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you make me lose my confidence

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If you ask Jackson, the most infuriating person in the world, by a landslide, is Stiles Stilinski.

It isn’t for the reasons you would think, though. It’s not the way he never stops running his mouth, or his tragic sense of style, or the fact that he’s the biggest dork on the face of the planet. Because somehow, god help him, Jackson actually finds all of that endearing.

No, his fundamental problem with Stiles is simply his complete indifference toward Jackson.

For as long as he can remember, everyone he’s ever met has been putty in his hands. All he has to do is flash them a smile, use some of his patented Whittemore Charm, and they’ll give him whatever he wants. Stiles, though? Stiles just…either doesn’t notice, or doesn’t care.

It’s a major blow to his ego, and the more Stiles ignores him, the more determined Jackson becomes to get his attention. So much so that he resorts to pigtail pulling, because he has no idea what he’s doing, okay? He’s never had to work this hard to get someone to notice him.

The problem with that, though, is that this isn’t elementary school, and Stiles isn’t a little kid who spends all his time wondering why Jackson’s so mean to him until his parents sit him down and explain that he’s picking on him because he has a crush on him. Stiles stands his ground, and fights back, and then this thing between them escalates into a full-on rivalry that Jackson has no idea how to navigate.

Don’t get him wrong; he likes fighting with Stiles. It’s exciting, and kind of a turn on, honestly, to have someone that can keep up with his snarky banter so effortlessly. He doesn’t want that to change, necessarily, but he’d like to maybe kiss him in between insults, or get a little rough with him in bed, not just on the lacrosse field.

 

If he’s being completely honest, Jackson only gets back together with Lydia in a misguided attempt to make Stiles jealous.

He kisses her in the hallways at school any time Stiles is in their general vicinity, and revels in the way his eyes go wide and he unconsciously licks his lips. Because even though it’s Lydia he wants, at least he’s looking at him.

He loves her, but she’s his best friend. They don’t work together, mostly because neither of them really want to work together. Jackson’s preoccupied with Stiles, and Lydia likes being the center of attention.

Being with her isn’t exactly a hardship, though. After all, she knows him well.

“I’ve seen the way you look at Stiles,” she tells him one night when they’re in bed, and Jackson freezes, because while they both know their relationship is just for appearances, they’ve never actually talked about it.

He considers denying it, but really, what’s the point?

“It’s okay, sweetie,” Lydia says, climbing on top of him and straddling his hips. “I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about it. Those fingers of his are probably really talented, don’t you think?”

Jackson has no idea how to respond to that, but the moan he lets slip is answer enough.

“I bet what really drives you crazy are his lips, though, huh? They were made for blowjobs. You’d love to finally shut him up and put that mouth to good use, wouldn’t you, Jackson?”

“God, yeah,” Jackson breathes, biting his lip as Lydia grinds down against him.

“Would you let him top you, too? You act like you’re the one in charge, but what you really want is for him to pin you down, just like this, and take whatever he wants from you, right?”

Jackson nods, closes his eyes and imagines it’s Stiles pressed against him.

“You’d be such a good little slut for him, wouldn’t you, sweetheart? Just for Stiles?” Lydia purrs, and that’s all it takes to make Jackson lose it.

He would be embarrassed about coming in his pants like he’s thirteen again, but it was so good that he can’t find it in him to care.

 

God, he hates McCall so much.

He hates how much Stiles fucking adores him, how inseparable they are, how kind and decent and good he is, because Jackson can never be that. He’s the spoiled, pretty boy rich kid that treats everyone like shit because he can. He doesn’t know how to be nice.

When McCall all of the sudden becomes a lacrosse superstar overnight, though, that’s the last straw. This is Jackson’s turf, and he’s not gonna let anyone take it away from him, least of all Scott McCall.

Jackson asks him about it point-blank, but all he gets is puppy dog eyes and an oblivious act, so he turns to Stiles for answers.

“Seriously, what kind of shit is McCall taking?” he asks him at his locker after school, on one of the rare occasions Stiles is actually alone and not attached to Scott at the hip.

“What’s wrong, Jackson? Can’t handle someone being better than you at something for once?” Stiles says, flashing him a pointed look.

“He’s not better than me, dumbass. No one is,” Jackson argues, and Stiles rolls his eyes.

