Chapter 3

Stiles sighed and scrubbed a hand over his head, pacing a little in front of his bed. "Look, Derek, whatever you're here to tell me is probably of the upmost importance, and I really would like to help you out, but I am literally one wrong word away from going bat-shit crazy on anyone I can reach with a baseball bat, so you should just leave and let me sleep and then maybe tomorrow I can be of service to you."

"It smells like Peter in here."

Stiles didn't even know what to say to that, and even if he had, he really didn't want to touch that issue with a 49 and a half foot pole.

Derek turned his eyes on Stiles, narrowing them and sniffing again. "Why does it smell like Peter in here?"

That sounded like an accusation. "Oh, hell no! You are not going to pin this on me. I am doing nothing wrong here. I am just minding my own damn business, and your freaky uncle is breaking into my room unwelcome on a bi-monthly, which apparently just turned into fucking weekly, basis, man. I'm not in cahoots with him, or whatever the hell you seem to think is going on here. You do realize that I hate the guy, right?"

Derek growled at Stiles, low in his throat, and Stiles shut up immediately. "Stiles-" his voice was still angry, but it wasn't nearly as accusing "-why does it smell like Peter in here?"

Stiles huffed out a breath and sunk down into his computer chair. "Man, dude, you just italicized an entire sentence." Derek didn't look amused, so Stiles just continued. "Look, before you killed him, I was getting some creepy vibes from Peter. Not, like, psychotic, serial-killing, Alpha-werewolf type vibes. Well, those were there, too, but like, um, after school special kind of vibes."

"You can't mean-"

"Like Stranger Danger kind of vibes."

"Are you-"

"Like bad touch kind of vibes, Derek. Serious, bad touch vibes. Actually bad touching kind of bad touch vibes." Stiles was distracted from continuing by Derek's fist plunging through his wall.

"Dude!" Stiles half-screeched and thanked his lucky stars that his dad was working the night shift because Deputy Monroe was on his honeymoon. "You do realize that this is my room, right? And that I have to explain things like a hole in my wall to my dad who is the Sheriff and doesn't buy my bullshit?"

Derek growled, eyes flashing, prowling towards Stiles, and for one terrifying moment, with the prowling and the eyes, he was reminded of that night with Peter, but Derek stopped before he was completely in Stiles' space, and Stiles had a sneaking suspicion that it was actually for his benefit. "He. Did. What."

"Woah, that question wasn't even a question. Hell, it wasn't even a sentence. It was just, like, words, said in succession." Stiles might have been having a stroke. Hard to tell. "But, um, yeah, Peter might have made his, um, interests-" Derek growled low in his throat "-known to me. In a tongue-shoved-down-my-throat sort of way?"

His brain hadn't intended for that to be a question, but Derek's I-will-murder-something-soon-and-you-better-watch-out-because-right-now-you're-the-neartest-living-thing face was overwhelming his brain in a serious way. "Then he was all, 'We could be great together, Stiles. Join me.' and I was all, 'Hell, no. You do realize you could be my father?' and he was all, 'You'll change your mind.'-" He should stop. He would stop, but suddenly it was all pouring out.

"-and I kind of thought it would be over when we killed him, but then he came back from the dead, and now he's dropping by my room in the middle of the night and just leering at me like the huge creeper that he is, and did you see what he did to Lydia? And Scott with the whole nonconsensual werewolf thing? Like, does he seriously think I'm going to say yes after all of that?"

Stiles shuddered. "I tell him no, like, every time he comes here, but he's a determined little bastard, I'll give him that, and he just keeps coming back, and Derek. Derek, it's like he can't control himself. He gets this look in his eye and- And last time his claws were out, and he just, like, stroked my side or something." Stiles shuddered again.

Stiles couldn't even read Derek's face. It was quite probably furious, having moved on from I-will-murder-something-soon to I-will-murder-something-now, but it was also weirdly…gentle. And maybe conflicted. Or possibly hungry. It was hard to tell.

"You didn't say anything." It's not a question. In fact, it's more a growl than anything, but Stiles decides to answer it, regardless.

"Derek, you know I hate to say this more than anyone. Like, seriously, there is not another human being on this earth that wants to see Peter Hale rot in a shallow grave more than I do right now, but he's also been kind of useful to us. He knows shit; shit we can't just piece together on our own, and he's been surprisingly forthcoming with said shit. And even though I can't quite tell if he's trying to earn your trust or get into my pants, it's still helped us out. We might need his resources or his knowledge again later. And-"

Stiles locked eyes with Derek because Derek needed to hear this, needed to know that Stiles understood. "He's your only living relative, Derek."

It wasn't too long ago that Stiles wouldn't have cared at all that Derek would be killing his only family (again), but they'd formed a strange friendship over the last few months. Stiles had seen Derek's face when he realized the Alphas had Erica and Boyd, and it was the first time that he realized that Derek had real, bonafide feelings. Then Derek had come to Stiles and asked for help. It was progress, and Stiles made so many Pinocchio jokes that Derek was practically begging for the dog puns back.

Derek was still a huge pain in Stiles's ass, and he had to stop withholding information and biting random teenagers or the shit was seriously going to hit the fan, and it was true that their friendship was based largely on mutual life-saving, but it still counted.

Derek was making sad-eyes at Stiles, the kind that said "My entire family was burned to death in a fire and I blame myself" because Derek had a chip on his shoulder the size of the Grand Canyon, and, as much as Stiles pretended to hate Derek and got legitimately frustrated with him, he understood that look. Been there, done there, bought the T-shirt. Only for him it had only been his mom, and it had been Derek's everyone.

Then, suddenly, Derek's face did what Stiles liked to call the Emergency Shutdown that he would pull when he thought he was sharing too much emotion. One second he was being all sensitive, and the next he'd hidden all his feelings behind a 10 foot thick cement wall. Cement, because bricks are for pussies.

"Peter-" the name sounded like disgust on Derek's tongue "-cannot be allowed to behave this way. It's disgraceful." Stiles wasn't sure whether he should be insulted or not (like wanting him was so socially inexcusable), but then he remembered that Peter was, like, an old man with some serious serial-killer type tendencies who had recently been revived from a death Stiles had helped him towards and figured that he could let this one pass.

And then Derek was gone, in the usual way that Derek got gone, and Stiles was alone. Blessedly alone. And no longer entirely sure he wanted to be so blessedly alone.

Which was how Stiles ended up at Scott's house at the ungodly hour of nine o' clock on a Saturday morning, demanding video games and pizza and "normal teenage fun." He didn't want to think about Peter periodically breaking into his room to proposition him. He didn't want to think about Derek appearing and disappearing at random intervals, jumping from Derek Hale, actual person, to Derek Hale, Alpha werewolf, with such wild irregularity that Stiles had once suggested medication. He didn't even want to think about the new kid in school who he was pretty sure was actually a vampire.

And, luckily for Stiles, Scott was the perfect person to go to when he didn't want to think about anything, because Scott, bless his noble soul, typically didn't think about anything.

The day was blissful, as were the following two weeks, where nothing supernatural happened at all and Stiles saw neither hide nor hair of either Peter or Derek. It made Stiles feel unbelievably jumpy and on-edge. At least during their month of respite, there had at least been that one possibly-a-witch-and-also-possibly-still-just-a-hippy. Scott laughed and called him paranoid, which could very likely have been true if Beacon Hills wasn't trying to do a violent imitation of the Hellmouth. So naturally, on the third normal week, something finally happened.