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Title: copywritten (so don’t copy me)
Author: etben
Recipient: ziusura
Pairings: Stiles/Derek
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~13,000
Warnings: A little bit of accidental (and thus non-negotiated) voyeurism; sex dreams and jerking off while bodyswapped. Feel free to comment / email if you need more information!
Summary: "Oh, shit," Stiles says, and flops as far backward as their mysterious body-switching connection will let him.
Author's Notes: Set in a nebulous s3-ish time when Stiles is a senior and things are more or less not terrible. Liberties have been taken with chronology, what we know of s3 canon, plant meanings, and basic calculus. Thanks to soundslikej for audiencing despite not knowing the canon, to drunktuesdays for cheerleading and offering suggestions about Derek's allergies, and to misspamela for making sure I didn't accidentally give Derek three hands and four dicks. Dear ziusura: I hope that this is more or less what you wanted! I had a lot of fun writing it, even at the end when I was screaming JESUS CHRIST JUST BONE ALREADY and beating my head on the desk. ♥!


"You know what, fine," Stiles says, throwing up his hands. "If it's going to be so easy to live my life, fine—just go ahead and do it."

Derek scowls. It’s kind of a trip, seeing Derek’s usual murderous expression on Stiles’ own face, like a carnival mirror, or listening to a recording of your own voice, the subtle kind of wrong that’s hard to put a finger on. Also, wow, Scott was right, Stiles does kind of look like an angry chipmunk when he makes that face, who knew. Meanwhile Stiles is over here, stuck in Derek’s ridiculously built body, trying not to accidentally put his claws through anything delicate.

Oblivious to Stiles’ inner monologue, Derek stomps towards the front of the house, where he wrenches the door open and stops.

"Car keys are in your pocket," Stiles says. "Don't mind me, I'll just be here, living your life, oh gosh, it's so complicated, how will I ever manage." He turns around and sits down on the couch—

—except for how he doesn't, actually. He turns around, and he tries to take the two extra steps to the couch, but his legs don't move; he lifts his feet up and puts them back down in the exact same spot, despite his best efforts.

"Um," Stiles says, looking down at Derek's stupid boots, Derek's stupid feet that don't want to do what Stiles' brain is asking them to do. "Derek, I think we've got a probl—" which of course is when his feet come back online, carrying him over to the couch in a barely-controlled rush. Stiles sits up, spitting out a mouthful of partially-decomposed pillow fluff, and turns around to give Derek a piece of his mind—

Derek, who is now standing just slightly inside the entryway, maybe three feet away from the door. As Stiles watches, he turns around, lifts his feet—Stiles' feet, attached to Stiles' legs, which are in turn attached to Stiles' torso, everything as per spec except for how apparently Stiles' brain has taken a vacation to el Cuerpo del Lobo—and puts them back down exactly where they were before.

"Oh, shit," Stiles says, and flops as far backward as their mysterious body-switching connection will let him.


Their range turns out to be a little less than ten feet.

"Which makes sense, because that was about the radius of the magic circle," Stiles says. "Also, can I just point out how deeply bizarre it is to say a sentence like that?"

They hadn't been planning on disrupting a witchy ritual in the woods. Stiles had been on a plant-gathering expedition, looking for various mystical green shit with which to make life a little less insane. He hadn't asked Derek to come, but it hadn't surprised him at all to see Derek waiting at the head of the trail; Derek can be weird about the definition of a reasonable level of risk. Storming a nest of pixies armed with a baseball bat: totally legit. Walking through the forest on a sunny day, picking sorrel, bleeding hearts, and hairy purple bells: requires a bodyguard.

The witch had been in a clearing at the top of a hill, chanting and waving her arms, flowers in her hair and around her wrists; they hadn't even realized that they'd stepped into the circle until she'd spun around to stare at them.

"Fuck," she'd said, and that was the last thing Stiles heard until he woke up staring at his own face. Upon further reflection, Stiles thinks she had the right idea.

"Okay," Stiles says, after a long moment of silence. "Okay, so: what's our plan?"

Derek frowns. "You'll stay here until we figure this out," he says. "It's not safe, otherwise." He nods, just a little, as though this settles the matter.

