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Stiles peels up the hem of his t-shirt and tosses the damp tangle of material to the floor. It’s the middle of a summer that isn’t as mild as Scott’s used to and he’d shrugged when Stiles asked if he could borrow a shirt, thinking he wouldn’t mind. There’s an itch in his blood as he watches the flex of Stiles’ broad shoulders and dip of his lower back, the stretch of his sweaty skin and the curve of his muscles. Dryness in his throat. He doesn’t know why. Stiles has borrowed his shirts before. He’s been allowed to borrow Stiles’ plain tees after a couple years of begging and promising to bring them back in better condition. It doesn’t make any sense.

And then Stiles steps close, reaching for the library book they braved the heat for, and Scott instinctively takes a long, slow inhale. The itch intensifies to vibration, and oh --- he doesn’t mind. He really doesn’t mind.

This is new.

He jerks his head to the side, forgetting for a second that Stiles can’t hear his heart effortlessly, the skip in his beat.

While it stretches about the same across the torso, a shirt that’s perfect on Scott is slightly short on Stiles. When Stiles stretches his hands above his head, cat-like, a thick sliver of skin is on show again and Scott finds himself licking his lips. Stiles wears his scent like a brand and Scott’s fingers curl into his palm, nails digging crescent moons.

Stiles narrows his eyes, rolls his shoulders back. “Why are you staring at me like you want to devour me whole?”

“I’m hungry,” Scott replies, trying to sound blasé. “And I’d never eat you whole, I’d have you piece by piece, make it last as long as I could,” Scott says before giving a deliberately wolfish grin.

It’s a good distraction and if it sounds more sexual than he intends, Stiles is always mock-flirting, so shouldn’t notice anything untoward.

Stiles mostly looks amused. And something else, something Scott hasn’t seen before. “That’s one of the creepiest things you’ve ever said to me and I’m including last year when you told me you’d spent your evening morphing yours and Allison’s faces, dude. You’ve been spending way too much time with Derek and Peter.”

“So have you.”

“I know,” Stiles whines, flopping onto Scott’s bed and opening up the library book they stole.

Scott turns back to his computer, listening to the rustle of paper as Stiles flips through the book that looked promising when they found it, but judging by Stiles’ intermittent grunts and snorts, isn’t as useful as its cover would have them believe. He checks the RSS feeds and forums, to see if anyone else has any information on banishment spells. One thread has exploded to eighteen pages, but then he discovers that that’s because people have started to argue whether Supernatural is a valid source. Danny did say they’d be wasting their time, but this is a last resort kind of deal.

Scott turns to tell Stiles this, but stills in his chair when he sees Stiles absent-mindedly scratching his long, capable fingers over his belly, against the green material Scott knows is soft and worn. Stiles balances the book on his chest with his other hand and reads intently, eyes flicking from side to side. Scott swallows, trying not to breathe too deeply, get smothered by the intermingling of their scents together.

“Any luck?” Scott asks, for something to do other than stare.

Stiles looks at him around the edge of the book. “That depends.”

“On?”

“According to this book, whether thine unpregnant enemies hath thou ravin to the point of loosing devils upon th’earth.”

Scott gets caught up watching Stiles’ chest rise and fall as he tries to translate his words. He looks into Stiles’ eyes, notes the careful consideration there. “So, basically, to banish the sídhe we’d, like, open the gates to hell?”

Stiles gives an exaggerated pout, contorting his face into a one-of-a-kind expression. “We don’t know that hell exists.”

“We didn’t know werewolves and the sídhe existed either and look where that got us.” Scott sighs. “Okay, so magical banishment doesn’t look like the answer. What next?”

“Derek actually apologizes and gives the Queen what she asked for?”

“Her latest request was his head on a pike.”

“I thought she just wanted to sex him up?”

Scott rubs his hand over his forehead. “His refusal apparently ‘cooled her ardor’. I actually think this is the one time I don’t blame him for the shit that’s going down.”

“It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Stiles springs up into a sitting position and swings his legs over the edge of Scott’s bed. The book closes shut with a thump, but he doesn’t seem to care. “No help online either, I take it?”

“What’s your favorite word for nothing? Bupkis?”

