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Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

http://download.archiveofourown.org/works/3273755.
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M/M
Teen Wolf (TV)
Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Scott McCall, Erica Reyes, Lydia Martin, Isaac Lahey
Alternate Universe - Werewolves Are Known, derek is an author,
Happy Ending, No strings attached relationship, it gets pretty cracky
at points lmao, Scent Marking, Jealous Derek, brief stisaac, mentions
of past jackson/stiles
Part 1 of down in flames.
Published: 2015-02-02 Words: 29573

so, hey, let's be friends.


by standinginanicedress
Summary

Stiles has been fucking obsessed with famous werewolf author Derek Hale since he was
fifteen years old and the first book came out. Like, embarrassingly obsessed. Like, had a
poster of the guy hanging up on the wall above his bed, obsessed. When Hale moved back
to Beacon Hills, Stiles just figured he'd hole himself up in his rebuilt mansion, writing his
fourth book, never to fulfill Stiles' endless daydreams about running into him and having
the alpha fall madly in love with him.
It's completely fucking improbable and nonsensical, would never happen in a million
years, so of course Stiles somehow winds up in a no-strings-attached agreement with his
literary idol, all while eating chicken McNuggets out of his pocket at random intervals and
plotting the demise of the McFlurry mixer.

Notes

Okay so I myself have never worked at a McDonald's so for anyone who has and
notices any discrepancies for the way things are run around there, I apologize for my
ignorance ahead of time lmao (the McFlurry machine for example)
Also I really really really REALLY hope no one gets the impression from this that I'm
shitting all over minimum wage jobs or that working at McDonald's is somehow
embarrassing everyone has to admit, it's a shitty job lmao, so I wrote it from the
perspective of it being a shitty job.

The little paragraphs of Derek's books you get are supposed to correlate SLIGHTLY to
what's happening in the plot, but really what they're there for is to get insights into Derek
that you wouldn't get otherwise

Standing there, on the edge of my property - what used to be my property, my family's territory,
the place where I grew up staring at the soot and ash and ruins, I knew something had to
change. We couldn't keep going along like that, in a world where people saw me, saw us as
threats to be eliminated. That's why I ever sat down to write a book in the first place; because I
wanted to show humanity that being a werewolf is not an episode of a shitty fantasy television
show. I am not a character in a romance novel. I'm real. (From the Ashes, Derek Hale pg. 178)
---Stiles works at fucking McDonald's, all right?
He stands behind a counter for six hours a day, sometimes eight, wearing an idiotic visor, grinning
fakely at exhausted people with crying babies on break from road trips, and makes oreo
McFlurry's. All. Day. Long. He comes home reeking of french fries, burger juice in his god damn
hair, salt underneath his fingernails, and sticky puddles of ice cream stains on his pants (because
the machine has been on the fritz for the past two weeks and sporadically decides to just spew
cream out at whatever unsuspecting worker happens to be standing there it's been Stiles thirteen
out of the fifteen times it's happened).
Once a week, he brings home an apple pie for his dad just to keep him quiet about employee
discounts and just one Big Mac isn't going to kill me, son the pie appeases him, and Stiles
doesn't have to worry about him complaining about why do you get to eat the food but I can't?
If Stiles hadn't put himself on a four day workout plan, he probably would've gained at least
fifteen pounds by now. Every day, when he rolls in at six for his shift, he goes straight to the pile
of ready-to-go McNuggets sitting underneath the heat lamps, fresh out of the fryer, and drops
about six of them in his pocket. He eats them sporadically throughout the night, whenever his
supervisor isn't looking or when he gets stuck on bathroom detail. He stands in the middle of a
McDonald's bathroom, shoving McNuggets into his face while listening to Ariana Grande scream
at him over the speakers. He's not proud, all right?
He's just trying to survive. After failing out of college because all he did was smoke weed and
watch marathons of America's Next Top Model, getting fired from Starbucks for allegedly spitting
in Jackson Whittemore's non-fat latte, quitting the pet store because he kept getting too attached to
all the puppies, he wound up at McDonald's. Flipping burgers and making Shamrock Shakes for
screaming children demanding he put six cherries on top instead of just one. It's hell. It really is
pure, undiluted hell.
Most fun of all, is that his supervisor, Mr. Finstock, has this adorable quality of screaming at the
top of his lungs at everyone through the headsets.
Bilinski!! Stiles winces and lifts the headset two inches away from his ear, while behind him
Erica jumps so hard in the middle of flipping a burger it winds up sticking to the ceiling above her
head. Are you making the burgers or shoving them down your pants!?
Stiles pauses for a second, confused Erica, who has been poking at the burger patty on the

ceiling with the handle of a mop, says I'm on grill, sir, into her microphone as the patty flops
down onto the ground with a smack.
Oh. A beat. He must be out back taking his cigarette break. Stiles pulls a nugget out of his
pocket and pops it into his mouth. What are you doing, Bilinski!?
It's Stilinski, sir, Stiles huffs, for only the ten thousandth time since he started working here five
months ago. I'm on drive-thru.
What are you doing there!?
Exactly what you told me to do. He eyes the empty restaurant and sighs, waiting for the woman
sitting in her car halfway between his window and the order menu to finish rifling around in her
purse for her money, while Finstock continues to grumble under his breath about no good kids and
should've hired the other ones into Stiles' ear.
Your mic is still on, sir, Erica's voice is accompanied by a sizzle from the grill.
Oh... there's a crackle, indicating that Finstock has wised up and turned himself completely off.
Every night is pretty much exactly the same. Stiles takes the early evening shift most times, but
sometimes signs on for the entire night shift six pm until two am, with a half hour dinner break at
around ten, during which he usually cruises across the truck stop to the gas station for a prepackaged salad to take the edge of all the nuggets he's already eaten. He and Erica's shift
schedules nearly always match up, so he gets the pleasure of listening to her swear like a sailor
over the headsets, watching her punch at the ice cream machine and flirt with all the boys who
come through the drive-thru. That's entirely the reason Finstock hardly ever puts her on anything
aside from grill and fryers lately, while Stiles gets stuck up front and on drive-thru every single
god damn night.
Tonight, at one o'clock in the morning, it's just he and Erica, Finstock either out back smoking or
locked away in his office, and Stiles has started organizing the straws and ketchup packets at the
drink station just for something to fucking do. He can hear Erica rustling around in the back as he
works, looking over his shoulder every now and again to make sure no one's come in.
The only people who ever come around at this time of night are truckers, and even then, the most
customers they ever get between one and two am is like...three. Why the owner insists on keeping
them open this late is beyond him, but if he wants to pay Stiles nine fucking fifty an hour to eat
nuggets and straw-fight with Erica, that's fine.
Stiles! Erica calls out. The oreos are clogging again!
Stiles pinches the bridge of his nose, fantasizes about taking the ice cream machine out back and
beating the shit out of it with a baseball bat like the printer in Office Space, and slowly makes his
way over to where Erica is punching at the thing yet again. You're going to break your hand one
of these days, he sighs, gently shoving her hands away to fiddle with the thing himself.
I hate it so fucking much, she hisses, glancing over her shoulder as if to make sure some wideeyed five year old isn't standing at the counter listening to her swear (it's happened before). I
want to hurt it.
When we both quit, we'll kidnap this thing and have our way with it. This is a fantasy Erica and
Stiles share almost every single night the most repeated sentence between them, even more than
where's my order, is when we both quit.
When we both quit, we're gonna go into Finstock's office and take all the screws out of his chair.

When we both quit, we're gonna throw french fries in the air like confetti while dancing to
whatever shitty song is playing over the speakers. When we both quit, we're gonna rip all the
shitty minimalist art off the walls while yelling viva la Burger King! at terrified customers. It keeps
them sane. Or, at least, relatively sane.
After about five minutes of Stiles fighting with the clogged up oreos, Erica wanders off
somewhere to sext her boyfriend, and then it's just Stiles and the sultry sounds of Taylor Swift at
the front of the restaurant. He hums along quietly to himself, jabbing a plastic fork up the oreo
shaft again and again, feeling the blockage loosen bit by bit every time.
He holds a large cup underneath the spout, ready for when it all comes spilling out, muttering
come on, come on, come on underneath his breath until, finally, spill the oreos do.
A delighted noise comes out of the back of the throat as the oreo chunks come flying down into
his cup, and so begins his victory dance to Blank Space behind the counter of a truck stop
McDonald's at one o'clock in the morning while waving a cup full of oreo excrement around in
the air. He hardly has time to muse over the fact that his life has all boiled down to him being this
happy about unclogging an ice cream machine's oreo spout, when he hears the sound of the door
swinging open.
He freezes mid hip-thrust, absolutely locks down, because strolling into the McDonald's like it's
no big deal whatsoever is Derek. Fucking. Hale.
Derek Hale. The Derek Hale. Millionaire author, werewolf, DEREK HALE.
Stiles pulls a stop drop and roll, right there behind the ice cream machine. Just flops to the ground
like a fish out of water, sending oreo chunks flying all over the floor, hoping to God Derek didn't
see him. Derek can't fucking see him like this, in his dorky shirt and visor, reeking of oil and salt
and grease. In his mind, he's fantasized about meeting Derek Hale, all right? It was usually always
after Stiles got his shit together and became a world famous gamer or something (he doesn't have a
lot going for him right now aside from his progress in Destiny), usually after he bulked up a bit
more, and also got about fifty thousand times more hot that he would casually run into Derek
while buying a sports car or something. They'd laugh about how rich they are, bond over
paparazzi shenanigans, and then Stiles would say gee, sex in the backseat of your expensive car
sounds great!
He hears Derek's footsteps come closer to the counter, right as Erica comes back around the front,
glances down at Stiles with a puzzled expression on her face. She must be able to read the wide
eyes and the finger to Stiles' lips pretty well, must be able to remember the countless times Stiles
has talked to her about wanting to suck Derek Hale's organs out straight through his dick, because
she just flits her eyes away and steps up to the counter casually.
Welcome to McDonald's, can I take your order?
Derek Hale clears his throat, and says, a cup for water, please. There's a pause, a lengthy one,
where all Stiles can hear is his heart pounding out of his chest, got a long list of ex-lovers, and
Erica sliding a cup off the stack, before Derek says, ...and a McFlurry. What a time to be alive,
to hear the author of Stiles' favorite books utter the term McFlurry.
Ooookay, Erica agrees amiably, tapping buttons on the register. Then, like the moment of
friendship and solidarity and understanding from earlier completely leaves her mind, she says,
Stiles? This guy wants a McFlurry.
He sits on the ground for five seconds, jaw dropped, and Erica turns around and smirks at him
cruelly from her post, waggling her eyebrows.

He has no choice. The contract has been sealed. Derek knows there's a Stiles somewhere in this
restaurant matter of fact, he probably knows beyond any shadow of a doubt that Stiles is on the
ground ten feet away from him, because he's a werewolf. Superhearing, remember, Stiles?
Without thinking about it, he shoots up from the ground, and all the oreo crumbs that had been all
over his shirt go flicking out in all directions, and meets Derek Hale's eyes.
God. Holy fucking God. Lord Jesus Christ, in heaven above, thank you for creating this man he
looks like a magazine cutout. Skin perfectly tan even in the horrible lighting, eyes green and
amused, cheekbones so sharp Stiles wants Derek to slit his fucking throat with them so he can die
happy. Words cannot express the feeling of absolute Twilight Zone-ness Stiles gets at seeing
Derek Hale standing in Stiles' McDonald's in his trademark leather jacket, Lambo keys dangling
in his fingers, looking directly back at Stiles, expectantly all soundtracked by Taylor. This is
this is a movie. There's a camera crew right outside the windows, there fucking has to be.
Um, Stiles begins, wiping more oreo dust off his shirt. What what kind? Um M&M or
oreo?
Erica turns back to Derek and raises her eyebrows, while Stiles stays stuck to the spot. Surprise
me.
Stiles grabs for a medium McFlurry cup while Derek just stands there staring at him, sliding a five
dollar bill across the counter to Erica, waiting for his change. He decides oreo, because he worked
so hard at getting it unclogged so why the hell not, and pulls down the ice cream lever.
Derek is still just standing there, even after Erica has wandered off after giving him his change,
even though he still has an empty cup in his hands. He could be getting his water. But he's not.
Stiles can feel those green eyes practically sizzling into Stiles' fucking skin, and it takes everything
in him to not just go sprinting out of the restaurant.
He's met werewolves before. Everyone's met at least a handful of werewolves. The big reveal was
about twenty years ago, when Stiles was just a baby, so for pretty much his whole life he's known
about werewolves and it's all commonplace to most people, now. Werewolves have jobs, families,
cars, lives, just like humans do. But, not everyone sees it that way, and the wolves are fetishized
and treated like animals by some subsets of people. In general, though, it's not that huge of a deal.
Most of the time, no one can tell who's a werewolf and who's not in every day situations.
But, the thing is, Derek Hale is one of the most famous wolves in the United States. He writes
these fascinating books about growing up as a wolf, that woman Kate burning his entire family ten
years after the reveal, living with the trauma, and so on and so forth. He's fucking amazing, pretty
much, Stiles worships him and thinks he's a genius and also wants to suck his dick. Because he's
hot and not that much older than Stiles and rich and Christ. Stiles knew he had moved back to
Beacon Hills a year ago to start work on his next book, but he had yet to catch even a glimpse of
him. He figured the guy would just seclude himself up in the woods like a hermit since he was
notorious for not being particularly friendly or forthcoming.
Stiles would occasionally daydream about running into him, that's all.
He never thought it would actually happen.
Just as he's dropping the oreos into the cup, getting ready to start the mixing process, the ice cream
machine starts acting up. In a big way, the thing starts acting up.
First it's just a trickle of runny cream spouting out, and Stiles laughs nervously, glancing at Derek
like what can ya do!? Derek raises his eyebrows at the machine, like he knows exactly what's

about to happen. He probably honestly does.


Stiles soldiers on, praying to God that it just calms down and lets him finish making Derek Hale's
ice cream, or so fucking help him he's really going to drag this thing out into the parking lot and
steamroll it. The trickle becomes more of a spurt, and then the spurt becomes a waterfall, all at
once, splashing cream all over Stiles' face and neck and hair.
He squawks, shutting the ice cream down, spitting cream out of his mouth and blinking the stuff
out of his eyelashes. Derek's ice cream is, blessedly, untouched and perfectly finished in his hand
so, cold, wet, and pretending this is a fucking nightmare, he turns slowly to Derek, and hobbles
over to the counter to drop the ice cream down in front of him.
Derek is smiling. Grinning, really. When he gets out to his car he's probably going to burst into
hysterical laughter at the spaztic kid at McDonald's, write something about it in his book, go
straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller's list, win ten awards, while Stiles is still stuck
making $9.50 an hour.
Thanks, he says, smiling still, before walking over to the drink station to get his water. Erica
hands Stiles a damp rag, or at least she tries to. Stiles just stands blankfaced at the register,
unmoving, unblinking, just completely and totally numb. He's not even watching Derek pour
himself water. He can just see the broad shoulders in the corner of his eye.
Erica clucks her tongue and starts wiping at Stiles' face and neck herself, leaning in close to
whisper I think that went well into his ear with a pop of her bubblegum. Stiles blinks, finally,
right as Derek is sweeping back across the restaurant, ice cream and water in hand he looks back
over at Stiles, smiles again upon seeing Erica cleaning him up, and then vanishes out the glass
doors into the parking lot.
After a couple more moments of wiping, Erica pulls the towel away and looks Stiles dead in the
eyes. You alive in there?
Stiles shakes his head no. He's dead.
Want a nugget?
Stiles nods yes.
---I'm not interested in humans who say they find my being a werewolf fascinating. Fascinating, in
that context, means you are a concept to me. You are not like me, and instead of trying to learn
what it is about you that makes you and I so different, I am going to pretend that the monster
you've been painted as is the real thing. I once went home with a woman who told me I was
fascinating. She set my house on fire two weeks later. (From the Ashes, Derek Hale pg. 10)
---It was a fluke. That's what Stiles convinces himself of the next day, while the embarrassment and
humiliation is still fresh, and Scott is rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically in his
bedroom. It was a fluke, and does that six pack Derek has really indicate an interest in
McDonald's at all? No, it doesn't, and he's never going to see Derek again in his life and that's
probably for the best after what happened to him. The hell he lived through.
Oh, my God... Scott wipes his eyes and lets out a few more short guffaws, shaking his head.
Holy shit. That is the funniest fucking-

