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True Mates

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True mates. Every werewolf has one. However, many can go years before finding theirs or, more often than not, they never find them at all.

A true mate to a wolf is the human equivalent to, let’s say, a soul mate or the one. Except it's a bit more complicated than that - of course it is, nothings ever simple in the world of the supernatural.

~

True mates could be: wolf, witch, druid or, on rare occasion, even human. Finding out your true mate is also a wolf, is like winning the lottery. Although it’s not as rare as getting all your numbers to match up, the prize is of the same calibre.

As wolves you will both be on the same page regarding instinct, ritual and tradition, as well as both of you having at least a little knowledge about what the whole phenomenon entails. So, it would all just fall into place, much like second nature - simple.

However, magic wielders and humans are a bit more of a pain in the ass.

A wolf would never discriminate the race of their true mate as they more than likely had been lectured most of their lives on the absolute privilege it is to actually manage to find their mate, no matter who or what they are, so they don’t really have it in their nature to be picky about it. But it’s still widely known within the supernatural world that, humans especially, can be a bit more difficult to acknowledge as a true mate.

First reason being is that humans generally don’t know about the supernatural (except the rare few who do end up as wolf mates, or, of course, hunters).

Yes, there are humans out there who know the glimmer of truth regarding the mythical creatures who star in their favourite bedtime stories but they usually either end up being bitten and turned or… dead. Okay, bit morbid but it wasn’t very often you came across a random human who knew the ins and outs of the supernatural world, unless they were related to or in some sort of relationship with a creature.

Humans are simple beings. They only see what is directly in front of them - everything’s in black and white. So, if they can’t explain it or don’t fancy admitting there is something out there which is - God’s forbid - different then they don’t usually want to know. Therein lies the obstacle. Humans are so damn stubborn and trying to tell them that not only are you a werewolf but they are also your true mate, is like pulling teeth.

With witches and druids, they already know about the supernatural so that’s not much of an issue. Most also have expert knowledge (especially druids) on all there is to know about werewolves.

Druids can be trained as pack emissaries, so a big chunk of their training is finding out the best ways to work alongside the Alpha and what steps can be taken in order to keep a pack strong.

Mates can be very advantageous in a pack, true mates even more so. The bond is unbreakable, so as long as two mates stay alive there will always be a pack, no matter how small. Therefore, druids usually know what to expect if a wolf ever approached them saying; “you’re the one”.

Witches who don’t know about true mates are a bit harder to convince.

However, it can be seen as a plus that they don’t run away screaming, or shit themselves when you show a bit of fang. So, they are, at the very least, a bit more susceptible to listening to your explanation. Let’s be honest, considering they are already aware that you turn into a great hairy beast under the full moon, nothing beyond that has much hope of surprising them.

Non-wolves do all have one thing in common when it comes to mates though. The last reason for them being a bit more of a problem to mate with is simply due to the fact that they just don’t share the same instincts.

Witches, druids and humans do share the bond and have urges the same as the wolf but only after they have been claimed and mated. It’s like once the ritual has been complete the wolf passes everything they are feeling through an invisible cord. The protectiveness, possessiveness and pure love all gets passed between them so it leaves no room for debate that they are both one hundred percent committed to the bonding.

However, it’s the getting to the claimed and mated stage that’s the hard bit. Trying to explain to a human that once mated, they will be passed such strong feelings and emotions through an non-existent wire that they won’t even think about the possibility of ever being in a relationship with another ever again is a bit of a touchy subject.

Wolves mate for life. So, unlike with humans and their fickle emotions where they can pick up and drop off marriage after marriage with no care in the world, wolves don’t have that luxury. It’s in their instincts. Once they have picked a mate and the claiming has taken place that is them tied for the rest of their days.

Before the claiming, however, that is a different story. They are quite welcome to rut with anything and everything to their hearts content (wolves are insatiable when it comes to lust, so they are rather promiscuous creatures) but as soon as that claiming bite is bestowed upon their mate’s neck, that’s it. No divorce, no cheating and definitely no; “I think we should just take a break and maybe see other people” - Nuh uh, nope.

Humans and magic users aren’t always eager to commit to forever. For a wolf it’s just in their nature. It’s as normal an occurrence as brushing your teeth in the morning. Therefore, more often than not, wolf/non-wolf relations usually end after a few months, or maybe even years, because the non-wolf wasn’t willing to give up their forever. Even for the promise of unbreakable, unconditional love.

There is an exception to the mates for life situation - of course there would be an exception. When or if a wolf claims a mate who is not their true mate and later on in life happen to stumble upon them, in this instance, they can in fact sever their current bond in favour of claiming their true mate, if they so choose.

However, this rarely happens. While some wolves believe a true mate to be the “most wonderful thing in the world”, most are just as content with being tied to someone they love, true mate or no.

There are of course more reasons as to why true mates are more complicated than the mortal ideation of ‘soul mates’ and it’s mostly all down to the behavioural traits of a wolf.

Once a wolf finds their special one, their instincts kick in to fiercely protect said individual with every fibre of their being. So much so that even the most innocent of touches bestowed upon their true mate by another can send the were into a possessive frenzy. It can get quite messy.

However, most wolves are more in control than the old tomes and stories give them credit for. They still get the urges to ‘protectbreedclaim’ but as evolution has progressed, they have become less aggressive in their ways.

A born werewolf has more control than a bitten werewolf. The main reason being is that born wolves grow up having been educated from day dot on every segment of knowledge known of their kind. Most grow up amongst large families containing other wolves, so born weres know the ins and outs of every bit of lore and every tradition that comes with the gift. Therefore, if there is something missed out or forgotten, most born wolves have the luxury of obtaining anything they need to know from their other wolf family members. A luxury a majority of bitten wolves don’t have.

Of course, bitten wolves are, more often than not, welcomed into the pack of the wolf who bit them but depending on the age of the human when bitten, that can be years of knowledge to drum into one being within a short space of time. Things like true mates usually get overlooked to make room for more important things. For example; “try not to go crazy in public and kill every human in sight” – y’know, priorities.

So, while born wolves know even the bare minimum about what to expect when finding their true mate, bitten wolves usually panic, not exactly knowing what is happening to them and; “why the fuck do I feel the need to mount that random stranger and sink my teeth into their throat?” So, sometimes, it can go a bit haywire.

If a bitten wolf comes across their true mate and, Mother Moon forbid, said mate is already joined with another, well, let’s just say, that sort of situation can be less than pretty.

Wolves can be possessive regarding what is theirs at the best of times, but for a wolf who has no knowledge of what to expect when this happens and hasn’t had much time to control the urges they can feel when coming across their true mates, well, this possessive trait increases tenfold.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Once claimed, the bond between two true mates is immense. It is said to be the most intense feeling anyone could ever even hope of knowing. While being mated in general is a wonderful thing, being mated to your true mate is a million times better. Apparently, you can feel their every emotion and you are so in sync that it often times seems like you are reading each other’s minds. Well, not really because that would be bordering on creepy and an extreme invasion of privacy but stories are usually exaggerated, however, you get the idea. It is supposedly a euphorically beautiful bond that only grows more and more in strength as the days go by.

The sex is also rumoured to be otherworldly but that could just be psychological. Like when you get a new pill from the doctor and once you read all the side effects suddenly you begin to feel them all, that kind of thing. People hype up the prospect of true mates to such an extent that some may or may not exaggerate the actual intensity of everything within the bond, the sex being no exception but then again, it may all be truth.

A mate is a gift from Mother Moon herself - or so Laura (his older sister) always told him. She believed that to find your true mate was the single most spectacular phenomenon known to wolf kind.

She was a romantic at heart. Not that she would ever have admitted that, she had to keep up with her badass ‘eldest child of the Alpha’ persona after all. However, when she was young she would always ask Mom to tell the story of how their parents found each other and; “how exactly does it feel to find your true mate?” She always insisted that under no circumstances was she to skip any of the fluffy details - definitely a romantic.

Where the storybooks seem to falter the most is the issue that once a wolf catches the scent of their true mate, they will slowly deteriorate until they have made their claim or will somehow die of melancholy if said mate rejects them.

Complete bullshit.

While it is true that a wolf will be more protective and have the urge to be close to their true mate once they find them, they do still have every right not to actually pursue the individual if they so choose. Without the fear of withering away to a lonely husk looming over their heads.

Yes, if the wolf has had the chance to get to know their intended true mate or have been in their presence for more than a brief moment, it will pine for the loss of a could have been true mate bond. However, with time and control, every were can get over it.

Eventually.

Prime example of this was a situation involving one of the Hale cousins.

Emily Hale had picked up the scent of her true mate one day whilst in the grocery store. Yeah, some wolves go their whole lives without even getting an idea of who their true mate is but some manage to stumble across theirs whilst casually browsing the condiments isle in the local store.

“Lucky bastards” Laura would say.

Anyways, their beloved cousin scoured the whole store following the sweet and sickly scent of her one true love, before finally coming across the most beautiful human male she had ever laid eyes on (her words).

As she retold the story to the family that same afternoon, she had mentioned how she couldn’t believe her luck and had steeled her trembling excitement to actually approach the man. She said that he worked at the store so she was going to disguise her interest in him by asking for assistance and hopefully going from there (cousin Emily was as subtle as a brick, no doubt she would have just asked the man on a date before even saying hello) but unfortunately she didn’t get that far.

As she got closer to the gentleman in question, she had caught a glimpse of the name tag on his shirt and left the store before she could even repeat what she saw out loud.

“What the hell did you do that for? You absolute idiot!” Laura had screamed at her.

“His name was Bartholomew, Laura. How can you expect anyone to be ecstatic about screaming that amidst the throes of passion?”

And that right there was way more information than eleven year old Derek needed to hear from his cousin.

Their family home had then filled to bursting with a mixture of laughter (mostly uncle Peters) and utter fury (it’s safe to say that Laura never spoke to her cousin again) but exhibit A is only one example of a wolf not pursuing the true mate that Mother Moon had deemed an appropriate match.

Cousin Emily had felt no worse off for the whole debacle (apart from maybe the initial glimmer of sadness her wolf felt for rejecting the chance of a bond). Since she hadn’t actually managed to speak to him, the symptoms were rather mild. In fact she had been claimed a few years later to a lovely man called Evan and she assured them all that the name just; “rolled off the tongue. Yep, Derek still hadn’t needed to know that - thank you kindly.

Years later, Laura made Derek promise that he would never be as shallow as their cousin. That he would give his mate a chance when he found them. To take the time to get to know them if the attraction wasn’t there from the word go. She was always confident he would find his special one, given time. She said that Mother Moon was never wrong in her pairings and if he didn’t fall helplessly in love with his match at first sight - ugh, fucking romantics - then he had to promise to just try.

He did promise. He loved his sister dearly and he couldn’t deny her this wish. He was also confident that he would never find his true mate, he believed he didn’t deserve that kind of bond after everything he had done but she was adamant he deserved the world. So, he gave in to her childlike dreaming and promised to give it a chance when the moment presented itself.

~

Derek unfortunately remembered - in vivid detail - the promise he had made to his sister years previously as he was currently standing with his arms crossed firmly over his chest observing the gangly, flailing teen doing… fuck knows what, in the lacrosse field a few yard in front of him.

Mieczyslaw Stilinski - beat that, cousin Emily - or as he is more commonly referred to as Stiles is, as Derek has just came to realise, his destined.

This pale, hyper-active and just generally annoying boy was whom Mother Moon believed to be Derek’s perfect match. The other half of his own heart. His special one. His… true mate.

Well, fuck.

Chapter Text

Derek knew of Stiles as he was the only son of none other than Beacon Hill’s very own Sheriff Noah Stilinski - that’s right, Sheriff. Someone must be seriously having a laugh with Derek right now.

He had never officially met the teen (obviously, otherwise the situation happening right at this very moment would have happened way before now) but he had seen a photograph. Albeit, it was of a boy much younger than the one uncoordinatedly prancing around the lacrosse field in front of him now but it was definitely that boy all the same.

Derek would like to say that he had grown out of his cheeky, childish demeanour, the one that even a blind man could have noticed in the photo he had been show, but it didn’t seem to be the case. For all intents and purposes, Stiles still acted and displayed himself as the same mischievous and overactive youth Derek had looked upon years ago - great.

Why he had been shown the picture in the first place? Derek couldn’t fucking remember. It was probably important at the time but it wasn’t really something he gave an ounce of a shit about right now. However, it had definitely made it quicker for him to identify the stranger who was causing his wolf to go absolutely ape shit the very moment he had taken the short cut through the field back to his old family home.

~

After a fire had burned down the Hale house when Derek was just sixteen years old, he left Beacon Hills for a while with his older sister Laura.

They were gone for roughly six years before Laura heard word that they weren’t the only two Hales who had survived the fire (as they had originally believed).

A letter she received from an unknown source detailing the whereabouts of their uncle Peter Hale and younger sister Cora Hale brought them rushing back to Beacon Hills only six months ago.

Unfortunately, because of their impatience to uncover whether the contents of the letter were in fact truth, Laura had been killed by a rogue Alpha. He had lured them back to Beacon, having suspected they would jump at the chance to be reunited with family after everything they had lost, only for the glory of being the one to wipe out the last of the Hales.

The Hales were the leading pack in Beacon Hills. Whilst other packs resided or passed through Beacon, it was primarily their territory and everyone who was anyone knew that. So, once the news got out that a fire had consumed the Hale property as well as all, except two, of the Hale pack along with it, other packs no doubt looked into taking advantage of their weakened state in hopes of taking the territory for themselves.

That was the main reason for Laura and Derek’s timely departure. Whilst Laura had automatically inherited the Alpha spark from their mom, Talia, upon her death, she was still new to the power and had a lot still to learn. That and the fact Derek was still only a teenager, who was overrun with grief for his families demise, which meant they would have had no hope of defending what was rightfully theirs in the event of a pack war.

The rogue Alpha had been honest about one thing, however. Their uncle Peter had still in fact been in Beacon Hills for all those years, but up until Derek and Laura had returned, he had been lying comatose in the local hospital.

Due to being severely injured in the fire and losing all of his pack bonds at once, it put a blocker on his healing. Unfortunately, it was only made worse by Laura and Derek leaving. Had they stayed, their remaining bonds would have helped him recover but since they had moved so far away, he had been left to suffer alone for six years.

He said he didn’t blame them for leaving, but they couldn’t help feeling guilty for not taking the time to check if anyone else had survived.

“It doesn’t matter” he had assured them. “You are here now”.

Peter mentioned that as soon as they had crossed the border into Beacon County, he knew. He had felt their presence and that had been enough to kick start his advanced healing. His skin knitted back together, wiping away the burns and finally allowing his mind to come back to the present once more.

Once they had managed to sneak a miraculously healed, previously comatose burn victim out of the hospital, the three of them had hiked back to the old Hale house that same evening, only to be greeted by the deranged Alpha (the one whom had written the letter). He had caught them by surprise and killed Laura before any of them even had a chance to realise they weren’t alone.

Laura’s Alpha spark was lost in the fray, the very moment his claws had ripped out her throat. It should have automatically passed onto Derek, him being Laura’s eldest heir (since she had no children of her own) but for some unknown reason, one they were yet to figure out, it hadn’t.

It was tough going but between the two of them Derek and Peter managed to rip the rogue apart, since he was already weakened by the lack of pack bonds they used that to their advantage. Finally they had outwitted him enough for Peter to get in the killing blow (with Derek’s encouragement) leaving him as the new ‘Hale Alpha’.

Derek was convinced he hadn’t inherited Laura’s spark due to him not being worthy of becoming the Hale Alpha, even with his uncle Peters assurance that these things didn’t work like that.

In all his years, Peter had never heard or seen an Alpha spark just wither and die without being passed on. Usually, in the event of a murder by another were, the spark went to the wolf that killed the Alpha. However, since the one who killed Laura was already an Alpha, sods law says it should have been passed to the wolf in their pack who was next in line (like it does when an Alpha dies of natural causes or is killed by a non-wolf). But for some fucked up mystery reason, it just hadn’t.

After the fight, Peter hadn’t the answers when Derek came to him asking why. So, he had just assured Derek that they would figure it out in due time but until then, Derek was not to blame himself or overthink it.

For Derek, that was easier said than done.

It had taken them both the last six months to fall back into a kind of routine, as well as get over the fact that Laura was gone. It will never be the same as it once was, they both know that but for now it’s okay. They are both just grateful they have each other after everything they have both lost.

Peter is strong, he always was. Although she would never have admitted it, Talia could not have run the pack without him.

He was her younger (only) brother and they fought like cat and dog most days but they would have died for each other, and together they kept the Hale pack functioning.

She used to call him the; “yellow eyed Alpha”, because he sure as hell always seemed to act like one. He never undermined Talia’s rule and he was never bitter about his sister being the leader but he knew his worth. He would have done absolutely anything to protect the pack, even if it meant questioning Talia judgement from time to time.

She argued with him till she was red in the face but she respected him and knew his only interest was keeping the pack strong so she usually listened to his input. After making a scene, of course, it wouldn’t do to have a peaceful debate - not in the Hale household.

Talia would have agreed with Derek in that Peter was more than worthy of the title ‘Hale Alpha’. She would have wanted Derek to be safe above all else and under the circumstances, Peter was both of their best chance for surviving.

They have had no other threat since that night but that doesn’t mean they will be letting their guards down. It seems that even with the Hale pack’s untimely demise, Beacon Hills is still exclusively their territory. The Hale name must carry more weight than Derek had first thought.

Peter assures Derek that now they have returned to their family lands, they will most likely be bombarded with problems at every turn but Peter is nothing if not confident in his abilities and he is sure they will overcome any issues presented to them.

There was also the issue still hanging over their heads of the rogue Alphas letter, which stated that one “Cora Hale” was still alive and in Beacon Hills. Peter believes there to be some truth in the Alphas words, since he had been exactly where the Alpha had located him but the words had been a little vaguer with regards to Cora.

However, neither of them had yet received any more word of the validity of the information they had been given but they sure as hell wouldn’t stop until they could confidently confirm or deny the rumour.

In the last six months, Peter has been working tirelessly to reach out to surrounding packs to re-establish the treaties they had signed back when Talia was Alpha. It came with some minor glitches but nothing the two of them couldn’t handle.

It turns out most of the packs still hold the Hales in high regard and are thrilled to have them back in Beacon – “where they belong”. A few were doubtful that two wolves could successfully run the once most prestigious pack known to wolf kind and bring it back to its former glory. But Peter had assured them that once everything had settled down and they had taken adequate time to mourn their losses, they would start expanding (meaning he would be looking to recruit more wolves into the pack or establishing new bonds) and once more the Hale pack would rise up to the strongest it has ever been.

~

A few weeks ago, Peter put into motion the task of rebuilding the Hale house. They began renting a property in the middle of town (The Loft they called it), just somewhere for them to stay until the renovations have been complete. However, Derek often gets restless in the temporary lodgings, his wolf itching to just run free across the acres and acres of preserve surrounding their old home. So, he usually finds himself taking the trek back out to the Hale lands, if only just to reminisce.

So, Derek had managed to wander Beacon Hills quite contentedly for the last six months before finally discovering his true mate lived in the same town. All it took was the split second decision between going the long way or the short way to the Hale house and bam, here he was, - why hadn’t he just stayed at The Loft? - frozen in place at the edge of a lacrosse field watching five teenagers doing… whatever they were doing.

On a normal day, he would have been worried about an onlooker catching a glimpse of him and thinking the worst. I mean here he was, twenty two years old and literally lurking at the side lines, gazing intently at a bunch of minors - Mother Moon preserve him if Peter hears about this.

However, this wasn’t a normal day and yes, it may not yet be dark enough for him to successfully hide out of everyone’s viewpoint but he was hidden enough away that he knew the teens would never notice.

Plus, it’s not as if he means any ill intent. He’s just utterly dumbfounded at this moment and is genuinely glued to the spot. So, although any onlookers that may happen by don’t know of his real intentions for being here, he doesn’t rightly care because he’s not sure he could even move if he really wanted too.

However, a gust of wind brings his attention towards a familiar scent and suddenly he’s getting the fierce urge to just run. Of course, this day just gets even better by the second.

Here we fucking go.     

Chapter Text

Derek knew his face must be conveying a thousand words, if the shit eating grin Peter just aimed in his direction was anything to go by.

“If the wind were to change, my dear Nephew, your face would unfortunately stay like that.”

Derek didn’t move from his position, nor did he even turn his head to acknowledge the man who was now prowling - no other word for it - in his direction to take a stance beside him. Derek just kept his arms folded across his chest, his shoulders squared and his gaze forward.

“What do you want, Uncle?”

“Oh, nothing. Nothing at all. I’m just curious.” Peter’s voice was oozing with faux innocence.