“God, spare me the narcissistic shit, dude. I really don’t have time to listen to you bitch about your fragile ego or your superiority complex, okay? Some of us have real problems,” he says dismissively, then promptly slams his locker shut and walks away.

He doesn’t know what makes him go after Stiles, but he does. He follows him outside and leans against the Jeep, crossing his arms and wearing his best unimpressed bitch face.

Stiles, for his part, just huffs. “If you’re looking for an apology, you’re not gonna get one.”

Jackson shrugs, aiming for nonchalance. “You just seem even more neurotic than usual today. Thought you might wanna talk about whatever’s got that stick up your ass.”

It’s not the most eloquent way to say ‘hey, I care about you and I’m here to listen,’ but it’s the closest Jackson’s ever managed to get, so he’ll take it.

Stiles is quiet for a minute, thinking it over, and then shrugs. “You wanna go get a milkshake or something?”

Jackson nods and gets in the car, smiling to himself.

 

“He’s a werewolf?” Jackson repeats, because he needs to clarify that he actually heard that right.

Stiles sighs. “You don’t believe me, do you?” he asks, looking defeated, and Jackson shakes his head.

“No, I do. It explains why he actually has some semblance of talent all of the sudden.”

“You’re such an asshole,” Stiles says, but he’s laughing while he says it, and Jackson can’t keep the grin off his face.

“It’s my fault that it happened. I convinced him to come out with me that night, and he got bit. And I feel like shit about it, and I’m trying to help him, and all he cares about is getting into Allison’s pants. And I don’t know, maybe I’m just bitter and I don’t get it because I don’t have anyone that wants me like that, but there’s more serious shit going on, you know? He could hurt someone, and he won’t even listen to me.”

For a second, Jackson’s distracted, because someone most definitely does want him like that, and he thinks about what it might be like to have that with Stiles, to be so ridiculously into each other that nothing else matters.

“Sorry,” Stiles adds, pulling Jackson back from his thoughts. “I know you don’t care. But thanks for…listening to that.”

I do care, Jackson wants to say, but the words won’t leave his mouth.

“For what it’s worth, McCall’s an idiot,” he says instead. “Everyone knows you’re the smart one. If he doesn’t listen to you and he ends up doing something stupid, that’s on him.”

“Thanks, I think,” Stiles says, chuckling. “Just don’t tell him I told you, okay?”

“Please. Like I’d be caught dead talking to him,” Jackson replies, rolling his eyes.

Stiles laughs and shakes his head. “You’re talking to me,” he points out.

Jackson shrugs. “Yeah, well, you’re not so bad.”

Stiles smiles at him, and Jackson could definitely get used to being on the receiving end of that.

 

Lydia’s an angel, and she wants him to be happy, so she invites Stiles, Scott, and Allison to go bowling with them one weekend.

“It took some convincing. He really didn’t wanna be the fifth wheel, but I told him it wouldn’t be like that at all,” she says, and Jackson kisses her head in a silent thank you. “Be nice, okay? I swear to god, if I see you acting like a douchebag, I’ll kill you.”

Jackson laughs and nods, because if Lydia can do all this for him, then he can certainly do whatever she says, especially when it’s for his own good.

He sits next to Stiles at the bowling alley, which seems to surprise him, but he doesn’t protest. They talk about the book they’re reading for English, and Jackson smiles smugly when Stiles looks at him in surprise, clearly impressed, and tells him he’s more than just a pretty face after all.

They share unamused looks and eye rolls any time Scott and Allison do something annoying and sappy, and Stiles leans in close to him while they laugh together, like it’s a private joke for just the two of them.

He teases Stiles when he bowls a bad frame, which is most of them, honestly, and listens intently to all of Stiles’ many stories and anecdotes, and it’s comfortable. Jackson’s not always the biggest talker, so it’s nice to have someone to fill the silence.

“Jacks, will you guys go get us something to eat?” Lydia calls over to him, winking, and Jackson smiles gratefully at her and nods.

 

“How are things going with McCall?” Jackson asks once they’re alone.

Stiles shrugs. “Okay. He’s getting better at staying calm, but the full moon’s coming up soon, and I’m worried about it. Plus, he says it gets harder to control it when he’s messing around with Allison, which is all he ever wants to do anymore, so, you know, that’s not ideal.”

