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Words Whispered By Firelight

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Because he has the best sense of timing of anyone, ever, Stiles first brings it up while they're crouched behind a very full, very stinky dumpster, waiting for the red and blue lights strobing across the alley walls to move on. It's not like they were actually involved in the fight in front of The Grotto. Stiles doesn't have to imagine the look on his dad's face if one of the deputies spotted him and pulled him in for questioning, though--he's seen it too many times before. It doesn't help that Derek's all tense and wolfy beside him, nose lifting in the air at regular intervals like he can actually smell anything over the rotted cantaloupe and something Stiles' brain has helpfully labeled 'used condom marinating in cat vomit'.

"Did you know the earliest recorded representation of any kind of man-animal hybrid dates to like, thirty thousand years ago? It's in a cave, in France. Of a bull with a human hand. It's kind of mind-blowing."

Derek turns his head away from the scene outside The Grotto. Stiles doesn't think he'll ever get used to seeing Derek's alpha-red eyes up close, the way they glow and suck in light all at the same time, the way the color seems to float inside his skull, screaming there is nothing about me that is natural.

"It's sometimes called The Sorcerer," Stiles trickles on. Derek's eyebrows draw down. It's always weird to see him do that, because his wolf eyebrows are nearly non-existent, especially compared to his human ones, but the motion is still the same."Yeah, okay, you're right. Not the time."

Derek huffs. In human form it'd be an almost-laugh, but while he's shifted it's more like the snorting of a bull ready to charge. "Is this your way of asking if Minotaurs are real?"

"Uh." It hadn't been, not at all, but now he's becoming frighteningly aware that it's something that should have occurred to him. "Are they?"

Derek's face does that crinkly confused thing, where he really wants to yell at Stiles but it's suddenly occurred to him that there might be a point involved. Before he can spill the beans one way or the other, an engine turns over and the red and blue lights go off. Seconds later, Derek grabs hold of Stiles and tugs him out from their hiding place.

Stiles would demand to know what Derek's plan is, but he's too busy staring at the claws resting against the paper thin skin of his wrist.

He tries again when they're in bed, the heaving of their chests slowing back to normal after a really good round of sex. Derek is pressed close into his side, hot and sticky and just a little bit more clingy than Stiles had ever imagined back when this had been nothing but fantasy. Stiles is starting to feel weirdly exposed, lying naked in his childhood bed, the twist of sheet around his ankle actually making him feel more bare, so his mouth does what it always does when he feels uncomfortable.

"So, remember when I was talking about the cave paintings last week? Chauvet Cave?"

Derek sighs, though it doesn't actually feel like a bad thing, his breath warm and close as he shifts around, resettling himself so his face isn't shoved into the pillow they're sharing.

"With the Minotaur?" His words are soft, a little slurred, and heat curls through Stiles' belly, low and not quite sexual, because he did that. He put that exhausted contentedness in Derek's voice. "I've never heard of them being real. Not that that means anything."

Stiles snorts. "Don't worry, I won't deduct points if we suddenly find ourselves trapped in a labyrinth." Which is a total lie, because if that happens he'll absolutely bitch for days, out of sheer ironic wonder if nothing else. He tries not to get distracted imagining scenarios, because he does actually want to broach this topic.

"Was there a point to this?" Derek rests his hand on Stiles' side, palm heavy over the downward slope of his ribcage. "Because it sounds like you're just talking like you do, but your heart says otherwise."

"I don't know whether to love you or hate you for that," he says. Derek's hand tightens, just enough for Stiles' heart to give up what's probably a very telltale skip. He swallows to wet his suddenly dry throat. "Right. So, this sorcerer, um. It's a bull with a human hand, and it's very obviously mating. With, uh, the very obviously female parts in front of it."

Derek snorts. "So what you're getting at is that porn is as old as time."

"Maybe not as old as time. But definitely prehistoric." Stiles leaves it at that for the moment, staring up at the ceiling and listening to the sounds of their breathing. Sometimes things like this strike him hard, in a good way, how different reality is from anything he's watched on his computer. Who would have thought breathing could be almost as intimate as sex?

