Words: 19,817
AU: Merman!Stiles, SeaWitch!Kate, everyone else is human.
Other Characters: Peter Hale, Laura Hale, Sheriff Stilinski, Mrs. Stilinski, Scott McCall, Danny Mahealani, Jackson Whittemore, Erica Reyes, Kate (with actually no relation to any Argent), Chris Argent, Melissa McCall, Victoria (who is not married to Chris).

It's summer. Pretty much the best time in Derek's opinion. He gets to take off as many layers as he wants - which sometimes, is all of them - and just not care about anything for a while.

He's heading into a small town that's said to have a beautiful sea view, white-sanded beaches and lovely clear water. He can already see it, the ocean, stretching out so far it's nestled in with the clear blue sky.

He sees the sign that tells him he's passing the line into town and it's not far until he's driving through the town; old, homey buildings and friendly-enough looking people. His uncle and big sister are taking him in for the few weeks that he's here. He thought the house would be party central, but he's told it's actually very quiet, which he appreciates.

They live just far away enough from the town that it's comfortable, no bustle of people or cars to distract or annoy, but close enough to the water that it's only a walking distance. A few people look as he goes trough town and he smiles, it's good to be friendly even if he's sort of a loner. A group of girls stare as he goes past. They're already in their bathing suits and he shamelessly looks from behind his aviators, giving a grin.

He's more here for the water and family dinners than anything else, but a summer romance is always welcomed.

He drives up to the house, parks in the driveway and sees his sister running out to meet him. He shuts off his car and gets out, takes off his sunglasses just in time to be slammed back into his car by a Laura Hale specialty hug. He laughs and wraps his arms around her, twirls her around, "Hey, big sis."

"Oh, it's so good to see you, D." He can just about hear how big her smile is as she clings. They haven't seen each other in person for a few years, so it's good to be here.

"You gonna strangle him before I get a chance to see him?" Peter's leaning against one of the porch pillars with a smile and Laura scoffs, but lets go of Derek.

Derek presses a kiss to his sister's cheek and walks over to Peter, pulling him into a hug, "You want to be the one to strangle me, right?"

"Always, kid." He hugs him tight and pats his back, "Good to see you."

"You, too." Derek squeezes him before he lets go. "God, you were right. I saw the water coming in here. Looks amazing."

"And I know you'll want to go out and see as soon as possible... I just want you to be careful out there, okay? The locals, they're protective of... the water." Peter tells him, squeezing his shoulders, "Okay?"

Derek gives him a look, "Are they afraid I'm gonna steal the water?"

His uncle rolls his eyes, "Just stay outta trouble, alright?"

"Fine, fine." He shrugs, goes to get his bags from the trunk of his car, not really sure what he's agreed to.

He sees what Peter means, though. There are outright stares, and then careful eyes, just watching, studying. When he steps on the beach, some of the people give looks, like they don't want him here, or they're scared he'll do something horrific. It makes him uneasy for a second before he sees a guy sitting shirtless on the sand, looking at him with a smirk. He's Hawaiian, all tanned skin, and he gets beckoned over by him.

He walks over, sits down next to him, "Well, that's better than the other reactions I've got today."

The guy chuckles, "We don't get a lot of new people, that's all. They're all very protective." He reaches out a hand, "I'm Danny."

"Derek." He shakes his hand, "...Protective of what? My uncle said it was the water."

Danny's silent for a few moments, eyes skirting out quick to look at the water before he runs a hand through his hair. "Look, it's not something we can explain and hope you'll believe. Just try and have a good time while you're here, just be careful around the water."

"I came here for the water." Derek tells him, not quite understanding. Sharks, maybe? Killer sharks? Stingrays? Danny's face pales.

"Dude... Don't let the Sheriff hear you say that."

"And now you're another of those people who make me feel uncomfortable. Damn." He gets up, encounters with this town's people just reenforcing his reasons to be a loner. Danny's hand grabs his wrist.

"Just smile like you think I'm cute and maybe I'll help you." He says, gives a smile.

"You are cute." Derek smirks, "But I don't see how you can help me."

"If you hang out with me, they won't be as weird to you." He bargains.

And that's how Danny and Derek suddenly became new best friends. Derek slips off his shirt and leaves it on a rock, likes the way his new best friend's eyes slip all over his body, and nods, "Well then, let's be friends. You can watch me swim or you can come in with me."

And he starts towards the water, hears Danny following seconds later.

"Did you have a good day?" Peter asks when they're seated around the dinner table that night.

"Besides everyone looking at me like I'm the most wanted fugitive in the entire state? Oh, it was nice." Derek tells him sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

"You're just gonna take some getting used to, that's all." Peter promises.

"Danny Mahealani said that you stayed in the water for hours." Laura chimes in, "Must have been good."

"Danny also said I shouldn't let the Sheriff hear that I'm here for the water." Derek counters, wanting to stay in a bad mood.

Peter looks at him with a tired expression, which is odd for him, "Sheriff Stilinski is really protective. And he's very passionate about his job, okay? Get it?"

"Got a crush, uncle Peter?"


"I got it."

"And no, it's Chris Argent down the road."

Peter says to stay away from the beach at night, that if he needs to be outside at all, he can stay in the hammock in the back yard.

He goes against what Peter says.

But he doesn't go in the water. He just sits in the sand in his pajamas, looking out at the sky, at the water. It's a peaceful place to be, he thinks as he lets sand run through his fingertips. He watches it roll from his palm, sees how beautiful it is. This whole place is kind of beautiful in a way, from the beach to the buildings, but there's something... odd about it. It's like they're keeping it up because they feel the need to. It's like they're not entirely as happy as they're acting.

A soft splash corrupts his thoughts and his head snaps up. Did someone follow him? Did someone just go into the water? Well, that person didn't listen to his uncle either. He doesn't see any clothing on the beach, though. He stands, looks over to rocks, thinking maybe they left them there.

Nothing. Not even footprints.

He rolls his eyes at himself. There are fish in the ocean. He looks out to the water again, gentle waves lapping at the shore and he wants to go in. Another splash has the water rippling and he sees a flash of green, more mountain forest green than the teal-blue water. He can swear he sees a human hand poke out from a rock that's half in the water, but it's gone just as quick as it's come. He takes a step forward, not really sure of what he's seen when he jumps, a hand clapping down on his shoulder.

He turns and is met with a middle-aged man's disapproving face and the glint of a Sheriff's badge. His voice is gruff, authoritative, "Now, what do you think you're doing out here so late at night?"

"I, uh. I was just... Looking." It's a lame excuse, but it's partly true. The disapproval doesn't let up.

"What's your name?"

"Derek Hale, sir."

"Peter's nephew." The Sheriff says and Derek nods in agreement, "Didn't he tell you to stay away from the water after dark?"

Derek hangs his head, offers up a "Yes, he did."

"Then maybe you should heed his warning." The man tells him, balls his fist with some of his shirt in it and starts leading him back, "You should head back. Straight back."

Derek rolls his shoulders once he's let go of, and sighs, feels the Sheriff's eyes on him as he walks back up the way he came. When he's home, he doesn't wake Peter, or Laura, just slips into bed and thinks about what he saw.

Thing is, he doesn't know what he saw.

"I thought I saw a hand and... Something else." A day later and Derek's still not sure what the green in the water was.

"A hand? Really?" Laura sighs when Derek gives her a look, and she sits down at the table, "What was this 'something else' then, huh?"

"It was quick, and-and green. But not like the water, it was something different." He tries to explain, and she looks struck with something for a moment, before she rolls her eyes.

"Seaweed, D. Come on, get that brain working." She leans over and raps her knuckles softly to his temple.

"You weren't there, it was-"

"It was at night, of when I told you not to go." Peter appears from the living room, cordless phone still in his hand, "I just talked to the Sheriff. He caught you on the beach."

"Is there some rule about that? No beach after dark?" Derek asks exasperatedly.

"No. Well... Yes, but no. I mean-Damn it, Derek. Just please don't do that." Peter runs a hand through his hair, sounding obviously stressed. He goes over and hangs up the phone, leans against the fridge with his eyes on his nephew.

"I don't get why you keep dismissing this."

"I don't get why you can't take up a different hobby. God, just masturbate like everyone else and let whatever you saw go."

Derek rolls his eyes and pushes away from the table, slipping on his shoes, "I'm gonna go see if Danny's at the beach."

"Yeah, go jack off with Danny." Peter waves a hand at the door and Derek grabs at his own crotch as he leaves, giving a sarcastic smile.

He finds Danny in the water, waist deep as he laughs softly at the outstretch of ocean. He's leaning against a huge rock that's creating a line up to the beach, like it's a wall. Danny twitches and lifts one leg, chuckling, "Dude, that tickles."

Derek strips off his shirt and leaves it on one of the smaller rocks, wading in. Danny sees him and whispers something quick with his head turned before smiling at him, stopping Derek when he's in front of him.

"Hey, man. You're back I see." The tanned-skinned teen smiles, tries to get his attention.

"Yeah, hey." Derek sees there's more water behind the wall of rock, like a path leading around that he can't see far enough down. He sees that beautiful forest green again and takes a step in its direction, but Danny holds him still by a hand on his hip, other cupping his jaw.

"And you got the Deputy watching you from under his umbrella over there." Danny pulls him in, mouths at his throat, "What did you do?"

"I was here after dark." He says, cranes his neck while Danny's hand moves from his hip to around to his lower back, brings him close before slipping a thigh between his legs.

"That was really dumb, Derek." Danny tells him, feeling the other teen's hand sliding up his abdomen.

"Don't you think I know that? I got a warning from the Sheriff." Danny laughs like he's said something funny, nuzzles against his jaw. The Deputy looks away from them, suspicion gone. Derek leans in and presses a kiss to his cheek, "Thanks for this."

"Mhmm." Danny pulls away and turns him around, "Go swim, will ya? I like seeing you wet."

Derek chuckles and stores the place in the rocks to memory before he wades out more, sinking himself under the water.

When he comes up, he's farther out than anyone else, and there's a wet hand print on a rock that isn't his.

He doesn't go back to the beach after dark for two days, since the Deputy and the Sheriff were at the beach for days, watching him.

But, it's night again, Peter and Laura both in bed, and he can't sleep. Maybe he's trying to get himself in trouble. Maybe he wants to get caught, so he'll get told what's going on. Because there's something out there. He just knows it. And it's getting the better half of his mind because he's sneaking back onto the beach from a path he'd found that isn't the main road.

He peers around one of the larger rocks, looking for the Sheriff or any other law enforcement, but thankfully no one's here tonight. He comes out from behind the rock, starting for the other side of the beach where the part in the rocks is, when his eyes catch on movement in the water. He freezes - God I'm gonna get caught this person is going to yell for the police what if they arrest me oh shit- and his eyes dart to the person, to try and see if he's been noticed, when that person turns to him as well.

He - Derek can tell it's a guy. Short hair and broad shoulders, flat chest and abdomen - seems frightened by Derek, and pushes back in the water, staggering a bit.

"Wait-" He starts but the guy goes underwater and doesn't come up for a long time. He gets worried, he can't even hold his breath for that long, and strips away his shirt to going in after him. He dives under when he gets to where the guy was, searching for him, but he's met with just sand, only lit by moonlight. He twists around, rocks and water, sand and more sand.

Something swipes him from the side and he's caught off guard, tries to regain floating stably. There's the green again, moving fast, making a push of water that forces him to close his eyes, to get back to the surface. He takes in deep breaths, pushing his hair back and looking around, seeing if the guy has come to the surface as well.

He groans because he's lost it again, "Damn it." He slowly goes back to the shore, heart pounding at being so close. So, it's not a something, but a someone. Which... still doesn't make sense. He stands up and walks the rest of the way up onto the sand.

"Who are you?" A voice asks, making his head whip to the side to try and find where it's coming from. "W-Well, come on, don't be shy."