"Right, okay, no," Stiles says. "That's great, and I'm honored by your concern for my welfare, but there are two big issues with that." He ticks them off on Derek's long fingers. "Number one, I'm a minor, and my father's the sheriff, and he gets freaked out when I'm away from the house for too long. And he definitely knows I'm out here, because I told him where I was going." It's part of this new thing they're trying: Stiles lets his dad know when he's going to be doing various supernatural-inclined shit, and in return his dad doesn't completely flip his lid when there are occasionally werewolves in his living room.

"And second of all," he says, "I have school tomorrow, and there is no fucking way I'm flunking my calculus test because of some two-bit witch in the Preserve." If he flunks the test, it's study halls until the end of time, and Stiles was really looking forward to having a free block again ever. He sighs. "Also, all of my books on weird witchy shit are at my house, and the sooner we get those, the sooner we can figure out a way to fix this."

Stiles figures that if he were in his own body, Derek would be as expressionless as ever, but his muscle control seems to be a little less perfect when he's working with borrowed tools; his eyes are noticeably wider, his hands clenched on the edge of the table.

"I failed calculus," Derek says, finally.

Stiles nods. "Right, so," he says. "My house?"


Stiles is halfway up the front steps of his house when he feels a tug on his sleeve—a tug that, when he looks over, turns out to be Derek, grabbing onto his arm and glaring.

"What?" Stiles spreads his hands. "Seriously, Derek, what's the problem?"

"Is your dad home?"

"Yeah, he's—" As soon as he thinks about it, he knows: his dad got home about an hour ago, checked the mail, brought in something from the front porch—probably the herbs Stiles ordered, score—went inside, had a sandwich, took a shower, and sat down on the couch to go over paperwork and pretend to watch the football game. Without even trying, Stiles can hear everything: the rustle of the paper and the scritch of a pencil, the quiet crunch of potato chips, the announcer from the game.

It's U of M vs. OSU; the Buckeyes are up 4, and Stiles frowns. His mom had been been the only person in the family to really care, but they both watch the games when they're on. Inside the house, his dad grunts and mutes the game, smelling like annoyance and sadness and—

—and oh. Oh, shit. Stiles steps back, tugging his arm away—Derek's arm, fuck, Derek's arm and Derek's body and Derek's freaky senses—and then steps forward again when Derek overbalances, windmilling his arms. Stiles catches him with an arm around his waist, pulling him back from the edge of the bottom step, and, god, has he always been this skinny, or is it just that Derek is so freakishly strong that his body doesn't even notice this shit—

Distantly, Stiles notices that he's breathing kind of fast, fast enough that normally by now he'd be in full-on panic attack territory, but his throat doesn't close up. Instead, he just keeps breathing, and with every breath he can smell more, can smell the house and his dad and the broccoli he forgot to put in the fridge and the dish soap on the counter and the shitty hand-rolled cigarettes that Isaac likes to come and smoke on his back porch—

—and suddenly there are hands on his arms, on the back of his neck, pressing him slowly but steadily against a flannel-covered shoulder until all he can smell is detergent, sweat, deodorant: familiar scents, the things he always smells like. It's stronger than usual, and now that he knows that this is what he smells like to a werewolf nose, he may never recover from the awkwardness, but it's good, it helps, and slowly he stops getting lost in the incredible complexity of the smells that make up his everyday life.

"That's right, yeah, okay, just focus on those smells," Derek's saying, right up against this ear. "Good smells, nice Stiles smells, come on, just—"

"—if you're about to tell me to follow my nose," Stiles warns him, "I may have to rip your throat out with my teeth." Talking gets him a mouthful of flannel, and he lifts his head, only to freeze when he hears a very familiar voice say, "Stiles" from right behind him.

"Um—" he starts, reaching instinctively for an explanation, but Derek's hands tighten on his shoulders, shoving him back down.

"Oh, hi, Dad," Derek says, digging his nails into Stiles' skin. "Derek was just kidding, right, Derek?"

"Um, yeah," Stiles says, when Derek lets him lift his head again. "Totally kidding, totally and completely definitely kidding, not going to rip anybody's anything out of their…anything else. Sorry, D—sir." His dad doesn't look completely reassured, but he also doesn't have his hand on his gun, which is probably for the best.

