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Stiles finally addresses his long-standing affection for Derek, which would be a lot easier if he weren't seeing someone else. Derek is Derek.

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Social

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N/A


August 9, 2015
Beacon Hills High School


This scene resumes directly following Stiles and Derek's exit from "The Lion and the Slayer."


Stiles drove. He took Industry Bridge to Devon Street without even thinking, just trying to keep Derek from getting any grumpier. And then, as his brain caught up to the Jeep, Stiles turned into Circle Street and headed north along that large, curving thoroughfare. Finally, he pulls off and into the rear parking lot of the high school, where he pulls into a shadowy spot under a tree, then kills the headlights and car engine. He can't see as well in the dark, but he knows that's not much trouble for Derek. Once all is quiet, he finally says, in the low, slightly raw-sounding voice he reserves for truly serious conversations, "So, uh. You wanted to talk?"


Derek looks around at where they are. "Why bring me here?" Oh well, it's sort of neutral ground. Kind of. Once they're parked and the engine's off, Derek opens the door and gets out of the jeep, suddenly very much wanting -- even needing -- the fresh air and the open sky. There's something unpleasantly cramped about being shut in a car, even if it is with Stiles. Maybe especially because it is with Stiles.


Stiles slides out of the car, too, shutting the door with a bit of a slam after his feet hit the ground. He draws a deep breath, then walks around the front of the Jeep to approach Derek. He stops, though, with the corner of the hood still between them, and leans forward against it, trying not to think of the big dent that Ethan's ass put there a while earlier. Finally he just rolls his shoulders in a shrug and raises his eyebrows, letting his hands fall loosely together. "Okay, sooo... is this the part where we talk, or... did you just decide we needed to be somewhere private when you gnaw the meat from my bones?" He doesn't answer the question of why here, if he even had a reason, and keeps his tone light, snarky. Just in case Derek doesn't want things getting too real.


Derek circles around the jeep to meet Stiles almost as soon as he reaches the corner. A little bit awkwardly close, but it can't be said that Derek ever really got the whole "personal space" thing exactly down. Is he trying to be unsettling? Or is it just the way he is? The world may never know. He's not wearing his jacket today though. But it's been really hot. It's almost the dog days, and all jokes aside that could be made about the term, even in Beacon Hills it's unpleasantly hot.


Derek's never been seen in shorts, though. It would be a little surreal. "It's down to me, Stiles. Things are getting more complicated every day. You saw. You've been there every time." He's still speaking kind of quietly, although with the force and a kind of insistence, bordering on pushy, that Stiles probably has just learned to shrug off by this point.


When Derek draws so near, Stiles changes position yet again. He puts one foot on his Jeep's bumper, pushing up to sit on the hood. It's still a bit too warm for that to be comfortable, but he feels better not having to look up at Derek for once. Hunching forward with his elbows now resting on his knees, Stiles watches Derek. His mind has slipped into that calculating, pondering mode, connecting things with bits of yarn. And this time, the color would be yellow... which, to Stiles, is significant.

He speaks again in that low, serious voice, hesitant and unsure of where this is headed, finding it hard to meet Derek's eyes. "You mean... your family?" he finally asks, cautiously.


"I mean my lack of family." Derek throws his arms out, and with one he then gestures to himself, his chest. His powerful chest. The muscular chest beneath an extremely thin layer of fabric. Anyone could reach out and touch it! It must be why he chooses the shirts he does. Derek Hale, shopping for clothes. He must do it at some point in his life. He wears clothes that don't look old or worn or threadbare, so he must do boring, everyday puttering from time to time. Maybe that's what's getting to him about all of the activity recently: he can't go shopping for sundries.

"Whatever's happened in the past few months...it doesn't change anything! And I..." Suddenly Derek's words stop, and his arms go to his sides again. Eventually, he finds the right words to continue, at least the words that sound right to him. In his mind. "I'm feeling different. I'm not feeling like I was before. It's something..." he shakes his head, "something I haven't felt before. It's not as simple as I thought it was."


