There was something dangerous about Stiles.
Derek first realized this one summer evening when he rounded the corner just in time to see Stiles swing a crowbar at a witch’s head, cleaving her jaw right off her face. The witch’s body slumped forward and collapsed on the ground, dead in an instant with black blood oozing from the gaping hole in her face.
Derek and the rest of the Pack had been in a tussle with the rest of the coven, only belatedly realizing that two of them dragged off Lydia and Stiles. Derek could just hear Jackson at the other bend, killing off the one that got Lydia.
Stiles was sweaty and panting hard, his shirt torn open at the sleeves and torso, and with scratches on his neck and his cheek.
“You’re a bit late to the party,” Stiles said, grinning at Derek as he wiped the black blood on the witch’s robes. “Did you get Lydia?”
It’s half-past two in the morning and only Derek, Stiles, and Danny were left awake at Derek’s loft. The rest were scattered around the den surrounded by books and news clippings and junk food, with the TV still on blaring the news about the recent round of unusual kidnappings. So far there have been six victims, all children, and clues were pointing to something supernatural. Most of the children were found in the woods with a litany of bruises, but the last one was a three-year-old girl and found with cuts in her arms. Everyone was on edge and had been spending the past three days trying to find something, anything.
Danny was on his third cup of coffee, slightly bloodshot eyes still trained on the computer as he typed away. Derek was on his second. Derek noticed Danny shaking his head, trying to stay awake. They might be werewolves but even fatigue can hit them hard.
“Danny, get some sleep,” Derek urged gently, pulling away Danny’s chair from the laptop.
Danny looked about to protest, but he was too tired. He nodded. He patted his Alpha on the arm and Derek watched him scurry off and dive straight on top of Allison and Erica on the couch, promptly falling asleep. The other two didn’t so much as stir.
“Stiles, you too,” Derek said.
Stiles looked up from poring over a book, one hand making haphazard notes on yellow paper. He hadn’t taken a sip of coffee all day but he didn’t look the least bit tired, brown eyes still alert and wide awake.
“I’m good, Derek. You should go take a nap,” Stiles said, smiling. “I’m just finishing up.”
“I’ll wait up with you.” Derek shook his head and sat by the table near Stiles, close enough for their knees to touch. He could hear Stiles breath stutter at the contact but Stiles merely smiled.
Stiles jerked a little in surprise as his phone vibrated. He checked the caller ID and turned to Derek.
“Just a contact of mine,” Stiles said. He answered it on the third ring.
Derek crossed his arms on top of the table and placed his head on top.
“Deck, you got anything?” Stiles asked.
Derek didn’t even trying tuning in to the conversation. After seeing the Imperturbable Charm on Harry Potter, Stiles found a way to place a similar sort of Charm on his cellphone to silence the sounds coming from the other side. He had even placed the Charm on his own room.
Derek could feel his eyes growing heavier but he tried to fight it off. The next thing he knew, there was a hand carding fingers gently through his hair. It made sleep come much quicker.
“Thanks. Think you can patch the phone line to Smoke?” Stiles asked. “I’m a bit disinclined to move at the moment. And yes, I know what that word means, Deckhand.”
Derek fell asleep, Stiles fingers in his hairs.
They finally tracked down the troublemakers, a mischievous group of goblins looking to play with pretty children. The Pack held no hesitation in killing them all off.
“Tell the others I’m fine,” Stiles was saying to his phone. “And message Smoke for me. Tell her thanks for the info.”
The past year, Stiles became more and more adept at dredging up connections and sources and people to help them deal with the supernatural trouble that constantly plagued Beacon Hills. Derek had long since stopped trying to understand who they were and where and how Stiles found them. It made him on edge that Stiles never told the Pack anything about them, but Stiles argued vehemently that he wasn’t about to break the trust of these innocent people who were risking a lot to provide them information. That was the whole purpose of the Silencing Charm on his phone.
(As for the same Charm on Stiles’ bedroom, they didn’t really have to guess the reason for that, and Derek decidedly did not take the bait whenever Erica or Lydia or Isaac would make none-too-subtle remarks about Derek joining the solo party on the other side.
Stiles even offered the Pack the Charm but pretty much everyone declined not only because it would give Derek a heart attack at hearing utter silence from his Pack, but it was also because there wasn’t anything anyone with werewolf hearing hadn’t heard before.)
But while Derek had moved on past Stiles’ dangerous connections, not entirely caring so long as Stiles didn’t get into trouble with any of them, Lydia had not.
