Jackson is slow waking up in the morning. His back is stiff and there's another all-too-familiar ache lower down. But his bed is warm, warmer than usual, and the drowsiness in his head feels comfortable instead of groggy and sick.
It's a nice feeling, and Jackson tries to cling to sleeps drowsy comfort, but after a few moments it slips away, and the memory of the night before comes back to him. It comes in a series of flashes, almost like pictures. He remembers Peter's smile, and horrible glowing red eyes. He remembers the fear on Derek's face, and the helplessness.
He remembers trying to comfort him. Crawling into Derek's arms, and sleeping against his chest.
Jackson can still feel Derek next to him now, the source of all the extra warmth in his bed. Derek's chest is pressed firmly against his back, and his breath is hot on Jackson's ear. His arms are still around him. His grip is firm, but Jackson's knows from experience it wouldn't be hard to get out of it, if he wanted to. And he would be lying if he said he didn't, just for a moment. For less than a split second, Jackson feels the slightest twangof panic. The familiar desire to pull out of Derek's arms, get out get away. The routine.
For once he doesn't give in to it, and almost immediately, it passes. The panic leaves and Jackson breathes out and relaxes back into Derek's arms, where he'd been so comfortable all night long.
When he finally gets around to opening his eyes, he squints at his alarm clock to check the time. His vision is still fuzzy from sleep, but he makes out that the blurry red numbers of his clock read "6:05" in the morning. It's time to get up.
Careful and slow, Jackson turns onto his back, and rubs his eyes. It occurs to him that his alarm should have gone off, and he doesn't know why it hasn't. He's lucky he woke up anyways, or he would have been late for early morning lacrosse practice.
Next to him, even in his sleep, Derek's brow is tightly furrowed, as though he's extremely annoyed with whatever it is he's dreaming about.
"Derek," Jackson murmurs, nudging gently against his chest. Derek grunts, and Jackson feels his arms wrap more tightly around him. Jackson smiles to himself, and nudges Derek again. "Mmm, come on, wake up,"
"Five more minutes," Derek mumbles, burying his face into Jackson's neck.
Jackson snorts, and rubs his eyes again. "I have lacrosse practice," He says. He presses his palms against his eyes and groans. Suddenly the idea of getting out of the bed and starting his day seems about as appealing as pulling off all his finger and toe nails.
Derek grunts again. "Skip it,"
"You're the one always saying I can't remember?" Jackson says. He takes his hands away from his eyes to give Derek a pointed look, which is entirely lost on him because he's still half asleep and his eyes are shut. Jackson gives Derek's shoulder a shake, and Derek finally opens his eyes. "Remember?"
Derek rolls his eyes and then rolls onto his back. "I said you shouldn't quit lacrosse, because it would look suspicious," Derek says. "Missing one practice isn't quitting."
"Well, I may have missed more than one practice already," Jackson says. "And the Coach might have said something along the lines of 'if you miss one more practice I'll kick you off the team and make Greenburg Captain.'" Jackson stares up at the ceiling, and tries to ignore the look he can feel Derek giving him.
"Oh, I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the emotionally unstable werewolf nutjob I've been seeing lately," Jackson snaps. He climbs off the bed, grabs his crumpled boxers from off the floor, and yanks them on. "Or, you know, not seeing." He puts his hands on hips and glares at Derek." I mean, I know you were busy with your crazy evil uncle, but the last few weeks haven't exactly been great for me either. Just because I wasn't having my usual nervous breakdowns at your house doesn't mean I wasn't having them—"
Derek sits up on the bed and grabs Jackson's wrist. "I'm sorry," He says.
Jackson grits his teeth for a moment, but the anger's already passing. "Don't be..." He mutters. "You thought you were doing the right thing—probably were, doing the right thing," He looks at Derek and squints. "Just for the record, you should know that I've never been a fan of doing the right thing."
Derek doesn't let go of his wrist as Jackson leans in for a kiss. Instead he tugs him forward, and puts his other hand on Jackson's waist. "What do you even need to practice for, anyways?" Derek mumbles as Jackson kisses him. "I've seen you play, you know what you're doing," Jackson rolls his eyes, "Skip practice, come back to bed with me..."