Derek didn’t reply with words, just jutted out his chin for his uncle to continue, keeping his expression impassive.

“I’m curious as to why you have been staring toward that group of teenagers for the past…” He looks at his watch. “… seventeen minutes?”

Derek just let out a slow breath. Of course his uncle just happened to be in the same place at the exact same time Derek’s wolf was having a quiet meltdown. Derek must have been too focused on current events to notice.

He also knew that answering his uncle’s question was pointless. Peter was clever, a complete and utter narcissistic smartass, but extremely clever. He knew Derek better than he knew himself - it was kind of creepy.

“It’s one of them, isn’t it? You’ve finally found your-”

“Yes” Derek didn’t let him finish. He wasn’t sure he was ready to accept all of this yet and he could do without Peter saying it out loud.

“Oh, my dear Nephew, I believe congratulations are in order. You know, finding a true mate is an honour that few wolves manage in their lifetime.” Peter continued, not even bothering to try and hide is his mocking.

“So I have heard.” Derek was aiming for nonchalance but his rapid heartbeat was most probably betraying him.

“So, pray tell, Nephew mine, which one of these lucky humans is your intended?”

“Piss off, Peter.”

“Oh, Derek, don’t be like that. I only have your best interests at heart.”

At that, Derek turned his head towards his uncle, now seeing as well as hearing the pure enjoyment he was getting out of his incessant teasing. He was sporting the most wolfish grin Derek had ever seen, it was like his teeth were the only thing holding back his laughter.

Derek let out a snort and turned back to look at the group in front of them. Just in time to catch the very second that Stiles (and all four of his flailing limbs) hit the deck.

Derek closed his eyes, letting a groan leave his throat before he could stop it - fuck.

Peter threw his head back and - honest to the Gods - barked out a laugh.

“This. Is. Priceless!” Peter forced out between bouts of breathless laughter. Not caring that his voice went up a few octaves and was most probably loud enough to travel across the entire field.

Peter managed to reign himself in just long enough to allow his next words to come out, albeit there was still humour ringing from every syllable.

“Him? Stiles Stilinski? Sheriff Stilinski’s 16 year old, high-school student, spasmodic, socially awkward son is your true mate?”

Another laugh, and he even has the nerve to cry actual tears of unadulterated mirth at Derek’s expense.

“This is gold. Mother Moon, I need a minute!”

“I’m so glad my life brings you such humour, Uncle.” Derek glared at him, his jaw clenching to keep his fangs at bay. His shoulders tensing in what could only be conveyed as the early signs of murderous rage.

“Oh, don’t be like that, Derek. I’m a simple man. You know how much I enjoy revelling in others misfortunes.” Peter wiped at his eyes and cheeks to dry off the remnants of tears. He took up a similar stance to Derek and cast his gaze to the teen in question, examining.    

“Even those of your family?”

“Especially so.”

~

After a few much needed seconds of silence, Derek’s hardened exterior crumbled. His shoulders slumped and he ran his hands through his hair before finally turning, full body, to face Peter.

“What if he doesn’t even like men?”

That is your biggest concern? Really, Nephew?” At Derek’s blank but questioning expression, he continues. “Well, in that case, you seem to seriously underestimate the power of Hale sex appeal.”

Derek let out a groan.

“Fuck sake, Peter, it’s not that simple. I can’t just force him to change his sexuality.”

Peter has the gall to actually look offended at Derek’s words.

“No one said anything about force, dear Nephew. We are not savages. Just a little bit of gentle persuasion.” There’s that predatory smirk again but this time it’s accompanied by a not so subtle wink.

Derek eyes rolled to the back of his head, his nostril flaring in his impatience. How’s that for Hale sex appeal, Uncle mine?

“Besides, aren’t you forgetting that true mates are destined by Mother Moon herself?” Peter continued. “Do you honestly think she would make the mistake of pairing you with someone who doesn’t enjoy a good sword fight? Or at the very least is a little bit bi-sexuelle.”

“Do you hear yourself talk sometimes? It’s honestly disturbing. No one talks like that.”

“Oh lighten up, Derek. It’s not the end of the world. I mean you did promise your dearest sister that you would give your true mate a chance but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually claim him.”

Derek let out a huff and resumed his previous bodyguard-esque stance. His eyes automatically landing on the young boy once again.

“Why don’t you just get to know him and see where it goes?” Peter supplied, noncommittedly.

“Get to know him?! What the fuck am I supposed to say?! Oh hi, Stiles, you don’t know me but let me tell you a few things. First up, I’m a werewolf, hah ain’t that the revelation of the century? And secondly, you’re the lucky winner in my ‘true mate’ lottery draw. Surprise and congratu-fucking-lations! Say goodbye to the life you know because your stuck with me always and forever. Oh and don’t tell your father, y’know the Sheriff, cause he will probably shoot me, please and fucking thank you!”

Seeing his uncles shocked expression at his unrestrained gesturing (it could have possibly been seen as flailing – Mother Moon help him) reeled Derek back down to earth. He cleared his throat, straightening his posture once again, attempting to downplay his frantic outburst. Steeling his jaw before anymore coarse words spilled from his lips.

It wouldn’t do to give his uncle any inclination that he was genuinely shitting bricks.

Too late for that now - nice one, Derek.

“No need for the dramatics, dear Nephew. I have to say though, that is the most I have heard you speak in one breath. It makes a change to your eyebrows answering my questions. It was almost enough to render me speechless.”

As if on command, Derek raised one eyebrow towards his uncle. This particular angle of brow meant in no uncertain terms ‘Go fuck yourself’.

“Maybe you and this mate of yours are more alike than you think, if that outburst was anything to go by.”

“Peter, if you are not going to say anything useful, then leave me in peace.” Derek was seriously nearing the end of his already short supply of patience.

“All I am saying is, that it may not be as bad as you think? If you just tried. I mean he may be a bit flamboyant, but it would take a fool not to realise that he’s extremely easy on the eyes.”

Derek wasn’t exactly sure in what moment he went from resembling a Madame Tussauds waxworks to his fangs being mere centimetres from his uncle’s face with a clawed hand wrapped around his throat. And apparently snarling? Yes, he was definitely snarling.

“Nephew, calm yourself, before someone sees you.” Peter had no hint of fear in his voice, only a gentle authority as if scolding a disobedient child. He held his hands up, palms facing Derek in a peaceful gesture.

Derek could see his uncle’s mouth move but couldn’t hear the words. All he could focus on was the mantra of ‘protectmate’ and ‘killcompetition’.

“Oh for the love of…”

Peter’s eyes flashed Alpha red and Derek immediately snapped out of his current state, unable to ignore an Alphas command. His hand from around Peter’s throat instinctively retracted as if burned, his claws and fangs also subconsciously went back to human.  

“I… I’m sorry, Alpha. I don’t know what- What just happened?”

Peter massaged his throat with one of his hands, the tiny claw-shaped gashes having already began to heal.

“I’ll tell you what just happened. Your wolf has already attached itself to their mate.” Peter almost sounded… impressed.

“But… I don’t understand?” Derek’s voice was small, he couldn’t bring himself to look Peter in the eye as he spoke.

“What was your wolf telling you to do just then?”

“To… protect mate.

“Yes, and what else?” Peter knew the answer to his own question, of course he would. He knows everything.

“Kill competition.” Derek answered honestly but he lowered his voice to almost a whisper, ashamed of the admittance.

“Precisely. Your wolf got jealous with me mentioning your mate being “easy on the eyes”, it believed me to be portraying interest. So, naturally, it jumped on the defensive.” Peter was being shockingly cavalier about just having a set of claws around his throat.

“Peter, how can you be so calm? I could have really hurt you!”

Peter didn’t answer, just raised one eyebrow and shot Derek a look that said ‘Really, Nephew?’ Cocky bastard. Derek let out a deep sigh.

“Fine. I wouldn’t have managed to hurt you but that’s not the point! I didn’t even realise what was happening, I couldn’t control it.”

Peter turned fully to face Derek, placing one hand gently on the scruff of his nephew’s neck (a calming gesture from an Alpha to his Beta). Derek dropped his head forward, closing his eyes as he melted to his Alphas touch.

“Nephew, calm down. Don’t worry about it. It’s not exactly ideal that your wolf has been so quick to attach itself, especially without even having spoken to your mate but it’s still not the end of the world. You’ve been through so much, Derek. It’s not at all surprising that your control has managed to weaken slightly.”

Derek forced himself to lift his head. Looking into his uncle’s eyes, he saw nothing but pure concern and love seeping through.

“We can work on it.” Peter’s expression was soft with a genuine, caring smile gracing his lips. He hadn’t yet moved his hand from Derek’s neck, still content with showering him with the calming pheromones he fed through their pack bond. This is why he’s the Alpha.

“Okay.”

“Good boy.” Any other time, that would have been condescending coming from Peter’s mouth but at this moment, it was meant as genuine praise. Derek would be lying if he said it didn’t make him preen.

~

After a few moments of comfortable silence, Derek spoke again. Now feeling way more at ease with the situation than earlier. Now willing to reasonably figure out a way forward.

“So, what do I do now?” He asked.

Peter let his hand slip from Derek’s neck, as he took up a similar stance to his nephews earlier (arms crossed over his chest) - albeit, it’s slightly less militant than what he had been trying for. He looked out at the teens once more. They were still dicking about on the lacrosse field, delightfully none the wiser regarding the shit show that had just occurred.

“I still stand by just getting to know him. Your wolf already agrees with Mother Moons choice, but you need to allow yourself a chance to figure out if it’s something you want too. The only way that can happen is if you talk to him.”

Derek lets out a sigh.

“I’m not good with words. I’d just end up making a tit of myself.”

“Oh, of that there is no doubt,” Peter breathes out a laugh, turning his gaze back to Derek to show him that he may have just let loose his softer, more affectionate side, but he’s still a sarcastic asshole. Derek just glares at him but there’s no real heat behind it. He’s secretly glad that Peters opted to revert back to teasing, it’s easier to handle. “but you can at least try.”

Derek doesn’t reply, just lets his eyes wander over his mate once more. Taking a moment to appreciate the boy’s complete and utter joy at just running around like a loon. His hysterical and unabashed laughter echoing across the wide open space sent an involuntary shiver up Derek spine. He let his eyes fall closed, content at just letting the syrupy smooth sound envelope him in a warm caress. The gentle chuckling somehow in perfect harmony with every beat of Derek’s heart, together they were conducting the most euphoric symphony.

Oh no.

His eyes shot open, bringing his thoughts back from that blissful void. It took him a few seconds to realise that he was alone, his uncle was no longer in the vicinity. The teens were also gone. There was no sign of anyone or anything within his advanced hearing abilities’ radius. How long had he been in that trance? Had anyone walked past him? When had Stiles’ laughter stopped being real and start being pure imagination?

This was not good.

Chapter Text

Derek didn’t make any moves to introduce himself as Peter suggested.

The main reason why would be because it was Peter who suggested it, nothing good ever comes from following Peters advice. Although he is a really good Alpha and would never do anything to completely fuck up Derek’s life (or hurt him maliciously) he’s still an arsehole. An arsehole who - when he gets bored - likes to mess around with people for fun.

Derek loves his uncle, as his only family left he sees him as an almost father figure (he kind of always has really, like a second father when his actual father wasn’t around) as well as his Alpha and he is under no illusion that the love is reciprocated. However, that doesn’t mean Peter isn’t also the most infuriating person Derek has ever met. He has a penchant for causing mischief wherever he goes, making things go tits up then sauntering away from the chaos he has created with the biggest shit eating grin plastered over his face.

So, forgive Derek if he is a little reluctant to jumping head first into some advice given to him by his uncle. It may have made sense at the time but he can’t be sure it won’t backfire at some point all for his uncle’s amusement. He can just hear the smug cackle now - “All in good humour, my dear Nephew”.  

The second reason he hasn’t already spoken to his mate is because, well, Stiles is only sixteen. Whilst Derek wouldn’t ever dream of mating and claiming anyone who is underage, he still isn’t really comfortable with talking to a minor with the knowledge that (if things go well) it could all eventually get sexual. Yes, he would only be introducing himself at the moment and maybe spending time with the youth, if he was interested, but it still felt kind of slimy to him. Like he had an ulterior motive to talking with the boy while Stiles was completely innocent to the whole ordeal. It just didn’t feel right.

So, he has decided to take all necessary precautions to keep his wolf in check until Stiles turns eighteen. He would keep as much distance from the youth as he could possibly muster.

Beacon Hills is a small place but Derek is confident that now he knows who his true mate is, he should have no trouble avoiding even catching a glimpse of Stiles if he keeps himself to the forest and outskirts of town. He could do that. Easy. It’s only a year and four months until Stiles turns eighteen and with school and friends to keep the youth occupied until then, what were the chances that he’d ever, even accidently, happen upon Derek’s family’s territory?

He would just keep to Hale lands and hopefully it would all work out - that sounds simple enough.

~

Well, that idea lasted all of four days.

Here Derek was standing in the preserve, just a few hundred yards from the burned out ruins of the old Hale house, watching Stiles and some other boy wander aimlessly through the trees in the wee hours of the morning.

“Give me strength.” Derek breathed out to no one but himself.

Derek had been minding his own business, just taking his usual late night/early morning run through the woods when he had caught a whiff of sweet, sickly honey and warm cinnamon spice and stopped dead in his tracks. He didn’t even have time to ponder on the source before his wolf had taken the reigns. The next thing he knew he was lurking in the shadows behind a fallen tree, with his true mate mere feet in front of him.

Again.

Some poor souls never find their true mate and here’s Derek, casually bumping into his twice in the same week - what gives?

Laura would be ecstatic right now. She would have probably already had the teen sitting at their family’s dinner table, reciting every embarrassing story from Derek’s childhood. Knowing Laura, Stiles would now know everything there was to know about werewolves and would be an expert on true mates before Derek even had the chance to offer him refreshments.

Well, screw it.

Derek steps out from the darkness, now standing in a spot gently illuminated by the moon. Even with every other inch of the forest still being enveloped in black shadow and the human’s lack of night vision, there was just enough light breaking through the tree above for the two teens to finally see him.

“This is private property.”

A high pitched scream echoed through the preserve, followed by the signature flurry of limbs.

Derek eyes roll to the back of his skull (although it lacks the normal heat the gesture usually entails), and if anyone were close enough to notice the small, fond curve pulling at the corner of his lips, he’d deny it.

“Woah dude, you could give a guy a heart attack by doing that.” Stiles was the one to talk first - of course he was – but only after he’d managed to calm his breathing enough to get the words out.

His voice was raspy, no doubt a symptom of the scream he had just unleashed, but it was still not what Derek had expected. It was lower than he imagined - not that he had ever imagined his true mates voice, nope, not once – and smooth like liquid gold but with a pitch to it that could be perceived as annoying. To Derek, it was almost endearing.

Stop it.

“You are trespassing.”

“Sorry, erm… Sir.” It was the other boy who spoke this time. “We… we got lost and… and… We will just turn around and go back the way we came. Come on, Stiles.” Derek had almost forgotten there was another human present, too busy admiring the most beautiful amber tinted orbs he’d ever seen and imagining what that voice would sound like moaning out his name - what the fuck?

“Wait. Wait a minute, Scotty. That’s, that’s Derek Hale. You know, one of the only Hales to survive the… the accident. We could totally ask him if he knows anything.” Stiles was whispering but of course Derek could hear every word.

Derek would deny to the end of his days that the fact his true mate knew his name - knew who he was, even - sent a spark through his entire body. Igniting a fire that burned hot through his veins, from the top of his head to the very tip of his… toes.

Derek cleared his throat, shaking his head as if to clear his mind of the impure fog clouding all the available space.

“You shouldn’t be here. Leave. Now.” Derek barked out.

“Yes, yes, you’ve said that already- Wait, one second.” Stiles leaped closer with one hand outstretched in a stop gesture as Derek turned on his heel.

He had every intention of walking away (or running, more likely) and chaining himself up in the Hale house basement for the remaining year and four months until Stiles’ birthday.

“Please.”

Derek hopes, nay prays, to all the Gods above that no one heard the pitiful whine that just escaped his throat. Although, he couldn’t see for sure, he could guess that his eyes had just flashed a surreal shade of blue. He could feel his gums itching as his fangs fought against his willpower to spring free. To claim.

His mate had practically just begged him to stay in his presence. His wolf, no matter how strong, couldn’t deny that request.

With his back still turned away from the teens, he called forth every deity he could remember the name of to give him enough strength to stop himself from launching at his mate and debauching him right here on the forest floor.

Stiles continued to speak – because that just doesn’t help Derek’s situation, so of course he would speak again. Why not just test Derek’s control to the absolute fucking limit?  

“Mr Hale... erm, Derek? Just out of pure, innocent curiosity, do you know anything about a… body… out here? Like, you know… a dead one?”

Derek (now completely human looking again) turned to face the boy.

“What?” His voice came out harsher than intended but his brain was taking a little longer than normal to catch up.

“Erm… well, we heard a rumour and just- I don’t know? We kinda wondered if it was true at all.” Stiles had stopped advancing on Derek. Now seemingly content with the small amount of distance between them.

“Is that what you two are doing out here? Looking for a body?” Derek asked dryly. His control was slowly reigning itself back in now that he was more focused on his mates reasoning for being here.

“Hmm?” Stiles answered but he seemed miles away, as if his mind had wandered away from the current conversation.

Derek coughed to gain back his attention and the teen snapped back to reality.

“Oh… oh… no, no, definitely not. We would never intentionally go out in the middle of the night looking for dead things. Nope, nah. Not at all. Right, Scotty?!”

Stiles glanced over his shoulder to the quivering boy a little ways behind him. The other teen ‘Scotty’ didn’t answer, just licked his lips and open/closed his mouth a few times as if he had all but lost the ability to speak. He kind of reminded Derek of a rabbit caught in headlights. A bit gormless really.

Stiles just sighed at his completely shell shocked friend and looked back at Derek who was now standing with his arms crossed over his chest - his most favoured stance, apparently - with one eyebrow cocked at Stiles as if to say ‘I don’t believe your bullshit’.

“Okay, fine. Yes, that’s why we are out here but it’s honestly not as bad as it sounds. You see, my dad is the Sheriff and I heard him talking… well okay, maybe I was eavesdropping on a phone call but that doesn’t matter…” Que the wild gesturing. Derek wasn’t sure where his eyes were expected to focus. On one of his two flailing arms or his dramatically expressional face?

“Stiles” Scott’s voice wasn’t loud enough to interrupt his friend’s verbal diarrhoea.

“… and he said something about a “missing girl” and then the words “jogger” and “dead body” got mixed in there somewhere…”

“Stiles” It was clear Scott was trying to stop Stiles from rambling but his voice was just not projecting enough volume to take effect. That and the fact he still looked utterly frozen to the spot. Derek found it slightly amusing how terrified this boy was of him and he wasn’t even showing fang - ah, humans.

Derek ended up just looking in Stiles general direction instead of focusing on one singular part of him (he was giving himself a headache with how fast his eyes were trying to keep up with every movement). He was only now aware that his eyebrows were almost at his hairline, a subconscious reaction to hearing the words spill from Stiles’ mouth without a hint of him even thinking of stopping for breath. It was almost impressive.

Stiles kept going.  

“… so, I tapped into the police scanner and managed to coax some more info from my dad and well, that’s when I pieced together the whole story. Apparently, someone running through the woods stumbled, quite by accident, over the body of a dead girl, or at least the top half of her, and it may or may not be the girl whom had been reported missing a few days ago-”

“Stiles!” There we go.

“What?!” Stiles turned (flailed) to look at his friend.

“Stop. We have no idea who this guy is. For all we know, he could be a murderer and you’re telling him… well, stuff we shouldn’t even know.”

“Oh Scotty, why do you always have to be so… judgemental? Not every stranger you meet in the dark is a weirdo.”

Scott looked genuinely confused at how calm Stiles seemed. It was kind of adorable, like a lost puppy.

“You’re not are you?” Stiles quickly turned back to face Derek, fast enough that it almost gave him whiplash.

Derek just made a noise that could have been a What?”

“A murderer?” Suddenly a sharp spike of unease plagued the boys scent. Stiles swallowed and Derek’s eyes automatically tracked the movement.

“I could be.” Derek shrugged. Willing his face to stay as stoic as possible, so as not to give away the pure amusement rippling through him at seeing, even in the lack of light, the rosy pink tinge completely drain from Stiles complexion.

“Well… erm. This was absolutely delightful. We should totally do it again sometime… maybe… you know… once I’ve ran your name through the police database.”

“Stiles. Come on.”

Derek huffed a laugh but his face didn’t change.

