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This is how it finally happens.

They’re in the middle of an argument—what Stiles has heard the rest of the pack refer to as their “squabbles”—and their pulses are rising and Stiles can barely keep from jittering out of his skin he’s so riled up. He gets so mad at Derek sometimes. Most of the time. Half of the time. Derek still treats him like a kid, a liability. When trouble is afoot, Derek might as well be sending him to his room. And that’s just…that’s not fair because fuck if Stiles hasn’t been more useful to the pack than Scott. He’s the one with the answers, the plans, the quips. He’s the one saving their asses nine times out of ten.

But when he grabs his jacket and his keys, ready to follow their coordinated Grease Lightning backs, Derek stands stone-still in place. Stiles thinks crazy things about unmovable objects meeting unstoppable forces. He may only be sixteen, but he’s definitely unstoppable. Derek only stares at him, though, the way he always does. His eyes are stupidly hypnotic and his mouth is a hard, unrelenting line until he opens it to say in no uncertain terms that Stiles can’t do this or go there, that he’ll just get in the way, and Stiles doesn’t want to hear that again, doesn’t want to be shuffled aside and left out in the cold because his bones are fragile and human, his flesh weak.

He fists his hands in Derek’s shirt and drags him forward, takes Derek’s mouth with his own. It catches them both by surprise and Stiles stands there, his heart racing, his eyes open, and stops all those words that mean no and looks for one yes that really matters.

Derek, for once, agrees and gives in.