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Three Steps

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Stiles is not a morning person. Not by definition. He’s a deep sleeper, and he’s always cold. Who wants to stick their foot out from under the covers when flannel forms such a warm cocoon?

Stiles often wakes groggy and unaware of his surroundings.

For a while he was having nightmares which didn’t allow him to rest at all. This meant lucid terror at 3:30 a.m. until he stumbled into a comatose state (roughly 40 minutes before he was due to get up for school). Of course. Classic. Not even an earthquake would have stirred him then.

Too many times his Dad has had to literally drag him by the collar of his t-shirt to get him on his feet.

Last time a reprimand was at the ready. 
“I’d appreciate it if you could set an alarm, Stiles. Even two. Have Scott or Lydia call you. I’m not always here in the mornings to wake you up. That’s not my job. I really need you to be more responsible at this age.”

They all had roles to play, didn’t they? Pale green eyes brimming with disappointment burned guilt onto Stiles’ heart. Pyrography for single fathers. Deluxe edition.

A parent shook his head, and a son gulped down his sarcasm in lieu of something more appropriate. Wise on Stiles’ part. 
“I’m sorry, Dad.”

Stiles wishes his father could one day be proud of him. Why he’s always screwing up is more poor decision-making rather than genetics. 

His fuck ups aren’t even the worst of it. He’s trying, though. He really is. He wants to be a better son.  

Noah Stilinski isn’t perfect, either. Fathers never are.  He’s harsh at times but always fair. He worries. All he has is Stiles and if they lived in a normal town where supernatural occurrences weren’t behind almost every crime... 

Stiles can admit when he’s wrong. He’s been tardy too many times to be able to argue. But Jesus, more responsible?! That hurt. 

Like all the life and death BS he and the pack have been going through was child’s play. 

Like it’s been easy on anyone. 

Speaking of....what about the latest? Shit hit the fan when Derek Hale was found de-aged and in a state of amnesia. 

Except now a trigger made Derek remember. He remembers everything. And that has taken the crisis level up a notch. 

Derek Hale is a teenager. He has adult Derek’s brain (which means all the terrible things that have happened play like a film in his mind on loop). Meanwhile he’s miserable because he doesn’t possess his hot, mature body. Derek’s hormonal young self and Alpha wolf instincts are making it very difficult to manage his temper. 

The rub? 

The rub is that more sourwolf than ever, the teenage version of Derek Hale is currently residing with the Stilinski family.

Stiles should know. Derek now sleeps on a cot in his room. 3 steps away. (He measured it). 

“The Hale boy,” as his father calls him. That’s how Noah knew him but now it’s actually accurate. 

Stiles’ crush. No. More than that. 

On some days Stiles’ reason for breathing.

Of course this didn’t start now. Stiles had fallen for mature Derek Hale ages ago. 

3 steps. 

Derek tosses. He turns. He growls in his sleep. Sometimes they sound like moans and Stiles wonders...

Derek just lies there, looking beautiful and young. Creamy skin begging to be touched. Perfect mouth a constant temptation. No beard yet. No scary muscles. Just the love of his life, junior mint version. 

Miguel. 

Low breaths a lullaby. 

The nightmares have mostly stopped since Derek moved in, only to be replaced by erotic dreams.

The brunette cooks in his skin every night. The desire boils right under the dermis. It’s an itch he can’t scratch. 

Or can he?

That’s the thing.The young wolf is more attainable now. 

(Well...maybe). He still appears to be extremely annoyed with Stiles but at least now the playing field has been evened. They are equals in age, size, and social awkwardness. 

Adult Derek Hale seemed untouchable. Stiles would often look in the mirror and scoff. How could sourwolf...his “older cousin Miguel”...ever fall for him? 

But what about normal, (though still gorgeous), Teen Wolf? 

Too many questions. 

This particular morning Stiles is hungry and confused. He had a weird dream (let’s call things by their name: wet dream) and it’s left his thinking cloudy. He’s ruminating over it all. 

The cot is empty. Thank God. He thinks he’ll change the sheets later, so he pulls up the cover to hide the spermy mess.

With his back to the closed door, he slips off the sticky underwear and pj pants. Jesus he’s still half hard. His dick is needy. Sooo needy. 

The room smells of wolf and his own release. 

Cinnamon eyes dart over to the empty cot. He asks himself...

Don’t do it, Stiles. Don’t do it.

Too late. 

He lifts the wolf’s blankets and checks the cotton for stains. Sure enough...holy shit. 

A trembling finger hovers and then traces a heart into the spot. 

Stiles, you have no sense of boundaries left. 

