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The dumb kid that used to follow you around (That's not what you were).

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art by Kenshymidzu

Stiles was running late to lacrosse practice and he knew that Finstock would tear him a new one if he didn’t make it on time. He’d made it a point of honor to always be early and to do everything just right, so that Finstock wouldn’t regret taking him - an Omega - on the team.
The thing was… Stiles didn’t even like lacrosse that much.

Well, no, that wasn’t entirely true. He didn’t use to like lacrosse that much: he had always been more of a basketball guy himself. But basketball had been Derek’s sport and well– Stiles would like to say that Derek wasn’t in the picture anymore, but that wasn’t entirely true either. No one could really ignore the basketball team, least of all the captain himself, even if they tried. The basketball team was… loud. And mostly composed of jerks.

"Eh, Bilinski!"

Speak of the devil…

"Is it true you joined the lacrosse team ‘cause you like having balls flying in your face?"

The feud between the lacrosse and basketball teams in the school was legendary, to say the least. Coach Turner and Coach Finstock hated each other’s gut with a burning passion. And the players liked to carry on the tradition.

Usually, Stiles liked to keep to himself, avoid the basketball team as much as humanly – ah! – possible but this one was just begging for it, really.

"Why Matthew, is that why you joined the basketball team?"

Stiles could barely keep the smug look off his face when Matthew realized his mistake. He was aware that it would probably earn him a beating but, really, it was worth it.
Matthew stepped closer, towering over him.

"Is that how you speak to an Alpha, Omega?"

Stiles was halfway through a snort when Matthew flashed his eyes – Alpha red ––, which made Stiles recoil, barely suppressing a whimper. He hated how that made him feel. He hated the need to submit burning in his stomach, he hated how he hunched his shoulders, trying to make himself as small as possible.
Matthew flashed his eyes a second time, and Stiles heard himself whimpering and–

"Matthew! Coach Turner is waiting for us, hurry up."

Stiles staggered at the sound of Derek’s voice, mixed with the Alpha-red eyes, and Matthew smirked, probably thinking that he was the reason for Stiles’ shakiness. He managed to brush past him, bumping into his shoulder – hard – before entering the sports hall.

When Stiles looked up, rubbing his shoulder, Derek was glaring at him. Any thought that maybe Derek had done that to get Matthew off Stiles’ back, to help him, flew off Stiles’ head, and he glared back. He grabbed his lacrosse bag off the floor and left through the open doors, to join the rest of his team on the lacrosse field without a glance back.
Sometimes, he forgot that Derek hated him.

 

When Stiles finally got to the field, Scott was on him in a second.

"Dude where were you? You’re never late!"

"I ran into a jerk from the basketball team."

That’s all it took for Scott’s ‘concerned’ face to turn into a murderous one. His eyes flashed red.

"What?! What did he do? Who was it? What did he say? I’m going to kill him!"

He was completely ridiculous in his outrage, and perfectly serious, and Stiles was pretty glad to have a best friend such as Scott.

"Nah, dude, it’s not worth it. Just the usual trash talk you know."

Scott made a face, clearly unhappy with Stiles’ answer, but he didn’t press. And that’s why Scott was the best.

"McCall! Stilinski! What are you two chatting about over there! This isn’t social hour!" Finstock yelled from the other side of the field.

"The basketball team Coach!" Scott yelled back. "One of them ambushed Stiles, that’s why he’s late!"

"Fuck them!"

Stiles laughed, and jogged to join the rest of the team. And just like that, everything was forgotten.

—————

The thing was, Derek and Stiles didn’t use to hate each other. When they were kids, they were actually the Best Friends In The Whole Wide World, per Stiles saying.

Talia Hale and Claudia Stilinski had been college friends, and Stiles grew up amongst the Hales. His mother loved telling tales of how, when he was around three, he would follow Derek around like a baby duck, and of how Derek was always very protective of Stiles, making sure to not play too hard or run too fast so that Stiles could keep up with him. At the dinner table, he would always serve Stiles first, so that Stiles always had his favorite chicken nuggets, the ones shaped like a t-rex.

When Claudia died, Stiles was barely eight years old, and it was Derek, a little over 10 at that time, who was there for him, holding him at night when the Sheriff was drinking the pain away. It was Derek who stood up to John one evening, yelling at him that he was a "big old jerk!" – he had heard Laura say that word one day – and that he was making Stiles sad.

No one was surprised when he presented as an Alpha.
But when Stiles presented as an Omega… Well that was a different story.

There were only a hundred Omegas in the United States and Stiles was the first to be born in California in over 80 years. So, it had been a pretty big deal. No one was expecting it, least of all Stiles himself.

He absolutely hated how everybody was now looking at him in the street. The way people would stare, and whisper furiously as soon as he walked past them. He hated how suddenly, everybody was treating him like he was a frail little thing that needed coddling. It was like one day he suddenly stopped being 'Stiles Stilinski' – who liked to play tags with the werewolves and run with them during the full moon – and became instead 'Stiles the Omega'.

But the worst thing was probably how Derek suddenly stopped hanging out with him.
That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Stiles stopped going over to the Hale house. Eventually, they stopped asking.

—————

Stiles sat down at the cafeteria table next to Scott, who was already busy talking to Allison. He didn’t try to engage Scott in a discussion, digging into his tater tots instead. Because, to make his day even worse, they had been out of curly fries when he arrived in the cafeteria.

He was halfway through a mouthful when Jackson sat down in front of him, his tray hitting the table with a loud bang, and dumped a plate of curly fries in front of him. Stiles raised an eyebrow at his captain.

"Shut up," Jackson mumbled, looking irritated and Stiles grinned at him earning himself a small, soft smile in return.

Danny sat down next to Jackson, flashing a smile at Stiles.

"I heard Matthew was a jerk this morning," he said.

Stiles rolled his eyes.

"It really wasn’t that bad."

"He could have hurt you," Jackson answered, looking fiercely at his plate.

"Aww, but you care!" said Stiles, mocking him.

"Shut up Stilinski!"

Danny rolled his eyes this time. He never understood this weird friendship Stiles and Jackson had.

"Anyway, it was pretty funny actually! He asked me if I was playing lacrosse because I liked having balls flying in my face…"

"Does he realizes he plays basketball?" Danny asked.

Stiles snorted.

"That’s what I said!"

Before he could say anything else, Lydia sat down next to Stiles, happily digging into the curly fries.

"Eh! They’re mine! Jackson got them for me!" Stiles cried, grabbing the plate and putting it out of Lydia’s reach.

"That’s what you get for putting yourself in danger."

"Come on guys, I wasn’t in danger! It’s not like Matthew was going to beat me to death in the hallway."

"Well, we’ll never know, thankfully. Maybe you should send Derek a fruit basket."

That got Scott’s attention.

"What does Derek have to do with that?" He asked, looking at Stiles.

"Nothing."

