Actions

Work Header

The Worst Week Stiles Ever Had

Work Text:

As far as weekends went, Stiles was having a boring one. There wasn’t much in the way of The World of All Things Fluffy and Fanged, and Scott was grounded, leaving Stiles without anybody to come over just play video games with. He couldn’t even sit around watching crappy cop dramas and yelling at the procedural failures with his dad, since he had a serious investigation about serial robberies to deal with. For the most part, Stiles was really tired of sitting around on his own without anything to do. That is, until he remembered Scott mentioning that Deaton was almost out of his wolfs bane stash, and he needed to get some for a personal stash from the magic shop where Deaton got his.

As Stiles googled the store’s location, he hummed. “Well, better than nothing,” he muttered to himself, grabbing his keys as he memorized where in the next town over the store was.

~

Stiles didn’t know if it was alright to just flat out ask ‘do you sell wolfs bane?’ in front of regular patrons, so when Stiles walked into the magic store and found three other people there, he casually wound past some scarf covered lamps and perused the glass case filled with various gemstones. There were more cases with amulets and jewels beyond that. It was a cluttered store so he bumped into a few racks with beaded necklaces and displays of other trinkets on his way towards a couple of bookcases. It was such a narrow area in front of the book case, so much so that he had to pull off his backpack to even fit without knocking over the rotating wire-racks with other, newer looking bucks behind him.

He browsed the spines casually, raising an eyebrow at how many of the books were glossy paperbacks. He was beginning to get the feeling that, between the incense burning and the dream catchers all around, ‘magic shop’ was more code for ‘new-age hippy store’. A lot of the books were vegan recipe books, meditation guides, yoga instructional books, and about eighty versions of palm reading and tarot card handbooks.

There were also a lot of books of ‘love spells’.

Stiles was actually slightly alarmed at how many different books he tugged out to glance over guaranteed landing the guy-slash-girl of your dreams. “And I thought I was desperate,” he muttered, shaking his head. His eyes were drawn down to the end of the book case row, back in the corner, where he found a section on mythology. Jackpot, Stiles thought, grabbing a few books to glance through, going straight to the werewolf section on each one to check for any sort of accuracy. Unsurprisingly, most were way off. A few, however, seemed to have been written by someone who knew – or maybe even was – a werewolf, it was so accurate.

A leather-bound book near the top caught his attention as he replaced the book on faeries, and he reached up to pull it out. It was old. It seemed worn and dusty, but when he opened it, the pages weren’t yellowed with time like he had expected. He flipped through, hoping it was something interesting, only to be seriously disappointed when he landed on yet another ‘love spell’. He sighed, but flipped a few pages, raising an eyebrow at the title. “Find A Lover, huh?” he mumbled, then chuckled as he whispered aloud the ‘spell’ written down. “Lady Venus please bless me a lover who loves me, make him/her come to me, please help me, I thank thee, So mote it be.” He snorted and closed the book. “Sorry Charlie, I don’t think it works that easily.”

“You don’t believe in magic?” Stiles jumped and turned around, yelping when the woman who had been at the counter was right behind him. He looked around and realized he was alone with her.

Clearing his throat, Stiles smiled. “Oh I’m not a disbeliever, I just highly doubt a love spell is going to work,” he said, then shrugged. “And if it does, it’s probably not a good thing.”

The woman smiled, her dark skin crinkling around her eyes in amusement. “Yeah, I doubt any of the ‘spell’s in these book really work,” she admitted, leading him back to the counter. “But hey, there’s power in the world that we don’t understand and people want to harness it. Who am I to not sell them hokey books that try to find you success in life?” she said, leaning over it with a sigh, pushing a graying strand of hair behind her ear as it fell from her bun. “So young man, anything I can help with? I need to close up soon.”

Stiles cleared his throat. “I’ve got a friend – well sort of friend – who buys aconite from you I think,” he said and she nodded. “I’m looking to stock up for him,” he said and she smiled.

“Herbal medicines are pretty popular,” she said, then walked over to a row of big jars with various colored flowers and leaves and powders in them. “What kind of aconite does he use?” she asked, back to him.

He cringed. “Um, I don’t know anything definite, but it’s purple flowers?” he tried and she pulled a jar down, turning to walk over to a scale. “Oh hey, that worked?”

“Yeah, we don’t carry anything fresh but this one kind,” she explained. “We’ve got dried and powdered forms, but I’ve only got the one specific type fresh.” She came back with a paper bag and rung him up. “What’s your friend do that he needs to stock up?” she asked absently.

“Well, he’s a veterinarian so I’m guessing holistic doggy medicine?” he lied and she hummed.

“Interesting, never heard of vets using wolfs bane for pets,” she said, then raised an eyebrow. “Sure it’s not for something else? Something more… wild?”

Stiles blanched. “Nope, pretty sure it’s dogs, total?” he asked quickly and she narrowed her eyes but gestured to the total on the readout facing him. He handed her some cash and then grabbed his bag, shoving it into his backpack as he turned to leave.

“Be careful around those dogs,” she called after him, and Stiles waved a hand from the door.

“Will do!” he called, then headed to his jeep, feeling a little uncomfortable with the idea of someone else suspecting he knew werewolves. The last thing he needed was being linked to that kind of stuff, even if it was reality.

~

When Stiles got to school, his only real thoughts were to A) get the wolfs bane to Scott, and B) not be late for class – again – because it was shockingly common of an occurrence lately. Needless to say, he didn’t really notice or pay attention to the various greetings from people that usually looked the other way until he got to class and settled. That was when it hit him that he’d just had six girls he only vaguely knew – many of whom he didn’t even know knew his name – had all called out ‘Hey, Stiles!’ or ‘Good morning, Stiles!’ when he passed them in the hall.

He thought it was kind of odd, but before he could really focus on it, the last bell rang and class began.

~

And then… shit got weird.

No, seriously really weird. It involved Natalie Jones, the hottest cheerleader on the squad, sitting beside Stiles in English and leaning over to whisper in his ear. “Stiles, I really think you look good in that color,” she breathed, her lips brushing his ear in a way that not only had his jaw approximately on the floor, but sent a shiver down his spine. She then proceeded to slide her hand into his pocket and leave behind a folded up piece of paper with a phone number on it. “Text me sometime, Stiles.”

Stiles could feel his cheeks burning and glanced around to be sure nobody was staring, only to find both Lisa Monk and Sara Walsh, fellow cheerleaders, glaring at Natalie from their respective seats a few rows ahead of him. Stiles had no idea what was going on with the cheerleaders, but if he was honest, Natalie’s hand in his pocket was the closest he’d ever come to having a girl anywhere near his dick, which was definitely a cause for celebration in Stiles’s opinion.

And yes, he knew that was pathetic. No, he didn’t care.

~

Stiles stumbled to the table and basically crash landed into his seat besides Stiles with a triumphant smile on his face. “Hoooooly shit, dude, you will NEVER guess what happened in second period!”

Scott raised an eyebrow. “Whoa, are you okay?”

Stiles scrabbled and pulled the note – the one he’d opened and refolded several times, sure he was mistaking the lipstick kiss around the phone number – and frantically unfolded it before slamming it on the table in front of Scott. “Look!”

Scott touched the paper, then looked up at Stiles. “A girl gave you her number?” he asked in surprise and Stiles frowned suddenly.

“Hey, why do you sound a little too surprised by that?” he demanded, eyes narrowed in suspicion.

Scott shook his head. “No, no, dude that’s great!” He patted Stiles on the shoulder. “Who was it?”

“Oh no, did someone shove you in a locker?” Isaac asked as he slid into the seat across from Scott. He took a bite of his apple and smirked. “Wedgie?”

Stiles rolled his eyes. “I hate you sometimes, I really do-“

“You still like me better though, right?” Erica asked as she slid into the seat next to him, Boyd filling the chair beside her. “I’m assuming since Isaac made sure we came over it’s something fun and violent?”

Allison slid into her seat on the other side of Scott and kissed his cheek. “Violence already?” she asked and Scott smiled a bit too proudly as he shook his head, slapping Stiles on the back.

“Stiles got a girls number!” he announced and Stiles preened. “So c’mon, who was it? Was it Carmen? The girl that likes the band you love from Chemistry?” he asked.

Stiles tried to play it cool, but before he could even think, he choked out, “Holy shit, it was Natalie Jones! Natalie Jones put her hand in my pocket and left her number and whispered things in my ear, what the hell did I drink last night?!”

Everyone just stared. “Natalie Jones?” Scott asked, looking worried. “Uh… Stiles, you know I love you, you’re my bro, but… well, the thing is-“

“No, I get it, I totally do,” Stiles said, waving a hand. “I’m like so far down the line that there is no reason Natalie Jones should even know my name, but something weird as hell is happening today, man!” He opened his water. “I had six girls telling me hey on the way to class this morning, then when Natalie gave me her number, two other cheerleaders were giving her ‘eat shit and die’ looks. I’m not sure what I did, but for some reason, girls notice me today.”

Isaac shrugged. “Probably the jeans. They still smell like a department store so I’m guessing they’re new, and your ass doesn’t suck,” he said, earning a surprised look from the others. “What?” he asked, rolling his eyes. “Just because I don’t really like the guy doesn’t mean I don’t have eyes.”

Allison bit her lip, really looking at Stiles. “He’s not wrong,” she said, then sighed, leaning on her hand as she looked past Scott. “And that shirt goes well with your eyes. You have the most gorgeous eyelashes to go with your warm brown eyes. They’re really kind of amazing,” she said, tilting her head as a smile curled the corners of her mouth. “Your lips are really awesome. So soft looking. Very kissable.” She gave a tiny sigh, then blushed, looking away.

Scott just stared at her like she’d personally insulted his mother. “Uh, excuse me?!” he asked, gesturing frantically between Allison and Stiles. “What the hell, in front of me, really?!”

Stiles stared, blinked once, then cleared his throat. “Well, Allison… thank you?” he asked, then carefully stood to sneak away before Scott and Allison started arguing.

He really didn’t like to be around when they got to arguing.

It generally ended in PDA and that was just… No.

~

When Stiles got home, he drifted through the door staring at the note in his hands for the fifty-sixth time that day. “Stiles? Good, I’ve got to go in and-“ His dad stopped buckling on his gun belt and sighed when he saw Stiles. “Don’t tell me that’s a note from your teacher-“

“It’s not,” Stiles said, then looked up, somewhat dazed. “It’s a phone number.”

His dad raised an eyebrow. “Why do you have a phone number?” he asked curiously.

Stiles opened and closed his mouth and then smiled bashfully. “A girl gave me her number,” he said, clearing his throat. “So, yeah, that’s new.”

 

John stared. “A girl gave you her number.” He suddenly had it click and he chuckled. “So a girl gave you her number, huh? That’s great, Stiles,” he said, clapping Stiles on the shoulder. “Tell me about her.”

Stiles leaned against the wall and took a breath. “It’s kind of crazy. Her name is Natalie and she’s a cheerleader and she’s kind of gorgeous and holy crap, do I call her?! Oh my God,” Stiles suddenly panicked. “I’ve never had a girl give me her number. Not like this. Holy crap, what do I do? How long should I wait? What if I read it wrong and she wants to study or something- but no, why would there be a kiss on the note if- Jesus, I’m really shitty at girls, what the hell?!”

John just chuckled. “Ah, I remember the first time a girl really noticed me,” he sympathized, squeezing his shoulder. “Just take a deep breath, relax, and wait at least a day. Don’t seem too eager or she’ll think you’re really nervous-“

Stiles glared. “Do you see me?! I AM really nervous!” He began pacing, hands flying faster than his words. “Girls don’t like me! Girls never like me! Girls don’t even notice I’m there! This is so sudden and I’m totally freaking out-“

“Stiles, just relax and call Scott,” John said, rolling his eyes. “He’s got a girlfriend, he can give you some tips. I’ve gotta run, but just relax. There will be plenty of girls who give you their numbers someday, Son. It’s not worth panicking over.”

Stiles scoffed. “It’s so worth panicking over. I’m seventeen and I’ve never had a girlfriend, it’s seriously panic-worthy,” he argued, then slumped against the wall. “Alright, I’ll call Scott or something.”

John nodded. “Good call.”

~

Before Stiles got a chance to call Natalie, the weirdness of girls suddenly noticing him expanded greatly. Girls in every single class greeted him and clamored for the seats around him. And it wasn’t just girls. Garrett Path, a guy Stiles didn’t even know was gay, helped Stiles pick up his books when they fell out of his locker, and then proceeded to carry them for him on the walk to class, during which time he ‘casually’ suggested he and Stiles should study together sometimes.

Garrett wasn’t in the class he walked Stiles too, so when Stiles settled next to Scott he kicked his chair, then leaned over. “Dude, since when is Garrett Path gay?” he asked and Scott gaped.

“The senior? On the football team?” he asked, then frowned. “Wait, how do you-“

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Because he just carried my books for me.”

Scott just shrugged. “I don’t know, but now that you say that, a few things make a lot of sense,” he said, and that was that.

Stiles thought it was really weird because, apart from the fact Danny suggested gently that Stiles wasn’t the kind of guy gay guys went for, Stiles was a junior and Garrett was a senior. What would he want with Stiles? He was starting to get a feeling that something was really off with him this week.

~

And then, everything fell into place in the most unexpected way while he helped Danny with his trigonometry homework during their free period. They were at a table in the back corner at the library so that they could whisper without the librarian glaring at them, books spread out around them. Danny wasn’t bad at it, but he was worried about his grades in relation to his parents making him miss lacrosse practice to study with a tutor. Stiles was actually really good at most of his subjects and Danny was one of the better players on the team.

Stiles tapped his pencil on the page. “And then you take the cosecant-“ Stiles was silenced the second he glanced up by Danny’s lips on his. Stiles froze rather than pulled away and Danny kissed him slightly harder, still chaste but with a firmer press of lips, before pulling away. “Um… huh?”

Danny ducked his eyes, cheeks a little pink. “Sorry, I’m sorry, I meant to try and talk to you but- you’re just-“ He blew out a breath and shrugged. “You’re cute. And when you talk, it draws attention to your lips and they’re just so soft looking I couldn’t help myself.” He bit his lip, looking up through his eyelashes. “Your lips are just as soft as they look, Stiles.”

Stiles swallowed, then looked away, tapping the pencil on the book before turning back. “Danny, I swear I mean this in the nicest way, because you’re great! You’re a great guy, and you’re my friend-“ Danny’s face fell and Stiles rushed. “And you’re really attractive and all, but you said multiple times that you’re not attracted to me, remember? You don’t like me that way, I’m not your type, these are things you said, okay? So… what the hell?” he asked weakly.

Danny blinked rapidly as his cheeks burned bright red and he jumped up, scrambling to gather his things. “I’m sorry, I have to go,” he grated out, slamming his pencils in his book in his rush to grab his things and quite literally run away.

Stiles stared after Danny, then looked down with a sinking feeling in his gut. “Well shit,” he muttered, letting out a heavy sigh as he flopped down on the table.

~

Stiles dropped his tray heavily and flopped down beside Scott. “So, good news and bad news,” he started, and Scott raised an eyebrow. “Good news, your girlfriend isn’t really hot for me,” he said and Scott glowered. “Bad news, I think I may have gotten zapped with magic.”

Immediately Erica, Isaac, and Boyd slid into the seats across from them. “Did someone say magic?” Isaac asked, only to be interrupted when Jackson slammed his tray down beside Boyd, eyes trained on Stiles.

“Tell me something, Stilinski, what the hell did you do to my best friend that has him so upset he refused to eat in the lunch room?” he demanded, looking more than a little pissed. “I swear to God, if you picked on him about his ex dumping him-“

Scott jumped in before Stiles could say a word. “Hey! Stiles would never do something like that! We all agree Danny’s ex is a dick and Stiles isn’t one to pick on anybody anyways-“

“Then what the hell did he do to Danny?” Jackson demanded coldly.

“Who did what to Danny?” Lydia asked as she and Allison sat down beside Scott, Lydia taking the head of the table to look down the table at each of them. “Are we talking about his asshole ex?” she asked.

Stiles threw up his hands. “All I did was gently remind him that he’s said more than once that I’m not his type! I tried to turn him down as nicely as possible!”

Jackson looked thoroughly disbelieving. “Why the hell would Danny be interested in you?”

Lydia shrugged. “Why not? Stiles is easily a nine, especially with those lips and that tight little-“

“So you mentioned magic?” Scott interrupted quickly, and Stiles gestured to Lydia, looking around at the rest of them.

“I rest my case. Even if Danny hadn’t kissed me and tipped me off, it would take magic for Lydia Martin to think I was even vaguely attractive,” he said simply.

