"Oh my God Scott, you better be here or I'm gonna kick your ass," Stiles whispered to himself.
The Stilinski boy was currently driving through the woods on his way to the old Hale house where he thought he might find his best friend. But if he wasn't there, that meant he was likely traipsing with Allison somewhere, and while he liked the girl well enough, ever since Scott started dating her, there was hardly any bro-time left for him. So hopefully Scott didn't brush him off again and instead was doing something productive, like fine-tuning his werewolf prowess with the Alpha.
Stiles pulled up to the house, clambering out of his Jeep. As he drew closer, he heard the sound of music coming from within the dilapidated house. The tune sounded familiar, but he couldn't make it out and the lyrics were muffled from behind the closed door. When Stiles knocked loudly, the song was immediately cut off. Not long after, the door swung open to reveal Derek Hale breathing erratically, as if he had just run several miles.
"Uh, hey. You okay?"
Derek ignored the question. "What do you want, Stiles?"
The brush off didn't faze the boy. He was used to that sort of thing. "I was looking for Scott, actually."
"Scott's not here."
Stiles groaned. "Then that means he's with Allison."
"So? So? So he's blowing me off again! So he's so caught up in everything Allison that he's forgotten that he has a best friend named Stiles!"
Derek sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Scott's in love," he said simply, like that was that. "We're done here," he said quickly before shutting the door in Stiles' face.
"Rude!" he hissed through the wood. Stiles frowned, making his way back to his car. His curiosity was getting the best of him. 'What was Derek doing before I got there?' As the possibilities went from totally innocent to ridiculously scandalous, Stiles thought it best to just forget the whole thing.
Stiles groaned before collapsing onto his bed. 'I'm seriously feeling a lack of appreciation here,' the boy thought to himself, hugging his pillow to himself. 'I go out of my way to help Scott and all his problems, and what do I get in return? Absolutely nada. Pffffft...' Stiles toed his shoes off and kicked them to the side, thumping as they hit the floor. "Maybe it's a werewolf thing," he snickered, talking to himself. "Derek never appreciates anything either... You save a guy once or twice and you can't even get a 'thank you' outta him..."
"You really think that?"
"Holy shit!" Stiles shot up, startled. His eyes scanned his room to see the figure of Derek Hale climbing through his window. He had half a mind to wonder if he had left that open, or if Derek was just that good at breaking in. But that was irrelevant now. He had to focus. "What the hell are you doing here? Coulda given me a heart attack…" he frowned, patting his chest over his erratic heart.
"Do you really think that?" He asked again, glazing over Stiles' question once more.
Stiles just blew out an air of exasperation, accepting being ignored once again. "Well, I did hold you up for two hours in a swimming pool and didn't get so much as a thank you cookie out of it."
Derek looked pensive for a moment, seemingly mulling over Stiles' words. It made the younger boy bite his lip. While part of him did feel underappreciated, he knew that his efforts to help the pack were valued no matter how many cookies he didn't get.
"Look. Just forget what I said," Stiles tried. "I'm just joking anyway. Did you need something?"
After a few seconds longer, Derek finally looked back up at the teenager. He blinked a few times before shaking his head. "I-um… I do appreciate you."
Stiles had to laugh. "You don't have to say it just cause I-"
"No, I mean it," Derek said sternly. "I'll prove it to you."
"You'll prove it to me?"
Derek just gave a curt nod before making his way back to the window. "Oh," he said, pausing with one leg perched on the sill. "And tell Scott to meet me and the others tomorrow after school. He… wasn't answering his phone."
"Well I coulda told you that," Stiles snorted.
"Oh and… you too. Tomorrow." And with that, Derek disappeared out the window, being courteous enough to close it behind him.
Stiles just stared at where Derek had just been, before collapsing back onto his bed wondering how this was his life.
When Stiles awoke the next morning, the sky was overcast - a blanket of grey clouds blocking out the sun.
