THE THIRD TIME

Stiles frowned. He really, really wanted Mac n Cheese for dinner. He didn't want to make the effort of actually making it, though. And he hasn't used a stove since last year when he attempted to fry hamburger meat but instead ended up with half the town's electricity cut off.

That was more per his father's rules than his own fear of the kitchen; but he was fairly sure that even if he did venture on to the oven and attempted Mac and Cheese...it would be a disaster.

Still, the young teen clutched the box as if praying it could magically make prepare and serve itself. His father had been called into a neighboring county for extra help (some big political rally) and had left Stiles completely alone for the night. Not that he wasn't used to this, it's just that his father had planned on cooking tonight so he wasn't prepared to fend for himself.

He put it on the shelf...but than took it back. Then started to put it back, but then stopped his arm. He repeated this a few times.

"You look ridiculous."

Stiles spun around, Mac and Cheese in hand, and faltered when he came face to face with Derek.

"Derek! What the hell are you doing here?"

"It's a grocery store, Stiles."

"Oh my god, is there like some murderer here? Like, right now? Are you investigating? Is there another werewolf in here?"

"It's a grocery store, Stiles."

Stiles huffed. He hated when Derek said his name in that voice, as if speaking to an overly active and all together annoying child.

"You already said that bro. Is that supposed to be your way of saying your buying food? Because I high-" He snapped his mouth shut when he saw the little carrier basket Derek was holding.

And of course he burst out laughing.

Derek glared. He started to walk away. Stiles followed.

"I'm sorry man," Stiles was practically choking on his laughter. "It's just that I'd never picture you doing grocery shopping. Especially not with one of those old lady baskets. Oh my god I never want to forget this."

"Well I never thought you'd look like a constipated idiot as you couldn't decide if you wanted a damn box of mac and cheese."

Stiles laughter died instantly. He huffed and felt his cheeks burn red.

"At least we're past the three-word phase again," he decided to look on the bright side. The whole 'Stiles-move' or 'Stiles-Throw-Arrow-" or "Stiles-Leave-Now" was getting very old everybody knew Derek was smarter than a caveman.

Of course, Derek said nothing to this. This did not deter Stiles. No way was he going to pass this golden opportunity up to get under his alpha's skin.

"So what's on the menu tonight? I think most of their meat here comes without the fur so that will save you from having to clean it, that's nice right? What do you even eat when we're not there? Come to think of it, what do you even do when we're not there?"

Stiles realized he had no idea what the alpha did when his pack wasn't tearing up the older man's house. He definitely couldn't see Derek watching TV (he hardly showed interest when everybody else did) nor could he see him actually going out and being with regular humans.

Yes, Stiles understands he's a human too, but in no way was he regular. Nobody else had the Stilinski-badassery that he possessed, and therefore could not be placed in the regular category like all the other humans that crowded this supermarket.

He also couldn't see Derek talking a stroll through the words, unless fully shifted. But that would be more like a storming-the-woods-and-scaring-all-the-cute-woodla nd-creatures-away kind of stroll, so could that even be counted as fun? Stiles didn't think so.

And that was the reason it was the only thing on Stiles list that he could legitimately see Derek doing when nobody else was around.

When nobody else was around...holy shit. Now Stiles was totally thinking of Derek masturbating and stop, stop, stop, stop! Derek would totally be able to smell that, and Stiles was not having it.

Dead babies, dead babies, dead babies, Stiles repeated in his head. Or so he had thought.

"Seriously Stiles," and his eyes snapped up to Derek's, who looked extremely pissed. "I do not eat the young."

Stiles bowed his head. Derek looked legit mad.

"I-I'm sorry, I wasn't saying that. I had this thought in my head that I wanted to get out so I was thinking of dead babies. Not that I think about dead babies! Cause that would be gross and psychotic and totally make me worthy of a psych eval and I really don't think I need one. At least I don't have the time for one. No, it's that I don't have the money for one. So yeah... Hey, where are you going?"

He jogged back up to Derek and watched him grab multiple containers of ground beef.

"I'm not a lunatic," Stiles whimpered.

"Ok. Have a good day."

He turned. Stiles followed.

"You never answered my question. What do you do when the pack's gone?"

Derek grunted.

And that, apparently, was his idea of a totally thorough and satisfying answer.

"Fine. What are you doing tonight?" They turned down the dessert isle, and Stiles squealed when Derek stopped to get a single cup size of cookie dough ice cream.

"Oh my god that's my favorite kind! Shit we both have the same favorite ice cream flavors. You have to be friends with me now. Or at least say a sentence that a third grader couldn't say."

"I don't have favorites."

"Right, right. You don't have a favorite anything, you hate sunshine, you wish all butterflies would die, you think laughter is overrated and should never have been invented, and prefer your Bambi bloody and dead under your teeth than prancing around a pretty meadow scene on your TV. Got it. Now let me have this."

