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Instinct and Habit

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“Is everyone almost ready?” Stiles asks, because moonrise is in about six minutes, and the pack is ready for a run. “Hey, you. Did you drink a bottle?”

Jackson rolls his eyes and shakes his mostly empty bottle of water at Stiles. “Yeah, mom, almost done.”

Kira looks at her almost full bottle guiltily and then takes another three big gulps.

“Good. Erica?”

She grins at him and nods. “I drank two.”

“That’s the spirit. Isaac—no. Finish that, you gotta be hydrated.”

Jackson strips off his shirt and tosses it onto the armchair by the front door, where Isaac’s own shirt and pants are already lying. Isaac grins at him, fussing with the zipper of his open sweater. “Highlight of the night.”

Erica leans into Boyd’s bare torso, still wearing a loose tank top and shorts. She groans, “Please stop.”

The stairs creak, and Derek emerges from the upstairs den—which Stiles deems the official pack meeting office—wearing some loose sweats and nothing else. “Everyone better be ready before Scott gets down here.”

“Ready, ready,” Erica retorts, and she ushers Boyd to the front door which is hanging open, letting in all the clean, cool scents of early autumn evening quickly approaching.

Isaac lifts his water bottle to his mouth and takes a tiny drink.

“Do you guys think you’ll be back by five?” Stiles says, tucking his fingers under Isaac’s water bottle, making him finish it.

Derek leans in close to him, reaching behind him for a second water bottle. “Four at the latest.”

“Okay, make sure you stick to the woods. Last thing I wanna get is a call from dad that someone hit a wolf on the back highways,” Stiles grumbles.

Smiling, Derek nods. “Okay, Stiles. We’ll stick to the woods.”

“Derek, c’mon, the moon’s rising,” Erica snaps from the front door, and Isaac tosses his water bottle in the recycling bin and scuttles out after her, removing his sweater as he goes.

“Scott! Let’s go,” Stiles yells.

Scott comes bounding down the stairs with his long legs and shirtless torso, and he grabs a water bottle off the counter and grins at Stiles. “Be back soon. Try to get some sleep.”

Stiles makes a noncommittal sound, turning to start the tidying up of the kitchen. Scott takes Kira’s hand, turning it over to kiss her across the knuckles, and she tugs him outside, eyes glowing.

Then everyone is out of the house, except for Derek, who gulps down his water bottle and tosses it in the recycling. “Girls gonna be coming over soon?”

“As soon as they’ve stocked up on the season’s lotion specials at Bath & Body,” Stiles retorts. “Lydia has probably purchased every bottle of Winter Candy Apple, and as for Allison… pumpkin.

Nodding, Derek takes a step closer, and Stiles turns towards him, tilting his head up. “Alright, be safe. We’ll be back soon.”

“Kay,” Stiles says, and Derek puts a hand on his waist and kisses Stiles soundly on the mouth. It’s a quick, warm press of lips, Derek’s thumb swiping an arch over Stiles’ abdomen.

Stiles kisses back, knuckles grazing Derek’s naked ribs, and then turns back to the task at hand—putting all the dishes in the sink to be washed.

Derek lopes to the front door, kicking off his sweats, and when he exits the house a chorus of howls starts up just before the door closes.

Stiles grins, listening to the sound of excited pups fading into the trees. Through the kitchen window, he gets a glimpse of a few naked butts and a few already shifted wolves streaking into the forest.

The sink is half full when Stiles drops a mug into the sudsy water, his face burning up as his mind shuffles back several minutes.



Stiles spends the next twenty-six minutes thinking about the kiss.

The kiss!

The kiss that Derek initiated and Stiles received. That Derek started and Stiles finished. A kiss, Stiles is not sure, either of them were aware of until after the fact.

