"Mr. Hale," the district attorney rises to receive him. "Thanks for coming."
“Sir.” Derek shakes his hand.
“Please, take a seat.” Mr. Stilinski points at the seat in front of his table and Derek complies. “It’s good to finally meet you in person.”
“Thank you for receiving me,” Derek says as the man leans against his table, ankles crossed and hands on the edge. “My team is already working at your place, as we agreed.”
“Excellent,” Mr. Stilinski nods.
Derek has always been good at this job. Efficient, discreet and lethal; exactly what people look for when they hire a security consultant.
“I assume you know you’re the third expert I’ve contacted in the last few months-”
"In the last eight months, yes sir," Derek corrects. He’s done his homework.
"Eight months-" Mr. Stilinski pauses, his voice catching at the end. "Yeah, I guess that's right... After losing my wife, I- well, my son is all I have left, I just want to make sure he’s safe."
"Understandable," Derek comments. He’s head security of his own company, and he always seems to know what each of his clients needs; it’s like an instinct. This is not an exception. He had studied the case of Beacon Hills’ district attorney before accepting the job. The man had started to work on the French mob case and shortly after, his wife and son were brutally attacked. You don't need to be a genius to understand what happened.
The man’s current motivation after that is obvious. What started as his most promising case, turned into his worst nightmare. He had gotten the people he cared for the most hurt, and now he needs to fix his mistake and give closure to this episode. Derek can understand that.
“They told me you’re the best, Mr. Hale.” The attorney regards him kind of skeptically. Derek is used to it, though. His age has always been a handicap in this job field. “If that's true, you must already know that the case I’m working on got my family into this. And I shouldn't have to explain why I can’t stop working on this case until it's solved.”
“I understand, sir.” Derek crosses his arms. “I’m familiar with the Argent family, my team has compiled a file over the years and we’re studying them thoroughly for this case. We'll make sure your family is safe, sir."
"Dad, I was- hey," a gawky and tall boy bursts in without warning. He stops in his tracks when he sees Derek, though, trailing his eyes up and down his frame slowly before covering his reaction.
The boy grins mischievously. "Dad, did you get me a stripper?"
"Stiles," the fiscal warns with his voice. "This is Mr. Hale, he's going to be your new bodyguard.”
The boy with the weird name groans. "Dad, I told you I don't need... one..." Stiles cringes, trailing off at the end when his father points at him with a finger.
“I’ll have none of that, kid. We’ve talked about this before,” Mr. Stilinski says authoritatively.
“And I’ve told you before I don’t need protection,” Stiles insists.
“We're not having this conversation again, Stiles.” Mr. Stilinski sighs and slums against his chair, like he suddenly ran out of energy.
At his sudden change in attitude, his son seems to deflate almost instantly.
"Alright,” Stiles makes a gesture of surrender. “But at least tell him to do his job shirtless. That way I'll be more entertained."
"I'm sorry," Mr. Stilinski ignores his son. "I'm afraid his sense of humor is quite peculiar."
"Who's joking?" Stiles opens his arms wide in mock confusion as he looks around.
Derek has seen enough to know this is going to be a tough case of spoiled, rich brat. Not the first he's seen, and surely not the worst or the last. He's got this.
The district attorney pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs. "Just allow Mr. Hale to accompany you for a while, see if it works this time."
Stiles sighs dramatically and hangs his head low. “Alright, let's go then, Kevin Costner, it's laser tag night," he calls Derek over with his hand.
"My team is already waiting for you," Derek smirks as he clicks on the earbud in his ear and speaks. "Erica? You can come pick him up."
"What was that? What’s going on?" Stiles asks warily.
"I hired Mr. Hale and his team of security. They are the best, son, they'll make sure you're safe."
"You hired more than one bodyguard?" he squeaks. "Oh my god Dad, are you trying to ruin my life?"
Derek ducks his head down, trying to hide his grin.
The office door opens and Erica appears then. She's wearing a black, tight suit with a white shirt underneath that shows too much cleavage for Derek's taste but Erica has always been very adamant about her uniform. She matches it with four inches heels, and whoever can kick ass in those has Derek's respect.
"Woah, hey there," Stiles smiles lopsidedly.
Erica snorts and looks at Derek. "Is that him?"
"Yeah, take him to the car, you're his shadow today."
"Yessir," Erica opens the door wide and tilts her head. "Let's go."
"Alright Dad, we still have to talk about this madness but I'm late for my laser tag tournament so I’ll give you until tonight to reconsider."
"Yeah, yeah, just go have fun kiddo," Mr. Stilinski dismisses with his hands.
And Stiles leaves with Erica.
"They are on their way," Derek speaks to his earbud, receiving Boyd's affirmative answer shortly after.
"Don't worry Mr. Stilinski," Derek shakes his hand. "My team is wiring your whole place as we speak. I have the best technician making sure we know whenever someone gets anywhere near your house. I’m hiring extra people to cover your property, extra security in the cars, or wherever your son goes. And my personal team won't leave his side no matter what."
"Thank you, Mr. Hale," Mr. Stilinski smiles. "I need you taking care of this so I can concentrate on solving this case as quickly as possible."
"We’ll make sure you don't have to worry about your family's safety anymore, sir."
Mr. Stilinski shakes his hand again and Derek notices he seems to want to say something else. “Yes, sir?” he decides to indulge him.
"Stiles has been through a rough patch since his mother died. He’s, well... he’s fond of pranks,” Mr. Stilinski grimaces.
“Pranks?” Derek arches an eyebrow.
“That’s how he managed to get the other bodyguards to resign,” Mr. Stilinski purses his lips.
“Did he now?” Derek is mildly amused. “Well, thanks for the heads up, sir.”
"You need to be ready,” the attorney insists. “Don't give him the upper hand."
"I won't," Derek smirks. This is going to be interesting.
“Very well,” Mr. Stilinski gives him a reassuring smile before Derek leaves.
Derek drives straight to the Stilinski place to supervise his team's work. They usually work for affluent clientele, people who want the whole package. He and his team travel to wherever their clients live, move into their usually big mansions and get their places secured. This is no exception. The Stilinski house is in a big fenced in property, which means a lot of acres to cover.
When Derek arrives, there's no security at the main gate. And once he's parked, no one stops him for identification before he enters through the unlocked main door.
Derek goes down the corridor to the second room on the left, just past the kitchen and one of the living rooms, where Jackson and Danny have installed their headquarters.
"Derek!" Jackson jumps straight up. "I wasn't expecting you so soon."
"What’ve you been doing?" Derek barks. "Why aren't the cameras on?"
"Aaaand they’re on!" Danny exclaims as he keeps working on his computer. "Main gate's fixed too, now it locks automatically. Security is in order and the alarms will go off if someone jumps the fence, or opens a door or window in the house without entering the code first."
"Alright," Derek nods. "I'm still disappointed, Jackson."
"I was on the phone all day, hiring the muscle you wanted. You know dealing with those guys is never easy. But I managed to make them agree to be here tomorrow morning."
"That'll have to do," Derek says unimpressed. Jackson always works better under pressure.
Danny snorts and looks sideways at Jackson, who scoffs back at him. They have known each other since high school. They are like an old married couple sometimes, but it’s ridiculous how well they work together, and that’s the reason why Derek got them as part of his core group.
Derek's phone rings. "What?" he barks. His team shouldn't be calling him, unless there’s a problem.
"The little punk gave us the split," Isaac curses.
"Where are you?" he asks in his business voice.
"Laser tag place. He was with a friend, a loser named Scott. I swear, Derek, they were right in front of me and then they were gone," Isaac says nervously.
"How long?" Derek asks.
"Five minutes. First thing I did was call you. I knew he wasn't cooperative but I never expected him to be so stupid."
"Danny, do we have the phone bugged yet?" Derek asks.
"Already tracking him, boss." Danny smiles as he keeps looking at the screen.
"Isaac," he says sharply. "Regroup and wait for my orders."
As he hangs up, he gestures at Danny to hold on.
“I got an idea,” he says as he dials Stiles’ number.
“Hello? Who is this?”
“Where are you?” Derek asks.
“Oh my god, Kevin is that you?” Stiles snorts. “Are you a professional stalker?”
“Well, my job is to keep you safe, apparently even from your own stupidity.” Derek nearly rolls his eyes. “I’m at your place, getting the security system ready. Here with me is an internationally known hacker. He broke into the FBI website when he was eleven. Apparently, he was bored. How fast do you think he’ll be in finding your secret stash of porn?”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Stiles breathes out.
“Try me,” he says with a feral grin. “We’ll start with the porn, but we won’t stop there. Once your father gets home tonight, he’ll have a very interesting flash drive waiting for him if you’re not home in ten minutes.”
Derek hangs up without waiting for a reply. “Problem solved.”
“That was low, boss,” Danny shakes his head, grinning as he keeps working on his computer while Jackson openly laughs.
“He’ll live, which is exactly the point,” Derek shrugs and sends a text to Isaac to get back to the main operation center. “Where is he?”
“He turned around and is coming home,” Danny raises his eyes and grins at Derek.
Ten minutes later, he’s working with Jackson on their schedule when Stiles gets to the gate and tries to trespass unsuccessfully.
“Intercom,” Derek orders, stretching his hand, palm up. Jackson passes it along and Derek speaks to it.
“That was fast,” he smirks into the receiver.
“What’s going on here? Why can’t I get into my own house? And since when do we have an intercom here?” Stiles sounds nearly hysterical.
“Things have changed, Stiles,” Derek may be enjoying this a little bit too much. “From now on you won’t be free to come and go as you please. You’ll need a code to open that gate. And you know what? I’m not giving it to you.”
“You know Kevin, I don’t think I like you!” Stiles snaps back. “Now why don’t you open the gate before the bad guys find me here? I mean, wouldn’t that be ironic?”
Derek nods at Danny to go ahead. He hears the doors open and Stiles’ car darting forward.
“This is going to be good,” Jackson rubs his hands together.
They only have to wait a couple of minutes until Stiles tries to open the main door and he finds it’s locked, too.
“Hey assholes, open up!” he yells as he bangs on the door with his fists.
Jackson snickers. “Is playing with the guy a part of the job description this time?”
“We’re throwing in a little extra for his father,” Derek grins as he nods at Danny to open that door, too.
“Where are you?” Stiles yells when he’s finally inside. “Kevin!”
“Why is he calling you Kevin anyway?” Jackson arches an eyebrow.
“He thinks he’s being funny,” Derek dismisses.
“Kevin as in Kevin Costner?” Danny asks in amusement.
“What?” Jackson looks back and forth between them a couple of times until he gets it. “Oh god, the Bodyguard?Really? What a loser.”
Stiles burst into the room, panting. “You!” he points at Derek. “Who do you think you are?”
“For starters,” Derek grins. “I’m not Kevin.”
“Oh, come on Kevin, don’t be grumpy,” Stiles opens his arms wide, satisfied because he believes he’s found a weak spot.
“I’m glad you got home before your father gets back from work, I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you here, too.”
“Okay, first of all,” Stiles starts counting with his fingers. “My dad always gets home really late, I got it under control. Secondly, again: Who do you think you are? The James Bond of the private security business? And third: Who are these guys? What happened to my house? Holy shit, how could you put on that security system so fast?”
“That was all my fault,” Danny raises his hand, completely pleased with himself.
“Oh well, good for you Neo, you shouldn’t be so proud of your legal B&E, though!” Stiles babbles.
“He’s like a useless pop culture encyclopedia,” Jackson ponders.
Stiles gapes at him, he tries to speak a couple of times, hand drawing circles in the air in the direction of Jacksons’ face as he tries to come up with something.
“I got nothing, your douchey face is too distracting,” Stiles throws his arms in exasperation.
“I think that’s enough,” Derek decides to interfere before Jackson kicks the kid’s ass for that.
“Yeah, yeah... Oh! And about that threat!”Stiles seems to suddenly remember. He turns to Derek with a vindictive stance. “You can’t do that! There are laws about privacy, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to steal someone else’s porn! Not that I’m admitting to having any, you know. But still, blackmailing is not cool. I’d bet my father didn’t hire you for that.”
“Any complaint you have, you’re free to share it with your father,” Derek smirks.
“You think you’re so clever, don’t you?” Stiles narrows his eyes.
“I’m pretty sure your father would be very interested in that secret folder you think you have so wisely hidden in your computer,” Derek arches an eyebrow. He is totally pulling Stiles’ leg here. He has no idea if Stiles has a secret folder, but come on, what teenager doesn’t?
“I- You-Oh my god!” Stiles exclaims. “Just so you know, I’m a healthy young man, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and my father would think the same way!”
“Sure he would,” Derek grins, knowing it’ll annoy him even more. And just by Stiles’ reaction, he knows he nailed it. Danny really needs to get them access to Stiles' computer and its contents.
“Okay, alright, I see what you’re trying to do. You like to play dirty? I can play dirty. You and your team of Chippendales will regret this.”
“Did he just call us-” Danny moves his eyes away from the screen long enough to regard Stiles.
“Yeah, can I punch him in the face now?” Jackson asks.
“No,” Derek deadpans as Stiles exclaims “no, you can’t!” at the same time.
“You want war?” Stiles says as he points at them with his finger. “Then war it is!”
And so it begins.
The first attack is three days later, when it’s Derek’s turn to accompany Stiles to his morning classes at Beacon Hills Community College. Apparently, Stiles had stayed in the hospital for a long time due to the injuries he received when his mother was murdered, and that affected his grades. That’s why he ended up not going to Stanford, or so that’s the official story. Derek hasn’t checked his grades file yet.
That morning, Derek picks Jackson as driver and Isaac as support. He sits in the back with Stiles, who insists on stopping for coffee on their way. Derek doesn’t like unexpected changes in schedule, they are the reason why there’s trouble most of the time. But Stiles keeps babbling about his need for caffeine until Derek orders Jackson to pull over. And the brat jumps out of the car and darts to the coffee shop faster than lighting.
“Shit,” Isaac curses as he goes after him, making Derek facepalm in the privacy of his backseat. He used to believe his team of professional agents could control a barely legal brat, but after only a couple of days, he’s not so sure anymore.
Derek is suspicious when Stiles gets in the backseat ten minutes later bringing an extra paper cup for him, but he never suspects the little shit put salt on his espresso until the first sip. And by then it’s too late.
“Aww Kevin, that was so easy,” Stiles pouts. “Almost too easy. Where’s the fun in that?”
As Derek spits the concoction back into the paper cup, Stiles leans over Jackson’s seat and puts on the radio. Suddenly, Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard soundtrack starts blasting in the car.
“No fucking way,” Jackson groans, reaching for the radio and turning it off.
But Stiles leans over and turns it on again, which leads to Jackson turning off the music and Stiles turning it back on again and again, while Isaac snickers beside them.
“Enough!” Derek barks, pushing Stiles back against his seat and putting an end to the madness.
Stiles doesn’t seem to care, though. He gives Jackson a big triumphal grin through the rearview mirror, making him scowls for the rest of the ride.
“Man, I love this soundtrack,” Stiles comments before sipping his coffee. “I could listen to it aaaaall day long. In fact, I think we’re listening to it every morning on the ride to class, it’ll help me to concentrate for the rest of my academic day.”
Jackson is about to reply when Derek cuts in. “Not another word.” Somehow his voice must have carried a little extra something, because the rest of the ride happens in total silence.
When they arrive, Stiles proceeds to spend the day telling everyone that Derek is either a) his cousin Miguel, whose English is not that good, b) a creepy stalker Stiles is starting to be afraid of because of his intense eyebrows, or c) a stripper his friend Scott hired for him.
The latter is quickly dismissed when his friend finds out.
“Who is that?” Scott asks as he sits at the cafeteria table with them. Jackson and Isaac are surveying the room as Derek stands close to Stiles, watching him stuff his mouth with a disgusted frown.
“A secret admirer,” Stiles shrugs. “I’m using him for his body.”
The boy regards Derek and grins, ignoring Stiles. “Hey,” he stretches his hand. “My name is Scott. I assume you’re the new bodyguard.”
Derek shakes his hand, “Derek.”
“What are you doing?” Stiles hisses to his friend, pulling him away. “We don’t fraternize with the enemy.”
“I don’t know, dude,” Scott rubs the back of his neck. “It seems your father is going to keep hiring people, and this one looks younger than the others. He may want to join us when we go out and do stuff, instead of staying in the back while disapproving.”
“Are you serious? Look at him, he’s the grumpiest mofo I’ve ever seen,” Stiles squeals, arms flailing around. Derek wonders if they think he can’t hear what they are saying. “I’m pretty sure my dad picked him precisely for that, to ruin my life.”
“Are you done?” Derek decides to interfere when he notices the time.
“Excuse me, I’m talking to my friend about you, can you please wait a moment? Thank you,” Stiles says sardonically.
Derek arches an eyebrow. He moves forward, grabbing Stiles by the shirt and pulling him up. “Let’s go. Class starts in five.”
“You can’t do this,” Stiles squeaks, stumbling over his own feet as Derek drags him out of the cafeteria.
“I tried it nice first,” Derek says. “Didn’t work.”
“I like him!” Scott yells behind as he follows them.
“Don’t encourage him!” Stiles yells back. He doesn’t stop struggling and complaining all the way to class, but Derek doesn't let him go.
“In, and quiet,” Derek grunts.
He shoves Stiles in and then holds the door open for Scott, who thanks him. All things considered, Derek believes he handled this pretty well.
“That was awesome, boss,” Isaac pats his shoulder as he moves inside and covers the back of the room.
“Not really,” Jackson comments as he follows in and sits on the front.
Derek sighs. Maybe this little shit is getting on his nerves a bit too much and he should be more indulgent. He walks to where Stiles and his friend Scott are sitting, and even three rows away he can hear him babbling about Miguel to the people sitting with them. In that moment, Derek believes he's being indulgent enough when he doesn't silence Stiles with his bare hands.
“Ah, there he is!” Stiles exclaims when Derek sits next to him. “All the English he knows, he learnt from the Bodyguard movie. Right, Miguel?”
Derek doesn’t even bother to reply. He sits down and studies the rows in front and behind them, searching for any abnormality. It seems his silence only proves Stiles right, though.
Just when the lecture starts and he believes he’s getting a break, Stiles proceeds to hum I Will Always Love You on and off during the next hour of class.
By the end of the day, some random girl calls over a “see you mañana, Miguel!” and Derek feels his eye twitching slightly as Jackson and Isaac try to laugh quietly behind him.
After that, it’s one after another. Stiles’ next move is to change Derek’s ringtone. The first time Derek notices, he’s in a meeting with his security team and Erica calls with the hourly report on the outlying land.
Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time sounds in all its glory in the meeting room.
The next weekend, Stiles manages to change the background of Derek’s iPad during the ten minute break Derek takes to grab a bite in the kitchen next door.
Worst of all, Derek only realizes when he’s discussing the next week’s activities with Danny and he grabs his iPad to show him some notes.
A nine inches erect penis shows up in his iPad’s screen, startling him in the middle of the sentence.
“Uh, boss?” Danny asks. “Is there something you want to tell me?”
“Don’t,” Derek grunts. He switches his iPad’s screen off, tosses it on Danny’s lap and gets up. “Fix it. We’ll talk about the schedule later.”
He almost collides with Stiles when he leaves the room. Stiles snickers and takes a step back, trying to hide how uncontrollably he’s laughing.
“Hey Kevin, s’up?” he waves, even though they are only a few feet apart.
“What do you want?” Derek arches an eyebrow, knowing he’s there to gloat about his new victory.
“I was uh- well I wanted to know if you’d lend me your iPad?” Stiles tries to say without laughing.
“That’s the worst excuse I’ve ever heard,” Derek comments.
“Dude, who cares?” Stiles bounces. “You saw it? Who else saw it?” he ends up laughing, nearly giggling like a five year old girl.
“Really?” Derek puts on his default neutral face. “You really thought I’d care about that? That’s not the first, not even the biggest cock I’ve had to deal with, Stiles.”
Derek has to work really hard to maintain the poker face at Stiles’ reaction. He gapes, looking at Derek in utter shock for a long moment. Derek is starting to see the slow creep of a full body blush washing over him when Stiles turns abruptly and leaves without another word.
“I fixed it-” Danny opens the door, pausing with the iPad in hand and looking oddly at Derek. “Boss, you’re smiling.”
Derek, who is still looking down the corridor Stiles rushed off in a second ago, turns to regard him.
“You’re still smiling,” Danny points out.
Derek blinks, shaking his head and grabbing his iPad back. “Thanks,” he grunts, leaving quickly after.
He has to admit some of these pranks are amusing. Even though he has to spend the rest of the day trying to forget Stiles’ flushed face.
He doesn’t discover his iPhone has the same image until the next day.
He’s using his free hour to workout when Stiles calls him. Derek knows it’s him for the Britney ringtone kept only for his number. That’s why he almost trips on the treadmill trying to get to it as quickly as possible.
“Stiles?” he answers, out of breath. “What’s wrong?”
“Oh hey, you okay?” Stiles asks.
“I was running,” Derek explains without thinking. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Stiles dismisses. “I don’t do well with the whole being patient thingy. I just wanted you to take a look at your contact list.”
Stiles hangs up and Derek stays there, panting into his iPhone for a moment, trying to collect his breathing.
He lowers the phone and checks his contact list, discovering everyone has now the image of the erect penis as their contact picture, except for Stiles who has a picture of himself. The dumbass has obviously used Derek’s phone to take it, too. He’s looking at the camera, grinning and doing the peace sign.
Derek can’t hold the bark of laughter that escapes him when he sees it. He opens a text to Stiles.
>>Good job, you surrounded yourself in boners.
A moment later, he receives a reply.
>>omg shut up pervert
Derek smiles. He deletes everyone’s contact picture, except Stiles’ and keeps working out.
