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Stiles is pack. He knows he is. He’s not a beta like Scott, or an omega even –– not that he thinks the pack has any, although he kind of hoped Jackson would be –– but he’s something. He fits.

Derek tells him he’s pack. Isaac shows it by rubbing up against him at all opportunities and Erica by, well, not beating him up anymore. Boyd is sort of quiet around him but Stiles thinks that’s because Boyd is okay with letting Stiles fill the silence. Lydia is … Lydia. And may she never change.

Scott doesn’t treat him any different really, but then, they’ve been pack since they were six.

It’s just, while Stiles might know it, he doesn’t always feel it.

Everyone has a kind of deference toward Derek. He’s the Alpha, he doesn’t demand as such, even though he could, he just … receives. Isaac will cook dinner and serve the best piece of steak to Derek. Boyd will add Derek’s laundry to his own (although that might be because their affinity for black and white makes sorting easier and that way it’s more economical, whatever), and Erica gives him foot rubs.

Foot rubs.

She’d nearly bitten off Stiles’ big toe when he’d shoved a foot in her face in invitation.

Derek doesn’t ask for any of it, the wolves just do.

That, and the question, what do I do, has been on Stiles’ mind for some time, when one early evening he’s looking for Derek in the renovated mansion. Everyone’s out and Stiles’ voice is weirdly echoey in the silent house.

The Camaro’s up front so Stiles knows Derek’s in, he just can’t work out why he’s hiding. Stiles climbs up the staircase and walks down a hallway he hasn’t set foot in since he’d painted Derek’s bedroom a few months ago. It’d been nothing but bare wooden floors and plasterboard walls back then, and he hesitates on the doorstep, even though the door is open and the room neatly tidied. The bed is made, huge in the middle of the room, and even though Lydia never shows submission to Derek, the entire appearance of the room reeks of her touch.

“Derek?” he calls carefully. There’s no reply, so Stiles takes one step into the bedroom, stops and listens. He’s been training a bit with the others, whenever he can. He’s learnt to tune into his surroundings so he can pick up anything out of sync and he hears it, then: a soft splash of water.

Stiles moves further into the bedroom, toward where he and Scott had labored and cursed like rum-drunk sailors over getting the bathroom tiles in. It’d been a bitch of a job to get the pattern right, and the bathroom is enormous.

The door is slightly ajar and Stiles moves closer still. He’s not sure why he’s being so quiet, Derek has got to know he’s there by the pounding of his heart alone, but Stiles just slowly puts one foot in front of the other, rolling from the ball of his feet to the heel. Creeping, basically.

The palms of his hands are damp and he’s breathing through his mouth because it feels like there’s not enough oxygen in the room. It’s too weird. There’s another soft movement in water, and nervously Stiles calls, “Derek?” again.

There’s no reply, so Stiles pushes against the bathroom door until it thuds against the wall. Stiles doesn’t even hear it. He’s staring, no, gaping. Mouth open and everything. Because right in the middle of the bathroom is an honest to god clawfoot bathtub. In copper.

It’s huge. Rounded at the ends and sinking down in a swoop toward the middle. Stiles can just see the top of Derek’s head from where he’s standing, and a pair of feet casually crossed at the ankle resting against the end of the tub. Derek’s arms are slung over the sides, steam rising from his wet skin.

Stiles should leave.

Derek knows he’s there and he’s not saying anything and oh god he’s most definitely very naked in a bath and Stiles can’t move.

In a life-flashes-before-your-eyes-before-you-die sort of way, Stiles thinks about how Derek is always quietly accepting of what the pack gives him, but never asks for anything. And then he thinks about how Derek knows he’s there. Derek’s not saying anything, giving Stiles a choice.

So he toes off his shoes and leaves them, doesn’t even check to see where they end up, and quietly closes the bathroom door behind him. He walks over to the bath and goes to stand at the head of it.

Derek looks up and doesn’t say anything, just waits to see what Stiles will do. Stiles leans over and dips a hand in the hot water by Derek’s side and then slides it up his shoulder, into Derek’s hair. He does the same with the other and watches Derek’s eyes slip closed as he gently massages his scalp with blunt fingertips. After a while, he reaches lower, digging into the muscles of Derek’s neck, but the water stutters the movement. Stiles looks around for a second, hands on Derek’s shoulders, until he spots a simple piece of soap in a dish. He goes to grab it, but Derek takes hold of his wrist when he passes. Stiles stops and looks down at him, can’t help the flicker of his eyes down Derek’s chest and lower still, and he feels his cheeks heat when he looks up again. Derek still doesn’t say anything, just gives Stiles a soft, one-sided smile, and lets go of him.

