Scott smelled like desperation and sweat. His fingers curled around the edges of Derek’s doorframe, a bit of claw threatening. “Have you seen Stiles?” His throat worked hard over his friend’s name.
Derek raised his eyebrows, condescending. “Why would you think I’ve seen him?”
Scott let out a harsh breath through his nose, shook his head. “Just—nevermind. If you do see him—” His teeth clacked as he cut himself off and pushed away from the frame. He gave Derek a sharp look, nerves vibrating off him and took off at a brisk pace down the hall.
After two full minutes had passed, Derek heard a shuffling behind him. Stiles crept around from one of the back rooms with a wince of a smile. Derek turned on him instantly, making sure he had Stiles in his eye line now that they were sharing the same space. This wasn’t that dark, pale thing with an emotionless face though. This was a nervous teenager, ruffling up the back of his hair and looking as lost as Derek felt.
Stiles made a low noise in the back of his throat and said, impressed, “Dude, not even a lie.” His lips twitched up half-heartedly. “Well done.”
Derek stared at him, assessing. “Why are you hiding from Scott?”
Stiles shook his head, fanning out his fingers on both hands. “I’m not. I’m not hiding,” his hands went up to run through his hair, one at a time, “I just—bad news,” he muttered. He chewed his lower lip and Derek thought he was done but, then, almost like an afterthought, “Bad news means decisions.”
“What are you talking about?”
Stiles wasn’t looking at him anymore. He was staring down at his sneakers, out of style and fraying in places, falling apart in slow motion. He watched the hill of his toes push up the canvas. “I love Scott to death,” he said, the words garbled, as though he was chewing the inside of his cheek as he said them, “but. Him as my actual Alpha? That’s a whole new enchilada.” He rubbed at his forehead, eyes tracking thin air. His voice lowered even further and he said quiet, fast-paced, “Scott is Mexican though.”
“Stiles.” Derek pushed, trying to get his attention focused on something they could both see. He couldn’t trust Stiles to get lost inside his own head any longer. Not when Derek didn’t know if he could ever be found again. He stepped closer to Stiles, away from the door and down into the well of the living room. There was still a good ten feet between them. “Scott wouldn’t bite you,” he said, certain.
Stiles snorted, staring wryly down at his shoes.
Shock made Derek freeze. Scott had never given any indication that he’d wanted to turn Stiles, as Alpha or Omega. Derek would have said there was nothing in the world that could have made him take that risk. That Stiles was considering it, Derek hadn’t seen that coming either. He’d thought Stiles had learned that his humanity was something to pride himself on, not shy away from. Shock quickly bled into anger, the way things usually did with him. Though he was still hoping to get past that. “Why the hell is he considering—”
Stiles looked up at him, defiant. He was fierce now – fierce without anything but mortal rage to back him up – at the thought of someone disparaging the kid who’d, somewhere along the way, become family. “Because he doesn’t want me to die.”
Derek perked a dark brow. “And that’s on the table otherwise?”
Stiles’ glare weakened and he drew in a sharp breath, gaze dropping from Derek’s entirely. He stared at the sheen of Derek’s coffee table and exhaled shakily.
It was so silent between them that Derek could hear the unnatural slowness to Stiles’ heartbeat, and he had no doubt that Stiles was purposefully focusing on keeping it even and easy so as not to give anything away.
Derek was used to being the outsider here, used to not having information volunteered to him, but he and Stiles were the farthest along in changing that. This felt like talking to Scott circa one week after Laura’s death, where it was nothing but distrust and violence and blame and subterfuge at every turn. He crossed his arms, trying not to give away the sting Stiles’ sudden guardedness inflicted. He’d always let Stiles have a bit too much impact on him. “That’s not an answer,” he said tightly.
“It’s really not,” Stiles agreed. They were at an impasse, it seemed.
Derek’s chest was tight, and hurt and anger were vying to pour out of his mouth first. One look at Stiles – standing there with false bravado and nowhere else to go, and Derek knew he wouldn’t be the one who decided when he left.
Scott was sitting in the hospital’s waiting room, staring down at his hands where they were clenched in the knees of his jeans with wide, owlish eyes. It was clear he hadn’t yet found Stiles, who had disappeared from Derek’s loft with as much warning as he’d shown up with.
Derek stepped up to stand in front of Scott, just out of range of his sight. It was automatic, still trying to train him, to teach him to be aware of his surroundings, to work out the wolf as much as the human. To offer Scott his ‘trade secrets,’ as Derek had coined them. He was clearly too deep inside his own, Derek’s nostrils flared, panic and… sorrow? Derek narrowed his eyes. “You can’t bite him,” he said, decisive, unequivocal.
