Stiles wasn't really sure what was going on, but if he had to guess, he'd say Derek Hale was losing his touch. The amount of times he'd been called out with the guy, presumably to stake out some new supernatural baddie only to have it be a false alarm, was starting to inch into the double digits in the past month alone. He'd tried asking the others in the werewolf-know-how club about it, but all he got in response were strange looks and awkward attempts to change the subject.
Either way, the next time it did happen, he was definitely going to ask Derek himself about it. Yup, totally. No Matter What. Stiles sighed down at his lunch tray as he took his seat in the cafeteria. Who was he kidding? He'd have better luck asking the guy out on a date. He slapped himself in the face as soon as that thought crossed his mind. No. He refused to even contemplate the possibility of such an improbable event. That path could only lead towards rejection and despair.
"Careful Stilinski, I don't think you can afford any more brain damage." Ribbed Erica as she sat down across from Stiles, beside Boyd. Stiles shot her a withering glare before turning back to his mashed… something and, feeling absolutely no desire to test out his immune system thank you very much, began nudging it around on his plate aimlessly.
"What, no clever retort?" Isaac joked lightly on Erica's other side, before his tone turned serious. "You ok, man?" Stiles set his fork down and leaned back in his chair to take in the varying levels of concern on his friends' faces.
"You know, contrary to popular belief, I'm not always talking. I do enjoy some quiet time too once in a while." He drawled and then promptly pulled a face. He was definitely spending too much time around Derek's betas.
"We know that," Erica agreed. "You're just a bit quieter than normal." She nudged his tray gently with her own. Stiles shrugged.
"Just tired I guess. Derek's had me out late twice this week on-"
"Nope. Can't do it. I'm not listening." Scott cut him off, sticking his fingers in his ears and standing up. "I'm leaving now. Talk to you guys later." He shouted as he scurried away. It was a testament to how much of a common occurrence that sight had become in the past few weeks that no one even looked at him strangely as he dashed out of the cafeteria like that. Stiles stared after him in bemusement.
"He really does not like the guy, does he?" he asked aloud, not really expecting an answer. "I don't know why, it's not like he's the one being dragged out at all hours of the day or night to go on random outings when he's got homework and chores and a life outside of the supernatural."
"Don't be too generous, Stiles." Drawled Boyd. Stiles sighed.
"Yeah, alright. So it's not much of a life, but still. It's the principle of the thing. Derek shouldn't just always expect me to be free whenever he wants." Jackson cocked and eyebrow at him.
"Have you actually ever been busy when he's spontaneously decided taken you out?" he asked, around his apple. Stiles scowled at him.
"No. But still, I-"
"Besides," this time is was Lydia who cut him off. "You can't deny you enjoy yourself."
"Fine, I do get free food out of it once in a while. And he's not the monosyllabic sourwolf I used to assume he was, but-"
"That's good then! Right?" Exclaimed Isaac, looking ridiculously happy for some reason, "I mean, you have fun together?" Stiles narrowed his eyes at his sudden enthusiasm.
"Your investment in mine and Derek's shared activities is making me suspicious, so I'm going to go now." He said, collecting his things. He shot one last look at them while he dumped his sorry excuse of a lunch in the garbage to see them whispered among themselves and glancing back over their shoulders at him. He shook his head. Honestly, was he the only one who wasn't going crazy around here?
"What do you mean, exactly, when you say you've already seen it?" Stiles eyes narrowed menacingly. Or what he hoped was menacingly. He probably just looked confused, if he was being honest with himself. Either way, Scott scuffed his feet uncomfortably as they walked across the parking lot after lacrosse practice.
"I mean, I went to see it opening night with Boyd, Erica and Isaac?" Scott grinned sheepishly, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his head as they stopped and Stiles shoved his bag into the back of his jeep. "We would've invited you! But Isaac said Derek was taking you out that night anyways." Stiles flailed his arms around to encompass the ridiculousness Scott should have been feeling at this statement.
"What?! How the hell could Isaac have known that?" he sputtered. "I didn't even know Derek was going to show up until he was at my door. I've been dying to see this movie for years, Scott. Years. You couldn't have a least asked me?" Stiles knew he was pouting, but come on, it was zombies. He could pout if he wanted to. Scott's sympathetic puppy-dog eyes were not helping his mood. At all.