“You should listen to your friend… Stiles.” He purred out his name, getting a feel of it on his tongue. He also didn’t miss how it made his mates breathing hitch and his heartbeat stutter.

Interesting.

Stiles stumbled backwards, only just managing to keep himself upright, his eyes never straying from Derek’s. It was as if he was staring into Derek’s soul, trying to pries out all his deepest darkest secrets.

It was strange. Throughout this whole encounter, not once did Stiles’ scent even border on fear (or absolutely petrified as his friends had more than once). Uneasy, yes, even uncertain but never frightened. His heartbeat had jack-rabbited expectedly when he had first came out of the shadows to address the teens but until the slight tremor a few seconds ago, it had beat at a steady pace – except when he had begun his rambling, it had picked up again slightly but that was more due to adrenaline with talking so fast without air than with any sort of fear.

Even now, as he was standing stock still in the same spot, looking like he was debating on whether to flee or stay, it was only curiosity that was filling Derek’s senses.

He also had some kind of look in his eye. It was almost… knowing? Something like understanding? Of what, Derek had no idea but it was unnerving to say the least.

It was clear that Derek’s mate could add ‘lack of self-preservation’ onto his long list of utterly perfect flaws. To stop and assess the situation instead of immediately running for the hills after a man you only know by name had just said he could be a murderer, was slightly messed up.

He was certainly an enigma. But Derek’s wolf didn’t seem put off, if anything it just made him even more enthralled.      

Stiles yielded in his assessment of Derek’s inner thoughts. Finally, snapping out of staring into Derek eyes and instead casting them downwards, bowing his head and tilting it ever so slightly to the side. Exposing the long pale flesh of his throat.

Derek’s heart threatened to beat out of his chest. His wolf was desperately trying to claw its way to the surface - testing Derek’s resolve to the absolute limits - at seeing his mate’s subtle show of submission. Stiles couldn’t possibly know what he was doing to Derek - could he?

Derek lost all train of thought, for in the next moment the moons light hit the side of Stiles’ face perfectly. Derek’s heightened eyesight only got him so far. He could see in the dark pretty clearly, definitely more than a humans eyes could ever see at night, but he wasn’t really able to make out the finer details (just the bare minimum needed to identify someone).

Now though, with the subtle glow escaping between the leaves above them, alongside his werewolf vision, he could see everything as clear as day.

There, standing in front of him, was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Although he had seen his mate a few days ago for the first time, he hadn’t really focused too much on the actual details. Too busy worrying over the facts to care about what his true mate actually looked like.

But now. Now he couldn’t focus on anything else.

Long, elegant eyelashes encasing warm honey-soaked eyes. A petite and slightly upturned button nose. A strong, but delicate, jaw, unburdened by any hint of a stubble. Sinfully plump lips that Derek could only imagine would feel as soft and euphoric as they appear. A never-ending expanse of smooth alabaster skin, sprinkled with tiny brown beauty marks – like constellations in the clear night sky.    

“Gods, you’re beautiful.”

Shit.

It came out as nothing more than a breath but by the way Stiles’ head rose from being tilted towards the ground back up to look at Derek in point nothing of a second, he had heard.

Derek should have been keeping his distance. Staying away until the time was right.

It was too late for that now, the damage was done.

He was so fucked.

Chapter Text

Derek lay in his bed back at The Loft staring intently at the ceiling, worrying his lip with his teeth.

After his subconscious admittance in the forest, he had bolted it back to his and his uncles shared apartment and locked himself in his bedroom, leaving the two boys no doubt stunned at his untimely departure.

That was three nights ago.

Three. Whole. Nights. And still Derek couldn’t get one thought out of his head. Stiles had heard him. He heard him say he was beautiful.

Gods above. Derek didn’t know what to do. He hadn’t been able to bring himself to leave the safe confines of his room for three whole days due to his pure embarrassment (even with the incessant coaxing from his uncle every few hours from behind his door).

All he could do was mull over the scene in his head again and again until it became a case of Chinese whispers, where he could no longer confidently determine the facts from his minds own interpretation of events. He wanted so badly for it all to have been a dream, but Derek wasn’t so lucky.

He hadn’t ate. Had barely slept. Every time his eyes fluttered closed from sheer exhaustion, his wolf howled until he woke again. All it wanted was for Derek to hightail it out of his window and jump in through Stiles’ own. He wanted to claim his mate - who could blame it?

Instead of the much needed sleep, all Derek knows for sure was that he had spent the last seventy two hours intermittently switching between pacing with such vigour one had to wonder how he hadn’t worn a hole in the carpet; and lying in his bed stripping his cock to such an extent that he would, most certainly, have chafed had he been human. All whilst focusing on the moonlit image of Stiles that had now been seared into the forefront of his mind.

Between the constant worry of his mate thinking him a creeper for his revelation, and the impure fantasies playing off in his head, Derek hadn’t a fucking clue whether he was coming or going - well, he was certainly coming, a lot – and his wolf’s constant restless energy just wasn’t helping the issue.

He had hoped the ground would have just opened up and swallowed him whole. It would have been easier - and probably a lot less stressful.

Of course, Derek never had enough of a second to wallow too deep into his self-pity, due to the incessant knocking at his door. It was like his uncle could sense when his thoughts dwelled too deep and chose those precise moments to disturb his peace.

“Nephew, this is getting beyond ridiculous. What on earth has happened to make you shut yourself in there for three goddamn days?” Peter sounded tired. Probably at the end of his tether with trying to get Derek to open up.

“Go away.” Derek spoke under his breath. He knew Peter could hear him, so he didn’t think it necessary to waste what precious energy he had left by shouting or talking at normal volume.

“No, Derek. I will not “go away”. You have been locked in there for three days and quite frankly I’m getting worried. You haven’t ate any of the food I’ve left for you and your heartbeat is loud enough to keep even me awake at night. You know how much I value my sleep, Derek, so I cannot let this go on any longer. I have indulged your little self-pitying episode for long enough. Let. Me. In.”

Derek lifted his head towards the door. He could hear the worry in his uncle’s tone but he just didn’t feel up to his humour (which would inevitably show its face at some point) right now.

“Peter, I am fine, just-”

“Derek, I will break this door down! Do not test me. I will ask you one more time to open this door or I swear, you will not want to be in the vicinity if I have to force my way in.” Peter was clearly losing patience. Fast. Derek had to choose between dealing with sarky uncle Peter or pissed off Alpha Peter.

He chose the former.

Derek pulled back the bedcovers and made his way to the door. He unlocked the latch before retreating back to his bed, not bothering to give his uncle eye contact as the older man entered the room.

He could hear the deep – overdramatised, really - inhale his uncle took once he had opened the door fully.

“Gods above, Derek, it absolutely reeks in here! How can you possibly even stomach sulking in this?” Peter paused in the rooms’ threshold, obvious disgusted dripping from him in bucket loads. His perfectionist ass was triggered – Derek could practically feel him vibrating with pent-up exasperation.

Derek didn’t reply, just wrapped himself back up in his safe cocoon of duvet before going back to staring towards his bolted window, not really focusing on anything in particular.

“You have an en-suite, Derek… with a shower. Hells teeth, even if you didn’t want to leave the room you could have at least… I don’t know, put the sheets out for me to wash.”

Derek heard Peter step further into the room. His wolf was no doubt howling at him to disinfect every nook and cranny. Derek probably would have laughed at his uncles antics had he been in a better mood but right now, it was just white noise.

“Mother Moon, this is rife.” Peter muttered to no one in particular, probably given up trying to get any conversation out of his nephew and instead calculating exactly how many articles of Derek’s clothing were now covering what was once, unmistakably, a floor.

Alas, no such luck.

“Derek, are you even listening to me? Have you done absolutely nothing in the last few day but wallow in your own filth and… wank yourself silly?”

Derek winced at his uncle’s crudeness, his nose wrinkling in distaste for his uncle’s word choice. Never, not ever, had he needed to hear his uncle talk about… that. He would die a happy man if he never again had to hear his uncle comment on his ‘habits’.

“Peter…” Derek tried to form words but just didn’t have the energy. Instead he just sighed and wrapped his blankets tighter around himself, burrowing his head further into the pillow hoping that if he merged enough with the furniture his uncle would leave.

Stupid notion.

Peter released a – quite unnecessary - put-out sigh before striding over to the large window at the far end of Derek’s room. He unbolted it with more force than was strictly warranted and slid it open, fully.

Derek shivered at the sudden gust of cool breeze that swept in and assaulted his exposed face. He made no move to angle himself away from the fresh air, however. He just continued to lie on his side, staring out the now open window, his gaze going straight through his uncle.

A few seconds of silence passed (his uncle no doubt had spent them assessing his nephews state) before the older man moved again. He made his way over to the side of Derek’s bed, making a point of positioning himself in front Derek, obstructing his view of the window.

Derek didn’t look up at his uncle’s face but he could still feel his glare burn through him like lasers. He could also hear – very clearly - the breaths his uncle took to calm himself down.

“What happened?” Peter’s voice had softened since his earlier hissy fit at Derek’s door, but Derek knew from the emotions coming through their pack bond that he was barely holding onto his frustration.

“I met Stiles.” Derek answered, vaguely. Still not focusing his attention anywhere near Peter - which was proving very fucking difficult when he was swamping every line of his vision.

“Yes, I was there. I saw all that but I don’t believe anything happened at that point to warrant this level of self destruction.” Peter replied, sounding almost defeated.

“I told him he was beautiful.” Derek mumbled, quiet enough that even an Alpha werewolf would have to strain to hear.

“You… spoke to him? Like I told you to?” Peter either hadn’t actually heard Derek or was just choosing to be ignorant (probably the latter), either way, his mood drastically lightened at Derek’s admission.

“I told him he was beautiful and he heard me.” Derek repeated a little louder while still staring at nothing. Through Peter’s eyes, he must have looked somewhat close to a barely-talking corpse.               

“I heard you, Nephew, but I’m really struggling to see what the issue-”

Derek finally snapped, his head twisted in Peter’s direction. Finally, acknowledging his uncle fully for the first time in three days.

“You don’t see the issue? Ha. Tell me, Uncle, I’m curious, are you just acting stupid, or did being in that coma render you completely fucking senile?” Derek spat out.

He regretted his words as soon as he said them. His uncle wasn’t at fault here, but he couldn’t help taking out his terrible mood on someone, and Peter was just the closest victim – one that would just not give up.

Derek lowered his gaze once more, but this time subconsciously showing his submission to the Alpha.

A few moments of silence passed between them before Peter decided to speak again.

“You know, I had hoped you would have grown out of your ‘woe is me’ teenage sulky streak but it seems you are still intent on acting childish.” Peter sounded amused - of course he did, it wouldn’t be Peter if he didn’t sound even remotely entertained at Derek’s insults.

“Am not.”

Fuck sake. The petulant child’ answer escaped his lips before he could stop it. He rolled his eyes at his own fucking stupidity - he has just subconsciously fuelled Peter’s fire.

Long pause.  

Are too.”

Derek risked a glance back up at the man still standing in front of him. There it was, that wolfish grin, plastered all over his smug face.

Derek huffed but couldn’t stop the uptick at the corner of his mouth – damn his uncle, damn his ability to make light out of every situation, damn him to hell.

Derek let out a deep sigh as he lifted himself up into a sitting position. He abandoned his blanket fort in favour of swinging his legs over the side of the bed, subtly giving permission for his uncle to take up the now available space.

Peter was most likely debating with himself whether he wanted to risk contaminating his favourite jeans by sitting in filth or to politely decline the offer. However, after a few moments (probably spent battling with his inner housewife persona) Derek felt the bed shift beside him. When he looked up it was to Peter sitting directly beside him, close enough that he could feel the Alphas warmth on his naked skin. All sark was gone, only a fond look graced his features.

“Tell me what happened. I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.” Peters hand moved to Derek’s wrist, squeezing gently in a silent plea for his nephew to trust him with his problem.

Derek assessed his uncle’s face before locking in on his sky blue eyes. He saw nothing but the caring Alpha he was. No jests, no judgement, just the one person in this whole world who he could trust.

With that, he took a deep breath and decided to tell his uncle everything. Starting from the very moment his wolf caught Stiles’ scent the other night in the preserve.

~

“Well, there is definitely no doubt that your wolf has already made its choice.” Peter says once Derek has finished going over his and Stiles’ unplanned meeting in the forest. “And since you are trying to fight against its instincts, it’s pining. That’s why you are feeling like this. Not because you feel like an idiot after your comment to the boy but instead because you aren’t giving into your wolf desires. Ultimately your own desires too.”

Derek sighs, he doesn’t know what to say to that.

“I have to admit, I’ve never seen a bond form as quickly as yours seems to have developed. You’ve only seen the boy twice, met him once and you and your wolf are already clawing to claim him, that’s… quite a rarity.”

“Great.” Derek replies with all the sarcasm he can muster.

That’s all he needs. Not only has he defied the odds against him and found his true mate but hes also managed to subconsciously form a bond without even getting within a few feet of the teen.

Most wolves need to - at the very least - touch their mates skin or spend time getting to know them before the foundations of a true mate bond begins to form, but not Derek. Oh no. He only needed to see him twice and speak a few words to him - not even in a conversational ‘get to know you’ way - and hes glued.

So, as Peter mentioned, the reason he has been feeling so low these last few days wasn’t because he believed he might actually die of embarrassment from his confession, as originally thought, but actually because he had been using all his willpower to fight his instincts and deny his wolf what it wants most.

And when your wolf doesn’t get what it wants it tends to throw a tantrum and/or pine intensely - it actually makes sense now that Derek thinks more on it.

Even though you are merged as one, you and your wolf are two separate personalities. So, while the wolf will most likely notice your true mate and accept them after the first whiff of their scent, it can take time for the more human side of you to do the same (they tend to like to get to know a potential mate first before going ahead with the claiming whereas the wolf just sees Mother Moons choice for you and accepts off the bat).

When you and your wolf both fully accept the choice, only then does a bond start to tether itself. Once that happens, as the days pass without a claiming, the wolf starts to get restless.

Claiming’s rarely happen without both your wolf and human sides agreeing on the choice fully. While it’s definite that you will be compatible (Mother Moon wouldn’t have destined you otherwise), it’s common sense that you at least talk to the person you are intending on being with forever before jumping in head first.

It’s easier to suffer through not going ahead and claiming your true mate as Mother Moon intended when the human part of you hasn’t yet acknowledged or fully committed to the mate. It takes longer for a werewolf to get over the rejection if the bond has already taken root (when you are both on the same page), but it is still entirely possible - it just takes a lot more time, space and shit ton of willpower.

Unluckily for Derek (and his current fragile state of control) it seems the human part of him has, as well as his wolf, accepted Stiles as his without even needing to conform to the human ideals of getting to know someone before falling in love. Apparently, he is a ‘love at first sight’ kind of guy – who knew? Yippee and hurray.

This whole shitshow was rapidly rolling further downhill. Derek hadn’t thought it even possible.  

“So, what do I do now?”

“You have to decide, Derek. I mean really decide. Both you and your wolf have accepted Mother Moons decision, but if you truly think you cannot or do not want to go through with this, you have to make that choice now. Lest you spend more time than is strictly healthy feeling like this.” Peter replies seriously.

“He’s only sixteen, Peter. I can’t… I can’t put him in this position. I can’t. He’s still got his whole life ahead of him. What if he doesn’t want me? What if I choose to claim him and he doesn’t even want me?” Derek cannot help the sadness coming through in his voice, the thought of his mate refusing him was not something he wanted to even contemplate.

“Listen to me, right now.” Peter turned in his position on the bed so that he was now fully facing Derek. His whole demeanour leaving no room for argument.

Lecture incoming.

“You need to stop with all this... constant negativity! It’s giving me a goddamn headache. If he doesn’t want you, Derek, then that’s his problem, not yours, but at least you can say you tried. That’s all you can do.” Peter sighs and softens his expression before continuing. “I am not telling you what to do here, Derek. The choice is, and can only be, yours. But you do have to make that choice sooner rather than later; and it has to be what you want, not what you think he will want. Sometimes one must put their own desires first, Derek, especially with something as complex as this.”

Derek doesn’t speak, he can’t. He isn’t sure what exactly to say. Peter was right. He had to decide. He couldn’t go another day feeling like this. Barely functioning. His every waking moment spent obsessing over his mate.

Peter continues in Derek’s silence.

“Either you give into instinct and claim the boy, or at least attempt to court him to temper your wolf until you do claim him. Or you walk away now. But Derek, if you choose the latter, that will mean you have to leave Beacon Hills, at least until you claim another. Being in his vicinity will slowly drive you stir crazy and I canno-will not-watch that happen.”

Derek doesn’t want to leave. He couldn’t. For all his strength and bravado, though he’d never actually admit it, or use his fear of losing his pack bonds (again) to manipulate Derek into staying, his uncle still needs him. They need each other. They’re pack and Derek would not abandon his pack, not again. No, he’s staying. If he has to suffer and go mad with rejection to do that, then so be it.

Gods above.

If Laura could hear him now, she would scold him for his utter ridiculousness. She’d probably still coo at the fact Derek was a rare breed and managed to form a bond with his true mate without so much as a second thought, but she’d still smack him across the head and tell him to stop being so self-sacrificing.

Then she’d remind him of his promise.

“Give him a chance.” He hears her voice in his ear.

There was no choice. Any pretence of a choice he may have had was made the moment Derek first laid eyes on the boy. It just took him until now to fully realise it. He was too far invested to back down now. If the boy didn’t want to be mated to him then he would cross that bridge when it came, but for now, he was going to try.

“I’ll give him a chance. I’ll get to know him, court him and... tell him everything. I’ll leave the choice to him because for me, the choice has already been made. No amount of running and hiding will change that. If he accepts, then… then I will claim him.” Derek says decisively, confident that this was what he truly wanted – what he and his wolf had always wanted.

Derek looks out the window once more as he imagines Laura jumping around like a kid in a sweetshop. He smiles at the thought.

“Laura would be proud.” Peter says with a hint of longing. It’s as if he knew exactly what was playing through Derek’s mind, like he could see it too – maybe he could.

Derek looks over to see his uncle smiling at him, soft and fond. Before he can talk himself out of it, he leans over and grabs his Alpha in a bone-crushing hug. He places his ear over his uncle’s heart and closes his eyes, relaxing fully to the scent of family – of pack.

“Thanks, Peter.” He whispers into his uncle’s chest.

Peter momentarily startles at the sudden force pushing against him, but returns the gesture without hesitation. He run his fingers through Derek’s hair as he rests his chin on the top of the younger wolf’s head. Fully submitting to his nephew’s affection.

“Anytime, sweetheart.”  

Chapter Text

Four months had come and gone.

Stiles was now seventeen. Still not what Derek would call ideal and he’s still intent on leaving any claiming until the boy is at least eighteen but Derek feels a bit more comfortable actually approaching the subject now – it’s progress.

Derek had spent the last few months keeping a safe distance, watching his mate from the side lines – to placate his wolf until the opportune moment presents itself to approach the boy with the intent of courting him. He is still restless but with the wolf content in his decision to give his true mate a chance, it’s calmed down significantly from the whole debacle four months ago.

Peter had been laughing at him daily for his behaviour (no real change there then), saying he was being downright creepy - Derek can’t bring himself to care. He is holding off getting into courting territory for as long as he possibly can before his wolf once again loses it with impatience, and if the only way to get his wolf to behave itself in the meantime is by casually lingering in the shadows, close enough to catch the boys scent but not close enough to be caught, well, that’s just what he has to do.

The only problem was that Stiles seems to be trying to test his resolve at every opportunity. The amount of times Derek has nearly walked into the teen whilst not actually intending too is bordering on ridiculous. How is he meant to secretly keep an eye on Stiles when Stiles is intent on just popping up absolutely everywhere out of the blue? It’s proving difficult for Derek to keep up – some people just have no consideration.

This brings Derek to his current problem.

As he has just crossed over the threshold into the preserve, he has yet again caught a whiff of the gangly little fucker. At least this time it seems he is still far enough away to give Derek ample opportunity to make himself scarce (unlike the last few times where he would catch the boys scent on the wind but at that very same second the teen would casually saunter into view – he really needs to have a word with these ‘superior senses’ hes supposed to have, like honestly).

From how saturated the scent is, Derek guesses the boy is naught but a few feet away from the Hale house, a couple of miles from where Derek is currently standing. It has come to Derek’s attention that every time the boy enters these woods he ends up getting closer and closer to Derek’s old home.

This time he seems to have found it.

Derek, however, can also smell something else. Something off about Stiles’ scent. He still recognises the sweet and spicy aroma that surrounds his mate permanently, but this time it’s a little more… vinegary?