"That’s not what I heard," Lydia mused. Jackson growled.

"Did he do something?"

"Guys, guys! Stop it, okay? Nothing happened. Matthew was being a jerk, flashed his eyes at me, and Derek called him to get to practice because they were late. It had nothing to do with me. He hates me guys, you all know that."

They all jumped when a loud noise resonated behind them, and they looked up to see Derek and one of his basketball buddy, Boyd, picking up a food trolley. Derek’s face looked pained, or maybe angry – something in between – and he left the cafeteria as soon as possible, near running.

Beside him, Lydia hummed thoughtfully. When Stiles raised his eyebrow at her in question, she waved her hand and leaned on the table to grab another curly fry.

"Don’t you worry your pretty head," she said, patting him on the head.

—————

Stiles was hesitating between salmon and chicken breast at the grocery store when he heard a familiar voice calling his name. He dumped the two packets in his shopping cart and turned around slowly, wary of what was to come.

Talia Hale was standing in the middle of the aisle, smiling at him like it was only yesterday that Stiles was running in her backyard with her children.

Truth was, it had been four years.

“Hello Stiles,” she said, as regal as ever.

“Hi Mrs Hale.”

Her smile seemed to turn sad for a second, but when Stiles blinked, everything seemed normal. He had probably imagined it.

“How are you doing, dear?”

“I’m fine, thank you. Shopping for dinner.” he answered, feeling awkward.

“I see. You’ve always been very fond of cooking, it’s nice to see that some things haven’t changed at all.”

They stared at each other for a beat, awkward silence between them, before Stiles finally waved his shopping cart around.

“I should… get back to it. Dad will be home for dinner so… I need to get it done.”

Once again, Talia’s smile seemed sad.

“Of course. I wouldn’t want to keep you waiting.”

Stiles half turned away from her, going for an awkward wave, when she continued:

“You know… If you and your father wanted to come over one evening, for dinner, we would love to have you over.”

Stiles froze in his place, looking at her with wide eyes.

“I’m– what?”

“You know you two were always family, Stiles. And– we understood why you needed to take your distance. When whatever happened between Derek and you happened. And when my childr— when we. When we started to treat you differently. I don’t think we ever apologized for that. I don’t think I ever did.”

“S’okay,” Stiles mumbled, not knowing how to react to that. “Peter kinda explained it to me.”

When Stiles stopped going over to the Hales, they left him alone, eventually. Except Peter.
Laura always used to say that Stiles was Peter’s favorite. Peter was the only one who never treated him any differently when Stiles presented as an Omega. The only one who kept treating Stiles exactly as he had before. And Stiles knew that if he had asked Peter to leave him alone, he would have. Because while Peter was always pushy and a bit of an ass, he also respected Stiles, and Stiles’ opinion.

That’s probably why Stiles hadn’t been able to cut him off.

“Yes…” Talia’s voice brought Stiles back to the conversation. “My brother tells me he’s been going to your lacrosse games?”

Stiles nodded, an easy smile sliding on his face.

“Yeah. It’s nice of him to do it. I keep telling him that he doesn’t have to, but it’s nice to have someone cheering for me on the bleachers. You know, with dad being the Sheriff and all… He can’t always make it.” Stiles shrugged his shoulders in a way that probably looked less casual than what he was going for.

“I understand.” She looked like a mom, when she smiled. “Would you mind if we… If we came to one of your games?”

Stiles raised his eyebrows at that.

“You do know they’re usually at the exact same time as the basketball ones, right?”

Talia nodded.

“Wouldn’t Derek, I mean Derek probably needs you there. Or at least wants you there. It’s, you know, what family does.”

Talia squeezed his shoulder softly.

“I told you, Stiles. Whatever happened between you and my son… You’ve always been family. You and your dad.”

She smiled softly at him, like one would do with a wounded animal, and Stiles felt warm all over. When she took her hand off his shoulder, he almost felt disappointed.

“Besides, I heard the lacrosse team is pretty good this year. If the Hurricanes start winning, I want to see that!”

Stiles laughed in surprise at the determined look on her face “What–” he started.

Talia leaned over and whispered, conspiring. “I was on the team too.” And with that, she winked, before straightening up. “As I said, Stiles. If you and your father want to come over for dinner… Feel free to drop by anytime. I know everyone would love that.”

She put her hand on his neck and squeezed softly. "See you soon, darling."

It was only after he watched her disappear in another aisle that he realized that she had just scent-marked him.

—————

Stiles was sitting outside with Jackson, going over their strategy for tonight’s game. They were engrossed in their conversation while Scott was making out with Allison somewhere close. They were arguing about the plan when Jackson nudged Stiles’ shoulder, pointing toward the school entry. Stiles raised his head just in time to see Derek Hale storming through the doors, stop in his track, look around, and zero his glare on Stiles.

Before Stiles could go back to their strategy for the evening, Derek started walking straight towards them. Jackson raised his eyebrows at Stiles, who just shrugged, and the two teenagers got up. Jackson’s fists were clenched, and he stepped forward, putting himself in front of Stiles, who rolled his eyes at the Beta.

“Can I talk to you for a minute,” said Derek, frowning.

Jackson growled at Derek. “What do you want.”

It was as if Derek had only just notice Jackson, and his gaze flew between the Omega and the Beta a couple of times. His eyebrows furrowed even more, which surprised Stiles; he hadn’t thought Derek could look more pissed than he already did.

“That’s none of your business.”

“Stiles is my business.”

A growl burst out of Derek’s mouth and Jackson lowered himself, ready to attack, and everything suddenly became too much.

“Okay stop you morons.”

Stiles slapped Jackson’s arm, who blinked and looked at Stiles in surprise, like he hadn’t expected to get scolded.

“I can take care of myself.”

Jackson lowered his gaze, kicking at the air, before turning back and storming off.
Derek’s smug look vanished when Stiles opened his mouth.

“Do you know you’re supposed to put a question mark at the end of a sentence, to indicate the question? See, what I just did? That’s how you do it.”

“What.”

“See? This, right here! That’s not how you ask a question!”

Derek huffed and glared at Stiles until the Omega deflated. “What do you want, Derek ?”

“My parents told me that they’re going to the lacrosse game tomorrow.”

Stiles winced internally. “Yeah… Your mom kinda told me.”

Derek just… stared at him.

“Was there anything else you wanted to tell me? Like, maybe, the sky is blue?”

Derek’s face was doing… a complicated thing that Stiles wasn’t quite sure he understood.

“It’s not like i asked them, you now! I didn’t- I mean. I saw her at the store. And she kind of… She told me that maybe they’d come. I told them that the lacrosse games are usually scheduled at the same time as the basketball ones, and that it wasn’t fair to you, because it sucks when nobody’s there to cheer you on, trust me I know that. But she didn’t listen. You know how stubborn your mom is!”