"Well, son," he says, "in that case, do you think you'd like to come inside before Mrs. Weston notices your…situation?"

Which is when Stiles realizes that somewhere in that smell-induced panic attack, his face went totally wolf-ified, and he has legitimately no idea how to put it back.


"Okay, so just—you have to—" Derek takes a deep breath, his hands on Stiles' shoulders. "Focus," he finishes.

"Yeah, okay," Stiles says, rolling his eyes. "Focus on what, exactly?" He's never exactly been the poster child for undivided attention, and being able to smell everything and everybody within a five-mile radius is definitely not helping.

"On being human," Derek says, as if that explains anything.

"Right, but, like—how?" Stiles has been human his entire life; for most of that time he hadn't even realized that there were other options on the table. He hasn't been paying attention to what 'being human' feels like, and he says as much. Derek glares at him, but in a way that makes Stiles think he gets it, and then they sit there for a while, just breathing together. Derek's hands are still on Stiles' shoulders, holding them in sync, and it's not even a little bit hard for Stiles to hear the pulse beating there, a slow, steady thump.

"Okay, um," Derek says finally. "Think about—think about what you did this morning."

Stiles thinks. He didn't do much—going out to the woods had been Item One on the Sunday agenda—but he does his best to think about the morning. Morning, human, morning, normal, human.

"Stiles," Derek says, after a pause.

"I'm trying," he says, and he is, but nothing just keeps on happening. "Fuck, I'm going to be stuck like this forever, and you're going to flunk my calc test, and Chris Argent is going to shoot me, and—"

"No," Derek says, which, actually, yes, because Stiles is many things but he is not actually good enough to catch Derek up on a month and a half of calculus between now and 8:24 on Monday morning. "No, I mean—don't just think about it, talk about it," Derek adds, which, okay, whatever.

"Um," Stiles starts, thinking back. "I got up at nine or so? Or, well, Scott texted me," do you think allison likes bluebells "and I texted him back," fuck you pick your own flowers also I think those grow in europe, "but I didn't actually get up for a while after that."

"Why not?"

"I was tired?" Derek narrows his eyes, but nods, and Stiles continues. "So, yeah, I was in bed for a while, I guess, and then I—" jerked off, which is something he has no intention of saying out loud, please and thank you. "—rested for a while, and then I got up, and then—"

"Where by rested," Derek interrupts, "you mean that you—" He doesn't take his hands off of Stiles' shoulders, but he makes a very expressive gesture nonetheless.

Stiles can feel himself blushing. "Yeah, I jerked off." He raises an eyebrow. "Is that important?"

Derek shrugs. "When I was 14, I got stuck as the wolf for a while—couldn't figure out how to switch back, didn't have the control." He pauses for long enough that Stiles almost asks what the hell that has to do with anything, until finally a few things click together in his brain—control, the wolf, the sharp smell that's been edging around the edges of Stiles' awareness for the last few minutes—and he bursts out laughing.

"Are you telling me," he wheezes, "are you seriously telling me that you turned back into a human being so that you could jerk it?" he says. "Oh my god, you are fucking kidding me, that is ridiculous, you're trolling me right now."

Derek doesn't blink, doesn't even crack a smile; his pulse kicks up a little, probably from embarrassment. "The claws are a hassle," Derek says. "You're good."

"At..." Stiles looks down at his hands, which have gone back to their usual pink-skinned glory; grabs his (delightfully un-hairy) face. "Hey, that wasn't so bad," he says, which is of course when his dad knocks on the door.

"Stiles? I have to go back to the station—want me to get pizza on the way back?"

Derek stares blankly at the door until Stiles reaches out and shakes him, nodding frantically.

"Yeah," Derek says. "Sure. Dad."

There's another long pause, and Stiles can hear his dad leaning against the door.

"Derek, if you're still around, you're welcome to join us," he says.

"Um, yeah? Thanks," Stiles says, and then spins away from the door the second his dad starts back down the stairs.

"Books," he says, flipping through his collection of magic-related resources. There are two in particular that he's thinking of—one on the properties of magical plants and herbs, and one on spells of transformation; he hands the first to Derek and keeps the second for himself.