Derek’s face screws up in mild disgust at the change. He couldn’t place what exactly could cause such a smell. What could possibly be making the once utterly intoxicating aroma turn harsh and, quite frankly, nauseating?

Was Stiles in some kind of danger? Was he hurt?

Suddenly Derek couldn’t focus, his legs moving faster than his brain could catch up. He was bolting through the trees, following the scent of Stiles through the preserve faster than he could ever remember running before.

It wasn’t long before the familiar foundations of the Hale house came into view. Since the renovations had started, it was beginning to look more like it once had. It was still just basic walls and floors but there were at least some lights now positioned around the exterior (probably for the builders who sometimes work through the night - most likely Peter’s idea).

As the distance between himself and his home got smaller, his mates scent got stronger, but he still couldn’t see the boy - or even hear him for that matter.

Panic was rising from the very pit of his stomach.

Before he could think better of the idea, he starts to run around the house. Eyes, ears and nose working furiously for any indication of where Stiles could be.

Not many more than ten strides in and his mates scent punches his nostrils, knocking him for six. The sudden assault to his senses taking him by such a surprise that he fails to notice the rather large obstruction on the ground in front of him. Well, he does notice it, but only after he goes flying ass-over-tit.

“What the fuck?” He curses to himself as he lands less than harmoniously on his stomach in front of the offending mass.

A mass that, Derek swears on all that he possesses, had just made a noise.

This is it, he’s finally gone mad.

Wait.

Stiles?” He whispers in question as his gaze whips back over his shoulder.

Derek jumps to his feet and turns on his heel, looking down at the forest floor to better confirm his theory. What his eyes are greeted with is in fact Stiles Stilinski (as predicted), lying on his back, eyes closed, covered from neck to toes in a blanket of leaves.

Derek lets himself marvel at the discovery for a few seconds, utter confusion sweeping through him. He feels as though his brain has just fallen out of his ass. He needs a moment to process.

Then it hits him. Derek has, quite literally, just fell head over heels for his mate – that was some Shakespeare worthy shit right there, how’s that for you, Laura?

It takes Derek barely another minute to also realise the reason for the sour change in the teens scent.

His mate is completely shit-faced.

Derek eyes roll into his skull as he begins wiping the dried leaves and dirt off of his clothes.

Stiles had let out a slight grunt when Derek’s feet had made contact with him, but otherwise made no indication of actually noticing the altercation. If Derek couldn’t now hear the boy’s heartbeat, he would have believed him dead.

Derek crouches down beside the boy, not confident enough in his control to touch, so instead he tries to vocally get the teens attention.

“Stiles.” It comes out as a whisper. No idea why he was trying to keep his voice down, it’s not as if anyone else was around.

“Stiles.” He tries again, louder this time but still, the boy doesn’t even stir.

“Stiles!” He bellows, his voice roaring through the preserve, echoing in every open space between the trees. Enough to even make him cringe.

“Whaa?!” Stiles’ body shot up into a sitting position. Leaves and dirt flying every which way as his arms flailed out from where they had been buried under his earthy cocoon. He immediately regrets the sudden motion it seems, as he clutches at his forehead with a long, drawn out groan.

“What are you doing, Stiles?” Derek tries.

What he really wants to know is why he is out here alone, drunk and attempting to sleep in a pile of leaves – he guesses the answer to the last question is related to the drunk thing but why was he here, in this precise location, exactly?

“M’look’n frr” Stiles mumbles through the hands covering his face.

“What?” No amount of supernatural hearing could possibly decipher what just came out of Stiles’ mouth.

Stiles drops his hands into his lap with a loud sigh, like its an effort to repeat himself. His head drops forward, as if his hands were the only thing keeping it upright.

“Was lookin’… f’r you.” He repeats, it’s a bit more legible but with his chin resting on his chest and his neck folded in such a way, it must be a struggle to even force the words out. Derek has to strain to hear.

Once Derek has had a chance to process the words, he can’t help his breath hitching. His mate had been looking for him? What possible reason could his mate be-

“Want’d ask you somefin’” As if Stiles could read his mind, he answers Derek’s question.

“You… wanted to-” Derek’s heart was beating something wild, one million and one possibilities rolling around in his head. “What did you want to ask me, Stiles?”

Stiles manages to lift his head. It must take some strength and focus, the obvious strain showing across his face. It seems to wobble of its own accord, so he settles for letting it loll backwards, nearly giving Derek an aneurysm - the beautiful expanse of alabaster skin now on display in front of him was making all thoughts of questions just fly away.

He’s close enough to touch, close enough to rub his scruff-

“Why’d d’your eyes go blue?”

Derek snaps out of his gradual advance towards the boy’s throat. Pausing in leaning forward and scenting his mate, tasting his flesh, running his cheek and tongue over-

What had Stiles just said?

Derek must have been showing something resembling confusion as he doesn’t even get a chance to ask Stiles to elaborate.

“Your… your eyes. When you sa-said my name in the… in the woods the time me and Sco…ttie were looking fo-for that body, they went like blue.” Stiles made a flashing gesture with his hand. “I thought I was just ‘magining it, that the moon had just hit them and made them shine o-or something but… but now that I can see you up close, your… your eyes are green. It wasn’ the moon.” Stiles rambles on as if hes just talking about the weather. Stumbling over his words and hiccupping every few as the drink catches up with him.

Derek hadn’t even realised. Surely he would have felt it? Had he been so distracted that he let that happen? Was that why Stiles was looking at him strangely that night? He distinctly remembers thinking that Stiles was looking at him… knowingly? He had been so worried about his confession to the boy that he never even thought of the possibility that Stiles could have seen him so close to his Beta form.

Now that Derek thought about it, the boy’s heart did skip a beat when he had said his name. That must have been why. His wolf must have came out subconsciously. Saying his mates name must have been enough to cement the bond.

Mother Moon kill him now.

Derek must have zoned out while quietly having his meltdown, for when he comes back to reality it is to his mates face mere centimetres away from his own - close enough that he could feel Stiles’ breath ghosting his skin. A pleasant shiver rolls down his spine, but turns into an electric shock as it hits his core, jolting him backwards. He lands unceremoniously on his ass in the dirt – this better not be becoming a theme for the evening.

Stiles huffs out a laugh.

“You’re jumpy aren’t ya? Don’t worry, M’not gonna hurt ya.”

Ha, you have no idea.

“I’m not jumpy. I just don’t appreciate strangers being in my personal space.” Derek snaps through clenched teeth.

He tries to calm his rapid beating heart as he stands once again, not chancing going back to his crouched position, just in case Stiles attempted to break down the boundaries of personal space once more.

“Are so. You ran last time too. What, did me and my buddy scare ya?” Stiles lets out a little chuckle and it has no frickin’ right to be as adorable as it is – especially when it’s at Derek’s expense.

“No, no you didn’t.” Derek answers before he, Gods forbid, decides to do something stupid – like crack a smile.

“Anyways, what are you doing out here on your own? And what are you doing drinking at your age?” And Hells bells does Derek sound like an old fart right now.

“Pft, okay daaad! It’s my birfday, I wanted to celre-celbr-celebrate!”

It’s getting kind of painful watching Stiles stutter out his words but alas, Derek prevails.

“On your own?”

“M’not on my own? You’re here.” Stiles’ eyes focus directly on Derek from where he is still sitting in his leafy fort, he looks a little more in control of his body, and is actually able to hold his neck steady while he gazes at Derek’s face.

Those beautiful, bright doe eyes, glistening with the light emanating from the side of the house. Derek can see his whole future unravelling in those deep, amber-tinged depths. The utterly jovial smile gracing the teens face holds enough power to make Derek’s knees weaken, threatening to drop him to the floor and beg for the privilege of acting on his mates every whim.

If he hadn’t yet decided what he was going to do, this very moment would have decided it. He knew, at this very second while staring down at his true mate, he would never forgive himself if he didn’t at least try to claim this boy. Derek was already besotted. He couldn’t fight it.

“Help me up?” Stiles stretched out his arms and proceeded to make grabby hands in Derek’s direction, snapping Derek, once again, out of his unholy train of thought.

Derek shook his head to better clear his mind. Stiles was still young, that fact didn’t change.

A faux sigh leaves Derek’s lips, as if it wasn’t a complete honour to be asked for help by his mate.

He bypasses Stiles hands and instead leans down to wrap his arms around the boys back, his neck now dangerously close to the teens throat - he makes that realisation too late, however. Stiles takes the aid as it comes and wraps his outstretched arms over Derek’s shoulders, closing the distance between Derek’s face and the crook of Stiles delicate neck.

Derek cannot help the subconscious inhale. By the Gods does he want to just wrap himself up in that scent. He does what his instinct dictates and gently rubs his scruff along the boy’s cheek as he goes to hook his chin over the boys shoulder. This earns him a shudder, and the smallest exhale of breath into his ear – this really isn’t helping Derek’s control.

Before he can give himself enough time to really fuck things up, he lifts the boy to his feet, only holding on long enough to make sure he is steady and able to hold himself up.

He goes to pull away but Stiles continues to cling on. Derek has taken his hands off of Stiles in the attempt to back up, but the boy seems content with just hugging him for dear life.

“Stiles. You… you can let go now.” Derek tries with an unsteady breath. His wolf is vibrating inside him. With his mate so close and expelling nothing but pure comfort with being wrapped around Derek’s body, it’s driving the beast wild with triumph.

“Don’t wanna. Warm.” He mumbles into Derek’s shoulder. The humid air of his breath clinging to Derek’s skin, seeping through to his very bones.

Derek gives in. He wraps his arms around his mate, returning the embrace. His mate was cold, he can feel it even through his multiple layers of plaid and graphic tee, so it’s in Derek’s instincts to warm him - to provide for him however he can.

This is fine. This is innocent. It’s just a hug. It could be seen as platonic. Nothing sexual about it. Surely the law doesn’t forbid comforting a minor in this way - does it?

Except, in Derek’s momentary collapse in judgement, Stiles’ scent had changed again.

Oh shit.

Derek pulls away as if burned, ignoring the grumble of discontent from Stiles.

He has to leave, has to go home. Has to get as far away from here as he can. He cannot be in Stiles presence with that… that smell. Trying to resist his normal scent is one thing, but the scent coming off him at this very second goes way beyond Derek’s capabilities of control.

Arousal.

God’s above. Derek cannot be smelling that. Not right now. This boy is… just that, a boy. Plus, he’s drunk and most likely has absolutely no idea what is actually going on.

How could Derek be so stupid? He should have turned around and walked away while he had the chance. Now he has that intense spicy, sickly-sweet aroma mixed with that unmistakable thick musk permeating into every single fibre of his clothing. No amount of washing the fabric is going to get that smell saturated enough for his wolf senses not to notice.

Curse you, Mother Moon.

Derek goes to turn, his flight mode finally kicking in. But, he doesn’t get far before long nimble fingers grab at his arm.

“Don’t go. M’sorry. I only wanted to know why your eyes went blue, I... I didn’t mean to ‘nnoy you. I’ll go… I’ll not come back. Promise.” Stiles tone was dripping with hopelessness, his whole aura had changed from warmly contented to the cold, bitterness of thinking his intimacy was rejected.

Derek whines high in his throat. Hurting his mate was not his intention, he didn’t want Stiles to feel any sort of distress nor did he want him to leave thinking it was because he had done something wrong, but Derek knew he couldn’t stay here. He couldn’t risk the possibility of losing control.

“You haven’t annoyed me, Stiles.” He says it with as much sincerity as he can, to soothe the boys anxiety. “It’s late. We should both be getting home.” Derek continues without turning to face the boy.

Of course, that proves pointless. Stiles just walks around into his view anyway. This boy, seriously.

“That’s probably a good idea. M’tired… and really cold.” The boy agrees as his hands run up and down his arms to try take the edge off the crisp autumn air.

Derek could visibly see Stiles shiver – and he couldn’t have that.

He huffs once again (even though he’s the opposite of put out - not really anyway), and focuses his attention on providing for his mates needs.

The scent of anticipated sex has simmered down slightly. While it’s still clinging to his clothes, it isn’t wafting directly from the boy now that they have separated, so perhaps he can last a little longer in the teen’s presence – at least to see the boy to safety.

He unzips his leather jacket and peels it over his arms, wrapping it around the shivering teen, even as he goes to protest.

“No… no, you’ll get cold.”

Sweet.

“Wolve- eh, I… I don’t feel the cold... much.” Derek catches himself before the slip, hopefully managing to save himself from a premature revelation. Now would not be the time for that, even if the boy wouldn’t remember a thing in the morning.

“Thank you, Derek.”

Derek puffs out its chest – he can’t help it, okay? He’s satisfied with pleasing his mate.

Derek lets the corners of his lips turn upward. A private smile, only to be seen by Stiles.

“No problem.” Derek lets himself stare into those whiskey coloured orbs once more before pulling his hands away from where they were holding onto the jackets lapels.

Stiles’ gaze doesn’t leave Derek, he seems to be assessing Derek in his entirety.

Apparently appeased with what he sees, he smiles fondly before breaking the silence.

“So… how do I get out of here?”

“The same way you came in?” Derek whips back, sarcastically.

“Ha. Ha. Very funny, Der-ek!”

Derek lets out a breath that could be seen as a laugh. Or at least as close to a laugh as Derek was willing to let go.

“Come on, I’ll walk you home.”

Derek knows it’s probably not the best idea, but the thought of leaving his mate to wander his way home in this state, in the dark, seems like an even worse idea.

“My hero.” Stiles says as he dramatically clutches his chest, fluttering his eyelashes exaggeratedly as if playing the damsel in distress.

Derek shakes his head fondly, maybe even rolls his eyes too for effect. Gods, this boy is something else.

“We just need to get Scottie and then we can go.”

Derek freezes.

Stiles cannot possibly mean that his friend (the other boy from their first encounter in these very same woods) has been around here somewhere this whole time and thought it prudent to only mention it now?

Worse than that, another human has been on Derek’s territory for the past... however long this encounter has taken, and Derek didn’t even notice?

Surely Stiles is just confused. Derek can’t see or hear anyone els-

Wait.

There, silently thumping away in the distant background, was indeed a third heartbeat.

Fuck.

How could he have let himself get so distracted? He had been so wrapped up in his mate’s scent, in his mates... everything, that he didn’t even notice another body in the area. Anyone could have snuck up on them. Anyone could have been wandering these woods; hunters, other wolves, any supernatural creature that may have wished either of them harm and Derek. Didn’t. Even. Notice.

He mentally berates himself for being so careless. How could he possibly hope of winning over his mate if he cannot even focus enough to detect possible threats, if he cannot even keep his mate safe?

His wolf whines at his failure. He was right, he didn’t deserve this.

“I’m sorry, Stiles. I-”

“What are you apologising for?” Stiles sounds confused.

Of course he did, he didn’t realise the error Derek had just made, or the significance of said error.

Derek looks at Stiles’ face and sees no disappointment. How could anyone blame him for being so distracted? When the most beautiful soul was standing in front of him; trusting him enough to hold him, to allow him to escort him home in his vulnerable state. His true mate trusts him. Is curious enough about him to risk all possible danger to come into the woods in the pitch black to seek him out. He was fixated enough on what happened in their first encounter that he felt the burning need to confront Derek, even after all these months.

Derek surely could not be blamed for his momentary collapse in proper brain function. Peter wouldn’t blame him at least, and he was sure, in that moment, that even if Stiles knew everything about werewolves and their instincts, he wouldn’t blame Derek either.

Derek takes a deep breath. The sooner he gets his mate home and tucked up in bed the quicker he can get home and actually get his head around this whole thing. Perhaps even take up his uncle’s offer to better train him in the fine art of self-control.

Either way, he had to do something. He couldn’t keep running the risk of putting his mate in danger. Especially when it was now quite clear that the whole avoiding him until he was eighteen had gone completely out the window - Stiles didn’t seem to want to adhere to that unspoken plan. So, if he learns control, at least he may be able to actually be around his mate, if the boy decides again to grace Derek with his presence (which he has no doubt) and not feel the incessant urge to fuck him into oblivion.

“Where exactly is your friend?” Derek breaks his own thoughts, he is being his own worst enemy letting his mind wander in these long bouts of silence.

“Erm, I am not entirely sure. He was beside me not long ago but I- I dunno.” Stiles answered, subtle panic lacing his words.

“We’ll find him.” Derek assured the boy before he has a chance to work himself into a frenzy.

What he really meant to say though was that he would find him. Now he has shaken away his thoughts and cleared his head, he should easily be able to sniff out the boy (or at the very least follow his steady heartbeat).

Derek knows Scott’s not in trouble - his hearts slow rhythm of thumps suggest he may actually be sleeping, or close too it. Either way, hes alive but he could have possibly passed out.

That’s all he needs.

Derek takes a deep inhale, making sure Stiles doesn’t witness the action, lest he have to explain why he is casually sniffing the air like a dog (or wolf), but he cannot seem to catch any other scent. Only Stiles and the crisp autumn leaves blanketing the forest floor. His senses were still malfunctioning it seemed.

So, he settled for following the gentle beat, beat, beat.

“Scottie!” Stiles hollers, clearly trying (and failing) to get his friends attention.

Derek does not jump at his mate’s sudden and unrestrained volume, not at all.

“Stiles, just... stay here. I’ll find him. Just go… just go sit on the porch. I’ll come and get you when I find him.” Derek looks at the boy and decides to add, “Don’t. Move.”

Derek tries to assert some form of dominance. He knows the boy isn’t exactly one to follow rules, but hopefully he can get him to stay put long enough for Derek to supernaturally seek out the missing teen.

He is at least confident in the fact that he will, under no uncertain terms, be able to hear his mate call out if he was in danger. Not that Derek was planning on leaving him alone for long.

“Okay, okay.” Stiles puts up his hands in mock surrender as he begins retreating towards the front step. “Just hurry, m’freezing.”

Bossy.

“I mean it, Stiles. Stay here.” Derek tries again, knowing his mate was most likely already planning on disobeying the request.

“Yes, Derek.” Stiles promises with a petulant little salute. Derek rolls his eyes and sets off in the direction of Scottie.

~

It takes Derek longer than he had hoped to find the other boy. How he managed to wander this far away from his friend in the state he’s in was actually quite impressive.

However, from the look of it, the boy had tripped over a fallen tree branch and instead of getting up again, he succumbed to his fate and taken to resting his eyes while sprawled haphazardly across the forest floor - much like Stiles had been when Derek found him.

Derek can see why the two boys are so compatible as friends, they are both as clumsy and hopeless as each other it would seem.

Derek lets out an exasperated sigh – a recurring action of the night it would appear. He extends his foot to tap the side of one of Scott’s limbs – he couldn’t really be sure if it was a leg or an arm with the way the teen was all tangled up.

The boy doesn’t stir, just grunts.

Derek laughs to himself. These two were made for each other.

“Scott. Get up. I’m taking you home.” Derek says with a hint of command. There is no doubt he will sleep like a log after the events of tonight.

“No, Sti. I’m sleepin’” Scott mumbles as he pulls his spread eagled limbs closer to his body as if trying to cuddle in.

“I am not, Stiles. And you cannot be asleep if you are talking. Get up so I can take you both home.” Derek tries again.

His will to live is draining from him with every passing second, what sin had he committed in his life to deserve being saddled with two stubborn, drunken teenagers?

Scott turns his head and opens his eyes to the realisation that he wasn’t actually talking to his friend as he had thought. Derek was prepared for fear, perhaps a little bit of flailing, or maybe even having to chase the boy down when he decided to up and bolt from the strange man now looming over him. What he wasn’t prepared for was…

“Oh, hi Der’k. Stiles want’d talk to you.” Scott said nonchalantly, no hint of fright or even confusion.

Derek just did not expect that. Especially from the boy who near shit himself with fear the first time they met in the preserve a few months ago. Huh, alcohol really must give you more confidence, or maybe it just completely wipes out any resemblance of self-preservation.

“Did he now? What did he want to talk to me about?” Derek was just curious to see if Stiles had told his friend the reasoning for seeking him out – the supernatural reasoning.

“Hm? Oh, erm, he thinks you’re… hot.” Scott says with what Derek perceives as a grimace.

Well, Stiles didn’t indulge him in that little piece of info. That would explain the reaction he had to Derek picking him up and holding him. Oh, and the shiver he displayed as Derek scented him. Interesting. Very interesting.

“Yeah, he said he want’d to get all up in that…” Scott continued as he gestured a hand to signify the whole of Derek. “… and I told him that was waaaay to much inf’rmation… but he was deter-determined to see you again. Somethin’ about your “beautiful eyes”. Ugh.

Derek couldn’t help his preening, he was glad Scott couldn’t see in the dark because he must have had the most smug, self satisfied grin across his face.

