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The Haunted Farm of Doom

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Stiles nearly assaults the UPS guy when he opens the front door.  His wide eyed stare drops to the package in the man’s hands, then rises to greet the mildly terrified expression waiting for him.

“Stilinski?”

“Gimme.”  Stiles snatches the package away and hugs it close to his chest.

“Uh… I need you to sign for that?”

Stiles scribbles something illegible across the guy’s tablet and then shuts the door in his face.  The box is covered in graffiti graphics, bright colors atop dull brown cardboard and Kira’s slanted handwriting in stark black in the corner.  Some crazy long address from where she’s studying abroad for the semester.

Stiles is so happy he could literally fly his way to Japan and jump Kira right now.  Too bad he doesn’t have a few grand to buy a ticket, but he does have video chat, and screw the time difference.

He rethinks his decision as a harried looking Kira answers him.  Her red streaked hair is an absolute bird’s nest.  Her dark eyes blink owlishly at him for a second.  Nevertheless, the minute she realizes who it is she smiles tiredly.

“You get it?”  She clears her throat of sleep.

Stiles holds the package up to his computer, practically bouncing in his seat.  “Have I ever told you that if you weren’t with Scott I’d totally hit that.”

She snorts.  “That’s to say I’d let you.”

“I have it on good authority that no one can resist the Stilinkski charm.”

“I have a running list that says otherwise.” She sticks her tongue out and sits up in bed.  “The hell time is it anyway?”

“I dunno.  I’m not in Japan.”

“Sucks to be you because the food is amazing.” She rolls her eyes.  “It’s a quarter to five in the morning, Stiles.”

“I’ll make it up to you with tons of free coffee when you get back.  I just had to call you as soon as it came.  You are a goddess and the light of my life and many other things, because this is the absolute best thing you have ever done for anyone, I promise.”

“Yeah, yeah.  I expect picture and video evidence of zombies in Beacon Hills by the end of the weekend.”  She flops back onto her bed, keeping her phone zoomed on her face.  “I got to be at class in like three hours.  Let me sleep.”

“Okay.  Thanks for this.  Seriously.”  He pouts.  “Miss you.”

“Miss you too, jerk.  Get a handle of the time conversion and we’ll talk at a more decent hour.  Tell everyone hi.”

“I will.  Sayonara, Kiki-san.”

“Never call me that again,” she deadpans.  “Bye, Stiles.”

She cuts the call out with a laugh.

Stiles waves at the darkened screen and closes his laptop.  He uses his keys to carefully slice open the packing tape, because the box is cool and he’s going to keep it.  No idea what the heck he’ll do with it, but hello awesome box from Japan, so it’s probably going to sit in the top of closet until the end of days.

He peels back the layers of bubble wrap until he spots the tiny black box he’s been waiting weeks for.

“Oh. My. God.  Yes.”

***

Stiles gets home from his shift at the coffee shop.  It’d been slow and he’d volunteered to give the hours to the new girl and cut out early with two cappuccinos in hand.  He hoped Derek was home.  Otherwise he was totally drinking both of them.

Derek was not, in fact, home at all.  The apartment they shared was empty and quiet, which was unusual because at least one pack member was always around.  Doing laundry or puttering around the kitchen, getting caught up on the DVR.  But not today and Stiles was kind of sad no one was there to show his Halloween costume to for tonight.

He’d have run next door to Danny’s place, but he didn’t see his car in his space, so that was pointless.

Instead of getting antsy, Stiles put his energy to good use and pulled up Youtube on his bedroom television.  He opened his makeup tutorial playlist, scattered various pots of face paint on the bed next to him, sponges, brushes, and other things Erica had helped him pick out and made sure the mirror was steady on his roll around cart.

He pressed play, buzzing with excitement.

Anything goes with today’s.  Film and television, even books have inspired hundreds of different zombie looks, so do whatever you feel is right for you.  Today I’m going with a pale color palette.  Think body washes up on shore and comes back to life, blues and whites and greys.  I’m not applying any synthetic pieces before my makeup today just because I think it will be easier for you at home to understand what you can do with simple tools and a bit of creativity.”

Stiles nods along with GeekChic17, one of his favorite at home FX artists by far.  She was also a finalist on SyFy’s Faceoff, and he was pissed the judges gave her the boot, so he does what he can to support her.  It got a little heated a few weeks ago when Derek sided with the actual winner and Stiles started a war with the throw pillows.

Start with some white face paint.  If you don’t have any, that’s okay, diaper cream also works if you’re using thicker oil based products to contour, or if you have a rice powder compact, you can go with a much subtler flat look, using eye shadow or powdered materials to make things pop.”

