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The Proposal

Chapter Text

Stiles Stilinski is the long-suffering assistant of Derek Hale, editor extraordinaire. Also jackass extraordinaire. Stiles would like to emphasise that emphatically.

That’s the worst part about Mr Hale (he makes threatening eyebrows at Stiles if he calls him Derek); he makes Stiles act stupid. And Stiles went to Yale. He’s not stupid. He has, however, a track record of acting stupidly in front of gorgeous people; Lydia and Danny, back at home, for the larger part of high school. Lydia for the first couple of years until he got it in his head that she was unavailable, and he didn’t want to be that guy. He managed to persuade Danny to date him for senior year, and he became a stereotype and fell in love before graduation.

And then had his heart torn in two.

Stiles doesn’t really like to think about it.

Anyway, the point of the matter is, beautiful people make him wary. And or stupid.

He’s been painfully aware for the better part of five years just how attractive Derek is (he’s even scared to call him that in his head, he needs to sort out his priorities), since he started working for him after college, in New York, in the best Publishing Agency in town. Stiles is appreciative that Derek let a college graduate work for him, with no experience. Stiles is also appreciative of the way Derek's shirts stretch across his broad, broad chest, always a little too tight; the tuft of chest hair that always pokes through. The stupid way he never wears ties or anything, just lets his shirts do the work, and his tight trousers that make him swagger, a little. Stiles wonders whether his balls can even breathe. His eyes are big and beautiful, and he’s got Zachary Quinto eyebrows; Stiles’ Kryptonite. To make matters worse, he’s got a tattoo on his back, and it’s beautiful, Stiles can admit that he’s wildly turned on by it whenever he sees it through Derek’s too-thin shirts that he never bothers to wear undershirts under. He just looks sinful.

So Stiles has two editions of Derek in his life; there’s the Derek he has to wake up at 6am for, because he makes him get their lattes, and he likes them steaming hot in his office by 6.30am. That’s when the crazy guy turns up to work. He stays until 10pm, and objectively, Stiles can admire the way he works, his excellent ethic, his crazy ass ambition that must do sit ups while he sleeps. Unfortunately, he also usually makes Stiles stay until then, so Stiles can’t be as appreciative as you’d think. Also, Stiles has to decipher his Disney princess handwriting when he’s edited a manuscript to within an inch of its life, with his irritatingly accurate and insightful criticism.

The guy’s the reason why Stiles hasn’t been home in three years, after all, has overworked him to the point of insanity, but Stiles can’t give up now. Besides, he’s helping him to pay off his college bills without his dad’s help. So that Derek, Stiles is not a fan of. He’s a jackass. A relentless, overbearing jackass, that Stiles sometimes likes to call Satan. He’s about seventy per cent certain that if Derek knew that he called him Satan, due to the Mark Pellegrino level of hotness and the frankly evil way he treats the interns, Stiles would be skinned. Heh. He’s kind of like Hannibal Lecter, in all honesty, all sharp teeth and evil, painfully attractive smirking.

Then there’s the Derek that stalks his masturbatory fantasies. Stiles prefers this one. He stalks towards Stiles, surprisingly naked for the office, and does Stiles roughly on the desk. Several times. In several different positions. There’s also the part where he takes both of them in his large, calloused hands (Stiles has done an extensive study on those hands) and brings them off, until Stiles comes on those rock solid abs. Again and again. Ahem.

It’s when these two overlap that Stiles starts having trouble. 

So Derek wasn’t born in the USA.

Technically, he’s a Canadian citizen, because he was born there and lived there for the first seven years of his life.

Stiles never wanted to know this bit of trivia. He was satisfied with dreaming about Derek licking up the come on Stiles’ stomach, then proceeding to give him an imaginary, but nonetheless exceedingly brilliant blow job.

But then Derek had to go and get deported.

It isn’t Derek’s plan, in all honesty, it’s Stiles’; the Federal government won’t part married couples. Simple as that.

So when Derek suggests that they get fake-engaged, after Stiles has done hours worth of research on the topic and that’s all he can come up with, Stiles doesn’t hesitate. For undisclosed reasons. That have nothing to do with the sizeable bulge in Derek’s trousers, and the way his shoulders look when he leans towards Stiles on his desk, and makes the angry eyebrows at him.

Stiles likes to be Batman and save the day.

But this is not his day.

 

Chapter Text

“You owe me dinner,” Stiles huffs, steps away from the Federal office building. Can they still hear him? Likelihood says no. But he’s still wary. “As your husband. You owe me. ”

He doesn’t say the word date. Though, what is a date between two husbands? Just another dinner. Stiles is pleased by this, he’s never really been very good at the whole dating thing; he’d once taken a date to a McDonald’s, unaware that it’s apparently not proper date protocol. Stiles prefers chicken nuggets to most people, he’d thought it was important that they share this milestone on their one month anniversary, but they ended up sharing a cab back to her apartment, where he’d been unceremoniously  dumped.

He doesn’t have to worry about things like that anymore, though, because he’s just got himself a (fake) husband.

His family is going to murder him when they spot the gold wedding ring. The wedding that they weren’t invited to. Shit. Lydia is going to smack him.

The ceremony itself had been frighteningly swift, with little or no emotion from the pastor, although Stiles had been impressed by the soft look in Derek’s eyes. There had been no criticism or judgement there. For the first time in 5 years.  

Until Stiles said I take thee, Sourpants, at least. Old habits die hard. Derek sighed, and scowled a little, but he almost looked fond. It was disturbing on a whole new scale. Stiles was impressed by his ability to act under pressure (under the glare of Ms Morrell from the immigration office counts as pressure, Stiles is fairly sure that he’s lost weight, he was sweating so much, while Derek looked surprisingly collected and happy, the bastard).

Stiles knows he should be more worried about this situation than he is, but there’s the comfort in the knowledge that their joke of a marriage can be annulled in a year’s time. If he’s still alive by then; the way that Derek’s scowling at him now seems to suggest otherwise.

“I know,” Derek grumbles. “You like Olive Garden, we could-”

“Shit,” Stiles suddenly groans, actually looking at Derek. He tries not to look at Derek too often, because it makes Stiles lose his words and drool, unattractively. “I forgot. It’s my dad’s fiftieth. We’re taking a long week-end and going to visit my dad. And family. Sort of.”

“No,” Derek says flatly, teeth gritted. It’s funny because Derek thinks he has a say in this situation.

“Come on, honey,” Stiles says sarcastically, false pleasant. “You’re going to have to meet your father in law at some point. Besides, that Ms Morrell woman from the immigration office- nice of her to come to the wedding, by the way- said she’s going to check up on us. That includes with my family, so we need to visit. ASAP. You could still get deported.”

No,” Derek repeats, but he sounds less certain. He’s still scowling.

Stiles has seen him say to an author’s face that his book is disgusting, without a shred of fear, but when it comes to meeting Stiles’ family, the man looks terrified. It’s oddly satisfying.

“They won’t bite,” Stiles grins. It’s a total lie, because his friends- basically his family- know why Stiles hasn’t been able to visit, and it’s standing right in front of him, wearing a tie that does things for Stiles’ libido. They will tear him apart. With words. And sarcasm. And baked goods. “Much.”

“Stiles-” Derek starts, and his name almost sounds like a threat. Then he sighs again, like he knows he’s backed into a corner that Stiles will not let him get out of.

They’re standing so close; Stiles could count the thick eyelashes around his eyes.  If he was a creep. He’s not.

“Derek, come on. It’s just four days. Then you can forget all about them, and me, and we can still work together. Besides, we need to celebrate. I was just promoted to Editor.”

Stiles grins wickedly, at Derek’s dazed look that quickly gives way to a familiar, irritated glare.

“Besides, I locked that down,” he gestures at Derek’s physique and gets a bitch look for it. Stiles smiles innocently.

“Too soon?”

 

It’s gratifying when Derek turns up at his apartment in the evening, looking acutely uncomfortable in jeans and a Henley; the Henley is practically melded to his broad shoulders, and the jeans cup his ass in a mouth watering manner. Or he could be discomforted by the petite size of Stiles’ apartment; maybe a room without windows gives him the shudders. Princess needs to check his privilege.

“The car’s downstairs,” he says grimly. “The flight’s in two hours. Pack your stuff.”

Stiles looks down in abject horror at his pyjamas- blue with white pinstripe, for the record- and starts panicking. He yanks off the shirt while he staggers for his duffel bag under the bed.

“If this is going to define our marriage- you yelling jump and expecting me to jump, we’re gonna have to have words,” Stiles says indignantly, through the material of the shirt where it’s trapped around his ears.

Derek makes an irritated sound, and bats his hands gently away from the bed. But doesn’t help him with his shirt. He pushes Stiles in the direction of his dresser, and Stiles has no choice but to strip and change into clothes with his boss standing in the same room. When did this become his life?

“I didn’t say anything about jumping,” Derek points out, and Stiles rolls his eyes so hard, it almost hurts.

“Any chance you’d leave so I could get changed?” Stiles asks- very reasonably.

Derek frowns, eyebrows transmitting: Don’t-be-ridiculous-you-think-I-care-whether-I-see-you-naked?

Stiles gulps and nods. It’s not like Derek could even be attracted to him. That’s ridiculous on a whole new scale. Like Bert and Ernie being straight.

When Stiles is convinced that he didn’t put his pants on backwards (there’s something wrong with these jeans, it’s not him), he turns to see that Derek’s frowning at his feet, facing Stiles. He feels heat creep up his neck at the prospect that Derek just saw him naked. It’s not like it would be embarrassing, when Stiles is built like a fucking gazelle, and Derek’s, well, not? He’s Mufasa to Stiles’ Timone. He suppresses the idea and vows to get revenge on Derek.

“Let’s go. You’ve got a three hour flight to learn all about me.”  Stiles smirks at the look of sheer horror on Derek’s face. Stiles doesn’t know where to begin the joyous, awkward journey.

 

Derek doesn’t like planes.

Like, Dean Winchester doesn’t like planes, that level of fear.

So Stiles talks at him for three hours, hoping that the sound of his voice, familiar and irritating (judging by the angry eyebrows) will stop him from screaming out loud.

He tolerates Stiles slightly more than he tolerates planes.

So Stiles tells him about Scott, that time when he’d tried to set up an Easter egg hunt in the forest around Beacon Hills to win Allison’s heart, and ended up falling down a hill and shattering his collarbone. That had got Allison’s attention. He tells him that Allison’s the closest thing he’s ever seen to a Disney princess- despite Derek’s handwriting- because she’s awesome and kind and probably has singing birds, even though her family leaves a lot to be desired. He says about Lydia being both flawless and a genius- a horrifyingly perfect mix- and the double threat that she is, in combination with Jackson and his alarming level of athleticism. He tries to explain the wonder that is Erica, but he thinks he’ll leave that for Derek to deal with, alone. He tells Derek about Boyd being the coercive force of the group, and being amazingly Zen, and the coolest guy Stiles has ever known. He says about Isaac and Danny being equal parts awesome and genuinely kind, his heart only twinging a little. He explains about his dad and Melissa, how she’d looked after his dad when he couldn’t. Then, running out of stories (he talks fast okay) Stiles starts telling Derek about himself.  

Anything, like his ability to forge any signature, how good it feels to play Mario Kart and be an asshole, his favourite film (Fight Club), not to mention his undying appreciation for baseball- in particular, the Mets. Derek scoffs minutely from where his head is in his hands, and Stiles narrows his eyes. That will be explored later. Hell, he even tells Derek about Lydia and Danny. He pointedly doesn’t say anything about his mom.  

