So Kai… basically I’m just gonna fail at every prompt you give me. I don’t think I get a say in it. Nobody’s turning out the way I intend. D:
It made every sense that it should be Stiles.
None of them could remove the collar, and the slavers who hadn’t run away the moment Allison started making pointed (and pointy) comments about territory boundaries and the Code and what did or did not constitute a disgrace to the human species were too dead to help.
Anyone holding the leash could get Derek to do their bidding. There were other tricks too, magic woven in the fabric that Stiles had read about months ago and refused to believe because just because a book was old didn’t mean it was right. But here they were, and Derek couldn’t protect himself.
The precarity of position as Alpha made it unwise for him to stay with any of the other werewolves, whether they were technically in his pack or not. Allison was out of the running for too many reasons to count, and nobody was comfortable enough with Lydia and Peter’s ongoing feud to give her any chance at getting control over Derek.
Stiles, on the other hand, had nothing going against him but the drunken passes he’d made at Derek two months ago and the tension that had lingered between them since. But since nobody seemed to have noticed, that left him the least bad out of a slew of sucky options to get Derek out of the line of fire. It also dispensed him from participating in the hunt for the two remaining slavers, which he had no complaints about. It had been a long three days since Derek’s disappearance, and the men were nothing without their warlock. Scott and the others could take care of them easily. All Stiles wanted was to go home.
Derek didn’t even protest getting benched by his own pack, just slumped in the Jeep’s passenger seat as soon as the door was open; by the time Stiles started the car he was asleep, both hands wrapped protectively around the leash as if it wasn’t enchanted to slip out of his grip the moment anyone else wanted to make a grab for it. It was an hour’s ride back to Beacon Hills; Stiles put the radio on low and made the trip last, the better to glance at Derek every now and again, to reassure himself that he was still there, still breathing and unbroken.
Derek jerked awake the moment Stiles parked, and for once, didn’t make a point of entering the house through a second floor window.
The short climb to Stiles’ room was steeped in uncomfortable silence.
When the pack and varied associates had been around he’d found it easy enough to make the jokes, to act as though it was all in a day’s work. Now he was alone with Derek for the first time in weeks. There was nothing to distract him from being acutely aware of that, and of how they’d never addressed what had happened. He really should have known that this was going to come to a head in the worst possible circumstances and why, exactly, had nobody questioned that Derek needed to have someone around, instead of disappearing in a sewer on his own until they’d figured out how to remove the collar? Why hadn’t Stiles?
“Do you want to shower?” he asked, barely hesitating before he tossed his ripped up, bloody t-shirt into the trash. Whatever. It wasn’t anything Derek hadn’t seen before, and Stiles had spent enough time in locker rooms around Danny and Jackson to not be intimidated by anyone’s physique anymore.
“It’s fine.” Not a surprise, really. All of Stiles’ research had led to the conclusion that slavers took good care of their wares. Alpha werewolves were rare and difficult to capture: Derek was expected to sell at a good price, but not if he was underfed or filthy. Stiles had spent sixty hours trying to track them down with the bare minimum of sleep; he had determinedly avoided thinking about what the hell anyone would want a pet Alpha for, because that way lay madness and panic attacks that he’d had no time for. (The word ‘gourmet’ had come back way too often, in this context.)
He’d figured it out eventually, and they’d rescued Derek and now he was safe and Stiles had no idea how to proceed anymore, so he let himself fall back on his bed, scuttled up to his oversized pillow, and closed his eyes for a second. Derek had been pampered and fed and watered while Stiles went out of his mind with worry and frustration. Let him figure out a way to make this situation less awkward. Let him work for it, for a change, because Stiles was done.
He was satisfied with his decision for about five seconds, until the dip in the mattress reminded him that Derek had never cared much for proper social interactions.
Then there was the full weight of Derek’s body right next to him, not quite touching, and something soft sliding across his torso. His eyes flew open when a hand brushed against his wrist as it braced on the bed and he found Derek looking down at him with an unreadable expression. His eyes were red, but it wasn’t anger or the prelude to throat-ripping threats. Those, Stiles would have recognized easily. Those were well-trodden paths that he knew how to deal with.
Derek staring at his mouth like it was something he wanted to take? Not so much.
“What are you…” he managed to say, mouth dry and heartrate spiking. “Is this some sort of side-effect of the—?”
Always the well of useful information. But he wasn’t moving, just… holding there, propped over Stiles and staring at him. Stiles licked his lips, and saw Derek’s eyes track the movement, which did nothing to help him calm down. “Okay,” he said carefully, “then what the hell are you doing?”
Derek frowned slightly. “You wanted this.” The way he said that, it sounded like the most obvious, most transparent of things, and maybe it was, but… they were talking about this?
Now? On Stiles’ bed?
Great. Derek was being a master of timing as usual. “Nothing I want ever prompted you to get all loomy before,” he pointed out, trying to will his heart into a rate that didn’t suggest he’d just run a marathon. It had never worked for him so far, but you never knew your luck.
Derek shook his head, making the tail of the leash slither along Stiles’ skin. He had no idea what kind of material it was, but it was soft and fuzzy and made Stiles want to grab it, to feel it between his fingers.
He wondered if it was possible to let go, once you had it in hand.
“It’s not the same now,” Derek said, which really didn’t help all that much.
“Right. Because now, you’ve just spent three days at in the hands of people who planned on selling you to the highest bidder, and whose magic didn’t die with them. Your timing is highly suspicious.” He thought he almost sounded firm saying it, but of course, that meant nothing to a werewolf, especially not when Stiles could feel the blush on his cheeks.
Not when they both knew how easily he could order Derek off of him, and that he wasn’t doing it.
