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Lying Salads

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Stiles turned the jeep into the driveway. His first semester of college had been a lot busier than he expected, and he hadn’t seen his dad since the Sheriff's last visit in late September. Stoked at having passed his finals, he was ready to spend all of winter break lounging on the couch and spending as much quality time as possible with his dad and his pack.

He opened the front door and dropped his duffel bag on the floor next to the couch. “Dad, I’m home!”

“In here,” John replied from the kitchen. His words were muffled like his mouth was full of food.

“That better not be a cheeseburger,” Stiles singsonged making his way into the kitchen.

“I wish,” John singsonged back at him. He stood up from his salad and threw his arms around Stiles, squeezing tight enough to make Stiles cough.

“Okay, who are you, and what have you done with my father?” Stiles joked.

John just rolled his eyes as he pulled away.

“Bodysnatcher?” Stiles asked. “Oh! Doppelgänger?” He narrowed his eyes. “Skrull. Definitely, Skrull.”

“Would it reassure you if I told you that my diet the last several months had not been my choice?”

Stiles waggled his eyebrows knowingly. “Are you finally dating Melissa?”

“No!” John said too quickly, blush creeping across his face.

There was a noise on the steps behind them. “This is the last one. I’ll leave it with the others and head out since Stiles should be here soon.”

Stiles cocked his head to the side as he saw Derek coming down the stairs with a giant box in his hands. “Derek?”

“Oh, you’re already here.” Derek lifted the box to cover his rapidly reddening face.

“I know why he’s here,” Stiles said pointing to his father. “And I know why I’m here. But why are you here?” Turning to his father, he added, “Dad, why is Derek here?”

“Derek was just helping me get the Christmas decorations out of the attic,” John said.

“And like I said,” Derek said quickly. “This is the last box, so I’m just gonna--” He pointed to the door, grabbed his jacket off of the couch, and ran outside.

Stiles stared at the door with his mouth open for several minutes.

“Dad, why was Derek here?” Stiles asked again.

“Son, are you okay? You look like you’re having a stroke.”

“Derek Hale. Was here. Cleaning out the attic.” Stiles plopped down at the dining room table, face contorted in confusion.

“Yes, Stiles. Derek was here helping me get stuff down from the attic. Apparently, I shouldn’t be climbing ladders at home when there’s no one else here.” He mimicked quotes with his fingers and rolled his eyes. “He’s been helping out a lot lately. You’d think I was in hospice or something.”

“Wait,” Stiles pointed at the salad in front of his father. “Derek?”

“I’m not exactly thrilled about all of the ways he wants to help out,” John said flatly. “But it seemed really important to him, so over the last couple of months he’s been over more and more.”

“Months?” Stiles asked loudly.

“He’s been hanging around since the beginning of October,” John replied. “He’s been over for almost every football game,” he chuckled.

“Games!” Stiles said rhetorically to the ceiling. He was looking around like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Son, are you going to regain your ability to speak coherently soon, or should I try talking to you again tomorrow?”

“But why?” Stiles asked. “Derek doesn’t…” He gestured broadly around the house.

“I don’t know, Stiles.” John deadpanned. “Why would someone you’ve spent the majority of the last few years with suddenly show up to take care of your only living relative when you leave town for a few months.” He shrugged exaggeratedly. “It’s one of the great mysteries of our time.”

“But I’ve had a crush on him for years.” Stiles’s eyes grew wide and he clapped his hands over his mouth.

John shook his head. “I might wear reading glasses, but I’m not blind. And you’re not exactly known for your subtlety.”

“You knew?” Stiles asked incredulously.

“Son, the whole town knows. Well, everyone except Derek. You two seem to have a lot in common. Namely, that you’re both incredibly slow sometimes given how smart you both are.”

“Derek doesn’t know?”

“No,” John shook his head again. “But maybe you should go tell him.”

“I could absolutely do no such thing. I mean, you have seen him right? I know you think I’m the most handsome boy in Beacon Hills, but you’re totally biased.”

“It’s funny because I had this exact same conversation with him about you.”

Stiles jumped out his chair so fast, it fell over. “You did?”

John cocked his head to the side.

Stiles ran to the door and sprinted to the jeep.

“I did not,” John said to himself. “But it got you out the door.” He chuckled softly as he stuffed another forkful of lettuce into his mouth.

***

Stiles ran up the front steps of the Hale house and burst through the front door. Derek was standing in the living room shrugging his jacket off while Isaac said something that Stiles didn’t catch.

Stiles slammed into Derek, grabbing him by the back of his neck and pulling him into a deep kiss. Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles, lifting him slightly off the ground. They kissed until they were both out of breath, Stiles pulling back first.

“Derek, Stiles is here,” Isaac snickered.

They both ignored him.

“Hey,” Derek said breathily, a grin across his face.

“Derek Hale, why would you not tell me that you liked me? It’s like an unspoken rule, the hottest one has to approach the still hot but not as hot one.”

“I, umm..”

“I mean, you told my dad and not me. What kind of weird nineteenth-century courtship thing is that?” Stiles asked, clearly rambling.

Derek’s grin gave way to a look of genuine confusion. “What? I didn’t say anything to your dad.”

Stiles’s eyes grew wide and the smile dropped off his face. “Oh no. That lying, meddling, curly fry loving…” He ran his hands through his hair anxiously. “I am so mortified.” Gesturing over his shoulder to the door, he said, “I’m just gonna go find a bridge to throw myself off of.”

Derek grabbed him and pulled him back into a brief kiss. “I didn’t say anything to your dad, but apparently I didn’t need to.”

“Really?” Stiles asked, unsure of himself.

“One hundred percent.” Derek grabbed his hand and twined his fingers through Stiles’s.

“That’s adorable and all,” said Isaac, “But, I’m just gonna go up to my room and give you two some privacy.”

Derek laughed, and Stiles felt it light him up inside like he swallowed a gallon of gasoline and a match.

“Actually, Derek, do you want to come back to my house? I was supposed to decorate with my dad tonight.”

Derek squeezed Stiles’s hand gently. “I don’t want to take up your time with your dad.”

“It’s totally fine,” Stiles said. “I am fairly confident this was his plan all along.”

Derek nodded and pressed a quick kiss to Stiles’s temple. He grabbed his keys and led the two of them out of the house.