It also meant that Stiles didn’t tell his friend about seeing Derek’s eyes flash blue, or if he did, Scott didn’t seem to remember it. At least he doesn’t have to worry about two teenagers learning about the supernatural, just one – the one who seems good at keeping secrets.

“Well, I am flattered but I really should be getting you two-”

“You… you betrayer!”

Derek turns sharply to see Stiles standing a few feet away from him. Mother Moon, his superhuman senses really have gone to shit.

Of course, the disobedient little shit couldn’t stay put. Derek couldn’t find it in himself to actually be surprised, he’s just quietly berating himself for not noticing the boy sooner.

“M’sorry bud. He did ask.” Scottie replies to Stiles’ outburst, not even the slightest bit stunned at his friends sudden appearance.

This boy really shouldn’t drink, nothing seems to faze him in this state – Derek could probably be wolfed out right now and he wouldn’t even bat an eyelid (he wasn’t going to chance it, however).

“That’s… that’s not the point, man. Its number one rule of bro code.” Stiles whines, his voice quieting to an almost whisper as he stumbles forward to get closer to them both.

How he managed to, one; get this far without injuring himself and, two; find them (considering Derek found Scott at least half a mile away from where he left Stiles at the Hale house) was seriously an incredible feat. This boy is truly a wonder.

Bro code?” Derek mouths to himself as he watches, in silence, the two teens talk among themselves as if he wasn’t even present.

“Twasn’t ‘xactly a secret, Sti. Y’said it quite loudly in the school hallway.” Scott mumbles, letting his head fall back down into the leaves, closing his eyes once more as if this conversation was taking up way too much energy.

“I didn’t say it loudly. I whispered.” Stiles tried but at the raised eyebrow, side-eye looks shot his way from both Derek and Scott, he starts to backtrack his statement. “Okay, maybe I said it a lil loud.” Eyebrows going impossibly higher. “Fine, I said it loudly, buuuut that’s not the point. You told him I thought he was… attractive. You… you don’t do that, man.”

Derek heard no lie. He allowed himself the triumphant smile – directed towards the ground, of course.

“Stiles, he jus’ said he was flattered.” Scottie said with a sigh, the subtext being; ‘just shut up and let me sleep’.

“Yeah but- Wait, really?” Stiles pivots (flails) on the spot and directs his attention to Derek for the first time since his arrival.

Derek startles for a moment. He had slowly allowed himself to stare of into infinite space as the two had their mostly one-sided rant.

He didn’t want to have this conversation, he just wanted to go home at this point.

“Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” Derek answered honestly.

“You’re… you’re gay?” Stiles asks while looking at Derek like he had just spouted horns, and Gods almighty he definitely was not having this conversation.

“Just because I am flattered with you finding me attractive, does not mean I am gay, Stiles. A compliment is a compliment, no matter who it comes from.” That was the best Derek could do to try put this topic to bed – ha.

Stiles looks… disappointed. Not the answer he was hoping for, apparently.

“Oh.” Was all he replied. Derek looks at him but Stiles’ eyes were cast the floor. Derek could physically see the wheels turning in Stiles’ head. He could feel the tension in the boy’s muscles from where his fingers were pulled tightly into fists – probably distracting himself from asking more questions.

Scott interrupts before Derek can cave and tell his mate that he finds him attractive too.

“Not that I don’t absolutely love watchin’ this Romeo and Juliet shit happenin’ here, its beautiful, really… but I can’t feel m’toes.”

Derek’s attention snaps back to the boy on the floor, having to physically halt himself from growling at the interruption.

He has no idea how the teen can possibly be displaying such a sense of comfort with the way he is on the floor but he guesses that’s another effect of too much liquor.

Derek stretches out his hand for the boy to grab onto. When he doesn’t make any move to take his hand, and instead raises one eyebrow as if to say; ‘what the fuck am I supposed to do with that?’ Derek huffs and drops lower to offer his upper body as support.

Scott grabs onto Derek’s biceps and lets the older man pull him to his feet. Thankfully, he doesn’t have the penchant for cuddling like Stiles did, instead he just wobbles furiously before finding his bearings.

“Geez, you’re strong. S’strong.” The boy mumbles as he steadies himself – only after he’s had enough of squeezing Derek’s muscles, because this whole situation wasn’t exactly weird enough.

The boy blinks harshly a few times, probably trying to acclimatize himself after being on the ground for so long with his eyes closed.

“Right, homeward bound!” Scott goes to take a step forward as he speaks, but misses entirely and barrels straight into Derek.

Derek only just manages to catch the teen before he takes them both down.

“Shit, how much exactly have you had to drink?” Derek asks, now genuinely concerned with how much alcohol the two had to actually consume to get like this.

“Just a lil’” Scott answers (which is a lie) as he makes a gesture with his thumb and forefinger in front of Derek’s face to show Derek how much he thinks he has drunk.

Derek just rolls his eyes. It’s not his place to scold them.

“Come on, let’s get you two home.”

Derek attempts to stand Scott up straight but the boy is having none of it and instead decides to sling his arm over Derek’s shoulder for support while he walks. Derek huffs but just gives in to the inevitable - at least this way he can set the pace.

“Holy shit, you do have beautiful eyes.” Scott whispers as he gets way to close to the wolf’s face for his comfort. Derek jerks his head back to better highlight the importance of personal space. Derek would swear these two were twins, or even clones, had they not looked completely different.

“Told ya.” Derek hears a small voice coming from behind them. Stiles was now smiling to himself triumphantly, as if he had just won a prize.

Derek couldn’t help smiling back.

“Right, let’s go.” Derek says once again.

He thinks for a second.

“Do you need help too?” He asks his mate. The boy obviously had enough of his senses together to make his way from the house to where they were all standing now without too much difficulty, but he just wanted to be sure – obeying instinct and all that.

Stiles mulls it over for a second.

“Nah, m’not as bad as him. I’ll… I’ll be fine. But, I’m counting on you rescuing me if I overestimate my abilities.” Stiles says as he comes up to stand on the other side of Derek – the one that Scott is not currently falling asleep and drooling on.

“Always.”

Stiles beams at him, had it not been pitch black, Derek was sure he would have seen a lovely blush creep over the boys face.

Derek clears his throat and starts to haul the dead weight plastered to the side of him towards the exit to the preserve. Stiles follows, letting his arm casually brush up against Derek’s without thought. Never straying too far from Derek’s side.

How it should be.

Chapter Text

After what seemed like forever, Derek finally manages to get a now practically immobile Scott to the front door of his house.

The teen had lasted all the way to the edge of the preserve before his legs caved in and Derek decided it would be easier for all involved if he just carried the boy - bridle style. It was almost worth it for the laugh he got out of Stiles for his efforts.

To anyone who came across the trio, they would have had an absolute treat with what they saw; Scott flopping boneless in Derek’s arms, Stiles stopping every few moments to crease over in hilarity and Derek cursing the heavens for giving him the need to leave the house tonight – all for show but no one needed to know that but him and Mother Moon.

With Derek’s strength, the teen didn’t exactly weigh much, so that wasn’t an issue. However, he wasn’t overly keen with the prospect of someone seeing him carrying not only a minor but a passed out drunk minor, through the town.

Thankfully, they seemed to manage okay with getting from the preserve to Scott’s house without being confronted - it was the middle of the night after all.

Derek shook the boy awake in his arms, giving him warning that he was about to set him down. He helped him steady himself, then kept his hand at the centre of his back for support while the teen scrambled through his pockets for his keys.

“Ah ha!” Scott hollered triumphantly, then covered his mouth with his free hand when he realised he was being too loud. “Shh, shh. Don’t wanna wake my mom.” Scott whispered to Derek and Stiles, both of whom had said absolutely nothing.

“Ring me tomorrow, Scottie, so I know you didn’t die through the night.” Stiles says quietly, as if talking to a small child – he had somehow sobered considerably since earlier, probably all the laughing.

“Yessir.” Scott mock salutes before fumbling with the key in the keyhole. Derek takes pity on him one last time and does it for him, opening the door and ushering the boy inside without actually crossing the threshold himself.

Once inside, Scott leans against the door frame for support as Derek’s hand leaves his back. He gives off a blinding grin and waves his final goodbyes before shutting the door.

Derek could hear the teen wobble on his feet on the other side of the door, tripping over something and cursing. He couldn’t help but laugh internally. Not his problem now.

He just hopes the boy manages to get to bed without too much injury, if only because he was Stiles’ friend and he didn’t want to feel responsible for anything happening to his mate’s best friend.

“Will he be alright?” Derek asks. Unsure whether Stiles wanted to go home or stay and help the other teen to bed.

Stiles seems to think on it a moment while grimacing.

“Yeahhh. He’s tough as nails. No doubt the noise he is making will wake up Melissa, and she will put him to bed. She will probably put out a witch hunt for me tomorrow though… but it’ll be fine.” Stiles replies with faux confidence.

“You don’t make a habit of this do you, Stiles?” Derek wasn’t sure if it was a statement or a question. Either way, he hoped the answer was no.

Not that Derek was some old fuddy-duddy who presumed to tell teenagers what they can and cannot do, teens will be teens and had Derek the ability to get drunk, he probably would have done it underage too. It’s not exactly right, but it happens.

However, he still doesn’t like the idea of his mate being out here and vulnerable.

“Erm, no. This is our first time, actually.” Stiles is telling the truth, but is rubbing the back of his neck as if he is nervous, or maybe embarrassed.

Derek can breathe a sigh of relief - for now at least.

“Well, just… be careful. You don’t know who could have been wandering about those woods at this time of night. It sets me on edge you traipsing around there sober let alone like this. Anyone could… could have taken advantage.” Derek didn’t care if he sounded like a scolding father, he just wanted his mate to realise the danger he could have put himself in. It seems to resonate somewhere in the teen for a moment, as the full force of Derek’s words settle in.

“Aw, Der. Are you worried for my virtue?” Stiles makes a show again of playing damsel in distress, however, it doesn’t take away the happiness wafting off him at Derek’s obvious caring lecture.

“Stiles, you know that’s not… that’s not-“

“I know, Derek. I’m joking. You needn’t worry, though. Had something happened, you would have been my knight in shining armour, I’m sure of it.”

Derek let out breathy huff. No self preservation to be seen here. None whatsoever.

“You can’t always rely on other saving you, Stiles. Had I stayed at home tonight, you may have been in that pile of leaves until morning. Just… Gods, just please… be more careful.” Derek sounded close to begging. He knew Stiles probably wouldn’t heed his warnings, and just carry on doing whatever he pleased anyways - he was just that kind of mischievous youth - but Derek needed the boy to, at the very least, take a second to think on the risks of his actions next time.

This boy was definitely going to keep Derek on his toes, there was no doubt about it.

“I promise.” It was soft and barely there but Derek heard the sincerity and nodded his approval.

“You’ve said...” The boy says softly, like he’s contemplating something.

“What?”

“... Gods. Plural. Are you Hindu? Or... Wiccan? Or something?”

Derek sighs. In one ear and out the other it seems.

“Or something.” He states.

“Oh, okay.” Stiles, he can see, wants to question him further but thanks to Derek’s curt answer, seems reluctant to pry.

When nothing else is said, Derek makes his move to start walking back down Scott’s garden path, content he has given enough scolding’s for one night and is quite happy with not getting into another almost supernatural conversation.

“Let’s get you home.”

Stiles follows, nodding as he tries to keep up with Derek’s strides.

~

They had walked in silence the short distance from Scott’s house to Stiles’. It should have been awkward but it somehow felt comfortable. Like they were both just relishing in each others presence, not needing words to show their contentment.

It made Derek’s wolf feel all warm and fuzzy inside. He felt more at ease in this moment than he had for longer than he could remember, certainly more relaxed than he has been in the last four months since he first discovered his true mate.

They both gradually come to a stop as they approach Stiles’ front door. The only car in the driveway was a baby blue jeep - Stiles’, Derek knew from when he had seen the boy driving to or from school. Derek breathed a sigh of relief at the lack of police cruiser, at least he wouldn’t have to worry about the Sheriff walking out and shooting him - bit drastic but hey ho.

“So, erm… this is me.” Stiles starts, he sounded nervous. Like he wasn’t sure what to say but wanted to say something. Anything. Holy shit, the boy was speechless - well, didn’t know it did that.

“I’ll see you around, Stiles.” Was all Derek could say.

Wait, maybe not…

“I’ll wait here to make sure you get in okay. Don’t want to leave and have you brain yourself on the doorstep with me not here to save you.” Derek had turned to leave but thought better of it as soon as his body twisted.

He was itching to stay in Stiles’ presence for as long as possible - he just disguised his need with humour, or an attempt at it anyways. He could afford this one last luxury.

Stiles smiled and nodded as he took his keys out of his pocket to open the door. He pushed it open and stood still for what seemed like too long.

Derek was about to open his mouth to ask what was wrong when he suddenly had an arm full of... mate.

Stiles seemed to have leapt from being one foot in his front door to being pressed chest to chest with Derek within lightning speed. Faster than Derek had ever seen someone intoxicated move before – hell, faster than he had known any human to move.

One of the boys arms was wrapped around Derek’s shoulder, while the other hand was at the back of his head; long, nimble fingers tangled up in his hair, grabbing the strands with just the right amount of force, sending a shockwave of pleasure straight to Derek’s core.

Derek noticed that his own hands were placed firmly around the boy’s waist, his fingers digging in firm enough to leave a mark but probably not enough to bruise. The action came to him automatically with the lack of time he had to think about it.

They were pressed together, chest to chest, toes to toes, sharing in each others body heat. Close enough to share breath.

Derek barely had any more of a second to wonder what Stiles was doing before the boys plush lips covered his own. Firm and backed up with all the passion the boy possessed, as if his very soul was invested in this one brief moment.

Derek startled, his eyes flying wide in surprise. He kept them open, he couldn’t do anything otherwise, as he marvelled at the sight before him. His mate, eyes closed, completely blissed out, enjoying this intimacy with Derek.

It was over before he could even protest. Not that he wanted too, even though he should. Gods above he should be pushing the teen away, he should be telling him no - not because he didn’t want his mates lips on him, Mother Moon did he ever, but because he was still only seventeen.

Derek knew this, he was reciting it like a mantra in his head over and over again (had been all evening), but he still didn’t want this to ever end.

He was already bound for hell, he knew that, so, why not go there with at least having tasted what he could have had. Or still could have.

Fuck it, when exactly had he ever played by the rules?

Stiles pulled back and saw Derek’s eyes were on him. Searching. His scent breeches embarrassment as he stutters.

“I’m sorry… I…” Attempting to put distance between him and Derek, smelling instantly of regret.

Derek was having none of that.        

He tightens his grip on the teen, revelling in the little hitch of breath he receives. The look of surprise mixed with, perhaps, a little touch of fear flitting over the beautiful boy’s features.

Derek didn’t let him dwell on what he was about to do for too long, didn’t let the boy conjure up all the different scenarios he no doubt would be thinking of as to why Derek was holding him in such a bruising grip, before he surged forward and laid claim to his mates mouth.

There was nothing chaste or innocent about this kiss, oh no, it was pure white-hot, sugar-soaked lust.

Primal.

Derek’s wolf was hungry to taste his mate and he wasn’t about to disappoint the beast.

He smirks against Stiles’ lips as the boy whimpers and mewls into Derek’s mouth. The teen doesn’t even bother trying to keep up, just tilts his head to give Derek the access he needs to devour him, giving him permission to take everything - body and soul. Allowing Derek’s tongue to explore his mouth without any hint of anything other than pure want.

Derek had died and gone to heaven. It was one thing smelling and touching his mate, but a completely different thing tasting him. He was sweet, under the still present layers of rum and cola, he tasted like everything Derek could have hoped for. Everything he ever imagined. He just tasted like… home. If anyone asked, he wouldn’t have been able to find enough words to explain it. It was just unlike anything he had ever experienced.

He regrets ever rolling his eyes whenever Laura or his parents mentioned the phenomenon of true mates, because colour him a fucking believer. It was absolute bliss.

Derek’s teeth bit into Stiles bottom lip, not enough to make it bleed but enough to entice the most obscene moan from the boy’s throat.

This boy would be the death of him, and Derek couldn’t find it in himself to care – what a wonderful way to go.

With one last soothing lick over his mate’s now swollen, kiss-bruised lips, Derek retreats. Even with his mates noise of disapproval at the loss of contact, he had to quit while he was ahead, before things escalated the way he desperately wanted - by the way they both wanted if the bulge in Stiles’ jeans was anything to go by. He cannot help feeling smug for the way Stiles was gulping in breaths of air, utterly debauched and Derek hadn’t even truly started.

As much as he wanted to thoroughly ruin this boy for anyone else, to claim him, to have him writhing and panting under him, begging for release... he couldn’t. Not in good conscience, anyways. He should probably be disturbed at the realisation that the reason he isn’t doing just that was more now because of the boy’s recent intake of alcohol, instead of the original reservations being because he was underage.

Thankfully, Derek’s wolf seemed satisfied enough with what it had been offered. Enough so that Derek could walk away, still fully human and in control. Blue balled, yes, but in control.

Stiles was looking at him as if he had just given him the moon and he couldn’t help displaying one last show of affection - running his hand down the side of the boy’s cheek, and feeling the heated flush against his palm. His thumb smoothing over the boys bottom lip, following the movement closely with his eyes.

When Stiles sticks out his tongue to run it over the digit, Derek can’t hold back his approving purr.

“Goodnight, Stiles.” His voice husky, proving that he may be just as close to falling apart as Stiles was.

He drops his arm. Puts both his hands into his jean pockets and leaves, not daring to look back in case he convinced himself to stay - or Stiles did.

After a few moments, when he rounded the corner out of sight, he heard his mate snap out of his dumbstruck stupor long enough to make his way into the house.

He tripped going up the stairs, mind obviously still in the clouds, but otherwise managed to safely make his way to his bedroom.

It didn’t take long before the tell tale signs of their mutual frustration proved too much for the boy to ignore.

If Derek lingered a few meters away, listening to his mate moaning out his name, well, no one needed to know.

Chapter Text

As predicted, Derek slept like a pup after the events of the previous eve.

Of course, that was after he reacquainted himself with his right hand.

Many, many times.

The memory of hearing his name falling from his mates lips amidst his own throes of passion, the taste of his mates sinful tongue. The smell. Gods the smell, that was still clinging to the Henley he had worn was more than enough material to bring himself off probably a few times too many – at least by human standards. Derek didn’t care, he was on cloud nine and nothing was going to ruin that for him, least of all a bit of chafing.

Peter had just smirked at him when he finally got back to The Loft from his little galivant in the woods. The dopey grin on his face must have been enough for his Uncle to know exactly where he had been.

Derek hardly smiled, not since what happened to their family, so Peter must have suspected something truly sensational had happened to render him in such a state of twitter-pated bliss. He had no idea. Well, he probably did but for once, thankfully, he said nothing. Just took one glance at Derek as he walked through the apartment, let his signature smirk grace his features, and then went back to his reading. Leaving Derek to float quite contentedly up to his room to reminisce.

However, it was now the next morning and Derek was not so naive as to believe his uncle’s silence would stay that way. He knew, as soon as he went downstairs for breakfast he would be bombarded with the usual line of snarky remarks. If Derek was honest, he was in too much of a good mood to let that bother him, he may even really put the shits up his Uncle and actually join in with the teasing - now that might actually shut the man up.

Derek smiled to himself at the thought. He knew he had stayed in bed longer than usual already and his wolf was starting to get restless with his idleness so he may as well get this over with sooner rather than later.

He could hear Peter pottering about in the kitchen. It was 10am, so the man had most likely been there for a few hours but Derek had been too deep in his slumber to notice.

Throwing back the covers and leaping out of bed with a bit more of a spring in his step than normal, he set about getting cleaned and dressed. After not too much more of a delay, he made his way down the spiral stairs - if he hopped off the last few steps like he would have done as a boy of thirteen, well, Stiles was to blame for that.

“Morning, my dearest Nephew.” Peter purred from where he stood in the kitchen. Derek could hear him from where he was making his way through the sitting room. His uncle most likely thought he was trying to avoid his teasing by stalling close to the stairs. Not today uncle mine, not today.

“Good morning, my most favourite Uncle.” Derek replied as he entered the kitchen, he didn’t fail to noticed the way his Alpha froze in his movements, his shoulder tensing at the sound of his chipper attitude – Derek: one, Peter: nil.

“Someone is uncharacteristically happy.” Peter turned his head over his shoulder to look at Derek, most likely checking him over for any signs of intoxication. “I dare say it looks good on you.”

Derek takes a seat on the closest stool behind the breakfast bar.

“Hm, I hadn’t noticed.” He knew that he was failing at nonchalance but he was committed to freaking his uncle out at this point.

Peter huffed out a laugh.

