The crowd is awesome tonight. It’s a sold out show in the biggest venue Misfits has played yet, and it’s also only the third time the band’s played near Beacon Hills since they made it big nearly five years ago. San Francisco is a short drive from their old home town, and Stiles knows some of the crowd out there now are former classmates or people he’d recognize from Beacon Hills. His dad keeps him informed, after all, and he knows how popular their band is back home. It’s funny, in a way, considering the bullying, spiteful and downright mean gossip, different kinds of abuse, or flat out ignoring that the members of the band experienced on a daily basis throughout high school. There’s a reason they chose the name Misfits for their band, after all, and it wasn’t solely due to Erica’s fondness for Marilyn Monroe films.
That’s all in the past, though, and he’s not about to let any lingering bitterness or frustration come back to bite him on the ass. Not when his life is fucking amazing and better than he ever dared to dream back in high school. Hell, the whole band did group therapy about six months after their first song went to number one because the overnight popularity and rise to fame and attention had been a lot for anyone to handle, much less a group of six teenagers who hadn’t ever really fit in outside of their own group. It had hit Stiles and Erica the worst, Boyd and Derek taking it all in stride while Scott and Isaac had adapted relatively well.
Stiles isn’t the best in crowds, though, and his social anxiety had gotten worse when they started getting recognized and, well, he’d self-medicated with alcohol and getting high for a couple of months until there’d been a band intervention led by Derek and Scott. Erica had been treated like shit throughout school, teased because of her epilepsy, never having any dates at all, so it had been a huge confidence boost to her when people started wanting her. There’d been a lot of sex, which he totally supported because there’s not going to be any slut shaming on his watch, thank you very much, but she’d come to him shortly after his own intervention and talked for hours about it all. She hadn’t been enjoying it, not after the first rush of power, and he’d helped her get her shit together the same way the band had helped him.
Boyd had been the one to suggest group therapy to help strengthen the band after Stiles and Erica’s troubles. Obviously, they’d agreed because it made sense but also because Boyd doesn’t ever ask for anything. And it had helped. They were closer than ever before, had worked through some of the childhood issues that had shaped them into the misfits they’d become, and it had really done wonders for their communication with each other. It had also given them the confidence to handle their fame and rise in popularity a lot better than they had been in the beginning. Therapy had made it easier for them to accept Queen Bitch from Beacon Hills, Lydia Martin, as their new PR rep nearly two years ago, too, though therapy had not removed the snide or sassy comments that he and Erica, in particular, liked to make during their meetings with Lydia. Therapy couldn’t work miracles, after all.
Looking out over the screaming crowd, he taps his foot in time with the beat coming from Derek and Scott’s guitars. Isaac soon joins in with his keyboard, adding the right note to flesh it all out, and then Boyd hits with the sultry sound of his saxophone. Erica’s at the microphone, hips swaying to the music, her hair wild around her face, looking and sounding like the love child of Stevie Nicks and Florence Welch. That’s still one of his favorite quotes ever printed about them, framed and kept in a place of honor on the wall of their studio along with dozens of other articles with quotes about his friends that he particularly enjoys. That one, though, is definitely at the top of the list. Thank you, Rolling Stone magazine. When Derek looks over at him as he plays, Stiles winks and blows him a kiss, smiling smugly when the crowd notices and cheers. Derek just rolls his eyes before smoldering as he turns back to play it up for their audience, giving Stiles a great view of his ass in those tight jeans that are obviously painted on.
There’s an energy in the air that never fails to make Stiles’ skin tingle in all the best ways. Even after playing together for eight years, since they’d taken over the Hale family garage freshman year of high school and decided to start a band, sounding pretty awful those first few sessions until it all seemed to click, he still loves going on stage with these people. They’re his family, his best friends, and he can’t imagine a time when they won’t all fit together so perfectly that it’s like making magic together. They’ll be like the fucking Rolling Stones, touring when they’re eighty, old and wrinkled yet still making beautiful music. He can’t see the future, but this is something he just knows in his soul is going to happen, and everyone else agrees with him, so it’s totally going to happen.
And, in Derek’s case, he’s also Stiles’ heart and his everything. Has been since Stiles got his head out of his ass and realized the years of pining was mutual, even if that realization only happened three and a half years ago whereas the pining started in seventh grade, when Derek was a popular basketball player at school and Stiles was just an awkward nerd. It was another world, really, when Stiles just had Scott and Erica, and Boyd and Isaac had been loners. It was before Derek was targeted by a substitute teacher who tried seducing a fourteen year old boy, before he told his parents and turned her in and got her arrested, before he found out the people he thought were his friends weren’t and gave up basketball to become a misfit like his only real friend, Boyd.
Finally, it’s time for Stiles to join in. He starts hitting the drums at the same moment Erica starts singing about dusk and desire, and he closes his eyes as he loses himself to the music and lets it take over the way it always does when they’re on stage like this. He doesn’t open his eyes until the song is winding down, leaning forward to sing the chorus along with Erica, their voices merging together really well. She’s dancing around the stage barefoot, getting the audience even more involved with every twirl and twist of her body. They don’t use flashing lights, for obvious reasons, and their stage show is better for it, in his opinion, because it’s about the music, about the passion and emotion, and he loves hearing the words that the band has written come to life in such a pure, natural form.