It's not funny. It is not funny. It really is, though. It was humiliating, and, like, fifty different
types of nightmares came to life last night, Scott. Derek Hale saw me drenched in unfinished ice
cream and oreo bits, he thinks I'm a fucking idiot!
Maybe he thought it was sexy, Scott raises one eyebrow at his best friend.
Stiles purses her lips and glares as hard as he can. Don't.
You were covered in white cream, Stiles, I'm just thinking-
Don't!
Okay! He raises his hands in surrender and smiles guiltily. I'm just messing with you, I'm sorry.
You're right. It's not funny, I'm sorry. But he looks about ten steps away from bursting out
laughing again, so Stiles just grunts and flops down onto his bed.
Why me?
At least you met him, right? Scott's voice is encouraging and hopeful from above him. Like
hasn't that been a big fantasy of yours? To just meet him?
Yeah, but I didn't even tell him I was a fan or anything! He didn't even get a god damn book
signed, even though all three of Derek's published books are sitting on his bookshelf. In his mind,
he showed up at a book signing, and Derek flashed him that rare grin as he signed his name
without having to ask how to spell it, and then they went into the back room and had wild sex.
He didn't even know that I knew who he was!
After seeing you leap behind an ice cream machine to try and hide from him, I think he knew that
you knew who he was.
Stiles shoots back into a sitting position, wide-eyed. You think he saw that?
Scott rolls his eyes and nods. He's a werewolf, Stiles. They have, like, senses. A pause. Maybe
he sensed how totally turned on you were by him, and-
Ugh! Stiles throws a pillow at Scott's head.
But he was resigned to it. He was never going to see Derek again, he had his shot at making a
good impression, he blew it, the game was fucking over, and now he could just move on and put
the entire thing behind him wait for the next book to come out like a normal fan and person. The
guy has to be hassled by hundreds of people a day, right? No way was he going to remember
Stiles anyway, even if their encounter was particularly...interesting. He'd forget, eventually.
Then, he comes back in two nights later, at the exact same time.
Stiles is mopping the floor, Erica wiping down the counters, because Finstock is actually watching
over them for once, so they actually had to do work that didn't involve sneaking fries and having
spitball fights.
Get underneath the counter, Bilinski, Finstock says, grimacing at the dust and grease that's
collected since the last time Stiles mopped the night before. You always miss that spot.
Stiles never misses that spot, or any other spot in the entire restaurant, because believe it not, just
because he works a minimum wage job he's not a fucking slacker idiot but he just grits his teeth
and does as he's told, bending over to drag the mop all the way underneath, to the very back of the
underside of the counter. He hears the familiar swipe of the door opening, and sighs through his

nose.
Rising up to a stranding position once more, propping the mop up against the far wall, he doesn't
notice it's Derek until the guy is standing right in front of the counter, gazing up at the menu with
an air of distaste to him.
Stiles freezes for all of four seconds, mouth dropping. He glances over at Erica, who starts wiping
the counters harder, grinning from ear to ear, glancing between Stiles and Derek suggestively.
Finstock, oblivious to it all, gestures emphatically towards Derek with his eyes on Stiles, like what
the hell are you doing, Bilinski, there's a customer standing there!
All Stiles can think is that he's getting a second chance. A second first impression - he can change
the tides altogether! Everything can be different now, he can prove to Derek he's not a complete
fucking jackass (only half jackass, on a good day). Lurching forward, he presses his hips up
against the counter, meets Derek's eyes, and says, Welcome to McDonald's. What can I get for
you?
Derek raises his eyes back up to the menu, grimacing. An apple pie, please.
Because Erica had been just standing right there, she moves over to grab a pie from the back
instantly, and then it's just Derek and Stiles standing there at the counter. Um that'll be ninety
nine cents.
Derek slides a crisp one dollar bill across the counter. Stiles pops the register open methodically,
pulling a single penny out. He holds it out between two fingers to Derek, and he holds his tan
hand out, and Stiles drops it down, and it's all very commonplace and typical. He can almost
forget who's standing right in front of him, until he glances up again to find Derek staring directly
at him, with that same bemused smile on his face from the other night.
Stiles swallows, wondering what the fucking hell is taking Erica so long, and decides to open his
stupid idiot mouth. I I love your books.
The werewolf smiles at him wider. You know who I am?
Stiles outright laughs. Um, yeah? Everyone knows who you are. Typically book authors don't
get much face recognition, for the obvious reasons. He's not a movie star, or a rockstar. He just sits
at a computer alone in his dark house and types shit out into Microsoft Word. The reason Derek
Hale is so famous isn't just because he's a good writer, anyway. It's also because he's a werewolf,
and a fucking hot one at that. He's a heart-throb. For Christ's sake, his pictures get turned into
huge blowup posters for teenage girls to hang up on their bedroom walls (Stiles used to have one
right above his bed - whatever.)
Derek hmm's thoughtfully as Erica comes out with a tiny bag holding one apple pie. You're the
Stilinski kid. Right?
Stiles almost drops the pie as he's handing it over to Derek, eyes going huge, his throat closing up
at hearing his last name so casually dropped out of Derek's mouth.
The Sheriff's kid?
Of course. Right. Right. Derek would maybe remember him, a tiny bit, back from before he was
famous, but after his family all burned alive in his house. He'd remember Stiles because he sat in
the station while Stiles' father scratched his head and tried to figure out if sending him off to live
with his older sister was such a good idea, and Stiles was sitting at one of the deputys desks doing
his math homework. Stiles always kind of tried to shake the memory from his head even though

it was Derek Hale and he had been in the same room with Derek Hale, it's not exactly the greatest
memory to have. Derek covered in soot and reeking of fire and shaking. Stiles never tried to think
about it.
Yeah I'm...the Sheriff's my dad, and - I am his son.
Derek nods, glances down at Stiles' nametag, with the bright yellow M right next to his name.
Stiles.
Stiles could die. Right here, right now, he could absolutely just lay down on the ground and
fucking die and ascend either into heaven or hell it wouldn't matter either which way, because
all the happiness of the world was just bestowed upon him. Derek Hale knows who he is. His
name!
That's me.
He doesn't say anything else. He just takes the bag with the pie, saunters out of the restaurant
casually, and disappears like it's not a big fucking deal at all that he basically just gave Stiles
spank bank material for the rest of his life. The way Derek's voice sounded saying his name...
This is like fantasy turned into real life.
Well...in his fantasy he wasn't working at McDonald's. And Mr. Finstock wasn't yelling at the top
of his lungs about proper ketchup packet piles. But, still.
Derek Hale knows his name.
---When people find out a secret about you, they tend to look at you a little differently humans and
werewolves alike can sympathize with that feeling. Sometimes the difference is almost
imperceptible, like a smile that doesn't quite reach the eyes. Other times, it's much more obvious.
Like the way people sometimes clear my path as I walk down the aisles of a supermarket, as if
afraid of what I might do. I often times wonder, if I hadn't written that first book, if I hadn't gotten
famous would I be able to just walk among the rest of the population, blend in seamlessly with
humanity, without anyone ever having to find out what I am? Would I have been better off?
(Reborn, Derek Hale pg. 28)
---The third time Derek comes into McDonald's, it's almost closing time. He strolls up to the counter,
and this time Stiles had seen him coming all the way out in the parking lot so he's actually mildly
lucid and planning on what he's going to say. Why are you always coming in so late? Stiles
asks, trying to keep his voice all casual and cool and chill like this is a totally normal occurrence.
Like he hadn't been up all night re-reading From the Ashes like a fucking fanboy.
Derek shrugs, his eyes scanning the menu with that same grimace he always has on. I work late.
Sometimes I just drive around and think. What do you usually eat here?
Stiles thinks about the McNuggets sitting in his pocket, knows that Derek can probably smell
them, Derek Hale knows that Stiles keeps McNuggets in his fucking pockets holy shit, and then
thinks about Derek driving all around Beacon Hills late at night to get the creative juices flowing
and he kind of wants to go into the bathroom and jerk off like he had to do last time. Well...I
don't, typically.
Derek smiles at that, eyes crinkling a bit at the corners, and ducks his head into a nod. Me,

either.
Stiles is about to beg to differ, mention how Derek has come in three times in a one week period,
and Derek looks like he knows that Stiles is about to be contrary, because he raises his eyebrows
like he's just daring him to say something. Like he would honestly enjoy the conversation. He rolls
the words around his head for a minute, lips curved up into a smile, before he just shakes his head
and says, I like the chicken nuggets.
Okay. I'll have those.
They go through the motions, and everything's all very professional with money, and Stiles
handing the food over, and Derek vanishing out the door like he's done the two times before as
well.
Erica sidles up beside him with her arms crossed, smirking at him.
I would lick the floor underneath the fryers to get my hands on that guy's dick. Stiles doesn't
even consider whether or not Derek can hear him say it from all the way out there; he probably
could if he's listening. But he wouldn't be listening. Would he?
Erica shrugs. Why don't you just go ahead and ask him out?
Stiles gives her a look like Erica just told him she grew an extra head jutting out of her neck this
morning. Ask? Him? Out?
Yeah... Erica scrunches her nose up at him and rolls her eyes. Why the fuck not?
He flails for a second, almost shaking his headset and visor off in the process. It's Derek Hale,
Erica, he's not just some dude who comes into McDonald's for a Big Mac!
Just because he's Derek Hale, that doesn't mean he doesn't need to get laid like everyone else,
Erica sweeps her eyes up and down Stiles' body, and Stiles feels the bizarre need to cover himself
up more than he already is with her creeping eyes on him like this.
It's not uncommon knowledge that Derek is bisexual, and it's really not uncommon knowledge
that he broke up with his last girlfriend about a year and a half ago and hasn't dated anyone since,
hence moving back to Beacon Hills and becoming a hermit to not deal with the fallout press from
that shit show of a breakup. Jennifer Blake got an interview on MTV, twirled her fingers around
her curly brown hair daintily with a flash of perfect white teeth, and said, he's practically
demented. I guess you have to be to be a writer, but dark and moody is only fun for so long.
#DementedHale trended on twitter for a solid week after that, and Stiles grit his teeth through it,
knowing that Jennifer was the demented one. Seriously. She always had this fucking look about
her in all the candids of her and Derek together, like she had some secret plot or ulterior motive.
And that's not just Stiles being a Derek stan and blaming everything on her, or anything. Not at all
the issue here.
If he were to date someone again, Stiles began, adjusting his visor and pulling a nugget out of
his pocket to nibble on, it sure as fuck wouldn't be the twenty-one year old college dropout that
works at McDonald's and eats chicken nuggets out of his pocket, Erica.
Why not?
As if it's obvious, Stiles just widens his eyes and gestures to himself, the ketchup stains and the
grimy grease hair and the uniform, nugget held between his index finger and thumb.

Erica blinks at him. I don't see your point.


Scott decides to join Erica's insane, unrealistic team as well, when he comes in for an early dinner
a couple days later to eat with Stiles.
He's not really a celebrity kind of guy, though, Scott says around a mouthful of hamburger
before slurping at his soda. Hasn't he said, like, a zillion times he'd rather date an actual person
than some filthy rich Hollywood slicker?
There's a huge gap between not a filthy rich Hollywood slicker and the guy who takes his order,
Scott.
Scott squints his eyes, runs them all around Stiles' face, and then he frowns. Let me ask you a
question does it make sense, at all, that Derek Hale is coming into McDonald's this often?
Stiles opens his mouth to say he's rich he can do whatever the hell he wants but the truth is...it
really doesn't make any sense. None whatsoever. Derek has the sickest body he's ever seen on a
single human person, probably glugs down protein shakes and fucking egg smoothies or whatever
healthy people are doing, and most werewolves say that McDonald's food tastes like garbage and
preservatives to them.
The first time he came in, he only wanted a water. At first.
Scott leans back in his chair after ten seconds of dead silence from Stiles, smirks, and says,
exactly.
It doesn't mean anything.
It means that for whatever reason, I'm not saying it's you, Scott holds his hands out, gesturing to
the restaurant at large, but there's a reason he keeps coming back here.
Stiles chews on his bottom lip, tries to wrap his head around the idea of his fucking literary idol
finding him attractive, and his mind just violently rejects it. Erica's pretty hot. It could be her.
Scott looks at him like he doesn't think so at all, but he nods and says, could be.
When Derek comes in for a fourth time, Stiles isn't even surprised. He barely bats an eye as Derek
approaches the counter and taps his index finger down on the surface of it, flashing his green eyes
in Stiles' direction and looking just as ridiculously attractive as ever.
Chicken nuggets again? Stiles asks.
Derek stares at him for a second, as if he's trying to make up his mind about something the
chicken nuggets, Stiles had assumed was the cause for this internal debate but then he opened
his mouth. The coffee here is terrible.
Stiles blinks, cocking his head to the side. He agrees, of fucking course he agrees, the McCafe is a
fucking joke, but he can't very well just stand in his uniform at the register shitting all over one of
the products he's supposed to be peddling. So instead, he just stands there, mouth half open,
wondering where to go from here.
Luckily, Derek continues. I much prefer the coffee shop across the street from the supermarket.
Do you know the place?
Stiles, numbly, nods. Um Fireside?

Derek nods right back at him. Fireside, that's what it's called. I usually go in there around eleven,
stay until four. There's a pause, and Derek smiles; a small thing, just the tiniest uplift of the
corners of his mouth. Do you like coffee?
Stiles scratches at his cheek, mostly just for something to do with his hands. I love coffee I
really like coffee. Coffee is it's great. Fucking...yes.
Derek doesn't look at the menu. He doesn't ask for a cup of water. He doesn't even get his wallet
out. He just raises his eyebrows at Stiles, turns around, and leaves.
Stiles stands there at the counter, staring after Derek even when he's long out of sight, frozen in
shock directly on the spot, like Derek somehow sucked the life clean out of him. Because, and
correct him if he's fucking wrong but it sounded like...
It sounded like Derek Hale just asked him out.
---I don't care what people say about me. I care about what werewolves say about me, what my
pack would think of me, but as for people? I don't fucking care. (Back to the Flames, Derek Hale
pg. 324)
---Stiles spends about three hours the next morning pacing back and forth across his bedroom floor,
staring at Derek's books sitting on his bookshelf, or sitting down on his bed and jiggling his leg
incessantly, hands over his face as he tries to fucking think.
He didn't tell Erica, who had been out back in a crying, screaming fight with her boyfriend over
the phone at the time, or Scott that this has happened. Because he knows they'd both immediately
say oh my fucking god he asked you out Derek Hale asked you out and Stiles still isn't sure that
that's actually what happened. Maybe he was just making conversation, since he probably doesn't
get a lot of conversation outside of his editor and publicist, living all alone up in his rebuilt house
in the middle of the preserve, and Stiles is a pretty chatty guy. He's easy to talk to, so people have
said in the past.
And, so what if he came in and gave very specific details on where he would be today? So what if
he asked Stiles if he liked coffee? So what if he walked out of McDonald's without ordering
anything? None of it means anything! Everything is normal here, and Derek Hale is not interested
in him in the slightest, because he's...
A twenty-one year old McDonald's employee. He starts repeating the phrase again and again in
his head to remind himself of this depressing fact. He is not someone Derek Hale, millionaire,
would be interested in. He is a certifiable nobody in the grand scheme of things. His most notable
accomplishment is being able to make a perfect omelet in a frying pan. Would that impress or
even vaguely interest Derek Hale? Most likely not.
He has two choices here. Show up at Fireside at eleven am, all casual and like he does it all the
time, or...not. Not show up at Fireside.
One option is quite frankly terrifying and making Stiles' fucking fingers twitch, and the other is
safe. Easy. Simple. The problem with the safe option, however, is that he'll most likely spend the
rest of his damn life wondering what if I had...
And if there's one thing Stiles really doesn't fucking like, it's not knowing things. In a sense, the
decision had already been made for him. So, he puts on his shoes, gets in his shitty Jeep, and

drives to Fireside. Convincing himself it's not a big deal, because it's not. Maybe Derek had meant
to invite Stiles here, only not as a date or anything, just as friends because he wants to talk to Stiles
about his dad, or something. Or maybe he just thinks Stiles is interesting and wants to get to
know him.
A million different possibilities float around through Stiles' brain as he parks his car in the uneven
parking lot, drapes himself over the steering wheel and forces himself to breathe. In, out, in, out
until he's shoving open his Jeep door with a creak and slamming it closed, charging towards the
door before he can spin around and change his mind out of fear.
Inside, the place is just as dark as he remembers it, reeking of coffee beans with couches scattered
all around. He checks the time on his phone eleven thirty on the dot. Scans the room with his
eyes, and finds a teenage girl on her laptop with a pile of books next to her, a man with a guitar
leaned up against his table eating a bagel, and...that's it. Derek is nowhere in sight.
He can't tell if the feeling he gets in the pit of his stomach is relief or disappointment doesn't
have the time to consider it, honestly, because just as he's about to step up to the counter and order
himself a cheddar bagel with extra cream cheese, a consolation meal, he hears a soft, Stiles from
somewhere to his left.
Turning around, he sees a potted plant. Upon closer inspection, there's a pair of legs sticking out
from beside the potted plant, and then Derek is leaning over, smirking at Stiles.
Stiles' heart thuds in his chest, and he knows that Derek can hear it, and doesn't know what he
thinks of it because his face is just as much of a fucking blank mask as it is in the pictures, so he
just steps forward and tries to be cool. Chill. Hiding?
Derek shrugs his shoulders, slapping a MacBook closed on his lap and dropping it onto the coffee
table in front of him. Something like that. Come sit.
Stiles does as he's told, on only kind of shaky legs, and plops down onto the couch right in
between the plant and Derek not too close, and not too far away that it's awkward, either. Just
the perfect amount of space in between their shoulders.
I got you this. Derek holds a chocolate chip muffin out to Stiles, and Stiles accepts it.
How'd you know I would come?
I figured if you didn't I could just eat it myself.
Stiles tears off a chunk of muffin and chews at it, slowly. Derek watches him, eyes flitting all over
his face, watching as he licks a couple of crumbs off the tips of his fingers. So how's Beacon
Hills been to you so far?
Derek moves his eyes away from Stiles' fingers back up to his face. It's exactly how I remember
it. I haven't decided if that's terrible or amazing yet, so I'll keep you posted.
Swallowing, Stiles nods. Different from New York, I bet.
New York was shit, all things considered. My sister didn't grow up to be well adjusted, like me,
there's the faintest hint of sarcasm in his voice, and Stiles recognizes that as Derek's selfdeprecating sense of humor, got way too into the New York club scene, and I spent most of my
time there flushing the toilet after she puked into it. He side-eyes Stiles for a few seconds. It's
not the kind of thing I would write about.
There are hardly any mentions of Laura Hale in his books, actually; probably out of respect for her