"Derek, I'm good at lacrosse because I practice," Jackson says. Well, he'd used to practice anyways. It had used to seem important. "And ever since you fucking werewolves showed up and decided to make Scott 'wet-his-pants-until-the-third-grade' McCall one of you, I have to practice even harder than before, just so I can run half as fast and play half as well as him."
A smile comes across Derek's face. He takes the hand that was on Jackson's waist and slowly runs it up Jackson's chest. "I don't really think you need to worry, Jackson," Derek's hand is on the back of his neck now, and he pulls him in for another kiss. "We both know you're fast already," Derek leans back and flashes Jackson another grin.
Jackson's eyes narrow. "And on that note, I have a practice to get too," Jackson says, snatching his wrist away. Derek shrugs and leans back against the headboard looking way too pleased with himself. Jackson is in the middle of formulating some sort of horrible retort when he catches a glimpse of his alarm clock, which still says it's five after six. "What the—"
He walks over to the other side of the bed and examines the clock. He'd been half asleep when he'd looked at it before, and he hadn't noticed that there was something wrong with it. Now that he was looking at it properly, he can see it's sort of... crunched looking. Jackson picks it up, and peers at it closely. There are holes in the clock, like it had been skewered with something sharp.
Jackson puts the clock down, and turns around to look at Derek, who's staring off across the room with what's probably supposed to be an innocent look on his face. "You broke my alarm clock?"
Derek scratches at the back of his neck. "...It woke me up,"
"That's what it's supposed to do, genius! It's an alarm clock!" Jackson stalks over to his dresser and grabs his cellphone to check the time. "Fuck!" He's late. So much for the shower.
Jackson tosses the cellphone onto his bed and then starts digging through his drawers and pulling out clean clothes.
"I'll buy you a new alarm clock," Derek says as he watches Jackson stumble around the room, gathering up the things he'll need for school and shoving them into his backpack. "A better one. The kind with an iPod player and a decent set of speakers."
"Derek, that's like a stereo system," Jackson says, tripping over his feet as he pulls on the shorts of his lacrosse uniform. Derek's out of the bed in a heart beat, and manages to catch him before he crashes face first into the floor. Derek grins at him and Jackson's face burns as he sets him right.
"Right," Derek says. "I'll buy you stereo system."
"But I don't need a stereo,"
Derek doesn't seem to think that matters. "I'm sure you can program some kind of alarm," Derek looks him over for a moment, and raises an eyebrow. "Don't you need to put on some sort of a... a cup thing?" He asks.
"Wha—" Jackson puts his head in his hands and groans loudly. "Fuck!"
Eventually Jackson manages to finish getting ready, and Derek stops laughing at him long enough to get dressed himself. Even though Jackson's late for practice, they take their time saying goodbye. Derek kisses him, and it starts out slow and gentle like the night before, but as their mouths move together, and Derek's tongue pushes against Jackson's, Derek seems to grow hungrier and hungrier until they're back to their usual ferocity. And Jackson is on the verge of grabbing fistfuls of Derek jacket, pulling him back over to the bed and just getting lost it in. Would be doing that, if it wasn't for how late he already was... or the fact that he can feel more of that needy, nagging desperation in Derek's kiss, and now it's got him worried.
"Derek, come on," Jackson mutters, trying to pull back. Derek won't let him go. He pulls Jackson's bottom lip with his teeth, kisses him harder. Digs his fingers into Jackson's back. "I gotta go... practice..."
Derek pulls back suddenly and puts his hands on Jackson's shoulders. "Jackson, promise me you won't do anything stupid for the next few days," He says. Jackson opens his mouth, offended. "I'm serious. You have to be careful, now that Peter knows about you—and us." Derek's grip tightens on his shoulders. "Until I figure out how to deal with him, you have to promise me you won't go anywhere near my house, or the woods—and no drinking, either, you need to be alert. Don't go off anywhere on your own. Don't talk to anyone you don't know—"
"But what if they've got candy?" Jackson interrupts. "Can I talk to them if they've got candy, and a big white van?"
Derek doesn't look impressed. "This isn't a joke, Jackson. Peter is dangerous. He needs my help, but he doesn't trust me. I don't want him using you against me, alright? I need to know you'll be safe, and won't act like an idiot and just drunkenly wander into his hands."
