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Going North

Chapter Text

Going north. Drive till it burns our bones. North to Canada. North to safety. North to polar bear, as Isaac and Scott reminds them. North to nothingness. North to the old wooden cabin the Hale’s used to go to every Christmas. North for everyone they have lost and for the fact that the pack is still the pack (minus Peter which no one seems to object to because they know he is okay and they’re fine without him). North because all they got left is each other and the open road. A battered van, an even more battered pack, and the small hope they have left in each other.

Derek and Stiles take turns driving because the rest of the pack is too restless to do it safely. Lydia and Boyd drives sometimes too but mostly Derek and Stiles drive till they need a break and then they switch off. The wolves piled in the back have been getting restless for days now in different degrees and they are close but not as close as they would like to be.

Derek picked Stiles up first. Derek liked to pretend that that was the easiest order to pick them up from college after the world went to shit but he knows that’s a lie because really Scott and Allison were closer but they had each other and Erica, Isaac, and Boyd had each other and Lydia and Jackson had each other and Stiles was alone. So he had picked up Stiles first after fleeing the death and destruction that was Beacon Hills in the old van he had stolen. He had collect gas on his way. making sure he had way more than he ever hoped they would need.

Stiles had been at Berkeley when the melt down and the outbreak had started. He held fled to one of the dorms that was underground and used to be a nuclear bunker. It was safe down there and they had locked it down pretty fast. He knew before he got the official new that they were all dead. One of the melt downs had been close to Beacon Hills and he had known all along that he had lost them. He had been in the bunker five days when Derek had arrived. He had been curled in a corner most of the time going from one panic attack to another. They had left him constantly short of breath and cover in a cold sweat. It reminds him of when his mom died and that makes him think of the fact the all his family is dead now and he has another panic attack. He doesn’t know for sure till Derek gets there but he had thought all along that his second family, the pack, was for the most part okay. He had not known about Derek but something in him had given everybody in Beacon Hills up but Derek.

Derek gets into the bunker and Stiles doesn’t know how and Derek doesn’t share. But he finds Stiles in his corner curled in a panic attack and he lifts Stiles off the floor easily. Taking him without his own permission out of the bunker. No one looks twice at them even though they haven’t spoke a word and Derek is carrying him out. So much other crazy shit has happened lately that this doesn’t seem that unusual. When Stiles gets his breath back he begins to speak like Derek knew he would,
“Derek, Derek, you’re okay. I can’t believe you’re okay. Where are you taking me?” Stiles asks as he says the whole thing way too fast. His voice cracks part way through like he hasn’t spoken in day which he hasn’t. Derek doesn’t answer right away and Stiles starts to panic again as Derek puts him down on the seat of the old van. Stiles’ legs hang out, hitting the side of the van, trapped between Derek’s legs where he stands in front of Stiles in a wide stance.
“Stiles, Stiles,” Derek said, “look at me.” Derek’s hands are on his face and Stiles looks up at Derek. “Deep breaths, okay?”
“What?” Stiles says once he has taken a few breathes in and out and he gestures to the van he just now noticed he siting in. “What is this?”
“It’s a van.” Derek is still standing there even though he has taken his hands off of Stiles’ face now.
“I can see that.” Stiles is feeling a bit better. The normal conversation with Derek seems to be helping to calm him down. “Why is it a van? I mean, why am I sitting in it?”
“Because we’re going to get the pack.”
“Okay.” Stiles watches as Derek makes his way to the other side of the car.
“Wait, is Peter hiding in the back to attack me or something.” Derek stops for a moment on the other side of the car.
“No,” Derek looks down at the ground as he speaks, “Peter left.” That’s all he says and Stiles doesn’t push because he doesn’t have the energy to push it. Stiles pulls his door closed leaning back against the cold seat as Derek climbs into the drivers seat. By the time they reach the main road Stiles is asleep. His head is on top of his hand and it rests on the divider and cup holder between him and Derek. He hasn’t slept like this in a long time. Even before the end of the world as they knew it, he hadn’t felt safe in a long time. And now even though there more in danger than Stiles has been in a long time. He feels safe because he’s with Derek and Derek has always meant that thinks would be okay and that safety was on the horizon. And so he sleeps without dreams and without breaking out into a cold sweat and Derek watches him sleep when he knows the road is straight.

Stiles makes Derek stop driving when he wakes up to find that Derek isabout to fall asleep at the wheel. They stop at what looks to be, and turn out is, an abandoned motel on the side of the road. They find that all the locks are broken and it dirty but the heat works and their no infection here so they think it looks like home for the night. Derek has cranked up the heat because Stiles is shivering. Stiles shoves the towel from the bathroom under the crack of the door to keep the heat in. He is shaking as he tries to cross the room again and Derek catches him easily.
“Stiles, Stiles,” Derek says till Stiles looks up at him. Stiles is being quiet and it is bothering Derek in away he never knew silence could. “Talk to me.” He begs as he look at Stiles.
“Derek. They’re all gone. All of them. I can’t believe you got out but my dad and Melissa and I don’t know what to do. I am so tired but the car was the first time I have slept in days.” Stiles raked a hand over his buzz cut. “Derek, I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back there and I never said goodbye. Derek, what are we gonna do? Where are we gonna go? How do we know all of the pack is safe?”
“Stiles, I don’t know.” Derek says. “But I know the pack is safe because I am the alpha and we’ll work it out. You need to sleep.” Stiles nods at Derek and then pulls away to get into the large bed in the middle of the room. He pulls off his shoes and coat as he goes tossing them in a pile on the floor. Derek goes into the bathroom as Stiles climbs into the bed. He can sleep with Derek here. He decides to pull off his socks and shirts too because they are caked in sweat and they feel cold against his skin as he lays in the warm bed. Derek notices the pile when he come back into the room and he takes them with him to the bathroom when he goes back in. He washes them the best he can with the water from the broken skin and the hotel soap. He hangs them to dry on the shower curtain rod before washing his own shirt and walking back into the bedroom.

Stiles is asleep on one side of the bed and Derek can see him shaking from here. Derek doesn’t know if it’s because of bad dreams or because Stiles is cold. Derek’s first idea is confirmed when Stiles give out a small cry in his sleep. Derek kicks his own shoes off while mentally fighting with himself. He finally decide to just screw his own feelings and to comfort Stiles when as he is pulling his left shoe off Stiles starts to cry again in his sleep. Derek presses his chest to Stiles’ back as he pulls the covers over both of them. When Stiles resists in his sleep, not use to someone being so close, Derek pulls Stiles against his chest with one arm wrapped around Stiles’ waist. Stiles’ tears finally stop and Derek relaxes for the first time in a long time and he feels safe against the human he wants to protect so badly. And so he lets himself fall asleep next to Stiles. Neither of them have eaten but Derek bets that can wait till tomorrow or whenever they wake up.
*****
Stiles wakes up warm. That is legitimately his only thought when he wakes up. That he is warm. Nothing else. No dreams come back to him. No thought of his father’s death. No thoughts of if the pack is okay. No cold sweats from panic attacks. He just warm. He doesn’t have another thought till he realizes why he is so warm. There is another body press against his back. He squirms only to find that the arm wrapped around his waist and the hand pressed against his bare abdomen tightens around him. And then he remembers. Remembers that he doesn’t need to flip out, at least doesn’t need to flip out as much, because it just Derek. Though why Derek is wrapped around him he’s not so sure. He clearly remembers going to sleep alone. He stops squirming to think and as he stops there is a contented noise that brushes against the back of his neck. Derek is pressed tight against Stiles’ back. His face and lips are resting on the back of Stiles’ neck. It weird to feel them there. Pressed loosely against the back of his neck. It not like anything he experienced with Derek because it is completely uncontrolled. Usually Derek always in control and Derek always know what he is doing. Usually Derek is hard lines and tight movement but right now, right now he is asleep. And sleeping like a baby at that, Stiles thinks. Derek not controlling himself and he is soft and warm and loose.
“Uhh, Derek?” Stiles tries to turn around to look at the sleeping body next to him. “Derek.” He says it a little louder this time. No response but he does manage to turn around fully to face Derek. This doesn’t help much because now his legs are tangled in the covers and in Derek’s legs and he is awkwardly turned and pressed up against Derek. Derek’s hand is still wrapped around him though now it resting on the small of his back instead of his abdomen. And that is when Stiles realizes this is nice. He not being assaulted by panic attacks and headaches and blurry images of his father and his mother and Ms. McCall. He can think of all that stuff but it’s not overwhelming him like it has been. So he stops talking and freaking out and he relaxes into Derek’s arms. He tries not to think of the fact that he is in Derek’s arms.

Stiles is fading in and out of a comfortable sleep when Derek wakes up. They’re still tangled together and Stiles has taken to resting his face against Derek’s chest. Listening to the way Derek breaths calms him down even more and he is thankful for it. Derek doesn’t react weirdly, Stiles was afraid he would. He just opens his eyes sleepily and then looks down at Stiles where he is resting on his chest. Then Stiles thinks he catches a small smile and then Derek is stretching so that he now laying on his back and Stiles is unexpectedly sprawled across his chest. Stiles scrambles, again, to get off of Derek’s chest because it was fine when they were asleep but now his brain is functioning and he doesn’t know if it’s suppose to mean anything or if Derek even really noticed that they were wrapped up together. So he moves so he is laying next to Derek. He doesn’t get up because the bed is still really warm and he doubts outside of the bed it this comfortable.
******
Derek provides a breakfast out of one of his bags for them and he tells Stiles to go take a shower because the water is warm still and Stiles probably hasn’t taken one in days. It been 7 days, Stiles thinks. So he does because Derek’s probably right and Derek did actually leave him some warm water. He feels better. Better than he has felt in days. He has eaten a good meal and taken a shower and slept. And he realizes as he looks for his shirt that it’s clean and smiles because that meant that Derek cleaned it by hand last night before coming to bed. Stiles thinks it the little things that will make him happy now because if he focus on the bigger picture he’ll just remember that the world has basically ended.

Derek is packing up when Stiles comes out of the bathroom. Derek looks up at him and nods.
“Where are we going next?” Stiles asks because he realizes he never asked Derek what the general plan was. “Because I know I never asked.”

“Scott and Allison."Derek answers. Stiles grabs Derek's arm as he makes to leave the room.
"How are you doing, Derek?" Stiles asks. It comes out as one long breath and Stiles knows he is talking way too fast. Derek looks up at him again. Then Derek looks pointedly down at Stiles' hand on his arm. Stiles follows his gaze and removes his hand quickly as he starts to sweat under Derek's gaze.
"I am doing fine, Stiles. Come on.” Derek tosses him his bag and opens the door. Derek is as tight lipped as usual but Stiles doesn’t believe him when he says he is fine. The world just freaking end the man with so many issues already can’t just be fine.

