“Try it. See how fast I sue you.” Stiles glared at a reporter who looked like they were going to try to stop him as he made his way to the front of the crowd, Scott close behind him.
“Can you sue someone for elbowing you in a crowd?” Scott asked.
“I mean, yeah, but it wouldn’t go that well. They don’t know that though, and look we’re getting close.” Stiles waved him off, continuing forward until he was at the yellow tape blocking civilians. “Start rolling.”
“This is Stiles Stilinski, from the Daily Planet, live in Metropolis, where Superman is saving the day yet again. This time it seems to be an apartment building on fire.” Scott panned the camera away from Stiles just in time to catch Superman’s freeze breath putting out the fire before he flew in to get the people out of the building.
When the last person was set down Stiles joined the rest of the reporters in trying to get the hero’s attention. “Superman! Superman, you just saved,” he quickly scanned the crowd of people that had been pulled from the building, “fifty seven people from a burning building, and yet despite acts like this people are still questioning if you are really on our side. What would you say to accusations like that?”
Through the crowd of waving microphones, Superman’s eyes focused in on Stiles, eyebrows raised in what was obviously meant to be clear unamusement. “And why would I save fifty seven people if I weren’t on your side?”
“You wouldn't believe how many times I have asked people practically that same question. Still thought I should give you the chance to address it directly.” Stiles grinned at him, raising his own eyebrows back to show that he was amused.
Superman’s lips twisted downwards slightly - in such obviously Derek fashion, it was actually killing Stiles not to burst out laughing right then and there - before uncomfortably shifting away from a particularly intrusive reporter to better address Stiles. “I’m about as close to turning around and throwing these people back into the fire as I am to turning on anyone else,” he growled, “So yes, I’m on your side. Are we done?”
“Can I get one more question?” Stiles gave his best attempt at puppy dog eyes, fully exploiting that Derek tended to play favorites with him and the Daily Planet when it came to giving interviews. Which, really, considering Derek worked for the Daily Planet was just even more of a give away, but it helped pay Stiles’ bills, so he couldn't complain.
When Derek opened his mouth in what was most likely a visceral snarly “no,” only to hesitate briefly, then jerkily nod his consent, Stiles couldn’t help but award himself a mental fist pump. He shot a smug smirk at a neighboring reporter who had given him a dark look. Whatever. He wasn’t above leveraging what he’s got. “So, is Superman just protecting all of us, or is there a girlfriend to be considered? Or boyfriend? We don't judge at the Daily Planet.”
Stiles watched in complete self-satisfied amusement as Derek coughed loudly into his hand before straightening up, arms crossed tightly across his chest. “That’s irrelevant,” he bit out, glaring hard at Stiles, “No comment.”
“Okay, got it,” Stiles nodded cheerfully, grabbing the notebook and pen of a reporter nearby to pretend to make a note. “So, Superman is single and bitter about it. Cool.” He passed the items back to the reporter who was glaring at him, and threw in a wink at the guy to watch his face go bright red. Stiles wasn't sure if it was from embarrassment or anger, but he was happy with the reaction nonetheless.
“What, no , ” Derek said, clearly aggravated. Stiles was thriving. “Irrelevant is irrelevant.”
“Would you have preferred I said salty rather than bitter? I personally prefer bitter, but I can roll with whichever you like more.” Stiles heard Scott laugh from behind the camera and his grin only grew.
Derek lifted one hand as if to say, ‘ can you believe this guy?’. “Aggravating as ever, Stiles.”
“Oh, so you remember my name?” Stiles waggled his eyebrows suggestively. “If you're interested, Superman, I’m perfectly willing to answer the single question.”
To his credit, Derek only floundered briefly before bestowing another one of his famous glares on Stiles, though the angry flush that stayed detracted from the effect somewhat. “You’re a pretty hard person to forget, unfortunately.”
Stiles remained completely undeterred. “I take that as a compliment. So, single and bitter about it or dating someone?”
Derek sighed. “Are those my only options?”
“Yeah, pretty much. You could also throw ‘interested in someone’ into the mix.”
Through a very forced smile and intense exasperation, Derek - poor, single Derek who has no idea that Stiles knows that he’s poor, single Derek and is just deriving great joy in gently bullying him - responded, “Fine. Sure, Stiles. We’ll say I’m single and bitter, as you put it.”
