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Kiss Me on This Cold December Night

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Stiles curses under his breath and stares down at the map on his phone—he’s been in Portland for two weeks, but that’s clearly not long enough to try out another route to work because he’s lost. And now about to be late. Is it a left here? He cranes his neck, trying to get a glimpse of that street sign, but something catches his attention.

The hairs on the back of Stiles’ neck tingle, and he swallows hard against the unmistakable sensation of someone staring at him. He’s tempted to just ignore it, but after a few seconds, his curiosity wins out and he looks up from his phone instead. He doesn’t notice anything right away, flicking his gaze along the people on the other side of the intersection until he suddenly stops and backtracks. It’s a little hard to see, what with the thick drizzle and the cars whizzing between them, but he would recognize that glorious bearded face anywhere, even after six years. Holy shit.

He jogs across the street when the light finally changes, half-convinced that Derek’s gonna be gone when he gets there, just some kind of weird mirage conjured up from Stiles’ fantasies. He’s still there, though, standing stock-still with those multi-colored eyes locked on Stiles. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Stiles repeats, seemingly stuck in what is surely a dumb facial expression. “Holy shit, it’s you.”

Derek laughs a little—which is foreign on its own, really, what kind of bizarro universe is this?—and scratches at his cheek. “Yeah, it’s me,” he says. His beard is a little longer than it used to be, and now there are even flecks of gray in it, good lord. Stiles is not equipped to handle this.

Someone bumps into him from behind, and oh yeah, they’re standing in the middle of the sidewalk during rush hour. Derek grimaces and tugs him off by the arm to the side. Stiles stumbles along willingly—he can feel the searing heat of Derek’s hand, even through the sleeve of his brand-new Columbia rain jacket.

“Dude,” he says, drawing the word out and smacking the back of his hand lightly against Derek’s chest. Yep, just as firm as he remembers. “What are you doing here?”

“I live here,” Derek says in response, with a little smile. It’s a different kind of smile, softer and more genuine than the smirks that Stiles was used to from Derek, and it takes him an extra second to realize that it’s his turn to speak now.

I live here,” he says, and he winces a little at the tinge of hysteria in his own laugh. “As of two weeks ago.”

Derek ducks his head a little—god, that’s cute—and smiles again. “Do you wanna, uh, catch up sometime? Maybe get a drink?”

Yes,” Stiles says, a little more eagerly than would be ideal. He clears his throat and tries to school his voice into something more appropriate. “Yeah, I really do. Actually.”

Derek digs his phone out of the back pocket of his jeans—still tight, nice—and hands it over. “Then give me your number.”

“Look at you,” Stiles says, grinning as he taps it in. “All technologically-advanced and everything, with an iPhone that’s no more than two models old.”

Derek huffs, but there’s a fond smile curling at the edges of his mouth. “I’ve changed.”

“Yeah,” he says, handing the phone back and letting their fingers brush for a split-second. “I can see that.”

“I’ll text you.”

“You do that,” Stiles says, then thumbs awkwardly over his shoulder. “I, uh, actually really have to go to work. Unfortunately. I’m new, and I don’t want to be late.”

“Okay,” Derek says softly, lifting a hand in a wave.

Stiles mirrors the gesture and backs away for several steps before turning around. He can feel Derek’s gaze on him still, like a comforting caress, but he doesn’t let himself look over his shoulder, no matter how much he wants to.

It would be embarrassing to admit how eagerly Stiles waits for Derek to text him. Accurate, sure, but still embarrassing.

Thankfully, he doesn’t have to pine for long because just after he settles in his office chair with a steaming cup of coffee, his phone lights up and vibrates on the desk. He almost spills burning liquid on himself in his haste to get to it—but he doesn’t because he’s gained a little bit more control over his body, thank you very much—and slides his thumb across the screen.


Stiles stifles a ridiculous smile and doesn’t do anything dumb like making Derek wait a couple hours before he responds. He does take a second to save his number, though.

Still a man of many words, I see.

He just gets an angry face emoji in response, and he laughs out loud. He’s really glad he has his own office.

Eyebrows aren’t majestic enough, that’s not very realistic.

Impressed by your emoji usage, though.

I do live to impress you.

Is it a bad sign that Stiles can perfectly imagine the dry tone Derek would use to say that? His words leave a lot of open opportunities for more blatant flirting, but Stiles still has no idea if that’s where this is heading. Damned if he isn’t gonna find out, though.

I hope you were serious about that drink.

Tonight? Is that serious enough for you?

Stiles bites his lip to keep a truly embarrassing noise from slipping out. He can’t stop the fist pump, though.

Tonight is great.

Where do you live?

Whoa, moving a little fast there, don’t you think?

Very funny. What neighborhood.

Nob Hill.

There’s a little bar on 23rd, is that okay?

Perfect. 7?

Yeah. I’ll text you the address.

Looking forward to it.

Stiles stares at that last text for longer than he’d like to admit.

Stiles stays at work until he has to leave for their date—yeah, he’s calling it that, so what—mostly so that he can’t go home and fret about what he’s wearing. He’s got on his nice jeans with a blue-gray plaid button-down, and that’ll just have to do.

The walk to the bar is chilly, even for the first day of December, but it clears his head and helps him calm down a little bit. No matter what he’s calling this in his head, this is just a drink with an old friend, he reassures himself. He’s missed Derek, no sense in denying it, and he’s honestly eager for the chance to catch up and see what the dude’s been up to. He seems different, at least, and Stiles wants to see if that’s actually true.

He pushes open the heavy door to the bar and shivers as the warm air hits him. He’s peeling out of his jacket when he spots Derek sitting at the bar, twisted to face him, and he flails slightly with his sleeve. Derek’s smiling, though, and when Stiles finally finishes with his jacket, he takes a deep breath and walks over.

Derek did change clothes, actually, now he’s wearing dark blue slacks that probably hug his ass real nice and a sweater. He looks like some kind of hot nerd, and Stiles just wants to tackle him. He settles for a handshake, which makes Derek laugh and pull him in for a half-hug. Stiles settles on the stool next to him and thrums his fingers on the bar, leaning forward to try and see what’s on tap.

“You can try this one,” Derek says, pushing his pint glass toward him.

“Oh, shit, I’m not late, am I?” he asks. He goes to reach for his phone, but Derek stops him with a hand on his arm and a smirk.

“No, you’re fine. I was just early.”

“Oh,” Stiles says, clearing his throat. He takes a sip of Derek’s beer and licks his lips to get rid of the foam. “Oh, that’s good. Yeah, I’m gonna have one of those. Wait, you still can’t get drunk, right?” he asks lowly, and Derek shakes his head.

“No,” he says with a shrug. “Some of ‘em taste good, though.”

Derek easily flags down the bartender, probably a fact of life when you’re that good-looking. “Can we have another one of these?” he asks, gesturing to his own glass. “On my tab, please.”

“Sure,” she says, leaning forward. “ID?”

Blushing, Stiles digs in his pocket for his wallet. “Yeah, sure. I think I’m almost at the age where this is flattering instead of embarrassing, anyway.”

She grins as she hands back his ID, and Derek laughs. “How old are you now, anyway?” he asks, leaning over to peek at his license.

“Whoa, there, buddy,” Stiles says, holding it safely against his chest. “Stay away from the legal name. I’m 24.”

Derek laughs again and makes a show of leaning away. “Still keeping that a secret, huh?”

“Damn straight,” he says, taking a long swig of his beer when it shows up in front of him and licking the foam off his lips. “So how’s Cora?”

Derek’s smile has a fond tinge to it, and he nods. “She’s good, happy. She’s the reason we live here, actually.”

“Oh, yeah? How’d that happen? And where’d you guys go after Beacon Hills, anyway?”

“We just traveled around for a while.”

Stiles hummed. “Where was the best place you went?”

“Uh…the little towns in Spain, probably. And then in Italy, Cora met Paul,” Derek said, with a little roll of his eyes, and Stiles laughed.

“The reason you guys live in Portland, I’m assuming?”

Derek nodded. “Yeah. His family’s pack,” he says, dropping his voice to a whisper, “is based a little way out of the city. And they’re old friends of our family, actually. Small world.”

“That’s great. And it’s good?”

“Calm,” Derek says, his eyes crinkling at the edges. “It’s really nice.”

Calm?” Stiles repeats, his hand on his chest in mock surprise. “What a novelty.”

“Tell me about it,” he says with a snort. “How’s everyone? How’s your dad?”

“He’s good,” Stiles says, nodding with a little smile. “Yeah, he’s really good. He’s finally starting to at least think about retiring. He and Melissa got married, uh, last year, and they’re thinking of maybe moving up here somewhere. Scott and Kira live in Seattle.”

“Oh, yeah?”

Stiles nods. “They’re thinking of having kids within a couple years. But if anyone asks, you didn’t hear it from me.”

“My lips are sealed,” Derek says dryly.

“Uh, let’s see, who else—Lydia is in San Francisco, working for some biotech company and making an ungodly amount of money.”

“Good for her,” Derek says, chuckling into his glass. “Did, uh, did anything ever happen with you two?”

Stiles snorts and shakes his head. “Nope. Much better that way, believe me,” he says, and is it just wishful thinking, or does Derek look a little relieved? “Actually, would you like to hear something embarrassing?” Stiles asks before draining the last of his beer in one long swig for courage.


“Well,” he starts, decidedly avoiding Derek’s gaze as he methodically shreds the damp paper coaster that his pint glass had been sitting on, “you maybe were the reason that I realized I was bisexual back in high school. And, uh, by maybe, I absolutely mean most definitely.”

Stiles is a little bit afraid to look over at Derek right now, though at the very least he hasn’t run screaming from the bar. He sneaks a peek, finally, and while Derek isn’t looking at him either, he’s gazing down at his beer glass with a little smile.

“Truth be told,” he says eventually, after a little cough, “I’m glad you never told me that. Back then, I mean.”

“Hey,” Stiles protests. “Come on, that’s a little insulting.”

“That’s not what I mean,” he says, rolling his eyes. “I, uh, always thought you were kinda attractive.”

Stiles blinks. He…what? He had no idea Derek was ever interested in guys, like at all, and that definitely would have added a new element to his fantasies. Okay, let’s be honest, will add a new element—present tense is most definitely necessary, and he isn’t afraid to admit that Derek still pops up in his spank bank more often than not. “First of all,” he says flatly, “are you shitting me?”

Derek cocks an eyebrow—at least that’s familiar. “I am not shitting you, no.”

Stiles isn’t blessed with a werewolf lie detector, but considering that the tips of Derek’s ears are bright red, he’s inclined to believe him. “And second of all…kinda attractive?”

“Well, you were 17,” he says dryly, “so I hated myself a little bit.”

“What about now?” he blurts out. Derek chokes on a laugh, and yep, there go the ears again.

“I think you’re very well aware of how attractive you are.”

Stiles squirms a little on his bar stool—he’s comfortable with the fact that he’s grown into himself, so to speak, but he’s still not really used to people explicitly pointing it out. Especially when that person is Derek fucking Hale. “Yeah, well, you’re one to talk.”

Derek snorts and starts to say something in response, but the bartender leans between them and picks up their empty glasses. “You guys want another round?”

“Yeah, sure,” Derek says, looking to Stiles for confirmation. He nods immediately and scans the little menu of bar snacks.

“Definitely. You wanna split sweet potato fries with me?” he asks. Derek nods, so Stiles bumps their knees together as he turns back to the bartender. “Another round, plus sweet potato fries. On my tab this time, please,” he says, handing over his credit card.

“You got it.”

“I’ll be right back,” Derek says, standing up, and Stiles tries, probably poorly, to be inconspicuous with the way he watches Derek walk toward the back—yep, those pants make his ass look just as nice as he thought. Stiles turns back toward the bar with a sigh. He can’t decide whether this is torturously wonderful or just…torturous. He eats a couple fries when they come out, but they’re burning hot and he frantically fans at his open mouth.

Derek smirks at Stiles’ theatrics as he slides back into his seat, and if Stiles isn’t mistaken, their bar stools are closer together than they were before. “I can’t believe you’re laughing at my pain,” he complains, wincing as his tongue hits the sore spots on the roof of his mouth.