He doesn’t think about how this is the most he’s ever spoken to Derek in five years, or the fact that he gets an odd thrill when Derek leans against his shoulder, eyes squeezed shut, for a second before he buries his face in his hands again. Derek doesn’t stop shuddering for the whole three hours.

As it turns out, there’s no point trying to calm Derek.

His entire family is staked out at arrivals, with signs, even his dad. Stiles is impressed; he only had enough time to text Scott and tell him that he was coming back to Beacon Hills before his phone spectacularly died, and yet he managed to assemble the entire group. He’s practically Nick Fury.

They hold glittery, neon signs, that scream his name and call him varying things; from his dad’s Best Son to Erica’s Batman to Scott’s BFF #24 (his old lacrosse number) and finally, Lydia’s Bambi Writing/Editing Bombshell. His friends are the best.

They all look overjoyed and adorably excited, until they spot Derek.

That’s when Stiles begins to fear for Derek’s wellbeing.

 

 

Chapter Text

The car ride into Beacon Hills is horrible.

He’d pushed Derek towards Scott and Allison, hopeful that they would give them a ride into Beacon Hills, because he would never make Derek get into a car with his father. Not after the horrified looks he’d received from most of them, excluding Allison and Scott, especially when they’d noticed the solid gold wedding bands.

But no.

Stilinski will of steel means that Stiles and Derek were pushed into the cruiser.

So they’re sitting behind the barrier, suffering in the awkward atmosphere.

Stiles tries to talk, but he gets a glare from his dad. Which hasn’t happened since he was a teenager.

Stiles makes a huffing sound, and slumps back in his seat. He’s mildly comforted by the fact that Derek takes Stiles’ hand in his, because one, Derek looks so uncomfortable it’s hilarious, and two, his hands are furnace hot. His thumb rubs comfortingly over the jut of Stiles’ wrist. Stiles recognises that it’s just to further the pretence, but he basks in the touch. He’s a tactile person. It’s a thing of his. Besides, he has a thing for Derek’s hands, always has.

Still, when he glances up from their hands, threaded together, his dad’s face looks softer in the mirror.

“We’ve got reservations at the hotel,” Derek points out, as they pass through town, shockingly fast.

The smile Stiles’ dad gives him isn’t pleasant. “We cancelled that. Family doesn’t stay in a hotel, son.”

Derek visibly blanches.

They pull up outside the boathouse a few minutes later, and Stiles is awed.  His hands are sweaty when he pulls away from Derek. Scott’s pictures really hadn’t done the place justice. After his dad and Mellissa got together, they pooled their resources and sold both houses, because they wanted to start over. Surprisingly, they’d been able to buy one of the expensive properties at the edge of Beacon Hills (Stiles suspects whether Jackson and Lydia were involved), and moved in there about two years ago. So Stiles hasn’t actually seen their house, which immediately makes him feel like an appalling son.

“Your house is nice,” Derek says awkwardly. Stiles smothers a smile, because Derek Hale, trying to impress his father? It’s Twilight Zone levels of weird.

“It’s no apartment on the Upper East Side,” Stiles’ dad shoots back, and with a forced smile, stalks into the house.

Melissa rolls her eyes and shrugs. “Welcome home. Your room’s the third from the left.”

“ And Derek’s is where?” Stiles asks.

“Honey, we’re under no misconception that you don’t sleep in the same room,” Melissa says fondly, rubbing a hand over Stiles’ artfully tousled hair, before she follows her husband into the house.

“How does he know where I live?” Derek asks flatly, as Stiles ducks in the boot to get their bags.

“I maybe bitched about it a couple of times,” Stiles admits. Derek gives him a sharp look. “Come on, I live in Bushwick. Anywhere else seems exotic.”

“Are they gonna kill me?” Derek asks shortly, gesturing to the house, and possibly the town at large.

Which is fair enough. When Stiles’ friends saw who had gotten off the plane with him, they’d looked at him like they wanted to drag Stiles to the nearest deprogrammers, while some of them buried Derek’s body in a dump, death optional. Even Isaac looked shocked, which was masked by a smile that looked painful. He had the decency to smile; even Erica, his bro, hadn’t been able to manage that.

“It’s fifty fifty,” Stiles shrugs. “Let’s go and unpack. While we can.”

Derek grunts and grabs both bags.

“My hero,” Stiles gushes, and laughs when Derek makes that irritated, growling sound in the back of his throat.

 

Things are only mildly awkward between him and Derek until they get to the bedroom. It’s all yellow wallpaper, dark navy sheets, and mahogany panelling and flooring. He’s kind of hoping that Derek will punch a wall or something, while he’s here, because Stiles really wants to screech, “That is mahogany.” Annoying thing is, Derek would probably get the joke. Because Derek made him proofread the Hunger Games in his first week, and calculate just how many mistakes were in the first book. Stiles has most of it memorised, sad to say. 

Then things get really awkward.

“The bed’s yours,” Derek says firmly, nodding to the impossibly big queen sized bed that basically takes up the entire room.

“Technically,” Stiles agrees. “But I know you have orthopaedic problems, remember I had to go to your apartment and sign for that mattress when you had a meeting with Harris? I have issues with your allergies to the whole spectrum of human emotion, namely mine, not your spinal cord.”

Derek huffs and rolls his eyes, like the six year old he is.

“We can just share the bed,” Stiles says. He doesn’t realise the repercussions of the action.

“You shouldn’t share a bed with a stranger, Stiles,” Derek says shortly.

“I’ve known you for five years, you’re actually married to me; I think it’s safe to say that you’re not a stranger,” Stiles points out.  “Besides you know about my puking on Scott while he was unconscious, there’s literally no other way I could embarrass myself in front of you.”

Derek’s eyebrows fly towards his hairline, clearly reading Are-you-sure-about-that?

The asshole.

“Just don’t kick me in your sleep,” Derek says awkwardly. “Then I would have to kill you with an icicle.”

“That’s a good book,” Stiles says, automatically.

“I know.” Derek says, and there’s that damn look again; his eyes are soft, and gentle, as they survey Stiles, mouth twisting into some rueful shape that makes Stiles physically ache.

He shakes it off.

“Fairly certain I’m suffering from jetlag, so I’m gonna catch some Zs,” Stiles yawns. “If you don’t sleep with me, I can’t protect you.”

Derek’s eyebrows fly towards his hairline again, unimpressed.

“Shit, that’s not what I meant, Derek,” Stiles says quickly. Derek snorts with laughter.

“I like that,” Derek says shortly, awkward on a level Stiles can only hope to achieve, one day. And that’s saying something.

“What?” Stiles asks, digging through his bag for wearable pyjamas. It looks like, however, that because he was wearing his pyjamas when he left, he’s actually forgotten another set. This will be awkward. Normally, he would just wear boxers, but that would be awful. So. He’s going to be weird Al and wear boxers and a shirt.

“That you call me Derek,” he admits, eyes following every movement that Stiles makes.

“Look, you need to stop,” Stiles half-shouts, frustrated. “We’re married. You don’t need to start acting weird around me, I’m not going to spit in your coffee, okay? We’re in this together.” Correction, we’ll be going down for this together. And I’ll become the prison bitch. Stiles stops thinking about it.

“Don’t start singing High School Musical,” Derek warns.

“I’ll try not to, but it’s a habit of mine,” Stiles says. “Now, come on, I’m exhausted.”

 

A pillow to the face wakes him up.

He feels a little foggy. He notes that he’s tucked under Derek’s arm, face pressed against Derek’s chest, like Derek pulled him that close, the big creepy softie. He smiles a little.

“Aw,” he hears Scott say, and his head turns to the doorway. Gathered in a group are Lydia, Allison, Isaac and Scott. They’re dressed awfully formally to be standing in Stiles’ doorway.

 He jerks in shock, and feels Derek’s morning wood- oh shit – nudge his backside. It’s enough to make him flush all over. Derek mutters in his sleep and hauls Stiles closer, even though Stiles is certain that the crick in his neck is from leaning on Derek’s rock solid pectorals. Not that he’s complaining. At all. Even though the mystery taste in his mouth is probably Derek’s chest hair, and that should make him want to gag, but makes him blush even harder.

“What are you doing?” He hisses, yanking up the quilt, even though his body more than covers Derek’s chest.

“Your dad told us to come and wake you up,” Isaac says pleasantly. “Your welcome home party is ready.”

“It’s the middle of the night,” Stiles protests, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.  

“It’s nine o’clock,” Lydia tells him, and Stiles can hear the judgement in her voice.

“We’ll be down in a few minutes,” Stiles yawns. “I promise.”

“Fine,” Allison says, barely hiding a grin, and she pulls Scott downstairs.

Lydia gives him a narrow eyed gaze, and Stiles knows that he will never be forgiven for having a wedding without her being present. Isaac manages to yank her back down to the party, which sounds great; Stiles can hear Erica laughing wildly, and Jackson cursing, so Stiles would guess that they’re playing Band Hero.  Which is great. He totally rocks at Band Hero; he has drumming within his soul.

“Derek?” Stiles mumbles, rubbing his eyes.

“Yes, Stiles?” Derek’s voice rumbles through his chest, deep and adorably sleepy still, and Stiles actually shivers. Which makes him aware of how close he is to Derek’s hard-on.

“I knew you were awake. Asshole.” Stiles grumbles, clambering out of bed, pulling down his shirt to cover his boner.

“They’re your friends,” Derek points out, and rubs a hand over his eyes, lying still in bed.

“Well, we need to get changed. Preferably into suits. My dad’s always appreciated a smart dresser, so if you want to get kudos, this is how you do it.” Stiles tells him, before he throws Derek’s suit from earlier on the bed. He hunts for his own in his bag.

“Do I need to shave,” Derek asks, to himself, Stiles realises after, but he answers anyway.

“No, I like you with stubble,” Stiles replies, and then wants to punch himself in embarrassment.

Derek just stares at him blankly.  Probably staring at the wave of lobster red blushing that swallows Stiles.

“I’m gonna go change,” Stiles says awkwardly, uncomfortable under the weight of Derek’s gaze. “You need to hurry up.”

 

They get downstairs without any further embarrassing revelations.

The video games are put away by the time they get downstairs, because everyone apparently wants to talk to the newlyweds. And Derek isn’t the best at social contact, it has to be said; he emits awkward like Jackson does smugness. So Stiles has to do a lot of talking.

That’s when the real worrying part of the evening begins, because it’s just his family at this event, and he’s got to show closeness to Derek in front of them. If he can fool his family, he can fool anyone else, that’s the reality of the situation.

So he stands close to Derek, feels the hair on his arms raise when Derek breathes against the side of his neck. He feels warmth pool in the bottom of his stomach when Derek puts his arms around Stiles from behind, even rests his forehead against the back of Stiles’ head. There’s literally no space between them. Worst of all, Stiles enjoys these touches, craves them (it’s been a while since he was in this kind of relationship, okay), so he doesn’t mind just stepping closer to Derek, holding his hand if the occasion calls for it. And this occasion does call for it.

Stiles hesitates when Lydia- quite sourly, actually- asks them how they got engaged, and Stiles makes up this dumb story involving Derek putting the engagement ring in a wine glass, and Stiles nearly choking. Derek gives him the eyebrows, the ones that mean: Are-you-being-serious-right-now?

But his dad and the others are lapping it all up, happily, sat in their adorable little pairs, and it depresses Stiles a little, because he’s not in one of those pairs, not really.