Stiles shakes his head.  “Sorry, boo, but I am not putting diaper cream on my face.  And I’m pretty sure no one else is either.”

Just play around, experiment with homemade products in lieu of professional ones because sometimes those are costly for at home makeups. Anything goes when you’re alone.”  Shelaughs.  “No one has to know.”

“You’ve obviously never lived with werewolves.”  Stiles sighs.  He sponges on the white, applying liberally over his face and neck.

Once you’re done with the white, we’ll move on to this light gray.”  She puts the palette in front of her hand so the camera will pick up the color.  “We’re going to apply this around the jaw, the hairline, and the main contour points to start building up our makeup.”

Forty minutes later, Stiles blinks at the mirror.  The face that stares back at him, well, it sure as hell isn’t what he’s used to.  Stiles beams.  It looks good.  Really good.  And he about screams in excitement when he hears the front door close.  He was so happy his makeup looked scary that he never thought about the actual scaring people part.

Derek was going through the mail.  He kicked the front door closed behind him and wandered into the kitchen with his head down.  “Why do you smell like paint?” he asks without looking up.

“Look!”  Stiles claps his hands.

Derek sighs, puts the mail on the kitchen counter and turns.  “Holy fucking god!”  His eyes burn red and he promptly wolfs out with a snarl.

“Oh no…”

“What the fuck!”  Derek roars, surely reaching their neighbors’ ears.

“It’s just a costume!” Stile shrieks back, patting his cheeks to make sure that’s all it is.  “Makeup!”

Derek puts a hand to his chest and gulps down a growl.  He turns around, hands planted on the counter to get himself under control, reverting to his human side as quick as he can muster.  “You…  Dammit, Stiles.”

As soon as Stiles’ heart stops racing, he grins.  “You were scared.  I actually scared you, huh?”

“No.  You didn’t.”

“I so did.”  Stiles laughs.  “I scared the crap out of the alpha.  Wait ‘til I tell Danny.”

“You’ll tell no one anything.”  Derek points at Stiles.  “Because I wasn’t scared.”

“Sure you weren’t, big guy.”  Stiles pats his shoulder.

“Why do you even have this…?”  Derek gestures at Stiles’ face.  “What is this?”

“Where have you been the past three weeks?  The big Halloween party Jackson’s parents throw every year for the ‘kids’.  Well, we’re not exactly kids anymore, but come on, Derek.  Zombie?  Costume contest?  My favorite holiday is today!”

“Oh.  That.”  Derek glances at Stiles like he’s still skeptical Stiles hasn’t joined the undead.  “They cancelled it.  Jackson’s great aunt had a medical emergency in Maine or something.”

“What!”

Stiles feels his bottom lip tremble.  His milky white zombie eyes, courtesy of Kira, widen.  Derek leans away like the idea of a zombie in need of comfort disturbs him more than the actual zombie part.

“Jackson texted everybody days ago.”

“I didn’t get a text,” Stiles murmurs.  Of course Jackson didn’t text him, because most days Jackson Whittemore was still the world’s biggest dick.  But it’s a strong possibility he had forgotten to include Stiles, so Stiles tried not to be dramatic.  “I’m so stupid.”  He scrubs a hand over his face, smearing makeup across his palm.  “I guess I just got excited.”  He shrugs, all blasé about it, but he probably reeks of childish disappointment.

Derek shrugs.  “It’s okay, Stiles.  I know you like Halloween.”

“I don’t just like Halloween, Der.  I love it.”  Stiles’ shoulders sag.

“Well, uh…”  Derek shifts from foot to foot before stopping to grumble at the floor.  “We could still do that, um, thing the next town over.  The, uh, haunted thing?”

“The Haunted Farm of Doom?” Stiles asks quietly, hopefully, because Derek has never, ever offered to do anything like this for Stiles in the past, much less be the one to suggest they go out in public together and do something fun.

“It not seriously called the Haunted Farm of Doom.”

“It is.  They have a website and everything.”  Stiles suppresses a grin.  “For every canned good you bring you get a dollar off the ticket price, maximum of three cans.”

“We don’t have canned goods.”

“We could get some.”

“Pay money to get money off?  Where is your common sense?  And take that makeup off.”  Derek gives Stiles his back.  “If you get ready and dressed before seven we can go.”

“We, as is in you and me?”

“The others have plans already, so yes it’ll be just you and me.”

Awesome!  Stiles bites his bottom lips and nods.  “Cool.  Thanks.”

Derek returns the sentiment with a warm smile over his shoulder, one that quickly dies when he sees the zombie makeup again.  “I’m not going with you looking like that.”

