Stiles has been Derek's best friend since before he can remember, and Derek has been Stiles' best friend just as long.
Derek knows that Stiles sometimes drools when he sleeps because he's done it countless times on their weekly sleepovers.
Stiles knows that Derek can't resist a game of tag once he's been poked pointedly in the side.
Stiles made the decision that Derek was his new best friend (and that he'll one day marry him) the day he shared his dinosaur chicken nuggets with him. His mom had dropped him off at the Hales because she had a few errands to run. It had been the first time Stiles had met the lady-that-smelled-of-warm-sage's children. There were two little girls, one older - he knew because she could recite all her ABC's perfectly while he and the smaller girl kept forgetting ellemeno - and a boy named Derek.
Derek happened to be sitting at the table eating his lunch when he arrived, dunking the dinosaur (Stiles didn't even know people made those!) nuggets in ranch dressing.
Stiles told the lady that he'd had a corn dog for lunch when asked, and she seemed content to leave him in the kitchen after that. It was only after she left that Derek had pushed the plastic Buzz Lightyear plate towards him.
Stiles got his own ranch.
Stiles and Derek made a habit of hiding in the tires shoved upwards in the ground at recess once they got to elementary school. Derek, being a year older than Stiles, would have to sneak to the little kids play ground so that they could meet in their super secret tire spot. Sometimes Derek and Stiles would sit in the tire facing each other until the bell rang; telling stupid jokes no one but they would understand, and giggling over seemingly nothing.
Sometimes Stiles would press his feet and hands against the tire wall and climb upwards until his face was close enough to tell Derek secrets; the type Derek pinkie swore he would never share with anyone else.
The year before Derek went to middle school, he and Stiles went to the elementary school Halloween party together, running in the gym where tons of moms and kids were waiting in line to play various Halloween games.
They showed up as Bonnie and Clyde; Stiles liked the curly wig and Derek liked the fedora.
That was the year Stiles dragged Derek up onto the stage where the cake walk was being held, the year they brought home a dozen orange and black cupcakes.
Derek spent the night at Stiles' house that evening, the two of them sneaking the cupcakes into Stiles' room so they could eat them while reading comics under the sheets.
Stiles didn't really mind all the crumbs in his bed when he could curl up with Derek.
When Derek got to middle school he got big heavy books he had to bring home and back to school every day.
Sometimes he would wait at the bus stop for Stiles, and Stiles would help carry some back to his place.
Derek tells Stiles that middle school is dumb, that everyone thinks they're too cool to read comics and too old to play tag.
Stiles tells him he can't wait to be in middle school, says that maybe he'll finally be tall enough to ride the roller coaster at the fair.
When Stiles does get to middle school, he tries out for the school play.
Although he's only a munchkin, Derek and his family are in the front row next to Stiles' dad and mom.
When Stiles skips up to them when the play ends, Derek is the first to hug him, going on and on about how good of an actor he is (even though Stiles only had one line.)
After a hug and a kiss from his mom and dad, he gets a firm handshake from Derek's tall daddy, a pinch from Cora, a hair ruffle from Derek's mommy, and a smile Laura will deny giving before she begins complaining about being hungry.
Stiles and Derek share the One Hundred Piece McNugget at McDonald's and feel so sick that they have to lay down in the back seat of Stiles' mommy's big green van on the drive home.
Derek wins an award at the seventh grade science fair for making something blow up.
Stiles cheers so hard his face goes as red as Derek's blushing ears, and when they get back to the Hale house they find a proper place for Derek's ribbon on his wall. Then they go to the backyard to see if they can blow up some Lego buildings with science.
The middle school hosts a dance a few months later, and Derek takes Stiles. After all, he's his best friend and it wouldn't be any fun without him, duh. None of the kids there really know how to actually dance, and Stiles shows up in a button up and some khakis like half the other dudes in there.
But Derek, Derek wears his special coral blue tie, actually tucks in his shirt, and made a point to get his black dress pants fitted before hand. Derek doesn't stop talking about how the dance for two weeks.
The Summer before Stiles goes into seventh grade, his mom gets sick.