Derek… kept staring at Stiles, with a weird look on his face.

“Dude I thought you said you wanted to talk… that’s not talking. That’s me talking and you staring.”

“I don’t… that’s not what- Nevermind.”

And with that, the alpha turned around and stormed off, leaving a gobsmacked Stiles behind.Stiles huffed - and puffed - and rolled his eyes and joined his captain while Derek was walking back to the school.

"What was that about?" Jackson asked, frowning, when they sat down in the grass.

"Nothing. Just… Derek being a baby. Probably thinking I’m trying to steal his family away because they’re coming to the lacrosse game tomorrow instead of the basketball one. He probably thinks I also joined lacrosse on purpose just to fuck with him."

Jackson hummed.

"What?"
"Well… Isn’t that what it was about? When you joined the lacrosse team?"

"What? No!"

"I mean… In elementary school you were always talking about the basketball team and how you were going to join when you got to high school. And then after Hale and you broke up–"

"We didn’t break up!"

"After Hale and you broke up, you suddenly joined the lacrosse team. And everybody knows Coach Finstock and Turner hate each other and schedule their games at the same time."

"That’s not– that’s not what happened! Scott wanted to join the team to impress Allison. That’s it! He wanted me there for moral support. And you’re the one that trained me! It’s the only reason I’m even on the team. It had nothing to do with Derek Hale!"

Jackson hummed again. "If you say so."

Stiles kicked him in the shin. "Let’s go back to work before you start saying stupid shit like that again."

 

—————

"Son."

Whenever Sheriff Stilinski called Stiles ‘son’, the Omega knew he was in trouble. When his dad sat on the bed next to him with a heavy sigh, Stiles was immediately concern. What was it about? Claudia’s hospital bill that they still hadn’t been able to pay off? His college fund? The house? A dead relative?

"Talia Hale came by the station the other day."

This was… not what Stiles had expected. He sat up straighter on the bed, looking a his father.

"She invited us for Thanksgiving."

With the way the Sheriff was wincing, Stiles could understand the unsaid here: Talia Hale didn’t ask anything. She commanded. In a nice, mom-way. But still.

"What did you say?"

Sheriff gave Stiles what the young Omega would call a ‘bitch face’ on anyone else and it was his turn to pull a face.

"It’s not like I could really say no to her. Besides…" And yeah… There it was. "The Hales have always been dear friends. Peter’s been trying to make us come for Thanksgiving every year since– well. You know."

Yeah, Stiles knew what his dad was implying. Ever since he stopped going over to the Hales. Ever since Derek stopped hanging out with him because he was an Omega.

"Well. I guess I better start making pumpkin pies. There’s only six of them but you’d think there was twenty, with the way they eat."

The Sheriff ruffled his son’s hair before leaving the room.

Thanksgiving at the Hales…

Well. What could go wrong?

 

Everything was terrible. Stiles had been so nervous that the first pumpkin pie he’s made had landed on the kitchen floor. It was ruined, and now he didn’t have enough pumpkin to make a third tart. He’d had to go with cherry, which he knew Derek hated. And because of that he ended up making a pecan pie, which Derek loved, because he didn’t want Derek to think that he had screwed the first pumpkin pie to mess with him.

The Sheriff was trying very hard not to laugh at his son, who was running around in the kitchen, mumbling to himself about ’entitled assholes’ and ’freaking pumpkin’ and ‘thanksgiving nightmare’.

By 11, Stiles was in the passenger seat of his dad’s cruiser, pumpkin, cherry and pecan pies on his laps, holding on to them as if he was afraid they would somehow vanish, or fall on the floor.

Stiles’ nervousness only increased with each passing blocks, and soon the Sheriff had to grab the back of his son’s neck to calm him down from what was a possible panic attack.

"We can still cancel, if you want," the Sheriff said, looking at his son, worried. But Stiles shook his head. It was just… intimidating. He hadn’t set foot on the Hale property in 4 years. It was… a long time ago.

Stiles was barely out of the car, holding the pies tightly against his chest, when Cora, Derek’s younger sister, came running from the door. Stiles flinched when she launched herself at him and squeezed his middle, holding him tight. He managed to hold onto the pies and mouthed ‘Help!’ to his father, who just chuckled and took the pies from him. Talia and Andrew were waiting on the porch and the Sheriff left Stiles behind to walk to them.

"Hi Cora… I can’t move!"

The younger Hale just growled, refusing to let go of him.

"Don’t you wanna go inside?" Another growl. "Well I guess outside is good too." And he started petting her hair, earning himself a pleased rumble.

Laura, who had joined her parents on the porch, was laughing at him, and Stiles fake-glared at her.

After five very long minutes, Cora finally let go of him and punched him in the arm instead.

"Ouch! Cora that hurts!"

"Well good! Because you left you asshole!"

And with that, she stormed off to the house. Stiles was left gaping next to his dad’s cruiser, rubbing his arm.

Laura was still laughing at him, and she hugged him when he finally got to the porch.

"Hi Bambi. It’s been a while."

She kissed his forehead and rubbed her cheek against him, then dragged him inside the house. All the Hales were in the living room, talking and laughing. Stiles felt his heart clench. It had been a while.

"Stiles!" Talia called when he got into the living room. "Come, sit. The turkey still need an hour so we won’t be eating anytime soon."

Stiles nodded hesitantly at Derek, who replied just as hesitantly. Apart from that, it was as if Stiles had never left the Hale house.

 


Dinner was not as awkward as Stiles had thought. It was pleasant. He’d found himself calling Mrs Hale ‘Talia’ more often, and Mr Hale ‘Andrew’, like he had when he was younger. Laura was as sharp and sarcastic as ever, and Cora talked a mile a minute, reminding Stiles so much of himself. Peter kept trying to rile Derek up, who ended up snarling at him and throwing a turkey bone at his uncle’s face.

An ordinary Thanksgiving dinner.

When it was time for the pies, Mrs Hale brought the cherry one first. Derek frowned at it, and the corners of his mouth turned down. He looked… upset, and disappointed and, without thinking, Stiles spoke up.

"I made a pecan pie too."

Derek, startled, raised his head.

"I– The first pumpkin pie I made fell. On the floor. Of the kitchen. And I only had enough for another pumpkin pie, so I made a cherry instead. But I remembered you hate cherries, so I made a pecan. Because you like the pecan."

Derek stayed silent, staring at Stiles.

"Well… at least you used to like the pecan one? Maybe you’ve changed your mind. Like, maybe your taste buds grew out of the sugary taste. It happens when you grow up, like when you’re a kid there’s certain food you hate and then you end up liking it later in life and–"

"I like the pecan."

Derek’s ears were slightly pink, and he was staring at his plate. Stiles let out a breath.

"Okay. That’s– that’s good. I’m glad."

If Laura was watching the two with glee in her eyes, well, neither Stiles nor Derek noticed. The rest of the table definitely did though.