Derek just rolls his eyes and tugs Stiles’ forearm down under the bar, laying his hand on top of it. Stiles jerks at the foreign tugging sensation and looks down. Even in the dim light, he can see the black veins on the back of Derek’s hand before he pulls it away. “Better?”

Stiles clears his throat and braces himself against the weird woozy feeling that always happens when someone takes his pain. “Yeah. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome,” Derek says, then stuffs three fries into his mouth with a smirk, chewing obnoxiously. Stiles makes a face at him and uses his elbow to block him from the little basket.

“You’re different,” he says frankly because he can’t really ignore the elephant in the room anymore. Derek seems calm, for one, and already he’s smiled about a dozen times more than he had the entire time Stiles knew him before. Don’t even get Stiles started on the laughing. And the dimples, god. Who even knew Derek Hale had dimples? That should be illegal.

Said dimples are out in full-force as Derek smiles down at his glass. “That a bad thing?”

“No,” Stiles says quickly, probably too quickly. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, the whole scowling, leather jacket bad boy thing really worked for you.”

“I still wear leather sometimes,” Derek interjects, and Stiles laughs.

“I wouldn’t expect anything else.”

“So are you. Different, I mean,” Derek says, gesturing at him. “Steadier, more sure of yourself. It’s nice.”

Stiles flushes—why does his face have to get all blotchy and red while Derek blushes so sweetly?—and nods awkwardly.

“I did want to, uh, apologize,” Derek continues. “I’m sorry for leaving so abruptly. Back then.”

Stiles swallows, nods. It had sucked, there was no way around it. Derek had been a bit of a dick, sure, but he and Stiles had become sort of friends, and he hadn’t expected to miss him as much as he did when he was gone. “I missed you, you know,” he offers. “More than I thought I would.”

“I missed you, too,” he says softly, bumping his knee against Stiles’ and then leaving it pressed there.

“Are you glad you left?”

“Yes,” Derek says instantly. “I…I might have done some things differently with the way I left, but yeah. I really had to leave.”

“Then that’s all that matters,” he says honestly. “I’m really glad you’re happy, dude. Even though giving us a working cell phone number wouldn’t have been the worst thing.”

He elbows Derek in the side, trying to convey that although the sentiment is real he’s mostly joking, and Derek winces and nods. “I know. I just thought you all would be better off without me.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“So my therapist tells me,” Derek says dryly, and Stiles nearly chokes on his sip of beer.

“Your therapist,” he repeats, and Derek smirks.


Stiles blinks. Just the thought that Derek actually cares about his emotional health…is it wrong that that definitely turns him on?

Oh, god, he really is an adult.

Then he remembers that Derek can most definitely smell arousal, and that’s just… Stiles winces and closes his eyes. “That’s, uh,” he says dumbly, finally, “that’s great.”

Derek laughs, like he knows exactly what’s going on in Stiles’ head, and blessedly changes the subject. “I looked you up a couple times,” he admits, and Stiles hides the curve of his lips behind his glass.

“Oh, yeah?”

His ears are red again and he’s avoiding Stiles’ direct gaze, but he nods. “Yeah. I saw you went to Berkeley. That’s awesome, by the way. Congratulations.”

“Thanks,” he says softly. “I looked you up, too. Was pretty surprised when I never found anything, considering your lifelong dedication to building a robust web presence.”

Derek laughs and nods. “I should have put up a LinkedIn profile or something, just for you.”

“I would have assumed nothing less than demon possession,” Stiles says solemnly, partly to show that he can joke about it now. A little bit.

Derek just gives him a little look for a second, then moves his gaze away and clears his throat. “So what do you do now?”

Stiles waves his hand. “Oh, it’s boring.”

“Nothing about you is boring,” Derek says simply, and Stiles blinks.

“Oh,” he says, desperately trying to regain his mental footing, “uh, well, I got my degree, both bachelors and masters, in statistics, and now I work in predictive analytics. Big data, basically.”

“That’s cool,” Derek says, and at least he doesn’t look like he’s lying. “Like what?”

“I work for a consulting company, so I get to work on a lot of different projects, which is cool. We’re doing something with healthcare right now, which is finally getting started with all the big data stuff. Because those electronic records are getting more prolific, right? So we’re looking at all sorts of stuff, family history and test results, stuff like that, to try and predict heart disease earlier. It’s neat because—shit, sorry,” he says, running a hand through his hair and taking a sip of his beer to stop himself from talking. “I, uh, can get a little carried away.”

“I don’t mind,” Derek says, with that little smile. “That seems like something you’d be really good at, actually.”

Stiles flushes, though he has no idea why. “Yeah, well, trying to find patterns is kinda my thing. And it’s fun, believe it or not. What about you, what do you do?”

“I’m an architect.”

“You’re an architect?” he says, aghast, and Derek huffs a little amused laugh at his obvious surprise.

“Yeah. That’s what I was getting my degree in, back in New York.”

“Oh my god,” Stiles says, shaking his head. “How did I never know that about you?”

Derek shrugs. “We had bigger problems, I guess.”

“Understatement of the year,” he says with a snort.

“But yeah. I finished my degree and now I have my own firm. Just me, that is.”

“Dude, that’s awesome. Can you show me some of the things you’ve done?”

“Well, I don’t have them on me now,” he says dryly. “But yeah, I could show you some sketches sometime. Uh, if you want.”

“I definitely want,” he says, nodding, and Derek laughs.

“I, uh, hate to say this,” he says carefully, “but I have an early meeting in the morning and need to do some work tonight.”

Stiles pushes down the wave of disappointment and nods. That’s not a line, right? He’s pretty sure they’ve been having a nice time. “Yeah, yeah, of course.”

“Thanks for the beer.”

“Right back atcha, buddy.”

They close out their tabs, and Derek takes a hold of Stiles’ elbow to guide him through the crowd toward the door. Yeah, he’s pretty sure this went pretty well.

“Are you, uh, seeing anyone?” Derek asks once they’re outside, clearing his throat partway through, and Stiles doesn’t even try to bite back his smile.

“Nope,” he says, popping the p. “Free as a bird. What about you?”

Derek’s smile is smaller, certainly, but it’s still there. “No, I’m not either.”

He doesn’t say anything after that, and since he was the one to actually make the first move, Stiles figures he can take it the rest of the way. He pushes past the nervousness and wets his lips quickly. “Then would you like to go out to dinner with me sometime?”

Derek’s smile widens, and he ducks his head again. “Yeah. Yeah, I’d like that.”

“Awesome,” Stiles says, exhaling. “I would say how about tomorrow, but I’d like to come across as not too eager. So—Thursday?”

“Sure. Do you need an Uber home or anything?” Derek asks, and Stiles grins, as touched by Derek’s technological prowess as he is by his thoughtfulness.

“Nah, I live just a few blocks that way,” he says, pointing. “But thank you. Where do you live?”

“Arlington Heights. Only about a 15-minute walk.”

“Okay,” Stiles says, taking a reluctant step backward. “I’ll just, uh, be going then.”

Derek laughs and lifts a hand. Stiles isn’t ashamed to admit that he stands there and watches Derek walk away until he turns the corner.

Relax, relax, relax, Stiles chants in his head as he walks to the restaurant. This is no big deal, this is just a date. Sure, it’s the most excited he’s been for a date since…ever, probably, but still. No big deal. It’s just Derek.

He deferred to Derek in choosing the restaurant, since Stiles has lived in this city for all of three weeks, and he picked a cozy-looking place in Stiles’ neighborhood that he’s walked by several times.

Derek isn’t there yet when Stiles walks in, which isn’t too surprising considering that he’s arrived about six minutes early in his haste not to be late. He paces around the small waiting area, trying to resist the urge to run a hand through his hair and ruin the ten minutes he spent in front of the mirror, trying in vain to make it look artfully tousled instead of just regular tousled like usual.

Stiles’ gaze snaps over to the door when it opens, and if it weren’t so clichéd, he’d say that his heart stops for a second. Because Derek is walking toward him, grinning, and wow. Stiles is talking traffic-stopping levels of hot.

He swallows and manages to reboot his brain in time to respond when Derek reaches him and says hello. “Uh, hi. Hello there.”

Well, maybe not.

“Hi.” Derek rests one hand on his elbow and leans over to the maître d’. “Two for Hale at 8:15, please.”

“Of course,” the man says, grabbing two menus. “Right this way.”

“You look nice,” Derek whispers, keeping his hand on Stiles’ elbow as they’re led to their table.

“Thanks,” he whispers back. “You always look nice.”

For a minute, Stiles worries that Derek’s gonna try to pull out his chair or something—he’s not really sure how to handle that, etiquette-wise—but Derek just smirks at him as the maître d’ gestures to a private, high-backed booth.

It’s a nice restaurant, cozy with leather and wood everywhere, but thankfully isn’t too fancy. Stiles tends to feel somewhat out-of-place at restaurants like that, and it makes him twitchy. Even more so than normal. He remembers to put his napkin in his lap, at least.

“Are you nervous?” Derek says mildly, without lifting his eyes from the menu, and Stiles snorts.

“Are you spying on my heartbeat again?”

Derek smirks. “It’s just so easy,” he says dryly, and Stiles is tempted to throw a piece of bread at him.

“Tell me more about traveling around with Cora,” he asks instead. He wants to know, definitely, but he also wants to bask a little bit in the novelty of Derek actually talking about something innocuous and looking happy about it. Stiles listens attentively and laughs at the right places.

“What about the wolf thing?” he asks, his voice as quiet as he can make it.

“What about it?” Derek asks, raising an eyebrow, and Stiles laughs.

“The full shift, I mean. Can you still do that?” he asks, and Derek nods. “Do you do it very often?”

“Not really,” Derek says, shaking his head. “No real reason to, you know? But there are a few others in the pack who can do it, so we do sometimes.”

“Will you show me sometime?”

“Sure,” he says, with a little smile.

Their meals arrive then, and Stiles’ mouth waters as he looks down at his beef rib. It tastes even better than it looks, and he manages to stifle the appropriate groaning noises.

“These mashed potatoes are out of this world,” he says, twisting his plate and pushing it toward Derek. “Try.”

He tries Derek’s mussels in return, and even though he’s always been a little squirmy about shellfish, he has to admit that they’re pretty good.

Stiles stuffs himself, but he still leans forward to look at the little dessert menu that the waitress drops off. “Man, I’m so full. But they have molten chocolate cake, Derek.”

“We’ll have that,” he tells the waitress, then smirks at Stiles.

“I’ll finish whatever you don’t.”

Stiles holds him to it because he only manages about four bites of the cake when it comes. But honestly, the sight of Derek frowning when he gets chocolate in his beard is worth being a little overfull.

Derek snatches up the check before Stiles can and just smirks when he complains about it.

“But I asked you out,” Stiles protests. “Technically.”

“But I grabbed the check first,” Derek counters, and Stiles huffs, crossing his arms and slouching back in his seat.

“Probably cheated with your werewolf powers,” he mutters, and from Derek’s grin, Stiles knows he heard him. “But thank you. I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome. You can get the next one,” he says with a little smile, and Stiles is delighted that they seem to be on the same page.

Stiles is very aware of Derek’s hand hot and heavy on his low back as they weave their way through the restaurant and out the front door. He knows they’re gonna kiss, he just knows it, so instead of doing the whole will-they-won’t-they-who’s-gonna-do-it dance, he just pushes Derek up against the brick wall next to the restaurant and plants one on him. Derek smiles against his lips, and Stiles can’t help but smile back, even though that really just leads to a terrible kiss. Derek huffs a laugh before curving his palms around Stiles’ jaw to readjust their angle, and oh, yeah. There it is. That’s the kiss that Stiles has been dreaming of, off and on, for…longer than he’d care to admit, honestly.

