Stiles Stilinski chewed absently on the drawstring of his hoodie, eyes on his phone while he walked slowly down the street back towards his Jeep. He knew he was liable to walk into the fairly light traffic with how little attention he was affording his surroundings, but he was extremely distracted by the article he was reading.
Apparently a new type of moss had just been discovered in the Sahara Desert of all places, and he was now fully invested in discovering how the fuck it had managed that. He was kind of thinking it probably wasn’t moss, but he also didn’t know enough about plant life in general to argue it.
Not that he had anyone to argue it with, considering he wasn’t exactly going to call up any of the people quoted in the article. But what if? Oh, the people he’d call to argue with if he had that ability at his disposal. Really, just because people sounded smart didn’t mean they were smart.
Stiles had the luxury of both sounding smart and actually being smart. It was a curse, to be so damn smart. Wasn’t like it was hard, the internet was a thing, and ADHD was a thing, which meant Adderall was a thing and bottom line, he just had a lot of websites bookmarked.
Reaching the corner, he half-flailed blindly while searching for the crosswalk button, pressing it once he located it and still reading the article. He spat the string out of his mouth, having grown tired of chewing on it since it was making his jaw hurt, and then crossed when the light changed and chirping alerted him to his right of way.
He hoped he finished the article before he got to the station. It was only about four blocks away, and was where he’d parked his car. He’d gone out with some friends but parking had been impossible. Considering he basically had a free pass to park at the station since his dad was the sheriff, he’d just opted to park there and walk to the rendezvous.
Walking past a few closed stores, he’d just passed a dark alley when he heard the theme for Cruella Deville playing, a little tiny from being far away from him. Pausing with a frown, Stiles glanced up to look around, wondering why he was hearing a random Disney song at almost one in the morning from seemingly out of nowhere.
It took him a few seconds to realize it was coming from the middle of the dark alley he’d just passed and he backtracked before ducking his head around the corner.
“Hello?” he asked, not entirely sure why hearing a Disney song was making him ask if someone was there.
The song cut off abruptly, but less than ten seconds later, it started up again.
That was when Stiles concluded that it was someone’s ringtone, which meant that he was currently hearing a phone ringing. A phone. Down a dark, deserted alley. At one in the morning.
He squinted suspiciously, but decided if anyone was going to attack him, that was their funeral. Besides, this was Beacon Hills, nothing exciting happened here. The most exciting call his dad had gotten in the past three years was when the mayor’s wife barricaded herself in the family lakehouse with a shotgun because she’d found out her husband was cheating on her.
She hadn’t even threatened anyone with it at all, she’d just been waving it around erratically and shooting at wedding photos over the water.
She was a surprisingly good shot.
Moving cautiously into the alley, his brain liked to pretend it was much scarier than it truly was. Real alleys weren’t dingy like they were in movies, so despite it not being that dark and lacking in a plethora of cardboard boxes, broken bottles, newspapers and various other items that generally occupied alleys in movies, his mind helpfully made him imagine these things. Just to keep it interesting, of course.
He didn’t even make it halfway down the alley when the source of the song was located, lying face down on the ground, the light from the illuminated screen peeking out around the edges.
It looked like an Iphone, probably one of the eights. He didn’t know, they all looked the same. Even his own phone was a mystery to him most of the time, he just knew it worked and he could play games on it, and that was all that mattered.
Shoving his own into his pocket, he bent down to pick up the mystery phone and flipped it over just as the ringing stopped.
“That’s not ominous at all,” he muttered, tapping on the home button. It had a password, which immediately failed to unlock, suggesting it was set up to recognize a fingerprint. He knew that phones locked people out after a few failed attempts, but before he could even think about what to try, the screen fritzed and then the phone began to ring again, still blasting Cruella Deville.
A large picture of a gorgeous blonde girl took over the screen. She was winking saucily at the camera, lips a deep red, and cheekbones to die for. The name emblazoned across the top read ‘Erica,’ suggesting this was who was currently calling.
Stiles wondered how she would feel if she knew her ringtone was Cruella Deville.
Deciding to answer, if only to help find out whose phone this was, Stiles swiped the bar at the bottom of the screen before placing it to his ear.
“Who is this?” a deep, low, sinfully baritone voice demanded down the line.
Stiles had a thing for deep voices, it was like his kryptonite, and he felt his toes curl at the one that had just unexpectedly assaulted his ear. He’d been expecting a girl’s voice, considering the name and photo, so he was not prepared for the hit straight to his groin.
Exhaling once and trying to shrug off the feeling, he realized he’d been distracted by the sinfully delicious voice that he’d completely missed, first off, the rude words, and second, the rude tone.
“Well who’s this, because you sure don’t sound like an Erica,” he retorted, then frowned. “Unless the ‘a’ is a typo.” He paused, a thought occurring to him. “Or you used to be an Erica?” Another short pause. “Or you’re becoming an Erica?” Maybe he was an Eric now, or maybe he was becoming an Erica. Stiles didn’t know, he wasn’t going to assume.
“I’m using a friend’s phone, smartass,” was the unimpressed reply. Stiles was really tempted to ask if said friend knew her ringtone was Cruella Deville, because now he was curious.
Instead, he said, “And why, pray tell, are you using your friend’s phone?”
“To find my phone!” This was said rather impatiently, as if Stiles was being an idiot.
Stiles was not an idiot. That had already been summarily dismissed tonight. But if the guy on the other end was going to treat him like one, well then, Stiles was going to deliver.
“Well, you wouldn’t have had to do that if you hadn’t left your phone lying in the middle of nowhere.”
“I lost it!” the voice on the other end growled. Oh, this was kind of fun! “I didn’t leave it anywhere!”
Stiles shrugged easily, even though he knew the guy couldn’t see him. “How do I know you’re telling the truth? Maybe you routinely leave your phone in the middle of nowhere to lure young, attractive, unsuspecting men into your black widow trap, Erica.”
“I fucking hate you,” the guy muttered, clearly done with the conversation. He didn’t rise to Stiles’ bait this time, instead saying, “Where are you?”
“Where you left your phone, clearly.”
“Oh my—” Stiles couldn’t help the grin that slowly crept onto his face when he heard the guy inhaling deeply, like he was trying to control his temper, when really all he wanted to do was murder Stiles. Evidently he recognized that if he didn’t play nice, he wouldn’t be getting his phone back. Woe was him, or something. “Are you trying to piss me off?”
Stiles shrugged again, still grinning. “I’m just answering your questions, Erica.”
“Stop calling me Erica!” the guy snapped. His temper likely wasn’t helped by the clearly hysterical reception on the other end, since Stiles could hear a girl cracking up like crazy. Probably the real Erica, enjoying the show.
Stiles was happy to provide entertainment.
“Fucking Christ,” the guy growled, clearly frustrated. “It’s like I’m speaking to a child.”
