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The Unicorn In Me

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Unicorns.

Stiles will repeat: Uni-fucking-corns.

It’s not like anyone expected the Nemeton’s power to die out or anything, but Stiles figured after having to die, for however a short time, because of the damn thing it would leave them all be for a little while and, you know, not attract anything else weird to the town.

Stiles had plans to enjoy his summer and a Unicorn pack. Pack?

“Blessing,” Lydia points out from where she is pouring over some ancient Latin text on rare mythical creatures belonging to Peter.

Right, a blessing of Unicorns is anything but.

At first Stiles had been excited because Unicorns, but as it turned out they were not the friendly My Little Pony type creatures Stiles had always dreamed them to be. They were fierce, and while they weren’t hurting anyone, it was only a matter of time. They had stuck to the preserve mostly, hanging around the old Hale house which thankfully no-one in Beacon Hills ever thought to visit anymore. Deaton had assured them they were just passing by at first, so they let it slip, waiting for them to go. (Stiles may have taken a picture.) All seemed to be going to plan. That was until one of the babies went missing three days ago.

Scott and Isaac had found him wandering around close to the high-way and scaring the life out of the drivers, which may have resulted in some car pile ups. His dad had not been happy, but at least he had managed to explain the whole thing away, unlike he would have been able to before when he had not been privy to “hey, so werewolves exist” 101. Stiles hadn’t asked about it, but there is a reason his dad is the Sheriff and Stiles had certainly not learned to lie like a pro from his mom.

They had thought it would have been as easy as directing the lost little thing back towards it’s family, but of course things are never as easy as that and the moment Scott had gotten close enough to it several sets of car lights from the road had spooked the little guy and he had taken off at a speed that was too fast even for werewolves to match.

“You can’t leave him stranded here” Scott whines from across the room, pointedly not taking part in operation: how to send the rest of the Unicorns back to wherever the hell they came from when their baby is still missing.

Stiles had optimistically hoped for a spell which would have allowed them to banish the Unicorns to one of the Harry Potter books- Stiles would have gladly accompanied them- but, as always, his suggestion had only been met with a glare from Derek and a disappointed look from Deaton.

Just as well, Voldemort would have just killed them there anyway.

“The situation has become too dangerous, Scott,” Deaton says, shaking his head. “The longer the baby stays away the more agitated the older ones will become.”

“Can’t they go and look for him themselves?” Scott asks.

“They haven’t yet, but that’s what I am afraid of. The Unicorns will stay where they are for as long as possible, because it is more likely the baby will find it’s way back to them than the other way around. But that doesn’t mean they won’t go looking after a while, and believe me, they can be vicious. If they think anyone is standing in the way of them and their young they will not hesitate to kill.”

Scott looks down at the ground, clearly upset, but doesn’t try to argue.

“Hey,” Kira says, coming to stand beside him. She puts her arms around Scott’s waist and rests her head on his shoulder. “Maybe we can keep the baby, if he doesn’t find his way back before we have to get rid of them. We could take responsibility for him.”

Scott turns to look at Kira in a way that not even as his best friend Stiles can’t find it in him not to roll his eyes at. Only Scott and Kira would want to raise a baby Unicorn as their own.

“Nice proposition,” Peter says, drawing everyone’s attention back across the room to where he and Lydia are sitting. “But unless you are both still virgins, you can forget about going anywhere near it. Unicorns are fine from a distance, especially the baby ones, but they can only be touched by the pure,” he rolls his eyes. Lydia nods in agreement, but doesn’t look up, flicking her perfect hair in Peter’s face to get him out of her space when he tries to lean over her shoulder and get a better look at the book.

Stiles smirks. So he’s not in love with Lydia anymore. That doesn’t mean he still can’t love everything she does. Especially if it means pissing off Peter.

Scott and Kira are looking embarrassedly at the floor when he turns back to him, but he can see the disappointment there too.

“We’ll find him in time,” Stiles says, walking over to pat them both on the back because, yeah, he’s an asshole and as a result, not much of an optimist, but he’s powerless around two pairs of puppy dog eyes it seems. “I’ll find a way.”

Derek snorts from the stairs and mutters something under his breath that Stiles doesn’t hear.

Stiles glares at him. “I don’t see you helping,” he says. “At least I am trying.

Derek glares in return, but Stiles stands his ground. Who’s not afraid of the big bad wolf anymore, huh? Stiles Stilinski, that’s who.

“I called Argent,” Derek says, shocking everyone. Since when does Derek call Chris Argent? Actually, when does Derek do anything that isn’t showing up in darkened rooms like a creeper until the person agrees to help him?

You called my dad?” Allison asks, raising the question everyone is undoubtedly wanting to, eyes wide from where she is sitting on Isaac’s lap. Derek shrugs.

“We…came to an understanding during the whole-” he nods in Stiles’ direction and Stiles’ stomach lurches at the mention of...it. He looks down at the floor immediately, but just because he can’t see doesn’t mean escapes the feeling of every pair of eyes in the room now on him.

“Hey,” Allison says, making him look back up. She’s smiling in that Disney Princess sort of way she sometimes does, going all out with the dimples. “I’m fine. There won’t even be a scar if I’m lucky.”

“Doesn’t mean I didn’t almost get you killed,” Stiles whispers.

You didn’t, Stiles. It did. Plus, Isaac thinks battle wounds are sexy.” She smirks, ruffling Isaac’s hair and Stiles laughs, but only because Isaac I-hate-you-Stilinski is now blushing furiously at his hands. Stiles wants to take a picture, but he has a feeling he won’t have a phone to admire it on for long if he does.

“So, back to Argent,” Stiles says, clearing his throat, wanting nothing more than to get off the topic of…it.

“He’s a hunter. I asked him to hunt,” Derek explains, an exaggerated drawl to his tone like Stiles is a child who just asked him to explain how the two times table goes. Stiles bites the inside of his cheek, narrowing his eyes, but decides to hold off on saying anything. There’s not usually a time and a place to argue with Derek, but it’s not like it’s going to help find the Unicorn and the thought of Scott and Kira giving him the but-he-was-just-a-little-baby-Unicorn-Stiles routine for the rest of the summer is more than he thinks he can bear.

The room is painfully silent for a moment before something buzzes and Derek is reaching into his back pocket for a…cell phone? Since when does Derek carry a cell phone? Not that the guy’s old or anything- although the dated Tron t-shirt he is sporting under his signature leather jacket right now would argue differently- but he doesn’t even have a TV. When Stiles suggested he get one Derek had looked at him in absolute horror, like he had just asked Derek to adopt a three-headed mutant gorilla baby.

“He’s found him,” Derek says, and for a brief second Stiles actually witnesses a smile on Derek’s beautiful- uh, grumpy- face before he schools it and frowns. “Apparently it’s pre-occupied eating some wild blueberries and hasn’t noticed him yet. If we hurry we might catch him before he runs off again.”

“Can’t he doing anything to detain him?” Stiles asks.

“The best you can do is try and persuade it to return to it’s family,” Deaton says, unhelpful as ever. “Detaining it would only scare it and Unicorns can’t be held by traps or bonds.”

“Great,” Stiles mutters. “So basically the only weapon we have got is our natural charm and soothing voices?”

“No point in you coming along then,” Derek smirks, standing up.

“Like you’re one to talk,” Stiles bites back.

“Speaking of people who talk-”

“Shut up!” Lydia yells, her tone making everyone but Allison, who just grins, jump. Let it be known you never want to get into Lydia’s bad books. “Stiles, Scott, Derek and Peter,”- she looks at the last one pointedly- “go and meet Mr Argent. The rest of you are staying here until we figure this thing out. I have a date with Jordon tonight and I will kill you all if I am still stuck here doing this.

What?

“Wait,” Stiles squeaks. “My dad’s deputy Jordon? Parrish? The really good looking one who’s in his twenties? The one who-” Lydia cuts him off with a look. “Right, sorry. Nice guy. Really like him. You two would have beautiful kids.”

Lydia rolls her eyes at that, but her features soften and she smiles. “Just go Stiles.”

Stiles salutes her and runs over to where Scott is already hovering impatiently by the door, the biggest grin ever slapped on his face. Jeez, you would think it's Christmas or something.

Derek and Peter are quietly arguing about something as they follow and Stiles turns, watching in fascination as Derek blushes at something Peter says. He’s not quite sure, but he thinks he hears Derek reply “I’m only twenty-two. It’s not that much older,” but he thinks he’s probably mistaken when Peter throws his head back and laughs, whatever Derek said obviously funnier- at least to Peter- than what Stiles heard.

***

“Well?” Stiles whispers, eyeing the Unicorn carefully. He really is beautiful, snow white with a glorious blue mane with eyes to match, and a horn that would rival even the confusing colours of Derek’s eyes, gold and green. He’s practically shimmering. It’s a shame such majesty is currently being ruined as the Unicorn tries and fails to steal blueberries from the few wild bushes he has found. Stiles thinks it is safe to assume they have a while yet to come up with a plan to lure him back to his family. “What’s the plan?”

“Maybe I can make him?” Scott suggests, already standing up from where they are all currently crouched behind a cluster of small trees. “You know, be the Alpha.”

“That is without a doubt the worst plan I have ever heard,” Peter says, rolling his eyes. “Unicorns answer to no-one. Especially not seventeen year old teenage boys.”

“Well, what are they attracted to?” Scott asks, undeterred in his mission. “Could we lure him away with apples or something?”

This time Derek rolls his eyes, and Stiles doesn’t know why but it makes him grin. Maybe because it’s not directed at him for once.

“According to that book, Lydia said they are attracted to one thing: virgins. So unless you happen to know any-”

“Stiles!” Scott beams, clapping him on the back. “Stiles, go pet him!”

Wait, what?

Shit.  

“Uh…” Stiles says, scratching the back of his head, avoiding the sudden, now expectant stares (see: Peter’s smug ass face) now being thrown his way. “Yeah, about that. I’m maybe not…as pure as you think I am?”

Scott frowns, looking totally confused and of course Stiles is going to have to spill the details of his first time in front of the three last people he would ever want hearing of it.

“Remember that girl Caitlin?” Scott nods. “Yeah, well, we…you know.” His hands do something of their own accord, trying to get Scott to stopping looking at him for all the world like Stiles has just told him he intended to stab the Unicorn or something, rather than “Scottie my man, I finally had sex! Fist bump!”

“What do you mean you and Caitlin?” Scott asks, face falling even further. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he demands.

“Why didn’t I tell you?” Stiles repeats, his guilt instantly replaced with a surge of anger. “Dude, not only had I just overcome being possessed, I was going through a major sexuality crisis! Caitlin was the only one who understood the bi thing, so I went to her and we talked…and stuff.”

“Why didn’t you come to me?”

Stiles’ eyes widen, uncaring that three pairs of eyes are now more or less attached to his face. He knows he needs to keep his cool right now, but is Scott really going down that road?

“Dude, I tried to talk to you about it a hundred times! You never listened. You waved me off.”

“But I thought you were joking…” he says.

“It was hard for me to bring it up seriously!”

“Wait,” Scott’s face goes serious, and maybe a little sad. “So that time you asked to make-out with me….?”

Someone chokes, but Stiles doesn’t turn to see who.

