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I Dream of Stiles

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In retrospect, Derek never should have rubbed the lamp.

In his defense, it wasn’t his fault that wiping his Aunt Mildred’s ancient desk lamp down with a dust cloth changed his life forever. Who could’ve predicted that?

The lamp started to shake and the light bulb exploded into a thousand tiny pieces. Bright red smoke started to unfurl from the top of the lamp.

“Who disturbs my slumber?” a voice boomed.

Derek (who may or may not have fallen on his ass when the lamp shattered), choked out, “I didn’t mean to?” He also hadn’t meant to form that as a question. “This is impossible!”

“Nothing is impossible,” the voice responded. A big, mole-dotted hand inexplicably popped out from the top of the lamp. An red-clad arm appeared soon after. The hand grasped blindly around and eventually gripped the edge of the desk.

Derek, who’d gotten a hold of himself and stood up cautiously, snorted. “Need a little help there?”

Yes, he was sassing the supernatural being.

“Even miracles take a little time,” the voice retorted.

The arm strained and suddenly a head and shoulders burst through the lamp. It was a guy, no older than Derek (and probably younger) with brown hair, a terribly patchy goatee and a lot of scattered moles. Also, a wide smile.

“Giving up is for rookies,” the guy said and yanked himself the rest of the way out. He landed next to Derek, who noticed several things at once: they were the same height, the guy was most definitely younger than Derek’s twenty-four years, he was wearing a red hoodie and baggy jeans, and, OH YEAH, he was also GLOWING.

A happy red tint hovered in the air around him as he stretched his body from side to side and rotated his neck. “Ten thousand years...will give you such a crick in the neck.”

“Hey, wait a minute…” Derek’s eyes narrowed.

“...To infinity and beyond?” the guy croaked sheepishly.

“Are you quoting Disney films at me?”

“You are correct, sir!”

Why are you quoting Disney films at me?”

“Not much to do in the lamp?” the guy responded, shrugging and rubbing the back of his neck.

Derek pinched the bridge of his nose. “What are you?”

“I’m a genie!” the guy beamed, flinging his arms wide. “The name’s Stiles.”

“A genie,” Derek repeated flatly.

“Yup,” Stiles grinned, rocking back and forth on his heels. “You’re not freaking out. It’s weird.”

“I’m a werewolf,” Derek replied, as if that would explain everything. Which he guessed it kind of did.

“Oooh, scary,” Stiles made finger claws at him. “Rwwaar.”

***

So Derek was stuck with Stiles, who was truly a terrible genie. He didn’t even do things the way a normal genie was supposed to.

“What do you mean ‘it’s not three wishes’?” Derek bit out, glaring at Stiles, who was perched on the end of his couch. Literally perched. Like crouched on his tip toes.

“I don’t really know how to make it clearer,” Stiles said, long fingers twisting in the bright red hoodie he was wearing. “Is English not your first language? No son tres deseos. Ce ne est pas trois souhaits. To nie trzy życzenia.”

Derek scowled. “I speak perfect English. But I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

Stiles laughed. “Oops, ok, spiel time!” He jumped dramatically off the couch and...disappeared in a puff of red smoke. He reappeared a split second later in the middle of the room. ‘“Ok,  so, I don’t know what the human obsession with ‘three wishes’ is. I’ve never met a genie who was limited to a finite amount of wishes. Of course I’ve only ever met two other genies...but that’s not the point. That’s a silly human limitation! Like I said before, I will stay with you and grant whatever wishes you desire, until we discover your true heart’s desire. Once that wish is granted, I will leave you and return to my dark prison.”

Derek sat there, staring at Stiles as he bowed a little. “I...don’t really know what to do with that. Or where to start.”

“How about with a wish?” Stiles bounced in place.

“No.”

“Aww.”

“Can I...free you?” Derek asked hesitantly, hoping to rid himself of the nuisance.

Stiles deflated—his shoulders sagged, his mouth turned down and all the previous joy bled right out of him. Derek couldn’t help but feel a little bad. “No, that’s not how it works. This isn’t a Disney movie. I can never be free until I achieve my heart’s desire. Which, ya know, I have no idea what it is.”

“So how am I supposed to know what mine is?” Derek countered, trying to change the subject.

Stiles perked back up, “You don’t! But that’s why I’m here! Genies are only freed from their lamp when someone who desperately needs their heart’s desire to go on with life comes into contact with the lamp! It’s my job to grant your wishes and help you figure it out so I can help you get it!”

Derek’s heart leapt into his throat. “I don’t suppose you can...bring people back from the dead?”

Stiles slumped a little again. “No, I can’t. And I’m sorry for the loss that made you ask.”

They were both silent for a moment, Derek hunched in on himself on the couch and Stiles shifting from foot to foot in front of him. “How about...I tell you the rules?” Stiles offered.

Derek nodded. “Ok.”

“I can’t kill anyone, I can’t make anyone fall in love,” Stiles ticked off each rule on his fingers. “I can’t...bring any living thing back from the dead, and I can’t make a human do something he or she doesn’t already want to.”

“What does that mean?”

“Well…” Stiles flopped down onto the floor and pulled his knees up to his chest. “Like say for instance you had a crush on a girl and you wanted to kiss her? I could compel her to kiss you, but she’d only do it if she already wanted to kiss you deep down. I can’t mess with free will…only help it along a little.”

That made some sort of twisted sense, so Derek nodded. “That it?”

“Yep,” Stiles popped the ‘p’ and smiled. “So, what do you want to wish for first, boss?”

Derek raised an eyebrow at him. “I wish that you never call me boss again.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, but snapped his fingers nevertheless. “Done, you big party pooper.”

***

So that was how Derek found himself with a genie companion. That never left him alone. Derek had had to explain personal space and privacy to Stiles more times than he could legitimately count.

He’d had to explain that it was not ok to pop in on Derek while he was taking a shower just because Stiles had had a thought he desperately needed to share.

And Stiles should sit in his own chair. There was no reason to crowd Derek on the couch. (Stiles never listened to that one.)

When Derek’s bedroom door closed at night, that was the time for good little genies to fuck off and do whatever genies did while normal werewolves slept and to not appear in Derek’s bed before he even had time to turn away from the door.

Derek also had to qualify when he was actually making a wish. Idly saying, “I wish I knew martial arts,” after watching a Bruce Lee marathon did not mean he wanted Stiles snapping his fingers and inundating Derek’s mind with all the knowledge of every martial art ever.

So he insisted that, unless he said, “Stiles, I wish…” he wasn’t actually wishing. Stiles had looked put out, but eventually agreed.

Stiles was awfully...opinionated for a genie. He mocked Derek’s wishes, suggested others (“Derek, if you wish for her to suck your dick right now, she totally would!”) and basically never stopped talking.

Stiles had turned Derek’s relatively quiet life upside down and sideways, with a cherry on top. Literally. For a few days he’d added whipped cream and a cherry to everything Derek wished for, even steaks.

That being said, Derek really tried to keep the wishing to a minimum. He knew Stiles wouldn’t—couldn’t—leave him alone until he’d helped him achieve his “heart’s desire,” but that didn’t mean he had to encourage the mischievous genie. Or the problematic situation of having a genie be at his beck and call, which, ya know, slavery.

Though, to be honest, Derek hadn’t eaten so well in years.

***

“You said you met another genie, once?” Derek asked one night, trying to derail Stiles as he continued to detail the history of farming. Derek never needed to know that much about farming. But apparently a lot of Stiles’s previous masters (Stiles called them “clients,” which Derek found both creepy and adorable) had been farmers, or something.

He might tune Stiles out, sometimes.

“I did!” Stiles beamed, bouncing in place on the couch, causing Derek to move a little as well, since Derek’s compromise with Stiles’s over-tactile nature had been sitting close together on the couch.