“I mean, you could be,” Stiles offered. “You don’t know.” He had a youthful voice. And face. And general him-ness. He was youthful overall, it was a wonder people let him buy beer when he went to the liquor store. He figured it was because everyone knew the sheriff’s son, and everyone knew when he was finally a legal adult.
An aggrieved sigh came down the line, and even though Stiles didn’t know this person, he was willing to bet his left nut—his left one, not his right one, he liked that one—that the guy was pinching the bridge of his nose and trying for patience.
He had that affect on people.
“I swear to God, I am going to punch you when I find you.”
Stiles scoffed down the line. “Well now I feel super inclined to tell you where I am with your phone. Threatening me with bodily harm, sounds like a not fun way to end my evening. Also, you hit kids? That’s child abuse, you know.”
“Are you actually a minor?”
“I could be,” Stiles teased.
Another annoyed sigh. “Do you ever give a straight answer?”
“Not since I came out of the closet,” he offered with a mischievous grin.
“You know what?” the guy said, sounding done with the conversation. “Keep the phone. I don’t need it back. Not if it means I get arrested for murder.”
“Are you sure? It’s a nice phone.”
“I’m sure. Anything to end this conversation. Have a good night.”
“Wait! Wait, wait,” Stiles insisted, honestly wondering if the guy was about to hang up because he was that annoying. That was a little concerning, did his friends feel the same way? Good Lord. “I’m just—I’m having a laugh, dude. Let’s not be dramatic here.”
“I’m not being dramatic. I think you underestimate how colossally annoying you are.”
“Ouch,” Stiles insisted, slapping one hand to his chest. “That hurts, man. Do you want the phone back or not?”
“Can I get it back without having to play twenty questions?”
“I suppose, but only because I’m feeling generous. Feel special, you hurt my feelings and I’m still choosing to be nice to you.” Stiles was about to give his location, then thought better of it. Sure, this was Beacon Hills, but it was one in the morning, and he’d been standing almost halfway down a dark alley for a while now. It wasn’t like he was going to wait there for however long it took for the guy to show up, and he felt like he should probably be somewhere a bit more public.
Not that he thought someone was out to get him and his young, hot ass, but one could never be too careful.
“I’m a few blocks from the police station. It’s about the only place still open right now, so I can wait for you there if you wanted to come by and grab it.”
“Shit. It’s further than I thought. I must’ve dropped it hours ago. I’ve had a few drinks, so driving to the station seems like a bad idea.”
“Also illegal,” Stiles supplied helpfully. “If you can’t grab it now, I can probably drop it off with one of the deputies. You can pick it up from the front desk tomorrow.”
“No,” the guy said.
“No?” Stiles asked.
There was silence for a moment, then he said, “Cops and I don’t really get along. I have a bit of an attitude problem. Or so I’ve been told. They might throw me in a cell just for showing up.”
“You? An attitude problem? I cannot believe,” Stiles insisted with a small smirk.
I seriously fucking hate you,” was sighed down the line. “How much battery life is left?”
“Uh...” Stiles pulled it away from his ear and winced before replacing it. “Twenty-seven percent. But I have a similar model, so I can charge it when I get home. Why?”
“Can you hang on to it for now? I’ll call tomorrow when I head out and we can meet at the station then, if that works?”
“You sure you trust me with your phone? What if I drop it down a toilet or something?”
“Then you owe me a new phone.”
“How will you find me to demand it of me?”
“I’ll just ask around for the most annoying person in town, I’m sure plenty of people know you. And avoid you.”
“Ouch!” Stiles insisted again. “You’re really hitting low, my guy. Tell Erica you need more alcohol, maybe it’ll make you nicer.”
“It won’t. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Stiles opened his mouth to confirm he’d be waiting and wish the guy a good night, but he’d already hung up.
That was rude.
Shrugging, Stiles just pocketed the stranger’s phone and turned to head back for the sidewalk, continuing on his way to the station. He replayed the conversation in his head, amused at his own wit given the banter had been exceptionally fun.
He couldn’t help but wonder what the guy had meant about the cops throwing him in jail, though. If he thought Stiles was going to change their meeting location tomorrow, the guy was sorely mistaken because he was still going to say to meet at the station. No kidnapping and murder for Stiles Stilinski, no sirree Bob!
Though now he wondered if the location settings were on, because he did not want someone showing up at his house to abduct him!
“Man, I watch too much TV,” he muttered to himself, crossing the last street at a jog when no cars were around and making his way towards his Jeep.
Realistically, his house was one of the safest places in town. Everyone knew it was the sheriff’s house, and they all knew his son had a gun license—for emergencies only, but they didn’t know that—so really, if someone was going to go after an unsuspecting victim, the sheriff’s house wasn’t the place to start.
Besides, his dad was home tonight, probably snoring away in bed before his morning shift given the late hour. Stiles was fairly confident he could survive a few hours with a stranger’s phone without worrying for his organs or virtue.
Not that he had a virtue to maintain, he was a very healthy bisexual twenty-four year old. That was long gone!
Whistling to himself while flipping his keys in his hand, he waved to some of the officers exiting the precinct before unlocking his door and climbing into his car. He was fairly tired after such a long day, and a somewhat exciting past few minutes, but he didn’t live far so he just got himself organized quickly and pulled out of the lot, heading for home.
The porch light was on when he parked in the driveway, but all the lights inside were off. Evidently his dad didn’t want him to brain himself trying to get into the house. Bless him, he did care.
Stiles managed to trip on his way up the stairs anyway, because he was observant that way, but he thankfully didn’t injure himself and made it inside with minimal noise. Turning off the porch light, he tried his best to sneak through the place without waking up his dad, because he knew he needed sleep. His job was stressful, even if their small town wasn’t as exciting as a big city. It was still stressful!
He made quick work of brushing his teeth and relieving himself once he got upstairs, figuring it was best to get that out of the way first in an attempt to minimize the amount of noise he made out of his room.
Once he was done, he silently shut his bedroom door behind himself and let out a small sigh. Walking towards his nightstand, he pulled his phone out and started to plug it in when he remembered his mystery friend’s nearly dead phone. His was at fifty-seven percent—he had a portable charger, because he wasn’t a savage—and he didn’t need it for anything in the morning. No alarm given it was Sunday tomorrow.
Or now, since it was past one, but details.
Setting his phone down, he instead pulled the other one free from his pocket. Instead of hitting the home button, which would bring up the password screen, he hit the power button on the side in an attempt to get a bit of an idea of who his new grumpy friend was.
The background was very underwhelming, it was just a picture of bookshelves. Very nice bookshelves, from a clearly gorgeous library—or store, it was hard to tell—but still. Bookshelves.
Not the home screen he’d expected upon hearing Cruella Deville playing for a friend’s call.
Shrugging and plugging the phone in, he quickly got dressed for bed, crawled under the blankets once the lights were off, and snuggled into his pillow.
Tomorrow was going to be a fun day.