Derek pulls the van around while Stiles waits sitting on the curb because he may have gotten a good night sleep and his ADHD might be kicking in like it did when he was in high school but he feels like he still doesn’t have enough energy to stand up for long periods of time.

Stiles offers to drive when he climbs into the van but Derek tells him to rest and that he can drive later if he still wants to. Stiles doesn’t try to understand how Derek knows where he is going and he just does what Derek asks. He lays his head back and closes his eyes but he doesn’t go back to sleep. Derek puts music on and Stiles doesn’t know what it is but he likes it and he tries to focus on the words rather than his own thoughts.

They stop at an abandoned convenience store while they drive. They fill the back seat with protein bars, bags of cereal, loafs of bread, and water. At the last minute Stiles adds bottles of ibuprofen and the last two bottle of Jack Daniels. Derek rolls his eyes but doesn’t say anything. Stiles rambles as they hit the road again about how both of the things he added to their stash are good for pain. Stiles suspects Derek wants a drink just as much as he does but neither of them crack open the bottles, they are driving afterall. There are roadblocks the whole way. Groups from the government or sometimes just groups of people who live in the area. They want to make sure no one is infected and so they do blood tests at every single road block. Stiles doesn’t think his fingers are ever going to feel okay again because they have been pricked so many times. Stiles takes the wheel after a couple more hours. He make sure to tell Derek that he has no idea where they are going and the Derek better be giving him directions so he doesn’t get lost on the desolate roads aheads of them.

At about the third roadblock both of them are getting annoyed. Stiles is leaning against the van bouncing on the balls of his feet when Derek returns from dropping off the blood samples in the abandoned bank that the government is using as a science lab to check people for the infection. Stiles stopes his bouncing for a minutes as Derek leans up against the van next to him. Derek doesn’t say anything for a moment.
“You okay, Stiles?” Derek asks gesturing to Stiles bouncing up and down.
“Yeah, it just I haven’t had any Adderall in a while because I haven’t really needed the last couple months and the ADHD is just coming back a little too hard right now. I just want to get driving again. What about you?” Stiles turns so that he is facing Derek now.
Stiles know this is a two way street. Derek going to take care of him because he wants to and because he feels he has to. Stiles feels he needs to take care of Derek too because, frankly, who else is going to. Stiles is quiet for a moment. He figures he’ll let Derek think about before he starts talking again even though he brain and it inability to stay quiet is telling him to pester Derek about everything.
"What about me?" Derek asks clearly playing dumb.
Stiles rolls his eyes. "Are you okay?"
“Stiles, we’re gonna fine. Trust me. Okay?” Stiles wants to yell at him because that doesn’t answer the question and he know they’ll be fine because he does trust Derek. And he just wants to the know the truth of how well the damaged little sourwolf is holding up. But he doesn’t yell out his frustration at the werewolf next to him because the blood testing guy, who Stiles can’t remember the name of, is walking towards them with two sheets of paper in his hand. Stiles isn’t sure why these blood testing center insist on giving them paper saying they are clean of the infection every time. He is pretty sure paper going to run out as some point and they don’t need the pile of clean test sheet that is now sitting in the back of the van.
“Here you go, boys. You’re free to go on.” The man in front of the hesitates for a moment before continuing. “We don’t know what's out there past about 100 miles from here. Just a warning. But you’re free to go if you still want to.”
Derek is engaged in his stony silence as usually and he looks a little offended that the man doesn’t think they know it will be dangerous.
“Thanks.” Stiles says as Derek snatches the test results and tosses them in the back of the van as he walks around to the passengers seat for the first time throwing Stiles the keys. Stiles catches them with a small smile as Derek rubs at his eyes.
“I won’t be out for long. Just drive straight. Wake me up if you see anything.” Derek says as he curls in the passengers seat.
“Righty-o, sleepy sourwolf.” Stiles says shooting Derek a smile. And, though Derek doesn’t think Stiles catches it, Stiles does in fact catch the smile that flits over Derek’s lips in response the return of Stiles’ smile and the uses of the sourwolf name. Derek pretends to hate the name ‘sourwolf’ and he does on principle but then again he doesn’t hate it because it means he actually has someone to give him nicknames and he hasn’t had that since Laura and his family's deaths. He likes the fact that Stiles give him nicknames and that they have inside jokes. That they can laugh at Scott together. That Stiles texts him day or night with whatever is on his minds and that he can know what the annoying kid, yeah Derek is still gonna call him a kid even though he has realized that Stiles has become and adult and in Derek’s opinion, which he will never admit, Stiles has filled out well in college, the annoying kid is thinking.
Stiles feels like Derek is giving a little more than before, like he’s relaxing a little. He is after all asleep while letting Stiles driving through a post apocalyptic world. Stiles’ eyes wander because of his ADHD but he doesn’t really mind. Sure it not exactly safe, but hell the world has ended, and his life isn’t exactly safe and his eyes get to wander freely from the road to Derek, who sleeps peacefully on the seat next to him. Derek not exactly hard on the eyes and Stiles rarely has the opportunity to actually stare at the man without being threatened. Stiles has always admitted that Derek is stupidly attractive, I mean Stiles isn’t blind and he pretty sure that everyone who has eyes thinks Derek is hot. Not like Stiles has ever said this in werewolf hearing range because he doesn’t actually have a death wish. Looking at Derek asleep is like looking back and time. Derek looks younger by years. His face is relaxed, his mouth is slightly open breathing in and out slowly. Like that morning in bed, Derek looks looser in a way he never does when he is awake.
Stiles realizes when he glances into the back seat of the van and then when he does a double take. That, yeah, those are guns and large array of guns to. The towel that had been covering them has slipped off and Stiles is having trouble not looking at them while he drives. He gets it. It for protect but, even though there had always been a gun in their house when he had been growing up, he still doesn’t ever have to actually think about shooting one. He not a bad shot with a handgun and he a good shot with a long range rifle. He knows because his dad took him shooting when he was younger and when the pack was still all in Beacon Hills Derek taught them all to shoot again. But Stiles has always the feeling a handgun in his hand elicits from his gut. The long range rifle calms him down. It gives him distance but a handgun, it has always been too close for him and too uncontrolled. The rest of his life is uncontrolled, his mind is uncontrolled and he appreciates the control, the distance, the breaths involved in shooting a long range rifle. He looks straight ahead as he tries to calm his breathing down and not look back at the guns.
*****
They switch somewhere along the way and they realize they are getting closer to Scott faster than they realized, or faster than Stiles thought they would. Stiles babbles sometimes along the way but they also still in a comfortable silence a lot. Stiles likes that because in a way he proud at himself for being able to sit in a comfortable silence, he never been able to do it before with anyone let alone Derek Hale.
The guy from blood testing center is right they get attack along the way. It is actually an exciting story but Stiles will always pretend it wasn’t because he really doesn’t remember the end of it because of the nasty bump on his head. They’re stopped at another abandoned store along the way. There are five infected ones in the store. Stiles is on one side of the store when three of them attack him. He can hear Derek on the other side of store with his own two infected. Stiles drops what he is holding as they come towards him. They’re not very fast but Stiles brain seems to freeze and isn’t really processing things besides holy shit. He does however realize somewhere in the middle of it that he can hear Derek’s wolf growl from across the store and that he is holding a shotgun. He scrambles backward as one of the infected moves closer to him reaching out with its bloody hand. At the same he pulls the trigger and bits hard into his lower lip because he hates shooting guns. And then he kind of waits for it. He doesn’t move backward any further he just stands as time slows down and he waits for the recoil. It hits him in the stomach and the rest of his sore body like the final gut punch of a fight. It is not really the physical aspect of recoil he hates it just doesn’t let him forget what he had just done and it reminds him of everything associated with shooting. It reminds him of death, it always has, but these days it reminds him of his father’s death most of all. He is forced to move backwards because of the force and he can see the infected he shot dead on the ground. But the others are still coming because they don’t have brains enough to see the danger in an armed human. He is still thinking of his father’s death and if anything can stop him dead in his own tracks and in his own thoughts it is that. Once again they are still coming towards him and he is trapped in his own mind and he can barely breath through the feeling of his throat being crushed from the inside out. His heart and brain are trying beat and think but they are not getting very far. Then he hears Derek again.
A low growl behind him and he is hit by something, something large and furry, and subsequently he is thrown across the room to end up hitting his head against the bottom edge of the broken coolers. He feels his head start to hurt, but not only is everything going a little fuzzy, but he is transfixed by Derek’s wolf ripping apart the infected. Stiles worries for a second about Derek getting infected from the blood of the infected he currently ripping apart but then everything slides into blackness and he can’t worry anymore.
*****
Derek resorts back to his human form after clearing his head and likewise after dragging an unconscious Stiles out of the store with his teeth clamped down on the boys multiple layers of shirts. It’s a wolf thing, Derek knows that, seeing Stiles, a pack member, in dangerous and wolfing out fully. Then pushing Stiles out of the way and attacking, shredding probably a better word for it, the infected that had been attacking Stiles. And, yeah, Derek is going to blame “the wolf thing” for feeling, the intense need, to pull Stiles out of danger with his teeth. Yeah, it just a “wolf thing”.
*****
Stiles wakes up with a pounding headache that is centralized around where his head collided with the bottom of the coolers in the store. He realizes he is laying in the back seat of the van and his head spins when he tries to sit up. Clearly he has been vertically too long to get up up that quickly. He holds his head in his hands. Derek is driving but turns around to look at him.
“Good you’re up.” Derek says. “Hold out your arm.” Derek commands taking both hands off the wheel and Stiles isn’t feeling real safe about Derek driving with no hands or eyes on the road but he hold out his left arm anyway rubbing his eyes as he does so. His head is feeling better. But his arm isn’t because there is a sharp stabbing pain in it and he tries to rip it out of Derek grasp.
“What the hell- are you doing?” Stiles says looking down at his arm as Derek holds it tight and presses down on the plunger of a syringe that is now sticking into Stiles’ vein.
“Antidote.” Derek says as he pulls the syringe out of Stiles’ arm and throws it somewhere behind Stiles’ head.
“I really don’t think it is a good idea to throw needles into random place we won’t be able to find them again. Safety and all.” Stiles says as Derek turns back to the road and Stiles turns around to try to find said needle. He places the needle he does happen to find in a empty protein bar box from a couple days back and then climbs up into the front passenger seat.
“Oh, shit.” Stiles says looking down at his arm which is now bleeding from the needle wound. He tries to wipe it up with his hand before Derek is again, without permission, grabbing his arm.
“Derek, what-” Stiles’ voice is caught in his throat as he looks up to see and feel Derek’s tongue, his tongue, licking up the blood and sweat around the needle wound. Derek swirls his tongue over the small wounds and Stiles stares opened mouthed at him as he does so.
“It’ll heal faster.” Derek says when he is done like this is an acceptable explanation for licking someone’s arm.
“Right, ‘cause that’s an explanation.” Stiles says and Derek just glare at him. Stiles would laugh about it but he is still a little too stunned and turned on to crack a joke about Derek’s tongue on his arm.
*****
They bunk up in the back of the van that night because they can’t find anywhere else and Derek too tired to keep driving. Stiles suggests he could drive but Derek thinks Stiles’ head wound is going to impair his driving. Derek is in the far back seat while Stiles is in the middle row of seats. They have blankets, or Stiles does because Derek is a freaking werewolf and doesn’t need them, so it just kind of freezing instead of full on freezing. Stiles actually falls asleep pretty quickly, he thinks it is because of the drama in the store earlier in the day and the bump on his head.
Unfortunately it doesn’t stay sort of freezing for long and Stiles wakes up shivering sometime long before dawn. He is really cold and not sure what to do about it. He is still kind of asleep so he not really thinking when he pulls himself and his blankets into the far back seat where Derek is fast asleep. Derek wakes up with a growl as Stiles lands on him.
“Calm down, sourwolf. It’s just me.” Stiles mumbles as he curls up on Derek warm chest. The man is a fucking space heater.
“Why are you on top of me?” Derek says. And Derek knows he sounds pissy because this is getting weird and he not really sure anymore where his wolf’s feelings start and his stop when it comes to Stiles. All he know is a part of him is telling him to wrap the boy in his arms and turn sideways so that Stiles is trapped between him and the cushion and safe and warm.
“Dude, it’s cold.” Stiles says propping his chin up on Derek’s chest to look at him. And Derek can’t look at him when he does that because Derek know he gonna do something rash and he doesn’t want to ruin what they have. But that part of reason gets overridden when Stiles gets his hand, cold hand, under Derek shirt somehow.
Stiles sees a look in Derek’s eyes and he doesn’t know that look, and he thought he knew all of Derek’s looks by heart now. And then Derek has pushed up under him a bit and is kissing him. And Stiles is really not sure what is going on but he doesn’t really care because he is cold and Derek’s lips are warm and Derek is kissing him. Derek is kissing him. And, just to say it one more time, Derek is kissing him. Stiles wraps his hands around Derek’s bare waist under Derek’s shirt where he had originally put his hands to keep them warm and he kisses back with everything he has learned in college, which has been an educational experience in more ways than one. Derek’s hand are on his face holding Stiles close to him. It’s not as intense as it could be because they are both still kind of asleep and the back row of seats are really not meant for two grown people. And it is warm and comfortable in a way Stiles never would have imagined having Derek hold him would be.
Then Derek breaks the kiss but he is still holding Stiles’ face so Stiles is so counting it as a win.
“Get some rest.” Derek says before giving him a small and short kiss and then moving his hands to wrap around Stiles’ waist and turn them so the Stiles is pressed between Derek’s warm body and the back seat cushion. Stiles is too tired to argue he figures he can do that in the morning and everything else he now wants to do to Derek, or with Derek, now that he knows it’s an option.
******
They don’t talk about in the morning Derek wants to get on the road because they are pretty close to reaching Scott and Allison’s apartment. Stiles makes sure Derek know how he feels by cornering him as he leaves the bathroom and kissing him. Derek smiles into his lips in response. They still don’t talk about it but it seems to be more resolved than it was before. Stiles isn’t really sure why his brain isn’t making him blabber about maybe it’s because he has too many other things to worry and talk. Derek is too freaked about it to say anything. Not really freaked in a bad way just in a ‘this is all so new and he never realized it was here’ way. Afraid if he talks about he going to fuck it up like he has fucked up every other relationship he has every tried to be in. And it scares Derek how much he is enjoying it. The easy way Stiles will smiles at him even though the world has ended and the way he can hold Stiles against him in the night and feel calm and how he can sleep like a baby next to Stiles. He’s never been able to do any of those things since Laura’s death. Derek also doesn’t know what to do with his feelings. He hasn’t allowed himself to feel this for someone since Kate and, it’s not even anything like that, because this is so different from what he felt for Kate. Yeah, it’s similar but its more and it coming faster like it been inside him for a long time and something finally clicked to let him realize what he was feelings. He suspects his wolf has felt it for a while and he just starting to realized that that was why he can pick Stiles’ heartbeat up from miles away when he is in his wolf form and why he has always loved how Stiles’ smells even when the boy is covered in blood and dirt and sweat.
******
They reach Scott and Allison’s apartment just after two in the afternoon. It looks okay. They live in the bottom, 1st floor and basement, of an old house near the college they both go to. Stiles is starting to freak out when Derek knocks three times and there is no answer. Derek said they were fine but even Derek is looking a little worried at the point when he breaks the door down.
“Don’t worry, Stiles, I can hear their heartbeats…” The Derek turns his head to side to listen for a second and then starts to walk towards the stairs down to the basement. “They’re in the basement.”
The sight that meets them in the basement is weird to say the least and neither Derek nor Stiles really understands what they are looking at. In Scott and Allison’s bedroom there is a large king bed that is has not two people but three people sprawled across each other in it. Scott, Allison, and...Isaac.
All three of them are fast asleep and curled up into each other. Isaac on one side of Scott spooning him and Allison is on the other her head tucked into Scott’s chest. And they’re all naked. Stiles looks to Derek who looks back just as confused.
Derek clears his throat, and Allison is the first to pick up her head from the tangled threesome on the bed.
“Derek?” She says looking confused and not all there as she sits up pulling the sheet with her. As she moves away from Scott Isaac moves to pull Scott closer to him and their legs get tangled in the processes. Allison watches Derek and Stiles’ eyes rest on Scott and Isaac’s tangled bodies. She leans down kissing both of them on the cheek to wake them up. Both slowly open their eyes to her, and only her, not realizing Stiles and Derek are standing there. Both Scott and Isaac kiss Allison and then each other with open mouths and small smiles. That about when Stiles’ jaw hits the floor. What? Nothing even comprehends anymore and it’s also when Scott realized they are standing there.
“Oh shit,” Scott says.
“Yeah,” Allison says looking down at her boyfriend.
“Hey, Derek and Stiles,” Isaac says, the only one who is not awkward, kissing Scott’s shoulder.
“We’ll wait upstairs. Get dressed we're leaving.” Derek says awkwardly picking up one of the duffel bags on the floor and then tossing one to Stiles who is still staring opened mouthed at the three of them in bed. “Stiles come on.” Derek grabs Stiles by his waist and pulls him up the stairs.

