Title: Twenty-Two
Author: The Red Hoodie
Rating: G
Characters: Derek Hale, Stiles Stilinski
Summary: It's someone's birthday and Stiles may or may not be skipping school to surprise them.
Notes: Pure stupid little fluff. Takes place in canon land? Yes. Season 2 somewhere during some down time. Written whilst traveling to a music festival. Not edited so beware the typos.


"Where's Derek?" Stiles asked, coming up to Erica in the hall. He wasn't scared of her, no…but her clothes were a bit distracting and she could be a smidge intimidating.

The new Beta looked over at him, tilting her head to the side. "Why Stiles, I didn't think you were stupid enough to go searching for trouble."

"Erica, cut the 'I'm so hot and awesome' crap, okay? It doesn't suit you. Derek doesn't scare me and neither do you and it's none of your business what I do," Stiles countered.

Erica took a step forward and stopped in front of him, hand on his chest to keep him from walking around her. "Why do you want to know?"

Stiles let out a sigh. "If you're not gunna tell me." He'd really had enough of these wolves. What happened when the most exciting thing in his life was being paired with Lydia in gym? He took a step around Erica, hoping she wouldn't sink her claws into him because he was, regrettably, just a breakable human.

"He should be…home," Erica said once Stiles had passed her. She wasn't stupid. She knew that Beacon Hills wasn't safe and Derek had warned her about the hunters infiltrating the school to try to weed out the werewolves. The last thing she was going to do was blatantly tell Stiles where Derek was staying; she would leave it up to him to figure out where home was if he didn't know.

Stiles turned around and tossed his arms out to the sides. "Was that so hard?" He turned back around and headed down the hall, hoping to slip outside without being interrupted, but that didn't happen. Scott appeared out of nowhere, grabbing Stiles by the shoulder.

"Where are you going?" he asked as Stiles animatedly pulled away from Scott's grip.

"I'm skipping, where do you think I'm going?"

"Uh…I dunno. Lydia is at school…"

"Dude, I do more than hang onto Lydia all the time," Stiles said with a sigh. "Just…I'm leaving. Are you still coming over tonight?"

Scott both shrugged and nodded. "I'll try."

Stiles took it as a 'No, because I'm meeting Allison in the woods for a quickie in the woods' and left before Scott could press him for where he was going. Yeah, Scott was close to not even being able to be called Stiles' best friend what with the werewolf and Allison business, but then again, Stiles hadn't been acting entirely like himself lately. And all of that was attributed to werewolf business, but even that didn't excuse him skipping class. His dad was going to ream him for this later.

Jumping into his Jeep, he tossed his bag into the back and started it up, high tailing it from the school before he talked himself out of it. "Just drive, Stiles," he told himself, gnawing on his bottom lip.

There was a perfectly—he thought—good reason for skipping. He wasn't sure if his dad would believe him, and so he tried to think of a reasonable lie that didn't involve a werewolf. Especially not one who had been accused of murder recently.

Things had been…pretty much the same even after Stiles had saved Derek in the pool. Derek was still a jerk, hiding and shadows and doing whatever criminal Alphas did, Stiles had to side with Scott because he was his best friend, and the Betas were cocky as ever and making school more violent than usual. Stiles sort of wished that they could all get passed the stupidity of trust issues and just be…friends. It would make his life a lot easier.

Not that Stiles would ever call Derek a friend but still…they knew each other and occasionally worked together to save wolfkind when things got bad. Now why couldn't the rest of them just shove it and get along to do the same?

The point being, whatever relation he had to Derek, he somehow felt compelled to do this. He wouldn't if the Betas were at the wolf den—as Stiles liked to call it—so now was his only chance.

Stiles pulled the Jeep up beside the old train factory warehouse thing and cut the engine. Eying the dark looming building—he'd never actually been inside, he had however, driven Scott here the other night but was told to stay in the car—he let out a breath and stepped outside. Even though it was daylight, it was still creepy, though not as bad as the Hale house. It took him a minute to find the door on the side of building. The hinges were rusty and squealed angrily as he pulled it open, so there was no way this could be a surprise.

"Derek," Stiles called as he poked his head into the main part of the building. Two train cars and wooden crates filled most of the space. There were stairs to the left leading somewhere and industrial lamps rained down enough light for even Stiles' human eyes to see. "Derek," he called again, though it sounded like he was trying to call over a stubborn dog. Okay, let's not do that again… "Der—"

"What?" Derek stepped out of the train, arms crossed, sour look on his face. He eyes Stiles, who was clearly hiding something behind his back.

"Is that how you treat all your guests? No wonder you don't have any company." Stiles took a long look around the building. "Though that's probably more from your lack of decorating skills…"

"What do you want, Stiles?"

Stiles snapped his eyes up to Derek's. "Oh right." He cleared his throat and dramatically held out what he'd been holding behind his back. It was a cupcake with blue frosting on a paper place. "I brought a cupcake with—"

"A candle," Derek finished.

"Yup." Derek looked confused. "'Cause it's your birthday, right?"

Derek blinked, eyes flicking down to the cupcake. "How'd you find out?"

Stiles shrugged. "My dad had all sorts of papers laying around the house about…" No need to bring that whole thing up, especially on Derek's birthday. "I saw your birthday." He looked down at the plate. "If you don't want it…"

"No!" The fast, loud reply from the werewolf made Stiles chuckle. "I like cupcakes," Derek finished with a shrug, acting like he didn't really care.

Stiles forced down a smile and walked over to the wooden table a few feet away and put down the paper plate, searching through his pockets. He could have sworn he had brought matches…Derek tossed a matchbook on the table and Stiles lit the candle before pushing the cupcake in front of Derek.

"Sing and I'll rip your throat out," Derek warned as Stiles opened his mouth and sucked in a breath.

Stiles swallowed and nodded. "Okay um…happy birthday," he said instead, proceeding to grin at the image of big, bad Derek Hale blowing out a birthday candle. He would have pulled out his phone and taken a photo if he didn't think Derek would break it. "You're gunna eat it right?"

Derek furrowed his eyebrows and looked at Stiles as if he'd just grown another head. "Why, did you want a bite? Stiles, it's a cupcake…"

Stiles shook his head. "What? No. I just didn't know…its chocolate, I think." He scratched the back of his neck, realizing that this was a stupid idea.

Derek pulled off the wrapping. Definitely chocolate—which was Laura's favorite—with enough sugar to last him a month or two. Stiles was watching him expectantly, so he took a bite and managed to not get his nose covered in the two inches of sky blue frosting. It was a sugar rush, but it was…good. He didn't let himself think too hard about it and finished it off in two more bites, using his hand as a napkin.

"I figured you wouldn't tell your…pack, so…" Stiles shrugged and scuffed a sneaker against the concrete floor.

"Thanks, Stiles."

It shocked Derek to say it as much as Stiles to hear the words. Stiles just stared at him for almost a full minute. "Uh…I didn't think those words were in your vocabulary."

Derek glared—which would have been more convincing if there wasn't a bit of frosting on his face that Stiles was definitely not going to tell him about.

Instead, Stiles just hid a grin and nodded. "Right. I uh…I should head back to school before I have to explain that I was hosting a birthday party for a werewolf." He backed up toward the exit. "Maybe you could like…cut down on the threatening-and-shoving-of-Stiles a little?"

Derek didn't reply.

Stiles ducked behind the door. "Or…not!"