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The One Where Stiles Touched the Beard.

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Stiles was a little exhausted from the drive back to Beacon Hills. That’s what he was going to blame it on. 

“Pack get together! I got a surprise!” Scott had texted when he heard that Stiles and Lydia were going to be back at the same time. Stiles figured it was that everyone was going to be celebrating Liam, Mason, Corey, and Hayden graduating which just made him feel SO. OLD.  He shouldn’t be old enough to see the tiny baby wolf graduating. He was honestly a little bit amazed he’d made it to see them graduate. That they’d made it to graduation. 

“Stiles!” Kira screeched from the doorway and he grinned big at her, holding his arms out to catch her and spin her around. “It’s been forever!! Where’s Lydia?!” 

“She’ll be here in a minute, saying hi to her mom first and skyping her boyfriend.” He set her down and she booped his nose and grinned. 

“It’s so good to see everyone again!” She bounced excitedly and then Scott came out next, grinning at the door and waiting. Stiles jogged up to him and then grabbed him up into a tight hug. 

“It’s been too long!” He muttered into Stiles ear and rocked a bit back and forth. Bro hugs had to go on for a minimum of five minutes. 

“Out of the door, you’re letting all the cool air out, it’s too hot. Also, it’s my turn for a hug from Stiles!” Melissa practically snatched him from Scott to steal a big hug. His face felt like it was going to split from smiling so hard. 

“Hey, Mel! How’s digs?” He clapped her on the arm as they pulled back.  

“Good, you an FBI agent yet?” 

“Close!” Stiles grinned as he nodded at her. The group was milling around talking but he didn’t feel any rush.

“They have your placement yet?” Stiles stilled. He hadn’t heard that voice in so damn long. He spun to look and there, in the flesh was, Derek Hale. His hair was longer and softer,  not spiked up. He had on a soft looking sweater, he was tanned and slightly freckled and his eyes were still the same shocking pale colors. His beard was an actual beard. He took a step closer and Derek honest to god smiled. There were spots of silver in his beard, just on either side of his mouth.

Stiles reflexively reached up, thoughtless, and caught his fingers against one of the silvery patches, dragging his fingers down through the soft hairs. He heard the ambient conversation stop and Derek just smiled a bit. 

“Hey.” Derek muttered, eyes crinkling at the corners fondly as he looked at Stiles. He had dimples under the beard.

“Hi. Oh my god.” Stiles felt heat flush up his face. He just fricking pet Derek’s beard. If the ground could open up and swallow him right now, that’d be great. 

“Surprise.” Scott laughed from behind him. The ground was a vicious traitor and ignored his silent pleas.  Derek chuckled a bit--chuckled!-- and then leaned in the little bit to give Stiles a hug. 

“Surprise indeed.” Stiles gasped on a laugh, wrapping his arms around Derek. His heart leapt in his chest.  “God, man, it’s been forever!” 

“We’ll have to do a lot of catching up.” Derek agreed as he pulled back, another smile crinkling his eyes. 

“Looking forward to it.” Stiles agreed, smiling helplessly in return.