"I uh... Derek. My name's Derek." He says quickly, the voice coming from where the part in the rocks are. He takes a step forward.

"Don't come any closer!"

He holds his hands up, backing away, "I'm sorry."

It takes a few moments, but then the voice is softer. Derek thinks it sounds just right - just really impossibly good like do me with your voice- with a little under layer that he can't explain why he likes, but he really, really likes, "Why are you here?"

"...I like the ocean."

"No. I mean, why did you come in after me?"

"I thought you were hurt. I thought I scared you."

The response is immediate, "You did scare me."

"I'm sorry... Again." He says, feels stupid shirtless with his hands up in the air, talking to a bunch of rocks, "I was just looking for... Something."

"What?" The guy asks and Derek sees his hands creep around the side of a rock, pulling forward slightly so round eyes fix on him.

"I... Hi. I was um, I don't know. I don't know what it was." He tells him truthfully, shrugging a bit.

"Why are you so interested in finding something?"

"Because I wanna know what it was. Town's a little weird, no offense... Wait, did you see it? Do you know what it is?"

The guy is quiet for a few long moments. Derek lowers his hands. "W-Was it, um... Was it green?"

Derek nods, taking a step toward him, "Yeah, it was. What was it?"

He disappears behind the rock again, much to Derek's distress, but he hears deep breaths being taken in and pushed back out again, so he's not being left alone. There's movement, sound of water, before the hands and big eyes are back again, "Stand up straight. Let me see you."

Derek does, pushes his hair back again since it's falling back onto his forehead. He wonders what mystery guy looks like, since his voice is nice.

"Wow." He says, which makes Derek chuckle, blush slightly. "I-I mean, like... No, no. That's what I mean. Jeez, dude, you're really cut. I uh-" He laughs nervously, hand shielding his eyes before running over his hair, "Anyway, you really wanna know?"

Derek chuckles softly, nods, "Yeah, I do."

"Heh. You think I'm funny... I like that." He can see the guy's eyes scrunching up a little, face relaxing as a smile that he can't see breaks out, "Come back tomorrow night. Anyone who goes through this much trouble deserves to know, I think."

Derek smiles. This guy; not one of those people that makes me feel uncomfortable. Good.He nods again, "Tomorrow night."

"Yeah. Now, get out of here." The guy says, laughter in his voice, and Derek raises his hands, backing away.

"Okay, okay." He turns to go, getting back over to the hidden path and sneaking one glance back, only to see his mystery guy has disappeared once again.

"Wow, don't you look chipper this morning?" Laura asks as she crosses into the kitchen still in her pajamas, sitting down at the table already lined with breakfast foods. She pulls her legs up to her chest and leans over, grabbing a plate of pancakes and the syrup.

Derek chuckles, "Just feeling good, I guess." He slides the eggs from the pan to a plate, turns as Peter walks into the room.

"Oh, thanks kid." His uncle takes the eggs from him with a sleepy smile and goes to get the ketchup from the fridge.

He nods, turns off the stove and grabs himself and Laura a fork, saving her from how she's tearing pieces off a pancake and dipping it in the pool of syrup on the plate. He grabs one for himself, along with a muffin from the basket he put them in, still warm.

"It's like he's not a complete pain in the ass." Peter smiles before he shovels food into his mouth, "What's up?"

Derek favors in not telling his uncle he was out on the beach after dark and says vaguely, "I met this guy-"

"Normal activities, too! Laura, get the camera." Peter grins, earns himself a punch to the arm, "You gonna see him again?"

"Yeah. Tonight." Derek nods, takes the syrup from where Laura's tipping it upside down into her mouth to douse his own pancakes.

"So, what's he like?" Laura asks, stealing back the syrup. Derek tries to steal it again but Peter flings a muffin their way. It hits Laura in the forehead.

Derek chuckles, "He's got pretty eyes, hot little body. Why, you gonna steal him from me?"

"Nah, you haven't gotten enough dick lately. Maybe a good fucking-" Another muffin hits Laura in the face, gets stuck in her shirt. Derek smiles at his uncle.

He doesn't go straight to the beach. He decides to take a walk. On his way around town, he checks into shops just to check them out, an elderly woman who runs the bakery saying she thinks he's adorable and deciding that his nickname is 'puppy', since he was just looking around like a cautious puppy. She sells him three peanut butter cookies for seventy-five cents, of which he starts to immediately because they're really good.

When he sees Danny, he says goodbye and jogs across the street to him, "Hey, man."

"Hey. Getting cozy with the other locals? Oh, I thought we had something special." Danny smirks, takes one of his cookies when Derek gestures.

He chuckles, "You licked my neck a few days ago, I'd say I'm closer to you than them."

"Which reminds me, did you go to the beach again after dark?" Danny asks, taking a bite of his cookie.

Derek spots the Sheriff sitting on a rock as they enter the beach, "No, what are you talking about? I would never do something like that." He smiles at the Sheriff, "Good afternoon, Sheriff Stilinski. Cookie?"

"Derek. Thank you." He takes the treat and relaxes back a bit, lets him pass without warning.

Derek smiles at Danny, raises his eyebrows and waits until they get far enough away to say, "Wow. He let me just go in. Did you see that?"

"I saw. He's being trusting... So, I wouldn't do anything that could hurt him, y'know? Because people don't respond well when something precious is hurt." Danny warns, looking worried.

Derek turns to him, brows furrowed, "What are you talking about?" He slips away his shirt, lifting it over his head and he catches the sight of Danny getting hit in the back by a rock.

He doesn't know why he's nervous. He's just meeting up with a guy with a nice voice who's going to tell him about this town, about the water. About whatever's in there. He uses the hidden path again, walks cautiously across the sand in search of him, eyes out on the water. He wants to call out for his mystery guy, but he realizes that he doesn't even know his name.

"Derek!" That voice yells out to him softly, over by the rocks again and a smile breaks out on his lips. The guy's head pokes out from them, a smile on his face as well.

"Hey. Am I allowed to walk over this time?" He asks and gets a nod, a hand beckoning him over. He walks forward and the guy disappears behind the rocks, but this time he follows, braces a hand against the largest rock as he moves into the water. It's a few feet deep and he sees the guy's torso just around the slight corner. "Where are we going?"

"Somewhere I'm comfortable... Somewhere safe." He says, pushes away with the rock and he's gone from Derek's view again.

Derek goes around the corner, water getting deeper as he walks, soft sand under his feet. The other guy is already about fifteen feet away, which is odd because the water us up to Derek's waist and he can't run in this. There's not really any way this guy can either. There's actually no way, especially when he didn't make much noise, unless he's an overly amazing swimmer. There's another corner where he disappears and when Derek gets to where was was, he's a bit awed at what he sees.

It's a cavern. A grotto of rock and sand and a pool that makes the water up to Derek's chest when he first walks in, before it drops off. He sort of wishes he took off his shirt. When he looks up, the guy - oh, he's adorable - is sitting on a bank, still half in the water and whole body tucked up in a soaked shirt. Derek's shirt, the one he left on the beach the night he met him.

He smiles and brings himself up on the bank a few feet away from him, "Nice shirt."

"You left it. I didn't want it to get washed away when the tide came in." He says, holding his arms around himself.

"Mhmm." Derek mumbles, taking him in. He's got porcelain skin, soaked to the bone and skinny. Not fragile skinny, but lean; muscled arms and shoulders, knows faintly that his abdomen is probably the same way.

There's moonlight shining down on them and Derek can see he has brown eyes, various moles and freckles, and beautiful full lips. He licks over his own lips, watches the guy smile at him, "You done eye-fucking me?"

"I'm not eye-fucking." Derek tells him defensively, but there's a smirk on those full lips and well, Derek might be staring, "Just... eye-groping. Eye-appreciating."

"Yeah." He blushes, ducks his head away shyly, "Yeah, whatever." He bites his lip and takes a moment, pulling his arms tighter around himself, "Look, um. You wanted to know... You still want to?"

"Well, yeah." Derek nods, sits up straighter.

"You uh, you know the way back to the beach?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Just in case you wanna leave."

"Why would I want to...?" He trails off, watching as the guy takes a deep breath, removes his arms from himself, stretches out his legs. But...


This guy doesn't have legs. In their place, there's a long, deep forest green colored tail. A tail. It's scaled and shiny in the moonlight and Derek's thinking that oh, that makes sense, water and a secret, and "Holy shit."

The other teen winces, hunches his shoulders while his tail arches away. The tips of the fins twitch as they move in the water, looking like a nervous tick or that they want to get away. He does start to inch away, head hanging with his lip pulled tight between his teeth. Derek grabs his arm, "I uh, I didn't mean that like-It's just, um. Y-You know, these things don't happen everyday."

"It does for me." He says quietly, like he's ashamed and pulls away from him gently, like he's giving up already.

Derek sighs, takes a moment before saying, "What's your name? You never told me."

He looks up at him then, like he can't believe Derek's just pushing the fact that he has a freaking tail back to ask for his name, "I... It's Stiles."

"Stiles. Okay, wow. What kind of name is Stiles?" Derek chuckles, gets an incredulous look, humor and shock mix.

"It's a good name. It's my name, like... What kind of name is Derek?" He counters lamely, smile tugging at his lips.

"Uh, a regular name." He answers and Stiles laughs softly, which makes him laugh.

"Okay," The younger teen says, nodding, "You're right. Bad comeback."

"It wasn't even a comeback, really."

"Okay, don't push it."

They meet eyes and can't help but laugh again, just for the sake of laughing. Derek immediately likes how he laughs, holding nothing back and the way he can't stay still when he does it.

His eyes drift back to his tail, the thing he's been thinking about for days without even knowing, the thing that's attached to Stiles' body. Stiles notices him looking, and promptly moves away. "I uh, I'm sorry. Look, you don't have to stay. You-You just seemed like you wanted to know... So, I showed you."

Derek moves forward a bit, making up the space Stiles moved, "Yeah. I mean, I'm glad you showed me. I wanted to know. Is this why everyone in town was acting weird around me?"

"Are they still acting weird? I told them not to. They're just protective. I'm okay, you're just a curious guy. You're uh, you're curious, right?"

"Yes. Curious, I mean." He tells him instantly, then waits a few seconds "...Like, scales, huh?" He points, "Is it, um... Heavy? The whole thing, I mean, not the scales. Scales aren't heavy."

He mentally facepalms.

But to his surprise, Stiles chuckles, "Um, no. It's not that heavy. Not in the water, anyway. I can move really fast in the water."

"So I figured. I never caught a good look at you." He brings his eyes up to look him over and the other teen leans back, smirks.

"Got me now. How do I look?"

"Really good."

Stiles' blush flares up again and he smiles, watches Derek fiddle with his hands. He sits up straighter, "W-Why? Do you wanna touch it?"

He looks up at his face again, a bit awed, "Am I allowed?"

"Well, yeah. I mean, if you're gentle. Like, don't fuck around."

Derek nods. He wonders for a moment what it would feel like, if it would be slimy or something like that. But he reaches his hand out, lays it over where the slight bend is - which he's guessing where his knees would be - and it's pretty cool. Sleek, not quite like skin but there's a similarity, and it's almost soft, but protected. There's light green and light brown spots, small, like freckles on the scales. It's definitely not something he's ever felt - or seen - before.

He runs his fingers along it, tracing a few scales and when he looks up, Stiles has a worried expression, cheeks tinted a bordering pink. "What is it? Am I making you uncomfortable?"

It takes him a few moments, "Huh? Oh, no. I just... No one's ever done that before." He uses his hands to lift himself up slightly, so his whole tail is floating. He moves his hips, sways a little and Derek lets out a surprised breath, "Yeah, it's actually real. Calm down."