He makes the mistake of believing things will be easier after they’d had a few laughs. It should mean something, right? Wrong.
Derek discovers the truce was just imaginary the next day, when he starts receiving calls from different unknown numbers. He only answers the first, though. The moment a man answers asking for Miguel, Derek hangs up.
He has an indecent number of missed calls when Stiles finishes his lacrosse practice later that day.
Derek just holds his phone high and smirks at Stiles. The boy runs toward him, grinning from ear to ear like the idiot he is.
“Is your battery dead already?” he asks, nearly bouncing as he gets closer.
“I’m not answering the phone calls,” Derek shrugs.
“Awww but where’s the fun in that?” Stiles pouts. “I spent an hour of my time last night creating your profile on that dating site.”
Derek blinks a couple of times. “Remind me to tell Danny to incapacitate your computer later when we arrive home.”
“I’ll find a way to fix it,” Stiles sticks his tongue out for a second, moving away again when the rest of the team leaves for the locker room.
“Jackson,” Derek calls and it’s enough for Jackson to know what he wants. He goes inside with Stiles while Derek waits outside long enough to study the periphery before following them. He finds Jackson waiting, leaning against Stiles’ locker.
“He’s in there,” Jackson points with his head to the showers area.
After a moment, Derek’s phone sounds again and he sighs.
“I don’t know how you stand it,” Jackson comments.
“It’s my job to stand it,” Derek looks at him sideways.
“Come on, putting up with brats is not in the job description,” Jackson complains.
Derek doesn’t get a chance to reply. Stiles comes back from the shower, towel wrapped around his hips as he runs his hands over his buzzed hair, water flying everywhere.
When he sees them, though, Stiles covers his chest with his hands and squeaks, "perverts in the locker room!" which makes some people turn around to stare.
But Derek barely notices it. All he can see are the drops of water still running down Stiles' chest. His eyes follow a specially daring one that licks its way down Stiles' collarbone in a tortuously slow move.
"Earth calling!" Stiles is saying by the time the drop has disappeared through his happy trail.
Derek's eyes snap back up and regard Stiles, who is looking at him funny.
"Why are you so slow? Don't make us wait," Derek nearly growls out, turning around and leaving Jackson with him.
He decides to wait outside the locker room from now on.
A couple of days later, Derek is in the laundry room with Isaac when Stiles pops in.
"Hey, have you seen a red sock?" He asks as he shows them a single bright red sock.
"No, we haven't," Isaac helps out.
"What do you really want, Stiles?" Derek asks at the same time instead. Maybe he’s being a little bit harsh, but it's just a self defense mechanism to prevent him from remembering Stiles' flushed face or wet chest.
Derek has never hid the fact that he's gay. Everyone working with him knows. Danny even asked him out once, turning Jackson into a grumpy caveman. Derek declined the offer, though. It's not that Danny wasn't attractive enough, or that the prospect of pissing Jackson off wasn't appealing enough, Derek just has a strict business policy: never date an employee or a client.
Which is his problem right now. Not that he wants to date Stiles. Because he doesn’t.But Derek is man enough to admit he’s attracted to the guy. And Stiles, apart from being his client, is an insufferable, barely-legal brat. Derek is starting to suspect there’s something terribly wrong with his taste in men.
Stiles shows his palms in a peace gesture. "Woah man you're extra touchy when your underwear is all dirty."
"I swear Stiles, if you try to sneak that sock inside any of our laundries, so help me,” Derek gives him a menacing glare.
"Who? Me? Nope, I would never do that, dude."
"Then get outta here," Derek points out.
Stiles pauses a moment, frowning with a strange, unreadable face before he salutes them and leaves.
"You have to admit he's funny," Isaac comments as he bends down to check on his laundry.
"You won't think the same if all your underwear comes out pink."
Derek should have seen it coming. It's his underwear, and all his white wife-beaters too, that end up in different shades of pink.
"You were right," Isaac comments as he tries to hide his smile. "It's not that funny."
Derek hates everything in that moment.
The next day, Stiles burst into their office. “Who are those guys taking me out today?”
“Your security team,” Derek arches an eyebrow.
“I don’t know them,” Stiles huffs. “What about you? Or the others, you know, hot chick, serious dude, actual puppy guy, or even douchy king,” Stiles lists with his fingers.
“Some of them were assigned to other duties and some have the day off,” Derek crosses his arms over his chest.
“Do you... have the day off?” Stiles asks slowly, like he is confused.
“As a matter of fact, I do,” Derek says in amusement.
“You do?” Stiles gasps. “I never imagined you’d take days off. I thought you were a workaholic, dude! Although, you're still here so I don't know, maybe that wasn't so off base?”
Derek shrugs, going back to the papers he was reading through.
“And uh-” Stiles fumbles. “What- I mean, what are you going to do? Do you have any hobbies? I don’t know, something like crafting or model ships or botany, maybe?”
“Hobbies?” Derek thinks about it. “I’m training with Danny today, does that count?”
“What kind of training?” Stiles fires back so quickly it’s nearly impossible to understand his words.
“Krav Maga?” Derek asks over his shoulder.
“Karate,” Danny informs.
“There you go,” Derek smirks at Stiles, who tries to speak a couple of times but doesn’t seem to find the right words.
“Duuuuuuude,” he finally squeaks. “I wanna see it!”
“You were going out,” Derek points out.
“Not anymore,” Stiles smiles like a loon. He pulls his cell phone out and texts someone. “Scott won’t mind anyway, Allison was coming, too. So I may even be doing him a favor by not showing up.”
Twenty minutes later, and after making sure Stile isn’t planning a new prank, they hit the gym they set up in the garage.
“Hey,” Stiles seems surprised. “I didn’t know we had this.”
“I can tell,” Danny snorts.
“What does that mean?” Stiles says indignantly. “FYI, I have muscles, you know?”
“Let’s start,” Derek decides to cut in before they can start having a discussion about Stiles’ muscles, a topic Derek has never ever thought about, thank you very much.
They get in the middle of the padded floor while Stiles sits nearby.
After saluting, Danny attacks him straight on. It’s not the first time they spar together, and Danny knows that the moment Derek takes the upper hand, it’s a lost match, so he tries. He’s fast, strong and precise. But Derek knows his movements. He dodges his knee, grabs him by his karate uniform, places a foot behind him and push until Danny’s back hits the padding. And maybe he shows off a little bit as he does it, but who’s there to tell?
“That was awesome!” Stiles yells, jumping up in enthusiasm.
Danny chuckles as Derek helps him back on his feet and they repeat a couple more times. It’s usually Derek who gets Danny on the mat first, but a couple of times it’s Danny who gets a good hold of him and manages to throw him off balance enough to win.
One of those times, Derek’s black belt loosens and his shirt opens wide, exposing his chest.
Danny is helping him back on his feet when Derek hears Stiles’ low intake of air. He straightens and unties his belt, letting his shirt fall open at his sides, to rearrange everything back again. At Danny's low snicker, Derek raises his eyes to Stiles, who looks flushed as he chews on his bottom lip. The sight sends fire licking down Derek’s spine.
“Uh,” Stiles says awkwardly, tearing his eyes away from Derek’s chest and rubbing the back of his neck. “I gotta go.”
Derek hears Danny chuckling behind him, and ignores him as Stiles backs away, all clumsy limbs colliding with everything on his way.
“Stiles,” Derek calls.
Stiles turns around so fast he loses his balance. “Yeah?”
“You can’t go,” Derek says.
“W-what?” Stiles stutters. “Why not? Why? I mean, uh, you want me to stay?”
“No,” Derek smirks, maybe a little bit too wickedly. “There has to be a security member with you all the time.”
“So, like,” Stiles stammers. “You mean you have to bodyguard me everywhere?"
"Yes," Derek deadpans.
"Everywhere?" Stiles insists.
“I just said yes," Derek arches his eyebrows.
"Well,” Stiles grins and Derek understands he’s in trouble. “I decided I'm going out after all but I'm taking a shower first. So, are you showering with me?"
Derek narrows his eyes. Little bastard.
“I think you’ll survive the attack of the hot spray and the slippery shampoo,” he ends up saying.
“Oh I don’t know, I could pretend I dropped the bar of soap and you-” Stiles stops talking when Derek covers his mouth with his hand, shoving him backwards so hard Stiles stumbles and nearly falls.
“Go take a shower,” Derek nearly growls.
He's glad Stiles complies because Derek is pretty sure he's the closest he's ever been to blushing. Goddammit.
“Naww boss, you two are cute together,” Danny suddenly says, body bent over as he picks up the mat.
“Shut up,” Derek growls.
Two days later, Derek finds Stiles in the back room right next to their office.
“What is that?” he asks suspiciously when he sees what Stiles is doing.
“I decided to start playing drums,” Stiles grins mischievously. “I have never done this before, but how hard can it be, right?”
Stiles sits on the little stool, grabs the drumsticks and starts hitting the poor thing.
At first, he tries to follow some kind of uncoordinated pattern but after a while, and seeing how Derek is maintaining his poker face, Stiles starts to go crazy and hit everything repeatedly until Derek has had enough.
He jumps and darts forward, trying to snatch the drumsticks away from Stiles’ hold, but Stiles is faster. He leans back on the stool, backing his arms away as far as he can.
“What are you doing?” he shrieks. Derek ignores him, though. He leans forward, his arms stretched trying to grab Stiles’ hands. And Stiles loses his balance and falls backwards off the low stool, Derek moving with him.
Stiles hits the floor and scrambles backwards, and Derek follows him, climbing Stiles as he keeps trying to move away until Derek is on top of him.
Stiles struggles, he tries to push Derek off him but they end up tangled together instead. Stiles’ legs try to kick him off and Derek finds himself between them, pinning Stiles down as they keep fighting for the drumsticks.
“Stiles, stop it!” Derek growls, his hands fisted around Stiles’ wrists.
“You stop!” Stiles says out of breath. “Are you insane? You’re supposed to protect me!”
“Don’t be dramatic,” Derek leans forward, their faces suddenly inches apart as Derek pins Stiles’ hands on the floor above his head.
They stop struggling, both staring at each other as Derek realizes for the first time the position they are in. He can’t help but notice in such close proximity the moles on Stiles' face, the way they seem to mark a path and how he’d like to follow it, see where it leads.
Stiles pants heavily, still trying to catch his breath. He leans his head back against the floor, stretching his long neck and dropping his eyelids, looking at Derek through long eyelashes.
And suddenly Derek’s body is on fire.
He realizes his thumbs are drawing circles on the insides of Stiles’ wrists and he lets him go startled.
Leaning back, Derek kneels, still between Stiles’ legs, and huffs. “Stop playing around.”
“I was practicing,” Stiles says, licking his lips nervously as his eyes drop to the patch of exposed skin in Derek’s stomach.
Derek notices and snatches his shirt down, getting to his feet and holding it closed where it’s unbuttoned.
He needs to get out of here. He needs to get his body under control. And probably a cold shower. And find a way to forget this ever happened.
He moves away without another word, ignoring Stiles who is still regarding him with his heated cheeks and his plump lips, always parted and ready for Derek to-
Derek stops in his tracks, fingers half way pulling the last button through its hole.
Where the hell did that come from?
“Uh, Derek there’s something you need to know,” Stiles tries to say, “about your room and-” but Derek is out, he’s rushing down the corridor without even registering what Stiles is saying.
“Hey Kevin,” Jackson jokes lightheartedly as he passes him along on the corridor.
“Don’t you fucking dare call me that ever again,” Derek snaps back without thinking, pouring all his frustration out on Jackson for no good reason.
Jackson pauses and looks at him in surprise.
“Do you understand?” Derek insists when Jackson doesn’t say anything after a long moment.
“Yes, sir,” Jackson nods, and Derek can tell how hard it is for him to submit like that.
“Good, now go spend the rest of the afternoon with Stiles,” Derek walks away, not bothering with Jackson’s possible protest at the last second change of schedule.
He’s on the second floor when Erica catches him. "Danny told me to give you this," she shows a flash drive that Derek takes automatically.
"What is it?" he grunts out.
"It's the contents of Stiles' computer that you asked for," Erica smirks. "I haven't seen it but from what I heard I think you're going to enjoy the physics folder."
Derek looks at her impassively. "We're not here to have a good time, Erica."
“O-of course not,” Erica frowns, clearly confused.
Derek leaves without another word. He goes upstairs to his room, where he undresses without pause before getting in the shower. After a while of staying under the spray of freezing water, Derek’s erection finally calms down and he can think again. He doesn’t even dare to touch himself to get dry once he’s done.
Still wet, he sits at the foot of his bed and switches his laptop on, retrieving the USB portable from the floor, where he had thrown it next to his pants, and plugging it in.
Stiles’ computer is as chaotic as he is. There are randomly named folders, filled with more random documents, some untitled, some specifically named after things such as ‘history of male circumcision’.
Derek navigates through folder after folder, and as he starts to wish Danny had organized it before handing over, he stumbles over a hidden folder titled ‘The Ghost in the Atom: A Discussion of the Mysteries of Quantum Physics ebook’.
Derek clicks inside and finds a bunch of bookmarked pages to porn videos. He can’t help but smirk at the discovery. “Gotcha,” he whispers as he clicks randomly in one.
It opens to a video featuring two boys making out. Nothing too graphic, yet. But Derek’s insides flip and he feels a rush of blood running through his whole system, suffocating him with this unbearable heat out of nowhere.
A moment later a girl enters the scene and joins the two boys and Derek feels his jaw going slack, lips parted as he lets go a long, shaky breath. He imagines Stiles watching this video, getting turned on by the way one of the boys is eating the girl out as the other boy fucks him.
Derek slides his hand between his legs and palms his renewed erection. He’s not going to do anything, just touch himself a moment, allow his fingers to move along his length and tug at the skin on the head. He’s so hard, though, so turned on, he needs this so much, he’s jerking off without a conscious decision, eyes fixed on the screen as his mind imagines Stiles’ possible reaction to the video.
He doesn’t last long, though. All he needs is to remember Stiles’ sultry eyes looking straight at him and Derek comes.
It’s sudden and so intense, his feet curl against the floor. Derek squeezes his eyes shut, concentrating on the pulses running down his spine, the warm throb of his body as he comes apart thinking of Stiles. Derek pictures him observing as he comes, how Stiles would give him that lewd stare that is just begging Derek to take him, and his whole body quivers in relief.
Still shaking, Derek tumbles back on the bed and concentrates on breathing. He opens his eyes and looks at the ceiling, the trio still going at it on his already forgotten laptop. He pants, moving his hand away from his still semi-hard erection and realizing he came all over his hand and stomach, creating a mess.
He goes to his closet to grab a towel to have another shower, this time without freezing water and with shampoo. He tries to get a towel from the shelf, but it won’t move. Derek pulls again but the towel seems to be stuck, so he pulls harder until it finally tears. That’s when he realizes someone glued it. To the fricking shelf.
“Son of a-” Derek mutters.
He tries all the towels but only a small one seems to be not glued to a surface. The towel is so small, Derek isn’t sure he’d be able to even wipe off his come, but he grabs it and goes to the bathroom anyway.
Now he’s wary, though. He knows Stiles was here, so anything can happen. That’s an odd thought to have after masturbating thinking of him, but Derek is good at compartmentalizing emotions and ideas. And that’s exactly what he does now.
Refusing to think of what he just did, he gets in the shower and yeah, all the bottles have been opened and their contents exchanged. How did Stiles manage that? Derek has no idea and honestly, he doesn’t want to know. He ends up using what he hopes is shampoo in the quickest shower ever and drying himself with the napkin sized towel as well as he can.
Of course, the toothpaste is some sort of cream that smells like feet, too. He drops it in the sink and grabs the edges, leaning over it and looking at his reflection in the mirror. After a while he sighs, unable to meet his own stare.
Turning the lights off, Derek stays there a moment longer before leaving. He sits in the edge of the bed again, which is a bad idea because it makes him think of what he’d just done.
Cursing, he closes his laptop, unplugging the USB drive and throwing it across the room. He leaves the laptop on the floor and gets in the bed, stretching out without even bothering with underwear or pjs bottoms. It’s still early, but he has had enough of this day.
He’s on his belly, arms hugging the pillow when he starts to feel it; a burning sensation that turns into an unbearable itching.
“Stiles, you little shit!” he yells as he jumps out of the bed, pulling the sheets away from the mattress full of itchy powder.
Growling, Derek fists the sheets and tears them off the bed. Storming to the closet, he gets clean sheets and discovers they have powder, too.
In a fit, he throws them all at the floor and pulls on the glued towels until he has torn them all. He has never lost his cool like this before. He’s usually good under pressure. And that’s when he realizes what’s happening.
No matter what Stiles does, he can’t respond. This is his work place, Stiles is his client, he can’t do what he’d like to. In more aspects than he’d like to admit right now. It’s driving him up the wall, making Derek act in ways he’s not used to.
Except... Derek goes back to his closet and puts on some sweatpants and a shirt before leaving his room.
He goes to Mr. Stilinskin’s office, knowing that the man will most probably still be working.
“Mr. Hale, what happened? Is something wrong?” the district attorney asks the moment he sees him.
“Everything is under control,” Derek reassures him and Mr. Stilinski relaxes on his chair. “There’s something I need to discuss with you that can’t wait until tomorrow, though.”
“Sure,” Mr. Stilinski falters. “Please take a seat.”
“It’s about your son, sir,” Derek goes straight to business.
“Oh no, don’t tell me you’re leaving,” Mr. Stilinski snaps straight in his chair, suddenly alert.
“No sir,” Derek frowns. “At least I hope I don’t have to. It depends on you, actually.”
“Elaborate,” the older man gives him the go-on with his hand.
“Grant me permission to respond to your son’s pranks,” Derek cuts to the chase. “Stiles- he’s distracting my team, he’s distracting me. And we can’t do our job like that. We need to be able to answer his challenges. If you can’t agree to this, I’m afraid my team and I will have to leave.”
Mr. Stilinski pauses a moment, wide eyes regarding Derek in an unreadable way.
“Mr. Hale,” he suddenly raises and grins. “I knew you were the right person for this job. Consider yourself free to do as you see fit as long as you keep my son safe and alive.”
“Thank you,” Derek nods after a pause, the corners of his mouth turning up.
“I think this could even work,” Mr. Stilinski chuckles. “It’s the first time I’ve gotten this request. And I think it’s exactly what he needs. Thank you, Mr. Hale.”
Derek is caught off guard by those words, he didn’t expect that reaction. He was actually waiting for some sort of reprimand.
“There’s no need for thanks, Mr. Stilinski,” he says uncomfortable.
“Alright then,” the attorney nods, stretching his arm and shaking Derek’s hand enthusiastically. “Good luck with the new plan and good night.”
Derek says his goodbyes and closes the door behind him, staying there for a moment, thinking of what just happened.
As he walks back to his room, he starts to plot what he’s going to do. Which is a lot easier than dealing with what he just did alone in his room.
The next morning, they have to wait for Stiles.
“You’re late,” Derek crosses his arms when he gets in the car.
Stiles seems to falter a moment as he sits next to him. “Sorry, couldn’t find my pants.”
“You only got one pair?” Jackson jokes from the front seat.
“No, duh,” Stiles mocks. “But they are my favorite.”
Derek eyes the pants. They are some regular, ratty jeans. Stiles catches him looking and seems to fumble a little.
“Heyyyy Derekyyyy,” he says rather awkwardly. “Slept well?”
Derek shrugs it off, knowing Stiles hates it when he doesn’t get a reaction from him. But this time Stiles doesn’t press on like he usually does. Instead, he looks at him sideways a couple of times, shifting in his seat until he decides to lean over and put on the music.
Stiles’ face is priceless when there’s no Whitney Houston awaiting him. He frowns and clicks the play button a couple of times until he turns to look at Derek in what can only be considered as pure horror.
“Were you looking for this?” Derek shows the Bodyguard’s soundtrack CD in his hand and, deliberately slowly, rolls his window down and throws it out.
“Are you insane?” Stiles squeaks. “That was vintage!”
“It was a CD,” Derek deadpans.
“An old CD, okay?” Stiles corrects.
“Well, now it’s an old CD crushed on pavement,” Derek comments.
This is easy; this teasing, this banter. It’s easier than dealing with the tension, having to think of what he wants, of what he thought he wanted. He convinces himself the pranks are the reason why his body has been reacting lately. He had to let off steam after holding on for so long while Stiles kept pranking them.
Derek is going to do his job, he’s going to be the best at his job. He will protect Stiles until the trial is over and then, once Stiles is safe, he will find someone else to protect. And that’s the end of it.
When they arrive to class, one of the teachers Stiles hates the most, approaches them.
"Here's the material for the extra assignment you asked me for," Mr. Harris says as he dumps a bunch of heavy looking books in Stiles' lap.
"Wh-what?" Stiles shrieks as he fumbles to catch them.
"You know, I thought you were a lost cause, Mr. Stilinski, but after your email last night I guess there's still hope for you."
Stiles doesn't reply, he just looks at Mr. Harris in horror.
"I expect your extra paper on my table by the end of the week," Mr. Harris smirks meanly before leaving.
Jackson and Erica are openly laughing by then, each keeping their distance and working on securing the perimeter.
"Good idea, boss," Erica snickers into her earbud.
Stiles turns around very slowly. He looks at Derek a moment and then tries to point at him with a finger, but the movement makes him drop the books, so he end up in this awkward, funny posture. "You!" He hisses.
"You're welcome," Derek smirks. "You were going to fail his class, I fixed it for you."
"Oh yeah? And are you going to write the extra assignment, too?" Stiles protests.
"That'd be cheating, Stiles," he deadpans.
Jackson's bark of laughter is audible even without the earbud.
"You had no right- This is- I mean, there's a line and you crossed it!" Stiles huffs.
"I didn't realize there were limits," Derek taps his chin. "Considering I have no towels or underwear because of you."
