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Derek woke up feeling on edge, barely a second before his cell phone began blaring whatever obnoxious pop song Stiles had last set for himself. He scooped up the phone and sat up in bed in one fluid motion, quickly tapping the screen to answer. “Stiles?”

Across the line, Stiles’ voice sounded scratchy and distant. “Hey there, chief. So. I have some questions.”

It was on the tip of Derek’s tongue to point out that it was three in the morning, and to ask if this could wait, but the strange anxiousness bubbling in his chest held him back. Somehow he just knew that this was important. Perhaps vitally so. The very thought added a dash of fear and concern to the mix. “Are you hurt?”

A humorless laugh answered him, and then Stiles simply pressed on with his own line of questions. “Remember back when Peter died the first time? When you became an alpha? And then for a while there you were a raging dick? How did you get better?”

Those weren’t the sorts of questions he had been expecting. Though, honestly, Derek was never really sure what to expect when it came to Stiles. “I had a pack,” he explained, as if it wasn’t probably the tenth time he had done so. Stiles and Scott had both required a great deal of convincing before they officially joined Derek’s pack, and much of that convincing had required Derek apologizing for his previous actions. “At first, the alpha power was a little overwhelming, mostly because I had no pack. Nothing to ground me. So I felt compelled to create a new pack for myself.”

For a moment, only Stiles’ breath could be heard. “So the only way to control it is to go around biting people?” he asked, something fragile and resigned in his tone.

“Not necessarily,” Derek hedged, confused by why Stiles required already-told explanations in the middle of the night. “Remember, I explained before about how it typically works in families? The alpha power can be passed down, sometimes while the retiring alpha is still alive. Whoever receives the power is usually trained to brace against the sudden rush of it, and since they already have a pack they tend to be much calmer than I was.”

Stiles let out another strange, broken laugh. “I don’t know what to do, Derek,” he confessed, and Derek realized that it wasn’t the quality of the call that made Stiles’ voice sound so scratchy.

“About what?” Derek moved to the edge of the bed, muscles tensing to stand and go, to find Stiles and fix whatever was wrong. “What happened? Where are you?”

“Remember that alpha who passed through, back before we all left for college?” Stiles asked, instead of answering any of Derek’s questions. It was a habit that was becoming quite frustrating. “Oh man, you were so on edge.” He chuckled, then sniffed. A long pause. “The whole time she was there, you were just so angry.”

Still having no clue where Stiles was going with any of this, Derek said, “Only because I didn’t know her, and she kept talking about how it was a great territory, and how she’d like to move her pack here and split the area.” It also hadn’t helped that she kept trying to flirt with him, insinuating that they’d make a strong couple, and an even stronger pack if they’d combine theirs. Derek had just wanted her gone.

It was bad enough that at that time, he had been preparing to watch several of his pack members leave for college, but he had also just started to realize his feelings for Stiles. Right when he was about to lose him to distance and parties and fresh-faced college kids. The very last thing Derek had wanted was to be sexually harassed by a stranger who just wanted to claim his territory and betas.

“So alphas can’t share territory,” Stiles concluded, resignation in his voice.

“They can,” Derek quickly corrected. “There are many ways two alphas can peacefully share territory, including being in the same pack.”

“Yeah?” For the first time that night, Stiles sounded a little more himself, a little less morose. “How does that work, then? Like, is there an Alpha Prime, and the other is second in command or something?”

“No, they’re equals. Married. It’s like with real wolves in the wild, and how there’s always two alphas that run the pack, one male and one female.”

Silence again, save for Stiles’ breaths crackling against the phone’s mic. “Oh,” was all he said.

“It’s not common,” Derek went on to explain, figuring that the silence and loss of enthusiasm had to do with Stiles just being confused by the new information. “Back in the old days, it used to be, though. Arranged marriages, just like human royalty and nobles did. Contracts and treaties between packs. Some of that still carries over into today, and there will be packs who ally themselves through marriage. But mostly now it’s something that only happens if two alphas happen to fall in love.”

“Which is rare, because alphas don’t typically like having other alphas in their territories. So how can they fall in love, right?” Stiles seemed to be trying for a light-hearted tone, but there was something very fatalistic to his voice.

“Stiles, what is all of this about?” Derek tried again. “What happened?”

“I,” Stiles started, but then stopped. Derek sat there, phone pressed to his ear, and waited. “I don’t think I can ever come home again,” Stiles whispered, pained.

