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[Teen Wolf] Dangerous Things (3/?)

Title: Dangerous Things
Characters/Pairing: Stiles/Derek, also some Scott/Allison and Lydia/Jackson
Summary: The Medieval AU where Derek is an incubus and Stiles is so, so far out of his depth right now.
Rating: NC-17
Chapter: 3/?
Word Count: 7350
Warnings: Dub-con, canon typical violence/horror, discussion of rape
Previous parts: Part 1, Part 2



Waking once again well rested and remarkably ache free (and secure in his confidence that this one wasn't a dream either only because he's lost a good half a day otherwise), Stiles seeks Lydia out himself first thing the next morning, before he can lose his nerve.

"You were right," he tells her. "What I told you – what I told Scott and Jackson – it wasn't the whole story. It's just that Scott was already so nervous about me offering myself up as bait that if I told him I was going to be drinking poison as well, he would've lost it." He knows he's fidgeting and he's not even trying not to, because it was only yesterday Lydia caught him in a massive lie and he fainted in front of her like a little girl. It's perfectly natural that he'd be nervous now. (It certainly doesn't have to mean he's about to tell her an even bigger lie. It'd be more suspicious if he wasn't fidgeting.) "I knew this was our one chance, but there were so many things that could have gone wrong, you know? The dosage, the timing, it all has to be so specific or it doesn't work and I'm dead and the incubus just steps right over my body and it's all for nothing. I didn't want to worry Scott any more than he was worrying already." He shrugs and makes a good attempt at looking properly contrite.

"Right," says Lydia, "Good." She's had this spooked look on her face since Stiles walked in and launched head-first into his new story before he could lose his nerve, but being Lydia, she's recovered again before Stiles can quite make up his mind whether it's a bad sign. "I'm glad we had this talk. Was that so hard?"

Stiles hesitates. "Please don't tell Scott. I don't think he'd take it well. Or Jackson – he'd just tell Scott and-"

"Oh, Stiles," Lydia croons, "you can count on me. But in future, I hope you'll remember that I expect complete honesty from everyone in the tower. Won't you?"

"A-absolutely," says Stiles, wincing over the stutter.

"Good," says Lydia again. "Are you feeling better today?"

"Better? Oh, because of how I..." collapsed on the floor in front of you last time we tried to talk about this. "Yeah, great! Nothing a good night's sleep couldn't fix. Nothing big."

"Good," says Lydia, in a voice that's starting to creep Stiles out maybe just a tiny little bit, "That will be all, Stiles."

Stiles bobs through a nod and hurries out, only fumbling with the door latch for a second or two longer than usual.

Well, that went well. Wasn't so hard, nothing suspicious leftover whatsoever.

What are the odds someone like Lydia would have been able to spot the tell tale signs of a geas of silence at work anyway?

***

The hunters finally make it back a whole day and night after the full moon, which is only ironic if you remembered that thing where them being back on schedule had been a crucial assumption in Stiles' plans a few iterations back, and only hilarious if you were keeping track of all the other ways his plans had gone hopelessly, harmlessly wrong since this began. Stiles decides he's within his rights to set about blaming them for all of it.

At least he's not alone in being bothered by the delay. Stiles almost literally has to hold Scott back from charging out into the woods to meet the hunters the moment he catches their scent. When he sees Allison at last, his whole posture sags with relief. Stiles tugs him away from the window and makes him wander down to meet them in the courtyard at a pace that suggests he hadn't smelt them coming on the wind a mile away.

Downstairs, the Argents and their small entourage of assistants are dismounting, all persons, limbs, hounds and horses present and accounted for. Scott hovers with the awkwardness of a mostly-former stableboy looking at the only horses anyone's stabled here in months, knowing he'll likely lose a finger if he so much as touches any of them. At least hovering around the horses beats projecting the awkwardness of a lowly-(ex)-stableboy who knows he's liable to lose both hands if he's caught laying anything on the Argents' daughter – who herself is being probably a little too obvious about how she's not making eye contact with Scott out here where her father might see. The Argents have their reputation, and they take the care of their own deadly seriously. All the same, it's beyond them to keep their hounds from bounding up to Scott to say hello, tails wagging, which will never not be hilarious. Scott's damn lucky the Argents' dogs liked him long before the day he first came home smelling of wolf, or he'd have been in real trouble.

