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The Fish Hook? Really? You’ve got me waiting tables for the next few weeks?” Stiles whines as he looks down at his schedule. Life just wasn’t fair, like, at all.

“Stop your whining, Stiles,” Laura replies with an irritated sigh, “or I’ll put you on janitorial duty for the rest of the summer.”

“Shutting up,” Stiles says. “But not because I bow to your managerial authority, but because you are abusing your power over your employees. Threatening my job. Blackmail.” Laura rolls her eyes as she walks out of the employee lounge. “Abusive!” Stiles calls after her.

“Public toilets!” Laura yells from down the hall.

“Why do you bug her like that?” Scott asks as he shoves his bag into his locker.

“Let me see your schedule.” Stiles grabs it from Scott before he can protest. “Kids activities, ugh. I’d rather wait tables.”

“I love working with the kids!” Scott says with a smile.

“You would, loser. Such a boyscout.” Stiles pushes Scott playfully as he grabs the navy Fish Hook t-shirt from his locker, the one with the restaurant name written across an image of a swordfish on the right breast pocket and the logo with the same swordfish and a large fish hook in white on the back. Then he leaves Scott in the hands of little kids as he walks across the resort towards the restaurant.

As far as summer jobs go, it could be a lot worse. Danny had been working at the Seawolf Beach Resort every summer since he was 15, mainly because Jackson and Lydia were members. And when Scott and Stiles had overheard Danny talking about his job at the end of last semester, they had pestered him until he got them jobs, too. Scott wasn’t so sure about spending an entire summer with Danny, Jackson, and Lydia, but Stiles told him to focus on the entire summer at the beach part and not the other part. But it wasn’t like it’d been in high school. Three years of playing college lacrosse together had made them friends with Danny and tolerable to Jackson, while Lydia and Stiles’ mutual love for science and research had formed a strange bond between the two.

But Scott needn’t have worried anyway. They’d barely seen them over the last few weeks. Lydia and Jackson didn’t work, so they did whatever they wanted, Scott worked activities, Stiles waited tables and worked private parties, and Danny was a lifeguard. With Derek Hale and his grumpy face and perfect body.

The lunch rush keeps Stiles busy, but the midday lull has him leaning against the railing on the deck overlooking the surf. The view is spectacular. The restaurant is connected to the resort, so it’s right on the beach. The island is small enough that the beaches aren’t overpopulated and cluttered with tourists and people. All Stiles can see is white sand, blue water, and crashing waves. A few umbrellas and people on beach towels dot the sand, a volleyball net surrounded by a group of teens is farther down the beach, along with the pier in the distance. But best of all, from this vantage point Stiles can openly stare at Derek.

It’s not like Stiles was the only person at the beach who ogled Derek daily. The man was ripped. And gorgeous. And positively the most annoying person Stiles had ever met. Derek co-owned the Seawolf Resort with his sister and uncle. But unlike Laura and Peter, Derek had very little to do with the employees, which Stiles was grateful for. The few run-ins he’d had with the man were less than pleasant.

As if on cue, Derek turns in his tall lifeguard chair and glances behind him, right at Stiles. Who is leaning on his elbows, staring. Stiles shoots up and pretends to be wiping down the railing. Which is about the least subtle thing he could have done.

Smooth, Stilinski. Real smooth.

*

“I’m bored!” Stiles shouts for the twentieth time that evening. It’s not late, the sun is just going down, but he’s on the couch with Scott in the summer house they’re sharing with Danny for the season. Danny, of course, has a date with one of the many guys he manages to land daily. “I want to get laid.”

“Right now?” Scott asks before shoving a Doritos in his mouth.

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Not like, this second, because my only option is you, and we decided in the sixth grade that was not going to happen. But look at us.” Stiles waves his hands around his head. “We’re young, reasonably attractive, living at the fucking beach, and what are we doing? Sitting on the couch, watching reruns of SNL. We could do this shit at home.”

“Then let’s go out.” Scott shrugs as he licks fake cheese from his fingers. “It’s not that complicated, Stiles.”

Stiles pulls on his neon board shorts and a t-shirt, while Scott goes for muted red shorts and a tank top. They walk down the narrow street where they live, which is located on the side of the island with the permanent residents, or at least the people who own property, and the summer residents. The rentable cottages were on the other side of the island.

The pier is only a couple of miles from where they live, and at sundown, it’s bright and lively. Music blares from speakers, and nighttime fishermen line the edges as they cast. Couples walk hand-in-hand along the pier, the beach, and the sidewalks past the shops.

Even though they ate dinner a few hours ago, Stiles is hungry again, so they stop at the ice cream stand. He’s hanging back from the window with Scott, looking over the choices listed outside the booth, when he notices something out of the corner of his eye. He nudges Scott in the ribs.

“Scott!” he whispers. “Look, it’s Derek.”

Scott looks around him to where Derek is sitting at a table on the large outdoor deck with a pretty blonde and a large guy. Stiles has seen the two people Derek’s with somewhere, but can’t place them.

“Okay, and?” Scott asks. He gives Stiles a quizzical look before stepping up to the ordering window. A tall guy with curls takes their order.

“What do you recommend?” Scott is asking when Stiles walks up.

“I thought you always got the rocky road,” Stiles says. Scott discreetly kicks him in the shin as he continues looking at the guy with a grin on his face.

“I usually get rocky road,” Scott explains, “but I’m kinda burned out on it, you know? Time to try something different.”

Stiles rolls his eyes as the guy, whose nametag says Isaac, smiles bashfully back at Scott. “Um, I like the mint chocolate chip. Or anything with nuts.” Stiles snorts as he tries to keep from bursting out laughing – what kind of wingman would that make him? – but Isaac’s face immediately goes red as his eyes widen. “I mean, that’s not, oh crap. That came out wrong.”

“It’s okay,” Scott says. “I actually thought – “

“Look,” Stiles says, “Can I get a salted caramel with pecans? Thanks. Scott here,” Stiles says, clapping Scott on the shoulder, “needs a lot of help choosing an ice cream. Me? I know what I want. I’m easy.”

Scott glares at him while Isaac blushes as Stiles walks away. Wingman or not, that was getting uncomfortable fast. The last thing he wants to watch is Scott and some puppy-eyed cutie flirt. Mainly because he’s not getting any action. Stiles is the one who wanted to get laid, yet here they were with Scott getting some summer flirting while he was stuck as trusty sidekick. Oh well.

But maybe there was a way to pass the time. He zeros in on Derek, who has his back turned towards him. Derek’s in a white Seawolf tank top, which shows off his incredible arms, shoulders, and back. Stiles stares for a moment and tries not to drool. Until the blonde laughs at something. Derek being funny? Derek having friends? He has to see this for himself. Purely because he’s curious. Not because he has a crush on one of his bosses. Nope, no way. Besides, technically Derek wasn’t his boss, Laura was. So, there.

Not that it matters. In the least. But in case it did, no ethics violations.

“Derek?” Stiles asks when he comes to a stop beside his table. Derek pulls his attention away from the blonde, who he was smiling at, and whoa, that changes his face in ways that Stiles never should have seen. Because he will never be able to unsee Derek Hale smiling. But when his eyes fall on Stiles, the familiar mask of irritation is back. Good, familiar ground. Stiles can work with that. That look didn’t do funny things to the back of Stiles’ neck.

“I didn’t know you had other friends,” the blonde says. She waves, a feral grin curling her ruby red lips. This close, Stiles can tell that she’s wearing shorts and a bikini top that displays her ample cleavage nicely. Stiles tries not to stare, but by her smirk, he’s doing a pretty bad job. “I’m Erica. This is Boyd.”

“Stiles,” he offers. “I’ve seen you around,” he says, because he cannot place where he’s seen Erica before.

“Probably at the surf shop.”

“Yes!” Stiles exclaims way too loudly, clapping his hands and pointing. “That’s it! God, it was driving me crazy.”

“I peddle shit to the tourists. It sucks, but whatever. It pays the bills.” She points to the spot beside Derek. “Join us.”

“No,” Derek says.

“Now Derek, that’s no way to talk to your incredibly adorable friend.” Erica winks at him.

“He’s not my friend,” Derek sighs. “He works at the Seawolf.”

“Ah,” Erica says. “Still, join us.” Stiles glances over his shoulder looking for Scott, who is leaning against the counter, talking to Isaac through the serving window. “Doesn’t look like your friend is going to be leaving anytime soon. I haven’t seen Isaac this smitten in a long time.” She slaps Boyd’s arm. “Doesn’t he look cute?” Stiles catches the way Derek rolls his eyes, but it looks almost affectionate.

“I was supposed to get ice cream,” Stiles says stupidly, because he really doesn’t know what to do here. Scott has abandoned him for a pretty pair of blue eyes, and Derek clearly doesn’t want him here, and Stiles shouldn’t want to sit there with them, but dammit, Derek’s wearing a tank top that shows off his incredible biceps and all his other friends are MIA, and Erica and Boyd seem nice. Well, he’s sure Boyd would be nice if he wasn’t mute.

“Go rescue Stiles’ ice cream from Isaac.” Boyd gets up as Erica points to the spot beside Derek again. “Sit. Ignore Derek. We all do.”

“Ha-ha. So funny, Erica,” Derek says as Stiles sits hesitantly beside him on the bench. He leaves as much space between them as he can without looking suspicious.

“So, where are you from, Stiles?” Erica asks.

“Beacon Hills. It’s a small place north of here.” Erica nods. “What about you?”

“Townie,” she laughs. “Grew up on the island. We all did, Boyd, Isaac, Derek, me.”

“My good friend Allison is from here, too!”

“Allison Argent?” Erica asks.

“Yeah, she’s a lifeguard at the Seawolf,” Stiles says, and Derek nods. “It must be awesome,” Stiles continues in awe. “I mean, you live at the beach like all the time.”

“It’s not that great,” Derek says.

“Says the man with the perfect tan and beach body,” Stiles retorts. Erica laughs. “I can tell you really hate being at the beach all day. If you hate it so much, why don’t you work inside like Laura?” Derek glares at him. “Because you love the beach, right?” Boyd returns then with Stiles’ ice cream and sets it in front of him, so he’s saved from Derek’s death gaze.

While Stiles eats his ice cream, they talk about living on the island and what movies and music they like. Even Derek participates in the conversation. Stiles tries not to pay attention to Derek’s arms beside him, the way his fingers play with the napkin on the table, the sound of his voice when he talks. He definitely doesn’t memorize Derek’s laugh, or get distracted when his hand accidentally brushes Derek’s arm when he tells a story and waves his arms around a little too wide. And he absolutely ignores the way that the space between him and Derek has lessened since he sat down, because Stiles is pretty sure it was his fault and doesn’t want to get his hopes up for anything different. By the time he’s finished with his ice cream and finally goes over to tear Scott away from the ice cream window – apparently with Isaac’s number and an open-ended plan for a date – Stiles realizes he likes Erica and Boyd.

But the disturbing part is that he realizes he has a ridiculously large crush on Derek.

*

Stiles pushes his sunglasses onto his head as he walks into the surf shop. He’s only been in there once or twice since it’s a trap for tourists with overpriced souvenirs, bathing suits, and surf equipment. Stiles bypasses all the brightly colored apparel displaying the name of the island and goes directly to the cash register. Erica is there, in a different bikini top from the night before. She’s talking to a middle-aged man who isn’t paying a bit of attention to what she’s saying. Stiles stands between a rack of neon tank tops with YOLO emblazoned across the front as he watches her.

Erica is totally playing the guy with every trick she knows. Stiles smiles as he watches her, because he knows he’s watching a pro. And just as Erica wanted, the man leaves with two bags full of surfing gear and a surfboard he will more than likely never use.

“That should be illegal,” Stiles says as he approaches the counter. “That man didn’t have a chance.”

“His fault for being a sucker and thinking with the wrong head.” She lifts her eyebrows as she cups her boobs and bounces them slightly.

“Does your boss know you do this?” Stiles asks as he leans against the counter.

“He’s like 60 and retired. As long as I make enough to keep this shithole afloat and he doesn’t have to leave his fishing boat, he doesn’t care what I do.” She smiles and welcomes a family to the shop as they enter through the door. Then, she turns her attention back to Stiles. “So, what can I do for you? I’m pretty sure you’re not here for a YOLO hat. Although…” Erica reaches across the register and grabs a neon yellow baseball cap with YOLO written in black. She pulls it onto Stiles’ head. “Don’t you just look precious?”

“Haha,” he says, taking off the offending thing. Neon yellow he has no problem with. Gimmicky catchphrases? That he has a problem with. “I was killing time before my shift, decided to come bug you at work.”

“You’re not bugging me,” she says. “It’s nice, actually. Isaac and Boyd are both working, so I have no one to talk to. I text Boyd some, but he’s bad about texting me back.”

Erica smiles apologetically as a group of customers approach the counter. Stiles steps aside as Erica works, and he’s trying on sunglasses in the small mirror when a pair of hazel eyes catches his attention. Stiles immediately fumbles with the sunglasses in his hands and almost drops them as Derek walks past without noticing him.

Derek walks towards the wall of surfing equipment. Stiles watches surreptitiously as Derek grabs something from the wall he can’t see. But he’s pulled away from his stalking when Erica comes up behind him.

“See something you like?” she murmurs in his ear. He jumps, startled, and almost overturns the entire sunglasses display.

“What? No!” He glances at her and makes a face. “I was, um, modeling sunglasses. You know, killing time while I waited for you.”

“Uh-huh,” Erica says with a knowing smile. Stiles mentally kicks himself as he follows her over to the counter. Derek comes up a few minutes later, slamming a leg leash down.

“What are you doing here?” Derek demands as he glares at Stiles.

“Am I not supposed to be here?” Stiles asks. “I’m pretty sure it’s a free beach, and you actually don’t own this shop.” Derek glares even harder, if that’s possible. “But you do own the resort, for which I work a job I really love with really great bosses.” Stiles gives Derek a fake smile as he rolls his eyes. Derek glances to Erica, who’s looking between them with a smirk on her face. “Or maybe I’m not supposed to talk to Erica?” A thought occurs to Stiles. “Hey man, I thought she was with Boyd, but if you two are, you know, I just want you know I’m not into her like that. I’m not trying to steal your woman.”

“I’m not dating Erica,” Derek sighs like it hurts him to talk to someone as stupid as Stiles.

“Like you could handle me,” Erica murmurs. “But you wouldn’t want to do that, would you, Derek? Just never been into me, no matter how hard I tried. What was the reason? The wrong plumbing?” Derek turns his death glare to her, but she’s unfazed. They exchange a few words, but Stiles doesn’t hear them. He’s focusing on one thing.

The wrong plumbing. Oh god, Derek was into dudes. Like Stiles was into dudes. Which made his chances with Derek much more promising than before. Except, it still didn’t help him much. Or help his hopeless crush.

Derek turns to Stiles but doesn’t say anything as he walks out of the store. Stiles watches him until he’s out of sight, and then he turns to Erica. “Am I not supposed to be friends with you?”

She rolls her eyes. “Don’t listen to Derek. He’s odd. Doesn’t like anyone. We all grew up together and it still took him years to be friends with us. Maybe he’s just afraid you’re going to steal us away.” She grins and leans across the counter to kiss him on the cheek.

While she rings up another customer, Stiles notices the fliers pasted on the wall behind her. They advertise various things: deep sea fishing tours, cottages for rent, parasailing, kayaks and surfboards for sale. But it’s the one over to the side that catches Stiles’ eye. When the customers leave, Stiles points to it.

“Surfing lessons? You think it’s worth it? I’ve never surfed, but my dad used to be a serious surfer back in the day. It might be fun.”

Erica pulls out a red notebook from underneath the counter. “I highly recommend surf lessons.”

“Do you know the guy who gives them?” Stiles asks.

“Yep. Me.”

“You?”

Erica narrows her eyes. “What, just because I’m a girl I can’t give surf lessons?”

Stiles sighs. “That’s not what I meant. I just didn’t expect it, okay?”

She looks slightly mollified and opens the red notebook. “I do it on the side. Boyd and Isaac, too. We also take groups out in kayaks, and Isaac gives swimming lessons if you need those.” She smirks.

“I’ve got that part down.”

“How about tomorrow morning?” she asks. “At 10?” Stiles nods and she pencils it in. “Meet on the beach by the resort. We provide all the equipment.”

Stiles grins. Finally, something awesome to do.

*

Stiles gets to the beach about ten minutes early. He’s eager for his first lesson, to get out on the water and ride the waves like a pro. He’s miming riding a surfboard when he hears an irritated sigh behind him. He turns around to find Derek standing behind him.

“You’re my 10 o’clock?” Derek asks.

“I thought Erica gave surfing lessons.” Stiles runs a hand through his hair, trying to decide if he could stomach the humiliation of wiping out time after time with Derek right beside him.

“She does, but so do I.”

“Oh, she failed to mention that yesterday.”

Derek purses his lips and starts walking away. “Follow me.”

Stiles follows Derek through a door into a part of the resort he’d never been before. It was a large room full of surfboards and various equipment. Derek helps Stiles pick out a surfboard, which means he basically chooses it for him, and then carries his own board back onto the beach. But instead of going to the water, he drops the surfboard in the sand. Stiles stands there, staring at him.

“I’m no expert, but aren’t you supposed to surf, I don’t know, in the water?”

Derek doesn’t look amused. “The first lesson is a general instruction overview and taught partially on sand.” Derek rolls his head and shakes his hands out as he gets ready.

Stiles sets the surfboard on the sand and waits for Derek to give him instructions. Derek’s voice and face adopt a different tone as he walks Stiles through the rules and etiquette. He’s less grumpy and annoyed, and instead patient and encouraging. Derek talks about ocean safety and awareness, and then outlines types of waves and different water conditions.

“Now, stand on your surfboard.” Derek waits while Stiles gets on his board. Derek explains the technique for standing, correcting Stiles when his stance is wrong. Then, they move on to handling waves and turning it.

“Your knees are wrong,” Derek points out. Stiles repositions himself, but apparently, that’s not right either. “Here, bend like this,” Derek touches him behind his knee, his other hand over his knee cap as he helps Stiles squat correctly. “Spread your legs a little farther apart, good.” Derek now moves his hands up to Stiles’ back, pushing him until he’s angled just right. “Yes,” Derek says as he steps back and surveys Stiles’ position. “That’s perfect. Now get off and try it again.”

It takes three more tries (maybe one try too many because Stiles might have messed up on purpose) for Stiles to get it without having Derek correct him. Stiles tries to ignore the warmth and weight of Derek’s hand on his back, the feel of his rough palm against the underside of his knee.

By the time they make it to the water, Stiles’ entire body is thrumming. Derek swims out without his board so he can stay in the water and help Stiles.

“Okay,” Derek says, holding Stiles’ surfboard steady. “Climb up and balance on your knees, then try to stand up. Think about what I just taught you.”

“This is gonna be a piece of cake,” Stiles says as Derek holds his board. He raises an eyebrow at Stiles, but remains silent. Stiles gets up onto his knees easily, then tries to stand up. The board lurches underneath his weight, and he almost loses his balance, but Derek helps keep the surfboard steady. He gets to his feet with more difficulty than he expected, but then a small wave rocks the surfboard. Stiles loses his balance and falls backwards off the board into the water.

When he resurfaces, Derek is laughing. Stiles would be mad, but the sight is so shocking – not to mention that Derek’s entire face transforms when he laughs.

“My first wipeout,” Stiles jokes to cover his embarrassment.

“First of many,” Derek says with a smile. “Try it again.”

They practice until Stiles is able to stand without Derek holding the board, and then Derek shows him how to ride the smaller waves as they come in towards the shore. The waves aren’t big enough to swim out to catch, but they’re enough to help him get used to the feel of them under the board.

Before Stiles realizes it, his hour is over.

“How did I do, teach?” Stiles asks as he carries the surfboard back into the room.

Derek surveys him, then nods. “Not too bad. Should I schedule you for lesson number two?”

“Hell yeah!” Stiles exclaims. “I can’t stop before I ride a real wave. That seems pretty pointless.”

“I’ll see when Erica is free, so – “

“I want you,” Stiles blurts. Derek pauses and looks at him, and Stiles fumbles when he realizes how stupid he sounded. “I mean, I think it’s better if I stick with you, you know, since you gave me my first lesson and I’m already used to your teaching and stuff.” Stiles stops his ramblings before he makes an even bigger fool of himself. He is pretty sure Derek thinks he’s an idiot anyway.

Derek shrugs. “Sure, that’s no problem. I’ve got the morning shift on the beach, but the next day?”

Stiles mentally checks his schedule, and yep, he’s free. “Can’t wait.”

*

The next day Stiles has beach duty, which means he gets to carry overpriced cocktails to spoiled members while they’re sunning on the beach. Ironically, his first customers are Lydia and Jackson.

“I think something is unfair in the world when I’m serving the two of you,” Stiles says as he hands Jackson his beer and Lydia her pink fruity drink with the little umbrella.

“Get used to it,” Jackson says. “It’s always been this way, will always be this way.”

Lydia slaps Jackson’s arm. “Don’t listen to him. I am glad to see you, though. We’re doing a pizza and get together thing tomorrow night. You, Danny, Allison, make sure to tell Scott.”

Stiles nods and chats a bit more before heading back towards the resort. On his way, he catches sight of Derek on his lifeguard stand, shirtless and wearing blue swim trunks that show off his perfectly sculpted thighs. His eyes are hidden behind aviators, and Stiles is glad his face is turned towards the ocean so he can openly stare. That surf lesson the day before did nothing to quell his little crush.

He spends the next two hours walking back and forth on the sand, carrying appetizers and drinks to various patrons, and ogling Derek on his way. He thinks he’s being discreet, and Derek only glances in his direction a couple of times over the two hours. The first time, Stiles raises his hand and waves, but Derek seems to look right through him, and Stiles decides that Derek wasn’t actually looking at him and apparently he is a huge dork instead, waving his hand at nothing. So, he doesn’t do that again.

Midmorning, one of his customers takes him by Allison’s lifeguard stand.

“Allison, light of my life!” Stiles shouts with his arms open wide after he drops off drinks to a group of middle aged women. “I haven’t seen you in so long!”

“You saw me last weekend,” Allison says with a smile. She also works for the resort, but strictly as a lifeguard. He only knows Allison through Lydia, since they’ve been best friends for like ever. Allison had visited campus frequently over the past few years, even dated Scott for a brief time. She was a native to the area, her time split between her father who lives on the island and her mother, who lives on the mainland.

“That’s too long ago. I never get to see my favorite people as often as I like. Yet everyone I don’t want to see…”

“I know what you mean.” Allison’s looking behind Stiles unhappily. Stiles spins on his heel, sand getting into his loafers. Gah, that’s so irritating. He’s pouring it out when he’s approached by the source of Allison’s sudden unhappiness. Twins, who look like extras from Muscle Beach.

“Please tell me this isn’t the guy you’re wasting your time on instead of talking to me,” one of them says.

“Hey!” Stiles says, insulted. It’s not like he’s into Allison, but that’s not the point. She is not wasting her time talking to him.

“Aiden, I’d rather go out with a shark than you,” she says in her usual sweet tone, but Stiles can hear the venom there, see the claws.

“Why do you always do this, Allison?” Aiden goes up the lifeguard stand and tries to touch her leg, but she moves it out of the way. “Don’t tell me this guy is your boyfriend.” He turns to Stiles and looks him up and down disdainfully. “Emphasis on the boy part.” Stiles doesn’t have time to come back with a witty retort before Allison speaks.

“No. I don’t have a boyfriend,” Allison says, annoyed. “And I’m still not interested.”

“Why not? We could have so much fun together. I know you’re lonely.”

Her face scrunches in thought as she pretends to think it over. “No, not really. Between surfing, archery, Tae Kwon Do, and school, I’m pretty busy and fulfilled. Don’t need a man, but thanks for trying.” She gives him a shit-eating grin.

“I’ll wear you down one day, Allison,” Aiden says as he and his mute clone move down the beach. Stiles stares after them, but then turns to Allison.

“Would it be out of line to say I thought the way you handled that was supremely hot, and I’m really turned on right now?” Allison rolls her eyes, but Stiles can see the smile around her eyes. “Who in the hell are they?”

“The twins. They’ve been coming here since we were like twelve. Aiden has been trying to get me and Lydia to sleep with him for years.”

Stiles watches as the twins stop at Danny’s lifeguard tower down the beach, and Danny is definitely not rebuffing them like Allison. “What is Danny doing fraternizing with the enemy?”

Allison laughs. “Ethan’s been flirting with him all summer. I think they went on a date the other night.”

Stiles turns to Allison with his mouth open. “He didn’t?! I’ll have to have a talk with him.” Allison laughs as Stiles gets back to work, hoping Laura didn’t notice him talking to Allison for a little longer than he should have. He’d be afraid that Derek would have seen it, but that would require Derek to pay attention to him. Which he doesn’t.

Eventually, he ends up with a customer right next to Derek’s lifeguard stand, so Stiles gets to walk by more closely and stare at his muscled chest and those thighs. On his way back, Derek looks directly at him.

“Your job is just so difficult,” Stiles says. “Sitting on a lifeguard stand all day must be so strenuous.”

“How do you know the twins?” Derek asks, apropos of nothing.

“Huh?”

Derek sighs and points towards Allison’s lifeguard station. “I saw you talking to the twins. How do you know them?”

“Um, I don’t?” Stiles replies. Maybe Derek was paying more attention than he thought. “They were bothering Allison.”

“If they give her any trouble, let me know,” Derek says. “They’re not supposed to be on this beach.” Oh. Of course, Derek wasn’t paying attention to him, he was paying attention to the twins.

“Yeah, sure.” Stiles starts walking back towards the restaurant.