"That's just... different. B-But good." He adds at the end quickly, because yes, while completely odd and confusing, there's fucking merman in front of him. Derek reaches out and touches him again, moves with him. "God, were you like, born this way or something?"

"No," Stiles sighs, lays back on the sand and places his hands on his stomach, "I was human... I was a lanky runner."

Derek chuckles, "I'm sure your running was fine."

Stiles looks at him, smiles softly, "I can swim a lot better than I run these days." He pushes himself off with his hands, slips with ease under the water.

Derek tries to grab for him, because he cares, but Stiles is under and he waits a few moments before shedding his shirt and going under himself. He sees Stiles a little ways down, and he watches him chuckle at him before grabbing the hem of his shirt and pulling it over his head. Derek was right, lean muscle and a tiny waist. Down below Stiles' bellybutton, it looks like the tail has been sealed to his fair skin, because it's real. His tail moves slowly, keeping him steady.

He swims up to Derek, getting a little too close and bumping his leg with his fins. He smiles, backs up and twirls himself around in a circle, quick and precise to show him, before going back over, urging him gently to go back to the surface.

"What are you doing? I wanted to see more." The older teen says after they're up, after he's taken in a deep breath and pushed his hair back.

"Just wanna make sure you have enough air." Stiles tells him, hand falling from his wrist to his knee as Derek lifts himself back on the bank. Derek catches the touch, eyes flick down to it and Stiles' cheeks tint. He lifts a hand and touches him back, rubbing his thumb across his cheek.

Stiles sighs softly, lips parted and expression relaxed. The older teen smiles, "Your cheeks are really pink... Can you breathe underwater?"

"Yeah." He leans a bit into his hand, moving his own up on his thighs and pushing himself up, so they're almost nose to nose, "But air's better. I think the fish hold it against me sometimes."

"Is that so? And, you talk to them?"

"If you think I have a Flounder and Sebastian, then you're just a little too weird for me." Stiles jokes, chuckles.

Derek leans in, bumps their noses. He can't help it, merman for not, this guy is cute. He smirks when Stiles gasps, "Too weird, says the guy with the tail."

"Alright, you win." Stiles admits with a smile, "You want a prize or something?"

"Can I see you again?"

Stiles, somehow if stroking his face wasn't enough to convince him, looks surprised about Derek wanting to come back, "You want to?"

"Is that a yes?" He holds the side of his face, traces his ear with a finger before touching his neck, thumb at his jaw.

"Yes." Stiles nods a little, liking the way Derek smiles for him.

"Good. I'll come by tomorrow." He touches at the guy's cheekbone again, and maybe he skims his bottom lip as he pulls away and that earns him Stiles' red cheeks. He grabs the soggy shirt he came in with but doesn't put it on, slips into the water next to Stiles and starts to wade out. He turns again, resisting the urge to smile too much or laugh, "Just to make sure... You're not gettin' down with Ariel, are you? Because that would be awkward to walk in on."

Stiles smiles, "Ariel's not really my type."

Derek nods and turns back, starting his way back down the corridors of rock, sand and water. Stiles watches after him, biting his lip.

"But Prince Eric's not lookin' too bad." He whispers to himself.

It echoes within the walls, and Derek muffles a chuckle.

When Derek gets home, he's met with Laura and Peter waiting with anxious expressions. Derek smiles at them, tries to go up and shower - and probably more since we can't get Stiles' plush lips and pink cheeks out of his mind - when he's bombarded by his family members. Peter blocks the stairs.

"Your thing with your guy. How did it go?" Laura asks, eyes big.

"I touched him like no one ever had before." He tells her while he rolls his eyes, "Can I go shower?"

She makes a noise, and climbs behind Peter, over the railing of the stairs. She gives a look, one that says 'Come on, are you serious?'

"I saw him. I like him. I'm seeing him again. And I'm wet and cold and I wouldn't mind a shower."

Peter steps out of the way, gently pulls Laura along, too. Derek nods, starts up the stairs, ignores the way they both whisper after him. His mind quickly finds Stiles again anyway, so it's fine if they talk about him.

Derek wants to talk with him more, find out how long he was human before this, and how he got to be like that. He wants to touch him again; his face and chest and shoulders and hands and tail and everywhere else because the guy looks horribly starved for touch, could see it when he placed a hand on his face. He wants to trace Stiles' freckles, on his skin and on his tail, and he wants to make him laugh again.

He doesn't bother using his secret path to the beach, just walks down the street, bumps into Erica, the girl Laura's always talking to on the phone when she's not harassing Derek, and sees... Stiles. Out in the open, floating in the water where Danny and a guy with shaggy brown hair - someone he's seen around but never talked to - are with him.

He walks in, takes his shoes off as soon as he's on sand and drops them and his shirt by a rock where they can't get wet. He wades out and Stiles sees him, pulls himself up from where he's floating on his back.

"Derek!" He says, big smile as he swims over. His fins brush Derek's legs. "Uh, hi." His cheeks are pink again, shoulders scrunched up and making the dip of his collarbones deeper. Derek wants to feel along them with his fingertips.

He chuckles, "Hey. You're out and about."

"Needed some fun and sun." The guy with shaggy hair latches onto Stiles' back, arms wrapping around his shoulders as he shakes them both back and forth, goofy grin on his slightly uneven jawline.

Stiles' fins leave Derek's leg and then the guy on Stiles' back jumps, air leaves his lungs in a pained groan. He lets go of Stiles but Stiles and Danny are both there to hold him up before he goes under.

"Between the legs. Oh, Stiles, that's cold." Danny says, but he's holding back a smile while the guy curls up against him. "You okay, Scott?"

"Fuckin' tail, man. That's not cool." Scott makes a very unhappy face at Stiles, but it only makes Stiles laugh.

"I didn't slap you in the face with it and pull down your shorts this time. You should be thankful." He grins, pats Scott's shoulder. He leans back again to lay, and his tail floats by right in front of Derek, slow, brushing his abdomen.

Derek reaches out and touches, keeps his hand stationary as Stiles' tail goes by, fingers running over his scales. Stiles bites his lip, lets it slip from his teeth slowly. He holds back a smirk, pulling his hand away. Was he just inappropriate? ...Who cares? Not him. Stiles gives him a look, rocking his hips a bit too much as he swims backward. Evidently not Stiles, either.

He averts his eyes and instead looks to Danny, expression looking like he's reacting to Derek trying to grind up on a preacher's closeted son. He shrugs it off with a smile and sinks himself under the water, feeling fins skimming over his chest, then around his back as Stiles swims off, down to skim the sand with his fingertips. Derek swears he gets winked at.

He goes back to the surface when Stiles points for him to, learning quickly that Stiles cares a lot about that, and then gets pulled into water wrestling with Danny. Scott floats on his back and Stiles sits on a rock that leaves his tail mostly above water while they watch. Derek gets a bit mesmerized by the way it moves and sways like Stiles isn't even thinking about it. Derek loses, gets dunked under the water by Danny, and then wrapped up in a hug because Stiles is nurturing that way.

Later, when the beach is less populated, Derek comes back after having lunch with Peter. Sheriff Stilinski is leaving the beach, shoving wrappers of something into the trash can at the entrance. Derek smiles a little, doesn't even try and think of an excuse. The Sheriff notices the scuba tank he's toting, but doesn't say a word.

He walks onto the beach and kicks off his shoes, sheds his shirt and starts hooking up the tank. He's not a stranger to this, has gone scuba diving before... But this time it's a little different.

Stiles must hear the noise, because he's coming out behind his rocks to roll his eyes, "Dad, I said that you don't-Oh." He sees that it's Derek and stops, assesses him for a moment, "Hi."

"Hey." Derek gives him a smile, clicking his tank's buckles into place, "You gonna let me stay under this time?"

"Well, yeah, I guess so." Stiles chuckles, swimming out away from the rocks, "Where do you wanna go?"

"Just around. I wanna watch you." He says as he wades in.

"Really? Same here." The teen smiles, looking him up and down before blushing, "I mean-"

"It's fine." He runs a hand over Stiles' shoulder, down his arm, "I watch you for a few reasons, too."

He really likes when Stiles blushes harder.

He gets led out, Stiles making him set the mouth piece in before they go under, and then holds his hand as he leads him down to the ocean floor. They sit at the bottom, Stiles folding his tail under him, looking delighted as Derek runs his hands along the sand, picks up a stray starfish and holds it in his palm.

Stiles gently plucks it from his hand after, letting it back on its rock. Derek understands what he meant by 'it's not heavy in the water' about his tail now, because Stiles looks very smooth when he moves here, not even thinking about how he has to twist and float in the water.

The way the sun casts through the ocean and touches his skin, creates waves that wash him in white and fair blue-green is lovely to watch. Evidently Derek's been staring too long because when he snaps out of it, Stiles is laughing at him. He can even hear it, all morphed by the water. He rolls his eyes and beckons him closer.

He floats closer, but not enough for Derek's liking. He pats his lap and Stiles smirks, shakes his head. Derek takes the breather from his mouth to try and stick his tongue out at him, but Stiles scrambles to him, urges it back into his mouth.

"Don't do that." The teen says, worried, settled in Derek's lap, holding the end of the mouth piece and the side of the other's neck. Derek moves his hands up, rubbing his thumbs against Stiles' cheekbones until he calms down. Stiles' hands slip to his chest, feeling the up-down in-out as he breathes.

The older teen takes a moment, before he lifts a finger, a 'just once second'. Stiles shakes his head, "No. If you have something to say, we can go back to the surface." He shakes his head this time, and Stiles sighs, "What? What is it? What do you want?"

Derek moves his hand back to him, touching his thumb to his bottom lip. "What is that? I don't under..." It takes him a moment but his eyes go a little wide and he squirms a little. "You... I-I. You-You're serious? You wanna... You wanna kiss me?"

Stiles tries not to push the mouth piece back when Derek moves it away, and lets Derek bring him in, gently press their mouths together. The younger teen moves a hand to the back of his neck as they move their lips, nice and slow before Derek pulls away, fits them mouth piece back in his mouth and takes a deep breath.

Derek goes to move back in but Stiles shakes his head, holds the end of the breather so he can't take it back out. He smiles and kisses his cheek, moves himself off his lap. He pulls him up, holds his hand as they swim back to the surface.

"You didn't need to take me to the bottom of the ocean if you wanted to kiss me, you know." Stiles says once they're above water. Derek chuckles.

"It was just sort of a spur of the moment thing." He smiles, squeezes the hand in his.

Stiles starts to lead him back to shore, "Really? And what brought that on?"

"You looked amazing in the water." He notices the deep blush that fills out Stiles' cheeks and he stops, pulls him against his body, slipping an arm around his waist. "That is so adorable."

Stiles covers his face with his hands, letting his head fall onto Derek's shoulder, "No, it's not."

"I like it." He runs a hand over his hair to hold the back of his neck, feeling just how eager Stiles is to lean against it, "People don't come around you much, do they?"

"They do, just not like this." Stiles reaches out and touches him too, gently sets his fingers on his collarbones, curling slightly to be in the dip.

"No one's ever... Was that your first kiss?" Derek asks, surprised no one has ever shared a kiss with this beautiful boy before. Stiles looks panicked for a moment, tail flapping against Derek's legs.

"I-I... I should have told you. I'm sorry. It-It doesn't have to mean anything, I promise. Derek, I'm just so-ohmmph!"

Derek kisses him again, better this time now that he can breathe. Stiles tastes like saltwater taffy, which he doesn't know how it's possible, but it is. He tilts his head to the side, working their mouths together slowly while his thumb rubs against his neck, all warm, wet skin. Stiles moves his own hands up Derek's neck, then back down over his shoulders until he's hugging them close.

The teen moves his lips cautiously - testing the waters, Derek's mind provides as a lame pun - but he's letting him control the kiss. He's letting Derek show him how. Stiles makes a surprised noise when there's a tongue touching to his lip, but stills so Derek can slip his tongue in, test a glide over Stiles'.