“How’d that happen?”

“Well,” Stiles started. “I was in Beacon Hills, California with a client—Lydia, she was magnificent—and her best friend Allison had a genie, too. His name was Scott.” A fond smile flitted over Stiles’s face and he luckily hadn’t noticed Derek tensing up at the mention of Beacon Hills. “We got really close. It took us a while to figure out Lydia and Allison’s hearts’ desires, probably because we were all having so much fun being friends. Genies don’t have a lot of friends.” Stiles shrugged. “But then I figured out Lydia’s-”

“What was it?” Derek interrupted, always finding himself more absorbed in Stiles’s personal stories than he knew he should be.

Stiles snorted. “She wanted to be the youngest person ever with research published in the Journal of Scientific and Mathematical Research. Ironically, she did it on her own and I only ‘figured it out,’” Stiles finger-quoted self-deprecatingly, “when she got her issue in the mail and I was drawn back to the lamp.”

“What happened to Scott and Allison?”

Stiles sagged. “I don’t know. When a genie grants a heart’s desire, even if all I did was snap my fingers to have the magazine delivered a few days early, he’s called immediately back to his lamp to wait until the next lost soul comes into contact with it.”

“You sound like a really cheesy adventure movie about eighty percent of the time,” Derek informed him. Stiles smiled weakly. “I’m sorry you lost your friends.”

“It’s ok,” Stiles shrugged. “That’s the life of a genie. It’s what I signed up for.”

***

Which is how Derek found out that Stiles used to be human. Stiles didn’t want to talk about it, so Derek didn’t ask about it. Derek had always made it a habit to not encourage conversation unless absolutely necessary.

***

Derek did, however, ask the question that had been gnawing at him for a while and was one of the primary reasons he hadn’t really left his apartment during the past two weeks of Stiles-ness.

“Can they see you?” he asked Stiles as they walked down the street to the supermarket. Derek had finally used his last can of soup and didn’t want to keep relying on Stiles’s magicked meals.

Stiles side-eyed him. “What do you think?”

“I think that I don’t want to walk up to a complete stranger and ask, ‘Can you see him?’ if he can’t. I don’t want to end up in a mental hospital. Though…” he cut his eyes away, “I may already be in one…”

“I resent that,” Stiles huffed. “Just for that…” He walked right up to Gary, the homeless man on the corner of his block that Derek always gave a couple bucks to. “Sir,” Stiles asked breathlessly, “Can you see me?”

Gary blinked at him. “I think so. Can you see me?”

Stiles grinned. “Indeed I can. Looking dapper today!” He nodded to the new red wool cap someone must have given him.

He walked back over to Derek. “I trust Gary. So people must be able to see me.” He looked like he was trying to hold in a laugh, his lips twitching and eyes crinkling.

“You knew all the time, didn’t you?” Derek grumped, shoving his hands into his leather jacket’s deep, warm pockets.

“Yup,” Stiles smirked, popping the ‘p’ lavishly.

“Well, at least now I know I’m not crazy,” Derek decided. Stiles tilted his head in confusion as they entered Whole Foods. “That I haven’t been imagining the guy magicking my food into existence for the last two weeks.”

“I also got you that hot water bottle that never cools,” Stiles pointed out smugly, gleefully grabbing a shopping cart and immediately standing on the back of it, flying down the aisle.

“Yeah, well…” Derek mumbled, following at a more sedate pace.

He’d always had cold feet, ok?

***

Stiles!” Derek bellowed, eyes widening as he took in the state of his apartment. He was never leaving the genie alone again.

“Poof, what do ya need?” Stiles popped into being right next to Derek.

Derek didn’t jump, ok? “What have you done?” he asked tersely, motioning to the living room. The entertainment center was pulled out completely from the wall, wires were everywhere and several large cardboard boxes were upended, packing peanuts strewn about.

Stiles’s cheeks pinked. “Well, I wanted a VHS player and you said I could make anything I wanted to within reason and I was bored, so I decided to try to set it up myself and…” he gestured vaguely to the chaos before them.

“But why are there so many boxes?” Derek asked faintly. “And...why a VHS player?”

Stiles bounced in place. “Well, I decided your whole system needed an upgrade! And, uhh, I wanted to watch Disney movies,” he added shyly.

“Disney movies?”

“Yeah!” Stiles nodded eagerly. “I had a client named Clara like twenty years ago who let me watch all her Disney VHS tapes when she was at work. Hercules and...Aladdin were my favorites. I may have worn the Aladdin tape out…”

Derek smirked. “Not surprising.” Stiles blushed harder. “But, Stiles, they have Disney movies on DVD now. I can get them, if you want. I think I already own Aladdin…” he trailed off, straining to remember. “But you can watch them whenever you want.”

“I’ll get them, then,” Stiles shrugged. “And sorry about the mess. I fail at doing things without magic.” He held up his hand, ready to snap, but Derek knocked it away.

“Don’t bother. C’mon, I’ll show you how to set up all this ridiculous new stuff.”

Stiles’s smile was as bright as the sun (it was at least as blinding) and he nodded, scuttling further into the apartment.

Derek finally shut the front door behind himself and followed the genie, not even trying to keep the answering smile off his face.

***

“You look like a Backstreet Boy,” Derek said bluntly after they’d gotten their fifth weird look through the diner window.

Stiles glanced down at himself—the baggy jeans, grey T-shirt, red hoodie and white sneakers— and shrugged. He swallowed the mouthful of curly fries puffed in his cheeks like a chipmunk and said,  “So?”

“It’s 2015,” Derek replied.

“So?”

“That look is from the late 90s. It just makes you look really young and I think people might think I’m preying on a small child or something.”

Stiles scowled. “I’m like two hundred years older than you, dude.”

“Not dressed like that, you aren’t.”

Stiles released a long-suffering sigh. Like he was the one who had to put up with a crazy person. “It’s not my fault that no one’s cared about my clothes since Carla in 1997. Fine. Make it official and I’ll change.”

Derek rolled his eyes and drawled, “Stiles, I wish you dressed like someone in this century that I won’t be too embarrassed to be seen with.” Stiles raised his hand, ready to snap, but Derek quickly tacked on, “Stiles, I also wish you’d go change in the bathroom, in a stall, so as not to alert this entire diner to the existence of magic and genies!” He took a deep, relieved breath as Stiles slunk off to the bathroom.

The waitress came over while he was gone to deliver their milkshakes and then leaned her hip on the table right by Derek’s elbow once she’d put them down. “You guys are so cute,” she said. “My cousin Jack has a boyfriend.”

Derek stared at her, shocked that someone could be so forward. “That’s nice. He’s not my boyfriend.”

“No?” the waitress grinned. “Too bad. You guys would be great together.”

“You don’t even know us.”

“True,” the waitress nodded. “But I recognize the look on that kid’s face when he looks at you.” She winked and walked away.

Derek sat there, refusing to think about the conversation that had just occurred, sipping on his vanilla milkshake, when a throat cleared obnoxiously loud right next to him. He did not jump, but he did turn to glare at Stiles, because who else could it be, really, and almost spat his milkshake out all over Stiles’s new attire.

Because Stiles had changed. Not just his clothes, but his everything. Gone was the weird, spiky, messy hair. In it’s place was slightly shorter, actually styled hair with a cute little upwards swoop in the front. The scraggly little beard he’d sported (which Derek had honestly thought was just a genie prerequisite) was gone and he was clean-shaven. You’d never have known he had broad shoulders and a trim waist underneath the baggy clothes. But he did.

And he’d replaced those clothes with a form-fitting red and blue plaid button-up, tight dark-wash skinny jeans and black Converses. Derek’s mouth dropped open.

“Am I acceptable now?” Stiles snarked, sliding back onto the bench seat across from him.

Derek nodded. The waitress returned at that very moment with their check. Of course.