It’s still wet. Oh holy god. 

He can smell it now, filling his nostrils. Something possesses him and he leans. Muskier and yet ethereal. 

Derek’s spunk makes his cock twitch. 

He’s insane. 

This isn’t Stiles sitting on the edge of Derek’s cot. 

This isn’t Stiles sucking on the fabric covered in Derek’s jizz, running his tongue over the threads in worship as if it were a melting Communion wafer. There is nothing holy about what he’s about to do. 

This isn’t Stiles risking detection as he strokes his length to orgasm once more, imagining the briny material trapped between his lips as Derek’s rigid, swollen cock.

Oh sweet Jesus.

He cums. Hard. 

He’s naked but for his t-shirt which he uses to clean up the aftermath. A small amount of his release did plop onto the bed.

He reminds himself to change Derek’s linens as well. 

The indiscretion blushes his cheeks, the contrition nags just enough to be annoying. 

He’s really hungry now. 

Once he is cleaned up and dressed, Stiles nearly trips going down the stairs. He’s anxious. 

When he reaches the kitchen, the young wolf is already seated at the large table. He’s wearing a pair of Stiles’ pants and his Marvel t-shirt. Of course they fit him better. 

Derek Hale. Still hot as fuck even as a teen. None of this is helping Stiles. He just had a dream that he and Derek...He just masturbated while... 

Unconsciously he touches his lip. He can still taste the wolf there. 

The brunette needs to play it cool. 
Stiles has a mad crush and the “Hale boy” being a teenager at the moment only makes it less weird if something were to happen. But also way weirder. 

That thought lingers. His mind toys with it like a finger does a hang nail. 

To make matters worse, it would appear that the wolf really goes out of his way to make him feel uncomfortable. Which Stiles finds incredibly sexy because he’s a masochist. 

So here he is, Stiles looking like he just got up (which he did) and the wolf looking like he’s been to a modeling shoot. 
“Awesome,” Stiles thinks to himself. “I really stand a chance.”

“Hola Miguel. Como estas!?” Stiles doesn’t turn. His cheeks are on fire. The latest climax clings to his skin like syrupy sin. 

Will Derek smell it on him?

He walks right past and opens the cupboard. Pulling out a box of cereal and a bowl, he sighs.

“Sleep well?”

Derek smirks but Stiles doesn’t see it. He lifts his nose and inhales. He can smell the arousal on Stiles. He could hear his sex dream laments from across the room this morning. 

But wait. There’s more. Fresher. He reeks of it, but Derek can perceive something of himself, too.

What was Stiles doing just now? Jerking off into one of his shirts?!

He fights his mind not to envision it but ...

The brunette, ruby lip sucked in as he tends to do when he looks at Derek, except now he’s only thinking about him. Hand squeezing his shaft... Derek suddenly feels bothered. 

“Hmm...” He spoons cereal into his pert mouth instead of imagining himself in Stiles’ bed.

“I slept fine. You? Did you dream anything interesting? Busy morning?” 

Stiles halts. That little shit and his werewolf senses. 

Calm yourself, Stiles. 

“Nope. Quiet night.” He opens the box top and shakes it over the bowl. Easy since he’s trembling. 

Nothing comes out but one sad marshmallow caked in cocoa. It sits at the bottom of the bowl in mockery. 

Stiles tenses. His hunger is blinding him. He turns slowly, eyeing the heaping bowl in front of the boy. The wolf’s absinthe eyes are lit up. 

“Derek?” 

Count to three Stiles...

“Yes, Stiles?” One more spoonful. He wipes milk from the corner of his mouth, the right corner curled up. A glimmer of adult Derek painted on his face. 

“Derek? Did you finish my Count Chocula?!” He drags out the question. 

The wolf raises two palms in the air and shrugs. 

“Dunno. Is the box empty?” 

 Stiles shakes it for effect. Hollow noise. 

“YES.”

“Well...then I finished it.”

He’d normally be unable to resist that smug grin...but today he’s frustrated. Famished. 

“Jesus Christ, Derek! You do realize that apart from being extremely rude...do you see the irony in this?! A werewolf eating vampire cereal? There are so many things wrong here.” 

Derek drops the spoon with a clang. He pushes the bowl to the middle of the table. Some of the hazelnut-colored liquid spills over the rim. 

“Here. I just made it. We can share. Don’t spaz out.”

Stiles is mouthing words only he himself can hear. 

“I’m not SPAZZING out!" (Stiles totally is). "You just don’t move in and...and .. take over and finish people’s cereal, Derek! I mean... there’s something called consideration of others!” he spits.

Stiles is beside himself.  “Jesus!”

