Stiles was late. His dad wasn’t home from the night shift yet and his alarm didn’t ring, so he woke up late. Roscoe wouldn’t start for a good 20 minutes. He missed the partner assignment for History and the next thing he knows, he has three weeks to make a 3D-miniature model of whatever historical event his partner drew from Mr. Boyle’s magic hat. Also, his partner is Derek Hale. He also missed the part where he could object to his assigned partner, so there isn’t much he can do about it at this point besides sulking.
He forces himself to walk over to Derek’s desk when the class is finished.
“If you supply the materials, I can do the diorama by myself. You probably have better things to do, like lift weights or practice lacrosse or whatever it is that you do.”
Derek, who’s still cleaning out his materials, looks at Stiles with his eyebrows all scrunched. Stiles notices the flecks on grey in the green of his eyes. Derek stands up and he takes a step back to avoid a collision. That, or maybe he just wants not to be able to notice Derek’s eyes in high details.
“You think I’m an asshole?”
Stiles finds a surge of bravery within himself to answer the question posed before him. “Definitely look the part.”
“I’m sorry that I was born with this face and bone structure,” Derek replies in all seriousness.
Stiles wants to laugh at his answer, but it doesn’t feel right to do so. “Whatever,” he says instead.
“You’re a shithead.”
This time, he laughs. “Wow, shithead?”
Stiles shakes his head. “I just thought, you know, your curse words would be as cool as the rest of you.”
He tries to ignore the fact that he just admitted that Derek is cool without any provocation. Derek doesn’t seem to notice because he looks offended instead, like someone just told him for the first time that Santa doesn’t exist.
“Is ‘shithead’ not cool?”
“It’s lame, dude.”
“You’re the one that’s lame, Stiles.”
Stiles’ heart skips a beat when he hears his name coming out from Derek’s mouth and he tells it to cool the hell down because he barely knows the guy, despite him being drop-dead gorgeous and them going to the same school for 5 years.
Derek continues, “We can buy the materials together and make the diorama, together. I do have lacrosse practice every Wednesday and Friday, and I do lift weights at 10pm just before bed. Anytime besides those are good for me, I guess.”
He scrabbles something on his notebook that Stiles couldn’t quite make of, then rips the paper and hands it to Stiles.
“My phone number,” Derek states. “You can let me know when your schedule clears up.”
“Okay,” he replies, but Derek’s already gone.
It’s Stiles. We can go to the art shop tomorrow if you’re free.
Fortunately, I am. We’ll take my car? I’ll drop you off at home after.
His friends are chattering very loudly about wanting to go play bowling and it makes Stiles missed the first couple texts Derek sent him. He finally calls Stiles instead of texting him. Stiles catches the call, but it gets disconnected before he could even say hello.
“Shit,” he says, shoving his stuff inside his bag. “I have to go and do the history project.”
Scott stops talking to Allison long enough to give Stiles attention. “Cool, dude. You need a ride?”
“No, I’ve got it,” he grabs his jacket from the chair. “Thanks.”
He’s already walking away when Lydia calls out, “You get to drive around in your partner’s sweet ride? The date mobile?”
Allison’s suddenly finds interest in the conversation. “Who’s your partner?”
“Hale,” Lydia answers for him.
“Yep,” Stiles says, turning his back on them.
“Be sure to tap that for me if the chance arises, Stiles,” Lydia singsongs.
“Oh, God,” he mutters under his breath.
Stiles runs, or rather walks very quickly to the parking lot because he doesn’t want to give Derek a reason to be mad at him, but when he spots Derek there, he’s the definition of chill. He’s leaning against his car, typing on his phone. All he’s missing is a cigarette and he would look like the love interest in every ‘90s romantic comedy movie.
“This is really an asshole car,” Stiles says when he’s close enough.
Derek puts his phone in his pocket and moves towards the driver’s side. “It’s a Camaro.”
“Yeah, that’s what I said.”
Derek scoffs. He gets in the car, Stiles follows him. He checks his mirrors like a responsible driver Stiles never thought he would be and starts the car. “The car used to be my older sister’s. She went to college and left it for me.”
“I really don’t need the family history.”