Stiles looks mostly confused, though also fairly sympathetic concerning this line of discussion. He listens, trying to keep still and quiet, as Derek speaks. As Derek starts to get increasingly cryptic, though, Stiles has to interject, "Derek, I don't know what you're talking about. I just don't I get that your family's gone, and believe me, I'm sorry for that. It the most fucked up thing I've ever heard of happening to anyone I actually met... but I don't get what you mean about feeling different. I don't get what you mean about things not being as simple as you thought. I wanna understand, Derek, but... what's it? What's complicated? If this is about Beacon Hills, I mean... you've got to know that we're here with you. Is this, like... is this like an alpha thing? About Scott being the leader of the pack now? Because I guess I get that, I mean, I at least understand the idea of it. But... I feel like you're telling me things without telling me anything."


Derek reaches out to haul Stiles up by his shirt. "Scott is not my leader and we do not have just one pack!!" It's much louder and fiercer than he had intended, but that seems to be a rule for lately: every time Derek has reacted to something, it's been feast or famine, one extreme or the other. Softer, and still not exactly putting Stiles down, he continues. "That's...part of the problem. I don't know what's going on. With my body," he emphatically adds. "Or...anything else." Whatever that means.


Stiles makes a soft, strangled noise of surprise when Derek hauls him up like that, but it's not his usual over-animated yelp or flailing. He's too focused, too engaged in understanding the problem for that. And another piece of string goes on the board, linking two clusters of data. And it's so obvious, Stiles feels like an idiot. "Because," he says softly, "Deep down, you still feel like, if anything, he should have been in your pack. Because you're the one who should have been alpha. You have the... the birthright, and the knowledge. And you've worked for it. And Scott's just some kid who got lucky and... just keeps stumbling into the right thing out of sheer, stubborn... Scott-ness." Scott's all heart, and it's that heart that got him where he's made it to--and Stiles will always respect, even cherish, that about his best friend. But he can grasp the idea of how frustrating that must be for Derek, whose whole life has been on the path that Scott never even wanted to take in the first place.

Licking his lips in one of those innumerable nervous gestures of his, he asks, even softer, "...But what do you mean about your body... or... anything else? I don't understand that part."


Derek just about shakes, but he ends up just opening his hands and dropping Stiles. It's sort of like he's pressured to, he's forced himself into doing it so that he doesn't do something else. Hopefully not something violent? It's not clear. He turns slightly, but not fully around. "You don't understand anything," he gruffly rumbles back. He's irritated, angry even, but it's a kind of mid-level that he's hushed himself to. "I'm not like I was before. I gave up something. But it's not that simple." The rest of it, though, he doesn't go into. There's just a sort of determined look he gives to Stiles, and his eyes gleam as if they've shifted again, but not quite. This isn't the first time that's happened.


Stiles' ass lands with a loud, metallic thud against the hood of his Jeep, and a small part of his brain reflects on how unfair it is that Ethan, whose ass actually dented the car, won't be feeling any pain, while Stiles has to resist the urge to yelp. But mostly he keeps focused on Derek. It's just a good idea, paying attention to Derek. Of course, that leads to a flash of frustrated indignation, too.

"I don't understand? Me, not understand werewolf stuff? Gee, I wonder why the hell that could be! I guess it can't be because nobody ever explained it to me." He slides off the hood of the car, landing on his feet, just so he can pace around and gesticulate wildly without smacking Derek--which, even agitated, he's not suicidal enough to do--while ranting. "I'm just the guy, who when Scott got bit, did all the research and figured out what he was. I'm just the guy who's been dragged into all of this and--you know, Scott gets the perks, right? He gets the super powers, the healing factor, the strength--and sure, the rage issues, but he got past that. I get dragged around like a chew toy, snarled at by wolves who are generally pretty damn ungrateful about everything they order me to do for them, and have pretty much nothing explained to me. So, I dunno, Derek. You tell me. Why might I not understand?"