Cracking the spine of his book, Derek nods. "Books."


"Scarlet pimpernel," Derek reads. "Symbolizes transformative life changes." He tilts the book so that Stiles can see it, and yep: those are the flowers the witch was wearing as a crown. Stiles sighs.

"So, okay— some sort of transformation spell—she wanted to make something change?" Which, well. Something definitely changed. "But she can't have been trying to switch bodies, because there wasn't anybody else there." There's something there, a whisper of an idea, and Stiles keeps going, trying to pin it down. "It wasn't supposed to be a transformation spell, it was supposed to be a spell for some other kind of change—" It hits him, and he grabs the plant book back from Derek, flipping to the back. "Derek, the plants she was holding—could they have been clover?" He finds the page and drops the book open: Clover (Trifolium repens)—protection, luck, good fortune.

"She was trying to do a good luck spell?" Derek sounds disgusted, and Stiles can't honestly blame him.

"I think I know the spell she was using, too." It's not in Transformations du corps et de l'esprit or any one of the more serious magic books Stiles has been borrowing from Deaton; it's straight out of Have A Magical Life!, available at Barnes and Noble for $5.99 plus tax.

It was a gag gift from Scott; Stiles didn't expect it to have legitimate applications. The cover is in Comic Sans, for fuck's sake.

They grab the book, and there it is in Chapter 12: Make Your Own Luck! : Clover (to be worn at the wrists or held in the hands), a circle (your circle of influence!), and an incantation that, even to Stiles' mostly-inexperienced eye, looks like a load of bull.

"But it doesn't call for the pimpernel," Derek says.

"Maybe she added it in? Wanted to make it bigger, give it more umph?" Derek nods. "And then we interrupted, and the spell took a different form." Stiles rolls his eyes. "Great—we couldn't even get cursed by a witch who knew what the fuck she was doing. Although, hey, here's something," he says. "'Although your initial circle of influence will be limited to a distance the size of your circle, as the magic permeates your astral form—'" Derek rolls his eyes, and Stiles shakes his head. "Believe me, I know, but this actually looks useful. 'As the magic permeates your astral form, your circle of influence will expand.'" He raises his eyebrows significantly, and Derek seems to get it, because he stands up just as Stiles does, moving quickly to the door.

He makes it all the way down the stairs and into the living room before pulling up short; Stiles can feel an odd tug behind his breastbone when Derek leans into the spell. Forty feet, now—maybe a little more.

"Okay, so, that's a good sign—if that holds steady, that's, what, fifteen extra feet per hour? Awesome." Derek raises an eyebrow. "Except we're still in the wrong bodies, right, okay."

"How long is it going to last?"

Stiles looks down at the book, skipping the incantations and several paragraphs about the glory of the natural world. "Okay, here we go," he says. "Your good fortune will endure four hours for every foot in the radius of the circle. So four hours per ten feet—"


"—eight feet, fine—that's, what, thirty-two hours?" Derek nods. "Yeah, okay, thirty-two, starting from 11 AM on Sunday means we're stuck until…Monday night. Seven o'clock. Fuck."

"Call Deaton," Derek says, but Stiles shakes his head.

"No good," he says. "With a spell this small, you're generally better off waiting it out—and without knowing what other changes she might have made, any kind of counter-magic is going to be more dangerous than it's worth, so there's no point in calling Deaton unless you really want to get laughed at." Speaking of which— "Fuck. Scott's going to have a field day with this."

"Don't tell Scott," Derek says, grabbing Stiles by the elbow. "Stiles, you can't tell Scott."

"What? Why not?" But the question answers itself almost before Stiles is done asking it; they can't tell Scott because Scott will tell Allison, and if Scott tells Allison, there's a small but non-zero chance that Chris Argent will find out, and if Chris Argent finds out, there's an extremely large chance that something terrible will happen to one or both of them. "Right, okay—alpha werewolf in a puny human body, chance too good to miss, murder forever, got it." Stiles leans back against the desk, thumping his head against the particleboard. "And we can't tell anybody else in the pack, for the same reason." Derek nods, resting his elbows on his knees. "Can't tell the pack, no point in telling Deaton—we could tell my dad, I guess?" Except, no. "So I guess it's just you and me, huh?"