privacy. The only time she's ever mentioned is in his debut, and even then, probably only because
he didn't expect it to do so well. So, Stiles knows next to nothing about her this admission from
Derek is the most bizarrely intimate thing a stranger has ever told him, when Stiles thinks about
how secretive Derek tends to be.
She's better now.
She sounds cool, is what Stiles, fucking idiotically, decides to say. Before he can say one more
stupid thing, he shoves another huge bite of muffin into his mouth and chews very deliberately,
staring out the window at the parking lot, at his parked Jeep.
Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Derek shift in his seat, look Stiles up and down, and then run
his hand through his hair. I didn't ask you to come here so we could small talk, Stiles.
Stiles turns his head to look at him again, still chewing, and cocks his head to the side. You didn't
really ask me here at all.
Another small smile crosses Derek's face, and he says, in an almost quiet voice, I wanted to give
you every opportunity to not show up, honestly.
That is one statement that Stiles doesn't even know how to begin dissecting. He swallows his
muffin, very slowly, and stares at Derek's face, trying to read it. But it's like there's nothing there,
nothing at all, except this blank slate staring back at him, waiting for his response. Um...okay.
He puts what's left of the muffin down on the coffee table, right next to Derek's laptop. I'm
sensing you want me to ask you why, then?
Derek nods his head, once. Tersely.
Stiles licks his lips, breathes out through his nose, and asks, why did you ask me to come here?
The werewolf full on grins, now, and Stiles would be kidding himself and doing Derek a
disservice if he didn't refer to it as a wolfish grin, leaning close enough to Stiles that there are only
a few inches between the tips of their noses. I want to have sex with you.
Stiles is glad he put his muffin down and wasn't munching on it when Derek said that, because, no
doubt about it, he would've started choking on it, coughing muffin bits all over his favorite
author's face. His mind is taking a very long time to process what was just said to him, still, the
shock he feels somehow slowing down his brain, and for a few seconds he just sits there, staring
into Derek's face, waiting for a punchline.
No punchline comes. It's just Derek, staring intently at Stiles.
Um...
No strings attached.
Um? Stiles opens his mouth, closes it. Turns his head to stare out the window once more. Then
looks back at Derek again, squinting his eyes. Is this is this because I said I liked your books?
Derek laughs, full on laughs, his whole body shaking with it, and shakes his head. Trust me on
one thing, Stiles. There is no bigger turn off in the world than being told that a person has read my
books. People who've read my books, they like to act like they know me, or something. He leans
in close to Stiles again, giving him a tiny smirk. And nobody fucking knows me.
Stiles knows he's slackjawed, knows that he can't move a single muscle in his body right now.
Nothing is computing correctly in his brain, so he just keeps looking all around the room for a

hidden camera or for Laura Hale snickering somewhere behind another potted plant, listening in to
the entire thing, the entire joke. So, then why would you want to... he trails off, unable to
finish. For all the times he's talked lasciviously about Derek Hale, now for some reason his mouth
won't work.
Do you think you know me?
Stiles shakes his head, slowly back and forth. We don't know each other at all.
Do you want to have sex with me?
Stiles nods, up and down, with no hesitation. Don't, like, pretend you don't know everyone
does.
Derek laughs once more, but it sounds much more hollow than the first one. And yet you're the
one I'm talking to right now.
He knows he still smells like fries and burgers and that he's only kind of good looking and even
though he's working out, he's not buff he's fucking lanky and awkward and moley. He has no
money to his name, a shitty car, and an even shittier job. Why Derek Hale would ever for ten
seconds be interested in him is beyond him.
But Derek has yet to stop looking at him like that, has yet to burst out and say just kidding! So
basically, this is really fucking happening, and his brain is finally starting to catch up. All those
times you came into my work...
You think I kept going to McDonald's because I liked the food? Derek motions to himself,
eyebrows raised. Stiles runs his eyes up and down Derek's fucking six pack, his perfectly sculpted
body, and purses his lips. I threw the bag in the trash the second I got outside every time.
You kept coming in, because...?
Derek rolls his eyes, like this conversation is a tax on his health, and says, very emphatically, you
smell good, and I want to fuck you.
Stiles is present now. Mind and body, he is fully aware and fucking ready to damn go; enough
fucking talk, then. Okay. Like, when?
Right now.
On this couch?
Yes, Stiles. I want to have sex on this couch with you while a sixteen year old girl watches.
Stiles narrows his eyes, but quirks his lips up in amusement at the use of sarcasm. Where, then,
funny guy?
Derek juts his chin out towards the parking lot. Backseat of my car.
Holy. Fucking. God. The voodoo gods have answered his fucking prayers. All the times that he
sat in his bed caressing his copies of Derek's books, hugging them tight and fantasizing about
what it would be like to have sex with the dude, they all finally paid off. Someone upstairs was
listening to his prayers, and right now, all Stiles can do is raise his eyes upwards to the heavens,
nod appreciatively, and say, let's go, then.
Before he can stand up, Derek grabs onto his arm and raises his eyebrows. No strings attached.

You know what that means?


I'm guessing it means you're not going to be coming home to meet my fucking dad anytime
soon.
I just want to make sure we're absolutely crystal clear on that, Stiles.
Like the water in Grand Cayman, Derek Hale.
The werewolf scrunches his eyebrows up, asking, Grand Cayman?
Some of the clearest waters in the world. I thought you were supposed to be the smart one in this
conversation?
Derek picks up his laptop from the coffee table, raises his eyebrows, and says, shall we go?
He parked his fucking Range Rover only a few spots over from where Stiles' Jeep is still sitting,
and it's truly amazing that Stiles hadn't noticed it when he first pulled in seeing as how it's come
alive from all his fantasies to sit right in front of his face.
Derek opens up the back door, and Stiles sees that the back row of seats has already been pushed
down. He turns to look at the wolf, several inches taller than him. You were this sure I'd say
yes?
Derek shrugs his shoulders, dropping his laptop onto the passenger seat up front before slamming
the door closed. People don't say no to me very often.
Right. Because he's an alpha, a celebrity, and a millionaire all rolled into one. That has to make
people practically grovel at your feet every second of every single day. Stiles sighs through his
nose, and then hops up inside the car, climbing on top of the pressed down seats. Derek flicks his
eyes all around him, as if making sure no one's watching (someone probably is), and climbs in
behind him, closing the door.
The second he's inside the car, he's grabbing at Stiles and pulling his neck right into his face. Stiles
squawks a bit in surprise, because the sensation of a grown man running his nose up and along his
neck is probably the strangest he's ever experienced, but after a couple of seconds he relaxes into
it. It feels...pretty nice, actually. What's really nice is that Derek is pressed all the way up against
him, and that includes the huge fucking bulge in his pants and Stiles can't help but muse internally
about how he put that bulge there. He gave Derek Hale a hardon. This is happening! Look at him
now, teachers who said he'd amount to nothing!
Take off your clothes. Stiles reaches up to rip his shirt off as soon as Derek is pulled off of him,
tossing it off to the side somewhere before reaching down for his jeans. As he's sliding the jeans
and boxers off of his hips, Derek props himself up onto his knees, having to duck his head in the
tight confines of the car, and starts undoing his own pants, not taking his eyes off of Stiles for a
single second. You're fucking adorable, Derek leans down and presses his lips onto Stiles'
hungrily, licking into his mouth without pause, and then pulling away just as quickly. Did you
know that?
Being called adorable hasn't really ever been high on his list of dream compliments but any
compliment whatsoever coming from that mouth has been a dream, so he takes what he can get.
His jeans come off all the way, and Stiles sits up. Completely naked, in the backseat of Derek
Hale's Range Rover, he leans forward and runs his tongue up the length of the man's dick, looking
up at him through his eyelashes the entire time. Derek shudders, hips spasming, while Stiles flicks
his tongue along the head until Derek grabs his jaw in between his fingers, holding his mouth

open all the way. Can I? he asks, out of breath.


Stiles nods, and Derek thrusts his dick into his mouth, once, before Stiles takes control of it from
there. He tries to use all the best tricks his ex-boyfriends have ever taught him, all the absolute best
blowjob material he has, because...this is Derek Hale. How many times can he remind himself of
that? Apparently, that limit does not fucking exist, because Derek's name is pretty much the only
thing going through is mind as he sucks him off.
You've thought about this, Derek says, grabbing onto Stiles' hair roughly. You and me. You've
thought about doing this.
Stiles responds by gazing back up at Derek with wide eyes, sucking as hard as he physically can
with hollowed out cheeks, and Derek pushes him off.
He grabs Stiles by his hips, flips him over, and unceremoniously shoves a wet finger into his ass.
Jesus Christ! He hisses as Derek starts to work him open, glancing over his shoulder.
Derek doesn't answer aside from working a second finger in, harder this time, like he just wants to
hurry up and get this part over with. Stiles doesn't have much to disagree with in that department;
all he really wants right now is for Derek to just slide inside of him and fuck him until he can't tell
up from down anymore. That is the number one goal, the only goal Stiles has going for him in his
life right now.
Okay, that's enough, Stiles says, biting his lip, that's good, c'mon.
Derek obliges there's the distinct sound of a condom being opened and rolled onto skin, and
then Stiles feels the head of a dick pressing at his entrance. Okay?
Okay!
In he slides, more or less mercilessly, and the jackhammer in and out fucking is really no different
from what Stiles always imagined it would be. After four good thrusts, he has to drop down from
his hands onto his elbows, crying out, burying his face down into the carpeting of the car. Shh,
shh, Derek murmurs close to his ear because even though the windows are blacked out in this
car pretty darkly and no one can see in unless they came right up against the glass and really
tried...people can still hear.
He slaps both hands over his mouth, buries his face deep into the floor, until his moans are
muffled, strangled sounding things, barely audible to Stiles over the sound of skin slapping against
skin behind him. Derek leans over him even more, breathing right into his ear, panting really, and
says, that's good, nice and quiet for me.
Stiles squeezes his eyes shut and feels like coming, really, really bad, but he doesn't want to come
way too soon and humiliate himself in front of Derek, so he soldiers forwards or, he tries to
soldier forwards. It all comes out into him practically screaming into the bottom of the car while
Derek changes the angle to get deeper inside of him, until Stiles is coming in spurts all over the
floor, body tensing up and then collapsing.
Sorry, sorry, I'm sorry, he's mumbling while Derek keeps going, and going, and going.
Fine, Derek promises, lips pressing against Stiles' shoulder. It's fine, baby, it's fine you're fine.
He pulls Stiles' limp body up until he's back on his hands, and from the sounds Derek is making
he guesses there's only about ten seconds left until it's all over.
Glancing out the side window, biting his lip to hold in anymore moans, he sees a woman he
recognizes walking out of the flower shop with a bouquet of roses, clacking across the parking lot.

Stiles starts to laugh, almost hysterically, and Derek makes a sound behind him that could be
construed as a question.
It's just I'm back here, getting fucked by Derek Hale, Derek comes, hard and long, and Stiles
keeps talking right over it, and a woman who's yelled at me on ten separate occasions about her
fries not being crispy enough just walks right by, with no idea whatsoever.
Derek grunts, pulling out of Stiles carefully, and then rubs a hand down Stiles' back. Just like that,
the sex is over. I hate people like that, who are rude to workers.
See, I thought you just hated people in general. He flips over and lands on his ass in his own
come, smirking up at Derek. The wolf settles down himself, probably relieved to not have to duck
his head against the top of the car anymore, right next to Stiles.
More or less, yeah.
After that, they're both just lying in the afterglow. Stiles thinks about how Derek's car still smells
brand new, mixed with the scent of sex, how Derek himself smells like nothing at all except
maybe leather and something that's just Derek, and he wonders what he smells like to Derek.
Tilting his head back, he sees that there's not much in the front of the car except the laptop, a pile
of receipts in the dashboard compartment, and a pair of sunglasses fitted onto the visor over the
driver's seat. Expensive sunglasses, at that but that's not surprising.
I want you to take this, Derek tells him, suddenly, producing a white stock card out of nowhere
and putting it on Stiles' stomach. Stiles picks it up and examines it it's just a phone number
written in sleek black ink, no name, no address. Just the number.
Yours? Stiles asks, reaching behind him for his jeans to shove the card into a pocket.
Derek nods, reaching into his own jeans for his own phone. Can I have yours?
Stiles smiles at him. I thought this was no strings attached.
It is, Derek promises very matter-of-factly. That means I can't call you for a round two?
Stiles shakes his head, and rattles off his phone number as Derek punches the numbers in as Stiles
says them. Put me in your phone as Big Booty Bitch. It'll be hilarious.
Derek makes a face like he doesn't exactly disagree, but he can tell even from this angle that
Derek just puts him under Stiles.
---Being a werewolf and bisexual has lead to some pretty interesting conversations on
intersectionality because people, for whatever reason, don't want to acknowledge that
werewolves are a minority, now. They always were, of course, but now that we have to check a
box marked either werewolf or human on job applications, when seventy-five percent of
werewolves can't find a job because of aforementioned checked box, maybe we need to recognize
that there are stigmas and injustices particular to being a werewolf that a human will not
experience. And how many LGBTQ alliances specifically for werewolves do you think there are?
There's a BDSM club called Howl owned by my publicist Lydia Martin two miles away from my
old house in Beacon Hills (a garish place I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, but whatever suits
your fancy), and a meeting once a month at the Civic Center downtown. That's it. There are
hardly ever conversations at all about the sexuality of werewolves, because humans think they
have it all fucking figured out, don't they? Alphas like to dominate and claim and take and own,
omegas like to submit and get pregnant and be knotted. It's fucking insulting. (Back to the Flames,

Derek Hale pg 113)


---You what!?!?! Scott leaps off of his bed and practically somersaults in the air from the force of
it, looking at Stiles' with huge eyes and an incredulous grin. No way. You're fucking joking.
You're fucking with me, no way! No way no way no way no way-
Stiles leans back on his elbows, smiling smugly, and says, yes way, dude. We totally had sex. In
the back of his fancy ass fucking Range Rover, holy shit, the thing was, like, brand new.
Oh my God!
I know.
Was he you know? Scott waves his hand in the air.
Stiles nods, smirking even bigger. He was amazing. It was honestly the most pornographic sex of
my entire life, and that's really saying something. He had some pretty decent sex with Jackson,
but the guy was an all around douchebag (hence the spitting into his drink that got him fired
worth it, though) and some even better sex with Isaac the werewolf. But this...was another fucking
level. This was like the finale, the thing Stiles has been waiting for his entire life, the climax.
Literally. He's never come so hard in his entire life. What he wouldn't give to have a video of it so
he could watch it again and again and get off on it all over again.
I told you he was into you! Scott bounds around the room a couple of times, as if to get the
jitters out of his bones, to express his excitement more physically and obviously. I knew it all
along! A werewolf couldn't possibly like McDonald's that much.
You were right, Scott. Stiles tips his head in reverence and respect to his best friend, because
lord knows how few times throughout their friendship Scott has actually been right about
something. Credit where is due, Stiles thinks.
So! Scott stops bounding, puts his hands on his hips, and grins. What now?
Stiles shrugs his shoulders. He was pretty clear that it was no strings attached, which makes
sense. But we exchanged numbers.
Oh my fucking god, Scott points at Stiles with a humongous grin. You slut!
I know.
You're FWB with Derek Hale!
I know!
Oh my God! He plops down onto the bed beside Stiles, grin still just as huge. Do you think
he's gonna call?
It's the exact question that Stiles has been asking himself ever since he got home. Ever since Derek
helped him slide his jeans on and he did the same for Derek, since Derek said be careful as he
climbed out of the Rover, ever since he sat in his Jeep and watched as Derek pulled out of the
parking lot. Would he call? Stiles wasn't sure. He did give Stiles his number first and not the other
way around, so maybe he expects Stiles to call him. But what if Stiles just...never does?
Would he call, then? Maybe after a week, without hearing from Stiles, he'd call. Maybe he would,

maybe he wouldn't.
I hope so, Stiles says, sighing.
He better, Scott has a threatening edge to his voice, the same edge he gets whenever it comes to
guys being around his best friend. As if Scott could ever dream of even bruising Derek Hale,
alpha werewolf. The man doesn't need a security guard because he is the security guard. Why
wouldn't he? You're great.
You don't know what I'm like in bed, Stiles reminds him, winking.
Scott snaps his neck back and scrunches his face up. And I don't ever plan on knowing, to be
honest!
Right. Saving yourself for, Scott bats his eyelashes, puts on his best dreamy voice,
Alllissonnn! Allison is a beta werewolf that works at the sporting goods store, selling sharp
knives and tennis rackets to anyone who wants the good stuff. Scott went in to buy a new lacrosse
stick and ever since that day, the only girl he's managed to have eyes for is her. Which is pathetic,
considering he's never said more than two fucking words to the girl.
Don't make fun! Scott warns, shoving lightly at Stiles' shoulders.
Later on at work, Erica nearly punches him in the face when Stiles tells her the good news. Holy
shit, Stiles, her eyes go wide when she finally manages to collect herself. Holy shit, Stiles. How
did that even how do you just...?
You were the one who was all confident that he just needed a good lay, no matter who it was,
Stiles wags his finger at her, popping a nugget into his mouth and shrugging.
She opens her mouth, a strangled noise coming out, and then closes it again, shaking her head. I
thought I don't know what I thought. I did not think for ten seconds you'd just hop into the back
of his car and go fuckin' nuts, but holy shit. With Derek Hale.
With Derek Hale.
That guy has money, Stiles. She widens her eyes again, nodding at him like this is the most
important thing she's ever said. Like, bank. If this really turns into something, whether it's just
booty calls or an actual something...you've gotta milk it.
Stiles purses her lips at her. Of course the first place Erica's mind goes to is the amount of money
he has although, to be honest, it's not like Stiles hasn't thought about it. The kind of places Derek
could take Stiles to if he felt like it, the kind of things he could give to Stiles, the kind of sheets he
has on his bed. Egyptian cotton or something like that, he's positive. I don't think I'm gonna milk
it...
Look, Stiles, she flips a burger on the grill and eyes him like a mom. When a guy comes
sweeping in with that I want to fuck you, but I don't want to date you shit, you capitalize on the
situation. Since you agreed to all this, he thinks you're easy and that he's completely in charge of
the situation. She winks at him. But is he?
If there's one thing Stiles thinks that he does know about Derek, it's that he's used to being the one
calling all the shots. No matter how much he writes about how werewolf stereotypes aren't true,
one thing he can't really negate is that alphas like to have control over shit. The entire way he
acted while they were together definitely spoke to how much he enjoys having power over other
people; not necessarily in a bad or creepy way, and it was really more subtle than anything else,
but...still. The guy definitely has an air of in charge about him.

