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sweet serial killer (love you just a little too much)

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“Just so you know, this is a terrible idea.”

Derek Hale raises an eyebrow at him and licks blood from his lips. He considers his hands, like he’s trying to decide whether it’s worth the hassle of braving the bathroom down the hallway to wash the blood off of them.

“Oh, that is so not sanitary,” Stiles groans, hovering a couple feet away from Derek, hands outstretched like he’s going to what? Touch the serial killer he’s got camped out in his bedroom? Offer a helping hand? Please.

“You’re telling me that this is a bad idea?” Derek scoffs, apparently giving up on getting rid of the blood, because he drops down onto Stiles’ bed like he owns it. Stiles watches as his hands leave tacky smears of blood on the sheets. “You?”

“Hey,” Stiles protests. “I have good ideas all the time!”

Derek’s eyebrows do this scrunchy, judgey thing as he leans back onto the pillows. He smirks at Stiles. Stiles glowers.

“My dad is the sheriff,” he hisses, crossing the room so that he can better glare down at Derek. Derek, who looks entirely too comfortable in Stiles’ bed. “The sheriff currently assigned to your case.”

“They aren’t going to leave a sheriff in charge for long,” Derek tells him, shrugging. “They’ll bring in a specialist soon, maybe someone from the FBI. They always do when it comes to things like this.”

His voice is mild, unconcerned, as if its perfectly normal to be talking about the aftermath of murder this way. Stiles blinks at him and wonders just how long he’s been doing this. Has Derek Hale and his sister really been off murdering people in the six years since they left Beacon Hills?

He’d wondered, when he first wandered into his room only to get slammed back into a wall by a blood-drenched psychopath, why Derek Hale had come to him when he needed a place to lie low. Why come to the sheriff’s underaged kid? Why not jump state lines, make a run for Montana or Arkansas or one of those states that nothing ever really happened in. But then Stiles had realized, that the second he’d sneaked into the front seat of his dad’s cruiser with Derek handcuffed in the back, he’d put himself firmly on Derek’s radar. And not on his to-kill list either. No, he’d had to go and make himself interesting.

“So it’ll be better to be found sleeping in the sheriff’s underage son’s bed?” Stiles asks weakly, swallowing hard when Derek shifts, making his shirt ride up his ribs.

Derek smiles darkly at him, his eyes hooded as they track the way that Stiles’ adam’s apple bobs. With no warning, he props himself up on his elbows and reaches out, hooking a finger into Stiles’ collar, dragging him in closer, until Stiles is forced to fling his arms out, catching himself with a hand on either side of Derek’s hips, bent halfway over the bed and mere inches from Derek’s lips.

Derek exhales hotly against Stiles, and when he licks his lips, his tongue traces over the swell of Stiles’ lower lip. “It’s not like it’s the worst thing they can charge me for,” Derek purrs, voice rough and seductive. Stiles shudders, a shiver going down his spine. He suddenly remembers why he’d crawled into the front seat of a patrol car with a serial killer in the backseat. Because the thing was, he remembered Derek Hale. He remembered his sister Laura, and that his mom had made them casseroles every week when Stiles’ own mom was in the hospital. He remembered Derek Hale sitting with him outside the local library the day after Stiles’ mom had died, how he’d sat there in silence, and when Stiles had broken down and started to cry, he’d just threaded their fingers together silently.

"So, what made the nice kid who sat with a grieving ten year old outside of a library the day after his mom died become a serial killer?" he’d asked, grinning at Derek through the grate.

Derek had arched an eyebrow at him, leaning forward a fraction of an inch. "He grew up and someone murdered his entire family."

"So what, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?" Stiles had asked, licking his lips, eyes widening when Derek’s eyes had followed along with the movement.

"Something like that," Derek had murmured, and then Stiles’ dad was dragging him out of the car by the scruff of his neck.

Stiles blinks.

“No, I guess not,” he breathes, cock hardening in his jeans. “And I suppose you’ve got a point too. This really would be the last place they’d look for you.”

He’s whispering when he says it, because he can feel the heat wafting up off of Derek — is breathing Derek’s air — and is maybe five seconds from crawling into Derek’s lap and saying fuck having a moral crisis. The blood still on Derek’s clothes — whose blood is it? who did Derek kill breaking out of the sheriff’s station? — isn’t hot in and out of itself. It’s hot because its on Derek’s body.

Derek’s eyes spark with triumph and he leans even closer, brushing their noses together as he hovers, mouth open, exhaling hot, damp breaths against his. Stiles gasps shakily when Derek gets too close, their lips dragging together. It’s not exactly a kiss, just the brush of skin on skin, but it sets Stiles’ insides on fire when Derek breathes against his mouth, “I’m always right.”

He groans, his arms buckling out from under him, unsurprised when instead of letting him faceplant into his collarbone, Derek wraps big hands around Stiles’ waist and hefts him up, dragging him in and settling Stiles into his lap. Stiles shudders, biting his lip when Derek rolls his hips against Stiles’.

He blinks at Derek, his eyelids heavy, breathing shallowly through his open mouth. Up close, Stiles’ can see that the way that the blood has dried against his cheekbones, that it looks like somebody dragged a bloody hand across his face, like they were trying to push him away.

“This is such a bad idea,” Stiles mutters again, breaking off and moaning when Derek’s fingers dig into his ass, pulling Stiles forward and grinding against his dick.

“I think you mean fantastic,” Derek murmurs and reaches for Stiles’ zipper.

.

When Stiles’ dad had first mentioned bringing Derek in as a person of interest for the case that had been driving them crazy for months, Stiles had blinked at him, and said, “Derek Hale? You’re shitting me, right? The guy’s a teddy bear.”

“Grief has a way of changing a person,” his dad had said, and that was that until Stiles got news of Derek Hale’s arrest.

Looking at Derek now, slack and peaceful in sleep, Stiles thinks that they were both a little right. Derek Hale may not be a teddy bear, but he’s like a mogwai or something. Cute and fuzzy, but if you feed it after midnight it might just turn into a homicidal monster.