Stiles flashed a bright smile and turned to the camera. “You guys heard it here first. Superman is single, and in desperate need of some mingling.”
“ I am not in desperate need - okay, interview’s over,” Derek snapped over the sudden renewal of yelling, eyes squinted against the fast flashing camera lights. When the crowd only got louder, Derek threw a dirty look at Stiles - as if to say ‘ this is all your fault’ , which it probably was, but still - then grounded out a pointed “ goodbye,” before flying straight up into the air, cape billowing melodramatically behind him.
“Why does he always talk to you?” The reporter that Stiles had stolen the notebook from grumbled.
“I think it's because I have a pretty face.” Stiles smiled brightly at him. “Your network should try sending out better looking reporters.”
Stiles sipped at a mug of coffee, absently watching the news play in the break room. Because of course a news station couldn't play anything other than its own content, even in the one part of the office that was supposed to be a safe space from work. His interview with Superman was making a rerun and Stiles glanced at Derek before commenting absently, “I’d totally let Superman fuck me.”
Derek, who had been in the middle of a swig of coffee, choked violently, “That’s not something I needed to know at nine in the morning, Stiles.”
Stiles raised an eyebrow. “What time would you prefer I tell you about all of the things I would let Superman do to my body?”
Derek leveled a murderous glance at Stiles through the ridiculous glasses that he calls a disguise (actually though - seriously, Derek?). “Never,” he shot back immediately, “but preferably not nine in the morning.”
“Could Superman even fuck you?” Scott asked from where he was rifling through the cabinets in search of something other than cereal bars.
“What do you mean?” Stiles spun his chair to face his best friend and cameraman with an inquisitive look.
“Like, he's an alien, right? What if he doesn't have a dick?”
Stiles didn't even try to hold back his laughter. “Everything else is human looking, I don't see why he wouldn't. But I guess I would have to be the one to fuck him then. Unless you're suggesting that won't work either.” Stiles spun his chair again to face Derek. “What do you think? Does Superman not have a dick?”
“I can’t say it’s something I think about often,” he said stiffly.
“I can't say I've ever considered it either. I just always assumed in my fantasies. So on the spot what do you think?”
Derek’s face, at this point, was hilariously pinched. “I’m sure he has one, Stiles.”
Scott seemed to give up on his search and went for the pot of coffee instead. “Okay, but what if he's got some kind of alien STI or something?”
“Scott, buddy, are you trying to kill my Superman fantasies? Why can't I just picture sucking his dick without you making it weird?” Stiles asked with mock exasperation.
“Right,” Derek said, from the doorway that he had finally successfully reached after slowly and deliberately inching away from the other two in the room, “I’m just going to leave now. Bye.”
“Have fun pondering about Superman’s genitalia,” Stiles said with a wave. “I know I will.”
“Please don’t,” Derek called back, already hurrying away and out the door.
“Oh wow, I'm tall so this doesn't really happen to me. I mean, I'm not exactly muscular either, but people typically mug people smaller than them,” Stiles said, holding up his hands in the face of a gun being pointed in his face.
“I've seen you on tv. You're a reporter. They get lots of money, right? Hand it over,” the guy with the gun sneered at him, holding out his free hand, presumably for Stiles’ wallet.
“Oh how I wish that were true. I really should be making more with the ratings I bring in. I would kill for a camera right now though. It's a shame I don't have one on me. Would you mind if I used my cellphone? The quality will be shit, but I'll get to watch all those news networks that hate me pretend to feel bad for me when they see me getting robbed at gunpoint.”
“Just shut up and give me your wallet!” The gun was shaking in the guy’s hand, Stiles observed.
“So that's a no on the phone camera?” The gun was pushed closer to his face. “Okay, okay. But really, I don't think I have as much money as you think I do. Certainly not in cash. Cash gets stolen. Case and point,” Stiles gestured at his mugger. “I've got a card, but I can freeze that once you're gone. I usually keep a few ones on me for vending machines though. Would you be interested in five dollars in the form of singles? One of them has glitter on it, so I'm pretty sure it's been in a strippers gstring before.”
“Do you ever stop talking?” The gun was now right in his face, and Stiles had to go a little cross eyed to look at it.