He can feel Stiles' tail moving, but doesn't realize he's moved them to shore until his knees are in the sand and Stiles is laying under him. Stiles is making tentative licks at the corner of his mouth, swiping over his tongue like he's deciding what to do. Derek pulls away, but not before pulling the guy's lip between his teeth and sucking on it.

"O-Oh, my God." He says after, licking over the lip Derek just had trapped. "I-Wow. Like, wow."

"You okay?" Derek rubs his thumb against his cheek, adorably blotched with pinks and red. He just wants to kiss him all over again. Stiles smiles at him, big and happy.

"Of course!" The teen laughs, rubbing his fingers along Derek's collarbones again, then trying to move down his chest. It's a mutual want to have the tank off Derek's back, so it ends up on the sand next to them, Stiles' hands tracing the muscles in his abdomen. He cranes his neck as Derek gives soft kisses to his jaw, nuzzles at his hair. Stiles is laughing softly, which warms Derek's heart - it's a good laugh; a really, really good one - and when he touches his hand to Stiles' upper side, he can feel his heart racing.

It's getting late, people gone from the beach as the sun starts to set. Derek should probably be getting home, but he doesn't want to leave Stiles, doesn't want to stop giving him affection like this.

But they're both shaken out of the moment when headlights shine onto the beach and they squint to see who it could be.


The Sheriff is walking toward them with intent, fixed on them, "What the hell is going on?"

Derek sits up, gets off Stiles - because staying leaning over him would push his luck waaay too far with the overbearing high officer standing right there. He tries to think of something to say other than 'I was making out with him', but Stiles saves him, "Dad-God, what's with the lights, anyway? What are you doing here?"

Dad? Dad. Oh, my God. He's just been caught by the Sheriff, making out with the Sheriff's son. Why didn't he realize it before? Derek wants to go drown himself, but Stiles would obviously not let it happen anyway.

"It's getting late and-Wait, I don't need to explain myself. You do." Sheriff Stilinski says firmly, eying Derek with accusation.

Stiles huffs, "What do you think we were doing?"

"I'd rather not think about it." the Sheriff says and takes a step forward, picking up the scuba tank, "Derek, get up before I bring you in. Return this and go home."

"I-" He nods, starts to stand up before Stiles grabs his hand. He's sitting up now, pouting.

"You don't have to go. He's just being overprotective. That-That's another thing." Stiles looks up to his father, "Don't be mean to him."

"I'm not mean. Stiles, he's an adult. You're not."

"I'm not human, you mean."

Sheriff Stilinski... looks like he stalls for a minute. He goes still, features a little shocked, sad. But he brings himself out of it and shakes his head, "He's twenty years old."

And with that, he takes Derek around his arm and pulls him away, guiding him back up the beach. Stiles watches them for a moment, then sucks in a sharp breath, "Dad, stop it!"

"No, Stiles." He doesn't even sound mad anymore and he hands Derek the tank and grabs his shirt as they walk past it.

"Dad, I didn't! I didn't do it! Stop, please!" It hurts Derek's heart to hear Stiles' sweet voice like that and he looks back, Stiles rolled onto his stomach watching them go, "Dad, don't make me beach myself!"

That halts the Sheriff, and he turns to Derek, "Return that, and then go home. Please, don't come back here tonight." He lets go of Derek's arm and the young man complies, frowns to Stiles before he goes.

For some reason, Derek does not go back to the beach after he's returned the scuba tank. He goes home and doesn't speak when Peter asks where he's been, and then if he's okay. He just goes to bed and Laura lets him, when she would usually block him in the hallway. She looks at him with a worried expression and touches his shoulder in passing.

He lays in bed silently and thinks about what Stiles said. Dad, I didn't.

He falls asleep with the image of Stiles with a sad face instead of the sound of his laughter.

In the morning, he doesn't go to the beach, either. He gets fully dressed for the first time since he got here and he goes to the police department, asking for Sheriff Stilinski. He stands for less than two minutes before the Sheriff is walking out to greet him sparsely, then lead him along to his office.

Derek takes a seat at one of the chairs in front of his desk as the Sheriff sits down in his chair behind it. Derek takes a deep breath, "I wanted to apologize-"

"No, don't. We're a small town, we left you in the dark. Look, it's fine. Just... I don't know if you should see him again." The older man says, shaking his head slightly.

Derek takes a moment, then, "I can't see him again?"

"I don't think it would be good for him."

He sits up more in his chair, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I just mean... You found out the secret, okay? You did it. That's what you wanted, wasn't it?"

"Yeah, but then I met him. I talked to him. He used to be human... What happened to him?"

Sheriff Stilinski sighs, looking completely torn, "You'll be gone in another week, son. You don't need to get into this."

"I want to. I can stay longer. Don't you notice that he's lonely?" Derek tells him, maybe a little bite to his words.

"Of course I notice," the Sheriff says with the same tone, "But he doesn't want me to worry, so he doesn't let me in. He lets me visit and he tells me to be happy and to take care of myself. He doesn't let me stay."


Stiles' father rubs at his temples, "Because when he... stood up, he made us promise."

Derek leans forward, hands on the other man's desk, "Who promise?"

"The town." He clarifies with a tired voice, "Why do you think we keep the town looking overly good? Why do you think we were wary of someone new coming here?" He's going through it again in his mind, that day; the way Stiles stood up and sacrificed himself, gripped his jacket and made him promise that he take care of the town, that they be happy in his absence from the streets and houses, and that it would be okay. His little boy, so brave. Sheriff Stilinski puts his head in his hands, "You don't understand."

Derek is silent for a long time, just looking at him.

"Tell me."

And the things that shocks Derek the most, is that the Sheriff does. He tells him about Stiles; laughing and going to school and hanging out with his friends. Being a regular kid, little league baseball and lacrosse when he got older.

Stiles was fourteen when she came. They knew her as Kate. She came up from the Dark Water, what they call the part of the ocean deep down, untouched by the sun. Cold, dangerous, unforgiving. As was she. She said they owed her something from long ago; life. Kate took Stiles' mother, explaining as she lead her to the water, that she was very spiritual, a good sacrifice.

Stiles was not having it. He wailed for his mother, broke from his father's grip and ran out onto the sand. And right into the clutches of Kate. She had an eery calm, scary smile that made Stiles flinch back, but not away. He asked her, while she gripped with fists at his collar, if she would leave his mother be.

Everyone - the whole town was standing at the beach, just before the sand started, completely terrified - was still, and flinched when she laughed. She humored Stiles, said she would make a deal with him. He could have his mother back, and Kate would leave to never be seen again, if Stiles agreed to be a part of the ocean. The kick was, much to everyone's distress, was that Stiles - while a part of the sea - would have to find love.

"Like the Little Mermaid?" Stiles had asked, attention on Kate instead of his mother and father silently gesturing him to go back, to get off the sand.

"Yes, but you don't get to leave the water." It was an impossible deal, "And you have until your eighteenth birthday."

"What happens on my eighteenth birthday?" Stiles asked, because he was smart even then, had always been.

"If you fall in love, and that same someone falls with you, the spell is broken and you and your mother may be free." She smiled again, feeling the tide start to come in at her feet, "If not, I take you and your mother. You both die."

Stiles' father had tried to disagree, that Stiles wouldn't be doing that, and Stiles' mother agreed with him, begged for Kate to spare their son. But Kate wouldn't listen.

"You see, this boy has a strong will. Stronger than I've ever seen." She'd said, smiling almost sympathetically to Stiles, "So, what do you say? Yes or no?"

Stiles gently pulled himself from Kate's hands, walked back to his father and made him promise. Made him promise all the things to keep up, all the things he wanted for the town. Then he himself promised it would be okay.

Stiles, fourteen - God, only fourteen. A child, uncharacteristically brave, but brave for the ones he loves - squared his shoulders, held his head high, stood in front of Kate, and agreed.

And what Kate did next wasn't even shocking, just sickening. She kissed his forehead and pressed her nails to his side, broke the skin. The tide came in and Stiles fell to the sand and changed. Kate then took him and his mother out to the water, but let go of Stiles before she sunk under.

Derek listens to everything the Sheriff says, thinks it over again, and finally asks the question, "How old is Stiles?"

"He's seventeen."

"And his birthday?"

"Closer than anyone wants... I'm gonna lose my son after I've already lost my wife."

Derek doesn't know what to say, even as he opens his mouth to try some comforting words, when there's a soft knock at the door. Scott timidly sticks his head in and the Sheriff visibly pulls himself back together, stands up, "What is it, Scott?"

"It's Stiles. He's in the grotto, at the bottom, and he won't come out." He says, walking in.

"I'm just about to bring him lunch, so." The older man moves around from the desk, but Scott shakes his head.

"I tried already. He wouldn't even talk to me, just kicked me back to the surface." Scott says and the Sheriff stops, looks at him for a moment.

"He's angry at me."

"Then, I'll talk to him." Derek interjects before they can say anything else, standing to head out the door.

"Derek," Sheriff Stilinski starts, but the younger man waves a hand at him.

"I understand. It's okay... If it does, then it does." He says. He walks away, ready to head for the beach if he's in the proper clothes or not, heart pounding because he might really like the idea of Stiles falling for him.

Maybe because he really likes the idea of falling for Stiles.

He gets to the beach and takes off his shoes while he walks on the sand, heading for the grotto. He meets Danny coming out, soaked to the bone with a defeated expression.

"Not even for you?" He asks, already walking past him.

"No. Good luck." Danny claps him on the shoulder before he heads back onto the beach. Derek can faintly hear him start talking with other people, probably Scott and Stiles' father.

The voices lessen until they're not there and his clothes are soaked as he wades into the grotto. He pulls himself up on a bank before the drop where he can see a distorted version of Stiles sitting at the very bottom. He leans over, puts his hand and part of his arm in the water, waving to him. He thinks Stiles sees him, but maybe he's not happy to see him either because he turns his back to him, folding his tail under himself. Derek thinks his arms are crossed over his chest.

He sighs, sits back for a moment. There's an Iron Man lunchbox sitting on another bank, high up, the lunch Scott brought him. He wants to make sure Stiles eats, make sure he's okay. He's slipping into the water before he has a chance to think it all through, sinking down until his feet touch the sand. He moves in and nuzzles Stiles' neck, arm wrapping around him in a hug.

Stiles jumps and turns, eyes widening when he sees that it's Derek, "Oh, my God! What are you doing here?!" He grabs Derek by the biceps and starts to haul him to the surface, not letting go even when Derek breaths out and back in deep again, showing he's okay. "Are you stupid?!"

"You weren't gonna come up!" He argues, taking him around the waist so he can't go back under, "Why aren't you eating? Why aren't you talking to Scott and Danny?"

"I'm a teenager, I have slumps." Stiles says defensively, pouting. Derek pulls him closer.

"I know. But everyone's worried... It's like you've locked yourself in your room and it's totally silent. I don't like it." He leans in and noses at the teen's jaw, "I like when you're happy."

"...I thought my Dad made you leave." Stiles whispers after a few moments, wrapping his arms around Derek's shoulders in a desperate hug. Derek holds him tighter, rubs a hand up and down his back.

"No, he didn't. In fact, he's letting me stay for longer." He says, maybe to amend something between Stiles and his father, and to let Stiles know he doesn't have intentions of leaving. "Do you want me to stay longer?"

"I don't even think that deserves an answer. I'm practically hanging off of you!" Stiles laughs softly, squeezing his shoulders. Derek chuckles and cups his jaw, presses a soft kiss to his lips. The teen moves to full-on kiss him, but Derek takes him by the hips and lifts him onto the bank.

"Nope, not until you eat whatever's in the lunchbox." He does get close though, set his hands on his tail. Stiles rolls his eyes, but smiles and grabs for the lunchbox, opens it up.