Stiles crosses his arms; all sharp, sturdy wrists and tendons on display. Scott doesn’t have time for the direction his thoughts go in, the instant images of holding and being held, of sliding his hands under his shirt and burying his nose against the hollow of Stiles’ throat. He doesn’t know how he hasn’t noticed these arms. Or the lips that press together as he can’t stop staring. Or the warmth of his eyes. Just. How has he not seen this before?

“We’ll figure something out. We always do.”

And there’s something about the way Stiles says ‘we’ that has Scott nodding mutely. Together, they can accomplish almost anything.

*

The second time they attempt to arrange a treaty, they get heavily rained on. Considering the forecast for the day was constant sun and a temperature in the high nineties, Scott can only assume it’s deliberate. They’re soaked to the bone when they fold into Stiles’ Jeep, and no closer to success. But at least they’re not dead. There’s always a silver lining.

There might be two, here. Stiles looks good with his shirt plastered to his front, all tensed muscles thrown into relief, suggesting power that Scott finds compelling in a way he’s never thought of before. His hair clings over his forehead and water droplets sparkle against his eyelashes and his lips are pink, glistening. Scott wants to chase the rivulets that cascade down Stiles’ cheeks with his mouth.

Stiles reaches into the back, tall body elongating mesmerically, and Scott wonders what he’s up to until he reappears with a shirt, his lacrosse jersey, and two pairs of sweats.

“They haven’t been washed, but they’ll have to be more comfortable than sitting in our own defeat,” Stiles says, already toeing off his shoes and stripping out of his jeans with a wriggle.

Scott stares out the window, bunches the shirt and sweats under his knuckles. He doesn’t think Stiles would appreciate it if he stared like he wants to, or lifted the shirt in his hands and sucked in a deep breath. He doesn’t think he could get away with leaning over and nuzzling straight into the source of the scent that’s been keeping him awake at night. He gets to work changing, forcing his body into action so that he’ll occupy his mind. His mind has other ideas and helpfully reminds him that the cloth that’s pressed against his skin was once pressed against Stiles’.

“You should probably have accepted the offer,” Stiles says, half-muffled as he tugs the jersey over his head.

Scott raises his hips and pulls up the waistband of Stiles’ sweat pants. “The price was too high.”

“I could have stayed with them for a week. Think of how useful it might have been. All that knowledge at my fingertips.”

“You really think the sídhe would’ve kept to their end of the bargain and held you only for a week?” Scott asks, not needing to add any more scorn to his tone. He’s not used to being the sarcastic one, but he’s been doing a lot of things he’s not used to, lately. It takes everything in his power to prevent himself from trembling as he pulls on the shirt that smells thickly of Stiles. “Even a week was too long.”

“You’re adorably condescending when you’re protective,” Stiles says, an edge to his voice that wasn’t there before.

“And you’ve known me too long to think I’d ever accept your noble self-sacrifice.”

“No. You wouldn’t like to be upstaged.”

Scott could ask him what he means, but he knows, he knows, this has been a bone of contention between them for two years now, and the last thing he wants is an argument.

“I can’t be who I want to be without you, Stiles. And I’m not sorry if you’re offended when I protect you, because I’ll take your offence over your death any day of the week. You’re my best friend and I’m yours, and that’s more important to me than your sense of heroism.”

It feels like a confession too far, that instead of ‘my’ he should be saying ‘mine’, that ‘best friend’ is a stand-in for something else, but it shuts Stiles up. He kicks the Jeep into drive and doesn’t speak until they stop outside Scott’s house. Occasionally he glances over, eyes dark and searching.

“You can give them back whenever,” he says, gesturing to Scott’s whole body.

Scott gathers up his belongings and makes his way to his door, wondering how he can ease the tension between them; bring things back to how they used to be. He swivels to see Stiles watching him, eyes intent. They each wave --- curt, quick --- and then the Jeep drives off and Scott is alone with questions he doesn’t want to answer.

And if he keeps Stiles’ clothes for longer than a week, if he wears them every night and luxuriates in Stiles’ scent until it’s no longer embedded in the fabric, if he balls up the shirt and presses it against his face one last time before shoving it in his laundry basket, well, that’s between him and his room.