He’d brought in a warm washcloth after, when Derek was drowsing on Stiles’ bed, and cleaned them both up as best as he could, paying special attention to the blood still streaked all over Derek’s person. Derek had given him a little grin afterward, and they’d cuddled until Derek fell asleep.

When Stiles dad gets home, Stiles tosses a blanket over Derek’s head and shuffles closer to the other man beneath the covers, so that if his dad peers into his room, he’ll just think Stiles is sprawled out over the bed like usual. His dad doesn’t say anything when he does crack Stiles' door, but he stares for a little while, like he’s thinking about coming in and giving him a hug or something.

Makes sense, considering the fact that he’d just had a serial killer break out of his jail.

He leaves though, and Stiles strains to hear until his dad’s bedroom door clicks shut.

“Thanks for that,” Derek murmurs beside him, and Stiles startles, the only thing saving him from yelling is Derek’s hand clapping over his mouth the moment he moves.

“You’re welcome,” Stiles tells him, shrugging. He feels jittery, like his bones don’t fit under his skin and wonders if that’s because he just lost his virginity, or if it’s because he just lost his virginity to Derek Hale.

They lay there in silence as the minutes pass them by, Stiles watching shadows stretch across his ceiling.

“Why are you helping me?” Derek asks eventually, something small in his voice. Stiles turns to look at him, fabric crinkling under him. Derek is staring at him, face a perfect blank mask save for the hint of confusion around his eyes.

“Like you’d have let me say no,” he snorts, and then, when Derek looks like he’s about to get up, grabs a hold of his wrist. He licks his lips. “I’ve had a crush on you since I was like ten years old, dude,” he explains, his teeth digging into his lower lip. “And sure, I’ve got some… reservations about letting a convicted serial killer hole up in my bedroom, but you…”

Stiles stops again, unsure of how to explain it. He gives up, shrugging. “You’re a special circumstance,” he settles on.

“A special circumstance,” Derek repeats dubiously, giving him a look.

Stiles snorts, nodding. “Couldn’t say no to you if I tried. It’s a kind of character flaw: can’t turn down the guy he’s crushing on even when the dude is wearing the blood of someone he probably knows.”

At that, Derek winces, but doesn’t elaborate. That’s okay, Stiles will find out who it was soon enough.

He thinks about asking more questions — about why Derek really started killing people, why he came back to Beacon Hills, why he’d decided to sleep with Stiles, and if it was just because he was seducing the dumb kid into giving him a place to stay.

He doesn’t say anything, and eventually, he manages to find sleep.

.

The next morning, Derek’s gone. He tries to convince himself that he doesn’t care, that it doesn’t matter, but school that day is horrible. His focus flits around from subject to subject worse than usual, and he zones out enough that even Scott, distracted as he is by the lovely Allison, notices.

“You okay, dude,” he asks during lunch, squinting at Stiles. “You look kinda sick.”

Stiles feels kind of sick. He slept with a serial killer. He can’t even brag about losing his virginity before Scott, because the guy he lost it to kills people as a side hobby.

“I’m okay,” he tells Scott, trying for a reassuring smile. “Just didn’t get much sleep last night.”

The sick feeling persists through the rest of school, and then through most of lacrosse practice. When he gets back to the locker room though, there’s a text from an unfamiliar number on his phone.

Meet me in the preserve after school, it reads.

Stiles gapes down at it, then texts back, where in the preserve?

He hopes that this isn’t a burner phone that Derek’s already gotten rid of. A moment later, his phone chirps in his palm.

Where do you think, it reads, and yeah, okay. Hale house. That makes total sense, and isn’t at all the place that his dad’s going to be looking first.

You’re an idiot, he types, finger hovering over the send button. He sighs, and pockets the phone, saving the message to drafts. He’ll probably have use for it later anyway.

.

“You’re an idiot,” Stiles says when he spots Derek off to the back side of the Hale house. He’s sitting cross-legged in the leaves, back up against the charred husk of the building, and looks mostly normal. Unharmed at least. His eyes flicker open as Stiles approaches, giving him a sleepy grin.

“This isn’t a 'help me bury the bodies' sort of date, is it?” Stiles asks, flopping down in front of Derek and sprawling back in the leaves, legs and arms spread wide, like he’s about to make a snow angel. Leaf angel. Whatever.

Derek snorts, rolling his eyes. “No, dumbass. Though I’ll file the fact that you’d be okay with that away for later.”

Stiles grimaces and blows a raspberry in his direction. “You bring the corpses, I’ll bring the shovels,” he jokes halfheartedly and settles, crossing his arms behind his head so he can use them as a pillow.

“So why am I an idiot?” Derek asks. There’s the whisper of movement against his legs, so Stiles squints one eye open. They both fly open when he realizes that the touch is Derek, crawling up his body with an amused glint to his eyes. He hovers there, just above Stiles, the heat of his body as tempting as it was the night before. Stiles wants to yank him down, wants to reel Derek in and kiss him until he can’t breathe.

“This is the first place they’ll look,” he murmurs breathlessly, hips twitching when Derek leans forward and sucks a bruise just under his ear. “W-what happened to hiding out at my place?”

Derek hums and lowers himself down, until he’s settled all the way across Stiles’ body, like a particularly heavy blanket. He thrusts against Stiles’ thigh and chuckles when Stiles’ hands go immediately to his hair, getting his fingers tangled in the short, dark strands.

“I’m still hiding out at your place,” Derek tells him around a mouthful of skin. “I just had some stuff I needed to do today.”

“Please tell me it wasn’t murder,” Stiles murmurs, tilting his head back to give Derek better access to his neck.

Derek chuckles, running a loving finger alongside his jugular vein. “It wasn’t murder,” he assures Stiles, pressing a gentle kiss to his pulse.

