It's easy to get lost, though Stiles has been running these woods since he was a kid. Derek talks about Hale land and Hale territory but Stiles knows the trees and creeks and the low hills like the back of his hand.
Of course, that's not when there's blood in his eyes, blinding him. That's not when there's glass from the shattered windshield of the Jeep still clinging to his clothes and hair. Not when his arm is probably broken, or when he's running as fast as he can through woods lit only by the full fucking moon and knowing it's not fast enough.
Could never have been fast enough. He's only human after all.
From the west and the east of him there come twin howls. From behind another answers, the alpha. And two more flanking the alpha.
Then another howl bursts into the night air, furious like gun fire, from ahead of him and that- that is the sound he's moving towards. He's so much closer than he'd thought.
"Derek!" It comes out embarrassingly weak, not enough air in his lungs to be any louder. Hope surges in his chest.
Hope that’s almost immediately dashed by the sound of the wolves behind him getting closer. They'll converge on him again any moment now. And he's out of flares, the gun tossed a mile back, useless. They're toying with him more than anything. A fucking rabbit being chased by wolves.
Stiles trips, good arm pin-wheeling, and he hits the ground rolling like Derek taught him, barely getting his feet back under him. The pain in his arm makes his stomach heave, and he staggers as black encroaches on his vision.
And he can add a jacked ankle to that list of injuries now. He keeps going, limping.
"Fuck you, I am not easy fucking prey, you fuckers!" he shouts.
Another familiar howl sounds- not Derek, it's Peter and practically right in front of him- and is answered by three others. They're surrounding Stiles, coming between him and the invading pack.
A wolf is on his left, sudden and too close, churning up the forest floor and nearly careening into him. Peter. And Stiles has never been so relieved to see that psycho. Peter's not his favorite wolf in the pack, but he is pack.
Peter nudges into Stiles, herding him a couple steps in the direction of the Hale house.
"Get to Derek. Now."
He nudges into him one more time, forehead pushing into Stiles' shoulder, and then he's turning to wait for the alpha that has been on Stiles' heel for the last quarter of a mile.
Stiles stumbles with the last nudge, but manages to keep himself on his feet. He hesitates. Peter shouldn't be taking on an alpha alone.
"Go!" Peter growls, loud and echoing.
Stiles does. Pack order dictates that Peter's orders are to be obeyed in the heat of a fight. Derek has spent months, years, drilling it into their heads.
Stiles doesn't stop running, not until he gets to Derek in the front yard, the Hale house partially rebuilt and towering behind him.
Derek grabs him, too rough and not any time to be otherwise, checking injuries. He pokes and prods at his arm until Stiles hisses and tries to pull away. He cards his fingers through Stiles’ short hair and sniffs at the blood.
When he's satisfied, he catches Stiles' gaze, and all that could be, and probably should be, said between them passes there.
Stiles smiles even though he's hurting and tired, and it’s still entirely possible that he's going to black out any second now.
"I told you to stay away," Derek says through clenched teeth, his voice rough and broken.
Stiles nods, acknowledging the fact that yes, Derek had said that. He’s too winded to speak, or he'd be telling Derek that his place was with his pack. Not hiding in his dorm room two hours away pretending their lives weren't in danger.
Derek's hands tighten on him, pull him closer. For a moment, just a moment, he thinks- but then Derek's gaze shifts to the forest where his pack is fighting.
"What can I do?" Stiles manages to force out.
Derek shifts halfway, still more human than wolf, and eyes the night sky. "Lydia made flash bangs, or something like it. Make sure no one gets in the house. Isaac is still healing." A pause, and the Derek says quietly, "He won't survive another attack."
Derek shakes Stiles gently- admonishment and affection- and then shoves him back towards the house where Allison and Lydia are in windows, weapons aimed.
"Derek." He spins around, wobbles, barely manages to stay on his feet.
"I wouldn't have let them get you," Derek says. As if Stiles didn't know that.
"Please don't die, okay?" Stiles pants out. His chest is tight from more than just the strain of running to get here. "Just. Don't."
Derek doesn't answer. He shifts into full alpha form, throws his head back and howls. The sound reverberates through the woods. There's no mistaking it for anything other than what it is, challenge and war cry.