Stiles woke up to a veritable heart attack at the explosive sound of Star Wars’ the Imperial March blasting from his left. He scrambled about on his bed, completely disoriented, and got tangled in his blankets to such a degree that he somehow ended up with one arm trapped beneath him. He was also partially choking himself with his shirt collar.
Thankfully he didn’t actually die because he managed to untangle himself relatively quickly once he was a bit more awake and crawled to the edge of his bed, pulling his phone over blearily in confusion.
It wasn’t until he saw the image staring back at him that he realized it wasn’t his phone. He’d forgotten about the night before—that seemed acceptable, given he’d just woken up to a fucking heart attack—and was now reminded of it by looking at the screen of not-his-phone.
The picture boasted a skull and crossbones—not like, cartoonish and pirate-shippy, but more artistic and dark—with the name ‘Kate - DO NOT ANSWER’ at the top.
Clearly this was someone his new buddy didn’t want to talk to, which meant Stiles didn’t want to talk to them, either. Besides, who the fuck called at seven in the morning on a Sunday? Someone nobody wanted to talk to, Jesus.
He was about to toss the phone back down when a thought occurred to him.
This person was clearly someone his new not-friend wanted to avoid. And this person didn’t know Stiles. So... what if he answered?
He could—pretend he was the new owner of the number? Maybe trick her into believing that the real owner had changed service providers and his phone number in an attempt to escape her?
It might not work, but he was willing to try. His best friend’s girlfriend in high school had had a stalker, and it was not fun, and while Stiles didn’t know for sure that this Kate person was stalking his new friend, he was pissed she’d woken him up, so he was willing to do his grumpy acquaintance a solid.
Answering the call before it had a chance to go to voicemail, he didn’t have to try hard to sound sleepy—since he fucking was, thank you very much Kate do not answer!—when he spoke. “Who the fuck is this? Do you have any idea what time it is?”
“Fucking scam callers,” he muttered, then hung up the call.
He stared blearily down at the phone, knowing people well enough to assume she’d think she’d misdialled. Sure enough, a few seconds passed, then the Imperial March started up again, along with the same name and picture.
He waited two rings before answering. “For fuck’s sake, what? Who is this? Seriously, it is seven in the fucking morning, what?!”
Silence again, but it was shorter this time.
“Who is this?” It was a woman’s voice, as evidenced by the name. She sounded suspicious, like she thought this was a trick.
“Someone who wishes they hadn’t bought a new phone yesterday,” he snapped. “I’ve gotten at least eight calls in the past twenty-four hours for whoever used to own this stupid number. Do me a favour, can you have them just tell everyone that they changed their number? That’d be super. Don’t call back, let me fucking sleep!” He pulled the phone away from his ear. “Seriously, inconsiderate motherfuckers,” he said while hanging up. He just wanted it to be believable, and muttering something like that while ending the call seemed like a good idea.
He waited for a few seconds, but she didn’t call back. Satisfied, he tossed the phone back onto his nightstand and started to roll over to go back to sleep when he realized his phone probably needed a charge.
Groaning like a dying animal, he rolled back over and sat up, yanking at the end of his charger—this was why he had to replace them so often, and he knew this, but he couldn’t help it. Once it was free of his new friend’s phone, he stretched for his own, plugged it in, tossed it down on top of the other one, then rolled over to go back to sleep.
It was hard returning to the land of the unconscious with the sun shining outside and sounds of life forcing him out of his attempted slumber, but after what felt like an eternity, he was just at the edge of passing out when, of course, a new song started playing.
And that meant his new friend’s phone was ringing again, because apparently he was big on setting songs as ringtones. Probably because he wanted Stiles, specifically, to suffer.
This one sounded like Bruno Mars’ Count on Me. He was kind of wondering about the songs this guy set for his phone. Clearly he and this Erica person were friends, but he’d set her as Cruella Deville, so maybe she was like, some kind of badass superwoman who didn’t take shit from anyone and it was an inside joke.
Kate, well, that seemed obvious. The Imperial March, while hella catchy, was meant to instill dread in people whenever it played on the screen, because it heralded the arrival of Darth Vader and probably a gruesome death for some ‘rebel scum.’
This person was clearly someone important. A close friend, or maybe a relative or something. Someone his new friend trusted and knew he could count on. It was a nice sentiment, but not this God damn early on a Sunday.
Letting out a loud, almost scream of frustration into his pillow, Stiles reached out blindly for the phone, shoving his own off the one vibrating beneath it and lifting his head just enough to glance at the screen.
It showed a picture of two guys smiling, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. They were both really attractive, one of them with flawless chocolate skin, deep brown eyes, huge muscles, and a warm and gorgeous smile. The other was a green-eyed tanned guy, about the same height, with his own killer smile and horrible taste in movies since he was wearing a graphic tee for the Batman v. Superman clusterfuck that had come out a few years back.
The name at the top said ‘Boyd,’ and Stiles couldn’t tell which of the two that suited best, so he shrugged and answered the call.
Why not? Wasn’t like he hadn’t already answered it twice so far.
“Hello, Jackson Whittemore’s sexy man’s porn shop.”
There was a brief silence, then a small chuckle. “You know, I kind of don’t want to know. Derek’s about ready to head out, are you still okay to meet him at the police station?”
Seriously, did no one want him to sleep?
“I suppose,” Stiles said with a dramatic sigh. “He owes me breakfast for all this trouble he’s put me through. Lack of sleep, uncharged personal phone, trauma of being beat up upon meeting him.”
A snort. “I’ll be sure to let him know.”
“Thanks. Have a good one.”
Stiles hung up, tossed the phone onto his nightstand, then buried his face back into his pillow. He lay there, whining like a child, for a good five minutes. This wasn’t fair. Not at all. Not one little itty bitty bit. It was Sunday! He was meant to be able to sleep!
And seriously, if his new friend—Derek, apparently—was calling his phone at one in the morning, then why was he awake so damn early? Didn’t he value the sweet, sweet activity that was slumber? It was by far Stiles’ favourite thing to do.
Realizing he was slowly passing back out while half-suffocating himself, he forced himself to roll over and sit up so he could head out before he fell asleep again and got woken up yet again by some other jaunty tune.
He wondered if he had Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 set for anyone. His mom, maybe? He felt like if he had it set, it’d be for his mom. Or an ex-girlfriend. Unless Kate was an ex-girlfriend? Who knew?
Well, Derek, clearly. Stiles would have to ask him about it over breakfast.
Exiting his room, he went to relieve himself and brush his teeth in the bathroom, washing his face in an attempt to wake himself up a bit more. It didn’t help, all it did was soak his shirt and dampen his hair, but he tried.
Changing into whatever clothes he found lying around—laundry was a thing he needed to do, apparently—he shuffled his way out of his room with his phone, Derek’s phone, his wallet and his keys, heading to the kitchen for coffee.
He could wait for breakfast, but coffee was an absolute must.
“Hi,” he muttered to his dad when he walked through the door and headed straight for the pot. He saw his dad lower his own mug slowly out of the corner of his eye.
