A/N: Originally written as a birthday fic for a friend, before the season premiere. Thankfully I had it beta-ed after, by the lovely ashisfriendly, who I hope will not be mad I ignored some of her suggestions.

Also this is my first Teen Wolf fic so wow, please be gentle. :)

Stiles is breathing really loudly. He knows he is – and after he realizes he is he keeps breathing loudly just to annoy Derek. At two AM it feels like the only amusement left to him – it's always fun to annoy Derek. Especially on a stakeout, especially when Derek's been telling him to be quiet for the past fifteen minutes.

"Stiles," he mouths, looking directly at him, "shut up." So Stiles glares and puts both hands over his mouth and nose, eyebrows raised in exasperation, but Derek's eyes are already out of focus, listening intently. Stiles watches his face, trying to figure out if they're in danger or if there's just some loud squirrels nearby or something. There's a muscle in his jaw that Stiles watches clench every few seconds and his eyes narrow before he glances side to side.

He straightens up, body relaxed and reaches for the keys before he glances over at Stiles, pulling his hands away from his mouth. "Text Scott – they're moving."

Derek steers them out from their hidden spot in the trees and doesn't say anything else or even look away from the road. After watching his face, only seeing the blank determination and that same muscle pulsing in his jaw, Stiles can't stand the silence anymore. "Why are you doing this?"

"What – driving?" Derek answers sarcastically, not looking up.

"No – I mean why are you helping us at all? You don't have to. They want you to join them and you're fighting them. I don't get it. Why?"

He grips the steering wheel tightly. "So you think this is my fault? If I'd just said, 'okay' there'd be no fighting and you'd get rid of me at the same time?" He growls out, taking a turn a more sharply than he needs to.

"Jesus, Derek – no! For the record, I don't think we could have avoided fighting with them, so I'm glad you're with us – not against us. I just – I just wanna know why you're choosing us over them." Stiles runs his hands through his hair, looking out the window away from Derek. "We're only assholes to you all the time."

Derek chuckles at that, but then his face falls. "It's not about who's an asshole to me and who's not. They're powerful and they think that's all that matters. They hunt people for fun and they kill people because it's convenient. Everything's a battle for power – a show of power." He takes a deep breath and looks over at Stiles, eyes flitting over the pale skin and bright eyes before turning back to the road.

"Packs aren't supposed to be like that. There's a reason for betas. Sometimes alphas need someone to tell them they're being an asshole."

Stiles nods warily even though Derek isn't looking at him. It's weird for him to talk so much and glare so little, almost as if they'd entered an alternate dimension. He scrunches down in his seat in preparation for another two hours of silence, watching Derek drive.

"Laura was a great alpha," Derek says quietly. "They wanted her to join and she told them to fuck off. A pack should be a family. If you're lucky you get one of each or one of both. Just because I don't have one or the other doesn't mean I'll take whoever offers."

Stiles unfolds slowly in the silence, watching Derek's face. It's focused on the new patch of trees they're going to hide in, open and quiet. Stiles' breath catches when he glances over while he parks, eyebrows quirked upward. There's a second while Derek puts the car in park and turns off the engine that Stiles tries to make himself look away, but his neck won't turn.

But now the engine is quiet, the sounds of the forest engulfing them, and Derek turns from the waist to look at Stiles, his eyebrows and mouth tilted lightly upwards. And all Stiles knows is that he's licking his lips before his mouth is on top of Derek's. His lips slide on top of Derek's slowly, taking in the roughness of his bottom lip. Derek responds after a second, pressing back, licking into the corner of his mouth. Stiles tilts his head unconsciously to get at the corner of Derek's mouth and then his mind clicks and he manages to pull away, eyes wide, mouth agape.

Stiles' throat is blocked as he tries to apologize, plead 'please don't rip out my throat,' but he's struck dumb, staring at Derek. Derek is watching Stiles, eyes hooded and cloudy, mouth opening and closing a few times before he asks, voice low, "Why did you do that?"

"I wanted to." Stiles blurts out, "I mean, I'm sorry," he puts his hands up in defense. "I don't know – I'm just a horny teenager – I mean a hormonal teenager with very little self-control and I'm sorry. I'm really sorry please don't kill me."

Stiles can't read Derek's blank look, but before he can say anything else his phone rings – he looks at it and it's Scott, and Derek grabs the phone out of his hand to get the location directly. They drive to meet Allison and Scott, Stiles pointedly avoiding looking at Derek, focusing on looking out the window the whole way.

There's very little for Stiles to do once they get there – he mainly tries to keep out of the way and shouts when there's an alpha sneaking up behind someone. Allison's pretty much got backup for the werewolves covered. He stands next to her as she disassembles her bow, Scott relaying to Derek the information they got by spying. Stiles feels uncharacteristically grateful all they were doing tonight was recon, and part of the plan is running away immediately.

He's already climbing into Allison's car before anyone notices. "Oh, I just thought it'd be easier if I rode home with – " Stiles starts to explain before Derek's pulling him out by the arm. "Ow! Derek, c'mon, it makes more sense for me to – "

"Shut up." Derek stops walking about twenty feet away from the car. Stiles doesn't know what he's doing or waiting for – he looks over to Allison and Scott, who just shrug and get into the car. Stiles turns back to Derek, and Derek is kissing him, the same warm pressure as before, and then Derek pulls back, a small smile on his face.

"Why – " Stiles starts, brow furrowed in confusion.

"I wanted to." Derek answers, before shoving him towards Allison's car. "Now get out of here before we all get killed."