Title: I’ll Believe in Anything
Pairing/Characters: Stiles/Derek, Scott
Summary: Stiles doesn’t know what he’s supposed to believe anymore.
Warnings/Spoilers: AU after 1.08 “Lunatic”
Notes: Second in my Wolf Parade ’verse. Title is from the Wolf Parade song of the same name. Lyrics are quoted at the beginning and end.
I’m not completely happy with this, but I’m letting it go. Any more rewrites and obsessiveness and this story won’t be at all what I originally planned.
An Animal in Your Care
Give me your eyes,
I need sunshine.
Stiles showers more quickly than he can remember ever having done before, barely taking the time to scrub himself decently clean before jumping out again and towelling off. He dresses silently and then wipes a spot on the mirror free of condensation with the palm of his hand. He looks like crap— tired, pale, nervous. He goes about his usual morning routine despite the obvious change; that Derek Hale is currently tucked into his bed twenty feet away.
He really should call Scott, but he doesn’t particularly want to. His best friend may still be influenced by the moon, hanging low in the sky as the sun rises on the other side of the planet. Sometimes he can see the moon in the daytime, and wouldn’t it just be his luck that it’ll hang around to drive his best friend crazy during the day too?
He’s ready for school long before he actually has to leave. He’s incredibly ahead of schedule; he hasn’t seen much of his father as of late, always waking long after the Sheriff has gone to bed. If he’s honest with himself, he knows he misses his dad. He misses family dinner nights, misses his dad’s corny jokes and grilling about girls and disapproving tone when Stiles says something stupid.
Sighing, Stiles gathers Derek’s clothes— damp and foul smelling, like sweat and wet dog and musky in a gross way— from the floor. He leaves the bathroom and brings them into the laundry room, dropping them unceremoniously into the old machine. He needs to do a load of darks anyway.
When he gets back up to his room, Derek is sleeping soundly. Or at least pretending to be. Stiles moves about his room as quietly as possible, grabbing dirty clothes off his floor and throwing them in the basket. He adds them to Derek’s clothes in the washing machine and turns it on, haphazardly adding the suggested amount of soap and then jumping up to sit on the machine like he used to as a kid. The familiar vibrations and sounds of the junky old machine calm him, slowing the heart that’s been racing ever since his dad came home.
He figures it’s late enough that he won’t feel bad about waking up Scott if he just... goes over there. It’s not a conversation they can have over the phone, really, the one their bound to have. He writes his dad a note explicitly telling him not to go into his bedroom under any circumstances and leaves out the bottle of allergy medication deliberately, placing it on the kitchen counter next to his note.
The stray dog story is a good a lie as any, and it does ensure that the Sheriff won’t go snooping through Stiles’ room and discover the fugitive he’s hiding there. And you never know; the Sheriff’s allergies might act up from even just the thought of a dog in the house.
Stiles leaves and drives to Scott’s house. He’s not nervous so much as angry, the day-old resentment flaring up in his chest as he pulls into the familiar driveway. He lets himself in quietly and ascends the stairs in the dark and heads straight for Scott’s room, having been there enough times to know his way around without sight. It would be sad if it wasn’t so useful, that he knows the layout of Scott’s house better than his own.
“Scott?” he half-whispers, sticking his head into Scott’s room and blinking in the dim light from his window. He closes the door behind him and sits down on the edge of Scott’s bed when the lump under the comforter groans and moves a little. “Come on, bro, wake up.”
“Whattimeisit?” Scott moans into his pillow, drawing up his arms over his head.
“Early,” Stiles replies vaguely, poking the werewolf in the shoulder. “Get up.”
Scott raises his head and blinks blearily at his best friend, recognition flicking across his features. Guilt manifests itself in his face almost automatically, casting shadows across his face in the faint light. “Stiles—” he starts, but Stiles shakes his head.
“Don’t. You owe me more than a half-assed apology right now, okay? You were a jackass yesterday, and you really hurt me, Scott,” Stiles cuts him off, fighting the urge to poke Scott in the chest to make his point. “But we have bigger fish to fry right now. Like the furry little problem lying in my bed right now.”
