TattooedSiren (tattooedsiren) wrote,
TattooedSiren
tattooedsiren

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in the spirit of love

Title: in the spirit of love
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Ship: Derek/Stiles
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: Say it with me now ~ me ... don't ... own.
Summary: "This is your best idea yet," Stiles tells Derek.
The group turn to him as one, each with varying shades of surprise. He looks at them all in turn, noting in particular Scott's look of vague betrayal (like even though he and Derek have acclimated and are one pack Scott clearly still thinks Stiles should automatically side with him whenever the two of them disagree) and Derek's look of surprise (like he's thinking exactly the same as Scott).
"Well," Stiles clarifies, "you gotta remember how spectacularly awful all your other plans have been over the years. I mean, this is being graded on a significant curve. But it could work. I like it."
Authors Notes:This was written before season three aired, so there are some very minor details that don't match up with current canon, but just go with it. :O) Thanks to the fabulous smartalli for the beta.



in the spirit of love



"This is your best idea yet," Stiles tells Derek.

The group turn to him as one, each with varying shades of surprise. He looks at them all in turn, noting in particular Scott's look of vague betrayal (like even though he and Derek have acclimated and are one pack Scott clearly still thinks Stiles should automatically side with him whenever the two of them disagree) and Derek's look of surprise (like he's thinking exactly the same as Scott).

"Well," Stiles clarifies, "you gotta remember how spectacularly awful all your other plans have been over the years. I mean, this is being graded on a significant curve. But it could work. I like it."

Everyone just keeps staring at him until Allison clears her throat, draws everybody's attention back to the map on the small table they're gathered around.

"So, let's go over it again. Scott and I will be here..." she points to the bluffs overlooking the town, and continues going through the plan that Derek (with suggestions from Lydia and Stiles, because let's face it, they were totally the brains in the group) has implemented.

Stiles is going to be the bait. Yay.

Okay, he gets it. The wolves all have their mad wolf skills and Jackson has his awesome paralyzing venom and Allison is like the lovechild of Legolas and Katniss Everdeen (and Stiles is still a little bit scared of her, but mostly he's just in awe). Which leaves Stiles and Lydia, the two (relative, in Lydia's case) humans, and anyone who thinks Lydia will consent to being the bait needs their head read. So really, who else is available to lure the wolves into a trap?

Stiles is just glad he's been working on his cardio. And his bon-mots for when the Alpha shows up and will inevitably want to do the evil monologuing thing first.

"Okay, so are we all clear?" Derek asks when Allison has gone through everything, and the pack all nod solemnly. "Good. Be careful."

Everyone slowly trails out, silent with nerves. The house is so quiet that Derek only needs to murmur "Stiles" for the sound to carry across the room.

Stiles looks back, surprised. Derek tilts his head in a 'come here' gesture before retreating further back into the room. With a put-upon sigh Stiles claps Scott on the shoulder in a gesture of good luck before returning to the lounge.

He fully anticipates a 'don't do anything stupid' lecture from Derek. He's been on the receiving end of more than a few of those speeches since the Hale and McCall packs merged into one (let's just say this isn't the first time Stiles has been the bait, unwittingly or otherwise). What he doesn't expect when he stops in front of Derek is for the older man to push him back to the wall and press their lips together in a bruising kiss.

The shock isn't enough to stop him responding though. He grabs at the lapels of Derek's ever present leather jacket, pulling him closer (not that he could really get that much closer). Their tongues tangle together, so warm and wet and fucking amazing. Stiles can feel the whole length of Derek's body pressing into him, and the violence of the embrace should scare him but it does nothing but turn him on (he never claimed to be the most mentally healthy person).

When their kisses finally end and Derek backs off enough that Stiles feels like he can breathe again the first thing Stiles does is smack him playfully upside the head.

"Seriously?! You expect me to go out there and be the witty bait when all I'm going to be thinking about is this?!?!"

Derek just grins, and Stiles hits him again. Derek presses their lips together in a gentle kiss before looking Stiles squarely in the eyes and saying, "Don't do anything stupid."

*

They aren't dating.

They chill out at Derek's apartment or in Stiles' bedroom. They hang with the pack as a whole or with Scott and Allison. They train together. They have sex, basically any time they're alone. But they don't go out to dinner or the movies, don't go bowling or take romantic strolls around town.

