Sometimes, Stiles felt like the world was trying to murder him, and most days, he felt like it was succeeding. His feet hurt, his shirt smelled like vomit, he couldn’t hear properly from the loud music at work and the song on the radio had been played almost twelve times in the space of one hour while he’d been working, so suffice it to say, he was turning that shit off.
Rubbing one hand down his face, Stiles let out a slow sigh while he drove down the long, winding road that led towards his home. The town was split almost in two due to the preserve in the middle of it, so he spent a good fifteen minutes driving in the near dark through the trees to get from his workplace on one side to his house on the other.
He’d just turned a final bend when he frowned and noticed police cars up ahead. He slowed down, mostly because he wasn’t sure if it was an accident, but an officer stepped into the middle of the road and motioned him forward with one hand, the other on his belt. Stiles sighed, realizing it was a checkpoint.
Ever since his dad had retired as sheriff, he felt like the police were all assholes and the only one he could tolerate was Parrish, who was still there from his father’s working days. He didn’t know this one—which made sense, since Stiles never hung around the station anymore—but he’d come across the other officer on the other side of the road and was glad he wasn’t dealing with him.
When he rolled to a stop beside the first officer, he rolled down his window when the man approached and promptly felt his jaw hit the ground because he was fucking gorgeous! Light green eyes, high cheekbones, manicured beard Stiles wanted to rub his face against, and thank God for their uniforms because it was leaving nothing to the imagination.
Stiles wasn’t entirely sure and may have been imagining things, but he was fairly certain hot sexy cop man had given him a brief once-over. Holy shit, if he was getting checked out by this God of a man, Stiles’ entire night was worth it.
“Evening, officer,” he managed to get out, licking his lips, and yup, totally being checked out, because hot cop had just looked at his lips.
“Good evening. How are you doing?” the officer asked, shining his flashlight into Stiles’ car but not right in his eyes, which he appreciated. He also leaned forward, trying to get closer, and Stiles almost sighed because he knew where this was going.
“I’m good, can’t complain.” Though he wanted to. At length. “How are you?”
“A little cold, to be honest,” the officer said. Stiles squinted and saw his nametag said “Hale.” It sounded familiar, but he couldn’t place it.
“I’m sorry to hear that, especially since you’re stuck out here,” Stiles said.
“Thank you. Where are you coming from tonight?” Officer Hale had shifted his flashlight up briefly into Stiles’ face, making him squint, but it was extremely brief, like he was just checking Stiles’ eyes.
“Work. Shift just ended about twenty minutes ago.”
“Anything to drink tonight?”
“Me? No. Lots of other people, though, and I’m sure you can smell the alcohol all over me, but I work in a pub so shit gets spilled on me all the time. Also vomit. Can you smell the vomit? I have vomit on me, it’s pretty gross. I can take a breathalyzer or step out and walk in a straight line or whatever you need.” He started to unbuckle his seatbelt, because usually the officers always made him prove he was sober given he smelled like a fucking bar.
Which made sense, since he worked in one.
But officer Hale was different, because he just chuckled and waved his free hand. “Don’t worry about it, you might smell like a brewery, but you look and sound sober.” He patted the edge of Stiles’ window. “Drive safe. Have a good night.”
“Oh. Night.” Stiles watched the officer step back and wave him forward and Stiles began driving, utterly confused and staring in his rearview mirror. The cop was also watching him go, and Stiles felt his heart slamming against his ribs.
Holy shit. Holy shit! That guy had totally been checking him out! This was the greatest day of his life!
“Cold,” Stiles realized, killing his happy slightly. Changing hands on the wheel, he rolled his window back up. “Cold, cold, cold.”
He shivered and turned the heat up, sighing when the car just sputtered lamely at him and refused to grant his request. If he was honest, he was lucky the damn thing worked half the time, it was older than he was.
As he shivered his way back to his house, he realized it really was cold, and actually felt kind of bad for the poor police officer hanging out on the road to catch drunk drivers. It couldn’t be very fun.
He was hot, though. Oh so very hot. Stiles felt himself heating up just thinking of how hot the sexy cop had been. God, why couldn’t sexy cop-man have worked at the station while Stiles was still visiting on the regular? They didn’t look to be too many years apart, maybe only two or three, so why? Why?!