Just when Stiles thinks it’s all over, that he can take Derek back to their bed- that doesn’t sound weird at all- Allison and Melissa and Isaac start asking Stiles something that he tunes out. It’s only Derek nudging his arm and jerking his head towards his family that makes Stiles actually pay attention to what they’re saying.

“Come on, kiss,” Allison grins excitedly.

Oh, hell no.

He laughs and throws a look at Derek, checking, because this is so far past the line, the line is a blur. He’s frowning intensely, to Stiles’ eyes at least, but he shrugs minutely at Stiles. They can’t exactly say no without drawing too much suspicion. Besides, with Derek’s frankly perfect lips, it’s not like Stiles would mind; he’s dreamt and fantasised about Derek doing much worse with his lips. But he never imagined that anything as stupid as this would actually happen.

Stiles instinctively puts his hands on Derek’s waist, and wow, seeing him roll his eyes from this close is actually really attractive, because his eyes are indescribable. Then Derek tilts his head, because he’s shorter than Stiles, which is kind of hot, and kisses him, which makes him go numb, for a second, actually, because this is his boss, but swiftly gives way to the unrelenting pressure of Derek’s lips, the tantalising rub of Derek’s stubble against his cheeks, and the almost desperate way his tongue swipes over Stiles’ lips, practically begging for entrance. So Stiles just stops thinking and deepens the kiss, opening his mouth, and Derek just goes crazy, then. His hands cup Stiles’ face, holding him still, and practically fucks his tongue into Stiles’ mouth, slow, dirty little sweeps that make Stiles shudder. Stiles feels his arms curve around Derek’s neck, his body become loose and pliant, like a sunflower bending towards sunlight. He may have just whined, shit. In retaliation, Stiles bites at Derek’s bottom lip, and a wild noise springs from the back of Derek’s throat.

They break apart to wolf-whistles from the likes of Erica, Isaac and Scott, and Allison may or may not be crying. Shit, his dad looks embarrassed, and kind of annoyed at himself, actually, like he’s questioning how he could have doubted that they were anything but a real couple after that major show. Mellissa, Jackson, Boyd, even Lydia are sporting grins, and they’re clapping.

Stiles doesn’t really care, though, he’s just staring at Derek, breathing hard, eyes travelling over his boss’ face in abject horror. Derek looks a little dazed; punch-drunk is the expression that fits Derek’s face right now, but his eyes are warm as they caress Stiles, and shit, did they do that before?

What the hell was that? 

Chapter Text

Derek would like to say that, for the record, Stiles Stilinski is the most irritating human on the planet.

It’s ridiculous for him to think that, it’s not like he’s even met every person on the planet, but it’s unlikely that any of them compare to his assistant.

There’s something about Stiles that infuriates him and intrigues him, in equal measures.

And that makes him more annoying than anything, including those stupid teenagers with their orders in Starbucks.

He’s infuriating because he doesn’t seem to realise what he’s doing while he’s doing it; he flushes bodily whenever Derek even looks at him, when he laughs he laughs with everything that he is, throwing his head back in utter amusement, so Derek feels stupidly accomplished when he gets that to happen,  he writes Sourpants on Derek’s coffee cup every single damn morning, has done it for five years, he chews pens all the damn time, his eyes go wide and doe-like whenever Derek even says anything, irrespective of what he says, and his lips are parted so much that Derek’s not even sure if he knows how to shut his mouth.

Which brings Derek onto his second point. Stiles is a pain in the ass. He’s sarcastic to the point of agony, Derek feels constant whiplash, he rolls his eyes at Derek all the time, he’s insubordinate to the point of being rude, and it would be okay if Derek could call him a poor worker and fire his ass, but no. He’s smart and sharp, and Derek knows that he won’t be his assistant for much longer. When Stiles proclaims himself Editor after their so-called ceremony, Derek’s not even surprised. Terrified, because Stiles is perceptive, again; Derek had filed for the paper work with human resources a couple of weeks ago, and was dragging his heels, because in all honesty, Derek doesn’t want to lose an assistant.

Stiles may be the most irritating human on the planet, but he’s still tolerable. In small doses.

He’s smart, reads faster than even Derek does, and has an opinion on anything; he’s willing to put in long hours. Derek remembers their first week together, when he’d had to sort out a bunch of non-sequiters in his client’s recent work- just because it’s ‘Chick lit’ doesn’t mean it needs to be poorly written- and he had had to stay until ten in the evening, when usually he was running out of the office at five thirty, like clockwork. Granted, he had no one to go home to, but the point still stands. And Stiles, still getting his bearings as Derek’s assistant, stayed with him, filing paper work, doing extra work, like he wanted to impress Derek. Derek had wanted to take him to dinner right there and then, but, hello, company policy (not that that stood in his boss’ way) and the fact that Stiles was 21, too young to be tied to someone like Derek, stood in his way.  Stiles impressed him that night, inspired him to take a chance in his career and start publishing the books he’d always wanted to publish. Stiles really inspired him. Still does.

So when Stiles suggests the idea- the marriage- to get Derek out of trouble- face bland but not necessarily upset, and unaware of precisely what he’s tying himself to, Derek’s issues have issues, Derek doesn’t hesitate to agree to it. For all the reasons stated above, Derek doesn’t think he’s making a mistake when he’s reading out the vows (though he could kill Stiles for making him want to laugh in front of that Morrell woman with the Sourpants snark), not when Stiles is standing in front of him, in all his annoyingly perfect glory.

He changes his mind, however, when Stiles brings Derek home to meet his relatives, and almost gets Derek killed.

 

He’s being a little dramatic.

After the engagement party, Stiles is flushed and jittery after their kiss,  Derek thinks that maybe it’s best they don’t talk about it, ever, Derek is invited to play lacrosse with Stiles’ ‘brothers’ (Stiles tells him that it’s a good thing).  Derek uses heavy irony here, because they’re his friends, but they do seem very close, as a group. Derek’s been jokingly threatened with castration twice, when Stiles wasn’t in earshot. And those were the girls.

The guys want to show him how real men play sport- apparently baseball isn’t a sport, jackasses- so they’ve taken him to the high school’s playing field. He wonders whether they’re going to kill him and hide his body.

“So you’re Stiles’ boss, huh?” The curly haired one says- Derek thinks that’s Isaac. He’s the most quiet, so it’s difficult to tell.

“Unfortunately,” Derek agrees, and watches the kid smirk.

“He talked about you a lot,” Isaac offers, and then frowns. “Some of it was good.”

“Isaac,” Scott says, annoyed. “Remember the bro code.”

Scott doesn’t like Derek, that’s easy enough to see. Isaac makes an effort, so does Boyd, Danny’s mostly uneasy and Jackson seems not to care at all, either way, but Scott is a different matter. Out of some loyalty to Stiles, or irritation that Derek overworked his best friend (get your mind out of the gutter, Hale) he can’t stand Derek. He gives him filthy looks that only a puppy would recognise, and frowns whenever Derek brings up Stiles.

Derek is unsure of what the hell the bro code is.

Whatever it means, he’s certain that it’s why he gets a lacrosse ball to the head.

Okay, he’s not good at lacrosse- it’s cardio, pure and simple, and he keeps trying to catch the ball with his hand. The others treat their ‘crosse as an extension of their arm, but Derek doesn’t work like that. Never has. He did varsity baseball, not lacrosse, at the same High school, and he’s promised himself that he’s not going to think about his past in Beacon Hills this weekend. This weekend is for Stiles, not Derek, and he won’t mess that up by bringing his mess into Stiles’ picture. He deserves better than that.

Either way, Derek’s not sure of who throws the ball, but he suspects Scott, and it slams into his forehead.

He actually passes out for a few minutes, and when he comes to, it’s a whole other story.

He wakes up being dragged from the field by Boyd and Scott, and despite his various protests, take him to the hospital. So Derek spends this twisted version of a Bachelor Party, or bonding time, whatever you want to call it, sitting in a plastic fold-up hospital chair, clutching a stolen icepack to the swelling bump on his forehead.

The good thing about the injury is, however, he doesn’t have to talk. They can’t expect an invalid to talk.

Danny’s in the midst of talking about Stiles, something about him writing the newest segment to some inside joke between their group, when it occurs to Derek; this is the Danny that Stiles had spoken about on the plane, slightly bitterly, but with that annoyingly fond edge to his voice.

“You and Stiles- dated?” His voice sounds foreign and ice cold to his own ears.

“Yeah, we dated,” Danny admits, flushing with colour. It makes something twinge in his gut, but it’s not like Derek will admit to that.

He promises not to tell Stiles, Scott’s worried face eases up when he hears that, like he thinks Stiles would be incredibly mad, which-

Is interesting, as a concept.

Derek has seen Stiles irritated, upset, comforting, laughing, but he’s never seen Stiles angry.

II

Stiles’ dad and Lydia want to talk to him.

Which is never a good thing.

They spoke to him when he started dating Danny- they’d known that it wasn’t good, for Stiles, to get caught in Beacon Hills when he should be elsewhere. He’d taken their advice too literally and after Yale, moved to New York.

The prospect of them giving him an intervention gives him the shivers.

He finds them both in the dining room, Lydia with her hands folded primly, and the Sheriff frowning already. When Stiles slides into a seat, he gets a Firm Stilinski Glare.

“What the hell, Stiles? You bitch about him for months- sorry, John- and then suddenly get married to him?” Lydia bursts out, and Stiles isn’t surprised; Lydia’s not the sort to keep her feelings under the surface.

“Last I heard you were dating a guy called Adam.” His dad adds, face annoyingly calm.

“This isn’t your business,” Stiles hates to say it, but it’s true. “Is it because you don’t like Derek?”

“That’s beside the point.” Lydia says, but she looks uncomfortable. Ha. Stiles knew it.

“I just don’t think that you’ve thought this through,” the Sheriff says. And Stiles is so done.

“I have thought this through,” Stiles snaps back. “I love Derek. Have done for years. I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d criticise me. Which you’re totally not doing now.”

“Stiles,” the Sheriff interjects, and shit, Stiles’ tone was so rude. He’s not rude to his dad. Dammit.

“It’s nothing to do with you,” Stiles points out, and leaves.

II

When Derek gets back from the hospital (he doesn’t even have a concussion, it’s humiliating, not that he would want Stiles fawning over him in a nurse’s outfit or anything) with Scott and Isaac, he’s immediately aware of Stiles working out on the lawn. He’s not wearing a shirt, for one, and he’s sweaty.

Derek has to swallow hard.

“Stiles,” Scott hollers.

He doesn’t answer, and Derek can see headphones from this distance. He says as much.

“Shit,” Scott says, biting his lip. “Give me a minute.”

He tramps into the house. Less than a minute later, while Derek’s still leering at Stiles (it’s a worrying stare, not perverted, though Isaac is frowning at him even so), he hears Scott yelling at someone. He bursts out of the house, looking furious, and gives Derek a tight grin before yanking Isaac back to his car. They leave less than a second later, without so much as a wave to Derek.

The Sheriff follows, and with a brisk nod to Derek, also leaves.

The house looms ahead, empty. He doesn’t particularly want to go into the house, but he doesn’t think he should bother Stiles, either. Some anger needs to be sorted out, worked out, and Stiles looks like he’s got that in bucketfuls.

 

The shower in their room is pathetic- icy cold water, shitty spray, so when Derek’s subjected himself to the ninth circle of hell for five minutes, he goes hunting for a towel in the linen closet just outside the bathroom door.

Which is not his smartest move.

He walks into a sweaty, butt naked Stiles, and they just stare at each other, in horror, like they’ve been frozen into not moving and not breathing and not thinking. Emphasis on the not thinking, for Stiles, maybe.

