The first thing that Stiles thinks when Derek turns to look at him, jaw going slack and eyes widening as his hand goes up to slap automatically against the skin of his neck- in an attempt to swat the bug that’s just bitten him- is that it has to be some kind of cosmic joke.
And then he sees the little fist sized vampire bug buzzing away, the metallic sheen of its wings rippling a rainbow of colours in the fading sunlight and the second thing he thinks is holy shit that weird ass vampire bug is getting away.
And point to the supernatural bug for getting the drop on a supposedly competent, terrifyingly unemotionally available big, freaking alpha werewolf. God, he’s well aware of the underdog scenario and giving the little guy a chance every once in a while but this is just ridiculous. And embarrassing. Because he’s pretty sure Derek just got KO’d by an insect. A rainbow insect. Somebody's masculinity has to be hurting right about now.
But then Derek’s looking at him and his eyes are widening if possible, even further like Stiles had just suddenly developed the skill to transform into a drag queen in the blink of an eye and sing cheesy show tunes with lipstick smothered pouty lips.
It’s probably about then when Stiles shakes his fist at the hastily retreating LGBT supporter bug as it lets its rainbow flag exoskeleton fly and he distantly wonders if his this isn't over vampire bug fist shake can be seen as some form of homophobic racism.
But then the bug doesn’t reappear for more neck biting so he figures it doesn’t.
Only now Derek’s striding towards him and things aren’t looking good for Stiles who volunteered his services to investigate this current disturbance in the force- purely out of the goodness of his heart- since Scott and Isaac are too goddamn busy working their healing touches on all the animals in Deaton’s clinic to help.
And nobody has seen Boyd or Erica for several days now. But they're not meant to talk about that. At least that's what Derek's immediate silence and stormy expression announced when he'd asked.
He takes two precautionary steps back because Derek is looking at him in this really creepy way and not in the I’m-going-to-murder-you way. In fact, it’s not an expression he’s ever seen on his face before and that’s what’s thrown him for a second.
Because Derek has only about five expressions in his arsenal of emotional face manoeuvres and this is sadly not one of them. Stiles instantly assures himself that this is a bad sign.
And unless he’s been bitten as well by a radioactive bumblebee that incurs blindness in the last five seconds, he’s pretty sure Derek is smiling. At him. But like not a you’re-so-irritating-I’m-picturing-dragging-my-claws-through-your-intestines smile but an actual genuine sort of smile.
Like a the clouds have just parted and rays of sunlight are shining down on Derek's face kind of smile.
And is it his imagination or does this random unexpected unveiling of a new facial expression seem kind of goofy? But like a softer, affectionate sort of goofy?
Oh God, the rainbow bug has broken Derek Hale.
Dammit, why can’t Scott and Isaac use their free time as ridiculously single bachelors to rid the world of LGBT supportive bugs that break alpha’s instead of overwhelming the Beacon Hills population with more wild animals because of their healin’ touch?
And then because apparently goofy Derek isn’t enough of a parallel universe nightmare moment, he crowds all up in Stiles’ space cupping his jaw with his warm hands and cradling his face as if he's suddenly realised Stiles is the most precious thing in the universe.
He’d probably still be shitting himself by now if Derek still wasn’t smiling. Stiles just lets out a strangled sound because this is vastly different from any- being thrown against hard surfaces that will bruise him- situation that Derek usually enacts and he finds it freaks him out a lot more.
Because Derek is looking deeply into face and Stiles will swear until his dying day that he’s giving him goo goo eyes.
And this is very not good.
And then, as if the universe insists on making this worse, Derek sort of gives him this stupid, goofy grin.
“Stiles,” he says still holding his face and standing way too close for comfort. His voice is still full of his usual gruffness so only the face caressing thing is out of character. He even sounds like his abnormally pissed off self.
“You’re so pretty.”
And yep, Stiles can safely say that the LGBT community will be getting a snarky and highly worded letter in the mail as soon as he can get the big, hulking alpha to stop nuzzling his cheek.
He doesn’t get Derek to stop nuzzling his cheek. Unfortunately, because his pants have already tightened at the sensation of stubble burn against his skin, a clear sign that he likes it and to make the situation better the alpha seems to sense that too and starts nuzzling him harder.
By the time Stiles convinces what can only be a mentally warped Derek into his jeep and to keep his goddamn hands to himself- because his pants are still tight, thank you- they’ve wasted twenty minutes.
And he just knows that the totally unassuming but somehow menacing bug has already painted Beacon Hills freaking rainbow. He speeds to Deaton’s clinic only a little over the speed limit, his foot jerking on the accelerator when Derek’s hand slides unexpectedly across his thigh.
By the time he stumbles inside his face is flushed because apparently brain malfunctioning Derek is very tactile and doesn’t understand personal boundaries. The alpha trails after him like a puppy.
“Deaton?” he calls, “Scott? I broke Derek.”
Scott and Isaac come out first raised eyebrows and curious expressions on their faces. “Well I guess I didn’t,” he admits. “But that bug did when it bit him and possibly laid eggs in his brain or something.”
“Which bug?” Deaton asks as he enters the reception room.
Derek chooses that moment to wrap his arms around Stiles from behind and start nuzzling him all over again. So um, yeah. Scott drops whatever he was holding which turns out to be his cell phone and Isaac’s eyebrows go way up. Deaton’s eyes narrow clinically.
“Stiles,” Derek purrs out and he sighs, realises its useless to struggle and goes limp in his arms because he couldn’t seem to figure out why Derek is suddenly faulty.
“I told you he’s broken,” he says feeling the heat rise in his cheeks. “You don’t even want to know what areas of Stilinski goodness he tried to touch on the way here.”
To be fair, Derek's hand only accidentally brushed against Stiles' junk when he'd tried to cuddle him in the jeep, but they don't know that. If Stiles has to be freaked out by this, he's making sure he doesn't suffer alone. Scott lets out a sound between a whine and a groan and Stiles attempts to shrug his shoulders, but it’s a lot harder to do when Derek’s chin is resting against it, the heat from his body pressed against his back and making him shift uncomfortably.
Deaton steps forward and attempts to untangle them from each other which is a lot harder than it looks when Derek is so tightly wrapped around him as if he possesses multiple limbs. It takes a little longer than he would like, but Stiles lets out a sigh of relief and tries to get his heart beating normally again when they unglue from each other.