Stiles definitely prefers it that way. As much as he likes Derek (and he really does) whenever he tries to picture them having a candlelight dinner he ends up breaking out in laughter. Seriously. The image just will not make sense in his own head, no matter how hard he tries.

But what he gets in return is even better. He gets Derek sitting by his side at the dinner table while the pack have group bonding time, Derek's hand a constant presence on his thigh. He gets movie nights where he leans his head on Derek's shoulder and Derek brushes a kiss on his forehead. He gets large, warm hands stripping him of his clothes and roaming over his body. He gets Derek looking at him like he can't believe Stiles is real.

They don't label.

Stiles doesn't call Derek his boyfriend, even if sometimes the word pops up in his ever chaotic mind. The words partner or significant other are never uttered once. The only terms of endearment come from Stiles (Sourwolf of course being his pet name of choice) - not including that one time Derek called him baby during sex and Stiles came embarrassingly fast.

When they told everyone about them (and by 'told' of course Stiles means they lost track of time and the pack walked in on them making out on Derek's couch) it was by Isaac waving between the two of them and asking, "So what's all this then?". And Stiles looked at Derek briefly (with his hair messy from Stiles' fingers and lips red and blurry) before looking back to everyone and saying with a shrug, "He's my Derek."

They aren't dating, until the night Derek sneaks into his window and Stiles silently thanks God for his dad's evening shift, but instead of pushing Stiles down onto his bed like he was fervently hoping, Derek drags him into town and they actually eat together. Alone. In public. It's nothing like Stiles imagined - it's not funny or ridiculous or surreal. It's so much better. It's amazing.

They aren't dating, except for the part where they kinda always were.

*

So maybe he's betraying his own bedroom (which he loves, by the way) by thinking this, but Derek's bed could well be the most comfortable place in the world.

The mattress was just the right balance between firmness for support and softness for comfort. The sheets were always crisp against his skin, the blankets a nice warm cocoon. Oh, and there was also one of the most aesthetically pleasing men Stiles had ever seen lying there beside him.

The morning sun streams through Derek's sheer curtains, softly bathing the room in a golden light. Stiles stretches as he wakes - well, as much as he's able with his legs entwined with Derek's. He blinks blearily a few times, hazy shapes taking form as his eyes finally manage to focus. And then he smiles, because he sees Derek in the bed beside him, sleeping away without a care in the world.

Stiles can't help it. He snuggles deeper into the bed and just watches Derek for a while. They are facing towards each other, so Stiles can study every inch of Derek's face. He makes his breath match Derek's. In. Out. In. Out.

Okay, so maybe it's vaguely creepy watching him sleep. Stiles profoundly doesn't care. And seriously, no one gets to call Stiles creepy when he's in the same room as Derek "lurker" Hale.

Stiles doesn't want to wake him, but the need for touch and skin and warmth is too great. His hand sneaks over, slips under Derek's t-shirt. Fingertips tentatively touch surprisingly smooth skin. Derek doesn't even stir, so Stiles cups his hand over his hip, thumb idling back and forth.

It hits him then, in this quiet moment, a realization so big it should come with much more pomp and circumstance, or, at the very least, a life threatening moment. But no, it's not one of them being held hostage or being in the middle of an argument or fighting for their lives that makes him realize. It's just this, lying in bed together, both fully clothed because they didn't even get around to having sex last night. They just headed back to Derek's after hanging with the pack and for the first time in the four months since this thing between them started, instead of attacking each other with mouths and hands, Stiles simply stole some of Derek's sleep clothes, and taking his cue from Stiles, Derek got changed too and they crawled into bed together.

And now Stiles wakes beside Derek and he feels warm and so fucking happy that when Derek eventually wakes up the first thing Stiles says is, "I love you."

Which, okay, douche move springing that on him before Derek even has full control of his faculties. But he couldn't help it. It was just sitting there, beating against his ribs, and when Derek opened his eyes and smiled at Stiles like there was no one else he would rather see first thing in the morning, well, how could he stop himself?

And Derek doesn't flinch or recoil or anything. He just grins even wider, cupping a hand around the back of Stiles' neck and leaning in, pressing their lips together in a simple kiss.

"Ditto."

*

Fear has been a near constant companion in Stiles' life.

He learnt about death from an early age, and from then on it was a constant feeling, sitting low in his stomach. His dad was his whole world, and every time he walked out the door Stiles wondered if it would be for the last time. (If he's honest, sometimes he still wonders.)