Derek levers himself up onto one elbow. He looms a bit, like it's part of his bones, looking down at Stiles with one eyebrow arched.

Stiles sighs. "It made me wonder, okay? Whether you--not necessarily specific you, I meant more general you, although I realize you can probably only answer for specific you--ever do that."

The other eyebrow goes up.

Stiles feels himself flush. "You know. Have sex. While wolfed out."

Derek's face goes cold. It's an almost imperceptible thing, really, no motion involved except for a slight clenching of his jaw. That muscle is directly connected to Stiles' stomach, and it jerks nauseatingly tight. "No," Derek says, and heaves himself over onto his back, clearly expecting that to be the last word on the topic.

Stiles rolls so that their positions are reversed from before. His face is red, he knows it is. He has to push past the urge to fidget, or to strike out with his words to defend himself from his embarrassment, because he obviously just tripped across something big.

"Is this a--" Kate thing. It shouldn't be so hard to say two single-syllable words, but they seem to be his and Derek's own personal She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

"No." Derek huffs, then rolls his eyes. He pushes himself up so that his back is slotted against the bookcase behind them. Stiles scrambles up so they're side by side. "It's dangerous. I won't do that with you."

"I didn't mean--" Stiles cuts himself off at the arch look Derek aims his way. It's moments like these that Stiles can see that yes, Derek's related to Peter, because sass is apparently genetic. "Okay, yes, I have thought about it. In a 'maybe that would be kind of hot' way. But I get it, you're not comfortable with it, topic closed."

"Yes," Derek says. It sounds like his molars are about to be dust. "It is."

"Right. Dead, buried, erect a tombstone on it, done."

Derek sighs. He finds Stiles' hand and draws it onto his thigh. "We could try something else, if you want. Ice, maybe?"

Stiles grins. He shifts to straddle Derek and presses in for a kiss. "Yeah, definitely," he says, because while temperature play isn't exactly the same as Derek fucking him while shifted, the way Derek offered it up, shyly like it's something he's thought about it, is more than enough to make Stiles want it like crazy.

Scott flies into the brick wall with a sickening smack, hard enough that dust and chunks of red masonry tumble to the floor along with him. Stiles winces, because yeah, that's gotta hurt. It leaves him a clear shot at the barghest, though, the rest of Derek's pack scattered in an uneven perimeter after being tossed aside by the black, snarling beast. Stiles takes a deep breath and lets loose with every ounce of muscle he's built through years of lacrosse practice. The homemade grenade bursts open, spilling the mix of magical herbs he and Deaton had come up with, all over that gnarly fur.

The barghest howls. It's uncomfortably close to a werewolf's howl, pushing against the compartment in Stiles' brain where he'd been locking away the easy comparison. Its form seems to judder, like it's caught in a bad camera shake from the original Star Trek.

"Stiles, look out!"

Stiles looks. That's all he has time for before Derek's slamming into him, heavy body carrying him to the concrete floor, the large, wolfy hand cradled beneath his skull all that's keeping his brains from spilling out in a messy crunch. There's a sound like Gallagher going to town on a watermelon the size of his house, followed quickly by wet, splotchy thunks as what's left of the barghest rains down around them.

"Gross," Stiles mutters, but mostly he's staring up into Derek's red eyes. It shouldn't be physically possible for that much gentle emotion to show on a face that's made to be terror-inducing, but well, there it is. Concern is wrinkled into the heavy brow above his eyes. Sharp canines gleam through lips parted by worry. Derek is every bit Derek wolfed out like this, and Stiles wants.

Derek's eyes widen. His features slide back to smooth and beautiful, and then he pushes himself off of Stiles, moving up and away.

"Right." Stiles clambers up from the floor, taking in the mess around them as he pretends he didn't just give himself away. "Frolicking in the enemy's entrails, so not what it's cracked up to be."


Stiles blinks. He draws his leg up, turning sideways on the couch so he can make a production out of studying Derek's face for contextual support. It's very carefully blank behind the shadows created by the flickering light from the TV screen, a sure sign that there's actually something big under that ice cube of a question.