“Okay, it’s not like I’m actually attracted you,” Stiles says. “But, yeah, I suppose there was some truth there?” He scratches the back of his neck. “I really just wanted to see how it felt and…” he looks down at the ground. “Yeah.”

“Stiles…I am really really sorry,” Scott whispers, looking genuinely sheepish. “If it wasn’t for Kira, I would totally make-up for it now! You know that right?”

Stiles snorts and rolls his eyes. This is why they’re friends, he remembers. Awkward moments have never survived for long between them.

“How about instead you take me to Jungle,” he suggests. Scott is already nodding. “There’s this guy there who I really want to see if I can make jealous and-”

But Stiles is cut off by a loud grunt and a “nothing is going to be done at this rate” and the next thing he knows Stiles is watching as Derek slowly approaches the Unicorn.

He wants to cry out because what the actual fuck? Had he not just listened to what Peter said? He remains silent though knowing anything he might do will only make the situation worse, eyes glued to Derek as he gets nearer, the Unicorn abruptly stopping in his ministrations as he turns to eye Derek warily.

Stiles is pretty sure he actually takes Scott’s hand at one point and holds on to it for dear life because what if Derek dies? What if Derek dies and Stiles is left without the best verbal sparring partner he’s ever had? Stiles likes Derek, okay? Stiles might even-

“Oh my god,” Scott whispers when Derek actually reaches out and touches the Unicorn and it…does nothing.

Absolutely nothing. Just lets Derek pet him.

Stiles and Scott scramble up, Peter and Chris following. They are careful not to get too close, but maybe if Derek is touching him the book was wrong and Scott can fulfil his dream of reuniting the Unicorn with his family himself after all.

Stiles isn’t even aware he’s stepping closer until Peter bars him with his arm.

“No,” he warns. “Only Derek can touch him.”

“Why?” Chris asks, frowning. “I thought you said-”

“I know what I said,” Peter says, and for a moment his face closes off, looking at Derek and shaking his head, sighing. “Just go return him to his family, nephew.”

Stiles follows Peter’s gaze. Derek looks the most surprised out of everyone, equally confused, which just serves to confirm he really didn’t have the first clue he wasn’t going to be impaled and killed. If someone doesn’t have a talk with Derek soon about his self-sacrificing tendencies- especially over a lost Unicorn of all things- Stiles is going to have one with him himself. And won’t that just be the most pleasant of occasions?

Despite his answering frown, Derek does as Peter says- much to the noisy disappointment of Scott- gently coaxing the Unicorn away with the help of a mint he fetches out of his pocket. The Unicorn eats it happily and nuzzles the side of his horn against Derek’s arm, before bending his head slightly. A single tear drop falls on Derek’s hand and for a second, Stiles swears they both glow.  

Derek and the unicorn photo Derek_and_unicorn_zpsccowsf26.jpg

Peter makes an assessing sound and then Derek is gone, returning in less than ten minutes with nothing more than a simple “done” and a curt nod before walking back in the direction of Stiles’ Jeep.

***

“Baby's home,” Peter exclaims when they re-enter the loft, minus Chris who didn’t see what more he was needed for since they got the baby back.

Kira immediately runs over to Scott and pets his hair. Stiles would roll his eyes, but he’s too transfixed by Derek. He looks so small all of a sudden. Socially, Derek is pretty withdrawn, but in a room you can’t help but notice the guy exudes a certain presence. Now though, he has none of that. Even the customary frown is gone. He just looks…sad. Stiles kind of wants to hug him, but he’s pretty sure he won’t be thanked for it, so he stays where he is as everyone else listens to Peter’s account of what happened.

“I still don’t get why Derek could touch him,” Scott says, looking to Deaton like he normally does when he’s confused. Stiles wishes Deaton would go home. The guy is shifty, Stiles doesn’t care what Scott says. There is nothing Deaton says Stiles doesn’t at least try and double check with another source before acting on it. Thankfully though, Deaton just shrugs.

“The book says that if someone’s virginity was taken from them by force, they are still pure by a Unicorn’s standards,” Lydia says, her tone cautious as she looks over at Derek. “I mean, there could be some other explanation,” she is quick to go on. “But that’s all I can find here.”

Derek visible tenses at the words and goes to stand in his original spot by the staircase, away from everyone else.

“Don’t worry,” Lydia says. “I’m sure I will find something else in here.”

“No need,” Peter states, coming to stand in the middle of the room. “That’s explanation enough.”

“I don’t understand,” Scott says again and Stiles shoots him a glare because shut up. Obviously Derek knows exactly why and- oh god.

The fire.

Did she- ? But Stiles never thought she and Derek actually…He was fifteen.

“Well, it goes like this Scott,” Peter spins in the middle of the room and clasps his hands in front of him. “Derek’s first time was Allison’s Aunt, Kate. You remember the one. Bit of a psychopath. But to fifteen year old Derek she was just Kate. Never told anyone about her, not even me, cool Uncle Peter.” He glances at Derek without really looking at him. If he did, he might notice how white he has become. How tense. Stiles is about to say something, although he doesn’t know what, when Peter beats him to it.

“Unfortunately for Derek, she turned out to be a hunter and then proceeded to burn our family alive in our own house a few months later. Although, nephew,” Peter turns to face Derek properly then. “I apologise. I didn’t fully appreciate she…well…raped you. I can see now why you didn’t want to speak about it. I…didn’t know that. I’m sorry.” He purses his lips. “And then there was that teacher, Jennifer was it? Cast some kind of love spell over you Derek, didn’t she? So obviously that doesn’t count as consent either. I had thought you might at least have had some fun in New York, but evidently not,” Peter goes on, shaking his head. “I would have, but we’re all different, I suppose.”

Everyone in the room is silent, all eyes on Derek who refuses to look at anything but his own feet, arms wrapped around himself tightly, vulnerable. Embarrassed.

Stiles wants to punch Peter, because how dare he just say that in front of everyone! Who does that? And so fucking casually like it’s his right? But punching him would only draw more attention to what just happened and Stiles knows Derek won’t want that. Plus, the only thing it would really give Stiles is a broken hand as opposed to any kind of satisfaction. Still, that doesn’t mean he can’t envision Peter’s face being smashed in. Repeatedly.

Kira is the one to break the silence, whispering Derek’s name, making like she is going to walk towards him, but Derek turns his back on her and slowly begins to climb the stairs. Stiles can see just how badly he wants to run, can see it in the way he is controlling his movements, and looks away to stop from going after him.

For Derek, losing Boyd and Erica was losing his only friends in the pack, Stiles knows, and even then Stiles doubts how close he ever let them in. Probably not much.

Still, it pains Stiles to think that the only person Derek has left in the world right now is currently back in South America. What if Derek needs a hug? What if Derek needs someone to talk to right now? Who is he going to turn to? Certainly not Peter, that’s for sure. Although Stiles can’t think of one reason why anyone would ever go to Peter for anything. There’s a reason they had Lydia translate that book and it wasn’t anything to do with the fact she was the only would who could read in ancient Latin.

Stiles knows Derek doesn’t like him all that much, but still, they’ve got…something. Sure, it’s built on a foundation of arguments and raised eyebrows, but there was that one time Derek chased him around the loft when they were trying to figure out how to break into the bank vault after Stiles had goaded Derek until he had punched him in the hand. Stiles smiles, remembering when Derek caught him, how he hadn’t backed him up against a wall or threatened him with his teeth. Had just…caught him, and…Stiles is sure that that had been the first time he realised it mattered to him that Derek stayed in his life. He wasn’t just some werewolf anymore that was part of everything they ever did. He was…Derek. Derek who is actually incredibly beautiful, not just hot, who can be funny, not just snarky. Who-

Yeah, Stiles is going to stop that train of thought right there.

But then there had been that other time, when everything was going on with Jennifer, and Stiles had taken a panic attack in his car because he thought he’d never see his dad again, and Derek had told him to hit him. To let it out, that he understood, that it was okay. He had let Stiles beat on his chest, crying ugly, snotty tears, had taken his hands after, had breathed with him until he could focus once more.

No-one should have to have gone through what Derek did, but especially someone like Derek. Derek who, really, underneath all the walls and tough exterior, is just…kind. Special. A fucking un-sung hero.

Stiles is so wrapped up in his own thoughts he doesn’t even notice that everyone has left, only Scott’s hand on his shoulder bringing him back to life.

“You coming?” Scott mouths, his gaze wandering towards the stairs. He doesn’t let it linger very long though, and Stiles suddenly understands. They’re giving Derek space.

But what if he doesn’t want space?

Still, Scott is already leading him out and Stiles’ body is already letting itself be led.

It’s not until Stiles is standing in front of his Jeep that he feels like he’s lost his chance of whatever he thought he was going to do.

***

It’s over three days later, but Stiles still can’t shake the feeling he needs to do…something.

It’s not like Derek can be fixed. Fixed is an ugly word. No-one can ever be made whole again after something like that, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t try and make Derek’s life a little better now. Maybe Derek doesn’t smile because no-one ever tries to make him. Because, really, who in their right mind would expect someone to smile of their own accord when there’s nothing left for them to smile about? Stiles met Derek when the last important person in his life, the last person he had left to love, to be loved by, was killed.

Since then, when has anyone every tired with Derek? For him.

He looks at the clock. 16.02

Stiles doubts Derek will have eaten dinner yet.

***

Derek isn’t at the loft when Stiles turns up, several grocery bags in hand. Good, he thinks. Derek would try and make him leave if he was here anyway and presents lose their awesomeness when the present-receiver watches the present-giver making said present.

One hour later and Stiles has his mom’s most delicious family recipe on the go; a Polish dish, grilled oscypek with bacon, grilled apple and cranberry sauce- the cheese, exclusive to Poland, being something his Grandma never fails to send Stiles and his dad every other month to “remind them of what they are missing”. Stiles has never been so happy about guilt tripping in his life.

He was going to ambitious and make dessert too, but decided quickly that might end in a fire rather than a pile of delicious goo and voted against it. His mom never had much of a sweet tooth and as a result, only ever taught Stiles savoury dishes. After having stood in the dessert section for over half an hour, Stiles eventually settled on both a chocolate cheesecake and a box of red velvet cupcakes. Derek is sure to like at least one of those, right?

18.24. Derek is almost definitely going to be home soon. Well, Stiles hopes anyway. If not he is going to look really stupid. It isn’t like he can just pack up and leave without a trace. Derek will return home and smell the food that was here, even if Stiles takes it all with him. Will smell Stiles. And there is no doubt he would ask about it.

He plates up the dinner, pushing all such thoughts out of his mind, deciding if worst comes to worst he can cover everything up and leave a note saying enjoy or something cheesy like have one on me or something.

Derek doesn’t have a dinner table- naturally- so Stiles improvises when he finds the gold mine of board games in one of the cupboards in one of the back rooms. Stiles doesn’t think any of them belong to Derek, maybe the previous occupants, but he doesn’t care.

There are about twenty games in total, the large, long ones as well, so they serve to make a perfect- if not someone precarious- table. Stiles even finds half an old curtain in there too, and after shaking it outside as fast as he can lest Derek chooses that moment to come home, he uses it as a makeshift table cloth.

It’s not five-star restaurant quality, but when does anyone ever feel comfortable in luxury? No-one. Glamorous maybe, but not comfortable, and Stiles really doubts Derek cares about aesthetics.