Derek was on his feet in an instant. “What? What are you talking about, of course you can. Why wouldn’t you be able to come home? Does someone have you? Were you kidnapped? Was it an alpha? Is that why you’re asking all these questions?”

The laugh that came across the line that time sounded fond, except for the lingering sadness. “Whoa there, Derek. Calm down. No one captured--Ok, well, actually… Alright, so I’m not captured now.”

“What?” Derek all but roared, yanking open his drawers to fetch some clothing. “Where are you?”

“My dorm. Well, the parking lot of. But yeah.”

“Were you hurt?”

“That’s. A complicated answer.”

Derek drew up short, one leg in his jeans. “What do you mean?”

After taking a deep breath, Stiles dropped a bomb that sent Derek falling heavily to sit back on the edge of the bed. “I was bit. Turned.”

“Wha--How? When? Are you sure your body is accepting the bite? Are you ok? How do you feel?” Panic flashed hot and then cold through Derek. Thoughts of seeing Stiles’ face ashen pale as he spat up black blood was enough to rob Derek’s lungs of air.

“Yeah, I’m fairly confident the bite took.” That time Stiles’ laugh was nearly hysterical. “Probably helped speed things along when I killed the alpha who bit me.”

And then suddenly it all made sense. “You’re an…”

“Alpha. I’d say, judging by the glowing red eyes that I can’t keep turned off, that would be a ‘yes.’”

“Come home,” Derek urged immediately, no second thought. He made sure to pitch it so that it didn’t sound like a command, knew that Stiles wouldn’t be able to tolerate such a tone in his current state. “Please,” he added, just in case.

“How can I?” Stiles asked in a raspy whisper. “Derek, you just said--”

“I know what I just said. Please, you need to be here, with your pack.”

A growl rumbled across the line. “Please don’t say things like that,” Stiles cautioned, exhausted and sad.

“But it’s true,” Derek objected. “This is your pack just as much as it is mine. We’re your family. Please come home.”

Again there was just breathing for a long stretch. “I’ll go to my dad’s,” Stiles relented. “When Scott gets back, I’ll have him meet me there. I helped him acclimate to being a werewolf, so it’s only fair he returns the favor.”

“Stiles,” Derek begged, fucking begged, a whine highlighting that one word.

“You just said that there’s only one way a pack can have two alphas,” Stiles pointed out, voice growing hot and sharp with angry frustration. “I’ll try coming back to Beacon Hills, maybe see if I can at least live peacefully that close to you, but--” He sighed, the energy bleeding out of him with it. “But we both know it’s impossible for us to be in the same pack anymore.”

It wasn’t like Derek didn’t know his feelings were one-sided. Wasn’t like he didn’t smell other people on Stiles every time he came back on breaks. Wasn’t like he hadn’t already resigned himself to it, giving himself pep talks about how he should just move on and find someone else. It was just...despite all his efforts, Derek could never find someone who really affected him like Stiles, who caught all of his attention simply by being in the same room. Most importantly, Derek had never been able to find someone he trusted nearly as much as he did Stiles.

So, while he knew that he and his unwanted feelings were doomed, it still hurt to hear Stiles confirm it.

“I understand,” said Derek, rubbing his face, trying to keep calm and steady and not let himself beg a second time.

“Bye, Derek.” Despite his words, it was a long few minutes before Stiles actually ended the call.

-----

Stiles didn’t know what he expected to feel when he crossed over into Hale territory. Maybe a weird jolt, or an uncomfortable buzzing in his veins. But, he didn’t feel any of that. He just felt...like he was home. If anything, he became more relaxed, calmer. His eyesight stopped flickering between human and werewolf, his claws stopped peeking out and threatening to tear his steering wheel.

Relief washed over him. Not just because he had worried that there would be some supernatural force repelling him from his hometown, but because up until that point he had worried he might pose a threat to his father. The only reason he had even decided to risk it was because he was banking on his own deeply ingrained protectiveness of his dad, to the point that there was no way in hell he’d try to hurt him. Still, he felt even more secure in his choice once he stopped accidentally shifting.

Having been the person he called immediately after Derek, his dad greeted him on the porch when he arrived. There was a moment’s hesitation before John wrapped his arms around Stiles and hugged him tight. Stiles didn’t begrudge him that hesitation, and even felt a little proud at the cautious display. “I’m glad you’re safe,” John breathed into Stiles’ shoulder, and his heartbeat was strong and steady.

