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Everybody Wants Some Sterek

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The breaks creaked as Stiles drove up to the house. No one came out to check on the source of the noise, but Stiles figured that was a good sign. He had, in equal parts, a protective and abusive relationship with his jeep. He could slam it as much as he wanted, hitting it with spanners and calling it names, but the second some college guys started talking about it Stiles was gonna go at them, all guns blazing. The jeep may have been a pile of crap that barely got him from A to B, but it was his pile of crap.

After grabbing a box of books and slinging his laptop bag over his shoulder, Stiles opened the door to his jeep, the hinges whining in protest. Looking up at the ramshackle house and feeling a sense of foreboding, Stiles half wished he’d let his dad come with him, like he’d wanted to. But he knew he wouldn’t make any friends bringing the Sheriff to what looked like a crack den. His dad would have had him out of there faster than you could say College scholarship. And he already felt guilty he couldn’t afford to put Stiles through College without said scholarship.

The front door was open. The Sheriff’s kid in Stiles shivered with horror, but Stiles aimed to present himself as the college expectation: breezy, chill and not hung up on how easily psychopaths could gain access to his sleeping self. He was going to have to be a fucking shit-for-brains, baseball jock or he was gonna get fucking eaten alive by baseball-jock-zombie team mates.

Stiles’ mouth opened in surprise as a boy with dark, curly hair flew out the door, buzzing with excited and nervous energy. His face lit up with a smile when he noticed Stiles.

“Are you the new guy? I’m Scott.”

Scott grabbed the box of books from Stiles’ arms and disappeared back into the house with them in a blur of movement. Stiles stood frozen, looking down at his now empty arms. What the fuck had just happened?

“You coming?” the boy, Scott, called back to him.

“OK,” said Stiles. “Uh…”

He stepped inside. The interior did not look less like a crack den.

“What’s your name?” Scott asked.

“Call me Stiles,” said Stiles. “Uh, what are you doing with my stuff?”

Scott grinned. “Showing you your room, dude,” he said.

“Who’s that?” called another voice, this one far less enthusiastic or welcoming.

“New team mate,” said Scott.

“Uh, yeah,” said Stiles. Think baseball jock, he reminded himself. “’Sup, dude?”

As Stiles stepped forward, he saw emerging from one of the doorways, the most beautiful man he’d ever seen. He was hotter than fire, hotter than a volcano, hotter than the fucking sun and he was glaring at Stiles with smoldering, angry green eyes. Oh, God, Stiles was going to be murdered by a Greek God, five seconds into his college experience.

“Do not…” started the man, through gritted teeth. “Call me ‘dude’.” He gave Stiles an unfriendly once over, “I see the recruitment process has brought us yet another scrawny kid who wants to be a brainless jock. Perfect.”

Self-preservation told Stiles to submit to the alpha male. Unfortunately, Stiles and self-preservation had never really been acquainted with one another.

“Says Mr. Underwear model,” said Stiles. “How long do you spend on those guns? You’re not gonna tell me you got them holding books at the library, are you?” He smiled, and then added.“Dude?”

Smoldering, angry green eyes got angrier and smolderier. “Who the fuck are you?” he growled.

“Great comeback, dude,” said Stiles. “Seriously.”

Not-dude folded his arms. “You even seen a dumbbell, kid?”

“Ooh, getting there,” said Stiles. “I guess you’re trying to set up something a bit wittier, there, except I've got places to be. Laters. Dude.”

Stiles grabbed his books from Scott’s arms, ignoring the raised eyebrow Mr. Angry gave him as he tried to pretend he wasn’t struggling with the weight. He loudly stamped up the stairs, hoping to be as annoying as possible. At least he was going to deserve the inevitable murdering in his sleep that was coming his way. As he reached the landing he realized Scott was following him.

“That guy is a dick!” Stiles exclaimed.

Scott fixed him with sad puppy dog eyes. “He’s okay once you get to know him.”

Stiles snorted. He was pretty sure the chiseled jaw wonder and him would never get to know one another.

“So, do I get a roommate?” Stiles asked, trying to change the subject before he got too pissed off.

“Yeah,” said Scott. “But dude, seriously, you should go make up with Derek, he’s…”

“A total douche, yeah I got it,” said Stiles. “So, in here?”

“Yeah, but…”

Stiles went in.

He was greeted by a guy in his underwear and a scarf doing push-ups. He shut the door, hoping he'd just imagined the whole thing.

“That’s Isaac,” said Scott.

“Yep,” said Stiles. “Does he always…?” he trailed off and indicated towards the door.

Scott nodded. “Scarves are kind of Isaac’s thing,” he said.

Stiles looked at the door again, then back at Scott’s earnest face. “Not… what I was… never mind.”

He opened the door again.

“Hey… Isaac,” started Stiles.

“The bed on the right is yours,” said Isaac, rudely, not even pausing in his push-ups. “And I claimed all the closet space.”

“Thanks,” said Stiles, sarcastically.

“Lights off by ten thirty pm and I snore,” stated Isaac. “If you don’t like it, you can always sleep on the roof.”

Stiles placed his box of books on his bed, before turning and leaving the room. He made sure to slam the door behind him.

“What the hell?" he asked Scott, who was still standing outside, “I feel like I’ve walked into a fricking Addams Family film. Why is everyone here such a dick?!”

“He’s okay,” started Scott.

“When you get to know him?” asked Stiles, sarcastically. “I’m seeing a pattern emerging, dude!”

Scott shrugged. “Isaac’s, like, a million times nicer than Jackson.”

“Not possible,” said Stiles, charging back downstairs to retrieve the rest of his stuff.

“But everyone’s fine, really,” Scott protested. “They’re just a bit, you know, competitive.”

“Assholes,” said Stiles, firmly, as he opened the front door.

“Pardon?” said the slightly alarmed looking and incredibly beautiful redheaded girl who stood there, hand ready to knock.

“No!” Stiles cried. “Not you!”

“I should hope not,” said the redhead, with a slight smile.

“Just, like, everyone else… here…” said Stiles.

“Even… Scott?” asked the redhead.

Stiles looked at Scott. Scott gave him another puppy dog look that no grown man had the right to possess.

“He’s … not a total douche,” Stiles admitted. “Unless he’s your boyfriend. Then I’d have to hate him on principal.”

Red-head smiled. “Nope, he’s not my boyfriend.”

“Oh, thank God!” said Stiles, “I was beginning to think…”

“I’m her boyfriend,” a voice behind him interrupted, “testicle.”

The redhead did a cheerful four finger wave over Stiles’ shoulder. With a sinking feeling, Stiles turned to see yet another douche, who was also one of his new housemates. This one looked like an Abercrombie and Fitch model. God, Stiles hated college already.

“This is Jackson,” said Scott, curtly.

Jackson fixed Scott and then Stiles with a lizard-like look.

“Two testicles to make a pair,” said Jackson. “You must be thrilled they finally found you an equal, McCall.”

The carefree smile on Scott’s face faded.

“Jackson,” said redhead, seemingly unamused by his hostility. “Be nice.”

“I don’t think the robot has that function,” Stiles muttered under his breath.

"What?" asked Jackson, his eye beginning to twitch.

"Do you need me to say it a little bit slower, because your tiny brain is struggling to understand? I said I think you're a massive tool who isn't capable of basic human compassion," said Stiles, deciding he might as well continue on his path of self-destruction.

“What did you say?” hissed Jackson.

"I don’t think repetition is gonna help you," said Stiles, defiantly.

Jackson went to launch himself forward, but was stopped by a well-muscled arm.

“Jackson,” said Mr. Muscles, fixing his deadly stare on someone other than Stiles; which Stiles preferred, but not by much.

Jackson deflated. “Sorry, Cap.”

Cap? Captain? The word suddenly causing the circuits in Stiles’ brain to whirl frantically and at that moment he began to panic. He was royally screwed!

“Take Lydia upstairs,” said Mr Angry.

Stiles tried to make his exit at that moment, but found himself pulled back by his collar.

“I think it’s time we had a private chat,” said his new Captain.

 

***

 

“So,” said the captain. Derek. Mr Muscles. Tall dark and glary. “The freshman.”

“Yep,” said Stiles. “Fresh and a man. Male. Yeah. You got it.”

What the fuck did that even mean?! Stiles demanded of his own brain.

Apparently Derek was even less impressed than Stiles. “Think you’re something special, do you, freshman?” asked Derek. “Got a name no one can pronounce and an attitude. You think you’re all that, don’t you?”

“No,” said Stiles.

“So, you came in here, all mouthing off at your new captain because you wanted to slip under the radar?”

“I didn’t know you were the captain,” said Stiles. “I thought you were just some jerk.”

Which was basically calling the captain a jerk. Stiles was not doing great at this.

“Do you go out of your way to antagonize people, freshman?” asked Derek, looking far from impressed at his answer.

“Only ones I don't like,” answered Stiles, truthfully.

“You've been here literally five minutes and pissed off three of your team mates,” stated Derek.

Stiles laughed awkwardly. 'Only three more to go then in this house, right?'

Derek didn’t seem to find it funny. Stiles didn’t laugh either. The temperature in the room seemed to dropped several degrees. It didn't help that it was at that moment Stiles noticed something on Derek's face. Something ugly and bug-like.

“Dude! What the hell is that thing under your nose? It's not 1980!” The words slipped out before he could stop them. His Dad always said he had a death wish.

Captain Derek the glary glarer, gave Stiles the glariest glare that ever glared as he stroked his moustache self-consciously. “Are you intending to transfer out before the semester begins?” he asked, dangerously.

“I’m starting to think that maybe that’d be a good thing to look into,” Stiles replied, honestly.

Glaring glary McGlare-face, didn’t stop his glaring enough to reply.

“Can I go?” asked Stiles.

“Stop being a douche, before someone beats the crap out of you,” said the glarer. "I won't always be around to protect you."

It was probably designed as advice, but Stiles couldn’t help thinking of the phrase about pots and kettles. He decided not to say it, as his survival instinct seemed to have finally kicked in. He saluted instead.

“Now, get lost,” said Derek.

Stiles didn't have to be told twice.

 

***

 

Stiles had just finished putting his stuff away, when Scott poked his head around the door. Stiles was relieved to see the other boy, he wasn't sure how much more of watching Isaac do yoga moves in his boxers he could take. Maybe if he wished it hard enough, Isaac would accidentally be strangled by one of the scarves he refused to take off in eighty degree heat.

“A few of us are going out for a ride, if you want to come?”

“Is Derek going?” asked Stiles, feeling somewhat like a chastised child avoiding the scolding parent.

“We're taking the Camaro,” replied Scott, dodging the question.

Because of course Derek owned a car like that. He was obviously over compensating for some part of his body. Probably. It was impossible he was that perfect.

“I'll pass,” said Stiles.

He glanced over at Isaac and noticed he was now shimming out of his boxers. He must have made a noise, because Isaac spared him a glance.

“Naked lunges,” Isaac said in a way of explanation, making sure his scarf was fixed around his neck. "Good for the body."

“Actually, I'll come!” said Stiles.

“Yeah, thought you might,” said Scott, happily.

Stiles followed him out of the door.

“Who else is going?” asked Stiles.

“Just some of the guys,” said Scott, with a smile. “You’ll totally like the others, you know.”

“Yeah,” said Stiles, because literally no first impression could be worse than some of those he’d made today.

Outside, Lydia was giving Jackson a kiss. The sight made Stiles’ stomach roll.

A horn sounded, angry and a perfect match for its owner: grumpy Derek the grump. A tall black guy was heading towards the car already and Jackson broke into a sudden sprint and overtook him, jumping into the front seat.

“You snooze you lose, boys,” Jackson sneered.

“Seriously?” said Stiles. "How old are you?"

"Old enough to call shot gun," replied Jackson.

“Ignore him," whispered Scott. "Boyd's coming and Boyd’s cool."

Stiles seriously doubted it.

They got in the back of the car and Scott gave him a beaming smile. A large black guy slid in next to Stiles and Stiles guessed he must be Boyd. He spared Stiles a nod, probably the second warmest greeting Stiles had received so far, so Stiles returned it as he propped his feet up on the back of Derek's chair.

“Shoes off my seat,” barked Derek rudely at Stiles. It was like he had eyes in the back of his head. “No eating or drinking in my car. If you make a mess or disobey the rules I will rip your throat out... With my teeth.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as Derek moved the car away, wheels screeching. At that moment Jackson let out a loud fart and laughed. Boyd clenched his fist and struck Jackson with it. Stiles loved Boyd already.

It didn’t take long for Jackson to start whistling at girls out the window. And though Jackson was being a douche, when he had a girlfriend for whom other guys would tear off their own arms, Stiles couldn’t deny he had a point. They were passing some girls who could model swimwear.

“Did you see that?” Jackson sneered, sleazily.

Derek grinned. Stiles scowled. Of course he was fucking straight. The fucker.

“Three 'o'clock,” said Jackson.

The guys in the front both turned, and Stiles did too, just in time to catch sight a girl in a bikini top and hot pants. Jackson described a disgusting act he wanted to perform on bikini girl. The guys laughed. Stiles caught on. Disgusting jock bonding involved objectifying women. It was gross, but Stiles had already fucked up. He had to get in with these guys if he was gonna survive the year.

“She’s beautiful!” said Scott dreamily. Pointing at a brunette not far off. She was not dressed in a bikini, but a shirt and jeans. Her hair was swept back and had a paint brush sticking out of it. Jackson blew a raspberry, unimpressed and Derek didn’t comment.

Stiles looked around, in search of another poor woman to be disrespectful to. He spotted a likely candidate, a runner in tight pants and a crop top.

“Hotty at one o’clock,” he said, smarmily as he could manage. One of the guys. Straight as an arrow and fucking disgusting.

Jackson and Derek caught sight of the jogger. There was a moment of dead silence.

Jackson started laughing. “Jesus fucking Christ, Stilinski.”

Derek pulled the car to a screeching halt. He turned in his seat, his face a thundercloud and Stiles’ eyes widened.

"That's my sister!" growled Derek, looking as if he wanted to run Stiles over savagely with his car. And then reverse back over him.

It was at that moment Stiles decided he was screwed no matter what he did. College was going to suck, just like High School.

"You know what, I'm done!" said Stiles, he leaned over Scott and reached for the door handle.

"Stiles," whined Scott.

"Derek?" said a female voice. The jogger had stopped and made her way over to the Camaro.

When Stiles got a proper look at her he noticed her and Derek shared the same glare.

"What are you doing here?" asked the jogger.

"Cora," said Derek, the bravado gone from his voice. He was frozen, as if he'd been caught stealing cookies from a cookie jar.

"Hey Cora?" said Stiles, getting the dark haired woman's attention. She was as beautiful as Derek, they obviously both had parents who were models. "How creepy on a scale to one to ten do you think it is that your brother's ogling and calling out to girls just like yourself? Because if he was my brother, I would think it was at least an eight."

The expression on Cora's face hardened. "More like an eleven. Please don't tell me you've been doing that. You know how I feel about guys who do that."

Stiles finally managed to grab the door handle and scrambled over Scott to get out the car.

"I think you better tell him again, I don't think he was listening the first time you said it," said Stiles, placing his hands into his pockets. He felt gleeful as he watched Derek shrink further into his seat.

"Do I need to tell Laura?" asked Cora.

"I'd definitely tell Laura," said Stiles, before strolling away from the car.

"Where the fuck do you think you're going, Stilinski?" shouted Jackson after him.

"Anywhere but here dude," said Stiles, a big smile on his face. He joined a group on the sidewalk, trying to put as much distance as he could between himself and the Camaro. He hoped Cora tore Derek a new one, he deserved it. Well maybe Jackson did more, but either was fine with Stiles. Stiles strolled casually towards the complex where he'd seen the girl in jeans with the paintbrush in her hair.

"Where are you going?"

Stiles was surprised to find Scott was trailing behind him, a hopeful expression on his face.

"Dude, shouldn't you be back with the brotherhood of dicks?" said Stiles, wondering why Scott wanted to commit social suicide with him.

Scott shrugged his shoulders. "I only went because you went. And because, well…"

He pointed back at the Camaro. Stiles glanced back too, and noticed Cora had a furious expression on her face and seemed to be shouting at her brother. He half wish he could hear what she was saying.

"Yeah..." said Scott, trailing off. His focus was on the brunette girl who was disappearing into one of the apartments they were in front of. "Do you think she saw me?"

"Who?" asked Stiles, already knowing the answer.

"The girl," said Scott. “The beautiful one.”

Stiles shrugged. “Did she look at you?”