It’s even better than the ones he’s dreamed of, actually, somehow both soft and hungry at the same time. Derek’s mouth is warm, despite the cold air, and his lips are eager as they slot perfectly onto Stiles’. One of them is making these little noises—Stiles hopes it’s Derek, but it’s probably him, let’s be real—and he can’t resist pressing forward to turn the kiss into something that probably shouldn’t be showcased on a very public street corner. Although…maybe exhibitionism will be Stiles’ new thing, now that he’s locking lips with someone as hot as Derek. He should probably think about that. Later, though, he reminds his dick, which is getting a little too interested in the process. He shifts his hips back politely and tries to pull his mouth back from Derek’s.

But Derek whines a little and holds him steady, which—whoa, ego trip right there, awesome. He presses forward even harder for a few seconds before finally breaking the kiss, mostly because he really needs some air. And speaking of an ego trip…Stiles is pretty sure he’s never seen Derek breathing hard, not like he is right now.

“I think there was garlic in my dinner,” Stiles whispers. “That’s probably not great for the werewolf senses.”

That’s not the best post-kiss talk, not at all, he can do better, but Derek just laughs and tugs him flush again. “I don’t mind,” he murmurs. Stiles can’t not kiss him after that, come on. He tries to make this one shorter, a little less obscene for any passersby, but he’s not sure how successful he is.

“I can’t get arrested for public indecency,” he gasps as he pulls away again, and Derek laughs.

“So I’m hoping that you want to do this again.”

“Yeah,” Stiles breathes, drifting forward toward Derek subconsciously. He realizes what he’s doing and clears his throat, putting a little more space in between them. “We definitely should. And you’re the Portland expert, so you should pick. What’s the must-do stuff, the stuff that I’ll get shamed for if I say I live here and haven’t done?”

Derek hums a little and tilts his head. “Have you been to Multnomah Falls yet?”

“I have no idea what that is,” Stiles admits, and Derek laughs.

“It’s a famous waterfall, and there’s a nice hike. That sound good?”

“That sounds great. I don’t, uh, have hiking boots or anything, though,” he says, but Derek just shrugs.

“As long as you have decent running shoes, you should be fine.”

“Awesome. This weekend?”

Derek nods. Stiles can’t let him go without a kiss—in fact, if this is a thing that they’re doing now, he’s pretty sure he won’t be able to go half an hour in Derek’s presence ever again without kissing him. Derek’s hand rucks up under his coat and his shirt, and while Stiles braces for the shock of cold, his hand is deliciously warm. He groans, more in surprise than anything, really, and moves his decidedly-colder hand to Derek’s neck.

“Okay,” Derek says, swallowing as he removes his hand and pushes back. “The public decency thing, you were right.”

He laughs, a little hysterically, and plants a firm kiss on Derek’s cheek, thoroughly enjoying the scratch of stubble under his lips. “Okay. This weekend.”

“Yep,” Derek says, but he doesn’t budge.

“You’re not moving.”

He looks down pointedly. “You’re pressing me against this wall.”

Stiles rolls his eyes as he backs away. “Yeah, like that’s a challenge for you.”

“I don’t want to push you around,” he says softly. “Unless it’s a consensual thing.”

Jesus Christ. Stiles can’t stop the little groan that punches out of him at that, and he sags back against Derek. “Okay, we can talk about that later.”

Derek huffs a little laugh and gently maneuvers him back a few steps. “Text me when you get home.”

Normally, Stiles would make fun of him for being overprotective, but he’s too giddy—and too aroused, honestly—to even argue about it.

Stiles leans back in his desk chair, thoroughly satisfied as he watches the emotions play out on Scott’s face in the Skype window.

Derek?” he repeats, aghast. Stiles throws his head back with a laugh because he’s not even completely used to it himself, and to be honest, he’s a bit giddy.

“Derek,” he confirms.

“You and Derek,” Scott says again. “Went out on a date.”

Two dates,” Stiles corrects. Because yeah, now he’s totally counting their first meeting as a date. “And we kissed.”

“With tongue?” he asks, and Stiles rolls his eyes.

“What are you, 13? Yes, with tongue. It was fucking great,” he says, and Scott laughs. “And he is somehow even hotter than he was before. I did not know that was possible.”

Scott smiles gamely and gives him a thumbs-up. “Glad to hear it, man. And you two just ran into each other on the street?”

Stiles nods. “Almost literally.”

“Like something out a movie,” Scott says, his gaze going a little dreamy, and Stiles chokes on a laugh.

“Yeah,” he says dryly. Minus the werewolves and the hunters and the rest of the murderous drama. “Exactly like that.”

“Does anyone else know?”

“No,” Stiles says, shaking his head. “It’s new, you know? And I don’t even know what’s gonna happen between us.”

“Yeah, but what do you want to happen?” Scott asks knowingly, and Stiles flushes.

“Shut up.”

“Oh, it’s that bad already, huh?” Scott asks, grinning, and Stiles wishes he weren’t 200 miles away so he could throw a pillow at him or something. “White picket fence and 2.5 kids?”

Stiles groans and thunks his forehead on the desk. “Maybe 1.5 kids,” he admits, raising his voice so Scott could hear him. “I don’t want more than two.”

Scott laughs. “Man, you are in deep. So will we be seeing Derek in Beacon Hills for Christmas?”

Stiles lifts his head and shakes it frantically. “No way, dude. I’m definitely not subjecting him to the wrath of my dad this soon. And I’m sure he has plans, anyway.”

“Your dad doesn’t hate Derek!” Scott exclaims, and Stiles gives him a flat look.

“Yeah, maybe not anymore, but I bet his feelings will change once he finds out that we’re dating.”

“Can I be there when you tell him?” he asks eagerly, and Stiles rolls his eyes.

“You taking pleasure in my pain hurts, Scotty,” he says dramatically, one hand over his heart. “It hurts.”

It’s Scott’s turn to roll his eyes, and then he cocks his head, like he’s listening for something. The expression never fails to make Stiles laugh. “I gotta go, man. See you soon?”

“Less than two weeks,” Stiles confirms, shooting him the finger guns.

“Tell Derek I say hi!” he calls out, but Stiles ends the call with a huff before Scott’s smirk can get too wide.

Derek leans against the passenger side of his car and yawns, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jacket and watching his breath steam in front of him. It’s a typical December day in Portland, cloudy and misty, not unlike it was when Derek ran into Stiles for the first time last week. The memory is still vivid in his head, the quick heartbeat—still familiar after all these years—that caught his attention on that street corner. He could hardly believe it at the time, wasn’t at all prepared for the memory onslaught it evoked, and honestly, he’s not much better now. Derek had certainly liked Stiles before, in a quiet, kind of offhand way that was easily overpowered by Stiles’ age and the terrible circumstances that they were all in, but now…now it just seems to fit.

The prospect of such happiness isn’t as terrifying as it would have been before—he’s grown a lot over the past six years, after all—but actually reaching out for something he really wants still isn’t exactly his forte. But for Stiles’ sake, and certainly his own, he’ll try.

Stiles emerges from the building Derek’s parked in front of and jogs down the front steps, looking energetic despite the fairly early hour. He’s wearing jeans and a hoodie, with a dark gray beanie pulled down over his ears, and he’s grinning. Derek can’t stop himself from smiling back.

He stops short right in front of Derek, looking a little hesitant, so Derek huffs a little and wraps a hand around the back of his neck. Stiles stumbles forward, but he’s smiling, and Derek catches his weight as he guides them into a kiss.

“Hey,” Stiles whispers against his lips, sucking on his lower lip for a minute before he pulls back. “Ooh, no more mom car.”

“Yeah, if you live in Portland you have to have a Suburu, it’s kind of a rule. Do you still have the Jeep?” he asks, and Stiles’ face falls.

“No. Roscoe has officially been retired. Man, that was a great car.”

“Roscoe was special,” Derek says, trying to keep a solemn face, but Stiles spots the sarcasm and smacks him on the shoulder.

“Hey, no speaking ill of the dead, buddy. I transported your furry ass many times in that thing.”

“True,” he admits. “You ready?”

Stiles hums and ducks in for one more kiss, long and sweet, before pulling back with a grin. “Yeah, let’s go.”

Derek shakes his head a little while he rounds the front of the car, mentally preparing himself to be enclosed in a small space with Stiles and how fucking nice he smells. Did he smell that good before? Derek’s pretty sure he would have remembered that.

“Is one of these for me?” Stiles says, gesturing to the two paper coffee cups in the center console, and when Derek nods, he grabs one greedily and takes a deep inhale. “Good. If you’re making me get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning, then you better be plying me with caffeine.”

Derek rolls his eyes as he carefully pulls out of his parking spot and heads for the highway. “It’s hardly the crack of dawn. The hiking crowds are worse on the weekends, so you’ll thank me later.”

“You’ll thank me later if I fall asleep right now,” Stiles mumbles, leaning his temple against the window.

“That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Shh,” Stiles says, smiling around the edge of his cup.

The half-hour drive is pleasant. Despite his threats Stiles doesn’t fall asleep, but he does fiddle with the radio, singing along to some objectively terrible pop songs while Derek winces.

The little hike up to the falls is even more pleasant, especially because the caffeine seems to have hit Stiles, turning him into his normal, energetic self. They continue to catch up on the years they missed, Stiles telling Derek all about his years in Berkeley while Derek tries to counter with some of his stories from his and Cora’s travels.

The trail gets steep in places, and Derek gladly lets Stiles go in front of him. It’s most definitely a safety thing just in case Stiles trips, not so that Derek can stare at his ass.


70-30, at least.

They finally make it to the top, and while the view is as amazing as always, Derek isn’t ashamed to admit that he looks at Stiles more than he looks at the waterfall. It’s windy, the mist and the spray blowing in their faces, and Stiles happily huddles under Derek’s arm, tucking his face into Derek’s shoulder. Derek’s hands are usually warm—werewolf metabolism has some perks—and he has to swallow hard against the somewhat obscene moan he unwittingly elicits when he curls them around Stiles’ neck.

Stiles practically skips down the mountain—a higher level of surefootedness is only one of the ways he’s changed—and even drags Derek off the trail and behind a tree for a solid five minutes of making out. The bark of the tree scratches, even through his jacket, and Derek has to bite his lip to stifle a laugh when Stiles loudly shushes him, as a large family walks up the trail. He feels for a little while like the free-spirited teenager he never really got a chance to be, and his cheeks hurt from smiling more than he has in ages.

Stiles makes a dramatic, outlandish plea for brunch once they’re back in the car, and Derek drives them to a restaurant and watches him put away an omelet and bacon and home fries. The appetite’s clearly one of the things that hasn’t changed.

Stiles grabs the check before Derek can even reach for it, and he’s smiling so triumphantly that Derek can’t even make himself protest. All in all, it’s a pretty fucking good day.

“I don’t wanna go,” Stiles whines, and Derek presses a smile to his neck.

“Of course you want to go back to Beacon Hills for Christmas, come on.”

“But I don’t want to leave you. We haven’t even gotten to the good stuff!”

“Oh, yeah?” Derek says, tugging Stiles a little closer on his lap and enjoying the way it makes his pupils dilate. “This isn’t the good stuff?”

Stiles huffs and rolls his eyes, making Derek laugh. He reaches behind himself and fumbles for a bag of chips on Derek’s desk, popping them open and giving one to Derek.

“Thanks for bringing the sandwiches,” Derek says, and Stiles feeds him another chip.

“Of course, it’s our goodbye lunch. I’m sorry we haven’t seen each other much over the past week.”

Derek snorts. “It’s as much my fault as it is yours.”

They’ve both been busy at work, trying to finish things up before the holiday, and as a consequence, they’ve only managed to get together a few times for quick lunches or drinks. And as Stiles likes to point out at every possible opportunity, they haven’t had sex yet. Which requires inhuman levels of restraint, according to him, and well…Derek can’t bring himself to disagree.

“I’m gonna miss you,” Stiles says, his mouth full, and Derek smiles in spite of himself.

“I’ll miss you, too.”

“What are your Christmas plans?” he asks, and Derek shrugs.

“Cora was planning to come over with her boyfriend for lunch on Christmas,” he says. “But that’s it, she’s spending most of the holiday with his family. I don’t really have any other plans.”

“And what about New Year’s?”

