"Oh, my God," Stiles breathes as he braces his hands on Scott's shoulders, nervously tapping his middle finger against his friend's collar bone. He tries to look anywhere but the fucking blowtorch in Derek's hand.
Derek meets his eyes before lowering the flame to Scott's arm, inciting a scream out of the wolf.
"Hold him!" Derek demands, and Stiles pushes down on Scott, holding him in place as well as he can, internally cursing his stupid fucking best friend, because, seriously? No tattoo is worth needles and a fucking blowtorch, Jesus Christ.
Scott's eyes turn werewolf-gold and he lets out another shout before his body goes slack. "Oh, thank God," Stiles says before letting go of Scott and moving to stand behind Derek, "I thought I was gonna pass out again. I'm glad he did it first."
"Again?" Derek asks, eyebrow raised. He's still holding the fire to Scott's arm, trying to get the task done while the kid is passed out.
"Shut up," Stiles shoots back. All he gets is a smirk in return.
There's silence for a few minutes after the short exchange, before Derek stands up, turning the flame on the blowtorch off, and announcing, "Done."
"Awesome," Stiles replies, "How long do you think he'll be out? Long enough for us to make out a little?" he waggles his eyebrows at Derek suggestively. Derek scoffs, but his voice is fond when he replies.
"You love it."
Derek sighs, sets down the blowtorch, and moves a little closer to Stiles. "I assume this means you haven't told him yet, then?"
"Whaaat?" Stiles asks flailing his arms a little, trying to physically wave away the statement as ridiculous, "Whatever would make you think such a thing?"
"Why haven't you told him, Stiles? He's your best friend."
"Cause I don't want him to overreact. Plus, you two need to work together on whatever the fuck is about to happen, and him knowing about us might complicate that," Stiles replies, a petulant look on his face.
"He's going to react badly no matter what. You've been keeping this from him for three months. You need to tell him. Soon," Derek demands, stepping into Stiles' space and moving a hand to the boy's hip. "It'll be worse if he finds out about it on his own. You know it will."
"I know," Stiles replies, moving one of his hands to rest on Derek's chest, and he really does. He knows that this thing between them (they're not quite dating, but they're not just hooking up either) has already gone on too long for telling Scott to be anything less than messy, and he knows it'll only get worse the longer he waits to say anything, but he just can't bring himself to do it. Telling Scott made it all seem permanent, but fragile at the same time. It made Stiles think back to the definition of tattoo. 'To mark yourself.' That's exactly what Stiles would be doing, but it seemed like he'd not only be marking himself as Derek's, but also as a target for whatever came after them next.
"I just don't want to risk losing one of you. It can wait though. I mean, it's Scott. What are the chances that he's going to figure it out if he hasn't already?"
"I think you underestimate him too much, Stiles," Derek pauses and flicks his eyes over to Scott's prone form, before leaning in to kiss Stiles tenderly. He pulls away a few seconds later, and Stiles makes a dissatisfied sound. Derek rolls his eyes.
"He's waking up."
Stiles groans before he steps back and turns to face Scott, making sure there's some distance between himself and Derek.
Scott wakes with a gasp, and looks down at his arm before trying to see where Stiles and Derek went. When he looks up with a disbelieving smile, he sees them standing at least a foot apart, and, not thinking anything unusual, lets out a happy, "It worked!"
He doesn't even ask how long he'd been passed out or what Stiles and Derek had done while waiting for him to wake up, a fact which Stiles notes and mentally throws an "I told you so," in Derek's direction. He loved the kid, and new he was trying, but Scott was never going to be the most perceptive crayon in the box. Stiles would tell him after everything calmed down. Probably.