That is, until the hunters show up again.
"Is it really that hard for them to wait a few days?" Stiles yells in frustration as Derek's Camaro goes speeding down Beacon Hills' busiest street, a maroon SUV trailing them like a really suspicious shadow. "It's Tuesday, for God's sake!"
"Stiles, no offense, but now is not the time for you to start complaining!"
"You know, when you said you needed help, this wasn't exactly what I had imagined you meant!" The SUV's getting closer, and Stiles can feel his heartbeat increasing as he watches it weave through traffic in the rearview mirror. "I shouldn't be surprised, though, now that I think about it."
It hadn't seemed so dangerous when Derek had texted him thirty minutes ago, telling him he was welcome to come along on what he deemed "werewolf shenanigans." Stiles had just finished cleaning up dinner, his dad was watching a movie on the TV, and he had already done all of his homework. His night was open – at least, until he had to go to bed for school the next day.
Of course he should have expected this. Really, he should've.
Derek's taking a wide turn into the parking lot of the movie theater then, throwing Stiles into the door for what seemed like the millionth time that night. "Hey, fragile human here!" he shouts.
Derek grunts an apology, but Stiles doesn't think it's all that sincere. "Hey – Hey! Why are we stopping?" He shrinks into a ball as the Camaro slows down, the SUV pulling up next to it. "Derek! Go! I thought we were supposed to be running away from the hunters, not meeting up with them!"
He's ignored, though, and he deflates a little as Derek gets out of the car. His heart leaps into his throat when he sees Allison's dad emerge from the SUV. Oh, my God, it's seriously Allison's family. He hadn't realized until then that he had been hoping Derek had been talking about a different Argent family.
He can't hear what they're saying, but it looks peaceful, for the most part. That is, until more people get out of the SUV, including –
That has to be the most terrifying crossbow I have ever laid eyes on. "Holy shit."
Allison doesn't exactly look comfortable being involved in a supernatural showoff in the back end of the movie theater parking lot, but she doesn't exactly look like someone to mess with, either. He shrinks down further, hoping she won't be able to see him through the windshield. She does. Fuck.
Her dad notices as she breaks away from the standoff, but he doesn't do anything as she walks over to the window of the Camaro. She taps on the window. "Stiles? Is that you?"
Just let me die. He rolls down the window. "Allison. Hey…" He smiles sheepishly. "Didn't know you were, ah, involved in this stuff, too, huh? The coincidences we find ourselves in." He laughs, if a trifle hysterically.
"What are you doing here?" She looks over at Derek, confused. "This isn't – Oh, my God." A gasp. Stiles closes his eyes and tries to disappear. "That's Derek! Your Derek!"
"Ding ding, we have a winner," he squeaks.
"But I – do you know? About him, I mean."
"I appreciate the way you're walking on eggshells around the fragile human, really, I do." Stiles is getting irritated now. Seriously, is it so hard to have one night without something going horribly awkward and wrong? I was promised shenanigans, not this! "But honestly, Allison, don't you think I'd be freaking out a bit more if I wasn't aware of what's happening? I'm a smart boy."
"Sorry, I just…" She tucks a strand of hair behind an ear, looking down at her feet. Or at the deadly weapon in her hand, Stiles isn't sure. "This is so weird."
"Tell me about it." They chuckle nervously.
"Um, well, if it makes you feel any better, I don't think my dad's planning on killing your boyfriend."
"You really do have a way with easing people's worries," he deadpans.
Rolling her eyes, she says, "Look, my parents dragged me out here to do some kind of training exercise, and next thing I know I'm looking at you through the windshield of a werewolf's car. It's been weird tonight."
He laughs. "I got a text thirty minutes ago saying he needed help with 'werewolf shenanigans.'"
"Well, I originally came up with the whole 'shenanigans' thing, but still." He tries changing the subject to something a bit less awkward. "How's Scott?"
"You saw him at school –"
Her head twists, dark hair flying as her dad waves her over. "We're done here! Stop talking to your friend from school."
"I'll see you tomorrow," she mumbles as she leaves him with a sheepish smile. Stiles is left gaping, not sure what just happened.