“What, may I ask, has brought on this drastic change in personality?” Peter prods casually as he goes back to, what Derek can now see as, making bread.

“Nothing in particular. Just woke up like this I guess.” Derek shrugged his shoulders for effect, his uncle wasn’t looking at him but he would be able to sense the gesture nonetheless.

“Uh huh. It would have nothing to do with a certain pale little human now would it?”

His uncle would be able to hear his heartbeat (so no point in lying) but he wasn’t going to give the Alpha the satisfaction of him straight up admitting it. So, Derek does the first thing that feels right. He just laughs. A hearty thing, straight from deep in his gut (to be honest, if he wasn’t having so much fun at his uncles expense, it would be loud enough to startle even him).

As anticipated, the noise does the trick. Peter whips around faster than the speed of light, nearly dropping the dough he had been kneading throughout this whole conversation onto the floor. He is staring at Derek like he had just sprouted six legs. If his eyebrows were to rise any higher, they would be a member of the mile high club.

“Who are you and what the ever-loving fuck have you done with my Nephew?

Derek stares in smug satisfaction. The look on Peters face is priceless. It should probably make him feel even just slightly sad that him laughing gets such a reaction, he is not one to show anything other than stony stoicism on his face usually so it’s fair enough, but he can’t bring himself to feel anything other than just pure happiness.

Gods, if this is what he is like after just kissing the boy, what is he going to be like after claiming him?

He can’t wait to find out.

“Relax, Alpha mine. I have not been possessed. I am just… happy.”

Derek smiles as he watches the older mans features contort into several different expressions in the span of three seconds. Shock. Disbelief. Understanding. Finally he settles on Fondness.

“I, for one, am more than glad to hear you say that. It’s about time you had something in your life worthy of that smile.”

Someone.” Derek corrects, instinctively.

Ah, and there’s the ‘Peter Hale Smirk’.

“I knew it!” He exclaims, looking exactly like the cat who caught the canary.

“Of course you knew it, Peter. You know everything.” Derek replies with an eyeroll.

“Not to toot my own horn, but yes, yes I do.” Peter’s usual level of self-assurance evident in his tone.

“‘Toot your own horn?’ You? Never.” Derek gives his uncle a run for his money with the predatory grin across his face, not bothering to cover up the amusement he feels when Peter narrows his eyes at him.

“Leave the sarcasm to me, Nephew dear. It doesn’t become you.”

Derek huffs his amusement as he gets up from where he was sitting to leave.

“I take it I am not going to hear the story then?” Peter questions. Derek doesn’t miss the slight hint of panic in his voice.

Peter thrives on gossip, “knowledge is power” he always quotes, so, one thing that ruins his day most is being denied it.

Derek stops before leaving the room, and without turning he makes a noise as if thinking on his answer, and then replies.

“Nope.” Emphasising the ‘p’ for the sake of drama.

He hears his uncle’s indignant huff and smiles to himself triumphantly, he will let the older man stew in his curiosity for a little while longer.

~

A few days pass and there is still no sign of Derek’s mood depleting. He cannot confidently remember the last time he had went this long with a smile on his face.

Peter keeps asking him his reason, even though he knows it’s something to do with Stiles, he is still insistent on having the juicy details. Derek hasn’t budged, hes too much enjoying his uncle’s childish tantrums every time he tells him that; “it’s a secret”. Seeing his Alpha pout and threaten to never talk to him again is way too hilarious in Derek’s opinion to give up the tease now.

Derek is currently taking his daily stroll to the Hale house, a little more leisurely than the normal scouting pace he usually partakes in. The last few days he has wandered through the preserve he has taken the time to actually appreciate the surroundings; the noises, the smells, the overall beauty of the forest. He misses the times when he and his sisters used to play hide and seek amongst these trees – a very difficult game to play for werewolves, but he can’t help but smile at the fond memory. If he were to close his eyes he knows his mind would easily be able to conjure up the image of them. Paint a vivid picture of them sprinting and dancing around in front of him, their laughs echoing through the wind as if time had gone back to those days before the fire had consumed them.

Derek would give anything to see his family one more time. While the thought of them doesn’t cripple him as intensely as it had done a few years ago, he still feels the ache in his chest whenever their faces appear in his mind. Laura and Peter had helped him come to terms with the tragedy, he has learned to treat the memories as moments to cherish, things to hold onto and think of fondly, rather than tearing himself apart with guilt. While he still feels like it was his fault, and isn’t sure that will ever really go away, he has come to the realisation that he will always remember them, his life included enough happiness when his family was alive that they can carry him through the sadness.

Derek’s thoughts are interrupted by a loud gasp. Derek hadn’t realised that he’d stopped walking, or had even closed his eyes until his lids flew open at the sound. He frantically began scanning the vicinity. He couldn’t see anything (or anyone for that matter) but he could still hear… something.

It had definitely been a sort of breathless pant, but whether it had been his imagination or some sort of wounded animal, he honestly couldn’t tell right now.

He cautiously followed the direction of the strange noise, something in him was urging forward, making him almost break into a run as the sound got louder. It wasn’t until he got closer to the spot he and the two teenagers had stood a few nights previous that he realised why his body was driving him without much thought.

He could now hear the heartbeat. Dangerously fast. Racing.

It was human, and whoever it was, was in trouble. They were struggling to breathe. Derek’s instincts took over as he sprinted the final few feet to where the human was.

Derek’s heart skipped in his chest and his full body froze.

“Scott?”

The boy didn’t look at Derek. Probably couldn’t hear him over his frantic wheezing. He was sitting against a tree, clutching his chest, eyes screwed shut as he gulped in as much air as his body was allowing.

Derek wasn’t sure what to do. From here, it looked like the teen was dying but he couldn’t see any injuries, couldn’t smell any blood. The boy was in obvious pain, he knew that much. The scent wafting off him; distress and gut-wrenching pain. He knew that the teen’s body was somehow failing him, he just couldn’t get his brain to cooperate long enough for him to figure out why.

He snapped out of his stupor when the teen opened his eyes, noticing Derek standing there. Slowly his arm reached out in a silent plea for help. Derek was crouched down beside the boy before he could even process the movement, grabbing onto his hand and instinctively pulling him into his chest, then rubbing his back in what he hoped was a soothing gesture.

“Scott, what… what’s going on? How… how can I help you? What do you need me to do?” Derek struggled to get his words out over the panic, his voice laced with concern, watching his mate’s best friend struggling to breathe and not knowing how to help was killing him.

Then it hit him.

Asthma.

One of his cousins suffered with the affliction, she had been born human and Derek can remember the time she had an attack when she had gotten out of breath from playing. He should have realised sooner.

“Shit, Scott, where is your inhaler?”

“Lo… st… it. Was… tr… ying to… find…” The boy managed to gasp out between deep gulping breaths.

“You lost it? What, here?!” Derek winced at the anger in his voice. The last thing this boy needed was someone scolding him but in reality he was just really struggling to control his emotions at the moment. Stuck between crying out for help and just sitting there rocking the boy in his arms until all the answers hit him in the face.

The boy just nods at Derek’s question as tears start streaming down his face. Something in Derek stirs at seeing the boy in such distress. He tightens his grip, pulling the teen closer to him, he has to do something but without his inhaler, he doesn’t know how to help him.

He was just a boy when he saw the same thing happen to his cousin, she had her inhaler so he never found out what would have happened if she hadn’t had it with her. Could she have died? What else could have been done if she hadn’t had her inhaler? All questions he wished to the Gods he had asked. At the time he never would have imagined he would actually need that sort of information, like he desperately does now.

Focus, Derek.

“Peter.” He whispers to himself. Peter will know what to do.

He reaches for his phone out of his back pocket, his hands shaking as he dials the number.

Thankfully, his uncle answers on the third ring.

“If you aren’t ringing to tell me your secret, then I’m not-”

“Peter!” Derek interrupts, hopefully his tone indicating enough to his uncle the urgency of the situation.

“What’s happened? Where are you? Are… are you hurt?” Peter instantly drops his sarcastic façade at Derek’s obvious distress.

“Not me. Scott.”

“Scott? Who’s-”

“It doesn’t matter, he… he needs help. Please, Peter, I don’t know what to do.” Derek feels his heart clenching, tears gathering at the corners of his eyes as he remembers how helpless he had been the night of the fire, the same feeling he is getting right now as he clutches at the blurred out body in his arms.

“Derek, I need you to listen to me. I need you to take a deep breath, sweetheart, can you do that for me?” Hearing his Alphas calming voice pushes him to oblige. “I need you to calm down and tell me where you are.”

Derek takes another breath before he manages to answer.

“We are in the preserve… near... near the house.”

“Stay where you are. I’ll find you.”

The line goes dead and Derek drops his phone unceremoniously into the grass below him. Through his own panic, he hadn’t noticed the weight against him go limp. Lifeless.

“No, no, no, no… Scott? No, don’t die on me. Please, Scott, you can’t die on me.”

He shakes the boy roughly to try jolt him awake. When that proves useless, he leans in to put his ear to his chest. There is still a beat but it’s faint, so faint that to a human it would have been almost undetectable.

“Shit. Scott, come on, wake up.” He knows it’s pointless, the boy is unconscious but Derek has to fill the silence. His muttering the only thing keeping him from breaking down completely.

He lays the boy down on the forest floor, his nerves not allowing for anything gentle. He has to move quickly. Has to try keep the boys heart going, at least until Peter arrives.

Being a werewolf and growing up among other werewolves’ means he has never really had to worry about illnesses or injury but he knows the basics. His mother had taught him at least the foundations of first aid, but he had just been a boy, he brushed off the information like she was talking in a foreign language. He remembers bits. Curse the younger him for not listening, for not taking it seriously, something his mum told him could have helped but he had just thought it pointless. Naïve child.

What he does remember though, was the chest compressions. Maybe it wasn’t so much as remembering it from when his mum had told him and instead seeing it preformed on many of the TV shows and movies he had watched over the years. Either way, he had to do something. Surely a half arsed attempt at CPR is better than nothing.

Right?

“C’mon Scott. Please...” Derek continues to mutter under his breath as he starts up the steady rhythm of pushing his weight down in the middle of Scott’s chest.

He doesn’t even know if this will work. If this will even make a difference. Hell, he’s not even sure if this won’t just make it worse but at this moment, he couldn’t confidently tell anyone who asked what day it was, never mind be able to process if he was even doing anything useful.

His minds a puddle and he doesn’t rightly understand why. Since meeting Stiles it seems everything has just gotten so much more sensitive. Derek usually prides himself in his ability to cope under pressure, yes, his coping mechanisms often leave much to be desired, but he still usually manages. However, since discovering his mate, it’s just all went to shit. He can’t remember the last time he had a panic attack, even after everything with his family, and right now he feels like he is waltzing dangerously close to the edge.

All he can think of as he looks down at the body lying unconscious beneath his hands is how helpless he had been the day his family was murdered. Somehow, being back in these familiar woods, dealing with another life or death situation has just crippled his mind. He hadn’t had time to panic the day Laura had been killed by the rogue Alpha, but right now, it seemed that time was passing him as slow as could be. Like he had all the time in the world for his brain to punish him with the memories.

The scenery around him is just taking him back to that little boy standing in the shadows of the trees, frozen in place as the home he grew up in was engulfed in white hot flame. The thick black smoke filling his lungs, but he couldn’t move. He couldn’t cry, couldn’t scream. He just stood there while every single wolf and human in his family burned alive.

Not his whole family, Laura was beside him, kneeling in the dirt, her claws raking up the ground below her. Her bones twisting and crunching as she used all her strength to fight the shift. Her eyes were dancing between colours as the Alpha spark penetrated her soul, but still, Derek couldn’t fucking move.

It hadn’t been until a hand grabbed his wrist that he managed to snap out of his state. Someone had been talking to him but he couldn’t focus so he just followed. Followed the voice. Followed the anchor pulling him back from his thoughts.

“Derek.”

Laura?

“Come on, Derek.”

No, not Laura.

“Derek!”

Derek took in a breath as his mind focussed back to the present. He could no longer smell the smoke nor hear the screams, but instead, kneeling in front of him was his Alpha. Red eyes and concerned expression staring back at him. Derek could see his uncle’s mouth moving but it was as if he was underwater. The words muffled in his ears. He shook his head and took a breath, desperately trying to grasp onto the words caressing him.

“Derek... breathe for me. That’s it... good boy. Breathe. You’re okay. I’m here now, you’re safe.”

“Peter...”

“That’s it. Just keep breathing for me. In and out.”

“Peter... Scott, is he-”

“He... don’t worry about Scott. Just listen to my heart beat and breath with it, okay?”

Derek realised in that moment that Peter was holding his hand to his chest, he could feel his Alphas heart beating, true and steady. He honed in on the sound, downing out all other noises to really listen to the calming thump. He always envied his uncles ability to stay calm in all situations, yet another reason why he was the perfect Alpha.

“M’okay. I’m okay.”

Peter let out a long breath - a sigh of relief.

“Okay, sit yourself against that tree while I figure out what to do.” It was an order disguised as gentle suggestion.

Derek hadn’t realised Peters free hand had been firmly around the back of his neck, soothing him, until that hand slipped away. He would probably be embarrassed about the whimper that escaped his throat at the loss of contact had he not been in desperate need of the touch.

“Shhh, you’re alright. I just have to help the boy, but I’m right here. I won’t go anywhere without you.” Peter soothed him while his hand slowly caressed his cheek.

Derek felt like a young boy again. Relishing in the kind words and attention of his elders whenever he felt low. It calmed him to remember certain things about his childhood and it helped him in this moment to know he still has Peter, even after everything, he always has Peter.

“Yeah, help Scott.” Derek agreed.

He was still on his knees from where he had been sitting next to Scott’s body, so he carefully maneuvered himself until his back connected with the tree trunk behind him.

His eyelids were heavy, it was taking up a lot of his willpower not to just fall into a deep sleep. To just rest away the troubled thoughts and feelings plaguing him. But, he couldn’t. Peter needed him. Scott needed him.

“Is he... going to be okay?” Derek asked. He could feel himself drifting in and out, desperately fighting to keep his eyes open.

Peter looked back at him then, noticing his dream-like state he smiled at him. A fond little curl to his lips. However, he didn’t answer Derek’s question. That sent a bolt of energy through Derek’s spine, something wasn’t right.

“Uncle?” Derek questioned as he slowly straightened himself into a seating position against the tree, he hadn’t realised he had slumped over to the side, he must have been more out of it that he thought.

Peters answering exhale of breath was enough to get Derek’s heart racing once again.

“Hey, Hey, stop. Just calm down...” Peter was back to kneeling in front of him, giving Derek a clear view of the still unconscious boy lying on the forest floor.

“Is he...?” Dead, the word going unspoken.

Peters face was unreadable but his eyes betrayed his bravado.

“He will be.”

“What? What the hell does that mean? We need to get him to the hospital.” Derek tried to get up from his position only to be kept in place by the firm weight on his shoulder.

“Peter, let me up. We can’t just let him die... please we have to help-“

“Derek, there is no helping him.” Peter interrupted.

The look on his Alphas face was heart-breaking. Like saying those words had been the last thing he had ever wanted to say.

“What... what do you mean?”

The hand on his shoulder tightened. A reassuring squeeze, or so it would have been had the next words not accompanied them.

“His lungs have failed him, that much is obvious and even with his inhaler it would not have made a difference. Had there been someone with medical supplies in the close vicinity the very second he had lost his breath then he may have been fine but Derek, this attack, it wasn’t mild, and I suspect it hadn’t even started off that way. I think the poor boy had no hope from the start.”

“But... surely something... there... there must be some way. Peter, there has to be. It’s an asthma attack for fuck sake, surely something can be done. He can’t just die!”

“I’m sorry.”

Those two words took with them the very last string of composure Derek may have had.

“No. No. This isn’t happening. It’s not happening, Peter. I won’t let him die.” Derek scrambled to get to his feet but his fatigue hit him like a ton of bricks. His uncle managed to get his arms around him before he hit the floor, cradling him to his chest, not loosening his grip no matter how intently he struggled to be free.

“No, let me... let me go.” He twisted and turned, kicked and pushed but to no avail. Peter’s strength was no match for him. “Why? Why the fuck does everything I touch die? Why, Peter? What the fuck have I done? What have I done?”

Derek couldn’t hold back the cries that escaped him as he finally surrendered to his Alphas embrace. Grabbing onto his shirt until his knuckles turned white, the sobs wracking through his body making him shake uncontrollably.

“Derek-“

“Don’t.”

Peter’s arms tightened around him.

“I’m... sick... of hearing that... it’s not my fault.” Derek’s voice was no more than a whisper, the words spoken between hiccupping gulps of breath, but Peter had heard.

Silence fell between them. Derek could feel the pain seeping through his bond with Peter. The Alpha obviously struggling with the fact that nothing could be done for Scott and having to sit by and watch as his Nephew, the only member of his pack, has a breakdown. Derek can feel the hopelessness. His Alpha feels helpless. Like a failure. That is what pulls Derek back. He can’t have the one constant strength in his life feeling like this is somehow his fault. If the fault lies with anyone, it’s him but he can bottle that up, if only for the sake of his Alpha.

“What do we do now?” Derek asks. He doesn’t try to pull away from his uncle, he thinks the embrace may not be solely for his benefit.

“We call in an anonymous tip. We can’t risk drawing attention to ourselves. Not this soon anyways.”

“What? So, we just leave him here? In the cold?” Derek sits back so he can look in his uncle’s eyes. So he can see clearly his uncle’s expression. At that moment, he looks broken.

“There is nothing else we can do. The hospital cannot help him, Derek. His heartbeat is so weak that no human machine will even manage to trace it. It’s only because of the Alpha spark that I am even able to still detect it, even to you, he is already dead.”

Alpha spark.

A solution hits Derek like a freight train, Peter visibly startles at his obvious eureka moment.

“Bite him.” Derek offers, his gaze focussed on nothing as he goes through the idea in his head.

Why the fuck had he not thought of this sooner? Better yet, why hadn’t Peter suggested it? It was the best solution. If the bite didn’t take, the boy died anyway which would be no different than their current situation, however, if it took, which Derek was confident it would due to Peters strength as an Alpha, then the boy lives for one and for a bonus, it will add to their numbers. They need a pack, that much is clear, while they had discussed waiting until everything had truly settled before expanding, it wouldn’t exactly be a hardship to take on a new wolf as they are now, especially one young enough for Peter to be able to mould and teach without much issue. It was definitely the answer.

“I... can’t.”

Derek’s eyes back to look at his uncle.

“What? What do you mean ‘you can’t’? Of course you can, you’re the Alpha, and we need a pack and... Gods Peter, he’s dying!”

“Yes, I am aware of all that, but I... I can’t just go around biting teenagers without their consent. What if it doesn’t take, huh? Tell me that, Derek? It doesn’t take and then there is no hope of this boy’s body ever going back to his family, as he rightly deserves. As they deserve. If we call in the tip now, at least his parents, friends, hell, whoever the boys got can at least say goodbye. Give him a proper burial. I bite him and it doesn’t take and we have to burn the evidence. His family then spend however knows how many years looking for him, hoping he is still out there somewhere but really his ashes are scattered across the dirt. Could you live with that knowledge Derek? That you may walk into town tomorrow and all you hear is the name Scott on everyone’s lips, his face plastered across posters in every store, on every lamppost? All the while you know exactly where he is and what happened to him but you cannot say anything for fear that they find out exactly what you are, what we are. I can’t risk that. I can’t risk your safety, Derek. I’m sorry.”

Derek remained silent, processing his uncle’s words. He was grateful that his uncle was thinking of him, as he always was, his safety was paramount to his Alpha and he never let him forget it. But Derek couldn’t help the rage bubble up in his gut. To dismiss the idea so quickly, to just resign yourself to the idea that the boy is dead before his heart has even stopped just ignites something in Derek, he could at least try.

“Nephew. I can feel your anger, and I understand now what this boy means to you. Means to your mate. I hadn’t realised when you had called just who this boy was but now I know and I get it, I do. I just can’t risk it. We have been through too much, Derek. I don’t want to be in hiding for the rest of my life.”

At that, Derek’s rage left as quickly as it came. He’s been selfish.

Peter always put on this mask of sarcastic bravado but that’s just what it was, a mask. He’s probably had no time to properly grieve, what with being in a coma, Laura’s death, becoming Alpha and all the pointless shit Derek has been throwing his way ever since they had been reunited. No matter how powerful, that all must be taking its toll. Peter’s just better at keeping everything hidden. The Alpha must never show weakness, but what everyone (including Derek) forgets is the Alpha is still a being. Yes, they may be strong, they may be powerful but they still have a heart and soul the same as the rest and it’s never been more obvious than in this very moment that Peter is still just a man. A man who has lost his entire family just the same as Derek has but he has had to deal with everything else on top of that. Derek has never felt so selfish.