"...Z?" Stiles tosses out. " birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?"

Derek rolls his eyes. That's all. Stiles pokes him in the shoulder, which doesn't really accomplish much since Derek's sculpted from granite.

"Okay, you're going to have to give me more than that. I realize my brilliance can sometimes verge on the supernatural, but I'm not actually psychic."

Derek's eyes flick towards the dining room table, where Stiles' dad has been going through a cold case file all evening. "I don't get why," he explains softly. "Why you'd want to."

Stiles raises his eyebrows, because yeah, still not following.

Derek's eyes glow red, just for a second, and Stiles flushes, hard. He glances towards his dad, who's steadily thrumming the tip of his pen against the yellow pad he's taking notes on. This is so not the time for this conversation, but if Derek's bringing it up, he's not about to shut him down.

"Um." Of course, this is exactly the kind of situation where his words desert him.

"Is it a danger thing?"

"Not really?" It's not like he hasn't popped a boner in a highly inappropriate, danger-filled situation before, but Stiles has read enough to understand the physiological link between adrenaline and testosterone. He's not going to punish himself if it happens, but at the same time, he's not going to take up bungee jumping just to get off. Still. "I guess that's part of it, though. Knowing what you could do. But won't, because you...won't."

Derek nods slowly. Because you care about me, Stiles didn't say, but he thinks it was understood. He could probably leave it at that. It's a reason that makes sense, after all, something that's even true. Something that doesn't expose either one of them uncomfortably.

Stiles takes a deep breath. "It's more like, um. I want all of you, okay? Not just the parts you think are safe for me."

Derek sucks in a breath. Stiles can see his chest moving, not in any harsh, panting way. Just like his muscles have to work to keep up with his body's need for air. Stiles isn't sure whether that means good or bad things. He turns his head, though, finally meeting Stiles' eyes.

"You don't think I'm...gross? When I'm like that?"

That knocks Stiles sideways, more than a little bit, because Derek has always worn his werewolf genes with pride. He wonders if maybe this is another Kate thing, something left over from the Argent disgust for all things wolf, but as far as he's gathered, Derek never actually revealed that side of himself to her.

"No," he finally says, absurdly grateful there's nothing his heartbeat can belie. "You're just you."

Derek doesn't say anything. He turns his head away, focusing back on the TV--but Stiles doesn't miss the soft smile that sweeps over his lips.

"Derek?" The echo of the front door slamming behind him fades away, leaving him in silence except for the always-present drip that even the werewolves can't track down. The abandoned water plant is a couple steps up from the train depot, a whole flight up from the derelict Hale family home, but it still creeps Stiles out at times. Especially at night. He doesn't think Derek will ever overcome the need to hunker in somewhere hidden, to make his pack safe by keeping his base transitory and defensible, so Stiles deals with it.

Doesn't keep him from bitching about cold concrete under his bare feet, though.

Derek's usually better than this about not making him wait in the dark. It's not pitch, not quite. More like a murky pea soup, the halogen glow of the street lamps filtering in through the clerestory windows giving off just enough light that Stiles knows his eyes still work. Just enough light that the shadows circling the room seem deeper than night, like a great ring of darkness trying to suck him in.

"Yo, Derek," he calls out, louder this time. "Forget to pay the electric bill? Because I gotta say, it does wonders for the whole industrial chic thing you've got going on, but it's a little hard to read by."


He doesn't--okay, he totally jumps. A flailing, graceless jerk of movement that Derek almost certainly witnesses with his stupid werewolf eyesight. Stiles brings his hand up to his heart and glares in a nonspecific direction. "I am going to train that out of you one of these days, I swear to God. Also, where the hell are you, and can the human get a little light, please?"

"Later, maybe," Derek murmurs lazily, and Stiles turns, because it sounds like he's on the opposite side of the room now.

"Okaaaaay." It doesn't take a Lydia Martin to figure out Derek's up to something. "You wanna share with the rest of the class?"

"When you were little," Derek says, and damn it, he is definitely moving around, circling Stiles like a shark in the water. "Did you and Scott tell each other stories?"