“Not really, no. I have been told on more than one occasion that it's going to get me killed someday. I'm really hoping that day isn't today. I mean, talking is kind of my job, on air reporting and all of that. Also, can I just say, your gun was just as intimidating a foot away from me as it is an inch away from me. Like, I'd die either way, so can we maybe reestablish some personal space here?” Stiles gave his best disarming smile, which did nothing to actually disarm someone holding a gun sadly. He wasn't sure how much longer he could run his mouth before his mugger decided to do something about it, but someone would have to come by at some point. It wasn't even all that late out. Someone else would be stupid enough to try to use an alleyway as a shortcut right after the sun went down. And that idiot could call the police.
“Drop the gun.”
Right on cue.
Lo and behold, Derek - decked out in all his superhero latex-y glory, bless him - stepped out into the dim lamplight, the weak lights flickering over his sharp features. He crossed his arms, then raised his eyebrows expectantly. “Don’t make me hurt you.”
“My hero~” Stiles pretended to swoon. Or at least he started to before his mugger grabbed him and placed Stiles in front of him like a human shield.
“Don't make me shoot him,” the man countered.
“Oh, c’mon, really?” Stiles complained, but was smart enough to not try to move with a gun up against his head.
Derek sighed longsufferingly, as if a lowly mugger was a waste of his time. Thanks, Derek. Not like Stiles’ life was, you know, on the line or anything. “Put. It. Down. I won’t ask again.”
“Back off, unless you want his brains on the pavement. I will shoot.”
“I mean, you probably won't, since you didn't before, and I gave you a lot of reasons to. I didn't give you my wallet, and I wouldn't shut up. Plenty of reason to have shot me that didn't get me shot. I think we should stick to the not shooting people policy, if anyone here cares for my opinion,” Stiles chimed in.
“Stiles,” Derek ground out.
“Superman,” Stiles parroted.
“Shutting,” Stiles aborted his motion to mime zipping his lips when the movement got the gun pressed harder against his head.
“Walk away and I won't hurt him.”
Apparently satisfied by Stiles’ vow to silence, Derek flicked his eyes back to focus on the pain-in-the-ass-with-a-gun. “You seriously think I can’t knock you out before you shoot him?” he said incredulously.
The man seemed to weigh the situation before shoving Stiles towards Derek and making a run for it.
“Well... that was eventful,” Stiles commented, gripping Derek’s shoulders to regain his balance after being pushed.
Derek snorted, arm shooting out automatically to set Stiles upright. “And what do you think you’re doing, skulking around alleyways like this?”
“Trying to get home faster. Apparently not my greatest shortcut ever. But my car broke down, so I thought I'd give it a go.” Stiles shrugged. “I was going to ask my coworker, Derek, for a ride, but for some reason he left early today. Weird. But hey, it got me the chance to be rescued by Superman, so I'd say it's still a decent night,” he added with a wide grin.
Derek sighed, leveling Stiles with an exasperated look. “Maybe next time you should ask for a ride from your coworker earlier in the day.”
“Well I might have if I knew walking would get me mugged.” Stiles paused to consider his words for a second. “Actually I totally wouldn't have. Catco Magazines and CNN can kiss my ass, because I got rescued by Superman and they're going to have to report on it after I do. Absolutely worth having a gun pointed at me for a few minutes. Speaking of, can I grab a picture with you? Both for my instagram because having a picture with Superman would be super cool, and also as proof that this actually happened?”
“Have you no sense of self-preservation whatsoever?” Derek said incredulously, eyeing Stiles’ phone warily. Probably considering between making a wild break for it and caving to Stiles’ irresistible charm, bless him.
“I didn’t try to fight the guy with the gun, so I’d say I’ve got at least a little self-preservation instinct, but overall: nope. I go on scene to a lot of your fights as part of my job. That’s not a job for people who have self preservation. People are supposed to run away from those fights.” Stiles held up his phone. “So, pictures?” He asked hopefully.
Stiles watched in amusement as Derek visibly wavered, his eyes flicking from the phone to Stiles’ face. He could almost hear the sound of Derek’s resolve crumbling. “Fine,” he snapped, displeasure written all over his face, “but with a condition.”
Stiles tilted his head curiously. “Condition? Care to elaborate?”
Derek straightened up, broad shoulders on display as he crossed his arms imposingly - or, at least, it would be imposing to anyone other than Stiles probably. “At least try to not get stabbed. Ask your coworker for a ride next time.”
“I am never actively trying to get stabbed, so I can agree to this.” Stiles grinned at him before moving to stand next to Derek, snapping a few pictures on his phone. “Oh, hey, can I ask a question for a friend? It can be off record.”