Derek is losing his patience. You can tell from the scowl and flaring nostrils. He pulls out the chair with a screech and stands nearly nose to nose with the brunette. 

Right now they are practically the same height, the wolf a hair taller, but his shadow is way more overwhelming.  

“What is your problem, Stiles? I said we can share.” It’s a rhetorical question. Stiles has SO many issues.

My problem is that I love you and you are pushing every one of my buttons. 

Those poor decisions? Stiles is an expert. His smart mouth is quicker than his brain. 

“My problem, Derek, is that you’re here. Turning my life upside down. I don’t want you here. I don’t want to hear your breathing anymore. Your stupid face in the morning making me regret ever helping you, I’m sick of seeing it.”

As soon as his rant is over, he immediately regrets it. Gasping and closing a hand over your mouth isn’t an apology though. 

I’m sorry. I don’t mean it. It’s not about goddamn cereal. I fucking love you and it’s killing me. I’m tired and horny all the time and now I’m starving and the only other food is Apple Jacks and they’re fucking disgusting and I’m spiralling. Fuck.

It’s not about cereal.

The words spewed build a wall between them.

Young Derek Hale is sensitive. His hands quiver at his sides. The teen holds back the tears flooding his eyes. 

“Thank you, Stiles. Thank you for reminding me that I am unwanted. Completely fucking alone and terrified. Decades of memories trapped in a body long forgotten. I have no family left. The one person I thought cared...the friend that took me in in my hour of need...I’m a burden even to you. I get it. Thanks for nothing. I’ll figure out other arrangements. Consider me gone.” 

If heartbreak is a color, it’s the one tinging Stiles’ face.

If heartbreak is a color, it’s the one bursting behind Derek’s lids as he weeps shortly after, curled into a ball on his cot. 

He’s not alone. Stiles cries in the kitchen, tears falling from his lashes in perfectly intact pregnant drops.

A leaky faucet but the faucet is Stiles’ lowered head. 

“Fuck!” He whispers. 

The box of Count Chocula falls to the floor. 

What more to shake his foundation? 

The Sheriff saunters in, buckling his duty belt. There are more wrinkles on his forehead than usual. 

“Son, may I have a word with you?”

The same fingers that fondled Derek’s soiled sheets wipe the moisture from his cheeks. 

“You heard.”

Noah nods, leaning against the doorframe.

“What’s going on with you, Stiles? That was incredibly cruel. You’re the one that insisted Derek stay with us. Is this really about a box of breakfast cereal?”

Stiles guffaws, cinnamon eyes finding something very important on the ceiling to fixate. 

“I’m a horrible person, Dad. I’m taking my frustrations out on a frightened kid who just happens to have the memories of a twenty-something werewolf. A kid who is completely alone.” 

“Stiles...”

Noah wants to tell Stiles that he’s been through a lot in the past couple years. He’s hard on himself. Too hard. This was a misunderstanding. Obviously. 

He knows his son’s heart. 

“Dad. I need to tell you something.”

Stiles blinks slowly. Like he does when he’s nervous. 

Noah’s brow furrows, and he reaches out, grabbing Stiles by his shoulders. Like he does when he’s nervous.  

“I’m listening.” 

The shoulder shifts under the Sheriff’s palm. Stiles is chewing on his nails. 

“Dad...” a breath for courage. “I’m in love with Derek. Not just ..young Derek. I’ve been in love with the real Derek Hale since I met him.” 

Noah smiles sweetly. He pulls his son in for a hug.

“I know, son. I know. I’ve heard you calling for him in your sleep. I noticed the way you look at him. I was waiting to see if anything would happen with it before asking.”

Muffled by his Dad’s shirt, Stiles sobs. “I’ve ruined everything. He hates me now. What have I done?!” 

A father comforts his son. He’s not fluent in gay affection...but feelings are feelings. Stiles needs a little... encouragement.  

“He doesn’t hate you, Stiles. And you haven’t ruined anything. If he had any intention of leaving he’d have stormed off already. Go upstairs and apologize. Tell him. Tell him the secrets of your heart and let him decide. That may not be his normal body but that is the same man inside. And I am under the impression he feels something for you.” 

Stiles pulls away, sniffling. “Really? You think he likes me?”

The tone is that of a middle-schooler hoping his friend has inside info on his crush.

“Well, I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve seen my fair share of teasing the one you like. Guarded but lingering stares. Yeah, I’m  pretty sure.  Now don't waste time standing here talking to your old man. Go upstairs. I’ve got to leave for work, anyway. You tell me how it goes, okay? And dry your eyes. We’ve had plenty of reasons to cry in this family but love isn’t one of them.”