“Stiles?” He turns back to the lifeguard stand. “You might want to put on a little more sunscreen.”

Stiles stomps towards the Fish Hook, embarrassed and annoyed. He couldn’t believe he’d thought that Derek would ever be paying attention to him. This little crush he had going on was getting out of control real fast, fringing into the delusional. To top it off, Derek had told him to get sunscreen like some stupid kid. Yeah, Stiles needed more because his skin was pale and sensitive and that stuff wore off fast. But it was still embarrassing.

*

Stiles has double shifts that day, but he gets a much needed break between one and two. By this point, he’s starving, and anything sounds good, but he just cannot eat another fish sandwich from The Fish Hook. Sure, the food is good, but no. He’s spent the past month staring at the food, then staring at the nasty remnants as he cleaned tables, and he just wants something from somewhere else. The smell makes his stomach turn.

He ambles along the strip, past the three restaurants – two chains, one pricey one, none of which he wants. He usually goes back to the house and watches TV after he fixes something, but that isn’t appealing either. That’s when he spots it in his periphery. Oh sweet food gods, a food truck! On the beach!

Stiles hurries past tourists carrying beach gear and people on bicycles before pounding along a wooden pier out onto the sand. The sand, once again, slings into his loafers, but this time he ignores it in favor of food truck.

The food truck is parked near the sidewalk, a wide distance away from the water. Five picnic tables sit in front of it, all of which are full. Stiles ignores them as he rushes to the food window, nearly salivating by this point. The truck sells everything from pizzas to burgers to burritos. Stiles can’t decide and wonders if he could get away with ordering it all.

Stiles jumps and just barely manages not to scream when a large, dark face pops into the window. “Ohmigod,” Stiles exclaims, holding a hand to his heart. “Boyd, you almost gave me a heart attack.”

“Hello, Stiles.” Boyd smiles serenely. “What can I get you?”

“This your food truck?”

“My boss’s food truck.” Boyd leans his elbows on the counter, his head poking through the small window. “What would you like?”

“What do you suggest?”

Boyd’s pointing to the menu when Stiles hears an irritated sigh from behind him. “Can you hold on a minute, I’m – “ When he turns around, he’s face to face with Derek. Who does not look happy to see him. “Oh.”

“What are you doing here?” Derek barks.

“Um, getting lunch?”

“Why here? You get free food at the resort.”

Stiles leans back and gives Derek a look. “Yeah, I’m aware of that, Mister Hale, but I’m also tired of the same thing every day. I can want to eat lunch with Boyd here.”

“He’s not eating lunch with me.”

Stiles turns back to Boyd, momentarily forgetting about Derek. “Really, Boyd? Gonna be that cold?” Boyd just looks at Stiles, then points behind him and Derek.

“I got customers. You’re just wasting my time.”

Stiles sighs. “Fine. Give me a burrito.”

Boyd smiles, which looks just creepy without him showing any teeth, and Stiles pays him. Boyd hands him a Coke, and he walks past Derek as Derek glares. While he waits around for his food, Derek takes a seat at one of the tables. So naturally, Stiles goes and joins him.

Derek glowers.

“That’s no way to treat the person sacrificing his lunch hour to keep your grumpy ass company.”

“I don’t need to be kept company.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “I’m aware of that. I’m sure you spend days alone with nothing to keep you company but your weights, like you probably have names for all the dumbbells at your house like Mr. Bicep Builder and Deltoid Dan, and you probably like to spend hours at a time in the middle of the ocean with nothing around you but the sea.” Stiles thinks he just hit on something if Derek’s look is any indication. He smiles smugly, and Derek rolls his neck around in frustration.

“You’re so clever, Stiles. You figured out that I like to be alone. Must be some kind of genius.”

“You’re such an asshole.”

“You’re the one who sat down.” Derek stands to head over to the truck, but pauses long enough to call over his shoulder, “Do you want salsa?”

Stiles stares for a minute, his brain processing how that question came out of left field and why would Derek care about his dipping habits when – oh, Derek’s gonna pick up his food. And heard he got a burrito. If Stiles wasn’t so shocked, he might look at that a little too closely.

“Yes, please. And extra sour cream?”

Derek goes over to the truck and gets their food from Boyd. They exchange a few words which Stiles can’t hear, but he can see Boyd’s creepy, close-lipped smile. Whatever Boyd says Derek obviously doesn’t like, because he stomps over to the table like a petulant toddler.

“Aww, did mean Mr. Boyd not give you any more ketchup?” Stiles jokes as Derek slides the burrito across the table.

“No, he refused your sour cream.”

“What? No!” Stiles exclaims. “What did I do to deserve this mistreatment?” Stiles shakes his fist into the air, and Derek grunts as he pushes a small plastic container towards Stiles. It’s sour cream. “Not cool, Derek.”

Derek smirks and pops some French fries into his mouth. “So,” Derek starts, and Stiles looks at him closely because he does not expect Derek to willingly start talking to him. “Don’t you have your own friends to bother instead of bothering mine?” Never mind. Of course Derek just wanted to be rude. Stiles is pretty sure it’s his only setting.

“I’m surprised you even have friends if you treat them like this,” Stiles says as he cuts his burrito in half.

“You’re not my friend,” Derek says.

“Obviously,” he mutters before taking a bite of his burrito. He’s done. Done with Derek and his stupid rudeness and obvious hatred of anything Stilinski and his thick stubble and his stupid chest that’s just mocking him from across the table because Derek didn’t bother to put on a shirt. Stiles is just done.

They eat in silence for a few of the longest and most uncomfortable minutes of Stiles’ life. He stares at his burrito, refusing to look at Derek. Maybe it’s immature, but whatever. He’s not admitting defeat and leaving the table – he still has some of his pride, at least.

“Did you enjoy your surf lesson?” Derek asks.

Stiles looks around to see if anyone has come up to the table without his knowledge, but it’s just the two of them. When he glances at Derek, he’s staring at him expectantly, eyebrows raised.

“Um, yeah, I guess.” Stiles had really enjoyed it. But he realizes now that Derek had been nice to him just because he was being paid to, not because he actually wanted to. That much was obvious now.

“You’re not bad,” Derek offers. Stiles nods nonchalantly. “Erica might be a better teacher for you.” Stiles whips up his head, so fast that he gets a bit of a head rush. Derek’s looking at him with an odd expression, mostly closed but there’s a bit of something filtering through. He just can’t pinpoint what it is. “She’s – “ Derek cuts off, trying to find the right words.

Stiles rolls his eyes and groans. “If that’s what you want,” he says, pushing his burrito away.

He’s about to get up when Derek says, “I don’t want that.” Stiles looks at him, shocked. Like, mouth open, wide eyes, did Derek Hale just fucking say that? shocked. Apparently, Stiles’ shock does not please Derek. His mouth becomes a hard line. “I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“Why would I want that?” Stiles asks. “I told you yesterday that I wanted to stick with you. At least you’re nicer to me then than you are any other time.” Stiles takes another look at Derek, and realizes this was a bad idea. “You know what?” Stiles gets up, and Derek watches him carefully. “Do what you want. You, Erica, whoever can give me surf lessons. Hell, maybe I won’t even show up. Just…whatever.”

Stiles knows it’s childish, but he tosses his half-eaten burrito in the trash and walks down the beach, away from Derek. Derek is infuriating. He’s not nice, obviously doesn’t want anything to do with Stiles, and all Stiles ends up doing is making an ass out of himself whenever he’s around.

And none of this would even matter if Stiles wasn’t crazy about him for some reason he just can’t quite figure out.

*

Stiles drops off an order at a table before taking note of the glasses that needed refills. The Fish Hook is packed tonight, which is good for him. Not only in regards to tips, but because it helps him keep his mind off things like how much of an ass he’d been towards Derek at lunch. Yeah, maybe Derek deserved it, but still. Stiles was better than that. It’s not like Derek owed him anything, and Derek was his boss. Kinda. Well, might have influence that could possibly get him fired. Which Stiles would really like to avoid because he really likes his job. But mostly, he’s just embarrassed by how irritated he got at Derek for no reason. Any chance of Derek feeling the same way was totally obliterated, and now it was probably glaringly obvious that Stiles was carrying a major torch for him. Basically, he hated his life right then.

Everyone seems to come through the restaurant tonight – Allison and her father, Lydia and Jackson, Scott and Danny, even Boyd, Erica, and Isaac. Stiles smiles and plays his part, but he doesn’t feel like doing anything but sulking. He’s tired, and just wants to go home, drink a beer, jerk off, and go to sleep. But apparently, fate has other plans for him.

“What crawled up your ass and died?” Danny asks when Stiles brings his and Scott’s massive platter of fried seafood and pitcher of beer. “You have that look you only get around finals or – “

“When you’ve been dumped,” Scott finishes. “I didn’t even know you were dating anyone.”

“I’m not,” Stiles says, looking around. Laura’s at the bar, and he thinks he has maybe two minutes before she spots him. “Just a bad day; twelve hour shift.” Stiles shrugs.

“Don’t make any plans for after work,” Danny says as he starts in on the crab legs they’d ordered earlier. “We’re going to the beach.”

“I’m really not in the mood,” Stiles says. Danny shakes his head in disappointment, and Scott gives him puppy eyes.

“You’re too young to use that as an excuse,” Danny says. “We’ll drag you out if we have to.”

“I’m going to spit in your food.”

“No, you won’t. Because I’ll do worse to your food at home.” Danny gives him a twisted grin, and Stiles groans.

“You’re a sick fucker, Danny.” He hears Scott and Danny laughing as he walks away.

A little bit later, Stiles gets a lull and ends up behind the bar, chugging down water. He’s sweaty, his hair is undoubtedly sticking up in fifteen places, and some kid was running through the dining room earlier and made him spill a milkshake all over himself. He’s pretty sure it was only the fear of being a sheriff’s son and getting locked up for punching a small child that kept him from snapping.

His hands are over his face, rubbing his eyes, when he hears, “Rough night?” His fingers freeze over his eyes, and he really doesn’t want to remove them. When he lowers his hands, Derek is sitting across from him, eyebrow raised. He glances down the front of Stiles’ body, where there’s dried chocolate milkshake caked on his shirt and his cargo shorts, and drags them all the way up to Stiles’ face. “You’ve got chocolate smeared on your cheek.” Stiles sighs and licks his fingers before rubbing his cheek. Derek stares at him, and then says, “No, it’s more – “ He points to a place on his own cheek, so Stiles licks his fingers again and rubs in the general vicinity, but Derek’s still staring and shaking his head.

“Fuck it,” Stiles says. “It’s just chocolate.”

Derek rolls his eyes and leans across the bar before dragging his thumb under Stiles’ eye. Stiles doesn’t expect Derek’s thumb to be so soft against his skin, and the gentle touch makes his whole face tingle. Maybe it’s his imagination, but the touch seems to linger a bit longer than necessary, a charged moment where all the air seems to get sucked out of the restaurant. But then Stiles blinks, and Derek is back on his stool, and Stiles is left feeling light-headed.

“Did you get it?” Stiles asks dumbly, surprised his mouth is even working.

Derek nods, swallows. “I got it.”

“Thanks.” For lack of anything better to do, Stiles glances out into the dining room and notices one of his remaining tables has finished their food, so he has a reason to flee the bar. After he removes the dishes and brings them their check, Derek is still sitting at the bar. But thankfully, he’s talking to Laura. So, Stiles hangs out at the other end of the bar, away from them.

“Stiles,” Laura says. “Come here.” When Stiles stops behind the bar across from them, she says, “Derek tells me your taking surfing lessons.”

Stiles glances at Derek, who’s glaring at Laura. He can’t believe he’d ever been the topic of conversation between the two. “Um, yeah. I mean, I took one. Can’t really claim to be taking lessons before you take multiple. I stood on a board in the ocean, then fell into the ocean. Obviously, I’m a natural.”

Derek actually laughs at that, albeit very quietly. Laura shoots him a look before turning back to Stiles.

“Derek’s a phenomenal surfer. Could’ve gone pro if he’d wanted to.”

“Laura,” Derek warns.

She waves her hand dismissively. “Let me brag on my little brother. He’s won all sorts of competitions. You should see his trophies.” She smiles fondly over at Derek, who looks embarrassed. “You’re learning from the best.”

“He thinks I’d do better with Erica,” Stiles says.

Laura quickly turns to Derek and narrows her eyes. “Really, Derek?”

“Don’t start with me.”

Laura turns back to Stiles. “How can you not want to teach him? He’s so cute.” She grins, and Stiles blushes. Then she turns back to Derek. “Erica, really?”

“She’s a great surfer.”

“I’m aware of that, but I thought – “

“Laura!” Derek exclaims. Stiles watches them in confusion, not sure exactly what was going on.

“I don’t even know if I’m going to keep taking them,” Stiles says as they glare at each other. They both turn their matching glowers on him, and damn, the double Hale glare is terrifying.

“What do you mean?” Laura asks.

Stiles shrugs. “I just don’t know if it’s for me, you know. Or if I have the time. And it’s kinda expensive…” Laura studies him closely, clearly not believing him, before she turns to Derek. They start some weird, eyebrow-induced silent conversation, and Stiles takes that as his cue to go check on his last two tables. Stiles likes Laura, but sometimes, she’s just as odd as her brother.

*

Stiles reluctantly lets Scott and Danny drag him out onto the beach after work. He’s still in his soiled work shirt, and he feels dirty. But Danny had said that wasn’t an adequate excuse either.

A small fire burns on the sand, and Isaac, Jackson, and Lydia are sitting around it. Stiles is surprised to see Isaac, and Scott drops beside him on a blanket. Stiles shares with Danny and listens as the others talk, but now that he’s stopped for the day, he’s exhausted. They pass a bottle of tequila around, but Stiles passes.

“Come on,” Danny says, nudging him. “Snap out of it.”

“Some of us have actual jobs where we have to work and spend all day on our feet, not just lounge in a lifeguard stand flirting with muscled up pieces of ass,” Stiles says. Even in the firelight, he can see Danny’s embarrassment.

“Damn, Danny. You can’t let Stilinski talk to you that way,” Jackson says. “I think that deserves at least a bitch slap.”

“Shut up, Jackson,” Stiles and Lydia say in tandem.

“I saw you talking to the twins,” Stiles says.

“Yeah, Ethan. The other one is straight,” Danny explains.

“I know, he hit on Allison.”

“He did what?” Scott asks, suddenly interested in the conversation. Stiles rolls his eyes. Scott’s eternal crush on Allison even after a disastrous attempt at dating is annoying. Isaac seems like a much better match.

“That guy’s a real douche, but dude, Allison put him in his place. I wish you’d seen it. And then Derek asked about how I knew them and was all cryptic about how they’re not supposed to be here,” Stiles says, making air quotes. He turns to Danny. “Be careful, dude. They might be bad news.”

“I think I can take care of myself,” Danny replies offensively.

“Whatever, dude.” Stiles stands. “I’m heading out. I’m about to pass out.” This time, Danny doesn’t try to stop him. So, he waves to everyone and starts off down the beach.

Instead of heading directly to the street, he walks along the shoreline, trying to walk out some of the tension in his legs. And walk out some of his bad day. Plus, it’s a beautiful night. The moon was waxing, not quite full yet, but large enough to shed a bit of light on the sand. He takes off his work sneakers and dangles them from his fingers as the water washes over his feet.

He’s staring out over the waves when he notices movement. He looks closer as the wave rolls in and makes out a figure surfing. His dad had told him about night surfing a few times, and so Stiles knew whoever was out on the waves was experienced, especially with the ease and skill they navigated the waves even in the dark.

He watches leisurely as he walks down the beach, the light too dark to make out the figure, but once he gets closer, the moon catches the profile at just the right angle. Derek.

Stiles hurries past so Derek doesn’t see him, and once he’s a little farther away, he stops and turns around. Now that he knows it’s Derek, he doesn’t know how he missed it before, the shape of his chest, the swell of his arms, the stubble visible even in low light. Derek moves with the waves like he’s part of the water, tilting his body and handling the board so it moves easily along the waves. He makes it look effortless.

Stiles is mesmerized with how graceful Derek’s body is, how fluid his movements are. It’s confident and controlled, and more than that, it’s relaxed. There’s none of the rigid awkwardness Derek carries around with him daily, none of the tight shoulders and stony movements. Derek’s body flows and twists, undulates across the water. The moonlight highlights his bare chest, illuminates the angles of his body, emphasizes the lines of his strong limbs.

He’s beautiful.

Stiles stares for way too long before he finally tears himself away, his head filled with images of Derek gliding over waves, his body bathed in moonlight.

*

The next morning, Stiles contemplates skipping the surf lesson. But he remembers Derek’s body moving on the water the night before, and he wants to see that again, wants to see his body close up.

So, promptly at 10, Stiles is standing on the beach outside the resort, waiting for Derek. Derek strolls out of the same door as before, wearing only low-hanging swim trunks that are probably too short to be considered appropriate. At least, Stiles thinks they are inappropriate if his cock’s much-too-interested reaction is any indication. It’s way too early for Stiles to be faced with Derek’s perfect thighs, covered in dark hair that Stiles just wants to run his hands and tongue over –

“Stiles?” Derek calls, voice raised. He’s staring at Stiles expectantly, eyebrows raised. Oh, Derek had apparently been talking, and Stiles had missed it all. Damn those thighs.

“Yeah, sure.” Stiles shakes his head and walks towards the surf equipment room, hoping that Derek hadn’t said anything important. Derek hands him the same board as last time, and just like the last time, they stop in the sand instead of heading to the water. “Ugh, again? Really? Will I ever get out of the kiddie pool and be able to play with the big kids?”

“Probably not.” Derek gives him a shit-eating grin as he lays his board on the sand. “Learning to surf takes patience. It’s not just paddling out and standing up.”

“You let me get in the water last time,” Stiles points out as he lines his surfboard beside Derek’s.

“We always do that at the end of the lessons. Gets you used to the water while you’re learning.” Derek moves his body around a little, warming up and stretching. Stiles mimics him, albeit very badly. Derek looks like some Greek god preparing for the Olympics; Stiles is flailing around like he’s having a fit. He doesn’t miss the quirk to Derek’s mouth as he watches him. “All right, today we’re going to work on the popup, which is how you get up on the surfboard.”

“You mean I just don’t somehow crawl from my knees like I did the other day?” Stiles grins, and Derek actually manages most of a smile.

“Not unless you want to fall into the water every time.” Derek lies down on his stomach atop his board, and Stiles may have emitted a strangled sound. Derek’s body is long and strong, his muscles flexing as he gets into position. “Now, it’s basically an explosive push up, and everyone does it slightly different. I’ll show you a couple of techniques for you to choose from.” Derek glances up at Stiles. “Watch me.”

Like Stiles was having any problem with that.

Derek places his hands on the board beside his ribs and pushes his chest up, and Stiles can only stare at the curve of his upper body, his eyes settling on the dip at the small of his back. Then in one fluid motion, Derek brings his right leg beneath him, knee right under his chest, his left leg immediately following and planting farther back on the surfboard. Then, Derek pivots his body so he’s standing sideways on the board, facing Stiles.

Stiles just stares because, how? Derek seems to sense his confusion, because he smiles.

“It takes practice, but you’ll get it. You just want to make sure your feet are lined up along the stringer – this piece of wood here,” Derek runs his toe along a line running through the center of the surfboard, and Stiles should not find his fucking toe attractive. But he’s kind of captivated by Derek’s bare feet, somehow finds it intimate, with thoughts of Derek padding naked across the floor in the morning floating through his mind. “That’s your end goal. Let me show you again.” Derek lies back down on his stomach and repeats the move, and Stiles can only admire how effortlessly he moves. Derek shows him another way of doing it, but Stiles thinks he prefers the first method. Derek nods in approval. “That’s my choice.”

“You make it look so easy,” Stiles says as he lies on his own surfboard.

“Years of practice.” Derek places his hands underneath his chest. “Come on, we’ll walk through it slowly.” Derek coaches him as he goes through the motions, but he’s not successful the first time. Or the second. Or the next ten. By what feels like the thousandth time, he manages to get his feet under him at the correct width and stand up.

“There you go!” Derek exclaims encouragingly, and Stiles finds it odd, Derek being encouraging. “Now, again.”

Stiles groans and gets back on his stomach. Derek’s walking around the board above him, correcting him and giving tips as Stiles goes through the motions. He starts to get the hang of it, but Derek just keeps making him do it again and again.

“I know what you’re doing,” Stiles grumbles. “You just want to look at my ass. You’re taking advantage.”

“Oh yes, Stiles, that’s it. I’m using your surf lesson to ogle your fine ass,” Derek drawls. Stiles glances over his shoulder to find Derek smirking. “Come on, you’re doing great.”

After a little while longer, Derek finally decides that’s enough torture for the day. He picks up his surfboard and leads Stiles to the water. “See? You’re getting some water time.”

“Yippee,” Stiles says sarcastically. Stiles wouldn’t tell Derek this, but his arms are so tired they’re shaking. He’s not entirely sure they’re not going to fall off. His legs are killing him, and he’s panting from the exertion. Maybe he’s not cut out for this surfing stuff.

They wade out into the water before paddling out a bit. Derek glances over at Stiles and shakes his head. “I’m going to have to teach you how to paddle next time.”

“So, will I get to the actual surfing part by the end of the summer?” Stiles asks over the sound of the waves.

“Maybe.” Derek stops and sits up on his board, straddling it. Stiles absolutely does not stare at his bare thighs and the red material of his swim trunks pulled tight across his lap, nope. “Now, try a popup.” Stiles looks around himself, a bit unsure now that he’s in water that’s moving and not on solid sand. Derek reaches out and holds his board for him. “Just like we practiced. You can do it, Stiles.”

For a moment, Stiles is mesmerized by the way Derek says his name, the way he’s holding his surfboard, and the way he’s got this small smile of encouragement on his face. It makes something in Stiles’ chest open up and wish for this Derek, this softer version of himself. He shakes his head before his brain goes dangerous places.

“I can do this,” Stiles says to himself. He puts his hands underneath his chest, but Derek pushes at his shoulder.

“Scoot down the board a little. Your center of gravity is off. Your toes should be right near the edge. Yeah, that’s better.” Derek nods and watches as Stiles pushes himself up and then attempts to bring his legs underneath him. Instead, he loses his balances and falls into the ocean. When he resurfaces, Derek’s laughing.

“I don’t think the instructor is supposed to laugh when his student wipes out,” Stiles sputters, wiping seawater out of his eyes, his nose stinging from where the water got in it.

“Did I hurt your feelings?” Stiles tries to glare through his stinging eyes, and Derek just looks amused. “Try again. You almost had it.” He pats the surfboard.

Stiles falls off the surfboard a few more times, and then he finally plants his feet firmly for a few seconds before almost falling over. But instead of falling into the water, Stiles rocks against Derek’s waiting hands. They’re firm and strong as they hold him, pushing him straighter. Stiles looks over at Derek, still sitting on his surfboard beside him, and finds Derek staring at him. They stay like that for a few moments before Derek tears his eyes away awkwardly.

“Get used to the feeling of the board under you on the water. I’ll hold you here.”

Stiles nods numbly as he tries to find his balance. His legs feel unsure beneath him, the board too unstable under his feet. “How do you get used to this? I feel like I’m going to fall.”

“You learn to hold yourself and to move with the water. The board is as stable as the ground once you get the hang of it.” Derek takes his hands away, and Stiles stands there by himself for a few minutes. “Now, go in reverse to lie back down.”

Stiles nods, but leads with his hands and grabs on to the rails.

“Stiles, don’t – “ But Stiles doesn’t hear anything else because the moment he grips the sides of his board and shifts his weight, the board topples and he slips. He crashes face first into the board and knocks himself in the mouth right before he rolls off into the water. Two strong hands pull him up. “Stiles, are you okay?”

“Fuck,” he moans, wiping his eyes before touching his mouth. When he pulls his hand away, there’s blood. “I busted my lip.”

“Guess that’s enough for today, come on.” Derek grabs both surfboards as he swims back to shore, Stiles following behind him slowly, the salt water burning his split lip. Back on shore, Stiles walks tiredly behind Derek, his heartbeat throbbing in his lip. Inside the equipment room, Stiles grabs his towel from the bag with his clothes in it and starts drying off.

Derek comes over to him when he’s half-dry and freezing, and grabs his wrist. Stiles stares down at Derek’s fingers around his wrist as Derek tugs him through a door and along hallways in the resort Stiles has never been in before. When they go through another door that opens into a stairwell, Derek drops his wrist. Stiles follows him up two flights of stairs to a door that can only be opened via keypad. Derek punches in a code, and Stiles hears a click before Derek opens it and hold it as Stiles walks through.

They’re standing in what looks to be like a small laundry room, and Stiles follows Derek into a kitchen. None of this looks like the rest of the resort.

“Where are we?”

“My apartment,” Derek responds over his shoulder. Stiles takes a closer look around, and notices that he’s following Derek through a living room that looks more like a home instead of a resort room. There are books on shelves, DVDs lined in a large case, and a few framed photos on the tables. Two wide French doors take up most of the far wall and open onto a large deck, the ocean visible beyond it. Stiles doesn’t have a chance to look around because Derek goes into a bathroom off a small hall lined with other open doors. He catches sight of a bed through one of them, and oh god, Derek’s bedroom.

Stiles stands awkwardly in the doorway as Derek rifles through a medicine cabinet. He brings out antiseptic. “What are you doing?”

Derek looks at him like he’s an idiot. “You need to clean your lip and stop the bleeding.”

“Don’t you have first aid supplies downstairs?”

Derek nods as he takes cotton balls from a bag and pours solution on them. “A few bandaids, some ointment. Nothing big.” He surprises Stiles by reaching out and swiping the cotton ball over his swollen lip tenderly. Stiles wants to protest because he’s not five years old, but Derek’s staring at his lip in such concentration, with his eyebrows pinched in concern, that Stiles can’t get anything past the lump in his throat.