By the time they reach the tenth song, his shirt is sticking to his back and his hair is damp with sweat. Erica is working the audience up again, so he takes advantage of the brief break to pull his shirt over his head. That earns some whistles and woo hoos from the crowd, which never fails to amuse him because he’s like the least built guy in the band, not to mention pale and covered in moles and freckles, but he throws a cocky smirk towards the crowd anyway because he’s totally cool being objectified when on stage. Now, if it happens off stage, it can be borderline creepy or awkward, but it’s usually pretty harmless. They’ve got a great supportive group of fans, and, if some of them support by drawing smutty fanart or writing kinky fanfic, so be it. There are some hella talented folks writing about band orgies or him and Derek, and he definitely enjoys lurking around to see the creative output.
Once his shirt is off, he wipes his face with the damp cotton to dry up some of the sweat before rolling the shirt up and tossing it into the crowd. Erica gives him an amused look while Derek just shakes his head at the frenzy that causes for people trying to get his sweaty shirt. It’ll probably show up on E-bay by the end of the night, but whatever. Stiles is pretty proud of the fact he’s gotten good enough to throw the rolled up shirts all the way into the middle area of the standing audience. He might not be mega muscular or super athletic, but he loves baseball, and the band will often unwind by throwing balls around whenever security allows them to have a break.
Speaking of security, he tosses a shameless ‘sorry not sorry’ smile towards the wings of the stage where Chris Argent is standing looking annoyed yet resigned. It’s an expression Stiles sees often from him, so he turns his attention to the lovely Allison, who is biting her lip to keep from laughing because expressing any type of joyful emotion would probably result in her being fired from the security company regardless of the fact that her parents own the firm. When Chris looks towards the crowd, though, Allison dimples at him before looking back at Scott and being so sappy it makes Stiles wonder if they’ve wandered into a Disney movie for a minute.
They play another dozen songs, always performing a full two hour show so they audience gets their money’s worth. Their concert tickets aren’t really cheap anymore, except when they insist on Danny booking them into smaller clubs or festivals simce they want all of their fans to have a chance to see them perform. Money shouldn’t keep people from enjoying music. They know they have to make money to keep their record deal and continue touring, so they do a lot of promotions and merchandise mixed in with the cheaper venues to keep the record company happy. They’re lucky they’ve got Danny as their manager, even if he’d been one of the cool kids at school albeit a nice one. He’s a misfit now, though, which is all that really matters.
When they reach the last pre-encore song, Erica leads into ‘Darkest Days’, and Stiles focuses because this one has a hell of a lot of drumming involved. It’s one of Derek’s songs, written for their debut album, becoming their first huge hit, and he definitely wanted to highlight Stiles’ skill. Looking back, Stiles is an idiot for not realizing Derek had feelings for him before they ever admitted to them. He channels some of that passion he feels for Derek into his play, listening as the back-up singers accompany Erica’s throaty vocals. Malia, Kira, and Cora are strong enough singers they could be fronting their own band, but Malia and Cora only joined Misfits because of Derek, being his cousin and sister, respectively, and Kira is Malia’s girlfriend, so she’s not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, either.
As he plays, Stiles looks around, fully in the zone now, able to deal with the audience and screaming without getting distracted. There’s someone in the left center of the box seats using a flash on their camera phone, which is a violation of the rules they set up in all venues. Fortunately, he sees a security guard already dealing with it, and Erica’s singing towards the other side of the arena. Scott steps forward between Erica and that side of the seats, giving the subtle warning they’ve worked out to keep her safe from any potential triggers. Most of their fans are awesome and totally respect their rules, but some assholes still try to take photos with flash.
Derek moves away from the front of the stage, letting Scott stay up front and take lead, turning more towards Stiles as he moves his fingers up and down the neck of his guitar. Stiles totally eye fucks him as he bangs his drums, not at all trying to hide it, because this song is unbelievably sexy and erotic, which is why it hit so big, no doubt, and catapulted them from the club scene to world tours. Stiles joins in on the chorus, unable to stop himself because he really does love this song, singing along about finding love and light amidst the darkest days. If he’s singing to Derek, well, it’s not like it’s the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last.
When Erica sings the last chorus, the rest of the band is no longer playing, the words even more pure as she transitions from loud passion to a low whisper. It’s enough to make Stiles feel emotional, thinking about everything they’ve all gone through together and how they’ve ended up here and how Derek’s his light and, yeah, he’s glad they always end with their first hit because it gives him time to pull himself together when they go off stage to wait for the encore. The audience erupts in screams and cheers as Erica wraps the song, and then they’re all putting instruments down, waving and blowing kisses before hurrying off stage.
