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“A massage?” Stiles blurted out.

Derek nodded, making a sweeping gesture towards the trail of confetti that started at the industrial doors, cut across the floor of Derek’s loft, up the spiral staircase, and into Derek’s bedroom. It was going to be a nightmare to clean, but Stiles’ outburst of laughter when he’d seen it was worth it.

Then Derek had to go and mess up the humor, before Stiles was even down the steps from the door to main area.

“But…I thought…” Stiles gestured towards Derek, all of him, and Derek rolled his eyes.

“A massage doesn’t have to be sexual, Stiles,” Derek said. He crossed his arms. “You’re tense, I want to make you feel good. If you get a happy ending out of it, I don’t care, but the point is to loosen you up before you give yourself an anxiety-induced spinal problem.”

Stiles smiles a little wetly, fiddling with the hem of his shirt. “I…thank you.”

Derek could smell the nervousness, though, so he added, “Only if you want. We can just watch Netflix or something, too. Today is supposed to be about relaxing and feeling good.”

Stiles swallowed, and said, “No, I’ll – I’m glad. I don’t know if I can reciprocate, though.”

“You don’t have to,” Derek said. When Stiles opened his mouth, he added, “But I’ve already bookmarked all my research, anyway, if you want to. It’s mostly a bunch of YouTube videos, some chiropractors’ websites, that sort of thing.”

Stiles smiled more genuinely at that. “Aww, Sourwolf, you know me too well.”

Derek would like to think he did.

Stiles dropped his backpack on the couch, grabbed Derek’s hand, and started following the trail of confetti. Derek subtly tried to move some of it a little as they walked, keeping it from making too much of a mess.

Stiles laughed when he saw the last bit of confetti was more tightly packed into the shape of an arrow on the bed, on which Derek had laid out the cheesiest, most obnoxiously-colored heart-covered sheets he could get his hands on. On the bedside table, there was large pan, with a washcloth stretched out over it and anchored with the clock and Derek’s latest book to keep it from falling into the hot water.

“You really went all out, didn’t you?”

Smiling, Derek nodded and reached for Stiles’ latest plaid monstrosity and started tugging it off. “I know I’m not normally romantic-”

“And what, I am?”

Neither of us are,” Derek said. “But – there’s a first time for everything, right?”

“I still think the Batman bumper stickers were the best gift ever,” Stiles said, obliging Derek and holding up his arms so Derek could pull off the plaid outer-shirt, then the plain gray shirt under it…and the under-shirt he was wearing beneath that. Derek turned away, and tried not to frown at the state of Stiles’ body.

He’d been losing weight ever since the mess with the nogitsune, and while he’d been getting better since the start of the new year, Derek could still see the faintest outlines of Stiles’ ribs, and the scars from his top surgery practically popped out of his pale skin.

Stiles hated that, had spent so much of his summer tanning after he got his top surgery to try and make the scars stand out just that little bit less. Derek remembered how he’d looked after his surgery, how he started wearing clothes that actually fit his form and made him look good, how the cockiness and confidence were genuine and no longer a show, the way he was just starting to get used to wandering around shirtless, baring himself to the world with joy.

Now, Stiles hid, tried to keep people from seeing him as much as possible, and sometimes flinched from his own reflection. Sometimes, Derek hated the nogitsune just for that alone, just for stealing Stiles’ love for himself when it seemed like he’d only just gotten it.

Derek was mostly just trying to make Stiles’ feel good, today – but he hoped Stiles feeling good even when someone else could see him would help restore some of what he had before the chaos spirit had devastated him.

“You can take off your pants if you want to,” Derek said. “But it really won’t be necessary,” he added, because he really did want Stiles to be comfortable and relaxed, today.

Stiles shrugged and undid his jeans, dropping them and then rolling his eyes when Derek folded those, too. He didn’t take off his boxers. He never said, which was just fine by both of them. Instead, he eyed up Derek’s sleepwear – which were really just his sleep pants and not much else – and, with what Derek would guess was a mental shrug, turned and climbed onto the bed, flopping all over it and burying his face in the pillows.

Crawling onto the bed after him, Derek swung his leg over Stiles’ hip, for a moment holding himself up before gently setting his weight down on Stiles’ ass. It wasn’t sexual, at least not for Derek. This afforded him the easiest access to Stiles’ back, the best position for his plan.

He reached over to the pan, slipping his hand under the washcloth and pulling out the bottle of massage oil, one whose scent was strong enough to make Derek’s nose tingle. But it also had muscle-relaxant properties, which were actually true if the Amazon reviews were anything to go by.

After making sure Stiles wasn’t going to move again, and his own weight was settled firmly on the other boy, Derek drizzled the thinnest string of oil he could manage down Stiles’ spine. Stiles jerked in surprise, looking over his shoulder at Derek curiously but – for once – not saying anything.

Closing the bottle tightly and putting it back in the warm water, Derek flexed his hands and stretched his fingers one more time, just like every other YouTube video on the subject recommended.

Using two fingers from each hand, Derek started the massage by rubbing little circles around Stiles’ spine. This doubled as a way to spread the oil around, along with the obvious intent of relaxing Stiles. He didn’t rub any circles actually on his spine, though, instead starting at the dip and working his way outwards.