Scott looked up, expression pinched.
It was a gift. It was sharing information, unprompted. Maybe it would turn out to be an example Scott might follow. Scott knew now that Derek had seen Stiles. Not just the thing that sometimes wore his face, but Stiles. That Stiles had told him about what Scott was planning. Derek sneered. “You think it would be some sort of bonding experience,” because that was the best Derek could come up with for why either of these idiots would consider this, “but he could die.”
Scott swallowed, hard. “He’s dying without it.” His voice was croaky, harsh and scraping out a raw throat. He’d been crying and now Derek knew the reason for the shrewdness of his eyes. “Right now, he’s dying,” Scott said and scrubbed at his face, leaning forward and unloading. Because Scott talked to Stiles and Stiles was… Stiles was gone even standing right in front of them. “Not just dying, he’s losing—I knew his mom, you know.” The random connectedness of his thoughts, the thin strings that linked one to another, was so reminiscent of Stiles that they both winced. “It was almost a year before… she wasn’t really herself that whole time. She’d get this far-off look in her eyes and you’d just know she wasn’t really there anymore. She wasn’t seeing what everyone else was seeing. She was somewhere else. I want him to—He’s Stiles. There really is only one of him,” Scott said helplessly, staring up at Derek, gaze narrow and pinched and lost. The next question wasn’t rhetorical, though it sounded it, and Derek didn’t have an answer. He wasn’t sure there was one. “How can I just watch while that disappears?”
Derek’s mouth worked like it was trying to grind the words into dust. He remembered Stiles’ evasion to his question, only giving him, Derek murmured it aloud: “Bad news.”
Scott just nodded, staring down at the unnatural shine of the hospital floor.
Going looking for Stiles went against everything Derek had promised himself when he returned to Beacon Hills. But Stiles’ mind was shorting out like some kind of shitty electrical fuse, apparently irreversibly. He deserved better than that and he deserved to know that everyone else – that Derek – knew he deserved better than that.
He squinted up at Stiles’ window. His was the only heartbeat coming from the house, too fast the way it always was and with a spike that joined in at random intervals. Crying did that. Panic did that. Anger did that. Stiles could be doing or feeling any of those things.
Derek wouldn’t judge him for any of it.
He scaled the tree next to Stiles’ room. Every grip was a familiar one and Derek really hadn’t done this often enough to justify that. He might have thought about it enough to. Thought about it so clearly that he’d almost been able to feel the bark under his hands, that he knew exactly where to swing his leg over. Not that he was going to admit any of that.
He slid open Stiles’ window. He was in the room, music on but soft, haunting and quiet, while he set already folded shirts and pants into his dresser drawers. His mind clearly wasn’t on the task, which was being accomplished slowly and maybe even incorrectly as Derek saw him place socks in with his boxers.
Derek slipped in, standing just inside, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible while invading someone else’s territory. He watched the muscles in Stiles’ neck and shoulders bunch.
“You’re dying.” It almost sounded like an accusation, which wasn’t how Derek had meant it to come out. But he was angry about it, because angry was the easiest thing to be.
Stiles waved a hand, affected a snort of laughter that was wanting for any sort of amusement. “We’re all dying, Derek,” he said blithely. He laughed, this one catching in his lungs, stealing his air for half a second. “And I’m also apparently possessed by a demon so, in the bad luck lottery, I am winning big.” He looked back over his shoulder and Derek could see his face now, drawn and hopeless. He winked but without any of his usual zest. “I think I got your ticket by mistake.”
Derek sat down on the edge of his bed, purposefully clenching his hands around the edge of Stiles’ mattress. Otherwise he might start wringing them. He hadn’t done that since he was sitting in the back of an ambulance, blanket over his shoulders, being told only his uncle Peter had survived. This was Stiles’ diagnosis and Derek wasn’t going to make it about him, even though questions were starting to crop up about what he could do, how he could avoid what was coming. He fixed Stiles with a hard stare. “What is it?”
Facts were what he needed now. He didn’t need to attach emotion to any of them.
Stiles leaned back against his dresser, the drawer squeaking as it inched closed under his weight. He pursed his lips and let out a heavy breath. “Only because you don’t possess sad, puppy eyes to stare at me balefully with, am I telling you this.” He glared a little, as though impressing the point that Derek wasn’t to look at him with pity or compassion. “My brain is deteriorating,” he said bluntly. “They call it ‘atrophying.’ I guess it sounds better than ‘turning into gray mush incapable of remembering so much as a nursery rhyme.’”
