Author's Note: My first foray into the Teen Wolf fandom. A little fluff, a little heat, a little drama. Please review!
Yelling voices filled the cavernous loft. Sheriff Stilinski's gun pointed at Argent, whose gun pointed at Stiles. The Sheriff shouted for Argent to put his gun down, and Stiles—the Nogitsune—screamed for Argent to shoot, shoot, shoot me!
Derek's head snapped to the side at the murmur. The Argent girl had a thoughtful look on her face.
"Dad," she said firmly. "Stop."
The shouting continued, her words unnoticed. Stepping towards the verbal fray, she raised her voice. "Dad, put it down. This is what it wants—to create strife! Lower your gun!"
Mr. Argent didn't flinch, nor did the Sheriff's roaring voice falter. Allison kept yelling, her voice steadily gaining volume. Finally her father's voice joined the ruckus, and Derek's eyes flickered between the room's other occupants, all of whom were booming with noise. At any second, someone's gun would go off. If it was Stilinski's, Argent would be down, and the loft would be filled with the shrieks of a young girl. If it was Argent, the Nogitsune would probably go unharmed, but any chance of recovering Stiles would be lost.
There was a gleam in not-Stiles' eye, a red-hot frenzy that betrayed his love of the screams, the panic, the turmoil. The mayhem and madness was music to his ears.
"Change the punch line."
The Sheriff's words sped through his mind like a steam engine. What did they mean?
"Change the punch line."
Be unexpected. Take away death, and replace it with some other sort of chaos, something to satisfy the trickster spirit but also to render it surprised. There had to be a solution, something made of strife and chaos, to replace the bloody ending the Nogitsune had in store.
Strife. Chaos. Out-fox the fox.
Change the punch line.
It hit him like a bolt of lightning. Would it work? He didn't know. But he'd thought up a new punch line, and if there was any chance that he could stop the coming bloodshed, and maybe even restore Stiles to his body, he was damn well going to do it.
So Derek Hale swallowed his pride.
"Hey!" he said loudly. The Nogitsune's head tilted sharply towards him, a creepy light in Stiles' eyes. "You want chaos?" Derek stomped across the few feet dividing him from the younger man.
"Don't you touch my son!"
Vaguely Derek noticed a gun swinging in his direction.
But Derek was already too close to Stiles. There was no time for a bullet to be fired, no time even for the clever spirit to act.
Not before Derek's lips were upon Stiles', mashing them together with force. A part of Derek realized that the room had fallen to utter silence—he was trained to be completely aware of everything around him, after all. But for this moment, he decided to ignore everyone and everything else. He'd been embarrassedly fantasizing about this for months, and he wasn't going to miss a second of it.
He let himself feel the softness of Stiles' lips. He let his hands brush through the grown-out strands of Stiles' hair. He let his tongue taste the beads of sweat that had dropped to Stiles' mouth. He kissed Stiles like the world was on fire and it was only a matter of time before they burned with it.
After many long seconds, Derek stopped. His fingers loosened their grip on Stiles' hair, and he drew back only far enough that their lips were a few inches apart. Derek kept his eyes firmly fixed on the other man, who stared back at him blankly; it was as if no one else existed.
"You want chaos?" Derek said, staring into deep brown eyes that even now glimmered with intelligence. "Then how about the way my heart pounds a mile a minute when Stiles is in the room; the way my palms start sweating and my brain loses focus. You want strife? Well, how about the way that I feel sick every time I think of Stiles because I know he'll never think of me this way.
"Because, sure, you can create chaos and strife by turning guns on people and killing them—but that will never compare to the internal conflict of-" The werewolf swallowed harshly, the words thick in his throat. But the Nogitsune was still watching him, perfectly quiet and steady, with just the stunned look Derek had been vying for. At least no guns were going off.
"Of love," he bit out. His breath stuttered. "So if you want to feed on somebody's pain, feed on mine. I've got plenty of heartbreak for you, old and fresh. Feast away. But leave. Stiles. Alone."
No one moved. No one spoke.
Allison observed the scene with a fully dropped jaw, Mr. Argent's gun was still precisely aimed but his eyes were bugging out, and the Sheriff's gun now rested limply at his side as he gaped at the man who had just planted one on his son.
Derek stared at the glimmering sweat on Stiles' face—God, he must be burning up—as he waited for the Nogitsune's answer.