Jackson snorted out a laugh. “Well that explains it all. Obviously it’s magical, nobody in their right mind would want to kiss you-“

Erica startled a yelp out of Allison when she punched Jackson, leaning past Boyd. “How about you shut the hell up or I’ll fix it so you’ll need magic to live! Stiles is smart, and funny, and you wish you were half as impressive as he is,” she growled before settling back like nothing had happened.

Scott looked alarmed. “What was that? Are you affected too?!”

Stiles sighed and waved a hand weakly. “I used to be her Lydia,” he groaned helplessly. Stiles rolled his eyes. “Really? I thought you were over me?”

Erica shrugged. “I am, but I’d still want to beat the hell out of anybody who called you anything other than awesome. It’s a reflexive habit,” she explained and Jackson just snorted.

“Really, Erica? Stiles?” he asked and Erica glowered.

“He was nice to me before the bite made me hot,” she argued defensively.

Stiles flinched. “Don’t do that, okay?” he said, voice suddenly serious. “You were always pretty. The bite may have made your body stronger, but your face was always pretty.”

Lydia and Allison both sighed and gave Stiles wide, heartwarming smiles. “Wow, that’s the sweetest thing any guy has ever said to any girl,” Allison offered, and Lydia nodded.

“Seriously, because Erica was frumpy and gross looking-“

Stiles glared. “She was not, now shut up before she eats you,” he said, then turned back to Erica. “Don’t eat her, I’m still halfway in love with her,” he asked and Erica smirked.

“Only for you, Hot Stuff,” she said, winking at him. “So, magic?”

Stiles nodded miserably. “I knew it. I knew my luck wasn’t that good. No way girls would suddenly notice me and a senior boy would carry my books to class for me,” he sighed, flopping against the table. “I’m the most unlucky person alive.”

Scott looked at him worriedly. “So… how do we figure out what happened to make you magically attractive?”

Jackson scoffed. “And I’m bored now, later losers,” he said as he stood up and left the table, prompting Lydia to leave with him, though she did wink at Stiles before turning to walk away.

Stiles took a breath. “We need a plan.”

Isaac shook his head. “We’ll have to take this to Derek. He’ll know more about magic than any of us,” he said, and Erica and Boyd nodded along.

Scott looked uncomfortable with the idea, but Stiles shared a look with him, a desperate, ‘please help me’ look, and Scott reluctantly conceded. “Yeah, I guess he will know better than any of us,” he admitted begrudgingly.

Stiles snorted, fiddling with his water bottle cap in a depressing manner. “Great, nothing like physical violence to go on top of my humiliation!” Stiles dropped his head, pouting dramatically without a single thought to care about Scott and the other werewolves communicating with eyebrow wiggles and body language over his head.

~

Isaac said that Derek was too busy to see them until later in the week, so Stiles had to just ride it out for a few more days. For the most part, it was just dodging girls wanting to ask him out – and oh wasn’t that the last thing Stiles ever thought would happen – and trying not to make Danny even sadder than he had seemed ever since Stiles turned him down. He made it until Thursday, four days of the most awkward and uncomfortable days of his high school career (not an exaggeration), before he finally cracked.

He didn’t care how busy Derek was, he didn’t even care if Derek shoved him into another wall, he was seriously done with waiting. He got in his jeep and called Isaac, not texted but called, as he pulled out of the parking lot. “Isaac, I need to talk to Derek. Now.”

“Stiles? Hey, look it’s not the best time-“

“JUST TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND DEREK NOW!” Stiles screamed, voice cracking. He took a few breaths and swallowed, clearing his throat. “Isaac, seriously, I seriously have to talk to someone. Derek is my best bet. Seriously, Isaac. You skipped practice, you have no idea-“

“Alright, alright, but if Derek asks who gave you this address, it was NOT me. Blame Erica or something, she can defend herself better,” Isaac muttered before Stiles heard paper rustling. “Okay got a pen?”

Stiles rolled his eyes. “I’ll remember it, just tell me!”

“It’s 362 Beech Lane, apartment 4,” Isaac recited and Stiles frowned.

“Apartment? Holy shit, Derek has an apartment?” he asked, then barked out a laugh. “Holy shit what’s next, he adopts you?” Isaac was silent and Stiles felt like a massive dick suddenly. “Whoa, really?”

Isaac sighed. “He didn’t adopt me, but he knew I didn’t want to go to a foster family when it’s only a few more years, so he helped me work out how to get emancipated and worked on getting us somewhere to live. That’s why he’s busy this week. I skipped practice to help him get furniture moved in.”

Stiles cringed. “Damn now I feel like an asshole, I swear I wouldn’t have laughed-“

“Stiles just shut up and drive,” Isaac interrupted, hanging up on him. Stiles tossed his phone into the passenger seat and bit his lip, suddenly hoping Isaac being there might stop Derek from strangling him for showing up unannounced.

~

Stiles wasn’t at all surprised that the apartment was in a renovated warehouse and, ‘apartment 4’ was a loft accessible by a freight elevator. When the elevator screeched to the top, Stiles watched ahead as Derek came into view, waiting outside the grate with his arms crossed and a pissed look. “What the hell are you doing here?” he demanded Stiles had even opened the grate to walk out.

Stiles stood his ground though when he saw Isaac and Erica behind Derek, clearly attempting to construct a shelf. “Derek, for once, I don’t have time for the ‘grrrr, I’m a big bad Alpha and I’ll eat you’ stuff, okay?!” He shoved past Derek and tossed his backpack on the floor in the entry as he stumbled over and just flopped onto the couch beside where Isaac and Erica were arguing about what part was ‘fastener C’. “I’d actually probably rather be eaten today than go to school tomorrow anyways.”

Derek rolled his eyes. “Stiles, on the level of one to ten, take a wild guess how much I don’t care about your teen angst.”

Isaac glanced at Stiles, then did a double take. “Whoa, you’re really pale,” he said in surprise.

Erica looked up and stood up, taking a sniff. “Stiles?” She sat on the couch beside him and leaned closer to sniff again, then growled. “What happened?” she demanded.

Derek raised an eyebrow, looking slightly interested for once. “Somebody wanna tell me what’s going on?” he asked, settling in the armchair across from the couch.

Stiles sighed. “Short version! At some point I’ve been turned into the human equivalent of a magical roofie or something cause everybody wants me!”

Derek snorted. “Doubtful-“

“No, really,” Erica said seriously. “Allison Argent went dorky, googoo eyed over him Monday.”

Stiles’s phone rang and he picked it up with a sigh. “Yes, Scott?”

“Holy crap, you ran away after practice and I heard Finstock yelling at Danny and-“

“I’m okay, I’m at Derek’s. I couldn’t wait until this weekend, not after that,” he said, taking a breath. “I’ll put you on speaker, I’m explaining now.” He did so and sat up, setting the phone on the arm of the couch. “Okay, so where was I?”

“Allison Argent googoo eyed over you,” Erica prompted and Stiles nodded.

“Right, so that happened, and that’s after the hottest cheerleader in the school stuck her phone number in my pocket and whispered in my ear and like… pissed off the other cheerleaders in the class,” he said and Derek looked skeptical. “And then the I learned that several guys are closeted – go figure – and this senior guy carried my books to class for me. Then you all remember yesterday’s ‘Danny kissed me and when I gently turned him down he got upset and Jackson tried to kill me for hurting his best friend’ debacle,” he said, waving a hand. “But then today,” he hissed, glowering at his phone. “Today, I had the usual ‘avoiding people hitting on me’ – and wow is it weird to call that usual – until after lacrosse practice when I was the last one in the showers and Greenberg came back and backed me into the wall while we were both naked-“ Erica, Isaac, and Derek all gave him shocked looks. “And then I pushed him off of me and a few of the guys came to see what I was yelling at him for, and I’m pretty sure he’d have tried to help me even if things were normal, but Danny still seems to be in love with me so he was pissed and he and Greenberg basically started beating the shit out of each other and I kinda ran for it while Finstock tried to get them to stop.” He took a breath and swallowed. “So yeah, it’s gone from ‘well this is new’ to ‘that’s not cool’ to I was borderline sexually assaulted and then Danny Mahaelani, the sweetest human I’ve ever met, kicked someone’s ass over me.”

Scott growled over the line. “Greenberg did what?!”

Stiles put his head in his hands. “I really don’t want to talk about it, Scott.”

“Hey,” Derek said and Stiles steeled himself for another insult, only to look up and find a somewhat concerned look on the alpha’s face. “You okay?” he asked in a surprisingly soft voice for someone Stiles generally only ever heard in ‘disgruntled’ and ‘enraged’, as if those were his only two modes.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “This is just really not okay anymore.”

“Greenberg didn’t… do anything before you got him off you, right?” Scott asked awkwardly.

Stiles snorted and chuckled. “I never thought I’d actually be really, really happy to say ‘Good news, I’m still a virgin!’, but good news! I’m still a virgin!” He gave halfhearted jazz hands and Erica raised an eyebrow.

“You’re a virgin?” she asked, biting back a smirk.

“That’s good,” Derek said, then froze when they all looked at him with varying degrees of ‘what the hell’ and ‘thanks, jackass’. He rolled his eyes. “He got attacked in a shower, I’m pretty sure being a virgin is far preferable to being raped.”

Stiles cringed. “Thanks, Derek, always nice to be reminded that if there hadn’t been three guys and a coach still hanging around, I’d have probably been raped. Thanks for that,” he said and Derek shrugged.

“Man, Derek’s an even bigger dick than we already knew,” Scott said, and Derek growled slightly.

Erica shrugged. “You wouldn’t be a virgin if you had noticed me-“

“Yeah can we stop reminding me that a beautiful girl used to be crazy over me and I never noticed,” he said, then sighed. “I feel so bad about Danny, really,” he admitted. “I mean, most of the girls hitting on me are aggressive about it, but he’s a great guy. He’s really nice and I know he doesn’t like me for real, but he seemed so hurt after he kissed me and I reminded him ‘I’m not your type’.”

Scott laughed. “Jackson’s gonna kill you for Danny kicking Greenberg’s ass and getting in trouble over your cursed ass.”

“Okay,” Derek started. “So what’s the deal? Why are you attracting people like a human roofie?” he asked and Stiles snickered at Derek saying the same thing he did.

Stiles shrugged. “I’m guessing some pheromone thing, since it only works on people who are attracted to guys, but I’m not sure because if that was true, Scott would at least have smelled something, right?”

Derek shook his head. “It’s not pheromones, you smell the same. If it was pheromones, with heightened senses, at least Erica would be going crazy.”

Isaac nodded. “And you,” he said and Derek glared at him. “What? It’s only true.”

Erica smirked. “So that’s why you got so mad when I’d kiss you,” she said and Derek turned his glare on her.

Stiles hummed, tilting his head. “Well it’s good to know getting angry at me using you as hacker-bait wasn’t fueled by homophobia that time,” he said and Derek just huffed.

“This topic is over now, moving on,” Derek grumbled. “Now back to the important part, Stiles, is there any reason you may have pissed off a witch?”

Stiles just stared, face blank. “Witches are real?”

Derek sighed. “Yes, Stiles, witches are real. What do you think Deaton is?”

Stiles threw up his hands. “I don’t know! A guy who knows a lot about supernatural things because of research and maybe family business?! I know almost as much as he does and that’s just from the internet and books!” He frowned. “Although that does explain why he said I have a ‘spark’ or whatever.”

Derek tensed. “You have a ‘spark’?” he asked and Stiles nodded.

“Yeah, Deaton said it before. I thought he was just trying to make me more confident so I didn’t fail with the mountain ash powder stuff-“

Derek waved a hand. “What do you mean?” he asked and Stiles raised an eyebrow.

“The night I had to make the ring around that building? He told me it had to be me, nobody else, and said I had to believe it would work or it wouldn’t. I had like thirty feet and only a handful of the stuff and I did it by closing my eyes and seeing it in my mind.” Stiles shrugged. “I didn’t think about it again, really. It worked, even if that night went seriously wrong.”

Derek just stared, looking actually surprised. “You have magic. How is it you? How?” He looked at Isaac. “Him?”

Isaac shrugged. “Deaton does seem to like Stiles better than Scott sometimes.”

Stiles suddenly paled. “Oh my God I know what happened,” he said as it dawned on him, his blood running cold. “Oh God, oh crap!” He jumped up. “SCOTT WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME HE MEANT I WAS MAGICAL!” he shouted frantically. “Oh my God, you sent me to a magic shop to buy you wolfs bane and I have magical ‘sparks’ or whatever?! Me! The most ADHD teenager to ever exist! You didn’t see a problem with that?!”

Derek groaned. “Oh God, Stiles, what did you do?” he asked, slumping back in his chair.

Stiles paced. “I read loads of spells in books while I was waiting for other people to leave, and most every book there were books of love spells. God knows what I did to myself!” He turned and shouted right at his cell phone, which had fallen to the couch cushion. “I READ HALF A BOOK OF LUST SPELLS OUT LOUD, SCOTT!”

Derek stood up, shaking his head. “Isaac, Erica, stay here. Stiles, we’re going to see Deaton. Maybe he can fix this.”

Stiles frowned. “Wait, why are you coming-“

“To ask him why the hell he didn’t mention to anybody that you’re a human with magical ability when that’s seriously relevant information,” Derek said as he tugged off his shirt as soon as he got to the duffel bag in the corner. He pulled on a tee-shirt on his way back to the half-assembled living area to grab his leather jacket and pull it on. “Seriously, I knew better than to trust Deaton-“

“He probably just didn’t think it was your problem?” Stiles suggested, then grabbed h bag. “Scott, I’m hanging up now, are you going to be there?”

“Yeah, I’m going to work now. See you in a bit.” Stiles hung up and swung his bag onto his back.

When he and Derek stepped into the elevator, he glanced over. “You know, I think this is the longest we’ve gone without viol-“ Derek shoved him into the wall, glaring ahead.

“Shut up, Stiles.”

Stiles scrambled to right himself and rubbed his elbow. “Nope, there it is! Knew it was too good to be true-“

“Shut. Up.”

~

Scott was waiting at the door for them and let them in, flipping the sign behind them. “Deaton’s in back,” he said, taking them back. Deaton stood up from where he was making some notes and met them at the table.

“Gentlemen, Scott tells me Stiles has encountered a problem,” he prompted and Derek glowered at him.

“Before we get to that, why didn’t you tell me I’ve been letting my pack run around with a kid who has the potential for magic?” he demanded.

Deaton smiled calmly. “I didn’t think it was any of your business what abilities Mr. Stilinski might have.”

“Maybe not, but my pack is my business and they see him almost every day. What if he had something happen and there was an outburst of energy? Untrained witches can actually hurt werewolves-“

Deaton waved a hand. “Stiles isn’t a witch. He isn’t on my level, he isn’t of the blood for real witchcraft, he just has a natural amplification aura about him. He’s able to take magic that’s already there and conduct it.”

Derek narrowed his eyes. “Well what if he amplified and conducted something in the direction of one of my betas?”

“That isn’t a problem,” Deaton said simply. “I promise you, as long as nobody around you starts playing with magic or teaching him spells while he’s near objects of power, it should all be fine.”

Stiles groaned. “You know, it would’ve been good to tell ME this!”

Deaton raised an eyebrow. “I told you-“

“You said there was a ‘spark’ about me. I thought you just meant I was stubborn enough to make that thing with the powder work!” Stiles stressed. “I didn’t know you meant I could conduct magic!”

Scott cleared his throat. “He’s gone and cursed himself,” he said without preamble.

Deaton looked surprised. “How on earth did you do that? I’ve never felt residual magic on you so I’m guessing you don’t live near any objects of power.”

Stiles glowered at Scott. “Someone told me about the magic shop next town over and asked me to bring him some wolfs bane when I got a chance, and this past weekend I was bored because that same someone was at his girlfriend’s house.” Scott ducked his head bashfully and Stiles sighed. “Okay, the story is like this: Starting Monday at school, a bunch of girls that never pay any attention to me noticed me, one even gave me her number, but the further the week went, the more strongly people are reacting.” He cringed. “I was waiting around for the shop to clear out in case the lady knew why I wanted wolfs bane and the place was full of amulets and gems and jewelry so tons of what I assume are objects of power… and there was a wall of spell books and like nine-tenths of them were love spells.”

Deaton actually rolled his eyes. “You accidentally did a love spell on yourself?”

Stiles cleared his throat. “I’m thinking maybe it was the book of lust spells actually. I read it out loud cause it was funny?” It was a statement, but it sounded more like a question when he said it. He cringed. “So… then my friend who doesn’t like me at all in that way kissed me and when I turned him down he got upset and then today a guy on the lacrosse team almost sexually assaulted me and the friend I upset kinda beat him up for it when he’s the least violent person alive and it really can’t get worse than ‘teammate tried to probably rape me’ really.”