She raised her eyebrows at Derek. “You’re not hitting that?”

She left the bill and Stiles watched her go.

“Why would you hit me? Is it that bad?” he looked down at his new clothes self-consciously.

Derek thanked the Lord that Stiles was still living in the 90s and hadn’t adjusted to new slang yet.

“No, you look...great,” Derek managed to force out.

The blinding smile he got in return absolutely did not take his breath away.

Absolutely not.

***

“What have some of your other clients hearts’ desires ended up being?” Derek asked a few days later. He was at a total loss of what his could be (that Stiles could actually give him)...so he was grasping at straws, basically.

Stiles, who was starfished in the middle of the living room floor for no discernible reason, made a thoughtful noise and flailed onto his side. “Hmm, good question,” Stiles replied. “Let’s see.”

He sat up and gathered his knees to his chest, in what Derek was rapidly realizing was his favorite resting position (curled into a ball with a wall of legs as protection...interesting), and cocked his head to the side. “The weirdest one I ever had was probably Jackson. He was a douchenozzle.”

“He sounds like one,” Derek nodded. “Who names their kid Jackson and doesn’t expect him to be an asshole?”

Stiles laughed, a lot harder than Derek felt the joke deserved, but it was nice. Stiles had a great laugh. He got his whole body involved: his shoulders shook, his arms flailed, his eyes crinkled and his mouth stretched enticingly wide. His laugh was higher than his speaking voice would dictate, but it fit him. It never failed to put a smile on Derek’s face. And since Stiles laughed a lot, Derek had been smiling more than he had since...in a very long time.

“True that,” Stiles gasped for breath, chuckles still occasionally racking his body. “Well, Jackson lived up to his moniker. He was a total douchecanoe. He wished for the most obnoxious stuff, all material things. His Porsche was a whole two years old, so he wished for a new one. He wanted every surface he touched—clothes included—to be cashmere, silk or leather. He was ridiculous. So, of course, his heart’s desire ended up being like the most noble one ever.”

Derek sat forward a little on the couch. “What was it?”

“Funnily enough, he was dating Lydia at the time. She ended up being my client a few years later? Well, his true heart’s desire was for her to see him as he really was—past the wealth and good looks and bluster—to see who he was inside. Once I realized that (I heard him crying—crying—about it in his sleep one night...he was a weird sleeper…), I made him reveal himself to Lydia for what he really was and...he was just as douchey deep down as he was on the surface. Lydia broke up with practically on the spot. It was hysterical and awesome and also kinda sad. I felt bad, but hey, it was what he wanted, right?” Stiles shrugged. “Don’t blame the genie for what your heart desires, know what I mean?”

“Yeah,” Derek nodded. “That sucks, though.”

Stiles sighed. “It did.” Stiles was such a good person—genie, whatever, Derek thought.

“What other hearts’ desires have you granted?” Derek prompted, worried by the slump of Stiles’s shoulders.

“Oh, one girl wanted a horse—I know, cliché, right?—another wanted fame...you’re welcome, Stephanie Meyer...most wanted another person, though.” Stiles smiled. “When it comes down to it, it seems like most people don’t want material things or revenge. They want someone to love.”

Derek’s heart clenched, because the people he wanted were the one thing he couldn’t have.

***

Stiles was just...everywhere. Everywhere that Derek went. Even after their “personal bubble” discussions from their first week together, Stiles seemed to pop into whatever room he was in.

Derek pretended it annoyed him. He pretended that he didn’t like that someone was there. That Stiles wanting to be near him was a bother.

Of course, he knew it was because Stiles wanted to figure out his heart’s desire and move on. That had to be it.

But it didn’t really feel that way.

“Hey, Derek,” Stiles materialized next to him on the couch. “What’s your favorite movie?”

Derek blinked at him. “And you need to know this because…?”

“No reason,” Stiles hedged, looking shifty. “Just wondering. You now know about my embarrassing affinity for dancing cartoon animals, so humor me.”

Derek shrugged. Sure, he had a point. “I really like historical dramas,” he started. “I was a history major in college. And I like old movies, because they just feel more authentic, you know?” Stiles nodded solemnly. “So, my favorite would probably have to be Lawrence of Arabia. And Ben Hur.” His ears went red. “Charleton Heston used to be hot. And I also really like Schindler’s List, even though it’s newer.”

“So let’s watch one,” Stiles grinned, bouncing in place. “I haven’t seen any of those.”

“Oh. No. They’re really long and...boring and—”

“Derek!” Stiles beamed. “C’mon, I wanna watch your favorite history movie.”

So Derek put on History of the World Part I because it was funny, relatively short and not boring.

Stiles adored it.

He started the movie sitting up straight next to Derek, happily eating the popcorn from the self-refilling bowl he materialized in Derek’s lap, and ended it sprawled across the opposite end of the couch, one foot inches from Derek’s thigh. Derek barely saw the French Revolution section, because he kept glancing at the strip of mole-dotted skin uncovered after the genie’s T-shirt rode up instead.

Stiles was oblivious, just smiling whenever he caught Derek staring, and continued floating little armies of popcorn kernels out of the bowl and toward his open, buttery-slick lips…

Derek was possibly in a lot of trouble.

***

“Stiles, I wish for a 12 ounce, medium rare prime rib. The primest rib. And some of those scalloped potatoes you made last time,” Derek decided, already sitting at his kitchen table in anticipation.

Stiles, who was sitting (laying, really) backwards on the counter, legs sticking haphazardly through the cutout in the wall into the living room and head hanging off the formica, regarded Derek with a raised brow. Which, in his current position, actually looked like a lowered brow… Derek chuckled to himself. He’d been spending too much time with Stiles. He was starting to find the silliest stuff funny.

“Are you ever gonna wish for anything other than food?” Stiles whined. “I can do more than make delicious food materialize, you know!” He waved his hands around and Derek found his gaze caught on the long, wildly gesticulating fingers for a moment before he snapped himself out of it.

“I know,” Derek nodded. “But I don’t want or need anything else.” At least nothing he could wish for from Stiles.

“Gag,” Stiles mocked him. “That’s so boring. And!” he added, hopping off the counter by swinging his legs wildly around, “how am I supposed to figure out your heart’s desire if you don’t branch out with your wishing?”

“I don’t know what to wish for,” Derek admitted.

“How about new clothes?” Stiles snarked. “The leather and henley combo is so nineties grunge.”

“Says the genie who used to look like *NSYNC’s missing member,” Derek shot back smugly.

Stiles came over and sat at the only other chair at the table (the one that Derek had actually wished for so Stiles had a place to sit in the kitchen with him, OK? See, he wished for things!). “I find your familiarity with millennial boy bands disturbing,” Stiles informed him.

Derek couldn’t help his ears heating just slightly. Laura had been obsessed with all those bands, which Derek used to tease her about mercilessly. But Derek wasn’t going to tell Stiles about that, seeing as he still hadn’t told him about his family at all. And given Stiles’s own misfortune with family: dead mother, giving up his soul to another genie to save his father, he didn’t think it was a safe topic. So, instead, he muttered, “Bye Bye Bye was an anthem, OK?”

Stiles delighted laughter filled the room and Derek couldn’t help smiling himself.

“But seriously,” Stiles went from laughing to earnest in two seconds flat. “If you want me to materialize you a new wardrobe, I totally will.”

Derek groaned loudly.

***

In the end, Derek ignored most of the new clothes Stiles created for him. Though he did wear the red thumbhole sweater so much he poked a hole through one of the elbows. Stiles just made him a new one with a wide smile.

***

Derek had never been one to go out much. And with Stiles as his...house guest, he went out even less. But, contrary to popular belief, Derek did have needs that were even more basic than food and the latest nature documentary.

Derek needed to get laid.

