1. Stiles was never, ever, ever helping Fairies ever again. Ever.
Stiles liked to think he was a nice guy. He liked to think that he was decent, and that if someone came to him for help, he would help them. It was one of those things he’d grown up doing, probably the sheriff’s influence if he was honest. It was why he couldn’t stop himself from protecting people even when they told him not to.
Especially when they told him not to.
Most especially if they were named Derek Hale and had a penchant for being a self-sacrificing idiot, because if someone had to go and risk their life in the heat of battle, it would be someone named Derek Hale.
It was kind of a problem. Stiles had debated whether or not he should look up all the Derek Hales of the world and call them up to confirm they were doing okay. Clearly it was a problem.
Stiles didn’t particularly like Fairies. They were sneaky little motherfuckers, and they kept trying to trick people into eternal servitude. Anyone who’d seen Peter Pan should know that Tinkerbell was a little bitch, and unfortunately for the population at large, that wasn’t made up. Fairies were evil, and they played dirty.
But Scott, big old lovable buddy of his, was a softie. And because he was a softie, that inevitably had Stiles following along to make sure he wouldn’t—Stiles didn’t even know. Get his intestines used in a soup or something. So of course, if Stiles showed concern, that meant Isaac would show concern. And if Isaac was going, then of course Erica was going. And if Erica was determined to venture out into the unknown, Boyd was most certainly going to follow. Which always led to Cora following, and eventually, Derek.
Because their pack was stupid that way, apparently. The whole pack showed up for a one person job, but in Stiles’ defence, that always ended up being a relatively good thing because Scott always got into trouble. His big, dumb heart always got his big, dumb body into dangerous positions and who was the big, dumb person who got Scott out of a bind?
Stiles. Stiles was a big, dumb person. Not that he was big. Or dumb. He was actually quite smart. Salutatorian and everything. And okay, he wasn’t big, but like, he’d started lifting weights! He was filling out! Weighed at least one-seventy now, and most of that was muscle!
Okay, maybe just one-sixty.
One-fifty-five, and a portion of that was the Cheetos.
The point was: Scott went out to the Preserve to help a Fairy, Stiles followed, the pack trailed along, and Derek had a saviour complex or something. Self-sacrificing motherfucker.
Stiles only had enough energy for one big, dumb idiot in his life, and Scott was there first. Though Derek was bigger. Not dumber though, Stiles would never suggest he was dumber. Derek was actually quite smart, he could quip back like nobody’s business, it was why he was Stiles’ favourite person to verbally spar with.
Him and Peter. Occasionally Cora.
He had a thing for attractive, quippy Hales, it was a problem. He was handling it.
But back to his big, dumb friend Scott, who’d gone into the Preserve to talk to the Fairies, because of course he did. And Stiles, being the bestest bro to ever bro in the history of forever, had followed along to ensure Scott wouldn’t stupidly offer them his name, or his Alpha powers, or his—intestines, whatever!
So that was how Stiles found himself trudging dejectedly through muddy, rain-sodden ground during his one real weekend off, following Scott through the Preserve into what he sure as shit hoped wasn’t a Fairy Ring.
He knew not to eat or drink anything, so he had that going for him. And not to offer his name. Though he didn’t know how that worked. If he gave them Stiles, did that just make him Mieczyslaw forever? He felt tempted to test it...
No, don’t test it, he reminded himself for probably the seventh time in as many minutes. You do not want to be Mieczyslaw forever! It’s not worth the experiment!
Shame, really. It’d have been a nice experiment.
“I don’t know why you insisted on coming,” Scott said, pushing aside some branches and ducking under them. He let them go once he’d passed, Stiles’ head jerking back when he got hit in the face.
The branch had barely missed hitting him in the mouth, which would’ve given him a fat lip, and he was so not lending Scott his Biology notes after his friend almost hit him in the face. Rude.
“To keep your dumb ass out of trouble,” Stiles informed him, ducking under a much larger branch and coming up beside Scott while they continued to make their way further into the wooded area.
“I’m not going to get into trouble,” Scott argued. “I’m the Alpha, remember?”
Stiles just turned to give him a tired look. “You’re one of two Alphas in this pack, and you need to stop using that as your get-out-of-jail-free card for every dumb decision you’ve ever made. Would you like a list? I have a list.” Stiles reached into his pocket to pull out his phone. “I can list off your dumb decisions in alphabetical order, chronological order, or severity.”
Scott just rolled his eyes, but Stiles was dead serious, stumbling after him with his phone in one hand, other using his index finger to scroll through the list.
“I’m serious, Scotty. See this one? This one is, ‘I told Scott he was a Werewolf and he ignored me and went to a house party where he almost killed people.’”
“I did not almost kill people,” Scott insisted, somewhat quietly.
“Oh, what about this one? ‘Scott went out with that girl I told him was a Succubus and almost got the life drained out of him.’”
“You had no proof!” Scott argued.
“‘Scott joins a new club at school comprised entirely of Hunters trying to kill him and ignores my repeated attempts to knock some sense into him.’”
“They said they were an anime club!”
Stiles hastily grabbed the back of Scott’s jacket, yanking hard enough to almost have them both fall on their asses. He managed to keep his footing and Scott regained his relatively quickly as well, a slow exhale escaping the human.
“Scott almost walks into a fucking Fairy Ring.”
“When did I do that?” Scott asked, completely oblivious.
Stiles stared at him. “Seriously? Why are we friends?” He sighed and added that to his list while walking wide around the Fairy Ring Scott had literally been about to step in. Seriously, it was doubtful Scott would’ve survived past the third grade without Stiles.
“I’m surprised you’re not the one to walk into it.”
Letting out an almost over-dramatic shout and whipping around, arms flailing slightly, Stiles was met with the very unimpressed features of one Derek Hale, self-sacrificing Werewolf extraordinaire.
Stiles should make T-shirts.
“How much coffee have you had?” Derek asked with a sigh, moving through the trees to join them.
“Why, you the coffee police? You gonna police my coffee now?”
“If depriving you of coffee has you shut up every now and then, I’d be willing to steal the entire coffee supply from the store,” Derek offered easily.
Stiles punched him, which did nothing to Derek, and probably broke Stiles’ hand. Ow.
He didn’t take offense to it though, because he knew Derek didn’t mean it. They had a weird but awesome friendship. Ever since that fateful day where Stiles had been unwillingly coerced into cutting off Derek’s arm, it was like friendship at first almost-dismemberment. Ah, the memories. Followed by many, many other memories.
Thankfully all lacking the aforementioned unwilling coercion involving removal of body parts. Stiles was still so glad he hadn’t been forced to go through with that, he had enough nightmares without adding ‘cut off one of my best friend’s arms to stop a wolfsbane bullet from killing him’ to that repertoire.
Not that Derek was one of his best friends back then but, details.
Not that Derek believed himself to be one of Stiles’ best friends but again, details.
“What kind of unnecessary hero complex endeavour have you dragged us into this time?” Derek asked, following along beside Stiles at a leisurely, almost bored pace.
“You’re the one with the hero complex,” Scott shot back, never one for a good comeback.
“Derek’s got more of a saviour complex,” Stiles argued.
“What’s the difference?” Scott asked, sounding genuinely curious.
“Well a hero complex is more about doing a good thing and wanting recognition for it, whereas a saviour complex is being a self-sacrificing idiot who basically throws himself head-first into danger without any thought to the consequences.”
“Sounds more like you,” Derek said, Scott humming his agreement.
Stiles let out an affronted sound, slapping at Derek’s back, and succeeding in absolutely nothing. Seriously, Werewolves were so unfair.
“Where are the rest of the puppies?” Stiles asked instead.
“Coming,” Derek offered. “They were out, so they’re heading back now. Allison’s busy. Lydia passed.”
“Probably for the best, I don’t think it’s possible to traipse around in this mud in heels.” Stiles squinted down at the ground beneath his feet. “So it just occurred to me.”
“Hm?” Derek asked.
“I can see really well.”
Stiles turned to glance at Derek over his shoulder. “Uh, no dude. I can see really well. It is one in the morning, there is no moon, and in case you’ve forgotten, I am human.”
Derek grabbed his arm instantly, wrenching him closer like he thought Stiles was about to make a break for it. Shockingly, slamming into a solid wall of muscle was not as romantic as trashy novels made it sound. It hurt. It was like slamming into a brick wall. Nothing sexy about a brick wall.
Unless it was distinctly Derek shared, but still, painful. Very painful.
“Scott, stop moving,” Derek ordered sharply, eyes slowly beginning to bleed red while he looked around.
Scott, bless him, actually stopped.
Oh sure, he’d listen to Derek when Derek told him to stop, but Stiles told him he was a Werewolf and Scott took that as an invitation to go to a party. Life was so unfair.
Stiles wasn’t bitter, not at all!
“What is it?” Scott asked, sounding crossed between annoyed and confused.
“You said a Fairy came asking you for help,” Derek said, still looking around alertly.
“Yeah, she said it was important and that her life depended on me coming by to help her.”
And Scott thought he didn’t have a hero complex. Stiles wanted to laugh, but he was pretty sure Derek’s pectoral had broken his fucking jaw.
“What did she say exactly? Did she mention any kind of ritual?”
“No.” Scott was frowning at him. “Well, maybe? She was speaking Latin at one point, but she said it was really important.”
“We have to go,” Derek turned and started dragging Stiles along with him. “We have to go right now.”
“Apparently whether I want to or not!” Stiles said loudly, because he was pretty sure Derek was attempting to dislocate his arm, but whatever. No big deal, he didn’t need that arm later anyway. Not like it was his writing arm. Or his teeth-brushing arm. Or his masturbating arm.
Okay, to be fair, he could do that last one with both hands. He was very practised at it.
“What’s happening?” Scott demanded, catching up to them quickly.
The two Werewolves were walking exceptionally fast, Derek practically dragging Stiles along behind him because not everyone had the ability to walk that quickly, thank you very much, Derek Hale!
“I’ve read about situations like this before,” Derek said, eyes still crimson and shifting rapidly from side to side, as if he expected Tinkerbell to fly out of nowhere and attack his face. “A Fairy will find a power source and lure it into a large area, trap it there, and the Court will converge to begin the ueneris amare lasciuiam ritum.”
Scott mouthed the words soundlessly, but Stiles just squinted at the back of Derek’s head, wondering if he’d misheard him.
“Dude, doesn’t that literally translate into ‘mating ritual’?”
“So this is a huge orgy, is what you’re saying?” Stiles asked. “That doesn’t sound so bad.”
Sure, Stiles wasn’t exactly interested in doing the dirty with a bunch of Fairies if he could help it, but hey, could be worse!
Derek turned to glare at him. “Once the ritual is complete, they eat you.”
Of course. Because why would anything Supernatural-related have some form of happy ending? What was he thinking?
“We need to do something, we can’t just leave, if they’re planning this now with us, and we just walk away, what’s to stop them from trying with someone else?” Scott demanded, even as Derek kept tugging Stiles faster.
Was it just him, or was it getting really bright? Shit, were they trapped in some kind of dome or something? Was he going to start hallucinating happy things to pop a boner? Because that would get super awkward with the object of his spank bank literally dragging him by the arm right now.
“The ritual is once a year, so as long as we get out of here, we can deal with the situation later.” Derek was still looking around quickly, but Stiles could tell he was anxious. His wolfish features were slowly beginning to take over his face, and his grip was painfully tight.
“Is it getting hot?” Stiles asked. “I’m getting hot.”
“You’re not getting hot,” Derek snapped, but it sounded more distressed than anything else. “Stop being hot.”
“Oh yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that,” Stiles said dryly, stumbling over a branch and almost falling on his face.
Derek’s hold on his arm tugged him upright but Stiles didn’t stay that way for long, because he realized he hadn’t tripped over a branch.
Something had grabbed his ankle.
He looked over his shoulder and let out an embarrassingly high-pitched scream.
“Demon Fairy! Demon Fairy!”
Derek whipped around and cursed, then promptly kicked at the literally hideous being that had latched onto Stiles’ leg. It was a good kick, Stiles would have to ask him if he’d ever played football, because that would’ve gone right through the goal posts.
“Move!” Derek yanked Stiles back to his feet—mostly—and they began to run, Scott keeping pace beside them.
Stiles knew they could both run much faster, but were probably staying close for his benefit.
“Why was there a Demon Fairy?!” Stiles demanded.
“Don’t waste oxygen talking,” Derek snapped. “Just run!”