Derek’s expression only tightens a little, confused as to why Deaton has taken away his newly appointed cuddly buddy. Stiles resents that. He is certainly not cuddly. He is fully of manly ruggedness and does not deserve to be goo goo eyed by broken alphas.
“I think I might know what this is.”
Deaton examines Derek closely, looking into his face with interest. All Stiles can see are his goo goo eyes, which Derek seems to have reserved purely for him.
This was so not the plan for his summer break. “Can you describe the nature of this bug?”
Stiles raises a hand and clenches it into a fist. “It was about this big and its exoskeleton was like a metallic rainbow. It didn’t look very normal, more not normal when it bit him on the neck.”
“On the neck?” Deaton leans forward to inspect Derek’s neck with curiosity. And then he frowns. He pulls away abruptly and disappears into the backroom for several minutes leaving Derek to latch himself onto Stiles again much to everyone’s growing sense of awkwardness.
Because the only time anybody sees Derek touching people is when he’s ripping out throats so this seems a little too unnatural. Stiles has definitely never seen him cuddle anyone before. Deaton returns with a book, ignoring Derek whose hands keep drifting down into dangerous territory because he trying to wrap himself tighter around Stiles' waist right in front of his best friend and Isaac even with Stiles subtly attempting to pull away.
Isaac at least has the tact to avert his eyes not one to observe his alpha cuddling it up and being frighteningly affectionate, but Scott just kind of stares into at them as if he can burn a hole through Derek’s hug with the power of his mind alone.
Which seems unlikely but Stiles appreciates the effort.
“Ah,” Deaton says finding the page he was looking for. “Did it look like this?”
Stiles barely gets a glance before Derek’s nuzzling at his neck again, jaw sliding across his sensitive skin.
“Y-yes,” he squeaks, pushing back at Derek’s forehead to make him stop. The alpha doesn’t seem to get the message though and continues as if it’s a normal thing to start nuzzle the hell out of Stiles' neck right in front of his pack and a strangely unconcerned veterinarian.
“Then I think we have a problem,” Deaton says shutting the book with a snap.
Stiles is frantically attempting to escape Derek’s clutches now as the alpha throws a muscled thigh across his hip, locking him in place. And nobody makes any move to assist him because apparently its entertaining to watch twenty something year olds cuddle attack poor innocent humans at veterinary clinics. He really enjoys having so much support from his friends.
“You think?” he demands, pushing ineffectually at the overly affectionate alpha.
Deaton opens the book to show them the picture again and the words written in big letters below it.
“Derek’s been bitten by a lovebug.”
Stiles jaw drops forgetting about Derek for a moment as he stares at Scott’s and Isaac’s equally shocked expressions. Everyone goes unnaturally silent as they exchange weighted glances with one other before Derek's open mouth ends up on Stiles' neck.
Derek doesn’t seem to mind so much that Stiles elbowed him in the throat and is perfectly happy to sit in the passenger seat of his jeep whilst Stiles drives them back into town.
Scott and Isaac went back to the place where Derek had been bitten in case they could find a trail or something with their extrasensory werewolf powers. And to lead them to the reason why Stiles is now seriously familiar with the feel of Derek's arm around him and the warmth of his body.
Not that Stiles isn’t willing. He’d be lying if he said that just looking at Derek doesn’t start a party in his pants, but he’s been working on keeping that little fact on the down low. Derek’s overwhelming attention is sort of washing that plan down the drain, though.
Lovebugs. Stiles might have laughed at Deaton’s analysis only Derek's already crossing some serious boundaries with his unstoppable devotion and Stiles is just trying his best not to be affected by it.
As far as he’d assumed, being bitten by a lovebug had been a funny quip to insult and embarrass overly affectionate people, namely Scott. He’d never in a million years have believed they actually exist. Not to mention they'd be unlucky enough to have one making Beacon Hills its rainbow, love infested playground.
Ugh. Derek’s wandering hands find their way to the back of his neck again, gripping softly, reassuringly and Stiles shudders. That's not playing fair at all. Thank God, Derek's touches are only tender and amicable. If they were sexual, this problem would be infinitely worse and Stiles would be shutting himself away in a locked room to avoid him. This is going to be embarrassing enough when Derek's all better. His head might explode once he realises what he's being doing and who he's been doing it with.
Derek hasn’t spoken much since his lovebite from the aforementioned lovebug and mostly it's been Stiles' name on endless repeat. Which is sort of awful and something he's quickly discovered he likes the sound of and it isn't helping him think clearly at all about the fact that Derek's been bitten by a lovebug.
Deaton isn’t sure what the affects the bite would have on werewolves let alone an alpha, but first off they need to find the stupid lovebug and squish- capture it.
Though Stiles doesn’t doubt his boot can do a better job.
Deaton hasn’t dealt with a lovebug before and he doesn’t know if Derek’s unusually affectionate symptoms are a permanent thing or will wear off eventually.
Stiles really wants it to wear off and for Derek to never remember anything of what's transpired between them. Cuddling between two dudes can really change things.
Because yes, his body reacted to the attention no matter how much he knows Derek isn't himself and can't consent to what he's doing. As if it isn't bad enough that three other people witnessed the response as well. And he's pretty sure Scott is still traumatised. Well, whatever it’s not like he didn't already know that Stiles might have a bit of a thing for Derek.
Stiles is still kind of freaking out about it though. Because how in the hell is he meant to explain this to his dad? Deaton suspects being bitten forms immediate attachments to the person the lovebug victim first lays eyes on.
And of course, being the only person stupid enough to follow a paranoid alpha’s lead into the woods when he should have been in his room being as unproductive as the summer allows, Stiles happens to be the first one Derek saw. Which means Derek thinks it's perfectly okay to cuddle him. And follow him around everywhere to keep up the personal contact. Lots of personal contact.
He needs to think about this. Needs to get away from Derek for a bit but Deaton told him it doesn’t matter where he goes because the alpha will follow.
Like that doesn’t sound like the most unromantic and creepy, stalkerish thing to hear ever. Stiles is so going to smoosh that bug the next time he sees it.
Only it becomes very clear that it's already been pretty busy when he drives past the main road and spots Greenberg attempting to wrap his arms around Coach Finstock and not in a normal non-lovebitten way, judging from Coach’s horrified expression.