That’s when the kissing always happen. Scott goes for Allison first, while Malia and Kira snuggle together. Erica smacks a loud kiss against Boyd’s mouth, and Isaac tugs Cora closer. Most of their relationships are kept quiet, with Stiles and Derek agreeing to take the attention off the others because it’s not like they can pretend on-stage that they’re just friends, so they just handle the publicity so everyone else can have some privacy. But the fans would probably be pleased to know that some of their ‘everyone in the band is dating each other’ theories aren’t too far off. The crowd is chanting for more as Derek stalks towards him, and Stiles can’t resist mouthing along ‘more more more’ until Derek reaches him.
“You’re incorrigible,” Derek mutters, not giving him a chance to defend himself before they’re kissing. Derek moves his hands down Stiles’ bare back, stroking his spine before settling them on his waist, his fingers splayed beneath the waistband of Stiles’ jeans and lightly teasing the edge of his underwear with promises of what’s to come for them.
“Ahem. If you two can stop making out, it’s time to go back on stage,” Erica says, spritzing a water bottle at them while laughing.
“Put the damn bottle down, Catwoman.” Stiles pulls back and pouts at her. “You’re supposed to be my wingman, not my cockblocker.”
“Sorry, Batman, but the audience is very demanding tonight.” Erica kisses his cheek before winking at Derek, who is totally blushing like the sexy dork he really is underneath the gorgeous face and hot bod. “And the spray bottle helps cool you two off, so it’s definitely staying.”
“Yeah, if you’re going to rut around like dogs in heat, we’re going to treat you that way,” Isaac adds, flashing his ‘I’m so sweet and innocent that butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth’ smile that has all the fans fooled into believing he’s an adorable puppy when he’s actually a snarky asshole that can occasionally make Stiles seem nice with the biting wit thing.
“Can we please not talk about Stiles and Derek rutting around in heat?” Scott makes a face as Allison grins beside him. “He’s my brother, guys. That’s just weird.”
“Stepbrother,” Cora corrects, giving Derek a judgmental look. “Whereas, that one actually is my brother, and I’ve seen and heard things that no sister should ever know about their big brother.”
“I told you to ride the other bus,” Derek says, shrugging a broad shoulder as he continues stroking Stiles’ lower back. “Anyway, I’d say we’re pretty even on that considering yours and Isaac’s lack of modesty when it comes to sex.”
“Derek, as your best friend, I have to interrupt to offer some advice here. Don’t get into lack of modesty discussions. You’re dating Stiles, so you’ve already lost the argument before it even begins.” Boyd winks at Stiles before nodding towards the stage. “Now, let’s get back out there and finish this show strong.”
“Yes, Boss,” Stiles says, saluting Boyd because Boyd’s totally his favorite. Not that he’ll ever admit to having favorites but, well, he’s dating Derek and Scott’s his stepbrother and Erica’s his Catwoman, so they don’t count, which means it’s between Boyd and Isaac for favorite. So there is no contest but, yeah, he totally respects Boyd and actually does listen to him compared to, oh, any of the others really. He leans up to kiss Derek as the others start heading for the stage, slapping his ass as he pulls away. “We’ll finish this after the show is over. I’m thinking you, me, and that balcony overlooking the bay. Thoughts?”
“I’m thinking you better hope there aren’t any paparazzi stalking our hotel balcony if you’re wanting to indulge in some outdoor sex. Lydia threatened to castrate you when paps got the photos of your bare ass at that beach in France last summer, and I happen to like all your parts as they are right now.” Derek slowly smiles. “So maybe you, me, and that huge bed in the hotel suite instead?”
“See, this is yet another reason why I love you. You’re always so conscientious and taking care of me and my parts.” Stiles wiggles his eyebrows and leers before taking Derek’s hand and leading him to the stage so they don’t get disappointed looks from any of their band members for lagging behind. “I think your idea is good, Der, but I also rather like mine, too. So I vote for both. We can totally do both.”
As they step onstage right after Isaac, the crowd continues to scream and cheer. Stiles grins and makes kissy faces at their audience before he turns to kiss Derek, licking into his mouth and biting his lip and completely mussing his hair as he pulls back. He winks at him then struts towards his drums, feeling smug and happy that Derek’s his and everyone knows it. Oh, sure, there’ll definitely be payback later for that little stunt but Stiles doesn’t care. Hell, he’s looking forward to it.
After he’s seated and has his drumsticks in his hand, he makes a ‘ready to rock’ motion at Erica, who is talking to the crowd about how amazing love is and how ridiculous Stiles and Derek are, which, yeah, it’s all true, so he plays it up to the audience with a sheepish smile and shrug that earns cheers. Stiles looks at Derek, who is giving him A Look that promises him retribution later in all the best sexy ways, and he can’t stop the smile that spreads over his face because he can’t wait for sexy times with Derek or to find the fan photos of that smoking hot kiss all over social media later.
They start playing ‘Promises Kept’, one of the songs he wrote last year about love and overcoming struggles that’s totally autobiographical involving his bad coping techniques with instant fame and how Derek helped him get through it all. It’s a current chart topper that’s become a huge hit for them. He can hear the crowd singing along with Erica, and it’s such a rush. He’s so fucking lucky, and he knows it, appreciates it. Playing music with the best friends anyone could ever have, being loved by a gorgeous, sarcastic, talented, awesome guy, and making magic every single day with these misfits just makes him so happy it’s ridiculous.