"Can't I just stay with you?" Jackson raises his eyebrows. "Wouldn't that be safest?"
Derek shakes his head. "He's too strong, I can't fight him. He's the Alpha, if he decides to hurt you..." He trails off and his brow furrows. Jackson can feel his heartbeat quicken as panic starts to sink in. Derek's scared. This is bad. Very bad.
Suddenly lacrosse doesn't seem at all important. He needs a drink. A strong one.
"Jackson, it's going to be okay," Derek says. He rubs the back of Jackson's neck.
Jackson snorts. "Yeah, sure. You wanna say that again, slowly?" He asks. Jackson expects an eyeroll, or another stern "this isn't a joke, Jackson," but instead Derek lifts up Jacksons hand, takes two of his fingers and presses them against his own throat.
"It's going to be okay," Derek repeats. Jackson can feel Derek's pulse under his fingers, slow and steady. "I won't let him hurt you, but you need to promise you'll do as I say, alright?" Jackson nods, and Derek pulls his hand away from his throat. "Good. There's a dance tomorrow at your school. I want you to go to it. Find a date if you can. Lydia, or Allison or someone."
Jackson made a face. "What? Ah come on, don't make me—"
"The dance is the safest place for you to be," Derek says. "The whole school will be there, he won't be able to touch you. Not with so many people around."
"Yeah, fine, alright," Jackson says. "I'll go to the stupid dance."
"Good," Derek places his hands on either of Jackson's face, and kisses him. Jackson sighs. Coach Finstock is going to kill him for being so late. Again. Maybe it would just be better if he didn't go at all...
"I probably won't be able to see you for a few days," Derek mumbles. "Until I know how to deal with Peter, it'll be better if I stay away, alright?" Derek looks at him, and Jackson tries to hold back a groan. "If anything comes up, I'll send you a text, alright?"
Derek takes his hands away from Jackson's face, and pulls a cellphone out of his jacket pocket. Jackson gapes at him. "You have a cellphone?"
"Of course I have a cellphone," Derek says, giving him a look like it's completely ridiculous for Jackson to be surprised about this totally normal thing. As though everything else about him is just always so normal, and this isn't at all out of the ordinary.
Derek Hale, beta werewolf, lives in the half-demolished home his entire family died in. Owns a cellphone, knows how to text.
"Stop looking at me like that," Derek snaps. Jackson's mouth is still hanging open. It takes some effort to close it. "I know what you're thinking, 'normal plus Derek equals weird.' Guess what? I also do laundry, and get gas for my car when it runs out, and go grocery shopping. Do you need a minute? Are you going to pass out?"
"Yeah, I mean, I might," Jackson says, half-serious. "Grocery shopping? Wow. Do you floss, too?"
Jackson has never seen Derek rolls his eyes quite so intensely before. It's as though his entire being is annoyed with Jackson.
Derek thrusts his phone forward. "Just put your number in, all right? Jesus."
There's a smirk on Jackson's face as he enters his number into Derek's contacts. It slips off when he's done, and he sees that there are only four other numbers programmed. Peter Hale, Scott McCall, Stiles Stilinski and— "Who is Quamar Harmada?"
"The owner of the indian restaurant on main street," Derek says, taking his phone back. "Ordering take-out is also something I do." Derek tucks his phone into the pocket of his jeans, and then takes off his jacket. "Here, wear this," He drapes the jacket over Jackson's shoulders. "It'll cover up your scent some, make you harder to track." Jackson slides his arms into the leather sleeves, and raises an eyebrow at Derek. "Don't look at me like that. It's just a jacket, I have others."
Jackson smiles. "Woah, back up there Derek," He says, leaning in for a kiss. "You're getting a little too romantic for me."
"We can deal with romance after I know your safe from Peter," Derek gives Jackson a quick kiss, and then opens his window up. "I have to go," He says, putting one leg up on the frame. "I'll send you a text message so you'll have my number in case of emergency."
"Let me get this straight," Jackson says, putting a hand on Derek's shoulder to keep him from jumping out the window. "When you have somewhere to be, you just get to take off instantly, but when I have somewhere to be, I get a broken alarm clock and an hour long delay?"
Derek grins at him, and gives him one final kiss. "I'll see you later, sweetheart," He says. Then he leaps out the window, lands on two feet like it's nothing, and walks off down the street.