"Come on, those were jokes! It was funny!" Stiles exclaims, flailing around as much as he can while still holding the books.
"Did you ever see me laugh?" Derek uses his impassive face to give it more strength.
"Alright, fine, be a douche about it," Stiles scoffs. He fumbles with the books, trying to carry them in a more comfortable position as they end up slipping through his arms and falling to the floor. Stiles curses and gets on his knees to retrieve them, shoulders crouched down, lips pursed in a trying-to-hold-everything-in gesture.
Derek sighs. Is he losing faculties? He gets on his knees and takes the two heavier books. "Let's go or you'll be late for your first lecture," he says casually as he starts walking with the books tucked under his arm.
Stiles looks at him, a disarmingly open and honest stare, like he couldn't believe someone would help him, that Derek refuses to acknowledge.
He can hear Erica tsk'ing and Jackson huffing through the earbud, but he ignores them, too. He nearly gave Stiles a heart attack with this prank. He considers this a success even though he's helping him now. It's his job, after all. Sort of.Alright, maybe not. Who cares.
Derek frowns and keeps walking without looking back.
The next day he gets Isaac and Erica to beadazzle Stiles’ favorite jeans. It’s the least he can do after having to shop for sheets, towels and underwear thanks to him.
His full team is awaiting Stiles the next morning, not wanting to miss his reaction when he sees the piece of art Erica pulled off.
Stiles appears like nothing happened, though. He’s wearing a black hoodie and the newly improved jeans, the cloth covering his ass full of pink, purple and blue beadazzles forming the phrase BITE ME.
Everyone is laughing and joking, and Stiles seems to be taking it a lot better than expected, but Derek can’t really pay any attention. He had no idea what Erica had done to the jeans. He feels his jaw dropping open and hurries to close it, looking nervously around to make sure no one noticed his first reaction. But Erica is looking at him knowingly.
He scoffs silently at her and she shrugs and shows her palms in an universal gesture of whatever you say.
“I totally rock these jeans,” Stiles is babbling. “Look at my ass, it’s glorious with all that shiny stuff. Now every time I shake it,” Stiles demonstrates it, “there will be sparkles and oohhh’s and aahhh’s all around me.”
Derek can’t help but smirk. The little shit always knows how to save the situation no matter what.
“I understand why they are your favorite now,” Jackson says with a little too much bad blood in his tone.
“Why, Jacky, you wanna tap that?” Stiles bends slightly over and shows him his butt, slapping it once.
“Are you retarded?” Jackson snaps back.
But Danny steps over and smacks Stiles’ butt with his palm. “Now get to class, and try to contain your emotions over the pants.”
Stiles laughs it off and pats Danny on the arm as he moves to the door, and something inside Derek twists and turns. The feeling is so sudden he needs a moment to recover.
Is that... jealousy? No, it can’t be.
Plus, he knows they were joking. He knows Danny would never break his job policy. But apparently, his emotions don’t. Because right now, all he wants to do is punch Danny in the face.
Completely stunned by his own reaction, Derek gets in the car and spends the rest of the ride distracted by his own thoughts.
“Let’s stop for some coffee, alright?” Stiles asks after a while.
They stop at the usual coffee shop, and Derek leaves it to Boyd and Isaac while he waits in the car with Erica.
He’s still immersed in his own thoughts when Isaac’s voice breaks the silence through his earbud. “We’re not alone.”
“Stay,” he orders to Erica before bolting outside of the car and rushing inside.
He has never liked this place, it’s too small, always too packed, and there are too many doors to control. Moving through the crowd as fast as he can, Derek finally finds them in the middle of the line.
“What’s wrong?” he asks to Boyd and Isaac, who are at each side of Stiles.
“I went to the bathroom and some guy tried to talk to me,” Stiles explains instead.
“So?” Derek arches an eyebrow.
“He- I recognized him,” Stiles says. And Derek finally takes notice of him, of the way he’s trembling, the way his voice is shaking.
“You okay?” he asks without thinking, instinct making him reach for Stiles’ shoulder, who sags a little under his touch.
“I saw him before, Derek, when my mom...” he trails off.
“Alright, it’s okay now,” Derek says in concern. “I’m taking him back to the car. You two comb the place,” Derek orders.
“Erica,” he says into the earbud. “Move the car to the back door.”
Grabbing Stiles by the elbow, he starts moving them through the crowd, observing everyone cautiously.
“Tell me if you see him again,” Derek breathes against Stiles’ hairline, right behind his ear, as they walk next to each other.
Stiles nods but he doesn’t speak. He’s oddly silent as they walk out and find the alley deserted.
“Come on, Erica,” Derek murmurs, putting Stiles against the wall as he leans out into the alley to inspect their surrounding. “Where are you?” he speaks into his earbud as he drags his gun out.
“Sorry, the first street was blocked, I’m making a detour,” Erica yells fiercely into the earbud.
“Be quick,” Derek orders before disconnecting.
Stiles is where he left him, still and silent with vacant eyes.
“Stiles,” Derek approaches him. “You okay?”
When he doesn’t reply, Derek gets a hold of his shoulder, bending down and trying to catch his eyes.
“Hey,” he says softly. “Stiles.”
“He could have killed me,” Stiles whispers. “We were alone, I didn’t even move.”
“Don’t think about it now,” Derek tries to calm him.
“I always thought-” Stiles starts to say when something sharp and sudden hits Derek in the back of his head, making him stumble over and hit the pavement. In the moment of disorientation, whoever has hit him, kicks his gun away from his hand.
“Derek!” Stiles shouts before making a strangled noise.
Derek can feel the blood running down his neck as he gets up in shaky elbows. Still dizzy, he turns to his right and discovers a man on top of Stiles, choking him.
Derek snarls, he lifts his leg and kicks the stranger off Stiles as hard as he can. Crunching down, he ignores the wave of nausea and reaches for him but the man is already on his feet and running down the alley.
“Get... him...” Stiles rasps out, holding his throat as he coughs.
“Boss!” Boyd yells as they burst through the exit door into the alley.
“Stay with him!” Derek orders as he gets on his feet and goes after the assaulter.
He’s running as fast as his feet allow him, but the hit to the head has him still dizzy and disoriented. Eyes a bit unfocused, Derek notices someone jumping a fence farther ahead and moves faster.
He loves the chase, he was born for this. He feels his muscles pumping at their limit, feels them burning and he loves the feeling. Jumping over the fence, Derek stumbles a bit though, but he keeps running anyway.
He ignores the nausea, the discomfort, and just keeps going until he sees the assaulter right in front of him.
The guy stops and pulls a long nightstick, waiting for him. “Come on, big guy,” he shows his teeth in a menacing smile.
Derek doesn’t even think about it, he attacks him head on. But he’s still too dazed, his legs wobbly and weak as he moves. The guy hits him straight in the stomach, making him double over and then he’s strangling him, using the nightstick to press his throat against the road.
“You didn’t let me deliver the message,” the guy spits close to his face. “So maybe you can be the message, instead.”
Derek doesn’t wait to hear the rest. His right hand flies to the side of the guy’s neck and hits him, making him stumble back as he chokes.
“I’m not an answering machine,” he spits as he gets back on his feet with difficulty.
He tries to kick him but the other guy is already putting space between them, running down the dark road until he disappears.
Derek tries to go after him, but after a couple of feet he understands he’s not fit for it.
The walk back seems endless. By the time he arrives, his three team members have Stiles secured inside the car and are waiting for him.
He realizes he lost his earbud along the way. “Lost it,” he murmurs as he gets closer, pointing at his ear.
“Derek!” Erica is the one reaching him, quickly making him turn his head to inspect his wound. “You’re bleeding.”
“I have a concussion,” Derek explains calmly. “I’ll be fine. Where’s Stiles?”
"Did you catch him?" Stiles asks as he moves through them until he’s in front of Derek.
There's something in his face, an edge in his voice that gives Derek pause. It's like watching him for who he really is for the first time. Like this is the real Stiles, not the bratty teen.
Derek shakes his head and Stiles deflates, eyes looking down as he frowns.
"I'll find him," Derek promises without even stopping to think about it. He hates seeing Stiles like this. Stiles should always be laughing and being an insufferable brat, no matter if that means putting up with his irritating and abrasive jokes.
The way Stiles looks at him, though. Derek isn't prepared for it. He feels Stiles' stare hitting him straight in his chest. There's hope in those eyes, vulnerability even. Derek can't take it. No one has depended on him in a long time. Sure, he works at private security but the job is more impersonal than one would think. He only makes sure people stay alive to be able to carry on with their lives. No one pays him much attention anyway.
They move him to the back of the car and Stiles sits with him in silence. As they drive back to the house, Derek fights to stay awake as he gives them orders for things that need to be done when they arrive.
After a while, he lolls his head to the side to look at Stiles. “Does it hurt?” he asks, nodding at the already visible redness on Stiles’ throat.
Stiles shakes his head. He lowers his hand, sliding it slowly over the seat between them, until he finds Derek's hand, brushing his fingers slightly and holding still. Derek falters a moment before he moves and interlinks their fingers together.
They don’t say anything else. Derek closes his eyes, face still tilted toward Stiles, as he concentrates on the road under them and the warm of Stiles’ hand engulfing his.
“Dr. Deaton?” he hears Isaac calling on the phone. “It’s Derek, we may need you to come over. I’m sending you our address. Alright. Yeah. Be quick, please.”
He may have lost consciousness after that, because a moment later they are back home.
Stiles squeezes his hand once before untangling their fingers.
“Come on,” Boyd opens Stiles’ door and urges him out. “We’ll take care of him from here on. Get inside with Erica, she will talk to your father.”
Stiles nods, he turns to look at Derek one last time and then he’s out of the car and disappearing inside the house with Erica.
“M'fine,” Derek slurs.
“Sure you are, boss,” Boyd says as he opens his door and helps him out.
He and Isaac carry Derek inside and up the stairs to his room, where they lay him down on the bed slowly, face first.
“I’ll bring some gauze and antiseptic,” Isaac offers before leaving the room in a rush.
Derek must have fallen asleep because only a second later Dr. Deaton's voice startles him. He tries to open his eyes but his eyelids seem to weigh a ton.
“Stiles,” he murmurs against the pillow.
“What’s a stiles?” Dr. Deaton asks.
“He’s our client, we were protecting him when Derek was attacked,” Isaac explains.
“Oh,” Dr. Deaton says, and Derek can almost picture him smiling in that intriguing way of his. “Don’t worry Derek, he’s safe,” the doctor speaks right next to his ear. “I’m going to fix you now, you can let go.”
Derek feels a pinch in his arm and then nothing.
The next time he wakes up, he’s on his back and his head feels like it’s been filled with cotton.
Derek groans, looking slowly around until he finds Stiles sitting at his desk, head tucked down as he plays with the Nintendo DS in his hands.
“Hey,” he groans out, making Stiles jump and nearly drop his video game.
“Derek!” he exclaims, getting to his feet and going to his bed. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine,” Derek says through his parched throat. “Did someone take a look at that?” he asks, pointing at Stiles’ throat.
Stiles cringes, visibly uncomfortable as he tucks his shirt up, trying to cover the mark of fingers around his neck.
“Dr. Deaton saw me,” he sounds awkward. “Said I’ll be alright.”
Derek nods as Stiles sits tentatively next to him on the bed.
“You look like crap,” Stiles jokes, smiling lopsidedly at him.
“Oh yeah?” Derek smirks, eyes closed. “Sorry to say, but purple is not really your color, either.”
“Hey, it also has yellow and blue,” Stiles protests. “I think it gives me a badass look.”
“Sure,” Derek chuckles slightly. “If being nearly choked to death can be considered badass.”
“Whatever,” Stiles murmurs as he slides his hand closer, pressing it to Derek’s arm and holding still, barely breathing as he seems to wait for Derek’s reaction.
Derek opens his eyes and looks down. After a moment, Stiles moves his hand, fingers fumbling a little as he runs them over Derek’s forearm.
Derek observes the movement, eyes trailing over Stiles’ long fingers, up his arm to his face. His gaze travels over Stiles’ lips, noticing the little freckles and moles in the path up to his eyes, that are already staring at him.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” Stiles whispers, licking his lips in a gesture that Derek follows with interest.
“I’m glad you are okay,” he murmurs. After a pause, he adds, “I’ll catch him next time.”
“Don’t,” Stiles grips his arm. “You almost bled to death in that alley, I don’t care about that guy.”
“It’s my job,” Derek smirks, eyes half closed as he keeps looking at Stiles. He can’t seem to have enough.
“What?” Stiles snorts. “Bleeding in back alleys?”
“If that’s what it takes,” Derek moves his arm, hand seeking Stiles’ as they interlink their fingers for the second time.
“I don’t want that,” Stiles whispers.
“Good, because it sucked,” Derek says to make him laugh.
“You’re insane,” Stiles shakes his head.
“So I’ve heard,” he starts drawing circles in his palm, making Stiles gasp slightly.
“I’m sorry,” Stiles murmurs.
Derek arches his eyebrows in surprise.
“I’ve been acting like an asshole,” Stiles explains, pulling a face.
“Some would say that,” Derek smiles slowly, his thumb moving lazily over Stiles’ frantic pulse.
“And what would you say?” Stiles moves his hand, thumb seeking Derek’s wrist to reciprocate.
“I’d say you’ve been driving me completely insane,” Derek puffs out, eyes following the movement of Stiles’ thumb.
“In a good, or a bad way?” Stiles licks his lips, eyes going back and forth between Derek’s face and their hands.
“Both, definitely both,” he chuckles softly.
“Sounds good to me,” Stiles smiles.
“Does this mean we’re done with the pranks?” Derek asks, bowing his eyebrows.
“I’ll think about it,” Stiles teases.
“You’re such a piece of work,” Derek sighs, closing his eyes.
“Are you tired? I’ll let you rest,” Stiles gets up and squeezes his fingers once before moving away.
Derek wants to ask him to stay but he’s asleep before he can even open his mouth.
Dr. Deaton did an excellent job with him, and Derek is back on his feet just a few days later. He has stitches to take care of in the back of his head, but nothing that’ll prevent him from doing his job.
First thing he does is pay Mr. Stilinski a visit to his office.
“I was hoping you’d come,” the attorney says when he arrives. They shake hands and Derek sits before Mr. Stilinski can even offer.
“First of all,” he starts to say. “I’d like to apologize.”
“Nonsense,” Mr. Stilinski dismisses with his hand. “You saved my son’s life while bleeding from the head.”
“I didn’t get the guy responsible for the attack,” Derek admits.
“I know who is responsible,” Mr. Stilinski claps his hands together. “Maybe I don’t know the man but I know who sent him. Gerard Argent is getting nervous now that we finally got a date for the trial.”
“Congratulations,” Derek nods.
“Thank you, that also means he and his men are suddenly getting restless. He knows I have enough to send him to jail for life. That’s why I need you to reinforce my son’s security.”
“If that’s the case, I believe you need your own security, too,” Derek suggests. “My team could easily protect both of you.”
“That won’t be necessary,” Mr. Stilinski denies. “I want all your men making sure Stiles is safe.”
“With all due respect, sir,” Derek insists. “Think of Stiles, if something happened to you, he-”
“I’ll be fine,” Mr. Stilinski cuts him out.
“You don’t know that,” Derek insists. “He already saw his mother die-”
“Don’t,” the attorney warns.
“You told me to protect your son,” Derek tries. “And that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Mr. Stilinski pauses, he leans back on his chair and sighs.
“I’ll only accept security if it doesn’t interfere with Stiles’ protection,” he finally concedes.
“It won’t, you have my word.”
For the next few weeks, Derek is busy organizing his people into two groups and working on different schedules to keep Mr. Stilinski and Stiles under protection 24/7. And maybe he uses it as an excuse to avoid a certain spastic yet inexplicably charming brat. But no one can blame him. He really has work to do, and also, there’s nothing wrong with trying to follow his own job policy, is there?
Stiles tries to talk to him whenever their schedule coincide, starting a conversation on whatever random topic his scattered brain comes up with, but Derek can’t do it. He doesn’t trust himself around Stiles. So he avoids him, he changes schedules, giving some of his men double shifts in order to prevent him from taking Stiles to class, and going as far as leaving the room whenever Stiles shows up.
Luckily for all, Stiles never tries to talk to him about it, making it easier to keep his distance and remain professional as they slowly drift apart after the attack in the alley.
As the trial approaches, Derek convinces Mr. Stilinski to allow more men to go with him to court. And after some back and forth, the man agrees as long as Derek stays with Stiles.Which tortures Derek even more whenever he thinks of Stiles in ways he knows Mr. Stilinski wouldn’t approve.
The first day of the trial, Stiles visits his father in his office, something Derek has never seen him do in the months he has worked for them. His team drives them to the building where Stiles' dad has his office and Derek waits outside, people eyeing him warily as they pass in front of Mr. Stilinski’s door.
When Stiles comes out, Derek feels his weird mood almost instantly. They walk to the elevator in silence and once inside, Derek clasps Stiles’ shoulder.
“You alright?” he asks lowly.
He had promised himself he would stop doing this, comforting Stiles. But every inch of his body is screaming for him to touch Stiles, to give him some peace of mind, to calm him.
Stiles stiffens a moment and then he’s pushing him away.
“You talk to me now?” he snorts. “Whatever dude, I’m fine, I don’t need your pity anyway.”
“Stiles,” Derek tries to speak.
“No, it’s cool, man,” Stiles shows his palms, stepping even further away. “It’s not like I ever thought you cared about me for real. I know you’re working, okay? I’m a pain in your ass, I get it.”
“Don’t be ridiculous-” Derek starts saying, when the elevator’s doors open and Stiles rushes outside without a single glance back.
They aren’t alone for the rest of the ride and Stiles’ words have caught him by surprise so much, Derek is not sure what to do.
In the house’s hall, he gets a hold of Stiles, who tries to struggle away unsuccessfully as Derek waits for everyone to walk past them.
“Listen to me,” he nearly whispers, tugging him closer.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” Stiles says, refusing to look at him.
“I’m just... trying to do my job,” Derek says in frustration.
“Trust me, I know,” Stiles snorts, still refusing to look at him.
“You don’t understand,” Derek says roughly. “You’re a distraction I can’t afford, okay?”
Stiles finally looks at him, eyes wide and impossibly large as he stares at Derek in surprise.
“But I care about you,” Derek says slowly.
Boyd leans out of the operation room’s door and whistles, the sound startling Derek into letting go of Stiles, who hesitates a moment before rushing upstairs without an answer.
“It’s almost time,” Boyd comments as he disappears inside again.
Derek sighs. He feels like trashing everything around him.
He spends the afternoon directing everyone on his team attending court with Mr. Stilinski. He tries to shove Stiles away from his thoughts, but the more he tries, the more he remembers Stiles' face right before disappearing upstairs. Did he say too much? The only thing keeping him grounded are his years of experience. And this is exactly why he came up with those rules to begin with.
Once the first session at court is over, Derek orders everyone to come back home quickly and takes his headphones off for the first time in hours.
“Cover me,” he tells Boyd and Jackson, the two assigned to stay behind with him today.
Getting outside, he almost collides with Stiles, who seemed to be waiting in the corridor.
“Hey,” Stiles says awkwardly.
Derek feels his heart do a double flip before he can even answer. “Hey.”
“So I was thinking,” Stiles starts a moment later.
“About this afternoon,” Derek tries to speak at the same time.
Stiles dismisses with his hands. “Nah, sorry I exploded in your face like that. You know, weird day,” he shrugs.
Derek pauses. “Right, I know.”
“So, I was trying to say...” Stiles trails off, back against the wall, head tilted down.
“Yeah,” Derek leans against the opposite wall.
"I was thinking that, like, I can’t go on a date, right?” Stiles lifts his eyes, looking at him. “I mean, since you guys arrived, I can’t go alone anywhere, and what kind of date would it be with at least 3 other guys tagging along, right? I mean, that’d totally suck. Not that I’ve been on a lot of dates, but I’m sure that’d make my reputation as a suitable candidate even worse.”
“Stiles,“ Derek interrupts. “Point is?”
“My point is...” he trails off. “Well, what if I went on a date and things went great, would you come with us to the after date fun times, too?”
Derek looks at him in surprise. “Are you asking me this because you have a date...?”
“No, but I want to! That’s the point. And I realized I can’t, okay?” Stiles flails his arms around. “So, that’s when I started thinking.”
“Here we go,” Derek sighs.
“Right, here we go...” Stiles takes a deep breath and says, “Take me on a date. Uh.Maybe? I mean- Uh,” Stiles stutters. “I can’t go out without you, so I figured, why the hell not? Right? Only, I mean, only if you want,” he practically squeaks the last part.
“Two hours ago you wanted me to leave you alone, and now you’re asking me to go out somewhere together. You realize you’re not making sense, right?” Derek decides to go the mocking route.
“I made up my mind,” Stiles lifts his chin, defiantly. And somehow Derek feels like they are no longer talking about the same thing.
“Stiles...” Derek tries to speak.
“I mean, it wouldn’t be a realdate, of course,” Stiles laughs nervously. “Just two guys grabbing something to eat. I just- well, I thought it’d be nice to get out of here.”
“Right,” Derek smirks.
He considers it a second, enough time to make Stiles grow restless.
“We can’t go out, though,” he ends up saying.
“Is that your way of agreeing?” Stiles gives him a goofy smile.
Derek shrugs. “I have to go wherever you go anyway.”
“Dude, this is gonna be awesome,” Stiles moves away from the wall. “I was totally counting on taking you out to this cool place I discovered the other day, I thought you might like it, but like, we can totally make something work here. I’m sure there are still places in this house you haven’t seen yet. And oh, in fact I think I know the perfect place!”
“Nothing crazy,” he warns when he sees Stiles’ excited face.