Stiles half laughs and half swerves out of oncoming traffic and nearly causes a head on collision when he's distracted by the bizarre sight. And then even weirder, he spots Danny making out with a girl on the sidewalk.
A girl. Jesus. This lovebug has screwed everybody over. And it's still nowhere in sight. Stiles doesn’t even want to see what other relationship damages it's creating. The disturbing image of Coach Finstock and Greenberg is enough to destroy his faith in the sanctity of love for a lifetime. God where the hell is this lovebug?
And dammit, would Derek quit trying to hug him already?
It turns out it doesn’t matter what his dad thinks of Derek being all loved up on him because he isn’t home from the station yet when he walks inside, the lovebitten Derek already plastered against his back.
And apparently having a wall of man muscle cemented to him is not the solution to his too tight pants problem and Stiles struggles to extract himself in order to get to his bedroom.
He barely manages to free himself, pushing Derek in the direction of his bed and as far away from him as possible before taking his seat in front of his computer. Just because Deaton is already hard at work pouring over his own magical textbooks, doesn’t mean Stiles can’t get a couple hours of mindless research into destroying the lovebug and never speaking of Derek or goo goo eyes ever again.
Only Derek comes up behind him and starts rubbing against him again and Stiles is trying not to pretend like this is the most action he’s ever gotten in his life, or just how much he’s reacting to it.
Because he doesn’t know if normal not love crazy Derek is inside there somewhere watching the whole thing and God, isn’t this embarrassing enough?
He lets out a particularly needy sound when Derek’s lips find their way between the junction of his neck and ear, the stubble scraping across his flesh. He flushes bright red, ignoring the bulge in his jeans and pushes the eager alpha away from him.
And he struggles not to hyperventilate.
After a couple of hours of Stiles tug-a-war with Derek who still seems to think its cool to touch Stiles in a very, very good touch kind of way- which is going to get him killed when the alpha’s back to normal- he finds something interesting.
Only he’s already distracted by the alpha’s big hands working their way under his shirt to hold him tighter and this is not getting him any alpha brownie points at all. Derek's squeezing him so hard, Stiles thinks his ribs are going to bruise.
The lovebug is breeding. Only not yet because apparently the pheromones given off by humans bitten by a lovebug is the most efficient mating call to any available female lovebugs in the area. Isn't that super duper fantastic.
And the more people the lovebug bites, the stronger the call. Which means more people in Beacon Hills are going to start getting goo goo eyed. And once it lures in a lady friend, Stiles is pretty sure they’re screwed.
From what he’s read, the lovey dovey feelings given off by the bite are supposed to wear off in about twenty four hours depending on the person’s immune systems. So the humans should be okay.
Werewolves on the other hand…
He’s pretty sure that’s a different story altogether. Only there’s basically zero information about the effects of a lovebug bite on a werewolf. But he knows any more of them getting bitten is a bad idea.
Because one loved up alpha is enough and Stiles is pretty sure he can’t handle any more affection from the rest of the pack.
So he pulls out his cell phone and calls Scott. Who doesn’t answer. Figures. He sighs and calls again, muttering out a few choice curses and banishing Scott to the fiery pits of hell for being so damn unreliable.
And then suddenly Derek’s in his lap, straddling his thighs and Stiles might’ve fallen out of the chair if he isn’t already pinned down by the weight.
“Hey! hey!” he cries out. “Hands off the merchandise wolfy!”
Loved up Derek seems to get the message and just smiles down at him like he’s the most perfect thing in the universe and Stiles has to swallow heavily under that look.
And then Scott finally answers his damn phone.
“Isaac,” Scott says and Stiles sighs, pushing ineffectually at Derek’s chest.
“Not Isaac, Scott.” He pushes at Derek again, pointlessly. “Stiles, best friend, Stiles? Whatever. Listen man, you’ve got to make sure the lovebug doesn’t-“
“Isaac,” Scott repeats again and Stiles raises an eyebrow in confusion until he hears the scuffle in the background and Isaac huff out a frustrated sound.
Oh no. He recognises the gushy, dreamy tone of his voice usually reserved for conversations about Allison and how much he misses her since their mutual break up.
God. Scott does he have to be the worst werewolf in the history of werewolves?
Stiles sighs and pinches his nose together as he hears Isaac wrestle the cell phone from Scott’s grip.
“Seriously, Scott?” Isaac demands, closer to the speaker than before and Stiles hears the sound of Scott whining, ever the pining puppy dog.
He finally gets possession of the cell phone. “Hey Stiles, so yeah Scott got bitten by the lovebug before it took off again and I can’t really get a scent on it.”
“What’s the scent?” he asks, pushing at Derek’s chest again but the alpha seems pretty content to sit there in his lap and nuzzle his chest and Stiles has to struggle to shift away from the alpha contact. He really can do without an inopportune boner right now.
He takes a couple shallow breaths.
“It uh,” Isaac hesitates and sounds a little embarrassed. “It smells like marshmallows.”
Stiles wants to throw the cell phone across the room and give up the lovebug destruction mission right then and there.
Instead he says, “Okay. Call Jackson and make sure he doesn’t get bitten. I think the effects of the bite are worse for werewolves. You had anything but radio silence from Boyd and Erica?”
He hears Isaac’s palm slapping against skin suddenly and suspects that Scott is attempting to get closer and that’s got to be the most disturbing thing to ever happen in his lifetime.
“Not since they left,” he says slowly, cautiously. Stiles doesn't comment further on that.
“Okay, well I’m going back to see Dea-ahh.” He lets out an odd sound when Derek has had enough with sitting still and rubs his cheek against Stiles' chest, brushing across his nipples.
He covers a hand over his mouth to stifle his groan, struggling to get away from the very good sensation of an alpha rubbing all over him. Oh Jesus.
“Stiles?” Isaac echoes, sounding odd and Stiles just knows he’s suffering similar problems.
“Deaton,” he gasps out. “I’m going to see Deaton now to see if he found anything.”
“Okay,” Isaac agrees and then he sounds almost as embarrassed as Stiles is. “I’ll um, keep Scott busy.”
Stiles does not want to know what that entails so he hangs up with a barely concealed moan, throwing his cell phone onto the floor and trying to push Derek off. He’s hard, achingly so and he struggles harder to keep Derek away from the danger zone.