Derek tosses the soiled cotton ball in the toilet before squirting antiseptic on another and swiping it over his lip just as gently. “Does it hurt?”

“I busted my lip on a surfboard; what do you think?” Derek’s eyes flick up to Stiles’ briefly, and something in them makes Stiles’ heart clench. “I mean, yes, it hurts.”

“Stop talking,” Derek orders. Stiles complies as Derek finishes wiping around his mouth.

When he’s squirting more antiseptic on another cotton ball, Stiles says, “I’m sorry, that was rude. It’s just that I face planted on a surfboard and sustained my first injury, and it’s kinda embarrassing.”

“You shouldn’t feel embarrassed,” Derek says, wiping the cotton ball along Stiles’ cheek. When Stiles tries to pull away, Derek sighs in exasperation. “You skinned your cheek, too. See?” Derek points to the mirror and Stiles looks in it for the first time.

Sure enough, he’s got a small red abrasion on his cheek and what looks like the beginnings of a bruise on his chin, in addition to the nasty busted lip. Plus, his hair is sticking out in five different directions while one patch of it is completely flat. His pale skin is flushed red from the sun. “Wow, I look awesome.”

He sees Derek smile in the mirror behind him. “It’s not that bad. Here.” Derek hands him a tube of ointment to put on his lip and cheek as he disappears. Stiles is finishing spreading it on his sore lip when Derek returns with an ice pack, a towel, and a sweatshirt. At Stiles’ confused expression, Derek says, “You’re shivering. You’re covered in goose bumps.”

Stiles glances at his skin, and sure enough, little pebbles dot his skin. He can’t believe Derek noticed it when he didn’t, but Stiles has been too preoccupied with Derek being nice to him and taking him to his apartment and doctoring his wounds to deal with the fact that, yeah, he’s fucking freezing.

He thanks Derek as he takes the towel. Derek lays the icepack and sweatshirt on the counter before leaving, and Stiles finishes drying off, and then he pulls the black sweatshirt over his head. It’s has the Seawolf logo across the front, is too big for him, but soft and well worn. He lifts the sleeve to his nose and inhales. It smells like Derek.

He grabs the icepack and applies it to his lip as he wanders back into the living room. Derek’s not there, but he finds him in the kitchen. “Just apply it alternately to the lip and the cheek, and you’ll be fine tomorrow.”

“Okay.” Stiles doesn’t know what to say now, standing in Derek’s kitchen wearing Derek’s sweatshirt. “Um, I’m gonna go.”

Derek nods and unnecessarily walks Stiles to the door. With a small wave, Stiles disappears down the stairs, head spinning.

*

Stiles is walking through the resort, looking for Scott. He was on elderly duty today, so Stiles checks the indoor pool and the movie room before finding him in a large conference room, playing Bingo. A little old lady calls out B-6 while Stiles makes his way to Scott’s table. A few old ladies wave at him as he sits down.

“Dude, what happened to your face?” Scott whispers. “Did you get beat up? Was it the twins?”

“What? No,” Stiles says, shaking his head. “They’re douches, but I doubt they go around beating people up.”

“Then what happened?” Stiles covers O-75 when Scott’s paying more attention to his face than the game.

“Surfing lesson.”

“You’re taking surfing lessons? Why didn’t you tell me?” Scott exclaims quietly as he covers another number. “Who are you taking them from?”

“Derek.”

Scott’s expression is one of complete shock. “Derek Hale? Like who owns the resort?” Stiles nods. “Why does he give surf lessons?”

“Apparently he’s some wicked surfing genius or something. I slipped on my board and busted my lip.” Stiles shrugs. He wonders if he should say anything as Scott covers up a few more numbers. Finally, he gives in. He just needs to talk to someone.

So, he tells Scott about his crush and the weird lesson and trip to Derek’s apartment. Scott glances down at the sweatshirt Stiles is still wearing.

“You have a crush on Derek?”

“That’s the first thing you say?” Stiles groans. “Thanks. I know your love life is great, what with Isaac and his perfect curls and blue eyes, but still.”

“I’m sorry, man. Maybe Derek likes you, too?” Scott says hopefully. Stiles rolls his eyes, but Scott continues. “No, listen to me! He gave you his sweatshirt to wear. That’s like big. And showed you where he lives.”

“BINGO!” Stiles yells as he covers up I-20. Scott beams as he reads his winning Bingo card aloud. Everyone claps around him as he gets a $5 gift certificate to the surf shop. Scott gives it to him.

“Since you’re friends with Erica and all. You can purchase something.” Stiles rolls his eyes and leaves Scott to bingo with old people.

Stiles is wondering why he’s still at the resort on his day off as he walks by Laura’s office door on his way to the employee locker room. The door is cracked, and he hears raised voices. Being a cop’s son (and preternaturally curious), he listens just outside.

“It won’t be long before you’ll sell,” a confident male voice says.

“This resort has been in my family three generations, Matt. We’ll never sell, especially to you and your family, no matter how much money you offer us,” Laura replies.

Stiles’ brain is whirling, trying to pick apart those pieces, when this Matt character responds, “When you’re going bankrupt, you’ll contact me and this conversation will go very differently.”

Stiles pretends to be walking down the hall when Matt exits the room. Stiles hurries the other away before Laura catches him.

*

Stiles walks with Danny and Scott to Jackson’s beach house later that night. After his shower, Stiles realized he was sporting a decent sunburn, so he spent the rest of the day slathered in aloe and curled in Derek’s sweatshirt. He was still a bit cold (he blamed being damp for half the day and the sunburn), and was too lazy to change clothes before walking to Jackson’s. He just threw on a pair of board shorts and flip flops with the sweatshirt. Being on the beach at night always made him cold, anyway, or at least that was how he was justifying wearing Derek’s sweatshirt if anybody asks.

Although Jackson’s parents were eternal members at the resort, they owned a beach house a couple of miles away. His family stayed at the resort like Lydia’s, which Lydia guessed was because the beach house didn’t come equipped with a full spa and personal masseur like the resort, but they kept the beach house around just because. And Jackson used it often.

Music filters from the back of the house as they walk around it. Lydia and Jackson are on the back deck with Allison. Everyone starts in on Stiles about his face as he grabs a beer, and seriously, he’s tired of reliving his embarrassing lack of surfing skills over and over.

“I can’t believe you can’t even stand up on a surfboard,” Jackson says as he and Danny laugh.

“I’d like to see you do better,” Stiles snaps.

Allison pats his shoulder sympathetically. “It’s difficult to begin with. But you’ll get the hang of it. Besides, you couldn’t have a better teacher! Derek is a fantastic surfer.”

“And hot as fuck,” Danny says under his breath. Allison giggles as she and Lydia agree, and Jackson groans. Stiles hopes he’s not blushing and that Scott isn’t looking at him knowingly. “The best part of my job is watching Derek at the next lifeguard station,” Danny continues.

“I do have to say it’s a perk,” Allison smiles.

“Maybe I should take surf lessons,” Danny says. “I wouldn’t mind a little one on one time in the sand with him.” Stiles feels his hackles rise until Danny claps Stiles on the back, right on top of his sunburn, which makes Stiles howl in pain. “Please tell me that you are using that quality time wisely.”

“By doing what exactly, Danny? Blowing him in between practicing popups?” Stiles glares at his friends. Stiles alternately wants to punch something because Danny thinks Derek is hot (and he’s under no delusion that someone as hot as Derek would want him instead of Danny) and hopes no one can see how much he’s blushing. Thankfully, no one looks the wiser.

“A good blowjob would probably do him good,” Lydia says as she curls her long hair into a bun. “He’s so not friendly. His sister and uncle are much nicer. It’s a good thing they deal with the members.”

Thankfully, the conversation veers away from Stiles’ surfing skills, which also means away from Derek. They sit around and drink beer while they talk, and Lydia soon calls and orders the pizza, way too much pizza if what Stiles overhears is correct. But whatever. Maybe he can take the leftover pizza home to live off of for the next few days.

Stiles is leaning back in a chair, beer in hand, when Isaac comes around the house, followed by Erica and Boyd. And Derek. Whose eyes go straight to Stiles. Stiles flails in the chair, loses his balance, and almost falls backwards, but manages to make it to his feet at the same time he drops his beer.

“Party foul!” Danny crows as Scott exclaims, “Alcohol abuse!”

“Fuck, Stilinski! Move much?” Jackson yells. Stiles quickly bends to grab the bottle, amber liquid gushing out into a puddle. Everyone’s staring and laughing at him, except Jackson, who’s finding a towel.

“Um, I slipped,” Stiles says lamely, his face burning. The new arrivals soon take precedent over Stiles’ usual clumsiness. Jackson throws the towel at Stiles’ head when he returns from inside, and Stiles flips him off before crouching down and cleaning up his mess. At least he has something to distract him from his immense humiliation.

“Need a hand?” a voice says from behind him. Stiles is glad he’s turned away so Derek can’t see the smile that passes over his face despite the fact that, yep, Derek totally witnessed that whole spectacle. Stiles schools his features as he finishes wiping up the spilled beer.

“Thanks, but I got it.” Stiles stands up and throws the towel back at Jackson. It lands in his lap. He starts cursing, and Stiles rolls his eyes. Then he turns his attention to Derek, who’s standing in front of him looking completely adorable in a lavender v-neck t-shirt and shorts. Stiles realizes it’s the first time he’s seen him in actual clothes that weren’t resort uniforms. Or ridiculously tiny swim trunks. “What are you doing here?”

Derek angles his body to look back at the rest of the group. Scott and Isaac are chatting close off to the side, Allison, Erica, and Lydia are sitting around in the chairs, and Danny, Jackson, and Boyd are around the beer cooler. “Scott invited Isaac, who invited Erica, who made me come.” Derek turns back Stiles with a slightly awkward shrug.

“Isn’t this the part where I tell you to stop hanging out with my friends because you have your own?” Stiles asks.

Derek levels a look at Stiles. “Point taken.” He takes a step closer and holds Stiles’ chin lightly between his thumb and forefinger, gently turning Stiles’ face to look at the bruise. “You hit yourself pretty good.”

“Thanks for reminding me.”

“Did you keep the icepack on it like I told you?” he asks without removing his fingers.

Stiles nods. “Yes. Well, kinda. It was cold, like way too cold, I was already freezing. I’ve been freezing all day.”

Derek lowers his hand, his eyes following. He touches the hood of his sweatshirt lightly. “I can see that.”

“Oh, I can give it back to you. I forgot I still had it on,” Stiles lies easily as he grabs on to the bottom, but Derek shakes his head.

“Keep it. You can give it to me later.” Stiles tries not to look too relieved. He really didn’t feel like giving it back. He may or may not have been planning on sleeping in it. “You got sunburned, didn’t you?”

“How’d you know? Is it that obvious?” Stiles pats his cheeks.

“The back of your neck, plus explains why you’re so cold. I told you yesterday to wear sunscreen.”

Stiles stares at him, surprised he remembered that. He’s about to respond when Lydia says, “Are you two going to join the rest of us, or just stand over there having your own party? Hmm?” Stiles glares at her from around Derek, and she’s staring at him with that calculating expression she gets. Dammit.

Later, after they’ve eaten pizza and played a few lazy rounds of cards, Stiles looks around and sees that Derek has walked out onto the beach. He leaves the group, where Isaac and Scott are cuddled in a chair, Allison, Erica, and Danny are in an intense discussion about surfing, while Boyd, Lydia, and Jackson play another round of cards.

He leaves his flip flops by the deck and feels the soft sand shifting beneath his feet as he walks. Derek is standing at the edge of the water, and Stiles stops beside him right as the water rolls over their feet.

“Everyone too much for you?” Stiles asks.

“Your friends are nice,” Derek says. “I’ve never hung out with resort employees or members before.”

“Is it weird?”

Derek shrugs. “Not really. Allison and Danny are the only ones I ever really see.” Stiles looks over at Derek as he stares out into the ocean, his profile prominent in the low light of the setting sun. The horizon is a canvas of orange and pinks, the moon already visible overhead. “Sometimes, though, that many people can get overwhelming.”

“Is that why you like to surf?”

Derek turns to him and smiles. He nods. “Yeah. When you’re out there, it’s just you and the waves. Nothing else to worry about, no one bothering you, no one telling you you’re not good enough. You’ve only got yourself to answer to.”

Stiles feels like there’s more in that statement that he’s not getting, but he doesn’t know the right question to ask. So, instead, he just nods and stares back at the ocean.

“Is the resort in trouble?” Stiles blurts after a few quiet moments. Derek looks at him sharply. “I overheard Laura talking to some guy named Matt – “

“Oh, that.” Derek runs a hand over his face.

“Something about selling?”

“It’s nothing to worry about.”

“You can tell me.”

“Stiles, I said it’s nothing,” Derek snaps. Stiles flinches. It isn’t what he expects after everything that passed between them today. He thought that maybe they were becoming friends. Derek’s face softens. “I’m sorry. It’s just – “ He glances over his shoulder at everyone back on the deck. “Don’t say anything to anyone, okay?”

Stiles nods.

They stay out there for a long time, standing side by side as the stars come out and the water washes over their feet as the tide rolls in.

*

The week passes quickly. Stiles is busy at work, alternating between the restaurant, the beach, and private parties. His sunburn hurt for a few days before subsiding, and his arm muscles killed him for days after his surf lesson. He was too sore for another one, but he hadn’t scheduled one with Derek anyway, so it wasn’t a problem. Actually, he didn’t see Derek after the party at Jackson’s beach house except when he worked the beach and waved awkwardly when Derek was on his lifeguard tower.

One of the days he works the beach, he’s carrying a tray of martinis out when he notices Danny leaning against Derek’s lifeguard station, Derek standing in front of him. They both are talking, and from his angle, he can only see Derek’s tattooed back, but he can see Danny’s face. And he knows that face. That’s Danny’s flirting face, Danny’s I’m gonna get some face, and Stiles has never seen Danny strike out. Ever.

He tears his eyes away from the two of them talking before they catch him staring. It’s not like anything was going on with Derek; they were barely friends. So, Danny has every right to flirt with him. But it still makes him angry.

It doesn’t help that Stiles sees Danny hanging around Derek the next few days. Whatever. It’s not like he had a chance anyway. No matter what he thought might have happened between them the other day.

Stiles stops by the surf shop on his way home from work one afternoon, and finds Isaac there in addition to Erica. He waves as he walks up to the counter.

“Hey,” Stiles says.

“Hey there, you,” Erica says, coming around the counter and pulling him into a hug. He tries to ignore her chest pressed against him in a thin bikini top. “I’ve missed you. I thought you didn’t love me anymore.” She juts her lip out in an exaggerated pout.

“I’m sorry. I’ve been working a lot.”

“It’s not fair Isaac gets to see you all the time,” Erica continues. “It’s not my fault that I’m not banging your roommate. I’ve already seen Scott twice this week, and I know Isaac spent the night last night.”

“You can spend the night if you really want,” Stiles says. “We can have a movie marathon and you can sleep on the couch.”

“Aren’t you just the sweetest thing ever?” She reaches out and pinches his cheek. “Why did you stop taking surf lessons?”

“I didn’t stop,” Stiles says.

“You haven’t been on the books in over a week.” She purses her lips and puts a hand on her hip. “I know that it’s not Derek’s teaching, he’s the best we have. Is it, I don’t know, something else dealing with Derek?” She looks at him with too wide, innocent eyes.

He sighs. “No, it’s nothing like that. There is nothing, nada, going on between me and Derek. Besides, I think he has his sights set on Danny.”

“Danny?” Isaac asks in confusion.

“I was too sore to take any more lessons until a few days ago,” Stiles reluctantly admits, not wanting to discuss Danny, not even sure why he let it slip. Damn his lack of brain to mouth filter.

“Wait a minute,” Erica says, “What is going on with – “ She cuts off when she notices the twins walking through the door. They grin at the three of them, and Stiles feels Isaac tense behind him. “What the fuck are you two doing in here?” Erica snaps. Stiles glances towards the back of the store, where a few of the customers are distractedly looking at souvenirs.

“Is that any way to treat paying customers?” Aiden asks.

“I don’t care. Get the fuck out of my surf shop.” Erica points to the door with a glare.

“Not your surf shop, blondie,” Ethan says. “So, I think I can go anywhere I please.”

“How about I make you leave?” Isaac growls from behind Stiles. Stiles turns around in shock, and honestly, a bit freaked out. This was a side of Isaac he was definitely not expecting.

“What you gonna do about it, townie trash?” Aiden sneers. “How’s working at that ice cream shop going for you? Bet you make enough money to buy a new chain for your bicycle.”

“Ignore them, Isaac,” Erica whispers as she reaches across the counter and grips his arm.

“You’re hanging with the wrong people,” Ethan says to Stiles. “This townie trash, plus Hale, the alpha of townie trash.”

This was not okay, Stiles decides. Not only do they mess with Erica and Isaac, but now they’re bad mouthing Derek, who isn’t even here to defend himself. Not okay.

“Who the fuck are you?” Stiles asks. “Just because your dad is rich and you come stay at a beach house doesn’t mean you get to walk around like you’re some big shit. I’m sure in a month you’ll go back to pathetic lives where you’re just as big of losers as you are here.”

Aiden’s hand curls into a fist as he steps towards Stiles. By some stroke of fate, Stiles does not flinch. “You better watch it, you little douchebag. You do not want to mess with us.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“Come on, Aiden, let’s stop wasting our time in this dump,” Ethan says as he grabs his brother’s arm.

“This place isn’t a dump,” Stiles says as they stare at the twins walking down the street outside the glass.

“Yes, it is,” Erica says, slamming her hand on the counter. “This place sucks!” A few of the customers look over at her in surprise, and then hurry out of the store. “That’s why I want to buy it.”

“You want to buy it?” Stiles asks.

“Yeah. Old Man Harris doesn’t give a shit about this place, and he won’t listen to any of my ideas about it. I could make this dump so much better, but as long as he runs it, it’ll just keep sucking harder than Isaac did last night.” Isaac flips her off.

“So, why don’t you just buy it? Will he not sell?”

Erica looks at him like he’s the biggest idiot on the planet. “I’m not some seasonal rich girl. I barely scrape by from the money I make at this place and with surf lessons. I work on the mainland in the offseason. I need money.” She flips her hair over her shoulder. “That’s why I’m going to win the surf championship.”

“What surf championship?”

“Resort hosts a championship every summer,” Isaac explains from behind him. “There’s a huge cash prize. Derek used to win every year until he stopped competing.”

“I want to show you something,” Erica says, walking towards the back of the store. Stiles follows her to a line of surfboards displayed along the back wall. She points to one. “See that?” Stiles looks at the board in question, a red surfboard with a wolf and the words SheWolf Surfing emblazoned on the side. “I made that.”

“You made that?” Stiles exclaims. She nods. “I don’t know anything about surfboards, but this is fantastic!”

She beams. “I want to sell my surfboards, but Old Man Harris doesn’t really like the idea. I do it anyway, trying to get the word out.”

“You should sell online,” Stiles says. “That’s one of the best ways to make a name for yourself.”

“Stiles, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

“Well, you start with a website,” he says, “which I can totally get going for you.”

“Really?” Stiles shrugs and smiles. “How?”

“I’m a computer science major with a focus on web development.” He leans towards her. “It’s what I do.”

They return to the front of the store, where Isaac is sitting on a stool, still looking pretty tense. His hands are balled into fists on his thighs.

“You okay, Isaac?”

“Fine.”

Erica looks at him sympathetically. “Isaac doesn’t get along with the twins. At all. Years of torment will do that to you. Derek banned them from the resort and the beach.”

“Doesn’t work,” Stiles replies. “Ethan’s been flirting with Danny for weeks, and Aiden won’t stop bothering Allison.” Stiles grabs Isaac’s arm. “Come on, buddy. Let’s go calm you down.” Stiles drags Isaac out of the surf shop, and Erica mouths “thank you” when Stiles waves to her over his shoulder. Isaac shakes Stiles’ hand off when they’re outside, and Stiles watches as he storms ahead. It leaves something unsettled in Stiles that Isaac is tense and closed off.

He doesn’t tell Isaac to follow him as he turns to the right when he gets to the end of the street. He’d seen Boyd’s food truck further down the beach when he’d been working earlier, so he stuffs his hands in his pockets as he walks.

“Thanks,” Isaac says quietly a few minutes later when he finally falls into step beside Stiles.

“I didn’t do anything,” Stiles points out.

“Still.” He smiles, but it’s not Isaac’s usual smile.

When they get to the window of the food truck, Boyd leans through the window and gives them both his creepy, close-lipped smile.

“I need you to whip up a fuck-the-assholes-don’t-be-so-angry special for Isaac here.” Stiles claps Isaac on the shoulder. “Work your food truck magic, Boyd!”

“My usual nachos,” Isaac says, and Boyd nods. Stiles looks between them.

“You two are no fun!”

Stiles follows Isaac over to a table. They’re the only ones sitting around the food truck, which isn’t surprising since it’s mid-afternoon.

“Figures you’d come to this piece of shit to eat,” a voice calls about behind them. Stiles glances up and, for fuck’s sake. The twins.

“What the fuck is your problem?” Stiles asks. “This is borderline stalking. I know, my dad’s a sheriff. I should report you.”

“Not hiding behind the dumb blonde, I see,” Aiden says to Isaac, pointedly ignoring Stiles. “Do you always get girls to protect you?”

And that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Before Stiles can blink, Isaac’s growling and launching himself from the bench to attack Aiden. He catches Aiden by surprise and knocks him to the sand. Then, Isaac grabs Aiden’s shirt and starts punching his face.

“Isaac!” Stiles screams, pulling at Isaac’ shoulders in an attempt to get Isaac off him. And that’s why he doesn’t see the punch coming.

Ethan punches him in the jaw, and Stiles stumbles backwards, slightly dazed. Before he gets his wits about him, Ethan sucker punches him in the stomach.

“Fucking asshole!” Stiles yells as he moves towards Ethan, but Ethan has twice his muscle mass, so he easily slams Stiles to the ground.

Isaac ends up on his back beside him, and the twins stare down at them evilly, laughing. “Pussies,” they say before spitting into the sand beside them.

“Leave them alone,” Boyd says, his deep voice commanding.

“Oh look, Isaac. Getting someone else to fight your battles for you,” Ethan says.

“Whatchu gonna do, Boyd? Huh?” Aiden says. “Gonna protect Isaac like that whore with big tits did?”

“Don’t you say a fucking word about Erica,” Boyd growls.

“Oh, I’ll say what I want. I’ll say all sorts of things when she’s in my lap, riding my – “ Aiden doesn’t finish because Boyd punches him so hard, Aiden falls back into the sand. He just lays there, knocked out.

“You were saying?” Boyd asks, looking at Ethan.

“It ain’t over, you townie trash,” Ethan says, hooking a barely conscious Aiden’s arm around his shoulders and dragging him away.

“What the fuck are those guys’ problem?” Stiles yells as he pushes himself to his feet with some difficulty.

“They’re always like this,” Boyd says. “That’s probably the tenth fight Isaac’s gotten into with them over the years.” Boyd holds out a hand and helps Isaac to his feet. He looks at Isaac’s face, which has blood on it from a bloody nose. “You need to go get ice on that.”

“Fuck, and I have to work tonight,” Isaac groans as he starts down the sand.

Stiles takes his nachos to go, and eats them as he walks down the beach. His stomach kind of aches where Ethan punched him, and his chin is throbbing. And his surfboard induced injuries had finally started to fade.

*

That evening, Stiles drops by Erica’s house because she’d wanted him to see the boards she’d been working on. When he walks into the yard, he sees the garage door open and finds her inside. She’s bent over a flat piece of wood and using a jigsaw. Her hair is pulled back into a pony tail, and she’s wearing a long-sleeved shirt, safety goggles, and a mask. Stiles hovers inside the garage door, watching as she cuts down the wood. She turns off the jigsaw when she notices he’s standing there.

“Hey!” she says.

“What are you doing?”

“Cutting down the blank. This one’s a wood blank, and that,” she points to a large, blue piece of material on a workhorse behind her, “is foam. I make both.”

“You know this is kinda hot,” he says, pointing to the power tool in her hand. She grins.

“I know.” She waves her hand towards the door. “Go inside, I want to finish this, then I’ll show you what I’ve done.”

Stiles walks inside the house as she starts the jigsaw back up and bends over the wood. He walks through a modest living room and into a kitchen. Where he finds Derek, sitting at a small dinette table. Derek looks up when he hears Stiles enter.

“Hey, Stiles,” Derek says, surprised.

“Hey,” Stiles says, taken off guard because he was not expecting to find Derek in Erica’s kitchen. Boyd, definitely, or even Isaac (except he’s at dinner with Scott), but definitely not Derek. And then he’s taken even further off guard by Derek’s sudden appearance by his side, cause hey, personal space, but it’s not a bad thing. Not when Derek smells like sunshine and the beach, like something sweet with a hint of coconut, and Derek’s touching Stiles’ chin.

“Did you go surfing alone and slip again?” There’s a playful expression on Derek’s face, and this close to him, Stiles can see how his eyes change color depending on the light. Stiles does a poor job of not staring, until Derek lifts his eyes and stares back. They stay suspended like that for a few heavy moments, and Stiles is trying to decide if he’s making up the way Derek’s thumb drags lightly against his skin and the intense look in his eyes.

Stiles laughs awkwardly, and it seems to dispel the tension. Derek drops his hand. “No, actually, I got into a fight.”

“What?” Derek exclaims.

