The night was supposed to have turned out differently. Once upon a time, literally less than a few hours ago, Stiles had a plan. One that totally didn’t involve wooing Derek Hale, except maybe it did.
But then everything went wrong.
“Hey, Derek,” Stiles said, glancing over. “Remember that one time you decided to visit the pack at college, I warned you there were hunters around, and you said it’d be fine anyway?”
Derek shot Stiles a glare as they ducked out of sight, the rest of the pack having split up hours ago. Stiles smirked back, pretty sure he did.
The crowded streets of New York were not where Stiles had been expecting to spend his night but then Scott had suggested they go out to eat, the rest of the pack had agreed, and Stiles had been the first one to realize they were being stalked by hunters.
“Because I do,” Stiles said. “I remember very specifically telling you no. But do you ever listen? Oh, of course not. It’s just Stiles, after all.”
“Shut up, Stiles.”
“I’m just staying,” Stiles said, waving a hand through the air. “Maybe if you started listening to the token human more often, you’d know better than to go out as prime bait for a bunch of hunters.”
“They won’t do anything in public.”
“Have you never seen any movies, dude? A knife stuck in the gut coated in wolfsbane and you’ll be dead before you can react. And they’ll be gone before we can stop them.”
“Glad to hear you care.”
“I don’t care,” Stiles grumbled. “I just don’t want to have to explain to my dad why I let his favorite deputy get killed on his paid vacation to New York city.”
“Shut up, Stiles.”
“You said that already.”
“Well, it looks like I’m saying it again.”
Stiles rolled his eyes, glancing around. “Where are we going? Do you have a plan to meet up with the others?”
“Once we lose the hunters, we’ll double back to the university.”
Stiles started to glance backward but a firm hand on his shoulder had his eyes snapping back over the Derek. The man gave him a warning look and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Fine, fine, I’m not looking. How do you know where we’re going anyway?”
“I used to live here.”
Stiles’s stomach flipped. He’d forgotten about that. It seemed like so much of their lives had been spent running around Beacon Hills, but Stiles supposed only his was. Derek, on the other hand, had managed to escape at one point. Until he got dragged back into it all again, that was.
Derek gave him a disgruntled look. “What are you thinking about?”
“Your scent is doing something weird.”
Stiles gave him an amused look, crooking up and eyebrow and Derek rolled his eyes. His grip on Stiles’s shoulders had never left and suddenly, he tightened it, yanking Stiles off the sidewalk and into the nearest… bar, he realized. Stiles made a noise of protest, nearly losing his balance, and Derek moved his grip to cup the back of Stiles’s neck, righting him out again.
“Come on,” Derek said, moving toward the bar. Stiles’s mind spun.
The man behind the counter straightened as Derek approached. For a moment, he looked downright murderous and Stiles tensed, trying to backpedal against Derek’s grip. But then the man broke out in a wide grin and lowered the glass he was cleaning, throwing open his arms.
That was… new. Stiles stopped struggling and let Derek lead him around the counter and the other man moved over and… actually hugged Derek. Like a normal human being. Like friends who hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years or something.
Derek just grunted. The man barked a laugh.
“Still vocal as ever, I see.”
“Carlos, I need you to get us into the back room.”
Carlos raised an eyebrow, stepping back. His eyes snapped Derek to Stiles and then back, and he looked curious for a moment. Stiles barely kept his eyes from flicking toward the bar door, but then the man nodded and led them out of sight.
Stiles could have melted in relief.
Except his mind was still spinning; Derek actually knew other people. At some point during his life, he had clearly been here. Making friends. Maybe even laughing with this… Carlos dude.
He led them out of the main bar area and into a large room filled with kegs, bottles, and a back door. Carlos turned around then, arms crossed, and studied Derek.
“What’s this all about, Hale? I haven’t seen you or your sister in years.”
“Laura’s gone,” Derek said, jaw clenched. Carlos’s face dropped.
“What? I’m sorry to hear it.”
“I’m not back in the city for very long.”
Carlos’s eyes snapped sideways, searching Stiles up and down. Stiles shifted from foot to foot, trying not to fidget, and then Carlos glanced back. “You in some kind of trouble?”
“Really? Not even with werewolf stuff?”
Stiles went stock-still. Carlos noticed his reaction and barked a laugh.
“So that’s what it is then.”
“Hunters,” Derek said quietly. “I don’t know if they followed us in here or not. I’m sorry to come into your territory unannounced, but—”
Carlos waved a hand through the air. As Stiles watched, the man’s eyes flickered to gold and he caught a hint of fang. “Hunters in here come and go. I’ll take a look and tell you if it’s safe to leave yet, alright?”
Derek nodded silently. The man clapped him on the shoulder before leaving the backroom again and Stiles just stared in shock.
Slowly, he turned to look at Derek. The man was avoiding his gaze. “Dude.”
“He’s a werewolf.”
“Who owns a bar.”
Derek gave him a flat look. “Werewolves have jobs too, Stiles. What do you think we do?”
“I dunno, dude! Before I found out about your family vault, I thought maybe you just magically had money all the time or something. I mean you drive a Camaro!”
Derek flinched. Stiles instantly felt bad, biting down on his lower lip.
“So you know him?”
“I used to work as a bartender here.”
Stiles blinked and Derek fixed him with a flat look again, arms folded over his chest. After a moment, Stiles shook his head. “Sorry. I’m totally not surprised or anything but uh, he knew Laura too?”
“This is a werewolf owned bar. It’s supernatural friendly.”
“Is that a thing?”
“Hunters don’t start fights here. Even those without a code know better than to break certain states of peace. Carlos will make sure they’re gone and then we’ll go out the back door.”
