“Veggie Burger? Stiles, what did I do to deserve this?” John Stilinski looked first at the meal in front of him, then at his son, then back at the burger. The disappointment and slight hurt was evident in his face.
“Letting your cholesterol get too high, that’s what you did” Stiles replied snarkily while setting down the bottle of water in front of his father. The boy could hear Kendra, his father’s deputy, snicker from behind her desk. The woman had heard this argument more often than she could count.
The sheriff let out a defeated huff and picked up the sandwich. There was nothing he could do or say against his son – he was right after all. And secretly John was quite glad Stiles was able to look after the two of them so well, even more so since the pack had really started to grow close. He didn’t know what it was, but it did Stiles good.
Stiles pumped his fist into the air in success. It was always a fight to get his father to eat healthily. He quite liked the light-hearted banter between the two though; Stiles definitely knew where he got his wit and sense of humor from.
“Yeah, yeah, get your pleasure on my expense” John mumbled between a mouthful of burger. Stiles just laughed at his father’s words. He knew he didn’t mean them.
“I take it where I get it” he said and slung his bag pack over his shoulder. He had stopped by on his way to the grocery store, to buy fresh produce for his dad, before heading to the Hale house for another of the pack’s many pack nights. Even if he didn’t spend nearly as much time in his home anymore as before, he still wanted to make sure it was well stocked for his dad. He was his only remaining family, after all.
Stiles waved good bye to his dad and Kendra and then made his way to the parking lot where his Jeep was waiting for him. The boy chucked his bag onto the back seat and got in behind the steering wheel. He turned the key in the ignition – and nothing happened. This wasn’t unusual for Stiles’ Jeep though, the old vehicle didn’t start until the third try most of the time anyways. So he tried again – nothing.
And another time, nada.
“Come on, come on, come on!” Stiles chanted, turning the key again and again, but without success, not even a sound.
Disgruntled he slapped his hands on the wheel. Then he got out of the car with a sigh and walked back into the station.
“Dad! Roscoe doesn’t start” he exclaimed upon entering, marching right through to the sheriff’s office and letting himself fall into the chair in front of his father’s desk. The sheriff didn’t even seem fazed.
“I told you often enough to get a new car. This Jeep is going to kill you one day” he noted, taking another bite out of his half-eaten burger.
“Don’t talk about my baby like that” Stiles grumbled, but he had to admit that he was a bit annoyed with his car problems. He was behind schedule as it was! He sighed again and looked at his dad.
“Can you call the tow service? They get here faster if you’re the one to call” he asked and received a chuckle in reply. Still, his father picked up his phone and only a few minutes later a tow truck was on its way to get the Jeep.
Stiles stayed in his father’s office, watching the man eat, until the mechanic of the truck entered the station and asked for him. Together with his dad they walked back out into the parking lot and to Stiles’ car. The mechanic shook his head when he saw the car.
“Why are you even still bothering with this piece of junk? It’s going to fall apart underneath your ass one day” he asked harshly and Stiles flinched at the man’s words.
“Don’t be so mean to her! She’s gone through a lot already” Stiles replied. Werewolves, Kanimas, if only the mechanic really knew what the Jeep has gone through, he would celebrate that it was actually still in one piece!
“Yeah, yeah, whatever! I’m gonna take that piece of metal with me, and I’ll call you about how much it’s gonna be to fix it tomorrow. Maybe then you’ll realize that it’s not worth it” the mechanic said, and without another word he turned on his heels and walked to the tow truck, starting it and backing it towards the Jeep.
Stiles took his bag out of the car and stepped back as he watched his beloved companion got hooked onto the truck and taken away.
This really has happened to often already, but still, there was no way Stiles was going to be able to part with it. At least once did he want to take a date to the drive-in theatre with his Jeep. The hood of his car made a perfect make-out spot. He hadn’t tested that yet, but Stiles was pretty sure he was right.
“Do you want me to get a deputy to drive you somewhere?” John asked when the tow truck had turned at the corner. Stiles sighed, but shook his head.
“No, it’s alright. I’m just going to call Derek. I’m pretty sure he’s not doing anything right now anyways” Stiles replied, and with a defeated slump walked back into the station. He had been there a lot longer than he had wanted to that day.