He spends his days in the hospital and his nights at the Hale house, his dad not being able to take him back to their house with the shifts he'd been desperate for. He had tried to explain to Stiles that he needed the extra work to help Stiles' mommy, but Stiles still doesn't understand money anymore than he had when he overheard that the medical bills would cost too much of it.
At night, Stiles curls himself against Derek's chest and wonders if his mom wished she had someone to hold too.
Even though he never cries, Stiles can tell that Derek still feels his pain, knows just how bad he's hurting and tries to fix it by holding him tighter.
The mornings are usually quiet. Derek doesn't mention that Stiles had woken up from nightmares - possibly because it's become apart of their routine - and instead passes him the lucky charms so he can pour himself a bowl. That's usually around the time his dad comes to bring him to the hospital.
The routine is the same for almost a month, until the slow beeping coming from his mothers bedside slows, and then flat lines.
His dad is working, and Stiles is alone.
He has to leave the room as the doctors rush in, crumbles into a chair out in the hallway and puts his head between his knees to stop himself from vomiting.
It doesn't work. The nurse who'd shouted at him for running in the halls doesn't even look cross when she has to clean it up.
He doesn't remember making it back to his bed, but it doesn't really matter; he isn't able to sleep in it alone.
Derek and his family come over the next day.
Stiles must have fallen asleep sometime around the early morning, because the sky is getting dark when he hears the door open.
They bring a casserole.
When they go into the kitchen, he has to rush to the bathroom before throwing up.
He doesn't look at himself in the mirror when his nausea has passed, and when he leaves the bathroom he finds Derek on the other side of the door, looking helpless.
Stiles flicks off the lights and ducks passed him.
He rarely sleeps.
If you can call falling in and out of consciousness sleeping.
He starts losing weight because he doesn't eat, and gets dark circles under his eyes that feel permanent after the second week.
His dad sometimes looks at him like he didn't just lose one person he loved when his mother died.
Stiles avoids looking at him after that.
The Hales come over almost everyday, water the plants, bring the mail, make dinner that Stiles wont eat and his father isn't there there to accept.
He doesn't know how long it's been.
Stiles is sitting on his bed, looking up when he hears the same hesitant knock he's heard so many times before, the soft clearing of Derek's throat.
Stiles stands to meet him, looking up at him after so many days of avoiding him, of avoiding everyone. He asks for a favor.
For a moment after he spoke Derek just stares, like he'd forgotten the sound of Stiles' voice.
His voice is rough... Stiles can't remember the last time he'd spoken.
In an instant Derek is nodding, agreeing to help him with whatever he needs. Stiles grips his wrist and leads the both of them to the bathroom, where he grabs the razor from under the sink and sets it in Derek's hand.
“Off,” Stiles swallows to soothe the dryness of his throat, “I want it all off.”
Derek stays over that night.
It's too hot to wear pajamas to bed, but Stiles hasn't stopped feeling cold for months. He gets into a pair of gray sweats and a long black Henley (that he's pretty sure he stole from Derek) and slides into bed after him. He leans his forehead against Derek's naked chest after they've wrapped themselves around each other, just like they've done for years.
It feels like a guilty comfort, heavy.
Stiles wishes he could push himself into Derek's body to escape the weight of it.
Stiles cries that night.
Cries so hard he can't believe he couldn't do it for months, cries openly and wetly into Derek's neck in an attempt to muffle the noise.
The whole while Derek rubs at his back, rubbing soothing patterns over his shoulder blades as he runs his cheek over Stiles' newly buzzed hair cut.
Stiles has lost count of how many days it's been, only knows that Derek must have been staying at their house for a while after a suitcase shows up in his room.
Stiles started to eat a while ago, and him and his dad have a short conversation about the Mets.
Neither of them know how to grieve properly.
It takes three months before Stiles can get up and function like a normal, healthy person.
He doesn't leave the house as much as he used to, but him and his dad talk more every day, and he and Derek eat breakfast together in the mornings before Derek leaves for his summer job.
They start throwing out the casseroles.
Stiles doesn't go back to school until two months after it started. If he's being honest, he hadn't even realized the school year had begun in the first place.
Seventh grade is hard enough without people giving you pitying looks wherever you go.
His only saving grace is that Derek walks with him so that he doesn't have to be alone.
