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How are you so bad at this?

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Stiles took a deep breath before grabbing his backpack and jumping out of his Jeep. He had sworn he would only think positive thoughts today, and not dwell on the fact that his dad had forced him to move half-way across the country during his senior year of high school, or that, because of the different school start-times in different states, he was coming to this school three weeks into their school year. 

Stiles took another deep breath.

Positive thoughts. 

Positive. 

This town had a surprisingly low crime-rate, which was great news for his dad, who had been hired as the new sheriff. Low crime would hopefully mean low stress, which would be ideal for his dad’s heart. 

Stiles had already taken several AP classes at his old school, so his schedule was going to be pretty light. That was nice. 

He took another deep breath, and with his exhale, he let his magic flow out around him. He had felt a few werewolves around town in the few days he’d been here, but he hadn’t come close to any of them yet. Araceli, his Spark-mentor back home, had spoken to a druid who lived here who had agreed to continue his training. They met yesterday, and while the man seemed reserved, he also seemed knowledgeable and competent enough. He said there was an old and established werewolf pack in town, which he was the emissary for, and that they helped to maintain order within the supernatural community. 

Stiles knew he’d have to go introduce himself to them eventually, but since he had spoken to their emissary, he had some time to settle in first. 

“Watch out!” Someone shouted, and Stiles flailed out of the way as a basketball flew at his head. 

“What the hell?” Stiles asked as he turned to watch the ball fly past him, quickly followed by a guy.

“Sorry about that,” the guy said as he dashed toward the ball. He came back a moment later and grinned widely while inhaling deeply. Stiles had to blink several times to hide his surprise. This guy was a werewolf. A very, very cute werewolf. “I’m Derek, by the way. My friend Isaac got a little too excited with his pass and I couldn’t stop the ball before it came at you.”

Stiles glanced over his shoulder in the direction Derek gestured and realized that Isaac, and the few other people in their group, were also werewolves. Of course. 

“It’s alright,” Stiles said, turning back to Derek. “I’m just glad it missed.” Stiles laughed and joked, “It must have been attracted to my spark.”

Derek reached out and adjusted Stiles’ collar, “Are you new?”

Stiles glanced down at his collar before looking back up at Derek in surprise. None of the werewolves back home would have touched him that casually. Touches carried scents, and who you smelled like was a big deal within a werewolf pack. And Derek hadn’t even blinked when he mentioned his spark… and even though he had said it as if he were joking, Derek still should have picked up on the mention, right? 

“I am,” Stiles answered finally. “Today’s my first day.”

“Then let me show you around,” Derek said with a wide grin, resting his basketball on his hip as he stepped closer to Stiles and inhaled deeply again. “What do you have first period?”

Was this dude really smelling him this obviously? Stiles pulled his phone out and looked at the screenshot of his schedule. “AP Lit with Sanchez in-”

“Room 104,” Derek interrupted, his grin getting even wider. “That’s my first class too.”

Stiles laughed. Of course it was. “Alright then, lead the way.”

“Do you need to check in with the office or anything?” Derek asked as he reached an arm over Stiles’ shoulders and steered him toward the school.

Stiles tried to suppress his surprise again. Maybe this pack was just more tactile than the one he knew back home. 

“Nah. My dad and I were here yesterday afternoon to set everything up. Don’t you want to give the ball back to your friend?”

Derek laughed and shook his head. “It’s mine, anyway. And we can catch up with them at lunch.”

“We?” Stiles asked. 

Derek raised an eyebrow, “You won’t eat lunch with me? You have other plans already? I’m crushed.” He laughed easily as he stepped away from Stiles to open the door. 

Stiles laughed, “Nah I have no other plans. I just didn’t realize you’d want me around.”

Derek stepped in close to Stiles again and brushed the back of his hand along Stiles’ cheek. “You had an eyelash,” he said softly, although he continued to stare at Stiles from up close. 

Stiles shivered and exhaled a shaky breath. “Thanks,” he said softly. After another moment of them standing close together, Stiles forced himself to chuckle, “My, what big eyes you have.”

