up.

"Do you have my apartment keys?" He asked, taking a quick look around the kitchen and Derek looked over to him with a frown?

"You want to go up there?" His voice was carefully blank but Stiles could read the hesitation between his words. He understood why Derek would be cautious… Stiles didn't exactly feel thrilled at the idea of going back to the place where he had been attacked, not once but twice. But, he lived there. He couldn't exactly avoid the place.

"Yeah, I need to get my wallet and phone," he replied awkwardly and, after a long few seconds, Derek nodded.

"Top drawer by the door."

"I'll be back down soon," Stiles replied with a weak smile. He grabbed his keys and left Derek's apartment as calmly as possible. Walking back into 3D was more difficult than he thought it would be. He stared at the sign on his door for at least a minute before he finally got the nerve up to unlock it.

Stiles didn't quite know what he was expecting to see… but everything was still in its place: there wasn't a single overturned chair or broken glass and that was somehow more disturbing than if it had looked like a crime scene. He'd been abducted from this room and there wasn't anything to suggest it'd happened. His hands were shaking as he walked to get his phone and wallet from the table. He accidently pressed the power button and the screen turned on; it was dull and there was a low battery warning so he unsteadily grabbed his charger from the plug at the far wall.

He couldn't think of anything else that he needed so he turned quickly and began to march out of the room. On his way out he trod on something that felt like fine grit underneath his shoe, he looked down and saw a purple powder sprinkled lightly over his floor. For a second he felt calm; finally, some proof of what had happened here… but then he remembered all too clearly the way that Jennifer had made it float in the air and Stiles felt his throat close up.

He jumped away from the powder, stumbling a bit as he quickly made his way out of his apartment without another look back. He slammed the door closed behind him and fumbled with the keys to get it locked, which was made an even more difficult task by the fact that his dominant arm was now in a sling, before finally slumping against the door. He took a deep breath to calm himself down again before climbing to his feet and taking the elevator back down to the ground floor.

He was conscious of the way his heart was beating a little too quickly as he walked back into apartment 1A, but thankfully neither werewolf in the room mentioned it. Stiles plugged his phone into one of the kitchen sockets and fell into the chair next to Derek.

"How's your arm feeling today, Stiles?" Laura asked with a wide smile and Stiles resisted the urge to shrug.

"It's throbbing a bit but much better, thank you," he replied as nonchalantly as possible.

"I'm glad," she said sincerely. "Once it's out of the sling I'll send you a video of shoulder exercises that you should try, to help get some muscle strength back," she commented and then got up from the table to wash her plate at the sink. Laura put the plate on the drying rack and left the room. She came back a moment later with an overnight bag and told them she was going back home. She hugged Derek and then, surprisingly, Stiles before leaving.

After that, Derek helped Stiles out of his clothes and they showered together, though it was more for convenience… there wasn't anything sexual about it. They got dressed and Stiles checked his phone as Derek got ready to leave for Beacon Hills.

Scott had texted him while they'd been in the shower and so he unlocked his phone, with difficulty because apparently he wasn't very good at typing with only the use of his left hand, and read the text. It was odd to realise that yesterday he had been kidnapped and almost sacrificed, with his shoulder dislocated in the process, and yet his best friend had no idea about any of it. It felt like they were leading two completely different lives now and it was… disconcerting, at best.

From: Scott
Received: 7:11am
Craving five guys. Want to get burgers with me at lunch?

To: Scott
Sent: 11:26am
I can't today. I'm going back home for a few hours

Stiles slowly typed out the text and stared at the screen until Scott replied.

From: Scott
Received: 7:26am
Is everything ok?

To: Scott
Sent: 11:28am
Pretty much, I'll explain tomorrow

Stiles felt something twist in his stomach as he skirted around what had happened yesterday. He wished he could tell Scott the truth but he would have to get Derek, Erica, Sarah and probably Allison to agree to it first. He would have to talk to them. Soon.

Until then, he just had to come up with a lie to explain to Scott about his impromptu visit back home and dislocated shoulder…

"Hey. You ready to go?" Derek asked as he came back in the room with a small, seemingly empty, duffel bag. Stiles stared at it and tried to quirk his eyebrow at his boyfriend but probably failed miserably.

"What's that for?" Derek looked at the bag and then back to Stiles.

"Snacks," he replied as though it was obvious.

"You don't eat snacks…" Stiles pointed out and unplugged his phone from the wall, locking it and shoving it into his pocket along with his wallet.

"No. But you do. And Laura informed me that a road trip requires junk food." Derek's face was completely serious and Stiles couldn't help but smile as he shrugged his one good shoulder.