Stiles scratches the back of his head. “Yeah, um, Isaac and the twins – “

“Fuck,” Derek mutters as he rubs a hand over his face. “Is Isaac okay?”

“Yeah, a bloody nose, but dude, you should have seen Aiden’s mouth. Isaac beat the shit out of him, and then Boyd knocked him out for talking shit about Erica. Did she not tell you?”

Derek looks at Stiles, obviously frustrated. His brows knit tightly on his forehead, his mouth a hard line. “No, she didn’t, and neither did Isaac. How did you get involved?”

“I tried to pull Isaac off Aiden, and Ethan punched me.” Stiles lifts his shirt to assess the damage. There’s a nice, purpling bruise against his left ribs. Derek reaches forward and lightly runs his fingers over the bruised flesh, and Stiles’ eyes flutter shut.

“Thank you,” Derek says as he drops his hand. Stiles quickly lowers his shirt and steps away as he hopes Derek doesn’t notice he’s about to pop a boner right there.

“Dude, I’ve never been in a fight before!” Stiles exclaims. “I needed to earn that man card sometime.”

Derek smirks. “I think you may need some practice. You seem a little worse with wear.” He points towards Stiles’ chin.

“Hey, not all of us are body builders. Well, apparently everyone on this island is a body builder except for me.”

Derek laughs quietly, but quickly sobers. “Seriously, thank you. For helping Isaac. He…doesn’t get along with the twins.”

“Really?” Stiles replies with a roll of his eyes. “I’d never have noticed.”

“It doesn’t help that Isaac has a few anger management problems.” Derek shakes his head. “Anyway, thank you.” Derek smiles, and the smile is so genuine and beautiful that Stiles has to hold himself back from reaching forward and running his fingers along his stubbled jaw.

“Um, you’re welcome.” Stiles hopes his blush isn’t as obvious as it feels.

*

The next morning, Stiles has the breakfast shift at The Fish Hook. Mornings are not his thing, so he’s sleepy and grumpy when he opens at six, and all the coffee in the world doesn’t help him wake up as the morning progresses. Maybe he shouldn’t have stayed up half the night drinking and playing video games with Isaac, Scott, and Danny. That may have been a bad idea, but Isaac needed bro support, and Stiles had to oblige. There’s a code.

Derek goes for a quick surf just after Stiles opens, so Stiles gets to watch him, which is probably the only thing that helps him make it through the first few hours of his shift. But then at ten, Derek carries a surfboard towards the ocean, followed by Danny.

No, Stiles thinks. This can’t be happening. But yes, yes it is. Stiles has to deliver food out to his tables, but when he gets a chance to look again, Derek and Danny are both on surfboards out in the ocean, and Danny definitely has no problem standing on his surfboard. Actually, Danny looks like he has no trouble surfing, and if the move Derek demonstrates is any indication, he’s apparently giving Danny an advanced lesson. Not some beginner lesson like Derek gives to small children who probably can stand up on a surfboard better than him.

Stiles spins around and stalks away – right into Laura.

“Oh crap,” Stiles sputters, looking horrified. “I am so sorry. I didn’t see you!”

Laura cocks her head to the side, eyebrow raised in the exact same way as her brother. “Something distracting you?” Laura’s eyes flick behind Stiles quickly before they settle back on her. Stiles feels his face color.

“No, just, uh, up too late. Friend had some problems, you know how it is…”

“Yeah, Derek told me about Isaac,” Laura says. Stiles starts past her to go check on his tables, but she says, “Come to my office later today, around 3? I need to talk to you.” Stiles nods, hopes he’s not being fired. He knows he hasn’t done anything, but still.

His shift ends at one, and all he really wants to do is go home and pass out, but Laura wants to see him, so he wanders along the beach, looking for where Boyd parked his food truck today. He walks by Derek’s lifeguard station, and once again, he’s standing on the sand talking to Danny. Stiles just walks faster, not wanting to see or think about any of that.

He finds Boyd’s food truck, and after talking to him, discovers Erica hasn’t had lunch, so he buys two burritos and carries them to the surf shop to eat with her. When he enters, she’s ringing up a line of customers, so Stiles just slips behind the counter and drops onto the small stool in the corner.

After she finishes with her last customer, she turns to him, smiling. “Did you bring me a burrito?”

“I did. Boyd said you’ve been busy and hadn’t been able to eat yet.” Stiles reaches in to a sack and hands her the foil-covered burrito. “Boyd made it how you liked.”

Erica leans over and kisses him on the cheek. “I have the best boyfriend and the best friend,” she says happily as she unwraps the foil and takes a bite. “I’m starving.”

Stiles eats while he flips through the notebook of custom surfboard designs Erica shows him. He’d been impressed by the boards she’d already made (well, he had no clue what he was looking at, but they seemed impressive), and Derek had talked about how great Erica’s boards were and how he has a few that he rides often. He’d looked so proud while he watched Erica talk about her boards that Stiles had wanted to kiss him. Which he definitely tried not to think about.

After he finishes glancing through the notebook, Stiles decides to be brave – or make an ass out of himself, he’s not sure which – and ask Erica the question that’s been bugging him all day.

“Is Danny taking surf lessons?”

Erica chews and then swallows. “Yep. Had his first one this morning.”

“Oh.”

Erica waits, but Stiles doesn’t say anything, just takes another bite of his burrito. “You gonna tell me why you asked, even though I obviously already know, or am I gonna have to pretend that I don’t know?”

“Huh?” Stiles asks dumbly. “I’m too tired to brain today, okay? Scott and Danny opened a bottle of vodka last night to help Isaac feel better because of the fight, and we drank too much and stayed up way too late.”

“I know you asked about Danny because you like Derek,” Erica says. “I also know that Danny specifically asked for Derek, but that could be because Derek’s the only one who gives advanced surf lessons.”

“Ugh, I am such an idiot,” Stiles groans. “Don’t say anything to Derek, okay?”

Erica rolls her eyes. “I don’t make it a habit of spilling the things my friends tell me, okay?” She pops the rest of her burrito in her mouth. After she swallows, she says, “But I think you shouldn’t quit surf lessons.”

“Why? I’m terrible.”

Erica huffs and rolls her eyes. “You’ve had two. No one can surf after two lessons, okay? Besides, Derek has asked me multiple times if you’ve mentioned anything about not taking anymore lessons.” She leans close to Stiles. “Multiple times.

“He probably just wants the money,” Stiles says, refusing to get his hopes up.

“Yes, that’s it. Because he really needs the few bucks you pay him.”

“Hey! That few bucks is like a huge chunk of my pay, okay? Surf lessons are not cheap!”

Erica leans down and whips out the red notebook. She turns to a page and pencils in something. “You have a surf lesson two days from now at 10 a.m. And because you are such a valued customer, you’re getting the Independence Day special, which means it’s a buy two lessons, get two free! And,” she gasps in mock surprise, “look at that! You’ve already bought two lessons.” She smirks complacently.

“I hate you.”

“No excuses, Stiles. If you want to get your man, you’re gonna have to fight for him! And avoiding him is not fighting for him.” Erica puts a hand on her hip and gives him a hard look. Stiles just rolls his eyes.

He hangs with her until he has to walk back to the resort. He shows up at Laura’s office door at three sharp, and the door opens before he can knock on it. Derek’s holding the door, wearing a Seawolf t-shirt and khaki shorts, and Stiles thinks he looks really weird in an office setting instead of the beach. Stiles was starting to think that was his natural habitat.

“Come in, Stiles,” Laura says from behind her desk.

Stiles steps in hesitantly and looks at both of them. “Oh god, did I do something wrong? Cause like, if I did, I didn’t mean to. Please don’t fire me, I kinda like my job.”

Laura and Derek roll their eyes in the exact same way, and ohmigod, if that isn’t creepy.

“Stiles, you’re not in trouble,” Derek says softly as he takes a seat in front of Laura’s desk and points to the empty one beside it. Stiles lowers into it hesitantly.

“Derek told me you overheard my conversation with Matt.” Laura levels her gaze on him, and Stiles feels himself flush.

“It was an accident, I swear,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to be nosy or anything. I was just walking by and heard voices – “

“And thought you’d listen?” Laura asks with an eyebrow quirked. “It’s okay. The resort has seen better days.”

“We got hit with some hurricane damage last season,” Derek explains. “We had to do a bunch of repairs, and because we had to close through most of our busy season, we lost a lot of money.”

“It’s been hard keeping our heads above water,” Laura says.

“Why are you telling me all this?” Stiles asks.

Laura and Derek exchange a quick glance, and then Laura says, “I don’t want the employees or members to know anything. If the Dahlers think I’m just going to hand over the resort my grandparents built, they’ve got another thing coming.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Stiles asks.

Laura shakes her head. “No. I just wanted to make sure you knew the truth so no rumors would start. We’re not closing, not if we can help it.” Laura smiles and turns back to her work, a clear dismissal.

Stiles leaves the office, his head swimming with all the information. He’s halfway down the hall when he hears Derek call out of his name. He turns and waits until Derek approaches him.

“Sorry about that,” Derek says. “Laura really wanted to talk to you about it. She’s been really frazzled with the whole situation.”

“It’s not a problem,” Stiles says. “Just let me know if I can do anything to help. I like this place, it’s really cool.”

Derek nods, and as Stiles starts to walk away, Derek quickly says, “Erica told me you scheduled another surf lesson.”

“Yeah. I mean, I know it can’t be that exciting to teach a beginner like me, but, whatever.” He takes a step down the hall, and Derek looks after him with a weird look on his face. “I’ll see you later.”

Stiles doesn’t think too hard about the look on Derek’s face when he walks away.

*

Although it’s the last place Stiles wants to be when he’s not at work, he finds himself at the resort the next day. It’s his day off, and when he’d texted Lydia, she said to meet her at her suite. Stiles has never actually been to any of the member rooms; the only place he has seen is Derek’s apartment (which he’s trying not to think about and failing miserably). So, he’s shocked at how nice the suite Lydia is staying in is. He shouldn’t be surprised; the Seawolf is one of the nicest, most exclusive clubs in Northern California.

Which is why he’s there, asking Lydia for help.

“You want to what now?” Lydia asks. They’re sitting on the deck overlooking the ocean. It makes Stiles wish he was rich.

“Organize some kind of rally, or fundraiser, or something,” Stiles explains. “I mean, this place is a staple on the island, and it’s in need. If the Hales lose it, your resort will become packed with tourists in fanny packs and screaming children.” Stiles isn’t sure that’s what that Matt guy wants to do, but something about him just bothers Stiles. He seems the type that would just ruin everything.

“And how do you think a fundraiser will help?”

Stiles flails his hands around, wondering why she can’t see the urgency and importance of this. “Because! Laura and Derek are on the brink of bankruptcy! And maybe the members don’t need to know that, but all these rich members can give something back to the resort they love so much.”

Lydia thinks it over, then looks at Stiles appraisingly. “Why do you care so much? You’re just summer help.”

Stiles stammers. “Um, well, see, I kinda like this place. So, yeah.”

“You’re doing it for Derek,” Lydia states.

Stiles thinks about denying it, but realizes it’s futile. “Maybe.”

“Fine. I’ll help you plan, even get Jackson and my parents involved. My parents would die if something happens to this place.”

Stiles and Lydia spend the rest of the day outlining a strategy and plans for a fundraiser. Well, Lydia does most of the work, and Stiles provides moral support because she’s the brains of this operation. Eventually, though, they get to a point where they need more specifics.

That’s how they end up outside Derek’s office. Stiles raises his hand to knock, but hesitates.

“Oh, for god’s sake,” Lydia huffs before rapping on the door quickly. Derek calls “come in” from inside, so they step inside, and Stiles closes the door behind him.

Derek looks at them in confusion. “Ms. Martin, Stiles. How can I help you?”

Lydia sits in the chair in front of Derek’s desk, back straight, and legs crossed. “We need to know just how much money you need to avoid bankruptcy so we can put together the final arrangements for the fundraiser.”

Derek cuts his eyes to Stiles, who has sheepishly sits in the chair beside Lydia. He gives him a quick, irritated glance before turning back to Lydia much more neutrally. “Please forgive me, Ms. Martin – “

“Lydia,” she interrupts.

“Lydia, but I’m not quite sure what you are talking about.”

Lydia sighs like it pains her to breathe the same air as these idiots and places a portfolio on Derek’s desk. She walks him through the plans she and Stiles made up earlier. “Look Derek,” she states matter-of-factly, “My parents love this place. And I do, too. We come here because we respect the way your family has done things. My grandparents were some of the first members when this place opened. If someone else buys this place, that all changes. If we can raise enough money, you can keep the resort.”

Derek leans back in his chair and studies Lydia for a few moments. “And why should I listen to you, a college kid?”

“Because she’s a fucking genius,” Stiles pipes up for the first time since they got there. “She’s a mathematical genius with fundraising and charity experience, not to mention experience with media relations.”

Derek gives Stiles an unreadable look, and then shakes his head. “I don’t know. Let me run it by Laura, or set up an appointment for you to run it by her.”

“Now’s good,” Lydia says, gathering various papers into her portfolio and standing up. “I know where her office is.” Lydia smiles and then whips out of the room.

Which leaves Stiles sitting across from Derek, alone.

“I hope you’re not mad,” Stiles says.

“It was going to get out eventually,” Derek mutters. “I guess controlling it like Lydia pointed out is a better option. Use it to our advantage.”

“She really is amazing,” Stiles says. “If anyone can do this, it’s Lydia.” Derek looks at Stiles again with that blank expression, and Stiles gets up to leave. “Um, I’d appreciate it if Laura doesn’t fire me over this, so…”

Derek rolls his eyes. “Nobody’s firing you.”

Stiles smiles as he walks out the door.

*

That night, Stiles is lounging on the couch with Isaac and Scott when Danny walks through the front door and tosses his keys in the bowl by the door. His hair is wet and plastered against his hair.

“Where have you been?” Stiles asks from where he’s sprawled out in a recliner.

“Had another lesson with Derek,” Danny says as he walks into the kitchen. “He’s teaching me how to perfect my night surfing technique.” He comes back into the living room and sits on the edge of the couch with a beer. “You did not tell me how those little shorts Derek wears look when he’s straddling a surfboard.” Danny takes a sip of beer and shakes his head.

“Oh, I didn’t notice,” Stiles replies, staring very intently at the television. He can feel Scott and Isaac’s eyes on him, but he’s trying to play it calm.

“Are you dead?” Danny exclaims. Stiles looks over at him sharply. “You are bi, right?” Stiles rolls his eyes. After Danny finishes his beer, he gets up and says, “Well, I will leave the video gaming to you three tonight. I’ve got a hot date.” Stiles keeps staring at the television. “Being a lifeguard really has its perks.”

Stiles waits until he hears the door shut before he gets up. He doesn’t care how obvious he’s being; Scott already knows about his hopeless crush, and if Scott and Erica both know, then Isaac knows, too.

“I’ll be back,” Stiles says as he slips on flip flops and rushes out the door. He just cannot deal with the idea that Danny is, of course, going on a date with Derek. He’d seen them flirting around the lifeguard stations; it was only a matter of time before Danny asked Derek. And who in their right mind would say no to Danny? Even Stiles wouldn’t say no to Danny.

He walks to town, then along the boardwalk and pier. After sulking for half an hour, he decides that his crush on Derek pointless and he’s over it. Yeah, Derek has a great body, but so does everyone else around him, so that’s nothing special. And other than a few moments that may have been a bit sexually tense, he has nothing. And if Stiles was honest, he probably made up the tension in his head. So yes, crush is o-v-e-r over.

Stiles is on the end of the pier, watching a group of old men fish, when his phone buzzes. It’s a message from Scott, asking him to go by the store on his way home and pick up condoms.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Stiles asks aloud, and the guy nearest him gives him a weird look. Stiles groans and starts back down the pier, texting Scott back to ask him why he can’t get his own damn condoms.

You’re already out.

Stiles groans again, but tells Scott he’ll get him his stupid fucking condoms. And that he owes him big time, because yes. Buying your buddy condoms when you’re sadly not getting any is grounds for major favors. Many many favors.

Most of the stores are closed at this hour, but there’s one store near the pier that stays open until midnight. Stiles searches for the condoms, finds them, and then makes his way towards the junk food. Because it’s definitely a drown-yourself-in-Doritos kind of night.

He’s trying to decide between nacho cheese and cool ranch when someone calls his name. Stiles turns to see Derek walking towards him, smiling. His hair is wet, and he’s wearing board shorts, a Seawolf t-shirt, and flip flops.

“Hey!” Derek says when he approaches. “Late night snack run?” A flutter of emotion passes over Derek’s face when he glances down, and when he looks back up, his smile is much more forced than before. “Or something else I’m guessing.”

Stiles looks at his hands, and then laughs at the irony. “Oh, no. These are for Scott.” He looks up, and Derek’s brows are knitted in confusion, but he looks almost relieved. “Isaac’s at the house, and the ass asked me to pick them up condoms on my way home. It’s like, thanks guys for making the only guy in the house who’s not getting laid buy the condoms.” Stiles’ eyes go wide when he realizes what he just said to fucking Derek, but Derek’s laughing quietly. “Not that I haven’t gotten laid, I just, not right now, I mean, of course because I’m in the middle of the stores…” Stiles tries not to feel completely humiliated as Derek laughs at his embarrassing lack of sex. “Um, what are you doing? I thought that you were - oh.”

Derek’s confused again. “You thought I was what?”

“Oh, just that I thought you’d be in bed or something,” Stiles finishes lamely. Because apparently, Derek wasn’t on a date. Unless he needs to learn proper dating attire.

“No, I had a surf lesson, and then I did a bit of night surfing. I’m on my way home now.” Derek grabs a bag of potato chips, and walks with Stiles towards the register. “So, another surf lesson in the morning,” Derek says. “Think you can handle it?”

“No,” Stiles laughs. “But I’m not a quitter.”

Derek looks ahead. “That’s good to hear.” Stiles swears he doesn’t make up the smile on Derek’s face.

*

Stiles waits up for Danny after he gets home. As soon as he tossed the box of condoms at Scott’s head, he and Isaac both laughed as they nearly ran to the bedroom. Stiles turned the television up loud enough to drown out anything that would give him nightmares.

Danny gets home not long after Stiles. He grins when he comes in, and sits down on the couch.

“So, how was your date?” Stiles asks.

“Great,” Danny says as he gives Stiles his familiar I-totally-got-laid smile.

“Why is everyone in this house getting laid but me?” Stiles grouses. “Who was your date with?”

“Well, it wasn’t Derek,” Danny says, looking pointedly at Stiles. Stiles looks away in embarrassment. “Did you really think I’d cock block you like that?” Danny asks. “I know you’ve been into him for awhile. It was pretty obvious at Jackson’s party.”

Stiles groans. “But then why were you always at his lifeguard station? And why the surf lessons?”

Danny leans close and speaks slowly, “Because Derek is a good surfer and a cool guy. Just because I talked to him doesn’t mean I was moving in on him.”

“You were flirting, Danny Mahealani! I’ve watched you work that look since high school.”

“Of course I was flirting with him. Have you seen him? But he completely ignored me. Besides, he kept asking me questions about you,” Danny says.

“Me?” Stiles squeaks.

“You.” Danny stands up and claps Stiles on the shoulder as he walks by. “You’re so fucking hopeless sometimes, Stiles.” He laughs as he goes towards his bedroom.

“Hey! You never told me who your date was with,” Stiles calls after him.

“Ethan,” Danny calls from down the hall.

Shit, Stiles thinks. But he decides to deal with that later. Because in that moment, he is too happy about what Danny’d told him to think of much of anything else.

*

Derek makes him practice popups for half the lesson again, along with a few other proper techniques. Then they go into the water to practice and paddle out just enough to get into small waves.

“Come on, Stiles! You can do it!” Derek claps his hands once as Stiles feels the water roll beneath him, then stands up. He rides it for a few seconds before he loses his balances and drops back down to his knees. He does that a few more times, almost falling off his surfboard more than once, before finally gaining his balance.

“Look, Derek! I’m riding the wave!” Stiles says excitedly.

“Good! Now – wait, Stiles, don’t – “

Stiles doesn’t hear the rest. He crashes into the water, bumping his head on the surfboard when he pops back up. “Ouch!”

“You okay?”

“Except my wounded pride, yeah, I’m great.” Stiles stays in the water, arms draped over the surfboard. He squints in the sun as he looks over at Derek, casually straddling his surfboard. “How long have you been surfing?”

“Since I was four.”

“FOUR?” Stiles exclaims. “I guess that explains why you kick my ass. You’ve been surfing for longer than I’ve been alive.”

Derek laughs. “Yeah, I probably spent as much time in the water as I did on land growing up.”

“Why’d you start surfing?” Stiles asks, then shakes his head. “I mean, duh, stupid question, you living on the beach and owning a resort and all. I mean, like was there a reason other than, hey! Those people on boards look like they’re having fun, maybe I should do that, too!”

“My mom. She was a champion surfer. Won the women’s West Coast championship, and a bunch of other titles. She was ranked number one in the country a few years straight. She grew up in the resort and started surfing the moment she could stand. My dad was also a surfer, competed and won a few titles, but he wasn’t nearly as good or dedicated as my mother. She was fierce.”

Stiles smiles at the image of baby Derek surfing with his mom. “That’s really awesome. Does she still surf? I mean, do you get too old to surf?”

Derek looks away suddenly and stares out towards the ocean. “She’s dead.”

“Oh, shit, I didn’t know.”

“It’s okay,” Derek says, glancing down at Stiles. “Everyone in my family died in a car crash, except two sisters and Peter.”

“My mom’s dead, too,” Stiles shares. “Cancer.”

Stiles bobs in the water, wondering what he should say to dissipate the tension between them. But he doesn’t have to think of anything. Derek drops off his surfboard and slips into the ocean.

“Wanna go further out?” he asks. He’s got an eager expression on his face, and it’s so odd and intriguing that Stiles can’t help but grin.

“Sure!” Stiles glances back at the shore. “But isn’t my hour up? I mean, I can’t afford to pay for an extra hour, or like don’t want to keep you from your next appointment.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “Shut up and come on. No lesson. This is just us.” He lifts himself belly first onto the surfboard. “Come on! Paddle, paddle, paddle!”

Stiles doesn’t think about it too hard; he just gets onto his stomach on the surfboard and paddles after Derek. They paddle headfirst into a wave, which crashes against him and pounds his face with salt water. When he’s past, he sputters and feels his eyes stinging like fire. He wipes them hastily as Derek yells, “Paddle, paddle!”

The next wave is stronger than the first and almost knocks him off his surfboard, but he holds on. The one after that comes rushing towards him, nothing but a large mountain of water and white foam. Stiles stares at it, terrified.

“Roll!” Derek yells, but the wave crashes into Stiles before he can even figure out what Derek means. His surfboard gets pushed vertical, and he slides down until the water slams the board down on Stiles’ head, sending him shooting underwater, dazed.

Stiles descends quickly through the water from the force of the wave, and his body manages to flip somehow and his shoulder eventually collides with the ocean floor. The force of the impact sends pain shooting through his arm and it feels like he’s hitting concrete instead of sand. He opens his mouth to cry out, but water rushes in and he’s suddenly very aware that he can’t breathe and that he’s ten feet underwater.

And that’s when the panic attack decides to start.

Stiles flails around in an attempt to get himself to the surface, but he’s just kinda not moving upwards and his leg is tangled in the damn leash and the blood is rushing through his head –

And a pair of strong hands grab him under the arms and hoist him to the surface. When Stiles breaks the water, he gasps for air, but ends up choking on the water he’d sucked down his windpipe.

“Stiles!” Derek yells as Stiles grips on to his surfboard for dear life.

“Why,” Stiles starts between gasps and coughs, “the fuck,” wheeze, cough, “do you like this sport?”

Derek looks like he wants to wring Stiles’ neck, but laughs in relief. “Are you okay?”

“Other than the fact that I almost drowned, I’m dandy.”

“I’m a lifeguard; I wouldn’t have let you drown,” Derek says. He swims over behind Stiles and moves so close that his chest and legs bump Stiles with every undulation of the ocean. “That’s a nasty scrape on your shoulder,” he says as his fingers ghost over Stiles’ wet skin, leaving goose bumps in their wake. “It’s probably gonna bruise, too.”

“Great. More injuries! Surfing and me just do not mix.”

“I’m sorry,” Derek says quietly. “I should never have brought you out here. It was a stupid idea. I’ll lead you back – “

“Oh no, buddy,” Stiles says. “I didn’t almost drown so you can haul my ass back to the kiddie pool. We are staying out here, and in the words of Everclear, we’re gonna swim out past the breakers and watch the world die, whatever the fuck that means. Did we just swim out past the breakers? I don’t even know what breakers are. And I don’t really want to watch the world die. I’m way too young to be that jaded, and since I almost died, I can with authority tell you that dying is not on my list of things to do. Anyway, point is, I don’t know what we just did. Everything I know about surfing I learned from The Beach Boys.”

Derek just blinks at him. “How do you even have enough oxygen to talk that fast?”

Stiles shrugs. “It’s a gift.” He hauls himself onto his surfboard and straddles it. Derek does the same, and paddles so they’re side by side, knees touching as the water moves. They’re far enough out that they’re alone, and it’s nothing but water surrounding them. The water is calmer here, just lifting them up and dropping them back down as they slowly turn to waves behind them. “This is fantastic.”

“Being out like this is one of my favorite things in the world,” Derek says. “It’s so quiet, so peaceful. You should see it at night.”

“Oh, I’d love that!” Stiles exclaims. “Though I’m kinda afraid I’d die on the way out here.”

“That’s my fault. I should I have told you to roll or go under the waves,” Derek says guiltily. “I didn’t actually think we’d run into something that large today. The waves have been pretty calm.”

