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"How's Matt?" Allison asks casually, finger skimming idly along the rim of her glass.

It's a loaded question that almost always prefaces her usual your boyfriend sucks, get a new one rants. 

With that in mind, Stiles' answer isn't particularly cordial. "Still my boyfriend."

"That's too bad."

Stiles shakes his head with a laugh. "You know, Allison, I'm starting to get the feeling you don't approve of my bae."

"Ew." Her nose wrinkles. "Please don't tell me you actually call him that."

He snorts. "Matt thinks holding hands is excessive pda. He might actually have an aneurism if I dropped a pet name on him."

"Wouldn't want that."

"Here we go again," he mutters, eyes rolling. "Okay, lay it on me. You were nice enough to make it through dinner this time at least."

"That's only because you were paying," she says, taking a sip of her drink before letting loose. "He's just so - "

"What? Smart? Sweet? Successful?" He ticks each trait off on his fingers and holds them up to her. "The ever so important Three S's."

"I don't think that's an actual thing." She reaches over and raises his pinky. "And it's four. You forgot safe."

"Oh yes, the dreaded safe word." He pauses, grimacing. "I'd like to rephrase that."

Allison exhales loudly, exasperated. "It's not like safety is a bad thing." She bends forward again and pats his cheek. "But there needs to be a balance. What's the fun of having a relationship without at least a little passion. Like me and Scott. Or Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Heathcliff and Catherine."

"You do realize you just compared your relationship with Scott to the most arguably unhealthy relationships in literary history, right?" he remarks from behind his glass of water. "And I'm not sure fighting over which laundry detergent to buy constitutes passion."

She sticks her tongue out. "You're so unromantic." Her eyes scan the bar briefly before she's simpering and inclining her head to his right. "Okay, how about him? Five o'clock, in the Armani suit. When's the last time Matt's looked at you like that?"

Surreptitiously, Stiles peeks over his shoulder, nearly braining himself on the table when he realizes that she's right. There's someone staring directly and unapologetically at Stiles, the vibrant hazel of his irises visible even in the low-key lighting of the room. His jaw is sharp, and his facial features are strong, highlighted by arched, prominent eyebrows. The suit - which could very well be Armani for all he knows because hello, broke college student here - hugs his toned figure so well that it makes his own decently muscled body wither up with inferiority. 

When he finally manages to tear his greedy eyes back up to the man's, he's full-on assaulted by a meaningful smirk, and holy god, Stiles is not and will never be prepared for the way his lips look, crooked and twisted up in the corners like he knows exactly what they were talking about.

Probably because he knows exactly what they were talking about.

"Allison," he spits out accusingly, whipping his head back, and voices his worry. 

"But that's exactly what we were doing," she answers, brow furrowed. "We still are."

"You are. I, on the other hand, am changing the topic to how not ready I am for our Differential Calc mid term." 

Which is good. He needs to steer this toward less sexy subjects. Class isn't sexy. Mid terms aren't sexy. Calculus certainly isn't sexy. Not sexy is good. Not sexy is what he needs right now.

It can't bode well for his perfectly fine relationship that the next thing that comes up during this particular conversation is Matt.

She frowns. "Stiles, you're dating the TA. Just ask him for help."

"Matt says that's cheating."

And apparently Allison has just about had it with Matt for the night because she scowls uncharacteristically. "Well, Matt's a jerk, who's not even attractive enough to make up for his jerkiness."

Allison's never been too great with insults.

"Matt's attractive," he protests, feeling the need to defend his boyfriend, and then winces thoughtfully. "In his own way."

"Coming from the guy who thinks David Letterman's hot."

"He is!" Stiles exclaims at an inappropriate volume. "He's funny, intelligent - "

"Sixty-seven," she reminds him.

" - and hot."

"Who's hot?"

Even Allison startles at the unfamiliar and unexpected voice. She recovers quickly with a friendly smile, however. Unlike Stiles, who can't manage to do more than sit there and gawk at Mr. Five O'Clock, who's not so five o'clock anymore. 

"My friend Stiles here thinks David Letterman's hot," she informs the man standing beside their table, lips pinched comically in disgust to emphasize her disapproval. Stiles' cheeks burn, and he aims a kick at her under the table. 

She doesn't so much as bat an eye, stupidly cheery dimples intact. 

The unfairly gorgeous guy throws his head back and laughs, the sound making Stiles' stomach clench and his flush creep down his neck. "You know, that's funny," he tells Allison, "because I think your friend Stiles is hot."

Stiles' jaw might drop a little. 

"You did not just say that," he says, dumbfounded by the sheer ridiculousness of this situation. Things like this don't happen to Stiles. He doesn't get hit on by sex-on-legs guys at bars. He doesn't get hit on period. He hangs out at his apartment, watches reruns of Hell's Kitchen, and tries to convince himself that he's not angry at Matt for yet again being too busy grading papers to hang out with him. 

The suited man flashes him a grin. "I did. I'll say it again if you'd like."

Stiles raises a palm, throwing Allison a pleading expression. She chooses to ignore it like the horrible friend she is. "That's entirely unnecessary," Stiles assures him awkwardly. 

"Let me buy you a drink," he counters not-awkwardly. Very smoothly, actually.

"Also unnecessary. I have water."

He holds up the glass with one hand and gestures at it grandly with the other.

The man's lips press together like he's restraining another laugh, the skin at the corners of his eyes crinkling. 