He doesn’t have too much time to dwell on it, before the girls arrive. Lydia climbs onto the kitchen counter and offers up a selection of lotions and hand soaps for Stiles to choose from while Allison starts up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Stiles immerses himself in the conversation, and then in a hearty watching of Sleepy Hollow. He keeps count of how many times Ichabod faints, and then thinks on the merits of filing all your teeth to points, but his mind constantly drifts back to Derek’s hand on his waist, thumb brushing his tummy, lips pressing his.

It’s disconcerting, that he could have been pulled into a kiss, completely willing, totally comfortable, without even realizing he was being kissed. It’s even more disconcerting to say that Derek had pulled Stiles close and dipped his head first. He initiated the kiss that’s burning Stiles’ brain gears now. Did he even realize what he was doing?

Rationally, if Stiles could kiss and be kissed without registering the reality of it happening, Derek could have also given a kiss and taken a kiss without mentally processing it.

Stiles stretches across the couch, draping his legs over Allison’s lap, and he puzzles the moment over and over in his mind.

He and Derek hadn’t exactly had a make-out sesh in the kitchen. It had been a quick kiss; soft, warm, chaste in every aspect of the word. Stiles lifts a hand, absently, and touches his thumb to his bottom lip. The kiss had felt familiar. Easy. Like they had done it hundreds of times, in hundreds of familiar, easy situations.

Lydia falls asleep sometime in the middle of Phantom of the Opera, even though she had picked it, and when Allison rakes her fingers through her hair, Lydia grumbles and protests leaving the recliner for a bed. Still, Allison wins, and they both bid Stiles goodnight before ditching him in the living room with young, gorgeous Gerard Butler and Patrick Wilson.

It’s nearly four thirty when Stiles sprawls on the sofa under a few throw blankets and puts on Chicago. He passes out a good three minutes in, and it’s a blissful sleep that comes from being exhausted, well-fed, and mentally strained.

He dreams about dark and warm, nothing solid or real, until a hand combs through his hair and rests at the back of his neck, nails scraping his scalp.

Stiles groans contentedly, and there’s warmth all around him and inside him. He cracks one eye open, feeling heavy and just damn good, and Derek is there.

He’s kneeling beside the sofa, the TV behind him glowing softly, announcing No Signal, with his hand at the nape of Stiles’ neck. He’s close, but not close enough, smiling softly.

Stiles mewls like a sleepy kitten and arches into Derek’s hand, stretching across the sofa. “You said four.”

“Sorry. Took a detour past the lake,” Derek says, thumb rubbing over the curve of Stiles’ skull. “Isaac and Boyd jumped in.”

Stiles nods sleepily, then reaches out and smacks his hand against Derek’s bare chest. “You wearing pants?”

“Yeah,” he chuckles.

“The pups?”

“All cleaning up or getting into bed.”

Stiles hums, eyes falling shut as his fingers splay over Derek’s collar bone. “Bed.”

Derek makes a noise of the same, and then Stiles, in his half-awake state, realizes he’s being scooped up off the couch.

Stiles clings to Derek easily, pressing his face into the crook of Derek’s neck. Derek’s chest rumbles against him, and Stiles can feel the warmth of breath cresting over the crown of his head.

When he focuses again, he’s being laid down in a bed, and it smells like pine and musk and good. Stiles grabs at a pillow and hugs it to his chest, curling up as Derek drags a few heavy blankets over his body.

Absently, Stiles releases the pillow to reach out, and he pinches Derek’s pinky and ring finger and holds onto them. He grumbles, nothing close to words, but his meaning is received when the bed dips, and Derek crawls over him, settles behind him.

Stiles feels warm, and heavy, and when an arm winds around his waist and drags him back against a firm chest, Stiles feels safe.


There’s a commotion in the kitchen, and it wakes Stiles with a jolt. He can hear the clattering of ceramic, and Isaac’s raucous laughter. Erica is arguing animatedly with Jackson, and their voices are somewhat muffled by the closed bedroom door.