They kiss for a while longer — slow, lingering kisses that make Stiles’ toes curl, then blows him enthusiastically, pressing his hips into the ground and holding him there as he swallows Stiles’ dick.

After he’s come, Derek jerks off over him, eyes intense and locked to Stiles’ open, panting mouth. He gives Stiles a questioning look, and when he nods, beats off for another couple seconds, then comes all over Stiles’ face.

It’s possibly even hotter than the night before, and they sit there after Derek licks all traces of come from his face, listening to birdsong as their heart rates come down.

“This isn’t just you trying to convince me to help you, right?” Stiles asks curiously.

Derek snorts. “Please. I already knew you’d help me. This is a bonus.”

Stiles hums in contentment, nuzzling into the space beneath Derek’s jaw. “Hey,” Derek says, sitting up a little bit. Stiles blinks up at him, making a sound of quiet loss as Derek pulls away. “I like you. It’s not just… me taking advantage of you or something.”

“That’s good to know,” Stiles says. Weird, because he has the excuse of crushing on Derek for years. Derek’s just got a distant memory of a hurt kid he’d sat with for awhile and the teenager who’d confronted him in the back of a squad car. Maybe that’s all Derek needs, someone who isn’t afraid of him.

.

Derek sleeps in his bed again that night, then the one after that, and the one after that. Scott’s dad shows up in Beacon Hills, which is all kinds of bullshit, but apparently he’s the one the FBI decided to send after a burgeoning serial killer. Stiles does his best to eavesdrop on him and his dad for Derek, feeding him what little bits of information he can.

“So what’s your kill count up to, anyway?” he asks one afternoon. He’s doing his chemistry homework at his desk, but with Derek sprawled out shirtless across his bed, nose in a dictionary, it’s slow going.

Derek glances at him. “Seven,” he says and Stiles blinks. That isn’t right. Derek’s file makes it sound like he’s up to fourteen, at the very least, scattered between here and New York.

He tells Derek as much, but Derek just flaps a hand at him dismissively. “Those were Laura and Peter.”

Stiles swallows, wide-eyed. He knows what happened to Laura Hale, he’s the sheriff’s kid. Him and Scott had even gone out looking for her body the night his dad got the call about the Jane Doe — they’d found the second half of her body.

“How’d she die?” Stiles asks carefully, setting his pencil down. He’s not even going to pretend that he’s still paying attention to chemistry. “Everyone says you killed her, but I always thought that didn’t seem right.”

Laura Hale was, to the Beacon Hills police department, Derek’s last known victim — the entire reason that he was caught in the first place. Derek blinks at him, his eyes wide and surprised as the book drops down onto his mattress.

“I didn’t,” Derek admits, still looking… something. Shocked. Touched? “Peter did. They came down here together to—”

He stops suddenly, biting down on his lip as an indecisive look crosses his face. Eventually he asks, “What do you know about my kills?”

Stiles licks his lips, thinking back on the file he’d stolen from his dad’s office — the one he’d carefully printed copies of and left on his dad’s desk. “I know that the police think that they’re random.”

Derek doesn’t bat an eye. “But what do you think?”

“They’re all connected to the fire, aren’t they?” Stiles asks in a rush, flushing. It’s a theory he’s been working on for awhile, since he found out that one of the victims was the person who ruled the fire an accident.

Derek gives him a small, approving smile, and nods.

“So, it’s all been about revenge?” Stiles asks, rushing forward before Derek can say anything. “You, Laura, and Peter — you were hunting down the ones responsible, for everything; the fire itself and covering it up.”

“Mostly,” Derek says, nodding. “There have been a couple that were just unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Peter, though. Peter makes Laura and I seem normal. He’s unstable and more dangerous than either of us could ever be. For us, it was always about serving justice. He- he kills because he likes it.”

“Is that why he killed Laura? Because she tried to stop him?”

Derek shrugs. “That’s my theory, but it’s possible that he just snapped and couldn’t tell the difference between her and whoever they were hunting.”

Stiles shivers. That sounds horrible. “Is he still around?”

A dark look crosses Derek’s face and he nods sharply, fiddling with the pages of the dictionary. “He’s the reason that I came back,” he confesses. “And I have my suspicions that he’s the anonymous tip that got me caught.”

Stiles whistles. “That sucks, dude. Think he’s gonna come after you?”

“Probably,” Derek tells him, huffing out a frustrated sigh as he runs his hand through his hair, mussing it. He looks like a wannabe Ancient Aliens guy. “But there’s one more person he needs to take care of — that we need to take care of. We argued about it a lot, because Laura and I wanted to go directly for the person responsible, but he wanted to take out the whole family. You know, eye for an eye? They burn our family alive, we burn theirs?”

He shrugs again, trailing off. “I still haven’t decided if I agree with him or not. I’ve done a lot of horrible things, but I don’t kill innocent people. I don’t.”

Stiles nods, like he understands, and pointedly doesn't say anything about the deputy that Derek had killed. He does sort of understand though, and is glad to hear it. It makes more sense in his head, reconciling the Derek that he knew before to the one that came to him with blood on his hands. “You know who it is though?” he asks, wheeling his computer chair closer to the bed. “The family? I could call in an anonymous tip, get them a protective detail?”

Derek shakes his head firmly. “That would just tip her off. And I’m sorry, but as much as I’d rather they don’t all die, I’d rather let them all burn than run the risk of her getting away.”

He’s not looking at Stiles, gaze firmly fixed on the comforter. It puts a bad taste in his mouth, but he’s already an accomplice right now. He’d hiding a fugitive. If his dad found out, he’d be forced to arrest him.

“I won’t tell,” he says quietly.

He really hopes he’s not making a huge mistake right now.

.

The next few weeks are quiet. Derek keeps using his bedroom as a safe haven, and they fuck and bicker like an old married couple. Stiles lets Derek have the run of the house when his dad isn’t home, but for the most part, he sticks to Stiles’ bedroom. One day, Derek comes home with blood streaked across his face again and Stiles pads out to the bathroom for a wet towel without a word.