Derek's good at that, throwing stuff out there like it's supposed to make sense. Stiles is an expert in going with the flow, though, he's a champion kayaker after the choppy waters of the past few years, so he just lets his mind catch hold of Derek's words and parse them out. It's the kind of memory he usually holds close: he and Scott tucked together under the blanket fort in his living room, or in the little pup tent out in the back yard, passing the flashlight back and forth in between chowing down on his mom's chocolate chip cookies.

"Yeah," he says, his throat thick. "Ghost stories and stuff. Like the hook man, you know?"

"We did, too. Me and Laura, my cousins. Peter too, sometimes. He wasn't all that much older than us." Derek's voice seems closer this time, so Stiles reaches out. He's not surprised when his fingers drag through air. "We had our own stories, though. Werewolf stories."

Stiles takes an aimless couple steps forward, the curiosity in him a thing of kinetic energy. "Like what?"

"Have you ever heard of Peter Stumpf?"

The name feels familiar, like he might have skimmed over it in one of his research binges, but Stiles shakes his head.

"He was a sixteenth century German werewolf who went mad, started killing everything in sight. He was probably responsible for the hunters becoming an organized group. When they caught him at last, they tortured him to death. The rack, burning, all kinds of horrible things."

Yeah, Stiles can see how that would appeal to young werewolf kids, reveling in the gruesomeness of the crimes and torture and scaring themselves witless at the same time. Peter Hale probably would have been fantastic at making those old tales come alive.

"I don't know anything about prehistoric Minotaurs," Derek continues. "But we have a story, the kind that adults don't tell children, but gets passed down anyway. About how we came to be."

Stiles swallows. "Tell me?"

"Once upon a time," Derek says, and there's enough wry awareness in his voice that Stiles has to snort.

"Once upon a time," he says again, growling it out this time, "there was a peasant woman. Like most peasants, she spent her life working to pay taxes to her ruler, working her hands to the bone and receiving nothing in return. She chafed at the way those around her were treated, the callous cruelties dealt out, the way those she cared about succumbed to starvation and disease, over and over again."

Derek circles close enough that Stiles can feel the air of his passage. He thinks he catches a whiff of leather and sporty deodorant, but the lingering chlorine and steel pipe odor of the place swamps it within seconds. He's not sure what Derek's trying to do. Frighten him, maybe. It certainly gets his pulse speeding up, his body coming alive the way it always does when Derek's focused on him.

"One day, after her mother was beaten nearly to death because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, this woman became firm in her resolve that never again would those she loved suffer unjustly. That she would, somehow, some way, gain more power than those who sought to control her.

"She began to observe the world around her, searching for that power wherever it lay. It was not among the humans. So she searched farther afield, daring to enter the deep woods that surrounded her home."

Derek steps up behind him, not quite touching anywhere, but close enough that the hair on the back of Stiles' neck stands on end. Stiles wants to lean back, complete the circuit between them, but Derek's tale holds him in thrall, the careful cadence of his words not just spell-like, but reverential.

"It took her many months to learn the ways of the forest, to be able to come and go without frightening the animals away from their homes, but she had the strength of will and patience to do it. What she found was that of all the animals in the woods, the wolves were the ones she most wanted to emulate. They weren't just strong. They were cunning, and loyal, working with their pack to keep themselves safe and to bring down prey many times larger than themselves.

"She wanted to have that, and before long, she came up with a plan. There was a lone wolf, not part of any pack she'd observed, that skulked along the borders of her home. She spent time courting it, bringing it food she could not spare and spending nights close to its den, until it tolerated her presence.

"Then, in midwinter, when the alphas of the pack she'd observed were lost in mating, she clothed herself in a wolf pelt. One so large it engulfed her, the head over hers like a hood. She stole outside during the full moon, making her way to the lone wolf's den. She approached him, like she'd seen female wolves do, and when she deemed the time right, she turned, hitching up the tail of the pelt, and presented herself."

Stiles shifts his weight. That is...not right, but there's something alluring in the way Derek tells the story. Something that has blood gathering in his groin, heating his skin with need. "So, the wolf..."