Stiles hugged back, burried his face into the scent of his father’s shirt, and inhaled deeply. Even if he didn’t have his pack anymore, at least he had his dad. Maybe John was his pack, actually, and that’s why Stiles had started to feel better when he got close. It made sense, and helped to ease some of the unshakable loneliness.

But then started Stiles’ self-imposed isolation. He refused to leave the house as he waited for Scott’s return, not even going with his dad to retrieve all of his stuff from the dorm. Which, he felt bad about, really. Especially when John informed him that Derek had volunteered to come help. All of his things came back smelling of Derek, and it made Stiles ache and waste a stupid amount of hours sitting on his bed, red eyes glowing, both trying to inhale and ignore that scent as much as he could.

When Scott finally arrived, he was absolutely no help.

“What?” asked Scott with a shrug, eyes wide and confused. “You were the one who taught me how to be a werewolf. Hell, you helped train all of the others with their control, too. Like, you were better than Derek at it. Just what am I supposed to teach you?”

Frustrated, Stiles paced his room and ran his fingers back through his already messy hair. “I don’t know,” Stiles admitted, gritting teeth that were thankfully blunt. “It’s mostly under control now, anyway. Before, though, when I called, my shift was all over the place.”

Scott tilted his head. “When did it start getting better?”

With a huff, Stiles answered, “Pretty much as soon as I arrived in Beacon Hills. Now I only slip up sometimes.” Like when his room smelled unavoidably like Derek.

Face brightening, Scott leaned forward from where he sat in the computer chair. “But that’s good, right? Derek told me you were worried that you wouldn’t be able to consider this your territory, so--”

“Derek told you?” Stiles spun to face Scott, eyes narrowing. “What else did he tell you?”

Scott blinked, seeming startled, but then slowly answered the question. “He said that you didn’t need to worry, and that Beacon Hills was just as much your territory as his.” Then Scott seemed to consider something, his brows crinkling in confusion and concern. “He seemed sad.”

That ache started back up again, and Stiles breathed through it as he turned away. “Probably just upset he lost a member of his pack.”

“But he said that you could still be part of the pack,” Scott insisted, stubborn in his optimism.

Scoffing, Stiles shook his head. “He tell you what would have to happen for two alphas to be in one pack?” When he glanced over his shoulder and saw Scott give a hesitant shake of his head, he explained, “We’d have to be together. As in married.”

For some reason, that didn’t seem to shock Scott, nor did his optimism seem at all damaged. “I’m sure dating for a while would work fine, too,” said Scott. “Like, I know you two have been gone on each other for years, but there’s no reason to rush into things.”

Stiles slowly turned back around and looked at Scott as if he had gone insane. Because he had to be insane. The words he was spewing were the gibberish ramblings of a mad man. “What.”

Scott’s face twisted up in deep, undiluted confusion. “Was that supposed to be a secret?”

“Was what supposed to be a secret?” Stiles felt cold. He’d maybe drunkenly rambled at Scott a few times about how unfairly attractive Derek was, and may have constantly compared any of the people he dated to the awesomeness that was Derek, but he couldn’t recall ever actually telling Scott the full extent of his gross, pine-scented-sappy feelings. “What did you tell Derek?”

“What--? Nothing!” Scott stood from the chair and held his hands up in front of himself in the universal gesture of surrender. “Dude, stop growling. And I’m starting to see what you mean about uncontrollable shifting.”

Shit. Stiles quickly checked himself, reining back in his emotions and taking deep breaths. “Sorry,” he offered weakly, before slumping down onto the edge of his bed.

“It’s ok,” Scott said softly, slowly sitting back down. “I did worse to you back when I was newly turned.”

They sat in silence for a while, before Scott scooted the chair a little closer and ducked his head to catch Stiles’ eye. “Why don’t you just go out to the house? See him and the others? Maybe it won’t be so bad. I mean, you seem pretty alright with me, that one slip up aside.”

“Maybe it’s just because I consider you pack,” Stiles murmured dejectedly, dreading the idea of seeing everyone and feeling so gutted and alone.

“That’s because I am your pack. So are the others. So is Derek.”

