Note: AU where Derek is human and Stiles is not his overly energetic self but still can be a blabber mouth at times. I changed Derek's character a bit to blend with the whole story. I have put a lot of feelings writing this and I hope the readers would feel it too.
Living in New York City took me time to adjust. Growing up in Beacon Hills where—probably—everyone was familiar and everyone knew everybody. The mornings were definitely a lot busier and the evenings are much brighter. Evenings are especially my favorite particularly here in NY. I love capturing lights and buildings and people having fun, seeing most of my photographs and those people enjoying themselves was enough to make me flutter.
I took a liking on photography and decided to pursue that path and so far I haven't regretted any of it. I am working as a photographer in an event firm where they do most of the coverage of different events (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, parties, etc) depending on what the clients wants. I've worked on many weddings and I love capturing those precious moments of the bride and groom with the hope that they would last like the printed photos would.
Usually before I go to work I take runs, jogging around Central Park where most of the people take their exercise every morning. My jeep is parked nearby with my cameras and lenses and my clothes. After jogging for a couple of rounds I decided to take a minute off and took a seat on one of the benches, towel hanging around my shoulders. I wiped my drenched face and when I opened my eyes I saw him.
There stretching a few feet in front of me was my long time crush. I've been eyeing him for months now the way he jogs manly around the park, those dark lush eyes and his screaming brows. Another factor that made me attracted to him really was the way his body takes shape under his shirt and the way his behind bounces every step of his foot on the ground.
Due to my obsession over him I have shot good quality pictures of him a couple of times—the ones you can enter in a contest—although being a self-proclaimed overconfident this time I could not bring myself to go talk to him in person thinking things like what if he's not gay or what if he gets annoyed?
On a bright Friday morning I saw him there again at the park. He was sitting in one of the benches resting peacefully observing other people jogging, doing their thing. This is the day that I decided to gather all the courage I could possibly have and went towards him. As I walk from behind him I could feel my heart beat faster and my breathing gets heavier but I try to brush everything away and concentrate on what I'm supposed to do.
"Uhmmm here" I said handing him a cold bottle of water. He stared at the water first looking startled and then he shifts his gaze to me. I gave him an awkward smile with a bead of sweat dripping down the side of my face. I just finished jogging around so I thought this might be a good time to talk to him.
Oh God please accept the damn water. Please don't walk away. My mind decided to go crazy on this crucial moment begging him in my thoughts not to leave and grab the water that I'm currently holding out. "Uh Thanks?" finally he took the water from me and clicked the cap off and started drinking it. There was a hint of puzzlement and question to him and I understand that. Thank God he took it. My mind thought of relief.
"Uhh you could sit if you want" he looked at me again offering the seat next to him when he noticed that I'm still standing there like a stone behind him. I took the offer and said "Thanks man."
"So you jog here often?" he asked still staring at the people passing by in front of him. "Yes . . . I do" I whispered nodding, a bit nervous but I think everything is going fine. My first conversation with him! My mind screams in accomplishment although there are still a lot of things to do.
Now that I'm sitting beside him I could notice his reserved aura, I've always thought that he's the stubborn type but when you get to sit this close to him yes there's the stubborn feel but there's so much more into it. There's something fragile about him.
"I'm sorry . . ." I said staring at him awkwardly "for just appearing out of nowhere and handing you water. I know it's creepy and I'm sorry I just want to talk to you . . . you know. Oh please don't kill me" great, my mouth started talking by himself again. I shifted my head on the other side feeling the redness starting to form on my cheeks and avoiding possible eye contact. I cough a bit as my heart starts to thump in a beat again and my breathing gets heavier, I was relaxing myself and I heard him chuckled. I jerked a bit and looked at the Greek God beside me. "It's okay" he said and I could see that small smirk forming from the side of his lips "I was just startled" he added looking at the half empty bottle "You're the first one to ever hand me water randomly" he chuckled some more.
"Thank you" he said silently looking at me. Now that I thought of it, his eyes are black but there's a hint of deepness into it, his brows screaming for attention, and his perfectly sculpted cheeks. There was a faint smile onto his face and I was just mesmerize that there is someone as perfect of a God like him in earth and now he's sitting beside me.
"I'm Stiles by the way" I uttered shyly, mindlessly offering him for a handshake. He looked at my hand and then at me and smiled and shook my hand and said "Derek." I could swear I would have died there but I've lived to tell the story. I smiled back at him and I noticed that he was smiling back. His smile this time was more genuine and I felt my heart skipped a beat. And then we started talking about things, random things. As usual I carried most of the conversation but he doesn't seem to mind it. I learned that he was an Architect devoted into preserving old and historical buildings and I admired him for that. Slowly, as our conversation continues my crush for him starts fading and now I'm selfishly falling.