Red eyes flash toward him and then Derek is off into the woods.
Stiles runs into the house.
It's Lydia who leaves her post to greet him, handing him a bag of flash bangs and a long knife. Flash bangs that Lydia had created in the first place. Because she is amazing and the kind of intelligent that makes her terrifying. And the hunting knife has been dipped in wolf’s bane, because Stiles is pretty smart too, most of the time. The wolf’s bane weapons are kept with Allison and Lydia, just for safety.
Derek wasn't wrong when he talked about what humans add to a pack, how they throw strength to it that wouldn't exist otherwise.
Lydia quirks an eyebrow at Stiles and purses her lips. "Did you just have a moment with our alpha? Like a true-blue, you're the love of my life, moment?"
"Oh my god, shut up." He barely gets the words out before he's coughing, throat dry. He tucks the knife into the back of his jeans and swings the bag of flash bangs over his shoulder, trying to ignore the way it pulls his injured arm.
"I'm just saying that was practically a marriage proposal in the twisted, weird version of a relationship you two are in."
He opens his mouth to argue, but Lydia raises her eyebrow and the look in her eyes dares him to call her an idiot by denying what she finds obvious. Which is just ridiculous, because Derek and he are not together like that.
"What's going on?" Allison calls from the next room. And when Lydia doesn't respond fast enough, Allison shouts "Stiles, check in, you okay?"
But Stiles is still trying to get as much oxygen as possible into his burning lungs. And also trying to stay strong under Lydia's glaring.
"Lydia? Is he injured?"
"He's pretty busted up, but Derek wouldn't have left if anything was life threatening," Lydia finally answers, and she turns on her heel and goes back to her position, muttering at Stiles as she goes, "Or if it had ruined your pretty face."
Stiles makes a face at Lydia's back and then follows the sound of Allison's voice when she starts speaking again.
"I'm surprised Derek didn't take the time to lay into you. He was snarling and spitting earlier. He didn't change any orders?" Allison asks.
"No. Just protect the house and protect Isaac." Stiles leans against the door frame.
Allison's eyes dart momentarily towards him. Her jaw drops, her eyes going wet and wide.
"Stiles, oh my god. Let's bandage you up. Can you even throw with that arm?"
But Stiles waves her away, indicates her position and says, "I'm fine, stay there. I'm heading upstairs, and I'll bandage it myself."
She’s reluctant, but eventually her eyes go back to the window.
"Why didn't you stay?" she asks. "You were safe."
He shrugs, wipes at his face where blood is dripping again. He must have reopened the wounds. Not just cuts from the windshield exploding in his face, but scratch marks all over the right side of his head.
There's no point in telling her that the pack had tracked him to college, had followed him here. They wanted the whole Hale pack apparently, and now they had it.
"You sure you're okay?" she asks.
Her sweet face is twisted up in concern when she flicks another look in his direction. That particular look is practically devoted to Scott and Scott alone. If Stiles is getting it he must look bad.
"They made me roll the Jeep. Most of the damage is from that."
Most, he thinks, trying not to remember claws on his head, wrenching him backwards, nearly eviscerating his stomach.
Because, yeah, he loved his Jeep and everyone knew it. And Derek had spent the two months before Stiles left for college fixing it up with Boyd.
He shrugs again, feels tears pricking his eyes- and now is not the freakin' time- so he heads upstairs to where Derek's room is halfway reconstructed. The large window, recently reframed and it's glass replaced, overlooks the whole of the front yard. Stiles takes a seat near it and pulls the bag of homemade flash bangs next to him.
He opens the window and is hit with the echoing sound of howling, snarling, growling. It's nearly impossible to tell them all apart now.
He should bandage his wounds, get a sling for his arm. But he finds that he can't stop watching the woods. What if he misses something, what if something comes?
In the darker corners of his mind he knows he's listening for the sound of wolves dying. Scott. Derek. The part of him he hates acknowledging- the part that knew his mom was dying no matter what his parents told him- knows it's possible.
Isaac is proof. Isaac, who is still healing, who was torn into by the entire invading pack without provocation.