Stiles pulls off his hoodie, grabs the soap, wets it, and lathers up his hands. In a way it’s extremely weird to be touching Derek like this. So close and so intimate. So serene. It’s the complete opposite of all the things he’s ever associated with Derek Hale, but when Stiles looks down, watches the lines of Derek’s face as Stiles works his fingers into Derek’s muscles, he notices how Derek is made of opposites.

From a distance Derek is all rough handsomeness. His hard eyebrows would give anyone pause to look too closely and they’d never see that the lines of Derek’s face are almost delicate. His nose is much thinner than Stiles expects and his mouth, when it’s not pulled tight and holding back everything Derek can’t say, when it’s like this, parted and soft, looks like it could smile easily.

But it’s his eyes, Stiles thinks distantly when he finds them open and staring right at him, that are the most startling.

They are a hazel-green blaze that spell wild all over Derek’s face.

“Don’t stop,” Derek says, his first words since Stiles came in, and Stiles realizes his hands have dropped to a halt on Derek’s shoulders. He picks up the soap to create more foam and brings his hands around to Derek’s throat. Derek goes rigid-still for all of two seconds but Stiles forces himself to not respond and Derek goes limp again when Stiles just drags his hands down further over Derek’s chest.

Here Derek is a mix of opposites too. As if that’s just how he’s made, inside and out. The muscles beneath Stiles’ fingertips are hard but the skin feels like silk. There’s a dark dusting of hair contrasting sharply with the pink of his nipples and Stiles can’t help himself.

He thumbs them both on his way down, sucking in a loud breath that echoes in the silent bathroom when they instantly pebble beneath his touch. His eyes flick nervously over to Derek’s and Stiles wets his dry lips, but all Derek does is look at him; he watches and waits.

Stiles moves to the end of the bath and kneels down so he can dig his thumbs into Derek’s feet. To his surprise, Derek pulls away and laughs quietly.

“You’re not ticklish when Erica does this,” Stiles says and Derek lowers his foot within reach again.

“Erica’s not exactly gentle,” Derek says and this time he only twitches when Stiles digs two thumbs into his sole. He gets into it, works one foot with both hands because he can feel the knots beneath his fingers. Once he thinks he can see Derek wince and he wonders if this doesn’t fit under werewolf healing, if they get tight muscles from too much running, too much fighting, too much working out, just like everyone else. It kinda makes sense, if he thinks about it. He’s seen Derek snap Erica’s wrist to kickstart healing, so maybe it doesn’t bother with small aches and pains.

He puts more soap on his hands when he’s done with Derek’s feet and starts to work on his calves. They’re tight too, and when Stiles drags his way up the muscle that sits thick on Derek’s shin, Derek actually groans out loud.

“You should let me do this properly,” Stiles tells him, moving to the other leg. “Outside of the bath, I mean. I give an awesome massage. Deep, not that Swedish fluff stuff.”

“Okay,” Derek says easily, and he moves his leg a bit, to give Stiles better access, but it means parting his thighs and Stiles can’t help getting an impressive eyeful. “You can do anything you like,” Derek goes on. If he hears Stiles’ heartbeat create a racket in his chest, Derek doesn’t show it. He just holds Stiles’ gaze when he manages to wrench it away from, oh holy hell, Derek’s hard dick.

He wants, god how he wants, to reach for it, to feel it in his fist. He wants to find out the contrast of that too, the velveteen skin over rock hard shaft, but he can’t. The idea makes his hands shake, so Stiles moves to Derek’s right arm, strokes it up and down in long movements until he suddenly finds himself holding Derek’s hand. And somehow that’s worse, because now he’s holding hands with Derek, while this was just supposed to be a pack thing. He’s sure he reeks of nervous sweat, that Derek can smell it and to add insult to injury, a wave of bone deep embarrassment washes over him. Stiles presses small circles in the palm of Derek’s hand, making his fingers twitch. He turns it over, digging deep between the bones of Derek’s hand. Stiles doesn’t even know what he’s doing anymore, just feels like he’s going to black out or something.

“Stiles."

When he doesn’t respond, Derek puts a finger under his chin and lifts it. He’s leaning over the edge of the bath, looking down and Stiles realizes he’s hyperventilating slightly. “Calm down,” Derek tells him and sweeps his thumb over Stiles’ mouth. “I’m turning into a prune so I’m getting out.”

Stiles just stares and Derek snorts. He lifts an eyebrow and begins to get up and that’s when Stiles gets it.