"Mounted her. It gave her what she wanted, but it was not easy. She had tamed it to her will, but it was still a wild thing, and the pelt could not protect her shoulders from its grasping claws, or the back of her neck from its mating bite. By the time it was finished, the pelt was soaked red with her blood. She barely made it back to her cottage to nurse her wounds."

Derek falls quiet. Somewhere, the water keeps dripping, the old pipes struggling to do their job after years of neglect. Stiles curls his hands into loose fists. There's a buzzing between his shoulder blades, a tension in the soles of his feet that makes him want to move, to act, to do something--he's just not sure what.

"And?" he finally prompts. "Then what happened?"

"Then she gave birth to the first litter of werewolves," Derek growls. "The end."

"What, for real? I mean, is that even possible? Because normally I'd say no way, but hi, werewolves."

Derek huffs. "It's just a story, Stiles. A dirty, raunchy story probably made up by a couple of pre-teens trying to impress each other."

Stiles thinks about that. Thinks about the way Derek skimmed over the first story, but lingered on the second. How he kept to the safety of the shadows while he told it. "You like it, though."

Derek's a long time in answering. "Yeah. I do." He's in front of Stiles now. Stiles can tell, because two red eyes are staring right back at him. "It always made me I was wrong. In the head, maybe, because everyone else always thought it was gross. I...didn't."

God. Sometimes Stiles wonders what he thinks he's doing. Him, Stiles, the guy who'd been completely inexperienced before the day he'd taken his courage in both hands and laid one on Derek. It's not like he's a picture of perfect mental health, either, certainly not the kind of rock somebody with issues would want to turn to. And Derek is pretty much a stuffed shell of issues topped with a tasty issue sauce. Most of which have to do with sex, love, and trust.

Stiles breathes in and out through his nose, trying to keep his heart rate even and the anxiety at bay, and mentally crosses his fingers that he doesn't fuck this up. "What did you like about it?"

The answer comes quicker this time. "I could picture it. Taking someone like that. Like a wolf, driven by instinct and nothing else." A harsh sigh escapes the dark. "We're not supposed to, you know. That's what my parents taught me. Not ever with humans like that, because it's too dangerous."

"Well that's practically an invitation to do it, right there," Stiles says without really thinking. "I mean, come on. The lure of the forbidden makes everything sound hotter, right?"

Derek snorts. "Maybe."

Stiles realizes, abruptly, that Derek's eyes are still glowing red across the room. That there's a reason behind the staging tonight, the story and the way Derek's circled him like prey, herding him towards the staircase that leads up to the office where Derek's made his bedroom.

He licks his lips. His breathing is growing ragged again, but this time he doesn't try to calm it. Instead, he raises his hands and slowly unzips his hoodie. He lets it drop to the ground, then strips off his T-shirt as well.

"I don't have a tail, so, this is the best I can do," he says, hands working at his belt. He's just pushed jeans and boxers to his knees when Derek steps out of the dark, into the only somewhat substantial shaft of light in the room.

He's fully shifted into his beta form--and he's completely, one hundred percent, naked.

Stiles has always been amused by how weirdly hairless the werewolves seem, other than the sideburns from hell. The transformation really only shows in the face, in those funny pointed ears and the thickened forehead ridges. The eyes, of course, and the wicked, wicked teeth. Stiles has never really had the opportunity to see Derek like this, naked and shifted, so he takes his time, letting his gaze travel where it will as Derek stands there and models for him. The change is so much more than what's visible, though. There's a wildness, evident regardless of Derek's sublime control, and a sense of power that has nothing to do with carefully sculpted muscles.

He has a moment to think holy shit, how did I not know about the claws on his feet before Derek steps forward again.

"We're not wolves," he says.

Stiles pulls his gaze up, slowly enough he probably looks lust stupid doing it--but to be fair, Derek is naked in front of him, in more ways than one. There's not a scenario he wants to think about where he's not lust stupid in the face of that.

"What?" he finally remembers to asks. Part of his brain is valiantly trying to put the scattered pieces of their conversation back into anything resembling a picture, but it keeps foundering on Derek's cock.