Finally, Stiles blinked rapidly a few times, breaking the lock that Derek had held on him. He said, "Derek?"
The older man's brow wrinkled as he searched those brown eyes. Was this Stiles or the Nogitsune speaking?
"Yes?" he carefully replied.
Stiles cleared his throat. "Yeah, um… The Nogitsune pretty much disappeared as soon as you started kissing me," he said frankly. Derek felt fiery heat rush into his cheeks. This could not be happening. "I think you freaked it out, or at least gave it a shock. It's hard to surprise a trickster since he knows all the tricks. But you, uh… yeah! You got him pretty good." Stiles nodded a few times, giving an awkward smile, occasionally meeting Derek's eyes before quickly looking away again.
Derek growled inside his mind at the evidently unnecessary massive embarrassment he'd just put himself through.
"So is he gone?" he asked through a clenched jaw. "For good?"
"No." Stiles' eyes grew glassy, as though he looked inside himself, where no one else could see. "I can still feel him in there, but his consciousness is suppressed beneath mine. For now. I'm not sure what's going on exactly."
"How do we know this isn't another trick?"
The two men turned to the adult Argent, who had overcome his bafflement and was again dangerously focused on Stiles.
"The Nogitsune has done this before," Argent continued. "What if it's repeating its actions, just like it tried to make us do?"
Gaze deadly, Derek stepped in front of Stiles, so the gun was aimed at his own head. "It's Stiles," he declared. "I'm sure of it."
"Yeah? Well, so was Scott," the hunter returned.
The werewolf turned around to face Stiles. Stiles smiled bravely at him, though his eyes were full of sadness. Pain tore through Derek's intestines.
"He's right," Stiles said. "There's no way you guys can know whether it's me or not. And maybe if someone shoots me now, the Nogitsune will die with me and that'll be the end of it."
"Or," countered Derek darkly, "you'll die while the Nogitsune goes on to possess somebody else."
"That's a chance we've got to take," said Argent.
Derek spun back around, his eyes glowing yellow. He bared pointed teeth. "Put it away, now." Argent's eyes flicked between Derek's werewolf features and the smaller man behind him. Derek growled in warning. "I saved your life, Argent. You owe me."
Before Argent could respond, the door to Derek's loft was thrown open, and in ran Scott and Kira, who carried with her a katana. All eyes turned to the new arrivals.
"No matter what," Scott said hurriedly, clearly out of breath, "a bullet won't kill it. There's no point. Please, Mr. Argent, trust me."
The room hung on the edge, engulfed in a tense silence. Slowly, Argent lowered his gun. Everyone in the room visibly relaxed.
"Good," Scott said, smiling. Then it was right back down to business. "Now, we've gathered some info about this thing that we need to tell you. Then we can choose how to proceed."
The group quickly circled around Scott and Kira. But before Scott could begin speaking, Sheriff Stilinski put up a hand and said, "Wait." With a pained look in his eyes, he turned to his son. "I don't think Stiles should be here for this," he said. "What if the Nogitsune hears through him? It's better if it doesn't know exactly what we know."
"You're right," agreed Argent, turning also to Stiles. "Somebody's gotta watch him."
"I will," Derek offered. "If anything happens, I'll call for Scott."
Argent's eyes scanned him thoughtfully. He nodded. "All right. The rest of us are moving out. Derek, Stiles, you stay here. Derek, keep a close eye on him. If the Nogitsune takes you by surprise and overpowers you-"
"Yeah, I know," Derek interrupted impatiently. "Just go."
Kira, the two Argents, and the Sheriff headed for the door. Scott gave his brother a fierce hug before following them out. Soon the large metal door slammed shut behind them, and Derek and Stiles were alone in the loft.
Derek faced Stiles with crossed arms. Stiles met his intense gaze a few times, before looking away. The high school boy walked over to Derek's table, hopping up and sitting on its edge. The two men stared at one another, the room completely quiet.
"So that was, uh… something, huh?" Stiles said, attempting an amused smile. Derek didn't reply. The smile faltered and died. The room fell to silence again.
A few minutes later: "Hey, Derek?"
The werewolf didn't respond. Stiles' eyes flashed up from his hands so that they met Derek's. Derek stared blankly at him.
"I was just… wondering…" Stiles said awkwardly. "I mean… So was that…" He cleared his throat. "Did you mean all that… stuff? Or were you just, like, trying to confuse it?"