(Just in case though, he lights the unscented candle- because delicate werewolf senses- he bought at the last minute in the store and lighting it, places it in the middle of the “table”.)

Derek returns just as Stiles is trying to decide whether to put the desserts in the fridge or not. In the end he chooses not to, but that might just be because of the way Derek’s face looks when he comes in and sees everything, distracting him.

“Stiles, what-”

He looks confused more than anything, which, yeah, is to be expected, but Stiles also knows if he had done this for anyone else he would have been met with only one of two things: a surprised, happy what did I do to deserve this? or an annoyed, angry what the fuck are you doing in my house, Stilinski?

Derek just looks like he can’t understand what’s going on, like the concept of a surprise dinner is completely alien to him, and Stiles is going to change that.

“So, this is my favourite recipe my mom and I used to make together,” he says, taking a careful step forward. “I can’t make it in it’s true form for my dad because of the bacon, so I thought, hey, maybe Derek would like it!” It’s not a lie necessarily, so Stiles is pretty sure Derek won’t hear one. Better for the both of them if Stiles doesn’t immediately jump in with I care about you and I didn’t know how else to show it.

Derek frowns, but Stiles can see the way his eyes take everything in, almost reverently.

“You’re not allergic to cheese, are you?” Stiles asks, coming to stand beside the table. It’s not high enough for chairs, but he thinks they can be comfortable enough on the floor.

It takes a second for Derek to answer, for him to raise his head and…Stiles can’t read his expression. It frustrates him, but maybe it’s a good thing too.

“Werewolf, Stiles,” Derek raises and eyebrow a moment later, regaining some semblance of his natural self douche-baggery. “No allergies.”

“Right,” Stiles laughs, suddenly a teeny bit nervous this is all going to backfire on him. “I knew that.”

Derek nods, but makes no movement one way or the other. Well, at least he’s not running the other way.

“I promise, it’s good,” Stiles says, sitting down in front of his own plate, hoping Derek might mirror him. “I’m not trying to poison you.”

He winces when Derek’s eyes flick to his face at the words. Way to go, Stiles. Remind him poisoning is a more logical reason for this to him than him deserving something nice for a change.

“What do you want, Stiles?” Derek narrows his eyes. Stiles sighs. There go his plans to escape this night without feelings getting involved.

“Peter’s a dick. I hate him. We all do. I made dinner and I want you to eat it with me.” He lifts his fork. “It’s rude to start without everyone seated and I’m starving, Derek.” He gives his best puppy dog eyes- the ones Scott always gives him- and hopes for the best.

To his relief, Derek sits down and takes his knife and fork in hand. He frowns at the plate like it personally offends him, but there’s a hint of a smile there too, even if Stiles really wouldn’t have seen it is he hadn’t been staring so intently, so he counts it as a good start.

They make it half way through the meal before Stiles can’t take it anymore and has to break the silence.

“So, where are we on getting a television? Have you finally realised you can’t go on living in the 1800s any longer?”

Stiles expects a scowl in return, maybe just a “no”, but to his surprise Derek actually laughs. It’s small, barely there, but that is still definitely a happy sound Stiles just heard!

“I bought a laptop,” Derek whispers after a moment.

“What?” Stiles asks, gaping theatrically and cupping his ear.

“I. Bought. A. Laptop.”

Stiles grins.

“Heard you the first time,” he says, winking. He doesn’t know if that’s what causes Derek to drop his fork. Probably not, but hell if Stiles doesn’t take a moment to fantasise it is before asking, “What kind?”

Derek thinks for a moment.

“A blue one,” he answers.

“A blue-” Stiles bursts out laughing. “Oh my god, that’s perfect. I love y-” he coughs and stuffs another piece of food on his mouth to stop it from ruining everything.

If Derek notices his near slip-up/embarrassing possible I-think-I-might-love-you confession, he doesn’t say. He does smile though.

“This is really good,” he says, nodding at his plate. “I’ve not had a home cooked meal in years.”

Stiles swallows. Okay, this is it. This is where he definitely cannot fuck up.

“Yeah?” he asks, unsure whether sounding interested or like he doesn’t understand Derek is talking about himself is the best course of action here. Yeah can be either, right?

“My dad did all the cooking,” Derek goes on, eyes flickering from the fork in his hand to Stiles’ face like he can’t decide which he wants to settle on. “He stayed at home mostly while my mom took care of Alpha business. Mom did make the best cheesecake though.” He smiles again, eyes going somewhere Stiles wishes Derek didn’t have to experience only through memory.

“Cheesecake?” Stiles asks excitedly, scrambling off the floor and practically running back with the dessert.

“Shit,” he says, looking down at the table. “I should probably at least get us spoons or something, huh?” he asks, making to turn back again, but Derek grabs him by the arm.

“Stiles,” he says. “I…” he looks down. “Thank you.”

“No, thank you. Do you know how long I have craved that meal?”

“You could have made it when your dad was on shift,” Derek says, gaze slowly working its way back up to reach Stiles’ face. “You’re not as good a liar as you think you are.”

“Then why are you thanking me?”

Derek raises his eyebrows, but not in the way Stiles has become used to. There’s nothing mocking or disapproving about them. “You’re trying to make me feel better about…the other day. I get it. I…appreciate it, but…you don’t have to. I’m fine.”

Stiles takes a deep breath and slowly sinks down to Derek’s level. “You’re not as good a liar as you think you are,” he parrots Derek’s words.

Derek snorts and swallows, rolling his eyes.

“People usually buy it,” he whispers after a moment, once again unable to look at Stiles.

“I bet they do. I did. But not now. I know it’s futile to say sorry for what she did, Derek, and for everything after. It’s not like even a sincere apology from Kate would change anything for you, but…for what it’s worth, what happened to you was beyond shit. It was devastating, and it wasn’t your fault, okay?”

“You can’t know that,” Derek says, shaking his head. “No-one can know that. I don’t even know that. You don’t know what it’s like, every day wondering if you just got caught up in something that was always going to happen, if you were just the easiest option, or if you had just been a bit less stupid, even just a fraction, you could have prevented everyone you ever loved from dying.”

The words pull at Stiles’ heart, making him feel sick and wanting to gather Derek up in his arms and hold him. But that’s not what Derek is looking for right now, he knows. He’s talking and Stiles is a talker. He’s talking to a self-professed shutting-up-is-not-an-option-for-me talker. Derek wants words right now, Stiles can feel it, and fuck if he won’t give some to him.

“No, I don’t understand,” Stiles says, doing his best not to breach Derek’s personal space, but to stay back and look at him while he does this. “But I get it a little bit. Every day I used to ask my dad if I had been better behaved, quieter, less effort, would my mom still be alive. It didn’t help at the time my dad wasn’t in any state to answer me. I took his silence as a yes. When I got older he told me no, of course not, but it’s still there now, always playing in the back of my mind. I know it’s not the same, I’m not trying to compare what happened to you with what happened to me, but I understand guilt, Derek. I do.”

Stiles watches as Derek lip trembles slightly. It’s such an un-Derek thing for him to do, but then he realises this is Derek. Stripped back. Bare. Raw.

A silence comes over them for a while, but Stiles doesn’t move, stays where he is with his hand close to Derek’s on the table.

“I thought I was in love with her,” Derek eventually says. “I wanted so badly for her to love me back, I would have done anything. I told her all about me, everything, answered anything she asked. Trusted her to keep the secret we were werewolves. Let her do anything she wanted. When we first…” he breaks off, a tear slips down his cheek. “I knew I wasn’t ready. That level of intimacy is even more important to born wolves than it is to humans and I knew I didn’t want it, not yet, but I thought I was being stupid, trying to hold onto something that is nothing more than a social construct. Half way through…I asked to stop, but she just smiled at me and told me how good I was doing and I wanted to please her so badly-” he stops, choking on a sob and Stiles can’t help it, he takes Derek’s hand and squeezes. “I hated it, every time we did it I hated it, but I always came-” he blushes- “so I thought I must be enjoying it on some level. That I would learn to like it.”

“Derek, you understand now that was rape, right? Your body reacting...” Stiles shakes his head. “That doesn’t mean it was justified.”

“Maybe,” Derek says. “Must have been if that book was right what it said about Unicorns.” He shrugs. “Doesn’t mean I’m any more a victim for it. I’m not pure, Stiles. I’m tainted and if hell exists I have no doubt I am going to it.”

The worst thing about that is Derek looks 100% convinced of his own words.

“You know what I’m doing here?” Stiles whispers, moving Derek’s hand and placing it on top of his heart. “With no expectations of anything- and I mean that Derek- I am here to wine and dine you. Well, without the wine part because, you know, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t know me in this town as the Sheriff’s son which means no fake ID for me.” He forces a laugh, biting his lip in frustration because there is nothing he can do to make this okay right now. He feels helpless, his attempts at humour for the first time feeling genuinely stupid to him.

“Wine is overrated,” Derek says, surprising Stiles. “I prefer milk to be honest.”

Stiles bites back a smile, unable to tell if Derek is joking or not, but something tells him he’s perfectly serious.

“Well, I think there is some milk in the fridge, so the night can be a success yet!” Stiles punches the air, but doesn’t move away to get it.

“What counts as a success?” Derek asks, eyes lifting up to Stiles’ and holding onto them with far more intensity than Stiles has ever seen there before.

“If even one of those smiles was genuine tonight, I will count it as a success.”

“Why does it matter to you whether I smile or not?” It’s not sarcastic or angry, just curious. Confused. It makes Stiles’ heart sink.

“You’re important to me,” he answers. “I can count on one hand all the people I care whether or not are happy and guess what? You’re one of them.”

Derek’s eyes widen.

“What?” Stiles asks.

“Your heart didn’t stutter,” he says, shaking his head. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” Stiles frowns. “Oh my god…Derek that wasn’t a lie! I swear, I don’t have the first clue how to-”

“I know,” Derek cuts him off. “It’s not possible, it’s just…I can’t believe I mean that much to you. I never thought you’d ever return-” but he stops, standing up and looking away, backing up out of Stiles’ space.

“Return what?” Stiles asks, heart beginning to beat faster.

Derek clenches his fists at his side and backs away further.

“No.”

“Derek, return what?” Stiles begs. “Please, you can talk to me.”

“Not about this,” Derek says. “Trust me Stiles, thanks for coming here, but you need to leave.”

“Derek-”

“Stiles, please!” He finally looks up then, his face pleading.

Stiles wants to keep pushing, but he can’t can he? He needs to respect Derek’s wishes- but fuck, he wishes he didn’t feel like he has to. Wishes taking one step closer right now wouldn’t risk breaking any trust between them. Because that is what taking that one final step would mean, wouldn’t it?

“Please,” Derek says again, barely audible. He’s looking somewhere over Stiles’ shoulder, eyes darting everywhere, like he’s trying hard not to look at Stiles’ face, like he’s just as scared of asking Stiles to stay as Stiles is of leaving him here like this.

“Okay,” Stiles finally agrees, nodding, more to himself than anything else. “You know where I am,” and just like that he walks out of the loft, steps getting slower and slower the closer he gets to his Jeep, but Derek never calls him back.

***

“Stiles,” a voice tries, and unfortunately successfully, wakes him from his sleep.