Stiles sticks to loitering in a manner the Argents can interpret as an offer to help if they like, or just ignore, if that's what they prefer. He likes to think that not being noticed is at least half of any good servant's job description.

Jackson, on the other hand, hardly waits for the riders to come to a complete stop before giving them a piece of his mind. "You want to explain what happened to 'back the morning after the full moon'?"

Unluckily for Jackson, Kate Argent is the only one paying any attention to him. "Oh, Jackson," she croons, "You know we missed you too." Jackson dodges jerkily away from what was likely an attempt to pinch his cheek, then does his best to ignore her as completely as Chris is ignoring him.

"You have no idea what we've been through while you've been out, do you?" says Jackson, sneering through every pore. "Doing what, picking off a were-puppy or two?" Stiles watches Scott wince. "Chasing animals in the woods?"

"Hunting an incubus?" Kate provides.

Jackson freezes. "What?"

"You what?" echoes Scott. Stiles experiences a sudden chill.

"An incubus," repeats Chris, busy unloading his gear and only eventually getting around looking in Jackson's direction. "It went for Kate while she was on watch one night."

"It was kind of flattering, actually," says Kate, thoughtfully. "But I'm thinking it didn't quite count on how much bang it would be getting out of its little late-night snack."

"My sister wounded it – not badly enough, it still got away," Chris explains, or possibly translates. "We extended our trip by an extra night in hope we could track it down, but they don't leave much of a trail. We're back to regroup and pick up new supplies before we set out again."

"Oh. Well, in that case I've got some good news for you," says Jackson. "Your incubus is dead."

Jackson finally has both Argents' full attention.

"What?" Kate laughs. "How would you know?"

"Because we're the ones that killed it." Jackson folds his arms (which does communicate a good deal of bravado if you know enough to spot the abortive wince-and-jerk when he reminds himself how much his shoulder still hates him). There's basically zero chance now that he's going to bother to mention he spent most of the ordeal scared stupid and useless and his greatest contribution involved restacking a little firewood. "Yeah, that's right. Us, while all you professionals were congratulating yourselves for letting it get away."

"It's true," Scott puts in, before things can get ugly. "It went for Lydia a couple of nights ago, but we scared it off and when it came back... look, what you need to know is it's dead, and yes, we're sure – we found the body and everything."

The older two Argents exchange a glance.

"Show me," says Chris.

***

There's only bones left to show, but they're plenty enough to convince the hunters that whatever the boys had killed the other night, it had wings and it wasn't human. For once even Chris is dutifully impressed. Kate seems almost disappointed.

"You'd think they'd know better," she comments, holding up the blackened skull so she can examine it from every angle. "First you underestimated me, then you underestimated a bunch of little boys. That's one embarrassing way to go."

"Hey!" says Stiles, though she ignores him and he's not sure how he was planning on defending himself anyway.

"Impressive work," says Chris. "I suppose this goes to show even a demon can be taken by surprise."

"That wasn't exactly..." Scott starts. He's never at his most eloquent when Chris Argent is involved.

"Tell me," says Chris, with an encouraging gesture. "I want to hear the whole story."

Stiles watches Scott panic momentarily. An hour ago, he'd pulled both Scott and Jackson aside and made them both promise not to tell the Argents the specifics of his plan to take down the incubus. He'd let them believe this stemmed from a desire to gloss over some of the more incriminating details, like how it all took place in Lydia's bed while Stiles was wearing one of Lydia's nightgowns and, fortunately, even Jackson had agreed without much more than a bit of pointed smirking. Now Scott has to tell Chris this tale without mentioning either too much about Stiles or the role a werewolf played in scaring the incubus away the first time. It doesn't help that Chris acts like he's interrogating you as a murder suspect all the time, including when all he's asking is whether you could find it in yourself to pass the salt.

"It showed up in Lydia's bedroom a couple of nights ago," says Scott. "Me and Jackson were lucky enough to hear and we chased it away, but it left Lydia in a coma and Stiles said that meant it was going to be back for her, and it wouldn't be so easy to chase off a second time. We came up with a – with a couple of plans to take it down and one of them worked-"

"Mine, in case you were wondering," Stiles puts in.

"-and you should probably talk to Stiles about that part," says Scott, sounding grateful. "Next morning, Lydia woke up and we found it dead. She wanted us to burn the body, so-"

"Wait up," Kate interrupts, suddenly interested. "You only burned it this morning? The bones are already cold."