"I'm going to buy you a drink, Stiles," he decides.

Wait, what?

"Dude, don't." Stiles grabs the guy's forearm to keep him from waltzing over to the bar, either oblivious or uncaring of Stiles' refusal. Despite the suit jacket's thickness, Stiles can feel the warmth radiating off his skin, and he barely stops himself from tracing fingers along the outline of his muscles. He jerks his hand away. "I'm not even remotely twenty-one yet, so it'd be a waste."

Judging from his tailored, name brand attire, Stiles isn't so sure the expense would leave a dent in the dark-haired man's wallet.

His comment receives a soft chuckle and a look of amusement. "So? What are you, a cop?"

"No, but following the law is kind of a habit when your dad is."

Their companion perks up at that, turning to Allison for confirmation. She nods, chin resting on her palm as she continues to watch their exchange. Stiles hates her. So much hate.

"Huh," the hazel-eyed man breathes. "Well, I think even your dad would agree it's a crime for you to look like that and not have people falling all over themselves to put a drink in your hand." 

Stiles isn't quick enough to hold down the feeling bubbling up in his chest and bursts into laughter. "Oh my god."

Undeterred by Stiles' reaction, he carries on, pulling up a chair from an empty table and plopping down into it carelessly. "Or maybe you're the guilty party. Refresh my memory, would you, Stiles? What's the fine for public indecency? Because what that color's doing for your eyes is absolutely indecent."

"Oh my god," Stiles squeaks out again. "You're unbelievable."

He bobs his head agreeably. "I've been told that before, though usually people are more out of breath and less clothed when they say it."

Stiles' forehead just about smacks into the table. "Look, you - "

"Have the right to remain silent, I know, but I feel like it's my civic duty to tell you this, Stiles." 

 - can't be serious.

He eases forward from his slouch so that he's close enough for Stiles to count his eyelashes. 

Not that he's going to count his eyelashes. His cool is more impenetrable than that. 

Also, he might have given up at thirty two.

"The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of good-looking people in this bar, your beautiful friend included, but I can't seem to take my eyes off you."

He pauses, pairing the cliche line with a smoldering sweep of said eyes, and then continues on with ease, like he hasn't thoroughly wrecked Stiles through five seconds of eye contact alone.

"This," the man points at himself, "is not something you'll regret. But I can't promise that you won't regret not going home with the hot guy who hit on you at the bar and is incredible in bed."

"That's a triple negative," because that's the only fault he can find in this guy's argument at the moment. And okay, how he licked his lips a little while he delivered it was fairly disarming; Stiles doubts he'd be able to find his car keys at this point.

"You're a triple negative."

God help him. That's not even a pick up line, and Stiles still shivers in response. "Listen, um."

"Derek," Hot Guy That Hit on Him at the Bar and Is Apparently Incredible in Bed  supplies helpfully.

"Right, uh, Derek. As tempting as your offer is - "

Allison chirps in enthusiastically. "He is so tempted. I know him. That's his Justin Timberlake face."

"Is that a good thing?" Derek asks, all white teeth and bright eyes. 

She titters mischievously. "It's a very good thing."

Stiles glares at her until she ducks her head down and stares politely at the table top. He glances back at Derek and stands. "We really should get going."

"That's very forward of you," Derek says, not missing a beat. "Your place or mine?"

"Mine," he answers without thinking, tugging Allison up from her seat as well. "I mean, me at mine. Me at mine alone. No drinks or hot guys who hit on me at bars, sorry."

He flails as he retreats for the exit, almost knocking an annoyed woman's drink out of her hand, and doesn't look back because he shouldn't look back because looking back is bad and he really shouldn't because - 

Derek's still watching him with hooded green eyes.

 


 

 

Stiles is not sure what he'd been expecting. Matt's not the romantic type. Flowers are cliche and superfluous. Presents are too material. Homemade dinner is time-consuming. 

Okay, so Stiles knows exactly what he'd been expecting for their anniversary. Their dates always went the same way - take out, movie, vanilla sex. And Stiles was fine with that. Money wasn't exactly pouring from their ears, and countless free time wasn't a thing either of them possessed either. 

But Matt had promised the night would be special, so Stiles had hoped Matt would overlook his frugal inhibitions just this once. Not throw caution to the wind, per se. Stiles wasn't looking for a miracle, just maybe something to prove he was in it for the long run. 

Like asking Stiles to move in with him.

He'd told Allison as much, and she'd very kindly gagged over the phone. Scott was at least a little more supportive, offering up a half-hearted that's great, man.

The reality, however, was this: Matt ending up taking Stiles to a bar after three hours of him grading papers and Stiles flipping impatiently through channels on his boyfriend's crappy television. Not just a bar. The bar. The one where the hot bar guy he forgot the name of hit on him.

To say he's rattled as they take their seats is a bit of an understatement.

Matt orders himself a drink, doesn't ask if Stiles wants anything besides water, which is fine because he doesn't, but it's still rude to not at least ask.

He can't help but find himself thinking back to a pair of scorching green eyes and a wicked smile. 

I'm going to buy you a drink, Stiles.

"Okay."

Matt looks up from his phone. "What?"

Stiles blinks. Had he said that out loud? "What?"

Matt squints at him until the waitress brings their drinks.

