A NIGHT IN PURGATORY


"So, uh, make yourself at home." Stiles hovered nervously on the threshold of his own room, something he wasn't normally given to doing, but then again, normally, he didn't have a freaking werewolf for a roommate.

Derek grunted.

"Fine. Cave. Make yourself at cave, Mr. Caveman."

"I won't fit on the bed."

Stiles boggled. "That's because it's my bed, Einstein. Not that I'm admitting to being a scrawny little runt in comparison to your manly awesomeness, but seriously, dude, you are not getting the bed. You're getting the nice, comfy floor. With the, um, cement-mattress. I hear it's good for the back."

Derek turned to look at him. From under his brows.

Stiles gulped. "Well, uh. Maybe I need more back support, given, you know, the massiveness of my balls..."

"I'll take the floor," Derek said, much to Stiles' surprise, given that Stiles had sort of been expecting a beat-down. At Stiles' poleaxed expression, Derek continued, "I owe you for letting me stay here." And then, as if it cost him something vital to say it: "Thank. You." He literally bit the words out, or maybe spit them out, like they were bones belonging to some tiny little rabbit that Stiles was damn well going to make sure wasn't him, because turning into a quivering, twitchy-nosed furball at the sight of the big bad wolf just wasn't cool, damn it, and shit, now his brain was rambling -

"Meep," said Stiles. "I mean, you're welcome."

And then Derek took off his leather duster, revealing his Forearms of Doom, and Stiles stood there like an idiot until he realized that Derek was settling down on the floor, which, okay, was kind of great but also kind of horrible, given how cold the nights could get, even if you were a werewolf and could grow fur on demand.

"Wait!" Stiles rushed to the linen closet. Not that he was ever going to admit to anyone that he had a freaking linen closet in his room - linens were for grannies - but if Derek asked, Stiles was just going to call it his fabric armory, or something. "Here's a - um, a thing, a camping mattress. I wasn't actually going to make you sleep on the bare floor, Jesus - "

Derek stared at him with something resembling mild incomprehension. Damn, the guy was as expressionless as a Universal Soldier, wasn't he?

"Just because I say something doesn't mean I mean it, y'know. I'm not actually the cruel Witch of the West."

"I hope not," said Derek eventually, his voice somewhere between sinister and dry.

"Ohmygod. There actually is a Witch of the West?"

"No." Now, Derek's voice was a growl.

"Okay! Of course there isn't. How silly of me, ha ha. Just because werewolves are real doesn't mean anything else is, right?" Sarcasm was obviously lost on Derek Hale. "Uh, here's a blanket. And a pillow. And... do you need an alarm?"

"Do I look like I have work to get to in the morning?"

"If by 'work' you mean 'dismembering little babies', then yes." He blinked. "Also, do you have to be shirtless?"

"I can't sleep in this."

"'This' is - was, okay, put it back on - a black T-shirt. Black T-shirts are perfectly comfortable. Bare chests are not." Bare, muscled chests... Rippling pectorals... They'd be too hard to sleep on. Too, um. Too - uh. Brain-death imminent in 3, 2, 1...

Derek was looking at him oddly. Right, probably because he was gaping like a fish, close your mouth, Stiles...

"I. That. Shirt?"

Derek put his shirt back on.

"Thank you. Much appreciated. Not that I have anything against homosociality, but you're handsy enough without being half-naked, to boot. Why do they say 'to boot', anyway? Why couldn't it be 'to shoe'? To sneaker. To stiletto. To - "

"Stiles," Derek interrupted, and Stiles was so startled to hear his name that he stuttered to a halt. "You're rambling."

"Sorry." Stiles ran a hand through his hair. The downside of his wannabe crew-cut was that it was too short to really run his fingers through it - but at least he didn't look girly anymore, and Scott couldn't rag on him for his silken locks. "I just..."

"Good night." Derek said it like most people would say: 'Die slowly.' He settled down on his mattress. "Keep talking, and I will end you."

"The end is the beginning is the end," Stiles intoned, but then Derek's hand whipped out to grab his ankle and yanked him onto his bed. Stiles' skull almost fractured itself against the headboard. "Ow! You've gotta stop doing that! You can't just - manhandle me to wherever you want me!" Which, okay, he had to shut that train of thought down. Right now. He was pretty sure werewolves could smell boners. Or something.

Oh, god. Now he had to shut that train of thought down, too...