Derek had enjoyed the quiet of an empty house with a book on the porch when he got the phone call from Stiles, telling him to come and pick the boy up from the sheriff’s office. Derek had been annoyed that Stiles had demanded him to get up and get him. Yes, they were pack, and pack was there for each other, but it wasn’t every day that the house was completely empty. Not even Isaac was present; he was at Erica’s place with Boyd. They would all be back later that day, but for now he had the entire house for himself. Not that he minded the rest of his pack occupying the many couches and chairs, bringing life into the large house, but sometimes an alpha just needed his peace and quiet to simply read a book.
But where Derek’s human side had been annoyed, his wolf had yipped in happiness. The wolf reveled in the fact that Stiles had asked DEREK to come pick him up. The man didn’t really want to think what that exactly meant. His wolf had acted weirdly a lot around Stiles lately…
But Derek still got up, put his book away and got the keys for his car. He had wanted to go to the mall that day anyways, so now he had the incentive to actually get up. For a person who worked out a lot and was busy most of the time, he could be quite lazy sometimes.
Stiles was already waiting outside the station when Derek parked in the lot. He couldn’t see the Jeep anywhere. Stiles hadn’t told Derek why he had needed to be picked up, but Derek could imagine why. The Jeep was and always would be a death trap!
Rolling down one of the windows, Derek looked out at the boy in front of the entrance doors to the station and said two words.
“Get in.” Sometimes he really felt like a babysitter with his pack. He wouldn’t tell anyone, but he by this point, he didn’t even mind anymore. Anything was better than having no one at all. Even a bunch of teenagers and a sociopathic uncle with murderous tendencies.
Stiles started talking the moment he sat down in the passenger’s seat, but Derek did his best to drown out the teenager’s voice. That was easier said than done, though, because Stiles had a knack for getting everyone to listen to him, no matter if they wanted to or not.
“So now I have to pay for the garage to fix my car, again, and really, why is my car always broken? I blame your rag tag band of misfit wolves for that, I hope you’re aware. Last time I had to go get it fixed was because someone had ripped parts out of it! Seriously, you need to train the puppies better! And worst of all, I don’t have a car for an unknown period of time and- wait, Derek? The grocery store is in the other direction!” Derek rolled his eyes behind his dark sun glasses. He didn’t know anyone who could jump from subject to subject as quickly as Stiles could.
“We’re not going to the supermarket.”
“What? Do you even know what today is? We are supposed to have a pack night! Do you know what happens when the others get to your house and notice that there’s no food? They’ll go on a rampage, that’s what’s going to happen. They will probably go out and hunt baby rabbits! BABY RABBITS! You can’t, under any circumstances, let them hunt and kill baby rabbits! So we have to-!”
“STILES! We’re not going to that supermarket. We’re going to the one in the mall.” Derek interrupted Stiles’ mad-talking. How the boy hadn’t died of lack of oxygen with his immense talking was beyond Derek.
“Why should we go to the mall? I’m not really in a shopping mood and I’m already behind today’s schedule, so shopping really is a no-go today!” Stiles argued, turning to look at the alpha wolf. Derek rolled his eyes once more. This boy was going to be the death of him.
Derek’s wolf surprisingly didn’t mind Stiles’ questions and stupid talking. Strange wolf…
“We are going to the mall, because I need to get something” Derek spelled it out for Stiles. Why couldn’t he just accept Derek’s words as they were? Why did Stiles always need an explanation from him?
“And what do you need?”
“You’ll see.” For Derek, this was the end of their conversation.
Stiles followed behind Derek through the mall, stopping again and again to look at shop windows and displays in front of the store entrances. Derek had to pull him away every few moments. For someone who was “behind schedule” Stiles certainly knew how to procrastinate his time. How the teenager still got things done Derek didn’t know.
“Derek, look! We really should have one of these at home” the alpha wolf heard from behind him and Derek stopped and turned to see what had caught Stiles’ eyes this time. The boy stood in front of a music store, his hands running through a display of various musical instruments. The one in his hands was… a rain maker. “Seriously, that would be the best activity for overly excited wolves. You know, like a ball of yarn for a cat… but for wolves.”
