"Which is why I need one of you to get on their good side." Derek felt he'd explained more than enough; get the information about the kanima from the most likely source to have it.
"Hmm." Erica sounded sweet as honey, which rarely boded well. "Scott or Stiles?"
The automatic response was obviously Scott; he was the werewolf, the leader of his little pseudo-pack. By every standard that he'd been taught growing up, Scott was the important one, which made it a bit surprising that he had to stop himself in his tracks to avoid saying Stiles.
It was logical, though, since Stiles tended to be the more useful one. Scott was stronger, but Derek was strong enough for whatever he really needed. Stiles was smart, and the thing at the pool had proved he was stubborn. Derek still didn't trust him, but... Well, maybe both of the boys were important. They were certainly lucky enough to keep stumbling on the right answers.
Erica took another step toward him and he turned to face her, impatient with having to think about it and spell things out. "Either."
She gave him her most cat-like smile and opened her mouth, but then Isaac asked an entirely different idiotic question and they were off the subject, except for one last smug look from Erica.
"So, you do realize you're in my bedroom more than Scott is, right? I think you might be in here more than my dad is."
"What's your point?" Derek cracked one eye open to see that Stiles had put his lacrosse things down and settled into his computer chair, but was clasping his hands together and looking at him instead of powering on his laptop. The bruises had faded from his face, at least, and he had seemed happy before when he'd talked about practicing with Scott.
Stiles opened and closed his mouth a few times, obviously struggling with what to say. Derek stifled a laugh and let his eyes drift shut again. He was most of the way asleep again when Stiles finally came out with, "Seriously, why are you here? Because, really, it's summer vacation and I planned to be the one sleeping in my bed. Not to mention that being in a guy's bed waiting for him to come home kinda sends out some messages you might not want to send."
Throwing a pillow seemed like a good idea, so he went with it. "I needed a place to sleep. This was the best option."
"My bed was your best option? Do you realize how insanely wrong that sounds?"
Obviously sleep was not going to happen, and Derek forced himself to sit up and rub a hand over his face. "What did you find out about the alpha pack?"
"Apart from the fact that they have the most ridiculous name ever?" Stiles leans back, obviously more at ease now, and starts going through what he had been able to find. It wasn't much and he ended up going off on a few tangents, but they all led back to more information than he'd been able to find himself and so Derek just took it all in.
Apparently he hadn't done as good a job at stifling his yawns as he thought, because Stiles said, "You know, if I'm that boring--"
"I haven't slept much lately," Derek said sharply. "You're fine."
"What, Isaac snores so loud that you can't sleep through it? The betas--" Stiles cut himself off, too late, his face going stiff as he remembered that Boyd and Erica were still missing and neither of them had found anything to trace where they might be. "You need to get some rest."
Derek shook his head and looked out the window. "I'm fine. Don't worry about it."
"Sure you are." Stiles gave him an unreadable look and finally said, "Just go to sleep. When you wake up, you can tell me... absolutely nothing, probably."
With a resigned shrug, Stiles finally turned to his laptop and started typing away. The click of the keys was soothing, and Derek let himself fall back against the pillows, his eyes drifting closed. He could feel himself falling asleep and didn't so much decide to talk as not resist the urge. "It's safe here."
All sound in the room stopped. Derek forced his eyes open again, glancing over at Stiles. He looked shocked, but he wasn't hurt or in danger, despite the way his heart was racing. Derek grunted and turned over to finally get some sleep; any threat that Stiles had found could obviously wait until he'd gotten some rest.
"What is your problem?" It was accompanied by a hard shove, and Derek restrained himself from shoving back at Scott through sheer force of will. Nothing could've stopped the eye roll, though. All he'd wanted was a quiet afternoon with his couch and a book, but apparently that was too much to ask.
"I wasn't aware I had one." Derek flicked his eyes down to look at Scott and wondered just how long it would take before he grew out of making that particular grimace. Someone really should tell the kid that thrusting his jaw out like that made him look goofy, not threatening.
Scott growled and pushed him again, or at least tried to. Derek stepped out of the way, letting Scott fall and helping him along with a shove to the back. Springing back to his feet, Scott bared his fangs and said, "You need to leave Stiles alone!"
That took Derek aback, and he pushed Scott to the ground again as he leapt. "What's wrong with Stiles? Is something after him?"