Derek blinked suddenly and stepped back, a wry grin on his face as he rubbed at the back of his neck. “Sorry, uh, you, uh, you smell really nice.”

“I smell nice?” Stiles asked with a laugh. This guy. Maybe he was a newly bitten wolf. He clearly had good enough control to be in school, but who said things like that? 

“Yea, um, is that cologne or like, something like that?” Derek asked, his eyes shifting from side to side quickly. 

Stiles laughed and bumped into Derek’s shoulder and pointed them down the hallway. If Derek wanted to be tactile, Stiles could roll with that. Derek fell in step with a grin and guided Stiles to turn when the hallway forked. “Maybe it’s my shampoo,” Stiles offered. “It’s organic.”

“Yea, that must be it,” Derek agreed. 

They continued down the hallway in silence for a few steps before Stiles spoke. “So, uh, are you on the basketball team, or do you just carry that around for fun?”

Derek laughed. “I’m on the team. Do you play?”

“I was on the lacrosse team back home,” Stiles admitted. “Do you guys have a lacrosse team?”

“Lacrosse?” Derek scoffed. “Basketball’s better than lacrosse.”

Stiles laughed again and pushed at Derek’s shoulder, although the guy didn’t even pretend to be moved by Stiles’ gesture. “Wow, you’re strong,” Stiles said as he shook his head. He must be a new wolf, Stiles decided. Or maybe he hadn’t been in school for a long time; he knew that it was common practice to home-school born wolves until they were confident with their control. 

Either way, he was pretty terrible at pretending to be human. 

Derek smirked at Stiles before pulling him into a classroom. “Ms. Sanchez,” he said to the teacher, who was standing near a pile of books on her desk. “We’ve got a new student today. Can he sit near me? I’m showing him around.”

Ms. Sanchez looked up and grinned at the pair before glancing down at a piece of paper. “Yes, I saw. It’s, um… My-ee…”

“Mieczyslaw,” Stiles said easily. “But please, just call me Stiles.”

“Stiles?” The woman asked, glancing back up at him. “Are you sure? If you say it again, slower, I’ll write it out so I can practice it.”

Stiles waved and glanced at Derek, who was looking at him with wide eyes. “My dad doesn’t even use my name. It’s a family tradition thing, but literally nobody uses it. Just, Stiles.”

“Alright, Stiles,” she grinned and glanced at Derek. “Stiles can take the seat behind you, alright Derek?”

“Perfect,” Derek said with a grin before he bumped his elbow against Stiles’ arm and said, “Come on, this way.”

“Nice to meet you, Stiles,” Ms. Sanchez said. “And you came on the perfect day. We’re starting our first book today.”

“Wide Sargasso Sea,” Stiles said with a grin as he tapped the pile of books. “This is the one that’s supposed to be, like, a prequel to Jane Eyre , right?”

Ms. Sanchez’s eyes widened comically, “You’ve read it?”

“Nah,” Stiles replied easily. “But my best friend back home loved the Bronte sisters and talked about them all the time." 

“Have you read Jane Eyre ?”

“Yup,” Stiles answered. 

“Well, that’s the next book we’ll be reading, so I look forward to seeing your insights into the book.”

Derek tugged gently on Stiles’ arm, and he turned and grinned. “I didn’t realize you were a literature genius,” Derek said softly. 

“I’m not,” Stiles said with a snort. “I mean, books are interesting, and I like researching things, so it all kind of goes hand in hand.”

Derek settled into a desk, and Stiles sat behind him. Derek turned around immediately. “Can I see your schedule, by the way? I want to see what other classes we have together.”

Stiles pulled his phone out again and handed it over. Derek studied his schedule for a moment. “We have gym together next period, so you can borrow one of my spare uniforms, if you want, and then we have--”

“You want me to wear your clothes?” Stiles interrupted. 

Derek blushed and glanced down at Stiles’ schedule. “Well, I mean, you don’t have one, right? And I always have extras for basketball, so it’s not a problem. I’ll give you a clean one. I promise.”

