Stiles could feel his heart racing, the beat matching the rhythm thumped out by his feet as he ran across cobbles and damp cobbled streets. It was narrow, and dark, and so very dangerous, and Stiles was completely and utterly lost in a brick jungle that looked the same with every block he passed, until he turned a corner and there, there was the bridge.
He knew the bridge, had a vague idea of where he was but it wasn't daylight anymore and he didn't have his husbands big hand gripping his, didn't have that safe warm body beside him as they wandered the streets together, gaping at the architecture, Stiles's imagination running wild with thoughts of knights on massive war horses clipping their way through the streets in days gone past.
Stiles knew, logically, that if he crossed the bridge he was in the open, vulnerable. He also knew he was going to get lost or stuck or something and the run across the bridge didn't need so much concentration that he could devote some to perhaps formulating some sort of plan, like getting away from the fucking monster behind him.
He was on the bridge and had just fled past the first gargoyle when he heard it, feet behind him, following him. He tried to run faster, could feel a burn in his legs and his overtaxed lungs as he pushed himself. Suddenly something appeared at the other end of his path, blocking his way off the bridge where Stiles had bought artwork as a souvenir for his dad that very afternoon. A man. He looked to be roughly the same height as Stiles, perhaps an inch or two taller, but he was much broader and dark stubble covered the lower half of his face.
Stiles's heart lurched, it was Derek, Derek was at the other end of the bridge. He didn't have time to pause or think about why Derek was here he just sped towards him and used Derek as an anchor to swing himself around. Derek, for his part, stood still, his eyes fixed on the thing behind Stiles, the thing that had slowed considerably. Stiles took a second to marvel how, for the first time, he was running to Derek, not from him.
'Derek.' Stiles whispered.
'Hush.' Derek said, his eyes locked on the beast. Stiles gripped his arm and pressed himself closer to Derek's back. Derek seemed to approve of this, his hand moving to lace with Stiles's. 'I told you,' Derek said to the beast, raising his chin, 'he's mine.'
The monster snarled and paced back and forwards. A wind crept up from the river, ruffling Stiles's coat, his hair, making his very bones shudder now that adrenalin was wearing off and the cold was seeping through him. Eventually it seemed to admit defeat, and its shoulders slumping, it slunk back into the darkness.
Around them snowflakes started to fall.
The tavern was warm, and Stiles curled tight into his husband's body as they shared the local beer, the alcohol giving the illusion as warmth. Derek wrapped his arm around Stiles's shoulders and pulled him tighter.
'So what was that thing?' Stiles asked. Derek sighed deeply and swirled his drink in the glass peering into it as if he hadn't heard Stiles's question.
'It was a werewolf.' Derek said after a long moment. Stiles snorted, Derek tended to tease sometimes. 'I'm serious Stiles; it was an Alpha werewolf who liked your scent so much he wanted to take you as his mate.'
'A werewolf?' Stiles asked sceptically. Derek's arm moved from his shoulders to his waist. 'There is an honest to god werewolf in Prague.'
'There's a whole pack of them sweetheart.' Derek said. Their food arrived, big bowls of beef goulash and dumplings. Stiles's stomach growled as steam rose from it and curled around his nose, making his teeth water. Derek seemed reluctant to take his arm away from Stiles but he was pinned into the corner, so Stiles didn't think there was much chance of escaping, and Derek seemed to realise that. Not that he wanted to run, not with that thing out there. Derek was keeping him safe and Stiles liked safe.
They ate in silence, sipping more beer and the strange spirits that tasted of aniseed. Stiles was lost in thought, despite the fact that a million questions were buzzing through his brain. The atmosphere was comfortable, no one bothered them, and music played softly from behind the bar. When they finished their meal Stiles ordered honey cake but Derek declined anything more. They shared it anyway, pressed together like love struck honeymooners.
Once the table was cleared Derek leaned back in his seat. 'There are many myths and legends about the origin of the werewolf. My father's favourite was the man who fell in love with the hunter's daughter, but he abhorred the brutal way in which her father killed the wolves. The young man saved a wolf from the girl's father so her father attacked him as he did the wolves. He left him for dead but the wolves found him, and years later he came to her, alive and well because of the wolves. They ran away together and their first born was a boy. As he grew older playing with wolves he became like them, eventually taking on their form and many forms in between. He turned from beast to man once when he was being hunted, and the shock killed an old hunter, the boy's grandfather.' Derek finished taking a drink of his beer.
