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Melt Me Slowly Down

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Stiles is just here to watch tonight. He’s gotten some offers, but really he’s just in the mood to relax, play the voyeur a little bit, and Club Banshee is the perfect place for it. It’s halfway to San Francisco – can’t exactly find places like this in Beacon Hills – but the quality is well worth the drive.

He’s been wandering from room to room, scene to scene. He lingers a little while on the three beautiful women in the Red Velvet Room, one getting fucked slow and deep with a strap-on while she eats out another, and seems to be doing a damned good job at it, if the third woman’s loud moans are anything to go by. Women are only very occasionally Stiles’ thing, but he can appreciate good sex when he sees it. He adjusts his dick in his pants. He’s not hard, not yet, but a little friction feels good, makes him want more.

In another room, a small woman in thigh-high vinyl boots and nothing else has a big, burly man chained to the wall and is teasing his hard, leaking dick with light slaps of a riding crop. It’s not bad, but it makes Stiles itch for some harder play, so he moves on.

The next room looks more promising. There’s a man on his hands and knees on the floor. His head’s hanging down so Stiles can’t see his face, but his body is perfection, all long lines and beautifully defined muscle straining as the man behind him brings a flogger down hard across his back. Stiles moves in to get a closer look. This room is almost as crowded as the one with the three women.

The sub is taking a lot from the flogger, his back criss-crossed with sharp lines of pink and red, and after a moment, the Dom starts up with, “Yeah, that’s right, you pathetic little slut, whine for it.” Stiles considers leaving – humiliation is really not his thing – but something about the sub is so compelling that Stiles can filter out the Dom’s unimaginative monologue and just hear the harsh sound of the sub’s breath.

It’s coming in fast, uneven, and the sub murmurs something Stiles can’t hear. At the next hit of the flogger, the sub cringes, and Stiles is close enough to see that his dick’s not hard. That alone isn’t so unusual, since not all subs get off physically on the pain, but something’s not right, and Stiles glances around to see if anyone else is noticing anything. He sees one or two faces that look slightly concerned, and he hears the sub mumble something again.

Stiles turns back to look at him, and this time he definitely heard the man say triskele in a broken voice, but his Dom doesn’t seem to notice any of it, caught up in telling the sub what a pussy boy he is. This is an invite-only club, so these are supposed to be experienced people, but Stiles knows wrong when he sees it, so he steps forward and says, “He’s safewording.”

The rest of the room goes quiet. “You're right, he's tapping out,” says a woman in corset next to Stiles.

The Dom doesn’t pay them any attention, just keeps up with the flogging and the emasculating monologue even though the sub is visibly shaking and Stiles moves close enough that the Dom can’t ignore him. “Hey jackass, you need to stop right now.”

The Dom glares at him, eyes glazed over, and yells right in Stiles’ face, “This piece of shit is my bitch for the night. You go find your own.”

He goes to raise the flogger again, but another patron steps up and grabs his wrist. “Get the hell away from him.”

“Look at him. He wants it.”

It’s sickeningly obvious this guy has no idea what he’s doing, but he’s not backing down. Fortunately, Stiles has multiple outraged people backing him up, all but swarming on the Dom. Stiles turns to the woman next to him. “Go get Lydia,” he tells her.

“Who?”

“Shit. Uh, Mistress Martin. Go find her. She’ll take care of this asshole.”

She does, very publicly and in grand style, making it clear that she's blacklisting him from every club in California. All the while, Stiles kneels by the sub, not touching him but whispering soft, reassuring words, telling him he’s safe, that the dickhead who was hurting him is gone for good. He's still shaking, but his breath is no longer coming in ragged gasps.

Lydia hands Stiles a key and clears the rest of the patrons out of the room. Stiles gathers the sub’s clothes before crouching down next to him again. “Hey. Let’s go somewhere private where you can rest for a while.”

“I… I don’t…” The man raises his head, and god, he’s beautiful. Wrecked and anguished and stunning, and Stiles just wants to gather him up in his arms and kiss it all better, but he still doesn’t touch.

“No more play for tonight. Just a room where you can lie down until you feel better.”

“Will you come?”

Fuck yes. “If you want me to.”

The sub nods and Stiles offers him a hand up. He takes it, not quite steady on his feet for the first few steps.

It’s ordinarily something Stiles would be seriously into, walking through the back hallways fully clothed, but next to a gorgeous naked man. But this guy is obviously in a bad headspace right now, so Stiles forces any lascivious thoughts away and leads him to one of the private suites. The nicest one, actually. Bless Lydia, at least she knows she has something to make up for. Over the other man’s shoulder, Stiles can see the woman herself coming down the hall, so he unlocks the door and tells the guy, “Go on in and lie down. I’ll be there in just a second.”

He nods, takes his clothes from Stiles, and goes in. Stiles leaves the door open a crack so the guy doesn’t think Stiles is locking him in or anything before turning to Lydia. “What the hell, Lyds?” he hisses. “How did that dickhead even get through the front door?”

She still looks like she wants to jam a Loubotin stiletto through someone's temple. “Don’t give me shit, Stiles, I already know how bad this is. Somebody did refer him, though. I’ll have to check the records to see who.”

“Kick whoever that is out, too.”

“Believe me, I plan on it.” Club Banshee has a reputation for being both exclusive and safe – Lydia knows how precious that reputation is, but she’s nothing if not gifted at image management. Her emerald corset with black lace overlay is evidence enough of that. “That’s Derek Hale in there. He used to be a regular, but I haven’t seen him for a while. You all right to take care of him for a little bit?”

There is quite literally nothing Stiles wants more, but he knows Lydia’s placing a great deal of trust in him to ask. “Yeah. He seemed okay with me.”

Lydia grins. “That’s because he doesn’t know what a menace you can be.” Even in her frighteningly-tall shoes, she has to tip up on her toes to kiss Stiles’ cheek. “You need anything, you just let me know.”

“A vodka martini and a new set of hubcaps for my baby?”

She slaps him lightly on the hip. “Get in there.”

When Stiles enters the room, closing the door behind him, Derek has put on his jeans and is lying face down on the bed, his back criss-crossed with rising welts. “Hey,” Stiles says quietly, going over to sit on the edge of the bed. “I’m Stiles. You’re Derek?”

Derek's eyes still aren’t quite focusing in the low light of the room and his breathing is erratic, but he nods wordlessly.

“Do you want to talk about what happened back there?”

Derek shakes his head, starts looking a little panicked.

“It’s okay, it’s okay, you don’t have to,” Stiles says quickly, soothingly. “Not right now. But you should find someone to talk to later. Right now I’m just going to take care of your back. Is that all right?”

A moment of stillness and then another slow nod, and Stiles reaches into the well-stocked drawer for the lotion he knows is kept in every one of these rooms. It’s mild and has a bit of aloe and menthol in it to soothe the pain. Stiles warms it in his hands first, taking a careful look over Derek’s back. The skin isn’t broken, thank god, but it’s been pretty badly abused. “This should help,” Stiles says before gently rubbing Derek’s back, starting at the shoulders and working his way down to where the damage is worst, Derek’s skin hot under his hands. There are flog marks right over his kidneys; the guy that did this should be shot.

Even as careful as Stiles is being, it has to hurt, but Derek doesn’t make a single sound of pain. He doesn’t make any sound at all, and it’s starting to worry Stiles. And when Stiles is worried, his mouth starts running. “Derek Hale. I remember you. Well, your name at least, and that picture of you in the trophy case. You went to Beacon Hills High, right?”

Derek doesn’t say anything, but he makes a soft grunt that sounds affirmative, so Stiles keeps talking. “So did I. I played lacrosse, too, but my career was, let’s say, somewhat less distinguished than yours. I think I got my ass up off the bench once or twice, though.” Stiles works his fingers carefully around the worst of the mark, blowing gently on Derek’s slick skin so he’ll feel the menthol working. “Still, Finstock used to drag us all in front of that trophy case and recite wildly inappropriate inspirational speeches from movies. The one from The Mighty Ducks was okay, but when he hit his Tarantino phase, I think it scarred us all a little.”

Stiles hears a cracked sound from the head of the bed – a laugh, maybe. The very corner of Derek’s mouth is curled up. It’s good; he’s responding. Stiles’ hands still on his back. “What do you need, Derek?”

“Just… keep touching me, I think,” Derek says hoarsely. “And keep talking.”

Stiles can count on one hand the number of times he’s heard that sentence directed at him, and he just barely manages to keep from confessing his undying love for Derek then and there. “You’re in luck, buddy, because talking is my specialty. I don’t even need a reason to talk. Or someone to talk to. I just like to practice in my conversational skills in my spare time, and I can’t always find someone willing to help out, if you can believe that. And as you can tell, I don’t even need a topic. I can talk about talking, which I am in fact doing right now. Very meta. Anything in particular you want to hear about?”

“You,” Derek says, his voice a little shaky.

So he’s obviously not in his right mind yet, but Derek’s probably not going to remember much of this tomorrow anyway, so Stiles just goes for it. First, though, he wipes the remaining lotion off on a towel next to the bed and scoots up to run his hands through Derek’s hair. It just looks so… touchable, and who doesn’t love a scalp massage?

Derek makes a soft little noise of pleasure when Stiles presses his fingers through the short hair at the back of Derek’s head, all the way up to the crown to rub in little circles, and the sound shoots right to Stiles’ cock. He growls a mental down, boy before taking a deep breath and diving in again. “Me, all right. Stiles. Stiles Stilinski. Born and raised in Beacon Hills, if that wasn’t already obvious. Once I graduated high school, I thought I just wanted to get the hell out of there and never look back, but somehow, a couple years after college I ended up back there. And I don’t regret it. It’s home, y’know? I don’t know if you still live there, but it’s… the same. I hated it back in high school, but now there’s something comfortable about it. Plus, my dad’s there. Just him. My mom died when I was nine. And wow, I went right to the depressing shit, didn’t I?”

“S’okay,” he hears Derek mumble.

“I mean, there’s a hole there. Always will be. But it’s not as bad as it used to be.”

Stiles stops himself; there’s only so much emotional baggage he should be dumping on this guy who obviously has enough of his own. “God, okay, new topic. Um, so I went to high school with Ly—with Mistress Martin. I thought I was in love with her for a long time. There was no one else I was even attracted to. Then I went to college and got drunk at a frat party and this gorgeous guy started grinding up on me and it was like, oh, okay, everything sort of makes sense now. I can still appreciate women – and I do, occasionally – but if you wanted to put a number on it, I guess I’m, like, a Kinsey 5?”

He pauses to take a breath; Stiles can talk about sex all day long if he needs to. “I didn’t really get into the BDSM stuff until later on. And then I moved back to Beacon Hills and suddenly it’s weird, because everybody knows everybody else. But then I find out Lydia’s opened up this place. Hey, can you keep a secret?”

Derek hums an affirmative, pressing his head back into Stiles’ roaming fingers.

“Lydia’s not really a Domme,” Stiles whispers with a soft laugh. “Don’t get me wrong, she rocks the corsets and she does actually know how to handle a whip – I don’t ask about that – but she doesn’t get off on it. She’s just kind of this business genius who realized the good people of small-town northern California needed a safe outlet, and she decided she wanted to be the face of it, too. Mostly I think she’s in it for the outfits, especially the shoes. You can never, ever tell anyone that, though. She’ll know I blabbed and she has way too much blackmail material on me.”

Derek’s breathing has evened out, but the corner of his lip turns up in a small smile, so he hasn’t fallen asleep.   Stiles uses the hand in Derek’s hair to tilt his head a little. “Hey, look at me,” he says softly.

Derek’s eyes open, a little drowsy but clear, and god, they’re just as stunning as the rest of him. It hits Stiles like a punch to the gut just how much he wants. Derek looked so beautiful on his hands and knees, and Stiles would know how to make it good for him, make him hurt and feel safe at the same time if he wanted it…

But even though Derek seems to have come back from wherever he went, Stiles knows there’s damage there. He didn’t end up getting pushed past his limits in public by a guy he barely knew by accident. Whatever that was out there in the club, it wasn’t healthy, consensual masochism, and as strong as Stiles’ instinct is to really take care of Derek, to find out what’s going on in his head, now’s not the time for it. So he just asks, “You okay?”

Derek pushes up on his elbows, and Stiles loosens his grip on Derek’s hair but doesn’t pull it away. “Yeah,” Derek says. “Better now.”