Derek practically hauled Stiles away from the display. The boy had just enough time to put the rain maker back where it belonged.
Derek wasn’t just annoyed with Stiles’ nonsense. The way his wolf behaved when Stiles had called his house ‘home’ enraged him even more. What was wrong lately? If his wolf’s behavior didn’t change soon he would have to talk to Deaton. Maybe something was seriously wrong.
“Seriously, Derek, you are way grumpier than usual. What the hell is wrong with you?” Stiles asked as he was pulled behind the alpha.
“Nothing” Derek ground out, not slowing his pace until he had arrived in front of the store he wanted to go to. A key service.
“A key service? Did you already lose your keys? Derek you’ve only been living in the new house for a few weeks! I seriously thought you would be more careful with your belongings” Stiles jibbed, grinning at his companion.
“I didn’t lose my key. I’m having more made, for the rest of you” Derek finally revealed, successfully shutting Stiles up. The look of awe on his face made Derek slightly uncomfortable. He didn’t like, or really, wasn’t used to being on the receiving end of such looks.
“You’re having keys made for us? That’s the cutest thing ever!” Stiles practically cooed, and Derek growled to shut him up. That’s exactly why he had wanted to go to the key service on his own.
“You gotta get in somehow, right?” Derek snapped and went inside. The alpha commissioned the man at the counter to make seven replicas of his own keys, six for the remaining members of the pack, minus Isaac, who already had his own key, and one for back up. They would come back to get them after getting the groceries needed for the pack night.
In the grocery store on the lowest level of the mall the roles were reversed, Derek following behind Stiles, pushing the cart and grabbing the things Stiles demanded.
“You think we should have popcorn tonight? I’m sure we’ll end up watching a movie, and what’s a movie without popcorn!” Stiles mused, standing in front of a shelf of microwave popcorn. He was just about to grab a bag when Derek shoved his hand to the side and made him grab a different kind.
“Sweet popcorn tastes better” he simply added and pushed the cart further along.
“Aww, our alpha has a sweet tooth!” Stiles crooned, skipping along to Derek’s larger strides.
Derek just sighed and kept walking.
Their shopping was done faster than Derek had hoped, so the keys weren’t done yet. The pair brought the groceries to the car and then went back inside. Stiles had started to complain about being hungry, as so very often, and practically demanded to have something to eat. Derek rolled his eyes for the third time since he had picked Stiles up, but followed Stiles to one of the eateries on the highest level of the shopping center, a small place serving mostly Italian food.
Derek liked Italian.
The two had just started eating when the shadow of a person approached their table and stopped to Derek’s left. The alpha turned his head to see a teenager stand next to their table. Derek had seen him before. He had actually been made to take of his shirt, multiple times, in front of the boy to get him to help Stiles. Derek still wasn’t quite over that.
Stiles looked up from his pasta when he noticed Derek turning his head. A smile crossed his face when he saw the boy.
“Danny! Great to see you! How have you been? How was Lacrosse Camp?” He asked, his mouth still full with noodles, grinning brightly. Danny’s face contorted into a grimace seeing Stiles talk with his mouth full. Stiles really needed to work on his manners.
“It was good, but it’s nice to be home again. Tell Jackson to give me a call sometime. I’ve been home for two weeks and we haven’t talked even once. Ever since he started hanging out with Scott and you, we don’t really spend that much time together anymore” Danny replied, looking down at his feet at his last words. Stiles grin faded as he heard what Danny was saying.
“Yes, of course, I’ll tell him. You know, Jackson is only hanging out with us because he has to, you know, after that whole saving his life thing. The only person he really likes is Lydia, and Boyd, maybe, because they can talk cars sometimes. Scott and me? He still hates us!” Stiles tried to reassure his friend, but his words made Derek frown. He didn’t want to hear that his betas hated each other. A pack was supposed to be a family, and family shouldn’t hate each other.
Danny saw Derek’s frown, and smiled slightly at the older man.
“Well, it seems like I’m intruding a bit. I didn’t want to interrupt your lunch date. Maybe we can hang out some other time, Stiles. I’ll see you in school” Before either of them could say anything in response Danny was already out of the door, his bag of takeout swinging back and forth in his hands.