Derek nods; Stiles would be offended by the face he's making, except he's pretty sure that he's making the exact same face. Really, the situation could be so much worse, but that doesn't mean he's exactly thrilled about it. Especially since—he pushes himself to his feet, goes up faster than he expects, overbalances, and catches himself, all in the blink of an eye. It's weird, it's so weird, but thinking about that too much is just going to distract him from the more pressing issue. He grabs the relevant book from his desk and drops it onto the floor in front of Derek, who looks at the cover with wide eyes.

"Calculus," he says, and Stiles nods.



Really, the whole situation could be so much worse—it's only October, so Derek doesn't have to catch up on an entire year's worth of material. Plus, Stiles spent all of Saturday studying, so everything is as fresh in his mind as it's ever going to be.

"Pretty much all we've done so far is review last year," Stiles says, digging out his calc notebook. "So, like—trig, basically, and limits. You took trig, right?"

Derek rolls his eyes. "Yeah, sure—ten years ago," he says. "I took calc, too, but then—" he shrugs, makes a vague gesture that Stiles assumes is supposed to mean my crazy werewolf hunter girlfriend burned my entire life to the ground. "Pretty sure I only graduated because Mrs. Fresser took pity on me."

"Oh, man, you had Fresser too?" Stiles makes a face. "I'm not kidding, when this is all over, we need to seriously consider the possibility that that woman is actually a vampire. Like, has anybody ever seen her eat human food? Do we know where she lives? Because—"

"Stiles." Derek taps the textbook. "Focus?"

"Right." Stiles grabs the notebook back, skips to the end. "So the test is trig, basically, and then a bunch of stuff about the definitions of different kinds of functions, and then some stuff on limits." He sighs. "And, I mean, you don't actually have to ace it—like, if you can just manage to not completely tank, that would be awesome."

"I'll do my best," Derek says. "Do you have the study packet?"

"Yeah, sure," Stiles says. "Not that it will do you much good, because—"

"—if you haven't learned it by coming to class, you're certainly not going to learn it from a piece of paper," Derek quotes along with him.

"Seriously, as soon as this is all done, I'm going to get Allison to figure out her home address and we're doing a stakeout," Stiles says. "That shit is not natural."

"Whatever," Derek says. "You have a pencil?"


It takes them a few hours, but Derek does okay on the trig stuff. It's weird, watching him work; he stares at each question for several minutes, tapping the point of the pencil on the page, and then starts writing in small, neat cursive.

"Do you know, I don't think I've ever seen you write anything down?" Derek rolls his eyes without looking away from the page. "No, I mean—there hasn't been a ton of call for it, you know?"

"Stiles." Derek sets the pencil down. "Is this really relevant?"

"No," Stiles says, and then, "except, yes?" Derek raises an eyebrow, which is such total bullshit, because Stiles practiced for years before deciding that his body just wasn't capable of the single-eyebrow thing, which is clearly not true, and how does that even work? Which, not the point: "I'm just saying, if my handwriting suddenly changes, it might look weird?"

"You mean if it's suddenly legible?"

"I'm going to ignore that, because I'm the bigger person," Stiles says. Ordinarily, it wouldn't matter—math is math, after all—but Fresser is big into having people write out the reasoning behind their answers, which means that Stiles' math homework looks more like an essay than anything else. "Just—I don't know, can you just print or something?" Derek rolls his eyes again, but does the next problem in a tidy all-caps print that, while still not resembling Stiles' actual handwriting, is at least less jarring. "Right, okay, so you should have…" he checks his notes. "The limit approaches one half?"

Derek does, and he gets the next three right, too, and everything is going pretty well, which is of course when Stiles' dad gets home.


"So, Derek." Stiles' dad is on his second slice of meat-lovers' pizza, and Stiles wants to remind him of his cholesterol levels, but he takes a deep breath and thinks, Derek Hale.

They'd discussed it before dinner, whispering frantically in the hallway while Stiles' dad grabbed down plates and glasses.