"You said you don't have a tail. Because the female wolf averts hers, to present her readiness, right?"

Stiles nods, mouth dry. Some instinct has him stripping the rest of his clothes away, untangling his feet from his shoes and pants. Derek takes another step forward.

"We're not wolves." Derek smiles--and there's nothing human about it. "We're not that nice."

"Derek--" He's not sure what he's going to say. He's too turned on to think straight.

"Run for me, Stiles." Derek lets out a low, chesty rumble that Stiles has never heard him make before. "Run."

Stiles runs.

He turns and races for the stairs, taking them two at a time in the dark. He stumbles at the top, his feet overestimating the number he needs to climb, but somehow he manages to stay upright. It's brighter up here, from the dim glow of lamplight spilling out of Derek's room, and Stiles locks onto that sickly yellow puddle like it's a beacon. He's just crossed the threshold when a weight slams into him from behind.

"Holy shit!" He's disoriented for a moment, because one second he was at the doorway being tackled by a two-hundred pound werewolf, and the next he's here, halfway across the room, flat on his back on the mattress and staring up at sharp fangs and red eyes. Derek has his hand cradled protectively under Stiles' head, like he did that night at the warehouse with the barghest. But his lips are drawn up in a snarling smile this time, and Stiles can feel the prick of claws against his scalp.

"Just tell me when to stop," Derek whispers, and then he's bringing his mouth to Stiles', brushing their lips together for what's theoretically a simple kiss. In reality he can feel the hard weight of Derek's fangs pressed against his lips. Maybe Stiles is far more into the whole danger scenario than he thought, because the pump of adrenaline shoots straight to his dick.

"Don't stop, never stop," he says when Derek pulls back. He wraps his hand around the back of Derek's neck. There's a coarse ruff of hair there, short and stiff under his fingers. Derek growls and shoves his face into Stiles' neck, rubbing his nose against the skin. It tickles, a bit, and Stiles opens his mouth to complain, but Derek is already moving, down to Stiles' throat, opening his mouth so his fangs rest against that most vital slope.

"Oh, my God." Stiles wants to thrash underneath Derek's weight, thrust up against him and take what he needs. He doesn't dare, not when Derek's letting himself ride this line. They so can't afford to make mistakes.

Derek licks, right over his jugular, and then sits up, knees straddling Stiles' waist. It puts his tailbone right above Stiles' cock. Stiles curls his pelvis up, wanting to at least brush against that heat, but Derek shifts just enough to bring his legs back behind himself. And holy crap, now there are clawed toes resting against Stiles' inner thighs. Derek leans forward again, licking up the center of Stiles' chest, repeating the motion with a drag of his fangs. Stiles does squirm this time. It's almost unbearable how turned on he is.

After a moment, he squirms again. More like wriggles impatiently, because Derek's just hovering there, breathing with his mouth open against Stiles' sternum. The noise Derek makes definitely isn't in the human vocal range. It vibrates through Stiles' skin, tickling down in his bones.

Derek lets out a soft, whoomphing breath, then slides downward. Stiles thinks he's going for his cock, and his body is of two completely different minds about that, oh my God fuck no fangs winning by a slight margin in this particular second. But then Derek veers left. He noses over the ticklish spot on Stiles' side, midway between ribcage and hipbone, and then he opens his mouth as wide as it possibly can go.

"Oh, fuck me!" Stiles curls upwards in one of the stupidest moves his body's ever made, but Derek flows with him, his fangs resting like a honed knife on a ripe peach. Stiles pants wildly, heart pounding like a rabbit's. He wishes it was fear that has him so worked up, but no, it's nothing that pure.

Derek has done this to Erica. To Isaac and Boyd. Fucking Jackson has had this. The thought makes Stiles ache with impotent desire, desire that has nothing to do with what's between his legs.

"Fuck," Stiles says again, his voice strangled with the crazy words trapped within. Derek sighs. He licks at Stiles' side once, then carefully pulls his mouth away. He leans up, stretching for something past Stiles' head. Lube, he figures out once Derek sits back again.

