It was Laura's fault. It was something of Derek's catchphrase but that didn't make it any less true. It was Laura's fault when they decided to pierce Cora's ears, it was Laura's fault when they broke the railing on the stairs (and the dining room table) and it was Laura's fault for screwing up his 10-Year Plan with Stiles.
Stiles, who was two years behind them at Beacon Hills High and who had no idea Derek existed. Which was written into The Plan. The Plan that went something like this:
1. Make first line. ✓ (Pathetically easy.)
2. Befriend Stiles's best friend. ✓ (Scott was practically the nicest guy ever. It'd taken Derek less than a week to get on his good side - and he hadn't even been trying that hard.)
2.5 Find out the name of Stiles's best friend so as not to accidentally refer to him as 'Stiles's best friend.' ✓ (Or 'that stupid jerk who gets to hang out with Stiles all the time.')
3. Get invited to the 'hang-outs' that occurred after the lacrosse games that Stiles went to without fail. ✓ (Jackson was a complete douchebag but he didn't seem to mind having Derek at his parties.)
4. Speak some sort of words at Stiles.
5. Ask Stiles out after charming him with said words - not on a group date.
6. Keep Laura from finding out about said date so she couldn't shove her big fat nose into it.
7. Make Stiles fall madly in love with him through more words.
8. Go to BHCC for his first two years of college in order to stay close to Stiles.
9. Transfer to Berkeley with Stiles. (Derek knew he wanted to go there because he'd overhead him telling Scott it was the school his mom had gone to. He also knew Stiles wouldn't want to go too far from his dad. Because Derek was, as Laura affectionately called him: a creeper.)
10. Convince Stiles to move in with him for his last two years at Berkeley.
11. Distract Stiles with curly fries and his copy of Detective Comics, No. 27 which would - hopefully - bamboozle him into saying yes when Derek proposed.
12. Follow Stiles wherever he went and adopt lots of babies or have surrogate babies or rescue dogs if Stiles didn't want babies.
13. Live happily ever after.
The Plan had stalled at making words at Stiles. Words had never really been Derek's strong suit and, around Stiles, Derek felt comfortable in calling them flat-out enemies. Once, he'd managed to grunt agreeably in response to one of Stiles's friendly questions. But when he hadn't been able to do more, Stiles had frowned and wandered away to find someone else to actually talk to.
Derek had then taken to banging his head against the wall while internally berating himself.
Stiles hadn't tried again and Derek was trying not to fall into a deep dark depression over that. The Plan was far from off though. Derek just needed to find a work around for the whole 'speaking to the object of his undying affection' part and then he was sure the rest would go off without a hitch.
Stiles still came to every lacrosse game to cheer Scott on and the season wasn't over for another two months - provided they continued winning, and they were on the right track for that - so Derek had plenty of chances left.
It was all still workable. Derek wasn't about to panic. At least he wasn't until he looked up into the stands and saw Laura sitting next to Stiles. Stiles, his Stiles - the Stiles that he in no way owned but was his future... everything whether he knew it or not. They didn't even know each other! Derek had made sure to keep it that way too. What was Laura doing at a lacrosse game? She despised all organized sports.
What could they possibly be talking about?
Scott elbowed him in the ribs. "Dude, you all right?" He was giving Derek a bug-eyed look.
"H—ow," Derek's voice broke but he so did not care, "how does Stiles know Laura?" Because Derek couldn't compete with Laura. Laura, who could sit next to the utter perfection that was Stiles and still manage to make words.
Scott whipped around and wolf-whistled. "I don't think he does know her. Is she single? Maybe we could set Stiles up with her?" Some amalgamation of panic, pleading and disgust must have pasted itself over Derek's face because Scott actually reared back. "What? Do you like her or something?"
Derek shook his head frantically. "She's my sister," he said desolately. Derek didn't tell people about Laura because everyone liked Laura best. Stiles was certain to like Laura best and Derek had to get them away from one another or he was going to have a full-out panic attack. Screw the fact that they were in the middle of game.
"Oh my god. You like Stiles." Scott was staring at him, eyes wide with disbelief. "Stiles thinks you hate him or something."