“Gotta love that cruel irony,” Jackson says, and Stiles laughs.

“I know, right?” he says, glancing over at their lane where Allison’s sitting in Scott’s lap with her arms around his neck, giggling. “God, maybe I am just lonely and jealous. Pathetic, huh?”

“No,” Jackson answers, and before he gives himself a chance to start overthinking it and lose his nerve, he backs Stiles against the wall and kisses him.

It’s hot, and fast, and it gives Jackson the same rush that he gets when they’re screaming at each other, just multiplied by a million. When they pull away, they’re both panting.

“Do you wanna…?” Jackson starts, nodding to the door, and Stiles nods.

“Yeah.”

 

They end up in the backseat of Jackson’s car, with Stiles on top of him and Jackson’s legs spread to make room for him between them.

For half a second, Stiles hesitates like he’s not sure what to do, but then Jackson grabs a fistful of his shirt and pulls him closer, and that sparks something in Stiles. He leans in for another kiss and parts his lips, taking control and doing things with his tongue that make Jackson melt.

Stiles kisses him the same way he fights with him: roughly, and mercilessly, and passionately, and Jackson is absolutely powerless to it. He runs his fingers over Stiles’ buzzed hair and wishes he had something to grab onto, but judging by the moan Stiles lets out at the touch, it still achieves the desired effect.

Stiles slips a hand up his shirt and Jackson feels like he’s on fire, his skin tingling under Stiles’ touch. He breaks the kiss to catch his breath and starts mouthing at Stiles’ neck instead, delighting in the desperate little noises he gets in response. Stiles’ fingers find a nipple and pinch gently and Jackson whines, arching toward Stiles, who watches him in fascination.

As far as words go, Stiles is surprisingly quiet, but his hums and moans and whines are positively filthy and could put any porn star to shame. Jackson can’t get enough of it. He slides his hands into the back pockets of Stiles’ jeans, pulling him impossibly closer, and they both gasp at the friction when they rub against each other.

Honestly, Jackson would be perfectly happy to stay there all night, but eventually Stiles pulls away, resting his forehead on Jackson’s shoulder as they both catch their breath.

“I definitely see where Scott’s coming from now,” Stiles says, and Jackson laughs, resting a hand on Stiles’ jaw and pulling him in for another, softer kiss.

Stiles climbs off of Jackson, straightening his clothes and pulling on his collar to try and cover up the marks Jackson left. “We should get back to everyone.”

Jackson agrees and follows him back into the bowling alley, shrugging everyone off when they ask why it took them so long to bring them their nachos.

 

Stiles goes back to ignoring him after that, and Jackson’s so confused and more than a little hurt, if he’s being honest.

“What the hell happened with you two? You were getting along so well the other day,” Lydia says after Stiles walks right by them without a word, like they’re not even there.

“I have no idea,” Jackson says, shrugging. “It was fine, it was good, we were having a good time. We even made out in my car, and now he’s just acting like it never even happened, and—”

Lydia cuts him off with a smack to his arm. “Are you kidding me, Jackson?”

Ow,” he hisses, glaring at her. “What?”

“You and I are dating, dumbass. We were all there together. He thinks you’re cheating on me, and I have no idea, and he’s your dirty little secret.”

Oh. Right.

“Fuck,” Jackson says with a sigh. “I have to—”

You are not going to do anything. I’m going to fix this, because clearly, you’re incapable and I have to do everything myself,” Lydia says matter-of-factly, but she softens when she sees how upset he is.

“Hey, it’s okay. We’ll figure it out,” she says, patting his shoulder, and Jackson has no idea what he did to deserve her.

“Thanks, Lyd.”

 

When Lydia tells him to show up at the winter formal dressed his best, he’s assuming it’s to be her arm candy. He’s not expecting Stiles to be waiting for him outside the gym in his suit, looking unfairly gorgeous.

“Hey. I, uh…I talked to Lydia,” he says, shoving his hands in his pockets and looking down at the ground, and god, he’s cute when he’s nervous.

“Yeah?” Jackson asks, and Stiles nods.