Stiles groans. He’s tired. He’s had a long night, and he’s pretty sure it’s still the middle of it.

“Stiles?”

“Mm, go ‘way, Scott. Go bug Kira.”

“Stiles.”

Stiles’ eyes fly open at that, because that is not his best friend’s voice.

Rolling over, he’s met with Derek. Or, to be more precise, a version of him. He’s still Derek, but he looks…younger. A little softer, a little smaller.

Stiles blinks a couple of times and reaches out to turn his light on, and then blinks some more because…whoa. Okay.

“What happened?” Stiles gasps, still unsure if Derek is still Derek or not, or if Stiles is just too tired to make sense of anything right now.

“I don’t know,” Derek says frowning. “I- after you left I went to clear my head. Went back to my old house. The Unicorns were still there. They didn’t seem to mind me, and it was nice, being able to sit with them. The baby found me, the one I took back to the blessing. He sat by me for ages, staring at me. I was afraid to touch him again, but he bent his head, like the first time, so I reached out, but he shifted at the last moment and instead of his mane, I caught his horn.”

“Oh my god,” Stiles cries, pulling Derek closer to him, checking him over for scars. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine,” he says. “I just…feel funny. Younger. I felt a shock go through me when I touched him.”

“I’ll say, you look about twenty-one.”

“Stiles, I’m only twenty-two.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Yeah, but you usually look like you’re thirty-something. Not that that’s a bad thing,” Stiles is quick to add when Derek’s frown begins to deepen. “I think it’s the beard really, and well, your beard is gone now and it was definitely there when I left you after...everything.” He sits up a little further. “More than anything you’re just a little less, I don’t know, bulky?”

“Do you think I’m going to stay this way?” Derek whispers, wide eyes looking up at him from his position on the floor.

“I don’t know,” Stiles says. “I’m sure it will wear off, everything always does. Well, unless you live in a fairy tale. Then you’d have to go on a magical quest and defeat a dragon to get your muscles and scruff back.”

Derek smiles and closes his eyes, but doesn’t say anything. Not for a while anyway, focusing on his breathing instead and Stiles gets it, some days breathing is all he can do too.

“Stiles?” Derek says eventually, opening his eyes again. Stiles is fully awake now, having been unable to take his eyes off of Derek the whole time, making sure…well, just making sure.

“Yeah?”

“I want…I don’t know how to explain this, but I want…I want to make-love…with you.”

Stiles does his best not to splutter, not trusting himself to speak.

“Oh no,” he whispers, when he finally does. “This isn’t a de-ageing spell, they’ve drugged you. Shit. Okay, no, it’s fine. I’m going to call Lydia and everything will be-”

“Stiles,” Derek takes his hands, stilling him. “I’m not drugged.”

Stiles snorts.

“Says the drugged person.”

Derek shakes his head in a resolute no.

“I’ve been in- I’ve loved…” he sighs, scrunching up his eyes. “I’ve wanted to for a long time now. But I couldn’t ignore it any longer when the Nogitsune happened. It’s like when I didn’t have you I suddenly realised I didn’t have you. I might never have you again. All I could think was if I lost you to it and I never told you…” he sighs. “I never wanted to act on it, it was pretty easy not to although it hurt like hell. I thought it might go away in time. I hoped it would, because you deserve someone…incredible Stiles. Someone who can give you the stars and the moon. Not me. You don’t deserve bits and pieces of someone.”

Stiles laughs then even though it feels like his lungs are trapped in a vice of some sort, shaking his head and sliding off the bed until he can put his arms around Derek’s neck and look him straight in the eye.

“You are the moon and the stars, Derek Hale. I love you.”

“Really,” Stiles adds with a smile, answering the disbelief, the unspoken what? in Derek’s eyes.

Derek’s gaze drops to his chest then, clearly still unsure, and Stiles rolls his eyes, taking Derek’s hand and placing it over his heart like he had back in the loft.

“I, Stiles Stilinski, awesome-bat-extraordinaire of the Beacon realm, am in love with you, Derek Hale”- he grins, trying to look dramatic, when Derek starts to quietly laugh- “Sourwolf of the Beacon realm and together we are-”

Derek silences him with a kiss, which is handy because Stiles really has no idea how he was going to finish that last part. Derek kisses him like he’s afraid, but Stiles doesn’t try to deepen it, just let’s Derek explore his lips with his own. For a no-tongue kiss it’s glorious and Stiles melts into it, climbing right into Derek’s lap and pulling him closer.

“You are ridiculous,” Derek breathes against him.

“That’s what makes us so great. You think I’m ridiculous and I think you’re broody, but really we both actually know I’m hilarious and you’re just really sexy when you think hard.”

Derek laughs properly then, shaking his head, but his face soon grows serious once more.

“I meant what I said before…about us…I can’t explain it. It just feels like something I need.”

“But is it what you want?” Stiles asks. He needs to be sure. Needing and wanting are worlds apart and Stiles is not going to risk confusing them.

“Yes,” Derek whispers. “For a long time. It’s just, now it feels…right. Like I can handle it. Kind of like jumping off a diving cliff. You know you want to do it, but you can’t just go. You need to feel sure that if you make the leap…”

“You’ll be in once piece at the end of it?” Stiles finishes for him. Derek nods.

“Whatever that Unicorn did, it’s like I know it’s okay...with you. That you’ll…make me…better.” He frowns, frustrated. “I’m not making sense.”

“You trust I’ll put you back together again, take you apart and put you back whole. I get it. All you’ve ever had is the first part.” He smiles, small and what he hopes is encouraging before placing a soft kiss to Derek’s lips. “Even so, I’m going to ask you one last time. Do you have any doubt-”

“No.”

Stiles smiles again, brighter this time, suddenly feeling like he’s just beenhanded the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or something, and motions for Derek to stand up with him.

“My dad is on shift tonight, but if you would rather go back to the loft, we can.”

“No,” Derek says. “I want it to be here. I’ve always felt weirdly safe here.”

“Is that why you hid out here when you were running from the cops?” Stiles raises an eyebrow, teasing, feeling like he can now.

“Maybe,” Derek replies. “I don’t know why I came here really. I was just…I just knew you wouldn’t turn me in.” It’s not the answer Stiles is expecting and he sucks in a quiet breath.

“Still had to push me up against that door though, huh?” he says, still partly teasing, partly because he wants that confused look in Derek’s eyes to go away.

“You’re a little shit most of the time. So of course I did.” Derek grins, but it instantly fades. “Just because I trusted you didn’t mean you weren’t- aren’t- annoying.”

Stiles decides to let the annoying comment slide, mostly because when it comes from Derek it’s more like a badge of victory than anything else.

“I thought you said you didn’t trust me,” Stiles queries. “In the pool, I mean. That was after the whole door thing.”

“After basically putting me on show so Danny would help you can you blame me for trying to ignore the fact I trusted you? Or at least wanted to.” His tone is light, but Stiles still winces, the full gravity of what he did then only hitting him now. All Derek gets is used, and mostly always for his body, whether sexually or as a punching bag. It makes him feel sick, that he played even a small part in that.

“I’m sorry,” he says, lifting his hand up to card his fingers through Derek’s hair. “I swear if I thought…I guess I didn’t think.”

“It wasn’t a big deal,” Derek says. “Really, Stiles, it wasn’t.” He smiles. “I just thought you already were who you are now. Not that you’ve changed much, but you've become that person. The person I thought I trusted then. You’re that little bit older, stronger, more capable. You know the best way to handle things now, when you struggled then." Derek sighs. “I’m not good at explaining these things, but you complained then, and you're older now. It’s different.”

“I still complain now,” Stiles points out, but he knows what Derek means. He's who Derek needs him to be now. He's not a kid.

“I feel safe with you now. I didn’t then, even though I trusted you and it scared the shit out of me.” His eyes widen as though he is re-living those feeling again and Stiles doesn’t want that, can’t have it, so he pulls Derek in for another kiss, licking at his lips, begging for entrance and Derek doesn’t deny him, parting his mouth and letting Stiles’ tongue slip in easily, giving him free reign to explore and find all the ways that make Derek hum and moan against him.

Derek tastes sweet, like- “You ate the cheesecake without me?” Stiles cries, breaking the kiss and gaping.

“I thought it would help ease my mood, but it didn’t,” Derek explains. “That’s when I went out to the Preserve.” Stiles tries not to bemoan the loss of the cheesecake, but at least the-

“I took the cupcakes to give to the Unicorns,” Derek says, reading his mind.

Stiles pouts. Really it’s only dessert, but it had been luxury dessert. He isn’t made of cash!

“I’ll bake you something else,” Derek promises. “Something better.” He tries to kiss him again but Stiles- ha, like Stiles is going to deny Derek a kiss, or anything really, but he breaks it off quickly, grinning, needing to ask.

“You can bake?”

Derek nods, stealing another quick kiss and hums against Stiles’ lips, making them tingle.

“My dad taught me,” he says proudly, making Stiles want to ruffle his hair because that shit right there is adorable, okay? The way Derek lights up when he says it, visibly preens. Stiles understands, it’s the same way he gets when he tells someone his mom taught him to cook.

It grows silent again after that, but Stiles doesn’t try to break it. He wants Derek to get to wherever he needs to be in his head to be comfortable.

“I don’t want to be on top,” Derek finally whispers. “I’m always on top.”

That is not what Stiles was expecting Derek to say. He expected more about food and home-cooked meals, maybe a story about a Hale barbeque- because that had to be a thing, right? - so it’s only natural he chokes slightly at the words. “That…is completely doable. Very doable because you’re doable.”

Derek laughs and shakes his head, rolling his eyes instead of replying.

“Is there anything I should be aware of?” Stiles asks then. “Anything I shouldn’t say or do?”

“I don’t think so,” Derek frowns. “Just-” be bites his lip.

“Just?”

Derek sighs and closes his eyes, arms slipping from Stiles’ body and wrapping around himself, like he thinks whatever he’s about to say could hurt him. “Just…don’t leave me after? Or during? Sometimes Kate used to…for hours…and I didn’t know what I’d done wrong.”

“Nothing Derek, you did nothing wrong. You’re perfect.” Derek tenses at the word, but Stiles isn’t sorry he said it. Derek needs to hear it as often as possible until he learns to accept that at least Stiles thinks it. He’s never been so glad for werewolf lie detector hearing in his life.

“You’re perfect,” he says again, closing the last remaining gap between them until their chests are pressing against each other. Derek shudders, but holds Stiles’ stare as he says it. It’s not acknowledgement, but it’s something. Questioning maybe. Not of Stiles, but of himself. And that’s enough for now.

“Can I undress you?” Stiles whispers, tracing Derek’s jawline with his finger and finding the smooth texture of his skin strange. He never had a thing for beards before Derek. In fact, he thinks he will only ever have a beard thing because of Derek- for him- so clean shaven or scruffy, Stiles doesn’t mind either way. It’s nice really, being able to see all of his face.

Derek takes a few moments to nod. Stiles would rather he spoke, but he understands that might not be something Derek can do at the moment, so he goes slowly instead, making sure Derek has ample time to back out before things get too intimate.