Finstock yells at Jackson for a solid ten minutes. By the end of it, Jackson's not even sure he's speaking in coherent sentences anymore. He catches only a few words every now and then, things like "responsibility", "last tuesday" and "those damn rabbits." After he's done shouting, he makes Jackson run laps for the rest of practice.
His day only gets better once practice is over, and Jackson himself cornered by Scott and Stiles. They find him while he's still getting dressed in the locker room, so he can't even run away.
"Jackson, I need to ask you for a favour," Scott begins.
"No," Jackson replies, pulling on his shirt.
Despite his super-heightened werewolf hearing, Scott somehow manages not to hear him. "You have to take Allison to the dance,"
Jackson buttons up his shirt, and is on the verge of giving him another "no" when the actual question sinks in. He looks at Scott and furrows his brow. "You want me to take her to the formal?"
"I don't want you to, I need you too," Scott says.
Jackson sighs, weighing his promise to Derek to do as he'd said against his desire to not do any favours for Scott McCall. "Yeah alright, fine," He says.
Scott looks surprised. "Seriously?"
Jackson raises his eyebrows. "Sure, why not?" He pulls Derek's jacket out of his locker, and shrugs it on. "What, you don't actually want me to?"
"No, I just didn't think you'd—" Scott breaks off mid-sentence with a strange look on his face. He looks around the room, slightly panicked. "Dude, there it is again," He said, smacking Stiles on the arm. "I'm telling you, he's here somewhere."
Stiles just gives a deep sigh, and pinches his eyes tiredly. "It's the jacket, Scott," He says. "It's Derek's. He's not here,"
"What, what jacket?" Scott turns back to them and looks at the jacket Jackson's wearing. He furrows his brow, and then leans in and sniffs. Jackson immediately steps away from him, and looks around the locker room hoping no one saw that. "Why are you wearing his jacket?"
"Duh, because he's the head cheerleader and Derek's the hunky quarterback," Stiles sneers.
"It's just a jacket, Stiles," Jackson says. "He has others."
"Jackson, what... are you talking... about?" Scott says, raising his eyebrows and giving Jackson a very pointed look, as though he's trying to remind him that he hadn't wanted people to know about him and Derek.
Jackson rolls his eyes. "It's fine, Scott," He says. "He knows."
"Yeah, I know," Stiles says, rolling his own eyes. He leans back against the locker behind him and crosses his arms. The look on his face reminds Jackson far too much of Lydia's "why won't you take me shopping" pout.
"Oh," Scott frowns. "How?"
Stiles glances at him, and raises one eyebrow. "Uh, I told him," Jackson says quickly. "I was looking for Derek, and... I told him."
"Oh," Scott says again. The three of them stand there for a moment. They're the only one's still in the locker room, and at a few second of awkward silence passes before Scott says "Alright, well I guess we should get to class. You'll ask Allison?"
"Yes, Scott," Jackson says, closing his locker with a sigh.
Scott nods. "Thanks..." He says, although he doesn't look very thankful at all. "Promise me you'll keep her safe, okay?"
"I promise I'll keep her with me, and I'll keep myself safe. And since she'll be with me, she'll be safe too."
Scott gives him a look. "Well don't strain yourself or anything,"
"Wasn't planning on it,"
Scott shakes his head, and looks at Stiles. "Uh, you go on ahead," Stiles says, swinging his arms by his side. "I'm gonna go look through the lost and found box, for um... this thing, that I lost. I'm hoping the box found it. Because, y'know, that's its job..."
Jackson rolls his eyes once more, but Scott seems to accept it. He waves goodbye to Stiles and leaves. Stiles stares after him for a minute, and then turns to Jackson. "So, I guess you and Derek made up," He says, plucking at the sleeve of the leather jacket. Jackson nods. "Where'd you end up finding him?"
"I didn't... he uh, found me," Jackson mumbles.
"Well, hey that's awesome," Stiles looks at him raises his eyebrows. "You know he's evil, right?"
"What?" Jackson asks, taken aback.
"Your boyfriend," Stiles says. "He's evil,"
"Wha—he is not evil," Jackson snaps. "Or my boyfriend, either. " Stiles rolls his eyes. "And what the hell are you doing judging me, huh? I know you're into him, you didn't exactly deny it yesterday."