Scott blinks at him and sits up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “What? What problem?”
“Derek showed up in my bedroom last night,” Stiles states simply, watching with a weird feeling of satisfaction as Scott gapes at the news.
“Are you okay?” he blurts out after the statement registers, practically lunging for Stiles and grabbing him by the arms.
“Hey, woah— what’re you doing?” Stiles hisses, pushing Scott’s hands away from him.
“He didn’t hurt you did he?” Scott demands with a rough voice, trying to check his friend over for injury.
“No! No, he didn’t hurt me. Why would he hurt me?” Stiles whisper-yells back, pushing Scott away frustratingly.
“The full moon does some pretty shitty stuff to us, in case you hadn’t noticed,” Scott points out, sitting back on his haunches. “It turned me into a really crappy best friend, but more than that, it made me— it made me want to fuck everything in my general vicinity.”
The honest answer shocks a laugh out of Stiles, who shakes his head. “Don’t you always?” he jokes, but it falls flat at Scott’s expression.
“No.” He shakes his head. “No, not usually. Usually it’s just Allison. Or just girls in general. Yesterday it was everyone. I could smell everyone’s pheromones, feel every single heartbeat, hear every quickened breath. I wanted Lydia so bad—”
“Scott—” Stiles says warningly, but Scott just prattles on, trying to make his point.
“—but it wasn’t just her. I wanted... God, Stiles, even you smelled good. So good.” Scott is breathing heavily, and his eyes are wide and freaked-out looking. Stiles tries not to be offended by the ‘even you’ comment and the way it was said, like it was some kind blasphemous thing to find Stiles attractive. Scott was just freaking out because the moon put thoughts in his head that shouldn’t have been there.
“Is that over now?” Stiles asks, just to make sure.
“Yeah, but last night— you can see why I was worried, right? With Derek, I mean? He could have tried to like... I don’t know, do something—”
“Derek Hale did not try to force himself on me,” Stiles calmly told his best friend surely. “He may have mentioned how apparently awesome I smell to werewolves, but he didn’t actually do anything. And you roughed him up really bad, by the way.”
Scott blinks, surprised. “I did?”
“He was still healing from the Alpha... gutting him,” Stiles mumbles, almost like he has to defend Derek. Which is ridiculous, because Derek’s honour as top dog isn’t his responsibility. “You reinjured him. He woke up with this nasty fever and said he had internal bleeding— anyway. He’s still sleeping it off at my place. In my bed. Which is kind of the big issue right now.”
“Right,” Scott agrees, nodding carefully. “So what do we do?”
Stiles flails his arms around for a second. “Why the hell do you think I came here? I’m still pissed at you—” He ignores Scott’s mumbled, ‘Sorry,’ to continue, “—but I need direction right now. You’re the werewolf!”
“And I know less about all of this than you do!”
“Well it’s your fault I’m hiding Beacon Hills’ most wanted in my house! If you hadn’t thrown him under the bus, he would be safe to go home. Or rent a hotel room. Instead he’s on the run and has to crash at my house, Scott. Where my dad is. The Sheriff.”
Scott sighs and pulls himself out of bed, looking tired as hell. “I know. Okay? I know how screwed up this is,” Scott admits quietly as he heads to his dresser and begins riffling around for a clean shirt. He strips off his old one and Stiles averts his eyes, same as he does in the locker room, to focus on a spot on the wall.
“Well what are we going to do about it?”
“We can’t just leave him unoccupied at your house all day,” Scott decides, running his hands through his hair to try to straighten it.
“I don’t think we really have a choice. We can’t let him get caught by the police; we need him, remember?” Stiles points out and Scott groans.
“What if he goes through your stuff?”
Stiles laughs hollowly, shrugging. “The only thing in my bedroom that could be the least bit interesting to him is my research, and even then he knows all that stuff already. Unless he decides to snoop on my computer, which would basically be useless because I cleared my internet history last week and all my porn is labelled as economics homework.”
Scott snorts at that, shaking his head. “Doesn’t change the fact that he’s unsupervised in the Sheriff’s house.”
“Maybe we should trust him,” Stiles mumbles, because he does trust Derek, in a weird way.