He starts with the buttons on his shirt. Stiles is happy he’s wearing a shirt and not his usual t-shirt or Henley. There’s something more erotic about buttons, how long they can make you wait to see what’s hidden underneath. That and it means Stiles can so excruciatingly slow, teasing each button open with only one hand, fumbling a little even, while he takes Derek’s hand in his free one, interlacing their fingers together and squeezing when Derek begins to tremble slightly.

When he gets to the last button, Stiles pauses before beginning to pull it down off Derek’s shoulders, kissing each one in turn and smiling when something so chaste produces a gasp from him.

“Got a thing about your shoulders?” Stiles teases.

“I don’t know,” Derek replies. “I’ve just never been kissed there before. Or anywhere really.”

“Mm,” Stiles sounds, not trusting himself to speak, both hating the fact and joyful for it. Glad Kate or Jennifer never pretended to care like that, only to betray him later.

Sliding the shirt right off, Stiles takes his time exploring Derek’s chest with his hands and mouth. There’s no rush after all, and Stiles wants to make sure Derek understands this isn’t about his body, it’s about him. That beautiful heart of gold underneath those perfect abs and flawless skin.

He presses a kiss over that heart, and then flicks his tongue out, tracing its invisible lines. Derek sucks in a shaky breath and brings two hands up to fist at the material of Stiles’ t-shirt.

Stiles isn’t sure if Derek is asking him to take it off, but he steps back briefly and does it anyway. The sound Derek makes in response tells him he made the right decision.

“Can I?” Derek asks, bringing a hand up to Stiles’ chest, but not touching. Stiles nods and presses himself closer to Derek, taking one nipple in his mouth as Derek lightly begins to run two hands over him, one skimming his back, the other tracing the hair leading down into his sweatpants, stopping just above the waistband, unsure or unable Stiles doesn’t know because when Stiles slowly teases the other nipple with his teeth, playfully pulling at the nub, Derek makes a strangled sound, his hips bucking forward.

“Are all werewolves this sensitive, or just you?” Stiles asks, not the best at dirty talk maybe, but wanting to keep the conversation going. Not just because he can never seem to shut up, even with someone as half-naked and beautiful as Derek in front of him, but because he knows Derek needs it, that it’s keeping him reassured somehow.

When Derek doesn’t answer, Stiles stops what he’s doing and stands straight once more so he can see Derek’s face. There are tears threatening to spill from his eyes and he’s shaking again.

“Hey,” Stiles whispers, cupping the back of his neck. “We don’t need to go any further. You did so well.” He smiles in what he hopes is an encouraging manner and Derek steps around him, sitting on the bed.

“It just feels really intense,” he confesses. “Not even with...I’ve never felt this nervous before.”

“Like a virgin?” Stiles asks, instantly regretting it because this is not the time to make Madonna jokes, Stilinski.

But Derek doesn’t glare at him, gives no indication he heard him at all, until suddenly he’s looking up and nodding, once, twice, before burying is face in his hands.

“Do you want to talk and cuddle instead?” Stiles asks, coming to kneel in front of him. “We can build up to this, Derek. Trusting me with this is a lot.”

“That’s not why I’m nervous,” Derek says, removing his hands but not looking back up from the floor. “It feels…I can’t explain it.”

“Try,” Stiles whispers, taking Derek’s hands. “I’m a master of riddles,” he adds, trying to lighten the mood.

Derek bites his lip.

“Logically, I know this isn’t my first time, but it feels like it,” he says. “I have all the memories of Kate, of what we did- of what she did. Of Jennifer,” he drops his voice. “But it feels like it’s yet to happen, like somehow I’m fifteen again, but you’re here. I’ve got all the nervous energy of a virgin who doesn’t have a clue what to expect, but the memories of…well, everything else, I suppose.”

“Do you think it’s something to do with when you touched the Unicorn?” Stiles asks.

Derek shrugs.

“Honestly? I feel this confused all the time.” He laughs, short and mirthless. “I can’t tell if it’s just another fucked up thought or something is wrong.”

“Okay, first of all,” Stiles says. “Nothing is wrong. You’re here, safe with me. So we’re good there. Secondly, you’re not fucked up. You’re smart and brave and, yeah, you’re damaged, but that does not mean you are fucked up. You’re strong and you rise again and again, like a fucking phoenix. I actually watch you do it, Derek. Do you know how hard that is to do?” He cups the side of his face with his hand. “When my mom died my dad sent me to live at Scott’s for a while. I spent every day in his bed for two weeks. Even when Melissa convinced me I needed to get up it took months of Scott waking up extra early every morning just to make sure I didn’t try and avoid the world like I wanted to. But you? Your sister was murdered and you took on a pack. You tried to help Scott even though he didn’t want it, tried to help when you could have just left him to fend on his own. I know everyone says you’re grumpy and broody, but I don’t think you realise how fucking hard it is to even come across as that when you feel like you’re dying inside. I did nothing but cry. I didn’t appreciate that in the beginning and I am so, so sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Derek says, small, voice cracking.

“No, Derek, it’s not, but I’m going to make up for it. I want to spend my life doing that, and you know what’s weird? I’ve never been more sure of something in my life I have no clue where I am going to college or what my life will be like. All I know is that whether I am some barista in a local coffee shop or end up working for my dad, or at the library or as some supernatural go-to, I see you. I see you arguing over coffee beans with me when I bring them home because some upset your werewolf-y nose. I see you being a giant creeper and stalking me when I am on call in case my bullet proof vest isn’t enough to protect me. Although we will be having words about you doing that, let me tell you. I see you reading all those boring books I hate just so I can recommend them to people. I see you as my supernatural go-to. Maybe we can start a business, who knows,” he laughs. “But this is right, Derek. We’re right, you and I. You’re everything I ever needed and didn’t know I wanted. Yin to my yang, moon to my sun, darling light of my-”

Derek clasps a hand across Stiles’ mouth, shutting him up before he can continue any further. Just as well, given the Shakespeare quotes .

“I’d- I’d-” Derek nods his head and swallows, pulling on Stiles’ arms until he is lying on top of him on the bed.

Stiles doesn’t need to hear the me too to know it’s there. To know it’s just as real for Derek as it is for him.

“Before,” Stiles whispers, kissing him. “When you talked about expectations. What did you imagine sex was like…before?”

“I imagined it as…sex”, Derek shrugs, letting his fingers wander up Stiles’ back, tracing patterns on his sides where Stiles knows there is a strong cluster of moles. The way Derek is smiling down at his hands makes Stiles think he likes them and it warms something in Stiles to think that. That his body can make Derek happy, just by looking at it.

“Derek,” Stiles breathes, hoping he isn’t about to go too far here and bring up any unpleasant memories. “Have you ever…used anything? Toys, I mean.”

To his relief, Derek doesn’t tense. Instead he just shakes his head and lets out a simple “no”.

Stiles smiles then, getting an idea. Even though Derek has never been with a guy before, the idea is still the same, one dick and one hole, and while Stiles would very much like to fuck Derek, he wants this time, this first time, to be so completely different from anything Derek has had before.

“Do you trust me to make this good for you?” Stiles asks.

“Yes,” Derek answers, without even taking a moment to think. It makes Stiles’ heart swell and he grins, kissing Derek until they both go a little breathless.

Sliding down his body, Stiles pops the button on Derek’s jeans and begins to slowly inch them down his legs, keeping his eyes fixed on Derek’s as he does.

Once they’re off, he removes Derek’s socks and shoes and strips off the rest of his own clothes, not wanting Derek to feel any more vulnerable than he already does.

“There,” Stiles whispers, placing a kiss to both of Derek’s knees.

Derek, for his part, does his best to stay still under the attention Stiles’ gaze starts to give him, but Stiles can see he’s struggling, turning his face away slightly, hands twitching like he wants to cover himself up.

“Derek, look at me,” Stiles says, trying to make it sound as far from an order as possible. “Look at my face.”

Derek turns back to face him slowly, breath catching nervously, but he smiles and Stiles smiles back.

“I’m going to try something and if you don’t like it, we won’t do it,” he tells him. “But I think you will.” Crawling back up the bed, Stiles reaches over to the drawer in his night stand and pulls out his vibrator. It’s slim, no thicker than one finger, but it’s long and powerful and Stiles has had some of the best orgasms of his life with it.

He holds it up for Derek to see and Derek’s eyes widen in response, although Stiles can’t help but notice the way his pupil’s dilate just a little.

“I thought maybe we could start with this? It’s my vibrator,” he says. “I used to feel kind of weird about fingering myself open, which is where this little guy came in. His name is Bruce and he’s been with me three years now.”

Derek bites his lip, presumably holding back a laugh, but nods his head in a go on kind of way nonetheless.

Crawling further up the bed, Stiles slides his hands under his pillow and pulls out his bottle of lube, flicking the cap and pouring some onto his hand before coating Bruce with it.

“The great thing about him is that you don’t need any prep work to take him,” Stiles grins, moving one hand to stroke the inside of one of Derek’s thighs. “Think you might want to try?”

Derek opens his mouth to speak, but in the end just nods his assent, lifting his hips when Stiles grabs the nearest available pillow to slide under him.

“Awesome!” Stiles exclaims, just catching the pleased smile that graces Derek’s face before he lowers his gaze to watch himself part Derek’s legs a little more. Praise, he notes. More of that is totally happening then.

Derek lets Stiles push his legs until he’s nearly bent in half and his hole is gloriously on display. Stiles licks his lips, wanting nothing more than to taste, but refrains, especially when he looks back up and catches sight of the blush that has spread across Derek’s cheeks, obvious without his beard.

“Okay?” Stiles checks.

“Yeah, sorry,” Derek says. “It’s just no-one has ever seen me there before…” the blush deepens and Stiles scoots closer until he can lean over and kiss it.

“Well then nobody will have ever told you what a fine looking asshole you have before,” he tells him, pulling back and grinning when Derek full on laughs and shakes his head, some of the nerves visibly seeping out of him.

“Only you,” Derek says.

Stiles winks and sits back in-between Derek’s legs.

“I won’t turn it on until you’re comfortable, okay?” he says, holding Bruce up one last time for Derek to see.

Derek nods and rests his head back against Stiles’ pillow, closing his eyes and breathing slowly like he’s preparing for something unpleasant. Stiles’ heart sinks a little because no but he supposes it’s to be expected. He really doesn’t want to know how far Kate- or even Jennifer- pushed him when they did this with him, doesn’t want to think about them ever thank you very much, but he doesn’t suppose the sex was just mediocre and uncomfortable for Derek. No, to look like that, like the simplest of sex toys is about to cause you pain, that speaks volumes of things Derek might one day tell him, but right now can’t. Maybe he won’t ever tell him and, to be honest, Stiles would be okay with that. It makes him sick just thinking of the scenarios even hypothetically.

Adding some more lube, because you can never be too careful, Stiles gently starts teasing Derek’s rim with the vibrator, running a soothing hand over one of his calves as he does, rubbing in slow circles, trying to let him know through touch that everything is fine, that he will take care of him.

When Derek’s body finally starts to relax a little, Stiles pushes it in, giving Derek time to adjust to the new sensation before easing it in the rest of the way until Derek gasps and then moans, letting Stiles know he’s found his prostate.

“You did so well,” Stiles says and Derek’s eyes flicker open, another private smile forming across that beautiful face as he looks up at him.