"No, it was a couple of days ago," says Scott, looking lost.

"How many days ago?" asks Kate.

"Um, it was the day before yesterday. Night before the full moon, right?" He looks at Stiles for confirmation; Stiles shrugs back.

"Scott," says Chris, in that perfect Argent tone, "You need to be very sure. You found the incubus dead the day before the full moon?"

"Yes?" says Scott. "That's when it was, right Stiles?"

"Night before the full moon," Stiles agrees. "Why? Does that matter?"

"Kate was attacked by the incubus on the night of the full moon," says Chris.

"What?!" Scott exclaims. "But it was dead by then!"

"Exactly," says Chris.

"But – how?" asks Scott, bewildered. "We burned the body – it was definitely dead! How's that possible?"

"It means there's two of them." The words are out of Stiles' mouth before he can help himself. Chris nods towards him, approving. Go Stiles, first on call whenever your needs include basic mathematics.

"If what you're telling us is true," says Chris, clearly leaving open the possibility that both Scott and Stiles are merely very confused about what day it is, "that's our only explanation. We've got more than one incubus on our hands."

"Well," says Kate, bumping her shoulder against her brother's, "sounds like there's some work left for us professionals after all, hey Chris?"

Stiles mumbles something about how if anyone needs him he'll be inside, sitting somewhere quiet, and flees.

***

He's hardly back to his room before there's a knock at the door that turns out to be Allison. This is great, because he'll take any distraction today, and terrible, because the kind of distractions afforded by getting involved in the inimitable Scott-Allison situation are a kind he often ends up regretting.

"If you're looking for Scott, he's outside," he tells her.

"I wasn't looking for Scott." Allison closes the door behind her. The look on her face is nervous, possibly even furtive, which is nothing terribly new.

"Did you see him yet? Because if not, your dad is kinda tied up with the whole incubus thing right now, so this could be your chance-"

Allison shakes her head. "I wanted to talk to you first."

Stiles lets out a sigh. "Why does that worry me?"

"Stiles," says Allison, "I killed a werewolf. On the night of the full moon." She pauses and takes a deep breath, eyes fluttering away and back again. "He would have been about Scott's age."

Stiles exhales sharply and slumps down onto the nearest convenient surface, both for his own benefit and as a subtle invitation for her to do the same if she needs to, not that she takes it. "Okay. So that's officially awkward." Heaven forbid the hunters make it home with only the ongoing drama of an incubus or two to show for it. "What happened?"

"He roared at me, and the next thing I knew there was an arrow through his eye," says Allison. "He was dead before I reached the body."

Stiles nods, a little absently. "Okay. Well. Look at it logically: he was about to leap at you, right? It's not like he gave you any reason to think he could be talked down."

"Of course not," says Allison; there's a bitterness in her tone Stiles can practically taste. "It's not like I was a hunter, out there hunting him or the rest of his pack – on the one day of the month when it's hardest for them to hide – with a quiver full of arrows tipped with wolfsbane. Why would he have assumed the worst?"

"Are you sure you don't want to sit down?" asks Stiles. Allison shakes her head at him and continues pacing. "Allison. You know they're not all like Scott, right? Most of them never learn control, or they're with an Alpha who wouldn't let them if they tried."

"You think that's not what my family tells me every time we go out?"

Stiles gets back to his feet and puts a hand on her shoulder. "Look, I'm just saying, you don't need to..."

"I know," she says, "I know – I've done this before. But this is the first time I ever had to face one that looked that much like Scott. I didn't think, I just reacted, and it was over before I even knew."

Stiles doesn't know what to do besides hug her, so he does. After a moment she hugs him back, tightly at first, before some of the tension bleeds out of her again. Stiles will call that a win.

"It's okay," Allison says after a bit, pulling away. "It's part of the plan, right? I need to make them respect me as a hunter who can do this the hard way before I have any hope of making them understand about Scott. I'm sorry to pounce on you with this, I just needed to tell someone who'd understand before I have to face Scott again."

"You should tell Scott. He'd understand." He'll also definitely know she's hiding something if she doesn't, but Stiles isn't going to lean on that argument if he doesn't have to.

"What he'll understand is I would have been in danger if I hadn't shot first."