“Who were you talking to?” Lydia asked, as soon as Stiles cut the call.
Stiles shrugged. “Friends.”
Lydia raised an eyebrow. “Friends?”
“Yeah,” Stiles said, pocketing his phone. “And they say thank you for ridding the world of those goblins.” He walked over to the refrigerator, looking around. Derek, who was leaning against the counter, kept quiet.
“They should say their thanks in person,” Lydia said, pursing her lips. “This has been the nth time your so called ‘friends’ have helped us. We should get together one of these days.”
If Derek wasn’t already watching Stiles, he wouldn’t have seen the way Stiles’ fingers clutched the glass of orange juice tighter, but the spike in the male’s heartbeat was a clue enough to know that Stiles was uneasy. When he turned to Lydia however, he was all smiles.
“I’m pretty sure if two groups of total awesomeness meet, the world’s going to explode, or like a thousand puppies get kicked,” Stiles said. “I’m fine playing middleman. Don’t worry, Lyds. I’ll tell them you’re so concerned.”
Stiles walked out of the kitchen, but not before sending Derek a look.
Derek simply placed a hand on Lydia’s shoulder. “Let it go, Lydia. Stiles knows what he’s doing.” He paused. “Most of the time, I guess.”
“I heard that!”
Derek watched as Chris loomed over Stiles. While their Pack had forged civil ties and a better alliance with the Argents, Derek still felt the need to be cautious and careful. Even Allison knew that but she didn’t take it against him. She trusted Derek and vice versa, but she also understood how different it was when you were the Alpha.
Chris nodded as Stiles raised the rifle to his shoulder and then started firing, expertly picking out targets, adjusting his aim, and firing again. He was done in under a minute and when Chris checked the targets, Stiles had hit a bulls-eye on nearly all of them.
“Yeah! I am the man!” Stiles cheered. Allison clapped her hands, giggling.
Chris nodded, pleased. He then presented Stiles a handgun. Stiles made a face at it.
Allison sighed. “You’re going to have to learn to use a handgun some time, Stiles.”
Chris nodded. “Especially since you, out of everyone in your Pack, always get caught right in the middle of things.”
“I have a crowbar in my jeep, and a baseball bat,” Stiles said, unloading the rifle and putting the safety on. He placed it on the table carefully.
Derek remembered that summer night when Stiles attacked that witch. Even he had to admit that Stiles could certainly defend himself.
“But in case of more baddies, I’m sure Derek will always have my back.” Stiles winked at him cheekily. Allison giggled and Chris simply gave him a curious look before the two of them went to change the targets.
Derek scoffed but said nothing. Maybe Stiles didn’t need Derek’s protection as much anymore, but Stiles trusted him to keep him safe and Derek certainly was not about to stop trying.
It’s four-thirty in the afternoon and Derek’s the only one in the house. Erica and Boyd were out on a double-date with Lydia and Jackson. Isaac was hanging out with Danny and Scott. Allison was with her father.
And Stiles was watching Derek, who was half-naked, barefooted and only in sweatpants, as he worked out in the basement.
“How’s the arm?” Derek asked as he finished his hundredth curl-up. Stiles had been watching since the first.
“Itches like a bitch,” Stiles said, eyeing his bandaged forearm. They had a minor encounter with a centaur two days ago.
“I don’t even want to think about how you’re the only one in the pack injured when you’re standing farthest away,” Derek said, starting on his weights. Derek couldn’t even bear to think about the way his heart almost stopped when that damn centaur kicked the scooter and Stiles ended up bouncing off the concrete when it hit him.
“It’s a gift,” Stiles said, shrugging. “And something I’d like to call supernatural magnetism.”
Derek worked out in silence for a bit after that, sweat trailing across his face and torso and back. He could feel Stiles’ heavy gaze on him.
“We should have sex.”
In all honesty, Stiles’ words didn’t surprise him. Derek could smell the thick and heady scent of lust coming from the other male since he first stepped in the room an hour ago. That, along with the soft cinnamon undertone of fondness Stiles always seemed to smell like whenever he was around Derek.
Stiles went on. “Not like right away, or something. Maybe we should suck face first or like go on a date, but I meant to say that first because I know you’d get all broody and overthink it, so this is me getting on with it. So again, we should go out and then suck face, which will inevitability lead to sexual intercourse, the latter of which I give my full consent. And boy, do I consent.”
Stiles said all that flippantly, the way he did most things, but Derek could hear the staccato of his nervous heartbeat and smell the stale scent of uncertainty.