When an hour passes and the house goes undisturbed, Stiles’ mind starts winding itself up and out of control. The sound of wolves fighting drifts closer and then further away. Stiles almost wishes something would happen, if only to take his mind off of Derek and the rest of the pack. Or how quiet the house is. Or the fact that it’s entirely possible they’ll all be dead by morning. And when was the last time he called his dad? Yesterday? Yeah, yesterday. So that’s good. But they’ll find the Jeep, oh god, why didn’t he think of that? Someone’s going to call the cops if they see the wreck. They’ll know it’s his. He should call his-
The cell phone is in his hand, his dad’s name lit up on the contact screen before he stops himself. He rubs his hands over his face.
Finally he goes into the bathroom; he needs the distraction of his wounds. He takes the time to put his arm in a sling from the first aid kit which is really a hell of a lot more like a mini hospital in a box. It hurts to move and he's panting and sweating by the time he gets his shirt off and the sling on.
He can still walk on his ankle, so he leaves it alone.
He looks over his shoulder at his bared back in the mirror. He can't bandage the various lacerations there, but most of them were superficial and are already clotting. He pours liberal amounts of peroxide over his back, since he doesn't have time to shower and clean them properly, and it drips pale pink onto the tiled floor.
By then antsy worry and fear are buzzing around the back of his head. He tapes a gauze pad on the open wounds on his temple, not really knowing what to do with the ones that track back into his hair, and heads back to the bedroom.
Stiles pulls up short at an unfamiliar growl, red eyes in the corner of the room that are not Derek's.
And Stiles should be scared, probably is somewhere far below the part of him that is raging because there are codes for hunters and laws for wolves. Rules of fucking combat. And this breaks more than one.
The alpha's head raises, and even in the dark Stiles knows it's sniffing. That it smells his blood and his hurt. How is it even here? It had been in the woods. Peter had- oh god. Fucking shit. Peter. Is Peter dead? Stiles really, intensely dislikes Peter, but Derek- Derek will be devastated if he loses the last of his family, even if he never would show it.
"So, it's true. The Hale pack roams the woods again." It's said with mocking awe. And Stiles is shocked at the feminine voice.
Stiles knows female alphas are possible. But all the other packs they've run off have had male alphas.
"And Derek's chosen a human mate."
Stiles rolls his eyes. One, he hates that word. When Scott and Allison use it he wants to peg them with hard candies and super glue their hands in each other's hair. Two, he and Derek are exactly nothing like mates. There's respect and trust there. Friendship, definitely. If pressed Stiles would say he’s closest to Derek. And there’s the possibility for more that neither one of them is willing to reach for first, maybe. Okay, definitely the possibility. But that does not make them mates.
"He seems to have a penchant for humans."
Stiles makes a face. Did this chick just compare him to Kate? Because. No. Just. No. He huffs out an angry breath, jaw locking in fury.
She's up and moving, fully in her human form and still intimidating as fuck. Stiles can see her better now that she's not in the chair in the dark corner, and she looks feral.
If a human were to be raised by actual wolves he would expect this result. She's all tangled, matted hair and lean, corded muscle. There's mud smeared across her face.
She stalks toward him. "So if I take this land from him, I get you as well."
Definitely feral, because she's mixing up werewolf law with actual wolf behaviors.
"I'm not his mate," he says, as he eases his knife from the back of his jeans.
She stops and laughs.
"You're going to fight me?" She scents the air, eyes narrowed. "With a single claw?"
"I'd really rather not fight at all. I mean, c'mon, we both know you're gonna win. Unless I know some serious Kung Fu. Kung Fu could probably beat out your wolfy strength. Maybe."
He changes his stance, lowers his center of gravity, settles the weight of the familiar knife into his hand.
"Oh, you are delicious."
"Yeah, I'm a freakin' cream puff. What are you even here for? You can't be that hard up for a boyfriend. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a catch. And the woman of the wilds thing is definitely a look you are working. But I'm not really looking for a serious commitment."
She's frowning, looking genuinely irritated.
"And it can't be the land. I'm partial to it, but I grew up in Beacon Hills. And Hale territory doesn't exactly include everywhere the light touches, so what?"
She growls low in her throat and actually snaps her teeth at him. "Do you think this was always Hale territory, boy?"
Stiles rolls his eyes. "Oh my god, for real? Which are you, the Hatfields or the McCoys? Land dispute? Really?"