Sighing at how unfair life was, Stiles just pulled into the driveway and turned off the engine, climbing out of the Jeep and slamming the door before wincing, knowing he’d hear about that later.
Walking into the house, he thought about how tired he was, and decided he wasn’t tired enough to miss out on masturbating, so he got ready for bed, and then beat one off while thinking about the sexy cop.
Stiles was a bad person like that.
“One day,” Stiles insisted, standing at the sink with his shirt under the water, scrubbing at it insistently. “Just one fucking day. It’d be really great. I’ve worked here for years, I feel I’ve earned one day where I don’t get puked on.”
“You’re asking for too much,” Erica insisted from the door, leaning sideways against the jamb, arms crossed and watching Stiles. “If you work here, you’re gonna get puked on.”
“You never get puked on,” he accused, turning to glare at her while continuing to scrub at his shirt.
“I’m a woman. Men know better than to puke on women.”
“It was a woman who puked on me!” Stiles insisted.
“Women know better than to puke on other women.”
“I hate you,” Stiles groused, turning off the tap and squeezing his shirt to rid it of any excess water. He sighed when he held it up, shirt wrinkled beyond belief and damp. He was going to freeze on his way home with the Jeep’s heater on the fritz. He almost thought about just not wearing it and putting his hoodie on instead.
Actually, maybe that would be better, he wouldn’t die of hypothermia.
Pushing past Erica to head for the corner of the staff lounge where his bag was, he shoved it into the bottom of his bag and grabbed his hoodie, yanking it on.
“Bailing already? It’s your turn to close.”
“Tell Boyd he owes me,” Stiles insisted, straightening out the hoodie. “The vomit I took was intended for him.”
“A noble sacrifice,” Erica teased.
Stiles rolled his eyes and pulled his messenger bag over his shoulder, waving at Erica before disappearing out the back door before Boyd chased him down and demanded he close up as intended. It wasn’t like Boyd hadn’t run out on Stiles before when it was his turn to close up, so fair was fair.
Climbing into his car, Stiles tossed his bag on the passenger seat, started it up, and headed for home. He fiddled with the radio when an annoying techno song came on and then sang along to one of Ed Sheeran’s various songs—he actually liked Ed Sheeran because his songs were never on at the pub, thank God. Every other song on the radio always seemed to play at the pub so that it literally ruined listening to the radio. Stiles sometimes switched to stations playing ads.
He was making his way through the stretch of dark road towards his house when he rounded a bend and saw flashing police lights. He started to slow down in case it was an accident, but a familiar figure stepped out onto the road and waved him forward, hand on his belt. Stiles perked up instantly, not having seen sexy officer Hale since the previous Friday. He realized it was once again Friday, and wondered if this would be a recurring thing.
Slowing beside the police cruiser, he rolled down his window and smiled out at officer Hale when the man approached, flashlight raised but not in Stiles’ face, just like last time.
“Evening, officer Hale.”
The cop looked startled, but Stiles just motioned his own chest. “Your nametag.”
“Oh.” Officer Hale looked down at it, as if having forgotten it was there.
“To make it fair, I’m Stiles.” Stiles offered him a grin and the cop chuckled.
“It’s good to meet you, Stiles. Where are you coming from tonight?”
“Anything to drink tonight?”
He knew there was no way the other would remember him, so he started his usual ramble without missing a beat. “Nope, nothing for me, but I work in a pub so I proba—”
“I remember,” officer Hale said with a small smile. “You don’t smell like vomit this time, though, so that’s an improvement.”
Stiles started at his words, mouth opening but no sound coming out. He remembered him?! But this guy probably met hundreds of people in a given day, how could he possibly remember him?
“I did get puked on, actually,” Stiles blurted out. That earned him a small laugh and he cursed his stupid mouth. “Uh, how about you? How was your night?”
“Well, I didn’t get thrown up on, so better than yours, I’d say.” The officer looked behind Stiles’ car, as if watching for more vehicles. “Little cold, though. Not a fun time of year to be doing this.”