He stops, then, and spins on the heel of his foot to face Derek, extending both hands, palms up. "I want to understand. I want to help. I want to help Scott, I want to help the pack--packs, whatever--and I want to help you." His voice is low again, urgent, but sincere rather than agitated. "So you lost your alpha status doing a good thing for someone who'll probably never appreciate it. I respect the hell out of you for it, but it still happened. And now things are weird. And not simple. And I don't understand. And I'm sorry, because I want to understand." He drops one hand and raises the other, shaking it with one finger extended in that and another thing way of his. "But you know what? I will. I'm finding ways. I will understand, Derek. I'm going to find out how to help Scott, help you, help everyone. I'm just the dumb human, yeah--but I'm not just gonna stay that way. So you tell me, Derek. Maybe it's worse that you had the ultimate mojo and you lost it, but you're still Derek Hale. You're still the only mentor any of us ever had during all this crap so far, except for Deaton and his occasional 'mysterious druid' crap."

He suddenly sumps against the hood again, falling onto his elbows against it, and just sort of deflates. "I don't know, Derek. You're right. But, fuck. I'm trying to know."


"IT'S NOT AS SIMPLE AS I THOUGHT, OKAY?!" Derek shouts, and people a couple of counties away can probably hear it. The others back at the Warehouse District can probably hear it. At least it wasn't something super-sensitive. Or at least not to anyone who isn't already privy to the situation and the questions being presented. Immediately Derek regrets shouting it, not because it strained his throat -- it'll heal instantly -- or because Stiles will really find it unexpected. At least, he assumes Stiles won't.

Too many words. Too many thoughts, too many feelings, too many emotions for Derek, too many things to deal with...just like yesterday. Yesterday, and every other day recently. It's all snowballing. It's getting worse. He can't control it, and it's getting worse.

"It's just going to sound like me making up things to cover up. You're just going to think I'm full of shit." Derek doesn't continue, but he also doesn't just walk away. His chest and shoulders rise and fall, up-down, up-down, fast and deep all the same. Looking like he's been taken to the point of exploding or melting down. "This isn't how a beta feels," he adds, quieter with every statement that escapes his lips.


Stiles is quiet for a long few moments. He doesn't even flinch at the shout--yeah, it was expected, and while it rattles his bones and gets to him, he just lets the shout echo around them and fade. Then he drags himself back up to his feet, wraps his arms around his torso, and walks over to stand just opposite Derek. He speaks softly, even if half just because after that shout, Derek has so clearly won the contest of volume. "Derek... you're not a beta. I don't get how mystic werewolf crap works. You're right. But I know you're not a beta. Not in the ways that count. You're an alpha. You're maybe more than an alpha. You're always carrying all of us. Maybe... maybe you're not the leader of the pack--and don't snarl, you know what I mean--right now, but I know even more that you're not Scott's beta. Or anyone's."

He rubs a knuckle across his lips, not meeting Derek's eyes, and continues, "Just like... I'm not... a normal human? Not anymore. I mean, sure. I am genetically. I can't shapeshift. I don't have powers. The moon doesn't do anything for me besides affecting, like, the tides or whatever. But I might as well be a beta, or whatever, because I'm in this. As much as I can be, I'm in. So... maybe I can relate. Just a little."


Derek just stares ahead, at Stiles though. Not past him, not lost in his thoughts at the moment, but more having his thoughts right with everything that's happening at the moment. He listens, as he does pretty well. Or at least, he stays silent well, as he tends to do, and seems to absorb the words and the thoughts directed at him. His throat is suddenly dry. He swallows hard and tries to make it look casual.

"I'd bite you, but I don't know what would happen," he honestly notes. Like he seems to be really offering, he seems to be genuinely disappointed he can't do it, or that it would be reckless and probably just end with Stiles buying the farm. "And now even you suddenly moved on with your life anyway. You've got this...'boyfriend', and you smell different."


That actually brings a tiny smile to Stiles' face, just a little curl at the corner of his lips. "Aw, Sourwolf," he says, unable to really help himself, "I think that's the sweetest thing you've ever said to me." He's about to go on, to say thank you, but... Derek's not finished. And Stiles' brow just furrows, deeply. "You keep mentioning that. Yeah, I... I finally met someone who actually likes me. Is that so bad?" He sighs, slowly and deeply.