"Well, yeah," Stiles agrees. "He's maybe a little invested in your welfare. Doesn't mean he's wrong. He'll get it, just give him a chance to."

Allison nods at last. "Thank you."

Stiles shrugs and smiles back. "So the other Argents didn't have much to say about your big moment?"

Allison shakes her head. "Not after they heard about the incubus."

"Right. Of course not." That's when the next round of implications hit him. "Hey, when it attacked Kate, did you see anything?"

Allison shakes her head again. "I didn't get back until after."

Small mercies. "Did she... say much about it?"

"Just that if only she'd aimed a few inches to the left she would have had it," Allison shrugs. "And that she was looking forward to seeing it again. Then she made some sort of joke about whether it was just the thrall talking. No-one really laughed."

It is a bad, bad day when one discovers Kate Argent has been stealing your material. Bitch. "So she didn't seem all that worried, huh?"

Allison gives him a strained smile. "You know Kate."

Unfortunately, Stiles does.

***

Stiles hears the lively debate going on between Lydia and the hunters in the main hall long before he gets close. It doesn't seem like she's taking the news of there being a second incubus at large all that well. The argument is centred around the relative importance of their duties to stay and defend the tower versus tracking and finding the monster, versus hers to supply and support them while leaving the decisions to the Argents. What Your Father Would Have Done goes up against Do You Realise You Left Me Completely Undefended Here? – and then it gets personal. It's riveting stuff for all of the five minutes it takes Stiles to realise that he's already heard more about this subject than he can deal with today, and has to go to find something very important to do somewhere far away.

He runs into Scott in the hallway, who perks up immediately at the sight of him and hurries over. "Hey, have you seen Allison?"

Stiles points him downstairs and does his very best to avoid the urge to bash his head in against the nearest wall.

***

"If I asked you to punch me in the face right now," he asks Jackson, later, "would you take it the wrong way? Understand, it's got to be one that lays me out long enough that I don't have to wake up again until this day is over."

Jackson stops hacking at his practice-dummy long enough to catch his breath and say, "We've got a whole tower full of Argents, Stilinski. Get one of them to do it. Isn't that what they do?"

And okay, the Argents may not be Stiles' favourite people right now – or really ever – and they may even be more than half the reason Stiles is longing for a prolonged blackout to begin with – but that's a little more vehemence than even he would have gone for so fast. "Whoa, sensing a little hostility there."

"How the fuck do they expect us to believe there's another incubus out there?" Jackson snarls. "Is this some power thing where they just can't admit how we got all the work done for them?"

"I love this 'we' thing you keep doing when you talk about how the incubus went down," says Stiles, but he's running on automatic – his heart's not really in it.

Jackson hurls his practice sword down and whirls around. "They got the days wrong." He'd sound almost reasonable if you had zero context and didn't know him all. "It's the only explanation."

"Sure, I bet the hunters get confused about which day the full moon is all the time." Stiles feels as though he's lost control of this conversation much faster than he'd counted on.

"Then Kate lied. She's the only one who saw this other incubus, don't you find that a bit suspicious?"

"Well. Um," says Stiles.

"I bet she didn't just stab it and let it go, I bet she summoned the fucking thing in the first place. She probably enjoyed it."

"Whoa, hey. Okay, Kate's a creep, this is not under debate, but don't you think you're going a little far?" He's not exactly sure why it ever seemed like a good idea to go vent at Jackson in the first place, but he's pretty sure the idea didn't include discovering that Jackson has even more bottled up than he does right now.

"What would you know, Stiles?" says Jackson, throwing an arm towards him in a jerky movement. "Actually, what do you know? Aren't you the incubus expert around here now? You didn't think to mention they fly around in pairs?"

The image of a pair of identical Dereks coming through his window flickers unhelpfully through Stiles' brain. "I didn't think to mention it because nothing in any source we've got says anything about incubi flying around in pairs. News to me too, Jackson."

"That's real reassuring, Stiles. I'll bet that means they haven't got a single other surprise in store for us. I bet Lydia's going to sleep in her bed tonight feeling perfectly safe."

Stiles rubs his head with both hands. "It doesn't have to be as bad as you're making it."

"Doesn't it? We just killed one of these things, and Kate just pissed the other one off. How would you call the odds it's not going to be back for revenge?"

Stiles makes a really solid effort to stand his ground with minimum awkward fidgeting. "Okay, I may not be an expert. But I'm pretty sure I know enough to say that's not how they operate."