Stiles let out another shout and flailed when something tackled Derek from the side, the Werewolf crashing through a tree. Literally, right through the tree. Timber and everything.
“Stiles!” Scott shoved him out of the way when the tree Derek had downed groaned and fell right where Stiles had been standing, the ground shaking and making him lose his footing. He landed hard on his ass, feeling the pain slam through his tailbone, and then hastily scrambled back to his feet.
Something jumped on his back, and Stiles let out a shout, doing a weird sort of dance while trying to reach over his shoulder.
“Get it off! Get it off! I don’t want any Fairy babies! I’d make a terrible father!”
Scott was beside him in seconds, snarling and slashing at the Fairy. Stiles was sure he hadn’t killed it, because Scott would never hurt anyone, even if they were trying to eat his best friend. His moral compass was weird that way.
He did get it off him though, and Stiles flailed spastically to be sure it was gone before rushing to find Derek. He was on his back on the ground, struggling to keep a Demon Fairy away from his face. It was snarling and snapping its hideous jaws inches from his throat, claws scratching insistently at Derek’s arms, causing lines of broken flesh to form before his healing kicked in, only for the lines to appear again.
Stiles grabbed a heavy branch off the ground, hurried to Derek, and swung like the whole game was riding on his home run. The Fairy sailed off Derek with an almost comical squeal.
As in, it’d be comical in less dire circumstances, but currently, less funny. Stiles would laugh about it later.
Depended on if he was in jail for killing Scott or not.
Just another thing to add to his list. Scott’s idiotic acceptance of mating with Fairies who wanted to eat him afterwards.
At least Stiles hadn’t been entirely wrong about the intestines thing.
“You okay?” Stiles reached down to grab one of Derek’s hands to help him up.
Honestly, he wasn’t sure if he’d landed on top of Derek at that point, because the last thing he remembered was his name being shouted, and then pain, and then blackness. Given his life since he was sixteen years old, he was actually quite accustomed to the whole pain and blackness thing after so many times experiencing it. He didn’t particularly like it, but well, he was used to it, at any rate.
The upside to the black void of nothingness that was unconsciousness meant he didn’t feel the pain anymore. The downside was he never knew if the inky blackness would dissipate and he’d wake up again.
So far, he was one-hundred and seventy-seven strong on the waking up thing. Come one, one-seventy-eight! Lucky one-seventy-eight! Bring it!
When he felt the dull ache of terrible bruising along his face as consciousness slowly began to return to him, he did a mental fist-pump at one-seventy-eight. Not today, Satan! Still plenty more days of him almost dying ahead of him.
Though when he woke up feeling this shitty, sometimes he did wish he could maybe... not. Or at least wake up a few days later with the pain at a more tolerable level. To be fair, he was sure a lot of his pain had been taken away already so that meant it was bad. Shit, his face was probably purple.
If Stiles had to go to class on Tuesday with a purple face, he was going to tattoo a dick onto Scott’s forehead, and then blowtorch that fucker so it actually stuck around.
The more consciousness began to creep up on him, the worse he felt and he couldn’t help the whine that escaped him at the various aches and pains he felt along his body. On the bright side, the fact that he felt said aches and pains meant he was, one, not dead, and two, not eaten. So, upside. There was an upside.
On the downside... pain. Lots of pain. So much of the pain. Owie.
Stiles shifted on the soft mattress beneath him, every muscle in his body protesting the movement, and forced his eyes to open. It was way too bright for his liking, even though he could tell the lights were off and it was barely dawn outside. Great, concussion then, he was sure. Excellent.
Groaning, Stiles managed to roll onto his side in the large bed, feeling the scratchy itch of gauze along various areas of exposed skin, a huge contrast to the soft cotton of the blanket covering him. He managed to force himself to sit up, eyes barely slits while he took in his surroundings.
He recognized the side table, since he was the one to buy it, because Derek didn’t know how to furnish a living space. At least it was an upgrade from the old, dilapidated Hale house with no plumbing.
Seriously, no plumbing. Stiles had never been brave enough to ask what Derek did to shower. Probably just went to the lake in the Preserve and bathed there like a man of the wild. Seriously, old Derek was weird. Stiles much preferred normal, current Derek, who owned a loft and bought groceries and had a toilet and everything. With plumbing!
Stiles let one hand slide along the sheets beneath him, back and forth, back and forth. He just sat there, in the middle of Derek’s empty bed, blankets pooled around his waist and hand enjoying the smooth feel of the bedsheet beneath it.
Closing his eyes, because it was easier than keeping them open, he could hear the distinct sound of the spiral metal stairs creaking. It didn’t matter how quiet Derek was, if his surroundings betrayed him, even a puny human like Stiles could tell when he was coming.
“You’re up,” Derek informed him, as if Stiles weren’t perfectly aware of this.
“You’re observant,” was his witty retort.
“You’re cranky,” Derek said in response, and Stiles felt the bed dip, the Werewolf having taken a seat beside him. “How do you feel?”
“Well, I know I’m not dead,” Stiles offered him. “I don’t think being dead is supposed to hurt so much.”
“Cheerful as always.”
“You know me. Mr. Comedy.”
Stiles couldn’t help the snort that escaped him and immediately let out a displeased sound when it hurt—everything. It literally hurt everything.
Fairies were fucking mean.
Demon Fairies? Whatever.
He felt Derek’s hand slide into his hair and almost groaned in relief when he felt some of the aches and pains along his shoulders and head dissipate. After the pain turned into a dull, throbbing ache, Derek’s hand slid down to the back of his neck, and further to the middle of his back before he pulled at Stiles’ pain again, a soft sigh escaping him.
“Scott?” he asked while Derek continued to let his hand move around, stealing various aches and pains as best he could. Stiles loved him more and more with each subsequent pain suck.
“He’s fine. Helping the pack get rid of the Fairies.”
“They only look like that on ritual nights.”
“You’re an idiot.”
When Derek’s hand slowly retreated, Stiles almost whined but managed not to be that pathetic. Instead, he just found solace in the amount of pain he no longer felt, and gingerly shifted so he could lie back down. He was only wearing his boxers, and the amount of gauze he felt against his skin proved the Fairies had not won their fight easily with him.
“I thought you said they ate after the mating.” Stiles managed to peek open one eye. “They better not have run off with my virtue.”
“What virtue?” Derek rolled his eyes, but Stiles could tell how relieved he was. His shoulders were still a little tense, but his face was relaxed, and it was obvious he was glad Stiles was okay. Big softie, he was such a marshmallow.
“Hardee har, you’re hilarious.” Stiles flopped one hand at him in silent insistence for him to get on with it, closing his eyes once more.
“They were using their claws to try and drag us back to the centre of the ritual. Scott and I healed.”
“Of course you did.” Stiles resisted the urge to lift the blankets and check that little Stiles was still there in one piece. It was a near thing, but he managed. “Did you get a new mattress?”
“Yeah, other one was getting old. And had a lot of blood stains. It was starting to smell.”
“Gross,” Stiles offered, settling more comfortably in the bed. “I like this one. It’s comfortable.”
“Try not to bleed all over it then.”
Derek said nothing, and Stiles figured he’d left again, because that was something Derek would do. He was very Batman like that, disappearing when Stiles wasn’t looking, so it wouldn’t have surprised him.
He started to feel unconsciousness take him once more, the easing of his pain making it easier for him to start passing out again, and he was almost there when he felt fingers raking through his hair again. He let out a soft hum at the feel of nails against his scalp, the action almost soothing, and more of his headache and the pain in his face bleeding out of him.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” Derek said.
Stiles passed out before his brain could come up with a suitable response.
2. Stiles much preferred it when his insides remained inside. If they were meant to be outside, they would be called his outsides.
It needed to be formally known that, as usual, none of this entire situation was his fault. Like, at all. This was not his fault. He knew that sometimes he did things that he shouldn’t, and got himself into situations he’d rather not—like, say, looking for a dead body in the woods and having his best friend turn into a Werewolf. Yeah, totally his bad.
Well, Peter’s bad, really, but irrelevant! Point was, Stiles was well aware that sometimes, he got himself into the messes he ended up in.
This, though? No. This was—he was not taking the blame on this one. No way. This was not his fault! This had Scott written all over it! Scott and his stupid big, fat bleeding heart! He’d basically offered Stiles up on a silver platter!
Stiles was very upset. Very upset.
“Okay, so, ladies,” he said pleasantly, eying the ropes keeping his wrists tied together over his head and wishing, not for the first time, that he’d paid more attention in Boy Scouts. How was he supposed to know learning about different knots would one day help save him from Witches looking for a human sacrifice?!
Cute, tiny, adorable past-Stiles was very rightly sceptical of his necessity to know the different kinds of knots. Not like it was going to save his life one day! He forgave past-Stiles, he did. Only because he was so cute, and there was no way for him to know he’d be tied to a wooden post overlooking a cliff with waves crashing against the rocks below.
But also, fuck past-Stiles, God dammit.
“So I just wanna know, you know, make sure that we’re all on the same page here. We’re all understanding one another and all that.” Stiles tugged at his wrists, but all that succeeded in doing was tighten the ropes binding him, because of course it did. “So this uh, thing. You’re doing. Right now. Is it like, some kind of virgin sacrifice sort of deal? Because if it is, I just—you should know that I have had a lot of sex. A lot. Like, so much sex.”
Only one of the four Witches glanced over at him, but it seemed to be more in confirmation that he was still there, nevermind that he’d been talking the entire time.
When she looked back at what she was doing, Stiles glanced down at himself, a part of him wondering if she’d honestly been looking at him in an appraising way before deciding he definitely wasn’t out having a lot of sex.
“Okay, maybe not a lot but like, I’ve had sex,” he acquiesced, tugging at his bonds again. He was literally going to have rope burns around his wrists and the people he was doing a group project with for one of his Chemistry courses was going to think he was into the kinky shit. God dammit, he always had to explain away injuries with sex things and they were never sex things. Would it be too much to ask for it to actually be a sex thing just once? Life was so unfair. “I’ve had sex,” he insisted again, loudly. “You know, like, a reasonable amount of sex. I’m a healthy twenty year old boy. Man,” he corrected immediately, cursing internally. “Twenty year old man. Grown up and everything. Not a virgin, definitely not a good virgin sacrifice. And you’re not listening.” He sighed, because the Witches had made absolutely no move to show they were paying any attention to him whatsoever.
Honestly, that was just rude. The least they could do was have a conversation with him if this was the last time he’d be able to speak to someone before he died. Would it kill them to have manners? Who ritually sacrificed someone without having the decency of asking if they were comfortable or needed a moist towellette? Rude.
Just fucking rude.
“Okay. That’s fine. That’s cool,” Stiles said loudly, the Witches still ignoring him. “If your spell fails because I tried to warn you about my very active sex life, you know, that’s on you. Not my fault.”
He flinched unintentionally when one of the Witches threw something into a pile of twigs and fire erupted dramatically. Like a fucking movie or something. Stiles didn’t want to live in a movie unless said movie was specifically the kind where the hero showed up at the last second to save the girl.
Not that he was a girl, but he would admit to needing saving. Just—little bit. Tiny bit. He was concerned. Just a smidge. It had been a few hours, he wasn’t in Beacon Hills anymore, and he was currently tied half-naked to a post overlooking the ocean so he’d really like for his more Lycanthropic pals to show up at some point in the next—now. Now would be good.
When the Witches shifted and began to rise, Stiles felt his heart beginning to pick up in pace in his chest. This wasn’t looking particularly promising for him at the moment, and he was honestly worried this might be it. Death at the hands of Witches who thought he was a virgin.
Okay, so he wasn’t exactly positive this was a virgin sacrifice sort of thing, but wasn’t that what most sacrifices were?! Like, ninety-percent at least. And they had severely miscalculated with Stiles, he was not a virgin in any sense of the word.
The women began chanting in low tones, and that was bad. Chanting was never a good thing, and he was still severely lacking in the Werewolf department right now. His eyes zeroed in on the wicked looking blade one of the Witches pulled from the sleeve of her robes, and he began tugging at his bonds again.
“That, uh—whatcha got there? That looks—it looks super old. Like, really fragile. I think you might want to rethink using that on me. I have oily skin, might damage the blade. You know, I think I saw a hardware store up the road, probably have some good alternatives. How about we just hop back in the car, drive down there, maybe stop for some froyo on the way?”