“Stiles,” Derek gasps out in that same weird tone that Scott’s using, the dreamy lovestruck voice and Stiles struggles harder, succeeding in pushing Derek off of him only by tipping them both out of the chair. They land in a tangle of limbs and Stiles is swearing when he finally manages to scramble away.
“Okay,” he breathes out, feeling the heat in his face and the mortification that Derek’s just as hard and still giving him a doting look that Stiles does not in any way deserve. Jesus. “I’m going to go take care of this, and you’re going to sit there and not do anything like that ever again. Got it?”
Derek just smiles up at him sunnily from his deposited position on the floor. “You’re so pretty,” is his reply and Stiles wants to punch him.
But instead he hurries into the bathroom, dodging Derek’s grabby hands as they reach out for him eagerly.
He locks the door and barely gets his dick out of his pants before he’s coming, ruining his shirt as he gasps out desperate little huffs of air.
Derek whines because he can obviously smell it and probably wants to cuddle Stiles again and he leans back against the door, slamming his head against it a couple times for good measure because he is never ever going to live this down. This is the most embarrassing, humiliating moment of his life and he's literally been caught by his father with his pants down before.
He’s buying a plane ticket out of the country as soon as he squishes that rainbow LGBT vampire bug into the dirt and then continues to jump on its remains until it’s a rainbow pancake.
Because he holds grudges and that damn insect of lurve is currently at the top of his list, right behind his stupid uncontrollable hormones that think it’s perfectly okay to have an bite affected alpha in his lap.
Deaton’s looking pretty grim by the time they arrive back at the clinic, Derek still attached to him like their limbs have been transformed into one gigantic and ridiculously besotted entity.
“It’s meant to wear off,” Stiles offers. “In about twenty four hours, but I don’t think it’s the same for werewolves.”
Deaton nods. “You’re right. For werewolves, I’m afraid it’s much more permanent.”
Stiles kind of groans, but that’s because Derek’s trying to get under his shirt again. He likes to get his hands on skin, but unfortunately it only makes him hug tighter as if the physical contact is all he wants in the world. Stiles' chest is starting to hurt.
“It bit Scott too,” he says. “God, we’re so screwed right now.”
“If you can catch it. I think I can devise an antidote.”
Stiles tries to push Derek away again, but its useless and clearly a waste of his time. He had no idea Derek could be such a lethal cuddler. “You mean, I can’t just squash it with extreme prejudice?”
Deaton actually smiles, despite the situation. “Not unless you want a lovestruck alpha attached to you for the rest of your life.”
Stiles blinks and then swears. “How the hell do we catch this damn bug then?”
Deaton’s plan it turns out is to try to mimic the scent of a female lovebug. But putting together a cocktail of fake lovebug pheromones is going to take some time so Stiles goes back home with Derek in tow.
Only his dad is still not home by now. Stiles immediately calls the Station, ignoring Derek wrapping his hands around his waist and burying his face into his neck, hot breath fanning out across his skin
He groans because this is too much sexual frustration for his liking and he’s kind of reaching his limit for alpha hugs.
And Derek is sort of seriously hot and very, very willing to keep up the physical contact. It’s sort of taking everything he has to push the alpha away and even then his efforts aren't so effective.
His dad, unlike Scott picks up straight away. “Sheriff Stilinski speaking.”
“Dad,” he nearly makes a sound of relief when his dad speaks like a normal non-love bitten person. “Listen I’m going to tell you something a little weird here but you’re going to have to trust me.”
“Okay,” his dad replies slowly, suspiciously and Stiles knows he’s suspecting that he and Scott have made a mess of things again. Things being pretty much anything they get their hands on. Well, he's not wrong exactly.
“If you see a bug about the size of a fist that’s rainbow coloured don’t let it bite you.”
He expects more questions. But all he gets is silence. Utter silence.
“Huh,” his dad finally replies. “This is a bit of a strange prank Stiles. How’d you get it in here so quickly? Scott let it into the Station?”
Stiles feels his stomach drop and panics. “Dad, I’m not messing around here. Don’t let it bite you it’s… uh poisonous.”
Derek moves his thigh across Stiles' hip in a distracting manner since he's trying to climb Stiles like a tree again and he curses when he feels himself start to react. Oh God, why couldn't Derek do that when he wasn't bitten by rainbow bugs?
But his dad doesn’t reply.
“Dad?” he cries, struggling to get free of Derek and the impossible weight of his body. How much muscle does he have?
Nothing but radio silence. And God, he hopes he doesn’t arrive there in time to see his dad kissing a pot plant or another deputy or something. Though kissing the pot plant would probably be the least creepy.
It turns out to be much worse. He ignores the rest of the bedlam in the Station; two female deputies smacking lips and another male cop nuzzling a cardboard cut out of Obama that’s been there since elections- a little too eagerly for his taste.
Derek follows him silently, hands brushing over his ass as he tries to wrap an arm around Stiles' waist again but he twists free and strides towards his dad’s office, groaning at the unfairness of it all.
He walks into the room, swinging open the door and nearly breaks his dad’s nose because he’s standing behind it looking into the mirror he hangs behind the door to check he's presentable before the Sheriff speaks to press or the mayor.
Stiles winces at the widened dreamy gaze on his father’s face. Although, at least it's better than trying to cuddle a cardboard cut out of the president. But still, little weird that his father’s fallen in love with himself. He should probably talk to someone about that.
“Dad?” he asks tentatively and his father doesn’t look away from his own reflection, smiling prettily and even pouting his lips a little.
“Sheriff,” he purrs out sweetly before leaning forward to kiss the mirror. Dear God.
Stiles actually face palms.
By the time he convinces his dad to come home with him- only after removing the mirror from the back of the door to take with them with Derek’s help- not to mention another bout of uncomfortable cuddling in front of his father which he doesn’t notice, things are not looking good.
He sits his dad in his bedroom and then feels extremely awkward since his dad has resumed trying to make out with the mirror again. He shuts the door and locks it, figuring his dad should be safe until the lovebite wears off.
Only he’ll never be able to handle seeing his dad look into a mirror again. Ever.
The lovebug had mysteriously vanished by the time Stiles convinced everybody in the Station to hand over their firearms. It hadn’t been remotely difficult but there had been a lot of awkward interruptions while he reached for their holsters.