Derek's heart was pounding. In retrospect, volunteering to watch Stiles wasn't the best plan, even if he was the most equipped for the job, what with his werewolf abilities. He should've known that Stiles' curiosity would make an appearance and lead to this inquiry.
"It worked, didn't it?" he said shortly.
"So it doesn't matter."
Stiles' hands fiddled nervously with one another. "It matters to me though-"
"I'm not going to start behaving inappropriately towards you, all right?" Derek snapped. "I'm sorry I kissed you, but it was the only way I could stop somebody from getting killed. It won't happen again, and end of discussion."
"End of discussion, Stiles."
Another few minutes slipped by, during which the two men didn't even look at one another. It was once again Stiles to break the silence.
"I wasn't worried about that."
Derek ground his teeth together, fighting to keep the words in. But his own curiosity got the better of him. "What do you mean?" he nearly growled.
"You acting like some sort of predator towards me. No matter how hard you try to act like the Big Bad Wolf, I know you're really just a giant teddy bear underneath that angry face of yours. Yep, that one right there."
"Shut up, Stiles."
For the first time in hours, maybe days, Stiles' face relaxed, a genuine smile pulling up the corners of his mouth. He even chuckled quietly. Derek felt a flood of tickling warmth, like a candle flame, spreading from his belly into his arms and legs. He hid the feeling beneath his "angry face."
"Also, I… wouldn't mind," Stiles admitted. "I'd even like it, I mean, if you liked it, but I don't know, it's really just-"
"What are you rambling about?"
The young man took a deep breath and jumped down from the table. With some difficulty, he fixed his eyes on Derek's. He was still smiling, that cheeky smile—with a hint of shyness at the moment—that Derek had once been so annoyed by. But now the smile was aimed at him, and he felt 20 pounds lighter, and there was no doubt about it: this wasn't the Nogitsune, it was Stiles. The boy he'd fallen in love with, somehow, impossibly.
Derek's pulse steadily increased as Stiles crossed the space between them.
"I mean," Stiles said, halting a few feet away, "that I wouldn't mind if it happened again. The kissing thing." He searched Derek's expression, needy for some indication of what the other man wanted. His palms were sweating with nerves. My God, he'd never been so afraid of rejection. But it had also never felt so worth it to try.
Derek's body was on fire, he was sure of it. There was no other explanation for the incredible heat that had surged into him. He was burning up. Soon his face would melt away, then the rest of him would follow, and he'd lie at Stiles' feet in a gloopy puddle.
"I, um…" was all he managed to get out. He couldn't tear his eyes away from those twinkling brown circles. He could feel his heart pounding in his throat.
A huge grin suddenly stretched across Stiles' cheeks, and he let out a hearty laugh. Derek's eyes narrowed. "What?" he demanded.
Stiles shook his head, still grinning. "You were absolutely right," he professed. "This feeling is incredibly chaotic. I'll bet the Nogitsune could feed on this for years."
Breath catching in his throat, Derek could only stare. "Stiles…" he tried. But no more words emerged. Stiles' eyes locked on his, and if he hadn't already been speechless, he would've been now.
"Oh my God, Derek," begged Stiles, "please just kiss me now before I explode." He stepped several feet forward, leaning his head teasingly into Derek's space, waiting for-
Derek crashed his lips against Stiles'. The younger man actually moaned at the contact, and threw his arms up around Derek's neck, holding himself close. Derek's hands strayed frantically, as though they couldn't decide what part of Stiles to touch first now that he had the permission for it. They wandered from his hair to his neck, his cheeks, his hips.
They kissed furiously. Stiles dragged his teeth against Derek's bottom lip, and the werewolf's mouth fell open for him. He licked and prodded and filled Derek with the most wonderful sensation he'd ever experienced.
Putting his hands under Stiles' bottom, he hurriedly lifted the boy off his feet, wrapping his legs around Derek's waist. Derek groaned as Stiles continued ravishing his mouth, lithe fingers twisting and twirling through Derek's short hair. Derek walked forward until he placed Stiles, with surprising gentleness, on top of the table. Grabbing the back of Stiles' head, he held him firmly in place as he traced scorching kisses down the side of his neck.
It wasn't until Stiles began to lie back, pulling Derek down with him, that Derek returned to his senses.