“I’m sorry, Alpha.”

Peter can feel his emotions through their bond and no matter what he himself is feeling, Derek always come first.

“Nothing to apologise for, pup.” Peters hand slides around Derek’s neck again, squeezing gently.

~

After what feels like hours but may have only been a few seconds, Peter places his hands on either side of Derek’s face, lifting so he could look directly at him. He seems to be searching for something, Derek was about to ask for what when his uncle smiles, seemingly content with what he’s found.

“Okay.”

“What?”

“Just promise me, Derek, if this doesn’t work, you will move on. Or... at least try? You can’t-”

“I promise.”

Peter says no more, just nods his head as he gets up from sitting against the tree. Derek watches as Peter walks over to the body on the ground. He was right, to Derek, the boy is dead. He can’t hear the faintest strum of a heartbeat the same as his Alpha can.

Apparently, there is a few minute window between a human’s perception of dead and an Alphas. According to the books Derek has read on the supernatural, every single being has a short period between their heart stopping and their soul leaving their bodies and it’s between that little windows that Peter is able to attempt to bring him back.

Once the soul has vacated the body, that is when no matter how many Alpha’s or High Vampires tried, nothing would be strong enough to bring the boy back. That is when it would be too late.

Peter is cutting it rather fine if this is the case, but Derek doesn’t have it in him to look a gift horse in the mouth.

One last look over his shoulder before Peter kneels beside the boy, as he lifts his limp arm up to his face.

Before Derek can even blink, the Alpha’s teeth sharpen to points and plunge into the flesh over the boy’s wrist. Derek hears the crunch of fangs piercing veins, tendons and bone. His werewolf hearing really not seeming like much of a gift at this point.

Peters roar shook the ground below them, birds scattered from the trees above, the sheer power behind the sound rattles Derek’s very core. His wolf giving him no warning before answering his Alpha with a howl of his own. Instinct taking over in preparation for the possible new pack member. It was somewhat like the ring of a bell at the end of a ritual, much like a druids closing-of-the-circle chant, or a witches cackle – well, maybe not – but it just felt right.

“Did... did it work?”

“Too early to say. All we can do now is wait.” Peter answered, blood dripping from his mouth, down his chin.

“How long?”

“I... I don’t know.”

“I thought you knew everything.”

That got him a smirk but the tension was still evident in Peter’s posture.

His uncle places the boy’s arm back by his side, he then places one arm under his neck and the other under the teen’s knees, hauling him up bridle style.

“Where are you taking him?” Derek stumbles to his feet to follow wherever his Alpha is intent on going.

“Back to The Loft where he will at least be comfortable if all goes well, and if not... well, at least we have him out of the open until we figure out what to do next.” Peter answered as he begins walking the direction out of the preserve towards the apartment.

Derek doesn’t reply, just follows dutifully behind as his uncle marches towards town. It’s already dark outside. Derek hadn’t realised just how long he had been out here, he could have sworn it was light when he had begun his earlier patrol.

“Keep up, Nephew. We need to get him inside before we are seen.”

Derek widens his strides to stay close to his Alpha. The last thing they needed is some human seeing them and asking questions, or worse, just going straight to the police.

Here’s hoping the boy also stays immobile until they at least get inside, it wouldn’t do to have a newly turned wolf waking up in the middle of town.

That would be the opposite of a good thing.

Chapter Text

As luck would have it, they actually managed to get the boy back to The Loft without any issues. Colour Derek surprised. After all the shit that has happened recently, he was sure something else would go tits up, apparently Mother Moon has decided he deserves a break. Halle-fucking-lujah.

Peter wastes no time in laying the boy down gently on their sofa, grabbing blankets to wrap him up and moving all the other furniture a safe distance away in case he wakes up.

Then he just... chills. Grabbing a book, lounging back in his armchair, one leg crossed over the other, just sitting there as if nothing is amiss.

“Erm, what the fuck are you doing?” Derek asks, not fully believing what he is witnessing.

“Waiting.” Comes the dry reply. He doesn’t even have the common decency to look up, just continues to read.

“Seriously? How can you just sit there?”

Peter huffs as if Derek has just sucked out his last modicum of patience, he drops the book in his lap a bit more dramatically than necessary.

“What else do you wish me to do, Nephew? Sit by his feet and wipe his brow until something happens? No. If I’m going to be completely useless, I would much rather do it while relaxing comfortably, reading the next chapter of Prisoner of Azkaban, thank you very much.”

He picks the book up again, making it clear that it is not up for debate, nor will he be indulging his Nephew in anymore talk.

“You are unbelievable.”

“Yes, quite.”

Derek huffs and flops down on the floor with his back against the sofa. His wolf clawing at him to protect his potential new pack mate while he’s vulnerable.

His body is exhausted. As soon as he is settled comfortably and is content that he is in a stable position to fend off anyone who may cause the boy harm, he lets his head fall back, his wolf purring with the close proximity of pack. He lets his eyes close, not to sleep, his wolf would not let him, but just to give himself at least the illusion of rest.

~

Derek isn’t exactly sure how long they have been sitting like this. Waiting. Waiting on something to happen. Anything.

For some reason, one that Derek doesn’t want to dwell on this prematurely, his wolf isn’t stirring. It isn’t restless or causing a mass panic, like Derek would have expected. He thought that his wolf wouldn’t even have allowed him to sit here for so long without at least being a little bit of a pest, especially with the fate of a possible pack member hanging by a thread. Deep down, he prays that this is a sure sign. Confirmation of the bite taking, but he doesn’t want to get his hopes up just yet. He will just relish in the peace his wolf is allowing him. But he still hopes that somehow his wolf just knows. It knows the boy has been turned and has already accepted him.

Derek lets his thoughts wander. He has nothing else to do in the silence so he may as well cast his mind back to the other night and just how beautiful his mate looked under the moonlight. His sweet honey scent, his innocent, soft touch and those lips. Gods those lips could bring all matter of man to their knees.

Derek wasn’t short on fantasy material, curtesy of his gorgeous boy, but the little snippets that he always seemed to favour all involve that sinful mouth. That tongue. Gods above, even his teeth when Derek felt particularly frisky. What he would give to see those plump, cherry lips stretched wide around his-

“What are you thinking about?”

Derek startles from his thoughts, eyelids flying open as he remembers where he is. Who he is with.

Shit.

“Nothing interesting.” Derek lies.

“Oh, I beg to differ. Your scent tells a different story entirely.” Peter leers, he is still sitting in the same position in his armchair, book in hand, not even looking up from the words on the page to address Derek.

“I forgot I wasn’t alone.”

“Clearly.” Derek doesn’t need to look at his uncle to see the obvious amusement, he can hear the smirk loud and clear.

“Yes, well fuck you for waking me up at the good part.” Derek comments dryly as he crosses his arms over his chest, closing his eyes once again and settling back into his earlier peaceful silence. He hears his uncles amused chuckle before his ears pick up another sound.

A third heartbeat.

He whips around quicker than he thought he could move and listens.

“He’s... he’s alive.”

Peter dropped his book on the floor at the same moment Derek had turned to face the boy, he was over by the arm of the sofa in an instant, running his fingers through the boys unruly locks, then checking his temperature before humming positively.

“Well, it seems our pack has a new member.” Peter beams as he sits on the chairs arm, near Scott’s head.

The first few hours of a newly turned wolf’s existence are absolutely crucial. Not only to the Beta but to the Alpha as well. Touch and scent are essential in guaranteeing a strong bond forming between the new wolf and his Alpha, so for the next few hours, Peter will probably not leave the boys side and will casually brush his fingers over his skin or mark him with his scent until the boy is in a position to fully accept Peter as his leader.

“Do we need to do anything?” Derek asks. Energy is strumming through his veins, he needs to do something, anything. His wolf beside itself with the new bond forming.

“Nothing we can really do until he wakes up, which could be soon or it could be hours yet. Let’s not forget that he was technically dead.” Peter looks at him with fondness, he can no doubt feel Derek’s restlessness through their bond, he must know better than anyone how Derek is feeling right now. “Relax, dear Nephew. There is nothing we can do just yet... but, prepare yourself. Things may get a bit ugly when he does decide to open his eyes.”

Derek just nods and settles back on the floor. How he is supposed to prepare exactly, he doesn’t rightly know but he will do whatever Peter needs. He’ll be here for him... him and Scott.

~

“Fuck, you weren’t kidding!” Derek shouts from behind the breakfast bar as he intermittently ducks to avoid the numerous flying objects aimed at his head. “Gods above, can’t deny the kids got aim.”

“Not helping, Nephew.” Peter grits out through his fangs.

“Forgive me, Alpha, but you’re not the one getting priceless china vases lobbed at your fucking head!”

Peter has the gall to actually sigh. Like Derek is the one acting like a goddamn wild animal right now.

“He thinks you are a threat to his Alpha. Just... give him a chance.”

“Oh yes, no bother. Let me just stand here and let him throw shit at my head until he figures out that I’m not here to kill you!” Derek ducks again just in time to see their coffee table shatter to pieces against the wall behind him.

Meh, he never cared for it anyways.

“Oh, stop being a drama queen, you’ll heal. Wait... was that... was that the Italian coffee table?!” Peter gapes at the splintered wood now scattered across the floor behind Derek.

Oh, so now he gives a shit.

“That’s it!”

Derek could swear Peter just grew a few inches taller, and possibly wider? Oh, he’s not amused.

Enough!” His Alpha voice bellows through the apartment, his eyes bleeding red, fangs and claws extending, there was no denying that he was not here to mess around.

The effect was instantaneous, Scott dropped whatever innocent object he was about to throw as he scrambles to submit to his Alpha. The poor boy was trembling, whimpering as his eyes flashed gold and he desperately kneeled at Peter’s feet exposing his throat to the older man.

Derek felt the pull in his chest to do the same, but as the order wasn’t directed at him, he was able to push it aside - not without difficulty, a command that powerful was a force to be reckoned with.

His uncle softened as soon as the boy obeyed, leaning forward to rub his scruff across the boy’s throat. The Alpha sign of ‘apology accepted’. He also runs his fingers through Scott’s hair and cups his hand to the back of his neck, sending calming pheromones through the bond to settle the teen down.

“Now. We won’t be need any more of that, okay Scott?”

“Yes, Alpha.” He replies without missing a beat. His eyes closing in contentment at Peters soothing gesture.

Derek smiles at the boy’s quick obedience to his Alpha. This may be easier than he thought. He goes to rise from where he is still behind the kitchen island but stops short as soon as he hears the warning growl.

“Now, Scott. That’s no way to treat your pack.” Peter scolds him but his tone is still fond. Probably amused that Derek is once again getting the shit end of things.

At least the growling stops.

“Sorry, Alpha.”

“That’s quite alright. I understand that things don’t quite make sense right now but I promise that after a few hours things will start to become a little clearer. You may not leave here with all your questions answered but hopefully you will have the basics.” Peter spoke slowly so as not to startle the boy.

At the moment, Scott is much like a new born baby, except he can talk, walk and pretty much do everything as normal but his mind isn’t quite back to what it was before the bite. He is like a blank slate, all yes Alpha, no Alpha, three bags full Alpha. Basically, just pure instinct. All he knows right now is the fierce need to protect and gain approval from his Alpha, everything else is just a threat or an inconvenience. He will gradually start remembering his life before the bite, but it does usually take a few hours, sometimes days in really difficult cases. They just have to keep him close, and help him through it.

~

The hardest parts of this whole transition are the moment the new wolf wakes after the bite, as Scott has proved, the wolf is all rage and fear and every other emotion bundled in one. They have all these new abilities but no idea why or how and it’s just confusing. Then they have this fierce need deep in their gut to do everything and anything this random stranger commands of them. They have this bond tugging at their soul, binding them to this being they have never met before and suddenly they will jump through hoops to make them happy. It’s a wild ride.

The second most difficult part is definitely once the wolf comes back to themselves. That’s when Peter will have to start from the very beginning and explain absolutely everything in detail. Scott will most likely freak out, maybe throw in a few colourful slurs and then calm down enough to ask all the questions no doubt consuming his conscious.

Well, that’s what was supposed to happen.

What actually happens isn’t as smooth sailing. Of course not, when has Derek’s life ever cut him any slack?

When Scott comes too, about three hours after his initial awakening, he is inconsolable.

It casts Derek’s mind back to the first time they had met, when the boy had cowered in the shadows behind Stiles, saying very little and basically just shaking like a shitting dog. Ha.

Nothing Peter is saying to the boy seems to be going in, it’s like going through one ear and straight out the other, nothing is really registering. Peter has tried to explain the situation as calmly as he possibly can but the boy absolutely reeks of fear. When he does speak, it’s hardly intelligent with how much his voice is breaking.

At least he has ceased throwing things and is clearly in no mind to be violent. Silver linings and all that.

The boy is convinced he has been kidnapped. Keeps begging Peter not to hurt him. Keeps saying that he hasn’t done anything wrong and he promises not to tell anyone if they just let him go. No matter how many times Peter explains that “no, he has not been kidnapped”, and “no, he would never hurt him”, that “he is pack and is free to leave whenever he wishes” it just falls on deaf ears.

Peter is getting frustrated. Derek can feel it through the bonds and that can’t be helping the terrified Beta if he can feel his Alphas emotions too.

“Hey, Scott. Just calm down. We are not going to hurt you. Just listen. We are trying to explain everything but you need to take a breath and just pay attention.” Derek decides to address the boy after standing on the side-lines silently, letting his Alpha deal with the issue at the man’s request.

Peter hadn’t wanted to overwhelm the boy, which in normal circumstances would have been a noble idea but it just wasn’t working. Peter could be at this all day and get nowhere, not that Derek ever doubted his Alphas competency, not one bit, but it was clear that he just needed a little backup. It had probably been a long time since Peter had to deal with newly bitten wolves, definitely not in Derek’s lifetime anyways.

Peter cast him a relived look, something that said “thank you” without actually saying the words.

Scott calmed slightly at Derek’s voice, but not much, just enough to actually speak clear enough for them to not have to squint.

“Derek. I know you. You... you helped us. Me, and... and Stiles. Please, I just want to go home. I... I don’t understand what’s... what’s happening to me?” He asked, his voice pleading. Derek couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, those wide puppy dog eyes would charm the back legs off a donkey.

“You’re a werewolf, Scott. I know that makes no sense to you now but if you just listen to us, I promise it will. We just want to help you. Trust me.” Derek slows down his words, and never wavers in his eye contact. He even holds out his hands in an obvious act of surrender so as not to startle the cornered animal any more than they already have.

The tension in Scott’s body eases a little. Derek can see the cogs clicking in his head as he thinks about it. He knows there is every chance the boy would still flee but at least he now seemed to have taken in the brunt of the conversation. He was a werewolf. Derek could see that he understood that now, maybe not fully, but enough that it cleared away even a portion of his fears.

“I’m a werewolf?” The boy whispers.

“Yes, and we are your pack.” Derek answered, gesturing to himself and his uncle, his voice still calm.

The teen just gives a curt nod, then straightens his posture from where he has been cowered against the wall.

“Can I please go home now?” He asks, with more clarity than he seemed to have had the entire evening, still laced with fear and nervousness but it was progress.

“Yes, you were always free to leave, dear boy.” Peter is the one to answer him.

Derek could see the Alpha has deflated from his earlier frustration, most likely he was just disappointed now at his newest pack mates reluctance to stay close to him. He looks exhausted.

“Thank you.” It was small, barely there even for werewolf hearing but it was genuine.

Peter nods and gives a warm smile, he didn’t try to advance on the Beta, just let him leave without another word.

It wasn’t until Derek knew the boy was out of earshot that he spoke up again.

“Should we really be letting him leave? What if he goes on some sort of murder rampage? Or worse, goes to the police?”

Peter gives him a look, one that requires a raised eyebrow.

“You really need to sort out your priorities.”

Derek just rolls his eyes. Was his uncle really Ron Weasley-ing him right now? Fuck it, he wasn’t going to bite.

“You know what I meant. It doesn’t feel right to just... let him go.”

“I know.” Peter crosses the room to stand in front of Derek, placing his hand on the back of his neck for comfort. Derek hadn’t realised how much he needed that right now.

“He will be back.” Peter continues assuredly.

“How can you be so sure?”

“The bond between and Alpha and his Betas is very powerful, especially for a new and untrained wolf. He won’t can ignore the pull for long, especially with the full moon only a few days away. He will most likely just run to wherever he feels safest and stay there until he calms down. He will come back.” Peter said it with such confidence that Derek didn’t have it in him to keep arguing, he just nods his head and lets the silence wash over him.

Derek couldn’t deny how excited his wolf was with having pack again. Even if everything wasn’t going as planned, the bond was still tied. He just hoped to the Gods that Peter was right, he trusted him but he still worried. Worried that the boy was out there harming himself (or others) and they were doing nothing to stop it. He just prayed that the boy wasn’t stupid enough to go to the cops. Derek really couldn’t take having to move again.

Especially now. He’s had a taste of his mate and he’s not prepared to let him go.      

Chapter Text

The familiar scent hits Derek long before the knock comes to their door. Peter looks up from where he is sitting in his armchair nursing what seems like the Narnia of a cup of coffee, one eyebrow raised in a silent question to his Nephew, when he notices that Derek has practically frozen on the spot. Derek can hear his huff of breath before he watches his uncle saunter over to the door.

“Wait...” Derek hisses out through his clenched teeth but it’s too late, Peter had already pushed aside their massive industrial roller door, unveiling a nervous looking Stiles from behind it.

“Well, hello there. What brings a pretty thing like you to our humble doorstep?” Peter purrs, as he makes a show of leaning against the doorframe. Derek would have rolled his eyes if he had the necessary brain function to do so. He should also be surprised at his wolf’s lack of interference at his uncle’s flirtations, but again, his mind seems to have short circuited.

Stiles is here. In his den.

Stiles. Is. Here.

“Erm... hi. I’m Stiles...” The boy cautiously thrusts out his hand in greeting, his heartbeat hammering in his chest. He was restless, nervous and with Peter leaning forward to curl his hand around the boys offered hand the pace picks up ever so slightly. Derek cannot decipher it, but with the smirk on Peters face, he knows exactly what the boys feeling. And it’s amusing him.

“Pleasure to meet you, Stiles.” Gods above, Peter is a menace.

“Err yeah, is Derek home?” Stiles replies, obviously uncomfortable with Peter’s ministrations, he pulls his hand back from Peter grasp, not unkindly but a bit eager.

Peter lets out a sort of chuckle, a breathy little thing that lets Derek know he will be in for a lot of teasing before the night is out. He steps out of the way to give Stiles a clear view into their apartment. A clear view of Derek still standing there in the middle of the room like a deer caught in headlights.

“Please, come in, dear boy.” Peter gestures towards the sofa, “Make yourself at home.” He leans forward to purr the last words directly into Stiles’ ear and Derek’s wolf decides now would be the moment to defend.

Luckily, it was just a soft growl, a warning, directed straight to his competition. Not that Peter was really competition, he was just trying to wind Derek up (what he does best) but with his still fragile control after discovering the whole true mate’s thing, his wolf doesn’t care for the details.

“So, it’s true.” Stiles speaks softly. His face taking on the picture of complete awe. “You’re a werewolf.” It was said matter-of-factly, no question in sight.

Derek curses himself internally as he looks to his Alpha instinctively for guidance, of course, Peter just shrugs his shoulders and stays silent (first time for everything). Fucking dick.

“What are you talking about?” Derek answers with more calm in his voice than he thought himself capable. He may be able to blag himself out of this one.

“My best friend, Scott, whom you have met previously,” A beautiful blush creeps up the boy’s throat to cover his cheeks and Gods if Derek doesn’t want to just follow that with his tongue. “told me this very interesting story about waking up yesterday being shadowed by you and some other... dude. Some cock and bull story about being bitten and other such nonsense. To be really honest, I thought he had been sniffing something but, after he showed me the lovely pair of golden eyes he is now sporting, it all clicked. Your eyes glowed blue...” He points to Derek, it feels much like an accusation. “that... that first night in the woods after you said my name. Then there’s the fact you constantly swear to the ‘Gods’” He uses finger quotations. “Instead of just one single God and it all just kind of made sense, so I thought I’d come over here to see what the fuck was going on, and you have just confirmed my suspicions even further, what with all the growling you just did.” Stiles took a deep breath, obviously not aware that he had just said all without a much of a break.

He looks pleased with himself. Like he’s just solved a mystery.