"Why can't you just go with-"
"With who, dude? Because everyone else I know has already seen it. And have all already made stupid romantic Halloween plans with their significant others, while I will probably be stuck handing out candy to snot-nosed kids hopped up on too-much sugar, all alone. Alone, Scott." He emphasized his point by slamming the trunk shut with more force than necessary. He mourned his lack of a social life, he really did.
"Hey." Stiles whirled around in shock, and it was only due to his excellent self-restraint that he did not scream. No matter what anyone else said.
"Derek." He greeted, once his heart had returned to its natural rhythm. "We really need to get you a bell or something, dude. Before I keel over one of these days from a Hale-induced heart attack." Derek smirked and opened his mouth, likely to retort with a witty repartee, but Scott cut him off.
"As long as the bell goes over his clothes, I really don't care." He warned for whatever reason, backing up slowly in the direction of the bike racks. "I've got to go; I'm picking Isaac up later. Sorry Stiles!" he shouted as he waved one last time before bolting towards his bike. Stiles watched him go, not for the first time, with growing suspicion. He turned around to get into his jeep only to bump off a brick wall of muscle instead.
"Gah!" he rubbed at his chest irritably. "You're still here, then. What's going on?" Derek shrugged and stuffed his hands deeper into the pockets of his ever-present leather jacket.
"What movie were you talking about?" he asked instead of answering Stiles' original question. Stiles was too used to Derek's idiosyncrasies to care by this point.
"Only the greatest zombie movie to come out in the last decade." He sighed wistfully. "Scott and I made a pact to watch it tonight as soon as we realized it'd still be in theatres on Halloween. But he's bailing. Again. Which, y'know, no big deal, it's not like I need him to watch it with me. I mean, I guess I-"
"I'll go with you." Derek cut him off, looking at him expectantly. Stiles stared at him for no longer than a second before he broke out into a beaming grin that had Derek blinking in surprise.
"Seriously? Dude, you're the best. Really, way better than Scott." He clapped a hand on Derek's shoulder excitedly, too relieved that he wouldn't have to brave going to the movies alone to care if Derek ripped it off later. "No, I'm serious, you have no idea how long I've wanted to see this movie, ok? I've been following it since its production, man. Now that is dedication, even for me. You better be sure about this, dude. Because there is no turning back now. I mean it, you're stuck with me tonight." He turned serious eyes on Derek, who was simply watching him in amusement.
"I think I can live with that." He replied lightly. "When does it start?" Stiles opened his mouth to answer but nothing came out. Derek's eyebrows furrowed.
"Stiles?" He prodded when Stiles just looked at him in horror.
"I… I don't even know." Stiles face-planted onto Derek's shoulder and groaned in disbelief. "How do I not even know when the show-times are for this thing when I've been planning to see it for-"
He felt Derek's arm bunch up and move around his back and, suddenly realizing the position they were in, he jerked back before Derek could do it for him.
"I will find out!" he exclaimed, zipping around a lost-looking Derek and vaulting into the drivers' seat of his jeep haphazardly. "I'll look it up and text you the time. Then we can meet up at the theatres say, 15 minutes before it starts?" he babbled, using his fumbling with his keys as an excuse not to look at Derek. He felt more than saw Derek step closer until he was standing practically inside the open door.
"Don't bother." Derek said. Stiles head whipped up in surprise, ready to berate the sourwolf for backing out after practically promising not to mere seconds ago. "I'll pick you up. Just text me when I should come by." Stiles' words died on his tongue as Derek smiled—like really smiled—at him before shutting his door gently and walking off into the woods he'd apparently come from.
"Right. Ok." Stiles muttered as he backed out of his parking spot and headed home. "Not weird. Not weird at all."
"So." Drawled Isaac, sliding into the seat beside Stiles on the bench at lacrosse practice the next day. "Scott mentioned you were upset about not seeing that zombie movie yesterday. We could all go this weekend if you'd like. I wouldn't mind seeing it again." Stiles shrugged and watched Scott make his way over to them.
"Nah, it's okay. Derek took me to see it last night." He frowned when Scott suddenly veered in the opposite direction and joined some of the others who were taking practice shots on Danny. "It was a bit of a let-down really." He looked over to see Isaac's face fall.