But then she's lunging for him and she's fast. So fast. He ducks, but it's a close thing. And as he rolls to the side he can't help the grunt of pain that pushes past his lips. He struggles to get his feet back under him, barely gets to his knees before she's on him.
Stiles panics for exactly two seconds. Two. And then he's twisting underneath her, pulling her down as if he's going to kiss her and thrusting the knife up into her stomach, let the wolf’s bane do its work.
Or at least that was the plan. It’s not actually how it happens, of course.
She resists his pull and he doesn't have the strength in his injured arm to do more hold the knife in place and hope it pierces skin.
And so, Stiles is pretty sure this is how he's going to die.
But then there's crashing, snarling, and growling from the hall just as the bedroom door frame explodes and three wolves crash into the room. The alpha above him shoves his head into the floor. Hard. Stars explode in his vision. Someone crashes into her and all three of them go skidding across the floor.
The demolition team, Stiles thinks, slightly delirious.
"What big eyes you have," screams Lydia from the hallway.
Everyone but the female alpha and Stiles cover their eyes. Stiles would, but his limbs are seriously done working for the day. He closes his eyes though, which helps a little.
Stiles laughs, despite the pain, because he's never going to not find using Little Red Riding Hood references in tactics funny as fuck. His idea, that, one surprisingly indulged by Derek.
The alpha howls in rage and pain, but her grip on Stiles doesn't lessen. She stumbles, drags him up to his feet. They careen sideways and hit something, the dresser maybe.
"Stiles!" says Scott. But the warning is useless; Stiles can't move or even see, really.
Then it doesn't matter anyway because glass is crashing around him for the second time in one night, and he's free falling.
The sound that follows him down is devastatingly painful and furious. Derek, he thinks.
He hits the ground. It would be a blessing to fall unconscious then. Stiles is not blessed.
It is incredibly hard to focus on what's going on around him. He floats in a cacophony of noise and watery vision.
Someone is howling and whining in pain, but the sound is almost lost to snarls and growls, the wet sound of flesh tearing and snap of bone breaking. Lydia, or Allison, is holding his hand and screaming over his head at someone.
Warm, strong hands on his face get his attention.
"... say yes. Stiles! Say yes!" He can't even tell who is shouting, the words warble and warp as if he’s far under water.
"Hey! No. No. He never wanted..."
"-going to die, do you realize that?"
"Shut up and let him do it, Scott!" Ha. Definitely Lydia.
He thinks he says her name out loud because smaller hands replace the ones already on his face.
"Stiles? Tell Derek yes! You want to live, right? Tell him yes! Scott's being an idiot!"
A wolf snarls, Stiles assumes it's Scott though he doesn't fully understand why he's so mad. Stiles swallows thickly and tastes blood.
"Derek, yeah, Derek. Hey." He's not certain if that's what Lydia wanted him to say.
Delirious laughter bubbles up in his chest and bursts past his lips. More blood comes with it.
"Oh my god. He said it, okay? He fucking said it! Enough, Scott! You heard him. Do it!"
Lydia's hands stay on his face, even as the previous pair grasp his arm. Lips press against his wrist, not quite a kiss, just the brush of skin on skin.
"You have to forgive me," Derek says. And Stiles recognizes his voice now.
Derek, who he loves. Derek, who he's wanted since he was seventeen. Derek whom he would forgive anything. Even keeping Peter around.
"Derek," he says, just to feel the name on his tongue one more time.
Because he's dying. He gets that now. And he really wishes he wasn't because Derek loves him, too, and Derek's lost enough people.
There’s a sharp pain in his forearm that manages to beat out all other pain. It's actually kind of nice having one single pain to focus on.
He screams, or tries to. Blood. It just keeps getting in the way.
Derek lies down next to him, curling around his broken body. And then there are lips on his, very soft. The kiss doesn't magically take away his pain, but it is nice.
"Derek," he manages to say, smiling.
"I'm here." Comes the answer, words pressed into his mouth as Derek kisses him again.
He tries to speak, tries to say I love you and I'm sorry and don't let this ruin you, but he can't make his mouth move. His lungs feel thick and full.
He struggles to breathe. Everything smells damp and earthy. He hadn't noticed before. The smell is ruined somewhat by the harshness of copper blood.