He paused, eyes slipping into something unfocused and slightly glazed. “Or a riddle,” he said, removed. It didn’t last, whatever he was remembering was sinking back down again. “It’s what killed my mom; frontotemporal dementia. Hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, a whole shmorgishborg of really unpleasant shit actually. Shit that means I’m not just sharing my mind with some thing, I’m sharing it with a disease, too.” His mouth quirked up at the ends and there was real mirth there. Because that was Stiles, wearing his humor like armor. Given a death sentence and laughing about it. His eyes glittered. “Think I could start up a Vaudeville act or something? It’d be a short run but entertaining to watch, right?”
Derek couldn’t meet his eyes. Couldn’t find the hilarity in the situation and didn’t want to try. “I’m sorry,” he got out gruffly.
He could feel that struck a cord. Stiles’ eyes narrowed and his teeth squeaked together when he clenched his jaw. “God, isn’t that just the most futile thing to say.” Derek looked up to find Stiles’ nostrils were flaring. “Why is that what people say? They never seem to say, ‘I’ll undo it,’ and that’s the only thing I want to hear.” His voice went higher, strident. “I’m sixteen and my dad’s all alone in this world but for me. That’s not okay. This is so not fucking okay.” The beat of Stiles’ heart was so fast that it was giving Derek a headache and Stiles was working himself into something, some tantrum of destruction and fury. “It needs to be undone,” he insisted. “It needs to be—”
And Derek knew what it needed to be because this seemed to be the script when something unthinkable happened, because Derek had done, had said all this before. “Someone else?” he finished, so Stiles wouldn’t have to be the one to say it.
“Yes!” Stiles exploded, not even needing a second to pause before seamlessly condemning someone else to this slow and deteriorating death. Because Stiles didn’t seem to have any qualms thinking or speaking it. He was furious, spitting with rage, and willing to beat up the world with it. Derek had thought he was alone in that reaction. “Someone. Anyone. I don’t care. I’d give it to someone else if I could.”
Derek watched him, gauging, saw the heave of his chest and said quietly, “I’d take it from you.”
Stiles’ eyes cut back to him, vicious. “You’d be my first choice,” he snarled. “You have no one. Sometimes I think you kind of wanna die.”
Derek bowed his head. That was his answer then, to a question he would never ask. He had no doubts anymore that that had been the right decision.
Stiles’ mouth twisted and he said, apologetic but still ratcheted up with anger so it felt insincere, “I shouldn’t have said that.” Derek knew it was genuine, could hear it in the steadiness of his heartbeat, but it still sounded grudging and conciliatory.
He shrugged, weak and playing poorly at unaffected. “But you think it.”
Stiles drew in a deep breath and admitted, “I still do.” His exhalation was noisy. “I’m sorry.”
Derek felt a small stab of vicious satisfaction. “Hope you felt as helpless as I did saying it,” he said. Stiles shaded his eyes with his hand, rubbing into his eyelids with callused fingers. Derek watched him for a long moment, imagined different scenarios that he colored over with his own history. There was no easy answer to this, maybe no right one. “I don’t want you to die,” he told Stiles honestly. Stiles chuckled weakly and Derek pursed his lips. He crossed the room to Stiles’ computer, unable to stand the quiet, upbeat song the music had switched to. He folded his arms over his chest after pausing it, tight and uncomfortable, and mirrored Stiles’ position, leaning back against his desk chair. “And I don’t want Scott to turn you.”
Stiles just nodded, like it was a position he was more than familiar with. His eyes started to wander, flying over something Derek couldn’t see, trying to come up with a solution to the most complex equation he’d ever been presented with and Derek had to get his mind off it. Because he wasn’t going to solve it and that was going to break him, maybe a little, maybe a lot.
So, Derek said, “I’ve been avoiding you.”
Stiles snorted. “Because we run into each other so much,” he said, exaggerating the syllables sarcastically.
They would have. Derek knew that, because he’d had to sidestep Stiles so many times it felt like some sort of bad cosmic joke. “I made sure we wouldn’t,” he told him. “I never realized how much our lives intersect, until I started excising you from mine.”
Stiles huffed, not quite a laugh and far from a sigh. His eyes cut to the side, watching Derek out of his periphery. “Hate me that much?” he asked, eyebrows waggling.
Derek clenched his jaw. “I’m that in love with you,” he spat back.
