Title: An American Werewolf in London or, How Stiles Stilinski got onto Dr. Watson’s Blog.
Pairings: Sterek (pre-slash) and Johnlock (also pre-slash); Teen Wolf and BBC Sherlock crossover.
A/N: After recent fandom wank and abject idiocy, some of the Sterek Campaign people began taking prompts to take back the Sterek tags. *waves fist in best Braveheart impression.* I offered to do some prompts and here we are. Sanhaim prompted me to do a Sterek and Johnlock crossover because, he is
evil awesome. This is the result of that prompt. Please send any therapy bills to him. I claim no responsibility. XD Thanks to my writing group of cheerleaders and betas: tiltedsyllogism ; thatworldinverted; jlm121 and diva0789
Warnings: flagrant use of italics. Me attempting humor. Numerous Geekery references
Stiles was fairly certain that the flight from Beacon Hills was not only fifteen straight hours of pure joy, but had a stopover in Narnia, Hell, and for some reason Dallas-Fort Worth. Which, hey. He could keep himself occupied for that long. Totally calm. One might even say Zen like.
Well, one would be lying. He was flipping his shit. Internally. Because a fifteen straight hour flight was totally not cool when squished against Derek Hale for that long.
Stiles had slept against brick walls that had more give than the length of Derek’s body.
And you know what? Fuck JJ Abrams anyway. Stupid LOST with its stupid back of the fucking plane flying off. Who did that? That was like, in his head for the foreseeable future!
Stiles twisted his body, attempting to put more than .0003 tenths of a centimeter between the two of them. And that was another thing. What the hell was his luck with the Derek and his Eyebrows of Doom on Stiles’ right, and the snoring, drooling old dude on his left? Stiles wasn’t trying to be a dick or anything, but he was pretty sure that you weren’t supposed to like, actually do the head lolling on someone’s shoulder thing until someone had at least bought someone else coffee.
Stiles twisted again, trying not to look at the little in-flight plane indicator that showed they were smack dab in the center of the stupid Atlantic Ocean. This was it. This was where the plane was going to go down. Of course, Derek would do something stupid like make sure he and Stiles survived, but that would be more survival than altruism because Stiles might be slightly more than 147 pounds of pale skin and fragile bones, werewolves were definitely not vegetarians and he didn’t think he’d be too good at the whole surviving on a liferaft thing with a really grouchy werewolf ‘cuz no thanks he’d read the Life of Pi thankyouverymuch Ms. Blake and her crazy ass summer reading assignments on the existential fragility of li---
Stiles jerked his gaze to Derek’s, who was glaring down at the way Stiles’ hand was gripping Derek’s thigh, pale fingers white against the dark denim.
Oh. Oh, shit.
Stiles jerked his hand away and tried to do some breathing exercises that didn’t make him sound like he was in labor. Derek made a face that looked a little like all of his internal organs were collapsing at the same time. He pinched the top of his nose. For some unfathomable reason, Derek made that face a lot.
“For the last time. The plane is not going to crash. You are not going to have to break the evolutionary chain and grow spontaneous gills. No, I do not carry any gillyweed. I couldn’t get it past customs.”
Stiles stopped mid-gasp for air and glared suspiciously over at Derek, almost certain he had just made a joke. He made a specific effort to stop his leg from jumping up and down and huffed a frustrated breath, jerking his other arm so that the old, drooling dude flopped over against the window instead of Stiles’ shoulder. It didn’t work. Maybe his drool was magnetized or something. Euuurgggh.
“I guess that I don’t know why I’m the one that gets stuck flying in the deathtrap. I mean, Scott was free. So was Cora.”
“He asked for you, specifically. This Holmes guy.”
Stiles snorted. “Demanded, more like. I mean did you see his website? The Science of Deduction? It’s kind of pathetic really, like he got bored with it one day and was just like--” Stiles waved his hands around, accidentally smacking the old dude on the shoulder. He gave a loud snort and settled down again on Stiles’ shoulder with another snore. “--There was something that sounded cool about types of Tobacco Ash, which I thought might be like Mountain Ash? But he deleted it off the site for some reason. I guess his roomie blogs his cases and all.” Stiles frowned. “Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I could write up the crazy shit you guys get up to.” He paused for a second. “Of course, no one would believe me.”
Derek’s frown deepened. “He said that Jackson specifically said that he had to talk to... you.” Stiles was a bit offended. Derek’s expression seemed to suggest that he couldn’t fathom why someone would actually want to willingly converse with Stiles.
Okay, so Stiles had no fucking idea why of all people Jackson couldn’t just pick up a phone or email him or something, but since the well-stuffed Whitmore pockets were paying for both of the international tickets, and given that Stiles had never been across the pond, he could deal. It was sort of out of the blue though. Why him? Why Jackson?