 

—————

The thing was… Derek didn’t hate Stiles. He didn’t even dislike him. It had all been a terrible misunderstanding, and now Derek didn’t know how to act around Stiles anymore. The first time he had told the story to Erica, she had laughed so hard she almost peed herself. When he told Boyd and Isaac, Isaac did pee himself – but they were drunk, so that may have had to do with it – and Boyd had snorted so loud beer came out of his nose.

When Stiles presented as an Omega, Derek had just fallen in love with Paige. Or something that looked like love at that time. She was just so pretty, with her big brown eyes and her mole and her fair skin and brown hair… And she was smart, and a talented musician. She wasn’t sarcastic, but she still held her ground.

At that time, Derek hadn’t noticed that Paige was basically a plainer version of Stiles. Stiles in a girl’s body, without the sarcasm, babbling, and random facts. He was pretty head over heels for her, and with joining the basketball team and his new-found popularity… He had been swept away by high-school.
He hadn’t learn to adapt and adjust yet, and was barely getting by. He hadn’t learn to make time for people outside of school, people outside of his family. He hadn’t learned to make time for Stiles yet. He knew Stiles had presented as an Omega, and that it was a big thing, but to him, Stiles was still Stiles, Omega or not.

When he had finally found the time to go check on his best friend, he had found that Stiles had already replaced him with Scott McCall, the new kid at school.

Derek had never been a very jealous person. Even with Paige, he never got jealous if someone else was flirting with her, or if she seemed very close with her best friend, Jenna. But that day, seeing Stiles share his animals crackers with someone else… It had been too much for Derek to handle.

And that, ladies and gentleman, was the story of how Derek fucked up his friendship with Stiles Stilinski.

Years laters, when Derek finally understood that Stiles hadn’t replaced him – or at least not at that time – but was just trying to make new friends, because Derek wasn’t in the same school anymore, he had felt like shit.

Erica had laughed so hard that night, and had continued mocking him ever since.

The worst part, as Boyd put it, was that Stiles was absolutely sure that Derek hated him now. And Derek did not know how to change that. Every interaction the two had turned out terrible, because Derek was terrible at conversation and expressing his feelings. So instead of saying something like: ‘Eh, Stiles, I’m sorry I was such a jerk when we were kids, I actually have no problem what so ever with you being an Omega and I’d like to be friends again’, they kept fighting. Derek kept putting his foot in his mouth, and Stiles kept jumping to conclusions, and the situation was just… not getting better. At all.

Until the Thanksgiving dinner.

—————

After that Thanksgiving dinner, things got… weird. In the way that Stiles and Derek’s relationship got less… weird.

They nodded at each other on their way to class. Sometimes they even smiled. One time, Derek helped Stiles pick up the books that fell on the floor when he opened his locker.
They weren’t friends, per say. There would be no cafeteria lunches, even on the days Stiles ate alone, because he was in AP Chemistry and had a later lunch period. But sometimes, Stiles liked to think that maybe they could get there at some point.

Obviously, that’s when Destiny decided to just power-kick them in the butt.
The lacrosse team was practicing on the field, running around and being yelled at by Finstock, when they noticed the ambulance that pulled over right next to the entrance of the school. Coach Finstock stopped screaming, and they all gathered to watch the EMT running inside the school. A couple of minutes later, they pulled out with a body on the stretcher and Coach Finstock turned pale.

"Holy crap that’s Turner!" And with that took on running after the EMT, leaving the lacrosse team behind.

The basketball team was gathering in front of the school, looking at the ambulance, as Finstock was getting in with the EMT. Stiles noticed Derek amongst the rest of the players and, curious as ever and feeling particularly brave this day, called his name.

"Hey Derek!"

Every single player turned their head to look at Stiles, and he suddenly didn’t feel so brave anymore. Even the lacrosse team was looking at him warily. This was definitely not the time to try and rile the basketball team up.

"What happened to Coach Turner?"

There was a visible sigh of relief, both from the basketball and lacrosse players. A couple of students moved closer to one another.

"Heart attack, I think. He just… grabbed his arm and collapsed."

Stiles nodded. Yeah, that seemed like a male-heart attack just right. "That sucks. I hope he gets better."

A couple of ‘yeah’s and ‘me too’s emerged from the lacrosse team, and they ended up nodding at each other, before going back to the locker room. Since neither Coach Turner nor Coach Finstock was there, there was no point for any of the students to keep playing. It was also probably illegal to keep practicing unsupervised.

Obviously the atmosphere in the locker room wasn’t exactly pleasant, but at least no one tried to hit a member of the other team. Small victories.

Derek smiled at Stiles, and it felt like a bigger victory than the teams not slaughtering each other.

—————

Stiles didn’t know what was worse: watching Coach Finstock and Turner yell, throw food at each other and fight, or watching Coach Finstock and Turner kiss each other in the hallway and before practice. They were all over each other, holding hands and yelling at the students together. It was disturbing, to say the least. To think that it had taken Coach Turner almost dying for Finstock to realize that maybe there was indeed a very small step between love and hate.

When Stiles shared his theory with Lydia, she laughed at him and called him ‘Adorably oblivious’ – which he still didn’t get – before patting him on the head.

Scott had looked as lost as Stiles, so there was that at least.

The best news about Coach Turner and Finstock newly found love was that they had decided to stop scheduling their games on the same day, or at least not at the same time. They liked being able to go to their ‘cupcake’s’ – as they liked to call each other –– games to yell at the players together.

Since that decision, the Hales had been coming more and more to Stiles’ game, who had to admit that it was nice to have people cheering on him on a regular basis. Peter was not a very vocal supporter, and his dad was rarely able to come. Sure, Lydia and Allison were always there to cheer on the team, but they were mostly there for Jackson and Scott.

The Hurricanes had just crushed the other school, and the entire team was jumping around and celebrating their victories. The Hales – Talia, Andrew, Cora and Peter, as Laura was away at college – made their way down the bleacher stairs and waved at Stiles, who jogged up to them.

"Congratulation Stiles! That was an incredible game!" said Talia. She was always very happy to watch the lacrosse games. "I can’t believe you guys got so good so fast. The team was a disaster last year."

"Well, Jackson is a great captain, and there’s so pretty great players amongst the new recruits."

"Such as yourself," commented Peter, making Stiles laugh awkwardly.

"Yeah, I guess!"

"Don’t be so modest. You were the real MVP tonight!"

"Yeah, totally! I still don’t get the rules but you scored like three goals tonight!" Cora added.

She had been coming to all of his games since the Coaches had stopped scheduling the basketball and lacrosse game at the same time, and she still had a little trouble with the rules. But mostly, she just liked to trash talk, scream and jump around every time the Hurricanes would put the ball in the other’s team net.

