“You’re so adorable,” Stiles said, grinning from ear to ear. “I can’t believe I have you all to myself.”
Derek clenched his jaw and glanced over his shoulder, where Stiles sat on the edge of his bed and watched as Derek bent of the desk, looking over the research Stiles had done on the wendigo that had been running around town the past week.
Stiles’s face turned red the moment Derek glanced back and he raised his eyebrows, putting a mock innocent expression. “What?”
“Who were you talking to?”
“Okay. What were you talking to?”
Stiles’s eyes flicked down a few inches before he turned even redder, eyes snapping right back up once more. “Nothing. I was talking to absolutely nothing. No one. In fact, I didn’t even say a word!”
“I was definitely not talking to your magnificent ass.”
“I’m going to throw you out the window.”
“What?” Stiles said, looking indignant. “I said I wasn’t talking to your ass! I mean, you. I mean, anything or anyone. Whatever!”
Derek gave him a long look before turning back to the laptop. He could almost instantly sense Stiles’s scent change again. It grew warmer, filled with humor and satisfaction, and Derek felt his face turn hot despite himself.
“Stiles, I’m going to rip your throat out.”
“I’m not doing anything!”
“Keep your eyes on the floor and don’t look back up until I tell you to.”
Stiles mumbled something underneath his breath that Derek didn’t catch, but he was pretty sure the boy followed his order. That made him grin a little.
First of all, Derek would like to say that he totally hadn’t been coming over for the past few days— weeks—months, whatever. But if he had, he could say that he and Stiles might have been growing a lot closer lately than they ever used to be.
And yeah, there was a time when Derek might have hated the idiot or when he might have literally tossed Stiles out the window for even implying anything about Derek’s ass, but now he almost thought they could joke back and forth like this without it being weird. Or, too weird, at least.
As the silence reigned, Derek thought maybe it was a little weird.
“So,” Stiles said after another long moment. His words were airy but his scent was suddenly nervous. “You know the pack is going out this coming Friday.”
“Like they usually do.”
“But you never come with us. Them. The pack. Us.”
Derek turned around, eyeing the boy. Stiles fidgeted from his spot on the edge of the bed and Derek finally closed the laptop, leaning against the desk and folding his arms over his chest. “Are you trying to ask me something, Stiles?”
“Not at all.”
“Do you want me to go out with the pack this Friday?”
“Only if you want to.”
Derek narrowed his eyes, studying the boy. Stiles was looking anywhere but him now and Derek sighed. “The pack only ever goes to clubs.”
“Too many bright lights. I don’t like all the colors”
“Well... We don't have to go somewhere with bright, multi-colored lights. What about somewhere with normal lights? Or like… fairy lights? Wait, no. I don’t think clubs rig up their systems with fairy lights.”
Derek raised an eyebrow, unimpressed, and he could’ve sworn Stiles’s heart plunged for a moment. But Derek wasn’t sure why. For a few seconds, at least, and then he thought he had an idea, raising both eyebrows this time. “Are you trying to ask me to go somewhere with you, Stiles?”
“You realize your heartbeat is going at a million miles an hour right now, don’t you?”
Stiles opened his mouth, narrowed his eyes, and then closed it again. He fixed Derek with a flat look before crossing his arms over his own chest. “That doesn’t mean anything.”
“I can also hear it when your lying.”
“I’m never lying.”
“Shut up, that’s not following fair human guidelines. Overruled.”
“Stiles, you can’t just overrule—”
“Okay, research night is over,” Stiles said, cutting Derek off and pushing himself up. Derek rolled his eyes, giving the boy a flat look, but Stiles was very obviously avoiding his gaze now. He moved around Derek, grabbed his laptop, and then all but threw himself onto his bed with his back to Derek.
Derek looked at him for a long moment, but Stiles didn’t move. Sighing, Derek ran a hand through his hair and shook his head, moving toward the open window. But at the last moment, Stiles sat straight up, his scent flickering again. Derek glanced over his shoulder, raising a brow.
The boy looked at him for a long moment. Then he mumbled something Derek didn’t catch, turned back toward his laptop, and apparently that was that.
Derek totally didn’t feel a little bit hurt as he pulled himself out into the night.
When Stiles showed up to a club of flashing lights and moving bodies on Friday night, dressed in his least baggy clothes and a dark t-shirt, he was really only looking for one face in the crowd. He hadn’t exactly asked Derek to show up, per-say, but he’d made it pretty obvious, hadn’t he? Stiles had been vibrating the entire way here, sure the man would finally show up and spend at least some time with him outside of Stiles’s bedroom for once.