Because lovebitten cops can not be trusted. Especially when they're nuzzling the president of the United States.
God, it's hilarious how very wrong it is.
Stiles is getting second-hand embarrassment just from looking at them all. He calls Lydia after he's sure his dad is fine and wrestles Derek away from him on the couch, feeling hot and bothered from the sneak hug attack.
The alpha is remarkably determined to hold him close and make him feel special at odd intervals.
“Hey Lydia,” he says when she picks up.
“Jackson,” she purrs and Stiles lets out a sound of frustration.
“Oh my God is everyone losing their mind today?” he cries out.
“Let go,” is her reply and she sounds a little flustered.
“Um Lydia?” he asks. “What are you-“
“Jackson’s trying to give me a foot rub,” she offers and Stiles eyebrows draw together in confusion.
Then he realises. “It bit him, didn’t it?” he asks.
“Yep,” she agrees. “Got me too but it mustn’t have worked since I don't feel any different. What was it anyway?”
Stiles has only one guess as to why it hadn’t. “Lovebug," he clarifies. "How long ago did it happen? Did you try and capture it?”
“Um no,” she says. “It's a bug and it bit me and then Jackson started acting strange.”
“Lydia,” Stiles hears Jackson offer as if in agreement. He tries not to roll his eyes.
“Don’t worry. We’re working on catching it. And everyone will be back to normal again.”
“Great. Jackson's creeping me out like this”
Stiles winces. “We'll fix it,” he promises but then he has to hang up because Derek’s climbing on top of him again.
It’s not one of his best nights. He and lovestruck Derek attempt to find the lovebug late into the evening by themselves because when they go to check on Scott for reinforcements, Stiles realises he'll be of no help. They find them both in Scott's room, shirtless with Scott pining Isaac down on the bed and furiously sticking his tongue down his throat.
Stiles chokes out an awkward sound just as Isaac manages to wrench his face away, but Scott just continues on his merry way down his neck unaware of how Isaac is struggling against him. He locks eyes with Stiles, red faced and embarrassed.
“Are you going to help or just stare at us?” he demands, but Stiles can see the flustered rush of air into his lungs and figures maybe Isaac happens to like Scott’s attention a lot. Even if the circumstances aren't so great.
He manages to pull Scott away in time for Isaac to roll out from under him and move quickly to Scott’s closet to retrieve a shirt that Scott hasn’t ripped to pieces.
He quickly yanks it on and turns to face him. “He overpowered me,” Isaac explains offhandedly.
Stiles just raises an eyebrow. “Sure he did.”
Isaac has the decency to avert his eyes as his cheeks redden and Stiles cannot believe how much he wants to laugh and cry at the same time.
“Where’s Scott’s mom?” he asks, pushing at Derek when he pulls Stiles into his lap on the bed. He lands with an oof and then immediately squirms to free himself.
“She’s still at the hospital,” Isaac says, helping pull him out of Derek’s grip. Stiles flushes and hates the way his heart beat thuds faster in his chest when the alpha moves with him, refusing to let go. God he's like a parasite sticking to Stiles' back.
“C’mon. Let’s go find that damn bug,” he says, clearing his throat awkwardly when Scott tackles into Isaac out of nowhere.
And that’s why Scott nor Isaac are present when Stiles walks through the woods with Derek for a rainbow bug search party. He gives up when the light fades completely and he can’t see anything except the telltale lights of his jeep winking at them in the distance. He can't see a lot of things.
But he can feel a lot of things. Like say Derek’s pressed up against him so he can feel every inch of his body. His pulse skyrockets and he makes an uneasy sound, limbs going in all directions as he smacks at Derek’s hands wrapping around his waist.
“Jesus, you’re relentless aren’t you?” he gasps. “Is this the lovebite or are you secretly this affectionate?”
Derek only whines “Stiles,” into his mouth.
And somehow twists him around so he can seal their mouths together. Stiles’ brain sort of short circuits.
Because being hugged by an infatuated alpha is a lot different to being kissed by one. He can feel Derek everywhere from the heat of his body to the unyielding pressure against his mouth and he's overwhelmed by it.
Stiles jerks away with a gasp just as lights are shining on his face and Allison, her dad and the rest of the hunters are bearing down on them.
Allison’s expression goes from shocked to embarrassed to hardass hunter in a few seconds. Mr Argent just raises an eyebrow at the compromising position he’s in with the alpha. Stiles sort of opens his mouth to explain, but they beat him to it.
“Lovebug,” Mr Argent summarises for them all as if that could be the only reason Derek is trying to kiss Stiles in the middle of the woods.
He tries not to be offended by that. “Lovebug,” he agrees, hearing the frustration in his own voice. “Is there anything on it in the bestiary?”
Mr Argent sort of cocks his crossbow against his shoulder which thankfully means he’s not going to shoot them for exchanging saliva though his dad just might when he finally stops staring at his own reflection.
Or when Derek gets cured and realises what's happened.
“They only bite when they’re about to start breeding. The bite leaves whoever first comes into contact with the infected person as the object of infatuation until the symptoms wear off. But once they start breeding-“
“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles agrees, jerking an elbow into Derek’s gut as a reminder to stop trying to wrap his arms around him from behind. He swallows heavily. “Lovebug swarm. I’ve seen pictures. Not pretty. Is there a cure for werewolves?”
Allison glances between her father and Derek and her eyes are hungry like maybe she’d kill lovestruck Derek if she has the chance and Stiles feels increasingly uncomfortable.
“I think the symptoms are stronger,” Mr Argent says looking as Derek starts squeezing. His eyes narrow. “Obviously.”
“Don’t kill it if you see it,” Stiles finally replies after extracting himself from Derek’s clutches. “We need it to get them all back to normal.”
“What if we don’t want them back to normal?” Allison demands, eyes hard as she watches Derek. Stiles winces because he is not being cuddled by a monosyllabic, overbearing alpha for the rest of his life no matter how attractive he is.
“You’d rather all the werewolves like this?” he shoots back. “Scott like this?”
Her eyes widen briefly. “Scott?”
“Yeah, it bit him too,” he says shoving Derek back again as he tries to sort of climb him in front of the hunters. Oh God, this could not get more humiliating right now.
And of course it does.
“Who?” she asks looking a little vulnerable as the question leaves her lips. Stiles clears his throat and wonders if Scott’s going to kill him for this.