“What are you doing up so early? I haven’t seen you emerge from your hole before noon since high school when you had Lacrosse practice.”
“Apparently doing a stranger a favour is rewarded with lack of sleep,” Stiles informed him, pouring himself a cup of coffee and then taking a large sip of it before he’d even put the pot back. He winced when he burned himself, but didn’t worry about it too much. It was fine, he’d live.
“You did a favour for a stranger?” the sheriff asked, surprised. “You won’t even do a favour for me.”
“Your favours involve chocolate and salty snacks, damn straight I won’t do you any favours,” Stiles insisted, pointing an accusatory finger at his dad while leaning back against the counter, taking another large sip of coffee. “Some guy lost his phone and was calling it hoping someone would answer. That someone was me. He said he’d had some drinks and couldn’t come grab it right then, so we agreed to meet at the station this morning. I didn’t realize ‘this morning’ meant the ass crack of dawn.”
“It’s not the ass crack of dawn, that was at five thirty-seven, according to the weather app on my phone.”
Stiles let out a sarcastic laugh and flipped his dad off. The sheriff gave him a look, but he didn’t reprimand him, clearly able to tell Stiles was miserable.
He had to be up early for work tomorrow, he only got two days to sleep in, and one of them had been stolen! He felt betrayed! Betrayed! Karma was so cruel. He did someone a favour, and his repayment?
Downing the rest of his coffee, he set the mug in the sink while wiping one hand across his mouth, and waved at his dad on his way out.
“Good luck. Don’t get kidnapped, I can’t afford the ransom.”
“I’m pretty sure if he’s coming to abduct me, he won’t be doing it in front of the precinct,” he called back, shoving his feet into his sneakers.
“The universe will reward your kindness,” his dad said.
Stiles snorted, unlocking the door and pulling it open. “I will only forgive said universe for this clear act of injustice if he does buy me breakfast,” he replied loudly. He was halfway out the door before turning back and adding, “And only if he’s hot!”
He shut the door before his dad could reply, taking the porch steps two at a time and pulling his keys out while heading for the Jeep. He was behind the wheel and backing out in seconds, turning to make his way to the police station and, hopefully, a warm and satisfying breakfast.
His last words to his dad replayed in his head while he idled at a red light, drumming the fingers of his left hand against his steering wheel in thought. Now that he knew that Boyd guy was close with phone-friend Derek, it stood to reason that the two guys in the photo were likely said two individuals.
Both of them had been extremely attractive, and he felt like if one of them showed up, regardless of which one, he would forgive the universe for the lost sleep today. But only today.
They were probably both taken. Looking like that? Definitely off the market, which was a shame. Still, he could look. He was allowed to look, even if he couldn’t touch.
Besides, wasn’t like he was ever going to see Derek ever again. They were meeting up for a phone exchange—and possibly breakfast—and then would part ways. Maybe they’d run into one another again at the grocery store, since Beacon Hills wasn’t that big, but otherwise he doubted he’d see him again after today.
Oh well, wasn’t like he was expecting a relationship to just fall into his lap or anything. Despite how awesome that would be.
Did Stiles want to be in a relationship? Yes. Yes he did. Did he do his very best to try and meet people and form a bond so he could potentially move into being in a relationship?
No he did not.
Stiles was lazy. He wanted someone to just fall into his lap. Not literally, that would probably hurt, but metaphorically. He wanted to just snap his fingers and poof. Girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or non-binary romantic partner. He wasn’t picky, much as he pretended to be. Being lazy was not the same thing as being picky.
Stiles wanted to be in a relationship, he honestly did. He wanted all the fun things that came with dating someone, like cuddling, and teasing, and holding hands. The sappy, romantic shit that the media told him he wasn’t allowed to like because he had to be a manly man. But he liked being spooned, dammit! He liked cuddles!
Sure, he liked getting fucked into the mattress as much as the next guy, but he could go out and get that anywhere. Literally, if he went to Jungle on a Friday and made eyes at some guy, he could get railed in minutes. But cuddling? Soft caresses? Temple kisses and dates and hand-holding while talking about future plans and vacations and like, whatever, renovations? That sounded so fucking nice.
He wanted that. But he had to work for it, and he was lazy, so unless a relationship fell into his lap—metaphorically—he was doomed to be single forever.
And he didn’t know why he was thinking about that when he’d already ascertained that both men in the photo were gorgeous and likely taken. Also probably straight. Because Stiles had shit luck that way.
Pulling into the lot for the precinct, he waved at Parrish when they crossed paths, the other man evidently on his way home after the night shift. Stiles parked in one of the visitor spots, turned off the engine, and climbed out. It wasn’t until he was standing beside his Jeep that it occurred to him—he had no idea what Derek looked like.
Well, possibly? If he was one of the guys in the photo, then he’d probably recognize him at least a little bit. Really, anyone who wasn’t a cop would be a dead giveaway since nobody came to the police station at eight-fifteen in the morning on a Sunday.
Except Stiles, apparently. And this Derek guy. Who had a personal grudge against sleep. Or against Stiles getting sleep.
He was definitely going to force him to buy him breakfast. He’d hold the phone hostage until Derek agreed.
Leaning back against his Jeep, Stiles pulled out his phone while he waited and opened up one of his word puzzle games. He played a few rounds of that before getting bored and checking his Tumblr. Then his Twitter. Then Reddit. Then Instagram. It was too early for anything to keep his attention for long, and if Derek didn’t show up soon, he was going to pass out from exhaustion and boredom.
Stiles glanced up when his dad approached, holding a travel mug he’d probably emptied the rest of their coffee into. Rude, Stiles was going to have to brew a new pot when he got home now.
“Yeah. He said he was a ways from the precinct when we spoke last night, so he’s probably still on his way.”
“Hm.” His dad looked around, as if for an unfamiliar face or vehicle before facing him once more. “Why didn’t you leave the phone here for him to pick up?”
“I offered. He said he didn’t want to get arrested.”
His dad arched an eyebrow. “That’s not concerning at all.”
“Hence why I am currently standing outside a building full of cops. I hope if you hear me screaming bloody murder, you will do your fatherly duty and race to my aid.”
“Depends on how much of this coffee I finish,” his dad said with a small smirk, taking another sip while Stiles sputtered incoherently.
“You are not cute, sheriff Stilinski!” Stiles said loudly, his dad having turned his back on him to head for the stairs leading up to the door. “Your son is a treasure and is worth being protected!”
“Just make sure my son remembers to go grocery shopping today, unless he plans on eating cereal for dinner again.” He got a pointed look from the older man, who was halfway up the stairs by now, and Stiles just waved him away.
“Get outta here with your requests of responsibility. What is this, a Marvel movie?”
“Have a good day,” he called loudly as his dad disappeared through the door.