“I don’t know,” said Scott. “Remember, apartment 207.”

“What?” said Stiles.

“The apartment she went into. Apartment 207.”

Stiles looked back at the apartment building. That was probably right, but…

“That’s so creepy, dude.”

Scott looked at him with wide puppy dog eyes. “No! I just mean she’s beautiful!”

“So you followed her home?”

“Not on purpose!” Scott argued. “I was just following you.”

“Yeah,” said Stiles.

“Hey, testicle left and right,” shouted Jackson from the car. “Party, tonight. Try not to curse it with your dweeb germs.”

Stiles shook his head. “Is that dude ten?”

“Yeah, so Jackson is a dick,” said Scott.

“Right.”

“Yeah.”

 

***

 

A party. With enough alcohol to drown a whole league of players. Stiles didn’t think it was gonna be great. His seven housemates were there and the rest of the team, who lived in another house next door. Then there were whatever women the guys could persuade to come. And Cora, Derek’s sister, who Derek kept trying to persuade to leave.

Cora kept laughing at Derek. The team captain barely moved, just sat on a couch, watching with a mixture of anger and misery as his sister danced her way through the team. She had dressed in a tight top and jeans and confidence oozed from her every pour. Stiles was impressed.

She spent a couple of minutes on each team member. Scott just jumped around like a bunny rabbit, and had her giggling in a massively non-sexual way. Boyd shyly bopped his head as Cora danced about him and then whispered something in her ear, just before Cora moved on. Jackson got too close and only Lydia putting herself, with obvious annoyance, between them, stopped him. On and on she went, despite Derek’s objections, and the glare he gave to every guy who danced with her. The guys watched, laughing hard at Derek’s discomfort.

“I get it,” Derek growled, “You can stop.”

“Get what?” asked Cora, innocently, as she grabbed some guy called Parrish’s hands and pulled them up her waist.

“I… just stop, alright!” Derek pleaded.

“I don’t know what you mean,” said Cora. “This is what women want isn’t it?”

Derek groaned. “I get it!”

“Really?” said Cora.

“I won’t objectify women anymore!”

Cora hummed thoughtfully. “I think… it’s not quite sunk in.”

Stiles laughed with the rest of them, until she grabbed his hand next, tugging him close and putting her arms around his neck.

“Hi,” said Stiles.

“Hi,” said Cora.

She danced close to him. And if she were doing it for any other reason than to piss off her brother, he might have enjoyed it properly. But he wasn’t stupid. Jocks don’t turn down hot girls dancing in front of them, even if they were making a feminist statement and Stiles was going to be a jock if it killed him. Which it might.

He danced back and Derek let out a noise of pure anger. Stiles turned just in time to see the man marching from the room. The team laughed loudly at his retreating back and Cora gave Stiles a wink. “Someone's got him all upset,” she said.

Stiles laughed. Cora smiled at him and it wasn’t an entirely friendly look. Then she vanished into the crowd. Apparently bored of a dozen idiot jocks all queuing up to dance with her. Stiles danced on his own for a moment, waving his arms with wild abandonment, but stopped when he realized a number of his fellow team mates were looking at him with judgmental looks on their faces. He let out a sigh before he wandered over to the drinks table, where Scott was standing looking miserable.

"You okay, Scotty?" Stiles asked. The other boy was the only good thing about living in this hell hole of a building. Stiles couldn't deny the bromantic feelings he was fast developing for Scott.

"She's not here," said Scott, a look of pure misery on his face.

"Who isn't?" asked Stiles.

"That girl," said Scott.

"Dude!" said Stiles, slapping him round the head.

Scott fixed him with a wounded look. "What?"

"There's thousands of people on this campus, why would she be at this party? If I didn't live here, I wouldn't be at this party. It sucks!" said Stiles, resisting the urge to pat his friend on the head like he was some sort of baby animal that needed comforting.

With a squirm, Scott confessed; "I may have slipped a note under her door, inviting her."

"Dude!" repeated Stiles, slapping him again.

Scott shut his eyes, his face screwed up with misery. "I know, okay? It's just, I've never felt this way about anyone before. I just caught a glimpse of her and that was it. You of all people should understand, it's like you and Derek."

Stiles raised an eyebrow. "Me and Derek?"

"You hated each other on sight. For me it's like that but the opposite." said Scott as way of explanation.

Stiles sighed, "Okay Scotty, listen carefully, because I'm only going to say this once. Stop putting notes under the doors of girls you've never even met, it's serial killer creepy. It's like saying to her 'hey do you wanna come over, watch Netflix and chill and then get murdered?' Nobody does it. Just find a way to talk to her like a normal person, Scotty. She'll love you. And also, can you blame me for hating Derek? Even his own sister can't stand him. Sure he may look like a Greek God, but he has a personality only a mother could love. I mean, how guys like him and Jackson get girls is beyond me."

Scott paled, "Stiles."

"I wouldn't go near him if he was the last person alive in a post-apocalyptic zombie ruled world. I pity any woman who chooses to."

"Stiles."

"Because she must be beyond desperate."

"Stiles!"

"What?" snapped Stiles, he turned to see what Scott was looking at. It was of course was Derek, who seemed to be crushing a red cup in his fist.

“Hey, Derek,” said Stiles.

His eyes followed the cup. Logically, he knew crushing a red plastic cup was way easier than crushing a human skull, but there was something about the way Derek was looking at him that made him link the two in his head.

Derek didn’t reply. He threw the remains of the cup in the garbage and went on his way, in the direction of a group of women huddled in the hallway chatting.

“Like, enemies at first sight,” said Scott, “But where one of them keeps being a bit of a dick.”

“Yeah, what’s with that guy?” asked Stiles.

Scott shook his head, and turned away. Stiles followed.

“Hey, I’m not being a dick!” he protested.

Scott shrugged, “Dude, think about what you just told him.”

“I didn’t know he was there!” Stiles protested.

Scott shrugged. “So, Cora’s cool, right?” he said, changing the subject carefully.

Stiles scowled, “I didn’t know he would hear that!”

“You still said it,” said Scott. “Did you like Cora?”

“I…“ Stiles floundered. “I like her, sure.”

“Yeah?” said Scott, a new hopeful glint in his eye. A totally unhelpful and stupid hopeful glint.

“Not like her like her,” said Stiles. “Seriously, is this fourth grade?”

“Oh,” said Scott.

“What, hoping I’d join the stalker-in-love society?” said Stiles, “Not my style.”

“I’m not stalking anyone!” Scott protested.

This was not going anywhere, Stiles realized. One friend he suspected was slightly stalkery did not a full acceptance into a jock society make. “Look, we gotta get lucky, dude,” said Stiles.

Scott’s puppy dog eyes came back. Stiles knew that look.

“I gotta be one of the guys!” Stiles protested. “Like, straight and stuff.”

“But… the girl…”

“Will still be a girl you still don’t know tomorrow.”

“But… wait, are you not straight?”

Stiles looked at the ceiling for a moment. “I like girls,” he said.

Scott looked confused, so Stiles took pity on him. He grabbed his shoulder and pulled him over to the group of girls.

It went far better than Stiles would have expected.

A gorgeous girl called Malia was totally into him. Who knew being on a college baseball team made a guy so attractive before they’d even had their first practice? She was hot and a bit weird, which Stiles was totally in to. And she worked fast. They chatted for a bit about nothing, avoiding lame questions about majors, but only narrowly and then Malia had a hand on his arm. Then she was standing so close, then she was kissing him. He heard some noises of enthusiasm from his teammates.

She pulled back.

“You got somewhere more… private?” she said.

“Yep, yep, totally,” replied Stiles. “Uh…”

He took her hand and began pull her towards his bedroom. Scott grinned at him and put his thumbs up, though he was not taking advantage of the obvious interest a different girl was paying him. Stiles rolled his eyes.

They passed Derek in the hallway, who gave them a glare, even as he put an arm around a beautiful brunette beside him. Stiles ignored him.

“Which one’s yours?” asked Malia, as they reached the top of the stairs.

Stiles grinned and opened his own door. “Welcome, sweet lady,” he said, cheerfully.

Malia looked through the door and then back at Stiles.

“What?” said Stiles.

He turned and looked himself.

“Fuck, Isaac!” he shouted. Stiles put his hands over his eyes, desperately wishing he could un-see what he'd just seen.

Isaac shrugged nonchalantly, strategically draping his scarf between his legs. "I thought you were downstairs."

"Yes, but now I'm upstairs...with a girl..." he said, trying to will Isaac to get the unsaid message.

"It's not my fault you didn't knock," said Isaac.

"Pretty sure you were doing enough knocking for the both of us, dude," replied Stiles.

Malia let out a bored sigh. "Are we going to do this or not? I haven't got all night."

"Yes, we're doing this. Isaac was just leaving, weren't you Isaac?" said Stiles, telling Isaac to fuck off with his eyes.

"Nope," said Isaac.

"Oh, come on!" Stiles exclaimed.

"Some of us don't have a girlfriend Stiles, don't you think you're being a bit insensitive?" said Isaac, narrowing his eyes at Stiles.

"You could join us..." started Malia.

"Yeah you could...no, wait a minute..." Stiles stopped midsentence, horrified. "No, that's not happening. You need to leave, now Isaac. If you don't, you're going to wake up tomorrow and find every single one of your scarves shredded to pieces."

Isaac narrowed his eyes at Stiles. "You wouldn't."

"Don't push me!"

Their eyes met and the two stared at each other, a silent tug-a-war for dominance. Isaac looked away first and Stiles knew he had won. Take that Isaac! Stiles gleefully watched as Isaac grabbed some jogging bottoms and pulled them on. Isaac glared at him the entire time.

"You owe me," said Isaac, as he reached the door.

"Whatever," said Stiles as he kicked the door shut behind his roommate.

He had little time to celebrate his small victory, as Malia was already pushing him onto the bed and climbing on top of him.

"Oh my God," said Stiles, between kisses. "This is really happening. College is amazing!"

"Less talking," said Malia as she reached for his belt. "You got a condom?"

"A condom...no," said Stiles.

"Oh," said Malia, she stopped what she was doing and slid off him.

"I'll go get one!" said Stiles. His dick screaming at him for his own stupidity. "Wait here, do not move."

Malia rolled her eyes, as he stood up and practically ran out the door. What kind of idiot didn't bring condoms to college? He looked at the doors belonging to his team mates, wondering which one belonged to Scott. Scott wouldn't mind if he borrowed a condom. They were pretty much brothers from another mother by this point.

He picked the door at the end, hoping it was Scott's room. It was pretty nice inside so obviously not Scott's. He was pretty sure Scott didn't have a double bed to himself or a guitar. As Stiles looked at the bedside table he noticed a framed picture of a large family beaming from the porch of a huge house; Stiles paled as he realized exactly who this room belonged to. Because Stiles’ luck sucked ass, at that moment he heard people on the stairs, mere seconds away. He dropped to the floor and rolled under the bed; being the Sheriff's kid meant he'd developed good reaction times and he was never more thankful for that than he was at this moment.

The door opened, and in moments, the bed above Stiles creaked as a woman giggled loudly. Oh God, he was trapped in Derek's room and Derek was in here with a girl. He was probably going to hear Derek have sex. What the hell had he done in a past life to deserve this? And why the hell did he suddenly feel jealous? Derek was a dick, he could sleep with whoever he wanted.

"I'm going to rock your world," said the woman, in an attempt to sound seductive.

It was such a cheesy line that Stiles got the uncontrollable urge to laugh at the situation he had found himself in. He shoved his fist into his mouth, but it was no use. He was soon giggling uncontrollably, tears streaming from his eyes.

"What hell was that?" asked Derek. The bed creaked as he climbed off it.

Stiles soon found furious green eyes angrily looking at him.

"Hey Derek," said Stiles, dragging out his name in an attempt to sound casual.

"There's someone under the bed?" shrieked the woman.

Two female feet appeared on the floor.

"Jen, I can explain." said Derek.

"Don't bother, freak."

Stiles cringed as the woman's feet pretty much ran from the room and he heard the sound of the door slamming. Derek's face was full of rage as he grabbed Stiles and pulled him out from under the bed. He lifted him to his feet, as if he weighed nothing. Derek had a hold of his t-shirt in both hands and was gripping it so hard his knuckles were white. This wasn't going to be pretty. Stiles was going to die.

"Give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you, right now," growled Derek.

Stiles actually couldn't think of one. He had majorly screwed up this time.

"I thought this was Scott's room," he said, hoping that whatever Derek planned to do with him would be quick and painless. “Sorry?”

"You are the most fucking annoying person I have ever met," snarled Derek.

"Yeah, I get told that a lot," replied Stiles, knowing for once arguing would be futile.

"Do you even care about what you just did?"

Stiles shrugged. "Dude, she told you she was going to rock your world. Who even says that stuff like that? If you actually think about, I probably saved you from a crazy woman who thought she was in a seventies porn film."

“I’m going to tear your throat out,” said Derek, “I’m going to kill you slowly.”

He tugged one hand from Stiles’ T-shirt, ready to punch.

“Wait!” cried Stiles, “Aren’t there rules about punching teammates?”

“Yeah,” said Derek, “Just after the ones about no girls and no alcohol. We’re not that hot on rules.”

“Uh…” said Stiles, “Your sister would be pissed?”

Derek growled, obviously not a helpful reminder.

“I could persuade her to come back?” Stiles suggested.

It was a bullshit suggestion, but it had Derek relax his grip for the second it took for Stiles to run for the door. Unfortunately, it was the worst move Stiles had ever made.

He overestimated the distance, and underestimated the number of obstacles between him and the door by one. That obstacle may have been his own foot, but Stiles went flying anyway, landing on the door handle harder than anyone should ever land on a crappy old door handle in a crappy student house. It was not meant to hold up a hundred and forty seven pounds of pale skin and fragile bone.

He landed on the floor with a headache and the door handle in his hand.

“Oh, shit,” he said.

Derek didn’t say anything. Stiles scrambled to his feet, staring at the door handle.

“Oh, shit,” Stiles repeated. In case the first time hadn’t registered the problem in Derek’s brain.

Derek stepped closer. “Have you… have fucking locked us in?”

“No!” Stiles cried. “I just… I was…”

“You’re a fucking liability,” growled Derek.

“Hey! I didn’t have a door with a shit handle!” Stiles shouted.

“I’ve managed to go a few years without fucking breaking it off,” Derek replied.

“Well, it was probably your freakish giant’s hands touching it every day that weakened it so much!” Stiles cried.

“No, I’ve just never broken into a housemate’s room, hidden under their bed and tried to do a handstand on the door handle when I was caught.”

Stiles waved the door handle around, “Firstly, I did not break in, the door was open, second, I thought it was Scott’s room, third, it’s not my fault you threatened to murder me!”

“I’m still gonna fucking murder you,” said Derek.

“Look,” said Stiles, waving his hands in front of him in a defensive motion. “All we have to do is shout loud enough for them to hear us.”

The music below seemed to get even louder. It was a college party after all.

“Okay, so, murder threats are not gonna help,” said Stiles.

“They make me feel better,” said Derek. But he backed off, shoving his hands into his pockets. Stiles watched, nervously.

“I’m sorry I ruined your… you know,” said Stiles. Then he remembered Malia. “Oh, shit!” he cried.

“What?”

“I've got a girl in my room!”

He shoved the handle at the door, trying to reattach it.

Derek grunted. “I’d be sympathetic, but…”

“Dude! She’s waiting for me!”

“Will you stop calling me dude?!” Derek groaned.

Stiles ignored him, looking through the hole made by the door handle. “If I just…”

He took incredible care to push the handle through. Something made a clunking noise. He held his breath. Then something fell out on the other side of the door. Stiles groaned.

Derek folded his arms. “You deserve it,” he said.

Stiles glared. “You deserve it.”

“What the fuck were you thinking?” Derek asked.

“What the fuck were you thinking?” Stiles mimicked, feeling petty.

“You’re so fucking annoying!” Derek told him.

“We’re locked in a room together!” Stiles cried, “Try not to be a dick!”

Derek gave him a hard gaze. “You started it,” he said.

“Did not!”

“Did!”

“Did not!”

“Did!”

Stiles gaped, “Is everyone who lives here ten?”

“You called me dude, even though I asked you not to, and suggested I don’t read.”

Stiles realized his mouth was still open. He shut it. “That’s not what happened.”

“Then you tried to get my sister angry with me.”

“Oh my god!” said Stiles.

“Let’s just… shut up,” said Derek.

“Don’t tell me to shut up!”