“No one you know,” Derek tells him quietly as Stiles wipes the blood from his skin.

“Okay,” Stiles says.

.

It’s fine until the day that Derek shows up at his school, stumbling out in front of Stiles’ jeep, staggering and pale.

“Oh my god, dude,” Stiles hisses as he scrambles out of his car and over to Derek, who has taken the time to collapse backwards onto the pavement. “Do you have any idea how stupid you are? Your wanted posters are all over town, what are you even doing?”

He blanches when he sees the amount of blood on the asphalt and curses. “Okay, let’s just get you up and hope no one recognizes you, yeah? Teenagers, man, they’ll totally forget in like a day.”

He manages to get an arm hooked around Derek’s shoulder, halfway to the passenger seat before Scott shows up, pale and terrified looking. “Dude,” he hisses, yanking at Stiles’ shoulder. The movement must jar the wound, because Derek lets out this low, pained noise, and lets his head droop onto Stiles’ shoulder, panting. “What the fuck are you doing? You know who that is, right?”

“Of course I know who he is, Scott,” Stiles snaps, reaching out with his free hand to pet Derek’s hair. He tries for some soothing noises, but his whole chest is a tight ball of panic. He wrenches his shoulder out of Scott’s grip and carefully installs Derek into the passenger seat, warning him to keep his head down.

“Scott, not gonna lie, this is not the time,” he sighs, shutting the passenger seat behind Derek. Horns are blaring from the long line of cars behind his jeep and there are people looking — who have probably been looking — and he’s never been more terrified in his entire life. He looks at Scott, pleading with his eyes to give him a goddamn break and takes hold of his shoulders. “Look, I’ll explain everything later. I promise, just please, please, don’t say anything. Not until I have the chance to explain everything.”

He’s a serial killer, Stiles,” Scott insists frantically, voice shrill and panicked. “What the hell is there to explain?”

Later,” Stiles insists, his eyes probably a little bit crazy. “Please.”

Scott stares at him for another minute, then gives a short, jerky nod. “I’ll wait,” he says, which isn’t all that reassuring, but he’ll take what he can get. He presses a short, smacking kiss to the center of Scott’s forehead, smiling when Scott groans in disgust and wipes the spittle off his face.

“Promise,” Stiles says, and hurtles back into his car, peeling out of the parking lot without a backward glance.

.

“Do you realize how stupid that was?” he asks calmly, tone flat. His fingers are trembling on the wheel, and he has no idea where he’s driving, but it sure as fuck isn’t home. “There’s no way that no one saw you. What even happened?”

Beside him, Derek groans with pain as he shucks his jacket. “I got shot.”

“Yeah, and?” Stiles asks shrilly, tires squealing when he takes a turn too fast. “Tell me something that the bleeding hole in your arm doesn’t tell me.”

“I was following Peter and the woman he was stalking must have seen me, because she fucking shot me,” Derek barks.

“You found Peter?” Stiles asks, because woah, important information. “Wait, that’s not important right now. What the fuck am I supposed to do with you?”

Derek’s silent, brow furrowed in thought. “I’ve got some cash in my wallet, but all of my fake IDs are in my car. We’d have to get them and go a couple towns over to get me into a hospital.”

“Your car is impounded, and your IDs are probably in an evidence room somewhere,” Stiles growls, glancing at him out of the corner of his eye. “Not that it would matter, because you’re a wanted felon in more than one state. There’s no way that I’m getting you into a hospital without someone recognizing you.”

Derek is quiet again. He looks bad — shaky all over and almost gray. Stiles doesn’t even want to know how much blood he’s lost at this point. God, this is so fucked up.

Just when Stiles is about to say fuck it and make a U-turn to the hospital, Derek asks, “How are you at sewing?”

.

“Your master plan is shit,” Stiles tells him, dumping Derek onto the hotel bed. They’re a couple towns over and have only stopped once, for a bottle of whiskey he’d smuggled out under his jacket, some tweezers, sewing needles and fishing wire. “I’m just saying. If you get tetanus, do not complain to me.”

“Shut up, Stiles,” Derek wheezes, getting the cap off the bottle and… yup, pouring it onto the wound.

Fishing for a bullet with a pair of tweezers is not his idea of fun. Derek tries to be a champ about it, but he’s still squirming and white from the pain. Once he manages to get the bullet out, sewing him closed is only marginally better.

By the time all is said and done, Stiles is exhausted and Derek is passed out on the bed. He hopes that he hasn’t lost too much blood already. That would suck.

He fucks around the hotel room while Derek sleeps, using his phone to google shit about suturing up your own wounds. The results are kind of horrifying, and he has a brief panic attack while considering what would happen if he did give Derek tetanus. Then he shuts his phone off, removes the battery, and orders some pizza using the room’s phone and a handful of the cash Derek had on him.

When Derek wakes up, Stiles is ready for him with a glare and a slice of pizza. “So can we talk about how dumb that was now?” he asks, watching as Derek tears into a slice of pepperoni.

“I know,” Derek says weakly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know where else to go.”

The anger that’s been simmering under his skin since they left Beacon Hills drains out of him like that and Stiles slumps, sighing before crawling onto the bed with Derek. He kisses him, a quick peck that tastes like pepperoni and whiskey (he’d had a swig after — he was totally entitled to it) and carefully curls up into Derek’s side. “I know you didn’t,” he says. “I’m sorry. You’re safe now. Well, safer. You’re probably gonna have to run for the hills, but hey, at least you aren’t bleeding out anymore.”

Derek grimaces. “At least there’s that.”

“So,” Stiles starts, wriggling into a more comfortable position. “Peter?”

“He was tracking Kate, I think. I thought it was the niece, which I was I started following him in the first place, but I was wrong.” He scowls, probably blaming himself for her getting away.

“Have you thought about teaming up with him again?” Stiles finds himself asking. “Just until you guys take her out?”