“Scout’s honor,” he nods enthusiastically, crossing over his heart.
Derek rolls his eyes, gesturing for him to hold on. He goes back to the operation room.
“Everything’s under control,” Jackson informs the moment he opens the door. “They are halfway here.”
“Good,” Derek nods. “Informe me if anything happens, text me when they arrive,” he grabs his phone from the table, showing it to them a moment and then shoving it on his pocket.
“Where are you going?” Jackson arches an eyebrow.
“None of your business,” Derek grins as he turns to leave.
He can hear Boyd snorting as he closes the door behind him. Derek arches an eyebrow when he discovers Stiles is waiting for him with a bag in his hands.
“Let’s go,” Stiles grins, tossing the bag over his back as Derek follows him through the back door to the guest house.
“I don’t know if this is a good idea, Stiles,” Derek frowns as they get inside and Stiles turns on the lights.
“Come on, I used to hang out with Scott here all the time,” Stiles leads the way into the open kitchen, putting the bag on the counter and gesturing to the rest of the place.
There’s a pool table, some couches, a flat screen, and the fireplace wall is packed with movies from top to bottom.
“Your playroom?” Derek asks, arching an eyebrow.
“Something like that,” Stiles sounds proud.
Derek turns around to observe him pulling out stuff from the bag. The first thing is a pack of beers Stiles puts on the fridge. Then he gets a big box of hamburger meat, a bag of bread, bacon, cheese and different sauces.
“I hope you like burgers,” Stiles offers.
Derek sits on a stool in front of him. “Who doesn’t?”
“Vegetarians?” Stiles chuckles.
“Do I look like I don’t eat meat?” Derek arches an eyebrow.
“I don’t know, man,” Stiles talks as he starts cooking. “You look like a wolf to me, but you never know.”
Derek crooks his head. That’s interesting.
Stiles grabs a beer from the fridge and Derek leans over the counter and snaps it out of his hand.
“Thank you,” he says, giving Stiles a big grin.
“That was for me,” Stiles sounds indignant.
“You’re not 21 yet,” Derek points with his beer. “You can’t drink yet.”
“Are you kidding me?” Stiles scoffs.
“What do you think?” Derek takes a big gulp of beer.
“I think that you’re being unfair, and I’m burning your meat,” Stiles makes a face, turning toward the stove.
“No, you’re not,” Derek smirks into his beer, noticing how Stiles’ shoulders move as he mimics him under his breath, making Derek chuckle.
“How old are you anyway?” Stiles asks as he keeps preparing the meat.
“Old enough to drink,” Derek offers.
Stiles huffs as he starts cooking. “I deserved that one.”
Later, they eat their dinner as they talk about nothing in particular. It’s nice and relaxed, and Derek is starting to think he was overreacting when he put all that space between them. He can control the situation, there’s nothing to worry about.
“You know,” Derek comments as he drinks his second beer. “I read your student record.”
Stiles is in the process of stuffing his mouth with chips when he pauses.
“Are you planning on transferring next year?” Derek asks.
“Uh,” Stiles chews and swallows comically. “No offense man, but you’re such a stalker.” He grins and grabs more chips with both hands. “I don’t know, I’m liking this place and it’s close to everything.”
“You mean your father,” Derek smirks, knowing Stiles’ motivations.
“And my friends,” Stiles shrugs as he keeps eating.
“Once this case is solved, you could move out, though,” Derek suggests.
Stiles snores. “You’re as subtle as a bull in a china shop.”
“I’m not trying to be subtle,” Derek shrugs.
Stiles regards him oddly for a moment.
"Can I tell you something funny?" he finally says, looking somewhat sad.
“Like I’d have any option.” Derek arches his eyebrow, giving him a crooked smile.
"I- I didn't want to have any security to make things easier for them,” Stiles says in a rush of breath.
Derek is in the middle of drinking from his beer when he pauses.
"Don't think it's some kind of death wish." Stiles chuckles a bit. "I just thought I could avenge my mother, that they'd come after me and I'd catch them instead."
Derek lowers his drink slowly.
"That’s part of why I didn’t go to Stanford." Stiles shakes his head. “What was I thinking, right?”
"You only wanted justice for your mother," Derek ventures to say.
"Yeah, yeah I did. I do," he corrects.
"That's what your father is trying to achieve," Derek adds.
Stiles frowns. "We haven't... discussed it since, you know."
Derek nods. "Maybe it's about time."
"It's hard... to talk to him. When I survived and she didn't..." Stiles shrugs.
"Your father is glad you're alive," Derek runs his finger over the rim of the bottle.
“Stop it,” Stiles grimaces.
"He's not the only one," Derek adds after a pause, making Stiles straighten and look at him in surprise.
The kitchen island is between them, each sitting on a stool in front of the other. And Derek knows he’s spent the last hour lying to himself. He does care about Stiles. More than just as more than just a client. He thinks about him all the time. He’s concerned about him, he worries how the trial is affecting him, he wants to help him, to be there for him.
He’s never felt this way before. He knows what duty is, he knows what honor is. He’s sacrificed himself for other people before. But he never did it because the mere idea of something happening to that person was unbearable.
He finally understands what some people mean when they say they’d do anything to protect the people they love.
Where did that come from?
“There’s not much I can do, anyway,” Stiles speaks, picking up their plates and putting them on the sink.
"I heard your father doesn't want you as witness,” Derek manages to croak out. There’s a sudden lump in his throat.
"He thinks it'd traumatize me, or something like that," Stiles shrugs.
"He cares about you," Derek helps in.
"But I can do it!” Stiles sounds a lot more confident now. “I saw their faces, I remember everything."
Derek steps off the stool and moves toward the pool table, circling it slowly, beer still in hand.
“Talk to him about it, then,” he says as he leaves the beer on the edge of the pool.
“Pfff, yeah right,” Stiles follows him, grabbing the triangle and placing the balls in the right place.
“I’m serious,” Derek insists.
Stiles takes the triangle off and Derek gestures to him to go ahead.
“Wait, you let me go first?” Stiles pauses in his rambling.
“Sure, it won't make a difference,” Derek teases, arching an eyebrow as he leans on the pool table.
“Cocky much?” Stiles chuckles, leaning over and aligning his cue. “Anyway, what I am supposed to say?” He resumes his rambling, pulling the cue slowly back and forth a couple of times. “Hey dad I want to testify, I know you think I’ll break down in court and cry like a little bitch, but I can handle it?”
Stiles finishes saying and then hits the white ball hard enough to splash the rest of the balls all over the table, some going through the holes.
“Nice shoot. You’re solids,” Derek concedes, moving away to leave him space. “And yeah, I think that’s a good way of telling him.”
Stiles snorts, moving to one of the sides of the table and bending over, trying to hit the number three red ball and make it push the number one yellow through the hole. Once done, he straightens and regards Derek, cue braced on the floor as he holds it with both hands.
“You’re even worse than me with words, huh?” he smiles.
“Hit the next ball,” Derek scoffs.
Stiles laughs in a loud and rich way, making Derek’s whole body tingle. That’s a sound he could get used to.
Stiles moves all the way to where Derek is leaning against the back of a couch, and bends down, giving Derek a perfect view of his ass.
Derek busies himself by grabbing his beer and drinking, even though it's warm already. Stiles turns around, still bent over, grins at him and says, “four and six in the right corner.”
Derek arches his eyebrows and nods, like whatever he’s saying is making any sense when all Derek can think about is covering the space between them and pressing his cock against Stiles’ ass.
Fumbling a little with his drink, Derek moves away and goes to the kitchen, throwing the bottle in the trash can.
Stiles curses when he fails his next hit, and Derek returns to the table, taking his jacket off and noticing Stiles’ eyes following his movement and focusing on his shoulder holster.
“What kind of gun is it?” Stiles asks, eyes still fixed on it.
“Why do you want to know?” Derek lifts his arm anyway, flashing his gun, before he bends down and hits the striped purple ball against the striped blue, sending both through the hole.
“I’m just curious.” Stiles shrugs.
“It’s a 9mm glock.” Derek sends another ball through the hole.
“Classic.” Stiles grins.
Derek moves in front of him, bending down a little bit more than strictly necessary. He places the cue against the ball, moving it back and forth very slowly a couple of time and then hitting.
The ball doesn’t do what he wanted it to, and none of them disappear through a hole.
Turning around, Derek leans his ass against the pool table and crosses his ankles, cue between them as he holds it.
Stiles is looking at him funny. He clears his throat a couple of times and finally asks. “Can I hold it?”
“I know that underneath all that sourness, there’s a person who would let me hold his gun because he knows I really want to.”
“Unlikely.” Derek shrugs.
“Come on, I want to learn to defend myself,” Stiles insists, making him pause with his tone.
“Are you serious?” Derek forgets the game, placing the cue on the pool table, and looks at him.
“Sure I am.” Stiles grows straighter.
Derek considers it a moment. He retrieves his glock from his holster and shows it to Stiles, palm up. “Have you ever used one before?” he asks.
Stiles can’t stop looking at it as he shakes his head absently.
“Before I even let you look at it,” Derek says as he lowers the gun. “The first rule is that you never point a gun at anyone even if you think it’s unloaded.”
“Dude,” Stiles snorts.
“Don’t dude me.” Derek grows serious. “You keep it lower down like this. And always with the safety on. You see this button?” Derek points to the side of the hand grip. “You press it to eject the magazine. Make sure it’s unloaded whenever you're done using it.” Derek shows him. “Once you've filled it again, you insert it again by pushing upward into the hand grip until you hear a click.”
“Alright.” Stiles takes a step closer to look better.
"When you're ready to fire, you would disengage the safety," Derek comments as he points to the switch. "You pull back like this to chamber the first bullet," he continues, sliding back the top of the barrel to display the empty chamber. "This is a semi-automatic so the rest will chamber themselves. Got it?" he finally asks.
“Yes,” Stiles says seriously.
“Show me.” he hands the glock over.
“Are you sure?” Stiles widens his eyes.
“Stiles,” Derek warns.
“Alright.” Stiles grips the gun and demonstrates everything Derek showed him slowly but determinedly.
“Good.” Derek nods, studying all his movements. “Now put the safety back on.”
“Always leave the safety on, unless you’re sure you’re going to shoot something.” Derek arches an eyebrow sardonically.
“Will keep that in mind,” Stiles scoffs, weighting the gun in his hand, looking oddly intense.
“You really want to learn?” Derek asks.
“I think it’d be useful information to have, in case I ever have to use one, to you know, defend myself.” Stiles shrugs.
“Okay.” Derek nods. “I’ll teach you.”
Stiles nearly drops the gun. He fumbles with it a moment and then looks at Derek with eyes comically wide open.
“Careful.” Derek reaches over but Stiles secures it first.
“Are you serious?” Stiles asks in wonder.
“Sure, I'll take you out to the range tomorrow.” Derek eyes him carefully.
Stiles takes a step closer, eyes pinning him with such intensity Derek is unable to look down when Stiles stretches his arm forward.
“What are you doing?” he asks roughly.
“Putting it back on its place,” Stiles breathes out. He shows the side of the gun. “Look, I even kept the safety on.” He grins and then he moves between Derek’s legs and places the barrel of the gun on the hostler, sliding it inside smoothly.
“There,” Stiles whispers, his face inches away from Derek’s.
Derek drops his eyelids, shifting slightly toward him. He can smell Stiles, feel his thighs pressed against his own, the ghost of Stiles’ fingers as they caress his tie before tugging slightly. He leans into Derek until his cheek rubs against his stubble, and Derek knows that all he has to do is turn his face and their lips will meet; He is dying to kiss Stiles.
His phone chooses that moment to sound, making Stiles startle and jump back, breaking the moment.
Derek clear his throat and shoves his hand in his pocket, getting his phone.
“Your father wants to see you,” he informs, voice low and rough even after a couple of tries.
“Right.” Stiles takes another step back.
“We should go,” Derek says tentatively, without moving.
“Yeah.” Stiles looks at him through his lashes, head bend down as he rubs his neck.
Derek falters only a second before he’s pushing away from the pool table, grabbing his blazer and walking to the door.
They walk in silence back to the main house, their shoulders bumping only once. Once in front of his father’s office, Derek clasps Stiles’ shoulder.
“Try to talk to him,” he says.
Stiles’ eyes roam all over his face for a moment before he’s nodding.
Derek observes him opening the door and getting inside, his tense shoulders, his stiff gait, and he wishes he could go with him, give him the support he needs.
Instead, Derek goes downstairs and checks on his men, asking for an update. And if Jackson and Boyd look at him funny, Derek just ignores it.
It’s almost midnight when one of the men in the night shift bursts into the room.
“I can’t find the son,” the guy shouts.
"What do you mean you can’t find him?" Derek says.
"He went to his room after leaving his father’s office but he isn’t there anymore, I don't know how he managed to open the window without the alarms going off."
Derek's chest clenches painfully. Stiles is gone.
"Track him," he orders.
"He turned off his cell phone," Danny informs as he keeps working on his computer. "I won't be able to find him until he turns it on again.”
Derek calls Stiles' number and gets the voice mail. "I'm going to kill you myself when I finally find you,” he snarls into the receiver as he grabs his car keys.
"Where are you going?" Erica shouts.
"To find him," Derek barks. "Danny, keep trying his phone. The moment you get him, call me. The rest, I want to know how the hell he managed to escape. Figure out who is responsible for this."
He's out of the house and in his Camaro in record time. And that's when he notices Stiles' jeep parked in the graveyard. The realization hits him instantly. Derek starts the car and drives away. After a few miles, he turns left and dials Scott's number.
"Thank god," Scott breathes in relief. "He called me half an hour ago, I found him walking on the highway, Derek. Come get him."
"On my way," Derek grunts out before disconnecting the call.
His hands grab the wheel so hard it hurts. Derek is nearly hyperventilating, he was so scared. Fucking Stiles. If anything had happened to him... Derek doesn't even know how he'd have dealt with that. And the realization is enough to trigger him again.
There's a heaviness in his chest that won't let him take deep breaths. He's shaking, his muscles clenched by the sudden thought, the realization that he hadn't cared so much for someone else since his parents- Derek shudders, unable to finish that thought. He lets ragged breaths in and out in an attempt to calm himself before reaching Scott's house.
The fear and worry finally disappear now that he knows Stiles is safe, and all that's left behind is fury. He's beyond pissed. How dare Stiles do this to him.To his father. What was he thinking?
"He wasn't. He doesn't think." Derek snorts meanly and harsh.
Once he's parked, Scott opens the door before he can even knock.
"He's upstairs," he says. "I didn't tell him you were coming."
Derek nods and rushes up the stairs, two at a time.
"Dude, what took you so long? Did the sandwich win the fight?" The moment Stiles sees him, he stops smiling, though. He jumps back on his feet and shows his hands in an apologetic gesture.
Derek notices the blotchy, red eyes instantly.
"I needed to be alone," Stiles tries to explain.
Derek doesn't speak. He just takes a step closer. Stiles' state makes him act without a conscious decision.
"Derek," Stiles pleads with his voice. "I'm sorry, okay? I didn't think! I just needed out of there. You don't know what it feels like, okay?" Stiles licks his lips nervously as Derek keeps getting closer. "You don't know what it is to see your father face the man who ordered the murder of his wife. To know he's doing it for me. I couldn't stand it anymore, I needed-" Stiles pauses, looking like an animal trapped in front of the headlights as Derek covers the distance between them and finally embraces him. "-out," Stiles finishes with a barely audible voice as Derek presses him against his chest.
Stiles stills for a moment and then he relaxes, going boneless in Derek’s arms and choking a sob back down his throat as his arms circle him and his fists clench on Derek's shirt.
“We’re going back home,” Derek informs him, and Stiles nods.
They walk down the stairs together, Derek never letting go of him. They walk past Scott, who looks at them like he's seeing a ghost, and into the car in silence.
“What happened with your father?” Derek asks after a few miles of silence.
“He- I- I don’t know.” Stiles shifts nervously in his seat, throwing his arms inside the reduce space of the car. “We talked, and it was good, you know? At first I thought you were right and it was what we needed. But then- he just- Apparently there are details I didn’t know.” Stiles snorts harshly at the end, his voice breaking.
Derek moves without thinking. His right hand leaves the wheel and holds Stiles’, who lets out a shaky breath, head tilted back and leant against the seat, as he closes his eyes.
“They are trying to discredit my father.” he rubs his eyes with his free hand. “Trying to make it seem like my mother was having an affair with someone from the Argents, and that’s why my father wants revenge. I mean, it's crazy, right? It makes no sense, but you never know what juries are going to believe.”
Derek looks at him in surprise. He goes quickly back to the road, eyes wide as he keeps driving, his fingers interlacing with Stiles’, who has started to shake slightly.
“Dad wanted me to know before it went public, so I'd be ready,” Stiles speaks against his hand, which is now covering his face.
“I guess I couldn’t take it,” he scoffs, dropping his hand and turning to look at him. “I ran away, Derek.”
“That’s okay,” Derek murmurs.
“He needed my support, and I ran away,” Stiles insists. “He’s gotta be worried sick.”
“I texted Danny,” Derek says.
“You did? Oh good, that’s- good.” Stiles sounds worried.
“He won’t be angry.” Derek tries to reassure him.
“He should be, though.” Stiles shrugs.
Derek squeezes his hand, making Stiles look down at their interlinked fingers.
“I’m glad you’re here,” Stiles whispers after a while.
Derek looks at him sideways, unable to say what he's thinking.
They arrive a bit later. Derek parks the Camaro in front of the house and kills the engine, but neither of them moves.
“I guess tonight is the time for confessions,” Stiles says, licking his lips nervously as he moves his hand away.
Derek frowns as he lets him go. Stiles sighs, he seems getting ready to do something.
“I need to tell you something, because- well, it's been driving me insane and I got enough insane in my life without- uh.” Stiles groans, running his fingers over his buzz cut.
"I saw you," he suddenly blurts out.
Derek pauses, not sure he's understanding what's going on.
"When?" he decides to ask.
"Remember the night I glued all that stuff to your closet?" Stiles licks his lips nervously, dropping his eyes and studying his hands.
It takes Derek a moment to remember but when he does, he can barely move.
"Oh," he breathes out, feeling the heat slowly creeping up his neck. "How?"
"Danny is not the only one who knows how to wire a room. I placed a webcam hoping I'd tape the moment you realized all your bedclothes were glued. I wanted to upload it to youtube, thought it would be funny to see..." Stiles trails off.
"And was it?" Derek can’t take his eyes off him.
"No, not funny." Stiles shakes his head, laughing a bit nervously. "When I saw you... Naked and- wet. I told myself I would stop the tape. But then you... You were hard, and it was so fucking hot, so fucking unfair. The first time I didn't even notice the noises of the video playing in the background. All I could do was look at you."
"You looked at me?" Derek asks roughly. He's hard just imagining it.
"I'm sorry, ok? I know it was a total creeper move, you must feel disgusted right now. I've tortured myself enough so there's no need for more now that-"
"No." Derek shakes his head. "Nothing like that. I- when I did that, I was imagining...."
"Yeah?" Stiles barely speaks up, the word a rush of breath.
"I was imagining you," Derek finally says. "Watching me."
Stiles' breath catches in his throat as he gasps. He snaps his head to the side and looks at him in surprise.
Derek smirks. He's so fucking done for. Jesus Christ, when did this happen?
He gets a hold of Stiles' face, cupping his cheeks almost ceremoniously and Stiles looks up at him through his long lashes as he opens his mouth, lips wet and red from having been chewing on them.
"I was so worried about you," Derek whispers, eyes fixed on his mouth.
Stiles smiles a lopsided, ridiculously charming smile. And Derek melts. He leans forward, their lips barely brushing until Stiles makes this strangled noise at the back of his throat and Derek captures his mouth, sinking deeper the moment Stiles parts his lips.
The front door opens with a loud bang then, and Mr. Stilinski runs outside.
“Stiles?” he is yelling. “Stiles is that you? Are you okay?”
Derek is out of his car in a second, circling it and going to meet Mr. Stilinski.
“He’s fine,” he reassures the man. “He was at Scott’s. He just needed a break.”
“Is he okay? Are you sure?” Mr. Stilinski insists.
Stiles gets out of the car then, he goes to his father and hugs him without saying a word.
“I’m sorry, dad,” he says against the crook of Mr. Stilinski’s neck.
“Me too, son.” The man tightens his embrace. “I love you, no matter what, I love you.”
“I love you, too,” Stiles says roughly, eyes squeezed shut. “I was unfair, I’m sorry, I’m here to support you,” he keeps babbling on as his father holds him.
In the end, they step back and give each other this similar looking awkward face, that makes Derek want to chuckle because they can’t deny the Stilinski genes they share.
“Epic chick-flick moment.” Stiles rubs the back of his head.
“You always were full of drama,” Mr. Stilinski jokes, embracing his shoulders and guiding Stiles inside. He looks back and stares at Derek, mouthing a silent thank you.
Once alone, Derek sags against the Camaro. He’s so utterly fucked. When did he lose control over the situation? Did he ever have control at all?
His phone beeps with a new text.
>>we are finishing this later
Derek snorts, his thumb caressing the screen as he smirks at the words written on it.
The next morning, he's checking the previous day's report when Stiles appears with a mug of coffee.
"I didn't put anything funny in it this time," Stiles offers with a smile.
Derek rolls his eyes and accepts it, sipping the delicious black coffee as Stiles sits on the table he is working at, right next to him.
"You look tired." Derek points out.
"I stayed up until late talking to my dad." Stiles rubs his neck.
Derek reclines in his chair, mug in his hands as he smiles. "That's good."
"Yeah." Stiles rubs under his nose in an embarrassed gesture. "I think I'm close to convincing him to let me stand witness in his case."
Derek puts the mug on the table and leans forward, his hand grabbing Stiles' calf.