'Just another beautiful day in sunny California,' he scoffed, yawning as he glanced out the window. Stiles stretched his arms over his head, enjoying the cracking of his joints in the early morning. He picked at his belly button as he slid off his bed to get ready for the day. But as he stood, he paused, his gaze caught by what was outside.
Stiles moved over to the window, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, making sure that he wasn't just dreaming. He slid the frame open, leaning out and looking left and right, hoping that he might find an answer. He found nothing.
Nothing but a lawn covered in bright yellow flowers.
'What in the…' Stiles frowned, trying to make sense of it. He closed his window and made his way downstairs.
"Hey kid," the Sheriff greeted as he made his way through the front door with his morning paper in his hands. "D'you see-?" He asked, pointing the newsprint towards the open door.
"Yeah," Stiles nodded, though he still stepped past his dad to get a good look at his lawn. "What - uh… what is this?"
"Looks to me like a bunch of flowers."
Stiles rolled his eyes. "I can see that, thank you. But why are there a bunch of flowers on our lawn?"
The Sheriff just tapped his paper against something by the front door. "Looks like they're for you. Who's 'D'?"
Stiles looked to what his dad had pointed at, realizing there was a sticky note attached to the side of his house. It read:
I hope these flowers brighten your day.
Stiles had to restrain himself from slapping his palm against his forehead. "Is he serious…?" he grumbled to himself, pulling the sticky note off the wall.
"He?" The sheriff cocked an eyebrow.
Stiles forced out a chuckle. "Ah, just a guy at school. Prankster."
The eyebrow remained, despite the explanation. Clearly Stiles' lying skills could not yet surpass the skepticism of the town sheriff. The elder Stilinski pointed his paper towards the flower covered lawn. "I want this cleaned up before I get home tonight, Stiles."
"Got it. Great," he sulked, watching as his dad made his way back into the house. Stiles turned around and looked back at the yard. "Littering my lawn with flowers, Derek? That's how you're gonna prove it to me?" While he supposed it was a nice enough gesture, he just wished it didn't have to come with extra chores. Stiles just glanced at the note in his hands before sighing and turning to go back inside. It was time to get ready for school.
As it turns out, Derek just wanted to let everyone know about the newest threat in Beacon Hills. It was nothing serious as of yet, but it was worth letting everyone know to keep an eye out. Once their meeting was up, Stiles made his way over to Derek.
Derek just nodded in greeting, eyes watching over the other teens as they made their way into their cars.
"I guess I should thank you for the flowers," Stiles smirked, elbowing Derek's side.
It could've been his imagination, but he could have sworn he saw the older boy's cheeks flush just the slightest.
"You-um… got them."
"Of course I got them! You scattered them all over my lawn! A lawn which I now have to clean up, but I get it. So thank you and you're welcome." Stiles gave Derek one last bump before hopping down the front steps and moseying over to his Jeep.
The boy spun around, eyebrows going up in question. He half-hoped the older boy was about to offer to help clean up the mess he made. Alas, Stiles had no such luck.
Derek glanced at him before looking down at his shoes. There was certainly no denying the flush of color on his cheeks this time. "Channel 96.5 FM. At 6 tonight. Listen." And with that, Derek rushed back into his house, leaving Stiles with no further explanation.
Stiles made his way into his car, confused, but eager to see what 6 o'clock would hold.
It was just about a quarter past six when Stiles heard it. He had tuned into the radio feed on his laptop while doing his homework when it came on the air.
"All right our next caller is Derek from Beacon Hills. Derek, anything you'd like to say before we play your song?"
"This is for you, Stiles." It was weird to hear the Alpha's phone-garbled voice on the radio, but the claim certainly made the boy sit up.
The DJ chuckled. "Hopefully, your Stiles is listening in."
The music started up and in hearing the first few notes, Stiles had to close his eyes, immediately recognizing the song.