"Stop! Stiles, stop!" he exclaimed, extracting himself from the young man's grip and standing up straight. Still hot and needy, Stiles immediately sat back up, grabbing Derek's shirt and pulling him into another searing kiss. Derek lost himself again, matching the movements of Stiles' talented lips, before remembering.
Tearing himself away, he said, "No, Stiles, I'm serious." He backed away until there was a solid five feet between them. His chest heaved up and down as he breathed.
Stiles too was panting. Pupils blown wide, he nevertheless put up his hands and stayed where he was, leaning against the table. Their eyes were connected as if by a string of lightning.
"What?" Stiles asked innocently.
Derek rolled his eyes. "I'm supposed to be watching you, remember?" he said. At this reminder, a sheepish expression crossed Stiles' face.
"Right," he said. "The whole Nogitsune crisis."
"Probably not a good time to make out, then."
"Thank you for that invaluable insight," was the dry answer.
A mischievous grin found its way onto Stiles' face. "But after the crisis is averted, then we can-"
"Seriously, Stiles?" Derek interrupted. "Now isn't the time for fooling around."
"Ah, but your pants say otherwise." Stiles sent him a teasing wink.
Derek ground his teeth together with annoyance—annoyance that he was actually amused by Stiles' immature treatment of the situation. Releasing a tense breath, he lectured, "This situation is really serious. People have died. And if they can't figure out a way to get the Nogitsune out of you, someone's going to kill you too. This isn't the time for jokes. We might not have an after."
"If you're trying to talk me into having sex now, it's totally working-"
"I know, I know," Stiles cut in. The happy mask slid from his face. All that was left was the exhausted and depressed husk of a teenage boy. His eyes dropped. "I'm sorry. I don't—I don't really mean…" Stiles let out a great breath of air. "I just don't know what else to do other than pretend everything's going to work out. 'Cause I know it won't. Probably the Nogitsune will resurface and kill more people, and then Kira will shove a katana through my stomach."
Derek watched Stiles, the tone of the room somber now. He felt his chest tighten as he listened to Stiles' words and saw what had become of him. This was never meant to happen to Stiles, not the bright, sarcastic, friendly, if extremely bothersome, young boy.
"And even if Scott does manage to find a way to kill the Nogitsune without killing me, it won't matter. The disease will finish me off soon, just like it did my mom."
At this, Derek's head snapped up. "Stiles," he said sharply. Stiles jerked upward, eyes jolting to Derek's with surprise. "You aren't sick."
Blinking, Stiles nodded, his eyebrows drawing together. "Yes, I am. We had a brain scan, and it's definitely the same as my mom's-"
"It's exactly the same as your mom's," Derek said, stepping closer. "The brain scan was exactly the same. You aren't sick, Stiles. It's the Nogitsune playing a trick on your mind, trying to make you give up."
Stiles' mouth gaped open, but he was speechless as he processed Derek's news. His widened eyes flicked back and forth; through them, Derek could practically see the brilliant young man's mind working a mile a minute.
"So you can't give up, got it?" Derek went on. "It isn't hopeless. Disease and death aren't waiting for you on the other side. You have to fight him. If anyone can think up a way to solve this, it's you."
Stiles slowly looked up, meeting Derek's gaze with a tender smile. Tears pricked at the edges of his eyes—eyes that held age and wisdom far greater than they ought—but Derek thought he could see a glimmer of hope mixed in with the despair.
"Hey, Derek," Stiles whispered. His smile grew brighter; Derek's heart burst into another race. "I love you too."
Derek had to swallow so that his sudden rush of affection for the other man wouldn't consume him. Stiles seemed to glide across the space separating them, and suddenly there he was, his arms wrapped around the bigger man, squeezing tightly as he buried his head in the crook of Derek's neck and shoulder. Derek immediately returned the embrace, holding Stiles in his arms, holding together the broken pieces.
Because this was Stiles. The Stiles that he was in love with. The Stiles that loved him back. Something Derek hadn't even dreamed possible was coming true. And if this could happen, this miraculous, wonderful thing, then there was no question in his mind that the Nogitsune could be stopped, that Stiles could make it out of this in one whole piece. And once he did, Derek would joyfully face a very disapproving Sheriff Stilinski if it meant that he got to be with Stiles, that he could hold this boy every time he wanted to, that he could kiss and cherish him.
That was the future Derek was now holding onto, as he held Stiles in his arms, and he would do whatever it took to make that future into a reality.