*

The ketchup smeared down Stiles’ front is too reminiscent of blood for Scott to laugh like everyone else. This is supposed to be a celebration of their successful treaty with the sídhe, though, so he adds in a joke.

His, “would you like some shirt with that ketchup?” falls flat, until he leaves, then returns with one of his henleys. Boyd tips his head to him.

The war with the Alphas and more recent battles with other so-called ‘mythological’ creatures has done a lot to shake Stiles of the few inhibitions he had, so Stiles removes his blazer and shucks his t-shirt while remaining seated at the table, laughing at Erica’s wolf-whistle. Scott breathes, deeply and slowly. Peter gazes at Scott unnervingly closely as he tries not to gaze at Stiles. It reminds him that everyone in the room apart from Stiles and Lydia can probably hear his heart. It also reminds him that he lost the fight when it came to banning Peter from his house. He’s thankful his mom’s on shift at the hospital, he’s not sure he could take another one of their confrontations.

Derek stands. “Scott, help me get dessert.”

“Can’t you manage by yourself?”

“No.”

Scott glares, but complies with Derek’s thinly veiled command. He’s learned it’ll be shorter in the long-run. Derek’s like the asshole older brother he never had and never asked for and they’ve worked alongside each other enough now that he knows treating him that way leads to less of a headache. He follows Derek into the kitchen, but then Derek is grabbing the back of his neck and propelling him out the door, marching him down the street. They stop under a streetlight, yards away from the house.

Scott shakes his hand off, faces Derek’s smug disdain. “What the hell?”

“Figured you’d want to talk about this privately.”

“Dude, you are so courteous. No, really.” Scott leans his shoulder against the streetlight. “Talk about what?”

“He’s alive,” Derek states simply. “We all are.”

“Yeah, Derek, thanks, I have eyes.”

Derek gives an expression that Stiles has dubbed ‘Derek Bitchface 2: Electric Boogaloo’. “Have a nose as well, don’t you?”

Scott takes a step back before he can stop himself, crosses his arms against his chest like a shield. “If we’re cataloging my facial features, I have a mouth and ears too, what about it?”

“I also have eyes and you are really not subtle. I’m pretty sure Peter’s the only other one who’s noticed yet, so you have time to get your shit together. You need to make a decision.”

“And what would be my choices?”

“You allow Stiles to continue distracting you, or you do what you should have done years ago and keep him away from all this.”

“You try keeping him away from all this,” Scott says, spreading his hands wide. He doesn’t try denying the unspoken accusation, there’s no point. “He was in this before I was. And he’s always been a distraction, but you’ve never cared before. You know what I think? I think you’re on a one man vendetta against happiness.”

Derek levels him with ‘Bitchface 1: A New Hope’. “Your feelings for Stiles are making you happy?”

Scott deflates, ducking his head down, rubbing his hand over his bicep. “Not yet, but they could be.”

“Not if he doesn’t know about them.”

It is precisely moments like this that has Scott hating Derek. He never makes things easy and he has to add a layer of confusion and obscurity to everything. Sometimes, Scott thinks it’s his hobby. Derek must get bored during peace time. It would make sense if he fills his time fucking around with those nearby, he is his uncle’s nephew, after all.

“You just told me to push him away now you’re saying I should pull him closer?”

“I’d only said two of your options. It’s ultimately your choice to make. You have to do something, Scott.”

“Why? We’re friends. It works.”

Derek rolls his eyes in ‘Bitchface 3: With a Vengeance’. “Oh really? It’s working? The tension between you lately has gotten so thick you could bite holes through it.”

“Why don’t you, then? That’d be more useful than lecturing me.”

Derek raises his hands up in the air, as if tossing all his cares into the night sky, and stomps back to the house. Scott watches him, follows with a grumble. Derek would likely have genuinely needed help with dessert; there are six pies and cream, ice cream and custard, not to mention the bowls and spoons. Thinking about the best way to organize them prevents him from thinking about Derek’s advice. That’s a good idea, the greatest, unless he wants to spend the night with a roiling stomach.