“What is… What?” Stiles says when they reach the top of the stairs.
“I should think it was obvious.” Derek says while Stiles rolls his eyes at him.
“Well, yeah, I guess but not really. How did we not know about that?”
“I don’t know but maybe they just need each other.”
“I didn’t even know Scott liked boys. Well, I mean, I didn’t know you did either.” Derek looks up at that and gives Stiles a weird look.
Scott and Isaac come up the stair first with the other duffel and Allison behind them. Scott looks the most awkward out of all of them. Isaac hugs both Stiles and Derek smiling wide at both of them and standing close to his alpha. Scott hugs Stiles tightly before pulling back and giving Stiles and Derek a weird look his nose scrunched up as he looks between them.
“I’ll go load up the van.” Derek says leaving with Isaac and the bags after giving Stiles a small nod of his head which Stiles returned. Stiles looks between Allison and Scott.
“So Isaac?” Stiles asks. “I am not judging don’t worry.”
“I just kinda of happened after the world ended.” Allison said.
“He just showed up here and yeah, one thing lead to another and a lot of alcohol.” Scott finishes.
“Whatever works for you guys.” Stiles says. “Wait, are you bi?” Stiles asks Scott as they walk out to the van. Scott laughs.
“I don’t know, it’s just Allison and Isaac.” Scott says.
“I figured.” Stiles says patting Scott on the back. That always just how Scott has been. He gives everything to those he loves, his friends, Allison, and Isaac. It not a boy, girl thing it’s a love thing.
“What about you? How you doing?” Scott asked.
“Fine, okay, we’ll all be okay.” Stiles answers even though he know it’s not really an answer. Everything that happen yesterday is still being processed in his brain.
“And you and Derek?” Scott asks. Stiles jumps a bit at the question.
“We’re good.” He says as they reach the van and he jumps into the front seat before Scott can get anything from the look on his face. “Ready to go, Derek?” Derek turns to him from the front seat.
“Yeah, everything’s packed up. I brought your backpack up here in case you need anything from it.” Derek glances in the back seat where Scott, Allison, and Isaac are seated close together talking before starting the van and turning back towards the main road.
*****
Stiles wakes up from a nap with a crick in his neck from the position he was sleeping in. He can hear Scott, Allison, and Isaac talking quietly in the back he glances back at them for a moment. Allison sits in the middle. She is sandwiched between the two boys who have their arms twisted together over her shoulders. Stiles smiles at them. They are cute together and they look happy which Stiles at least is grateful for. Stiles knows it is pretty rare to see Isaac so happy. Derek is watching Stiles watch them Stiles realizes when he turns his eyes back to the open road in front of them.
"You should drink some water." Derek says passing Stiles his own bottle of water from the cup holder between them. Stiles drinks out of not realizing how long it had been since he had actually had some water. He passed the bottle back to Derek. His hand collided with Derek's as they did so and Stiles' eyes shot up to Derek's and he could feel his cheeks redden. Derek takes the bottle with the opposite hand, again with his no hands driving which Stiles is actually impressed Derek is so good at, and holds Stiles' hand squeezing it lightly before letting it drop. Stiles drops Derek's gaze as Derek returns one hand to the wheel. Stiles does think anybody caught the exchange.
Scott of course really isn't that stupid and even though he is wrapped up in Allison and Isaac he does still have eyes and ears. So when he sees Derek hand Stiles his own bottle of water he keeps his eyes in them. And since the two people sitting next to him are so in tune with him and each other after a second they turn to watch Stiles and Derek as well. Stiles and Derek are clearly in their own world because they don't notice at all that their three passengers are watch them closely. Scott, Allison, and Isaac exchange looks are Derek takes Stiles' hand for a moment and then lets it go. Both Scott and Isaac look thoroughly confused at Stiles and Derek while Allison gives both a knowing look before tucking her head into Isaac shoulder and stretching out across Scott's lap.
*****
For the first time they find a not so abandon hotel just off the main road.
"It actually has alive people. Non-infected alive people at the front desk!" Stiles exclaims as they enter the front office of the hotel.
"Derek!" The brown haired girl at the front desk exclaims and Stiles turns his head to look at her. Derek turns to.
"Keri?" Derek asks.
"Yeah, stupid." Keri says and then after hugging Derek. Hugging him. She looks at the rag tag group behind him. "Heard you were an alpha. Wanna introduce me?"
"Yeah," Derek says turning to the pack. "Um...Keri this is Scott, Isaac, Allison, and Stiles. And we have Boyd and Erica and Lydia and Jackson too but we haven't gotten them yet. Guys this is Keri. We were friends when I lived in New York." She is pretty, Stiles thinks, which bothers him more than he expected it would.
"I'll get you guys a big room. How many beds?" Keri asks as she walks back behind the desk.
"Two." Derek says. Keri doesn't look fazed by the fact that five of them only need two beds. Its gotta be a wolf thing Stiles figures. Keri hands Derek two keys to one room. "Thanks, Keri."
"Yep, of course. Call down if you need anything. Seriously." She says as Derek turns to shepherd the pack up the stairs towards their room. Derek gives her a small smile before tossing one key to Allison. "It was nice to meet all of you. Especially you Stiles." Stiles looks back at her confused and she gives him a knowing smile and he not sure what she think she knows.
"What was that about?" Stiles asks Derek as they climb the stairs.
"It's nothing." Derek answers but he is avoiding Stiles' eyes so Stiles doubt Derek actually telling him the truth.
"I'm sure." Stiles says sarcastically as Allison opens the door in front of them. "Hey, who is taking what bed?" Derek and Allison looks at him like it should be obvious and Stiles is pretty sure he know the answer but he playing dumb for now. Scott and Isaac seem to be on his side as well since they just as confused.
"Obviously, Allison, Isaac, and Scott can have one and we'll take the other." Derek says tossing his bag at the foot of the bed farthest from the door. Scott snickers as he and Isaac flop down together on the other bed.
*****
"What's the deal with Keri?" Stiles asks while Allison, Scott, and Isaac are all in the shower. Which, yeah, he tried to object to because he doesn’t need to know that happened in the shower and he wasn't sure how they were all going to fit but Derek had told him to get over it and that this way they would use less of the hot water up.
"There is no deal. We were friend. I haven't seen or talk to her since I left New York." Derek answers as he comes to lay next to Stiles on the bed. "Why? You jealous?" Derek asks turning his head to look at Stiles.
"No, why would I be jealous?" Derek leans in kissing Stiles and pulling them closer together. Stiles breaks the kiss after a few minutes of pure joy to ask. "What are we doing, Derek?"
"I don't know. I just like the way you taste." Derek answers kissing Stiles again.
"Scott's going to kill me."
"Yeah," Derek says breaking the kiss again. "I was thinking we could tell them when we've got all of them."
Stiles is surprised at this because he wasn't aware Derek was planning on continuing this or tell anyone. Stiles smiles at the thought, the thought of him and Derek as a ‘we’ and not just ‘Stiles and Derek’.
"Sounds like a good plan." Stiles says as Derek flips onto his back pulling Stiles with him so that Stiles is laying on top of him. And Stiles is pretty sure Derek is the best kisser he has ever kissed as Derek wraps his arms around Stiles’ waist and kisses him again. Derek lips are wet with Stiles’ spit but Derek doesn’t seem to care because he kissing Stiles so much that Stiles is starting to feel starved for air. Stiles pulls away. “I need to breath, freak.” Derek laughs and Stiles can feel the vibration of Derek’s chest underneath. “Are we dating now?” Stiles asks as Derek takes to sucking and kissing along his jawline.
“I’m not sure how many dates were going to get on since the world ended and we have a bunch of humans and werewolves to take care of but ,yeah, we are.” Derek answers between kisses to Stiles’ neck. Stiles hasn’t stopped smiling and he continues to even when he realizes Derek is going to give him a hickey if he doesn’t stop sucking on his neck soon.
“Derek stop that.” Stiles says pushing Derek’s mouth away from his neck. “You’re going to make a mark.”
“I know.” Derek says smiling devilishly.
“Haha. What about not letting everyone know yet?”
“You can wear a scarf, can’t you?”
*****
"Stiles and Derek are acting weird." Scott says. "And they smell weird, too." Scott complains to Allison as they towel off after their shower.
"Scott's right. They smell like each other more than they should." Isaac says turning to Allison as well.
"Are you two dumb?" Allison asks looking at them like they are missing something obvious. Scott and Isaac exchange confused looks. "They like each other and they're doing something about it."
"What?!" Scott says a little too loudly.
"Ohhh, come on, they're sleeping in the same bed and they held hands. And Derek's been stand closer to Stiles than normal. You two aren't that dense are you?"
"Stiles has slept with our alpha?!" Isaac says looking shocked and confused equally as he pulls on his shirt. Allison laughs out loud at them.
"Derek's gay?" Scott asks. She laughs again.
"I think it's cute." Allison says.
"Cute...it's weird." Scott says and Isaac looks like he trying just to get through his head.
"Don't mention it though, okay?" Allison says.
"Why not?" Isaac asks.
"Because they'll tell us when they're ready." Allison says grabbing both boys hand. "Come on, promise me you won't mention it till they're ready." Both boys nod their agreement to Allison.
They leave the bathroom and Stiles rushes in after them looking slightly red in the face. Allison chuckles to herself.
"Anything you want to share with the group, Allison?" Derek asks from where he is reading a magazine on his bed.
"No, not at all." Allison says watching Scott and Isaac, her boys, curl up under the covers together.