He pressed himself back further against the post, tugging harder and feeling the ropes digging into his skin even more. Seriously, was this how he was going to go out? He survived all that garbage in his life, the Alpha Pack, the Nogitsune, Kanima Jackson, all that other dangerous shit only to be foiled by a bunch of grannies looking to get him half-naked on a cliff?
“Get the fuck away from me,” Stiles snarled, doing a rather impressive impression of a Werewolf, if he did say so himself. He kicked out one leg when one of the Witches came closer, but she grabbed his ankle with deceptively strong hands, which had him grip the ropes around his wrists tightly so he could lift his other leg off the ground and kick her in the face.
He was pretty sure he cracked open her skull, but to be fair, she was trying to kill him, so he could be forgiven.
Besides, even though she flew off her feet away from him, she easily shifted from her sprawled position into a seated one and got up like nothing happened.
Witches were literally bitches. What the fuck!
Still gripping the ropes in both hands and using his arms to support more of his weight, he kicked his legs out haphazardly in an attempt to keep them away from him, but two of them were moving wide around him and he knew he wouldn’t be able to do anything when they got behind him.
They were all still chanting, and one of the Witches moving behind him had the knife, which was not comforting at all.
“Now would be an awesome time for a rescue!” Stiles shouted, the wind carrying his words away. “Like, immediately! Guys?!”
One of the Witches in front of him grabbed at his kicking left leg and before he could retaliate with his right, the other one grabbed at it and the two of them held him down with considerable force. Seriously, these grannies could put The Rock to shame, what the actual fuck?!
Stiles squirmed and tugged insistently at his wrists, feeling his heart slamming against his ribs. A hand buried itself in his hair, wrenching his head back. He lost a few strands jerking it forward again, but that just earned him more hands in his hair, pulling at it harshly, forcing him to expose his throat.
Seriously, when he’d imagined the multitudes of ways for him to go, death by Witch really wasn’t in his top ten.
He’d been expecting a blade at his throat, metal slicing into his skin while he cursed Scott McCall to the very core of his being, but that wasn’t where the knife was going. One of the Witches was holding his head back, but the last of the four had moved back around in front of him, despite his efforts to get the ridiculously strong—seriously what did these ladies eat to be this strong?!—women off him.
Two of the Witches were still chanting, but the one holding his head back spoke in a raspy voice to the one with the knife.
“Careful with the heart, we need it intact.”
“Stiles needs it intact too!” Stiles insisted, semi-hysterically. “Stiles definitely needs the heart intact!”
He screamed when the Witch in front of him stabbed into the skin right beneath his left collarbone and dragged the knife downward, blood beginning to flow freely from the wound. A part of his mind trying to disassociate given the excruciating pain idly hoped the knife was sterilized. The louder part of his brain screamed that now was not the time to be worrying about how dirty the stupid knife was.
He’d read somewhere that people could lose up to two-thirds of the blood in their bodies before dying, but he wasn’t sure how that worked, exactly. Like, yes, he got the whole losing of the blood part, but movies always made it seem so... instantaneous. Like, someone’s throat got slit and they straight up died in seconds.
Not that his throat had gotten slit, but there was definitely a lot of blood right now, and that knife was not sharp because it was really struggling to cut through the muscle of his chest, and wow did he ever want to black out right now, because this was painful and he was literally about to get carved into so these bitches could get to his heart. Scott was the one with the big, fat bleeding heart, dammit! Apparently they were in the market for a regular-sized heart.
Stiles bucked his hips, trying to displace one of the Witches, but all that did was drive the blade deeper, and when the Witch yanked it out and plunged it back into his chest a little to the right of the first wound, Stiles’ vision crackled white with pain and he thankfully managed to pass out.
Or die. Because, really, he knew he was impressive for a human and all, but he was pretty sure even he wasn’t going to be able to walk around without a heart. Kate Argent aside, walking around heartless was not something a human could do. To be fair, Kate wasn’t human anymore. Or alive. So—his point was still valid.
No walking around for the human without a heart.
He kind of wished the whole dying thing would come faster, though. He wanted to come back as a ghost. He was going to haunt the shit out of Scott for this. Like, every time he was about to get laid, Stiles would be there to knock over a bookshelf or something. And if Scott tried to masturbate in the shower or something, Stiles was going to fuck with the water pressure or throw the bar of soap in his face.
Stiles’ sole purpose in life—er, afterlife, was going to be to deprive Scott McCall of sex for getting him sacrificed when he wasn’t even a virgin!
Again, he didn’t know that was the kind of sacrifice this whole thing had been, but that wasn’t the point! The point was: Scott sucked. Him and his dumb, stupid heart. It should’ve been his heart getting cut out of his chest, not Stiles’! Stiles had never done a kind thing in his life ever!
Seriously though, the dying thing was taking its damn time. He wasn’t liking the pain, so chop-chop. Any time now.
The more consciousness began to return to him—like an asshole—the more pain he felt emanating from his chest. Oh Christ, was he going to wake up while they were still hacking away at his ribcage or something? Not cool.
A hand fell gently onto his forehead, brushing sweat-soaked hair back before sliding down his cheek and along his throat. He let out a pathetic groan, relief filling him when the pain in his chest slowly began to dissipate.
“I will pay you to just... stay there,” Stiles said. His mouth tasted like sand, and his eyelids were heavy, so he didn’t bother trying to open them. He’d recognize that hand anywhere, even if it hadn’t been prefaced with the voice.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Derek promised. His voice sounded soft, but Stiles could tell how worried he was. Probably had a frown on his face and everything.
“Mm,” Stiles acknowledged. “I’m in your bed again. Would be rude for me to ask you to leave your own loft.”
“Shut up Stiles.” The hand on his chest pulled away and Stiles tried not to miss the warmth of it. The pain was mostly gone now, nothing but a dull throb deep in his muscle, but he knew stealing other people’s pain meant the Werewolf who took it experienced it themselves, so he wasn’t selfish enough to ask Derek to take more.
He was just lucky Derek was kind enough to.
“He has the honour of explaining this to your father,” Derek informed him, sounding almost amused, despite how clearly worried he was about Stiles. “Melissa left a few minutes ago. Says you’re going to have a nice battle scar.”
Stiles reached up with one hand, eyes still closed, but let it hover over his chest, unwilling to touch it. He was sure the wound was covered, but a part of him was worried about how bad it was. Had the Witches gone full autopsy mode on him before he got rescued? Was he going to have scars a-la-Jason Todd?
Derek seemed to know what he was silently asking and his hand returned. He traced a line by Stiles’ ribs, giving him an approximate size of the wound without pressing on the injured area itself.
“Could’ve been worse,” Stiles decided, the six inch injury definitely lined up to be a dope battle scar. He’d have to find a particularly exciting story to tell his future bed partners. “How’d you find me?”
“We heard you screaming,” Derek said, fingers still pressed lightly against Stiles’ ribs.
“Oh,” Stiles said. “Yeah, that makes sense.” Wasn’t like a group of Werewolves was going to miss the cries of agony unless they weren’t paying attention.
“No. I mean, yes, that too,” Derek amended, fingers still pressed against his ribs before he lay his palm flat against Stiles’ skin. His stomach muscles twitched at the unintentional tickling sensation, but Derek didn’t remove his hand and Stiles didn’t ask him to. “We heard you screaming before that. Asking for us to hurry up and rescue you. It gave us enough of an idea of what direction to go in, or we probably wouldn’t have reached you in time.”
And people said Stiles was a drama queen. He was not, in point of fact, a drama queen. He was an adequate level of drama for any given situation, up to and including Witches trying to get his insides on the outside.
“Guess my theatrics are good for something after all.”
“Guess so,” Derek agreed softly, hand still flat against his stomach. Stiles wasn’t positive, but he felt like he was still sucking at his pain, even though he had far less than he did previously. Derek probably hadn’t been doing it while Stiles was asleep in hopes that the pain would wake him up.
He’d noticed Derek always waited until Stiles woke up after a particularly bad injury before stealing his pain, like he was worried Stiles would just remain passed out indefinitely if he didn’t feel anything requiring his immediate attention.
Stiles felt like he was melting into the mattress right now. The pain was ebbing, Derek’s hand was a comforting weight against his skin, and the bed was so soft.
“I really like this new mattress,” he informed Derek, voice slurring slightly as unconsciousness threatened to take him again.
“I’ll bear that in mind when your birthday comes back around,” Derek said, a smile in his voice.
“Why bother? All I have to do to earn a night in your bed is almost get killed. I’ve got a solid track record.”
Derek said nothing for a long while, and Stiles was almost entirely under again when the Werewolf said, very quietly, “I’d prefer it if you stopped almost dying.”
Bitch, me too, Stiles thought before he passed out again.
3. Sleep was important, especially when fighting the forces of evil, because apparently not getting enough of it made Stiles prone to passing out dramatically in public, and nobody wanted that. Least of all Stiles.
Was it just him, or was he having flashbacks to his time possessed by the Nogitsune? Because Stiles could most definitely read. He was not Jared, he knew how to read, he’d been reading for many years of his life.
But somehow the grocery list he was holding was stumping him a little bit. The words were kind of blurred and floaty, like they weren’t even words at all. They were definitely words though, because his father would not have written down gibberish. His father, like a sensible person, enjoyed eating real people food and thus would have written down real people words, not gibberish.
Stiles clenched his eyes shut for a moment, then opened them as wide as they could go, blinking rapidly a few times. It helped a little, the first word looking distinctly ‘egg’ shaped. Good. Eggs. He could get eggs.
He wasn’t in the aisle for eggs.
Looking up and blinking owlishly at the food in front of him, he ascertained that he was in the cereal aisle. Or pasta aisle? He honestly couldn’t tell if the boxes were cereal or pasta. Did pasta still come in boxes? He hadn’t bought pasta in a while. Presumably pasta was still distributed in boxes.
He stood staring at a bright blue box for a long while before remembering he was meant to be hunting for eggs. Right.
Well, not hunting for eggs. It was hard to hunt for things that were made readily available, he wasn’t a caveman. Kind of felt like one right now. He wasn’t sure when he’d last slept, and figured once the groceries were purchased, sleep was a thing he should be getting. Lots of sleep. So much of the sleep.
All of the sleep.
Fuck he was tired. He was pretty sure he was starting to hallucinate, honestly. He couldn’t remember how long ago it’d been since he’d slept. Forty hours at least. The joys of being the resident researcher of the weird and dangerous while also taking ridiculously difficult university courses.
Why did the dangerous, soul-sucking, human bone-marrow eating monstrosities always have to come to town during exam period? Like, once, just once, could they maybe coordinate around a long weekend or something? Just collectively agree that the young adults of Beacon Hills were doing their best to further their educations, and maybe it would be nice if they gave them a break during exam period?
Seriously, it was a long weekend this coming Friday, why did the monster decide that two days ago was the perfect time for it to slink into town and start murdering people? Stiles had a fucking Calculus mid-term, a twenty-five page paper for his Biology course, and two different lab reports all due within the window people were dying in.
He deserved a fucking break! He was just trying to get through university, was that too much to ask? And Scott had hands! And a brain! Presumably. So did Derek! And Lydia!
His friends could research too! He just hyper-fixated on things which meant he found answers faster, but really, they needed to start trying to figure things out on their own. One day, Stiles was going to be in trouble, and nobody would find him because their computer wouldn’t be working or something, and they’d call him while he was hanging upside down over a pot of oil for him to ask if they’d tried turning it off and on again.
What was he doing again?
Wait, bread? No, eggs. Definitely eggs.
Stiles’ head lolled as he looked back down at the list, squinting through the burning in his eyes and determining that, yes, that was distinctly ‘egg’ shaped. Eggs it was. What aisle was he in? Was this cereal or pasta?
His sluggish brain insisted he’d already had that debate and he obediently turned and began shuffling down towards the dairy section, pushing the cart along with him. He really wasn’t doing well right now, if he was perfectly honest. Maybe he should go back to the Jeep and take a power nap.
No, he was already at the store. He just needed to get the groceries and go home. Hopefully without getting into an accident. He could drive home in his sleep—probably a good thing, since he was honestly worried about passing out at the wheel.
Reaching the dairy section, Stiles stopped and stood staring at the cheese for a good few seconds before remembering he was looking for eggs. He left his cart where it was, walking a bit further along the aisle, feeling like he was on a boat in rough seas. He actually wondered if he was walking like a drunk person right now, swaying from side to side. He hoped he didn’t fall into one of the shelves, that would be embarrassing.