"You look nice," Matt tells him after a moment of uncomfortable silence. Silence mostly filled with Matt's mouth-breathing and Stiles' internal panic. "Is that a new shirt?"

Stiles peeks down at his shirt. It was a birthday present from his old roommate, Lydia. Matt got him ink cartridges for his printer. "Yeah, I guess."

His eyebrows raise in semi-interest. "You guess?"

"It's not exactly new, but it's my first time wearing it, I think," Stiles states dully, and he can't believe that it's their anniversary and they're talking about Stiles' shirt.

"Then it's not new," Matt corrects him, smiling courteously like he's doing Stiles the greatest favor in the world by clarifying the word's meaning. 

"I guess."

Well, this is going splendidly.

"So," Stiles begins, staring down at his water glass. "Was there something you wanted to talk about?"

"Yes, actually." Matt enlivens considerably. "I have a proposition for you."

"Oh?" Stiles tries for blasé and fails miserably. 

"I got a really good job offer, and I think I'm going to take it."

"Matt, that's great!" he exclaims, giving his boyfriend a congratulatory hand pat. 

"Yeah, and I've been thinking about the future quite a bit." Stiles nods, sucking in a waiting breath. "As you know, I'll have to quit being a TA, which will leave the spot open for next year. The professor is looking for a suitable replacement." Stiles nods again encouragingly because yeah yeah yeah, get to the good stuff already. "And I'm thinking of recommending you."

And then he stops, still grinning like he's just told Stiles he won the lottery.

Stiles nods for the third time, urging him onwards. Matt's smile falls slightly.

"That's it. That's the surprise."

He balks. "Wait, that's the surprise? It's our anniversary and you took me out to a bar even though I can't drink to tell me I maybe have a chance at becoming a teaching assistant for the Differential Calculus class you know I hate?"

The older man frowns. "Stiles, it's a great opportunity."

Stiles laughs incredulously. "Matt, I thought you were going to ask me to move in with you."

This time, Matt's the one hesitating. "What on earth gave you that idea?"

"I don't know," Stiles drones, "maybe the fact that we've been dating for a year now and you said tonight would be special."

Shaking his head, Matt shifts back in his chair and shrinks away from Stiles, as if the physical distance will somehow detach him from the situation.

"Stiles," he croaks uncomfortably. "I didn't think we were, you know, there yet."

"We're not," Stiles agrees, suddenly feeling silly, because it's true. They're not. Stiles honestly can't imagine living with this guy and keeping his full head of hair intact. 

"And I think I'm going to need some time by myself to reevaluate our relationship," Matt adds reasonably.

Only, Stiles isn't feeling very reasonable.

"You need some time," Stiles repeats, dazed. The panicked look in Matt's eyes returns. "You need some time," Stiles muses a little louder. Loud enough that the occupants of the tables nearest them start staring. Loud enough that the bartender throws the security officer manning the door a you know the drill expression. 

"Now, Stiles," Matt whispers, "you're causing a scene."

"Damn right I'm causing a scene," Stiles counters viciously, jumping from his seat and taking some satisfaction out of Matt's horrified gaping mouth. If the bar's patrons weren't eyeing them judgmentally before, they are now. "Gee, thanks for the wonderful opportunity, Matt. But I'll definitely need to take some time to think it over." 

As a second thought, he grabs Matt's drink and tips half of it back in one gulp. He winces at the burn the alcohol leaves in his throat. 

"Is this gin?"

Matt nods, quiet.

He knocks the rest of it back, wiping his mouth and slamming the empty glass down on the table. "It's horrible."

The woman at the table next to them hands over her untouched drink, smiling sympathetically. 

Stiles takes it appreciatively, wrinkling his nose when he's finished. "God, that's worse."

Once he's stalked a couple yards closer to the door and the bartender is sighing in relief, a flash of gray catches the corner of his eye. It's not the clothes he recognizes. Those are different, though the clean cut lines of the sleek charcoal dress pants and tight-fitted black button down are familiar. 

It's the way the clothing's owner holds himself that really sparks his memory. Broad shoulders straight but tilted, charmingly lax and emitting an overwhelming air of confidence that permeates the room. The blonde girl he'd been talking to is pouting, probably because his attention is now elsewhere. 

Elsewhere being Stiles, of course.

Hot Bar Guy raises his eyebrows, and Stiles' head has started to feel pleasantly fuzzy, so he can't even find it in himself to be embarrassed that this guy witnessed Stiles' shitty relationship go up in flames.

Stiles marches outside the bar with an irritated sigh, and it's only typical that it'd be pouring. He stands on the sidewalk for a moment, blinking away raindrops, uncaring that his clothes are soaked. Lydia would not be pleased to find his 'new' shirt in this condition.

Allison was right. Hell, even Hot Bar Guy was right. Wasting a year on Matt? Something he's already regretting. Not going home with the hot guy that hit on him at the bar and is self-proclaimed to be incredible in bed? Even more so.

When did Stiles become so boring? He use to do fun things. He and Scott stirred up all kinds a trouble when they were in high school. Even his first year of college had been sort of eventful. He went to parties, and sure, he didn't get wasted himself, but watching others make poor life decisions while under the influence should really be a national pastime. 

It wasn't all Matt's fault. After two one-night-stands-gone-wrong, Stiles quickly lost interest in that particular routine. He'd wanted something more. Matt was mature and prudent and older, a break from the monotony of sorority girls and frat boys. 