Derek put down the weights. He turned to Stiles, noting the way Stiles licked his lips as he stared down at Derek’s body.
Derek shrugged. “We could skip the going out, and move on to the sucking face.”
Stiles glanced up sharply at him and then away, red blooming across his cheeks. He looked back, looking Derek in the eye. Slowly, the scent of uncertainty faded and something else set in, a lust so strong that it filled up Derek’s nose, but it was tinged with just that hint of lilies, the smell of a very happy Stiles.
“Sex won’t be happening. I don’t want your Dad shooting me when he finds out, because we both know your big mouth will slip up. It’ll be even worse because he knows I’ll heal from it,” Derek said. “So no sex. Not yet, at least.”
Stiles smirked, standing and sidling up to Derek. He kept his distance but tipped his head slightly and nosed a trail across the jut of Derek’s jaw, inhaling his scent. Derek didn’t bother hiding his shudder.
“Not yet eh?” Stiles whispered, voice low and throaty and excited. Derek shuddered again. “Dammit, Derek. I will wreck you.”
Derek remembered that summer night, with the witch’s jaw and the crowbar and the cut and blood across Stiles’ cheek. Before that night, Derek would have laughed at Stiles’ words.
Now, as Stiles licked along his sweaty chin, Derek knew better.
There was something dangerous about Stiles.
Derek had always known there was, or rather his wolf had always known instinctively. That was probably part of the reason why Derek’s first encounters with the (then) boy involved a lot of pushing, shoving, threats, and bruises on Stiles’ person. Well, that and his big mouth.
The thing about Stiles was that whatever it was, it was something buried deep, a spark that was smothered underneath the many layers that made up Stiles. Nobody seemed to have noticed though, except for Derek, but probably because Stiles let him see it. Derek was the only one Stiles looked to as his eyes glimmered at the thought of rightful vengeance or when Stiles let bloodlust tinge his smile at the thought of delivering death to a bad guy’s doorstep.
Derek knew Stiles didn’t really enjoy it, not with the way his mouth tightened or his fingers shook or the way he closed his eyes just that one second longer. Not with the way he always seemed to touch Derek for a few seconds longer than anybody else after a long night. But Stiles knew it needed to be done and he still did it, no matter what.
Derek had seen all of that and he never looked away, not at Stiles’ strongest or weakest. Stiles had always done Derek the same courtesy.
“Will you be ok?” Scott asked, eyeing Stiles in concern.
“Do you need one of us to stay with you, Batman?” Erica asked.
Stiles grinned. “Nah. Don’t worry about the squishy human, guys. He’ll be fine.” Scott still looked unsure but he and Stiles gave each other a firm hug and Stiles kissed Erica on the cheek comfortingly.
The two wolves ran for the forest. Derek stayed back. He looked at Stiles. His face was illuminated by the moonlight, all dark eyes filled with excitement. But Derek saw that split-second spark of fear.
“Don’t get in our way,” Derek said, and that really wasn’t what he meant. But he knew Stiles knew that.
“Wouldn’t think of it, sourwolf,” Stiles said, winking.
Derek let himself brush Stiles’ shoulder gently before they set off running into the forest.
Derek and Isaac were running in wolf form, trying not to run too fast as Stiles ran between him.
“Deck!” Stiles was hissing at his phone. “Centaur! Again! Only this time he’s got friends and some voodoo fire magic! We’ve got burning arrows on our tails! And the wolves can’t claw them or touch them or they get burned!”
Derek’s nose twitched and he howled. Stiles skidded to a stop and ducked down, curling into a ball with his arms over his head. Isaac and Derek piled on top of him as a burning axe flew over their heads. Isaac whined at the smell of Derek’s singed skin. Derek looked up, seeing two centaurs trotting their way and wielding axes.
Stiles was back on his phone. “Deckhand! Now, they’ve got burning axes! A little help here! PLEASE!”
Derek snarled and he and Isaac launched themselves into the air to face the centaurs head on using tree trunks and large stones while keeping their hands and claws to themselves in case they burned. Derek jumped back as one of the centaurs flung a burning axe his way and was relieved when it came nowhere near where Stiles was hiding behind a tree still on his phone. Isaac let out a howl as he clawed one of them in the rear and his fingers came out a bit singed. The centaur doubled back, kicking Isaac away.
“I got it! Get the Fire Stones on their collars!” Stiles suddenly shouted.