"Fine. But it's just because I wanna make out with you more." He pulls out a sandwich and starts eating, taking bites while he tries to pout.

"You're so cute." Derek leans up and kisses his cheek, then gives one just under his jaw because he can. Stiles starts blushing again, ducks his head with a small smile. He's quiet for a few moments, then chuckles to himself.

"Hey, are you fully clothed? Are those sweatpants?"

The Sheriff thanks him for getting through to Stiles, and Scott actually jumps him with a hug. Danny gives him a quick hug and lets him get home, because he's completely soaked and his clothes are uncomfortable.

When he gets home Peter's on the couch making out with some guy, that he's guessing is Chris Argent from down the street. He smears sea water on his uncle in passing and smirks, ignoring the clearing of the throat and 'why are you wet?'.

He sheds his clothes and puts on a full outfit again, because he is a little chilly, even if he's planning on going back to the beach and sitting in the warm sand. He wants to watch Stiles swim out in the open, observe him. He wants to watch Stiles when the sun sets, see his skin bathed in pinks, oranges and slight purples.

He gets on his shoes again without socks, and when he comes downstairs again, Chris and Peter are seated in the kitchen, giving slightly embarrassed looks when they notice him.

"Derek-" Peter starts, but Derek waves a hand at him.

"I don't care. Just use protection." He holds back a chuckle when Peter's face reddens, and he leans down and kisses the top of his head, "Adorable virgin, isn't he? Oh, nice to meet you, by the way." He says to Chris, who tries not to laugh either.

He smiles and shakes the man's hand before he claps Peter on the shoulder and heads for the front door, closing it behind him before his uncle can stop blushing or ask what he wants for dinner.

He walks onto the beach and sees Stiles right away, sitting up in very shallow water with Sheriff Stilinski on the sand, out of his uniform and in old jeans and a sweater instead. They're eating something, talking softly.

"Oh." He feels like he's intruding, and they both look up at him, "I'm sorry, I'll just-"

"No, come sit down." Sheriff Stilinski says, beckoning him over, "After what you've done today, you deserve to relax at the beach."

Stiles gives a small smile, curling up his tail as if to make room even if Derek's not going to sit in the water. He sits hesitantly next to Stiles' father, looking back and forth between them. Stiles bites his lip and grabs a curly fry from the lunchbox - a different one, just plain blue. Derek shakes his head, "No thanks."

"Fine, you're missin' out. Coach makes the best ones." Stiles says, shoves it into his mouth.


"Bobby Finstock. He was Stiles' lacrosse coach... And his Econ teacher." Sheriff Stilinski clarifies. Stiles grunts, chews quickly so he can speak again.

"Is! Still is. I'm gonna get back in the game soon enough. Gonna be the best runner, right?" He smiles at Derek, almost hopefully.

Derek can see Sheriff Stilinski keeping himself together. But he nods, "Yeah, I said your running would be fine." He gives a slight smile back.

"Ha. See, there we go. Y'know, I look really good in lacrosse gear. Professional and sh-crap." He catches himself, grinning at his father before piling more food into his mouth.

"God, kid. You eat like an animal." Stiles' father chuckles, a bit forced, because he avoids the whole conversation of Stiles back to normal. Derek doesn't think the Sheriff can even let himself hope for it anymore.

"It's kinda cute." Derek tells him, promises. Stiles' fins sway in the water and he smiles, blushes. He growls and scrunches his nose up, and Derek chuckles, heart warming at the sight.

Sheriff Stilinski lets out a small laugh and shakes his head, packing up his dinner. "Well, I think this is my cue to leave." He gets up from the sand and brushes himself off, then runs a hand over Stiles' hair, "I want you to get some sleep tonight, okay?"

"You, too. No staying up late working on cases." Stiles reaches up and fixes the hem of his dad's sweater, smiling at him. Sheriff Stilinski nods before glancing a look at Derek, then heading up to the street.

Stiles watches his father go until he's out of sight, then slumps down against the sand, closing up his lunchbox. "So... You're wearing all your clothes again. You're not gonna swim with me?"

"I wanted to watch you tonight." Derek tells him truthfully, crawling over to lay high up on the sand so he doesn't get wet, but with his head next to Stiles'. The teen turns his head to look at him.


"Yeah... I wanted to watch you in the sunset."

Stiles smiles and kisses his nose, "Just a little while until then... Perfect time to kiss?"

Derek chuckles and leans, gently pressing their mouths together. He feels a hand in his hair, twisting in the strands. It's still damp and Stiles likes it, opens his mouth for him before it's even requested. He makes a soft noise when Derek's tongue slides against his, slow and sweet and it makes Stiles' heart race.

They start to kiss eagerly, Stiles' enthusiasm evidently contagious and it has Derek getting up on his knees, coming around to touch at his arms, take his hands. He lets Stiles' hands press against him, feel the pulse point on his neck and dig at the hair at the back of his head.

A soft groan slips from Derek's lips when Stiles rubs behind his ear. The teen pulls away to look at him playfully, cheeks red again. He sits up on an elbow and attaches his mouth to the sensitive skin just under there. Derek's breath hitches and he tightens his hands on Stiles' hips.

"The sun," Stiles says softly against his ear, testing licking at the lobe, "it's setting... Come into the water with me."

Derek takes a deep breath and presses a kiss to Stiles' cheek, then sits up, "I don't have my trunks."

Stiles scoots over to him, leans up and slides their mouths together. He pulls away just an inch and whispers as a soft smile spreads across his lips, "Then take off your clothes."

He wiggles out of Derek's grasp then, slipping into the water and swimming out, floating on his back. The man's momentarily frozen, doesn't realize he was ever allowed that way here, or that that was an option. And Stiles is requesting it. He fully realizes that Stiles is a seventeen year old guy, which Derek, at seventeen, was all about nakedness, too. The freedom of it, seeing himself naked, seeing people that he liked naked.

Stiles likes him. Stiles wants to see him naked.

So, he strips. He lets his shirt and pants fall to the sand, looks out to see Stiles watching him with round eyes. He smiles and pulls at the waistband of his boxers, taking them down and leaving them as well.

He wades out, the teen's skin just how he thought it would be; all washed in warm, sweet color. It makes Derek's heart pull in the best way. He gets to where the water is halfway to his chest and Stiles bites his lip, looks at him anxiously for a moment. Derek looks over his face, smiling affectionately before he even realizes it and Stiles copies him, then swims around him, smooth glides.

He touches at his arm, shoulder, then around to his back. He traces at the triskele inked onto his skin, then slowly runs his hand down the length of his spinal cord. It makes Derek shudder. Stiles kisses his shoulder blade, moves around to touch his other arm, slowly coming around to touch his chest, down his abdomen.

Derek reaches out and cups the side of his face, his thumb rubbing back and forth on his cheekbone. The teen's eyes flick up to his face, beautifully brown and fanned out eyelashes. He smiles, "You okay?"

Stiles nods, "Haven't seen someone... Y'know, in a while... N-Not that I looked! I just, it-it was-"

"You can look if you want to. It's fine. You showed me your tail, didn't you?" He pushes forward and gives him a short kiss, blushing a bit himself this time.

He wraps his arms around Derek's shoulders, hugging him. He whispers again, "Yeah, but... Sometimes I wish I could just crawl out of it, be normal again. I-I'm not allowed to think about that though, I promised myself... I made everyone promise be stay happy, and they very well can't be if I'm, i-if I'm sinking myself to the bottom of the ocean and refusing to come up." He presses his face into Derek's shoulder then, holding on tighter.

"It's okay, Stiles." Derek brings him in close, "I know, I get it... It's been a full day, hasn't it?"

"Yeah." He closes his eyes, tries not to cry. Who is Derek, to do this for him? Bring his old life back to him. It's hitting him in the chest how much he misses his friends, how much he misses his parents and his bed and lacrosse. How much he misses being able to walk home. How much he wishes that this - he and Derek - happened differently, because Derek's comforting and giving and trusting. And how can Stiles do the same when there's so much he's locked up to put on a show? "You can leave me, you know. You don't have to stay any longer. Your family must miss you."

"If I leave, I'll miss you." Derek tells him softly, and Stiles' heart feels like it's being ripped right out of his chest.

Ripped out of his chest and given to Derek.

He pulls away and smiles at him, looks over his eyes and his nose and mouth, takes him in. Then he kisses him with all he has.

They spend the next week and a half together, whether it's on the sand or in the grotto. Stiles starts to feel a little under the weather, which Sheriff Stilinski says has never happened while he's been in the ocean. Derek dreads to think that it's Kate starting to take life from him, so Derek is there for him every day; coaxing him to eat and swim and laugh.

He kisses Stiles like he'll never have him again, and holds him close to him. He doesn't like when Stiles goes under the water, for fear that he won't come back up. He understands why Stiles was wary of that for Derek now. He's scared of losing him.

They talk until the sun has been gone for hours. About everything. What technology Stiles doesn't know about yet, and what movies they like, favorite foods and colors and times of year. Stiles favorite season, ironic enough, is winter. When Derek says his is summer, Stiles says that it's nice too, but he always loved the thought of being able to be held by someone while the snow fell outside. Derek kisses him and says that he would.

Danny and a guy named Jackson come to visit, and Jackson looks on the edge of a panic attack the whole time, hugging Stiles close and then staying glued to Danny's side. Danny holds Stiles' hand and smiles as much as he can, however sad his eyes are.

When Scott visits he looks like he hasn't slept in days and his eyes are red, like he's only just pulled himself together. He's toting his mother, Melissa, and a woman named Victoria. She brings Stiles' favorite cookies.

Laura comes by and sits on the sand with her feet in the water, kisses Stiles' cheek when he gets close enough. Peter and Chris swim, but they don't look very happy. None of the people in the town look happy when Stiles isn't looking. But the teen says Derek's made them open up, that he gets more people visiting than he used to.

Derek wonders if Stiles knows how close it is to his birthday.

Sheriff Stilinski doesn't say anything about it, but he's wearing his bath suit and goes into the water with him that night, swims with him. They eat after that, and that's one of the few the times Derek leaves him; he goes home and showers, shaves, and eats with Peter and Laura.

Somehow the subject at dinner turns into something about Stiles and a grave and Derek accidentally drops his glass. Laura rushes to pick the shattered up and Derek gets pulled into a tight hug by Peter as he begins to cry. His heart breaks to just think about a place without Stiles.

So, he goes back to the beach, and showers Stiles with affection.

Derek falls asleep in the grotto, and awakes to Stiles laying up on the bank with him. The ends of his fins in the water, effectively creating a barrier to the water with his body if Derek were to toss and turn in his sleep.

Stiles also looks paler than usual, with dark circles around his eyes.

Derek's fully awake instantly and puts on a brave face, gently kisses Stiles awake to get him out into the sunlight, to get him to swim and stay moving.

But Stiles just kisses back lazily and Derek thinks the twitch Stiles' hand gives his own is meant to be a squeeze. Derek starts to panic, cups his cheek in his hand. "Stiles. Stiles, please get up."

"Mm." He turns his head softly into the warmth of Derek's hand. Derek wants him to open his eyes, look at him, tell him he's okay.

"Stiles, please." When the teen does nothing, Derek feels his chest start to close up with anxiety. He moves around Stiles and gets into the water, then reaches up and carefully wraps his arms around Stiles, lowering him into the water. His head falls onto Derek's shoulder like dead weight and the man lets out a choked noise, the word 'dead' flashing in his head. He holds tight to Stiles and to the edge of the bank, getting them out of the grotto.

The minute the sunlight hits them, it's warm and Stiles jerks a little, like he's been laying in bed and his dad just opened the curtains because he's slept half the day away. Derek wants him to wake up, too.