“Yeah. I’m sorry I’ve been acting like a dick, I just…I thought—”

“No, I’m sorry,” Jackson says, and it even surprises himself, but now that Stiles is finally here, and they’re so close, he’s sure as hell not gonna fuck it up again. “It’s my fault. I just was having a lot of fun hanging out with you, and I got carried away, and I honestly just forgot that Lydia and I were still technically together.”

“You guys are really over?”

“We’ve been over for a long time now. I mean, we were dating just for the sake of it, but it’s not like the way I feel about you. It never was.”

“And how exactly do you feel about me?” Stiles asks, because of course, he’s really gonna make Jackson work for it.

“I wanna date you for real, not just sneak around in the back of my car. Although, don’t get me wrong, that was great, and we should definitely do more of that, but I don’t just wanna get you in bed. I like you, Stilinski,” Jackson says. He’s never really put himself out there like that before, and honestly, it’s terrifying.

But then Stiles smiles at him and says “I guess I can live with that,” and it’s all worth it.

He holds out his hand to Stiles, grinning when he takes it, and leads him into the gym. “Wanna dance?”

Stiles nods and pulls him out onto the dance floor. “Everyone’s staring at us,” he points out, and Jackson’s been so caught up in Stiles that he didn’t even notice.

“That’s gonna happen now that you’re with me,” Jackson says, chuckling. He can tell it’s making Stiles kind of anxious, though, so he wraps his arms around his neck and pulls him in close. “Hey, just look at me.”

Stiles rests his hands on Jackson’s hips and looks up at him, and he’s blushing, which is so goddamn endearing.

“What?” he asks, and Stiles shrugs.

“You’re just really pretty,” he answers, and that catches Jackson a little off guard. People call him hot all the time, and sexy, sure, but pretty is definitely a new one. He finds that he actually much prefers it, though.

“I kinda wanna kiss you right now,” Jackson says, smiling fondly at Stiles like the lovesick teenager he apparently is now.

“I kinda want you to.”

So Jackson does. It’s just a soft, sweet peck on the lips, but it’s even better than the first one, because it’s actually the start of something.

 

They spend the whole night together talking and laughing and dancing, oblivious to everyone but each other because they’re too happy to care about anything else.

They do notice when Lydia passes by with a few of her friends, though. She smiles at them and gives them a thumbs up, and Jackson mouths a thank you back at her.

“So, is it true that you guys talked about me sometimes when you were having sex?” Stiles asks, and it’s Jackson’s turn to blush.

“I don’t know why the hell she told you that, but yeah. God, I’m sorry, that’s super weird, isn’t it?”

“Nah, don’t be sorry. It’s really hot, actually,” he says, smirking. “I can’t believe you were in bed with Lydia Martin and you were thinking of me.”

“I spend way too much time thinking of you. That’s just one of many examples,” Jackson says, and Stiles smiles.

“For what it’s worth, I get myself off thinking about you constantly,” he offers, and Jackson laughs and gives him a kiss on the cheek.

 

He asks Stiles to come back to his place after the dance because he really just wants to spend more time with him.

They stop at the diner on the way and get some food to go, and when they get to Jackson’s house, he takes Stiles up to his room and gives him some sweats and a t-shirt to change into, then grabs the same for himself.

“You know, when you invited me here, I assumed it was because you wanted to sleep with me,” Stiles says. He pulls his shirt off as he starts to change, and Jackson momentarily loses his ability to concentrate.

“Believe me, I want to sleep with you,” he says, looking Stiles up and down appreciatively. “But I meant what I said earlier. I don’t want to mess this up, so I thought maybe we could just take our time.”

Stiles grins and says “Yeah, I’m cool with that,” but that doesn’t stop him from helping Jackson out of his suit and into his pajamas.

They watch a movie on Jackson’s couch while they feed each other curly fries and steal sips of each other’s milkshakes, and it’s perfect.

 

“Do you know how crazy you drove me back when you refused to pay attention to me?” Jackson asks him when they’re laying in his bed later that night, Stiles curled up at his side.

He laughs, leaning in to press a gentle kiss to Jackson’s temple. “Aw, poor baby. I was just trying to avoid you because I knew if I got to know you, I would fall for you, and I didn’t think I had a chance in hell.”

“You were wrong, as per usual, dumbass,” Jackson teases, and Stiles snorts.

“Yeah, whatever, shithead,” he says, and then kisses him, just like Jackson always wanted.