#IS THIS A SPREAD FOR NECKZ ‘N THROATS OR SOMETHING HELP ME (x)
Stiles hates this part of his job.
Taking his clothes off in front of a camera crew? He’s cool with it. Letting some alpha werewolf he just met put their hand halfway down his pants? No problem. Holding still for fifteen minutes straight while the aforementioned alpha closes a pair of prosthetic fangs around his throat, back bent like he’s the fricking London Bridge until he feels like his spine might actually crimp permanently? Okay, that part he isn’t too crazy about, but he’d still rather be in between Isaac’s teeth than sitting up on this stage.
The screen behind him is running a series of shots from the Gold Edition, a super high quality issue of Neckz n Throats that only comes out once a year, at the end of January. And this year Stiles is the centerfold, trading in his iconic sweatpants dick and ‘I just got fucked and now I want a slushie’ blush for a suit and tie not all that different from the one he’s wearing now. They’re asking Isaac a question and Stiles chances a quick look over his shoulder to see what the crowd is gaping at now. It’s a shot of Stiles on his knees with the tie twisted around his throat to resemble a collar and a leash.
He taps the base of the microphone against his thumb and scans the crowd again, looking for Malia and Lydia. If he had his way his ex-girlfriend would never set foot in one of these convention halls, but Malia was still one of his best friends and it wasn’t like his softcore porn career was a secret. They met after he signed on with Neckz n Throats, when he had a couple shoots under his belt. She thought it was pretty hot, but now Stiles just feels awkward about the whole thing.
Yes, this is me with my face next to a barely clothed erection. Yes, that’s the same face that cried for three weeks after we broke it off. Why did you keep our pet fish, Malia? You never remembered to feed him.
He spots them near the side doors and Malia waves. Stiles waves back. It’s a big crowd, but they’re close enough to the front that Stiles can see the guy sitting beside her is holding Malia’s purse. He swears he’s over it, and he is most days, but the stress of the convention combined with the fact that his ex-girlfriend brought her new boyfriend to look at massive high res pictures of Stiles looking like a reject from a 50 Shades of Grey cover leads to Stiles feeling a bit like he’s going to throw up.
He doesn’t know if he feels sorrier for himself, or for Malia’s new boyfriend. And since when does she have a new boyfriend? Malia tells everyone when she has a good poop. How did a new guy slip by everyone? Especially one as fine as this one, with his beard and biceps and soft grey v-neck —
"Um, Mr. Stiles?"
He tears his eyes away from Malia’s boyfriend and realizes that they’ve opened the floor up to fan questions, and there’s a nervous beta basically shivering out of his hoodie at the podium, waiting for Stiles to answer.
He slaps on his fan-smile and says, “I’m sorry sweetie, what was that? I was distracted by how cute this audience is.”
The guy at the podium giggles and blushes but doesn’t break out into tears. Something loosens up in Stiles’ chest. He likes talking to fans. He likes it better when he talks to them one-on-one out on the floor, less room for disaster, but their questions always go surprisingly far beyond the usual “What kind of underwear turns you on the most” questions.
He always answers granny panties.
Stiles hates conventions.
The only thing worse that convention panels is the in between time, when he’s being ushered around by bodyguards, and when he catches snippets of the floor. Stiles has been to Comic Con more than once, and sometimes he can convince himself that’s where he is, but then he remembers he’s at Eroticon, a land of knot implants, silicon buttholes and women with cleavage you could land a 747 in. Glamorous as it gets.
They take him and the other Throats boys to a sort of green room area, where everyone busts into the mini fridge as soon as the assistants aren’t looking and Stiles considers crawling out the window and hiding in a Dumpster until it’s all over.
"Here, stop moping," Boyd says, handing him a beer.
Stiles takes it, but he still mopes. He just talked to Malia on the phone last week! She didn’t say anything about a boyfriend, and now Stiles is starting to feel inadequate. That guy was built in a way Stiles never has been. Real, solid muscle. But his face was so pretty, his beard perfectly maintained. He looked like he should be in the Gold Edition spread, not Stiles. Which is a ridiculous thought, because Stiles is the softcore porn star here, not Malia’s mystery boyfriend.