“Pushing your luck, Stiles.”
“Probably. That’s why I waited until after you took pictures with me to ask,” Stiles agreed with a shrug, putting his phone away. “Just wondering if all the anatomy is the same as it is for humans. I assumed so, but then my friend pointed out that your reproductive parts might be different.”
Stiles took deep pleasure in the way Derek sputtered angrily. “What is wrong with you?” he managed after his mini-fit, the tips of his ears flushed bright. How endearing.
He should probably feel bad for the sheer amount of joy he gets from messing with Derek, buuuut - nah, not really, he doesn’t.
“Hey, I said it could be off record. I’m just asking. Unless you want it on record. I’d never even considered it until Scott brought it up. You can glare at my camera guy next time you see him if it makes you feel better.”
“NO,” Derek said loudly, the word echoing in the alleyway. He winced, then pointedly repeated, softer this time, “No. Why are you so invested in my anatomy, anyways?”
When Stiles’ face split into a wide grin, Derek hurriedly added, grimacing, “Actually, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.”
“I mean, I wouldn't call it an investment per say. I've only asked you once. So did that no mean no you don't want it on the record or no you do not have the same anatomy as humans?” Stiles gave his best innocent look, which wasn't even a little convincing.
“ No, I don’t want it on the record. I - well,” Derek breathed out hard, “ yes , of course I have the same anatomy. I look exactly the same as humans otherwise, don’t I?”
“That's what I thought. I'll be sure to tell Scott his concerns were unfounded then.” Stiles offered a genuine smile. “Thank you though. For saving me and humoring my dumb question.”
Derek narrowed his eyes suspiciously, but offered an acknowledging grunt. “I’ll walk you to your place. Lord knows you attract enough danger.”
Stiles’ wide grin came back full force. “A superhero escort? You sure know how to make a guy feel special.”
Derek rolled his eyes. “Get moving already before I regret it,” he grumbled, placing a hand on Stiles’ back, propelling him forward a few steps.
“Sure thing,” Stiles agreed, starting to lead the way. “So, does not getting myself stabbed by asking my coworkers for rides include mornings too? Or is that safe enough? Because I can totally just text Derek right now. Or maybe call him so you can be extra sure I hold up my end of the selfie bargain.”
“ Stiles,” Derek growled. “Don’t - don’t bother your coworkers outside of office hours. Ask him tomorrow.”
“So I can walk to work in the morning then? Gotta make sure no one can say that Stiles Stilinski goes back on his word.” Stiles pulled out his phone. “Y’know, I’ll just call him to be sure.”
“FINE,” Derek said loudly. “Walk to work in the morning. I just said to ask your coworker, I didn’t say now .”
Stiles laughed. “Touché. I'm just trying to do what you asked.” He gave his best innocent smile.
Derek, having sped up subconsciously on his Superlegs during his ire to the point Stiles had to jog every few steps to keep up, had to twist his head around to shoot Stiles a suspicious glare. “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull, but I see that smile and I don’t like it.”
“I happen to think I have a very nice smile, so I'm highly offended, and you're crushing my self esteem here, buddy,” Stiles told him. “But, um, is there a chance we can slow down some?”
Derek, hilariously, looked mildly surprised at his increase in speed, but alas, the look gave way quickly to his default chronic bitch face. “No. The sooner I get you back to your place, the sooner you get out of my hair.”
“Some of us like to actually walk home instead of jog. Walking with you makes me feel like I need to join a gym or something,” he complained, jogging again to catch up when Derek got even further ahead of him.
“Then maybe it’s time to join a gym,” Derek said helpfully. He cocked his head pointedly at Stiles’ smaller frame. “I might not even have to come save you next time. Amazing.”
“Okay, rude. So rude.” He tilted his head consideringly. “Although… last time I was part of a gym I slept with my trainer. Maybe I could get Derek to train me. He's pretty fit.”
Now that got Derek to slow down. “What.”
Stiles grinned, slowing to a leisurely stroll next to Derek's new pace. “My coworker. The one who didn't give me a ride. He's really built. Like a superhero. Kind of like you. Probably has a great workout regimen.”
Derek, to Stiles’ great disappointment, didn’t even flinch. “ No ,” he stressed emphatically, shooting Stiles an exasperated look, “I meant the first part. What.”