Getting off the bed, Stiles gets Derek to sit up as far as he can without dislodging the vibrator and clambers in behind him. Once settled, he kisses up and down Derek’s neck and guides him back down against him so his back is flush with his chest, moving his legs so they are parted wide on either side of Stiles’.

He’s not fully hard as Stiles reaches beside him for the remote control, but once he flicks the on switch, bringing the vibrator to life, Derek’s cock immediately stands to attention, his body jolting, hands scrambling to clutch at Stiles’ thighs as he throws his head back and cries out.

Stiles’ own cock gives a couple of twitches at the sight, but this isn’t about him right now, it’s about Derek and making him feel good.

“How’s that?” Stiles asks, sliding a hand down Derek’s chest and smirking when Derek only replies with a garbled “nnngh.”

“That good, huh?” he teases.

“Stiles,” Derek whispers, lips parting, head turning to press against Stiles’ chest. “Please.” His hips buck up, trying to seek friction, legs beginning to quiver as his heels dig into the mattress.

“Gonna get you to come like this,” Stiles whispers, using two hands to stroke up and down Derek’s chest now. “Get you nice and relaxed before I fuck you.” He tweaks his nipples and Stiles’ mouth goes dry when Derek’s cock jerks and spurts a string of pre-cum at the action. Oh god, never mind Derek coming. Stiles isn’t going to last, like, at all.

“Stiles,” Derek whispers again, body shaking even more when the vibrator kicks up to the next setting. Shit, Stiles must have left it on one of the timed programmes.

“Shhh, I’ve got you. Here, let me help,” he says, kissing the top of Derek’s head before taking hold of his leaking cock and slowly beginning to jerk it. Derek doesn’t even last a moment before he is fucking up into Stiles’ hand, whimpering and making small pleading sounds that both make Stiles’ heart melt- because Derek sounds just like a lost puppy- and make him want to fist pump the air because does he even need a reason other than that?

It doesn’t take long before Derek is spilling all over Stiles’ hand, ropes and ropes of cum that Stiles suspects might be a werewolf thing because holy god that is a lot of cum. Not that Stiles is complaining, the images of Derek coming in his mouth, or in his ass overwhelming his senses. He moans just picturing it and Derek moans too, hands reaching out and up, searching for Stiles as he comes down from his high.

“You make a pretty sight like that,” Stiles tells him, turning the vibrator off. “All sticky with your own mess.” He trails a finger through it and holds it up to Derek’s lips. “Want to taste?”

Derek looks like he is going to say no, but then he’s swallowing Stiles’ fingers down and sucking and oh my god, oh my god, okay, okayokayokayokay!

Derek, despite looking entirely blissed out, smirks when Stiles quickly removes his fingers obviously knowing exactly what that was doing to him.

“Fucker,” Stiles curses him, climbing out from underneath Derek and positioning himself on top of him again. Lowering his head, he begins to lap at Derek’s stomach in retaliation, swiping his tongue through the cum and moaning appreciatively, maybe just a tad louder than necessary…

Derek’s body stills at the action and Stiles looks up through his lashes, winking, and Derek’s cock twitches feebly, trying to get back in the game.

“Already?” Stiles teases, sliding his hands up Derek’s sides, caressing and kneading, wanting Derek to feel him everywhere.

“Werewolf thing,” he blushes, eyes darting to the side. Stiles grins, but Derek’s embarrassment only seems to deepen.

“Hey,” Stiles says, frowning. “None of that. You’re with me. What’s wrong?”

Derek shrugs.

“Nothing, everything’s fine.”

“No, it’s not. Give me some credit here, dude. I am the pinnacle of observation. The master of knowledge. The-”

“Don’t call me dude,” Derek cuts him off with a familiar glare, and while Stiles can tell Derek really doesn’t appreciate the nickname- fair enough, he calls everyone dude so it’s not exactly special given the circumstances- he can tell Derek is trying to force a lighter mood.

“It’s really nothing,” Derek goes on when Stiles says nothing. Even though is he itching to talk, sometimes you extract the best information through silence. Watching his dad interrogate people since he was old enough to come to (see: sneak into) the station on his own taught him that.

Unfortunately for Stiles, Derek isn’t much of a talker and is weirdly comfortable in painful silence, so he does the only other thing he can think of and taking out the vibrator- because it would be pretty awkward if he didn’t- crawls back up the bed and wraps himself around Derek’s body like a cocoon, pushing his nose into his neck and nuzzling every so often.

Derek freezes at first, body stiff and rigid, but his hands cover Stiles’ body of their own accord as if to say wait. I’m not used to this, but…wait. Stiles does his best to show Derek cuddling with him isn’t just for him, but something he likes too. Scott has always been the tactile one in their friendship, but Stiles is the secret cuddle fiend and cuddling with Derek? Yeah, by far the best session to date and they’ve only just started.

Stiles doesn’t know how long they lie there for, maybe an hour, maybe only twenty minutes, but eventually Derek sighs.

“Only born wolves have an insanely high level of stamina…during,” he whispers, exhaling harshly. “Despite what you may think, it’s not because our bodies are stronger and faster. It’s not about endurance. It’s about…” he mumbles something Stiles can’t quite catch.

“Sorry,” Stiles says, tentatively reaching out to stroke over Derek’s collar bone. “I didn’t hear that.”

Derek growls low in his throat, but it fades into into a small whine and fuck, Stiles just can’t have him afraid to tell him something and swinging his leg further over Derek’s body, pulls himself up until he’s lying on top of him, chests flush against each other, faces maybe just a little too close for comfort right now, but it’s necessary.

He wants to lean in and kiss Derek’s nose, the side of his mouth, something to reassure him, but he doesn’t. He just waits, knowing that Derek needs to be able to say it again without encouragement or pleas. It’s harder admitting things on your own, but every time someone tries to get him to open up about the Nogitsune it doesn’t compare to the times when he seeks someone out on his own. He feels braver for it, like he has achieved something. It eases the guilt somewhat. When it is pulled out of him, coaxed, he feels worse for it every time.

“I don’t know why we have it exactly,” Derek starts to try and explain again. “I had a lot still to learn from my family when they…and I was only left with Laura. I knew she probably wouldn’t be able to help and I was always too embarrassed to find out if I was wrong.” He shrugs. “The first time it happened was with Kate. She used to like spending hours…with me and I’d let her because I thought the more time spent doing it the closer I would be to liking it.” He lets out a shaky breath and Stiles decides to fuck it and run his fingers through Derek’s hair. If it’s not the right thing to do, it’s certainly not the wrong thing. Stiles doesn’t know if Derek is even aware how fast he is to lean into it, but he doesn’t care, as long as it’s helping.

“She always said she liked it, but I could always smell the waves of disgust pouring off of her. I thought she was being kind, sparing my feelings and I was foolishly grateful for them. After…when I realised what she was using me for…I just felt sick. When we moved to New York, Laura spent a lot of nights with different people, bringing them back. I never judged her and being in the city there was nowhere to release the pent up energy we usually spent running in the Preserve. I suppose I could have gone out and done the same, but I felt too guilty and sex scared me anyway. But there was embarrassment there too, on top of the fear. I wouldn’t even…until Jennifer…and then now…I haven’t even…alone.”

Stiles nods in understanding, even if he still doesn’t know the thing Derek is referring to, and Derek’s eyes flicker to his, frightened but fighting to be blank. Or perhaps they are blank, the same blank they have always strived to be, and Stiles just knows better now. Knows how to read Derek. It scares him, realising that Derek can read him as well. That he has been able to read him better than anyone really, in his darkest moments, in his most vulnerable.

Derek had been the one he had come to most often after that night, when he- when the Nogitsune- almost killed Allison. When it did kill Aiden. Killer werewolf or not, Stiles had still taken a life. Had hurt many others’.

Derek never spoke to him and Stiles didn’t offer up any words either. They just sat, often in his Jeep while Stiles would try to keep his panic attacks at bay and, when he couldn’t, Derek would help him breathe through it and then drive him back to his house, or to Scott’s.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Stiles whispers. And the worst thing is, it really doesn’t. Stiles is glad Derek never tried to sleep with anyone else, or at least with anyone who would have undoubtedly not cared for him properly, but abstaining for ten years from doing anything? Stiles can’t really try to understand, he can only accept and try to imagine that level of guilt. “If I had known I would have started out with a hand-job, not a vibrator,” he adds.

“Isn’t that what sex is about? Letting your partner decide what’s best?”

Stiles feels sick and drops his head to Derek’s chest, letting out a long sigh. It’s clear to him then that Derek thinks that’s how a healthy relationship is supposed to work; that as long as they don’t lie to you or drug you then it’s fine.

Fuck.

“No,” he mumbles into his chest, kissing a small patch of skin still covered in sweat before looking back up. “If you don’t want something, you say no. That’s your right and I don’t get a say otherwise.”

Derek frowns, looking shocked for a second, but it doesn’t last long, more a reflex than anything else which is some relief, Stiles supposes.

“I want to do whatever you want to do,” he then says. Stiles opens his mouth to argue, but Derek covers it with his hand. Stiles would glare, but there are times to challenge Derek (almost always) and there are times when you shut the fuck up (like now).

“I want to do what you want to do because I trust you to make me feel…good.” He smiles to himself, almost proud, like those words alone are the fucking biggest achievement ever and Stiles’ eyes go soft, proud of him too, wanting to show it. “You know more about this than I do, even if only through the internet-”

“Hey!”

“- and that…Caitlin girl.” He looks away then, sad. “I’m glad you had her for your first and not me.”

“Me too,” Stiles says, regretting his choice of words when a look of hurt flashes across Derek’s face, even though Stiles knows he meant what he said. “I mean,” he’s quick to add. “I’ve been there. Done that. I like Caitlin, but it was nothing special. All the technical stuff, first this, first that, I wouldn’t want to fumble through that with you. Believe me, I fumbled a lot. I sent Caitlin a gift basket the next day I felt so bad for her.”

Derek snorts, his eyes crinkling with a smile and just a hint of classic Derek Hale you’ve got to be kidding me mockery.

“First times are often rushed and oh shit, where does this go? Fuck. Sorry. Woops, really sorry. It’s important to me that…well, fuck you’re important to me Derek! I don’t want to fumble with you, I want to take care of you and know what the fuck I’m doing.” He wants to go on, but finds- maybe for the first time in a long time- he has nothing more to say.

“Okay?” he adds when Derek just stares at him.

“Okay,” Derek whispers, a hint of a smile there which has Stiles’ insides melting, relieved.

Slowly, he leans in for a kiss then, taking his time exploring Derek’s mouth once more and sighing happily when Derek’s explores right back.

It grows heated quickly, each of them fighting for dominance over the other, making Stiles grin into it, the kiss reminding him of their relationship, and yeah, that might be dumb, maybe he’s being a little too poetic, but sue him, he has Derek Hale’s tongue in his mouth and it’s magnificent.

Derek’s hands begin to make their way down Stiles’ body then, learning him and pausing every other inch to squeeze and stroke, until they land on his ass, cupping him and Stiles moans filthily into Derek’s mouth.

When Stiles pulls back Derek is flushed and beautiful, and he can’t resist wanting to go in for another kiss, but Derek turns his head to the side, pushing him back slightly.