"Oh. Did Derek do something dumb and mess everything up?" he pouted. Stiles raised an eyebrow at him in confusion.
"Nah man, Derek was fine." He admitted. He'd, surprisingly, enjoyed poking fun at the plot-holes and special effects with him. "I just got over-hyped about the movie itself. I should know better than to expect too much of the zombie franchise."
"Well we could still go see a different movie Saturday." Suggested Isaac. Stiles shook his head.
"Can't. Derek said we had to go somewhere Saturday. How about Sunday inst-"
"What?" Stiles' vision was suddenly blocked by curtains of curling blonde hair.
"Pth. Erica, what the hell?" he spat some stray strands out of his mouth and glared over his shoulder at where Erica had pulled back slightly, but was still leaning precariously close. "What are you even doing here?"
"Waiting for Boyd, obviously. Derek's taking you out Saturday?" she demanded, barely waiting for his nod to continue, "Do you know where?" Stiles shot an incredulous look at Isaac, but the other beta was staring at him with the same unwavering intensity.
"What? No. Why does it matter? What's going on?" Erica ignored him and turned to Isaac instead.
"I'll go find out what Derek's planning." She snuck a quick glance back at Stiles and gave him a quick once-over before turning back to Isaac "We'll meet up at Stiles place after practice to make sure he's ready." Isaac nodded like he understood what she was talking about, while Stiles looked back and forth between them, hopelessly lost.
Before he could ask what the hell was going on, Coach had blown the whistle signaling an end to practice and Isaac was rushing off the field to the change rooms with everyone else while Erica settled back in on the bleachers, texting furiously.
Less than an hour later Isaac, Erica, and Lydia—for reasons unknown—were all somehow going through his closet in search of something Stiles wasn't even going to guess at. Boyd was there too, but seemed content to just watch the proceedings from Stiles' desk chair, with an amused smirk.
"I knew you wore a lot of plaid, but I never could have imagined there would be so much of it in one place, let alone your closet. What did you do, Stiles, raid a cowboy display at Macy's?" Lydia threw a scornful look over her shoulder at him when he just huffed in response, and turned back to the task at hand.
"How about this one?" Stiles heard Isaac's voice, but couldn't see anything but his shoes and flashes of his curly head from where he was squeezed in front of the two girls.
"Good God, definitely not. Just give that one to me; I'll throw it out later." Stiles jumped up from where he was sulking on his bed.
"Whoa! Nothing is getting thrown anywhere! These are still my clothes and I don't care if you don't like them because I do. Say whatever you want-" Erica turned around with a judging expression, holding up a shirt he didn't even recognize. "Ok wow, yeah, that one can go in the garbage. But everything else stays!" Erica snorted and turned back to his closet, while Lydia sighed as if to imply he was the one being difficult.
"What are we doing here again?" Boyd asked as he twirled aimlessly in his chair. Stiles gestured wildly towards him, without taking his eyes off the mess—well, bigger mess—his friends were making of his closet.
"Yes! Thank you, Boyd! What are you guys doing here?" he demanded, crossing his arms across his chest.
"We're just making sure you don't embarrass yourself or Derek on Saturday," Stated Lydia, "Obviously." She made a triumphant noise at the back of her throat suddenly and twirled around holding a purple-blue button-up shirt and a pair of dark blue dress pants in front of her.
"That'll work." Nodded Erica, coming out from the closet to look at Lydia's selection. Stiles slumped back down on his bed in despair.
"Why do I get the feeling like you guys are pimping me out?" he asked, suddenly tired.
"Because we are." Lydia sniffed, and Stiles started to laugh weakly at her—obvious—joke before it died a painful death in his throat at her decidedly unimpressed stare. She shoved the outfit at him started gathering up her own stuff. "Be sure to wear that on Saturday. I'll see if I can find you a tie." Stiles sputtered uselessly as he followed her and the others down the stairs and to the front door.
"Tie?! What? What do you-"
"And don't screw this up." She threatened, before shutting the door behind her on the way out. Stiles turned and leaned back heavily against the door, his dad watching him from the entrance to the kitchen.
"I'm not sure I want to know." The sheriff admitted sympathetically. Stiles just sighed.