“Oh. I mean that seemed really straightforward to me. My personal trainer at my last gym was hot. We had sex. I stopped going to the gym. Why? You looking for a gym with benefits?”
Derek threw a hand up, a little helplessly. “I don’t need a gym,” he answered, “but that’s beside the point. When even was this?”
“I’m not sure I’m following what the point is,” Stiles informed him, sending a sly smile his way. “What’s with all this sudden interest in my sex life, huh?”
“The interest you're showing by asking about it.”
Derek scowled deeply, his glare at the path in front of him so intense that if he wasn’t careful, he’d accidentally laser-beam the sidewalk. “You brought it up.”
“I was more talking about the gym. That just happened to be part of it.”
He breathed out audibly. “ Fine. Maybe you should go back to the gym then. Without sleeping with your trainer and then dropping out.”
Stiles stopped as they arrived outside of his apartment building. “Sounds like a lot of work. But thank you for the escort.”
Derek grunted noncommittally. “Try not to get mugged next time,” he replied, before dramatically shooting off into the sky.
Show off. Stiles still snapped a quick picture on his phone.
“Derek~” Stiles perched himself on Derek’s desk. “I've got a story for you.”
The unfortunate target of Stiles’ attention scooted away slightly, eyeing Stiles warily as he loomed over Derek, grinning widely. “Yes …?”
“I got personally rescued by Superman yesterday. I'm letting you have the first shot at this story before I talk about it on camera later.”
Derek momentarily looked like he swallowed a full lemon. “Don’t know if I want to hear about your damseling in distress, Stiles,” he finally said, once he’d noticeably wrestled his face into normalcy.
Stiles adopted a shocked look. “I'm letting you have first dibs on a Superman story and you're not interested?”
Stiles almost felt bad for enjoying watching Derek obviously struggle with himself - the joys of having to report on your own alter-ego, seriously - except no, no he really didn’t. Derek sighed, resigned. “Let me just get more coffee,” he acquiesced, “I’m going to need it.”
Stiles grinned at him. “Oh, also, can you give me a ride home today? I promised I’d ask you.”
Derek almost looked like he wanted to say no. “If you try and backseat drive I’m kicking you out of my car.”
“If you kick me out and Superman has to save me again I'm telling him you put me out on the streets,” Stiles answered cheerfully, swinging his legs from his perch on Derek’s desk.
Poor Derek looked like he was struggling with what he’d hate more. “Don’t sit on that,” he said instead of acknowledging Stiles’ threat to tattle on him to himself.
Stiles gave an exaggerated sigh, but got off the desk, pulling up a chair. “Better?”
“No, but I know you’re not going to leave so I guess it’s as good as I’m going to get.”
“Hey man, I'll break the story myself if you don't want it, but I can't think of any reasons you wouldn't want a Superman saves reporter story complete with pictures. Care to enlighten me?”
Derek looked all but ready to personally remove Stiles from his work space himself, and hey if Superman-Derek wanted to cradle Stiles in his arms, Stiles wasn’t going to complain. Much. “I have other work to do.”
Stiles gave him his best ‘I’m disappointed in you’ look. Because he was an asshole. “You know, Derek, even if you’re not interested in covering the story, I think most people would bother to ask if I was okay after I told them I needed to be rescued by Superman. I’ll have you know that I was held at gunpoint yesterday,” he huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.
Derek looked him up and down unimpressed. “You don’t look traumatized.”
“Maybe I'm internalizing it. Is this the bedside manor you give all of your interviews who could have died, Derek?”
“If you’re able to be this annoying first thing in the morning then you’re clearly okay.”
“If you came in and told me someone tried to mug you at gunpoint, I would ask if you were okay no matter how grumpy you were being,” Stiles informed him. “So, story, yes or no? I'll still wait for you to get your coffee before telling you all about it.”
Derek wordlessly left his desk and came back with another mug. He took a long sip from it before indicating Stiles could start.
“Alright,” Stiles clapped his hands together, sitting up straighter. “So, it was a dark and only slightly cloudy yesterday,” he started, with all the dramatic infliction he could put into his voice, and watched gleefully as Derek resigned himself to his morning.
“You're still down to take me home, right?” Stiles asked at the end of the day. “I haven't heard anything about superman flying around today, and my car still isn't turning on, so you'll have to be my guardian angel.”