But then as Stiles searched the sea of faces, he didn’t see the one that he was looking for.
Stiles’s stomach slowly sunk and he realized that maybe Derek hadn’t come after all. Cold fingers suddenly started him out of his thoughts and he turned around to see Erica raising a brow, a mischievous smirk playing across her lips.
“You look like a little lost puppy, Batman. Looking for someone?”
“Derek’s didn’t come?”
Both of her eyebrows raised. Then her smirk took on a wicked edge and Stiles felt a blush creeping across his face, doing his best to shrug his own words off.
“I’m just curious.”
“He’s still back at the loft, Stilinski. Said he had some things to get done.”
Stiles’s stomach dropped and his good mood instantly dissipated. Erica seemed to notice his fallen positivity because she took his hand and started to pull him onto the dance floor. But Stiles regretful tugged away and Erica sighed.
“You could go drag him out here, you know. He’s just a giant grump. He needs someone to tell him what to do with himself for once.”
Stiles wanted to say he’d already offered out an invitation. Because he had, hadn’t he? Or at least… he kind of had. He’d attempted to. It wasn’t like Derek was any better at expressing his feelings.
Not like there were feelings. There were totally no feelings.
Still, Stiles found himself nodding. Because he could do that— he could attempt to drag Derek out here. Maybe he just had to let the man know the invitation had been legit. Stiles wasn’t just throwing suggestions out there because he felt like throwing suggestions out there. He was trying to get Derek more involved with the pack.
Yeah, that’s what he was trying to do.
“I’ll be back,” Stiles said, turning away. He didn’t miss Erica’s small smirk, brushing it off. He was doing this for pack morale. For the sake of Derek Hale and his vampire-like habits.
Yeah, that was his reasoning.
Even so, Stiles sat in his jeep for a long time when he arrived at the loft. He flipped his keys over and over again in his hand, eyed the dark building that stood up against the fading light in front of him, and then steeled himself, stumbling out of the car and stalking toward the loft.
He was pretty sure he was going to regret this.
Stiles half expected to come into the loft and find the man buried behind a book or something. That seemed to be Derek’s usual Friday night. The man would watch them all leave the loft, not make a move to follow, and Stiles always turned away with a small ache in his chest.
But this time, when he slid the loft door open, he was surprised to find it only dimly lit. Stiles plodded in slowly and then covered his eyes with a hand as all the lights flickered on at once.
Then he blinked.
The last thing he’d ever expected to see was Derek standing next to the couch, a nervous-looking expression on his face. And he never expected to see fairy lights hanging from the rafters, lighting up the loft with a soft, dim, golden glow.
Stiles blinked at the lights. And then stared at Derek. The man was red all the way to the tips of his ears.
“Uh, Derek? What’s this?”
The man winced. “They’re not good, are they?”
“They’re not— what?”
Suddenly, Derek looked much more terrified than nervous. There was take-out on the coffee table next to the couch, a stack of Stiles’s favorite movies next to it, and it hit him like a blow as Stiles realized what exactly he had walked in onto. And then Stiles almost stumbled over his own feet.
“Oh my god, this is a date.”
“It doesn’t have to be,” Derek said. “I didn’t know what you meant earlier on this week, but it doesn’t—”
“Dude. This is a date!”
Derek flinched like he’d been slapped. Stiles’s heart leaped into his throat and he moved forward before he could stop himself. Nearly kissing Derek. Pulling back at the last moment. He searched the man’s face and then laughed, and some of Derek’s terror faded.
“You’re so adorable,” Stiles said, shaking his head. “Oh my god, you’re so adorable. I can’t believe I have you all to myself.”
“Are you still talking to my ass—”
“Your face, Sourwolf.”
The relief that crossed Derek’s face was instantaneous. A small smile tugged at the edges of his mouth and this time, Stiles did move forward, catching Derek’s lips with his own. The man rumbled a startled noise at the back of his throat and then he cupped Stiles’s face with both hands, kissing him back.
Derek Hale was kissing him. Stiles was kissing Derek Hale.
Underneath flickering lights of his own doing.
“You’re so adorable,” Stiles said as Derek kissed him harder. The words kept coming out, even as Stiles tried to stop them. Because he really couldn’t. “So freaking adorable—”
“Stiles, shut up and kiss me.”
And Stiles didn’t need to be told twice.
Okay, he totally did.