Because Stiles just launches himself at Derek, and Derek’s thankful enough that furtively masturbating to thoughts like this have given him good reflexes. The sensation of his cock, hardening by the second, against Stiles’ sweat-slick skin is indescribable, and breathtaking, every inch of the word. Stiles’ legs are tight around his waist, arms thrown around his neck, and it’s just beautiful the way they fit together-like maybe-

No. Derek won’t let himself think it.

Still, his eyes are half-lidded as he stares into Stiles’ wide, wide doe eyes, before they narrow with a frightening amount of certainty. His mouth curls smugly. Maybe Derek’s face is as easy to read as he fears.

Stiles is the one to go in for the kiss this time, and it’s just as seductive as their last kiss, all soft, slow tongues to confuse Derek’s brain, and the graze of teeth to awaken him and his cock. It’s excruciating.

Derek staggers with Stiles all around him back onto the bed, back slamming into the firm mattress, and that’s when Stiles really goes nuts.

This feels ethereal, like they’re in another state, their purer state, as they kiss each other feverishly. Derek surprised at Stiles’ aggressive kissing, combined with the almost reverent way his hands graze over Derek’s skin, burning, leaving sparks in their wake.

“Stiles, what are you doing,” the words are almost unrecognisable as words once they leave his mouth, murmured and stumbling.

“Nothing you don’t want,” Stiles replies, voice 100 per cent sure, confident in a way that Derek fiercely admires. So he kisses him, trying to say it all, even though Stiles is still getting on his nerves like this, every last nerve, because his hips roll into Derek’s, slowly, rhythmically, making Derek’s brain go blank, stumble on his words. And words are important, because he doesn’t understand why now-

“But I care about you,” he mutters, and that’s not what he meant to say, at all. He didn’t mean it to come out like this, and he feels a familiar bolt of irritation when Stiles’ mouth curls into a stubborn line.

“That’s not what I’m asking you to do,” Stiles replies shortly, before attacking his mouth again. He abruptly flips both of them, stomach muscles coiling rather pleasantly as he gets his back against the mattress. One of Stiles’ hands settle on Derek’s back, scratching a little, and his legs wrap around Derek’s ass, while his other hand grasps them together, rubbing them together, with friction that makes Derek’s head spin. The rhythm is slow, at first, but then Stiles really gets going, and soon enough their pelvises are rocking together flawlessly, pain long forgotten.

Derek leans down and takes big, greedy love bites out of his chest and neck, spurred on by the wanton sounds Stiles makes, and he’s abruptly glad that the walls are so thick.

He sits up and looks down at Stiles, and there aren’t words enough for how much he wants him.

“Derek,” Stiles moans, eyes closed shut in ecstasy, hips moving faster and harder against Derek, while Derek shivers.

“I know, where-where is it, Stiles,” Derek asks breathlessly, and he knows what he’s asking for, he thinks.

Stiles yanks out a condom and the lube from the bedside cabinet nearest to them, and flushes. “I packed everything in my apartment, I-”

Derek ignores his frantic, nervous babbling and traces a finger around his rim, feeling Stiles clench against him, clench for him. His reaction is wildly gratifying.

His back arches so sharply, Derek worries for a second about his spine. He has to kiss Stiles’ sternum, right then and there, and on his travel back up, his teeth just graze Stiles’ nipple. He cries out at that, so while Derek eases in his fingers, as gently as he knows how, much gentler than he does for himself, he laves at Stiles’ nipples alternately, suckles at them until they’re red, and Stiles is mewling like a lost animal writhing on Derek’s fingers.

The word lost actually describes him best, because he’s sweaty, feverish, and looks like he doesn’t know how to do anything but grind back against Derek, thrust back against his fingers, which make his back arch and spasm in a perfect way.

“Please,” the words spill from Stiles’ lips. “Please hurry up, come on, Derek, please, Derek.

“Are you sure,” Derek grits out, because he has to know, has to, even though he doesn’t understand what they’re doing, and if he was thinking, he would put an end to this right now, but he’s not thinking, doesn’t want to think ever again-

“I want you,” Stiles says darkly, voice equal parts ferocious and determined, and Derek has to kiss the mouth those words came out of, has to taste the words.

So Derek replaces his fingers with his cock, watches Stiles writhe under the weight of his body as he pushes with restrained strength into his tight space, although he’s not really breathing, just panting. Stiles swears at him, curses at him, eyes so wide Derek’s half convinced  they’re looking through him, like lasers, especially as they’re so heated-

“Come on,” Stiles gasps, hips rocking against Derek’s minutely, and face so desperate and ruined, Derek just  wants to rock him into a swift orgasm, reward with it, because he’s suffering just as much as Derek is, with  how impossibly good this feels.

So that’s what Derek does, with Stiles’ legs so tight around Derek’s waist, he’s sure to get bruises, and his hands clawing at Derek’s shoulders, and he wants these marks to stay for weeks. He fucks him open, long thrusts that make him cry out sounds, sometimes just Derek’s name, sometimes just please.

Derek feels his orgasm building in him, burning, and soon he’s desperate for release, cock milked by Stiles’ tight hole, especially once Stiles comes, spasms around him. His body turns shivery, pliant, and Derek has to rock in him two more times, before he’s gone, filling up the condom.

Colour flashes behind his eyelids, and Derek’s hopelessly addicted to those small whimpers that Stiles is making.

He pulls out with as much gentleness as he can muster, and falls back into the sheets, supremely satisfied.

It occurs to him that the shower was sort of pointless.

When he looks over at Stiles, he’s surprised to find that Stiles is just looking ahead, mouth curled into a grimace.

Derek feels horrified, abruptly,   a wash of embarrassment, that he just did that; Stiles is annoyed, for some reason that’s probably to do with his dad, and Derek took advantage of that.

“I’m sorry,” he grunts, and he’s really, really not, but if the words will get that expression off Stiles’ face, Derek will say them.

“Don’t,” Stiles says immediately. “Don’t be sorry. I just…I need to think.”

He presses a kiss to Derek’s neck, the gesture shy, somehow, and leaning against Derek like that, just falls asleep.

Derek’s slightly annoyed by that- what is he, a cat?

That Derek just fucked.

Shit. 

Chapter Text

Stiles gets another pillow to the face the next morning, and he suspects Scott.

His friends’ group are gathered in the entrance to his room, all with amusingly fond expressions on their faces as they stare at Stiles and Derek. Which, creepy. How long have they been standing there?

“What are you doing?” Stiles hisses, and the movement jerks Derek into muttering darkly in his sleep- even while sleeping he’s not fond of humanity- and tugging Stiles closer, like he doesn’t like Stiles moving. Jackass.  Stiles is abruptly aware of how naked Derek is, and feels heat flood his skin, turning it blotchy, oh God. Thank God they’re tucked under the blankets.

“We were invited to breakfast,” Isaac tells him warmly, smiling. And he hasn’t seen Scott without a frown on for the past few days, but he looks happier now. More content. They all do. Except for Danny, who looks awkward, and something between proud and impressed.  And Jackson who simply does not give a fuck. He is Stiles’ new favourite person.

And Stiles really wants to let this contentedness wash over him, let himself fall beneath the surface, but nope.

He can’t do that.

Because none of it is real.

Except- maybe, irony, what’s gone on between him and Derek- the kiss, the mind-blowing good sex. Those are real. Stiles is sure of it.

“I brought you guys up some food before we left,” Allison says smugly, and places a tray of food on the nightstand. She flushes all over, and dear God, in Stiles’ rush to get the condom last night, he’d spilled the entire box (because he hadn’t used any before, he works too hard to have time for sex, okay, he has offers) onto the floor.

Allison giggles, but doesn’t say anything. Thank God.

“We’re gonna go now,” Boyd says firmly, raising his eyebrows at the group, in reminder that standing and smiling at Stiles and Derek while they’re both naked is extremely creepy.

“Great,” Stiles says, nodding.

“Stiles, mom wants to speak to Derek. She’ll be in the sun nook around midday…so…” Scott says, rubbing his hair sheepishly. Stiles is immediately suspicious.

“I’ll let him know to wear a bullet proof vest,” Stiles nods, and Scott cracks out one of his genuinely puppy-ish expressions. Boyd yanks him out by his t-shirt, and the others follow. Erica winks at him, and Stiles point blank refuses to wink back at his friend while totally stark naked.

“Be safe!” Erica cackles and they break into snickers that are quickly smothered. Because they are actual children.

“How do you always get away with it,” Stiles mutters to Derek. He holds onto Derek’s arm, keeping it around him, because he’s cold and Derek just feels good, against his skin.

“It’s a gift,” Derek rumbles, voice still sleepy, and Stiles gets shivers.

In order to avoid an awkward situation, he clambers out of bed, stealing a cushion to cover his manly parts. Derek is blushing. Which should not be attractive. It should be stupid and childish, but nope, Stiles’ brain considers it adorable and stupidly cute. Dammit.

They stare at each other for a few seconds, words lost in the moment.

What was Stiles going to do?

“I locked that down,” Derek says uncomfortably, nodding to Stiles’ ass, as if to break the tension, and it works. Stiles laughs outright at that.

Right. He was getting food.

“It’s only okay if I say that,” Stiles tells him, bringing back the tray.

“That seems fair,” Derek remarks, deadpan, and Stiles likes joking with Derek in bed. Nudity aside. Actually the nudity is a good thing, because those suits had not done Derek justice, apparently all the legends are true. Also, Derek looks photoshopped. There is no justice in the world.

Case in point, his pectoral actually flexes when he leans for the food in Stiles’ hand, and Stiles’ mouth actually waters. Like the classy guy he is.

Stiles would be amenable to being pressed against that all over again.

When he looks up- jesus, he’s such a pervert- Derek’s eyes are dark and hungry, the food forgotten on the nightstand.

Stiles gets back into bed, wielding one of the condoms, and laughs when Derek actually growls against his neck, and they start Round Two.

II

Derek gets out of bed at Stiles’ insistence at just gone twelve, reminding him that being nice to Melissa is a major way to get kudos with his dad. He’s unconvinced.

It’s difficult to put clothes on when Stiles is still slick with sweat and remnants of lube, still naked, legs still splayed wantonly, chest fluttering with breath, cheeks flushed and amber eyes wide and sweet.

Derek has to force himself to leave. It’s pathetic. Deeply, deeply pathetic.

It takes him a few minutes to find the sun nook, and it’s only because he follows the sound of shouting.

He braces himself when he swings open the door, and he’s greeted by the stink of sweat, and two dozen women doing yoga in a large room, while they get yelled at by an instructor.

Finstock, the old lacrosse coach, now teaches yoga. It’s surreal.

Derek picks his way over to Melissa’s curls.

“You wanted to talk,” he says uncomfortably.

“Join in and we’ll talk,” she says smoothly. Derek feels pinned by the critical glares of the women. All they know is he’s marrying Stiles, their Stiles, the town’s sarcastic sweetheart, and they’re judging whether he’s good enough. It’s a rapidly familiar experience.

“No,” he objects, as firmly as he can without being rude. He’s wearing jeans and a Henley. Not exactly appropriate attire.

“Come on, Derek,” she urges, in a steel tone that probably makes Stiles stammer and flush. He’s struck by that image for a minute before he nods curtly and folds into the yoga position, the curving pigeon, or whatever it is.

“So you proposed to Stiles,” she says, and it’s not a question. Derek huffs out a breath as the crazy instructor- Finstock, my has he changed, yells at them to change into the downward dog.

“Yes,” he says shortly. His tone doesn’t invite further questions.
“I bet he interrupted you a lot while you were trying to do that,” she grins.