“Great,” Derek said so dryly Stiles could hear his eye roll.
“Oh, by the way,” Stiles said casually as they walked towards the parking garage together. “I asked Superman, and Scott was wrong, he's totally got a dick. It's off the record though.” He got a look from one of the interns for that one, but everyone in the office was pretty used to Stiles at this point, so the kid just kept walking.
This looked like the last thing Derek wanted to talk about, if his displeased frown was anything to go by.
“You know, it's funny, he had a pretty similar expression when I asked him. Has anyone ever told you that you guys sort of look alike?” He smiled innocently at Derek.
Oh no, Stiles was wrong because this was definitely the last thing Derek wanted to talk about. “No.”
“Yeah, you guys could totally be related. I bet if you took off your glasses for a second you'd look just like him.”
And Derek didn’t slam his car door because it definitely would have broken, but it was still pretty strong for an average guy. “Why is he all you ever talk about?”
Stiles looked genuinely caught off guard by that question. “Because I'm an investigative reporter who's main job is following him around and reporting on him,” he answered as he slid into the passenger seat and buckled his seat belt. “Why? Jealous?”
“Why would I be? He’s just a very common topic from you.”
“Aww, Derek, you know if you showed even the slightest bit of interest I'd be all over that, no need to be upset over my interest in Superman.” He patted Derek’s shoulder and even batted his eyelashes for extra effect.
How many people could say they’d seen Derek’s face resemble a tomato as much as Stiles managed to invoke it? Probably not many. “Shut up, Stiles.”
“Ouch.” Stiles put a hand to his heart. “Such a harsh rejection there. Tell me how you really feel.”
Derek just gripped the wheel tighter and drove a little faster.
“I know you said not to backseat drive, but you're going kind of fast and I am the son of a cop,” Stiles pointed out.
“I’m going five over, that’s normal.”
“You're definitely going faster than five over,” he said, glancing at the speedometer. “You nervous or something?”
“Why would I be nervous?” Derek gritted out.
“You seem like the kind of guy that gets nervous when people talk about feelings, and you're certainly not portraying calm and relaxed right now.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Ramrod posture, white knuckle grip on your steering wheel, narrowed eyes, tightness to the jaw, and speeding,” Stiles listed off, holding up a finger for each thing. “I wouldn't call it relaxed.”
There was a small twitch from Derek’s brow but otherwise, he just continued to glare at the road, apparently deciding he wasn’t going to acknowledge what Stiles had said.
“Okay, okay, we’ll subject change. No Superman. Office gossip? I hear Lydia and Alison are into each other,” he offered up. “Well, I hear that from them, I'm still working on trying to get them to do something about it. Any ideas?”
Derek did seem to relax just the slightest at the subject moving off of him. “I thought you were the expert on meddling plans.”
“It's so sweet that you think that about me, but Lydia is hard to meddle with.”
“You’re almost as smart as her, you’ll come up with something.”
“I think that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me,” Stiles told him, tone only half joking, wide grin on his face. If Derek weren't driving he'd probably be all up in his personal space.
“You’re one of the best reporters we have. I only call you an idiot when you do something stupid, which is pretty often.”
“You planned this so I couldn't hug you for saying nice things to me, didn't you?” Stiles asked skeptically, glad that Derek seemed focused on the road so he couldn't see the tips of Stiles’ ears turning pink. It wasn’t often that Derek was able, or willing, to flip the script and make Stiles be the one to blush.
Derek shrugged, seemingly completely at ease now. “Maybe.”
“I should catch rides with you more often. It's good for my self esteem apparently.”
“Don’t expect this to happen often, because it won’t.”
“I think you underestimate how often my car breaks down. It's more duct tape than car at this point.” Stiles did a lot of walking to and from work. “And now Superman went and made me promise to ask for rides.”
“That’s because Superman doesn’t want you getting held up at gunpoint again,” Derek sighed, “Maybe you should try investing in a new car.”
Stiles gave an offended gasp. “I couldn't do that to my baby. She still works like… 60% of the time.”
“Then get new parts for her so she’ll run at least 80% of the time.”
“You say that like that works,” Stiles said with a disappointed shake of his head. “Enough tape can fix her just as well.”
“I even bought a new roll today.” Stiles dug around in his bag and emerged with Batman duct tape. “Neat, right?”
“Looks like these rides are going to become common.” Derek stopped the car and looked a little thankful. “We’re here.”