Scott and Isaac are making out with Allison reading a book next to them when Derek and Stiles get back from grabbing candy bars from the vending machine. Stiles considers it their first date since Derek pays for his. Scott is on top of Isaac when Stiles stops in the doorway upon seeing them. Derek runs into him and then looks up and just smiles.
“No, no, nnnnooo.” Stiles says shoving at Scott’s shoulders. Scott looks up looking affronted. “Derek help me here?” Derek is already in bed and he just looks up.
“I don’t care what they do.” Derek says and when he sees the looks on Isaac and Scott’s faces he corrects himself. “Actually, no, Stiles is right. Keep your clothes on.”
“No, Derek, I don’t want them even making out while I’m in here.” Stiles says.
“Stiles, just come to bed. They won’t do anything.” Derek says reaching for Stiles’ arm to pull him towards their bed. Allison chuckles to herself again.
“But Derek...” Stiles whines as he flops down on the edge of the bed.
“I promises we won’t do anything, Mom.” Isaac says as he give Scott a slight shove off of him. Allison laughs harder this time and reaches over to kiss Isaac. At that Stiles turns the light off and turns away from them.

Stiles and Derek had been trying to not sleep on top of each other because of the pack mates in the bed next to them but part way through the night Derek is having trouble sleeping. He pulls Stiles, who was also having trouble sleeping, on top of him and kisses him as quietly as he can. Stiles smiles into the kiss.
“Go to sleep, Derek.” Stiles whispers.
*****
“Who are getting next?” Isaac asks as they pack up the van the next morning.
“Lydia and Jackson.” Derek answers. “Scott, I wrote the direction up for you.” Scott nods as he hops in the drivers seat. Allison gets the passenger seat and Derek curls up to take a nap in the back back seat while Stiles and Isaac sit in the middle row of seats.
“How did you get to Scott and Allison?” Stiles asks Isaac. “We thought you were with Erica and Boyd.”
“I was.” Isaac says. “But I was worried about Scott and Allison. And Erica and Boyd said they were good and if I want to make sure Scott and Allison were okay I should go see them. I think they could see that I needed Scott and Allison and they understood what I was going for. The three of us, Boyd and Erica and me, we got turned together we have always been good about knowing what the others need and what they feel. I, mean, I always knew Boyd need Erica and likewise. I call them every couple nights to make sure they’re still doing good.” Isaac finishes holding up a beaten up mobile phone.
“Wait...that works?” Stiles asks because his phone got killed somewhere along the way.
“Yeah, Erica and Boyd had a big stash of old phones.”
“Right.” Stiles says.
“And so I ran to Scott and Allison’s and they were okay and...yeah you know the rest.” Isaac says looking towards the front seat where Scott and Allison are chatting quietly.
“Is it ever weird?” Stiles asks following Isaac's eyes.
“What us? No, not really. I think Allison figured it out first and she understood and she was fine with it. And you know them. She pushed Scott until he did something with me and we’re all happy with it so it works.”
“I’m glad you’re there for them and them for you.”
“Thanks, Stiles.” Isaac smiled at him.

The day was long with all the driving and Stiles was still tired despite the full nights rest.
“I’m gonna take a nap, okay.” Stiles said to Isaac before climbing over into the back back seats where Derek is still asleep. Isaac nods looking up for a second from his book. Derek stretch out a bit in his sleep so Stiles stretches out next to him with his head on Derek shoulder. He asleep fast which isn’t really normal but he also thinks he is probably over the worst of the withdrawal from his last dose of Adderall.
Allison climbed into the middle row of seats with Isaac. Wrapping herself around the boy he legs stretch over his lap and her arms around his neck.
“I think they’re good for each other.” Allison says pointing with her eyes towards Derek and Stiles where they are asleep in the back seat together.
“Yeah, me too.” Isaac said looking at the two boys asleep on each other. Their breaths we synchronized and Derek had slide deeper into Stiles arms curling more arm Stiles’ stretched out body. “I think they also think that no one noticed what they are doing.” Allison giggled quietly.
“That’s adorable. They’ll tell us eventually. Unless we walk in on them first.” She said.
“Ohh, please, don’t give me that mental picture.” Scott said from the front seat. “I really don’t need the image of my best friend and my alpha doing it.”
“I think they're cute.” Allison said before getting weird looks from both boys. “What?”
“Yeah, they’re cute. But they smell all...odd.” Isaac says looking back and sniffing the air in the direction of Derek and Stiles.
“You keep saying that but I don’t get it.” Allison says looking at Isaac. “I mean, what do they smell like? Do you they remind you of each other now?” And, yeah, that’s when everybody is jerked forward because Scott slams his foot down on the brake by accident. Stiles grips Derek’s shoulder as they are woken up by being thrown into the seat in front of them.
“What the hell, Scott?” Says four very confused people all trying to right themselves in the back of the van.
“Uhhh...Sorry, thought it was the gas.” Scott says glancing back to them. And Stiles know that face. Stiles has no idea what they were just talking about but Scott is so lying and Scott also looks extremely confused and freaked out at the same time.
“I am driving!” Derek says angrily glaring at Scott and climbing out of the back seat of the van and for some reason pulling Stiles along. He pushes Stiles towards the passenger seat door as they get out of the van and Derek and Scott switch driving. Stiles pulls his red hoodie tighter around him as he climbs into the passenger seat. He still slightly asleep and everything is still a little fuzzy around him.

