Derek Hale runs a tattoo shop in the small town of Beacon Hills. He likes to keep to himself, but he’s good at what he does, which is how he finds himself befriending Stiles Stilinski. Stiles comes to Derek for his first tattoo when he turns 21, a floral pattern on his arm dedicated to his late mother. After that first one, Stiles keeps coming back for more.
Stiles finds he enjoys the artwork Derek adorns his body with, even letting Derek talk him into getting a triskelion on his chest, and if Derek has a matching one on his back, he keeps that information to himself.
The two become good friends over the next few years. Derek opens up about his family and the unfortunate fire that killed most of them. Stiles talks about his mother and how difficult it was to watch her waste away in front of him.
One afternoon, Stiles finds his grandmother’s old Polish books in the attic, books about ancient ruins and rituals. He doesn’t pay much mind to the words, but he finds a symbol he likes and thinking about getting a new tattoo in honor of his grandmother, Stiles stuffs the book in his messenger bag and heads out to see Derek.
Derek studies the symbol for a long time before he begins working on Stiles left bicep. When the tattoo is almost complete, Stiles’ vision begins to blur and he feels like he might faint, which is strange considering he’s never had a problem before. When his vision finally clears, he finds Derek’s worried face hovering over him, and when Derek reaches out to touch Stiles’ forehead, something like fire shoots through Stiles’ veins. Judging by the look on Derek’s face, he felt it too.
When realization hits Stiles, he grabs the book from his bag and flips to the page with the symbol with trembling fingers, Derek hovers over his shoulder as they both read the words next to the symbol. “The symbol shows the wearer their soulmate”, the faded print reads.
Stiles turns to Derek with some trepidation, not knowing how the man will react. What he’s not expecting is for the tattoo artist to be smiling at him. “Well, shit,” Derek says, leaning closer to Stiles. “I didn’t need a symbol from a magic book to tell me that.”
Stiles grins with relief before Derek is kissing him. And later, in Derek’s bed, sated and happy, they aren’t at all surprised to find a matching tattoo on Derek’s hip.
Teen Wolf AU: For as long as Derek can think, he’s been in the family business - in his family’s case, that’s being an assassin for hire. When Peter gives him the name of a new target, with the additional task of extraction information, he doesn’t question his orders. However, Stiles isn’t easy to get close to, and as he slowly gets closer to him, Derek has to admit that maybe he is drawing this assignment out longer than strictly necessary. And more than that, he’s beginning to fall hopelessly in love with Stiles, a factor that doesn’t stay unnoticed by Peter and that comlicates things even further when Derek finds that he is unable to pull the trigger on Stiles even if it means putting his own life at risk…