"Thanks for coming you guys. It’s always nice to have people in the bleachers."
"You’re welcome, darling," said Talia. "We’re actually on our way to Derek’s game. It starts in forty five minutes and we wanted to get there early so we can get good seats. Do you want us to save you one?"

Stiles looked like a deer caught in headlights. He hadn’t thought about going to a basketball game. Sure, different schedule meant that people could go to both games but… The basketball team and the lacrosse team still hated each other. Coach Finstock and Coach Turner dating hadn’t stopped the animosity between the two teams.

"You don’t have to, of course, darling! I mean, you must be pretty exhausted, or maybe you want to go out and celebrate with your friends–"

"No, I’ll come! I’d… I’d love to come. I haven’t been to a basketball game in… Well."

The last game he went to was before he presented as an Omega. It was Derek’s first game, right before he started dating Paige and ignoring Stiles.

The Hales probably remembered that.

"I need to take a shower first, obviously, but I’ll join you guys after."

"We’ll keep your seat warm," said Peter before patting Stiles on the head. "See you after your shower."

And with that, they left, leaving Stiles feeling a bit disconcerted.

Scott was on him in a second. "Hey! We’re going to Papa Joe’s to celebrate, you coming?"

"No I-I’m going to the basketball game."

It said a lot about Scott that he didn’t even blink, just shrugged and went, "Okay! See you later then!" Then he left to join the rest of the team, still jumping around on the field.
Stiles was going to a basketball game. Oh boy.

 

——————

"Come on you lazy bastards! Get the ball back! Run, god dammit, run!!"

Coach Turner kept yelling, getting louder as the other team scored. Derek slowed down, taking a second to breath. The Earthquakes were down by 7 points and the referee was about to whistle the half-time. 7 points wasn’t that bad, they knew it. But Derek just hated the other team.

One of the players ran past him, laughing.

"Eh Hale! Watch out for the earthquake!" Then, being the intelligent senior that he was, he proceeded to imitate an elephant, in an attempt to mock Beacon Hill’s team.

"Fuck you, whatever-your-name is." The other guy glared at Derek, who just gave him – discreetly – the middle finger.

Isaac patted him on the shoulder.

"Come on. 7 points isn’t that bad. We’ll get them after the half-time."

Derek grunted, and jogged to join the rest of the Earthquakes.

Beacon Hill’s basketball team hadn’t always been called The Earthquakes. It used to have a pretty normal name but, when Coach Finstock renamed the lacrosse team ‘The Hurricanes’, Coach Turner felt left out, and decided to rebrand his players too. Derek thought the whole thing was just ridiculous, and that the Earthquakes was a terrible name for a basketball team, but Coach Turner had insisted that it made perfect sense. The Earthquakes was supposed to be a reference to their bodies hitting the ground after a dunk, score, or simple jump to catch the ball, or something like that.

Derek – and the rest of the team – knew it was because the lacrosse team was called The Hurricanes. Simple as that.

Coach Danvers had jokingly rebranded the swim team ‘The Tsunamis’ but Principal Connors had put her foot down. The whole school kept calling them that, though.

"Listen up you morons! Finstock’s grandmother can probably play better than you, and she’s dead!" Behind Coach Turner, Coach Finstock was nodding. "So you better pull your heads from your asses because this was shit and I want to see a better game for the next half!"

"Coach, yes, Coach!" the whole team screamed.

"Go drink some water! And Hale! Pull yourself together!"

Derek nodded, sitting on the bench with a heavy sigh. He grabbed his water bottle and drank slowly. He tried not to glance to the part of the bleachers where his family was, but it was impossible to resist. Because alongside his family, Stiles was sitting.

He hadn’t notice the Omega at first, too preoccupied with the game. He probably wasn’t even there when the game had begun, probably still in the showers after his lacrosse game. Even Coach Finstock had arrived a bit late, and he didn’t have to change.

But as soon as Derek caught sight of Stiles up there, he had been thrown off his game. He’d missed a couple of opportunities, had failed an easy shot, and was just… terrible.

When Boyd sat down next to him on the bench, Derek knew what he was about to say. "Shut up Boyd."

"I didn’t say anything," his best friend replied. "But that doesn’t make it any less true."

"I’m not talking about this."

"Talking about what?" Isaac asked as he was sitting down on the other side of Derek.

"About the fact that Derek’s been playing like a tool ever since he caught sight of Stiles up there," Boyd answered. Isaac started laughing.

"Oh yes man! I’ve noticed. It’s pretty pathetic actually!"

"Shut up! I don’t even know why I’m friends with you."

"Because you’re terrified of Erica." Derek actually took a second to think this through.

"True," he ended up admitting with a laugh.

"But seriously man. By playing like that you won’t impress him. And by the way…" Derek raised his head, to look at Isaac. "He’s been looking at you the whole time."

Derek’s ears turned pink.

"Also I’m pretty sure your mom and uncle were eavesdropping." Derek grunted and let his head fall between his hands.

 

The rest of the game passed in a blur. When the referee whistled the end of the game, Derek raised his head to look at the board and was surprised to see that The Earthquakes had won, and not just by a couple of points. He sighed in relief as his teammates poured onto the basketball court to congratulate themselves.

In the bleachers, his family was standing, clapping wildly.

Stiles was clapping along with them, a smile on his face.

When Derek locked eyes with him, he smiled softly.

——————

Stiles was sitting in the cafeteria by himself, as usual for a Tuesday, when a lunch tray slammed in front of him. He grunted. Seriously, what was the deal with people and slamming their tray? There was food on it. That could spill. Food!

When he looked up, he saw Erica Reyes, Boyd and Isaac’s girlfriend, sitting down.

"What’s up Batman?" Stiles raised an eyebrow at her. "What? You were looking sad, all by yourself! I thought you’d like the company."

"It’s January, Erica. I’ve been sitting by myself every Tuesday for five months now."

Isaac chose that moment to plop down next to his girlfriend. He kissed her cheek, then looked at Stiles.

"Why are we sitting with Stilinski?"

"I didn’t ask you to! You can leave! Please do!"

"Hey babes." Boyd sat down next to Isaac, and grabbed his boyfriend’s apple. "Is Derek hiding somewhere?"

Stiles huffed and went back to his curly fries while Isaac, Boyd and Erica happily chatted. Or at least, Isaac and Erica. Boyd had never been a very talkative person. Instead, he kept eating his apple and looking at Stiles.

"What–" Stiles looked up to find Derek, wide eyed, looking like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Your puppies decided to colonize my table. I was powerless to stop them so apparently, you’ll have to sit here.” Stiles answered, patting the chair next to him and definitely looking braver than he felt.

But Derek smiled softly at him, and Stiles felt his heart fluttering. He ignored Erica’s smirk, and pushed his plate full of curly fries towards Derek.

“Here, you can have some of mine.” He rolled his eyes at the way Derek gaped at him. “You have only vegetables and meat on your tray, you need some carbs if you want to grow big and strong.”