He grabs two of the pies and the ice cream container, opens the door with his shoulder. The pack are already serving themselves; Lydia and Peter facing off with narrowed eyes over the cherry pie his mom made. His eyes flicker to Stiles, who’s sitting with two bowls, and Scott knows one of them is filled with pecan --- his favorite, the other with apple --- Stiles’, that’s how they’ve always done it. They started the sharing arrangement in middle school, Stiles claiming that cutting a pie into too many slices was bad luck, but Scott knowing it was a tradition he’d had with his mom. He feels a swell of affection, puts his things on the table so he can settle next to Stiles, where he belongs.

“Everything okay?” Stiles asks as Scott digs into some pecan, then some apple, loading his fork as much as wolfishly possible.

“It will be,” Scott answers, for himself as much as Stiles. He has to believe it’s true.

*

The thing is, they fit. They’ve always had a loyalty and commitment to each other that feels like something other than typical friendship. Stiles once called it ‘fealty’ and then immediately regretted it when Scott stared at him blankly. His half-hour-long description had sounded right to Scott, this overwhelming, time-transcendent sense of allegiance. It’s been them against the world for as long as they’ve known each other.

Derek’s right about the tension. It’s at the same level it was when Scott started hanging out more with Isaac, before he gave Isaac a dedicated hang-with-Scott day. All other days were dedicated to Stiles and it still didn’t always feel like enough. Scott hadn’t understood what people meant by co-dependency before he had to try depending on people other than his mom and Stiles.

Sometimes it’s like they’re living a shadow version of their friendship; it looks roughly the same, it moves roughly the same, but it doesn’t have the depth or the color. They talk, but they don’t chat because Scott can’t find the words to say. They lodge in his throat, rotting away like dead vegetation, leaving him with nothing but the stench of his own failure. Stiles often smells of bitterness around him, which he doesn’t understand, until he overhears Stiles complaining to Boyd about feeling like he’s covered in bubble wrap. Boyd’s response of, “You should be, in the name of everyone else’s safety,” doesn’t go down well.

It gets to the point where he has to say something, so during a study session that has been all study and not the Xbox playing he’d prepared for, he says, “You don’t have to be the one ripping out the villain’s throat to be a hero.”

He thinks, to be my hero.

Stiles scowls and glares holes into Scott’s comforter. “Did you read that in a fortune cookie?”

And okay, maybe what he said was trite, but Stiles is being way harsher than necessary. He knows that an angry Stiles is a vengeful Stiles, that it takes a lot to trigger his fury but once that trigger’s been squeezed, the smartest thing would be to step to the side. He just doesn’t know what he’s done to provoke this reaction.

“I’m not trying to be condescending.”

“There are lots of things you succeed at that you don’t need to try hard for.”

Scott matches Stiles’ scowl. “Dude. You’re kind of acting like a pissy little bitch.”

Stiles is swift. One second he’s lying stomach-down on Scott’s bed, textbook splayed between his forearms, the next he’s up, shoving Scott backwards so he almost tips to the floor. The computer chair backs up five or six inches then stops with a jolt. And after that everything is short, sharp, a smash-cut of movement. Scott reacts, instinct kicking in, his brain offline. He rises up, grasps hold of Stiles and swings him round.

He pins him to the wall, both of their bodies reverberating with the impact. His claws extend before he can stop them, shredding into the sides of Stiles’ shirts, right down to his warm skin. His breath is tight in his chest, his blood roaring through his veins, his teeth bared. Stiles’ eyes are filled with rage and hostility, his lips parted in their own snarl, and all Scott can think is, I could lean forward right now and take what I want, I could, I could.

He doesn’t. He pulls away, a square of Stiles’ plaid shirt dangling off two of his claws.

Scott rubs his palms into his eyes, steps back again, miserable. “Shit. Sorry. The last thing I want is for you to get hurt.”

Stiles looks at him with an expression akin to disgust. He straightens himself up, looks down his nose at Scott. “No, can’t touch a hair on Stiles’ pretty little head, can we?”

“You want me to punch you? Scratch you? Bite you?” Scott asks, fangs elongating once more. His whole body goes rigid as it strikes him --- what if that’s it? Is that why Stiles has been acting like such a jerk? “Do you… do you want the bite? We could ask Derek ---”

Stiles rolls his eyes, taking advantage of Scott’s step back to slip toward the bed. Instead of lying down again, he gathers up his text book and pens and crams them into his bag. “No. I’ve been through hell with you, the last thing I want is my own private circle there. I just hate being made to feel harmless. Helpless.”