Derek kisses him again and is still kissing him when he falls unconscious.
The waking, in and of itself, is shocking because he was fairly certain he'd been about to die not that long ago.
But now? He feels fine, better than fine. He feels really good.
Stiles opens his eyes slowly, looking around the familiar bedroom. It's been cleaned as best it could be. The air that comes in from the shattered window is cool and clean.
Scott, curled up in the corner chair, jerks awake.
He clambers up onto the bed, crawling over until he's pressed up against Stiles' right side. Not entirely unusual. Puppy piles, they happen, especially when someone is injured.
"I'm not a medical expert but I'm pretty sure I should be dead."
He's not stupid. There's only one way he could feel this good after all the injuries he sustained. And bits of conversation are coming back to him, making more sense now than they did then.
Downstairs there's a slight commotion. Stiles lifts his head cautiously, but there isn't a need to cautious at all. He really is completely fine. Whatever scuffle started has stopped. There’s furious whispering, but Stiles can’t tell what’s being said.
"I told them not to," Scott's saying. And Stiles realizes he's been talking this whole time while Stiles was listening to whatever's happening downstairs. "You never wanted the bite before. But you were dying. Stiles, there was a huge piece of glass, dude. Right through you. And your head was... really bad. I'm so sorry."
So there it is. He's a werewolf. He is a werewolf. A werewolf. He’s a fucking werewolf.
He closes his eyes, trying to process this. Scott’s really, really right. He never wanted to be a werewolf. It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about it. How nice it would be not to be worried about bullets and arrows, to be stronger, faster. To see better, hear better, tell if someone was lying by the skip of their heartbeat or their scent. But he saw the cost of it, what it had cost Derek and how that haunted him. He saw the stress it put on Scott. He knew how long it had taken for Erica and Isaac to settle into themselves, to get the wolf under control. And Peter was… well, Peter. Stiles isn’t sure Peter would be any saner if he weren’t a werewolf.
He lifts his hand in front of his face and spreads his fingers wide. No claws. He concentrates. Still no claws. It’s a full moon. Does it mean something that he was bitten on the full moon? Shouldn’t he be out of control? Or would it not kick in until the next full moon? He tries harder, willing the claws to appear. Oh god. It would be just his luck to be a defective werewolf when he never wanted to be any kind of werewolf in the first place.
"Are you trying to shift?" Scott sounds scandalized.
Stiles turns his head so that they're face to face. Scott looks terrible- blood and dirt streak his face and chest. There's tear tracks down his cheeks. Stiles’ stomach does summersaults, but he tries not to let it show on his face.
He’s not human anymore. He’s going to have to be careful with his dad. With Lydia. With Allison. He’s not one of the humans in the pack, and he’s not sure what that means.
He hasn’t felt this lost since middle school when he was still having panic attacks and he hadn’t quite figured out that sarcasm and wit could be his weapon and his armor.
"Dude, the bite is totally better than being dead. It's okay.” And at least he can get that out for Scott’s benefit.
Scott's breath hitches, sounding like it used to before he'd have an asthma attack. He doesn’t look reassured. But then Stiles remembers that Scott can probably smell his fear. Right. Well.
“Scott, it’s going to be fine.” Which is true. It will be. When Stiles is done freaking out. And he kind of wishes Scott would go because he needs to have his freak out and then get it under control, and that means he can’t be reassuring Scott. Fuck.
A stair creaks; Stiles turns his head.
"You heard that?" Scott asks.
"Squeaky stair? Yeah. Why?" And then he realizes. "Oh, oh! Hey! Super hearing!" That is genuinely exciting.
He sits up, but Scott's arm around his chest shoves him back down. "You almost died. Derek said he's never bitten or even seen anyone bitten who was so close to death. You're lucky to still be alive so just freakin' lay down!"
Stiles huffs, and as he breathes in is hit with a strong, familiar smell. Like newly churned earth and strong rainstorms. He’d smelled it before, when he thought he was dying. More accurately, but harder to explain, is that it smells fierce and tenacious. Like survival.
And it's all around him, surrounding him even more thoroughly then Scott's scent, and Scott is right next to him. More importantly, he can smell it from the stairs. He turns his head to the door.