"You’re always complicating my job," he teases, because he can't say what he'd really like to say. He knows testifying means a lot to Stiles, so even though every inch of his body wants him to prevent the idiot from doing something so dangerous, he doesn't say it.
"So." Stiles trails off, hands on the edge of the table, head cocked to the right as he observes Derek's hand massaging his calf slowly. "What are you doing today?"
Derek snorts. "Work.”
"Meaning you're spending the day with me?" Stiles sounds hopeful, and doesn't that just make Derek's guts tighten delightfully.
"Do I have an option?" Derek jokes "If you're still interested," he continues casually. "I can take you to the firing range."
Stiles beams, giving Derek a big smile. "Deal!"
After a few phone calls, Derek has arranged with the owners to have the entire range empty of outsides and they leave the house half an hour later, Boyd and Erica tagging along as Derek's support group, and another car with more men following them.
Derek explains the norms in a shooting range, places his men in the strategic places to have the whole place under vigilance, and keeps Boyd and Erica with them when they finally enter the shooting gallery.
He makes Boyd and Erica stay close back while Derek brings Stiles to an empty range.
“Let’s start.” Derek passes Stiles a set of protective glasses and ear muffs.
“Dude.” Stiles pulls a face.
“Not up for discussion.” Derek raises his eyebrows and Stiles puffs as he puts them on.
Satisfied, Derek passes his gun to Stiles, grabbing his hands and moving his fingers until Stiles is holding it correctly.
“Now place your feet shoulder width apart.” Derek moves behind Stiles, grabbing his hips and parting his feet with his foot. “Like that.”
“This is already more interesting than I anticipated,” Stiles jokes.
“Concentrate.” Derek speaks right against the hairline behind Stiles’ ear, causing him to shiver a little. Derek smirks.
“Bend your knees slightly.” Derek presses his knees behind Stiles’ until he’s in the right position. “Now raise your hands, point at the target.”
“You’re making me nervous on purpose to make me look like a dumbass when I miss the target, aren't you?” Stiles asks a bit out of breath.
“You don’t need help with that,” Derek teases, nudging his head with his nose.
“Ha, ha.” Stiles leans back against him as Derek slides his hands up to his shoulders.
“Now breathe,” Derek says lowly and Stiles obeys. "See this?" He points to a metal bump on top of the barrel, waiting until Stiles nods. "Line that up with this notch to aim," he says, touching the end of the barrel. “Breathe in, let it out and then fire.”
Stiles snorts. “Sounds easy,” he says ironically.
“Just try to aim.” Derek huffs out a laughter. “Don’t pull the trigger, press it slowly,” he explains. “Brace your arms like this, or you'll hit yourself in the face when it recoils."
“I’m ready,” Stiles says resolutely and after a moment, he shoots at the target.
“That was good.” Derek smiles. “Again,” he steps back, moving away from Stiles and letting him continue alone.
“Hey.” Stiles turns his head. “Where are you going?”
“Just shoot.” Derek grins.
When he joins Erica and Boyd at the back, they side eye him.
“Not a word," he grunts before they can even open their mouth.
Stiles empties his first clip, hitting mostly the outskirts of the target but hitting it nonetheless. He disarms his gun, places it on his range’s table next to the protective glasses and headphones and turns around, whooping and raising his arms in a victory gesture.
“That was amazing!” he yells, going for a high five neither Boyd nor Erica reacts to.
Derek rolls his eyes, but can’t help the smile that twitch his lips.
“Come on.” Stiles gestures over. “I wanna see you shooting.”
Derek shrugs. He puts on the headphones and protective glasses, reloads the gun and empties the clip without pausing, all bullets hitting the center.
When he turns around Stiles is gaping at him.
“Dude, that was fricking awesome,” he breathes out.
“You want to try again?” Derek offers the unloaded gun.
They spend the afternoon at the shooting range trying different weapons and placing the targets at different distances.
“What time is it?” Stiles suddenly asks. “I’m starving, man.”
“Let’s go then,” Derek agrees, patting his back as they all leave.
“We could stop in that cool place I told you about,” Stiles suggests animatedly.
As Derek is about to reply, a gunshot bursts in the corridor they are walking in and Derek moves without thinking. A blast of pain burns his shoulder as he shoves Stiles down, covering him with his body.
The shooter turns and dashes around the corner, disappearing faster than Erica can draw her gun. Boyd blocks them as she moves forward.
“Clear!” she shouts back at them once she is in the other corridor.
As Boyd moves to follow her, Derek puts Stiles back on his feet.
“Are you okay?” he asks, patting Stiles’ arms and chest, making sure the bullet didn’t hit him.
“It didn’t hit me,” Stiles mumbles. “Derek... Derek! It hit you, stop- hey.” He tries to stop Derek from palming him frantically. “Look at me.”
Derek finally stops and looks at him for the first time. That’s when he feels the burning in his right arm.
“Boss, stay there,” Boyd speaks to their earbud. “Made visual contact, we’re chasing him.”
“Alright,” Derek speaks to his earbud, eyes still pinned on Stiles.
“You’re bleeding.” Stiles sounds worried.
“It’s just a scratch.” Derek dismisses. “They are catching him this time.”
Stiles looks shaken. He frowns as his fingers brush over Derek’s wound.
“Got him,” Erica speaks through the earbud then.
“Where are you?” Derek answers quickly.
“Coming back in.”
They walk in the main room at the same time Erica and Boyd show up, both holding a guy with his arms handcuffed on his back.
The moment they see him, Stiles lets out a roar and rushes forward, startling everyone.
"You are not a very good hitman, are you?” Stiles spats. “You wanted to kill me? You shot someone else, dumbass!” he pounces the guy, kicking him in the balls and making the man drop backward to the floor.
"You can’t let him do this," the man pleads, looking at Derek and his team for help.
"Oh, I don’t know about that.” Derek arches an eyebrow.
"Hey, look at me!" Stiles slaps the man hard, catching his attention. "I'm right here! Didn't you want me? Come on, what's wrong buddy? You don't want to play anymore?" Stiles keeps kicking and punching him as he speaks.
Derek is about to stop him when Stiles' discourse changes.
"Was it you? Huh? Did they send you? Tell me, was it you?" He punctuates each word with a brutal punch. "Did. You. Kill. My. Mother!" Stiles screams off the top of his lungs, face red and mere inches away from the guy who keeps whimpering as he tries to move away from the kicks that keep coming.
Derek is moving before he even registers his intent to. He gets a hold of Stiles and lifts him off the man.
"Enough," he says. He feels his body taut in knots, wired painfully as he moves Stiles away.
"I wasn't finished!" he yells as Derek shoves him into the first room he finds.
“We’ll be right back.” Derek turns to say at his men before locking behind him, realizing a moment later he’s unknowingly picked a storage room.
Stiles tries to pass through him, but Derek holds him, shoving him against the wall so hard Stiles’ breath catches for a moment.
"Stiles, Stiles, that was enough." Derek manhandles him, pressing him against the wall as he pins him with his body, trying to make Stiles stop struggling.
He gets a hold of Stiles' face and looks him straight in the eyes. Stiles looks wild, his eyes wide open and unfocused. Derek notices the tears, the way Stiles clenches and unclenches his jaw, trying to keep them from rolling down his cheeks.
"I wasn't finished," he says roughly.
"You beat the shit out of that guy," Derek says slowly. "What else did you want?"
"I wanted him to admit it!” Stiles snaps back.
"And then what?" Derek insists. "You want revenge? Is that what you want?"
"So what if I do?" Stiles snarls. "You have no idea what losing someone is like!"
“You’re smarter than this,” Derek whispers.
Stiles pauses, he regards Derek with wide eyes and Derek moves without thinking. He embraces his shoulders and presses against him. Stiles lets out a little gasp and then he clings to him tightly, burying his face on the crook of Derek’s neck.
“They killed her,” Stiles murmurs against his skin. “I was right there and I couldn’t do anything. She-” Stiles chokes. “She’s gone, and it’s my fault.”
Derek closes his eyes and tightens his arms around him, leaning his forearms on the wall and covering Stiles with his body.
“You almost died, Stiles,” he whispers. “I read the medical record, you tried to save her.” Derek runs his hand over Stiles’ buzz cut, holding him. “You were brave.”
“How can you say that?” Stiles leans back to look at him for the first time. “She’s dead!”
Derek feels something inside of him clench. Not knowing what to say, he leans his forehead against Stiles’, his hands moving up to his neck to hold him.
“It was not your fault,” he insists.
Stiles makes a choked up noise and then tries to shove Derek away. “Stop doing that, leave me alone.”
“Not gonna happen,” Derek nearly snarls.
“Why not? It’s not like you care-” Stiles tries to say but Derek is faster in grabbing his face and smashing their mouths together.
Stiles makes a choked up sound and clings to him instantly, claiming Derek’s mouth. He sinks deeper, tongue forceful and demanding. And Derek just opens up and allows him in, feeling Stiles’ initial rage leading to need and desperation as his fingers clutch his face, drawing him in.
The feeling is intoxicating, empowering. Derek wants to make Stiles forget everything, wipe the pain away with his hands, his tongue, his whole body. He wants to-
“Cops are here,” Boyd speaks to his earbud.
Derek pulls abruptly back, startled at the voice. Stiles whines, trying to reach to him, but Derek moves away. He puts his palm on Stiles’ chest and presses him against the wall.
They lock eyes as both pant heavily.
"Are we clear?" Derek asks low and roughly.
"I... think I got it." Stiles pants, eyes still fixed on Derek's mouth.
Derek is so hard he’s not sure how he’s going to be able to walk, or even think. He stops touching Stiles and takes another step back, taking a deep breathe.
“Dude.” Stiles huffs, laughing. “You’re giving me blue balls.”
Derek arches an eyebrow, smirking. “Come on,” he gestures, nodding at the door. “Let’s get out, they've been talking in my ear the whole time."
Stiles' sudden laugh turns into a choke at that.
When they leave the room, Boyd and Erica look back and forth between them a couple of times. She gives Derek her knowing smile but Boyd just shrugs and moves away.
“Did the police arrive?” Derek asks, ignoring them.
“Yes, with an ambulance.” Erica informs.
"Who showed?" he demands immediately.
"Lydia Martin." Erica pulls a face.
Derek doesn't care if half of his team has problems with Lydia, she's still the best police detective and exactly who Derek expected to show up. The place is full of police and emergency service people, who seem surprised of the captive’s injuries.
“You’ll be alright?” Derek clasps Stiles’ shoulder. “I need to deal with this.”
Stiles nods and Derek realizes that’s the best he’s going to get by now.
“If anything happens, call me, alright?” he whispers, leaning closer.
Stiles gives him a smile and then he’s leaving with Erica.
“Straight home, and keep him safe.” Derek orders Boyd before he follows them.
Once the three are gone, Derek goes to find Lydia, who is giving orders to a bunch of cops.
"Miss Martin,” Derek says playfully when he approaches her.
“What a lovely surprise,” Lydia gives him her bitchiest smile.
“Not really a surprise, right? You know what I want," Derek doesn't bother to pretend.
"You want me to work my magic," Lydia says sweetly. "And make the possible charges of assault and violence against your lover boy to disappear.”
“That’s a good start,” Derek replies, ignoring the comment about Stiles. He knows Lydia is too smart and perceptive to try to deny anything.
“Are you still working with that asshole? What was his name again- Jason Witte-something?" Lydia asks casually, tossing her hair back as she smiles.
Derek rolls his eyes. He doesn’t care about her story with Jackson, no matter how badly it ended.
"The man we just caught works for Gerard Argent,” he decides to say instead of answering that. “Don't you want to help put him in jail?"
"What are we talking about exactly?" Lydia says interested.
"Working directly with the DA to solve the Argent case," Derek says cunningly.
"Oh Derek,” Lydia covers her heart. “You always know what to say to a girl to make her swoon," Lydia smiles. "Pity you're gay."
"You'd be my first choice," Derek sweet talks her in.
"Liar," Lydia scoffs playfully. "But I like it. Alright, I'll get you the confession you need, too. Tell the DA I want full recognition for being key in solving this case. Also, I want a new job, this one is boring."
"You solve homicide crimes," Derek points out.
"Exactly, I do solve them," Lydia says annoyed. "I need a new challenge, Derek."
"I'll see what I can do," he purses his lips.
"Also, get rid of Jackson, darling,” Lydia pats his arm as she walks past him.
"Nice try," Derek huffs a laughter.
“Can’t blame a girl for trying,” Lydia grins. “I’ll call you later.”
Derek allows one of the doctors at the scene to clean and wrap the scratch on his arm before driving the car his security team left behind back home. He finds Mr. Stilinski waiting for him at the main door when he arrives.
“I talked to my people,” Mr. Stilinski speaks the moment he gets out of the car. “We will need that man to testify.”
“I already covered it,” Derek passes a business card with Lydia’s information to the attorney. “She’s working on the case. We used to serve together. She’s what you need to win this.”
Mr. Stilinski holds the card, reading it careful.
“She is going to cover for Stiles,” Derek comments, making the older man snap his head up in surprise. “He attacked the suspect,” he explains.
“He did what?” Mr. Stilinski nearly squeaks.
“Suspect tried to shoot him and got me instead,” Derek shrugs. “I think it brought out old issues, but I got everything quickly under control.”
Mr. Stilinski regards Derek in shock. He blinks a couple of times and then curses, running his hand through his hair.
“Thank you for keeping Stiles safe, and for this,” he shows the business card. “For everything you’re doing for this family.”
“You should call Miss Martin straight away,” Derek decides to ignore the compliment. He was never very good at dealing with them, anyway. “She’s interested in the Argent case, I think you may find her help very beneficial.”
“I will,” Mr. Stilinski nods. “I’m heading to court now, will call her on my way.”
“Good luck today,” Derek offers.
He observes how his security team gets the cars ready and they drive away on the gravel driveway.
Once inside, the men staying behind have the whole system ready and operating. Danny is tracking the cars and the streets they will have to drive through. Jackson is on the phone with the team at court.
“He’s upstairs,” Boyd comments before he can even ask.
“Call if you need me,” he nods as he leaves to go to Stiles’ room.
Derek’s heart skips a beat when he discovers there’s no one there, though. He checks the rest of the floor as quickly as he can, but there’s no sight of Stiles anywhere. On instinct, he decides to check his own room as last resort before calling everyone and ringing the alarm bells.
Stiles is on his bed, face buried in the comforter. Derek walks over and sits next to him. He places his hand on Stiles’ hair, running his fingers slowly over it.
“Hnng,” Stiles groans at the touch, leaning into it.
He rolls over, eyelids half open as he stares up at Derek and smiles. Derek places his hand on his stomach, feeling the muscles moving underneath Stiles’ hoodie as he tenses under the touch.
Noticing the discomfort, Derek moves his hand away, up slowly Stiles’ chest to his shoulder, massaging the taut muscles until he clasps his neck.
Stiles seems to relax as he stretches under his touch, head tilted back to bare his throat and give him better access. Derek smirks, running a finger down the line of Stiles' throat, over his pulse.
“How are you feeling?” Derek asks, fingers running up the side of Stiles’ face until his hand is cupping his cheek.
“Better,” Stiles kind of blushes. “I took a nap in your bed.”
“I can tell, there’s drool on my pillow,” Derek jokes.
Stiles huffs and stretches his arms over his head, back arched off the bed and hoodie riding up, exposing his hips.
“I remember we had a pending conversation?” Stiles teases, biting his bottom lip when Derek moves his hand to touch his exposed skin.
“Before that,” Derek ignores the broken moan Stiles makes when his fingers stroke his hipbone. “There’s something I need to tell you.”
Stiles crooks his head to the side and looks at him in confusion. “I hope you’re talking about the same type of conversation I was talking about. If not, dude, can’t it wait? I sure can’t. If you know what I mean. And you do. And you’re still touching me, painfully close to where it matters the most, so-” Stiles whines, high and pinched when Derek moves his hand away. “Why did you stop?”
“Trust me,” Derek lets a big breath out. “I don’t want to stop, either. But there’s something I want to tell you.”
Derek cleans his throat. He hasn’t talked about this in years. In fact, no one that currently knows him has ever heard what he’s about to share with Stiles.
“Am I in trouble?” Stiles sits up quickly.
“No, I just want to share something with you,” Derek hesitates. “Since you shared something with me today.”
“Oh,” Stiles furrows his eyebrows. “Alright, but you know you don’t have to, right? It’s not like I had any option earlier today. I don’t know if you noticed but I lost my shit. I wasn’t in my right mind when I said all those things and I was hoping you’d pretend like it never happened.”
“Stiles,” Derek sighs. “I don’t want to pretend. Not with you.”
Stiles seems thrown by Derek’s words. He leans back and regards him in silence for a moment.
Sharing this is harder than he thought. He could keep quiet about it, it's really nothing that concerns Stiles. He's not even sure why he wants to tell him, but the thing is that, he does. For whatever the reason, Derek wants Stiles to know.
“You said I didn’t know what it was like to lose someone,” Derek rubs the side of his neck.
“I- I remember,” Stiles murmurs.
“I lost both my parents when I was fifteen,” Derek says, his voice low and rough.
Stiles doesn’t seem to react straight away. He grabs Derek’s forearm and clings to it, though. And Derek knows. He understands what Stiles is trying to say with that gesture. Losing a parent is unimaginable, the pain never goes away, it grows duller over the years, but you never get over it, not really. He’s hurting for Derek’s loss, but also for his own. It’s still too early for Stiles to start healing. Things are too raw.
That’s why Derek nods, he covers Stiles’ hand with his own and his other hand moves to the back of Stiles’ neck, bringing him closer until Stiles’ forehead presses against his shoulder.
“I do understand,” Derek breathes out.
“I wish you didn’t, though.”
Derek smiles faintly. That is actually kind of sweet.
His hand draws circles in the back of Stiles’ neck, moving slowly down to his back, where Derek rubs Stiles’ tense muscles, pulling him closer with each new tug, until they are hugging, their hands still together over Derek’s thigh.
“Thanks... for telling me,” Stiles murmurs, turning his face and rubbing it against Derek's neck.
“I haven’t told anyone in a long time,” Derek admits, leaning his head over Stiles'.
“Who else knows from your team?” Stiles circles his neck with his other arm, tugging him closer.
“No one,” Derek breathes out. “Only you.”
Stiles grows stills for a moment.
“I never thought I could feel like this,” he finally murmurs.
“Me neither,” Derek rubs his cheek on Stiles’ hair and kisses him behind his ear.
The space between them is suddenly charged. Stiles’ breath catches in the back of his throat as he grows tense, his face shifting slowly against Derek’s throat, lips parted against his pulse.
He feels Stiles’ lips unmoving, waiting for some sort of signal.
“Stiles,” Derek says roughly.
And Stiles kisses him over his pulse, his lips moving up the line of his neck to his jaw. He’s closing on his lips when Derek pulls away just an inch, both of them open mouthed and nearly brushing each other, breath mixing up as they stare into each other’s eyes.
They lean in the same time, kissing softly at first, just a brush of the lips, moving slowly together. It’s the first time they kiss like this, without hurrying or smashing their mouths together in a frantic kiss. This is thorough and delicate, unhurried, this means something.
Stiles slides his arms around Derek’s neck and pulls him down with him as the kiss deepens. There are suddenly hands roaming all over, legs parting, hips pressing, the kiss escalating quickly into something volatile.
Derek pulls off, his whole body protesting like it’s made of exposed wires.
“We can’t do this,” he groans, his voice breaking for a moment.
“What are you talking about?” Stiles babbles before he can even fully open his eyes again. “Why are you talking at all? Come back here and keep kissing me, I liked that a lot better,” he whines playfully.
“Stiles, I’m serious,” he tries to clear his mind by pacing back and forth in the room.
“Alright, you’re serious. When aren’t you serious, though?” Stiles leans on his elbows, still laying on the bed. “Maybe it’s about time you weren’t this serious. Just for once. Come back here and let’s see what happens.”
“I know what will happen,” Derek scoffs.
“Good things, amirite?” Stiles nods, smirking knowingly.
Derek rolls his eyes, smirking right back. He shakes his head.
“Just wait a little longer,” he nearly begs.
“Till my balls fall off? What’s the problem?” Stiles opens his arms wide, arched eyebrows nearly disappearing into his hairline.
Derek huffs. He opens his mouth, tries to say something.
“See? There’s no problem, you can’t come up with anything,” Stiles protests.
“Stiles...” Derek warns. “You should go.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Stiles protests. “Until you explain yourself!”
“Alright,” Derek crosses his arms. “Then, I’ll go.”
He leaves the room, cursing inwardly the whole time. He’s on the first floor when he realizes he can’t just go and leave things like this.
Stiles is sitting on the edge of his bed, furrowed face cast down, when Derek opens the door.
“You’re back,” Stiles looks up in surprise.
“Listen,” Derek pants from running upstairs.
“I’m sorry,” Stiles interrupts him. He’s still casting his eyes down, strangely shy. “I shouldn’t have assumed you wanted the same thing. I was a total dickhead.”
“I can’t be with you as long as you’re my client,” Derek blurts out, making Stiles look at him in confusion.
“That’s why I asked you to wait,” Derek gestures with his arms, exasperated. “But no, you had to insist and press on until I felt like I was losing my fucking mind. Because that’s what you do, and I can’t seem to learn when it comes to you. You have the same effect on me, no matter how much I believe I’ve learned. You are... insufferable. It’s infuriating. And I can’t kiss you, or do the things I want to do because you’re my client, and I’m protecting you, alright? If I spend my time thinking of you that way, I’ll grow sloppy in my job and I’ll put you in danger, and I would never forgive myself for that. So would you PLEASE wait? Goddamit.”
Stiles’ eyes are wide open. “Okay...” he trails off.
“Okay?” Derek snaps. “That’s all you have to say?”