“Isaac,” he says. “He saw Isaac first.”
And then its gets ten times more uncomfortable because now Allison knows that her ex boyfriend is probably trying to snuggled with Isaac Lahey like Derek is trying to with Stiles and this has got to be the most awkward thing on the planet.
And that’s of course when Derek gets his arms tight around Stiles in a bone crushing hug again.
When he gets back home, his face is red and he’s still breathing heavily. But Derek’s still giving him that dreamy- cheesy beyond belief- loved up grin despite the fact that he’s got blood running down his face.
Stiles didn’t really mean to break his nose. His elbow had had other ideas, though luckily the werewolf healing helped fix the problem.
But that didn’t stop the hunters from laughing.
Because apparently laughing over Stiles’ getting cuddled by the big, bad alpha werewolf is a real bonding experience.
So Stiles is angry and extremely sexually frustrated when he finally arrives home. He's too chicken to check on his dad, terrified of what he might see because he’s experienced enough humiliation at the hands of this lovebug for one day and he does not want to add traumatising father imagery to the list.
He’s pretty sure half the town's been bitten by now and he doesn’t want to know what other kind of odd pairings have surfaced because of it. Instead, he just cooks dinner for the three of them.
Only when it’s ready to eat, he encounters a problem.
Derek won’t eat anything that’s been placed in front of him. He just sort of smiles vaguely at Stiles without looking away from his face and ignores the fact that he hasn’t eaten anything all day or probably drank anything either.
So that means his dad is going to be too busy looking at himself in the mirror to eat anything as well. Stiles sighs and figures well he tried, it’s not his fault if the alpha dies of dehydration or starvation so he takes his own plate and starts eating.
And then suddenly Derek’s paying very close attention to the food he's cooked, probably for the simple fact that it's disappearing into his mouth. Stiles nearly chokes and licks his lips, shocked when Derek’s eyes grow hungry and the alpha shudders.
He’s glad for a minute that there’s a table separating them because Derek looks like he’s about to blow a fuse or something and lunge across the table to touch him.
It’s not like he’s not expecting it either. He sighs and watches Derek’s face, not knowing how to react to the smitten expression there or the adoring look in his eyes. It’s so beyond normal that Stiles has to keep looking at him as if to convince himself that Derek is actually looking at him like that.
God, this is going to be so awkward when Derek comes out of his lovebitten haze. Stiles doesn’t think he’ll be able to forget that look or that fact that Derek's been in his lap and nuzzled the hell out of him.
Or that he enjoyed it. Derek is going to kill him.
And he keeps eating, watching Derek and praying silently that memory loss is another side effect of the lovebite.
He wakes up at least twelve times during the night and nearly all of those times are because Derek decides he needs his hands around Stiles in order to spoon him.
It’s got to be the most mortifying thing on the planet because nearly every time Stiles responds before he realises what he’s doing and jerks away from Derek’s grip.
Even after he gives up trying to get away Derek still won't fall asleep. Stiles suspects insomnia might be another symptom of the bite.
Sadly, it makes sense. Derek can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t think anymore. He’s the perfect example of why lovebites are so damn tricky. Because Stiles is pretty certain Derek believes he’s completely in love with him.
And he still doesn’t want to know what his dad is doing to that mirror a couple doors down the hallway.
Stiles gives up attempting to sleep and drives over to the clinic early the next morning, Derek in tow. The alpha’s still exactly the same as the night before and when Stiles finally works up the courage to check so is his father, staring deeply into his own reflection not even noticing his presence.
He tries to ignore the disappointment that his dad isn’t back to normal yet, but he was bitten late in the afternoon so his twenty four hours of mirror lovin’ probably aren’t up yet.
When he drives through the town, he sees a lot of things he will never think about ever again and he’s still unable to look Derek directly in the eye because of it until they pull to a stop in front of the clinic. Public displays of affection are already discomfiting to watch and this is way, way worse.
Deaton’s clinic is already open so they walk straight in, Derek surprisingly only reaching for his hand as they walk through the doors.
Stiles doesn’t really have the heart to pull away so he lets the warmth of Derek’s fingers squeeze his own gently and tries not to let his heart pump out of control.
When they walk inside, Isaac and Scott are already there and Isaac is frowning as he tries to keep Scott’s hands off. Stiles laughs but then Isaac looks pointedly at their hands and Stiles quickly yanks his hand free with an uncomfortable sound.
He notices the dark shadows under Isaacs eyes and figures he’s had just as much of a crappy night as he has.
“He didn’t sleep either?” he guesses.
Isaac sighs and slaps Scott’s questing hands away. “No.”
Stiles shrugs and doesn’t even react when Derek wraps his arms around his hips settling against his back. “It makes sense,” he says. “I think their in the infatuation stage where they can’t think of anything but…”
He trails off uncomfortably because there is no way he’s going to finish that sentence.
“But us,” Isaac finishes stretching the words out hesitantly and Stiles groans, pulling away from Derek to collapse into one of the reception chairs.
“Do you think they’ll all remember?” he asks.
Isaac freezes as if the idea had never occurred to him. “I hope not.”
He nudges Scott away with his foot as Deaton enters the room.
He hasn’t stopped working all night and he looks bone tired. “I’ve finished,” he announces. “I’ve created a synthetic pheromone to mimic the female lovebug. Once this becomes airborne the lovebug should appear within the hour.”
He pulls out a small vial from within his coat and gives it to Stiles. He frowns as he takes it. “Where should we release it?”
Deaton yawns. “Nowhere near other people. Somewhere it would be safe to capture it.”
“I think I know where. You guys should work on bringing all the infected werewolves back to the clinic so we can fix them.”
“I'll figure something out,” Isaac promises, getting distracted by Scott again.
Stiles just wants to squash this crush bug that churns out adoration like a goddamn rainbow love machine already.
And apparently also smells like marshmallows.
Deaton supplies him with a glass container that should hold the lovebug from doing anymore damage and Stiles drives him and Derek out to the abandoned factories on the edge of Beacon Hills. He parks his car well away from the lovebug splash zone and pours the vial of clear liquid onto a nearby abandoned tire.
Then he gets his container and waits.
It’s kind of a shitty plan. He’s pretty sure this lovebug is wily and more trouble than it's worth. He doesn’t think it’s going to be as simple as sticking a bug into a jar and rattling it a bit for good measure.