As he grew up, the fear didn't go away. It got worse. Because then there was a body in the woods and Scott was bitten and all of a sudden his life involved friggin werewolves.

He can admit that he was scared of Derek back then. How could he not be, with the ever-present looming (seriously, how did he always know just when to show up and when to disappear? One day Stiles will ask him about this) and the vague (okay, direct) threats and the body count piling up around them.

He's not scared of Derek anymore. Now, he's scared for him.

Derek is writhing on the bed, his whole body a sickening ashy grey color. When Stiles reaches over and touches him his skin is cold and clammy. The touch forces Derek's eyes open, and Stiles' gaze is met by bright red eyes.

Stiles is so fucking scared.

The pack is divided into two tasks. Boyd and Jackson are "interviewing" the witch they caught, trying to get her to talk, to explain what the fuck they did to Derek to stop him from healing. The rest of the group are trying to find the information on their own. Allison has reached out to some of the other hunters the Argent clan are friendly with, Lydia is going through the bestiary and seeing if there is anything useful there, Isaac and Scott are working with Deaton and going through the millions of books he has to see if they can find anything.

And Stiles ... Stiles is sitting by Derek's bed, praying to a God he's not even sure he believes in, begging for Derek to be okay.

Stiles reaches over to hold Derek's hand, and Derek's grip is hard enough to hurt. But Stiles won't pull away, despite Derek's crushing hold, despite how hard it is once again to see someone he loves in pain, despite the fact that when Stiles looks at Derek he doesn't see the Derek he knows and loves looking back at him.

Derek shuts his eyes as another wave of pain rolls over him. His body bends in on itself. A noise Stiles has never heard before escapes Derek's throat, and Stiles feels a physical pain in response.

"Derek," Stiles whispers, swiping an errant tear from his cheek and shifting forward in his chair. "Derek, you need to listen to me. You need to fight this, okay?"

Derek doesn't reply, but Stiles never needed an actual response from anyone to keep a conversation going.

"You are the most stubborn bastard I've ever met. It absolutely infuriates me about ninety percent of the time. But right now it's my favorite thing about you. Because I know it means you are not going to let this beat you, am I right?"

Derek squeezes Stiles' hand, which could've been from a wave of pain but Stiles chooses to interpret it as a yes.

"Good. Because, let me tell you, I cannot handle losing someone else, okay. So please ... just ... fight. For me."

Derek keeps moving, his body a constant bundle of movements. Stiles knows his body is fighting the spell, that it must be unspeakably painful, that a war is raging on inside him. And maybe it's selfish to be focusing on himself and not Derek, but Stiles also knows Derek. Derek is the first one to step up and protect everyone, has stepped between Stiles and imminent threats more times than he can count. And he knows that even if Derek didn't want to fight it for himself, he'd do it for Stiles.

"Stiles."

It's the first word Derek has spoken since the attack three hours ago, his voice hoarse with pain. Stiles is immediately right there, fingers running through damp hair, lips pressed to clammy skin.

"I'm here, Sourwolf. I'm here. I'll always be here."

*

Stiles doesn't know where to begin.

"Dad, I'm not entirely straight...."

"Dad, remember Derek, that guy I kept getting you to arrest, well here's the thing..."

"Dad, so this is gonna sound crazy, but werewolves – totally real, and I just happen to know one or two or five..."


John is looking at him expectantly and Stiles can't find the words.

It's been nothing but lies and evasion between them for years, and Stiles hates himself a little bit more for every lie that's passed his lips since the day he convinced Scott to go traipsing in the woods. And he can't do this anymore. He can't.

Because he misses his dad. Even though they live in the same house and see each other every day it hasn't been the same for years. He misses those uncomplicated days, when his Dad bugged him about homework and taking his medication instead of asking why someone has invoked a restraining order against him or why he's turned up at another crime scene.

And suddenly it all comes crashing down on him, the lies and deceit, the utter surrealness of his life, and his mind is racing and his hands shake and without really thinking he just blurts, "I just wanna start by saying I'm sorry and I know it's fucked up but this is my life now and I really need you to support me on this."

His father's face instantly shifts from vague anticipation to accurate and extreme concern. He sits forward in his chair, levels a worried look in Stiles' direction. "Stiles, start talking. Now."

Stiles sighs heavily. Best to start at the beginning he supposes. "Do you remember about three years ago, that night you went searching in the woods for a body which turned out to be Laura Hale's... you found me wandering around, seemingly alone..."