"What was that?" Derek's buckling his seatbelt now, and he's upset. Well, you would be upset, too, if you had to deal with scary hunters on a daily basis, Stiles tells himself.
"What was what?" He fakes being innocent as Derek starts to glower.
"Talking to one of them? What if she was distracting you so the rest could kill me?"
He slouches lower in his seat, mumbling, "Well, sorry for trusting someone I hang out with on a regular basis."
Derek sighs. "I'm sorry." Hey, he's getting better at apologizing, at least. "I just – it's stressful for me, okay?"
"Hey, I believe you." He perks up as a realization hits him. "Why are these hunters so determined to get you?" When Derek raises his eyebrows, he pushes on, "I mean, you're in town for what, a week? And as soon as you get here, they're hot on your trail. What's up with that?"
"I…" Derek takes his hands off of the gearshift and sighs. "My family and the Argents have a long history, and after the fire… once my family realized how close we'd come to death, we all moved away. My grandparents moved to Texas, my uncle Peter to Florida, me and my parents and sister to New York – all over the country. And when that happened, it was like this unspoken treaty between us and the Argents – we move away, they leave us alone; they don't pursue us. And it's been that way ever since. So, when Chris Argent heard his daughter casually mentioning a Derek who's older visiting town, he got suspicious." He nods to Stiles. "That was Saturday. After our fight the next morning – shut up, it was a fight!"
He's glaring now as Stiles continues to scoff. "I was being perfectly nice to you, okay? You're the one who freaked out."
"Whatever." He rolls his eyes, but Stiles knows he knows he's right. "Anyway," he says, "After I left, I met up with Chris, and we agreed to work something out. He didn't want to kill me, last night had been a panic, yadda yadda yadda. So tonight was supposed to be exactly that – a peace talk." When Stiles scoffs again, he shoves him. "I just wasn't expecting them to chase me all the way here."
"So that's it," Stiles says once Derek's finished. "That's the story."
"Well… yeah. Pretty much."
"Still haven't explained the whole disappearing-for-four-days debacle."
"Wha – I thought I did!"
Stiles crosses his arms over his chest. "Nope."
By now Derek's sigh of frustration is more like a growl, but Stiles doesn't care. Werewolf or not, he still has some 'splainin' to do.
He stares at Stiles for a moment before opening his mouth. "I was freaking out over the fact that I was going insane thinking about defiling you, who are underage, and whose dad is a sheriff! With a gun! Okay?"
Stiles stares back. "Seriously?"
"What?" he snaps.
"You…" Stiles grins. "You want to defile me?"
Derek looks up to the ceiling in desperation. "Maybe that's not the right word, but –"
"That is so hot!"
He narrows his eyes. "Shut up."
"Just how do you want to defile me, Derek?" Stiles leans toward Derek's hostile form, grinning in what he hopes is a seductive manner (it isn't, but Derek gives him props for trying – anyway, it's cute). "I hope you're planning on bending me over the hood of your car one of these days and really going at it with –"
Derek clamps his lips together, but he somehow manages to keep babbling, albeit incoherently. He lays his head in his lap, making his eyes wide and innocent. "Stiles, please shut up before I do something that'll get me arrested."
"But I love –"
"Stiles, shut up." But Derek's smiling as he pushes him into a sitting position and turns to take him home.
As it turns out, part of Derek's "peace talk" with the Argents included his promising to be back in New York by the end of the week.
"No, you can't leave me!" Stiles clings to Derek, who only smiles and places a soothing hand on top of his head.
"It's only a year and a half," he says softly.
"But Scott doesn't visit me at the arcade," Stiles grumbles as he nuzzles Derek's broad chest. "No one else appreciates me in my uniform like you do."
"What can I say? You really know how to work brightly colored striped pants."
Stiles groans as Derek laughs. "You can hide in my room if you have to. I'll keep you save from Allison's family."
"Stiles, we've done the long distance thing before. It'll be okay."
"But that was before I realized how much better it is having you actually here."
"There's always phone sex." Stiles looks up to see Derek grinning like the douche bag he is.
He narrows his eyes. "You can still get arrested for that, you know. My dad has a gun."
"So I've been told."