He turns to look at Stiles, then looks away from him, as if giving up. “Alright… just trying to make a conversation.”
They listen to the radio, but besides the music blasting from the Camaro’s sound speakers, the ride to the art shop is spent in silence. Derek seems not as lively as he usually is in the car, though he does find his spirit again as they walk into the shop.
“So what did we get again?” he asks, picking up a box of gold glitter.
Stiles takes the box out of his hands and puts it back on the shelf. “You should’ve remembered this, you picked it. It’s the Apollo 11 landing.”
“I’m not entirely sure that happened.”
Stiles snorts. “I’m surprised that you have an opinion on conspiracy theories.”
“Have to keep you on your feet, don’t I?” Derek takes a container of glue and puts it in the basket Stiles’s holding. “Anyway, I think we can make the ground as the moon using papier-mâché and some grey paint. Have Mr. Armstrong printed out and stuck to a cardboard or something. Stick him on the moon with a toothpick.”
Stiles stops walking. “You are an asshole.”
Derek removes his hands out of his pockets, stands up straight and closes the distance between them until he’s looming above Stiles. Derek’s about sixty pounds heavier and a good half-feet taller than him, so Stiles should be scared, but he weirdly doesn’t feel that way.
Stiles pushes him away. “Who the hell says ‘papier-mâché’?”
He walks away and doesn’t tell Derek that he thinks it’s cute.
The next morning, Derek walks by with a blonde girl—who’s short but stunningly pretty—while Stiles is sitting outside the cafeteria with his friends before their first period. He waves at Stiles, a grin on his face. Stiles lifts up his hand in reply.
“Derek Hale just waved at you,” Lydia points out.
Isaac pipes in before Stiles could answer her. “Who’s that girl with him?”
“She’s a year below us and an easy 10. Don't you know her? Where have you been?” Erica clucks her tongue disapprovingly.
“I don’t know who she is, either,” Stiles says.
They ignore him.
Isaac tries again, “Is she dating anyone?”
Allison laughs, half-hidden in Scott’s shoulder. “You come near her, Derek will rip out your throat with his teeth.”
Stiles’ heart drops to his stomach. Derek is dating someone.
“Ouch, I guess I won’t have my chance.”
Isaac’s always been a bit of a player, but he could definitely score one date with the blonde girl if he tries. Wait. Stiles doesn’t care whether he could or couldn’t go out with the girl, not even if it means Derek will be free of a girlfriend.
Stiles turns to Lydia, “Is that weird? Him waving at me?”
“No,” she tilts her head in observation, the strawberry-blonde curls following her movement. “I guess the work session went well last night.”
“Eh, it was alright.”
“Is that code for you got laid?” Isaac asks, curious as a cat.
“What the hell, dude?”
“He swings both ways, in case you didn’t know,” he says matter-of-factly.
Stiles shakes his head. “I didn’t. Don’t think I wanted to, either. Thanks for that information.”
He turns around to talk to Lydia again and finds her looking at him questioningly, “Why are you so closed off from him? He’s just trying to get to know you.”
“Maybe. Or maybe he’ll send his jock friends to beat the shit out of me.”
“I doubt it. He’s not Jackson.”
Lydia dated Jackson for a while before the thing happened, but it ended immediately after and for good reasons. It’s probably one of the reasons Jackson got extremely pissed at Stiles. Stiles had a childhood crush on Lydia that eventually blossomed into a friendship and they were always too close for Jackson’s liking.
Stiles crosses his hands across his chest. “All the lacrosse players are Jackson.”
Derek falls back on Stiles’ bed and Stiles tries to not think about how good he looks there. He sighs for the hundredth time that night, so Stiles prepares himself for his complaining, also for the hundredth time that night.
“I’m so goddamn tired. Our moon doesn’t even look like a moon yet. The papier-mâché was a bad idea.”
“It was yours,” Stiles points out. “Get up and help me shape this thing.”
Derek props himself up on his elbows but doesn’t move from the bed. “I thought you were okay doing it all by yourself.”
“I misjudged you. Sorry. Can we move past that now?”
He falls back on the bed again. “I’ve never heard anyone mean their apology less than you just did.”