Okay, maybe he should be re-thinking the whole nap-in-the-Jeep thing. It would be better for him to nap before getting groceries because a lot of the stuff on his list needed to be refrigerated, and it would be stupid if he bought it all and then passed out in the Jeep.
At least he was firing on all cylinders enough to know that.
He stood in the middle of the aisle for a long while, staring at a tub of yogurt with what looked like a cow on it. His brain was having trouble focussing on what he was doing, and what he’d just been thinking about, and he kind of wondered if he could just go lie down on the bread and sleep on the fluffy carbs for a couple hours.
“–les? Stiles. Stiles.”
Stiles turned to look at the hand on his shoulder, blinking at it for a few seconds, before following it up a strong forearm, bulging biceps, a muscled shoulder, a thick neck, stubbled jaw, all the way up to Derek’s concerned green eyes.
He was holding a basket in one hand, clearly not needing as many groceries as Stiles, since he’d opted for one of the carts. He only had two items in it, and Stiles wondered if that was all he needed, or if he’d only just started with his shopping.
“Hey,” Stiles offered.
And then promptly fell into Derek, eyes rolling into the back of his head. He heard Derek let out a startled shout of his name, hands catching him and a loud clatter as the basket he was holding fell to the ground, but Stiles honestly didn’t care.
He cared about nothing right now but sleep. Derek could dump him out back in the dumpster, for all he cared. As long as he got to stay unconscious for a few hours, he could handle the smell of garbage just fine.
Preferably, he wouldn’t get tossed into a dumpster out back, but he seriously wasn’t picky right now. He’d been contemplating sleeping on the bread in the store so like, his priorities on places to sleep were fairly flexible. Though sleeping in Derek’s arms seemed like a nice place to get some shut eye.
Definitely not planned, but he wasn’t mad about it. He’d probably be embarrassed later when he woke up, but brain-dead with exhaustion Stiles was perfectly fine with passing out in Derek’s arms. They were strong arms. Good arms for passing out in.
And Derek smelled good. He didn’t know if it was his bodywash, or his aftershave, or just eau de Derek, but he always smelled really good. Made for uncomfortable boners sometimes, though Stiles was happy to report it had been a while since he’d gotten turned on by Derek while both of them were fighting for their lives. He didn’t know why, but sweaty and battle-hardened Derek really did things to him. Thankfully, there had been less boners of late, though also because there had been less sweaty and battle-hardened Dereks.
Or well, Stiles just seemed to be unconscious during the fighting lately. Was he turning into a fainting damsel in distress? Stiles didn’t want to be a damsel in distress, it was decidedly uncool to be a damsel in distress when the guy he was in love with usually ended up being the one to save him.
Not that Stiles hadn’t saved Derek his fair share of times, but ever since he’d started university it had been very Derek-heavy on the rescuing of the Stiles. He probably needed to work out more or something. Take up jogging. Exercise was important, along with water intake and adequate sleep.
Stiles was batting zero on all fronts, he probably should’ve had some water today.
Well, at least he was getting some sleep. Passing out from exhaustion counted as sleep, right? The Sims seemed to suggest it counted as sleep, so he was going to give himself a pat on the back for the sleep thing. In his defence, he’d already been debating heading back to the Jeep for a nap before Derek had decided to offer his arms up for sleep. Really, it was Derek’s fault, he just needed to not have perfect arms to pass out in and this wouldn’t have happened.
A loud bang startled Stiles awake with a snort, back arching as he lifted his head clear off the drool-covered pillow, blinking blearily at the far wall before groaning and falling back down again. He knew where he was even without having looked around, because the mattress he was on was so fucking comfy, he could really only be in one person’s bed.
Seriously, he wanted to live in this bed. Not only because it came with a Derek, either. This bed was heavenly. The mattress probably cost a fortune.
Sighing deeply and licking his chapped lips, Stiles hugged at the damp pillow beneath his cheek, rearranging his face a little to avoid the patch of drool, and started dozing again, lying on his stomach. The sheets were soft against his skin, and it took a few seconds to realize he was only wearing his boxers. He felt like Derek had a distinct dislike of dirty clothes in his bed, because Stiles always woke up in his boxers whenever he was in Derek’s bed.
Whatever, wasn’t like Derek had never seen any of it before. There was that one time Stiles had gotten sprayed with a really bad hallucinogen when he’d tried to protect Erica from a Hunter and had insisted his clothes were trying to eat him. Apparently Isaac had a video of a naked Stiles trying to burn all of Derek’s clothes while the pack attempted to keep him confined to the loft until the powder wore off.
Needless to say, Isaac was an asshole. Stiles was positive that video was going to reappear at the worst time. Like his wedding.
Ugh. He needed to get Danny to hack into Isaac’s cloud account and delete the video.
Bottom line: Derek had seen much more of Stiles than he was sure he’d wanted to.
Hugging the pillow tighter and snuggling into it, he heard the telltale creak of the stairs as Derek climbed them to the bedroom, but he was too comfy to move and confirm he was awake. Derek probably knew he was, but Stiles was okay with lying there in the comfort of Derek’s bed, surrounded by his scent and almost sinking into the soft mattress.
“Glad you decided to rejoin the land of the living,” Derek said. Stiles felt the bed dip and he grunted when it displaced him slightly, reaching back with one hand to smack at Derek.
“Go away. Sleeping.”
“You know, I’m well aware you have a flair for the dramatic, but if you wanted to take over my comfy bed, you didn’t have to pass out like that. You could’ve just asked.”
Stiles knew Derek was going for teasing, but the hint of concern in his voice had him sigh and roll onto his back, turning his head and peeling open tired amber eyes so he could stare up at him. Derek looked ridiculous from this angle, but he still somehow managed to be attractive.
What an asshole.
“I thought it would spice things up for you if I passed out in your arms.”
“I thought Scott was the one with the hero complex,” Derek said with a small smile.
Stiles snorted and groaned, forcing himself to sit up, rubbing the back of his head. The blankets pooled around his waist and he let out a huge yawn, blinking blearily at the far wall before turning to Derek again.
“Sorry for scaring you.”
“I think you should apologize to the owner, he almost had a heart attack when he saw me carrying you through the store.”
Stiles winced. Great, he wasn’t going to be able to buy groceries for the next—ever. He was never buying groceries again. He would die of embarrassment just looking at the store.
“I was just tired,” Stiles muttered. “Needed a power nap.”
“Power naps don’t usually last seventeen hours.”
Stiles stared at Derek. “What?”
The Werewolf raised his eyebrows, then leaned over to grab Stiles’ phone. It was sitting on the nightstand, plugged into Derek’s charger since they had the same model. He unplugged it and handed it over. When Stiles took it and stared down at the date and time, he saw that it was, in fact, seventeen hours later than it had been when he’d last checked.
Derek cuffed him across the back of the head, Stiles wincing at the blow, but thankful it hadn’t been intended to hurt him. Just a light tap in reprimand.
“That’s all you have to say? ‘Huh’? I thought you were injured and bleeding out, called Melissa and everything. Scott showed up first and we determined you just hadn’t slept in two days.”
“It wasn’t two days,” Stiles countered, rolling his eyes. “It was like, forty hours tops.”
“Oh, so sorry,” Derek said dryly. Bless him, he was taking such good notes from Stiles on how to be a sassy douche. Nevermind Derek had always been a sassy douche, but Stiles liked to think he was the reason behind the sassiness being more prominent. “Why the hell did you go to the store when you should’ve been sleeping?”
“We were out of groceries,” Stiles argued.
“Groceries are not worth you crashing the Jeep from exhaustion.” Derek sighed, like Stiles was the most inconvenient person he’d ever met. “You’re an idiot.”
“Takes one to know one.”
“Explains why you and Scott are such good friends.”
Stiles sputtered incoherently for a few seconds, seeing the smirk on Derek’s face at having caught him off-guard while the Werewolf got back to his feet.
“You’re a dick,” Stiles informed him.
Derek shrugged, unrepentant, and nodded towards the stairs. “I made lunch. Should probably get some food into you, considering if you didn’t sleep, you probably didn’t eat, either.”
“I’ll have you know, I survived on a diet of Twinkies and Cheetos the past forty hours.”
When Derek rolled his eyes on his way to the stairs, his whole head went with it. “Sometimes I don’t know how you’re not dead.”
“I have Werewolf friends who’d hunt me down in the underworld, so it’s easier to just stick around up here,” Stiles called after him, climbing out of bed and grabbing his jeans off the chair in the corner.
“You bet your ass I’d hunt you down,” Derek’s voice said quietly from downstairs. “You think of dying on me, you’ll regret it.”
Stiles grinned to himself at the words, yanking his jeans up his thighs and doing them up.
Derek was a big softie, no matter how hard he pretended not to be.
4. Stiles wanted to make it explicitly clear that he wasn’t a damsel in distress, regardless of what Scott and Derek told people. He wasn’t. He was not.
“So I was thinking: sushi? How’re we feeling about sushi? Good? Yes?” Stiles tried to twist around in his seat so he could get a better look at the men behind him, but the angle was wrong. If he turned too much, it put a crick in his neck and made his shoulders ache.
Seriously, they didn’t have to tie him up that tightly. Like, he wasn’t a contortionist, he wouldn’t be able to escape, there was no need for them to have basically tied his damn forearms together behind his back. That, plus attaching them to the chair was just downright mean. His shoulders were going to be aching for days.
Stiles wasn’t into bondage, he’d told them so multiple times, but apparently he was a ‘flight risk’ or something. They’d heard from a friend who’s heard from a cousin who’d heard from another cousin twice removed who’d heard from their brother who’d heard from the old granny who used to babysit them that Stiles was very good at getting out of tight spots.
Which he was. Exceptionally good. It was a talent. Well no, it was an acquired skill. Came with growing up with a cop dad, and getting stuck after playing with his handcuffs one too many times. Still! Not into bondage! He was sure the accidental handcuffing himself to things as a child had something to do with that, but he wasn’t going to look into it too much.
“I know a really good sushi spot,” Stiles continued, still unable to see his captors. “They like me there, I get a discount.”
No one spoke and, quite frankly, Stiles was getting tired of being kidnapped by rude people. The least they could do was have a conversation with him! He wasn’t asking for much! Just, you know, a little entertainment while he waited to die. That seemed reasonable, in his opinion. He wondered if there was a committee he could bring this up with.
Rule one of kidnapping Stiles Stilinski: he is required to be entertained.
Not that he got kidnapped a lot!
Or... not like, all the time, at any rate. His being kidnapped seemed to have increased lately, but he attributed that to being distracted more often than usual because of school. Sure, he’d had high school to contend with back in the day, but high school was less demanding than university. He always watched movies where people were out partying it up or solving crime or having huge campus-wide mass murders or whatever and all Stiles wanted to know was where they found the time.
To be fair, most of them didn’t have the Supernatural breathing down their neck, or a pack constantly coming to them for advice. Like he was the poster child of good decisions, who was dumb enough to believe that? His best friend was a Werewolf because of all his so-called ‘good decisions.’
Well, if nothing else, it got him a Derek Hale. Not that Derek was his or anything, but he certainly wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to make friendly with the guy if not for Scott getting bitten by his uncle. Sure, there was the possibility of Derek still choosing Isaac, Erica and Boyd as his Betas, but it wasn’t like they were friends with him.
So maybe that did fall under the ‘good decisions’ column. Scott’s asthma was gone, Stiles got to meet Derek and pine from afar, Erica didn’t have seizures anymore, Isaac’s deadbeat dad was dead, Stiles never got any sleep.
Wait no, that last one was a con. Definitely a ‘bad decision’ column entry.
“So is that a no on the sushi?”
The aggrieved sigh from behind him suggested it was a hard no. Shame, it was buy one get one half-price onigiri night.
Stiles let his head thunk back against the chairback, staring up at the ceiling and shifting to try and alleviate some of the discomfort in his arms. He wasn’t sure what, exactly, had happened. He’d been coming out of a movie with his dad, the two of them having driven to the theatre separately since the sheriff had to head to work right afterwards. He’d split with his dad after wishing him a good night, had headed for the Jeep, and then nothing.
In the past, when he was young and innocent—so like, before he could move or speak—he’d have assumed he’d gotten chloroformed. Unfortunately, movies were extremely unrealistic in that it took longer than a few seconds to knock someone out by inhaling it. In addition, it was actually quite fatal, so Hollywood was perpetuating the myth of it being a good knock-out drug. Thankfully, he didn’t think these people had used it.