Stiles’ heartbeat stuttered, stopped, kick-started again. Derek eyed him carefully, wary that he might have lost him to the shadow inside, but then Stiles was blinking wide, owlish eyes – in constant motion rather than calm and still like the nogitsune. His fingers tapped against his own elbows and he turned, stared at Derek with an incisive, questioning gaze, almost like he was trying to gauge if he could trust the words.
He took a step closer and Derek tensed. “Making up for saying I had no one?” he asked and, fuck, his voice sounded like it’d been dragged over gravel for miles on end. Stiles didn’t let that deter him. He stood, unselfconscious, in front of Derek and gripped one of Derek’s forearms, sliding over it rather than plopping down on top of it. It made a shiver snake up Derek’s spine. Derek swallowed, perked an eyebrow, tried not to sound like he might shake apart. “For saying you’d put a death sentence off on me first?”
Stiles snorted and shook his head. “You’re in love with a teenager, dude,” he said bluntly and the first feelings of unease prickled over Derek’s scalp. Stiles’ eyes were clear, unrepentant, wanting. “This is all selfish, all the time. I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want to die a virgin, I want to know what it feels like to be loved. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with how you feel about me.” His heartbeat was, cruelly, the steadiest Derek had ever heard it. Stiles’ eyes flashed from the light of his computer screen as he glanced away, towards the door of his bedroom. “Leave if you want to leave,” he licked his lower lip, “because otherwise I’m going to ask you to fuck me.”
Derek wished he could have even considered it, could have even let his eyes stray off towards an exit, done anything other than bite Stiles’ lip and push inside when he gasped. He snatched up the back of Stiles’ t-shirt in his hands, bunched it up in the small of his back and dragged him closer. He’d give Stiles everything he wanted, make sure he wasn’t alone, fuck him into his mattress, love him until his heart turned black, and maybe then Stiles would give him what he wanted, too. It was a waiting game.
Or so Derek told himself – had to tell himself.
Stiles arched into him, made a shocked noise in the back of his throat that vibrated between their mouths, made Derek’s lips tingle. His hands hovered over Derek’s shoulders and neck, barely any pressure behind them.
Derek untangled his fingers from Stiles’ shirt, gripped his hand over Stiles’ and dug into his own shoulder with both. He pulled back enough to say, breathless, “Touch me however you want.” He hoped Stiles would take that as a wish fulfillment – his own, not Derek’s.
He could see Stiles’ boldness growing at the permission and before Derek could get caught up in grinding against Stiles’ desk until he came in his pants, he walked them back towards Stiles’ bed and shoved him down on the mattress. Stiles went willingly, his eyes wide and vulnerable and fixed on Derek’s every movement.
Derek shrugged out of the cliché he’d never fit – the bad boy in the leather jacket. If anyone was breaking anyone’s heart, it would be Stiles making mincemeat of his. His was the only one on offer here. He reached halfway down his back, pulled off his t-shirt. His hands dropped to the catch of his jeans when Stiles reached out and covered them.
His mouth tilted to the side in a half-smile. “Allow me a moment to marvel,” he said, pulling Derek in by his belt loops and letting his fingers trail down his chest and stomach while Derek shivered. Stiles stared at Derek like he was touching a work of art – it was that level of fascination, accompanied with the thrill of doing something he knew he wasn’t supposed to.
The heel of Stiles’ palm pushed at the ball of Derek’s shoulder, not trying to shove him off but over. Derek went with it, let Stiles get on top of him, palms fitting over the jut of Derek’s hips, thumbs brushing the skin along the top of his jeans, knees framing his pelvis.
That was all it took apparently. Nevermind that Jennifer had had to work more than a little, more than a lot really, to get him hard. Stiles only had to brush against his chest and Derek was halfway there. Straddling him? Derek was the hardest he’d ever been in his life. It wasn’t just that he wanted Stiles. It was that he wanted Stiles to want him, too, and the idea that he might – it was… intoxicating.
Stiles licked his lip. “Is it okay if I just, like, touch you?”
Derek’s hips rolled at just the suggestion, pressing up against Stiles’ ass. He curled his toes, trying to pull himself back in. This was Stiles’ show and he got to decide what happened and when. “Yeah,” he breathed.
Stiles grinned, like he’d just gotten two confirmations to his question.
He leaned down and Derek was made even more aware of the shift in the balance of power between them – Stiles still fully clothed while he was half-naked. Stiles tilted his head, darted forward, and suctioned his mouth over Derek’s jaw, biting at the fine hairs before easing back into a passionate and then determined suck. Derek’s hands clenched in the sheets and he hoped he wouldn’t pop claw and ruin them but Stiles was a horrible mix of curious, inexperienced, single-minded and naturally talented.