“Calm? Calm?! I’d hate to see how the epic battle of Stilinski vs. Ocean would end when the ocean isn’t calm.”

They talk for awhile, sliding down into the water when the sun gets too hot on their skin. Stiles swims around a bit, never having swam this far out before. He thought the water would be scarier, the current stronger, but it’s not too bad. Especially with Derek there.

When they’re past the waves and paddling on their stomachs back to the shore, Stiles asks, “So, do you take all your students out into the depths of the ocean?”

“No.”

Stiles glances over at Derek. “Not even the advanced lessons?”

“Nope.”

Stiles faces forward again, smiling despite himself. “Good to know.”

*

Lydia designed and had fliers printed that advertised the fundraiser. She also told Stiles that since it was his idea to get involved in the first place, he had to help her. So, that’s how he ended up walking down the boardwalk with Scott, putting up fliers.

“Do you think this is gonna work?” Scott asks as Stiles staples a flier to a phone pole.

He shrugs. “I don’t know. Lydia and Laura think it might. I figure it can’t hurt.” They step into an antique store, and the owners happily agree to place a flier. Back outside, Stiles pulls his sunglasses back on his face and says, “Thanks for spending your day off helping me.”

“Dude, I never see you anymore. It’s perfect catch up time.”

“You never see me because you’re always with Isaac,” Stiles says, side-eying Scott.

Scott blushes, but protests. “That’s not fair. We have opposite schedules.”

“Fair enough. But you still spend most of your nights with Isaac.”

“I like him, okay?” Scott says as he tapes a flier on a store window. “He’s…” Scott trails off, and Stiles looks over at him. He has this dreamy expression on his face that kinda makes Stiles want to punch him and crush him in a hug at the same time.

“Dude, you have not had that expression on your face since that stint with Allison. And this expression is ten times worse,” Stiles says.

Scott shoves him. “Shut up. I’m sure it’s the same expression on your face when you talk about Derek.”

Stiles glares at Scott, but feels his cheeks color. “I do not have some stupid expression on my face about Derek. Besides, despite my little crush, we’re just friends, and that’s all we’ll ever be.” Scott sets him with his best ‘are you kidding me?’ expression.

“A friend you threw a tantrum about when you thought he was going out with Danny.” Scott slings an arm around Stiles’ shoulder. “He likes you, too, according to Isaac.”

“And Isaac is reliable?” Stiles questions dubiously.

“Yes! Why would he lie?”

“I don’t know.”

“The guy took you out into the middle of the ocean to show you the view or whatever. That’s some romantic, cheesy bullshit right there, Stiles. I mean, even Isaac and I haven’t gone to those depths.”

“You two just fell in love over ice cream,” Stiles sneers. “Cause that’s not cheesy at all.”

“Shut up.”

*

That night, Stiles is exhausted since he worked another god-awful morning shift (with no Derek surfing to distract him), and then spent hours pounding the pavement. He just wants to go to bed, but Scott and Danny insist the he go with them to the drive-in.

“I didn’t even know these things still existed,” Stiles says. “I thought they all went out of business around 1979.”

“This is awesome!” Scott exclaims, looking around. While they set up the blankets, Stiles gets permission from the box office employees to hang a flyer in the window.

When he returns, he sees that Erica, Boyd, and Derek have joined them. Stiles tries not to get too excited. When he gets closer, he sees that the blankets have been spread out on the grass, and then realizes everyone has already claimed blankets, and it’s all couples: Lydia and Jackson, Scott and Isaac, and Boyd and Erica. That leaves one blanket with Danny, and one with Derek. Stiles stands there and just stares, trying to figure out where to sit. Derek is staring straight ahead, not looking at him, and Danny is shaking his head. Stiles is about to sit with Danny just so he’s not too obvious when Allison returns from the concession stand with two sodas and two popcorns. She sits beside Danny, leaving only one option.

“Do you mind if I share?” Stiles asks, scratching the back of his head awkwardly.

Derek looks up at him and shrugs nonchalantly. “Yeah, sure.” Stiles mutters thanks as he sits.

Boyd and Erica drove Erica’s car, which is blocking them from view, the windows rolled down with the radio on; same with Allison, who parked much closer to the screen. Scott and Isaac are on the other side of Allison’s car and out of sight, and Derek and Stiles are in the back, near the speaker installed over empty benches.

“Hey Danny,” Stiles yells, just to be a dick. “Where’s Ethan?”

Danny turns around and glares at him. “It’s not like he’s not my boyfriend. We went on one date.”

“And fucked.”

“Why do you even care?”

“Because he’s a douchebag who suckerpunched me, and you’re my roommate. I just wanna make sure you’re not gonna ruin the party by inviting douchebags you’re fucking.”

“You’re such a fucking asshole,” Danny says, turning away as the previews start.

“That was kind of a dick move,” Derek says quietly.

Stiles shrugs. “Our friendship is built on dick moves. I mean, not dick moves cause we’re totally not into each other like that – except that one time senior year, but that was just – I’m gonna shut up now,” Stiles finishes, face blood red. Derek just laughs.

The movie they’re about to watch is a classic sci-fi B-movie from the ‘60s. “Have you seen this?” Stiles asks as it starts.

Derek looks over at him. “I’ve never even heard of this. Have you?”

“Hell, yeah! I love this stuff. This movie is great. You’ll love it, I’m sure. What’s not to love? Bad special effects, sets made out of foam and cardboard, robot costumes made out of aluminum foil and duct tape, and aliens who are just people with body paint.”

“Sounds thrilling. I’m so glad I came,” Derek drawls as he turns back to the screen.

“Oh, you will be. You’ll be a classic B-movie convert by the end.”

During the first fifteen minutes, Derek goes to the concession stand and buys two sodas and one large tub of popcorn. Stiles absently shoves popcorn in his mouth as he watches the movie.

“Ooh, this is my favorite part! Watch – yes! He breaks the part off the ship! It just falls off!” Stiles laughs and sticks his hand into the popcorn, accidentally brushing Derek’s fingers. He ignores how they tingle as he watches the sequence.

Later in the movie, Stiles is leaning back on his arms, Derek sitting with his legs crossed beside him, and exclaims, “Ooh! My favorite part!”

“I thought the other part was your favorite part,” Derek says.

“It is! But this is too! Look at how the alien’s pants and shirt have tape wrapped around them! And that ground is totally a blanket. You can tell when they walk.” He turns to Derek, laughing. Derek’s looking down at him with an intense expression that makes Stiles’ skin heat just beneath the surface. But the look is gone from Derek’s face so quickly Stiles wonders if he imagined it, if Isaac’s assumption that Derek liked him was making him see things. “What?”

“Nothing,” Derek says, turning back towards the screen.

Stiles tries to concentrate on the movie, but now he’s hyperaware of the situation in a way he wasn’t before. He’s stretched out on his back, propped on his elbows, and Derek’s sitting beside him so close that his arm and knee are touching Stiles. Stiles doesn’t remember sitting down like that, distinctly remembers leaving space between them. He sweeps his eyes around them, notices that they are huddled close together on a very large blanket with a lot of empty space. He wonders if he should move, but thinks that might look too conspicuous.

“That’s the worst fight scene in the history of cinema,” Derek says during the climax.

“Ssh,” Stiles says, reaching over and touching Derek absently. “You’re gonna miss my favorite part.” Stiles waits for it, then quotes along with it, “I AM THE ROBOT KING BOB!” Stiles raises his fist in triumph.

“Bob? The robot king Bob? What the fuck is this shit?” Derek gestures to the screen.

“I know, right?” Stiles says. “It’s the best line in the entire film.”

“Film?” Derek asks. “This doesn’t get that title.” Stiles looks up at him as the giant robot king Bob destroys New York by stepping on it. They’ve moved even closer to one another, Derek pressed against Stiles’ side so that Stiles can feel his body heat seeping through his clothes and into his skin. Derek’s face is tilted down, his eyes so close that Stiles can see into their depths in a way he’s never been able to before, decides that Derek’s eyes are an ocean of their own.

Derek leans forward, closing the short distance between them. It’s just a brush of lips against his mouth, a ghost of a touch, barely there. Stiles parts his lips to breathe, to pull Derek in, but then Derek’s no longer there.

He’s on the other side of the blanket, a look of panic and confusion and want on his face. “I…” he starts, but then gets up and hurries away, leaving Stiles alone on the blanket, confused and hurt.

Stiles doesn’t wait for the movie to end, doesn’t want to face his friends when he’s not even sure what just happened. Instead, he leaves and heads back towards the house. When he’s about halfway back, a car slows beside him.

“So, you struck out?” Danny asks from the passenger seat of Allison’s car.

“Fuck off, Danny.”

Stiles can hear Danny laughing and Allison telling him not to be an asshole as she drives away, but he knows he deserves it for the Ethan comment earlier.

It doesn’t make it sting any less.

*

The next morning, Stiles is insufferable. He barely manages to smile and not stick a fork in customers’ eyes. During the mid-morning lull, Laura finds him behind the bar, absently cleaning glasses.

“What in the hell is your problem, Stiles?” Laura asks, hand on her hip. Her gaze is penetrating, and it just pisses him off even more. He does not feel like dealing with this. “I’ve already had two customers complain, and Mrs. Taylor is extremely concerned.”

Stiles doesn’t respond, just stacks the glass he’s holding and picks up another one.

She sighs in frustration. “Tell me what’s wrong or I’ll fire you.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Pretty sure that’s illegal.”

“Pretty sure telling one of our oldest members ‘whatever’ when he says his eggs are prepared wrong is grounds for firing.” Laura raises her eyebrows. “Speak, Stilinski. Or I’ll make you.”

“I’m hung over. Sorry.”

Laura rolls her eyes. “You’re not hung over. I’ve seen you hung over multiple times. This is not it.” Stiles goes back to his glasses, ignoring her. “Something happened with my brother.” Stiles glances at her sharply, and she smirks in triumph. “What happened?”

“Nothing happened,” Stiles mutters.

“You’re lying.”

“Actually,” he snaps, “I’m not. Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Zip. Zilch. Nada.”

“I knew it,” Laura sighs, dropping onto the stool. “I knew something must have happened.” Stiles looks at her in a combination of frustration and curiosity, and she waves her hand around. “Derek has been unbearable and hiding in his office all morning, I knew you two went to the drive-in last night, and add that to the fact that he’s been talking about you for weeks, it isn’t hard to figure out that he screwed up.”

Stiles doesn’t hide his surprise at her words. He turns away from her though, trying to figure out exactly what he is supposed to make of this new information.

Laura gets up, but as she walks away, she says, “Don’t be too hard on him, but don’t tolerate him being an idiot, either.”

*

Damn Scott and his puppy eyes. It’s all his fault. Well, his and Isaac’s (and his damn puppy eyes), because they told him moping around the house all evening would not be a good idea. So, they dragged him to the beach (Stiles noticed it was quickly becoming a theme and perhaps he should learn how to say no), where the others were gathered around a bonfire.

Stiles is not there more than ten minutes before Erica, Boyd, and Derek show up. Stiles glares at Scott and Isaac, who are obviously not looking at him. They both reek of guilt, and Stiles decides to kill them later. Probably in their sleep. And slowly.

Derek doesn’t take the empty spot on the log beside Stiles, instead shares with Erica and Boyd across the fire, and that hurts more than it should. Scott’s got a guitar, Danny pulls out a joint he lights to pass around, and everyone’s just hanging. But Stiles can’t handle it. He’s exhausted, and still upset about Derek, who is sitting across from him, not saying a damn word to anyone, just occasionally nodding when Boyd, Erica, and Isaac speak to him.

“I’m heading out,” Stiles stands, passing on the joint Allison offers him. “Long day.” Scott protests, but he’s kinda high and gets distracted by something Isaac says and then starts strumming another song.

Stiles walks across the cool sand, his footsteps heavy as they sink into the shifting ground. He’s almost to the street when he hears someone call his name. He glances back over his shoulder. Derek’s running across the sand towards him. Stiles sighs and keeps walking.

“You read my mind,” Derek says as he falls into step beside Stiles. They step onto the asphalt, and Stiles walks over to the water hose to wash the sand off his feet before slipping on his shoes. He leaves Derek watering his feet and starts down the street. “Stiles, wait.”

“What do you want?” he snaps.

“Just not in the mood to stay back there.”

“What, you don’t want to sit around and get stoned and listen to Scott wailing on his guitar? Believe me, it’s quality entertainment. I have wasted many a night that way. Or is it that as their boss you can’t be around such illicit, illegal activities?”

“I don’t give a fuck what they’re smoking or whatever, as long as they’re not high at work,” Derek says.

“Oh, so no sudden mandatory drug tests at work so you can fire us all?”

“No, what? Why would I do that? And what are we even talking about?”

“I don’t know, dude, you followed me, remember?”

Derek sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “Look, I’m sorry. About last night. About kissing you and running off.”

Stiles shrugs. “No big deal. You didn’t mean it, I get it.”

Derek shakes his head and grabs Stiles’ arm, stopping them in the middle of the street. “I meant it. I just...”

Stiles waits, but Derek doesn’t continue. “You just what?”

Derek runs a hand through his hair again, making it stick up in ways that Stiles finds way too adorable, and he’s supposed to be mad, and Derek’s adorableness is just making him madder. “I like you.”

Stiles looks at Derek, but once again, he doesn’t say anything else. “Could have fooled me.” He starts walking again, because now Derek meant to kiss him and likes him? Yes, he should be sorry. That was not cool.

“I’m terrible at these kinds of things,” Derek admits as he walks alongside Stiles.

Stiles turns his head and scoffs. “You? Bad at these things? Just look at you. All you have to do is step onto the beach, and everyone within a ten mile radius would date you.”

“Picking up guys and having sex? That I’m good at. But this?” He points between him and Stiles. “Not so much.”

“So, what you’re telling me is you don’t want to have sex with me?”

“Yes!” Derek says. “I mean, no. I mean, dammit, Stiles. Why do you make things so complicated?”

“It’s a gift.”

“I like you. I want to take you to dinner and listen to you talk about your family and your major and what kind of music you like. Which honestly, kinda freaks me out a little. And last night, when I kissed you, I realized that we were sitting on a blanket at a drive-in and I had bought you a Coke and we shared popcorn. It was the most date-y kind of thing I had done in a long time.”

Stiles lets Derek’s words sink in. He likes him. He wants to date him, to do more than just sex. Stiles suddenly feels lightheaded, like he wants to go running through the streets while screaming. But Derek had left in that implied but. And Stiles doesn’t know what to say to that.

Instead of talking, he reaches out, grabs Derek’s hand, and laces their fingers. Derek looks down at their joined hands and then at Stiles’ face, but doesn’t pull his hand away.

They walk silently hand in hand the rest of the way to Stiles’ house. Derek walks him to the door, and Stiles faces him.

“Thanks for walking me home,” Stiles says.

“No problem.” Derek smiles, and it’s the first genuine smile Stiles has seen on his face. It makes his heart flip-flop in his chest.

Stiles points out as he rubs his thumb back and forth over the back of Derek’s hand. “Well, I better go inside because work early in the morning, and Laura has – “ Stiles is cut off when Derek leans forward kisses him midsentence. Unlike the night before, Derek’s lips are firm against his own, and Stiles closes his eyes and concentrates on just how plump and soft Derek’s lips are. The stubble on his cheeks scratches his mouth lightly. Stiles can smell the sweet, coconut fragrance on Derek’s skin, feel the warmth of the sun under his fingertips that are curled around Derek’s arm, feel the pressure of Derek’s hand squeezing his. Stiles opens his mouth slightly, and Derek slides his tongue inside Stiles’ mouth hesitantly, just a shallow brush of tongues before it’s gone and Derek’s pulling away.

The kiss is short, but more passionate than half the kisses Stiles has ever had before. He feels slightly weak in the knees, didn’t realize that was an actual feeling instead of an expression. He opens his eyes, and Derek’s still hovering close, just inches from his face. Stiles moves forward and presses another kiss against his lips, just because he can.

“You may be bad at the other stuff, but I can say with certainty that you are not bad at that,” Stiles rambles as Derek steps back slightly. Derek smiles, and Stiles melts just a little bit more.

“Goodnight, Stiles,” Derek says, leaning forward for one more kiss.

“Night.”

Stiles stays on the porch as he watches Derek retreat down the steps and down the walk, then turn around and wave before heading down the street.

*

“That’s it?” Danny asks. “He just kissed you?”

“Yes,” Stiles groans. He glances around at his tables, The Fish Hook packed with the lunch rush. He shouldn’t be taking the time to talk to Danny, Scott, and Allison, but they had come in for lunch, demanding to know what happened with Derek the night before.

“Stilinski, you need to get game.”

Allison slaps his arm. “It’s romantic. Leave him alone.”

“Yeah, remember this is Derek, the guy who seduced him with the ocean,” Scott adds.

“Oh god, would you stop with that already?”

“I have no problem with romance and dating. But I’d also like to get Stiles laid sometime this millennium,” Danny says. “The guy just needs some dick loving.”

Allison and Scott groan while Stiles says, “It hasn’t been that long since I’ve had sex, thank you very much. You act like I’m still some high school virgin.”

“Besides, it’s not like that,” Scott says. “Derek wants to date him.” They start laughing and Stiles pulls a face and walks away.

“I hate you guys!”

Near the end of his shift, Laura comes over to the table he’s wiping down. “You’re in much better spirits today.”

“Decided I didn’t want to lose my job. I hear customer service is an important part of that.” Stiles resets the salt and pepper shakers alongside the bottles of sauce in the middle of the table before moving on to the next one.

“Derek’s in a much better mood today, too. Actually left his office to go do his job as a lifeguard.”

“That’s nice.”

Laura studies him closely, like she’s sizing him up, or trying to figure out why her brother chose him to date. Stiles tries not to look too embarrassed. It’s not like he spent all of last night trying to figure out why out of everyone who passes through this island he is the one Derek decides to date. “He told me to tell you to meet him in his office when your shift is done.” Laura pats him on the shoulder as she leaves.

Stiles’ shift ends at three, and he immediately makes his way into the resort and through the winding halls to Derek’s office. The door is open, but he knocks anyway. Derek looks up, an easy smile immediately spreading across his face.

“Hey,” Stiles says, grinning. “Laura said you wanted me to drop by.”

“Yeah.” Derek closes the open folder on his desk and stands up to place it in the filing cabinet behind him. “Do you have plans this evening?”

“Other than drinking beer, playing video games, and listening to Scott and Isaac have sex, nope. Completely free.”

Derek chuckles quietly. He asks, suddenly shy, “Want to spend it with me?”

Stiles nods emphatically. “Definitely.” Derek smiles in relief. “Are you gonna take me to dinner, ask me about my major and my life, but not for sex?” he teases.

Derek walks towards him. “I have a better idea.”

They take Derek’s car, a sleek black Camaro Stiles did not expect but decides fits him perfectly, to another part of the island. Stiles has never been to this part of the island. It’s mostly private land; Derek has to use a code to get past a gate. They drive with the windows down along the winding roads, passing privately owned homes. Finally, they drive down a long driveway that leads to a modest beach house.

Stiles gets out of the car and looks around. They are secluded here, nothing but trees and open fields surrounding them on either side. The house is shaded by a canopy of trees, dense foliage lining the edges and pathways around it.

“This is beautiful,” Stiles says as he follows Derek down a walkway with beautiful flowers and green plans on both sides. Derek leads them around the back of the house, to the back door. But Stiles doesn’t follow him inside. He stares at the breathtaking view.

The house is right on the beach, nothing but empty white sand and waves visible for miles around them. A screened porch is attached to the back of the house, fully furnished with wicker furniture, and opens onto a back deck with a built-in bar-b-que.

When Stiles turns around, Derek is leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed, watching him.

“This is yours?”

Derek nods. “My family’s, yeah.”

“So, do you live here or at the resort?”

“The resort. I stay here a lot during the off seasons, though. Laura tends to stay at the resort, and Peter lives with Chris Argent in the wetlands on the other side of the island.”

“Dude, I would never leave this place.” Stiles steps inside the house into a large, bright kitchen. The whole house is bright, everything white with hints of pale blue. It is everything he expected from a beach house, but so much better. Stiles walks around the living room, which has a pale blue couch and a ridiculously large TV. “Do you bring all your surf students and employees here?” Stiles asks with a smile.

“Not even close,” Derek says, slipping his arms around Stiles’ waist and resting his chin on Stiles’ shoulder. “I’ve never brought anyone here.”

Stiles cranes his neck to look over his shoulder. “Really?”

Derek kisses his temple. “Really.” He pulls away and tugs off his shirt, and Stiles stares at him wide-eyed. “I wanna take you out into the ocean.”

Stiles looks down at his work clothes, his navy Fish Hook t-shirt covered in a layer of lunch rush grime. “I don’t have anything to wear. And I don’t fancy surfing nude. At least not yet.”

Derek laughs, and Stiles follows him down the hall to a spacious bedroom. There’s a bed on the far side of the room covered in a fluffy white comforter. Next to the bed are two large French doors that overlook the ocean and open onto a small deck.

“Is this your room?” Stiles asks as he walks over and opens the French doors.

“When I stay here, yeah.” Derek’s looking through drawers behind him, but Stiles is sitting on the edge of the bed, staring out at the ocean.

“I don’t think I’d ever get out of bed. Just…wow.”

“You get used to it,” Derek says, throwing something at Stiles’ head.

“I don’t think you do.” Stiles pulls a pair of swim trunks off his head.

“They should fit,” Derek says. “Might be a little big. Bathroom’s over there,” Derek indicates with a nod to his head.

Stiles closes the bathroom door behind him and gawks at the large garden tub, the Jacuzzi, and the nicest shower he’s ever seen. While he’s interested in nice bathrooms, he’s much more interested in Derek. So, he quickly changes into the swim trunks. Derek’s swim trunks. Stiles flails a bit to expend some of his excitement. They’re a little big, but with the drawstring tied tightly they won’t fall. He opens the door slowly, giving Derek ample time to yell if he’s indecent.

When Stiles emerges from the bathroom, he finds Derek on the small deck outside the room already changed. He turns around and smiles when he hears him come out of the bathroom. Stiles leaves his clothes on the floor and joins Derek.

There are surfboards in a small shed next to the larger deck, so Derek picks them both boards and they make their way out into the water. The waves are larger than the ones he’s experienced so far, but he follows Derek’s instruction to roll, so making it through the waves is much easier than the last time. He manages to get past them and not almost die, which he sees as an improvement.

“That was much less embarrassing,” Stiles says when he finally paddles to where Derek is waiting on him. He sputters and wipes the seawater from his eyes. “I’m surprised you’re even interested in a surfing newbie like myself.”

“Why would you think that I’m only interested in people who can surf?”

“Oh, I dunno, cause it’s your life.”

Derek shakes his head. “I’ve dated surfers before. I usually prefer not to.”

“Oh, so what you’re essentially saying is that the only reason you like me is because I’m a terrible surfer?”

“Basically.”

“Good to know.” Stiles smiles as he wades around in the water. He ends up on his stomach on his board, and Derek does the same thing, swimming over so they’re lying facing one another.

“Why did you decide to work here this summer?” Derek asks, his fingers running lightly through the water.

“Overheard Danny and Jackson talking about it. Thought it might be fun. Beats sitting at home doing nothing. My dad’s the sheriff, so he works a lot of hours, and Scott would have probably gotten his old summer job at the vet clinic, and I would have either spent way too much time by myself or gotten a shitty job. Instead of waiting tables at an Applebee’s, I can do it with an ocean view.” Stiles smiles.

“I’m glad you choose our resort over Applebee’s,” Derek says, his face relaxed and happy.

“Me, too.” Stiles playfully splashes Derek’s face with water, watching at how Derek’s nose scrunches. “How did you end up with your own private beach house?”

“My mother bought this house a few years after she stopped professionally surfing. This is one of the best surf spots on the entire island, which is one of the reasons she bought it.” Derek moved his hand underwater, finding Stiles’ and threading their fingers beneath the surface. “Wanna see something cool?”

“Of course.”

“Grab on to my ankle,” Derek says as he starts to paddle. Stiles grabs his ankle and lets Derek paddle them farther into the ocean. Derek starts paddling parallel the shore, turning them around when they go too far. Stiles doesn’t know what he’s supposed to be looking for, so he closes his eyes and enjoys the ride.

“There!” Derek whispers as he jiggles his leg. “Look!”

Stiles opens his eyes and follows where Derek’s pointing, and his eyes land on three dolphins swimming nearby, their fins and backs arching out of the ocean. Stiles pushes himself up on his hands to get a better look. The dolphins swim right by them, in and out of the water, and Stiles watches until they’re too far for him to see.

Stiles pushes himself up into a sitting position, grinning widely. “That was awesome! I’ve never seen dolphins that close!”

Derek pushes himself up. “I’m glad you got to see them. They don’t always show up, but you can see them pretty often in the afternoons.”

Stiles looks back to the shore, which is way further away than he thought. “Um, we’re really far out. Is it safe?”

“As safe as the ocean can be.” Derek paddles closer. “I won’t let anything happen to you.” He leans over and kisses Stiles softly.

Derek pulls Stiles so close that their boards bump together, and he wraps his hand around Stiles’ neck, his fingers sliding into the wet strands of Stiles’ hair. The kiss is less than graceful with the way their bodies bob with the movement of the ocean, but Stiles doesn’t care. Derek’s hands are strong and sure against Stiles’ wet skin, sliding easily along his back and sides. And when Derek finally slips his tongue into Stiles’ mouth fully and not just teasing little swipes, Stiles moans into Derek’s mouth.