He thinks that Derek’s going to distract him, or that somehow he’s going to screw this up. And that is the only reason why he procures handcuffs from the back of his jeep and cuffs Derek to it. But he doesn’t move entirely out of reach.
And even then Derek still won’t give up on trying to hold him.
He has to encourage Derek to release him, wrestling with the alpha’s hands so that he almost didn’t notice when the lovebug finally showed its evil, spreading love rainbow body.
It flutters breezily into the back lot of the factory before settling onto the tire and just sitting there. Ripe for the squashing- picking.
Stiles sighs again and gets Derek to release him so he can do some predatory sneaking up and stalking of a lovebug. He doesn’t really know what the rules are here but he ignores the soft whine that escapes Derek’s throat upon their separation and tries to will away the tightness in his pants.
He’s got the container out and ready and the lovebug just kind of sits there invitingly as if it’s waiting for him. He slams the container down over it when he’s close enough with a shout of triumph, slipping the lid carefully underneath it so that it’s sealed inside.
The lovebug doesn’t seem remotely ruffled by this and doesn’t move. He lets out a sigh of a relief and there’s a sudden groaning sound as Derek breaks free of the handcuffs and hurries over to plaster himself against Stiles’ back again.
He groans softly when Derek presses his mouth against his throat because his hands are full with the now trapped lovebug and he can't escape.
Stiles shuffles forward to place the bug carefully onto the hood of the jeep and then uses his hands to get Derek off of him, but by the time he's free his face is red.
He ignores how fast his heart is beating and clears his throat so that he can breathe again before climbing into the driver’s seat. Derek follows just as eagerly. But that’s probably more do to with his eagerness to keep touching him.
Not that Stiles is really complaining all that much.
They get the lovebug back to Deaton and by then somehow Isaac has managed to lure both Jackson and Lydia into the clinic as well as keeping Scott there. Not that it’s that hard when Scott is giving him his puppy dog eyes.
Stiles feels both relieved and disappointed as he gives Deaton the lovebug. “Here you go,” he says proudly. “I don’t think it’ll be bugging us anymore.”
Isaac immediately rolls his eyes and Deaton gives him a bemused smile. Lydia only looks annoyed as if this is somehow all his fault that her boyfriend's acting unusual.
“I can’t believe you dragged me here for ridiculous insect puns,” she says as Jackson cuddles her.
“Oh c’mon, that was good. You may consider it the pest de resistance of today.”
He only gets blanks looks. And Lydia rolls her eyes. “Seriously? That was buzz worthy. Heh, okay I’m done.”
“You better be,” Isaac mutters.
Stiles only grins at him. And Derek puts his arms around him, warm and comforting as he hugs him. Again.
Deaton inspects the lovebug and encourages it to bite into the plastic wrap covering a jar. The venom from its bite slides slowly down the side to pool into the bottom of the glass. Easy as rainbow pie.
“Now can I squash it?” he asks from his firmly trapped position on Derek’s lap. He’s been trying for several minutes now to break free but the alpha is refusing to let him go. Isaac is suffering a similar fate.
In the meantime, Jackson starts nuzzling Lydia's hair and she glares at Stiles as if he broke her boyfriend on purpose.
“I saw Danny making out with a girl,” Stiles offers suddenly as Lydia frowns. And then suddenly they're all exchanging horror stories.
“I saw Mr Harris all over Peter,” she offers conversationally. “He did not look pleased.”
Stiles has to laugh at the satisfactory glint in her eyes as Isaac smirks. He would never go as far as to say Peter deserves it, but well, since Mr Harris and Peter are definitely not nice people, he's not as upset by it as he could be.
“Did you see Greenberg and Coach Finstock?” Isaac asks and Stiles shudders while Lydia claps a hand over her mouth, eyes wide.
And that’s when Allison enters the room. She’s dressed in her battle gear, but thankfully unarmed though her eyes do fall on Derek longer than necessary.
“I’m sorry,” she says leaning down to hug Lydia in greeting. “I wanted to see Scott for myself.”
Isaac looks flustered and tries to get Scott to release him harder than ever but he won’t let go. Stiles suddenly becomes very interested in his feet because he can feel the tension in the air.
And suddenly everything is just that more awkward. “Hi Scott,” she whispers and Stiles looks up curious to see if her voice might bring a reaction out of him. Scott frowns briefly, dreamy expression replaced by a puzzled look but doesn’t turn to her. He doesn’t even notice she’s in the room.
Isaac fumbles out an awkward apology. And Allison slides into the empty chair on the other side of Lydia who’s still enjoying the benefits of the lovebug from Jackson’s attentive hands.
“I saw a guy nuzzling a pot plant,” Allison says finally.
The tension dissipates for a moment and everybody laughs at how uncomfortable this situation is. And then they all settle down to wait.
It takes several hours until Deaton is certain he’s made a proper antidote for the werewolves and by then Jackson’s moved on from Lydia's hair to relentless cuddling.
Isaac has been fighting harder than ever to keep Scott away from him now that Allison’s there to witness it, but she’s not really paying attention eyes drifting every so often from the magazine she'd grabbed off the coffee table to read, to rest on Derek.
Who of course, has resumed his efforts to snuggle up against Stiles.
“Finished,” Deaton announces when he re-enters the room. “Who wants to go first?”
“Scott,” Isaac gasps, half wines when Scott tries to kiss him again as he pushes his face away. Stiles winces. “Scott wants to go first.”
Nobody else protests and Deaton smiles and leads them both away. Derek resumes rubbing along Stiles’ throat and seeing as this is about to end anyway Stiles stops fighting and lets him do what he wants.
They re-emerge several minutes, later both of them extremely red in the face, Scott more than Isaac and that’s about when it becomes pretty clear that yes, apparently they do remember everything that happened.
Derek is so going to kill him.
Scott spots Allison who smiles hesitantly at him and with an uncomfortable nod in Isaac’s direction, he and she go outside to talk.
Isaac retakes his seat without a word. Still red in the face and Stiles has no idea what to say. So he doesn’t say anything.
Deaton reappears. “Next?” he asks politely.
Stiles freezes as Derek’s ministrations continue on his neck. He glances at Lydia.