He's the alpha, Stiles says.


He's an alpha. Last time I checked, you're human, she flaps the patty down onto a hamburger
bun. You don't have to submit to him, Stiles. I'm not saying take him for everything he's worth or
have him buying you fucking cars or something I'm just saying...dinner at a nice place instead of
chicken McNuggets? Think about it.
Stiles does think about it. He thinks about it as he goes through the motions at work, as he eats his
seventh McNugget, as Finstock screams at them through the headsets and Erica gets another patty
stuck to the ceiling, and he really thinks about it when his phone buzzes in his pocket and Derek's
name is sitting above a text message notification.
Take your break.
Stiles smirks down at his phone. ? Why
I'm outside.
Stiles looks up, scanning the huge windows and he spots what could be the Rover parked a
good thirty feet out into the truck parking lot. The lights are on, still, and as soon as Stiles' eyes
settle on it, they flash twice at him.
I'm taking my fifteen, Stiles calls to Erica, whom he thinks is making out with her boyfriend
(who's not even supposed to be here at all) somewhere behind the buns before jumping over the
counter and speedwalking out of the restaurant towards where Derek is parked a good ways away
from any streetlights. You know, he says as he pulls open the door and climbs into the
passenger seat. You're lucky there are no paparazzi out here in Nowhereville. What do you think
people would say about a McDonald's employee climbing into your car at, Stiles glances at the
dashboard clock, 12:46 at night?
Derek shrugs his shoulders, hands still on the steering wheel. Luckily we don't have to worry
about that. It's not LA.
The radio is playing softly in the background, Derek's phone plugged in to the speakers he's
listening to fucking Brand New and Stiles snorts. Derek would. He so would. He's always
imagined what music Derek liked to listen to when he was writing now, he guesses he knows.
How much time do you have? Derek asks, turning the car off so only the radio remains on, the
dashboard lights glowing on their faces.
Well my break is technically only fifteen minutes. But Finstock like, never comes out of his
office, so I could theoretically stay out for closer to a half hour without anyone noticing, so-
Do you want to suck me off?
Stiles stops mid-sentence, jaw dropping open, and guffaws. Um!?
Derek gives him a look, almost like an I told you so, and waits expectantly. In a way, Stiles
guesses Derek did tell him so, when he said the whole no strings attached thing. This is what no
strings attached is like, right? It's just sex. They talk, and they have sex, and it's all very casual,
like not a big deal. So, sucking Derek's dick in the parking lot of a truck stop while Millstone plays
in the background is totally chill and casual.
Stiles takes his headset off and drops it onto the dashboard, followed by his visor. This grease
smell gets you really hot, huh, he comments as Derek unbuttons his pants and drags his half-hard

dick out into the open air.


I don't smell the grease, he says simply, patting the center console for Stiles to climb over it. I
can separate your scent pretty easily.
Stiles wants to separate that fucking sentence and marinate on it for a while, how Derek knows
Stiles' scent that well already, even though they barely know each other; he glances behind him
quickly, to peek into the McDonald's to make sure Finstock isn't glaring out at him all he sees is
Erica standing at the register tapping her finger.
He turns back, and starts leaning over the console. Christ, this thing is awkward, he breathes in
a laugh, dragging the upper half of his body completely on top of it, with his lanky legs splayed
out awkwardly behind him. I feel like this isn't sexy.
Your mouth is about to be on my dick, Derek puts his hand on Stiles' neck, looks down at him
and smiles. That in and of itself is sexy no matter the situation.
Stiles takes his word for it. He leans forward and pulls Derek into his mouth without any prep as
much time as he thinks he could wiggle out, he'd really rather not risk his boss coming out to tap
on the window and find him doing this.
Derek shifts slightly underneath him, leaning back farther in his seat and sighing contentedly. It's
really easy at this angle, with his face completely in the darkness, to just kind of forget about
everything else and focus on the task at hand almost mindlessly. Derek runs his fingers along his
neck, pressing too hard for it to just be a caress; he does it with intent, like he's trying to do
something, but Stiles doesn't quite know what.
Doesn't matter either way, he thinks, because it's taking a surprisingly short amount of time to get
Derek off. He can feel, after only a couple minutes, maybe, that he's close as hell to coming
already. He stops, pulls off, and looks Derek in the eyes to find his pupils blown wide and dark.
It's the uniform. Isn't it?
Derek thrusts his hips upwards, smiling in spite of himself. Shh.
Stiles pulls him back inside his mouth, rolling his eyes, thinking that every time he hears Millstone
now he's going to think about sucking Derek's dick and he's not quite sure how he feels about that
one.
Not soon after, Derek comes, and Stiles dutifully swallows it down. Sitting back up, he wipes at
his mouth, while Derek just stays pressed all the way back against his seat, eyes staring up at the
ceiling, panting.
This car is so fucking nice, Stiles says, running his hand across the smooth dashboard, looking
at the screen in the center. He reaches his finger out to touch it, and then glances back at Derek
like he's asking permission. Derek motions like go ahead, so Stiles does.
He plays with the touch screen for a moment or so, until Derek finally zips himself back up. Is it
true you can go on Facebook with this thing?
Wouldn't know. I don't use Facebook.
But you have a page that I've followed pretty heavily for updates.
You think I run that thing? Stiles whips around and stares at Derek with wide eyes. I pay
someone to do that shit for me.

Wow... Stiles leans back in his seat and shakes his head sadly, back and forth. I trusted you.
Derek snorts and turns the car all the way back on with a quiet purr, while Stiles shoves his visor
back on his head. What days do you get off?
Thursday through Saturday, Stiles tells him, smiling wide.
The wolf squints off into the parking lot, like he's thinking about it for a second he opens his
mouth to say something, but is interrupted by the very loud sound of Bilinski! Where the hell are
you! screaming at him through the headset.
Derek raises his eyebrows. Bilinski?
Don't even fucking don't start. He pops open the car door, with one last sweeping glance at
Derek, who watches him steadily.
Be careful, he says. Stiles crinkles his brow, thinking that made a lot of sense when he was
climbing awkwardly out the back of the car, but slipping out of the passenger seat isn't exactly the
most dangerous thing on the face of the planet.
All the same, he climbs out, slams the door, and heads back inside to go back to work.
Was that him? Erica asks when he's back behind the counter, and grabbing at a McNugget to
clear his mouth of Derek's spunk.
Stiles nods, chewing.
Did you get a Starbucks gift card out of him?
I didnt get anything out of him, honestly. Which works on every single level it could possibly
work. He didn't get any money or a gift, he didn't get off, he didn't get any emotion or feeling or
clue as to where this whole fucking thing is going out of him; the man is as hard to read as all the
magazine interviews he's ever read always said he was. That stoic facial expression and quiet
demeanor is really hard to translate into text, he's realizing. Stiles isn't sure how to explain it in
words himself.
---All the people and wolves I met after the fire, in New York and in Connecticut and Jersey and
Maine, they were nothing to me. As easily as I managed to get them, I managed to drop them. It
was like, after having that much of a heightened emotion, that intense of an experience to live
through, I was just numb to other people, other experiences, anything that wasn't blinding searing
agony. If you're wondering if I regret treating them that way, of course I do. Cold as I may seem
to some people, I value connections with others very highly, like all wolves do, and I ruined a lot
of connections (like possible packmates) in acting the way I did. But the thing is, I still haven't met
someone that's been more than a passing interest for me; I'm not upset I don't have much of a
pack outside of Kira and Boyd, because I know I just haven't met the right people. (Reborn, Derek
Hale pg. 346)
---Can I ask you a favor?
It's only seconds before Derek's responding text comes. Depends what it is.
Stiles bites his lip, taps his thumb against the side of his phone. It's stupid. Don't laugh at me or

get weird about it.


Can't promise that.
Don't be an asshole.
I am an asshole. Haven't you read the articles?
Stiles wants to somehow climb through his phone, jump out in person wherever Derek is, and slap
him across the face. Half the conversations he has with him are this fucking difficult, all of the god
damn time. Will you sign my books?
There's a longer pause this time around, and Stiles gets nervous.
That's it?
Yeah...
Of course I'll sign your books, Stiles. Christ, I thought it was something serious.
A few seconds pass, and then a second text comes in.
You want me to come to your house?
Stiles texts him the address, and tries not to think too hard about what Derek coming over to his
house means. They've only met up a few other times since that time in the parking lot, and it's
pretty much just been car sex, which Stiles is totally and completely cool with, but there's
something incredibly personal about Derek coming into his bedroom. The same one he grew up in
as a kid. The same one he read all of Derek's books in. The same where a poster of his face used
to hang. Like they're taking a step forward, or something; and Stiles really needs to nip that train
of thought directly in the bud, because there are no steps with him and Derek. None whatsoever.
It's sex, and it's being friends, and nothing else.
It's a good thing his dad is out at work right now, otherwise he'd have a really hard time
explaining with Derek Hale is parking his luxury car in the driveway. Stiles pulls the front door
open for him, motions for him to come inside, which he does with a tiny smile on his lips.
I know it's no mansion in Catalina, he says nervously as he closes the door, gesturing to the
house at large. But it's nice enough, huh?
Derek nods. It's homey. A rich man's word for total shitpile, but all right, Derek. What've you
been doing? His hand comes out to run a single finger across Stiles' neck. I haven't seen you.
It's been a mere three days since the last time Derek and Stiles were in the same place at the same
time, but at least Derek wasn't the only one feeling like it was much, much longer than that.
Work, mostly. But that means money, mostly, so it's not so bad. Want to see my room?
Up the stairs they go, and Stiles just can't fucking get over how crazy Derek looks here. How he
looks like a dream come true, in his dark green v-neck shirt, his dark jeans, his fancy sneakers,
waltzing into Stiles' room like he's been there a million times before. The thing is, in Stiles' many
many sexual dreams, he has been in here, before.
Stiles pulls Reborn off the shelf, presents it to Derek with a shy smile along with a black Sharpie.
Derek takes it out of his hand, flips it open to the title page, and suddenly his face splits out in a
grin.

What? Stiles demands, smiling just from seeing Derek smile like that.
Derek turns the book to face Stiles, and he gets to see where he had written Stiles <3's Derek
when he was a fucking Junior in high school. He had completely forgotten about that. Maybe if he
had remembered he would've handed him Back to the Flames instead the one that came out
while he was in college getting stoned all the time, and way more mature. His face is on fire in
embarrassment, as if he hasn't already sucked Derek off six times and been fucked by him as
many times. Sign it, and shut up.
Derek laughs, running his pen over the page easily he's done it so many times it's probably
second nature to him and hands the book back to Stiles. Stiles shoves the thing back into its
place on the shelf, thinks about how many teenage dreams are coming true in this exact moment,
and turns back around to face him.
He's just standing there, glancing around the room and...sniffing at it. Probably as subtly as he
thinks he can get away with, but all the same, Stiles can tell the guy is smelling his room right
about now. It's not necessarily surprising; Derek has told him a zillion times at this point that he
thinks Stiles smells good. He just didn't think he smelled that good. Obviously Derek has been
underplaying it quite a bit.
Smells like someone else in here, he says.
That would be my dad.
Not your father, Derek sighs and rolls his eyes like it's the stupidest thing anyone could have
ever said in their lives. Someone else.
Stiles blinks, cocking his head to the side. Then he says, Scott, maybe.
Derek gets the single most unreadable expression on his face that Stiles has ever seen on another
person. His entire face just goes slam shut down. He doesn't blink, his lips close almost too hard,
and his eyebrows stay firm in their place. It honestly makes Stiles uncomfortable to be looked at
that way by him; it reminds him a lot of the look he has on his face in paparazzi pictures and it
doesn't exactly make him happy to be stared at the same way Derek looks at the people he hates
the most in the entire world. Okay, is all he says. Just out there, in the air. Okay.
Okay... Stiles says slowly black, completely and totally confused at this turn of events. One
second they're having fun and joking around, and the next Derek is...mad? Upset? He can't
fucking tell.
Derek clears his throat, runs a hand through his hair like he's trying to shake something off, and
then softens his face. Forces it down into a less threatening expression, it looks like. I wanted to
ask you if you wanted to do something other than get into my car and have sex.
Stiles smiles. Like ice cream?
The werewolf scrunches his face up, lets out a short laugh. I don't know why that's the first place
you go, but if you want, sure.
Is there more on the table besides ice cream? He waggles his eyebrows.
There's anything you want on the table.
Stiles thinks for a second, remembering what Erica told him about capitalizing on the situation. If
Derek's allowed to pull him out of work so he can suck the guy's dick, then Stiles should be
allowed to put that Platinum card he knows is burning a hole in Derek's wallet to good use.

Dinner at the Silverstar.


Derek doesn't even blink. For him and all his friends, his father included, dinner at the Silverstar is
a once a year occasion, like a birthday or a wedding anniversary. Nobody he knows just fucking
goes to the Silverstar to buy a seventy-five dollar steak and swish their wine glasses around in the
air like jolly old Monopoly men.
Apparently Derek doesn't see it that way, as an outrageous treat, because he just nods his head and
says, all right. Dinner it is.
Dinner and not-car sex.
Dinner and my house.
Stiles tries to keep his face completely passive, but it's really, really hard.
To the fucking mansion? To the sprawling, ridiculous, freshly built Hale House? No one even
knows what that place looks like. No cameras can get up there, the security is so fucking insane
that no one's even been within a mile of the place. You can't even get a glimpse of it through the
trees.
So they say. Stiles has never tried to lurk up there himself. No, really.
He clears his own throat, looks away, and tries to sound totally chill and cool and like a normal
person who is totally not super into Derek at all and is just his friend as he says, cool. Cool. Will
there be ice cream there?
---Scent is a physical and visceral connection. That's what so many humans really don't understand
about it. Smelling someone is the same as running a hand down their neck, the feeling it leaves
behind as strong as the feeling an orgasm leaves you with. Humans see it as this primal desire for
wolves to claim everything and mark their territory which is true, in the sense that marking a
mate with your scent is one of the most intimate ways to protect them. But it's so much more
emotional than that alone. Most wolves spend their entire lives searching for that one scent, that
one fucking scent and the one person or wolf attached to it that they know is supposed to be theirs
and theirs alone; so much so that the drive to mark is almost unbearable. Haven't found that, yet.
Starting to wonder if I ever will. (From the Ashes, Derek Hale pg. 135)
---When Derek swings by his house to pick him up for dinner on Saturday night, his father once
again is blessedly at work. Stiles pads down the steps in the fanciest clothes he owns (a green
button down with a black shirt underneath and dark jeans) and rips open the door to the Range
Rover, sliding inside like he's done a dozen times at this point.
Derek gives him a once over, and says, that's not really what you're wearing is it?
Stiles glances down at himself, confused, and then looks at Derek. He's got on a nice dress shirt
tucked into even nicer pants, wearing shoes that probably cost him the entirety of one of Stiles'
paychecks if not more. We can't all be millionaires, alpha.
Derek goes absolutely stock-still rigid in his seat across from him, like Stiles just said something
absolutely shocking or reached over and slapped him across the face. Puzzled, Stiles blinks at him,
cocking his head to the side and going over what he just said again in his brain.