Chapter Text

The drive is slow going. Stiles talks, he talks a lot, not that this is really a surprise but what is a surprise is that no one is yelling at him about it yet. Not Derek who seems to have suddenly become comfortable listening to Stiles talk as he drives and not any of the passengers in the back who are either too wrapped up in each other to pay attention to Stiles or are still using their eyebrows as their own form of communication. Allison lets out an annoyed sigh and Stiles looks back to see Isaac and Scott staring at each other and Allison looking like she is annoyed by the fact that she has no idea what they are trying, and kind of failing, to communicate.
"I need to stretch my legs and go to the bathroom. Can we stop at the next abandoned service station?" Allison asks still sounding annoyed from the back seat of the van.
"Sure." Derek says not seeming to notice her tone of voice. Derek's eyes are on Stiles with a smile on his lips, Stiles is pretty sure only he can see, creeping across Derek's lips. Derek’s smile is like seeing the sun shine on his face for the first time in a really long time. It makes Derek look happy, like really happy, not just okay or fine, he looks happy. And then Derek just looks away but he is still smiling and Stiles is starting to think that Derek is planning something and that kind of look worries Stiles.
Derek pulls into the next service station like Allison asked and Allison hops out pulling Isaac and Scott with her.
"We'll be back in a moment." She says to Derek from over her shoulder. Derek nods and gets out of the car to stretch his legs as well. Stiles soon find out that stretching his legs is not why Derek got out of the car. As soon as the others are out of sight Derek has made his way over to Stiles' door and is wrenching it open. Stiles turns towards him.
"You want me to drive, sourwolf?" He asked. Derek grips his hip and turns Stiles so that his legs are swinging out of the side of the van and Derek is standing, tightly fit, between them.
"No." Derek says in response to the question Stiles has now forgotten he had asked. Derek has that look in his eyes, that look that he had last night when he went to work on Stiles' neck. So Stiles is kind of expecting it when Derek leans down and tips Stiles head back so he can kiss him gently. Nothing stays gentle though because Stiles is too eager and Derek is way too good at getting Stiles’ heart racing. Stiles has just gotten his legs securely wrapped around Derek's waist when Derek pulls back and cocks his head to one side. He may be listening for something but his eyes are clearly focused on Stiles."I just," Derek stammers, which is completely weird in its own right. "I didn't know when I'd be able to kiss you again."
*****
Inside the service station:
“I’m getting annoyed.” Allison states the obvious at Isaac and Scott. “What are you two trying to tell each other with only your eyebrows?”
“They, they,” Scott looks awkward and confused. “Isaac, how do me and Allison smell or Boyd and Erica or Lydia and Jackson?”
“What?!” Allison asks but Scott is solely focused on Isaac. Isaac looks confused before answering.
“Like each other and, I don’t know, hormones, and warmth, and like the same person sometimes.” Isaac answered still looking slightly confused.
“Yeah, exactly. Now,” and Scott hyper ventilating a little now, “how do Derek and Stiles smell?” Isaac’s eyes get really big and then his mouth kind of falls open. “Oh god, you agree don’t you? I was kinda of hoping I was wrong.”
“Oh my god,” Isaac says. “They’re, they’re.”
“Yeah.” Scott says.
“Again, will someone tell me what’s going on?” Allison asks.
“So, Allison, you know how you’re my mate and stuff and that’s why you smell pack to Isaac and Derek and the rest of the pack. And how now we both smell like Isaac now too.” Scott starts to answer.
“Yes.” Allison says slowly.
“So and how we smell like each other and stuff in the same way Boyd and Erica smell like pack and each other and the same thing for Jackson and Lydia and...Stiles and Derek.”
“What?” Allison says.
“Yeah, they’re not just playing around or figuring things out. They’re mates and they are starting to actually smell like it.”
“Ohhh.” Is all Allison says.
“That’s why I have really wanted to puppy piles Stiles recently.” Isaac exclaims.
*****
Back outside:
Stiles smiles and Derek can see how the smile reaches his gorgeous brown eyes. Derek's left hand moves up to pull aside part of Stiles' scarf and look at the purple mark he left the night before.
"Yeah, now I have to wear a douche scarf because of you." Stiles responses with a laugh but Derek's looking at him seriously, rubbing one thumb over the mark, and making Stiles shiver. And then Stiles can tell, can tell that Derek likes it. Derek likes that Stiles has a mark on him, a mark that Derek made. Or Derek's wolf likes it at least because Derek's eyes go a little red as he rubs it with his thumb. "Oh my god, you like it. You like that you marked me." Stiles says his smile twisting a little as he holds in a laugh. Derek leans down his eyes still kind of red now and sucks hard on the same spot on Stiles' neck. And Stiles is only still up right because Derek's other hand is wrapped around his waist. As quickly as Derek came over to manhandle Stiles he leaves causing Stiles to fall back into the car. Derek’s opening his own door when Allison, Isaac, and Scott emerge from the service station. Stiles tries to get himself back into the van and get his scarf as straight as possible as the other three climb back into the van. Scott stops for a moment wrinkling his nose as he steps into the van. After Stiles has regained his ability to think and the throbbing of his neck as stopped, he turns back to Derek.
"Admit you like it." Stiles says grinning devilishly at Derek.
"Stiles." Derek says warningly gesturing with his head to the passengers in the back. Stiles just smiles wider.
"Admit it."
"No."
"But you do. It some wolf thing."
"Stiles." Derek says again. Stiles looks back to make sure that the passengers aren't paying attention. He wants to vomit a little bit when he sees them curl around each other in the far back seat, Isaac pressing small kisses to Allison's check and lips. Convinced that they really aren't paying attention Stiles leans over into Derek's space. Derek tenses for a moment refusing to take his eyes off the road in front of them. Stiles leans so that he is breathing hot and heavy over Derek's ear before speaking.
"You like it. Come on admit that you wanted everyone to see it and you want to do it again and again and you want to mark my whole body so that everyone knows. So everyone can see the lip marks and the teeth marks and everyone knows I am yours." As Stiles speaks Derek's hands grip the wheel harder and harder. "You want to make me scream so loud that everybody knows your suc-" That went Derek really can't take any longer and still drive safely so he shoves Stiles hard away from him. This of course rouses the group in the back as Stiles hits the passenger door laughing hysterically and looking at Derek smugly.
"What's going on?" Scott asks though he can smell the werewolves and human hormones in air in front of him.
"Nothing." Derek and Stiles say at the same time. Derek sounding tense and sexually frustrated and Stiles sounds amused and smug. Stiles pulls out his laptop which he is so happy to say survived even if he had to steal long term batteries for it to keep it running.
"You still have that?" Derek asks looking surprised at the laptop.
"Yeah, isn't it a miracle she survived. I'd almost cried with joy." Stiles says in all seriousness as he puts in on of the batteries and turns her on.
"Did you steal those?" Derek asks.
"I defend that their was no one there and that the world had just stuttered to a stop so it shouldn’t really be considered stealing." Stiles answers.
"No, that's still stealing." Derek says. Stiles rolls his eyes at him.
*****
“Are we there yet?” Scott whines for the third time that day. Allison groans from the back seat next to him. If Allison is getting annoyed that means that Scott is really getting annoying or they have all been in the car together for too long. Derek looks up from the book he is reading, that he stole out of Stiles’ backpack, and looks like he is about to rip all his betas apart.
“Maybe, we should stop for the night?” Stiles interjects. It dark out and even though they only have about four more hours till they reach Lydia and Jackson, Stiles thinks, they should probably stop somewhere to sleep before the van becomes the victim of an annoyed alpha and his betas.
“Sounds great.” Derek says sarcastically. Stiles rolls his eyes are him and Derek finishes, “Take the next exit.” Stiles nods and does as he is told, pulling off the main, deserted road to a smaller road. About a mile into the desolate town they come across an abandoned motel. The motel is vaguely similar to the one Derek and Stiles stayed in the first night they were together. Stiles pulls the van around the back of the motel and parks.
“Maybe we should get separate rooms.” Scott says as Derek tries to shepherd them all to one room.
“No, we should stick together at least till there are more of us.” Derek says pushing in the door and flipping on the light. The room itself is similar to the one they stayed in the first night as well. Two double beds, mostly clean, a bathroom, and heat. Stiles tosses his bag on the same bed Derek is sitting on. They have slept in the same bed for days now and he just assuming him and Derek sleeping in the same bed is a thing now. Isaac and Allison climb into the other bed while Scott goes to the bathroom. They look tired, Stiles thinks, but he assumes they all look like that right now. No one really talks, they’re all too tired and Scott joins Allison and Isaac on the bed when he returns. They all pass out within minutes, wrapped gently around each other focusing on each other’s skin and warmth. The way they are curled around each other makes Stiles stop for a moment. He hasn’t really seen them like this. There are no sexual vibes between them, they’re too tired, and it’s all affectionate. It is sweet in a way that doesn’t want to make Stiles puke.
“They’re cute when they aren’t having sex.” Stiles says turning to Derek who has already discarded his shirt.
“Really?” Derek asks as he moves closer and trails his fingers over the edge of Stiles’ t-shirt.
“I don’t want to think of Scott’s sex life with Allison and Isaac.” Stiles says trying to ignore Derek hands but kind of failing at ignore the way Derek’s hands are working on grabbing more and more of Stiles’ shirt.
“Well, you can always get him back when we tell all of them.” Derek whispers leaning in to kiss Stiles softly.
“They are asleep, right?” Stiles asks in a whisper trying to figure where his hands are suppose to go while Derek kisses his lips and jaw line. But then Stiles doesn’t really have to worry about his hands because Derek is pulling Stiles’ t-shirt up and over is head.
“Yeah, they’re asleep.” Derek answers tossing Stiles’ shirt to the side and pulling Stiles closer so he can suck on Stiles neck. He moves down to suck on Stiles’ collarbone because Stiles’ shirt will cover his collarbone, right? So Derek can mark him there are much as he wants or that’s the theory Derek is working under as he sucks a bruise on Stiles’ pale skin. Stiles grips Derek’s belt loops and pulls him forward towards the bed. The back of Stiles’ knees hit the bed and Stiles pulls them both down onto the bed. Derek is a lot heavier than Stiles and normally Derek would be prepared to check his weight before it hit Stiles. But this isn’t normally and Derek is distracted by Stiles’ skin and so when Stiles pulls Derek onto the bed with him Derek’s full weight hits Stiles. Stiles laughs quietly while he also refuses to let Derek move off of him. Stiles hold onto Derek’s hips.
“Don’t move.” Stiles whispers into Derek’s lips. It’s warm under Derek and that feels safe. The protection of Derek’s body over his own makes him feel likes he has never felt before. He has had boyfriends and girlfriends but he never been with someone who knows him as well or as fully as Derek. They had grown closer and closer in high school after Scott was turned. Stiles had a small crush on Derek in high school but he still going on the Lydia train at the time. But his crush on her pretty much went away after he began college and realized that boys were just as good as girls. He had soon realized that Lydia was way better as a best friend who he could talk to about his dates and his classes than she was as a crush. Stiles figures that he could never see that over his middle school obsession with her and once she was gone and he didn’t see her everyday he started to see every other attractive person around him and that some of them were interested in him as well.