Despite Stiles’ ease at talking before, he finds himself tongue-tied with Derek watching him. He wants to kiss Derek so badly; nothing sexual, even, just a comforting kiss to his forehead or the corner of his mouth, but it’s not his place. He doesn’t have a clue where Derek’s boundaries are, he just knows they were badly violated tonight, and Stiles sure as hell isn’t going to risk adding to that. He pulls his hand back, unable to stop himself from brushing the backs of his fingers over Derek’s stubbled cheek. “You need anything else?”

Derek looks almost regretful, but he shakes his head. “No. I think I should… go.”

Stiles gets up to retrieve the shirt and leather jacket that Derek had thrown over the back of a chair. Derek hisses a little when he pulls the shirt on, but he doesn’t seem to be in too much pain. Once he’s fully dressed, boots (oh, fuck me, Stiles thinks) and all, Stiles goes to the door. “C’mon. I know the back way out.”

As he leads Derek through the labyrinth of hallways to the fire exit, he wonders if it would be inappropriate to give Derek his number. Not in the “hey, I’d love to spank your gorgeous ass” way (though Stiles really, really would), but in the “if you ever just want to talk” way. By the time they’re outside and to Derek’s Camaro – of course he would have a stupidly sexy car, of course – Stiles has decided against it. He doesn’t want Derek to misinterpret it as a clumsy come-on, so he just says, “Be safe, okay? The way Lydia runs this place… that asshole never should have gotten through the door, and believe me, he never will again. Still…”

Derek just nods silently, and Stiles has to bite his lip from giving the whole Safe, Sane, and Consensual lecture. He’s been around enough to know that what happened tonight wasn’t the result of simple naïveté, and Derek doesn’t need to be lectured right now anyway.

“Thank you” is all Derek says, and it looks like it’s costing him something to say it, but before Stiles can puzzle that out, Derek is driving off and Stiles is watching the taillights recede down the highway.

Fuck.

He doesn’t feel like going back inside; he’ll just text Lydia to let her know that Derek’s headed back home and that he’s better. Stiles hopes.

&&&

It only takes about twenty minutes after he’s woken up the next morning for Stiles to regret not giving Derek his number. He really, really wants to know if Derek’s okay, if he had a safe place to go home to, if he’s taking care of himself.

Lydia has detailed information on every client on file – it’s supposed to prevent things like last night from happening, and somebody’s head’s going to roll for that – so Stiles could ask her. But there’s no way she’ll give out that information, not even to Stiles. Frankly, he’s surprised she even gave him Derek’s full name.   Her reputation is everything, and that includes privacy for her clients.

A week of telling himself not to worry almost works – Stiles isn’t even thinking about Derek when the phone rings on Thursday night. He doesn’t recognize the number, but it’s local, so he picks it up. “’lo,” he answers, mouth half full of chicken salad sandwich.

There’s a long pause. “Stiles?”

“The one and only. Who is this?”

“This is, uh, Derek. I don’t know if you remember me—”

“Derek? Oh my god, of course I remember you. I’m glad to hear from you, but how did you find me?”

“I, um. I called Lydia. She only knows one Stiles.”

Stiles hadn’t honestly been sure Derek had really heard anything he’d said that night; he’d been pretty out of it. “Wait, you know Lydia?”

Derek actually laughs. It’s short and stilted, but it’s a laugh. “My family knew her family. I don’t tell them about the club and she pretends she doesn’t know me when I’m there.”

Stiles plops down onto the sofa with relief. “I’m really glad you called. I wanted to get your phone number the other night, but I didn’t want you to think I was hitting on you.   You were… pretty roughed up. I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“I’m… healing, yeah.”

That’s not the same thing, and Stiles knows it. “Um, so… what can I do for you?”

“You said…” Derek sounds frustrated, like he’s having trouble getting the words out. “You said I should talk to someone. And I don’t really have… I just thought you might understand.”

"Sure," Stiles says. "I know a few subs who could help you out."

"No, not--" Derek says quickly, but cuts himself off. "You. I want to talk to you."

Stiles bites his lip; it's tempting. "I mean, I just think another sub would be more helpful for you."

Derek makes a small, broken sound that cracks Stiles' chest right down the middle. "But you were so good to me the other night."

“I… yeah, of course we can talk," Stiles says, relenting. He can at least get a little better idea where Derek's head's at. "Like, now, or—?”

“Not now. Maybe, um, face to face?”

“Yeah, okay.” Stiles takes a moment to think – he doesn’t want it to sound like a date or like he’s trying to lure Derek to his apartment. They need a neutral but somewhat private environment. “Can you do lunch downtown on Saturday? The weather’s supposed to be nice. We could get something at the deli on Third and take it across the street to the park.”

“Noon?”

“Sure.”

“Okay.”

Derek hangs up and Stiles is left staring at his phone, wondering what the hell just happened.

 &&&

Derek is already at the deli when Stiles gets there, and he is hands-down the most uncomfortable-looking man holding a roast beef sandwich that Stiles has ever seen. However, Derek is still unspeakably gorgeous, now in a suit and tie, even when he looks like he’d rather be anywhere else. He’s not cold to Stiles, not exactly, but it’s like he’s just now realized that he’s actually expected to talk about… whatever it is that’s making him so uncomfortable.

Stiles tries to put him at ease. He’s genuinely glad to see Derek, see that he’s functioning. He’s going to have to let Derek set the pace of the conversation, because even after Stiles has gotten his food and they’ve both settled on a slightly secluded bench in the park, Derek still looks like he might bolt.

They eat in silence for a while until Stiles can’t take it anymore. “So I don’t think I told you, but I’m working IT for DCN, Digital Clients Network, you know, in the one actually tall office building downtown? I could give you details, but I’ve learned that’s the fastest way to put people to sleep. I like it, though. Everyone seems to be in awe of my prowess with the magic computing box.”

Derek squints at him. “How old are you?”

Stiles blinks. “I’m sorry, was there a conversational transition that I missed? Something that would make that an appropriate question?”

Derek at least has the good grace to look a little guilty. “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to offend you. It’s just, you look…”

“Like a twelve year old, I’m aware.”

“Young. Just… young, is all.” And now Derek looks supremely uncomfortable. If this is how he navigates a normal conversation…

Stiles scrubs a hand through his hair, knowing that it probably doesn’t make him look any more mature, and there’s a chance he might have had mustard on his fingers. “I’m 26. But I’ve been on the scene for about three and a half years, which I think is what you’re trying to ask.”

“Yes. That was… yes. I’m sorry.”

Stiles sets his sandwich down on his lap. This is obviously not an afternoon-in-the-park conversation, but Stiles can’t think of a less threatening environment, so they have to start somewhere. “You said you wanted to talk. And I think you need to talk. Pretty badly, actually. I am absolutely willing to listen, but that involves, y’know, talking. On your part. Like I said on the phone, I know some subs who have been doing this a long time, if you’d feel more comfortable—”

“My last real Domme,” Derek starts quietly, staring intently at his food. “She didn’t want me to talk. It was part of our… thing.”

“You mean during a scene, or…?”

“Ever. Not about this stuff, anyway.”

Motherfucker, Stiles’ heart is about to pound right out of his chest.   He opens and closes his mouth three separate times (thank god Derek isn’t looking) before quietly saying, “Derek, that’s not… That isn’t how things are supposed to be done. Kind of exactly the opposite, in fact.”

“I know.”

Does he? If there’s one thing Stiles is sure of, it’s that what happened at the club last week was not negotiated beforehand. Derek’s face is set in a hard scowl, not giving anything away, and Stiles isn’t a therapist. But he has a feeling if he mentions therapy, Derek will shut down completely, and Stiles doesn’t know of a kink-friendly specialist around here to recommend anyway.   Still, this guy needs somebody. “I can always listen. And if you want, I can tell you what I know about playing safe. I’m not going to judge you, and I’m sure as hell not going to tell anyone else. Hey, can you look at me for a second?”

When Derek drags his eyes up to meet Stiles’, he looks so lost, and Stiles just wants to throw his arms around him and stroke his hair and tell him that whatever that woman did to him was so, so wrong. Instead, he reminds himself to breathe and says, “There’s obviously some stuff you need to talk about before you scene with anyone else, or you could really get hurt.” Worse than you already are, Stiles thinks.

Derek nods. “I want that. But just… not here. Not right now. I don’t think I can right now.”

“That’s fine. You name the time and the place.”

“Would you…” Derek starts, but then he shakes his head.

“Would I what?” Stiles asks, determined to get Derek to start finishing his sentences.

“Would you be okay coming to my place? I know you don’t know me that well…”

Truth be told, Stiles has gone home with guys he’s known a lot less about than Derek – names, for instance. But it’s been a long time, and never when he was doing much of anything kinky. But he has no intention of dominating Derek any time soon, and he remembers his mother used to be in a book club with Mrs. Hale, and Derek looks so lost. “If that’s where you’re comfortable, sure.”

Derek’s expression barely changes, but Stiles would swear there’s something hopeful there now. “Is tomorrow afternoon okay?”

He'd told Scott he would go over and watch the Niners game at Isaac's, but they do that practically every week, and Scott will have Isaac and Boyd to keep him company. “Tomorrow afternoon’s fine.”

&&&

Stiles texts Scott before he leaves his apartment: Can’t make it today. If you don’t hear from me in an hour, call me. If I don’t pick up, put out the Bat Signal.

He gets a text back: hot date???

Nope. I’ve taken up spelunking.

ha fuckin ha. try not to get murdered or ur dad will kill me.

Stiles snorts and pockets his phone. He’s not really worried about going to Derek’s place – it’s in a good part of town, a really good part of town – but he still can’t be too careful. After all, Derek looks like he could snap Stiles like a twig, even though Stiles is more worried about accidentally snapping Derek’s brain.

Derek answers the door wearing worn-in jeans and a tight t-shirt, looking like sin itself. But he’s barefoot, and something about that is so painfully vulnerable that it keeps Stiles in check.   Stiles must look surprised when Derek actually says “Come in,” because he follows it up with “I was rude to you yesterday. I want to apologize for that.”

Stiles shrugs. “It’s okay. You’re going through some stuff.”

There’s that scowl again. “I… yeah.” The tone of his voice is soft, and Stiles wonders if Derek even knows he projects angry when he’s feeling exposed. If Stiles hadn’t seen Derek in the club, hadn’t heard the need in his voice yesterday, Stiles would probably be heading right back out the door. It’s got to work really well for keeping people at bay, and to an inexperienced or stupid Dom, it might look like insubordination. Something to be punished.

“Where do you want to talk?” Stiles prompts.

Derek seems to shake himself out of it. “Living room’s fine. You want anything to drink?”

“Some water would be good,” Stiles says, following Derek into the enormous kitchen. He’s hoping Derek won’t grab something alcoholic for himself, but he does. Well, if that’s what he needs to get him talking. They aren’t negotiating anything right now, and it’s only one beer.

Stiles can’t help but gape when they get to the living room; Derek’s backyard extends into the Beacon Hills Preserve. The leaves are just starting to turn, and the fall sunlight is pouring in through the huge bay windows. Something instinctual and distressingly feline is telling Stiles to curl up on the couch and take a nap. “Derek, this is gorgeous.”

“I like the woods. I go running when I can, but even just looking at the trees… It’s relaxing.”

Stiles can’t help but smile at that. It’s something small, but Derek has just spontaneously shared something about himself, and that’s a good sign. He follows Derek on to the couch, toeing off his own shoes so he can sit cross-legged and face Derek.

Derek takes a look at him, how he’s sitting, and looks startled. He stares out the window and takes a few long swigs of his beer, and Stiles realizes that even prolonged eye contact makes this guy uncomfortable. It’s taking everything he has not to just ask fucking hell, Derek, what happened to you?

But Derek speaks first. “Could you, um. This is kind of weird, and if I’m not supposed to or it makes you uncomfortable, then…” Stiles waits it out. “I’d like it if you would rub my head. Like you did the other night. I think… it’ll make it easier for me to talk.”

If it were anyone else, Stiles might think Derek was angling for something, trying to manipulate Stiles into something sexual, but Stiles is pretty sure sex is the last thing on Derek’s mind, and he remembers how Derek had just melted when Stiles had his hands in Derek’s hair. Not to mention Derek is actually asking for something, which is obviously hard for him to do. The corner of Stiles’ mouth quirks up. “If you think you can keep your train of thought.” He wiggles his fingers. “I’ve been told these hands are magic.”