But Hot Bar Guy wasn't exactly your typical spring breaker. He was a bit older like Matt - only, nothing like Matt - and he seemed quick-witted. He was sharp enough to come up with ridiculously cheesy cop-related pick up lines on the spot. That takes talent.

Or he'd memorized a few handful of come-ons relating to popular subjects because he's that much of a womanizer and would probably break Stiles' heart and give him syphilis. 

Or Stiles is just trying to find an excuse not to do something different and exciting. 

God, he's so going to end up taking that TA position and buying people ink cartridges for their birthday and wearing stupid sweater vests out in public.

Stiles bursts back through the bar doors, thankful to note that Hot Bar Guy hasn't moved. 

"You!" Stiles calls out, and Hot Bar Guy turns around, rising from his seat in confusion. Blondie doesn't look very happy to see him again.

Frankly, Stiles doesn't give a shit how Blondie feels. 

"It's not like he'll ever call you back, anyway," Stiles snips at her before walking up to the man and yanking him forward by his shirt.

It's almost impressive how quickly Hot Bar Guy gets with the program, moving his lips against Stiles' a second after they meet and curling both arms around his waist, tugging him closer.

He's being lifted slightly so that the angle's better, and then it is impressive because Stiles isn't hefty, but he's not exactly Lydia-sized either. 

Hot Bar Guy's hands are warm on his back, even with Stiles' pesky wet shirt in the way, and his mouth is searing. Stiles has to thread his hands through the man's hair to keep himself from shaking.

It's the best kiss he's ever had, and he's kissed a drunk, half-naked Lydia, and an even drunker and more naked Danny.

Stiles pulls back and is struck by green or are they blue maybe brown eyes framed by thick, dark lashes. 

"Do you remember me?" he asks, words barely more than a puff of air.

Hot Bar Guy nods.

"Still find me attractive?"

Hot Bar Guy nods again.

"Still want to take me home?"

Another nod.

"Good," Stiles breathes. "Let's do that."

In the end, Stiles decides one case of syphilis is a hundred times less shitty than calculus.  

 


 

 

"So is this how this usually works?" Stiles wonders aloud, blinking down at his drink's contents. There's a layer of sugar beneath the ice, like it was handmade, and of course Hot Bar Guy knows how to make fancy drinks.

"What do you mean?"

Embracing his new what-the-hell lifestyle with a shrug, Stiles practically inhales the drink and then reaches for Hot Bar Guy's. 

"Not my fav," he finishes when his eyes burn and he chokes a little bit. "Nice song choice, by the way. What's it called? I see you have a turntable. Very High Fidelity of you. Is that what you do? You make a drink, plop in a record, and then the magic happens?"

Hot Bar Guy stares at him for a moment. "Which one of those do you want me to answer first?"

"Is this how it normally works?" Stiles picks, watching far too closely as the man slides off his raincoat and sets it neatly on the arm of his couch that looks like it cost more than Stiles' apartment. Everything in Hot Bar Guy's loft does, actually. He even has an outdoor infinity pool. Stiles knows this because his walls are pretty much sleek glass and modern metal. 

Stiles has never really considered a room sexy before, but this is one sexy room.

"The perfect song, the drink," Stiles recaps. The corners of Hot Bar Guy's lip twitch. "And then we sleep together."

Hot Bar Guy sits down, eyes bulging at Stiles' comment. He shifts, arms crossing, and Stiles would almost call the movement awkward, except this guy's awkward isn't even remotely awkward. 

"Um," he hums. "Yeah."

Stiles puckers his lips and claps his hands together, glancing around the room, giving his best impression of being chill with this entire thing. He's down. He's so down.

He looks back at the man leaning on the couch, picture of calm and collected and suave. 

Stiles probably looks like a drowned cat. 

The disparity makes his stomach twist.

"I'm very nervous," he admits, biting the corner of his cheek.

Hot Bar Guy's mouth quivers again, an inch away from a smile. "I'm getting that."

"Okay, because I know I seemed confident earlier at the bar, but that's mostly because I was cold and wet and trying to be dramatic." Stiles makes a face. He's rambling again. "Plus, I'm sure you saw that whole disaster with Matt, my ex." He pauses. "At least, I think he's my ex. Do you actually have to say you're breaking up to break up? I mean, I guess it's pretty clear considering I stole his drink, stormed out, and then went home with Hot Bar Guy."

"Derek," he reminds Stiles. "Only my family calls me Hot Bar Guy."

Stiles snorts unattractively. "Don't even joke about that. Some of us truly suffer from Were My Parents High When They Picked My Name Syndrome. You should hear mine. My real one. It's polish. Even I can't pronounce it properly. So I just go by - "

"Stiles," Derek finishes for him. "I remember."

Wow, it's hot in here. "You do? I mean, of course you do because you just said it. But… that was like weeks ago. Do you remember all your one night stands' names? Because I can't decide if that's amazing or insane. Oh my god, do you keep a black book like Sam Malone?" He gives Derek a once-over. "It'd probably have to be a heavy-duty three-ringed binder. You know, the really expensive kind you get from Staples."

And okay, that's definitely a smile on Derek's lips. "You're adorable."

Stiles' mouth opens in offense. "No, dude, I'm totally sexy. R-rated sexy. Judy Blume's Forever sexy. Fifty Shades of Stiles." Derek's got a fist pressed to his lips, his green eyes dancing with amusement. "Don't laugh. You willingly signed up for this, buddy. We're going to bang, and you're going to like it."