“I didn’t say… I mean, we’re gonna get into a fight,” said Derek. “So let’s just… not say anything.”

“But…”

“But what? You like fighting?”

“No,” said Stiles.

“Then shut up.”

Stiles opened his mouth, then closed it again. Then just stared at Derek for a bit.

Derek closed his eyes, maybe listening to the noise downstairs, maybe just trying to pretend Stiles wasn’t in the room. But Stiles was not good at shutting up.

"I thought college would be different," said Stiles, he leaned against the wall and slid down it. "I didn't think it would be a continuation of High School."

Derek frowned at him, before he sank to the floor next to him. "College is whatever you want it to be."

Stiles snorted. "I want it not to suck, but it already does and it’s only been a couple of hours."

"You haven't exactly been doing yourself any favors," said Derek, searching Stiles' face with his laser-like green eyes.

"I've not exactly been made to feel welcome," said Stiles, honestly. Stiles glanced at Derek and noticed the other man was staring at him, with something other than a scowl or a glare on his face. He was pretty attractive when he didn't look as if he wanted to murder Stiles.

"It works both ways, Stiles," said Derek.

"Well, maybe I'm the problem," he replied.

Derek raised an eyebrow at his words. "If you put anyone from this team in a room together as strangers it would be a mess. None of us are particularly friendly or nice people, but we have one thing in common: we have baseball. And that's all that matters."

Stiles couldn't help but give a smile to Derek, which Derek returned. Derek had a beautiful smile. Stiles shook his head, forcing the embarrassing thought away. Derek pushed himself off the floor and climbed onto his bed. He threw himself into his pillows.

"What are you doing?" asked Stiles.

"Going to sleep, there's nothing better to do," replied Derek, draping an arm over his eyes.

Stiles glared at him, suddenly remembering why he couldn't stand Derek.

"What am I meant to do?" asked Stiles.

"Do I look like I care?"

Stiles scowled at Derek, looking around the room for something to throw at him. But then he decided he could do something else, something much more annoying. Stiles stood up and threw himself onto Derek's bed, next to Derek.

Derek's eyes flew open. "What the hell?"

"It's a big bed, dude. Plenty of room for the both of us."

The scowl on Derek's face was back. "No!" he said, as he tried to savagely push Stiles off the bed.

Stiles clung onto the bed linen, refusing to budge. Be like a rock, an unmovable rock he chanted to himself. Derek was getting angrier and angrier, trying to dislodge Stiles from his current place. But Stiles was good, too good. He was like a cat or maybe even a ninja. Derek let out a frustrated growl and it was at that moment Stiles noticed their current positions; Derek was on top of Stiles, angrily glaring down at him. His hair was a mess and he had a savage look in his eyes.

And Stiles realized he really, really, really wanted Derek to kiss him. And fuck him. Lots. Which, eighteen year old, with a flexible view of sexuality, not exactly surprising. Though obviously poor taste. Very poor taste. But at least it would pass some time.

“Fine,” he said, “I’ll sleep on the floor.”

Derek seemed surprised by the turn of events. But then, he didn’t know Stiles’ secret desperation to hide his complicated sexuality from his hetero-normative college baseball team. He took a moment before he climbed off Stiles, who awkwardly wriggled his way off the bed.

“Uh… I just… sorry.”

Stupid, Stiles, Stiles thought.

Derek grunted and lay down on the other side of the bed. Stiles dropped to the floor, gracelessly. The party continued outside.

“Sorry I ruined your… you know,” he said.

Derek grunted. It might have been something along the lines of ‘you too’. Or it might have been a ‘fuck you’. Stiles didn’t push for further explanation. He wondered what Malia would say.

A pillow landed on his head. “Thanks,” he mumbled.

He slept to the sound of his first college party.

 

***

 

He woke to the sound of the door being broken down. After half a dozen bangs, Boyd fell through the doorway. Stiles rubbed his head, trying to soothe away his headache.

Derek grunted, too.

“Hey,” he said.

“How did you know?” asked Derek.

“Because it’s ten o’clock and you hadn’t shouted at us yet,” said Boyd.

Derek sprang out of bed. “Shit!” he cried. He began dashing about his room, grabbing fresh clothes, deodorant, comb.

“Ten?” Stiles repeated, “We just had a party! Why would we be up at ten?”

“Because we’re a baseball team,” said Derek. “And ten o’clock means one thing.”

“What?” Stiles groaned.

Derek grimaced, pausing in his quest. “Coach is here.”

Stiles pushed himself up from the floor slowly, trying to get rid of the pain in his neck. He yawned loudly, wondering why Boyd and Derek looked so rattled. It was just their baseball coach.

"I'll just..." said Stiles, indicating towards the door. Wondering if there was any protocol or things you should say to a guy whose floor he'd just spent the night sleeping on.

"Get out of here!" ordered Derek.

"Right," said Stiles, escaping the room before he could do anything else to piss Derek off further.

He climbed down the stairs, deciding to take a shower later. He didn't want to make a bad impression on his coach, like he had his team mates. Stiles joined a group sitting in the living room, slipping into a vacant plastic fold out chair. He recognized a number of his roommates present and a few guys he'd met only briefly the night before. The whole team.

"So ladies," said the man in the middle of the room, who Stiles assumed was the coach. He was the oldest one there and had wild hair. "Practice tomorrow, it's an important day. I hope you've all been practicing over the summer."

"Yes, Coach," said Jackson, who was sat on one of the sofas.

Stiles should have guessed Jackson was a kiss-ass.

"Now I know usually I'm meant to say some words of encouragement or some other type of bullshit, but I'm not going to today." said Coach. He paused as he noticed Derek entering the room. "Nice of you to join us, Hale."

"Sorry Coach," said Derek.

Derek was carrying two cups of coffee and slid into the free chair next to Stiles. Derek passed one of the cups over to Stiles. Stiles accepted it with a significant amount of suspicion. Maybe Derek had decided to kill him by lacing his coffee with poison. Derek raised an eyebrow at him, as if reading what he was thinking.

"This year I don't want you guys to have any distractions," said Coach, looking at them all accusingly. "So that means no girls in your bedrooms. Just say no guys, if abstinence means we win the league, then I expect all of you to keep it in your pants. This isn't High School any more, it's College Baseball. Life up until this point has all been leading up to this, your moment of glory before you all finish your education and ending up flipping burgers for a living."

Stiles took a gulp of coffee and was pleasantly surprised that there seemed to be nothing wrong with it.

"Also, no alcohol. Ever.”

The whole team had the blank faces of people who were going to politely ignore everything that was said.

“Your first practice is tomorrow and you need to make it a good one, we have no room for losers or failures," continued Coach. "We are all here to win and if you can't cope with that, then you better run home and cry to your mommies. You're playing with the big boys now, there is no room for anything else but winning. Have I made myself clear?"

"Yes Coach!" shouted Stiles' teammates in unison.

"First practice tomorrow. If you have any questions, direct them at Hale. I'm out of here." said Coach. Coach gave them a nod, before he left the room and headed towards the front door.

"What is with that guy?" Stiles asked Derek.

"He's a good coach," said Derek, practically inhaling his own cup of coffee.

Stiles shook his head. "I'm pretty sure he's insane."

"Because you're such a good judge of character," snorted Derek.

"Coming from the guy whose taste in women is measured by how much they rock his world," replied Stiles. It was like he couldn't stop himself throwing insults at Derek, like it was some sick compulsion. Maybe he got a kick out of Derek being angry.

"Well at least she didn't end up sleeping with Isaac instead of me," said Derek, a victorious glint in his eyes.

Stiles frowned and glanced around the room, looking for Isaac. He caught sight of the other boy sitting with Scott across the room. Even from the distance Stiles was sitting away from him, he could see an ugly love bite on Isaac's neck.

"Are you kidding me?" Stiles cried. "You know what? I'm out of here."

The smirk on Derek's face dropped and he looked as if he was disappointed. But that couldn't be right, why would he be disappointed? Stiles couldn't be bothered to find out.

 

***

 

Stiles nursed a hot chocolate, as he sat in the coffee shop he'd found just ten minutes earlier. He was relieved to finally have some time to himself and a chance to feel like a normal college kid. His head was throbbing from where he'd hit it on Derek's door the night previously and he was exhausted. He couldn't take any more macho pretense today.

"You look like you've had a bit of a rough night," said the man at the table next to Stiles.

Stiles glanced over at the man. He was definitely not the age of a student. Maybe he was a professor. There was something oddly familiar about him, but he seemed friendly enough.

"You have no idea," said Stiles.

“Well, coffee’s better for hangovers,” said the man, “Can I get you one?”

Stiles shook his head, very gently, “No thanks, I already had some.”

“Freshman?” asked the man, with a smile.

“Have I got a sign on my forehead?”

The man’s eyes were locked on his face. “How are you finding it?”

Stiles shrugged, and pretended he wasn’t sad.

“It’s early days,” said the man, obviously seeing straight through him.

Stiles hummed and went back to his hot chocolate.

“You’re in halls?”

Stiles shook his head, “In a house off campus,” he said.

“One of the sports teams?” said the man.

Stiles looked up. His slightly stalkery alerts were going off.

“Uh…” he said.

The man smiled, “I’m a professor,” he said, “I teach psychology.”

“Right,” said Stiles. He had picked some psychology courses, but he didn’t know who the professors were yet. This guy could be lying.

“I’ve freaked you out,” said the maybe-professor. He didn’t sound that sorry about it.

“No…” said Stiles, because he had a feeling the professor would be pleased with confirmation that he had.

The man merely nodded, as though Stiles had confirmed it, “You know, I can imagine what it’s like to be hiding your sexuality from a whole house of hyper-masculine, hetero-normative athletes.”

He said it like it was a fact, a list of truths that were irrefutable.

“What?” said Stiles.

“If you ever need a break from the testosterone filled, ultra-competitive, constant stream of low level misogyny, here’s my card.” He handed over a small rectangle with the university crest on. Stiles took it, because otherwise he’d start making protestations about his own sexuality, which was far from the point.

“Do I get to know your name?” asked the professor.

“Stiles,” said Stiles, with little hesitation. It was not an official name, so he could not be found on the system.

“Good to meet you, Stiles,” said the professor. He scooped up his now empty coffee cup and deposited it on the counter, before leaving, with one last, friendly glance in Stiles’ direction.

Which was weird. Because someone had just read Stiles’ entire brain, then given him a business card and fucked off. Generally weird behavior.

Maybe he was being pranked by his shitty housemates. It was relatively slow for a college prank, but still. More likely than an actual psychic psychology professor telling him his problems.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sight of Scott passing the window with a bunch of flowers. Which, if that was part of the prank, Stiles would just see what happened.

He ran out of the coffee shop and followed Scott at high speed.

“Hey, Scott,” he called.

His teammate turned, slightly surprised. "Stiles!" He said, then looked around himself, "uh..."

"You look like a man who's up to something," said Stiles, conversationally.

"No!" Scott protested, in the least persuasive voice he could have managed.

"What's with the flowers?" asked Stiles.

"What? I don't have any flowers!" Scott lied.

Stiles pointed at the flowers.

"Oh, those flowers," said Scott.

"Yep, those flowers," Stiles confirmed.

"Uh..." said Scott, "nothing."

Stiles looked at the flowers again.

"Okay!" Scott cried, as though he were giving in to hours of inquisition rather than a question and a couple of looks. "They're for the girl in apartment 207."

"Dude!" Stiles cried. "That such a stalker thing to do!"

"No it's not!" Scott shouted, "I knew you'd say that! That's why I was doing it in secret!"

"It is so stalkery, Scott!" Stiles insisted. "Just... Don't!"

"It's not stalkery, it's romantic!" said Scott. "And stalkery isn't even a word."

"I think you can figure out what it means from context," said Stiles "And, you're gonna scare some poor girl!"

Scott looked like a puppy that Stiles had viciously kicked multiple times.

"No!" Stiles said. "No amount of sad face can make it less stalkery."

Scott's lip quivered.

"Oh come on!" Stiles cried.

 

***

 

There were plenty of girls outside the apartment block. Thankfully none of them shouted 'stalkers!!' at Scott and Stiles. Stiles desperately tried to think of what he could do to make Scott stop with his idiotic plan, but it seemed his brain had grown tired with his bullshit and was taking a break.

Scott stopped suddenly and froze. Stiles followed Scott's gaze and noticed the object of Scott's affection was standing by a car, talking to a guy who looked almost as much as a douche as Jackson.

"Oh," said Scott, his voice full of sadness.

"Maybe it's her brother?" suggested Stiles, dumbly.

As Stiles said this, the guy leaned in towards her, his arms snaking round her body to rest on her ass. Stiles grabbed Scott's arm and began to tug him away, not wanting him to see this. It was like showing a six year old the dressing room where the out of work guys dress up as Santa.

But, at that moment the girl grabbed hold of the guy’s shoulders and kneed him hard, in the groin.

"You crazy bitch!" shouted the guy, bent over in pain.

Scott went to launch himself forward, but Stiles stopped him. Scott needn't have worried. The girl performed some type of martial arts move that Stiles was sure he'd only seen once before in a movie. The guy seemed to have finally got the message along with his well-earned bruises and was stumbling away from her, weaving his way through the cars.

"Scott," said Stiles. "Maybe we should go. She looks like she could crush you with her little finger."

Scott shook his head. "Wow,” he breathed out. "She's...she's amazing."

Stiles resisted the urge to slap him round the back of the head; his friend really did have it bad. Scott began to walk towards the girl and Stiles felt powerless to stop him. As they reached the girl she looked at them in confusion, as if ready for another argument. Scott was right, she really was beautiful. She had long dark brown hair and soft doe-like dark eyes. If Stiles hadn't already seen what she was capable of, he would have thought she was just some sweet and innocent girl. Not the undercover Black Widow of the college campus.

"Hi," said Scott, looking at the girl as if she'd hung the moon and stars. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," said the girl, "I'm okay."

"That guy was a total douche," said Scott, a look of sadness on his face.

The girl shrugged her shoulders, but she was looking at Scott with a soft smile. "He's just another dumb jerk. I've met quite a few in the last two days."

Scott looked down at the flowers in his hands and then held them out to her. "These are for you."

Her eyes widened and then her smile brightened. "You don't have to..."

"I want to," said Scott. "I'm sorry you've met lots of jerks. I'm Scott by the way."

"Allison," she said, smelling the flowers. "They're beautiful."

"Like you," said Scott, beaming at her.

Stiles looked between the two of them, noticing matching looks of adoration on both of their faces. Looks like Scott wasn't the only one to experience the love at first sight thing.

"I'll leave you two to it," said Stiles.

"Okay," said Scott, refusing to tear his eyes away from Allison.

"Do you want to come inside?" she asked.

"Sure," said Scott, breathlessly.

Stiles shoved his hands in his pocket and walked away from the two of them, wondering if life could get any weirder. He really needed to go get some sleep.

 

***

 

When Stiles reached the house, he found all the guys were outside chilling out in the sun. Someone had got a paddling pool and filled it with ice and beer, chairs littered the lawn and Derek was holding an axe. Stiles paused, not wanting to alert Derek to his presence when he had a weapon.

He watched in awe as Parrish swung back his arm and threw the ball at Derek. Derek swung the axe and sliced the ball straight through the middle. That was impressive and hot as hell. Stiles tried not to drool as he took in Derek's tight t-shirt, which left nothing to the imagination. Why did such a dick make him so hot under the collar? Little Stiles totally wanted to get on that train and ride it for a few stops, even if the train took him to a bad place.

Stiles turned and noticed a blonde girl was standing next him, watching him practically drooling at the sight of Derek. She had a knowing look on her face.

"He's so hot, it's criminal," she said, smiling knowingly at him.

"I wasn't looking at him," said Stiles, his voice turning oddly high pitched.

"Of course you weren't," she said, winking at him.

Stiles bit his lip, desperately searching his head for an excuse. "I was thinking about baseball."

She raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow at him. "Of course you were. Which base? Second or third? I'm pretty sure Derek's a pro at getting to both of them. Or were you more interesting in hitting that and getting a home run?"

"Neither!" said Stiles, wondering what weird voodoo she was using on him.

She began to laugh. "Your secret's safe with me, Batman, don't worry. You must be the new kid, Stiles, right?"

Stiles eyed her appraisingly, wondering how she knew him, and how far her psychic powers could possibly stretch. She was obviously one of the guy's girlfriends, but he couldn't figure out which. She was dressed in denim shorts, brightly colored converses and a black t-shirt, which had a picture of Cat Woman on.

"Yeah."

"I'm Erica, Boyd's girlfriend."