He glances up, cheeks flushed pink. Scott stutters to a halt at his wrecked expression. It’s a combination of so many emotions, all compacted into one acidic, crumpled mess.

Scott moves to Stiles again; all instinct, no thought. He brackets his arms with his hands, softly stroking up, wanting to wrap him close. Thankfully, Stiles doesn’t shrug him off. “I don’t think you’re helpless, I think you’re reckless and selfless, and it scares me, okay?”

“You can put your life on the line, but I can’t?”

“My line is thicker. The stakes aren’t as high, Stiles, surely you can see that?”

Stiles raises an eyebrow. “Right. So I’m not weak, but I am fragile.”

“That’s actually – yeah,” Scott says, he goes to stroke Stiles’ cheek, thinks better of it. He gives his arms another pat, shuffles back to allow him space.

It’s four short steps to his dresser and it isn’t hard to pick out the perfect shirt for Stiles to go home in. Stiles has taken to wearing a lot of gray, and to Scott, that’s wrong. Stiles, with his volume and his exuberance, was made for brightness. The honey gold of the shirt will add warmth to the pale of his skin and bring out the different shades in his eyes. It’s possible he’s thought about this more than he should have.

He has a feeling he isn’t as casual as he’d like when he hands the shirt over. His heart beat matches Stiles’ when their fingers brush; fast and erratic. Stiles twists the hem between his hands, a short huffing sound escaping as he watches the material bunch and coil. He throws it on the bed, unceremoniously takes off the shirts Scott’s ruined.

Scott watches him, gaze traveling the expanse of his torso, the light dusting of hair between his pecs. He zeroes in on the raised welt he made along the right side of Stiles’ ribs. He wonders if it hurts and whether Stiles would let him take the pain. He really doesn’t want to ask and incur more of Stiles’ wrath.

As soon as the shirt’s on, Stiles grabs his bag and walks out of the room. Scott follows, not making any attempt to stop him, stumbling back when they get to the front door and Stiles swivels around.

“My anger? It’s not all about pride, okay?” Stiles says, forcing the words out like they have jagged edges. “You think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been looking at me, but I have. I have and the fact you haven’t talked to me about it makes everything ten times worse. You don’t trust me anymore, Scott, and it fucking hurts.”

With that, Stiles crashes out the door and speeds to his Jeep. He doesn’t so much as look Scott’s way when he guns the engine and drives off. Scott’s left standing in the doorway, numb. He has no idea what just happened, but he thinks he’s broken their friendship. He doesn’t know what he can do to fix it, he doesn’t even know if that’s a possibility.

*

He doesn’t see Stiles for three days after that and it’s torture. Every time he picks up his phone to message him, he ends up dropping it in self-disgust. He hides it under his pillow by the third day, sick of the way he can’t stop typing out stupid texts that invariably end in key-smashing. If there are words that would help him in this situation, they’re evading him. He can’t even ask Stiles if he’s sick or injured, or if he deliberately skipped school. That’s not like him. Even through the Alpha terror, he never missed more than a single period unless the school was closed. It helped that the school was closed several times when Deucalion was in full flight.

Stiles doesn’t talk to him when he rocks up to school on Wednesday --- doesn’t engage with him at all. Scott’s questioned about it by everyone who knows them, as well as complete strangers, and by the end of the day he feels wrung out and sore all over.

The one person he’d want to talk about this with is the one person he can’t. Scott suddenly understands all those stories where best friends refuse to act on their feelings for fear of ruining the great thing they already have. Of course, in those stories, unbeknownst to the love-struck characters, the feelings are usually mutual.

But he can’t give up hope, he won’t. They’ve been standing firm by one another’s side through werewolves, they can hardly crumble over one-sided sexual attraction. Stiles has been his safe-space since he lived with his dad, has seen him through countless asthma attacks, has helped him keep control during full moons --- he may be angry and disappointed in Scott in the moment, but he wouldn’t abandon him forever --- not even if it’s deserved.