"She's not wrong."

"Good," Derek smiled. "So, you ready to go?"

"Yep." Derek turned to leave the kitchen and Stiles squinted his eyes at his boyfriend's back before following him. "Aren't you going to fill up the bag?" He asked, confused and Derek shook his head.

"Apparently beetroot chips and energy bars don't make good junk food," he muttered. "So we have to stop at a shop on the way."

"But… if we have to go to a shop anyway then why don't we just use the carrier bags that they give us instead of a duffel bag that looks more like it should be carrying weapons rather than tasty treats?" Stiles bickered and smiled when Derek turned a disapproving look his way.

"Because this way is better for the environment," he pointed out and Stiles nodded, making his face serious.

"Of course."

"I'm not going to get drawn into this argument with you again, Stiles," Derek sighed and Stiles grinned; this was the most normal he had felt all week.

[] [] []

When Derek and Stiles arrived in Beacon Hills it was almost 10am and so Derek explained that they'd be meeting Deaton at his work. This was the first time that Stiles was hearing the name of the guy that they were supposed to talk to and he found himself frowning at the familiarity of it.

It shouldn't surprise him that he might know the so called 'magic expert' in Beacon Hills, considering how small the town was, but it did. It was an odd feeling thinking that someone he possibly knew since he was a baby, maybe one of his former neighbours or an ex-teacher, could have had this secret second life.

Stiles balked as Derek pulled the Camaro up outside the vet's office. He looked from the building ahead of them and back to his boyfriend in the driver's seat with a slack jaw as he suddenly remembered how he knew that name.

"Are you kidding me? Deaton as in the vet?" He asked in a hushed voice and Derek shrugged.

"Seems like. You know him?"

"Scott used to work for him." In his mind Stiles had been picturing a guy with long curly hair who dressed in hemp clothes and listened to new-age music. And that was definitely not Dr. Deaton. Deaton was just so… normal. Derek took Stiles' hand in his own and gave it a brief squeeze.

"Are you ready?" He asked after a moment of Stiles staring blankly out of the window and Stiles blinked a few times before nodding.

"Yeah. Let's get this over with." Derek dropped his hand so they could both climb out of the car, but once they were standing next to each other he reached out and grabbed it again. Stiles interlocked their fingers and allowed the skin on skin contact to soothe his growing nerves.

For a moment he wondered if the werewolf pain magic that Derek had told him about worked on emotional pain too, or if he was just relaxing because it made him feel better to know that Derek was there for him. He wanted to ask but they were soon inside the clinic and several of Deaton's clients were sat only feet away from them in the waiting room.

Derek led Stiles to the desk where a young boy, probably only fifteen, smiled at them.

"Can I help you?" The boy asked in a fake-cheerful voice.

"Derek Hale and Stiles Stilinski," Derek muttered. "Deaton is expecting us."

"He's just with someone at the moment but I'll let him know that you're here," the boy said and retreated into the back of the clinic. Stiles and Derek waited a couple of minutes at the front desk before Deaton came into view. After saying goodbye to a man holding a cat-carrier, Deaton turned his smile on Stiles and Derek. He opened the gate and ushered them through.

"Mr. Stilinski," Deaton said after they took a seat in his office. "It's good to see you again."

"And you," he replied on instinct.

"So, Derek's mother filled me in on what happened after I left. But I would like to know from your own words, Stiles… if you are comfortable with that, obviously," Deaton said as he made himself comfy in his chair. Derek squeezed his hand again and Stiles nodded. He looked down at his and Derek's interlocked fingers because it was easier to explain to his boyfriend than it was to Deaton.

The words were difficult to find but Stiles eventually gave them a fairly decent account of what happened the previous night. This was the first time that Derek was hearing about the rush of power and how cold the magic had made him feel once it left and he knew that his boyfriend would have been dragging him into his arms by now if they were alone. But, unfortunately, they weren't. When he finished his short explanation his eyes skipped to Derek's face before he looked back to Deaton.

The vet nodded minutely before standing back up and going towards his bookshelf. He ran his fingers along the hardback books there for a moment as he spoke.

"This explains a lot..." he muttered, still searching for the right book title.

"Care to share your wisdom there, Doc.?" Stiles muttered and saw Derek smirk at him. Deaton seemed to find what he was looking for and he turned back to the two of them with a polite smile.

"You're a spark," he said as though that meant anything to Stiles. "It's similar to a druid in many ways except your abilities are much stronger and more innate." He skimmed through the large book for a moment as he spoke and Stiles frowned when he saw that the dustcover was for a cookbook.