“Yeah,” he squeaks, “sure, I’ll be, uh, somewhere.” He scrambles to his feet, slipping a bit because he spilt a lot of water, and legs it out the door. For a split second he considers keeping going, straight outside into his Jeep and driving off. If he does that though, he knows he won’t want to face Derek ever again. Best get it over with now, or he'll just sit at home working himself up to such a level of embarrassment he’ll be planning a gap year to Europe within the hour.

It’s when Derek appears in the bedroom, freshly shaven –– oh my god, he looks young –– with nothing but a towel around his waist, that Stiles realizes waiting in the bedroom probably isn’t helping his case of mortification. He splutters something, not actual words, just noises as he points and shuffles to the door. Derek ignores him, turns toward the huge bed, his back to Stiles, He drops the towel and knee-walks onto the high mattress.

“I thought you could do my back next,” Derek says, already face down in the pillows. He says nothing else, just waits.

Stiles feels like he stands there for an inordinately long time but it’s more like five seconds before he says, “Yeah. Sure. Do you have some, uh, lotion, or something?” He cringes, scrunching up his entire face because he knows exactly what lotion in the vicinity of a bed means. Derek is looking over his shoulder when Stiles opens his eyes again and Stiles can’t deal with Derek being so constantly amused.

“Bathroom cabinet,” he says and then flops down on the bed again, shuffling a bit until his arms are comfortably tucked under his pillow.

“Okay,” Stiles says and turns back into the bathroom.

All the water is cleaned up, the bath is dry and there’s a damp towel hanging over the side. Stiles quickly opens one cabinet which is filled with more towels, and then another, lined with toothpaste, shaving cream, some unidentifiable tubes, organic body lotion and two bottles of lube. The sound he makes is soft and high in his throat and he is one hundred percent sure Derek heard it. Stiles suppresses the urge to sniff the licorice scented one but only because he knows Derek would smell it on him right away. He’s so gonna research that later though, because who on earth owns licorice scented lube?

He’s been in there for too long already, so he just grabs the body lotion and walks back into the bedroom. “Organic?” He says. “Seriously?”

“Smells better,” Derek mumbles, and he sounds half asleep.

“Oh,” Stiles says. Well, that makes sense.

The top comes off easily and Stiles pours a generous amount in his hand, putting the bottle on the floor. He stands there for a bit but there’s no way around it. The bed is massive and Derek is right in the middle, so he’s gonna have to get in.

Stiles awkwardly crawls on top of the comforter –– the bed is so high it’s ridiculous –– holding up the hand with the lotion and trying not to spill any. Normally he’d have no issues with straddling Derek’s hips for leverage so he could really work those muscles, but that’s Derek’s naked butt. Stiles can’t just go sit on it.

Which means he has to look at it instead.

He sighs at himself and is sure Derek muffles a laugh in the pillow, so he slaps the cold lotion on Derek’s back in retaliation. Derek jolts and pulls a hand from underneath the pillow to gently slap at Stiles’ thigh and then just leaves it there, knuckles brushing jeans whenever Stiles moves.

The lines of Derek’s back are incredible. They’re something Stiles has only seen on Olympic swimmers or something and more often than not, Stiles is just running his fingers over dips and rises instead of trying to work the kinks out of Derek’s shoulders. It’s inevitable really, that he somehow ends up at the dimples on either side of Derek’s lower back. They’re mesmerizing and Stiles can’t stop staring. He runs his fingers over them, both hands simultaneously, palms of his hands brushing the rise of Derek’s ass. He runs his hands back up, a featherlight touch, nothing at all like the deep massage he promised. Stiles keeps going, over Derek’s shoulders and then down again, along his arms and down his sides. Always he ends up with his thumbs pressed into the dips of Derek’s spine.

When he tries to shift to get better reach, he realizes he can’t move his foot. Stiles looks down and sees Derek’s hand in a firm grip around his ankle.

“Stiles,” Derek says and he sounds broken. Stiles keeps very still, his hands suddenly sweaty on Derek’s back. “I’d never ask anything of you that you don’t want to do.”

“I know that,” Stiles tells him immediately, “you don’t ask anything from anyone.”

“But especially you,” Derek says and he turns his head on the pillow so he can look at Stiles. His eyes are dark and glinting like Stiles has never seen before. He wonders if it’s another wolf thing.

“Why?” Stiles asks, frowning. “Why especially me?”

“Because from you I want things and you’re so young.” Stiles stares at Derek, his mouth open in a round ‘o’ but no sound comes out. Derek’s eyes flare red and he goes on before Stiles can kickstart his brain. “So you need to get your hands off me and get out of here right now, or you need to keep going. The choice is yours.”