Deaton shook his head. “No, I’d say nearly becoming a sexual assault victim is probably when it’s a serious issue that has to be dealt with.” He hesitated, the nodded to himself. “We’ve got to go back to the shop.” He turned to Scott. “You clean up and close up for me, I’ve got to go with them.”

Scott nodded. “Sure, and thanks for helping,” he said so earnestly Stiles couldn’t help smile. “Stiles may be a magnet for trouble, and he may get in really messed up situations way often, and sometimes bad situations he drags me into as well, but he’s my best friend and I don’t want to see him hurt.”

Stiles frowned. “Not sure if I should punch you in the arm or tell you I love you, too,” he said and Derek groaned.

“No Hallmark moments, please,” he pleaded and Stiles smirked.

“The fact you know what kind of stuff comes on Hallmark rats you out, man,” he said, slapping Derek on the shoulder, only to flinch when Derek fixed him with a glare. “Alright, Grumpy Pants, you get back seat,” he said, following Deaton out with a smirk on his face at how annoyed with him Derek was getting.

~

When they arrived at the shop, Deaton led the way. Stiles was texting Scott to tell him they had got there and he would update him soon, only to run into what felt like a brick wall. “Ow!” He looked up, rubbing his nose, only to raise an eyebrow at Derek’s back. Derek’s unmoving back. “What’s the hold up? Why are you stopped in the doorway.”

Derek backed up a step and Stiles saw his jaw working from the side. “Werewolves and magic… they don’t go together well. It is one of the few things that can really hurt us. This place is full of it. It’s humming.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, putting away his phone. “Does the Big Bad Alpha want me to hold his wittle paw?” Stiles cooed in a baby voice, giggling at the growl Derek made in the back of his throat.

“Stiles?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t make me kill you,” Derek said, and then grabbed Stiles by a the back of his jacket and shoved him through the door ahead of him, full on marching him past all the tables and racks until they got to the counter at the back where Deaton and the shop keeper were talking already.

Immediately, she perked up. “Oh I remember him alright,” she said, smiling a genuinely nice smile to Stiles. “I didn’t sense you had magic though,” she said and Deaton chuckled.

“Well he doesn’t, but it appears he was getting enough feedback from your gems and amulets that he had enough power to curse himself accidentally,” he explained. “Stiles, tell her what’s happening.”

Stiles uneasily told the full story, finishing it with a grimace. “And we’ve basically worked out that it doesn’t work on people who don’t like boys or werewolves,” he said, then slapped a hand over his mouth. “Sorry, was I even supposed to say that-“

Deaton nodded. “It’s fine, she probably recognized what you were after since you needed wolfs bane in such a large amount.”

The keeper laughed. “Well to start with, can you tell me your name?”

“I’m Stiles,” he said, and she nodded.

“Hello Stiles, I’m Molly,” she said, stepping to the end of the counter. “Why don’t you, Dr. Deaton, and Mr. Hale join me for some tea and we’ll work out what’s happened to you.”

Derek flinched. “How do you know my name?” he asked and she smiled mischievously.

“Derek Hale, like I could forget those eyes?” She walked towards the back and Deaton followed. Derek hesitated, but Stiles grabbed his elbow and pulled until Derek followed. When they got into the back, walking through a beaded curtain, Molly and Deaton were already sitting at a table. Stiles shucked his jacket, as did Derek, and Molly gestured to a chair where Deaton had already laid his own jacket beside the doorway.

“Alright,” Molly said, drawing the attention back. “Stiles, why do you think it’s a curse?”

Stiles scoffed. “Because my friend Danny does not want me, there’s no way the hottest girls in school would all suddenly want in my pants, and there is absolutely no way Greenberg would actually be stupid enough to try and make a move on me in the showers after practice!” He absently gestured to Derek. “If I looked like that, maybe, but I’m a hundred and forty-seven pounds of invisible, comprende?”

Molly nodded. “Alright, I was just making sure,” she said, then sighed. “We’ve got a lot of research on our hands, I’m afraid. We need to find what spell it was and then work out how to counter that. Are there any things you know it for sure isn’t?”

“It’s not pheromones,” Derek offered. “His scent is the same, give or take the environmental scents he gets into.”

Deaton spoke up after sipping his tea. “Anything physical? Does he seem visibly different? Does his heart sound different? Anything?”

Derek looked at Stiles closely, then shook his head. “Not even a freckle out of place. Sounds the same, looks the same, smells the same.”

Stiles gave him a flat look. “You know my freckles?!”

Derek’s face shut down but he growled defensively, “I’ve had to look at you way more than I ever wanted to after all the times you meddle in my business-“

“Okay, okay, whatever, it’s not my fault you need my help so often,” Stiles defended, rolling his eyes as he threw his hands up. “No need to get defensive.”

Molly looked amused. “And you’re sure no werewolves are affected, Stiles?”

Stiles nodded. “Even if Derek might not be interested cause of an age thing-“

“Oh my God, why do you have to point out I’m even a candidate for this, was that necessary-“

Stiles talked over him. “Erica, one of his betas, actually used to like me and she isn’t even affected.”

Molly hummed. “Well, I guess that will help us narrow down the spell some. Let’s go look and see if you can remember which books you looked over.”

~

Stiles, Derek, Deaton, and Molly flipped through books for more than an hour before Stiles found a leather bound book he recognized. “This! I read this book out loud. Like, six or seven spells at least.”

Deaton nodded. “That would be most likely the one then.” He took the book and chuckled. “Lust spells. That definitely sounds like our culprit.”

Molly flipped the book open and cringed. “These are some powerful spells, Stiles. A lot of these books are all just words, they only work because people believe they work, but this particular book has some serious rituals in it.”

Stiles frowned. “But I didn’t do any ritual, I just read something out loud.”

She nodded. “Which means we can count out any of them that require more than what you had at the time: objects of power and your own amplification as you read the incantations.”

Deaton sighed. “The book is thick, but it’s a start at least.”

Stiles sighed. “Great, ‘a start’, that soun- OH GOD I HAVE TO BE HOME IN HALF AN HOUR!” he squeaked, voice going higher than any of them suspected. “You don’t get it,” he said when he saw their astounded faces. “I’m on thin ice, my dad is more suspicious of me than ever lately, it’s a forty-five minute drive and I’ve got thirty minutes to be there.”

He jumped up and ran to get his jacket. He brought back Derek’s and Deaton’s jackets, but Deaton didn’t stand as he took his. “I’ll get a ride on my own, you two get back. Derek clearly wants to get out of this shop and he can run home from your house so you don’t have to make extra stops.”

Derek jumped up with a sigh. “Oh thank God, let’s get out of here,” he said, all but running backwards as he nodded to Deaton and Molly in thanks, then turned to rush out before Stiles had even got his jacket on. “Stiles!”

“Coming, coming! Jesus, you’d think you were the one with a curfew!” Stiles shouted as he rushed out the door after him.

When they were on the road, Derek finally relaxed some. Stiles saw him and smiled. “You really hate magic, don’t you?” Derek shrugged and Stiles hummed. “And I’m a magic amplifier. That explains so much why you can’t help your violent urges around me.”

Derek scoffed. “I can’t suppress my violent urges around you because you’re an ass, Stiles.”

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Oh please, at least I’m not a big ol’ Sour Wolf that wouldn’t know a smile if it snuck up and bit him on the well-sculpted ass!”

Derek huffed. “I smile.”

“HA! When?” Stiles asked, glancing over at him. “When is the last time you smiled? And!” he said before Derek could start to answer. “Evil sneers don’t count. Serial killer smiles are not real smiles.” Derek was silent for too long and Stiles actually felt bad. “You do smile, right?” he asked gently. “I was just teasing, I know you have to smile some. At home? With your pack?”

Derek sighed. “Stiles, I don’t have to talk to you about my emotional responses-“

“Oh God, Derek, tell me you smile sometimes,” Stiles said suddenly, all the humor gone from his voice.

Derek seemed to shrink in his seat and shrugged. “Yeah I guess. I just don’t really have much to smile about, do I?” he asked bitterly.

Stiles actually felt like shit for joking about it. “You shouldn’t need a reason to smile. You should do it just because you’re having a nice day and you feel good.”

Derek flinched. “And what exactly do you think gives me nice days? I have to put up with you on too many of them,” he said, but even his insults didn’t pack their usual punch. Stiles realized he’d actually struck a nerve he hadn’t known was exposed.

“Derek,” he said in a gentle, friendly voice. “What was the last thing that happy? The last thing that made you feel good enough to smile?”

Derek groaned. “Why am I even letting you talk-“

“Because it’s Dr. Stiles time and I’ll put your ass out and make you walk, now shut up and talk to me because I know for a FACT your day did not sucks a bad as mine,” he snapped.

Derek was quiet for a while, so long that Stiles was pretty sure he wasn’t going to answer, before Derek’s intake of breath broke the silence. “Isaac makes me feel like smiling,” he admitted so softly Stiles barely heard it.

Stiles couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah?” he asked and Derek sighed, clearly reluctant to continue, but fully aware that Stiles was right – Stiles had had a really bad day.

“I care about my pack, but the pack is all Isaac has. Erica and Boyd’s home lives may not be perfect, but they have homes to go to. Isaac doesn’t have anybody. He’s an orphan.” Neither of them said it, but they both heard the unspoken ‘just like me’. “And I have money, I can give him a home. I can take care of him. I knew I couldn’t be his guardian, so I helped him get emancipated because I can take care of him. He doesn’t need a foster family, he needs-“

Stiles smiled sadly. “He needs someone that cares?” he asked and Derek nodded. “It’s great, Derek. I don’t really like either of you most of the time,” he said and Derek snorted. “But Isaac hasn’t had anybody who loved him in a long time. You’re like a big brother that he’s never had.” He frowned. “Well he did have an older brother, but he hated Isaac as much as their dad did and he’s dead now so-“

“I get it, Stiles, just-“ Derek made a face. “I told you, no Hallmark stuff. Yes, I’m like a brother-figure, yes I care about him, but can we please not ever go into more emotional details like that again?”

Stiles just rolled his eyes. “Emotions are in, man. It’s the twenty-first century, men are allowed to be in touch with their feminine sides-“

“Oh my God, I’m going to kill you and then myself if you don’t shut up, Stiles,” Derek groaned and Stiles dissolved into giggles.

~

Stiles couldn’t miss school, he had a serious test in history, but he did all he could to seem unappealing. He wore sweatpants and flip flops, got one of Scott’s ratty old hoodies to wear, and kept the hood up as much as he could without teacher’s yelling at him.

It still didn’t prevent several girls from trying to talk to him, and worst of all, Danny from trying to corner him on the way to lunch and make sure he was okay after yesterday. Stiles felt more guilty about the black eye Danny had than anything else, if he was honest. Scott settled beside him and Stiles immediately gave him wild ‘help me’ eyes. Scott immediately struck up a conversation with Danny and allowed Stiles to slink away.

When he finally got to history class, after which he could skip and go home to hide, Stiles immediately flinched as he saw six people turn to him with interested eyes. He shuffled towards the back row and prayed that the only girl near him had a boyfriend or something and wouldn’t blatantly hit on him. As he slid into the seat, she turned around. “Hey, why the hell do people keep staring at you?” she asked, and Stiles gasped.

“YOU’RE A LESBIAN!?” he cried, then threw his hands up with a giant smile. “Thank GOD!”

“Mr. Stilinski!” Stiles jerked around and flushed as he saw every face turned his way and an extremely unhappy look on the teacher’s face.

“Um, it’s for a project! Statistical data on homosexuality in high schools in California and I needed a lesbian classmate- well that sounds bad, not NEEDED a lesbian, just hoped to find one- not that I’m more interested in lesbians than gay guys, those are cool too, my friend’s gay and he’s awesome-“ He groaned and turned to the girl, who looked amused. “Please shut me up?”

The teacher just groaned. “Mr. Stilinski, please just… just stop,” she said, turning to her desk with exasperation etched into each line of her face. Stiles slumped over and pulled up his hood, willing the day to end.

~

When Stiles and Scott opened the grate at Derek’s apartment, Derek was waiting with a glare. “Why are you here again, Stiles? And with Scott, no less!”

Stiles smiled sarcastically. “It’s nice to see you again, too, Derek!” He rolled his eyes. “We need Isaac. We’re going to test lust spells on him.”

Isaac hopped up from the couch. “You’re gonna what?!” he asked, voice squeaking slightly. “Uh-uh, no way.”

Scott rolled his eyes. “We’re not testing anything, but we need an extra set of eyes. We’re going to meet the magic shop owner at Deaton’s office to work on finding which spell Stiles is stuck with and how to undo it.”

Isaac nodded. “Alright, sure.”

Derek gave him a significant look. “What part of ‘stay home and help hang curtains’ didn’t you get?”

Isaac groaned and flopped on the couch. “Sorry Stiles, Dad says I can’t come out and play,” he said and Scott snickered whereas Derek glared. “Call Erica, she’s probably bored out of her mind,” Isaac suggested, then stood up, throwing the throw pillow – seriously throw pillow?! - in his hand at Derek as he walked over. “Alright mom, I’ll be a good boy-“

“I’m going to learn how to ground you if you don’t stop,” Derek growled, though as they got into the elevator, Scott and Stiles both saw that Derek was actually smiling.

On the way down, Scott whispered. “Holy crap, was Derek smiling?”

Stiles nodded. “Isaac does that too him apparently. It’s surprising yet not really.”

Scott shrugged. “I dunno, I don’t like Derek, but Isaac’s better off at least. That’s what’s important,” he said softly, and with great seriousness.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Ew spare me your and Isaac’s bromance-“

“Oh shut up,” Scott groaned, grabbing Stiles in a headlock on the way back out to the car.

~

Derek came home on Sunday, only to trip over not one, but four pairs of high heel shoes just inside the entryway. “Erica! What the hell are these doing in my floor?” he shouted, picking up one of the alarmingly blue shoes to throw at her, only to slow to a stop as he saw what was going on in his living room.

Isaac’s head popped up and he immediately went wide eyed. “Derek! I didn’t know-“

“That I’d be home so soon?” Derek asked menacingly. He held up the shoe helplessly. “Who are you people and why are you in my apartment?”

Stiles stood up, hands on his hips. “Derek! That’s rude!” he walked over and snatched the shoe. “And don’t hurt the sequins!” He waved the shoe. “Sorry, Coco. Derek doesn’t respect vintage.”

Derek put his face in his hand. “Stiles, why are here four cross dressers clustered around my coffee table?” he asked in a low voice.

Stiles glared at him, but another voice butted in. “Um, excuse you Mr. Bossy, but we are drag queens, get it right!” said a surprisingly feminine face with a deep voice that actually made Derek’s eyebrows shoot up.

Stiles just grinned. “You tell him Monique!” He took the shoe and carried it back to its mate on the floor and then came back. He passed Derek but yelped when he was caught by his shirt and yanked back.

“Stiles, Isaac, a word please?” he asked with the fakest smile either of them had ever seen as he dragged Stiles over to the kitchen area and gestured angrily for Isaac to follow.

“Derek, I know it looks bad,” Isaac started, but Derek cut him off.

“What part of ‘humans can’t know you’re a werewolf’ did you miss in the over a year since I turned you, Isaac?!” he whispered angrily. “Why did you let Stiles bring those people into our house-“

“‘Those people’,” Stiles interrupted, looking offended. “Are my friends. Just like Isaac. And just like Isaac, they were already in the know.”

Derek narrowed his eyes. “Oh yeah, and how exactly did they come into the ‘know’?”

Stiles shrugged innocently. “Divine’s ex in LA was a werewolf, Azalea knew a witch coven down in Mississippi growing up, and all four of them were there the night the kanima went attack happy at the Jungle.” He ducked his head, scratching at his ear absently. “I may or may not complain- I mean talk about my group of supernatural misfits to them occasionally.”

Derek growled. “You talk to strangers about my pack?!”

Stiles huffed. “They are not strangers, they’re friends, and I’m allowed to have friends that are normal people and besides, I don’t use your real names.”

Derek groaned, but shook his head. “Normal people?” he asked, gesturing to the six inch heels in a pile by the elevator.

Stiles gave him an offended look. “Yes normal people! Jesus, could you be more offensive?!” he demanded, rolling his eyes as he turned and walked back over. “Alright, now where were we, ladies?” he asked, smiling as he slid down to the floor again. “Derek, come listen to what Azalea says about this curse she saw this one time. It’s very similar to mine.”

Derek glowered at Isaac. “We’re having a talk later,” he said, and then cringed when he realized he sounded like a parent. “Oh you know what I mean.” Isaac just smiled to himself as they went to join Stiles and his ragtag group of drag queens clustered around the coffee table laden with spell books.