Derek pulls away and looks at Stiles, his hair wet and messy on his head. Then Derek smirks, grabs Stiles around the waist, and pulls him into the water. Stiles squeaks in a very manly fashion right before he goes under, and he’s distracted from being suddenly underwater by Derek’s arms and legs wrapping around him. When they break the surface, Derek immediately kisses him.

“You know,” Stiles says when they part, “you could have just said ‘hey Stiles, why don’t we slide into the water’ instead of manhandling me into it and making me get saltwater up my nose.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Derek asks, tightening his arms around Stiles. They stay in the ocean, kissing and swimming, until the sun starts to go down. Stiles paddles behind Derek, letting himself enjoy the swell of Derek’s ass in the wet swim shorts, the muscled legs and dark hair covering them.

Back inside the house, Stiles takes a shower first, and when Stiles reenters the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist to grab the clothes he’d left discarded on the floor, he sees that Derek had laid clean clothes out for him. Stiles smiles as he pulls on the boxers, gym shorts, and old Seawolf t-shirt, then lifts the material to his nose and inhales. Just like the sweatshirt, it has the undeniable scent of Derek, and something in Stiles expands at the thought of wearing Derek’s clothes.

He finds Derek in the kitchen, sliding homemade pizzas into the oven. He turns when he hears Stiles come into the room, and smiles over his shoulder. “I hope you like pepperoni, black olive, and mushroom. I should have asked, but I’m starving, and it’ll take awhile to cook.”

“Sounds great,” Stiles says. “Cooking for me, though? I better brace myself for questions about my major.” Derek glowers half-heartedly as he passes, kissing Stiles on the cheek and pinching his ass roughly.

While Derek showers, Stiles checks on the pizzas and flips through the TV. Derek comes out a bit later, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. He looks so good Stiles wants to jump him right then.

They eat and then watch a movie cuddled on the couch, but around ten, Stiles starts yawning.

“Sleepy?” Derek asks, pulling away and looking down at him.

“A little. Had to open, so I was there at 6 a.m. Why Laura thinks it’s a good idea to put me on breakfast duty, I’ll never know.” Stiles sits up and rubs his eyes. “Do you mind dropping me back by the house? I’d hate to walk. I could probably call Scott or Danny if it’s a problem.”

“I was, um.” Stiles looks over at Derek, whose cheeks are pink with embarrassment. “I was hoping you’d stay the night.”

“Yes,” Stiles almost shouts, which causes Derek to laugh. “I will stay the night.”

Derek stands up, grabs his hand, and leads him to the bedroom. Once inside, Derek pulls Stiles close in a kiss as they walk blindly to the bed. When Derek’s legs hit it, he falls back onto it, tugging Stiles along with him. Stiles straddles Derek’s lap, knees braced on either side of his hips, as he explores Derek’s body with his hands.

Derek is warm and solid beneath his touch, and it doesn’t take any time for them to shed their shirts and shorts, leaving them rutting against each other with only thin boxers between them. Derek’s mouth is insistent across Stiles’ skin, leaving small nips of his teeth behind his lips and tongue. Stiles arches into Derek’s touch, makes low, needy sounds in the back of his throat as Derek’s erection presses against his own. He can’t believe this is happening, that he is here with Derek.

Stiles grips the headboard as Derek opens him, two fingers buried deep inside that are twisting and stretching and making Stiles moan. Stiles bites his lip to keep quiet just to hear the soft sounds Derek makes when Stiles contracts around his fingers, or when Derek lines his cock up and pushes inside. Derek’s eyes flutter shut, a flush spread across his cheeks and chest, and Stiles leans up to lick across the slightly red skin of his collarbone.

When Derek’s all the way inside, hips flush against him, Stiles feels more complete than he has in a long time. He’s not a virgin by any means, has been with both guys and girls, but nothing has felt like this. Nothing has stretched and filled him like Derek is now, and as Derek slides back out and pushes back in, Stiles feels no shame in letting out something akin to a whine. Derek doesn’t seem to mind; he’s making small grunts against Stiles’ neck, his hips trying to go slow, but Stiles can feel his arms shaking.

“Let go,” Stiles whispers. “Fuck me, Derek.” Derek moans at that and reaches up to grab the headboard as he sets up a pounding rhythm, fucking Stiles hard and deep. Stiles has his legs tangled around Derek’s waist, his fingernails digging into the skin of his ass, as Derek thrusts into him, his cock trapped between them. Derek sinks his teeth into the tight chord of Stiles’ neck, and Stiles cries out and jerks his hips.

Stiles kisses his way across Derek’s stubbled jaw, feels the course hair beneath his tongue, and then covers Derek’s mouth with his own again. His tongue is delving into the depths of Derek’s mouth, fighting with his tongue for purchase, as he reaches between their bodies and takes hold of his cock. Derek shifts his legs a bit, presses his fingers into Stiles’ hip as he speeds his thrusts and wraps his fingers around Stiles’ around his cock. A few long tugs is all it takes for Stiles to cry out and come between their sweatslick bodies. Derek keeps stroking his cock as the aftershocks fade away. Derek braces himself on the bed by Stiles’ head while he thrusts harder and deeper, and Stiles lay beneath him, sensitive but enjoying the feeling of Derek still inside him, and kisses him. Derek moans into Stiles’ mouth when he comes, thrusting erratically a few times before dropping on top of him.

Stiles wraps his arms around Derek’s neck as they kiss lazily, both breathing heavily into each other’s mouths. It’s nice, lying there with Derek like that. His bodyweight is heavy on top of Stiles, but it’s comforting. Stiles wants to remain like this, a sweaty tangle of limbs in the cocoon of sheets, never leaving the bed or each other’s arms.

When Derek makes to leave, Stiles whines in protest and holds on to him, and Derek chuckles and kisses Stiles before disappearing into the bathroom. He returns with a wet cloth and wipes the sticky come from Stiles’ belly before crawling back into bed with him.

They’re turned towards the open French doors, the ocean visible in the distance. The faint moonlight reflects off the surface as the waves roll and break against the surface. The sound is soothing, Derek’s breath on the back of his neck a warm constant.

“So, looks like you still picked me up for sex after all,” Stiles says. “I’m not sure whether I should be glad or offended that I got demoted to the same status as everyone else.”

Derek pinches one of Stiles’ nipples, and Stiles cries out softly before wiggling back closer against Derek’s body. “Everyone else is not even in the same league with you. But sex is a definite bonus,” Derek says against his ear, dragging his lips against the shell. Stiles’ eyes drift shut as he leans into Derek’s touch.

“No one has ever made me dinner before,” Stiles says, his fingers intertwined with Derek’s and lying against his lower stomach. Derek’s fingers keep reaching out and lightly brushing the dark hair below his navel.

Stiles can feel Derek’s grin against his neck, his stubble tickling his sensitive skin. “Good.” He places a kiss behind his ear.

“I’d cook for you, too, but I’m kinda lousy at it. My dad used to complain all the time because I made him eat healthy, but neither one of us could really cook. I’ll make you cookies. I can make some mean cookies.”

“What kind?”

“Chocolate peanut butter,” Stiles replies. “My mother taught me how to cook them.”

“I can’t wait.” After a few quiet moments, Derek quietly says, “I’m worried about the fundraiser.”

Stiles flips over so he can face Derek, accidentally elbowing him in the neck on his way over. “Shit! Sorry,” Stiles says in embarrassment before leaning forward to kiss the place on his neck he’d hit. When Stiles settles facing Derek, he asks, “What do you mean?”

Derek says quietly, “I know you were just trying to help – ”

“It’s okay. I really shouldn’t have stuck my nose in where it doesn’t belong. “

Derek leans forward and drags his lips along the slope of Stiles’ nose. “I like your nose.” Derek resettles, and then sighs. “If you want the truth, I’m afraid to get my hopes up. If this doesn’t work, we’re gonna have to sell this house.”

“No!”

“It’s this or lose the Seawolf. I don’t want to lose either; it’s all I have left of my parents.” Derek twists in the bed, sweeping his eyes around the room. “My mother loved this house. She was so proud of it.” He props himself on his elbow and looks out the doors towards the ocean. “This was her favorite surf spot in the world. She surfed all over the place – California, Hawaii, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand – and this was her favorite spot. I don’t know why. It doesn’t have the best waves, the prettiest water, or even the best view. But she always said she loved surfing here more than anywhere else.” Stiles looks up at Derek, at the prominent line of his jaw from this angle, the soft slope of his neck. Derek’s eyes have a faraway, wistful look as he talks. Stiles reaches out and runs his fingers lightly over Derek’s chest as he continues talking. “Sometimes when I’m out there surfing, it feels like she’s with me in ways it doesn’t anywhere else, not even at the resort. I hate the idea of someone else surfing out there.”

“Hey,” Stiles says, lifting his hand and rubbing his hand against Derek’s rough cheek. Derek tilts his head. “That’s not going to happen. If this doesn’t work, then we’ll figure something out.”

Derek lifts an eyebrow. “We?”

Stiles feels himself flush at the accidental use of the pronoun. “Um, I mean – “

Derek leans down. “I like the sound of it.” He drops a kiss on Stiles’ lips and lies back on the bed. His fingers are in Stiles’ hair, his blunt fingernails scraping against his scalp. Stiles pushes into Derek’s hand and hums happily. “You know,” Derek starts. “I never told anyone that about my mother before. I haven’t even really told Laura.”

Stiles blinks at Derek in shock, and Derek momentarily looks unsure. Stiles cannot handle that look on Derek’s face, so he slings his leg over his hip and pushes him onto his back, kissing him deeply.

“Thank you,” Stiles murmurs against his mouth, “for telling me.”

“You’re welcome,” Derek says, clasping his hands on Stiles’ lower back and pulling him into another kiss.

*

Stiles falls asleep to the sound of ocean and Derek’s even breathing with his head on Derek’s chest, and then wakes up briefly when he feels Derek get out of bed. “Where are you going?” he mumbles sleepily, his hand reaching out to stroke Derek’s back.

“Gotta run to the resort for a little bit,” Derek replies before leaning down and kissing Stiles’ forehead. “Go back to sleep. I’ll be back soon.”

“Mmmkay.” Stiles hears Derek chuckle as he scoots over and buries himself deeper into the warmth Derek left behind.

Stiles wakes again later, the sun shining brightly outside the French doors. He stretches, reveling in the small reminders on his body of the events of the night before. It’s late morning according to the clock, and Stiles just can’t be bothered to leave the bed yet. He turns onto his side and stares out of the windows at the waves.

Stiles hears footsteps from inside the house, and he smiles as he throws the covers back and starts to get out of bed. But it’s not Derek that comes through the bedroom door.

The girl screams, and Stiles screams because he’s naked and he’s about to get murdered in a house invasion by a random dark-haired girl. He flails on the bed and ends up falling over the side, landing unceremoniously on his ass and sprawled on the floor.

“Pervert!” the girl yells, running over to him. Stiles jumps up and runs around the bed before she can kick him in the nuts, and grabs the comforter to wrap around himself. “What the fuck are you doing naked in bed? I’m calling the cops, and if you try and touch me, I’ll cut off your dick.”

“You’re calling the cops?” Stiles exclaims. “You’re the one breaking and entering! I’m calling the cops!”

“I’m not breaking and entering,” the girl yells. “You are!”

“I’m supposed to be here!”

“Like hell you are!”

“Who are you?”

“Who are you?” The girl puts her hands on her hips, her eyebrows shooting up. “I live here.” Something starts to fall into place for Stiles. Dark hair, attitude, eyebrow-induced expressions.

“Are you Derek’s sister?” Stiles asks.

Her eyes narrow. “Who the fuck are you?”

“I’m Derek’s, um, friend?”

The girl obviously doesn’t believe him, because she’s digging her cell phone out of her pockets and dialing a number. “Derek, hey…yeah, whatever, listen. There’s some naked guy in the beach house who exposed himself to me who’s claiming to be your friend…this guy? Really?” Stiles glares at her because he can feel the insult from here. “Yeah, sure, whatever. Okay.” The girl hangs up, and stares at Stiles. “Derek says you’re kinda his boyfriend?” Stiles feels himself blush, and wow, he really likes the sound of boyfriend. “I’m Cora. I’ll let you put on pants, I guess.” She turns and walks out of the room.

Stiles grabs the first thing he finds – Derek’s sweatpants from the night before – and slides those on. He looks around the room for his cell phone and remembers he left it in his discarded clothes on the floor. There are two messages from Scott wondering where he is, then one that assumes he’s with Derek and that he hopes Stiles isn’t dead. Stiles rolls his eyes and lets Scott know he’s fine before calling Derek.

“Hey,” Derek answers.

“I may have just sexually harassed your sister on accident,” Stiles whispers. “I thought it was you, so I was getting out of bed and then kinda flailed around and ended up naked on my ass in the floor.”

Derek laughs, the bastard. “Sorry about that,” he says through his mirth. “Cora’s home from Europe. I wasn’t expecting her back yet. I’ll be back later today, I just don’t know when. We had some issues with guests and rooms I’m having to take care of.”

“Don’t worry about it. I can call Scott or something.”

“I’m sorry,” Derek says. “I’ll see you later though?”

“Absolutely.”

Stiles walks out of the room and finds Cora in the kitchen, fixing herself lunch. She turns to him when he walks into the kitchen.

“Hey, I’m Stiles.”

“Hi.”

“Sorry about, you know, before. I thought you were Derek.”

“Well, I wasn’t expecting my brother’s fucks to still be here. They usually don’t spend the night, and he’s never brought one to the beach house before.”

Stiles bristles a bit at that, and tries not to let what Cora said convince him that he’s just another one of Derek’s fucks. But she did say he’s never brought one to the house, so there is that. “I’m gonna get my friends to come pick me up, but it’s gonna be awhile,” Stiles explains.

“Yeah, whatever. I’m going surfing.” Cora starts towards the back door with a sandwich in her hand. “Don’t steal anything.”

Stiles texts Scott, who says he’s on his way. While he waits, Stiles changes back into his shorts from the day before but borrows one of Derek’s clean shirts, makes the bed, grabs some breakfast while snooping through the cabinets, and then sits in the living room. He can see Cora in the ocean from the couch, and he watches as she surfs with practiced ease. She’s good; not as good as Derek, but she’s good. It must be genetic or something.

A horn blows outside, and Stiles leaves the house to find Erica, Isaac, and Scott in Erica’s car. He groans. This is not what he needed.

“Why did you bring everyone?” Stiles asks.

“Screw you, Stiles,” Erica says as she turns around in the driveway. “I’m the one with the car.”

“I’m glad I brought them,” Scott says. “They knew the code to get into the community!”

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” Stiles says. “Thanks for coming to pick me up.”

“Where’s Derek?” Isaac asks, so Stiles explains the morning’s events. “Cora’s back? Interesting.”

“She’s a spitfire,” Erica says, and Stiles finds that pretty ironic. “She’s good friends with Boyd, though.”

“I don’t think she likes me very much,” Stiles says.

“I wouldn’t either if I’d met your dick before I met you,” Erica jokes, and Stiles thumps her in the back of the head.

*

Derek and Stiles are walking down the boardwalk, hand in hand. Stiles kinda likes this dating Derek thing, mainly because it gives him an excuse to be with Derek outside of surf lessons. Not that Stiles doesn’t enjoy the surf lessons, but this is much better. Especially because Derek’s walking close to him, his shoulder and arm pressed against Stiles, his hand warm in Stiles’. Derek’s telling him a story about when he was a teenager, his voice soft and relaxed, and the sound of it washes over Stiles like the ocean. It’s a pretty nice feeling.

“Want some ice cream?” Derek asks, pointing to the ice cream stand. Stiles nods, and they order double scoop cones from Isaac before sitting at one the small tables. They’re eating in comfortable silence, watching the people pass by, when Derek suddenly tenses and glares. Stiles looks over his shoulder, but doesn’t see anything. He shoves his ice cream in Stiles’ hand before taking off.

Stiles follows after him, an ice cream cone in both hands, as Derek strides across the sand. He grabs someone’s arm, and Stiles’ eyes have to adjust before he realizes that Derek’s yelling at Cora. Who’s standing with Aiden.

“What is your deal, Derek?” Cora wrenches from Derek’s grasp.

“I don’t want you seeing him anymore,” Derek yells. “I forbid it.”

“You forbid it?” Cora scoffs. “You’re not my dad, and I’m an adult. I can see whoever the hell I want.” She grabs Aiden’s hand before storming off down the beach.

Stiles approaches tentatively, melted ice cream dripping down his hands. He just stands there in front of Derek, holding the two cones, not knowing what to say. Derek doesn’t even realize he’s there, just stares after Cora looking murderous.

“Dude, I’m drowning in ice cream,” Stiles finally says, his forearms streaked in pink, brown, and white confection to his elbows. Derek tears his eyes away and snatches the cone from Stiles’ hand with so much force it crunches in his grip. Derek growls and tosses it into a nearby trashcan before stalking down the sand. Stiles groans and follows, licking his arms in attempt to clean himself up.

“I don’t get her,” Derek starts when Stiles catches up with him. “I mean, Cora has always been a pain in the ass, but Aiden? Really? She knows what kind of an asshole that guy is. She even got into a fight with him a few years ago during one of Isaac’s many run ins with them.”

Stiles doesn’t know what to say, so he remains quiet and tries to salvage what’s left of his ice cream cone. Derek grabs it and takes a bite. “Hey! It’s not my fault you Hulk-smashed your ice cream because you were pissed at your sister.”

“You just don’t understand how much I hate the twins,” Derek says. “They’ve been a pain in my ass for the past ten years.”

Stiles laces their fingers together as they continue walking down the beach, and Derek lifts their hands to his mouth and starts licking the sticky, sweet residue left on Stiles’ skin. He drags his tongue against the inside of Stiles’ wrist, causing Stiles to moan aloud. Derek nips lightly at the thin skin there before following the line of ice cream with his tongue, stopping at the inside of Stiles’ elbow. Stiles is already half-hard, and he’s glad they’re walking on the dark beach.

“I’m spending the night tonight, right?” Stiles asks. Derek just makes a show of licking the crease of Stiles’ elbow, and Stiles’ moans again. Like, who knew that place was sensitive? No one had ever touched him there before. “Because I’m pretty sure there’s some errant ice cream on my dick you need to clean off.”

Derek rolls his eyes and groans, but pulls Stiles into a sloppy kiss anyway.

*

The next day, Stiles takes Derek his favorite sandwich from Boyd’s food truck for lunch. But when he’s right outside Derek’s office, he hears raised voices.

“Derek, I’m twenty one years old. I don’t need your permission.”

“I understand that, Cora. But there are plenty of available, attractive guys on the island. Date one of them instead!”

“Date? Since when did you start thinking like that?” There’s a pause, and Cora scoffs. “It’s Stiles, right? So what, you’re done with one night stands and random fucks?”

“Maybe,” Derek says. “There’s nothing wrong with it, you know.”

“Whatever. Whoo-hoo for you. You found someone to date after like a hundred years. But I’m not dating Aiden.”

“Good,” Derek says.

“It was just sex.”

“Cora!”

“What? Like I’m still a virgin. Please. But whatever, I fucked him once, and I’m done.” Cora comes out of Derek’s office, and Stiles tries to blend in with the wall in hopes that she doesn’t see him. She just rolls her eyes and goes past.

Stiles tentatively walks into Derek’s office and hands him the sandwich. “Want to talk about it?”

“Nope.”

Stiles leaves Derek alone to take his anger out on his sandwich.

And the next day, things get even worse.

Stiles has the afternoon off, so he’s standing by the lifeguard tower talking to Derek when Aiden comes up.

“Hey Derek,” he says. “Gonna join the surf competition?”

“Fuck off,” Stiles says.

“Taking up for your boyfriend now? How cute.” Aiden turns back to Derek.

“Maybe,” Derek answers. Stiles can tell by the twitch in his jaw he’s trying not to beat Aiden to a pulp.

“I wouldn’t be sure either if I was a washed up, over the hill surfer.”

“What did you say?” Derek yells, and Stiles’ brain is screaming CODE RED, DANGER WILL ROBINSON, CODE RED.

“You heard me, unless you’re hard of hearing in addition to being a shitty surfer.”

Derek steps forward, getting all in Aiden’s face. “You and me, right now.”

“Oh?” Aiden mocks. “You’re going down, Hale.”

Derek stalks up the beach towards the resort. Stiles chases after him.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting my surfboard.”

“No, I mean, what in the fuck are you doing?

“Putting that punk in his place.” Derek goes into the surf storage room and grabs his board before storming back to the beach. Stiles realizes trying to stop him is moot.

Stiles stands on the beach as Derek and Aiden swim out. Allison, Isaac, and Danny end up crowded around him.

“What’s going on?” Danny asks.

“A pissing contest,” Stiles responds. He watches as they paddle out past the people in the ocean, going further out to catch the waves.

“This is so not going to end well,” Isaac says. Stiles glances off to the side and notices Ethan standing down the beach, watching just as apprehensively as they are.

“Come on, Derek,” Allison mutters. “Think, don’t surf stupidly.”

“Does he do that?” Stiles asks.

“No, but he’s angry enough that his concentration is probably off,” Allison explains.

Stiles watches as Derek starts to paddle for the wave and then pops up. Allison’s clapping, but then she and Danny both yell, “No!” at the same time.

“What?” Stiles asks, because he has no clue what he’s watching.

“Aiden’s snaking!” Stiles watches as Aiden pops up on the same wave and they’re both riding it, and Derek comes riding close to Aiden fast, and they collide and both go under.

A collective ooh escapes from everyone around them, and half of Derek’s surfboard shoots up out of the water, snapped in two.

“Oh fuck,” Isaac says. “Derek’s gonna be livid.”

“Why?” Stiles asks.

“His board broke,” Allison says.

“Laura gave him that board for Christmas. It’s expensive.”

Aiden comes out of the ocean first, smirking, his board still intact. Derek stalks out of the ocean, his two broken board pieces under his arm. He runs up to Aiden and grabs his shoulder, spinning him around to face him.

“Don’t you ever drop in on my wave ever again.”

“It’s not my fault you can’t surf, Hale. Good thing you’re gonna sit out of the competition this year.”

“Like hell, I am.” Derek glares at Aiden. “I’m gonna beat you.”

“Oh yeah?” Aiden tilts his head and smirks. “Wanna make a bet?” Derek scoffs and then turns to walk away. “Chicken.”

Stiles groans. Why did Aiden have to just keep pushing?

“What did you call me?” Derek asks.

“Chicken. Or is it that you just know that your surfing days are over. I mean, it’s not like you were that good to begin with,” Aiden sneers. “Those judges at the World Masters were blind.”

“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Aiden,” Derek smirks angrily.

“If my team wins the surf competition, you leave me and my brother alone. We can go wherever we want on your beach or resort.”

“And if my team wins,” Derek says, “then I never see you or your brother’s face ever again.”

“Deal.”

Aiden turns around and storms away.

“Really, Derek?” Isaac yells. Derek turns the angry stare on Isaac, who doesn’t even flinch. “You do realize you need to get a surf team now. And that if you lose, I will never get rid of them and they’ll probably beat me up just because.”

“I won’t lose,” Derek snaps before storming back to the resort.

*

Stiles is sitting with Erica in the surf shop, telling her about what happened between Derek and Aiden, when Derek walks through the door. He looks angry and frustrated.

“Hey,” Derek says. Stiles comes from where he’s sitting on a stool behind the counter and throws his arms around Derek.

“You look like you need a hug,” Stiles says quietly as Derek remains tense in his arms, but after a few moments, Derek relaxes and wraps his arms around Stiles, pressing his face in his hair. “See? I know what you need.” Derek turns his head and kisses him lightly.

Stiles hears the sound of a camera shutter, and turns around to see Erica taking a picture of them on her phone. “Erica,” Derek growls against Stiles’ neck, “You know I’ll kill you.”

“Shut up. You two are so adorable I’m going to be sick.”

Stiles pulls away and steps around Derek to wrap his arms around his waist. He rests his chin on Derek’s shoulder, holding Derek’s warm body close.

“I need a new surfboard,” Derek says. He rubs his hand absently along Stiles’ arm wrapped around his waist.

“So I hear,” Erica says. Derek glances over his shoulder and gives Stiles a look, and Stiles shrugs. “You own like twenty surfboards.”

“I want one of your boards,” Derek replies.

“Why?”

Derek rolls his eyes. “I want it for the surf competition.”

Erica sits up straighter and looks upset. “You’re entering?”

“Now I am. I’m not letting Aiden win. I’ll show him washed up,” he mutters.

Stiles sees the subtle change in Erica immediately. It isn’t obvious, just an awkwardness to her stance, a forced, tight smile on her face.

“Sure, Derek. I’ll make you a surfboard.”

“Thanks,” Derek says. He starts for the door, but Stiles grabs his hand.

“Oh no. Something just happened here, and I don’t know what, but too much shit is going on for you two to be mad over something stupid.” Stiles looks pointedly at both of them. “Now, what is going on?”

Derek looks lost, so he turns to Erica. She glares, but huffs in exasperation. “Fine. Derek, you told me you wouldn’t join the surf competition so I could win the money to buy this place and start my surfboard business. If you win, I can’t buy it.” She looks sad and vulnerable in a way that Stiles has never actually seen before.

Derek sighs. “Erica, I’ll give you the money if I win.”

“But you need it for the resort,” she argues.

“I don’t care. I know how bad you want this. I promise. If I win, money is yours.”

Erica smiles. “You’re the best.”

“You’re on my team.”

“Of course.”

“Okay then.” Derek kisses Stiles quickly on the lips before leaving, Erica in much better spirits now.

*

Stiles is making out with Derek on the couch in his apartment when Derek’s cell phone rings. He grunts in irritation as he lifts himself up and reaches for the phone resting on the side table.