He’d never been an overly promiscuous type, and he certainly never had relationships anymore. Those never ended well for anybody. But when he felt the urge that his own hands could no longer scratch, he went out and picked someone up. Brought him or her back to his apartment, made sure he or she got off at least twice, and sent them on their way. Nice and tidy.

But he couldn’t bring anyone back with Stiles around. And he couldn’t bear to go back to the other person’s place; wolves had this thing about familiar surroundings. A hotel would just make him feel like a hooker.

So he’d gone without for the two months Stiles had been with him so far. But his hands just weren’t cutting it anymore.

He laid in bed, about two months and a week into his genie days, trying to get off. But no matter how he twisted his hand, flicked his wrist and fondled his balls, he couldn’t come. It was frustrating and, frankly, a little embarrassing. He’d gone without hooking up for a month or more before. But he couldn’t focus, couldn’t drum up any of his usual fantasies of nondescript bodies and hands and holes. He was stuck.

“Goddamnit,” he grunted, stilling his right hand while simultaneously reaching for more lube with the left. “This sucks.”

Stiles popped into his room, wearing his “around the apartment” clothes (i.e. low-slung sweatpants and a tight, ratty t-shirt) and asked with concern, “What’s wrong? Are you OK?”

Derek came immediately.

Stiles squeaked and popped out again. Derek scrambled under the covers as soon as his cock finished spurting and his sex-dumb limbs would cooperate. “Stiles!” he yelled. “What the hell!?”

This time, instead of popping in, there was a knock on his bedroom door.

“Come in,” Derek growled.

Stiles poked his head in, a sheepish smile on his face.

“What have I told you about my closed door at night?” Derek demanded, gathering the covers up to his chin.

“That it meant ‘no genies allowed’?” Stiles joked weakly. At Derek’s unimpressed eyebrow, he continued, “I’m sorry. I should have knocked. You just sounded so frustrated and sad...I was worried.”

Derek’s anger deflated a little. The genie was an annoying pain in the ass, but he rarely lied. He’d really just been worried. Stiles noticed the thaw and edged into the room a little. “If I knew what your problem was, which, hey, totally explains the extra grump factor all week, I could have done something about it. Plenty of people we meet want to sleep with you. The pizza guy yesterday wanted to.”

Derek closed his eyes. “I didn’t need to know that about Carl, Stiles. Thanks.”

“Sorry,” Stiles didn’t look at all sorry. “Make a wish and I’ll make it come true.”

Derek sighed. “Stiles, I don’t want you to compel someone to sleep with me, even if they ‘want it deep down’ or whatever it is you said about free will.”

“So go to a bar and pick someone up,” Stiles offered instead, perching on the end of the bed. “I get the feeling it’s not exactly hard for you.”

Derek burrowed deeper under the covers again. “It’s not. I just-”

What? Didn’t want to leave Stiles to his own devices while he went out? Didn’t want to have to banish Stiles when he came back with someone or, worse, have Stiles stick around and hear? Hadn’t even really looked at anyone in that way since Stiles had literally appeared in his life?

“What do you need, Derek?” Stiles pressed. “Just tell me and I’ll give it to you. I’m your genie. I’m supposed to make your wishes come true.” Derek was surprised at how distressed Stiles sounded. “So if sex is what you need, wish for it.”

“No,” Derek replied. “It’s wrong.”

“No, what’s wrong is that you never let me do anything for you! You’re my first master that hasn’t talked my ears off with wishes!” Stiles leaned toward him, bracing his hands on the bed near Derek’s covered hips. “I want to do whatever you need. Please.”

Derek didn’t know whether it was because of how little he’d been getting off lately or the proximity of a warm body or the fact that it was Stiles’s warm body or maybe it was what Stiles was saying. All Derek knew was that when Stiles put a hand on his sheet-covered calf and asked again, “What do you want to wish for?” Derek couldn’t tear his eyes away from Stiles’s red, wet lips. He couldn’t stop himself.

“Stiles, fuck, I wish...I wish you’d blow me.”

Stiles’s demeanor changed instantly and he beamed, “Now that I can do.”

Immediately Derek tried to take it back, but Stiles was already whipping off the covers and appraising his half-hard dick.

A shiver ran down Derek’s spine when Stiles licked his lips.

Stiles bent down over him, and before Derek could really register what was happening, Stiles gripped the base of Derek’s cock and wrapped his lips around the head.

Derek bucked up and grabbed for Stiles’s shoulder, trying to push him away. “Stiles, fuck, stop.”

Stiles backed off immediately, looking chagrined. “It was a wish, so I thought you wanted… I won’t force you. God, I’m sorry.” He was starting to look horrified, gorgeous eyes wide and unblinking.

“No! I want— But if I wish for this, I’m forcing you. I’d be rap-”

“Derek,” Stiles stopped him with a raised hand. “I’m going to make something very clear and then I’m going to ask you to wish for what you want again, OK?”

Derek hesitated, but Stiles didn’t look upset anymore, so he nodded.

“I may be a genie, but I’m not your slave. The rule that applies to humans’ free will applies to me, too, when it has to do with me physically or mentally taking part. Your wish couldn’t compel me against my own free will.” With that said, he leaned over and licked a neat line from the base to the tip of Derek’s cock. “Now, I’ll ask you again… what do you want to wish for?”

Derek closed his eyes and made his decision, since it seemed like Stiles had already made his. “Stiles, I wish you’d make me come.”

***

When it was over—“it” being the best blow job of Derek’s life—he looked at Stiles, whose cheek was resting on his hip, and murmured, “That can never happen again.”

***

It happened again.

At first, Derek resisted. He made sure, multiple times, that Stiles was still on board. The thing was, Stiles had an obscene mouth. He licked his lips constantly. So, eventually, when Stiles sank to his knees in front of him, Derek just threaded his fingers through Stiles’s soft hair and hung on for the ride. Stiles seemed to like it and Derek got off. It worked. He didn’t even have to wish for it anymore.

But after a week of incredible orgasms, Derek started to notice something. Stiles never came. There was always a sizable bulge in his sweats once he’d finished Derek off, but he never made a move to touch himself. Derek figured maybe he didn’t want to participate in that way or at least not in front of Derek, but after a particularly satisfying session, where Stiles had paid new and appreciated attention to his balls, Derek, blissed out and lying back on the sofa, didn’t miss when Stiles palmed himself quickly just once, but snatched his hand away the second he saw Derek looking.

Derek suddenly understood.

“Stiles, I wish you’d come for me.”

With a startled gasp, Stiles’s hand dove immediately under his waistband and, bracing his other on the edge of the couch cushion, he jerked himself hard and fast, his moans filling every space in the apartment.

By the time his hips stuttered and he slumped forward, Derek was hard again.

With a small smile, Stiles pulled his come-covered hand out of his sweats and wrapped it around Derek’s cock.

Derek never came faster in his life.

***

So that was a thing they did sometimes.

Nothing else changed. Stiles still harassed him about his life choices and pestered him to make more wishes and generally followed him around the apartment and whenever he went out. He forced Derek to watch bad movies and even worse television with the power of his eyes (he definitely used his powers for evil sometimes), because Derek couldn’t say no to them.

One thing did change. The “don’t enter Derek’s bedroom at night—that means you, Stiles” policy gradually changed until, well, Stiles started to sleep with him in his bed every night. It was easier than kicking him out after the mutual orgasms. It was sad to see Stiles stagger, sex-drunk, from the room, OK? It wasn’t a big deal and it was “nothing we need to talk about at length, god Stiles.”

Derek wasn’t surprised that Stiles was incapable of settling down and instead rambled quietly, mostly to himself, before he could nod off. Because genies did sleep apparently. Derek hadn’t known for sure. But Stiles slept like he did everything else: with complete conviction. Derek woke up almost every morning with the other octopussed around him, Stiles’s nose smushed under his neck. And waking Stiles was an exercise in patience and restraint. Derek had even tried wishing him awake, which had not worked.