"And the smell thing... well, okay. I can try to explain, but I don't know if it'll make any sense." He raises both arms, running his hands through his hair, and says, "That whole thing with the Nemeton... the ritual we did... it left... my mind kind of... off. My mind, maybe my soul? I don't know. Something's... weird in there. My boyfriend, Lance... he's got power. Like, magical power... kind of. And he did a thing that keeps that... that issue from really hurting me. I guess that's the best I can explain it." And he looks up at Derek again, silently seeking to understand.


"You have people who liked you already!" Derek points out, a bit more insistently than he probably meant. But he quiets to listen to the rest of it. The thick brows seem to frown at rest, though by now Stiles can surely tell when he's really, genuinely angry or not. "Do you trust him? Is he gonna be a part of this chaos that seems to have landed here in the past month?" The distinct impression is that there is far more emphasis and importance on the first question than the second. The second just feels like it's going to be taken for granted that of course Lance is a part of the crazy that has descended upon the small town.


"Yeah, I do," Stiles says. "I'm... very sure that if he wanted to do anything bad, he could have done it already. Just like you could any time you wanted." He smirks a little, though there's little humor in it, and adds, "Hell, maybe you're the whole reason I can trust him. I'm so used to being around people so much more powerful than me who could destroy me... but trusting them anyway." But his brow furrows, too, and he reaches up to rub the back of his own neck, slow and thoughtful. "But... but what do you mean... I have people who liked me already?" Somewhere, a new read strand of yarn winds itself between his thoughts. But the question it suggests doesn't even make sense.


Derek looks very much like he's going to say something, but he doesn't. Which isn't really too uncommon for him. It's a habit he falls into all the time, just going utterly, absolutely quiet instead of speaking like he could. Abruptly, he turns and just walks off rather than answer. It's a nice night. Maybe he's going for a walk under the stars. Because he has absolutely no idea what he'd do otherwise. Certainly not actually address the emotional issues and other conflicting thoughts crashing around in his head.


Stiles watches Derek walk away for a moment. Confused and beyond exasperated, he doesn't even have a clue where to begin. And just when he's about to turn away, throw up his hands in disgust, and get back in the car--

That red strand of yawn has to go and turn yellow.

Stiles freezes in his tracks, his brain making what seems it has to be an audible snap-click, and he looks up after Derek, his jaw dropping. It's actually the exact same face he made when they first met. And then, suddenly, Stiles is walking. And briskly. Actually, it fast becomes more of a jog. Call it a run.

Within five steps, Stiles is sprinting after Derek in a way that he's never moved on the lacrosse field--and, good gods but some tiny part of his brain knows it's stupid--he launches himself at Derek in the sincerest attempt he's ever made in his life at a full-body tackle.


Derek's mind is a mess right now, and he's not even seeing straight, certainly not thinking about the path before him. Stiles will get fed up with him and just leave, he's 100% sure. He always does! Why would anyone do anything different? Even in human form though, Derek's strides are broad and long. He's put so much distance between himself and the jeep, between himself and Stiles, that even if he'd watched Derek go, he'd be-- "What the--?!"

Derek Hale goes down like a sack of potatoes and, though at first his instinct is to tear apart whatever actually dared to attack him, here of all places -- his senses get there first, and he becomes aware of who it is. So, Derek Hale lies on his face, on the asphalt. "You have five seconds to explain what the hell you think you're doing, Stiles. After that, we'll see what a bite does to you." He's trying, very hard, and very obviously, to be patient.


A million things or so leap to the forefront of Stiles' brain to say. They all vie for the chance to come spilling out first, but of all his tumbling emotions, as Stiles straddles Derek's back, his hands planted on the pavement to either side of Derek's head, curiosity--a burning need to know--wins out. And there's really only one question to ask.

"Is it you?"

And he presses on. "Are you saying you're the one who liked me?" Hardly pausing for breath, he pushes down closer to speak right into Derek's ear, "Goddammit, Derek, just say it. Is that what you're telling me?" His voice goes from serious, blows right by urgent, and by the end of the sentence is hovering on the edge of desperation. There's no rational thought, no time for calculation. Just the all-consuming need to know.


