Stiles comes home to his dad on the phone, wearing a face that manages to be simultaneously worried, slightly annoyed and fond. The look that is exclusively reserved for hardcore Stilinski family members - usually that means that Stiles finds himself on the receiving end of it. The combination of that look when he obviously isn’t talking to Stiles and the way the Sheriff doesn’t seem to be able to get a word in edgewise leaves him with only one possible solution: he’s talking to his mother.
Oh yeah, the Sheriff can pretend to be annoyed by Stiles’ personality all he wants, but at least 73% of it came from his side of the family, so he isn’t allowed to complain.
He plops down on the couch next to his dad, giving him a smug grin and a little wave. The Sheriff gives him his ‘son, just don’t’ look before frowning at something Granny is saying, turning his attention away from Stiles again. “Really?” he asks. “I didn’t have any time to watch the news. How bad is it?”
Stiles’ nearly flails out of his chair. He knows his dad tends to worry too much when it comes to his mother - unnecessarily so, usually, Grandma Stilinski gets along just fine - but that is his Concerned Face TM amped up to eleven, and it does not bode well. What if there was, like, a triple homicide in her apartment complex? This is New York they’re talking about, it’s full of crime. Stiles may only have met his grandmother a few times, and that last meeting may have been five years ago, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about her wellbeing, even though he is generally more relaxed about it than his dad.
"Put her on speaker!" he demands. There’s no way he’ll content himself with hearing his dad’s second-hand and masterfully edited version of whatever’s going on.
His dad heaves a put-upon sigh, but obliges. “Stiles is here,” he grunts, and pushes the button.
"Hey, Grandma." Stiles leans forward, making sure to speak loudly and clearly directly into the phone. For all that his grandma can talk someone’s ear off and is generally fit as a fiddle for a lady her age, she’s had some trouble with her hearing of late. "Everything okay?"
"Stanisɫaw, my little darling boy," she crows, way too chirpy for anyone who’s just experienced great trauma, and Stiles feels his shoulders sag with relief - once he’s stopped shivering in disgust at the double whammy that is being called by his birth name and the ridiculous moniker, that is. Little darling boy, his ass. He’s certainly not a darling - his dad has the grey hair to prove it - and he hasn’t been little since he hit that growth spurt at fourteen. Although granted, that was after their last visit in NYC, so she wouldn’t know. “How are you?”
"I’m good," he says. "Making sure to keep in line now that I’m a legal adult."
Grandma Stilinski snickers. “I’m sure your father is glad to hear that.”
"He’ll miss me and my shenanigans when I’m out of the house come summer," Stiles replies. "He’ll be all bored and sad-faced and lonely."
"In your dreams," his dad grunts. "Every day will be like a holiday to me."
Stiles pats his shoulder and steers the conversation back to the more important things. “How are you, Grandma?”
"Oh, I’m perfectly fine. Don’t listen to your father, he is a worry wart. I’ve been living in New York all my life. Just because he has forgotten how to handle the winter doesn’t mean everyone starts freaking out around here. And really, it’s not that bad at all. It’s just a bit of snow."
He vaguely recalls having heard about a blizzard warning for the east coast on the radio this morning when driving to school. ‘A bit of snow’ probably doesn’t cut it. No wonder his dad is worried, but at least it’s nothing really serious. Grandma is right, she knows how to deal with snow. Although…
"Do you still have to shovel the stairs to your front door?" he asks. There’s quite a few of them, and they are steep. When they’re icy in winter, they turn into death traps.
His dad seems to be having the same thought. “We can fly in a few days early, I’m sure I can change the flight reservations…”
"Oh, don’t be silly," she admonishes. "I haven’t been shoveling snow myself for years. The nice young man next door has been helping me out in exchange for gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies. He won’t accept money, but he usually stays for a cup of hot chocolate and a nice chat afterwards. It’s nice to have someone else to talk to."
Stiles immediately feels bad for whatever poor, unsuspecting pre-teen she corralled into helping her. Granted, her hot chocolate and her cookies are kind of legendary, but are they worth not being able to flee her apartment after? He knows his grandma. Once she starts talking, no one manages to escape in under an hour. The kid must either have some serious strong nerves to put up with it, or he is just way too much of a weakling to say no. Which, everything considered, seems more likely. God, he’s probably the kind of kid that gets bullied mercilessly in middle school. Who knows, maybe he drowns his sorrows in the comfort food Grandma Stilinski provides. It’s what Stiles would do, at least.
"You’ll like him, Stiles," his grandma barrels on. "Maybe you can go explore the city together? I don’t think Derek has any plans for the holidays."
And oh Lord, here she goes again, forgetting that he is eighteen now. He send his dad a tentative glance, who just shrugs. “Uh, sure, grandma,” Stiles says. Hell, he hasn’t seen his grandmother in so long, and she’s getting old. If him babysitting her knight in a shining armour makes her happy, he’ll do it. He’s selfless like that.