Stiles looked at her in surprise.

"He was telling me about you earlier, I was pretty impressed," said Erica. "It took me at least two days to establish that eighty percent of the guy's in this house are dicks. And then a further three to piss them off to a point that I found satisfactory. Apparently it only took you five minutes. That's skills."

Stiles shrugged his shoulders. "It's a gift."

"Well if you ever fancy hanging out and bitching about Jackson, you know where I am."

"I'll bear that in mind," said Stiles, he stepped around her in desperately late for a date with his own bed.

"It's a shame," said Erica, just as Stiles was walking towards the house.

"What is?" asked Stiles, pausing and turning back towards her.

"If I wasn't with Boyd, you'd have probably had a chance with me. You're pretty cute."

Stiles grinned at her. "Maybe in some alternate universe or something."

Erica shook her head, glancing over towards Derek. He had now stopped slicing baseballs open with an axe and was glaring at the two of them. It was as if he'd sensed Stiles' presence and needed to express his displeasure at being in close proximity to him.

"Somehow I don't think so," she said. Erica checked Derek was still watching and placed a kiss on Stiles' cheek. "But you never know."

Stiles' blushed, immediately glancing over to where Boyd was sitting. Boyd just rolled his eyes at him, as if used to his girlfriend's antics. Derek, however, once again looked murderous. Nothing new there.

"See you around," said Stiles, climbing up the steps to the house.

"Not if I see you first, Batman," she called after him.

Stiles grinned as he opened the front door and went inside. He began to climb the stairs, his body feeling heavier with every step he took. He reached his bedroom door, but stopped as he heard a throaty moan from behind it and the sound of bed springs. Fuck his life! It sounded like Isaac was having sex in there, again! He heard an animal like noise, which very much sounded as if it came from that girl Malia. How could they be at it, again?

Stiles was so tired that he was almost tempted to walk in there and throw himself on his bed. They could have sex while he slept for all he cared. He shook his head and then stepped away from the door, contemplating sleeping in the jeep. He'd probably boil alive in there.

Stiles glanced down the hallway and saw Derek's door at the end, as if it was calling to him. He looked around and then stepped towards it. Stiles only needed an hour's sleep, he could sneak in and out without Derek noticing. Derek was too busy being king of the dicks. He reached for the newly fixed door handle and turned it, before stepping in the room. The bed was freshly made and the sight of it made Stiles' eyes water, he was so tired. He unlaced his sneakers and then climbed onto it, throwing himself onto the pillows. He wouldn't be here long, no-one would ever know he thought. He closed his eyes and was relieved when sleep began to wash over him.

 

***

 

“Well, that was fast work,” said an unfamiliar voice that had no place in Stiles’ dream. “I’m impressed.”

“Shut up,” growled another.

“Seriously, he’s cute,” said the first voice, slowly registering in Stiles’ brain as female. “I can totally see the appeal.”

“Shut up, Laura,” said the second, which made Stiles moan. A mix of dread, anticipation and want.

“Aw, he recognizes your voice in his sleep,” said the first voice, presumably Laura. “Finds it exciting when you’re angry. That bodes well.”

“Shut the fuck up, Laura!” the second voice shouted. “Stiles!”

Stiles groaned and turned over.

“Stiles!” the second voice shouted again. “Get the fuck out of my bed!”

Stiles’ eyes opened. “Oh shit,” he mumbled.

“I’m going to rip your throat out,” growled Derek.

“Derek!” Stiles tried, a friendly greeting, a smile, like it’s totally normal to sleep in someone else’s bed in the middle of the day.

“Derek!” Laura echoed, with a huge amount of mocking reproach. “You can’t talk to your boyfriend like that!”

“He’s not my boyfriend!” Derek growled. “He’s an idiot who can’t find his own bedroom.”

“I could find my own bedroom, but there were bad things in there,” Stiles protested. “Seriously bad.”

“And you knew you’d always be welcomed in Derek’s bed,” said Laura, kindly, and exceedingly blasé.

“I thought he would never know!” said Stiles.

“GET! OUT! OF! MY! BED!”

With rage of a magnitude Stiles had rarely seen, Derek looked ready throw him bodily out the window.

“Okay! Okay!” Stiles groaned. He wriggled out from under the covers, stumbled slightly to avoid Derek’s potential retaliation, and escaped down the hall.

“Not even gonna kiss him goodbye?” he heard Laura croon.

“Oh shit,” he whispered to himself. Meeting someone who was obviously Derek’s girlfriend was not something he’d wanted to do. And she’d totally recognized that he wasn’t straight, and that was how many people who had noticed that now? He had to share a house with these people! What would they do to him? He would not put it past someone like Jackson to kill him in his sleep, or at least keep up a stream of harassment.

He made it to the door of his room before he realized Isaac and Malia were still, unbelievably, at it. With a shiver, he went outside instead.

“Fuck!” he said.

There were still a couple of people hanging around in the late afternoon sunshine. Jackson gave him a glower as Lydia gave him a little finger wave. He nodded back, the bare minimum of social necessity, without a fucking clue where he was going.

He walked. Just walked. Down streets, past houses, past cars. Then he started running in a vague effort to get away from himself. He didn’t want to see these people. He didn’t want to think about them judging him. He didn’t want to think about it at all.

He remembered his high school prom. He remembered trying to hide in the crowd, but it not being enough.

“Fuck!” he shouted at the world in general.

He collapsed in a heap by a field.

“What the fuck am I doing?” he asked the sky.

The sky didn’t answer.

 

***

 

Hours later, he heard feet. He turned to see Derek marching towards him. His heart sank and he turned back to staring into space.

“At fucking last,” said Derek, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“Nothing,” said Stiles.

“Having a hissy fit?” asked Derek, “Used to be the baseball star at High School, now you see what real men can do, you come have a little cry by the river?”

“Fuck you!” Stiles cried.

“Get over it,” said Derek.

“I’m not having a hissy fit!” Stiles protested.

“Then what the fuck are you doing?”

Stiles didn’t want to answer. He didn’t see why he should answer. Some douche jock being a bully didn’t mean he had to say anything. He stared at the ground, not letting himself see anything higher than Derek’s feet.

Derek scowled at him. "It looks to me like you're sulking”

“Fuck you!” spat Stiles, crossing his arms. "That's not what I'm doing."

“Then what are you doing?” asked Derek.

Stiles didn’t want to answer. He didn’t see why he should answer. Derek couldn't tell him what to do, it was his life. If he needed to run off and have a sulk, he'd run off and have a sulk. He folded his arms and didn’t look at Derek, the tension obvious in his whole body. The silence between them extended. Stiles wrapped his arms around his legs.

The feet retreated, suddenly. He wasn’t expecting it and he turned back to watch Derek go. He wasn’t leaving, he was simply going to his car. He returned moments later with a bag of equipment.

“Get up,” Derek ordered.

“What? Why?”

“You’re a pitcher, right?” said Derek. “Pitch to me.”

“Uh…”

“Get off your ass and pitch,” Derek snapped.

Stiles clambered messily to his feet. Derek threw a few balls at him and they began.

Twenty minutes later Stiles had learned a number of things about Derek: His t-shirt stuck to him rather nicely when he was hot and sweaty, he was a natural at baseball and his smile gave Stiles’ stomach butterflies. It actually made Stiles want to make him smile more, although angry Derek was becoming a bit of a kink of his. Of course, Derek lifting up his t-shirt and showing off his six-pack as he wiped the sweat off his face was fast being added to Stiles' memory banks for later.

"Right, your turn, High School big shot," said Derek, he handed the bat to Stiles and dropped the balls he'd retrieved onto the grass.

Stiles blushed, realizing he was still staring at the space where Derek had lifted up his t-shirt. "I wouldn't want to embarrass you Big Guy. These scrawny arms are just a ruse for the best batter you've ever seen."

Derek smiled again and Stiles felt warm all over.

"I'll take that risk."

Stiles took up position and waited for Derek to pitch, he swung the bat back and completely missed the first ball.

"Just warming up," said Stiles, feeling his cheeks flush.

Derek threw the next one and Stiles missed again. He cursed internally, knowing he was completely distracted by Derek. His pitcher mind-set was completely different to his batter mind-set. Derek walked over to him, looking thoughtfully at Stiles' positioning.

"Your bat is slightly at the wrong angle," said Derek, as he stepped behind Stiles.

"My angle is..." Stiles trailed off, as he felt strong arms wrap around him. Derek's arms settled on Stiles, holding the bat with him. Stiles felt hot all over, having Derek wrapped around him was doing nothing for his concentration. He was pretty sure he could feel Derek's rapid heartbeat from where his back and Derek's front were touching.

"There," said Derek, his breath feather light on Stiles' neck. "Perfect."

Stiles tried to calm down his body, knowing he was shaking slightly. If he turned just a little he could kiss Derek. It would be so easy, he could blame it on the heat or something. Both seemed stuck in position, as if reluctant to break the spell they seemed to be under.

"Stiles! Derek!"

The two sprung apart.

They looked towards the new arrival. Jackson was striding across the field towards them. Stiles had never quite hated someone so much for no real reason.

“What?” Derek growled, apparently annoyed. Maybe embarrassed to be seen so close to Stiles.

“Oh, excuse me,” said Jackson. “Lydia was all, go check on Stiles, he seemed upset, blah, fucking, blah, and I do that and I get shit for it. You two should go fuck yourselves. You know what? Fuck each other.”

“Fuck off!” Stiles snapped.

“Get lost, Jackson,” said Derek, a little more calmly, because he probably wasn’t working stupidly hard to hide his general lack of simple, traditional, heterosexuality.

“Did I interrupt you rubbing each other off?” said Jackson.

Stiles surged forward, fists clenched. The tension that had begun to dwindle with the simple time spent with Derek vanished as he aimed his fist square at Jackson's stupid string athlete's jaw. He missed because Derek dragged his arm off course. Which was fucking humiliating.

Jackson began laughing. Derek scowled.

"What the fuck?!" Stiles demanded.

"He's just joking," said Derek, quietly.

"It's not funny!" Stiles growled.

"Still. No punching team mates," Derek added. "I'd do the same if someone tried to punch you."

"When you're done being losers in a field, we're going to a bar," said Jackson. "You guys can come be losers in a bar. Later losers"

He turned back the way he came.

Stiles scowled in Derek's direction.

"Go collect the balls," said Derek.

The moment had well and truly vanished. Whatever ceasefire had been formed between them had gone when Jackson had arrived.

Stiles tried to pretend it didn't upset him. Straight jocks don't get upset because it was time to go to a bar.

 

***

 

The guys were making a bit of effort tonight, dressing up nice, hoping to impress some girls. Scott had a tentative arrangement to meet the brunette, Allison, a name which had to be pronounced in a loving sigh.

Stiles really did not feel up to it.

"You should go," said Scott, "You know, show them you're not actually a douche."

"Show them I'm not a douche?" Stiles repeated in disgust.

"You know, build bridges or whatever," Scott suggested, because he was a genuine and relaxed guy, rather than a writhing mess of anxieties and sadness. If Stiles had had a friend like Scott in High School... He would have had a friend in High School.

There was a knock on his door and Stiles froze, wondering if Isaac had finally returned from who knows where. It had been nice to have the room to himself for a while. The person on the other side waited for around a second, before they barged into his room.

Stiles's mouth fell open as Lydia casually walked into his room and fixed him with an unimpressed look.

"You're not wearing that," said Lydia, simply.

“Sorry? I was too busy admiring your Goddess like beauty to hear that," said Stiles.

"That outfit is hideous," said Lydia, pulling a face at his best plaid shirt.

She walked over to his closet and opened it. "Why do you have so many scarves in here?" she asked.

Stiles pulled a face. "They belong to Isaac."

"I think Stiles looks okay," said Scott.

Stiles didn't think he could love Scott any more than in that moment. The dude was willing to defend him in front of someone as terrifying at Lydia; that was true dedication to a bro.

"Well, he looks above average for someone that got dressed in the dark this morning, but I have standards." Lydia threw some skinny jeans at him.

"Those aren't mine," said Stiles.

"Isaac won't mind," said Lydia, rolling her eyes at him. She pulled a small white t-shirt out of the closet and threw that at him too. "Put them on."

Stiles felt himself going red. "I can't do that in front of you."

"It's nothing I haven't seen before," sighed Lydia. "How about I turn around and you can pretend I'm not here." She turned away from him and crossed her arms, staring at the wall.

"I think you should do what she wants," whispered Scott. "She's way more scary than Isaac."

"I don't hear you changing," said Lydia. "Don't make me undress you myself Stiles."

"Alright!" said Stiles.

He threw off his shirt and t-shirt and replaced it with the one Lydia had picked for him. It was tight, very tight. Stiles then pulled off his pants and replaced them with the skinny jeans.

Scott's mouth fell open when Stiles had finally finished changing.

"Dude!" he said. "You look hot."

Lydia turned around and then smiled when she looked at Stiles. "Almost perfect, but not quite."

She went into Stiles and Isaac's shared shower room and came back a moment later with a pot of hair gel.

"Bend down," Lydia ordered.

Stiles didn't dare to disobey her. Lydia grabbed a hand full of gel and used it to mess his hair up. Stiles stood up straight and Lydia rewarded him with a massive grin.

"Derek is going to flip," she said, her eyes full of mischief.

Stiles frowned, wondering why his new look would have any effect on Derek's mood. Maybe Derek didn't like pretty boys.

"Derek?" asked Scott in confusion.

"You really are as naïve as they say you are, aren't you McCall?" said Lydia, a look of pity on her face.

"Derek hates me," said Stiles.

"Of course he does," said Lydia, winking at him.

"Come on," said Stiles to Scott. "Lets go downstairs and see where the other guys are. I'm scared if I stay here much longer Lydia will make me change again."

Stiles left his room with Scott, but paused at the door when he noticed Lydia wasn't following him.

"Are you coming?" asked Stiles.

Lydia shook her head at him. "No, I think I'll stay here and do something about this scarf situation."

Stiles shook his head, but decided to leave her to it. Isaac deserved a little bit of karma after that stunt he'd pulled with Malia. He climbed down the stairs and headed into the living room. Stiles stopped dead when he saw Derek standing in there, back to the door, in dark jeans and a shirt, looking as hot as hell. Derek turned and...Just kind of stared.

“Hey,” said Stiles.

Derek coughed and turned away from him. Stiles nodded. It figured.

 

***

 

They all made their way to the bar together, a loud gang of excitable jocks. Stiles pretended it was fine. He pretended the comments sent in the direction of passing women were funny. He pretended that the boasts were entertaining, that he was just one of them. He didn’t try to pick out any women himself, he’d learned his lesson, but he could laugh with the gang and agree.

Every now and again, Derek turned his dark glare of gloom on him. It was disappointing after he’d thought they’d got some quality bonding in. Even if the dark glare of gloom was hot. It didn’t count because basically everything Derek did was hot.

The team invaded the bar, loud and obnoxious, winning scowls from some old guys who had been having a quiet drink. They took bets on games of pool, they took bets on arm wrestling, they took bets on who could get the girls’ phone numbers, and who could toss quarters into glasses.

When Stiles lost a bet on who could flip a bar mat the highest, he was sent up to the bar for more drinks. The staff ignored him, obviously annoyed by the team’s antics. He tried to catch the eyes of an unhappy looking barman, but he gave Stiles a sneer and ignored his words.

“Great,” Stiles mumbled. “Great.”

“Hey,” said the guy next to him.

The barman gave that guy a smile. He got noticed. Stiles glared at him.

“A beer, and whatever this guy’s having,” said the guy. He smiled at Stiles, who felt even shittier for the glowering.

Stiles fell over his words to share his order with the barman. The barman listened with an unfriendly curve of his lips. When he went to fetch the order, Stiles turned to his savior.

“Thanks, dude!” he said, “I thought he was gonna ignore me all night.”

“That’s cool,” replied the guy.“I’ve been that only decent guy on a table of douches.”

“That’s… unfair,” Stiles protested.

“Is it?” asked the guy, doubtfully.

“Well, Scott’s cool.”

The guy looked back at the team, who were having a competition over who could put their hand on a lighter for longest.

“Which one’s Scott?” asked the guy.

“The one sat way over there,” said Stiles. He pointed at where Scott was staring lovingly into Allison’s eyes. If he didn’t know better he would have thought Scott wasn’t even with them.

“Yeah, he seems cool,” said the guy.

Stiles shrugged and the guy smiled.

“I’m Theo, by the way,” said the guy, eyes glittering at Stiles. A flirt. The barman brought over the drinks

“Stiles,” said Stiles, “Uh…. I should…” he pointed back to the guys.