There is silence between them, utter silence, for some time. The leaves stirring from an evening breeze make a sound like waves on the ocean coming in, and only once that wind has passed does Derek actually speak up. "Stiles." His voice is somewhat strained, but not terribly. It's at the limit of his control though, and he knows it. This is not a good situation. It's not even a good position. "Is this what it's come down to? You dry humping me in the parking lot?" That flat, dry delivery has returned. It's a legitimate question though, and he hasn't even shoved himself up and flung Stiles aside, as he could do. Stiles knows that.


"You tell me." Stiles' tone doesn't change, doesn't falter. For once, he's not backing down. "Because fuck, Derek!" He realizes after a moment exactly how inarticulate that was, and he tries again. "Just... please. Answer the question. I need to know that I'm not just losing my freaking mind, because an hour ago if I even thought that... I think I'd check myself into freaking Eichen House." He rolls off of Derek's back, then, since it seems suicidal to push his luck too far. Now laying on his back beside the werewolf, Stiles exhales a huge sigh. And all he can think to say is another, "Please."


"I am literally on my face in your school parking lot, and you are on top of my ass." Derek points out, seemingly calmed down quite a bit. Maybe it's that sort of dangerous calm, the calm that happens when someone's really in a very deep state of anger but has long since passed the point of shouting. But no, the more time passes, the more evident it becomes that Derek has somehow calmed down from before.

He doesn't push himself up, just folds his arms on the pavement before him and rests his head on them. It's finally cooled from the heat of the day, though it's not really to the level of cool yet...it'll reach that just before the sun comes up. "I don't know," he replies, finally, voice just barely audible. "I don't know a lot of things anymore."


Stiles can't help laughing at the comment about being on top of Derek's ass, but he trails off quickly enough, laying sprawled there on his back... until Derek finishes his thought. He flips over almost like he had the power to defy gravity, ending up sprawled on his stomach beside Derek, hands planted on the ground, and leans in far closer than is probably smart. "You. Don't. Know!?" His voice rises with each word, and by the end, he's fairly bellowing in the werewolf's ear. "How the hell can you drop a bomb like that on me and then tell me that you don't know!?" At this rate, he's well on his way to all-out Stilinski rant mode.


"If you start, I'm gonna smack your head against the pavement and knock you out." Derek breathes in, then out, rolling onto his side, muscles flexing beneath his shirt, and he props his head on his hand and finally looks at Stiles again. "I. Don't. Know. You're the one coming to me saying," and now he puts on his best Stiles impression, and it's actually chillingly close, "OH DEREK, OPEN UP TO ME, DEREK I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU, WE'RE FRIENDS NOW RIGHT? DEREK~!"


The look of sheer pain that crosses Stiles' face at having Derek bellow in his ear like that probably qualifies for a whole comedy routine by itself. And he reflects briefly on how, just maybe, the reason Derek has always been so easily annoyed by him may be a combination of volume and werewolf senses. So, rubbing at his ear and grimacing in obvious discomfort, he argues in a (much quieter) wounded tone, "I don't like like that. And I never said I can't live without you. And what's wrong with asking if we're friends? Or wanting you to talk to me about--oh, I dunno, maybe, that whole you don't know if you like me thing?" But he manages to keep his volume under control. He nearly vibrates with pent-up frustration, though. "I... just... I always thought you hated me."


"Oh shut up." Derek huffs, rumbling and heaving a sigh as he sits up. He leans over to just grab Stiles, to just haul him up again. "Stop laying around on the parking lot." It's not a confession of love or anything. There's a kind of assertive concern though. He gives Stiles a look -- that familiar look. The one that says so many things, even if he doesn't actually put words with it. That look between them.


"You're not stupid, Stiles. If I hated you, why the hell would I constantly be around you? I'm not even around my own that much." And the look changes slightly, to a "come on, Stiles, think about it, is this really so hard for you?" one.