Derek holds one hand aloft. The tips of his claws gleam like yellow diamonds, and Stiles swallows. Derek curls his thumb, pinky and ring fingers under, leaving the first two up in a laughably ironic peace sign.

"Paying attention?"

Stiles nods. The sight of those two claws melting away, retracting into blunt human nails, is as amazing as it is relieving. Derek moves quickly after that, done with his demonstration, uncapping the lube and squirting it messily onto his unshifted fingers. Stiles sets his feet flat on the mattress, tilting his hips up so Derek has easy access. Opening him up is almost perfunctory, except for the way Stiles can actually hear the flat edge of Derek's thumbclaw scrape against the back of his balls.

"On your knees," Derek growls, pulling his fingers free.

Stiles swings one leg over Derek, but he doesn't get much farther in the process of turning before Derek's grabbing him and using that supernatural strength to lift him into place. Stiles gets his hands braced, and then Derek's draping himself over his back, heavy enough to test the bounds of his strength. Derek whuffles, breath hot as he strokes his bristly face against Stiles' skin. He smells more, Stiles realizes. Not in a bad way. Muskier, maybe, enough that Stiles' puny human nose picks up on it.

"Ready?" Derek murmurs, and Stiles would shove himself back to prove his readiness if he could, but damn, werewolf muscle is heavy.

"I was ready three days ago," he says instead, tilting his ass up and rubbing for all he's worth against Derek's belly. Maybe wolf mating signals don't mean that much to werewolves, but Stiles thinks it's a pretty clear go-ahead anyway. Derek doesn't bring a hand back to guide himself in, though. He just sort of ruts around, dragging the head of his cock against Stiles' ass, again and again until suddenly it catches on Stiles' hole. "Oh, hey, I get it, no ha--"

He cuts off with a ragged gasp as Derek pushes forward. Not all the way in. Enough for Stiles to feel it, for his body to tense and then finally relax and open up. Derek doesn't go for it right away, and Stiles is starting to get impatient.

"Three days ago," he says again, this time in a singsong aimed to annoy.

Derek snorts--and then he shoves in, hard and fast. Stiles keens. It's good, God it's good, Derek slamming into him in a way he rarely lets himself. Stiles isn't a werewolf, though, and his shoulders start to shake, his wrists going numb from the weight bearing down on them. He's just about resigned to collapsing forward when Derek slips his arms beneath Stiles' armpits so his still-clawed hands rest against Stiles' chest, and then he hauls them both upright on their knees.

"Oh, my God, wow." It's an entirely different sensation than he's used to. Stiles isn't even sure how Derek's managing it, except duh, super strength. The position leaves Stiles' hands free, which is awesome, because he's not all that enthused about the idea of Derek giving him the usual reach around. Usually Stiles would start slow, with light strokes to ease himself into it, but nuh-uh, not going to happen right now. He's way too turned on.

"Yeah, come on, do it," Derek growls as Stiles' hand whips over his cock. "I want to feel you come, Stiles. Do it for me."

"Yeah," Stiles gets out, and then he's coming, his whole body shuddering with it as he spurts out and onto the sheets beneath him. He's not even finished when Derek grunts and shoves him forward, down in his own spunk. Stiles twists his head to the side, gasping as his still sensitive cock is rubbed against the damp sheets by Derek's thrusts.

"I wish I had a fucking knot," Derek grits out, "I wish I could fucking knot you,"--and then he's dropping his whole weight on top of Stiles, shoving his face against the back of Stiles' neck.

Derek bites down.

Terror burns through him like being thrust into an icy pond--but at the same time, there's this wonderful, terrible jolt of yes finally yes in the pit of his stomach. He cries out with it, something between a yelp and a moan, before he realizes that Derek's fangs aren't tearing through his skin, that his teeth are human-blunt. Derek lets out a snarling whine against his skin, and Stiles can feel him shaking, feel the pulsing wetness inside of him as Derek comes.