Derek enters the room, shoulders stiff, head down. He looks up at Stiles and his eyes are bright and hurt. There’s blood smeared on his face and neck. Outside of his defining scent he smells furious and desperate and... terrified.
Scott crawls off the bed and storms out of the room. Derek turns his head to watch him go. When he turns back to face Stiles again his expression is carefully blank. He doesn't move from the doorway.
Downstairs Erica says something so quiet Stiles can’t hear it, and Scott explodes. In the fury of noise that follows Stiles can’t make out anything. A door opens and slams and Allison calls after Scott. Boyd is telling everyone to give him time. And then it’s quiet. If the rest of the pack is still talking Stiles can’t hear them.
Stiles looks back at Derek, who is still unmoving.
Stiles gives him till the count of ten to start speaking. He doesn't, of course. So Stiles says, "You aren't gearing up for the it's a gift speech, right? 'Cause I'm good. Fine. Totally with it. I mean, I wasn't waiting for a near death experience in the hopes of getting bitten. And if you are going to go on about how horrible it is, don’t do that either. I’m not human anymore, and that kind of sucks, because I kind of liked being human. But hey, it could be worse. I could be, you know, dead. And if you're going to apologize or wax poetic about my lost humanity, don't. I'm not dead and I'm pretty freakin' sure I should be."
Shame burns in Stiles' nose, sharp and acrid.
"Derek-" He bites off what he's going to say as Derek finally moves.
He slinks over, there’s no other word for it, if he had a tail it would be between his legs, and sits at the edge of the bed with his back to Stiles.
"I didn't even know if it would work," he admits, voice choked and dry.
Cautiously Stiles reaches out, runs his hand up Derek's spine. His shirt is disgusting, covered in blood and dirt and possibly bits of dead wolf.
"Take that off," Stiles tells him softly, plucking at the offending shirt.
Derek turns sharply, staring at Stiles. His nostrils flare, like he's taking the scent of the room, of Stiles. He looks down at his shirt as if just realizing how truly gross it is and takes it off in one smooth motion. He turns and settles onto the bed at Stiles’ side, carefully not touching him.
Well. Stiles has imagined being half-naked in bed with Derek plenty of times but definitely never like this.
Close now, he can see there’s blood on Derek’s lips. With a start, he realizes it’s his own. That Derek had been kissing him, thinking he was dying. Stiles rubs a hand over his face, his mouth.
“Lydia and Allison cleaned you up,” Derek tells him.
His eyebrow raises. “Like, naked?”
Derek rolling his eyes feels like a small victory.
Stiles smiles widely at him. “Not naked then.” He shrugs. “Totally their loss.”
“Stiles.” The shame smell spikes again. Derek’s eyes are dark and closed off.
“I do, you know. I forgive you.” Because he remembers, very clearly, what Derek had said. The sound of his voice when he’d said it, as if he’d really believed that Stiles wouldn’t forgive him.
Derek closes his eyes. His jaw is clenched so tight Stiles can hear his teeth grinding. “You shouldn’t.”
Stiles rolls onto his side, facing Derek. He wants to touch him, to put his hand on Derek’s face and feel the stubble under his fingertips. They have technically kissed already. But does a first kiss even count as a first kiss if it’s done under the pretense of imminent death?
“Shut up,” Stiles tells him softly. “Just shut up. You don’t believe that and if you do you are such an idiot. You’re unimaginably stupid, actually. You can’t honestly think I’d rather be dead than this. Than with you.”
He swallows hard, because that’s almost an admission. Is an admission, really. He’s had plenty of close calls over the years, but tonight was different. This wasn’t a close call. This was death, right there and ready to take him. This was death grabbing his foot and tugging him under and Derek grabbing his hand to pull him back up. And he can’t do this, can’t even live another minute, really, without just admitting what all this is between he and Derek. What it’s been for years. Since before he turned eighteen, before he left for school, before he started his junior year at college. Years of time wasted because Derek is scared and Stiles is scared for him. But it’s stupid and wasteful. And Stiles almost fucking died. And now he’s a werewolf, he can die but not easily.