"I'm not sure I could explain it if you did."
Saturday evening, Stiles was ready to praise the ground Lydia walked on as he was seated at a table for two at the fanciest restaurant in the county. It wasn't even in Beacon Hills, for god's sake! Derek had driven them two whole towns over. Stiles brushed the tie (again, thanks to Lydia, who had borrowed it for him from Jackson) down self-consciously against his chest, glad he'd taken Lydia's advice *cough*threat*cough* and worn it with the outfit she'd picked out for him the other day. I didn't help that Derek looked ridiculously confident in his fitted blazer. Though with his body, who could blame him. Stiles cleared his throat awkwardly and unfolded his napkin onto his lap, mirroring Derek.
"Dude, this place is really expensive. Like seriously, I'll probably only be able to afford a bowl of soup at the most." Stiles admitted, opening his menu, only to close it a second later in barely-disguised horror. "Or not. That's cool; I'll just survive on complimentary bread." Stiles grabbed a thick, plump breadstick from the heaping basket and took a sizeable bite. He moaned in euphoric appreciation. He thought he heard Derek choke on his water, but he was too absorbed in his new-found discovery to really care.
"Oh my god, I am totally ok with that, this bread is amazing. No seriously, Derek this is some delicious fancy-ass bread, you have to try some." He held out the rest of the sinfully good masterpiece and waved it in front of Derek's face for him to take. Derek somehow managed to snag the bread between his teeth and tear a chunk off without even moving his hands off his menu, and smirked at Stiles' gobsmacked expression while he chewed.
"It's good." He agreed, swallowing obscenely. Stiles pulled his mind out of the gutter with a minute shake and cleared his throat.
"Um. Yeah. What I said; a more than suitable meal for the Stilins-ooh they have lobster ravioli, never mind, who needs gas money after all, am I right?" he said, having caught sight of the specials board along the far wall as he snagged his hand back and stuffed the rest of the breadstick in his mouth "So, what's this guy's deal anyways?" he asked, mouth full, and turned back to Derek. Derek's eyebrows lowered in confusion.
"What guy?" Stiles shot him an incredulous look and swallowed.
"Whatever monster, or hunter, or anything-in-between that we're here out today in this crazy-expensive restaurant. Dude's got class, whoever he—or she—is." Derek scowled and opened up his menu. Stiles would have said he was hiding behind it if he didn't know Derek better than that.
"I thought girls liked when their boyfriends took them somewhere nice on their "month-iversaries" or whatever they're called." He grumbled, bringing his menu up even higher, successfully blocking out everything but his—rather red—forehead from Stiles' view.
Stiles was about to lament the use of actual finger-quotations when the rest of what was said finally sunk in, at which point he was glad that he hadn't been drinking, otherwise Derek (or his menu) probably would have been very wet at this point, as he choked on air.
"What?!" he croaked, thumping his chest in a vain attempt to clear his airways. Derek lowered his menu just enough to look at Stiles over it with obviously forced neutrality and remained silent. Stiles gaped at him, coughing fit suddenly over, before snapping himself out of it with a mental slap.
"Ok, there are at least 5 different things wrong with that statement that I'd just like to point out right now. First," he lectured, holding up his finger to count off his list, "that's kinda sexist man. Second, even if it weren't, in case you haven't noticed, I'm still a dude. Third, month-iversary? Really? I personally never understood the big deal. I mean it's 30 days, big whoop. I've had longer relationships with the cheese in my fridge. Anniversaries are the only ones that really count. Fourth, we're dating?! And fifth, we've been dating for a month?! How have I not been aware of this for that long and why didn't you tell me?!" he hissed careful not to draw too much attention to their table.
Now Derek just looked upset.
"We went out for coffee exactly one month ago today," he said, setting his menu down harshly "What did you think we were doing?"
Stiles vaguely remembered Derek dragging him to the local Starbucks after he'd been whining about his dad banning him from drinking coffee after the incident with Aunt Gracie's vase that she'd sent them as a Christmas gift years ago. He still didn't see the big deal; it was an ugly waste of valuable DVD-space and Aunt Gracie never visited anyways.
But, back to the point.