Derek snarls at him, teeth bared. “No. He killed my sister.”

Stiles nods, stroking a soothing line down Derek’s chest. “Sorry, I was just asking. It was a stupid question.”

The minutes drag by slowly, and Stiles finds himself twiddling his thumbs, wondering how long they have before his dad notices he didn’t come home from school. When that happens, he’ll probably call Scott to see if Stiles showed up at his place, at which point there is no way that Scott will keep quiet about Derek.

“I need to call my friend Scott soon,” he tells Derek, sighing softly. “He saw you, when I was getting you into the car and I need to find out if he’ll be able to cover for me.”

Derek snorts. “There is no way that kid is going to keep quiet about me.”

Stiles shrugs uncomfortably. “He might,” he protests, but even he can tell that he’s fooling himself.

“We need to talk about what’s going to happen when they find out you’ve been helping me,” Derek says a couple minutes later, nudging him gently until Stiles looks up at him. His eyes are soft and apologetic, which makes things a little more real than he can handle. His breath hitches in his throat and he convulses in Derek’s arms.

“My dad’s going to have to arrest me,” he says blankly, eyes hot.

Derek’s arms tighten around him. “I won’t let that happen. You’ll come with me. Let Peter kill Kate, I don’t care. We’ll get out of the country, take a plane somewhere.”

Stiles laughs. “I’m a minor.”

Derek gives him a patient look. “I know people. We can get you a fake ID.”

“Yeah, but I look like a minor, okay? They’re gonna have to be some damn good fake IDs to get me onto a plane. And—” And his dad will still know. His dad will know that he’s been helping a serial killer, right under his nose. He’ll get shit for it. Probably lose his standing as sheriff. Drink himself into an early grave and all because his stupid, good for nothing son couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.

He doesn’t realize that he’s saying everything out loud until he’s sobbing as Derek pulls him into his arms, shushing him. “It’ll be okay,” Derek croons into his ear, rocking him back and forth. “It’ll be alright.”

He laughs and laughs and laughs, until Derek is muffling upset noises against his lips, quieting them both. There’s no way it’ll be okay. He’s in too deep and they’re both going to go to jail forever and it’s going to suck balls.

“I could distract you with a blowjob?” Derek offers after he’s quieted down. He sounds apologetic and a little bit frightened, which makes Stiles snort, because it’s funny. The serial killer is scared of him. That’s hilarious.

He makes a sweeping motion with his hand, and barks out another laugh, “Sure, distract away.”

It’s a good distraction. It’s still not good enough.

When he wakes up the next morning, Derek’s gone.

.

He doesn’t drive back that day, using the money that Derek’s left on the table to pay for another night. He stews in bed all day, terrified out of his mind, and his phone is dead; he doesn’t have his charger in the car and he’s too scared to go to the store to buy another one.

The next morning, he drives back to Beacon Hills, half expecting to be arrested the moment he gets into town. He isn’t, so he drives to Scott’s instead, because it’s a Saturday, and he owes his best bro an explanation before he’s arrested.

He’s barely done more than park when Scott flings himself out the front door, yanking open the car door and staring at Stiles with wide, scared eyes, like he wants to pat him down and see if he’s actually okay.

“Scott—” Stiles starts, turning the car off as an afterthought, but Scott’s already cutting him off.

“I covered for you,” he blurts out. “I told everyone at school who asked that Derek was your cousin from out of town — Miguel, if they ask, shut up, I couldn’t think of another name — and your dad thinks you crashed at my place.”

Stiles breaks, collapsing back into his seat and choking on a sob of relief. Scott, blessed, awesome best friend Scott helps him out of the car and up the stairs to his room, setting Stiles on his bed like he’s made of glass.

It’s a while before Stiles can do much more than sob into Scott’s shoulder, and when he pulls back, Scott’s eyes are red-rimmed too.

“Derek—” Scott says, like he can’t even believe he’s saying the name. “—called me yesterday morning. Wanted to make sure it was safe for you to come home. He asked if I’d told anybody and when I said I hadn’t, he’s the one who asked if I could spread the rumor around school about him being your cousin. I didn’t—” he falters, fists balling up at his side. “I didn’t know what to do, if he’d killed you and hid your body somewhere and wanted, I don’t know, a head start, but you said to wait so I- I waited.”

Stiles sucks in another shuddery breath and wordlessly accepts the tissue box that Scott passes him. Then, he explains.

When he’s done, Scott’s frowning, the space between his eyes all wrinkly with disapproval. It’s an expression that’s been there since Stiles told him about how Derek had ended up in his room covered in blood. “Dude,” he says when Stiles is done speaking. “What were you thinking?”

Stiles snorts. “Clearly, I wasn’t.”

“He could have killed you! I mean, I know you’ve carried that weird torch for him since we were kids, but c’mon, man. He’s a serial killer.”

“He’s only killing the people who killed his family,” Stiles mutters, but it sounds like an excuse. Scott clearly agrees, because he’s not just frowning anymore, he looks furious.

“That’s like the plot of a bad 80s horror flick, Stiles! You of all people should know how badly those end!”

“I know!” Stiles wails. “I know, I know, but you know what I’m like, dude. I get attached way too easy and I have terrible judgement—”

“You’re usually a great judge of character!”

“—but I like him. I had sex with him when he had Deputy Donovan’s blood all over him, and I don’t fucking regret it. How fucked up is that? I fucked him after he killed somebody and I don’t even care!”

“Stiles!” Scott shouts, and Stiles goes still, realizing all at once that he’s been on the verge of hyperventilating.

“Look,” Scott goes on, more calmly. “I’m not going to defend your actions, but when he called me, man? He sounded super cut up about it. He sounded like he was about ready to start crying if I told him that there was a warrant out for your arrest, and he— Stiles, he asked me to take care of you.”

There’s silence between them, stretching uncomfortably. Mrs. Abbot’s yappy dog next door is going off on something, probably a fucking bumblebee knowing the damn dog. It’s unbelievably loud.