Stiles studied his face. Then nervously licked his lips. “This isn’t the first time you’ve done this before.”
“Sometimes we would get certain people in trouble.”
“Not just werewolves?”
Derek looked away, obviously not keen on the conversation. Stiles nodded silently and shifted again, glancing back toward where Carlos had vanished. He chuckled lightly.
“You made friends, big guy.”
“You’re not all grumps and growls.”
“I have friends, Stiles.”
Stiles snorted. Derek gave him a look and the smile melted from his face. “Of course you do, Sourwolf. We’re friends, aren’t we?”
He thought the man’s face softened. But then Derek just rolled his eyes. “No.”
“You’re a thorn in my side.”
“A tender one.”
Derek’s eyes flickered and Stiles felt his face turn hot. But before he could say another word or possibly make things worse, Carlos came back into view again, wiping his hands off on a dishtowel.
“All clear, Hale.”
Derek nodded once and turned toward the back door, but Carlos caught him by the shoulder before he could make his escape. The man went stock-still and slowly turned around.
“You’re okay out there, right, Hale?”
Derek nodded once. Carlos glanced over at Stiles.
“You’ve found a pack?”
Derek let a little bit of red bleed into his eyes in answer. Carlos straightened and then nodded, a slightly fond look crossing his face.
“So Laura’s spark went to you then.”
If Carlos was confused at that, he didn’t show it. Instead, he just smiled and let go of Derek’s shoulder. “You take care of yourself out there, Hale. And take care of your pack.”
Derek nodded once before moving away again. Stiles hesitated for a moment before following. The door closed behind them, cutting off the sounds of the bar and welcoming the night air. Stiles glanced over at Derek but the man didn’t say a word, eyes fixed on the end of the alleyway.
“Let’s circle back to the dorms.”
Stiles clenched his jaw but followed. They only made it to the where the alley met the sidewalk, though, before Derek was yanking him back again and then shoving him against the wall.
Stiles squeaked and Derek clapped a hand over his mouth, eyes turning red. Going stock-still, Stiles didn’t move as the man slowly turned his head and the sound of voices filtered through the night.
Stiles recognized them from earlier. The hunters.
He swallowed hard as Derek pulled his hand back a couple of inches.
Derek looked back at him and Stiles swallowed hard. For a moment, with the faint voices in the air and Derek pressed up against him, it was all Stiles could do to try and not let his heart skip more than one beat. But he must have failed because Derek’s eyes sparked again.
Nervously, Stiles wet his lips. Derek’s gaze dropped straight down.
Then the voices got closer.
Derek glanced over his shoulder once more and then cursed, turning back forward. Before Stiles could say a word, the man was pinning him to the wall and— and Stiles’s brain short-circuited from there.
Because suddenly, Derek’s lips were on his own. The man was kissing him. Stiles startled and then melted into it. Derek’s hands came up to cup his face and Stiles whined at the back of his throat, turning his chin up a little more.
When Derek growled, the sound vibrated straight down Stiles’s spine. Gentle lips moved down his neck, Derek’s nose brushing past the top of his sweatshirt, and Stiles couldn’t help whatever kind of noise that left his mouth. Then the man’s teeth skated back up Stiles’s neck, lips brushing over the shell of his ear before pressing against Stiles’s own again, and he was pretty sure he was about to collapse.
He didn’t even hear the voices of the hunters anymore. His heart was definitely not beating right.
But then suddenly, Derek was pulling back. Stiles blinked a few times, feeling a little dazed, and then moved forward again, trying to catch the man’s lips once more. But Derek turned his face away.
“They’re gone. Walked straight past.”
And it was like Stiles had been doused in cold water.
His face turned bright red and he moved back to fast, he slammed right back into the wall. Derek gave him a startled look but Stiles just stared at him in surprise. Then anger.
“What the hell was that!”
Stiles stiffened. He stared at Derek for a long moment and then tried to shove past, but Derek’s caught his arm. Stiles started to whirl around, a dozen curses forming on his tongue, but then Derek flashed his eyes.
“They could still be close by.”
“So what, are we just going to squat in this alleyway for the rest of the night?”
Derek clamped his mouth closed, the red fading from his eyes. Stiles shoved him back, yanking his arm away.
“Next time, don’t use me as a distraction, Derek.”
The man’s brows furrowed. “What?”
Stiles glared at him for a long moment. Then he raised his jaw and stepped closer. “Kiss me again.”
“I told you earlier to start listening to the token human more often,” Stiles said, his heart thudding against his chest. But dammit, this night was supposed to have had turned out differently. Once upon a time, literally less than a few hours ago, Stiles had a plan.
One that totally didn’t involve wooing Derek Hale. Or maybe it did. Maybe it did and then hunters had come along and ruined everything.
“I was going to kiss you first tonight, Derek,” Stiles said. “And not as a damn distraction.”
The man’s eyes flickered. He looked terrified.
“So this,” Stiles said. “Is a worthwhile situation. The hunters could still be out there. I had all the moves planned. None of it involved dark alleyways or possible knifings, but—”
And Derek was moving again. Pushing him back against the alleyway wall and shutting Stiles up the best way possible. Stiles closed his eyes, carding his hand through the man’s hair.
And Stiles well… Stiles had a plan. This was most certainly not it.
But he blamed the hunters, Derek Hale’s stubbornness, and if it got Stiles a make-out session in a dark alleyway, he was so going for it. Derek pulled back for a moment, taking a growling breath, and Stiles grinned.
“Oh my god, I’ve got so many good bartender jokes, you don’t even know—”
Derek just rolled his eyes and kissed him again. Stiles grinned around his lips, more than a little content. Because yeah, this wasn’t to plan. But he was okay with it.