"You have to talk, okay?" Derek had made a face, and Stiles had grabbed him by the shoulders, pushing him up against the wall. "No, listen—if we're going to sell my dad on this, you have to be me, which means you have to talk, okay, because the man has spent the past seventeen years living in a house with me and not once have I shut up when he asked me to, so you are just going to have to get over your whole 'strong and silent' deal and find something to say, okay?"

"Fine," Derek had said, "But that means that you have to shut up, okay?" Which, fair point. That time, when Derek had tried to shake himself free, Stiles had let him. There had been a mark on Derek's neck, just at the collar of his shirt, right where Stiles' thumb had been pressed, and Stiles had looked away in a hurry.

Derek Hale, Derek Hale, Derek Hale, he thinks, trying to force himself to tune out the sound of his dad's heartbeat, and says, "Calculus."

"Calculus," Stiles' dad says, in his I am not impressed by your alibi, but I'm willing to let you revise it into something more plausible voice. Stiles has had a lot of experience with that voice; it's pretty much him and the criminals of Beacon Hills.

"Yeah," Derek says, after a pause that seems to stretch on for hours. "Derek is—he's actually really good at calculus, so he's helping me out." Not quite up to Stiles' personal best, but also more words than Derek usually manages in an hour; Stiles is willing to call it a win.

"I thought you were passing calc," Stiles' dad says, reaching for another slice.

"Yes?" Derek glances at Stiles, eyebrows tilted—what, did he think Stiles wasn't? "But, you know, it's good to be ahead of the curve, make sure I know what's going on."

"Well." Stiles' dad chews, takes a sip of his beer. "That's very generous of you, Derek," he says.

"Thanks," Stiles says. "But, uh—I should probably go." Derek's eyes go wide and startled, like he thinks Stiles is abandoning him, which, okay, maybe fair, but the longer Stiles stays here, the more likely it is that he's going to smack a slice of pizza out of his dad's hand, which is not going to contribute to their cover story at all. "Do you want—I mean, um, text me if you have any questions," he says, and Derek nods.

"Have a good night, son," his dad says, and Stiles bolts before he can break down and tell his dad everything.

Outside, he ducks behind the tree in the front yard; fumbles in his pocket until he finds Derek's phone; scrolls to his own number in the contacts; taps out a text: sorry i could hear his heartbeat and it was weird. Inside, he hears his phone chime, hears Derek grab it out of his pocket, hears the tiny click of the keys, all of it layered over with the sounds of his dad cleaning up the pizza boxes and the plates, rinsing out his beer bottle, breathing slow and quiet, his heart ticking along in a steady thump-thump.

The phone buzzes in his hand: it's okay. Before Stiles can explain how very not okay it is, the phone buzzes again. also fuck you why am i THE WOLFINATOR in your contacts

because that's hilarious?Stiles sends back, because it is, and somehow this, texting with Derek, makes everything—not okay, exactly, but less ridiculously terrible. do you want me to come back? i can make the window i guess, he sends, even though from down here his bedroom window looks like it might as well be on Mars.

"You okay, son?" His dad sounds concerned, and Stiles has a split second of wanting to run back inside and explain everything, but stays where he is, digging his fingers into the tree bark.

"I'm just—I think I'm getting sick? Going to go to bed early," Derek says, and it sounds completely implausible, but Stiles' dad seems to buy it.

"Good night, kid," he says, and there's the sound of rustling clothing that Stiles' brain eventually resolves into a hug, and then the sound of Derek thumping up the stairs.

don't worry about it, the next text says. go for a run. it helps.

Stiles raises an eyebrow. Running has never once made anything better for him, unless they're talking about all of the times that running away from a vicious monster has kept him from becoming dinner; even then, he usually only runs until somebody else—usually somebody with enormous claws and completely disproportionate upper-body strength—can come and save his ass. Here and now, though, it actually feels like it might be a good idea; Derek's body is twitching and humming with a buzz of energy, an itch between his shoulder blades that fizzes and aches.

He's about to take off when the phone buzzes again. TAKE THE JACKET OFF BEFORE YOU SHIFT, it says, and then next one says shoes too, and oh. Stiles does as Derek asks—first extracting his newly claw-ified hands from the tree trunk, which is actually kind of awesome—and, after some consideration, hangs the coat up on a low branch. It won't be visible from the driveway, and he'll grab it back before his dad leaves in the morning. The shoes he leaves on the ground, next to the tree. Feeling silly, he stretches, his arms over his head, and takes off at a slow run.