Alpha. Huh. Stiles files that away, a little mischievously, and leans back into his seat.
You look fine, Derek finally says in a bit of a strained voice after ten complete seconds of
silence and staring at Stiles' profile.
Stiles smirks to himself as Derek starts up the car and drives away from the Stilinski house. He just
sits there tapping his leg for a few seconds, chattering back and forth with Derek in their usual
banter, before glancing in the rearview mirror for half a second and seeing...eyes staring straight
back at him.
Stiles jumps so hard he's surprised his head doesn't smack into the ceiling of the car, and yelps like
he's been stabbed.
What is it? Derek asks, slamming down on the brakes and pulling over to the side of the road
before Stiles can get a word in edgewise.
There's - Stiles swallows, glancing back in the rearview to make sure...yup, eyes. ...there's a
man in your backseat.
Derek squints at him, looks in the back, eyeballs the man sitting there, and then turns back to Stiles
with a smile that's dangerously coming close to being a laugh at Stiles' expense playing on his lips.
That's Manny. He's my security guard.
Stiles glances back at Manny, who stares back at him with little to no interest whatsoever and
barely acknowledges his presence, and then looks back at Derek. Since when do you have a
security guard?
Not usually, you're right. Derek turns on his signal to merge back with traffic. But I'm not
usually walking around with a small human with me.
Small human?
You're a hundred and sixty pounds wet, Stiles. If that.
Stiles furrows his brow, really wants to slap Derek for his uncanny werewolf ability to guess
Stiles' weight to a pretty accurate approximation, and then really considers what he just said.
One really, really huge thing Stiles had never considered when he agreed to eat dinner out in
public with Derek people were going to see them. People who know exactly who he is, people
who would want to come up to him and talk to him, people. No wonder Derek brought the god
damn bodyguard, because it was a bit of a massive oversight on Stiles' part to not think about.
When he glances over to look at Derek as they're walking up to the restaurant and someone
literally gasps and screams is that DEREK HALE? Derek just sighs through his nose and rubs
his fingers down Stiles' neck. That weird thing he always does that Stiles doesn't understand, but
allows because it kind of feels nice and more tender than Derek usually is.
Inside the restaurant, things only escalate. There's a crowd of people standing around waiting for a
table in the lobby, because it's Saturday night, and when the whispers start and the wide-eyes and
the holy shit's under people's breaths, the crowd literally just clears. And then it's just Derek and
Stiles, with Manny trailing up the back, walking across the marble floors while dozens of pairs of
eyes follow their every single move, and a couple of cameras flash. It's probably the most self
conscious Stiles has ever felt about himself; now he wishes he had just splurged and bought nicer
clothes.
The hostess at the podium stutters and avoids eye contact with Derek as she guides them off to

their table and the whispers continue, the cameras flash, and Stiles realizes he kind of pulled a shit
move in asking to come to the most popular restaurant in Beacon Hills. Of course Derek was
going to say yes, because for whatever reason he has a real issue flat out saying no to Stiles, and
Stiles should've known better. He should've known it would be like this.
Sorry, Stiles says to him when they're alone at their table, Manny at the table right beside them
by himself. I didn't really think. I'm sorry.
Derek shakes his head, waving it off. I'm used to it. Do you want an appetizer?
The dinner goes on well enough. Manny eats an entire plate of clams all by himself, and then an
entire twenty ounce steak, Stiles gets the fettucine alfredo like he has every single time he's come
here his entire life, and Derek gets the lobster. They only really get interrupted once the entire
night, by an eleven year old beta werewolf girl, her golden eyes glowing, with her mother, who
tentatively asks Derek for a picture.
Derek doesn't hesitate to enthusiastically agree he wipes his mouth, stands from the table, and
squats down to pose with the girl as her mother clicks the picture with her digital camera. They
thank him, the girl disappears back into the restaurant with a smile so big it could probably light up
the entire room, and Stiles stares at Derek like he's seeing him for the first time.
They constantly write about how rude Derek can be to his fans, or how rude he can be in general;
that alpha werewolf I'm-better-than-you attitude they always write about in online articles and
gossip magazines. Honestly, Derek does have an attitude, but Stiles wouldn't necessarily
categorize it as an I'm better than you type of a thing. More of the aftereffects of a person who's
been through a lot, and doesn't have as much patience as others might.
A person who would be so kind to a little girl doesn't strike Stiles as rude, at all.
Dinner ends, Derek pays the outrageously expensive bill and leaves a huge tip for the perky
waitress, and then they're leaving again with exactly similar fanfare. Gasps, whispers, cameras,
Derek runs his fingers down Stiles' neck, back to the car.
Was it good? Derek asks him on the drive off towards the preserve. Stiles watches all the trees
as they blow past, thinking he's never been this far out on this main road before.
Super good, Stiles agrees amiably, giving Derek a grin. He almost says best date I ever had,
before remembering that it wasn't a fucking date. They're not dating. They're not together in any
way, shape, or form. Like Derek said no strings whatsoever. Dates are strings. Labels are
strings. The thought sours his mood a little, and he ends up just sitting and glaring out the window
without going back and forth with Derek like he'd normally be doing.
He quickly changes his tune and perks right up as soon as they come to a large roundabout circle,
lined with sleek black cars. Stiles assumes this must be where the security hangs out, if the huge
men (werewolves, probably) milling around the cars like they were waiting for Derek's return are
anything to go by. Derek slows to a stop, and Manny hops out of the backseat to go join his
security pals without a word.
Derek starts the car up again, and Stiles says, no one made an attempt on my life, so I guess we
didn't need him.
They follow the roundabout all the way around, to the opposite end where it breaks off into a
straight road and a giant black gate sits clenched shut. It stays clenched shut, with Derek sitting in
front of it, waiting, for a good fifteen seconds before it finally pops open with a screech. Looking
farther out, Stiles can tell that the gate spans out as a fence that looks electrified for as far as the

eye can see in either direction.


Um, Stiles starts out as they pull forward through the gates. I know you're super famous but...is
all of this really necessary?
Derek smirks at him. I'm not just super famous, Stiles. I'm a super famous alpha werewolf
attempts on my life are about twice as common as any other human celebrity.
How many people have tried to come here and kill you since you moved to BH?
Derek pauses for a moment; either counting them up or wondering whether or not he should tell
Stiles the truth. About fifteen.
Fifteen people. In a single year, fifteen people have tried to come and kill Derek. If Stiles were
him, he'd never, ever leave his house. How far do they usually get?
They've never gotten past that fence, Derek says, and it sounds like he's trying to placate Stiles
he must be able to sense Stiles' heart beating faster or feel the anxiety starting to roll off of him. I
would've never brought you here if I wasn't completely certain you would be safe.
Of course Stiles believes that, because Derek has never been anything but kind to him and gentle
with him (or, at least, gentle as a werewolf can be.) If he wanted, he could very easily overpower
him and do whatever the hell he felt like, but never once has he tried. It doesn't even seem like he
really has any desire to do so; which, according to widespread popular opinion that Derek has
been trying to actively change with his books, is out of the ordinary for a wolf. Wolves are
supposed to want to take things against their will all the time. So they say.
They drive along in the forest for a while before finally reaching the mansion and what's there to
say about it, really? It's ginormo, the garage is equally as ginormo, with just as insane of a security
system. A guy in a black suit is standing at the edge of the garage as the door opens up. Another
guy in another black suit is standing at the front door; probably the rest of the house is guarded off
with electronic security like any other normal house.
Inside, Derek leads him forward through the sprawling living room with ridiculous chandeliers,
the kitchen with a huge island and a shiny looking stove, up the carpeted, winding staircase,
padding down the hallway until reaching the room all the way at the end.
My room, Derek says as he pushes the door open.
Stiles was never sure what he would be expecting when he imagined Derek's bedroom
minimalist? Walls covered in post-its for book ideas? Nothing but a bed?
Turns out, it's a normal person's bedroom. There's a huge bed, a walk-in closet off to the side,
windows blacked out with curtains, a stack of books on the bedside table, a bit of a mess on top of
his dresser, and that about sums it up. Stiles likes it; it looks a lot like Derek himself.
Derek empties out his pockets, dropping his phone and wallet down onto the bedside table,
flattening the receipt from the restaurant out and stuffing it into a drawer full of even more receipts,
and then he just stands there with his hands in his pockets, raising his eyebrows at Stiles.
Stiles tries his hand at raising his own right back at him, but whatever Derek sees on his face must
not be very effective, judging from the way Derek smiles at him instead of getting intimidated like
Stiles always does whenever Derek does the same thing to him.
Is this where you bring all your FWB's? Stiles asks him instead, leaning his hips back against
the bed casually.

Derek blinks at him. FWB?


Dear fucking lord it's easy to forget that Derek is twenty eight sometimes, because werewolves
tend to not visibly age as quickly as humans do, but the look of absolute confusion on his face as
he awkwardly rattles off the acronym makes Stiles remember real fucking quick. Friends with
benefits, Derek.
Like he doesn't like the term, or finds it beneath him or something, Derek gets that closed off look
on his face again. Stiles has started seeing that face more and more lately, and he isn't sure it's a
good sign at all. Eventually, this thing they're doing?
It's got to come to a fucking end. Stiles is a twenty-one year old college dropout with no natural
skills to speak of slinging fast food to people. Derek is a twenty-eight year old millionaire alpha
werewolf with three books and a fourth on the way. What could possibly ever come out of this?
Good sex, Stiles thinks, as Derek stalks closer to where he's perched on the edge of the bed with
intent written all over his face. Good sex might just be the only thing Stiles ever gets out of this,
for however short a time it lasts. So, like Erica says, he going to capitalize on the fucking situation
and get everything he can out of it. Milk it for everything its worth pretty much literally.
He reaches up when Derek is close enough, grabs at his neck, and pulls him down for a kiss.
Derek responds pretty much exactly as he should, dropping his hands down so they're on either
side of Stiles' hips, caging him in between the alpha's legs and arms. Probably that's exactly how
Derek likes him, trapped in between the limbs of his body like something wounded out in the
forest that he has to protect.
Or eat. Either way, Stiles is fine with it.
The kiss breaks off and Derek shoves his face into Stiles' neck, inhaling him again and again, the
way he always does. It's like he can't not do it Stiles thinks the guy must have some kind of neck
fixation, the way he's always touching and sniffing at Stiles' neck.
Stiles starts work on undoing Derek's belt and pulling his pants down off of his hips as the sniffing
continues, sliding one hand underneath Derek's shirt and uses the other to palm gently at the
growing bulge inside of his briefs.
One of Derek's hands comes up to press into the side of Stiles' neck that doesn't have his nose
shoved up against it, and Stiles thinks this is taking a much longer time than it normally does.
Normally it's sniff sniff okay let's fuck, but this time, Derek seems to be taking his sweet ass time
with it, nosing gently at his neck like he has all the time in the world.
Stiles smirks, and says, right against Derek's ear, you like the way I smell, alpha?
Derek's body goes just as tense as it did when Stiles used the same word in the car earlier in the
night abruptly he's pulling off of Stiles' neck, staying bent over, and using his free hand to trap
Stiles' jaw between his fingers. He tilts Stiles' face up just south of roughly, glares directly into his
eyes, and growls, don't say that.
Stiles decides to read the aggression as extreme arousal that Derek is trying to push down as
opposed to actual anger. You want me to stop? Stiles goads around Derek's tight fingers,
meeting his eyes coolly. Derek doesn't respond aside from clenching his own jaw tight until the
muscles contract, and Stiles presses forward. Why don't you fucking make me stop then, alpha?
Whatever moderate level of control Derek had been exerting earlier, holding onto Stiles' jaw as if
to tether himself down to that piece of humanity inside of him that hears alpha and doesn't respond

to it at all, goes up in smoke.


Derek literally picks Stiles up like he weighs about as much as a pillow and tosses him all the way
onto the bed, stomach down. Stiles flops a bit, surprised, in complete disbelief that one tiny little
word could have this much fucking power over a man that strong, and before he knows it Derek is
climbing on top of him.
Stiles notices that he's shed his shirt and briefs, and there's a distinct and obvious gap in between
levels of clothing. In which Stiles is wearing way too many and isn't happy about this, at all. He
moves to try and pull his green overshirt up over his head, but Derek grabs his hands, stopping
them before they can even start. Don't move.
He freezes underneath the werewolf, unsure of himself, unsure of what exactly Derek plans to
fucking do, here. He stepped into unfamiliar territory goading Derek with what he more or less
knew would fuck with him, fuck with his humanity, and now he's learning what the consequences
are going to be.
Derek takes the liberty of ripping Stiles' shirts, both of them, off his body and Stiles squawks.
That was my good shirt, Derek!
The shredded cloth goes fluttering off somewhere to the ground, onto Derek's carpet, and the
pants are next. Do not rip my pants, he warns, voice low, I only have so many pairs.
Derek growls under his breath, but listens to Stiles he arches his body up a bit off the bed so
Derek can paw around his front and undo the button on his jeans, and then he tugs them down to
around Stiles' knees, before he's climbing up on top of him and sliding his hands up around Stiles'
stomach to pull him up until he's on his hands and knees on the bed, Derek holding him firmly in
place.
Is this how you want it? He asks, pressing two wet fingers against Stiles' ass, making him jump
in surprise. When did he get lube? A little rough? When Stiles doesn't answer except to duck his
head down between his arms and puff out a breath, Derek jams two fingers inside of him with no
warning and Stiles keens. Is it?
Fuck, Stiles breathes, yeah, okay!
Derek's free hand comes around the front of Stiles' neck, wrapping around just tight enough to
hold him down in place, while his fingers work at him, crooking in and out. Is that all right? My
hand?
Stiles can't really nod with Derek's hand in the way, so he breathes out, it's all right.
You tell me if it gets too tight.
Okay.
Apparently deciding that barely any prep whatsoever is plenty, Derek slides his fingers out, and
slips the head of his dick in their place. Just the head, and then he pushes in more, and more, until
he bottoms out against Stiles' body, and the hand around his neck tightens just slightly.
Derek jerks his hips out and in once, quick, hard, and Stiles stutters out a moan and, like the
sound pushes him further over whatever wolfy edge the guy is going over right now, he starts
pounding into Stiles, his balls bouncing up against his skin so hard it feels like an honest to God
slap, and Stiles is only aware enough to think this just might be the best sex of my entire life
through the force of it.

It really, really is. Derek's thumb keeps stroking the side of Stiles' neck, almost absentmindedly,
slowly, which is funny compared to what Derek's dick is doing inside of him, slamming into his
prostate again and again, and all Stiles really wants to do is come.
He reaches underneath himself with a shaking hand, looking to stroke himself off, but Derek's
hand comes out and stops him, holding it down on the bed.
Ngh, Stiles complains as coherently as he can in this state, his other hand twitching to reach out
and finish what the other started but he knows he'd be stopped by Derek's reflexes, Derek's
strength. Derek, please, I have to-
Shh, baby, he coos breathlessly into Stiles' hair. Derek only ever calls him baby when they're
like this when he's so fucking gone on the smell of him or the feel of him around his dick or
something and it's always so shockingly tender and gentle in the midst of the fucking that it
startles Stiles into a moan every time. Who did you say the alpha was?
Stiles swallows, adam's apple bobbing against Derek's hand. You are.
Derek growls, so fucking loud Stiles would be jumping if he had any leverage to go on, and
comes with a grunt, the earliest he's ever come in all the times he and Stiles have done this,
locking his body up for two entire seconds. His hand tightens on Stiles' neck, not hard enough to
cut off his breath, but hard enough that he really feels it, like he's going to feel it for days, like
Derek's scent is going to be trapped there for weeks.
When he pulls out, Stiles kind of expects him to just flop down onto the bed like a fish and pant
like he normally does; or to just lay himself flat over Stiles' back and murmur something sweet into
his ear. Instead, Derek flips Stiles over onto his back, and takes his dick completely down his
throat.
Stiles yells, hips jerking forwards involuntarily, throwing his head back into the pillows while his
hands try grappling at Derek's hair. Oh, my God...
Within ten seconds, he's spilling into Derek's mouth and starting in on a litany of apologies,
embarrassed at going so fucking soon.
It's fine, Derek says, rubbing a hand up and down Stiles' bare stomach and chest as he sits up
onto his knees. It's fine, it's fine.
Okay, Stiles breathes out, lying there completely fucking spent and fucked out, feeling
somewhat drunk off of everything he just went through. You you like being called alpha.
Derek snickers, before flopping down onto the bed right beside Stiles, sighing loudly. I like my
position being acknowledged.
Your wolf status.
Like it's the most taxing conversation of his life, Derek sighs again. Yes, Stiles. My wolf status.
I'm the alpha.
Not of me.
Derek slides his eyes over to Stiles, a smile playing on his lips almost there, but not quite. No.
You've proven on more than one occasion you won't be told what to do. But, he flips over onto
his side, facing away from Stiles, digging around on top of his bedside table, coming back around
with a piece of paper in his hand. I wanted to ask you to do something.

Stiles quirks one eyebrow. Okay. What is it?