“Stay,” said Theo.

“Uh,” Stiles looked back at the team. They weren’t really looking his way, because Jackson was balancing a beer mat on his head.

“Go on,” said Theo, leaning closer, putting his face closer to Stiles’ to follow Stiles’ gaze. “They won’t notice.”

“It’s team bonding,” Stiles said. “I should really…”

“Waste an evening talking B. S. to guys with tiny cocks and tinier IQs?” Theo asked, standing close. His intent obvious.

Stiles blinked. Sex was on the table, with a guy who was good looking and interested in Stiles.

“Or,” said Theo, voice a cocky purr. “You could sit with me. Chat about something more fun, then…. Maybe…”

His arm was really close to Stiles’, but Stiles could only stare at his face. There was something about Theo that made Stiles want to take a step back. He did just that.

“Thanks, but I gotta get back,” he said.

He saw that all the drinks were collected. He picked up as many as he could, balancing them in his arms, and took them to the table. The team cheered, and Stiles ran back to the bar to grab his own drink. Theo had picked it up and was holding it out. Stiles took it with a nervous smile, and a heap of social awkwardness.

He went back to the guys and sat next to Parrish, one of the few team members who could do a good impression of someone who wasn’t a dick.

"Was he giving you any trouble?" asked Parrish, a frown on his face. "I can go have a word with him if he was."

"No, we were just talking," said Stiles, gulping down his drink, awkwardly.

Parrish nodded and gave Stiles a once over. "You look good tonight."

Stiles blushed a little. "Thanks, but Lydia picked the outfit."

"Lydia is kind and thoughtful like that," said Parrish, a soft smile on his face. "I think a lot of people don't realize that she has so many different layers to her. She's probably the most intelligent woman I have ever met."

"Shame her boyfriend's a grade A douchebag," said Stiles. He looked at Parrish thoughtfully, realizing perhaps he wasn't the only one in the baseball team with an unobtainable crush. From the look in his eyes when he spoke about Lydia, Parrish had it bad.

"Have you told her how you feel?" asked Stiles. "You never know, she might see the light and dump Jackson's sorry ass."

"I don't-" started Parrish, looking awkward.

"Dude, your secret's safe with me," said Stiles. He paused, feeling a little light headed, as if he'd had too much to drink already. The world was slightly tilting and blurring.

"Stiles?" asked Parrish, a worried expression on his face.

Stiles waved his hand in reassurance, trying to ignore the fact each hand had ten fingers. He didn't feel too good, he needed to go get some air.

"Stiles?" asked Parrish again.

"I think I need some air," said Stiles, he shakily got to his feet and tried to ignore the fact that the world was spinning as if he was on a fairground ride. He pushed his way past groups of people dancing towards the exit, not caring who he bumped into or offering any apology. He pushed the door to the club open and started to gulp down the cold outside air, stumbling into the alley at the side of the club and gripping onto the wall to stay upright.

"Are you alright?" said a faraway voice.

Stiles tried to focus on who said it, but everything was a blur of color and shapes. Finally a face swam into view, and Stiles took a few moments to recognize it as that Theo guy from the bar.

"Can I call someone?" asked Theo.

Stiles shook his head, desperately trying to regain some control over his body. He had to be having a panic attack, but he'd never had a panic attack like this before.

"How about I take you back to my place and make you feel better," said Theo from a faraway place.

There seemed to be two arms either side of Stiles' shoulders, practically pinning him to the wall. Theo's face seemed to be getting closer and closer, but the face wasn't Theo; it was some type of beast with glowing blue eyes.

"Or I could make you feel better right here," said the beast, teeth snapping with the words.

"Get the fuck away from him!" roared a familiar voice.

The beast was ripped away from him and Stiles’ legs refused to keep him upright, he slid down the wall and onto the floor. He looked up. Derek was wrestling with the beast and had glowing red eyes. Stiles shook his head and forced himself to focus and was relieved when his vision went back to normal. Derek and Theo were grappling with one another and both were perfectly human and with perfectly normal eyes. He let out a gasp as Derek punched Theo hard in the jaw.

"What did you put in his drink?" demanded Derek.

"Nothing," spat Theo.

"Then how do you explain that?" said Derek, pointing at Stiles.

Stiles didn't enjoy being referred to as that. He tried to open his mouth to tell Derek this, but the words just spilled out as a stream of incomprehensible syllables.

"It's not my fault the kid can't handle his drink," said Theo.

"Mmph," said Stiles. Which, in his head, exclaimed his present situation was nothing to do with alcohol.

"Get the fuck out of here!" growled Derek, pushing Theo towards the entrance of the alley. "If you go near him again I will kill you."

Stiles expected Theo to argue, but Theo slinked off like the snake he truly was. Stiles rested his head onto his knees, trying to make the world make sense again. He was startled when a gentle hand touched his chin and made him look up. Derek was kneeling in front of him, his face etched with concern.

"Are you okay?" asked Derek, his voice soft and gentle.

"You have pretty eyes," said Stiles, before he could stop himself. "They're like looking at a kaleidoscope of colors."

The tips of Derek's ears seemed to go an awkward shade of red. "I think we should get you home, I'm pretty sure that guy slipped something into your drink."

"Derek, have you ever kissed a man before? Maybe you could try it right now, just for a College experiment or something," said Stiles.

Derek looked even more constipated than usual at his suggestion. "Stiles, you're not thinking straight."

Stiles let out an awkward giggle at the word straight. Straight was what Derek was and he would never want to kiss Stiles. Even if Stiles thought his eyes were very pretty.

"I think I'm going to throw up," said Stiles, feeling suddenly nauseous. He leaned to the side and puked all over the alleyway. He was surprised Derek stroked his back in a circular soothing motion as he did. Why did Derek have to be nice now? Stiles would much prefer it if he went back to being a dick. Stiles didn't like to look vulnerable.

"Lets get you home," said Derek, slowly pulling Stiles to his feet.

"I'm disgusting," whined Stiles, knowing the chance of Derek ever by some miracle finding him attractive had all but disappeared. "And I've got puke all over Isaac's clothes."

"He won't mind," said Derek, guiding Stiles out of the alley. "He's a pretty decent guy once you get to know him."

As Stiles stepped out of the alley he saw Jackson standing there, as if he had been watching Derek and Stiles.

"Have you had anything to drink yet?" Derek asked Jackson.

"Nope," replied Jackson. "I'm meant to be picking Lydia up later."

"Can you take Stiles to your car and wait for me? I'm going to tell the guys I'm taking him home, are you okay to take us?"

"Sure, man," said Jackson. He grabbed Stiles by the elbow, his nose scrunching at the sight of vomit. "Come on."

Stiles allowed himself to be lead two blocks and forced himself to focus on walking. He was relieved when Jackson finally stopped in front of a Porsche, of course Jackson had a Porsche.

"I'm just going to open the trunk," said Jackson. "There's some water in there if you want it."

Stiles nodded and shuffled to the back of the car and waited for the trunk to open. When it did Stiles felt confused to see there was nothing in it.

"Jackson-" he started, but was cut off as he was shoved into the trunk. The lid slammed closed on top of him.

He heard Jackson’s muffled voice through the metal. "I think it's time I taught you a lesson."

Stiles tried to shout, but he just felt too ill to do so. The world was spinning and he was trapped inside. Eventually he decided to let himself give into the feeling and everything went black.

 

***

 

Stiles woke up to the feeling of water dripping on his face. With a moan of misery, he slowly opened his eyes, feeling as if he'd been hit by a train. His head was pounding and his thoughts were slow and disjointed. Stiles rolled over and realised he wasn't in his bed, but lying in some sort of grass. Drops of rain were slowly falling from the early morning sky and landing on him.

"What the hell?" Stiles groaned, forcing himself to sit up.

His whole body hurt and he couldn't remember much of the night before, the last thing he could remember was going to the bar and ordering a round of drinks. Then everything else was a blur. He couldn't remember how he'd got to this place, which seemed to be some type of large cage with no door.

He went straight for his pocket. He’d call Scott. Scott would know where he was. Except, there was no phone in his pockets. Just a note.

‘Keep the fuck out of my way testicle’

Stiles groaned. Jackson’s pissed off face was part of a half formed memory he was trying to grasp. It wouldn’t be grasped. He turned, slowly, looking for clues of his whereabouts.

In the next cage, a wolf was watching him with thoughtful eyes. It was a magnificent creature, with fur a rich range of colors, browns and greys, its eyes a soft amber in the early morning light, its expression seemed almost regal as it regarded Stiles. It strangely reminded Stiles of Derek. The same sort of interested disinterest.

“Hey, Wolfy,” said Stiles. “Do you know where there’s a phone around here?”

The wolf even gave Stiles the same unimpressed look Derek gave his more original uses of communication.

“I’ll take that as a no,” said Stiles.

He got up, hoping to any god that was listening that there weren’t any wolves in here. He checked his pockets. His wallet had been left with him, but that was about it. No keys, no phone. He got as close to the wire fence as he could and started to shout.

 

***

 

Hours later (or minutes, maybe, Stiles had been known to exaggerate time when he was bored,) some dude in a wildlife park uniform showed up. He looked at Stiles with barely concealed hostility and released him from the cage. He took him to a cabin with a phone.

Stiles had two phone numbers memorized; his Dad’s cell and his Dad’s work. Neither were a good option right now. If he told his Dad he’d been roofied, he’d be dragged back home by his hair. Scott had given him his number and Stiles had typed it into his phone and forgotten it, like a normal person. He didn’t know any of the team’s numbers. “Uh…”

“Just call someone,” said the dude. “Or I call the cops.”

“Uh…” Stiles said. He pulled out his wallet. He didn’t know what he’d find. Maybe a number on his student ID, that he hadn’t even picked up yet.

He saw a card. A simple one, with a name and a number. He remembered the encounter in the coffee shop. It was a chance.

He dialed hurriedly.

 

***

 

The psychic psychology professor turned out to be Professor Peter Hale and he drove a significantly nicer car than Stiles.

“Stiles,” he greeted when he arrived. He smiled at the guy who’d let Stiles out of the wolf cage, and thanked him, while he held the passenger side door open for Stiles himself. Stiles ducked into the car with a significant amount of embarrassment.

Peter walked around to the driver’s seat and got in. “So…” he said.

Stiles groaned.

“Good team mates you got there,” said Peter.

Stiles shut his eyes. Locking him in an empty cage at a zoo was one thing, but drugging him…

He’d thought better of Derek.

“So, where do you wanna go?” asked Peter.

A shower sounded really good. Like, heaven. But…Someone in that house had drugged him for a prank. He bit his lip.

“You know, I’ve got a shower and a TV,” said Peter. “If you want some time.”

“Yeah…” said Stiles. “That sounds… good.”

Peter nodded, and started the car.

 

***

 

Peter made a really good omelet. It had various vegetables and some real nice ham and generally tasted perfect.

“Oh my god, this is amazing!” Stiles cried. He was sat at Peter’s breakfast table, talking with his fork still in his mouth, practically drooling.

Peter smiled, watching Stiles eat, his own omelet receiving a far more civilized treatment.

Stiles moaned around mouthful number two, “Seriously, if you ever get bored of teaching, just sell these out of your kitchen. You’d have a line round the block.”

“And too many students in my house,” said Peter.

“Pffft, you like students,” Stiles said, and shoveled as much of his omelet into his mouth as possible.

Peter shrugged, “Only the interesting ones.”

Stile stopped chewing. “I’m interesting?”

Peter gave him a warm smile. It felt like this was a rare occurrence and Stiles found he was quite pleased with himself.

“So,” said Peter, “Do you want to go to the cops about what happened?”

Stiles took his time over swallowing, thinking through that idea.

“No,” he said, slowly, “If I do that, it’ll get back to my dad…”

“Not necessarily,” said Peter. “You aren’t a minor, anymore. Are you?”

“No, but my Dad’s a Sheriff,” Stiles explained. “He’ll have found spies in the local department. Trust me on that.”

“A Sheriff?” Peter repeated, a tiny hint of surprise in his voice.

“Yeah,” said Stiles. “He’s awesome, but he was always trying to make me not look at his cases and not search for bodies in the woods and not form theories on the criminal ways of the neighbors. But at least you’re surprised. I was getting worried there that you were psychic.”

“Just observant,” said Peter, quietly.

“Anyway, I don’t want him finding out,” Stiles repeated, the last piece of his omelet needed savoring. “So, I’ll just have to kill my housemates.”

“I might have to object to that,” said Peter.

Stiles grinned, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep your name out of it.”

Peter gave him a look, like a 'what is this kid?' look. The type of look Stiles was pretty much immune to. “Stiles, what’s your team captain’s surname?”

“Uh…” Stiles thought back to day one. Not so long ago. Had anyone told him Derek’s surname? “Uh…”

“You think on that, Stiles,” said Peter. “Do you want a lift back?”

Stiles looked at his watch. “Actually, I need to be somewhere…”

 

***

 

Stiles jogged to the baseball field trying to ignore the feeling of anxiety in his stomach. He hadn't even gone back to the house, he'd pretty much grabbed his bag with his stuff in it from the jeep and got the hell out of there. Stiles wasn't even sure he wanted to be around his team mates, but he loved baseball and he wasn't going to let them ruin that too. He headed into the locker room, relieved that most of the team seemed to be on the field already.

He stepped into the locker room, grateful to the fates for leaving it empty. He threw his bag onto the bench and let out a relieved sigh. A hand on his shoulder caused him to jump in the air and let out an unmanly noise. Flailing, he turned to see Scott standing behind him.

"Stiles," said Scott. "What happened to you last night?"

"I thought everyone would know by now," said Stiles, trying not to sound too annoyed. He could be one of the guys, he could take a joke.

Scott looked confused. "All Derek said was-"

"Oh so Derek was involved!" exclaimed Stiles. "I thought it seemed like something he would do."

Scott looked even more confused and Stiles didn't think that was even possible.

"Scott you're needed on the field," stated a voice from the locker room doorway.

When Scott made no move to leave the owner of the voice came into the locker room. Of course the owner of the voice was Derek, he looked confused when he finally saw Stiles.

"Speak of the devil and he shall appear," said Stiles coldly, fixing Derek with a cold glare. "Surprised to see me?"

"Scott, leave us," said Derek.

"Scott stay," said Stiles mimicking Derek's voice.

"Scott," said Derek in warning.

"Stay exactly where you are buddy, if you go even one step I will tackle you to the floor," said Stiles.

Scott looked between the two helplessly, his head turning to and from Stiles and Derek like he was watching a tennis match.

"Scott you have five seconds to get the hell out of here," growled Derek.

"Hold your ground," said Stiles, crossing his arms.

"One."

"Stiles," said Scott. "I think he's serious."

"Two."

"The look on his face is terrifying, dude!" exclaimed Scott.

"Three."

"Alright already!" said Scott, throwing his hands up in the air. "I'm going! Sorry, Stiles." He shot him an apologetic look, before pushing past Derek and walking out of the locker room.

Stiles glared at the door, hoping Scott wouldn't be able to get a boner when he and Allison finally had sex. That was the least he deserved. When he looked up he noticed Derek was glaring at him, a look he was all too familiar with by now.

"Where the hell were you last night?" demanded Derek, he seemed to be shaking with suppressed rage.

"You know where I was!" said Stiles defiantly.

"No, no I don't," said Derek.

"Well, I woke up exactly where you guys left me," said Stiles angrily. "In the middle of nowhere! It was a clever plan, dude, spiking my drink and dumping me in a wildlife preserve. I applaud you dude, it must have taken quite some planning."

"You think I would spike your drink?" asked Derek, his eyes narrowing at Stiles.

Stiles looked him straight in the eyes. "At this point I don't know what you're capable of."

Derek grabbed Stiles by his t-shirt and pushed him into the locker room wall. "Maybe I should show you then."

Stiles swallowed hard, oddly turned on by Derek being so close to him. Why the hell did he have such a kink for Derek when he was angry? The guy probably drugged him and Stiles was still extremely turned on by the feeling of his body pressed against his.

"Listen to me, I am only going to say this once." Derek's voice was low as he pushed his body closer to Stiles. "I did not drug you, I would never do anything that would hurt a team mate. I pretty much spent the whole of last night looking for you and I have only had two hours sleep. And right now, I am about a minute away from murdering you and dumping your body under the bleachers. Have I made myself clear?"

Stiles swallowed hard, licking his dry lips. He was surprised that Derek's eyes followed the movement.

"You really spent the whole of last night looking for me?" Stiles breathed out.