Stiles snuggled into Derek’s pillow a little more, and Derek smiled at the sight. He smiled even more as he realized that Stiles was already starting to melt into the sheets. When Stiles started to squirm, just that little bit, Derek grinned.

The sensitive body parts could be kind of a pain in the ass, sometimes, but in moments like that, Derek was grateful not only for Stiles having weak spots, but also for knowing what most of them were.

Derek moved his way up, just a little, pressing deeper and harder, with slower and bigger circles. Stiles twisted a little, as if he were trying to get away and press closer at the same time.

It was almost half an hour of Derek getting to enjoy the vast expanses of Stiles’ skin, getting to work the medicated oil into Stiles’ muscles and feel him unwinding beneath Derek’s hands. Derek had to stop and flex or stretch his hands twice, and each time Stiles whined just a little bit at the loss of contact.

Smirking, after the second time, Derek leaned down to nip at Stiles’ neck, smiling against the skin at the way Stiles whined at that. He pressed one more kiss to the back of Stiles’ neck, then leaned back, digging his thumbs into the skin of Stiles’ nape and dragging them down his spine.

His smile widened into a predator’s grin at how Stiles squirmed. Reducing Stiles to a moaning puddle was its own kind of hunt.

“Derek,” Stiles said, the name flowing out of his lips on the heels of another long groan.

“Yes?” Derek asked. As soon as he saw Stiles opened his mouth, Derek dug into the sides of Stiles’ spine, hands spanning across Stiles’ rib cage and fingers brushing against the obnoxious bedspread.

Stiles gasped, struggling to take in his next breath. Derek scrutinized him, but he was still breathing. Any difficulty he had, he seemed to be enjoying, if his scent and heartbeat were anything to go by.

“Y’r an ‘sshole,” Stiles mumbled into the pillow, hips shifting underneath Derek.

“I know,” Derek said, then promptly twisted his wrists so his thumb knuckles were rubbing up and down the sides of Stiles’ spine as Derek’s fingertips rubbed little circles into the skin of Stiles’ lower back.

“I might…Derek…I might have to…” Stiles waved one free hand vaguely in the direction of the bathroom, and Derek understood.

“If you want to, I’ll get up,” Derek said, not stopping his massage at all. “But I don’t mind if you just let go here and now.”

Apparently, Stiles’ had been holding himself back, because as soon as Derek said that, Stiles shuddered and squirmed, nearly throwing Derek off of him with the movement of his hips. Derek knew Stiles physically came, could faintly sniff the rather unique scent of sexual fluids. But with the sheer amount of herbal, medicated oil Derek had used, it was barely a whiff, and one which Derek easily ignored as he finished up his massage routine for the night, letting Stiles squirm his way through his pleasure and into the sleepy-stillness Derek enjoyed so much.

He wrapped up with a light, final massage to the neck, then capped the oil for good and grabbed the washcloth. Thanks to all the steam, it was now warm and damp, but not really wet – perfect for wiping Stiles down to make sure he wouldn’t get oil everywhere in his sleep, while at the same time leaving it enough of it in for the muscle relaxant to continue its work.

“I washed your spare clothes,” Derek said, swiping down Stiles’ spine one last time, then swinging his leg off of Stiles’ prone form. He smiled, smug, at how Stiles barely moved at that, beyond turning his head to blink dopily at Derek. “They’re in the dresser. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

He picked up the pan, the towel, and the oil. He threw the towel into the hamper, stored the oil in his bathroom cabinet, and took the pan downstairs, pouring out the water and setting it on the dish-drying mat.

He came back upstairs after a few minutes to see Stiles coming out of his bathroom in a new pair of boxers, teeth and hair freshly brushed. He tossed the balled up, soiled underwear into the hamper, then crawled into bed. Derek pulled his tablet out of his bedside drawer and crawled in after him, opening his Netflix and giving it over.

Stiles flicked his way through the options as Derek arranged them, until they were lying down on their sides, his chest plastered to Stiles’ back. He pillowed Stiles’ head on his lower arm, the other one wrapped around that slim waist and pulling him tighter to Derek, until Derek could bury his nose in Stiles’ hair. The excess of hair gel, the whiff of lacrosse sweat, and that faint hint of grass smelled like comfort and home to Derek.

Stiles finally settled on some decades-old sci-fi show, snuggling back into Derek’s chest as he started rambling about the pros and cons of the show and inane trivia about it, about how the actors were really good and wasted on a writer who may not have passed high school physics and a prop department that got unfairly lambasted because no one knew how little budget they’d had to work with.

Smiling, Derek cut into his rant with a quiet, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Stiles.”

“Hm?” Stiles said. “Oh, you too, Sourwolf. Thank you.” Stiles let go of the tablet to squeeze Derek’s arm with one hand. “It was awesome.” He turned his head to press a kiss to Derek’s other arm.

Derek preened a little, then pressed a kiss to the back of his head.

“So, yeah,” Stiles continued. “How this guy managed to graduate high school with such a fundamental lack of understanding of the world astounds me, but I guess people are all too distracted by the pretty extras and making fun of a prop department that was somehow expected to work miracles with almost nothing to work with, because that makes so much sense for a sci-fi movie…”

Derek drifted off, surrounded by the scent of Stiles’ hair in his nose, the sound of Stiles’ ranting in his ears, and the feeling of smooth, slippery skin against his own.

This was the best Valentine’s Day he’d ever had.