"You've taken over his life! He never wants to hang out with us any more, and he's always researching something, and he always smells like you!" Derek fought against the urge to roll his eyes, then decided he really didn't care enough not to. "You can't have him!"
Derek didn't even bother to smack him down to the floor again, just stepped aside and let Scott slam into the wall. "Are you actually serious with this? You think I'm taking Stiles from you, really? Like anyone could."
The cracking as Scott set his broken shoulder back in place at least made him stop and think for a second. "You're trying to. You're always asking him for help or getting him to do research or sleeping in his bed - why aren't you with your girlfriend?”
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Derek said, "When's the last time you actually hung out with Stiles without Isaac there? Or Allison?"
Scott crossed his arms and said, "What's that got to do with anything?"
"Oh my God, Scott, really?" Derek had to fight hard not to slap the kid until his head exploded, or some neurons started firing. "You can't be this dense! He's your best friend, you've got to know something about him!"
"You don't know him! Stop acting like... Like..." Scott trailed off before mumbling, "You're even starting to sound like him."
With a sigh, Derek realized he was actually going to have to pass on some information, since obviously Stiles was, for once, not talking. At least, not to Scott. "Stiles thinks he's losing you. Because you're a dumbass that doesn't notice you're always with Isaac, and listening to him instead of Stiles. Oh, and let's not forget ditching Stiles to follow Allison like a stray cat, or spending your entire life talking about her eyelashes. I'll leave it up to you to figure out how much of that is a direct quote."
After a minute when the kid didn't say anything, Derek offered him a hand up. "Stiles is an amazing friend. You should remember that you're lucky to have him."
Stiffly, Scott said, "I know that."
"So stop blaming me for your mess and go show him that you know that," Derek said. "Because he's getting used to you not being around, and you're not going to have forever to have him spend all his time on you."
"You won't have him around to do your research, either." It was said defensively, but at least Scott was back to normal instead of still being wolfed out. "You should leave him alone now, so you get used to it before he leaves for college. Spend more time with Ms. Blake or something."
Now it was Derek that was flashing wolf eyes as he lost his last thread of patience. "What do you know about anything? None of this is any of your business."
Scott frowned, his mouth open to say something, but then he closed it quickly and started looking a little green. "Oh my God."
The sudden change had Derek looking at him sideways, wondering if maybe Scott needed more practice to deal with the mood swings the moon phases could bring. Not that he wanted to talk about it at the moment, since he apparently needed to work on not giving in to irritation. "Are we done here?"
"You really should stay away from him," Scott said weakly. "He and Lydia have been really getting along, they might get together."
Derek rolled his eyes. "Go home, Scott. You got what you came here for."
Not bothering to wait and see if he did, Derek walked off to sit on the couch, picking his book back up and ignoring Scott as he left. He couldn't believe how thoroughly wrong the kid was about Stiles. There was no way he'd ever get together with Lydia, not seriously. Lydia liked someone bossing her around, like Jackson had done, and Stiles just wouldn't be comfortable with that. What Stiles wanted was someone he could take care of, and Lydia would never let that be her.
Not to mention, Stiles didn't really smell like Derek. He always just smelled like himself.
Derek followed his nose into the kitchen, where he promptly buried his nose in the collar of Jennifer's oversized plaid shirt. "You smell amazing."
She stiffened and Derek stifled a groan. The past week had been a nonstop round of complaining about how he was failing as a boyfriend, that he didn't pay enough attention to her, that he wasn't doing enough to make her feel special. He'd figured that he owed it to her to make the effort, since she was there and it was what she wanted. It seemed like he'd screwed up again, without having the slightest idea how.
"This isn't my shirt," she said, flipping the burner off and pulling the frying pan off the stove. "I really didn't want to be one of those women, the ones that get paranoid and snoop through the boyfriend's cell phone, but... Seriously, you're seriously going with that you don't smell who this shirt belongs to?"
Sniffing again, he said, "It smells like bacon and me, mostly, but there's... Did you get a new perfume?"
With an expression somewhere between anger and disappointment, she turned to face him. The shirt was open over a dress, and he wondered why she was even wearing it. "This thing you've got going on - how long has it been going on, oh my God, and is he the only one? Do you realize I'm a mandatory reporter? I could lose my job if I don't tell someone about it!"