"Excuse me, Stiles?" one of the assistants asks. "I don’t mean to bother you, but there’s a woman looking for you? She says her name is Lydia. She has a clearance badge, but her two guests don’t."
Two guests. Malia and the boyfriend.
Stiles’ pout deepens. Might as well get it over with.
"Yeah, they’re okay. Let them in."
A couple seconds later and Lydia is strolling in with her head thrown back, and for a room full of gay porn stars she sure is drawing a lot of eyes. The system is corrupt, but what can you do.
Malia skips along behind her, beaming, and the boyfriend is still barely lingering in the door, looking like he’s just walked into a plague ward. Stiles rolls his eyes.
"Damn Stiles!" Malia says, slamming down onto the couch beside him. "You were looking fine in that shoot."
Stiles rolls his eyes and gets up to give Lydia a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “You were great up there,” she says.
Stiles eyes the boyfriend, who’s standing stiffly beside the couch. Boyd is clearly checking him out, but the boyfriend is facing Stiles, his eyes locked on Stiles’ face like he’s too afraid to look at anything else.
"Hey, I’m Stiles," he says. He holds out a hand for a shake and the guy’s grip is weak and sweaty. He swallows and his eyes dart down to Malia’s before going back to Stiles. "And you are…?"
"Oh, this is Derek," Malia says. Derek. Stiles hates him already. His smug, hot face, too intimidated to be in a room with gay porn actors. What a douche. What a complete asshole. Fuck this guy. "He’s my cousin. He’s a really big fan of yours."
And suddenly everything 360’s because Derek is blushing and his eyes are bulging a little bit and when he tries to talk he stutters out, “No! No, I’m not - I never, I wouldn’t. I mean, yeah, but no. I haven’t - I mean I have but um. Uh.” He rubs his face with both his hands and it looks hot to the touch, must be because Derek holds his hands out like they’re burnt. “I don’t buy porn,” he half-whispers and then pushes his lips together to keep anything else from falling out.
But Malia is right there, and her filter has never existed. “Yes you do, I saw. Stiles, you know that shoot where you were covered in cereal? From that time you sneezed and thought you farted out a Cheerio.”
"I remember that!" Isaac calls from across the room. Fucking werewolves, now almost everyone is looking at them.
"Yeah he has that saved on his laptop. I was like ‘Hey Derek, you know I used to date him, right?’ and then he got all shy and weird and long story short, I think he’s your type. You should go on a date. You can talk about The Walking Dead and hickeys and putting knots in your butt and stuff."
"Malia!" Lydia hisses and Derek makes a pained noise in the back of his throat.
"What? Common interests!" She leans closer to Lydia, lowering her voice. "You said we were setting them up to soften the blow."
"The blow?" Stiles asks.
Lydia gives him that fake little ‘what can you do’ smile and Malia beams at him, nodding. And the realization hits only seconds before they grab each other’s hands.
"You’re dating," he says.
Lydia frowns and bites her bottom lip. “Stiles, I’m sorry. I know now isn’t the time to tell you. These conventions stress you out - “
Stiles shakes his head and holds up a hand. He looks from Malia to Lydia, then over to Derek’s hella sweaty, hand wringing, hunky self. He rubs his own face with his hands and then looks up at the ceiling. “You know what? It’s fine. Derek, do you want to sneak out that window with me and get pizza?”
"What?" Derek asks.
"It’s a Stiles’ date," Malia whispers. "Just say yes."
Lydia mumbles, “Malia, zip it.”
"Yes. We can do that. But… the convention."
Stiles grabs his wrist and starts leading him towards the window. “Boyd, if anyone asks say I have nervous diarrhea.”
The pizza on their third date isn’t as good, but Stiles goes home with Derek and there’s The Walking Dead and hickeys and maybe even a knot in a butt.