Derek looked from where Danny had stood only seconds ago to his plate, then over at Stiles, who sat in his seat, slack-jawed and looking dumbstruck. They both didn’t know what to say or do.
Eventually Stiles regained control over his features and looked at Derek, a frown on his face.
“Does it really look like we are on a date?” he asked, and Derek choked on the sip of water he was just about to take. His wolf yipped and jumped around in happiness. Derek inwardly groaned at that reaction. He knew something had been up with his wolf, he just hadn’t thought that it would be that! But in hindsight he should have known, should have seen it coming. He was a born wolf, he had seen what that emotion did to peoples’ wolves.
“I guess so…” Derek brought out, scratching the back of his neck. Everything had become horribly awkward all of a sudden. And he blamed his wolf for his feelings. There was just no way that he could feel that way… no, he just couldn’t. It would ruin the pack, certainly it would.
Silence followed his words, until Stiles coughed slightly again. The food on their plates was completely forgotten.
“So, is this… Is this a date?” Derek’s wolf would have jumped out of his body if he had been able to. The animal wanted to take over Derek’s body, but Derek kept it on a tight leash.
“I… guess?” he said again, and looked at Stiles for the first time since they had started talking again. The boy seemed conflicted; lines of worry were fighting with a slight smile over control.
“Oh” he simply said, and this time it was Stiles who cast down his eyes to avoid Derek’s gaze. The alpha wolf could smell confusion, but also a slight hint of happiness emanating from the teen.
How had it come to this?!
Slowly the two began eating again, but they kept silent. No one really knew what to talk about after that confession of sorts and frankly, Derek just wanted to get out of the restaurant and back home so he could get out of the people’s eye. He wanted to hole up and think about what had just happened.
They didn’t talk on their way to the key service, didn’t talk when they drove back to the Hale house or when they unpacked the groceries. While Stiles started preparing dinner for the pack, something he had picked up on doing because he was of the opinion that no one except for him knew how to properly cook a meal, Derek went into his bedroom and lay down on his bed.
The alpha tried to get his wolf to calm down, but whenever he started thinking about what had happened in the restaurant the animal would start running around again, wagging its tail and yipping happily. Would anyone be able to see him, they would never think that such an exuberant animal belonged to a person so very broody.
Did Derek mind that everyone thought they had been on a date? He wanted his first answer to be yes, he did in fact mind very much, but then he would be lying. He didn’t mind. Not at all, if he was really honest with himself.
Somewhere along the line Stiles’ and his relationship had changed. They had gotten to know each other better, had come to an understanding, and if Derek had to choose who to be stranded on a deserted island with, it would probably Stiles. (Sorry Isaac, but Stiles would at least be able to entertain him!)
They had started to respect each other and come to depend on each other. They had become brothers in a pack, had even become friends. Who would have thought the two of them would ever become friends?!
And then, something had changed for Derek, or at least, for Derek’s wolf. Derek himself hadn’t really realized something had changed until just then. But animals were always more perceptive.
Derek stayed in his bed, away from Stiles and the awkward tension between them, until he heard the door open and some of the betas arrive, Isaac, followed by Erica and Boyd. He knew Scott had to work longer at the veterinary clinic that day and so would stop by later, and Jackson and Lydia? Well, they always were ‘fashionably late’. Why on earth had he started a pack of teen wolves again?
When the noise from outside his room’s door got louder Derek got up, changed into a more comfortable shirt and then faced the crowd. Everyone acted normally, as if nothing dramatically had happened, and really, for them nothing had changed, but oh so very much for Stiles and him. Their entire dynamic was off balance. They used to work like a well oiled machine, and now there was a gap between two of the wheels and nothing worked anymore. Nothing at all.
The rest of the pack didn’t notice it, such amateurs, but Derek immediately noticed Stiles change in behavior. Where he usually was loud, he now was even louder. Where he was jumpy the rest of the time, he was simply unable to sit still now.
And all of this because of him. Because people thought they had been on a date. (Yes, wolf, it is okay, we know you like that word!)