Stiles makes a little erk sound as he's hauled up to a sitting position, now sitting facing Derek, legs splayed in the opposite direction from the werewolf's. His shoulders slump, though, and he admits, "I meant it--thought. For a long time. But that's why I asked if we were friends. I just... I had to finally now for sure you didn't. And now... now this?" He reaches up to scrub a hand across his face. "I see what I think, Derek. The pieces are there, but... but even you're telling me you don't know. It's gonna drive me nuts, Derek. I never.... never even thought you might..." he trails off, then finishes very quietly, "...might feel that way, too."


Derek rolls his eyes at first, and then he suddenly snaps deadly serious again. "...wait. Too?" He leans closer, pointed. "What do you mean, feel that way too?" The airplane has landed. Or, more accurately, the ship has docked.


Stiles looks down at his hands, which are fidgeting together, and he presses his lips together tightly for a moment before giving a small shrug. "C'mon, Derek. When I met you, I was sure I was totally straight. I meet you... and suddenly I'm dying to know if guys find me attractive."


Derek snorts, but it's not quite as sharp as it could be. Stiles knows that from being with him so much, from being around him habitually for so long. He folds his arms over his chest. Muscular arms, powerful chest. Which Stiles has seen. He's cut like a marble statue. A lupine marble statue. Even though his head is turned slightly away, his eyes remain on Stiles. Looking. Judging. Trying to figure out what's even going on here. He's sitting in a high school parking lot -- on the ground -- not more than a few inches away from Stiles. Of all people.


Frustrated at what he takes to be Derek's amusement, Stiles moves to push up to his feet. "Yeah, yeah, I know. It's stupid. Go ahead and have a big laugh on the human, right?" And unless stopped, he's going to take this opportunity to stomp back to his Jeep.


Derek is, however, on his feet in less time than it takes for Stiles to get half a dozen steps away, standing in front of him like a wall of stone and steel. There's a stern expression on his face, but it's one of many that he regularly wears. "Don't make me have to tackle you." There's just a beat, and then, "The dry humping is your thing though."


Stiles stumbles in surprise, backing up a step, and blinks at Derek in confusion. And he just flings up his hands in frustration, though at least he doesn't start shouting. "I don't even get this. Derek, if all I am is a joke to you, then why don't you let me go? If..." he licks his lips again and squints at Derek, giving his head a shake. "If you care, then... I don't know, tell me. Give me something, dude. I can't--" He growls in frustration, and less because he wants to take refuge in the idiom, more because for once the words just aren't there, he finishes, "I just can't."


"If you were just a joke, I'd have no problem letting you go." Derek seems to have evened off in mood now, somehow. Maybe this was a large part of what needed to be aired out in the open, with him. It's certainly something that could have eaten away at him. Something that he might have found difficult to express. Maybe that's it. The words certainly carry weight, a profound weight that is undeniable. They also present about a billion unanswered new questions by addressing one element.


Stiles glares at Derek, though there's not much force behind it. Finally he just drops his hands to his sides, sighing, and says, "Well... well, then what? I don't even... I can't... Dude! You're doing that Zen wolf thing about this, and it's making me nuts." He folds his arms again, bringing one hand up to pinch his lip, and for a moment it seems he's going to be silent. Then, quietly again, he asks, "You really wanna know why I brought you here?"


Derek looks a little surprised, but it's mild like everything else. He raises a brow but doesn't speak as Stiles just...reacts. Always such a flow of reaction, such a marked, vivid contrast to the understatement of everything Derek does...unless of course he reaches that point he has more than once today. "Obviously this means you are not a joke. Duh." He thought that would be pretty obvious, but apparently not. When Stiles asks his question, the thick brows pulse up inquisitively, or maybe expectantly...either way, he clearly does want to know.


"It's stupid," Stiles concedes up front, sighing heavily. He reaches up behind his head with both hands, scrubbing his hands against it vigorously, and then just drops his arms again, pressing them across his stomach almost defensively. Looking up at Derek, he presses his lips together, frowns... and then admits, "Because this is where I first gave you the nickname 'Sourwolf.'"