Stiles says it before he can reconsider the innuendo, but it actually makes Derek smile, just a little, the mask of anger lifting, and Stiles is struck by the urge to kiss him, tackle him to the couch and really kiss him until neither of them remembers which way is up. He tamps down on it -- hard -- and puts a throw pillow in his lap just in case.

Derek takes this as an invitation to lie down on his back, head on the pillow, and the way he’s much too long for the couch, his bare feet hanging over the arm, is kind of endearing. He closes his eyes and sighs when Stiles digs his fingers into Derek’s hair, and once again Stiles has to force his body not to respond. But he can tell Derek is fighting to relax enough to talk. “Would it help if I went first?” Stiles asks. “Told you a little bit about myself and what I’m into?”

“Yeah. I think… I think that would help.”

“Sure,” Stiles says, fingers settling into a slow, easy rhythm against Derek’s scalp. “I had a friend in college who was into BDSM. He was pretty open about it and I was always curious, but it took until after we graduated for me to finally ask him. He introduced me to some people he knew. I stayed in San Francisco for a couple of years before I moved back up here, so there was… well, there were more options, everything was a hell of a lot more open. Could get pretty intense, too, but I was lucky – I got to know the right people, ones who played safe and were willing to answer all of my questions. And I had a lot of questions. Like, an obnoxious amount of questions, if you can imagine that.”

Derek snorts softly, and Stiles can feel some of the tension bleed out of his shoulders where they’re resting against his folded legs.

“Anyway, I started out as a switch. Took me a little while to realize I preferred to Dom. I still sub sometimes, but not often. When I Dom, I like the control, the feeling that gives me. Guess that’s not too much of a conceptual leap, but I don’t always have to physically top as long as I’m the one calling the shots. Bondage is always fun, but it’s not a necessity. I do painplay sometimes, pretty much any type as long as my partner is really into it. I only enjoy hurting someone if they get off on it. And – I’m sure this will come as a huge surprise to you – I love to talk dirty. Love to hear it, too. I don’t do humiliation, though, physical or verbal.”

When Stiles stops, he realizes he’s been just sort of staring into space as he’s been talking, because he only just notices Derek’s eyes, wide open and staring up at him. “You can just… talk about it,” he says, something like wonder in his voice. “Say all that so easily.”

Stiles’ heart squeezes in his chest. “Well, everyone’s got their own comfort level, but… I don’t know how you started, who or what got you into this, but you have to talk about it. I know it sounds kind of corny, but communication is really, really important. Up front especially, but during and after a scene, too. Did… Have you really never heard that before?”

“I think so. Early on. Before…”

Stiles doesn’t want to push Derek too hard or he’ll shut down, but Stiles needs to know about this last Domme, because she obviously did a number on Derek’s head, not to mention his self-worth. “How long were you with her?” Stiles asks softly, rubbing his thumbs down Derek’s temples.

“A year and a half.”

Jesus. An abusive partner can do a hell of a lot of damage in a year and half. “Were you in a relationship or—”

“I loved her,” Derek blurts, and Stiles is so shocked his hands stop moving. “Or I thought I did. She told me she loved me, too, and that if I loved her, I’d let her…” He doesn’t seem to be able to say it.

“Do whatever she wanted,” Stiles finishes with a pained sigh. He tightens his fingers in Derek’s hair, just enough to make sure he’s really paying attention. “That’s not how this works. In submission or in real life. You decide. I mean, we work it out together, but you have the final say. Anything else is manipulation or flat-out abuse.”

“I know,” Derek says quietly, and it’s only then that Stiles realizes he just said ‘we work it out.’ Like that’s what this is. It isn’t, and he can’t make that mistake again.

“You can say you know, but that goes right out the window when someone you trust fucks with your head,” Stiles murmurs.

“Did that happen to you?”

Stiles thinks back to the early days, when he had a boyfriend who would agree to things beforehand, but then yell afterward about how much he’d hated it and how Stiles should have known better. He’d caught on pretty quickly and ended it – though the break-up was almost as horrible as the relationship – but it had still undermined his confidence for a long time. “In a way, yeah. I had a partner who wasn’t honest with me. But I had friends who understood what I was going through. You need that if you’re going to do hard kink.” Stiles pauses for a moment. “Is that even something you want?”

Derek turns his face into the pillow, so Stiles can barely hear him when he says, “I need it. That’s why… that’s why the other night happened.”

Stiles lets him hide for a moment, pulling his fingers out of Derek’s hair so he can rest a hand on his shoulder. “What is it you need, Derek?” When he doesn’t answer, Stiles squeezes encouragingly. “C’mon. I don’t need a detailed list, give me the basics.”

Derek takes a deep breath. “I like being told what to do. Giving up control. It’s not easy, but when it pulls me out of my head… That’s why I like the pain. That helps, too.”

Stiles nearly collapses with relief at getting that much, but instead he tilts Derek’s head back up so their eyes meet. “That was really hard for you to say, huh?”

“Yeah.”

“It gets easier the more you talk about it. That I can promise.” Stiles goes back to rubbing Derek’s head, scritching his nails gently against Derek’s scalp while he thinks. Derek obviously needs a compassionate, confident Dom – not all big, muscular guys need to go up against a particularly strong will to get them to submit, but some do. This woman (Stiles has to try hard not to think bitch), whoever she was, must have had one hell of a hold over Derek, and he’s been compensating ever since by going for pure pain.

“Look, here’s my advice. You don’t have to take it, but I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t at least tell you.” Stiles bites his lip, glad Derek can’t see his face at the moment. “I think you ought to take some time off. Definitely from subbing, maybe from sex altogether.”

Stiles waits a moment to see how Derek reacts. To his surprise, Derek still appears to be listening. “When you’re ready, when you think you can talk about your limits and, more importantly, ask for what you need – in detail – I can introduce you to some people. You can see if you click with any of them, and—”

Stiles’ phone rings. Shit, he forgot to text Scott. “Sorry, Derek, I’m sorry. I told my friend to call me.” Derek’s already sitting up so Stiles can reach into his pocket for his phone, his hair ridiculously askew from Stiles’ ministrations, and it’s fucking adorable. Stiles would quite literally pounce on him if it weren’t the least appropriate thing ever – and if he didn’t have to assure Scott that he’s still alive.

“Hey, Scott, thanks for calling. I’m good. No Bat Signal. Text you later.”

Scott barely manages to get in a confused “Wha—?” before Stiles hangs up and turns his attention back to Derek.

He’s not frowning, exactly, but his expression is as intense as ever. “Would you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Dominate me.”

Stiles’ jaw drops open. Fuck. It’s exactly what he wants and probably exactly what Derek doesn’t need. “I— You’re—” Stiles’ hands are flailing all over the place without his explicit consent; they haven’t done that in years. “I mean—”

Derek’s eyes go sad – like, puppy-dog sad, it’s so unfair. “If you’re not attracted to me—”

“That’s… really not the problem, trust me. But it sounds like I’m the first person you’ve ever actually sat down and talked to about this. It’s like… transference, or something.”

“Exactly. You’re the first person I’ve felt comfortable enough to talk to. And I… I like you. I could see myself…” He glances down, his cheeks flushing. “Can we at least try?”

Stiles worries his lower lip with his teeth until he tastes blood. He wants. Oh god, he wants. And Derek does seem to trust him. Maybe too much. “We… I think maybe we can. If you agree to what I said earlier. We do nothing even remotely sexual until you can talk about it. Until I feel like you could stop me if you needed to. And after I’ve actually earned your trust.”

Derek frowns again, but he appears to be thinking it over. “Where do I start?”

“Take some time and think about it. What you like, what you don’t like. What you’d want to try, what you never want to do. Write it down, if you want. Yeah, that might work better for you.”

“When should I start?”

God, he looks so open, so ready to take Stiles’ direction, and Stiles realizes he’s not going to be able to let go of Derek, even the idea of him, until he knows Derek isn’t going to get steamrolled by the next guy or girl with a whip. Okay, so it’s not entirely altruistic, but if they take it slow – like, glacially slow – Stiles will be able to keep his head and call it off if it starts to get unhealthy. He’ll be able to let Derek down easy and maybe find someone better suited for him (even if the thought of that burns painfully in Stiles’ stomach).

“Start whenever you want,” Stiles says. “But remember you’re not doing this to please me. You’re doing this for yourself. Because you’re… Jesus, Derek, I don’t know if you believe it, but you deserve good things. The best. You just need to learn how to ask for them.”

Derek nods, but his expression is painfully unsure.

&&&

The first text comes three days later, while Stiles is at work, examining the stack trace to locate the bug in his latest bit of code.

I really like kissing.

Then, a few seconds later: Is this all right? By text?

Stiles responds, If that’s what you’re comfortable with, it’s a start.

OK.

 &&&

He expects a few days to go by, imagining Derek working up the courage to tell him something else, but the next morning he nearly spits out his coffee when his phone buzzes and the message reads I like to have my nipples played with until they’re sore.

&&&

Derek has something of a breakthrough on Wednesday night.

I like fingers. In my mouth or in my ass.

I like blowjobs.

Stiles only hesitates for a moment before texting back, Giving or receiving?

Both. Having my hair pulled when I’m giving is good.

I like being flogged, but I need to be worked up to it.

I like being told when to come.

Stiles decides it’s high time he password-locked his phone. Then he shuts his laptop, goes to his bedroom, unzips, and jerks off with his pants still on.

&&&

Without even being prompted, Derek gets around to talking (well, texting) about his limits over the next few days.

I hate pet names. Or “good boy.”

I don’t really like being rimmed. It doesn’t do much for me. Wouldn’t mind rimming you, though.

Biting’s okay, licking bothers me unless it’s my cock.

I like to be tied down, but only sometimes. No handcuffs or gags.

No spanking, ever.

Stiles is a little sad, because seriously, Derek’s ass, but he’s more proud that Derek’s learning to say no.

&&&

Derek has a high-level office job, but Stiles doesn’t know what he does all day other than text Stiles things like I’ve never been fisted, but I kind of want to try. And I’ve never tried needles or knives, either, but I don’t think I’d like that. It’s seriously starting to interfere with Stiles’ productivity.

I love being fucked. But not with toys.

Stiles takes a paranoid glance over his shoulder before he texts back. No one’s watching him, of course, but he still wants to make sure. Would you be willing wear a plug while you fuck me?

Maybe.

Full disclosure: this is making me jerk off, like, all the time now. Maybe that’s too close to flirting or actual sexual interaction or something, but Stiles wants Derek to know that Stiles is affected by this, too.

I’d like to watch you jerk off for me. You could come on me anywhere you wanted.

Stiles groans. Jesus. There goes my lunch break. D:

&&&

Very, very late one Friday night: I need touch. A lot of it. Hands mostly, just skin on skin.

Something about that breaks Stiles’ heart just a little. He falls asleep thinking about rubbing Derek all over, head to toe, getting him so close to the edge that all Stiles has to do is whisper the words and Derek comes all over himself, his cock untouched.

&&&

The next afternoon, Stiles is a little shocked when the phone actually rings. No, a lot shocked.

“Hey, Derek, what’s up?”

“Will you go on a date with me?”

The way Derek blurts it out with absolutely no preliminaries, Stiles can tell he’s been working himself up to this for hours, if not days. And Stiles is… well, he’s not quite sure what to make of it. He hadn’t thought Derek was interested in anything outside the bedroom or the club. Unless he’s talking about the club, but it doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like… like Derek is asking him out on a real date.

At which point Stiles realizes he’s been silent for long enough to make Derek squirm, and not in the fun way. “Um, so, a date? Like…”

“Food. Eaten together. In a public place. I’m told people do that.”

Stiles is surprised into a laugh. “No, yeah, I just… I wasn’t expecting that.” The last time they’d met over food… well, “awkward” would be a generous descriptor.

“If you don’t want to—”

“No. I mean yes, I want to.” God, why has the prospect of dinner got him so flustered? “When?”

“You free tonight?”

“You’re in luck. I just happen to have a break in my thriving social schedule tonight.” Meaning Scott’s out with Allison and Isaac has to work and Boyd is… doing whatever it is that Boyd does. Stiles still isn’t entirely sure how he even met Boyd.

“Alphonso’s sound good?”

“Hell yeah, I love that place. Meet you there at seven?”

“Okay,” Derek says, sounding a little surprised himself. “Good. See you there.”

Stiles even gets to say goodbye before Derek hangs up.

&&&

A date with Derek.   Stiles has trouble wrapping his head around it. He knows, in the abstract, that Derek has a functional set of social skills – he’s basically in charge of a small but successful PR company and he’s not a hermit. It’s just that he’s rarely demonstrated those skills around Stiles, and Stiles has no idea what to expect from a casual conversation in a public place with Derek.