“You’re back the 30th, right?” he asks, and Stiles nods. “Then nothing except for the plans I have with you.”

Stiles grins. “I would like to have sex, please. Do you think we can manage a simultaneous orgasm as the clock strikes midnight?”

Derek rolls his eyes, partially to hide his strong knee-jerk reaction to having any kind of orgasm in the vicinity of Stiles. “That sounds like a very unrealistic expectation.”

Or,” Stiles says, squeezing his knees around Derek’s hips. “It sounds like a good goal to strive for. Plus, you know what they say…whatever you’re doing at midnight will set the tone for the rest of the year.”

“Oh, really?” Derek asks, leaning forward. “So this is what you want to be doing next year?”

Derek’s mouth is dragging up Stiles’ neck, and he’s not sure whether the choked noise he evokes is due to his words or his tongue. “Ye—yeah. Totally. Don’t you?”

There was a little too much hesitation in those words for Derek’s comfort, so he pulls back and plants a solid kiss on Stiles’ lips before looking him straight in the eye. “Yeah, of course I do.”

“Good,” Stiles says, relief tinting his scent as he presses their foreheads together. “Because I pretty much just realized that we hadn’t really had the whole relationship talk, you know, so—”

“What do we need to talk about?” Derek interrupts, returning his attentions to Stiles’ neck. “This isn’t really my area of expertise.”

“What, talking about your feelings?” Stiles snarks, jerking with a little yelp when Derek bites down.

“Yeah. That.”

“Well. People generally discuss whether they’re, you know, exclusive.”

Derek snorts. The idea of him dating anyone else is absurd, and he says as much. Stiles seems pleasantly surprised, which is ridiculous.

“I, uh, shit, I don’t wanna date anyone else either,” he says, spreading his legs to scoot closer on Derek’s lap.

“Good,” Derek mutters as he carefully sucks a mark above Stiles’ collarbone, making sure that it would be hidden by the neckline of most shirts.

“Fuck, come here,” Stiles says, fisting his hand in Derek’s hair and tugging him up. Derek goes easily and tilts his head up, grabbing the bag of chips that’s still between them and tossing it to the ground.

Stiles kisses him like it’s a goodbye and a promise rolled into one, deep and biting and sweet all at the same time. Derek leans back in his chair a little, letting Stiles fall against him. The weight of him in his lap is heady and pleasant and grounding, and Derek wants to keep him there forever.

But he catches sight of the clock on the wall and plants one more biting kiss on the underside of Stiles’ jaw. “We should stop.”

Stiles groans, but he disentangles himself from Derek’s lap immediately and perches on the edge of his desk instead. “You’re so responsible.”

“No,” Derek corrects. “I just have a very important meeting in 15 minutes, and I probably shouldn’t have an erection when they get here.”

Stiles laughs and hooks his foot through the arm of Derek’s desk chair to roll him closer to the desk. “So if it weren’t for the meeting…”

“Then I would not be responsible,” he finishes, running his hands up Stiles’ thighs and making him laugh again. He hops off the desk and leans down into Derek’s space.

“Good to know,” he murmurs. “But I should go, before I’m tempted to see exactly what we could do in 15 minutes.”

Derek stifles a laugh and stands up to guide Stiles toward the door, lest he suffer from the same temptation. “It will be much better when we have more time.”

“Mmm,” he says, his eyes glazing over a little bit. “Okay, I’m gonna hold you to that.”

“Gladly. Have a safe flight, stay in touch, say hi to everyone for me.”

“I will.” His smile is soft, and he leans in to plant an even softer kiss on Derek’s lips. “Merry Christmas, Derek.”

Derek’s phone rings the next afternoon while he’s still at the office, and he tosses aside his ruler, wiping his smudgy fingers on his jeans before reaching for it. The display says Stiles, and he frowns—Stiles only texts, he barely ever calls. “Hello?”

“Hey, Derek,” he says, and at least he sounds fairly normal. Not hurt or panicked in any way, and Derek relaxes a little.

“What’s up?”

The frustration in his sigh comes through crystal clear on the phone. “Thanks to this surprise fucking snowstorm, my flight back to California got cancelled.”

Derek grimaces. Portland is not at all accustomed to snow, and he’s not surprised that the current storm is messing with the flights. “That’s awful. Did you get rebooked on another one?”

“Yeah,” he says glumly, “but not ‘til the 26th.”

“Shit. I’m really sorry,” Derek says. He knows how much Stiles loves Christmas and how much he was looking forward to seeing his dad.

“Listen, I know this is really presumptuous, but—”

“You should come over,” Derek interrupts. He’s pretty sure that’s where Stiles was going, anyway. “Spend Christmas at my place.”

There’s silence on the other line for a few seconds. “Are you sure? I mean, I know we just started dating…”

“I mean it, of course you should come. If you want to.”

“Okay,” Stiles says, sounding relieved. “Okay, good. I’d really like that, actually.”

Derek smiles, even though there isn’t anyone there to see it. “Good. Me too. When do you want to come over?”

“Uh…tonight?” Stiles hedges, and Derek smiles again. “Or if that’s—”

“Tonight is great,” he says. It’s the 23rd, which means they’ll have two full days together before Stiles has to leave. “I’ll make dinner.”

“Awesome. I will take care of the holiday decorations because I’m sure you don’t have nearly enough.”

Derek laughs, thinking of his somewhat-sparsely decorated apartment, and nods. “Okay.”

“And I know that before we said no gifts, but now…”

“I actually already broke that rule,” he admits, thinking of the small box in his closet. “I was going to give it to you when you got back.”

Stiles laughs. “Well, thank god because I got a gift for you, too. But I might get a couple more just so we have some things to open, you know?”

Small things,” Derek stresses. “Don’t spend too much money on me.”

“Dude, I make bank,” he says with a scoff. “I will spend as much money on you as I want.”

Derek sighs, but he’s smiling. “Fine. I’ll see you tonight?”

“I’ll be there by seven,” Stiles promises, and Derek exhales as he hangs up the phone. He’s had some decent Christmases in the past few years, with Cora and various members of their new pack, but he’s suddenly really looking forward to this one.

He hurries through the rest of the work he needs to finish and then packs up a few things in his bag to take home. The snow, which was annoying this morning, is suddenly a pleasant addition to the holiday atmosphere. The late afternoon sky is dark and heavy, and the snow muffles the sounds of the city as it blankets the streets and drapes over everyone’s holiday decorations.

Portland is thankfully teeming with random little boutiques and stores, so it doesn’t take long at all for Derek to find a few little gifts for Stiles. The grocery store is packed because of the storm, but Derek manages to get everything he needs without too many aggressive elbows thrown his way.

When he gets back to his apartment, he looks around with a discerning eye. He’s a little bit of a neat freak and thankfully doesn’t have to do much tidying, but he still picks up and changes the sheets on the bed, tossing the current ones in the wash and replacing them with his slightly nicer set. He does have a guest room, but he can’t really imagine Stiles using it. Still, he doesn’t want to presume, so he makes sure that room is clean, too, with fresh towels in the bathroom.

Dinner is easy enough to throw together, and around 6:30, Derek frowns as he looks out the window at the snow still falling. He doubts that Stiles’ Prius is all that trustworthy in the snow, so he finds his phone.

Do you want me to pick you up?

Nah, don’t worry about it. It’s not that far, I’ll walk.

I’m coming to get you. Be ready in 15 minutes.

Derek gets a frowning emoji in response, but since that’s not an actual no, he ignores it.  The roads are mostly empty and barely plowed when he heads out, and he’s never been more thankful for the Suburu’s four-wheel drive.

Stiles is waiting by the curb when Derek pulls up, with a duffle bag slung over his shoulder and a large, overflowing paper bag in his arms. He dumps both in the back and slings himself into the front seat, leaning over for an eager kiss. His skin is damp from the snow, and Derek shivers when a small clump of ice slides into his beard.

“Thanks for coming to pick me up,” Stiles says as he holds his hands in front of the vents. Derek cranks the heat up a notch. “You didn’t have to do that.”

“It’s a mess out here,” Derek says, peering through the windshield as he concentrates.

“Aw, does the big bad wolf wanna protect me?” he asks, grinning, and Derek rolls his eyes, even though he can feel the corner of his mouth twitching.

“Shut up.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” he says, sounding smug, and Derek doesn’t bother to correct him.

The very second they walk over the threshold into Derek’s apartment, Stiles drops his bag and shoves Derek back up against the door, tugging him into a kiss. Derek opens his mouth, more due to surprise than anything, and Stiles takes full advantage by taking the kiss deeper. Derek vaguely registers the thud as he releases his grip on Stiles’ duffle bag and lets it fall to the ground. Stiles notices, though, and smiles into the kiss while he nudges the bag out of the way with his foot.

Derek’s hands sweep up Stiles’ back and come around to cup his chilled cheeks, tilting his head in an effort to regain a little control of the situation. He gasps for breath when Stiles pulls away, ducking down and fruitlessly trying to suck a mark into Derek’s neck.

“Oh, so is this what we’re doing now?” he asks, not surprised when his voice comes out a little rougher than normal.

Stiles chokes on a laugh as he fiddles with the zipper and then pushes Derek’s jacket off his shoulders. “Fuck yeah it is. You complaining?”

Derek shakes his head, yanking Stiles’ thick hoodie up and off in lieu of an answer. His hair looks ridiculous, and Derek can’t stifle the smirk. “Bed?” he asks, slipping his hands under Stiles’ ass and squeezing hard enough to lift him off the ground an inch.

“Too far. Couch,” Stiles counters, and Derek nods, even as they’re kissing.


He steers them in that direction, and Stiles lets out a little gasp of laughter as he suddenly falls back onto it. He makes grabby motions at Derek, his hands going up and under his shirt almost immediately. Somehow their shirts and pants come off—Derek’s a little too busy kissing Stiles to pay attention to how it happens, but he knows there’s a lot of fumbling and groping, and all in all it’s far more graceless than he’d like to admit.

Derek yanks on Stiles’ hips to tug him down further on the couch and situates himself in between his legs, bracing one foot on the floor for balance. It’d be easier if Derek asked him to move, to sit up instead, but he just can’t resist the image of Stiles completely sprawled out, shameless, on his couch.

And it looks even better in person than it had in his head, Stiles’ broad shoulders and long legs taking up all that space. He tugs Stiles’ briefs off, tossing them somewhere, and leans down to brace one elbow next to Stiles’ hip. He takes a minute to just look, ignoring Stiles’ increasingly-impatient sounds, and takes in his trim stomach, the cut of his hips, and that tempting happy trail that leads straight to a very nice dick. Said dick jumps a little when Derek wraps his hand around it, and he grins, making Stiles laugh.

Derek remembers basically nothing of the technique involved from the few times he’s done this before, but he does know that enthusiasm counts for a whole hell of a lot. Plus, Stiles looks halfway to gone already, his eyes wide and his hair a mess. His mouth is hanging open as he stares down at Derek, and he swallows visibly.

“You don’t h—”

His voice trails off into a rough groan when Derek wraps his lips around the tip and sucks. One of Stiles’ hands flies down to Derek’s shoulder, holding him with a harsh grip that he really wishes could bruise.

“Oh, fuck, Derek,” he says, his voice deeper than it was just a minute ago. “Holy shit, oh my—”

He tries to be liberal with the spit—he remembers that part, at least—and manages a halfway-decent rhythm, he thinks, with his lips and tongue on the head and his hand on the rest. Stiles squirms a little and ends up slinging one leg over Derek’s shoulder to give them more space. Derek immediately curls his free hand around his thigh, loving the weight of it and the fact that Stiles is holding him down just as much as Derek is.

Stiles makes noises, just like Derek hoped he would, a steady stream of bitten-off grunts and groans mixed with exaltations that might be Derek’s name. The intervals between them start to shorten, and that combined with his tightening grip on Derek’s shoulder gives him a pretty good indication as to where this is going.

He seems pretty fucking close so Derek speeds up, sucking a little harder and focusing the attentions of his tongue on the underside of Stiles’ dick. His hand moves to Derek’s hair, tugging, but he doesn’t budge when Stiles arches up a few seconds later with a hoarse cry and comes in his mouth.