After a while, Derek, even though he was sleepy and sated, actually started to listen to Stiles’s murmured pillow monologues. Once he did, he found himself unable to stop. It wasn’t even what Stiles was saying—he detailed everything from the latest MLB draft to the history of male circumcision—it was how he said it. And sometimes his stories got personal, which Derek would never admit were his favorite.

Lying in Derek’s bed one night about three weeks after the physical side of their relationship began, Stiles cuddled to his chest (if Derek didn’t think about it, it didn’t mean anything), Stiles started talking.

“What’s funny is how literal people take the old stories they’ve heard about genies. They actually usually get pretty mad when I explain how it really works. One guy insisted on only making three wishes and I had to trick him into making more so I could figure his heart’s desire out. I didn’t want to be stuck with that guy for the rest of his life, geez. And another guy was super weird about the fact that genie lore is mostly based in Islam and the Middle East and is mentioned in the Quran and Arabian Nights and stuff. He called me weird racist names. I was like, not cool, bro, because one, what did that group of people ever do to you personally and two, I’m Polish, man. My mom and dad were Catholic.”

Derek perked up a little, because it was the first time Stiles had mentioned his family for quite a while. Derek didn’t want to pry, mostly because he didn’t want to talk about his own family, but the more time he spent with Stiles, the more he wanted to know about him.

Stiles didn’t say anything more that night, but a few nights later, when they were both flat on their backs and breathing heavily (Derek had made it a blanket wish that Stiles get off when he did, and had started returning the favor himself), Stiles blurted out, “God, teenage me would be so jealous.”

Derek glanced over at him, “And why is that?”

“Because I’m getting regularly laid. All sixteen-year-old Stiles had was his right hand and dirty postcards.”

“When did you become a genie?” Derek asked before he could stop himself.

Stiles rolled over onto his side and smiled. “That’s like the first personal question you’ve ever asked me. I’m touched.”

“Shut up,” Derek could feel his cheeks getting hot. “You don’t have to answer.”

“Of course I do!” Stiles beamed. “I was born in 1834 in San Francisco, California.”

“1834?” Derek repeated faintly.

“Yep. My dad was the sheriff when the Forty-Niners came.”

“You were alive during the California Gold Rush?”

“Yep. My parents were some of the first to head out West. That was before I was born, of course.”

“Of course.”

“When I was eight, my mom died. That was before the Rush. It was…” Stiles paused and turned his face into the pillow to shield his eyes before he continued. “It was rough. Dad was only the deputy then. We made do. But then the sheriff got run out of town and Dad had to step up. I’m pretty sure he was the first sheriff with a kid and no wife, like, ever,” Stiles said thoughtfully. As he continued to talk, Derek noticed a slight rough twang sneak into his voice, one that had never existed in Stiles’s California Dude speech before. He found it oddly charming. “Dad was a good, fair sheriff, another rarity in those days. At eighteen, I worked for the saloon after school, mostly lugging kegs of beer around and cleaning up messes. I really wanted to work at the library that had popped up in town ‘cause of all the new people, which is why I didn’t quit school when the other boys did. It made things tough, but Dad was proud of me. I was gonna graduate in two months,” Stiles smiled to himself, but his face soon went hooded. “One day, a friendly game of poker got out of hand and Dad was called. I was already at the saloon, so I tried to intervene, but the guy just knocked me to the side. I… I had to watch my Dad walk into that saloon and get shot dead right before my eyes.”

“Oh, Stiles,” Derek murmured, curling closer and placing a comforting hand on his side.

“That’s what happened to sheriffs in those days,” Stiles shrugged one shoulder. “I dunno why I thought my Dad was any different.”

“We all think our parents are invincible,” Derek replied. “Even though they’re not.”

Stiles gave him an indecipherable look, but continued, “I just went home in shock. I laid in bed that night and the next day and then the next night, crying and praying. I didn’t know what to do. My dad was gone. The bank would take our house. I wouldn’t have anywhere to go. That’s when Kassim came.”

“Was he a genie?”

Stiles nodded.

“But I thought you had to rub the lamp?”

Stiles sighed. “That’s mostly for show. A genie resides in his or her lamp and can be summoned from it, but we can also leave it when the pull of someone’s heart’s desire is strong enough.”

“And yours was your father alive.”

Stiles shut his eyes, but nodded again.

“But I thought genies couldn’t bring people back from the dead?” Derek asked carefully, trying to squash the unfounded hope in his chest.

“A great sacrifice must be made in order for great rewards to be given,” Stiles recited.

“So what happened?” Derek pressed. “This Kassim told you he could bring your father back if you became a genie?”

Stiles shook his head. “No. He said I had to sell my soul to him. I didn’t find out about the genie part until after. I thought I was going to get to spend many more years with my father. I was going to convince him to pass the badge onto someone younger, rougher, and we could stake a claim on a little piece of land and pan like everyone else. I figured my eternal soul was gone, but what did that matter in the long run if I got more time with my dad?” Stiles became quiet again, not even trying to hide the tears in his eyes anymore.

Derek resumed his gentle stroking of Stiles’s side.

“I got to see him for less than a minute. Kassim brought him back, I started to go to him, but he couldn’t see me.” At Derek’s questioning look, Stiles continued. “People can’t see an inactive genie.” Stiles sighed. “I never saw my father again. Kassim said I had my proof that he’d upheld his end, and then he swept me away to give me my life sentence. Lifetimes of a sentence.”

“Stiles…” Derek started hesitantly.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Stiles murmured. “Which is why you’re the first client I’ve ever told any of this to.”

Derek swallowed hard, his own tale on the tip of his tongue, but he watched Stiles’s eyes literally droop closed in front of him, and in seconds, the genie was asleep, exhausted from telling his own sad story.

***

Derek was in the kitchen, making a token attempt at cooking dinner before he gave up and wished for a meal for Stiles and himself (another thing he’d discovered: Stiles didn’t have to eat to survive, but he liked to) when the aforementioned genie strolled into the room.

Stiles had always made himself at home in Derek’s apartment since basically the moment he’d arrived, but lately he seemed more comfortable in his skin. Whereas before he was constantly moving, always gesturing or moving in circles or flailing, he seemed more content to just sit and be now.

Derek didn’t prefer him one way or the other, but his newfound comfort did please Derek, he had to admit. At least to himself. He’d never tell Stiles that.

Stiles wandered up next to Derek, who was half-heartedly whacking a piece of chicken with a tenderizer, and huffed. With a snap of his fingers, the raw, frankly disgusting-looking chicken breast disappeared in a puff of red smoke. Derek chuckled and turned toward the kitchen table where, sure enough, a beautiful, heaping plate of golden fried chicken now sat, along with several sides.

“You’re gonna make me fat,” Derek teased as he sat in his chair.

Stiles snorted. “I am not. You’re a werewolf. Your metabolism is the stuff of legends and soccer moms’ dreams.”

Derek rolled his eyes but didn’t disagree. Instead he piled mashed potatoes and string beans onto his plate. Stiles ignored all the sides and immediately went for the biggest drumstick. “I thought the client came first?” Derek joked.

Stiles paused with the piece of chicken hovering near his mouth, a considering look on his face. Then he locked eyes with Derek and took a large, deliberate bite of chicken.

Derek burst out laughing.

Stiles beamed and chewed his chicken with gusto. “No wish, no surrender,” he crowed through his mouthful.

Derek ducked his head and started his own meal, well aware he was getting too used to the domesticity of their current arrangement. Stiles was going to leave one day, once he’d worked Derek’s heart’s desire out. Or once Derek finally worked up the courage to ask him for the one thing he knew Stiles didn’t want to inflict on anyone.