“Derek,” he starts. Derek sits up at his tone. “I am so very sorry that I was prejudiced against you because of your looks and social standing. I will reflect upon this mistake and assess my behavior in the future.”
He seems satisfied with that. “Okay! I’m up and working again now,” he makes a gesture of dusting off his pants and moves to stand beside Stiles, taking the brush he’s been using to color outer-space with blue-black paint. “We probably won’t finish until I die.”
“‘Let’s face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.’”
Derek laughs mirthfully, his eyes twinkling. Happy is a good look on him, not that Stiles ever pays attention. “Animal Farm, really?”
Stiles can’t say he’s not surprised Derek knows Animal Farm, even more that he knows it well enough to understand the reference.
“I didn’t know you read,” he says simply.
Derek drops his brush, offended. “‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’”
“We’re not in a George Orwell quoting contest. Paint the cardboard, Derek.”
He does as he’s told, but he keeps stealing glances toward Stiles. Stiles ignores him or at least tries his best to, but Derek breaks not even ten minutes later.
“Why are you so cold to me?”
There’s no anger or malice in his question. He just wants to know, so he’s asking. Stiles likes him for it.
He mentally slaps himself for even thinking that.
“What are we, in a relationship that I’m not aware of?”
“It’s not that, shithead,” Derek splashes some paint at him like a five-year-old. “It’s just I’ve been trying to be your friend since we got paired up and you’ve been consistently treating me like shit. I just don’t know what I’ve done to deserve that.”
He’s right. Stiles has been so busy trying to fight his attraction towards Derek, that he forgot how to be a decent human being around him. They can still be friends if Stiles would just let it happen.
Stiles doesn’t answer for a while. Derek must have thought that he’s being ignored again because he goes back to his work and is silent.
“You’re right. I’m sorry,” Stiles says.
Derek looks at him, taken aback. “Oh, you meant that.”
“I got punched repeatedly by Jackson Whittemore because I half-assed this presentation we were supposed to be working on together.”
Derek raises his eyebrows, prodding Stiles to explain further, “We got a B.”
“That’s not bad.”
Stile shrugs. “According to him, I deliberately sabotaged the work. He was already on the bench for failing his classes, as you must know, so he desperately needed an A. I think it was just his excuse to hit me. He got kicked off the team after… so I guess it was all for naught.”
“You didn’t half-assed it, did you?”
“No. I got tons of workload from my advanced classes and it was Literature, so I just pushed it off until it was a bit too late. I never thought the B would be a big problem.”
Stiles nods, signing that he’s finished. He moves to get more glue, though he hears Derek's next words loud and clear even with his back towards him. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
Stiles thinks it’s weird that he says hurt instead of hit or punch. Hurt definitely has a different connotation to it. He doesn’t know how to reply to that, so he tells Derek as much.
Derek shrugs and turns his attention back to the diorama. “You don’t have to.”
They turn in their project in the first period on Tuesday, so naturally, Stiles thinks he won’t ever be hearing from Derek again unless they get paired in other classes. Derek's proven him wrong by lunch.
Stiles notices Derek first, waltzing through the cafeteria with his food tray alone. Derek notices him not long after and gives him a playful smirk before making his way to his table. “Hi, is it okay if I sit here?” he motions at the empy seat.
Lydia is the quickest to answer, rather enthusiastically. “Of course!”
Stiles looks up at Derek as he’s pulling out the chair next to him. “Where’s your plus one?”
“She’s off… somewhere. Torturing some poor dude’s ass for quiz answers,” Derek says, resting his arm on the back of Stiles’ chair.
The gesture bothers Stiles a bit, the silent intimacy is more than what he’s comfortable with.
“You know that’s called cheating, right?”
He puts emphasis on the word cheating, but it doesn’t seem to catch Derek’s attention at all. What are you doing, flirting while talking about your girlfriend, Stiles thinks.
“You can go tell her that if you dare. I love my life, I’d like to keep it.”
Stiles doesn’t have time to come up with a response when Lydia taps on Derek’s forearm and leans in.
“Anyway, Derek, how are we looking this season?” she asks, rather sweetly. Sweet is always dangerous with Lydia, but Stiles decides to let Derek handle this one on his own.