It’s not pleasant, but it’s certainly not the worst thing ever, and Derek swallows a couple times after he pulls off and while he tries to get his breath back.

“Oh my god, get up here,” Stiles rasps, but Derek barely manages to brace himself on one arm before he has to shove his briefs down and get a hand around his dick. “Holy shit, you’re just gonna…Jesus that’s hot.”

“Keep talking,” he gets out, barely. It’s sensory overload, with the scent and the taste and the everything of Stiles around him and on him and in him, and Derek will be lucky if he lasts another 30 seconds.

Stiles laughs, a breathless, delighted sound, and curls himself up, hanging off Derek’s neck with one arm as he ducks down for a clumsy kiss. “You are so fucking beautiful, you know that, right? I cannot believe that you are here with me, and I cannot fucking wait to do anything and everything that you’ll let me.”

That does it, and Derek wrenches his eyes open just in time to watch himself spill over Stiles’ stomach. He enjoys the sight, maybe a little than he should, for a few seconds before it hits him that he didn’t exactly ask for permission, and he jerks his gaze up, his eyes wide and hopefully apologetic.

“Shit, sorry I—”

Stiles just laughs again, though, and tugs him down, smearing his come between them. “Dude, don’t even. I am planning to get exceedingly familiar with your come in basically every way possible, so please, feel free to come on me wherever and whenever you want.”

Derek laughs, even as he can feel it starting to stick between them. “Okay.”

“You are, uh, really heavy, though.”

Derek rolls his eyes and then worms his arm underneath Stiles to flip them in one quick move.

Stiles grins down at him. “Fancy.”

It’s silent between them for a few minutes, and Derek lets himself stare up at Stiles, cataloguing the sharp planes of his face. He was certainly attractive before, but now he’s just…remarkably handsome, actually.

“I like this much better, not gonna lie,” Stiles says, scratching through Derek’s chest hair.

“Yeah?” he asks, with a lazy smile, and Stiles nods.

“Totally. I mean,” he adds hurriedly, “not that it matters. Your body, your decision. But, if I had a vote, you know, hypothetically, this is what I would vote for.”

“Good to know,” he murmurs, his eyes slipping closed. He settles in a hazy half-doze for a few minutes until Stiles suddenly groans and drops his forehead to Derek’s shoulder.

“Oh, god. Man, I made you do all the work, I’m the worst. B+, Stilinski.”

Derek blinks. “Did you just give yourself a sex grade?” he asks, and Stiles nods.


“And a B+?”

He nods again. “As a preliminary assessment, yep. I, again, was lazy and made you do all the work, so that’s bad. But I managed to land you, which is remarkable, and you did come, so I must not be completely revolting. But I do have got a lot to live up to, though, you know, with your, uh,” he says, gesturing widely, “your everything. So my grading scale might need to get tougher.”

“You’re really chatty after sex,” he observes, and Stiles laughs.

“Is that surprising? And don’t take it as an insult to your manhood, or whatever, that you didn’t fuck me into silence because that was literally the best sex that I’ve ever had, and here I am, babbling away.”

Derek opens his mouth to refute that—because there’s no way that one measly blow job from an admittedly-rusty Derek was the best sex of Stiles’ life—when he pauses and realizes that there was zero skip in Stiles’ heartbeat. He closes his mouth, dumbly, and Stiles grins down at him. “I didn’t lie, did I?”

“No,” he mutters, and Stiles laughs.

“So,” he says, lifting his head and making a show of looking around. “You have a nice apartment.”

Derek laughs. “Yeah, I could tell you were real interested.”

“Well,” he admits, “I was a little distracted by the immediate prospect of nakedness. But now I wanna see. Gimme a tour.”

They eventually manage to unstick themselves and get cleaned up a little. Derek likes his apartment—it’s open and airy with a lot of hardwoods—and Stiles seems to take the most interest in his home office. Derek spends most of his working hours at his little office downtown, but it’s nice to have somewhere else comfortable to work on the weekends and when he doesn’t feel like leaving his apartment.

Stiles walks around, taking in the few framed photos on the wall and trailing his fingers over everything. “Ooh, what’s this one?” he asks, reaching for the large sketchbook on the desk, and Derek must make some kind of noise in response because Stiles withdraws his hand and looks up at him. “Private? I won’t look.”

Derek wrinkles his nose and lifts a hand to rub at his neck. “It’s silly. You can look at it, though.”

“I bet it’s not silly,” he says, picking up the book carefully and sitting down in Derek’s chair. He spins idly. “Tell me.”

“It’s uh,” Derek says, swallowing as he perches on the edge of his desk, “it’s my house. Well, the house I want to design and build. Someday. I’ve been working on it for years.”

Stiles opens the cover gingerly, and it sends a strange tickle through Derek that he’s treating his silly book with so much care. “Wow,” he breathes, flipping through the first few pages. “These are amazing, Derek.”

“They’re not real blueprints, obviously,” he adds quickly. “Just sketches.”

“Still amazing. Does it look like your old house?” Stiles asks softly.

“Uh, parts of it.”

Derek’s instinct tells him to stop there, but he covers Stiles’ hand with his own and flips forward a few pages. “I had a bay window just like this in my room, with a little window seat where I liked to read.”

Stiles grins up at him, the same way he does whenever Derek shares something that he normally wouldn’t. It’s soft and impossibly fond, and it makes Derek want to talk more.

The moment is broken when Stiles’ stomach grumbles audibly, and he stares down at it with a frown in his face. “Guess it’s dinner time,” he says, standing up and setting the book carefully on the desk before stepping in between Derek’s legs. “I wanna look more at that later.”

“Whenever you want,” Derek says, and he means it.

They eat the lasagna that Derek made earlier, and Stiles puts on Die Hard—“of course it’s a Christmas movie, Derek, don’t even try to argue with me”—while they rummage through the decorations that Stiles brought.

“Why do you have three rolls of wrapping paper?” Derek asks, holding them up. “How many presents did you buy?”

“Dude, everyone knows you have to have different ones. It looks lame when all the presents are wrapped in the same paper.”

“Well, we wouldn’t want it to look lame,” he says dryly, and Stiles laughs. Derek’s decorations are limited to a little tabletop Christmas tree on the coffee table, and Stiles adds a little star to the top, as well as a string of tinsel. Derek jerks when he sees the mistletoe, and Stiles laughs.

“It’s fake!” he says. “Give me some credit, I don’t want to actually poison you.”

“Did you think you needed an excuse to kiss me?”

“I mean,” Stiles says, shrugging offhandedly, “it couldn’t hurt, just in case you—”

Derek snags him around the waist and shows him exactly how wrong he is.

The first thought that registers in Derek’s mind, before he even opens his eyes, is bacon. He sniffs again, just to be sure, and then finally looks around the room. The smell wafting into his bedroom is heavenly, but it still doesn’t make up for the cold, empty bed.

Derek’s arm is stretched out, as if he’s trying to cuddle something that’s not there, over on Stiles’ side—oh god, he’s already thinking of it as his side. He groans and rolls out of bed, scrounging on the floor for a pair of underwear. His own, he thinks, as he looks down at them.

He pads down the hallway as quietly as he can manage, hoping to sneak up on Stiles. Derek reaches the kitchen doorway and smiles automatically at the sight of him, at the stove and moving his hips while he sings along to one of those horrendous radio stations that plays holiday music 24/7 in December. Derek clears his throat, and Stiles whirls around, his spatula held high.

“Holy shit. I really should get you a bell or something.”

“That would take all the fun out of it,” he says mildly. “Good morning.”

“Morning. Aren’t you cold?”

Derek looks down at himself and shrugs. “Not really, I run hot. Are you cold? I can turn the heat up.”

Stiles shakes his head and turns back to the stove as Derek sidles up behind him. “Just so long as you don’t mind me scrounging around in your closet.”

Derek smirks at the sight of Stiles wearing his hoodie and a pair of his plaid pajama pants. “Anytime,” he murmurs into the skin behind Stiles’ ear. Derek slides a hand up under Stiles’ layers and scratches his stomach, his pinky just dipping underneath the waistband.

“Whoa, there, bucko. As much as I love sex with you—and believe me, I do—I also love food. And it’s been longer since I’ve eaten than since I’ve had sex, so…”

“Who said anything about sex?”

“My dick did,” Stiles says, wiggling his ass back against the cradle of Derek’s hips. “Just like it does anytime you touch me.”

Derek laughs and takes a step back, peering over Stiles’ shoulder at the two pans he’s got going, one with bacon and one with eggs. “What can I do?”

“Uh, you have bread? For toast?”

Derek nods and takes care of it, then peels a couple oranges. Stiles clearly already figured out the coffee machine, so he pours himself a cup and tops off Stiles’.

As soon as the burners get turned off, Derek curls an arm around Stiles’ waist and turns him around. They’ve been awake together for about 10 minutes, which is way too long without a good morning kiss. He rectifies that immediately, but after a minute Stiles pulls back with a jerk and looks over Derek’s shoulder. “Shit, the toast.”

Derek grimaces and whirls around toward the toaster, ignoring the slight pain in his hands as he removes the bread. A little black around the edges, but not too bad. “Sorry.”

“Well-done toast, just how I like it,” Stiles says with a smile, then adds solemnly, “and my tongue is sorry for distracting you.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet,” Derek snorts.

“I’m surprised me banging around in here didn’t wake you up.”

“Yeah, me too,” Derek says, yawning. He must be more comfortable with Stiles in his space than even he thought.

They eat on the couch and watch Christmas Vacation, which morphs into Home Alone. Derek isn’t usually one to lounge on the couch and watch TV for hours, but with Stiles laying on top of him, he’s pretty sure he could get used to anything.

Eventually, Stiles declares that he must smell gross—Derek begs to differ—and drags them into Derek’s bathroom.

“This is a sex shower,” Stiles gasps. “Holy shit, I can’t believe you have a sex shower.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “It’s not a sex shower.”

“Uh, yeah,” he says with a scoff, gesturing. “It’s huge, and you have two showerheads, Derek, Jesus fuck.”

“Still not a sex shower.”

“And why not?”

“Because I’ve never had sex in it,” he says primly, and Stiles’ eyes light up.

“Well, by that criteria, it’s gonna be a sex shower in about three minutes,” he says, his voice muffled underneath the t-shirt that he’s pulling over his head. Derek busies himself by flipping on the water. He leans against the counter and watches Stiles undress while the shower slowly fills with steam.

He emerges from all his clothes, looking absolutely perfect naked in the soft light of Derek’s bathroom, and laughs when he looks over at Derek. “Do you not understand the concept of a sex shower?” Stiles says, smiling indulgently as he walks over and slides his palms up Derek’s ribs under his shirt. “You’re not really meeting the dress code.”

He lifts his arms obediently, and Stiles laughs again as he tugs his shirt up and off. The sweatpants soon follow. “How hot do you like your water?” he asks, and Stiles tilts his head.

“I feel like I could find an innuendo in there if I really tried, but I’m gonna drop it in favor of more fun things we could be doing right now. Scalding, by the way, for the water.”

“Good,” Derek says, shifting the temperature to where he usually sets it. He steps in first and helps Stiles in behind him before closing the glass door.

He half-expects Stiles to just shove him up against the wall right away, but instead he ducks under the water for a second and grabs the shampoo, humming a little tune. He washes Derek’s hair, rubbing his hair through the strands for a little longer than necessary, and Derek knows he’s making a little mohawk. He glares, but Stiles just grins at him.

“It’s very fetching, don’t worry,” he says, laughing. “But you probably shouldn’t let anyone else see you like this because turns out, it’s basically impossible to be intimidating with a shampoo mohawk.”

“I could probably manage,” he says, letting his fangs out and snapping a little in the direction of Stiles’ fingers. He grins and doesn’t even move away, just reaches for Derek’s shoulder and yanks him closer to the spray.

“Close your eyes.”