Deaton found the page he was looking for and passed it to Stiles, who had to drop Derek's hand to be able to hold it. He realised pretty quickly that the dustcover was there just to draw attention away from book as it most definitely didn't hold recipes inside its pages. Stiles' eyes skimmed the page in front of him without taking any of the information in as his attention just kept being drawn back to the drawing at the top: a sketch of a woman surrounded by a glow of golden energy looking ethereal and dangerous.

"You're very powerful, Stiles, and very rare too. I'd love to help you explore your abilities," Deaton said, sounding almost excited, but Stiles just felt sick.

"Powerful? How powerful?" He mumbled and Derek brushed his hand over Stiles'.

"That's hard to say, exactly. Like all magical beings you have a certain amount of power that you can tap into right away, but to find the full extent of your magic would take training: the more you practice the more your powers will grow." Stiles placed the book back down on Deaton's desk and took a deep breath but Deaton kept talking. "The first thing we would need to do is to switch the emotional trigger from pain to something less harmful…"

"What do you mean?" Derek asked.

"Well, from what your mother and Stiles have both told me, it sounds like his link to his power is through pain. Emotional and, perhaps, physical: emotional pain when you were both separated which allowed him to recall the memories which were taken from him, and again when he saw the Darach hurt you in the woods which caused him to reach into the earth's energy to protect you."

Deaton turned to Stiles before continuing, but Stiles couldn't make eye contact anymore.

"And it's possible, Stiles, that the physical pain from your dislocated shoulder caused your magic to reach out to the mate bond and call for Derek's help," Deaton summarised. "But, obviously, we don't want to cause you pain so that you can use your magic; so we'll just have to find another emotion that your powers work well enough with to allow you to practice."

"So, for now, as long as I don't let myself get hurt then I won't accidently use it?" Stiles asked and Deaton frowned before nodding.

"I suppose that would work, yes."

"Good. I need some air," Stiles announced and stood up. Deaton looked surprised by his reaction but Derek was already moving to follow him. Stiles heard Deaton's voice as he left the office but didn't make out what he was saying and didn't turn back to listen. He knew it was rude but he just really needed to get out of there. Three times. He'd used magic three times without ever meaning to. And that was just what they knew about, who knew how many times he had used magic in the past!

"Are you okay?" Derek asked a moment later having followed him outside. Stiles nodded but then he noticed that Derek was holding Deaton's book.

"Why do you have that?" He asked in a voice that was supposed to be angry but just came out sounding broken. Derek unlocked his car and threw the book onto the backseat before bringing Stiles in for a hug.

"He said you could borrow it," Derek replied in a soft and warm voice and Stiles closed his eyes as he sunk into his boyfriend's arms. "And I know you don't want to read it right now, but I thought that you might change your mind. If this time next week you still don't want to read it then I'll send it back." Stiles nodded against Derek's chest and stayed there until his racing heartbeat calmed down and he felt less sick again.

"I don't want to use the magic again," he explained without opening his eyes or moving away in the slightest. "Not ever." Derek ran his hand up and down Stiles' back and nodded.

"Why not?" Derek asked after a pause and Stiles bit his lip before finally pulling back. He looked up into Derek's concerned big brown eyes and admitted the thing that had been scaring him ever since the golden energy had faded from his hands last night.

"Because I don't want to become like her. Or Peter. I don't want to lose myself because of my power," he admitted and felt his eyes start to sting.

"Stiles… you could never become like them," Derek said, so sure that what he was saying was true. Stiles felt his tears slip past his eyes and Derek pulled him back into a hug, allowing Stiles to cry on his shoulder.

[] [] []

When Stiles calmed down and pulled himself back together they climbed inside Derek's Camaro and sat for a moment as they let the heater take away the lingering chill from the winter air. Stiles' eyes flickered to the wing mirror and he noticed red spots on his cheeks and forehead from crying, which he tried to rub away with no success. As he was staring at his pitiful reflection, Derek spoke up.

"So, it's only half ten and we both have the rest of the day off already. What do you feel like doing?" He asked and Stiles bit his lip.

"I want to see my dad," he answered honestly in a quiet voice. He'd been through a lot of stress and pain since he last saw his dad at Christmas: having been attacked by Peter, getting his memories about said attack wiped, being dumped, thinking he was losing his mind, remembering the attack, being kidnapped and almost murdered by a psychopath, and now finding out that he has magic…

Yeah, he knew that he couldn't tell his father about any of that because it sounded insane and would likely end up with him getting locked up in Eichen House… (Which, according to Derek, wasn't exactly the best place to go to get away from magical psychopaths since it apparently housed all of California's criminals that were too dangerous and magical to be held in a regular jail.) But, even though he couldn't tell his dad the truth, he still wanted to see him again.

