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Weak In the Knees

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“That’s not a plumber, okay!” Stiles whispers furiously into his phone as he peeks around the door way to the kitchen where a man is kneeling beneath the sink. “I refuse to believe that’s a plumber. That is a porn actor who has wandered off set and into my kitchen and insists on banging on the pipes like a real plumber.”

“Stiles, I’m going to kill you for calling me at…” There is a pause on the other side of the line, before a muffled groan is heard. “You’re dead. It’s 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday.”

“I know and I’m sorry. But, Lyds, if you were in my place right now, you’d understand what I’m going through.”

There’s silence for a moment before he hears a grumble and “Goodbye, Stiles.” just as a click signals the end of the call, and Stiles stares incredulously at his phone before hiding behind the wall again.

“How is this my life? For real?”

A crash followed by a loud curse startles him from his thoughts and he stumbles into the kitchen to see Mr. McHottie plumber fighting with the faucet on the sink and unsuccessfully trying to turn off the water, which is gushing out in spurts and quite successfully soaking the guy to the bone. Oh holy damn, this is not going to be good for his heart, or his pants for that matter.

Finally the plumber kneels down again and closes the main valve before straightening up with a sigh and running his hands over his face, shaking some of the water off.

“Seems like the problem is more serious than I thought at first. I’m afraid I’ll have to come back again to fix it because I don’t have all the necessary parts at the moment.”

Stiles is aware that the plumber is speaking, but he just can’t tear his eyes away from the guy’s neck. He watches two droplets race down the man’s throat and feels his own dry up at the sight, especially as his eyes wander down that defined chest with the tight shirt which is clinging even tighter now that it’s wet.

“Sorry, uh,” he stammers as he finally looks up in Broody Greek God’s eyes and is met with a scowl. Damn it, since when did he start finding scowling attractive? “Uhm, so when can you come by again?”

“I think I have some free time on Wednesday, but I’ll check my schedule and get back to you. That okay with you?” The plumber bends down to retrieve a small towel from his bag of instruments and would you look at that, the shirt isn’t the only tightly clinging piece of clothing the guy is wearing. Stiles briefly wonders how much time and effort would be needed to peel those pants off and get to… Oh no, no, worst timing ever.

“In the meantime you won’t be able to use the sink, though.”

Coughing slightly in hopes that his voice will not be a notch higher than normal, Stiles nods in understanding. “Yeah, yeah, totally fine. I get it, let me just,” and he quickly turns around to go back in the hallway to fetch a pen and a business card from his wallet, and attempt to somehow deal with the situation in his own pants. Why the hell is he wearing sweatpants? Oh right, it’s freaking Sunday and his day off. It’s just his luck that the plumber Cora so helpfully recommended would be a walking wet dream.

“Here, uh, this is my private number, just give me a call and we’ll set up a time for Wednesday.” He hands the card over after scribbling his name and number in the back.

Their fingers brush for just a few short seconds, but Stiles feels the sensation tingling up his whole arm like a spark. He looks up in wide hazel eyes and smiles hesitantly as he rubs the back of his head self-consciously.

Clearing his throat, Handsome O’Sulky stuffs the card in his pocket and smiles back just a little before turning around to gather his instruments.

“Oh, hey,” Stiles grabs the man’s arm without much thought, only realizing what he’s done after the plumber glances down at his grip and then pins him with intense eyes. “While you’re here, do you mind taking a look at the bathroom as well? The toilet gets clogged a lot and I don’t really know how to deal with it.”

“Yeah, sure, lead the way.”

Once in his small bathroom, Stiles hands over a bigger towel wordlessly.

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

“Stiles. You’ll either ask him out or you won’t, but either way you will stop raving about your plumbing porn actor, do you understand me.” Lydia’s voice is so calm and even that Stiles feels chills running down his spine and his heart hammer in his chest.

He nods his head furiously in agreement and mimes zipping his mouth shut while she looms over him.

She glares at him for a few more moments, just for good measure, before going behind her desk again to resume filling out her paperwork on their latest case as if she hasn’t been on the verge of strangling him.

With a sigh of relief for successfully avoiding his untimely death, Stiles tries to focus on the file he had been reading before his thoughts turned to Derek. The detective is still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that Cora’s older brother is so attractive, though he shouldn’t be surprised since the younger Hale is just as beautiful. Especially considering that little matchmaking devil has caught the eye of a certain redhead. What’s throwing him for a loop is that she has basically set him up with her brother without giving anything away. She hadn’t waggled her eyebrows or winked or even implied anything. She had been completely innocent and casual about the way she’d made the suggestion.