“Strong,” Derek nods, picking up the apple from his tray and biting into it in one swift move he pulls off so easily. “Some of the kids from the varsity team are really talented. I think we can win the State Championship again this year.”
“For sure, if you’re playing.”
Derek smiles, probably just to entertain her, because his nails are digging into Stiles’ shoulders as he says this. “Thanks, Lydia. I appreciate that.”
“You sure like your ego stroked,” Stiles chides, removing Derek’s hand from his shoulder.
“Someone gave me a compliment and I replied the way my mom raised me to,” he replies. Stiles gives him a cold look. “What’s up your ass? Jealousy?”
“Of? Your athletic skills? I’m good, thank you.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
Stiles looks straight down at his food and ignores him. He looks hurt for a split second, but then Scott’s making conversation with him and between that and actually trying to eat his lunch, Derek doesn’t have any chance to interact with Stiles again before the bell rings.
Although, his hand stays at the back of Stiles’ chair the entire time and Stiles is definitely aware of its presence.
Derek keeps trying to make small talks with him the rest of the week and Stiles would occasionally give in and answers his remarks half-heartedly during class or replies his texts about whatever book Derek wants to talk about. Stiles thinks he’ll get tired soon enough and leave him alone, until he sees Derek waiting by his locker after the last period on Friday.
Stiles pretends like he doesn’t see him.
“I’ve got a game this Sunday,” Derek says.
Stiles rummages through his lockers, putting his notebooks back inside. “Yeah, it was announced this morning from the PA. Just like it was yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that…”
Derek holds up a hand. “I get your point. I was just wondering if you’d want to come. Cheer for me, maybe?”
“I’m not exactly the cheerleading type and I don’t go to your games,” he tries to say as nonchalantly as possible.
“That’s why I’m asking you in person, that maybe this once, you would want to.”
Stiles closes his lockers and stares at Derek. Derek, who in turn is looking at his shoelaces and fidgeting. Fidgeting.
Please give me a reason to go as a friend and nothing more, because you’re perfect and you read Vonnegut, but you're also in a relationship and it’s terrible being near you when I can’t have you and I'm trying to do the right thing, Stiles thinks, but of course, he doesn’t say his thoughts out loud.
Derek doesn’t give a proper reply, instead, he just shoves some papers into Stiles’ chest, which he instinctively reaches up to take. Derek jogs away immediately after while half-shouting at Stiles, “‘Cause I’ve already got your tickets so you can take Scott okaybye!”
It takes Stiles a moment to realize he’s actually holding two tickets and by that time, Derek’s back is already disappearing on the corner of the hallway.
When he tells Scott, he gets the pessimistic reaction he was prepared for. But Scott is nothing if not supportive, Stiles will definitely grant his best-friend that. By the time Stiles is done explaining the whole thing to him, he has the confused puppy look on his face, which is never a good thing.
“Let me just be super clear about this, because this is, decidedly, something that happens once every blue moon,” he clears his throat for effect. “You want to go to a lacrosse game?”
Stiles nods in affirmation. “Yeah.”
“And you actually spent money on this game because you want to go to it?”
“I didn't. Derek gave the tickets to me.”
Scott is struggling at this point. “He bought you tickets to his game so that you will come and watch him? And you… want… to go to this game?”
Scott’s mouth is already forming his next sentence, but he doesn’t actually say anything. He thinks twice, then thrice, weighs his words again after that, and Stiles definitely thinks he’s about to burst or give him a long speech about relationships, or how could he let it go this far without letting Scott in on any details. It turns out that in the end, Scott just asks him a question.
“Are you guys dating?”
“Do you wish you guys were dating?” he asks again. There’s no disapproval in his tone. There should be, but there’s none. Not even a hint of it.
Scott accepts it. “Oh, I see.”
“So will you go with me?” Stiles asks hesitantly. Even Scott has lines he wouldn’t cross and maybe helping his best friend ruins a relationship to be with one of the people in said relationship is one of them.
“To the lacrosse game?”
Scott thinks about it.
“I’ll go with you to hell, Stiles.”
They went to the game and spent the first quarter not understanding anything that happened, but Isaac, who’s always high in the school spirit department, patiently taught them the terms and explained what was happening as it was happening and by the third quarter, they’re cheering alongside everybody else.