"We could do that," Derek said slowly and Stiles felt himself smile.

"Really?" He asked and Derek nodded.

"Sure. Why not."

"You're the best boyfriend," Stiles said and kissed Derek quickly. Derek turned the key and started the car before driving to the gas station to top up his car. When Derek got out of the car and started to refuel, Stiles awkwardly got the phone from his pocket, struggling because of his shoulder in the sling, and called his dad's mobile. It rang for a little while before the Sheriff finally picked up.

"Hey, Stiles, How are you?" He asked with an obvious smile on his face.

"I'm good," Stiles said automatically and was reminded that that wasn't quite true when his arm throbbed suddenly. "Mostly, anyway. Look, I'm actually in Beacon Hills…"

"What have you done?" His dad sighed and Stiles frowned down at his lap.

"Nothing!" He replied, affronted. "I just… had to pick up a rare book for my course," he lied after a glance back at the book on Deaton's backseat of Derek's car. "But I've got it now and I thought we could go for an early lunch or something. You do have the day off today, right?" He asked as he struggled to remember what his father's work times were for this month.

"Yes, I'm free," his dad said. "And I'd love to grab some food. How far away are you?"

"Gas station on Main's Street. So I'll be at the house in ten minutes," Stiles answered and they said goodbye before he ended the call, just as Derek climbed back into the driver's seat. Stiles gave his boyfriend instructions to get from the petrol station to his house and as the minutes ticked by he became more and more nervous. By the time they got to his street he was sweating.

"Stiles, what's wrong?" Derek frowned and Stiles gave him a nervous smile. "You didn't tell him I was coming, did you?" He guessed and Stiles shook his head.

"He doesn't even know you exist…" Stiles admitted just as Derek pulled up in front of the house. Derek shook his head as he looked up the driveway at the patrol car in the drive.

"Did you at least tell him that you're bi?"

Nope. "Of course," he lied and Derek closed his eyes tight before turning off the car. Stiles waited but Derek said nothing else and so they both climbed out. The tension was thick as they walked down the path and towards Stiles' childhood home. He opened the door and called out for his dad.

"In the kitchen!" Came his father's reply and Stiles closed the front door behind them before leading Derek further into his house. He entered the kitchen first with Derek trailing behind him and lingering in the doorway.

"Hey, Dad," he muttered with fake-calm. His dad was just rinsing out a cup and facing away from Stiles, after putting the cup on the drying board he turned around with a wide grin on his face which flattened almost instantly when he saw Stiles' arm was in a sling. Then, after a long second, the sheriff's eyes landed on the stranger in the doorway. "This is Derek," Stiles continued after a deep breath. "My boyfriend."

Stiles waited and watched for any kind of negative reaction, but his dad seemed to be keeping his face blank on purpose. He swallowed and bit his lip to stop him from babbling, hoping that his dad would just say something. After a second, Derek stepped further into the room and offered the sheriff his hand.

"Nice to meet you, Sir," he said politely with a charming smile. "I've heard a lot about you."

"Wish that I could say the same," the sheriff muttered but shook Derek's hand anyway. His face was still carefully blank, though, and once he dropped Derek's hand his eyes flitted back to Stiles. "What happened to your arm, Son?"

"I took a bad fall while practicing lacrosse with Isaac yesterday," he answered without pause, using the lie that he had made up during the car ride to Beacon Hills and had already talked Isaac into backing up. "It was dislocated. But Derek's sister was visiting, and she's a doctor, so she popped it back in free-of-charge," he ended with a smile but the sheriff just frowned at his son as though he was trying to figure out whether he was lying. Stiles had the biggest urge to start babbling but he knew that the more information you gave the weaker the lie sounded. Short and sweet was the way to go.

"So, how long have you been seeing each other?" He finally asked and Stiles shrugged, wincing at the pain in his shoulder.

"About four months," Stiles attempted to say nonchalantly and his dad lifted an eyebrow in surprise, the only emotion apart from suspicion that he had let slip so far. "So… that early lunch is sounding pretty good right now." Stiles laughed stiffly and after a moment the sheriff nodded and took a step back.

"Right. Let me just grab my wallet." Stiles' dad momentarily left the room and Stiles had just enough time to mime the words 'I'm sorry' to Derek before they followed. Outside, the sheriff noticed Derek's Camaro parked in front of the house and he frowned. "That yours?" He asked, his tone gruff even though his words didn't seem very threatening.