'Was your dad a mythology professor?' Stiles asked cocking his head to the side. He had enjoyed Derek's tale, it had seemed fitting for their location.
'No, he was my mother's head beta in our family pack.' Derek said.
'Pack?' Stiles asked. His mind was pulling him in a million different directions as pieces slotted together like cracked ice.
'Werewolf pack.' Derek said softly. Stiles gaped at him.
'I married a werewolf?' Stiles asked shocked. Derek nodded at him. Stiles could feel the room spinning; his head felt like it was full of candy floss. 'I can't believe this. Wait, how do I know you're telling the truth and not crazy or pulling my leg?' Stiles asked.
'I think you know.' Derek's voice was quiet.
By the time they got back to their hotel Stiles was furious. Barcelona had been perfect, Prague was fascinating and until an hour ago he'd been looking forward to London, but now, he just wanted to go home.
He felt hurt, betrayed by Derek's secret. He was sure there was more, of course there was and they'd have shared most of them, he expected, over the course of their life but this, this monumental thing that his husband wasn't a pure human frightened Stiles. Derek Hale had a furry little problem and he didn't bother to tell Stiles when he got him drunk and married him.
Early on in their relationship Stiles had realised he could easily love Derek but that very morning, when Derek woke Stiles with butterfly kisses along his spine he knew without a doubt that he was in love with this man, and tonight when Derek challenged that other werewolf, before Stiles knew what he was his heart was bursting with pride. He had felt so safe with Derek, so trusting and loving and secure.
This revelation didn't actually change anything, Stiles was still in love but he was hurt that Derek's trust was slower to build. How long, if it hadn't have been for Stiles slipping to the shop across the street from the hotel for water and that werewolf chasing him, how long would it have been before Derek confessed his true nature. Would they have been talking about kids when Derek decided to add "by the way they could turn out to be werewolves because...I am one!"
'Is Harvey?' Stiles spoke for the first time. Derek was hovering in the doorway to the bathroom.
'Yes.' Derek said. 'That's why Kate doesn't act as a mother.'
'Do his grandparents know?' Stiles asked.
'Gerard knows. He just wants to see the boy from time to time but he agrees that he's better with me.' Derek said softly.
'So why the custody battle?' Stiles asked. Derek had talked to lawyers in New York. Something else suddenly clicked, that Derek was married now would apparently go in Derek's favour.
Was that why Derek married Stiles, was he a soft pushover who Derek could use as and when needed. Was Stiles convenient, the fact that less than a month after their wedding Stiles was becoming useful as a second potential parent? Was this making Derek's custody case stronger? Now, they were in a better position, because Derek was financially sound and Stiles was unemployed. Was he supposed to check the home maker box on forms he filled in from now on?
Did he marry Stiles, a male, because he didn't want any more kids? It was obvious Derek was bisexual, having an ex-wife and a current husband. Was Stiles there just for Harvey, to make Derek's family as he felt it should be?
'Stiles, talk to me.' Derek pleaded. Stiles turned to look at him. Derek looked like a kicked puppy, his eyes fixed on the floor, his mouth turned down. He sent a pleading look Stiles's way. 'We were okay, and then we left the bar and you just...'
'I just,' everything swirled through his mind, Derek agreeing to a drunken marriage, finding him, buying him off with a car, this trailing him all over the world, it all just looked so fake. Stiles had never thought of himself as pathetic until he married Derek and was so easily manipulated. 'I just want to go to sleep.' Stiles said sitting heavily on the bottom of the bed and removing his boots. Derek went into the bathroom but didn't close the door.
