Prompt: Sterek: "I'm part of an online gaming community that battles mythical creatures"

Word Count: 2739

Notes: My favorite Sterek fics involve Older!Stiles and Pining!Derek so this is kind of that I guess? Oh and I used to play Runescape, by which I mean I logged in three times and then never again, so I don't know how these things actually work. I am the opposite of a gamer. This is all guesswork.

Also, Tyler Hoechlin is right. We all severely overestimate how cool Derek is.

Derek is never quite sure how he and Erica ended up on the same team, but he's glad that he's got a level thirty mage on his side on his side. Sure, he's a warrior at level fifty, but it's not like he can do magic and Erica helps a lot with that. Only after bitching about how all the girl avatars have the skimpiest armor imaginable and that it would be entirely too easy for the bubble boobs they all have to just pop off.

Derek usually just grunts and nods, because as much as Erica complains, she hasn't really tried to do anything about it.

"Newbie alert," the dwarf on the team says. "Why is he approaching us? Or she, I guess."

"Could stab that avi so easy," Erica grouses through Derek's headset. "Look at that brass bra. Gotta be hell on her nipples."

"No, wait, I think Scott said he wanted a second account," says the dwarf. He's been going by Stiles the entire time they've all played together, and he and Scott are real life best friends, apparently.

"He's almost in speaking range," Derek says. "I guess we'll find out."

It's a moot point, though, because Scott logs on while they're waiting and says, "Hey, where are you guys? I'm all alone."

"Twelfth quadrant, Scotty boy," Stiles-the-Dwarf says. (It's easier to call him that than admit he has a crush on Stiles based entirely on his voice and game-play.)

"I'm in the tenth. Be there in a minute," Scott says.

"Beam me up," Stiles giggles when Scott teleports into the space next to them. As an elf, he's the only one on the team who can and he uses the power liberally. He's not very good at physical combat though, even at level forty-five.

"Hey, who's the newbie?" Scott asks.

The female avatar is in speaking range but she hasn't said a word. She just keeps heading toward them.

"She's not going to try to fight us, right?" Erica asks in disbelief.

"Noobs are batshit," Stiles-the-Dwarf intones."Anything's possible."

In fact the girl does try to shoot Erica's mage. Apparently she's an archer with pretty decent aim, but Erica throws up a force field at the last moment.

"Have you been practicing?" Derek asks, admiring the force field. "Nice."

"Hey, Der-bear," Stiles-the-Dwarf says. "Let's get her, huh?"

The two of them are short-range but also the best chance any of them will have with killing the girl, so Derek says. "Routine three?"

"Sure," Stiles-the-Dwarf agrees, and they split up, running at the archer from two different directions.

She shoots Derek, but her low level means it barely messes with his health points and other than a stumble, his avi keeps running.

Stiles reaches her first and swings his ax down, making her avi vibrate and flicker. Derek reaches her other side and jabs her with his rapier.

"Noobs are so easy," Stiles says when the archer vanishes.

Derek makes his avi shove Stiles' a little and the two of them walk back to the group.

"Let's kill some werewolves," Erica says. "I found a den in this quadrant before the rest of you got on. And don't think I didn't notice how easy it was to stab that girl. Bare stomachs; I tell you…"

"Erica," Stiles says, laughing. "Don't you dress like that in real life?"

"No," she snaps. "I wear corsets, not brass bras masquerading as armor. These girls might as well fight naked."

Privately, Derek wonders how Stiles knows what Erica dresses like. Erica is his best friend and they share three classes. He's never met any one named Stiles in real life.

"That could work," Scott piped up. "They could bathe in the blood of their enemies and then run around in nothing but dried blood. I'd be intimidated."

"Yeah, but you date Allison," Stiles says. "You're used to respecting women. All these other gamers don't know how to treat girls."

"Oh, and you do?" Erica asks, saccharine sweet.

"Sure," Stiles says. "I mean guys are easier to deal with, but yeah, I know how to treat girls."

"Stiles has lots of game," Scott agrees. "Once he convinced both me and Allison to make out with him. It was surprisingly not weird."

"Fond memories," Stiles says.

Derek might have stopped breathing at the implication that Stiles is bi.

"Then there's that time he made our English teach swoon," Scott continues, clearly intent on regaling them all with stories of Stiles' conquests.

"Ms. Newton?" Erica asks curiously. It's the teacher she and Derek currently share for senior English.

"No, Ms. Blake," Stiles says. "That was a couple years ago."

"Like three," Erica scoffs. "You aren't that much older."

"I didn't say forever ago," Stiles answers, scoffing. "Anyway, she didn't really swoon. That was after the thing with the birds that one time and she was kind of shaky."

"Wait, you went to Beacon Hills high?" Derek breaks in.

"Duh," Scott says, sounding perplexed. "That's why we invited you and Erica to the team." Not just because Derek has the highest level of all of them, apparently.

"Oh," he says.