He really did need to go grocery shopping though. If his dad was working now, he’d probably grab a bite to eat for dinner before heading home, which meant Stiles was on his own. And because he was lazy in all things, that literally meant cereal if he didn’t get something else.
Being an adult was hard.
He leaned his head back against the driver’s side window, tapping his phone absently against his leg, and shifted his gaze to the side when a sleek black Camaro slowly eased into the visitor’s lot. Stiles straightened instantly when he caught sight of the driver through the windshield.
Hot fucking damn, Derek was smokin’ hot!
He was one of the two guys in the picture, but clearly it was an old one, because he didn’t look exactly the same. His hair was longer but still stylish, he had a perfectly manicured beard, and he was wearing a green Henley that made his eyes pop with a leather jacket overtop. How he wasn’t roasting to death, Stiles didn’t know, but maybe he valued style over comfort.
Or he had the A/C blasting full tilt.
Derek parked a few spots down from the Jeep, backing into it like he was trying to show off to someone. He turned off the engine, then climbed out, and his ass looked fantastic in those tight jeans. Stiles wasn’t usually one to be all materialistic and stare at the package without knowing the personality, but someone this hot had to be taken, so he could ogle all he wanted knowing it wasn’t going to happen.
Derek flipped his keys in his hand, glancing over at Stiles, then arched an impressive eyebrow at him. Stiles just grinned impishly at him and Derek hesitated. It was like he wasn’t sure if Stiles was a random dude checking him out, or if he was the guy he was supposed to be meeting.
He was, however, supremely gratified at the very slow, deliberate once-over he got from said individual as he finally decided to approach, seeming to try his luck this way first. And damn was he fine, even the way he walked was hot.
Well, at least Stiles was getting one part of his karma-wish, given he’d said breakfast and a hot guy. One out of two was pretty good.
“Am I who you’re looking for?” Derek asked, voice just as sinfully deep and delicious as it had been over the phone.
“Does that line usually work for you? I’ll have you know, I am not going to be swayed by a flashy car, a bad-boy look and a terrible pickup line.”
The look he got for that was thoroughly unimpressed. “Right, it’s definitely you.”
Stiles grinned in response, reaching into his pocket to pull out Derek’s phone and holding it out. When the other man reached for it, Stiles snatched it back and eyed him suspiciously.
“Hang on, how do I know this is your phone? What if you stole it from someone? Or you’re just pretending to be this Derek guy who’s coming to get his phone?”
Derek frowned at him. “How do you know my name?”
“Your friend Boyd said it when he called earlier. Or, Derek’s friend Boyd said it. Since I don’t know you’re Derek.”
“I can unlock it with my thumbprint,” Derek said, crossing his arms. The leather of his jacket creaked, like it was too tight, which meant muscles and yes, yes, yes! “Or I can shove it up your ass and call it from your phone so you feel it vibrate down to your very core.”
“Violent and sexy. Hot.” Stiles grinned again, then showed him mercy and held the phone out once more. Derek snatched it faster this time, evidently not interested in playing keep-away. “Oh, by the way, it might not have worked, but I tried my best, so points for me. Your ex or something called? Kate do not answer?”
He saw Derek stiffen at those words, expression flashing to something almost horrified before he schooled it once more. Stiles held up both hands, like he was warding off a dangerous animal.
“I could tell based on the name and the ringtone that she was someone you wanted to get rid of, so I pretended I got a new phone yesterday and this was my new assigned number.” He shrugged. “I don’t know if she’ll believe it, but I figured, I had your phone so why not?”
“Thank you,” Derek said after a beat, sounding surprised. “That’s—thanks.”
“Sure.” Stiles grinned. “I’d have changed your voicemail too, but I couldn’t unlock it. And I’d probably have put something super obnoxious anyway.”
Derek stared at him for a moment, and it looked like he was considering that. Like he was legitimately willing to risk the most annoying voicemail message ever if it meant finally being left alone.
“Uh... I mean, do you—want me to?”
Derek’s gaze lowered to his phone then, staring at it, and Stiles let him think for a few seconds before holding his hand out. He didn’t expect Derek to take him up on it, but he surprisingly unlocked it and handed it over without a fuss. That was surprising, and probably the only reason Stiles was going to try not to be too annoying.
He made quick work of getting to the voicemail recording option, and waited while the annoying automated voice took her sweet ass time getting to the point. When the line finally beeped for him to record a new message, he spoke.
“Hey, you missed me, leave a message!” He pulled the phone away from his ear and hit the pound key, then re-listened to it to make sure it sounded okay. It was very clearly not Derek’s voice, so maybe the next time this Kate person called, and she heard the voicemail, she’d honestly think this was legitimately someone else’s phone number now and leave Derek be.
“Less obnoxious than I thought,” Derek said easily, holding his hand out for his phone.
“Careful, I still have it,” he teased, but he just starred out of the voicemail menu, hung up the phone, and passed it back over. “Just let the main people who call you know about the change, I guess. You know, so they don’t think you changed your number on them.”
He nodded once, then pocketed his phone. “Thanks.”
“Sure.” Stiles clapped his hands together. “Well, this was fun, and my voice is now immortalized as your voicemail, try not to jerk off to it too much.” He winked and felt a little smug at the fact that Derek just rolled his eyes instead of looking disgusted. “I should probably get to the store and replenish my fridge and pantry.”
“I thought you wanted breakfast.”
Stiles paused in his half-turn back to his Jeep, staring at Derek, a little surprised. “What?”
“Breakfast,” Derek repeated. “You told Boyd you wanted breakfast.”
Was he serious right now? For real? “I didn’t think you’d be down for that.”
He shrugged one shoulder, looking around. “There’s a few good diners in the area. You came all the way out here on a Sunday morning. And you didn’t sell my phone, so I figure a free meal’s warranted.”
“Heck yeah!” Stiles grinned, starting to head for the sidewalk. He passed Derek, slapping him hard in the arm. “Let’s go eat some food, I’m starving.”
“That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest somehow,” was the sighed response.
Stiles didn’t take it to heart and just slowed so that his new buddy could catch up, the two of them making their way leisurely down the street.
“I’m Stiles, by the way.”
“Sheriff’s son,” Derek said, hands in his pockets and turning to eye Stiles briefly. “I know.”
“I’m known?” Stiles asked with mock surprise. “I feel so special.”
“You are supremely annoying, you know that?” Derek asked him with a sarcastic smile.
“It’s a talent I have worked tirelessly at perfecting.” Stiles winked, but decided to tone down on the sass and sarcasm.
At least until he got fed.
“So, how’d you lose your phone, anyway?”
“I parked on the street and cut through the alley to pick up food for the party last night. I had it out to check the address and must’ve missed my pocket when I put it back. Didn’t notice it when I cut back through it to the car.”
“Well, you are clearly one of those Millennials who isn’t perma-glued to their phone.” Stiles motioned the first diner they passed and Derek shrugged his indifference, so they walked up to the door and Stiles pushed it open.