Derek was staying away from him, Stiles could see right through the wolf. As soon as they had been done unpacking the bags from the supermarket, he had excused himself and holed himself up in his bedroom.
Stiles couldn’t blame him. What else would you do if people thought you had been on a date with Stiles Stilinski of all people? Really, Stiles was sure Derek would have been fine with any other person, but Stiles? No way!
They had become some sort of friends, yes, but Stiles would be foolish to think there was anything else between them. Really, Derek could barely tolerate Stiles most of the time, why would he want to go on a date with him?
Stiles on the other hand… He had been shocked, yes, when Danny had assumed they had been on a date, but he had also been pleasantly surprised.
Stiles had come to acknowledge the fact that he had had a crush on Derek pretty much since that day he saw him in the preserve. All broody and dark, who wouldn’t have an instant crush on someone like Derek?
And Stiles hadn’t really done anything to stop the crush from growing. It had never hurt anyone, and no one had ever assumed anything, so why worry?
After they had become some sort of friends, Stiles had tried to stop the crush, but really, who could stop a crush once it was in full bloom?
Stiles just hoped the awkward tension between them would wash over soon and everything would be forgotten. He didn’t want the pack to suffer because the two of them couldn’t get a grip.
Stiles cheered up a little bit when the rest of the pack arrived and turned his brain away from thinking about what had happened. He had fun joking around with them, and when they all, except Derek, who stayed completely silent during the entire pack night, complimented him on his cooking, his heart swelled a little bit. He liked cooking for the wolves, it was fun.
And when it was his turn to decide which movie to watch, he was finally able to educate Scott and Lydia on the art of Star Wars. He made the pack watch the first two movies, but stopped every so often to explain details of the certain scene to bombard the pack with useless facts and trivia that would be forgotten by the end of the night anyways.
It took them well into the late evening to watch the movies, and once not only Isaac, but Erica and Jackson as well, had started to doze off, Stiles had decided that it would be alright to call it a day.
They removed to cushions from the couch and spread sheets over the mattress, then got in and tangled their limbs together to form a puppy pile that could win championships. The only one who wasn’t tangled into the mess of people, but was still touching every member of the pack, even Stiles, to his surprise, was Derek. He had curled around the pile, arms stretched out to reach everyone.
Stiles tried his best, he really did, but as soon as the room had grown quiet and the even breaths of the wolves permeated the air, Stiles’ brain had started working in overdrive again. Around and around went his thoughts, replaying the conversation in the restaurant and analyzing every movement and face Derek had made since Danny had proclaimed they were on a date.
Eventually he had enough. There was no use lying around when there was no sleep in sight anyways. Carefully he got out of their makeshift bed, trying his hardest not to wake anyone up, and slipped out of the room and into the kitchen. He suddenly craved hot chocolate, so Stiles busied himself with heating up milk and stirring in the cocoa powder. When his mug of deliciousness was steaming, he opened the French doors and walked out on the porch, sitting down on the floor and letting his legs dangle from the edge.
It was a clear night and he could count the stars in the sky. Taking little sips of his drink he began to calm down again. Maybe he was just overreacting. Maybe everything was fine the next day again.
“Why aren’t you asleep?” Stiles suddenly heard from behind him. He turned to see Derek stand in the French Doors, looking worriedly at the teenage boy sitting at the lip of the porch.
Derek stepped out of the house and into the light of the moon, walking over to where Stiles sat and plopped down next to him.
Stiles looked at Derek, then back at the mug in his hands and shrugged his shoulders.
“Couldn’t fall asleep” he replied quietly, taking another sip of his cocoa.
“Why not?” Stiles could practically feel Derek’s gaze piercing through him. It made goose bumps arise on his arms.
“Too much to think. My brain wouldn’t shut up.” It wasn’t like Stiles to talk in such short sentences. He normally talked someone’s ear off, but with Derek, every word seemed like a word too much.
“I know that feeling. What did you think about?” Derek urged, and his admission made Stiles look at him again. Derek was talking about something he felt? Emotions?! He didn’t reply though.
“Did you think about earlier today?” Bull’s eye. Derek had hit it right in the head.
“Yeah” Stiles admitted meekly, still looking at Derek. “I don’t want anything to go to shit” he added then.