The Sheriff narrows his eyebrows at him, obviously confused as to where this is going. "Yes."

"Well, I wasn't alone, for one thing. Scott was there. But that's not the part that matters. What matters is what happened to Scott that night."

"What happened?"

"He was bitten. By a werewolf."

Stiles exhales with relief. There. He's said it and the world didn't come crashing down around him. Granted, his dad is looking at him like he's just started talking in tongues, but given the wide range of reactions Stiles has pictured over the last three years, it could've been much worse.

The Sheriff is just staring at him, confounded and concerned, like he's waiting for the punch line to a joke, so Stiles just nods to let him know yup, I'm totally serious, this is all real, welcome to my world.

"Uh," John says at last, "okay..."

Stiles' eyebrows rise so far they practically disappear into his hairline. He braces himself for more, but his dad is just sitting there, staring at him, so he does the manly thing and answers the unasked questions for him.

"No, I'm not making this up and no I'm not crazy. No, he's not dangerous. Yes, he's okay. Yes, Mrs McCall already knows. No, I'm not a werewolf too, still completely human here. Uh, what else...?"

John still doesn't appear capable of rational speech, so Stiles gives him a few minutes. But when the silence stretches out for too long, doubt settles in Stiles' stomach, and he can't help but ask, "You do believe me, right?"

John nods slowly, like he can't believe that he actually believes him. "It's just ... I'm trying to wrap my head around this."

"I get it," Stiles says quickly, wanting to reassure. "Even when I figured it out, before Scott by the way, there was still that tiny bit of me in denial about the whole thing. That quickly went away the first time I saw him wolfed-out. If you need to be certain Derek said he would come over and show you, answer any questions you have."

"Derek?" John asks, eyes suddenly becoming clear and focused again. "Why Derek? What does he have to do with all this?"

Stiles can't help but avert his eyes as he says, "Okay, so there's still a lot more I have to tell you..."

*

There's a knock on the bedroom door, and Stiles has been expecting it.

He's sitting with Scott on Scott's bed, and when he meets his best friend's eye Scott says, "I can tell him to go away."

Stiles thinks about it for longer than he will later care to admit. He doesn't have any more fight in him. He normally has more self-preservation than this, but he figured what was the point, it's not like he could feel any worse than he did right now anyway. Might as well get it all over and done with.

"It's okay," Stiles says, voice hoarse from the earlier argument, and then the hours he's spent talking it out with Scott. "Send him in."

Scott hesitates, like he wants to protect Stiles from the big bad wolf, and Stiles has never loved his best friend more. He nods in reassurance, and Scott reluctantly stands and crosses the room, opening the door to a downcast Derek.

"I swear to God if you hurt him any more I will kill you. Literally."

"I don't doubt it," Derek says, and Stiles' heart hurts. He sounds so ... Stiles doesn’t even know how to describe it. He's never heard Derek sound like that. He's always so sure and determined, never lets any uncertainty or weakness show. But he isn't like that at all now. He's exposed, fragile. Stiles doesn't know how to feel about that. In other circumstances, if he was feeling particularly cruel, he could totally revel in the power that he has, how he can reduce the seemingly stoic and impenetrable Alpha to this when no one else can really hurt him in any meaningful way. But really, all he knows now is how much it hurts him to see Derek in pain.

Derek walks into the room and Scott closes the door for them. Stiles doesn't even look up at him, feels more than sees Derek sit on the foot of the bed beside him. They aren't touching, both just staring straight ahead. Stiles wonders who will break first, but is less surprised than he thought he'd be when it's Derek.

"You know I love you."

It's not even a question, but Stiles nods like it was. Because despite everything, that was never in doubt. In fact, it was actually part of the problem.

"You just don't trust me," Stiles says, and fuck, saying it out loud makes it so much more real. And so much more heartbreaking.

Derek physically bristles beside him. "You know that's not true," he says, and the insistence in his voice makes Stiles finally look up to meet his eyes.

"Do I?" he says, and he doesn't even know who he's asking. "Because it sure didn't feel that way."

"Of course I trust you. You're pack, you're my partner, you're the first person I really let in after what happened with my family and ... Kate. I trust you more than anyone."

"But?" Stiles asks, because he knows Derek too well now, and he knows there's one coming.

"But you fucking terrify me. No one has ever had as much power over me as you do. And I can't stand by and watch something happen to you. I've lost my whole family, Stiles. I can't lose you too."