"Yeah, I think I like you."

It just...comes out. But it's so Derek. He's not the type to beat around the bush. Besides, that whole...sentimental thing...was cute. He's nothing if not sentimental. He's lived in the past probably more than Stiles or anyone else in Beacon Hills, even though they've all done their share. That's just left to hang in the air between them. And whether it's crucial and hard-hitting or not, Derek looks fairly casual about addressing it, finally getting it out.


Stiles nearly pitches forward and faceplants out of sheer shock. He manages to catch himself against Derek, barely, having basically just... tripped over his own feet. While not moving. He stares up at Derek, mouth hanging open, and says, "I... you... oh." And then he's going all red, and there's nothing he can do to stop it. And then, in what will probably sound like the worst possible comment ever, but it just sort of slips out, Stiles says, "...I really need to introduce you to Lance."


There's that sort of expression of expectant disbelief again. Derek's not sure if he picked up on the right thing earlier, but he's going to try and see if he's got things right in his head. It's a little cluttered in there at the moment. "You need to introduce me...to your boyfriend." It's not quite a question, but it's almost there. "After all this. And you mounting me in the parking lot."


Stiles finally can't help himself, he just sort of... loosely smacks Derek in the chest with the back of one hand. "I wasn't mounting you, dammit! If anything I'd rather you--" And then he turns red again, shaking his head. "But never mind that. Yeah. You need to meet Lance. I think..." There's the nervous licking of lips again. "I think maybe he can... help. Like, help us figure it all out. Maybe." True, Lance wasn't an expert on love or relationships... but in their own ways, both Stiles and Derek are very tightly would people, and Lance... is probably the best person at just relaxing and being himself that Stiles has ever met.


Derek actually smirks a little bit, just for a moment, as he's smacked. Of course, with a chest like his, it doesn't hurt him or even sting. It's just a momentary presence. But it's an amusing one. "Oh, and here I thought that was your secret: you're really dominant and aggressive." This is, obviously, teasing. Just in case even for a moment Stiles thinks otherwise. "Okay." He shrugs again. Now that a little emotional pressure has been relieved, the Big Bad Wolf is much more...chill. Much more easygoing. "You trust him, so..."


This said, Stiles seems for a moment to hover on the edge of indecision. He looks almost like he might turn and star pacing, reaching up to rub a hand across his chin. Then he suddenly turns back to Derek, groans, and says, "Aw, dammit." And then he flings himself at Derek again, but this time it's to wrap his arms around him and hug against that firm chest. He doesn't look up, just in case Derek looks confused or annoyed. Because that would ruin the whole moment.


It does confuse Derek. It confuses the hell out of him. He can't really figure out what to do with himself, especially his arms, at first, as if something has been done, some action has been performed, that he has absolutely zero social context for. Stiffly, awkwardly, he lifts those powerful, large arms and, very delicately, wraps them around Stiles, really barely touching him, and pats his shoulder, for lack of any other, better ideas. He isn't uncomfortable with Stiles being there, he's just...not good at this when it's...like this is.


Stiles may pick up on some of this, because he says, half muffled against Derek's chest, "Shut up. It's weird for me to. But I wanted to, dammit." After a long moment, he looks up, loosening his grip, and tries to salvage some of the dignity he just threw to the winds. "So, um. You wanna... go, then?" He wrinkles his nose, giving his lips a twitch, as though the sheer oddity of the situation has him on the verge of sneezing.


Derek doesn't jostle Stiles or disturb him. He just lets him stay kind of in a semi-motorboat position until he speaks again and moves his face from the magnificent Alpha-quality pecs. Disbelief again settles into his face, though, as he takes in this latest suggestion. "...what, now?" As if he hadn't just stalked after Stiles earlier and demanded him away from a big to-do with a werecat.


Grinning, Stiles reaches for Derek's arm and tugs on it. "Yeah, why not? C'mon, let's get out of here. Who wants to be lame and hang out at school during summer, anyway?" And he does his best to lead (never drag, because let's be real, here) Derek back to the Jeep so they can be on their way.