The old guy to his left made a sleepy sound and nuzzled into Stiles’ neck. Stiles squeaked and froze, feeling like his skin was actually going to crawl off his bones. Before he could do anything, Derek moved. Almost before Stiles could blink, he found himself seated in the aisle seat, with Derek in the middle, and the snoring guy pressing himself so closely to the window of the plane that Stiles was a little worried that he’d hurt himself.
Derek didn’t even have to say anything. Stiles couldn’t see what Derek did, but from the look on the guy’s face, he wouldn’t be sleeping any time soon. Not without nightmares. Stiles tried to ignore the way his heart jumped around in his chest, but failed completely.
When the black car pulled up to the pavement, Stiles tried to ignore the small spurt of trepidation that seeing the sleek vehicle gave him. He hitched the strap of his bag onto his shoulder and shared a quick look with Derek as the door opened and a very pretty woman with dark hair crawled out.
“Hello. Mr. Stilinski? Mr. Hale? If you would please get into the car.” She barely looked at them, texting away on her phone.
“Uh. Are you with Sherlock Holmes?”
“Hmm. He’ll take your luggage. Please come quickly; we have a schedule to keep.”
Stiles tried not to melt at hearing her say ‘sheed yule’ but was pretty sure he wasn’t entirely successful by the way the woman’s lips twitched. She finally stopped texting and made eye contact with Stiles, then Derek. “In your own time, gentlemen.” Her smile was very quick- her teeth very white.
Stiles’ eyes widened at Derek’s low, smooth voice, stunned that not only was he being polite, but he was actually using his words for a change. His voice sounded like sex. Not that Stiles knew what Derek sexing someone up actually sounded like, but he was pretty sure it sounded just like this.
Stiles slid into the backseat quickly, carefully not making eye contact with anyone. When Derek had offered to go with him to London, part of him had actually thought that maybe he could finally stop dancing around the massive crush he’d had on the guy. Well, maybe a little bit more than a crush. Most crushes didn’t last for over six years. Jackson had only paid for the one hotel room after all. And okay, while Stiles knew that Derek was still older than him, now that he had a college degree under his belt, he felt more secure in trying to see if there was anything there. Less like a gawky kid.
But if Derek was practically tripping over himself to use the Sex Voice on pretty women, then Stiles was just going to have to face facts: his crush was obviously and unerringly one-sided.
Stiles sighed. “So when are we going to meet him? I haven’t gotten a text from him in awhile. Last I heard, he was going to send Doctor Watson to meet us. Did something happen?”
The lady just shrugged and continued texting, flicking little looks at Derek out of the corner of her eye.
It was the weirdest ride Stiles had ever been on, and living in Beacon Hills that was really saying something. After awhile, he forgot to be mature and had his face pressed up against the glass, looking at the scenery. A couple of times during the long ride from Heathrow to... well, wherever it was that they were going, Stiles thought he caught a glimpse of Derek almost grinning at him in the glass, but when he would turn to see, Derek was always staring out of the opposite window, face blank.
Eventually though, they arrived at their destination. There was a bit of a delay as he and Derek both slid out of the backseat and arranged their luggage. “Hey, is Sherlock already here?”
“Mr. Holmes has been informed of your arrival. Follow me please.”
Stiles started to follow their guide, but Derek stopped him with a finger on his wrist. Stiles closed his eyes at a waft of Derek’s scent hit him as the werewolf leaned so that his lips were barely touching the shell of Stiles’ ear. “She’s hiding something.”
Stiles swallowed hard, the familiar burst of adrenaline lighting up his nervous system. Now that he was done playing tourist, he realized that their destination was a ... a warehouse?
What the hell were they doing in a warehouse? Stiles stopped walking for a second, frowning as he looked around. Derek brushed up against his body and with a tiny push, Stiles kept walking, trying to ignore how creeped out he was. They followed the woman past a wall, and into an open space where a man, dressed in a suit stood, leaning heavily on an umbrella.
“Hello, Mr. Stilinski. Mr. Hale. Welcome to London.”
“Uh... Thanks?” Stiles saw that there were two chairs near the man. Stiles went to go sit at one, but Derek grabbed his wrist, keeping them just shy of touching distance. “Ah, er. We’re fine here. Thank you.”
The man’s lips twisted in a very tiny smirk. It did nothing to dispel the whole creepy as hell thing he had going for him. “I see. Well allow me to get to the point. What is your business with Sherlock Holmes?”
Stiles’ mouth fell open. He shut it with a snap. “She said you were Sherlock Holmes!”
The man’s eyebrow raised. “Did she?”
Stiles felt Derek shift his weight behind him and tried to press back against the long line of his body in an attempt to get Derek to relax a little. He was doing the brick wall thing again. Stiles was getting a bit nervous. This was creepy enough without a ticking time bomb- with teeth- going off behind him. One of the annoying things about having a near-perfect memory was that it was really hard to lie to yourself. And the woman hadn’t said Sherlock Holmes, per se. Just Holmes.