He has a panic attack in the boys bathroom a week before Christmas break, the realization that he'll now have to live through holidays without his mom crashing down on him after he'd passed the decorations in the hallway.
He barely makes it to the boys bathroom, can't be bothered to move to a stall, and collapses in the corner.
If anyone comes in and sees him, he doesn't remember.
He almost flunks math that year. Would've if Derek hadn't come over every day to help tutor him and make up for lost time.
He tries to sleep through Christmas, and neither of them answer the phone when it rings.
But when New Years rolls around, Stiles asks to go to Derek's house.
His dad drops him off, getting out of the car and hugging Stiles to his chest. It feels like healing, which should be par for the course at this point.
The Hale house is warm and cinnamon scented sweet when Derek lets him inside, his smile small and sincere as Stiles scrubs a hand over his buzzed head. Derek still comes by to shave it when he's asked to.
Derek tugs him upstairs and into his room, and when Stiles sits down on his bed he says, “Even though you ditched Christmas, you still get your Christmas present.”
I's a new comic book, and they spend the night reading it under the covers.
Stiles and Derek have a lot of sleepovers the summer before Stiles goes into eighth grade; the summer before Derek becomes a high-schooler.
Derek makes Stiles go out with him to get ice cream now that he has enough money from his job to treat them both.
Derek gets pecan because he's an old man and Stiles gets vanilla because it's simple and sweet.
They spend a lot of time walking around town, since neither of them are old enough to drive. They walk to Chevron and buy Icee's and strawberry popsicles to eat on the way back to Stiles' house. Stiles makes fun of Derek for his blue lips and red tongue, and though he knows he looks similar, Derek doesn't do more than stick his tongue out and get dangerously close to licking Stiles' face. Of course, Stiles is always able to avoid the tongue bath by pushing his face away.
The pain isn't as bad anymore.
Sometimes, though, Stiles has moments when he first wakes up where his chest constricts so tightly he feels trapped in a way he hasn't since fluorescent lights and hospital hallways.
Derek sleeps over at the Stilinski's when the anniversary of his moms death rolls around.
He brings over a big tub of KFC and watches movies with Stiles and his dad until it's too late to keep their eyes open, let along agonize over the date.
Stiles' dad hugs him before he heads off to bed, eyes reddening as he pulls away.
That night Stiles cries against Derek's chest just like he did a year ago.
Tony Lionel gives Stiles a black eye on the first day of eighth grade because Stiles shot him a sarcastic remark when the dumb-ass couldn't answer why Othello murders Desdemona. It's not so bad, if Stiles is being honest he sort of thinks it makes him look like a badass.
That is, until Derek finds out and gets so mad that he can't talk coherently for minutes.
Stiles tries to console him by telling him it doesn't hurt, and that he should leave it alone.
When he goes back to school the next day, though, Tony has a black eye and a broken nose.
Lydia is in Stiles' class and comes to school one day bragging about how she'd gotten her first kiss. Apparently, she started dating Jackson Whittemore over the weekend, and already has plans for their Spring wedding.
Him and his new friend, Scott, think it's a load of shit.
Stiles tells Derek one night how stupid he thinks the pressure to have a girlfriend or your first kiss is. Rants, and rants around one of the burgers they got from Sonic as Derek works on his homework for algebra. He's just taking another bite, and is about to go off on another tangent, when Derek sighs, grips the front of Stiles' graphic t-shirt, and yanks him forward so that their lips smash together clumsily.
Stiles squeaks in surprise, the undignified noise distorted by the food in his mouth, before Derek is pulling away and focusing back on his text book.
“There," Derek decides, "Pressure over.”
Stiles blinks at him, chews slowly as if he'd forgotten how to do it, and swallows. “Yeah, but I still don't have a girlfriend.”
Derek snorts and chucks his crumpled burger wrapper at Stiles' head. Stiles retaliates by chucking a pickle at Derek, which really only causes Derek to discard his text book on the floor and tackle Stiles onto the bed.
Stiles yells out for the loss of his burger, which sadly falls to the floor in the chaos, but quickly forgets about it when Derek's hands come down on his sides in order to tickle him so mercilessly he's sure he's going to piss himself.