“You don’t get it,” insisted Stiles, feeling so goddamn tired. “Maybe if I came back as just a beta, it would have been fine. Derek would have acknowledged me as one of his, I’d click right back into place, everything would be fine. But that’s not what happened. You can’t just click another alpha into a pack that already has one.” He swallowed, throat feeling tight. “And I can’t risk something happening, like instincts making Derek and me square off in some sort of territory dispute.”

“He’d never attack you.” There was so much certainty in Scott’s voice, and at one time Stiles would have thought the same. Things had changed, though. Stiles had changed. And that? Well, that changed everything.

Stiles sighed and rubbed at his eyes to ward off a stress headache. Jesus, you’d think being a werewolf would mean an end to headaches of all kinds, but evidently not. “I’ll think about it.”

-----

Days later, Derek anxiously triple-checked the living room to make certain everything was neat, and wondered if it would be better or worse to wait for Stiles outside. Probably worse. He couldn’t help it, though, he was just so nervous about Stiles finally coming out to the pack house to talk with him. All of the others had made themselves scarce, not wanting to complicate matters. Which was good, really, but it left Derek with nothing to focus on except waiting.

When he finally heard the telltale rumble of the Jeep, Derek took deep breaths and tried to calm himself. It probably wouldn’t help Stiles’ state of mind to smell the nervousness dripping off of Derek or hear his rapid-fire heartbeat.

He waited a few seconds after Stiles knocked at the door before walking over to answer it. Nothing could really brace him for the change in Stiles’ scent, or the wide-eyed, lost look on Stiles’ face. “I don’t understand,” murmured Stiles, cautiously stepping inside and looking around as if he’d never been there before.

“What?”

Stiles turned to him, amber eyes burning ember red for a moment. “I thought it’d feel wrong, since it’s not my pack anymore, but the closer I got the more…right it felt.”

Some of the tension bled from Derek’s body and he couldn’t help the little smile of hope that flitted across his lips. “That’s because this is still your pack. I told you.”

For some reason that seemed to pain Stiles, because he closed his eyes and turned away. “Just don’t. You’re only making it more difficult.”

“How is it making things more di--”

“We should just get down to business. Maybe get a map of the area, draw out which part is mine and which part is yours. Since you have the larger pack, naturally you’d get the larger area.” As he talked, Stiles pulled out his phone and opened Google Maps.

“If that’s what you want,” Derek relented, feeling weary and defeated.

Stiles’ grip on the phone tightened so much the plastic made a dangerous cracking sound. “Of course it’s not what I want. None of this is something I wanted, Derek.” His voice had gone dark and dangerous, like it did when talking to an enemy right before the final showdown. Derek hated having that voice directed at him.

“I’d give you the pack, if that’s what you want,” Derek offered, feeling too devastated and tired to fight. He loved his pack, yes, they were his family. But Derek had experience with starting from scratch, and Stiles was newly-turned and scared and just didn’t want to lose his friends. “I could move to a nearby town, unless you thought that was still too close. Whatever you’d need.”

“Fuck,” snarled Stiles, looking for a moment as if he would throw his phone. Then he seemed to catch himself, and he pocketed it before any damage could be done. He turned on Derek, red-eyed and starting to shift further. “Why would you do that?”

“Because you need the pack,” Derek said, as if it were that simple.

“It’s your pack,” snapped Stiles. “You don’t need to give me your pack out of some charity or whatever, Hale. Christ.”

Derek locked his gaze with Stiles, trying to ensure there would be no further misunderstanding. “It’s not charity.”

“Then what is it?” Stiles asked, skepticism clear on his face, even as his features slowly melted back to human.

For a moment, Derek hesitated, habit making it hard to voice his secret. There really was no point in keeping that secret anymore, though. Not if Derek would be leaving anyway. Stiles had a right to know. “Your happiness is important to me,” Derek started, trying to pick the right words to express himself without sounding too uncharacteristically cheesy. “If that means giving you the pack, the land, anything else you need, then I’ll do it.”

Stiles still didn’t look like he understood, cocking his head as he processed. “But what about the others? Doesn’t their happiness matter to you, too? Don’t you think they’d be upset if you just left them?”

Nodding slowly, Derek agreed, “They probably would. And I care about all of them. But I know that they--and you--can do fine without me. So, like I said, if having them as your pack is what you need to be happy…”

“That just doesn’t make sense though,” Stiles objected, stepping closer. “The pack isn’t just the betas, Derek, it’s you, too. It won’t be the same if you’re not part of the pack.” Stiles’ heart was picking up speed, and he smelled like fear and grief.