"And why not?"

"Because if there were two," says Stiles, "then I don't think they would have been friendly. They're probably only here because of some sort of messed up territorial dispute or something. If one of them's dead, we probably did the other one a favour."

"Uh-huh." Skepticism drips from Jackson's every pore. "And just how does an incubus express its gratitude to people like us, you tell me that, Stiles?"

"That's not the point, Jackson." Stiles takes a deep breath. "The point is, we killed one incubus, and the other one knows the hunters are going to be looking for it. If it has any sense, it's putting as much space as possible between itself and us right now. We're probably not going to even see it again." The irony that Stiles is trying convince someone else of all this isn't lost on him.

"Oh," says Jackson, unconvinced, "and if it shows up here again, like every hunter in the tower thinks it will, is that what you're planning on telling it?"

"No, I was thinking I'd try telling it how lousy Lydia is in bed." By the time the words are out there, it's too late to realise how much better they'd sounded in his head.

Jackson looks at him like he's completely lost his mind, laughs, shakes his head, then grabs his sword back off the floor and goes back to hacking at his practice dummy like Stiles isn't even there. Apparently he's not even worth a comeback at this point.

Fine, be that way.


***

The trouble with Jackson is that just occasionally, under his smug asshole exterior, and under a good half dozen layers of shamelessly self-important, over-achieving interior as well, he still manages to be right about something. If what Stiles heard of Lydia's conversation with the Argents earlier wasn't already enough to clue him in, Jackson's one-right-something for today is how Lydia must be feeling after hearing there's a second incubus on the prowl only two days after her narrow escape from the first one, under circumstances she's justifiably suspicious about already. As the young, beautiful, virginal lady of the tower, any village idiot could have picked her as prime incubus-bait even before the first incubus showed up on her window sill. She has every good reason to be afraid.

Stiles has known Lydia as long as he's worked here and she thrives on exceeding every expectation held against her. She's always believed somewhere deep down that she ought to be able to run this tower on a cult of personality alone. She hates feeling helpless – it's a thing, and Stiles can relate. Even if he can't tell her the truth, it's his obligation to tell her something that will ease her mind a little.

This is why Stiles has now spent what must be at least a good half hour lurking in the hallway of the floor below Lydia's bedroom, trying to think of a way to tell her that he's almost positive that the other incubus is gone – and if it's not, then it's not going to go after her – and even if it does, it's probably not going to kill her or anything, so she should really relax. Since his source for most of this information is the incubus and his best excuse for trusting it is that he can't think of anything it would have to gain by lying to him, he's not sure that's going to go down so well. Doesn't help that he's pretty sure Lydia already knows far more about incubi than he does. In the non-biblical sense, at least.

It's also not much help that even if you ignore the near-disaster that led to his first encounter with Derek, Stiles' greatest hit at predicting demonic behaviour was that thing where he assured Scott no incubus would be stupid enough to attack a hunter. Not that he was wrong about it being stupid (thank you very much Miss Kate Argent for proving that so definitively), it's just the approximate preservation instincts of your average incubus he's apparently let himself overestimate.

God, who is he even kidding by pretending he has the first idea how this stuff works?

Alright, no sense overcomplicating all this more than he has to, or he'll be standing here all night. The best plans are simple. What he needs to do is walk in there and open by asking her what the hunters told her about whether the other incubus will be coming back, then improvise his way from there. The geas will probably let him get away with making some sort of reference to things the incubus which attacked him said to him before it (ahem) died. He can probably even get away with saying it as good as told him it wasn't the only incubus out here, but it made it pretty clear the other one wasn't so neighbourly as to have much interest in picking up its unfinished business now it has the area to itself.

Okay. That could work. It'll mean he's being as honest as he'd want to be even without geas-related complications, but he'll still be able to let her know that, speaking as the person with the most first-hand incubi experience in the tower, he doesn't think she has anything to worry about.

Course decided, Stiles makes for the staircase. He's been loitering in the dark for a good twenty minutes now, ever since he heard someone else on the stairs, panicked, and blew out his candle before he could get caught lurking around in a usually-deserted part of the tower like the indecisive coward that he is, but he's been living here for so many years that it's hardly like he needs more than a hand on the wall and a good memory for where the first step in the staircase will show up to make it up one floor. Once he's reached the upper floor there's a sharp corner between the staircase and Lydia's chambers, but as soon as he's around it the light pooling out through her doorway is right there to guide him. Her door's half open; from here he can already make out the shape of her bed in the candlelight, Lydia herself perched on top of it – sort of awkwardly though, like there's something else on the bed messing up the shapes...