Isaac and Derek pounced. Derek managed to attack his but Isaac jumped back as the centaur let loose a bevy of flaming arrows.
“Stiles!” Isaac called out.
Derek turned, eyes widening. Stiles was down on the ground, rolling away from the burning tree. Derek’s eyes reddened at the smell of something burnt. With a deafening roar, he clawed the centaur across the torso while Isaac got rid of the other one in fury. They were beside Stiles in a moment and Stiles was sitting up and gasping.
Isaac was whining in relief. Derek was shaking.
“I’m fine, Derek. I’m fine. Don’t worry. Look. Just my phone and the sweater. Not me, see?” Stiles repeated all that again and again as Derek patted him down. “I’m fine. Nothing burnt, just clothing and a piece of technology I really kind of need. But Stiles the man is fine.”
Derek let out a whine, arms coming around Stiles. He felt Isaac lean forward and nuzzle Stiles cheek. Derek’s vision was still bleeding red, his breathing ragged, and heart almost pounding out of his ribs. There was soot and dirt all over Stiles, and his sweater was burnt and so was his phone, and all that’s going on in Derek’s head is the smell of fear and burning, burning, burning flames.
Stiles wrapped his arms around him, guiding Derek’s face to his own neck and letting Derek breathe him in and listen to Stiles’ breathing and still-beating pulse. Stiles kissed his temple again and again, whispering.
“I’m here, Derek. I’m fine. I won’t leave you.”
Derek was a realist though and it was probably from the many disappointments and dangers he’d faced that he learned not to think too far ahead and live in the now. Every other week, there was always some entity or another making their lives difficult anyway.
Part of Derek was afraid that the world would once again betray him, use him, hurt him, and then leave him broken and alone, because the last time he was this happy, he fucked it all to hell and ended up burned from the inside out. But now it was different. Derek had a Pack now, a family, a lot of loving hands to make sure he never had to do things and face problems alone. These are people who cared about him, who would fight with him and for him.
Derek learned to trust again, with his life even. Only time would tell if he would learn to love again. But the thing was, it wasn’t hard. Stiles made it easy.
Derek absolutely did not let out a manly yelp when Stiles hooked his ankles around Derek’s calves and flipped their positions. Derek’s heart thudded loud and excited in his ears as he looked up at Stiles.
“I like the view better from up here,” Stiles said, conversational and pleased. Stiles rolled down his hips and Derek let out an obscene moan, hips stuttering.
“Fuck,” Derek whispered as he looked up at Stiles, perfect and impossible and teasing and human and everything Derek ever wanted. “Fuck, yes.”
Stiles had cheated death a time or two or ten, but Derek wondered if it will ever end.
Derek, Jackson, Stiles, and Boyd were trapped inside metal cages, two to a cage, and hanging over a vat of something boiling that smelled awful. Stiles told them what the ooze was, but Derek was too worried trying to think of an escape plan to listen. The metal bars were lined with wolfsbane and even if they did try and get out, there were a few witches standing guard around them.
Maybe this was the end, not the centaur attack last time, or the mermaid before that, or the vampires. Maybe this was it. Derek looked across the other cage to Stiles.
“Derek, I know what you’re thinking,” Stiles called out cheerfully, his bright grin obvious even from the distance. “Stop thinking of the ways I’m going to die.”
“Telling him is not going to stop him from doing that,” Jackson muttered, leaning back on his hands. Derek ignored him.
Stiles then turned to the witch floating around just above them. Before Derek could stop him, Stiles cupped his hands around his mouth.
“Hey you! Come here, fug-face. I got a question!”
Derek growled. What the hell.
The witch floated down, just out of their reach. Her angular face sneered at him. “What do you want, mortal?”
“Mortal? Wow, that’s original,” Stiles deadpanned. “I gotta pee. Get me out of here.”
The witch scoffed, floating on small circles. “It’s useless making excuses, human. We’re not getting you out.”
Stiles laughed. “We can just get ourselves out.”
The next thing Derek knew, Stiles kicked out and the bars of the metal gave way. Boyd wolfed out and leaped through the air in seconds, landing on the witch. Stiles jumped out, managing to avoid the vat of whatever the hell it was. The other witches were on him in an instant.
“Stiles!” Derek roared, wolfed out, and gripped the bars, not caring about the way the wolfsbane burned his skin.
Stiles was under a pile of them in seconds but in the next moment they were all shrieking and flying back. Stiles darted off, kicking against the pole that was pinning the metal chain to the ground and sending both cages crashing down.