“I so scared the shit out of you.”  Stiles backs away.  “I’m gonna store that information away for later, possibly weeks from now, when it’s the dead of night and you’re fast asleep.”

“If you come into my room in the middle of the night dressed like that, I will rip your face off.  With my teeth.”

“Yeah. Yeah.  All bark and no bite,” Stiles calls from down the hall.

Inside, he’s giddy as a schoolgirl. Derek Hale is taking him to the Haunted Farm of Doom.  Just the two of them.  He has to tell Lydia.

***

“I mean, it totally sucks that Jackson’s great aunt is sick and they had to cancel the party, but Derek asked me to join him tonight, so everything works out for a reason, I guess,” Stiles says to her over the phone as he tries to get the last bits off white off his face with a wet wipe.

“He asked you to join him tonight?”  Lydia snorts.  “Did he send his servant boy to bring you to his chambers so he could rip your bodice from your chest?”

“I mean, he made plans for us when you were all too busy to text me that the party was cancelled.  And don’t act like it’s so trivial, you knew I was looking forward to winning the costume contest and yet you just washed your hands of me and made some other fabulous plans without me.  Some friend you are,” Stiles teases because he can’t find it within himself to be mad.  He’s going out with Derek.  Alone.  Just the two of them.

“Uh, Stiles, I hate to break it to you, but Jackson texted the entire group about the party, and what fabulous plans am I supposed to have this evening?  I broke out the yoga pants and I’m currently flipping through Netflix.  Scott and Isaac are coming over in a few because Derek told Scott the two of you were busy.  So the only people with fabulous plans are you and Derek.”

“Oh.”  Stiles pressed his back to the door and looked around.  Derek had made it sound like everyone was too busy to come tonight.  He hadn’t even bothered checking with them though.  He actually went out of his way to make sure it was just him and Stiles alone.  Stiles couldn’t be more pleased if he tried.  “Right,” he lies. “He could only get a couple of tickets,” he lies some more.  “It’s no big thing.  Maybe we’ll stop by on our way back into town.”

“Tickets?  Out of town?  Excuse me, but are you two going on a date or something?  I have to tell you, Stiles, that’s what this sounds like and I’m not sure I like where this is headed.”

“A date?”  Stiles muffled a squeak by putting his hand to his mouth.  “It’s not a date!”

“Are you going to that haunted house without us, Stiles?  The one we’ve planning to go to for weeks?  Is he taking you there in hopes that you girlishly cling to his alpha body all night while none of us are present to protect you from his devastatingly good looks and emotional constipation!”

“I, uh…”

“You, uh, what?  I wanted to go,” she whines.  “I want to see the horrors that is Derek Hale finally giving in after years of this Judy Blume novel in the making.”

“Nobody is writing a novel on my love life! Or lack thereof,” he rectifies, because what love life?  This is not a date!

“Not yet they aren’t.  I’m onto you, Stilinski.  I see your traitorous ways and I hope you choke on your refreshing cider and free candy corn and that the fake ghosts and vampires haunt your nightmares for months to come.”

“Lydia, that was mean.”  Stiles frowns.  “How could you make a death wish on free candy corn?  Not only is that shit delicious and cute, it never did anything to hurt you, and it’s free!”

“You have a point, but I’m still angry at you.  You’ll be taking me again next Thursday, all expenses paid, if I don’t get to come tonight and see this all unfold for myself.”

“You’re not mad about Derek and me, whatever that means, because this is totally not a date.  You’re mad I get to go to something cool before you do and you don’t want to admit that you totally love haunted houses as much as I do.”

“I admit nothing.”  She huffs.  “I’m holding you to our appointment next Thursday.  Jackson won’t be back for another week and it will be closed by then.”

Stiles laughs.  He takes his mandatory presence in Jackson’s absence as a compliment, making him number two on Lydia’s list of approval.  “Thursday night.  You, me, candy corn and fake vampires.”

“It’s a date.”

“Lydia?”

“Yes, Stiles,” she sighs.

“Do you really think this is a date?  The Derek thing, I mean.”

“Stiles, use some common sense.”  Lydia chuckles.  “I’ll probably see you tomorrow.”

“Okay.  Bye.”  Stiles leans against the door.  He nearly peels out of his skin when Derek knocks from the other side.

“Get a move on, Stiles, I wanna be on the road before the line gets too long.”

Stiles rolls his eyes.  “If this is a date, it’s off to a not so romantic start,” he whispers so quietly he hopes Derek and his werewolf hearing didn’t catch a word.