“Big and strong, title of your sex-tape!” announced loudly Erica, cackling.

Derek growled at her and Stiles threw his napkin at her face - without much success.

 

When the bell rang, Stiles found himself surprised by the fact that their lunch period was already over. Time did fly by when you had fun.

——————

"Derek, darling, something came up. The Ramirez’s called and they need our help. Your dad, Peter and I are going. Can you drive Cora to her friend’s house for her sleepover?" Talia was packing an overnight bag while talking.

"Is everything okay?"

"It’s nothing we can’t handle darling. We’ll be perfectly fine, besides it’s just for a couple of days."

Derek nodded, still not quite sure about it.

"Do you need me to come with you?"

"No sweetheart, you stay right here and take care of your sister while we’re in Mexico, okay? I promise it’s nothing dangerous." She kissed his cheek while grabbing her phone charger. "Oh and can you tell Stiles that we won’t be able to make it? Poor thing, the Sheriff’s working and we promised we’d go to his game–"

The way his mother paused in the middle of the sentence didn’t indicate anything good.

"Mom…"

"Why don’t you go to Stiles’ game? I’m sure he’d love for you to be there."

"I don’t know if it’s a good idea. Plus I had stuff planned tonight with Boyd."

"Well, maybe the two of you can go?"

"Mom. We’re basketball players. You know we hate lacrosse." Talia huffed, smiling.

"Stiles do come to your games you know… Most of them at least."

"I know," he growled.

Talia ruffled his hair and kissed his cheek as she was passing by.

"You don’t have to. I just think Stiles would be happy to see you."

 

As the front door closed behind his parents and his uncle and the sound of their car lowered as they were driving away, Derek grabbed his cellphone and texted Boyd.

He was definitely not brave enough to go by himself though.

 

Despite what Erica was saying, Derek wasn’t trying to hide. He was just… blending in. Not seeking attention. Trying not to distract Stiles. And his teammates!
He didn’t think Stiles had seen him, yet. He looked so focused on the game, still searching from time to time – in what was probably the section his family sat in –– for something. Or someone. Probably several someones.

When the referee called the half-time, Derek saw Stiles plopping down on the bench, looking defeated. The Hurricanes were winning, so that was definitely not what was bothering him. It was easy to understand why he looked so down.

"You should go talk to him." Boyd’s voice jolted him from his reverie.

"Wha-"

"You should go talk to him," said Boyd again.

"I don’t… I don’t know."

"I’m sure he’d like that" said Erica, nudging him softly.

"I… ok. Ok, I’ll go."

He got up and jogged down the stairs, feeling more nervous than he had in awhile. When he got to the bench, Stiles was already looking at him with wide eyes, while Scott pretended to look somewhere else.

"Derek wha– What are you doing here?"

Derek was rubbing his neck, not quite sure what to say. "Eh… Well my parents had to go out of town… To give a hand to another pack… And I knew your dad was working tonight so I thought that… Maybe you’d like to have someone in the bleachers? I know I like it when you come. I mean, all of you guys. My parents, and everybody… I’m gonna shut up now."

But Stiles was smiling at him, big and bright. "Thanks dude. It means a lot."

"Don’t call me dude," Derek grumbled. Stiles laughed, and Derek’s heart fluttered.
“Stiles?” Derek called as the Omega was moving to get back to his teammates. “Do you think we could… I mean after the game, can we… talk?”

Stiles looked at him for a long moment, perfectly silent. His big honeyed-whiskey eyes seemed to be boring holes in his brain. After another beat of silence, he just said, “Okay.” Then he left with a smile.

When Derek went back to his seat next to his pack, he couldn’t help but feel… hopeful.

------------------

The Hurricanes won the game and soon the supporters flooded the field, screaming and chanting and laughing. Erica and Isaac were already in the middle of the crowd, cheering with the others, while Boyd watched them with a fond expression on his face.

Derek’s heart was beating erratically in his chest as his eyes scanned the crowd, looking for the jersey number 24. He was walking down the bleachers’ stairs when he saw Stiles, running towards up, taking the stairs two at a time.

“Derek! Did you see that! The last goal was crazy, oh my god, I didn’t think I could score this one!”

“Yeah, it was… it was awesome!”

Derek still didn’t like lacrosse, but seeing Stiles in action, how good he was moving on the field, the way he’d rotate to avoid the other players, the powerful legs and the way his arms’ muscles would flex when he was grabbing the stick…

Boyd coughed behind them and Derek felt his cheeks warming up.

“Excuse me,” he said, giving a pointed glance at Derek, who would have growled at his beta had Stiles not been in front of him. Derek just knew he’d never hear the end of it.

Stiles pressed himself against Derek to let Boyd walk down the stairs, and Derek couldn't help but sniff, taking in the scent of the Omega. It was overwhelming, happiness and sweat mixing and flooding his nostrils, and Derek had to hold onto the railing next to the stairs to refrain from diving face first into Stiles’ neck.

“You were… you were really great out there,” he croaked, trying to put some distance between Stiles and himself, while dying to just get closer.

Stiles beamed at him, and Derek growled softly under his breath.

“Yeah? I know it's not basketball but–”

Derek shook his head. “No, no- it was great. Well, I mean, you were–”

“Great?” Derek let out a nervous laugh, and nodded.

“Do you need to go shower or–”

“No it’s okay,” answered Stiles. “We can… talk. Maybe not here though. We can go over there,” he added while gesticulating towards the school entry.

Derek nodded once again and they started walking towards the door, avoiding the students and supporters still changing on the grass.

They stayed silent during their walk, and Derek grew nervous. When they reached the entry, he had half a mind to run away like a coward.

Stiles, as usual, was the one who broke the silence.

“You do know that in order to talk, one has to make sounds with his mouth, right?”

“I… yeah. It’s just… I don't really know where to start ?”

“One would think that at the beginning is a good enough solution.”

Derek snorted. “You really are one of a kind Stiles…”

“Yeap!”

The alpha smiled softly, rubbing his neck.

“ I just wanted to say that I never hated you. For being an Omega. Or hated you, period, actually. I-I was a dick. Back then. I was… I was a terrible friend.”

“I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, Derek,” said Stiles after a pause. “You were a kid.”

“But I made you feel… I made you feel like there was something wrong with you. I stopped hanging out with you, because I was so focused on myself, on making the basketball team, and impressing Paige and–” Derek had to stop his rant to breathe. Calm himself. “It was shitty of me.”

Stiles kept silent for a long moment.

“Yeah, it kinda were.” Derek winced. “I mean… I think I get it. Everything was shiny and new and you just… forget about the dumb kid who used to follow you around.”