"About what?" He stepped back, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Really? You're still pretending like you have no idea?" She threw her arms out, waving them as she talked. "Did you think I wouldn't notice that we even look alike? One of the kids put a picture of him dressed in drag on the projector and the principal walked in and asked why I was wearing green sequins!"
Derek couldn't think of any significance to assign to the statement, but she was still pacing and ranting, so he kept his mouth shut and let her. If she was anything like Stiles, she'd wind down eventually and communicate in English; if not, at least maybe he'd get to catch something that made sense somewhere along the line.
"I thought it was kind of weird how you never sleep, but no, it's just you never sleep around me. You've never, not once, initiated anything - I plan our dates, I come to your place, I'm the one who has to take off both our clothes! You don't touch me unless I pretty much tackle you first, and I'm tired of it."
She stopped to look at him and her eyes softened. "I know you've been through a lot - God, we both have, and I know, I know that you're hurting, but don't you see that you're hurting me, too? Don't you want to be together?"
Hunching his shoulders, he said, "I don't understand--"
She gave a wordless cry of frustration and peeled off the shirt that started it all, throwing it to the ground and stomping on it. "I finally find a guy and it's not enough he's a werewolf, it's not enough that our first time involved black blood, no, of course not. Because I can't have nice things, no, and it turns out I can't even have crappy things that act like I'm a chore!"
"What is it you want?" It was too raw and he immediately regretted asking, because she stopped and looked at him with pity and disgust and he was instantly the same fifteen year old who was so desperate to please that his family burned.
"I want someone who wants me," she said, picking up her purse and her shoes. "I don't want to be just a substitute. Because, no, I didn't get a new perfume, which you should damn well know already."
Sweeping out, she slammed the door behind her and he could hear her stomping all the way down to her car. There was a long pause between the slam of the car door and when the engine finally started, but when it did he felt something inside him loosen. He'd felt responsible for her ever since he'd gotten her trapped in the school basement, but it was better for her, safer for her, to keep her distance.
Derek let out a deep breath and turned the stove back on. No sense wasting the bacon.
It was impossible not to tense up when Sheriff Stilinski parked his cruiser behind his car in the empty lot behind his building, and for a moment all Derek wanted to do was run away. It wouldn't help in the long run, though, and Stiles would've warned him if there was anything serious going on. Or, if he hadn't caught it early enough to warn him, then Stiles would be there to get him out, by whatever means necessary. Overall, just facing the man was the best option, and so Derek straightened up as he stepped back out of the Camaro and faced the sheriff.
"Derek Hale." It was a pleasant enough tone of voice, but it didn't make Derek feel any less nervous. "Just the man I wanted to see. You got a minute?"
Nodding, Derek said, "Did you want to come inside?"
Easily, as if completely relaxed and just having a pleasant conversation about the weather, the sheriff said, "Whatever's comfortable for you. I just needed to have a quiet word for you about a report I got concerning my son."
"Is Stiles okay?" Derek's hands flexed as he wondered whether it would be faster to run or take the car. "Where is he? He's supposed to be at practice."
"That answers the first question, since you do know him." The sheriff gave him a small smile that looked like he was baring fangs. "Enough to know his schedule and be concerned about him."
Tensing up further, Derek tried to think of something to say. "We're... friends. He and Scott and Isaac were talking yesterday about how practice today was scheduled to run extra long."
"I see." The sheriff was still and silent for a moment, looking at him as if measuring him up. "Do you? Because, I gotta tell you, I'm not even sure how you'd get to be on such familiar terms with a bunch of teenagers. I've never been really clear on how they met you in the first place."
"They were trespassing on my land," Derek said, leaving out that they'd promptly accused him of murder. The sheriff already knew, and it was probably better not to remind him. "Is there--"
The sheriff cut him off with, "The county took over that land, so try again."
"It's my land," Derek snapped. "The paperwork's been filed to reverse the county's decision, and there's a lawyer that Sti-- that I hired to make sure this time things are aboveboard."
Pursing his lips, the sheriff rocked back on his heels. "That'd explain what he was doing in the county records office."
Derek wasn't sure how to counter that without giving Stiles away more than he had. He'd specifically asked that his dad not find out he'd helped Derek prepare paperwork that would lead to a lawsuit against the county that paid the sheriff's salary, and now Derek had put his foot in it. While he was thinking and the sheriff just stared at him with that teeth-baring smile, Derek heard the rattle of a familiar engine and wasn't sure whether he felt relieved or even more nervous.