He's at the tree line before he knows it, and then he's charging into the woods, ducking between trees almost faster than he can notice them, taking deep, slow breaths as he runs faster and then faster still, feeling like he's only just getting started. When a deer jumps out in front of him, he swerves at the last minute and winds up on all fours, and that feels even better, so he goes with it: digs his fingers and his toes into the ground and lets his body run wild through the forest., tethered by the steady tug of Derek’s presence. He may not be able to go far, but he can go fast, and that’s good enough for now.


He's back at the house before dawn, looking up at the second-story window of his bedroom and frowning. It still looks impossibly high up, but Stiles knows for a fact that he jumped straight up a tree last night, half-shifted, a distance of at least fifteen feet.

"Okay," he says, under his breath. "Okay, Stilinski, you can do this—just work your werewolf mojo, come on, make it happen." He crouches down, bracing himself, and then jumps, and he's honestly not expecting to make it, which is his excuse for why he totally overbalances when he lands on the roof and winds up clinging to an overhanging tree branch.

It's pretty freaking sweet.

From there, it's pretty easy to get the window open. He doesn't really bother locking it these days, figuring that the likelihood that somebody he knows will need to get in for help mostly outweighs the chances that somebody else will come knocking at his window. After a quick check to make sure his claws are fully retracted—Scott forgets, still, and it does a number on the woodwork every time—he pushes the window open and sticks his head in.


Derek's still in bed, buried under the blankets, one foot sticking out from under the covers. Stiles snickers, a little, to see the mighty Derek Hale completely zonked out for once.

Not that Derek is particularly restful, even asleep—his toes keep flexing, curling and uncurling, and his heart rate, so easy to hear now, seems higher than it was last night. As Stiles watches, Derek turns over in his sleep, shoving his face out from under the blankets, and, yeah, that's not a happy face: Derek is biting at his lip, breathing in short, desperate gasps.

Stiles knows a nightmare when he sees one, and while ordinarily he wouldn't wake Derek up for a million dollars—he likes his face un-rearranged, thanks very much—this isn't exactly an ordinary situation.

"Derek," he says again, pulling himself through the window, "Derek, hey—oh." Inside, the smell hits him, and when Stiles takes a deep breath, it just confirms what he already knows. Derek may be having a dream, but it's…not a bad dream. Kind of the complete opposite, actually.

Stiles is totally going to back out of the room, preserve the honor of the bro-code while he still can, but then Derek throws the blankets back and he—doesn't.

It's nothing he hasn't seen before, of course—Stiles has been jerking it since he knew that that was an option—but at the same time, it's nothing he's ever seen before. Derek's jerking his cock slowly, almost lazily, his other hand cupped low over his balls; when his hand slides over the head of his cock, his hips twitch upwards. He's panting into the pillow now, pressing his face to the side like he's trying to get some air, gritting his teeth, his eyes clenched shut. Stiles can empathize: he wants to take a deep breath, clear his head, but every bit of air that he can get smells like sex and sweat and it's just not getting better, here.

He takes a tentative step back towards the window, but that's when he hears his dad down in the kitchen, pouring coffee into a travel mug; if he goes back out now, his dad will see Derek Hale sitting on the roof of the house, and then the shit will really hit the fan.

So, fine: inside it is. Stiles tries looking away, inspecting the posters on his wall, the dust accumulating on his doorframe, but that doesn't help either. Derek's freaky werewolf senses are more than prepared to compensate for Stiles not actually watching Derek sleep-jerk it; as soon as Stiles glances away, all he can hear is the slick slide of skin on skin, the shift of Derek's body against the sheets, the low, rough noises Derek makes in the back of his throat. When Derek comes, Stiles can smell it, can practically taste it against the back of his throat, and he braces himself against the desk, just waiting for everything to be done.

Of course, his claws—always the fucking claws, jesus—go straight into the particle board, which promptly cracks like a shotgun; Stiles doesn't even have to look over to see that Derek's awake now.