Stiles quickly grabbed the single size of ice cream and shoved it back in the freezer. He then grabbed a whole tub and threw it into Derek's cart. He also threw his mac and Cheese in there too.

Derek looked completely unfazed, bored, and like he was regretting deciding to have a dinner tonight that couldn't fight back.

"What are you doing?" He asked stoic.

"My dad's not home till super late tonight so I'm coming over and your making me Mac and Cheese. And than we can have ice cream."

"No."

Stiles grin grew wider. Derek was so...just so something when he was blank faced and careless.

"You are. Because as the alpha it is your duty to protect your pack. And if you send me home and I attempt to make Mac and Cheese, well, I don't know what the death toll will be but you can certainly count me. And we all know that the pack will crumble without me. Scott will turn all angsty. Lydia will cry for days. Jackson will finally realize he liked me as a friend and will cry too. Erika will realize her crush and she'll kill herself out of emotional pain. The list goes on."

Derek's face wasn't blank anymore. His mouth was open and he was looking at Stiles like he was legitimately crazy. He looked like he'd pay for Stiles to get a psych evaluation.

"Fine. Just fine. Come to my house than. I don't care."

Stiles smirked. He knew very well that his blabbering powers had crippling you-must-agree-just-to-shut-me-up effects that were clearly taking hold of Derek.


This was stupid. He was absolutely not doing this. Stiles swore at himself as he snapped his closet doors closed.

No. He would wear what he had worn the whole day. They were simply going to hang out. Stiles wasn't even going to take a shower. Yes, that's right, no shower. That's how much of a regular hang out this was.

He smiled at himself as he unconsciously sniffed his armpits. His smile faltered.

Thirty minutes later, Stiles stood in front of his mirror. He was freshly showered and changed into new clothes.

It's okay though, Stiles tried to rationalize; I'm just wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. That's super casual. Like, he will just think I'm chilling. Chilling? Who the hell says that in their head?

He groaned. He firmly ignored the little voice in his head that screamed damn you Stiles, these are your most form fitting sweatpants and your favorite hoodie.

Whatever, they were just friends. You totally do not dress up for friends. That's all they were, all they'd ever be, and Stiles needed to calm the fuck down.

He got this. He got this. He grabbed his keys and headed out the door. He told Derek he'd be there in fifteen.


So, here he was, talking excitedly with his friend about very friendly things. He was perched on the counter in Derek's loft, watching Derek's back with glee as the other man buzzed around the kitchen. He was preparing two dinners, as his alpha refused to eat Mac N' Cheese.

Right, back to the talking. Stiles talked about being better at lacrosse since the pack training sessions. He talked about how much he hated a few of his teachers; even going into detail about a few select times he was grossly and wrongly punished. He talked about Scott. He talked about Allison. He talked about his dad. He talked about aliens. He talked about the possibility of the Loch Ness Monster. He talked about pretty much everything he talked about with Scott. That was a good jumping off point, right?

He basically talked to himself. But that didn't really bother Stiles. Derek would make noncommittal grunts every once in a while, thrown in with an eye roll here and a shifted eyebrow there for good measure.

All the while Stiles realized (and relished in the fact) that he couldn't think of any time Derek spent one-on-one with a member of the pack that wasn't training oriented or revolving around achieving some kind of goal.

This was not that. This was hanging out. This realization made Stiles smile.

"I never realized you could cook," he noted, suddenly seeming to actually see the giant production in front of him. His eyes had been glued on Derek's back while he had talked his head off. He should have been looking at the food instead.

Finally, finally, Derek decided to speak actual words.

"So do you still want the Mac N Cheese?"

Stiles observed the many pots and pans. Derek was making himself some kind of steak. He had whipped up something that looked like mashed potatoes, but he could definitely smell the butter and garlic improvements wafting off of them. He had also made three different vegetables; asparagus (wrapped in bacon), a tomato and brussels sprout blend, and a pan full of different colored peppers.

He had also made a sauce that Stiles suspected was home made, and that would be used to drizzle over the steak. Oh, and there was blue cheese crumbles waiting on a plate on the opposite counter.

Stiles pan of Mac n Cheese was on the back burner, looking as out of place and childish as it could get.

"Holy shit Derek, what the hell? Why do you never make this stuff for us?"

Grunt.

Effective, Stiles thought. Way to use those words.

Stiles slipped off the counter stool and walked over to Derek. His eyes were glued on the steaks. Yes, as in plural.

"You made two steaks?"

Derek looked uncomfortable as he shrugged.

"Thought you'd want one," he mumbled/growled/scowled/murmured/seriously Stiles had no idea what that was. Derek had found a way to be downright threatening but...shy (?!) at the same time.