He flops down beside Derek, sighing deeply and melodramatically. They're laying on his bed, it's an hour after school, there's a mountain of homework piled on top of his desk, and all Stiles wants to do is admire the way the sunlight coming in through the window is making Derek's hair the most wonderful shade of espresso he's ever seen. He reaches up to touch it, and Derek moves his head out of his reach. "Hey," he whines. "Stop that."
"We need to get your Jeep in before I go so I can pay." Derek studies the ceiling as he talks, and Stiles watches with rapt attention as his Adam's apple vibrates with his vocal chords. Without thinking, he leans over to kiss it, surprising Derek. "Don't do that again," he grumbles. Stiles just laughs.
He sits up and stretches. "You should do your homework. I don't want to be the reason you don't get into Berkley or wherever it is you said you wanted to go."
"Are you kidding?" Stiles is stretching, too, like a cat. "It's NYU or nothing, pal."
"Don't act surprised."
Derek gets up, then, watching with lukewarm amusement as Stiles holds his hands out, fingers grasping air. "Come back," he says softly. Derek starts explaining how he can't, how he shouldn't, when Stiles interrupts with, "Jack, come back!"
Derek pushes his leg so he ends up laying diagonally across the bed, rolling over as he laughs. "Come back, Jack!"
"This isn't Titanic!" Derek frowns. "I'm not dying!"
"But my heart will go on!"
He rolls his eyes, probably questioning every decision that's led him to this point. "Do your homework."
"Hey, when can I meet your family?" The question catches Derek off-guard, but Stiles is serious.
He shrugs. "I don't know. When you're at NYU? Just how much of my family do you want to meet?"
"All of them, of course." Derek raises a dubious brow, but Stiles ignores it, because what he's about to say is pure gold. He grins. "Gotta meet 'em all, gotta meet 'em all!"
"You are the worst." Derek looks tortured, but he laughs as he looks up at the ceiling. "You can start with Laura. She'll like you because you'll just join in when she makes fun of me."
"Will she tell me why, despite the fact that you look like a dangerous high school dropout, you spend your time on an online gaming community that battles mythical creatures?"
He narrows his eyes. "No."
"Aw, come on!" Stiles sits up. "I have to know! There is no way you can dress that cool and feel a need to battle orcs on the computer at the same time!"
He raises a brow. "You seriously can't figure that one out?"
"It's been bothering me ever since you showed up."
"Seriously?" The other brow shoots up to join its partner.
"Why is that so hard to believe?" Stiles is starting to become cross.
"Has it ever occurred to you that it's hard to make friends when you could potentially turn and kill them without meaning to?" Derek looks uncomfortable, and Stiles is sure his gaping expression isn't helping.
"I… can see that now."
They're quiet. Derek shuffles his feet a bit while Stiles looks on in fascination because he's just been reminded that his boyfriend is a werewolf.
"I want to see you all wolfed-out or whatever someday," he says. Going by the expression on Derek's face when he looks up, you'd think Stiles had suggested they kill a baby.
"No. That – That isn't happening. Ever."
"Nope! No, no, no, and no, Stiles! I'm serious!" By now Stiles is wrapping his arms around Derek's waist, face turned up in what he hopes is a pleading manner. He tries to peel him off, but he's stuck fast. "Stiles, let go of me!"
"What about in a few years? I can cover myself in wolfsbane before you do it! Please?"
Derek stops trying to extricate himself from the viselike grip to make a face. "That's just gross."
Stiles, giving up, falls to the floor with a dramatic thump. His eyes go wide as he looks up Derek's tall frame. "Please?" he says in a tiny voice.
"I'll think about it."
"I love you."
Derek's taken aback, but a small smile starts to bloom as he says, "I love you, too, you freak."
"Not as much of a freak as you are."
"Some people could disagree with that argument." He nudges Stiles with his foot, gentle. "Now get up. You have that Euro essay to write."
"Will you stay, at least?" Stiles still isn't getting up, so Derek gives up and sits on the edge of the bed.
"Is that a good idea?"
"I love you."
A/N: Aaaaand I think that's it! This is already so much longer than I'd intended it to be (like, 15,000 words longer lol) but whatever. I'm happy with it. I hope you liked it!