Stiles gets to the restaurant late, which he hates, but he’d changed shirts three times before just going with his favorite plaid. The restaurant is pretty casual, and he figures he might as well forgo any pretenses around Derek.

But Derek, of course, is in a perfectly tailored suit and tie, and even though he looks completely out of place in a low-key Italian joint, it still makes Stiles feel like an idiot. Derek even stands when Stiles gets to the table, waiting to sit back down until Stiles does, and Stiles figures he might as well go ahead and dump spaghetti sauce down the front of his own shirt now, because it’s inevitable.

Derek must sense Stiles’ discomfort, because he looks down at his own clothes and scowls. “Sorry about this. I had a meeting and I didn’t have time to go home and change.”

Stiles remembers he’d set the time for dinner. “Hey, I know I said seven, but if you needed extra time, you could’ve said so. My weekends are mostly spent trying to be as unproductive as possible.”

Derek shakes his head. “It’s fine.”

The finality in his tone stops the conversation dead, and Stiles begins to worry in earnest. He can fill up the silence if he needs to, but that hardly constitutes a date. Fortunately, the waitress comes by and Stiles knows the menu well enough to order without looking at it.

When she leaves, Derek clears his throat and stares down at the table.   He looks like there’s so much he wants to say; he just can’t get any of it out. Stiles is just going to have to go for it.

“Okay, so small talk isn’t your thing. That’s cool. But if this is going to go anywhere, we have to talk about something. What is it you want from me, Derek?”

Derek immediately flushes and goes perfectly still. Stiles sighs. “I’m not talking about the… the text message stuff. Though that’s been pretty impressive, by the way.”

Derek doesn’t look up from the table, but Stiles can see a grin playing at the corners of his mouth. “I kind of surprised myself with that.”

“Good. That’s a good start, and if that’s all you want from me, that kind of domination, then that’s all we need to talk about. But you asked me out on a date, and this feels like… more than that.”

Derek nods slowly, finally meeting Stiles’ eyes, though it looks like it’s difficult for him. “After… her, I kept trying that kind of play. Just submission, no relationship. But it never felt right.”

Stiles wants to ask what, exactly, he’s done since her, because Stiles has a feeling that it wasn’t healthy, and he’s not sure Derek’s ready for a relationship. He’s even less sure that Derek’s ready for the kind of play he wants, but Derek surprises him by saying, “I think you were right before. About… taking some time off from sex. I haven’t… with anyone, not since we talked about it. But I still want to, and I still want to with you.”

“Is this” – Stiles gestures at the restaurant, the whole date set-up – “what you want? Am I? Because I’m not your only option, Derek.”

Derek cocks his head at Stiles oddly. “I know that. Are you…? Do you not want…?”

Stiles bites his lip, because he wants. He wants to dig under Derek’s shell and make him feel worthy and cherished and… fuck, where is all this coming from? He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, trying to sort out his thoughts. Beneath everything, the not-sure and the I-want and the what-if, he feels a pull towards Derek, something almost instinctual. And Stiles learned a long time ago to trust his gut.

When he opens his eyes, Derek is scowling again, and Stiles realizes he kind of left Derek hanging there. “I do want. A little too much, maybe. But I think it’s worth trying. We’re just… both gonna have to be really clear about what we need from each other. And I’m not just talking whips and chains.”

Derek’s face softens. “So where do we start?”

Stiles can’t help but grin and slide his hand across the table to cover Derek’s. “I know – let’s do something really kinky and pretend we’re normal people on a first date.”

Derek’s trying to keep a straight face, but his lips are drawn together a little too tightly. “I don’t know, that sounds kind of crazy. Are you sure you can do normal?”

Stiles rubs his thumb indulgently over the back of Derek’s hand. Derek already told him how much he needs to be touched, and Stiles has a feeling it’s not limited to sex. “Let’s give it a shot. The safeword is ‘meatball.’ Unless that’s what you’re ordering, in which case we’d better go with… ‘hedgehog.’”

“As long as it’s not on the menu,” Derek says, and Stiles lets out a surprised laugh.

“Hedgehog it is. So tell me, Derek, what exactly do you do all day in suits like that?”

Derek quirks an eyebrow. “When your eyes are slipping shut and you’re about to start snoring, just remember, you asked.”

&&&

It goes well. Shockingly well, actually. So well Stiles gets a text not an hour after they’ve parted ways.

One day I want you to Dom me while I’m still wearing my suit.

Stiles is still working on getting the air back into his lungs when a second text comes in.

Is this still okay?

Stiles texts back, Yes, but before we do any of it, you’re going to need to be able to say it to me face to face.

Also you may need to space these things out, because my dick is actually starting to chafe.

&&&

Derek cooks for Stiles. He honest-to-god cooks for him, and while it’s a fairly simple stir-fry, it’s good, and Derek practically radiates with pride when Stiles makes a soft, involuntary sound of pleasure while eating.

Still, Stiles insists on helping with the dishes – service-oriented submission may be something they’ll want to explore later, but Derek has yet to mention it, and tonight doesn’t feel like the right time.   Besides, Stiles has something else in mind.

“I can’t believe you’ve never seen L.A. Confidential,” Derek says a few minutes later as he’s popping the DVD in. “The script is amazing. Plus, vintage Russell Crowe.”

“Hey, I’m sold,” Stiles says, taking a seat in the middle of the couch. It’s perfect that they’re watching something Derek has seen a million times; he’ll be more comfortable and hopefully better able to focus on his feelings if he wants to follow Stiles’ plan.

As the movie menu pops up and Derek heads back toward the couch, Stiles pulls one of the big, squashy throw pillows toward him. He looks up at Derek, smiling softly. “Hey, how’d you like to do something for me tonight?”

Derek’s eyes go wide; he obviously wasn’t expecting this and he nods enthusiastically.

“Nothing sexual,” Stiles cautions.

“No, yeah, I know.”

Stiles spreads his legs and puts the cushion on the floor between them. “Would you be okay sitting down here during the movie? If you don’t want to right now—”

“Yes,” Derek says immediately. “I want to.”

Stiles grins. “Awesome. I’d like that.” Derek doesn’t need a hand to help him sit on the cushion without flopping down (like Stiles would), but Stiles extends him a hand anyway. Once he’s seated, Stiles moves his legs in to press lightly against Derek’s sides, not trapping him, but reminding him that Stiles is there. “Please, get comfortable. And if you want up at any time, just ask. I promise you, I won’t be disappointed. There’s nothing important riding on this. I just thought you might like a little… direction.” And Stiles needs to see if Derek’s able to ask for something he wants, even something this small.

“Thank you,” Derek says softly, already settling in and pushing “play” on the remote.

He stays there for the entire movie, but to Stiles’ relief, he doesn’t sit there stiffly. He relaxes against the couch, his legs stretching out and his head tipping back a little against the cushions. It’s all Stiles can do to resist rubbing Derek’s scalp again, but he thinks that might be a little too stimulating for tonight. Still, he gives Derek’s shoulder a gentle squeeze when Derek rests the side of his head against Stiles’ knee.

Derek’s absolutely right about the movie; it’s fantastic, though Stiles is kind of weirdly crushing on Kevin Spacey more than anyone else. When the credits roll, Stiles waits to see what Derek will do. It takes him a minute, but eventually he stops the movie and turns to ask Stiles if he can get up.

“Of course,” Stiles says with a smile, and if he watches a little greedily as Derek stands and stretches his arms over his head, no one else is the wiser.

Stiles scoots over to make room for Derek on the couch. “How did that feel?” Stiles asks gently, not wanting to make Derek feel like he’s being interrogated. “Any different from normally watching a movie?”

“Well, I did just spend two hours between your legs,” Derek deadpans, and Stiles can’t help a surprised bark of a laugh. “But seriously, I liked it more than I thought I would. It was weird at first and I thought I’d want to fidget, but I didn’t. It was like you were holding me in place.” Derek’s cheeks start to color. “It felt good.”

Stiles sets a hand on Derek’s knee and squeezes. “Was there any time you really wanted to get up, but just didn’t want to ask me?”

Derek shakes his head. “My ass started to fall asleep at the end, but… to tell you the truth, I kind of wanted to stay down there after the credits were over.”

“Awesome,” Stiles says, keeping a hand on Derek’s knee. “But I think that’s probably enough for tonight.”

Derek looks hurt, and Stiles’ impulse to throw his arms around him reminds him why he needs to leave. “We’re going super-slow, remember? And right now I’m really tempted to… not go slow.”

The side of Derek’s mouth crooks up. “Wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?” he asks, looking up from under lowered eyelashes.

Stiles realizes he’s going to be spending some quality time with his right hand tonight.

 &&&

Derek knows all the lingo – or a lot of it, anyways – but Stiles can tell that he’s not quite comfortable with it. Stiles gets the feeling that all of Derek’s partners, bad and not-quite-so-bad, have taken one look at him and assumed that he knew what he was doing, that he knew what his limits were and was capable of enforcing them. It makes Stiles a little ill to think he might have assumed the same, had he not met Derek the way he did.

They talk about hard and soft limits, about various props and aftercare and subdrop. And somewhere in there, they even manage to have their first kiss.

It happens surprisingly organically, considering the way Stiles carefully plans things out in advance. It’s all for Derek’s safety and Stiles’ peace of mind, but even Stiles will admit that all the planning can be a hell of a buzzkill. Or, alternatively, an unholy tease, since both of them are so committed to keeping things chaste until they’re comfortable going forward. Stiles seriously hasn’t jerked off this much since high school.

But there are nights that are less intense, nights where Stiles is just a guy falling for another guy, one who happens to be smart and gorgeous and shy with a fantastically dry wit. And season tickets for the Sacramento Kings. Stiles has always been more of a baseball guy, but he’s sure as hell not going to say no to private skybox seats.

It’s hard to focus on the game, though, when Derek’s sitting right next to him and… well, it’s not quite fidgeting – that’s the kind of thing Stiles does, not Derek – but Derek’s definitely projecting a sort of nervous energy, a disruption in his usual stillness and Stiles nearly bites a hole in his lip to keep from asking. It’s all been a delicate dance of knowing when to push a little and knowing when to let Derek pull. Tonight it nearly drives Stiles crazy, but he’s rewarded when, midway through the third quarter, Derek slips his hand into Stiles’ on their shared armrest, knitting their fingers together. Stiles doesn’t turn to look at Derek, just squeezes gently and imagines a light flush rising up Derek’s neck. For such a small gesture, it feels enormously intimate, like the opening of a door, and Stiles can’t help grinning like a buffoon until the final buzzer sounds.

When Derek drops him off that night, walking him to the door of his apartment, it’s the most natural thing in the world to say goodnight with a kiss. Derek doesn’t even hesitate. Stiles tries to keep it chaste, but there’s undeniable heat there, a promise in the way Derek leans in with his whole body. Stiles feels a physical sort of confidence in Derek that he’s only seen glimpses of before, and it makes Stiles ache with anticipation for what’s to come.

&&&

They’re over at Derek’s again for the sake of both privacy and comfort – not that Stiles is ashamed of his nouveau-dorm-room décor, but Derek’s sumptuous furniture really deserves to be used to its fullest extent. They’ve just finished watching another movie in the same position as before, but neither of them makes a move to get up. Instead, Stiles turns the TV off with the remote and runs his fingers through Derek’s hair. It’s unpleasantly sticky with gel, but Derek is thoroughly relaxed, comfortable between Stiles’ legs, and Stiles figures that now is probably as good a time as any to ask.

“You don’t have to tell me everything,” he starts. “But before we go much further than this, I need to know what your experience with subbing has been. I’d be really irresponsible not to ask, and if you can’t talk about it…” Stiles takes a deep breath. “I’m pretty sure you’re not ready to start doing it.”

Derek nods, but he’s silent for a long time, and Stiles has to bite hard on the inside of his cheek to keep from filling the silence with questions. Eventually, Derek says, “At first I thought I only liked that sort of stuff – being held down, bossed around, things like that – with guys, even though I didn’t have that much experience with it. At much of anything, really. But then I met Kate.”