Derek doesn’t know what to say.

“Boy’s as oblivious as they come. Probably didn’t even know you were proposing to him.” She says, soft smile still on her face. Derek wonders if there’s anyone who speaks of him and smiles like that. Probably not. Not anymore, at least.

“I treated your uncle,” Melissa says gently, and to say it’s a non-sequiter is an understatement. Derek starts, and Finstock yells at him to, and he quotes, ‘stop acting like a wallflower, princess’. Derek has never been called a wallflower, it has to be said.

“Sorry,” she whispers. “I wanted you to know that I’m very sorry for your loss, son.”

Derek thinks that she has nothing to apologise for. Now he’s thinking over it, he vaguely remembers the nurse who had looked after Peter while he tried to talk to him, alone, for a few months after the fire. Peter had never regained consciousness, and just after Derek’s sixteenth birthday, he’d moved to New York, gained legal emancipation over himself, and started at Peter’s business- Hale Publishing.

Also, no one’s called him son in years.

“It’s fine,” Derek says tonelessly.

“No, it’s not,” Melissa says easily. She gives him a small smile. “Bet Stiles is better at talking with you about this stuff, huh?”

Derek nods stiffly.

“That kid’s going places,” She says fondly. Derek makes a sound in agreement. “That’s if I can get him to eat some decent food,” she whispers, and winks conspirationally.  “Maybe you can get him to start eating better?”

“He eats fine,” Derek says shortly, feeling, stupidly, a little protective. And he thinks Stiles does; he always has salad, but he does eat curly fries and Reese’s like there’s no tomorrow, so there’s that.

“Sure,” Melissa grins, like Derek is lying to her. “Bet you have to say that.”

Derek doesn’t say anything to that.

He wonders why she asked him to come down here. Unless they are seriously bonding over yoga.

“Fine,” she acquiesces a few minutes later. “Maybe, though, you two could come home this Thanksgiving? Or Christmas?”

Derek’s intensely surprised. This is a woman that not only wants Stiles to come back to Beacon Hills for the holidays, but also Derek. There would be food, and maybe even presents, and this entire jackass family that Derek is starting to maybe even grow fond over.

Which is horrifying.

“Or,” he chokes out. “You could come down to us?”

Not that Stiles’ apartment is really fit for people to stay in; Derek’s apartment, on the other hand, with its chrome and leather is practically crying for that kind of attention. Derek wonders if it would be inappropriate for Stiles to move in with him, or. Or would it make sense? Would Stiles want to? He casts the thought to the back of his mind.

Melissa is the one who startles, this time.

“We’d like that,” She says after a second, bursting out into a huge smile.

Derek nods stiffly, and the room is suddenly stifling.

He tries to smile at Melissa before he ducks out the door, Finstock’s cries of, ‘Where’re you going, Aurora?’ following him up the staircase.

II

Stiles is still trying to not freak out when Derek walks back in the door.

Stiles is actually dressed, this time, but he’s pacing the floor, because that’s supposed to make grown-ups feel better in these kind of situations. And thinking the word grown up makes him feel like a six year old all over again.

“I need to get groceries,” Stiles says abruptly. “And you probably should check your mail? You know, just in case your company is falling apart without you?”

Derek frowns. “I’ve got a cellphone. I’ve been checking up, the past few days. How did you not notice that?”

Stiles can tell Derek’s calling him a peasant in his head. Stiles is strangely okay with it. This is normalcy for him.

Derek being a jackass.

“Come on, boss. Let’s get groceries.”

 

The journey is silent on the way into town, but it’s a comfortable silence, even if Derek looks miserable. He hasn’t stopped frowning and Stiles wants to touch the creases between his eyebrows, the ones he always gets, and the ones Stiles always wants to smooth away.

It’s wildly entertaining to go grocery shopping with Derek Hale.

He frowns at the costs of branded products, and pulls the best face when a little kid vomits in front of him. He drags Stiles away, even though Stiles is crying with laughter. He does this idiotically cute smile when he spots that his hair gel is on discount, and there’s only one left, which he gets. He frowns at Stiles when he gets Reese’s and curly fries, and picks up salad in retaliation.

Stiles has sent him off to find soy burgers when he bumps into Danny.

“Stiles!” Danny grins, and hugs him. Danny is a hugger. In fact, all his friends are huggers.

“What’s up man,” Stiles asks. It’s not like he saw Danny while he was naked in bed with Derek, just this morning, or anything. Because that would be awkward.

“Nothing much, you?” And the smirk on his face knows that Danny already knows how he is.

“Great,” Stiles replies, and he’s flushing bright red. Attractive.

“I’m really happy for you,” Danny says, sincerely. And that’s when Stiles wants to throw a hissy fit in the cheese isle.

“Oh yeah?” Stiles’ mouth is twisted into a rueful shape, he can feel it.

“I dunno, you and Derek just seem to fit, y’know? I like the fact that it’s really obvious that he cares about you.”

Stiles starts. “What?”

“Everything okay?” Derek asks shortly, abruptly by his side. Derek’s face is guarded, unreadable.

“Everything’s good,” Stiles says, nodding. “Danny, we’ve got dinner to get back to, so we’ll see you later, okay?”

“Yeah,” Danny grins smugly, with the air of someone deeply amused. Stiles pulls Derek past Danny when it looks like he just wants to stand and glower at one of Stiles’ oldest friends.

Derek’s frowning intensifies.

Stiles begins to worry for the health of the cashier- it’s always Greenburg, dammit, the slowest cashier to ever cashier- when he spends what feels like an ice age at the till. Derek is very clearly not impressed, and he looks so tense, Stiles is convinced that muscles are going to start snapping left and right.

The situation doesn’t ease up when they get back in the car.

Stiles gets annoyed at the frowning and misery.

“Can you just say what I’ve done?” He snaps. “Just explain.”

“No,” Derek says shortly, teeth gritted so hard it has to hurt. He’s not even looking at Stiles.

“What is it?” Stiles shouts, short-temper flaring to life.

Derek grimaces unpleasantly.

“I haven’t had that in a really long time, alright? People wanting me around, wanting me to stay with them during the holidays!  That doesn’t happen to me, Stiles. I’ve been alone since I was sixteen and I don’t know how to do any of this!” Derek hollers, and that’s so much worse than the silence, because he’s never heard Derek sound this  angry and raw and desperate before, Jesus.

They drive in silence, both breathing hard, for a minute or two longer.

Then, in an instant, everything goes horribly wrong.

 

Later, Derek tells him what happens; a deer ran in front of the car, slammed into the windscreen, and sent the car spinning while they were crossing the only bridge in town. The car started to spin, before they actually fell into the river. Derek jumped from the car, and dived in after Stiles when he didn’t swim to the surface.

Stiles can’t remember any of this because he passed out when his head cracked against the door.

He came to in Derek’s hands, back on dry land, but freezing as Derek tried to pump every bit of water from his lungs. His brain focuses in on the way that Derek had held him until the Paramedics got to the scene, like he was scared of letting Stiles go, and just held him so close his heat seeped through into Stiles’ bones. Stiles, aside from the giant headache, felt honestly fine.

“You jackass,” Stiles chatters. “You made me into your sexretary then dumped me in the water? Not cool.”

Derek makes a sound that vaguely resembles a laugh.

It’s only a mild concussion, the EMT comforts him.

Derek stands a few paces away, eyes tracking every movement that Stiles makes. His eyes are stupidly warm.

Stiles’ dad makes it to the scene, and gives Stiles an absurdly hard hug. He yells at Derek until an EMT takes him to the side and explains what happened, and then he makes a harrumphing sound, and hugs Derek hard.

Stiles’ chest tightens as he looks at them. Derek’s mouth curls into a faint smile.

Derek takes him home after that, helps him up the stairs, despite Stiles’ annoyed statements saying that he’s not an invalid, thanks. He even changes himself to prove this fact, and the fact that Derek has to help him into his pyjama shirt when he gets stuck because he gets dizzy, means nothing.

Derek changes into a new set of boxer briefs in front of him, and Stiles gets dizzy, but for a whole other reason.

Derek puts him in bed, and looks like he’s set to spend all night sitting upright in the small arm chair on the other side of the room. Stiles feels cold and alone on the bed, hands twisting in the sheets,  unused to sleeping alone, now. Which is extraordinarily stupid.

“Derek,” Stiles says quietly. “Come on.”

Stiles has seen the way Derek’s been holding himself, the small curl at the edge of his mouth that suggests that he’s disgusted in himself, like he hadn’t been human and had an accident, and still saved Stiles’ life. He’s just holding it against himself that he had the accident in the first place.

“Please,” Stiles says. “Come to bed.”

Derek frowns, but does as he asks.

 He climbs into the sheets, and for a second, lies away from Stiles; body radiating delicious heat. Stiles thinks he whines like an injured animal. Then Derek rolls towards him, and holds him against him on the bed, hand on his hip and around his shoulder, hands bruisingly hard on Stiles’ skin, like he was so worried he needs to remind himself that Stiles is very much alive.

Stiles is so unimpressed with himself right now, but he lets Derek hold him close. Pretends that this is real, this is what they do on a nightly basis.

“I do most of my work while listening to Film Scores. The Batman films speak to me on a spiritual level. My first concert ever was AC DC.” He says quietly, mouth against Derek’s collarbone. He rests his head against the warm, rock hard skin. He doesn’t know why he says it. He just knows that these are things Derek should know about him, if they’re going to do this.

“Thanks.” Derek says quietly, moments later.

“Anytime. Honey.” Stiles adds cockily, and Derek huffs out a repressed laugh, and  just holds him that much closer, breathing in slow and deep.

Chapter Text

 

The morning is awkward.

Very, very awkward. And painful, thanks to Stiles’ lovely concussion.

It’s like Stiles has broken out of the slightly insane bubble he’s been living in for the last couple of days and remembered that this is Derek Hale. His extraordinarily crazy boss. The one who made him squeeze orange juice once (by hand), at nine at night, then sent Stiles back to the canteen on the other side of the building, because Derek 'I'm a good looking fussy little shit and nothing comes between me and my needs' Hale doesn’t like pulp.

He is the biggest jackass to ever jackass.

So why does Stiles suddenly start to feel weird things for him?

Things that aren’t a deeply profound admiration for his ass (there’s got to be a sexual harassment case in there somewhere) or his cheekbones or jawline.

Things that have more to do with the way his arms feel around Stiles, the way he looks terrified when forced to interact socially with anyone, and huffs like a sassy, repressed teenager when he’s irritated. Or the way his shoulders shake when he tries not to laugh but can’t quite manage it, because, hello, Stiles is actually hilarious.

So there may be the off chance that Stiles has fallen in love with his boss.

When he was just supposed to be married to the guy, and this is going to be difficult to explain at the counselling he will inevitably need, but he’d assumed that their relationship would be a business deal- maybe, at most, he’d have to suffer through a couple of uncomfortable dinners.

And that would be all.

Of course not.

 

It’s nice that Stiles gets to wake up out of his own volition, for once. No creepers creepering. Unless you count Derek, still asleep, hugging the life out of Stiles which Stiles (for some unknown reason that probably deserves deeper analysis on a day when Stiles will give a fuck) doesn't.

Stiles goes and hides in the library. For anyone who’s wondering, Stiles is the biggest coward around. And that especially includes when he’s hiding from his feelings. Which he’s totally not doing. He’s reading, which will help his career, in the long run. Reading Fight Club isn’t really helping, though.