Stiles grinned as he pulled out a notebook and pen. “What about the rest of the day?” 

Derek glanced down. “Two periods apart, but I can at least show you where to go, and then we have lunch together, and then double period of science after, and then we’re done for the day.” Derek glanced up and grinned widely at Stiles, who jumped when the bell rang. 

“Shouldn’t you turn around?” Stiles whispered, trying to suppress a grin. “Sanchez looks like she’s ready to start teaching.”

Derek glanced toward the front of the room before turning back to Stiles. “In a minute,” he said, as he opened his backpack and pulled out a binder and pen. He opened his mouth to speak, but Sanchez cleared her mouth so Derek turned around and focused on her. 

Halfway through class, Stiles realized that Derek hadn’t given his phone back, so he tapped Derek’s shoulder with his pen. He shifted in his chair so he could glance around. “Yea?”

“You’ve still got my phone,” Stiles whispered. 

Derek turned all the way around and grinned as he held out the phone. “I put my number in it. I didn’t go through any of your notifications, I swear. I just texted myself so I’d have your number.”

Stiles laughed softly and glanced at Sanchez. She was handing out books and was halfway across the room, so she wasn’t focusing on them. “Dude, you’re lucky you’re this cute, because otherwise I’d be mad about you going through my phone.”

Derek leaned closer to Stiles, “You think I’m cute?”

Stiles snorted, “Like you don’t know you are.”

“It’s nice hearing you say it, though,” Derek responded with a smirk as he turned to face the front of the room again. Stiles rolled his eyes as he glanced down at his phone. 

Gym went surprisingly smoothly. Stiles did end up wearing one of Derek’s extra basketball uniforms. The coach barely blinked when Stiles went to introduce himself. 

“Are you the new kid with the unpronounceable name? Looks Eastern European?”

“Yup. That’s me,” Stiles replied.

“You an athlete?”

“I was on the lacrosse team back home.”

“You any good?”

Stiles chuckled. “I’m alright.”

The coach nodded and then turned to the class. It seemed their conversation was over. 

Derek found at least two dozen excuses to touch Stiles over the course of the class, and then after they changed back into regular clothes, Derek walked Stiles to his art class with his arm over his shoulders again. “Your civics class is just down the hall,” Derek said pointing. “I’ll meet you there at the end of next period, alright? And then we’ll go have lunch.”

“Thanks, dude. I think I’ll survive two periods without you.”

Derek frowned. “Don’t call me dude.”

Stiles rubbed his thumb along one of Derek’s eyebrows to smooth out the scowl, “What should I call you?”

Derek blushed and glanced down the hall in a gesture Stiles recognized from the werewolves back home. One of his pack members must have commented something, and Derek was trying not to react to it. Trying, and failing, based on the blush.

Stiles stepped a little closer to Derek so their chests were almost touching and leaned to whisper into Derek’s ear, on the far side from where he had glanced. “I can’t wait to meet your friends, by the way. You think they’ll like me?”

Stiles stepped back so he could see Derek’s face, and was gratified that the blush had deepened. He’d been invading Stiles’ personal space all day long, so now he could be on the receiving end for a minute. 

“They definitely will,” Derek managed finally. He grasped Stiles’ shoulder and squeezed before using it to push him gently toward the classroom. 

Stiles ended up sitting near two girls he had seen in his earlier classes, a brunette and a red-head. 

“You know,” the red-head observed as the bell rang. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Derek flirt so openly with anyone before.”

The brunette nodded. “Derek definitely likes you. Did you guys know each other before you moved here?”

Stiles shook his head. “Nope. We met this morning.”

The red-head’s eyebrows rose. “And all of that,” she waved her finger at the hallway where they had been talking, “is just from knowing each other for a couple hours?”

Stiles shrugged. “Yup.”

“I’m Allison,” the brunette said, “And this is Lydia.”

“Nice to meet you,” Stiles said. “I’m Stiles.”

“Yup, and you have some sort of unpronounceable first name, we heard.”