“I’m not saying he’s a good guy, because killing people is not the way to handle that kind of grief, dude,” Scott says after a good ten minutes have passed. “But the only reason I didn’t call your dad and tell him everything was because he sounded like he actually cared. And seriously, I saw him in that performance of Macbeth that mom dragged us to forever ago, no way has he gotten that good at acting.”

Stiles shudders, and Scott reaches out, grabbing a hold of his hands. He squeezes, reassuringly. “But why’d he leave me?” Stiles mumbles, his chest tight.

Scott gives him a sympathetic look and jerks him in for a hug — its a McCall hug, long and warm, which means its the best hug in the world — and says, “I think he just didn’t want to drag you down with him.”

.

Weeks pass. Stiles goes to school. Comes back. Does his homework. Cooks dinner for him and his dad. Sleeps.

He goes through everything blankly, still kind of numb all over.

His dad asks him one night, if everything is okay.

“Sure, dad,” he’d replied, a fake smile splitting his face. “What do you want for dinner?”

He pointedly doesn’t listen out for any news about Derek. He keeps the police scanner off and leaves the room whenever his dad has to take a phone call in front of him. He doesn’t google Derek’s name and keeps the news off as much as possible.

Scott will occasionally let things slip though, little things, like when his dad almost caught Derek outside of Baton Rouge.

“He got away though?” he asks, even though he’s thinking about why the hell Derek would possibly be in Baton Rouge.

“Yeah, dude. He’s fine.”

.

A month and fourteen days after Derek left him in a hotel room, Stiles wakes up with no memory of falling asleep. He’s groggy, like he’s got a hell of a hangover, and is actually sitting upright, despite the fact that he was asleep.

He blinks his eyes open, squinting blearily into the darkness. His eyeballs have that gross gummy feeling that usually accompanies sleeping for too long, but when he tries to wipe them, he finds that he can’t move his hands.

His eyes fly open, roaming the darkness of the room quickly, before falling on—

“Ah, so he’s awake,” a voice purrs from some point over Stiles’ shoulder.

A chill goes down Stiles’ spine, because even though he’s never met the man, he has no doubt in his mind that he’s about to meet Peter Hale.

He couldn’t crane his neck around to look if he tried, so he doesn’t. He just keeps staring straight ahead, where the Argent family are all tied to chairs just like his, in a neat little row. They’re nice chairs, from somebody’s dining room, and look incredibly out of place in the ruin of the Hale home.

Allison’s eyes are wide-eyed with panic, struggling with the ropes binding her, mouth working around the gag in her mouth. Her movements aren’t sluggish, so Stiles is willing to bet she started struggling again when he woke up. Beside her are Allison’s parents, hard-eyed and angry looking, and the fourth chair is occupied by a blonde lady he’s never met before.

Allison’s aunt is back in town this week, he remembers Scott saying a couple days ago. I was supposed to meet her when she came to town last month, but she had to head straight back home like, right after she got here.

Kate. Kate Argent is the one who burned Derek’s family alive; the one who shot Derek a month ago. He stares at her, willing her to look more like a psychopath and less like a terrified, squirming woman.

“So quiet,” Peter murmurs, breath hot on the back of Stiles’ neck. A hand comes down on Stiles’ shoulder, heavy and unexpected. Stiles has to fight down the urge to flinch when Peter rounds the chair and settles into a crouch before him. “I like it.”

He was probably a good looking guy, before the fire. He looks like the type that would quote Hamlet and Othello at family gatherings, like that good looking English teacher that all the girls got inappropriate crushes on. Now though, the left half of his face is all melted candle-wax, his hair parted strangely to mask the way it doesn’t grow on half his skull anymore. He’s missing an ear, but he’s still got both shrewd, calculating eyes.

They’re terrifying.

“My nephew’s got you trained well,” Peter whispers into Stiles’ ear, breath hot on his skin as he leans too far into Stiles’ space. He squirms a little, flexing his fingers. “Such a good little lapdog, don’t you agree?”

He pulls away smirking, getting back to his feet with the same predatory grace that Derek had possessed. It had unnerved Stiles sometimes, when Derek wasn’t using it to flip Stiles over in bed or spin him up against his wall with a laugh and a good-natured jibe. It was in the way that he never made any sound when he crossed the room, how he had some kind of sixth sense for where the creaky floorboards were. On Derek, it had been slightly unnerving, but mostly hot. On Peter, it has his fight or flight instincts revving into overdrive.

“I sent him an invitation, you know,” Peter says jovially, setting a hand back onto Stiles’ shoulder. “My nephew. Thought that you might be good incentive — we were supposed to do this together, as I’m sure you’re aware. Him, Laura, and I.”

He tuts, like it’s such a shame that he’d killed his niece because she didn’t want innocent people to die. “They always were too gentle. Laura was such a disappointment. So much like her mother, yet she didn’t have the stomach for vengeance. I’d thought that of the two of them, she would be the one who was with me on this, but no. She challenged me,” he spits, and Stiles can’t help it anymore.

“That really sucks, dude,” he tells Peter, voice croaky with disuse. “I just hate it when I have to kill family members that won’t do what I want. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live withou—”

Peter backhands him, making Stiles whole chair rock backwards. He almost hopes it’ll tip over and splinter beneath him, that way he’ll be able to get out. But no, his chair just rocks back down onto all four legs. What a disappointment.

“The monologuing isn’t exactly a new schtick. When Derek told me about you, I thought you’d at least be interesting,” he says, grinning up at Peter. The smile, dark and promising, is one he’s borrowed from Derek. It’s the same one he’d had on camera at the station when he’d slit Deputy Donovan’s throat, the same one he’d had the first time he pressed Stiles back into his sheets and took him apart with his mouth.

“But you, you’re basically a Disney villain. You’re Scar,” he drawls, eyes dragging over Peter’s skin, a sneer on his lips. He tuts. “It’s disappointing.”

