Other than himself, Stiles hasn't ever met anyone who eats like they've never seen food before. He considers it a one-of-a-kind talent.
Until he puts a Tupperware of leftover pizza down in front of Derek, and Derek packs away two of the three slices before Stiles can even finish saying 'sausage and pepperoni.'
It comes out more like 'sausage and pepper-okayyy,' and he takes a heavy seat across the table, beat to hell from the day.
"Thanks for leaving me half, man," he says, trying not to look too much like Oliver Twist eyeing the last piece.
Scowling, Derek slides the Tupperware toward him with no real intent, but he waves it off. "'m good. Watching my girlish figure," he pats his stomach.
Derek grunts and pulls the container back close to his chest. He lopes an arm around it and literally hunches down over it as he starts in on the last piece, like someone's going to come in and steal it from him.
This is so much cooler than surfing werewolf sites, having a real live one in his kitchen. "You really do act like a wolf sometimes," Stiles mumbles under his breath, a little fascinated.
That's all it takes for Derek to roll over Stiles with a hard look and drop the last half of the slice back into the Tupperware, wiping his mouth slowly with the heel of his hand. "What?"
"Just--" This is one of those awkward times where Stiles puts his foot in his mouth and no one’s there to bail his sorry ass out, isn’t it? He grins quick, but Derek's expression makes him swallow it back just as fast. He settles instead for looking away at the curtains he must’ve stared at ten thousand times in his life already, trying to find that one stain that looks like a bear. "Just never mind. I didn't say anything. Did I speak? Don’t recall…"
It's a few minutes before Derek gets over himself enough to start eating again, but he's slower about it now, over-conscious, and he doesn't hoard it, eyes on the table top, thinking about something. Or not thinking at all. What would he even think about? The Alpha? Eating Stiles? Fleas?
Stiles can't take the silence. He’d rather hear other stuff than the voice in his head. "Hey."
Derek doesn't respond.
"Hey, can I ask a question?"
"You know it's funny, people say that like they think it’ll make me shut up."
"Too bad it doesn't," Derek sneers.
Stiles drums his fingers on the tabletop, unfazed. "So, anyway. Back to that question…" This is probably a terrible idea, just for the record. Totally out of left field. "Do you find me attractive?"
Derek stops mid-bite, but only to say, "You’ve got to be kidding me."
"I’m just saying, if a guy thinks another guy is good-looking, shouldn’t he be able to say so freely, without people freaking out?"
Both Derek and Scott glare over at him from where Derek’s got Scott pinned to the side of the Hale house, trying to work up his anger.
"Not the right time?" Stiles’s face goes slack, hands raised in surrender. "Fine. Okay. Message received." He stumbles a few steps back, feeling like a third wheel. Again. "I’ll just be over here, kicking rocks."
"So Danny, he, uh, I think he really liked you, huh!" Stiles gets his hands on Derek's shoulders, like he's rubbing his prize fighter down after a championship match.
Derek jerks away from him and snatches his jacket off the bed, stuffing himself into it with a fury.
Okay then. "What do you, uh," Stiles bumbles into his own jacket, forcing a laugh. "What do you, uh, think about that? Do you think he's attractive? I mean, if you like the-- the too-perfect look, right? Is that your type or--"
Derek slants forward and fists a hand in his coat collar, yanks Stiles right up into him, face a thing of nightmares for life. "This is not the time. We have stuff to do. You need to get over it and shut up."
"Sure, right, good deal," Stiles wheezes, as Derek drags him tripping out of the room.
"By the way, one more thing?"
Derek reaches over and slams Stiles’s head into the steering wheel.
"Oh god--" feels like someone just stabbed a pipe through his face. "What the hell was th--"
Derek points an accusatory finger at him, "You know what that was for."
"Unresolved sexual tension?" Stiles whines, holding his brains in. Literally, probably! Shit--
"Go." Derek points out the windshield. "Go."
Stiles slips in the grass trying to get Derek out to his jeep. He hobbles a close save, but Derek gets jostled anyway, groans wet and leans even harder into him. There's something slick between them that Stiles doesn't want to think about, Derek's blood and guts probably, spilling from where he'd pulled the wires out of him. Just not right. "It's okay--" he grits, sending off futile wishes that he were way more prepared for this. "We're okay, almost there. It's right there, I swear to god. I had to park way out here so they wouldn't know, otherwise--"
"Stiles," Derek ruffs. "...I'm injured, not dying. It's okay."
"Yeah, well I've really had enough of people getting injured tonight, all right?" They come up on his jeep finally, thank god. He hefts Derek against his side just long enough to get a hand free and pop the door open. The light coming on is a small comfort. "Actually, I've had enough of it the last sixteen years. I'm done with pain, okay? Quote me on it."
Derek racks in a deep, unsteady breath, pushing a disinterested nod into the round of Stiles's shoulder. He trips on his own feet lumbering up into the seat, but Stiles is there to balance him out, to reach over his lap and get the seat belt into the holder for him when his hands won’t stop shaking.
"Baby steps," Stiles mumbles and feels Derek huff against the side of his face. It strikes him suddenly, how he could easily tell Scott to forget about Derek, to let him die even, and yet here he is, trying to save his ass. Good ol’ dependable Stiles, always breaking his back for someone, even attempted murderers. How many people has he saved tonight alone? He doesn't get paid enough for this crap. "We've got to get you a hobby that isn't almost dying. How about frisbee? You're probably really good at that, being you’re a dog and all."
Derek snorts a shallow laugh -- an actual, bonafied laugh -- and Stiles does a double-take.
…Well, there it is, ladies and gentlemen. The weirdest thing on the planet.
He chalks it up to Derek just suffering delusions from his brain being fried or something, because he’s always thought Derek was physically incapable of laughing, most of all at anything he had to say.
But he grins regardless, can’t help his wilt of relief. One less person to Robin after tonight, at the very least.
"Stiles," Derek says, just after he's ducked out to shut the door.
"What?" He lurches back in fast. "Need something? You in pain? What's up?"
Derek raises a shuddering hand against the collar of Stiles's shirt, pulling him close. He picks his head up off the headrest with a level of effort that makes Stiles regret making him do it, even though he didn't make him at all. His eyes are unfocused on some point along Stiles's neck, submitting.
So he can look tame. New weirdest thing on the planet.
"Thank you," he says eventually, through his teeth set in pain.
"That's not-- Okay?" Stiles stumbles. "You don't have to…go and say that." He moves to try and pry Derek's hand out of his collar and get him to just chill for a second, but Derek is tugging him forward the last couple inches into an awkward, one-armed hug.
Neither of them are really in a place to enjoy it, if near-death hugs can be enjoyable, but the sentiment comes across, even despite the thick of Stiles’s body going into major meltdown.
Derek's head thuds back heavy on the rest, his eyes tired. He lets go of Stiles’s shirt, but Stiles doesn’t move. "...You're not the worst, Stiles," he says, after a minute.
Stiles is too stunned to speak for a second. His mouth gaps open and shut like a fish, brain draining out his ears. And then the offense catches up. "Hey, wait, what? Not the worst--"
"Stiles.” Derek shuts his eyes, swallowing hard. “Shut up and get in the car before we both die. Or I kill you and then die."
That would be a good idea, wouldn't it? But Stiles is still stubborn to move. "Whatever you say, your highness. But you're on my list, pal. You're lucky I was there to drag your little werewolf ass to safety. I'm not the worst..." He straightens back too fast and ends up smacking his head on the doorframe.
"Ow, damn it!"
Not smooth. Not smooth at all, Stilinski. Way to really hand it to him.