Stiles shrugs. "Maybe I am, but I'm also into a lot of Japanese hentai porn. That doesn't mean I'd actually want to like, get it on with some kind of crazy tentacle alien."
Jackson's mouth opens, but he doesn't know how to respond. "I—that's not—" Jackson shakes his head, and tries to ignore the way too pleased smirk on Stiles' face. "Look Derek isn't evil, alright?"
"Uh, yeah, he is. He's working with Peter—whom I'm just going to assume you know about now—and is probably going to help him kill people and I don't know about you but to me that seems pretty damned evil,"
Jackson can feel himself get angrier and when he says "He's not working with Peter, Stiles!" it comes out a lot louder than he intends. "He's scared of him, he's trying to figure out how to deal with him." Jackson jabs his finger into Stiles' chest a few times. "You think this is fucking easy for him? Peter is the only family he has left and the guys a fucking psychopath!"
"Jesus christ alright!" Stiles shouts, swatting Jackson's hand away. He rubs at his chest where Jackson poked him. "I mean if that's what you need to believe, whatever."
Frustrated, Jackson mimes strangling the air in front of Stiles while pretending it's his neck. Fooling around with him was definitely a bad idea, because now if he strangles him to death he knows he'll feel bad about it. "You are—so annoying,"
Stiles just shrugs again, and resumes his position against the lockers. He lets his head fall back against them, and shuts his eyes. "Yeah whatever..." He mumbles. Jackson looks at him, but Stiles is quiet. Jackson isn't sure if their conversation is over or not.
"Can we talk about yesterday... for a second?"
Stiles sigh, and opens his eyes. "We seriously don't have to, Jackson. I get it, you're with Derek, Derek's with you, it was just a dumb mistake. I understand, we don't need to dwell."
Jackson stuffs his hands into his pockets and looks at the ground. "I never said it was a mistake,"
Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Stiles stand up straight. "Really?" Jackson nods. He makes himself look up, just in time to see Stiles' expression fall again. "But you're with Derek." It's not a question, or a judgment. Just a statement of facts.
"Yeah, I am. But I don't... I mean, I don't regret it." Jackson says. After a moment, he reconsiders. "Well... some of it, maybe." Stiles looks offended, and Jackson hurries to explain. "I just, I mean Derek's an idiot and some times I want to kill him, but what we did hurt him and that's not what I want. And it wasn't really fair to you either. So I regret that, I guess. But not..." He trails off and shrugs.
Stiles squints at him for a moment. "Yeah, alright," He says eventually. "I get what you're saying."
"Well... that's good,"
Stiles glances at the clock on the wall. "We should probably get going. We're late for class,"
Jackson nods, and he and Stiles begin to walk out of the locker room. "Hey, can I ask you something?" Stiles says.
"How was I?" Stiles asks, raising his eyebrows. "I mean I know you're not exactly supposed to ask, but what the hell, right? I mean, I might not have another opportunity to find out for like 25 years,"
"You were alright," Jackson says. Stiles holds his arms out at his sides and makes a noise that Jackson thinks means he's offended. Jackson tries not to smile. "Better than alright. Good, even. You're a decent kisser, especially I'm assuming you'd never done it before,"
"Well, Scott and I kissed once when we were 13, but other than that—" Stiles pauses. "Shit, don't tell Scott I said that. It's not supposed to be public information."
Jackson laughs, and shakes his head. "Yeah, don't worry. I won't tell anyone." He says. Well, except maybe Derek, he thinks, smiling to himself.
Almost on cue, Jackson feels his cellphone vibrate in his pocket. He stops walking and takes it out to see he's received a text message from an unknown number. It reads "Please remember not to be an idiot,"
Jackson smiles a little. He hears Stiles scoff. "What's that?" He asks, as Jackson saves Derek's number to his contacts. "A message from Derek proclaiming his undying devotion and love for you?"
Jackson rolls his eyes, and shoves his phone back into his pocket. "Yeah, idiot," He says, walking off down the hall. "That's exactly what it said."
A/N: I know it seems like I've forgotten what sort of story I'm writing because suddenly it's like "hey fluff!" but I assure you, I have not.