“I know, you know. You have to know, because you aren’t actually stupid. So why would you- how could you- I’ve- you make me crazy! It’s been years. And you’re lying here telling me I shouldn’t forgive you for keeping me alive. And I- I love you! I’ve loved you for years. Jesus. And I know you love me, too. So don’t. Just don’t. I didn’t want to die! And I didn’t want to die when you’ve- you’ve lost- and I didn’t-“
Derek’s hand on his arm, tugging him closer, interrupts him.
Derek’s told him to shut up a thousand times, with varying degrees of sincerity. Sometimes it’s like he just says it out of habit, with no real desire to shut Stiles up at all. But he’s never said it the way he does now, like Stiles is tearing out his soul.
Just, “Shut up, Stiles. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up,” until he grasps Stiles’ face and pulls him down and then he’s kissing him, desperate and deep, messy.
Derek shoves up and rolls them over, pushing Stiles down into the blankets and laying himself down the length of his body. He kisses him again, puts a hand to his jaw and tilts his head back to get the angle he wants. Stiles moans, flails his hands because he has no idea where to put them. Is he allowed to put them somewhere?
Derek pulls back and stares down at him, intense and serious, like he always is. Stiles loves him for it, for this moodiness and his frowning fucking face. Derek’s heart pounds in Stiles’ ears, louder than his own. He puts his hand over it, and Derek makes a pained noise and curls around the touch, pressing his face into Stiles’ shoulder.
“I don’t need you to say it,” Stiles finds himself whispering. “I don’t. I know you. And I know you love me.” The heart under his hand skips and stutters and then pounds harder. “I can hear it even if you never say the words now.” He can’t help the awe in his voice. Because he’s known for years- all the years he and Derek have saved each other and all the years he’s spent coaxing every smile or chuckle he could get out of him- but now he can literally hear it in Derek’s heart beat.
“But please don’t… don’t expect me to be upset with you. You have to let me forgive you for the bite. Because I’d rather be a wolf and living, and with you, than human and dead.”
Derek is quiet for a long time, face still shoved into Stiles’ shoulder, body curled up and over him. If Stiles couldn’t feel his hot air breathing out over his skin, he’d worry. When Derek does finally lift his head it’s to kiss Stiles again. Hands cupping his face, sliding down to his neck. He pulls back when they’re both breathless, chests heaving together.
And that’s all Stiles really needs to hear, because he can smell Derek’s arousal, like hot cinnamon candies and honey, so strong he can practically taste it in the back of his throat.
“Yeah. Yes. Okay. Yes. It was always going to be yes.”
Derek works his thigh between Stiles’ legs and leans down to kiss him again. It’s messy and careless and perfect. He licks into Stiles’ mouth, sucks on his tongue, retreats to bite at his lips until they feel raw. He thrusts his thigh against Stiles’ cock, hard and leaking already in the sweats they dressed him in. Derek’s sweats. He groans and thrusts up in return, raising his knee so that Derek has something to rut against. And he’s almost surprised when Derek does and he feels the hot, hard line of Derek’s cock through their clothing.
“Oh god, oh my god. Derek.”
Derek kisses him again but it doesn’t really stop the noises that come out of his mouth. Moans and cries, the occasional curse, Derek’s name like an anthem. Derek greedily sucks the sounds from his mouth like they’re his to have. And they are. God, he can have everything.
It’s filthy and raw, and Stiles is going to come in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Derek grabs his hip in one hand and pulls him up, pressing them tighter together and Stiles comes, and keeps coming, in Derek’s sweatpants- for fuck’s sake- until he’s limp and boneless under Derek. And when Derek goes still and Stiles feels his cock jerk against his thigh, feels the dampness of his come through Derek’s jeans, he unthinkingly throws his head back, exposing his neck.
Derek snarls and latches on, sucking and biting so hard it nearly hurts, but it feels too good to really hurt. As Stiles’ cock jerks and leaks out just a little bit more come, Derek lets go of his neck, and before Stiles even realizes what he’s doing, he’s pulling down the sweatpants and starts licking Stiles clean. Stiles’ entire body shudders and he lets out a high, keening cry because it’s too much. It’s too much, and he wants it, Derek’s mouth on him like this. When his thighs are clean Derek sucks his cock in and just keeps sucking.