Stiles gets it. He really does. But, without wanting to sound like an asshole about it, Derek can't keep using what happened with his family as an excuse to act the way he does. Of course Stiles feels for Derek, but if they want to move forward then something's gotta give.

"Look, you're the Alpha. I get that it's your right to have final say when it comes to missions. But I know what I signed up for, okay. As much as you want to, you can't keep me safe, and if you try then you might put other members of our pack in danger."

Derek doesn't say anything, but it at least looks like he's taking in what Stiles is saying.

"I mean, do you have any idea how hard it is for me to watch you do are these really fucking dangerous things, jumping in front of the pack members to save them, always being on the front line. I fucking hate it. I'm terrified that something's going to happen to you. But that's just who you are, and I love who you are. I might panic and rage internally but I trust that you'll do whatever it takes to come back to me."

"I heal," Derek protests, but he sounds like it's a token one at best, and Stiles knows that Derek is finally getting it.

"Disregarding that you've had some pretty close calls and you are not as omnipotent as you like to think you are, that is so not the point and you know it. The point is that our lives are dangerous but you're supposed to trust that the other person is going to do everything in their power to come back to you. I can do that. Can you?"

Derek looks like he's just been asked to hang the moon, like he's awed and honored but his mind is already racing with the logistics and he just can't figure out how to make it work. Stiles rests his hand over his knee. It's such a simple touch, but the gesture is more than enough. Derek breathes in deep and shaky, the weight of the moment settling on them. Because as much as they've done the I love you's and as big of a deal as it was coming out to his dad, all of that feels miniscule compared to this. This is about them committing to each other completely. It's about believing in each other wholeheartedly and knowing that the other person might not be perfect but that at the end of the day they were in each other's corner, not just for now but for always.

"I'm going to hate every second that I see you in danger or pain, but ... yeah. Okay."

"Deal?" Stiles asks, holding out his hand.

Derek almost laughs, corners of his lips quirking upwards. "Deal," he says, putting his hand in Stiles to shake, the other stealing to the back of his neck to pull him into an embrace. Stiles goes willingly, happily, pressing his mouth to Derek's and finally feeling home. He presses their bodies together, trying not to think about what it says about him that he's missed that touch in the mere eight hours since he'd had it last. His hands move of their own volition, pushing Derek's jacket from his shoulders. Derek's mouth presses into the hollow of Stiles' throat, and he can't help the small moan that escapes his lips.

Derek has just pushed Stiles down onto the bed, hand sneaking under his t-shirt, when Scott's voice comes screaming through the door.

"Don't even think about having make-up sex on my bed."

*

Stiles watches as Derek slowly meanders around the room.

It's been nearly a year since Stiles was here last. He knows Derek still comes out here once in a while, he assumes to be alone with his thoughts or try and connect with the memory of his family in this, the last place they were all together. When Stiles looks around all he sees is a burnt out shell of a house, but he knows Derek will always see so much more.

Derek wanders to the next room, and Stiles lets him go. Derek's been quiet the last few days, and after a few futile attempts to draw him out Stiles decided to let him be. Derek knows that Stiles will be here whenever he's ready, so Stiles just let him ruminate in silence, giving him the distance he clearly wanted.

Continuing to give him that space Stiles lets Derek take his time. He sits on the floor, leaning back against the far wall of what apparently used to be the family room.

There are a lot of memories here, even for Stiles, and not all of them good. Hell, most of them aren't good. He takes a moment to luxuriate in his favorite memory of this place, the last time they were here, when the pack had a training night. After everyone left, he and Derek ended the night by having sex in Derek's childhood bedroom. He smiles at the thought, but then just as quickly he remembers everything else: finding Laura's body, killing Peter, losing Erica, killing Peter again...

To be honest, Stiles doesn't know why Derek still keeps this place. If it was him he'd want to get rid of it, not keep it like some moment forever frozen in time. But it's not his place to say so, and he will never force Derek to do anything he doesn't want to do.

Nearly ten minutes pass before Derek returns. He crosses the room to Stiles, slides down the wall to sit beside him. They're silent for a moment, Derek reaching over and taking Stiles' hand, entwining their fingers in his lap.

"I keep-" Derek averts his gaze, clears his throat before trying again. "I keep waiting for you to try and fix me."

Stiles' head snaps up at that. He has no idea where the fuck this is coming from, but he wastes no time in setting Derek straight. "Why would I? You're not broken."