For a moment, he’s sure that Peter’s going to kill him. He’s gone red with rage, hands up like he’s about to throttle Stiles with them, but then he laughs, and says, “I can see why he likes you. You’ve got bite, kid.”

“So what are you waiting for?” Stiles asks, raising a brow. “Derek? Hate to break it to you, but he isn’t coming back here for little ole me. He fucked me and ran as far as he could go. Learned behavior probably, isn’t that right, Kate?”

Kate narrows her eyes at him and Stiles grins brightly back at her. “Yeah, I know all about that. He has nightmares, y’know? And nobody screams a name that much unless they personally know the one responsible. It’s a damn shame. You could have probably used him — he could have been your minion, but you just murdered his family and left. Bet you’re regretting that now.”

There we go, that’s more of the look he was expecting. Better. He still feels bad that Allison’s going to see this, but Peter’s watching him in something like approval, and he figures the longer he can drag this out, the longer he has to live.

“You’re perceptive, aren’t you?” Peter muses, tapping his lip thoughtfully.

“Sheriff’s kid,” Stiles grins back. “Did you know that a sizable portion of all the homicidal maniacs out there are actually either in law enforcement themselves or has family that is?”

It’s a statistic that he partially remembers, about serial killers and people with power, twisted to serve his purpose. Hopefully Peter doesn’t know whether or not that’s true.

“Hmm,” Peter remarks, circling him again. “I could offer to let you help me kill them—” He trails off, dragging a finger across Stiles’ lips, then licks his own. He leans in close, lips touching the top of Stiles’ ear. “—But then I’d have to untie you, and you seem like such a vicious little thing.”

Fuck. Oversold it. He slumps and bares all of his teeth in Peter’s direction, hissing, “Listen, you asshole, I—”

Then Peter’s wrapping a gag around Stiles’ mouth as well. He does everything he can think of. He screams, he bites, attempts to kick out with legs tied to the chair. None of it works and afterwards he’s red-faced and furious.

“Maybe if you’re good, I’ll take you with me when I’m done with them. Find out just what my nephew really liked about you. My bet is that sweet little mouth.”

He winks — he fucking winks, then starts swaggering across the room to Allison. Fuck, Allison.

“I don’t suppose your aunt told you what she did to my family, did she, little girl?” Peter asks her, grinning wide. “She cooked us alive, roasted everyone. Do you know what it’s like, to see your daughter roast in her own skin?”

He laughs and it isn’t a healthy sound. “You never will, of course,” he croons, stroking her hair.  “But your father and mother are about to find out.”

The room erupts into sound as the other three Argents kick up a fuss, screaming and shouting behind their gags as Peter produces a gallon of gasoline that had been half-hidden behind Allison’s chair. Stiles has to watch helplessly as Peter dumps the liquid over Allison’s head, listens to the noises she makes, the soft desperate sobs as Peter makes sure she’s drenched with it.

He produces a match from somewhere and laughs, turning to raise an eyebrow at Stiles. “Guess you were right. My nephew appears to be a bit of no-show. Shame.”

“Peter.”

Stiles shuts his eyes, breathing heavy through his gag. God, he loves that voice. He wants to hear that voice for the rest of his life.

When he opens his eyes, Derek is beside him, eyes on his uncle, but there’s a hand settling on his shoulder and squeezing.

“Derek,” Peter says with delight. “Better late than never, I suppose.”

“Stop,” Derek says, and Stiles can’t really see him, but his voice is flat and foreboding. It’s dangerous, like Stiles has never heard it. Stiles wants to tell him that he should be getting closer right now, because the match isn’t lit yet, but just one strike against the matchbox and Allison will be consumed with flames, but before he can do so much as think it, Derek is finishing that up with, “Kate first. I want to watch her die first.”

Peter pouts. “I wanted her to watch her niece burn though,” he croons mournfully, peering down at Allison. She’s trembling, but still, eyes wide and locked on Derek.

Derek snorts. “Kate won’t care. She doesn’t have the heart for it. Kill the girl before or after, but the only thing that killing her first will do is prolong the real murderer’s life.”

He stands there and crosses his arms. Repeats, “I want her dead first.”

“And I suppose you want to kill her as well,” Peter spits, sounding mutinous.

“We’ll kill her together,” Derek soothes, letting go of Stiles’ shoulder with one last squeeze and crossing smoothly to Peter’s side. “But not with fire.”

Peter’s eyes glint. “How then?”

Derek turns to face Kate and the expression on his face is one that Stiles has never seen before — its rage and loss and bloodlust all rolled into one terrifying expression. “I’ve thought about it a lot,” he says, sidestepping the other Argents without a second's glance. “Bone saws were a favorite for awhile. Then I read somewhere about someone who injected their victims with the liquid inside glow sticks,” he grins, dark and promising, the same one that Stiles had borrowed from him earlier.

“There were pictures,” he whispers, almost relevantly. “They were beautiful.”

He pauses just before Kate, looking down at her. “But you aren’t very beautiful are you? Not inside. You’re all rotten. If we had longer, I’d have gotten my hands on the venom of a pit viper. Make your outside as ugly as your inside.”

He smiles again, and produces a short, viciously curved blade from the inside of his boot. A linoleum knife, Stiles realizes. “But I’ve gotten attached to these. More personal, more intimate than lighting a match. Peter, do you have one of your own?”

Peter is watching Derek with a pleased smile on his face, but at his question, he scoffs. “Of course I do.”

“Then we finish this,” Derek says. “I’ve been waiting entirely too long.”

Stiles watches as Peter crosses to Kate’s other side, plucking a hunting knife from a table behind them as he goes.

“On three?” Derek asks, and Peter grins.

“One,” Derek starts softly.

“Two,” Peter purrs.

Stiles closes his eyes tightly.

“Three,” Derek finishes.

There’s a horrible gurgle and Stiles shudders, nails cutting into his palms. He doesn’t want to look, for all that Kate deserved this. He doesn’t want to see her dull eyes or the blood spurting from her neck.