“Why? He doesn’t trust us.”
“He saved your ass yesterday, didn’t he?” Stiles is quick to point out, “He stopped you from killing the love of your life in a fit of jealous rage, didn’t he? Isn’t that reason enough to trust him?” Scott shrugs and Stiles stands up, throwing his hands up in the air exasperatedly. “When has Derek not been on our side?”
“You’re the one who came here asking for advice!” Scott reminds him loudly, “I don’t trust Derek. We should find somewhere else to freaking hide him before he, I don’t know, does something—”
“What should we do? I can’t just turn him out. It’s your fault he’s on the run in the first place!”
“I don’t know, okay? I don’t know!”
Scott’s door opens and the quarrelling boys jump in unison, turning to stare at a tired-looking Mrs. McCall. “What the hell are you two fighting about?” she demands, rubbing at one of her eyes with the palm of her hand. Her hair’s a mess of black curls and she’s holding her housecoat closed at the front; Stiles feels guilty about waking her and apologises quickly.
“Sorry, Mrs. McCall,” he hurries to say, “I took in an injured stray dog last night, and I was hoping Scott would know what to do with him.” The lie is familiar, close to the truth, and if their parents decide to compare notes they’ll have heard the same story.
Scott blinks, not expecting the easy lie from his usually terrible liar of a best friend, but recovers quickly. “Yeah,” he agrees, nodding along, “We were just arguing on whether or not Stiles should keep him or put him in one of the kennels at work until we can find him a home.”
Mrs. McCall makes a noise at the back of her throat, looking between the two sceptically. “Uh-huh,” she says, sounding unconvinced. “Just keep it down, alright? I’m on nights this week.”
The boys both mumble apologies and promises to keep the noise level to a minimum, and Mrs. McCall nods once before turning and closing the bedroom door behind her. Scott turns to his best friend with a withering glare.
“A stray dog? Are you insane?” Scott hisses as soon as he hears his mother’s footsteps heading away from the door.
“It’s what my dad thinks anyway!” Stiles quickly defends his lie; it’s ingenious as well as completely plausible. “You remember Buddy, right? It’s not that much of a stretch that I’d do it again.”
Scott rolls his eyes, a fond smile turning up toe corners of his mouth when he thinks about the old hound he and Stiles had taken in for a few weeks during freshman year. They’d managed to keep it a secret until Sheriff Stilinski’s allergies had become unbearable, at which point they’d had to find Buddy a new home.
“This is going to blow up in our faces, isn’t it?” Scott groans after a moment, remembering how well The Buddy Incident had worked out for them last time.
“Probably,” Stiles agrees quietly, flopping back down on his best friend’s bed. “Now get your butt ready for school. I need to go in early and talk to Mr. Harris about getting an extension on that Lab Report due tomorrow.”
Scott laughs but begins shoving his books into his backpack nonetheless, smirking as he zips it shut and flings it over one shoulder. “Hey Stiles?” he asks, his voice hushed so as not to wake his mother again.
Stiles looks up from where he’d been examining a stain on Scott’s floorboards and trying to decide if it’s blood, frowning. “Hmm?”
“I know you have a fondness for strays, but try not to fall in love with this one, okay?”
A startled laugh is torn from Stiles’ throat before he can fully process the statement. “Yeah, no worries about that one, dude,” he assures Scott in the same hushed tones. “This one isn’t all furry cuddles and sloppy kisses, remember?”
Scott snorts, the image of Derek with floppy ears and puppy-dog eyes flashing across his mind. “Let’s hope not, huh?”
Stiles is still laughing when they get into his car several minutes later.
The school day passes agonisingly slowly for Stiles. He has two pop quizzes he isn’t prepared for, and he keeps spacing out, thinking about Derek. He wants to call his house and make sure the werewolf is okay and that he isn’t slowly dying or curled up in a ball of feverish pain on his floor because Stiles isn’t there to help him into the shower.
Scott keeps glancing at him and barking quietly, which he laughs at, but it’s becoming less and less funny each time. The clock ticks impossibly slowly as Stiles stares at it, waiting for the final bell to ring. He has lacrosse practice, but he’ll skip it today— he doesn’t have the energy or the temper to take another hour of worrying.