Shaking his head slightly, he fiddles with his pen to keep his attention focused on the task at hand and every time his thoughts try to stray he pinches his arm. That works for a little while, until the pinched spot starts actually hurting and annoying him more than serving its purpose. Poking at the slightly bruised skin, Stiles stubbornly continues reading. The hand holding the pen starts tapping it lightly against the desk.

“Will you stop that?” Lydia snaps after listening to the rhythmic tap, tap, tap for a few minutes. “Okay. What’s the problem really?”

“What do you mean?” Stiles deflects with a shrug, but he knows that won’t fool his partner. After all, they are the best detectives at Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department for a reason.

“Don’t play stupid with me, Stiles, I know you and I know that you’ve never really had a problem with asking anyone you liked out. So, what’s the big deal with this guy?”

For a few moments it seems like no answer will be given, until Stiles sighs softly and looks up at her.  

“See, that’s the problem, Lydia. He’s not just good-looking, he’s like insanely and absurdly hot, and he knows it, there’s just no way he can’t know it, and I can’t phantom why on earth would he be interested in someone like me? I mean, compared to him I’m just ridiculous. Not to mention he’s like a, I don’t know, a tall, dark, handsome puzzle I itch to solve and put together, but I’m afraid because I’m no sunshine and rainbows myself yet I still want to do it. Hell, I even looked into his past in the hopes of learning more about him-“ 

It’s a good thing she was more than used to his babbling, because otherwise she wouldn’t have understood half of the word vomit assaulting her ears at the moment.

“Wait, wait. You did a background check on the guy?” Lydia deadpans.

“Maybe? Okay, yes I did, but only after Cora threatened to have my head on a stick if I hurt her brother.” He answers without thinking and finally stops talking. His eyes wander down to the floor and absently trace the cracks in the tiles. “Thing is, I really do like him, Lyds. I like how he starts smiling, but then scowls and his ridiculous eyebrows furrow, the way he competently handles wrenches and other things and yeah. I just don’t want to screw it all up.”

Lydia shakes her head and stands up from her chair to go around their desks and crouches down in front of her friend, putting her hands on his knees for balance.

“Alright, first of all, let’s clear something up. You are hot, okay?” Stiles take a breath, ready to protest, but she glowers at him and he slumps back in his seat wordlessly. “Shut up. You may not agree, but you don’t really see the way people are looking at you, like you’re some piece of candy they wouldn’t mind unwrapping and devouring. So believe me when I tell you that you’re just as good-looking as him.” She pauses for a moment as if willing him to believe her words. “Second of all, when you ask him on a date, I will gladly help you pick out an outfit that will make him so hard he’ll have a hard time keeping his hands to himself. And last but not least-,” her voice softens and she reaches out to gently turn his head towards her so she’s looking in his eyes. “You deserve to be happy, Stiles. Whether it’s going to be with him or someone else doesn’t matter, but you deserve to be happy.”

“Thanks, Lyds,” he murmurs fondly, and lets the hope bloom in his chest.

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

“Stiles, this is Derek calling. I’m sorry, but I can’t stop by today. Something else came up and I have to take care of that first. Call me to reschedule.”

A stab of disappointment makes his stomach clench as he listens to the voicemail, but he pushes it to the back of his mind. He’d actually been looking forward to seeing his scruffy, scowling like a pro, good-looking plumber. Maybe it’s time to stop making up nicknames when he knows the guy’s name. Shaking his head slightly to clear away the stray thoughts, Stiles fishes out Derek’s business card from his pocket. He can’t help chuckling for a moment at the crossed off ‘Derek Hale’ and the scribbled ‘Gorgeous thundercloud’ above it before sighing as he dials the number.

The detective listens to the phone ring until he hears the beep for the voice mail and sighs. “Derek, hey. It’s alright. I am busy at the station so I won’t be able to make it home either way. Can you come on Saturday? But a bit later, please?”

With his mood down in the dumps, the detective heads over to the lab to see if the analysis of the video tape he dropped off earlier is ready. And if it isn’t, well, he’ll just bug Danny until it is.

Any distraction would be welcome at the moment.

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

“Derek! What the hell is wrong with you?” Cora smacks the back of his head as soon as he hangs up and Derek winces before ducking away. Sometimes it seems like their roles are reversed, what with the way his little sister acts as if she is the older one. “Why did you cancel that appointment?”