“I find there’s more meaning in making real conversation with people. Texting isn’t really my thing.”
“Yeah, didn’t seem to get any texts but man did you get calls. I noticed the array of music you use for your ringtones,” Stiles commented, holding up two fingers to the waitress who’d noticed them from across the diner. She motioned for them to sit wherever and Stiles moved towards the back of the small establishment, sliding into a booth. Derek sat down across from him, shrugging out of his jacket.
And man, his arms. Stiles wished the Henley wasn’t covering them up because he wanted to see those muscles in the flesh.
Literally, since-since they were inside flesh...
“I like music,” Derek said, snapping Stiles out of his trance of staring at those gorgeous arms. It helped—or maybe didn’t?—when Derek crossed them over his chest, settling back further into his seat. “I like the deeper, hidden meaning in songs. They’re interesting.”
“Yeah no, music’s great,” Stiles agreed. “Though I was kind of bummed you used the Imperial March for that Kate person.”
“Well Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is set for my mom, so...”
Stiles let out an extremely loud and unattractive bark of laughter at that, which earned him a confused look, but he just explained that he’d honestly been wondering earlier if Derek had set that for his mother. And apparently he had.
Derek explained that it wasn’t like they had a bad relationship, it was more that he saw her frequently and she only ever called him when something unpleasant was looming. Like family dinners with his deranged uncle, or his dad needing help rebuilding the back deck, or anything like that. His mother was actually a lovely person, she just never called with anything pleasant.
Stiles actually found that kind of cute, that she never had to call for anything pleasant because Derek saw her frequently. They started talking about family after that, Derek skirting around Stiles’ mom a little bit. It wasn’t a secret the sheriff’s wife had passed away a few years back. He’d taken a six month leave from work, and a lot of people had shown up with casseroles. Stiles appreciated that Derek was trying to avoid bringing it up.
Compared to Stiles, who just had his dad, Derek himself had two sisters, three brothers, his parents, a deranged uncle with a mean streak, and a blunt cousin who didn’t understand social cues. Not all living in the same house, of course, but apparently they had family dinner a lot, and Derek much preferred not having to deal with that insanity on a daily basis.
Derek was actually really funny. Surprisingly sarcastic, but overall a pretty decent guy. They spoke about family up until the waitress came over, and realized neither of them had even looked at the menu, which was available wedged between the wall and the napkin holder of every booth. She had to come back three times because they kept getting distracted chatting.
They circled back around to Derek’s ringtones before long, and while Derek didn’t say as much, he implied enough for Stiles to figure out that Kate was an ex-girlfriend from years past. Years and years past. It seemed like a toxic relationship, and kind of like she was borderline stalking him, but because she wasn’t being threatening or actually coming near him, he didn’t want to blow it out of proportion and start a huge thing about it.
The most she seemed to do was call him a few times a week as a reminder that she was still around and still waiting for him to come back. Stiles really hoped their little plan worked, and she’d give up calling him before long, thinking he’d changed his number.
He didn’t ask why Derek hadn’t changed his number, but figured he had his reasons. Probably more trouble than it was worth for someone who wasn’t doing more than being annoying. Or maybe Derek thought it was almost like she would win if she convinced him to change his number. This thing Stiles had just done was different, because Derek wouldn’t have changed his number but would potentially have gotten rid of her. So he would know himself that he’d still won this battle, even if Kate thought she’d won.
Either way, Stiles didn’t press. Wasn’t his business, and he was more interested in other things, like what other songs he’d used for people in his phone, and why he’d chosen specific ones. Derek was an interesting guy, seemed really into music, and would be fucking killer on trivia nights when it came to obscure music genres. It was actually kind of impressive.
Much as Stiles had been joking before about wanting to get a free meal for his troubles, he was actually really enjoying himself. It was like the night before, on the phone, when they’d been bantering. He may have honestly been pissing Derek off, but their back and forth had been effortless, and it seemed much the same while having normal conversations.
He was kind of sad to see it come to an end when the waitress brought over the bill, though was actually happy that Derek hadn’t asked for it. The place was starting to get a bit busier now that it was past ten, so Stiles figured she wanted them gone so they could get more people in and seated.
Derek tossed a two twenties onto the table, pocketing the bill like he was conscientious of his spending, and motioned for them to head out while grabbing his jacket. Stiles was sad to end their eventful morning so soon, but it had been two hours, and there was a lineup at the door, so he just sighed internally and slid out of the booth, following Derek through the small diner and out the door.
They were still chatting easily, almost bantering really, while heading back towards the station and their respective cars. Stiles may have been dragging his feet a little bit to delay their arrival, but if Derek noticed, he didn’t comment on it.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t yet mastered the art of walking in place, so eventually, they were back in the lot, standing exactly where they’d been two hours before when Stiles had finally given him his phone back.
“Thanks,” Stiles said, shoving his hands in his pockets and rocking forward on his feet. “For breakfast, I mean.”
“Thanks for finding my phone,” Derek replied.
Stiles nodded once, lips pressed together, and didn’t know what else to say. Derek didn’t look to be in any hurry to leave, either. He didn’t know if that was just wishful thinking or not, but before he could figure out something else to say, the man in front of him sighed.
“So that wasn’t terrible.”
Stiles snorted. “Thanks?”
Derek rolled his eyes. “I just mean—I had fun. This was fun. You are fun.”
“Damn straight,” Stiles agreed.
“I thought you didn’t do anything straight since you came out of the closet.”
“Hah,” Stiles insisted. “A joke. I’d ask if it hurt a little, but you’re clearly already dead inside, so you wouldn’t know.”
“Your presence only makes me feel even deader,” Derek confirmed, but the corners of his lips quirked slightly. “But jokes aside, if you’d be willing, maybe we can do this again sometime? Grab a coffee?”
Was he dreaming, or was this actually happening? “That—yes. That would be amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve met someone who can keep up with my witty banter.” He winked at him.
“It’s easy to keep up with when you’re the only one who thinks it’s ‘witty,’” was Derek’s devastating blow.
“Ouch.” Stiles slapped one hand to his chest. “You treat all your friends with such cruelty?”
“Only the ones who need a bit of a reality check.”
Stiles felt really good about Derek not having mentioned anything about them not being friends. Sure, they weren’t actually friends yet, but it was clear Derek wanted them to be.
“Well, I work a nine-to-five, Monday to Friday job,” Stiles informed him. “So I’m free most evenings, and basically every weekend. Barring the ones where I have plans, obviously.”
“That would make sense,” Derek agreed with a small snort. “What about next Sunday? We could meet at the diner again, if you’re okay with that.”
“Sure. But uh, maybe at like, nine or something? Let me sleep?”
“Weak,” was Derek’s retort to that, but he pulled out his phone. “But fine. Nine then.”
“Sounds good.” Stiles eyed Derek’s hands for a few seconds while he putzed around on his phone, and then arched an eyebrow when it was handed over. He realized once he took it from him that it was open on a new contact with his name. No ringtone set yet, but he knew that’d come later.