"My tea's gone cold
I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed alone
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all
And even if I could it'd all be grey
But your picture on my wall
It reminds me
That it's not so bad
It's not so bad…"
Stiles had to bury his face in his hands, feeling a little embarrassed. He had wanted to feel appreciated, yeah, but to actually request Dido's 'Thank You' live on the radio… that was a little more than the teen had bargained for.
"And I~ want to thank you
For giving me the best day of my life
Ohh~ just to be with you
Is having the best day of my life…"
Stiles reached out with one hand to close the laptop, and thus, cut off the song. "All right," he groaned out loud. "I get it. You appreciate me. I get it…" He let his arms fall to the sides of his desk chair as he rocked in it slightly. He glanced from his laptop to the sticky note he had placed on his desk that morning along with one of the flowers he saved from the pile he had to rake up. And despite his slight embarrassment of the extremes Derek had apparently taken to prove himself, Stiles couldn't help but smile.
Chewing on his bottom lip, he flipped his laptop back open, allowing the rest of the song to play out as he continued on with his schoolwork.
Stiles didn't see Derek again until a few days later when the Alpha was waiting outside the boy's house as he got home from school. And while he knew that Derek probably had a collection of shirts that were of varying colors other than black, it was still somewhat of a surprise to him to see Derek wearing bright red under his typical leather jacket.
"Hey Derek," Stiles greeted as the older boy approached.
"Hey." He paused just a few feet from the teen, eyes instantly dropping to his sneakers as his fingers toyed with his keys. "Did you… listen?"
"Yeah, yeah," Stiles nodded, hiking his backpack on his shoulder. "Heh, and like I said, you're welcome, but you really didn't have to go that far. I mean, the flowers were enough. Got the message, loud and clear."
Derek glanced up, finally meeting Stiles' eyes. "Did you?"
"Mm-hmm," he nodded once more. "I'm feeling very appreciated, Derek. Thank you for making me feel validated."
Derek frowned, opening his mouth to say something, but biting back. Instead, he just looked back to his shoes. "Right. Validated." And without another word, Derek walked back to his car and drove away.
"Okay… weird…" Stiles frowned as he stood alone in his driveway, realizing he half-hoped the Alpha would stay. Shaking off the feeling, Stiles made his way into his house.
Over the next few days, whenever Stiles saw Derek, the Alpha was surprisingly decked out in a red t-shirt. During boring meetings about this new supposed threat, Derek wore red. During boring training sessions that Stiles couldn't participate in, Derek wore red. During actual battles against the no-longer-supposed threat, Derek wore red. It was enough to make Stiles want to question it.
As the pack regrouped after their latest fight, Stiles walked over to Derek, taking in the sight of the torn up and bloodied piece of clothing despite the flawless skin underneath.
"Well, there goes your favorite shirt," Stiles joked.
Derek cocked an eyebrow and looked over to the younger boy. "What?"
"That shirt. You've been wearing that same red shirt over the past week or so. At least you have every time I saw you."
Derek looked down and pinched the fabric in his hands, as if realizing its eviscerated state for the first time. "Oh. I… It's okay," he shrugged. "I have three more."
"You have three more of the very same shirt?" Stiles gaped incredulously.
Derek frowned. "Yeah, why?"
Stiles shrugged. "I dunno. I guess… I didn't realize how much you liked the color red. But now that I think about it, it shouldn't surprise me what with you being the Alpha and all."
"I don't wear it because I like it."
At this, it was Stiles who arched an eyebrow.
Derek continued. "I wear it because you like it."
"Yeah. You always wear red. Isn't it your favorite color?"
"My favorite color is purple."
"Yeah… but why-"
Before Stiles could finish asking why Derek would bother wearing Stiles' favorite color, the Alpha stalked off, disappearing into the night.
Two days later, when Stiles spotted Derek picking up Isaac after lacrosse practice, he didn't exactly know what to make of seeing the older boy trade in his red shirt for a purple one.
'There's definitely something going on with Derek,' Stiles fretted to himself, thinking about how it was the third time this week that Derek wore purple under his jacket every time he picked up his Beta. 'I mean, it can't just be a coincidence. He said it himself. He's wearing my favorite color for me. But why? What's he playing at?'