He hasn't taken another step before it hits him that she's not alone.

With his heart in his mouth, Stiles realises that's Jackson on the bed with her, laid out on his back on the same mattress Stiles lost his virginity on not seventy two hours before. Lydia is in bed with Jackson, and the way she's moving over his body doesn't leave a whole lot of room for misinterpretation of exactly what Stiles has stumbled into.

For the first time in his life, Stiles finds himself wishing he could have been born a little less talented at recognising people he hates from a sliver of a glimpse through an open door where he can't even quite see a face. God, why did he ever think it was a good idea to spend so much time watching the knights-at-training at work until he could recognise any of them from a side-view of a naked chest and a shoulder? Why did it never occur to him that he'd one day be seeing Jackson naked in Lydia's bed, or how much he'd give for any right to pretend to himself he didn't know exactly who he was seeing?

Lydia's not naked, but all she's wearing is a shift so thin and tiny it makes that lacy nightdress Stiles borrowed look positively covering. She looks beautiful, and fragile, and completely rapt in what she's doing. (Jackson.) Stiles knows he should leave – the odds of him being seen out here in the dark may be remote, but there's no way they meant to leave the door open for anyone to see – but he can't quite get his legs to listen to him.

How could she choose Jackson?

In all the years he's been lugging around his torch for Lydia it's not like he ever imagined he had some sort of a chance, but he's known her as long as anyone. She's always been brilliant and ruthless, and yeah, there've been moments over the years when he's hated her more than anyone else on the planet, but by and large she's been the one thing that made working for the Martin family bearable. For the last two years he's been part of a shrinking skeleton crew of staff left in the tower, and with Lydia's friendship with Allison already blurring the lines between the ranks it's been harder than ever to keep up the old boundaries. Even if they're not exactly friendly, everyone left here has gotten to know everyone else a lot better than they were ever supposed to since Lord Martin rode away.

So even knowing it was written on the wall that nothing could ever happen, Stiles has entertained the odd fantasy or seven about himself and Lydia over the years. It's not like that would've been news to anyone around here, least of all Jackson, and nevermind that a would-be-knight like Jackson was hardly that much closer to being Martin-family wedding material. Heck, Jackson barely passes muster as a knight; if Stiles is hardly subtle with his thing for Lydia, then Jackson's positively transparent with his fears that some day the wrong person is going to notice that his status as a foundling leaves him without proof there's nearly enough noble blood in his ancestry to qualify him to be a knight at all. If anything, the one thing that made dealing with Jackson's scorn remotely bearable was knowing that when push came to shove, he shouldn't have had any more chance with her than Stiles did.

He knows better than to make it personal, but if Lydia had to choose someone below her station... why did it have to be him?

Stiles doesn't know how long he stands there, watching what he shouldn't because he can't look away. But whether it's one minute or ten or a hundred, somehow it's not the surprise it should be to become aware of the warm bulk of another body there in the dark behind him, or to hear Derek's voice murmuring into his ear, "This isn't the first time they've done this, you know."

There's a tightness in the back of Stiles' throat as Derek's arms settle around his shoulders from behind, the better to whisper in his ear like the devil on his shoulder, presumably. Stiles tells himself he is not, not going to cry just because Lydia chose Jackson over him, and like hell he's going to do it in front of Derek, who can promise whatever he likes but still clearly couldn't pass up a chance to watch him embarrass himself in front of Lydia.

"Maybe you can imagine what it was like for her," Derek whispers, "waking out of a demon's thrall, somewhere completely dark, in a bed that isn't your own. Some of the effects dissipate immediately – if they hadn't you'd never have woken at all; but the need burning through you – that's something physical. That doesn't go away so easily."

The edge of a wing flickers through Stiles' peripheral vision, and he feels something – that second set of fingers on the elbow joint, whatever you call them – stroke gently over his hair.

"You have some idea what happened to you, but it's not that clear, and the only people around to help are two boys who understand even less of this than you yourself do. One of them is so glad to see you revived that, even though he usually wouldn't dare, he grabs you and hugs you tight to his chest. Suddenly all that want has something to focus on.