When his stomach rumbles loud enough to echo throughout the room (tastefully panelled in cherry wood, how are his dad and Melissa affording this place) he goes and finds Derek. Once scoping the kitchen out for food. There’s nothing really edible in there, mostly because his dad eats seeds and nuts like a bird. There’s a lot of soya. And it’s not like any of the food from grocery shopping yesterday actually made it home, it’s probably floating along the only river in the state by now.

It makes Stiles acutely happy, and unhappy, in equal measures; because on the good side, his dad’s finally taken his advice and started to eat carefully, but he’s doing it without Stiles' prodding, which Stiles always had to do when he was younger. It’s hard to know that home has moved on without him. Without his permission.

Derek’s doing crunches when he walks in.

Stiles maybe stares at him with his mouth wide open for a few seconds. Or minutes.

It’s just that Derek’s back is slick with sweat, stomach tight with exertion, and really, Stiles should be blind to this.

Like lady justice or something.

But it’s actually muddling his brain, for instance, Derek’s staring at him with some degree of ferocity, actually speaking words to him. And Stiles has blanked all of it.

“What?” He says abruptly.

Derek quirks a small, obnoxious smirk at him, like he knows exactly what Stiles was thinking, and Stiles really wants to hate him for it.

“Did you want to go and get food.” Which really isn’t a question. Derek looks as frustrated as Stiles feels.

Derek raises one sardonic eyebrow in an eloquent, What the fuck is wrong with you?

Stiles doesn’t know what’s wrong with him.

It’s possible that Derek’s dick has sent him into frenzy, like a shark at dinner time. Which is a disgusting analogy. Stiles isn’t sure how hungry he is anymore.

“Yes,” he agrees, shaking out of it. “It’s not like there’s any food in the house. Dad always said I’d eat him out of house and home, but, irony, I haven’t even been here for three years. And of course we lost everything yesterday, so, yes, that’d be a good idea.”

And now Derek looks unspeakably guilty. Wonderful.

So Stiles has a gift for making people he cares about hurt. He’s such a great person.

“Come on, big guy. I’ll buy you pancakes.” Stiles says uncomfortably, and Derek rolls his eyes at the nickname, he thinks.

 

The road that they would take is currently closed (the deer and Derek’s questionable driving are to blame for that) so Stiles takes a short cut through the woods. Derek had totalled his Jeep in the accident, yesterday (Stiles will hold a grudge), so Stiles has hijacked Melissa’s car. She’s at work, and Stiles’ dad will pick her up, like he’s always done, so it’s not like she needs it currently.

Unfortunately, the short cut they take winds through the Hale property line.

Derek makes the smallest wounded sound when he recognises the area, and it tears at something inside Stiles.

So he stops the car, parks it at the side of the road and gets out. Opens the door for Derek when he freezes, and his face is blank. He squints at Stiles, like he’s trying to understand why he’s doing this, and Stiles doesn’t know why. He just knows that Derek needs to see his old house, needs to remember, because Stiles has a faint feeling that Derek is in New York for the same reason that Stiles is; to forget. Which is all fine and well and works, enough, but it’s not like he can heal and move on if he suppresses memories like this.

Derek tramps alongside Stiles, their feet crunching in the underbrush companionably, until the broken, charred house looms before them. Then Derek makes that small sound again, and stops moving. Stiles brushes his shoulder against Derek’s, standing close. He figures that closeness will help; he’d gone through a major hugging phase after his mom died.

Derek takes it one step further and threads their fingers together. He’s shaking so badly, Stiles feels a bolt of misery.

They stand in silence, staring at the blackened remains, until Derek’s hands stop shaking as badly. Stiles is half-convinced he’s got pneumonia, but it’s not like it matters.

When Stiles looks at Derek’s face again, his eyebrows are creased so tightly he might be giving himself a headache, and his eyes shine with unshed tears. His jaw is clenched, teeth gritted, and his pain is acutely visible.

“I’m,” he coughs, tears making his voice thick. “I’m not scared of flying.”

Oh,” Stiles blinks, horrified. “You just- you just didn’t want to come back here.”

Derek doesn’t say anything, but nods his head minutely. His eyes are focused on Stiles, terribly warm, irises darkened by emotion.

“Thank you, though,” Derek says shortly, eyes back on the house. “For making me see this.”

“No problem, Derek,” Stiles says, as gently as he can, and bumps Derek’s shoulder.

Derek’s mouth quirks into one of those small, uncertain smiles, and his eyes find  and envelop Stiles again. Stiles shivers.

“Do you want to go?” Stiles asks quietly.

Derek nods again, and Stiles doesn’t let go of his hand until they get back to the car.

 

Dinner doesn’t even go as planned, which, Derek is starting to wonder whether they’ve entered into some parallel world that vaguely resembles a soap opera. They’ve taken three steps from the borrowed Honda, and there the Sheriff is, half-heartedly smiling at them in the middle of the street.

Derek remembers the way he’d shouted at him, after the accident, and the way something in Derek had curled a little, because he agreed with everything he was saying; he was selfish, what was wrong with him, just because Derek has no family doesn’t mean he needs to take Stiles from all of them too and, the classic, how dare he come back into town when he wasn’t even wanted?

But after the EMT explained what had happened, what Derek had done, the Sheriff’s eyes had softened, and he’d yanked Derek to him in an apologetic hug that crushed his ribs.

He told Derek, unblinking, with a surprising amount of force, to take care of Stiles, when all Derek could think was that it was his fault that Stiles even had a concussion in the first place. Stiles was smiling at them, a little dopily, but bruised and hurting, which hurt Derek in surprising ways. And Stiles needed to be checked throughout the night, woken up at regular intervals, and he was trusting Stiles with that, and that.

That meant a lot.

His eyes are surprisingly mischievous right now, though.

“Stiles, can I borrow Derek?” He says, and Stiles’ eyes narrow suspiciously.

“As long as he’s returned in mint condition,” Stiles says, and Derek rolls his eyes. He’s not a toy.

The Sheriff mutters something about kids being stupid, and that he’ll have Derek back to him in ten minutes, and to just get dinner to go for the both of them.

Stiles nods, and heads for the nearest diner, limping a little, like his foot still twinges a little from the accident, even though Derek checked it, and luckily, he didn't even have a scratch.

Derek watches him go, and there must be something stupidly emotional on his face, because the Sheriff smiles at him a little awkwardly. He walks to the nearest realtor’s office, and Derek follows hot on his heels, because he’s officially curious.

The Sheriff leads him to the back of the office, where Stiles’ friends are gathered around the long conference table. Derek wonders if any of them actually have jobs. Before he remembers it’s Sunday. Or perhaps, actual lives outside of their friendship group.

He gets a smile from every person, which is a little unnerving, although Jackson just smirks and rolls his eyes, which is surprisingly comforting.

“We got you and Stiles this,” the Sheriff says gruffly, gesturing to the papers on the table. Derek is confused for an instant, thinking that they got them a conference table, before he realises that he’s talking about the property displayed on the table.  It’s the house on the other side of the lake from the current Stilinski home, the one that’s purchased and fully paid for, and looking by the size of it, much nicer and bigger than even Derek’s apartment on the Upper East Side.

“It’s an engagement present,” Lydia explains, brushing a hand over a piece of folded paper. Derek stares blankly at her.

“Can I go?” Jackson asks, and Lydia shushes him with a bump on the hip, which makes him roll his eyes but actually smile in a way that makes him look human.

 “We thought that if you both had somewhere here that was yours, maybe, you’d want to visit a little more?” Allison says hopefully. “For 4th July, and Thanksgiving and Christmas, at least.”

“And Stiles’ birthday,” Scott interjects.

“Maybe even your birthday?” Isaac says quietly, with a half-embarrassed smile.

“Sure, we’ll break him into the high school.” Erica says, grinning wide.

“Erica, I work in that place,” Danny says warningly, and she waves away his complaint.

“Don’t forget the wedding,” Boyd points out, which makes Erica beam.

“So?” the Sheriff asks gruffly. “Would you want it? Do you think Stiles would want it?”

They’re all staring at him so eagerly, so hopefully, the atmosphere warm and caring, ignoring Jackson’s shockingly bored presence.

Derek swallows around the sudden lump in his throat. “Yes.” His voice cracks, and today has involved far too much emotion for anyone to handle. Derek feels like his emotions have gotten a good workout.

Derek very pointedly doesn’t think about how wrong this actually is, when  he’s a fraud, and technically, prostituted out their friend (and son) if he’s giving him a job in return for his participation in this scheme.

He feels abruptly awful.

 

Derek is subdued when Stiles gets back in the car. His eyes skim the horizon and barely acknowledges Stiles.  

Stiles knows when not to push Derek- five years of working with him, observing him, means that he knows the man in front of him better than he sometimes knows himself- so he doesn’t say anything.

He does feel a warm rush of pleasure when he hands Derek a Styrofoam cup of coffee, with his standard scrawling Sourpants on it, and Derek laughs, the sound bright and fleeting, but there. Fuck yes; Stiles knew that Derek liked it when he called him that.

They don’t have sex when they get back to the house, though that’s mostly because one, Derek is expectably distant, and two, the lube is nonexistent, and fucking with spit sounds like something best left to the imagination.

He sits Derek at the island in the kitchen and just makes them  the chicken, potatoes and peas he’d bought at the store, because he is a gourmet cook. No, but he cannot be bothered to put too much effort into their food, and judging by the pleasurable sound Derek makes, Stiles didn’t do too badly.

Stiles is surprised at how comfortable silence with Derek is.

He’s a talker, and silence usually feels awful, but this feels companionable, both lost in their own thoughts, both probably freaking for very different reasons. Stiles is freaking out because he maybe wants to date his boss, to make dinner like this into a regular daily occurrence, and Derek probably because he saw the burned out remains of his childhood home.

They’re interrupted by the entrance of his dad and Melissa, walking in hand in hand, at about half nine.

Stiles blinks, because they look so happy it is unnerving.

“We managed to reserve a spot for you at the Church,” Stiles’ dad says significantly, and fuck, that is giving Derek permission in a major way, that’s where he and Stiles’ mom got married.

“We’re married,” Stiles points out, waving around his ring.

“For a renewal, in front of all of us,” Melissa says pleadingly, grinning brightly. “What do you say?”

I'm totally fucked isn’t an appropriate response, Stiles thinks.

Chapter Text

 

So, Stiles’ dad likes to hold onto tradition, and Stiles doesn’t even get a weirdly comfortable night with Derek again;  Derek gets shipped off to Scott and Allison’s house for the night before the ceremony, and doesn’t even get to grab any of his stuff. Stiles sleeps alone in what has now become their bedroom, because it’s filled with their crap. Derek’s saline stuff for his contacts is scattered in their bathroom,  his expensive man shower creams and body-washes litter the shower stall, not to mention his clothes are mixed up with Stiles’ in the wardrobe, like they belong there.

And the problem is, Stiles doesn’t have a problem with any of this. Whatsoever. He even likes it, because Derek’s body-wash smells great, and is horrifically expensive, and Stiles maybe gets a jolt of wicked pleasure when he uses it. Because a) it smells great, did he say that, and b) Derek would probably bust a gut if he knew Stiles was using it.  

So Stiles takes the evening to try and consider that he may have fallen in like (it makes sense) with Derek Hale.

Or, better yet, to consider that his boss has fallen in like with him. Stiles is certain on this one.

Derek saved his life; a few months ago, Stiles would have thought this was an impossibility.  He’s also had sex with Stiles on multiple occasions, at Stiles’ request, and actually enjoyed it.