“I’ll bet,” Stiles said, shifting in his seat. God, the guy was fucking cute. “I’m really sorry you’re stuck out here doing these things.”
“I don’t mind sometimes.” The way officer Hale gave him another once-over made Stiles’ stomach explode with butterflies. It wasn’t a creepy once-over like the guys at the pub did sometimes, but more of an interested once-over. A kind of, “hey, I think you’re cute, you should let me know if you feel the same way” once-over.
Just when Stiles was about to say he definitely felt the same way, the officer on the other side turned to scowl at them and yelled, “Hale, this isn’t a social event, if you’re done, get back to work.”
Officer Hale rolled his eyes at Stiles and smiled. Stiles grinned back and the cop slapped lightly at his windowsill. “Drive safe, Stiles. Have a good night.”
“You too, I hope you warm up soon!”
When the other backed away from the Jeep, Stiles slowly pulled away and watched the cop stare after his car in the rearview mirror. Okay seriously, was the guy interested in him? Because if so, Stiles wanted to shake him and scream, “Date me! Date me!”
Just because he was attractive didn’t mean they were compatible, but so far he seemed really nice, and he felt like they’d be a good fit. He just needed to be able to spend a few minutes with him outside of a cop checkpoint, that was all.
He continued slowly on his way home, frowning when he thought about the name Hale. He swore he recognized it, but by the time he got home and ready for bed, it still hadn’t come to him so he gave up and went to sleep.
If he had dreams about officer Hale doing a striptease for him in his cop outfit, well, no one needed to know about it.
Stiles was supposed to work Friday like he always did, but Boyd had a family event on Saturday he hadn’t planned for and asked if they could switch. Stiles agreed, but only because he liked Boyd. And his good karma must’ve paid off, because he didn’t get thrown up on for the first time in he didn’t know how long!
All in all, a good night, and he’d gotten some great tips. People were less generous on Fridays and Stiles wondered if maybe Friday was the day where people came to the pub to just stop feeling, and Saturday was when they came to the pub to be alive. He needed to switch out with Boyd more often.
He stopped at McDonalds on his way home to grab a burger since he was starving, and when the woman asked if he wanted anything else, he paused and asked for a coffee. He didn’t know that officer Hale would be there today, since it was Saturday, but it cost him literally a dollar so he figured it wouldn’t hurt.
Sadly, when he made it through the dark stretch of winding road, officer Hale wasn’t there, and Stiles ended up drinking the coffee himself, which was a bad idea because he’d been wired for hours afterwards.
Still, he wasn’t deterred. He worked the following Friday, and went to grab another coffee on his way home—and a burger, because why not? He didn’t know that he would run into officer Hale, even today, but a smile crept onto his face and he straightened when he saw the flashing lights up ahead when he rounded a corner in the road.
He made his way towards the checkpoint slowly, and saw officer Hale smile on his way to his open window, likely recognizing the Jeep. It was pretty unique. Stiles just grinned back at him.
“Good evening, Stiles.”
“Officer Hale,” he said with mock formality. “I missed you last week.” The cop laughed, leaning forward and resting one arm against the windowsill, flashlight aimed down at the ground.
“Nah, switched shifts with a buddy,” Stiles said, then remembered the coffee. “Oh, hey, I have something for you.” He turned to grab the coffee from the cupholder, pleased to find it was still warm, and held it out.
The officer blinked, but straightened and took the coffee, staring down at it like he had no idea what to do with it. Stiles almost stupidly told him it was a beverage for drinking.
“I didn’t know if you took anything with it, so I got you some cream and sugar, if you need it.” Stiles held the items out, but officer Hale didn’t take them, still staring at the coffee, so he put them back in the second cupholder.
Slowly, officer Hale looked up at Stiles. “Thank you,” he said, seeming genuinely touched and surprised.
Pleased as pie, Stiles just shrugged. “It’s cold out, and I figured I could help you out. Nobody wants to be hanging around in the cold all the time. I hope it warms up your hands.”
Officer Hale was still staring at him like he didn’t know what to say, and Stiles wondered if no one had ever been nice to him before. He was sure the man was just surprised Stiles had gone out of his way to get him something, but it really wasn’t a big deal.