“You said... a lot,” Stiles frowns, sounding confused. “I’m still processing the sight of you speaking that much.”
“Oh shut up,” Derek rolls his eyes.
“No, seriously, that was the hottest thing ever. Only way to make it hotter is if you were shirtless while lecturing me about your ethical bodyguarding dilemma.”
“I knew I shouldn’t have told you,” Derek scoffs.
Stiles rises from the bed and gets closer. He clasps Derek’s biceps and looks him straight in the eye. “I’m relieved you want me, so thank you for telling me.”
Derek places his hands on Stiles’ hips, stroking lightly. “I thought it was obvious just how much I wanted you,” He tugs him closer, until their crotches touch, making Stiles gasp.
“You’re not helping,” Stiles laughs. “How am I supposed to wait if you keep doing this?”
“You agree, then?” Derek can’t help but smile a bit.
“I understand, so yeah, I’ll wait. Although I can’t predict the possible side effects this will have on my brain.”Stiles makes a face, his hands moving up to circle Derek’s neck. “Can we kiss now?” He asks then. When Derek’s eyebrows arch, he hurries to add, “No frisky business, just a kiss.”
Derek rolls his eyes and leans closer. Their mouths find each other naturally as they both smile into the kiss.
“I’ll be good,” Stiles beams. “Can’t promise for how long, though.”
He pats Derek on the butt and walks to the door. “That’s why I better go,” Stiles tries to say nonchalantly. “See you later.”
Derek sighs, rubbing his face as he drops down on his bed. He can’t wait for the trial to be over.
Later that night, he’s in the kitchen with Isaac when Stiles bursts in.
“Oh hey, Derek!” he grins lopsidedly. “Whatcha doing?”
“Dinner,” Isaac shows his sandwich in a duh tone.
“I didn’t know supermen needed food, another myth goes to hell,” Stiles jokes as he opens the fridge to get the gallon of milk. He grins at it and then drinks straight from the jug.
“Go see if Jackson did what I told him to,” Derek tells Isaac as he tries to suppress a smile.
“Sure,” Isaac looks once back and forth between them and then he’s out of there.
“You know,” Derek crosses his arms, leaning over the counter and smirking. “I noticed you stopped calling me Kevin."
"Uh yeah,” Stiles puts the milk back in the fridge. “I thought it was about time to start using your proper name considering we’re going to fuck, hopefully soon.”
Derek chokes on his own spit, making Stiles laugh a bit too much.
“Sorry,” Stiles smirks. “I said I’d try about the pranks and waiting but you know me...”
Derek crowds him against the counter without thinking, making Stiles squeal in delight.
“You’re playing with fire,” he growls.
“Maybe I want to get burned,” Stiles shivers.
They stare at each other, the tension thickening between them, when the kitchen’s door opens with a bang.
“Phone call,” Jackson appears, faltering just slightly at seeing them.
Derek clears his throat, taking a step back. “Who is it?”
“Lydia,” Jackson pulls a face, turning and leaving without waiting for an answer.
“Who is that?” Stiles arches an eyebrow, clearly intrigued by Jackson’s reaction.
“Ex- something of his,” Derek shrugs. “Things ended badly, that’s all I know before you ask.”
Stiles pouts. “You’re no fun.”
“You don’t seem to care,” Derek gets closer again, making Stiles press back against the counter.
“Cocky,” Stiles snorts as Derek grabs his chin and kisses him.
“I’ll see you later,” he breathes against Stiles’ lips, who just pants heavily and nods in response.
Derek uses the walk back to the operations room to clear his mind. When he finally picks up the phone, he’s only half hard and he has received only a couple of disapproving stares. Not that bad, all things considered.
“Derek,” Lydia speaks in her business voice.
"Any news?" he asks.
"Got your confession," she says smugly. "He's under protection until the trial."
Derek nods. "Alright I'll speak with Mr. Stilinski, see when we have to move him."
"Make it happen soon," she warns. “Your guy, Matt, insists he was only the photographer for hiring Gerard's hitmen. Photographer my ass, he's scum. He admitted to accepting the job on your boy. But Derek, he's scared shitless. If you make him wait too long to testify, he may change his mind."
"You'll make sure that doesn't happen," Derek says with authority. "And I'll make sure he testifies this week."
After hanging up and having to deal with Jackson's comments about Lydia, Derek goes to see Mr. Stilinski.
"I was about to go find you myself," the man says when Derek knocks on his door.
"I have some news," Derek offers.
"Sit, I'm afraid mine’s more urgent," Mr. Stilinski gestures him to sit down.
"I know your friend Miss Martin has the witness under protection."
"Who told you?" Derek asks warily.
Before Derek can even register it, he has jumped out of his seat.
"Please don't overreact," Mr. Stilinski shows his palms. "He called me this afternoon," he keeps talking. "Told me his men were protecting the witness from his father, shared some pretty interesting information on some of his father's friends, too."
"He wants Gerard's position." Derek says half stunned in wonder.
"Apparently, yes," Mr. Stilinski hands some files over. "He's not happy with his father's methods."
"His father is a sadistic bastard," Derek helps.
"Luckily for us, his son isn't," Mr. Stilinski grins. "He was willing to make a deal."
"Sir, with all due respect, you can't trust-"
"Immunity for me and my son if I put his father in jail."
The phrase silences Derek. He stumbles a little as he sits back.
"All he wants is for me to do my job," Mr. Stilinski explains. "And he promised to get his father’s men off our back."
"Of course I'd have to look to the other side when his son starts to do certain things, you know how the mob is," Mr. Stilinski rolls his eyes. "But I decided someone else can deal with this Argent. I’ve had enough of them for a lifetime."
Mr. Stilinski sits back on his chair. He looks relieved, even younger all of a sudden. Like a big weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
"You should let Stiles testify at the trial then," Derek says without thinking.
"Not you, too," Mr. Stilinski groans.
"He may need it for some sort of closure,” Derek explains. “And I'll make sure he's safe."
"You can't guarantee his safety in court, no matter how hard you try."
"I'll do anything to keep him safe," Derek says fiercely.
Mr. Stilinski seems to falter at his intense tone.
"I...” he falters. “I will talk to my son, see what he has to say."
"That's very reasonable." Derek rises.
"And call Ms. Martin," Mr. Stilinski adds. "I want to meet her."
“She'll be delighted.” Derek rolls his eyes as he leaves.
The next morning, Derek is awoken by a sudden movement.
“Hmph!” he protests as someone pounces him.
Derek’s instincts kick in before he’s fully awaken, though. He grabs the intruder, flipping him over and pinning him with his body, forearm against his throat in a choking hold.
“White flag!”Stiles chokes out.
At his voice, Derek reacts. He blinks a couple of times, noticing what he’s actually doing and moving his arm away from Stiles’ neck.
“Sorry, you startled me,” he croaks out, voice still rough with sleep.
“Are you awake now?” Stiles asks cautiously.
“I am,” Derek’s eyes trail down Stiles body, noticing their position. “And you’re in my bed.”
“I got exciting news,” Stiles ventures to grin up at him.
Derek huffs, rolling off of him and laying back on the bed.
Stiles looks at him sideways a couple of times, he seems to hesitate just a second before he’s sitting on top of him, legs straddling Derek's hips as his hands move to his chest.
“What are you doing?” Derek murmurs, eyes closed to avoid seeing Stiles like that. His current morning wood is doing just fine without visual help.
“I’m officially a witness,” Stiles announces cheerfully. “Can you believe it? Man, I have no idea what you told my dad but it worked. He came to my room last night and asked me why I wanted to testify on the trial and after a while, he ended up agreeing.”
Derek blinks a couple of times, unable to answer.
“He lectured me about the dangers,” Stiles rolls his eyes. “But I told him I got you, which got him talking about security, and stuff. But he agreed!”
“When?” Derek manages to ask.
“Huh?” Stiles looks confused. “Oh! When do I testify?”
Derek nods, his hands moving over Stiles’ thighs and squeezing, making him jump slightly.
“Nexthng- next Wednesday,” Stiles gasps out.
“Alright,” Derek moves his hands higher, to Stiles’ hips, grabbing them tightly. “It gives me enough time to get everything ready.”
“I’m ready right now,” Stiles breathes out, bending over to kiss him.
Derek groans into the kiss, allowing himself a moment to enjoy this, before he pulls Stiles off of him, tumbling him off the bed.
“Dude, what the fuck?” Stiles protests from the floor.
“Get out, Stiles,” Derek says playfully.
“What’s the proble-” Stiles stops talking abruptly, when he rises and notices the tent the covers are making over Derek’s erection.
“Oh,” he breathes out. “What did you say you wear to sleep?”
“Nothing,” Derek arches his eyebrows, expression saying see why I did it?
Stiles starts laughing, which makes him smirk.
“Dude,” Stiles shakes his head as he walks to the door. “This is all payback for the glued towels, I know it is.”
Derek grabs a pillow and throws it at him right when the door is closing behind Stiles.
He spends the next days getting his security team ready for Wednesday. Everyone is going to be there for that day of the trial.
As the day grows closer, Stiles gets more and more agitated. They have started to spend practically all of their time together, Derek assuming the position of Stiles’ main bodyguard even inside the house, which Stiles can’t leave until after the trial is over.
Derek can tell Stiles is close to losing it. He knows that having so many people around is a bit overwhelming for Stiles sometimes, especially because he can't just drive someplace and clear his head. That's why Derek gives everyone the night before the trial off. He orders everyone to rest and get ready for the big day, and secretly hopes it will help Stiles to endure the waiting in a better way.
“Where’s everyone?” Stiles asks when he finds the operation room empty that afternoon.
“Day off,” Derek dismisses as he keeps reading his book.
“What about you?” Stiles sounds hopeful.
“Working,” Derek shrugs.
“You’re babysitting me then?” Stiles smirks, making Derek raise his face from the book.
“Everyone else had plans,” he shrugs, trying to be casual.
“Oh you’re a good boss,” Stiles grins. “Alpha cares about his pups.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Derek rolls his eyes.
“So, you’ll go wherever I go?” Stiles says mischievously.
“You can’t leave the house,” Derek points out.
Stiles curses but a moment later he snaps his fingers. “I know!”
“Not sure I want to ask,” Derek goes back to his lecture.
“We’re watching the Bodyguard!” Stiles exclaims.
Derek groans. “No.”
“Yes, Derek,” Stiles smiles.
“No, we’re not,” Derek insists.
“Derek,” Stiles admonishes. “You’re with me for the afternoon and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
“I don’t have to watch it,” Derek crosses his arms over his chest.
“I guess so,” Stiles shrugs. “But you want to, I know you do.”
“Trust me,” Derek says. “I don’t.”
“Suit yourself,” Stiles sounds carefree. “But the moment Whitney sings the first song I bet you twenty you’ll be watching.”
“You’re losing twenty bucks,” Derek snorts.
“We’ll see,” Stiles dismisses with his hands.
Stiles ends up cooking popcorn in the microwave and getting the movie ready in the main living room. Derek sits at the dining table with his book and tries to ignore the movie even though Stiles turns the volume up to a ridiculous level.
“Man, Whitney Houston was a total babe in this,” Stiles comments. In fact, he doesn’t stop talking throughout the whole movie, constantly turning back to look at Derek when he makes a new comment.
Until he catches Derek staring at the screen.
“Ha! Gotcha, buddy,” Stiles says enthusiastically.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Derek returns to his book. He has re-read the same phrase three times already, but Stiles doesn’t have to know that.
“Come on, hop on,” Stiles pats the couch, turning toward the screen.
Derek ignores him.
“Come on, Keviiin,” Stiles emphasizes the nickname. “I won’t tell anyone. You don’t even have to pay me that twenty.”
Derek snorts. “You didn’t win.”
“Uh, duh, I did,” Stiles turns around to look at him.
“I didn’t pay attention until after her first song,” Derek arches an eyebrow, smirking at Stiles who blinks a couple of times before laughing.
“Alright, you win, now come here before I eat all the popcorn!”
And Derek complies for no good reason.
He sits next to Stiles and after a moment, grabs a bunch of popcorn with one hand and eats it, getting a big grin from him.
They’re watching the movie in silence when Stiles opens his legs slightly, pressing his thigh against Derek’s.
It’s a very small gesture, but Derek catches on to it nonetheless. He looks down at their legs flushed together, and Stiles squirms in his seat. They are shoulder to shoulder, and Derek knows he should stop this now, before it’s too late and one of them does something they’ll regret later.
But he doesn’t stop Stiles when he slips his hand from his own thigh to Derek’s. Everything is very casual, they are still watching the movie, Stiles still makes a comment now and then, but both their bodies are taut in anticipation.
Thirty minutes later, and too many songs for Derek’s taste, Stiles starts moving restlessly on his part of the couch.
“If you’re getting bored we can stop watching,” Derek rolls his eyes.
“Nah, it’s cool,” Stiles says, sniffling just slightly.
Derek turns around and, maybe it’s the way Stiles’ shoulders tense or the way his jaw tightens, like he was getting ready to receive a hit, but Derek decides to ignore such a good opportunity to mock him and looks back at the screen as he remembers Stiles’ moistened eyes in his mind.
“Her sister?!” Stiles squeaks when they reach the end of the movie. “Oh hell no!”
“You didn’t know?” Derek arches an eyebrow.
“Okay, so maybe this is the first time I've seen this movie,” Stiles cringes. “And before you say anything, I wasn’t even born when it was first released!”
That hits Derek like a punch straight to his jaw. He remembers when The Bodyguard was released. Shit, he remembers going to the movies to watch it with his family. What the fuck does he think he’s playing at?
Rising up, he moves away from the couch. “Finish the movie, I’ll be back.”
He can feel Stiles’ stare on his back as he rushes outside, but he doesn’t even care. Not right now. He goes to the kitchen, where he braces himself on the sink as he concentrates on breathing.
“What the fuck are you doing,” he asks himself, barely a whisper in the silence of the empty room.
“I didn’t know it was a command to sit and stay,” Stiles replies, startling him.
Derek turns around, eyes wide and breath ragged. “Is the movie over?” he asks absurdly.
“I paused it,” Stiles walks over.
“Why?” Derek licks his lips. He feels suddenly trapped.
“I could hear you over thinking this,” Stiles points back and forth between them a couple of times. ”All the way from the living room.”
“So what if there’s an age difference,” Stiles throws his arms up. “Who cares. Seriously, you’re not that old, I’m not that young, I say we even make a pretty good pair.”
That actually makes Derek smile.
"You can't stop thinking about me," Stiles says in a sultry tone. "I know because I can't stop thinking about you, either."
"I need to prioritize my job," Derek tries to protest but it sounds weak even to his own ears.
"You'll keep me safe," Stiles gets closer. "No matter what. I know it."
"I can't be distracted-" Derek starts to say.
"But you already are," Stiles speaks over him, taking the few steps still between them and stopping a few inches away.
"You agreed to wait," Derek almost growls.
"I waited... a lot," Stiles smirks, crooking his head. "Almost a week. I'd say that's pretty impressive considering, well..." Stiles moves until their chests brush together, leaning his head on Derek’s shoulder to speak straight to his ear.
"That from the moment I first saw you," he barely whispers. "I wanted you."
Derek's insides clench at those words. He lets out a long breath he didn't know he was holding.
"You had a weird way of showing it," he smiles against Stiles' short buzz cut.
"You can't tell me my technique wasn't effective,” Stiles snorts. He runs his fingertips over Derek's chest slowly, his face burying in his neck as Derek encircles him, holding him tightly against him.
"You drive me crazy," Derek says with a note of desperation, tightening his hold. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone else.”
“I didn’t know people could even feel like this,” Stiles jokes. “You’re like my personal catnip, Stilesnip! I’ve been driving Scott crazy with my constant chatter about you. I thought he was a total pain in the ass for whining about Allison all the time. But man, I had no idea until I met you. I even apologized to him.”
Derek moves him until they exchange positions, pinning Stiles against the counter.
“Fuck,” Stiles moans, giving Derek his best lewd stare.
“The way you look at me,” Derek murmurs roughly. “It goes straight here,” he presses his cock against Stiles, who nearly purrs in contentment. Eyelids half hooded, Stiles looks at him as he bites his own lip, back arched and neck stretching, his whole body inviting Derek in.
Derek doesn't recognize the noise he makes at the sight. He hisses, the sound breaking at the end in a choked up groan before Stiles pulls him closer.
Their mouths seek each other in a frenzied kiss. Derek gets a hold of his face, fingers digging into his jaw, forcing Stiles to open up as he sinks in deeper, taking and exploring, swallowing Stiles’ moans and noises as they move against each other.
Derek breaks the kiss to suck on his chin, his jaw, down to this throat.
“Is this what you want?” he growls against Stiles’ neck, nipping his way down to his collarbone.
“Fuck yes, this is-” Stiles gasps when Derek bites down. “Fuck! Don’t stop.”
Stiles opens his legs, thighs pressing on both sides of Derek’s hips as he circles him, pressing them together. That's when Derek slides his hands under Stiles' shirt and feels the scars before seeing them. He tries to lift the shirt to inspect them but Stiles struggles.
“No, don’t,” he says, tugging his shirt down.
“Stiles, let me see,” he pleads softly.
Stiles shakes his head, both still panting as he holds himself with his arms across his stomach.
Derek moves his hands up Stiles’ tensed arms until he finds his face, holding it softly.
“Please,” he pleads.
Stiles seems to hesitate for a moment before he nods once and Derek peels his arms away slowly.
The scars are tougher to see than he expected. He’s used to violence, after all. He’s seen worse, both scars and flesh wounds. It’s not the still-angry red marking Stiles’ skin, or the clear path a knife made on his abdomen that infuriates Derek. It’s the simple thought of someone daring to hurt him. Derek can’t wrap his mind around the idea. He digs his fingers into the scars without even noticing, as he thinks of the men who did this and how much he wants to rip their heads off.
Stiles grabs his wrists and looks at him in a reassuring way. And it makes Derek feel like crying. He can only imagine the hell Stiles went through, the agonizing pain, both physical and psychological. And yet he still has it in himself to laugh and look out for other people.
“I’ll kill them,” Derek growls out. It sounds menacing and dangerous to his own ears. He’s never sounded like this before.
Stiles smiles slightly and then he’s nodding, like he’d agree with the sentiment, as he tugs at Derek’s hands, moving them to his back and making Derek embrace him as Stiles buries his face on his neck.
“That’s kind of sweet,” Stiles breathes against his skin.
“Shut up,” Derek huffs, tightening his embrace.
Stiles slides his hands down his back to Derek’s ass, stroking it over the pants. “Kiss me,” he whispers against his ear.
Derek grabs his shirt and takes it off before kissing him again. He goes back to the marked skin, stroking and petting it before moving up to his chest, where he pinches Stiles’ nipples hard enough to make him whimper and buck his hips.
Stiles arches his back, moaning into Derek’s mouth. He thrusts against Derek, his hands grabbing Derek’s biceps so hard he may leave bruises.
“If you keep that -ah!- up,” Stiles moans. “I’m not gonna last long.”
“Good,” Derek says roughly, hands sliding under Stiles’ pants, grabbing his ass and squeezing tightly, making Stiles whimper and cling to him harder.
“Move,” Derek orders, using his hold on Stiles’ ass to rock him back and forth against him.
“Oh my god, Derek,” Stiles’ voice breaks when he tries to speak.
Derek is lost in the sensation of his cock pressed against Stiles’, in the way they slide together under the layers of clothes. He never thought dry humping someone could feel this good. He suspects Stiles has a lot to do with it. He’s never wanted someone as much as he wants him. Before, Derek didn’t give sex much thought. He'd practiced it with people he found acceptable enough, but he never felt any connection. It was all physical, a need to cover. Whatever he’s having with Stiles, it’s completely different from what he’s used to.
“I’m close-” Stiles moans, head thrown back as Derek keeps moving him.
“Come for me,” Derek says roughly against his neck before sucking on it.
Stiles gasps and then he bucks a couple of times before going still. And the little moan escaping his swollen, red lips at the end is enough to push Derek over the edge, too.
He groans, lips parted and still pressed against the reddened and abused spot on Stiles’ throat, as he comes in his pants
They don’t move for a while, both panting heavily. Derek squeezes his eyes shut and presses his head to Stiles’ neck, rubbing his face against his shoulder, burying it in and inhaling.
“Oh my god,” Stiles pants. “That was...”
“Yeah,” Derek murmurs against his neck.
“No, seriously,” Stiles grins.
“I know,” Derek insists.
“I can’t feel my legs,” Stiles laughs.
Derek snorts and steps back, helping him back on his feet. Stiles wobbles, though, so Derek hurries to hold him.
“Dude,” Stiles snorts. “What did you do to me?”
“Nothing compared to all the things I want to,” Derek tosses casually.
Stiles fakes an indignant gasp, narrowing his eyes as he glares at him. He’s about to reply when they hear the front door.
“I’ll go change,” Stiles says instead, winking at Derek as he grabs his shirt and leaves the kitchen in a hurry.
Derek only has a moment to compose himself before someone appears.
“I saw Stiles rushing up the stairs, what did that little punk do this time-” Jackson starts to complain as he goes to the fridge. He pauses mid sentence, though, and regards Derek oddly.
Derek arches an eyebrow, trying to be his casual snarky self.
“Boss...” Jackson trails off. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“Hm?” Derek says nonchalant.
“If his father finds out...” Jackson tries to say but Derek silences him.
“There’s nothing to tell,” he snaps. “Now shut the fuck up.”
“Hey,” Danny interrupts then. “Did you grab the beers?”
Jackson stares at Derek a moment longer and then he nods and opens the fridge. “On it.”
“Hurry up,” Danny claps his hands. “Game is about to start.”
He leaves in a hurry and Jackson grabs the pack of beers. He stops at the door and turns around.
“I’m just trying to help,” he says, clearly uncomfortable.