When Derek drops the piece of paper down onto Stiles' chest, the same he did with the card with
his phone number on it a few weeks ago. Upon closer inspection, it's an address. Stiles blinks up
at Derek.
They're throwing me a party; my publishers. It's mostly an incentive for me to hurry the fuck up
and finish what I'm working on now it's been a bit... he trails off, not making eye contact with
Stiles, staring blankly towards his closet. ...sidetracked. It's just Hollywood bullshit; it doesn't
mean anything. But I'd really like for you to come.
Stiles takes a second look at the address, and sees San Francisco is a part of it. Awesome, he
says, sitting up. I've never been did you know that?
Derek smiles at him, rubbing a hand down his side, fondly, almost. To San Francisco, or a
Hollywood party?
Both! He grins down at Derek. Thanks for inviting me.
Stiles winds up falling asleep there. He honestly didn't intend for that to happen, and as a matter of
fact, at dinner Derek had asked if he needed a ride home later that night, and he said yes. Because
his dad was going to come home, and if his dad got home at four o'clock in the morning and Stiles
wasn't in his room he was going to freak the fuck out. Absolutely freak out. Think he's
sleepwalking again, lost in the woods somewhere.
When Stiles groggily opens his eyes, and sees unfamiliar yellow walls, feels an unfamiliar
extremely soft sheet wrapped around his body, hears Derek's heavy breathing next to him...
He shoots up out of the bed so fast he goes spilling down onto the floor with a thump. Just as well.
His pants are down here. Right as he's pulling one leg in, Derek's head pops over the edge of the
bed, frowning down at him. Everything all right?
Stiles shakes his head sleepily, side to side, pushing the other leg in and shimmying the pants up
his thighs. I've gotta get home.
Derek rubs at his bedhead, frowns even deeper.
My dad's probably - he jumps up and pulls his phone out of his back pocket, sees he has
fourteen missed calls all from HOME, and sighs. ...freaking out. He gives Derek an apologetic
smile. Could I borrow a shirt?
Derek lends him a shirt, huddles him into the Range Rover, and drives him home.
When he gets there, his dad is standing on the front porch even though Stiles had called him and
told him he was perfectly fucking fine and not lost out in the forest somewhere with his arms
crossed, looking pissed off.
The pissed off more or less fades into a dull look of surprise at seeing a fucking ninety thousand
dollar car pull up next to Stiles' piece of shit Jeep, his eyes squinting in at Stiles, and then squinting
even harder at Derek Hale through the windshield.
You're coming to the party? Derek sounds shy about it, or nervous. Like he's really anticipating
Stiles' response.
Yes, I'll be there. Tomorrow night. He pops the door open, flashes Derek a quick smile and
feels like there should be a kiss somewhere in there, desperately, but isn't sure how Derek would

take it. So, he hops out, closes the door behind him, and faces his certain death.
Is that, Sheriff points at the silver SUV as it pulls out of the driveway and crunches back out
onto the main road. ...Derek Hale?
Stiles scratches at his cheek. Yes?
You just got out of Derek Hale's car. After staying out all night without telling me.
I'm an adult, so-
A note, Stiles. A text message. A voicemail message. That's all I ever ask from you, as an adult.
When Stiles was a little kid, after his mom died, he used to go wandering off into the woods in his
sleep all the time. He never went very far, and he never got terribly hurt aside from some
scratches, but...that would freak any father out pretty much for life.
Stiles sighs through his nose, scratches at the back of his neck, and say, "I'm sorry."
His father nods, flicks his eyes back to the road again, staring at the cloud of dust that Derek left in
his wake. I'm going to possibly also need some explanations.
---People ask me all the time now, especially in those boring fucking interviews with the kid freshly
graduated from fucking film school or something, what it's like to have a camera in my face all
the time. There's a camera in my face as they ask me the question, there's a camera in my face as
I walk off set, there's a camera in my face as I leave to eat lunch how do I fucking feel about the
incessant need humans have to be entertained by the lives of real people after getting bored with
the fictional ones? When I wrote that first book it wasn't so people would jack off to my pictures. I
wrote it because I wanted to change the way people look at werewolves; I thought I was doing
someone a fucking favor, like my children or my grandchildren, born wolves in a world of
humans. Honestly, nothing's fucking changed except for the cameras and the way people don't
respect my privacy. People want to know why I haven't taken anyone new in so long that's why.
Why do you think I don't date humans? (Beacons [unpublished manuscript], pg. 15)
---The second Stiles strolls into work, Erica leaps at him.
Have you fucking seen?
Stiles blinks at her; behind her, Rudy a kid with huge square glasses and a crooked nose that
works the early night shift with them smirks at him, knowingly. Like he knows something about
Stiles. Seen what?
Erica shakes her head from side to side, jaw slacked, like she honestly cannot fucking believe that
Stiles could be so idiotic. Oh, my God.
What?
You're all over the news, Stiles! She's on her phone in an instant, pulling up her web browser.
Stiles almost laughs out loud. I'm all over the news? What would I ever be in the fucking news-
he cuts off short, eyes going wide, his own jaw dropping down almost to his fucking knees. It it
absolutely couldn't be. No way, no how, no fucking chance. Nooo...way...

Erica holds her phone out in front of his face, and in giant black letters on hollywolf.com, there's a
fucking headline he never thought he'd read accompanied by a picture of himself.
Derek Hale out and about with mysterious new guy in hometown a HUMAN!
The picture, by the way, actually isn't half bad. Blurry, dark, and out of focus, but not bad as far as
the looks department go for Stiles. Derek is looking dead ahead, jaw clenched tight, fingers on
Stiles' neck, while Stiles has his eyes directly on the person who's taking the picture, looking
amused. Manny's there, too, hovering like a giant hawk in the background.
Stiles rips the phone out of her hands, glaring down at the article. It's everywhere, Stiles. How
have you not heard about his?
I've been- busy. Busy having sex with Derek, falling asleep in Derek's bed, then getting driven
home by Derek. Lectured by his father, napping in his own bed, getting ready for work...he never
even so much as glanced at Facebook in that entire twenty-two hour period. And apparently, it
takes less than a day to make a news story really fucking blow up.
Derek Hale, notorious for refusing to date humans, was seen early yesterday evening walking into
one of the most expensive restaurants in his hometown of little Beacon Hills, California, with a 21
year old human male who looks exactly like his type, from the eyes to the size. The wolf was seen
rubbing his fingers across the human's neck, scent-marking him to keep any other wolves from
trying to get close to him, and kept a watchful eye on him the entire time they were at the
restaurant. He's the Sheriff's son, a source who was at the scene tells Hollywolf, so they have
a little bit of a history. They definitely knew each other before Derek got famous on a pretty
personal level. Is Derek Hale finally breaking his no-humans-allowed dating code!? Tell us
what you think!
So, so many things to focus on that he can't even fucking choose where to begin.
The first thought that goes through his head is that at least no source who was at the scene
recognized him as the doofy kid who works at the McDonald's off exit 319. So, that's good.
But, beyond that, Derek is notorious for a lot of things. But never having dated a human isn't one
of them. Jennifer Blake was a wolf, but Kate Argent was painfully and ridiculously human. That
rumor, that Derek refuses to date a human, stems from that whole story. That he was so turned off
to the taste of humans after that shitshow that he just swore off them for life; Stiles, as a person
who actually reads Derek's fucking books, knows a lot better than that. Maybe he hasn't dated a
human since Kate, but he's definitely been with humans since Kate. That whole spiel about not
dating humans comes from his belief that humans are just way too fragile to handle his lifestyle.
Second of all, from the eyes to the size? What the literal fuck does that shit mean?
Third of all, scent-marking. That's what Derek has been doing to him with his hands all over his
neck. Scent-marking him. Stiles doesn't know how he didn't think of it before, or realize it earlier.
Of course Derek was covering him with his scent, to get all other wolves off his trail completely.
It wasn't, like, a sex thing or something. It wasn't a claiming thing, either. It was just, you know
protection. Like Derek always says, humans need extra protection. That's all it was.
You're a fucking celebrity. Stiles blinks up from the article and looks at Erica, who hands him a
chicken nugget. Stiles takes the nugget, but feels bizarre eating it after having dined on thirty
dollar pasta the night before, so he just holds it in his hand.
I'm not a celebrity, I'm I'm in a picture with Derek Hale.

Everyone knows you guys are fucking.


Stiles gives her a look, and then scrolls down to start reading the comments; somewhat
masochistically, since everyone knows the first rule of the internet is do not read the fucking
comments; and that's more about political articles and articles about things and people you actually
like. Stiles hasn't looked at the comments on an article about Derek Hale in years because he
knows better by now.
But, into the comments he goes.
How is that kid Derek's type? He's a fucking twink.
Stiles' eyebrows raise all the way up into his hairline, and Erica chortles like she knows exactly
what it was he just read. They're not wrong.
Maybe Stiles is a twink. But no one's ever called him that before or, at least not to his face or
within hearing distance. Now, though, the label is out there, floating in cyberspace. Twink. Okay,
fine. He's a twink. Whatever. Derek apparently doesn't mind it. That's enough for one day, I
think, he mutters, pushing the phone away, back into Erica's hand.
People are starting to call you the human that broke the wolf, Erica follows Stiles back to the
break room, with the shitty fridge and the shitty table and coffee maker. Like, you're Belle and
he's the beast. She gives him a long, long look, all the way up and down, like she always fucking
does, but this time it doesn't make him feel uncomfortable. He's too shocked out of his skull at
seeing his picture on hollywolf.com that everything feels a little muted right about now; nothing
could shock him anymore. Beyonce' could walk into McDonald's and ask for a quarter pounder
and Stiles would shrug and say okay without even batting an eyelash.
You look like the male Belle, too, honestly. With your eyes and hair. And, Derek totally pulls off
the whole beast thing perfectly-
You need, Stiles cuts her off, one finger pointing into her face, to stop reading that shit online.
You know me, Erica, me and Derek are not beauty and the fucking beast, all right? We're just
people. He opens up the fridge, pulls out a bottle of water, and slams the fridge door shut again.
Erica cocks her head to the side, smiles slightly at him, and says, no. You're celebrities.
Before Stiles gets the chance to correct her, she's gliding out of the break room, still giggling under
her breath, and then it's just Stiles all alone with his water. Thinking.
Everyone has that fantasy of being, you know, famous, or just being somebody at all. For Stiles, a
kid who's basically grown up worthless and grew up to be worthless in the eyes of society at large
working at McDonald's with no plans to ever go back to school being somebody has always
been a daydream. Like how he used to want to be a world renowned gamer (still sort of wants to
be a world renowned gamer) with a sports car and a bunch of money. In his brain of course he
imagined people taking pictures of him and writing articles about him; of course he did. It sounded
awesome.
That sort of stuff, though, was always more abstract than it was concrete. Not all the factors were
considered; never once did he think about all the implications of being a person who gets their
picture taken by strangers.
Stiles is just getting the tiniest, tiniest salt grain taste of it now, the second thing (after werewolf
discrimination) that Derek complains about the most in interviews, in his books, everywhere
someone is asking him his opinion on the matter. Stiles really doesn't like the fact that thousands of

people who don't even know him or his name are debating on whether or not he's too twink for
Derek, whether he's good looking enough for Derek, whether he's the human that's flipped
Derek's whole ideology on its head.
This fucking sucks, he decides.
No wonder Derek wanted no strings attached, backseat of his car sex. Anything else is too much
god damn stress and work.
Later that night, right after his shift, while he's sitting in his Jeep watching Erica peel out of the lot
in her toyota, he calls Derek. They've never actually spoken on the phone before, so Stiles is
somewhat amused to hear how tinny Derek sounds on the other end. I can guess what this is
about.
Stiles sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. I thought you didn't read what people write about
you.
I don't. My publicist tells me when it's something important, Stiles.
Right. Derek's publicist, Lydia Martin. Stiles has read a little bit about her, and seen even more
pictures of her; in spite of the fact that she's just Derek's publicist, she kind of has her own little
fanbase. Mostly because she's incredibly well spoken and badass and hot as all literal hell, struts
around in six inch heels every single fucking day, wears all black, and runs that insane BDSM
club downtown in BH. Stiles has never set foot in there, but he's heard enough (like the sheer
number of times his dad has had to show up to break things up when they started getting out of
hand Stiles doesn't even want to begin to think how out of hand a BDSM club could get) to
know that he's probably too much of a lightweight to really handle it.
What are you thinking? Derek's voice sounds a little quiet on the other end, yet still demanding
and intent to know the answer.
Stiles watches a truck pull into the parking lot, chewing on his lip. I was wondering with all
this stuff...
Derek is quiet on the other end, waiting for Stiles to finish.
...would it even be a good idea for me to come to your party tomorrow?
There's a short laugh on the other end. Lydia thinks it's a great idea for you to come.
That surprises the hell out of Stiles mostly that Lydia Martin talked about him with Derek Hale
and sixteen year old him fanboys for several seconds inside his own head and then because he
doesn't really understand how it would be a good idea for him to fuel the rumors at all.
It's publicity. My book is set to come out in a few months, Stiles.
Something nasty blooms up in Stiles' chest. Something icky, and bitter, and disgusting starts
flooding every single part of him, and Stiles doesn't know what to call it, what that feeling would
be named, but he knows that he doesn't like the way that this conversation is going. Oh, he says,
in a small voice, rubbing his free hand across his forehead. Right. The publicity.
Like Stiles is a worm out on a hook for the press to gobble up. Not something that Derek actually
gives a half a shit about. It's funny for all Derek has definitely treated him as nothing more than
his latenight fuck for all intents and purposes, it's much worse hearing him say it out loud, like
that. Refer to him as publicity.

Just capitalizing on the situation. Derek's voice is measured, sure on the other end of the phone.
Controlled and even and emotionless. There are no emotions here. Everything is business and
money and books and bestseller lists. He wants to fucking laugh, thinking of how Erica flipped a
burger on the grill at McDonald's and winked at him, telling him to capitalize on the situation.
Derek went and turned all the tables right around on him, so Stiles is this powerless puppet that
Derek's dragging along to sell his books.
Fine, Stiles thinks. That's just fine. Stiles doesn't have any feelings, either. He's just he's just...
Yeah, no, Stiles agrees. Then I'll be there at your party. Stupid, stupid, to think that Derek
wanted him there because he wanted him there and wasn't just imagining the flash of cameras and
the cha-ching of his booksales going up. He's just happy he's not actually in the same room with
Stiles so he can't really tell that Stiles feels like fucking crying, right about now.
Good. Lydia will probably want to talk to you beforehand I'll give her your number. Is that
okay with you?
Stiles almost laughs. It's amazing how different every thing is turning out from how he always
imagined it would. It's fine.
There's a beat of silence on the other end of the phone, and Stiles can imagine Derek running his
hand through his hair. You sound upset.
I'm not upset.
Derek does laugh a quick bark of a thing. Are you gonna start playing games with me, Stiles?
Stiles grits his teeth and tightens his fingers around his phone; because that sounds like something
forty year old men say to the secretary they're fucking behind their wife's back. I'm not. I had a
long day at work. I'm tired. People are calling me a twink on the internet. All true, all shitty, but
not really the point of focus here. Derek doesn't know that, though.
I'm not making you come to this thing, you know.
Stiles shakes his head, as if Derek can see it, a sarcastic smile playing on his lips. Well, you're the
alpha, right? Dead, deafening silence on the other line, and Stiles smirks even wider at having
bested him. I'll be there.
When he hangs up, and is just sitting there in his horrible car and his ugly McDonalds uniform,
he feels ridiculous. He feels so stupid for getting excited about any of this of treating this like it
was anything more than a purely shallow, carnal thing for Derek or for himself.
No strings attached. No fucking strings. Except for the one Derek is using to pull him along to
help him make his publishers happy, of course.
Well, if Derek gets to capitalize then Stiles is going to do exactly the fucking same.
---What's mine, is mine. Humans are no threat to me, of course, but if a wolf starts looking at my
mate with anything more than a glance, the only thing I want to do is submit directly to the
stereotype humans have of me of all alphas. That we're possessive, psychopathic, and
pathological; well, fuck it. Maybe that's one stereotype I live up to, and maybe I am. I just don't
like other wolves looking at my things. (Beacons [unpublished manuscript], Derek Hale pg. 187)
----

Isaac picks up on the first ring, like he always used to when they were dating in college, and the
first thing he says is, I was trying to think of reasons to call you myself that sounded legitimate
and casual.
Stiles grins at hearing the sound of his voice; it's been fucking forever, and Isaac was always so
good to him. Nice, soft-spoken, funny, always gentle with him; never growled at him or glowed
his eyes or even so much as showed him his beta-shift. It took him a while to figure out that it
wasn't because he respected Stiles too much to ever pull it on him, but it was because he was
ashamed of what he wound up being born as. That revelation lead Stiles to yet another, which was
that, for all he was nice and good looking, he was also boring.
In the way that all nice guys wind up being, in the end. Not to say that every dude who held the
door open for him has been a complete snoozefest but Isaac's particular brand of nice was the
kind where they could hardly even fucking argue. He'd just concede the point to Stiles like he
hardly even cared about what they were talking about. It infuriated Stiles all the more.
Case in point, Isaac was about fifty times more into Stiles than Stiles was ever into him, and he
broke it off six months in before things started getting too intense to turn back. It was for the best,
they both agreed, and now they're just friends who never speak aside from happy birthday and
merry christmas.
Until now.
When Stiles gets mad and hurt at the same exact time, he has a tendency to do things that he
wouldn't otherwise. Like call his ex-boyfriend at two in the morning to ask if he can come over.
Isaac agrees amiably, claiming he was going to be up all night anyway reading some dorky book,
and Stiles remembers how to get there like the back of his hand.
It freaks him out to see how identical Isaac's apartment is to how it used to be like, almost down
to the scuffmarks on the floor and the position of the towels in the bathroom because it feels like
being transported back to being nineteen and stupid and stoned all the time.
Nostalgia ultimate, he thinks as Isaac runs his hands through his curls after all the pleasantries of
so what have you been doing lately are over with, and fixes him with a searching look, a grin on
his face.
I thought you were dating Derek Hale, Stiles, cocking his head to the side, he sniffs, you smell
like him.
Stiles grins back falsely, shrugging his shoulders. We're not dating. It's an open relationship type
of thing not even a relationship, really, just sex. No strings, you know?
Oh, Isaac grins wider, taking a tentative step closer to Stiles in his living room. So, now you're
here. At my house.
I am here. At your house. At almost three in the morning.
And you're not dating anyone.
Nah.
Then, you won't mind if I kiss you? He reaches one hand out and hovers it directly over Stiles'
neck. Or if I take his scent off of you?