His voice trembles a little when he says her name and Stiles has to concentrate to maintain the same pace while stroking his hair instead of clenching his hands into fists like he wants to. “I was still in college,” Derek continues, “and it was this exciting, kind of forbidden thing anyway, because she was about ten years older than me. She’d tease me like crazy, do things like climb into my lap and rub all over me, but then slap me if my fingers drifted up under her shirt. It was all really confusing. Because she never acted like she was angry with me, but she would always stop cold when I touched her. She never said why, but she’d drop these hints, like I wouldn’t know how to please her or I just didn’t know what I was doing. Finally, I just begged for her to tell me what to do, and she… That’s when she smiled like I’d never seen before and said, ‘Sweetheart, that’s just what I’ve been waiting to hear you say.’”

Stiles’ stomach twists. He knows some people are into manipulation, but nothing that Derek’s describing sounds consensual. He’s still facing away from Stiles and Stiles understands why, but he still wishes he could see Derek’s face.

It sounds like it pains him, but Derek keeps going. “She took me home that night and told me just how… how to fuck her. She dragged her nails all over me, even broke the skin in a few places, but I… I liked it. I wanted more. And her eyes would just light up whenever I asked for more, especially if I was begging. She had all these toys and props that she loved to use.

“Everything was good for a while. Things got really intense, but I liked that. The more control I gave up, the more it hurt, the less I had to think. She would do things even when I asked her not to, like leave marks where people could see, but I thought that was part of the whole… dominance thing. She kept talking about ‘pushing my limits.’ She said if she wasn’t pushing my limits, it wasn’t any fun for her. I guess it sounds bad now, but the way she talked about it… it kind of made sense at the time.”

“You were young,” Stiles breaks in, trying to stop the self-recrimination he can hear Derek building up to. “What she did was wrong. I don’t mean just bad BDSM etiquette; that was abuse.”

“I know that now. I learned a lot just going to the club, watching and listening, but even with the good Doms, I couldn't speak up for myself. I know what I was doing was seriously unhealthy, but I… it sounds stupid, but it felt safer to just take what I could get than to ask for what I wanted.”

“Doesn’t sound stupid at all,” Stiles says, putting his fingers on Derek’s chin and gently turning his head so he’s facing Stiles. “If you’re not a talker to begin with, it can be hard to find the words. Hell, there was a time when all of this made me blush and stutter.”

“I guess,” Derek sighs, and Stiles hates to see him look so defeated.

“Come up here,” Stiles says, taking Derek’s hands and helping him to sit on the couch. “I’m going to be so careful with you, okay? Your limits are your limits, and if you want to ‘push’ them, we talk about it ahead of time.”

Derek scowls, but Stiles knows him well enough to know he’s pensive, not angry. “Won’t that make it, I don’t know, really predictable?”

Stiles grins. “You leave that to me.”

He leaves Derek's that night feeling more secure about this thing that's building between them. Derek talking about Kate was a huge step. Stiles still feels responsible for Derek's well-being when they're together, but now Derek has his own voice in the conversation. And Stiles has to trust that, to trust Derek that he'll speak up for what he needs. Moving slowly is still important, but moving forward is crucial.

They're ready.

&&&

Stiles can't remember the last time he was this nervous going into a scene. But he can't remember ever being this excited, either. They've talked over the basic parameters, of course, along with the set-up. Derek seemed comfortable with all of it; he's still tough for Stiles to read, but he voiced his concerns, even added some suggestions of his own.

Like the fact that Derek's naked and Stiles isn't. Stiles, however, is the one who insisted on the pillow beneath Derek's knees, because there's not going to be any pain or hard punishment tonight.

There’s hardly a need to set the mood, either. Almost from the moment Derek went down on his knees, he’s been radiating quiet excitement. He’s got his hands clasped behind him, so Stiles can’t see them at the moment, but from the tension in his arms, he must already be gripping tight. His cock isn’t fully hard yet, but it’s definitely well on the way.

Stiles leans back against the wall and pauses to take a deep breath. He wants nothing more than to reach out and touch, to smooth his hands over Derek’s skin and watch it flush. But that’s the one thing he’s not going to do tonight. At least not yet. “Color?” he asks.

“Green,” Derek says quietly but firmly, lifting his head to look Stiles in the eye. The eye contact isn’t prolonged, but it’s enough to let Stiles know that Derek is ready, that he’s sure. He’s promised himself that he won’t second guess Derek’s state of mind, that he can trust Derek to know his own limits for this.

“God, look at you,” Stiles breathes out. “I haven’t even laid a hand on you and you’re already getting hard.”

“Yes, sir,” Derek says, cheeks flushing a little. Stiles had outright vetoed “Master,” but Derek held firm on wanting to use the honorific, and hearing Derek say it now, Stiles thinks he might like it.

Stiles pushes off the wall, takes a step toward Derek; Derek’s eyes follow him, though he’s looking somewhere in the area of Stiles’ chest. “Are you going to be good for me tonight? To do what I tell you?”

“Yes, sir,” he says again, and Stiles gives Derek a long, sweeping look, up and down. He technically saw Derek naked in the club and registered that he had a fantastic body, but the events that followed superseded the memory of any details. Besides, this is the first time Stiles has seen Derek naked for him. Derek’s trying his best not to squirm under the attention, and it’s practically making Stiles’ mouth water.

Derek looks so good, so lithe and strong, and Stiles would be lying if he didn’t admit that he gets off on dominating guys who look like they could beat him up. It’s not the only dynamic that works for him, but it’s sure as hell working now. Stiles is already making a mental list of things he wants to do: sink his teeth into the muscle of Derek’s shoulder. Roll Derek’s nipples between his fingers until Derek is writhing.

He slowly steps around until he’s looking at Derek from the back. “Hands at your sides,” Stiles says, and Derek immediately complies. Fuck, his back is going to make a beautiful canvas, however he’ll let Stiles mark him. And Stiles will be so, so careful, work Derek up so slowly and thoroughly until he’s begging for the burning sting of a flogger. The thought of Derek wearing Stiles’ stripes under one of those crisp white shirts is enough to make Stiles reach down and adjust himself in his jeans.

Stiles takes a few long moments to ogle Derek’s ass, just because. And if he happens to be rubbing at the crotch of his jeans, too, well… He can’t imagine anyone would blame him.

By the time he’s made his way around to Derek’s front again, Derek’s dick is jutting out proudly and Derek’s hands are clenched into fists at his sides. “Such a pretty cock,” Stiles muses aloud. “Already so big and you’re not even fully hard yet, are you?”

“No, sir.”

“Then show me,” Stiles says, squaring his shoulders to Derek and staring down at him. “Get yourself hard for me. You can lick your palm if you want.”

Derek does, but only a cursory swipe of his tongue. When he takes his dick in hand, he starts out fast and rough, jacking himself almost angrily. “Slower,” Stiles says sternly. “You don’t get to come yet, so there’s no rush.”

A shiver runs down Derek’s spine, but his hand slows and Stiles watches as he works his cock, hips still and wrist twisting slightly every now and then. He stops once in a while to rub his thumb beneath the thick, meaty head, holding back on a groan. Stiles can only imagine what sound he’ll make when Stiles does the same to him with his tongue.

“Stop,” Stiles says suddenly, and it must take Derek’s brain a few moments to catch up, because he gets in a few extra strokes before pulling his hand away. Stiles snaps his fingers and Derek looks up, guilt written all over his face. “I’m going to let that one slide,” Stiles says, “but just that one. When I say stop, you stop. Got it?” Derek nods, chastised. “Good. You’re doing so well. Color?”

“Green.”

It doesn’t escape Stiles’ notice how Derek perks up at the praise. “Perfect. Now let me see. Hands behind your back.”

Derek’s flush starts to spread down his neck, but he obeys, and the motion cants his hips forward just a little. His cock really is gorgeous, especially like this: full and thick, curved slightly upward. Stiles is definitely going to have Derek fuck him, sooner rather than later. “Very nice,” Stiles says, barely resisting the urge to reach out and run his hand through Derek’s hair. Not yet. “Start again. Keep stroking yourself, slowly like before.”

Derek tries not to seem as eager about it as he clearly is. His hand is sure and strong, and though he has his eyes closed, he seems to enjoy performing for Stiles. So Stiles lets him go on like that for a bit, being sure to make his presence known with soft words of encouragement.

Probably out of habit, Derek’s hand speeds up. It looks unbelievably hot, the muscles in Derek’s arm flexing with his movements, but Stiles doesn’t want it to end too soon. “Slow down,” he says, and Derek’s response is immediate this time. Without thinking, Stiles murmurs, “Good boy.”

Derek flinches. “I don’t— Yellow.”

Stiles drops to his knees right in front of Derek, resting a careful hand on his shoulder. “Shit. Derek, are you—?”

“Fine,” Derek says, his eyes downcast. “Just… don’t call me that.”

It hits Stiles like a punch to the gut, and he remembers the text about pet names. “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” He touches Derek’s face, watches him drink in the contact like water. “You want to stop for now?”

Derek shakes his head. “I’m good. Keep going.”

It’s not the first time someone’s safeworded on Stiles, but it always shakes him up a little. Especially now, with Derek so new to this being done the right way. Still, he’s got to trust Derek as much as Derek trusts him. Stiles leans back and asks, “Color?”

“Green.”

“Ok, just… close your eyes for a minute. Take a few deep breaths.” Derek’s only half-hard now, but he’s still got one hand wrapped loosely around his cock. “Remember where you are. You’re with me, and you’re safe. Just listen to my voice. Think about something that turns you on, something you really like to jerk off to.” Derek starts to blush again, and just like that, Stiles is back in the right headspace. “You don’t have to tell me what it is right now, just picture it in your mind.”

Stiles doesn’t think Derek even realizes that his own hand starts moving again in a slow, squeezing stroke, tugging his foreskin up to rub over the head.   “You’re uncut,” Stiles says softly. “I like that. We’ll have fun with that. I’ll run my tongue right underneath ‘til you beg me to suck you. How does that sound?” Derek grunts and his hand speeds up.

“Mmm, yeah,” Stiles sighs. “You’ve got such great hands. That looks like it feels good. Does it?”

“Yes, sir,” Derek says, but follows it up with, “wish it was your hand.”

Stiles grins. “It will be, soon. I’m not gonna be able to keep my hands off you for long. Can’t wait to hear the sweet little noises you’ll make when I touch you. Run my hands all over you.” Stiles leans forward again, not touching but close enough for Derek to feel him in his space. “Would you like that?”

Yes,” Derek groans, hips hitching forward.

“Yes what?” Stiles asks, getting back to his feet.

“Yes, sir.”

“Perfect.” Stiles starts walking another slow circle around Derek; he really does look amazing from every angle. “Here’s what you’re going to do: in a minute, when I tell you, you’re going to take your hand off your dick.”

Derek grumbles softly and Stiles chuckles. “I’m really just helping you out here, Derek. If you come before I tell you to, that’ll be the last time for a week.”

Derek sucks in a quick breath, but Stiles sees his hand tighten as he tries not to speed up. “That’s right,” Stiles continues. “Your orgasms belong to me now. I decide when you get to come and when you don’t. Be good, and maybe I’ll let you come today.”

Stiles stands in front of Derek again and decides he likes this view the best. “Open your eyes, Derek,” he says softly, and when Derek complies, he rubs the bulge in his own jeans. “You see this? This is what you do to me. Just watching you gets me hard.”

Derek makes a high-pitched, choked-off sound like he’s getting close, so Stiles says, “Hands off. Now.”

Derek obeys, splaying his fingers out by his sides. His cock is still straining towards Stiles, a bead of precum glistening at the tip. “God, look at you,” Stiles sighs wistfully. “You’re already starting to get wet for me, aren’t you?”

Before he can answer, Stiles says, “I want you to take one finger – just one finger – and touch your slit. Get that wetness on your finger. Let me see it.”

His dick twitches when he touches the tip, the sticky fluid leaving a glistening string behind as he pulls his hand away, offers it up to Stiles. Locking eyes with Derek, Stiles wraps his mouth around Derek’s finger, sucking off the slightly bitter taste with a twist of his tongue that makes Derek whimper.

“Please,” Derek says, his voice cracking. “I need…”

“What do you need?”

“Touch me. Anywhere. Please.”

“Not yet,” Stiles says, licking wetly across Derek’s palm. He’s not cruel; he knows Derek’s starved for touch, but it’ll make an even sweeter reward later. Not to mention that Stiles is nearly bursting out of his zipper just watching Derek ache for it. He lets go of Derek’s hand. “You can touch yourself however you want now. Just don’t come.”

Derek resists touching his dick at all… for about five seconds. Stiles knows the feeling; he wants nothing more than to unzip and jerk himself hard. Maybe come all over Derek’s stubble. Fuck, he can’t think like that and keep his focus.   Tonight is just for Derek.