Everything freezes for a second. Derek holds himself tight against Stiles; his own muscles are still clenched with the effort of meeting Derek's strength. Then, like a breath, the tension saps out of them both. Stiles can hear the little lip-smacks as Derek draws away from his neck. He brushes his fingers over the bite, to reassure the both of them, probably, though Stiles is sure it'll hardly even bruise.

They disentangle with slow, jerky movements, working together to figure out how to navigate delicate parts safely between tired limbs and twisted sheets. Stiles winds up on his side, Derek on his front, human fist shoved up next to his wolfed-out cheek. Stiles reaches for the fluttering point of Derek's shifted ear, wanting to take advantage of this opportunity to explore. He's barely made contact with skin when it starts flowing away, retreating back into a firmer curve. Actually feeling the shift happen under his fingers is one of the more bizarre things he's ever experienced. He makes a noise in the back of his throat, awed and disappointed both, and Derek grunts.

"Sorry," he mumbles into the pillow beneath him. "It's hard to maintain the shift when I'm this blissed out."

Stiles grins. "So you're saying it was good for you. Because I'm thinking it was at least a twenty on a one to ten scale. Twenty-five if you add in the pre-show bits."

Derek doesn't snort, or roll his eyes, like Stiles would have thought he might. Instead he pushes himself up and rolls to his side, propping his head on his hand. "I liked it," he said. He presses the pad of his thumb to one of the reddened pinpricks on Stiles' shoulder. "Is it what you wanted? What you were after, when you brought it up."

Stiles drops his grin. "It was way more than I ever imagined, and I mean that in the very best way." He catches hold of Derek's hand and draws it away from the marks. He tangles their fingers together, thinking, turning the experience around in his head. His body is still singing with endorphins, loudly enough that most of the usual noise in his head is muffled.

"What?" Derek prompts.

Stiles sighs. "It's just...I don't want to be a werewolf. You can hear the truth of that, right?"

Derek's face gives nothing away. "I know you don't."

"But that doesn't mean I don't think about it. All the power and healing stuff, sure." Stiles swallows. He imagines how it would have been if they both were, whether Derek would have really let loose, let his claws sink in, let himself make that claiming bite. Stiles isn't sure that he would have. "But I think about what it'd be like for us, too. If you didn't have to worry about hurting me all the time."

Derek doesn't say anything for long enough that Stiles wants to prod at the silence. But there's something about the way Derek is breathing, even and audible like he's putting effort into, that makes him hold his tongue.

"You think that's what I want. To turn you."

"You can't tell me that part of you doesn't want it." He lays his hand on his own side, where there's not even redness to remember the moment by. "I was right there, Derek. I could feel how much you wanted to do it."

Derek catches hold of his hand and brings it up to his mouth. He sucks Stiles' index finger in, then presses a kiss to the tip. "I think, maybe, that I want to turn you as much as you want to be turned."

It doesn't sound reassuring on the surface, but it makes sense in a visceral way. "In other words, the brain is a weird and confusing thing?"

Derek nods. "This, right here, tonight? I can't believe you let me do everything I did. It kind of scares me because I think you'd let me do more, if I wanted to."

Stiles doesn't say anything. He's not entirely comfortable himself with how ready to bleed he'd been, as long as it was under Derek's touch. Derek doesn't have to know that, though.

"It was amazing. But it was playing out a fantasy. It's not what I want from you all the time." Derek turns Stiles' wrist, lipping at the skin over the veins. "I like you human. You'"

Stiles surges forward, pleased when he actually crashes into Derek's lips without much trauma involved on either side. They kiss for a while, sweet and reassuring, before Derek slides down to his back and draws Stiles on top of him.

"You know what else was in that cave?" Stiles asks when sleepiness starts to unfurl beneath his skin.

"More paintings, I'm guessing."

Stiles snorts. "Well, yeah. But in one section there's a footprint left behind by a human child. And right next to it is a wolf's pawprint."

Derek lifts his head.

"They have no idea if those footprints were made at the same time, or thousands of years apart." Stiles traces a whorl on Derek's chest. "I like to think maybe they were werewolves."

Derek laughs softly, then relaxes back down to the bed. "Maybe," he says, hugging Stiles a little closer. "Or maybe the kid and the wolf were friends."