Stiles kind of hates himself for it, but he knows that the wedding tomorrow, and their subsequent marriage, wouldn’t be something that he wouldn’t want. If that makes any sense. It makes no sense to Stiles, who comes to this conclusion under a pillow, trying to smother himself back into his normal, dull, stressful life of mostly sanity and loneliness. To no avail.

Stiles can admit it to himself that he wants Derek Hale.

Doesn’t mean he has to like it, though.

 

He also tries stuffing himself full of food when he wakes up in the morning, while his dad and Melissa watch on in a sort of awed horror. Hey, he killed his goldfish by overfeeding her, Stiles has hopes. Hopes that are dashed when he just gives himself a stomach ache.

Stiles begins to wonder whether imminent death will solve any of his problems, and comes to the conclusion that he needs to get a psychiatrist when he gets back to New York. Derek probably has one on speed-dial. Derek should have one on speed-dial. That’s something Stiles is going to look into…and he can’t even deal with his internal monologue right now.

To distract himself, he toys with his phone, before noting that he’s got six unread messages. He feels smug for 2.0 seconds, until he reads the messages from Scott.

Ur husband has a lot of shit u owe me

He ate Allison’s steak he’s alright with me

Shit I think he just asked for my permission

Spoiler alert I said yes

I told him to wear a garter tomorrow help I think he mite kill me in my sleep

 He’s alrite u kno

The last text is from this morning, so Stiles knows that Scott somehow survived the night, despite his apparent overwhelming desire to die. Derek’s eyebrows didn’t choke him to death. Those eyebrows are weapons of mass destruction. By sass. Sass destruction. It’s a thing; Derek Hale made it so.

These texts give Stiles mixed emotions.

On the one hand, there’s the stupidly naïve part of him that’s overjoyed that Scott has given Stiles his permission, and he likes Derek. That makes the pressure against his chest feel a little lighter, if Stiles is totally honest. Besides, if that’s the case, he won’t have to avoid Scott on the journeys home that he and Derek are totally going to make after this. He smiles warmly at his phone, like there’s a little Scott sitting inside the phone, and that even sounds like a thought that Scott would have.

On the other hand, Stiles kinda wanted an outlet for his anti-Derek emotions and anger, and Scott was supposed to be that outlet. When Derek drove him crazy with his shit (Stiles ignores the reality that waking up with Derek and cohabitating with him has been remarkably pleasant) he would have been Stiles’ go to man. Man-bro. That was totally Scott. Until Derek hypnotised him with his strong stomach and ability to fool man boys who should really have a better bullshit detector. Damn Scott. Aside from his ability to burp the alphabet and make Stiles almost pee himself with laughter, he’s really running out of his uses.

Stiles wants to destroy his Best Friend in the entire world mug at such mutinous thoughts, but he holds it together.

Until he has to put on his nicest suit and go help his dad set up at the church.

Then Stiles maybe has a small breakdown.

A very small one.

 

Derek has broken a lamp.

 He stares at it blankly, kind of hoping for a minute that it will get back up glue itself back together, that he won’t have to go back to Scott and Allison and say, to their puppy dog eyes (he’s susceptible to those, he blames Laura) that he broke their favourite lamp after flailing that he couldn’t express himself like a normal human being in a text message to their best friend.

So he does the cowardly thing and scoops the pieces into his suitcase, hoping that they won’t notice.

Then he goes back to pacing and scowling. And flailing every few feet. He didn’t even know he could flail, before Stiles. Before Stiles and his shitload of shit like his personality and his eyes and his ass and his entire existence, alright?

It’s possible that the rhythm has finally gotten him. It’s more likely that they have all gotten to him.

And that scares him more than anything.

 

“I’m scared,” Stiles mutters to Lydia. Her eyes soften, hands reassuring as she does his tie for him. He’s got an impenetrable barrier of his friends, his family, around him, even if he can feel that they’re all passing judgement. Even Isaac. Scott’s muttering to Allison, shooting Stiles worried looks.

Derek’s outside, with Stiles’ dad. Stiles doesn’t even want to know what they’re talking about, but he can imagine; last ditch threats to take care of Stiles, and probably reminding Derek of the fact that he knows how to hide a body.

“I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready,” Stiles sings under his breath, once Lydia goes back to Jackson and they all settle on the front pews. His dad creeps through the door and shoots Stiles a thumbs up.

Scott claps a reassuring hand on his shoulder, the action so paternal Stiles wants to smile.

“Stop it, Spongebob. This is Derek. He ate Allison’s steak, this guy is a keeper,” Scott says firmly, or as firmly as Scott can. Stiles nods, reminding himself to breathe, and something akin to calmness floods through his system.

Until he spots Ms Morrell sitting in one of the back pews, and his heart rate spikes again.

“What’s she doing here,” Stiles mutters to Scott.

“I dunno,” Scott says blankly, then goes to ask Allison. Stiles rolls his eyes. Nothing’s changed. “She just rocked up uninvited,” Scott tells him. “Do you want me to kick her out?”

“No,” Stiles says shortly, giving her the stink eye. She smiles blandly.

The chime of the piano (Boyd’s the player) fills the room, and the doors swing open seamlessly.

Derek steps through, and his eyes find Stiles. Warmth floods through him.

Derek’s looking at him with an unreadable expression on his face, but his eyes are so warm they almost seem to scorch Stiles where he stands. He feels himself grin, ignoring the bolt of misery he gets when he finally thinks that none of this is real.

Boyd shoots him a dark look when he has to speed up his playing to match his movements, but Derek gets to the alter in one piece. Which is surprising because the Reyes family are a vicious bunch.

Derek stops the pastor even before he starts talking.

Stiles knew that it would be too much to hope for, for this to actually happen. Good things like this don’t happen to Stiles Stilinski. He’s playing a miniature violin for himself, really.  

“I can’t make you do this,” Derek says through clenched teeth, and boy does that look painful. And lick worthy. In equal measures.  “This is not real, any of it, Stiles, and you deserve- you want more than this, don’t you?” Derek has his arms wide, gesturing to himself. And Stiles doesn’t know how to tell Derek how much he has wanted.

Derek’s hands are visibly shaking. “This isn’t your fault. I shouldn’t have tried to force you into this marriage just so I could stay here, it was a mistake, and I’m so sorry for that.”

His jaw is clenched so tightly Stiles is certain he’s going to pull something.

 “For all of it.” He says to Stiles, alone, and aside from being mildly irritating for the past three years, he owes Stiles no sort of apology.

And with that, he strides away from Stiles.

“You’re giving me a lift back to the airport,” he says bluntly to Ms Morrell, and with one searching look at Stiles, leaves.

Boyd has to hold Erica back, but Derek makes it unscathed through the door.

Then all hell breaks loose.

 

Stiles remembers that when he was younger and feeling claustrophobic (it used to be a real phobia of Stiles’, you have no idea) he would clamp his hands over his ears and pretend nothing else was happening. He always thinks he would’ve made a great emu.

He wants to bury his head in the proverbial sand right now.

He’s got his dad yelling at him, but not really, because he’s more yelling at the surrounding group for not being better bullshit detectors, because apparently they’re lie detectors now. His friends are talking at each other loudly, confused. They form a circle around Stiles and Stiles is so grateful for it.

He feels so tired, inwardly, and crushed and he feels infinitely stupid for not being able to keep it together better, but guess what, losing a fake love of his life is actually emotionally draining, especially when said pretend love of his life maybe is the real thing, but he left because he didn’t want it- their relationship, marriage, whatever you want to call it- to be as false as Erica trying to play nice with Boyd’s slightly misogynistic grandma.

It spurs him, firms his resolve to try and go after Derek.

It’s what every runaway bride really wants, isn’t it? (No is the answer to that question, Stiles rationally realises, case in point Emma from that damnable show Glee, the show Derek’s stupidly addicted to; enough that the company credit card has actually been set up to automatically buy a boxset and CD whenever they come out. Stiles does question his taste in men, sometimes).

They move around him like some stupid set of Bodyguards, and Stiles bitterly realises that they’re all Kevin Costners in the looks department, damn them. He pointedly does not linger on thoughts of Derek saving Stiles’ life. Or holding him afterwards. Thoughts like that will break him.

||

His bags lay discarded in the entrance of the Church, and he picks them up slowly. It’s not like he imagined that Stiles would come chasing after him or anything. He swears. His brain is traitorous; it focuses solely on Stiles’ betrayed face, the look of indignation, like Stiles was about to start shrieking don’t you dare walk away from me, and Derek ignores the fact that he wanted Stiles to.  

Derek lingers for a second as he leaves, debates leaving a message, and decides that it’s actions that mean things, not words.

He’s made love to Stiles on multiple occasions, held him until he’s fallen asleep, saved his irritating life, made nice with his friends for a whole week, which is really saying something because #1, Stiles’ friends are almost as annoying as Stiles himself (and far far worse) and #2, Derek feels acutely uncomfortable around people he doesn’t really know or trust. Derek thinks of the way that he looks at Stiles (even Erica had muttered fucking heart eyes after witnessing it once) and hopes that he knows.

He snorts at that thought.

Stiles, for a self-proclaimed know-it-all that could rival Hermione on his worst days, is also oblivious as hell.

||

Stiles goes straight to the airport, just in time for the 11:45 to launch into the air, love of his life and the badass entity that is Ms Morrell on board.

His ears are still ringing from the car journey into the airport. Screaming matches aren't unexpected in their friendship group, but it's nice to hear them arguing over him for once, as opposed to arguing with him. They've taken a Team Stiles and Team Stiles and Derek stance, the former headed by Lydia, the latter headed by Isaac, the others falling inbetween. Scott thinks he should be an independent white boy who don't need no man. Scott needs to shut the hell up. 

His friends curse at the ascending plane; he’s fairly sure Lydia threatens to sue the airport because of proper reasons, shut it Stilinski, backed up by Jackson, Allison offers to get out her collapsible crossbow (Hawkeye and all, Stiles thinks she won’t make this shot) and Erica throws a shoe at the departing plane. His dad and Scott’s mom watch him carefully, like he’s going to break, like he’s fragile. His friends bitch and curse around him and swear vengeance to rival that of Hamlet.

All Stiles can think pretty damn grimly, too, is; you’re not getting away from me that easy, jackass.

||

Stiles thinks it’s funny that he even bothered trying Derek’s apartment; because he wouldn’t mope like most ordinary people. Derek Hale isn’t that brand of masochist. No, he’s the kind of crazy that would go into work when he’s miserable. And how does Stiles know he’s miserable?

His co-workers are practically cowering under their desks when he gets to their floor.

Also, when he walks into Derek’s office and slams the door, Derek’s face floods with something between happiness and uncertainty, before he forcibly wipes all expression and emotion off his face. His face becomes what Stiles likes to call his no comment face. He would be an appalling politician, Stiles thinks, not for the first time.

Let it be noted, Derek’s tie is loose, and there are buttons undone on his shirt, his blazer is missing and his sleeves, for all that is holy, are rolled up (Stiles is a fan of the corded muscles on view). Derek only shows stress via eyebrow, not fashion choice; in that respect, he’s always been flawless. This is clearly a sign that Derek Hale is not perfectly alright.

Case in point, Derek bitched at him so much after his first few days of cargo pants and slogan tees (shut up they were smart) and cardigans that he cancelled all his appointments for the afternoon, claimed sickness, and practically frogmarched Stiles to his tailor and used the company credit card to buy him fourteen suits. The guy is a nut for cleanliness and practicality, to the extent that he puts Lydia ‘I have undiagnosed OCD and will pick all fluff off all clothing that you are wearing’ Martin to shame.