"Are people still saying bang?"

"Oh, I do," Stiles replies, nodding. "We are going to bang. It's so happening." He jerks his chin up. "Off. Take off your shirt."

Derek's ridiculous eyebrows knit together. "Why?"

"Please," Stiles says, the noise too close to a whine for his liking. "I think too much when I'm nervous, and I talk too much when I think too much, so would you just - " he gestures at Derek " - take it off?"  

"Okay, okay," Derek grunts like he's being put upon, but there's a glint in his stare that says otherwise.

The motion is languid, and he perfectly executes the cross-armed t-shirt removing maneuver that would probably result in an injury if attempted by Stiles.

What lies underneath the shirt makes the entire thing worse.

Stiles takes one look at chiseled muscles and sun-kissed skin, and dies a little on the inside. 

"Fuck," he cries. "Seriously? It's like you're photoshopped. Can I - ?"

He stumbles forward and slides fingertips against the contrast of soft flesh and hard ridges, very conscious of the way his abdominals tremble beneath the feather light touch. 

"You're not real," Stiles murmurs under his breath, still tracing his pointer finger along the planes of Derek's stomach, poking occasionally. "There's no way you're real."

He can't hear so much as feel the rumble of a chuckle in Derek's chest. 

"Now you."

He tries not to flinch, but he can't imagine the face he makes when he rears back is appealing. 

"No way," Stiles argues, floundering his arms in attempt to either miraculously ward off Derek's unjust sex appeal or just plain knock himself unconscious. Both are completely welcome options. "Not with all that going on. No thank you. Is there a room we could go to with dimmer lighting?"

Derek laughs again like he thinks Stiles' insanity is endearing, which is… questionable, really.

"So, what's your next move, like, logistically?"

Derek shakes his head. "I don't have a move."

"Don't lie to me, Derek. I know you have another move. We don't just sink to our knees as the screen fades to black."

Derek gives him a look. "Stiles, no one does that."

"Right. Because they have moves. Show me yours."

"I don't have a move."

"You totally have a move!" Stiles blurts, watching Derek's face pinch as he denies the claim. "Come on, you horrible liar. What's your big move?"

The shirtless man brings a palm to his forehead and sighs, mumbling something unintelligible.

"What was that?" Stiles asks at an obnoxious volume. "A little louder. I can't hear you."

"I said," Derek grits, averting his gaze to the ceiling. "I work Dirty Dancing into the conversation."

"Dirty Dancing," Stiles repeats dumbly. 

Derek lets out a dramatic exhale. "Can I sit down please?"

"Yeah."

"Can I put my shirt back on?"

"No."

Derek sits down with a cute little huff that makes Stiles want to punch himself in the face. Cute and sexy and funny and smart aren't supposed to go together. It's an inconceivable combination. People aren't supposed to look and act like this. 

Well, people aren't. Derek, on the other hand. 

Stiles gets the feeling this is going to pretty much ruin him for all other hook-ups. 

But what a way to go.

"Why Dirty Dancing? Do we watch it?"

"You know the big move at the end of the movie where Patrick Swayze picks up Jennifer Grey?"

"Yeah."

"I can do that," Derek explains with an eye roll. 

"Okay?"

"So I tell girls that, put on the song 'Time of My Life.' I do the big move, and they always want to have sex with me."

Stiles' nose crinkles, and he shifts his jaw back in forth at a loss for words. "Oh my god," he settles on. He narrows his eyes at Derek, who's rubbing his neck and still peering guiltily at the ceiling. "Oh my god. That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

"I agree," Derek says, looking back at Stiles and shrugging. "But it works every time."

The scoff that creeps over his face might be spurred on a little by the reminder that Derek has quite a few notches on his headboard, that Stiles is about to add to them. But he swears it's mostly because Dirty Dancing? Please. 

That would not work on him.

"That would not work on me."

Derek leers.

 


 

"I cannot believe I'm doing this," Stiles groans, moving his weight from one bare foot to the other, trying to get a feel for the floor. Should Derek be stretching right now? Should he be stretching? "Dude, I'm a dude," he proclaims manfully. "This isn't gonna work."

In the background, Bill Medley serenades his mental breakdown, and the beat starts to pick up. From across the floor, Derek waves him forward.

"Stop being such a baby. I've lifted heavier."

"Thank god I'm drunk," he says, hopping up and down, jittery like he's spiked his espresso with Adderall again. "Oh man, am I drunk."

And then he's running and jumping, momentarily imagining doing something like this with Matt. They'd probably both end up in the hospital - not that he's exactly out of the woods here just yet either.

In retrospect, he probably shouldn't have closed his eyes.

Large hands grip either side of his waist and raise him into the air. Like Derek's strip tease earlier, the motion is quick and practiced. Effortless. 

He doesn't squeak - biting his bottom lip to make sure of it - and barely keeps his legs above his head like Baby does in the movie, although he most likely looks nothing like her, only releasing his breath when Derek shifts his hold to Stiles' back and slides him down until the tips of his toes are touching the ground.

It's all prolonged friction, and his shirt gets caught between their bodies, leaving them chest to chest, skin on skin. It's only then Stiles realizes how cold he'd been from his wet clothes. How feverish Derek is in comparison.