"Yes, Sir." Derek's politeness didn't seem to be getting him very far with Stiles' dad, though.

"Little ostentatious, isn't it?" He muttered and they all climbed into the patrol car. The ride to the diner was awkward and quiet, but it got worse when they got to there and Stiles' dad stared Derek down as he began asking him a relentless amount of questions.

They were all perfectly normal things for a father to ask, like how old Derek was and what he did for a living to afford such a nice car, but the way that he said them made it seem like he was testing Derek for weaknesses.

After they received their drinks and ordered their main course, Derek excused himself to go to the toilets, though Stiles wouldn't be surprised if he was just retreating to a safe space where the sheriff wouldn't bombard him with questions.

Stiles waited until Derek was out of earshot, not that it mattered for werewolves anyway, before turning on his Dad. He glared at him for a moment and the sheriff just shrugged.

"What?"

"Don't act like that; you know what you're doing!" Stiles accused. "Stop treating Derek like he's a bad guy."

"I'm just worried about you, Stiles. I'm looking out for you," his dad replied earnestly before taking a sip of his drink and Stiles mentally prepared himself for what he was about to say and how his father might react.

"Look, I'm sorry for springing my coming out on you like this. But Derek is great, he really is, and just because I'm dating a guy doesn't mean you have to worry about me," Stiles announced slowly, carefully selecting each word. But instead of some biting comment that would probably rip Stiles up inside, his dad just laughed. It was a pretty loud, full-belly, laugh too and it made Stiles blush as he noticed everyone in the diner was turning to look their way.

"Stiles," his father said fondly, showing him none of the anger that he'd been expecting. "I've known you are gay for years. Of course that's not what worries me…" and, like that, Stiles deflated. "What worries me is that you've apparently been dating this guy for four months and you never so much as mentioned his name to me. I want to know what's so awful about him that you felt the need to hide your first serious relationship from me. I just want to make sure that he had nothing to do with that," the sheriff gestured to Stiles' dislocated shoulder as he finished and Stiles shook his head violently.

"He didn't hurt me, Dad, he wouldn't. I swear!" Stiles insisted and after a long moment his dad accepted the answer. "I only kept him a secret because… I don't know why I kept him a secret, actually. I was just worried how you would react, I guess. But he's a really great guy, Dad," Stiles ended sincerely and the sheriff eventually nodded.

"Okay, just… please don't think that you have to keep anything from me, Stiles. I love you no matter what."

"I love you too, Dad," he ended and the sheriff pulled him into a quick hug, careful not to squeeze his injured shoulder. After that, the meal was moderately normal. There were still the odd awkward moment but his dad wasn't going out of his way to make Derek feel uncomfortable anymore.

Stiles soaked up family time with his dad for a little longer after they finished eating but all-too-soon they were getting back into the patrol car and saying goodbye outside of his childhood home. The sheriff hugged Stiles goodbye and then shook Derek's hand, leaving him with a friendly "nice to meet you, Son" before Stiles and Derek climbed into the Camaro and drove away.

Stiles watched the image of his family home grow smaller and smaller in the wing mirror and he sighed as his nerves about going back to his apartment began to return.

"I suppose that wasn't too bad," Derek admitted after a moment. "Though I'm thankful I'll never have to do it again," he joked and his smile was so relaxed and beautiful that it took Stiles' breath away.

"Huh?" He asked, momentarily dazzled by his boyfriend.

"I told you, Stiles. You're my mate. You're it for me. I want only you for the rest of my life." Derek's words made Stiles' heart beat faster and he smiled goofily.

"That sounds nice," he admitted. It was kind of strange, actually. He was only eighteen, the thought of being with the same man for the rest of his life should scare him… but it didn't. They drove back to the apartment building and it was only when they were parked up and about to head inside that Stiles' nerves returned. He took a deep breath and moved to climb out of the car, but Derek stopped him by gently grabbing his wrist.

"Move in with me," he said suddenly and Stiles blinked for a moment.

"What?"

"I know that you don't want to go back up there," damn werewolf senses, "and I understand why. But maybe you'd feel safer in my apartment. With me," Derek finished and for a moment Stiles wasn't sure how to respond. He imagined what it would be like to wake up in Derek's arms every morning and have someone waiting for him when he came home from a stressful day. He couldn't help but smile at the thought and so he nodded.

"I'd like that," he replied and leaned forward just enough to brush his lips against his boyfriend's. His mate's.