Derek sat on the couch and a drag queen with a blue wig and the biggest fake eyelashes Derek had ever seen looked at him, then hummed. “Lemme guess, Sweetcheeks, this one is Sour Wolf, huh?” she asked and Derek glared at Stiles.

Stiles just smirked. “Yep.” He gave Derek an evil smile. “Sour Wolf, meet Azalea.” He gestured to the other four. “You already know Monique, Coco, and that’s Divine.” He giggled and elbowed Isaac. “And he’s Fluffy.”

Isaac actually smiled and laughed when Coco shoved him playfully. Derek just frowned. “Wait, Stiles, why aren’t they affected too?” he asked suddenly.

Stiles looked up. “Huh? Oh! No, the lack of teachers or other kids parents trying to get my number gave me the idea that adults don’t count. And I’m right, none of them have the pressing urge to have their way with me,” he said with a shrug.

Monique chuckled. “Oh honey if you were legal…” she trailed off and winked and Stiles giggled.

“Oh bitch please, you never let jailbait stop you before.” He waved a hand. “Coco told me all about your ‘friend’ George-“

“SHUT UP!” Monique cried, then threw a book at Coco. “You whore! He’s almost eighteen, no talking yet!”

Derek raised an eyebrow. “And you’re what, thirty? Great example for these two kids, huh?” he asked and Stiles raised an eyebrow.

“Derek, you turned three kids into werewolves,” he pointed out. “You literally spend all your time with underage kids. If anybody screams ‘pedophile’, it’s you.” He gave him a pointed look. “Besides, stop exaggerating her age, dude.” He jerked his head and glowered.

Derek grumbled and rolled his eyes. “Alright, you don’t look thirty, Monique, you don’t look a day over twenty-ei-“ Stiles shook his head quickly, “twenty-six?” Stiles nodded with a sign.

Monique rolled her eyes. “Smooth.”

Coco whispered something to Divine who giggled, then looked up with a grin on her face. “So Derek, you sure look legal,” she said with a pointed leer.

Derek flushed slightly, which drew both Isaac and Stiles attention. “Sorry ladies, I’m off the market.”

“Lies!” Isaac cried, then looked startled at his own outburst. He continued anyhow, though he looked bashful. “You’re a single guy.” He turned to Divine. “Don’t let him fool you, he totally plays for both teams-“

“Thank you, Isaac,” Derek said quickly. “But no really, just no. I’ve got all I can handle with my pack, thanks-”

Coco waved a jeweled finger. “Watch who you callin’ a cradle robber then, hunty, cause you sure don’t look young enough for a young’un their age.”

Derek gave an actually offended huff. “Hey, I’m barely twenty-three, thank you very much.”

Stiles gaped. “Whoa, you’re only twenty-three?!”

Derek sighed. “Yes, Stiles, I turned twenty-three two months ago.”

Isaac nodded. “I talked him into donuts,” he said and Stiles smiled sadly.

“That’s cool, Derek,” he said and Derek shrugged.

“Okay, enough about levels of non-existent statutory rape, you’ve invaded my house with an army of glitter and I really hope you get magic fixed out of it.”

Azalea nodded. “Alright, so Stiles was showing me some print outs of possibilities from the spell book, and my mama’s cousin’s daughter had the same thing happen. Or almost like it. She was a witch and she was looking for a man, so she was trying a ‘find a lover’ spell, but instead it just made everybody want her.”

Derek nodded. “Okay, how did she fix it?”

Azalea rolled her eyes. “Boy, she didn’t. She ended up sleeping with about three quarters of the town then got pregnant and married the bum that knocked her up. Think they still live in a singlewide,” she said and Derek rolled his eyes.

“So helpful, thanks,” he droned.

Isaac frowned. “So we have to pimp Stiles out and hope he doesn’t get pregnant?” he asked and Stiles shot him a look.

“Isaac, even if we could get someone to sleep with me, I’m not stupid, I know all about condoms-“

“And, you know, boys don’t get pregnant,” Derek pointed out and Isaac blinked.

“Oh yeah, that too,” he said with a shrug. “So, what was her goal? Or did she just really like a variety menu?” Isaac asked, speaking up more than Derek would’ve ever expected.

Azalea tapped her nails on the page. “I think the idea is that you gotta find the one you’re looking for.” She looked over at Stiles. “You got anybody you have a crush on?”

Stiles flushed and Derek heard his heart jump, but he fixed on a smile. “Well yeah, there’s this girl I’ve kind of been in love with since I was eight, but she has a boyfriend – one of our pack actually – and she only started noticing I’m alive because her best friend and my best friend are living a romance movie of epic proportions.” He shook his head with a grimace. “Sorry ladies, but no way in hell is Lydia going to sleep with me.” He flopped across the table. “I’m going to either die a virgin or get raped because of this stupid spell.”

Isaac bit his lip, then cringed. “I never thought I’d say this, but on the off chance just getting laid fixes it, I’ll sleep with you and take one for the team?” he offered and Stiles gave him a flat look.

“Gee, thanks, but call me old fashioned – I’d rather meet someone, think they’re hot, then choose to have sex with them. My first time being someone ‘taking one for the team’ isn’t exactly how I pictured it going.” He shrugged. “Don’t get me wrong, random one night stand is totally fine, I would just like it to be someone who wants to do it, not a pity screw, you know?”

Isaac let out a rush of breath. “Oh thank God, cause you’re my friend and all, but I really don’t think of you like that.” He cringed. “I don’t think of any dudes like that. I was just willing to do it if you need it to stay alive and all.”

Stiles reached out and slapped his shoulder. “And this is why you’re my favorite of Derek’s pack.”

Derek gave him a grumbled reassurance. “Don’t worry, you’re not gonna let your first be that messed up.”

Stiles hummed, flipping through the printout. “You’d sure know all about seriously messed up firsts-“ Stiles dropped the printout and slapped both hands over his mouth, but the damage was done.

Derek’s face had morphed into stone cold shock. He looked like someone had slapped him. Isaac whimpered suddenly at the feeling of pain and surprise coming off of his alpha, and it was enough to clue everyone in that something was seriously wrong.

Stiles shook his head. “Derek, I-“ Derek stood so quickly he was nearly a blur as he leapt over the back of the couch and stalked to his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him. Stiles let his hands fall and he blinked around at his friends. He swallowed, feeling sick to his stomach, and jumped up as well. “I’ve gotta go,” he choked out, not even bothering to put on his jacket, shoes, or backpack as he grabbed them all and rushed to the elevator, back to them all as it made its way down and out of sight.

~

Stiles almost expected to find the outer grate locked when he went to see Derek the next day in hopes of apologizing, only to find it unlocked. He walked into the entry area and hesitated, not seeing or hearing anybody. He put down his bag and walked further into the main area. “Derek? Isaac?” he called softly, knowing anybody there had to know he was there. He walked to Isaac’s room and found it unoccupied, then exited to go to Derek’s. He hesitated in the open doorway, but saw the window open and made up his mind. He rushed through the room without looking around, fighting his natural curiosity with his crushing guilt at intruding enough in Derek’s life.

When he got to the window he stuck his head out and found the fire escape out Derek’s window. Derek wasn’t around, but Stiles could hear music coming from above him. He saw the ladder to his left, then eyed the rickety metal fire escape. He steeled himself and climbed out the window carefully. He looked up and decided that if the ladder could hold Derek, it would hold him, and began to climb. When he got to the lip of the building, he looked over onto the roof and glanced an iPod hooked up to speakers just before legs walked into his view. “What’re you doing-“

Stiles yelped and jumped, only to lose his hold on the ladder. He gasped and reached for the rung with a blind panic, only to suddenly have hands on his wrists. “It’s okay, it’s okay!” Derek pulled him up onto the roof easily, stumbling back as he caught Stiles against his chest. “You’re alright,” he said and Stiles clung to his jacket as he fought to not hyperventilate. “Stiles, breathe,” Derek said gently, hands still on his wrists.

Stiles took a moment, but eventually he was able to let go of Derek’s jacket without falling. “I’m okay,” he said, still trembling from the adrenaline that surged when he thought he was about to fall to his death. Wait. “Oh my God I almost died!” he realized, and Derek rolled his eyes.

“You wouldn’t have nearly died if you hadn’t come on the roof-“

“Well you weren’t in your apartment and I heard the music,” Stiles said, and Derek huffed, but walked over to kill the music.

“And why, exactly, did you come looking for me?” Derek asked, face growing blank.

Stiles shot him an exasperated look. “Derek, you know why,” he said and Derek refused to meet his eyes. “Derek, I cannot possibly find a word to stress how extremely sorry I am I said that last night,” he said earnestly. “I swear to God, I’ve literally never felt worse about my stupid mind-to-mouth filter not existing.”

Derek grunted and shrugged, walking over to the cardboard flattened out to cover the gravel where the speakers were. “Doesn’t matter,” he said, squatting down to pick up the iPod and speakers, shoving them in his pocket before going to the ladder. He climbed down without even looking back at Stiles.

Stiles glared, then huffed, walking over to follow. He made his way inside just behind Derek and followed him into the main room. “Derek, it does matter, I was a massive asshole and I just-“ He flapped a hand. “Yell at me, okay?”

Derek turned back, glaring at Stiles, though he looked pretty tired, as he took off his jacket. “Why would I yell-“

“Because I feel guilty as hell, okay?!” Stiles threw his hands up. “Just take out whatever hurt that had to cause by yelling at me so I can stop feeling like a bigger dick than Jackson.”

Derek let out a small snort and shot him a slightly amused look. “Nobody is a bigger dick than Jackson,” he said, then shrugged. “It’s okay,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets, toe nudging the floor. “I was more shocked. I didn’t know anybody knew… that,” he said, closing his eyes. “Who found out and told you guys?”

Stiles shook his head, leaning back on the counter behind him. “I don’t think anybody else knows. I mean, Allison might, if her dad figured it out and told, but just me.”

Derek looked surprised. “You didn’t tell Scott?”

Stiles glared at him. “I’m not that big of an asshole, Derek. I’d never tell anybody something like that.”

Derek raised an eyebrow. “How did you even know?”

Stiles fidgeted uncomfortable. “Well, Peter gave me a pretty good idea the night he kidnapped me, the night he killed Ka- her,” he said. He winced, hand going to his face unconsciously. “And then Gerard filled in any blanks I had left the night he tortured me-“

Derek’s head snapped up. “What?” he asked, voice hollow.

Stiles looked at him with an uneasy look. “You know what I-“

“No, I don’t,” Derek said in a rush. “When the hell did Gerard Argent torture you?!”

Stiles frowned. “You didn’t know? The night he had Boyd and Erica, after he made Jackson kill himself on the field, he kidnapped me during the panic.”

Derek actually looked horrified. “Stiles… what happened?”

Stiles chuckled shakily. “You really didn’t know?” Derek shook his head. “Well, I guess Boyd and Erica did run away after so by the time they came back, they probably figured everybody knew, huh? And- and I assumed they’d tell eventually.”

“You mean you didn’t tell anybody?” Derek asked and Stiles shook his head. Derek took a step closer. “Stiles, tell me.”

Stiles swallowed hard, eyes glistening at the memory. “It’s nothing, Derek. It’s all old news. Old old news. That was over a year ago-“

“And in a year you never thought to even tell Scott that you had been tortured?” Derek asked in a quiet tone.

Stiles shook his head. “Why would I put that guilt on him?” He chuckled wetly, sniffling. “I’ve got enough guilt for everybody at all times, no need to share the load.” He wiped at his face as a wayward tear streaked his cheek and Derek looked lost as to what to do. “Hey, we were supposed to be yelling at me for being a massive dick about what Kate Argent did to you, no sympathy when I’m guilty,” he chastised with a weak laugh.

Derek flinched. “Hard to be angry at you when you only know because my psychotic uncle kidnapping you was what gave you most of the story and being tortured by Gerard Argent confirmed it.” He cursed. “Damn it, Stiles, you didn’t tell us you got tortured?!” He froze. “The marks on your face. You said that was from the game. Something about guys on the other team.”

Stiles nodded. “It’s what I told my dad, too.” He flinched. “The burns on my arms were harder to cover, but it’s easy to distract with a bruised up face.” Derek paled and Stiles nodded. “I was trying to get Boyd and Erica free so Gerard decided to give me a taste of what electricity does.” He looked down at his left forearm, to the spot where a faded and barely visible smooth spot was scarred. “He talked while he was hurting me, so, yeah, I got the full story of his wackadoodle craziness and his psychotic bitch daughter.”

Derek groaned. “I had hoped that information died with her and Gerard.”

Stiles smiled tightly. “Don’t worry. Unless Peter comes back, the story stops with me.”

Derek huffed. “I don’t get you, Stiles. You didn’t like me – hell you and I are still annoying as possible to each other when you do like me – how did you not use that knowledge to your advantage-“

Stiles gave him an offended glare. “Because whether or not I like someone doesn’t have shit to do with not daring to pass on the information that something seriously messed up happened to them! I’m a decent person, Derek, and no decent person would do that-“

“Are you sure you have it right then, because anything messed up that happened, I brought it upon myself,” Derek pointed out, voice tinged in frustration. “Everything terrible that’s happened in my life was my own damn fault-“

“What the hell, no it’s not!” Stiles stalked up to Derek. “Are you serious right now?” he asked, obviously startled. Derek grunted and Stiles snapped his fingers, making Derek look up. “Derek, you can’t really think anything that happened-“

Derek looked up with guilt and anger in his eyes. “I was naïve and stupid and because of it, my whole family died, Stiles! And then the only person I had left was murdered because that same damn fire drove my uncle insane! Laura died because the fire happened and it was my fault-“

“Derek, no,” Stiles said in a small voice, eyes wide with fear. Not fear of Derek, but fear of how broken Derek – the grumpy, sullen, angry man he was – sounded and looked as he babbled. “Derek,” he started helplessly, shaking his head.

Derek rolled his eyes. “You were tortured and nobody even noticed, Stiles, if anything you should be angry-“

“I got my ass kicked, I didn’t get molested and lose everything I had-“ Derek cut him off.

“Stiles, you know it wasn’t like that, I was stupid and thought I was in love but I was just naïve-“

Stiles slapped a hand over Derek’s mouth, startling them both. “You were a child -Fifteen? Sixteen?- and she was twenty-one and evil, that’s rape no matter how ‘consenting’ you may have been.” Stiles moved his hand, but continued. “You were manipulated and used in the most disgusting way imaginable. She made an impressionable kid fall in love with her and used it to kill his family,” he whispered. “Derek, there is no realm of possibility in which that was at all your fault. Legally, emotionally, mentally… never your fault.” He shook his head, staring into Derek’s pained and confused eyes. “There’s a special circle of hell for Kate Argent so deep that even Gerard has it easy compared to her and I’m saying that when I’m the one he tortured.” Derek looked so confused that Stiles couldn’t help it. He closed the gap between them and wrapped his arms around Derek’s torso, pulling Derek close.

“Uh… what are you doing?” Derek asked flatly.

Stiles huffed. “It’s called a hug, jackass, it’s a thing you do for many reasons, but at the moment, that reason is ‘to comfort’.” Derek didn’t move and Stiles chuckled. “It’s easy, you just put your arms around me and kinda squeeze.

Derek sighed and reluctantly hugged Stiles back. “What I mean is, why are we hugging?” he asked, chin resting on Stiles’s shoulder. “I’m not that upset-“

“Well maybe I am, did you think of that?” Stiles grumbled, refusing to let go. “Now shut up and hug me, you bastard.”

Derek made an amused sound, then resumed hugging. “Alright, but only because you were tortured and nobody knew.”

Stiles hummed, laying his head on Derek’s shoulder. “Sounds good.”

“Also, if you tell anybody I hugged you, I’ll kill you,” he threatened matter-of-factly.

Stiles just chuckled. “Wouldn’t expect anything less.”

~

Derek was getting really sick of coming back to his and Isaac’s loft and finding more people he doesn’t know there. “STILES!” he called, knowing Stiles was in the apartment if his entire pack, plus Scott, Allison, Lydia and Danny were there.

Stiles came rushing from the bathroom, still buckling his belt. “I know, I know, ‘stop bringing home strays’ and-“

“What part of stop telling humans do you not get?!” Derek demanded, gesturing to Danny, who was researching right alongside everybody else.

“Actually, this was all me,” Isaac said, taking the blame. “We worked out with Allison that if you explain the spell part, she’s able to sort of snap out of it.”

Stiles nodded, heading over to hop over the back of the couch. “And Danny Boy here was literally trying to get me to marry him,” he said and Danny groaned. “So we had to bring him in. on everything.”

