He’s been running around all day picking up extra helium, making sure they have the right streamers, and reprinting the programs because the originals weren't printed in a union shop. Senator Hale’s fundraiser is underway and going off without a hitch. He’s already talked to three congressmen, two senators, and he’s pretty sure that was an attorney general. Two hours in he finally gets a moment to breathe and he’s stuffing hors d'oeuvres in his face because, hey, free food. The internship in Senator Hale’s office is a great opportunity but the stipend barely covers rent on the tiny apartment he shares with four other interns. He stuffs a mini-quiche in his mouth while mentally counting the number of obvious toupees he sees in the crowd.
“The senator out of Montana thinks that thing looks real. Someone should really tell him otherwise.” Stiles turns his head quickly to find himself staring at a grinning, dark haired, probably-model. It takes him a second to recover.
“Well, I’m pretty sure it would take a Cat 5 hurricane to even move a hair on that junior congressman’s head. I should send him a pamphlet on the dangers of aerosol.”
That earns him another blinding smile and, oh my God those are the cutest teeth he’s ever seen. This fundraiser just got way less boring. They keep at it for awhile. Snarking back and forth about various senators and congressmen when Stiles finally remembers to introduce himself. He sticks out a hand for Derek to shake.
“I’m Stiles by the way. Stiles Stillinksi. I’m working in Senator Hale’s office this summer.”
Tall-Dark-and-Dreamy’s brow furrows for a moment and Stiles is about to ask what’s wrong, when he says “Senator Hale, huh? I hear she’s a real taskmaster. I heard she made three separate interns cry during her last campaign tour.”
Stiles chuckles and rubs the back of his neck, “Well, she doesn’t go easy on anyone that’s for sure but it’s really great. I’m learning a lot...Wanna know a secret?” Derek nods and raises his eyebrows expectantly, “I hid from her for the first week I was here. Had to dive behind a ficus once.”
Derek laughs out loud at that and Stiles decides then and there that he should always be laughing. It makes his stomach go all wobbly and he’s definitely asking this guy out for coffee...drinks...hell, he’d settle for sharing a soda by the vending machine. He’s formulating his plan of action when Derek says “You really have nothing to worry about. She likes people to think she’s intimidating but I know for a fact she took personal meetings with all three of those interns last summer to make sure they were ok.”
Stiles is confused for a moment. “You know the senator?”
“You could say that. I’m Derek. Derek Hale.”
Thinking about it, Stiles should have seen the resemblance. Talia Hale’s son shared his mother’s dark hair and ridiculous bone structure. But, no. Stiles wasn’t going to risk his hard-earned internship just because some broad-shouldered, green-eyed...charming...witty...anyway, it doesn’t matter. Just, no.
Stiles almost had to give up his left freaking nad to get this goddamn job and he WILL NOT RISK IT. Talia Hale used to be the DA in one of the most vicious districts for the city and now she's a total badass and known for cleaning up corruption and nope nope nope he doesn’t care how hot her son is. No. He’s not going there. Not even remotely.
But Derek just. keeps. trying. He's relentless.
Stiles walks into the office Monday morning and an angel has left him a large coffee and a fluffy, glazed donut from the cafe on the corner. He pops his head over the wall of his cubicle.
“Hey, Maggie. Thanks for the coffee. That two hour train ride every morning is killer.”
“Wish I could take the credit but it was there when I got it in.”
“Hmm. Weird.” He doesn’t know anyone else in this city and definitely nobody who has access to this office. But he’s not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. He really wasn’t kidding about that two hour train ride. He drinks his coffee and doesn’t give it another thought the rest of the day. Until the next morning that is.
Same large coffee but an apple fritter this time. “Any chance these are from you this time, Maggie?”
“Nope,” she grins, “looks like someone’s got himself a secret admirer.”
It keeps happening. Wednesday was Earl Grey and a blueberry scone. Thursday, cafe au lait and a croissant. By Friday, he nibbles on a delicious piece of coffee cake while wracking his brain to figure out who the hell would take the time to bring him breakfast every morning before 8am.
The next Monday, Stiles drags himself to the bus stop an hour earlier than usual. He’s pretty positive that humans are not meant to be functional this side of six a.m. but he should be able to catch the coffee culprit in the act. The drinks are always hot when he gets to his desk so they can’t be getting there much before him. He walks in the office and sits himself down at Maggie’s desk to watch his own. She won’t be in for another hour anyway so he makes himself comfortable.
It’s 7:45 when he hears someone walking down the hall. The footsteps stop at his cubicle. He waits until he hears the rustling of a paper bag to spring up and pop his head over the cubicle wall. “Ha! I caught- It’s YOU!”