When Stiles is grounded and finally has the courage to open his eyes, his breath catches in his throat. Derek's watching him with that same hooded gaze he'd received after leaving the first night. The same one when he'd asked Derek to take him home. 

It feels different somehow. Heavier, more significant.

Stiles' tongue comes out of its own accord to trace along his lips. 

"So do you prefer to do it here or in the bedroom?" His voice sounds huskier than he'd intended, lilted with the unsteady pounding of his heart.

He does take pride in the fact that Derek's reply is just as wrecked. "The bedroom."

 


 

 

"This pillow," Stiles moans when Derek's lips leave his, trailing down his chin and along his jaw, "forms perfectly to the shape of my head."

Derek grunts what Stiles thinks is supposed to be a response into the skin behind his ear.

"Is it the real thing?"

The man above him moves his head back so that they're eye to eye. "What?"

Stiles unconsciously reaches his finger out to smooth out the line between Derek's eyebrows. "Is it TempurPedic or did you buy one of the cheaper knock-offs at Bed, Bath, and Beyond?"

"The first one," Derek says as Stiles drifts the finger lower, grazing his bottom lip. 

Stiles nods at the acceptable answer and uses the hand wrapped around Derek's neck to pull him down, fitting their lips together again and inhaling sharply at the knee that slips between his legs.

"So you hit up Mattress King or something?" he muses against Derek's lips, imagining someone like Derek shopping at a store thats name isn't in another language. 

"Or something," Derek grumbles, nipping at Stiles' bottom one and inching a hand underneath his drying shirt.

The action sends a pleasant jolt down his spine, and he arches up into Derek's touch, not at all apologetic when their hips accidentally brush. 

"Where then?" Stiles prompts, gasping. 

Derek leans his forehead against Stiles' and sighs reluctantly. "Where do you think?"

Which just opens a whole new can of worms.

"You ordered this thing off TV, didn't you? Not just the pillow, but this entire bed." Stiles snickers, though it's edge is dampened by his breathlessness. "Why not just go to the store like a regular person?"

"Didn't wanna," is all Derek gives him.

"I've always wondered who actually watches those infomercials. I mean, someone has to, right?" He grins. "Hot Bar Guy does."

"Hot Bar Guy has a name, remember?" Derek grumbles, and Stiles can feel the vibrations in his fingertips. 

"Sorry. Continue." Derek glides his hand further up Stiles' stomach, brushing his sternum with his knuckles. Stiles does his best not to pant. "You don't have one of those dumb three-minute workout videos or oh god, a Shake Weight, do you?"

The hand freezes. 

"You do."

"No, I don't."

"You do!" Stiles accuses, and Derek's scowl melts.

"Yeah, I do." Stiles turns his head and tucks it into his elbow, body shaking with poorly concealed laughter. "I don't, I don't. I do. Who would have that besides horny, middle-aged moms? I would." Derek purses his lips and shifts over to his side, elbows still bracketing Stiles' head. "Ask me what color it is."

"What color is it?"

"Lime green."

"Ugh. Why?"

The man sets his chin on his hand. "Limited-time offer. Couldn't resist."

"Does it work?"

Derek makes a face. "Sort of? I mean, your right arm's stronger than your left, isn't it?"

"I'm ambidextrous," Stiles relays with a smirk.

Derek mirrors the expression. "Interesting."

He starts to lean in again, which Stiles is all for, but once he has an idea in his head, it's hard to ignore. 

"Can I try it?" Stiles asks.

And that's how he ends up in Derek's exercise room that has so much obscure equipment in it, Stiles wonders if his entrance should have required a gym membership.

"I hate it," Stiles says. "What else do you have?"

Derek has a lot of things.

("There is no way you can fit your entire wardrobe into that Space Bag."

"But it says jumbo-size," Derek protests.

"So. I still bet you can't," Stiles taunts. "Loser braves the Bunn 3760.0000 for slushies. How much did that thing cost, by the way?"

"Five hundred," Derek calls out from inside his massive closet. 

"You know they're seventy-nine cents at 7-11, right?"

Derek sticks his head out from behind the door just to throw Stiles an unappreciative glare.

"Jeez, just saying," Stiles mutters under his breath, stretching back on Derek's bed and flipping to the next page of SkyMall. )

It's sort of alarming, the amount of useless shit he has, actually.

("It almost worked. If you didn't have so many damn pairs of pants, it would have been fine," Stiles tells a sullen Derek who's been struggling with the Bunn Random Numbers for ten minutes now. He rubs his eyes with the back of his hand and yawns. "Coffee's fine."

Derek jumps away from the slushie machine like it's attacked him, not even bothering to hide his relief. "Are you sure? It's three in the morning."

Stiles scoffs. "Derek, I'm a college student. Three a.m. coffee is child's play.")

Very alarming.

("Surely you don't need all of these," Stiles says, holding up another pair of pants as Derek pulls a henley out of the half-empty Space Bag. "You have five others that look exactly the same."

"They're not the same." Derek yanks them from his loose grip. "These are my calf pants."

"Like the cow?"

Derek squints at him. "No. Why would I have cow pants?"

Stiles raises his arms up defensively. "Dude, you have a Rollie Eggmaster. It's not exactly a long-shot."

"They're calf pants," the older man broods, folding them over a hanger neatly. "They make my calves look good."

"Okay.")

But Stiles favorite thing ends up being the mattress.