Either way, Stiles was going to leave.

But right now, he was here, waving his drumstick tauntingly at Derek. Things were fine the way they were.

***

They were definitely fine later that night.

Derek was breathing heavily, gripping onto the kitchen counter with both hands, and trying not to sag forward too much and choke Stiles with his cock by mistake.

Stiles held him firmly by the hips and his ass was digging into a cabinet handle and he didn’t care. Stiles hollowed his cheeks and he didn’t care.

“Fuck, Stiles,” he grunted. “You gotta stop being so good at this.” Because Stiles had this tendency of making Derek come embarrassingly fast.

Stiles pulled off with a lewd pop and a leer. “We need to teach you stamina.”

Derek couldn’t help it: he growled. Stiles laughed, “I was kidding, wolfman. You are fine the way you are,” he obviously eyed Derek’s blood red cock as he spoke, his voice just on the naughty edge of raspy. “You wanna try something new?”

The “yes” was out of Derek’s mouth before he even consciously thought about it. He was ready for whatever Stiles wanted.

“Fuck my mouth,” Stiles breathed and took Derek back in. He swallowed and Derek felt his throat go lax, ready. He kneeled there, Derek vibrating on his tongue, and looked up, the most innocent of expressions shining in his eyes.

Derek didn’t buy that look for one second. But the rest of it he could get on board with, so, with a groan, Derek complied. He cradled the side of Stiles’s face with his left hand and wove his other through the hair on the back of Stiles’s head. He gave an experimental thrust and Stiles’s throat just gave and the genie moaned gutturally in his chest. Derek’s thumb caressed Stiles’s cheek once and then he started to pump his hips. Stiles gripped his calves tight and hung on for the ride.

Derek knew exactly how he felt.

***

Everything was going well, so, of course, that’s when Derek, life-wrecker extraordinaire, ruined everything.

Derek had started taking Stiles out more—to air him, Stiles had guessed with a grin—and it was on a trip to the park to feed the ducks (Stiles fucking loved to feed the ducks) that Derek was suddenly struck with a memory and the urge to recount it.

“When I was seven,” he started as they walked shoulder to shoulder down the street, occasionally bumping elbows and hands, “I wanted to be a duck.”

Stiles stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk and turned to look at him. “Oh my god, tell me more,” he said so earnestly it had to hurt.

Derek bowed his head, shy for no good reason, and kept walking, knowing Stiles would follow. He did. “I hated being a wolf. Wolves were mean and growly and scary. My friend, Jake, had a pet duck.”

“You twenty-first century people are weird,” Stiles agreed solemnly.

Derek ignored him and continued, “I loved that damn duck. It’s name was Henry and I was his favorite. He used to nip Mr. Morris, Jake’s dad, all the time and he basically ignored Mrs. Morris. He liked Jake OK, but he’d hightail it to me every time I went over to play.”

“That’s adorable.”

“So I decided I wanted to be a duck like Henry. I was having trouble controlling myself on full moons still, so I thought I should try a different animal. My sister Laura teased me mercilessly before my mom sat me down and explained that it didn’t work like that. I could only ever be a wolf.” Derek paused and then shrugged, figuring he was already in too deep in the story. “I cried for days.”

“What happened after that?” Stiles asked as they entered the park.

“I started to control the shifts better and stopped wanting to be a duck,” Derek concluded matter-of-factly.

Stiles snorted. “That’s precious.” He looked away. “But thanks for telling me that story. I like hearing about you and your family. Where are they now? Do they live in New York too?”

Derek tensed and Stiles’s hand shot out, “I’m sorry. You don’t have to tell me anything else. I-”

“No,” Derek grabbed Stiles’s flailing appendage and pulled him toward the park’s pond. “I want to tell you.”

Stiles didn’t say anything, which was rare enough that Derek figured Stiles understood that this was a big deal for Derek.

“I really loved my family. They were everything to me, which I guess is a given. But they died.”

Stiles blinked. “All of them?”

“All but my sister and uncle. And they’re gone now too.”

“Wow,” Stiles said as they sat on the wooden bench closest to the pond. Derek handed him the bag of bread crusts from his inner jacket pocket and Stiles contemplated it. “I think I know where you’re going with this.”

Derek sighed. “Stiles.”

“No,” Stiles shook his head, squeezing the plastic bag so hard the crusts were reduced to crumbs. “I told you about my dad because I trust you. You don’t...you don’t get to ask me for this. I couldn’t do that to you.”

“What, grant my heart’s desire by bringing my family back to me?” Derek snapped, turning fully toward Stiles. “That’s why you haven’t been able to figure it out! That’s what it is!”

“No, it’s not!” Stiles jumped up and towered over Derek. “I’d be able to tell. That’s not it. Bringing your family back is not your heart’s desire!”

Derek slumped. “What? How can it not be? I-” His eyes snapped up to meet Stiles’s blazing ones. “You’re lying!” He stood and crowded into Stiles’s space.

“I’m not!” Stiles insisted. “And...even if it was… Derek, I can’t subject someone else to this hell!”

“So living with me is hell, is it?” Derek growled.

“No, you complete idiot!” Stiles screeched. “These past few months with you have been the best I’ve had since I saw my father come back from the dead.”

“But-”

“The other 180 years have mostly sucked, Derek. Sure, there were bright spots like Scott, but most of my clients have been what I refuse to call them...masters.”

“Stiles-”

“And I can’t, I won’t do that to someone else. Especially someone I-” he shuddered and ducked away, walking toward the edge of the pond. “We’d never see each other again, you know,” he said suddenly, turning to Derek with beseeching eyes. “Genies very rarely cross paths with other genies. Scott was a fluke.”

“We wouldn’t see each other after you figure out my heart’s desire either,” Derek pointed out.

Stiles blinked, like he’d forgotten about his true purpose in Derek’s life. Derek had forgotten himself more times than he’d admit.

“Be that as it may,” Stiles muttered, turning away, “I vowed to myself that I’d never do this to someone else. Being a genie is no life, Derek, please trust me.”

Derek shook his head and turned to head back to the car. “I did. But I can’t. Not anymore. If you truly wanted to help me...if you cared for me, you’d do this for me.”

“Derek, wait,” Stiles sounded panicked and sprinted to catch up with him, laying a hand on his shoulder. “I promise we’ll figure your heart’s desire out together. And...I’d love to hear more about your family, if you want to tell me.”

Derek shook his hand off. “Leave me alone, Stiles. I’m starting to think my heart’s desire is getting rid of you.”

Stiles gasped.

The moment Derek said it he knew he’d gone too far, but by the time he’d whipped around to apologize, the genie was gone.

Derek was alone. Again.

***

Derek hadn’t realized just how much his life had changed with Stiles in it. But the first meal he had to make for himself—well, order for himself since he still couldn’t make anything edible—the first time he sat on the couch without Stiles snuggling up to him, the first time he went to bed alone… Derek understood what Stiles had done for him.

He’d made him happy.

But he’d also denied Derek something he never thought he’d get to consider—seeing his family again, even if for only a minute. Stiles was trying to protect him, but at what cost?

None of that mattered though. Derek hadn’t seen Stiles in three days. He didn’t think the genie could leave without granting him his heart’s desire, but he’d been wrong. Like usual.

He was just leafing through yet another take-out menu when a pop sounded behind him. He turned, heart thumping wildly, but… it was just a plate with a steak on it. And those scalloped potatoes he liked so much.

Derek couldn’t keep the smile off his face.

Small things like that kept happening from that moment on.

A new piece of clothing would appear in his closet. His favorite foods would materialize out of nowhere when he found himself getting hungry. More than once, when he couldn’t find something to watch on TV, a complete DVD box set for one of the horrible television shows Stiles enjoyed would appear on the coffee table. Or a Disney VHS.

So he knew Stiles was nearby. He just never saw him. And he couldn’t seem to convince him to come home, no matter how many times he said, “Stiles, I wish you’d come home and we could work this out,” to his empty apartment.

And no, he wasn’t sure when he’d started thinking of his apartment as Stiles’s home too.

On a particularly bad night, when he’d found himself missing Stiles so much he felt it in his bones and stomach, he even palmed himself through his boxer briefs and breathed, “Stiles, I wish you’d come back so we could do this together again.”

No dice. The genie stayed stubbornly away.

With nothing better to do, Derek started to look into locating some people he’d been meaning to, ever since Stiles mentioned their names, because he had a gut feeling that there was more to Allison and Scott’s story than Stiles believed. He found what he was looking for after a fair amount of digging and calling in favors from the California detectives that had worked on his family’s case.

He actually found what he was looking for. But Stiles still would not come when he wished for him. Derek ran out of things to do in the apartment soon after that.

And even though Stiles had only been around for a little under three months, it had apparently been enough time to change Derek so much that going back to how his life used to be was impossible.

He tried anyway. He didn’t need a smart mouthed genie to be happy. He’d been doing just fine on his own. New York was a big city; he could find his own happiness.

On one such “happiness-seeking expedition” (Derek was sure that’s what Stiles would have called them, at least), Derek was browsing in a comic book store (another thing Stiles had turned him onto was superheroes) and ran into an old...acquaintance.

“Be still my heart. Derek Hale, is that you?” a woman purred from behind him.

A shiver ran up Derek’s spine. He hadn’t heard that voice since his entire family burned alive.

“Kate,” he turned and nodded. “It’s been a long time. Let’s keep it that way,” he spun on his heel and made for the exit.

“Bro, you gotta pay for those books before ya go, ya know,” Jay, the clerk who Stiles had always engaged in epic discussions revolving around Batman vs. Iron Man, grabbed his arm as he reached the door.

“Oh, uhh, keep them,” Derek muttered, shoving the three comics he’d picked out at the guy’s chest blindly and hurrying out of the store.

The bell over the door dinged again when he was already halfway down the street. “You’re that desperate to get away from me, Derek?” Kate taunted. “Didn’t we have some good times?”

“Stay away from me, Kate,” Derek growled, stalking closer to her. “I know I could never prove you did it, but I know you did. I don’t care about the police. Push me and I’ll take the law into my own hands.”

Kate laughed in his face. “You always did sound like corny movie dialogue, lover.”

“Leave me be,” Derek repeated, looking past Kate to plan his escape.

Only, his eyes caught on a familiar red hoodie and his heart leapt when he realized it was Stiles skulking at the end of the block, trying to be subtle in his spying. All thoughts of Kate went out of Derek’s head as he tried to go around her to get to the erstwhile genie.

Stiles had a hard look on his face as Derek approached and he snapped his fingers before Derek could say anything. “I hope you’re happy together,” he muttered and popped out of existence.

Derek’s heart clenched. “Stiles, I wish you’d come back,” he murmured. But of course he didn’t. With a sigh, he trudged down the street.

“Derek, my love, wait for me!” Kate cried. Oh yeah, he’d forgotten about Kate. But seeing Stiles again…

“What did you call me?” he spat when Kate pulled even with him.

“Oh don’t be that way, honey,” she took his arm and smiled, genuinely.

It was the most terrifying thing he’d ever seen.

***

So Kate was apparently in love with him. He didn’t hear any lies in her heartbeat, even when he shoved her against a wall and growled at her. That was also when she told him that she had gotten close to him because she was a hunter and she had burned his house to the ground on purpose, thus purposefully killing essentially his entire family. But she swore, with earnest eyes, that she’d go to the police and confess everything to prove her undying love to him.

Derek was very confused.

Not about Kate. She was an evil bitch who was acting crazy. It was why she was acting the way she was that confused him. And he was pretty sure it had something to do with Stiles. He locked Kate in his bedroom, for lack of anything better to do with her, and rushed into the spare room and to Aunt Mildred’s old desk lamp. Stiles wouldn’t answer his call, so he caved and brought himself to Stiles. With a resigned sigh, Derek rubbed the lamp.

How different this emergence from the lamp was.

With a puff of red smoke, Stiles appeared in front of him...cross-legged and floating. “What?” he asked petulantly, wrinkling his nose and hugging his arms around himself.

He wanted to say I missed you or Why’d you leave? or Stay with me forever.

So, of course… “What did you do?” Derek gritted out.

“Excuse me?” Stiles sniffed.

Derek jerked his chin toward the stairs. “Why’s she acting all weird?”

“I got you your heart’s desire,” Stiles shrugged. “Go live happily ever after or whatever it is you mortals do.”

“What.”

Stiles huffed. “That woman. When you looked at her, I got the feeling I get when my client is looking at his or her heart’s desire. It’s like this...aura. So...you’re welcome.” He finished with sarcastic jazz hands.

“That woman down there is the person I have always believed burned my family alive, Stiles. And she just confirmed it.”

Stiles’s face turned ashen. “Oh shit.”

“Yeah.”

“But…” Stiles’s mouth worked but nothing came out. He bit his lip and looked away. Stiles was speechless. Derek never thought he’d see the day. He finally muttered, “How?”

And that was the question, wasn’t it?

Stiles was a good genie. He wouldn’t have purposefully made an error like that. So, had it been an accident? Because Derek knew, no matter how twisted his life was, Kate was not his heart’s desire. So what had given Stiles that impression?

All at once, Derek knew.

“I think…” he started, trying to find the words. “I think it may have been because I saw you.”

Stiles’s face fell. “No, that can’t be it.”

Derek bristled. “Why not?”

“Because that would mean I’m your heart’s desire and genies can’t be their clients’ hearts’ desires,” Stiles said, a frown tugging at his mouth.

“Why not?” Derek repeated.

“Because it’s never happened before?” Stiles shrugged. “Because I’m bound to my lamp and immortal and you’re a mortal werewolf? Because there’s no way you could...no way I could get-” He cut himself off and huffed. “It’s not possible. It must have been something else nearby. We’ll figure it out,” he smiled shakily, purely for Derek’s benefit.

“Stiles,” Derek stepped toward him, reaching a hand out. Stiles regarded the appendage warily, but didn’t flinch away when Derek touched his shoulder. “I have proof it’s possible.”

Stiles snorted. “Oh really?”

“Yes. Because I found Scott.”

Stiles’s eyes widened. “My...my Scott?”

“Your Scott. I knew that it bothered you that you had to leave before finding out what happened to him and Allison, so I did some digging and...Stiles, the only Allison I could find in Beacon Hills was an Allison McCall and she’s married.”

“Oh, that’s probably not…”

“Her husband’s name is Scott McCall.”

Stiles’s mouth dropped open. “You mean…?”

“Scott McCall is like the most made-up name ever, so yes. That’s what I mean. Plus, I contacted them and asked. They remembered you—Allison actually had to talk Scott out of coming to see you right away—and they confirmed...they were each other’s hearts’ desires.”

“Each other’s hearts’ desires?” Stiles parroted faintly.

“Yes,” Derek nodded and dared to step closer. “So I think it’s more than possible that you’re my heart’s desire. I’m actually pretty convinced you are. And I...might be yours?”

“But...how? Why? Why me?” Stiles looked so puzzled.

Derek tensed, but said, “Because I don’t think I’ve been so aimless and depressed like I was after you left since… since my family died.”

Stiles ducked his head and Derek could see that his ears were tinged a light pink. “I can’t believe you did all that for me,” Stiles muttered. “No one ever...no one ever makes my wishes come true.”

A pause.

“That was so corny, I’m so sorry,” Stiles blurted.

“It’s ok, I’m used to your general you-ness,” Derek held a hand out and forced himself to remain calm when Stiles took it and stepped closer. “I just have one question for you.”