His hips rocked over Derek’s while he shifted close to suck on skin that was rarely stimulated. He licked up the side of Derek’s face. Stiles’ heartbeat ratcheted up and he reared back. “Shit, dude.”
Derek had no idea what he was talking about until he tried to ask and his fangs got in the way. He tried to shift back but Stiles was still sitting on top of him.
Stiles smirked and ground down purposefully, sucking a hickey into Derek’s neck that would fade all too quickly. He asked into his skin, “This what I do to you?”
Derek’s hands closed around Stiles’ biceps, claws catching on his shirt before he flipped them and slammed Stiles down into the mattress. His own eyes were blue, intense, and painting Stiles in twitches of movement rather than pale skin and moles. He snarled, “Every time.”
Stiles’ heartbeat jumped with arousal and Derek wanted to shred the clothes off of him – which was all he was capable of in that moment. He pressed close, dragged his scruff up Stiles’ sternum, pushing up his shirt with it, and said with fangs hooked around the edge of Stiles’ jaw, blunt pressure against his skin, “Take it off.”
It took Stiles a minute to comply, his breathing having gone harsh at the first hint of Derek’s teeth on him, his thighs spreading almost involuntarily, chest heaving. His eyes opened slowly, blissed out already, and then he was fumbling with his shirt, pulling it off awkwardly.
Derek didn’t even have to ask before he was unbuttoning his jeans and shoving them down. Derek pushed back off the bed, shoved his shoes and socks off with the heel of his palm. His pants were another issue but Stiles was already scooting to the end of the bed, framing Derek’s thighs with his own and looking up at him as he unbuttoned Derek’s jeans with careful fingers.
He unzipped them so slowly Derek thought he might combust and then tugged them down, shimmying them off inch by inch. It was sheer, perfect torture. He swallowed when Derek’s boxers came down with them and he sprung free.
Stiles stared at his dick with an awkward mix of fear and determination and then his hand was closing around the base, he was leaning in, and pressing his tongue under the head of Derek’s cock – all in the blink of an eye. Derek roared, hunching over himself, and he grabbed Stiles’ biceps to stop him swaying in again.
Derek was leaking and he hadn’t even known he was capable of getting that wet. He pushed Stiles back by his arms and knew the claws and the fangs weren’t something he would be able to get rid of, not when he was this out of control and likely to stay that way.
It was a moment to remember how to form words and then he was snapping out, “Fuck yourself on your fingers.”
Stiles’ eyes rolled back and he shoved off his boxers, fisting the base of his cock. “Jesus, those words out of your mouth should have a Surgeon General’s warning attached to them. Could you hear how my heart just fucking jumped?”
Derek pulled Stiles’ hand away, staring down at his cock. He wanted it in his mouth and it was watering with the desire but he couldn’t pull back the fangs.
Stiles’ cheeks were a little red, embarrassed, and Derek realized what he was doing and let go. Stiles reached behind him and to the side, fumbling in the nightstand until he found a half-used bottle of lubricant. He was clearly not new to this then, the self-pleasure aspect of it at least, and he carefully probed at his own hole before slipping a finger in.
Derek watched the whole thing greedily. He’d wanted this, fantasized about Stiles thinking him worthy of it, of being this close when Stiles was this vulnerable and he was even more ashamed that he looked like a monster while it happened. He caged Stiles with his arms, resting clawed hands on either side of his shoulders, and buried his face in the hollow of Stiles’ neck.
His skin was warm and he smelled like arousal and soap and desperation. Derek’s hips twitched up against the press of Stiles’ hand inside himself, cock driving into the rhythm of Stiles’ own plunging fingers, until he was thrusting just as forcefully up against the back of Stiles’ hand as Stiles was with his fingers, following his lead.
Stiles’ free hand wrapped around the back of his head, holding his forehead to Stiles’ jaw while they rocked against and into each other and Derek wanted more than this. He wanted to be the one inside, the one making Stiles spread his legs and give off wounded little noises of pleasure and pain.
He moved down Stiles’ body slowly – dragging his lips and beard and tongue over stray parts before slipping off the bed and onto his knees. He curled his forearms around Stiles’ thighs, dragged him to the edge of the mattress and didn’t even wait for him to take his fingers out before thrusting his tongue in along with them.
“Holy fucking God,” Stiles hissed.