Of course it was fake, Stiles realised as he looked at himself through the mirror. Compared to Derek he was a weed. It wasn't that he was physically weak or skinny, he was well built, he had muscle definition, he was just naturally slimmer, and his body shape wasn't as bulky as Derek's. It wasn't just physical. Stiles was flat out broke, and at the minute he was dependant on Derek for everything. And Derek was so smart. Stiles mind was still a cesspit of ideas, floating around and fucking with each other. Concentration wasn't his strong point whereas Derek had been doing a Times crossword at breakfast, and he was able to answer the fucking questions that Stiles could barely spell. Sighing he turned away from the mirror, pulled his hoodie over his head and kicked his jeans off his feet.
As Stiles undressed he was drawn to the window. He stood there in his t-shirt and boxer shorts and wondered what to do now.
Derek was his way home, as well as his husband. He loved Derek, but did he trust the man. Derek used money like Stiles used air, and the shopping trips in Barcelona and Prague proved that. All Stiles had to do was look at something and Derek was pulling his credit card out. Derek smiled as he bought things, and Stiles was no longer sure if Derek liked buying him things or was happy he was suckering Stiles into his world, if that's what he was doing.
The light clicked off in the bathroom and Derek padded towards him, until Stiles could feel Derek's body heat through his t-shirt. He touched Stiles hips, sliding his hands around Stiles until they were pressed close. Derek's chin rested on Stiles's shoulder and they both just stood there, watching the snow. Stiles felt awkward, stiff, worse than he'd ever felt with Danny, and his heart ached, because he loved Derek and he didn't want it to be like this, but it was turning out that way.
'Talk to me Stiles. You're so good at using your words. Please, I know I've messed up but I can't tell what you're thinking, so you need to tell me so we can fix this together.' Derek's words were soft, his breath hot on the side of Stiles's neck. There was a desperate note there, and Stiles had an image of Derek's little world, little future falling apart. Stiles, the home maker, taking care of Derek's family while Derek was out working, socialising, meeting all the rich sexy people while Stiles...
Stiles snorted and said 'you mean so you can fix me.'
'What?' Derek asked pulling away from Stiles.
'I'm easy, that's why you married me.' Stiles swallowed stepping forward, now completely out of Derek's space. He didn't mean to say it, the words just slipped out of him. He had meant to keep to himself for a few days, see how Derek acted around him, and see if he could ascertain how Derek really felt about him, despite what the little voice in his head was trying to say.
'I married you for a few reasons that night, one of them being that I knew you were the one. Werewolves use all their senses, but for us scent is the strongest. That night when we got married, I could smell it, you wanted so much to marry me, drunk or not, scent doesn't lie, and when I asked you, before they started, you were so sure, I just knew.' Derek took a step closer clenching his fist. His eyes were pure, honest.
'I thought that maybe you thought I was easy.' Stiles said to his feet. He felt Derek hook a finger underneath his chin and tilt it up so they were eye level.
'Stiles, there is nothing about you that is easy. What's easy is our relationship, you and I, together, I'm content. I'm happy with you Stiles, in a way that I have never been in my life.' Derek said. His thumb was brushing over Stiles's bottom lip; his eyes searched Stiles's face. 'I love you.'
'What? Stiles asked looking up sharply.
'I loved you from the first time I saw you.' Derek admitted. He flushed slightly, peering at his feet, then back at Stiles.
'Wow.' Stiles said. 'Why?'
'It's a werewolf thing, we have...mates. You, you're the perfect mate for me. Your scent blends with mine, you banter back with me, Christ you run away from me, not because you're a coward but because you have the guts to just get up and go.' Derek said. He was nuzzling his face into Stiles's neck, his lips brushing over skin there.
'So if you weren't a werewolf you wouldn't love me?' Stiles asked. Derek made a frustrated noise but Stiles held his ground.
'No, you do not understand me. The wolf, it's who I am, it's part of me, I was born with this wolf rolling around my mind, twining us together, it's always been that way for me. If I weren't a werewolf I don't know what my personality would be like so I'm not sure if I'd love you or not, but I think I would.' Derek slipped his hands to Stiles's waist.
'If I'm the one, then, why did you marry Kate?' Stiles challenged. Derek made a noise in his throat and closed his eyes.