“But you can’t even stand to be near me,” Derek gently explained, trying and failing to smile. “You want to divide the territory, keep apart.”

“Because dividing the territory is the only way we can stay close!” When Stiles reached out and grabbed Derek by the shirt, sharp claws tore a bit at the fabric. “You can’t just leave.”

Maybe, thought Derek, he should just say the words, like ripping of a bandaid. “I’m in love with you.”

Stiles blinked at him before stepping back, claws snagging a bit more on Derek’s shirt. “What?”

“When I say that your happiness is important to me, I mean it’s the most important thing to me. I don’t want to shove you into some corner of the territory and watch you be sad and lonely without your friends. I want you to be with them, to be with your pack.”

“But you’re also pack,” Stiles insisted, quiet and dazed. Then he blinked again, his expression hardening with resolve as he stepped back into Derek’s space. “You’re pack.”

“Stiles,” Derek started, shoulders drooping.

“No, you idiot, shut up. Other Alpha is talking.” Stiles scrunched up his face. “We’ll have to think of another title. Alpha S? Anyway,” he shook his head and refocused, lifting his hands to grip Derek’s shoulders firmly. “We should date.”

Oh. “You don’t… I said you could have the pack, Stiles, you really don’t have to do this.”

“Oh my god. Here.” Stiles grabbed Derek’s hand placed it over Stiles’ heart. “I love you, too. Asshole.” There was no stutter.

Derek curled his fingers into Stiles’ shirt and used it to pull him closer for a kiss. Then suddenly it was as if a switch had been flipped, and Stiles was herding Derek up against the wall as he practically devoured his mouth. “Shit,” Stiles whispered against his lips, repeating the word as he kissed along Derek’s chin and cheek and down to his neck. “Fuck, you smell so damn good. Before you even opened the door I could smell it, and then I was inside and Christ. Why do you smell so good?”

Letting out a breathless, giddy laugh, Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles and pulled him closer. “Maybe for the same reason I think you smell so good?”

“You smell better with my scent mixed in,” Stiles said, before kissing and sucking at Derek’s neck. “My stuff you helped bring back from the dorm...god, my room smelled amazing for days after. Drove me insane.”

“Now you know how I felt every time you stayed here and left your scent everywhere.” Derek’s hands slid up and down Stiles’ back, slipping up under his shirt to touch at bare skin. “But never where I wanted it…”

Stiles pulled back, the teeth in his grin looking a little too sharp. “Yeah? And where’s that?”

Smirking, Derek slipped his hands down the inside of Stiles’ jeans, gripping his ass. “Let’s just say it’s not fair you got to have your room smell like us.”

With a snicker, Stiles hooked a finger in one of Derek’s belt loops and tugged. “Simple solution to that.”

Derek raised his brows, even as he allowed Stiles to pull him towards the stairs. “I thought you wanted to date.”

Stopping, Stiles turned to study Derek’s face. He looked so concerned that Derek couldn’t help but smile and reach out to caress his cheek. “Are we going too fast?” Stiles asked, then bit his lip. “I want you to be comfortable.”

And maybe they were, but at the same time, it honestly didn’t feel that way. It felt more like an inevitability that they’d finally reached after years of stumbling their way there. So Derek pulled Stiles close for a kiss that was far gentler than their first had been. “I trust you,” Derek offered, looking into Stiles’ eyes. “I want this.”

They smiled at each other and continued up the stairs, the energy between them having shifted to something with less urgency and more weight.

It wasn’t until they were in Derek’s room and their clothes were scattered around the floor that Stiles started to really smell nervous. “What is it?” Derek asked, rubbing his hands soothingly along Stiles’ arms.

“What if I shift?” Stiles couldn’t meet Derek’s eyes, watching instead as he ran his very human hands along Derek’s bare chest. “What if, like, my new instincts kick in because they think you’re attacking me, and I just--”

Derek leaned in and pressed their foreheads together. “You wouldn’t hurt me.”

Pulling back a little, Stiles finally met his eyes, his own twinkling in the dim light as he smiled. “Scott said the same about you. That you wouldn’t hurt me.”

“Well, you’re the one always telling me he has his smart moments,” Derek teased.