Derek scoffs. "I don't think there are many people that would agree with you there."

"I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks. All I care about is what you think. Do you consider yourself broken?"

Derek's quiet for a moment, and his answer when it eventually comes is a soft, "I don't know."

"Look," Stiles says, angling towards him, "I'm not going to deny that you've been through a lot. That despite your - let's be honest, flawless skin and rockin' bod - you've been scarred by what happened to you. Who on earth wouldn't be? And of course I'd do anything to take away every bad thing that's happened to you. I wish that you didn't have to miss your family. I wish you didn’t feel the completely unfounded guilt I know you feel over what happened. But here's the thing," Stiles raises their joined hands, pressing a gentle kiss to Derek's knuckles. "Everyone has baggage and issues. I know I do. And I will help you in any way you need or want. But you listen to me Derek James Hale and you listen good – you are not fucking broken."

Derek finally raises his gaze to meet Stiles'. The expression on his face absolutely wrenches at Stiles' insides. They're sitting side by side, so it's the work of a moment to lean over and kiss him, pour every ounce of love he feels into that one simple embrace. Derek returns the kiss with more than equal ardor, large hand gently cradling the side of his face, warm and secure.

When they pull apart Stiles rests his head on Derek's shoulder, and they sit there in silence for a few minutes. Stiles hates it, that Derek feels this way. Stiles isn't so blinded by affection that he can't admit that Derek has made some mistakes. More than a few, in fact. But who the fuck hasn't? No one's perfect, Stiles least of all, and he hates that Derek thinks those things defined him. They don't. He’s stronger and smarter for them, and of course Stiles wishes they never happened, that Derek could've been spared that pain. But Stiles, much as he sometimes likes to thinks otherwise, doesn't have control over the universe, and he can't right those wrongs. All he can do is be there for Derek in the here and now.

"I think I'm ready. To raze the house," Derek says after several minutes of quiet.

Stiles hadn't been expecting it, but he doesn't let that show. "Whatever you wanna do," he says neutrally.

He can feel more than hear Derek chuckling. "Don’t pretend like you aren’t happy. Even though you've never said it, I know you've always wanted me to get rid of this place."

"Derek, it's your house. There are reasons you've kept it this long. I'll support whatever you want to do; I just want you to be sure."

"I am. I don't think I can get rid of the land. My family's been here too long, I don’t want to lose that connection. But I think I'm ready to create a new home, one for me."

Stiles smiles. "I'm happy for you, Derek. You deserve it."

There's a brief pause, and then Derek takes a deep breath before tentatively asking, "How would you feel if my new home was your new home too?"

Stiles lifts his head, chin digging into Derek's shoulder, and answers the actual question being asked by whispering into Derek's ear, "Yes."

*

Fucking werewolves.

Sometimes Stiles really fucking hates werewolves. Okay, so he loves his own pack like they're family, but anyone outside the Hale pack could just go fuck themselves as far as he was concerned. Because for some reason, despite the Hale pack holding this land for generations, and despite the Alpha pack that they'd run out, and all the omegas and rival packs and random mythological creatures they've gotten rid of, a new pack has arrived with the insane desire to try and claim the Beacon Hills area as their territory.

Yeah, that was never going to happen.

And so, here Stiles finds himself, tied to a chair in the middle of a small, one-room shack in the middle of fucking nowhere, being held hostage by the latest werewolf interlopers.

Stiles wishes it was for the first time. It's not. In fact, Stiles is so used to being held against his will that he doesn't even really panic anymore because he knows it's only a matter of time before Scott or Derek or his dad will come crashing through the door, guns or fangs blazing. All he has to do is just wait it out.

"So what's the plan here then?" Stiles asks the Alpha (whose name he doesn't know so Stiles has taken to calling him Al in his mind). Al doesn't answer (big surprise) so Stiles turns to the three Betas positioned around the cabin.

"I mean, my dad's the Sheriff, my boyfriend's the Alpha, and my best friend is his second. You get that, right?"

"That's exactly why-" says the Beta by the front window (Stiles actually does know his name - Graham - and Stiles will ponder the utter blandness of that name later) before a glare from Al shuts him up.

Stiles thinks about that for a moment. All the other times he'd been kidnapped it was just because he was the easiest to take, being the lowly human and all that. But this was the first time he'd been taken for who and not what he was.

"So your plan is to what, kill me? What would that get you exactly?"