“Wait,” he says. “About what I was trying to say before…”

“Only if you want to tell me,” Stiles points out.

“I kind of have to.” Stiles visibly winces at that, but Derek shakes his head. “I’d be lying if I said I wanted to, but I do trust you and if you can’t handle it, it’s okay.” The but I won’t be is left out. Stiles sees it as plain as day in his eyes.

“I have a knot,” Derek breathes out, looking up to the ceiling, and then, because Stiles doesn’t respond he says, “the kind a dog has and I would really appreciate it if you didn’t make a joke out of it.”

“Alright,” Stiles whispers instead of what he wants to do, which is yell holly fuck. He’s not grossed out or anything. In fact, he’d be lying if he said he is anything other than extremely curious. “Well, I’m glad you’re not fucking me,” he eventually says. “I think I’ll need a lot of prep work for that.”

Derek’s eyes widen, a small hopeful look appearing on his face before he buries it under a frown. "I’m not joking, Stiles.”

“I didn’t say you were.”

More hope floods Derek’s face, perhaps a little relief, and then he’s nodding and Stiles takes that as all the permission he needs to work his way back down Derek’s body, trailing his lips over every dip and crevice, his own cock growing hard again at the small gasps Derek makes at each touch.

Taking the lube bottle up again, Stiles coats his fingers in it and slowly pushes at Derek’s legs before stopping.

“How do you want to do this?” he asks. “It might be easier on your hands and knees.” Derek blushes while considering, and then shakily turns over on to his stomach. He lies still for a few moments and Stiles takes the time to admire his back, the muscles there and the tattoo that means so much to him. Leaning over, he traces it lightly with his tongue and smiles when Derek starts to move beneath him, raising his hips, presenting himself.

There’s something about this position that’s more vulnerable than any other, Stiles realises. Baring the most intimate part of yourself to someone, and shuffling so Derek is forced to spread his legs a little wider, Stiles ducks down and spreading Derek’s cheeks, plants an open mouth kiss on Derek’s already slightly puffy hole, letting him know he’s in safe hands. That’s he’s beautiful like this.

It tastes mostly of lube, but Stiles can still detect the overwhelming essence that is purely Derek and while not the most pleasant taste in the world, Stiles certainly doesn’t not like it. He’s never rimmed anyone before, but he’s seen it enough times to know exactly how it goes, how to use his tongue, how much pressure to use and taking a hold of Derek’s thighs, parts them even wider and fondles his balls before diving back in and going to town in opening Derek up with his tongue.

Derek clenches around him and groans like he’s dying, rocking back slightly when Stiles pushes his tongue past the rim, gasping when Stiles adds a finger, licking around it to soothe the breach of muscle.

“Stiles,” Derek breathes out harshly, then softer, “Stiles?”

“Right here, sweetheart. Right here.”

If Derek had been about to say something he forgets to, and when Stiles steals a glance up he sees Derek biting into his shoulder, trying to muffle the noises he’s making.

“Don’t have to do that,” Stiles says, kissing one of the dimples on his lower back. “I want to hear you.”

Derek whimpers in response, but moves to hang his head between his arms instead, breathing becoming progressively heavier with each thrust of Stiles’ fingers.

“You’re doing so well,” Stiles praises, remembering how Derek had reacted earlier to it. “Opening up so perfectly for me.” And he is too, Stiles thinks, returning his stare to watch as Derek tries to greedily suck his fingers into his hole, clenching hot and tight around them desperately.

“Please,” Derek moans.

“Please?” Stiles asks, scissoring his fingers and pushing them in further, cock jumping when he finds Derek’s prostate and notices as he leaks pre-cum onto the sheets below him, legs beginning to quiver again like before with the stimulation. “Please, more?” Stiles kisses Derek’s shaking thigh and then the other. “Please, harder?” He trails his lips up to Derek’s hip bone and hums against it. “Please, faster?” Derek whines when Stiles begins to suck a bruise into his skin. He knows it won’t last for more than a minute, but something in Stiles burns hot at the thought of marking Derek, covering him in bites and bruises and then soothing over them with licks and kisses. He wonders if there is a way to do that. He’ll have to look into it later.

“Please…want to be fuller,” Derek gasps. “Stiles.”

“Alright, sweetheart,” Stiles whispers, adding a third finger, twisting his wrist and causing Derek to thrash a little on the bed, pulling himself away from Stiles but just as quickly rocking back, torn between too much and not enough.

“Stiles,” he starts to cry. “I can’t- I-” he sobs again and Stiles instantly pulls his fingers free of him, kissing his hole in apology as it flutters around nothing before covering the expanse of Derek’s back with his body, mounting him and nipping playfully at his shoulder blades and neck.

“I’ve got you,” he whispers, running two hands under him, soothing, until the tips of his fingers graze his cock. Derek’s body jerks with the contact, nearly bucking Stiles off, but Stiles steadies himself, placing a firm hand on Derek’s side. “Do you want to turn over for me? I think you’ll be alright now.”

Derek nods eagerly, like he’s just been waiting for Stiles’ permission- fuck, Stiles hopes he hasn’t- and rolls over on to his back. His cock is flushed and angry and leaking a copious amount of pre-cum which Stiles can’t resist leaning down to taste. He swallows Derek down as far as he can, suddenly thankful for all those times he felt stupid practicing deep-throating on a dildo, and covers what he can’t reach with his hand, stroking Derek slowly, swirling his tongue in a way he has no idea if it will feel good or not, but if the way Derek’s legs fly out and circle Stiles’ waist, squeezing it, is anything to go by Stiles will take a guess and say it feels pretty damn good.

“Stiles, please fuck me. Just fuck me,” Derek pleads. “Want you to. Need you to.”

“Whatever you want,” Stiles grins, kissing the shaft and sucking on the tip just a little longer, lapping up the pre-cum there before pulling off completely.

Taking both of Derek’s legs, he throws them over his shoulders and slides his hands down them, rubbing gently before coming down to cup Derek’s glorious, glorious ass. An ass made for porn. An ass made for him.

“Fuck, I’m so lucky,” he whispers, more to himself or Derek he doesn’t know, coating his cock in lube and lining it up at Derek’s entrance.

Derek begins to roll his eyes, opening his mouth to say something- probably to argue- but Stiles doesn’t give him the chance, pushing inside and watching as Derek throws his head back into the pillow, neck muscles tensing as he lets out a strangled gasp.

“Okay?” Stiles asks, desperate to push in further, to just take and ram into Derek until they’re both screaming, but he holds off, gripping the base of his cock to help him slow down and gain some control.

“Yes,” Derek says, opening his eyes and finding Stiles’. “You can keep going.”

Slowly, Stiles slides into Derek further, watching his face the whole time- and god that in itself is intense- before bottoming out and letting out a moan of his own, biting his lip to stop the whimpers.

“The hearing thing works both ways you know,” Derek tells him and Stiles smirks, pulling out slightly and pushing back in, not holding back on letting Derek hear just how good it feels, how tight and perfect he is around him.

Derek answers him with a string of whimpers as Stiles steadily begins to fuck him, not too hard, but fast enough that Derek is gripping the sheets, claws threatening to rip them as Stiles pushes his legs towards Derek’s chest even further, deepening his thrusts.

“Stiles,” he cries. “Stiles.

“I know, I know,” Stiles breathes, feeling himself getting close now. He wants Derek to come again, to come first, but he doesn’t know how long he can hold off. He’s still a teenager after all and he’s fucking Derek Hale. He knows he shouldn’t but he looks down anyway, watching as his cock disappears inside him and, okay, so that is hotter than he thought it would be.

“You look so good like this, Der,” he says, brain to mouth filter getting to that scary place where Stiles has no control left over it. "So good. God, you have no idea how many times I thought about doing this with you. Probably too many."

Derek groans like he’s been punched, hips bucking up one, then twice and then he’s meeting Stiles thrust for thrust. It’s sloppy and eager, no finesse or rhythm, and he can’t get far with the way Stiles is pinning him down, but Stiles doesn’t care, the intensity building in a familiar heat at the base of his groin, and with no other warning his hips falter and he’s coming on a silent cry, fucking into Derek one last time and gasping, hands flying out to find purchase as Derek milks him through the aftershocks, clenching around him even more tightly as he tries to pull him further in.

“Stiles,” Derek says again, bringing his attention back to him. His cheeks are streaked with tears, hair clinging to his face with sweat, but when his eyes look up to the ceiling in embarrassment like before, chest flushing, Stiles’ attention is quickly diverted lower.

The base of Derek’s cock is starting to swell and Stiles can feel Derek’s eyes on him again, wary, scared, but Stiles can’t bring himself to look up and reassure him it’s okay because his own eyes are glued to the sight. He feels boneless, dizzy with pleasure, but Derek still needs taken care of and widening his knees for better balance, he leans forward and wraps both hands around the shaft, just above the knot.

“Come on,” Stiles says, finally meeting Derek’s gaze. “Let me see you fuck my hands.” He smiles encouragingly and Derek’s eyes lower shyly on his own smile before doing as Stiles asks, hips thrusting up into his grip shamelessly with abandon, wanton moans falling from his lips as the knot squeezes through Stiles’ clasped fingers. “Good boy, fuck look at you. So fucking beautiful, Der.”

“Stiles,” he gasps. “Stiles. Stiles. Stiles!

“That’s right, baby boy, almost there. Show me how much you want to come.”

Ah-ahh!” Derek sobs, claws definitely ripping the sheets this time and one final thrust has him coming hard, spilling all over himself and Stiles’ hands. Stiles does his best to see him through it, massaging the knot which makes Derek scream, whole body arching off the bed and forcing Stiles to rise up onto his knees with him. He doesn’t stop coming through, pearly white strings coating his skin as he continues to writhe on the bed, shuddering and chanting Stiles’ name in between a litany of curse words, most of which Stiles thinks are Spanish.

Stiles carefully tries to ease out of him so he can hold Derek as he comes down from his second high, but Derek’s eyes fly open as he does and he brings his heels up to dig into Stiles’ ass, holding him in place.

“Wait,” he whispers. “Can you- can we stay like this for a while?”

Stiles chuckles and nods, easing himself down to lie on top of Derek while still buried inside him, remembering too late about the cum.

“You know we are going to get stuck together right?” he asks, shaking his head and kissing Derek’s chest.

“Good thing neither of us have chest hair then,” Derek replies.

It’s the last thing Stiles expects Derek to say and he can’t help it, a laugh that erupts from him, loud and painful, making his whole body shake.

“I think I love you,” he says, biting his lip to stop the last of the laughter. “No, scratch that, I do love you. I have for god knows how long now and you don’t have to say it back, I understand-”

“Stiles?” Derek interrupts him, smiling softly. “I…I love you too.”

“Awesome,” Stiles whispers, closing his eyes, not needing to look to know Derek is rolling his eyes at him.

***

They’re stuck together right enough when they wake up a few hours later. It’s gross and slightly painful, but Stiles is too happy to care, sending Derek for a shower after a kiss (or five) while he slips on his t-shirt and boxers from the night before and goes down to the kitchen.

It may be cheesy, but he wants Derek to have the whole we just made love experience and he’s watched enough movies to know that experience usually includes pancakes in the morning. His dad shouldn’t be home for another couple of hours yet, so that should give them plenty of time to eat and maybe lazily make out on the couch after.