***

There are five stages to the Haunted Farm of Doom, Stiles notices on the pamphlet they were given after they parked in a field across the road.  There’s a welcome area where attendees can get hot apple cider and baked goods while they wait in line, complete with creepy actors who roam around to scare people as they bide their time.

There’s the actual haunted farm with a barn out back.  Stiles hears a chainsaw and screams in the distance and shakes his head.  There’s always a chainsaw at these things.

Next to the welcome area is a smaller outbuilding with a much less scarier attempt at a haunted house for the younger audience.  But it’s closing soon and Stiles is not a little kid anymore, but he can appreciate the jiggling pumpkin in the window that laughs manically when Stiles trips the sensor as he walks by.

In the back of the property is a field that’s accessible by a hayride, and the corn stalks have been cut just so to make a spooky maze.  Stiles notices Derek purchasing cheap glow stick lanterns for them both at the stall next to the tickets.  Apparently they’re doing the maze too, which is not Derek’s style, but Stiles isn’t complaining.

He can’t shake the excitement or his nerves.  The last event is a zombie shooting range, where actors in full makeup grunt and wobble around groaning, while customers take their best shot with a paintball gun.  That the exciting part.  The part that makes him nervous is Derek.  How his alpha orchestrated this entire thing, taking Stiles out alone, and not inviting the others…

It makes him feel special.  It also makes Stiles question everything.

Derek acts like nothing is going on as he hands Stiles a ticket, a big fat glow stick and a cup of cider.  “The guy over there said the maze doesn’t open up for another hour because they need it to be dark enough for all the glow shit to work, and that it’ll be a while before we make it into the haunted farm because the line is pretty long.  So we should get in line.”

Stiles looks at his glow stick, and then back up to Derek.  “Okay, but can I ask you something?”

Derek lifts a brow.

“Um… So…”  Stiles meets the eyes of a group of high school girls ogling Derek as they walk by.  He should be used to the looks Derek gets, but it doesn’t help him right now when he’s trying gather courage.  Because Derek is super hot, but he’s also awkward and surly, and he bought Stiles a glow stick, not those underage cheerleaders, and like, what does that freaking mean?

“Stiles.”

“Yeah.  Uh, so my point is…  What is all this?”

“It’s a glow stick and cider. What does it look like?”

Stiles frowns at the contents in his hands.  “That’s not what I meant.”

“You want to know why I didn’t invite the others to come tonight.”

“Maybe?”

“I heard you on the phone with Lydia.”

“I thought you said you were gonna stop eavesdropping when I moved in!”

“There’s a difference between eavesdropping and casually walking by when a conversation is taking place.”  Derek looks smug.

Stiles scowls.  “You’re deflecting.”

Derek shrugs.  “Chalk it up to roommate bonding.  You tell me all the time we never do anything together, so shut up about it.”  He kicks some dirt with his boots, rubbing the toe in and looking at the ground.

“Is this pity?  Did you take me out here because there’s not gonna be a costume contest and you didn’t want to see me cry with my awesome Japanese zombie contacts in?”

“You weren’t gonna cry.”

“I might have if you didn’t make my night by taking me here.”

“It’s not night yet,” Derek replies, voice low and promising whether he meant to sound that way or not.  That must have been what Derek wanted to hear.

Stiles has no idea why he shivers as Derek looks up at him, but he does.  He decides to do a little deflecting himself and smiles against the flush in his cheeks.  “When it does get dark we’ll do the corn maze.”  He holds up his glow stick.

Derek bites the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling.  “Yes, Stiles, we’ll do the corn maze.”

“Super.”

“Great.”

Derek walks next to Stiles as they get in line for the haunted farm.  Stiles notices Derek’s hand on the small of his back.  Derek doesn’t seem to care.

***

Good thing it’s dark in the farmhouse because Stiles is having trouble keeping Derek’s wolfy sideburns from appearing every couple of minutes.  A woman takes a fake meat cleaver to a bunch of pig guts and screeches at the top of her lungs in a ramshackle kitchen.  Derek bares his teeth and pushes Stiles behind him.

Stiles tugs Derek away.  Once he’s got his jitters in check after the madwoman’s actor husband pops out from behind them with a creepy laugh, Stiles can see Derek’s burning red eyes on alert.  “Der, come on.” He tugs the alpha to the next corner of this never ending freak show.  “It’s not real!”

Derek growls above the ghostly rattle of chains and thumping footsteps that are meant to scare them from above.  He wraps his arms around Stiles from behind and tugs him closer.  Stiles isn’t sure who is more freaked out, Derek because he’s losing his wolf to an array of shitty horror remakes thrown together, or Stiles because he can’t sense when the next actor will pop up because he’s not a werewolf.