“None of your business,” he grumbles and tries to stare her down, but Cora only rolls her eyes at him and taps her foot impatiently with her arms crossed. Determined to hold his ground, he turns away from her, going back to the spare room he had converted when he started his plumbing business, and resumes rummaging around for the parts he’ll need to fix Stiles’ sink. Sometimes it sucks that his loft is both his home and work place, but it’s convenient and he can repair broken parts whenever he wants, without going out or worrying about paying unnecessary bills.

Peter watches silently from his place on the coach, the book he was reading forgotten for the moment.

Derek isn’t prepared to feel gentle hands tug on one of his arms until he faces his sister again.

“Come on, Derek, what’s going on?” Her voice is soft and he looks away to the side with a sigh.

“It’s just…” He trails off for a moment, gathering his thoughts and trying one more time. “I don’t want to screw up again, okay?” The words tumble past his lips and it feels like a weight is lifted off his shoulders. “He seems like a really nice guy and I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, maybe you can start by smiling more and scowling less,” his uncle comments off-handedly and shrugs unapologetically at the twin glares he gets for his efforts.

“You’re not helping,” the siblings say at the same time.

“Oh, I know, how about you show him the plumber’s snake? Bet that will get his attention.” He dodges the part Derek chucks at his head with a laugh and lifts his hands in surrender.

“Don’t listen to him,” Cora grits out and the vicious look she throws over her shoulder at Peter promises nothing good is coming his way. Derek almost feels bad about his uncle, but sympathy vanishes when he just grins wolfishly at them.

Derek snorts as Cora tugs him towards the kitchen, “Yeah, as if.”

Once they reach the relative safety of the kitchen, Derek sits down heavily on one of the chairs while Cora prepares some hot chocolate for them both. It has always been a comfort drink for the Hales.

“Look, I’ve met Stiles a few times-“

“You’ve met him?” Derek interrupts as he turns around to look at his sister.

She just shrugs and clarifies that it was work related when he and his spitfire red-headed partner needed help cracking particularly difficult codes on locked computers. “What? They came to me! I didn’t hack anything I wasn’t supposed to, this time.” The last part she mumbles under her breath, but Derek still hears her.

“Just be careful, okay?” Derek warns sternly, but the concern in his voice is apparent. “You just started your company to use your computer savvy skills legally, but don’t forget that not all authority figures will be all too happy with what, or rather how, you’re doing things.”

Cora waves a hand dismissively, but that doesn’t mean she disregards her brother’s warning. She’s not really looking for trouble, not anymore. Well, except maybe with a certain strawberry blond vixen. “Okay, enough of that. Here’s what you’re going to do. First, you’re going to call Stiles and set up a time for Saturday.”

-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-

The knock on the door startles him even though he had just looked at the clock on the counter, and Stiles almost gets pancake batter all over his shirt in his haste to get to the door. The sight that greets him leaves him breathless and weak in the knees and he clutches the door frame for support with his free hand, the other still clinging to the bowl.

It’s not that Derek is wearing anything fancy, simple blue jeans and a tight v-neck tee shirt, but he could be wearing rags and Stiles would still find him the most attractive man he had ever laid eyes on.

His tongue feels swollen in his mouth and he gapes stupidly for several long seconds while Derek shuffles from foot to foot on the welcome mat.

“Hey,” Stiles finally croaks out but can’t recognize his own voice so he coughs and tries again, “Hey, come in.”

“Hi, there.” Derek smiles and glances at the bowl in his hand as he brushes past Stiles.

“I, uh, I’m making pancakes, I haven’t had breakfast yet,” Stiles explains as he turns towards the kitchen with Derek following behind him.

“Sorry I couldn’t come later,” Derek apologizes as he opens up his bag and digs around for his instruments.

“Nah, it’s alright, I’ve gotten used to waking up early.” Waving a hand in dismissal, Stiles pours some of the mix in the pre-heated pan and concentrates on making the pancakes, not forgetting even for a moment that he’s not alone. “Have you eaten?”

Derek pokes his head out from under the sink. “What?”

“Have you had breakfast yet?” The detective repeats as he flips the pancake before turning around.

“I had a sandwich on the way,” Derek grunts as he tightens the new packing nut around the valve a bit more to stop the leaking.

“Only one?” Stiles asks incredulously. “That can’t be enough. I know one sandwich is not enough for me, let alone for someone like you.”