After what seems like an eternity, the bell rings and Stiles grabs his bag and heads for the door before anyone else has even left their seats. Scott quickly stuffs his own books into his bag and then races to catch up with his best friend, who has already made it to the end of the hallway.
“Stiles?” Scott says, grabbing Stiles by the shoulder to slow him down. “Where are you going? We have practice!”
“Tell the coach I’m sick, okay? I’ve got the get home to check on—” A group of giggling freshmen girls passes them and Stiles sighs, rolling his eyes. “—the dog.”
“You can’t just ditch, Stiles,” Scott protests vehemently, though he trots behind Stiles like an obedient dog as they head for the jeep. “You’re first line now, remember? Your first game is tomorrow!”
“Some things are more important than lacrosse, Scott,” Stiles reminds him as he digs out his keys and unlocks the jeep’s door. Scott simply gapes at him, his jaw hanging open in a way that makes him look like a moron.
“Who the hell are you and what have you done with my best friend?” he deadpans as Stiles climbs into the jeep and pulls the door closed behind him. Stiles rolls his eyes and looks at Scott seriously.
“Do you know how many times I’ve lied for you?” he asks, and Scott’s jaw snaps shut with an audible click. “Exactly. Tell coach I ate the tuna surprise at lunch and can’t stop vomiting. He’ll think I’m stupid for touching that slop, but salmonella is a pretty good excuse to miss one practice, right?”
Scott throws his hands up in the air. “Fine! It’s your funeral dude.”
Stiles grins and jams his key into the ignition, spitting out a quick, “Thank you,” before pulling out of the crowded parking lot and making the quick drive to his house. The Sheriff isn’t home— of course he isn’t— and Stiles immediately climbs the stairs and bursts into his bedroom, not quite knowing what to expect.
The last thing he’s expecting is for Derek to still be lying in the same position he left him in, tucked into Stiles’ bed and appearing to be sleeping quite soundly. He lets out a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding since he got out of the car, surprised and relieved at the same time.
Stiles closes his bedroom door quietly behind him, shucking his jacket and draping it over the back of his chair without taking his eyes off Derek’s still form. He toes off his shoes beside his desk and then approaches his bed, feeling oddly pleased that Derek had just slept the day away.
Without even thinking about it, Stiles sits down on the side of his bed and places his palm over Derek’s forehead to check for fever. The skin is warm and dry, not at all like it had been the night before. Stiles smiles softly, admiring the serene expression on Derek’s normally guarded face.
He gently runs his fingers through Derek’s hair, a morbid fascination forcing him to do so. It is as soft as it looks, clean and fluffy from his shower that morning. Derek’s expression doesn’t change, but a hand, fast as lightning, snakes up from under the blankets to grabs Stiles by the wrist and stop the fingers carding through Derek’s hair.
Stiles lets out a squeaky noise of surprise as the hand grabs him. Derek’s eyes snap open, his serene expression changing to one of mild annoyance.
“Do not pet me,” Derek says roughly, his voice gravelly from sleep. “Despite what your father thinks, I’m not a dog.”
Stiles quickly pulls his hand away from Derek’s soft hair, nodding sheepishly. “Right. Sorry,” he mumbles apologetically, feeling lucky to still be in possession of all his fingers. He can only imagine Derek going all wolf on him and biting a few of them off. “No petting. Got it.”
Derek nods once, jerkily, before pushing himself into a sitting position. He yawns silently, closing his eyes and stretching his arms above his head while Stiles watches, transfixed. The Beacon Hills Police tee Derek borrowed stretches tight across his chest, and Stiles’ mouth goes dry at the sight. Derek inhales and then freezes, the solid line of his body tensing as he opens his eyes again to fix on Stiles.