The Jeep rocketed into the small parking area with a squeal of the brakes, and Stiles was spilling out before the car was even turned off. "Dad! Dad, why are you here?"
"For starters, because the age of consent in the state of California is eighteen."
Derek choked on thin air, his eyes wide as he coughed and tried to get his breath back. Looking at the sheriff in horror, he croaked, "They're just kids!"
"Oh my God, Dad, seriously? You could not be further off base if you were on another planet!" Stiles tried to slap Derek's back but he shrank away from the touch and moved to put some distance between them. "Seriously, you couldn't have talked to me about this?"
Jaw tight, the sheriff said, "No, I can't ask you, because you've been lying to me and I don't know for how long, but if it's related to some bastard using you--"
"There's no using! It's nothing like what you're thinking, Dad, geez." Derek could practically see Stiles's brain turning, trying to think of a completely legitimate reason for everything that had gone on.
The problem was that Derek couldn't think of a single one, and now that the possibility of someone thinking he was some kind of child molester had come up, he really needed things to be cleared up, immediately. "Stiles, you need to tell him. Now."
He went back inside, but they followed him instead of leaving. The elevator ride seemed endless, with Stiles continually opening his mouth and then closing it again. The sheriff kept him pinned with a look that reminded Derek eerily of his own mother.
As soon as they crossed the threshold of the apartment, the sheriff's eyes focused on the shirt Jennifer had left, which was now hanging from a hook near the door. "Why is your shirt here?" Derek looked between Stiles and the shirt, trying to sniff discreetly to work out whether the it actually smelled like him. He was too far away to really tell.
"I must have left it," Stiles said with a shrug. "Or Scott did, since he's started borrowing my clothes. Even Allison's ended up wearing some of my shirts."
"I'm a werewolf," Derek blurted out, because he really didn't want to think about what Stiles's dad thought about him having casually taken off his shirt there, let alone Allison and/or Scott. The sheriff gave him an unimpressed look and Derek let the transformation take him, although he kept his mouth closed and his hands down. No sense emphasizing the dangerous aspects.
They were still the parts the sheriff focused on, looking from his claws curled into his hands to the fangs peeking out of his mouth. "All those animal attacks?"
"Not Derek!" Stiles practically dove in between them, holding his arms out as if blocking a player in basketball. "Other werewolves. Bad werewolves. Derek's a good guy!"
The sheriff looked between the two of them and then sat down, his hands held loosely as he rested his elbows on his knees. "The two of you are going to start talking. From the beginning, leaving nothing out."
It took a while, for all that Stiles was talking a mile a minute. Derek let him, only interrupting when he started getting off track and looking horrified at what was coming out of his own mouth. Finally they'd covered everything - the sheriff wouldn't allow any omissions - and Stiles wound down. After a quiet moment, the sheriff said, "And what about today? Why did you come here today?"
"Scott heard Ms. Blake when she was calling you, and I knew you'd get the wrong idea," Stiles said. "Scott got the wrong idea, and he knows better."
"I can't believe-- Why would she do that, how could she say that?" Running a hand through his hair and tugging at it enough to hurt, Derek said, "Sure, you're going to break hearts when you grow up, but you're a kid. I would never even think about a kid that way!"
"I know," Stiles said, and when Derek looked at him for confirmation his smile was lopsided. "You're actually a pretty good person."
Clearing his throat, the sheriff said, "Stiles, wait for me at home. You're not leaving the house unless I tell you to from now until you go to college, or until I can deal with the fact that you've been lying to me about things that affect my job and your safety."
"Dad, that's--" One look at his dad's face and Stiles cut himself off and coughed. "Fair, that's very fair. Yes. Extremely fair. You've always been known for your... fairness. To everybody."
The sheriff sat calmly as Stiles backed out of the room, still looking at them with suspicion. Derek started to feel antsy as the silence stretched on, until finally the sheriff said, "Is he really gone? You can check with the super hearing, right?"
With a nod, Derek said, "The Jeep's already at the corner."
"Good." That was the closest thing to a warning that Derek got before he felt a jolt of screaming pain and looked down to see blood welling out of his thigh.