While he had never seen Lydia, he had seen Derek at least every other week. Either when Derek, Scott, and Allison came up to visit or when Derek just came up to visit him. At first it was weird, when Derek showed up by himself to see Stiles but that feeling didn’t last long. Derek was easy to talk to and at the time Derek had needed someone to talk with. The more Stiles talked the more Derek would talk. It was in little bits and in the beginning it was focused on pack stuff or stuff going on in Beacon Hills at the time. But Derek opened up and they began it see each other even more and soon Stiles knew everything. Everything about the fire, Derek’s family, and Kate. It had been completely platonic, okay, maybe not completely but neither of them had acted on it. Stiles hadn’t been ready for that with Derek and Derek hadn’t been ready for any one like that. With Derek now on top of him and kissing him softly, Stiles thinks that maybe it wasn’t all platonic. Maybe they needed all that stuff to be known to each other before they work on helping each other and themselves.
“We should probably be going to sleep,” Derek mumbles into Stiles’ mouth and then Stiles moves down to suck on the vein in Derek’s neck in a way that is very far from stopping, “before the others wake up because of your heart beat.” Derek gasps slightly when Stiles sucks a little harder.
“I don’t think it’s just my heart beat.” Stiles presses his hand over Derek’s heart feeling it beat through Derek’s chest. Derek really hadn’t realized how sensitive that part of his neck was or how hard he is falling for Stiles. Stiles hooks his leg over Derek’s hip and nips at Derek’s neck with his teeth. And he not really sure which he is more shocked by right now because Stiles is doing something ungodly to the side of his neck and he is pretty sure they shouldn’t be getting this into it with two of his betas in the bed, literally, 3 feet away. Scott makes a noise in his sleep and Stiles jumps away from Derek, looking flushed and hot and heavy.
“Yeah, sleep.” Stiles mutters. Derek pulls him down for another kiss and it is soft and sweet, before tucking his head into Stiles’ neck. Sleep, Stiles think, yeah, cause that’s going to be easy with Derek next to him and a raging hard on.
*****
Sleep does apparently come because Stiles wakes up with the sun from the uncurtained motel room window streaming down onto him, a hard on, and Derek smiling down at him coyly. Derek moves his hand down from Stiles’ hip to his groin and Stiles’ eyes slide closed again as Derek keeps moving his hand.
Of course, nothing good lasts when you're traveling with a bunch of cock blocking werewolves who like to interrupt at exactly the wrong moments. Derek and Stiles split apart when Scott opens the door.
“I got breakfast.” Scott says seemingly oblivious to Derek and Stiles current position and holding up some bread and a jar of strawberry jam.
“Great.” Stiles says jumping up and trying to cover his erection. “I am going to take a shower.” He says as he hurries to the bathroom and to a cold shower. Stiles hears Derek chuckle into the bed and really wants to flip him off as the other two join Scott in the doorway.
“Whose shirts are these?” Scott asks as he picks up Derek and Stiles’ shirts from the floor where Derek threw them the night before. Scott looks slightly confused as he looks to Isaac who shrugs his shoulder and Allison stifles a laugh.
“Ou-I mean, Stiles and mine.” Derek sits up in bed gesturing for Scott to toss him the shirts. Scott raises a confused and suspicious eyebrow at Derek. “It was hot in here last night.” Derek defends himself to Scott’s eyebrow. Derek gets up and snatches the shirts when going to the bathroom door he hears Allison say, “Maybe it was hot for you two.” Or at least that’s what he thinks he hears. He tossing Stiles’ on to the floor of the bathroom for him when he gets out of the shower.
****
They’re about an hour from Lydia and Jackson’s apartment when Scott gives them a call on the phone Boyd gave Isaac. Scott talks to Lydia and she promises to be ready when they get there.
When they pull up to the house Lydia and Jackson are standing outside with their bags looking way more fabulous than anyone has a right to when the world has ended, like they always do. Stiles isn’t really sure how this is possible. He doesn’t think that there can be the much makeup and hair product at easy access since the world ended but never the less Lydia’s strawberry blonde locks are perfect and Jackson looks like he just walk out of a Calvin Klein ad and Stiles kind of hate them for it.
“I missed you.” Stiles says hugging Lydia and picking her up up off the ground in the process. He doesn’t have a crush on her any longer but he still loves her and she still one of his best friends and so he can hug her however he like despite the daggers her boyfriend may be shooting at him.
“Dude, I don’t have a crush on your girlfriend anymore.” Stiles says while trying to hug Jackson which doesn’t really work. Jackson final submits and hugs Stiles like he going to kill him. Stiles can hear Derek chuckle behind them. Jackson may still be a douche but the whole pack thing got to him after a couple of months of being a werewolf after the whole kanima debacle. He’ll never be the lovey-dovey pack type like Scott and Isaac but Stiles knows he loves the pack and he has seen that Jackson will protect the pack at all costs and Stiles can never fault Jackson for loving Lydia.
“Shouldn’t we be getting on the road?” Lydia smirks after they have all scented and hugged accordingly. She tosses her bags to Stiles and starts walking around to the front passenger seat.
“That’s Stiles’ seat.” Derek says to Lydia as he climbs in the driver’s seat. Lydia looks up at him and tilts her head a little. “When I drive, Stiles sits there.” Derek finish trying not to feel like she is looking at him way too hard. She gives him a small smirk.
“Okay.” She says. “Jackson sit in the back with me.”
Stiles slides into the front seat with a smirk on his face that really isn’t directed at anybody, okay a little of it is directed at Lydia. He thinks it’s probably stupid for him to be happy over the fact the Derek isn’t letting anybody else sit in the front seat but he is happy over it. He know they agreed to pretend nothing was happening and Derek not letting Lydia sit in the front seat is probably the opposite of that, yet, Derek’s insistence that Stiles sit in the front seat is somehow vindication of all the sneaking around they’ve been doing.
The first couple hours of driving are honorary storytelling hours. They all swap stories of when everything went down and how it has been since. And Isaac, Scott, and Allison tell Lydia and Jackson about their relationship and how it all came about. Jackson and Lydia’s reaction is way calmer the Derek and Stiles’ had been. They don’t really brush it off but they don’t ask question and they don’t seem to care beyond the fact that it is obvious Lydia and Jackson are happy for the three of them even though Jackson looks a little offended someone is getting more sex then he is. There is some crying for everyone involved when they relate stories of their parent’s deaths. Even Jackson, who will pretend later that he didn’t cry, tears up over his adoptive parent’s deaths. Jackson tells them all when they ask that Danny perfectly safe. Danny’s boyfriend’s parents are apparently big-wigs in some Swiss bank and when shit started to go down Danny and his boyfriend, Sam, were whisked off to some underground bunker in Russia. Jackson has a satellite phone that is still working that Danny got for him. The conversation lasts for hours until Scott and Isaac complain that they are tired and pull Allison into the back row of seat with them. They are curled around each other and asleep within minutes.
Lydia is quiet while Jackson wraps an arm around her and pulls out his book. Lydia’s eyes move slowly over the people in the van until they finally rest on Derek and Stiles in the front seat. She hasn’t really got a moment to think about Derek kicking her out the front seat till now. She wasn’t really focusing on it till Derek turns to Stiles with a small smile on his lips and he whispers something quietly so only Stiles can hear. Stiles smiles and blushes breaking eye contact with Derek for a second. She blinks twice to make sure she was seeing this right. Then she wonders how she hasn’t seen it all along. How hasn’t she noticed the way Derek’s eyes have been following the turn of Stiles’ lips when he smiles or the way Derek smiles when Stiles make stupid jokes. Or the way they stood close to each other earlier when they picked her and Jackson up. The question is whether they have figured it out yet. She assumes they haven't because she would've heard about that, right? Stiles won’t be able to keep his big mouth closed about that. Her and Stiles talk about everything, classes, boyfriends, books, girlfriends. But the way Derek and Stiles are acting is either: we’re being really subtle so we don’t realize we like each other but kind of obvious because we can brush it off as being friends or we being subtle so that everyone else doesn’t realize we are sleeping together but kind of obvious because no one is watching.
“Jackson.” She says pulling him out of his book.
“Yeah, Lyd.” He asks finishing his sentence as he looks up at her.
“Stiles and Derek, what do you think?” Lydia asks.
“I don’t know. Stiles has had a huge crush on Derek since, like, the moment they meet but Derek is way out of his league and he always been too caught up in you to realize.” Lydia looks at him with wide eyes and an open mouth. “What? Its obvious.” He says looking confused at her.
“You really need to start telling me all the things that are obvious.” She says before continuing. “But Stiles isn’t caught up in me anymore and hasn’t been for a while.”
“Yeah so?”