Stiles set his stuff down before collapsing into his desk chair, twirling in it a few times before planting his feet down to stop it. That's when he spotted a package on his desk that certainly wasn't there before. On the mishapen bundle was another sticky note, the same color as the one still stashed away with his now dried flower. It read:
Saw this. Thought of you.
Curious, Stiles undid the neat wrapping of the gift, revealing a tiny plush chipmunk inside. He blinked at the small animal, trying to figure out what it meant. But, when nothing came to him, Stiles just burst out into laughter, simply because he had no idea how else to react.
'I remind him of a chipmunk? A friggin' chipmunk?' He wasn't exactly sure if he should be insulted or not. Either way, Stiles just pushed the little fella aside, tossed the paper into his waste bin and tried to get started on his assigned reading. But every now and again, he couldn't help but glance at the wide-eyed woodland creature and smile. 'Derek… what are you doing…?'
It wasn't until a week later that Stiles saw Derek again one Friday afternoon. The Alpha was sporting his purple shirt and was approaching the teen as he made his way to his Jeep in the school parking lot.
"Uh, hey Derek," Stiles nodded in greeting. "I never got to thank you for the chipmunk. Although, I'm not entirely sure why I remind you of on-"
"When you eat," he started, bringing his hands up to mime the motion, ending by cupping his hands around his cheeks in a bulging motion, "your cheeks… just like a chipmunk." Again, Stiles wasn't exactly sure if that was a compliment and was going to ask such, but Derek barreled on. "You busy?"
"Uh, no, not really. Why?"
"Good. Come on."
The older boy just took the keys right out of Stiles' hands and hopped into the Jeep as if it were his own.
"Hey," Stiles frowned, staring him down, mouth agape. Derek was unfazed. Stiles just rolled his eyes and climbed into the passenger seat, tossing his stuff into the back. "So where are we going?" he asked, as Derek started the car.
The werewolf didn't answer and simply went on his way. Several times Stiles tried to get an answer out of him, but Derek was a brick wall. In fact, with the way the older boy was nibbling on his bottom lip and clenching at the steering wheel, Stiles might even deem him nervous. But what on Earth could Derek Hale be nervous about?
It wasn't long until Stiles realized that Derek was taking him out to the Hale house. It made him wonder if there was some new information on their newest threat that Derek wanted to talk about in private. He hoped he could prove himself useful to the Alpha.
When they pulled up, Derek parked the car and climbed out, tossing the keys back to their rightful owner. Stiles caught them deftly, but before Stiles could follow him up the porch steps, Derek spun around and stopped him. "Just… just wait here."
Derek just nodded before hurrying inside. A few moments later, he returned with a blanket and – surprisingly – a picnic basket.
Derek brushed past Stiles and walked over a few steps before spreading the blanket over a fairly even bit of land. He set the basket down and finally looked to the surprised boy still standing by the porch.
"You're hungry aren't you?" he asked, simply.
Yes, he certainly couldn't deny that he was. Stiles was a growing, teenage boy. There was hardly a time he would ever pass up food. And whatever it was that Derek had in that basket smelled really good. Deciding to see this through, Stiles just shrugged and took a seat on the blanket, across from the older – and very confusing – boy.
Derek was silent as he passed Stiles a sandwich that was wrapped up all fancy in wax paper. And he soon realized what it was that caught his nose's attention when Derek handed over a carton of curly fries. Just the sight of them made his mouth water.
"They might be a little cold," he warned. "I made them before I went to your school."
Stiles snorted as he shoveled a good amount of fries into his mouth, savoring the taste of them despite their lukewarm temperature. "What, did you run there with your weird werewolf running thing that you do?"
Stiles had been joking, but it was clear by the blank expression on Derek's face that he wasn't.
"Oh um. Did I say weird? I meant cool. Totally awesome. Ama-"
"Stiles. Eat your food."