Beacon Hills High won by a one-goal margin and Scott conveniently told Stiles he needed to go pee and would wait for him by the car when he’s done.
Stiles didn’t plan it, but he found himself waiting by the locker room. Derek appeared not long after that with the blonde girl, who sent a quick glance at Stiles’ direction, whispered something in Derek’s ears, laughed and went the opposite direction.
Derek walks towards him, still in his jersey.
“That was a great game,” he says.
“I didn’t do much,” Derek smiles, wiping the sweat off his forehead with his towel.
“Sure. You only scored the winning goal. And a couple other goals besides that one.”
Derek leans against the wall. “You here to congratulate me?”
“That, and to thank you for the tickets. I might be going to more of these games.”
He smiles at Stiles and licks his lips. Stiles tries to look at his eyes and nothing else. “Yeah?”
“Uh-huh. Supporting the school and everything.”
Derek moves closer. “I’d much rather you just come for me, actually.”
He raises his arm and Stiles instinctively closes his eyes, preparing for a punch that never comes. Instead, Derek’s warm hand lands on his jaw and tilts his face upwards. His lips cover Stiles’, sweet and careful. Stiles lets himself enjoy the moment for a second before he moves away from Derek so abruptly he hits the back of his head on the wall.
Stiles brings his fingers to his lips, hesitant. “You shouldn’t have done that.”
“Did you not want me to do that?”
“I did,” he admits, “but that doesn’t make it right.”
Derek looks confused. “Stiles—“
“I have to go,” he says to the floor. He doesn’t want to look at Derek right now because he might want to dive back in for another kiss. “I’ll see you around, Derek.”
Scott immediately knows something’s up when Stiles gets back to the Jeep. He doesn’t say anything, though, and Stiles could kiss him for that, but he doesn’t want to rid his lips of Derek’s trace. Stiles tells him everything once they get back to Scott’s place, after a couple slices of pepperoni pizza from Lucinda’s.
“He kissed you?”
“Yeah,” Stiles sighs.
Scott grabs another slice of pizza and shoves it in his mouth. “So we should be celebrating instead of moping, then.”
Stiles buries his face deeper into his pillow. “He has a girlfriend, Scott.”
“What girlfriend? Maybe they broke up already.”
“Doesn’t look like it five minutes before he kissed me. I just… I like him, like a lot, and it sucks that he’s with someone else, but the least he could do is not kiss me when I’m trying hard not to kiss him!”
Stiles screams and screams into the pillow until he’s passed out.
Stiles avoids Derek for a whole week until Derek decides that he’s had enough and confronts him after their class on Monday.
“You can’t keep avoiding me forever.”
Stiles feigns ignorance. “I’m not avoiding you.”
“Look, I’m sorry,” he holds up both his hands in defeat. “I misread the situation, maybe you don’t like me that way or whatever, but I don’t want to lose our friendship over this.”
I like you that way, is what Stiles wanted to say. What he actually says is, “We’re friends. We’re still friends.”
“Okay, I can live with that.”
He gives Stiles a sad, small smile and walks away with his shoulders hunched.
Stiles thinks that would be it.
Fate is a funny thing when it keeps proving him wrong.
The next day, the blonde girl comes and slams the table where Stiles and his friends are sitting so hard, that Stiles’ milk spills out from the carton and almost drenched Scott’s algebra homework and Allison’s essay.
“What’d you do to him?”
Stiles squirms. He knows and he’s about to get his ass whopped by a girl shorter and smaller than him. Great.
“Oh, hi. I’m Stiles,” he extends her a hand.
She looks down at it and then back at Stiles’s eyes. The flecks of grey in her green eyes instantly remind him of Derek.
“Yes, I know. Do you have an answer to my question or what?”
“Okay, I think this is a conversation you should be having with Derek,” he gulps.
She slides into one of the empty chairs. “Don’t you think I’ve tried? He doesn’t want to tell me shit,” she says, rather loudly, which she doesn’t actually have to because the whole table and half of the cafeteria are already paying attention to her. “Now you can either tell me what happened or I’ll kick your ass for hurting my brother.”
Brother? Wait a minute.