"I would love to visit your studio sometime" Derek said as he stood up and stretched. This marked the end of our heavenly conversation. I stood as well and said "Well you're free to go anytime; I could show the pictures of buildings I told you about" when I thought everything was going well my mouth started on its own "You could call me and I would love to show you my photos and maybe we could get some coffee, you know . . . although that would be a problem because I don't have your number" I started laughing stupidly and continued "I'm sorry. Just the photos and no coffee, I mean if you don't want to it's fine but if you want much better" I started turning into a 15 year old girl "I'm talking too much again am I?"
"Shutting up now" I ended running a finger in my lips. I was scared as to what reaction would he give from all that blabber and I was shocked when I heard him laugh and said "Photos yes, also coffee is good" he smiled at me and I looked away blushing. After we exchanged numbers and then we parted ways. I thought I was dying of happiness and then I saw him looked over his shoulders and gave a small smile and that definitely made my month!
Derek is a Greek God and as I watch him walk away I hoped that he would somehow call me and get that coffee and maybe, just maybe this would turn out into something divine.
After that day I could not sleep because I find myself always thinking about Derek and about the conversation that we had on that glorious day. Derek did call me after a couple of days and I sighed out of relief and thanks. I did show him my collection of photos from the studio in the office and was amazed by it. He already met my bestfriend Scott who's running the business with Lydia and Jackson; he also met the other photographers Erica, Allison, Boyd and Isaac.
We did get that coffee and I'm really happy for that. I've learned that Derek's family died in house fire years ago and I figured that's one of the reasons behind his deep dark eyes and the walls he had put up until now. I noticed that he hadn't much had any friends and that made me sad. Because who doesn't make friends with a Greek God? Although I could see his walls slowly crumble down as he made friends with my friends and I cheered for that.
Derek and I had been hanging out for weeks now. We we're conversing, sitting in the coffee shop one afternoon when I noticed him stiffen a bit in his place looking hurt at the couple who just passed by on the sidewalk. I looked at him and said "Are you okay dude" he flinched and nodded but I know he's not because of that expression still wearing on his face "You looked like you've seen a ghost"
Derek did not respond not until I waved my hand over his face. "Are you okay?" I said warily and he said "Yeah. I am," trying to force a smirk on his face. He may not say much but I noticed the tension on his shoulders. "Do you want to talk about it?" I suddenly said and then I bit my lips for not taking much caution and then I said "If—if you only want to though because man you looked like you've seen a ghost. But I understand if you don't want to . . ."
I stopped the rambling of my mouth before I say something unnecessary but then I heard him chuckle.
"She's was my girlfriend" Derek said smirking brokenly on the glass window in front of him, his reflection mimicking the same hurt his eyes had. "Oh. I—I see. So what happened?" I said looking down at my coffee with curiosity slowly running thru me. My heart felt a twitch when he said that, it seems like there are a lot of things I haven't known of Derek. He explained to me that she had cheated on him on the man who she was walking with a moment ago. Derek trusted her with his all but she seemed to have broken it and now as Derek continues to tell his story still staring at the glass window, I now understand the deepness in his eyes, the fragility that he is and the reason for the walls he had built.
I heard him chuckle again when he looked at me and said "Stiles why are you crying?" I sniff a bit and then I wiped the tear that traced down my face. I hadn't noticed it but I felt hurt and affected and broken all of a sudden. I realized that even in a perfect city like New York where everybody seems to have their own parties someone could really get broken like Derek.
"Huh. . .Uhh no! I—uh I just felt your pain" I said stammering looking down on my shoes. Derek put his hand on his mouth and chortles softly and I felt blood rushing to my cheeks and then Derek said "Thanks man" tapping my shoulders "It's already been months and—I'm. . . I'm fine." That's the first time I've cried for someone and I'm glad that it's Derek.
"Well I'm always here so. . ." I said spreading my hands out and Derek lets out a weak smile and said "Sure man."
After that day Derek hadn't contacted me for a couple of days and I thought he might be busy so I didn't bother him either. It's been a long day and I went home to my apartment to finish my editing there and also so I could prepare dinner. It's Friday night and I still have a deadline tomorrow so I need to finish the project, there would be no parties for me this night because everyone seems to be fairly busy as well.