“Indeed.” He spoke as though Stiles had thought out loud. “At the risk of sounding dreadfully rude, I’m afraid that I must insist that you state your business here in London.”
“Or what?” Derek’s voice had dropped in that warning growl that really, really shouldn’t have sounded so sexy. Stiles was willing to acknowledge that his flight or fight instincts might be a tad skewed, because hearing that should have made him want to run.
Still, Stiles didn’t see any harm in explaining. This was already so weird that he really didn’t think explaining would make things any worse.
“I have a ..” Stiles’ nose scrunched up. He didn’t want to lie, but ugh. Jackson. “..an acquaintance who moved here a few years ago. We think that he asked your brother to solve something for him and for some reason--” Stiles tried not to react a the way Derek tensed even further behind him, a spring wound to the breaking point. Even he could hear the screech of tires from outside the warehouse. “er. What’s that?”
“A small complication.” The man in the suit flicked his gaze towards his assistant who huffed an annoyed breath. “Continue, Mr. Stilinski.”
“Mycroft!” The bellow echoed through the warehouse and Stiles shut his open mouth, watching as the two men ran up to where Stiles and Derek stood. The tall man came to a halt, shoes punctuating his screech with an undignified squeak.
Stiles blinked, watching as the tall man actually had to heave in a few breaths, obviously too furious to speak for a second. He was tall, dressed up with a suit under a dark grey looking coat and blue scarf. Which was weird. It wasn’t that cold. The other man pounded up a moment later. He looked a lot like one of the nice guys that hung out at the coffee shop, perfectly content to read a newspaper and make a cup of expresso last an hour. He was shorter, about Stiles’ height, with greying blond hair and a lined face. The sweater he was wearing looked even more comfortable and non-descript when compared to what the tall guy wore, like they dressed as polar opposites of each other.
“Mycroft.” The shorter man nodded politely, ignoring the way his friend rolled his eyes and scoffed at the small courtesy. “I’m pretty sure that they’re here for Sherlock.”
“They are! And if he could keep his overly large nose out of my business for once...”
“What. Is going. On?”
It was Stiles’ turn to wince. Yep. Derek was out of patience. Hoo boy. This was not going to go well. He was talking before his brain caught up to his mouth. Creepy, but apparently well-intentioned kidnappings aside, the three of them had no idea what a pissed-off werewolf looked like. Stiles wanted to keep it that way.
“So, okay. This has been fun, but I totally wanted to catch the tour at the Tower of London and maybe take a ride on the Eye? So thank you for the ridiculously dramatic drive into the middle of nowhere, but I think we’ll just be going now.” Stiles curled his fingers around Derek’s wrist, forcing a smile at the three men who were staring at him with varying expressions on their faces. Umbrella looked mildly irked, like Stiles wanting to peace out was unbearably rude of him. Cheekbones was staring at where Stiles held Derek’s wrist with a blank face and a gaze like lasers, and Fluffy Sweater looked like he was amused as all hell.
Stiles took a step back towards the entrance, shocked when Derek actually followed behind him. He knew that it would have taken a crane to move him if he didn’t want to be moved. They had gone quite a few steps when Stiles heard what sounded like a foot being stomped on concrete and a furiously hissed, “He’s my werewolf! You can’t have him!” before Fluffy Sweater jogged up besides them.
“John Watson. Sorry about this. Meant to meet you at the airport, but Mycroft...” He trailed off at the look Derek gave him, taking back his hand and raising both palms up to mid-chest, in a gesture meant to show that he meant no harm. “Look, if you want to go off on your own, no one’s going to stop you. Sherlock just wanted a few words. It’s about your friend, Whitmore.”
The click of shoes behind them made Stiles look over his shoulder. Sherlock was stalking along behind them, lips pressed in a line. Derek was leading now, obviously eager to get back out into the open.
There was a cab waiting next to the black car that they’d arrived in. Their luggage was sitting on the trunk of the car, watched over by the driver.
John smiled again and gestured to the cab. “Are you hungry? Like I said, I can completely understand if you’d really rather not. I can call another cab if you don’t feel comfortable sharing.” John ignored the offended sound Sherlock made.
“Would you say your brother kidnaps a lot of people you know?” It was just weird enough that Stiles was interested. Derek, too had relaxed several degrees. A little belatedly, Stiles noticed that he was still holding Derek’s wrist and forced himself to drop it, blushing a little.
“He’s an idiot.” Sherlock’s gaze drifted from Derek’s face, to Stiles’ hand to the faint blush on Stiles’ cheeks.
John snorted a laugh. “You have no idea.” He shared a look with Sherlock that Stiles couldn’t quite read. He cocked his head. “So, what’s it going to be? Share a cab and some food? Or do you two go on your merry way?”