Out of nowhere, the creaky hallway is filled with fog.  Derek carefully digs his sharp claws into Stiles’ muscle. Doors open and bang all around them.  Stiles waits for Derek to lose control and shift completely.  There had definitely been a no pets rule on the sign out front.  How would he explain away a real life wolf? “It’s not real.  It’s fun, Derek,” Stiles pleads.

Something moves to their left.  Stiles grips Derek’s hands before the alpha can take out an innocent actor’s throat.  “Stop trying to kill the staff.  And oh my god, are the walls bleeding?  I think they are.”

From the ceiling, red liquid oozes between the cracks in the walls.  The fog clears and a set of twins in white Victorian dresses are holding hands, their eyes black like their little fucking souls.  “They’re coming,” they say in unison.

Stiles screams.  Derek lifts Stiles into his arms and snarls.  He turns them toward the end of the hallway and marches Stiles out the farmhouse door and unto the next part of the property: Old Man Davis’ abandoned barn.

Stiles isn’t sure he can take much more and they’ve only been here for forty-five minutes.

Turns out there’s nothing abandoned about the barn.  Apparently, as the storyline unfolds, the fake dead people in the house were doing the world a service by butchering that pig in the kitchen.  Because the pigs in the barn have come back from the dead to create undead minions, and said minions are crawling over rusty farm equipment covered in blood, bendy as if they took the crack version of Pilates and can now flex and claw their way like boneless Chinese acrobats who also know a thing or two about Parkour.

A zombie flips onto the hood of an old truck shell.  He crouches and moans, blood oozing out of his mouth.  Stiles beelines for the nearest exit, because the way they came in is blocked by yet another actor that freaks him the hell out.  “It’s not real,” he tells himself, and he’s unsure when he stopped trying to make Derek believe it and started needing to hear it himself.

Derek is a solid, warm presence at his back, scruff tucked in against Stiles’ cheek as the alpha multitasks between breathing raggedly and growling at everything around them.  “I’m never eating bacon again,” he finally says.

Stiles lets out a broken laugh.  “Shut up!  It’s not funny.”

The pack of zombies inch closer.  Derek rumbles.  “Come any closer and I’m willing to risk jail time,” he barks at the actors.

There’s a momentary flicker of confusion on their bloody faces before they go back to moaning and groaning, retreating to their hidey holes in the corner of the barn.

“That’s right, motherfuckers,” Derek snarls and yanks Stiles along like a ragdoll.

They make it out of the barn unscathed, but not without shame.  Stiles had definitely squealed like he’d been kicked in the balls back there and Derek might have shoved a pig man with a plastic machete into some bales of hay.

There’s another worker outside the barn when they reach the official exit.  The poor guy launches into some rehearsed speech about more pigs with radioactive bloodlust descending upon the lands and Derek leans down to breathe all over his face.  “Fuck your pigs,” he says.

The guy puts his hands up defensively and leans away.

“That’s what I thought.”

“Just doing my job, asshole,” the guy mutters.

Stiles squints.  “Best not to repeat that.  I can only stop him from choking someone out so many times.” He smiles.

The worker pales under the light.  Derek narrows his eyes at him before grabbing Stiles hand with purpose, leading down the lighted path.

Stiles bobs along, trying to match Derek’s long strides because Derek has his hand in a tight, warm vice of fingers.  “So were you serious about the no bacon thing back there?  Because I gotta say, I’m not sure even zombie pork can turn me off of crispy, greasy, bacony goodness.”

Derek says nothing.  He might have grunted, but Stiles isn’t certain above all the noises around them.

“And what kind of plot was that?  Zombie pigs?  Seriously?  At least they went all out with that undead Chuck Norris zombie back there.  He could have roundhouse kicked the shit out of those pigs.  Did you see that backflip?  It was pretty cool.  I mean, when he wasn’t threatening your precious alpha existence by being a badass.  Are you even listening to me?”  Stiles rolls his eyes, fumbling to keep up.  He smirks.  “God, I’m so horny right now.  The smell of candy corn and fake blood makes me want to rub one out right here.”

That caught Derek’s attention.  He stops dead in his tracks.  “You don’t smell horny.”

“Try again.”  Stiles steps up to Derek.  “The candy corn, man, it makes my body ready.”

Derek cocks his head and leans into Stiles’ bubble.  He takes a deep drag against Stiles’ neck and frowns as Stiles busts up laughing.

“You’re an asshole, Stiles.”