"Sorry," Stiles says, before Derek can say anything. "Sorry, I just—I was going to come in, to study some more, but then you were—and then my dad was—and I'm just going to go, um, give you—yeah." He ducks out of the room without looking at Derek once, straight across the hall into the bathroom, where he slams the door shut and drops back against it, holding his hands far, far away from Derek's ridiculous werewolf boner. He's not going to jerk off—that would be ridiculous, and also rude, even if Derek did do it first. It's not like he's even turned on right now, anyways; he's just got his wires crossed from smelling sex so early in the morning. He's a teenage boy: being turned on at inappropriate moments is basically his job.

And anyway, that was his body jerking off; so what if he was turned on by it? There's probably some sort of pavlovian thing going on here—normally, when Stiles smells himself jerking off, it's because he's jerking off, so of course he gets turned on now.

Which, fine, okay: he's totally turned on right now, but he's not going to jerk off. That would be weird, and inappropriate, and weird, and also he's got claws right now, which, ouch.

Not for the first time, Stiles wants to punch the witch right in her stupid witchy face.


The good news: their mystical body-swap connection seems to be stretching faster as time goes by. They've got a few hundred feet of wiggle room now, which they test out in the backyard as soon as Stiles' dad is out of the house.

"So at least I won't have to come into the school," Stiles says, pouring coffee into two mugs. "Because somehow I think somebody would notice that."

"You'd be surprised," Derek says. "Milk and sugar, please." Stiles grabs the milk from the fridge and slides it down the counter, taps his finger on the plastic tub full of sugar.

"Plus, today's Day 4, so you drop E block, so you won't have to deal with Harris at all, and you'll just have study first block, not lab." Derek tilts his head, frowning, and Stiles shakes his head. "No, dude, don't try to figure it out, it never makes any fucking sense—I've got the schedule in my binder, just follow the plan for Day 4 and you'll be fine."

Stiles sighs. It's a shame that he doesn't have a free anymore, but apparently when you spend 90% of your free time (not to mention a good 20% of the time you're supposed to be in school) helping out the local werewolf contingent, it kind of does a number on your attendance record. It's like those charts about college life: Social Life, Good Grades, Sleep: Pick Two, except in Stiles' case, it's more like, Good Grades, Good Attendance, Not Dying: Pick Two! Stiles' grades are holding, though, and he's not dead, and on balance, he'll take those two over a spotless attendance record.

"So, no Harris, and you can study for calc during first block, that'll be…whatever," he says, thinking over his schedule. "Try not to talk in Morena's class; just check my notes if she asks you anything. Make sure you get a copy of the reference list from World Civ, though—I need to write a paper this week. English—" he shrugs. "Group presentations, but mine's not until Thursday, so you'll be fine—if Suzie asks you about the bibliography, just say you've got it under control and you'll bring it in tomorrow." Stiles nods. "And last block is history of cinema, so just make sure you take notes and you'll be fine."

"…okay," Derek says, eyes wide. "I—okay." He takes a sip of his coffee, frowns, takes another, makes a face.

"What," Stiles asks, "is my coffee not good enough?" When he takes a sip of his own, though, it tastes wrong, bitter and harsh and just gross. "Ugh, what the—" Stiles grabs the bag of grounds from next to the machine—maybe his dad grabbed something new?—but it's the same Morning Roast they've been drinking all week. "Ugh, does coffee go bad? Because that is just rancid," he says. Derek nods, then freezes. "What?"

"Here," Derek says, shoving his cup of coffee into Stiles' hand. "Just—" he grabs Stiles' coffee, takes a long swig of it, nods. Stiles raises his eyebrow at Derek's cup of milky, sugary sludge, but takes a sip—a sip, and then a gulp, because yes, it's perfect, sweet and delicate and exactly what he needs right now.

"I guess our tastebuds swapped, huh," he says, and Derek shrugs. "Okay, so—I hate pickles and raw onions, and the smell of horseradish makes me want to hurl, but I'm not actually allergic to anything. You?"

"Strawberries," Derek says, after a long moment, which—

"—really? Like, you're allergic to them, or you just don't like them, because—"


"Okay." Okay. They can totally do this. "We can totally do this," Stiles says, and hopes to hell that he sounds like he believes it at least a little bit.


Part Two


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