Stiles looked at Derek with raised eyebrows. He was used to reading the strength of Derek’s glares. This was Glare #5, which meant it was up to Stiles.
Screw it. He was hungry.
Dinner had been extremely strange.
Sherlock had spent most of the time staring at Stiles, eyes narrowed with a strange intensity that Stiles wasn’t sure if he liked or not. No one had mentioned what Stiles had thought he overheard Sherlock whine at his brother, and the idea that these two knew about Derek being a werewolf made him a little nervous. It was one thing for people to know on their turf; Beacon Hills was pretty much a one-stop shop for every supernatural creature from fairies to the half-lizard thing that Derek still refused to admit was a dragon. On the grand scale of ‘meh’ to ‘holy fucking shit’, werewolves were somewhere in the middle.
But here? It was just different enough to be strange.
John had spent the meal talking with Stiles, both of them weirdly comfortable with each other. Derek was tense, but spent most of his time occupied with his gnocchi. Sherlock only ate when John elbowed him, and even then he took minuscule bites. Hell, the dude even chewed intensely. Stiles had split a pizza with John. They both liked the exact same toppings, which was kind of cool.
Dr. Watson had apologized profusely for Mycroft Holmes (apparently the umbrella-wielding kidnapper had a minor role in the British Government; whatever the dude was still creepy as fuck), had been really nice about answering all of Stiles’ questions about crime fighting. All in all- it was a weird meal. Stiles couldn’t in all honesty say it was the strangest meal that he’d ever had- the first meal with Lydia, Peter and Derek around the same table still won that honor as Most Awkward Thing Ever, but it ranked right up there.
The only thing that had remained unmentioned was Jackson Whitmore.
Sherlock waited until John had finished chewing the very last bite of his crust before raising an eyebrow and speaking. “So. As I informed you, your name has come up in a rather .... interesting case. However, as John tediously insists on reminding me, some of the particulars might not be appropriate for public consumption. Your place or mine?”
Stiles choked on air. He managed to make some kind of inquisitive sound, hoping that it conveyed the complete gamut of what the fuck that he was currently feeling. Stiles was all of the sudden horribly, painfully aware of the careful way Derek put his fork down on the plate.
Sherlock scoffed. “Interesting how your tiny little mind immediately gives my words a sexual connotation, especially since you and your... partner are not involved sexually, despite his obvious- almost homicidal- possessiveness and your rather tedious attempts to hide your regard. Long-term I should think. All the signs are there. Rushed breath. Constant touching. Dilated pupils. So that we can dispense with these ridiculous social formalities, I assure you that I have no claim upon your person.” Sherlock ignored what was obviously John’s elbow sharply buried in his stomach. “Now. Do you wish to discuss the case in your hotel or our flat.”
Stiles blinked twice, certain that he was going to die of humiliation right there. Sherlock had spoken quickly, the words almost tripping over themselves as he spoke, tiny bullets that exploded like shrapnel. Stiles knew that he was a total coward; completely afraid to meet anyone’s gaze. He could feel that his face was beet-red. Stiles almost felt dizzy from so much blood to his face. He planned on staring at the small speck of pizza sauce on the tablecloth until he keeled over from old age.
“Excuse us for a moment.” John’s voice was in a tone that Stiles hadn’t heard before, complete and utter fury. There was a bang from under the table as Sherlock’s knees hit the surface, sending all the liquid in their glasses sloshing over the rims as John jerked him away from where he and Derek still sat, his lips pressed into a trembling line.
The silence was painfully awkward. Stiles could hear his heart thudding crazily in his chest. His stomach rolled, and he felt like he was going to get sick. He was frozen in place, Sherlock’s words pinging around in his head over and over. The worst part about it was that it had just come out of nowhere. And the bitch of it was that, as much of a complete dick that he was, Sherlock wasn’t wrong.
“Hey.” Stiles blinked a few times in rapid succession so that Derek wouldn’t see him acting stupid. To his utter shock, Derek actually reached out and knocked their shoulders together. “Look, fuck this guy. We don’t need them. I know what Jackson smells like; we can find him and deal with his shit on our own.”
“Okay.” Stiles nodded. “Yeah. We can go.” It took him a few tries to actually look Derek in the face, but he managed. They made their way out of the restaurant, stopping by the coat check to get their bags. Derek didn’t say anything about what Sherlock had said. Stiles thought for a second that maybe he hadn’t heard, then remembered that this was the same guy who could hear Scott roll his eyes from two miles away. No way he didn’t hear that.
Fuck his fucking life.
Stiles checked his email with the hotel name and confirmation information, and Derek flung out his hand for a cab. So far, Stiles had seen a limo and two taxicabs. He was also balls tired, and just wanted to sleep. The ride to the hotel was quiet, except for the radio. Stiles kept to his side of the seat, and Derek his, and really, Stiles was totally okay with that.