“Someone like me?” Derek wonders as he peers out at Stiles from under the sink.

“Yeah, I mean-” Stiles shrugs and turns around both to check the pancake and hide the blush spreading over his cheeks. “I’m sure you need more than one sandwich to satisfy you. I know I do.”

Derek laughs and ducks back to resume working. “Yeah, I suppose.”

“Alright, so it’s decided. You’re having pancakes with me.”

They both freeze for a moment, Stiles holding his breath as he wonders if he will be rejected for his forwardness.

“Sure.”

The word is quiet and the relief it brings makes him light-headed for a second. Stiles smiles over his shoulder at Derek and it’s Derek’s turn to feel his breath catch at the sight.

His grip on the pipe wrench loosens and it clatters down on the floor, the loud noise startling Stiles so much that the pancake he was about to flip ends up on the floor.

“Are you okay-“

“Sorry-”

They chuckle and Stiles bends down to pick up the ruined pancake and to see if Derek hurt himself. “You’re okay?”

“Yeah, yeah,” the plumber responds, and picks up his instrument again. “Sorry about that.”

“S’alright.” The detective brushes off the apology with a grin.

A beat of companionable silence follows, the air around them comfortable and Derek would usually revel in it, but now he wants to talk, to get to know Stiles a bit more. “So, Cora told me that you’ve met a few times.”

Humming in confirmation, Stiles pours the last of the batter in the pan, “Ah, yeah, she’s one of the best techies around, just as good as our Danny in the labs. We, well more like Lydia, have been thinking of asking her to join the force. The Sheriff’s Department would definitely benefit if she agrees some day.”

“Cora hasn’t mentioned anything about this,” Derek muses.

“That’s because we haven’t talked with her about it yet,” Stiles points out, and Derek nods in understanding.

“Maybe it’ll keep her out of trouble finally.” The older Hale grumbles as he remembers some of the sticky situations his sister had found herself in when she was younger and more reckless. He was glad she had mellowed out recently.

Stiles knows about Cora’s hacking troublemaking and he himself had badgered Danny a number of times to cover her tracks. “She’s a good kid and she’s on the right path, which is what matters the most.”

They go back to their respective tasks, occasionally discussing different topics, jumping from talking about music, to places they’ve visited and still want to visit some day, sharing favorite movies. At one point Stiles starts talking about Doctor Who, but the confused look on Derek’s face makes it clear that the plumber has no idea what’s going on, so he stops with a laugh and a shake of his head.

Between finishing up cooking, setting up the table, talking and fixing the sink, they lose track of time. By the time Stiles puts the tray with pancakes on the table - a stack big enough to satisfy two fully grown men - Derek has finished changing all the necessary parts on the sink and is leaning against it, watching Stiles through hooded eyes.

Stiles feels pinned under that intense gaze and gropes blindly behind himself for the switch to turn the stove off. Finally managing to do it, and without burning his hand in the process, he moves towards Derek, suddenly overwhelmed with the need to feel his body against his own, to press as close as to him as humanly possible.

Halting just a few steps before they can touch, Stiles searches Derek’s face, looking for any sign that he’s not misinterpreting the situation, desperately hoping that this is what they both want. Derek smiles slightly and reaches out to tug him closer by his belt loops, his thighs falling open, and Stiles throws the last of his doubts out the window as he melts against the welcome heat of his body.

The first touch of their lips is tentative, soft and inquiring, with Derek cupping his cheek and Stiles slowly winding his arms around his torso. It ends too soon and Stiles dives back to steal another one before pulling back to rest his forehead against Derek’s.

“God, you’re so hot, I want to climb you like a tree.” His cheeks burn with the admission as soon as the words are spoken, but Derek just grins at him.

“Good thing the feeling is mutual then.”

Stiles laughs and leans in for another kiss, Derek meeting him half way so their lips smack together and their noses bump, before he tilts his head to the side with a smirk that Derek determinedly tries to kiss away.

“You know, I wasn’t sure this would work out,” Derek murmurs quietly against his neck after breaking the kiss again, tracing the scattering of moles dotting his skin with his tongue.

Stiles hums at the sensation, arching his head back, and tangles his hands in thick dark hair, tugging slightly on the strands. “I’m having a good time so far,” he says breathily, feeling his heart beat faster.

Pulling back to meet those dark brown eyes, Derek is relieved to see the same attraction and desire shining back to answer the call of his own feelings.

“We’ll do our best and make it work.”