"Yes I want one! Holy shit I would never miss the opportunity to taste the cooking of Derek Hale. Especially since it's looking like Mr. Hale has been a cooking guru in disguise all this time which is really unfair as you usually just feed the pack take out pizza when we're over. Which is often. And I love pizza and all, but a change would be nice. So like maybe we should get the Chinese every once in a while? Or I don't know we can try that new-"

"Stiles," Derek warned. Stiles shut his mouth instantly. He looked up at Derek with the best I'm-the-most-badass-friend-ever-please-forgive-my- rambling look and frowned.

Derek huffed.

"Just..just go sit down and decide what we're watching. I'll bring you your damn plate."

Stiles frown split into a huge grin. He nodded once than bolted to the couch and started the TV.

Holy shit so many firsts. Stiles actually got to choose what to watch on the TV this time. Usually it was either Lydia, Erika, or Jackson that decided, so this was a nice change.

Derek handed Stiles his plate as he sat down next to him. Stiles hated how aware he was of the exact distance Derek had chosen to sit. They weren't thigh to thigh, but it wasn't like Derek was on the complete other side of the couch. They were...close. Comfortably close. It was driving Stiles insane.

"So I was thinking either Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, American Werewolf, or X-Men. You can choose."

Derek groaned. "Stiles, two of those movies are about werewolves. Seriously?"

"Yeah! I thought it would be funny to see how horribly wrong they got them! And you could be all brooding and I-hate-bad-depictions-of-reality and I could be all sarcastic and pushy of the Derek-buttons!"

"And why X-Men?" Derek sighed. It was clearly his I'm-asking-but-I-already-know-the-answer-is-going- to-cause-an-eye-roll kind of sighs.

"That's easy. Because Hugh Jackman was a beast in the movie and totally reminds me of-" Stiles snapped his mouth shut and widened his eyes. Of you. He was totally going to say it. He was totally going to say it and that would have made this the most awkward dinner ever. Which it really shouldn't be because it deserves so much more; Stiles had already sneaked a bite of the steak and it was amazing.

"Reminds you of what?" Derek was suddenly interesting, fixing Stiles with that stupid gaze that made the younger teen feel like Derek was reading his mind. Or his soul. Definitely his soul's mind. Yeah that seemed like the most realistic.

"Of...the summer I first say the movie. Yeah, badass summer. Anyway, moving the fuck on. Chose the damn movie asshole."

Yes. That was a great recovery. It totally earned a fucking gold medal for best recovery. Stiles had practically burst into a sweat, slurred his words, raced his heart, and turned a shade of red.

Not even Derek would be able to sense that lie. *Face palm*.

"You're lying." And now he was grinning, and now Stiles had stopped breathing.

And now he was telling himself that he really should breath. And now Derek's face was turning more into a frown because he most of noticed the attempt at suicide Stiles seemed to be achieving. And now he was attempting suicide, what? And now even he was confused. Oh god, and now he was using the word 'and' all the time. And didn't that already happen once? Whatever, It was clearly happening again. Brain=mush.

"Okay, whatever. You're lying, I don't care. We'll watch X-men." Derek quickly turned it on and cast a sideways glance to see if it caused any kind of recovery in him.

It did. Stiles took a breath. The world came back into focus.

"Whoops, sorry about that. Kind of got lost in my thoughts. What were you saying?" Stiles mocked innocence as he cut himself a piece of Steak. "Wow this is amazing? You really need to know that."

Derek huffed. He looked like he preferred scary possibly-attempting-suicide-dude-isn't-breathing-S tiles over I'm-complimenting-your-super-secret-culinary-skill s-Stiles.

"Watch the movie, Stiles."

Stiles shut up. A smile crossed his face as he turned his attention to the movie. He just could not understand Derek or the stupid feelings predicament he was in. He hated crushes. And whatever this was. Because it felt like a different breed of crush.

They finished their meals and watched the rest of the movie. When it was done, Stiles was surprised that it was Derek, not himself, that grumbled, "might as well watch the next one."

So they did. They left the dishes in the kitchen and sat down to watch the second one. This time, Stiles gulped, they were even closer. Their thighs were mere inches apart.

About halfway through the movie, not even the excitement of legitimately hanging out with Derek Hale could keep him awake. His eyes felt like a million pounds as they kept almost shutting.

Finally, he let them fall. And than, before he knew it, his head followed. But instead of falling backwards, it fell to the side. Right on to Derek's shoulder.

Stiles hummed in comfort. Shit, he was tired. So what if he slept on Derek?

Derek growled. Stiles grinned.

"Oh shut up," he tiredly slurred. He waited a few minutes, and when Derek didn't try to shake him off, he scooted that extra inch till they were pressed against each other.

"Thanks bud," Stiles murmured happily.

No response.

Which, in this case, turned out to be the best fricken response Stiles had heard all day.


A/N – And that's the third time! I feel like that took me forever. I'm sorry. The next time is….I don't know yet. I have ideas, but I want another fluffy one before I start implementing the kind of serious ones that are floating around in my head. Any cute ideas? Tell me what you thought of the third time too please! : )