“No, that’s not- that’s not true. That’s not what you were. I didn’t forget you. I just- it took me time. To… wrap my head around everything. And when I made time for… other people. For you. I- I thought you’d replaced me.” Stiles raised his eyebrows at him. “I saw you with Scott one day, sharing your animal crackers. And you loved these crackers. And I just… I knew it had been too long since the last time I’d saw you. And when I saw you with Scott… I don’t know. I think I got jealous, or something.”

Stiles laughed. Out of all the things he could have done, Derek was definitely not expecting that.

“I- Is there something funny?”

Stiles shook his head. “Just… The whole situation. Me thinking you hated me because I was an Omega, you thinking I’d replaced you because I shared my crackers with Scott.”

Stiles’ smile was irresistible and Derek soon found himself chuckling alongside Stiles. When their laughter finally died down, Derek felt... lighter. With the way Stiles’ shoulder seemed more relaxed, less hunched, he seemed to feel the same way.

“Friends?” asked Stiles, holding his hand.

“Friends,” confirmed Derek, shaking Stiles’ hand.

“Okay I probably need to go take a shower now,” said Stiles, laughing with his whole body in the way only him could. He hugged him, briefly, getting his scent all over Derek, before jogging off towards the locker room, waving goodbye and calling “See you later Sourwolf!”, leaving Derek frozen in his spot.

Yeah, right, friends. As if that was going to work.

——————

Derek was sitting in his room, in complete darkness. The curtains were drawn and he was on the bed, moping in silence. Cora had yelled through the door that the pizza guy had arrived and that she would eat the entire meat lovers by herself if he didn’t hurry, but he hadn’t had the strength to go down the stairs just yet. His parents were still in Mexico so Cora had grabbed the opportunity to have pizza every single night. And Derek hadn’t really been able to say no, considering his mind was occupied by thoughts of Stiles 24/7.

He hadn’t stopped thinking about that evening on the lacrosse field. It had been… nothing. Just a smile and a laugh. But the Omega’s bright eyes still resonated within him.

Cora banged on the door, threatening to break it down – she would – if he didn’t come out. With a sigh, Derek got up and opened the door.

"Well, finally! It’s been, like, years since I’ve seen you!!"

"Cora, you saw me an hour ago, before I went into my room."

"That’s what I said! And it doesn’t take that long to masturbate, even if you like to light candles and put on music and rose petals. What were you doing in here?"

Derek nearly choked when he heard his baby sister talk about masturbation.

“Jesus, Cora, why the hell would you say something like that!"

“Well it’s been an hour!"

“It’s not– I wasn’t doing anything!"

"It’s not like it’s a bad thing, Derek, you can masturbate if you want, everybody does it. Laura told me!"

Derek was going to kill his older sister. It was so not okay for her to talk to Cora about this kind of stuff and then leave for college, leaving Derek to deal with the aftermath! Laura was evil.

"Cora, stop saying that word! And I told you, I wasn’t doing anything. I was just… thinking."

"About Stiles?"

Damn. Cora was too damn observant for her age.

"I–" There was no point in denying it. She was a werewolf after all. "Yes."

"You know Laura tried to start a bet."

"On what?"

"How long it would take for you and Stiles to pull your heads out of your asses and start dating or something."

"What!"

"Don’t worry! Mom told her that it wasn’t okay to bet on a family member’s love life." Derek looked at Cora, mouth hanging open. "Well but Laura still bet with Peter. And I have 20 dollars in for the sports team fundraiser, so you better not make a move before that!"

With that, she left with the pizza. Derek watched her until she disappeared down the stairs, eyes wide open.

Oh, fuck.

——————

As the fundraiser approached, Cora kept dropping hints about Stiles and him more and more. On one occasion she even threatened to rip his throat out – with her teeth – if he made a move before.
On the morning of the fundraiser, Cora barged into his room, screaming at him to get up. “Today is the day you get your man! Get up Derek!”

Derek tried to get back to sleep, but Cora was sneaky. She climbed on his bed and started jumping on it. “Stiles and Derek, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-”

“Okay! I’m up, I’m up! Just- shut up Cora!”

Derek thought she looked way too smug for a kid her age. “Mom made breakfast, hurry up before Laura eats all the pancakes.” And with that she fled the room, leaving Derek grunting as he got up.

He took a shower – a long one ––, and when he finally entered the kitchen, both Laura and Cora were pretending to pay way too much attention to their plates. Dreading the conversation to come, Derek sat down and grabbed a plate.

"So Derek," started Laura. He grunted in response.

“Seriously, Laura, can I at least eat a pancake before you start bothering me?”

“No.” And that was the end of it. “Are you excited for the fundraiser?”

“No.”

“Really? Don’t you love this stuff? The jumping castle, the ferris wheel, the dunk tank… The kissing booth…” Cora giggled and Derek raised his eyebrows in question.

“What?”

“Nothing!” said Cora, still giggling behind her hand.

“Shh, Cora! You’ll spoil the surprise!” added Laura before getting up.

“What surprise? What are you talking about? Laura!” But Laura was already leaving the kitchen, soon followed by Cora.

“What surprise?” Derek mumbled, to himself. He sighed and dug into his pancakes, feeling uneasy.

 

He managed to stay off his parents radar for longer than he’d thought. It was already 2 pm when his mother knocked on his bedroom door before entering.

“Hi darling. What are you doing?”

“Just reading mom.” With the way his mother’s eyes lit up, he knew it was a mistake.

“Oh good! I thought you were maybe busy with homework… That’s good. Cora has been nagging me about going to the fundraiser at school, says she wants cotton candy and to watch people at the dunk tank. Can you take her with you when you go?”

Derek considered saying no, saying that he wasn’t going to the fundraiser this year… But then his mom would start asking him questions, and that was a conversation he’d like to avoid for as long as possible.

So, really, he didn’t have a choice.

“Sure mom.”

“Thanks, darling!” said his mom, kissing his forehead. When she left the room, Cora was standing in the doorway.

“Let’s get moving Der-bear!”

Again, he thought as he followed her, his sister looked way too smug for a thirteen year-old.

 

As soon as they arrived at the school, Cora leaped out of the car and ran towards the cotton candy stand. Derek cursed and hurried after her, jogging to catch her before she raided the stand.

McCall was the one managing it and he beamed at Derek when he noticed him.

“Dude!” he said “Did you just got here? St- I thought you weren’t going to show up!” Derek frowned at the remark. Why did it matter to McCall whether Derek was here or not?

“Yeah well… I almost didn’t come. But my sister wanted cotton candy and to see the dunk tank so.” He shrugged and McCall nodded. He handed a cotton candy to Cora, which was probably as big as her head and Derek dropped a couple of dollars in the jar.

“Have fun! Don’t forget to swing by the kissing booth!” added Scott as Derek and Cora were walking away. Derek’s frown deepened. What was that with the kissing booth? First his sisters, now McCall…

Derek and Cora walked by the dunk tank, where his sister insisted that he let her play. He bought her a ticket and watched as she threw a perfect curved ball – she was on the middle school’s baseball team – and Jackson Whittemore fell into the tank. Derek didn’t know what was worse: the vicious look as she had thrown the ball, or the blush on his sister’s cheeks as she watched Jackson’s shirt sticking to his torso, wet.