“Hello?” Stiles watches Derek’s face get increasingly more annoyed as the person on the other line talks. “I’ll be down in a second.” Derek ends the call and drops his head onto Stiles’ chest. “I hate my job.” He crawls off Stiles and goes over to pull his shirt on.

“What’s going on?”

“Mr. Perkins has a problem with his room. He’s demanding to see me.”

“Hurry back,” Stiles says as he shifts to his side and grabs the remote. He watches a bad made-for-tv movie while Derek deals with the patrons. He finally comes back half an hour later. “Everything okay?”

“Yep,” Derek says, toeing off his shoes and pulling his shirt over his head. He stretches out on top of Stiles again and kisses him. “Now where were we?”

They’re rutting against each other and Stiles’ hands are down the back of Derek’s shorts when the phone rings again.

“Ohmigod,” Stiles says, “Your phone is literally the worst cock block on the planet.”

Derek yanks it off the table and growls, “What?” into it when he answers. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Stiles brushes his hands through Derek’s hair as Derek says, “No, I’ll be right down.”

“What now?”

Derek stands back up, readjusting his half-hard cock in his shorts as he grabs his shirt. “Some electrical problem in a room.” Derek sighs. “I’ll be back soon.”

Later, Stiles and Derek are curled together on Derek’s bed. “Is it weird living at the resort?” Stiles asks.

“Only on nights like these. It’s not bad most of the time.”

“It’s the universe’s way of trying to screw up my sex life.”

Derek rolls his eyes. “Yes, my phone kept you from orgasms tonight.”

“Shut up. There might have been another one on the couch, you don’t know.”

“Because the two you’ve already had aren’t good enough.”

“What can I say? I can’t get enough of you.” Stiles rolls on top of him and kisses him. “I’m nervous about tomorrow night,” Stiles says quietly.

“Why?” Derek asks.

“Because, it’ll be a bunch of rich people and I’m not – “

“Stop right there,” Derek says. “You’ll be fine.”

Stiles relaxes on top of Derek, Derek’s hands scratching lightly down his back. He asks, “Why did you quit surfing?” Derek stops his hand. “I mean, Aiden mentioned something about a World Masters competition, and Laura said you had all these trophies – “

“I was internationally ranked,” Derek says. “I could have gone on and made a career out of it.”

“Then what happened?”

Derek sighs, and Stiles rises up to look into Derek’s face, his fingers running through his soft hair. “My family died. Laura had to drop out of college to help Peter with the resort, and Cora was still a kid, and it seemed really selfish to be travelling the world surfing when my family was in ruins.” Stiles leans down and brushes a light kiss over Derek’s lips. “I came home to help out. It took all three of us to keep this place running, and then there as Cora, and that was not easy.”

“So, that’s it? You just quit?”

Derek nods. “I took some business classes at the local college, got my business degree, and have dedicated everything to the resort.”

“I’m sorry you had to give that up.”

“I love my family more,” Derek says. “I mean, I did enough of the touring circuit to feel like I was a surfer, and it’s not like I had to give it up completely. Plus, after my mom died, I couldn’t surf for over a year.”

Stiles brushes his fingers over Derek’s forehead and then rubs his thumb under his eye. “You’re amazing, do you know that?” Derek pulls him into a deep kiss.

Stiles falls asleep on Derek’s chest, and wakes up to someone shaking his shoulder. “Derek, stop,” Stiles mumbles, swatting his hand out behind him.

“It’s not Derek,” Laura says, and Stiles sits up and pulls the blankets around him, because yeah. There’s a Hale sister in his bed and he’s naked. Once again. “Morning, sleepy.”

“What are you doing?” Stiles looks around in confusion, sees that it’s just after seven. “Where’s Derek?”

“Getting you coffee.” Laura stretches out beside Stiles. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“Now?” Stiles asks. “You know I’m naked.”

Laura waves her hand dismissively. “So? You’re covered. Though I was waiting for you to fall out of bed and flail around naked like you did with Cora.”

“Laura, what do you want?”

“I want to say that I’m glad you’re dating Derek.”

“You could have told me this while I’m wearing shorts,” Stiles says.

“Look,” Laura says. “My brother hasn’t dated anyone in forever. There were a few men, but they didn’t like how much time he spent surfing and competing. One tried to get him to quit, got quite jealous when he traveled around, but Derek chose surfing over him. There were a few others, but it was always surfing, and then our parents died, and he quit surfing and it was just the resort. I’m glad he’s found someone.”

“Thanks,” Stiles smiles softly. “I think.”

“Laura, what are you doing in bed with Stiles?” Derek asks when he comes into the bedroom with two coffees and a brown paper bag.

“Did you get the chocolate croissant?” Laura asks as she grabs for the bag. Derek moves it out of the way.

“For Stiles. Not for you.” He glares at her as he hands Stiles his coffee. “Now get off the bed.”

“You’re such an ass.”

“You know he’s naked.”

“I don’t care.”

“Out!”

Laura grabs Stiles’ hand, which is holding the croissant he just pulled out, and takes a big bite before waving and sweeping out of the room.

“What did she want?” Derek asks as he sits on the bed beside Stiles.

“Nothing. But apparently, I’m Hale nip whenever I’m naked.”

Derek shoves him and rolls his eyes.

*

“Stop acting nervous,” Lydia hisses as Stiles pulls at his suit jacket. He hadn’t brought any nice clothes with him, so he’d gone with Scott and Isaac to the Good Will on the mainland to shop for a suit for the fundraiser. Lydia had begrudgingly approved of his attire, and no one had kicked him out yet for wearing Good Will suits to an exclusive rich-people-only event.

“But I am nervous,” Stiles whispers back before smiling and shaking hands with some resort members who walk by. “There’s a lot riding on this!”

“I’m aware of that, Stiles,” Lydia says. She turns to him with a sigh. “Look, go mingle or something. Leave the acquisition of money to me. The way I designed this, it’s a tax write off for charity. No one will think twice before donating.” She pushes him away before turning on the charm for some nearby members.

Stiles is glad she’s the one in charge of this. If left up to him, he’d have everyone cancelling memberships just from the sheer force of his awkwardness.

Scott and Isaac are there together, as are Boyd and Erica, and Allison is talking to a cute guy Stiles has never seen. Chris Argent and Peter are talking with a few of the more prominent members of the club, and Laura is laughing in the middle of a large group of older patrons. Even Cora is mingling with members. But he doesn’t see Derek anywhere.

He makes his way around the large ballroom, which is grand in its design. A crystal chandelier hangs from the middle of the ceiling, and the whole room is covered in dark mahogany and accents of gold. It looks like it belongs somewhere in Europe instead of on a beach.

Derek isn’t anywhere in the ballroom, so Stiles slips out onto the balcony. Leaning against the railing at the very end, Derek is alone and looking out over the ocean. The crescent moon is reflected on the water, but provides little light.

“What are you doing out here alone?” Stiles asks, sliding an arm around Derek’s waist when he steps beside him. He nuzzles against Derek’s cheek.

“I’m not good at the whole,” Derek waves his hand around, “schmoozing thing.”

“Schmoozing?” Stiles laughs. He slides his arm through Derek’s arm and lays his head on his shoulder.

“That’s what Peter calls it. He’s a master bullshitter, and Laura is a people person. Even Cora can be charming when she wants to be. I generally terrify people.”

“It’s your face. The eyebrows and glare tend to do that.”

Derek knocks Stiles softly with his shoulder. “I figure out here is better than in there if I want to help the cause.”

“You sell yourself too short,” Stiles says. “I’m sure there are a lot of people in there for you to charm. You charmed me, didn’t you?”

Derek turns to look at Stiles, and Stiles grins. “I didn’t charm you.”

“You’re right. You were rather rude to me, then seduced me with the ocean.” Derek rolls his eyes, but doesn’t argue. “Come on, let’s go make the rounds. I’ll do it with you.”

“Oh great. The two of us trying to smooth talk rich people out of money? What could possibly go wrong?”

“There is nothing wrong with us,” Stiles says as he leads Derek back to the party.

“No, we’re just both hopelessly socially inept.”

They mingle, talking to various people. Stiles only has to nudge Derek a couple of times to make him talk, and after the first few conversations, he seems to be much more comfortable.

“See?” Stiles presses a quick kiss to his cheek. They’re standing by the dessert table, taking a break from socializing. “You’re a natural.”

Derek blushes and is about to reply when something catches his attention. His mouth becomes a hard line and he tenses. Stiles spins around and sees Danny and Ethan across the ballroom, talking to an older couple.

“Derek,” Stiles says in Derek’s ear as he grabs his bicep. “This is not the place.”

“He wasn’t invited,” Derek manages through gritted teeth. “Why don’t those guys take a fucking hint?”

“Don’t make a scene.” Stiles smiles to a passing patron and waves awkwardly. “Do I need to take you outside? Distract you with stuff?”

Derek looks at him sharply, and Stiles just stares at him expectantly. But Derek doesn’t have to go to Ethan; Ethan and Danny come to them. Derek balls his hands into fists and glares murderously.

“I come in peace,” Ethan says with his hands up. “Hear me out, Derek.” Derek doesn’t respond, but he doesn’t punch him in the face either. “I don’t get my brother’s little rivalry with you and Isaac. I don’t care about it, or honestly, you or Isaac enough to even bother.” He glances over at Danny, and then back at Derek. “I want a truce. I can’t guarantee anything with my brother, but I’ll try.” Ethan extends his hand, and Derek looks at it for a few, tense moments before shaking it.

“Okay.”

Ethan puts his arm around Danny and rejoins the party.

“Well, that was unexpected,” Stiles says. “But a good thing. See?” He claps Derek on the shoulder. “Good thing.” Derek glances over and doesn’t look convinced.

After the fundraiser, Stiles waits out on the balcony while Derek, Laura, Peter, and Lydia do all the important things like figuring up the total money raised. He’s watching the waves when he hears the door open behind him and footsteps draw closer. Derek steps beside him.

“Well?” Stiles asks. He can’t tell from Derek’s expression whether or not it was enough.

But then Derek’s face breaks out into a wide grin. “We did it!” He wraps his arms around Stiles’ waist and lifts him before kissing him. Stiles doesn’t expect such a fervent kiss, but he’s not complaining as Derek’s mouth attacks his. When Derek pulls away, Stiles is breathless and hard. “We raised enough money to get us back on our feet.” Derek puts Stiles back down and then cups his face with his large hands. “I have you to thank for this,” he says quietly.

“Well, not really, Lydia did – “

“No,” Derek interrupts. “It was your idea. If it wasn’t for you, I’d probably have lost my family’s resort, their beach house, everything.”

Stiles doesn’t know what to say, so he just mutters, “Well, it’s nothing, really.”

“It means everything to us,” Derek says seriously. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Derek kisses him again, this time slower and sweeter, and Stiles winds his arms about his neck almost automatically as he sinks into the kiss. When Derek pulls away, he whispers, “I love you” against Stiles’ mouth.

Stiles pulls back, shocked. Derek’s looking at him intensely, and Stiles can see the vulnerability in his eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Derek’s entire face lights up, and it’s like the sun reflecting off the ocean, and combined with Derek (and his own) declaration, Stiles feels like he’s been hit with the force of a wave and he’s rolling as the waves surge him forward.

Derek kisses him and Stiles realizes he’s completely drowning in the ocean of Derek.

*

Stiles is lying on his stomach on a beach towel while Derek is out in the ocean, surfing. The sun is warm on his back, making him drowsy, so he’s dozing. He doesn’t stir until he feels two hands sliding against his skin. Stiles hums happily as Derek’s hands spread over his shoulder blades and down to his waist.

“You’re gonna get sunburned,” Derek says. Stiles cracks an eye open and sees Derek squirting sunscreen into his palm before smearing it on Stiles’ shoulders and arms.

“Maybe I did it on purpose,” Stiles murmurs. “To get your hands all over me.”

“All you had to do is ask.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Stiles smiles. “Did you have fun surfing?”

“Yep.” Derek leans down and presses a kiss against Stiles’ temple. “You should join me out in the ocean.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

Stiles opens his eyes and rolls onto his back. Derek picks up the sunscreen bottle and squirts a copious amount onto Stiles’ stomach before rubbing it all over his chest and belly.

“Because is not an answer.”

“Maybe I want to swim with you in the ocean. And maybe grope you underwater.”

“Good enough reason for me.” Stiles grins as Derek leans down and kisses him.

“Do you two ever stop?” Cora asks as she walks up. They break apart and look at her. “You’ve got to get bored eventually.”

“Nope, not even close,” Stiles answers with a grin.

“What’s up?” Derek asks, sitting back with his palms resting in the sand.

“Can I borrow the Camaro?”

“Why?”

Cora rolls her eyes and looks at Derek like his entire existence pains her. “I have a date.”

“With who?” Derek asks sharply.

“Not Aiden,” she says. “I told you, been there, screwed that.”

Derek grimaces. “Who, Cora?”

“Allison.”

“Allison?” Stiles exclaims, hands flailing around his head. “Allison Argent? Like, one of my good friends who used to date Scott my best friend who’s a guy Allison?”

Cora curls her lip in annoyance and glances at Derek. “This guy? Really?” Stiles protests while Derek tries to decide if he wants to glare at her or him. Cora says, “She’s nice, okay? You’re not the only one who can date employees.” She cuts her eyes to Stiles.

“Looks like you started a trend,” Stiles says, slapping Derek’s arm lightly. Derek rolls his eyes. “I didn’t know Allison liked girls,” Stiles continues, shaking his head. “What else am I missing? Am I that oblivious?”

“Yeah, I’m sure Allison was just dying to discuss her sexuality with you,” Cora says.

“Hey! Allison and I have had many deep conversations. You don’t know,” Stiles says. “We’ve been friends for a long time.”

“Fine, whatever. She was your friend first.” Cora rolls her eyes along with her entire head. She turns to Derek. “So?”

“I like Allison, and Peter’s living with Chris. Don’t treat this like you usually do,” Derek says, adopting what Stiles thinks must be his big brother tone.

“Sure, whatever. I won’t just fuck her and leave.” She crosses her arms. “Can I use the car or not?”

“Yeah, you can borrow the Camaro. Are you coming back tonight?”

Cora shrugs. “I dunno. Should I?” Derek glances at Stiles, then back at Cora. “Fine, I’ll stay at the resort.” She turns and starts back towards the house. “You’re welcome!”

“I love you, too!” Derek calls after her, smirking. He turns back to Stiles. “You’re lucky you’re an only child.”

“No, dude. I wish I had siblings. Scott’s the closest thing I have, but it’s not the same. You’re so lucky.”

“I had two other siblings,” Derek says, staring out at the ocean. “They died in the car accident with my parents.”

“I’m sorry,” Stiles says, sitting up and running a hand along Derek’s shoulder.

“At least I still have Laura and Cora.” He turns to Stiles. “Come on,” he says, pointedly changing the subject. “Let’s get out in the ocean.”

“You’re bound and determined to make me into a marine animal like yourself, aren’t you?”

“Maybe.” Stiles lets Derek pull him to his feet and reaches down to grab the surfboards as they wade into the ocean.

“I thought you didn’t like dating surfers,” Stiles says as he lays flat on the surfboard.

“I don’t,” Derek calls from in front of him. “But no matter how much time we spend in the water, you will never be a surfer.”

“Such an asshole!” Stiles calls behind him.

They paddle out into the ocean, and Derek rides waves while Stiles watches. He eventually convinces Stiles to surf with him, so Stiles rides a few small waves successfully.

“Oh, looks like you’ll be eating your words, Hale. You know you want me on your surf team,” Stiles jokes.

“Yeah, we’ll beat the twins no problem now.”

“I’m your secret weapon.”

“Keep telling yourself that.”

Derek paddles over to Stiles, sits up, and pats the board. “Come over here with me.”

Stiles eyes it warily. “Why?”

Derek huffs and purses his lips. “Because. I want us to surf together.”

“Is that possible?” Stiles eyes the board with curiosity.

“Come on, I’ll show you.”

Stiles unclasps his leg leash and moves over to straddle Derek’s surfboard, facing him. Derek leans forward and kisses him.

“You’re facing the wrong way,” he smiles against Stiles’ mouth. Stiles grumbles but slips back into the water and gets on the board the correct way. “Can you pop up?” Stiles does it, but almost loses his balance. He tries it again much more efficiently. “Let’s try it together.” Stiles waits for Derek’s command, and then pops up, but they lose their balance and both go toppling into the ocean. Stiles is laughing when he breaks the surface.

“When’s the last time you wiped out like that?” Stiles asks.

“From just popping up? When I was five,” Derek says, wiping the water from his eyes. His hair is flat against his head, and Stiles swims over and slaps the side of his head. Derek glares, but Stiles wraps his arms about his neck and kisses him. Derek makes a surprised noise, but soon slides his arms around Stiles’ waist.

Stiles is much more interested in Derek than surfing, and slots their mouths together firmly. Derek’s easily distracted, his arms around Stiles tightly. His fingers are playing with the waist of Stiles’ shorts as Stiles explores his mouth. Derek’s tongue is soft and pliant, and his lips taste of the ocean. Stiles could get lost in this, in the feel of Derek’s hands on him and his lips kissing him with the water surrounding them. Stiles wraps his legs around Derek’s waist, pulling him closer, and Derek slides his hands into Stiles’ shorts and grips his ass. Stiles ruts against Derek for a few moments, and then Derek slips his hand underneath the front band of Stiles’ shorts and grips his cock.

“Oh god,” Stiles moans as Derek pumps his fist a few times. “I’m having sex in the ocean. With a hot lifeguard. It’s like a porno.”

“If you don’t shut up,” Derek purrs against Stiles’ ear, “then you won’t be having sex at all.”

“Roger that.”

“Stop that, too,” Derek says, kissing Stiles roughly. “Take off your shorts.”

“So bossy,” Stiles says with a smile as he pulls off his shorts. He’s immediately wrapped back around Derek, and Derek slides his hand along his shaft as he bites his way down Stiles’ jaw and neck. The sensation is weird, because Stiles is bobbing in the water with Derek, their bodies rocking with the undulating water. There’s nothing to grip but Derek and the surfboard nearby, so he has to keep treading water every so often to keep himself afloat.

The whole experience is surreal.

Derek’s fist slides quickly along his cock, his grip strong and sure, and pretty soon Stiles is throwing his head back and coming. He rests his forehead on Derek’s shoulder afterwards, catching his breath.

“That was…fucking insane,” Stiles breathes.

Derek places kisses all over his damp hair, forehead, and cheeks, until Stiles tilts his face and captures his lips again. They kiss for awhile, Derek wrapping his legs around Stiles’ waist as Stiles drops his hand and jacks him slowly.

Stiles pulls away and says, “I want to blow you.”

Derek raises one eyebrow. “Underwater?”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “No. I’d like to make it through one date with you where I don’t almost drown.” Stiles looks behind him at the two surfboards floating nearby. “On the surfboard.”

“Okay.” Derek removes his swim trunks and sits them beside Stiles’ on his surfboard before grabbing the other board and lifting himself onto it. Derek’s naked crotch is eyelevel, and Stiles can’t do much more than stare. “You’ve seen it before,” Derek teases with affection in his voice.

“I know,” Stiles says, raking his eyes over the course hair on Derek’s groin and inner thighs. He reaches up and scratches his nails through the dark hair on his lower stomach before hoisting himself onto his elbows between Derek’s knees. “Ever done this before?”

“What? A blowjob on a surfboard?” Derek asks, and Stiles nods. “Nope.”

“Awesome.” Stiles slides his lips over the head of Derek’s cock, and Derek’s fingers grip his shoulder tightly. He lets out a small gasp as Stiles slides over his cock, taking him deeper until the tip hits the back of his throat and dark curls are tickling his lips. Derek makes a needy sound in the back of his throat as Stiles moves his head back up and then sets up a steady rhythm.

His arms are starting to ache from the effort to keep himself up, and he’s getting a little woozy from bobbing up and down in the water, but he has to admit that this is pretty freaking awesome. He’s not sure this is real, the last half hour, the whole having sex in the ocean with Derek thing. It’s definitely too good to be true. Derek’s cock is hot in his mouth, and tastes like salt water, which is making his mouth a bit drier than usual.

Stiles gets lost in the feeling of Derek’s cock in his mouth, barely registering how Derek’s moaning above him and gripping almost painfully at his hair. Derek warns him he’s almost there, but Stiles sucks even harder and runs his tongue along the underside of Derek’s shaft and circles the tip. Derek’s hip buck as he comes, and Stiles swallows it down.

He pulls off and floats back a bit, and Derek slides into the water in front of him. He pulls Stiles into a deep kiss and clings to him tightly.

“That was fucking fantastic,” Derek says when he allows himself to breathe.

“I have to admit, that’s one fantasy I didn’t know I had.” Derek kisses him again. “So,” Stiles starts, “can you, um, surf naked?”

Derek grins. “You wanna see me naked surf?”

“Are you kidding? Fuck yeah.”

“Alright. I’ve never done it, but I’ll do it if you want.”

Stiles grins and kisses Derek again. “Yes. Naked surfing, and then we’ll go inside, take a naked shower and then get in bed and have all of the naked sex.”

“Stiles,” Derek says, nipping at his bottom lip. “If you don’t stop, you’re not going to get any of the naked anything.”

“So mean to me. And I just gave you a naked surfboard blowjob.”

Derek groans and Stiles wraps his limbs around him tightly. “You love it. And me.”

“That is true,” Derek sighs. “The only reason I put up with you.”

Stiles swims over to his surfboard and moves their swim trunks so they won’t fall off as he paddles towards shore. When he paddles past Derek, Derek slaps his bare ass, which stings because it’s wet.

“Don’t get sunburned. I don’t want your ass to have any excuse tonight.”

“Oh believe me,” Stiles replies, “you will get up close and personal with my ass tonight even if it is sunburned.”

Stiles gets into swallower water and sits up on his surfboard as he watches Derek. From here, he can barely see the swell of his ass as he paddles towards a wave. Then he watches the lines of Derek’s body and the flex of his muscles as he pop ups and starts riding the swell, his body tan and firm in the sun.

Derek surfing naked is probably the hottest thing Stiles has ever seen.

He watches in awe as Derek rides wave after wave, Stiles’ cock becoming increasingly hard as he watches Derek’s naked body twist and moves with the water. His eyes move over his bare chest and long legs, but keep raking over his groin, his cock barely visible among the dark hair from this far away. After awhile, he paddles closer so he can get a better view.

“Enjoy the show?” Derek asks as he rides by on his board, still standing. Stiles wants to blow him right there, but manages to contain himself.

“Very much so. You should do this for the resort. Boost sales.”

“Oh?” Derek quirks an eyebrow.

“I changed my mind,” Stiles says as Derek drops into the water. He walks over to him and throws his arms around Derek’s neck. “Naked surfing is a Stiles-only special.”

“I like the sound of that,” Derek says, kissing him eagerly before grabbing his hand and leading him out of the ocean.

*

“Are you joining Derek’s surf team?” Stiles asks Boyd while he waits for his Panini. He’s leaning against the ordering window, watching as Boyd moves around the inside of the food truck.

“No.”

“You don’t surf?”

Boyd glances over at Stiles. “I didn’t say that. I surf. I just don’t do competitions and silly rivalries. I don’t have time for that.”

“Oh.” Stiles taps a rhythm on the surface lightly. “Erica tells me you’re friends with Cora.”

“Yep.”

Stiles waits, but Boyd doesn’t say anything else. “Well, that’s cool,” he says awkwardly. Boyd just looks balefully at him. “You’re really not gonna talk to me, are you?”

“Nope.”

“Right,” Stiles says with an emphasis on the “t.” Boyd hands him the hot sandwich. “Well, thanks, Boyd. Good talk.” Boyd smiles his creepy, close-lipped smile and then turns away.

Stiles carries his basket over to an empty table and starts to eat. A few minutes later, someone sits across from him. He looks up to see Allison smiling at him.

“Hey!” Stiles exclaims. “How’s it going?”

“Lunch break from work.” She glances over her shoulder. “Hold on.” She walks back to the truck and takes the salad from Boyd and brings it back to the table.

“Did you really go on a date with Cora last night?” Stiles blurts. Allison looks surprised, then smirks.

“Wouldn’t you like to know.”

“Oh, I’d like to know all about it, in great, vivid detail, preferably accompanied by pictures or illustrations. Or video. Please say there’s video.”

“Stiles.”

“Sorry,” Stiles says, blinking away the images behind his eyelids. “I mean, I’m curious, yeah.”

Allison laughs and rolls her eyes. “We went out, yes. It was a lot of fun.”

“You know she had sex with Aiden,” Stiles says, “you know, that same douche who beat Isaac to a pulp and hit on you mercilessly.”

“Did she?” Allison looks too innocent as she tilts her head.

“Allison Argent, you better spill what you know right now.”

She smiles. “She just told Derek she had sex with Aiden to piss him off. I was with her that night. Aiden was all over her like he was with me, and then Cora kneed him in the balls. It was awesome.”

“Ohmigod!” Stiles exclaims. “Why didn’t I get to see that? I’m so pissed I missed that glorious moment.” They share a smile, and then Stiles says, “So, you and Cora, that’s cool.”

“I’m glad you approve,” Allison says sarcastically.

*

Erica and Isaac decide to throw a party on the docks next to Isaac’s house boat in celebration of the successful fundraiser. Stiles and Derek arrive by the time everyone is there, and Stiles is hit with the sound of voices and laughter. Loud music plays from the house boat, which looks like it has every light on inside, and Scott is manning the grill at the end of the dock.

“Hey man,” Stiles says, coming up behind Scott and clasping him on the shoulder.

“Hey!” Scott points to the large cooler beside him. “Beer’s in there. Lydia’s mixing drinks inside if you want something stronger.”