Danny gave a sheepish little wave. “I’m gonna guess not really ‘creepy cousin Miguel’?” he asked and Derek glared enough that Danny flushed.

Stiles giggled. “I still can’t help cracking up every time I remember that,” he said.

Derek sighed and walked over. “How does it work? Snapping them out of it?”

Danny sat up. “Well like, I think I’m still cursed? Cause Stiles has never ever been my type.” He looked at Stiles, and shook his head. “Never. But he’s still really cute to me right now, even though I know it’s not real. I can remember when he wasn’t my kind of boy, but in my mind, I still really think he’s smart and cute and funny even if I know I don’t like him that way normally.”

Allison nodded. “Exactly. That’s pretty much the exact way I feel.”

Lydia shrugged. “Well, minus the ‘smart’ part, I still don’t think he’s that bright-“

Stiles threw a pen at her. “I’ll have you know I’m ranked only one behind you and that puts me second in the entire school, not just our grade,” he said, then snapped his fingers. “So eat it.”

Scott raised an eyebrow at Stiles little hand movement. “You’ve been hanging out with the ‘girls’ huh?” he asked and Stiles shrugged innocently.

Derek just flopped into the armchair and stared. “Stiles? Stiles is the second smartest kid in the whole school?”

Erica smirked. “I can believe that better than Lydia being the smartest.”

Derek shrugged. “She’s always seemed intelligent, but Stiles?”

Stiles glared. “Hey, who does all your research and still has time for homework, including that from three AP classes?

Allison looked guilty to be surprised, but couldn’t help a, “You’re in AP?” in a shocked voice.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Yes, why is this so hard to believe? I don’t even fake dumb like Lydia,” he said, then smile apologetically. “Not that you’re anything less than brilliant.”

Derek hummed. “Does Harris still teach AP Physics?”

Stiles shook his head. “Nah, he’s strictly chemistry now- wait!” He looked at Derek and raised an eyebrow. “You were in AP Physics?”

Derek grunted, shrugging. “I left before junior year but I remember he taught it and I know he still teachers so I was just curious.”

There was an awkward moment but Stiles kept talking, hoping to distract from everyone else’s awkward silence and Derek looking everywhere but at the other people in the room. “I’m not surprised you’re smart. Don’t you have a degree in economics or something?”

Derek looked surprised. “Anthropology with a minor in Fine Arts,” he corrected reluctantly. “How did you know that?”

Stiles shrugged. “Saw your diploma when I was helping Isaac move stuff one day this week. Also, how the hell did you get a degree with a minor if you came back here at twenty-one and you dropped out of high-school?”

“Can we not talk about this in front of everybody?” Derek asked and Stiles nodded.

“Yep! Now let’s talk about my cursed ass and how to keep it from being violated!” He clapped. “Alright, let’s talk shop!”

“Actually,” Lydia said, holding up a book. “Mr. Anthropology Degree might can help out.” She stood and walked around the ones on the floor to dump the book in Derek’s lap. “You see these markings? You ever seen anything like this? We’re trying to isolate between four different spells. We have to find out which one so that your witchy friends can help us undo it. These symbols were on one of the spells.”

Derek took the book with a grumble about ‘damn magic’, but stopped. “I doubt this is our spell,” he said, then put the book down. “I remember something similar to that,” he said, walking to his room and coming back in seconds with a thinner book. “See? North Australian aboriginal cave symbols.” He handed the book to Lydia. “I doubt aborigines made a lust spell. I’m pretty sure someone just wrote some words and tossed a random set of symbols off of Google in there.”

Stiles threw up his arms. “Score for the Anthropologist Alpha! We’re down to three spells now!”

“Good thing, too, cause Greenberg gets off suspension in two days.” Danny made a face. “Last thing you need is to still be magical catnip.”

Scott grumbled unhappily. “Attempted probable sexual assault and he just got suspended for a few days.” He nodded to Danny. “Thanks for keeping my best friend from being violated.”

Danny shrugged. “I’d have helped him even if I hadn’t been half in love with him, no biggie.”

Stiles smiled. “Thank you, Danny, you’re a great guy.”

Lydia cleared her throat. “And who just knocked off one of our possibilities?” she prompted.

Stiles turned to Derek and batted his eyelashes dramatically. “Thank you, Derek, you wonderful, wonderful werewolf.”

Derek raised an eyebrow but Stiles could see the corners of his mouth twitching. “You’re welcome you scrawny little diet-witch.”

Stiles scoffed. “This is why you hated me so much at the beginning, you don’t dig my magic-“

“You accused me of murder, Stiles,” Derek argued. “Twice.”

Scott held up a hand. “First off, we got you acquitted, and second, accusation number two only happened cause we thought you were dead and a dead guy is better to blame than ‘hey, there’s a werewolf’!”

Stiles nodded. “And, you know, you just look like a serial killer.” Derek glared. “A really hot serial killer, but a serial killer.”

“Keep talking and I might become one, Stiles,” he threatened, but Stiles just rolled his eyes.

“Eh, I’m not scared of you anymore. You have exposed your gooey, marshmallow center. You don’t even get violent anymore,” he said and Derek growled at him. “What?! You haven’t.”

Derek stood up and stalked off. “Just find your damn spell and get out of my house, Stiles.”

~

After one more day at school trying his best to avoid people, Stiles had late practice and couldn’t get away to go to Derek’s to keep researching with the non-lacrosse playing others until it was late. On top of that, Scott had to go home and Isaac had left practice early to get home in time to help Derek cook their first home-cooked meal together, leaving Stiles with only Danny to walk him to his jeep safely so he could drive to Derek’s.

Stiles cursed when he saw the fuel gauge sitting on the E, but it was late enough that there weren’t many people out and he hoped that he could pump gas and pay with his card at the pump so nobody would come close to him. When he pulled into the last station before Derek’s apartment – close enough he could see Derek’s building – he waited in the car until the car on the other side drove off before getting out.

He had just put the nozzle in when he was startled around by footsteps. When he turned, he gasped, flatting himself to his jeep when he saw not one, but three people standing only a few feet away. “Oh crap,” he whispered, then glanced into the store only to see nobody behind the counter. “Oh crap!” He turned and looked at the two men and one woman. “Uh I don’t want any trouble-“

“The witch said you were pretty but my, my, look at those big doe eyes,” the woman drawled, walking closer, her blue eyes locked with his. She leaned in, her red hair falling around her shoulders, and sniffed him then moaned. “I want him first-“

“No, we agreed you got him second,” the shorter man on the left said, stepping forward. “Me first, then you-“

“Why do I only get him after all the best energy is gone?” the remaining man demanded, his midnight eyes flickering with something sinister as he stalked forward. Stiles was terrified, but still couldn’t help but make a disgusted sound when the tall man leaned down and licked his jaw. “Mmmm, virgins always have the most potent power,” he said, stroking at Stiles’s cheek. “Not for long, though. They give up too fast, let the power drain out into the air before we can devour it-“

“Look, I don’t know what the hell you’re on about, but get off me!” Stiles snapped, finally growing some sense to shove them. He was surprised when they all looked startled.

“Why isn’t he letting us-“

“This isn’t right-“

“He has magic,” the shorter man said suddenly, eyes glowing. “He’ll struggle, and he’ll have so much more energy to take-“

“Oh does that mean I can get rough?” the woman asked, grabbing at Stiles. He yelped when she grabbed his crotch and slapped at her hand. “Oooh, he does fight-“

“Get the hell off of me, this is seriously- NO!” he cried as he was dragged by his arms away from his jeep. He saw the dark alley he was being dragged towards and knew without a doubt he wasn’t just going to get raped. He panicked and struggled, only to shout when he was slammed into the wall where he hit his head hard enough he stumbled. The men started pulling at his jacket, trying to get it off his flailing limbs, and as he thought about how close he was from help, he realized he was going to die less than three blocks from his friends.

Wait. Less than three blocks. Stiles was struggling to stop them from taking off anything else after the jacket when he realized exactly how close he was. He took a deep breath and kicked the one covering his mouth, focusing everything he had on the split second he got his mouth free. “DEREK!” he screamed at the top of his lungs. He knew Derek could hear that far. He had to. He may not notice all the noises from years of tuning them out, but he knew from experience that you would catch your own name even if it was whispered across a room. Derek was an alpha werewolf, a scream from blocks away had to be even louder than a whisper from across the room to Stiles.

“Awww, how cute, he’s calling for the alpha,” the woman cooed in a mocking tone. “There isn’t a hope in hell that he heard you from way out in the woods,” she said, then seemed to grow impatient as she grew out her nails and slashed Stiles shirt away from his body, earning a pained shout as her nails sliced thin lines down his torso. “Mmmm, so much power for someone who isn’t even a real witch!”

Stiles shuddered. “You’re a succubus,” he realized and she chuckled, tugging at his belt, yanking it out with a loud crack.

“You know your creatures, huh?” she asked, sliding her hand through the blood beading to the surface of his chest. “Mmmmm look at him. All young and tender and-“

“Untouched,” the shorter man finished, sniffing at Stiles’s hair. “Very untouched. Barely even ever kissed, he’s so pure.”

The taller man knelt and started undoing his belt. “Not for long,” he said menacingly and Stiles whimpered, tears in his eyes as he struggled, yelping as his pants were ripped open, sending the button flying.

“Please, stop,” he choked out, but he could already feel his energy draining before any of them hand ‘had a go’. “Derek, please,” he sobbed out as he kicked and found himself losing energy. “Derek, oh God, you tell me I never shut up but now that I need you you can’t hear me?!” He yelped, finding a surge of adrenaline left as his jeans were tugged. “No! DEREK!” he cried out again, kicking as he tried to scramble back, only to be grabbed by the throat from behind, his head landing against someone’s lap.

“Ah-ah, I don’t think so,” the other man said, hand around his throat. “We’re going to have every bit of you-“

As a roar sounded from the main road, Stiles had never been happier in his life to hear a pissed off werewolf coming his way. “HELP ME!” he screamed, only to have a hand slapped over his mouth as the incubi and succubus dragged him further into the shadows and all began touching him, trying to leech his life force without wasting time for sex. Stiles could feel small amounts of energy leaving him and he panicked, but his heart leapt when a dark mass flew down the alley and slammed into the tall man, throwing him away.

Stiles struggled, trying to get away from the remaining incubus and the succubus, only to be more than relieved when a three more werewolves collided into them, Erica dragging the man away from Stiles while Boyd dragged the woman away. Isaac quickly retracted his claws and teeth and dragged Stiles up, helping him limp away from the fight. Stiles was shaking too hard to pull his pants back up, but Isaac helped him. He took off his own flannel shirt and wrapped it around Stiles, helping him get his arms in the holes, even if it left him standing there in just an undershirt in the cool night air. “Are you okay?” Isaac asked and Stiles just let out a weak gasp, grabbing at Isaac’s arms. “Stiles? Stiles talk to me. Breathe!”

Stiles crumpled, but before he hit the ground, arms caught him from behind. He cried out weakly, only to still when he recognized the scent. He relaxed, too shaken to care that he was being scooped up like a princess. “D-Derek?”

“Shhhh, it’s okay, it’s okay, I’ve got you,” Derek promised, pulling Stiles close. Stiles let his head drop to Derek’s warm, solid chest as everything grew dark.

~

“Look, we can’t take him to the hospital and tell them he was already starting to be drained by supernatural things!”

“Look, Scott, I can do pets and werewolves, but I’m not a human doctor-“

“Scott, let’s just take him to the hospital-“

“And tell them what?! He passed out from a few scratches to the chest?! There’s no medical reason for him to be unconscious, it’s just magical-“

Stiles groaned as the voices grew louder. “No- hurts-“

“Stiles?!” That was definitely Scott. Stiles blinked up, eyes focusing on Scott leaning over him. Derek was off to the side. Stiles let his eyes flicker from Derek, only to go wide as they landed on Deaton and fear gripped his insides.

“YOU! STAY AWAY FROM ME!” he cried, trying to scramble away only to knock himself off the table. Scott and Derek both caught him before he hit the ground and Scott helped him up, but Stiles snatched away, stumbling back. “GET BACK!” he shouted at Deaton.

Scott looked so confused it would be comical if Stiles was thinking straight. Which he wasn’t. “Stiles? Stiles, he’s helping-“

Stiles stumbled back and shrank behind Derek some. “Get him away from me, please, Derek, I know you don’t owe me anything, but get him back-“ he babbled, and Derek took one look into his eyes then turned to Deaton and snarled, his eyes flashing red as he stepped in front of Stiles.

“What did you do?” Derek demanded and Scott gaped.

“Derek! Come on, Stiles is traumatized, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about-“

“I trust Stiles to know what he’s afraid of, though,” Derek argued. “Tell me what you did!”

Deaton held up his hands on the other side of the table. “I haven’t done anything to scare Mr. Stilinski-“

Isaac stumbled in, catching himself fin the doorway. “Guys-“

“Not now, Isaac,” Derek snapped, and Isaac whined.

“Derek this is-“

Deaton continued over him. “Stiles, tell me why you’re afraid of me-“

“GUYS!” Isaac cried, but Derek just turned and growled, shutting him up, before turning back, still between Stiles and Deaton.

Derek reached back and found Stiles’s arm. “Tell me what he did. And I’ll know if you lie so don’t hide anything,” he warned, but Stiles stepped around him, more outraged than scared at Deaton’s ‘perfect innocence’ ploy.

“Oh, why I’m afraid?” Stiles asked, stepping in front of Derek and planting himself across the table from Deaton. “‘The witch said you were pretty but my, my, look at those big doe eyes.’” Stiles quoted. “The witch. Ring any bells? Because I get tracked down by not just a succubus but her incubi friends and dragged into an alley to be raped to death - literally, since that’s what they do, fuck your life force out of you to feed on your energy – but they mentioned ‘the witch’ leading them to me!”

“Stiles-“

Stiles waved a hand to shut up Scott, who was staring at the area behind him in pale fear in his eyes. “I can only assume that you told Scott about the wolfs bane knowing I’d go so there would be an excuse when you did a spell on me because you knew sex demons liked virgins and thought ‘hey, we’ll lure them to Stiles so nobody else gets attacked’ but now you’re screwed-“

“Stiles,” Scott tried again but Stiles glared at him.

“SHUT UP SCOTT!” he snapped, groaning. “I’m having a seriously rough night, so back off! The only reason I didn’t end up being killed in that alley is because I knew my werewolf friends were close enough that at least the strongest one could hear me screaming for help! So damn it, CHILL!” he snapped, slamming his hands down on the table.

The stunned, confusingly horrified silence was broken by a stuttered gasp of his name that sent panic coursing through Stiles even worse than when he thought he was about to be raped and eaten by sex demons. “Stiles?!”

Stiles whipped around and stared in horror at his father – pale as a ghost – standing beside Isaac in the doorway.

Isaac swallowed audibly. “I- I was trying to tell you that- that the Sheriff was coming in the front but-“

Scott squeaked. “Oh crap.”

Stiles took a few shaky breaths and flinched. “How-how much of that did you hear?” he asked, and his father just stared. “Dad?”

He moved slowly, looking around the room. “Enough that I’m about ten seconds from shooting one of you in here just to give my brain something to process,” he said hoarsely.

Stiles closed his eyes and let out a pained breath, only to sway some. “Oh!” he gasped, and it was only Derek stepping up so that he fell back against his chest that kept him upright. “Oh God, my head.”

“It’s okay, don’t overexert yourself-“

Stiles flung and arm out at Deaton, holding up a finger to stop him moving closer. “Back the fuck off, because in this little scenario, I’m Willow and you’re Amy and THAT is not going to happen!”

Derek held an arm around Stiles, helping him stay upright. “Just lean on me, I won’t let him get over here. Scott’s on that side with him, between us he’s not coming closer.”

Sheriff Stilinski looked up sharply. “Wait, Willow?” he asked and Stiles cringed, then smiled a pained smile.

“Um… there’s a lot more backstory, but sort of?” He did halfhearted jazz hands. “Ta-da, I’m kinda magical? I’m like a witch but not? I’m like the diet version of a witch? Maybe?”

John groaned, putting his head in his hands. “When that’s sounding like the good news, I’m not sure I want to know the bad.”

Stiles nodded seriously. “You don’t, you seriously don’t-“

“Stiles,” he prompted and Stiles slumped.

“You should sit down.”

~

John nodded stoically. “So there are werewolves, Scott got bit by one, Derek is the main one, and Isaac is one. Dr. Deaton is a ‘part-time Giles-but-maybe-evil’, and you have natural magic?”

Stiles nodded weakly, flagging against Derek, who hadn’t moved away from him at all. “And the past week I’ve been like teenager catnip because everyone even slightly attracted to guys has tried to talk to me or flirt with me, or worst of all, touch me.” He shuddered. “And then tonight I think I’ve worked it all out because I was attacked by a succubus and two incubi-“

“The demons that sneak up on people in the night and have sex with them and drain their life force?” the Sheriff asked flatly.