Derek wants to point out that he isn’t exactly bothered by shampoo in his eye, but Stiles sounds so soft and earnest that he swallows the words and closes his eyes instead. Stiles’ long fingers feel heavenly scratching through his hair as he washes the shampoo out, and Derek shivers at the dizzying feeling. He finally pulls back and opens his eyes, blinking away the water, and Stiles’ face is even softer than before.

Derek reaches for the shampoo in order to return the favor, but Stiles stops him with a hand on his chest and a little wink. He forgoes a washcloth in favor of pouring some body wash into his hand, rubbing them together to create some lather. He gets his hands all over Derek, starting at his neck and rubbing down each arm, covering his chest and his back and his stomach with long, sure strokes.

Derek is fully hard by the time those hands even get near his hips, and Stiles grins up at him when he realizes it. He keeps washing him, though, skirting around his dick and even, Jesus, kneeling carefully to scrub Derek’s legs. He takes his time with Derek’s ass, and by the time he’s done, Derek is breathing hard and having to lock his knees to stay upright.

Stiles steers him under the spray again to wash off all the soap and “helps” unnecessarily, running his hands over all the hot spots he obviously found on the first pass—the sensitive patch of skin below Derek’s armpit and the area around his hip. Stiles rummages through the bottles on the little shelf, and Derek wonders what he’s going to do next. He hopes it actually involves his dick, otherwise this might get embarrassing.

“A-ha,” Stiles says, grasping the bottle of conditioner triumphantly. “Conditioner is by far the best thing to use in the shower for jacking off, way better than shampoo or soap. Did you know that?”

“I can’t say that I did,” he says, watching closely as Stiles squirts a little into his hand. “But somehow it doesn’t, ah—” Derek gasps when Stiles wraps a slick hand around him, grinning, “surprise me at all that you know that.”

Stiles waggles his eyebrows shamelessly, which Derek really shouldn’t find so attractive, even when there’s a hand around his dick. “Oh, yeah. Someone told me that in college, and I’ve been a devoted consumer of conditioner ever since. It’s easier to jack off in the shower, and my hair looks nicer. Win-win, right?”

“Yeah,” Derek grunts, a little too preoccupied with the sensations to carry on a conversation right now. It’s delightfully slippery, and Stiles keeps experimenting with his strokes, trying out different grips and speeds until he lands on a combination that makes Derek see stars.

He sucks in breaths greedily, partly for oxygen and partly for the heady rush of scents. Stiles smells even stronger in the shower, the water and the steam amplifying the way his scent combines with Derek’s, and it’s enough to almost make him feel drunk.

Stiles has his free hand on Derek’s ass, squeezing and kneading while his mouth licks and bites a sloppy line of kisses up his neck. Derek tilts his head further, exposing more skin, and when Stiles takes advantage, it’s that hungry little sound that sends Derek over the edge.

He comes with a strangled whine and scoots away from the spray, the hot water a little too harsh on his over-sensitized skin right now. Stiles goes with him, using his own body to shield him from the worst of it, and presses little shushing noises into his skin. “Jesus, you’re the best.”

Derek wets his lips, tries to remember how to form words. “I feel like I should be the one saying that.”

“Well, no one’s stopping you.”

He’s not coordinated enough to stop the laugh that snorts out of him, and Stiles looks delighted. “You are the best,” he says lowly, and Stiles makes that little noise again, twisting his head so that their mouths meet clumsily. It’s more passionate than graceful, and after a few minutes of it, Derek feels like he can stand on his two feet again. “I’m gonna get you back for that,” he whispers, and he smiles against the curve of Stiles’ ear when he shudders.

“Bring it on, buddy.”

Stiles yelps as his back hits the presumably-cold tile wall, and Derek smirks even as Stiles clutches at him. “Don’t fall,” he grumbles, pressing Stiles up against the wall more firmly with his body weight.

“Aw, I know you’d catch me, Sourwolf.”

Derek starts easy, rubbing shampoo into Stiles’ hair just like he’d done earlier. He goes slower, though, and takes his time massaging and scratching his scalp until Stiles is pressed fully up against him, groaning with his eyes closed and his mouth open. He looks a little bit like a cat, the way he’s pressing up into Derek’s hand, but Derek decides not to point that out.

He seems dazed when Derek pulls back, and Stiles lets him maneuver his body under the water to rinse out his hair. Derek starts with the soap, even twice as leisurely as Stiles washed him, taking the time to indulge all his senses. He pays attention to Stiles’ dick a few times, for just a handful of lazy, loose strokes, but as soon as Stiles thrusts into it or makes a sound, Derek takes his hand away and keeps going with the soap.

Stiles’ weak-limbed relaxation from the scalp massage is gone in just a few minutes, and soon he’s one long line of thrumming tension.

“You fucker,” he bites out, breathless as Derek massages his inner thighs, but he’s smiling when Derek looks up at him.

“Do you wanna come?”

“I will shove you out of the way and do it myself, I swear to god, don’t even try me.”

Derek laughs and stands up, wrapping one arm around Stiles’ waist and bringing their bodies flush while he reaches for a squirt of conditioner. He curls his slick hand loosely around his dick, just leaving it there until Stiles squirms in his arms and actually whines. He tightens his grip but keeps the pace slow and steady, even as Stiles complains and curses and shoves their hips together.

It takes several minutes, but eventually he reduces Stiles to total silence, a state Derek never thought he’d reach. He’s as taut as a bow, quivering in Derek’s arms and clutching onto him as each stroke of Derek’s hand drags a little huff out of him.

Stiles holds his breath for a good 30 seconds before he comes with a bitten-off scream and spurts over Derek’s knuckles. Panting, he shoves Derek away immediately and bends over as if he’s in pain, leaning against the wall.

“Are you okay?” Derek asks immediately. Panicking, he reaches a hand out, but Stiles edges away from it with a gasp and a shake of his head. “Stiles?”

“Don’t touch. Just gimme a second,” he pants, holding Derek off while he watches, increasingly worried. Stiles is steadily getting closer to the floor, so Derek wraps him up in his arms, hoping he can handle touch now, and lets him slump in his grip.

“Are you sure you okay?”

“That—that was literally the best orgasm I’ve ever had, holy shit. My ears are honestly ringing.”

Derek’s laugh stutters out of him, and Stiles laughs, too, until he’s gasping with it. “What was with the—”

“The touching thing?” Stiles finishes, then shakes his head. “I have no fucking idea, that’s never happened before. It was like…there were all these aftershocks, and my skin was too sensitive for you to even touch it.”

“Wow.” Derek’s a little jealous, to be honest.

Stiles groans and rests his forehead in the crook of Derek’s neck. “Thank god you had your turn first because I’m pretty sure I’ll be useless for like, at least an hour.”

Stiles is still shaky when they finally step out of the shower, and Derek manages to pat them both dry and wrestle Stiles into bed before he nods off. He’s asleep within seconds, his mouth hanging open, and Derek smiles. He wishes he was one of those people who takes pictures because he imagines this would be a good one, but he grabs his book off the nightstand and crawls into bed next to Stiles instead.

Stiles eventually wakes up, looking confused for a minute before he rubs his face against Derek’s hip. He looks way too at home curled up in Derek’s sheets, and Derek has to usher them both out of bed before he blurts out something dumb like please move in and never leave.

They wrap presents in separate rooms, and per Stiles’ insistence, they bake cookies while A Christmas Story plays in the background. Stiles prefers plain chocolate chip, while Derek’s partial to gingerbread. They both like peanut butter, and soon Derek’s countertops are littered with cookies. Stiles would be happy eating cookies for dinner, but Derek insists on actually making something substantive.

After they eat, Stiles looks down at his phone and grins. “Scott and Melissa are over at my dad’s, and they all want to Skype.”

“You can use my desktop,” Derek offers.

“Okay, cool,” Stiles says, dragging him in the direction of his office. Derek’s surprise must show on his face because Stiles turns around so that he’s walking backward and smiles at him. “Obviously, they want to see you, too.”

“Really?” he asks, swallowing. “Does your dad know?”

Stiles nods as he leans down to switch the computer on, pushing Derek to sit in the desk chair. “Yeah. When I told him about my flight being cancelled, I said I was staying with you for Christmas.”

“Did he, uh—”

Stiles grins and opens Skype, signing in before he plops down in Derek’s lap. “He’s totally fine with it.”

Derek’s not so sure, but he wraps an arm around Stiles’ waist and hopes that they give off the image of sweet cuddling couple and not we literally had sex a few hours ago.

Stiles’ face lights up when he sees his dad, and Derek can’t help but smile at the sight. It’s nice to talk to Scott again, and Melissa, but Derek is mostly content to sit back in the chair and let Stiles talk enough for the both of them.

Eventually, the Sheriff shoos Melissa and Scott out of the room and sits closer to the screen, propping one elbow on the desk. “So. Derek,” he says smugly, and Stiles groans, twisting to hide his face in Derek’s shoulder.

“Uh, yes, sir,” Derek says, clearing his throat. The Sheriff is close to 500 miles away and Derek is definitely an upstanding member of society now, but he still makes him nervous. Especially now that he’s dating his son.

“Stiles tells me you’re an architect?”


“Residential or commercial?”

“Residential, mostly. I’m, uh, designing my own house,” he says, searching for something to talk about. “Starting to, anyway.”

“Well that’s very impressive. Is it big enough for Stiles? Big enough for a family? Have you guys talked about that yet?”

“Oh my god, Dad,” Stiles wails, shoving Derek back so he can glare at his dad. “Seriously? I know you have this weird pathological desire to marry me off like some kind of 19th century maiden and get your grandchildren, but you need to calm down a little bit.”

“It’s not weird!” he insists, sounding so much like Stiles that Derek has to bite back a smile. “It’s perfectly normal. I’m interrogating your boyfriend, that’s my job. In fact, actually—”

“No,” Stiles interrupts, with a grimace, “please don’t say it.”

“I’ve already interrogated him!” he says triumphantly, grinning. “So this is like a nice blast from the past.”

Stiles groans. “Okay, first of all, that was like eight years ago. Can we move on, please? And also, that was my fault!”

“Yeah,” Derek says lowly, pinching Stiles’ inner thigh under the desk and making him jump. “That was your fault. Where’s my apology?”

Stiles huffs and twists so he can whisper in Derek’s ear. “I am very sorry, and I will show you later in a variety of creative and enthusiastic ways, I promise. But if you ever say anything sexual in front of my dad again, I’ll punch you in the dick.”

“That wasn’t meant to be sexual!” he hisses back.

“Everything sounds sexual coming out of your mouth!”

“That’s not my fault!”

“Boys,” the Sheriff says, crossing his arms over his chest and giving them a look. Derek realizes that their whispering might not have been quiet enough, and he tries to ignore the flush in his cheeks. “Please let me get back to my interrogation.”

Daaad,” he whines.

“Actually, can you give us a minute, Stiles? I’d like to talk to Derek alone.”

“No way,” Stiles says, wiggling in Derek’s lap as if to prove a point. “Absolutely not. Anything you need to say to him, you can say it in front of me.”

“I won’t threaten him, I promise. I can’t shoot him through a computer screen. And he’d just heal, anyway.”

Derek grimaces. Stiles makes a show of rolling his eyes and huffing as he gets out of Derek’s lap, but as soon as he’s out of view of the camera, he turns back around and stands off to the side. Derek tries not to track him with his eyes.

John waits for a minute and then tilts his head. “Is he standing right there?” he asks, jerking his chin.

Stiles waves his hands wildly, shaking his head, but Derek can’t lie to the Sheriff. “Yes,” he says, wincing when Stiles groans and drops his head into his hands.

“You’re the worst!” he calls out, walking to the door. “Both of you! I hope he does threaten you, Derek!”

He slams the door sullenly behind him, and Derek is left alone with John. He clears his throat and forces himself not to fidget.

“Make the pancakes with chocolate chips, okay?”

“Uh, what?” Derek says, a little off-guard. He was expecting the more blatant threats to come, now that Stiles was out of the room, not a discussion about breakfast foods.

“Pancakes,” he repeats. “With chocolate chips. That’s what we always have for breakfast on Christmas morning. You should make them for Stiles.”