He shakily gets him through the path, onto the main sand. One of Stiles' arms drags in the water as they move, and it terrifies Derek just how pale he is, how he isn't moving. He looks-No. No, Derek will not think about that.

"Stiles? Stiles, come on. Wake up for me." He whispers, feeling out of breath as he crawls up to shallow water and lays Stiles on the sand of the beach. He cups his face in his hands, hoping the water would do something. It doesn't. He can feel the tears building, that feeling of working up a heavy cry. He lowers his head to the teen's chest and yes, he is breathing. And yes, there is a heartbeat.

Derek takes a deep breath and pulls his head up, looks around. It seems like everyone's gone, but he knows that's not the case. He sees movement and sits up more, Jackson walking with his head hung across the street. "Jackson!"

The blond's head jerks up to their direction and then he jogs over, stops short when he sees Stiles. His expression goes to downright scared, and his face pales. He looks like someone's just shot him. Derek feels the same, "Jackson, go get Sheriff Stilinski."

Jackson doesn't move, eyes fixed on Stiles.

"Jackson! Go. get. help!" Derek shouts at him, and the teen looks up at him then, nods shakily before he sprints off. Derek turns his attention back to Stiles, touching his face, his neck for his pulse. He sniffles, looking own at that beautiful face, brokenly pleading with him, "Please don't do this to me."

The agonizing sixty seconds it takes for people to swarm the beach beats at Derek's sanity like perfectly aimed punches. But when he looks up again, Sheriff Stilinski is at their side, half dressed in blue sweatpants and a gray t-shirt.

He lowers his head to Stiles' chest and when he knows he's breathing, he takes Stiles' shoulders and shakes him, "Stiles. Come on, kid."

Chris is standing up a little more on the beach, along with what looks to be the whole police department. Someone's talking on a phone and pacing, and Jackson's running back to them, people coming quickly behind him. Scott breaks his way into view, just in his boxers like he was awoken from bed, and Derek sees Danny, a violently shaking Jackson now attached to his arm.

Melissa McCall is made a path for and she comes right up, falling to the sand next to the Sheriff. Derek watches them all file in, frantic faces, some already staining with tears. He sees Laura with Erica, hands tightly clasped together, and Peter jogging in, his sights are completely on Derek and Stiles. His uncle comes to his side and Derek can't even hear what he's saying, can't hear what anyone's saying. He's gripping Stiles' hand and feels himself sob.

"Stiles, please." He's begging on auto-pilot, don't die, please don't die playing over and over in his head.

"Stiles!" Sheriff Stilinski yells desperately and Stiles groans softly, turns his head toward his father. Jackson starts to cry out of relief and Scott sinks to the ground, hands over his mouth.

"Dad, what're you doin'?" The teen's words are slurred tiredly, and he barely gets his eyes open.

"Oh, God. You almost gave me a heart attack." Thee Sheriff says and leans down, hugging his son, "I thought I lost you, kid."

Stiles' hand comes up weakly to touch his father's shoulder, "M'okay. Tired. You okay?... Can I go back to sleep?"

"No!" Everyone says instantly and Stiles makes an unhappy noise. When Sheriff Stilinski sits up, obviously recovering, Derek brings Stiles' hand up to his face, fitting it to his cheek. Stiles' fingertips dig a little at his skin, making sure he's actually there.

"Hey, man." He whispers, brushes his thumb under his eye, "Why're... You're crying. Why are you...?" He tries to get up, but is gently pushed back down by both his father and Derek, "What's goin' on?"

"It's your birthday, son." Sheriff Stilinski breaks gently, close to tears as he runs a hand over his eighteen year old's hair.

Stiles looks distressed, and then his face turns pained and he hisses, hands hitting the sand and gripping at it, body arching up and twisting. Stiles whimpers loudly and Scott's crawling to hold Stiles' shoulders. There are four other sets of hands on him, holding him, trying to comfort him. There are bright red scratches on his side, by his ribs.

The sky darkens and wind starts to blow. Derek immediately covers his body with his own, while everyone looks stunned out to the ocean.

"I'm sorry, Derek." Stiles grits out while he tries to stop convulsing, but the pain. It's like it's searing his skin, her mark. He can see the sky, bitter gray and his heart drops because... She's here. It hurts his ears when he hears her voice.

"Yes, happy birthday, Stiles!" She's thigh-deep in the water but completely dry, wearing the simple black and pearled dress she was before, sweetheart neckline even though she's not a sweetheart at all. Stiles knows her heart is as black as that dress - if she even has one. There's a round, turquoise crystal hanging from a silver chain around her neck.

Derek sits up to look at her, the demon woman who made Stiles this way. She smiles and flicks her light caramel hair back, "Look at you, all grown up. How are you, baby?"

"In pain!" Stiles snaps at her, convulses again because she makes him, then she waves a hand and it goes away, cools the extreme heat. He loosens his hands on the sand, sits up slowly with help.

"There we go. Better? Good." She comes up and kneels down, touches his tail without permission, "Are you ready to go? Mommy's waiting."

Derek wants to hit her. He's never hit a woman before - aside from Laura, but those were all love taps - but Derek wants to punch her in the face. No one touches Stiles' tail, except him. He was the first one to do it.

"My mom?" Stiles sits up straighter and Derek moves a hand to his lower back to help. A woman comes up from the water, coughing and looking sick, soaked, unlike Kate. Sheriff Stilinski twitches, like he wants to go get her but he knows it's not a good idea. Stiles makes to move, but Kate digs her nails into his tail. He stops, but looks out to her, "Mom, it's okay. You okay?"

"I love you, sweetheart." She says softly, voice wavering.

Stiles gives a smile, a pained one, and then looks back to Kate. She rolls her eyes, "Are you done?"

"Please, can you just let me-?" Sheriff Stilinski starts, but Kate silences him with a sharp look.

"No." She tells him through gritted teeth, "I've waited four years. Let me have what I want." She reaches out, cups Stiles' face in her hands and Derek's brain goes offline for a moment. His heart is pounding and Peter's shaking next to him. Sheriff Stilinski's gripping his son's hand and looking from him to his wife, looking like he's desperately thinking of a way out. Scott's crying.

"Come on, baby. Out to the water." She whispers, and Stiles gently breaks from everyone's hold, pushes himself into the water and starts to swim out. He tries his best not to look at anyone. He does not want to cry. She holds his hand and walks next to him, a sinister smile playing on her lips.

Derek's chest tightens, so hard it hurts. He starts to shake. Peter pulls him into a hug, but he can't look at anything but Stiles' face as they move out further and further. It's not supposed to look like that. Stiles is supposed to be smiling and laughing.

"Stiles!" He shouts, pushing away from his uncle and getting up, wading out quickly. "No! No, Stiles." He's tripping and panicking, grabbing at Stiles' hand, then his arm, then the side of his neck. He pulls Stiles into him, wrapping his arms around him, "No. No, don't go."

Stiles grips at him for a moment, like that night with Stiles and the sunset. His emotions start to betray him, tears blurring his vision, "Derek, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"No. Stop. Stop it." He cups his cheek in his hand, rubs his thumb against his cheekbone, "I-I love you. You can't go, I love you."

"What?" Stiles' breath stutters, voice shock as his body tenses and then melts. Melts right into him, so relived and warm.

"What did you just say?" Kate's looking at them with fierce eyes. Derek can almost feel them burning his skin. He's sure she could if she wanted to.

"I love him. You can't take him. I'm... I'm in love with him." Derek tells her, clearing his throat when his voice breaks at how hard his heart is pulling. But it's true. It's the truest thing he's ever said, "I'm in love with Stiles. And I don't know if he loves me back, but I'm not letting you take him."

"Who are you to even-?" She grabs Derek by the chin, fingers splaying out over his jaw and gripping painfully. He glares at her. Her eyes widen, "How dare you?!"

"Stop it!" Stiles screeches at her, batting her hand away. There's shocked gasps, all in unison from the people on the shore. Stiles' mother claps her hands over her mouth, makes a pitiful sound. "Don't touch him. Y-You... I don't-It's, I just-"

Derek takes that moment to kiss him. And Stiles arches up into it, holds both hands on either sides of his face and kisses him back. Loves you back, Derek's mind tells him. Stiles pulls away, looks him in the eyes, drying tears and red around the edges, "I love you, too. I do, Derek. I-I love you, too."

Kate gasps at them, holding a hand to her chest. She gives them a long look, then steps back. Her dress is wet, sea water getting to it, soaking whatever's submerged. She's been caught off guard, "You can't be serious."

"I am." It comes from them unanimous, a strong two words while they look at her.

Stiles turns his gaze to his mother, detaches himself from Derek to move toward her, "Mom, it's okay. Come on, come on." He reaches out to her, beckoning her closer.

Kate growls and grabs at him, first by the arm, then around his neck. She sinks him under the water and hits Derek square in the chest, pushing him back with what can't only be physical strength.

There are screams coming from the shore, of anger and fright and sorrow. Stiles can't breathe. He feels like he's drowning for the first time since since he changed. But this time it's leaving him, the ability to breathe underwater, rather than coming to him. He thrashes and panics, gets above water once and gulps in air, gets out a strangled 'No!'.

Then there's an uproar. The town's people are running into the water, running to grab at Kate and protect the boy that kept them all safe.

When Derek gets pulled up by Peter, he sees them all fighting her, grabbing at whatever they can. Her dress, her body, her hair. Derek pushes his way to them, taking a hold of her shoulder and she screams like she's been burned. All of her actions stop, like she freezes, and then she falls limp into the water.

It feels like the whole ground, the air, the water pulses with a certain charge, a ripple of something - magic, energy, intense emotion - and everything just stops for a second's time.

Then Stiles is grabbing at Derek's side, his arm, hauling himself out from under the water, hacking and hyperventilating. Derek leans down and scoops him up, pulling him close to his chest and patting his back. Stiles is shaking all over, and Derek puts a hand on his thigh to bring him closer.

His thigh. His thigh. Derek's breath catches in his throat. Stiles is wearing green swim trunks. He pulls Stiles closer and whispers that it's okay, watches as Sheriff Stilinski goes to his wife, pulls her into his arms. Danny pulls the black of Kate's dress from the ocean, as if when they all touched her, it was too much good, too much hope and love, and broke everything she had built. Jackson picks her necklace from the sand, and the crystal is shattered.

The sky clears, clouds move from the sun's path and everything is beautifully bright, shining down on all of them. People start smiling, real smiles, and Stiles laughs softly against the crook of his neck.

Peter's body is crashing into them, arms holding them tightly. Laura's there too, almost strangling Derek with how tightly she's got him. Sheriff Stilinski and his wife come over to them, and Derek kisses Stiles' cheek before he willingly hands him over, letting his parents hold him. When Stiles stands, he's a bit wobbly on his legs, but there are plenty of people to hold him up.

That night, they burn Kate's dress, and her silver chain. Stiles spends his first night in four years in his bed, with Scott curled up next to him on the floor. Derek ends up sleeping on the floor of the living room, covered in blankets with his sister next to him. Stiles' mother gets well again after a good night's sleep, the next day she wakes with color in her cheeks and a smile.

Derek gets invited over for lunch at the Stilinski home, and he goes. When he gets there, Stiles mother looks as if none of this ever happened. She's singing and the house is bright, sunshine streaming through the open windows. She's cooking something that smells amazing, and Sheriff Stilinski doesn't have that tired look on his face, or any emotion other than joyful.

Derek shakes his hand and meets Mrs. Stilinski, kindly stops her when she starts to thank him. The floorboards start to creak, someone waking up. Scott has already gone, he knows from seeing him around town this morning. So, he's heading to the stairs before he fully realizes it.

Stiles is clutching at the railing of the stairs as he comes down them, evidently not having legs for four years making for a shaky first day back on land. He's smiling though, and it widens when he sets eyes on Derek, "Hey!"

