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The Christmas Gift

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The Christmas Gift

 

The pack had left for college.

It was oddly...quiet. Too quiet. Derek didn't like it. He thought he would but – no, he lied, actually he dreaded them leaving. Leaving him. Not permanently, of course, but after the kanima mess, Jackson's turning, the alpha pack . After all of that, everything settled and they became – well – closer. They had pack meetings – which Stiles called monster movie nights – Derek had the house redone as well. Everything was great.

Then they left.

Derek sighed and laid back on the grass. It was mid September and he was, well, bored. He had read that book everyone recommended. He had eaten all of the dinners Stiles had made then froze for him. He was working through the monstrosity of Sudoku that Lydia had given him.

He was so very bored.

And being bored was never good.

It made him think and thinking lead to bad things. Like his joblessness, his lack of friends outside the pack. Maybe even how he missed Stiles the most, his impetuous laughter, his wit, his large hands, his li – no!

Derek sat up and looked around wildly but, of course, there was no one to witness his embarrassment. He needed to stop thinking. He needed to do something.

Oddly enough that came through the Sheriff.

~*~

“You want to work here,” Stiles' dad – the Sheriff – Derek looked at his nameplate, Will, said, warily. Will narrowed his eyes and stared. Kind of like Stiles. No! Why did Derek think this was a good idea?

“Yeesss.” He slowly drew the word out, still not sure he was doing the right thing.

“Okay. Doing what exactly?”

Derek had no fucking idea.

“Um, I have a, uh, associates in computer science and I was a secretary for two years.” Where did that come from? Oh right, his brain didn't completely desert him.

“Oh.” Will looked surprised and vaguely pleased.

“That's, actually, really fortunate. Our receptionist is going on maternity leave for three months, in two weeks. I've been having a hard time finding something temporary. Would you be...interested?” Will levels him a with a steady gaze.

Derek blinked. “Yes, I would.”

Will's eyebrows lifted then lowered as a slow smile graced his weathered face and Derek got a glimpse of how an older Stiles would look.

“Good. You can start tomorrow. Eight am. Front desk.” Will handed him paper. “Fill these out. Bring them back tomorrow.”

Derek picked them up and turned to leave.

“Oh and Derek? Wear something nice, no leather, no jeans. Don't want to scare off the old ladies.” Will smiled and went back to his paperwork.

Derek took that as a dismissal.

~*~

And so it went.

Everyone thought it was...ironic, especially Stiles, who wouldn't stop laughing for ten minutes.

But, like Derek said, so it went.

He went to work, got calls and texts from the pack, and maybe made some friends out of the deputies. If by friends you mean the glances have became less mistrustful. It does help that the Sheriff brings him coffee every morning and that one time Derek brought cookies for everyone.

He still has no idea why he did that.

His job became permanent when Ruthie quit to move south with her husband. Life, as always, went on.

~*~

It was Christmas before the pack was able to get together. And Stiles had a, um, plus one. A boyfriend. That hung off him. All the time. They smelled, a lot...like each other. It was annoying and something twisted in Derek's gut. But they obviously...liked each other. Plenty.

He didn't avoid them. He just left or sat as far from them as possible. Even though him and Stiles may have gotten closer since he left. Even though Stiles carries a betrayed look now.

It came to a head one day about four days after Christmas.

“So I got you this.” Stiles shoves a vividly wrapped present in his face.

They're alone for once, no pack, no...boyfriend. Just them. Alone. This may not end well.

“Oh.” Derek takes it. “Your present is upstairs.”

Stiles looks confused. Mostly because Derek hadn't gotten anyone else anything. Except Will but that was because he had accidentally broke his favorite mug.

“Okay,” Stiles said. There was an awkward silence as Derek contemplated the present and Stiles contemplated the ceiling. “So, um, you going to open it or stare – it is your present, you can do whatever – I saw it and thought of you. I think I'll just stop talking now.”

Stiles' hands were stuffed in his pockets and his heart rate had sped up a bit. Derek didn't know what to do with an awkward Stiles that was somebody else's. He didn't know why he had gotten Stiles a gift in the first place. He doesn't want to know what Stiles got him, what made him 'think of Derek'.

It was frankly terrifying.

“I'll just, um,” Derek gestures awkwardly, “get your present.”

He may have run upstairs and shut the door, leaning against it like Stiles was going to break it down. Derek was breathing heavily, he may have been more than terrified.