“Oh. I—I will. I can do that. Definitely,” Derek says with a firm nod.

“And tonight, before you go to bed, go outside and look at the moon. We, uh,” he says, looking a little sad, “we used to do that with his mom. Every Christmas Eve. It started so that Stiles could try and look for Santa, and we kept using that excuse.”

“Got it.” Derek nods again, and the Sheriff smirks at him.

“I could tell you to do anything right now, and you’d do it, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes, probably,” he admits.

“Good, I like that in a man.”

“If he asks you about your intentions, just ignore him!” Stiles yells, rapping loudly on the door. “It’s probably a trap!”

“We’ve already covered that!” Derek calls back, and Stiles’ groan is anguished.

“Well, my work here is done,” the Sheriff says, looking thoroughly satisfied with himself. “Tell Stiles I love him and give him a hug for me, okay?”

“Yes,” he says, nodding. “Will do, sir.”

“You can call me John, son,” he says, smiling warmly. “You’re a good man, and I can’t imagine anyone better for Stiles to be with. Merry Christmas, Derek.”

Derek just sits there, a little in shock and probably gaping like a fish, but before he can think of anything to say in return, John waves and ends the call. Still somewhat on autopilot, Derek switches off the computer and finds Stiles pacing in the kitchen.

“Oh my god,” he says, grabbing Derek’s arm and then backing away again, “did he scare you away? Are you gonna break up with me now?”

Derek rolls his eyes fondly. “It was fine,” he says as he hooks an arm around Stiles’ waist and hauls him close. “In fact, he said that he couldn’t imagine anyone better for you than me.”

Stiles gasps. “He did not.”

“He most certainly did,” Derek says, more than a little smug. “And he said to tell you that he loved you and to give you a hug.”

“Aw,” Stiles says, his face softening. Derek hugs him, squeezing him tightly.

“I’m sorry you don’t get to be in Beacon Hills for Christmas,” he says quietly. “But selfishly, I’m really glad you’re here.”

“I’m really glad I’m here, too,” Stiles says. He makes a point of stepping away from Derek for several seconds before launching back into his arms and smacking a kiss on his cheek. “Okay, that’s the end of the dad hug.”

Derek laughs and crouches down to wrap his arm around Stiles’ thigh, standing and slinging him over his shoulder. Stiles yelps, hanging onto Derek’s hips, but Derek ignores the protests and carries him carefully back into the living room. He tries to drop him down onto the couch, but Stiles keeps a grip on Derek’s shoulders and manages to bring him down, too. He lands with an oof, trying to avoid kneeing Stiles in the gut, and slumps to the side. “You’re a menace.”

“Mhmm,” Stiles hums happily, running his fingers through Derek’s hair. “So what now?”

“A Hale family tradition,” he says solemnly, and Stiles’ eyes light up.

“Ooh,” he says, squirming under Derek’s weight. “Yes, definitely. What is it?”

Derek clears his throat—he’s still not completely comfortable talking about his family, but he pushes through. “Everyone got to open one present on Christmas Eve. We couldn’t pick it, though, our parents did.”

“Aw,” Stiles says, his face softening. “We did that, too. And my mom would make her famous hot chocolate.”

Derek smiles and ducks down to kiss him. “So go make it then.”

“Well, I would,” he starts, “but I got this dude on top of me, you know?”

“And whose fault is that?”

“Oh, if it was up to me, you would always be on top of me. Or vice versa.”

Derek heaves a sigh and adjusts his weight, letting Stiles worm out from underneath him. He pulls the throw blanket over himself and closes his eyes, just listening to Stiles clatter around the kitchen. He can picture everything he’s doing—rummaging in the cabinet for the pan, flicking on the burner, opening the fridge—and it’s more comforting than Derek could imagine.

Stiles comes back, walking carefully with two steaming mugs, and Derek sits up. Stiles refuses to tell him what the secret ingredient is, but Derek is pretty sure it’s cinnamon. Sometimes having a super nose comes in handy.

They sit together for a minute until Stiles leans forward and reaches for the presents.

“Wait,” Derek says. “Before presents.”

Stiles groans and falls back into his lap. “What’s more important than presents? Oh, is it sex? That’s fine, just gimme a m—”

Derek stifles a smile and holds Stiles in place when he starts wriggling. “No. Get up, we’re going outside.”

“Why?” he asks, wrinkling his nose as he stands up. “It’s cold.”

“Just for a few minutes,” he insists, reaching for a sweatshirt on the coffee table and tugging it down over Stiles’ head. He makes sure they both have slippers on and guides Stiles to the side door.

Stiles plays along, but he hesitates when they step outside. “Why are we on your balcony, Derek?”

“I was, uh, told that you needed to say hello to the moon on Christmas Eve.”

Stiles’ next inhale is a little sharp, and when Derek looks over at him, his eyes are wide and a little shiny. “You say goodnight to the moon, Derek, not hello.”

“Sorry,” he whispers, and when Stiles laughs, it sounds a little wet.

He sighs and steps outside a little more, twisting his head until he spots the moon high above the building next door. “Did my dad tell you?”

“He said it was something you guys used to do with your mom.”

Stiles nods and stares up at the moon for a few minutes, silent. “All those memories and traditions…Christmas can be tough, you know?” he says eventually, then rolls his eyes at himself. “God, of course you know.”

“Yeah,” he murmurs, wrapping his arms around him from behind and kissing his neck. “It’s been okay, though, right? Being here?”

Stiles turns around in Derek’s grip and smiles, bracing both hands on his chest. “Way better than okay.” He kisses the tip of Derek’s nose. “Thank you for bringing me out here. But my balls are about to freeze off, so—”

Derek rolls his eyes and ushers him inside, back to the couch. “Complainer.”

“I’m just excited about the presents. You first,” Stiles says, grinning knowingly as he drops a small, wrapped package into Derek’s lap.

It’s soft, like maybe clothes, and when Derek slides his thumb under the tape to tear the paper, he snorts. It’s a truly hideous pair of boxers, covered in candy canes and reindeer and Christmas trees in a dizzying red-and-green pattern. Derek laughs and holds them up. “Wow, these are awful.”

“I know,” Stiles says, wheezing for breath through his laughter. “But I saw them and just couldn’t resist.”

“I don’t know whether I should be insulted by that,” he says dryly, then tosses a similarly-wrapped package toward Stiles. “Your turn.”

“Gimme, gimme, gimme,” he says, ripping into the paper with much more vigor than Derek had. Derek had also gone for underwear, funnily enough, but he had the decency to pick a tasteful pair of red boxer-briefs. “Oh, these are awesome. Great minds think alike.”

“Yeah, except those are nice,” he points out, and Stiles laughs.

“Well now we obviously have to put them on,” he says, and Derek frowns, looking down at the boxers in his hand.

“But you’re gonna look all hot, and I’m gonna look ridiculous.”

Stiles snorts. “Are you kidding, you look hot in literally anything. I need sexy underwear to even approach the same playing field as you.”

“Stop it,” Derek says, rolling his eyes.

Stiles rolls his own eyes mockingly in response and reaches for Derek’s pajama pants, tugging them down along with the boxers. “C’mon. Lemme see.”

“You too,” Derek says, nodding at the underwear still in Stiles’ hand. If he’s gonna go through the humiliation of wearing these, then at least he gets to ogle Stiles in a pair of tight briefs while he’s doing it.

They both change, and exactly as predicted, Stiles looks amazing and Derek…does not. Stiles looks at him and squints. “Yep, still hot. I’d do you.”

Derek sighs and shoves Stiles in the direction of the bedroom. He’s pretty sure he can get away with “accidentally” ripping the boxers.

Stiles wakes up before Derek again, and he grins, stretching carefully in the warm sheets. The hazy morning light that filters through the blinds throws the panes of Derek’s face into relief, making him look like some sort of sun-dappled god. Stiles aches to reach out and trace the curve of his brow, but he doesn’t want to wake Derek.

As quietly and gently as he can manage, he squirms under the comforter and scoots down on the bed. The Christmas boxers were currently on the floor—Stiles managed to save Derek’s new ones before he could ruin them, as if he didn’t see that coming a mile away—so he has a full view as he moves in between Derek’s legs. He’s half-hard just from sleep, and Stiles doesn’t hesitate before leaning forward and taking all of him into his mouth. He smells stronger down here, all cocooned by the sheets, and sometimes Stiles wishes that he had Derek’s senses.

Predictably, Derek jerks awake after just a few seconds, jackknifing up into a seated position. He must have wolfed-out in his surprise, and since those claws are perilously close to Stiles’ head, he pulls off with a slurp and replaces his mouth with his hand.

“Whoa there, buddy,” he says, his voice rough from sleep. “Careful with those.”

The claws disappear, and when Stiles ducks down to take him back in, Derek groans and flops down onto the bed. “Holy shit, Stiles,” he grunts. He shoves the blankets down, and the sudden rush of cool air makes Stiles shiver. He feels weirdly exposed for a second, although Derek has obviously seen everything, and he relaxes when Derek reaches down to gently push back his hair, curving his thumb over the shell of Stiles’ ear.

He figures out pretty quick that sucking at one spot on the underside with the occasional scrape of teeth is Derek’s kryptonite, so to speak, and it’s flatteringly fast after that. Derek grabs his free hand, twining their fingers together and grasping nearly hard enough to hurt. “I’m gonna—”

His groan sounds painful, honestly, but he’s coming, and when Stiles sneaks a look up, he certainly looks blissed out.

“Merry Christmas,” he says, dropping a kiss on the cut of Derek’s hip.

Derek blows out a breath that turns into a laugh. “Merry Christmas. Was that my present?”

“Nah,” Stiles says, resting his chin on Derek’s stomach and smirking up at him. “That was for your birthday.”

Derek swallows visibly and fists the sheets with the hand that isn’t holding Stiles’. “You remembered my birthday.”

He presses a line of kisses up Derek’s ribs, his smile softening. “Of course I did, dude.”

Derek grabs him by the shoulders, hauling him up, and Stiles drops down into a deep kiss, morning breath be damned. He rubs his hard dick against the flat planes of Derek’s stomach for a second, making him groan.

“C’mon,” Derek says, tugging at Stiles’ shoulders again and gesturing with his head. “Move.”

“Lazy,” he accuses, and Derek rolls his eyes.

“Just get your ass up here.”

Stiles doesn’t have to be told twice, and he carefully settles on his knees, straddling Derek’s chest. He wastes no time, craning his neck up and sucking on the head of Stiles’ dick hard enough to make him shiver.

He was certainly not lying when he told Derek the other day that this was the best sex of his life. It’s just never…felt like this before. Stiles doesn’t believe in soulmates and shit like that, despite the existence of other supernatural stuff, but something definitely feels different between him and Derek. He looks down at him, his eyes sleepy and his big hands clutching Stiles’ ass, and Stiles’ breath catches in his throat. God, he could get used to this. He hopes he gets the chance to get used to this.

He never lasts as long in the morning—he likes to blame it on his sleep or something, just to make himself feel better—and all too soon he feels the stirring low in his belly. “Fuck, I’m close,” he says, twining his fingers in Derek’s hair. “None of that teasing shit today, okay? Please?”

Derek snorts, which is certainly an interesting vibration, and mercifully speeds up. The hand that’s on Stiles’ ass tightens, really kneading at him, and just the thought of Derek fucking him—or the other way around, god—is enough to send him over the edge. He shivers as he comes, gasping and whining in what is surely an unattractive manner.

Derek, looking thoroughly pleased with himself, cleans him up and manhandles Stiles down on the bed, tucking him under the blanket. He’s fairly useless after sex, which thankfully Derek seems to have figured out so far. Yeah, definitely a keeper, he thinks as he dozes off.

Stiles doesn’t think he sleeps for that long, but the bedroom is noticeably brighter when he opens his eyes again. He’s deliciously warm and lax, delighted with the prospect of a lazy Christmas in front of him, and he rolls out of bed in search of Derek.