“Candy corn,” Stiles wheezes.  “You think I’d really get off to candy corn! And what do you care if I smell all randy.  Does adorably delicious Halloween candy make you jealous?”

Derek’s face shuts down.  He stands up straight and retracts his hand from around Stiles’.  “No. It doesn’t.”

Stiles’ smile fades.  “Oh.  I was just… It was a joke.”

“Again, your jokes aren’t that funny.”

“Guess not.”  Stiles swishes his mouth to the side and sighs.  He fetches the pamphlet out of his back pocket and moves out of the way for the next group of people coming out of the barn.  Derek watches him the entire time.  “So the maze is open now.  I can, uh, do that if you’re bored with all this.  I know this isn’t really your thing.”

“Stiles…”

“Nah, it’s cool.  Um, I’ll just do that and I’ll meet you back at the refreshments?”

“Stiles, I’m going with you.”

“Whatever you want.” Stiles shrugs and shoves the map and his hands back in his pockets.  There’s tension between them now, not that that’s an unusual occurrence in their relationship, but this night was supposed to be fun.  Stiles had tried his hand at flirting to see what it all meant to Derek, but Derek had shut that down mighty fast, which meant Lydia was wrong, and that made this night suck immensely.

So Derek was actually just a big fraidy wolf, and that didn’t mean he’d organized this outing for the two of them alone so he could confess his undying love for Stiles.  He just wanted some roommate bonding.  And roommates like him and Derek didn’t flirt.  They were just…friends.

“Hey.” Derek knocked their shoulders together.  “This is fun, right?” he asked so quietly Stiles wasn’t sure if he’d heard correctly.

“Yeah.  Fun.”  Stiles smiled weakly.  “Boat loads of it.”

“Is something wrong?”  Derek clears his throat.  “I thought you liked this kind of stuff.”

“It’s not that I don’t.  It’s that you don’t.” Stiles shrugs.  “And it’s not my birthday or Christmas, so you don’t have to do something nice for me and pretend to have fun for my sake.  It was just a stupid party.  I’d get over it eventually.”

“You really think I took you out here on a pity date?”

“Is that was this is?  A date?”

Derek stops walking.  He side eyes Stiles.  “You’re really dense, aren’t you?”

“If that’s your version of pity wooing me, it needs some serious work.”

Derek shakes his head.  “I don’t know why I try.  Let’s get to the maze before we have to wait in line until midnight.”

“Yeah, wouldn’t want to have to stand next to me for an hour or so either.”

Derek shoots him an indecipherable look.  Stiles just keeps walking.

***

The maze paths have been outlined in glow in the dark paint.  Occasionally a few slashes of neon red are sprayed across the corn stalks to look like a phosphorescent crime scene occurred.  Stiles dutifully holds his glow stick lantern up to give him some light.  Derek’s dangles from his hand at his side, looking bored out of his mind.  The alpha heaves another sigh.

“If I hear you sigh one more time I’m going to make you deep throat this glow stick.  By force.”

Derek sniggers.  “Oh yeah?”

“Stop thinking pornographic things!”  Another zombie, this time covered in UV paint, comes staggering through the corn, arms outstretched in front of him, groaning like he has a bad toothache.  “And I really wish I had that paintball gun right about now, because I gotta tell ya, man, that limp Frankenstein thing you’ve got going on is pathetic.”  He points his glow stick at the actor.

The guy steps around them and acts like he’s hacking up a bloody furball.  Stiles rolls his eyes.

“I take it you’re not having fun anymore?”

You seem to be having a great time,” Stiles points out, pissed as hell now and he can’t logically explain why.

“Watching you flip out is payback.”

“I’m not flipping out because of I’m terrified of neon paint and badly rehearsed zombie skills, Derek.  You brought me here, I thought this was something that it wasn’t, you made that clear, and then you want to laugh at my expense now?”

Derek sighs again.  Stiles screams through his clenched teeth.  He shivers and walks ahead of Derek.

“So maybe I got a little scared back there and took it out on you.”  Derek says after he catches up.  “Sorry.”

“You should be.”

“And maybe tonight is what you think it is and I’m really bad at all of it.”

“Maybe you are.”  Stiles’ face flushes with heat.  He takes a deep breath as Derek’s hand finds his.  Their fingers tangle together. His stomach flutters.  “And maybe I am too because I’m dense, as you so eloquently put it.”

“You’re not dense,” Derek grumbles.

“Uh, pretty sure I’m the guy that had no idea he was on a date until about halfway through it.”

“That’s because I’m the guy who didn’t want to admit it until now.”