It’s not like Stiles has trouble figuring out what he means, not at all, it’s just that it’s not computing. Derek wants him. Badly enough that he can hardly control himself and Stiles needs to make up his mind whether he wants to have sex right this second, while he hasn’t even kissed anyone yet. It’s just a bit much.

“I haven’t even kissed anyone yet,” he says, looking down, because honesty is the only option.

Derek’s eyes widen a bit at that, but he just repeats, “The choice is yours,” giving no ground.

“Okay,” Stiles says. “Okay.” He shuffles backward and Derek lets go of his ankle easily but Stiles doesn’t miss the flash of regret in his eyes. Derek turns his face away into the pillow, pulling up the hand that had been holding on to Stiles’ ankle. He’s tense though, for all Derek’s trying to make it seem like Stiles’ decision makes no difference to him.

Stiles perches on the edge of the bed to take off his socks. He fumbles a bit because the slight trembling of his fingers doesn’t help with the slick of the hand lotion. He pulls off his t-shirt next and then stands again to unbutton his jeans. He hesitates a second over his boxers but no, he can’t go that far all at once.

Derek’s looking at him again and Stiles isn’t going to lie to himself. That slightly predatorial hunger in Derek’s eyes makes him nervous. “If there’s something I don’t––“ Stiles begins, fisting the comforter.

“Don’t do anything you don’t want,” Derek interrupts him. “I won’t make you.”

“Okay,” Stiles says again and he knows it sounds like he’s trying to convince himself. Derek doesn’t ask, are you sure, or anything like that, and Stiles is relieved. He climbs back onto the mattress and sits on his heels. “Turn over,” he says and Derek does.

Stiles’ mind goes a little bit blank, which doesn’t happen very often, because Derek looks like he’s been hard for a long time. Stiles thinks he should move, should do something, but just as he goes to reach out, a bead of clear liquid pearls at the head of Derek’s cock and slowly drips down onto his belly.

“Oh god,” Stiles says weakly. He glances up and Derek’s just looking at him. He seems to be completely relaxed, but his fingers are digging into the sheets beneath him. He’s got to be so turned on and Stiles hasn’t even touched him yet. Jesus.

Derek doesn’t say anything. The choice is still Stiles’ and it’s somewhat of a comfort that he knows he can stop at any time and Derek won’t hold it against him. He trusts Derek. And when he shifts, he realizes he’s hard too.

“Okay,” he says softly. At least his body seems to know what it wants, even if his mind is temporarily blown. “I’m gonna, I’m gonna touch you now.”

“Okay,” Derek says and Stiles thinks he’s aiming for amused but he sounds breathless. It helps, for some reason, and Stiles reaches out.

He skims his hand over Derek’s belly and feels the muscles jump beneath it. He comes across the wet patch and it makes his heart skip. He can actually feel it, the stutter in the violent thumping against his ribcage so he knows Derek heard it. Stiles is a bit too shy to look up and check, but he can hear Derek’s breath speeding up a bit, can feel it as his hand rises and falls faster. Stiles swallows dryly and licks his lips.

Well, here goes nothing.

Stiles slides his hand down further, the trail of hair scritching against his palm, and takes hold of the base of Derek’s cock, giving it a firm squeeze. Derek doesn’t make a sound, but when Stiles sneaks a peek, he looks like he really wants to. His chin’s a bit lifted toward the ceiling, his eyes are closed and his hands are pulling the comforter up. There’s even a bit of fang showing, but that doesn’t freak Stiles out anymore, he knows from Scott they just do it to take the edge of whatever they’re fee–– oh. Oh.

It makes him bold. Stiles’ hands are still a bit greasy from the lotion so the slide up to the tip is really smooth. He tightens his fist, fitting around Derek nicely, so he can dig his fingers into the underside and then circle a wet thumb over the top. Derek does make a noise now, a low, hoarse goddamnit. Less than a minute ago, that would’ve made Stiles flail back and worry he’d done something wrong. Now he just watches Derek’s chest heave. Stiles sets a steady rhythm. He’s not sure about Derek, but it wouldn’t be fast enough to get himself off and suddenly he doesn’t want this to be over soon at all.

Derek pulls up his knees and lets his thighs fall open, one of them landing in Stiles’ lap. He runs a hand down the inside of it, inevitably ending with a handful of Derek’s balls. They contract in his gentle grip and just like that, Derek’s not the only one who has trouble breathing. Stiles’ dick had been interested in the proceedings before, but it’s fully on board now, straining uncomfortably sticky against his boxers.