Typing in his number, since that was evidently the purpose of the phone being handed to him, he passed it back to Derek when he was done. Derek hit a few more buttons on his phone, and then Stiles felt his own vibrating in his pocket.
“You sure it’s a good idea giving me your number so quickly?” Stiles asked with a smirk, knowing the call had been Derek. “What if I call you incessantly?”
“Then I’ll have to find another ringtone that provides a feeling of dread,” Derek informed him easily, putting his phone back into his pocket.
“Rude.” Stiles blew a raspberry at him, and surprisingly, Derek just smirked at the blatant childish behaviour.
They were seriously like two peas in a pod, this was great!
“Well, I will blow up your phone later,” Stiles informed him, turning to glance back at his Jeep before facing Derek again. “Groceries await.”
“Thanks. And thanks again for breakfast.”
Derek nodded once and Stiles beamed, then turned back to the Jeep, unlocking the door and pulling it open.
“Hey Stiles?” Derek called from his car.
Stiles turned back to him, about to step up into the Jeep. “Yeah, what’s up?”
“Just so we’re both clear and on the same page, your comments about the closet, those aren’t just jokes, right?”
Was he—? No! That was impossible! Unless...
“I fell out of the closet when I was fourteen and haven’t managed to cram myself back in since,” Stiles confirmed.
Derek let out a small huff of a breath, likely an attempted cover for a laugh. “I like to think I walked out of mine with a bit more grace than that.”
Holy shit, he was! Had Stiles actually gotten his wish of a romantic partner falling—metaphorically—into his lap?! This was the best day ever!
“We can’t all be models,” Stiles insisted.
“Apparently we can.”
It took a second for Stiles to get that comment, then he realized Derek was implying Stiles was just as attractive to him as Derek was to Stiles.
We was starting to hate this day less and less, this was phenomenal.
“Well then,” Stiles said, clearing his throat. “I’ll uh, talk to you soon.”
“Have a good day, Stiles.”
Nodding once, Stiles turned and climbed into the Jeep, shutting the door and starting it up. Derek was still standing there, watching him. It made Stiles feel a little hot and bothered, if he was being honest, and he was worried he was going to accidentally floor it into the side of the station.
His dad would murder him.
Parrish would laugh himself unconscious.
Tara’d probably be the only one showing a modicum of concern.
Thankfully, he managed to back out without any problems, and he waved awkwardly on his way out of the lot, feeling his face warm and his heart pounding.
Best day ever.
“Why do you even need three cups of sugar in this recipe? That is entirely too much sugar!”
“Just trust me, okay?” Stiles insisted, phone wedged between his shoulder and his ear while he stabbed repeatedly at the ‘x’ button on his controller, eyes on the character he was controlling on his screen. “It’s worth it. You’re the one who wanted to bake your mom a cake for her birthday, and the only one I can do is a pound cake. So it’s my way, or you call someone else.”
“I didn’t say there was a problem with your way, I just said it’s a lot of sugar. How do people not eat this and immediately get cavities?”
“Excellent oral hygiene,” Stiles informed him. “Now shut up and add three cups of sugar.”
“You’re not as bossy as you like to think you are,” Derek informed him, but Stiles knew he was doing as he’d ordered despite what he’d just said.
“Yes I am, and you love it, don’t lie.” Stiles winced when his character died and he sighed, dropping his controller and rubbing tiredly at his eyes. “How come you didn’t just buy a boxed cake mix?”
“That’s what I usually do, but I just thought—I don’t actually know what I thought. I guess for some reason I assumed you’d know how to bake, and when I called you earlier and you said you knew how to make pound cake, I figured why not?”
“Nobody else you know have any baking knowledge?”
“Erica burns water, so no. Boyd is actually pretty good, but I didn’t want to bother him.”
“Oh, and bothering me is okay?”
“Are you complaining?”
“Not the point in the slightest, don’t change the subject.”
“You’re an idiot, why do I even put up with you?”
“Because I’m a delight to talk to. Now shut up and mix.”
“I keep telling you to stop thinking you’re doing a good job at being bossy, yet it doesn’t seem to stick.” Stiles listened to the sound of a whisk scraping against a bowl, and couldn’t help but wonder if the sugar and butter were incorporated and Derek just didn’t know when to stop.
“This feels like it’s taking way too long, are you okay over there?”
“You’re only here for the ingredients and the instructions. No other comments are welcome from the peanut gallery.”
“But commenting is my specialty,” Stiles teased, but obediently went silent, listening to Derek massacre the butter and sugar. “You know there’s such a thing as over-mixing, right?”
The scraping stopped instantly, Stiles smirking slightly. “It’s—I’m done. Uh, next step?”
Derek was literally the most adorable person Stiles had ever met.
“I think it worked!”
One day, Derek was going to remember that sleep was a thing Stiles did. Just because Derek seemed to be able to operate on four hours of sleep did not mean people like Stiles could. One day, he would remember.
Today was not that day.
“I’d ask if you know what time it is, but I doubt it would do my sleep schedule any good.”
“I wish I could feel bad about waking you up, but Stiles, I think it worked.”
“I am still working on my mind-reading, so maybe give me a few hints.” Stiles rolled onto his back, dragging one hand down his tired face and yawning loudly. His jaw cracked and he winced, shifting it from side to side to make the weird feeling it left behind go away.
“I didn’t want to jinx it, so I haven’t said anything, but it’s been two weeks since she’s called. After you changed my voicemail, she called a few times, but then suddenly the calls stopped. And they’ve been stopped for days. Stiles, I think–I think you did it.”
It took him a few seconds to figure out what Derek was talking about, but once he did, he felt a little more awake and he smiled softly. “Guess you can re-assign the Imperial March, since you don’t need it anymore.”
“Could always give it to you.”
“Rude,” Stiles insisted, then frowned. “What is my ringtone anyway?”
“The theme for My Little Pony.”
“Haha,” Stiles said sarcastically. “Hilarious. No seriously.”
“Why do you think I’m not being serious?”
“Fine then, don’t tell me.”
“Wasn’t planning to.”
“Asshole,” Stiles insisted, throwing one arm over his eyes. “Come in here, waking me up, refusing to answer my questions. Why do I let you do this to me?”
“Because I’m as delightful to be around as you are.”
“Ugh, we talk too much if you’re starting to throw that shit around. You can’t replace me, you know. My dad is too practised at my level of sass, he’d sniff you out in a heartbeat.”
“Of course, the fact that I’m two inches taller than you, have black hair, green eyes, a beard, and actual taste in clothes would have nothing to do with his immediate realization that I’m not his son.”
“I’m not gonna take this kind of crap from someone who thought Batman v. Superman was a good movie.”
“It wasn’t a good movie, it was a great movie.”
“Well, clearly you have zero taste.”
“Say that all you want, you’re only insulting yourself at this point.”