"Well, some goddamn silence for one," Al growls.

But if there's one thing Stiles has learned from his bi-annual kidnappings, it's to keep them talking. Not because he thinks he can convince them to let him go, but because the more he talks the more distracted the kidnappers become, and therefore their plans get delayed and Stiles buys more time for his dad or his pack to come and rescue him.

So Stiles takes the opening Al has unintentionally given him and tries to strike up a dialogue.

"You know there's no way out of here, right?" Stiles says, aiming for vaguely concerned. "If you kill me, Derek will kill you. If you don't, well, let's be honest, he'll kill you anyway just for taking me."

"Why, because you're mates?"

Stiles laughs. If nothing else, he has to give Al points for boldness. "Don't try and pull that shit on me. I'm not new to this world. In fact, I probably know more about werewolves than you do. There's no such thing as mates. But that’s the thing, see? It means Derek and I, we choose to stay together. It's not some mystical pre-determined thing. We have to work at it, and it's not always easy, but we do it because we love each other. We would do anything for each other. So tell me, when you've taken away someone the Alpha of Beacon Hills loves, what do you think is going to happen when he gets here? Because he will find me."

The Alpha appears unmoved, but Stiles can see the Betas exchanging nervous glances. Stiles figures they'll be his out, so he addresses them directly. "Derek will come for me, I promise you that. Just like I will always come for him whenever someone stupidly decides to try and mess with us. But if you let me go before anyone gets here, I promise we won't pursue you. Let me go, leave now, and you'll make it out of here alive."

"That's generous of you," a new voice says, and everyone turns as one to find Derek in the corner (a quick glance upwards tells Stiles that Derek somehow managed to ninja himself onto the roof and into the room - but hey, if anyone could silently sneak in and out of buildings, it was always going to be him).

The pack immediately wolf out, the nearest Beta taking a step towards Derek, who just raises a gun and points it right at his face. Everyone freezes, the room tense, but Stiles can't tear his eyes from Derek. Derek isn't wolfed out, he's not growling at the werewolves or jumping straight to the ripping their throats out with his teeth portion of the evening. If anything he's eerily calm, just staring at Stiles, as if he's truly seeing him for the first time.

"You okay?" Derek murmurs, and Stiles reassures him with a nod. "Okay, here's what's going to happen. I'm going to talk to Stiles for a second - don't worry, I'll stay right here-" he adds with then Betas start shifting uncomfortably, though he doesn't lower his gun, "and before anyone objects or does something stupid, just know that the cabin is surrounded and anyone who even so much as moves in his direction will have their throats ripped out. By my teeth."

The werewolf pack is so busy exchanging silent looks as they consider this that they don’t see Stiles smile. Even after all these years he still isn't fond of all the violence, but he knows it's a necessary evil, and right now, with the relief rolling through his veins, he's nothing but charmed by it.

Al nods at Derek, even taking a half step back as a gesture of good will. Derek acknowledges him with a small nod but keeps his promise of remaining where he is, keeping to the same spot but lowering the gun as he turns to properly face Stiles.

"Stiles."

"Yes?" Stiles replies, confused as to where this is going, what's so important that it can't wait until all of this is over.

"Will you marry me?"

Stiles' first reaction is: now - you're asking me this now?!?!? But that only lasts a few moments before the complete and utter joy floods his body and so what if he's tied to a chair surrounded by disbelieving werewolves (who are all exchanging looks that clearly state 'what the actual fuck is happening here?'). All that matters is the way Derek is looking at him and the way his heart is pounding with happiness and the grin he can't keep off his face.

"Yes," Stiles says, and Derek physically relaxes before him, like he was more concerned about Stiles saying no than he was about them making it out of here alive (and knowing Derek and his often messed up priorities, he probably was), grinning bigger than Stiles has ever seen.

Stiles desperately wants to touch Derek, to kiss and hold him, but there are still other things to deal with first.

"Okay," Derek says, but when his gaze turns to the other Alpha it immediately hardens, and he raises the gun for added emphasis. "One time offer. I'll honour my future husband's original offer to you and give you sixty seconds to leave. You get the fuck out of Beacon Hills and you never come back. If you're still here in one minute we can fight it out, but my pack will descend and things won't end well. For you, that is. Take it or leave it."

The Betas exchange brief looks before running out of the cabin like it's on fire. Derek and Stiles watch them go before Derek turns to Al, triumphant. The Alpha still seems to be weighing his options but then Derek casually checks his watch and says, "Last chance," and Al grunts in frustration before fleeing.