"You weren't kidding," Stiles says, out of breath. He rolls over onto his back with a drawn-out groan, the muscles of his legs quivering.

Derek wipes away the sweat beading at his temples. "Nope."

"The glass didn't even move," he continues in amazement. "I mean, we jumped around on the bed for half an hour and nothing. No spills. Nothing."

"Except maybe a concussion on your part," Derek corrects, sliding his hands behind his head.

"I didn't hit my head that hard," Stiles objects.

"My ceiling doesn't agree."

Stiles shoots him daggers, though Derek's too busy taking in the damage on his ceiling - which is, admittedly, quite bad - to notice. "Well, anyway, I'd declare this money well spent."

Derek's mouth quirks. "It hasn't failed me yet."

"Oh gross," Stiles complains. "Poor mattress probably has to go to therapy because of you. Stop giving it daddy issues."

Derek's laugh is softer than usual, more quiet and subdued. Out of all of them, Stiles thinks he likes this one the most.

"Hey, Stiles?"

"Hey, Derek," he parrots, scooting over and pressing a cheek to Derek's chest. He's rewarded with a faint and stable thudding noise that echoes through his ears and into his toes. "What's up?"

"Can you," Derek stops for a long time, like he's not sure whether or not to continue. Stiles tips his head back and gives Derek's chin an encouraging peck. "Can you ask me something personal?"

"If I have to," Stiles whines exaggeratedly. He raises up and pokes sternly between Derek's eyes. "But then we bang."

"If I have to."

Stiles slaps his chest. "Shut up!" he shouts. "You should be so lucky."

"I know."

Stiles' cheeks burn, and he refuses to make eye contact with Derek until the overheated sensation subsides. "Tell me about your parents."

"My mom's the strongest and probably the scariest person I've ever known," Derek begins, eyes softening. "If you wanted something done, you asked her for help. She always knew exactly when to stop pushing. Except for when she'd get a little carried away. And when I say carried away, I mean carried away.

"There was this one time when my younger sister Cora tried out for the all boy's lacrosse team. She was pretty fast, but the coach was afraid to let her play because the other players were twice her size. My mom threatened to sue the school. Thought it was a bunch of sexist bullshit that Cora couldn't play with the boys. My dad had to steal her phone and car keys while she was changing and hide them until she promised to not do anything crazy, outside of attending each and every practice and game and glaring the guy into compliance, of course."

"A family trait," Stiles says. "So, what ended up happening?" 

"She died." Derek's smile is small and melancholic. Stiles runs a rueful hand down his shoulder. "She and dad both did. Car accident. Left all their money to me and my two sisters, hence being unemployed and still able to afford buying happiness."

"How's that last part working out for you?"

"I have Coin Bears," Derek deadpans. Stiles had mimed a heart attack at the first mentioning of his fifty - yes, fifty - Coin Bears.

They lie there for a moment, nothing but the rises and falls of their chests, and suddenly, it's there. That ever so present need to talk, to get things out of his system. Stiles can't stop it. Doesn't bother stopping it. He's always been loose-lipped, always said too much at the worst possible times.

But Derek doesn't seem like that kind of person, and yet here he is, telling Stiles stuff a random hook-up probably shouldn't know. 

"Frontotemporal Dementia," Stiles announces, breaking the oddly comfortable silence. "I remember it being really weird because she was always so healthy, you know, my mom. I mean, I guess that really has nothing to do with it, but still. My dad took it really hard."

"It'd be difficult to put yourself back out there," Derek agrees, and it's said in a way that makes Stiles curious over just how well he understands and why. He considers asking, but then hazel eyes are disappearing behind heavy lids and Stiles figures it can wait for another day. 

Hopefully. 

"Says the hot guy from the bar who has a TempurPedic bed and three too many pairs of pants for the jumbo-sized Space Bag."

"Wow, I sound great," Derek remarks sleepily. "Remind me again how I'm single?"

"How indeed?" Stiles concurs, laying his head back down on Derek's chest and throwing an arm around his torso.

 


 

Stiles wakes up the next morning, something warm and solid pressing comfortably into his back, and he reflects over how clichely '90s rom-com it is to stay up all night with someone just talking.

He figures using a badass Keurig to make cinnamon roll flavored coffee renders the scene not completely quintessential.

He's two cups in when Derek finally pads barefoot and shirtless into the kitchen, cell phone pressed against his ear.

"I'd say so," he smiles, big and breathtaking, when he spots Stiles leaning against his countertop. "You too, man. Good luck."

He hangs up and pecks Stiles on the cheek. 

Stiles perks up at unexpected but completely welcome action. "Who was that?"

"A good friend of mine." There's something distant about the way Derek's mouth quirks. "He's more like a dad, actually."

Stiles wants to ask more. Wants to know more about Derek, this unhappy, witty, beautiful person who has the confidence to use horrible pick up lines but not nearly enough to think someone would be invested in knowing anything beyond the location of his bedroom.

Instead, he just returns Derek's grin, and Derek's face brightens impossibly more.

"Helping yourself to my lifetime k-cup supply, I see."

Stiles slurps his coffee obnoxiously. "If there's ever an apocalypse, I trust you will be properly caffeinated. Though I would recommend stocking up on something else like, oh, I don't know, water?"

Derek waves away the suggestion. "Too practical." He side-eyes Stiles from the coffee machine, almost shyly. "What do you have planned for today?"