The two ate in silence, Stiles munching merrily on his ham sandwich, washing it down with some lemonade that he wouldn't be surprised if Derek squeezed himself. And it occurred to him just then, sitting across from the appeased Alpha, that they were very literally having a picnic together. Just the two of them. Just as couples did. The fact made Stiles' cheek flush just the slightest.
"So… how is it?" Derek asked cautiously, taking a sip of his own drink.
"Good. Very," he swallowed, "good."
Derek just nodded. "I would've tried lighting a fire… to make it cozy, but… I don't do well with fire."
There was a lot to take in in that one sentence. For one, um, yeah, Derek Hale doesn't do well with fire. Hell, they were sitting no more than twenty feet from the burnt up house most of his family had died in. He wouldn't blame the guy for being iffy around a friggin' birthday candle. And two, Derek wanted to make this – their picnic – cozy. A cozy picnic by an intended fireside. It sounded very much like a date.
'But we can't be on a date. He's Derek. And I'm… I'm me. No, no. There's got to be a reasonable explanation for this…' Stiles thought. He was just about ready to sort out some ideas when Derek stood up.
Stiles sat up, asking wordlessly if he should follow, but Derek stilled him with a hand. The older boy hurried over to the porch, picked something up and walked back to the blanket with what looked to be a speaker in his hand. Stiles' observation proved accurate when Derek pulled his phone out and attached it, sweeping through various files before stopping on one that he liked. Hitting play, the quiet wooded area was suddenly filled by a soft melody.
Derek cleared his throat before turning his eyes to Stiles, reaching a hand out to the boy.
Stiles' mouth fell open. "What-what is this? What are you…?"
Derek blushed. "Would… would you like to dance?"
"Me? With you?" There must've been more than just lemon in Derek's juice. But, tentatively, Stiles held a hand up, not exactly taking Derek's just yet, but more of a way to feel out the punch line of this obvious joke.
Derek sighed and rolled his eyes before taking Stiles' hand in his and pulling him to his feet. Immediately, he wrapped an arm around the boy, one hand on the small of his back while the other was firmly planted in Stiles' own.
For a second, Stiles didn't know what to do, his free hand hanging limply at his side. He felt his body sway with the music, being led in a small circle with Derek's guidance. Eventually, once the shock of the situation wore off, Stiles tentatively brought his hand up, letting it come to rest lamely against Derek's broad shoulder.
And because Stiles is Stiles and can never keep his mouth shut when something is on his mind, he had to ask. "What are we doing?"
Derek cocked an eyebrow. "Dancing."
The teen huffed out his vague annoyance. "I mean, why are we dancing?"
Derek pursed his lips together, looking down for a second before replying. He shrugged slowly. "Maybe I just wanted to dance with you."
The whole thing, everything that had happened thus far was just getting too much to take in. The shirts. The gift. The picnic. And now dancing. Derek's behavior was beyond baffling to Stiles. If he knew any better, he'd think the older boy was smitten. But the idea was just ludicrous to him. And despite this, he couldn't help but feel himself falling for the broody wolf. He, whose body was pressed slightly against his own, warmth radiating off of him. He, whose eyes were looking deeply into Stiles' own, searching for the answer of an unasked question. A crease in the boy's brow belied the nervousness he seemed to be holding back. But then, as if finding the answer he was looking for, Derek relaxed, gently pulling Stiles in closer so that their heads were nearly touching. Fittingly, this new level of proximity was giving Stiles a heady feeling.
'No, Stiles. Stay rational. There's got to be a logical explanation for this. There's something I'm missing… something… it started with… with the flowers! The flowers that were meant to prove that he appreciates what I bring to the pack. And how could I forget about the song? 'Thank You.' Obviously, he's just taking this thing way out of line. He's probably,' Stiles gulped down the sudden bitter thought that came to mind, 'he's probably just making fun of me.' He pushed aside the vague resentment and found amusement in it. Everything, now in perspective, was just ridiculously funny.