“Stop,” Stiles wheezes through manic laughter, “You heathen!”
Derek is laughing through it all, head pressed to Stiles' shoulder so that he doesn't get hit by a flying limb as his fingers continue to work over Stiles' rib cage.
Stiles sits with Derek on his first day of high school.
It's not as bad as he thought it would be, and the lunch isn't horrible either.
Though Derek's friend Erica kinda terrifies Stiles, Boyd seems pretty cool, and Isaac seems to be in love with Scott from the moment they sit down.
Stiles often sees Derek in the hallways, but they don't usually have time to stop and chat. All the same, Derek never fails to smile at him.
When Stiles smiles back, he deliberately ignores the flutter in his chest.
Since Derek made first line on the lacrosse team Freshman year, it's no surprise he'd made it again as a Sophomore. When he goes off about what a tragedy it is having lost the star Seniors - now having to make do with the leftovers and unworthy new recruits - he suggests that Stiles tries out.
Stiles absolutely refuses.
Though he somewhat warms to the idea when Derek says that he'll teach so he has a better chance of getting on first line next year.
To Stiles' surprise, Derek stays true to his word, and drags him out to the field on weekends.
What a sadist.
In fact, Stiles is on his back more than on his feet, Derek giving him a shit eating grin every time he pins him.
It comes down to Stiles rolling his eyes and scoffing. “If you wanted to get all up on this,” Stiles makes a full sweep motion with his hand to his body – an awkward gesture, considering Derek is still on top of him - “All you gotta do is ask.”
Derek laughs, presses himself even harder against Stiles so that he wheezes.
Then he's off and bounding down the field like a one hundred and sixty pound jack rabbit on red-bull.
Stiles regrets every misfortune in his life, including the fond feeling in his chest, and the confusing heat building in his pants.
It's months before Stiles can finally tackle Derek.
It's warming up outside and lacrosse season is nearly over, and Stiles can finally predict when Derek is going to try to tackle him. The next time he tries, Stiles sidesteps and wraps his arm around Derek's middle so he can tug him down to the ground. As soon as his back hits the field, Stiles scrambles on top of him and pins his hands above his head, straddling his hips.
“Ha! Pinned you.” Stiles declares, staring smugly at Derek's stunned face. “Don't look so surprised,” Stiles scoffs, "I've totally bulked up in these months of training.”
Derek nods and underneath the helmet Stiles can see his eyes rake up and down Stiles' front, “Yeah, I've noticed.”
A flush ignites under Stiles' skin so suddenly it feels like the shock of misdirected electricity. He can feel his blush bleed under his shirt, and swallows as he kinda just, looks at Derek. Derek looks back.
He does himself a favor, or makes things worse - depends who you ask - by barking out a laugh and scrambling to his feet. Once he's up, he helps Derek to his feet as well. The foreign vibe from moments before feels like it's passing, so Stiles smothers the remainder of it by pushing Derek playfully as he takes down the field.
“Bet I can make it to the goal before you can!”
Stiles hear's Derek's thunderous footsteps not even a second later, and throws his head back in laughter as he runs.
Stiles invites Scott and Derek to go bowling because he thinks they need to hang out more. That way they won't, you know, despise each other.
“I'm a terrible bowler,” Scott whines as they get into their shoes.
“That sucks,” Stiles affirms, double knotting his laces, “Because Derek's an awesome bowler.”
Derek leans over, gesturing to Stiles, “I totally kick his ass whenever we come here."
Stiles pushes his face away.
Derek gets approximately ten hundred strikes and Scott gets gutter ball after gutter ball. That is, until Derek sits next to him while Stiles is bowling and seemingly spills some of his secrets not even Stiles has heard. Scott doesn't knock down more than five pins for the rest of the time, but he looks prouder than ever, and willingly smiles at Derek.
Stiles gets one strike in total, and Derek hugs him like it's the proudest moment of his life.
Stiles makes first line Sophomore year, and Derek immediately suggests they get ice cream to celebrate.
The sun is setting when they park at the edge of the preserve. The both of them get out, backs against Talia's Camaro as they lick at their respective cones. That is, until Derek purposefully bumps Stiles' hand, causing his ice cream to splat over his mouth and nose and effectively cutting off Stiles' story about the moldy taco he'd found at work.