“I know,” Derek concedes.
Jackson nods, still frowning.
“Enjoy the game,” Derek offers and Jackson leaves without another word.
Derek knows rules are there for a reason. He was the one imposing them to being with. He remembers why. He still believes those rules are valid and should be applied. But with Stiles... Things are different. You just don’t let someone like Stiles escape because of some rules. Rules don’t apply to Stiles. And Derek will be damned if he doesn’t try no matter what his rules have to say about it.
Later that night, when he’s already in bed he receives a text from Stiles.
>>I’m nervous about tomorrow, come help me burn energy
>>Stiles go to sleep
>>I can’t I keep thinking of what we did and I want more
>>this is why we should have waited
>>wrong we should do it again
>>I can’t be distracted tomorrow
>>you won’t you’re a badass bodyguard and kevin costner has nothing on you
>>thanks for the compliment I guess
>>you’re hotter too
>>go to sleep and we’ll celebrate tomorrow night
It takes Derek a while to finally fall asleep.
Next morning, everyone is ready early in the morning. They go over the plan twice before it’s even time for breakfast.
In retrospect, Derek supposes it makes sense that Stiles would wear this, but even then, nothing could have ever prepared him for the ridiculously tailored suit Stiles shows up wearing to court.
Stiles looks at him knowingly with a glint in his eyes that speaks of trouble. He tightens his tie playfully and gives Derek a wink before getting in the car. Derek knows him enough to notice how uneasy he is under all that teasing, though. He can see the way Stiles shifts his stare away, the clench of his jaw, the white of his knuckles as he fits his hands.
The ride to court is tense. Everyone is ready and waiting for anything even slightly odd to happen.
“So I guess no Whitney today, huh?” Stiles tries to joke, but Derek recognizes the defense mechanism. He squeezes his knee without saying a word, knowing that’s what Stiles needs.
They park three blocks away, and when everyone steps out of the car, Derek holds Stiles back.
“You’ll do fine in there,” he says.
Stiles seems to falter, his cheerful facade crumbling a little.
“I have something for you,” Derek offers his fist and nods at Stiles to open his hand.
When Stiles sees the dog tags, he widens his eyes and regards Derek in surprise. “What is this?”
“They are mine,” Derek explains. “They have kept me safe and will do the same for you today.”
“I-” Stiles chokes on the single word. He scoots on the seat, leaning over and pressing his forehead to Derek’s.
“It’ll be fine,” Derek reassures him.
“I didn’t know you were such a romantic,” Stiles smiles. He tries to joke but it sounds weak.
“I wasn’t a lot of things before I met you,” Derek shrugs, hand caressing Stiles’ neck as he tilts his head for a brief kiss.
“Your men must be flipping out about us,” Stiles snorts as they move away.
“They will come around,” Derek shrugs. “Or I’ll make them.”
Stiles steps outside laughing, and for a moment he looks carefree and just the way he should always be. And that’s enough for Derek. He honestly couldn’t care less about the concerned stares he gets from some of his team.
“You know what to do,” he barks and everyone starts to move.
They walk through the tunnels in silence until they reach the court. A team ahead clears the place as they keep moving, until Stiles is secure in the waiting room.
Mr. Stilinski arrives shortly after and they hug without speaking.
“You’ll be fine, son,” his father says as they keep hugging. “I know you will.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have a panic attack up there,” Stiles mumbles against his shoulder.
Derek’s whole body is tingling, he has to hold back from going to Stiles and embracing him, too.
“You won’t,” Mr. Stilinski says fiercely, pushing back and holding his shoulders to look Stiles straight in the eye. “You’ll be in control, you’ll answer the questions and we’ll solve this case together. For your mother.”
The last phrase comes out in a choked whisper and Stiles nods. He straightens and gets this seriousness about him, and Derek knows he will do it.
After that, Derek stays in the room with him while his men patrol outside.
At lunchtime, someone knocks on their door and Derek opens, thinking it’s Isaac by the pattern. Instead, there’s a stranger with a tray. Derek is on the guy so fast, he almost drops it.
“Woah easy,” the man says as Derek draws his gun to point at him. “His father thought he might be hungry. Your buddy outside let me pass,” he nods back at the other set of closed doors.
“Man, my dad is awesome,” Stiles grins.
“Lift the cover slowly,” Derek orders, still not liking this.
The man starts to move slowly, doing as told. But Derek is onto him. The moment he throws the tray at Derek, Derek just shoves it away and tries to shoot him. But the man is faster in kicking his hand away, making the shot go wide.
They are so close, Derek decides to use the butt of his gun to hit the guy straight in the nose. Howling, the man throws himself at Derek, causing both to stumble backwards and hit the big meeting table.
As Derek feels the air leave his lungs, the guy grabs his hand and hits it over the table’s edge until Derek drops the gun.
That’s when the attacker makes his first mistake. He takes a step back to draw his own gun, but Derek moves faster. Derek kicks his hand once and then moves forward, holding the guy’s arm and twisting it toward his back to force him to toss it.
This time, the stranger is not losing his time. He kicks Derek’s ribs twice before Derek can block him. Derek grabs him from the neck and uses his knee to kick him on the stomach.
“Derek!” Stiles shouts.
Of course, the moron hasn’t hidden somewhere. He’s still standing right behind them, and from his face he’s most probably paralyzed.
“Stiles, get out of here!” Derek shouts. The man uses the second of distraction to pull a knife out of somewhere and stab Derek in the chest, but Derek doesn’t even flinch. He kicks the guy in the side twice, and then elbows him so hard in the face, the man drops cold.
That’s when he feels the first wave of dizziness. He looks down and sees blood pouring out from his chest. Derek topples backwards, a sudden and sharp pain blossoming in his chest as he hits the floor.
He feels hands moving him and Derek tries to fight them until he realizes it’s Stiles, who keeps calling his name in a frantic tone Derek can’t understand. He can hear someone else groaning closer, and for a second he doesn’t remember who it is.
Stiles keeps touching him, tugging at his shirt. He wants to shove him away. Doesn’t he see it hurts? That’s when Derek registers he’s fallen over his gun, and Stiles is trying to grab it.
Reality rushes back in, making Derek conscious of the situation once again. He can’t really feel his body. All he can feel is the pain, and the warm and thick blood pooling under him. Even then, he manages to lift his back enough to give Stiles an opening to grab his gun.
A moment later, Stiles is on his feet and a sudden blast deafens Derek. He hears the door opening with a bang and there are suddenly voices around them and movement, a lot of frantic movement. But Derek is drifting away.
He feels a terrible pressure over his chest and winces.
“Hang on,” Stiles is nearly whimpering. “Ambulance is here, you’ll be fine, you hear me? Don’t you dare die on me-”
“The trial,” he manages to choke out.
“Forget about it,” Stiles sniffles.
“You have to testify,” Derek insists. He grits his teeth and lifts his arm, clasping his hand around Stiles’ forearm as strongly as he can right now. “Promise me.”
“Alright, alright dammit,” Stiles cleans his nose with the sleeve of his hoodie. “I will, now stop moving.”
Derek sighs in relief and closes his eyes, finally letting go.
The next time he regains consciousness, he’s inside an ambulance and a few people are talking over him. He can feel them tugging at his chest, he feels the pulls but there is no pain. He tries to ask about Stiles but his mouth doesn’t seem to be working. And he loses consciousness before he can fix it.
When he opens his eyes again, his whole team is there. He can hear them demanding to know how he is as they roll him out of the ambulance and into the building.
"Stiles," He croaks out but no one hears him over the roar of their own yells and he’s gone quickly after that.
He regains consciousness a couple more times as they run him to the OR and then right before they sedate him to operate.
When he finally fully wakes up, he’s in a dark hospital room, his arm attached to a machine beeping quietly.
“We almost lost you,” Isaac says as he gets closer to the bed.
Derek can barely move, he rolls his head on the pillow, unfocused eyes making up Isaac’s features.
“You had surgery,” Isaac informs him. “Doctor said you’ll get a full recovery if you survive the next 48 hours.”
He doesn’t really care about it right now. He doesn’t know how long he’s been out, or what happened at the court.
“Jackson said you might want to know that Stiles is fine,” Isaac pats his shoulder slightly. “He testified and it went well. He’s safe back home. He wanted to come but Danny reasoned with him. Right now our priorities are keeping you and him both safe. Erica and Boyd are outside, the rest of the team is back home with Mr. Stilinski and Stiles.”
Derek nods, or at least he hopes he does.
“Derek, I...” Isaac trails off. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, his voice breaking. “It’s my fault. The guy knocked me out. It’s my fault. Please, you have to survive. You have to, you hear me?”
Derek tries to nod again. He’s planning on it, Isaac doesn’t have to worry. He wants to speak but he’s out shortly after.
The next few days are pretty much the same. Some nurses come every six hours to change his dressing and clean the stitches. They keep medicating him for the pain, which makes Derek sleepy.
On the third day, he’s strong enough to ask for his cell phone.
“You can use mine to call him,” Erica offers, pressing a few times on her phone before handing it over.
Derek holds it between his ear and the pillow.
“How is he?” Stiles asks quite frantically as greeting.
“Hey,” Derek croaks out.
“Derek?” he hears surprise and something else, too. Stiles makes a small choking noise before taking a big breath. “Oh my god, it’s you. I was starting to believe they were all lying to me.”
“Stiles,” Derek mumbles. He’s still a bit spaced out from the medication and his tongue feels like cotton. “I wanted to hear your voice.”
“Derek...” Stiles sighs. “I testified, just like you wanted me to.”
“I know,” Derek smiles weakly, closing his eyes to concentrate better on his voice.
“I want to see you,” Stiles says softly.
There is a pause then, where they just breath.
“I shot the guy in the shoulder,” Stiles finally says.
“You got him?” Derek grins weakly.
“I was aiming at his head,” Stiles says and Derek can hear the grimace in his voice.
He snorts and then winces, eyelids dropping against his will.
“Come visit me sometime,” Derek mumbles before he can regret it.
“You’re my first stop the moment they let me out of this house,” Stiles says softly.
“Don’t give my men too much trouble,” Derek murmurs as he drifts off, missing Stiles’ reply.
He can’t wait to be off the meds.
Once he’s off the meds, he regrets it, though. The wound itches constantly, he’s restless, unable to sleep. He is ready to get back on his feet, only his body doesn’t seem to agree. He’s refusing the sleeping pills, and Derek is pretty sure his nurses are close to giving him some without his consent by the death glares he’s receiving.
Alright, so maybe he’s the worst patient, ever. He’s just not used to being this defenseless, to have people patrolling his hospital floor, posted at his door. Even when he has reassured them over and over there is no need for that. And he's certainly not used to needing help getting out of bed to use the bathroom.
He’s never watched so much TV in his life, either. He’s really not paying any attention, but the constant chatter seems to soothe his nerves. Erica and Isaac bring him books and magazines, but all Derek can think about is going back to work.
He asks about Stiles constantly, about his father, how the trial is going. But no matter how much they tell him, it’s never enough. It’s never going to be enough until he’s back on his game. He keeps asking for his cell phone, too. Even when it’s obvious they are not bringing it on purpose. He wants to work from his hospital room, he can direct his team, give orders. All he needs is his damn phone.
He tells them Stiles has rubbed off on them, which apparently is funny and no one takes it seriously.
One night Derek wakes up at the sound of someone moving in the darkness.
“Don’t karate-kick me,” Stiles turns on a small light behind Derek’s hospital bed and shows his palms in surrender.
“Stiles,” Derek says in wonder. “What are you doing here?”
“Jackson brought me over,” Stiles sits on the edge of the bed, his hand resting on Derek’s shoulder. “How are you feeling?”
“Better,” Derek shrugs, ignoring the tug of his stitches.
"I know what it feels like,” Stiles says. “To be stuck in an hospital room for way longer than your sanity can handle."
"It's not that bad-" he tries to say but Stiles interrupts him when he pulls his cell phone out of his pocket and shows it at him.
"It has to be worse for you," Stiles says. "I bet they don't even let you pee on your own, or I don’t know, use your phone to coordinate everything. You got stabbed in your chest, not the hand. You can still make phone calls, right?"
Derek feels like he is walking into a trap. And yes, the moment he nods, Stiles points at him.
"Aha! Gotcha!" He yells. "Don't you even dare think about working while in here or I'll make your life a living hell. Remember my creativity and tenacity whenever your will falters. Also the itchy powder," He gestures wildly with his hands.
“So why did you bring it?” Derek says in amusement.
“This is not for work,” Stiles says looking back and forth between the cell phone and Derek. “This is so you can call me. And I will only give it to you if you promise to use it only for your social life, ie me.”
"Is that the way to talk to someone who took a knife for you?" Derek teases.
"Yeah, and about that," Stiles keeps lecturing him. "Don't ever do that again. I don't care if a bazooka is pointed at me. You aren’t allowed to get hurt ever again. You hear me? Or next time I'll kill you myself. To death."
"You know that's not gonna happen,” Derek shakes his head. “I'll always protect you."
"Ugh," Stiles groans. "Not gonna lie, I'm torn between killing you and smooching you."
"Well," Derek can't help but smile. "If my opinion matters at all, I'd go with the latter."
"Smug bastard," Stiles smirks, giving him a squeeze as his eyes roam up and down Derek’s body, spending a bit too long on his chest.
“How are things going?” Derek decides to ask to distract him.
“We won,” Stiles says simply with an open smile. “That’s why I snuck in here, to tell you the trial is over and that SOB is going to jail.”
“That’s...” Derek tries to move forward, trailing off as Stiles pushes him back against the bed.
“Don’t move, we will celebrate properly once you’re out of here,” Stiles smiles fondly down at him, making Derek smile, too.
“How is your father?” he asks.
“I think it’s catching up with him, everything we went through, you know?” Stiles sits on the edge of the bed. “I guess he won’t be needing your services anymore,” he frowns.
"That doesn't mean I'd have to leave," Derek tries to say casually. He blames the medication, or the lack of it. The hours alone in this cage-like room and the sleepless nights for the way he’s talking.
Stiles gapes first and then smiles very slowly. "Are you asking me out?"
"Don't be ridiculous," Derek can't help but smile back.
"Oh my god, you are!" Stiles grins as he lays down next to Derek without a warning.
Derek turns on his side, facing him and giving him space as Stiles slides closer to him, hands moving from his shoulders to his neck, fingers wide open as he caresses Derek’s jaw.
He leans his forehead to Derek's and Derek sighs. His wound is burning but it's no longer bothering him. He's too occupied concentrating on Stiles' hands and what he’s doing with them.
"This is so improper of you, asking me out when I’m technically still your client," Stiles smirks, his lips pressed against Derek's stubble.
"I'm not asking you out," Derek finally touches him, hands on Stiles’ chest. "Not yet at least."
Stiles gasps, face burrowing further between Derek's head and the bed, nose nudging its way down to Derek’s neck, where Stiles presses his face.
"Are you waiting for a special occasion?" he speaks right against his neck.
"Like you pointed out, I'm still your bodyguard," Derek sighs. He knows he should order Stiles out of his bed but the truth is that he doesn't want to. Damn it all.
Derek decides they left this bullshit behind after making each other come in their pants. And that’s definitely a memory Derek has been revisiting lately. So he must know, right?
"I never wanted you fired more than I do right now," Stiles murmurs, lips stretched into a smirk as he speaks.
Derek snorts. He moves his hands up to Stiles’ neck, his fingers tangling with a metallic chain he instantly recognizes.
“You’re wearing my dog tags?” he murmurs.
“Hm? Oh yeah,” Stiles rubs his face against his stubble. “I hope you don’t mind, I want to keep them if you're okay with it.”
“They are yours.” He runs his hands down Stiles' back, soothing circles with his palms as Stiles moves closer, legs tangling with Derek's slowly, giving him plenty of time to move away if he wants to. But Derek doesn't. He opens his legs, inviting Stiles to slide his knee between them before throwing a leg over his thigh.
They are cuddling, Derek realizes with a touch of horror. He was never a cuddler. Or so he thought. But he knows that with Stiles, all bets are off. He doesn’t even try to fight it anymore.
Sliding his arms around Stiles’ shoulder, Derek gets them even closer as he rests his cheek on the top of Stiles’ head.
“I could fall asleep like this...” Stiles mumbles softly.
Derek tries to say something, but he’s already half out of it. His eyes drop closed and he relaxes, feeling Stiles’ warm body wrapping him up.
He hasn’t slept so well in ages.
It’s still dark outside when Jackson opens the door and a crack of light washes over them, making Derek frown and recoil a little until he realizes he’s still cuddling Stiles and he buries his face between Stiles’ head and the pillow.
“Stiles,” Jackson snaps. “Come on, time to go.”
“Five more minutes,” Stiles slurs against Derek’s neck, nipping him as he speaks, making Derek roll over until he’s on his back and Stiles is half on top of him.
“Stiles!” Jackson hisses. “There’s no time for that. I waited as long as I could but your father will find out if you’re not home when he wakes up.”
“Cock blocker,” Stiles whines, rubbing his face up and down Derek’s neck.
Derek makes this embarrassing noise, too close to a moan, as he arches his back and his hands move down Stiles’ back, when Jackson storms in, pulls the sheet off, grabs Stiles by the arm and yanks him out.
“Sorry boss,” he doesn’t sound sorry at all. He sounds beyond pissed. “No time for a quickie.”
“Ahhh! Ahhh!” Stiles makes grabby hands toward Derek as Jackson drags him out.
Derek falls back asleep almost instantly. And later, when he wakes up feeling rested and focused for the first time since he was stabbed, he realizes Stiles is better than any sleeping pills.
A couple of days later, Mr. Stilinski pays him a visit. And for half a second, Derek feels terror, thinking the man found out what he’s being doing with his son.
“How are you feeling?” the attorney sits down next to him.
“Much better, sir,” Derek straightens up in his bed.
“Chris Argent came to see me the other day,” Mr. Stilinski seems to decide to go straight to business. “He’s the new head of the Argents.”
Derek is not surprised. He had suspected that’d be the case all along.
“He wanted to thank me for putting his father in jail,” Mr. Stilinski clasps his hands together.
“I still think you can’t trust him.”
“He gave me information on the few men faithful to his father, the ones we couldn’t catch in the first trial,” Mr. Stilinski says as his only explanation, and Derek quickly understands.
“I guess I should call my team, then.”
“Yeah, about that... I think it’s good that you will no longer be Stiles’ personal security,” the attorney says a bit uncomfortably as he shifts in his seat. Derek arches an eyebrow and Mr. Stilinski rushes to explain. “Since you two became... friends. Because you did, right?”
Derek keeps looking at him.
“Look, all I’m saying is that, if my son is happy, I’m happy, so I don’t care. I don’t want to say you have my blessing but well, ugh,” Mr. Stilinski throws his arms in frustration and Derek sees the resemblance right then.
Derek is unable to move, to speak, he can barely breathe. Stiles’ father knew all along? Shit, he feels like bolting out of bed and running far away.
But Mr. Stilinski saves him from the pain of moving by standing up and shaking his hand.
“Hiring you was a good decision, Mr. Hale... I mean, Derek,” the man says smiling. “I hope to see you soon.”
Derek is left alone in the room with his confused thoughts. He’s still not sure what happened.
He picks up his cell phone and calls Jackson to give him orders about moving out of the Stilinski household. And after that, he texts Stiles.
>>Your father knows?
Two minutes later he receives a phone call.
“He what?!”Stiles squeaks into the receiver.
“He came to see me,” Derek shrugs. “Seemed to know there was something going on.”
“Well, he can’t know what’s going on because even I have no idea,” Stiles blurts.
“What?” Derek asks a bit dumbfounded.
"Look, I'm a fan of ignoring things, but...” Stiles trails off, sounding unsure.
"But what? Ignore what?" Derek asks in confusion.
"I-I don't know," Stiles huffs.
"What are you talking about?" Derek insists as he sits on his bed, grimacing slightly at the way his stitches still bother him.
"Us!”Stiles snaps. “Although, uh, I have no idea if there is actually an us, and if so, what we are or what we want to be. Or more precisely what you want because I know what I want, you know?"
“Oh,” he smirks. “So what do you want?”
“Is this something you wanna talk about on the phone?” Stiles sounds nervous. “I don’t know, maybe we should wait until you’re out of the hospital and we can, I don’t know, have like a proper date or something?”
“If we’re in the same room, we won’t talk,” Derek teases.
Stiles makes a completely unfair noise on the other end. “Touché,” he teases back.
“So, what do you want?” Derek insists. He’s leaning against the headboard, hand over his chest where the wound is still healing as he smiles foolishly to the empty room.
“I want... you,” Stiles finally breathes out in a rush of air and words.
“And a proper date?” Derek asks.
“That, too.” It sounds like Stiles is moving as they speak and Derek can almost picture him pacing back and forth in his room, fumbling with his cell phone.
“Alright,” Derek smirks.
“Alright, what?” Stiles asks quickly, the noises disappearing as Derek imagines he’s stopped pacing to ask that.
“I’m yours,” Derek whispers, unsure of saying the words aloud. Thinking them is one thing, and of course he’s sure of them, but saying them changes everything. And he isn’t sure they’re ready for it. But he’s willing to find out. “And once I’m out of here, that date is, too.”
Stiles makes this squeak of a noise and then he tries to ask with a neutral tone: “When are you getting out?”
“Couple of days if I pass the tests,” Derek explains. There is this physical evaluation he has to go through to make sure his heart is strong and properly working after the surgery.
“I’ll be there,” Stiles beams.
It’s almost a week later when Derek is finally free to go. Stiles is supposedly going to pick him up after lunch, the time they thought he’d get his discharge papers. But it’s early in the morning and the nurses have already brought him the paperwork.
Jackson shows up while he’s dressing in the casual clothes Erica brought in the night before.