Stiles blinks into awareness, stretching his limbs, only to find he’s tightly spooned. He looks down at the tan, muscled arm across his waist. Absently, Stiles runs his fingers over the forearm, rustling the dusting of fine, dark hairs there. Slowly, he turns just a bit, looking over his shoulder.

Derek’s face is right against the back of Stiles’ neck, and he’s breathing slow and deep against the soft skin there. Stiles’ hand clenches reflexively, holding tight to Derek’s wrist. He releases Derek when he can feel his fingers again, and makes an attempt to better assess the situation.

Carefully, Stiles rolls over, his palms sliding against Derek’s bare, soft chest, tangling their legs together.

Derek groans in his sleep, a wolfy sound deep in his chest, and then his arms around Stiles tighten. Stiles lets himself be dragged against Derek’s body, pressing his face into Derek’s throat and breathing deeply.

Derek smells like the forest, pine and earth clinging to his skin, rich over his soft musky scent. He grumbles as Stiles nuzzles his neck, brushing one hand down Stiles’ back to pull him close.

“Morning,” Stiles says against Derek’s collar bone, and Derek stretches, pressing his face into Stiles’ hair with a long inhale.

“Good morning,” Derek replies, voice a scratchy growl. When Derek slouches back, loosening his hold just a bit, Stiles looks up at him in awe.

After a full moon, Derek always looks different. He looks softer, like his edges have been filed, but now, Stiles can feel the difference. Derek is warmer, soothed by the moon and the feeling of being free in the dead of night. He’s well-rested, calmed.

Stiles has seen him like this dozens of times over the years, but never so close. Never.

Stiles can feel Derek’s heartbeat under his palm, and he brushes his fingertips lightly down Derek’s chest, through the soft, dark hair there.

Derek’s eyes flutter shut, and his hands curl to soft fists in the back of Stiles’ shirt. “Sorry… I should have put a shirt on.”

“Mmm, no. No shirts,” Stiles says, ducking his head so he can press his forehead to Derek’s bare skin.

One of Derek’s hands slides up his back, rucking up his shirt slightly before fingers curl at the nape of Stiles’ neck, a thumb brushing his throat. “Stiles…”

“You kissed me last night,” Stiles says, fingers tracing absent patterns down Derek’s abs. “Did you notice that?” He tilts his head up, and finds Derek looking down between them, his cheeks dark above the shadow of his dense, soft beard. Well… it looks soft. It’s always looked soft—ever since Derek let it grow in full. How long ago was that? Stiles lifts one hand and touches the corner of Derek’s mouth, and Derek’s eyes flit up to his face.

Yes, Derek’s beard is very soft, Stiles thinks, and also, shit, his eyes are so freaking pretty. Emerald and honey and jade and Stiles inhales sharply. “What?” Stiles gasps, because Derek has said something.

“Yes, I noticed… After I was out the door,” Derek repeats, and then clarifies for good measure.

Stiles sulks against the bed. “That’s when I noticed.”

“I wanted to go back inside, to see if you were okay—but I was shaking. I couldn’t go back to you when I was about to buzz right out of my skin. It wasn’t a conversation I could have with a muzzle.”

“I got it.”

Derek leans his head down, touching his forehead to Stiles’. “What do you think it means?”

Stiles blinks up at him.

“Something like that… When I pulled you closer, you just came. And… when I kissed you, it felt… It felt like…” Derek closes his eyes, a growl rattling in his throat.

Stiles closes his eyes, too, his hands splayed across Derek’s cheek and chest. “Like habit.”

“Right,” Derek exhales heavily. “Like I’d done it a hundred times… It felt familiar.”

Stiles nods, bumping his nose against Derek’s. Derek’s hands tense where they hold Stiles to him, and he winds his arms around Stiles tighter, barely room to breathe between them. “I think it means… our muscles executed a function without prompting from our brains. Or our brains told our muscles to just go for it.”

Derek laughs against Stiles’ cheek, carding fingers through his hair. “Muscle memory without history.”