Al is barely out the door before Derek has crossed the room, kneeling beside Stiles' chair. The restraints around his wrist are gone in an instant (yay for claws) and as soon as he's free Stiles grips Derek's face in shaky hands, not even caring about his still bound feet, just needing Derek's mouth on his more than he needs oxygen. There is a desperate quality to their embrace, the heightened emotions of the moment overtaking them both.

"You're crazy," Stiles says between heated kisses. "You're so crazy. And I love you so fucking much."

*

"Sometimes I swear I don't - oh fuck, right there - I don't know why I love you."

Derek chuckles. He grazes his teeth along Stiles' neck, making the younger man shiver. "I ask myself that question every day."

"Don't leave a mark," Stiles warns.

Derek reluctantly pulls his face from Stiles' neck, frowning at him. Stiles leans up and kisses him, tongues swirling together with ease. Derek keeps a steady rhythm, their slick bodies moving easily together. Stiles gets a handful of that perfect ass, gripping tightly.

Derek breaks their kiss, foreheads pressed together. He increases his tempo slightly, and Stiles' breath hitches. Their cocks slide deliciously together, and before he can stop it a rather loud moan escapes Stiles' lips.

"Shhh," Derek hisses. "Do you want to wake your dad?"

"Okay, first of all, do not talk about my dad while we're having sex. And second of all, you were the one who snuck in here despite the fact that we were supposed to be spending the night apart."

"Like I could resist the chance to sneak through your bedroom window one last time."

Stiles would've rolled his eyes, but since his eyes were closed and the room was dark it would've been pointless so he restrained himself.

He should've known. Nothing about their relationship had been normal, and he can't believe he ever thought they could’ve fulfilled the whole 'not seeing each other before the wedding' tradition. Stiles had come to stay in his childhood bedroom, leaving Derek alone in their house, and Stiles had been sleeping lightly before being awoken by warm hands roaming his body. It was still a few hours until dawn, and there was no way he was going to kick out his fiancé; he barely managed to get out a resigned sigh before he started pulling at Derek's clothes.

It doesn't take long, Stiles' body flushing with warmth as he arches up, gripping Derek tightly and gasping for breath as he comes. Derek keeps moving, their bodies even slicker now, and his fingers thread through Stiles' hair.

"I love you," Stiles murmurs into his ear. His hand trails over Derek's side to slide between their bodies, fingertips brushing over his left nipple. "I can't wait to be married to you. I -"

Stiles would've kept talking, but his mouth suddenly becomes otherwise occupied, Derek kissing the words away as he spills between them. He instantly becomes boneless and pliant, whole body pressing Stiles deeper into the mattress. Stiles doesn't care. He just holds on, his right hand ghosting over the damp plane of Derek's back.

The older man eventually shifts aside, and they arrange themselves in the narrow bed. Derek lies on his back, Stiles curled up to his side, chin resting on the back of his hand, fingertips idling on his chest.

"Are you nervous?" Derek asks, keeping his voice low. He traces the side of Stiles' face with light fingertips.

Stiles laughs. "Of course I am. It's not every day I get married. But that doesn't mean I'm not certain. Because I am."

Derek smiles softly. "Me too."

Stiles rests his head on Derek's chest, listens to his heart beat steadily. They lie together in silence as the minutes tick by, Derek's fingertips moving back and forth across Stiles' back in a soothing rhythm.

It wasn’t the first time the thought had come to him, but he really couldn’t believe that this was happening. That out of everyone he'd ever met, it was this arrogant, amazing, devastating, scarred, protective, idiotic man that he'd found, who'd found him, who'd become the center of his world for now and ever more. It makes no sense, but then, Stiles supposes, love never really does.

"I guess I should go," Derek says at last, and Stiles nods before easing off him. Derek climbs out of the bed and dresses quickly, Stiles watching on unashamedly. When he's done he leans down and quickly kisses Stiles goodbye.

He's at the window before he turns back and says, "See you later?"

And Derek, the idiot, actually poses it as a question. Like there is doubt, like there's any other alternative than Stiles showing up tomorrow (okay, later today) to say I Do.

But Stiles can't not indulge him, grinning as he says, "Yes. Yes, you will."





You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. ― Henry Drummond
Tags: derek/stiles, other fandom fics, teen wolf
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