“No man, I'm telling you, this Batman tape is gonna work,” Stiles insisted.
“Just because it has Batman symbols on it, doesn’t mean it works better than regular duct tape, Stiles.”
Stiles shook his head in disagreement, putting the tape back in his bag. “I think you're wrong. Batman is super cool.”
“That doesn’t make him a miracle worker.”
“Does someone not like Batman?” Stiles arched an eyebrow at him.
“Batman’s fine. I’m insulting your car. Even Batman can’t fix her.”
“You don't know my car like I do, Derek. She'll pull through. She's made it through so much.”
“Right,” Derek rolled his eyes, “I’m not walking you up to your apartment, I don’t think you’ll die from the short trip.”
“I'm sure I'll manage somehow.” Stiles dramatically sighed. “Thanks for the ride though,” he added with a smile.
“Try not to get into trouble until tomorrow.” Stiles could hear Derek mumble something about giving him a break.
“So I'm allowed to get in trouble tomorrow?” Stiles asked as he was getting out of the car, leaning down to let Derek see the amused smirk on his lips.
“You’re never allowed, but you’re going to anyway.”
“Yeah, probably. See you tomorrow.” He waved, before digging his keys out of his bag and heading inside.
“Alright, I’ve got a plan,” Stiles murmured under his breath, fully aware Derek could hear him. “You’ve got your tights and cape, right?”
Derek didn’t say anything, he didn’t even acknowledge he’d heard Stiles past a slight clench of his jaw, which was enough for Stiles to risk his life apparently.
“Honestly lady, how do you expect Superman to come rescue, what you’ve decided is, his favorite news outlet if you’re not broadcasting this? It’s the middle of the day, he’s probably in his day job and doesn’t even know he’s needed,” Stiles said loudly, instantly getting no less than five guns trained on him. “I mean, to each their own, but I want to live. So, you’ve got a news team hostage, make some news.”
Kate Argent, one of the city’s more persistent villains seeing as she should have died years ago and yet here she was, strode over to Stiles, giving him a saccharine smile as she toyed with her knife. “And how, exactly, were you thinking we do that? I’m personally a fan of killing the mouthy reporter.”
“I mean, you could,” Stiles agreed, eyeing the knife. “But without any filming that wouldn’t really accomplish the goal. We can get you on air though. I just need my camera man to get some equipment.” Scott shifted like he was ready to step forward, but Stiles kept talking and he stopped, “Derek, you’d do that right? You know, under the condition that no one kills the mouthy reporter, of course.”
Derek only nodded which was enough of an agreement.
Kate looked at them consideringly, clearly trying to guess the game, and then gestured one of her men forward. “Go with him. Shoot him if he tries anything.” Her narrowed eyes turned on Stiles. “And if he does try anything I’ll take care of this one too. Maybe taking out Superman’s favorite reporter will get his attention,” she practically purred, running the flat side of the knife down Stiles’ face to rest against his neck. He felt like he should get some credit for only just barely flinching.
Derek let the men follow him out of the room and not five minutes after the door closed Superman was flying in through the window and knocking Kate’s knife out of her hand.
Stiles took a few steps back to get out of the way of the fight that broke out, making his way to the pile of phones that had been collected from the workers and pulling out his to film what was happening, keeping the camera rolling until Superman had Kate and all of her lackies handed over to the police.
“You’re life was in danger and you still tried to get the story,” Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles the minute he saw the phone.
“I don't know why you're saying tried like I didn't get most of that fight on film,” Stiles answered, pocketing his phone. “I succeed at getting the story.”
“Unbelievable,” Derek didn’t look all that surprised though, as well he shouldn’t because he knew who Stiles was.
Stiles cut him a look and lowered his voice. “What's not unbelievable though is that our good pal Derek has Superman’s contact information from previous interviews, and I knew this and thus picked him to go call Superman while I distracted the bad guys. It sounds like something Derek should be here to back up when the police start asking for our statements.”
Again, Superman rolled his eyes, Stiles seemed to get that reaction a lot, and left with a curt ‘bye’. A few minutes later, Derek could be seen outside the room talking to a police officer.
Stiles didn't get to really talk to Derek until everyone was leaving. He'd barely been able to shake Scott, who kept hugging him and telling him how worried he'd been. Even Lydia had given him a quick hug.