Stiles nodded. “Only I was picked and cursed specifically to attract them, it just took them the over a week to hone in on me, then they cornered me and instead of ‘drains you through a series of dirty dreams’, apparently they just drag you into an alley and rape you until they eat all of your soul or whatever. Something about virgins tasting better but giving up too easily, only I’m a conduit for magic so I don’t fall for their ‘charms’ so I’d fight more.”

His father paled. “Did they- Stiles, did they hurt you?”

Stiles shook his head. “I- I was on my way to Derek’s house,” he admitted, figuring ‘what the hell’. “I was only a few blocks away at the gas station and I knew that it was possible for Derek to hear me from that far away. I didn’t know if he’d notice it from drowning out all the other sounds, but I figured it was better to scream for help than shut up and give over to a messed up death, so I shouted his name a few times and he, Scott, and Isaac got there just in time to scare them away and I passed out just after Isaac helped me get clothes on.”

John turned to Deaton. “You set a succubus on my son?!”

Deaton held up his hands. “Sheriff, I did not set anything on Stiles.” He turned to him. “But we both know who the only other person could be,” he said gravely. “Look, Stiles, I know you have no reason to trust or believe me, but it was not me. I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t have any reason to suspect Molly of anything like this-“

“Well you have a freaking good choice in friends, man,” Stiles groused. He took a breath. “Okay, if it was her, we have to find out why she needed a sacrifice for the sex demons and then we have to work out how to kill them.”

Derek pushed him to stand on his own. “You have to go home with your father, deal with keeping him calm, and rest. We’ll handle-“

Stiles turned around, hands on his hips. “The hell you will! Derek, I almost got killed tonight! All my research materials are at your house-“

“Where we’ll research while you rest at home-“

I’m the researcher!” he stressed. “Derek, we’ll go to your place, we’ll pull an all-night research session-“

Derek growled in frustration, clawing at the air. “Oh my God, you are so annoying, why won’t you just go take a rest?! Stiles, you go rest because you’re the most breakable of us all and your father’s mentality is very breakable right now-“

“And I’m going to break my fist punching you – again – if you don’t stop trying to boss me around!” Stile countered. “You forget Alpha Hale, you’re not my alpha.”

Derek drew himself to his full height. “It’s my house-“

“It’s my life on the line and my body that was almost violated!” Stiles argued. “I save your ass all the freaking time, Derek-“

“AND IM TRYING TO PROTECT YOU NOW!” Derek roared. “Damn it, Stiles, your dad is the only family you have. You’re all he has. I’m not going to be responsible for him being left alone because we both know that I know it sucks. A lot. This is serious. This time, you aren’t the one caught in the crossfire, this time you’re the target! Go home, at least give your dad time to sit down and take all this in and ask you questions.”

Stiles growled. “Damn I hate when you’re reasonable,’ he said, and then huffed. ‘Tomorrow I’m going to be there to research and we’re going to fix this and you’re not allowed to be stupid before I get there.”

Derek rolled his eyes. “I think I can manage that-“

“HA!” Stiles scoffed, and then turned to his father. “Dad, I’m really sorry, but if you take me home, I promise, I’ll answer anything you ask me.”

John cleared his throat, clearly still lost, but nodded. “Alright. Alright I can. But we’re talking.”

Stiles nodded seriously. “Never expected any less.”

~

Stiles arrived at Derek’s place the next afternoon, looking pretty tired still. Scott jumped up. “Stiles!” He rushed over and hugged him. “Holy crap, are you okay? How did your dad take it? I wanted to call but my mom said it was best to let you guys deal-“

“I’m fine,” Stiles said, walking over to where Derek, Isaac, Allison, and Lydia were all poring over books. “My dad let me get some sleep and said we’d talk tonight. So I’m still kind of freaking out over that, but I feel better.” He flopped down beside Scott and yawned. “So, anybody know how to kill sex demons yet?”

Lydia cringed. “We have to find them and then we can kill them, but finding them is the hard part.” She gestured to the books. “Looking for summoning spells. We can light them on fire if we can find them.”

Stiles winced in sympathy when he saw Derek flinch out of the corner of his eye. “Alright, so how many leads do we have on summoning spells? And do we know if I can even do that?”

Isaac nodded. “Scott and I went to see if we could catch Molly for you guys. She’s gone missing but she didn’t lock up the shop before she left. We kinda stole a few crystals and amulets and stuff. We figure at least one of them should give you enough power to do a summoning ritual.”

Stiles hummed. “Fun. I’m still Willow. Only now Molly is Amy, not Deaton.”

Scott and Isaac exchanged looks, and then glanced to Lydia, who shrugged. “No idea.”

Derek groaned. “Oh my God, how young are you?” he asked. “He’s making Buffy the Vampire Slayer references.”

Isaac thought back. “Well, I was about seven when that show ended, sooo-“

“So?” Stiles asked, shaking his head sadly. “I was eight when it ended, that doesn’t mean I didn’t watch it or that I haven’t got Netflix. Jesus how boring is the life of not knowing your pop culture?”

“Stiles, you’re a dork,” Lydia pointed out. “The rest of us go out with real people and hang out, have fun, go on dates, and have sex, not sit home with a computer as our constant companion.”

Stiles just shrugged. “For once in my life, I’m actually okay with not being one of those people, because the last week and a half has almost been enough for me to dedicate myself to a vow of celibacy. You try having freaking sex demons try to eat your soul. Pretty sure it’s a better determent from sex than anything else.”

Lydia gave him a sympathetic look. “I’m so sorry for what happened to you-“

Stiles groaned, waving a hand. “No, no, just get on with the researching. I’m being dramatic. I’m still really tired and cranky. Ignore me.”

~

It was late and Lydia had already gone home when Scott broke the silence and hurled a big book halfway across the room. “Jesus, this is hopeless!” he cried, flopping back against the couch. “Nothing. At all. In any of these books.”

Stiles too had to admit they were pretty near on defeat. “Okay, look, I’ve got a solid plan,” he said, catching all of their attention. “We send me out to wander around and wait for them to come get me.”

Derek glowered. “Stop messing round, Stiles. Just read-“

“I’m serious,” Stiles said in a small voice. “Guys, it’s the only surefire way-“

“That’s stupid,” Scott argued. “You’ll get hurt again-“

“If we can stop them then I’m willing to risk that,” Stile argued firmly. “Scott, I’m the bait, but do you think I’m the only target? They’ll take anybody, Molly just offered me to them as a sacrifice for whatever reason. Hell, maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and she saw the opportunity and took it. Maybe they were screwing around in her town and wanted them out. I was from Beacon Hills, she saw an opportunity, she took it. She cursed me to be extra appealing and then when I came back, she sent us on this wild goose chase about the book of lust spells. That way, we were distracted for however long it took for them to get me.” He held out his hands. “I’m pretty sure I’m the only bait we have.”

The werewolves reacted before Stiles, but moments later even Stiles heard the elevator coming up. He turned and was surprised when it arrived and his dad was the one to come through the gate. “Sorry to interrupt,” he said, smiling apologetically. “But Stiles, I’d been texting you for a while.” He held up a phone and Stiles reached for his pocket, and then cringed. “In your jeep,” he said, walking over. “Look, I told you I’d wait until you got home but I can’t. We need to talk. Now.” He turned to the others. “Mind if I steal him for the night, or-“

“Take him, maybe he’ll listen to you,” Scott groaned, standing up. “You still coming with me?” he asked Isaac, and Isaac stood.

“Yeah, Derek, is it okay that I’m going to stay with Scott?” he asked and Derek nodded.

“Yeah, just keep your phone on. And don’t forget your Spanish test is tomorrow, so study some, okay?” he asked and Isaac nodded. “Scott, do not distract him from studying,” he said and Scott saluted playfully.

“Yes, Dad,” he droned, and then smiled apologetically at Stiles and his dad before turning to Stiles. “Call me if you need to talk?”

Stiles smiled. “It’s my dad, I’ll be okay.” He waited until they were gone, and then turned to his dad. “Look, just give me a second, we were in the middle of something-“

“No, we weren’t, we’re good here. Go home,” Derek said, standing up to take the books strewn around and stack them neatly on the coffee table.

Stiles turned to Derek and put his hands on his hips. “Actually, we were,” he countered, raising an eyebrow when Derek turned his glare on him. “We didn’t reach an agreement on the bait issue-“

“We don’t have to, I make the decisions and I said no,” Derek said with finality.

Stiles crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. “You do, huh? And when did I agree to listen to your decisions?”

Derek’s eyes flashed red and Stiles felt his father twitch behind him. Derek’s eyes looked behind Stiles, and then he growled. “You, come with me,” he said, stalking across the open space towards his bedroom.

“Stiles…” His dad grabbed his wrist lightly and Stiles just shook his head.

“Don’t worry, Derek wouldn’t hurt me,” he said, smiling. “He’s all grumpy and growly, but he’s like a big ol’ puppy dog,” he said, grinning as he heard a grumble from the bedroom, knowing Derek heard his comparison. “Be right back,” he said, jogging after Derek.

When he got through the door, he was startled into a gasp when Derek slammed him back against the door, slamming it with a snap, arm pinning him across his throat. “You seem to be forgetting that I’m an alpha werewolf, Stiles-“

Stiles grabbed Derek’s arm and shoved him off, a little surprised when Derek let him. Derek looked surprised as well. “Don’t do that shit, my dad’s out there, if he saw you shoving me into a door he’d have your ass, Hale.” Derek growled, eyes red and Stiles just growled right back at him, startling an amused twitch out of Derek, who quickly went back to glaring. “Yeah, I’m not scared of you, Derek.

“You should be,” Derek warned but Stiles rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, yeah, the most in control werewolf of them all is the one I should fear?” he asked, walking around Derek to sit on the foot of Derek’s bed. “Look, to the point at hand since I’m really tired of all of this-“ He waved a hand dramatically. “I’m going to be bait. You can accept it and help plan, or back the hell off.”

Derek paced in front of him. “Stiles, that’s a stupid idea. You’re putting your life on the line.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? Like I haven’t done that a hundred times by now?” He leaned back on his elbows and let his head drop back. “Derek, how many times have I saved your life?” he asked, and Derek stopped pacing, turning to look at Stiles in surprise. “Exactly. And you’ve saved mine plenty of times. So listen to me on this, man.” He waved a hand at his side, elbows still on the bed. “I lure them in. You guys come in and stop them.” He flinched. “Actually, why don’t you sit that part out-“

“No way,” Derek said sternly. He faced the window, frowning – as if he did anything else – though this time it seemed to be worried, not angry. “Stiles…”

Stiles sat up. “Derek, you don’t have to be there. I know more than anybody what type of issues you have with fire and they have to be burned to kill them. The betas can handle it.”

Derek shook his head absently, still gazing out the window unseeingly. “You’re right, you’ve saved my life so many times and you never had a reason. If nothing else, I owe you this.”

Stiles glared at him. “It’s not about being even. Saving your life isn’t a debt to be repaid-“

“Then why did you ever do it?” Derek asked, looking at him. “Stiles, you hated me. You may almost be a friend now, but you used to hate me. You blamed me from everything. You accused me of murder yet you still saved my life and helped me.”

Stiles stood up angrily. “Because I’m a decent person, you jackass!” He walked over to Derek, looking into his eyes. “That’s what people do, Derek. They help people who need it. It’s incredibly insulting that you think keeping you from dying deserves repayment. Is that the only reason you’ve ever saved my ass?” he asked and Derek shook his head silently. “Didn’t think so.” He sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. “Derek, I understand more than anybody, I think, that a lot of bad things have happened to you.” Derek looked up with a vulnerability in his eyes that Stiles was more afraid of than anything else. “But you don’t have to try and be the big, bad tough leader all the time. You can sit this out because it’s too personal to you. I’ll be safe with your betas. They would all die before they let anything happen because they’re my friends and that’s what friends do.”

Derek groaned. “I can’t, Stiles.”

“Derek-“

“No, I believe you,” he allowed, voice soft. “They would protect you. And yes, it’s too personal. But I still can’t back off because I’m the alpha and I can’t stand back when someone in my pack is in danger.” He looked reluctant but spoke as he looked down at the ground between them. “And human or not, I can’t help the instinct that you are pack. You’re not going to be bait without me there. I don’t care what I have to see or deal with, I can’t back off.” He looked up at Stiles. “And even if you weren’t pack… I couldn’t, because even if I’ve got a pack now, you are still the only one who helped me the entire time. I’m not good at ‘friends’ but you are my friend and I can’t lose you.”

Stiles swallowed back his surprise, but couldn’t fight a small smirk at the pained look on Derek’s face. “Wow, it really had to hurt to say something nice-“

“I will punch you in the face, Stiles,” Derek said flatly, though his ears looked a bit pink.

Stiles giggled, but smiled. “Thank you, Derek,” he said softly, looking into Derek’s eyes to drive home that he wasn’t lying. “I’m sorry for getting you into this.”

Derek shrugged. “You’re the first person who has ever refused to let me wallow in my guilt; it’s hard to push away someone who refuses to budge. I guess somewhere along the way I started trusting you and actually let him be a friend.” He smiled sadly. “A few more nightmares are worth it to be there and make sure you’re safe, Stiles.”

Stiles’s breath hitched and he stepped closer, pulling Derek into a hug. “I swear to God, I wish there was some other way to kill them.”

Derek groaned. “More of this ‘hugging’ crap-“

“Yes, hugging crap, now hug back. I’m trying to be a good friend. Friends hug.”

Derek growled. “Friends do not hug this much, I refuse to believe it-“

“Just ask Scott, this is nothing,” Stiles said, then pulled away. “Besides, you should really hug Isaac more. He needs hugs more than anybody.”

Derek chuckled, but smiled. “I’ll think about it.” His eyes flickered up and he nodded to the door. “Your dad’s getting worried.”

Stiles sighed and groaned. “I know. This isn’t going to be fun.” He opened the door and Derek followed him. “Alright, we can go, Dad,” he said, then turned back to Derek as he picked up his bag. “But seriously, everything will be okay,” he said and Derek nodded tightly. “Derek,” he prompted and Derek rolled his eyes.

“Yes, fine, good, things will work out, you won’t die, my betas won’t die, rainbows and puppies,” he droned and Stiles laughed.

“Okay we’ll work on the enthusiasm later,” he said, waving to Derek as he let his dad lead him towards the elevator.

“Evening, Sheriff,” he called and John nodded.

“Thanks for looking out for him, Mr. Hale.”

~

Stiles drove up just behind his dad and they walked into the house together. “You hungry?” Stiles asked, going over to the freezer. “We haven’t got much, but I can fix something, I think-“

“You rest, we can order pizza,” John said and Stiles glared over at him. “Kid, one night, just lay off the diet one night.”

Stiles sighed but slumped against the refrigerator. “You get one night off because I’m tired, but don’t think you can get away with this often.” He let his father order pizza and walked to the living room to flop on the couch. When his dad joined him, he looked over. “So. Talking?”

John nodded. “Talking.” He looked at him. “First off, we’re going to take the easy route – and dear God I never thought there would be a time in my life THIS was the ‘easier one’ – and start with the whole story about you and Derek Hale.”

Stiles took a deep breath then began at the beginning. “It all started the night you caught me out in the woods sneaking around after you found the half of that girl’s body.” He looked up. “Scott got bitten by Derek’s crazy uncle. The one who really killed Laura.”

“So when you thought Derek did it?”

Stiles shook his head. “I didn’t know him. I just saw a creepy guy hanging out in a burned out old house and then we found the other half of her body and I just assumed it was Derek. I mean, it made sense at the time.”

John nodded. “It did. I remember thinking it was too convenient. Although, I did wonder why a man would kill his sister and bury her in the woods by their old house when they’d left for years.”

Stiles smiled sadly. “Yep, werewolves.” He shook his head and sighed. “I feel like shit every time I think about ever accusing him of killing her.” He swallowed. “She was the only thing he had left and not only did she get murdered, he was accused of killing her and I did it.”

John put an arm around his shoulder. “I remember when the Hale family- well, I remember.” Stiles looked surprised and John nodded. “I was on the scene and nobody could get to Derek and Laura before they got home. They had to stay after school for practice or detention or something so they drove up to the house still burning and firefighters trying to put it out.”

Stiles paled. “Jesus Christ.”

John cringed. “They were lucky that’s all they came home to. The smoke was too far into the woods to really see before it got going. It was Peter Hale who called 9-1-1 before the phone lines went out. The only reason he survived that fire was because he was in the main hall rather than trying to get out a window like most of the others and the firefighters were able to break down a wall by the door and they saw him and pulled him out, but by then the fire was too bad to go further in and… well.” He shook his head. “Whole family. Gone.”