'It's not like there's one perfect person, and senses don't always get it right. I said it's a scent, emotion. Kate, she loved me, and I loved her. When we got together she was wild, this free spirit who refused to be tied down by social normality. I was head over heels for her, and her scent, it was almost as good as yours, but as we spent more time together, after we got married and I had work responsibilities, her scent become slightly tainted. When she fell pregnant though, I vowed to spend more time at home with her, and I did, but when Harvey was born she just, didn't want him, but she didn't want me to have him either. When I knew that he was like me, and told her, she told me to get out. There's more to it but that's the cliff notes version.' Derek said. He looked tired, like he just wanted to be doing something, anything else. 'Look, I fucked up, again, I get that, but can we just work through this, and not get ahead of ourselves huh?'
'How do I know this isn't some bullshit you're spewing at me to get back into my good books huh?' Stiles asked. He was tired of being walked over, he'd always let it happen, school, Danny, even his friends did it yet this guy, this man who Stiles had fallen for, who Stiles still wanted, he wasn't going to be that person, and if that's not what Derek wanted then...it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all right?
'You don't understand, I can't just go around telling everyone that I'm a werewolf, that I'm liable to be dangerous. Do you know what would happen to us? We'd be hunted, like the old days. I have more than myself to think about here Stiles, so no, it's not something I share with just anybody.'
'Not even your husband?' Stiles asked.
'Not even you.' Derek said.
'You put my life in danger, I could have died tonight. And if I hadn't, if he caught me then how would that look, me not knowing your true nature, so while you were busy protecting your nature, and your family, you failed me.' Stiles said. Derek swallowed and nodded. Stiles watched him go to the living area of the suite they shared.
It felt like there was a fist wrapped around his heart as Stiles got into a cold bed all alone that night but Stiles did his best to ignore the pain. Surprisingly he fell asleep.
Stiles woke in the middle of the night. It took him a moment to realise an alert from his cell phone was to blame. It was a text from Danny.
Today would have been our anniversary.
Stiles sighed. Danny wasn't a bad guy; he hadn't been a terrible boyfriend. He was controlling, he had his OCD issues but who didn't. He had loved Stiles; he had been good to Stiles.
Stop drinking and get some sleep.
Stiles text back, and seconds later Danny replied.
Can't. Miss you. :(
Stiles sighed, Danny always got like this when he was drinking, and he always drank on days like this. It was a vicious cycle.
Have you asked Jackson out yet?
Stiles sent back. There'd always been chemistry between those two and they always denied it. He had to wait a while for a reply but when it came through Stiles was able to predict the contents.
He's not my type.
Danny said back. Stiles smirked when he typed his reply.
You said I wasn't attractive to gay guys.
Danny didn't respond, and Stiles knew Danny was calling Jackson. It was the way these nights went when they got too drunk for sex.
Stiles rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom. The air in the room was cold and Stiles felt goose flesh prickle his skin when he came out. Derek hadn't closed the door between the two rooms. He was lying on the sofa, a spare duvet over his legs. He was bathed in moonlight, fitting, Stiles thought, but he was watching Stiles.
Sighing Stiles walked towards the group of chairs and sat on the armchair beside Derek's head. 'So werewolf huh?' Stiles said.
'Werewolf.' Derek replied not looking at Stiles.
'Danny text me. Today would be our anniversary.' Stiles said softly into the darkness. 'I told him to text Jackson, they've always had a thing for each other.'
'Could be their anniversary too then.' Derek suggested still not looking Stiles.
'So - my husbands a werewolf, what do I do now?' Stiles asked leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees.
'What do you want to do?' Derek asked the room.
'I want to make it work.' Stiles said, and he did, he wanted it so much he could taste it, like his mouth was watering before a delicious meal.
'I want that too.' Derek said but he sounded defeated. 'I also want you to be safe.'
'I'm safe with you.' Stiles said.
'You're not. I'm going to be taking you into situations and places where I can't guarantee your safety at all, is that what you want Stiles?' Derek asked. As he spoke he sat up to look at Stiles. In the darkness his eyes seemed to glow.
'I just want to be with you.' Stiles was shocked at how his voice sounded. 'I want to trust you, I want you to trust me, I want to know everything about you, and I want to tell you everything about me. I just, I want you. Fangs and all. If you have them that is.'