“Clever boy. I must say, I am impressed. Not only did you connect all the dots but you also decided that, armed only with the confidence you have in your theory, you were brave enough, or perhaps stupid enough, to come over to the den of two possible supernatural creatures you know nothing about. Alone.” Peter was amused, not trying to put fear into the boy but rather just playing with his food.

“I... erm... I didn’t really think that far. In my defence, I’m a very firm believer in act now, ask questions later. No point in beating around the bush.” Stiles gives off a laugh but it was all nerves, he was fidgeting and moving too much to even pretend he wasn’t absolutely bricking himself.

“Peter, quit it.” Derek snaps.

“Ah, so you’re Peter. The Alpha?” Stiles turns to face Peter in an instant. “Do your eyes actually go red?” Stiles’ emotions seem to change with the wind, his curiousness overshadowing his nerves as quick as Derek could click his fingers. Gods, this boy was a wonder.

Peter didn’t dignify the question with an answer, just let his eyes bleed red. The smug satisfaction pouring from him at Stiles’ little jump backwards.

“Christ on a bike. Is this all a dream? Am I going to wake up any minute now? Cause this... this is some weird-ass shit right here. Man, I thought Scott was going crazy.”

“Not a dream, dear boy. Just a very well-kept secret.” Peters tone was neutral but Derek didn’t miss the threatening nature his words implied.

“Hey man, my lips are sealed. I promise. Wouldn’t even dream about pissing you guys off, no sir. Uhuh, nope. I am rather fond of all my limbs being attached to my body thankyouverymuch.”

Peter snorts at that and Derek can’t help the eye roll. They definitely had a lot to talk about.

“Well, I think I’ll leave you two too it.” Peter announces after a long silence.

To be honest, Derek kind of forgot he as even there, too busy staring at the boy who was staring right back.

Stiles startled at Peters voice, obviously in as much of a world of his own as Derek had been.

“Wait... I have like... a shit ton of questions.”

“I am sure Derek can answer most of them, he’s not completely incompetent after all.” Peter winks towards his Nephew as he exits the apartment, letting the door slide closed behind him.

“Huh, he’s a weird one, isn’t he?” Stiles throws over his shoulder as soon as Peters out of sight.

Derek snorts.

“He sure is...” A smug smile gracing his lips. “He can also still hear you.”

“Oh shit... sorry.” Stiles shouts his apology into the air, looking sheepish. He is utterly adorable.

Derek exhales a laugh as he rounds the sofa, making his way to the kitchen.

“You want a drink?” Derek calls out from next to the refrigerator.

“Eh, sure.” Stiles was still hovering close to the door. His whole body strumming with energy. His heart beat a little more steady than earlier but still not as calm as Derek would like.

“You can sit down you know, I won’t bite.” Hard.

“Was that... was that a wolf joke?”

Derek smirks to himself before making his way back into the living room.

The apartment’s pretty open plan on the bottom floor but the kitchen was still behind a sort-of wall which blocked any view into the kitchen from where Stiles now stood beside the sofa. In the corner was the spiral staircase up to the bedrooms, it was all pretty basic, except for Peters insistent need to scatter random expensive touches, but it was home enough for now.

Derek took a second to look over at Stiles as the boy sat down. His earlier nerves seemed to have calmed but Derek lost count how many times the boy had rubbed the back of his neck with his hand or twiddled his finger in the hem of his shirt, he was anxious about something, and Derek couldn’t help but think it wasn’t the whole werewolf thing that was causing it.   

“Here.” Derek handed him the can of soda before taking a seat on the other end of the sofa, keeping a distance between them but still close enough that Derek could scent the emotions rolling off the boy. He won’t lie, he wanted to know exactly how he was making the teen feel.

“Thanks.” Stiles made no move to open the drink, instead just rolled it around in his hands.

“So, what brings you here exactly?” Derek had to fill the silence, lest his mind wander to dark and dangerous places.

Stiles looked for a second to be surprised by Derek’s question before his face smoothed back over to blank.

“Well... as I said before, I was woken up last night from a very interesting dream... that is irrelevant,” He blushes as he cuts off that train of ranting. Interesting. “by my best friend ranting and raving that the weirdo from the woods” He makes a motion towards Derek. Rude. “and this psycho, other-guy had kidnapped him and turned him into a werewolf. You can imagine my surprise and utter disbelief, let me tell you, I’ve know Scott since we were toddlers and I’ve never seen him so frantic but I still didn’t believe him. I mean, come on, werewolves?!”

Derek just hummed his affirmative, content in letting the boy finish his rant. It was quite enjoyable just watching those long, softly toned arms gesture wildly, as those beautiful lips formed words. Derek could happily sit back and just observe all evening.

“It wasn’t until I saw the eyes that I actually believed at least something in what he was saying might be true. Not that Scott is untrustworthy, I trust him with my life but, well, he can get a bit overdramatic.”

Derek huffs a laugh at that, remembering with a weird sort-of fondness his new pack mate’s behaviour upon awakening.

“Did you really kidnap him?” Stiles asked after a beat of silence.

“What? No. Of course not.” Derek answers indignantly. Derek was a lot of things but seriously, kidnapping? What the fuck?

Stiles’ face takes on a relieved expression.

“I didn’t think so. I just had to ask. So... then...” Stiles lets out a long exhale instead of finishing his sentence, letting his head fall into his hands, but Derek is sure he knows what the question was going to be.

“You want to know why Peter bit him.” It wasn’t a question. It was obvious. The kid was as curious as they came. Lord knows, he’s already proved that numerous times before.

Stiles lifts his head and instead of answering just nods, not letting his gaze fall from Derek’s. Derek wasn’t sure he could cope with that kind of intimacy, not with this conversation, so he stands and leans over against the adjacent wall instead.

“I found him in the woods. He had been looking for his inhaler, but I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew was that he couldn’t catch his breath and he was alone in the middle of the preserve.”

Stiles watched Derek intently, saying nothing.

“I didn’t know what to do. Wolves don’t get ill or sick so this kind of thing was alien to me, I tried to comfort him as best I could but nothing was working. So, I called Peter.”

Derek couldn’t look at Stiles, didn’t want to see whatever look was on his face. Probably disgust at Derek being such an idiot. He didn’t even bother sniffing the air to give him any clues on what Stiles was feeling, he was sure the boy would not be shy in voicing his opinions when Derek was finished.

He was deliberately skipping the parts where Derek broke down. The boy didn’t need to hear any of that. Derek didn’t want to show himself as even more weak than he probably already was.

“By the time Peter got to him, he said it was a lost cause. That the boys lungs had failed him, his heartbeat was so faint that not even your hospitals machines could have brought him back.”

Derek heard a sharp intake of breath and forced himself to look at Stiles. He regretted it right away. He could see that the boy’s whiskey brown orbs were wet with unshed tears. The teen was trying to hold back, no doubt not wanting to cry in front of practically a stranger, but Derek could still see the upset in his eyes.

Derek’s wolf whimpered at seeing his mates sadness, all he wanted was to pull the boy into his embrace and comfort him until he forgot all about this.

Stiles had his head bowed slightly, probably trying to hide his emotions even more but he could see clearly the moment that boy sensed Derek was looking at him, he lifted his head once again and bore his gaze straight into Derek’s soul.

“You saved his life.” Stiles was so sure in that statement, Derek detected no hint of him believing otherwise. He wasn’t sure what to say.

“I... I should have done more. Before it got that far.” Was all he could manage to say. Still intent on beating himself up about not getting the boy to a hospital sooner. Despite Peter insisting it would not have made a difference, Derek can’t brush off the feeling that he was only saying that to stop Derek from feeling guilty. Too late for that.

“I am going to throttle that buffoon when I next see him.” Stiles said after a second of silence, Derek looked up from where he was staring at the pattern on the rug below his feet. Stiles’ amused tone confusing him.

The boy was smiling. Albeit, his eyes were still glassy but he just wiped his hand across them and turned his attention back to Derek, clear amusement written across his face.

“I... I don’t follow?”

“You saved his goddamn stupid-ass life. He always did have a penchant for the dramatics but this just takes the biscuit. He left before I could get the full story out of him. All I was told was that he woke up in some apartment he didn’t recognise with you, who he had seen before, and some random-ass dude saying he was an Alpha werewolf, with the addition of claws and fangs. He said that you kidnapped him and made him into a wolf and he didn’t know why. Then he showed me his eyes before bolting it out my window. That’s why I came here. To get answers. At least more than what he had given me anyways.” Stiles explained.

Derek let out an exasperated breath.

“He wouldn’t calm down when he woke up, Peter decided it was best to let him cool down. The pull to your Alpha is too strong to ignore for long so Peter is under no illusion that Scott will come back before the full moon. We tried to explain things. Well, Peter did but he wouldn’t listen. Just got frightened whenever we approached him. I wanted to go after him, the threat of our kind being found out is already too high and I didn’t want him running around drawing attention to himself. A new wolf can be a dangerous thing. It’s not his fault, it’s just a lot to process. All the changes. Peter was confident that he wouldn’t tell anyone, would most likely go to you or cower until he could no longer ignore the urge to come back.” Derek hadn’t noticed he was pacing until he stopped talking and was looking up to see he was in a different spot that he had been before. Stiles was watching his every move.

Derek exhaled as quietly as he could and slumped back against the wall. Arms crossed over his chest.

“He’s an idiot,” The boy smiled again “but don’t worry. Peter was right in his assumption. I text him earlier before I came here, once I had actually woken up properly, and asked if he had done anything stupid to which he said no, that he has just locked himself in his room. I told him to stay there until I came around later. So, don’t worry. I’ll make sure he doesn’t draw attention to himself. Or you. I’ll try convince him to wise up and actually come here to talk to you, I think it’s probably the best for him.”

“Why?” The word was out of Derek’s mouth before he had even processed that his lips were open.

“Why what?”

Derek wasn’t really sure. Why are you so cavalier about this? Why are you not angry with me? Why are you still sitting here looking at me like I’m not a predator? Why-

“I could be lying to you. We could have kidnapped your friend. It would have been quite simple actually. But you’ve chosen to believe me. Why?”

Stiles assesses Derek for a second. Probably rolling the question around in his head before answering.

“Since I have met you, I don’t think even in all our conversations that we have had put together would amount to the number of words that came out of your mouth just then. Correct me if I am wrong but had you wanted to lie to me, you probably would have said it in a lot less words. I, for one, ramble quite a bit when I am lying, it’s an obvious tell, I actually ramble most of the time, when I’m nervous, scared... anyway, my point is that you are the complete opposite. You don’t talk a lot, and not very often, but when you do, there is no reason for the words that come out of your mouth to be a lie. You’d rather just not say anything if that be the case.”

Derek isn’t exactly sure at what point Stiles had stood up. Or when he had walked his way across the room. Or at what point he had entered Derek’s space and was close enough that he could feel his breath on his face as he spoke.

Derek had been too focused on his words. Had been lulled into a state of mindlessness by the way Stiles described him. Like he knew him. He was the Sherriff’s son, so Derek was under no illusion that he had learnt a few tricks of the trade over the years. Derek even remembers the boy mentioning the other day in his drunken state that he would love to study psychology at Uni, and Derek can see in that moment that it would suit him well. But, the fact that he managed to get this close to him without him being aware is sort of unnerving. Pray to the Gods that he wasn’t losing his control. Not again.

Derek also noticed the teen’s voice had dropped in the last few sentences. Slowing down on every few words or so.

“That, and also the fact you knew about Scott’s asthma. Not many people do, so...” Stiles’ trailed off on that train of speech. Derek can now see that the blacks of his eyes have blown wide.

“I’ve figured you out, Derek Hale” His name dripping off his mates tongue like fucking molasses. “and to answer your question directly, it’s because I trust you. God forgive any lapse in judgement I may have but there’s just something about you, and I just don’t... think... you... would ever... hurt me.” Stiles’ lips are a hairs breadth away from Derek’s, one slight twitch from either of them would have them touching.

Derek knew his eyes flashed blue the moment he felt the ghosting touch of Stiles lips against his, the sweet smell of mate consuming all his senses.

Quicker than he can comprehend, he has his hands fisted in the boys shirt, switching their positions and slamming the boys against the wall with enough force to startle him, but only for a second.

“I’d be careful when baiting a wolf, Stiles. I could very easily rip your throat out... with my teeth.” He whispered into the boy’s neck, as he let his fangs skim over the long, pale expanse of skin there.

It’s taking everything in him not to mark-up that gorgeous milky flesh, to just close his mouth over his throat and suck until the most delicious coloured bruises form under his lips. He’s pretty confident the boy would let him, but he could wait. Wait until he had him begging for it.

Derek didn’t fail to notice the shudder that ran through the teen’s body. Nothing but the scent of pure desire drifting off him.

He lets his head roll back, giving Derek more access to run his stubble across his delicate skin. Not that the teen knew this but it gave Derek more room to scent him. To make him smell like mine.

“Is that a promise?” It came out no more than a whisper but Derek didn’t fail to detect the hint of sark behind the boy’s obvious desperation. Teenage hormones and all that.

Derek’s sucks in a breath and lifts his gaze to look directly at Stiles. At the boys smug grin his wolf lets out a low rumbling growl in the back of his throat. Relishing in the small whimper coming from his mate.

“You’re going to be the death of me.” Is all he says before crashing their mouths together.

It’s hungry. Frantic. Fierce. Much like their first kiss but somehow more urgent. More primal. No matter how many times he had tried to remember, nothing compares to hearing first-hand the beautiful sounds that escapes his mate’s mouth, sounds that he greedily devours with his lips and chases with his tongue.

Derek slips one of his hands into the boys hair, curling his fingers around a few strands and pulling, not enough to hurt but enough to make his intentions clear. This clever boy follows the gesture obediently, tilting his head back for Derek to have better access to his mouth. His other hand grabs a handful of the boy’s ass, pulling him in closer so they have not even a hint of space left between them.

Stiles breaks the kiss momentarily to let out a soft moan, the friction against his cock too much to ignore. His breathing is laboured, already panting with need. His lips bright red and swollen from Derek’s primitive ministrations.

Derek takes the opportunity to focus his attention back on his mates throat, his jaw, his collarbone, just any sliver of skin he can reach without having to separate their bodies. Nipping and licking anything that was bare to him. He wanted to taste every inch of this boy, to take him apart with his mouth, piece by precious piece until he was a trembling mess beneath him. He wanted to know every crease and crevice that he had to touch to make him shake, he wanted to hear every single sound and know exactly what he needed to do to coax them out.

“But he’s a minor.”

Derek tenses up at the voice in his head.

Shit.

He can’t be doing this, he had promised himself he would wait. The kiss the other night had been a step too far, he had needed it to satiate his wolf and had thought it had been enough but right now, he can feel his control slipping. Can hear his wolf chanting matebreedclaim. He had to stop this before it got to the point of no return.

“We can’t.” Derek forced through his teeth. His head slumping forward onto Stile’s shoulder. He made no move to break apart but the grip of his fists loosened, making it clear that he was no longer holding Stiles in place.

Stiles didn’t say anything. Just let out a sharp exhale and thumped his head back on the wall. His hands were still on Derek’s waist, holding him close but the grip had softened at Derek’s stopping.

“And why would that be?” He said it with as much casualness as he could muster but Derek could hear the disappointment. The hurt.

Derek lifts his head. The last thing he wanted was for Stiles to think this was because of him. Well, it was because of his age but it wasn’t because of him. He has no idea how much Derek wants him. How close he was to ruining the very idea of sex with anyone else for him at that very moment. He wanted to destroy any possibility of this boy ever even thinking of anyone else’s hands on him, their mouth, their body.

But he shouldn’t. He won’t.

Not yet.

“Stiles... you’re 17.” He tried his best to convey the importance of that in his tone, through his expression. His eyes locked on Stiles’, his hand that was in the boy’s hair now cupping his jaw.

“Little bit late to be taking the moral high ground, don’t you think?” It was said with a laugh, a sad thing but Derek could see that he wasn’t mad. Just disappointed. Derek could live with that, as long as he didn’t feel rejected. Unwanted. That was so far from the truth.

“Probably. But, with the things I was planning on doing to you, I think it’s pretty safe to say, I’m more of a saint now than I would have been by the end of the night.”

Stiles groans.

Dude, don’t stop me half way to orgasm and then say shit like that when you have made it clear you will not be going any further. No fair.” His voice was back to normal now, if not a few octaves higher. He was pouting. Just one more adorable feature of his.

“Half way?” Derek teases with a smirk, one that possibly resembled too much like one of Peters.

“I’m a teenager. And a virgin. It don’t take much.” He admitted, and Derek saw the moment he registered what he had just said. His eyes closing in an obvious “did I honestly just say that?” motion and his lips forming a thin line as if that would stop him saying anything further. That wonderful pink tinge was back across his cheeks too, it went well with the stubble burn he had across his throat.

Derek chuckled, then leaned in to place a soft, chaste kiss on the corner of the boy’s mouth. Then moved his lips towards his ear, lowering his voice to a purr.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

It was at that moment that Peter decided to ascend the stairs to their top floor apartment. Derek growled low in his throat, moving away from Stiles in an instant when his uncle slides open the door without as much as a curtesy knock.

“Now, now Derek. Had I suspected anything to be going on, I never would have come in but I see you have either already gotten it out of your system or are not bothering, so, I’d rather not be exiled from my own home longer than necessary.”

“You were listening.” Derek gritted out through teeth that were too long to be human when a gentle hand cupped his face.

“Hey, wolfy. It’s okay.” Stiles voice was soft. Careful. Calming. Derek had never felt his rage dissipate so fast in as long as he could remember. A single touch from his mate had grounded him faster than any soothing gesture from his mother, or his Alpha. It rendered him speechless.

“As much as I like to tease you about your sex life, dear Nephew, or lack thereof, I’d really rather not listen in on it. I may be a kinky bastard but I’m not a pervert.” His uncle said as he placed some bags on the floor beside the door. Groceries.

Stiles laughs at his uncle’s statement. Derek thinks, if given the chance, these two could probably get along very easily. With what little he knows of Stiles’ style of humour, it wasn’t that different to Peter’s sarcastic persona. No doubt, in time, they would form a pact and strive to make his life a living hell.

“Well, you didn’t miss much anyways but I’m sure we can let you know the next time we decide to hook up. How does next Friday suit you both?” Stiles threw back. This bold little shit was never going to be boring, that’s for sure.

Derek could see Peter’s lips curl in an impressed smile. He was sold.

“I have a feeling, dear boy, that we will get along just splendidly.” They shared a knowing smirk, an acceptance in Peter’s language.

Peter had many different smiles, smirks and expressions that to the untrained eye may look the same but to Derek, who has known Peter long enough to be able to decipher each one, they all have their own meaning. Since wolves have heightened senses, they are rather good at reading expressions. Talking without words. Derek concludes that Stiles may not be so different, the animation in his expressions make it quite easy to tell his emotion, even without werewolf senses, and after that decoding he did of Derek’s inability to lie to him earlier, he’s sure the boy would be an expert at reading people as well as any wolf.         

“Well, it was very nice meeting you both. Meeting you again? Oh, you know what I mean. I’m gonna head. Home! I’m gonna head home and I’ll see you later? Or not. Whatever.” He was rambling again. “Bye.”

He gave an awkward half wave then turned to leave but Derek grabbed his wrist before he got too far and pulled him back to him. At Stiles’ startled gasp he smiles fondly while moving his free hand to the back of the boys head, gently he closes the distance between them until his lips pressed against his mates, one last time. A promise.

“I’ll see you later, Stiles.” Derek spoke against his mouth once he’s pulled back. Letting his hands fall from their places on the teen before taking a step back, giving him the space to refocus.

“Yeah. Okay.” Was all the boy could muster before turning on his heel and leaving, giving Peter a nod before sliding the door closed behind him.

Derek watched him leave with a longing that he felt deep in the pit of his stomach. His wolf was howling at him to chase after his mate but he ignored its call, as he did before.

“I don’t know what you were worrying about, dear nephew.” Peter began and with Derek’s hum to continue he adds; “Your control is absolutely impeccable if you are even able to consider letting that beauty leave here with an obviously very painful hard-on.”

Derek rolls his eyes and puffs out an exaggerated breath but there’s no heat behind the gesture.

“Don’t be shy, uncle. Say what you feel. Please, don’t hold back on my account.” Derek offers dryly, giving his uncle a pointed look.

“What did I tell you about sarcasm, Derek?”

Peter points his finger at him accusingly (Derek can’t help but grin at that) then proceeds to pick up the groceries and strut himself through to the kitchen.

Derek stands in his spot for a little while longer, just staring at the door. Part of him wishing the boy would come back, would knock on the door any second or just walk in without any warning. But, he knew that wouldn’t happen. He had heard the tyres of the boy’s jeep run over the gravel in the car park outside.

He was gone.

Well, for tonight at least.