“Watch them for me.” Lydia asks gesturing to the two of them in the front seats. Jackson watches them and he can see what she means in the way Stiles is looking at Derek.
“Ohhh,” he says, “you really think so? I mean we don’t even know where Derek’s preferences lie.”
“I do think so. I mean if they aren't they should be.” Lydia is smiling dangerously.
*****
It their second night in some crappy motel on their way to Boyd and Erica’s when Lydia and Jackson put their plan all together. All of them are in the room Lydia, Jackson, Scott, Isaac, and Allison are sharing, because Lydia insisted so that Stiles and Derek would get their own room, and they are all taking hits of a bottle of Jack that Derek and Stiles had been hiding in the back of the van since the beginning of the trip. Lydia made sure nobody went into Derek and Stiles room last night because she wants them to think that no one knows. They haven’t talked to Scott, Allison, or Isaac about it yet because Lydia assumes that they are all too focused on each other to notice the change in behavior between Derek and Stiles. So, basically, without telling each other Allison, Isaac, and Scott and Jackson and Lydia think Stiles and Derek are together and Stiles and Derek are still under the impression they are hiding it well.
Around eleven everyone is slightly buzzed off the alcohol and everyone is yawning even though all they did was drive all day.
“I’m going to go to bed.” Stiles says getting up off the floor. His eyes flick over Derek and he smiles. He knows if he “goes to bed” so will Derek and they can make out and blow each other in peace. And Stiles really wants to because as he learned last night Derek tastes really good, like beyond real, and being with Derek, like that, feels better than it has with anyone.
“Yeah, me too.” Derek says getting up to follow Stiles taking the bottle with him.
Stiles is leaning back against the wall next to the door when Derek closes the door behind him. Stiles presses Derek into the door and Derek moans into his mouth.
“I missed you all day.” Derek says tossing the bottle onto the extra bed.
“I was with you all day.” Stiles says pulling his t-shirt off and pulling up on the bottom of Derek’s shirt.
“You know what I mean.” Derek pushes Stiles back towards the bed as he gets out of his own shirt and runs his palms over Stiles’ sides. Derek turns them so that the back of his knees hit the each of the bed first and he pulls Stiles down with him. Stiles laughs as he falls on Derek, his legs falling open to straddle Derek.
“This feels so good, Derek.” Stiles gasps trying to get more air in his lungs as Derek’s hands dig into his hips. Despite that fact that he is a werewolves Derek is also having trouble keeping enough air in his lungs. Stiles is rolling his hips down onto Derek and Derek is trying to do the same thing upwards but Stiles has him pinned to the bed and Derek is trying to remember to breath. Derek finally finds enough brain power to use his weight to flip them so that he can roll down on Stiles. Stiles legs get tangled in with Derek in the flip and one is laying loose on the bed while the other is hooked up around Derek’s hip. Derek hold his weight up with one hand and slides the other under the waistband of Stiles’ jeans where Stiles legs is hooked over Derek’s hip. Stiles bits down on Derek’s lower lips in attempt to suppress a moan as Derek’s fingers play with the band of his briefs. Stiles knows the walls here are thin so he trying not to moan too loudly even though it’s really hard when Derek it grabbing his ass like this and Stiles has never really been good at being quiet.
*****
“Did they take the bottle?” Isaac sounds sad at this.
“Yeah,” Lydia says and then she get a thought. “Let’s go grab it. I have a key to their room we won’t even have to really bother them.”
“It fine, really.” Scott says looking like he really scared to interrupt Derek and Stiles. Allison raises her head from where it was resting on Scott’s shoulder.
“Good idea, Lydia.” She says with a smile. The boys all get up reluctantly following Lydia and Allison as they make their way to the door. Lydia throws Jackson another dangerous smiles as she pulls him to the front of the group with her.
“What are you doing Lydia?” He aks.
“Ohhh, you know. Derek and Stiles, their own room, where they don’t think they’ll be interrupted.” She says grabbing his hand. He smiles down at her. He loves her more than anything. She saved him when he had given her no reason to. And she had been the only one he had loved for a long time. That has changed now. He has the pack, yeah he never thought he would say it either, but he does love them each and everyone of them. Lydia slides the key into the lock and turns giving Jackson that dangerous smile again before pushing the door open.
Scott screams like a girl. Derek is on top of Stiles. Their shirt are somewhere on the floor and Stiles has one leg wrapped around Derek’s hip. Stiles is moaning into Derek’s lips until that moan turns into a scream when he sees them all standing in the doorway. Derek tries to sit up and off of Stiles but ends up falling down again when he can’t get his hand out of Stiles’ pants fast enough. Lydia and Jackson smirk at each other.
“ I knew it.” Lydia says and Allison and Isaac say, “We knew it,” as Scott tries to cover his eyes and as Jackson crosses his arms and puts on a shit eating grin.
Both Stiles and Derek have managed to fall off the bed by this point and are laying on the floor hoping everyone will leave them alone.
“What?” Lydia turns to Allison with her hands on her hips. “You knew and didn’t tell us.”
“No,” Allison says. “We thought that they were together. Isaac and Scott said they smell like each other.”
“We smell like each other?” Stiles says finally pulling himself from under Derek and sticking his head above the edge of the bed. Stiles’ hair is askew from Derek’s fingers being in it and he keeps having to bat Derek’s hands away from pulling him down again.
“Derek get up here.” Lydia says and Derek groans from where he is currently laying on the floor behind the bed. Stiles chuckles a bit as Derek sits up. “We are a pack and we have to talk about this.”
“Talk about it?” Stiles looks confused as he stands up, pulling Derek with him, and trying to pulls his pants up to an appropriate place on his hips.
“Yes, talk about this.” Allison says joining Lydia with her hands on her hips. All the boys on the other hand look like they would rather just leave with the bottle of Jack than talk about this. Jackson is staring into space and Isaac and Scott are studying each other’s hands. Stiles is trying to sit down on the bed, like a normal person, but Derek is trying to pull Stiles into his lap and it overall not working real well.
“You two are seeing each other?” Lydia asks. She is getting annoyed at them for the PDA they are displacing right now. Or the PDA Derek is displacing. She also kind of annoyed Stiles didn’t tell her about this earlier.
“Yes, that should be fairly obvious.” Derek says finally managing to pull Stiles onto his lap. Derek flicks his eyes up to the group in the doorway and then with a smirk dips his head to lick a line up Stiles neck that ends with his kissing underneath Stiles ear.
“Dude, no.” Scott yells. Trying to cover his eyes again. Stiles laughs wrapping a hand around the back of Derek’s head and leaning his own head back so Derek can get better access to his neck.
“You guys probably want to leave.” Stiles says as Derek turns them so that he can access Stiles’ mouth. “But I mean, you’re welcome to stay.”
“You into that?” Derek asks between open mouth kisses.
“I don’t know. Never tried it.” Stiles answers and Derek smiles wide at him.
“No, we’re leaving.” Scott and Jackson say and then turn to leave only then realizing that they were going to have to drag Lydia, Allison, and Isaac with them.
“Really?!” Jackson says.
“I didn’t even know I wanted that till right now.” Lydia says looking slightly dazed.
*****
Lydia bangs on Derek and Stiles door at 7 the next morning.
“I know you two probably had a late night but-”She cut off when Stiles swings the door open. He is wear probably the best grin she has ever seen and a dark line of hickeys is evident from the top of his neck to below the top of his t-shirt.
“Don’t worry we’re ready.” Stiles says as Derek comes up behind him carrying both of their bags and holding Stiles’ hoodie out for his to put on. Lydia takes one look at Derek holding Stiles bag and bursts out laughing.
“What?” Derek asks pushing Stiles out the door and closing it behind them. Stiles is having some trouble walking normally after last night. He is sure everyone will notice his slight limp and that combined with the line of hickey he know are very visible on his neck is making his face heat up as Lydia looks him and Derek up and down. She laughs.
“Oh my god. You are so whipped.” Lydia says to Derek between bouts of laughter. Derek doesn’t even look offended, which surprises Stiles. Derek leans over a kisses Stiles on check without a word to Lydia and then wraps an arm around Stiles’ waist. Derek doesn’t care what Lydia thinks. Stiles is his mate, they haven’t really discussed that yet but Derek knows Stiles is his mate, and it his job to protect, love, and make his mate happy. He can’t even help it. It’s a natural instinct to do whatever he can to make Stiles’ life easier and it’s a natural instinct to want to wrap himself up with Stiles all the time. Derek just trying to bask in that feeling instead of thinking about it. He’s never trust or loved someone like this and it’s scary but everything in his body, all his senses, all his instincts are telling him to trust Stiles with everything and to love Stiles with everything he has got in him.
“We should get going. Is everyone else ready?” Derek asks. Lydia gives him a strange look before responding.
“Yeah, they’re waiting outside.”