“You know the thing that’s weird?”
Derek stared at him with an obvious, ‘only one thing?’ look on his face. “What?”
“That none of the numbers we have work for Jackson. That we really have no proof that it’s him that wants us here, and not just the Asshole brothers.”
Derek actually snorted. “Asshole brothers. Right. That Doctor guy was nice though.”
“Yeah, well he’s probably addicted to, like, those cat pictures on the internet and ... quaaludes or something to put up with those two. Not that there’s anything wrong with those cat pictures. Especially that grumpy cat? He’s totally adorable. Reminds me of someone I kn----anyway. Look, here’s the hotel!”
Derek’s face was suspiciously blank as he followed Stiles inside and up to the reception desk.
Fifteen minutes later found them both looking around a fairly non-descript room. Two double beds, coffee maker, bathroom, nothing too out of the norm. Stiles tossed his suitcase in the direction of the ridiculously uncomfortable chair near the balcony and flopped down onto the bed closest to the window, sighing. “You know? I’m really ridiculously tired.”
Derek started to reply when Stiles’ ringtone went off.
Aaaa---oooooo! Werewolves of London. Aaaaaaa-ooooooo!
Stiles just grinned and answered his phone. “Hello?”
“Hello, Stiles. Hope that you don’t mind my ringing you. You left before we came back to the table and--”
“Look, I’m sorry but I don’t think that I want to work with this guy. I mean, you said it. Right on your blog that he could be temperamental and...”
“He’s a dick.” John’s voice clearly enunciated the ‘k’ in dick. Stiles stopped with his mouth open, surprised into a laugh at John’s wry tone.
“Look, I know him better than anyone. But we do rather need your help with something. D’ya mind if we come up? I promise it will only be for a moment and Sherlock will be on his best behavior.” There was a muffled sound of a hand over the mouthpiece, but Stiles could clearly hear John almost growling, “you will be on your best behavior you complete and utter sod.”
Stiles raised his eyebrows in Derek’s direction, knowing that the werewolf could easily hear John through the phone. Derek’s glare was strangely comforting since Stiles knew that he was glaring at the idea of John and Sherlock and not over something Stiles had done.
“No more insults?”
“Well.” John’s tone changed slightly. “I can promise you that Sherlock won’t be insulting either of you. You are, however, free to insult whomever you wish.”
“Okay. Room 221.”
For some reason that made John laugh out loud. “Be up in a few. Thanks, mate.”
Stiles hung up and groaned. “Guess I don’t get to sleep yet.”
Derek shrugged and went to the bathroom. Stiles thought about getting up and unpacking, but moving sounded like too much of an effort. He had just started to nod off when there was a brusque rap on the door. Groaning, Stiles got up to answer it.
He nodded politely at John, ignoring Sherlock standing next to him. Stiles turned and let them inside, crossing over to move his bag off the chair. Derek came out of the bathroom, slouching against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. Stiles wanted to smirk. God knew that he’d been the recipient of that look a time or two in his life. From Derek it was a bit of a pants shitter, but Sherlock just sniffed and turned from him, focusing on Stiles.
It was weird enough that Stiles frowned. Usually he was an afterthought to people. Sometimes the weres and supernatural... whoserthingies ... that Derek dealt with with all of his pack business treated him like wallpaper- part of the background. And that was fine. Stiles learned very early on that one could pick up a lot more information from people when you observed them; when they didn’t notice that your opinions were worth much. As a contrast, having all of Sherlock’s attention was decidedly weird. Intense.
“I do apologize for-”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “Oh cut the crap. You’re not sorry, not really. Just tell me what you want okay? I’m tired and want to go to sleep.”
Sherlock blinked twice, quickly, then weirdly, seemed to relax. He pulled a file out from his jacket. “As you are no doubt aware, your friend Whitmore...”
“Whoa, wait up there. I don’t know if I’d call us friends.” Stiles couldn’t help the way his eyebrows crinkled.
“Dull.” Sherlock waved his hand around. “Friends. Acquaintances. Lovers. It doesn’t matter.”
“How do you know? You said that you needed our help. How do you know that my relationship with Jackson isn’t important?”
Derek blurted -”What relationship?” just as Doctor Watson laughed kind of nastily, sending Sherlock a look that Stiles couldn’t translate.
“Oh my god. No relationship! Jackson wouldn’t cross the street to piss on me if I was on fire. That’s kind of my point. I’m just saying that he, ” Stiles pointed to Sherlock, “is making assumptions on something he doesn’t know anything about.”
For such a simple sound, it carried a wealth of meaning. “You’re not the werewolf. He is.” Sherlock looked from Stiles to Derek, eyes wide in surprise. “Well, that’s entirely different. Bloody hell. It’s always something.”