"Hey, Stiles. You okay? Lemme just-" He moves forward to touch him, to help him down the rest of the stairs.

"No, no. I don't want help... If you were gonna kiss me though, it would be the most awesome thing." Stiles tells him and Derek chuckles, loops his arm around his waist when he's on the last step. He leans up and presses their lips together, and doesn't voice when Stiles gets even more wobbly, wrapping his arms around his shoulders as he fumbles on the step.

He just brings him close and gets him onto the carpeted floor. He smiles at realizing Stiles is about an inch shorter than him, and pulls away before Stiles can get his tongue in his mouth. He pouts, but Derek gives him another kiss, quick this time.

"Later." He whispers, rubbing his back.

"Yeah, okay... But guess what." Stiles leans in and bumps their noses with a smile.


"I'm wearing underwear... That you are fully permitted to take off." Stiles lightly kisses his cheek, laughing when he sees Derek's surprised face, and pulls away to wobble off into the kitchen.

This guy's gonna kill me, he thinks as he follows him into the kitchen.

Lunch goes well, talk of Stiles getting back into school and his mother getting back to her job at the bakery and volunteering at the library. Derek chuckles when they both scold the Sheriff for reaching for the salt. They talk of Derek and his family, all his brothers and sisters, his parents and how they all used to live together in a big house.

They laugh about how Stiles used to get into trouble with Scott, that technically he's been taken into custody thirteen times. Stiles seems embarrassed, so Derek talks about the times when his brothers would hang him in trees by his shirt or his underwear, and how his father or Peter would have to get him down. He really gets Stiles to laugh when he tells them about the time Laura shoved a frog down his pants.

Stiles pulls him into the living room after, legs a little stronger, and plops down on the couch to watch the superhero movies he's missed. Derek goes with whatever he wants, letting Stiles place his hands - moving them of his own accord only when Stiles starts to urge him downward by his wrist - and lets the younger man lay all over him. While Netflix is loading up another movie, they kiss, all lips and teeth and tongue.

Stiles takes a deep breath when they pull away, lips swollen and a blush dusting his cheeks. He takes the blanket from next to them on the couch and drapes it over them, bringing his knees to his chest to hide the obvious tent in his sweatpants. Derek holds back a smile and raises an eyebrow at him, earning himself a slap to the chest and a deeper blush on Stiles' cheeks.

He helps - does not help, Stiles insists - the younger man up to his room when he starts to nod off, gets him to lay in bed. Stiles drags him in with him, placing a forceful kiss to his mouth. Derek can't help the surprised groan that slips out, and Stiles starts to drag his shirt up, touch at his skin and the older man pulls away, takes his wrists and pins them back.


"No, Derek. Stay." Stiles licks his lips, wiggles his hips a little.

"Not tonight." Derek tells him, presses a soft kiss to his lips. He lets go of his wrists, moves his hands down to his hips and holds them in his palms, presses a little. Stiles bites his lip, makes a noise that he tries to hold back. Derek smirks, "Get a good night's sleep, okay?" He squeezes before he lets go, and presses a kiss to Stiles' cheek, "I love you."

"I love you, too. Friggin' jerk." Stiles chuckles when the other man winks, covers him with a blanket before he leaves his room.

Derek makes breakfast and invites the Stilinskis over. Only Stiles shows up, dressed in baggy jeans where his mother probably just estimated his size and a t-shirt that lifts up when he raises his arm to rub at the back of his neck. He's got new red high-tops on, unlaced, and he's smiling knowingly at Derek when he says 'huh?' because he's been caught staring.

"Mom went to stock up the house with good food and Dad had to work. So, it's just me." Stiles says, eyes darting to look him over before he steps in and cups his jaw, brings their lips together. Derek holds him at the waist, fumbling slightly with the spatula in his right hand. Stiles chuckles and nips at his bottom lip with his teeth, pulling away an inch. Their noses brush, "So, hi."

"Hey," Derek smiles, the feeling of adoration making him completely giddy. He leans in to kiss to him again, maybe pick him up and bring him over to press into the counter, but Peter bounds down the stairs.

"Derek, you'll have plenty of time to make out with your boyfriend, but there's only so much time for pancakes during the morning hours. This is prime pancake time kiddo!" He claps, grinning at them.

Derek rolls his eyes, gives a peck to Stiles' lower lip before going to make Peter's damn pancakes.

"You can sit at the table, start eating." He tells him, gesturing to the table as he goes to set some pancake mix into the pan on the stove. Stiles shakes his head, follows him to the stove and stands behind him, slipping his arms around his waist.

"I like standing. I haven't stood in a while... And I like touching you." He squeezes Derek against him, smiling as he presses his face into his shoulder.

The older man's heart thumps loud in his chest, slight blush filling out his cheeks. He ducks his head, watches the pancake with a smile as Stiles cuddles against him, "Y'know, I thought you'd be way shorter than me."

Stiles chuckles against his shirt, "I thought you'd be more hesitant getting into the water with me that night." He dips his thumb into the waistband of Derek's sweatpants, glides the pad of his thumb down along his hipbone. Derek bits his lip.

"So you did look." He says, peeking over his shoulder at him. He can see Stiles start to blush and goes back to having both hands on his abdomen.

Laura comes downstairs, smiling already. She must have just gotten off the phone with Erica, since she was upstairs for so long when the whole house smells of breakfast foods.

She smiles at them, plopping down in a chair next to Peter. He smiles, gestures to them, "They're so cute, I wanna throw up."

"As long as I get my muffins, I'll keep thinking the same thing." She says, glancing over. Derek rolls his eyes and leans over, grabbing an oven mitt to get the muffins out of the oven. Stiles backs up to give him some room, and has Laura's hand wrapping around his wrist, gently tugging him to sit down, "So, this would be a great time to tell you all of Derek's embarrassing moments."

Derek ends up blushing more than Stiles during breakfast.

"Aw, your clothes are cute." Stiles chuckles, holding one of Derek's flannel shirts to his front.

Derek smiles from his place on his bed, "I'm glad you think so." He's being distracted by mental images of Stiles in his shirts and nothing else. Derek thinks about wrapping him up in one so they can go downstairs in the early hours of the morning when no one else is awake with the intent of eating something, but all he really does is back Stiles up against the counter and kiss at his neck. And maybe Stiles would be wearing socks so he'd slide on the wood floors and Derek would be there to pick him up...

"Hey, you still on Earth?" Stiles says, sounding amused. He's over by the door now, shirt on a hanger in the open closet. He's leaning against the door, fiddling with its lock.

"Uh, yeah." He gives a smile, sitting up more, "What are you doing?"

"I was asking if I'd look good in any of them."

Derek wets his lips, "I think you'd look good in anything."

"Or... Nothing?" Stiles bites his lip, holding the door handle. Derek nods immediately, and he blows out a breath, then flicks the lock.

Stiles crosses the room and Derek goes to stand up, but gets hands on his shoulders, easing him back down. The younger man carefully straddles ones of his thighs, leans down and presses their lips together. Derek holds his hips, slowly lays himself back until he meets the mattress. Stiles leans down with his elbows on either side of Derek's head, pressing their bodies together.

Derek slips his hands under his shirt, rubs slowly up and down his sides and Stiles gives a quiet noise, leaning up so Derek can take the piece of clothing off him. They break the kiss to get it over his head, but then he's back against Derek, this time pulling at his shirt, wanting skin-to-skin contact.

The older man sits up, letting him slip his shirt away. He's instantly touching all over Derek's torso with his fingers, tracing muscles and pressing at his skin a little. Derek takes his hands, moves them to his face, keeps his own hands loosely around his wrists. Stiles' thumb moves to the sweet spot behind his ear.

"You sure you wanna do this?" He asks, just because he wants Stiles to be completely comfortable, completely ready.

His thumb rubs against the skin behind Derek's ear and he smiles, "I want this. I really, really want this."

Derek leans and kisses him, reaching to undo his jeans. They start to fall from his hips, revealing his plaid blue boxers. "Those are for me, then?"

"Yeah. You can, y'know, throw them across the room... or something." Stiles shrugs, the smile he's trying to suppress giving him away.

"Oh, just lay down." Derek presses a kiss to his cheek and lets him move, watches him get settled into the bed, leaving the blankets open for him. He smiles as Stiles wiggles a little, getting comfortable, "How do you wanna do this?"

Stiles looks over at him, letting his legs part. He reaches for Derek, "I want you to get over here." Derek crawls up to him and Stiles places his hands on his jeans, "Come on."

The older man takes a hold of the denim, works it off his body and drops it to the floor. Stiles takes a deep breath as Derek feels along his legs, leans over and kisses him as he touches at his thighs. Stiles holds his face in his hands, keeps him close and groans when boyfriend's hands start to dip under his fabric of his underwear. They tangle tongues and Derek squeezes his hands around his upper thighs.

"You want me to take them off you?" Derek whispers against his mouth, nibbling at his lips.

"Y-Your pants." He moves his hands down and tugs at the waistband of Derek's sweatpants, helps him get them off. He realizes, as Derek's kicking away the fabric, that he's just as hard as he is in the confines of his underwear, and he brushes up against Stiles' thigh. It sends shocks up his spine, through his lap, makes his heart kick-drum. "Oh, my God."

Derek looks up at him and he pulls him in, kissing him hard, heated. It's reciprocated, and his thighs are being lifted, dragged up to lock around Derek's waist. He moans, arches up with his hips to grind against him.

Derek moves his mouth to his neck, presses wet kisses there as his hips press down against Stiles'. The younger man makes a choked off sound and presses his head to the side for him. He bites softly at that pale skin, feels hands tangling in his hair. Stiles thrusts up again and he reaches for his hips, holds them down. He thumbs at the waistband when Stiles whines, "I can touch you better if these are off."

"Then take 'em off." The younger man tells him breathlessly, turning his head to press a kiss to the corner of his mouth.

Derek breathes out deep, making an effort to control himself, not grind down hard until Stiles comes all over himself. He sits up, lets Stiles raise his hips as he takes down the fabric. His boyfriend has that amazing blush on his cheeks again, and just to humor him, he throws his boxers across the room. Stiles laughs, open and loud despite himself.

"God, I love you." Derek gets pulled in for another kiss, small chuckles echoing between their lips. He stores it all to memory as he settles himself back between Stiles' legs, goes and touches along his stomach and hips.

The first grip of Derek's hand around his cock comes as a jolt, a warmth and solid hold that pushes the air out of his lungs. The older man shushes Stiles softly, gently pulls his fist up the length of him and listens to the "Oh, holy God."

"You okay?" He whispers against his ear, his free hand digging in the drawer of the bedside table. He doesn't care how it happens - whether he or Stiles bottoms or tops - he just knows he wants it to happen.

"Y-Yeah... Oh, God. Yeah." The younger man's hips thrust up unintentionally and the hand around him starts to rhythmically pump. "O-Okay. I don't know if I want you to stop or keep going."

He takes his hand away, pressing a kiss to Stiles' temple, "It's okay." He lowers his voice to a whisper, "You can come however many times you want... Unless I want you to more."

Stiles shivers, nods and shifts his eyes to the bottle in Derek's hand, "Y-You gonna touch me with that?"

"If you want me to."

"I do."

Derek takes a pillow - one that Stiles isn't laying on - and smiles softly, "Then lift your hips."

Stiles bites his lip and does so, blushing when he sets the pillow under him, grabbing one of his cheeks and squeezing while he lowers him back down. He chuckles, decides to distract him in leaning down and licking a slow trail along his abdomen. It gets him to relax, laying back against the pillows again, one hand going to Derek's hair.

The older man opens the cap to the lube as he glides his tongue over Stiles' hip, spreading some on his fingers. He pulls up a little, presses a kiss to Stiles' thigh near his knee. He watches his face as he sets the tip of his middle finger to him. Stiles wiggles, bites his lip harder, "O-Oh, wow."