He lowers his arms slowly, never once taking his eyes off of Stiles’. Stiles gulps and scoots backwards on his bed, away from the scary look the werewolf is shooting him. “Whatever I did I’m sorry please don’t kill me,” he babbles instinctively, wide-eyed and frightened. “I didn’t mean to touch your hair oh God I’m going to die I didn’t mean to I’m sorry I promise—”
Derek’s pupils dilate and a smirk pulls up the corners of his mouth as he watches the teenager in front of him flail and babble spectacularly. “You done?” he asks when Stiles stops to take a breath. Stiles shuts his mouth and nods silently, folding his hands in his lap unconsciously.
“Good,” Derek sighs, leaning back against Stiles’ headboard and closing his eyes again. “Listening to you talk is exhausting.”
He’s expecting a laugh and when he doesn’t receive one he opens his eyes again and raises an eyebrow at the still terrified-looking teen. “You can stop looking at me like I’m going to eat you, you know. It’s not good etiquette for a houseguest to maul his host, no matter how annoying.”
Stiles relaxes a fraction and smiles nervously, a twitch of his lips. “So that glare just now was what? A warning?” he asks, sounding fairly brave considering how fast his heart is hammering in his chest. The rabbit analogy flits back into Derek’s mind and he snorts, amused.
“No,” he says honestly, eying Stiles with mild interest. “But we should probably talk about your crush on me now that I’m fairly lucid.”
Stiles’ pulse skyrockets so fast that Derek is slightly concerned that the kid might give himself a heart attack. He lets out a squeak so high pitched that it might attract dogs from all over the county, before scooting back so far on his bed that he almost falls off the end of it. Derek easily reaches out and grabs Stiles by the pant leg to stop him from toppling onto the floor, rolling his eyes at the kid’s antics.
“Or— uh— maybe we should talk about how awesome I smell and how much you want to do me instead,” Stiles counters after he’s regained his balance, trying to sound smug and unconcerned, but his pulse betrays him.
“Okay,” Derek agrees, smiling wolfishly when Stiles’ eyes widen so far they might just fall out of his head. “Let’s talk about that.” He settles back against the headboard and raises his eyebrows at Stiles, waiting for him to start.
“Wait, so that’s an actual thing?” Stiles asks, sounding positively perplexed. “Scott wasn’t just so moon-loony that he thought—”
“No,” Derek cuts him off. “It’s an actual thing.”
“And you actually think that I...?”
“...Smell as good as Allison does for Scott,” Derek finishes for him, barely managing to keep a straight face as Stiles jumps up from the bed and begins to wave his arms like a maniac.
“But that’s insane!” he protests after he seems to find his voice, and Derek shrugs.
His placid answer seems to drive Stiles even crazier, as he promptly freaks out. “‘Nah?’ That’s all you have to say? ‘Nah?’”
“Why don’t you sit down,” Derek suggests, nodding to Stiles’ desk chair. Stiles grabs the chair hurriedly and plops himself down into it, fidgeting. He can’t seem to stay still anymore, and his heart is hammering a tattoo against his breastbone.
“So, what? What does this mean? None of my research—”
“Shut up,” Derek commands, and Stiles’ mouth clicks shut obediently. “Of course it’s not in your research. Werewolves have secrets that they’ve managed to keep out of human hands.”
Stiles nods eagerly. “Yeah, of course,” he says. Derek raises an eyebrow and Stiles falls silent, twitching in his seat.
“It doesn’t have to mean anything,” Derek continues, “It’s just a fact at this point. A fairly interesting fact, but a fact nonetheless.” He pauses, as though daring Stiles to interrupt, but the teen stays silent. “We don’t know why— or, at least, I don’t know why— but certain humans possess a scent that is extremely desirable to werewolves. They are possible mates. You fall under that category.”
“And Allison does too?” Stiles asks, unable to stop himself from interjecting.
Derek’s lips set into a hard line, but he nods once. “Yes. But not just you two. It might run in families, I don’t know.” There’s a flash of emotion behind his eyes as he says this, but it’s gone so fast Stiles can’t tell what it was, or even if he imagined it. “And while I don’t know for sure since I haven’t been close enough to her, Lydia might possess it as well, considering Scott’s actions during the moon.”