Stiles watches every move of Derek’s hands, the way his left slowly creeps over, like Derek is trying to hold back but can’t, to cup his balls, roll them a little. After a minute, he finds a pretty steady pace. His brow is slightly furrowed and his breathing heavy, but he’s keeping himself well back from the edge. Stiles grins; that won’t do at all.

“Stop!”

Once again, Derek takes both hands away, and this time Stiles kneels down in front of him. Derek’s watching him with wide eyes, body unconsciously leaning into Stiles. Derek’s lips look dry and a little chapped; Stiles wants to soothe them with his tongue, but he refrains for the moment, instead reaching down and, being very careful not to touch Derek’s cock, slides two fingers behind Derek’s balls and presses up firmly on his taint.

Derek’s whole body jerks and he makes a noise that Stiles easily interprets as unfair! And it’s so true. Stiles isn’t even pretending to play fair, massaging Derek’s g-spot from the outside. Another thick drop of precum wells up in Derek’s slit, then slides down the length of his dick. As Stiles continues to rub in slow circles, he can see Derek’s hands clenching and unclenching at his sides, his cock flushed dark red. This is how Stiles wants him – desperate, aching.

When the little sobbing noises that Derek is making become more or less constant, Stiles takes his hand away, giving Derek’s balls a quick, gentle squeeze that nearly makes Derek fall forward. “You’re doing so well,” Stiles whispers. “I just need you to do one more thing for me. I need you to get a good grip on your cock and fuck into your hand.”

“Can’t,” Derek says, his voice cracking. “I’ll come.”

“Not yet. You can do this. You’ve done everything just like I asked. Now I want to see those gorgeous hips of yours work. Can you do that for me?”

It takes a moment, but Derek nods slowly. With his eyes squeezed shut, he takes a deep breath and reaches for himself again. Stiles wants to see him open his eyes, but he’s already issued Derek enough of a challenge, so he backs up, still on his knees, to give Derek some room. And to get a better vantage point to watch.

Derek’s hips stutter into motion and it’s a sight to behold. After a few tentative thrusts, he finds his rhythm. It’s achingly slow, but that just means Stiles gets a better view of the muscles in Derek’s thighs and ass as they thrust forward and back, forward and back. One day, Stiles will see how long Derek can go like this, maybe put a cock ring on him and tell Derek to fuck him as long as his legs can stand it. But he’s put Derek through enough tonight. Well, almost enough.

“Faster,” Stiles says, and Derek groans but obeys, his hips snapping forward and his hand tightening as if by reflex.

“Please,” Derek gasps. “Please, sir.”

“Please what?”

“Please let me stop.”

That gives Stiles pause, the fact that Derek asked not to come but to stop pushing himself to the edge. Something to ponder later. “Just a little more,” Stiles says. “You’re so beautiful like this, wound up so tight. It would hardly take anything to push you over would it?”

Derek makes a strangled noise, his rhythm faltering, and Stiles takes pity on him. “You can stop now.”

Derek can hardly hold himself up on his knees anymore, his whole body quaking with the need to come. Stiles is practically hurting with it now, but he’s had his end game planned all along, so he tells Derek to take a few deep breaths.

While Derek does, Stiles shuffles forward again so his knees are nearly touching Derek’s. Derek’s eyes are still closed, so he startles when Stiles’ palm touches his cheek. “You’ve been so good for me, Derek. So perfect. Are you ready?”

He doesn’t even ask for what, just nods and nuzzles into Stiles’ hand, and Stiles’ heart swells with the intimacy of the gesture. He rubs a thumb over Derek’s lips and lets his hand trail down Derek’s throat, his chest, through the surprisingly soft hair below his navel, finally taking Derek’s cock in his hand.

Stiles starts slow, mindful of how overstimulated Derek is by now. Derek is watching Stiles’ hand stroking him, but Stiles wants a better view than the top of Derek’s head. “Hey,” he says softly. “Look at me.”

The sight almost makes Stiles gasp. Derek’s expression is so open, his irises nearly consumed by the black of his dilated pupils. There are tears in his eyes – whether from emotion or from the sheer onslaught of physical stimulation, Stiles doesn’t know, but it’s beautiful either way. He rewards Derek by pressing his fingers behind Derek’s balls again, massaging in time with his strokes.

Derek’s body is frozen, like it doesn’t quite know what to do with all of this, and Stiles grins. “You can hold on to me if you need to.”

Leaning in, Derek braces his hands on Stiles’ biceps, and that seems to be when everything finally clicks. He’s beyond speech by now, making broken noises as he rocks into Stiles’ hand. He’s done so much already that Stiles isn’t going to make him try to find the words to beg for it. Not today. “Derek, I want you to come.”

Derek sobs, pumping his hips rapidly until he starts to shake. His forehead drops to rest on Stiles’ shoulder, and as much as Stiles would like to see Derek’s face, he lets Derek bury his moans against his throat. The sounds he makes are almost enough to push Stiles himself over the edge. But he keeps his focus on Derek, on drawing his pleasure out until warmth has stopped spattering on his hand (and probably all over the front of his shirt) and Derek’s iron-tense muscles begin to relax.

Derek slumps forward after that, going nearly boneless in Stiles’ arms. Fortunately, Stiles is able to maneuver him down until he’s sitting back on his heels. It won’t be comfortable for long, but Stiles wants Derek to come down as gently as possible. He didn’t expect Derek to get so close to subspace so soon, but it’s pretty clear Derek’s going to need some time to pull himself back together.

And Stiles is all about aftercare. He knows Derek’s experiences have lacked pretty sorely in that department, and he’s determined to aftercare Derek’s brains out even before they get into rougher play.

When Derek seems to be a little better able to bear his own weight, Stiles helps him stand and silently guides him back to the bedroom. He’s only been in here once or twice, since the temptation of being alone with Derek and a giant, opulent bed was just too strong. He guides Derek to it now, though, spreads him out across the sinfully soft sheets.

He strokes down Derek’s sides, across his chest, giving him all the touch that Stiles had rationed out so carefully before. Derek sighs softly, pressing a little into Stiles’ hands when he can. “Welcome back,” Stiles says, unable to stop the grin spreading across his face.

Derek doesn’t seem to be able to form words yet, but he smiles back. After a moment, though, his brow furrows and he paws clumsily at Stiles’ crotch, where his dick is still half-hard in his jeans. Stiles takes his hand and brings it up to his mouth for a kiss. “Don’t worry about me. I got exactly what I wanted tonight. You were perfect.”

Derek’s face colors, his eyes darting away, but he squeezes Stiles’ hand. Stiles isn’t terribly surprised that Derek has a hard time taking praise outside of a scene, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop giving it. “You look so good right now. Do you feel good? Does anything hurt?”

Derek shakes his head, and Stiles wishes he’d thought to bring wipes or a washcloth in here first. He wants to clean Derek up, but he doesn’t want to leave him yet. So Stiles just stretches out on the bed, resting his head in one hand and pressing his body along Derek’s side so he can keep drawing aimless patterns on the perfect canvas of Derek’s skin. “You went deeper than I thought you would for our first time. It was pretty amazing to watch, actually.”

Derek grunts softly, a noncommittal sound, and Stiles leans down to kiss his shoulder. It’s hard not to get ahead of himself, his mind running in a dozen different directions with things he wants to do with Derek, to Derek. More than anything, though, right now he wants Derek to just enjoy this, to rest in it and feel good without the pressure of any expectations. Stiles smoothes down Derek’s chest hair with his thumb. “You’re exactly what I wanted.”

 &&&

It’s hard to know exactly where to go from there. Stiles wants, he wants so many things that he ends up zoning out at his job even more than normal and having to work late to finish everything. But he still needs to take things slowly, to find the balance between being there for Derek and giving him his space.

Derek ends up having an unexpectedly busy week after their first scene, so Stiles doesn’t get to see him or talk to him as much as he’d like. They’d talked about self-care for Derek in the following days, but Stiles finds himself crashing a bit, too. He’s felt it before and knows how to deal with it, but it’s usually come after rougher scenes with more intimate partners. It’s a sharp reminder that he may be more experienced than Derek, but he’s not all-knowing, and these are uncharted waters for him, as well.

Stiles is biting hard on his lip as he types out I want to see you on his phone. Nothing about it feels casual as he hits send.

It takes almost fifteen minutes to get a reply. I need to move some things around, but I can be free tomorrow after 7.

Something suddenly occurs to Stiles and he types as fast as he can: That wasn’t an order. I wouldn’t do that over the phone unless we’d talked about it first.

There’s no immediate answer, so he continues. If it’s too much trouble, we can wait until the weekend.

Stiles, it’s ok. I want to see you, too.

Stiles sighs out a breath he didn’t even know he’d been holding.

&&&

Derek looks pretty worn out when he shows up at Stiles’ place, but he immediately melts when Stiles wraps an arm around him. “I needed that,” Derek murmurs softly.

“Me too,” Stiles admits. “I kind of… didn’t anticipate how intense that was going to be.”

“For you?” Derek asks, drawing back a little.

“Yeah, for me,” Stiles says, rubbing his nose against Derek’s neck. “I was there too, you know.”

“I guess I didn’t think… I didn’t know that happened for people like you.”

“I mean, it varies, but…” …your former Doms have been asshats, Stiles has to keep himself from saying as he pulls back to look Derek in the eye. “I was really into it. Into you. If I didn’t say that before, I’m saying it now.”

Derek blushes, but he maintains eye contact. “So, this is something you want to keep doing?”

“Not tonight, but yeah. Very much.” Stiles doesn’t realize how much he’s laying out there until he’s actually done it. “Both the scening and the actual relationship.”

“Good,” Derek sighs, leaning in for a soft, gentle kiss. “Can we just order pizza and eat it here?”

Stiles doesn’t think he’s heard anything better, but he groans and pokes at Derek’s abs. “How do you even have a body like this?”

“I’m only bad when I’m around you,” Derek whispers in his ear, and Stiles’ knees nearly give out.

The pizza arrives only moments before Scott comes back for the night, so they take it back to Stiles’ room for some privacy. Derek had immediately frozen when Scott walked in, and he hadn’t exactly been rude when Stiles had introduced them, but Derek was definitely uncomfortable.

“Y’know, I don’t tell Scott any of this stuff,” Stiles says, trying to sound nonchalant as he tugs the cheese strings free on his slice of pizza. “I mean, he’s sort of picked up on the fact that I’m kinky in general – he’s friends with Lydia, too – but all he knows about us is that you’re this super-hot guy who wants to go out with me for some reason.”

Derek looks oddly relieved at that but manages a bit of a smirk. “’Super-hot’?”

“Like the surface of an O-type star,” Stiles says. “And yes, I had to look up what the hottest classification of star was, because the sun just wasn’t going to cut it on this particular occasion.”

“You are… peculiar,” Derek says, but he accepts the slice of pizza Stiles hands him and leans back against the wall to eat. There’s something absurdly sexy about Derek still in his business clothes – albeit with his shoes and jacket off and his sleeves rolled up – sitting cross-legged on Stiles’ bed, very carefully eating a messy slice of pizza. He makes it look almost elegant.

They eat in comfortable silence for a few minutes until most of the pizza is gone and Stiles is casting around for tissues to wipe his greasy fingers on. Thus far he’s avoided any serious topics of conversation, but Derek looks much more relaxed now. “So,” Stiles says, trying for a casual tone, “where do you want to go from here? What’s next?”

Derek arches an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you be the one determining that?”

Stiles grits his teeth at yet another reminder of how Derek’s been mistreated. “Unless we both decide on a 24/7 thing, which I don’t want right now, this is always going to be a collaboration. Both the scenes and the relationship. And the sex, by the way. That can happen without any kind of powerplay if you want.”

Derek seems surprised at that, and Stiles kicks himself for assuming too much about what Derek does and doesn’t know. But before Stiles can say anything, Derek scowls. “You must think I’m a complete idiot.”

Stiles shakes his head rapidly. “No. You just… weren’t introduced to this the right way. It’s not like there’s a manual you can read.”

Sighing, Derek closes his eyes and lets his head tip back to rest against the wall. “Am I ever going to stop feeling so stupid?”

Stiles shoves the pizza box aside and shifts to sit next to Derek, pressing up against his side. “I can’t control how you feel. But I’m pretty sure it’s only going to get better. I want to make sure that you feel safe with me, that you can ask any questions or ask for anything you want without being mocked.”