"Or maybe," Derek goes on, "that's just what you tell him – what you tell yourself – the price of the right to ask for something you've wanted from him for years; maybe as long as he has. But none of that really matters when all you know and all you care about is that there's nothing in the world you want more now than for someone to hold you and help you show yourself you're alive. Your boy probably protests at first; he's almost as scared as you are; doesn't know if he can trust it's really him you're seeing, but that's just all the more reason to show him how very sure you are."

The hell of it is, Stiles does know. Laid out like that it's easy to picture and so easy to believe that's exactly what Lydia must have gone through. The fear and the confusion – all the worst parts of his last two incredible encounters with Derek rolled into one – all overlain by need too powerful to deny. But regardless of whether it would be fair to hold it against her for giving in, he's not sure he needs to know as much as Derek's telling him. Just how long had it been between when Scott had left Lydia in Jackson's room that morning and when Lydia herself had appeared outside to see the dead incubus for herself? Is that when they'd done it? Or had they waited until after, when Lydia commanded them to burn the body and Jackson followed her back inside, and hadn't come back out to help for – for Stiles couldn't remember how long.

"Later," whispers Derek, "a couple of days after, when it's all over and just as you're starting to feel like everything's back to normal, someone tells you the danger might not be over after all. Stands to reason you're not going to take that so well. The last thing you're going to want to do is spend the night alone."

"Alright, I get it, okay?" Stiles mumbles, but Derek doesn't seem to be done.

"Do you?" he says. "You've got to marvel at how it all falls out. Nothing goes to plan, and yet, looking back, someone could almost believe it was meant to happen this way. It's amazing just how much you humans carry around in secret, lurking right underneath your skin as long as we're not around to draw it out for you. Just think – in a few years, she might even look back on this and be grateful."

This last comment finally penetrates far enough into the fugue state of Stiles' mind to catapult him out of his silence. "Oh yeah, just think, if one of you hadn't shown up and tried to kill her, she might have had to come up with her own excuse to screw that prick mooning over her. I bet that balances things right up for her. I bet she'd be real happy knowing that."

He'd almost forgotten what it sounded like to hear Derek chuckle. "See, that's what I like about you, Stiles. You never stop pushing back."

Stiles takes a shaky breath, and reminds himself he is not going let this latest off-hand comment suggesting Derek actually likes him make him weak at the knees. "That what you say to all the boys?"

"No," Derek says, simply, giving Stiles nothing to work with. "Just what is it that makes you tick, Stiles? You never stop fighting me – not because you don't want me, but because you don't want to waste any part of me. You have to understand everything; dig your fingers around it and turn it over and over until you know it by heart."

"Deaton says it shows an inquiring mind."

"Careful," Derek murmurs, smiling against his skin, "It's going to get you into trouble some day."

"Really?" Now Stiles is the one almost laughing. "When do you think that might be?"

"How about the day you fell for her?" says Derek, which: ow, low blow. "It never was enough for her to be the unattainable princess, was it? You had to keep worrying at what attracted you to her until you found out how brilliant she was; until it almost killed you to think she might have to settle for someone who never even noticed. And then she goes for him."

Wonderful – inarguable confirmation that Derek has been reading his mind, and it still doesn't hardly matter to Stiles compared to the ongoing thorn in his side of knowing Jackson would be the one Lydia sought out in a moment of weakness. Through the doorway at the end of the hall, caught in one of her most intimate moments, Lydia looks further away from Stiles than she ever has been before.

"That what you came back here for? To gloat to my face? Or the back of my neck, if that's what works for you." Like Derek hasn't been keeping tally of everything Stiles has got wrong since the hour they met.

"Maybe I came here to comfort you," Derek whispers against the shell of his ear. Somewhere during the preceding exchange, Stiles has missed the point where Derek's hands found their way under his clothes to rest on his stomach like a promise.

Stiles himself is not in the mood to be so easily swayed. "You call this comforting?"

"No," says Derek, "Unfortunately, the truth tends not to be. But I can be very distracting, if you'd like."

"Starting to think you think I'm easy," Stiles grumbles. "Oh hey, speaking of distractions," he adds, craning his head around and doing his best to look Derek in the eye, "you went for Kate? Kate Argent? What in hell is wrong with you?"