When they get outside all the wolves look like they are trying to fight the smiles that are overwhelming their faces. Scott looks like he going to either kill Derek or hug him. Derek and his wolf are so happy and he is the Alpha so his feelings are overwhelming his betas. Scott walks up to Derek trying to look like the threatening best friend but end up with a twisted smile on his face (half smile and half threatening scowl).
“If you hurt him I swear to God I will hurt you.” Scott says to Derek. Derek nods seriously.
“I will never hurt him.”
“Umm, him is standing right here.” Stiles interrupts coming to stand next to Derek. “And he is completely allowed to hurt me if I ask for it.” Stiles says leaning down and biting at Derek’s shoulder.
“Oh, too much information, Stiles.” Scott says as Derek turns and pulls Stiles face up to his own. “Are they always going to be like this?” Scott turns to ask the group as Derek and Stiles are making out behind him.
“You really shouldn’t talk.” Stiles says when Derek finally releases him. “This is for all the years I had to hear about your sex life with Allison and the fact that all three of you eat face in public all the time.”
“Can we get going?” Lydia sticks her head out of the door from the backseat. “While I am really happy you two finally got your acts together if we start now we can make to Boyd and Erica’s tonight.”
*****
Lydia is right they do make it to Boyd and Erica’s at about 11 that night. And they are all really ready to be out of the car. Everyone but Derek is about to kill Stiles for the amount of things he says that just plain dirty. Derek is about to kill everyone but Stiles because they keep preventing him from talking dirty back to Stiles.
Erica and Boyd jump on Isaac as he gets out of the van. Stiles hasn’t seen them in months, though he has talked to them, and he hadn’t realized how domestic they have gotten. Erica has certainly mellowed a lot since high school. Her hair and clothes and makeup are still perfect but they have become less revealing and more her. She is still hot and every guy still looks down her shirt but she plays with them less. Boyd keeps her close with an arm around her waist. As a couple they were never the lovey dovey type like Allison and Scott but they relied on each other and we best friends a long time before they ever entered into a monogamous relationship. They were on and off in high school. There was never much drama but Erica wasn’t a one guy girl for a long time. Stiles had seen the way Boyd felt. And Boyd had been patient till Erica had given up the others for only him. Now they are closer than anything Stiles has ever seen. They are best friends, lovers, pack mates, and mates. Erica looks like a really proud mother as she hug Isaac and smiles at Allison and Scott and Boyd has his arm wrapped protectively over her shoulders as she kisses the top of Isaac’s head. They decide to crash for the night at Erica and Boyd’s house. It’s a large tudor style house just off the campus of the college the two of them and Isaac used to attend. Derek got it for them when they all decided to go to school there. The apocalypse hasn’t damned the brightness of the inside of the house. After living with Derek in an abandoned train car the betas felt the need to live somewhere a little brighter. The rooms are painted warm colors and they are numerous framed photos of the pack with all the werewolves wearing sunglasses.
“I’ll show you all to your rooms.” Erica says as she closes the front door and does up the numerous locks that are on it.
“You should put those two together.” Isaac says pointing to Stiles and Derek.
“Oh my god, really?” Erica looks fuck ecstatic as she looks wide eyed at Derek and Stiles. She throws her arm around Derek’s neck. “I’m so happy for you.” Stiles gives her a strange look. “Does this mean I get free gay porn?”
“No!” Derek says.
“Never mind, it probably be like watching my parents bone each other.” She says looking slightly disgusted at herself.
*****
The van’s getting a little crowd as they start out the next day. The wolves like to be close but after five hours with an extra two werewolves in the back of the van everybody is feeling the strain.
“Where are we even going?” Erica asks as she attempts to push Scott out the window of the van. The windows barely opens in the back so it not really working well for anyone.
“I told you, Erica. My family had a house up north and that is where we are going.” Derek says from where he is curled into Stiles’ side in the far corner of the backseat of the van. They’re letting Lydia drive because she needed out of the backseat with the crazy werewolves and Derek and Stiles needed a break from the road for a bit. Derek is trying to get some sleep and his betas are making it extremely difficult by either asking him question about where they are going which he has told them fifteen million times or make crude comment about the way his head is tucked under Stiles’ arm. He, personally, really likes the way his head fits under Stiles’ arm. He can angle his head downward a bit and press the top of his head into Stiles’ ribs. He can smell Stiles perfectly when he is trying to go to sleep. The combination of happiness, love, and the crazy, beautiful way Stiles always smells. He likes the sweet, subtle way Stiles curves his side around Derek’s head, so that they fit perfectly together.
“I know,” Erica starts again, “but, like, where is it? And how long is this gonna take? Because I’m not sure how much more of the nine of us one van I can take.”
Derek growls sleepy into Stiles’ side wishing everyone would just stop talking for awhile, or the rest of the drive.
“Erica, let Derek sleep.” Stiles says sternly pulling Derek closer to him. Erica gives him an annoyed look and then looks with fake disappointment down at her alpha. Stiles knows she secretly loves to see Derek this happy. Stiles doesn’t think her wolf has figured out why it’s alpha is so submissive yet. Stiles, personally, doesn’t want to think about why Derek is like this with him. Stiles likes it, that for sure, but they haven’t talked out anything yet. Stiles is pretty sure he is in love with Derek and he thinks Derek feels the same way about him but Stiles always second guesses himself. He second guesses himself because werewolves aren’t human and he knows they Erica and Boyd’s relationship and Lydia and Jackson’s and Scott and Allison’s, and maybe Isaac with that, goes beyond just love. It goes beyond human love at least. He knows what they are. That word he is trying to avoid thinking about. They are mates, beyond anything two human could have. Mates is forever and it eclipses all other love and any human love. The human in a relationship with a werewolf feels it just as much as the werewolf. In a sense they gain some of the magical qualities of their mate. Their ability to feel their mates feelings and if the pack is strong enough, to feel the pack’s feelings as well. Stiles hopes to whatever is listening that that is what this is.
Stiles did the whole fuck buddy thing in college, and the one night stands, and the causal boyfriends thing. He did it all and it never really clicked. He never trusted enough or found someone to trust to be able to say what he felt or commit. Now with Derek, he feels he could be great at it and he wants it. He wants to be fucking domestic and he wants to sell his soul to Derek along with his body for the price of staying with Derek forever.
Stiles leans down and places a soft kiss on the top of Derek’s head.
*****
They do what they have done almost every night of this trips so far: they crash in some god forsaken abandoned motel on the side of whatever random Canadian road they are on. They happen to find a dead body in this motel but other than that it seems relatively clean and a safe place to spend the night. Derek and Stiles are both tired despite having slept in the car. Unlike any night before this everything is slow and sweet and Stiles loves it. He is afraid Derek doesn’t until he sees the pure joy and love and happiness displayed openly on Derek’s face as Derek slides up next to him. Stiles lets his eyes slide shut until he hears Derek try to begin to speak. Derek voice is raspy from giving Stiles a blowjob and Derek gets caught on the words he’s trying to say.
“Stiles...” He starts as Stiles opens his eyes slowly, still feeling alert despite being tired. “Stiles, I know we haven’t really talked about this.” Derek is trying to says something but he not really sure what. Stiles looks at him with wide, beautiful, open eyes like he’ll accept anything Derek tells or says to him. He wants to tell Stiles that he is his mate but he not sure how you even bring that up. He can remember his father talking to him and Laura about it when they were younger but he can’t really remember the details. “I know we just been having sex and I want to make sure you know I want more. I want this to be a rela-”
“I’m your mate, aren’t I?” Stiles say it slowly and with no force on the “aren’t I” part, interrupting Derek’s attempt to say the same thing. Stiles couldn’t really hold it in any longer. He wants to make sure he has this all right. He wants to be Derek’s mate, he wants to be with Derek forever. He is afraid that is why he asks. He is afraid that they aren’t mates. Or that Derek doesn’t know they are mate or doesn’t want that. “I can’t do this if I’m not.” Stiles says and his words almost break Derek’s heart.
“Yes, Stiles.” Derek hears Stiles breath of relief. “That’s what I was trying to say. It just wasn’t working very well. You know I’m not great with saying things.” Derek stops for a second trying to catch his own breath. “I love you, Stiles. And I haven’t said that to anyone in such a long time. And it means something else now anyways because this feels so different. I just want to hold you and protect you and be with you all the time. And I love you and am in love with you every second of every day and I couldn’t forget it even if I wanted to, which I don’t, because every single thing comes back to you and how much I love you. And you don’t just make the human me happy, you make the wolf me happy too and some of my strongest instincts come from there and that why I would do anything to protect you and do anything to love you and why my whole pack is happy and can’t help but do the same. Laura always told me I would find my mate and it would feel like I could trust and love again and I never believed her till I fell in love with you. So, yeah Stiles, you’re my mate in every way.”
“Good, because I love you, too. And I never going to stop and I want to be with you forever. And likewise, I have never felt this way before. Not even close and I know I never want to again. Not for anybody but you.” Stiles says so relieved and bringing his hands up to cup Derek’s face and trace his fingertips over Derek’s cheekbones and his lips, which still have spit and Stiles’ come on them. “I want to you and not just that, I want the pack. I want all of us to be a family and together. I love them and I love you.” Nothing could have meant more to Derek. He had already known that he loved Stiles and he would keep Stiles forever but Stiles wanting the pack too is so much more. Derek has always known that Stiles loves the pack, all of them, but his words make it so much more real and the wolf inside Derek is so happy that its mate wants to take care of his betas. And Derek is so happy because despite that fact that he was never meant to be an alpha he does have a pack now and despite that fact that he wouldn’t admit it for a long time, he loves them and he needs them.
“Me, too. Stiles, me, too. I love you.” Derek takes Stiles face in his own hands kissing him softly and his presses through his lips all the love he has and he can feel Stiles doing the same. He can tastes Stiles’ love on Stiles lips and he can taste it as he lets it all in.
*****
They get to the house in the middle of the third day of driving. Derek is driving so that they don't get lost. They leave the main road with two more hours to go. They get on some dirt road that Stiles thinks looks like the place where serial killers come to find their victims. There is excitement in the air even though most of them are pretty subdued after not much sleep the night before. Finally a place to settle down after weeks of motels and finally a home again. Derek makes his way up the winding driveway, which Stiles only figures out is a driveway when they are halfway up the hill and Derek has to hop out of the van to unlock a metal gate that blocks the road.
"Kate never knew about this place. She never got to it." Derek says to Stiles as he pulls up the last half of the driveway. He reaches across the middle of the seats to take Stiles hand as he pulls out of the forest.
In front of them is a large wooden house. Rustic looking but also very nice and welcoming and comfortable. Stiles usually doesn't associate rustic with nice and comfortable.
And it is a comfortable and modern despite that fact that it is in the middle of nowhere in Canada. The first floor is large open rooms. A dining room, an amazing kitchen, a multiple living rooms that all kind of flow together. The basement is the same only the doors are all reinforced steel and despite that fact it does not display anger or hatred. It's clearly a werewolf confinement space but it much nicer than Derek's idea of werewolf confinement in the abandoned train car had been. The second and third floor are taken up by large bedrooms with each of them having their own bathroom. The beds are all huge and the non-societitally bound romantic groups throw their stuff in the rooms they want on the second floor. Derek pulls Stiles towards the bedroom at the very end of the hall. It's the largest and has a large wall of windows on one side of the room. It's a beautiful view Stiles reflects before Derek tackles him on the abnormally large bed.
They eat dinner together that night after Derek makes sure the bed gets a good first use. It's nice. There is tons of food. Derek says there is enough to last 10 years. Literally rooms full of food in the basement. The house was supposed to be the safest place for the Hale Pack and it was made to hold a pack and hold off their enemies for a long time. And even though the pack has changed a lot from what the house was intended for it's still is the safest place for the Hale Pack. Derek and Stiles cook. Stiles never had any idea that Derek could cook. Years with the pack and Stiles had always been the only one cooking and yet Derek seems to be rather good at it.
*****
Stiles realizes one day that things are better. He doesn’t know why it hits him when it does but it’s kind of a shock that things aren’t just superficially better but they have actually improved. The pack is settled and everyone has finally worked out little routines and the house is starting to feel like home as everyone works into their routines and they all warm up to the house and being close again. He doesn’t know when it all started being okay again, when things got better and they began to feel okay again. Maybe it was when Erica flipped open one of her bags and pulled out all of the photos of the pack Stiles remembers from her house. Maybe it when Stiles realizes he doesn’t have panic attacks much anymore. He does still get them but they are few and far between. Derek holds him through them. Crushing Stiles’ sobs against him chest and placing Stiles’ hand on his chest so that Stiles can try to breathe at the same rate he is. Stiles focuses on the rise and fall of Derek’s chest or the soft beat of Derek’s heart to calm his own breathing. Or maybe when they start having huge puppy piles in the living room, which was actually specifically built for puppy piles. Or maybe it the moment when Stiles is laying in Derek’s arms on the sofa in front of a fire they don’t really need and Stiles can watch the rest of the pack, his pack, their pack, going in and out of the kitchen making dinner and setting the dining room table. Erica smiles, along with everyone else, when Isaac get the sauce he been practicing making for week just right. Allison’s eyes follow the pack around the kitchen and land on Stiles and Derek. That fact that Isaac and Allison feel safe here and feel like they aren’t going to lose this. Stiles can see it in everyone’s eyes. The feeling of connection to the others in their pack and the feeling of safety, finally, and the feeling of protection and family and love. Everything they have all lost at one point or another. Stiles can be happy, at the simple fact that they all have those feeling back. And Stiles can be in love with that fact that he can share in it all with them and with Derek most of all.