Derek sighs again, but he leans into Stiles’ body. “Can we just do this tonight? Relax?”

“Absolutely,” Stiles says, tilting his head to steal a pizza-flavored kiss.

&&&

The next time Stiles gets Derek on his knees, he makes it clear that he wants more than Stiles’ hands, and that he’s pretty desperate to reciprocate. Stiles doesn’t give in that night, but it’s a near thing. Ultimately, though, he wants to spend some time planning it. He wants it to be special for Derek.

He already has a pretty solid list of things that Derek likes, though, so he starts introducing those. Derek wasn’t joking about liking fingers – he seems content to suck on Stiles’ forever, watches with rapt attention as Stiles wraps wet fingers around his own dick and jerks himself slowly. Stiles finishes embarrassingly quickly with Derek’s eyes on him, coming all over Derek’s stomach and chest.

The nipple clamps are the first toys Stiles introduces. Derek blushes all the way down to his toes as Stiles carefully tightens them, all the while telling Derek how beautiful and perfect he is. Derek lays so still, his hands fisting in the sheets and his whole body vibrating with tension. Stiles doesn’t hold back with the touch this time, dragging his hands and mouth all over Derek’s skin. He’d thought about tying Derek up for this, but Derek is so good, so obedient that as soon as Stiles takes off the clamps and the blood rushes back into the abused tissue, he swallows down Derek’s cock so quickly that it’s barely bumping the back of his throat when Derek starts coming. Afterwards, Derek begs Stiles to fuck his mouth, but Derek looks so worn out that Stiles just shushes him, rubs off against the sweaty hollow of Derek’s hip instead, gently mouthing at Derek’s sore nipples the whole time.

Stiles can’t remember the last time anything felt so intense. Just being in Derek’s presence, even when they aren’t scening, gets Stiles worked up, like there’s a charge in the very air between them. They’re out at a restaurant, fancier than Stiles ever goes to, when Derek leans across the table and asks, so softly that Stiles can barely hear him, “When are you going to fuck me?”

Stiles just grins, cracking the shell of his crème brulee with relish. “Soon.”

&&&

"So, you're really gone on this Derek guy," Scott says through a mouthful of homemade nachos.

Stiles looks up. "Huh?"

Scott snorts. "You've been texting and grinning at your phone like an idiot for the past 15 minutes. You two are like a couple of teenage girls."

As if to prove his point, Stiles' phone buzzes once again. Of course, texts from Derek are likely as not to say something like I want you to choke me with your dick, so Scott's a little less right about the "teenage girls" bit. So, a bit surprisingly, Stiles' cheeks start to heat up when he says, "Yeah, I just... I like Derek a lot and I don't want to screw it up." It's only when he actually speaks the words out loud that he realizes just how invested he is.

Scott, bless him, says, "Great. Just tell me when you put a ring on it. Or, I don't know, a dog collar. Whatever it is you guys are into."

Stiles knows Scott well enough to know that he's joking, but Stiles still feigns indignation. "A dog collar, Scott? Really? I should take you over my knee and spank you."

"Noooo!" Scott cries, flinging a tortilla chip at Stiles with distressing accuracy. "You'd enjoy that way too much."

"Don't flatter yourself," Stiles says haughtily, but the game is back on and Scott's attention is once again riveted to the TV.

Stiles' phone buzzes again to remind him he hasn't replied to Derek's text. It says I was talking to Cora today and she might be in town in a few weeks. Stiles scrolls up and realizes that none of their conversation tonight has been about sex or domination at all. It takes Stiles several tries to type out I'd like to meet her, because he genuinely would. He knows that, personality-wise, she's a lot like Derek and he wants to see if she does that thing with her eyebrows when she gets angry, too.

Dammit, Scott is right; Stiles is so far gone.

&&&

Stiles rarely lacks in imagination – in fact, it got him into trouble time and again as a kid – but a few weeks later, he still hasn’t quite come up with the right scenario to fuck Derek for the first time. It doesn’t need to be perfect… except that it kind of does. Stiles needs to do it right, to show Derek that he can trust Stiles.

Not that there’s exactly a lack of trust now. Derek picked out a flogger for tonight, and Stiles has been taking his time working Derek up to it, alternating pinches and bites along the long stretch of Derek’s back and flanks with slow, soothing strokes of his hands. Derek’s cock is rock-hard and wet at the tip before Stiles even brings the flogger out.

“Color?”

“Green,” Derek breathes, pushing carefully up on to his hands and knees.

Ever so mindful of their first encounter at the club, Stiles first drags the tails of the flogger down Derek’s back, letting him get a feel for it. It’s broken in, one of Stiles’ favorites because he knows it so well, knows the weight of it in his hand and just how much force to use when he swings it.

The sound of it striking Derek’s skin for the first time is nothing compared to the sound Derek himself makes. It’s quiet but deep, rumbling up from his chest. Stiles pauses to watch Derek’s body tremble, watch the red lines rise to the surface on the smooth skin of Derek’s back. Stiles traces them with the tips of his fingers. They’re spread out almost like claw marks, and Derek lets out a shaky sigh when Stiles touches them.

Stiles starts slowly, giving Derek plenty of time to breathe between each strike of the flogger. Derek’s making that deliciously breathy moan that’s half-pain and half-pleasure; Stiles knows it well, but this is the first time he’s heard it from Derek, and it’s… inspiring. Stiles’ cock is starting to harden in his underwear, and he has to pause to adjust himself, rub himself a little through the fabric so he doesn’t just start humping the bed. Or Derek’s thigh.

His shoulder is already starting to develop a pleasant ache by the time Derek grits out “harder.” The soreness tells Stiles he’s a bit out of practice, but he’s precise with each hit, listening carefully to each sound Derek makes and admiring the intersecting lines of welts that rise on his skin. When Derek’s back is covered, Stiles moves on to his thighs, obeying Derek’s “harder, please, harder” until Stiles is swinging his arm with near-full strength.

Soon, Derek’s voice drops off, his words devolving into soft, ecstatic groans every time the flogger comes down, his hips thrusting forward on each stroke. Stiles slows down, eases up, lets himself just enjoy the sight of Derek sunk deep into subspace. His whole body is taut and trembling, his erection flagging from the pain, but all it takes is a few firm strokes of Stiles’ hand and he’s fully hard again. Derek’s mind is somewhere else, but his body is straining for release and Stiles can’t deny him that. Stiles quickens his hand and bites down on Derek’s shoulder, sending Derek easily over the edge with a whimper.

When Derek’s arms start shaking too much to hold his weight, Stiles helps him to lie down on the bed, and then Stiles has to take care of himself. He’s leaked a damp patch in his underwear, and he would love nothing more than to straddle Derek’s thighs, surveying his handiwork while sliding his cock between the cheeks of Derek’s ass. Or, if he plans ahead next time, working a plug out of Derek’s slick loosened hole to push right inside. He doesn’t have permission to do either right now, but it hardly matters – just the thought is enough to make him shoot hard all over his hand.

Stiles wipes his hand off quickly and turns his attention back to Derek. His hair is sweaty under Stiles’ fingers, but Stiles just grins and pushes it back off Derek’s forehead. Derek shudders a little on each deep breath, feeling the sting of the flog marks on his back, and Stiles lets him have that for a few long minutes, just stroking Derek’s hair and whispering soft, sweet nonsense as Derek comes back to himself.

When Derek’s eyes blink open, they’re still pretty dazed, so Stiles asks, “Do you want me to put the lotion on now?”

Derek just nods slightly, his expression so open and trusting that Stiles nearly blurts out words he should really wait to say until they’re both clothed again. Instead, he tends to Derek’s marks, pleased by how gorgeous they look. Stiles affirms to himself that he did right by Derek, hurting him just enough without pushing his limits; if nothing else, the current look of bliss on Derek’s face is testimony to that.

“You cold?” Stiles asks, ready to pull the blanket up, but Derek shakes his head, eyes quite a bit clearer now. Stretching out beside Derek, Stiles presses a soft kiss to his shoulder that turns into a line of kisses up Derek’s neck to the plushness of his lips.

They kiss lazily for a while, Derek’s mouth a little slack against Stiles’. But Derek’s definitely coming around, and soon he’s carefully rolling up on his side for a better angle at Stiles’ mouth. It’s more heated than Stiles would have anticipated from Derek at this point, and he’s definitely not expecting it when Derek slides a hand down Stiles’ torso toward his spent cock.

Derek makes a sound of disappointment when he feels that Stiles is soft, but Stiles just grins and nips at Derek’s lower lip. “I took care of it already. Couldn’t help it. You look so good like this.”

Suddenly, Derek pulls back. “What am I doing wrong?” he asks, voice low and gravelly.

“Nothing,” Stiles says, confused.

Derek’s eyes drop. “You never let me touch you.”

That takes Stiles a moment to process. “I… What?”

“You always… get yourself off.” Derek still isn’t meeting Stiles’ eyes. “And you won’t… We never…”

Stiles’ head is spinning: Derek obviously thinks he’s done something wrong, that he’s being punished for something. Stiles wants to push him to use his words, but he’s not sure Derek’s capable of that right now. “Hey, it’s all right. Whatever it is, we’ll talk about it later, okay? You don’t have to worry about it right now.”

Derek is obviously still upset, but he doesn’t say any more, just ducks his head and lets Stiles keep stroking his hair. “It’s okay,” Stiles says soothingly. “You did just right.”

&&&

Derek doesn’t text him for two days after that. On the third, Stiles finally figures it out. You never let me touch you, Derek had said. The motivation is different, but it sounds upsettingly similar to what Kate did to him.

I am such a fucking idiot, he texts Derek. I’m sorry.

Call me.

Please.

By the time Stiles is done at work, Derek still hasn’t called. Stiles doesn’t want to inundate him with increasingly desperate messages, since he probably is legitimately busy, but Stiles also needs to talk to someone right away. Normally he’d talk to Scott, but they have a moratorium on sharing their sex lives after the Rope Bondage Debacle of ’09. They had to get a whole new sofa.

“Fine,” Lydia says over the phone. “But we’re going to that little bistro you hate. And you’re paying.”

An hour and a half later, they’re sitting at the bistro that Stiles doesn’t actually hate, it’s just that the food comes in such small portions and Stiles is pretty sure that whoever wrote the menu doesn’t really know what the word “artisanal” means.

“I fucked up,” Stiles starts, poking at the deconstructed bruschetta on his plate with a tiny fork. Tomatoes, bread, and a little puddle of olive oil that Stiles is paying $11 for. He sulks in its direction.

Lydia just sighs. “How bad?”

“Not sure yet. I haven’t talked to him.” Lydia’s eyebrows shoot up and Stiles follows up quickly with, “It’s only been two days. Well, two and a half. He could just be busy.”

Lydia narrows her eyes. “Just tell me what you did.”

“It’s more what I didn’t do.”

“Stiles, I swear to god, if you don’t get to the point—”

“No, no, it’s nothing like—” Stiles realizes what she must be thinking and gestures wildly “—what happened at the club. It’s more like I’m being too careful.”

Lydia visibly relaxes, which is to say that the skin around her eyes loosens slightly. “Is this something you should be talking to your people about?”

Stiles shakes his head. “It’s not really a BDSM thing. I think it’s just a… relationship thing?”

Lydia gives an unladylike snort and reaches for her wine glass. “Don’t strain yourself there, Stilinski.”

“I just… all I was thinking about was how careful I needed to be and I’d gotten it in my head that our first time doing the actual, standard, tab-A-slot-B thing needed to be really special and…”

Stiles just kind of trails off, but luckily, Lydia picks it up from there. “And I’m guessing you didn’t actually consult with him on that part.”

“No,” Stiles groans, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Not so much. Here I am trying to be the poster boy for communication, and I still go and fuck it up.”

“It hardly sounds irreparable,” Lydia sighs, like she’s doing Stiles a favor by admitting it. “Do I need to tell you to go talk about it with him?”

“If he still wants to see me,” Stiles grumbles.

“I don’t think that’s the problem here.”

“Ugh, I hate when you’re right.”

“I’d think you’d be used to it by now,” Lydia says, grinning at the waiter as he sets down their organic, artisanal entrees on hand-crafted, cruelty-free plates.

Stiles is totally going out for a burger after this.

&&&

Derek does text him back later that night, but it turns out he’s busy for the rest of the week. Or at least that’s what he tells Stiles, who’s trying very hard and completely failing to avoid reading too much into it. After a minor anxiety attack, he decides to chance using his phone as an actual phone, and much to his surprise, Derek picks up.