Stiles’ back arches and his muscles scream, but his cock fills again, throbbing painfully, and then he’s coming down Derek’s throat. He shoves his hands into Derek’s hair and pulls, nails scraping at his scalp. Derek pulls off and snarls, pulls Stiles’ wrist above his head as he straddles his hips, pinning him to the bed.
Stiles feels too hot, like he’s burning up. He pushes against Derek’s hold but he can’t break it. He stares a challenge at Derek, but then Derek lowers his head and kisses him, harsh and near to hurting, and he keeps on kissing until Stiles turns his head and bares his neck again.
Derek bites his neck, nearly hard enough to break the skin. He grabs Stiles’ wrists in one hand and squeezes them in warning. And then he’s jerking himself off against Stiles’ stomach with his free hand. Stiles didn’t even notice Derek undoing his jeans or pulling his cock out. But it’s out, leaking over Stiles’ stomach until Derek goes rigid again, and then he’s coming all over Stiles.
Stiles whimpers, lifting his head and fucking whining until Derek leans down and kisses him. It’s softer now, gentle and nearly apologetic. He releases Stiles’ wrists and cups his face instead. The hand that was on his cock is rubbing his come into Stiles’ stomach. It should be disgusting, but Stiles loves it.
Once he calms down, Derek moves off of Stiles and onto the bed, pulling Stiles to him. He buries his face in Stiles’ neck and breathes.
It takes Stiles a long time to come back to himself. He still feels too hot, jittery in a way that has nothing to do with his normal unrest. He can’t decide if he likes the way Derek is holding him or if he wants to fight to get away. Finally, when he’s clearly had enough of Stiles’ twitching, Derek bites down on the back of Stiles’ neck again. Stiles goes limp against him, all the excess energy draining away again.
“You’re okay. It’s the wolf. It’s okay,” Derek is whispering in his ear. “Changed on the full moon, I didn’t know if it would affect you. You did good. It’s okay.”
Stiles starts shaking and can’t stop. He turns in Derek’s arms until he can wrap himself around him, taking in his scent. He breathes in deep, and that’s when it hits him. Blood. He can smell blood. Not old blood, not his or that other alpha’s. New blood. He pulls back and looks at Derek.
There’s blood smeared on his ear and at his temple.
“Oh my god.” Stiles stares in horror, because he knows he did that, remembers the feel of Derek’s hair through his fingers as he came. “Oh my god.”
Derek grabs his face in one hand and jerks him, just enough to get his attention. “Stop. I’m your alpha. I’m the one who should take the brunt of it until you can control it. Do you hear me? I’m your alpha, say it.” Red light bleeds into his eyes.
For one instant Stiles feels the desire to rebel but it fades just as fast. He bares his neck again, doesn’t even jump at the press of Derek’s sharp teeth to his skin.
“You’re my alpha.”
“Say it again.” But he can feel Derek smiling now.
“Oh my god, you’re getting off on this. You’re my alpha. You’re my alpha, you dick. Shut up.”
Derek kisses him again. And again. Kisses him until Stiles can’t breathe.
“I didn’t, you know, think it would be like this,” Stiles says, when Derek seems to be satisfied and done kissing him. “When we finally… I figured it’d be… umm, more careful? You’re always so… uptight.”
Derek’s face closes off.
“Hey,” Stiles says quietly. “Don’t do that. I told you, it’s okay. All of it. All of it. If I have to be okay, you have to be okay. You just have to forgive me for trying to claw your brain out mid-orgasm.”
Derek pulls him closer. “You know I do,” he says quietly.
“It might get worse, with the moon. But it’s almost morning, so I don’t think it will.” Derek kisses his face, his temple, the side of his nose, his lips again. “Try to sleep. I’ll watch you.”
Stiles huffs out a laugh. “Like usual, creeper.”
Derek doesn’t reply, just holds Stiles tighter. Stiles doesn’t sleep, but they get through the night together. They sleep in the morning, curled up, limbs tangled, Stiles’ face hidden in his chest.
Later they will shower, and eventually they’ll go down to the rest of the pack. Scott will come back to the house. Erica will comment on how that wasn’t the way Derek got her through her first full moon and both Derek and Boyd will start with the growling.
They’ll deal with the fact that Stiles is no longer human.
But for right now, Stiles is just fine where he is, where he’s waited years to be.