Before she could try and persuade him to buy her another ticket, Derek grabbed her by the hand, gave her her cotton candy back, and told her they were going to check out the Kissing Booth. She giggled into her cotton candy until they arrived near the stand, and Derek finally understood why everyone kept bothering him with it.

Stiles was sitting in the booth. There was a long line – a very long line – of teenagers and, disgustingly surprising, adults in front of the booth. The rules were written on a piece of cardboard: “Fresh breath required, no tongue, no more than one passage, NO TONGUE, $2”.

Coach Finstock and Coach Turner were sitting nearby, supposedly checking that the customers respected the rules, and probably collecting the cash when the jar got too full. However, they were more interested in making out themselves, or shouting at kids, than checking up on Stiles or emptying the jar. Which was full. So very full.

Derek swallowed audibly. But before he got a chance to think about what he wanted to do next – grab Stiles and drag him away from all these strangers kissing him – Cora waved a two-dollar bill in front of his face.

“Go get your man!” she told him, before pushing him towards the booth.

Reluctantly, Derek stood at the end of the line, getting more and more miserable as the line reduced.
There were only half a dozen people in front of him, and Derek could actually see Stiles. His lips were red, so very red, that it left Derek wondering whether it was from kissing, or from a lipstick. He was smiling, broadly, laughing with the people in the line. There was a couple of old ladies behind Derek, giggling together. Derek tried to calm his heart – which was beating way too fast if the way the old ladies looked at him like they knew was any indication – when he noticed, for the first time, Matthew in the line, just about to go up to Stiles and pay two dollars to kiss him.

Derek grinded his teeth, purposefully looking anywhere but at Stiles and Matthew. He still remembered wanting to rip his teammate’s throat – with his teeth – when he’d flashed his eyes at Stiles in the hallway. Breaking his nose during practice – ’an accident, Coach,’ he’d said – hadn’t nearly been enough.

Still, he couldn’t help but glance in Stiles’ direction. The Omega was smiling, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. It was clear that he had zero desire to kiss Matthew but the two dollars were in the jar. When Matthew leaned forward, Derek clenched his fist, feeling his eyes flash red. Alpha-red. He was just about trying to unclench his fist when Stiles pushed Matthew back violently.

“Okay, back up! The sign says no tongue! I said no tongue! So keep it in your mouth before I bite it off!”
Matthew grinned, like it was the funniest thing he’d heard all day and leaned forward again, as if to kiss Stiles one more time, but the Omega was quicker. He grabbed his lacrosse stick, purposefully propped against the booth, and violently hit Matthew in the groin with it. The Alpha toppled over, clenching his junk.

“Next time, when someone says no, you better listen.” Coach Finstock choose that exact moment to finally look over the booth.

“What the hell happened, Stilinski!” the lacrosse Coach yelled, not wanting to get up.

“He tried to use tongue Coach!”

“Matthew! Go run a couple of suicides on the lacrosse field!” Coach Turner yelled in turn.

The Alpha got up, still clutching his junk, glowering at Stiles, before hopping away. The two other basketball players in front of Derek ran after their teammate and, before he knew it, Derek was facing Stiles at the kissing booth.

“Derek! I-I did not expect to see you there!” Stiles’ cheeks were red. Derek wondered if he was hot.

“I- My mom made me.” Stiles’ raised an eyebrow at him and Derek cursed himself. “No that’s… that’s not I mean… Shit. I mean, I wasn’t sure if I was going to come to the fundraiser, but Cora wanted to go, so my mom asked me to drive her.”

“Oh. I see.” Stiles looked almost… sad. “Well, I’m glad you’re here! At my booth! The kissing booth. Eh–”

Derek was mortified, and he could feel himself blushing. If Cora’s snort was any indication, his ears were already turning pink, like they did every time he was embarrassed. His sisters loved mocking him for that.

“I uh… For the team.” He stuffed his two dollars in the jar and turned to leave.

“Wait!” Stiles grabbed his wrist, tugging him back. “Don’t you… don’t you want your kiss?”

Derek gulped and instinctively took a small step forward.

“I mean, you don’t have to!” added Stiles when Derek stayed silent for a beat too long.

“No-No I–” Derek croaked. “I thought… With Matthew and–”

“Oh, let me reassure you… Matthew is a jerk and I’m probably gonna need some mouthwash to get rid of the taste of his mouth, but that definitely won’t stop me from kissing you.”

Derek was blushing furiously. “I’d like that,” he added, softly.

Stiles smiled at him, a shy, private smile, and slowly leaned towards Derek. His eyes were so big, and golden and beautiful that Derek almost didn’t close his eyes when Stiles’ lips pressed against his. His fingers were warm against Derek’s cheek. He felt the tip of Stiles’ tongue breaching his lips and his heart fluttered.

An awkward cough brought them back to reality. Derek made a move to break away from Stiles, but the Omega grabbed his wrist, and squeezed. They turned around and came face to face with Coach Finstock and Coach Turner, frowning at them. Cora was on the other side, with the old ladies, laughing at them.

“Stilinski! Munchkin just made Matthew run a couple of suicides around the lacrosse field. Do we need to do the same with Hale?”

“That won’t be necessary Coach!”

“Yeah? Well then I suggest you get the hell out of here and ask McCall to replace you at the kissing booth!”

“Coach, yes, Coach!” said Stiles, saluting Coach Finstock – and “Munchkin” – before tugging on Derek’s wrist and running towards the cotton candy booth. “Scott! Finstock want you to go and run the Kissing Booth!”

“I thought you were– Oh I see! Hi again Derek! I see you found the Kissing Booth!” He winked at them and took off.

“Your friends are ridiculous,” said Derek as he watched Scott jogging off in the direction of the Kissing booth.

“Eh! This kissing thing isn’t going to work if you’re being mean to my friends!”

Derek chuckled, low. “Are you saying that you want this kissing thing to work?”

Stiles blushed furiously, and Derek thought that it was the most endearing thing he’d ever seen. “Yeah, well... I don’t just kiss anybody.” He paused, thinking it over. “Well, I mean except for the fundraiser! Because apparently everybody wants a piece of this,” he added, waving at his own body.

Derek growled, playfully, snapping his teeth near Stiles’ ear, who squeaked, and hit Derek in the c'est while laughing. “Oh stop it you dumbass!”

“But you like this ass,” noted Derek, smirking.

Stiles’ rolled his eyes, trying hard not to laugh at the remark. “I guess I do,” h said before diving in for a kiss.

“I guess I do too,” echoed Derek, diving for another kiss.

 

They ended up getting yelled at by Coach Finstock and Coach Turner again, but it was 100 % worth it.