“Does Derek really not act this way around other people?” Stiles asked, leaning toward the girls. 

“Never,” Lydia said with a smirk. “I mean, he’s always been kind of cocky and assertive, but I’ve never seen him flirt so vigorously before.”

“Also, he isn’t usually so… handsy,” Allison said slowly, glancing at Lydia as she spoke. “Not even within the… friend group.”

Stiles squinted at the girls again. Neither of them were werewolves… but Lydia was… something. He wondered if they were part of the pack too. They seemed confident in discussing Derek’s behavior, as if they were close to him and qualified to talk about him. 

“I, uh… I was kind of surprised too,” Stiles admitted as he rubbed at the back of his neck. “I wasn’t a hundred percent sure he was flirting and not just… you know… like really tactile.”

Lydia laughed. “Definitely flirting.”

They spent the rest of the period talking, and Stiles was pleased to see that Allison was in his civics class as well. 

Stiles stepped out of civics and wasn’t at all surprised to see Derek leaning against the opposite wall. When they made eye contact, Derek grinned widely and Stiles made his way toward him. 

“My, what big teeth you have,” Stiles said as a greeting once he was close. 

Derek laughed and reached an arm over Stiles’ shoulders. “You’re so weird,” he said with a laugh as he pushed off from the wall and started walking. “Come on, let’s go get lunch.”

“You’re supposed to say, ‘The better to eat you with,’” Stiles laughed as he fell into step with Derek. 

“Yea, but, that would imply I’m a wolf in disguise, right? And do I look like a wolf?”

Stiles snorted. “You look about as much like a wolf as I do right now, but my magic lets me see all kinds of things.”

Derek laughed so much he had to clutch at his stomach. “Oh man, if only.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as he looped his arm around Derek’s waist, bemused at how comfortable it felt to be touched, and touching, the new werewolf who evidently had no idea about what Stiles was. He had half-convinced himself during civics class that Derek must have realized what he was; he knew that werewolves could sense his magic, and he figured that was why he was so comfortable around him. He couldn’t think of any other reason why he would be so freely doing so many “wolfy” things like scenting him and talking about how he smelled. But apparently he didn’t know. Which meant… that was just how he behaved. 

But… could he have been any more obvious just now? His teacher had always been adamant about not letting strangers know about his magical spark, but Derek didn’t really count as a stranger anymore, did he? He was a werewolf, so he must know that magic existed. And he was part of a pack that knew Stiles had just moved to town. So… he’d find out sooner or later, right?

After grabbing food from the cafeteria, Derek towed Stiles to a large table outside. He saw Lydia and Allison sitting amongst a bunch of other people who could all be models, and most of whom were werewolves. Did their pack have some kind of requirement that you have chiseled jawlines and the ability to model swimsuits in order to join?

“Everyone, this is Stiles. He’s new, so be nice to him, alright?” Derek said as he dropped his food at an empty spot on the table. He looped his arm over Stiles’ shoulder and pulled him close before pointing and naming each person. Stiles was pretty sure he instantly forgot half the names, but he figured he’d pick them up over the next few days, since it seemed like he would be spending lots of time with all of them anyway. He’d just enjoy the feeling of being pressed up against Derek for now, and learn everyone’s names later on.

As Derek was talking, Stiles watched out of the corner of his eye as one of the girls, Erica, maybe, leaned over to Lydia and whispered something with a laugh. Stiles kept his eyes on Derek, but focused his magic toward Lydia as she elbowed Erica and hissed back, “Derek said he’s a regular human, and he clearly likes him, so don’t you dare!”

Stiles dropped his eyes to his food for a second before he glanced back up at Derek and smiled. Derek really thought he was a regular human? He didn’t realize about his magic? Then… why? Was he really just bad at acting human?

Stiles turned to study the rest of the group and realized that, while there were several humans in the group, the whole lot of them were extremely tactile. Throughout the whole period, everyone in the group frequently reached out and touched other people at the table, whether it was just a graze of the fingers, a bump of the leg, or even a shove, they seemed to be in almost constant physical contact. 