"What? No!" Derek's world was crashing down around his ears. "I have a 10-Year Plan," he mumbled, ears turning red.
Scott looked like he was suppressing a chortle or two. "What?" Derek wasn't paying attention, his eyes flicking up to Stiles and Laura who were laughing together like long lost pals. What did they even have to say to each other? "You never talk to him, even when Stiles tries."
Derek refocused on Scott. "He's intimidating."
"Stiles is intimidating?"
It was an effort for Derek to stay in his seat and he kept awkwardly prairie dogging off the bench to keep an eye on Stiles and Laura. He chewed on his lacrosse glove. "He's one of the cleverest kids in school and he can make the most mundane things seem interesting and he's a really good friend. I mean, he's at every one of your games and he's helping you study for the SATs. Not to mention, he's kind of... gorgeous so, yes, he's intimidating."
"Huh." Scott slumped back on the bench, gaping like a fish. "You like Stiles," he reiterated like he couldn't make the words make sense. Scott squinted at him until he was sure Derek was paying attention. "You could actually try, you know, talking to him."
Derek rolled his eyes. "Obviously that's the phase of The Plan we're on now."
They hopped off the bench when Coach called them in, Derek throwing worried glances up at the stands. Scott nudged him in the shoulder. "There's a plan?"
Derek didn't even want to go to the after-party at Jackson's. Not while he was mentally planning how to get out of going to Laura and Stiles's wedding. He'd book a trip and hole up in a hotel room and drink until his liver turned black. It was a solid plan. Scott wouldn't hear of him ditching though.
Derek wished he could say it was a surprise when Stiles walked up to him and greeted him with, "Dude, your sister is awesome."
"Yeah, she's the best," Derek said sourly, his whole face frowning. Of course, of course Stiles would be infatuated with Laura. Laura was out-going and bright and she didn't clam up whenever she came within five feet of Stiles.
Stiles seemed to realize something was off and the line between his eyebrows creased with concern because he was Stiles and he cared about people he barely knew. "You okay, man?" Derek grunted. The effort of saying 'I'm fine' was simply too much to ask of him right now. Stiles shifted on his feet uncomfortably before he brightened up. "You were amazing tonight, by the way. I didn't think you were going to get that last one past Ronson."
Derek shrugged, resolutely not looking around for Laura who was undoubtedly off waiting somewhere for Stiles. "Thanks," he muttered.
Stiles's shoulders slumped and he sighed. "Five words. It's more than I've gotten out of you before. Suppose I should count that as a success, huh?"
Oh my god. Derek had spoken some sort of words at Stiles. Five whole words. They hadn't managed to be charming but they were still totally words. "Step four complete."
Stiles froze in walking away from him and turned around. "What?"
And Derek meant to say, 'Do you want to go out with me sometime?' Because he was still riding the dizzying high of actually making intelligible sounds at Stiles and he should definitely use that adrenaline to leap-frog into step five. What came out instead was: "I guess Laura can come to the wedding then, if you promise not to run off with her instead."
Derek's eyes widened and what the fuck had just come out of his mouth. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Stiles was never going to speak to him again. He'd probably spread it around to everyone that Derek was a total creeper. Okay, so he was too kind to do that but he'd still look at Derek like a total creeper. He'd ruined everything and who cared if he could actually speak to Stiles now that he'd never get the chance to again.
Stiles tilted his head to the side and said with utter seriousness, "I've been picturing a Batman-esque black and yellow color scheme. It'll be classy as hell, I swear. It might actually be a bit of a dealbreaker if you're not up for it."
And Derek tried to say he was up for all of it through his increasingly emphatic nodding but his heart was busy melting. That was a thing that happened, right? Because that's what it was doing, melting into happy goo on his shoes while Stiles smiled warmly at him. And Stiles was sure to be completely besotted with him by the time Derek busted out his Detective Comics issue No. 27. Though he might just save that for the actual proposal (or when he inevitably put his foot in his mouth).
Derek grinned. The 10-Year Plan had gotten massively condensed and it was all Laura's fault. He couldn't wait to tell her.