I really didn't expect it to go like this when I started writing. But I'm pleased with it.

Warning for almost-smut. Almost, because I never actually write smut. This is about as close as it gets.

I Won't Let You Choke (On the Noose Around Your Neck)

"You can't keep doing this," Derek said.

"Doing what?" Stiles asked defiantly.

"You know exactly what," Derek growled. "Putting yourself in unnecessary danger."

"Unnecessary? Reckless, maybe. But it was completely necessary."

"No, it-"

"It was! I saved your life and Jackson. And you're both being ungrateful jerks about it, like you wanted me to let you die."

"Someone else could have-"

"Someone else? Like Scott? He's got his head so far up Allison's ass it's a wonder he can breathe. And you certainly don't think I'd let Boyd, Isaac, or Erica save your asses."

"They're not incompetent," Derek said.

"No, but they're unstable. They still don't have control over their wolf, and they don't listen to me anyway. They'd have rushed in, half cocked, guns blazing. Fangs blazing, whatever. They would have gotten killed. Or worse, gotten you killed."

Derek knew all too well that it was true. "You still shouldn't have gone in there like that."

"I had Danny as back up. I was fine."

"But what if you hadn't been? What if one of you had gotten hurt?"

"We didn't! Why are you making such a big deal about something that didn't happen?"

"Because eventually your luck is going to run out, and you are going to get hurt."

Stiles laughed at the word 'luck'. If he had any kind of luck, he never would have gotten into the whole werewolf business in the first place.

"You have to stop doing things like this!"

"I don't have to listen to you," Stiles retorted. "I'm not part of your pack."

"Yes you are," Derek growled.

Stiles huffed. "Fine. Maybe I am. But I'm human. I'm not one of your Betas. I don't have to listen to what you say. You might be my Alpha, but I don't have to obey your ever command."

"No, you're my mate!"

Stiles couldn't have hid the surprise on his face from anyone, let alone Derek. Not even if he'd tried. Mate.

"You're my mate, which makes you Alpha too. They need you as much as they need me. Maybe more, sometimes. You can't go off putting yourself in stupidly dangerous situations." Everything Derek said was in a low, angry growl, and Stiles would hear the blood pumping in his ears. Derek was pissed, but Stiles was too.

"Oh, but you can? You get yourself into way worse situations, situations that I've had to rescue you from. And don't say its different because you're wolf and I'm human. I get enough of that from the others, I don't need it from you too. I know I'm not strong, and I'm not a fighter, not like the rest of you, but I can do stuff too. I'm important-"

"Are you even listening to me? I'm telling you, you're important!"

"No, you're telling me that my job is to sit at home and look after the cubs like momma bear and I might just be realizing that thing you said about mate and Alpha and it sounds totally not lame when you put it like that and kind of awesome. But I can't. I can't just sit back and wait for someone else to do the rescuing. You've known me long enough to know that 'Stiles' and 'sit still' don't belong in the same universe. Especially when the people needing to be rescued are people I actually like. Which is not to say I'm particularly fond of Jackson, but I've got a vested interest in you. Maybe if it was Jackson and Erica who'd been kidnapped by fucking trolls. Maybe then I could let someone else do the rescuing. I might help out, more out of pity for Jackson than anything." Through all his talking, Derek knew he was lying. Maybe Jackson and Erica weren't his best friends, and maybe he wasn't a wolf, but he still saw them as pack. "But I like you. And the others. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to stop. If I'm Alpha, like you say, then my job is to protect them. You. All of you. And that's what I'm going to do. You can't stop me, unless you're planning on killing me. Are you okay? You've got that look on your face like you're going to ripe my throat out. With your teeth. Or tear my clothes off. With your teeth."

As if on cue, Derek slammed him into the wall and kissed him, hard.

"If you could try not to destroy this shirt, that'd be good. It's one of my favorites. And as much as I love the rough sex, eventually my dad will start to wonder why I need new jeans every few weeks. He's suspicious enough as it is."

"You're talking too much," Derek growled, leaving hungry kisses down his chest.

"So I'm told. Frequently. And with startling regularity."


"I'm sorry! It takes most of my focus to have even some semblance of brain-to-mouth filter and-" He let out a moan before speaking again. "And, hey, when you do stuff like that every bit of focus goes flying out the window."

"So maybe we'll just keep doing that and you'll stay quiet."

Stiles moaned again, his eyes crossing just a bit as his mind when completely blank for a moment. "Yes. Yes that sounds good. Keep doing that. Because I have really interesting information about Penguin mating rituals-" Moan. "Really, it's utterly fascinating. It'll probably be more fascinating in the morn-" Moan. "Ing. But probably not." Moan. He opened his mouth again, but whatever he was going to say was lost. And it was going great and Stiles was quiet (except those really, really beautiful moans), because the off switch to his brain had been found and it was great.

And then Derek stopped, and just stared at Stiles for a long moment.

"Seriously man. I'm not taking any responsibility for whatever weird facts about Llama's I start spouting. At this point, any and all talking is entirely your fault-" And he was gone again because Derek was doing things with his mouth that Stiles couldn't say without blushing.

"You're good for the pack," Derek said a while later, while Stiles was still quiet , but the gears in his head were clearly running again, keeping him from saying every thought that passed through. "Good for the pack, good for me. I couldn't ask for a better mate. You've gone above and beyond anything I'd ever ask from a human. And I know I can't tell you to stop looking out for us. But I can ask you to bring back up next time."

"I brought Danny," Stiles said. "Danny is backup."

"Danny is just a kid with a lacrosse stick and a charming smile that's going to get him killed."

"You're just jealous because he's prettier than you." Derek growled. "Kidding! He's not prettier than you. But he is nicer and less hostile." Growl. "Would you stop that. It's not like I'm gonna ditch you for him. If anyone should be worried about ditching, it's me."

Derek silenced him with a kiss. "You do not have to worry about that."


"So you'll take back up next time? More than just Danny. Maybe take Lydia. Anyone with half a brain knows to be terrified of her."

Stiles laughed because he knew it was true. "Fine. Next time I'll bring Danny and Lydia."

"And maybe someone with fangs."

"I knew it! I knew this was about me not being a wolf!"

"It's not! But you have to admit, having a wolf watch your back gives you an advantage."

"Fine. I'll force Scott to come too. Or Boyd. Or Jackson, even though he makes me want to light myself on fire. Or, Erica and Isaac, but only if absolutely necessary, because I'm still pretty sure they want to toss me in a dumpster."

"They won't hurt you."

"Or, here's a better idea: you could stop getting yourself kidnapped, then you could be my backup. When the cubs get themselves in trouble."

Derek smiled, an act that still made Stiles feel giddy about, and kissed him.