Stiles relaxes a fraction, looking relieved. “So it wasn’t his fault at all, really? If he had no freewill when it came to—”
Derek snorts and Stiles stops talking, his jaw clicking shut. “He still had freewill,” Derek clarifies harshly. “It was still his fault. Don’t try to pass on the blame to the moon or pheromones. If we didn’t have some ounce of freewill and humanity that remained with us, there would be no way you’d still be a virgin right now.”
Stiles turns red at the implication, swallowing hard. “So you...” He pauses, blinking. “...and me...?” he whispers, blushing furiously. Derek shrugs.
“Not if you don’t want to,” Derek says, his face hard and serious. “The mating process must be completely consensual, otherwise it won’t work properly.” He rubs a hand over his face, looking frustrated. “And both parties must be informed that it’s happening. That’s why Scott couldn’t mate even if he wanted to— because Allison is still clueless. Of course, the fewer people who know the easier it is for everyone, but mates have to know. That’s why most werewolves choose to be with other werewolves, or at least those who already know of their existence.”
“Like me,” Stiles concludes, feeling an odd twist of... something in the pit of his stomach.
Derek nods once, meeting Stiles’ eyes and not looking away. “Exactly.”
Stiles swallows and looks away first, focussing on his socked feet as his digs his toes into the carpet. “This is all very... Twilight,” he says after a moment, looking up to meet Derek’s eyes again. They’re still hazel, which is calming, and Stiles’ heart has mostly stopped its palpitations. “And very sudden.”
“I’m not asking you to decide right this minute,” Derek snorts, rolling his eyes at the teenager’s thought process. “I’m just informing you of the possibility.”
“You don’t even like me. In fact, you hate me,” Stiles points out, and Derek is surprised that there isn’t even a tiny blip in his now-steady heartbeat. He doesn’t think he’s lying. “So why me?”
“I don’t hate you,” Derek disagrees quietly, pulling Stiles’ blankets off his lap and standing up to tower over the only-slightly-terrified teenager. “I wouldn’t have said anything if I hated you. You have many desirable qualities of a mate that are not limited to the way you smell.”
Stiles doesn’t seem convinced, but he nods anyway, eyes wide and head bobbing like a dashboard ornament. Derek decides that he’s freaked the kid out enough and it’s time to make his escape. He’s across the room and has one leg out the window before Stiles realises what’s going on and jumps out of his chair, bravely grabbing Derek by the arm and holding on.
“Where are you going?” he stutters out, closing his sweaty fingers around Derek’s bicep more tightly.
Derek looks amused as he straddles the window sill. He could easily shrug off Stiles’ hold, but he doesn’t. “I figured I’d outstayed my welcome the moment I showed up unannounced,” he says evenly, “And I’m well enough to find another hideout now.”
Stiles shakes his head and tugs on Derek’s arm, the whole day seeming oddly surreal. “No, no. That’s okay,” he says, stumbling over his words. “You haven’t. I mean, you can still stay here. I don’t mind.”
Derek allows himself to be tugged back into the room, a tiny smirk turning up the corners of his mouth.
“You’re probably hungry. I can make dinner; my dad won’t be home until late, so...” Stiles lets go of Derek’s arm when he realises that he’s still holding on, leaning past the werewolf to pull the window closed. He straightens and looks at Derek squarely again, smiling slightly. “So you can tell me over dinner about all these apparently desirable qualities I have.”
Derek can hear the nervous skip of Stiles’ heart as he fakes confidence, but he decides not to mention it. “Alright,” he concedes, walking carefully back to Stiles’ bed and settling himself back into it gracefully.
Stiles stares at him awkwardly for a moment before nodding again, bobbing his head as he walks to the door. “Is, uh... is chicken okay?”
Derek nods and makes a soft sound of agreement, reaching for a book on Stiles’ bedside table with mild interest.
“I’m not going to serve it raw,” Stiles reminds the werewolf, earning him a huff of a laugh. He counts it as a win as he leaves the room to go downstairs. He figures even if he messes it up, feeding a hungry werewolf can’t be that hard. Dogs’ll eat anything.
We both pull the tricks out of our sleeves
but I'll believe in anything.
Next Part: In the Direction of the Moon
- Current Mood: okay
- Current Music:Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics