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Detective Skills and Your Daily Life

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Derek sighs, looking between the garishly colored boxes in his hands.

“This is absolutely ridiculous.”

“What’s ridiculous?”

Derek barely suppresses the urge to jump, which is, like the boxes in his hands, ridiculous.  Stiles should never be able to sneak up on him, even amidst the hustle and bustle of a crowded grocery store.

“Why would anyone think these were necessary?” Derek shoves the boxes at Stiles, reaching for an inoffensively plain box of Shredded Wheat.  He tosses the cereal into his cart with more force than strictly necessary, the cardboard creaking ominously.

“Dude, these are awesome!” Stiles is looking down with wide brown eyes, mouth split into a grin.  “How can you think Salt Water Taffy and Chocolate Banana Split Pop Tarts are unnecessary?”

Derek raises one eyebrow, dropping a bag of unsweetened granola into the cart.  He proceeds to roll his healthy, appropriate-for-an-adult groceries down the aisle, away from Stiles and his questionable breakfast choices.

“You should try the watermelon flavor, Derek,” Stiles calls after Derek’s retreating back.

“Never gonna happen,” Derek doesn’t bother turning around.

“Catch ya later, Balto!”

“The dog jokes will never be funny, Stiles!”

“Wrong!  The dog jokes will always be funny.”

“Species-ist!”

And if Stiles later finds a selection of (admittedly bizzarely flavored) Pop Tarts in the cabinets of Derek’s loft?  Well.  It’s obviously an isolated incident.

 

--

 

“That’s possibly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” Erica cheerfully informs Stiles.  “And last week I eviscerated a harpy with a trowel.  There were intestines.  Intestines which got on my new boots, Stilinski.  And that was not as gross as the monstrosity you’re devouring.”

The pack is scattered on pillows and the garage sale sofa for movie night.  The loft’s kitchen has been stocked with enough pizza and cheesy bread to feed a small country (or six werewolves and four teenaged humans).

“Wrong,” Stiles shakes his head, barely intelligible around a mouthful of pizza.  He swallows, licking a trace of sauce from his lower lip.  “So very wrong, Catwoman.  My pizza is delicious.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna have to go with Erica on this one, Stiles,” Scott scrunches up his nose, helping himself to Allison’s slice of pepperoni.

“What’s...no, but what is on that thing?” Isaac looks into the cardboard box, eyes comically wide.

“Shrimp, avocado, black olives, jalapeno peppers, Canadian bacon, broccoli, and extra cheese,” Danny reads off the box.  “That’s just a crime against pizza, Stiles.”

“You’re all just jealous I get the whole pie to myself.”

“Wait, did you order?” Lydia’s artfully-lined eyes narrow, flicking from the pizza box to the kitchen.  Stiles doesn’t see anything suspicious. Derek, Boyd, and Jackson are pulling drinks out of the fridge and grabbing mismatched plastic cups from the cabinets, half-heartedly bickering about the carpool schedule for next week.

“No, I ordered last Tuesday when we had Mr. Wong’s,” Stiles shakes his head, plucking an olive from his slice and tossing it into Scott’s waiting mouth.  “Remember, I accidentally ordered mu shoo pork instead of mu shoo chicken and Jackson threatened to eviscerate me with his chopsticks.”

“But who else knows your disgusting pizza order?” Allison asks, snatching back her slice of pepperoni while Scott’s distracted by flying olives.

“I don’t think the girl whose favorite dessert is fruit salad gets to pass judgment on my pizza.” Stiles hits Scott square in the nose with the last olive from his slice.  “Yo Boyd, root beer me!” Stiles catches the can, whining that Boyd needs to be careful with the fragile bones of his delicate human hands.

If Stiles notices the small, satisfied smile on Derek’s face before Jackson dims the lights and Harry et al board the Hogwarts Express, well.  Two times is a coincidence.

 

--

 

“What.”

Derek almost drops the cookie when Stiles’s backpack hits the polished concrete of Derek’s kitchen floor.

Derek frowns.  “Was that…a question?”  He scoops some more frosting and continues icing the final batch of cookies.

“What are you doing?” Stiles asks, mouth agape as he watches Derek Hale frost cookies.  Derek ‘I was born in this leather jacket’ Hale is wielding a pink rubber spoonula.  He's barefoot, there's fudgy frosting smeared across the left side of his forehead, and he's wearing an apron emblazoned with Come to the Dark Side—We Have Cookies.

“Frosting the cookies.  They just finished cooling.”

“Are those peanut butter chocolate chip cookies?” Stiles demands, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Yep.”  Derek adds a healthy dollop of frosting to the cookie in his hand.  He definitely isn't staring at the way the worn cotton of Stiles's Bat-Signal t-shirt is stretched a hair too taut across his biceps.  "They are," Derek nods, trying to make his swirls tidier and mostly failing.

“With chocolate icing?” Stiles brown eyes narrow.

Derek pauses, examining the cookie for a long moment before swapping it out for a fresh one.  “Uh-huh.”

Stiles's sneakered feet squeak against the kitchen floor as he shifts his weight from side to side.  “Otherwise known as my favorite cookies?”

Derek silently finishes frosting the last cookie.  After he's done he asks, “Do you want one?”

“You baked.”

“Yes.”  Derek sets the final cookie onto a platter resting on the kitchen island.

“You baked my favorite cookies.”

“If you say so,” Derek shrugs, lifting the apron over his head.

“I do.  I do say they’re my favorite cookies,” Stiles watches Derek open the pantry door, where he carefully hangs the apron on a crookedly perched nail.  He's being overcareful with a garment that's literally made to get messy and already has a fist-sized singe mark near the hem.  “Which is something I never told you, but I did tell Erica last week.  You were in the next room.  I remember, because we were waiting for Deaton to finish stitching you up after the thing with the selkies.  And,” he points at Derek accusingly, “you know my disgusting pizza order!”

Derek rolls his eyes, closing the pantry door.  “You have repeatedly assured everyone your pizza order is delicious, Stiles.”

“That’s because it is,” Stiles waves his arms emphatically, “but no one else thinks so.  And you bought the stupid Pop Tarts!”

Laid out like that, it’s sort of damning evidence.

“I did."  Derek finally turns and meets Stiles eyes.  "I bought the stupid Pop Tarts.  You said they were awesome.”

“They were awesome!  I mean, they are awesome.”

“Well," Derek leans against the kitchen island with false nonchalance, "there you go.”

"I--thanks.  For, you know.  The food.  I mean, not the cookies, obviously, you didn't say those were for me, but the pizza and the other--you know what, never mind."  Stiles frowns at Derek, who raises his eyebrows and silently passes Stiles a cookie.

After a bite, Stiles says, “This is delicious.”

“Thank you.”

“You…you’re good at the baking thing.”  Stiles chews slowly and leans against the other side of the island.

“I used to, a lot…before,” Derek ducks his head, helping himself to a cookie.

“Your apron’s awesome.”

“Thanks.  You have better taste in cookies than you do in pizza.”

And if Stiles spends the rest of the afternoon in Derek’s kitchen, fighting over leftover frosting on the spoonula and consuming enough sugar to make them both a bit giddy, well.  That’s okay.  Three’s a pattern.

He could get used to this.