Sherlock stood up quickly, his coat swirling dramatically around him, even in the small space between the beds. “Making assumptions. Stupid. Stupid that I. Of course. Tell me, Stiles, does this symbol mean anything to you?” He quickly flipped through the file and showed a glossy picture.
For a second, all Stiles saw was blood before the gruesome photograph started to make sense to his tired brain. He’d seen that before. The triskelion in the picture was much smaller than Derek’s tattoo. It had been painted in blood onto the wall behind the victim. The body itself had been ripped to shreds. It looked as though an animal had torn it apart in search for food. The photographs were a series of mostly the symbol, taken from every angle, but Stiles couldn’t help the queasy feeling in his stomach when he saw the flash of bone through the mangled meat that had once been a human being. He quickly focused back onto the symbol.
Stiles frowned, thinking. Derek’s tattoo was one line, that spiraled into three whorls. This symbol was the same basic shape, but had two lines in the northernmost spiral, one line in the western spiral, and three very thin lines in the eastern one.
“Ye-es.” Stiles could tell that Derek could hear his heartrate increase. He didn’t see the point in lying. “That’s an... identification symbol.”
Sherlock sucked his teeth, visibly refraining from rolling his eyes. “Obviously. My research shows that it is a triskele; meant to represent progress and forward movement in ancient cultures, such as birth, life, death.”
Stiles had to bite his tongue to refrain from commenting on how much his research sounded like a quick google search on wikipedia.
“I need to know why Whitmore told me to ask you about this symbol.” Sherlock’s long fingers pointed to it again.
“He told you to ask me? Me, specifically?”
John piped up. “His exact words were ‘ask Stilinski. He can tell you all about it’, but as he disappeared right after, we were unable to question him further. I can show you the text if you want. Whoever that was- and we haven’t identified the victim as of yet- scared your friend into running off.”
Derek came forward, looking down over Stiles’ shoulder. He tried not to react to the subtle scent of Derek’s body, the fairly innocuous traces of the soap from the bathroom not doing anything to cover up the darker, viscerally sharp scent that was Derek. Derek didn’t usually wear anything that would cover up his natural scent, and Stiles found himself wanting to roll himself in it; to bury his nose in Derek’s neck and just inhale. It didn’t help that Derek’s arm was pressing against Stiles’ bicep, forcing the connection. If it had been anyone else other than Derek, Stiles would have thought they were doing it on purpose.
“If you could all please focus on the data.” Sherlock’s smile was wide and toothy and didn’t reach his eyes. John gave Sherlock a pointed look, and Sherlock reacted almost immediately, relaxing into something resembling patience.
“It’s.” Derek frowned. “Here. Easier just to show you.” He turned and stripped off his t-shirt, showing the two men his back. Sherlock’s eyes snapped to the musculature of Derek’s back like a magnet in a way that Stiles didn’t particularly care for at all. Derek let his shirt fall and turned around. “That thing is not from my family, but with an attack like that, it’s definitely not human.” Derek shrugged.
Stiles managed to unstick his tongue from the roof of his mouth. “Most tattoos like that are very personal. A pack thing. There isn’t one meaning, ‘cuz it would be different to every person that takes it.” There. That was diplomatic enough. Stiles found that he didn’t particularly want to get into the metric shitton of Hale Historic Drama with this dude. He’d never really discussed it with Derek before, and putting pack business out there seemed like a really bad idea. General stuff, fine. Derek’s stuff- not so fine.
“Did the police--”
Sherlock snorted. “The police are idiots.”
“Right, but they didn’t know that this was a were attack.”
“You keep saying ‘were’. Are there different kinds of were.. beasts?” John was taking notes in a small notebook. Stiles winced, wondering how much information he had inadvertently spilled. He didn’t think that he had done too bad. Derek would have spoken up. Or growled. Or disemboweled him. Or something.
“Yes. I’ve seen Werecougars, werelizards, and obviously werewolves. Sorry. I don’t know enough about how they feed to tell you what did this, but it’s too... messy. For most werewolves.”
“It could be a newly turned wolf.”
Stiles jumped. Derek’s voice had been low, close enough to his ear that the puff of his breath tickled the shell of his ear. He could feel the heat that Derek put off and knew that he was blushing. Jesus. No wonder everyone still treated him like a kid. He couldn’t seem to stop acting like one.
“I need to speak with you a moment. Privately. The balcony, please.” Sherlock’s fingers were a little cold as they wrapped around his wrist. “Come along. The balcony will do enough for our purposes.” Sherlock tugged a little, impatient.
It was abrupt enough that it shocked Stiles out of his embarrassment. Stiles stared up into Sherlock’s blank gaze, more than a little weirded out. Still, the sooner he let the detective grill him about... whatever it was that he didn’t want to say in their present company, the sooner he could go to sleep.