It had, apparently, been a date. Stiles thought back even harder and realized that Derek had actually paid for both of them, though at the time he'd just assumed it was so the guy could have some quiet-time while he placed and waited for their order after shoving Stiles down at a table in the back.
"Huh." Was all Stiles could think to say. When he finally looked at Derek, it was obvious the other man was more than a little uncomfortable, and, if Stiles knew him as well as he thought he did (which was probably not much, given their current situation) then he was also likely just a few seconds from bolting out of the restaurant all-together. Stiles picked up his menu in what he hoped looked to be complete nonchalance.
"So, does this mean you'll pay for my ravioli then?" he asked lightly, taking a page from Derek's book and peeking at him over his menu. It was worth it to see Derek relax, inch by torturously-slow inch, in his seat, and smile softly down at his where his hands were fiddling with his own menu.
"Yeah." He agreed simply. "But it's your turn next time." Stiles beamed at him and put down his menu to grab another piece of bread.
"Deal. I hope you like baseball, because I've been dying to go to the batting cages recently." Derek's lips quirked up a little more to one side at that.
"I like baseball." He said, eyes meeting Stiles across the table as he looked up. "I've been a Dodgers fan pretty much since I was old enough to understand the game."
"Dodgers? Dude, they're ok, but the Mets. I thought you lived in New York, How are you not a Mets fan? They like, rule all, to quote Joey Tribbiani. Oh, wait no that was the Nicks. But still, my point stands."
"Wasn't the last time they won a title over 6 years ago?" Derek pointed out, almost gleefully, if he'd been anyone else. Stiles narrowed his eyes, about to retort when the waiter showed up. Derek smiled as he placed both their orders. Stiles sat back in his chair and graciously conceded this round to Derek. He had all night to even the score anyways.
Stiles stepped out of his jeep into the theatre parking lot on Sunday with trepidation. Catching sight of his friends all seated around one of the stone tables set up for big groups like them outside the Beacon Hills Cineplex, he took a deep, calming breath and marched over to stand at the head of the table determinedly. He cleared his—rather dry—throat and waited until he had everyone's full attention, however grudging it might have been for some of them *cough*Jackson*cough*.
"I have an announcement to make." He started dramatically, "As most of you know, I consider everyone at this table to be—to varying degrees, don't worry Jackson—my friends. And even if we weren't, I'd still consider you all pack. Or, I'd consider myself part of your pack until told otherwise by a majority vote."
"If this is some kind of hunt for internal validation, Stiles…" Lydia trailed off pointedly.
"Uh, no. No it's not." He promised. "As I was saying, seeing as we're so close, I thought it would only be right to let you all know first-hand—because let's face it, most of you would probably smell something or hear something or whatever and there would be the inevitable feelings of betrayal and mistrust and disbelief that always come with finding these sorts of things out on your own and-"
"Stiles!" shouted Jackson, startling Stiles—and the few others waiting outside—into silence. Jackson glared until everyone else went back to what they were doing, before turning his glare on Stiles. "Get on with it."
"Right ok so here's the thing—and seriously please take into account the fact that I'm telling you all first before anything really happens because I love you guys that much—the thing is Derek and I are dating." He blurted out all in one breath before collapsing onto the bench and hiding his head in his arms on the table, waiting for the shit-storm that was likely to rain down upon him any second.
Seconds ticked by and when over a minute had passed with no verbal reaction, Stiles finally lifted his head to take in the multitude of different emotions staring back at him, which ranged from incredulous to very-much-unimpressed.
"Did you honestly think," Erica enunciated slowly, "that we didn't know?" Stiles straightened up in his seat, incensed.
"What?! How the hell could you have known that? I didn't even know—whoa sorry, déjà vu." He shook his head emphatically "I didn't even know we were dating until yesterday!" All the faces that had been veering towards the incredulous side of the emotional spectrum were suddenly switched to very-much-unimpressed.
"How?! How could you not have known?!" Isaac despaired.
"Scott knew, Stiles! Scott!" lamented Lydia. "And he's about as self-aware as a pumpkin." Scott threw her an insulted pout.
"I think we can all agree pumpkins have as many self-actualization issues that a squash can possibly have, thanks to Halloween." argued Stiles.
"Scott is, at most, a turkey." He finished.
"Is anyone else suddenly hungry?" asked Boyd. Jackson raised his hand.