“Stiles,” Derek groans, “please move.”

“Oh god, I’m sorry,” Stiles says, his face flaming red. He hadn’t realized he’d been sitting there gaping like a dumbstruck idiot.

“It’s fine,” Derek tells him. His eyes are open now and he’s smiling, “but you’re killing me here.”

“Right, I, uh, sorry.” Stiles swallows and tightens his fingers again but Derek puts a hand on his wrist.

“I’d reciprocate,” he says, giving Stiles’ groin a meaningful glance, “but I think that’d put you out for the count completely.”

“Oh my jesus,” Stiles mumbles. “I think my brain just exploded.”

“My point,” Derek says, “exactly.”

Stiles thinks about Derek’s hands on him and decides making it last is overrated. He wraps both hands, one on top of the other, around Derek’s cock and slides them up and down. Derek’s not cut, which makes sense really, it’d just heal, and it’s fascinating to see the head of his cock slipping in and out of the foreskin. It slides enticingly up and down, making Stiles wish he could find out what that felt like. On an up-twist, he slips his thumb inside it and circles the head and Derek growls. His head is thrown back, the muscles in his stomach taut and rippling, and there’s a deep red flush spreading across his chest.

“Oh god,” Stiles says, because of course this is when his brain to mouth filter fails, “you’re close, aren’t you? You’re going to come. I’m going to make Derek Hale come. With my hands.” He keeps moving one hand, and without thinking about it really, just doing what he does to himself, what he likes best, touches Derek’s balls again with the other. He picks up speed, squeezing hard, and when Derek’s mouth falls open, he slips his fingers beneath Derek’s balls and presses down. There’s a noise coming from Derek’s mouth, it’s like half protest, half surprise and then he’s arching off the bed, spurting hot seed all over his own chest and Stiles’ hand. Stiles keeps going until Derek’s cock stops pulsing, which takes a really long time. He pulls his hands away as Derek catches his breath, feeling utterly and overwhelmingly unsure of what to do with himself, not to mention painfully aroused.

“Do it,” Derek says and Stiles snaps his head up. He’d been plucking at his boxers. “Go on.”

“I––” Stiles begins but has no idea where to take it. He’s too embarrassed. There’s no way he’s going to jerk off with Derek staring at him.

“You can go into the bathroom if it makes you more comfortable,” Derek tells him, stretching out easily, muscles uncoiling like he’s a cat, and fuck him; unfair. He grins as if he knows exactly what Stiles is thinking. “But when I get my hands on you for the first time, I don’t want it to be over within ten seconds.”

“Okay,” Stiles says, sounding as lightheaded as he feels, “that sounds … reasonable.”

Derek’s eyes soften a bit and then turn dark again. “But if it helps, I’d like to watch.”

Stiles gulps. Ten seconds might be a generous estimation. He makes a weak noise and takes his brain out of the equation. Stiles squeezes his eyes tightly shut and then lifts the elastic of his boxers over his cock and settles it beneath his balls. It takes three seconds to realize why his hand is still wet and by the noise Derek makes, he’s figured it out too. After that he considers it a victory he hangs on for a full minute, to be honest.

“So you’ve really never kissed anyone?” Derek asks him afterwards and Stiles shakes his head, wishing desperately he could pull on his t-shirt. Derek seems to get it, because he suddenly sits up and literally manhandles Stiles underneath the comforter and crawls in beside him. “Can I remedy that?” Derek asks, leaning up on one elbow, face close.

Really? Stiles wants to say. I’ve jerked you off and jerked off in front of you, but you’re asking permission to kiss me? He doesn’t though, because Derek’s eyes keep drifting to his mouth like he can’t help himself.

“Yeah,” Stiles says and strains up a little, lips already parting.

Derek’s mouth slots against his easily, Stiles’ bottom lip fitting in between Derek’s. It’s oddly intimate, considering what they’ve just been up to. Derek slides a hand around Stiles’ neck and Stiles feels his tongue press against his lip. He opens up further, tasting Derek for the first time.

It’s easy, kissing. He doesn’t know what he’d gotten so worked up about. Or maybe that’s just Derek. Maybe that’s just them.

“I didn’t know where I belonged,” Stiles says when they’ve been quiet for a long time, silence only broken when one of them shifts or presses a kiss against any patch of available skin.

“I know,” Derek says, which shouldn’t surprise Stiles but it does anyway. Derek knows his pack. “Do you now?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says, flushing warm and happy.

Derek pulls him closer, noses at the curve of Stiles’ clavicle and Stiles can feel him smile. “Good.”