“Sherlock, I don’t think---” John’s gaze flicked up over Stiles’ shoulder and back to his colleague.
Plus, there was the added bonus of the fact that Derek would be able to hear everything that Sherlock said through the sliding glass door. “It’s fine. It’s not like he’s going to throw me over the balcony or anything.” For some reason that made Sherlock drop his wrist as though electrocuted, his shoulders snapping straight like a soldier’s that had been called to attention. Stiles gave him a weird look and stood up.
They both waited until they were outside and the glass door had slid shut. Sherlock dug into his pocket and came out with a packet of cigarettes and a lighter, lighting up and inhaling before he’d even settled back against the balcony. He didn’t offer Stiles a smoke, and Stiles didn’t ask. The truth was, he was curious as to why of all people, Sherlock had pushed so much for this conversation. Hell, they could have done most of this over Skype. It just seemed a tad overmuch to fly him to freaking London just for a bit of a chat.
“Don’t think that I’m overly altruistic. Your being here is more convenient for the Work. I didn’t even pay for your accommodations.” Sherlock exhaled, the smoke curling around his face in little spirals.
Sherlock spoke over Stiles’ question. “Body language. You don’t particularly care for me, yet you were willing enough to come out here. Curiosity. Your tap your fingers against your leg when you’re nervous, or feeling out of your depth, yet here you are. Sentiment. Simple.” Sherlock flicked his ash over the balcony.
“Wow, that’s... wow!”
Sherlock smirked. “You should know that Whitmore is not a suspect in this case. His decision to disappear into the woodwork has more to do with my insufferable sibling’s rather large nose constantly stuck in my affairs, than any worry for his freedom. In fact, the police have officially ruled this an ‘unfortunate animal attack’ and gone about their day.”
“Oh. Still don’t get why he had such a hardon for getting me involved, but that’s good to know.”
“Mmm.” Sherlock took another drag on his cigarette, holding it with his lips as he dug into his pocket. He tapped a few times at his phone and handed it over to Stiles. Stiles took it, and looked down at the display.
ask Stilinski. He can tell you all about it.
Explain. - SH
Look i already told u. not getting into this shit again. Stilinski tho knows this stuff
The next text gave Stiles’ email address.
Hes smart and he can explain that symbol better than any1. God knows he sees it enuff
Stiles handed back the phone, a bit shellshocked at the Jackson version of a compliment. He stared out into the night for a second. Sherlock seemed content with his smoke, and left him a moment to gather his thoughts.
“His grammar is appalling.” Sherlock muttered something under his breath that sounded a lot like ‘American school system’ but kept quiet.
“Somehow you found out that Jackson was a werewolf.”
“Yes, well. Was a bit of a shock.”
Stiles snorted. “Yeah. ‘Bit of a shock’ for me too. To say the least. And what, now you have a weird kill that you can’t explain, so you call in Jackson. He freaks and hightails it, but pushes this onto me as what. The Werewolf Whisperer?”
Sherlock stared blankly at him, hiking an eyebrow. Through the door, Stiles heard Derek as he tried to cover up a laugh with a cough- completely unsuccessfully. Stiles was glad that it was almost dark; he completely failed at trying to hide the little jolt that making Derek actually laugh gave him.
“I wanted to meet you before offering you a ... job. Paid consultant. Able and willing to assist with research in matters of the supernatural. I have no doubt that I will need your services in the future, given that you have a wealth of resources in this matter.”
“Quite.” The red cherry of the cigarette flared for a moment as Sherlock inhaled. Sherlock named a figure and Stiles tried to do his best to not faint. “I understand that your schedule might not permit flying out as often as I would like, but there are other ways to communicate. You will be available to my questions at all all hours of the day or night.”
“Uh.” Stiles blinked a few times, completely stymied. “So this was the big reveal? A job offer?”
Sherlock shifted against the balcony, looking faintly uncomfortable in the faint lights from the city. He made a production about stubbing out his smoke and putting the butt in his pocket. “I wanted to ask you... a question.” Sherlock shifted again, slouching a little. He couldn’t have broadcasted that he was more uncomfortable if he was holding up a flashing neon sign. “Sentiment is. Not my area.”
Stiles blinked. Sentiment? “Are we bonding? Is this us, bonding?”
Sherlock drew himself up, glaring down his long nose. He looked like he was about three seconds from going back inside. “Oh no, dude. I work for you now. I wasn’t aware that there was a hair-braiding clause, but...” Something on Sherlock’s face shifted, and it hit Stiles then that this was really beyond awkward for the detective to articulate. He felt like an asshole for teasing him. “Oh okay. Sorry. Go ahead and ask.”
Sherlock took out his lighter, fiddled with it, then stuck it in another pocket. “When I believed you a .... “ Sherlock broke off, rolling his eyes as though he couldn’t believe what he was actually about to say. “...werewolf. I was curious if you. How does one. Oh, this is tedious.”