Stiles swayed toward him a little. “What’s that?”

“How do we reverse what you did to Kate? Then we can turn her in to police.”

Stiles’s face fell slightly. “I can undo it. How’re you gonna turn her in?”

Derek grinned. “I may have gotten her to pen a written confession as well as tape one to ‘prove her love to me.’ Then we can move on.”

“You’re devious,” Stiles looked impressed.

Derek’s grin widened. “And you’re about to get kissed.”

Stiles beamed. “I wish.”

“Your wish is my command,” Derek smirked, wrapping an arm around Stiles’s waist and tugging his closer.

“Oh my god, now who’s the corny one?” Stiles laughed, spreading his palms wide on either side of Derek’s neck.

“I guess we’re a perfect match then,” Derek whispered and leaned forward, gently pressing his lips to Stiles’s for the first time. Derek moaned when Stiles kissed back, mouth open and searching. Derek’s other arm joined the first, pulling Stiles as close as possible.

They broke apart slowly, Stiles panting slightly, and Derek knew he was probably grinning like a loon. They smiled at each other for almost a full minute, before Stiles started to frown and asked, “Do you feel any different?”

Derek’s breath caught and… he couldn’t breathe. “No, I don’t,” he managed to force out.

“I don’t feel the pull to return to my lamp, so that means I’m not your… And my bonds didn’t break, so that means you’re not my… Oh no,” Stiles pulled away from him and stalked off across the room. “What were we thinking? Life isn’t a fairy tale.”

“Says the genie,” Derek tried to joke. Stiles glared at him for his trouble. “Maybe there’s more to it, we can call Scott and Allison—”

“This is bullshit,” Stiles interrupted. “I love you and that’s not enough?”

A warm feeling settled in Derek’s stomach, in spite of the situation, at Stiles’s words.

“It’s not—whoa.” Stiles’s whole body jerked toward his lamp. “Derek, my lamp is compelling me back to it. What changed? What triggered your heart’s desire? Quick!” Stiles was digging his heels into the floorboards, fighting the pull, but he soon floated upward and started drifting toward the desk housing the lamp despite his efforts.

“I’m not sure what I did! Or did you do something?” Derek walked up to Stiles, grabbing his hands to halt his progress. “All I know is I love you, too, and I can’t lose you.” Tears pricked at the corners of Derek’s eyes. He couldn’t imagine a world without Stiles in it, not anymore.

All at once, Stiles was ripped away from him. But not toward the lamp. He shot up into the ceiling and disappeared in a blaze of red light and smoke. “Stiles? STILES?” Derek yelled, panic flooding his body.

“Hi,” Stiles said from behind him.

He whipped around and...Stiles was just standing there, looking completely normal, and Derek knew.

“You’re not a genie anymore,” he said, voice full of wonder.

Stiles beamed. “I’m not a genie anymore.” He whooped and ran full tilt at Derek, jumping into his arms. “I’M NOT A GENIE ANYMORE!”

He smashed his mouth to Derek’s, teeth catching lip, probably drawing blood, and he immediately pulled away, smiling sheepishly. “Oops, overzealous.”

Derek held him even closer. “Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to ‘human,’ again.” With a happy nod, Stiles cuddled into him and sighed. “How do you feel?” Derek continued.

Stiles pulled away just enough to look at him and then winked. “I'm history! No, I'm mythology! Nah, I don't care what I am. I'm free-hee!” he whispered and kissed Derek again.

Derek snickered into the kiss.

***

Stiles told Derek that he’d appeared every time that the werewolf had wished, but remained out of sight.

“I really wanted to answer when you called,” Stiles admitted. “But even nearly two hundred years haven’t stripped me of my pride.”

“Stubbornness,” Derek coughed.

“You’re one to talk, Mr. I-Don’t-Make-Wishes.” Derek just scowled, so Stiles laughed and continued, “I was trying so hard to figure out your heart’s desire so I could leave you behind and be sure you wouldn’t force me to make you a genie in return for your family.” Derek made a wounded noise and Stiles rushed to add, “Which I now know you’d never do. But because of that, I might’ve jumped the gun with Kate?”

Derek nodded at the understatement, but he really did understand Stiles’s position after his lonely weeks of reflection. Stiles had every right to refuse to make him a genie. And if he had made Derek a genie, he couldn’t be with Stiles now.

Then Derek told Stiles everything. About his family and Kate and then Laura and Uncle Peter and how Uncle Peter had woken from his coma, crazy, and almost killed a local deputy in Beacon Hills, but only after killing Laura. How Derek had stopped him, subsequently becoming an alpha without a pack. How he’d come back to New York afterwards and shrank even more into himself. How Stiles had changed that. How Stiles’s company and joy reminded Derek that it was ok to be happy.

Stiles listened with rapt attention, literally sitting on the edge of his seat. When Derek was done, Stiles was blinking back tears. “Thank you for telling me that,” he murmured.

Derek ducked his head. “You deserve to know.”

“I didn’t realize you were from Beacon Hills,” Stiles continued, curling closer to Derek on the couch. “Isn’t that…” he trailed off, blushing.

Derek smirked. “Isn’t that where Scott and Allison live, you mean?” Derek prompted, feeling unduly smug.

Stiles nodded. “But I get that it’s a terrible place for you, with everything that happened…”

“I don’t know. New York is so big; has so many smells. Now I feel more settled,” the warmth in his eyes surely told Stiles he was why Derek felt that way. “I’ve actually been meaning to move back to Beacon Hills to be closer to my family’s memory,” Derek finished with a smile.

Stiles cheered and flung himself at the werewolf, sealing their lips together happily.

Derek reluctantly drew away, but then he stood and threw a giggling Stiles over his shoulder and practically ran to his bedroom to deposit him on the bed. Stiles sprawled over Derek’s rumpled blue comforter, taking up every inch of space with his presence alone. Derek felt short of breath and his heart was beating faster than he could ever remember it beating. This was it. This ridiculous, amazing, beautiful man was his future.

He crawled up the bed, his eyes locked on Stiles’s panting mouth. “What do you wish for?” Derek murmured against his lips, running his hand up Stiles’s warm chest.

Stiles beamed. “I wish you’d blow me.”

Derek laughed, “Now that I can do.”

A while later, with the edge taken off and an afterglow long achieved, Derek was suddenly struck by an important question.

“So, you got rid of the itty, bitty living space, but do you still have your phenomenal cosmic powers?” Derek asked Stiles, who was sprawled half on top of him.

“Hmm,” Stiles looked intrigued. “I’m not sure. I’ve never met another genie besides Scott and Kassim, so I definitely haven’t met one who was freed. I could call Scott and ask, or…” he craned his neck to look at Derek and trailed off at the mischievous expression that greeted him. “I dunno. Let’s find out,” Stiles amended and propped himself up on Derek’s chest. He snapped his fingers. There was nothing for a few moments and then… Derek felt phantom fingers stretching and lubing his ass until he was fully prepped in an impossibly short time.

Derek moaned and pulled Stiles more fully on top of him.

Stiles grinned. “Guess that answers that question. They’re semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic.” He stroked Derek’s stomach.

Derek grunted, trying to guide Stiles’s hand lower, but the other was, of course, not done talking yet. “I thought that,” he motioned to his handiwork, “only worked in terrible Harry Potter fanfiction.”

You’re a terrible genie,” Derek informed him.

“Not a genie,” Stiles murmured, hiking Derek’s leg up, his hand drifting down. “Though I do have magic fingers.

Derek’s answering whine was half pleasure, half aggravation.

“Now let me put my genie in your bottle,” Stiles chortled, fingers seeking.

Stiles.” Derek knew he sounded absolutely horrified. A moment went by and then they both dissolved into laughter.

Derek knew they’d be just fine.

The End.