Derek snorted and smiled. 'I have them.' Derek's voice was firmer as he stood and walked the few feet to where Stiles was. Stiles scooted back but not fast enough. Derek knelt on the edge and grabbed Stiles behind the knees yanking until Stiles was slumped half on his back. Stiles automatically wrapped his legs around Derek's hips.
'Make me yours.' Stiles whispered. Derek shivered and his eyes changed colour, flashing a brilliant blue.
'Don't; don't say things like that unless you mean it, unless you want it.' Derek said. His voice was heavy, husky.
'I mean it. I want it. Just, no more major secrets like that okay?' Stiles pleaded.
Derek looked at Stiles, he looked for so long that Stiles started to fidget. Then Derek dove on him and kissed him thoroughly, his fingers tangling in Stiles's hair.
Stiles responded by arching into Derek and biting at his lips. Derek nipped his way down Stiles's throat, sucking hickeys into his skin. 'Yes,' Stiles moaned as Derek's hands slipped beneath his shorts, dragging them off his legs. His t-shirt came next leaving Stiles naked and at Derek's mercy.
Derek moved so he was kneeling on the floor and Stiles had a moment to wonder what happening before Derek's tongue was swept over his hole. 'Fuck!' Stiles hissed as Derek used tongue and fingers to open Stiles up.
Stiles felt his body relax against Derek, every swipe of his tongue; every breathy moan had Stiles aching for more. He could hear the wet sounds of Derek sucking him, licking him. Derek's nose pressed underneath his balls, his tongue following but he kept dipping back down. 'Someday I'm going to make you come just from rimming you.
Stiles arched his neck and moaned loudly, the thought of Derek's determination had his cock aching. Derek kissed his way up Stiles cock, licking it clear of pre come, then dove on the spot where it pooled on Stiles's belly. 'I'm going to get lube, don't you move,' Derek muttered. He stood, hard cock jutting out from dark curls and disappeared into the bedroom, returning a moment later with one of the half empty tubes.
Derek used his fingers to open Stiles, leaning forward to kiss him as he worked. 'Come on, Derek, hurry up, I won't break just fuck me already!'
'Fuck,' Derek moaned, withdrawing his fingers and kissing Stiles before placing his knees on the edge of the armchair. Stiles let his ankles rest on Derek's shoulders and together they guided Derek's cock to Stiles body.
'Yes,' Stiles moaned as Derek slid into his body, 'come on!'
Derek grunted and punched the last few inches. 'This how you want it?' Derek muttered, 'you want it rough?'
'I want you to fuck me!' Stiles reached his fingers to Derek's mouth and tugged his bottom lips. 'I want to remember this for days.'
Derek snarled, and Stiles noticed his teeth grow, his fangs salivating. Stiles knew he should have been frightened but his cock throbbed at the sight.
'Mine,' Derek snarled as he fucked Stiles. It was awkward, on the chair; Stiles had no leverage so he was forced to just take what Derek was giving him.
Derek's muscles glistened with sweat; his face was set in a determined line. Stiles grabbed Derek's buttocks giving them a hard squeeze when something caught his eye. There was a mirror across the room. He could see Derek's back muscles work, his ass and thighs flex as he fucked Stiles. He could see himself too, debauched, and well fucked.
He felt his body clenching around Derek, his toes curled. His cock throbbed and he only needed to give it one quick tug before he was spilling all over himself.
Derek snarled again and Stiles looked up. His husband's eyes were glowing red, his teeth glistening. He hissed then shouted as he came, spilling inside of Stiles.
Stiles watched as a range of emotions flitted across Derek's face, and the. He was on his knees, his mouth kissing around Stiles's tender hole, fingers pressing his cum back into Stiles's body. 'Hey,' Stiles said, his voice weak and breathy, 'you're the man.'
Derek smiled then rose to his feet, helping Stiles to stand. He led Stiles to the bathroom and together they stood underneath the warm spray of water, washing each other, touching, and Stiles realised, as Derek took care of him that Derek did love him and would take care of him, protect him, but Stiles needed to get some self-preservation skills. 'So,' Stiles asked nipping Derek's earlobe as they fell back into bed, bodies tangled together, 'how do I learn to protect myself around werewolves?'
He could feel Derek smirking into the back of his neck. 'Don't run.'