"I was worried about you," said Derek quietly.

"Oh," said Stiles, he found himself leaning into Derek, finally giving in to the invisible pull that he'd felt ever since he'd met the other man. He wasn't sure if he was imagining it too but he was pretty sure Derek was leaning in too. Stiles felt his eyes flutter shut, his brain telling him to just do it and deal with the consequences later.

"Bilinski! Hale!"

The two sprang apart and Stiles felt himself going red with embarrassment. Shit! How the hell was he going to explain what he'd just tried to do to Derek. Coach was standing in the doorway with his arms crossed.

"This is a locker room, not the set of Brokeback Mountain. Get your asses onto the field!"

Derek dropped his head and left at a jog. Stiles scrambled to grab the rest of his gear. It wasn't until he was sat in the dugout, watching one of the older guys pitching, that he made the connection. Hale. Derek Hale. Peter Hale.

"Derek's Peter's fucking son!"

A nearby team member raised an eyebrow at him. Stiles snapped his mouth shut and felt like a general idiot.

 

***

 

Practice went well, and Stiles managed not to make a fool of himself, holding his own as a pitcher. And when he wasn’t on, he tried to pretend he was not staring at Derek.

The captain really was beautiful. Like, a Greek statue beautiful. A renaissance painting beautiful. Perfect limbs, flexing, tensing. Legs firm and stable, arms strong and capable.

God, Stiles wanted to wrap himself around that. He wanted to see if he could wrap his legs around those hips, if Derek could hold him up with just hands on his ass. He probably could. He was made of pure muscle. He was a great work of art. In muscle form. And this was so fucking unfair!

And was he supposed to have a conversation with Derek, something like. ‘Hey, you know that thing, where my so-called teammates drugged me and shoved me in a wolf enclosure? So, your dad saved me from that,and he’s kind of strangely interested in me. Is that cool?’

Nope. That conversation was not going to happen.

And Peter must be older even than he looked. Or he was young when Derek was born. Probably both.

By the time practice finished, they knew when their first game would be. It seemed a bit surreal. At High School, Stiles had played more games than he could count. He’d got used to the crowds and the shouting and the parents verging on abusive. But this felt totally different. His first game at college, his first chance to show the coach what he could do. His first chance to show Derek what he could do. He dared to hope that proving his worth on the field before he was outed might help to smooth things out a bit. So long as he got the chance to play.

Stiles grabbed his bag from the locker room (that his phone and keys had magically seemed to have appeared inside) and was about to finally go back to the house when Scott ran over to him like an excited puppy.

"We're going to the river to cool off, are you coming?" asked Scott. He glanced around to check none of their other team mates were looking. "You're not still mad that I left you with Derek, are you?"

Stiles shook his head, knowing he could never stay mad at Scott for long. "No, it was okay in the end. Who's going to this river?"

Scott's face lit up with a smile. "Everyone. It's just a few minutes’ walk from here."

He quickly weighed up the issue. It seemed overly dramatic to suggest he couldn’t go to the river in case the team drowned him. So he tried to pretend it was all just a funny joke. "Lead the way, Scotty," said Stiles, ignoring the glare Jackson was shooting at him from across the locker room. Stiles put his arm around Scott and let himself be lead out the locker room. Screw Jackson!

"Stiles," said Scott. There was a serious look on his face, as the two walked away from the baseball field together. "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure," said Stiles.

"Where were you last night?" asked Scott. "I've never seen Derek so angry, he said some guy at the bar had slipped something into your drink. He yelled at Jackson for ages; Jackson said you'd walked off and he wasn't your babysitter."

Stiles frowned, trying to remember any of what Scott was telling him, but most of the previous night was a blur. "I didn't walk off, I woke up in the middle of nowhere with a wolf staring at me. I'm pretty sure Jackson was the one who left me there."

Scott frowned. "Jackson wouldn't do that."

"Dude! He even left me a note," said Stiles.

"Are you going to tell Derek?" asked Scott.

Stiles paused as they reached the river, he could see Parrish pulling a number of swim tubes out the back of his truck and placing them at the side of the river.

"I don't know," said Stiles.

Scott glanced at the river and then at Stiles. "Are you going in?"

"Maybe later," said Stiles.

Stiles chose a dock he could sit on and dip his feet into the river, whilst the other guys took turns at jumping in. Part of him wanted to be in the river too, it was hot and he was all sweaty, but another part of him was happy just to sit on the dock. He had always felt a bit awkward about taking his shirt off in front of his High School team mates, but the thought of doing it in front of his College team mates filled him with dread. His team mates pretty much looked like they worked out every day and had walked off a model runway. Stiles felt a little inferior in comparison.

Stiles tried not to stare at Derek, who was sat in a tube with his chest dripping with water. God he was hot. Stiles was totally going to save that image for later. Derek looked up as if he could sense that Stiles was watching him, he slipped out of the tube and swam over to him.

"Are you not coming in?" asked Derek, his dark hair was full of droplets of water. Stiles wanted to run his fingers through it.

"Too many clothes," said Stiles, trying his hardest not to stare at Derek's mostly naked body. He wondered if Derek had a tan all over.

"You played well today," said Derek, offering Stiles a rare smile.

"Did you ever think I wouldn't?" asked Stiles, with false confidence.

"I thought maybe you were all talk, didn't realize you had the talent to back it up," said Derek.

"Oh, I'm talented at lots of things," said Stiles, the words slipping out before he could stop them.

Derek looked at him and raised one of his perfect eyebrows. He then quickly grabbed Stiles by the leg and yanked him hard into the river. Stiles let out a cry, before he hit the water and his head went under the surface. He was pulled up by a pair of strong arms that wrapped around him.

"You're such a dick," said Stiles, spitting out water. "Has anyone ever told you that?"

Derek smirked at him and the retort on the tip of Stiles' tongue died, as he suddenly realized he was pressed up close against Derek's god-like body. They were interrupted by the sound of flesh hitting flesh. It was not sexy.

“You fucker!” someone shouted, “You bastard! I’m going to fucking kill you!”

There was a lot of splashing. Stiles turned in the water to see Scott trying to punch Jackson, apparently for the second time. Members of the team were surging towards them, hampered by the water, trying to break up the fight and pulling Scott and Jackson away from each other.

“What’s going on?” Derek shouted. He pushed away from Stiles, striding through the water, a man of action, ready to contain the fight.

“He drugged Stiles!” Scott shouted, real fury in his voice.

“No, I didn’t!” Jackson shouted back.

Stiles groaned. He did not need this.

“Some guy at the bar drugged Stiles,” said Derek.

Wanting to hide his head under the water and never come up again, Stiles took the momentary distraction of the fighting team mates to clamber out of the river, back onto the dock.

The fight was continuing. Words shouted, like ‘taking advantage’ and ‘vulnerable’ and other things that seriously questioned Stiles’ masculinity. And Stiles didn’t want to know. If they thought he was gay, he didn’t want to know, if they thought he was a victim, well, that was probably worse.

His phone, thankfully, had escaped the water. He had only one place he could escape to so far in this town. So he texted Peter Hale. Once the message had sent, he stared at his phone for a few moments. He was turning into that kid who followed teachers around at lunch because they had no friends.

“Stiles!”

He turned back. It might have taken him a bit of time, but Derek had followed him, still wearing very little. And the very little clung. It was very nice to look at.

“Where are you going?” Derek asked.

“Uh, you know,” said Stiles. “When guys start fighting over you it’s time to leave.”

“Jackson’s a douche,” said Derek. “The rest of us, we’re not like him, I promise.”

Stiles nodded, but he didn’t really believe it.

"I'm going to go to Coach," said Derek. "He shouldn't be on the team."

"Don't do that!" Stiles gasped. "The other guys would hate me!"

Derek's eyebrows lowered. It was threatening and hot all at the same time, particularly as Stiles knew the anger wasn't aimed at him this time.

"Please, Derek!" Stiles tried. "Hate isn't even a strong enough word! They already hate me. If you go to coach, it would make me a pariah!"

Derek grumbled. "If you weren't such a dick..."

Stiles felt like crying. He hated that feeling. It made him prickle with humiliation.

"I gotta go," he mumbled, and started walking to the road.

"Stiles!" Derek called after him, following him. "No one's going to think less of you because some asshole spiked your drink and another asshole played a prank on you."

"Aren't they?" Stiles snapped, angrily, still walking away, trying not to let Derek see his face, even as words tumbled from his mouth. "You think I didn't go through all this crap once already? You think I don't know exactly how sports guys treat people like me?"

"People like...?"

"People who are an affront to your hyper masculine bullcrap!" Stiles shouted. "Misogynistic, my-dick-is-longer-than-yours, homophobic fucking athletes!"

Derek had stopped following, so Stiles turned back to him, and let his voice drop to a vicious growl.

"Every fucking day of high school was like sharing a house with a hundred fucking Jacksons!" he spat. "Except, when I was there, I got to go home to where there was none! Here... I don't know if I can survive this!"

A car turned around the corner at speed. Stiles turned, immensely grateful to see Peter Hale coming to his rescue. The older man pulled the car up right next to Stiles, passenger door right in front of him.

"Stiles..." Derek began. "What are you..."

"I'm going to spend the rest of the day with your Dad," said Stiles. "I guess everything's pretty fucked up already so..."

"My dad?" Derek repeated, stupidly.

"Peter Hale, Derek Hale," said Stiles, opening the passenger door.

"He's not my dad!" Derek growled, angry all over again.

"Oh," said Stiles. "So that’s less fucking weird than I thought."

He climbed into the passenger seat.

"Derek," greeted Peter, "you should probably put some clothes on."

He drove off before Derek could reply.

 

***

 

"You didn't warn me you were wet," said Peter.

"Sorry," Stiles mumbled.

Peter shrugged, as though it were no big deal that Stiles was getting river water all over his nice car.

Stiles watched the town pass by his window. He saw college kids having a good time, pretty girls and boys, getting close to each other, walking side by side, holding hands. Nice and normal.

“So, you’re not Derek’s father?” asked Stiles.

“God, no!” said Peter, sounding quite offended at the idea. “No, he’s my sister’s brat. My much older

sister.”

“Okay,” said Stiles. “But you were the one who was all cryptic with the surnames.”

Peter hummed. “Derek is my nephew. He’s the fourth most annoying of my remaining relatives.”

“Remaining?”

Peter didn’t reply. They drove on.

“So, what did you want to do today?” asked Stiles.

Peter hummed thoughtfully. “Fuck?”

Stiles seriously considered it. “I’d just be using you to stop thinking about your nephew,” he said.

Peter laughed.

 

***

 

“How long are you intending to sit in my house?” Peter asked.

He’d been sat quietly at his laptop, apparently preparing a lecture. Stiles had spent the time reading some of his books on psychology. Not fucking. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

“Until it stops,” said Stiles. “Like, three years?”

Peter turned away from his laptop. Stiles didn’t look away from the book. It was genuinely interesting. And he felt totally prepared for his psychology course.

“You can’t hide from life, Stiles,” said Peter.

“I’m not,” said Stiles, “I’m here to fuck my lecturer. I thought it’d get me an A.”

“You’ll get an A if you study,” said Peter. “Just like everyone else.”

“But that’s less fun than fucking,” said Stiles.

“Then go fuck my nephew and then study,” said Peter.

Stiles rolled his eyes. "I thought you liked me,” he mumbled.

Peter didn’t stop looking at him. He neither took part in the joke nor denied the accusation. “When’s your first game?” he asked.

Stiles shrugged.

“Well,” said Peter, turning back to his laptop. “You will not be sleeping here.”

“What?” Stiles protested.

“College rules,” said Peter, “No student to socialize with professors.”

“Uh, you’re totally socializing with me right now,” said Stiles.

“Yes, but socialize is code,” said Peter.

“Is it?” Stiles sat up properly and leaned towards him. “Do I have the power to blackmail you already?”

“No,” said Peter. “I haven’t met my students, yet. And you live with my nephew. I can explain you away very easily.”

“Hmm, I think you’re basically my bitch now,” said Stiles. “I could totally take a naked selfie on your couch and blackmail you.”

“Please, be my guest,” said Peter. “You’re still not sleeping here.”

Stiles sighed. “Spoil sport.”

A loud knocking on the door caused Peter to finally look up from his laptop.

"Ah, finally," he said, before standing up and going to the front door.

Peter opened the door and Derek burst over the threshold, with Lydia following him closely behind.

"Where's Stiles?" demanded Derek.

Peter looked at the ceiling as if he was looking for an answer for what he had done to deserve this intrusion. "Right over there, nephew. Please invite yourself in and make yourself at home."

Derek walked straight over to Stiles and put an arm on either side of the chair he was sitting on. "Did he touch you?"

Stiles crossed his arms. "I don't think that's any of your business, dude."

Lydia stepped past Peter and gave him a look that implied she wanted to stamp all over him in her high heeled shoes.

"It's been a while Lydia," said Peter, looking her up and down. "Still dating the jock with the low intelligence and borderline Freudian issue with his adoptive father?"

"I dumped him today," said Lydia, choosing to look anywhere but at Peter.

"Ah," said Peter, looking positively delighted. "Who's next? One of the twins or poor inexperienced Parrish?"

"Did you know that your daughter is screwing Isaac?" asked Lydia.

Peter scowled. "What Malia does is no concern to me."

"Well it's her Daddy issues with you that cause her to act like a wild animal most of the time," said Lydia.

“I think her Daddy issues are the responsibility of Mr Tate, more than I,” said Peter, with a smile.

"Wait, Malia? That Malia? What the hell is going on here?" demanded Stiles, standing up and pushing past Derek. "Why is everyone I try to sleep with a Hale?"

Peter's eyes lit up with amusement. "I could give you the answer to that, but-" his eyes slid over to Derek. "I don't think you or my nephew will want to hear it."

Derek narrowed his eyes at Peter. "We were just leaving anyway."

"I'm not going anywhere with you," stated Stiles.

"This isn't something that's up for discussion," said Derek.

"Let him stay," said Peter, his eyes glittering with amusement. "I'm pretty sure we could find something to do upstairs to occupy ourselves. And maybe Lydia could join in too."

Derek clenched his fists and tried to launch himself forwards, but Stiles managed to grab his arm and pull him back.

"Dude!"

“Well, I would have invited you, too, Derek,” said Peter. “But incest really isn’t my thing.”

Derek was shaking hard, the expression on his face full of rage. "You...don't...touch...him!"

"Who says I haven't already?" asked Peter.

"Peter!" said Lydia.

Derek had already launched himself forward again and this time Stiles was unable to stop him. He grabbed Peter by his jacket and slammed him against the wall. Peter didn't seem one bit surprised by his nephew's behavior, in fact he looked as if he was enjoying himself.

"Thank you, Derek," said Peter softly. "You've just confirmed exactly what I thought. I didn't touch the boy. I do love fascinating people and fucking them over and over again to see how they fall apart under me, and this boy… I can tell he would be delicious. However, as I've always told you and your sisters, I would never do anything that would hurt one of you."

Derek finally let go of Peter, the rage seeming to leak out of him.

"If you fuck this up I'll be waiting in the wings, just remember that," said Peter.

Derek turned away from Peter and looked at Stiles. "Let’s go."

Stiles frowned. "What is he talking about?"

"Nothing, come on," said Derek.

Lydia linked her arm through Stiles' and pulled him towards the door. Stiles took one last look at Peter and was confused when the other man winked at him

 

***

 

Lydia, Derek and Stiles had been sat in silence in the car for over five minutes before Stiles decided to break it.

"So, you and Peter?" said Stiles.

Lydia pursed her lips together. "Are you about to comment on this, Stiles?"

"So the two of you...you know?" asked Stiles.

"Yes," said Lydia, turning her head towards the window.

"Does Jackson know?" asked Stiles.

"No," said Lydia. "It happened while I was with him."

Stiles' mouth fell open. "That's..."

"I'm not going to make excuses for myself," said Lydia. "Sometimes a person needs intellectual stimulation as well as physical. Peter collects people he finds interesting and studies them in every way possible. I was going through a rough time and he was there for me when Jackson wasn't."

"Is that why you came with Derek today?"

Lydia shook her head. "You deserve to be more than a specimen under a microscope Stiles. If you stop being so defensive, you'll find a lot of people like you and want to be your friend."

"Jackson doesn't," said Stiles sourly.

"Jackson is a little boy who thinks he's a man," said Lydia.

 

***

 

The house was silent when Stiles stepped inside, he started to climb up the stairs without even a backwards glance at Derek. He had just reached the top when the other man called his name and Stiles turned back around.