God, it was just coffee, he wanted the cop to stop looking at him like that, it was doing things to Stiles’ downstairs area.
“Hale! On your own time!” the other cop barked, and officer Hale almost turned to look behind himself, but aborted the movement, eyes still locked on Stiles.
Stiles grinned. “I hope it helps. Have a good night, officer Hale.”
“Yeah. Good night,” he said numbly.
Stiles drove away but he glanced in the rearview mirror like he always did. Officer Hale was watching him go for a moment, then looked down at the coffee. Finally, he reached up to pull back the tab and Stiles was extremely pleased when he took a sip of it and headed back for his cruiser.
It occurred to Stiles that maybe officer Hale already had coffee in his car—his dad used to bring coffee to work all the time—but he supposed it was the thought that counted, and he doubted the coffee officer Hale had was still warm.
Stiles was actually thrilled by the reaction, the other having been surprised and pleased. He loved that, he was glad that he’d caught him off-guard and decided he would get him coffee every Friday.
Anything to get that adorably dumbfounded look back on his face.
Stiles didn’t see officer Hale the following Friday, though there was a checkpoint. He figured the officer had the day off, and Stiles had been forced to walk in a straight line and recite the alphabet backwards before the officer gave up and gave him a breathalyzer test.
Because he hadn’t been drinking, it came back negative and he was waved away, Stiles grumbling the whole ride home in aggravation. He ended up tossing out the coffee, too annoyed to want to risk staying up all night.
The Friday after this, however, officer Hale was back, and he actually apologized for being away the previous week, but his sister had just had a baby and he’d wanted to be there. Stiles found it adorable he was telling him this, and asked questions about the baby, which were cut short when the other officer snapped for them to stop yakking.
Stiles handed over a coffee and a muffin, officer Hale looking as adorably confused as he had the last time, then he waved and drove off, unable to handle how fucking hot he was and how cute he could be and how fucking amazing he seemed.
It would be nice if they could actually have a real conversation one day, but Stiles knew he wasn’t that lucky. The cop was probably just a little bored and appreciated having a sober person to talk to who wasn’t a douchebag like the other cop who always seemed to be with him. The other cop was Haigh, whom Stiles knew, and he was probably just jealous he didn’t get coffee and muffins from Stiles! Served him right, Haigh was a dick when he worked with his dad, and a dick now, so no coffee or muffins for him!
Stiles looked forward to Fridays, now, which he usually didn’t because they were the busiest day of the week—in his shifts, anyway, Saturdays could be worse but he never worked Saturdays unless he switched off with Boyd.
Still, Fridays were the best, because he got to see officer Hale. Stiles was happily buckling himself in on Thursday night, whistling happily to himself while heading home from work. Not only had he not gotten puked on today—twice in two months!—but tomorrow was Friday, which meant he would see officer Hale.
He wondered about whether or not to get him another muffin, or maybe he should buy him a burger. Burgers were risky though, what if officer Hale was a vegetarian? That would be bad, so maybe not burgers. But fries? Everyone liked fries. Who didn’t like fries?
Stiles was still thinking about this while driving slowly through town to his house, having made it through the dark road of the preserve on autopilot, when he saw flashing lights in his rearview mirror. Cursing, and wondering if he’d been speeding while distracted, Stiles slowly eased onto the side of the road and parked the Jeep.
“Great,” he muttered to himself, reaching for his glove box so he could grab his registration. A light appeared at his window much faster than usual, since normally cops were typing in people’s license plate to determine how common their traffic violations were, but he just leaned over to roll it down.
“Evening officer,” he said with a sigh.
“Good evening Stiles.”
Stiles started and looked up, having been staring at the officer’s chest. Sure enough, officer Hale was smiling down at him, flashlight in hand, aimed at Stiles’ shoulder so it wasn’t in his eyes.
“Officer Hale,” he said, startled, and smiled. “Hey. How are you? Not doing checkpoints tonight?”
“Not tonight, no.” The man smiled.
“Hope your hands are warm today.”
“They’re not bad, thank you.”
Stiles sighed and winced, still holding his registration. “So, lay it on me. How fast was I going?”