I was sitting in front of my computer editing some photos while I put the beef on a boil. I'm making beef brisket with lime fried rice because I thought both will work well together. I went to the kitchen to check on stuffs when I heard a knock on my door. I raised a brow and wondered who that could be because I rarely get visitors here in my apartment.
I walked through the front door with a spoon on my hand. I wiped my hands on my towel and I unlocked the door. I was staring on my hands when the door opened but when I turned to look I was surprised to see Derek in front of me. We stared from each other for a good couple of seconds before I said "Hey, Derek . . . what brought you here? Come in" I invited him in and he followed me to the couch.
I have a small room well enough only for me. It's an open space so you can see the living room, bedroom, kitchen and my working space. I escorted Derek to the couch and he said scratching the back of his head "Uhh, sorry for crashing without letting you know. I was . . . a bit—lonely."
Derek looked down looking shy and I smiled and said "No problem dude!" tapping his shoulders "I'm making dinner you ate?" Derek just shook his head and I said "Well okay, I made some extra so you could join me later"
"Do you mind?" he said, his finger making a circular motion looking up the ceiling. Derek wanted to look at my place and I said "Yeah sure" and I toured him on the small room. He looked up and down, looking through the details of the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. I saw him smirked and I thought I was watching a 5 year old kid being toured in a zoo. He looked over to my work station and to my bedroom. There was a wall dividing my work station and my bedroom and I filled that wall with random photos that I shot while living in the city. Derek looked at the photos taped on the wall and he said "You photographed all this?" and I nodded and smiled. I could see him smile again carefully scanning through the pictures and said "Stile these are amazing!" and I said "Thanks."
I just watched Derek as he looked over the pictures one by one looking pleased and amazed and I can't help but feel proud and blush. I noticed him look closely to a particular photo and my eyes opened wide and my heart started thumping. "Uhhh. That's—I—uhh . . . yeah" I stutter biting my lips, my mouth betraying me. Derek pointed on a particular photo and looked at me smirking "Is this me?" he said with amusement. "Maybe" I said back and tried not to make eye contact with him. It was a photo of Derek sitting in a bench in Central Park taking a rest looking at the rest of the world.
And then Derek looked closely again to one of the photos and I noticed he was looking of another picture of him where he was jogging and then he looked at another where he was drinking water. I could almost see myself melting at that moment when he turned and called my name "Stiles!" I was dozing off thinking of a way to escape this embarrassment and then I turned to him when he called me and he said seriously "These are amazing." It seems like he'd forgotten that I took a lot—I mean a lot—of pictures of him when he was in Central Park jogging and then I said "I'm sorry" and Derek raised a brow and said "For what?" and then I looked at him and said "For taking pictures of you . . ." Derek just chuckled and said "It's okay, they're pretty gorgeous"
"Yeah. I know"
"You think I'm gorgeous?" Derek said smirking.
"Yeah. I mean the pictures are gorgeous. And you of course! I'm not saying you're not gorgeous, I mean you clearly are." Derek raised a brow looking confused and just laughed. That's the first time I ever heard Derek let out a real genuine laugh and I'm a happy that I'm the cause of his laughter.
I felt my cheeks redden again and my heart seems to not stop in dancing in beats, my stomach filled with butterflies.
"You really love taking pictures do you?" Derek said glancing again at my wall of photos and then I said "Yeah. I get inspired a lot by just taking pictures and capturing moments. Like you maybe I also wanted to preserve something magnificent, in this case, moments"
"You also seem to like me" Derek said looking at the pictures of him on the wall. Being caught in the moment and without thinking I said "Yeah I like . . ." when I realized what he just said and what I had replied I said hurriedly "No! I mean . . . I'm not saying that I don't like you I mean I do. Oh my God what did I just say? I mean I like taking pictures and stuffs so—." And before I could say anything more stupid that would kill me of embarrassment, Derek went to me and pressed his lips in mine. I just caught myself closing my eyes and letting my soul fall, feeling his soft and warm skin brushing against mine.
Derek slowly removed his lips to where they currently are and I opened my eyes when reality kicks in. Derek just kissed me. I blushed and looked away for one second and I heard him chuckle in his breath. "Yeah maybe I like you" I finally said and I could feel Derek hugging me tightly, his head resting in my shoulders. I could finally see the walls Derek had built through the months crumble down letting me into his life. I felt a smile form in his lips, the heat of his body filling me up.
I hugged Derek back nuzzling him in his neck smiling. I just can't help smiling and my heart started to beat normally matching the heartbeat I'm feeling from Derek and from then I admitted to myself. I do love him.