And with that, Stiles inhaled deeply before taking a step back, out of Derek's arms. The older boy looked to him, confused.
Stiles forced out a laugh. He continued laughing until it sounded borderline hysterical.
"Stiles…?" Derek asked, arching an eyebrow, a concerned expression on his face.
"This… this is just…" Stiles was smiling, rubbing a hand over his shorn head. "All right, all right. I get it. You had your fun. You can stop thanking me now."
Derek furrowed his brows together, opening his mouth to say something but Stiles cut him off with another laugh. He wagged a finger at the older boy.
"You've proven it above and beyond. I get it. Frankly, you could've just stopped with the Post-it by itself, but you know. Whatever. I don't mind. The curly fries though. Nice touch." With every sentence, he backed up towards his car, hand reaching for his keys. "So yeah. You can stop thanking me now. Message received." He saluted Derek – saluted him – before whipping around and scrambling into his car. As he sped away, he spared one last glance at the boy in the rear-view mirror. Had he played closer attention, he might've seen the dejected look on Derek's face as he watched the Jeep fly off into the distance until it was out of sight.
Two weeks. It had been two weeks since Stiles last saw Derek. Stiles might've thought the older boy was purposely avoiding him, but considering the pack's last threat had apparently laid eggs, spawning a handful of new threats, he could just assume that the Alpha had his hands full.
'Besides…' Stiles thought, hopping into his Jeep, but too lost in thought to do anything but sit there. 'Avoiding me… that makes it sound like we broke up or something… and that's just… that's stupid.'
And yet, it didn't stop the teen from missing the older wolf. The attention had been nice, despite its actual intent. He actually liked the idea that Derek thought of him that way. That maybe Derek did plan a quiet picnic just so he could spend time with Stiles. Remembering the way his hand felt on his back, the way his eyes bore into his own, Stiles couldn't help but wish there had been more to it than there was.
Idly reaching for his keys to start the engine, a beat came to his ears, pulling him from his thoughts as its familiarity forced its way into Stiles brain.
"…Wear your favorite color just so he can match your eyes. Rent a private picnic by the fire's glow, ohh~"
The lyrics hit him, forcing him to think of Derek and his purple shirts and their picnic in the woods by his house – the picnic, if he recalled correctly, Derek had wanted to light a small, cozy fire for. It was too uncanny to overlook. Stiles darted his gaze out the window, trying to locate the music's source. He found it.
'Lydia! That's her car!' He jumped out the door and hurried to stand in front of the girl's vehicle, arms out to stop her.
The car jolted to a stop as the strawberry blonde stuck her head out the window. "Are you insane? I could've run you over!"
"That song. I recognize that song. What is it?"
The girl just rolled her eyes. "I'm out of here. Move it or lose it, Stiles."
"No, Lydia, wait! Please!" He scrambled over to her door, hands planted firmly on the opened window to keep her from driving off. He wasn't exactly sure why, but he was compelled to find out what the song was. If his memory was serving him right, that was the same song he had heard coming from Derek's house those few weeks ago when he had been looking for Scott. "Just tell me what that song is. Please. I'll leave you alone just as soon as you tell me what it is."
Again the girl just rolled her eyes. She reached over for her phone which was connected to her dash and held it up to Stiles' face.
"That's How You Know… Enchanted Soundtrack…" he read.
"Can I go now?" she asked, face half-bored, half-annoyed.
"Yeah," he breathed, holding his hands up, taking a step back from the car. "Thanks."
"Whatever." She tossed her phone onto the passenger seat and sped off.
Stiles didn't waste another second. He jumped back into his car and yanked his phone out of his pocket. He silently thanked smart phones and reasonable data plans as he opened up the YouTube app to search for the song.
"How does she know~ you love her?
How does she know~ she's yours?"