Stiles grins just thinking about it and has to stop himself from running back upstairs and joining Derek in his shower, instead determinedly focusing on mixing up some pancake batter. He hates the pre-prepared stuff.

When Derek finally does descend, wearing a towel and a pair of Stiles’ biggest sweatpants, Stiles has already plated up two stacks up pancakes; one chocolate chip, his favourite, and the other covered in bananas and a toffee syrup Stiles found in the back of the cupboard. If you like cheesecake, you’ve got to kind of like banoffee based sweets, right? Maybe he should have waited until Derek finished his shower before he went and-

“It’s perfect, Stiles,” Derek cuts his thoughts off with a kiss. “You didn’t have to,” he says, but his eyes sweep over the pancakes like Scott’s do whenever they see a puppy. It makes Stiles happy and he wraps his arms around Derek’s waist, just wanting to hold him for a couple of seconds.

Derek stills initially, before letting himself relax into it, leaning back and covering Stiles’ hands with one of his own. One day, Stiles thinks, Derek will forget to think he isn’t allowed this. That hugs aren’t things to be earned or only given to people who aren’t him. That he deserves to be loved (no matter how much of as asshole he can be sometimes. Not that Stiles would wish him any other way. He likes sassy Derek thank you very much.)

The sit down to eat, moving their plates over to the couch after only a couple of bites. Stiles jokingly feeds Derek bites of his own pancakes here and there despite the fact they are usually eating the same type at the same time and pops in a DVD- some old horror film he and Scott must have been watching two years ago, the last time he ever used the DVD player- before climbing on top of Derek’s lap and kissing him hungrily.

“It’s starting to look a little weird in the light,” Stiles says, pulling back. “How young you look I mean.”

Derek frowns.

“What if I stay like this?” he asks sounding as young as he looks. “Would you mind?”

Stiles snorts. “Of course not, but I do kind of want to know why, dude.”

“Don’t call me dude.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Sheesh, fine. What do you want me to call you?”

“Derek,” Derek says, raising his eyebrows in that are you stupid kind of way that Stiles has totally come to love. Not that he’s going to admit that, meeting Derek with a glare.

“What about Der-Bear?”

“I will kill you.”

“Pudding pop?”

Stiles,” he growls, trying to push him off of him.

“Oh, I know, how about-”

But he’s cut off by battering at the door.

“It’s Scott,” Derek frowns.

“Werewolves,” Stiles mutters, rolling his eyes and clambering off of Derek to let his best friend in. “Dude, this is so not- oh my god why is there a Unicorn in my front lawn?” he yells.

Derek is behind him in an instant, looking over his shoulder to see the same baby Unicorn from before.

“Do you think it followed me here last night?” Derek asks.

“You were here last night?” Scott asks, looking back and forth between them, the look becoming suspicious when he clocks their various stages of undress. “What were you…you know what. I don’t want to know.” He looks back over to the Unicorn then, eyes glazing over in a way that makes Stiles want to groan. “Do you think I can keep him now? He doesn’t look like he’s going to kill anyone and woah, dude,” Scott blinks back at Derek. “What happened to your face?”

Stiles and Derek sigh in unison, not sure how to answer, but it doesn’t matter anyway because the next thing they know Scott has slipped past them, phone in hand and calling, yes, Deaton. Joy of joys.

“I tracked the Unicorn to Stiles’ house,” he says when, presumably, Deaton answers. “Also, Derek no longer looks like a serial killer.”

Stiles smacks Scott across the chest because hey, that is his boyfriend he is talking about.

“Wait,” Stiles turns to face Derek, a thought suddenly striking him, “we are dating now, right?” just in time for his dad to come through the door.

What?” he and Scott yell at the same time.

Oh, shit.

“Uh…look, dad, did you see that there’s a-” he begins to point towards the Unicorn outside, but is stopped with a pointed look he knows all too well.

“Stiles,” his dad warns.

Derek buries his face in his hands beside him.

“Welcome home…?” Stiles tries again, only to be met with a stronger look of disapproval from his dad and a Scott who was torn between looking extremely confused and dopey as his eyes keep straying to watch the Unicorn still sleeping on the grass outside through the open door.

Well, at least someone is relaxed.

***

Forty minutes later and everyone is sitting in Stiles’ kitchen. Everyone.

“Knew it,” Lydia whispers to Stiles as she passes him and Derek. She then high-fives Allison and Derek does is best to glare after them and then at Stiles, but it loses all power when they both look over to find the Sheriff watching them both like a hawk.

Derek tries to move away, but Stiles clings on to him, pulling him into his side. Nope, no way is Derek about to think his dad can break them. Stiles loves Derek. Loves him goddammit!

“So, from what I can tell-” Deaton says.

Stiles snorts, earning him a look from everyone.

“Sorry,” he says, nodding his head for Deaton to continue.

“As I was saying, if a Unicorn feels responsible for someone, it tends to shadow them until they know that person is being taken care of. Since it’s now sleeping outside, I am going to take a guess and say it feels it’s work is now done. Derek,” Deaton turns to face him with his body. “Can you tell me what happened last night? Before you got here,” he adds when Derek’s face flushes.

“I was walking in the Preserve and when I touched the Unicorn again something happened. I don’t know what but I felt…younger after. Different. When I got here Stiles said it had a physical effect too.”

Deaton nods, and raises a hand to his chin before smiling.

“There’s an old tale of a girl,” he says. “It goes like this. Her virginity was stolen from her at a young age by a passing merchant. One day, she passes a blessing of Unicorns and one breaks away to meet her. She reaches out to touch it and when she does the Unicorn drops a tear on to her skin. Sound familiar?”

Derek nods, but says nothing.

“Nothing happens for five years after that and then the girl meets the Unicorn again. This time the Unicorn only sits with her while she cries because her family have disowned her after giving birth to a bastard child and she can’t raise him on her own, barely able to feed and clothe him. When she leaves and heads back into her village, people whisper as she walks by, commenting on her face and how her clothes are now too big for her when they had been tight before. Confused, she rushes home to look in the mirror at her reflection. She finds she is younger, her youthful appearance restored as it had been before she became a mother. She sees the Unicorn wherever she goes after that. It follows her from village to village as she sells trinkets to provide for herself with food and shelter for her son until, one day, a man appears. The legend goes he instantly fell in love with the girl and married her and adopted the boy as his own. They live a good, happy life together, raising three more children. The most important part of the story being that, on the day of the wedding the Unicorn disappeared.” Deaton pauses. “Do you understand, Derek?”

Derek frowns, his mouth forming the shape of a yes before he shakes his head, no.

Deaton sighs.

“Unicorns are concerned with spiritual purity, what is on the inside, but most of all, they are concerned with justice and the righting of wrongs. Since their interaction with mankind is based upon their sexual status, they seek out those who have been sexually wronged in their past and try to remedy. They do this through only one way. By de-aging you, the Unicorn restored you to the time before your virginity was taken.”

“But, that happened when he was fifteen…” Stiles points out.

“As I said, they are only concerned with what is on the inside. What cannot be seen. Derek’s physical appearance is only a temporary side effect of the gift the Unicorn gave him: a second chance. All your memories should be the same, Derek. The Unicorn couldn’t change the past for you, it couldn’t give you back your ‘purity’, but it could give you the next best thing- a fighting chance to be happy. Can I be blunt?” he asks then, not pausing to hear his answer. “Did you and Stiles have sex last night?”

They both look over to the Sheriff who looks like he wants to say something- or possible murder someone- but in the end he just sighs.

“Tell Deaton the truth, son,” he says to Derek. It warms something inside Stiles to hear his dad call Derek ‘son’, even if he calls most people that, whether he is angry at them or not. What he does know is his dad never calls criminals son, so that’s a kind of win, right?

Derek nods. “Yes,” he whispers.

“Okay, and do you feel any different than you did yesterday?”

“Well…yes, I’m…I can’t explain it really,” he says, shaking his head, looking between Stiles and Deaton imploringly. Even more confused than when he came to Stiles last night.

“In having sex with Stiles, someone who you…trust?” Deaton asks.

Derek nods and Stiles is helpless to fight a smile.

Deaton nods in return, seemingly satisfied with the answer.

“By having sex with him, what happened with Kate, and with Jennifer, while not erased is…lessened. Logically, you know Kate and Jennifer came before Stiles, those timelines cannot be changed, but emotionally, spiritually, Stiles will always feel like your first. Someone you consented to…?”

Derek nods again.

“Someone you felt safe with?”

Another nod.

“Then the Unicorns gift is complete. It doesn’t heal the past, or what happened to you, but it is similar to an emotional weight being lifted, to put it simply. It is possible the Unicorn sensed the bond between the two of you the other day-”

“Which is why you turned up last night,” Stiles exclaims, turning to Derek. Derek looks a little stunned at that, but nods, showing his understanding.

“What else?” he asks, and for the first time Stiles finds himself hanging on Deaton’s every word.

“In a way, your…time…with Stiles surrounds you, he is at once the foundation of your sexual spirit and the end of it. Unicorns never encourage a bond between people who aren’t going to last. It must be sure of the spiritual connection. It's what's otherwise known as a soul bond. Sex is the most exposed you will ever be with someone. It is, in a way, baring your soul. Stiles can’t erase your past abuse, but he can help you heal."

"Like the power of love?" Scott interrupts, smiling at Stiles encouragingly. Deaton nods.

"The Unicorn's gift is that of healing. The equivalent of years of love and healing in one night, through Stiles. Unicorns seek immediate happiness in its chosen victim. You still need to overcome the past, Derek. You won’t trust and believe in love right away, but your subconscious won’t fight you on it like it would have done. You can be as sure as Stiles loving you as your teenage self would have been. Kate said she loved you and she betrayed you. The Unicorn has put you back to the beginning again, except, this time, with a different outcome. Instead of Kate, there is Stiles. Emotionally, Stiles came along before Kate. Stiles will feel like your first love, always. Even though Kate came first, changing how you viewed any and all relationships, the memory of last night will now prove stronger. That’s how you will come to see relationships. As good, not bad. The first experience of love you ever had becomes one of trust and truth rather than one of abuse and betrayal. You don’t need to learn that love can be different or good, you already know it. Subconsciously, Stiles came first. Before Kate, before Jennifer. He’s what you truly know and what you will always have.”

Silence falls across the room.

Stiles’ heart is racing with the information, no part of his brain giving him any cause to doubt it, and he wants to turn to Derek, to take him out of the room and…he doesn’t really know. Just make sure he’s…okay. To talk to him because…yeah, wow. He’s about to grab his hand and do just that when the silence is broken with a “oh, hell,” from his dad across the room.

Stiles and Derek both freeze as the Sheriff walks towards them. Stiles, for his part, instinctively tries to stand in front of Derek, unable to guess what his dad is thinking right now. It can be nothing good. But to Stiles’- and Derek’s for that matter- surprise, his dad just pushes him out the way and wraps Derek up in a hug.

Derek stares at Stiles wide eyed over the Sheriff shoulder, his hand hovering over his back before coming down and clapping it awkwardly.

Stiles smiles and gives Derek a thumbs up, shrugging, mouthing go with it.

“Welcome to the family, son,” the Sheriff says.