"It's okay, I won't hurt you." He lays his cheek against his thigh, scratches his stubble there. He circles the tip of his finger around his entrance, slow, pressing just a bit each time to get him used to it. He leaves kisses along his thigh and Stiles' cheeks look hot as he tries to control his breathing.

He presses his finger in, just a bit and Stiles gasps, body goes rigid. Derek stills his hand, leans up for his mouth to hover over his boyfriend's cock, "You gotta relax."

Stiles nods, breathing out slowly. He closes his eyes and trusts that Derek will make it better, wills his body to relax. His breath hitches, Derek's mouth closing over the tip of his cock, slow laves of his tongue along the slit. He fists his hands loose in the sheets, lets himself go pliant for Derek.

The older man's heart calms when Stiles starts making noises, little breathy noises that just sound amazing. Derek carefully works his finger into him, while he adds suction with his mouth, tasting precome. He starts to take more of him in, Stiles' hips starting to shift and wiggle, noises becoming more insistent.

"D-Derek. Derek, when you told me I could come..." Stiles bites his lip, despite and foreign pressure and pain of being fingered, Derek's mouth is just - reallyfuckingamazingohmygod - really doing things for him and he's close.

Derek pulls up, licking his lips. He nods, "I want you to." He watches Stiles shudder, and he starts to feel around with his finger, palm pressing to his body now. "And I want you to be as loud as you want." They're the only two here, so he wants to hear everything. He takes Stiles back into his mouth, hollows his cheeks and sucks, gets a broken noise from Stiles as he starts to bob his head.

"Oh, my God. O-Oh, Derek. Fuck." The younger man presses his hips up, groans loudly as he grips at the sheets and shakes from the force of his orgasm. Derek's there, he's got him, swallowing what he can and working Stiles through it. Stiles starts to babble, "Derek. Please, that's-Oh, God. Derek, Derek, Derek. I can't-"

He twitches, breathing erratic. Derek pulls off, nice and slow. Stiles relaxes, looking down at him as he exhales shakily. Derek smirks, gently probing his finger around, "You okay?"

"Yeah." Stiles says quickly, "I-I'm good. Really, really good."

He smiles, "I'm not hurting you?"

"No. It's just..." The younger man shifts his hips slightly, "Weird, now."

"That's because you were tense." He says, presses a kiss to his inner thigh, "But you've loosened up for me."

Stiles blushes, lets his legs fall open obscenely for him, "Just get to it, lover boy. It's okay. I wanna end up hearing you, too."

Derek bites his lip, nods as he sets a second finger to him. Stiles closes his eyes again, takes a deep breath and braces for that hard push and stretch. He starts at something soft and warm against him, wet and wow, that's actually really good. He tilts his pelvis for more of it, feeling the first finger leave him, lubed hand hold to his thigh. He feels it there again, pressing against him, then starting to work inside. He feels a puff of breath against his sensitive skin, and he shudders, putting two and two together.

He reaches down for Derek's hair, "Holy God, Derek." He opens his eyes and looks down, moaning at the sight of his boyfriend's face shoved against him. His tongue inside him. He shudders, gasps a little as it moves in him. It stretches him open, slow, tentative. Derek gently thrusts his tongue, creating a low hum of pleasure that radiates through Stiles' whole lower half. He silently thanks that Stiles seems to like this.

The younger man's breath gets shaky again, and he starts to carefully rut his hips up, hiking up his legs a bit more. Derek groans softly, moves his hand back to him and touches a finger to him. Stiles arches up for it this time.

Derek gently slips it in alongside his tongue, Stiles clenching around him before loosening again, moving his hips in unconscious, little ruts. He moves his tongue away, going to wet around his finger, setting another to him. He starts to work it in, Stiles making a breathless noise. He glances up to make sure he doesn't look pained, starting to scissor his fingers when he only looks flustered.

Stiles isn't all the way hard again, new sensations mixed with pleasant and unpleasant. But he's getting there, moans loud and surprised when Derek presses against a certain spot, flash of pleasure making up buck against him.

"Derek!" He squirms when that spot is pressed to again, huffing out a breath.

The older man picks his head up, slowly rubbing over Stiles' sweet spot, "Yeah, babe?"

"Oh, God. I like that. I-I like that." He jerks when Derek pushes in harder, groan being forced from him, "C-Can we just...? Please. Am I ready?"

"Do you feel ready?" Derek leans up, hovers over him again.


He dips down and kisses his nose, "Then, okay." He gently withdraws his fingers, Stiles trying to get them back with his hips and a whimper. "Shh." He coos, reaching his clean hand to grab a condom from the drawer. Stiles follows his hand with his eyes, watching as he readjusts his hips on the pillow.

He moves his hands to Derek's boxers once he's sat up again, trying to get them off. Derek chuckles and helps, letting them fall of the floor after. Stiles touches his hips, holds them in his palms and feels over the bones with his fingertips. Derek's about to ask if he's okay again, but Stiles pulls away, grabs the lube from next to them on the mattress and shoves it against his abdomen, "Well, come on."

"Okay, okay." He takes the bottle and leans down, gives him a quick kiss, then pulls open the foil packet. Stiles wets his lips, reaches as he rolls it on and helps. Lubricant gets smeared on Derek's thighs when Stiles tries to help with that, too. It pulls a smile onto his lips and he takes his boyfriend's thighs, situating those legs around his waist. Now they're slick and so are the sheets, and when Stiles grabs for him, he gets it on his cheekbone, in his hair, too. Derek laughs softly, pressing a kiss to his jaw.

"What's so funny?" Stiles' fingers are lacing in his hair, mouth a lovely genuine smile.

"You're just amazing." He says, sliding their lips together, tongues clashing. Stiles makes a soft noise, rocking his hips up. He's hard again, leaking at the tip. Derek lines himself up, gently starts to press in while he muffles the noises Stiles makes against his mouth, if that would somehow make the first slide easier.

Stiles grips at him, breaking the kiss to shove Derek into the junction where neck and shoulder meet, hold onto him as he tries to breathe normally. There's a simultaneous gasp when Derek's in all the way, everything going still for a moment except for Stiles' shaking thighs.

The older man rubs at them gingerly, whispering against his skin, "I'm sorry."

It takes Stiles a moment, but his breathing evens out and he loosens his hands so they're not pulling at strands of hair, "J-Just tell me you love me, and make it better."

"I love you. I love you so much." He says, pressing his lips against his neck, "I'll make it better. I'll make you feel so good."

Stiles kisses his temple, "Y-Yeah."

"Relax." He runs his hands over his hips, up his sides and feels his body do what he's said. He takes a few moments for his boyfriend to adjust, then backs his hips away, carefully sliding out. Stiles' back arches, body closing around him tightly, broken sound falling from his lips. Derek waits, kissing him when he relaxes again, moving slowly as he thrusts back in.

He shudders, keeps his eyes closed as Derek starts a slow rhythm. He arches just a little every time he gets filled up again, not quite used to that bump and slide yet. There are kisses being placed along his collarbones, the hollow of his throat being licked at. He breathes out slowly and runs his hands down Derek's shoulder and back.

One of Derek's hands circles around his cock, pumps slowly with a tight grip and Stiles whimpers, tilts up into it. It takes a few minutes, with the slow working of their hips, Derek's hand tugging at him slow and precise, lips pressing wet and with a hint of teeth on his skin, and it starts to feel good. He starts to groan against Derek's ear, digging his nails into his shoulder blade. He rocks his hips up almost hesitantly to test the feeling, meeting Derek as he pushes back in.

The older man takes in a sharp breath, Stiles starting to move with him. He bites at his collarbone, then licks along it, Stiles groaning louder and pressing up against him.

"Yeah. D-Derek, yeah." The younger man pants, bucking up with a gasp when Derek thrusts in harder, "O-Oh, my God."

Derek leans over him a little more, grinding into him, fist working faster over his cock. Stiles presses his head back against the pillow, blowing out a deep breath, squeezing his eyes shut at the overwhelming flash and pulse of how good this feels. Derek's making these amazing little noises into his ear, pleasured and breathy and Stiles bites his lip, feeling himself building up again.

His voice breaks and wavers as he pumps his hips up, desperately says Derek's name as he gets closer to the edge. Derek presses a kiss to his cheek, whispers with a low and wrecked voice, "I got you, Stiles. Come on."

He chances a harder thrust and his boyfriend's legs tighten around him, hands hold his shoulders tighter. Derek sees that his cheeks are red when he pulls himself away from his neck and groans at the gasped out request for a kiss. He complies, kisses him with all he has, forceful, deep and it sends a buzz throughout his body.

Stiles comes with a loud noise, body bucking and insides clenching around Derek. The older man's knuckles are being coated with white, slick and he has to restrain himself from bucking forward too fast and hard, but Stiles pants against his mouth, keeps closing around him because he just can't help it.

"Derek, h-have you...? Please just-Derek, please. I wanna hear you." He pulls away enough to see his lover's face, rubbing that place behind his ear. Derek's hand leaves his cock, going to brace against the mattress as he rocks in and out of him. Stiles feels completely spent, but manages to rut his hips up, feeling the falter in thrusts just before Derek comes.

Stiles' name is on Derek's lips when he comes, in between the groans and frantic breaths, and Stiles is watching, looking up at him like he hung the moon. He kisses him, feels his hands twisting in his hair again and smiles, says his name again just because he can.

He pulls out after, slow and careful, pressing a kiss to just under Stiles' bellybutton and the insides of his thighs when he hisses. He discards the condom and gently pulls the pillow from under Stiles' hips, then snuggles up with him while he pulls the blankets back over them.

Stiles wraps his arms and a leg around him, eyes already drifting shut. Derek keeps him close against his chest, lips at his hairline, "I love you."

"Mm, I love you, too." The younger man whispers, curling against him, "We're all sticky."

"I know, it's okay." Derek kisses his head, rubbing a hand up and down the length of his back, "We can shower later. I just wanna know if you're okay."

"Okay." He nods, rubbing his thumb a little at Derek's side as he starts to fade to sleep, "Love you."

Derek smiles, shutting his own eyes, "Love you, too."

When they wake up, it's the early morning and Derek kisses him gently, then leads him to the bathroom. They shower together and even though Stiles is sore, he asks for them to go again. Derek declines, but gets on his knees, sucks him while he strokes at his hole with the tips of his fingers.

Stiles tries touching him, has two fingers in him when he brushes a spot - that spot, he thinks when he sees Derek's knees go a little bit. Derek comes braced against the tiles of the shower as he jerks roughly at his own cock, Stiles' lips and tongue at his neck with three fingers buried in him.

They get back into the bedroom, smelling of Derek's body wash, and towel off. Well, towel each other off, and kiss slowly before they even think about getting dressed.

But then the thought pops into Derek's head... And he just can't resist. He wraps Stiles up in his clothes, pair of black boxer-briefs and that blue flannel shirt. He gives him socks just to please his mind and gets dressed himself, just a pair of shorts and an old shirt. Stiles says he looks handsome, touching at his hair with a big smile on those full lips.

Derek takes him downstairs with their hands laced together, and starts a too-early-to-be-called-breakfast meal for them while Stiles leaves a message for his parents that he slept well and he's doing okay. Derek smiles when he tells them he loves them twice, without even realizing it.

After, they kiss and Derek lifts his boyfriend onto the counter, chuckles against his chest when Stiles holds him tight for a few moments, sighing out happily against his hair that he loves him.

They eat right there, Derek between the younger man's legs, Stiles holding the plate they're both eating off of. Stiles still eats like an animal, and he can't help but kiss him, even with his mouth covered in maple syrup. It makes him smile so much, and they're trading 'I love you's and touches as they sneak back up to Derek's room. They wake up again around noon, and go to Stiles' house before they head to the ocean.

Stiles is still faster than Derek in the water.