"I'm not giving the Space Bag thing another go, if that's what you're wondering."

Apparently it's the right thing to say, because the timidness coloring Derek's strong features dissipates, replaced by his usual smug is-it-a-smile. "Damn. Well, plan B was to ask you out for lunch."

"Clearly you lost all artistic inspiration after plan A," Stiles quips just as his cell gives a timely buzz in his pocket. He unlocks the screen and checks his texts. "How about breakfast instead?" He bites his lip. "With my dad. And his new girlfriend, evidently."

When Derek doesn't immediately answer, he panics.

"I know it's a little early for the meet-the-parents, but I helped reorganize your closet and very kindly did not make fun of your calf pants, so I think it's fair to say you owe me one - "

"Stiles," Derek interjects luckily before he has a conniption. 

"Yes?"

"I would love to."

"Oh. Okay."

 


 

He shouldn't be so surprised to find Melissa McCall occupying the seat across from them. 

"Way to go, dad," Stiles whistles and winks flirtatiously at the nurse, who might as well already be his stepmother. 

Melissa just rolls her eyes. "Your father's saying hi to some friends. He'll be back in a few." Her gaze falls to Derek and her eyes widen considerably. "You're new. And cute."

"Melissa, this is Derek, my," he cuts himself off, internally wincing. They technically didn't sleep together sleep together, so does that mean they're just friends? Surely not.

Fate would be so cruel.

"Derek," he concludes.

"Nice save," Derek murmurs against the shell of his ear. "Cool as ice."

"Well, I didn't think 'my Hot Bar Guy' would have been appropriate," he spits back without any venom. 

"No, no. I like 'my Derek'. I think I'll keep it."

Delight casts Derek's irises a shade lighter, so Stiles doesn't bother arguing on the matter.

Especially in light of the current predicament he suddenly realizes he's in when his dad turns the corner and heads their way in uniform.

"Oh god," Stiles squeaks, squeezing Derek's bicep in case he tries to bolt. It's happened before. Even Matt, boring law-abiding samaritan that he is, had freaked a little bit. "Remember when I said my dad's a cop." He doesn't wait for confirmation. "Well, surprise, he's the - "

"Sheriff?" Derek utters in horror, dumbstruck and staring straight at John Stilinski, who's just kind of standing there a foot away from their table, glowering at - oh, Derek. Wonderful.

"Hale," his father grits out from between clenched teeth.

"I take it you two know each other," Melissa says, brow furrowed. 

The sheriff ignores her. "Stiles was the person you were telling me about earlier?"

Derek nods helplessly while John shakes his head. "No," he tells the younger man. "Absolutely not. Not my son, Derek."

"Dad?" Stiles is beyond confused. "What's going on?"

"You're a smart kid, Stiles," the sheriff says in disbelief. "How on earth did you fall for his shit? Oh god, did he try the Dirty Dancing thing on you?" 

Stiles rears back, shocked. An idea truly terrific creeps its way to the forefront of his thoughts. "Derek, please tell me you did not sleep with my father."

Both men splutter. 

"Of course not, Stiles," Derek reassures him. "You're dad and I are friends. Good friends."

He's more like a dad, actually.

Oh. Oh. Weird. "So then what's the problem?" 

"The problem, young man," his father butts in before Derek can respond, "is that I've seen Derek in action, and I don't want you involved with any of that."

"John," Derek pleads, beseeching. "Do you honestly think I'd be here if it was like that? You heard what I said on the phone. I meant it. Please, just give me a chance."

Stiles offers Derek an unimpressed look. "Shouldn't you be saying all that stuff to me?"

"Fine," his father growls unhappily, sitting down next to Melissa. "But if you fuck this up, I'll arrest the shit out of you."

"Dad, that's… artfully irresponsible," Stiles laughs uneasily.

John sniffs at his son, flipping over his menu. "Derek doesn't deserve you. He will never deserve you." But. The but is supposed to come in somewhere around here. Butttttt. "But I already like him better than that TA of yours. He was a real shithead."

And then he orders pancakes, acts relatively normal, shakes Derek's hand - maybe a bit tightly - goodbye, and schedules another breakfast same time, same place, next week. 

"So what exactly happens now?" Stiles inquires as they leave the diner. "What's your big move?"

"Well," Derek says, "usually I don't actually sleep with the person I bring home and then sit through an extremely awkward breakfast with his dad who wants to arrest me."

Stiles clicks his tongue pensively. "Okay. Just so you know, mine's trying to convince my not-really-a-one-night-stand to date me despite us only knowing each other for less than twenty four hours, and generally being awkward about everything."

"Sounds unpleasant."

"I know. But I think he might be worth it. He owns calf pants."

 


 

 

I might be dating Derek?

Allison replies almost immediately.

Five o'clock from the bar? Nice. Proud of you. xoxo How was he? (;

He has a lime green Shake Weight.

Is that supposed to be a euphemism? 

Stiles?

STILES.

 


 

  

"The incredible in bed thing might have been an overstatement," Stiles says.

"You're only saying that because we literally didn't make it to the bed."

"I don't know. Unlike infomercial fiends, I prefer to trial run my products before I buy the full package, and though I'll admit the hallway sex deserves five out of five stars, I specifically remember being promised incredible bed sex."

Derek smiles indulgently. "You're just using me for my mattress."

"It needs a stable and responsible parental figure in its life."