Derek had no idea what was going on. Stiles was here, alone. Wanting to see him. Wanting...wanting something. Fuck if Derek knew. Well he may know but he promised himself that he would bury that deep into his brain and forget. Because Stiles' dad was right there and Derek, for all his growth of the last couple years, is still petrified of relationships, of being close to the person that means so much to him.

Derek frantically digs for his phone, pulls it out and calls up his text messages.

I thin I mayybee in love wuth u

Stiles had been really drunk that night, his leech hanging off him. He had followed Derek around all night and Derek had to smell how very much Stiles' boyfriend wanted Stiles. It was...disheartening, until that text. Everyone had gone home by then and Derek was getting ready for bed when he received it. He didn't know what it meant, if anything. But – but he hoped. Hoped beyond reason, he thought, since Stiles had avoided him, before today.

So maybe...maybe Stiles was acknowledging what he had sent but his boyfriend, what of his boyfriend?

“Um, Derek? Are you okay? You've been in there for, like, ten minutes.” Shit. Derek quickly grabs Stiles' present. He flings open the door and Stiles stumbles in. He quickly thrusts Stiles' present at him, not knowing what else to do. Stiles took it and promptly ripped into it and lifted the small figurine out of its wrapping and gasped softly.

Derek swallowed. He was about ninety percent sure he looked terrified and he didn't want to know about the other ten percent.

“Wow, it's so...so beautiful. Where did you get it?” Stiles sounded awed as he looked at the carved wolf, its head was lifted up in a howl, as a salute to the moon.

“I made it.”

Stiles turned large eyes onto him. He was smiling so wide it looked like his face might split. “You made it...for me?”

Derek look down. “Yeah.”

“Wow, Derek. Wow. Man, my present sucks compared to yours. Well? You gonna open it?”

Derek started to carefully open it, receiving a huff from Stiles. “Shut up," Derek snarked. He finally lifted out what looked like a shirt. No, it was... “A leather jacket? How did you afford this?”

“I found it at a resale store for fifteen bucks. I had to refinish some of it but I thought since you lost your last one during the thing with the fairies, that you would like a new one. Well new–”

He was cut off by Derek hugging him. Derek had no idea why he was hugging Stiles, just that he really needed to or might do something else. Like...like kissing the smile off Stiles' face. He admitted it, if only, to himself. Derek held on for awhile. He liked the feel of Stiles' body against his with his hands wrapped around the thin body. God, he fucking loved it.

He never wanted to let go.

But when Stiles pulled away Derek reluctantly let go. Derek's eyes were downcast avoiding Stiles' eyes and didn't see Stiles make a decision.

“Look at me.” Derek looked up and Stiles' hands caressed his face. “I fucking love you, okay? God ever since that summer of rebuilding your house, when you finally opened up. Ah! I've carried a torch for you. I was an idiot. It wasn't until I brought Steven down and saw you for the first time since fucking August that it hit me Derek.” Stiles' eyes were piercing in their vulnerability. “Please say something. Anything.”

Derek was never good with words and he was a tad too antisocial to really care. Actions were so much better. He wound his arms around Stiles' middle, pulled him close, and took his lips with his own.

He tasted better than any of Derek's most vivid fantasies. His breath stuttered as Stiles licked his bottom lip and he opened his mouth to that roaming tongue. He pressed Stiles closer to him, savoring everything. Stiles groaned and then pulled away.

“Oh my God. Wow,” Stiles breathed, his eyes dilated and Derek wanted to go back in. He wanted to undress Stiles, lick him everywhere, smoother him in Derek's scent. But – Steven – fuck.

Derek pulled away. “What about – Steven?” He just barely held back a possessive growl.

“Oh. We broke up about a week ago. We – it really wasn't going anywhere. I loved him, at first, but we didn't work as boyfriends. We became more of friend with benefits. But after – after I realized that I wanted you I broke it off.”

Derek's brows drew together. “But he's been hanging off you and you both smell of each other. Strongly.”

Stiles smiled sheepishly smiled and rubbed his hands together. “Oh that was his idea of making you jealous. It didn't really work, did it?”

“No.”

“Oh, but you – now?”

Derek smiles. “Yeah.”

Stiles smiled back then it turned sly and lifted the figurine wolf. “So, is this supposed to be you? Not much of a likeness.”

Derek took up a predatory stance, letting his eyes bleed red. He took pleasure in Stiles' heart rate increasing.

“Derek? What are you – no. We are not playing red riding hood and the big bad wolf. Derek.” Stiles, realizing his works were futile, turned and bolted.

Derek eventually caught him.