Stiles glances over his shoulder, and Derek says, “Beer’s fine.” He grabs two longnecks and hands one to Derek while Derek grabs the bottle opener. They mingle with everyone else, and Stiles notices quickly that Cora is here with Allison and Ethan with Danny. He goes to find Isaac inside the houseboat, but gets distracted by checking it out. He’d never actually been on a houseboat before, and it was pretty sweet.

“Close your mouth or you’re gonna catch flies,” Lydia calls out from behind him. Stiles turns around and finds her mixing a drink for Boyd. “You should really learn how to hide your tendency to be overly impressed with everything.”

“Dude, it’s a houseboat. It’s a house, that is on the water. How cool is that?” Lydia just rolls her eyes.

Stiles finds Isaac in the kitchen, talking to Danny and Jackson. Stiles pulls Isaac to the side, drops his voice, and whispers, “Dude, Ethan. What the hell?”

Isaac shrugs. “We have an understanding. He ignores me, I ignore him, he keeps his psycho brother away from me, and it’s all good.”

Stiles shakes his head. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Isaac runs a hand through his curls. “I like Danny, Danny really likes Ethan, so what can I do? I’m just staying as far away from him as I can.”

Stiles drinks enough beer throughout the night to make him tipsy. Not drunk, but tipsy. He’s talking with Isaac and Scott when he hears Derek’s voice from the dock. He makes his way over there to see what’s going on and finds Derek standing with Boyd and Jackson.

“I tell you,” Boyd says, pointing his finger, “Hundred Years of Solitude is, in fact, the best book ever published. There’s a reason it’s on every important book list.”

“Bullshit,” Stiles says, butting into the conversation as he sways into Derek’s side. Derek’s arm is immediately around his waist. “You can’t pin down the best book ever. That’s like trying to decide on the best song ever recorded or the best TV show. It’s impossible. And even if I was creating a list of the best books, Hundred Years of Solitude wouldn’t even make the top one hundred. That book is for professors and pretentious pricks.”

“Hey!” Boyd exclaims, offended.

“It’s not a bad book,” Derek says, “but there are many far superior books. Everything Cormac McCarthy ever wrote is leagues ahead of Marquez.”

“Oh please,” Boyd says. “Cormac McCarthy is one of the most overrated authors of this century. I tried to read No Country For Old Men, and the crimes committed against the English language in the first eight pages are deplorable. And don’t even get me started on All The Pretty Horses.”

“Fuck both of them,” Stiles says, waving his hands around so emphatically he accidentally knocks Derek in the face. “Kurt Vonnegut is a fucking genius.”

Slaughterhouse Five is overrated,” Jackson says.

“No, that’s a great book,” Boyd says.

“Fuck Slaughterhouse Five,” Stiles shouts, waving his hands around some more. “Breakfast of Champions is fucking leagues above anything else he wrote.”

Boyd disagrees so vehemently that Stiles thinks his head is going to twist off his head he is shaking it so hard. Stiles is leaning back against Derek’s chest, Derek’s arms loose around his waist; he doesn’t seem affected by anything or anyone’s opinions.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is great,” Derek says.

Stiles cranes his head to look at him and scrunches his face in disbelief. “Who the fuck are you? You surf, look like a model, and read Joyce? You’re not real. Not even real.”

“Oh god, Stilinski’s about to pop a boner,” Jackson drawls. “Besides, Joyce is so cliché. And lame. Don DeLillo is the man.” Everyone nods their heads in agreement.

Jackson and Boyd excuse themselves for more alcohol, and Stiles pulls Derek to the end of the docks, away from everyone.

“Literature? Really?” Stiles asks, his hands sliding flat against Derek’s chest.

“I went to college, you know,” Derek says, slightly offended. “I do more than surf. I was an English minor.”

“It’s hot,” Stiles says, leaning forward and biting the side of Derek’s neck. He slides his hands underneath Derek’s shirt. “Talk about literature more.”

“You’re drunk.”

“You’re sexy.”

“Stiles, your friends are only a few feet away.” Derek makes a half-hearted attempt at pushing Stiles away, but doesn’t seem to mind Stiles’ hands roaming over his shoulders and arms.

“I want to blow you while you talk about literature,” Stiles murmurs against Derek’s jaw and drags his teeth along the strong angles. “And then I want you to come in my mouth while talking about Fitzgerald.”

“Fitzgerald?”

“Hemingway, Faulkner, fuck Chaucer for all I care.” Stiles licks into Derek’s mouth, and Derek just pulls him closer and grips the back of his head. “This should happen.”

“Not right now,” Derek says. “But only if you discuss Vonnegut while you come on me.”

“I’ll discuss Vonnegut, Cambodian geography, the Reconstruction, or computer programming if it’s what you want,” Stiles says. Derek chuckles before kissing him again.

Later, and much drunker, Stiles finds himself sitting on the edge of the dock, his feet dangling off. Danny and Allison join him, sitting on both sides of him.

“I’m drunk,” Stiles says when they sit down.

“Me too, buddy,” Danny throws his arm around Stiles’ shoulder while Stiles puts his arm around Allison.

“Danny, did you know Allison is dating Cora? We’re both dating Hales!” he exclaims. He suddenly thinks of something and turns to Allison. “Ohmigod. If I marry Derek and you marry Cora, we’ll be siblings!”

“Imagine those Christmas dinners,” Danny says.

Stiles turns on Danny. “At least I’m not dating the enemy.” He glares somewhere in the direction of Danny’s face.

“He’s not the enemy,” Danny says. “He’s nice. He’s really nice. Especially when you get to know him. And he gives such good head.”

“He hit on Allison!” Stiles protests. “And Cora!”

“That was his brother,” Allison corrects.

Stiles doesn’t hear her. “And he punched me in the stomach! That fucking hurt, dude. I had bruises for days. DAYS!”

“He feels really bad about that,” Danny slurs. “He told me. He was afraid I was gonna break up with him because he beat up my friends. I told him to stop beating up my friends and I wouldn’t break up with him and start giving him head again, so he did.”

“That’s so romantic!” Allison giggles into Stiles’ chest.

The three of them sit on the dock for awhile, until they both get up and leave Stiles on the dock, kicking his feet in the water.

*

“What are you doing?” Derek asks. He’s standing above Stiles, holding a surfboard. And he’s completely naked. Stiles looks up from where he’s seated on a beach towel, his eyes scanning over Derek’s body for the millionth time today.

“Putting sunscreen on my dick. I mean, I don’t want it to get sunburned. Can it get sunburned? I dunno. I didn’t spend naked time in the blazing sun until I met you.” Stiles finishes rubbing the sunscreen into his now half-hard cock (thank you touch and naked Derek), and then works it into his pale thighs.

“Are you coming out with me?” Derek asks.

“I’m not ready for naked surfing,” Stiles says. “I’m not even ready for clothed surfing.”

Derek sticks his board into the sand behind him and crouches down in front of Stiles. “Come watch me,” he says as he crawls over Stiles’ body, bumping their noses together.

“You get off on that, don’t you?” Stiles asks. “Me watching you surf naked.”

Derek’s cheeks color a bit. “I like the idea that you’re watching me and getting turned on.” He leans closer, until their lips are so close that Stiles’ lips tingle. “I’m glad you convinced me to surf naked.”

“It didn’t take much convincing,” Stiles says with an easy smile.

“Roll over, I’ll put sunscreen on your pasty ass.” Derek kisses him before pulling back, and Stiles rolls over eagerly. He lays his head on his arms and hums contently as Derek’s hands rub and massage the cheeks of his ass, large, flat palms kneading the flesh. Derek’s hands are doing nothing to alleviate his half-hard cock, and the more teasing and sensual Derek’s hands get, the harder his erection’s getting.

Then Derek slides his finger between Stiles’ cheeks, and Stiles moans, his hips jerking against the ground. As Derek’s fingers flutter against his opening, Stiles begins to rut against the towel to gain a bit of friction.

“I don’t think I’m gonna get sunburned there,” Stiles says breathlessly as Derek’s finger circles his hole.

“Just wanna be thorough,” Derek jokes as he hooks his thumbs between his cheeks and spreads Stiles wide. “Extremely thorough,” Derek says before dragging the flat of his tongue across Stiles’ opening. He mutters curses under his breath as Derek’s tongue works over him, licking and teasing. Stiles claws at the sand, searching for something to hold on to, to grip as Derek’s tongue circles his hole and then presses against the tight ring of muscle.

Spreading his legs wider, Stiles ruts against the beach towel, finding sweet friction against his aching cock. Stiles’ brain is completely focused on Derek, on the way his ass feels underneath his tongue. He’s moaning, and he feels Derek shift and looks over his shoulder to see Derek’s hips raised, one of his hands wrapped around his cock.

Stiles moves faster against the towel, Derek’s tongue now sliding past his relaxed hole as he tongue fucks him, and it doesn’t take long before Stiles comes, clenching around Derek’s tongue. Derek continues licking him as he rides out his orgasm, Derek’s tongue feeling oh so good against his overly sensitive skin. Then Derek presses his forehead against Stiles’ lower back and Stiles hears him moan quietly as he comes.

Stiles rolls onto his back, his chest sticky with come. Derek’s sitting back on his haunches, staring at him with a glazed expression.

“Naked surfing is the best,” Stiles says with a lazy grin as he’s sprawled out in front of Derek.

Derek rolls his eyes. “That wasn’t surfing.”

“Still, it’s the best.”

Stiles grabs his board and follows Derek out into the ocean, using the saltwater to wash the come from his body. He paddles close enough so he can watch as Derek surfs. Derek straddles his board as he waits for the perfect wave, and when it finally approaches, Derek paddles towards it, waiting for the perfect moment to pop up.

Derek holds his arms out at his sides and finds his balance as he plants himself on the surfboard. The spray of the water covers Derek’s bare skin, and even from a few feet away, Stiles can see the sun glinting off his body like thousands of tiny diamonds. Derek’s head is turned, his wet hair sticking to his forehead and his face set in intense concentration as he rides under the curling crest of the wave. When Derek surfs past the wave, he turns to Stiles and smiles.

Stiles watches Derek for a long time. Catching wave after wave, his body strong, fast, and confident. Derek is irresistible on the surfboard, his body on display for Stiles to openly watch and enjoy. Occasionally Derek does something just for Stiles, some fancy move or trick on the wave, and Stiles loves the intimacy of it – loves that this is Derek’s private show just for him.

Stiles studies Derek’s body as he surfs, the way there’s no self-consciousness to his nakedness on the surfboard. Derek is as comfortable in his own skin as he is in the ocean. He stares at Derek’s muscled shoulders and arms, his broad chest and narrow waist, his strong thighs and calves. His eyes linger longer on Derek’s taut ass and the line of his cock as his body twists and moves with the waves.

While Derek is still riding waves, Stiles goes back to the shore and falls onto Derek’s beach towel. When Derek notices he’s back on land, he comes riding into shore on his board, then jumps into the ocean when he’s in shallow water.

Derek comes striding out of the ocean like something from a movie, water cascading down his naked body, surfboard under one arm, as he whips his head around to sling water from his hair. Stiles watches in awe as Derek walks towards him.

“What?”

“You’re beautiful,” Stiles blurts, and then feels himself color. “That sounds so lame, but you’d agree with me if you could watch yourself out on the waves.”

Derek sticks his surfboard in the sand and drops beside Stiles, pulling him in for a kiss. “I think you’re beautiful,” he says against his mouth. “Especially when you’re watching me and straddling your surfboard. It’s so hot.”

“Does this mean we’re going to have hot sex later?”

“Oh yeah.” Derek kisses him for awhile longer before grabbing the bottle of water from the bag beside them.

“Cora didn’t actually sleep with Aiden,” Stiles says suddenly. Derek glances at him sharply. “Allison told me last night. She just said it to piss you off.”

Derek groans and drops back onto the sand. He covers his eyes with his arm. “Fucking Cora.”

“Why would she do that?”

“Because that’s how Cora is.” Derek moves his arm and looks up at Stiles. “She’s been difficult since our parents died. Laura and I tried to parent her when we realized Peter wouldn’t, and it never worked so well.”

“Well, I just thought you’d like to know that you sister didn’t actually fuck your archenemy.”

“Aiden isn’t my archenemy,” Derek sighs.

“Dude, he’s as close to an archenemy as you can get without becoming a superhero.” He reaches out and scratches his nails across Derek’s stomach. “Allison seems to like her a lot.”

“Maybe this will stick. Cora needs a good, healthy relationship.”

“Seems like it runs in the family,” Stiles says. Derek looks at him in confusion. “Cora made all these comments about all your many one night stands.”

“I’ve had sex with a lot of people.”

“Define a lot,” Stiles asks warily. “Like, should I be worried about my performance?”

“Your performance is nothing you need to worry about,” Derek says with a smile. He rolls over and props himself up on his elbow. “Trust me, I’ve done a lot of comparison.” Stiles groans and pushes Derek’s chest playfully.

“Well,” Stiles starts, shifting uncomfortably, and Derek brushes his hand through Stiles’ hair. “I’ve done my fair share of comparison, too, though apparently not as much as you.” Derek rolls his eyes. “I have it on authority that your performance is also up to par. In case you were wondering,” Stiles says with a grin.

“I was dying to know. Now my fears are allayed,” Derek says flatly. He continues more seriously, “Relationships just never worked well for me. They were disasters. I just gave up.”

“Why me?”

Derek reaches out and cups Stiles’ face gently. “I don’t actually know. The longer I was around you, the more I wanted to be around you.”

“Whatever the reason, I’m glad,” Stiles says as he leans down and kisses Derek.

*

The day of the surf competition, most of the island gathers on the beaches. Stiles is sitting with Derek and the others near the judge’s tower. Laura’s sitting beside him, wringing her hands nervously.

“Ready to lose, Hale?” Aiden sneers as he walks by. Ethan shoves his shoulder as they pass by with their team. Stiles doesn’t recognize them, but one of them, a tall woman with dark hair, stops and smirks down at Derek.

“Derek Hale,” she says. “I wondered if I’d ever get to surf against you again since you stopped the championship circuit. Aiden tells me you’ve lost your edge.”

“Aiden is full of shit,” Derek retorts. “I’m surprised you’re coming down from your high horse to do this, Kali.”

The woman – Kali – gives him a feral smile. “It’s practice.” She glances at the group surrounding Derek. “I don’t know why you surround yourself with these amateurs. Do you think your little band of ragtag surfers is going to defeat us? Your mother may have been a champion, but you’re not even fit to carry on the Hale name.” Both of Derek’s hands are balled into tight fists, and Derek’s body is so tense Stiles is afraid it might snap right in two. “Duke doesn’t coach losers, and we’re not going to lose.” She walks away, leaving Derek vibrating with rage.

“Who was that?” Stiles asks.

“Kali,” Laura answers.

“And who the fuck is Kali?”

“A royal bitch,” Cora pipes up from behind him.

“We used to do the championship circuits together,” Derek explains. “She’s a fucking great surfer. And so’s Ennis, the other guy on their team.”

“Plus they have Deucalion as a coach,” Laura says. “You’re so gonna lose. Fuck.”

Stiles slaps her arm and then points at her. “Do not put those thoughts in his mind.”

Derek gets up, and looks at Erica, Allison, and Danny. “Come on, let’s go get ready.”

Stiles jumps up behind him and grabs his hand. He pulls him back and kisses him. “Good luck,” he says. “You can do this. I believe in you.” Derek pulls him into another fierce kiss before walking away.

“Who’s Deucalion?” Stiles asks when he sits back down.

“He surfed with our mother,” Laura says. “He was also a world champion. Then he lost his sight, but he still surfs and is one of the best coaches in the world.”

“Great,” Stiles says. “Just great. This is gonna be so fucking great!” he exclaims sarcastically.

They watch anxiously as the surfers go through each of their heats. Other than Derek and Aiden’s teams, there were numerous other surfers, twenty four in all. Four surfers are grouped for each heat, and each one lasts for twenty minutes. Only the two top scored surfers from each heat move on, and both of the teams all get through the first round.

The second heat is a bit more challenging. It’s three groups of four surfers, and Danny wipes out, which causes his score to be lower than Aiden and one of the random women, who both move on. Allison and Kali beat out Ethan and Ennis, and then Derek and another man beat out Erica in the last heat.

Erica and Danny join them while the surfers prepare for the last heat.

“Those waves are insane today,” Erica says dropping to the blanket beside Boyd.

“Are you okay?” Isaac asks.

Erica shrugs. “If Derek doesn’t win the money, I’ll figure out a way to get the shop. I can either cry about it or suck it up, so whatever.” Isaac and Boyd rub Erica’s arms encouragingly.

The last heat is individually scored waves, the top three surfers winning trophies and money. Stiles watches as Kali goes first, and he realizes she’d been holding back through the first two heats. She is insane. She moves around the waves like it’s nothing, doing tricks that Stiles has never seen before. She gets 9s across the board.

“Fuck,” Laura mutters under her breath.

Aiden is next, and he scores lower than Kali, mostly 8s and 9s. The other two random people score lower than that, and then it’s Derek’s turn. Derek sits on his surfboard, waiting for a wave, and then starts paddling out.

“Wait for it, wait for it,” Laura chants as she grabs on to Stiles’ hand. Derek paddles into his wave, setting up for his shot. “Shit! No Derek, that’s too early!” Derek pops up, and he immediately wipes out.

“Did he just lose?” Stiles exclaims, starting to panic.

“No, it’s the best three waves in ten minutes,” Boyd says.

Stiles chews on his finger as he watches Derek take another wave more cautiously, this time riding it, but it’s nothing impressive. Then a huge surge comes, and Derek pops up, balances himself and rides it. It’s the biggest wave they had during the contest so far, and he doesn’t do any fancy tricks like Kali, but he maneuvers around the wave and, in Stiles’ totally biased and non-expert opinion, demonstrates skill and efficiency instead of fancy moves. The judges think so, too, because he’s got 9.5s. Derek’s other waves are just as good, so he comes out ahead of Kali. Stiles and Laura are on their feet, clapping and yelling.

Stiles is so excited that he barely pays attention to Allison until Scott yells, “Did you see that?” They turn to Allison, who is doing things on a surfboard that Stiles didn’t know were possible. When her heat is finished, she scores mostly 10s across the board.

“Did Allison just win?” Stiles asks. Erica storms off, and Isaac is shouting and jumping around screaming, “We won! We won!”

Stiles squeezes through the crowd, looking for Derek. He finds him with Allison, grinning with his arm around her shoulders. When he sees Stiles, he skirts around the throng of people to meet him.

“You were great!” Stiles throws his arms around Derek’s shoulders and kisses him. “I’m so proud. Are you proud?”

“I beat Kali and Aiden. I’m ecstatic.” Derek grins and picks Stiles up and twirls him around.

“Are you sad Allison beat you?”

“What? No! She wants to go pro, so I’m thrilled for her.” Derek slings his arm around Stiles’ shoulder. Derek stands with him for awhile until he has to return to the throng to give a few statements, take pictures, and oversee some of the resort-related things. Stiles sticks around and watches as Allison takes pictures with her trophy and starts doing interviews, Derek already disappeared to do who knows what. He wanders around, talking to people, and later finds Erica, sitting on the sand away from everyone else. Stiles drops down on the sand beside her.

“Sorry about you not winning the money,” Stiles says, bumping her shoulder lightly.

“It’s okay!” Erica says brightly. “Allison offered to go into business with me with the money she won. We’ll own the surf shop together, and I’ll make surfboards while she works on her surfing career.”

“That’s awesome!”

“You’re still gonna do our website and online stuff, right?” she asks.

“Of course. When you get rich and famous, I’ll have a stake in the company.” Stiles grins.

After dark, Derek finds him playing cards with Scott, Isaac, and Lydia. “Wanna get out of here?” Derek whispers in his ear. Stiles throws his cards down and yells “later!” as he follows Derek down the beach. Derek grabs his hand as they walk hand in hand, the water rolling over their feet.

The island is so small that they’re able to walk all the way to Derek’s beach house in a little over an hour. Stiles drops onto the sand when they get there, tired. Derek goes inside, and grabs them a blanket and some leftover takeout for a late dinner.

“I’m really happy for you,” Stiles says a little later. They’ve stripped off their clothes and are just lying curled together on the blanket, looking up at the stars. “You did amazing out there.”

“Thanks,” Derek says. “I guess I haven’t lost it after all.”

“Did you think you had?”

“For a minute, yeah. Kali’s still internationally ranked, and I haven’t competed in years.”

“You could always do it again, you know. Do you want that?” Stiles cranes his head and looks up at Derek. Derek’s fingers are carding lightly through his hair.

“No. Not anymore. Now, I just want to focus on the resort, maybe expand it a bit, and spend time with you.”

“I like the sound of that.” Stiles rolls on top of Derek and starts kissing him, and soon they’re sliding against one another, sweaty and panting. Derek rolls Stiles to his back and grabs the lube and condom from the bag lying in the sand beside the blanket. Stiles digs his nails into the muscles in Derek’s back as he opens him, two fingers sliding slickly in and out of him.

“I can’t believe we’re having sex on the beach,” Stiles rambles as Derek slides another finger inside him. “This has been the best summer ever.”

“It’s not even over yet,” Derek replies, pulling his fingers out and moving up to kiss Stiles senseless. Stiles is gripping at Derek’s back as he mouths along Stiles’ jaw, and then sucks marks along his collarbone. Derek slides both his hands along the inside of Stiles’ arms, trailing over the thin, sensitive skin so lightly that Stiles feels like ten thousand tiny explosions are going off beneath his skin. Derek pushes Stiles arms back against the blanket, then lifts them over Stiles’ head.

Stiles plants his heels firmly on the ground as Derek positions himself at his entrance, then guides himself in slowly, pushing past the tight opening and sinking deeper and deeper until Stiles feels completely filled with Derek, Derek’s hips flush against his body.

“You feel so good,” Derek whispers against his ear before he traces the shell with his tongue. A shiver runs down Stiles’ spine as Derek pulls the lobe between his teeth, his thumb rubbing small circles against the inside of his wrist. And then Derek pulls out almost all the way and thrusts back inside him.

And Stiles’ world unravels. With each thrust, each touch, each exhalation of Derek’s hot breath against his skin. Derek unravels him until he’s not sure where he ends and Derek begins, and when he comes, he feels like Derek has been pulled inside of him and has curled himself around every part of him.

They lay together afterwards, a messy tangle of limbs, sweat, and come, and Stiles stares at the stars above him as Derek’s head rests on his chest, his fingers drawing random shapes in the sweat on his belly.

“I’m going to miss you when you leave for school,” Derek says quietly.

“I don’t go back to school for awhile still.”

“It’s too soon,” Derek replies.

“We’ll have to perfect our Skyping skills. And you’ll have to film naked surfing time.”

“You and the naked surfing,” Derek chuckles against Stiles chest before peppering kisses across it.

“What can I say? You’ve converted me. You’ve made me into a surfer.”

Derek nips at his chest lightly. “I wouldn’t go that far.”

“So mean to me.”

“But I love you,” Derek says, propping himself up on his elbows.

“I know. I love you, too.” Derek smiles as he kisses him.

*

Epilogue

Stiles walks into Derek’s office, not bothering to knock. Derek’s on the phone, and holds up a finger in frustration. Stiles drops into the seat on the other side of the desk and waits, his leg bouncing erratically.

Derek puts the phone back into the cradle and rubs a hand over his eyes. “What?”

“Bad day?”

“Sometimes, I wonder why I decided to run a resort catered to rich entitled jackasses.”

Stiles gets up and walks around behind Derek, draping his arms around his shoulders as he presses his lips against Derek’s temple. “You love it.”

“What do you need? You came in for something.”

“Laura wants your final approval on the new website design.” Stiles sits on the arm of Derek’s chair and leans against Derek’s shoulder as he opens the mock up Stiles put online. Stiles waits nervously as Derek scrolls and clicks from page to page. “Well? What do you think? You’re too quiet. You hate it. That’s why you’re not talking. Oh god, I can probably get something together by tomorrow, you’d just have to eat alone, and sleep alone, and – “

“It’s perfect,” Derek interrupts, covering Stiles’ mouth with his hand. “You’re amazing, I don’t even understand how you do this.”

Stiles wraps his arms around Derek’s neck tightly and kisses him. “You don’t have to know; that’s what you have me for.” Stiles takes the mouse from Derek and scrolls up. “Look, I put a link to Erica’s custom surfboards, and a link to that article in Surfer’s World about Allison on the world tour since it mentions the resort. Figured it’d be great press.”

Derek’s arm is loose around Stiles’ waist, his fingers sliding underneath Stiles’ shirt. “It’s great.”

“We’ll have more memberships than we can hold. We’ll be turning people away.”

“When does it go live?” Derek asks.

“As soon as you want.”

Derek grabs Stiles around the waist and pulls him onto his lap. “How did I do this without you?” Derek asks, settling his arms around Stiles’ waist.

“You did almost go bankrupt.”

“Asshole,” Derek says, slapping his ass hard.

“Don’t be bitter because I saved you.” Stiles grins. “I’ve got to run over to the surf shop. Erica made me update her website while I was working on yours. Plus, she wants to show me the new board she’s working on for me. Because I’m a surfer now.” Derek rolls his eyes, but smiles. “Hey, don’t give me that look. I’m getting better. Even you were impressed by those waves I rode the other day.”

Derek kisses him. “You’re getting the hang of it,” he whispers against his mouth. Stiles grins and gets off Derek’s lap. “And it only took you two years.”

“What do you want for dinner?” Stiles asks as he walks to the door.

“Whatever.” Derek leans back in his chair. “As long as there’s naked surfing for dessert.” Stiles pretends to contemplate it as Derek lifts his eyebrows. “It’s my turn to watch you.”

Stiles just grins widely in response.

-fin