Still completely calm, the sheriff put the gun back in his ankle holster and said, "That's for being involved in my son being endangered. Count yourself lucky that I don't empty the clip into you instead of finishing it out at the range."
Derek swore and then bit down on his lip as he used his claws to try to dig the slug out of his thigh. "Understood." And he did; if he'd had someone he didn't trust sit there and explain how they'd allowed Stiles, or any pack member, to get hurt and to hide it for months, he'd have ripped them apart with his claws. He'd have expected a punch from the sheriff if Stiles hadn't demonstrated, with a little too much enthusiasm, just how little effect a punch would have. He'd been shaking his hand for long enough that Derek had sent him to the kitchen to get ice for it.
"Then you'll understand me when I say that if you ever let my son get seriously hurt, I'll start at your knees and keep you so full of lead that you'll bleed out before you can even think of healing."
Grimacing as he finally got the bullet out, Derek said, "If I ever let him get hurt like that, I'd let you."
"Just so long as we understand each other." The sheriff stood and held out his hand. "You can call me John."
Hastily wiping off the blood from his fingers on his t-shirt, Derek shook his hand and ducked his head. "Yes, si-- John. I promise I'll look after Stiles. And the others."
"I know you will. And, if it's ever a matter of saving his life, you'll turn him into a werewolf no matter what he says about it." He waited for Derek to nod in agreement and nodded back, like a general acknowledging a soldier in his command. "Come to dinner tomorrow. We can talk about any other expectations over steaks."
"You're not allowed red meat," Derek said automatically. Stiles had repeated it often enough, especially when he'd had Derek sniffing to check whether his dad had cheated on his diet.
With a slashing grin, the sheriff said, "Oh, no. The era of salads is over - I've finally got something on the kid."
Derek felt completely lost, but the sheriff just clapped a hand on his shoulder and said, "Good talk, son. See you tomorrow."
If the coffee at the station got any shittier, Derek was going to have to find a witch to investigate whether there was some evil spirit preventing anything drinkable being made in the building. He'd have gone to Starbucks if he hadn't sworn off unnecessary expenses, but trying to rebuild his nest egg after the amount he'd had to spend on the house and the academy was a slow process. Even after he'd finished POST and been hired on as a deputy, he'd kept taking classes whenever John or Stiles pointed out which ones were available at the local college. He'd thought the SWAT course was overkill, but he'd given in rather than go through the Powerpoint on why it would be useful that Stiles had emailed him.
He was glaring balefully at his cup and wondering whether he could cut back somewhere else - maybe he didn't actually need furniture - when John clapped him on the back. "Come on, you're riding with me."
"Where?" Derek was already on the move, grabbing his jacket and the keys to the cruiser.
"Just need to be extra cautious with this pickup." John slid into the driver's seat and raised his eyebrows. Derek didn't even bother to grumble before handing the keys over.
He zoned out during the drive, keeping his senses open for threats but not paying attention to conversation or where they were going. It wasn't until they stopped that he looked around. "The airport?"
"Stiles got an early flight home." John grinned and said, "Go on, make sure we don't miss him. I'll park and join you in a minute."
While he wondered why Stiles hadn't mentioned the possibility of coming home early when they'd talked over the weekend, he wasn't about to question it. It'd been three years since Stiles had been home, too wrapped up in his plan to get through college in three years to take any breaks from the college of magic that he'd found in Georgia. Even if what it said on his diploma was "advanced metaphysics."
It wasn't hard to find the gate, and he didn't have to wait long for the passengers to start pouring out. He was craning his neck, trying to spot a plaid shirt somewhere in the crowd, when a guy in hipster glasses waved and Derek automatically checked him out before going back to the guy's smile and realizing that it was completely familiar.
Holy crap, the guy was hot. The guy was Stiles. Stiles had become hot. He was in no way prepared for this development.
"Hey! I called Dad and Scott, I didn't think you'd be showing up." Stiles grinned and bumped his shoulder against Derek's before gesturing toward the baggage claim. "Just as well, you'll need the super-strength to get the bags."
"Exactly why I brought him." John stepped up and clapped Derek on the shoulder before holding his arms out for a hug from Stiles. Derek sidled away, letting them have their reunion in private while he took some time to consider the new information that Stiles was, in fact, hotter than the last five people he'd dated, male and female. A call to his therapist might be in order - and at least with this, he wouldn't have to figure out how to talk around being a werewolf - but first he'd have to ride home with John and Stiles in the same car and somehow not have John shoot him. The man had wolfsbane bullets now, and still had the highest scores on the range of anyone at the station.