“Stilinski!” Jackson growled, rubbing his head.
“Sorry dudes!” Stiles shouted as he skidded towards them, ducking under a witch that flew over his head. Boyd pounced and clawed at it. Stiles was at the cage in seconds. “Now we can–”
Derek roared. “Stiles! Behind you!”
Stiles looked back and yelped as one of the witches grabbed him by the back of his shirt.
“Let him go!” Derek roared, swiping out and trying to grab Stiles back.
The witch cackled, moving to grab Stiles by the neck. “You think you’re so smart, human. You–” She suddenly let out a blood-curling screech, dropping Stiles. She gripped her hand which was red and smoking.
“Burn, baby, burn,” Stiles grinned.
Derek watched as Stiles tossed himself right on top of the witch and pressed his hands against her face. It screeched louder and reared up, clawing at Stiles’ arms and shoulders, but Stiles held on. Boyd appeared and as soon as Stiles jumped back, Boyd swiped at her throat.
Stiles and Boyd were panting, but all the witches were killed.
Boyd eyed the mess. “Well, this has been… fun.”
Stiles chuckled breathlessly.
“What did you do, Stilinski?” Jackson asked, just barely hiding the awe from his voice.
“Fire Stones,” Stiles said, lifting his shirt to reveal his belt upon which were tied six brown stones. “I swiped them from the centaurs last month. A contact of mine had been studying it so I could use it even if I’m human. She obviously succeeded.” He reached out, wrapping his hand against the padlock on the cage. It took a few minutes before his hot skin burned through it and Jackson could kick the cage open.
“I took them when no one was looking, just in case we ever need it. Kinda like now. So, go me!” Stiles cheered. He removed the stones and reached out for Derek. Derek took his hand without hesitation. Stiles grinned.
He looked wild and dirty and bloody and Derek had never been more in love in his entire life.
They’ve been together for five months and Stiles was draped across Derek as they lied down on the couch watching TV.
“You know, Scott told me not to,” Stiles said out of the blue.
“Not to what?” Derek asked, palms stroking Stiles’ back under his shirt.
“Get involved with you.” Stiles shrugged. “He takes his best friend duty seriously. He even wrote me a list.”
“Erica told me the same thing,” Derek said, not surprised. “She was nervous this was going to end up in heartbreak and I’m pretty sure she meant that literally.”
Stiles chuckled, the vibration of it running through Derek’s chest. Derek leaned down, nosing across Stiles’ temple.
“Your betas are a couple of sneaks, and also not very supportive,” Stiles said. He looked up at Derek, face falling serious. “I won’t leave you. Not ever. I’d die first.” He paused. “Well, we don’t want that. But all I’m saying is I’m here. For good. And I tore up that list. Without even looking at it, might I add. So, you’re welcome.”
There were no lies in his words, no stutter in his heartbeat, and there was nothing in the air but the scent of cinnamon and lilies that Derek knew meant Stiles was happy, and safe, and here in Derek’s arms where Stiles wanted to be.
Derek hummed. He cupped Stiles’ ass and lifted him up, rocking the younger man’s body against his. Stiles sighed in pleasure and leaned up to kiss him, softer and slower and sweeter than he’d ever kissed him before.
The cut on Stiles’ leg was bleeding sluggishly and Derek tore off a strip of his shirt to wrap it around the wound. Stiles hissed but let Derek do it. When Derek stood up, Stiles twined their fingers together. Derek looked at him.
“I love you.”
Stiles whipped towards him, surprised. But then he laughed, squeezing Derek’s hand. “Yup. This would definitely be the perfect time and place for this.” He grinned. “And I love you too. Of course I do. There was never any doubt.”
They looked around at their group, werewolves and hunters working together and even the Sheriff who had come to back up his son and the Pack. Stiles hefted his rifle over his shoulder with a wink towards the amused Chris.
Derek reared back and let out a howl in victory. His Betas immediately answered their Alpha’s call. Chris raised a fist in the air in solidarity, followed by his hunters, as did Allison and Scott, the latter two adding in their own triumphant howls.
The Sheriff chuckled, wiping away the blood on his cheek. “I love both of you boys, but I’ll pass on the victory howl.”
Stiles grinned. “I have enough for us both, Dad.” Without hesitation, he fired a shot into the air with his rifle and reared back to let out a howl of his own.
Derek looked at Stiles, bloody and bruised and dangerous and beautiful. Right beside him, Derek was exactly where he wanted to be.