The mental images of Amy Adams twirling around in a dress she made out of Patrick Dempsey's drapes hit him as he remembered the Disney movie. He had been forced to watch it during movie night with Scott when Allison made an unexpected appearance. The couple outnumbered him two-to-one, so instead of watching the second installment of the Transformers movie franchise like he and his best friend had intended, he was forced to watch the campy Disney musical instead. And, admittedly, while it wasn't his first choice, he couldn't help but enjoy Dempsey's cynicism and complete loss for words when the whole park broke out into song and dance while he was left wondering how the hell all those people knew the words to the supposed spur-of-the-moment song.
"Well does he leave a little note to tell you you are on his mind? Send you yellow flowers when the sky is grey? Hey~"
Stiles' mouth fell open. The flowers. The yellow flowers. "No way… he can't… that has to be a coincidence. But… the note… I mean, technically the note that came with the chipmunk basically said he was thinking of me…" A small smile began to tug at his lips as he continued to listen for more.
"Well does he take you out dancing just so he can hold you close? Dedicate a song with words meant just for you? Ooh~"
His mind drifted back to when Derek had his hand in his. How nervous he had seemed at the time, but pushed it aside to give himself an air of confidence. 'Maybe I just wanted to dance with you, he said. Maybe he did want to dance with me… and 'Thank You'? I mean, that really could have just been him thanking me… but the rest of those lyrics? 'Just to be with you is having the best day of my life…' Oh my God…'
Stiles started his car. He needed to get to Derek's house now. He was sure that had the road out to the Hale house been a busy one, one of his dad's deputies would have pulled him for speeding and reckless endangerment. The Jeep screeched to a stop as Stiles stumbled out of the car, not bothering to close the door behind him. He leapt up the steps of the dilapidated house and pounded on the door. He would've been surprised yet again that Derek didn't hear him approach, but like last time, there was music blaring through the house. This time, the lyrics were quite clear.
"Tell me how it feels to be
The one who turns the knife inside of me
Take a look and you will find~
There's nothing there, girl, yeah I swear
I'm telling you girl, yeah, cause
There's a hole in my soul
That's been killing me forever
It's a place where a garden never grows…"
Stiles had to stop and let those lyrics sink in as well before he started pounding even harder on the door. "Derek?"
It wasn't long after that the door swung open, revealing a downtrodden Derek, eyes sunken and his typical five o'clock shadow looking more like it was headed for midnight. But, surprisingly enough, and Stiles took this much more to heart than he supposed he really should, Derek still wore a purple shirt.
"What do you want?" Derek huffed out, sounding drained.
"Derek, I… I just-" Stiles bit his lip, looking over the boy's shoulder at the speaker still blaring out the somber song. Stiles let out a breath and pushed past Derek, turning the blasted song off. "There. Better." While it might be very possible for Derek to hear Stiles over the noise, the very human boy would have a more difficult time following the conversation they so desperately needed to have. Stiles looked Derek in the eye and just went for it. "Derek. Are you in love with me?"
A pained expression spread across the Alpha's face before he quickly trained it away. "Why would you think that?" He asked, dully, pretending not to care, but Stiles could tell by the way the wolf's thumb kept flicking against his forefinger that he was nervous. That his answer mattered.
"The flowers. The song. The picnic. Those were all gestures… your way of telling me that… that you love me."
Derek dropped his gaze, but didn't deny any of Stiles' claims.
"Derek… I thought you were making fun of me."
His gaze jumped back, surprised and alarmed.
"I thought you were taking the whole 'thanking me' thing way out of proportion. Hell, I even said so!"
Derek's expression fell as he recalled the memory. "I thought… I thought that was just your way of letting me down easy…"
"Idiot…" Stiles groaned before immediately closing the distance between them. He threw his arms around Derek's neck, finally doing as he had wanted for some time now. He kissed Derek long and full on the lips, feeling as tentative hands slipped down his sides and onto his hips. Stiles kissed Derek until his lungs burned for air and his heart felt ready to beat out of his chest. He pulled back, gulping down oxygen as he rest his forehead against Derek's own.