Stiles tries to pull his fingers away, because Derek didn’t want to admit he liked Stiles?  Uh, not just no, but hell no.  Stiles might have low self-esteem, but he wasn’t someone to be ashamed of.

Derek yanks him back like it’s nothing, Stiles body bouncing against Derek’s side until the alpha puts an arm around his shoulders.  Yep.  There’s an arm.  Around his shoulders.  Holy crap.  That’s happening.

“That came out wrong.”

Stiles glances at him.  “Ya think?”

The rhetorical question does the trick, leading them on to another bout of silence.  Derek does his best to keep his arm around Stiles as he fidgets.  A zombie face pokes out from between the stalks.  Derek shoves the face back into the shadows without looking away from the path and carries on.  Stiles smiles because he finds it kind of hot.

“Are you having fun now?” Derek badgers Stiles, but this time Derek sounds hopeful, as if his happiness is dependent upon Stiles’ answer.

“It’s a possibility.” Stiles takes his chances and wraps his arm around Derek’s waist.  Derek doesn’t flinch away from being touched back.  It’s a small victory.

Stiles thinks his chances of dating have improved by leaps and bounds.  His mood recovers thereafter.  Now every time a creature from the doomsday farm rears its ugly head, Stiles laughs as Derek discovers new and creative ways of running the actors off without actually killing them.  He’s positive everyone knows of the guy and his date rampaging through the maze by now, one guy enjoying himself and the other hell bent on winning the maze like it’s a video game challenge.

They find themselves at the end of the maze, facing three disgruntled staff members in simple yellow shirts.  “You two the ones touching the actors?”

Stiles shakes his head and hitches his thumb at the maze exit.  “No, those two assholes are still in there causing trouble.  I think one might have been kicking a zombie pig when we hightailed it out here.”

One guy nods sharply and gets out his flashlight to head back in.  The woman gets on her radio and starts barking about pigs to her staff still in the maze.  The last guy eyes Derek and Stiles suspiciously as they make a run for it.  Stiles is laughing his ass off by the time they’re out of sight, catching their breath under the shadow of a tree.

“Think she bought it?”

“Not for a minute.” Derek smiles back at Stiles. 

It takes Stiles’ breath away.  Powerless to the moment, Stiles leans forward and kisses Derek.

Derek hesitated to push back for a second, but soon he put his hands on Stiles’ biceps and they stood together, their mouths still pressed close.  The alpha cupped the back of Stiles’ neck, tilting his head to deepen the kiss.

Stiles warmed all the way to his toes as he tried to kiss and smile at the same time.  He slowly made out with Derek Hale for the next fifteen minutes, hidden away off the beaten path.

For once in his life, he wasn’t nervous or scared.  Derek was totally into this too.  They’d find their way back to civilization disguised in fake blood and apple cider eventually.  But for now this was his idea of fun.

***

Derek handed Stiles a paintball gun without a word.  They slid their goggles into place at the same time and took their place behind the white line.  An explosion of noise meant to scare and thrill the guests blasted over the speakers.  More overturned car shells from the junk yard and pieces of scrap were littered around the small clearing, playing scenery to the last of tonight’s entertainment as smoky fog began to roll over the ground.

Stiles grinned at Derek as the spotlights lit up one by one and some actor came running out of the woods, yelling about the impending arrival of the undead and how they’d eaten her boyfriend a few miles back.

One side of Derek’s mouth twitched up and he readied his gun.  “Let’s do this.”

“If I weren’t about to be shooting zombies, I’d think that sounded dirty.”

“Double entendre.”  Derek shrugs and pulls the trigger.

Stiles cackles as the zombies emerge from the trees.  “Eat my paint, bitches.”

He hears Derek’s full throated laugh over the sound of zombies being pelted to the ground.

***

Stiles takes his bag of free candy corn out of his coat pocket once they’re back at the apartment.  He brings it over to the couch where Derek is deciding on what movie they’ll watch.

He rips the bag open, some colorful pieces falling into his lap as he plops down next to his date.  He sticks his tongue out and places a piece of candy corn there, sucking it into his mouth as Derek distractedly watches.

“You want one?”  Stiles holds up a candy.

Derek presses play on some Disney Halloween movie without noticing.  He’s too busy nodding at Stiles, staring at him like nothing else exists.

Stiles takes a deep breath.  He brings a piece up to Derek’s mouth on instinct and watches the tips of his fingers disappear between his lips.  Derek’s sucks on them before he accepts the candy on his tongue.  Stiles’s fingers hover near Derek’s mouth in awe.