Getting the bags was easy enough, although it was a bit distressing to realize just how much he liked the scent of Stiles even as he used it to make sure he got the right bags. Had he always smelled that good?
"Oh. Oh." The thing with Jennifer and the shirt made so much more sense now. And... Crap. He might have to send her some apology flowers or something. And then take about five million showers in a row to try to stop feeling slimy as his mind flashed involuntarily to whether he could find a picture of Stiles in the green sequinned dress he'd apparently worn.
Maybe he could call in a bomb threat to the airport. Sure, they'd find him and send him to jail, but in the meantime it'd be a halfway decent excuse to get out of riding home with the Stilinskis. The main problem was that he'd have to deal with John's disappointed look, just like when he'd held back so he wouldn't set a record on the obstacle course at the academy. The disappointed face was brutal.
By the time they pulled up in front of the sheriff's place, Derek wished he'd gone for it, since the looks of unholy glee and amusement were much, much worse. Stiles had talked the entire way, only needing the occasional confirmation to keep going, and Derek hadn't been able to stop looking at him. He'd try, end up catching John's smirk in the rearview, look away, and then somehow his eyes would drift from the moving scenery back to Stiles. At least he didn't seem to notice.
The instant they let him out of the back of the cruiser, he hauled all of the suitcases to the house and threw them on the porch before jumping behind the wheel. He could deal with this, he could, he just needed time to get his mind straight. In order. Functional.
Finishing up the paperwork he'd left behind killed a few hours, and he considered wasting some time in the grocery store before he decided to just get takeout on the way home and hide for a while, reconsidering his life. It might have gotten infinitely better in years since John had informed him that he was becoming a police officer and started calling him son, but apparently he could still find ways to completely screw himself up.
The air in his house smelled empty and stale as he walked in, as it usually did, and it took him a moment to realize that it had been moved, by someone who knew how to cover their tracks. His eyes glowed as he moved through the house, unsnapping the holster for his service pistol but leaving it sheathed until he could figure out if it was a case for bullets or claws. The ground floor was clear, and the only door closed upstairs was his bedroom.
The scent of Stiles hit him like a hammer when he opened the door, but it was nothing compared to the sleepy-eyed smile he got when Stiles lifted his head off the pillows. "You have no idea how much I missed having a pillow that smelled like you. I couldn't sleep for a month when I got to school."
"What are you--"
"It's safe here," Stiles said, his eyelashes sweeping down in a long blink.
Derek's gut twisted and all he could think was, Even then? Did he know?
Sitting up, Stiles pulled his knees up to his chin and wrapped his arms around his legs. "I thought about waiting naked, but I decided that it would give you the wrong idea."
It would give him a lot of ideas, actually, most of which were expanded, technicolor versions of the ones he'd been having ever since he saw Stiles at the airport. He was about to ask why Stiles had decided against them, so it was just as well that he was completely incapable of forming words. Breathing deeply to try to calm down did nothing to help; it just brought more distraction as he breathed Stiles in.
"You should probably know that I love you," Stiles said. "And it's not just being in love with you, it's the whole thing, where I actually know you and want what's best for you, so. If you ever want me that way, we'll give it a try, and if you don't we'll still be safe for each other and friends is probably the best word for it. Just, y'know, if you're not interested that way, maybe you can just sleep when I'm not there, since I don't trust myself not to do something ridiculous like just watch you and that's just not who I want to be. That guy is not a good guy."
"It wasn't the same, over the phone," Derek said, his throat tight. "When you won't stop talking. It wasn't the same."
With a sad, lopsided smile, Stiles stood up and said, "Yeah, I get it. It's okay - I just thought... I just wanted to tell you, at least once."
"No, wait, Stiles!" He put a hand up automatically to stop him, and Stiles looked at him quizzically.
"Seriously, you don't need to make me feel better, you've got every right to make your choices." Stiles was trying to get past him to the door, and Derek closed it firmly. He didn't quite lean against it to hold it shut, but it was close. "Okay, but... Yeah, I don't know, I'm lost. You're going to have to find a way to communicate what's going on."