But only for a day or so.
And only in exchange for copious amounts of cookies and hot chocolate.
Derek takes a sip of his still steaming, cinnamon-laced hot chocolate and sighs in pleasure. This is heaven.
Mrs. Stilinski is puttering around the kitchen cabinets, excitedly telling another story about her grandson, predictably involving a lot of mishaps and nearly-broken bones, and Derek listens diligently. The old lady has a habit of going on tangents, which sometimes makes it difficult to follow, but it also means she is even happier when she realises that he has indeed listened to everything and can remember even minor details.
Laura always laughs at him for spending so much time with a seventy-plus year old. At first, she’d accused him of only going for the cookies. She’d been taken aback when he’d told her that he actually liked listening to her stories. Mrs. Stilinski has had an interesting life and a way of telling stories that makes it even more fascinating. And honestly, it just feels good keeping someone who is alone that often company.
Laura keeps teasing him now that he enjoys spending time with an elderly lady so much because he himself will one day be a lonely old man surrounded by cats, so he can sympathise. Derek doesn’t care. Whenever she trash talks him, it means he gets to keep all the cookies.
"Oh, Derek," Mrs. Stilinski says, "did I tell you that my son and grandson are coming to visit me on Christmas?" She’s trying to sound casual, but there’s a note of barely concealed excitement in her voice, which is totally understandable. As far as Derek knows, she hasn’t seen them in a few years - definitely not since Derek moved in next door two years ago.
"That’s great!" he tells her sincerely. "You must be looking forward to that a lot."
"I am," she agrees, setting a plate with more double chocolate chip cookies down in front of him like some kind of reward for stating the obvious. "I can’t wait to see how much Stiles has grown up."
Derek’s gaze automatically sweeps over the various photographs of her grandson scattered all over her apartment, fixating on the one he thinks must be the most recent. It shows a goofy looking kid with an upturned nose and a wide grin, waving at the camera. He’s small and scrawny and pale. Even for a ten year old kid, he’s tiny. Derek really hopes for the kid’s sake that he hit a bit of a growth spurt, because if he’s still that small when he’s, what, twelve? thirteen? then he’s probably going through hell right now. Kids in middle school are cruel.
"When are they coming?" he asks, taking another sip of his liquid paradise. "And how long are they staying?"
"Next Friday. They’ll stay until after New Years."
"You’ll have a lot of time to catch up, then. It’s nice, being able to spend so much time with your family after you haven’t seen them for so long."
Mrs. Stilinski nods. “I do hope that I’ll get to see more of Stiles soon. He’s thinking about going to college on the east coast. Wants to study criminal justice, become a policeman like his dad.”
That’s….okay. Derek wouldn’t call in five years or so ‘soon’, but who is he to try and dampen down her excitement? Not to mention that kids change their minds about what they want to be when they grow up a thousand times. Stiles might yet decide to not follow in his father’s footsteps after all.
"So, I was wondering…." Mrs. Stilinski says, "if you don’t mind, would you show Stiles around the city? I’d like to spend some quality time with my son, and obviously I cannot keep up with Stiles’ energy all the time. I may be spry for a girl my age, but even I have my limits."
That’s right, she’s mentioned that her grandson is a ball of untamed energy most of the time, mostly caused by his ADHD. Derek can imagine that that might get in a way of a serious conversation she wants to have with her son. He assumes it’s going to be a pep-talk about getting remarried. John, as far as he knows, is the sheriff of the small Californian town they live in and in his mid-forties - a late dad apparently - and hasn’t dated since his wife died several years ago. She’s often lamented about how he should put himself out there again, and yeah, that’s probably not a conversation she’ll want to have with Stiles around.
"Sure," he agrees. "I’d love to."
Why the hell not? If it means doing her a favour, Derek’ll do it. Also, regardless of what Laura might claim, he’s actually really good with kids. One of the perks of growing up in a large and loud family is learning how to deal with it. He might prefer the peace and quiet of his books, but he won’t mind spending an afternoon with his favourite neighbour’s grandkid.
Mrs. Stilinski gives him a grateful pat him on the back and makes him another hot chocolate, humming blithely as she sets to work.
Derek feels pretty damn accomplished.
They’ve only been at Granny’s house for a day and Stiles is just doing the dishes they used for their massive breakfast buffet - Grandma Stilinski definitely plans on fattening him up - when he notices her smiling mischievously at him. Uh oh, he thinks.
"What?" he asks, alarmed. He knows that look. It means something terrible is about to happen. He always makes a wide berth around his dad when he’s wearing that kind of smug and excited face, because it usually ends in humiliation for him. But right now he can’t even escape. She’s got him trapped, up to his elbows in the sink. Speaking of - shit, his plaid shirt is getting soaked. Fuck everything.
"I have a surprise for you," she says.
This can only end in a disaster. “A surprise?”
"A belated birthday gift, you could say."