He goes back for another piece and offers it to Derek again, mesmerized by how Derek takes his fingers into his mouth once again.  Only this time, Derek takes Stiles hand in his and licks between each finger to chase the sugary flavor there.

There is no mistaking this is a date any longer and not just two roommates having some quality bro time.

Stiles laughs once.  He shoves a few pieces of candy corn into his mouth before abandoning the rest to all but jump into Derek’s lap.

This time no one is around to catch them in the act, and this part of the date doesn’t have a cover charge.

Stiles thinks the night is a success.  He pushes a piece of candy corn between their tongues and licks into Derek’s mouth.  He was joking earlier when he said candy corn turned him on, but now he’s not so sure. Because Derek is most definitely hard against his thigh and Stiles is already there himself. 

Stiles decides he loves Halloween even more.

***

Stiles waits a week after Halloween to play with his costume again.  He forgoes tutorials because the noise would only wake Derek up and the point is to make sure he’s asleep.  Stiles takes a quick look in the mirror before he slips back into their bedroom, turning off the bathroom light. 

Derek snores.  Stiles presses his finger to his lips as he holds the phone up for Kira to see.  She shakes her head like this is all a terrible idea but she wants to witness Derek freak out anyway.  Stiles rubs his lips together as he carefully descends onto the bed and crawls his way to Derek.  He makes sure the phone is pointed at Derek’s face, because he doesn’t want Kira to see his hand trail down under the covers.

Derek groans in his sleep as Stiles hand hits the right place between his legs.  He even smiles in his sleep, thick eyebrows rising and a sleepy hum rumbling in his throat.  Derek opens his mouth as his lashes flutter, and soon he’s blinking up at Stiles.

Stiles counts to three before Derek shrieks a positively unnatural sound and rolls off the bed away from Stiles.  He hits the floor with a loud thud.  Stiles and Kira laugh their asses off.

The bedside lamp clicks on.  Derek’s naked upper body, angry face, and sleep rumpled hair appear from the side of the bed.  Stiles swallows another laugh.  He tells Kira goodbye, having just enough time before Derek pounces to throw the phone to safety.

Derek lands on all fours, covering Stiles with his body.  “What did I tell you about this?”

“That you’d rip my throat out.  With your teeth.  But what’s the point of doing that if I’m already undead?  It’d just be a pointless mess, and besides, I was hoping that was a euphemism for the dirty things you wanted to do to me.”

“I’m not having sex with you when you look like that.”

Stiles frowns, aware it looks ten times more ridiculous in face paint.  “You wound my fragile heart, boo.”

“Don’t call me boo.”

“Baby?”

“Don’t call me that stuff when you look like the product of a radioactive pig.”

Stiles cries with laughter.  “You made a joke!”

“You look like a joke.  Go wash that off before I decide ripping your throat out with my teeth meant exactly that.”

“Don’t you want a little kiss?”  Stiles squirms intentionally underneath Derek.  “Just an itty, bitty one cause you’re all scared I might have been a real zombie?”

Derek hangs his head with a sigh.  “No, Stiles.”

“You’re no fun.”  Stiles rolls out from under Derek and gets off the bed.  “That’s why I didn’t tell you Kira recorded 

every second of it.”

“Stiles!”

Stiles laughs then squeals as he tries to make an escape into the bathroom.  Derek is there before he can close the door, crowding him into the shower.

“You’re gonna make her delete that.”  Derek tries but fails to sound threatening.  His hands on Stiles’ hips, fingers hitching under his shirt to touch Stiles’ skin give him away.

“And if I don’t?”  Stiles puts his arms around Derek’s neck.  “What are you gonna do to me?”

Derek reaches behind him, appearing to prop himself up with a hand to the tile.  “I’m gonna get you nice and wet,” he whispers in Stiles’ ear.

“Christ.  And you say I have a dirty mouth.”  Stiles moans.  Derek rubs against Stiles for the barest of seconds.

“You do.  That’s why you should wash it out with soap when you’re cleaning the rest of your face off.”  Derek flings backwards and cold water pours over Stiles from the showerhead.

Stiles wails, fumbling blindly for the knob.  “Derek!”

“Don’t you just love Halloween, boo?” He hears from the doorway.  “Cause I sure do.”

“I will rip your face off.  With my bare hands.”

“I look forward to that when you’re all nice and squeaky clean.”

Stiles pauses with a bar of soap in his hands, his pajama bottoms soaking wet already.  “Was that a sex thing?  Did you think I meant with my bare hands as in hot, angry, non-zombie sexual revenge?  Derek?  Is that a thing?”

“Come find out, Stiles,” he hears from the bedroom.

Stiles scrubs as fast as he can.

The End