Scott follows Stiles to his Jeep after the last bell. Corners him, which is difficult, because Stiles has skills in evasion and he kind of has to make a cage out of his entire body. Stiles frowns, rolls his tongue over his teeth in a clear sign of annoyance that tips closer to the hatred side of the scale than the affectionate one.

“Can I talk to you?”

Stiles stares at him, completely flat. “Good question. Can you?”

Scott’s been told before that he can come across as overly earnest and he thinks this might be one of those times, because he’s literally wringing his hands. “I wanna try. Please?”

“Your place or mine?”

“Yours, I guess. It’s closer.”

“Actually, they’re equidistant, as the chase with the wendigo proved, but fine.”

Stiles unlocks the Jeep door and Scott rattles the handle twice because it always sticks. He climbs in and waits. The ride to Stiles’ house is filled with Scott talking about schoolwork Stiles missed. He doesn’t know why he’s talking about schoolwork, but he can’t seem to be able to close his mouth.

When they finally arrive --- and Scott had no idea a ten minute drive could feel several hours long --- Stiles walks through the house to the kitchen, pouring them both glasses of milk. He opens up the cookie jar Scott’s mom gave him after his own mom got sick, fishing out a couple of snickerdoodles that get dunked and then disappear in less than a second.

“I kept thinking that if I didn’t talk about it, it would go away,” Scott starts, falteringly. He grabs his own snickerdoodle, snaps it in half.

“You want it to go away?”

“Yes? No? I don’t know. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but they make sense to me.”

“They?”

“My feelings. For you. But the situation sucks, I know, and I don’t want you to think I can’t just be your friend, because there’s no just about it. Your friendship is everything to me.”

“Why didn’t you say this before?” Stiles asks, voice low in the kind of way it always gets when he’s struggling with the depth of his emotions.

“Because I didn’t know how.”

“This isn’t bad.”

Scott swallows thickly. “Please tell me you’ve forgiven me.”

“I don’t really think you need my forgiveness. But, sure. Can you forgive me?”

“Always.” Scott eats his cookie, feeling the beginnings of a smile tug at his lips. “You know, in time, I’ll get over it. You won’t be stuck with me, like, molesting you with my eyes forever.”

“I don’t want you to get over it, I wanted you to acknowledge it. I --- Jesus fuck, come here.”

Stiles strides toward him at the same time Scott follows his directions. Scott thinks Stiles is pulling him in for a hug and he folds into his arms willingly. And Stiles is hugging him, but then he’s also pulling back until they’re standing torso to torso, faces inches apart. He’s pressing a finger under his chin and tilting his head up, capturing his lips in a kiss.

Scott doesn’t kiss back immediately, shocked still, but Stiles is patient in a way he usually never is and coaxes him to open up, take some of the control. Stiles tastes of cinnamon and sugar --- heady, sweet, and rich. Scott licks over his bottom lip several times, sucking lightly, lingering over how good it feels.

He savors holding and being held, feeling their hearts start to drum in sync. He doesn’t want to let go when Stiles begins shifting back, but he does, rocking back onto his heels to stop himself from collapsing forward.

Stiles,” Scott says, trying to inject everything into that one word.

All the love, all the annoyance, all the surprise. It frustrates the hell out of him that Stiles could get angry with him for omitting information when he’s been doing the exact same thing, but double standards are Stiles’ forte, and he’s always saying the opposite of what he does.

“Scott,” Stiles replies, with a sardonic lilt in his tone. He surges forward, nuzzles at his cheek, kisses him again. He doesn’t leave much space between them when he starts to speak. “I want to be the one to save you. Just like you save me. And I’m not talking about the wolfy superpowers, they’re a dime a dozen in this town. I’m talking about you, so don’t ever pull away from me again, or I swear I’ll…” Stiles lets out a shaky exhale, “act like the biggest asshole in the world.”

Stiles frames his face, thumb rubbing circles over his jaw. Scott pushes into it, a low sound of contentment rumbling through his chest. This is right, this is the way things are supposed to be.

“I understand why you were angry at me, but you know my silence had nothing to do with me not trusting you, right?”

“I’m getting that impression, yeah.”