He finds him in the kitchen, and his jaw drops when he spots what’s in the skillet. “Pancakes with chocolate chips!” he exclaims. Derek turns back toward the stove to hide his smile, but he’s not quite quick enough. “Oh my god, did my dad tell you about this, too?”


Stiles laughs and wraps his arms around Derek from behind. “Holy shit. You’re the best.”

“Well, you haven’t tried the pancakes yet.”

“If they taste as good as they smell, you’re fine.”

“Make yourself useful and make the coffee,” Derek says, jerking his chin in that direction. As much as Stiles wants to object, he obeys because, well, coffee.

The pancakes are in fact better than they smell, and Stiles wastes no time telling Derek so. They have a short argument on the futility of adding maple syrup to an already-sweet breakfast—Stiles wins and slathers his pancakes in triumph because it’s Christmas—and they finally throw in the towel after a dozen pancakes between them.

A little nervous, Stiles hands over the birthday card he brought. Derek carefully slides his thumb under the flap and opens it, laughing when he sees the card. It’s two stick figures having sex under a banner that says Birthday Sex, and Stiles had decorated the faces, one with moles and the other with red eyes and pointy ears and heavy sideburns.

He flips it open, and Stiles swallows. He was worried about writing something too sappy on the inside, so he just settled for Happy birthday, Sourwolf. Hope this year’s the best one yet.

Derek’s smile softens and he leans over to kiss Stiles, setting the card carefully aside. “Thank you. I have a feeling that it will be.”

“Mmm, good,” he murmurs, grabbing the nape of Derek’s neck to draw him back in again.

“But you still have to do the dishes,” Derek whispers against his lips, and Stiles drops his head with a groan.

“The romance is dead,” he declares, standing up with a flourish, but he winks at Derek. “Thank you for making me pancakes.”

Stiles doesn’t remember the last time he was so giddy about opening Christmas presents, but he practically skips into the living room. “So the first year I realized Santa wasn’t real,” he starts. “I was pretty bummed. My parents tried to make me feel better by giving me a Santa hat and telling me that I could play Santa by distributing all the presents. I don’t know what things were like in your house, but—”

“Stiles,” Derek interrupts from his spot on the couch, doing a terrible job of suppressing his smile. “Please hand out the presents.”

He grins and crouches down to the heap of gifts by the fireplace. It doesn’t take long at all to differentiate between the presents with Derek’s neat handwriting and those with his own messy scrawl, and soon enough they each have a small pile on either side of the couch. “Aren’t you glad I brought different types of wrapping paper?” he asks, gesturing.

“Very festive,” Derek agrees solemnly. “You first.”

“Okay,” he says, too excited to even argue. “Any particular one I should do first or save for last?”

Derek shakes his head. “Nope.”

Stiles hems and haws for a minute before eventually picking up a heavy rectangular package that’s obviously a book. He rips open the paper and laughs. “Oh my god, the book by the xkcd guy!”

“Do you have it? It seemed like a book you would have.”

Stiles shakes his head. “Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” he reads, grinning as he flips through the book. “This is awesome. ‘What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light?’”

“I have no idea, but I bet you could tell me.”

Stiles skims the page and snorts. “Spoiler alert—everyone would die. Holy shit, this is hilarious,” he says, then keeps flipping. Once he realizes that about five minutes have passed, he looks up with an apologetic look. “Oh, shit, sorry. So are we taking turns or…”

“You’re in charge here,” Derek says, and Stiles grins.

“You’ll probably regret saying that.”

“Then I’m going next,” Derek says, picking up the gift that’s on the top of his pile. He opens it slowly—Stiles thinks his present-handling pace is adorable—and smiles when he opens the tissue. It’s a dark green sweater that made Stiles think of Derek as soon as he saw it. It’s fleece or cashmere or something…he knows next to nothing about fabric, honestly, except that it’s really soft.

“That’s mostly a selfish present, honestly,” Stiles says, pointing to the sweater. “It’s soft as fuck, and I just want to cuddle you and hug you while you wear it.”

Derek laughs. “I’m sure we can work something out. Thank you.”

Stiles picks up the smallest package, something soft and cylindrical. He tears the paper away and sees that it’s a shirt, which he holds up so that it unrolls. “Oh my god,” he says, laughing. It’s a dark t-shirt, with a chuck wagon on it and the words You have died of dysentery, in the Oregon Trail font. “This is the best thing I have ever seen in my entire life.”

“I thought you would appreciate the Oregon connection.”

“I will wear it proudly. Your turn.”

Stiles is delighted by his new coffee-of-the-month subscription, as well as a really cool artistic map of Portland that he can’t wait to frame and put in his office. Derek seems to enjoy his new watch and a coffee mug that says “I hope your day is as nice as your butt.” Well, he rolls his eyes at the last one, but Stiles is pretty sure he likes it, deep-down.

He starts to opens his last gift, and Stiles nervously watches.

“Oh, wow,” Derek says, running his hands over the sketchbook’s leather-bound cover. “This is really nice.”

Stiles clears his throat. “I, uh, got it because I saw a bunch in your office. But I noticed that your special house sketchbook is almost full, so…maybe you can use this instead.”

“I love it,” he says softly, leaning forward for a kiss. “Thank you.”

They’re surrounded by various gift detritus that probably needs to be cleaned up, but Stiles forgoes all of that in favor of pushing Derek flat on his back and crawling between his legs, settling his back against Derek’s chest. It’s probably more comfortable for him than it is for Derek, being crushed under Stiles’ weight, but he doesn’t complain, just wraps one leg around Stiles’ to hold him there even tighter.

Stiles reads his new book for a while, and he’s pretty sure Derek dozes. A month ago, he wouldn’t have believed that he’d be spending Christmas cuddling with Derek Hale, and he’s glad that from this angle, Derek can’t see his giddy grin.

Derek eventually pokes his shoulder and bumps Stiles’ temple with his chin. “Cora and Paul will be here in about half an hour.”

“Oh, shit,” Stiles says, looking over at the clock with a wince. “What are we making for lunch?”

“Cora brings the pizzas. It’s a, uh, tradition.”

Stiles laughs, twisting to look up at Derek. “What’s the story there?”

“Our first Christmas together, when we were traveling,” Derek says with a smile, “we were in Colorado, and we couldn’t find any place to get food except this tiny little pizza place. And the tradition has stuck.”

“I’m no stranger to pizza on Christmas, so that’s cool,” he says. “And what about the boyfriend? Do you like him?”

“Yeah,” Derek says slowly, nodding. “Yeah. He’s good.”

“High praise,” Stiles says dryly, and Derek rolls his eyes.

“Cora really likes him and he treats her well, which is about as much as I can ask for.”

They shower and put on actual clothes by the time the guests arrive. Cora tries to give him some kind of shoulder punch thing, but Stiles shakes his head. “Oh, no, Cora Hale, we are hugging,” he insists, wrapping his arms around her and squeezing until she sighs and her arms come up to hook over his shoulders.

She’s smiling when he pulls back, though, and she introduces him to Paul, who’s blond and tall and good-looking. They shake hands, and he reminds Stiles a little of Boyd, actually, stoic and calm with a knowing look in his eye. But he looks at Cora like she hung the moon, so Stiles approves.

Cora grabs Stiles’ hand and starts dragging him off before he really realizes what’s going on. “Stiles and I are gonna have a little chat!” she calls out over her shoulder, and he gives Derek a mock-worried look.

Cora tows Stiles behind her into Derek’s bedroom and then to the bathroom, presumably to make it harder for them to be overheard. “We’ve had sex in here, you know,” Stiles says conversationally, and she gags, dragging him back into the bedroom. “Here, too, obviously.”

She shudders but seems to ignore it. “So do I have to give you the shovel talk?” she asks, her voice flat, and Stiles freezes. He’s been witness to a couple hurt-my-friend-and-I’ll-hurt-you conversations in his day, on both sides, but Cora’s the first person he’s actually been scared of.

“Uh, no,” he says, then coughs. “Definitely not, completely unnecessary.”

She tilts her head and lets her eyes glow, most definitely on purpose. “Are you sure? I don’t want to see Derek get hurt again.”

“I don’t want that either, you have no idea,” he says quickly, then lowers his voice to barely a whisper. “Look, I really love your brother, okay? He doesn’t know that, uh, yet, but I do.”

“You’re not lying,” she says, looking begrudgingly pleased, and he grins brightly.

“Yes! For once that works in my favor. I am most definitely not lying.”

“Stop threatening him!” Derek calls out, and Cora scoffs.

“Please. He can take care of himself.”

“No, I really can’t!” he calls out. “Derek, please come save me.”

Derek appears in the doorway, frowning. “Oh, calm down, Der,” Cora says, rolling her eyes. “I know you threatened Paul, don’t lie.”

“He’s a wolf, it’s different,” he insists.

“Yeah, please be careful with the puny human,” Stiles chimes in, and he sticks his tongue out at Cora when Derek wraps an arm around his shoulder and tugs him up against his body.

“You two are gross,” she says, wrinkling her nose, and Stiles grins.


The pizza isn’t too cold by the time the threatening part of the day is over, and Stiles thoroughly enjoys watching Cora and Derek act like close siblings, teasing and talking over each other every chance they get.

The siblings exchange gifts—Cora gives Derek a new jacket, and he gives her a gift certificate for some fancy hotel on the Oregon coast, which makes her squeal and hug him. They hang out for a while longer, eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate, until Cora and Paul have to get back for dinner with his family.

Stiles puts his PJs back on and flips through the channels, settling on a showing of Love Actually. That movie isn’t that great, actually, but he can’t pass it up on Christmas, that’s pretty sacrilegious.

“What do you wanna do now?” Derek asks, and Stiles shrugs.

“You’re the birthday boy,” he says, grinning, and Derek rolls his eyes.

He leaves the room, Stiles assumes to the bathroom, but he comes back just a minute later—as a huge black wolf. Stiles’ eyes widen, and he immediately scrambles to sit up straight on the couch. “Holy shit, that’s cool,” he breathes. “C’mere.”

Derek trots over obediently and leaps up onto the couch, stretching his big body over Stiles’ lap. “Oh my god, you’re so warm,” he marvels, running his fingers through the thick, soft hair on his neck. “Do you like being scratched behind the ears?”

Derek twists his head to stare up at him, and even in wolf form, that flat, dry gaze is very familiar. Stiles giggles, he can’t help it, and does, in fact, scratch behind Derek’s ears. He snarls a little and rolls onto his side so he can nip gently at Stiles’ fingers. Stiles picks up his book again and holds it with one hand as he reads, stroking Derek’s back idly with the other.

“Are you asleep?” he asks a while later, as quietly as he can, but Derek shakes his head, his eyes still closed. Stiles nods and swallows. “Okay. So I fully realize that it’s completely cowardly for me to say this while you’re in this form and therefore literally incapable of verbally rejecting me, but…I love you, dude. Like a lot. I know that’s really soon, but that’s how I feel, and asking me to keep my feelings bottled up is like…I can’t even think of a good analogy right now, that’s how anxious I am. But it’s not pleasant. And you seriously don’t have to say it back. I really mean it. Just keep laying here, bein’ all cute, and there’s no pressure, okay? Or you—you’re leaving, or you can do that, I guess,” he finishes dumbly, watching as Derek leaps off his lap and races back toward the bedroom.

He comes back just a few seconds later fully human, flushed and breathing hard. He clearly did not take the time to put any of his clothes back on, and Stiles isn’t complaining. Derek climbs in his lap again, and as cute as the wolf is, Stiles likes the hot naked man a whole lot more.

“I cannot believe you,” Derek mutters against his lips, yanking Stiles’ head back by his hair to get a better angle. “Saying that when I couldn’t say it back.”

Stiles’ grin is too wide to kiss properly, so he twists his head and lets Derek have full reign of his throat. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. Of course I love you, you dork.”

Stiles laughs, and he can’t quite seem to make himself stop, even though he’s sure he looks like an idiot. But Derek loves him—Derek loves him, what the ever-loving fuck—so he should know that this is what he’s signing up for. He says as much, and Derek gives him that patented eyebrow-raise-eye-roll combo that suddenly looks fonder than it ever has before.

“I think I can live with it.”