It’s quiet between them, the sound of the pups in the kitchen and living room rises quickly and then falls back into comfortable decibels again.

Stiles nuzzles back into Derek’s neck, wrapping an arm across his bare torso. He feel Derek’s heart tick up under his other hand, against his lips. “This feels like habit, too.”

“…Like we’ve done it a hundred times,” Derek says, fingertips working over Stiles’ scalp, raising goose bumps down his arms. “Familiar.”

“Right…” Stiles sighs.

Derek exhales across the crown of Stiles’ head.

“So… what do you think it means?”

“It might be that I’ve wanted to kiss you every chance I had since forever,” Derek says, and Stiles laughs breathlessly against his collarbone.

“You wanted to kiss me in the woods the first time you saw me?”

“Now that I’m older, I think that’s why I got so irrationally irritated by your face.”

“Oh my god… Same here,” Stiles says, and Derek kisses his forehead.

“Well… if it’s okay with you? I’d like to do this more often… On purpose,” Derek says, his voice soft, timid.

Stiles grins against his neck, but he knows Derek can hear his heartbeat, like a rabbit kicking behind his ribs. “I kissed you back, you know.”

A contented growl escapes Derek, a strong tremble beneath Stiles’ hand, and Stiles feels Derek’s warmth grow against him. “Yeah… It hadn’t escaped my notice.”

“Then it shouldn’t surprise you if I say I’d like us to do this more often, too. Definitely on purpose,” Stiles replies, tilting his head back until his face is level with Derek’s, lips brushing Derek’s nose.

“I was going to blame the wolf,” Derek says quietly, his eyes searching Stiles’ face, slowly, from his eyes down to his lips, which part when Derek gently touches his thumb to the corner of Stiles’ mouth. “I’ve always had this thing with you… a bond. It makes me comfortable; careless. But you kissed me, too. And you’re not a wolf.”

Stiles smirks, his eyes falling to Derek’s mouth as well. “We craved that domestic fluff shit. Maybe we just wanted to kiss each other… so badly… we did it without thinking? Like… instinct.”

Derek’s breath is warm when he laughs, just against Stiles’ lips. “I like the sound of that.”

“Domestic… fluff?”

“No… That we wanted to kiss each other. On instinct.”


“I want to kiss you right now.”

“By all means, please,” Stiles gasps, and he tilts his head up and kisses Derek before Derek can make a move.

It makes Derek smile against his lips, and Stiles is suddenly overwhelmed by being so close to Derek but not close enough. He gets his arms around Derek and hooks a leg over his hips, and when Derek grabs at his waist and groans against his mouth, Stiles shivers.

“Sorry; was that too much?” Stiles huffs against Derek’s chin, and Derek immediately tilts his head back up and licks wetly across Stiles’ lips. Stiles makes an indignant sound, between a whimper and a squeak, and lets Derek lick into his mouth. He licks back, a hand tangling in Derek’s hair, his heart climbing up his ribs to race in his throat.

Derek kisses him like he’s starving, but Stiles marvels at the gentleness of Derek’s hands, the tiny, broken sounds Derek makes when Stiles pulls him closer. Maybe Derek is starving. Maybe the fire that’s spreading through Stiles’ ribs and hands and blooming everywhere Derek touches him is burning in Derek, too.

Derek shifts, and Stiles’ leg on his hip hitches higher, and then he’s breaking the kiss to moan against Derek’s cheek, because holy shit, Derek’s hard, and he’s pressed tight against Stiles. Right between his thigh and his own eager dick.

“Oh my gosh,” Stiles chokes, and Derek growls into his throat. “I’m sorry,” Stiles wheezes.

“No, I’m… I’m sorry. I got carried away,” Derek groans, hand trembling on Stiles’ thigh. “You make it hard to think,” Derek says, and when Stiles looks up at him, his eyes are ringed in red, and his fangs have dropped.

Shit,” Stiles says, and then he’s kissing Derek again, harder, rocking his hips up so he can grind on Derek’s lap.