They kiss again, long and slow, and then Stiles leads them up to his bedroom, their fingers entwined. He stops and pushes Scott up against the door once they’re inside, licks and kisses at his neck as he scrabbles at the sides of his shirt.

“You have something of mine that I want, now,” Scott says, winding one of his hands up Stiles’ back, gliding his fingers against the nubs of his spine.

“That would work a helluva lot better if I was actually wearing one of your shirts at this moment in time.”

“Oh, I’m not talking about a shirt.” Scott pulls Stiles closer by his belt-loops with his free hand, smiling when Stiles lets himself be maneuvered.

Scott’s pulled Stiles’ shirt off and thrown it to the floor within ten seconds of his acquiescence. Already, the smell of arousal is overwhelming. Their scents blend together to create something new and enticing and Scott breathes it in, lets his whole chest rattle with it. Stiles opens his eyes, bites at his own kiss-reddened lips. He looks like the best kind of dangerous.

“You have no idea how long I’ve imagined this,” Stiles says, voice gone husky.

“No, I haven’t,” Scott returns, poking Stiles jokingly in the center of his chest. He splays his hand there a second later, enjoying the warmth. The permission.

They make it to the bed somehow, Scott doesn’t know how. He’s lost his shirt and his shoes and socks. The sheets are cool and smooth against his back, but Scott only notices because Stiles is the opposite, sprawled on top of him, sharp edges and heat, an elbow digging into Scott's side as Stiles tries to hold his weight up. Scott rocks him over until he lands on the mattress with a thump and shifts the balance of power until they're even. Now, he can undo Stiles’ zip, reach in, stroke his cock to full hardness, can press him back with one hand as he tries to pull his defenses apart with the other, unravel all the silences that have spanned between them for weeks of quiet anguish.

Their jeans are around their thighs, and Stiles is still wearing his sneakers, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they have a connection again; stronger than it was before. He’s been thinking about this, constantly, but he never entertained the idea of it actually happening.

Stiles bites down on his neck, and Scott loves that because it will be a brand anyone can see. He begins to roll his hips, seeking increased contact. Stiles follows his lead, matches his actions. It makes Scott tingle and shudder and forget to breathe until he absolutely has to. He's biting his lip and thinking please and God, but the ability to make a sound other than a whine, howl or grunt has completely eluded him.

When Stiles wraps his hand around his cock and starts to stroke with a twist, Scott bucks his hips, this time shocked into movement. Stiles has large, gifted hands, with fine, long fingers. He also appears to instinctively know what to do to drive Scott wild. He presses his thumb under the head of his cock, uses his other hand to tease at his balls. He strokes with a metronomic precision that is infuriating. He kisses him the entire time, tongue venturing deeper and filthier with each swipe. Scott’s blood rockets through his veins and his senses feel more intense. Each little huffing breath Stiles makes between kisses is amplified, every throb of his pulse. Scott finds it hard to concentrate on stroking Stiles off with the same kind of vigor Stiles shows him.

It doesn’t take long. Scott’s been keyed up all week and after the emotional revelations of the day he needs some kind of release. That, coupled with the sinful way Stiles is grinding them together has him swiveling his hips erratically, tipping his head back and squeezing his eyes shut tight.

He takes a gasping, deep breath of his own and comes, hard, all over their hands and abdomens. Comes quaking and shivering despite how hot he is. Comes and doesn't think about how desperate Stiles must be, at all. But that's okay, because Stiles puts a hand over his and keeps him moving, at a completely different pace, something Scott would have considered too fast and too firm. His cock slides between his fingers with added slick; easy, so easy, Scott had no idea how uncomplicated this could be. It only takes a minute at the most before Stiles is coming too --- lips parted, cheeks flushed, hair stuck to his forehead --- and Scott thinks again.

*

Scott wears Stiles’ shirt and Stiles wears his when they go to school the next day. Scott likes to imagine the scent of sex still lingers, even though he knows it’s not true. If anyone notices, they don’t say anything. If anybody would even care, that’s a mystery too. But Scott knows. And judging by the looks Stiles keeps shooting him, his reaction to the knowledge promises good things.

Scott likes seeing Stiles in his shirts, but seeing him out of them is even better.