They both chuckled as they resumed kissing, barely breaking apart when they climbed together onto the bed. Derek grabbed his bottle of lube from the nightstand, drawing himself up to his knees as he drizzled some onto his fingers. Sprawled out on the bed beneath him, Stiles watched and licked his lips. “How do you want me?” Stiles asked, breaths already starting to come heavier in his excitement.

Capping the lube, Derek set it aside on the bed and considered. “Right there’s fine,” he determined, then reached back behind himself to press one slick finger inside. His eyelids fluttered for a moment at the sensation, and the thought that soon it would be Stiles inside, instead. “Want to ride you.”

Fuck,” Stiles said with feeling, grabbing at Derek and running his long-fingered hands up and down his thighs. “I take back every negative thought I had about this whole turned-into-an-alpha thing. It’s fucking amazing. You’re amazing. Everything is amazing.”

A laugh bubbled out of Derek, and he leaned forward for a kiss before working a second finger in. “You’re not so bad, yourself,” he whispered with a playful smirk followed by another quick peck.

Stiles whined in the back of his throat. “As soon as I feel secure in my control, I want to be the one who gets to finger you open. Deal?”

Grinning, Derek kissed him again before agreeing, “Deal.” Then he let out a pleased little grunt as he got the third finger in. The angle was off, and he knew he wasn’t getting nearly as deep as he needed, but it would be enough to ease the way. Besides, his patience was a hair-thin thread about ready to snap.

Removing his fingers, he snatched back up the lube and got Stiles nice and slick, relishing in the sounds it elicited from the other alpha. As Derek sank down onto Stiles, it felt like something deep within his chest clicked into place. Beneath him, Stiles gasped and tensed, as if having felt it too.

“Something,” gasped Stiles, “something changed. I feel…”

Complete. Grounded. As if this was a consummation of their union as co-alphas. And maybe that was exactly what it was. No formal ceremony necessary, just a moment of absolute trust and intimacy.

Stiles sat up, Derek hissing pleasantly at the feel of him shifting inside, and drew Derek in for another deep kiss.

-----

“So, what exactly happened?” Derek asked much later, as their breaths evened out and their sweat dried cool on their heated skin. “With the alpha who bit you?”

It wasn’t a pleasant memory for Stiles, and he really would have just rather curled up together and passed out until noon the next day. Still, he figured that part of a good relationship was honesty and communication. “Some skeezy older guy from one of my classes,” Stiles explained, staring up at Derek’s ceiling and watching his overhead fan spin lazily. “He jumped me on my way back to the dorm, dragged me off to his place. Rambled about how he was going to have me as his own, free me from you, blah blah. Bit me. But, well, he hadn’t checked me for weapons, so I…” Stiles lifted his hand from the bed made a motion that he hoped was a suitable mime for flipping out his butterfly knife and then sinking it into the guy’s skull.

“Jesus,” Derek breathed, and Stiles would swear he smelled a spike of arousal on the air. He was very well acquainted with that smell by that point.

“Yeah, so,” he continued, flopping his hand back down and turning his head to face Derek. “I called the local hunters I had met through Chris back in freshman year. By the time they got there, my wound was healed, so I claimed the blood on my shirt was from where I had stabbed him before getting him in the head. Just that since he was an alpha, the other slash mark had healed quickly. They seemed a little skeptical, but promised they’d get rid of the body. By the time I made it back to my dorm, I was really feeling everything start to hit me. The shift, the power. I went right to my Jeep instead of having to explain to my roommate why I looked like an extra from an 80s horror movie.”

Derek rolled to wrap his arms around Stiles and pull him close, which was cozy and made Stiles feel insane levels of safe. Werewolf instincts were weird. Though, Stiles supposed he would probably also feel cozy and safe as a human in Derek’s arms.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there,” Derek whispered into Stiles’ hair.

Stiles just snorted. “It’s fine. Obviously I could handle myself.”

“Of course you can, that’s not what I meant.” Derek pulled him closer and nuzzled at him a little.

“I know,” Stiles whispered back, wrapping an arm around Derek in return. “I know.”

They stayed like that for a long while, just tangled together and content in each other’s presence. Eventually Stiles snickered and pressed his face against Derek’s neck. “The others are going to freak.”

“Yeah,” Derek agreed, voice warm, “but in a good way.”

Stiles grinned. “Yeah.”