“I’m sorry, uncle,” Derek says, and Stiles eyes fly open.

It takes a moment for his eyes to register what he’s seeing — that Peter is actually crumpling into Derek’s arms, throat slit cleanly from ear to ear, hunting knife clunking to the ground. There’s blood all over Derek, slicking over his face and down his neck, as he gently lowers his uncle to the ground.

Somewhere, Stiles can hear water running, it’s so quiet.

When Derek finally straightens up, he sighs, and turns to the Argents — Chris, Victoria, and Allison.

“I am sorry about this,” he tells them. “I didn’t want any of you involved, but I can’t just let her go. She killed my family. I’m sure you’ll understand some day.”

Stiles blinks, eyes widening.

Kate gurgles the same way Peter did when he slits her open. She chokes on her own blood, eyes going wide with surprise. Derek doesn’t smirk at her triumphantly, doesn’t gloat, just watches her quietly as she bleeds out, then turns away.

Someone’s crying. He’s pretty sure that it’s Allison, but he can’t tear his eyes away from Derek as he approaches him, hands bright red as they go for Stiles’ gag.

He gasps when his mouth is free, unable to look away from Derek.

“I’m sorry, Stiles,” he says gently. “I didn’t want you to see that.”

Stiles shakes his head frantically and goes, “No, no, no. It’s okay, it’s okay, just get me— I can’t— are you all right?”

Derek blinks, then smiles shakily at him. “No, I’m not,” he admits, dropping abruptly to his knees, as if he can’t hold himself up anymore. He breathes out hard, like the sound has been punched out of him as he gets his arms around Stiles’ waist, burying his nose into his chest.

“I stole your files,” Derek admits after a moment. “The ones your dad had on the fire. There’s a mention of a necklace, from your chemistry teacher’s statement. It’ll match the one around Kate’s neck.”

Stiles nods, glancing over at Kate’s corpse. Yep, there’s a necklace there. He doesn’t meet Allison’s eyes, or her parents, just looks back at Derek, who has his eyes closed. “He’ll be able to close the case,” Stiles tells him, wishing that his hands were free, so he could stroke Derek’s hair.

Derek hums, nuzzling further into Stiles’ belly before reluctantly pulling back, his eyes suddenly hard. “You’ve got two choices right now, Stiles, and I need you to think about them very carefully. Do you understand?”

“Yeah, but—”

Derek holds a hand up to his lips and because Stiles isn’t thinking, he nips at Derek’s fingers. It’s a familiar gesture, one that he’s done countless times while Derek was staying with him. He’d forgotten the blood, wrinkling his nose at the coppery, old penny taste. “Idiot,” Derek chides affectionately. “First choice is that I leave you here, tied up with these three, and call in an anonymous tip to your dad.”

“What’s choice number two,” he asks warily.

Derek smiles, leaning forward so that his lips are at Stiles’ ear. He breathes in, like he’s relishing the smell of him, and whispers, “Run away with me.”

Stiles blinks at him, breath catching.

“We can go wherever you want. My family — they had a good life insurance policy. Laura and I put it all in foreign accounts a while ago, so money will never be an issue. It’ll be tough for a bit, but eventually, we can probably come back to the states, once everyone’s forgotten.”

And the thing is, Derek is covered in blood right now. Stiles has just watched him kill two people. But Stiles somehow still wants to go with him, desperately.

His dad though. Scott. Melissa. He’d probably never be able to see them again — his dad would lose his job when the Argents give their statements. He’d be heartbroken, but maybe— Maybe if he makes Scott promise—

He bites his lip, thinking. He thinks about asking Derek if there’s an option C — if Stiles can get back to him later — but no, this is a one time only kind of deal. He looks at Allison suddenly, and she’s watching him, curious despite the tears streaked across her cheeks.

“I know this is a tough thing to ask, but would you—” he has to break off long enough to wet his lips. “—Would you look after my dad and Scott? I’m sorry, but I can’t— they’re hopeless without me and I—”

Can’t leave them behind.

She stares at him, like she’s yelling at him in her head for not removing the gag first, but she doesn’t look angry. Stiles wonders if she knew, if Scott had told her about his thing with Derek and sworn her to secrecy. It’s something he’d do. He’s terrible at keeping secrets from her.

She sighs, shoulders sagging, and gives this tiny, minute nod.

Stiles narrows his eyes at her. “Scott told you, didn’t he? About Derek.”

Another nod. Stiles rolls his eyes. “Can’t keep a secret to save his life,” he says fondly.

Derek’s still waiting patiently for his answer, eyes on his. He looks sad, like he’s already expecting a no despite the exchange with Allison, and it kind of hurts. Stiles never wants him to look sad. Ever.

“Yes,” he breathes, leaning in as well as he can to brush their cheeks together. “Yes, I’ll go with you.”

Derek’s grin is blinding.

.

“Hannibal went to Florence when he was on the run,” Stiles tells Derek, much later. They’re in Geneva, which as far as he’s concerned, isn’t anywhere near as nice as Madagascar was. He sent a postcard off to Scott and his dad the day before yesterday, so they’re due to head somewhere new soon.

“Pretty sure he went to some kind of tropical island first,” Derek replies distractedly, rubbing at the sunburnt bridge of his nose.

“Well good, we’ve already done that.”

“You really want to go to Italy?” Derek asks, glancing at him. Stiles shrugs.

“Why not,” he says, grinning. “I have it on good authority that there are a couple dishes that would go well with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

Derek rolls his eyes, but pulls him close anyway, pressing a quick kiss to his lips. “You’re an idiot,” he tells him firmly. “I’m an ex serial killer, not a cannibal.”

Stiles grins some more, leaning in to rub their noses together. “You love me,” he teases.

Derek’s smile goes soft, soppy with affection. “Yeah,” he breathes, brushing another kiss to the corner of Stiles’ mouth. “I really do.”