If he had to take a guess, he’d assume he got tranquillized. He didn’t feel any injuries, but his mouth tasted cottony with a weird after-taste and he had a headache. Sadly, Stiles had gotten tranqed enough times in his life to recognize the sensations.
He may have been tied to a chair facing a wall, but he was resourceful enough to take notice of his surroundings, and the men who’d taken him. They were definitely Hunters, and they were looking for someone. Apparently there was a bounty out on someone’s head and word had it Stiles was the easiest way to get to them.
Stiles had assumed it was Scott, but didn’t rule out any of the rest of the pack. Not that he was conceited enough to think he was worth much to the others, but they were still a pack. With two Alphas who butted heads all the time, and Betas who liked to tease and torture Stiles with his humanity. They were lucky he was such a nice guy, or he’d have laced their food with wolfsbane long before now.
Isaac kept using his head as an arm-rest! It wasn’t Stiles’ fault Isaac was a fucking giant! And Erica liked to jump out at him from random places, she said his startled shouts were adorable. Stiles preferred not shouting his startlement, it was bad for his heart, that always tried to escape through his mouth.
“It shouldn’t be taking this long,” one of the men muttered, Stiles tilting his head slightly so he could hear more clearly. “Craig should’ve been back by now.”
“Relax,” goon number two insisted, sounding like the one who was most annoyed with Stiles’ incessant requests for sushi.
He hadn’t had dinner yet, okay! He was hungry!
Testament to how often he was kidnapped or held captive or whatever, all Stiles could think about was his stomach. He wasn’t the least bit concerned about his life. Usually specific key things had to happen before he panicked for his life. Rituals were generally nerve-wracking, but Hunters trying to collect a bounty were almost boring.
Craig wasn’t back yet because one of the wolves got hungry.
Okay, not actually, because cannibalism, gross. But Stiles was sure Craig had had the unfortunate pleasure of being introduced to either Scott’s fist or Derek’s teeth. The chances of him waltzing through the door without a care in the world holding sushi were fairly slim.
“What’s the deal, anyway?” Stiles asked over his shoulder, receiving no response. Shocker, that. “Like, you said there was a bounty out. For who? Because if it’s for Isaac, I’d give that fucker up for free. But if it’s like, Boyd or something, we’d have to talk price negotiation, I’d want a cut, Boyd’s a pretty nice guy.”
“Shut up,” one of the men snapped.
“I’m just saying, a few thousand bucks would buy me a lot of sushi. And I’m serious, I’d give Isaac up for free. You can have him. Nobody’d miss him, we wouldn’t even notice he was gone, honestly.”
Before they could say anything else—probably another bid for him to shut up—one of their phones buzzed loudly. It stopped abruptly, one of the goons answering with a gruff greeting.
Silence for a moment, and then he said, “Shit!”
A chair scraped and Stiles tried to look over his shoulder again, the other guy asking him what was going on.
“They got Craig. We have to move.”
“What about him?”
“You can leave me here, I can find my own way home,” Stiles offered.
“Knock him out again, we’ll take him with us. A little insurance.”
“I would make a horrible insurance policy, half the town doesn’t like me,” Stiles insisted, but he knew he wasn’t going to convince them to leave him behind. He heard goon number one packing up while goon number two seemed to be rummaging for something. A second chair scraped loudly, footsteps approaching Stiles, and he grunted when his hair was grabbed and his head was wrenched to the side.
He was seriously considering going back to a buzz cut, no hair for people to grab when—there was no hair.
A displeased noise left him when he felt something prick against his neck.
“That better have been a fresh syringe,” Stiles insisted, feeling ice beginning to spread down his neck. “If I get a stupid rare blood disease because you re-used needles, I’m gonna be pissed.”
“Shut up!” The Hunter cuffed the side of his head hard, which was a stupid thing to do considering Stiles’ eyes were already flagging and his brain was shutting down.
Well, if nothing else, at least he’d get some sleep. Sleep was important, he’d learned that the hard way. Passing out in Derek’s arms had been embarrassing, but at least the big guy had caught him! He appreciated that, hitting the ground would’ve hurt a lot.
Were sleeping and being knocked unconscious considered the same thing? He liked to think so. Both were giving his mind and body a break, did it really matter if it was intentional or not? He certainly felt rested after being knocked unconscious. But not like, when he was bonked over the head with a shovel or something. This kind of being knocked unconscious, with the whole drugs thing. He wondered what drug it was.
Then again, it didn’t matter. As long as there were no lasting effects, he had a lab report due tomorrow, he wanted to make sure he woke up with enough of his brain functioning properly so he could get that done.
He hated the slow return to consciousness after being drugged, because his brain was used to just snapping awake after the years he’d had running with Supernatural creatures. Whenever he got drugged though, his brain was slow and sluggish, and he sometimes felt himself almost borderline panicking, wondering why it was taking so long for him to wake up before remembering he’d been drugged.
It was sad that this was not uncommon for him.
As his brain slowly struggled its way back to the land of the conscious, he let out a slow exhale and rolled onto his side. It took him a few seconds to realize he could roll onto his side, which meant his arms had been freed, and also he was lying down instead of sitting up.
And it was comfy. Like, ridiculously comfy. That could only mean one thing.
Burying his face in Derek’s pillow, Stiles inhaled deeply before slowly releasing it, more than happy to continue sleeping. He felt warm and comfortable and safe, lying in Derek’s bed, surrounded by the scent of him, positively melting into the amazing mattress. Derek’s blankets felt different though, he wondered if maybe he’d gotten some new ones. He liked them, they were soft.
He heard a chair creak in the corner of the room, suggesting Derek had been sitting in it watching him sleep, like a creeper.
Okay no, he’d probably been reading, but Stiles preferred to think he’d been sitting there watching him sleep like a creeper.
“Is it weird I am very attuned to smells now?” Stiles mumbled into Derek’s pillow. “I feel like a human-wolf. Like, you’re a Werewolf, and I’m a human-wolf. No wolfy characteristics, but I just behave like one.”
“You certainly eat like an animal,” Derek offered, the bed dipping by Stiles’ hip, suggesting he’d taken a seat there.
Stiles reached back blindly, hand flailing dramatically in an attempt to hit him. He even succeeded once or twice.
“Are you okay?”
“M’fine,” he said, not ready to get up yet. He was hungry, but getting up meant he had to do his lab report. He had time, he was sure. He could snooze in Derek’s comfy bed a bit longer.
“Are you sure?” Derek’s hand buried itself in his hair, and Stiles wondered if he was trying to steal pain that wasn’t there.
“M’good,” he promised, reaching up to pat at the hand still in his hair. “Thanks for the assist.”
Derek snorted. “Assist? I had to carry your unconscious ass back here. You pass out in fright?”
“Hardee har,” Stiles said sarcastically, rolling onto his back and opening his eyes so he could glare at Derek. His hand was still buried in Stiles’ hair, and he didn’t look like he was going to be removing it any time soon, his fingers scratching lightly at his scalp. It felt really nice, so Stiles wasn’t going to say anything. “Who were they after?”
“Parrish,” he explained, eyes on the hand in Stiles’ hair, like he was watching what he was doing.
“Oh, shame. I told them they could have Isaac, but they didn’t seem to want him either.”
Derek snorted, rolling his eyes, but didn’t comment on it. He just went back to staring at the hand in Stiles’ hair, face pinched. It made Stiles’ entire body feel floaty and warm, because he knew Derek was worried.
“Hey,” Stiles said softly, touching Derek’s closest knee. When the Werewolf shifted his gaze down to his eyes, he said, “I’m okay. They just drugged me, it’s fine.”
“That’s not fine,” Derek insisted, scowling. “We have no idea how sanitary they were, and Melissa’s probably breaking multiple laws right now to test what’s floating around in your system.”
Bless her, really. Between Melissa, Parrish, his dad and Deaton, they really were set all around. It’d be a bitch when they all retired, Stiles would probably have to start blackmailing people.
Or get the pack into one of the open positions. Scott could take over for Deaton, he supposed. Sure, animals didn’t like him now because of the whole Werewolf thing, but it was an option!
Lydia’d make a good doctor or nurse from an academic perspective, though he doubted she’d have the bedside manner for it. Maybe Boyd? He could be an orderly or something. He’d probably do well in the hospital.
Stiles, of course, could be the new sheriff. He could do that job with his eyes closed, he was sure.
Probably not, but he could dream.
“I’m fine,” Stiles reassured him, though he was happy to hear Melissa was checking up on him. He definitely didn’t want to keel over in the next few days, he had lots of homework. “And starving. Did you eat?” Stiles sat up, Derek’s hand sliding out of his hair.
“Sushi?” Stiles offered.
Derek shrugged. “Sure.”
And this was why Derek was much better company than the Hunters.
The whole kidnapping and drugging him and tying him to a chair thing aside. Derek wanted to eat sushi with him. Really, what a champ.
5. Tequila and Stiles did not mix. Tequila wasn’t really a ‘mix’ kind of drink. But especially not a mix with Stiles.
If there was one thing to be said about Stiles’ change in appearance since high school, it was that he got bought way more drinks now than he ever had when he used to sneak into Jungle. As a wee little one sneaking into gay clubs trying to save Jackson Whittemore’s lizard ass from Derek and his Betas, nobody had given him a second glance.
Scott was bought drinks literally every time they set foot in Jungle. It was his puppy dog eyes, he looked adorable. Well! Joke was on him! Because he had a girlfriend now and never came to Jungle for business or pleasure anymore.
Stiles, though? Stiles batted for both teams, and the past year hanging out in the club had yielded him many a free drink. Which was exciting for him, because he was a poor college student who spent his free time trying to help a group of Werewolves not die of stupidity. Seriously, how they would’ve survived this long without him on their side, he had no idea.
Isaac had come out with Stiles tonight, because he was the only one who knew how to have a good time anymore, but Stiles hadn’t seen him for at least an hour. He knew he was okay, probably out sucking face with some guy somewhere—bisexual solidarity, he and Isaac were bros on that front even if they antagonized each other as much as humanly possible the rest of the time.
Stiles himself wasn’t really interested in doing the nasty with anyone right now. Well, no, there was one person he wanted to do the nasty with, but said individual was not on the table. In terms of immediate vicinity, he was fine dancing and grinding against randos, just have a good time, but he wasn’t going to be heading home with any of them no matter how hard they tried.
Drunk Stiles was still smart enough to know stranger danger. They could get as close as they wanted on the dancefloor, but Stiles was going home at the end of the night. He and Isaac had an agreement. Isaac was not allowed to let Stiles get drunk and do the nasty with anyone. Isaac himself could do as he pleased, poor bastard couldn’t get drunk anyway, but human Stiles was not to be whisked away in a stranger’s car.
Those were orders from two different Alphas, the sheriff, and Stiles himself. He was a treasure and only the best of the best was allowed entry into the temple of Stiles.
Currently, that list comprised of just Derek, not that he’d ever tell him that.
Two shots were set down in front of Stiles while he hung out at the end of the bar, waiting on the water he’d asked for. His head was very floaty, a nice buzz making him feel loose and relaxed. His lips were starting to go numb, a telltale sign that he was on the verge of being drunk.
When Stiles arched an eyebrow at the bartender, the man just pointed down the bar towards a guy who had to be around Derek’s age. He was staring at Stiles almost predatorily, bringing a beer to his lips and drinking from the bottle, keeping eye contact with Stiles while doing so.
He was pretty hot. Stiles could afford to take this guy’s money, dance with him for a bit.
Picking up one of the shots, Stiles raised in it silent toast at the guy, then tilted his head back and downed it. The liquid burned its way down his throat and Stiles tried not to make a face. Tequila was literally the grossest thing, it was like drinking rubbing alcohol. He had to resist the urge to cough, because he didn’t want the guy to think he couldn’t hold his liquor.
Stiles may have started out being a lightweight, but he’d killed his liver to keep up with Werewolves! Of course, they always won, because they never got drunk unless they laced their drinks with aconite, but Stiles could still hold his own!
Setting the shot glass face down on the bar, Stiles picked up the second one and downed that as well. His head was swimming, lips almost completely numb now. He was definitely over the line into drunk territory, but that was okay. He was allowed, he was twenty-one now, his dad couldn’t get mad. Besides, he was crashing with Isaac tonight, so his dad wouldn’t even have to clean up puke or anything!
When Stiles finally got his bottle of water—seven bucks for a fucking 250ml bottle—he uncapped it and downed it before licking his numb lips and setting the empty bottle back on the counter. Turning to the dancefloor once more, he swayed slightly on his way back out there, but didn’t worry about falling over.
The press of bodies around him was almost suffocating, but it would at least keep him upright, so he moved along to the writhing and jostling of the people around him. It didn’t take long for his new friend to join him, moving up behind Stiles and wrapping one arm around his waist.
The guy was radiating heat, just like Derek did, and had almost the same amount of muscle. If Stiles wasn’t looking, he’d almost believe it was Derek. That was a nice fantasy, imagining Derek actually out having a good time, dancing with him.
Leaning back into the hard, toned body behind him, Stiles let the guy set the pace while they danced, feeling hips rocking into him with a very obvious hard-on forming. He didn’t worry about it, Stiles knew he was hot shit, but having the guy pop a boner meant he’d have an easier target to punch if he got handsy or entitled.
The bass was loud around him, each beat of it seeming to be in time to his heart, and he closed his eyes while putting more of his weight against the guy behind him. He felt lips against the side of his neck, light kisses trailing upwards until teeth grazed along his jaw.
For a few seconds, he actually contemplated turning around and grinding into this guy more firmly, letting him palm at his ass, maybe making out with him for a little bit. After all, he came out to have a good time, and feeling wanted was always nice. Isaac was the showstopper when they showed up together, but as soon as he was out of sight, it was all Stiles.
Didn’t hurt he made it look like he was an easy drunk, but dammit, his life was hard! He deserved to let loose and have fun every now and then!
Just when he’d decided to turn around and make out for a little bit, a hand closed around his left biceps and he was forcibly wrenched away from his new friend. He stumbled right into another hard, toned chest, recognizing it on impact.
It was vibrating beneath his fingers, suggesting Derek was growling. Great, he’d totally just scared his make-out partner away and wouldn’t even have the decency to replace him.
Stiles wished. Making out with Derek was the dream.
“You scared my new friend,” Stiles slurred, slumping heavily against Derek. “Meanie.”
“How much have you had to drink?” Derek had to shout to be heard over the loud music, because Stiles’ puny human ears couldn’t catch words quite as easily as the Werewolves could.
He still didn’t get how their hearing worked. For all intents and purposes, clubs should have them clutching at their ears in agony.
Stiles thought about the question for a few seconds, then said, “So many.”
Derek’s sigh was drowned out by the music, but Stiles still felt it, like a full body sag.
“Isaac called me, he went home with some guy. Wanted to make sure you didn’t do the same.”
“Good for him,” Stiles said honestly. Isaac deserved to score, his heart was still broken from getting dumped by Allison. How long that breakup was going to last, Stiles didn’t know, but good for him for getting back out there.
“Come on, let’s go.”
Stiles planted his feet when Derek started to tug him off the dancefloor.
“I’m not ready to leave yet,” he insisted like a whiny brat.
Derek let out another deep sigh that Stiles saw but didn’t hear, and then glanced at the ceiling for patience.
“I came out to have a good time,” Stiles insisted, poking a finger against Derek’s cheek. He was pretty sure he missed and almost got him in the eye before the Werewolf shifted at the last second to avoid being blinded by a drunk human.
That’d be embarrassing.
“I’m not done yet. I wanna dance.”
Derek just looked exasperated, but he obediently moved back further into the crowd, letting Stiles go and motioning for him to have at it. Stiles grinned at him drunkenly and started dancing again. It was less satisfying without someone to dance with, but he wasn’t picky. He just wanted to have some fun, though having Derek standing motionless in front of him with his arms crossed was kind of making things awkward.
When someone sidled up to the Werewolf hesitantly, likely to try and see about dancing with him, Derek cut a sharp look at them and the poor guy scuttled away. Stiles just laughed, jumping in time to the music, and glad for the press of bodies around him keeping him upright.
He could feel hands on him every now and then, but that was normal for how tightly packed they all were. When someone tried to plaster themselves to his back again, Derek yanked Stiles closer to himself and flashed red eyes at the poor soul who’d just been trying to get some prime Stilinski ass.
“Wet blanket,” Stiles insisted. “Dance with me.”
“No,” Derek said immediately.
“Dance with me, or you can’t stop other people from doing it.”
The look that earned him was extremely hostile and, Stiles felt, unwarranted. He just raised his eyebrows at Derek, still swaying and feeling happy and floaty.
Eventually, Derek slowly released Stiles’ arm, like he was being punished, and grabbed at Stiles’ waist instead, pulling him closer. Not so close that they were touching, but close enough.
Stiles took the invitation and wrapped his arms around Derek’s neck, burying one hand in his hair and resting his forehead against Derek’s shoulder. The Werewolf was stiff, and clearly unsure of what he was supposed to do, and Stiles just snorted.
“Come on, Derek. You can’t tell me you’ve never danced before.”
“Despite what you and the Betas think, I did have a life before I met you morons,” was the dry retort. At least it got him moving, hips swaying from side to side in time with the beat. Stiles almost wanted to grind into him, but felt that would be mean and very self-serving. He was getting a dancing Derek, it was more than he’d expected, honestly.
Colours and lights flashed behind Stiles’ closed lids while they continued to dance together. Every time he felt someone get too close to him from behind, they seemed to disappear exceptionally quickly, like Derek was completely exposing the Supernatural in an attempt to keep people away from Stiles.
They were going to have to talk about not scaring the normies in the morning.
He didn’t know how long Derek danced with him, but it was a while, because the buzz was slowly starting to fade and he could feel his lips again. They were tingly, but not numb anymore, so he was back to being on the tipsy side.
Deciding Derek had indulged him long enough, he raised his head off his shoulder and pressed his temple against Derek’s stubbled jaw, feeling the other freeze.
“I’m done. Need sleep. But maybe one more drink.”
Derek said nothing, and for a few seconds, he didn’t move. Stiles actually wondered if he’d been starting to have a good time, and almost said they could stay, but before he got the words out, Derek had taken a step back and grabbed gently at his biceps again, leading the way out of the crowd and towards the bar.
Stiles leaned heavily against him while they waited on the bartender, feeling his eyes flagging. When Derek nudged him with his shoulder, Stiles opened his eyes and found another shot of tequila being held out to him.
“Why do people keep buying me tequila?” he slurred, but took the offered shot. Derek was holding one as well, which was nice. Even if he couldn’t get drunk, at least he was drinking with him.
Shuffling back a step from Derek, Stiles held his shot up in silent toast, swaying unsteadily. Derek tapped his against Stiles’ and the two of them downed the drink. It went right to Stiles’ head, and he stuck his tongue out while making a face, the taste of it still as unpleasant as it had been earlier.
Derek took the shot glass from his hand and set both back on the bar, then wrapped an arm around Stiles’ shoulders while leading him towards the door. When they made it outside, Stiles felt like he could breathe again. He always forgot how hot and suffocating it was inside Jungle until he got outside. It was still summer, but the night air was cool and welcome against his heated skin, and he let Derek lead him unsteadily towards the Camaro.
When the doors were unlocked, Derek opened the passenger door and helped Stiles into the seat. He still managed to bang his head on the edge of the door and smash his elbow against the cupholder, but at least he’d made it into the car!
“If you puke in the Camaro, you’re banned from drinking ever again.”
Stiles let out a distressed sound, but Derek had already shut the door.
“You’re just jealous you can’t get drunk,” he insisted, knowing Derek could hear him. He pulled at his seatbelt, struggling to yank it across his chest, and was in the process of buckling it in when Derek climbed behind the wheel.
Stiles stared down at what he was doing, the buckle swimming in and out of focus as he attempted to get it in over and over again. Eventually, Derek grabbed his hand and guided the seatbelt into place with a loud click.
“You’re ridiculous,” Derek informed him.
“So’s your face,” was Stiles’ very mature and devastating comeback.
“If you say so.” The car roared to life and Stiles let his head rest against the window while Derek eased them out of the lot.
The cool glass felt amazing against his heated skin, and Stiles knew even before the thought had finished forming in his mind that he was probably going to pass out in the car. He usually did when he and Isaac went out, so he didn’t see why being out with Derek would be any different.
And sure enough, he passed out with his head still resting against the window. He hoped he didn’t puke in his sleep, but felt like if he did, Derek couldn’t punish him for that. It wasn’t his fault if unconscious Stiles decided it was a good time to blow chunks. If it was gonna happen, it was gonna happen, nothing he could do about it.
He was pretty sure he didn’t throw up though, because when the pain in his head woke him up some indeterminate amount of time later, his mouth tasted gross, but not any more gross than usual. If he’d thrown up, his mouth would taste decidedly worse. Like something had crawled in there and died. As it stood, his mouth just tasted like garbage, so he was probably safe.
Letting out a pathetic whine at the pain lancing behind his eyes, Stiles rolled onto his side and buried his face in the pillow beneath his head. It smelled like Derek, which made sense, since the bed was too comfortable to be his own or Isaac’s. It stood to reason that if Derek had come to pick him up, he’d also dumped him onto his bed once they’d gotten back to the loft.
“You still alive?” Derek asked, sounding amused. Stiles wasn’t sure, but he thought he might be sitting up in bed beside him. Probably reading as usual, the nerd.
“Maybe,” Stiles moaned, knowing today was going to suck. Hangovers were the worst, it wasn’t fair he had to experience these just because he wanted to get drunk. Could nothing exist without consequences? Unfair.
“Pity,” Derek teased.
Stiles reached back to smack at him, and managed to catch him in the leg. It felt like he was wearing jeans, so he’d probably gotten up, showered, and dressed ages ago. He likely worried about Stiles throwing up in his bed and was keeping an eye on him.
“Asshole,” he said half-heartedly.
“Don’t ever forget it.” Derek sounded so serious that Stiles snorted, and then instantly whined. Hangovers were the worst. It felt like his brain was trying to escape through his eye sockets.
When a hand slid slowly into his hair, he let out a groan, and then sighed when Derek sucked some of his pain away. Oh, that felt nice. So nice. Derek was the best, honestly.
“I love you,” Stiles moaned, a little more suggestively than he’d intended.
Derek’s fingers flexed against his scalp for a second before he pulled his hand back, Stiles feeling decidedly better than he had a few seconds ago.
“Did you have fun?” Derek asked softly.
“Mm,” Stiles agreed, rolling onto his other side so he was facing Derek and burying his face against the man’s hip. “I got you to dance. Crossing that off my bucket list.”
Derek snorted, but didn’t comment on it, bringing his hand around to rub at Stiles’ back. It was probably awkward, given how Stiles was lying, but it felt nice having the slow, smooth drag of Derek’s hand against his bare back.
“Did you have fun?” he asked sleepily against Derek’s jeans.
“I did,” he admitted. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like that. It was nice.”
“Yeah it was,” Stiles smiled dopily, nuzzling against Derek’s side. “Sleepy. Back to sleepy place.”
“You don’t want food?”
“Later,” Stiles muttered, burrowing himself closer to Derek and settling comfortably, the slow drag of his hand still making its way up and down Stiles’ spine.
He was almost asleep when he heard Derek say, very quietly, “I really liked dancing with you.”
Me too, Stiles thought, but he didn’t say it aloud. No matter how badly he wanted to.
“Mm?” The hand on his back stilled, Derek shifting slightly, like he was looking down at him.
Stiles hesitated, then decided it would be best to just pretend he’d passed out.
No point ruining a good friendship over something impossible.
+1. Apparently Stiles was just as bad as Derek at the whole ‘feelings’ thing, who knew? Not Stiles, clearly.
Stiles hunched his shoulders with both hands over his head while he ran, as if he was managing at all to protect himself from the downpour. It figures that his Jeep would run out of gas during the worst storm they’d had in literal years. If anything, it should have just died on him, but no! Apparently it had run out of gas. Which was bullshit, because Stiles had filled the tank that morning.
He probably had a leak, which was bad. Nothing he could do about it now though. He’d pushed it off to the side of the road, and hoped no one would hit it. He didn’t want anyone to get hurt, nor did he want his baby to get damaged. He hadn’t called a tow truck yet because the rain was coming down so hard, he honestly worried his phone was fried in his pocket.
While he acknowledged he could’ve called for one while inside the Jeep, he hadn’t thought of that until after he’d already climbed out and gotten soaked. He wasn’t going to bother wetting the inside of his cab, it always took days for the wet smell to dissipate, and Scott always whined whenever Stiles dared get the upholster wet.
Not like it was Stiles’ car or anything.
He felt like he’d been running through the downpour for ages, but knew it couldn’t have been more than ten minutes. He was just cold, and the rain was kind of painful against his skin, not to mention his clothes felt heavy and stuck to him uncomfortably. But he was almost at Derek’s, who was the closest to where he’d run out of gas, so he was going to seek sanctuary there.
He wouldn’t stay long though, he didn’t want to bother him. He’d been commandeering his home—and bed—a lot the past few months, he didn’t want to rock the boat. Sure, they were friends, close friends, but Derek was kind of a solitary dude for a Werewolf and Stiles knew he was one of those ‘in small doses’ kind of people. Stiles was kind of a lot on the best of days.
Turning into the front lot of Derek’s large building, Stiles ran to the front door and almost broke his shoulder trying to get it open. It was always unlocked unless Derek was out, which meant he’d probably gone to the store or something.
Explained why the Camaro was gone, though Stiles hadn’t noticed that until after he’d tried to dislocate his shoulder.
Pulling his keys out, he wiped water out of his eyes—which did nothing since Derek didn’t have an awning and it just fell right back into his eyes—and started flipping through them for the right key. While he’d originally copied Derek’s keys himself, he’d lost the first set during a mad escape from a group of Chimeras coming after him. He figured he’d never have the opportunity to swipe the keys for a second copy again, but surprisingly, Derek had willingly given him a set.
Friendship right there. Stiles was the only one aside from Boyd who had a set, so that meant a lot to him.
Once the door was unlocked, Stiles hurried inside, shutting it behind himself and locking up, sighing deeply at finally being out of the rain. He was freezing though, and the rain didn’t sound like it had any intentions of stopping any time soon. He figured he could head up and maybe shower or something, dry off and warm up. Derek would give him a ride home when he got back, or Stiles could just text his dad to come grab him when he had the chance if Derek was out for the night.
No big deal.
Stumbling through the darkness towards the stairs, and cursing when he tripped on the bottom one, he made his way up to the second level—or third? Who knew how high the loft was, really?—and tried the door. Predictably, also locked. At least Derek had started taking his home security more seriously, he used to leave the loft door wide open with the front door unlocked.
Not that he’d had much to steal back then, but still! Someone could just waltz into his loft uninvited and camp out there!
Sure, Stiles was kind of doing that, but it could be argued he was invited, because he had keys. People who were given keys were never uninvited. Unless the keys were taken away. And even then, Stiles had already made four copies, Derek was stuck with him now.
Unlocking the loft door, he headed inside, flipping on the light while shutting the door behind himself. It squealed loudly, making him wince. Derek needed to oil the track or something, that was unpleasant to his human ears. Then again, it was a good warning for when someone was trying to break into his place.
Making sure the loft door was locked, he hugged himself while his teeth chattered, shuffling towards the bathroom and trailing water along behind him. Whatever, he’d clean it up later, Derek wasn’t likely to return right this very second.
Disappearing into the bathroom, it took some doing getting out of his wet clothes, because they were sticking to him like a second skin. He almost fell over trying to get his jeans off, but managed not to brain himself on the edge of Derek’s counter. He was pretty sure one instance of being falsely accused of murder was enough for the poor guy.
Finally getting all his clothes off, he pulled one of the spare towels out from under the sink, set it on the toilet lid, and then hopped into the shower. The water burned everywhere it hit him, but it was the good kind of burn. It felt so good, and he was confident about not losing any toes, wiggling them just to convince himself they were all still accounted for.
Bowing his head, he let out a slow sigh, closing his eyes while the water cascaded down over him. Derek had a nice shower. It had surprisingly good water pressure.
Honestly, everything about the loft was nice. Stiles had to wonder if it was actually nice, or if it was all an illusion because he was so head over heels for Derek that it made everything he touched seem perfect. After all, it was just a shower.
He opened his eyes slowly, watching the water swirl down the drain, and couldn’t help but wonder if Derek jerked off in here. Stiles was more likely to do it in bed, but he’d admit to having done it in the shower a few times on a whim. Made for faster cleanup.
Honestly, he was almost, almost tempted right then, but then he remembered that, for one thing, Derek would smell it, and for another, that was rude. Derek was his friend, and while yes, Stiles did use his image during his wank sessions, he felt guilty about it. It felt almost like a betrayal, and he wouldn’t add insult to injury by jerking off thinking about Derek in Derek’s shower.
Splashing hot water on his face and giving himself a really brief wash with Derek’s bodywash, Stiles shut off the water and grabbed the towel, drying off before climbing out of the shower.
He didn’t want to put his wet clothes back on, so he picked them up, ignoring the puddle they’d left behind on the floor, and headed to Derek’s dryer so he could try and dry them off a bit. In the interim, Derek had clothes that would fit him, it wasn’t the first time Stiles had been forced to take a shower in the loft. The last time had involved monster faeces.
That hadn’t been fun.
With his clothes in the dryer, and his phone, wallet and keys on the dining table, Stiles tightened the towel around his waist and headed up to the second floor, moving through Derek’s room to his dresser so he could find some of the clothes he’d worn in the past. He pulled out a pair of sweats and a random shirt, tugging both on quickly and dropping the towel in the hamper.
Moving to head back downstairs so he could text his dad, he paused when he caught sight of a piece of paper on Derek’s pillow. It was folded over with his name on it, sitting almost innocently, waiting for the recipient to get home and take notice of it.
Stiles knew he shouldn’t. It wasn’t his business, and he shouldn’t be snooping through Derek’s things.
But Stiles was a snooper. It was what he did. He’d snooped on his dad’s case files, he’d snooped on people’s personal information in high school, and he was going to snoop now even if he knew he shouldn’t.
Detouring to the head of the bed, Stiles hesitated for only a moment, reminding himself that Derek would know he’d snooped since he would smell it, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Derek knew he couldn’t mind his own business if his life depended on it, so really, it shouldn’t be a surprise to him.
Stiles snatched the note up, unfolded it, and felt his heart drop at the words.
Thank you for last night, you are seriously the BEST!
It was extremely fun. Hope I see you again soon. Don’t be a stranger.
And CALL me anytime!
He probably deserved to feel as shitty as he did. His own fault for reading the note, he should’ve left it alone. But too late to dwell on the past.
Stiles slowly folded the note back up, feeling hollow, and set it back down on the pillow. He turned to head for the stairs and climbed down to the first floor, going to sit at the table to wait out the dryer.
Who was Carmen? Stiles felt like the note suggested a long-standing relationship of some kind. He’d never heard Derek mention her, but Derek wasn’t exactly the chatty type. He was private, and really, he didn’t owe Stiles any explanations. It wasn’t like he knew Stiles was in love with him.
And even if he did, so what? Derek was allowed to go out and make friendly with people. He was allowed to find someone he wanted to be with. Whether it was a one-night stand or a more serious relationship was really none of Stiles’ business.
Derek deserved to be happy. If that was with this Carmen person, well then...
Then that was all that mattered. That Derek was happy. As long as Carmen treated him right and made him happy, then that was the most important thing. Stiles could stand to see Derek with someone else as long as he was happy.
He stayed seated at the table for a few minutes, turning everything over in his mind, and trying to convince himself this wasn’t the end of the world. So Derek had someone else, so what? It wasn’t like Stiles was delusional enough to think he had a chance with him. Sure, they were friends, and Stiles looked way more attractive now than he did in the past, but Derek was straight. He was into women, and Stiles was very much not a woman.
And again: as long as Derek was happy, that was all that mattered. If this Carmen person hurt him, Stiles would break her kneecaps, no big deal.
Reaching out for his phone so he could follow through with texting his dad, he hadn’t even closed his hand around it when he heard the door downstairs slam.
Derek was back.
Or maybe it was Carmen. After all, the place had been locked up when Stiles had shown up, maybe she had keys. Maybe she and Derek were serious, but she was human, so he hadn’t introduced her around yet. After all, it would be hard for Derek to explain why his twenty-five year old ass was bumming around with a bunch of twenty-one year olds without admitting he was an Alpha Werewolf in a pack.
Stiles’ hand was still on his phone, but he didn’t pull it closer. He just listened to the steps ascend, the rain still falling relentlessly outside. He heard the loft door unlock and then squeal open, turning to glance over.
It was Derek. Thank God.
Stiles didn’t think he’d have been able to control his face if it was Carmen.
“Hey,” Derek said, offering him a soft smile while stepping into his home and shutting the door. He was a little damp, likely from the dash between his car and the entrance. “I didn’t see the Jeep, but I smelled you on the stairs.”
“Ran out of gas,” Stiles said, a little subdued. Derek frowned at his tone and Stiles forced himself to prop his voice up, grinning at him as best he could. “Your place was closest so I let myself in. I’ll be out of your hair soon, just waiting for my clothes to dry off and gonna ask dad to come pick me up.”
“You can crash here, don’t worry about it,” Derek said easily, shrugging out of his jacket and hanging it up on a hook by the door. He turned back to Stiles, rolling up the sleeves of his Henley while approaching, and Stiles shifted his gaze away, looking at anything but Derek. “You get stuck out in the rain?”
“Yeah, little ways back.”
“Glad you were close enough to make it here. You been here long?”
He shrugged. “Like fifteen minutes.”
Derek nodded, but he was eying him weirdly, like he didn’t know what to make of Stiles’ subdued nature. To be fair, unless he was sleep-deprived, Stiles usually couldn’t shut up. He just... didn’t really have words right now.
He was upset. He knew he didn’t have the right to be, Derek was allowed to be with someone else, but it still hurt to realize he would never be with Derek. They were friends, and that was all they’d ever be.
“Did you eat?”
“Don’t worry, I’m not gonna stick around.”
Derek arched an eyebrow. “That’s not what I asked. I was gonna grab some leftover pizza. Did you want some?”
Stiles’ stomach chose that moment to gurgle at the prospect of food and Derek laughed, slapping him lightly on the shoulder while walking past him to the kitchen. Stiles said nothing and just sat there while he listened to Derek pull out plates and open the fridge for the pizza. He came back out with the box, balancing the plates on top.
Setting one down in front of Stiles, Derek fell into the seat across from him and pulled his own plate off the lid, then flipped it open. There were six pieces left, so Stiles just grabbed one. He could eat when he got home, even though he still hadn’t managed to text his dad for a ride.
“Fine,” Stiles lied, wincing internally when he saw Derek’s eyes dip down to his chest. Fucking Werewolves.
He shoved the end of his slice of cold pizza into his mouth to avoid having to explain. Derek seemed to feel pushing wasn’t the right thing to do anyway, because he didn’t say anything further.
They ate in silence, Stiles feeling like it was a little awkward. He wished his clothes would hurry up, though having dry clothes wouldn’t help until he texted his dad. He finished his piece of pizza before grabbing his phone, unlocking it and opening his contacts. He texted his old man to ask if he could swing by, and got a response a few seconds later that he was on a call and would let him know when he was free.
Great. Stiles was going to be stuck there until his dad was available.
He’d ask Derek, but he didn’t want to be stuck in the car with him for the ride back. He’d rather get someone else to drive him.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine, why?” Stiles muttered, still staring at his phone, like he could will his dad to finish up faster.
“It’s been known to happen.”
“Usually when something’s bothering you,” Derek countered.
Stiles just shrugged, because those were dangerous waters and he didn’t want to say anything he’d regret.
Derek allowed him to sit there silently, then sighed after a few minutes and collected their dishes when he confirmed Stiles didn’t want the last piece. He shook his head, and Derek shoved it between his teeth, disappearing into the kitchen with pizza dangling from his mouth.
He was such a dog, it was kind of adorable.
The thought made his chest ache and he forced himself to open one of his many games on his phone, determined not to dwell on it.
That proved to be futile when Derek reappeared, wiping his wet hands on his jeans. “Hey, was Carmen still here when you showed up?”
The stab of hurt that lanced through him was sharp and unexpected. Derek had said her name so easily. Like it wasn’t a big deal, and Stiles shouldn’t have been at all surprised he had someone over last night.
“No,” he answered, staring down at the home screen of one of his games.
“Guess she’d had enough of my company,” Derek said, voice teasing.
Stiles didn’t laugh. Derek noticed.
They sat in silence for a while longer, Derek standing on the other side of the table and Stiles staring down at the home screen of the game without making any move to play it. After a while longer, Derek sat down across from Stiles.
“Stiles, what happened?”
“Nothing happened,” he insisted.
Derek reached out and took his phone before he could stop him, setting it face down on the table at his elbow and raising both eyebrows.
“Something’s clearly wrong. I drop Carmen’s name and I’m not getting grilled like a prime rib right now. What happened?”
“I mean, it’s none of my business who Carmen is,” Stiles insisted, shrugging expansively.
Derek snorted loudly. “Since when has that stopped you?”
“Since now.” He reached across the table for his phone, but Derek moved it out of his reach, eyebrows still raised. “Can I have my phone back? I’m waiting for my dad to text me about a ride.”
“I told you, you can crash here,” Derek insisted with a furrow between his brows.
“It’s fine, I can go home. Don’t want to impose.”
Obviously Derek was well aware things were dire right now, because instead of snorting and saying, “Since when?” like he normally would have, he said, “You’re not an imposition.”
“What if Carmen comes back?”
“And?” Derek’s eyebrows rose impossibly higher. “What if she does?”
Stiles sputtered for a few seconds, because he honestly didn’t know how to respond to that. “Are you an exhibitionist? I’m not a voyeur,” was what he finally settled on.
Derek stared at him for a few seconds, and then leaned forward on the table, placing both hands flat against the wooden surface. Stiles’ phone was nowhere in sight, so he’d probably put it on his lap.
“Why are you assuming if Carmen was here that this would turn me into an exhibitionist and you into a voyeur?”
“She left you a note,” Stiles blurted out, motioning the stairs behind him. “She probably wanted to make sure you knew how great you were last night. She didn’t stick around for you to come back, but she needed to make sure you were well aware of your amazingness in the sack.”
Derek kept staring at him. “Did she say that?”
“In the note, did she say I was good in bed?”
“It was implied.”
For a few seconds, neither of them moved, then Derek reached into his lap and stood up. He had Stiles’ phone in his hand when he did so, confirming his suspicions, and the Werewolf headed for the stairs.
Stiles went to check on his clothes while Derek was gone, opening the dryer door and reaching in for them. They were still damp, but he felt like they were dry enough. He could change out and wait for his dad downstairs.
When he turned to head for the bathroom, clothes in his arms, Derek was blocking his way, staring at him with the most unreadable expression on his face. He inhaled deeply, eyes widening slightly, and exhaled sharply through parted lips.
Stiles’ heart jerked horribly in his chest at the two words. Shit. Shit!
“That you’re getting laid? Uh, yeah. Don’t we all want to see some action? Don’t know about you, but Mr. Righty is starting to lose his appeal.” He started to move around Derek but the Werewolf’s arm shot out and he slammed his hand against the doorframe right in front of Stiles, stopping him from exiting the small room.
“You’re jealous,” Derek said again, and he sounded incredulous. “You thought Carmen came over, we had sex, and she was thanking me for a good time.”
“Look, this is—none of this is my business, so can I—”
“She was Laura’s roommate.”
Stiles stared at Derek like he’d just spoken Greek. “What?”
“When we were in New York. We both went to NYU, and we lived on campus in the dorms. I had a stoner for a roommate. Laura had Carmen. She was passing by and stopped in to visit, check in, make sure I was doing okay. We didn’t have sex, I slept on the couch.”
It literally felt like Derek was speaking another language. “What?” Stiles asked again.
The hand blocking his path slowly slid down the frame, Derek’s eyes boring into Stiles’. Then, that same hand raised slowly, very slowly, and light, tentative fingers brushed against Stiles’ left cheek.
“You’re jealous,” he said again, like the words were foreign to him. “You thought... and you got jealous. Why?”
Oh God, this was not a good conversation. These were shark-infested waters right here! Stiles needed to super-swim back to the shallows where it was safe.
“You were. You are.” Derek took a step forward and Stiles stumbled back a step. The room was much too small for a Werewolf to be looming over him like that. “Why?”
Stiles opened his mouth. Closed it. He didn’t know what to say, and he tightened his grip on the clothes in his arms.
Derek’s nostrils flared and his eyes seemed to widen even more. “You like me.”
Fuck, his night could not possibly get any worse.
“No,” Stiles said, almost defiantly, even as Derek’s eyes dropped to his chest. God damn stupid lie-detecting humanoid motherfuckers!
Seriously, fuck Werewolves!
To be fair, Stiles was trying, but also not the time for jokes, his world was literally about to crash and burn around him.
Derek took another step forward and Stiles had nowhere left to go. He was pressed back against the stacked washer-dryer set, and Derek was right there. He was trapped, and it didn’t look like he would be leaving any time soon until Derek got an answer.
Fuck it, rip off the bandaid. Damage was already done anyway.
“Fine,” Stiles said, voice quiet. He scowled, squared his shoulders, and glowered at Derek, staring him right in the eye. “Fine. Yes, I was jealous. Yes, I thought you two fucked. Yes, I...”
He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t say it.
Derek leaned closer. “You what?”
Was it Stiles’ imagination, or was Derek like, suggestively close right now? He was literally right in his personal space, close enough that Stiles could see every individual eyelash. He was bracing his hands on either side of Stiles’ head, pressed back against the dryer, eyes locked on Stiles’.
Then, slowly, very slowly, Derek’s gaze lowered to Stiles’ lip.
Seriously, what was happening?
“You what, Stiles?”
“You’re an asshole,” he informed him.
“You like me,” Derek repeated.
Stiles said nothing, but his silence was damning enough. He just clenched his fists around the clothes he held more tightly, resisting the urge to stomp his foot and insist that, yes, okay, he liked him, could he go change and leave now?!
“Can I kiss you?”
Stiles was hallucinating. “I—what?”
One of Derek’s hands left the dryer, moving down to cradle Stiles’ cheek, tilting his head ever so slightly. His eyes were still locked on Stiles’ lips. “You never said anything. Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
Stiles opened his mouth, but no words came out. Stiles said a lot, thank you very much! What the hell!
“I thought you weren’t interested.”
“What?” That seemed to be the extent of his vocabulary right now. That one word.
Derek frowned, seeming confused for a second. “Stiles, I’ve been making it pretty clear that I am very interested in you. I haven’t exactly been subtle. You just kept brushing everything off so I figured you didn’t want that with me.”
Could brains short-circuit? Stiles wasn’t sure, but if they could, his had definitely just short-circuited. “What?!”
“Did you...?” Derek leaned back slightly, staring at him. “Were you missing all the very unsubtle hints over the past year?”
“Year?!” Well, at least it was another word.
Derek sighed, like Stiles was exhausting, and managed a small laugh, shaking his head. “Yes, Stiles. Year. I have been making my interest known for at least a year. I just figured you weren’t in—”
“I am interested!” Stiles interrupted, rather loudly. “I am so interested! Like—so much of the interest! All of the interest! Just—interest everywhere!”
A small laugh escaped Derek, but Stiles noticed him sag slightly, like he was relieved. Like he’d honestly thought Stiles would ever reject him.
“I thought you liked girls!” Stiles blurted out.
Derek gave him a weird look. “I do like girls. I also like boys.” He winced. “That sounds wrong. I like men and women.”
“Fourteen?” Derek offered.
“You never said!”
“I didn’t realize I had to publicly announce I was demisexual,” Derek said dryly. “Would you like me to formally announce it now?”
“So wait, you like me? Like, like like me?” That was a lot of ‘likes’ but Derek was fluent in Stileses so he thankfully just rolled his eyes.
“Yes, Stiles. I like like you. Are you done being five now?”
Stiles was seriously about to lose his fucking mind. “Can I kiss you?” he blurted out.
“I asked first,” Derek replied, and Stiles just took that as an invitation.
The clothes he was holding were dropped without a second thought and he grabbed at Derek’s face, yanking him forward so hard that he kind of headbutted him. His forehead ached, but he knew Derek probably hadn’t felt anything, and Stiles was fine with ignoring his own pain.
His lips were on Derek’s in a heartbeat, and God, he tasted as good as he smelled. Stiles wanted to climb him like a tree, because Derek liked him!
He like liked him! This was the best day of his life!
Derek’s hands were everywhere while Stiles tried to suck his tongue right out of his mouth, hands burying in his hair and tugging harshly at the strands. Derek’s palms were dragging against Stiles’ bare back, having shifted up under the shirt he wore and raking blunt human nails along his skin.
“Fuck,” Derek panted when Stiles pulled back to inhale. “I love seeing you in my clothes.”
“I’d prefer to see you out of yours,” Stiles insisted, leaning forward to press their lips together again. Derek bit at his lower lip and Stiles clacked his teeth painfully against the Werewolf’s, but neither of them seemed to care. They just kept kissing urgently.
“Not tonight,” Derek said when they broke apart again, like they hadn’t spent at least two minutes sucking face. “Some other time. But we should move this out of the laundry room.”
“Bed,” Stiles insisted. “Bed now.”
“You do love my bed,” Derek teased with a feral grin. His pupils were blown wide, and the little colour Stiles could see was crimson. It was the hottest thing in the world and he wished he could kiss and suck at Derek’s tongue the whole way to the bedroom, but he knew that would just have one of them trip and he didn’t want any unfortunate accidents.
Derek kissed him again briefly, then grabbed Stiles’ arm and turned, practically dragging him towards the stairs like he thought Stiles might change his mind.
Stiles’ mind was so set there was zero risk of it changing ever!
He was following behind Derek so closely that he almost tripped him up twice climbing the short flight up to the second floor. Once they were both on solid ground again, Derek literally picked him up and tossed him onto the bed. Stiles almost bounced right off it but managed to stop himself from flying off the other end.
Derek helped, since he landed on top of him a second later, tongue in his mouth and hands yanking insistently at the shirt Stiles was wearing. Stiles’ own were tugging hard at the back of Derek’s Henley, wanting it off, off now!
They broke apart so that Derek could raise his arms, Stiles wrenching the offending article of clothing off and tossing it away. Derek’s lips were on his again before he’d even really let go of the Henley.
He felt hot everywhere Derek was touching him, skin burning under the Werewolf’s touch, and he arched his back up into him, shifting so he could spread his legs more comfortably for Derek to fit between.
Derek groaned when he rocked his hips down into Stiles’, and buried his face in his neck.
“Not tonight,” he repeated, words almost slurred, likely because he had fangs in his mouth.
As much as Stiles wanted to whine and argue, it was probably the right call. Even if they were close friends—possibly more now?—it wouldn’t be smart to just fuck like rabbits after the awkward confessions downstairs not ten minutes ago.
“Do I get to at least keep kissing your dumb face?” Stiles asked breathlessly.
“As much as you want,” Derek answered, kissing at Stiles’ neck, up along his jaw, and then pressing their lips together again. Stiles tongued at one of Derek’s sharp canines, but didn’t tempt fate and retreated it so that Derek could thrust his own tongue into his mouth.
He didn’t know how long they lay there making out. Occasionally one of them would rock their hips, both of them extremely hard, but they managed to stop themselves before rutting against each other like animals.
Stiles’ phone rang a few times, but they both ignored it until Derek’s went off in his pocket. The sheriff was calling because Stiles not answering his phone was cause for concern given their lives, and that conversation killed some of the mood because Stiles hadn’t meant to worry him.
Derek confirmed Stiles was fine and that he didn’t need a ride home anymore, and then promptly used Stiles as a mattress, cheek pressed against Stiles’ bare shoulder. He was kind of heavy, but Stiles didn’t mind, because this was literally too good to be true, and the weight of Derek pressing down on him like he was made everything feel more real.
He stared up at the ceiling, one arm wrapped around Derek’s shoulders, and the other rubbing up and down his spine. They hadn’t turned off any of the lights, and Derek was still wearing his jeans, but neither of them moved, comfortable and happy lying in Derek’s bed.
Stiles ended up falling asleep with a smile on his face, and when he woke up later to sun shining through the window and Derek wrapped around him and snoring into his hair, he couldn’t help the smile that almost broke his face and closed his eyes to go back to sleep, holding Derek back just as tightly.
+1.1. Stiles owned way too much shit.
Stiles moved into the loft two weeks later.
His dad insisted he was happy to finally be rid of him. Stiles knew he was probably sobbing himself to sleep at night.
Derek said Stiles was only moving in for the bed.
Stiles informed him the bed was only half the reason.
The coffee was the other half.
Derek cuffed him across the back of the head, and Stiles laughed, because he knew Derek was smart enough to know it wasn’t about the bed or the coffee.
Those were just a bonus.
Seriously, it really was the most comfortable bed. Stiles was happy he got the chance to sleep in it every night now, wrapped around a Werewolf who snored and stole the covers, but that was okay.
Stiles drooled and tended to kick, so fair was fair.
And nobody said love slept pretty.