“Why would anything go to shit?” Derek asked. Wasn’t he aware that everything had already changed between them? That their relationship was on the verge of being completely destroyed just because of a few words said by a dumb Hawaiian kid who talked without thinking?
“You know exactly why everything is falling apart. You were there! And now you’re avoiding me like I have some kind of disease, just because you are embarrassed because other people thought we were on a date. I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry people assume you could ever stoop so low as to go out with little old me!” Stiles burst out then, putting his mug down on the ground and hopping off the edge of the porch to stand in front of Derek.
“I’m avoiding you? You are the one who wouldn’t even sit next to me during dinner or the movie! You are the one who didn’t even say anything when I gave you the key! You are the one avoiding me! Why would you think I would be embarrassed because I’m going out with you? We go out together all the time and I’ve never made you feel as if I’m against it!” Derek got up as well. He was agitated, Stiles could see.
Maybe he had been completely wrong after all…
“What?” was all he was able to get out. He hadn’t thought Derek would have such a comeback.
“What ‘what’? Have I ever made you feel as if I didn’t appreciate you being here? Have I ever made you feel as if I didn’t want you here?”
“No, but… why would you ever want to be seen with me? On a date? I mean, you’re not… I mean, I didn’t think you were…” Stiles stammered. He was thoroughly confused now. What was it Derek was trying to say? Did he like that people thought they were out on a date together?
“I’m not. But I don’t care. My wolf chose you, and to hell if I knew why. You’re annoying, you talk too much and most of the time I just want to strangle you, but you’re also you. You encourage me to get the pack into order, you kick my ass whenever I fail to be a good alpha, and you cheer me up when I’m down. Hell, you’re the only one I ever showed pictures of my family to because I wanted to! So no, I don’t have anything against being seen with you, date or not!”
Stiles was incapable of speaking. Was this actually happening? Was this some kind of wolfish declaration of love? Was he actually hearing things correctly?
“Don’t act stupid. I know you have a crush on me. I can smell it on you. I know you don’t mind going out with me, even though you act as if it’s a huge burden to you” Derek countered, and his words got Stiles to start talking again.
“Are you actually saying that you want to go out with me? You? Derek freaking sex god Hale wants to go out with me? Why? And don’t say because your wolf wants to!” Stiles exclaimed, jabbing a finger into Derek’s biceps. It made Derek smile slightly.
“It is because of the wolf. But it’s also because I want to as well” he admitted, and the grin grew wider when he saw Stiles reciprocate.
“So we’re what? Dating now? Seriously?” He couldn’t quite believe it! Derek was his boyfriend?
“I guess so” the wolf replied, and his smile widened.
“So does that mean I get to kiss you?” Stiles asked, hoping to God he hadn’t crossed a line.
“Guess so” Derek just said again, and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Stop saying that and kiss me!” Stiles exclaimed, stepping closer to the alpha and pressing his lips to Derek’s.
It was different than anything he had ever dared to dream. Derek’s lips were softer than they appeared, and the slight scruff of his beard scratched Stiles chin and cheeks. But it was nice. Slowly he threaded his arms around Derek’s neck, pulling him closer until there was no room between them anymore. Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles’ waist and nipped at the younger man’s lower lip, letting Stiles erupt in giggles. When Derek released him, he pressed their foreheads together and grinned slightly.
“Can we go to sleep now? I’m tired” he asked, and Stiles joined in his giggles. Such a mundane thing to say after such a breathtaking moment.
“Yeah, sleepy wolf, we can go to sleep now” he said, pressing another kiss to Derek’s lips. Then he let go of the alpha and turned to collect his mug. The pair went back inside, and while Stiles put his mug and spoon into the dishwasher, Derek closed the doors and made sure the house was locked properly. Then they made their way back into the movie room, where the rest of the pack was still sleeping soundly, cuddled together in a pile of people. There was a spot left open in the middle though, just enough space for the alpha and his new companion.
As soon as Stiles and Derek lay down on the couch the rest of the pack threaded around them, grasping hands and throwing legs over hips.
In the morning no one would notice that Stiles and Derek lay closer together than usual.