Derek gives a short, impatient sigh, and Stiles would be congratulating himself for hitting a nerve if the whole idea hadn't been playing a merry tune with his own nerves all day. "Putting aside why you'd even assume that was me..."

"Oh my god, seriously?"

"Do I have to remind you what I am? It's what we do." What Derek is doing now involves pushing his hands down Stiles' pants to hold him by the hipbones. Stiles doesn't feel this helps his point.

"What you do is pick on hunters? One of, like, five people on this side of the country who might actually know how to kill you, and you pick her?"

"She was alone, in the wilds, at night – an easy target," says Derek, pronouncing each word with a ringing finality. "I didn't know she was a hunter."

Stiles feels his eyebrows winch up in disbelief. "Which part of that scenario doesn't scream hunter?"

"Stiles, I killed one of my own the other night. It didn't leave me in the best of states. As someone pointed out, I needed more than what just you could give me."

"You know," says Stiles, "I'd take that as an insult if you hadn't come crawling back to me after she shivved you and you ran off." Stiles gave up on trying to remember if there'd been so much as a mark left in evidence on Derek's body that day; he can't force himself to remember, and it stands to reason a demon could heal at least as fast as Scott does. "And for another thing, are you not even picking the irony of how you're calling me stupid when you're the one who went up to the hunters, practically announced your existence and threw away that perfect cover story you made me help you put together?"

Unluckily for Stiles, this perfect take-that rant only seems to shove Derek right back onto his game again. "Worried about me, Stiles?" Derek's breath tickles the back of his neck; playful, almost. "Or is this sudden fixation on that hunter pure jealousy?"

"Oh, you're one to talk about jealousy when I get one glimpse of Lydia in her intimates and you come running back," Stiles grouches.

Derek chuckles again, another faint shiver against his skin. "You like the idea of me being jealous, Stiles? I have to admit, it doesn't reflect terribly well on me if we can go two rounds and the sight of your old crush moving on still brings you to your knees."

Stiles catches his breath again with difficulty. He'd been doing so well so far, but he hadn't been close to prepared for Derek to allow him even that much. One of them was going to have to capitulate here eventually, but he hadn't counted on it being that easy. "Is this where we go a third round just to settle things?" he asks.

"You tell me, Stiles." Over Derek's hands, Stiles pants' have already slipped down enough that there's a sliver of Derek's body pushed skin to skin against him, hard and ready for this. "Would you find that comforting?"

'Comforting' may not have been the first word Stiles would have chosen, but with Derek right here it would be so easy – would be impossible not to find himself all but overwhelmed by the memory of what it was like to feel Derek inside him, and with inspiration like that Stiles doesn't care how petty it is to console himself with knowing there's no way anything Jackson's getting in there could be close to as good as what Stiles has had with Derek. What Derek's offering him again.

"Yes," Stiles breathes, "God, yes."

That's all it takes; there's all of the time for Stiles to feel a flash of air against his bare legs before Derek's sliding into him, right there in the corridor, only a hall away from Lydia's room. Stiles chokes off the noise he makes, desperate to keep quiet, silently relieved when Derek tugs him just around the corner so he can lean on the wall, tucked away out of sight. From there on, there's not much talk at all.

It's slow, this time; the pace Derek sets utterly languid, his hands roaming Stiles' chest and stroking up the inside of his thighs. Stiles finds he doesn't mind; the urgency of the last two times isn't there, and that gives him the opportunity to commit to memory every last detail, just in case this really is the last time like Derek keeps threatening it will be.

After, when Stiles' knees really do give way, Derek holds him and eases him down to the floor, and stays until Stiles' breathing evens out again.

He wakes up in his own bed the next morning without any recollection of how Derek got him down there, but there's not even a whisper of an inclination to believe that anything that happened last night was a dream.



Part 4

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bachaboska
May. 7th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
This fic is so good! I can't even tell you how much i love your incubus!Derek! Even as a demon of sex our boy is a sad sad puppy XD
Can't wait to read the next chapter.
rallamajoop
May. 8th, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)
=D Thanks! Glad to hear you're loving incubus!Derek, as I'm sure you can tell I am having a grand old time writing him (and all his variously successful attempts to be intimidating).

Next chapter should hopefully be up soon, as I started posting this with a four-chapter buffer already drafted. Just needs finishing, then however long it takes my beta reader and I to get it cleaned up for posting.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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