"We need to talk," said Derek.

"I nearly screwed your uncle, I really don't think we do," said Stiles, feeling awkward. He had totally ruined whatever chance he had with Derek, although he had never even had a chance before really.

"Stiles," said Derek.

"Save it," Stiles replied.

He turned away from Derek and went towards his room instead. He pushed open the door and was relieved that only Isaac was sat inside of it, fully clothed. Stiles headed over to the closet and began to pull clean clothes out of it.

"Stiles," said Isaac, somewhat awkwardly.

"What?" asked Stiles, not really in the mood to talk to his roommate.

"I heard about what Jackson did and I think it was completely unacceptable and he's a total dick," said Isaac.

"Erm...thanks?" replied Stiles, feeling as if he'd walked into some alternative dimension.

"And it doesn't matter to me if you’re gay or straight or whatever,” Isaac continued, standing, as though he were about to go out. “A few days ago, me and Scott were drunk and I sucked him off. Nobody cared."

Stiles dropped the clothes he was holding. "Fuck! Dude! I really didn't want that image in my head."

Isaac shrugged his shoulders, now at the door, ready to go. "I just thought you ought to know."

Isaac left Stiles alone in the room.

 

***

 

Maybe he’d been unfair. So, Derek didn’t like the idea of Stiles sleeping with his uncle. That was understandable. Sleeping with students could get said uncle fired and seemed to be a favorite hobby of the man. But he didn’t seem particularly bothered that Stiles was bi.

Isaac had just told him it didn’t matter. Isaac of all people, who had been a dick more than once already. Apparently not a homophobic dick though. And a bunch of other guys had found a chance to come over to say something similar. A couple apologized that Stiles had ever felt like that. It was kind of nice. Maybe some of the gut wrenching horror at sharing this house was dissipating. Except that Jackson had had a great fight with Derek and stormed off.

The following night, Scott had managed to get himself invited to a party with some of Allison’s friends. They were actors, which Scott had used as a reason he’d kept it quiet for so long. The baseball team might embarrass him, apparently. Things seemed to be going really well for Scott with Allison. He seemed to think she was some kind of angel and Allison had more time for him than expected. She’d invited him and his friends with good humor. Maybe she thought they were all like Scott.

It was with a sense of bewilderment that Stiles realized all the artsy friends of Allison had dressed up for this party. He spotted Lydia dressed as Poison Ivy and immediately fell madly in love with her all over again. Allison was dressed as a Disney princess, which could have looked twee on many people, but she got away with through sheer beauty and style. Scott was dressed as a prince. He didn’t arrive dressed that way. He had got kidnapped by some of Allison’s friends and forced to change. He looked awkward but thrilled.

Stiles couldn’t help but feel a sting of jealousy at the two of them acting out a scene from a fairy tale (literally acting out the scene; it was that kind of party, apparently). He couldn’t help but turning, occasionally, to catch a glance of Derek.

The captain was stood in a corner, staring mournfully at a drink. When Scott started trying to dance like an eighteenth century prince, Stiles decided he’d had enough of someone else’s romance. He took a deep breath. Then another. Then he hit himself on the head, downed a beer and walked over to Derek.

He was halfway there when the beautiful brunette from the other day appeared and shoved a pair of rabbit ears on Derek’s head. The interaction was so familiar, so loving, that his heart felt like it ripped in two. He took a sudden turn, awkward and stumbling and he wobbled out of the party.Because, even if he’d been accepted by the team, which was still an ‘if’, that didn’t mean there was weird happy ending. Derek still found him slightly annoying, and Derek, still, was fucking straight.

Stiles stomped through the front door of the house. There were a couple of arty types dressed as animals or characters from books Stiles hadn’t read, or maybe films he hadn’t seen. He didn’t look at them. He thought again about sleeping with Peter, but the older man had made it clear that wasn’t happening. Then he tried to think if there was anyone else that might sleep with him. Someone to make him forget about Derek.

“Hey, testicle!” shouted a voice.

And Jackson arriving at that moment just made this night. Stiles groaned.

The jock stormed over, and grabbed Stiles by the back of the neck. “You’re coming with me.”

“Seriously?” Stiles groaned.

“Shut up!” Jackson shouted.

Stiles gave up. At least he knew how to get back from the zoo now.

Jackson dragged him away from the house and towards one of the cars. Stiles barely complained.

“Hey!” Jackson shouted.

They stopped in front of the car.

“Hey!” Jackson shouted again.

“What, dude?” Stiles groaned. “Seriously?”

“Shut up, testicle,” Jackson told him, “Hey!”

The car window rolled down.

“What?” said a guy from inside the car. Stiles recognized him from the team, a tall guy with dark hair.

“Testicle,” said Jackson. “This is Danny, Danny meet testicle.”

“Why are you showing me one of the freshmen?” asked Danny, “I’m kind of busy, Jackson!”

“Yeah,” said another male from inside. “Get lost, Jackson. Find your own spot.”

“Shut it, Aiden,” said Jackson.

“It’s Ethan!” said the other guy. “Fuck off.”

“Testicle, this is Danny,” said Jackson. “He’s my best friend. He has been since we were like six.”

“Uh, Okay…” said Stiles.

“When I lock someone in an animal cage, it’s not because they’re gay, or bi or whatever,” said Jackson. “It’s because they’re a douche.”

“Uh,” said Stiles. “I didn’t…”

“You told some guy to hit on my girlfriend,” said Jackson. “I fucking told you!”

“That’s not cool,” said Danny, from the car.

“If I see you near Lydia again, I’ll fucking end you,” said Jackson.

Stiles groaned. Jackson punched him. Then Jackson left.

Danny watched him for a moment. “Are you staying to watch, or…?”

Stiles ran away. Well he didn't run, more like walked away quickly. But he totally didn't stand by the car and wait to watch the show. Stiles headed back into the party deciding his best plan of action was to get very drunk. He didn't expect to walk straight into Derek's chest the moment he got back.

"Stiles," said Derek, a familiar constipated look on his face.

"Derek," said Stiles awkwardly, trying his best to look cool and unbothered. What do you say to the guy whose uncle you tried to sleep with? "Listen...I...I like your ears."

Derek reached up and touched his bunny ears with a soft smile, as if he had forgotten they were there. At that moment the brunette who Stiles had seen with Derek earlier decided to reappear. She looked at Derek and then at Stiles, a big smile appearing on her face.

"Ah, it's jailbait," she said brightly.

"Laura," Derek said in warning.

"You've heard about Peter," said Stiles, knowing it was the only thing she could be referring to.

"I've heard about Peter," she replied.

Stiles scratched the back of his head. Derek's girlfriend was even more beautiful up close, she had green eyes just like Derek and long curly brown hair. Stiles bit his lip thinking how the two of them were perfectly matched in levels of attractiveness.

"Not my finest moment," said Stiles, laughing awkwardly.

Laura smirked at him a strange glint in her eye. "At first I thought I was going to have to warn you off Derek, I didn't realize it was Peter who I should have been worried about."

"In my defense," said Stiles. "He came on to me."

Laura rolled her eyes. "Peter comes on to anything with a pulse, never mind the danger to his career. The man is a menace."

Stiles shrugged his shoulders. "All we did was hang out."

"He probably knew Derek would have murdered him and made it look like an accident if anything else had happened," said Laura, looking positively delighted. "I'm almost sad it didn't now. It would have made our boring and awkward Sunday Brunches much more interesting."

"As much as I'm enjoying this conversation, I'm going to go," said Stiles, pointing towards the exit.

Laura pouted. "But we were just getting to know each other, I haven't even started to ask you why you keep ending up in Derek's bed." She winked at him. "I'm beginning to feel left out."

"Do you want a ride?" Derek asked.

"Yes!" said Stiles, desperate to get away from the awkward conversation he was in the middle of.

"You coming?" Derek asked Laura.

She shook her head. "No I think I'll stay here. Have fun and don't do anything I wouldn't."

Derek grunted at the two of them before he headed off towards where he'd parked his car. Stiles took that as an instruction to follow, he wildly flailed before following. He could hear Laura's laughter for a while after he had left her; Derek sure had weird tastes in women.

 

***

 

The whole drive home was completely silent and Stiles couldn't help but shift awkwardly in his seat. At one point he had reached out to turn Derek's radio on, but his hand had been smacked away from it by Derek. As they pulled up in front of the house Stiles decided it was probably time to get rid of any awkwardness left between them.

"I'm sorry about the whole Peter thing," said Stiles as they sat in darkness. When Derek didn't reply he continued to talk. "It was totally not cool contemplating sleeping with a guy who I thought may have been your Dad. In my defense he was pretty much the only person to be nice to me since I got here."

"Do you sleep with everyone who's nice to you?" grunted Derek.

"Depends how nice they are to me," replied Stiles, laughing awkwardly. "I guess I thought I was screwing everything else up, so I might as well just screw the slightly creepy dude who made me feel a little bit better about everything."

"You should have come to me if you felt that way," said Derek. "I'm your captain."

"No offence dude, but we haven't had the best of relationships since I got here," said Stiles truthfully. He didn't add the part where the whole wanting to rip Derek's clothes off didn't help either. "I'm pretty sure at certain points you've hated me."

"I've never hated you," said Derek quietly.

Stiles licked his dry lips. "Well that's good to know."

"Stiles...I..." started Derek.

"Laura seems nice," said Stiles, cutting Derek off completely. He didn't need to have a conversation with Derek where he reiterated how straight he was. "In a slightly terrifying way."

"Yeah," said Derek, any previous vulnerability seemed to be gone from his voice.

Stiles opened the door to the Camaro. "And she's like really chilled out, you're lucky to have her."

Derek grunted, stepping out of the car and then locking it. He began to stride ahead to the house and Stiles had to hurry to keep up with him. They walked into the mostly silent house and climbed the stairs together. Stiles was just about to turn and say goodnight to Derek when he noticed a sock on the door.

"No, no, no. Not again," moaned Stiles.

"What's wrong?" asked Derek.

"I think Isaac is entertaining in our bedroom again. He's left a sock on the door, which is totally a college code for sex, right? Looks like I'm sleeping in the jeep tonight." said Stiles, trying his best to sound cheerful. When was he ever going to get to sleep in his own bed?

"Don't sleep in your jeep, sleep in my room," said Derek, fixing Stiles with an unwavering stare.

"No offence dude, but I think my jeep is a bit more comfortable than your floor," said Stiles.

"You won't be sleeping on the floor, you'll be sleeping in my bed," said Derek.

Stiles felt all moisture leave her mouth and his heart rate pick up a little bit. "Would Laura be okay with that?"

Derek frowned. "What does Laura have to do with anything?"

Oh right, Derek was totally secure in his heterosexuality and his girlfriend was so beautiful and confident that she wouldn't mind a guy sleeping in her boyfriend's bed. Stiles of course was getting a slight boner even at the thought of sleeping in the same bed as Derek. He wondered if Derek slept naked, maybe he could suggest it.

"Okay," said Stiles softly.

"Okay?" asked Derek, seeming a little nervous.

"I'll sleep in your bed tonight."

 

***

 

They changed in front of each other, making no fuss, Stiles pretending not to look. He felt a strange kind of pressure to prove that not being straight didn't mean you would stare at a guy just because he was hot. It was really hard. Derek was beautiful.

But when Derek revealed his back, it was impossible for Stiles to contain his awe.

He should have noticed it when they were all swimming, but he had been distracted by the fight between Scott and Jackson. A foolish oversight, because there couldn’t possibly be anything more beautiful than that vision of masculinity. Taut skin over firm muscles, flesh so flawless Stiles wanted to run his tongue over it and a beautiful tattoo.

Three spirals emerged from the center of Derek’s back. It was beautiful and symmetrical and stunning.

Derek turned. Maybe Stiles had gasped. “Oh, it’s a triskele,” said Derek.

“Tris… ke…”

“Triskele,” Derek repeated. “It’s an ancient symbol. Present in lots of cultures.”

“Symbol of what?” Stiles asked, with genuine curiosity.

“Nobody really knows, anymore,” said Derek. “So, people use it to mean what they want. Three. Past, present, future. Beginning, middle and end.”

“What does it mean to you?” Stiles asked.

Derek took a moment to answer, a t-shirt in his hands, looking at the wall. His movements had slowed.

"It meant a lot to my mother," said Derek, in a voice that Stiles would recognize anywhere.

"She passed away?" Stiles said. It wasn't really a question. He had used the same voice to talk of his own mother before. Murky, far away, past tense.

Derek didn't reply. He shook himself and then shoved the shirt into a laundry basket. Stiles got the message. Shut up with the personal talk and get some sleep. This wasn't a sign of friendship. This was Derek doing his teammate a favor. He probably thought Stiles would screw up at practice tomorrow if he didn’t get enough sleep. Probably thought Stiles was so weak that he wouldn’t function after one night’s lack of sleep in a car.

They slept with their backs to one another, Stiles’ mind continuously on how near they were, how he could feel the heat of Derek’s body, how if he moved an inch to the left he might feel the source of that heat. He could shift back just a tiny bit and their backs would be touching. It made falling asleep very difficult at first, while he struggled not to keep imagining what could happen while they shared a bed. What could happen, if only Derek weren’t straight.

Eventually, Stiles began drifting off. Derek’s bed was comfortable, the closeness of his body comforting and welcoming. In the morning, Stiles was woken by some very sudden movements behind and above him, of limbs scrambling away from him.

“Ugh, sorry,” he said, sleepily, “I didn’t mean to roll into you.”

Derek grunted. Stiles rolled, clumsily and sleepily out of the bed.

Derek was already getting dressed, hurriedly, facing away from Stiles. Stiles looked down, and realized he had plenty of reason to feel guilty. “Oh, God, sorry!” he said, waking up at the sight. He span around and clambered for his own clothes.

Derek muttered something about a run. Stiles nodded, face aflame. Derek was out of the room in minutes, the door swinging in his wake. Stiles flinched. He’d messed up, feeling stupid and pathetic. One night alone with the guy and he couldn’t hide his attraction. A run sounded good to him, too. It might help him resolve his humiliation.

He stumbled back to his own room, dragged some fresh clothes and some sneakers on, ignoring Isaac and his companion’s shapes upon the bed, and then stumbled back down the stairs and out of the house into the fresh, morning air. He picked a direction and started running, trying to exhaust the thoughts out of his head. There weren’t many people up yet, certainly not from the house, so he had time to himself. The streets were only dotted with people, and Stiles made his way further out of town past fewer and fewer houses and fewer and fewer people.

He got winded too soon. He always had. As a pitcher, he was never asked to run any sort of distance, though he felt that he should be trying to stay fitter. He slowed to a walk, hoping to catch his breath back enough, and took in his surroundings. He was on a road at the very edge of town, with trees lining both sides. Not too far ahead was a break in the trees and a slightly familiar looking gateway, and, on a sign not close by it was a familiar symbol. Three spirals emerging from one center, the image Derek had called a Triskele. Curiosity peaked, Stiles walked over to the sign, and read the words: ‘Triskele Wildlife Sanctuary’. That couldn’t be a coincidence, could it?

A car pulled up near him, turning into the gateway. One of the windows slid down, and a voice called: “Stiles?”

Stiles turned and froze noticing Laura, Derek's beautiful girlfriend, sitting in the driver's seat of the car.

"Er...hi?" he said awkwardly, hoping she didn't think he was stalking her or something.

"Get in," Laura ordered, rolling her eyes.

Stiles did as he was told and sat down in the passenger seat. Laura didn't say a word as they drove up the road towards a set of cages and parked. His mouth fell open as he noticed a familiar wolf watching their arrival.

"He's beautiful, isn't he?" asked Laura, following his gaze.

"Yeah," said Stiles.

"He's Derek's favorite, although he shouldn't have favorites," said Laura.

Stiles nodded, staring at the wolf that was giving him a haughty look. He was pretty sure if Derek was an animal he'd be a wolf. He had that grace and beauty, that ferociousness with loyalty, strength and leadership.

Laura leaned back against the car seat and surveyed the place with a soft smile. "This place belonged to my mother. She loved animals and wanted a safe place for any that had been mistreated to come and live out the rest of their lives." There was a faraway look in her eyes. "The wolf over there has an injured leg, so he can never be released back into the wild. He was the last animal that my Mom rescued."

Stiles swallowed hard. "I'm sorry."

"She was murdered," said Laura, softly. "By a woman called Kate Argent, she wanted this land and my Mum wouldn't sign it over to her."

"Why are you telling me this?" asked Stiles.