Stiles bit his lip at the mental image of coming home and finding his house on fire and people trying to put it out. “And then Peter went insane and killed Laura.” He shook his head. “Derek has more than enough reasons for why he’s so angry. It’s amazing he can handle anything. No wonder he can’t trust people after Kate and Peter-“ Stiles paled and looked down, but his dad noticed.

“Kate Argent? What about her?”

Stiles shook his head seriously. “No. I’ll tell you everything about me and the pack, but not that.”

John shot him a frustrated look. “Look, I know that she probably started that fire-“

Stiles looked up in surprise. “You knew?”

John shrugged. “No proof, but the description of the young woman matched Kate Argent’s body after we found her dead. I figured it was probably related since she was found dead in the woods. Derek Hale was off the list of suspects, but I figured it couldn’t be coincidence.”

Stiles swallowed. “It doesn’t matter anymore, so we’re skipping those details,” he said and his father held up his hands, letting him continue. “Anyways, the important stuff that’s happening now is important.” He took a breath to start. “I was bored and I knew Scott needed more wolfs bane – these flowers that are poisonous to werewolves, but we use them a lot in stuff – and I went to this magic shop about forty-five minutes away. It’s where Dr. Deaton gets his. While I was there, I wandered around and I read some spell books and because of that, we worked out that when I suddenly became the center of the attentions of every kid that is interested in boys, I’d accidently lust-spelled myself. But after the incubi and succubus, we’ve realized she cursed me to be bait. I guess she wanted them out of her town or something.”

John nodded. “And you have magic somehow. Explain that.”

Stiles shrugged. “I didn’t know I did. I mean he told me I had a ‘spark’ and that I had to do something this one time, basically where I had to believe I could do something nearly impossible and I was able to do it. I didn’t realize he was saying ‘hey, you’ve got a little magic’ but basically, I can amplify and conduct magic that’s already there. So give me objects of power, like crystals or amulets, and I can do minor spells with it.”

John nodded then took a breath, looking up. “Alright, and how long have you been… seeing Derek Hale?”

Stiles frowned, then gaped when it sunk in. “Wait seeing? What do you mean? You think Derek and I- You think we-“ He stared at his father then laughed. “Oh my God, Dad, really-“

“I don’t see how this is funny,” his father argued. “You’re a minor and he’s six years older than you.”

Stiles smiled. “Dad, I’m serious, you’re talking about Derek. Just… no. Derek and I are not dating. No way.”

John shot him a look. “Stiles you two were bickering. It seems like you are used to bickering.”

“We argue, Dad, we argue a lot, because Derek is a dumbass-“

“Stiles, you were like a nagging girlfriend to Derek,” he said and Stiles huffed. “Kid, I’m not stupid, clearly there’s something going on there, you just won’t tell me-“

“Dad! I’m not kidding, Derek Hale and I are not a thing!” Stiles groaned. “Look, I’m his friend. That’s all. An annoying friend who tries to guide him in the right direction, but there is definitely nothing at all ‘like that’ going on.”

John gave him a skeptical look, but nodded. “Okay. So, if there’s nothing going on, why did you have to go talk in the other room away from me tonight?”

Stiles cringed. “Dad, you won’t like this-“

“I don’t like any of this, but whatever it is, I’d rather know,” he said, steeling himself.

Stiles bit his lip. “I’m going to use myself as bait for the incubi and the succubus. Derek doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want me to get hurt. I’m the only human that’s really pack to him, like instinctively, and I’m so breakable. He is worried if I go out there I’ll get hurt.” He flinched. “And I didn’t want him to be there because to kill them, we have to burn them,” he said and his dad cringed. “We both can see how watching people burn to death will not be good for Derek.”

John groaned. “You know, I think I’d be way more comfortable with you dating a grown man than using yourself as bait for sex demons, Stiles.”

Stiles snorted, only to be interrupted by the bell announcing the pizza guy. “Trust me, Dad, I’d definitely rather be dating a hot dude than putting myself in the position to be killed, but somebody has to do it.”

~

Stiles was trying to get all of the last minute research he could done before they faced the start of his night as bait. It was two in the morning and he should be in bed because of school, but he’d already decided to skip school because he’d never be able to focus knowing that night he’d be facing impending doom. To say he was tired would be an understatement, which was precisely why he nearly leapt out of his skin when he heard the tell-tale thump of someone climbing in the window. He whirled around, fearing the worst, only to gasp when he saw it was just Derek. “Grrr, don’t do that, Derek!”

Derek chuckled, then walked over to sit on the end of the bed, facing Stiles as he spun his chair around. “How are you holding up?” he asked and Stiles raised an eyebrow.

“Are you okay? Who are you and where is Derek Hale?”

Derek rolled his eyes. “Stiles, don’t do that, I’m serious.”

Stiles sighed, but nodded. “I’m alright. I think so. I’m just doing some last minute reading up. Brushing myself up on the lore. Hoping I don’t end up being raped to death tomorrow night. The usual,” he said with a halfhearted smile.

Derek visibly flinched. “Stiles, for the last time, will you please reconsider?”

Stiles frowned. “What? Why?” He shook his head. “Derek, you agreed with this plan the other night.”

Derek looked down at his hands. “I know, but I- I want you to be safe.”

Stiles stared. “Why are you here, Derek?”

Derek startled, and then narrowed his eyes. “I told you-“

“You lied,” Stiles said simply. “You’re not here to check in on my confidence in the plan. Why are you here then?”

Derek stood up, pacing. “Because I want you to not do it, Stiles.” He waved a hand. “You’re young, and human, and fragile. But you’re part of my pack. You bring everybody together. You can balance them better than anything. You are my pack, even if you aren’t a beta.”

Stiles sighed. “Derek, I have to do this,” he said, standing as well, walking towards where Derek was pacing. “I have to stop them. Hopefully, when they’re gone I’ll be free from this spell. It’s starting to wear off, I’ve noticed at school, but I want it gone. More than that though, I have to keep them from killing some other person-“

“I can’t lose you!” Derek froze, arms still held as they had been when he whirled around. Stiles tilted his head in confusion and Derek cringed. “Stiles…”

When he couldn’t continue, Stiles stepped closer. “Derek, talk to me,” he said, reaching out to touch Derek’s arm. “Look at me and talk.”

Derek looked up, his eyes more frightened than Stiles could remember. Derek dropped to the foot of the bed and tugged at his own hair. “Stiles, you’re important to my pack-“

Stiles sat down, facing him, and shook his head. “Lie, try again.”

“Not a lie,” Derek argued, but shrugged. “Fine, half-truth.” He took a breath and let it out heavily. “Stiles, you are important in my pack. I care about you more than anybody else. I don’t know why or how, but you do more for my pack than I do and you’re the most breakable of us all.” Derek met his eyes. “I feel like I should keep you locked away so that nothing and nobody can ever hurt you. You do things to all of us, the whole pack, just by being around. You make everything easier.”

Stiles smirked. “Of course I do, I’m smarter than all of you-“ Derek silenced him the one way he never expected: a kiss.

It was chaste, barely a brush of skin on skin, but when they parted, Derek looked just as shocked as Stiles felt. “I- I’m sorry, I just-“

Stiles put a hand over Derek’s mouth, shutting him up. Derek gave him a grumpy look and Stiles shook his head. “Okay, what was that?” He waited and Derek glanced at his hand pointedly, glaring. “Sorry.” He moved his hand and Derek sighed.

“I don’t-“ He rubbed his hands over his face. “I’m not sure. I just know that I can’t lose you. You’re too important to my pack.”

Stiles gave him an unimpressed look. “Right, and the kissing thing… that’s all gratitude?”

Derek made a face. “I don’t know Stiles,” he groaned, falling backwards on the bed. “It was a good way to shut you up.”

Stiles smirked. “Wait, are you actually attracted to me?” he asked and Derek growled low in his throat.

“Less and less every minute,” he said, earning an amused snicker. “Stiles…” He sighed, putting his hands over his face. “I don’t know. I’m not lying, I just really don’t know.”

Stiles felt slightly queasy as his stomach flipped and twisted at the thought of Derek finding him attractive. He turned to face Derek, curling his legs under him as he sat looking down at the werewolf, who appeared to be having a minor breakdown. “So… why me?” he asked and Derek shot him a flat look.

“How many times have I said ‘I don’t know’?” he asked, and then shrugged. “As loathe as I am to admit it, it’s probably your magic. You make us all calm.”

Stiles sighed heavily. “Derek, it’s really great to have someone make excuses for why they could possibly find you interesting. Especially when I know why I make all my friends calm and it’s not that.”

Derek looked up. “Oh yeah? If it isn’t magic, then what is it?” he asked, propping himself up on one elbow as he looked up at Stiles.

Stiles glared. “It’s because I’m a good friend, asshole.” He shoved Derek’s legs, grinning when he flailed and slid off the edge of the bed. “Graceful for the big, bad sour wolf.”

Derek stood up, looking angry but more embarrassed than anything else. “You’re annoying.”

Stiles shrugged, looking at Derek as he sat across from him. “Yep, but I still do more for any of you than anybody else. I’m not out for myself. I never am. Look at all I’ve done for Scott. I did it because I care about my best friend. Look at what I’ve done for Jackson and I hate him most days.” Stiles shook his head. “It’s called being a decent human being, Derek. Most of you are too stuck up and worried about nobody but numero uno, so you all don’t seem to notice that I’m the one saving your asses,” he said bluntly. “From day one with Scott being bitten, I’ve saved his ass a thousand times. I’ve saved your ass almost as much. I look out for the pack because I don’t care if I die as long as I protect my friends and my dad. I want to help people. I’ve always wanted to help people. It’s what I do, but nobody notices because you werewolves are some pretty selfish bastards, man,” he said honestly, shrugging unapologetically.

Derek looked at him with something like sudden understanding etched into every line of his face. “You really are that selfless, aren’t you?” he asked and Stiles rolled his eyes.

“Yes, you idiot.” He shrugged. “Comes with the territory. My dad’s the Sheriff and I want to be one too someday. It takes a selfless temperament to want to protect people no matter whether you like them, hate them, or don’t even know them.”

Derek looked at him closely. “Werewolves are supposed to be selfless like that,” he offered. “Pack is everything. It’s family. It’s what you have. It’s the reason omegas are so weak. They have nothing to protect. They have nobody to care about.” He tilted his head. “I know I may come across kind of selfish, but I don’t mean to. You’re right, I should be taking care of all of you. I’m the alpha.”

Stiles shrugged. “Then start doing it,” he said simply. “You turned a bunch of teenagers, Derek. It was going to be hard because they were damaged and you made them strong. Making them obedient was never going to be an easy task. You went for force when you should’ve gone for guidance.” He smiled. “You’re doing great with Isaac,” he encouraged. “You take care of him. You provide for him. You treat him more like you should treat them all because you take care of him in a more ‘real’ way. Just try and apply that to the others.” He shook his head. “Do you know Erica paints? Did you know Boyd can sing? Or that Scott still calls me to come sleep in his old tree house with him on nights his dad calls him?” Derek’s blank face told Stiles what he needed to know. “You need to be their alpha, Derek. Not their commanding officer.”

Derek nodded. “What about you?” he asked and Stiles smirked.

“You’ll never be able to tell me what to do,” he teased. “I’m stubborn and you can’t go all ‘alpha voice’ on me.”

Derek’s eyes flashed red and he growled slightly. “I could if I bit you,” he threatened, but Stiles didn’t even jump.

“But you wouldn’t,” Stiles said knowingly. He leaned closer. “You aren’t like that. You couldn’t bite me without consent the way Peter bit Scott. And I’m never going to ask for it,” he warned. “You know that, right?”

Derek nodded, eyes back to normal. “I’d never bite someone who didn’t want it and you don’t. You’ve made that perfectly clear.” He sighed. “You’re just so fragile, Stiles. You’re right, I need to be a better alpha, but you’re part of my pack too.”

Stiles shrugged, reaching out for Derek’s hand. He pulled it into his lap, touching the pad of each finger. “You are my alpha, Derek,” he said, looking up to meet his eyes. “You do a decent job seeing as I’m still alive after all I’ve gotten mixed up in.”

Derek leaned closer until their foreheads touched. “I just don’t want to lose you.”

Stiles smiled. “Awwww you do care-“

“Shut up, you know I do,” Derek chuckled, sitting up straight. “C’mon, you need to sleep. Rough night tomorrow.”

Stiles snickered. “Oh, how I wish you meant that in a dirty way.” He slid off the bed. “Alright, I’ll go get ready for bed. Don’t forget to shut the window,” he said on his way out of the room.

When he returned, however, Derek was locking the window and he had removed his shoes and ever present leather jacket. Stiles raised an eyebrow as he went to turn off the lamp. “What are you doing, Derek?”

Derek grabbed one of the pillows off of Stiles’s bed and looked up. “Looking after you, what did you think?” he asked, tossing the pillow on the floor. He looked around then grabbed his jacket before going to lay on the floor beside the bed, wrapping the jacket around his shoulders.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Derek, you don’t have to stay here. I can sleep in my own house without worrying.” He crawled into the bed and looked over the edge, but Derek just stared back stubbornly. “Derek.”

“What? I’m serious, would you rather I spend all night walking around on your roof and not get any sleep myself?” he asked pointedly. “There are things after you and we’ve established that I’m not going to let them take you from me- from my pack,” he corrected, ears going pink.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Fine, but at least get up here.” Derek shot him a look that clearly read ‘are you crazy?’ and he narrowed his eyes. “You are not sleeping on my floor, Hale. You’ll feel like shit tomorrow and I need you to be as on point as ever. Get in the damn bed.” Derek grumbled but stood up. “Belt off, I’m not going to be stabbed,” Stiles added and Derek gave him a pointed look, but undid his belt and removed it.

He slid into the bed and they shifted around, trying to fit in the small bed. “You know,” Derek said when they settled nearly spooning, only a few inches between them as they lay on their sides facing the same direction, so that neither of them kicked the other off in the night. “If your dad walks in in the morning and sees this, you’re the one that has to explain to him.”

Stiles snickered. “I’ll just tell him a big, bad wolf crawled into my window and devoured me-“

“If you get me shot, I will eat you,” Derek warned, and Stiles smiled, closing his eyes as he tried to get some rest.

~

Stiles woke up alone in bed, but feeling distinctly warmer than he usually did, so he knew Derek hadn’t been gone long. When he got downstairs to start breakfast, he found his dad was already making coffee. “Good morning,” Stiles said, going to the refrigerator. He pulled out the eggs and a bowl, deciding on omelets for breakfast. He saw his father watching him in the reflection of the microwave and raised an eyebrow as he glanced over his shoulder. “You okay, Dad? Something bad in the paper?” he asked.

“No, no, you just seem oddly peppy for someone who is going to risk his life tonight.” Stiles dropped the egg he was about to crack and it shattered on the kitchen floor. He turned slowly, looking at his dad. John just raised an eyebrow. “Don’t look so shocked. You expected me to not interrogate the adult werewolf I caught jumping into our shrubs when I went to get the paper?” Stiles cringed and John nodded. “Yeah, I saw the window open. Remind me again how there’s ‘nothing going on between me and Derek Hale’.”

Stiles groaned, sliding into a chair to face his father. “Dad, I swear to you, it wasn’t like that-“

“So he just happened to be on an early morning jog and stopped by before you woke up?” he asked. He sighed. “Stiles, he’s twenty-five-“

“He’s twenty-three,” Stiles corrected. “And yes, he was here last night, yes he slept over, but that’s all that happened,” he defended. “Derek stayed here to make sure they didn’t get me in the night.”

John sobered quickly. “Wait, they could get in our house?”

Stiles shrugged. “Possibly. I mean, that’s what they used to do, in the stories anyhow. They snuck in people’s houses and had sex with them in their sleep.” He groaned. “Okay, what did Derek tell you?”

John chuckled. “He actually didn’t defend himself about sleeping in your room, he just said ‘nothing happened’ a few times before I let him go. But he did admit that tonight is when ‘things are going to happen’ and that you were being bait. He reassured me that he was entirely against it and would make sure nothing happened to you.” He gave an amused smirk. “He actually told me I was allowed to blame him personally if you got hurt. Said he’d stand still while I shot him.”

Stiles snorted. “Figures. Jesus, Derek and his self-hatred. It’s horrible. It’s like he thinks he deserves to suffer.” He nodded. “I’m going to walk around town. Be bait. Even go out in the woods ‘alone’ with only wolves listening.”

“How are you going to protect yourself?” John asked and Stiles bit his lip. “Stiles, tell me you have a weapon.”