Erica doesn't weigh in, so he supposes she didn't know either. Still, she knew them while they were here…two years ago? Some best friend she is…

She had probably assumed he'd known who the two of them were in high school and hadn't thought it necessary to be fair.

Scott sends him a private message. "u ok" it reads, and Derek scoffs. "fine," he sends back. Scott is nice. Derek likes Scott. He just knows that Scott is completely in love with his girlfriend and anyway, not Derek's type.

Derek's type is sassy dwarves who…well, he doesn't know what Stiles looks like.

"Actually we're going to be in town this summer," Stiles says casually. "We should all hang out, yeah?"

"Oooh, definitely," Erica says. "You and Derek should date."

Stiles sputters and Derek turns bright red. He's grateful that a screen is between all of them.

"Yeah, you should," Scott agrees. "Stiles is really nice, Derek. Well, sometimes. Most of the time he's a butthole."

"Rude," Stiles says, still sounding mortified.

"Derek, too," Erica says, obviously delighted. They've finally reached the den and without saying a word, she starts laying into the wolves with magic. Her attacks still aren't super strong, but they're good enough to take down a werewolf without assistance. The rest of them join in, all of them raking up points.

"Hey, I advanced another level in physical combat," Scott says happily. "Finally!"

"Loser," Stiles says

Later, Stiles sends him a private message. "Sorry about Scott."

"Sorry about Erica," he sends back immediately.

For a while, they all chat aimlessly about classes and a possible band of demons at the top of the mountain. "It's a myth," Erica says drily. "No way."

"I could check it out," Scott offers. "Wouldn't take long."

"Yeah, sure," Stiles says. "Do that. But come right back before you die."

"Wouldn't die," Scott says, teleporting. "I'm really fast. Like lightning."

"Believe me, I've noticed," Stiles says drily.


So Stiles is the nameless senior Derek had a crush on when he was a sophomore. Of course. And Scott is his nerdy and jocky friend who was captain of the lacrosse team his senior year.

Derek is befuddled.

Erica drags him over to the table where the two boys are waiting anyway. "Come on, dude," she hisses. "This crush is useless if you aren't going to do anything about it."

"How do you even know?" he hisses back.

"You're obvious," she says. "Now shut up." She shoves him into the booth and slides in next to him. "Hi!" she chirps.

"Sup?" Scott asks, grinning lazily.

Stiles gapes at Derek long enough that the tips of Derek's ears turn red, but then he swallows, licks his lips, and says, "Hey."

Next to him, Scott rolls his eyes.

"Hey," Derek chokes out.

Stiles is…more beautiful than he should be. Derek remembers him from high school as lanky and hyper, with a buzz cut that Scott was always rubbing, like Stiles' head was a crystal ball. He's filled out now, with more of everything—more shoulders, more hair, more muscle.

Still hyper, though, Derek thinks as he watches Stiles across the table. He moves while he talks about college, hands drawing pictures in the air, arm going around Scott's shoulder, reaching across the table to jostle Derek or to play with Erica's hair.

Within the first thirty minutes he's recapped both he and Scott's first two years of college and managed to pull the story of their meeting out of Erica.

"He punched a guy in the face for me," Erica says, smiling and leaning her chin on Derek's shoulder. He shakes her off.

"Nice," Scott says, smirking at them. "What happened?"

"She had a seizure and some asshole thought it would be funny to grab her boobs," Derek says, shrugging. "I thought it would be funny to break his face."

"He defended my virtue and I was completely smitten," Erica says, eyes fluttering. "But then I found out he was hung up on someone else, and decided to be his best friend instead."

"She is," Derek concedes. "Most days."

In retaliation, she pinches his thigh and he jumps away from her. He glares.

"Stiles was hung up on Lydia Martin forever," Scott says, like he's trying to bond with Erica. It's not like the four of them haven't been slaying wraiths and banshees for the past year. "But in senior year he decided to give up on her for some sophomore on the diving team. Apparently the guy had a great ass."

Derek resolutely does his best not to think about his own position on the diving team or the fact that Stiles was a senior when he was a sophomore. His ass is not that great, probably.

"Man, shut up," Stiles says, pushing Scott off the bench. "You're in time out."

"Okay," he says good-naturedly, sitting on the floor.

"So you like swimmers," Erica says, leaning forward with a terrifying grin. "Derek is on the diving team and the swim team. And he has the best booty in the whole school, trust me."

"I thought you liked Isaac," Derek says, ignoring everything else she's said.

"Yeah, but he has no butt at all," she says mournfully.

He rolls his eyes. "You're ridiculous."

"You're ridiculous."

"You're all ridiculous," Scott pipes up from the floor. "Am I done with time-out yet?"

"No," Stiles answers. "Where are you going to college?"

"Berkeley," Erica answers. "Derek, too. We would room together, but apparently Derek's parents think I'm going to seduce him and come home pregnant if we share an apartment. Really too bad."

"I'm sure you could seduce him if you wanted," Stiles placates.