_

The door to his room is closed. He can hear Derek keening inside and it tears at his chest. His breath hitches. 

Jesus I am a piece of shit. 

Stiles raps on the hollow wood. 

“Der- can I come in?”

No reply. 

The brunette knocks again. 

This time a small voice whimpers. “It’s your room. Do whatever the fuck you want.” 

Stiles crosses the threshold, the doorknob ice cold in his palm. Not unlike the chill he feels in his bones. 

He shuts the door behind him. Outside, Stiles hears his father drive away. The gravel under the tires makes a strange sound. Irritating. 

Derek, back turned, sees something beyond the wall. Through it. Past it. Something that once was and who knows what will be if it will ever be. 

The loneliness is torment. 

Stiles doesn’t make a move. 

“Derek. I need to talk to you. Please.” 

The wolf blinks once. Twice. Silence is his answer. 

“Der. Please.” The tone begs. 

Derek Hale has had enough. 

Before Stiles knows what hits him, it’s the wolf that does. Hand around his neck, claws pressed in enough to break skin. The grip is controlled.

Stiles holds his breath. 

“What, Stiles? What do you want to say? Want to break my soul, now, too?” 

It’s mature Derek Hale taking over. Stiles’ eyes see the boy but his heart reacts to the man. 

“You don’t think that even in this state I can rip your throat out with my teeth?! Because you’d be wrong.” 

“I don’t doubt it,” Stiles hiccups. “I’d welcome it after how much I hurt you. I’m sorry, Der. I didn’t mean any of it. I’m...a little off. I...I want you here.”

More than you know. “Please don’t leave.” 

The claws retract just a millimeter. Derek listens to his pulse. He’s telling the truth. 

“Why should I believe you after everything you said downstairs?”

His luscious lips are so close to Stiles’. 

Cherry Coke or vanilla Coke? What does Stiles taste like? Derek thinks the boy’s skin scents of the Pacific. Pine and brine. 

The brunette bats illegally long lashes. 

Fuck I have to tell him. Now. Better or worse, at least he won’t tear me apart. 

“Derek. Der... you have no reason to believe me. But I’m sincere. I am so sorry for blowing up at you.” 

Gulp. 

“You were so mean, Stiles. Do you know how you made me feel?” 

“Awful. I made you feel awful and I’m sorry. And I made myself feel horrible because I hurt you and I care for you. It was unforgivable. But I’m asking your forgiveness, anyway. Please stay. I...I need you to stay.”

Even werewolf hearts skip beats when they are in love. 

“Why? Why do you need me to stay?” 

Please say it’s ... 

Stiles smells like pine and sea water and his eyes are Redwood trees and Derek wants to frolic in Stiles’ forest for eternity. 

“I need you to stay because you anchor me. My nightmares have stopped. I don’t wake up screaming anymore. Knowing you are here with me makes me feel safe and there is no other face I want to see in the morning.” 

With every sentence the grip on Stiles’ throat decreases. Inside Derek is a hurricane. 

“The only thing is I’d like to see that face closer.”

“What?” Derek whispers. Not dumb. The drift is caught. 

A pointy nose twitches. “I...I’d like to wake up next to you. And not with you in a cot three steps away.”

“How do you know it’s three?” Derek inches closer. His gaze is trained on the boy’s. 

“I checked.”

“I see. So you want me in your bed.”

“Yes.” The heat from Derek’s hand around his throat is scalding. Stiles is having respiratory issues, but it has nothing to do with choking. “I want you... everywhere. I want you, Derek. Full stop.” 

Pause for effect. Here goes everything. 

“I love you, Derek.” 

Honesty is difficult. It can go two ways. It either ends in swallowing down a bitter medicine...or honey. 

Claws are replaced by teeth which are replaced by lips which map their way to the brunette’s mouth. 

Stiles’ eyes saucer only a second, until he registers that the Hale boy is kissing him. Then he gives in completely. 

Oh holy god. It’s heavenly to fall limp into Derek Hale’s arms, even if they are less toned now. The wolf wraps him in a warm embrace, walking him to Stiles’ bed while their mouths devour each other. 

They fall into it crookedly. Derek breaks long enough to make his declaration. Ask consent and be kind, his mother had always told him. 

“Stiles, your words hurt so badly because..I love you, too. As if kissing you wasn’t a sign, but I need you to know. You need to hear it. You’re my little human. My mate. If I ever return to my previous state...but even if I don’t. I want you as my mate. Maybe being the same age wouldn’t be so bad. We could do so many things together that I otherwise would be silly doing...”