“I have magic,” he offered, holding out his hands. “I’ve got a powerful amulet I’m going to wear and some eucalyptus oil. I throw it on them and ‘believe’ it’s going to ignite and it will. It’s highly flammable stuff so they will burst into flame.” He grinned. “And if I don’t get that part right, Erica and Boyd have blowtorches and gasoline to run up and take care of it for me.”

John made a face. “And Derek is going to actually be there?”

Stiles nodded gravely. “I tried to stop him. You might have to be okay with him sleeping here after this because he’ll need me to look after him with all the nightmares this will give him.”

John raised an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? Why do you have to look after a grown man with nightmares?”

Stiles hesitated, then huffed. “Never thought about it, really.” He looked at his hands. “I never think about it when I take care of my pack. And he’s my alpha, so I take care of him too.”

“What do you mean by that?” John asked in a low voice. “You’re not one of them, Stiles. Why is he your alpha?”

Stiles looked up and smiled. “Because there can be humans in a pack. And I’m in Derek’s pack. Even if I’m not bound to him the way the betas are, Derek is my alpha. I think that’s why he trusts me so much. I don’t have to be loyal to him or listen to him. If I do it, it’s because I agree with him. I argue. I am able to point out when he’s wrong because he can’t stop me. I’m a benefit to my pack because I can challenge our alpha’s decisions without being a real threat. It’s saved our asses plenty of times.”

John sighed but nodded. “I’m on shift tonight. If anything happens, call the station and dispatch will alert me first. I’ll come alone and help you. Do not be cocky, Stiles. Let them help you.”

Stiles nodded. “Of course.” He stood up. “Okay, so, omelets!” he said, turning back to clean up the egg he dropped before going to work cooking.

~

Stiles really, really regretted his plan.

No, seriously, he really wanted to go back in time and slap himself.

Stiles ran around another corner, trying his best to not let the incubi on his heels catch up, even though he still didn’t know where the succubus was. That was seriously disconcerting. “Anytime now, guys, any time!” he muttered as he ran. He didn’t see or hear his wolfy companions anywhere and it was seriously starting to worry him. He’d promised his dad he wouldn’t die and he did NOT want to fail him.

Stiles rushed between the video store and the building behind it, only to stumble when the end of the alley was blocked by a ten foot tall fence. He could climb it, but it would be too long and he didn’t want his back to the incubi when they got to him. As he wheeled around, they were already stopped at the end of the alley, gloating. He dug out the bottle in his hoodie and opened it behind him. “No, no don’t hurt me,” he babbled, backing up against the fence. “Please,” he sobbed, trying to make it believable. When they got closer and closer, he sniveled more. “Please stop, don’t hurt me!”

“Too late, pretty boy,” the tall man said, leering. “We got you pinned right where we want you.” He looked over at his friend. “I get him first.”

His friend looked up and glared. “The hell you do, I get him first, we agreed after last time-“

“Fuck the agreement, he probably tastes so good,” he moaned, only to be stopped by his friend grabbing his arm to pull him around.

Stiles saw the opening and took it. He quickly slung the bottle at them, making sure they both got wet, then tossed it aside. They both looked at each other’s wet clothes, then back at Stiles, but the taller panicked when he saw Stiles had pulled an amulet from his shirt and was looking on in a panicked but determined way. “Oh shi-“

He burst into flames and Stiles let out a triumphant laugh as the short man tuned to run before bursting into flames himself. Stiles let out a whoop of triumph, but it was cut short as the gate opened and he fell through backwards. He looked up and fear filled him when he saw the succubus waiting, her eyes glowing. “Well, well, well, took care of the ‘sharing’ problem for me, how nice.”

Stiles cried out as she grabbed his wrist and snatched him up so that he heard something click in his wrist. “You’re good, honey, but you’re not that good.”

Stiles tried to imagine her on fire but with nothing flammable to catch, it didn’t work. His spark wasn’t enough. She shoved him into the brick wall and he whimpered as his head smacked into it hard enough to make him see stars. “No, no, no,” he muttered, gasping when she grabbed him by the shirt and picked him up off the ground some.

“Mmmmm, still untouched,” she purred, leaning in to lick his jaw. “So pure. Sweet. And all for me,” she moaned. She leered and reached down to tug at his belt, startling a cry from him. She put a hand under his shirt, on his bare stomach, and he immediately began to grow weaker.

“No,” he breathed, then took a breath. “DEREK!” he cried, knowing it was his only choice. If she was already making him feel weak, it was only a matter of minutes before she could kill him. His scream earned him a fist to the face and she dropped him to his knees. He groaned and she kicked his side, sending him sprawling across the ground. He tried to wiggle away from her, dragging himself backwards even though the pain in his ribs was piercing, but she just stepped on his back, pinning him.

“Shut up,” she snapped, kicking him again. Stiles moaned weakly, curling his hands around his face protectively as she kicked him again and again until finally she hooked a toe under his injured side and flipped him over. She knelt over him and grabbed his belt, snatching it out so hard the belt loops broke in three places. “You are mine,” she growled, ripping his pants open again, not even bothering to do more than plant a hand over his belly rather than taking his shirt all the way off.

Stiles whined, kicking slightly as she reached into his pants. “No, no, stop, STOP!” he cried, tears of fear joining the ones of pain already on his cheeks. “Don’t touch me- STOP TOUCHING ME!” he cried, but she just punched him again, causing a fresh flash of pain to burn across his face.

And then suddenly, as she was getting close to skin with her groping, a loud growl sounded from behind and Stiles gasped, hope filling him once more. He looked over and let out a cry of relief when he saw Scott running towards them with Erica on his heels. However, when the succubus stood and simply caught Scott with one hand and Erica with the other, lifting them both and throwing them back, Stiles realized she was already stronger than she had been just from draining him some without any sex involved. He realized that, if she managed to get it over with before Derek got there, she’d be able to beat him. “No,” he growled between teeth gritted in pain. He struggled to pull himself to his feet, crying out at the pain in his ribs on his way to standing. “No,” he spat, clutching his side as he raised his hand. She was advancing and he picture it, he imagined it, he believed that she would not get to him.

And just as she stepped closer, she hit an invisible barrier. Stiles gasped, amazed it worked. She snarled and hit the barrier, running into it over and over, clearly desperate to get to Stiles. He felt weaker and weaker as he forced to hold it, but he did. Even when he felt something hot and wet trickling down his face from his nose, he refused to let the barrier break. Just as he realized it was starting to deteriorate – as his consciousness waned – an enraged howl shook the air. Stiles gave in and dropped to his knees, slumping back against the brick wall behind him just as he saw a big, black shape barrel down the alley and launch himself at the succubus.

Stiles was suffering swimming vision, but another shape joined and within minutes, the two shapes had shoved the woman away and threw something at her and with a roar of flames this time, the succubus’s screams filled the air before being silenced once and for all. “Yay, go us,” Stiles choked out as he began to slide down the wall.

“Stiles? STILES!” Stiles was caught and pulled back upright, on his knees facing a figure that was escaping his swirling vision. Stiles fell forward and was caught by large, warm arms. He inhaled and knew that scent anywhere. It was like leather and metal and something warm and sweet underneath.

“Derek, they’re gone,” he whispered, voice weak. He clenched his eyes shut as tears filled them again. “She almost got me, but you got her, so it’s okay.”

“Stiles, Stiles you’re not okay,” Derek muttered frantically, hands going all over him. “You’re so weak, you’re bleeding, you’re injured, but so weak,” he hissed. “Stiles, stay awake, okay?”

Stiles smiled against Derek’s shoulder. “But it’s okay, they’re gone. I’m fine, Derek. I’ll heal-“

“Your heart- your heart is weak,” Derek whispered, and Stiles felt a shaking hand cup the back of his head. He opened his eyes as Derek pulled away, both hands going to the sides of his face. “Stiles, look at me,” he ordered, and Stiles tried to open his eyes, he really did. “Stiles, please, don’t do this to me.” His head began to fall back and he was shaken suddenly. “No, STILES! Stay awake!”

Stiles jolted and opened his eyes long enough to meet Derek’s fearful eyes. “Just calm down, Derek, it’s all going to be okay. You’re fine. You’re safe. The pack is safe.”

Derek whimpered and pressed their foreheads together. “Stiles, you’re pack too. Just stay awake, I gave Boyd my keys, the car will be here soon and we’ll get you out of here, you’ll be okay.”

Stiles raised a weak hand and cupped Derek’s cheek. “I told you, it’s my choice to take care of my pack no matter what. I’ll be okay, I’m just tired.” He nudged their noses together. “I’m just tired.”

Derek swallowed audibly and he nodded. “Yeah, that’s all it is. You’ll be okay.”

Stiles tilted his chin and gently pressed a small, weak kiss to Derek’s lips. “Make sure Scott’s okay for me,” he whispered, and then everything started to darken. He heard a voice calling out his name.

“Stiles? Stiles? No, don’t you do this- STILES!”

And everything went black.

~

The first thing Stiles was aware of was a beeping. It was annoying and steady and he wanted it to stop. He started to voice his annoyance, but stopped when he heard voices he knew all too well. “Derek, you need to go get some rest. You’re not even supposed to be in here.”

“I’m okay, Sheriff,” Derek replied. Stiles could tell that Derek was on his left and his father on his right, but he was only barely aware that the beeping probably meant he was in the hospital, so he wasn’t so sure about left and right at the moment.

“You haven’t left since you snuck in last night,” John said pointedly and Stiles barely managed to stay quiet. “You have to be exhausted.”

“I can’t leave him,” Derek admitted way too readily. “I promised you he would be okay and I failed once because I let him leave my sight. I know you may be surprised, but I’m a man of my word, Sir.”

The sheriff chuckled and Stiles heard a creak as he slid into a seat. “Derek, cut the crap, we both know what’s going on here.” Stiles felt something squeeze his hand and it took all he had not to squeeze back. “You aren’t fooling anybody.”

Derek sighed. “Nothing is going on between us, Sheriff-“

“But that doesn’t mean you don’t want there to be, am I right?” he countered. “Look, it can’t happen, Derek. You’re a good kid, I’ve come to believe that since I found out this whole ‘supernatural side of Beacon Hills’, but you’re a grown man and he’s underage.”

Derek seemed to hesitate, but he spoke with conviction when he did speak. “I’ll tell him we can’t be together until he’s eighteen. I’ll make sure he understands that nothing can be between us that isn’t totally platonic until he’s an adult.”

“Son, he’s not going to be eighteen for seven months. You really think I’d fall for that?” he asked flatly, sounding less than amused. “You think he would fall for that? He’s not an idiot. He’s too smart for his own good.”

“If he meets someone else, or changes his mind before the seven months are up, that’s- that’s fine,” Derek said, voice tight, almost as if he was pained. “It’s better if he does. He deserves so much more. God knows you’re right, he’s so smart and he’s worth way more than me, Sheriff.”

John chuckled. “Nice try, but you know what I meant.”

“I- I don’t understand-“

“Listen, Hale, you’re young, you drive a nice car, and you look like you stepped out of a magazine. I’m not that old, kid. I remember what it was like at your age. And I sure as hell didn’t have a nice car or your physique. You expect me to think you’d wait seven months for a skinny teenager with a smart mouth and ADHD that doesn’t seem to be going away with age like the doctor said? He’s smarter than to believe it either.”

Derek didn’t speak for so long Stiles wanted to open his yes but he knew Derek would use it immediately as an excuse to escape talking (he knew without a doubt Derek knew he was awake). “Sheriff… it’s not something that’s anybody’s business really, but if you want proof you can trust me to not hurt him like that, I’ll tell you the truth.” He took a shaky breath. “There has only ever been one person. One woman, many years ago. That’s it. I stopped trusting people and I didn’t trust anyone until Stiles risked his life to save mine when he still half-way believed I was a murderer. He thought I was a killer and he still couldn’t let me die and like it or not, I found myself trusting someone. This- this is new. Very new. The way I… feel.” Stiles bit his lip, knowing from the tone of voice that Derek’s face would be hilariously uncomfortable. “But I trusted him.

“Wait, what do you mean ‘woman’. You’re twenty-three, how many years is ‘many years ago’-“ Stiles felt a slight panic when his dad seemed to connect the dots. “Jesus, no wonder-“ Stiles quickly groaned, effectively ruining his dad’s train of thought.

“Stiles?” his dad asked, and Stiles made a show of groaning before his eyes fluttered open. He looked up at his dad, and then made a face. “Stiles, you’re okay. Shhh,” he said, squeezing the hand he was holding.

Stiles really did whine when he shifted and his ribs jolted. “Oh crap.”

John chuckled. “Yeah, sorry but you have some cracked ribs, Kid.”

Stiles groaned. “Great, that’s fun, fun times there.” He looked over at Derek, who stared at him with a flat face, though Stiles could see the knowing look in his eyes. “Hey, you, with the wolfy magical fingers, get over here,” he said and his dad looked disturbed and he chuckled. “Okay it isn’t as pervy as it sounds,” he began, trying to explain.

Derek stood and stepped closer. “I’m guessing they didn’t give you the good drugs?” he asked, gently pushing the blankets away from Stiles’s side and slid his hand under the hospital gown to touch his skin.

Stiles groaned as the pain flowed out of him. “No pain meds are as good as werewolves,” he muttered, then looked up to see his dad watching in horrified fascination at the black lines going up Derek’s wrist. “Werewolves do this thing, they can take the pain away temporarily.”

Derek removed his hand and pulled the blankets back up. “We wouldn’t have to do it so much if you stopped getting hurt,” he grumbled, glaring at Stiles.

Stiles just made a mockingly grumpy face back at him. “Whatever, Sourwolf, I killed two incubi tonight, took two of you wolves to kill one measly succubus.”

John glared. “Yeah and they were all fine, you’ve got cracked ribs, a fractured wrist, and your heart was so weak we had to tell them you got electrocuted.”

Stiles hummed with a half-pained smile around his busted lip. “And nobody’s even said thank you yet.”

John chuckled then shook his head. “You’re incredible. Seriously.” He looked up at the clock and sighed. “I’ve got to go check in with Melissa about your meds.” He gave Derek and Stiles a look. “I’ll be right back, do not mentally scar me when I walk back through that door.”

With that warning he was gone. Derek immediately pulled the chair up and sat down beside Stiles, holding his hand, careful with the brace on his wrist. “The break isn’t bad, it’ll be fine in a few weeks.”

Stiles smirked. “So, seven months, huh?” he asked and Derek glared at him. “Oh shut up, you knew I was awake.”

Derek grumbled. “I wish you hadn’t been.” He sighed and looked up. “I’m serious, Stiles. Your dad is the sheriff and you’re underage.”

Stiles gave him a pointed look. “Derek, he actually likes you, you won’t go to jail-“

“I won’t put him in that position, then.” He looked up. “He’s been more than understanding about all of this, Stiles. And he’s all you’ve got. I won’t mess that up,” he said seriously. He stroked Stiles’s fingers absently.

Stiles sighed. “Derek, if you don’t want to talk about it, or if you don’t want to do anything about it-“

“I care about you more than I do most of my betas and you’re the only one that I didn’t pick,” Derek said openly, his eyes showing all the cards he had been holding to his chest. “I’ve cared about you for a while. I might even more than care about you,” he admitted. “But I’m not going to do anything about it. I wasn’t going to even before I kissed you. I just lost my strength for a moment-“

“So no sex until I’m eighteen, then?” Stiles said flatly, interrupting whatever excuse Derek was going to spin him.

Derek gave him a warning look. “No anything until you’re eighteen. No dating, no touching, no kissing, no hand-holding even.” Stiles pointedly looked at the hand Derek was holding, and Derek grunted. “You’re hurt, it’s not the same.”

Stiles huffed. “So we avoid whatever is between us for seven months?”

Derek shrugged. “It gives us time to get to know each other better. I owe you a look at every side of me before I let you make that decision. You have to know everything bad there is before you agree to be with me, because my wolf is possessive already. You are pack and I want you as mine. But you get to make that decision and it should be an informed one.”

Stiles smirked. “Aww, how cute, you think I haven’t worked you out all the way around already,” he teased and Derek snorted out a laugh.

“Stiles.”

Stiles groaned. “Fine!” He snorted and looked over at Derek. “You do know I won’t make it easy, right? Seven months knowing that the hottest man in Beacon Hills is attracted to me and not being able to do anything about it? Yeah, I’ll push every boundary you set.”

Derek smiled a soft, affectionate smile, and nodded. “I look forward to it.”

Stiles shared his smile and nodded. “Alright, as long as you know I’m serious.”

“Good,” Derek said softly, eyes locked with Stiles with no signs of leaving.

Stiles smiled and nodded back. “Good.”