That startled a small laugh out of him. "Use my words?"
Stiles laughed too, and it gave Derek the courage to try to speak. "I'm not... I wasn't prepared, I didn't know. You were a kid, but you were still so important. To me."
"You're important to me, too," Stiles said, holding himself still and apart even though he was smiling. "That's never going to change."
Carefully, Derek reached out to brush his thumb over the moles he hadn't thought of as sexy before that day. He wanted to say something to reassure Stiles, something that could express the confused tangle of trust and want and guilt and home that he was feeling. "God, you smell so fucking good."
"Gonna eat me all up?" The cocky tilt of the eyebrow and the self-satisfied grin were enough to completely end Derek's ability to verbalize anything, and he closed the distance to pull Stiles into a kiss, chaste and slow and so fucking sweet that Derek thought his heart might stop.
It stayed that way for about two heartbeats, until Stiles let out a moan like Derek was the best thing he's ever tasted, and it drove Derek wild. With no further hesitation he had his hands roaming all over Stiles, pushing at his clothes, all the while biting his lip and running his tongue over his jaw, going crazy with knowing that Stiles wanted him just as much. His back hit the wall as Stiles pushed against him, tugging his shirt so he could slide his hands underneath the hem.
Gasping between kisses, Stiles said, "I had no idea I had a uniform kink until I saw you in one."
"Glasses," Derek moaned out, wrapping his hands around his ass and squeezing. "Gonna fuck you while you're wearing them. Just them."
"Good to kno-- oh, oh my God, oh my God, Derek!" His voice cracked as Derek shoved a hand down the front of his pants, wrapping his hand around his cock and squeezing. "Oh, fuck me, you're not even naked yet, why aren't you naked?"
Derek grinned against his collarbone and said, "Maybe I'm shy."
He ended up pushed harder against the wall, with Stiles burying his tongue in his mouth and pressing their bodies together from chest to knee. When Stiles finally broke the kiss, panting, he said, "Your smile is a wet dream come true, and if you don't take your clothes off right now, I'm going to blow you anyway and see if your smile gets even sweeter after you come."
"Fuck." Derek didn't think he'd ever been as hard and desperate in his life, and he was gasping as Stiles stripped off his duty belt and dropped it to the side before rubbing his knuckles over his clothed cock. "My-- Stiles!"
"I like that." It was a purr delivered against his skin before Stiles nipped his collarbone, kissing and sucking until a livid bruise bloomed under his lips. "Your Stiles."
Closing his eyes, Derek sank his claws into his own palms in a desperate effort not to come just from the sound of that. He wanted everything, wanted to have Stiles above him and riding him for hours, underneath him for a hard, desperate rut, sprawled out on the bed for a slow, easy fuck, his mouth on his ear and whispering hoarsely what he intended to do. He would have started on the list right then and there if it wasn't for Stiles still holding him, one hand working Derek's cock while the other was laid gently against his shoulder. Stiles kept kissing him, hot and wet and punctuated with teasing little bites to his jaw and murmurs of how good he was, how beautiful, like this, please, love you, love you, love you.
Derek couldn't even think of being embarrassed when he came too quickly because Stiles was still there with him, bringing his hand up to his mouth with a dazed smile. Reaching for him was automatic, but Stiles shook his head and tugged at his shirt. It suddenly seemed ridiculous they were both still mostly dressed and Derek laughed before cradling Stiles's face between his palms and kissing him softly.
They made it to the bed in stages, stopping to strip off their clothes, to kiss and to touch. Derek had never thought of sex and laughing as something that would go together, but it made everything so much more intense that he felt winded when he looked at Stiles and saw his eyes dancing. It wasn't the most coordinated sex he'd ever had, or the most athletic, but somehow it ended up wiping out any comparisons because it was him and it was Stiles and there was nothing he'd ever wanted more than being clumsy and giggling and not having it matter one bit.
Stiles fell asleep at the end, his eyes drifting shut in the middle of a blink, and Derek hesitated before deciding he could hold him, that he was allowed. Stiles would tell him if he did anything wrong - when he did anything wrong, because he inevitably would, sooner or later - and still like him enough to talk to him. Stiles was safe, and Derek let himself fall asleep with his nose against the nape of his neck, breathing in the familiar scent of comfort and closeness and home.