Derek Hale sits there like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He recovers quickly and smiles wide which totally doesn’t make Stiles stomach do flips. Not even a little. Derek shrugs, “Good morning, Stiles.”
“You can’t- You can’t just- I’m totally gonna get fired.” He fists his hands in his hair, his eyes darting around the room to make sure no one sees Derek at his desk.
“Did you like the coffee? The barista swears the apple fritter is life changing.”
“Dude, you have to go.”
“Go out with me.”
“What?! No. Your mom is my boss!”
“There is this great Italian place downtown. You can’t spend any time in D.C. without eating there.”
“Seriously, you have to leave before-”
“Derek!” Stiles spins around just in time to see Senator Hale walking down the hall, “What are you doing here this early? I thought we were meeting at the restaurant...at noon.”
Of course. Of course the one time the senator visits the den of interns, Stiles is standing there trying desperately NOT to flirt with her son. “Senator! I was just going to file..this report...in another place...that...isn't here.” His ankle gets caught in the legs of the rolling chair and he barely catches himself on the desk on the way down. He manages to only knock over a cup of pens before he finally makes it out of the cubicle and runs down the hall.
Senator Hale watches him flee and smiles wolfishly before turning back to her son who is currently banging his head against the desk with a pastry bag crumpled in his hand.
"Really, Derek? You think coffee and donuts are enough to woo a nice young man like Stiles? C’mon honey, try a little harder." Derek just sits there silently praying that the ground will open up and swallow him and that his own mother didn't just tell him he has no game.
After that, Stiles tries to go back to his Hiding at All Costs plan from the beginning of the summer but the senator always seems to find him. Always dropping little comments about Derek.
"Oh my son has a shirt just like that, I think it looks better on you though."
“Derek says he still can't find anyone to go with him to that political rally, really I think he has trouble making friends."
But Stiles won’t rise to the bait. She gets impatient because Stiles is a much better option than that junior senator Kate Argent who keeps sniffing around her son. Talia Hale didn’t get anywhere by sitting back and waiting so she decides that she just needs to light a bit of spark. Just to get things moving. When she spies them sitting at the same table in the commissary on Thursday she makes her move.
"Derek was just telling me how much he enjoyed your lunch date."
Stiles nearly trips over his own feet and while he manages to stay upright he still body checks the corner they're passing.
"I- He- We're not"
"Oh.Hmm. I could have sworn that's what he said." She smirks and waltzes out for a conveniently timed meeting. After he recovers a bit, Stiles is livid. How could Derek tell his mom they were dating? They're not. Not even a little. He's not even interested in Derek and his ridiculously attractive face with it's smile and the stupid cute bunny teeth. He doesn't even care. Not even about how he can make Stiles laugh or how much he liked talking to him over coffee in the morning. Nope. Not interested.
He texts Derek. "Can you meet me?"
Derek replies with that address of his favorite coffee shop.
And Derek is super excited because maybe Stiles is finally coming around. He sees him walking over and stands up at the table because he's a gentleman if nothing else but his smile falters when Stiles opens with "What the hell gives you the right to tell the Senator we're dating?!"
Derek said no such thing to his mom, but he was raised by a DA; he knows when to press his advantage.
"So what if I did?"
"ARE YOU TRYING TO GET ME FIRED?"
"Did she say she was going to fire you?"
"NO but Jesus, she- Derek this is like, like nepotism she sets fire to shit like this. She will kill. us. both."
"I'm pretty sure dating isn’t nepotism. And it's not like she told you NOT to date me."
Stiles sputters a bit. "Jesus Derek, we aren't getting by on a technicality."
"So that's all I have to do? Make sure it's ok with your boss and you'll go on a date with me?
"Great, then I'll see you at 7. We're going to Ginos"
Derek trots away, grinning like a loon, thinking he really ought to get his mother flowers.
Meanwhile, Stiles sits at the table trying to figure out where exactly he lost the higher ground.
He meets Derek at the restaurant and the food is delicious and Derek is just as charming as he remembers. He decides this totally counts as a third date after the fundraiser and the pastries so it’s totally okay for him to go home with Derek.
The next morning Stiles shows up 20 minutes late and the Senator gives him a vicious grin, "Good," she says, "But don’t think you're getting better hours because of this."
Stiles blushes to his toes. "I- Of course not. I wouldn't expect-" Then he knocks over a fern on the way out of her office.
Later in the day, because she can't help herself and she noticed it this morning, "That's a nice shirt Stiles. Looks just like the one I bought Derek for Christmas, even has the same missing button. What a coincidence?"