"Derek?" Stiles peeked over the edge of his bed. Derek sure looked comfy on Stiles' old camping mattress. "Mr. Hale?" No response. "Sourwolf?" Nope. "Octopussy?"

Derek ignored him. He'd thrown his arm across his eyes, and his T-shirt was riding up. Stiles did not ogle his abs.

God. Of all the stupid crushes - this was almost as bad as that time when he was nine and he'd thought Scott was unbearably cute. Except that he couldn't get raging hard-ons at the age of nine. Lydia, now, Lydia was safe - unattainable, like a movie star, and besides, it was normal to get boners for her. It definitely wasn't normal to get boners as the result of some bizarre masochistic fixation on psychopathic werewolf badboys that threatened bodily harm. Repeatedly. With smoke-and-brimstone voices and glinting fangs.

Stiles curled in on himself. Maybe if he curled himself into a tight enough ball, his hard-on would disappear. Or just not send its pollen-scent or whatever out to where Derek was sleeping. Then again, if Derek was sleeping, he wouldn't notice a stray scent, would he? And he probably was sleeping, since Stiles wasn't headless and spurting blood from a severed neck after calling Derek the Octopussy. Which was the unsexiest name ever, why did the James Bond franchise even go for that shit?

"Stiles." The word rasped, sudden and sleep-heavy, into the silence.

Stiles froze. His heart pounded in his chest. Fuck, Derek was awake, he was absolutely fucking awake, and - "Y-yeah?"

"Shut up."

"I wasn't saying anything."

"I could hear you. Thinking."

"What, you're telepathic, now? Scott never said anything about - "

"End. You," Derek said, with a drowsy sort of menace, and finally - maybe - went to sleep.

Stiles lay there with his erection and his burning face. He was such an idiot. Even if Derek could smell him, so what? It was probably like smelling some manky little squirrel in heat, or something. Just ignore it until it went back into its manky little burrow and jerked off with its manky little hands. Claws. Did squirrels have claws? Claw-hands? Hand-claws?

Derek had claws. Great, big, shiny claws. Not tiny widdle squirrel-claws. These were the real deal. They could rip throats open. They could skitter along skin, just on the edge of breaking it, so that the one trapped beneath them could only tremble, helpless, as each talon traced lines of subtle fire across chest and belly and thigh...

Stiles' hips jerked.

He buried his head under his pillow and counted to ten, breathing as quietly as he could, for all that his pulse was thundering within him like a goddamn train in the subway at midnight in the middle of New York. Mr. Strong and Silent over there could ignore his skinny ass, but Stiles would not humiliate himself by actually masturbating in front of someone that didn't even give a damn. Not that he wanted Derek to give the wrong kind of damn and, like, rip his balls off, but still. It was the principle of the thing.

Of the hard-on. It was the principle of the hard-on, damn it, and principles mattered. Dad said so.

Dad. There we go. Vaguely traumatizing to think about with an erection, but handy in utterly ending said erection. Dad: 10 million. Penis: 0.

Jesus, he had to find a way to unplug his brain. One of these days, it would scar him for life. Also, Derek could apparently hear it, which meant that it could severely compromise the national security of the Nation of Insecurity that was Stiles' mind.

So, yeah. He was shutting up. Going to sleep. Not ogling Derek. Not getting another boner. Not thinking about... anything, really, but especially about how pathetic it was to have so little effect on someone he wanted so much. Why couldn't he just get used to it? It had been the same with Lydia, after all. And Sco - everyone else. Always had been, always would be.

Wow. Nothing like a bout of teenage angst to quell the teenage hormones. 'Within the poison, is the cure.' Or something. Yep, he could totally pull off the Yoda routine. Scott could be his padawan, and everything. Derek could be Darth Vader. A really sexy Vader. They would all have duels with incredibly phallic glowing swords. It would be hilarious. Jackson would be, like, Palpatine. Allison would obviously be Amidala. No, Leia. Leia suited her better. And Stiles - Stiles really needed to stop geeking out. Freaking out. Whatever.

Go. To. Sleep, he told himself, and tried to resist the siren call of his Star Wars DVDs. Maybe he could force Derek to watch them with him, tomorrow. Maybe Derek would only kill him a little bit.

Derek grunted - damn, he sounded like a neanderthal even in his sleep - and turned over.

So much for not watching him.

Stiles resigned himself to a night of stupidity, and watched Derek until he, too, fell asleep.


fin.

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