Derek kept staring, stubbornly, down Stiles’ face and along his throat, to his chest, and Stiles was sure his heart sped up by a whole order of magnitude when Derek’s eyes slid past it.
So he forced a deep breath and did exactly what everyone had trusted him not to do. He freed his hand from where it was trapped between his hip and Derek’s, and reached up to tangle it in the leash.
It was just as soft in his palm as he’d expected.
Derek looked down at Stiles’ hand wrapped in fuzzy black, then back up at his face. He made no move to try and wrench himself free (not that he could have) and didn’t demand that Stiles let go, which was permission enough.
Stiles licked his lips again. “Tell me why you’re doing this,” he ordered.
The answer came without a beat, along with a shift of Derek’s balance when he moved to grab Stiles’ left wrist. “I want you.”
He didn’t sound like he found that strange, or resented it at all. And sure, Stiles had once entertained the thought that it might be the case, but those hopes had already been thoroughly crushed. “Tell me why you didn’t do it at any point in the past seven weeks.”
Now Derek looked unhappy, but not in the overwhelmingly angry way Stiles was used to. “You’re… vulnerable.”
That was something Stiles had thought about, too, and he’d long since prepared his answers. “So help me,” he grouched, “if this is about protecting the lowly fragile human from your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life—”
Derek snorted. Practically wrapped around Stiles and magically bound to obey his every order, Derek actually snorted at him. “Like I could keep you out of it if I tried?” Stiles tilted his head to the side in contemplation, and decided it was a fair enough assessment. “You’re vulnerable to me,” Derek explained. His grip around Stiles’ wrist tightened the slightest bit, but it was still nothing he wouldn’t be able to break out of. “I’m older than you, stronger, more experienced. I can coerce you. Force you. Change you for life. Kill you, all without even making an effort. It’s not right.” It seemed to flow easily out of him, like something he’d thought and thought and thought again, and only when it was over did Stiles realize that he hadn’t made that an order, not even a question really, and Derek had answered him with that anyway.
He bit his lip, trying to keep some wits to himself despite the heat of Derek’s body pressed alongside his, the weight of his gaze on him. Derek wanted him. Wanted him enough to build up an answer beyond ‘it’s not going to happen’, one that made a horrible kind of sense. One that made it clear that there was no way anything could ever happen between them, not the way things were.
The way things had been.
Because now Stiles had absolute power over Derek, right here in his hand. “But now it’s okay?” he asked softly. “Because of this?” He tugged at the leash, just a little, and Derek followed because he couldn’t not, wedging his knee between Stiles’ thighs for balance. Then he kept going, lowering his face to the side of Stiles’ neck until the leash was pulled taut again, and no further. “What if I end up forcing you?”
Because he could. All he had to do was order Derek to—
And he’d do it. He might hate Stiles, and himself, for it. But he’d do it anyway, and the prospect was both exciting and nauseating. Stiles didn’t think he could handle so much power over someone, didn’t want it really, but Derek was handing it all to him anyway and—
“There’s nothing I don’t want you to do,” Derek said, breathing against his skin in a way that had Stiles biting his lip in an effort not to gasp. “With me,” Derek added, as an afterthought.
“Holy mother of all deities, you cannot just say things like that!” Because Stiles was going to explode, from the heat and from Derek who was right here, trapping him against the bed, offering himself up.
Derek who listened to his advice these days, who fell asleep in his car like it was the most natural of things, who was now surrendering all control to Stiles. And Stiles should have seen it coming, should have noticed that, maybe, Derek didn’t need to say the words for them to be true.
“So make me stop,” he said, unmoving.
And Stiles got it. It wasn’t control, not for its own sake. It was responsibility.
Because everything was always Derek’s fault. Those had been easy words to live by in the early days, and while Stiles and Scott had moved on from that a little, there weren’t that many who had. Derek shouldered responsibility all the time, even for things he had no control over or knowledge of. All the time, every time and maybe he didn’t want that here. Maybe the only way he’d let himself have the Sheriff’s underaged son was by having someone ripe for the blaming if either of them ended up with regrets in the morning.
But one way or another, it was trust. And if that was the deal, Stiles was more than willing to hold up his part.
But— “Tell me one more thing,” he said, closing his eyes, rubbing his thumb along the leash. He tried to relax against the pillow, turned his left hand in Derek’s grip, exposing his palm. It seemed easier, like this. He could relish the phantom pressure where Derek was hovering above him, almost touching but not. “Tell me about one thing you’ve wanted to do to… with me since before I came to you last time.”
He heard the intake of breath, counted the seconds until Derek’s fingers moved, slid from his wrist to his hand, spreading out. Stiles caught them, intertwined their hands together and gripped tight. “I’ve wanted to bite you,” Derek said, and Stiles felt a spike of adrenaline from having a known predator whisper something like that so close to his jugular. He made no move to pull away.
“Not breaking the skin,” Derek continued, his voice tight and focused. “But marking you. Sucking blood to the surface until anyone could see it. Having you under me whining for more. Making you rut up against me just from my teeth on your skin.”
Stiles had to stop his body from surging up to hump Derek’s thigh because he wasn’t that easy, he wasn’t, okay, not yet. He didn’t, however, stop himself from tilting his head further, exposing more skin to Derek.
Derek who was propped up against him, not touching, resisting the temptation. Who felt like he would stay like this forever, until ordered to move one way or another.
It was Stiles’ choice. His decision. His responsibility.
He tugged at the leash, reminding both of them that it was there, that he had a hold of it.
He said, “bite me.”
That is a fantastic fic. Wow. It’s 3 am so wow is all I’ve got to express my feels, so srsly - WOW.
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