So then, did Derek view what he was doing as not particularly out of the ordinary? Maybe Stiles and Lydia had both misread it all, when they thought Derek was flirting. Maybe he just… touched everyone casually. 

“Hey, what’s up?” Derek asked softly, leaning closer to Stiles. “You smell, I mean, uh, look upset all of a sudden.”

Stiles snorted and shook his head. So bad at this. “You guys all seem so close,” Stiles said, careful to phrase his sentences so they were all truths, even if he was avoiding what he had actually been thinking about. “My friends back home, we had a smaller group.” He smiled as he looked around at them all. “I like it though. You seem like a real… family.”

“We are,” the guy across from them with the adorably crooked jawline responded. He brushed his floppy hair out of his eyes and grinned widely. “We were kind of all like, misfits, and then Derek and his family kind of all, you know, adopted us.”

Stiles nodded. Scott must be a newer wolf then, if he’s perceiving the pack as having adopted him. Unless he was literally adopted. Anything’s possible. 

His breath hitched slightly when Derek ran a hand up his spine before resting on the back of his neck. He brushed his thumb back and forth gently, sending chills down Stiles’ spine. 

Derek leaned in and spoke softly, “I’m sorry. I didn’t think about you missing your friends. It must be tough, seeing all of us here, right?”

“A little,” Stiles acknowledged as he leaned closer to Derek. “This is nice though. It’s…. Grounding. I’ve been feeling...” he inhaled deeply as he searched for the right word, “my anchor is just having trouble adjusting.”

Derek squeezed the back of Stiles’ neck gently and grinned, “Sometimes being with the… group helps me feel better when I’m having a rough day.”

“No offense to your friends,” Stiles said with a small grin, “but I think it’s mostly you that’s making me feel better.”

Derek grinned widely and then they both jumped when the bell rang. 

“Shoot, come on, let’s throw our stuff out and hurry so we’re not late to the lab.”

Stiles wasn’t surprised when Derek managed to convince the science teacher to make them lab partners, and he couldn’t help but ask about it.

“Dude, do all of the teachers here just love you?”

“Don’t call me dude,” Derek retorted softly as he put a hand on Stiles’ shoulder to guide him to the lab table they were going to share. “And not all of them. It’s just… I have a lot of siblings and we’ve all kind of been good athletes, and honors students and things like that. I think most of the teachers just have a soft spot for us.”

When the bell rang to signal the end of science lab, Stiles started packing things into his backpack. The day hadn’t been too overwhelming, but he was still glad it was over. He glanced up as Derek ran a hand along the entire length of Stiles’ arm from wrist to shoulder, a gesture he had seen various werewolves do to their pack members. Derek was scenting him again. And not even subtly. 

Stiles rose and slung his backpack over his shoulder before reaching up and wrapping a hand around the back of Derek’s neck, his fingers playing in his hair. He smirked as Derek’s pupils blew wide. Two could play at this game. If Derek wanted to be flirty and scent him all day long, he could do the same thing in return. Stiles dropped his hand down along Derek’s neck and then patted his chest before adjusting his backpack and moving toward the door. 

“Hey, so, um,” Derek said a moment later as he rushed to catch up with Stiles, “do you have any plans for the afternoon? You could come home with me and do homework?”

Stiles glanced over his shoulder and grinned. “Yea that sounds good. Do you have a car? I drove here this morning.”

Derek brushed his fingers along the back of Stiles’ hand. He glanced at Derek, who was smiling shyly, so he turned his hand around and linked their fingers together.

“Isaac drove today. He’ll be out by the parking lot waiting for me and Scott, so I’ll just let them know I’m getting a ride with you.”

“Hey,” Stiles said, tugging on Derek’s hand to pull him so they faced each other. “You can hang out with your friends, if you want. I don’t mind going home on my own.”

Derek stepped closer and squeezed Stiles’ hand. “I want to spend time with you, though. But… if you don’t want to, it’s okay.” Derek glanced down as he finished speaking and Stiles watched a blush crawl up Derek’s cheeks for a moment before he squeezed his fingers in return. 

“I’d really like to hang out,” Stiles said softly. He knew that Derek would be able to hear him clearly, no matter how low he dropped his voice. “I just don’t want you to feel like you need to.”

Derek looked up quickly. “No, it’s not like that, I promise. It’s… weird, almost. I just… I feel so drawn to you.”

Stiles grinned and glanced down at their hands. “Me too,” he admitted. He tugged slightly on Derek’s hand and started walking down the hall again. “I wasn’t really expecting to… make so many friends already.” Stiles glanced at their joined hands again, “Or find someone I’d want to hold hands with in the hallway.”

Derek chuckled. “People do keep looking at us.”

“Do you mind?” Stiles asked. “I mean, I don’t know any of these people, really, but you’ve gone to school with them all for years, right?”

Derek shrugged. “Yea, but I don’t care. I’m just glad you’re not… weirded out at all.”

Stiles shot Derek a sidelong glance, “Do people normally think you’re weird?”

Derek shrugged again. “I mostly just hang out with the pa---my friends, I mean. And when new people join us, like Scott, they kind of usually think we’re weird in the beginning. But you don’t.”

“Nah, I don’t,” Stiles agreed. 

How did Derek not realize why, though? Stiles knew he wasn’t weird because he had grown up around a werewolf pack. He recognized the signs, but how come Derek didn’t recognize that Stiles recognized? He groaned softly as they exited the building finally.

“Oh look!” Derek said with a grin, “There’s Isaac and Scott.”

Stiles trailed behind Derek and bit his lip. There had to be a way for him to tell Derek, right? The normal rules of not telling new people about your power… that had to be cancelled out when the person is a werewolf, right? How had he never gone over the details of this with this teacher back home?

“Hey guys,” Isaac said as he gave a significant look to Derek and Stiles’ joined hands. “Are you not getting a ride home with us, Der?”

“No, Stiles is going to drive me,” Derek responded with a grin. “And we’re going to do our homework together too.”

“That’s awesome,” Scott said with a wide smile. “Have fun!”

“Hey, uh, Derek,” Isaac said as he pointed with his thumb over his shoulder, “would you come uh, look at this with me?”

“Yea, sure,” Derek said, releasing Stiles’ hand and going to look into Isaac’s trunk with him. 

Stiles couldn’t help but hear Isaac when he quietly spoke, even though Scott started talking about how he had moved to town two years ago. 

“Dude, you’re okay, right? I’ve never seen you like this before,” Isaac said, a note of concern in his voice. “You’ve always… I don’t know… not gone this fast with crushes.”

“Oh hey, Allie!” Scott said with a wide grin. Stiles waved as she came up and threw her arms around Scott’s neck. 

“How was your first day, Stiles?” She asked with a grin. 

“Surprisingly good,” Stiles responded with a smile, even though he was trying to focus on the conversation Derek and Isaac were having on the other side of the car.

“Don’t forget what tomorrow night is,” Isaac said softly, and Stiles could barely hear him. 

“I remember,” Derek answered, just as softly. “And you know I’m good. I won’t slip up or lose control around him or anything.”

“Alright bro,” Isaac responded as he glanced around the car. Stiles tried to quickly avert his eyes so Isaac wouldn't realize that he’d been looking back at them, but he didn’t think he was convincing because Isaac dropped his voice even lower before speaking again. Stiles focused his magic on sensing what they were saying, and he was super grateful that Scott and Allison were too focused on each other to notice that he wasn’t paying attention to them anymore. “Are you sure he’s human?” Isaac asked. “He… he seems like… something.”

“No, I swear,” Derek answered. He glanced around the other side of the car. “Stiles?”

“Over here, dude,” Stiles waved. Derek scowled as he approached Stiles, but he reached out to lace their fingers together anyway. “Sorry,” Stiles said as he reached his thumb up to smooth Derek’s eyebrows again. “It’s just habit… but I’ll try to stop since it bothers you.”

“God, I thought Scott and Allison were disgusting together, but you two are worse.”

Derek turned quickly and growled, “Jackson, shut the fuck up.”

Jackson smirked. “What? I just think you’re cute together.”

“Funny,” Allison said dryly, “because the word you used was ‘disgusting’ not ‘cute.’”

“You sure?” Jackson asked. “I feel like the ‘cute’ was very heavily implied.”

Lydia marched up and started pushing on Jackson’s back. “Ignore him. You know what they say… it’s almost his time of the month.”

Isaac and Scott laughed at Jackson’s pinched face while he allowed Lydia to push him toward a Porsche parked a few cars away. 

Stiles looked back at Derek and saw that he was scowling again. “Hey, Derek, you want to go? I’m in no rush, but if you’re ready…”

“Yea,” Derek said with a growing smile as he looked back at Stiles. “Yea, let’s go.”

Derek tugged on Stiles’ hand and they both made their way across the parking lot to where Stiles had parked his Jeep that morning. 

“I’m sorry about what Jackson said,” Derek said after a minute. “He’s an asshole sometimes… well… honestly, most of the time.”

“I don’t mind,” Stiles answered as they got to his Jeep and parted so they could each climb in. “And I do think we’re kind of cute together.”

“Yea?” Derek asked as he reached for Stiles’ hand as soon as they got into the car again. Stiles squeezed it and brought their joined hands up to his face before rubbing his nose along the inside of Derek’s wrist, maintaining eye contact with Derek the whole time. Derek’s breath punched out of him the second Stiles brought his arm up to his nose and he didn’t blink until Stiles gently lowered it again. 

“I need this hand for the stick shift,” Stiles said softly after a moment. 

Derek stammered and stared at their joined hands before detangling his fingers. 

“You’re my kind of weird,” Stiles said with a grin before putting the car in reverse and pulling out. “So, where do you live?”

Derek directed him, although he stayed mostly quiet. Stiles made up for the silence by making observations about the places they drove past. 

When they parked in front of Derek’s house, Stiles turned to Derek and held his hand out. “Hey, you’ve been really quiet. You okay?”

Derek laced his fingers with Stiles’. “Yea,” he responded slowly. “It’s just… I know what I said before about you being really accepting… and you’re exactly my kind of weird. It’s…” Derek furrowed his brows and stared at their hands. “It’s actually weird, though, right? Like… nobody’s usually this accepting. It’s almost… too perfect.”

“Hey,” Stiles said, tugging on Derek’s hand and reaching up so he could trace his fingers along Derek’s jaw. “Hey, hey, hey, don’t worry. I swear dude, it’s okay. We’re okay. I’m magic, alright? So I get it, all of it, I totally do. Don’t worry about this.”

Derek laughed and shook his head, “Come on, let’s go in.”

Stiles watched as Derek got out of the car and walked around it. Did… did he just not get it? Had he not been obvious enough? Maybe he needed to do a magical demonstration to make Derek understand.

He hopped out of the car and Derek held his hand out for Stiles, so whatever hesitation he was feeling in the car must have been resolved. 

Derek snorted and muttered, “Magic. I wish.”

Stiles rolled his eyes but his steps slowed as they walked up the front steps. He squinted his eyes as they crossed the porch. He could sense… more werewolves here, but he figured he shouldn’t be too surprised by that. It would honestly be stranger if Derek’s family was human - who would have bitten a teenager without their parents already being part of a pack? But as Stiles stepped through the door he froze. There weren't just more werewolves here. 

There was an Alpha here. And based on the strength of her presence, Stiles was pretty sure she lived here. 

Which would probably make her Derek’s mom. 

“Derek, hold up,” Stiles stammered once he could get his mouth to move. “I have to tell you something.”

“What?” Derek looked at him weirdly and nudged him to the side so he could close the door behind him. 

Stiles winced as a voice called from deeper inside the house. “Derek? You brought someone home with you?”

“Yea, Mom.” Derek replied in a volume that wouldn’t carry through the rest of the house to normal human ears. “Relax,” Derek whispered into Stiles’ ear as he slid a hand around Stiles’ waist. “Your heart is going like crazy and you smell anxious.”

Stiles spun and faced Derek. “You have got to stop saying things like that!” Derek pulled back in surprise. “Dude! You are so bad at being subtle! How on earth do you manage to exist under the radar? Does the whole town just know what you are? Lydia said you thought I was a regular human, and then you just told Isaac I was one too, and you have one hundred percent not picked up on any of the hints I’ve dropped, or apparently even my blatant statements… so… why are you just…”

Derek looked like he’d been struck by lightning. He stammered out a few sounds before Stiles smacked his forehead and turned to greet his mom the second before she stepped into the room. 

“I’m so, so sorry,” he started before she could even speak. “I didn’t realize you were the Alpha and Derek’s mom.” He winced and stared down at his feet for a second. “I should have introduced myself to you when I visited Deaton yesterday before coming here like this without your invitation.”

“What?” Derek finally managed to squeak out. “What? You? What?”

“You’ve rendered my son speechless,” the Alpha observed. 

Stiles turned back to Derek and offered a small smile. “Derek, I’m sorry. At first, I kind of thought you knew, about me, that is. And like, I literally just told you, in the car! And you laughed it off! But also, I’m sorry for snapping at you.” Derek stepped a little closer and extended his hand slightly. Stiles reached out and laced his fingers through Derek’s. “I’m really sorry.”

“What are you?” Derek asked softly, looking down at their fingers. 

“A Spark,” Stiles answered. Derek stared at him silently for a moment, so Stiles brought their joined hands up and held them a chest height. He concentrated for a few seconds and then both of their hands began to glow. 

“Whoa,” Derek breathed out, staring at their joined hands. “You are magic.” He looked up suddenly, “Wait, that means you knew I was scenting you before, and you didn’t mind?”

“You were scenting him?” His mother asked with surprise. “You just met him! And you were in public!”

Stiles grinned at the embarrassed look on Derek’s face. “Mom, he smells really good. Like, really, really good.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m Talia, by the way,” she said to Stiles. “Are you staying for dinner?”

Stiles grinned. “Let me call my dad and see what his schedule is like. He’s the new sheriff.”

Talia nodded. “Deaton mentioned. Well, let me know. We’ve got plenty of food.” She turned to walk back toward the room she had come from, which Stiles inferred was the kitchen. “Let me know what your answer is. And it was nice to meet you, Stiles!”

He pulled out his phone and texted his dad quickly before glancing back up at Derek, who was still staring at him with a vaguely dumbfounded expression on his face. 

“You were teasing me all day!” Derek finally gasped. “With the little red riding hood stuff!”

Stiles grinned and tugged on Derek’s hand a little, causing him to take a half step forward so they were facing each other fully. “I was.”

“You know about us, and the pack and everything?” Derek asked as he reached out and twined their fingers from their free hands together. Stiles nodded. “And you’re okay with it? I mean… you don’t mind…?”

Stiles stepped in closer. He could see all the different shades of green in Derek’s eyes, and he took a minute to appreciate how his pupils dilated at their closeness. “Surprised, yes. Mind, not at all. It’s easier to date someone who already knows about your… supernatural affiliation anyway.”

“Date?” Derek breathed out, swaying forward slightly. 

Stiles pulled back slightly and squinted. “Wait, is that not--”

Derek interrupted his question by leaning forward and closing the small gap between them with a kiss. He released one of Stiles’ hands so he could run a hand up his back. Stiles reached up to cup Derek’s jawline, before shifting his hand and running his fingers through Derek’s hair. 

“You scented me back too,” Derek said a moment later as he rested his forehead against Stiles’. 

“I definitely did,” Stiles laughed. “Several times.”

“Because you’re into me,” Derek stated, his grin growing more confident.

“At least as much as you’re into me,” Stiles agreed before tilting his head so he could capture Derek’s lips again. 

Maybe living here wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as he had thought it would be.