“Oh, you weren’t speeding.”
Stiles blinked up at him. “I wasn’t?”
Officer Hale smiled, and God he was gorgeous when he did. “No, you weren’t. And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention this to anyone, actually. Technically speaking, I’m not supposed to turn on my lights without just cause.” He licked his lips and suddenly looked nervous, Stiles frowning. “Actually, forgive me for being forward, and it’s more than okay if you say no, but I saw your car passing by and I didn’t want to have to ask you this tomorrow with officer Haigh there, so...” He exhaled slowly and Stiles saw his ears turning pink.
Somehow, he didn’t think it was from the cold.
“I was wondering if you’d like to get a coffee sometime.” He paused. “With me, I mean. Not like, you buying me a coffee like you’ve been doing lately, but actually going to a coffeeshop. Together. With me.”
Holy shit, was this happening? Stiles’ mouth dropped open, and he saw officer Hale look uncertain at his prolonged silence and hastily got his voice back.
“Yes! Yeah! Totally, sure, uh huh, yes, I am-I am one-thousand percent on board for coffee, yes.” He was nodding emphatically and officer Hale smiled brightly at that, his nervous look instantly gone.
“Great. Text me tomorrow and we can set up a time that works.” Officer Hale pulled a business card and a pen from his shirt pocket, then jotted down a number on the back before handing it over.
“Yes.” Stiles took it and waved it once. “Yes, I will definitely text you tomorrow. Or later. Or like, the second you walk away, even.”
The cop laughed, and Stiles grinned, feeling his cheeks burning, but he didn’t care. He looked down at the number, seeing it was his cell phone, then flipped the card over and suddenly remembered why that last name was so familiar.
Mostly because it now also had a first name.
“You’re Derek Hale,” he blurted out, surprised, and looked back up at him. “You were captain of the Lacrosse team!”
Officer Hale frowned slightly in confusion, as if wondering how Stiles had known that, but he was still smiling so he didn’t find it creepy. Stiles motioned himself and said,
“I’m Mieczyslaw Stilinski. My dad used to be the sheriff.”
“Oh,” Derek said, startled. “I thought you looked familiar. Wow, you uh, you really grew up well.”
Stiles grinned at the way Derek’s face fell at his own words, finding it adorable.
Derek Hale had been the captain of the Lacrosse team during his senior year when Stiles had just been a freshman. They’d never interacted, being in different grades and different circles, but Stiles had loved going to the Lacrosse games, enamoured with the sport, and Derek had been a force to be reckoned with on the field.
He’d gone off to university on a Lacrosse scholarship, and Stiles hadn’t even known he’d come back. And as a cop, of all things.
The world was a funny place.
“I’m still texting you for coffee,” Stiles informed him, hoping that he hadn’t just screwed up his chances. The smile on Derek’s face suggested he hadn’t.
“You better, or I’ll look up your address.”
“Pretty sure that’s illegal,” Stiles teased.
“Not if it’s to get in touch with the old sheriff, it isn’t.”
“Touché.” Stiles grinned and Derek smiled, letting out a laugh and giving him another appreciative once-over.
“I should get back to work.”
“Probably. Don’t worry,” Stiles held up the business card again, “I’ll text you.”
“Good.” The officer walked backwards towards his cruiser, still smiling. “Have a good night, Stiles.”
Stiles waved out his open window with his free hand, shoving the business card with his insurance papers and into the glove box so he didn’t lose it, and then eased off the curb, continuing on his way home.
He may have done a happy victory dance when he parked in his driveway, but luckily for him, nobody was there to see it.
Stiles pulled his phone out and input Derek’s number, then sent him a text telling him to have a good shift. Derek sent him back a smiley face and a coffee emoji along with a clock, followed by a question mark.
Checking his schedule in his phone, Stiles texted back that he was free on Monday around three, since he had class and work to contend with. He suggested the coffeeshop on the main strip, and asked if that was okay with him.
Derek sent back another smiley with a “c u then” and Stiles felt ready to scream.
He’d been wrong all those weeks ago. This was the greatest day of his life.
He couldn’t wait to tell his dad he was going for a coffee date with Derek Hale.
Greatest day of his life.