It’s dark save for the light of the full moon, and there’s a sharp chill in the air that makes it a little hard to breathe the faster Stiles runs. He doesn’t stop, even though there’s a burning in his chest and legs. The wolf howl that echoes in the trees behind him only serves as motivation for him to keep running, ignoring the soreness of his calves, the stings of branches and leaves that hit and scratch him as he passes by.
He asked for this; heck, he wanted to do this, and there was no way he was giving up now.
“Did you know that each full moon has a different name?” Stiles asks, looking up from his computer at Derek who is sitting in a chair nearby reading a book.
Derek deigns to look at him from his book to give him a flat stare. “I’m a werewolf, Stiles. Of course I know that.”
Stiles sticks his tongue out at him. “Ok, Mr. Know-It-All, what’s the next full moon called?”
Derek looks up as if he has to calculate it and then finally answers, “The Hunter’s Moon.”
Thoroughly impressed, Stiles sits back in his seat and turns fully to face Derek. “So, do werewolves do anything special for that one? Or any of the other ones for that matter?”
With a sigh, Derek marks his place in his book and sets it down on the coffee table in front of him. “My family used to do a big dinner with games and things on most full moons. The significant ones, like Wolf Moon, Harvest Moon, and Hunter’s Moon, we’d do something a little different.”
He looks up, seeming to gauge Stiles’s interest on the matter, and finding him sitting forward and listening intently, Derek continues.
“For Wolf Moon, we would tell stories to the younger ones of the pack about legends of wolves, folktales of our kind, and then when it was time for them to go to sleep, the rest of us would transform and run and chase each other. I can’t quite remember what we did for the Harvest one, but I do remember there being so much food, more than normal.”
“And Hunter’s Moon?” Stiles prompts when Derek doesn’t continue, lost in his memories.
“I had been too young to participate in that one, but it involved the mates and potential mates of the pack. Laura said it was like a reversal for us. Instead of us being hunted, we would act as hunters, tracking down our prey, or for them their mate. Like I said, I’d been too young, so I never really saw it for myself.”
Stiles nods as a grin starts to form. “Would you want to try it now? You’re older…”
“Yeah, but I’d need someone else, a mate, and I don’t–” Derek cuts himself off when he notices Stiles blushing, eyes downcast. “Oh.” Derek swallows, realizing what Stiles is suggesting.
“Nevermind. Forget it. We’ll just order pizza or something, invite everyone over like normal; it’s fine.” Stiles leans forward to snap his laptop shut and start gathering his things to leave, standing to go.
Derek immediately gets up and stops him with a hand on his shoulder. “Wait, I didn’t realize that… I’m sorry. I… I think it could be fun if you want to do it. We could?”
“I don’t want to force you to do it with me if you don’t–”
“No, Stiles. I do… want to… with you,” Derek gets out, a hint of pink forming on his own cheeks.
Stiles grins. “Okay.”
He definitely should have worn different shoes. He knew he was going to be running, but Derek seems to be taking his sweet time teasing him and letting him escape and get further away. He knows Derek is just playing with him, and he’s grateful they decided not to invite the rest of the pack for this particular event. He doesn’t want to think about what they might say about him volunteering to be Derek’s prey–-his mate.
Not that he’s thinking about much of anything at the moment. All he can concentrate on is his steps and how much closer the howls from Derek sound. He’s starting to lose speed, and he knows he can’t last much longer at the pace he’s been going. He stops only briefly to get his bearings, to know where in the preserve he is and where he’s heading. But it was a few precious moments too long because as soon as he gets his feet to start moving again, he can hear panting and the sounds of paws hitting the ground.
Derek is close, too close, and he must be tired of teasing Stiles because he is approaching fast, and Stiles doesn’t know whether to keep running or stop altogether. Either way, Derek is going to tackle him, and either way it will most likely be painful. He slows his pace but keeps running and braces himself for impact.
He hits the ground, a heavy weight on his back, and when he lands on his stomach, he loses his breath but quickly takes in air to compensate. The weight lifts enough for him to roll over on to his back to stare up at a large black wolf with piercing blue eyes.
“You’re heavy, dude, you know that?” Stiles says, knowing full well that Derek can understand him even though he can’t reply. “Also, I’m glad you caught me. I was getting tired.”
Derek huffs and presses his snout into Stiles’s neck and nuzzles, sniffs, and licks his throat.
“You better not lick my face as a wolf, okay. That’s just gross.” Stiles is about to go on but the words get caught in his throat when he watches Derek transform back from a wolf into a human, still leaning over him on all fours.
“This better?” Derek says with a smirk.
“I…” Stiles starts but doesn’t finish, only able to nod because yes, it is better. As much as he loves seeing Derek in his full wolf form, he loves seeing Derek as he normally is more. “So, uh… what happens after you catch your mate?”
Derek shrugs a shoulder but leans down closer to Stiles, “I don’t know, but I’m sure I could improvise…”
Stiles visibly swallows. “Improvise? Like what?” His voice is high, like he’s nervous but also excited.
Smiling, Derek lowers himself more and hovers above Stiles, their lips almost touching. “Like this,” he whispers, and Stiles lets out a whimper before closing the space between them and sealing their mouths together.
A press of lips soon becomes more, with each of them opening their mouths for each other’s tongues. Stiles lifts his arms to wrap them around Derek’s back and shoulders, and then immediately pulls back to break the kiss.
“Oh my god, you’re naked, aren’t you?” Stiles breathes out.
Derek gives him a “Duh” look. “It’s not like I wear clothes as a wolf.”
“No, I know but… Derek, our first time is not happening outside on the ground.”
“Why not? That’s how they did it on the Hunter’s Moon.”
“What?! You just told me you didn’t know!”
Derek gives him a half-smile and a shrug. “I’m improvising.”
Stiles rolls his eyes and shoves Derek off of him. “No. We are going back to your place where there’s a comfortable bed and necessary supplies.”
Derek huffs and stands, helping Stiles up as he pointedly does not look anywhere near Derek’s nude lower-half. “You’re no fun,” Derek says teasingly.
“Me? I’m no fun? I just let you chase me around the woods all night.”
Derek’s face grows serious, and he catches Stiles’s hand to turn him to face him. “Thank you for this.”
With a wide genuine smile, Stiles leans in and kisses Derek. “You’re welcome,” he says when he pulls back from the kiss. “Come on, lead me back to the car, Lassie.”
It’s a joke, but Derek transforms back into a wolf and takes off, refusing to wait for Stiles to catch on and start running. “I was kidding! Derek! Ugh fine! No dog jokes, I get it!” Stiles shouts, chasing after Derek in an interesting turn of events. He catches up eventually, and they drive home and spend the rest of the Hunter’s Moon exactly how they want.