Stiles wanted to smile, but refrained. He purposefully looked away, turning around so that his butt was against the balcony, copying Sherlock’s slumping pose. Derek and John were talking quietly inside. Derek was gesturing to something on the photographs, talking what was, for him, earnestly.
“I recently miscalculated something very important. Admittedly, there was very little choice that would give a result that was acceptable...” Sherlock sniffed. “But I am willing to concede that it was perhaps. Poorly planned. John still hates me for it.”
Stiles blinked at the way Sherlock jumped over several social niceties. He had no idea what it was about him that made a guy like this- wealthy, successful, brilliant want to confide in him of all people, but it made a weird sort of sense. Stiles knew that it was sometimes easier to unload on people who didn’t know you. Besides, he got the impression that this dude, despite all his good points, wasn’t exactly a social butterfly. Stiles didn’t know what to say, so he just stared at Derek, watching the movement of his hands, the way he glanced over at the sliding glass door a few times as he and John talked. Then it clicked and he frowned.
“You think he hates you? Really? That guy? He just smoothed over your dickhead comments so that you can get info on your case.... don’t think that’s hate, man.”
“Perhaps not hate. But I do not.... oh Christ. I feel like I’m back in sixth form. This is patently ridiculous.”
“Maybe you should just blurt it out. Blurting seems to work for me.”
Sherlock snorted. He started speaking again, words tripping over themselves as he’d done before. “Never been in a serious relationship. Find it comforting to call it a “crush” or say that you’re “fixated” instead of admitting to yourself that you’re in love. Absolutely terrified to put in words what you feel, because what if you’re wrong? Are you wrong? Do you say something and trust that he will let you down easily if he doesn’t feel the same---”
“Dude, why do you keep fucking with me? You know what? You go ahead and have your little ‘sentiment’ confessions with--” Stiles broke off when Sherlock grabbed his wrist again, tight enough that the bones in his wrist ground together for an instant before Sherlock let up.
“I am not fucking with you. ” Sherlock was looking at him now, that weird intensity focused on Stiles. Even in the dark it was disconcerting
Stiles jerked his wrist away, rubbing it absently. “Yeah? Well, it sure sounds-- oh.”
Stiles blinked, staring back. Well then. That made... okay. So maybe he could see some similarities in Sherlock acting like a tool in front of John and... his own behavior around Derek. Maybe. Not that Stiles thought he was that much of a dick. But some people had been known to term his actions as ... annoying.
“I assure you, I do not know when my life became an episode of EastEnders, but it’s dreadful.”
“EastEnders? More like the Disney Channel.”
Sherlock snorted again. “Interesting. Would you say more Lion King or Beauty and the Beast?”
“Oh my fucking god.”
Derek interrupted the two of them giggling like total idiots by opening the door and raising an eyebrow. “I think Dr. Watson wants to leave. Were the two of you finished?” His gaze went from Stiles- to where he was still holding his wrist, to Sherlock. Sherlock stopped giggling rather abruptly. Stiles wasn’t quite sure why. Derek made that face, like all the time.
“Yes. Quite. Well, Stiles, you can text me about that other matter when you’ve thought it over. John? Are you ready?”
John, for some reason, had a very strange look on his face. It reminded Stiles of his dad’s ‘cop face’ which was just all sorts of weird. “Yes. We’ve got a fair bit to discuss.”
Sherlock faltered for just a second, but shook it off, whirling to shake Stiles then Derek’s hand. “So. Enjoy your stay. Charge everything to the room of course. Least my brother could do after waylaying your arrival.”
Stiles had to bite his lip to keep from laughing again, outright. He swooped off, slamming the door behind him.
“Uh. Thanks? It was nice to meet you.” Stiles awkwardly helped John gather the case file notes, sticking them with the pictures.
“You too. Sorry about him.” John jerked his head towards the door.
“Hey. Uh, Doctor Watson?”
“Right. John, uh I have a question. But you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want.”
“I’m sure you do.” John sighed. “Go for it, kid.”
“How do you.. I mean... How can you...?” Stiles flailed his hands in a way he hoped conveyed what he was trying to say.
“How can I manage him, you mean?”
John took the case notes out of Stiles’ hand. He met Stiles’ gaze, his eyes slowly bleeding to Alpha red.
John smirked. “Oh. I have my ways. Enjoy your stay in London, yeah?”
Stiles blinked. Blinked again. He was so shocked that he didn’t even think about the door until Derek very, very gently pulled it shut.
A/N: Yes, I know that this was left open. Anyone that feels like doing a Choose-your-own-adventure type thing, or just wants to write their take on it- go for it. :D Just tag me so I know to read it!!
As always, thanks for commenting and the concrit, either here or on tumblr!