Derek growls, the sound far from human as he kisses Stiles wetly, using his own grip on Stiles to pull him against his body. He rolls his hips, meeting the motion of Stiles’ frantic, needy jerks, and he delves his tongue into Stiles’ mouth over and over.

Stiles clings to Derek’s bare shoulders, breaking the kiss and tilting his head back. “Derek,” he gasps, baring the column of his throat, and Derek keens. He licks at Stiles’ throat, sucking and biting as he grips Stiles’ ass with one broad hand.

“I’ve wanted—”Stiles breathes, digging crescent moons into the curve of Derek’s shoulders. “I’ve…”

“You’ve got it now. You’ve got me,” Derek huffs back against the hinge of Stiles’ jaw.

“Derek, I’m… I’m gonna,” Stiles whimpers.

“Do it,” Derek growls, fingertips digging into the crease of Stiles’ ass, cock dragging against Stiles’ through cotton and wool.

Stiles bites off a broken sound, and Derek’s teeth nearly break his skin as he starts to come in his boxers. Derek snarls, still rutting as Stiles shakes against him, pulling on Derek’s hair roughly.

“Wait, wait,” Stiles moans, and Derek eases back immediately, whimpering.

“Are you—“

Before Derek can ask if he’s okay, Stiles yanks his own shirt up, exposing his stomach and chest. Stiles then shoves a hand into Derek’s sweatpants and grabs Derek’s cock, pulling it out over the waistband of Derek’s sweats. He can barely get his fingers around it, the skin velvet soft and fever hot in his palm. “Fuck, you’re big.”

Derek makes a sound that tells Stiles he’s flattered and terribly embarrassed.

Stiles starts stroking Derek fast, tugging on his wet dick with zero finesse but a ton of enthusiasm.

Derek nearly howls, bucking his hips up into the motion, and he blinks down and watches as Stiles strips his cock. The head keeps bumping Stiles’ stomach, and Stiles kisses along Derek’s jaw and groans, “C’mon, come for me, Der. Please.”

Gripping Stiles hard enough to bruise, Derek pushes his face into Stiles’ shoulder and lets himself be pulled over the edge. His cock spurts across Stiles’ abdomen, painting up his stomach as Stiles keeps stroking. Derek whimpers, muffled in Stiles’ shirt, and when Stiles lets go of his dick, Derek is kissing him fiercely. He presses his palm to Stiles’ slick stomach and smears his cum into the skin, and Stiles groans contentedly, planting feather-light, chaste kisses to Derek’s lips and cheeks.

Derek rolls onto his back, and Stiles curls against his side, feeling the rise and fall of Derek’s chest as he catches his breath.

“…That was a bit more intense than I intended,” Stiles huffs, limbs limp as Derek drags him close into his arms.

“Too fast?”

“No, no… Good. Really freakin’ good.” Stiles kisses Derek again, and then lets himself slump against Derek’s chest.

“We should make this feel like a habit,” Stiles says against Derek’s jaw, and Derek growls his agreement.

Please don’t do that while we’re in the house,” Scott’s voice yells from the kitchen, and Stiles sits bolt upright. His afterglow is immediately fucked sideways as he hears Jackson cackling in the distance.

“Holy shit,” Stiles gasps.

Yeah, holy shit is right!” Isaac yells back.

I don’t mind if you guys practice in my presence.


Suddenly, Lydia says, “Why is everyone yelling? Were Derek and Stiles fucking? Could you hear it? Is that why you all got quiet?

Then the ruckus in the kitchen dissolves into hysterical words unintelligible through the bedroom door, and Derek sits up and kisses Stiles’ shoulder. “Pups.”

Stiles whines, mortified, and turns his face into Derek’s neck. Derek wraps his arms around him, practically purring as he drags Stiles into his lap and kisses his neck.

Maybe this could be a habit, too. Even if it’s embarrassing as all holy fuck.