Stiles was too tired to piece that comment together in the moment, having responded with a witty remark. It wasn’t until he hung up ten minutes later and contemplated attempting sleep once more that it occurred to him what Derek had been saying.
By constantly telling Derek he had no taste, he was insulting himself because Derek thought he was attractive.
Stiles definitely didn’t manage to get back to sleep.
“It was awkward. Really awkward. I kind of hate you for how awkward it was.”
“Why do you hate me, it’s not my fault,” Stiles insisted, stabbing rather violently into the container of Half-Baked Ben & Jerry’s ice cream he’d pulled out of the depths of the freezer. “You should know better than to frequent a diner near a police station. My dad was bound to corner you at some point, not like he hasn’t noticed our hours of phone conversations and Sunday brunch tradition.”
“It’s only brunch because you can’t drag your lazy ass out of bed before noon on Sundays.”
“Some of us like sleeping,” Stiles insisted heatedly. “Sleep is a thing some of us rather enjoy! Just because you are a freak of nature doesn’t mean the rest of us are.”
“Either way, we need to change diners. I literally spent almost an hour sitting across from your dad. That wasn’t how I planned to spend my lunch break today.”
“Again, that’s a you problem. Don’t eat close to the station.”
“That’s my name,” Stiles agreed, managing to get a decent spoonful of ice cream out of the tub and sticking it into his mouth.
“I should re-name you in my phone, then.”
“Gonna tell me what my ringtone is yet?” Stiles asked around a mouthful of cold cream.
“Worth a shot. But hey, tell me something,” Stiles said, licking his spoon to ensure he got every last drop of ice cream before digging it back into the container. “You said when we first met that you didn’t want me to drop the phone off at the station. I assumed you were like, a drug dealer or something that kept getting arrested, but that’s clearly not the case. So why didn’t you want me to just drop it off for you to pick up?”
He heard Derek let out a long exhale, like he’d known this question would come one day, and had been dreading it.
Stiles blinked, pausing in his endeavour to dig more ice cream out of the container. “Come again?”
“When I said that? I lied. I don’t—you could’ve dropped it off. I could’ve gone to get it. Honestly, if someone else had answered and offered, I’d have agreed. Would’ve been easier to get it from there whenever without having to coordinate with someone to meet up.”
Derek said nothing further, so Stiles raised his eyebrows and said, “And?”
“And,” Derek continued with a sigh, “the reason I said that was because I wanted to meet the guy on the other end of the line.”
He what now?
“You had a nice voice. And while being tipsy at one in the morning and dealing with someone like you was kind of annoying, I was also... I liked our banter. It was nice. So when you said you’d just drop it off, I realized that meant I would miss out on meeting the guy I was talking to. So I just said the first idiotic thing that came to mind and hoped you’d never think about it again.”
“Oh,” Stiles said, because he didn’t know what else to say. “You—I mean, when you spoke. Your voice was hot. I like deep voices. So—guess we both had that same thought. About the voices, I mean.”
“Guess we did,” Derek agreed softly.
Stiles finished the entire container of ice cream long before they got off the phone.
“I think your dad is out to get me.”
“And why is that?” Stiles asked absently, leaning back in his computer chair while scrolling unseeingly through Tumblr. He was in a weird mood wherein he was bored, but not so bored he wanted to do something. Derek’s call had kind of been a Godsend, because at least he was entertaining, if nothing else.
And he was never going to get tired of hearing Derek’s voice in his ear. Almost two months, and it never got old. He was actually really glad Derek hated texting and preferred real conversations.
“I saw him at the store earlier, so I said hi. You know, to be polite—”
“You know how to be polite?” Stiles interrupted incredulously. “Shit, I should let Boyd know!”
“To be polite,” Derek said again, loudly. “He took that as his cue to stop and have a conversation. He had his hand on his gun the whole time we were talking.”
“Dad does that out of habit,” Stiles insisted, waving one hand absently, even though Derek couldn’t see him. “If he did that every time he was threatening to shoot someone, I’d have to fear for my life.”
“That doesn’t make me feel better, considering I have a strong urge to shoot you most of the time.”
“Good thing I’m the one with the gun license, then.”
“If you say so. Still, uncomfortable conversation.”
“What about?” Stiles reblogged a funny meme before continuing with his scrolling.
“Your phone bill, mostly.”
“I’m the one who pays it, he can’t complain.”
“He also kind of gave me the talk. As if I’m not twenty-seven years old and have parents of my own.”
“He knows we’re not dating, so that was uncalled for,” Stiles muttered absently, squinting at a comic he was trying to read. The font was too small and when he clicked to enlarge it, it didn’t help so he gave up and kept scrolling.
“Not for a lack of trying,” Derek said pointedly.
“Mm,” Stiles responded absently.
It took a second for the words to click, and he sat up so fast from his hunched over position he almost toppled out of his chair.
“I feel like every time you can’t possibly surprise me any more than you have with your stupidity, you somehow still manage to.”
“But—I was—you never said anything!”
“Stiles,” Derek said, sighing so loudly it was actually a wonder he didn’t just deflate entirely. “I asked you to breakfast the first day we met. I kept the receipt of our first ever outing together. I clarified that you were actually bisexual and not just saying things to be funny. I’ve called you almost daily ever since. Did I need to buy a billboard?”
“I—maybe?” Stiles offered. “It’s just... I thought, you know, that you were just joking. You know, teasing.”
“Well I... am clearly not good at picking up what you’ve been putting down.”
“Clearly. Your dad understood it long before you did. I’m pretty sure that’s why he cornered me at lunch that one time. Because he has a brain, which you clearly didn’t inherit from him.”
“Rude,” Stiles insisted, pointing his finger accusingly at no one. “That’s rude. How dare you?”
“It’s not rude if it’s true.” Oh he was definitely smirking, the smarmy motherfucker! “So now that we’ve clarified what should have been perfectly obvious...” Derek hesitated for a moment, then said, “Dinner? Tomorrow?”
“Like a date?”
“If I have to spell it out for you, then yes, like a date.”
“I have one question for you,” Stiles said, squinting suspiciously at his screen. Honestly, regardless of the answer, it was still going to result in Stiles one-hundred percent agreeing to go on this date.
“How do you feel about cuddles?”
“That—why do you always manage to throw me off?” Derek sighed in exasperation, like he was already regretting his decision. Too late! He’d already asked! He was stuck with him now! “I like cuddles.”
“Excellent! Then a date it is, followed by cuddles!”
“Why do I even like you?” Derek demanded with another exasperated sigh.
Stiles and Derek had been dating for almost two months before he was finally able to find out what ringtone his boyfriend had assigned to him.
According to Boyd, it had been set from the very beginning, because once Derek assigned someone a ringtone, it was set for life barring a catastophic breakdown in relationship—like with Kate.
Unfortunately for Stiles, that meant every single time he called Derek, everyone around him was graced with the dulcet tone of Roy Orbison singing Pretty Woman.