“I was worried you were avoiding me,” Stiles blurts out, biting down on his lip a second too late.

“I wasn’t—” Derek cuts himself off. “I just needed a few days.”

“That’s fine, that’s completely… Not that I don’t want to see you, or talk to you, because I do! I just want you to know you’ve got space if you need it. That I’m not going to totally smother you.”

“I know that,” Derek says, sounding oddly stoic and stopping the conversation dead.

After an uncomfortable silence, Stiles finally says, “Look, I know I haven’t been communicating with you—”

“You haven’t been listening to me,” Derek says with a good deal more vehemence than Stiles has ever heard from him. Then, softer: “It’s… it’s hard for me ask for things when we’re not… when we’re just being us. And I know that’s something I need to work on, but I thought I was being pretty clear.”

He stops, and Stiles bites his lip. He doesn’t want to push Derek, but maybe he should. Just a little. “Can you ask for it now?”

There’s a heavy sigh over the line. “I get that you’re worried about me, and I do appreciate how careful you’ve been.” He pauses, and Stiles has to practically gnaw on the inside of his cheek to let Derek finish. “But I want… You need to let me reciprocate. I don’t want it to always be just about me.”

“It hasn’t felt that way to me,” Stiles says softly. He thinks back to their few times together, how he has yet to let Derek actively get him off. “But I think I know what you mean. You want to know that you’re making me feel good too, right?”

“I… yeah. Something like that. What we’re doing now feels lopsided.”

Stiles snorts. “I’ve been overcompensating like hell, haven’t I?”

“If it’s possible to treat me like I’m fragile while literally thrashing my ass, then yeah,” Derek says, and Stiles imagines the side of Derek’s mouth quirking up like it does when he’s trying not to smile.

“So what do you want to do about it?” Stiles asks conversationally, hoping it’ll be easier for Derek to talk about now.

“You said it didn’t always have to be powerplay. Did you mean that?”

“Yeah, yes!” Stiles says hurriedly. “Of course.”

“Good,” Derek says, taking a deep breath. “Because I’m kind of dying to fuck you.”

Stiles groans and drops down onto the couch, suddenly feeling lightheaded. “Yes. That needs to happen as soon as possible. Sooner, even. And probably – no, definitely – more than once. Are you really not free ‘til Saturday?”

It’s Derek’s turn to groan. “I’m really not. I’ve just got all this—”

“Hey, it’s all right. We’ll just plan for Saturday.”

There’s an almost hesitant pause. “And what are we planning for Saturday?”

Stiles grins to himself. “Let’s just play it by ear.”

&&&

Stiles doesn’t realize how much he relies on plans until he purposefully doesn’t have one. “Food, then probably sex” is as detailed as he’ll let himself get – minus one minor thing that he went out and bought after talking to Derek – since he wants the weekend to be spontaneous. It turns out spontaneity is surprisingly anxiety-producing. He thinks it shouldn’t be that much of a shock to learn that, as a Dom, he’s a little bit of a control freak.

But then Derek shows up at his door, wearing jeans and a t-shirt and suggesting a diner that Stiles happens to know has excellent curly fries, and Stiles feels like he can finally breathe again. His relief must be evident, because Derek asks about it over dinner.

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I tend to overthink things,” Stiles admits.

“I had an inkling,” Derek says dryly. “You seem to have a bit of a protective streak, too.”

“Little bit. When I was in fourth grade, I tried to beat up a bully who was picking on Scott.”

Derek raises his eyebrows. “How did that go?”

“About as well as you’d expect,” Stiles says, then proceeds to tell the entire story. It starts to feel easier again, like their first few dates, without the pressure of knowing that they’re going to engage in hard play later.

Scott is over at Kira’s for the night, so they have the apartment to themselves. There’s no surround-sound speakers or expensive leather couches like at Derek’s place, but Derek seems just fine curled up with Stiles on the old, beat-up sofa. It only takes one and a half Simpsons reruns before they’re making out like teenagers, sneaking hands under each other’s shirts or slipping fingers beneath waistbands.

It’s when Derek finally flicks open the button on Stiles’ pants that he pulls back to ask, “This okay?”

Like it ever wouldn’t be, but Stiles is thrilled at the opportunity to say yes. “Perfect. Let’s take this back to my room, though. Scott and I have an agreement about the sofa.”

Stiles goes to lower his legs from where they’ve wrapped themselves around Derek’s waist, but Derek just gets his feet on the floor and lifts Stiles bodily off the couch. Stiles yelps with surprise, but clings harder to Derek, laughing as Derek totes him back to the bedroom.

Derek’s smile is sparkling with mischief when he topples to the bed, catching himself on his arms so he doesn’t squash Stiles, and it’s a look Stiles hasn’t yet seen on Derek in connection with sex. Stiles decides he likes it.

There is one small thing Stiles had planned, but when Derek presses Stiles down into the bed, a firm thigh between Stiles’ spread legs, Stiles forgets everything that isn’t the heat of Derek’s body against his. He groans and bucks his hips, already seeking more friction, but Derek tries to distract him with a slow, deep kiss. It works pretty well.

Both of their shirts get lost somewhere along the way and Derek’s hands sweep down to touch every inch of Stiles’ skin they can reach. Stiles can’t help but arch up into it, the realization of how much he’d missed this kind of intimacy slamming into him so suddenly that he’s gasping. Derek seems to intuit this, tries to soothe him with slower, firmer touches, kisses down Stiles’ neck and across his collarbones.

Derek’s stubble feels fucking fantastic on Stiles’ chest, and when Derek rubs his cheek against Stiles’ nipple, Stiles makes a truly embarrassing whine. “Oh, I’m gonna remember that,” Derek says, grinning up at Stiles, and Stiles’ heart leaps. This is what they need whether they’re scening or not, this element of playfulness that makes everything less heavy. It takes the pressure off both of them, and Stiles isn’t too far gone yet to make a mental note of it, in bold and underlined twice.

Soon, Derek is nibbling at the trail of hair leading down from Stiles’ navel, and when he reaches the fly of Stiles’ jeans, Derek looks up and asks, “Can I?”

“Yes, oh my god, yes,” Stiles exclaims. “You haven’t sucked my cock yet. I never even… Oh god, I fail so hard at sex.”

Derek just laughs, his eyes dark with want, and strips Stiles quite efficiently of his jeans. He has his fingers in the waistband of Stiles’ underwear when Stiles says, “Wait a sec. We don’t have to do any powerplay if you don’t want to, but would you be amenable to some… direction?”

“Yeah,” Derek says immediately, his fingers tightening around the elastic.

Stiles sets his hands over Derek’s. “Leave these on for a minute. I want you to suck me through the fabric.”

Derek looks absolutely delighted by the idea and promptly sets about teasing Stiles to insanity. Stiles hardens quickly under the damp heat of Derek’s mouth, sensations muted by the cotton but still good enough to have him curling his toes in the sheets. Derek sucks and licks and nuzzles until the head of Stiles’ cock has pushed above the waistband, but he doesn’t touch it, keeps his mouth instead on the clothed shaft and, occasionally, Stiles’ balls. Stiles sure as hell can’t fault him for failing to follow directions.

But as soon as Stiles gasps, “You can… You can…” Derek fits his mouth around the head and sucks, swirling his tongue at the same time. Stiles groans and bucks at the sudden onslaught of stimulation, shoving his underwear down to his thighs in a silent command (plea?) for Derek to continue.

Derek obviously knows what he’s doing and it’s entirely possible he’s been planning this for a while, because he doesn’t let up. It’s like he’s systematically determining the things that Stiles likes most, working Stiles up with his tongue before backing off and playing with his balls until Stiles is right back on the edge. Embarrassingly soon, Stiles is moaning, “Derek, you gotta—Fuck, god, Derek, please!”

This time, Derek sets a hard, fast rhythm and doesn’t change it when the muscles in Stiles’ stomach start to tighten. Stiles feels his whole body start to curl into it, pleasure coiling tight in his gut for what seems like an eternity before he finally reaches the tipping point, sliding over the edge like the drop of a roller coaster, gaining force as it goes. Derek keeps sucking him all the way through it, until Stiles is shaking and oversensitive and has to push Derek away.

There’s a drop of cum at the corner of Derek’s red swollen mouth, and Stiles thumbs it away. He can’t help but stare at Derek, who looks proud and damn near predatory. When Stiles catches his breath, he groans. “Fuck, you win. You win all the things. If I ever don’t tell you to blow me again, remind me of this.”

“That… doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Derek says, his voice low and scratchy, and Stiles’ heart does that leaping thing again.

“You sucked the sense right out of me. You’re lucky I’m even speaking English right now.”

Derek crawls up the bed, stretching out beside Stiles’ lax body for a change. “As opposed to…?”

“Utter gibberish? Esperanto? Fuck, I can’t think.”

Derek nuzzles behind Stiles’ ear, a bit shyly considering he’s just been sucking Stiles’ cock, and Stiles relaxes into it, tipping his head to give Derek better access. Derek, it seems, is surprisingly affectionate when he’s not coming out of subspace, and Stiles lazily reaches over to rest his hand on Derek’s neck, his thumb stroking at Derek’s hairline.

After a few minutes, Derek presses in closer and Stiles can feel that he’s still hard. Stiles tries to angle his thigh so that Derek can get some better friction. “Fuck,” Stiles mumbles, “you want me to—?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Derek says, cutting Stiles off with a sly grin, and Stiles groans.

“Ugh, I’m sorry. I just… I didn’t want you to feel obligated to do anything for me. I didn’t stop to think that it sounded like rejection.”

Derek’s smile drops, but he doesn’t look angry. “It’s not entirely your fault. I should have brought it up after the second or third time. I didn’t want to sound ungrateful.”

Stiles groans again and rolls toward the welcoming warmth of Derek’s body. “We are entirely too polite for two naked guys.”

“One of whom occasionally wields a whip.”

“We haven’t done a whip,” Stiles says teasingly. “A tawse and a flogger, yes, but an actual bullwhip is a fucking nightmare.”

“Good to know,” Derek says, tucking Stiles’ head under his chin and pressing a gentle kiss to his scalp.

Being held by Derek feels pretty damn good, and Stiles lets it go on until he has to squirm. “Sorry, not good at staying still when there’s a gorgeous guy pressing his hard-on against me.”

“Am I supposed to apologize?”

Stiles laughs, scooting back on the bed. “Not at all. Just… I have something for you. I didn’t know if it was going to be appropriate for tonight, but I think maybe it is.”

Stiles turns to dig around in his bedside table, feeling oddly nervous when he finds what he’s looking for. It had seemed like a great idea, obliquely inspired by Scott of all people, and the thought of it still makes a shiver of excitement rush up his spine, but… But he’ll give Derek the choice. If it’s not something he wants, or not something he wants tonight, Stiles has to trust that Derek will tell him.

So Stiles takes a deep breath, turns around, and holds the collar out to Derek. It’s soft, plain black leather with a buckle in the back and a D-ring in the front. “This isn’t some kind of official ceremony and you never have to wear it outside the bedroom. Hell, you don’t have to wear it at all,” Stiles says quickly. “I just thought you might like something tangible. You can feel it against your skin and remember how much I want you and care about you, in case I forget to say it or don’t say it enough. I mean, it’s not an excuse for me to be an asshole again, but maybe it can remind us both that this is something special, something worth working for, and Christ, it’s starting to sound like I’m proposing to you in the lamest possible way—”

“Put it on me.”

“You… oh,” Stiles says lamely, not quite realizing how worked up he’d gotten himself. “You want to wear it now?”

Derek nods. “I don’t think I’m up for any pain tonight, but I like what you said.” Suddenly Derek looks a little bashful. “About this being a tangible reminder. You can see it and I can feel it.”

They both shift up to sit and Derek tilts his head down, letting Stiles fasten the collar around his neck. When he’s done, Stiles puts two fingers under Derek’s chin to tilt his head back up, and oh, it looks so lovely against his skin.

“How does it look?” Derek asks, and Stiles can’t do much more than nod. Derek chuckles and leans in to kiss Stiles. “I’m going to guess that’s a good sign.”

Stiles shakes himself out of his stupor. “Okay, it’s about an hour past time for you to fuck me.”

“Thought you’d never ask.”

“That wasn’t a request,” Stiles says, letting a slow grin spread across his face and tugging gently on the collar’s D-ring.

Derek presses him back down to the bed. “Yes, sir.”