Is it still that fucking strong on Stiles, even after a shower, and an entire eight hours working with
food and scrubbing toilets, that Isaac has to remove it? Isaac was never big on the whole scent
thing when they were together; or, if he was, Stiles hardly noticed it at all, the way Derek always
says humans never notice anything.
Stiles shakes his head. I'd actually really like it if you did.
Isaac puts two fingers gently on Stiles' neck, rubs up and down in slow circles, and then leans
down to kiss him. Stiles accepts both without much complaint, trying to shake the sinking feeling
like he's cheating, or something. He can't possibly be cheating if he's not in any real relationship.
As far as Derek is concerned, Stiles is the means to an end, so why the fuck does it matter what he
does and who he does it with?
Derek's not going to give two shits. It's not cheating. And he's not using Isaac for anything, either.
He didn't burst down the door and demand that Isaac have sex with him here and now so he can
get back at Derek Hale for whatever it is Stiles thinks he's done to him.
Isaac initiated the touching and the kiss, and smiled his way through the entire thing, all the while
knowing that it was just touching and kissing. Everything is completely and totally fine, and Stiles
doesn't have a single thing to feel shitty or dirty about.
So, whatever. He has sex with Isaac and it's just as in-between as it always was (better than
Jackson, not as good as Derek), and in the morning, all tangled up in Isaac's blue sheets, his phone
vibrates him into consciousness.
Isaac stirs while Stiles stares blearily at the unfamiliar number through half opened eyes, mumbles
something along the lines of the leprechauns are coming (Isaac is a notorious sleep talker and
bizarre dreamer), and Stiles presses the phone to his ear and rasps out an early morning hello?
Stiles Stilinski. It's supposed to be a question, Stiles guesses, but it sounds more like a clipped,
direct statement.
Yeah.
Should I call back when you actually wake up, sweetheart?
It takes Stiles a couple seconds but hearing that word, sweetheart, in that tone of voice with that
level of annoyance...even though he's never met her in real life before, he's followed her career
long enough to be able to cuss out exactly who he's talking to. I'm awake, Stiles sits up more in
bed, while Isaac blinks his eyes open. I'm here.
Good, she says on the other line, and it sounds like there's club music playing somewhere
distantly behind her she's not...talking to him while standing in the VIP section of Howl is she?
Watching people have really fucking kinky sex? I wanted to talk to you about tonight, lay down
some ground rules.
Ground rules, all right. He can't stop thinking about there being a dude tied up to a wall ten feet
away from her while she talks to him in a cool, measured tone, and he has to put his fist over his
mouth to stop from laughing.
First off, try not to dress like you're a drifter who works at a fast food chain. No disrespect, but-
No, I get it. He does get it. Maybe he should show up in a leather body suit with a collar around
his neck to appease Ms. Martin okay. That's the last BDSM joke.
Good. Second off, don't drink too much. There's going to be a lot of alcohol, strong wolfsbane

alcohol, and the last thing you want is for someone to get a video of you making a drunken ass of
yourself. Correct?
Correct, yeah.
Third off, please do not arrive in that horrid Jeep.
He blinks. What do you know about my Jeep?
Do you think I haven't seen it around town? You're the Sheriff's son. Everyone knows what your
car looks like.
He doesn't know whether to be flattered that his car has such recognition, or insulted that it's
widely regarded as a piece of shit. To be fair, it sort of is, but he's the only one who's allowed to
say that. Okay. I'll get a ride from someone. But I don't get why you're trying to paint me up like
I'm something I'm not.
What Stiles is is a normal fucking person just trying to make ends meet; he hadn't considered the
fact that maybe Derek would be embarrassed by that. He certainly wasn't too embarrassed to cart
him around to the most expensive restaurant in town while dozens of people took his picture.
Lydia makes a hm noise on the other end of the phone, backed up by a strong bassline somewhere
off in the background. Can I ask you something, Stiles?
Um... Stiles glances at Isaac next to him on the bed, who looks like he's tuned into the
conversation and hanging onto every word like he knows exactly who's on the other end of the
phone. He probably does. Okay?
Do you think for even a fraction of a second the picture that's provided by the media of Derek
Hale is actually what Derek Hale is like, at all?
Stiles marinates on that for a second. Even though Derek more or less delivers exactly who he is
in his books, people misread it constantly. They like to make him out to be this hyper-aggressive,
hyper-cold, hyper-robotic dude who growls at humans and has insanely rough sex all the time
with whoever he feels like. Which, Stiles does honestly understand how you could be a complete
idiot and glean that from his writing, but it's not how it really is.
Derek is an alpha. When he's a wolf, perhaps on the full moon, he's more in tune with that side of
him. But when he's just human (although Derek would argue that he never is) he's just...a guy
with strong personality traits. He likes sex and doesn't care much for emotions because, as he puts
it, emotions have fucked me way more than sex ever has. See : Kate Argent.
I guess not.
He's a product, Lydia says distantly, like she's distracted by something else going on in the room
she's in and Stiles tries really hard not to imagine what it could be. A trademark, more or less. I'm
not treating you any differently than I do him. Who do you think buys his clothes and tells him
which cars to invest in?
Stiles never considered that, but, now that she mentions it...it makes a lot of sense. Like Derek
would ever dress that fucking well all by himself. Honestly.
I hope you're not taking it personally. I think I like you.
An I like you from Lydia Martin is equatable to being told you're the greatest human being on the
face of the planet, so Stiles beams for a few seconds and feels like he's floating off on a cloud into

the sky. Isaac notices and grins at him, perching his chin on his upturned knee, like he's excited for
Stiles.
Be there at seven, dressed well. Do you need me to send you samples?
Stiles has a no on the tip of his tongue, because he can dress himself, fuck you very much, but
something tells him if even one thing is off with his outfit, Lydia will rip his face off of his skull. I
I guess, maybe?
Good. Check your email.
The line goes dead.
He turns to Isaac, smiles, and says, you wanna go to a fancy party?
The party, it turns out, is more or less exactly how Stiles imagined it would be.
Isaac parks his semi-decent car, the one his alpha bought him for his last birthday, among all the
Lamborghinis and Jaguars and Beamers, and they walk up together joking about how fucking
huge the party hall is from the outside. It reminds him vaguely of The Plaza in New York City, the
place where Derek used to hold all his ridiculous parties like this back when he actually lived in
the city.
Stiles used to click through those pictures on his favorite Derek Hale fansite, imagine himself
being there, being that rich and that important and drinking that weird wolfsbane shit and eating
caviar. Stupid fantasy, he decides.
A man, probably a werewolf actually, stops him at the double doors, waving a clipboard in his
face. Name?
Oh Stiles Stilinski.
He scans down his list with a pen, crosses something off, points at Isaac. He your plus one?
Yeah. Plus one.
He jerks his thumb behind him, like go on in and in Stiles goes.
Balloons and chandeliers and marble floors and giant blow up pictures of the covers of Derek's
books perched up in a corner right near the snack table which is truly the most beautiful part of
this entire affair. He sees salmon puffs, makes a strangled noise in the back of his throat, and starts
dragging Isaac off along with him towards the food.
After six salmon puffs, a handful of pigs in a blanket, and a bright purple drink someone actually
recognizes Stiles.
A dark haired girl squints at him for several seconds while they both reach for a spring roll, before
saying, you're that kid.
Stiles blinks at her, and Isaac laughs. I am a kid.
Yeah, but you're that kid. A pause. The Sheriff's son.
Stiles wonders if that's going to be his identifier until the day he's dead, now he went the first
eighteen years of his life being called exactly that, so it's not much of an annoyance anymore.
The girl looks over her shoulder, like she's scanning the crowd looking for someone, and then

The girl looks over her shoulder, like she's scanning the crowd looking for someone, and then
turns back to him, flicking her eyes over to Isaac with a frown. Shouldn't you be with Mr. Hale?
Honestly, Stiles hasn't even laid eye on Derek since walking in. He more or less assumed he
would be swept up in a PR tornado, and would only see a couple of glimpses of him to begin
with. All the same, he looks over her shoulder, to where she was just looking, and there Derek is.
He's wearing an Armani suit, looking like he just crawled up out of the most fashionable pit of
Hell with the fucking glare he's shooting at Stiles, sipping heavily at his own purple drink while
beside him his packmate Boyd is trying to say something to him, or get his attention.
But Derek just keeps fucking staring at him. Staring, glaring, burning his eyes straight through
Stiles' own eyes all the way to the back of his skull.
He finishes his drink, and another is dropped into his hand by Boyd Derek starts drinking it
again immediately.
He looks - Isaac stars, and Stiles turns his attention back to him, and finds him looking
moderately uncomfortable and nervous. ...he is really pissed off.
Stiles knits his eyebrows together; why would Derek be pissed off at his own party? It seems to be
going well enough to Stiles, who's really only seen the food portion of the affair, but a party's only
as good as its food, right?
He's jealous. Isaac says matter-of-factly, adjusting his tie and swallowing. I thought you said
you guys weren't -
We're not, Stiles emphasizes. We are so fucking far being anything. The only reason he
asked me here in the first place is for the publicity, so...
Isaac gives him a look, like he's a fucking idiot. That guy is looking at me like he's going to rip
my head off of my body. Maybe you two oughta have a chat.
Isaac, Stiles grabs his arm, looks directly into his eyes. I never would've brought you here if
there was anything going on.
Trust me, Stiles, Isaac smiles, genuinely, eyes crinkling at the corners. I know you're just
oblivious you always have been.
Stiles doesn't know what to say to that, doesn't know what to do about any of this, doesn't believe
Isaac, cannot believe Derek is looking at him like that, and suddenly the huge room and all the
people and lights and the everything is a bit too much for him.
He puts his drink down on the food table, mumbles something about needing to get some air,
ignores Isaac calling his name, and starts trying to shove bodies out of his way to get to the exit.
Seeing as how a good half of the people at this thing are fucking werewolves, he doesn't have
very much luck; he feels like he's shoving at brick walls most of the time. Eventually, though, he
makes it to the double doors and spills out into the hallway.
Out here, there are a few people milling around and drinking, leaning out the windows to smoke
cigarettes, but other than that, it's just him. He takes a deep breath, tries to think for a second he
doesn't like what Isaac was saying in there, not one tiny little bit, because it goes against every
thing he thought.
Derek was always supposed to be finite. He was supposed to be this person that Stiles used to
hook up with, some kind of weird party story to tell when he's finally got his fucking life together
and has wine and cheese parties with all his super adult friends. Maybe Stiles didn't particularly

like thinking of him like that, but for the past three weeks, almost an entire month, that's what he
forced himself to think of everything as.
Anything else, he thought, was setting him up for failure and disappointment.
Now, he doesn't know what to think.
He's about to collect himself and go back into the party, about to pull his shoulder up off from the
wall when a huge, warm hand grabs his shoulder and uses it to push his back up against the
wall.
Stiles yelps, blinks furiously, and winds up staring up into the face of Derek Hale.
A very, very drunk, pissed off Derek Hale. The smell of alcohol and wolfsbane is all over him, his
eyes are glowing red and glossed over, and Stiles isn't afraid of him, like this but he's not entirely
sure of what's about to happen.
But he sure as fuck knows they're probably about to get into an argument.
Is this your little revenge? Huh? Derek takes a step closer to him, so Stiles has no choice but to
crane his neck to look up into his face. You thought you could waltz in here- Stiles tries to
dodge away from him, but Derek throws his arm out, caging him in, with that fucking beta and-
Derek, calm down.
You reek of him. other than the one-hand push up against the wall, Derek hasn't touched Stiles.
At all. Which Stiles finds is a little bit weird, considering that Derek is one of the most tactile
people he's ever met. Have you been fucking him?
Stiles flinches back at the harshness of the word, at how his breath smells like alcohol, how this
isn't Derek, at all. Derek would never do this. Act like this. Now Stiles is scared.
Get away from me, he says, low, shifting his eyes around and wondering if anyone is fucking
seeing this shit.
Derek's hand drops down, away from Stiles' side, and he takes one step back; but he has this look
in his eyes, like if Stiles tried to walk away he'd just grab him again and push him back against the
wall.
It's fucking feral.
Derek takes another long sip of his drink, and then drops it down to hang limp out of his fingers.
He takes a second, just scraping his eyes up and down Stiles' body, before he laughs. Or, more,
spits something cruel and nasty sounding out of his throat and shakes his head. I don't fucking
like that.
Stiles glares back at him, defiantly. Trying to exude as much power as he physically can in this
situation, with an alpha werewolf looking at him like that. You don't like what.
You with anyone but me.
Stiles pushes up from the wall a bit, feels the muscles in his jaw flexing. You were the one who
said no strings attached, Derek. No strings attached means that you don't get to tell me who-
I know what the fuck I said, Derek spits back into Stiles' face. But I don't want you smelling
like anyone but me.

You're not my fucking alpha, and you're not my fucking boyfriend so who I smell like is none
of your business.
Derek growls, under his breath, and in his hand the crystal glass creaks like he's about to squeeze
it into pieces with his fingers. Stiles raises his eyebrows, daring him to make an even bigger scene
than he already is when, thankfully, a cool, calm voice from the end of the hallway calls his
name.
Both of them turn to look, and Stiles gets his first real-live glimpse at Lydia Martin. In her high
heels, dark black dress, hair pulled back into a tight bun on top of her head, she looks like she
wants to fucking murder one of them. Which one, it isn't entirely clear, because she keeps her eyes
on Stiles while she addresses Derek in a cold, detached tone. Go into the bathroom, sober up,
and stop scaring the shit out of your tiny human.
The alpha rubs one hand over his eyes, and the red finally fades away into a bloodshot green. He
looks Stiles over, once, before he growls something Stiles can't catch under his breath and zips off
in the opposite direction.
Stiles watches him go mostly because he can hear Lydia clicking over to him, and something
about Lydia scares him about seventy thousand times more than Derek ever fucking could. Mostly
because Stiles is pretty sure Derek would never lay a hand on Stiles to physically harm him, but
Lydia doesn't appear to be above it, at all.
When he turns his eyes back to her, she's standing three feet away from him, with her arms
crossed. Her lips puffed out in annoyance, one manicured finger tapping against the length of the
opposite arm. She looks beyond ethereal; skin so smooth and perfect he has this bizarre desire to
reach out and touch it, hair sleek, make-up perfect.
Stiles gulps, terrified.
I would've thought don't bring the beta werewolf you fucked last night along with you was a rule
we didn't need to discuss, she blinks her green eyes, once. I guess I greatly overestimated your
intelligence.
I -
Don't say anything. The more I hear your voice the more I want to slap you across the face.
She would do it, too. Holy shit, Stiles is so fucking sure she would slap his face with everything
she's got and not just a slap either. She would drag those perfectly sculpted nails across his face
and leave four scratches across his cheek to drip blood all over his brand new clothes.
I told him more times than I usually repeat anything that you were a bad idea, she purses her red
lips together, gives him another once over. Humans are a bad idea.
Stiles wants to say something, really really bad he's not sure what. Maybe an explanation as for
why he chose to do what he did, tonight, because he thinks he could explain his way out of this
one but he's been instructed by the scariest woman on the face of the planet to keep his fucking
mouth shut, so he does.
Knowing what you know about Derek Hale, after having read his books and followed his career,
I'm really interested to know how you thought for even a second that Derek didn't give a shit
about you. You think he just goes around picking humans up out of truck stops to fuck around
with?

That's exactly what Stiles thought, actually.


Like she reads his mind, Lydia smiles cruelly. You are so fucking stupid. He's obsessed with
you." Stiles doesn't have time to think or react to that, mostly because he got that impression loud
and clear from the display Derek just showed him minutes earlier. "I have to clean up this mess,
now you realize that right? She scrutinizes his face some more, perhaps reads the expression on
his face loud and clear the expression of holy shit are you about to take me to your underground
dungeon somewhere to beat the shit out of me because her face softens slightly. Like she
remembers she's talking to a fragile little baby human, and has to be somewhat gentle.
She sighs, scratches at her eyebrow, dropping the tense set of her shoulders. It's good publicity.
She has this tone of voice, like there's a but that should go after that, that she doesn't feel like
speaking out loud, or that she wonders whether or not she should. It's good for the gossip. It's
get that fucking look off your face.
Stiles swallows, and dares to open his mouth. What look?
Like you're about to cry.
Honestly, Stiles just says, in a daze, I fucking might. Why wouldn't he, honestly? He just got
yelled at by two alpha werewolves, separately, and back to back.
Lydia sighs again, mutters humans underneath her breath in a harsh growl. She puts her hands on
his shoulders and shakes him, once, hard. Relax. I'm sorry I took my frustration out on you.
Stiles wonders absentmindedly just how many puny little humans she takes her frustration out on.
But you have to admit, her fingers rub a bit on his shoulders, gently, you kind of fucked up.
Stiles nods, because it's irrefutable. He did fuck up. He fucked up so massively, he drove Derek to
the brink of blackout drunk all because he had sex with Isaac.
He rolls that thought around in his head for a second, scrunches his face up, and says, Derek
fucked up way more than me. Derek was the idiot who said no strings attached to begin with.
He's the one who acted like Stiles coming to this thing was all for the fucking pictures and the
book sales. He's the god damn fuck up in this situation Stiles was just going along with
everything he said.
Lydia smiles at him, genuinely this time. Derek always fucks up. That's not a surprise you were
supposed to be the smart one.
---Being cold, being void, being empty, detached it's how I shut people out. It's how I deal with
getting those same emotions that landed me here in the first place. I handle situations the wrong
way. I say the wrong things. Sometimes I wonder, if my life hadn't gone up in flames, if I hadn't
been permanently damaged by the loss of my entire family in a single day...would I be a better
individual? Would I be able to stop fucking destroying everything I touch? (Beacons [unpublished
manuscript], Derek Hale pg. 346)
---You really fucked with him, huh? Scott and Stiles are sitting on the couch in Stiles' living room,
watching Hollywolf's segment on MTV. A masochistic mistake on both of their parts, but Stiles
just couldn't help himself. He had to see for himself what people were going to be responding to,
had to see for himself the reason he might start getting death threats from teenage girls about
breaking Derek Hale's heart.