Laura smiled at him. "Because I'm trying to figure out why you still haven't boned my brother. And the only reason I can think of is that Derek is doing his usual trick of pushing away anyone who even gets remotely close to his heart."

"Derek...boned...what?" asked Stiles struggling to keep up. Suddenly everything made sense. "You're his sister!"

Laura raised an eyebrow at him. "Who did you think I was?"

"His girlfriend!"

Laura began to laugh, loudly. She leaned over the steering wheel struggling for breath and shaking. Tears were falling from her eyes and she wiped at them with a grin on her face. "You really are as hopeless as he is."

"Derek's straight," said Stiles, but his heart was already beating fast in his ears.

Laura shook her head. "Derek likes who he likes Stiles, gender has nothing to do with it. Although ever since the whole Kate thing he hasn't really liked anyone, except for you. And you nearly went and screwed it up by sleeping with Peter. Got to say Stiles, not your finest moment."

"Derek...likes me?" said Stiles, the only thing he'd heard during Laura's speech.

"Wasn't the passive aggressiveness, love sick looks and pretty much following you around like a teenage girl with a crush enough to give it away?" asked Laura. “I think he couldn’t have made it more obvious if he’d hit you over the head with a lunchbox.”

"I thought he hated me!" exclaimed Stiles.

"Derek has a funny way of showing his feelings, he doesn't use words like normal people; he uses actions. Think about it Stiles," said Laura.

Stiles did think about it. He thought about the moments he'd spent with Derek where he was sure the other man had wanted to kiss him, but had convinced himself otherwise. The moments Derek had seemed so out of control and protective of him. Maybe Derek liked him after all but just had a very fucked-up way of showing it. Then again, Stiles had a fucked up way of showing it too, if Laura was right he'd been unintentionally pushing Derek away all along.

"I'm an idiot," moaned Stiles, hitting his head against the dashboard repeatedly.

"Finally you get it," said Laura, sounding amused. "You're about as dense as Derek. Each time I’ve seen you together, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. How are you both so obliviously stupid?"

Stiles pushed open the car door and sprang out.

"Where are you going?" asked Laura.

"To tell Derek I want to bone him and some other romantic crap," said Stiles, starting to run.

"If you hurt him, I'll kill you!" Laura shouted after him.

Stiles didn't care, he needed to see Derek. He needed to tell Derek so many things. It was like someone had finally opened his eyes for the first time and he could see everything clearly. He began to run faster, away from the sanctuary and back towards Derek.

 

***

 

The house was full. Guys were hanging around, making the most of the quiet sunshine before the lectures started. Stiles only had to skim his eyes around to know none of them were Derek. In a lawn chair by the front door, Scott and Allison were making out. It took a lot for Stiles to approach them. He had to hold his stomach, watch where he was going without catching sight of a potentially scarring image.

"Hey, guys," he said, awkwardly.

Scott managed to break his lips away from Allison's just long enough to say "hey".

"Oh god," Stiles groaned. "Have, uh, either of you guys seen Derek?"

"Yeah, totally," said Scott.

He went back to kissing Allison.

"Dude!" Stiles groaned.

"Sorry," said Allison, "it's just, it's really nice."

Stiles did an exaggerated gagging mime.

“Sorry, dude,” said Scott. “Can we talk later?”

“No, don’t… don’t start again!”

“What?” Scott groaned.

Stiles took a deep breath. Forcefully and carefully he said “Where is Derek?”

“Uh…” said Scott, “he said something about… something?”

“Helpful,” said Stiles.

“He’s gone to the ballpark,” said another voice.

Stiles spun. Behind him stood Lydia, magnificent in the sunshine under a wide brimmed hat. She was some sort of goddess. If Stiles had met her before Derek, his life would have a very different story. But now was not the time.

“Why?” he asked. “Is there a practice?”

“No, idiot,” she said, scornfully.

At that moment, Parrish walked up with a drink. It was orange and was served in a glass and obviously cold. Stiles hadn’t even known they had glasses at the house.

“Thank you, Jordan,” Lydia said, with a smile. Parrish returned the smile shyly.

“Uh, Lydia…” Stiles prompted.

“Right,” she said. “So some skinny kid got him all hot and bothered and then was a complete idiot, so he’s gone to do what he normally does when he’s upset and hit things with a baseball bat.”

Stiles groaned. Was he really the only one who hadn’t realized that Derek returned his feelings?

Lydia raised an eyebrow.

“Jackson!” she shouted.

With shoulders sagging, Jackson emerged from the shadows near the house.

“Be a dear and fetch my sunglasses, will you?”

Jackson nodded, and went back into the house. Stiles watched, in amazement.

“Close your mouth, Stiles,” said Lydia.

Stiles snapped his mouth closed. “Are you… are they both…”

“Oh, please,” said Lydia, “As if you wouldn’t be following me around like a lost puppy if you’d never met Derek.”

“OK,” said Stiles. “Uh…”

“What are you even waiting for?” Lydia asked.

“Uh…”

Lydia rolled her eyes. “Go get your man, dumbass.”

“Derek!” cried Stiles. “Right.”

He ran to his jeep, falling over his own feet. He shoved his key into the ignition and turned. The starter engine grumbled, then nothing happened.

“Oh come on!” Stiles groaned.

He tried again, turning the key, and got only a lackluster groan in response.

“Oh god!” he cried.

Guys were emerging from the house and the one next door, watching him with curiosity. Even Scott and Allison had stopped making out to watch his humiliation. He hit his head on the steering wheel.

There was a knock on his window. Lydia was there, sunglasses on, drink in hand, her two followers behind her. Stiles rolled down the window, thankful for the small mercy of his car being so ancient that the windows didn’t need electricity to open.

Lydia smirked. “I think you need some help.”

 

***

 

Stiles wasn’t sure this mission needed the entire team. He was sat in the back of a car, Jackson and Parrish on either side of him, Lydia and one of the twins in the front. Behind them was another car full of team members and various hangers on, including Scott, Allison, Boyd and Erica and behind that was yet another car. There might even have been another car behind that. Proclamations of love were totally not a team sport, but apparently Lydia was enjoying herself too much.

“Nearly there,” she sang.

Stiles groaned.

“What are you going to say?” asked Parrish.

“Uh,” said Stiles. What the hell was he going to say? ‘Hey Derek, wanna go for a drink?’ seemed pretty anticlimactic after the entire team had jumped into cars to watch.

“You need to say something meaningful,” said Lydia. “Just say what you think.”

“No way,” said Jackson, “Just jump on him. Actions speak louder than words.”

“He’s got a point,” said the twin, “You guys have basically been having foreplay since you arrived.”

“Communication is the key,” said Lydia.

“Or just pick him up and throw him over a desk,” said the twin.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Like I could pick up Derek.”

No one answered. Stiles looked between them and then put two and two together. “Oh god, Lydia, three of them?”

“Shut up,” said the three paramours of Lydia.

“Now, now, boys,” said Lydia. “Play nice.”

“We’re here,” said the twin.

Stiles swallowed hard, noticing a lone figure on the baseball field throwing balls up into the air and hitting them hard with a bat. He wondered if Derek's angry batting was down to sexual frustration, God he hoped it was! Stiles would be happy to fix that problem for him.

Lydia turned round and looked at him. "You're not chickening out, are you?"

"No," said Stiles.

"Good!" replied Lydia.

Stiles got out of the car and took a deep breath, trying to ready himself for what he was about to do. He could do this, everyone said Derek liked him and he had nothing to be worried about. The worst that could happen was crippling rejection and a year of awkward interactions, surely it was worth the risk...right?

"Stiles, why have you suddenly gone deathly pale?" asked Lydia, raising a perfectly plucked eyebrow at him.

"I think I'm having a panic attack," Stiles gasped out, sliding down onto the floor in an attempt to calm his breathing.

Lydia climbed out the car and stood over him. "Stiles this isn't great timing."

"I know!" exclaimed Stiles, trying to catch his breath.

Lydia raised a hand and then slapped him hard across the face.

Stiles let out a cry of alarm. "Why did you do that?"

Lydia rolled her eyes. "It was either that or kissing you, I don't think Derek would appreciate that option. It’s stopped you from panicking, hasn't it?"

Stiles realized she was right and shakily stood up, taking a deep breath in and then out.

"Okay?" asked Lydia.

Stiles nodded, looking over at Derek who was still unaware of the audience he now had. Stiles clenched his fists and took a step forward, then another and another. He kept walking until he was on the field, ignoring the loud jeers from his team mates. He finally drew level with Derek and took a moment to admire the shape of Derek's muscles through the tight shirt he was wearing that was sticking to him.

"Come here often?" asked Stiles, cursing himself internally for being so lame.

Derek grunted and threw his bat down on the floor.

"I had a funny conversation with Laura earlier. Well, I say funny but it was more informative than anything else," said Stiles.

Derek turned towards him, a dark scowl on his face. "Whatever she said, forget about it."

Stiles licked his try lips and was pleased to see Derek's eyes follow the motion. "She said you followed me around like some teenage girl with a crush."

The scowl on Derek's face deepened. "I'll kill her."

"Is it true?" asked Stiles, feeling as if time was standing still as he waited for Derek's answer.

"Does it matter, Stiles?" said Derek. "You've made it perfectly clear you're not interested."

"Not..."

"I get it, okay?" said Derek, clenching his fists. "You could never like someone like me, not when there's people like Lydia and Peter and my stupid kid sister around. I'll get over it Stiles, I won't make things awkward. We probably would have been a car crash any way."

"Car crash?" repeated Stiles faintly. This was totally not going the way he had wanted it to. He'd expected declarations of love, kissing and groping, lots of groping.

Derek picked up his bag and bat again. "We aren't compatible, we practically despised each other on sight. Any time we've argued has nearly ended in violence because you drive me fucking crazy. Most of the time I don't know if I want to punch you or push you up against the wall and fuck you until you can't talk anymore."

"Wouldn't happen, dude. I've heard it on good authority I'm a screamer," said Stiles, smiling slightly.

A look of anguish appeared on Derek's face. "I can't do this dance between us anymore."

Derek started to stalk away from Stiles and Stiles suddenly began to panic.

"Derek Hale, if you walk one step further I'm going to take that bat out your hand and hit you with it hard!" shouted Stiles.

Derek turned and raised an eyebrow at him. "I probably wouldn't notice, the way you hit."

"Unbelievable!" exclaimed Stiles. "I come here to declare my undying love for you or something like that crap and you feed me bullshit and insult me. You know, for a guy who hardly says anything you talk a lot. You're the biggest dick I've ever met, not including Jackson, and you know what's weird? I think it's fucking hot, because it seems I'm a dick who's attracted to dicks like you. And I reckon us two dicks together might actually result in something pretty great."

"That's a lot of dicks," said Derek, with an unreadable expression on his face.

"Can you blame me for having dick on the mind?" asked Stiles. "I spent the night sleeping next to you, it was blue balls worthy torture. You probably haven't noticed, but you're pretty hot."

Derek continued to scowl. "Is this a game?" he asked. "Is this because you still think I had something to do with Jackson's stupid prank, and you're here to get back at me?"

Stiles rolled his eyes so hard his entire head followed the movement. "Seriously? How can you still not get this?"

Derek just looked into his eyes. Stiles met the gaze. Those eyes did things to his inside. Gooey squishy things that no full grown man had a business admitting to. But Stiles had to get over that. This wasn't High School anymore. This was college. This was time to grow up and get over gender stereotypes.

"Derek Hale," he said, seriously. "Will you go for a drink with me sometime?"

It managed to surprise a laugh from Derek. Stiles took that as a win. The batter stepped forward, throwing his bat and bag aside. Stiles bit his lip in anticipation, knowing what was about to come but not quite believing it. Derek was close. Derek was throwing strong arms around his waist, Derek was looking at him, Derek's mouth was on his.

He threw his own arms around Derek's neck, not caring if he had somehow turned into the heroine from a romantic comedy. This was hot. Totally and seriously fucking hot. Derek Hale was kissing him and it was the best thing that had ever happened to anyone. Ever.

A roar of cheers came from the gathered cars. Stiles laughed. Derek looked around in surprise.

"You brought the whole team to a declaration of your love?" said Derek, sardonically.

"They kind of brought me?" Stiles replied. "My jeep wouldn't start."

"Yeah, that jeeps a piece of crap," said Derek.

"Hey!" Stiles cried, indignantly.

Derek kissed him in apology, making Stiles forgive the slur, as the team, and their assorted partners and hangers on flooded the field. Arms surrounded them, and though it was nice to know they had the support of these people, it didn't stop them kissing.

 

***

 

Epilogue

 

Stiles watched Derek from the bench, trying to stop himself from drooling at the sight of his boyfriend. That's right, Derek Hale was his boyfriend. And Stiles had seen him naked, a lot! He wanted to wear that on a t-shirt or shout it out loud so everyone could hear. He glanced over and saw two freshman girls admiring the view too, as Derek stepped up to the plate.

"Pretty hot, isn't he?" said Stiles, puffing out his chest.

"Yeah," said one of the girls, elbowing her friend and giggling.

"Do you reckon he'll talk to us if we go over there after the practice has finished?" asked the other girl.

Stiles tried not to feel smug that his boyfriend was the stuff of freshman college girls' dreams. His boyfriend was like art, his beauty needed to be admired. He couldn't wait to get Derek home and show him how much he himself admired his body.

"Probably not. The guy is a bit of a dick," said Stiles, grinning to himself. A dick that he was pretty sure he loved, especially now all their arguments ended in sex. Sex was so much better after an argument. Stiles made Derek angry a lot, which means they had sex...a lot!

"Oh my God," said one of the girls. "He's looking over here."

"He's glaring," said her friend. "Why is he glaring at us?"

"Because that fine piece of ass down there, belongs to me," said Stiles with flourish.

"Is that fine piece of ass down there the reason why you haven't called your old man in nearly two weeks?" asked a voice behind Stiles.

Stiles nearly fell off the bench in shock when he turned to see his Dad standing behind him. "Dad!" he exclaimed, jumping up and throwing his arms around him.

"Oh, so you do remember who I am," said his Dad.

Stiles felt a swell of guilt as he pulled away. "I was going to call you, I've just been a bit busy."

"Yes with the fine piece of ass down there, you've mentioned that," said his Dad with a quirk of his eyebrow. "I'm glad to see you're settling in, kid. I just came up here to check you were okay."

"I'm great!" exclaimed Stiles.

"That's good to know because when I was going through the police reports for this area and there was one that caught my eye. Apparently some kid broke into a wolf enclosure, you wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?"

Stiles scowled. "How did you even get the police reports for here?"

His dad rolled his eyes. "Let’s just say I know a guy. You're not the only one who can get a hold of police reports when he's not meant to."

"I'm sorry," said Stiles, suddenly realising how much he'd missed his Dad.

"I was about a day away from checking the Morgue Reports."

Stiles bit his lip. "I'll call you every other day from now on."

"Make sure you do," said his Dad. He looked down at the field, where Derek was chatting to his team mates. "So, is that your boyfriend?"

"Yeah," said Stiles.

"What's with the moustache?"

"It's awful, isn't it?" replied Stiles.

Stiles frowned as he noticed Peter Hale striding across the field straight towards him and his Dad. His eyes darted around looking for somewhere to hide, but he knew he wasn't going to be able to avoid Peter when he was now only a few steps away from him.

"Ah, Stiles," said Peter, with an odd glint in his eyes. "And you must be his father. I'm Peter Hale, Derek's uncle." He held out a hand for Stiles' dad to shake.

His dad reluctantly took it. "Derek?"

"My boyfriend," said Stiles.

"Ah yes, the one you would have told me about if you'd called," said Stiles' dad.

"Kids are a nightmare, aren't they?" said Peter, looking the Sheriff him up and down, with obvious appreciation. "Though you, Mr Stilinski are quite the fascinating puzzle. Widowed, I see, and that rebellious streak that both you and your son possess…"

"He's not interested," Stiles interrupted.

"You disappoint me," said Peter. "I thought you of all people would have realised by now that frontiers are where you find them. And I could certainly show your father a few new frontiers."

"Come on Dad, come and meet Derek," said Stiles, dragging him away from a still smirking Peter.

"That man is terrifying," said his dad under his breath. "And I work with murderers for a living."

"You think he's bad, you should meet Derek's sisters," said Stiles.

His dad let out a quiet laugh and Stiles knew that everything was going to be okay. College wasn't going to be like High School. It was going to be a million times better than that, especially now he had Derek. His eyes met Derek's from across the field, and Stiles couldn't help but smile as his heart rate began to pick up. Peter was right, frontiers are where you find them.