"Idiot," he repeated. "How could I have let you down easy if I had no idea what you were really up to? Seriously, Derek, who does that? Taking advice from a Disney song? How do you even know that song?"
The boy blushed. "Laura made me watch that movie with her a ridiculous amount of times. It was her favorite. Eventually, that song just… stuck," he explained.
"So then everything. The shirts, the chipmunk, the dancing. Those were all from the song? Your way of showing me how you felt?"
He nodded. "I didn't… I didn't know how to tell you… But I thought after everything, it'd be obvious enough…"
Stiles supposed it should have been. But still. It really was a strange way to go about it. But now that they were here, Stiles couldn't help but smile. He leaned forward, kissing Derek once more, wanting to emote all his affection for the werewolf in the touch.
"So let's make this absolutely clear," Stiles said, fingers running through the hair on the nape of Derek's neck. "I really, really like you. And you really, really like me too."
Slowly Derek nodded, a shy smile spreading out across his lips. It was truly a sight to behold, warming Stiles' heart in knowing that he was the cause of it. Stiles smiled brightly in return, elated now that he finally understood.
"But those flowers," Stiles thought out loud. "Those were actually a thank you, right? Because as nice as it is as a gesture of love, I still really want my 'thank you'."
Derek snorted, but nodded once more. "After hearing what you said-"
"You mean when you broke into my room-"
"When I came to deliver a message," he countered, "I thought it might be a good opportunity to maybe show you how I feel. I mean, there was no way I could've been a hundred percent sure, but I was pretty sure you had some feelings for me. I mean, you held me up in a swimming pool for two hours…"
"That was one of my better moments, wasn't it," Stiles smirked.
Derek just smiled softly in return. "So yeah… the flowers were the 'thank you' you so fairly deserved. Everything after that was just… more than that."
Stiles nodded, finally understanding Derek's enchanting behavior. "All those flowers though. A whole lawn full," he mused. "You must have really, really appreciated me not letting you drown."
"I admit, I may have gone a little overboard with the flowers," he conceded.
"Where did you even find that many?"
"Let's just say there are a number of old ladies and a few gentlemen who think a stray dog tore up their flowerbeds."
Stiles laughed, the sound music to Derek's ears. He smiled, enjoying Stiles' amusement before he took initiative and claimed Stiles' lips with his own.
They weren't expecting a happy ever after. Those were for fairy tales. But they were beyond gratified in figuring out the truth and finding their way to one another. They were ready to explore this new and exciting thing between them, eager about the promise it held. And yes, while Derek's tactic was anything but ordinary, Stiles finally understood the truth within it. Every gesture was proof, like he said. Proof that Derek had fallen in love. And it made Stiles vow to prove his love to Derek, in ways all his own. Because-
"That's how you know
That's how you know
He's your love."
Notes: I actually thought it'd be pretty funny to see Derek base his courting tactics (aka The God-Awful Courting Tactics Used to Woo Stiles Stilinski by Derek Hale) from 'That's How You Know' when I heard it play on my sister's iPhone. The song was just so bubbly and silly and I thought it'd be funny to put Derek through it. In the end, he turned out to be a bit more emo about his music than I had intended what with the way he blares 'Hole in my Soul.' Geez, Derek. Dramatic much? The songs are as thus: That's How You Know – Sung by Amy Adams from the movie Enchanted. Thank You – Dido. Hole in my Soul – Aerosmith.
Also, the chipmunk is a nod to Pip from the movie Enchanted. Pip is the guy with all the answers but he gets overlooked cause he's a chipmunk. I feel like Stiles is kinda that way too. Also, I have no idea what Stiles' favorite color is. So I used Dylan O'Brien's. Either way, you're going above and beyond the whole 'wear your favorite color' thing, Derek, if you own four of the same shirt just to rotate them out when it gets dirty. And covering the whole lawn with yellow flowers? Over-compensating much? Haha, just kidding. I love you, Derek. You're ridiculous. I enjoy putting you in silly situations.
Gah, it's so cheesy. Forgive me orz