And Stiles was content to just leave Derek alone for the time being, but Derek’s car pulled up next to him pretty soon into his walk home.
“How did you know?” Derek demanded before Stiles could even get in.
Stiles gave him an unimpressed look, dropping himself into the passenger seat. “I'm an investigative journalist who's job is mostly to follow you around. Also your disguise is a pair of glasses. It's sort of pathetic. The first time we saw you on TV Scott said ‘he looks kind of like Derek’.”
“I should break something in you for all the damn teasing.”
“That doesn't sound very Superman-like,” Stiles chastised. “And I risked my life for your secret identity today, that's some shitty gratitude.”
“Stiles. You asked me if I had a dick. Twice.”
“In my defense,” Stiles held up his hands,”I never would have thought to ask that if Scott hadn't brought it up.”
“Is Scott the reason for the rest of the teasing too?”
“No of course not, I'd never out your secret identity like that,” Stiles waved him off, settling into his seat even though they were still just sitting there.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. I don’t need to hear about all the fake things you’d like me to do to you just so you can get a laugh out of it.”
“Who said anything about fake?” Stiles turned his head to look at him inquisitively. “Don't you remember the other day when you gave me a ride? When I told Derek that if he showed any interest I'd be all over that. No Superman involved.”
Derek looked like he was considering the idea for a second before he firmly decided on: “We can’t date, Stiles.”
“Are you saying that because you're not interested or because of some Superman stuff?”
“You just got a knife pressed to your neck because people think I like you. It’s a bad idea.”
“That seems like a bit of an exaggeration. I got a knife threat because people think you like the Daily Planet and I’m the face associated with it, and also because I chose to mouth off to a super villain.”
“It’s still a bad idea.”
“Do I get a say in that? Because I personally think I can handle it.”
Derek turned to him with a frown. He reached out to run his thumb along Stiles neck where the knife had been earlier and… was Derek being gentle? “You’re not dating Superman. Superman doesn’t have any personal relationships.”
Stiles leaned into the touch, lifting one of his own hands to put over Derek’s. “What about Derek Hale?”
“I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if you dated Derek.”
Stiles grinned at him. “And could I occasionally, possibly have sex with Superman? Because I just think it’d be super cool.”
“You just like the suit, don’t you?”
“I mean, yeah it’s awesome and skin tight. Who wouldn’t?”
Derek shook his head like he hadn’t expected anything different from Stiles. “I’ll consider it.”
“It’s way sexier than Bruce Wayne’s outfit. Although his is a lot more practical for hiding his identity.”
And Derek looked like he was about to actually start nervously sweating. “Why are we talking about Bruce Wayne?”
Stiles rolled his eyes and laughed. “Batman. C’mon, you’re Superman, you have to know that.”
“Why do you know that?”
“No one else in Gotham could afford all of that tech. Also, Bruce Wayne goes away for several years, Batman shows up. Bruce Wayne adopts a kid from the circus, Batman gets an acrobatic side kick. Bruce Wayne’s kid moves out and goes to Bludhaven. Bludhaven gets a new acrobatic hero. I’m a reporter, and also just not an idiot.”
“It’s not my fault if you get a bat shaped stalker.”
“It would totally be your fault, because who else is going to tell him that I know that?”
“He eventually knows everything, it gets a pretty annoying actually.”
“I've never even met Batman. And I met Bruce Wayne once. I think I'll be fine.”
Derek didn’t look convinced, but didn’t argue it further.
“So like,” Stiles sat up a bit in his seat, “are you actually going to drive me home or did you just pull up to ask me about the secret ID and let me talk you into a date?”
“No, I’m kicking you out of my car,” Derek said even as he pulled into the road and headed towards Stiles’ apartment.
“That seems like a very non-heroic thing to do.”
“I’m not a hero when the suit’s covered.”
“...a mean thing to do to your new boyfriend?” Stiles tried instead, starting to fiddle with the radio dial.
“Don’t play with that.” Derek didn’t deny Stiles’ point though.
Stiles looked at him for a second before continuing to mess with the radio.
Derek only glanced out of the corner of his eye for a second to slap away Stiles’ hand, and Stiles grinned as he grabbed Derek’s hand in his own. “Aww, so sweet, you want to hold hands. You should probably focus on driving though,” he said as he let it go switching the station a few more times before deciding he could leave it alone.
“Shut up, Stiles,” But Derek’s ears sure were red.