“Are we still talking about Derek?”
“He’s your brother? Derek? Derek’s your brother?”
She looks like she wants to scratch his eyes out right there and then. “Just how slow are you?”
Stiles puts his hands on his face and rubs his forehead. He can definitely feel a headache coming. “Oh, fuck.”
He stands up, bumping into Scott who yelps in pain.
“Okay, I do owe you an explanation and I feel like you’re going to hit me for saying this, but I need to find Derek right now and I promise you that you can still kick my ass later. Sounds good?”
She considers this and rolls her eyes at him. “He’s in his car.” Stiles stares at her, afraid that she might slap him for moving. “Go!” she exclaims.
Stiles takes that as his cue.
He actually does run all the way to the parking lot this time. He bangs on Derek’s window, surprising him.
“I THOUGHT—“ he tries to get his enough of breath to continue, “SHE WAS YOUR GIRLFRIEND!”
“Stiles, what the hell?” Derek unlocks the door to let Stiles in.
Stiles is still heaving even after sitting down, but it’s totally worth it. “Your sister! I thought she was your girlfriend.”
Derek searches his face for hints of deceit, as if waiting for Stiles to say Gotcha! but he soon realizes that Stiles is 112% not kidding.
“Are you serious right now?”
He takes a deep breath. “Well, you don’t look like siblings.”
“She dyes her hair to rebel against my dad.”
“You kissed her on the forehead once, I saw!” Stiles knows he’s just throwing out whatever he can at Derek right now because no matter how he sees it, it’s just a big, messy misunderstanding.
“She kicked me in the shin right after. I was just messing with her.”
Stiles holds his hands up. “I’m out of excuses. She talks so much like you, if I’ve just talked to her earlier, I would’ve known.”
“Is this why you freaked out when I kissed you?”
“Yes. NO. Yes. Well, I guess so. I didn’t want to be your mistress.”
Derek closes his eyes and rests his forehead on the steering wheel. “Oh, thank God.”
“If you hated me for what I did, I would have to mope for a really long time.”
Stiles laughs and Derek gives him a smile. This time, it’s sincere. “You don’t have to. You just like being dramatic.”
“You’re still out of breath?” Derek asks, seemingly concerned.
“Better now, thanks.”
He bit his lips. “How about I make it worse again?”
“No,” Stiles runs his fingers through his hair, shaking his head.
Derek looks at him in disbelief. “Oh come on, you’ve got to let me have this one.”
“I’m not going to, but I will let you make it worse.”
He leans in and kisses Derek on his cheek before moving to his lips. He starts with small, chaste kisses, but loses his resolve halfway and just licks Derek’s lips, eagerly asking for permission. Derek parts his lips, letting him in. He takes his time exploring Derek’s mouth and by the time they resurface for air, Stiles is heaving again.
“I didn’t know you could kiss like that,” Derek admits.
“Have to keep you on your feet, don’t I?” Stiles answers, using Derek’s words against him.
Derek beams at him, as bright as the morning sun.
They took their time to get to know each other better and find out interesting facts about one another. For example, how Cora actually had all the intention to punch Stiles’ lights out that day in the cafeteria. Stiles opened up about his mother’s death eventually and introduced Derek to the Sheriff, who started out threatening Derek with his gun and badge if he ever hurts Stiles, to which he replied he never intended to. Noah Stilinski liked him all the way through after that and Stiles likes to joke that he would much prefer Derek to his own son.
After a particular dinner in the Hale residence, with Cora telling everyone how she played a big part in Stiles and Derek’s getting together for the twelfth time, they lie in Derek’s bed and look up at the band posters plastered on his ceiling.
Derek takes Stiles’ hand in his, and this obviously isn’t the first time he’s done it, he actually does it quite often, but Stiles still gets butterflies in his stomach every time. “I’ve liked you for a long time, you know.”
“Bullshit. You didn’t know I exist before we worked on the project together.”
“You won the 3rd place in Junior National Essay Competition when we were in 9th grade,” he tells Stiles without skipping a beat.
That is in fact, a fact.
Stiles props himself up and looks over at Derek. He’s closing his eyes, blissful. “What?”