The fangs made it more of a production than it would have been otherwise, but Derek managed to wriggle his tongue in alongside Stiles’ fingers, plunging deeper as they both worked Stiles open, until Stiles was writhing and panting, “F-fuck me already.”
When Derek started to get to his feet, Stiles clambered back on the bed, spreading his legs and grabbing at Derek’s shoulders. Derek slid up, concentrated on nothing but the bluntness of his human teeth, and slotted their mouths together when he felt the fangs shrink. He kissed Stiles deeply enough that he could taste the darkness in him.
Stiles followed the wane and swell of it easily, matching and slipping into Derek’s flux, contributing his own complementary rhythms to it. He understood this too well, knew how to make Derek feel too full even when Derek was the one pressing inside. Stiles panted and dug his nails into Derek’s neck when he was finally all the way in. He shifted his hips, chest heaving, and closed his eyes.
“Fuck,” he said softly under his breath. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”
Derek nuzzled into the side of his jaw, smoothed a hand under his back.
Stiles’ eyes snapped open. “Don’t you dare,” he snarled, pained and eyes watering. “Don’t you fucking dare. It’s my pain – mine. You don’t get to take it away. You don’t get to steal any more pieces of me.”
Derek pressed his mouth to the corner of Stiles’, nodded against his jaw and agonized over keeping himself still.
Finally, finally Stiles shifted back, pressed his hips down rather than trying to angle them away and Derek groaned, thrusting shallowly. Stiles’ eyes widened on the third one, the brush of Derek’s stomach against the head of his cock working with that bundle of pleasure inside him. His fingers tangled painfully in Derek’s hair and then he was arching up and biting his release into Derek’s shoulder.
Derek growled at the feel of it and yanked one of Stiles’ ass cheeks up, letting it fill his palm and using it to lift Stiles’ lower half off the bed, angling it into the plunge of his hips. His claws were pricking into Stiles’ skin but he couldn’t stop himself, driving harder and chasing his orgasm more desperately. He was close, so close, riding that almost painful edge of release. Stiles was limp and pliant beneath him but soon it would become too much for him, painful and wearing, and Derek had to come before that happened.
His hips became something of a blur and Stiles was going to be in pain tomorrow but now, now he just looked… his expression had blown wide and there wasn’t just pleasure on his face, there was relief, and it was that that made Derek find his own.
He came deep inside Stiles and he wished he could say it had been the wolf that had demanded that, and he would if anyone asked. He pressed a kiss to Stiles’ mouth, their lips dry and mostly misaligned but perfect because Stiles pressed back.
He pulled away reluctantly, because the moment they stopped touching, that was the moment it was over. He curled his hand around the side of Stiles’ jaw – there were still claws there but they were shorter now – and tugged his face close. This kiss was a proper one, talkative and emotional and filthy.
Stiles poured himself back into it, gave just as good as he got, and Derek pulled back with a whimper, pressing his brow to Stiles’ cheek before sliding down onto the pillow next to him. Their shoulders didn’t touch.
Derek listened to Stiles catch his breath, waited until it had evened out into something manageable to ask, “How do you feel?”
A grin broke the stillness of Stiles’ face. “As far from ‘alone’ as possible,” he said with a snort, “distinctly unvirginal.” He glanced over at Derek and his expression softened. “Loved. Everything I wanted.” He elbowed Derek in the side. “You?”
Derek stared guardedly at Stiles. It hadn’t been for Stiles what it’d been for him. Instead Stiles had used him, because Derek had been willing and it had checked something off Stiles’ bucket list. (Which was going to have to dwindle way down if he had any hopes of finishing it.) Derek had gone in knowing what this was though, so any hopes on his part had been beyond foolish and completely unsupported by reality. Proof positive of that was staring him in the face; Stiles’ expression satiated but nothing in it that was Derek’s. He shrugged, jaw tightening. “Close enough.”
Stiles swallowed, eyes going pinched. It was obvious he could read the disappointment in Derek’s face, even though he’d been fairly warned beforehand. “Plus side,” he said harshly, “I won’t be around long enough to break your heart into too many pieces.” He brought a finger up to tap his temple. “The body lingers, the mind goes quick.”
Derek felt his heart stutter in his chest. The reminder was cruel and sharp and it didn’t matter he felt like shit now, Derek would do this again, if Stiles asked him to. Because he would take whatever Stiles offered him. He sneered, hiding the feelings Stiles didn’t want to know under something Stiles could understand, and snorted viciously. “Knew there had to be a silver lining in there somewhere.”