They've been playing the video clip on an endless loop, again and again, while some commentator
with an obnoxious voice talks over it. It's a dodgy clip, but you can pretty much tell as clear as day
exactly what's going on.
Stiles and Derek, a good twenty feet or so away from whoever was filming on their iphone,
arguing in the hallway. It's weirder to see it from another angle, when he lived through it weird
to see himself backed up against the wall while Derek keeps getting drunk and snarling at him. It
gives him a weird feeling to know that thousands (millions, most likely) of people are going to be
able to watch this moment between he and Derek. A private fucking moment, that no one else was
ever supposed to be privy to. Christ, if Derek were anyone else...
The clip ends the same way it always does, with a blurry hand coming over to slap the phone out
of whoever's hand, and Stiles has been assuming it was either Lydia or Kira Yukimura, Derek's
second beta, from the painted nails he can make out in the blur.
Correction, Stiles says to his best friend, frowning. He fucked with me.
Scott nods his head in agreement, like a good friend. Yeah. Fuck that guy. He's he's an asshole,
right? Stiles doesn't say anything; he just watches with glazed eyes as the clip plays over and
over again. You're totally over him. Right?
Stiles rubs at his eyes for a second, and then he presses the palms of his hands against his eyelids,
leans forward so his elbows are resting on his knees, and breathes shallowly through his mouth.
Slowly, he shakes his head back and forth. He fucked with me, Scott.
Scott runs a big, warm hand down Stiles' back, patting him gently a couple of times. And...he
hasn't called?
He hasn't called. He hasn't texted. He hasn't come into McDonald's. It's like he's vanished off of
Stiles' radar for all Stiles knows, he's already left Beacon Hills to go hide out from the backlash
of this shitshow on some island somewhere.
Not like Stiles has tried to contact him, either. But Stiles feels fairly certain it's not his problem. It's
not his problem, he's the victim here; if anyone should be calling anyone, Derek should be calling
Stiles, right?
Right?
Stiles doesn't know who to fucking blame anymore, honestly. Everything got so convoluted and
fucked up; and as wrong as it was for Derek to pretend like he cared about Stiles a lot less than he
did, it was wrong for Stiles to do the exact same right back at him.
The whole situation was wrong.
Stiles threw his Derek Hale books into a box and shoved them underneath his bed, forcing himself
to not open up Reborn to run his fingers over Derek's signature in black in the front cover,
underneath Stiles <3's Derek.
He kinda tries to forget, the way he does with every thing painful. When he and Jackson broke up
in high school, he got so drunk so often that eventually his father's deputies stopped turning a
blind eye to it, dragged him into the station. He sat there in handcuffs, in his father's office,
ashamed.
This is so much fucking worse. So much fucking worse because the shame doesn't just extend to
his father and all the deputies he grew up with. It extends to, like, everyone with a television. He
has yet to have raw eggs thrown at him in the supermarket, but sometimes people glare at him

dirtily in public; since now, his full name is out there circulating, alongside the word heartbreak in
every single headline.
The worst thing that happens is at work. He's going through the motions, bagging food, sliding it
across trays to people on the counter, getting squirted at by the fucking ice cream machine like
every other god damn night of his life, pretty much.
Until a seventeen year old girl walks right up to the counter, glares at him so evilly Stiles thinks
she must be something supernatural, holding a Big Mac in two pieces in either hand. Um, excuse
me?
Stiles blinks at her.
Can I talk to your manager please?
He presses the talk button on the side of his headset, and says, cautiously, because this girl has a
vengeful fucking look in her eyes and is wearing a Hale Pack 4ever!!! bracelet around her wrist,
Finstock there's a girl up here who wants to talk to a manager.
There's an annoyed swear on the other line, followed by what did you do this time, Bilinski!?! and
the distinct sound of his office door swinging open so hard it bangs against the opposite wall.
He strolls right up to the counter, and puts on his customer service face. What appears to be the
issue, miss?
She holds the halves of the burger out farther, and says, with a sneer, I think he spit in my food.
Bilinski... Finstock's voice is shocked, awed disgusted. It would be funny if it werent so
fucking horrible.
Stiles' jaw drops, and he flails for a second - I did not fucking do that.
I saw you.
What you saw, he leans over the counter, points a long finger right in the girl's face. Is me in a
gifset on tumblr arguing with your precious Derek Hale!
She raises her nose in the air, flicking her hair. I don't know what you're talking about.
Oh, you don't!? Hale girl forever!?
Stiles, Finstock grabs onto his shoulder, shoves him back away from the girl, and gives him a
very careful look, shaking his head. You say you didn't do this?
Stiles glances at the girl, who's since dropped the burger on the counter and put her hands on her
hips. I didn't spit in anyone's food, all right?
He rubs at his jawline for a second, and lets loose an awkward laugh. I want to believe you, kid,
but, and he leans in close, whispers, you've got a record.
The girl smirks so wide so fucking wide, like she knows exactly what his boss is talking about.
Jackson Whittemore's non-fat latte. An entire year ago at Starbucks. His dirty fucking secret and
somehow this girl clearly knew about it. How would she find out about that?
Unless...
Oh, Jackson is completely the type of gross fucking snake who would slither right off to

Oh, Jackson is completely the type of gross fucking snake who would slither right off to
Hollywolf headquarters in downtown LA, feeding them all kinds of fucked up private details
about Stiles' life for a couple hundred dollars (even though he's already rich.) There's not a doubt
in his mind that if he were to google Stiles Stilinski spit latte, fifteen different articles would come
up about it.
But- he begins, feeling a firing coming on in seconds, an unfair, un-fucking-just firing all
because he got yelled at by Derek Hale in a twenty-five second viral video.
No. No fucking way. Stiles is not going down this way. No fucking way.
You know what! He holds his arms out and slowly raises them in the air, as if in victory. I
fucking quit!
He starts ripping his McDonald's shirt off over his head, and the collar gets all tangled up in the
wire of his headset, so for a few seconds he's just in the complete dark, staggering around behind
the counter.
You're quitting? Erica's voice, right as Stiles manages to get his shirt off. He starts swinging the
thing around in the air, his headset dropping to the ground with a clatter. I fucking quit too!
Now Erica is pulling her shirt off but she's not wearing an undershirt like Stiles is. It's just her in
her lacy pink bra, with Finstock yelling at them hysterically to put their clothes back on and the
girl at the counter is standing there, wide-eyed, in complete and utter disbelief, and a mother with
her ten year old daughter slaps her hand over the kid's eyes.
The fucking ice cream machine! Stiles shouts, pointing at the guilty party in the corner of the
back, gurgling at him like it's getting ready to spurt at him for a fucking fight. Without even
pausing, he's grabbing the mop, wielding it like a bat, and running full speed ahead at his longtime
arch-nemesis.
While he's beating at it, not doing much aside from maybe denting the metal on the top, Erica
starts kicking at the thing with everything she's fucking got which, as it turns out, is quite a lot.
Because she manages to break the stirring mechanism clean off the thing; picks it up from the
ground, throws it in Finstock's general direction, and screams, you're not that good at lacrosse!
Finstock stutters for a few seconds, baffled out of his mind, and Stiles starts trying to pick the halfdestroyed machine up, with the intent to Office Space the literal fuck out of it, more than he
already has. Erica joins in, and together they manage to lift it up off the ground, toss it over the
counter with a smashing noise eliciting a few screams from the last straggling patrons who
havent already run out in terror.
Erica and Stiles high-five, before simultaneously leaping over the counter with a series of hoots
and hollers. Erica grabs the chord for the ice cream mixer, starts dragging it with a scrrapppeee
towards the exit, leaving a path of cream in its wake, cackling maniacally as she does so.
Stiles holds the door open for her, sticks his middle finger out into the restaurant for all to see as
she passes by him, and shouts, viva la Burger King, you fucks!

His father squats down beside the back door of the cop car, where both Erica and Stiles are sitting
with their hands cuffed behind their backs Erica still not wearing a shirt and sighs. Did you
have fun, son?
Stiles glares at him, still in that indignant phase of angry, so he can't really feel sorry for what he's
done yet. The ice cream machine is sitting in the middle of the parking lot, sectioned off by yellow

police tape as evidence for a crime, while driver's cautiously cruise around it, peering out their
windows with expressions like is that...is that the fucking McFlurry machine from McDonald's?
It's in about three pieces, now, barely recognizable.
I'm being personally victimized dad, he swivels his body to face the window, glaring at his
father. You don't understand. I'm being targeted. The teenage girls are coming for me, and they
are merciless.
The Sheriff scratches at his eyebrow. Okay. But how does the ice cream maker fit into that?
It fits in, Erica leans over Stiles' lap, breasts bumping up against his arm, because it was
fucking evil, and had to go.
We did the entire world a service.
Right. He scratches at his face again, sighing. Are you is this about... he leans closer to
Stiles, as if Erica isn't going to listen in anyways. ...Derek Hale?
Stiles clenches his jaw because he knows it looks a lot similar to his other two breakups.
Actually, it looks much, much worse than his other breakups.
And, yes. Derek Hale was a factor. But he has no regrets. He quit that terrible job and now he's
free.
Did he have to absolutely freak out and cause the most shocking scene ever seen at a
McDonald's? Probably not.
His father takes the silence as affirmation, and huffs once more. Finstock isn't pressing charges.
Which you're god damn lucky about, by the way. But you're definitely...fired.
Not fired, he affirms, we quit before he got the fucking chance.
While his father goes off to talk about getting the two out of the back of the car and the handcuffs
off, Erica turns to him, coplights flashing across her face, and says, we should totally work
together again.
I was, literally, just thinking that, holy shit.
---People have told me, on more than one occasion, that I seem to like the crazy ones. And I guess,
in a way, that's true. Kate was crazy because she killed my family, and Jennifer was crazy
because she used to wave a knife around at me during arguments (were I human, I suppose this
would be a much more horrifying story to tell, but now, frankly, it makes me laugh.) The thing is,
I get bored, fast, and I don't like waiting for something to start getting interesting. I like people
who don't bullshit me, and I like people who argue with me. (Beacons [unpublished manuscript],
Derek Hale pg. 350)
---When Derek shows up, Stiles can't really say that he's surprised. Eventually the guy would have
to come and talk to him, because...there was just way too much left unsaid between them.
Also, he knows that Derek heard about him smashing the ice cream machine because everyone in
Beacon Hills heard about it. Not everyone knows who did it, of course but if Derek heard that

some crazy kids dragged a McFlurry machine out into the parking and Office Spaced it he would
instantaneously know exactly what kids they were referring to.
So when he peeks out his window after hearing a car pull up, even though both he and his father
are already home, and sees Derek's Range Rover slowing to stop right in front of his garage, he
just sighs deeply through his nose and purses his lips.
The inevitable has finally come to pass. He glances at his father at the kitchen table, and says,
Derek Hale is outside.
His father looks up from his case file, sighs his own sigh, probably because he knows that even if
he wanted to say do not walk out that door and talk to that motherfucker he wouldn't be able to
really stop Stiles, and nods. Okay.
Stiles takes a deep breath, holding his hand on the doorknob for a few seconds they've already
had their fight. Derek was already drunk and yelling at him once, and it was terrible, and it's over
now. This is a conversation. A conversation about how they both fucked every thing up and need
to either apologize to each other and move on with their separate lives, or...
Or. Just...or.
He opens up the door, and steps out onto the front porch.
Derek climbs out of his car, crunches across the driveway until his feet are up against the green
grass of the lawn, and then he just stands there. I guess I'm lucky we're not having this
conversation through a piece of plexi-glass with two fake telephones.
Stiles smirks, crossing his arms over his chest casually. Har har har. Very funny.
They stare at each other for a few moments, tracing each other's faces very carefully with their
eyes and Derek looks just the same. Of course he would it's only been a week and a half since
the party.
But it just felt like longer. It felt like Derek should show up with a fully grown beard and a few
extra inches of hair on his head; should show up with a wedding ring around his finger and
waggle it at Stiles like you waited too long. That's how it fucking felt.
Stiles wonders if Derek has been feeling the same.
Derek takes a single step forwards, putting his shoes into the grass, and says, I need to explain
something to you.'
He blinks back at him. You need to explain a lot of things to me.
The werewolf is stock still on the grass, his car keys dangling from his index finger, while he
breathes in and out through his nose psyching himself up for something, it looks like. I knew
the second I met you that you weren't just some kid, Stiles.
Stiles releases a breath he didn't know he was holding in, and nods. He suspected as much. He
had done his research on scenting and scent-marking and learned a fucking thing or two about all
the things Derek chose not to share with him.
Pretty much from the moment I walked into the McDonald's that night and smelled you for the
first time, I just knew. That yours was the scent I had been looking for, the one that I...needed to
find. I might've recognized it, in the Sheriff's station that night, that night being the night of the
fire, but I was too shaken. And you were a little kid.

Stiles nods, again, and waits for him to go on.


I guess when I met you, the second time, I got scared. Not of you, and not of what could
happen with us, but I was scared of myself. I wanted to give you every opportunity to back out,
Stiles. That's why I did the no strings attached, and everything. That's why I kind of fucked
around with you, because I almost needed you to not want me that way. He stops for a moment,
gauging Stiles' reaction and Stiles just stands there and stares back at him, blankly. I guess at a
certain point, I realized that wasn't what I wanted. But, I'm not...very good. I'm not a good
person.
Stiles lets a small smile cross his face, as he drops one step down from the porch. I already knew
that. I read your books, remember?
Derek smiles back at him, tentatively, like he still isn't sure where this is all going to wind up, even
though Stiles thinks it's pretty obvious how it's all going to go down. I shouldn't have treated you
that way, at my party. I know I frightened you.
Yeah, Stiles agrees, dropping down another step. You alpha'd me.
Derek takes his own step forward. I drunk'd you. It was inappropriate and asinine. And Lydia
shouldn't have cornered you that way, either. I was the one who put us in the situation in the first
place, and I was cold to you. I didn't treat you the way you deserve.
Stiles flops down, barefoot, onto the walkway up to his house, standing only ten feet away from
Derek, now. Did you come here to ask for a second chance?
The wolf swallows audibly, searching Stiles' face for any hint of a cruel joke. I'm willing to
fucking beg you for one, Stiles.
Really? Stiles grins widely, crossing into the grass and stopping a foot away from Derek,
looking up at him. The alpha werewolf would beg the human?
Derek stares down at him, lips whispering at a smile, and says, please?
Stiles knows that he doesn't really have much of a choice it really isn't a fucking choice, and it
never was. It wasn't for Derek, and it wasn't for him. It isn't for Derek now and it isn't for Stiles
now, either. There's no if with Derek and Stiles, and maybe that's why Stiles was so bizarrely
drawn to his books to begin with. Mostly, his fanbase is werewolves and activists; Stiles is neither.
He was just a stupid little kid, fascinated by him.
It's possible that in the back of his mind, he sort of knew.
He grabs the back of Derek's neck and pulls him down for a kiss, and Derek reciprocates happily.
He pretends like he can't feel his father glaring out at the two of them from the living room
window, loading his wolfsbane gun, and Derek appears to do the same.
When they pull back, Stiles says, can you get me a job? I don't think anyone's going to hire me,
now, and Derek laughs.
---Lydia Martin must have told me about a half dozen times, the most she'll ever repeat anything,
that he was a bad idea. That humans, in general, are bad ideas, that I would be fucking stupid to
try and pursue him, that I should just ignore his scent and hole up in my cave until he finally
bucked up and moved somewhere else. Or I'd move myself either way; the point was, to get

away from him, because he was fragile and weak and a liability and manipulative (like all
humans allegedly are). But, poor Lydia she's never found the scent. Not like me. She wouldn't
know what the pull is like, what the fucking ache is like, when you need someone that horribly that
you'd let go of all your most primitive instincts just to"Hey." Stiles jabs Derek in the back of his neck with his big toe from the bed and when he turns
around, he's half on the bed and half off of it, leg sticking out as far as it can go to reach where
Derek is perched at his desk, on his laptop.
He smiles languidly at Derek, raising his eyebrows, and says, are you writing about me in that
thing?

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