"I am. Can we please just go inside and get some popcorn?" he griped. Both girls and Isaac immediately turned their glares on him. Stiles was totally going to make fun of the little 'eep' sound he made later.
"No!" they barked in unison, before turning back to Stiles.
"Seriously, Stiles," pleaded Isaac "How did you not know? What did you think you guys were doing whenever Derek took you out somewhere?" Stiles shuffled uncomfortably in his seat. He'd already had this discussion with Derek last night.
"Um, staking out the supernatural wildlife?" he answered hesitantly. Lydia mouthed a prayer at the sky.
"But what about that time he took you for coffee after your dad banned you from it?" Erica demanded. Stiles scratched the back of his head and made a face.
"Ah. Date numero uno apparently. I thought he was just trying to get me to shut up." He admitted.
"But, but the movies! On Halloween!" Isaac jumped in "You said you had fun!"
"I thought he was being nice! Like, friend-nice! Not I-want-in-your-pants-eventually-nice! Not that we've even so much as kissed yet." He mumbled the last bit somewhat sourly into his hoodie.
"You have got to be kidding me." moaned Boyd, "You mean he's been acting like a love-struck idiot all month and you haven't even made out yet?! What the hell Stiles, has he not even tried anything?" Stiles opened and closed his mouth a few times.
"There might have been a moment." He finally came up with "after the movies, he leaned in a little. I thought he was just reaching across the gear-shift to open the door and push me out, so I did it first. But he did look kind of disappointed, now that I think about it." Even Jackson looked marginally invested at this point.
"You are the world's biggest cock-tease, Stilinski." He stated.
"As long as it's only my cock he's teasing, I think I can live with that." Everyone jumped in their seats and spun around to face Derek, who had somehow managed to sneak up on them at some point during the conversation without anyone noticing. He only had eyes for Stiles though, as he grinned wolfishly down at him "At least until you're 18; then I don't think there will be any more need for 'teasing', will there Stiles?"
"TMI! TMI!" shouted Scott, scrambling away from the table, hands over his ears, "I'm getting my ticket and popcorn. Do not feel like you have to join me."
Everyone watched him stumble into the theatre in amusement. Derek took the seat Scott had just vacated and leaned into Stiles, his grin gone.
"As long as that's alright with you." he murmured, staring deep into Stiles' eyes, dead serious. "I can wait longer, if you're not ready by then." Stiles opened his mouth to reply when he was cut off by Scott sticking his head back out the door.
"Isaac, you coming or what?" he called, slightly annoyed, before disappearing back inside. Isaac sighed good-naturedly and stood up, which the others took as some unspoken signal to join him, and they left Stiles and Derek to themselves.
"Dude, I'd be ready now if we didn't have a movie to get to in 10 minutes. Although, now that you mention it," Stiles tried not to snicker when Derek's expression dropped, "there are some other things that apparently we've been neglecting for a while now. Mainly; making out like the horny teenagers we are. Or, at least, I am. I think it's customary to try that out first." He said, bringing a hand up to cup Derek's now-smiling face.
"I think I can live with that." He replied and closed the few remaining inches between their lips.
As first kisses go, it was pretty damn spectacular. Not that Stiles had much to compare it to, of course. It started off chaste and sweet and a little chapped, but as soon as he opened his mouth slightly to get more of the taste of Derek's lips—which were fast becoming a vying candidate for Stiles' new favourite flavour—Derek moaned and suddenly it was all wet and heat and tongues and teeth and awesome.
Stiles tore himself away when the need for oxygen outweighed everything else and rested his forehead against Derek's. Derek, who was panting just as hard as Stiles and still hadn't opened his eyes, and had apparently, at some point during the proceedings, pulled Stiles fully into his lap.
"Y'know, I hear this movie isn't all that great." Stiles choked out between gulping breaths. Derek glanced up at him through his eyelashes.
"Yeah?" he smirked.
"Yeah." Stiles stomach clenched at the sight "And, y'know, my dad's out of town for a court case until tomorrow. Just saying." He felt more than heard the rumbling deep in Derek's chest and his already tight jeans became even more constricting.
The next thing he knew, Stiles was laughing as he stumbled along while being pulled insistently by the hand towards the parking lot.