His birthday was three month ago. What the hell?
The doorbell rings.
"Perfect timing," Grandma crows. "Will you get the door, honey?"
"Oh, don’t worry," she waves him off. "I’ll finish up here."
"…Okay," Stiles says, trying to ignore the feeling of dread rising in his chest. He slowly towels his hand dry and makes his way towards the front door. He’s kind of curious, but on the other hand, he absolutely doesn’t want to know what horrors await him. Did she send him a singing telegram?
Ripping off a band-aid is less painful, he thinks, steels himself and swiftly pulls the door open.
He blinks, and feels his control over his jaw slip.
Before him stands the most gorgeous man he has ever seen. Tall, well-built, immaculately grown stubble, killer cheekbones, mesmerising eyes. He’s also wearing a black coat and boots and glasses, which makes for a good combination of the biker and hot nerd look, and holy God his grandmother has gotten him a stripper.
Stiles wants to climb him like a tree.
This cannot be happening.
He can’t deal with this.
Derek has to wait longer than usual for Mrs. Stilinski to answer the door, but that’s okay. He just hopes the kid doesn’t make a fuss. Mrs. Stilinski had assured him that Stiles would be ecstatic about spending the day with him, but who can predict anything when it comes to kid going through puberty? Either way, Derek’s got this in the bag. He’ll take the kid ice skating, or maybe to FAO Schwarz, no problem there at all.
The door finally flies open, and Derek turns around to say hi, only to feel his smile freeze on his face. The kid standing in the doorway is… decidedly not a kid. Young, yes, but so not the pre-teen Derek was expecting. It’s definitely Stiles: same upturned nose, pale skin, moles splattered over his face, same big, brown eyes. Well, unless Stiles has an older brother that looks exactly the same and has never been mentioned, which he doubts.
Derek feels vaguely betrayed. He’s had no idea Stiles had grown out of his good spaz face to turn into…this. This young man who looks like the perfect twink with a mouth made for sin and messy hair that just begs people to bury their fingers in it. How had no one told him that the kid that he’d heard kind of endearing and adorable stories about is now someone who’d look absolutely mind-blowingly hot spread out in his bed?
Heat rushes into his cheeks, because Jesus Christ, that is his neighbour’s grandson he’s having bad bad bad thoughts about.
They stare at each other for a moment, and then Stiles blurts. “Please tell me you’re not a stripper.”
Derek pauses. “What?”
Stiles eyes widen in horror, and he slaps a hand over his mouth. He groans. “Look, I don’t want to offend you or look down on your profession, believe me, if I was anywhere else I’d so be into this, like seriously, so much, this would be a perfect gift for my birthday, but my grandma’s back in there and I can not survive getting a lap dance in front of her and popping a boner, I just can’t.”
"…You think your grandmother would buy you a stripper?" he asks flatly. That’s just stupid.
Then again… Mrs. Stilinski is full of surprises.
"Wait." Stiles narrows his eyes at him. "Are you saying you’re not -"
"No," Derek intones. "Absolutely not." He doesn’t say that he wouldn’t mind giving Stiles a lap dance. He has too much respect for Mrs. Stilinski to flirt with her grandson.
"Oh." Stiles looks relieved and disappointed at the same time. "So, you’re…"
"Derek," he supplies. "I live next door. I, uh, I was supposed to show you around the city, I think? Didn’t she tell you?" He pauses. "You are Stiles, right?”
"Oh God," Stiles says. "That’s - I’m so sorry, oh my God. I didn’t mean to - I’m sorry, yeah, I’m Stiles, and yeah, she talked about you, I was just…you’re not what I expected."
Derek raises his eyebrows. “What did you expect?”
Stiles hesitates. “A small, acne-riddled middle school student whom she bullied into spending time with her?”
"That’s…" Derek doesn’t know what to say.
"That is so offensive, oh my God, I’m sorry," Stiles rushes to say. "I’m sorry, I’m just gonna dig a hole in the ground and bury myself in it."
"That might be difficult. The ground’s frozen," Derek points out. "If it’s any consolation, you’re not what I expected either."
"What were you expecting, then?"
"Well, working based off of the photos in the flat and the countless stories I heard about you puking, falling off things or breaking things-" Stiles lets out a distressed whine - "kind of the same thing you were expecting. But that’s…obviously not the case." Derek can’t help but look Stiles up and down again, because damn.
Stiles’ eyes widen, and his mouth falls open in a perfect oh shape when he sees Derek checking him out. He’s very unsubtle in the way he lets his eyes glide over Derek’s body in return, and the way he bites his lips and leans against the doorframe. “So,” he says, voice dropping to a dark, throaty rasp, and God, Derek is going to die. “Would you still like to show me around?”
Derek clears his throat. “Absolutely.” He nods. “Where would you like to start?”
Stiles grins and reaches behind him to grab his jacket. “What do you say we start with your bedroom?”