“I’ve read the essay. It was brilliant, at least that's what I thought when I was fourteen. I sent in an entry, too. I guess I wanted to see the guy from my class who beat me to the spot. You were awkward and,” he laughs, more to himself than anything else, “lanky, but interesting. Definitely interesting.”
Stiles lies back down, still facing him, tracing his features mentally, the bone structure he once apologized for that Stiles's beginning to appreciate more with each passing day. “Thanks for that shot of confidence.”
“Then I just watched you. You never looked my way, though,” Derek murmurs.
There’s no pretense. Derek’s being honest with him and not asking for anything in return. He just wants Stiles to know, that is all. Stiles wants to know, too.
Stiles touches his cheek with his index fingers, making his way to the bridge of Derek’s nose. “I’m looking at you right now.”
And he is.
He moves closer and whispers in his ear, “I’ll make up for the lost time, I promise.”
“Oh, I know.”
Stiles could hear the smile in his voice.
Stiles wakes up to the faint buzz of the credits of The Empire Strikes Back rolling on the TV. He reaches out to his laptop to turn the streaming off, but doesn’t manage to do it discreetly enough. Derek’s is stirring from his place on Stiles’ lap, making small noises as he tries to find his comfortable position to fall back to sleep.
“Hey,” he yawns.
Derek groans something out that sounds like a “Hi.’
Stiles fixes the mess that is Derek’s tousled bed-hair and lets his hand rest on his forehead. “You fell asleep.”
“Did I?” he replies, eyes still closed.
“Yes, my left leg has gone numb now.”
“You should’ve waken me up.”
“It’s alright, I fell asleep too. Anyway, you’re dead tired,” he tells him softly. “At least you scored a couple goals.”
They went back to Stiles’ place after celebration dinner with their friends. It was the State Championship tonight and Derek claimed his victory by kissing Stiles on the side of the field, for everyone to bear witness to.
“I was hoping I’d score with you afterward,” he jokes, pulling the blanket over his shoulders.
Stiles laughs so hard there’s no sound coming out of him, just tears. “That’s— No! Too cheesy.”
“No,” he runs his hand on Derek’s arm, warming him up. “Cringe.”
“Noted. Is it okay if I sleep a little bit more? I’ll move if it isn’t.”
Gone were the days Stiles would answer the question with a ‘whatever’. He takes a moment to consider this, fully realize how far they’ve gone, and delivers his answer.
“No problem. I love you.”
Derek blinks. “What?”
“What did you just say?” he’s suddenly sitting up straight with his eyes wide open, completely aware of his surrounding.
Stiles smiles and answers, “No problem, you can go back to sleep.”
Derek throws his blanket aside. “I’m not fucking going back to sleep after that.”
Derek stares at him. “Did you mean it?”
“Yes,” Stiles takes his right hand to caress Derek’s cheek.
“Could you say it again?”
It’s silly how it makes Stiles so happy that Derek sounds like a kid begging for something he really, really wants. In this case, what he really wants is to hear Stiles say those three words that he hasn’t voiced before tonight.
“No,” he says simply.
“Please,” he pleads, “I didn’t hear it properly the first time around, but I’m awake now and giving you my full, undivided attention.”
“No,” Stiles says again before he brings Derek’s face close to his and kisses him deeply.
They part and Derek’s already focused his attention back on his mission. “Okay, kissing as a distraction technique only works for so long.”
Stiles puts one hand against Derek’s mouth, effectively shutting him up.
“I love you. A lot.”
He can feel Derek’s contagious smile forming against his palm. He lets his hand go.
“I love you, too,” Derek declares like he’s challenging the world to stop him from doing this thing. From loving Stiles. Like he’s willing to fight tooth and nail so that he can say this phrase whenever and wherever he wants to.
“What’s new?” Stiles teases him.
“You telling me you love me,” he deadpans.
Stiles tries to swat him in the head, but Derek is as always too quick for him, he catches Stiles’ hand and kisses it.
“Don’t get arrogant, shithead.”
Derek laughs and pulls Stiles along with him when he falls back to the bed, throwing the blanket over the both of them. They spent the night nestling against each other.
They would have to face the Sheriff’s knowing looks over breakfast the next morning, but one battle at the time, right?