“You go first," she says. "At least Jackson's my boyfriend and I'm not as uncomfortable as you are.”
Stiles nods gratefully and climbs wearily to his feet, trying to put some space between them and ignoring the pounding in his chest because Derek’s going to know everything. Including the cuddling and how much Stiles responded to it.
Oh God, he’s going to tear Stiles’ dick off for even reacting to him.
Deaton retrieves a clean needle and sets about getting ready to inject Derek with the anitlove potion juice. He gets Stiles to expose Derek’s arm because the alpha’s totally unresponsive otherwise and locates the vein.
He’s already leaning toward him, needle ready when Stiles stops him.
“Wait,” he says and Deaton stops immediately. “Is there any way he won’t remember this?” he asks. “I really don’t feel like dying yet.”
Deaton shakes his head but he’s still smiling. “I’m afraid not.”
He sighs, resigns himself to a short existence and nods, still swatting away Derek’s other hand which has an iron grip on his hip.
Derek hisses in between his teeth when the antidote is flushed into his system. The dreamy look slowly drains from his face along with all of the colour. He turns pale, his eyes flash red and then suddenly Derek is back.
Stiles doesn’t even get to sigh in relief before Derek is wrenching his hand away from its death grip on Stiles’ hip as if the touch burns him.
“Derek,” Deaton begins gently, ignoring when he flinches. “How are you feeling?”
The alpha doesn’t speak for a moment and it seems as if the shock has rendered him completely speechless. Stiles doesn’t deny how entertaining it is to see the look on his face but then Derek’s gaze is sliding towards him and Stiles is so dead. Oh shit.
“I-,“ he looks dazed, confused as if he can’t believe that this is happening. Stiles takes a few step back because now Derek will let him move away without chasing after him. He looks at Stiles again, eyes wide. “You-“ he says.
And Stiles is even more certain that the lovebug broke Derek.
But then Derek is wrenching the needle out of his arm and jumping to his feet, storming out of the clinic without another word but Stiles can see that the back of his neck has a red flush to it as if maybe he might be horrifyingly embarrassed.
Stiles sinks against the chair in relief, because Derek didn’t kill him.
And then his cell phone rings, interrupting his impending survival victory dance. He answers it distractedly. “Hmm?”
“Stiles,” comes his dad’s very normal voice through the speaker and he knows that the lovebite has finally worn off. “Why did I wake up hugging a mirror?”
He doesn’t see Derek for several weeks. But lovebug crisis has been averted. Though there are still some strange looks exchanged between people in the days afterwards as if they’re on the edge of remembering but don’t.
Or maybe they just convince themselves it didn’t happen.
Either way, his dad now looks at mirrors with undisguised suspicion. Stiles doesn’t feel the need to explain why.
And the people who didn’t get bitten but were the victims of the lovebitten- like Stiles was- don’t say a word. Although, Finstock constantly gives Greenberg detention without pause whenever the kid so much as looks in his direction.
Stiles just sits back and enjoys the afterglow of awkwardness and humiliation because it was not enjoyable. Not enjoyable at all.
Scott is totally embarrassed by what happened between him and Isaac but they manage to patch things up, only flinching when Stiles mentions bugs or ripping clothes off every now and again.
Which he does mention. Often.
Mainly because he likes seeing their expressions.
Jackson is super pissed that Lydia took such advantage of him, but seems to forgive her after several days when she apologises and offers to watch a lacrosse game with him.
Stiles still hasn’t seen Derek. And when Scott says he still can’t look anyone in the eye yet, Stiles figures he’s busy trying to forget everything.
Particularly the cuddling.
And the making out.
It’s nearly two weeks after the town's been drenched in rainbows that Derek actually makes an appearance, sliding through his window silently so that when he finally taps Stiles on the shoulder he jumps about a mile in the air.
“Jesus,” he gasps, barely managing to keep his voice low. He sees Derek’s expression and immediately backs away.
“C’mon. You can’t blame me because you got bitten by a lovebug, which seriously how do they even exist? That’s the most ridiculous thing ever. And okay, I know you know that you were kind of all over me and I might not have fought you off as hard as I should and I'm sorry about that. And sure, you might have touched my junk at one point, but it was an accident and not my fault! Oh God, don’t kill me.”
Derek blinks at him and his expression is hard and unreadable, like usual. Stiles can’t describe how much of a relief it is to not get the goo goo eyes anymore.
Okay, so maybe he enjoyed the expression a little.
“Stiles,” he growls out. “I'm sorry, I forced myself on you like that."
Stiles is a little surprised but shrugs. "It's okay. It was mostly cuddling and I didn't exactly hate it. Even if it was weird."
Derek's still frowning. "I know you liked it. I could smell you.”
And if that wasn’t the most terrifying thing for Derek to say, Stiles is going to go and let that bug lay eggs in his brain without protest.
“I’m a teenager,” he replies evasively. “I like anything that's wrapped around me for long enough.”
Derek takes a step closer. “But you really liked… when I did it.”
Stiles wants a hole to open up beneath him so he can crawl into it and die.
“Well, you said I was pretty,” he argues back, satisfied when Derek freezes.
And then he just looks really embarrassed and uncomfortable and Stiles is loving every minute of it. He grins at him.
“You are,” Derek says, and the grin slides off his face. “Pretty.”
But he grunts it out like admitting it is almost a difficult as tearing off a limb. Stiles just sort of stands there for a second, contemplating the way Derek can’t really look him in the eye. “If you’ve been bitten by a loveturtle or something I swear to God-“
Derek hesitates briefly for a moment, gauging Stiles reaction or waiting for him to stop him and when nothing happens he pushes forward, burying his hands into the folds of his shirt and pressing their lips together.
And Stiles likes this much, much better. Because this is real Derek, not dreamy lovebitten Derek sticking his tongue down his throat and he smiles against his lips and tangles his fingers into Derek’s hair to hold him closer.
They pull apart a moment later, already stumbling towards his bed. “Does this mean if we cuddle now I don’t have to worry about you ripping my balls off?” he asks, groaning when Derek’s stubble slides against the skin of his neck.
The alpha growls into his throat, already placing his own lovebites against Stiles’ neck and he has to admit he prefers it this way.
“Sure,” Derek agrees, quickly resuming his attentions on his throat.
And this is totally and completely way better than being bitten by a LGBT supportive rainbow bug.