She shakes her head. "Derek's not really interested in my…assets."

"You are literally the worst at euphemisms," Derek says, rolling his eyes. "Your ass is fine. So are your boobs." It's just that she's scary as hell and also a little bit like a sister. A twin sister who somehow managed to worm closer than Laura, his only actual sister.

"I mean he's kinda gay," she clarifies for Stiles.

"Bi," he corrects, because there was that whole thing with Kate for about ten minutes before he'd fallen into his apparent never ending Stiles crush. And then later lots of other girls. In fact, he's probably mostly straight. Except for Stiles. But bi works.

"Me too," Stiles says amicably.

"Yeah," Scott adds from the floor. "Stiles likes all the people. Everyone who is hot. Like you guys!"

"Both of us?" Erica asks, raising both eyebrows. "Because no offense, I'm kind of invested in this guy from the other side of the tracks. He has this whole greaser, leather jacket thing going for him and I am so down with it." She's the weirdest person Derek knows, seriously.

"Mostly Derek," Scott says, and Stiles kicks him in the back of the head before hiding his face.

"No way!" Erica jumps in, obviously faking surprise. "Derek has totally been crushing on Stiles since tenth grade. Say, do you think he's the same sophomore on the diving team with the fantastic ass?"

"Did you plan this?" Derek breaks in, vaguely horrified. He kind of wants to put Erica in time out with Scott.

Stiles peeks at Derek through his fingers and says. "I mean they aren't lying? At least Scott isn't? And Erica is right about the diving thing, so…"

"Erica's right about everything I guess," Derek answers, face hot. He stares at the table.

"Well," she says. "Beam me up, Scotty. Later, dudes." She grabs Scott's bicep and hauls him to his feet. The pair of them leave restaurant laughing.

"They've been private messaging all along, I think," Stiles offers, sitting up. He seems a lot less embarrassed now that they're alone, and Derek gets the feeling. Erica is his best friend but she does have a way of tackling situations that can be frightening for everyone (mostly Derek) involved. "Hey, wait, they're leaving in my Jeep," he says, leaning toward the window and stretching his neck.

Derek feels a little weak. "Erica can't drive," he says blankly. "Seizures."

"But it's my Jeep."

"I'll drive you if you need to be somewhere," Derek says hesitantly. "Do you?"

"No," he says. "It's the principle of the thing." Then he grins slow and leans across the table. "So. Sophomore year. You liked me?"

"Yeah," he says, face burning again. "I didn't know it was you on the team, though."

"Well, I figured," Stiles says, rolling his eyes. "Seeing how you were unaware of the Beacon Hills connection."

"I never actually knew your name in high school," Derek admits. "I was too shy to ask any one and you were always on the bench during games."

"Dude, don't remind me," Stiles groans. "Being the star benchwarmer is a memory I've done my best to repress."

"Sorry," he says.

"No worries," he answers with a wide grin. He drums his fingers. "The way I see it, I'm the star of a team now."

"I have the highest ranking," Derek points out.

"Yeah, and you're a puny human."

"You are literally a dwarf. You can't call me puny."

"I can do what I want, o young one. Anyway, let me have this MVP moment. It's important to me."

Derek rolls his eyes and sits back. "You got it."

"I'm part of an online gaming community that battles mythical creatures," Stiles says. "And I am the most valued dwarf on my team. Nay, the most valued player. What success." Then he looks at Derek with a frown. "I'm literally the biggest loser I know. Why do you like me?"

"I don't think you're a loser," he says instead of answering.

"Der-bear," he answers, leaning across the table to grab his hand. "Derek. O, star of my heart. Seriously. Why."

Derek shrugs helplessly. "You're funny and good at fighting monsters online. I don't know why you think I'm cooler than that."

"You're wearing a leather jacket and boots in the summer, plus you drive a Camaro," Stiles says, gesturing broadly. "Your muscles have muscles. You are at least a little cool."

"No," he says frowning. "I'm a misanthrope who only talks to my family and Erica. And you guys, I guess. Does it count if it's online?"

"Of course," Stiles says. "And none of that really makes you seem uncool."

Derek shrugs. "I'm not cool; you're not cool. Erica could be cool, but everyone seems to take real issue with epilepsy, so I guess that knocks her out of the running, too. Is Scott cool?"

"This is devastating," Stiles sighs. "I'm supposed to be cooler than Scott, but you're totally right. He's the cool one."

"I like you the way you are," Derek offers and then immediately wishes he could rescind the statement. He feels like the biggest dork in the world.

Stiles does laugh, but he squeezes the hand he's still holding. "Yeah, well, I like you the way you are, too. If you're a misanthrope you must already be skilled at keeping the girls away from you. Less trouble for me."

Derek glared at him a little. "I take it all back."

"Do not," Stiles giggles. "You're stuck with me forever."

He can't think of anything to say to that. Finally he says, "Cool."

Stiles beams.

A/N: Uh for the record...Allison wasn't the noob.