“There’s someone waiting for you outside,” Jackson comments as he leans on the door frame.
“Who?” Derek asks as he buttons up his pants and puts on a grey long sleeved shirt.
“I think you better see it for yourself,” Jackson smirks.
Derek frowns, but he doesn’t insist. He supposes it has to be Stiles waiting outside to surprise him. Grabbing both his jacket and bag, he follows Jackson outside, where there’s a car with tinted windows waiting for him.
Mr. Stilinski rolls down one of the rear windows and waves. “It’s good to see you on your feet again,” the man says with a small smile.
“Sir,” Derek says in confusion. "What's going on?" he looks at Jackson, who pats his shoulder as he opens the passenger door.
"Mr. Stilinski and I have been working on something together. I mean," Jackson makes a face. "Danny made me do it, everyone else is on board too, so get in and we’ll explain."
Derek feels his eyebrows rising so high they nearly disappear on his hairline.
"Mr. Hale," Stiles' dad interferes, leaning out of the car. "Your people helped me while you were in the hospital, please get in and let me explain."
Derek is taken aback but he nods and gets inside anyway, followed by Jackson.
When Derek is finally back in Beacon Hills that afternoon, he lets Jackson drive him to the place he is staying in temporarily and then, he dismisses him. Derek needs time to get ready before he goes to visit Stiles.
Later, as he drives his car, Derek thinks of all that happened today and he can’t still believe it. He feels a tingling when he drives through the open gates of the Stilinski house, but he soon forgets it when the main door flies open and Stiles appears, hands on his hips and defiant stare, waiting for him to park and walk over.
"There you are!" Stiles finally says. “I went to the hospital today and you were gone.”
“I was discharged earlier,” Derek shoves his hands inside the pockets of his leather jacket.
“Woah wait,” Stiles looks him up and down. “What are you wearing? Where’s the suit?”
“I’m off duty. This is what I normally wear,” Derek shrugs.
“You normally wear tight jeans and leather jackets?” Stiles gapes.
Derek gives him a knowing smirk as he shrugs one shoulder.
Stiles seems to have problems finding words. Finally he shakes his head and asks, "So what are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see you," Derek smiles. "I'd have come sooner but I was busy."
"Settling into my new place and getting my team updated on our new job," Derek comments casually.
"I fired him." Mr. Stilinski appears behind Stiles, who gapes at his father.
"You did what?" Stiles exclaims in confusion.
"You can't date your bodyguard," Mr. Stilinski deadpans.
Stiles gapes at him, his cheeks delightfully flushed.
“Derek,” his father shakes his hand. “Thanks for coming.”
“Wait, what’s going on here?” Stiles flails between them. “You just called him Derek, as in his actual name. And what is this? Did you call him over?”
“I did,” Mr. Stilinski smiles.
“So, what? Is he also calling you by your name?” Stiles asks, still stunned.
“No, he can keep up with Mr. Stilinski,” his father makes a face.
Yessir,” Derek smirks.
“Now go out and have fun together,” Mr. Stilinski pats Stiles’ shoulder, who looks dumbfounded.
“Is this really happening?” Stiles murmurs.
“I know he’ll be safe with you, but just in case, remember who my friends are. Keep that in mind.” He arches an eyebrow at Derek, who just nods. “I could make you disappear and no one would ever be able to find your body. Are we clear?”
“Very clear, sir.” Derek steps back to allow Stiles to walk outside.
“Oh my god, daaaaaaaaaaaad” Stiles whines, turning around and pushing his father inside.
Mr. Stilinski chuckles and waves them goodbye before Stiles closes the door behind them. They walk to the Camaro, and that’s when Derek notices for the first time the jeans Stiles is wearing. His mouth goes slack.
“Seeing something that you like?” Stiles asks sardonically, bending slightly over and showing off his butt decorated with the words BITE ME as he opens the car door.
“Why are you wearing those?” he manages to ask.
“I was picking you up at the hospital today, remember?” Stiles rolls his eyes as he gets in.
Derek laughs and goes to the driver’s side, getting in and driving off.
“Where are we going?” Stiles nearly bounces on his seat.
“You’ll have to wait and see,” he smirks.
“Oh my god, I’m not good at waiting!”
“I know,” Derek snorts.
He plays the Bodyguard soundtrack then, making Stiles laugh. They are three songs in when Derek parks the car.
Stiles is grinning like a loon when he sees where they are. Derek gets out and circles the car to the passenger door, where Stiles is already getting out.
“There was a ‘cool place’ you wanted to take me to, right?” he asks as he places his hands on the car at either side of Stiles.
“You still remember,” Stiles says in wonder.
“I remember everything,” Derek smirks as Stiles places his hands on his shoulders.
He sees how Stiles flushes and Derek’s body tightens in all the right ways.
“You wanted a date, I remember that, too,” Derek murmurs.
“And you,” Stiles teases.
“And me,” Derek nudges his way down Stiles’ cheek to his jaw, where he kisses him.
Stiles groans and pulls him closer. “I know we’re already here, but I’m suddenly not really hungry, you know?”
Derek smirks against the corner of his mouth before they kiss.
“I mean,” Stiles murmurs between kisses. “This place has a breakfast buffet, too.”
Derek groans, face rubbing against the side of Stiles'. "You're going to be the death of me."
"Are we talking about the petite mort? Because I thought you'd like that," Stiles presses his body against Derek's.
“Fuck,” Derek growls, hands grabbing Stiles' face and lips seeking his. They kiss in the middle of the parking lot, and Derek loses it. He's not afraid to admit Stiles has this effect on him. He loses control around him, and that's just how things are.
"Last chance to call this off," he groans right against Stiles’ ear as they rock together.
"Jesus Christ, Derek, fuck! Just- Get me to your place and fuck me already," Stiles whimpers, hands grabbing his hips and pressing him against his hard on, both gasping and hissing at the contact.
"You're hard," Stiles exclaims in surprise.
"What did you expect?” Derek snorts. “You have no idea the effect you have on me, do you?"
They kiss for a while after that, both grinding against each other slowly until Derek pulls away, opens the door behind Stiles and shoves him inside.
“Let’s go,” he says before going back to the drivers’ side and starting the car.
After a while driving, Stiles moves his hand to Derek’s knee, fingers pressing lightly as he smirks, looking at him sideways. Stiles seems to test it, fingers pausing before he moves his hand up Derek’s leg, stroking his thigh.
“You’ll make us crash,” Derek teases, startling Stiles who snaps his hand back.
Derek had only been in his new apartment less than ten minutes that afternoon. He unlocks the door and before he can even turn on the lights, Stiles has him pressed against the wall.
“Eager?” he teases, capturing Stiles’ bottom lip and nipping it.
He can barely see in the darkness of the entrance, only feel Stiles’ hands moving underneath his leather jacket and pulling it down his arms as they keep kissing. He tugs at Derek’s shirt and has it off of him shortly after that, too.
“Oh my god,” Stiles moans against Derek’s mouth as his hands stroke his exposed stomach. “I can’t even see your six pack and it’s already killing me.”
Derek chokes on his own laughter, breathing out before they resume the kissing. One of them presses on the switch and he can suddenly see everything, from Stiles’ flushed skin to the tent in his pants.
When Stiles sees the new and still tender scar in his chest, though, he steps back and runs his fingers along its length, fingertips barely brushing the skin.
"Don't think about it now," Derek urges, hands holding Stiles' face and guiding him closer for another kiss.
Stiles seems to falter a moment but he's soon kissing back, his arms sliding around Derek's chest and holding him tightly.
Derek turns him around, pressing him head first against the wall as he drops on his knees and bites hard on Stiles' ass, right where the bead jewelry forms the words BITE ME.
"How long have you been wanting to do ah!- that?" Stiles moans, face pressed sideways on the wall.
"Since the first moment I saw you wearing them," Derek rubs his face against the rough material.
He slides his hands to the front of Stiles' jeans, unzipping them and palming his erection before tugging the pants down. He uses his teeth to pull Stiles’ underwear down enough to bite his ass again, this time without any cloth in between.
Stiles gasps and startles, squirming between him and the wall as Derek pulls his clothes all the way down and helps him to step out of them, leaving Stiles with only his shirt. He grabs both butt cheeks and massages them, satisfied to hear how Stiles takes a shaky breath. Derek buries his face in between, licking, pushing his tongue inside, making Stiles squirm and moan.
"Derek, touch me," Stiles whines, cursing in a broken sob.
"No yet," Derek speaks right against his skin, gripping his hips tightly to keep him in place.
"Shit, fuck!" Stiles whimpers louder when Derek bites the inside of his thigh.
He notices Stiles lowering his hand between his legs to touch himself and Derek gets ahold of his wrist. "Not yet, trust me," he rumbles out. He's so hard, it's painful.
Getting to his feet, Derek undoes his buttons and pulls himself free, guiding it between Stiles' slicked cheeks and thrusting forward, until his tip runs all the way down to Stiles' balls and further.
"Right there," Derek groans.
"Fuuuuck," Stiles hisses.
Derek embraces him, pressing his chest against Stiles' back, arms circling him, one on his stomach right where he has the scars, and the other holding his neck in a possessive grip.
Stiles trembles, he squirms in his arms, hips finally free to shove back against Derek.
They start thrusting together, Stiles pressing flat against the wall before thrusting back to Derek.
"I can't wait to fuck you," Derek breathes against his ear, making Stiles' rhythm falter.
"Holy shit, you can't say that and expect me to last," Stiles moans, back arched as he bends his head back against Derek' shoulder and closes his eyes, concentrating on the feeling.
He moves his hand from Stiles’ neck up to his mouth, pressing a finger against his flushed lips.
"Suck," Derek whispers low in his throat.
Stiles flutters his eyes open to see what it is, and sucks on it without a second thought. Derek is mesmerized by the sight of his finger disappearing between Stiles' lips. It is so erotic it's almost enough to make him come.
Finger wet, Derek lowers it between their bodies and presses it against Stiles' entrance, making him tense up.
"Just my finger," he whispers as he thrusts his cock between Stiles' legs. "See? I have to get you ready."
Stiles whines low and thrusts back against Derek' finger.
"Fuck, you're tight," he grits out, finger buried in Stiles' clenched ass.
Stiles' legs are wobbly, he's shaking so bad Derek has to use his body to pin him upright against the wall.
Stiles nods, head lolling back and forth on Derek’s shoulder, who steps back and turns him around.
He tries to pin him against the wall, but Stiles pushes him away, capturing his lips and moving them both from the wall and into the room, where he doesn’t stop shoving Derek playfully until he falls on the bed.
“Small place,” Stiles jokes as Derek stays there and observes Stiles pulling his shirt over his head before climbing on top of him.
Derek gets ahold of his nape and guides him down for another kiss, and as they make out, his hands roam free all over Stiles’ naked skin, stroking the tight muscles, feeling Stiles arching under his fingers, exploring every inch of smooth skin, while Stiles holds his face so fiercely Derek won’t be surprised if he has marks on his cheeks tomorrow.
Derek groans against his lips, feeling his way down Stiles’ back, fingers dipping into the dimples over his ass before moving lower to grab his cheeks, squeezing hard as Stiles sinks lowers, pressing his naked erection against Derek’s still clothed one.
“Pants,” Stiles protests. “Off, take them off. Now,” he grunts, fumbling with the top buttons of Derek’s tight jeans.
Derek laughs throatily, completely delighted with the way Stiles fights with his pants. After a moment he finally helps, lifting his ass off the bed enough for Stiles to be able to tug his pants down his legs. And as Derek uses his feet to kick them all the way off, Stiles bends down between Derek’s legs and deep throats him, making Derek shout in surprise.
Derek groans, hips jerking up and gagging Stiles, who takes it eagerly. It’s sloppy and messy and just the best head Derek has ever gotten. He opens his legs wider apart, inviting Stiles, who presses his fingers in the inner side of Derek’s parted thighs, stroking down to his groin as he keeps choking himself on Derek’s cock.
“God, you’re so hot,” Stiles nearly moans as he leans back, hooded gaze following the line of Derek’s taut muscles up to his face. Derek’s breath catches in his throat at the intensity of Stiles’ stare.
As he speaks, Stiles moves down, sucking on Derek’s balls before he licks further down a couple of times, pressing a finger tentatively against Derek’s ring.
“Fuck,” Derek hisses, buckling his hips.
He nearly squirms when Stiles takes him back in his mouth and fingers him. Derek arches his back, thrusting down on Stiles’ hand a few times until he feels his whole body tighten.
“If you keep up, I won’t be able to fuck you,” he groans, pulling Stiles up before he ends up coming from just a finger and a skilled mouth.
Stiles sits back on top of him and Derek pulls him lower, shuddering when Stiles buries his face in his shoulder. Derek runs his hands up and down his back, legs parting and circling Stiles before turning them over.
Now on top, Derek covers him with his body. He kisses Stiles once, twice, three times before moving his lips down his throat, following the path of his moles to his chest, sucking on Stiles’ nipples and taking delight in the way he shudders and gasps, before moving down, rubbing his face against the scars, almost venerating them with his lips.
Stiles is on his elbows, observing Derek through lazy eyelids as he bites his bottom lip. Any little thing Derek does to him, Stiles jolts and shivers underneath him, driving Derek completely crazy.
He kisses the biggest scar one last time before resuming his trip, following the path Stiles’ moles make on his body, nipping and sucking at his hips.He ghosts over Stiles’ erection and then licks the tip very slowly, making Stiles moan and drop his head back on the bed in surrender, spreading his legs wider apart for him.
“Ahhh,fuck,” Stiles groans before giving this utterly and ridiculously precious laugh, that makes Derek go cold and hot in a rush. “I can’t believe this is- ngh! happening,” he breathes out, hands burying in Derek’s hair.
“Shut up,” Derek teases as he licks from base to tip before engulfing Stiles’ cock.
“Oh my god, wait-” Stiles grabs him under the arms, trying to move him away. “Where did you learn to do that?” Derek snorts and before he can even answer, Stiles is talking again. “Rhetorical question,” he explains as Derek slides up his body until they are kissing again.
“Get me ready,” Stiles breathes hotly against his face, arms around Derek’s neck as they keep moving together.
Derek rolls on the side, fumbling with his jeans on the floor to find the packets in his back pocket. He moves back between Stiles' legs, throwing the condom on the bed and tearing the packet of lube open with his teeth.
Stiles grins up at him, letting his legs fall open as Derek pours lube on his fingers and presses one in, making Stiles arch his back, mouth open in a silent ‘O’ as Derek thrusts steadily in and out. After a while, he adds a second finger, delighting in Stiles’ flushed face as he scissors them, thrusting until he finds the right angle.
“Fuck!” Stiles shouts, body trembling as he clenches around Derek’s fingers.
“Right there,” Derek smirks, moving his fingers over the same spot, pressing on it until Stiles is whimpering.
“Enough,” he moans. “I want you.”
Derek buries his face in Stiles' stomach, rubbing it right and left as his fingers still work on him.
"Dereeeeek," Stiles whines as he lifts his legs and places his feet on Derek's shoulders, pushing him back. "Just- get a condom, come on."
Derek laughs, low and throatily as he gets the condom, eyes never leaving Stiles while he rips it open.
"Are you sure about this?" He asks, placing the still unrolled condom on the tip of his cock and waiting.
"You want me to beg for it, don't you?" Stiles jokes.
“Maybe later.” Derek teases and unrolls the condom. Stiles reaches forward and squeezes his chest, flicking Derek’s nipples as Derek pours lube and strokes himself. Humming in approbation, Derek moves his hand between Stiles' legs to add a new layer of lubricant to the already slick area, smirking when Stiles bucks.
Stiles strokes down Derek’s body, fingers digging in his muscles until he drops his hands and palms himself, grinning when Derek grabs his hips with one hand and guides himself in with the other.
Derek leans in, kissing his forehead. He caresses Stiles’ neck and shoulders before getting ahold of his knees and lifting Stiles’ hips off the bed. He uses his other hand to stroke Stiles, distracting him as Derek finds the right angle.
“Goddamm,” Stiles hisses out, arching his back and throwing his head back as Derek finally buries himself inside with a slow thrust.
“Fuck... yes,” Derek drops his head against the crook of Stiles’ neck. His rhythm is steady and slow, his hand moving between them to fist Stiles’ cock.
“How can this- Oh god, don’t stop,” Stiles murmurs, panting as his hands run over Derek’s hair, tugging him forward for a kiss.
Derek groans against his mouth, their bodies moving together as he slides his free arm under him and embraces Stiles, both clinging to each other, rocking together as he works Stiles with his other hand.
“I’m gonna-” Stiles shudders, his toes curling as he goes suddenly still, lips parted against Derek’s mouth and eyes tightly closed.
Derek can’t tear his eyes off the sight of Stiles as he spasms, eyes open in the last second to look back at him. Derek feels Stiles’ cock throwing in his hand, the hot pulses of cum running down his fingers as Stiles tightens around him. Derek groans, capturing his slack lips, kissing Stiles fiercely as his hips keep thrusting, this time more frantically as Derek feels his orgasm building inside of him, heavy and hot in his guts.
Stiles makes a small noise, throwing his arms around Derek’s neck and clinging to him even with his legs, making Derek feel wrapped and protected in a strange way. He grunts, face buried in Stiles' neck as his hands lift his thighs, fingers sliding down his sides and grabbing Stiles’ ass.
Stiles is whimpering, making these incredible noises, and Derek feels the heaviness in his guts, the tingling sensation as a spark licks up his spin. He tightens all over, muscles taut and clenched as his cock jerks and pulses, coming inside of Stiles.
Derek disposes of the used condom and tosses it away, finally crashing on top of Stiles. Heavy breathing and exhausted, his body shivers with the aftershocks as Stiles circles him, his fingers running through Derek' hair, making him sigh and close his eyes in contentment. Stiles snuggles against him, their breathing going slowly back to normal as they face each other.
"Hey," Stiles whispers.
Derek smiles, eyes half closed as he presses their foreheads together.
“Let’s not move, okay?” Stiles grins lazily.
“You’re gonna feel sticky very quickly,” Derek teases.
“I don’t care.” Stiles leans forward nudging him before they kiss.
“You will.” Derek laughs between kisses before moving away.
“Where are you going?” Stiles protests, sitting up.
Derek shakes his head, still laughing as he goes to the bathroom and comes back with a warm wet cloth and a dry towel.
Kneeling next to Stiles, he proceeds to clean him with the wet cloth and then dry him off with the towel.
"I could get used to this," Stiles smirks, hands behind his head as he observes Derek. "I usually use a sock."
"Gross," Derek teases, wrinkling his nose.
Once he's done, he leans over and kisses his marked skin on the stomach until Stiles grabs him and guides him on top of him, making Derek straddle him. He grabs the wet cloth and wipes Derek' stomach and his hands.
They don't speak for a while, Stiles caressing him with the cloth while Derek watches him entranced.
“So this is where you’re staying now,” Stiles says. “Pretty close to my place.”
“I know,” Derek comments.
“Did you rent this place because it’s close to mine?” Stiles beams, throwing the cloth away and grabbing him.
“Not really,” Derek shrugs, teasing him, resisting playfully as Stiles pulls him down.
“Don’t lie,” Stiles frowns.
Derek chuckles and moves from on top of Stiles to fish for something in the bedside table.
“This place is temporary,” he says as he faces Stiles again. “This,” Derek hands him something. “I hope is not.”
"What is this?” Stiles opens his hand and observes the key in wonder. “Are these the keys to this apartment?"
"No,” Derek shakes his head as his mouth curves into a sly smile.
Stiles frowns as he smiles slightly back in confusion.
"It's the keys to a place your father found near the campus of Stanford,” Derek explains. “That's where I was today."
Derek had spent the day in Palo Alto, visiting the new client his team found while he was in the hospital, and then accompanying Mr. Stilinski to the apartment he rented for Stiles at Stanford. At first he thought the idea was to convince Stiles to transfer next semester, until his father had handed him two sets of keys and Derek had finally caught on it.
"What?” Stiles squeals as he sits on the bed. “You and my dad want me to move?"
"Not alone," Derek says a bit unsure, showing his own pair of keys.
Stiles gapes, looking at the keys with wide eyes.
"You're still working for us then?" he frowns, not sure that’s quite it.
"No, I found a client there." Derek leans back on the headboard and waits for Stiles to understand on his own.
“I- I don’t get it.” Stiles rubs the back of his head, clearly flustered.
“Your father rented a place for you, gave me the spare key.” Derek shrugs. "He thought you might listen to me. He knows you didn’t go to Stanford for him, but that’s not what he wants."
"What about you?" Stiles asks dumbfounded.
"My team conspired behind my back and worked with your father to find our next client in the same area,” Derek smirks. “We have a big place ten minutes away from campus. Even then your father wanted me to have a spare key, said something about spending a lot of time there anyway."
Stiles chuckles, the sound turning into a choked laugh as he covers his face.
Derek sees his ears turning red and just grabs him and pulls him closer. Stiles starts shaking against him and Derek is no longer sure if he's laughing or crying.
"If you're going to be like that, we better call this off," Derek teases, snatching the keys from Stiles' hands.
“No! Give it back!” Stiles throws himself on top of him, trying to recover the keys, but Derek stretches his arm out of reach, holding them high in the air.
“I want to, okay?” Stiles clings to his neck as Derek keeps his arms up.
“You’ll transfer, then?” Derek grins.
“Yes, I will!” Stiles bites his cheek lightly, making Derek gasp and arch against him.
“Give me back my key,” Stiles murmurs, lips stretched into a grin against his stubble.
Derek lowers his arm slowly, dropping the keys in Stiles’ already open palm.
“Thank you,” he nips Derek's chin.
“You’re ridiculous,” Derek teases, sucking on his bottom lip.
“You love it,” Stiles leans on his chest, noses rubbing together.
“I do,” Derek admits.
He really, truly does.