Stiles thinks that maybe he missed a few signs along the way. Like how, as Erica, Scott’s mom, Allison, Isaac and Danny had talked him into believing, maybe he’s been in love with Stiles all along. Well, not all along, like Stiles puking on him at the company retreat two years ago, but for a while now.

“Why are you all,” Derek gestures to the sweat staining Stiles’ plaid shirt. Stiles ignores the fact that he feels naked, wearing plaid in the office, instead of one of his monkey suits.  He also ignores how strained Derek’s voice sounds.

There's also the fact that this office, this city, no longer feels like home. The jackass in front of Stiles looks similarly uncomfortable with his surroundings. Or maybe that's just the Stiles effect. 

“Because I’ve been running. Sweating, that’s what you do when you run for a day.” Stiles gasps out, like he really has been running all the way from Beacon Hills. He’s been running since he left the cab, it’s not that inaccurate. And maybe running because the elevator takes too long and there are like forty flights of stairs. Stiles thought he was gonna have a coronary at some points.

“Well that was stupid,” Derek says shortly, turning back to the boxes that litter his office. Stiles has a vaguely sore ankle that will attest to this fact. Derek notices and frowns harder, if that's even possible, eyebrows screaming ARE YOU AN IDIOT. Stiles doesn't have an answer for the eyebrows of doom. 

“Now listen here, jackass. If I told myself five days ago that I wanted you with your personality still attached, I would have shot myself in the foot until I changed my mind.”

“But I did do that. Change my mind. And it’s your fault,” Stiles’ mouth twists into a rueful grin, and he half-heartedly pokes at Derek’s adamantium (true story) lined chest.

Derek is staring at him, gaze hard and unreadable, mouth curved into a grim, straight line.

“But things changed when we slept together, when we kissed, when we had sex. When you told me about Laura. That’s when you got to me, got under my skin. Now I’m pretty certain that it is you I want Derek.”

Derek lets himself gravitate closer to Stiles, lets him press their foreheads together, just inhales Stiles’ scent, all musk and deodorant and warmth.

“You’re the one I need.” Stiles says quietly, pressing his lips to Derek’s cheek as Derek nuzzles the side of his face.

“Did you just quote a Beyonce song,” Derek asks, face buried in Stiles’ hair. The prickles of it tickle him in a mildly arousing way that also does things for his black, shrivelled heart (shut up Stiles). 

“Just go with it.” Stiles grins. "Sourpants."

||

Because Ms Morrell is good at her job, the Stilinski family (not to mention Stiles and Derek) are summoned to the immigrations office sometime in May, for a round of interviews and interrogations on how real Stiles and Derek now are. Stiles tosses and turns in his sleep, worried about it, but Derek just knows that what they have is undoubtedly real, unshakeable, and nothing- Stiles calls him corn bread when he tells him this- is tearing them apart. Derek hates proving things to people, gets embarrassed and ashamed trying to talk about his feelings, even though he has them, so Stiles promises a blow job for every ten questions. 

He hadn't expected that there would be so many damn questions. His jaw gets a workout. 

||

“I think that Stiles is stubborn enough to ignore Derek’s weaknesses and Derek’s lucky that Stiles is such a forgiving idiot.” Lydia says, smiling saccharinely. “Next question.”

“He’s good at Lacrosse. He completes Stilinski. Next.” Jackson says, bored out of his relatively small mind.

“He’s a nice guy, y’know, under the brooding misery and despair facade. Probably could use some Prozac.” Scott says pleasantly. “I’m sure my mom could help him out.”

“I like him,” Allison says smugly.

“They’re both nuts,” Isaac says. “They’re perfect for each other.”

“My son’s always known what’s best for him. And Derek fears the gun and Stilinski wit. I like him.” Sheriff Stilinski says.

“He loves Stiles, that’s good enough for me,” Melissa agrees, staring in horror at her husband. He shrugs his shoulders in response. 

“He looks slightly less constipated when he’s with Stiles,” Erica says, smiling sweetly.

“Derek survived an afternoon of lacrosse with us. We’re overprotective to the point of Mafiadom. He’s good in my books.” Danny says.

“He’s my favourite of Stiles’ boyfriends.” Boyd says, exasperated. “Can I go?”

“There was this one time in high school when Jackson got high and ate a snake from the science lab,” Scott says fondly. “And- this is relevant, I swear- Stiles drove him to the hospital and stayed with him even though Jackson’s a douche. Stiles is good like that. And Derek needs that, I think.”

“He likes mint ice cream. There’s no accounting for taste.” Stiles grimaces.

“AC DC. Doesn’t shut up about them.” Derek grunts.

“He likes the Yankees,” Stiles frowns. “For now. There’s only so much badgering one person can take.”

“He knows the dance moves to ‘I want it that way’. He showed me. With scarves. Impressed doesn’t cover it.” Stiles says, cheeks flaming.

“Stiles doesn’t like chocolate,” Derek says. “Unless it’s with peanut butter.”

“He’s used the same hair gel for the past twelve years,” Stiles answers, heartbeat thrumming.

“He doesn’t have a middle name.” Derek furrows his brow, thinking that he’s got it wrong for a minute.

“James. Derek James Hale.” Stiles grins. What a hottie.

“Stiles prefers Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes,” Derek says. “Can I leave yet? We’ve got dinner reservations.”

“Just one more,” Morrell says, face as annoyingly smug as ever. “What’s Stiles’ real name?”

“Genim.” Derek answers, equally smug. “I’m leaving now.”

Spoiler alert: He makes it out in time for dinner.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

“Your orange juice,” Derek says, sliding over the glass. Stiles winks at him before continuing an in-depth analysis with Erica on what seems to be the quality of asses in the newest Avengers movie. His husband, ladies and gentlemen. 

It doesn’t matter that it’s Erica’s wedding, or anything.

He glances around their table and notes that Lydia’s sternly talking to Jackson about the fact that his tie is askew, Scott’s dancing with Allison, and Isaac and Danny are necking like teenagers. Derek would like to be necking with Stiles, in fact, or at least dancing, but this is the first time they’ve been home since Christmas (Stiles gets needy if they’re away longer than two months) and Stiles needs his friend time. They can always dance later. 

Derek casts his mind back to the airport and remembers, embarrassed, how they’d made up posters for them; things like Thing One and Thing Two and Brangelina of Beacon Hills and Son and Son in Law. They’re not so bad, sometimes.

Then he remembers that Lydia dressed Stiles in this obscene, charcoal grey three-piece suit, with trousers that are practically moulded to Stiles’ ass and a waistcoat, dear God, and a skinny tie, and Derek wants to kill them because these are all his weaknesses and he’s in public. It’s not appropriate to get a boner during a wedding.

Especially when you’re one of the best men.                                                

Boyd, as it turns out, is remarkably sane and enjoys football and hiking, and he’s maybe one of Derek’s best friends. Stiles always coos anytime he says this (which is never) or whenever he mentions Boyd. Derek can’t remember why exactly Stiles is his best friend. Something to do with loving him and wanting to start a family with him. Something like that. 

The pants situation wasn’t helped by the fact that Stiles is the Man of Honour (without the creepy falling in love part, Stiles informed Derek, apparently there’s a film) and was standing just opposite him, making inappropriate faces and winking and licking his lips obscenely throughout the entire service.

Boyd elbowed him in the ribs at the reception as a thanks for that.

Stiles maybe cries a lot when Derek gives his speech.

Derek doesn’t cry when Stiles gives his. Only because he’s laughing too damn hard, the bastard made his speech hilarious and spent five minutes quoting Erica about Boyd throughout the years, starting with; I would pay for tickets to that gun show. And also playing stupid songs. Who puts One Direction in a wedding speech? Apparently the love of Derek’s life, that’s who.

Sometimes he questions his taste in men.

||

He doesn’t later on, however, when he gets to peel Stiles out of the offending suit, and Stiles rides him on their bed, in their huge house by the edge of the lake.

||

“Remember when we went to that convention in Vermont and you made me sit next to you at the bar so you wouldn’t get hit on?” Stiles muses, playing with the downy hair on the back of Derek’s neck. Derek snorts.

“Yeah, and so you wouldn’t get hit on as well,” Derek says darkly. “We were supposed to be working.

“In a bar? Are you serious? You just wanted to get me drunk and easy,” Stiles replies, laughing a little. He still finds it impossible to believe that Derek nursed a crush on Stiles for years before their wedding fiasco. Derek thinks that it’s impossible that Stiles was so blind.  

“And of course you wouldn’t want to see me drunk.”

“I’ve seen you drunk,” Stiles assures him, and laughs out loud at the memory. Derek winces. 

Derek vaguely remembers Boyd’s bachelor party, and it’s a hazy myriad of knocking back an absurd amount of alcohol at the Reyes home, missing Stiles, paintballing, laser tag, missing Stiles, and calling Stiles from the bar’s bathroom and whining about why there had to be separate bachelor and hen parties. He’d eventually passed out at their table and Boyd and Isaac had to carry him home.

Stiles still has the photos.

He’s even framed one that has Derek smiling, eyes shut at the camera, with daubed paint reading Stiles on his forehead, and it's hanging up in their kitchen back in New York. Derek doesn’t remember, but he thinks he did the paint himself.

(Derek doesn’t know this, but Stiles also has another one of Derek making out with a picture of Stiles, which Danny secretly took; it’s Stiles’s phone's background).

Derek remembers Jackson punching Scott in the shoulder after Scott suggested they go to the reptile section at the Zoo and see if there were any lingering feelings there, for Jackson and the snakes.

Derek sometimes doesn’t like his family very much, but they’re still family. For some reason.

“Shut up,” Derek grumbles, at Stiles, where he’s laughing so hard he’s shaking the bed.

“You know you love it,” Stiles points out. Derek rolls his eyes.

“Only sometimes,” Derek mutters, and Stiles sneezes, because he’s allergic to bullshit.  

He glances at Stiles’s face, lit by the rising sun; his amber eyes glitter, and his mouth breaks into a smile wide enough to make his dimples appear. He kisses that mouth, and doesn’t want to ever stop.

||

They live in New York for the most part; Stiles moved in with Derek after spending one night at his apartment. To this day, Derek’s not sure if Stiles is with him for his sheets or for him. Neither of them can cook, so they mostly live off take-out, and Stiles leaves laundry everywhere and hogs all the hot water, so they end up sharing showers. Not that Derek’s complaining, because Stiles with a lack of clothes and slick with soap and water? Not a bad thing. At all. Ever. Besides, he ends up wearing Derek’s clothes, and he never found suits hot until Stiles wore one of his shirts.

That led to a round of messy office sex. Derek has since had his office soundproofed. Fun Fridays is a thing they do.

They go back to Beacon Hills for their anniversary, the odd wedding (Isaac and Danny’s is next), Christmas and summertime. That place is home, Derek knows that, even though the Hale house was condemned in July.  Derek feels like he can breathe properly, when he's got Stiles there to help him through the anniversaries of the fire, and Laura's birthday.

Stiles makes noises about moving back to Beacon Hills full time, and Derek knows that once they have enough money to live comfortably without working, enough money to raise kids and send them to college, which is something they both want, then they’ll move back. It’s only a matter of a few years.

Derek has a new assistant now. She’s named Helen, she’s fifty two and spry, and looks like she could very easily destroy on a tennis court. She’s not Stiles, and that took some getting used to, until he realised that he walks to work with Stiles, has lunch with him every day, goes home with him every night, has Stiles, for all intents and purposes, and this way Stiles doesn’t want to punch him constantly.

Everybody wins.