Derek starts laughing so hard Stiles thinks he might sprain something and Stiles just stares at him, open mouthed, because he's a traitor.
When Derek composes himself he turns to Stiles, something mischievous and sharp twinkling in his eyes. “Here,” he says, and leans over to cup Stiles' jaw. Stiles' breath chokes off as Derek licks away the ice cream on his chin and nose, like it's a completely normal thing they do on a day to day basis!
He's stock still, waiting for the other shoe to drop, not even twitching because he feels like the 'don't make any sudden movements' rule applies here.
Derek might run away if Stiles accidentally spooks him.
Derek, who seems to have purposefully left the ice cream coating Stiles' lips for last. He looks up at Stiles and slowly traces the sweet trail, ending it with an urgent kiss that forces the air out of Stiles' lungs.
A deep ache throbs through Stiles and then he's shoving forward, pushing Derek back against the driver-side door as he discards his ice cream.
Stiles kisses, and kisses Derek, until he tastes like vanilla too.
He pulls away when Derek makes these soft, low noises, wanting to watch the pleasure weigh down Derek's eyes and mouth and eyebrows, too, when there's enough distance between them for their eyes to meet. Derek looks at him with glazed eyes, looking tousled and confused as to why Stiles would break the kiss. It makes Stiles heart ache with fondness. The feeling quickly ignites into heat when Derek drags their hips together.
A groan reverberates in Stiles' throat, Derek's arms constricting Stiles flush against him as he leans forward to nip at Stiles' neck. He bites up the length until he finds a desired spot to pause at, sucking a wet hickey just under Stiles' jaw. Stiles' hips stutter as he brings his hands up to fist in Derek's hair.
He has a lingering thought that it shouldn't be this good, they shouldn't be this good because he's pretty sure they're both virgins. But. But Stiles' skin feels like fire has licked his every pour, he feels like he did all those years ago where he just wants to press himself inside Derek. Get as close as he can and feel, touch, kiss every part of him.
Stiles thinks it might be because this is Derek, this is them, and it's always felt so right when it was just the two of them.
Stiles makes a truly embarrassing noise as he surges forward to kiss Derek. He can't help how desperate he feels to somehow convey his emotions, tries to show Derek by gracelessly shoving his tongue down his throat because declarations should be unorthodox and messy.
A thrill like white-hot wire shoots all through his system as the friction between them tightens, sizzling under Stiles' skin as it tangles in his stomach and drags down. Stiles has to dislodge their mouths then, Derek making an obscene noise as he grips Stiles and pulls them down.
In a second Stiles is on his back in the grass. The friction is almost painful in this position, but it's an intoxicating drag. Stiles makes a desperate sound as Derek bends down, splayed between Stiles' thighs and it's all frantic heat and wet, open kisses on Stiles' neck when Derek's hand finally undoes Stiles' zipper and wraps around him.
Derek's warm fingers stroke Stiles like it's the most important task he's even taken on. It's all Stiles can do not to melt into the ground beneath him, instead scrambling to grab onto something - Derek's hair, Derek's back, anything - before the litany of his moans turn frantic and he's whimpering Derek's name as his body bows upward.
When he comes back into himself he's instantly aware of the noises Derek is making. He sounds completely wrecked, and Stiles takes pride in the fact that he did that. Then Derek is saying his name and Stiles has just enough time to turn his face so that Derek and his lips can slot back together, before Derek's hips stutter, and he's groaning into Stiles' mouth as he comes to a complete stop.
The next thing Stiles knows about sex, is that it should be awkward.
But apparently that rule doesn't apply to them either.
Derek's chest is heaving, and they stay like that for a while, existing in compatible post orgasm-bliss until Stiles giggles.
Derek lifts his head to look at him. There's dopy smile on his lips. “Wha'?” He asks, voice rough.
“I may be biased,” Stiles says, still a little breathless, “But I'd say that was considerably ten times better than our first kiss.”
Derek smirks. “Sure about that?”
“Definitely," Stiles hums. "Ten outta ten, would do again.”
Laughing, Derek pulls Stiles into a kiss.