Stiles reaches up with shaky fingers and cards his hand in the wolf’s dark hair. 

“It’s so odd. It’s you regardless...but it’s your words...I don’t know. I love you so much, Der. It doesn’t matter to me what age you are. You really want me as your mate? Jesus Christ I’m babbling.” 

Derek laughs, fingers ghost his love’s breast. 

“You’re adorable. This is one of the things I love about you. Your words are like a collapsing Jenga. Yes, Stiles. I want you as my mate. As far as I am concerned you ARE my mate. You say I anchor you? Well you make me want to be a better man.”

Oh my god oh my god... 

Stiles leans in and kisses him softly. “Oh, Der. I’m honored. I told Scott you’re the love of my life. I wasn’t wrong."

Derek blushes. Splotchy rose under alabaster.

“Stiles?”

“Yes?”

“Why could I taste myself on you when we kissed? I smelled it on you earlier in the kitchen, too.” 

Now Stiles is blushing. He’s actually beet red. 

“Oh god. You don’t wanna know. Let’s just say I’ll admit to masturbating in your cot. I’m sorry. I’ll wash the sheets, I promise. It was the first time, though, it’s not like I...”

“Stiles...Stiles. It’s okay. I won’t be sleeping there anymore.”

Panic spreads in Stiles’ body. His eyes dilate. “What? You’re leaving anyway?!”

The wolf pecks the top of his nose. “No, silly. I’m going to be sleeping in your bed, remember?”

A hand locks fingers with one of Derek’s. An arm pulls him over, on top of Stiles, hooked around his nape.

“Now that is wonderful news.” The brunette grows serious. “I really am sorry.”

Derek shakes his head, tracing a line across Stiles’ lips with small kisses. 

“It’s fine. Stop beating yourself up. I was an asshole, and I did finish your cereal. On purpose.”

“You did it to get a rise out of me.”

Derek’s black eyebrows give him an answer, one arched. 

“It worked, didn’t it? Here we are.” 

Emotional manipulation used to be Stiles’ forte.  

“It did. I do think it’s weird a werewolf eats vampire cereal but to each his own.” 

“Keep talking about it, cuz Count Chocula is kinda making me hot.” 

The brunette explodes in a fit of giggles, tickling the dark wolf pressed into him. They share another long kiss once the shaking has subsided. 

Stiles isn’t cold anymore. The wolf’s so hot. 

Something stirs against Stiles’ leg. Something big. Stiles’ ample organ responds in kind. 

“Stiles?” It’s more a beg than a question. Satin against his cheek.

“Derek...” Stiles almost whimpers his name, bucking into him. 

Derek angles and whispers a beseech. Stiles nods and pulls him even closer, a hand undoing the drawstrings on his pants. It moves to the wolf's.

Nothing about their first time is clumsy. Young Derek and older Derek cohabitate and both are experienced. Stiles is very instinctual. 

The boy parts his slick lips when the wolf seeks entry. He had always imagined the feel of a beard when visualizing this moment, but the supple skin against his is nice.

Derek breathes in Stiles’ smell as he explores every groove and angle of his body. He moves stealthily. Memorizing his scent and  touch so he can find him anywhere, even on the darkest night. He leaves his essence. 

Derek doesn’t want to lose Stiles ever again. He marks him as his, and the brunette bows into the heat, desiring more. Desiring all of Derek.

Air fuels fire. Hot panting. 

The flannel is a warm cocoon after all. Hungry boys rut and writhe, nails dragging and canines nipping on tender flesh. 

Two move as one, the wolf does so tenderly inside his love. Stiles helps him navigate, guiding the curve of his backside with gentle nudges.

Stiles is the first to break, release accompanied by a name and a promise on swollen lips. 

Derek collapses onto the brunette’s chest moments later, peppering it with kisses until their sexes separate. 

“Stiles?”

The brunette grins, caressing the place where adult Derek’s tattoo lies. 

“Yes?” 

“Promise me it will always be like this. You and me.” 

Stiles doesn’t want to lie. But he hopes so. He’ll do everything in his power for it to be so. He’s never going to stop loving this dark-haired boy cradled between his chin and his neck. This is the one certainty his heart harbors.

“Yes, my sourwolf. It will always be like this. You and me. Against all odds. We’ll make it because we’re stronger together.” 

Derek seeks out Stiles’ hand, kissing his fingertips. 

“Can I sleep here? I’m tired. I’m feeling kinda funny.”

“I wouldn’t let you go if you tried.” 

Stiles pulls the cover up around their nakedness and kisses the top of his mate’s head. For the first and last time, Stiles Stilinski will be big spoon.